The Carer Digital - Issue #95

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

The Carer Digital



Issue 95

Adult Social Care Vacancy Rates Almost Double in One Year

Vacancy rates within the care sector have nearly doubled from 5.9 per cent in March 2021 to 10 per cent in March 2022, while the number of filled posts is falling, according to the latest monthly data from Skills for Care. During the pandemic vacancy rates decreased with fewer jobs being available

March 2021 and March 2022. The decrease was greater in care homes with nursing, which fell by 6%. A decrease in jobs in the sector is unusual. Jobs over the past several years have consistently increased to keep up with the rising demand for care due to

in other sectors and some care workers reporting they felt a loyalty to help the

the ageing population. Given the vacancy rate has also risen over the same peri-

sector through the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak. Following the peak of

od, this points towards recruitment and retention difficulties for the sector rather

the pandemic and as the wider economy opened back up, vacancy rates have

than a decrease in demand, with employers not being able to find and recruit

since been rising and are now higher than they were before COVID-19.

the staff they need.

At the same time the number of filled posts has decreased by 4.6% between



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital!


Peter Adams

Our front-page story will not come as a great surprise to anyone associated with adult social care. Nevertheless, the fact that vacancy rates within the care sector have practically doubled this past year while the number of filled posts is falling, is alarming. We here at THE CARER published a similar story back in January, which revealed that more than one in 10 care home staff positions in England were unfilled at the end of 2021. At the time The Care Quality Commission (CQC) warned of a “serious and deteriorating” situation in terms of recruitment and staff retention in adult social care. It said people were leaving the sector to work in hospitality and tourism as society reopened and warned that others may take up vacant nursing posts in hospitals. The staff vacancy rate “continued to steadily increase” throughout last year to reach 11.5% at the end

of December, the CQC said. The staffing crisis had also been compounded by the mandatory vaccination requirement for care home staff, which came into force last November, and saw almost 4000 care workers leave their jobs within the first week, with estimates up to 50,000 leaving the sector in total. This in turn led to care homes closing their doors to new admissions, in part due to the rapid spread of Omicron, but with many also closing due to staff shortages. I think that National Care Forum Chief Executive Vic Rayner “nailed it” when she said “This crisis has not been created by Omicron, rather the pandemic has exacerbated pressures caused by chronic underfunding and a lack of workforce planning that were years in the making. Ultimately, a workforce crisis in social care puts strain on the wider health and social care system, as well as other parts of the public sector. It is a sign of systemwide failure.” The warning signs have been there for a long time. In our lead story we have again highlighted the concerns by trade union UNISON and have repeated their comments they made in the autumn of last year. We have, to be fair, published the government’s £500 million “package of support” for the sector which does include allocating resources for initiatives to provide wellbeing and mental health support and to improve access to occupational health to support staff resilience and recovery following their role in the pandemic. However, as Vic Rayner stated above, the problems, particularly underfunding and staffing shortages, are “years in the making” and there is no quick fix to that. On that note we recently welcomed a very young bright and cheerful local schoolgirl to work on THE CARER as part of her work experience. We have been liaising with local schools for almost 20 years now. Towards the end of her time with us part of her project was to research and produce an article on an issue associated with adult social care. (We hope to publish it in a future issue.)

The net was wide. However, looking through past issues and researching online the issue of funding came up time and time again. Up until the government's National Insurance increase, in the UK we have not had any policies or legislation relating to long term funding. So how do we pay for it, she asked? She was rather surprised to learn that social care is not free at the point of use in the way that NHS care is. Well, I said, in England, adult social care funding is allocated by your local authority and is means tested. Means testing is the method by which a persons’ financial eligibility to receive funding for their care is assessed, taking into consideration any regular income they may receive and any capital assets they own. Local authorities, I said, fund social care through a combination of a grant from central government via the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and local revenue-raising mechanisms, such as council tax. It is, however, in crisis, As I told her, successive governments have struggled for a viable solution often “kicking the can down the road”, and, this current government has this month increased National Insurance to pay in part towards the cost of adult social care. I did provide some research information regarding Germany and Japan and how they are dealing with their adult social care issues. Germany like all nations has its own problems with long-term care of the elderly, although the situation is not nearly as serious as in the UK. According to research, number of people aged 67 or over is expected to rise to 21.5m by 2040. However, 1995, the German government introduced a system of social care insurance. A national care insurance fund was created, funded out of deductions from pay, with employers matching these individual contributions, and is according to reports in very good shape. Furthermore, for the past 22 years, in Japan people over 40 have been obliged to pay into an elderly care insurance system, with premiums calculated according to income and where they live. Over-65s have their payments deducted from their pensions. It was rather alarming to think that a youngster yet to start work was shocked to learn but adult social care is not free. No one wants to burden a younger generation with such responsibilities for care later in life. However, I do believe it vitally important that they are kept informed with sufficient time to plan and prepare for their own care for when the time comes. I do remember former Prime Minister Theresa May paying a very high price when she tried to introduce a funding solution dubbed a “Dementia Tax”, but sooner or later we are going to have to address the elephant in the room! Once again we are delighted to have received more heartwarming and uplifting stories from residential and nursing care settings around the country, so please do keep them coming. Oh and one more thing - we have launched our latest “Unsung Hero Award”. Every home has one (and probably more)! That dedicated worker from any department who goes above and beyond, who can sometimes go unnoticed, and deserves a reward! A small gesture on our part but it has been well received so please get nominating! See pages 13 and 21 for details.

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Adult Social Care Vacancy Rates Almost Double in One Year (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Since March 2021 when the wider economy began to open back up, fewer people are taking up roles in the sector (starters rates are 4.2 percentage points lower) and more people are leaving (staff turnover rates are 4.9 percentage points higher). The average number of sickness day over the previous 12 months has also recently started increasing. This comes as public restrictions on COVID-19 are lifted. The figures come as the government withdraws additional funding to support recruitment and retention in the sector, which was worth £462.5m from October 2021 to the end of March. It has also scrapped funding to help providers pay staff on sick leave and boost staffing levels to control the spread of Covid-19, particularly by minimising staff movement between homes.

“OPPORTUNITY TO ATTRACT NEW PEOPLE” Oonagh Smyth, CEO of Skills for Care says: “Our latest monthly data highlights the recruitment and retention challenges that we know providers are facing right now. Through our recruitment resources, and by working directly with providers, local authorities, and the Department of Health and Social Care we are aiming to support employers to tackle this challenge. “At the same time, we must also see this as an opportunity to attract new people to build a career in care. We must focus on showcasing the rewards of building a long and fulfilling career in social care, and this is a core part of Skills for Care’s strategy over the next three years.”

MOUNTING MENTAL HEALTH TOLL Last autumn trade union UNISON warned that the growing staffing crisis in social care risked worsening the mounting mental health toll on workers. Figures from a UNISON survey revealed that a substantial proportion of care workers had suffered problems during the pandemic including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with more than two thirds (68%) saying their mental health has declined, adding that the vast majority said their work had contributed to the difficulties they were experiencing. UNISON warned that there is a serious risk to care staff’s health woes because severe staff shortages across the care sector were “piling on the pressure”. The union surveyed more than 4,000 staff working in care homes and delivering care in communities across the UK. More than eight in ten (85%) of those who had experienced mental health deterioration since the start of the pandemic said their work had been a factor. In addition to an overhaul of the sector to sort out chronic understaffing and endemic low pay, UNISON called for an immediate increase in support for care workers’ wellbeing, which staff must be able to access directly.

GOVERNMENT COMMITS “AT LEAST £500M TO EASE STAFFING ISSUES Earlier this month the government committed at least £500 million from the Health and Social Care Levy to improve recruitment, retention, progression, and staff wellbeing. In total the levy will generate a record £36 billion over the next 3 years, which will be invested in the

health and social care system to ensure it has the long-term resource it needs while working to reduce patient waiting times and speed up diagnoses, including to clear the COVID-19 backlog in the NHS. Half a billion from the £5.4 billion dedicated to adult social care from the levy, which came into force on Wednesday 6 April, forms a package of support for the social care workforce as part of the adult social care reform white paper, People at the Heart of Care. The funding will, the government hopes, attract new staff into the sector and support those already in it by providing significant investment in individual learning and development and supporting staff mental health and wellbeing. Minister of State for Care and Mental Health Gillian Keegan said: “I am incredibly proud of all the social care staff who have worked so hard, particularly during the pandemic.” “As we recover from COVID-19, we must look to the future and to reform – this £500 million package of support will boost workforce recruitment, allow staff to progress in their careers in the sector and very importantly, ensure staff wellbeing is better supported.” “The type of genuinely transformational change cannot be accomplished overnight. We know staff will need continued support, but we hope this package will level up opportunities for current and future social care staff.” The offer laid out by government includes: • a knowledge and skills framework, career pathways and linked investment for learning and development to support progression for care workers and registered managers • funding for Care Certificates, alongside significant work to create a delivery standard recognised across the sector to improve transferability across settings, so care workers do not need to repeat the Care Certificate when moving roles • continuous professional development budgets for registered nurses, nursing associates, occupational therapists and other allied health professionals • investment in social worker training • initiatives to provide wellbeing and mental health support and to improve access to occupational health to support staff resilience and recovery following their role in the pandemic • a new digital hub for the workforce to access support, information and advice, and a portable record of learning and development • new policies to identify and support best recruitment practices locally • exploration of new national and local policies to ensure consistent implementation of the above, as well as higher standards of employment and care provided


Why Accreditation In Supported Living Counts By Barry Price, QCS Specialist Contributor ( Last month, I wrote about the multitude of challenges faced by supported living services – a subject that I am very passionate about. This week, I’d like focus on supported living once again. But in this column I want to zero in on the important role that best practice and accreditation can play in transforming supported living services. Best practice is particularly key, but it is often overlooked. Having worked with adults with complex needs in residential services and supported living for many years, I was always very surprised to see this happen. Today, when I work as a consultant for Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the leading provider of content for the social care sector, on creating new policies for the supported living sector, it is obvious to me that best practice is still being misunderstood. What’s more in a sector embracing so many different specialist areas, it is often grossly undervalued. If used correctly, it can be a force for good. But too often, managers and staff are overly focused on meeting Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulations. In competing to attain that elusive outstanding rating, they forget what is really important. It all points to the fact that simply following CQC regulations is not enough. Supported living services should ensure that staff embrace a valuesbased person-centred culture of best practice learning. This culture should shine through in organisational policies, procedures and support plans. Ultimately, it should lay the foundations for an evidence-based portfolio of best practice which delivers positive outcomes of the individuals they support. QCS has spent time updating its suite of best-practice tools and resources to ensure this is the case. Accreditation and best practice are inextricably linked But allied to best practice is accreditation. In fact, the two are not just closely related but are inextricably linked. Why? Well, in most cases to be considered outstanding in specific areas of best practice requires specialist knowledge that often can only be acquired from an outside body. In the sector, the number of people, and services for that matter, that fall under the banner of supported living is both vast and varied. For supported living services to flourish, the people that are being supported need to feel that they, in the words of REACH Standards for supported living, are “supported to live the life they choose – with the same choices, rights and responsibilities as other citizens”. That requires an almost unique understanding of the people being supported. It means understanding the needs of those living with learning disabilities, autism and also those with rare genetic conditions such as Fragile X syndrome, or additional needs including physical disabilities, Epilepsy or conditions that affect communication. The CQC, commissioning bodies, and most importantly individuals and their loved ones, need to have confidence in a service before they agree to a placement. They want to be reassured that a supported living service, not only conforms to CQC regulation, but also to any specialist best practice requirements and benchmarks. They want to know (where it applies) that the service meets the requirements of the Real Tenancy Test and understands the challenges that people with learning disabilities face every day.

Accreditation provides reassurance Accreditation, with defined and recognised training paths, which enables providers to demonstrate that they are going over and above the required standards, is the solution. Take supported living services, for instance, that are supporting people with autism, learning disabilities, or with complex needs. The National Autistic Society runs an Autism Accreditation scheme, which is the only autism-specific quality assurance programme in the UK for those providing services to autistic people. For those who apply for accreditation, there are a myriad of benefits. The National Autistic Society says that accreditation provides “a more autism-focused service” and “a more personalised service”. However, those who are successfully accredited also see an “increase in referrals” to their services, “a decrease in vacancies”, are able to provide best practice “evidence for commissioning bodies”. Providing such evidence will also go down well with the CQC, especially given the changes to the way it will assess providers in the future. Going forward, for example, the CQC plans to gather information on an ongoing basis. In doing so, it will contact the people using supported living services and in some cases the local authority. If those using the service can see that the manager and staff have made concerted efforts to gain new knowledge and fresh perspectives which conform to set standards, they are more likely to provide positive feedback to the CQC. This feedback will be taken into account when the CQC assesses the service. It is not enough just to follow CQC guidelines While supported living services should of course adhere to CQC guidelines and standards, they shouldn't be afraid to delve deeper. By this I mean, it is a particularly useful exercise to read the reports of those services that have achieved an outstanding rating. It is useful to do so as they provide information on the work others are doing well to achieve an enhanced rating. However, providers should not wholly rely on CQC guidance. It does not provide services with a clear roadmap as to what training they should have in place, or how often certain training is required. Therefore, I would recommend that supported living services also work to Skills for Care standards because the training is laid out in a much more prescriptive way. That said, it is important that providers adapt this approach in order to demonstrate that training includes specialist skills and knowledge required to meet the needs of service users that they support. If a service is using restrictive practices and interventions, then it is also important to ensure that the training providers it uses also have accreditation such as BILD and adhere to Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards. Using and personalising QCS policies and making use of Skills for Care resources is one way of ensuring that providers stay ahead of the curve. However, I would also strongly advise that providers also incorporate best practice guidance, join specialist accreditation networks, and utilise the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC). Together, using these resources and employing these strategies will help supported living providers instil trust and build reassurance. When it comes to enticing individuals to a service, this is the true litmus test governing whether a service flourishes or flounders. For a free trial at QCS, please visit

The Belmont Becomes Second Dementia Café in Partnership with Worcester Warriors Community Foundation From the 26th of April, The Belmont care home will become the second venue to host the successful dementia café, which will take place at the home every two weeks from 10:30am to 12:00pm. The team are very much looking forward to hosting this event, welcoming in the wider community and establishing the home as a pillar of support for those in Worcester who are living, or know someone living with dementia. The Worcester Warriors Community Foundation first set up their Dementia café in 2017, with the aim of providing a space for people within the community to meet, share support and get to know one another. The work that the foundation does is brilliant and the team at The Belmont are proud to continue developing their relationships with the founders of the initiative and to be a part of the support network that their dementia café offers. The Belmont are also proud to be a foundation sponsor, to further support the growing demand within the community and to reach more people living with dementia and their families, welcoming them into an inclusive and supportive space with other understanding individuals. The caring, friendly and professional team at The Belmont are eager to become a supportive community hub for Worcester resi-

dents, offering valuable resources and information from an experienced team, all within a comfortable, relaxing space. In addition to the dementia café, the home is also hosting an interactive dementia ses-

sion on the 3rd of May, run by Paul Gaskell, Director of Wellbeing & Dementia Services. Those interested are encouraged to call and book a space. Tommy Fellows, CRM, and Sandie Preece, Home Manager, commented: “We are so excited to be supporting with an additional dementia café in partnership with everyone at the foundation, we look forward to supporting families and those living with dementia and hosting these regular opportunities to help visitors meet new friends, get support and above all have fun in a relaxed setting.” Carol Hart, Foundation CEO, Warriors Community Foundation, commented: “The Warriors Community Foundation is delighted to expand its service provision for people living with Dementia. Since our start up café based at Sixways Stadium began in 2017, we have seen an increase in need for the type of service we offer. We are now in a position to offer this service to more people out in the community alongside partners such as The Belmont. The Belmont has second to none facilities and we can’t wait to start delivering our fun and engaging programme of activity to their residents and the wider community at absolutely no cost.”

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 compare 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 and click on ‘attend the event’ and enter


BMA Says the Government is ‘Burying its Head in the Sand’ to the Threat of Covid The BMA says the Government is failing to grasp how serious a threat the current levels of COVID-19 illness pose to the NHS and to wider society. The Association totally refutes yesterday’s comment from the Prime Minister’s office that COVID-19 should be ‘managed like any other respiratory illness’, when there is evidence that it is impacting people’s health and the NHS far more than normal, seasonal respiratory infections. Unless the Government puts in place measures to bring down infection rates, pressures on the NHS will escalate further, staff absence rates will continue to rise and millions of patients, already suffering waits of up to more than two years, will wait even longer. The Association’s fears are supported by a survey of their members1, published today, in which 87%2 of doctors who responded said the Government’s aims to reduce the waiting lists for elective care, investigations, and procedures using the existing workforce, were either mostly or entirely unachievable. Similarly, 87%3 of respondents said they were not confident that people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, longterm physical and mental health issues, and those who are waiting for medical specialist care, will get the treatment they need before they get even more unwell. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA chair of council, said: “It beggars belief that the Government thinks we can treat COVID-19 ‘like any other respiratory virus’, when its impact on people’s health and the NHS is manifestly far more damaging. The reality is that more than four million people were infected with COVID-19 last week4, 1.7 million people are suffering long Covid5, 20,000 patients are in hospital with the virus6 and over 1,000 people are dying each week6. Health services are struggling with almost 200,000 NHS staff absent due to COVID-19 in just one week7, resulting in patients facing last minute hospital and GP appointment cancellations.

“And now we have our members on the frontline telling us unequivocally they have little or no faith in the Government’s recovery plans. “The Government is burying its head in the sand to the immediate threat of the virus to our healthcare services. NHS Trusts - like the Royal Stoke8 – are reintroducing measures to protect urgent cancer care, and NHS leaders in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight9 are pleading with families to take home relatives in hospital. Ambulance services are also faltering, with waits of up to 22 hours10, as emergency care plunges into crisis while politicians turn their backs. Doctors and healthcare professionals are unable to treat millions of patients stuck on waiting lists, some forced to suffer waits of longer than two years. “It is clear that the result of the Government’s ‘Living with Covid’ strategy is failing to allow us to live with COVID-19. The Government’s abandonment of free testing is thwarting our ability to control the spread of the virus, with even business leaders now urging the Government to rethink and reverse its decision to prevent further harm to both healthcare and the economy. “Vaccinations have undoubtedly made a huge difference but the uptake of the third booster is nowhere near as high as it should be and lags behind the level of uptake for first and second doses. Public messaging, encouraging people to get a jab, needs to continue, along with requiring simple protective measures, which have no impact on civil liberties – such as mask wearing on public transport and in confined spaces and ventilation and air filtration in public and work settings. “Unless this Government acts now to bring down infection rates and address the staffing crisis with realistic proposals, the risk of harm to patients will only increase.”

