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Decision to Exclude CQC Inspectors from Weekly COVID-19 Testing Branded 'Extraordinary'
A decision by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to exclude Care Quality Commission inspectors from weekly testing for coronavirus has been condemned as “extraordinary”, “very counterproductive”, and has led to a call by the National Care Forum (NCF) to reverse the decision as a matter of urgency. In an open letter to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State of Health and Social Care, and Helen Whately Minister for Care, the NCF branded the decision to exclude CQC inspectors from weekly testing prior to visiting care settings to inspect them an extraordinary decision, which is not credible and which is very counter-productive. Vic Rayner, Executive Director at the NCF says: “We welcome scrutiny and oversight by the regulator and we all want the CQC to be able to regulate effectively. However, this must include routine regular testing for those inspectors tasked with conducting on-site inspection visits to care settings.”
To limit the spread of Covid the DHSC instigated a whole-home testing regime backed by a £600 million infection control fund to test all staff within care homes regardless of role. NCF are concerned that by not testing CQC inspectors, who spend a number of hours on-site in care homes, moving between different groups of residents and staff, and who will be visiting potentially multiple homes, there is the potential to transmit the virus as part of their visits, both within care homes and between care homes undermines the policy. Care homes, the NCF say, have worked incredibly hard to make sure they have stringent infection prevention and control (IPC) measures. For those living in care homes, for staff and for visitors, regular COVID testing of those routinely working in care homes is a key part of these IPC measures to prevent inadvertent asymptomatic transmission of the virus. Rayner continues: “Not providing regular testing for CQC inspectors is an extraordinary decision. For
months central government and the regulator have been requiring care homes to essentially eradicate the movement of staff and the flow of people, including close family relatives, into homes. Having done this, care homes are now being asked to let inspectors into homes without knowing whether or not they are COVID positive. Understandably they are both shocked and hugely concerned. If Inspectors are coming in, they need to be tested – there should be no further debate about this. We recognise that testing capacity is always part of these decisions, but it seems likely that it will be a relatively small number of CQC staff who will be front facing and going into homes, so including them in routine regular testing will not have a significant impact on capacity. We call on government to reverse this decision and introduce weekly testing for inspectors immediately.”
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PAGE 2 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
VIEWPOINT Earlier this month, in one of our weekly editions of THE CARER DIGITAL, I wrote on my “Editor’s Viewpoint” about a quite alarming report by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), which reveals that nursing homes were put under “constant” pressure to accept patients with coronavirus while being frequently refused treatment from hospitals and GPs for residents who became ill at the height of the pandemic. As we all now know this was a catastrophic error Editor that led to homes, as one MP quite rightly put it at a recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC), being “thrown to the wolves”. Advising hospitals in England to discharge around 25,000 hospital patients into care homes without testing them for Covid-19 was an ‘appalling error’ and ‘reckless’ said PAC. It also said that the advice, made to free up hospital beds, continued ‘even once it was clear there was an emerging problem’ and typified the Government’s ‘slow, inconsistent and at times negligent’ approach to social care. Committee chair Meg Hillier MP said: ‘We weren’t prepared for the first wave. Putting all else aside, Government must use the narrow window we have now to plan for a second wave. Lives depend upon getting our response right.’ Looking back (and I do accept that hindsight is a wonderful thing) it seems utterly inconceivable to undertake such a policy, and as Ms Hiller rightly pointed out in planning for a possible 2nd wave we must ensure that our response is right. That, of course means, learning from past decisions. Which makes the decision to exclude CQC inspectors from weekly testing prior to visiting care settings to inspect them astonishing. (See lead story page 1) The government set aside £600 million for an Infection Control Fund designed to test all staff within care homes, regardless of role. Common sense therefore dictates that by excluding CQC inspectors, who spend a number of hours on-site in care homes, moving between different groups of residents and staff, and who will very likely visit multiple homes, will greatly increase the potential to spread the virus as part of their visits, both within care homes and between care homes completely undermining the government’s own policy. We have also in this issue reported a call by the NHS Confederation for the suspension of care inspections until after winter to allow providers to address issues like exhaustion among staff, while managing the ongoing threat from coronavirus and for health services to focus on the backlog of treatment that has built up. I was surprised to see no mention of the possibility of inspectors re-introducing the virus to care homes in the same way as it was introduced when patients were released from NHS hospitals. The CQC took a very wise decision to suspend routing inspections when the pandemic first broke but are to reintroduce them in the autumn. Given the Health Secretary has received letters from two separate bodies highlighting concerns regarding testing and the recommencing of inspections, particularly the catastrophic consequence of a potential reintroduction of the virus into care homes than I do feel it would make sense to heed the warning. Regular readers will also be aware that we are normally a quarterly publication however since the pandemic broke we have increased the frequency so welcome once again to this additional issue which we hope you enjoy and find of use! We have also introduced a weekly digital addition of THE CARER, distributed each Wednesday direct to your inbox can sign up for a copy on our website www.thecareruk.com.
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THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 3
Decision to Exclude CQC Inspectors from Weekly COVID-19 Testing Branded 'Extraordinary' (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) In its condemnation of the decision the letter states that : • It contradicts the current DHSC policy to limit the spread of COVID: DHSC has a specific policy intent to minimise the movement of all staff within homes, backed up by clear guidance on how to do so and a £600m Infection Control Fund to support care homes to make this happen. It has also instigated a whole-home testing regime designed to test all staff within homes, regardless of role. It seems extraordinary to decide not to test CQC inspectors, who will spend a number of hours on-site in care homes, moving between different groups of residents and staff, and who will be visiting potentially multiple homes and therefore have the potential to transmit the virus as part of their visits, both within care homes and between care homes. • It undermines care homes’ ability to manage visitors in a COVID-19 safe way: care homes are extremely anxious about letting any external visitors in as part of their infection prevention and control (IPC) measures to avoid COVID-19. To date, family visitors have either been in the garden, or accompanied on their visits into homes directly to be with the relative they are visiting, to minimise contact with other residents and staff, while visits
themselves have been time limited. Care home visitors have to undergo a screening process, have their temperature tested, declare their COVID-19 status as far as they know it and share their contact details for Test and Trace. Other external visitors are being kept to a minimum for essential purposes. • It is fundamentally inconsistent with care homes’ existing infection prevention and control measures and policies: Care homes have worked extraordinarily hard to ensure they have stringent and effective infection prevention and control measures in place, based on the emerging evidence and knowledge of COVID-19. Care homes have robust risk assessments in place to manage and limit the flow of people in and out of their settings and regular COVID-19 testing of those routinely working in care homes is a key part of these IPC measures to prevent inadvertent asymptomatic transmission of the virus. CQC inspectors routinely work in care homes too – so why exclude them from regular routine testing? • It presents very significant credibility challenges for the regulator: the CQC is the body responsible for ensuring that the significant infection prevention and control measures and regular testing set out within government policy for care homes are in place and being used effectively, and yet that same body is potentially presenting an IPC threat to those settings by
Care Providers Say ‘Thank You’ To Staff Owners of two care homes in West Oxfordshire threw a party to thank the nurses and care teams who have done an exceptional job looking after the homes’ residents during the pandemic. The dedication of all staff during such a challenging time has been highlighted by residents and families, at both Rosebank and Churchfields, and is just one of the many reasons why they wanted to reward them for their tremendous efforts. As a way of thanking the care teams and to show their appreciation, husband and wife, Jane and Gerry Roberts, organised an evening BBQ for staff to enjoy at Churchfields Care Home, which was socially distanced, in their beautiful garden. Jane Roberts, owner, commented: “I’m delighted with my team’s response to Covid-19. Everyone has gone above and beyond to ensure our residents at Rosebank and Churchfields
are safe, happy, and secure, and they continue to do so every day. The evening was a wonderful opportunity to relax together as a team after a difficult few months. It was a much needed tonic for everyone.” Karen, daughter of a resident residing at Churchfields care home, commented: “As a family, we cannot thank the wonderful management and staff at Churchfields enough for the care they give, and the time, patience, and understanding to us as a family.” At Rosebank Care Home they hosted a cowboy-themed party on the day of what would have been their planned annual garden fete, for staff and residents to celebrate together. Jane added: “Families and residents have been extremely grateful for everything the staff have done and continue to do. Their frequent gifts and letters have not only been appreciated, but have helped boost staff morale too."
virtue of the lack of regular testing for their staff working in care homes. The irony of this is not lost on care providers or families of those receiving care. Families and friends will quite rightly wonder why CQC inspectors are not being tested prior to entering any care homes. We welcome scrutiny and oversight by the regulator and we all want the CQC to be able to regulate effectively. However, this must include routine regular testing for those inspectors tasked with conducting physical on-site inspection visits to care settings. We recognise that testing capacity is always part of these decisions, but it seems likely that it will be a relatively small number of CQC staff who will be front facing and going into homes, so including them in routine regular testing will not have a significant impact on capacity. We look forward to an immediate reversal of this decision. In response, a CQC spokesperson said: “DHSC has advised that CQC inspectors do not meet the criteria for regular weekly asymptomatic testing, as inspectors are not required to undertake ‘hands on’ close personal contact with people. We remain in regular contact with DHSC on this and will continue to keep this under review. “All CQC staff engaging in inspection and registration visits must undertake a risk assessment prior to the visit. They must use the PPE identified, have gone through training on its use, and have completed the Infection Prevention and Control training.” The Department for Health and Social Care added: “Regular asymptomatic testing for professionals who visit care homes is not currently available through the National Testing programme. This is based on clinical advice regarding relative priority and available testing capacity.”
PAGE 4 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
The Importance of Allotments and Gardens in the Pandemic
By Damaris Daniels, QCS’s Content Director (www.qcs.co.uk)
To mark National Allotments Week, Quality Compliance Systems (QCS) has teamed up with the National Care Forum to ask its members why green spaces are so important to them. During the Second World War, 1.4 million allotments* helped to feed the nation. Seventy-five years on, as the world battles to contain the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 330,000 allotments in the UK**, are again proving their worth - albeit in a very different way. While they may no longer be Britain’s breadbasket, allotments provide a spiritual oasis where people can reconnect with nature, and they’re also the glue that moulds, shapes and strengthens communities. At Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), a major provider of content and compliance tools for the care sector, we have found that gardens and allotments have served to enrich our flexible working strategy. Many of our staff enjoy working in their gardens or allotments in their spare time. They say that they are therapeutic environments that have sparked creativity, and improved their mental and physical wellbeing during the lockdown.
