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VODG Urges Government to Resolve Confusion in Overnight Support Long-running uncertainty about payments and funding for sleep in staff has created huge uncertainty in social care for many years. Current social care funding fails to fully recognise the contribution that staff make to improving people’s lives. The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) representing charities that provide services for disabled people, today publishes a new position statement on the issue. The statement outlines the national association’s “grave concerns” over the lack of clear regulations for the payment of overnight support. VODG warns that this will drive the social care market to move in uncoordinated ways and lead to “inconsistent commissioning and provision.” VODG also calls for the government to set a new rate for sleep in payments, after full consultation with workers, employers, commissioners and other stakeholders. The latest impasse on sleep in payments relates to a Court of Appeal judgment last year (the joined cases of Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad in July 2018) that overturned a previous decision.

The latest judgment meant that sleep in workers do not have to be paid the national minimum wage throughout the night. However, this could change now the Supreme Court has granted Unison leave to appeal the Court of Appeal judgment. VODG has consistently warned the government that case law is at odds with how sleep in support care is commissioned. The group is adamant that commissioners must not use the recent Court of Appeal judgment to cut fees for overnight support, particularly given the existing fragility of social care services. VODG makes several recommendations to resolve the sleep in confusion, including: • The government must consult widely with workers, employers, commissioners and other stakeholders and clarify what hard working staff are entitled to, and precisely how it, and commissioners, will fund this • Commissioners and providers must work together • A confirm from government that the current legal position means employers will not face potential HMRC retrospective action to recover underpayment

of national minimum wage for sleep in work. Commenting on VODG’s position statement Steve Scown, chair of the group said: “We recognise the uncertainty facing our members and the care workforce in the commissioning and provision of essential overnight support. We are sharing our position statement with ministers and senior officials with whom we have been working with on this matters for many years. Our asks are straightforward and we urge government to be decisive and adopt a position so that a regulated rate of pay is established, and reviewed annually, for time spent asleep. Our solution will give staff and employers, including those that self-direct their own support through personal budgets, much needed clarity. In the meantime VODG will continue to monitor the market including commissioning trends and patterns because, as we have set out, an unmanaged market risks putting essential overnight support services at risk.”

Over 15,000 People with Neurological Conditions Placed In Nursing Homes A report by charity Sue Ryder estimated that during the summer of 2018 alone, 15,000 people with neurological conditions were in care homes for the elderly. The report gives a comprehensive picture on how people with neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease and acquired brain injury are being let down by health and social services in England. Younger people like Jayne and Simon, who are both residents at Sue Ryder The Chantry Neurological Care Centre, could have ended up feeling isolated in nursing homes ill equipped to manage their neurological conditions. Research by the charity reveals that approximately 15,000 people with neurological conditions have been placed in older people’s nursing or care homes across England during summer 2018. These settings lack the specialist expertise needed to support people with complex neurological conditions and, for young people, are sociably inappropriate and can lead them to feel isolated. The research goes on to reveal that there are over 500 people in

‘out of area’ placements, forcing many people to live away from their homes, families and friends. People with neurological conditions are “invisible” to health and care systems “It’s bad enough that people living with a devastating condition have to deal with something that affects every part of their lives, but the fact that the support they need and deserve isn’t being delivered is appalling,” said Sue Ryder’s Director of Neurological Services Pamela Mackenzie. “Our research also shows that most local authorities are not routinely recording whether someone they are providing services for has a neurological condition, meaning that people in England with a neurological condition are invisible to health and care systems,” she added. “The lack of visibility, together with the lack of priority given to neurology in the health system, means that people with neurological conditions are regularly being let down.”