Hats Off to Cheadle Care Home for Tea Party Fun Residents at a Cheadle care home stepped through the looking glass for an afternoon of fun. Team members at Care UK’s Abney Court, in Abney Hall Park, donned hats and costumes for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party inspired by the Lewis Carroll classic, ‘Alice In Wonderland’. For an even more immersive experience, the home was adorned with paper chains, balloons, bunting and crêpe flowers. Residents were also treated to Alice in Wonderland cupcakes specially made by the home’s chef. Vera said: “We felt like we’d been transported to an enchanted wonderland. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite books – I remember reading it with my children.”

Andrew McIntyre, Home Manager at Abney Court, said: “We had such an amazing time creating our own wonderland – our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was a definite hit. “It was very much a team effort, from residents who made the lovely decorations, to the care team who dressed up as their favourite characters. “We always try to come up with fun activities here at Abney Court, and taking inspiration from our favourite books is a fantastic way to encourage reminiscence – all while being creative and enjoying some delicious treats too. We’re already looking forward to our next tea party!”


COVID-19 PCR Testing Services Unexpected VAT Costs Could Arise By Robert Marchant, head of corporate VAT at audit, tax, risk and advisory firm Crowe ( In summer 2021 HMRC issued guidance on their views on how the medical exemption applies to such services and in particular the circumstances when they consider the conditions are met (meaning that the services are VAT exempt) and when they are not (meaning that 20% VAT is to be charged). The guidance gives some comfort in that it accepts that such services have an ultimate purpose of protecting human health, which is a requirement for the medical care VAT exemption to apply. This is even the case where the test is carried out more for convenience purposes, such as facilitating international travel, as HMRC accepts that the testing assists with the protection of health for both those being tested but also others that they interact with.


Over recent times, the obtaining of a COVID-19 PCR test has become a common necessity as organisations manage the impact of the pandemic to protect their staff and customers. Many organisations purchasing COVID-19 PCR tests will have assumed that they will not be charged VAT by their supplier on the basis that the service is of medical care and that an exemption from VAT applies. This may not be the case; leading to potentially unexpected VAT costs.

BACKGROUND TO THE ISSUE Most care homes cannot reclaim the VAT they incur on their operating costs so the question of whether VAT (at the current standard rate of 20%) is chargeable should they be in a situation where they are paying for COVID-19 PCR test services is a significant one for them. The starting point is that VAT law contains an exemption for certain medical services. However, as with much of tax law, the ‘devil is in the detail’ as there are a number of conditions that must be met before the medical exemption can be applied. This is particularly the case for COVID-19 PCR testing services.

A note of caution is needed though in relation to HMRC’s views on the testing process. HMRC has indicated that in order for exemption to apply to COVID-19 PCR testing, the whole testing and diagnosis process i.e. the obtaining of a sample from a swab as well the diagnostic process in the laboratory, must be carried out or directly supervised by a registered health professional. This approach denies exemption for the many situations where the sample is collected from a selfadministered swab. If HMRC’s views are correct then it will deny VAT exemption to many COVID-19 PCR testing services and result in the testing services becoming 20% more expensive, assuming the full VAT charge is passed on by the supplier. This will be frustrating news for care home operators that pay for PCR tests as they cannot reclaim much, if any VAT, they incur, as they continue to take all appropriate steps to keep their residents and guests safe from COVID-19 infection. HMRC’s guidance from summer 2021 also contained their views on other types of COVID-19 testing services and these are set-out below: • sales of tests where the test is self-administered and an immediate result provided — these are standard rated • tests administered in pharmacies — these are only exempt where directly

administered by the pharmacist • tests in GP surgeries — these are exempt from VAT where administered or directly supervised by a registered healthcare professional • tests supplied by the manufacturer to hospitals, pharmacies or GP surgeries — these are standard rated for VAT It is worth keeping in mind that the comments above apply in relation to periods post December 2020 when a change in the regulatory regime took place. VAT exemption was more easily available before this date, but again, not in all situations. There are steps that care homes can take to change their VAT profile so that they can reclaim more VAT they incur on their costs. This has been covered in a previous article by the author on 16 February and is available through The Carer Weekly back catalogue

NEXT STEPS The suggestion that the obtaining of the sample can not be selfadministered and must be carried out by or directly supervised by a registered health professional would appear to be unreasonable (and also impractical given the huge number of COVID-19 PCR tests carried out each day, particularly during 2021). It runs counter to the fundamental point of the VAT exemption for medical care which is to remove a VAT cost on goods and services that protect human health. The views expressed in HMRC’s guidance are not legally binding and, as VAT is a self-assessed tax, organisations are entitled to take a different approach. However, to do so could ultimately invite a challenge from HMRC and so the organisation will need to be sure of their ground before applying a different treatment. Unfortunately, there is often very little opportunity for dialogue with HMRC and frequently such differing views have to be resolved via litigation in the VAT courts which can be an expensive and time-consuming exercise. Care homes purchasing COVID-19 PCR tests will need to understand whether they will be charged VAT by their testing services suppliers and if so, to consider whether this VAT can be reclaimed.

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New Levy Not Enough for Social Care Care England has stated that the Government’s Health and Social Care Levy, which came into effect last week, will not deliver the appropriate amount of additional funding to stabilise the adult social care sector. Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “This new Levy was billed as providing extra resources for social care, but in truth, it will not even touch the sides of the need in our sector, and the majority of the money will go to the NHS. The social care sector has been subjected to years of underfunding destabilising the financial sustainability of the sector. This has only been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. The pretence that this money generated by the Levy is going to solve the social care funding crisis is nothing more than a confidence trick played on the public. Care England is calling for at least half the money generated through the Levy to go into social care in order to stabilise the system and give our dedicated staff significant increases in their pay and conditions.” From today (Wednesday 6 April), the Health and Social Care Levy will come into effect and begin to raise billions to help tackle the Covid backlogs and reform the adult social care system.

According to the GOV.UK press release, over the next three years, a record £39 billion will be invested in the health and social care system to ensure it has the long-term resource it needs to provide world-class care, while delivering the biggest catch-up programme in the NHS’ history. If no further funding is provisioned from October 2023, the scale of financial deficit borne by adult social care providers could range from £0.41bn to £1.303bn up to 4 times more than has been made available by Government currently, a deficit incapable of being absorbed by both councils and care homes from October 2023. The LaingBuisson central estimate assumes a 50% take-up of Section 18(3) and would require an additional £0.85bn of funding by Government. Martin Green continues: “Based upon the current funding arrangements, the health service will not see the benefits of a strong social care sector and will continue to feel these unnecessary pressures, fuelling an expensive NHS-centric cycle of acute care.”

Care Body Quits Fees Group Because Councils are “Deprioritising Care” Amid Growing North-South Divide An organisation that represents care providers has dramatically quit a group set up to discuss fees. The decision by Care Forum Wales (CFW) to resign from the North Wales Care Fees Group comes amid claims that the region’s councils are “deprioritising care” even though they have been given more money by the Welsh Government to pay for it. The group includes representatives of each of the six local authorities in North Wales, the Health Board and Mary Wimbury, the chief executive of CFW. A recent investigation by CFW revealed that the fees paid by local authorities in the North are up to £11,000 a year less per person than those on offer from their counterparts in South Wales. They say the issue was brought into sharp focus when Torfaen Council announced big increases in their rates – 17 per cent for residential care and 25 per cent for nursing care. It means that a 50-bed care home in Torfaen will receive £546,000 a year more for providing residential EMI care than a similar sized home in Anglesey, Wrexham and Flintshire for exactly the same levels of care. In the cases of Denbighshire and Gwynedd, it equates to an extra £494,000 a year and £444,600 more than a home in Conwy. According to Ms Wimbury, the group’s work on setting fees was “completely disregarded” despite council leaders and chief executives emphasising the need for higher pay rates for staff. The North Wales leadership board of council leaders and chief executives had recognised that social care was underfunded and had

written to the Welsh Government to raise the issue. In the resignation letter to the North Wales Care Fees Group, Ms Wimbury said: “However, it appears all north Wales local authorities are currently deprioritising care in their own spending, with fee increases in general not coming close to matching what the sector needs to meet inflationary pressures. “We are continually told that is all local authorities can afford yet we see percentage increases in fees significantly lower than the increase those same local authorities are seeing in in their Welsh Government settlement – it would therefore seem clear that this is because other areas for spend are being prioritised. “For some years now there seems to have been a significant disparity between fees paid in North Wales and those in South East Wales in particular and this is starkly highlighted by Torfaen, who have undertaken a detailed exercise this year to understand providers true costs which have led to increases of between 17 and 25%.” Almost all fee increases in North Wales were between 6.21% and 7.4% despite local authorities receiving a settlement of between 8.8 and 9.5% from Welsh Government. The only exceptions were for rates for EMI residential and nursing care in Denbighshire and Anglesey where the starting points were incredibly low. It meant that the fees paid to privately-run care homes were still well below the rates paid by other counties Around two thirds of all care providers costs related to staffing and one of the main problems was that the formula being used by coun-

cils to calculate fees was not allocating sufficient staffing hours. Consultation with providers on fees had been “cursory at best and non-existent in four counties in North Wales”, flying in the face of guidance from the Welsh Government. Ms Wimbury added: “Given the complete disregard so far in setting this year’s fees of the work undertaken by the North Wales Care Fees Group to start to rectify the issues in current fees we can see no point in continuing to participate, particularly when such participation is used by local authorities to legitimise the fees set. “The group has not conducted any meaningful engagement since November and, despite the impression given in some local authority’s fee notifications, did not take a final decision on the formula for this year. “We feel instead the group has been disregarded and its existence used to limit local discussion and engagement with providers and obfuscate the decision making process. “We will therefore be withdrawing from the Group unless or until there is an absolute assurance from those in leadership positions across North Wales that our concerns will be taken seriously. “We are aware that an increasing number of providers are also voting with their feet and setting their own fee rates to match their actual costs. “We would remind local authorities that for the rate they set to be legal, it must be possible to generally source care in their area for that cost.”


The Future of the Laundry in Infection Prevention Simply complete the survey and fill in your details to be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win a Miele Triflex Vacuum Clean at The laundry room in any care home is a crucial part of the day-today operations. The job of handling both soiled and clean linen normally falls to the front-line care staff as very few establishments are big enough to have a dedicated laundry team or laundry manager. Because soiled linen is a breeding ground for infection, the way this is handled by the care team is crucial to infection prevention and control in the care home and helps to protect both residents and staff alike. As part of the mandatory training that is provided to all care staff on an annual basis, the handling of linen is described at length but in the everyday operation of a care home it can be difficult to ensure that the very highest of standards are being achieved. Space can be a limiting factor as many organisations have very small laundry facilities so being able to effectively separate clean and soiled laundry can be practically quite challenging. Time is also a major factor in the daily workings of the laundry room. Without a dedicated laundry team, front-line care staff are performing the duties of a laundry team as part of their daily tasks so being able to take the time and care over the specifics of the laundry operation is not always a priority. At Miele Professional we understand the challenges that care staff face when it comes to providing the very best in infection prevention and control in the laundry versus the reality of providing high standards of care for some of our most frail, elderly people. Our laundry equipment is designed to help take some of the guesswork out of infection

high enough to thermally disinfect the wash. Another benefit of the Miele Professional range is the connectivity. A new product due to be launched later this year by Miele will mean washing machines can be controlled by a smart phone resulting in no need to actually touch the display to select the desired programme and it can be programmed to 32 different languages, removing any issues with comprehension. They are also really quick too – reducing the turnaround time on laundry items whilst still providing the highest quality clean.


prevention by providing you with the reassurances you need that the products are hygienically clean every time. Our Hygiene model Little Giant washing machines offer infection control programmes that ensure that the wash reaches the recommended temperatures and holding times to thermally disinfect linens. gets up to a temperature

The Carer and Miele are offering you the chance to win a Miele Triflex vacuum cleaner for taking part. We want to know your experiences of working in the laundry, what challenges you face, what could make your life easier, how the equipment works for you, what could make it better for the sort of work that you do, what training you have access to and how Miele Professional might be able to provide you with more support. Simply complete the survey and fill in your details to be entered into the prize draw at

A Dose of Vitamin Sea: Care Resident Relives Memories by the Coast Thanks to Specialist Cambridgeshire Care Team An 85-year-old care resident recently took a trip down memory lane when she made an emotional return to the coastal town where she spent many happy weekends as a child and thought she would never visit again – thanks to a specialist Cambridgeshire care team. Brenda Wignall from Warboys, Cambridgeshire, was undergoing two weeks of respite care at Askham Hall, which forms part of Askham Village Community, a specialist family-run care and rehabilitation community, near Doddington, whilst her family were away on holiday. After exchanging childhood stories, Mandy Ladds, part of Askham’s activities team, recognised Brenda’s desire to return to one of her favourite seaside towns in Norfolk and set about creating a surprise day trip. Brenda found herself indulging in some classic fish and chips, chancing her hand in the local arcade and reminiscing on her youth spent visiting the area. Brenda always relished the opportunity to visit the seaside with her late husband — with Bournemouth being another of her favourite boltholes. In her older age, she has been unable to embark on trips like this, however, her care team were not

deterred and took all the necessary precautions to make her time with Askham as memorable as possible. Commenting on her recent trip to Hunstanton, Brenda said: “It was an absolute delight to visit the seaside again and I have a lot of fond memories of Hunstanton. My mother and father were both Sunday school teachers and they would often take us to visit the town for the day. It holds a special place in my heart and I haven’t been able to go in years. We went shopping in some of the amazing local shops and I even treated myself to a lovely pink cardigan and top. We then had fish and chips, which was wonderful, but I couldn’t quite believe how big the portions were!” Mandy commented: “Brenda has been an absolute delight to have around and her fantastic sense of humour will be dearly missed. We always strive to create memorable experiences for our residents at Askham Village Community and this all starts with our amazing and dedicated team. We wanted to give Brenda the opportunity to relive her childhood and feel safe in the process — something we understand to be really important with our older residents.”

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#GladtoCare Awareness Week Returns for Third Year to Celebrate the Best of the Care Sector An awareness week that aims to champion and celebrate the very best of the UK care sector is officially returning for a third consecutive year – and care providers from across the country are invited to get involved. Following the great success of last year’s #GladtoCare Awareness Week, which saw over 500 care providers take part and three million social media impressions on the official campaign hashtag, the national five-day event is back – with the 2022 theme being ‘celebration’. Spearheaded by Person Centred Software and Autumna, two major players in the care industry, #GladtoCare Awareness Week 2022 will take place from Monday 20th to Friday 24th June – with care providers encouraged to take part and celebrate all that is unique about the industry. The annual awareness week aims to showcase the extraordinary contributions that care workers make to the lives of recipients of care, their families, and community members. It also seeks to reassure families currently looking for care and in turn help to improve occupancy for providers. Celebrating the incredible efforts of the caring community over the past 12 months, care providers and care workers can get involved with a variety of fun and innovative activities, highlighting the incredible happenings within the industry and promoting the positives of care on a national scale. This year’s activities will include virtual fitness sessions, cooking competitions and a virtual open day. Speaking of the initiative, Jonathan Papworth, founder of Person Centred Software, said: “The responses to

the last two #GladtoCare Awareness Weeks were fantastic and saw hundreds of care providers across the UK get involved at the height of the pandemic. Two years on, and with the effects of COVID-19 still very much impacting the sector, we were keen for the event to return for a third year. “With the 2022 theme being ‘celebration’, we will be inviting participants to get stuck into the fun activities we have planned throughout the week, encouraging them to share stories, photos and videos on their social channels to showcase milestone moments that have made them feel particularly proud to be caregivers.” Debbie Harris, managing director of Autumna, added: “Getting involved with #GladtoCare Awareness Week reassures prospective clients that your care home is offering the activity and engagement their relatives have missed during the last few years of COVID-19. It is a real differentiator of your services and allows you to shine in a crowded market.” Care providers and care workers are encouraged to register their free participation in the campaign by visiting Here, they will receive a #GladtoCare digital toolkit including decorative bunting, display posters, social media graphics, and a bespoke activity calendar full of ideas for getting its residents involved. Jonathan concluded: “We hope that as many care providers and care workers will get involved as possible to shine a light on all of the incredible work that’s been done, and continues to be done, within the industry, much of which often goes unnoticed and underappreciated.”