GARDEN AND ALLOTMENTS HELPING TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF INHOUSE ACTIVITIES For Tom Harrison, Director of Operations and his colleagues, who work for Ambient Support, the gardens and green spaces at the projects and schemes in which they operate, have not only been “a sanctuary for service users and staff” during the pandemic, but are helping Ambient’s staff to re-evaluate and re-assess their approach to activities. The charity, which provides care and support services for older people, people with a learning disability and those with a mental health need has operated a gardening and horticulture project in South London for over a decade. Last year it opened a horticulture hub for service users at one of its projects in Bromley. It includes raised beds, greenhouse and even a training room, which provides courses to any
thing he’s always loved. He’s in a different place here, but the routine can continue. That helps lessen anxiety and confusion, and that’s a big thing. It gets him outside and exercising too which is hugely important for wellbeing.”
ACCESSIBLE SPACES Perhaps though the real power of allotments and gardens lies in their widespread appeal. Indeed, they are the cement that helps to bridge different generations inspiring them to collaborate. Take Kelvin, Alan and Michael, for example. They live together and receive support from Real Life Options, a charity which specialises in helping people with learning disabilities and autism. Eighteen months ago, the trio approached their Service Manager, Soneni Pearson. They had seen a piece of land adjacent to their home and were keen to see if they could convert it into an allotment. With Soneni’s help, they applied to Leeds City Council. A few months later, to their delight, they found out that their application had been successful. With the support of the Real Life Options team, and lots of hard toil, they have transformed the space into a fully functioning vegetable garden, which provides them with home-grown organic fruit and vegetables, not to mention a refuge from Covid. Soneni says, “The allotment has been a great haven during the Covid 19 pandemic. It has provided a safe place for Kelvin, Alan and Michael to remain physically active whilst social distancing, which has been fantastic for their mental health and wellbeing.”
EVERYONE CAN HAVE ACCESS TO ALLOTMENT AND GARDENS In residential care settings too, green spaces play an extremely important role in the lives of the residents. But for those living with dementia, visiting an allotment or gardening in a home can be challenging. It requires ingenuity and innovation, which Haviland House Dementia Care Home maintenance team employed to great effect when it created an indoor allotment for its residents, called the Ashmount Garden Room. Andrew Whitman, a spokesman for Guild Care, which operates Haviland House, paints a picture of the allotment, “The ceiling has been painted to look like the sky with clouds dotted around, the walls wrapped like a garden scene, the cupboards look like sheds and the window sills are covered head-to-toe in butterflies, plants, binoculars and other little outdoor themed trinkets which bring the room to life.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF RAISED BEDS Some 70 miles away in High Wycombe, at the Royal Star & Garter care home, 87-year old David, who’s also living with dementia, is still able to enjoy daily visits to the garden thanks to helpful staff and several raised planting beds, which were installed last year. David’s daughter, Kate, explains the benefits that her father receives from gardening. She says, “…It gives Dad focus. He’s planted runner beans and now he’s having them for tea, which is lovely. It’s linked him back to some-
Liz Jones of the National Care Forum, adds, “The experience of the COVID lockdown has highlighted to us all how important it is to be able to get outside and enjoy fresh air and the power of nature. This is just as important for our more vulnerable people including those receiving care and support, as we know how much being in the open air, be that gardens, allotments or beautiful outdoor spaces, can help to improve people’s overall health and wellbeing.”
budding green fingered volunteers. He explains, “Gardens and allotments can teach us so much. In the Coronavirus lockdown, they have illustrated that “being” is the “new doing” in learning disability and mental health services. Going green really helps improve wellbeing. We have discovered that while a full and varied programme of activities is very important, many of those that use our services have been happier and less anxious whilst their choice of social activities have been restricted. We’ve noticed too that relationships in the lockdown have flourished. What’s more, often the bonding process begins in tranquil outdoor spaces like gardens and allotments. That, I think, is their greatest strength.” As well as producing a bountiful supply of healthy organic vegetables for service users to enjoy, the questions of how we, as a society, make use of green spaces in the future provides much food for thought.
QCS would like to thank the NCF and its members for sharing their experiences and stories. REFERENCES: * How Britain utilised allotments during two world wars: The era of ‘growing’ your own Sky History https://www.history.co.uk/article/how-brits-utilised-allotments-during-two-world-warsthe-era-of-‘growing-your-own’ **Figure confirmed by the National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners
Friends of the Elderly’s Surrey Care Home Recognises it’s the Little Things That Matter In Haslemere, the Redcot Care Home which specialises in residential care has been going above and beyond to support the wellbeing, mental and physical health of its residents, their families and staff during the unprecedented lockdown period. The Team at Redcot has ensured the residents have had enjoyable, fun-filled days with lots of safe activities and ongoing communications taking place. Highlights include; the regular sing-along sessions, outside afternoons on the terrace with a socially distanced local entertainer, Bill Clayton, and gardening time in the beautiful grounds which are surrounded by scenic countryside. Residents have also been enjoying arts and craft sessions, quizzes and a wide range of other activities, plus the staff have been helping residents to make calls and FaceTime chats to their families and loved ones. One resident Grace’s daughter Christine said: “When the restrictions on non-essential visits came in I was very concerned that I would not be with Mum. I was delighted when the team introduced Facebook Portal calls early in the lockdown period. I have been able to spend so much time with my Mum and she thinks I am in her room rather than just virtually on a screen.”
“I feel they have done so much to keep things the same for residents. Like the recent socially distanced garden party for residents when my Mum was helped by staff to put on her best summer dress. I was delighted to be sent a picture of her having a great time and thoroughly enjoying a Magnum!! Ice cream that is!!! The Redcot team also engaged with a local school, St Bartholomew’s, and pupils have been writing to the Redcot residents throughout the lockdown. The letters have really cheered the residents up; so much so, they have been replying to the children with letters of their own. In addition, local church members have also been writing to the residents and have sent Chocolates to the staff. Head of Marketing and Communications at Friends of the Elderly, Jessica Stone said: “‘It’s the little things …’ is giving our residents, their families, our care home staff and volunteers a way to share positive messages to keep them connected during these difficult times. “We believe ‘It’s the little things…’ is a lovely way for everyone to express the little things that matter the most to them about each other; their happy moments, love, appreciation and gratitude to show how much we all value each other and are looking forward to spending time together again.”
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 5
Call to Suspend Care Inspections Until After Winter The NHS Confederation is calling on regulators in health and social care to suspend Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) routine inspections until after winter, allowing providers to address issues like exhaustion among staff, while managing the ongoing threat from coronavirus and for health services to focus on the backlog of treatment that has built up. The NHS Confederation has written a letter to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock. The health secretary recently outlined his vision for “busting bureaucracy” and health leaders now want to see this backed up with a major shift towards a lighter-touch and more agile system of regulation over the longer term. In the latest report from its NHS Reset campaign, the NHS Confederation calls for a continuation of the lighter-touch approach to governance and regulation that has been a feature of COVID-19. NHS leaders say this has enabled them to focus on delivering care to patients and to work more efficiently, with less interference from national bodies and reduced requirements for meetings and paperwork that add little to patient care. They want to see the lessons from the pandemic embedded and do not want to return to the preCOVID approach to governance and regulation. While scrutiny is vital, says the Confederation given how critical patient safety is to the delivery of health services, there will be broad support for comments made by Ian Trenholm, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission, which outline the regulator’s desire to reduce the burden on providers. The Government will they add, need to go further and take this opportunity to review the regulatory burden placed on providers from NHS England and NHS Improvement and other national bodies, as well as the CQC. Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “Health and Social care needs regulation and oversight, but NHS leaders want to see a radical shift away from the excessive paperwork and other reporting requirements that have become an industry in recent years. All too often, these only serve to provide false reassurance, rather than enhancing patient safety. The experience of COVID-19 has shown what can be achieved when we have a lighter touch approach in place. “The health secretary was right to identify this as an area in need of reform. But successive governments
have promised to cut red tape while actually presiding over and instigating an expansion in the bureaucratic burden on providers. In the immediate term, we need to put this in reverse and suspend routine inspections until after winter, when the lessons from the pandemic can be put into practice. “Ultimately, we need a more risk-based, proportionate and intelligence-driven approach to regulation that fosters innovation and does not weigh providers down with reporting requirements that take them away from delivering high quality care to patients.” The NHS Confederation makes a number of other recommendations for national bodies, such as: • Make regulation proportionate and risk-based – Our members accept the need for regulation and accountability, but we will fail patients if we fail to build on the light and agile governance and regulatory structure of the pandemic. • Align and integrate regulation and performance management – Duplication must be reduced at NHS England and NHS Improvement regional level in the short term and a review is needed of the performance and assurance roles of clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and NHS Improvement regional teams, and professional and safety regulators in order to streamline reporting arrangements. • Reset the regulatory architecture towards system working and integration – COVID has taught us that integration works. The CQC needs support to recalibrate the inspection regime towards systems and patient pathways, and will struggle without legislation to reflect the realities of system working and the new health and care landscape. • Maximise the integration of digital technology through increased funding – Digital inspection and reporting methods should be increasingly used, and our members need effective digital infrastructure. The Government must take ownership of this; the current commitment of £4.7 billion in the Digital Transformation Portfolio is not sufficient to transform services and therefore simplify governance and regulatory work. The report also sets out how local NHS organisations are ready and willing to take on some of the responsibility for reducing bureaucracy themselves. To embed the transformation brought about by the pandemic, they are keen to encourage leaner and lighter governance structures, with fewer committees and shorter and simpler board reporting.
Young People Make Variety Shows To Entertain Care Home Residents A charity is making variety shows featuring acts by young people to entertain care home residents during the pandemic. The first two YOPEY Virtual Variety Shows, featuring over 20 talented young people, are already on YouTube and Facebook. Every care home in the UK is invited to show them to their residents – each show lasts a little over 20 minutes – and to tell YOPEY what its residents liked or disliked so that the charity can make future shows better. The first two shows include a tribute to Dame Vera Lynn, who died this summer, and a Benny Hill-style comedy sketch. YOPEY hopes these and other acts that revisit the past will spark reminisces by residents. One of the first care homes to view the first show is St Georges Court in Cambridge. The home is owned by ExcelCare whose Regional Lifestyle & Well-being Lead Pearl Ewing said: “Residents really enjoyed the video.” Now the charity is also putting together variety shows of young peo-
ple’s acts to entertain elderly residents. The shows have a wider variety of acts than traditional TV shows as they also include young people making artworks, handicrafts and showing their sporting prowess. Other acts, aimed at sparking memories, are in development. The shows can be found on YouTube by searching for ‘YOPEY Befriender’ and clicking on the black-and-white YOPEY Virtual Variety Show title pages. YOPEY founder Tony Gearing MBE said: “We know elderly people love hearing about young people’s lives from the success of our YOPEY Befriender schemes. “Through YOPEY letters and YOPEY Virtual Variety Shows, the elderly can continue to read about and see young people’s lives. “Our young volunteers also want to show the residents that they are in the thoughts of people outside their care home. That we still care about them. “None of the young people are professional performers, but I think that just adds to the charm of the shows.”