The Southern Care Show Farnborough - 14th May 2019 The Southern Care Show is an exciting new care event for 2019. Taking place at Farnborough International Exhibition Centre on Tuesday 14th May it is brought to you by Hampshire Care Association & sponsored by Everylife Technologies. The show will be the largest adult social care event in the South of England and aims to educate care professionals from across the sector, including Residential & Nursing Care, Homecare, Learning Disability and Mental Health. The show’s 4 seminar theatres, the Keynote Theatre, sponsored by W&P Training, the Residential & Nursing Theatre, sponsored by Benfield Fire & Safety, the Homecare Theatre sponsored by Platinum Care Solutions & the Learning Disability & Mental Health Theatre will play host to an array of big names from across the industry. Confirmed speakers include: Caroline Dinenage (Minister of State for Care), Vic Rayner (National Care Forum), Professor Paul Burstow (SCIE), Karen Morse (Skills for Care), Deborah Ivanova (CQC), Taffy

Who Are We?

Opus are the experts in accredited medicines training, providing practical solutions to the training needs of all types of care organisations. Whether it is training new staff, making improvements within organisations or ensuring all levels of seniority have relevant and up-todate medicines knowledge, we can help.

Gatawa (Everylife Technologies), Rob & Sophie Coulthard (Judgement Index), Mei-Ling Huang (Royds Withy King), David Cozens (RCN) & Andrew Coles (Person Centred Software). As well as the seminar theatres, the show will also house 90+ exhibition stands showcasing the latest industry products & services and representing industry bodies and associations from across the sector. To find out more about the show visit: Or to enquire about exhibiting, email: or call 023 80255794 or see the advert on page 19.

understand the extent of her concerns and her aims for her organisation, we prepared a bespoke, multi-level action plan to reduce errors. We understand that, to ensure best practice within an organisation, changes need to be made not only at care staff level, but also to the Managerial teams and to the culture of the care organisation itself.

Case Study: Medicines Errors

We recently had a Regional Manager of a care home group come to us. She was having problems in multiple homes with medicines errors. She was concerned not only by the quantity of errors occurring but that errors were not being appropriately reported and, where they were, nothing was being done to adequately resolve the underlying issues.


4 To help reduce medicines errors within all homes, we suggested the following:


How Opus Helped

Having met with the Regional Manager to fully


Preparation of a bespoke medicines policy & associated procedures – these documents are clear and easy-to-read with visual flowchart procedures that allow staff to clearly understand what procedures they are to follow within their organisation. We can organise launch sessions to ensure buy-in from all relevant staff members which increases the chance of policies being properly implemented and adhered to.

Medicines foundation training for staff so they understood what they should be doing to administer medicines safely and competently (Safe Handling of Medicines

(Foundation) Course). This improves staff competence and confidence and reduces the chance of errors occurring. Additionally, they will understand the importance of reporting in the, now unlikely, event that errors do occur.

Managers training to understand how to properly assess staff competence and how to audit medicines errors (Assessors Workshop and Medication Management & Audit Course). These courses can be tailored to reflect particular issues experienced within the organisation and include practical exercises and case studies. Free downloadable resources including our ‘Manager’s Guide to Reducing Medicines Errors’, paper-based competency assessment tool to assess staff and our Audit Tool. These all help demonstrate compliance to the Regulator.

What Makes Us Different?

We know training is readily available, so we work hard to ensure our medicines training

stands out by:

• Using experienced Pharmacist Trainers to develop and deliver our training

• Having all our courses and services accredited by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

• Offering ongoing support and advice from our Pharmacists- call us any time! • Providing regular clear and helpful guidance updates to our subscribers.

We have a wide range of courses available as:

✔ E-learning ✔ Distance learning workbooks ✔ Face to face sessions

Every course is tailored to your particular care setting as the option of being personalised to reflect your internal practices with regards to medicines.

Contact us any time to discuss your training needs. Our friendly team are here to answer any questions or queries you may have.

T: 0333 939 0053 Email: W:

Profile for The Carer

The Carer #44 Spring 2019  

Issue #44 of The Carer - The leading independent publication for nursing and residential care homes. Published Spring (April) 2019.

The Carer #44 Spring 2019  

Issue #44 of The Carer - The leading independent publication for nursing and residential care homes. Published Spring (April) 2019.

Profile for thecarer