Music Making Sparks Joy for Dementia Residents Residents at a dementia care home in Plymouth have been enthusiastically singing along with their favourite songs during a specially arranged pre-Easter visit by Plymouth Music Makers. Sarah McCaffrey, deputy manager of Butterfly Lodge in St Budeaux, said: “Our residents react so joyfully when tunes they know and love start playing – it’s really lovely to see. “Everyone at Butterfly Lodge loves Katy who leads Music Makers, because she makes her sessions so inclusive and everyone can join in, whether that is listening to the music, getting up to dance, swirling scarfs or shaking maracas. “We also get to have a singalong to some of our favourite songs: Que Será, Será and Sweet Caroline sparked a particularly rousing response this time. “Music is very important to many people living with dementia – we find that even residents who don’t speak any more will join in with songs they

know and can remember all the words. “At a session like this it’s immediately obvious what a powerful trigger music is for making them happy, and often it also allows them to connect with the people around them in a way they don’t usually do.” According to Age UK, the power of music, especially singing, to unlock memories and kickstart the grey matter seems to reach parts of the brains of people living with dementia in ways other forms of communication cannot. Research studies have shown music can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure, relieve muscle tension, help people manage pain, and can also trigger endorphins, the feel-good hormone, which may ease depression, anxiety and agitation. The Music Makers session was part of a varied programme of activities organised by Butterfly Lodge, which is part of award-winning dementia care group Camelot Care. The group has other homes in Wellington and Bridgwater in Somerset. Further information at


Governments Urged to Invest at Least 6% of Health Budgets in Prevention The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) has launched its G20 flagship report calling on governments to reorient their health systems to prevent and better manage health conditions amid efforts to build back better following the economic fallout from the pandemic. Following a 2-year global engagement programme with policymakers and key thought leaders across the G20, the “Window of opportunity” report calls on governments to heed the lessons from the pandemic to prioritise public health, as population ageing and increasing health inequalities risk increasing blow on economies. The report by ILC, the UK’s specialist think tank on the impact of longevity on society, finds that in 2019 alone, G20 citizens aged 50+ collectively lived 118 million years with disability due to largely preventable conditions. For those aged between 50-64, this cost economies $1.02 trillion in lost productivity. That is roughly equivalent to the estimated loss in global worker income for the first half of 2021 as a result of COVID-19. And the flu alone cost these countries $27 billion in sick days during that time – roughly equivalent to what India spent on its military in the same year. As a starting point for meaningful action, ILC is calling on all G20 governments to invest at least 6% of their health budgets on preventative interventions, including vaccination, early detection of disease, lifestyle changes and better management of existing health conditions. For the UK, reaching this target would require a £2.687 billion investment, which is less than 5% of the £60 billion spent on COVID-19 measures. Canada has been making this investment since at least 2010 and has since seen a significant decrease in avoidable deaths and one of the highest survival rates for cancer. The research moreover finds that countries, where a higher proportion of health spending is covered by the Government, have the highest healthy life expectancy. The report authors argue that investments should be made to reduce out-of-pocket charges and ensure cost is no barrier to preventative health interventions. Alongside investment, the report by ILC, the UK’s specialist think tank on the impact of longevity on

society, calls for all countries to develop national preventative health strategies, including national life course vaccination programmes that see parity of uptake targets at all age groups. The “Window of opportunity” report moreover calls for a move towards integrated healthcare systems, with shared objectives, outcomes and budgets across public health, health services and social care. As part of better integration, ILC calls for better collaboration between the formal healthcare system and external stakeholders, including NGOs, community-based organisations, workplaces, and in-home healthcare services that proved vital during the COVID vaccine rollout for example. Prof Annelies Wilder-Smith, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at LSHTM and Focal Point of the WHO’s COVID Vaccine SAGE committee, argued: “The pandemic has unmasked how vitally important it is to have systems in place to efficiently reach older persons with vaccines.” Finally, the report authors argue it will be vital for G20 countries to extend and enhance data coordination efforts established in response to COVID-19, and create a regulatory path for digital solutions as well as support data sharing across healthcare systems to support person-centred care and put people in charge of their own health. Arunima Himawan, Research Fellow at ILC argued: “Increasing efforts on prevention is not a cost, but an investment. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and amplified health inequalities, but the pandemic has also shown us how quickly governments can respond. There is a window of opportunity now for governments to act and build lasting change.” “We need to heed the lessons from COVID-19 and use the infrastructures built during the pandemic – from better public health messaging and improved collaboration across professions, to targeted community engagement and the better use of data and technology.” “The starting point for meaningful action on prevention is investment. Without it, we will likely see a huge increase in the number of people living in ill health which will not just impact people’s lives, but the economy too.”


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3 Ways To Protect Yourself from the UK’s Mental Health Crisis

One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. We’ve seen calls to the Health Assured mental health helpline increase up 37% in the past 12 months. The pandemic took its toll, the war in Ukraine continues and the cost of living is rising. In the hospitality sector, this has put livelihoods on the line and continues to cause concern for workers across the country. When tensions are high and the pressure is on, stress levels start to rise. This increase is sometimes subtle and can be hard to spot. But over time, extended periods of stress lead to burnout—a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Too long spent in these lower mental and emotional states can lead to mental and physical health

issues. So stay alert to the signs of stress below: • Headaches • Stomach issues • Tense muscles • Raised heart rate • Concentration problems • Feeling overwhelmed • Excessive worry • Forgetfulness • Changes in eating, sleeping, and drinking habits • Avoiding people and places Some stresses in life are to be expected. But learning how to increase resiliency helps mitigate the effect it has on mind, mood, and body. When you increase your resilience, you protect your mental health and are better able to cope with the challenges of work and life. Here are three areas to focus on:

boosts happy hormones and improves your sleep cycle. When you’re

well-rested and have a healthy outlet for your emotions, it helps equip you to face daily challenges.

CONNECT WITH OTHERS Social interaction is essential to mental health. Humans are social creatures. Yet as the NHS points out, stress and mental health problems can sometimes cause people to withdraw from those around them. Speaking with people you trust can help you gain perspective and deal with painful emotions. Although it’s difficult, try not to bottle everything up inside.

MINDFULNESS Feel like you’re being pulled by waves of emotion? It can be hard to stay centred and focus on what’s happening here and now. But you can be mindful anywhere or anytime—and it’s doesn’t cost anything. All you need to do is focus on the things you can see, hear, taste, and touch


right now. Try to bring your mind to the present moment rather than

Evidence shows that physical activity is a big stress buster. It helps to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression-like racing thoughts. It

dwelling on the past or future. These tools can help you feel more in control of your emotions—rather than at the mercy of them.

Care Home Residents Taste-Test Vegan Supper – with “Shocking Verdict” This month, as part of Nutrition and Hydration Week, Manchester-based charity, Vegetarian for Life, was delighted to host a vegan supper club for residents at Reinbek Care Home in Stockport. Reinbek is part of Borough Care, and one of Vegetarian for Life’s Premium UK List members. As premium members, Borough Care has pledged to go above and beyond for its vegan and vegetarian residents. VfL wanted to host a fun, inclusive event for residents – and it also gave them the opportunity to get feedback on some of the dishes they might enter for this year’s National Association of Care Catering ‘Care Chef of the Year’ competition. VfL Chf Alex cooked a tasty two-course meal of savoury mushroom pudding with fondant potatoes, seasonal vegetables and gravy, accompanied by a Black Forest gateau. Alex wanted to serve familiar, traditional dishes created with only vegan ingredients. The staff at Reinbek decorated the table beautifully, and the meal was served with some accompanying fizz making it a really special occasion.

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He cooked for a small group of residents and received some great feedback. They rated the food with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down image. Luckily, he got a thumbs up rating from everyone! Here’s what some of the residents had to say: “Elena couldn’t believe that there was no meat in the pie. She thought that the supper club was lovely.” “Jeannette was really impressed with the mushroom pudding and said she was surprised by how light and tasty the suet pudding was.” Tony Gent, Catering and Hospitality manager at Borough care said: “We were delighted to be visited by Vegetarian for Life. They provided a great, nutritious meal. Great taste and an overall great experience for our residents”. Chef Alex concluded: “It was a real pleasure to be able to cook for Reinbek residents and I enjoyed meeting and chatting with them. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to deliver events at care homes. A special thanks to the staff, who were so welcoming, and of course invited us to run the session. They made a fantastic effort with the table settings, making it a real special occasion for the residents”.


Are YOU The Carer’s Next Unsung Hero? Once again we here at The Carer are looking for our next Unsung Hero! A super deluxe luxury hamper will be the prize for the lucky winner!! March 23 marked the country’s second National Day of Reflection, as people from across the country join together in a minute’s silence at 12noon to reflect on those who have died and show support to the millions. No sector was impacted as much as adult social care, and National Care Forum CEO Vic Rayner put it very well when marking the first anniversary last year when she said: “In amongst all of this [ The Pandemic] the country turned its focus to social care – often because that is where the epicentre of impact of this deadly virus has hit home. It has been care workers who have borne the brunt of supporting people in homes and communities – day in day out – seven days a week. It has been care providers who have had to change and flex the way that they provide care to cope with the ever-changing understanding of how to provide care in a COVID-19 environment. Critically, it has been people living in care homes who have lost so much – so many of whom have tragically lost their lives to COVID, while huge numbers have been unable to see loved ones throughout this terrible year.” Regular readers will know we launched our Unsung Hero award 10 years ago when we were celebrating our 10th anniversary, and it proved to be so popular we have been running it ever since. When the pandemic broke, and we began reporting on a daily basis on how COVID and

restrictions were impacting care homes, staff and residents, and we were reporting on a daily basis the dedication of care staff and the difficulties they were experiencing. So, we decided to add on a few more awards! And, we received hundreds of nominations each time, heart-warming, heart-breaking and inspirational stories, making it almost impossible to choose an overall winner, so much so that each time we tagged on runner-up prizes! We are thrilled to announce our latest unsung hero award! Every care home will have somebody who goes that extra mile, which, due to pressures of work can sometimes go unrecognised or rewarded. A small gesture on our part and we aim to put that right! Once again, a luxury hamper awaits our next “Carer Unsung Hero”. No-frills, glitz or glamour, just send us your nomination with a paragraph or two, and please do give a little background/detail of what your nominee has done, and why you think your nomination deserves to be rewarded. Your own Unsung Hero can be from any department, frontline care, laundry, maintenance, kitchen, administration gardening– we will leave that up to you! Nominations close Monday, May 2 please send to:-

An Introduction from MSD Independent I would like to introduce myself . My name is Mark Durbidge and I have been in the Distance Learning environment for the past 12years and have built this business to where we are today. I started originally with a market leading Company and moved on to starting my own business finding and enrolling people onto the courses. Our job is to introduce people to our Government funded courses to the Care Sector including Care Homes and Providers. We have enrolled over the years many people , and they have benefited in accomplishing a level 2 NCFE Cache certificate in one or more of our courses. Care Homes and Agencies also benefit as these courses are free through the funding. As with everyone else it took a downturn during the pandemic as we were unable to visit Care Homes or Agencies , so we started doing telephone and online enrolments. This proved very successful and we are continuing this service and now offering the original visits and group enrolments. We had a new website built during this time which has also been a great success as it contains detailed information regarding the courses we have

available from Mental Health, Mental Health First Aid, Autism, Dementia, Medication, Business Administration. Also our partner Colleges around the country supply experienced , qualified tutors to help where necessary students who may struggle a little. This is a great asset to people. Once people are enrolled we always send out a hard copy of their chosen course and they have the option of writing out the assessment or electronically submitting to the relevant College. The courses have been developed to a very high and informative standard and are highly recommended by Care Homes and Colleges alike.. These courses are free to people providing they complete them . Colleges do ask for a small admin fee from those who register and do not complete the course. Please contact me direct if you wish to have more information . I can be contacted on my mobile number 07943 743748 or email me direct on Alternatively our web site is

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Fire Safety: Are Care Homes Doing Enough To Protect Lives? By Gavin Scarr Hall, Health & Safety Director at Peninsula ( Care homes occupy a unique space when it comes to fire safety. In most work environments, people can hear fire alarms, recognise what they are, evacuate the premises quickly and, for the most part, unassisted. Any exceptions are identified, with personal plans being drawn up to help them. There are no such assurances in care homes. Vulnerable residents may have a range of specific needs, including a lack of mobility, partial hearing or deafness, and even mental health conditions. When the occupants of your premises can’t hear or respond to an emergency, leaving them to make their own escape simply isn’t an option. Every single care home manager should be keenly aware of the high fire risk to their residents, yet, consistently, Fire & Rescue Services are responding to incidents caused, or made worse by, a lack of planning and preparation. When fire broke out at Newgrange Care Home in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, their lack of planning had terrible consequences. There were no sprinklers in the building, inadequate compartmentation allowed the fire to spread, confusion over where the fire was located meant valuable time was wasted checking the wrong floor and, to top it off, a bizarre evacuation policy directed staff to leave residents inside and wait for firefighters to rescue them. Most were eventually rescued, but crews were unable to reach two residents trapped by falling debris. Both died in their rooms. Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan’s report into the fire was published in February, five years after the fire, after criminal proceedings had concluded. The coroner acknowledged many failings by managers of the care home but chose to address his report to the Secretary of State, underlining two key issues threatening safety in the sector. Firstly a concern that sprinkler systems are not mandatory for care homes, despite the clear risk to those with impaired mobility. Had a sprinkler system been in place at Newgrange, the coroner found it very likely that the two victims would have survived. The second concern raised is that care homes are not categorised as ‘higher risk buildings’, except those over 18m, or 7 storeys high. As it stands, care homes technically fall into a lower category of risk, simply based on their size. This does not take into consideration the fact that care home residents with limited mobility cannot self-evacuate and can lead to complacency, as well as a false sense that managers have ‘done enough’ towards assessing fire risk on their premises.

WHY DETAILS MATTER Any measures stemming from a fire risk assessment must be proportionate. Care homes present a higher, more complex risk therefore plans need to be detailed, or crucial points can easily be missed. Private healthcare provider BUPA learned this lesson recently when they were fined a record £1.04m following a fire at a South London care home. A 69-year-old resident died after a cigarette set light to his clothes. Emollient creams used to treat the man’s skin condition had soaked into his clothing, rendering them highly flammable. When he lit up his usual cigarette, his clothes went up in flames and he died from his injuries. The record fine in this case stemmed from BUPA’s failure to protect a vulnerable resident in their care and came down to two key factors. Lack of supervision when smoking meant care home staff had no idea the man had previously been burned, despite knowing that he regularly smoked. Although a smoking risk assessment had been carried out, it did not assess or put controls in place to mitigate the risks of using emollient cream. It’s well-known that emollient creams can be flammable if allowed to build up on skin, clothing, or bedding. The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have issued safety alerts about the risk in 2008, 2016 and in 2018. Details matter.

HOW CAN CARE HOMES STAY COMPLIANT? The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) gives fire and rescue services the authority to

inspect and audit premises. They have the knowledge and the experience to spot potential fire hazards. The RRO gives them the power to make inspections and issue Improvement Notices if they determine a building is unsafe for use. Rather than prescriptive codes, the RRO is based around risk assessment. Named Responsible Persons take on the duty of carrying out or arranging for a fire risk assessment of their premises. This ensures that any control measures are proportionate to the risks present, rather than relying on a ‘one size fits all’ arrangement. Some key areas to carefully consider for any care home fire risk assessment include: Evacuation – Evacuating vulnerable or mobility challenged residents in the event of fire, especially at night, is one of the most challenging areas for care homes. Smoking - Residents who smoke present several challenges. Most providers are conscious of risks associated with indoor smoking and have in place suitable policies around preventing bed and furniture fires from lighters, matches or dropped cigarettes but there are other hidden risks, such as smoking around medical equipment, as discussed above. Safe escape routes – Some areas of fire safety can be difficult to reconcile with the wider needs of residents. Creating a homely, stimulating environment whilst ensuring safe escape routes is one. Mobility scooters - Mobility scooters should be stored in areas separated from escape routes by suitable fire doors, etc. and covered by fire detectors. They are bulky items and should never block escape routes Fire doors - In 2019 over three quarters of all fire doors inspected were not fit for purpose. It is vital that fire doors are kept sufficiently well-maintained to hold back smoke and fire long enough to evacuate residents Fire alarms – Care homes should generally have a system that includes fire detectors in all rooms as well as fire alarms in all bedrooms and throughout the home. All alarms should be properly maintained and regularly tested. Risk assessments should be reviewed regularly - it’s good business sense as well as a legal requirement.

WHO IS THE RESPONSIBLE PERSON? Any employer or person with responsibility for non-domestic premises has a responsibility to protect employees and occupants from fire hazards, and to ensure they can safely escape in the event of a fire. It’s up to the designated Responsible Person to make fire safety measures proportionate to the conditions, the dimensions, and practicalities of how the building operates. Care homes need to pay particular attention to occupants’ capacity to respond to emergencies. Regular evacuation drills are essential for instilling correct procedure into staff. When a real fire breaks out, ‘fight or flight’ instincts take over, and most people will default to the habits built up over months and years. This is how bottlenecks get created at main entrances, despite several other exits being available. It is vital to get fire risk assessments right and the RRO empowers employers to appoint competent persons to assist them in identifying and controlling fire risks.

HOW IS A FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT PUT TOGETHER? A fire risk assessment must be carried out by a Competent Person. The RRO defines a Competent Person as someone who has sufficient training, experience, or knowledge of fire safety to enable them to properly assist a Responsible Person in risk assessing for fire. The fire risk assessment itself can be broken down into five steps: Identify the fire hazards on the premises. This could be sources of ignition, fuel, or oxygen. Think about the way residents use the building and live their lives. Do any of the residents smoke? Are fire doors checked regularly for unauthorised or accidental use? Identify people at risk, including employees, occupants, visitors, and any passers-by who might be affected by a fire on the premises. Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans are a vital tool when it comes to assessing vulnerable individuals and agreeing targeted measures to ensure they’re not left behind. Evaluate the risks by looking at preventative measures, such as removing sources of ignition, eliminating the need for highly flammable materials, and segregating flammables that are stored together. Protective measures are physical features of the building, such as fire alarms, fire detection systems, escape routes, or emergency lighting. Record the findings in a fire risk assessment. Implement any changes, train, and instruct staff and occupants on what they must do. Review your assessment and revise it as necessary on a regular basis. Fire safety compliance should be every responsible person’s goal in the short term. For many types of buildings, compliance is enough to protect lives and get everyone out safely. The further up the risk scale your premises go, the closer the gap becomes between what you need to do and what you should do. Best practice can be as simple as striving to be better than last year or as instrumental as someone stepping up and taking responsibility. It doesn’t have to be a lofty goal separated by enormous cost and idealistic ambition.

Skunk Pays a Visit to Care Home Residents Care home residents around the country are often pleased to welcome visits from ponies or dogs but at Care UK’s Mill View home in East Grinstead, residents were lucky enough to have a visit from a real, live skunk. The skunk was one of a number of animals including a bearded dragon and a rabbit for residents to meet and enjoy an afternoon of animal therapy. Residents were given a chance to feed and handle the animals, with the bearded dragon enjoying resting on residents’ hands, while the friendly skunk enjoyed cuddles with resident’s Norma and Gladys. Everyone also enjoyed learning more about the different creatures, which were brought in by Our Amazing Animal World, including their personalities, favourite foods and how to look after them.

ously searching for new and exciting ways to provide residents with a new experiences. It was amazing to see residents’ faces light up as they interacted with the various animals. “Animal companionship has been shown to have therapeutic advantages for older people, particularly those with dementia, as it helps lower anxiety and creates relaxing endorphins. The residents’ reactions really demonstrated how much they enjoyed interacting with the wonderful creatures. “We look forward to welcoming more animals of all shapes and sizes in the future as they certainly bring a lot of joy and comfort to everyone here at Mill View.” Three years, ago, a Care UK home team hit the headlines when it

Rachel Woodward, Home Manager at Mill View, said: “The residents and team had a great time engaging with the animals. We’re continu-

invited a pair of penguins which are normally found on film sets to come and meet a fan at a care home near London.


Why Online Reviews Are Becoming So Important For Care Homes By Suman Saha, Co-founder and Medical Director at Doctify ( care homes has grown to 69% in seven years. Some studies have shown it to be as high as 90% across the whole sector. Online reviews are giving care seekers the opportunity to hear directly from residents and their families. They are providing people with a clearer understanding of what to expect from the care homes that they are looking into.