PAGE 6 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
The Importance of Robust Covid-19 Whistleblowing Policy By James Sage, Partner at Royds Withy King (www.roydswithyking.com) A recent study by the Daily Express indicated that there has been a significant increase (66%) in complaints made by care staff to CQC during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the majority of concerns raised relating to infection control, social distancing and a lack of PPE. It comes as no surprise that this unprecedented situation has created an increased risk of whistleblowing disclosures due to health and safety risks. However, it is a concern that staff are bypassing employers and making reports directly to CQC. This highlights the importance of having robust and well managed whistleblowing procedures so that staff have the confidence that their concerns will be addressed effectively internally without the need for them to report directly to CQC. Here are some practical tips for dealing with whistleblowing disclosures: • Ensure managers are alert to the increased risk of whistleblowing disclosures during Covid-19 and have sufficient training to spot them. The most common disclosures are likely to be concerns about a breach of health and safety requirements or a breach of some other legal obligation (e.g. CQC regulations or data protection). • Have a clear policy on how concerns should be raised. Staff don’t have to raise disclosures in a particular way to have protection, but having a detailed policy, describing the format (e.g. in writing) and to whom they should
be submitted, will help ensure that they aren’t inadvertently missed. • Reassure staff that they are positively encouraged to raise concerns so that you can investigate and address any failings and learn from any mistakes that have been made. Building trust in your approach will help ensure that staff raise concerns internally in the first instance, rather than with CQC. • Reassure staff that the disclosure will not adversely affect their position at work and you will protect them if they are concerned about repercussions from any colleagues they have complained about. • Having a facility for anonymous reporting is also likely to encourage concerns being raised internally in the first instance. • Remember that a worker only has to have a reasonable belief in the alleged wrongdoing and can still be protected even if they are mistaken about the wrongdoing. You should therefore always take complaints seriously and deal with them in a consistent manner even if it seems like they are unfounded. • Discuss with the worker what additional support they might need during what can be a difficult or anxious time with access to mentoring, advice and counselling. • Keep the worker informed of the progress of the investigation and where possible (and not prohibited by duties of confidentiality and date protection to others) inform the worker of the outcome and any remedial steps that have been taken. • Record the number and nature of whistleblowing disclosures and regularly audit them to spot any patterns.
Two Newcastle Care Home Colleagues Run 24 Miles in 24 Hours to Raise Money for Residents Fund Two Colleagues from HC-One’s Kirkwood Court care home in Newcastle have ran a mile every hour for a day to raise money for the homes Residents fund. Having missed out on their main fundraising opportunities this year due to coronavirus, Colleagues at Kirkwood Court decided that they needed to try and find a new way to fundraise for their Residents fund. Throughout the sunny weather one thing that became apparent was how much the Residents would like a Summer House in the garden to be able to enjoy the fresh air in the changing weather. Colleagues brainstormed and came up with the idea of doing a 24-hour run. Kirkwood Court Care Assistant, Sarah Strawbridge and Lauren Proctor would complete a mile an hour, every hour, for 24 hours. Colleagues chose this idea with care, and with the home being a 24-hour service they thought it was a fitting way to raise money for their own Residents, who they care for 24 hours a day. Raising money this way also enabled the Residents to be there throughout the challenge. The team at Kirkwood Court drew out a 1-mile route from the home around the community in Kenton. Sarah and Lauren set off at 8am on Thursday 6th August, running a mile every hour for a day. Around mile 16, Sarah and Lauren started to find it incredibly tough to complete the miles, but constantly reminded themselves of why they were doing it and how
good it would be for Residents. Lauren Proctor said: “It was one of the most challenging things we’ve done but it was all worth it for our Residents.” The community got involved and helped the two joggers out with local shops donating drinks and food and displaying donation boxes on their till counters. The local ‘Kirkwood News’ shop helped raise just over £500 by doing this, which they home are extremely grateful for. On the final mile towards the finish, Sarah and Lauren had an incredible welcome home with staff lined up outside shaking pom poms and creating a finishing line for them. Sarah and Lauren have been completely shocked by the kindness and gratitude of the local community as they have raised well over their £2000 goal. “We didn’t think we would be able to raise as much as we did but we set ourselves a goal of £2000 and have well and truly exceeded it. We can’t wait to get our summerhouse bought and have the Residents enjoying it,” said Sarah Strawbridge. Angela Douglas, Kirkwood Court Home Manager said: “It’s incredible to see the determination these girls have to succeed and enhance the wellbeing of our Residents. I am incredibly proud of them.”
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 7
NHS Leaders’ Plea To Prime Minister – ‘Honour Your Promise On Social Care’ The NHS will not have any hope of clearing the backlog of routine operations unless there is a comprehensive and funded plan to support social care services through the winter months. That is the stark message from leading health organisations who are warning that patients will end up stranded in hospital because arrangements are not in place in the community or in care homes to support them. Also, they fear more patients will end up in emergency departments because they have not been able to access the personal care they need to keep them safe and independent in their own homes. In a letter to Boris Johnson, the health leaders call on the Prime Minister to honour his pledge to fix social care ‘once and for all’ and to set out a timetable for reform which addresses both the immediate crisis and the need to put these services on a sustainable footing. The letter, signed by members of the Health for Care coalition, which is chaired by the NHS Confederation, asks for immediate action. “With the potential of a second wave of COVID-19, localised outbreaks, and the challenges of winter ahead, we are now gravely concerned about the ability of social care services to cope. These difficulties will be compounded by the need to simultaneously provide care and rehabilitation to patients suffering
from the long-term effects of COVID-19 and those who have not had COVID-19 but have experienced a decline in health as a result of shielding during lockdown.” This move comes as the NHS has been set very stretching targets for resuming services which had to be paused during the first stage of the coronavirus pandemic. Health service leaders were already concerned that the targets looked unrealistic, given workforce vacancies, exhausted and burnt out staff and the fact that many services are having to operate at reduced capacity because of the need for social distancing and infection control. The scale of the challenge is enormous. In June, more than 50,000 patients had been waiting more than a year for their operations, compared to fewer than 2,000 in February. Independent analysis estimates that the waiting list for routine procedures could be as high as 10 million by the end of the year. Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation and chair of the Health for Care coalition, said: “COVID-19 has highlighted the critical role that social care plays in supporting the NHS, but it has also exposed a fractured, understaffed and underfunded system in desperate need of reform. “Social care services urgently need immediate funding to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic and to prepare for the possibility of further localised outbreaks, as well as a long-term plan, which successive governments have failed to deliver. “Without this, the NHS will be fighting with one hand tied behinds its back. “The Prime Minister has promised to ‘fix social care’, we now need that promise fulfilled.”
Ashlyn Team Members Tie The Knot And Celebrate With Its Residents Excelcare team members, James and Nicola met working at Essex based care home Ashlyn and recently involved residents in their marriage celebrations. The couple met each other 9 years ago while working together at the home and through their shared connection of caring for the people living there, began seeing each other as a couple in 2013. Those living at Ashlyn have seen their relationship blossom from when they first met, through to when they announced that they would be getting married. The residents were delighted and couldn’t wait to see them celebrate their special day. After tying the knot at Moot Hall, a local beauty spot in Harlow, the couple headed to Ashlyn to celebrate with everyone at Ashlyn, dressed in full wedding attire. The residents were thrilled when they came through the door, seeing their beloved team dressed
in their ‘Glad Rags’ and were very grateful that they could be a part of their special day. For many, seeing them in their wedding attire brought back happy memories from when their own weddings and brought a tear to the eye for a few. Peggy, who lives at Ashlyn, shared memories of making her daughter’s wedding dress and said it was “wonderful to see them on their special day”. For James and Nicola, stopping at the care home was something they both wanted to do, as without it, they may have never met. The people who live there are considered as part of their extended family, so they enjoyed going back to the roots of their relationship and involving the people living and working there. It was a wonderful day and now each time they both attend a shift at Ashlyn, they’ll be reminded of their marriage and the many happy memories they have made together within its walls.
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PAGE 8 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
Legal Duties for Employers Within the Residential Nursing Care Sector By Martin Chitty (employment partner) and Andrew Litchfield (health & safety partner) at Growling WLG (www.gowlingwlg.com) awareness of each individual's personal circumstances, acknowledgment of their concerns, genuine consideration of the issues that are causing concern, close liaison with health and safety advisors and proactive discussions with employees, whether individually or via consultation forums or Trade Unions. As such, employers need to be aware of: Employment law protections around health and safety There are specific protections for those who raise health and safety concerns or who decline to work on grounds that there are serious and imminent health and safety issues. This applies not only to issues within the workplace but also to getting to and from work
PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE – "WHISTLEBLOWING"
The situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve. Employers need to stay on top of developments as lockdown eases by complying with health and safety law, care and employment legislation as well as guidance from the Government and the CQC. It is crucial for employers to consider how they should address the impact of COVID-19 on staff morale and employee relations, especially as the sector has been one of the most affected. Despite all that has been done so far, employees will be and will continue to nervous about being at work. They will have a lot of questions and concerns; not just about themselves but about the risks to their families. They will want to know that they, and their families, are safe and will not be at risk either at work or at home. This is a time where employers really do need to ensure that employees are on board, engaged and able to trust them. This requires an
Raising an issue where the employee has a reasonable belief that health and safety or other legal obligations have been breached and that the disclosure is in the public interest gives the employees protection from retaliatory action. In the care environment staff should be encouraged to raise concerns, but be conscious of their rights when you investigate. Allied to that the issues may appear as grievances or just a reference in an email – not everything is headed "Whistleblowing":
WORKING TIME REGULATIONS COVID-19 has created many instances of employees who either have to take time off to quarantine or to get better. This has meant that employers are facing pressure to rely on less members of staff to cover shifts which may have an effect on working time regulations. Employers will need to ensure that rest breaks, weekly breaks and holiday entitlements are observed.