Word of mouth in social care is now taking place online. As a digital-first society, online reviews have become a powerful form of ‘social proof’ that people rely on as they make decisions. The number of people looking at reviews when researching and comparing

Choosing a care home will always be incredibly challenging and people need to have complete confidence in the information that they access on the internet. Social care providers can sometimes struggle to create a positive reputation online that truly reflects the excellent care that they provide. There are three main criteria for building greater trust through online reviews - verification, volume and relevance: Verification: People look for independently verified reviews. At Doctify, we have found that people researching social care online are five times more likely to click on a care home with verified feedback than one without. Volume: People want to see that you aren’t cherry picking reviews to publish. More feedback often also equates to more up-to-date feedback, which people have the most confidence in. Care seekers want to

hear from others in similar situations who you have recently supported. Relevance: More than a five star rating, people want to read reviews that are relevant to their circumstances and specific needs.

THE POWER OF REVIEWS GOES BEYOND CARE SEEKERS With a national staffing crisis in social care, we have seen that capturing the voice of residents and their families not only has a positive impact on care seekers. More and more, we are seeing providers use reviews to promote their team’s incredible work, helping to boost staff morale and attract new talent to the sector. It can be incredibly motivating to see and read validation of great care being provided.

A LOOK TO THE FUTURE OF REVIEW COLLECTION IN CARE HOMES Technology can now be used to collect and publish reviews within care homes. Through using a digital process to capture real-time feedback, managers have the opportunity to gain a truly representative picture of the care being provided at that moment in time. It allows them to highlight any issues and implement actions much earlier. Harnessing technology to collect reviews also means that care homes are able to showcase their great care to their team and residents on a daily basis. What’s more, it enables care homes to properly represent themselves online without any additional administrative effort, meaning that they can focus on what matters the most - caring for their residents.

Derrick Gets VIP Treatment As He Turns 95 A VIP visitor made Derrick Corfield’s 95th birthday extra special when the World War Two veteran celebrated his milestone at Broughton House Veteran Care Village in Salford. Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett was touring the new facilities at the care home and made sure he was able to wish widower Derrick a happy birthday in person. The Mayor was accompanied on his trip by Joanne Farrell, head of the City Mayor’s office and Salford Council’s armed forces lead officer. Derrick’s memorable celebrations included a visit from his family, and the home marked the special occasion with a party for residents and staff and a screening of one of his all-time favourite movies, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Derrick, who is from Salford, moved into Broughton House last summer after toppling from his electric scooter and breaking an ankle. He is one of its oldest residents. Karen Miller, chief executive of Broughton House, said: “Derrick has been a major figure in our home since he joined last year, taking a lead role with our Remembrance Day ceremony and always being a delight with our staff and fellow residents. “We were extremely pleased to be able to make this a birthday to remember for him. He truly embodies the spirit of Broughton House.” Derrick was too young to serve in the armed forces before the Second World War so, in 1943 at the age of 15, he joined the Home Guard and was attached to the Manchester Regiment and then the Lancashire Fusiliers. Having previously been a Sea Scout, he volunteered to serve in the Merchant Navy and his mother reluctantly agreed to let him go to sea at the age of 16. Derrick set sail in February 1944 as a crew member on the ocean-going passenger liner the RMS Orion, which had been refitted to carry 7,000 troops on wartime service. In the run-up to D-Day, Derrick and his comrades ferried US and Canadian troops across the Atlantic to

Liverpool for the invasion of Europe. Derrick manned one of the anti-aircraft cannons after undergoing a ‘crash’ gunnery course with the Royal Navy. He had a brush with death while embarking troops in New York, when he was overcome by fumes in the ship’s paint locker and was rushed to hospital. After D-Day, the RMS Orion continued to sail all over the world, ferrying troops to Malta, then from Egypt to Naples, and back to the UK. After hostilities ended, the ship ferried survivors back to North America, Australia and New Zealand. When the ship was returned to its owners in 1946, Derrick stayed at sea aboard other merchant vessels before coming ashore in 1948 because his mother had become ill. Derrick, who has four service medals, was later a fireman for 25 years and had spells working for the probation service and the Ocean Yacht Club charity. A widower since May 2017 when Marjorie, his wife of 66 years, passed away, Derrick has a son and a daughter, three grandchildren and one great-grandson. City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “I was honoured to visit Broughton House Veteran Care Village to celebrate Derrick’s 95th birthday and see the fantastic job that has been done in building their new state-of-art facility to care for veterans and their families in our city. “Derrick epitomises the true spirit of Salford, working tirelessly for many years to make Salford’s Remembrance Sunday event the success it is today. I know that Derrick is enjoying life at Broughton House and continues to organise special events much to the delight of residents. “I was also delighted to meet some of the other residents and members of staff who have undertaken a sterling job over the past couple of years providing care and services to residents of Broughton House during the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst also juggling the challenges of transitioning to a new building. “It really is fantastic to see facilities like this being built in our city to care for veterans and their families, building on Broughton House’s long-standing commitment since 1916 in caring for those who have served our country. I look forward to continuing to work with this great and much loved institution as we collectively continue our work to support our veterans, armed forces community and their families.”

Robby Steam & Vac by OspreyDeepclean®: The Ultimate Cleaning Machine, Proven By Independent Scientific Research The healthcare sector requires rigorous cleaning methods to maintain the highest levels of hygiene to ensure the safety and well-being of patients, residents, and staff. The National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness, first published in May 2021, outline modern methods of cleaning and infection prevention and control, whilst imparting important considerations for cleaning practices during a pandemic. In principle - healthcare environments should pose minimal risk to patients, staff and visitors. Compliance to these standards are mandatory by April 2022 for all healthcare settings. How can you ensure compliance? Invest in a manufacturer who has been guided by scientific research and medical sector expertise to equip your cleaning team with the right tools for the job. We were the first company to formally assess the efficacy of dry steam cleaning in healthcare environments. Partnering with the NHS and University College London Hospitals, our machines achieve up to a 5log reduction.

The Robby Steam & Vac is an all-in-one machine, ideal for maintaining hygienic standards of housekeeping. The dry steam, delivered at 4.5 bar, eliminates the need for harsh chemicals and the powerful integrated vacuum can be used simultaneously, ensuring surfaces are left touch dry and ready for use, removing harmful pathogens and allergens for fast and effective deep cleaning, every time. To ensure your care home is properly equipped to deliver hospital levels of clean, we have a great offer, exclusively for The Carer readers. Our Care Home Complete Cleaning Bundle includes: - 20% off our Robby Steam & Vac - all 21 accessories incl. brushes and nozzles - a black metal trolley for improved manoeuvrability - a cleaning sign All for FREE! To claim this offer give us a call on +44 (0) 1242 513 123 or email us at quoting “Robby Cares”.


Personality Traits Linked with Memory and Thinking Problems, Study Suggests Research from the US suggests that people who are organised and have self-discipline may be less likely to develop mild memory and thinking problems while those who are moodier may be at increased risk. The publication, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published the findings earlier this week. Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI as it’s often called, is a term used to describe early memory and thinking problems in older people. While it is not a type of dementia many people with MCI experience difficulties that are greater than expected for their age. However, unlike dementia, these difficulties tend not to get in the way of a person’s day-to-day life. You can read more about MCI on our website, or you can ring the Dementia Research Infoline on 0300 111 5111. Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“The risk of developing memory problems is complex and is likely to be a mix of age, genetics and lifestyle factors. There is no sure-fire way to prevent MCI or dementia and research is underway to learn more about why some people are at more risk than others. “While observational studies like this can be important for picking out health trends, this type of research is not able to tell us about cause and effect. This study adds to existing evidence of a potential link between personality types and cognitive decline, but we don’t yet understand the underlying reasons behind this link. “The best current evidence indicates that staying physically and mentally active, eating a healthy balanced diet, not smoking, drinking within the recommended guidelines moderation and keeping weight, cholesterol and blood pressure in check are all good ways to support healthy brain ageing.”

Care Home Walking Challenge for National Walking Day Hard core staff from Barchester’s Moors Manor Care Home in St Leonards, near Ringwood showed their mettle by taking on the challenge to walk a 13.2 mile course from their sister home in Hamworthy back home. On Wednesday 6th April which is National Walking Day, Tracey Aldin, General Manager of Moors Manor, led a team from the home on a trip from our sister Home Upton Bay in Hamworthy, stopping off at our other sister home Kings Park in Ferndown and ending up back at Moors Manor to be greeted by the residents. The residents themselves took part in their own challenge in the home doing laps to mimic our route. All this was to raise money for a worthy charity chosen by residents at the home – Helpful Hounds Assistance Dogs who help to change the lives of young people. They were

various stop off points along the way including Poole Hospital to drop off some treats for the staff to acknowledge the wonderful work the NHS do and also Dorset Chamber who kindly provided refreshments and respite from the rain. Tracey and her team set up a justgiving page as well as accepting offline donations, we’ve managed to raise a magnificent £230 for Helpful Hounds Assistance Dogs. General Manager, Tracey Aldin, said: “Despite the wet conditions at the start, it has been a fantastic day and all the support we had along the way did wonders to keep us going. We are all really happy at the amount we have raised, thanks to everyone who supported us along the way and the residents for doing their own challenge as well. The charity do great work locally and as a home, both staff and residents are delighted to be able to support them.


Renaissance Care Responds to Exhaustion Across the Care Sector Following the Pandemic with a Full Cultural Review Across the Organisation

Scottish care home group, Renaissance Care, has implemented a full review with its staff across each of its 16 homes to overhaul the traditional operations across the care home sector. Following interviews with staff across all levels, the group, which employs 1,200 people across the country, is reviewing the culture, working practice, and its health and wellbeing offering across the board, as it responds to rising resignations of care staff across the industry on the back of the pandemic. Staff across the homes will now be offered a range of new benefits including flexible working, a pay review across all roles, and a health and wellbeing package. In response to feedback around long shifts within the care sector, which have historically been 12 hour shifts as industry standard, Renaissance Care will now offer staff a flexible working pattern based on their individual requirements. The move means that those who want to change shifts around childcare commitments, or want to cut down on long shift times can do so, while office staff will have the option to move to a four-day working week. The group will also implement a minimum 5% pay increase for all staff and has committed to becoming a Scottish Living Wage

Employer. In line with the review, the care group is also undergoing a project to promote inclusivity and security among its workforce. It has committed to supplying sanitary items for female staff in all of its facilities, as well as becoming a menopause-friendly workplace with plans to roll out training for staff later this year, and is ensuring an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ staff and residents with an understanding that identities can be complex. The home will also introduce a health and wellbeing package which includes free access to danceSing for all staff members – encouraging health and wellbeing through fitness classes with a saving of £400 per year for each individual. It is also to invest in upgrades to the staff rooms in each home to ensure its care teams have a space that promotes a positive culture throughout shifts. In addition, the care home operator is currently investing £500k on its operational management and accounting systems to improve administrative processing for all staff as it responds to feedback about time spent on paperwork throughout shifts. Louise Barnett, managing director at Renaissance Care, said: “It is absolutely clear that staff retention and recruitment across the care industry is a massive issue on the back of the pandemic. It comes as no shock that staff, who have had an incredibly difficult two years looking after our most vulnerable in society, would consider changing careers. “For most organisations, people are at the heart of the business, but within the care sector it is no exaggeration that staff play the most crucial role in ensuring that elderly residents receive care that goes above and beyond, and we see time and time again the difference that our teams make to peoples’ lives.

“Operationally, the care sector has always functioned in a certain way but now, as we begin to recover from the pandemic, it is time to turn it on its head and set a high benchmark for what the industry will look like for years to come. We need to modernise the offering for care staff and ensure that they can remain dedicated to delivering the best quality care while having a work life balance that allows a career around family and personal life.” Robert Kilgour, executive chairman of Renaissance Care, has been a consistent industry voice throughout the pandemic, calling for more support for care homes across the country. Last year, he spearheaded a group of the country’s leading care home operators who joined forces to help uncover answers to the many questions around the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland. Robert Kilgour, executive chairman of Renaissance Care, said: “The last two years have been an incredibly tough time for residents, families and hard-working team members in care homes across the country and it is important to us that we provide the best possible care and facilities for our people. “Despite all that we have been through since the start of the pandemic, we remain very positive about the direction of the business and at the heart of our plans for recovery is our people. We are investing, developing and working alongside our team, ensuring that we can attract and retain the very best of talent to perpetuate a person-centred approach across each of our homes for staff, as well as residents.” Renaissance Care has a strong people service strategy which focuses on learning and development for individual staff members, as well as onus on creating a person-centred culture of inclusivity and care.

Runwood Homes Wrap Up their March Dignity Theme, the Environment; ‘We are all Responsible’ Runwood Homes’ successful Dignity Campaign creates an effective, whole-team approach to wellbeing. The campaign, which marks a different theme each month, encourages residents to take part in meaningful activities which boost feelings of belonging and purpose, and creates strong bonds and relationships between those that both work and live in the home. Marches theme; ‘The Environment – We are all responsible’, gives special focus to how homes can help to look after the world around them. We have only one earth, so home teams and residents were inspired to think about what they can do to protect and cherish it. At the start of the month, home teams were given a number of resources that would inspire the activities they would organise throughout the month. Whether that was creating their own recycling project, planting in the garden which would attract and enhance wildlife or helping to clean up our neighbourhoods, such as litter picking. The team and residents at Windmill House, in Wymondham,

Norfolk, chose to start off the month by cleaning up their grounds. Residents enjoyed the fresh air during a litter-picking session, which encouraged them to take responsibility for their own grounds, enhancing feelings of belonging and purpose. Heron Court, in Brentwood, Essex, have taken the theme as an opportunity to spruce up their garden, with the hope that it will attract new wildlife, such as birds and butterflies. The residents at Heron Court love gardening, and will enjoy spending time admiring the outdoor space, and new wildlife, during warmer days. At Liberty House, Doncaster, residents made their very own recycling point at the home, to support Hallam Fm Cash for Kids. By becoming a collection point, the home continues to make important steps that help protect the environment and encourages those within their community to take part and drop off their unwanted items. Not only does the project help protect the environment, for every tonne collected, Cash for Kids charity will receive £400 to help continue their amazing support for disadvantaged children.

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

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


How Can Care Homes Use The Humble Text Message to Manage Communication Between Management Teams, Staff, Relatives and Visitors? James O'Hare, MD LINK Mobility UK (, looks at the possibilities. As a regular visitor to my mother-in-law's care home, I see first-hand how hard it is to deliver care under extraordinary circumstances. Among the challenges of the last two years, has been the pressure to stay on top of changing government guidance and keep everyone informed in a timely way of the latest in social distancing or lockdown mandates and the impact onvisiting hours and procedures. It was clear that when teams were stretched, often because of illness or isolation, it was hard for management teams to find the time to call relatives and let them know the latest information. As a relative it can be very disappointing to discover you can't enter the home when you arrive, due to outbreaks or staffing shortages. It's just as disappointing for the nursing teams. They know the benefit visits have on the wellbeing of their residents, particularly considering the emotional toll the last two years has had. There is however a solution that can be borrowed from the logistics industry. There are numerous examples of companies using communication technology to manage operations and keep people informed. Using a solution known as 'communication platform as a service', or CPaaS for short, they can send simple text messages to subsets of people that need to receive specific messages as a specific point in time. Before the pandemic it was used to inform people of a temporary change to site entrances while maintenance work was carried out, or to remind people to submit holiday requests or complete health and safety

training before a deadline. During the pandemic it was used to informpeople of tack and trace requirements. It's a standard that could easily be borrowed by the care industry. Staff can be kept informed and updated on latest information ahead of a shift, and relatives could be sent updates to visiting times, or even links to an online system to book their visit, or confirm attendance to a Mother's day lunch. Third party suppliers could be issued health and safety procedures, or details of how to access the building on arrival. It could even be extended to local authority agencies that need to communicate a request for bed availability to alleviate the recurrent 'bed blocking' scenarios that are all too common. In every case, managing the texts is straightforward and quick. The CPaaS tools can be configured to manage groups of people with templates for standard messages.Messages can also be written as required or in advance and set up to be issued at a specific time. For large organisations, CPaaS could be used to help manage overtime and shift swaps when a carer is ill. The logistics industry offers a good template here; by integrating text messaging into staff scheduling systems. People can text a requirement for a shift swap and the system can automatically manage any agreed changes and update rotas. The efficiency CPaaS can bring to care managementand the time it can save managers would deliver a rapid return on any investment. What's more, relatives would value the communications, helping to build better relationships with, and confidence in, the management team. If you are interested in using CPaaS then it's worth looking at the NHS Shared Business Services Patient/Citizen Communications & Engagement Solutions procurement framework. Established at the end of 2021, the framework recognises the value communications brings to patient care and can provide guidance on how to procure services. It also has a list of approved suppliers who meet strict quality and secure data standards, imperative for ensuring personal data is managed properly and always protected.

Golders Green Care Home Supports World Health Day Staff and residents at Barchester’s Magnolia Court care home in Golders Green have been marking World Health Day by taking part in a range of different activities to promote good health. World Health Day took place on Thursday 7th April. The idea behind the day is to shine a light on the benefits of good health and wellbeing around the whole world. Each year, World Health Day has a different focus – the theme for 2022 is ‘Our planet, our health.’ The World Health Organisation is asking: are we able to

The staff and residents got into the spirit of the day by trying different fruits and vegetables and learning their beneficial properties. Local Physiotherapist Sarah Smallborn spoke with residents about the importance of regular exercise. Residents had fun playing chair badminton and had an armchair disco. Later some took part in an organised walk where residents did several laps of Childs Hill Park. General Manager, Octavian Stanciu said: “Our residents had a brilliant time today, they really enjoyed the armchair disco session and our chef made some fantastic

reimagine a world where clean air, water and food are available to all? Where

dishes for us to sample. This afternoon we enjoyed a walk around Childs Hill Park, the

economies are focused on health and wellbeing?

sun was shining and we enjoyed being outside.”

DO YOU KNOW THE CARER’S NEXT UNSUNG HERO? Regular readers will know we here at the Carer have been awarding an Unsung Hero regularly since 2016! Now, in these unprecedented and testing times we are Say hello looking for another to some Unsung Hero! previous (How we wish we could winners! reward you all!)

Care Home urst of Cloverfield Marion Brockleh

A Super Deluxe Luxury Hamper for the lucky winner!

Court n of Chamberlain Suzanne Goodma

Thelma O’Leary of Fern hill House Care Home

Tina Higginson of Sam brook care home

A no-frills, no glitz or glamour competition - all we ask is for you to send us a paragraph or two nominating your Unsung Hero from any department with a brief description of how they've gone that extra mile and deserve to be recognised.

✓ Do you know our next Unsung Hero? Email your nomination to us by Monday May 2nd 2022 at


Past, Present and Future of Social Care On Show at Seminar Social care past, present and future was debated during MHA’s online seminar with expert speakers looking at where the sector has come from and what needs to be done in the future to support older people. The Walter Hall Seminar, named after the founder of Methodist Homes (MHA), the country’s largest charitable provider of care services for older people, featured a range of speakers who discussed a vision for social care as its theme - one which celebrates, educates and identifies the life we want when we grow older and what needs to be done in order to work towards that goal. Kicking off the event was a thought-provoking video where people discussed their experiences, thoughts and ideas about growing older. They discussed how prepared they are for potentially accessing adult social care services and talked about their views on the gaping holes in the sector and attitudes towards ageing. Speakers at the breakfast seminar were Sam Monaghan, MHA, Chief Executive, Professor Pat Thane, Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College London, Dr Anna Dixon, Chair of the The Archbishops' Commission, Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The Kings Fund, Emma Twyning, Director at the Centre for Ageing Better, and Alison Holt, Social Affairs Editor at the BBC. They explored a myriad of key topics covering ageism in society and

how this affects policy decisions, working with the media to tell the full story in the sector and also highlighting the inequalities in adult social care and how these have prevailed for many years. Comments made during the seminar by delegates included: The demographic challenge facing us is that adult children do a huge amount to facilitate care and support even if they don't directly provide but the number of people over 65 without children is increasing and will be over 2 million by 2030. We should share this sort of thing with young people - I wish I had that when I was younger as I am only just understanding it all in my

40s! We need more people understanding and working to solve challenges If we are working within a logic that expects people to "contribute to society", why is support to live independently, that arguably helps people to do so, undervalued? In working with politicians around reform, it is much easier to progress if there is a public pressure towards a different option - so building consensus around a broader narrative and holding in tension both the citizen and consumer perspective which many individuals come to these issues with. So more efforts to mobilise both locally and nationally around a more positive narrative. MHA Chief Executive Sam Monaghan said: “There were some incredibly thoughtful contributions by our speakers talking and debating the vision for social care going forward and we were delighted to facilitate that. “One of the key things to come out of the panel was the need for a unified social care sector which works together. “The social care sector has been under immense staffing and financial pressures which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. As we go forward, we need a collective mind to tackle rising problems, whilst also contending with historic underfunding that has plagued the sector.”

Worthing Care Home Resident Celebrates 100th Birthday Milestone Caer Gwent resident Brenda Templeton marked her centenary recently, enjoying an afternoon tea prepared by catering staff at the care home with her daughter-inlaw and a long-time friend who visited from Jersey. Brenda was born in Shoreham on 2nd April 1922, in a maternity home by the beach. She describes herself as a ‘local yokel’ – she spent her childhood at Queens boarding school in Shoreham before later moving to Australia for 6 months. At the start of the Second World War, she joined the RAF and worked as secretary to the commanding officer of Squadron 544, based in Benson, Oxfordshire. It was during the war that she met and married her husband Frank, who was a pilot flying Mosquito aircrafts. Brenda’s biggest hobby was playing and watching lawn bowls – she would often spend her days at Worthing Pavilion, having a game with her friends. Caer Gwent, which is part of Worthing charity Guild Care, combines residential liv-

ing with nursing care. To celebrate Brenda’s birthday, the catering team at the home created a special afternoon tea, while Brenda’s daughter-in-law, Yoriko, brought in a handmade cake. Brenda also enjoyed a special visit from long-time friend Pauline, who is the daughter of a friend she met while in the RAF. Pauline travelled from Jersey to join the celebrations. When asked how she felt about reaching her milestone birthday and receiving a card from the Queen, Brenda said she has ‘had a brilliant and fulfilling life’ and that ‘here at Caer Gwent I’m happy and have no complaints.’ Caer Gwent’s Health and Wellbeing coordinator, Sammy Paynter, said: “Brenda is a muchloved member of our Caer Gwent family. She is always positive and looks on the Brightside, bringing fun and laughter to fellow residents. We’re thrilled that we could make her big birthday so special.”

Virtual Becomes Reality for Abbeyfield’s Falmouth Residents Resident Joyce Penfold was one of the first to try out the ROVR, choosing to

Residents at Tresillian House, Falmouth, are enjoying the newest virtual reality (VR) technology, visiting new and familiar places at a touch of a button without leaving their home. The Generating Older Active Lives Digitally (GOALD) team at the University of Plymouth (UoP) has collaborated with the house to conduct a groundbreaking sixweek-long trial examining the effects of technology on the health and wellbeing of older people. The GOALD team have been visiting Tresillian House to introduce the residents to ROVR, a state-of-the-art VR walker and headset, which transports the user to a place of their choice. Popular choices include seafronts, streets and museums, and the team hope to demonstrate the positive impact that the regular use of VR technology can have for older people on their mobility, strength and balance. They have also gained valuable feedback to aid the development and production of this remarkable technology. Leonie Cooper, from the GOALD team, explained, “It really touches me how excited the residents get. It’s not just about what they see, but about what they hear as well. They have commented on the birds signing and the trees moving in the wind. It’s really nice to be able to take them to places that they may not have been before, or may not be able to access any more.” Early signs indicate that the use of the ROVR equipment is having an equally positive effect on the residents’ mental health, by enabling them to virtually visit places where they have made happy memories in the past, and to make new ones.

take a virtual trip to the seaside in Godrevy, Hayle, to see the lighthouse and have a paddle in the sea. She was so enamoured with the technology that she even convinced the GOALD team to visit and let her have another go at her 103rd birthday party, which was held at Tresillian House on 1st April. Joyce said, “I found it very strange and different at first, but I’m glad I did it. I’ve seen cities, waterfalls, the sea – and I very much enjoyed it. The young women from the University of Plymouth were excellent, they made me very comfortable. “Usually the only time I go out is when my daughter takes me out, and the furthest we go is just a few miles, for a coffee perhaps and a good old chat. The trips on the walker made a nice change but I don’t have any desire to go abroad just yet!” Dr. Hannah Bradwell, Digital Health Research Fellow for UoP’s GOALD project, has been working in partnership with Vicky Gillow, Abbeyfield’s Community Engagement Manager, to bring the trial to Tresillian House. Dr. Bradwell said, “We’re really interested in the use of technology to support physical activity for older adults, and for us this technology has a lot of potential in that regard. As people walk on the treadmill, they get to explore the virtual worlds, and having a range of places to be explored creates a motivation to be active.”

Midford Manor Team Climb 80ft Crane in Aid of Dorothy House Brave care workers at Midford Manor, our new care home being built on Frome Road, have climbed its 80ft crane in aid of Dorothy House. General Manager, Carol Britton and Commissioning Manager, Jenny Mann raised £615 for the hospice which works with the Bath community to develop, influence and provide responsive palliative care and end of life care. The “daring duo”, climbed the cranes 10 ladders, despite their immense fear of heights to support the hospice after seeing the vital services they provide to the Bath community. Carol Britton said: “As the wind got up and I felt the ladder wobble I really didn’t know if I could do it! But fighting back my nerves I got to the top with sheer determination not wanting to let anyone down who has supported me on this journey. I’m so pleased to have been able to make it despite my fears – which have definitely not gone away. To hear the cheers from my friends and family watching real-

ly got me through!” Jenny Mann added: “We’re delighted to have raised £615 for Dorothy House and we would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone in the local community who has generously supported and encouraged us to face our fears. Dorothy House does such wonderful work locally and every donation received really makes a difference.” Community and Events Fundraiser at Dorothy House Hospice Care, Emily Aspin said: “Everyone at Dorothy House is incredibly impressed with Carol and Jenny for boldly climbing the 80-foot crane at Midford Manor and raising a fabulous £615. What an epic feat for the local charity! The money raised by this epic duo will help fund essential patient care in the community and means the world to the hospice’s patients, their families and carers.”


Over 930,000 Unpaid Carers Will See a Real Terms Cut in Benefits Says Carers UK On Monday 11 April 2022, state benefits are being uprated to the new 2022/23 levels but are leaving unpaid carers’ benefits far behind the rate of living costs, meaning a real terms cut in income. Carers receiving the main carers’ benefit, Carer’s Allowance, will be getting an increase of just £2.10 per week, based on inflation rates of only 3.1% set last year when the real rate of inflation could now be as high as nearly 8% in April. This represents a real terms cut in benefits as inflation outstrips the levels of uprating. Carer’s Allowance will rise from £67.60 a week to £69.70, whilst the earnings limit for those claiming the benefit will rise from £128 to £132 a week. As the National Living Wage (NLW) has also increased, it means that anyone employed on the NLW will see a real terms cut in the number of hours they are able to work and still keep their Carer’s Allowance. This will fall from a maximum 14.36 hours of work per week to only 13.89 hours a week to stay within the limit. If a carer goes over the earnings limit, they lose 100% of their Carer’s Allowance, a harsh penalty to pay.

For people caring for a severely disabled person for more than 35 hours a week, the carer element of Universal Credit will rise to £168.81 a month. Carer’s Allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind and 35 hours of care need to be provided to a person with significant needs receiving the right level of disability benefits. Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “As the cost of living crisis piles on the stress and pressure to household finances across the UK, the below inflation increases to Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit are yet another blow for hard pressed carers. “Many carers have a reduced capacity to work because of their caring responsibilities or have had to give up work altogether. Despite the majority of carers having taken on more care during the pandemic, which has protected our health and care systems, they face a real terms cut in the level of financial support they receive. Carers do not deserve more hardship when they have done so much.

“Caring for someone can mean extra costs like having to use more electricity for special equipment, more heating to keep someone frail or unwell warm, and needing to spend more on special food. According to Carers UK’s recent research, Under Pressure, a quarter of carers receiving carer benefits were already using a foodbank.2 Today’s real-term cuts mean that many more will face challenging decisions about whether they heat their home or feed themselves. “Once again the UK Government has failed to increase the Earnings Limit for Carer’s Allowance in line with rises in the National Living Wage meaning carers can now work just 13 hours a week and retain their entitlement to Carer’s Allowance. This is completely counter to the UK Government’s objective to make work pay. What we need urgently is a system that legislates for a year-on-year rise, in line with at least 16 times the National Living Wage along with significant increases to carers’ benefits.”

Major New Mental Health Study Inspired by Lived Experience

Professor Katie Haighton and Dr Sonia Dalkin from Northumbria University.

Experts at Northumbria University are supporting a £1 million research study, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), which aims to improve the outcomes and experiences of those being discharged from mental health hospitals. Around 50,000 people leave mental healthcare hospitals every year. However, a national survey from the mental health charity Mind, found that 40 per cent of those have no plan in place to support them after they leave.

Sarah Rae, a mental health service user, experienced difficulties when discharged from mental health wards in the past. She is now working alongside researchers from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), two other NHS trusts and academics from six universities across the country – including Northumbria. Determined to use her lived experience of two long-stay admissions to improve services for others, Sarah is co-leading the research along with Dr Jon Wilson, a Consultant Psychiatrist at NSFT. The team are working with mental health service users and carers to develop a new support package for discharge. “This kind of co-produced research adds an extra dimension,” explained Dr Sonia Dalkin, Associate Professor of Applied Health Research from the Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing at Northumbria. “Sarah is an active agent and partner in leading this research, with invaluable input in terms of lived experience, contextual conditions, and processes surrounding discharge planning approaches. Overall, improving the problem of poor discharge would improve the lives, safety and mental health recovery of significant numbers of service users.” Dr Dalkin is working with Katie Haighton, a Professor of Public Health and Wellbeing at Northumbria, on the research. “We’ll firstly look at the evidence to identify what works, and doesn’t work, in cur-

rent discharge planning approaches, and uncover why this is,” explained Professor Haighton. “This will help inform the design of a tangible aid for the discharge process.” National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines state that discharge planning should include staff working together with service users. Mental health workers want to create a positive experience for those leaving hospital, however, there are many complicated factors that can disrupt this. The idea is to develop and adopt an ‘Engineering Better Care’ toolkit which can be applied and adapted to the discharge process from the point of view of the people involved. This will include what people feel they need to stay well after leaving hospital. Speaking about her own experience of leaving mental health hospitals, Sarah said: “I was terrified of going back into the community. This fear was made worse by the fact that staff did not try to understand my worries or offer any coping strategies. There was no collaborative discharge planning before leaving hospital. The knock-on effect on my wellbeing and recovery was huge.” Other partners in the research include the University of Cambridge, Kings College London, University of East Anglia (UEA), Anglia Ruskin University, University of Hertfordshire, East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) and Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT).

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NHS Leaders and their Teams Risk Being Abandoned by the Government Unless New ‘Living with Covid’ Plan is Delivered The Government has been urged to revamp its ‘living with Covid’ plan as NHS leaders warn the government risks abandoning the health service in the face of continued high infection rates and hospital admissions. Since the ending of the remaining Covid restrictions, the UK has been in the grip of another spike in Covid cases. This has resulted from the Omicron BA.2 variant. While the severity of the virus has been reduced due to the success of the vaccine roll-out, we continue to see high numbers of people with Covid. Just over 20,000 patients are now in hospital with Covid (or who have Covid but are in hospital for other reasons). Alongside high staff absences, this continues to pose huge operational challenges for the NHS and is harming efforts to reduce waiting times in other areas. The continued threat posed by Covid, alongside critically high demand for emergency care services and lengthening waiting lists, compounded by high staff absences, has led many NHS providers to declare critical incidents. In the past week, around 20 accident and emergency departments in England have issued diverts, with patients having to be taken elsewhere. The NHS is operating at extremely high bed occupancy levels and continued staff absence rates are well above the average for this time of year. With the very high rates of Covid still having a major impact on the delivery of health services and slowing down efforts to reduce large waiting lists, the NHS Confederation is calling for the Government to reconsider its ‘living with Covid’ plan and introduce mitigating actions that will help avoid further critical incidents being declared at the NHS front-line. NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor said: “NHS leaders and their teams recognise the need to ‘live with Covid’ as we move towards what the government hopes will become an endemic stage of the pandemic. However, they report a clear disconnect between the Government’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan and the realities they are facing at the NHS front line. “The brutal reality for staff and patients is that this Easter in the NHS is as bad as any winter. But instead of the understanding and support NHS staff received during 2020 and 2021, we have a government that seems to want to wash its hands of responsibility for what is occurring in plain sight in local services up and down the country. “No 10 has seemingly abandoned any interest in Covid whatsoever. The Treasury has taken bites out of the already very tight NHS budget, while soaring inflation means the NHS settlement is now worth less. It is now unclear that anyone in the centre of government feels the unfolding NHS crisis is their responsibility. “NHS leaders and their teams feel abandoned by the Government and they deserve better. “We have been promised a ‘living with Covid’ plan yet all we have is a ‘living without restrictions’ ideology. “We urgently need stronger messages to the public on taking precautions to reduce opportunities for the virus to spread and getting booster vaccinations. We need to be realistic about what the NHS can be expected to achieve in the face of very high Covid levels, rising demand for urgent and emergency care,

and backlog pressures. We also need proper Covid funding to continue until the virus is genuinely under control and we need a medium-term plan for reducing the risk of respiratory diseases including mask wearing and ventilation in public spaces. “Covid is far from over as ministers appear to want to believe and we urge them to get a grip on this – both for the current spike in infections but also for potential future ones.” The NHS Confederation is calling for the following actions: • NHS leaders seek honesty in government messaging to the public about the scale of the current impact of Covid-19 and are concerned that the communication approach is tending to mislead the public and discourage them to take steps to reduce transmission, contributing to the very high rates of Covid-19. • The Government should reinvigorate its public information campaign on Covid to be clearer about the rates of infection and impact, while encouraging people to resume behaviours that have previously been effective in keeping infections down. That includes a renewed focus on encouraging mask wearing in crowded public spaces given adherence has reduced, opting for meeting outdoors and in well-ventilated places whenever possible, and isolating when unwell. This information campaign should also support messaging that encourages the public to make the best choices when it comes to accessing health care. For example, only visit A&E departments when it’s an emergency and use other services, such as 111 and community pharmacy, for more minor concerns. • We welcome new guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement which emphasises the importance of local decision making when it comes to balancing risk so that local organisations can determine their own infection prevention control (IPC) arrangements. Given the ongoing challenges from Covid, high demand for emergency care and the size of the elective backlog, it’s important that hospitals and other providers are empowered to make good decisions that free up more capacity in the NHS to treat non-Covid patients. • NHS is charged with delivering waiting time recovery targets that were set when the expectation was that the threat from Covid would largely be over. The targets did not envisage the BA.2 variant, which is currently manifesting in just over 20,000 patients currently in hospital with Covid (or who have Covid but are in hospital for other reasons). The ongoing disruptions caused by Covid is slowing down the NHS’ attempts to reduce waiting times and there needs to be greater awareness and understanding of this. This calls into question how realistic these targets now are for this year. • The government should reconsider its request for the NHS to absorb the costs of lateral flow tests until the infection rate and admissions have reduced significantly or be upfront with the public that some performance targets around elective care will not be hit. This is estimated to cost several hundred million pounds and in effect cannot be spent on extra staff or on treating patients.

Easter Cheer for Vida Healthcare Residents Vida Healthcare has partnered with a local Harrogate-based school to bring Easter cheer to its staff and residents. The partnership saw students at Rossett Acre Primary School work together to handcraft Easter bonnets. The celebrations culminated with a parade through Vida Grange in Pannal, which saw the children bring Easter cheer to the home and showcase their handmade bonnets to residents and staff. Ashleigh Christie, Early Years and Year One Leader at Rossett Acre Primary, commented: “The ongoing link we have with Vida is incredibly powerful and we value it so much. The children love making things and to have the opportunity to show off their creations to the residents living at Vida Healthcare means so much to them. We’re already looking forward to our next opportunity to pay a visit to Vida.” Victoria Edwards, home manager at Vida Grange, added: “Bringing local children into our care homes is always special, but after years of lockdown restrictions, it was clear to see how much the visit meant to residents and Photo credits Vida Healthcare & Rosette Acre Primary staff. The children and their bonnets brought a smile to so many faces in Vida Grange. Maintaining links with our community is crucial to us at Vida Healthcare and we’re always looking for new ways to partner with schools, businesses and organisations from across the Harrogate district.”