CONTRACTUAL RIGHTS Staff retention is going to be a key issue. Employers are always at risk
of staff moving on at short notice. In the current environment we need to avoid increasing that risk by giving anyone the right to claim that obligations around "mutual trust and confidence" are not being met. So remember, how people are treated and how their concerns are addressed contributes to that overall position. Duties under health and safety legislation Under UK health and safety law, employers have a duty to ensure so far as reasonably practicable - that their employees and other people who might be affected by their business, are not exposed to risk to their health, safety or wellbeing from their activities. It is important to note that the duty applies to risk – there is no need for any actual harm for the duty to be breached – and that it applies to both employees and anyone affected by the employers' business, for example residents and service users. It is not legally possible to contract out of this duty. Breach is a criminal offence for which the employer faces an unlimited and uninsured fine. Employers are also legally required to conduct risk assessments to identify hazards and then put in place control measures to eliminate, if not reduce as much as possible, the risks identified. Those risk assessments need to be location, activity and person specific and they need to be kept under review. They need to be prepared in consultation with employees and in accordance with Government, and care sector best practice and the results should be published. Steps should be taken to ensure that employees understand and are equipped to work in accordance with the control measures and compliance should be audited. None of this is new law. COVID-19 is a new risk to which existing systems should be applied.
NHS Staff Coronavirus Compensation Leaving Bereaved Families Without Benefits New research from Labour shows families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 while they worked on the frontline will be stripped of their social security payments. Under the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme, the £60,000 lump sum given to the families of NHS and social care workers who die after contracting coronavirus is being treated as capital in means-tested benefits. This means that, under current rules, a family entitled to Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit would lose their entitlement. Despite the UK recording among the highest number of COVID-19 health worker deaths in the world, with at least 540 health and social workers having died from COVID-19, only 19 families have benefited from the scheme. There is confusion over how to claim compensation for the loss of a loved one as a result of Coronavirus, with many such as the Royal College of Nursing and British Medical Association calling for it to be better advertised.
Labour is calling for payments made to people to be disregarded in the same way as other compensation schemes such as the Windrush Compensation Scheme or those who hold a Victoria or George Cross. Labour have previously called for the £16,000 upper capital limit to be removed during coronavirus, as claims for Universal Credit soar to 5.5 million amidst the crisis. Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “Health and social care workers are putting their lives on the line to care for coronavirus patients, often without the proper equipment, and many have sadly lost their lives as a result. “The Government was right to say we must honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. So it is shocking that families are being forced to choose between accessing social security they are entitled to or the compensation they need. “This must change so that families can grieve in peace with the full support they have every right to expect.”
Apprenticeships Will Be Key To Safeguarding The Future Of The Care Sector By Victoria Sylvester, Director of Acacia Training (acaciatraining.co.uk)
Two news reports sit side by side. One is about the lost generation of young people, at risk of being left behind because they can’t get a job. The other is about the projected growth in the number of jobs in the social care sector by 32% to 2.17 million by 2035. On paper it seems like a good fit – millions of people looking to embark on a new career or retrain after being made redundant and an industry in desperate need of skilled workers. So why isn’t it straightforward to connect the two? The main challenges are attracting people to the sector and giving them opportunities to progress and have successful careers. But changing perceptions of the sector, combined with the government’s new apprenticeship incentives, have provided a fantastic opportunity to change this for good. Apprenticeships are a great way for employers to recruit the right people, grow talent and develop a skilled workforce. Incentives are fantastic for employers so it’s encouraging to see the government taking note of this. Under the scheme, businesses will receive £2,000 for each apprentice under 25, and £1,500 for those older than 25, between August this year and February 2021. Ensuring the process is straightforward and accessible will be fundamental to making it work and there are still some barriers. For example, most employers need to make a 5% contribution and while this seems small, it’s still a hurdle. To truly encourage employers to take on apprentices, every single barrier should be removed, even for just a short period of time while we work through the Covid recovery phase. The government’s new Kickstart Scheme and funding for traineeships will also provide opportunities for
young people to get into the workplace. The key is to have a smooth transition process by working with providers who have strong employer links, which will enable trainees to progress on to apprenticeships. Collaborative working on every level has never been more important – done right this can have a greater impact and we need to work at pace to get everything moving quickly. Although there are challenges, this new raft of measures is a great step in the right direction. But it will only benefit the care sector significantly if we can attract people in the first place. We hear it time and time again: no one wants to work in the sector, care staff are unskilled, there’s no career progression. Finally, in one of the most difficult periods that we’ve ever faced, these misconceptions have been challenged. Putting the tragedy aside for a moment, Covid-19 has raised the sector’s profile and demonstrated how important and valuable it is. It has brought to the forefront real stories of people on the front line, as opposed to the negative headlines we often see around the care sector. Overall, the rhetoric has been much more positive and more people are seeing it as an incredibly rewarding place to work with progression opportunities. This has already attracted new people to the sector. The number of new nursing applicants between January and June was 63% higher than the same period last year, according to UCAS. We continued to recruit apprentices during lockdown and delivered £100,000 of intensive training, funded by Skills for Care, to increase staffing capacity in care homes in response to Covid-19. This included induction training for new staff, volunteers and those returning to care roles. Learners ranged in age from 18 to their 60s and this shows the level of interest in the sector and the number of new entrants. Now we need to develop a strategy around how we can attract and retain more people, so we can safeguard the future of the sector. Now is the perfect time to continue with the good work we’ve seen over the last few months and to build on the motivation and engagement with the sector. We need to take advantage of these promising new government incentives, keep that positivity moving and keep the sector looking attractive. Let’s not lose the ground that has been made in this short space of time.
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 9
Care Workers In Wales To Receive Full Pay When Off Sick Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gethin has announced that all care workers in the country will be entitled to full pay while off sick or self-isolating with Covid-19, saying my expectation is that we will top-up the wages of those taking time off because of coronavirus to 100 per cent of their normal wages”. Beforehand, most care workers had to get by on statutory sick pay (SSP) — just £95 a week — if they took time off, even if they were told by NHS track-andtrace workers to self-isolate. He added that the decision has been taken as the current system where care workers have to survive on £95 statutory sick pay a week is “unfair” and also because it will help stop the spread of COVID-19 as care workers will be able to take proper time off work. At the moment “it is forcing some to have to choose between self-isolating and paying the bills”, he said. The announcement was welcomed by Kelly Andrews, GMB social care lead, who said: “It is only right the social care workforce should receive full pay, rather than the completely inadequate statutory sick pay when they are unable to attend work. “Many carers are part-time, low paid and just can’t afford to take time off if all they get is £95 a week SSP. “That means care workers faced with the terrible choice between coming into work when they should be isolating, putting residents and colleagues at risk, or not
being able to keep a roof over their families’ heads. “It’s a deadly and completely unnecessary situation for them to be put in.” GMB union is now calling for the policy to be implemented in England. The union has long campaigned for full sick pay for the social care workforce with thousands signing GMB’s petition calling for full sick pay for social care workers since it was launched last week. Kelly Andrews, GMB Social Care Lead, said:“It’s is only right the social care workforce should receive full pay – rather than the completely inadequate statutory sick pay – when they are unable to attend work. “Many carers are part time, low paid and just can’t afford to take time off if all they get is £95 a week SSP. “That means care workers are faced with the terrible choice between coming into work when they should be isolating – putting residents and colleagues at risk – or not being able to keep a roof over their families’ heads. “It’s a deadly and completely unnecessary situation for them to be put in. “We look forward to working with the Welsh Government and employers to make this a reality as soon as possible. “Meanwhile Westminster must learn from Wales and put this policy in place across England.”
Residents Enjoy Tropical Caribbean Party The taste of rum, the smell of delicious seafood and the sound of steelpans were among the exotic treats enjoyed by residents at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton during a Caribbean party at the veterans’ care home. Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. The charity’s care home in Langley Avenue was given a makeover for the celebration, with exotic backdrops, decorations and props used to help veterans get in the Caribbean spirit. Staff also dressed up for the event, wearing leis, dressing as pirates and donning shell tops! The party took place over three days from Tuesday 18 August to Thursday 20 August, allowing all residents in the Home’s three floors to take part and enjoy while observing social distancing. The Caribbean party was organised by Activities Manager Raquel Pena Aristizabal. She said: “We had a good time dressing up and being silly, having fun, listening to fabulous music and eating delicious food. It
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THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 11
New Measures To Support Deployment Of Safe Covid-19 Vaccines For UK A raft of measures to allow the safe future mass rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine have been outlined by the government. The new rules and safeguards will strengthen the UK’s ability to successfully deploy a UK-wide vaccination programme, which will be crucial in saving lives and bringing the current pandemic to an end. The measures include: • Reinforced safeguards to support the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to grant temporary authorisation for the use of a new Covid-19 vaccine – provided it meets the highest safety and quality standards • Expanding the trained workforce who can administer Covid-19 and flu vaccines to improve access and protect the public • Clarifying the scope of the protection from civil liability for the additional workforce that could be allowed to administer vaccinations • If a vaccine is discovered before 2021, the proposals will bolster existing powers that allow the MHRA to consider approving its use, before a full product licence is granted, provided it is proven to be safe and effective during robust and extensive clinical trials. The measures are necessary because during the transition period, a new potential Covid-19 vaccine must be granted a licence by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The regulations will permit the MHRA to consider giving temporary authorisation allowing patients to benefit while it undergoes the full licencing process, with reinforced conditions attached to ensure safety, quality and efficacy. This is a precautionary measure and will be used as a last resort if there is a strong public health justification for widespread use of a vac-
cine before it has been granted a product licence. From 2021, MHRA will have a national licencing system in place and will be responsible for granting licenses for potential Covid-19 vaccines and treatments once they meet high standards of safety and effectiveness. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said: “We are making progress in developing Covid-19 vaccines which we hope will be important in saving lives, protecting healthcare workers and returning to normal in future. “If we develop effective vaccines, it’s important we make them available to patients as quickly as possible but only once strict safety standards have been met. “The proposals consulted on today suggest ways to improve access and ensure as many people are protected from Covid-19 and flu as possible without sacrificing the absolute need to ensure that any vaccine used is both safe and effective.” The MHRA has the power to grant an unlicensed medicine or a vaccine temporary authorisation where a product is proven to be safe and effective and is in the best interest of the patient on the basis of available evidence. A consultation is being launched today, which will look to amend the Human Medicine Regulations 2012 and will last three weeks, seeking the opinions and advice on the proposals from health experts and key stakeholder groups. The measures could come into force by October, ahead of the winter season. Dr Christian Schneider, Director of National Institute for Biological
Standards and Control (NIBSC) – part of the MHRA – said: “Protecting health and saving lives is at the heart of all our work. Throughout the pandemic, the MHRA has prioritised work to ensure rapid approval of robust clinical trials to test a range of medicines and vaccines, whilst maintaining the highest quality and safety standards. “Whilst the existing licensing system or a new UK one from next year, is the preferred and expected route to supply any vaccine, these new measures will strengthen the regulatory regime and our ability to protect public health.” The proposals will also allow more fully trained healthcare professionals to administer vaccines under NHS and local authority occupational health schemes, as well as enable an expanded workforce that can administer vaccinations to the public. This will make it easier and quicker for patients to access the vaccines they need, protecting them against potentially serious and fatal diseases. The expanded workforce will undergo a robust training programme, and could include a wider range of existing NHS staff, as well as groups such as student doctors and nurses. The consultation will also look at clarifying the scope of the protection from civil liability, which the regulations already give to healthcare workers and manufacturers, to ensure it applies to the companies which order the medicines and the additional workforce that could be allowed to administer vaccinations. This will establish a fairer and more equal footing and encourage companies to place cutting-edge medicines on the markets as soon as possible, ensuring UK patients can be the first to benefit.
‘Voyage of the Damned’ Sisters Awarded British Empire Medals Two sisters, who fled the Nazis on a ship that was forced back to Europe, have been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for their services to Holocaust Education by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester at the Didsbury care village, where they now reside. Dedicating their lives to educating people around the world on the holocaust and plight of refugees, Gisela Feldman and Sonja Sternberg had been due to collect their medals at The Monastery in Manchester after being named in the New Year’s Honours List earlier this year. But when the coronavirus outbreak meant this was no longer possible, Sir Warren Smith, who represents the Queen in Manchester, brought the awards ceremony to the sisters with a visit to Belong Morris Feinmann on Palatine Road. Complete with champagne, flowers and trays of kosher wine and biscuits, the outdoor event saw the sisters receive their medals surrounded by a socially-distanced crowd of friends and fellow apartment tenants. Speaking of the day, 94-year-old Sonja said: “I was very honoured and surprised to be awarded the BEM. I have spoken for many years at schools and universities, but never thought I was doing anything special. Although it’s sad my family couldn’t be at the ceremony, I feel very humbled and happy that our history will be remembered.” Gisela, 96, added: “I was very taken aback when I initially heard we were on the New Year’s Honours list and was looking forward to going to The Monastery, but I’m thrilled to receive my medal at home, with my friends and
neighbours watching. When I pass, it’s important people continue to learn about our experiences.” Sir Warren Smith, the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, added: “Gisela and Sonja have shown amazing courage throughout their lives, educating and inspiring future generations to do better by sharing their story. It has been an honour and a privilege to present them both, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, with the British Empire Medal, an award they much deserve.” Alongside their mother, Gisela and Sonja were among more than 900 Jews fleeing Germany aboard the SS St Louis in 1939. On a journey later coined the ‘Voyage of the Damned’, the passengers had hoped to travel to Cuba in a bid to reach the US but when the ship was turned away in Havana, they were forced to return to Europe. The sisters arrived in London after being granted entry into England, eventually settling in Manchester, where their late mother resided in the original Morris Feinmann home. Many were not as fortunate, with 255 of the passengers later killed by the Nazis when Hitler’s forces swept across Western Europe. Devoted to keeping the memory of those lost during World War II alive, including their father and more than 30 of their relatives, Gisela and Sonja have made it their lives’ work to educate others about the holocaust, speaking at schools and colleges all over the world. In celebration of their awards, the sisters have been invited to attend The Queen’s Garden Parties in London next year.
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 13
Major New Survey of Care Home Leaders Confirms Severe Impact of Covid-19 Care homes were pressured to take Covid-19 patients at the height of crisis while residents were regularly refused treatment from hospitals and GPs, according to a major new report by Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) of the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK’s nursing and residential homes. In May and June of 2020, a survey of the QNI’s Care Home Nurses Network was carried out by the QNI International Community Nursing Observatory (ICNO) to understand more about the impact of Covid-19 on the Care Home Nurse workforce within the UK. This survey was launched in the early weeks of the pandemic in response to grave concerns about the safety of the workforce and the gaps in provision that it was facing. The survey responses confirm that for the majority of respondents, the pandemic has been a very challenging experience. They indicated that their work and wellbeing has been worse or much worse than at normal times, during the survey period. Having to accept patients from hospitals with unknown Covid-19 status, being told about plans not to resuscitate residents without consulting families, residents or care home staff, lack of guidance on issues like personal protection and issues of poor access to pay if they became ill were some of the major issues the care home workforce faced during March and April 2020. While two thirds of respondents said they ‘always’ had access to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and most others said that it was usually available, a small minority were not provided with PPE and had to improvise, by obtaining it themselves or by making it. The need for appropriate PPE in care homes is of critical importance in staff and resident safety: 21% of respondents said that their home accepted people discharged from hospital who had tested positive for Covid-19. The majority of survey respondents found it easy to access hospital care for their residents when this was required; however, a substantial minority found this difficult or very difficult. Additionally, a substantial number found it difficult to access District Nursing and GP services, which are universal parts of the National Health Service. In addition, many indicated that they were not able to access essential training from other health professionals at this time. Some respondents refocused work to consider how they could improve on their approach to end of life care. Worryingly, some who responded raised serious ethical and professional concerns, for example GPs, Clinical Commissioning Groups and hospital trusts making resuscitation decisions without first speaking to residents, families and care home staff or trying to enact ‘blanket’ ‘do not resuscitate’ decisions for whole groups of people. Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, the QNI’s Chief Executive commented: “The care being delivered in a home can at times be as intensive as in a hos-
pital – in particular for end of life care – and it is hugely skilled work. As the majority of respondents to this survey indicate, the people living in their care homes need a combination of support for complex physical and cognitive needs. “Overall, as would be expected, the picture presented is of an extremely stressful and anxious period for professionals working to care for and protect their residents. The positives represent a silver lining to this cloud and there are numerous testaments to the skill, dedication, professionalism and teamwork that Care Home Nurses have displayed in 2020. In addition, this brief insight into the experiences of the nurses provides an opportunity to consider and plan for the support systems that may be needed in the anticipated second wave of Covid-19. “More needs to be done to understand the effect of Covid-19 on the workforce and residents in care homes. Urgent attention must be paid to the sector if the workforce is to withstand the additional demands of the pandemic, particularly in planning, guidance and employment practices.” Professor Alison Leary MBE, Director of the ICNO and Professor of Healthcare and Workforce Modelling at London South Bank University commented: “It is clear from this survey that the care home workforce has faced very challenging issues. Many have felt unsupported and their wellbeing has suffered. We need to support this workforce to face the challenges ahead.” Key findings of the survey include: • 70% (114) of respondents were Registered Nurses (RN) and 28% (46) were managers. 78% of respondents were over the age of 45 (128). • Most respondents reported caring for older people (97, 60%) with just under a third reporting caring for a mixture of residents of different ages and needs (48, 29%). • 66% (107, 66%) of respondents reported always having appropriate PPE while 2 (2, 1%) of respondents reported never having access to the appropriate type and quantity of PPE during the first three months of the pandemic (March-May 2020). 75% (123, 75%) reported that their employer had provided all their PPE. • During March and April 2020, 34 (21%) reported receiving residents from the hospital sector who had tested positive for Covid-19 in hospital. • 70 respondents (43%) reported receiving residents from the hospital with an unknown Covid-19 status during March and April 2020. • 54% in total of respondents reported it was easy or somewhat easy to access hospital care with 25% in total reporting it somewhat difficult or very difficult during March-May 2020 • In terms of accessing GPs, 67% reported it was easy or somewhat easy to access GP services with 32% reporting it somewhat difficult or very difficult. • 23% reported it was easy or somewhat easy to access District Nursing services with 33% reporting it somewhat difficult or very difficult during
March to May 2020. • 71% reported it was easy or somewhat easy to access end of life medication/services for residents who required it, with 12% reporting it difficult or very difficult. • When asked if arrangements had changed in terms of decision making around do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR), the majority responded “no” (95) that there had been no changes. Five respondents stated they had made no changes to practice as continuous review was normal practice. • 16 respondents reported negative changes which they found challenging such as “blanket DNACPR” decisions, or decisions taken about resuscitation status by others (GPs, hospital staff or clinical commissioning groups) without discussion with residents, families or care home staff or that they disagreed with some of the decisions on legal, professional or ethical grounds. • 39 respondents reported Covid19 as a positive focus for change in talking about end of life care and a discussion of practice or ceiling of care, for example, moving to a recommended summary plan for emergency care and treatment (RESPECT) process or a reason to initiate conversations around dying and residents’ wishes. • Around 20% of responses reported positive or mixed sentiment around the experience of working through Covid-19, for example pride in their colleagues or new workforce opportunities. 80% of responses reported very negative experiences. • 56% felt worse or much worse in terms of their physical and mental wellbeing, while 36% reported no change. • Only 62 respondents stated that they could take time off with full pay, while some felt pressure not to take time off at all (15). Deborah Alsina, chief executive of older people’s charity Independent Age, called the findings, particularly those relating to do not resuscitate orders “very concerning”. She said: “The pandemic has been an extremely challenging time for both patients and health and care professionals, but older people should not have their choice and control removed regarding how their life ends, simply because of their chronological age. “Do not resuscitate orders should, wherever possible, be made in consultation with the person concerned and their family and be based on fitness to be treated, as well as personal preference. Care home staff have been under enormous pressure over the last five months and it is unfair on both staff and residents, to be instructed to change DNR plans without consultation. “It’s critical that the decision-making process that allowed this to take place is properly investigated so that the same mistakes are not made again.”
PAGE 14 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
Providing Specialist Adult Care in a Post-COVID World In this article, John Whitehead, CEO of Exemplar Health Care shares his reflections on what lessons we’ve learned from COVID-19 and how changing public opinions are helping to shape the future for adult specialist care providers. “Since March 2020, care homes across the UK have reported cases of COVID-19 – and at Exemplar Health Care, sadly we have lost some of our residents, but our primary focus is and will always be, to deliver high-quality care for our residents and provide a safe working environment for our colleagues. “Fortunately, coming into the pandemic, Exemplar Health Care was in a positive position which enabled us to take swift investment decisions to protect our residents and colleagues. We were in a good place financially, we had a dedicated team of colleagues with low turnover rates and had well-established quality assurance processes and systems already in place. “Early intervention ensured that we secured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through global suppliers, meaning that we had enough supplies to protect our staff. “Exemplar Health Care has shown great resilience throughout these challenging times and there are a lot of lessons that we can take away, as we start to think about moving forward.