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 venti-

lation system with heat recovery (MVHR units), manufactured by VentAxia & quite a number of these were also problematic. So Building Ventilation Solutions found & rectified all the problems with these & recommissioned & 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


Care and Support Provider Has its Say on Health and Social Care Levy Investment Mike Ranson, commercial director at National Care Group said: “We obviously welcome the potential for increased funding to meet the rising costs and to

port roles. It would also enable providers to retain valuable existing, trained staff, reducing the significant costs currently being experienced due to the use of expen-

address the level of pay available to support and care staff in the sector. However,

sive agency or temporary staffing and the increasing costs of recruitment due to

a significant number of local authorities are failing to offer increases in funding,

high levels of turnover. Putting a firebreak into this ‘spiraling’ chain of events will

which cover the rise in the minimum wage of 6 percent from April this year. I ques-

bring substantial improvements in quality as well as efficiency in costs and

tion how this increase in National Insurance is being reflected in local government


settlements and allocations for social care budgets.

“It is important that social care is not seen as secondary to the NHS in this alloca-

“If this new income were substantial and made available on a sustainable basis to the social care sector, it may go a long way to encourage people into care and sup-

tion. A robust and sustainable social care sector will support the NHS to deliver capacity and respond to the ever-increasing demands we all face.”

Renfrewshire Care Team Triumphant in Winning Specialist Service/Unit of the Year Award at the Scottish Care National Care Home Awards 2021 The Caledonian Korsakoff Unit was crowned the winner of the ‘Specialist Service/Unit of the Year Award’ category at the Scottish Care National Care Home Awards 2021, that took place at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow on Friday 1st April 2022. The Unit, which is located at HC-One’s Hillside View Care Home in Paisley, specialises in supporting individual’s living with Korsakoff’s Syndrome or alcohol-related brain damage, and who are under the age of 65. Hillside View’s other units provide nursing and dementia care. The award evening was hosted by Scottish Care’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Donald Macaskill plus Pop Idol winner and Scottish singer, Michelle McManus and celebrated the very best people working in the care sector who go above and beyond to provide consistent exceptional care, as well as celebrating the achievements of Residents. The Caledonian Korsakoff Unit at Hillside View Care Home was nominated by former Home Manager, Katy Jenks – who has since been promoted to an Area Director role at HC-One. The unit was selected as the winner having demonstrated that they provide the specific skills needed to manage and deliver services sensitive to the needs of older people with dementia, alongside other specialist conditions and client groups. Colleagues working in the unit have demonstrated how they have made a difference to individuals through the specialist care services they provide. Colleagues have shown a passion for improving care and the lives of people with specialist needs and demonstrate excellence and innovation in developing their care provision at Hillside View Care Home. Joanne Campbell, Unit Manager at the Caledonian Korsakoff Unit at Hillside View Care Home, said: “It is a great achievement and so good to see the team recognised for all their hard work and personcentred approach, especially during the current pandemic. Our Colleagues have worked tirelessly to ensure we deliver the best care possible for the Residents.” Jackie McDonald, Interim Managing Director for Scotland, stated: “I am extremely proud that the Korsakoff Unit at Hillside View has won the Specialist Service/Unit of the Year Award! They are a fabulous team, and they really deserve this recognition. “I’m delighted that we also had an additional winner, and two other HC-One Colleagues and teams from across our care homes in Scotland who were finalists in a variety of different categories at the well esteemed Scottish Care National Care Home Awards 2021. “The pandemic has presented many challenges for our Colleagues and care homes, but it has also highlighted the amazing work our Colleagues do in our homes, especially during the challenges of the pandemic. Our Colleagues have worked together to do so much to help, support and care for our Residents living in our care homes. “Being named as winners and finalists acknowledges their hard work and the kind care that they have

shown to each other, Residents and Relatives, as well as the dedication and passion they show every day to ensure the people they support receive the best quality care. The awards highlighted their acts of kindness, the great work they are doing in our homes and have provided us with a chance to say thank you to them for the selfless work they continue to do every single day.” James Tugendhat, HC-One’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Congratulations to everyone at the Korsakoff Unit at Hillside View Care Home - this is a tremendous achievement, and we are incredibly proud of the team! “The team’s success at this year’s prestigious Scottish Care National Care Home Awards is a testament to the dedication they have shown to their Colleagues and Residents, even in the most challenging of times. The team have truly gone above and beyond to provide the kindest care to Residents living in the Korsakoff Unit at Hillside View Care Home and support to Colleagues, Relatives, and those within the local community, supporting our mission to be the first-choice care provider in each of the communities that we serve.” HC-One were delighted to have four finalists at the Scottish Care National Care Home Awards this year. The finalists were chosen in recognition of their hard work and kind care shown to Residents, Relatives and Colleagues as well as the dedication and passion they show every day to ensure the people they support receive the best quality care. Two of the four finalists were successful in going on to win in their respective categories – the Caledonian Korsakoff Unit at Hillside View in the ‘Specialist Service/Unit of the Year Award’ category and Caitriona Morrison, Nursing Assistant at Blar Buidhe Care Home in the ‘Carer of the Year Award’ category. At the Scottish Care National Care Home Awards evening, HC-One were proud to sponsor the ‘Carer of the Year Award Category’. An award presented to an individual who had shown exceptional kind care to Residents’, helping them to maintain their independence and choice, whilst respecting, always delivering person centred care and dignity. Hillside View’s Caledonian Korsakoff Unit’s accolade and success in winning the ‘Specialist Service/Unit of the Year Award’ at the Scottish Care National Care Home Awards is a true testament to the team’s kind nature to deliver care to those living at Hillside View. The latest awards success in Scotland follows 20 HC-One homes being recognised in the Top 20 Awards last year. Nine HC-One Scottish homes scooped a Top 20 Care Home Award in Scotland, meaning that 45% of the Top 20 homes in Scotland are HC-One homes. is the UK's leading care home directory. Its annual Care Home Awards recognise 20 of the top-rated care homes in each region of the UK and are based on individual review scores that has received from Residents, their loved ones and service users, as of 30th June 2021.

Access Enhances Public Sector Offering in Cloud Commissioning Technology Services Through the Acquisition of Adam Human Touch Technology The Access Group, a leading business solutions and software provider for mid-sized organisations, today announced the acquisition of adam Human Touch Technology (HTT), a provider of highly configurable purchasing solutions to public sector bodies across a range of spend areas, from complex community care, to transport and housing. The addition of adam’s technology will allow the Access Health, Support & Care division to further expand and enhance its solution offering in the public sector space and will deliver wide ranging benefits for Access customers in the form of financial savings, improved service provision, streamlined processes and the automation of administration tasks. Steve Sawyer, managing director, Access Health, Support & Care comments: “adams’ cloud-based commissioning has enabled local government and

NHS procurement teams to streamline processes, connect providers and patients and react quickly to support the provision of consistent and highquality care. The digital revolution in the procurement of services in the public sector has the potential to transform the quality and consistency of services received by the end user, for this reason, adam solutions are an essential part of the Access offering” “Access is committed to helping public sector bodies realise their potential to provide better health and care services in their geographies. Through adam, Access helps provide significant time and economic benefits to customers in the provision of commissioned services. We are on track to deliver our vision of a unique ecosystem of solutions across the health and social care spectrum aligned with the government’s strategy for integrated health and care systems resulting in better outcomes.”


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Hygienic Warewasher is Central to Care Home‘s Efficiency When choosing a commercial dishwasher for a healthcare environment there are a number of factors to consider including the plumbing and electrical supply, the financial outlay and the physical space available. Most important however are the industry and individual care-home’s specific hygiene requirements. Forbes Professional always conducts a comprehensive site survey to ensure that the right machines are specified for each site. They are proud partners with Miele, whose commercial dishwashers are fully WRAS compliant and comply with all the necessary industry regulations. For a care environment, Forbes’ latest range of tank dishwashers enable an impressively fast throughput, which is invaluable for a busy kitchen. However, for some care homes a specialist hygiene dishwasher is required in order to ensure that the highest levels of hygiene are maintained. Miele PG8059 HYGIENE freshwater dishwashers deliver a particularly high temperature final

rinse that is maintained for 5 minutes to ensure the ultimate hygienic clean. With a default temperature of 85c they more than exceed the Department of Health’s recommendations of a twominute cycle at 82c. During lockdown, Forbes continued to install and service these machines for a number of NHS hospitals as they meet the most stringent hygiene standards. Forbes Professional’s experienced account managers provide all the necessary advice to ensure adherence to the relevant operating parameters. Under their complete care package, clients avoid capital outlay and the fixed monthly payments are entirely deductible pre-tax profits. Clients also have the peace of mind afforded by a first-class engineer response service, at no extra cost for the duration of the contract. Contact, 0345 070 2335 or or see the advert on page 25.

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 or see the advert on page 23.

Temporary Catering Facilities For Events & Kitchen Refurbishments Mobile Kitchens Ltd specialises in the hire or sale of temporary catering facilities and foodservice equipment. Ideal for events or to provide temporary catering facilities during your kitchen refurbishment, our versatile units and equipment offer an efficient and economic solution to the caterers’ needs. Production Kitchens, Preparation Kitchens, Warewashing Units, Dry Store Units, Cold Rooms and Restaurant Units are available as individual units in their own right or they can be linked together on site to form a complete complex. Alternatively, we can offer modular, open-plan facilities, usually for larger, longer-term hires. We offer a free design service, and project management from concept through to delivery and installation on site, plus full technical support throughout the hire period. The standard specification of our smallest

Production Kitchen unit includes a six burner oven range, salamander grill, twin basket fryer, upright fridge, hot cupboard, single bowl sink unit with integral hand wash basin, plus ample power points to plug in Microwaves, Food Processors, Toasters etc. Internal equipment can be interchanged and clients can effectively specify their preferred layout. We have many tried and tested design layouts and would be pleased to put forward our recommendations for your project. So if you’re planning a refurbishment or need to cater for an event then why not give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide advice and put forward a competitive proposal. For further information or to arrange a site visit, email: or call us on 0345 812 0800, or visit our website: or see the advert on page 23.

Reduce Your Operating Costs!! The first 10 CARE HOMES to respond will receive a FREE SURVEY to identify potential savings and recommendations for how you can realise: · Precise control of engineering and building services to reduce costs: • Plant room, water tanks, hot and cold distribution, heating and ventilating, lighting · Laundry services to achieve hygienic standards HTM0104 compliant: Optimum processing of bed linen, towels, staff uniforms and residents clothing · Health and Safety standards for your residents, staff and the building(s): HSG220 is the recognised guidance for implementation in CARE HOMES ACoP L8 and HTM04-01 compliance to ensure Legionella control Public Health England Covid 19 guidance on PPE and operational procedures · Sustainability, carbon footprinting to achieve a 'net zero' emissions strategy

Call or Email NOW: 07831 873355 Opeque can assist in reducing energy bills, complying with legislation, managing health and safety and achieving a sustainable operation. Over years, Opeque has worked with various industry sectors, from tyre manufacturing to laundries, schools to hotels and hospitals to care homes, optimising their manufacturing procedures and facilities management. Applying industrial engineering principles, we address productivity, resource efficiency, quality control, health and safety and asset management, bringing people, utilities, equipment, and buildings together to realise product excellence. We have worked with many care homes to provide laundry services and water hygiene and it is from these close relationships that we believe we can further assist your CARE HOME to reduce operating costs. or see the advert on page 6.

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 wait-

ing room. Featuring real wood panelled wall with brass luggage 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 oldfashioned travel carriage. A 55-inch 4K TV large clear window shows footage filmed in full HD with sound aboard live railway journeys from around the UK. The result is the residents can all enjoy a nostalgic day out day after day. Visitors will come more often and stay longer when joining in a live experience like ‘The Jolly Journey’. Children would love visiting and look forward to an exciting experience as opposed to being bored just sat in the lounge of the care home! The main thing is that the resident’s wellbeing and mood has been lifted supporting their mental health. Give us a call to find out more information – The Little Islands Team on 0800 093 8499 or visit You can view a demonstration at

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

Consultations with Occupational Therapists, to better support all its customers with a more complete solution.

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


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Gailarde - Wholesale Supplier To CareZips Dignity Trousers The Care Home & Healthcare Sector ™

Gailarde is a family run business established in 1979 to provide household textiles specifically manufactured for the contract trade. Our core principals of putting our customers’ needs first has helped us to grow into one of the UK’s largest suppliers to the contract market. Gailarde have been successfully supplying the care home and healthcare industry for over 40 years, supplying both the public and private sector. We are proud to hold a framework agreement as a supplier to the NHS for wipeable pillows, duvets and flame retardant bed linen. Our best selling bedroom collection includes flame retardant and easy care linen, as well as our core offering of specialist pillows and duvets designed with infection control features. Our bathroom range features superior towelling, shower curtains and bathroom accessories. Our competitive homeware range, features table

linen, tableware, kitchenware and cleaning supplies. We are also pleased to offer inventory, ready-made and build your own packs suitable for housing associations and supported living schemes. For refurbishment plans and new build projects, we supply a wide selection of furniture, including beds, mattresses, sofas, chairs and dining tables all compliant with care home and healthcare regulations. Our Soft Furnishings collection is ideal for transforming rooms. By using fabric from the leading suppliers, we can supply cushions and bedspreads through to runners and curtains, in a variety of styles and designs. As a customer you will have a dedicated account manager, on hand for any questions. For all enquiries, please give our friendly team a call on 020 8905 2776. Alternatively, please email our care home and healthcare specialists directly: or or see the advert on page 8.

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 or see page 10.

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

AKW Launches Upgraded Doc M Range and Installation Compliancy Guide AKW, one of the UK’s leading providers of accessibility solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of its ugraded Doc M sanitaryware range for public-use accessible toilets and washrooms. Committed to ensuring that compliance is as straightforward as possible, AKW has also launched a design advice guide alongside the range, to make compliancy as straightforward as possible. Ensuring toilets and washrooms conform to Document M of the UK Building Regulations involves buying and correctly installing the appropriate products. As well as giving examples of how a fully compliant Doc M washroom or toilet area should be designed and installed, the guide also includes the latest AKW Doc M pack options. There are 10 AKW Doc M packs to choose from and they range from fully compliant Doc M washrooms (including hand dryers, soap dispensers Etc.), to individual toilet cubicles. As well as traditional styling, there are two contemporary Doc M packs that feature stainless steel rails to fit in with any modern design aesthetic. Designed with hygiene in mind, the packs include an AKW Navlin Doc M close-coupled or low-level

rimless, raised-height toilet pan, a water-saving cistern and direct flushing system. The ergonomic, soft-close toilet seat and the grab rails are also available in a range of colours, to enable high colour contrast between surfaces for those with visual impairments. All of the Doc M packs feature either fixed or fold-up rails, and the washroom options are available with easy to use taps and British Standard BS 8300 wash basins. Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW comments: “Our upgraded AKW Doc M packs offer specifiers even more choice when it comes to installing a public-use accessible toilet or washroom. Each pack has been designed for maximum comfort and ease of use and also comes with recommendations for how and where to fit the products to ensure compliance. Our Doc M guide has also been created to help make the whole process even more straightforward and can be downloaded at” For more information, please contact AKW on01905 823298, email: or visit

CareZips™ preserve dignity and privacy of people receiving care during diaper changes. CareZips™ make diaper changes easier and faster, reducing workload, saving efforts, and saving time! CareZips™ help to deliver better standards of care! Fitted with unique 3-zip fastening system, the CareZips™ make changing of incontinence diapers more dignified and comfortable for the patients and easier and faster for the carers. CareZips™ feature 3 strategically positioned zips, 2 of which run from the waist to the knees on both sides of the body. The 3rd zip goes from the inside of one knee up to the crotch and down to the second knee on the inside of the other leg. This zip facilitates total opening of the trousers at the crotch during diaper changes. The 3-zip system ensures fast and easy access to the abdomen and crotch without having to undress the patients or pull their trousers down. CareZips™ are suitable for men and women. They

are available in 7 sizes for perfect fit. CareZips™ are soft and wrinkle resistant with stretch and give for extra comfort. Practical, durable, washable and noniron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 or see the advert on page 5.

Herriot by Skopos – A Timeless Wool-Look Collection for Care Upholstery Skopos recently introduced the launch of the new upholstery collection, Herriot, perfect for upholstery solutions within Care. Four timeless designs brought together in a woollook quality, developed specifically for the contract sector with the added benefit of a waterproof layer, antimicrobial protection and soil resist. Inspired by the natural wilderness of the Moors and Dales, Herriot is a nod to the simplicity and beauty of the Yorkshire countryside, with a natural texture and favoured classic design cues, which bring sophistication and class to contract furniture. Herriot is one of many Skopos upholstery collections specifically developed for Care Interiors and has been developed using new

back-coating technology, minimising the use of chemicals in a move towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly flame retardant contract upholstery solution. Herriot upholstery fabrics achieve 40,000 + Martindale rubs for inclusion into high traffic contract areas, across all sectors. Sitting under the new Skopos Pro-tect Plus umbrella, with the added benefit of an antimicrobial finish, this collection supports best practise hygiene goals within caring interiors. Free samples of all of our fabrics are available via our website, or by calling our sales team 01924 436666 or visit or see page 11.

Consort Claudgen launches Consort Connect app Consort Claudgen have launched Consort Connect app which allows users to have complete control over their heating remotely via their smartphone or tablet. The app is free and downloadable from Google Play or Apple Store. It can control Consort’s Wi-Fi enabled heaters and SL heaters connected to an SLPBWIFI wireless controller. It gives quick access to four operating modes and provides a 7day timer with twenty-four heating periods per day. It is easy to set up and users can configure the settings of all connected heaters on

the app. Users can also view the energy consumption statistics. Other features include a lock function, open window tracking and response capability, and custom automations. There is a selflearning control ability utilising occupancy and temperature sensors, however, this is only available on the SLPBWIFI controller and Consort heaters with Wi-Fi and occupancy sensor. For more information, contact our sales at 01646 692172 or visit or see the advert on page 6.

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: or see the advert on page 11.