INTRODUCING PROCESSES THAT CAN BE CONTINUED POST-COVID “When you’re driven by necessity, it’s amazing how quickly you can adapt. And a lot of the changes that we’ve made over the past few months, will continue to support the business in the future. “During the pandemic, we’re continuing to innovate by introducing new technology across our network, to help manage and maintain staffing levels.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a great pressure on the health and social care sector, which has resulted in the need to recruit additional staff. In response to this challenge, we’ve implemented a new online dashboard that provides real-time information about staffing levels across our homes. When colleagues enter and leave one of the care homes, they’re required to sign in and out on an iPad. This information feeds into the dashboard and is updated every 15 minutes; providing the Operations Team with a real-time view of how many colleagues are in each home at any given time. “This is a much more efficient way of tracking staffing levels as it has reduced the number of emails and phone calls with Home Managers, meaning that we all have more time to spend supporting our residents and colleagues.
CHANGING OPINIONS OF SOCIAL CARE “Social care has shown incredible resilience throughout the pandemic, despite not having the same support and funding as the NHS. feel encouraged that more and more people are seeing social care as an equal to our health counterparts. “The media attention throughout the pandemic has gone some way to highlight the social care sector, along with its position as ‘number two’ to the NHS – but this needs to change. “I believe that the overall social care operating model will be unchanged by COVID-19 and core failings of funding for the social care sector are likely to continue without a concerted Governmental effort. “The challenges that the sector faces post-COVID are likely to further emphasise the gap between lower and higher acuity care. “The fact remains that, despite the funding challenges that the sector faces, the adult specialist care that Exemplar Health Care provides cannot be commoditized – it needs to be bespoke and tailored individually to each person. “Sadly for other providers, such as elderly care and domiciliary care providers, these challenges might have the opposite effect whereby care becomes increasingly driven by commoditised pricing. “Future change is being helped by the public’s increased attention on the challenges facing the industry. This current, heightened public engagement is, however, now set against a challenging fiscal future.”
Care Home Gives Green Thumbs Up To Students From Community Programme A local care home has received a helping hand in their gardens from Sheffield students thanks to a community scheme run by Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. As part of the ‘Keep Doing Good’ programme the football club runs in partnership with the National Citizen Service, several local students have taken part in a week-long garden project for Anchor’s Herries Lodge care home on Teynham Road in Sheffield. From Monday, 24 August to Thursday 28 August thirteen students, aged between 15-17 organised and created a series of flowerbeds along the path to the entrance of Herries Lodge, planting flowers such as tulips and daffodils that will provide future blooms that all visitors, residents and staff at Herries Lodge can enjoy. In addition to the flowerbeds, the students also identified areas of the garden they could help to maintain to provide a nice aesthetic to the property. Sarah Burley, Manager of Anchor’s Herries Lodge, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have such a lovely group help us out like this! The work they’ve been doing in the garden has been fantastic and these projects just
put a smile on my face and the faces of everyone at Herries Lodge. “It just shows how great it is when people come together to do their bit for one another. I’d like to thank the students and Sheffield Wednesday for thinking of us and organising such a wonderful project even during such difficult times!” Ann-Marie Morgan, who is overseeing the “keep doing good” programme for Sheffield Wednesday, said: “Sheffield Wednesday and the National Citizen Service supports young people to expand their social circles and explore their communities outside of their day to day norms, Keep Doing Good this year, has given the young people the chance to break down barriers between generations and provide a small space for the residents to enjoy the fresh air in their own safe haven during this difficult time. “This team of thirteen students joins thousands across the nation pledging a small number of hours aiming for 1 million hours of volunteering to support local communities in their hours of need, Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme is proud of each and every one of them and their contributions.”
PAGE 16 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
Recruitment: Adapting to the Challenges of COVID-19 By Claire Fretwell, Head of Learning, Development and Talent at Exemplar Health Care (:www.exemplarhc.com) The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has challenged our industry to think differently and creatively about recruitment, especially when it comes to monitoring and maintaining staffing levels. At Exemplar Health Care we were able to overcome potential recruitment challenges by introducing new temporary roles, moving many of our processes online and introducing an innovative approach to monitoring staffing levels across our 32 homes.
date is successful at this stage, we accept verbal references over the phone to support people to start work in as little as 3 weeks. Before the pandemic, we delivered five days of face-to-face inductions every month for all new recruits. However, due to lockdown restrictions and social distancing, we’re now running virtual inductions three times per week. It is a blended approach of online learning, presentations and activities, to introduce new recruits to the organisation and our values, and to support them to complete the relevant mandatory and statutory training (MAST). Once the new colleague has completed the corporate induction, they are supported by an experienced buddy in the home who welcomes them and mentors them to achieve their local induction. After training has been delivered, staff can confidently put their new knowledge and skills to good use. This has helped us to efficiently induct more people, so that our homes can continue to operate at safe staffing levels during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
INTRODUCING A NEW ASSOCIATE CARER ROLE In March 2020, we introduced a new role, which encouraged those who may be out of work for a short period of time, to consider a temporary role within the care sector. The Associate Carer role was specifically designed for those who usually work in the hospitality, leisure or travel sectors, or students, who might be looking for extra work. The introduction of the new Associate Carer role proved to be a success. Since mid-March, when we started a recruitment drive in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), the number of applications and offers of employment was double that of the same period in 2019 – which supported our homes to maintain safe staffing levels, at a time when it was needed most. The quality of life of our residents is our main priority and, despite these challenging circumstances, our Associate Carers have played a vital role in ensuring they are safe and that they can continue to live as fulfilling a life as possible. We also had a large reliable team of bank and agency staff on hand, as well as non-direct care and central team colleagues in place to support our homes if needed. This helped us cover any staff shortages due
to sickness or isolation.
GOING ONLINE WITH THE FULL RECRUITMENT PROCESS Due to travel restrictions, social distancing, and the need to recruit around 1,000 new temporary carers, we reviewed our recruitment process and moved many of the processes online. We have now decided to maintain many of these new online processes – as they have been working well. Firstly, candidates fill out an online application. If their online application is successful, the Home Manager or Recruitment Team conducts a video interview via Zoom, FaceTime, Messenger or Skype. If the candi-
MONITORING AND MAINTAINING STAFFING LEVELS To ensure we have the right number of colleagues working in our 32 homes, we introduced an online dashboard that provides real-time information about staffing levels. As our homes are staffed 24/7, one of our key priorities each day is ensuring that we always have the right number of people to support our residents. If a home falls under their target staffing level, the dashboard highlights this and we can explore the reasons why.
From Seedling to Prizewinning Sunflower! Sunflowers bringing happiness to residents during the pandemic. Not only do Sunflowers create a wonderful splash of colour in any garden they also have beautiful flowers that give you free edible seeds, so at The Future Care Group the activity coordinators throughout their 19 homes were given the challenge to see which home could grow the tallest sunflower. Initially residents started off by sowing seeds in pots indoors and placed them around the windowsills. When the risk of frost had passed, they transferred them to the outside and continued to nurture them and watched them grow in their gardens. Month by month these little seedlings flourished and grew
into enormous sunflowers. They could never have known when they started the competition the additional benefit the project would bring. As residents became separated from loved ones due to visiting restrictions being imposed, having additional activity to fill their days become more important than ever to help maintain a sense of wellbeing. The competition came to its conclusion with The Boynes in Upton-upon-Severn, being judged as overall winner having grown their sunflower to the magnificent height of 4 meters. However, all other homes who participated were winners too! As the residents all enjoyed the benefit of seeing their glorious sunflowers brighten up their gardens and their lives.
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THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 17
PAGE 18 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
Rebuilding Trust as an Exceptional Leader By Sally Prescott, Leadership Coach & Founder of Zest for Life (www.zflltd.com) INTRODUCTION Trust is at the core of all relationships. Without it relationships are much more likely to fail. When considering the impact of COVID-19, the trust we have with our residents, their families and friends is crucial. Trust is how you build customer loyalty. Many people during the pandemic have entered the residential and nursing care sector with the best of intentions but potentially without any formal training or background. New staff, untrained staff, maybe even volunteers with big hearts but may lack in skills, knowledge and behaviours. This means they may require additional support and guidance from their leaders and colleagues. Building trust with your team is equally important. Without it how can they perform at their best? As we emerge from lockdown, large sections of the general public will likely be anxious due to fear of a second peak of the virus. It’s therefore critical that all care homes take careful steps to rebuild trust with everyone, including the UK government. It’s important to restore faith and rebuild trust in your business from a resident and colleague perspective in a post COVID-19 world.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN TO BUILD TRUST In order to build trust, we as leaders must consider our behaviours and our track record of delivering what we say we will. This includes adhering to legislation.
CREATING A VALUES-LED CULTURE Our behaviours are born from our personal values, house rules or ‘how we do things around here’. Everyone has their own perspective on
what right and wrong behaviour looks like. This can sometimes cause conflict and disagreement. To avoid this create an outline of ‘how we do things in our business’, what we value. There are huge benefits to doing this, such as encouraging people that share your business values to become an employee, a customer, or associate with you on social media. A values-led culture is a culture where people live and breathe the values and change their behaviours to align with these. Creating this kind of culture requires commitment and discipline. Defining ‘how we do things around here’ helps to build confidence and reassures people that they’re likely to be treated with respect. When employees feel this way, they can relax and focus on what they need to do to make a difference within your business. It creates a feeling of safety and reassurance.
BUILDING A FRESH TRACK RECORD OF TRUST When people demonstrate the right behaviours and deliver results, leaders and teams build a mutual trust. This passes on to residents, family, friends and suppliers. It’s crucial that the care sector restores trust in society. The general public want and need to see that all healthcare is provided at exceptional levels. Doing the right thing to ensure they are safe and cared for as human beings. It requires time and patience to strike the right balance between behaviours and delivery. Ensure that everything you do as a leader is about setting your team up for success. Make sure they have understood what great performance looks and feels like. Notice them doing great things, be specific when you share what you have seen, so they continue with this fabulous performance.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR Be very mindful of other’s thoughts and feelings. It’s like we are starting out in a new life, where things are different to how things used to be. This can cause anxiety, confusion, concern and loss of confidence amongst residents and employees. As care professionals, we can prepare and be considerate of these emotions, always keeping in mind our focus on rebuilding trust. With regards to watching behaviour, the first step is self-awareness;
recognising in yourself if you feel uncomfortable, anxious, concerned, worried or frustrated. Stop and think about what’s causing this and consider where you want to get to emotionally. Explore what help you may want or need to assist you, then take steps to access this. You are important. If you’re not calm, your team and residents will pick up on it. Residents and their families don’t want to step into a home that’s oozing anxiety.
DOES YOUR BUSINESS DELIVER TRUST IN THESE FOUR KEY AREAS? • Resident and family satisfaction • Colleague or team satisfaction • Revenue or profit • Legislation If you are doing something that’s not related to these four areas, ask yourself why are you doing it?
THE REALITY People will enter your home with caution. Trust will only start to be rebuilt when they are received by a confident, supportive and reassuring team. When residents and families see the signs that you have adhered to all legislation, faith in your care home will be restored. Be aware that people who are anxious or concerned may not be as polite as usual. In these circumstances, you and your team should remain calm, behave aligned to the values-led culture you have created, and respect the other person’s wants and needs. Be open and honest with them about what you can deliver and how you plan to do this. No matter what your personal or organisational track record may be, your challenge now is to take steps every day to make changes that begin to rebuild trust. Be patient and true to yourself and the culture of your home. Over time the results will show. If every individual and team is calm and considerate, together we will deliver the results required for our residents, our teams, our homes and the whole of the care sector. Create an environment where people feel valued in their role, they are recognised for the value they add to the overall success and great feeling within your home. This is born from Exceptional Leadership.
More Than Half A Billion Pounds To Help People Return Home From Hospital £588 million will provide up to 6 weeks of funded care and support for people being discharged from hospital Funding could pay for additional support including domiciliary care, community nursing services or care home costs Assessments for those needing funded long-term care or support to resume from September People needing additional follow-on care after being discharged from hospital – including older people and those with disabilities – will be supported by a £588 million fund to cover adult social care or the immediate costs of care in their own home. From 1 September, the NHS will be able to access the funding in order to provide up to 6 weeks of additional support so people can receive ongoing help with their recovery and rehabilitation after they leave hospital. This could include support in their home or access to services such as physiotherapy. NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessments will also restart from September ensuring those with complex health needs can continue to access the care they need for free. Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “We know for the majority of people the road to recovery can be quicker when they receive care and support in the comfort of their own home. “This funding will help ensure people can be safely discharged from
hospital knowing they will get the vital follow-on care they need to recover fully from treatment. “We’re also making sure those with complex health needs continue to receive the best support possible in the community.” Most people will be discharged back to their homes, however it is anticipated that a very small proportion will need, and benefit from, short or long term residential, nursing home or hospice care. It remains the case that no-one should be discharged from hospital directly to a care home without the involvement of the local authority, and that all patients are required to be tested prior to discharge to a care home. No care home should be forced to admit an existing or new resident who has tested positive for coronavirus if the home would be unable to cope with the impact of their illness. Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “We are pleased to see this further injection of funding to ensure that people can leave hospital as soon as is safe and return home wherever possible. We are also reassured by the commitment that no one will go into a care home without having been tested for the virus. Local government has asked for these commitments and will continue to play a key role in making them happen.” New guidance has been published to help hospitals safely discharge patients into the appropriate setting to maximise their inde-
pendence and ensure they can remain in their own homes as much as possible. A comprehensive care and health assessment for any ongoing care needs, including determining funding eligibility, will take place within the first 6 weeks following discharge to make sure individuals have the support they need. The funding can also be used for urgent community response support to prevent someone being admitted to hospital. This can include providing urgent domiciliary care or nursing support, like basic wound care, in someone’s own home, rather than in hospital. Case managers will ensure people are discharged safely, on time and that they have full information and advice about what is happening. This includes how individuals’ needs will be assessed and any follow up support that may be required. This approach applies to anyone discharged from NHS community and acute beds. The funding is part of the £3 billion provided to protect and prepare health and social care in the event of a second peak of Covid-19 during winter and follows £1.3 billion funding made available via the NHS to support the discharge process in March. The government has expanded the ONS infection survey to provide extensive, weekly data on the spread of infection, supporting rapid testing and diagnosis of COVID-19 both nationally and in areas of concern.
The Care Show Postpones Until 13th-14th October 2021 Due To The COVID-19 Pandemic CloserStill Media, the organiser of The Care Show, have taken the decision to postpone the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic The Care Show 2020 will now take place on 13th and 14th October 2021 at the Birmingham NEC. Michael Corbett, Event Director said: “The Care Show team feel incredibly privileged to be working with the care profession as they continuously adapt to the enormous pressures and uncertainty COVID19 has brought to all of our lives. The care profession, truly are national heroes and we have been humbled by the dedication, bravery and humanity demonstrated by the community we proudly serve. Although the government made their decisions to re-ignite mass gathering events from the 1st October, The Care Show team have made what they feel is the most ethical and moral decision based on the individuals our delegates look after and to run the event as a commercial gain is not in the company’s interest. The last few months has had a huge impact on both the mental physical wellbeing of care teams across the country and we are dedicated to protecting the safety of our delegates, sponsors and speakers as our top priority.”
THE FUTURE The Care Show team have been busy building an online community serving the profession 365 days a year. Online communities include: The Virtual Care Festival– 25th & 26th November – With face to face events being too high risk in 2020, we still wanted to bring the great and the good from the care sector together…digitally. This 2 day event will host a huge number of debates and presentations, in addition to virtual stands which allow video calls to keep those discussions alive. The Care Show monthly bulletin– Our team are always speaking with the sector and will bring together exciting, educating or heart felt stories to keep you up to date with everything happening around you. Fortnightly webinars– education, personal development, best practice, CPD points and conversations, we will deliver fortnightly updates on the latest topics from the care sector. Care Show Education Hub– The Care Show Education Hub is your portal to find the latest updates from CQC, all video interviews and webinars from our partners, podcasts with exciting conversations, white papers and downloads to help improve any care business. Digital Events– In addition to our exciting face to face events, like The Care Show and The Residential & Home Care Show (April 2021) we will host
virtual events to bring our community together and celebrate our sector no matter where you are. Future Hero’s Campaign– The Care Sector is in need of an influx of youth and be treated as a skilled and prosperous industry. We are hosting a campaign to find current nurses and managers under 30, who are going above and beyond and hailed as the inspiration for those looking to be part of care. Carer of the month– postponed due to all our carers being amazing during Covid-19 and it being impossible to choose a carer of the month. We look to celebrate those battling day in and day out. The Residential & Home Care Show, part of Health Plus Care– CloserStill Media’s event aimed at owners and directors within all care settings to help them improve their business, increase levels of care and improve integration within their local authority and NHS Trust will return to London ExCel on the 27th and 28th April. Tickets are free to all care providers and there are opportunities for suppliers to be part of the largest health and social care event in the UK. Care Show will be back in October 2021 and will be a real celebration of the care sector, with the aim to make the event an experience for everyone to unite and drive social care as a united force.
PAGE 20 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
The Dos and Don’ts of Buying and Selling A Care Home By Chris Rowlands, managing director of Amberglobe Care and Blacks Business Brokers (www.blacksbrokers.com) help you achieve the outcome you want.
TIPS FOR SELLERS
The care sector has been undergoing change for a number of years, and many residential care facilities have, of course, suffered terribly during the Covid-19 pandemic. This will have had financial as well as tragic human repercussions for some businesses. Taking a long-term view, the Government has undertaken to take the funding of social care in hand, with the suggestion of an additional tax levied on, or compulsory insurance paid by, the over-40s to pay for it. What emerges from this remains to be seen, but for the Government not to act after making such a clear undertaking would involve a major loss of political face. The dynamics of an ageing population, coupled with the prospect of finally establishing a sound system of funding for social care, should make care businesses even more attractive to long-term investors. Private equity investment has played a significant role in the sector for some years, and this trend is likely to continue. We cannot predict the course of the current recession but at the moment there is no indication of a major credit crunch of the kind experienced during the financial crisis at the end of the last decade. Trade buyers and individuals with sound credentials and business plans should still be able to secure funding to complete the acquisition of solid care businesses. Whether you are considering buying or selling a care home over the months or years ahead, there are a number of dos and don’ts that will
1. Identify your priorities and ideal buyers. What do you want to achieve from selling your business? Is it all about maximising the price or do you also want to protect staff’s jobs as far as possible? If you sell to larger operator, they might have a central admin team that would put some of your office staff out of a job. If, on the other hand, you are the manager as well as the proprietor then you will need a buyer who either meets the Care Quality Commission’s requirements in terms of professional qualifications or has the resources to employ a manager. If you are planning a few years in advance of selling then now might be the time to start giving your deputy more responsibility and establishing a succession plan. 2. Careless talk costs deals. Many care home sales are completed on a confidential basis, for obvious reasons. At some stage you will probably need to engage your management team in the process but in most cases you should share information strictly on a “need-to-know” basis. 3. Get your house in order. The period between agreeing a deal and completing it will be used by your buyer to conduct due diligence on your business. Any unwelcome surprises will be used as reasons to chip away at the agreed price. You should, therefore, ensure that not only are your financial accounts impeccable but also that your contracts with staff and residents are up-to-date and watertight. Staff qualifications should also meet the latest CQC standards. If you have any outstanding complaints or disputes then these should also be settled as far as possible. 4. Don’t forget you’re selling a property. Perform a thorough inspection of your premises. Buyers will carry out a survey, and it’s better that they don’t find any problems that you haven’t already told them about. A lick of paint will also help. Like selling a house, we all know it shouldn’t be a deal breaker but people do judge by appearances. 5. Get an accurate, professional valuation. Every business is different and has a range of characteristics that will affect its value. These include profitability and condition of the property, and also location. Land values vary greatly around the country, so if you are selling the freehold this will be a major factor in the price you achieve. 6. Turn that frown upside down. Could your care home’s reputation
be better? Have you been missing your revenue targets lately? Have you struggled with staff retention? Don’t try to hide this – provided your price is fair, a buyer will want there to be room for them to improve on your performance, whether that’s through improved PR, marketing or HR practices.