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

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



Catering for Your Residents with Bidfood An estimated 70% of residents in care are affected by Dementia. The term actually describes a group of symptoms, including memory loss, confusion, mood changes, and difficulty with day-to-day tasks. It’s more likely to occur as we age. It’s a difficult phase of life for residents affected by dementia, and it is important to help them maintain their independents, dignity and a daily routine. The reduction in cognitive function caused by dementia can make eating and meal occasions difficult and it can be challenging to serve the right food in the appropriate way. Some top risks and challenges include: • Risk of malnutrition • Not recognising food • Resisting being fed • Limited manual dexterity • Change in temperament Creating uplifting resident mealtimes tailored to those who are living with dementia is so important as mealtimes are a familiar, stimulating and important part of the day. However, for those who have problems holding a knife and fork, or holding their attention for a period of time, mealtimes can be stressful and challenging. Some of the tips that can make a real difference are: • Stimulating the senses: if residents can hear the sound of food preparation, or the table being laid, smell the food as it’s being prepared, and see activity in the kitchen, the familiar sounds, smells and sights as well as tastes may prompt their memory and help to stimulate the appetite. • Introducing finger foods: these are an ideal way to help residents retain independence and dignity, making it easier for them to eat with their hands or to eat on the go, whilst walking about. Introduce finger foods over a few days to get the person used to a new way of serving food. • Think smaller, frequent meals: these can help maintain nutrition levels and are easier to eat than three big meals a day. • Create memories with meals: themes and celebrations not only lift the spirits, but can help your residents recover memories. Music is a great way to engage residents at mealtimes and spark nostalgia and memories. • Two finger food recipesFinger foods are an ideal way to help residents maintain their independence, dignity, and a daily routine.

SMOKED KIPPER SCOTCH EGGS: These scotch eggs are a perfect snack to provide your residents. Delicious, and a great

finger food for your residents with dementia. Serves 10 40 minutes Ingredients: Free range medium eggs x 12 Hot & cold mix mashed potato 150g Water 50ml Whole milk 600ml Boned Scottish kipper fillets 200g Natural breadcrumbs 300g Plain flour 100g Method: 1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the eggs for 8 minutes. Then cool the eggs down as quickly as possible before taking the shells off carefully. 2. Place the other 2 eggs in a bowl with 200ml of milk and whisk together. Set to one side. 3. Place the rest of the milk and water in a pan and bring to the simmer. Place the fish in and poach until just cooked. 4. Then flake the fish into a bowl and add the mashed potato mix. Combine well, and then add the warm milk to the bowl until the potato swells and becomes firm. Allow to cool. 5. Wrap the potato and fish mixture around the eggs and allow to chill. 6. Place the bread crumbs on a tray along with the flour. Firstly, roll the eggs in the flour, then dip into the egg mix, then roll in the breadcrumbs (this process may need to be repeated). 7. Then place the Scotch eggs on a tray and either deep fry until golden brown and reaching temperature, or place in a hot oven until cooked.

BRIE AND BLUEBERRY TART: This brie and blueberry tart is a perfect combination of sweet and savoury. An easy recipe guaranteed to satisfy any resident's taste buds. Serves 10 30 minutes Ingredients: Puff pastry sheets 280g Brie 200g Frozen blueberries 100g Thyme 5g Squeezy clear blossom honey 20g Method: 1. Defrost pastry and blueberries. 2. Preheat the oven to 180° then grease a muffin tray. 3. Lay the puff pastry out and

cut into 10 equal squares, then place into a muffin tin. 4. Cut the cheese into 10 equal parts and place on top of the pastry, then top with the blueberries. 5. Wash and pick the thyme and sprinkle over the blueberries. 6. Place in the oven and bake until the pastry has a crisp base and the cheese has melted. 7. Then allow to cool slightly before drizzling with honey and serving.

DYSPHAGIA We all love to sit down for a nice meal, but when you have dysphagia, the meal itself can be a danger. Dysphagia is more common amongst the elderly but can affect people of all ages. It affects our ability to swallow which can lead to food or drink entering the lungs leading to significant risk of choking or pneumonia. It can be a common reason for hospital admission for care residents and can even be fatal. Catering for those living with dysphagia means helping them stay safe when eating and drinking as well as helping them retain pleasure in mealtimes. Modifying meals, for example by pureeing, means running the risk of losing up to 50% of the nutritional content, and they aren’t always pleasing to the eye. Specialist ranges of texture-modified dishes can help here, for example Simply Puree which is available through Bidfood. This range is individually created for people with dysphagia, and each meal complies with IDDSI textures. This means that you can prepare them safely and with reassurance that each one has consistency in nutritional content. Having dysphagia may mean a person consumes less, so a pureed diet should be fortified to maximise the calorific value of each spoonful. Instead of using water therefore, try full fat milk or cream, melted butter or oil, sauces, gravy, honey, or juice for dilution. The first taste is with the eye, so to ensure meals are also visually appealing, make up modified consistency foods separately, then pipe them onto the plate while still hot and serve immediately. Use stronger flavours so that the food is still tasty when diluted and pureed, and make sure you taste food before servingwould you like to eat it? It’s also vital to make sure you’re regularly monitoring residents’ intake closely, including a nutritional assessment and weight check weekly to ensure that they are not losing weight, and are receiving sufficient nutrients. Make sure those who are preparing food are fully trained and aware of the risks related to swallowing difficulties, and the correct way to prepare modified consistency foods, and to thicken fluids for patients with this need. The International IDDSI Diet Standardisation tool is a global standard with terminology and definitions to describe the texture modified food and thickened liquids used for individuals with dysphagia of all ages, in all care settings and for all cultures. The Simply Puree IDDSI guide is a free easy to use tool to help you understand and cater for the different IDDSI textures. Read the Simply Puree IDDSI Guide at

You Are What You Eat: Chef With Michelin-Star Experience Embeds Person-Centred Meal Times In Care Home

By Ross Baxter, Chef at Exemplar Health Care (

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


I joined the team at Tyne Grange in 2021 after seven years as a chef in the hospitality industry. I was inspired to make the move from the hospitality sector to the care sector because of my mother, who lived in care home. When I visited her, I saw the impact that food has on those living in care homes, and it struck me that I had the capabilities to make a difference in people’s lives with my cooking. I’ve always wanted to do something meaningful with my skills, so this was an extremely important factor for me to consider when making such a move. My past experience saw me working under the guidance of a head chef who had experience in Michelin star restaurants. I am always grateful to him for his mentorship and for teaching me my current skillset. Through working at luxury resorts and hotels, I have gained experience of creating delicious and luxurious meals, based on what customers want. When starting at Tyne Grange, I thought that the meals should be no different to the top-tier quality that I had been producing in my previous role. While I knew that working in the care sector would be different than working in a restaurant, I wanted to provide a restaurant-style experience for residents, and this is what I have done at Tyne Grange.

IMPORTANCE OF CHOICE Tyne Grange supports 20 adults living with complex care needs. Our approach to care focuses on supporting people to maximise their independence, build their everyday living skills and live their best life! In the catering team, we promote choice and independence at meal times, as much as possible. We have set up our mealtimes to replicate a restaurant-style environ-

ment. Our meal times span an hour and a half which gives people ample time to come and enjoy their meal without feeling they’re stuck to a regimented schedule. This makes the environment and experience more relaxing. Our colleagues provide hostess service, taking people’s orders and serving their meals and drinks - just as would be done in a restaurant. The menu consists of two choices and a third ‘weekly special’ which is chosen by our residents. We develop our menu based on feedback from weekly meetings. We have an open and transparent culture in which we listen to people’s thoughts and feedback, and use it to make meaningful change. This ensures that our menu is based on what people like and enjoy! We have designed menus on each table, as well as a menu board, so people know their choices. We also produce menus in different formats, such as using coloured graphics and images, to meet people’s communication needs. We make all the food fresh to order and have a choice of handmade desserts to follow. If someone doesn’t want what’s on the menu that day, we ask them what they’d like and do our best to accommodate their request. We’re proud that our approach to meal times has people at the heart of it. I take great pride in cooking healthy and comfortable food that people love! I’m so glad that I chose to start a career in social care. It’s extremely rewarding and I’m glad that I can use my skills to make a difference to people’s lives.

Support Vegetarians This Dementia Action Week: 16–22 May 2022 This Dementia Action Week, Vegetarian for Life, a charity supporting vegans and vegetarians in later life, is encouraging carers to consider how they support people’s beliefs. What happens to the beliefs and values of those with dementia? If a person struggles to remember ideas that mattered to them, how do they continue to practice their values? This year, Dementia Action Week coincides with National Vegetarian Week – a time to reflect on how carers can and should support people to maintain their beliefs. The charity Vegetarian for Life (VfL) works with vegans

and vegetarians in later life. Many have been committed to meat-free diets for decades, often motivated by ethical desires to prevent harm to animals. Many fear, if they need care, that they may lose their ability to choose diets free from animal products. This fear is not unfounded. An Inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism highlighted many instances where dietary practices linked to beliefs were not supported in care. In some instances, people who had been vegan for decades were regularly being fed

meat. In many ways, this concern goes beyond just respecting a person’s past wishes. Recent dementia research has considered the ideas of identity and personhood. Simply because a person struggles with memory, does not mean that their beliefs, and right to hold values, have disappeared. Dementia research begins to suggest that even when the condition is advanced, people should be supported to interact with ideas and concepts that are important to them.



CATERING FOR CARE Support Vegetarians This Dementia Action Week: 16–22 May 2022 (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28) This may support them to retain a sense of identity in a care setting, especially when interacting with carers. In such cases, the carer actually supports the person to retain a sense of themselves, even as their condition progresses. Practically, the question remains over how carers can be aware of the values held by those they care for. In some cases, people have families to explain beliefs that have guided a person’s life. However, VfL strongly recommends that people document their future wishes. In its Self-Advocacy Guide, VfL provides a template Statement of Wishes, allowing people to document their dietary beliefs. This statement includes sample wording, clearly explaining to carers how to support people on meat-free diets if they appear to be choosing meat based dishes. This may involve offering alternative meals and fortifying foods with plant based alternatives. Alzheimer’s Society also provides a template advanced statement to allow individuals to document their values. When values are documented, it is important that care providers reference these views and act accord-

Halo Hydration More than 70% of us are dehydrated at some point during the day - this can cause drowsiness, lack of focus, tiredness, confusion, muscle soreness and a dry mouth. We know water is boring, but it’s one of life’s necessities…there is however an alternative. Adding just one HALO sachet to your glass of water makes it not only delicious, but makes it highly nutritious, and makes your water work harder for you! Instead of trying to drink the recommended 2 bottles of water per day, simply mixing one sachet of delicious HALO Hydration to your glass of water gives you the

ingly. To support providers, VfL has produced a Memory Care Pledge, encouraging people to investigate and acknowledge individuals’ dietary beliefs. The pledge consists of five simple good practice points that care establishments can follow to ensure that vegetarian and vegan residents experiencing capacity issues or cognitive losses will be offered a choice of meals, drinks and snacks that uphold their ethical beliefs. Good practice recommendations include offering a resident the opportunity to eat at a vegetarian-only, or vegan-only table when possible, and in the event of an ‘accidental’ choice to eat meat, offering an alternative that upholds their philosophical beliefs. These recommendations are suggested because Vegetarian for Life is aware of vegetarian residents experiencing issues with capacity or cognition, who may otherwise pick meat from others’ plates. Beliefs are central to our identity and personhood. Dementia Action Week should be a time to focus on how providers can best support those with limited capacity to maintain beliefs and values that define them as people. For more information, visit or call 0161 257 0887. same amount of minerals that drinking 4 litres of mineral water does! Each HALO Hydration sachet contains a daily dose of Vitamin C, B Vitamins, magnesium, sodium, zinc, potassium, calcium, and an array of trace minerals, with only 1g of natural sugar and ZERO artificial ingredients. These are the nutrients that your body needs to hydrate properly, which, in these amounts, are not found as readily in a modern-day diet. Sir Andy Murray is a huge HALO fan and says: “HALO is the healthiest way to hydrate”. If there was ever a person to listen to, it’s 2 time Wimbledon Champion and father of 4, Sir Andy Murray. With summer fast approaching and dehydration becoming a factor for everyone, why not try HALO to help boost your hydration. Visit



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 supportive through oxygen sup-

plementation; 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 COVID19, 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 onsite, 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:

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 nonaerosol, continuous Fragrancing and Odour Elimination System. Our air-care systems contain the proprietary odour neutralising agent, Neutra-Lox, 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: or tel: 01270 766676.

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 healthcare-associated 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 products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with silver ion technology and which

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



Top Tips for Managing Incontinence from Ontex FLUID INTAKE


Drinking sufficient fluids each day is essential for maintaining a healthy bladder. If you don’t drink enough your bladder will become overly sensitive. You should try to consume at least 1.5-2 litres (or 6-8 glasses) of fluids each day.

There are a number of health risks associated with smoking. A ‘smokers cough’ can place extra pressure on the muscles of the pelvic floor, increasing your chances of experiencing stress incontinence.


If you don’t drink enough your bladder will become more sensitive to smaller amounts of urine, which means you will go to the toilet more frequently.

It is advisable to avoid certain types of drinks, such as tea, coffee, cola and chocolate, as they contain caffeine which can irritate the bladder. An irritated bladder becomes overactive, which makes you feel as though you need to empty your bladder when it is not full.

HEALTHY EATING Your diet should be balanced, not too high in fat, with plenty of fibre, and contain at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Healthy eating is also important because being overweight can make bladder problems worse.



It is a good idea to notify your GP if you are experiencing bladder weakness for the first time or if you already have bladder weakness and it has become worse.

RECOMMENDATIONS: KEEP A BLADDER DIARY Maintain a record of every time you experience bladder weakness.

Ontex Launches New Odobin Incontinence experts Ontex have launched the innovative new Odobin for use in care homes. Odobin removes bad incontinence odours in order to improve the experience of those living, working and visiting your care home. The Odobin has many important features, which make it the perfect partner for your establishment.

FIVE KEY FEATURES Ergonomic – Odobin allows you to throw away incontinence waste easily and ergonomically. Fast – It is quick and easy to handle the Odobin – think of it as your personal assistant for removing incontinence waste fast.

Note the activity you were performing at the time, the types of beverages and the quantity you consumed beforehand, as well as the extent of the leakage. Limiting fluid intake may actually increase the frequency of incontinence. Drinking a total of 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day is recommended. Unless advised to do so by your health professional, never restrict fluids to control incontinence.

RECOMMENDED DIET* • 40% Fruits and vegetables • 30% Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods • 12% Meat, fish, eggs, beans • 8% Milk and dairy foods • 1% Oils and Spreads *

Hygienic – Odobin provides the most hygienic way to remove incontinence waste. Odourless – Odobin is adept at removing up to 75 litres of the unpleasant odours of incontinence waste to ensure they don’t hang around the care home. Silent – The wheels on Odobin have been designed to ensure a silent operation, which is particularly important for those working a night shift who don’t want to disturb residents. For more information email Ontex at

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 movable 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 effi-

cient, 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


CONTINENCE CARE Help To Manage Your Incontinence Issues Independently The Bendi Bag is ideal for wheelchair users who can sometimes find toilet access difficult The Comfort Leg Bag range comes in variety of materials from velvet smooth, real cotton and flock backing The Children’s Bag with smaller capacity and proportions comes with a discreet and secure twist tap that will not open accidentally while moving, or out and about

Urinary incontinence affects millions of people in the UK. Although a widespread problem, incontinence remains a taboo topic. Embarrassment often stops people from talking about it, let alone feeling able to access products and services that can help them. So, without the correct help and support, the problem often remains unsolved, which has a negative impact on people’s lives.



Since 1976 Manfred Sauer have provided a range of innovative urology products to help sufferers of urinary incontinence. But unlike other providers, our products are often designed and tested by both end users and healthcare professionals to ensure effective and user-friendly solutions that work. This means your incontinence issues can be managed independently, without worrying about frequent emptying or toilet access and do not impinge on your ability to live life to the full. Read about four of our most popular product ranges, which are all available on prescription.

SHEATHS We offer 5 types of urinary sheath to facilitate the drainage of urine away from the body into a drainage bag. They are made from either latex, or synthetic materials and available in a range of sizes. We also offer skin friendly tapes, straps and adhesives, hair guards, measuring tape as well as Preventox, which cleans and protects the skin, so you are always comfortable and have the best fit possible.


We supply four main types of leg bags with varying capacities. Perfect for being outdoors, and packed full of unique features and benefits, you now have a choice when it comes to managing your incontinence issues. The shape of our Discreet Thigh Bag allows for it to be worn high up on the thigh area and can even be hidden under shorts, skirts and even swimwear

Thousands of people across the country must perform Intermittent Self-Catheterisation (ISC) to effectively empty their bladder and having something that is simple to use, soft, flexible and easy to lubricate is essential. That’s where our IQ-Cath shines, plus, new for 2022 are male/paediatric and female single-use hydrophilic catheters which are immersed in saline and ready for immediate use. Nephsys For people who have had a Nephrostomy, and tubes are already in place, our NephSys system can drastically improve their lives. As well as providing a secure and sterile solution, which consists of an adjustable, elasticated belt; drainage bags and suspenders to secure the bag to the belt in the chosen position, the system is also comfortable and discreet. For help, support and advice, call 01604 595696, email or visit for more information about each product, or to order a free sample.

Texible Wisbi Smart Care Support Monitoring incontinence of a resident is often difficult and undignified. If that client also has dementia or is liable to fall out of bed, ensuring that they are safe is also challenging and time-consuming. The innovative Texible Wisbi Home Smart Incontinence and Bed Exit Sensor Mat will detect if the bed has been wetted and send a notification via the free Texible app to the caregiver. This allows the caregiver to change the bedding as soon as possible, preventing pressure sores caused by laying on soiled sheets. The Smart Incontinence and Bed Exit Sensor Mat also detects if the person has left the bed, allowing the caregiver to monitor someone at risk of falling out of bed. The Texible Wisbi Smartphone app connects the bed pad control box to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. You can download the free app (suitable for both Android and Apple devices) and you will be able to see both the continence and occupancy status of your loved one at all times, wherever you are. This gives you

peace of mind and allows you to carry on your day, or get a good night’s rest, without constantly stopping to check your resident or worrying if they are ok. For bed users who can toilet themselves, the app allows you to adjust the amount of time that your resident is out of the bed before it alerts you, so that it only sends the caregiver a notification if the user has been out of bed for more than the normal time. Texible Wisbi is hygienic, washable and very easy to use. The sensor mat can be machine washed at 95°c, and each mat has a lifetime of 100 washes. The pad will absorb up to 700ml/m², providing excellent absorption. See the advert below or visit for further details.



Smart Synergy: Why Two Leading-Edge Technologies Are Set To Transform Care By Stuart Barclay, UK Sales Director, Vayyar Care ( COVID-19 derailed the plans of many start-ups and for a technology supplier serving the nursing home sector, the challenge might well have proved insurmountable. Unable to physically access care homes, Arquella was prevented from piloting or deploying their cuttingedge nurse call system, the only such solution featuring a unique embedded care app. Fortunately, the company was able to use the enforced hiatus wisely, by integrating Vayyar Care’s transformative touchless technology. Arquella instantly saw the value of Vayyar Care’s unprecedented fall detection accuracy, its ability to gather rich activity data, and easy interoperability. The convenience of its app-based functionality was also key. It would allow carers to receive real-time updates on their mobile devices, allowing them to work more efficiently and react more rapidly to emergency scenarios. In fact, enhancing staff effectiveness is a core purpose of the integrated offering. Since the start of the pandemic, care providers have had to do much more with severely limited resources. Vayyar Care’s recent survey of the sector confirmed that staff recruitment and retention is the most significant challenge for two-thirds of care providers. Data revealing response times and how long staff spend in rooms will allow them to receive the support they need to do what they do best, increasing long-term employee satisfaction.

The response from Arquella’s customers has been exceptionally positive. They intuitively understand the benefits and appreciate the opportunity to replace legacy devices such as floor mats that trigger frequent false alerts, wasting time that frontline carers can ill afford. That’s why the accuracy of Vayyar Care’s fall detection is a true game changer — for both staff and residents. Older adults are far more safety-conscious and technologically aware than they were just a couple of years ago. They now demand fall alert and monitoring solutions that ensure safety without compromising their dignity, privacy and independence. What’s more, they’re no longer willing to settle for solutions such as hard-to-reach buttons and cords, wearables that often cause embarrassment, or cameras that inevitably intrude on their personal spaces. The pace of digital transformation in care is increasing, partly thanks to the efforts of CQC and the government, and partly due to the challenges presented by COVID. Communities must ensure that care is person-centred and enables proactive interventions and to do so, they need solutions that automatically gather real-time data which can easily be shared between caregivers. That data will also be used to demonstrate the quality of care and its outcomes. The sector requires data-driven, digital alternatives to outdated analogue technologies and Arquella is a key player in the ecosystem we’re enabling. The company is looking forward to its first in-market installation in the coming months, supported by distributor Panacea Healthcare Group. The offering will play a pivotal role in transforming operations for care homes across the UK and unlocking true personalised outcomes for residents. To find out more, please email me at

Why 4,438 Daily Falls in UK Care Homes Deserve Our Attention A’ “Responding to falls in care homes: two innovations” report by Dr Mark Hawker and River Rea from Involve, discussed how best practice in post fall management can provide time and cost savings to the wider health and social care system. Combining benefits of assistive lifting technology and video-based clinical support could return costs savings of up to £3,911 per fall, whilst also safeguarding residents’ lives. Across the 15,000 + care homes registered by the Care Quality Commission there are between 270,000 – 1,620,000 falls per year. As one of the most frequently reported accidents among residents, falls represent a pressing issue for providers of care, particularly as demand for places is expected to rise as the population ages. Author, Dr Mark Hawker says, “the risk factors for falls in care setting are diverse and the multiplicity of elements influencing the likelihood of falls makes them incredibly difficult to eliminate entirely. For the individual, the consequences of a fall are numerous and distressing, while the repetitive lifting requirement of carers puts them at risk of musculoskeletal injury. “The pilot studies we’ve examined demonstrate that by giving care home staff the tools to empower

safe lifting reduces the time residents spend on the floor after a fall waiting for an ambulance and help to arrive. Organised and safe post fall care is better for the resident and more cost effective for the NHS.” The report goes on to discuss the importance of reducing the risk of spreading infectious diseases by eliminating avoidable contacts. There are clear benefits of using technologies that reduce the number of external contact such as those that would be required to pick up a resident following a fall. While difficult to quantify, the reduction of contacts with healthcare workers such as paramedics, GPs and district nurses with residents is seen as essential during a pandemic. Mangar Health CEO Simon Claridge adds, “we have been working with NHS Ambulance Trusts for nearly 20 years and yet this report has been incredibly eye opening for us. We know lifting fallen care home residents is a daily challenge to prioritising ambulance calls, yet equipment and technology could easily lift the considerable pressures they are under and save the NHS millions annually. “We would like to call on NHS England, NICE and CQC to review the dynamics involved in a resident fall detailed in this report and consider alternative care models in a post pandemic environment.”

Falls Prevention Programme Features in World Health Organization Report A trailblazing programme designed to reduce falls in older people has received international recognition after being highlighted in a World Health Organization report. The Falls Management Exercise programme (FaME) targeted those at risk of falls in Leicestershire, Rutland and Derby, delivering specialist classes led by postural stability instructors over the course of 24 weeks. The classes were shown to improve balance, walking speed and reduce fear of falling, all the while helping to increase physical activity and reduce falls. Those taking part were also provided with techniques for getting down and up from the floor, should they have a fall. The success of the initiative, which saw the number of falls reduce over time, led to a blueprint being developed to allow health providers roll out the programme across the country. Now the FaME project has been given a global platform after being featured in the World Health Organization’s Step Safely report, which is designed to support practitioners, policy-makers and researchers in the prevention of falls and fall-related injuries. It identifies that each year in England, more than 200,000 emergency hospital admissions and four million bed days result from falls and

fractures among those aged 65 years and over, costing the health service approximately £2b. With the NHS facing pressure as a result of falls, researchers from the University of Nottingham put together an Implementation Manual for Commissioners to allow the FaME programme to be rolled out across other areas. They estimate widespread adoption of FaME could save the NHS more than £700m. The research was funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands. Following publication in the WHO report, those behind the FaME programme are delighted the initiative could have a far-reaching, global impact. Dr Liz Orton, Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham and Consultant in Public Health, said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better platform to share the impact of the FaME classes, which have been several years in the making and have shown such positive, encouraging results. “Exposure in the WHO report is hugely beneficial - the more people working in this field who hear about this preventative programme, the better.”

Professor Adam Gordon, Professor of the Care of Older People, University of Nottingham and Lead for the Building Community Resilience and Enabling Independence theme for ARC East Midlands, added: “We’re extremely proud to have been part of a project which is now receiving world-wide recognition and is being showcased to clinicians and researchers working at the forefront of this field. “With the blueprint now in place for other areas to implement FaME, we look forward to seeing its impact on those vulnerable to the often debilitating effects of a fall.” NIHR ARC East Midlands funds vital work to tackle the region’s health and care priorities by speeding up the adoption of research onto the frontline of health and social care. The organisation puts in place evidence-based innovations which seek to drive up standards of care and save time and money. NIHR ARC East Midlands is hosted by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and works in collaboration with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network. It has bases at University of Leicester and University of Nottingham.


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

Edison Telecom - Specialist Solutions For Your Nurse Call Systems We here at Edison Telecom Ltd have been providing specialist solutions to your call system requirements tailor-made to each customers needs for over 25 years, says director Bob Johnson. Is your current Nurse Call “legacy”, obsolete, so full of software bugs or commercially not viable for your current supplier/maintainer to maintain?

We may have just the part and expertise that you are looking for to give your nurse call a further extension to life, adds Bob, “Edison will treat your nurse call with the same compassion that you give to those in your care. There will come a time when your equipment is beyond repair but Edison are experts in extending the life of obsolete systems.”

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

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:


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


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

Benefits include:

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

Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts

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

Features include:

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

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

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

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

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

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




44% of Care Employees Are Considering a Job Change This Year Close to one in every two care sector employees are thinking about a role change this year, according to new research published by workforce software company Sona. In a survey of 750 staff working in care in the UK, 30% said they are looking at a new role within care, and 14% could quit the sector entirely. Given the existing employment gap in care, these figures suggest that providers should be looking to ease the burden on their recruitment teams by prioritising programmes to increase employee satisfaction and retention. Respondents were asked which aspects of their work they feel are very important in any decision to switch employers. Salary (62%) came third, after relationships with residents and patients (63%), and more flexible schedules (62%). The research showed a clear correlation between working patterns and satisfaction at work. 54% of staff with more unpredictable hours are considering a job change this year, compared to 39% of those with predictable hours. Almost 20% of respondents who work unpredictable hours are considering leaving the sector. The findings were revealed as part of Sona’s Rethinking Retention report, which also looked at the factors most likely to make staff feel happy about working for their current employer. More recognition from management (92%), better internal communication (91%), having more freedom to choose their working patterns (90%), and better mental health support for employees (90%) were top of the list.

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.

Richard Upshall, Product Director for Health and Social Care at Sona, said: "The possibility of more staff leaving the sector is very concerning given that recruitment is already a big challenge. However, our research shows that the most important contributors to happiness at work are all things employers can control. The status quo is clearly not sustainable, so providers should give themselves permission to radically rethink how they support, engage and motivate their staff. That includes looking at the role technology can play in creating more flexible working patterns, enhancing team communication and recognition, and supporting staff wellbeing.” For more information, please visit

ABOUT SONA Sona’s mission is to put technology in the hands of frontline staff that transforms how they manage their work and engage with their employer. Designed for the specific needs of modern care organisations, Sona’s ‘people operating system’ combines powerful productivity tools with a sleek, simple and intuitive user experience. Features include live schedule view, absence management, instant messaging, and an innovative shift booking platform that matches shift vacancies with employees willing to take on more hours. Trailblazing providers are revolutionising the way they manage, engage and retain their staff with Sona. Customers include Advinia Healthcare, Creative Support, and Praxis Care. 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.



Autonomy and Consent in Care Sam Hussain, Founder and CEO of the care management platform Log my Care, delves into the importance of consent in social care. Too often in care settings we hear the question “Why did no one tell me?” No care provider wants their clients to feel unheard or uninformed, that’s why autonomy in care is so important. In many care situations, service users may already feel like they’re losing control simply because of the circumstances that led them to seek support. Involving them in decision-making around their care can help them retain as much autonomy as possible.

REDUCE RISK Although there’s an element of risk with every activity in care, by giving consent, a client accepts those risks. For care providers, a signed record of this consent can be invaluable, should those risks become reality. Not getting consent right can lead to complaints, criminal liability and more. However, consent obtained correctly can protect those providing care.


Consenting to care means that people are at the heart of the plans put in place to support them. This is an opportunity to initiate discussions with clients about the care that might benefit them, and help tailor care plans to suit them.

LEGAL REQUIREMENT Finally, having a record of consent is a legal requirement that regulatory bodies, like the Care Quality Commission or the Care Inspectorate, check diligently, and will affect how they evaluate a care service as a whole.

HOW LOG MY CARE CAN SUPPORT YOU TO MANAGE CONSENT Log my Care’s consent management feature allows care providers to easily manage their clients’ consent records. Service users can digitally sign consent and lack of capacity forms directly on the platform and reminders can be scheduled to review these records at a later date. See the advert on this page for further details.

Bizimply Helps Care Homes To Spend More Time Caring For Residents As a healthcare professional, your goal is to deliver exceptional healthcare to your residents, but it can be hard to focus on them when you’re struggling to fill the soaring vacancy levels. It’s never been more important to have the right people, working in the right place, at the right time so you and your team can 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 complete payroll quickly, freeing them up to spend more time working with their

teams and caring for 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 on doing 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 visit:

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


CYBER SECURITY How To Prevent Phishing Cyberattacks In Your Care Facility are because of actions inadvertently taken by employees. Cybercriminals have become more sophisticated than ever and email recipients are finding it increasingly difficult to spot imposter emails. Whilst you have little control over what’s happening externally with BEC, there are some steps that you can take to help prevent this cyberattack impacting your business. Implement the five tips below to help prevent Business Email Compromise in your care business:


Cyberattacks are on the increase and a favourite and growing approach is via email, which we call phishing. Cyber security company Nexor reported that there was a 31% increase in cyber related cases across May and June 2020, with the healthcare sector amongst one of the most targeted industries. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 carried out by Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, among the 38% of small to medium sized businesses identifying a breach or attack, 83% had phishing attacks, 27% were impersonated attacks and 16% had malware (including ransomware). There are many forms of email phishing, but they all have one thing in common – to cause disruption to your business. One form of phishing attack known as ‘business email compromise’ uses compromised email credentials or imitates a legitimate email address in order to encourage the recipient to take action. It’s usually targeted at an individual or small group and relies upon the ability to look like someone in a senior position within a company or a trusted external provider. The aim of the attack could be to transfer funds, make a payment or share sensitive information – patient data for example. It’s exceptionally easy to fall prey to business email compromise or any phishing attack. In fact a report by Beazley PLC, highlighted that a staggering 90% of data breaches occurring in the UK in 2019 were caused by human error! This means that most incidents that occur in a business setting

Introduce multi-factor authentication into your systems. This is an authentication method that requires a user to provide two or more verification factors in order to gain access to a resource such as an application or online account. MFA will protect the user and therefore your business from an unknown person trying to access data, such as patient data, personal information or financial details. In addition to this, you could also create a rule for all new emails that come into the business from external sources. With this in place all external emails would be clearly identified, acting as an additional prompt for the recipient to make sure it’s a legitimate email.

SET UP Take a close look at the procedures in place for the set-up of new accounts. How do you verify their details and address? Look at how you manage any changes they request, to ensure that they are genuine.


2 STAFF TRAINING Carry out staff training on how to detect and avoid phishing emails. The Barnes Risk Management Hub has online learning resources that can be utilised for this purpose, and is an easy way to educate staff in what to look out for.

3 REINFORCE FUND TRANSFER/PAYMENT PROCEDURES Review and reinforce your fund transfer and payment procedures to identify areas that may be vulnerable. This could involve an authentication requirement for people or businesses that are not within your network.

At Barnes Commercial, we can help with a comprehensive risk review, including your vulnerability to cyberattacks and create a programme of covers that are best suited to your needs. As an independent broker we provide completely impartial advice on the best solution for your specific needs. Telephone 01480 272727 Email:

4 LIMIT USERS Reduce or limit the number of people that can authorise financial transfers and payments. The fewer people with the ability to carry out these tasks, the lower your risk of compromise becomes.


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

01480 272727

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

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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.



THEMA Healthcare

"I have got 12 years experience in the care industry working in different settings as a nurse or nurse manager. During this time I have realized and understood what clients expect from a truly reliable healthcare professional. "With this in mind, we aim to provide to our clients the people for the job. Our goal is to create long term business relationships with our clients based on trust and providing high efficiency services as we will take time to listen and understand what is important to our clients. "Understanding the importance of flexibility, continuity and stability we will always have the best interest of both client and our staff at heart. Claudiu Nicolae Burtica, Director, Thema Healthcare THEMA Healthcare Ltd. supplies Registered Nurses and Healthcare Assistants to Care Homes, Rehabilitation Centres, Hospitals, Private Clinics, GP

Surgeries and Domiciliary Care Providers. At THEMA Healthcare we complete full checks on all our staff and we make sure their mandatory training is up to date. We offer exclusive contracts which means you will get the same staff. We cover short notice calls (without a contract with us) but we also offer the option for lock booking our staff for longer periods, days, weeks or even months in advance. THEMA Healthcare covers for short notice sickness, summer holidays period, annual leave, long term sickness and we help care providers until they recruit their own staff. 07894070385

Why Train Beyond the Care Certificate? It can be tempting to think that once the Care Certificate has been achieved it’s the end of training. The Care Certificate can demonstrate that staff have the minimum level of required training. Training to Level 2 and beyond will therefore improve abilities to cope with the challenges presented by working in a difficult sector. Obviously one of the most significant challenges was dealing with Covid but there will be new and different challenges ahead However, it is the clients who will benefit from the improvement that additional training will bring. Whilst these may include advances in the treatment of dementia, or changes to the legislative framework, there will undoubtedly be any number of other issues that will create new and complex problems that need to be dealt with. So, if you think the Care Certificate completes all the training, it might be time to think again.

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

So why choose Step Up Training and Care?

We provide training services that will build implicit trust, leading to confidence by clients looking to use your services. At Step Up Training and Care, we know people are busy, work long hours and that a set 9-5 timetable will not work for most care homes and providers. We can tailor our learning programmes to meet individual needs, time our training to meet business commitments, working shift patterns and around family life. Zoom Boom is here to stay, and we can accommodate teaching and learning through blended learning such as classroom, remote, assessor based, one to one training sessions. Our trainers have personal experiences of working in the health and social care sector, hence our flexible approach. We empower people to learn. Training beyond the Care Certificate - Can you afford not to? T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : E :

STEP UP Training and Care At Step Up Training and Care we offer: • Tailored learning journeys and programmes • A flexible blended approach of one to one, in-house, classroom, practical assignments and online assessment methods • Training that will lead to higher quality of care delivery • Training led by tutors and assessors who are specialists in health and social care • Level 3 diplomas that are accredited to Highfield Qualifications

T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : E :


PROFESSIONAL SERVICES & TRAINING 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?

Solicitude Training Training packages are engaging and bespoke to individual organisations to ensure that they are relevant to that particular service and therefore optimise learning and include accredited as well as awareness courses. Solicitude Training is a registered centre with Qualsafe. Training can be delivered virtually, face to face or via e-learning or through a combination. The benefit of using a blended approach is that it can reduce delivery time (and therefore cost), but knowledge can be checked during the face to face delivery, to ensure that not only have the staff gained the knowledge, but that they can apply it to practice. E-learning courses are flexible, can be done from the comfort of the individual staff members own home and at a time that suits them. This enables all individuals to learn at their own pace, without any pressure, to keep up with other staff. The on-line courses are designed to be engaging, interactive and

• We have very minimal processing fees. • We assist you to get a sponsorship license. • Qualified and experienced candidates from overseas. Tel: 01704 809756 relevant to the individual to help staff learn and retain knowledge and so content is designed to enable staff to relate theory to practice. A well-trained workforce is an essential requirement to enable outstanding care to be delivered and these e-learning courses are designed to support the whole employee life cycle from induction through to career development, which in turn empowers staff to feel valued and continue their personal and professional development. E-learning enables services to ensure that all staff are compliant with their training in a cost effective and timely manner. With multi-buy discounts available, this enables services to reduce costs and budget for the years training. Packages can also be purchased that facilitate blended learning, enabling all learning styles and needs to be accommodated. For further information you can contact Solicitude Training on: Tel: 01256 242272 Email: Website:

Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance

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

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

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