TIPS FOR BUYERS 1. Identify the right type of seller for you. If you want to manage the business yourself, or have someone in mind that you want to install, this will be easier if your seller also doubles as the manager. Existing staff will usually be protected by TUPE regulations, although you can make genuine redundancies with the advice of a good employment lawyer. Conversely, if you are buying the business as an investor and have little or no experience in the care sector then you will need either to buy a business with an existing manager in place, or to employ someone suitably qualified to manage the business for you. 2. Work out your preferred business model. Do you want a home that primarily deals with publicly funded residents, which is usually lower-margin but provides a regular stream of business? Or would you prefer to focus on self-funders, which can be more lucrative but usually demands a higher standard of accommodation and is less predictable in terms of numbers of residents? 3. Dig deep in your due diligence. The degree of regulation governing the care sector means that, as well as satisfying yourself the business has sound financial performance and fit-for-purpose contracts with staff and residents (get an accountant and a lawyer to check these), you also need to be sure that staff have the correct qualifications and that there are no outstanding complaints for which you would be liable. Also, pay particular attention to your survey of the building – having to replace a roof or heating system six months into your new venture could blow a gaping hole in your business plan. 4. Remember, it’s a business. If the previous owner was struggling financially then you will need a genuine strategy to turn things around. If you are relying on third party funders then they will want to see this but, if you are laying out your own money, you should be just as thoroughgoing. All the things you want to do to provide great care, and need to do from a regulatory perspective, come at a price. You need to know what that price is, and how you are going both to cover this and to make the profit you want on top.
Gresford Colliery Disaster Survivor Albert Celebrates 100th Birthday The son of one of the 266 miners killed in a major disaster at the colliery where they both worked has celebrated his 100th birthday with a socially distanced party at the care home where he now lives. Albert Rowlands was a 14-year-old lamp boy at Gresford Colliery when his father was among those who perished in the explosion at the pit on Saturday, September 22, in 1934. He is believed to be the last living survivor of the tragic day that shocked the whole country. Only six of the colliers climbed out through the choking smoke and dust, away from the raging underground fires that consumed their workmates. The victims included Albert’s dad, John Rowlands, a Royal Welch Fusilier who had won the Military Medal at the Battle of the Somme in the First World War, whose tally or name tag was left hanging on the hook in the lamp room. Albert, who is now a resident of Pendine Park’s Gwern Alyn Home in Wrexham, left the pit and went on to have a remarkable career which included a stint working at the world-famous Carlton Club in London. The coronavirus pandemic has meant the family has been unable to see much of Albert who’s being living in lockdown at Pendine Park. They came together once again for a socially-distanced outdoor tea party to mark the momentous milestone of his 100th birthday. Among those who attended was his daughter, Patricia Oldham, a retired Wrexham accountancy firm receptionist. She said: “After meeting my mum at the Carlton Club, they were married at the Catholic Cathedral in Westminster and went on to have six children John, twins David and Ann, Dennis, myself, Patricia, and Glynis. Mum passed away in 2008 from cancer. “To reach 100 years of age is a remarkable feat and he’s led a very full life. His card from Her Majesty the Queen will take pride of place on his dressing table.”
Inevitably though, amid the celebrations, thoughts also turned to that fateful, frightening day at Gresford Colliery 86 years ago. When he was interviewed about it a few years ago, Albert recalled: “Us boys in the lamp room had to be there as soon as the men started arriving for work. “We were cycling to work with my dad and he told us to get on or we’d be late so we went on ahead. “He picked up his lamp at the other window so I never saw him again. Two others of his friends were with us and they were lost as well. They’re all still down there. “After handing out the lamps we cleaned the ones from the afternoon shift and then settled down for half an hour or so. I used to smoke, though my dad didn’t know. “People have said there was a huge explosion and the ground shook but that’s not true. All that happened was that telephone rang and the fireman said: ‘They’re all coming up,’ and the miners were appearing
and they seemed to be panicked. “We were getting the lamps in and handing out the tallies and then it all went quiet and the fireman said to me: ‘You’d better go for the ambulanceman.’” After making the return trip to the other side of Wrexham on his bike, Mr Rowlands witnessed the rescue attempts from the surface. Conditions down the mine were dreadful with the rescuers battling fires and further explosions. “They were coming back up and just shaking their heads and then they brought the bodies up,” he said. “They only found 10 and they came up covered in blankets. I saw them. But by Sunday they had given up. “I was always hoping to see my dad. You could always tell him even when they all looked alike, covered in coal dust, because he always had a big grin and lovely white teeth. “But he never came back and his tally (the name tag placed on a miner’s cart) was left there hanging on its hook.” According to Cindy Clutton, the manager of Pendine Park’s Gwern Alyn and Hillbury care homes, it was a privilege to provide care for Albert. She said: “Albert is a popular and much-loved resident and very quickly settled into living at Gwern Alyn. He’s enjoyed a remarkably full life and to be perhaps the last survivor of the Gresford Colliery disaster is amazing. “The Coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for everyone, residents, staff and relatives and I can’t thank enough the loved ones of our residents for their support and understanding through what have been unprecedented times. She added; “It was lovely to be able to organise the party with his family, albeit socially distanced and with face masks on. It was fantastic to be a part of the celebrations to honour this truly remarkable man.”
Minimising Contact with Door Handles Reduces the Risk of Germs and Viruses Spreading Around 80% of infections are spread by touch, including touching contaminated surfaces such as door handles. In care homes ensuring residents adhere to strict sanitising guidelines can be very difficult and can cause stress and anxiety for them too. Removing the need to open doors as residents and staff walk from room to room is an easy solution to eliminate the need to touch door handles and hand plates. The elderly are one of the most vulnerable group of people with regards to infections like flu and COVID-19, finding ways to reduce the spread of these diseases is therefore paramount. Dorgard offers a solution to legally hold fire doors open so staff and residents can move around the building ‘contact free’, reducing the risk of cross-infection with germs and viruses. These battery-powered door holders are easily fitted to a fire door by a handyman. The
device ‘listens’ for the sound of your fire alarm and when the alarm goes off the Dorgard automatically releases the door and allows it to close, preventing the spread of fire and toxic smoke. Hence, not only is the risk of cross infection reduced, the fire safety of the building is also maintained. With a range of Dorgards to choose from you will find a solution that is ideal for your setting. The original Dorgard is perfect for small to medium settings with normal or low noise levels. For noisier environments, where enhanced sound recognition is beneficial, Dorgard SmartSound offers a great solution. If you would like to discuss your needs further with our knowledgeable customer care team please call 0800 978 8746 or visit www.safelincs.co.uk/dorgards or see the advert on the facing page.
PAGE 22 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
Dementia-Friendly Design: From Care Homes to Homes That Care By James Botterill, Director, HSSP Architects (www.hssparchitects.co.uk)
Supporting people with dementia and its devastating impact is one of the greatest health and social care challenges of modern times. The care home sector has grown significantly to keep pace with the demands of the UK’s ageing society. It is estimated that 70 percent of care home residents now have dementia or similar challenges and despite evidence showing that the environment in which care is delivered has an enormous influence on its effectiveness and residents’ quality of life, the ‘standard’ building design has evolved little from early institutional architecture. Care homes with long corridors, open communal living and busy internal and external spaces are ill-equipped to support the physical, cognitive and sensory needs of people living with this condition. Here we explore three aspects of architecture and design highlighted by the Department of Health in its study, Dementia-friendly Health and
Social Care Environments, and see how it can be delivered in practice. Design can improve the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia by reducing symptoms of confusion, isolation and anxiety and help them live more independently in a care setting.
can bring nature closer to each community living space. The area
DESIGNING A HOME FROM HOME
easily recalled by dementia patients, who struggle with short-term
The need for better design in care home provision demands a fresh look at the concept and purpose of the whole living environment. Critically we need to address the hangover of institutional design and incorporate the heart of the home within a safe and functional building. Changing the layout within care homes can make enormous differences. Best practice design, in line with the 12 principles set out by the Department of Health, highlights the need to avoid busy and crowded areas, unidentifiable spaces, noise and clutter that add to feelings of confusion and anxiety. There is an emphasis on easing the transition through ‘comfort design’ and a ‘home from home’ feel. By deconstructing the traditional institution into a cluster of six pods that form small self-contained communities within the care facility, we can break down the long corridors and disperse noisy communal living, entertainment and dining areas, in effect reducing the scale of the accommodation, making it quieter, more recognisable and easier to navigate.
memory loss. In Leicester, we recently designed a garden space in a
CONNECTING TO NATURE
FROM CARE HOMES TO HOMES THAT CARE
A connection to outdoor space, nature and natural light is especially important for residents’ mental and physical wellbeing. Plants, flowers, water and wildlife are all recognised for their contribution to therapy treatment by lowering stress, stimulating the senses and aiding relaxation, while access to the outdoors encourages exercise and purposeful activities such as gardening or feeding the birds. While the typical institutional layout hampers access to the outdoors with long corridors, turns and stairways along the way, a modular design
around each pod is easy to navigate and obstacle-free, which provides a sense of familiarity and freedom. Our memories of our childhood tend to be happy ones and are more
care home that echoed an old-fashioned seaside resort with multicoloured beach huts. The beach huts were used as a device to help residents remember care-free times. Visual comfort also extends indoors. Patterned walls and flooring or chaotic décor can increase confusion and stress, while soothing artwork, block colours and carefully chosen visual cues as to the purpose of each room aid recognition and comprehension.
REDUCING FEAR AND NOISE Dementia affects all five of the senses, also impairing the ability to distinguish and differentiate between different stimuli. This, coupled with the fact that an increasing number of residents with dementia are over 80 and probably suffering hearing impairments, means that thoughtful acoustic design can make a marked contribution to helping people to live well. The number of people living with dementia is rising by the day, so the challenge sits with the commercial sector to find a cost-effective design solution that meets the needs and expectations of this growing community and their families. A rethink of everything that care homes used to be, coupled with thoughtful, innovative design holds the key. *Figures available: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-us/news-and-media/facts-media https://www.dementiastatistics.org/statistics/numbers-of-people-in-the-uk/
Sunrise Of Sonning Resident Care Home Puts Art And Soul Into Celebrates 100th Birthday Recreating Fringe For Residents Jean Davies has been a resident at Sunrise of Sonning since December 2019. On 19th August, Jean turned 100, and celebrated in style at the care home. The team at Sunrise of Sonning organised for Jean’s day to begin with a pamper session. She had her hair, nails and make-up done. Jean then had a conference call with her close family including her daughter and her grandchildren. Jean’s grandson prepared a video compilation from her more distant relatives, as she has a very large family located all around the world. After the call, Jean’s daughter came to Sunrise of Sonning for a socially distanced window visit. With assistance from the team, Jean opened her birthday cards and gifts from her family. The in-house dining team at the care home prepared a large cake and Jean shared it with other residents. They all enjoyed a lovely afternoon with a glass of champagne and a slice of the birthday cake. Jean is incredibly proud of her family; they have always been very close. She says that this is because they always help and support each other regardless of where they live. They maintain regular, weekly contact and Sunrise of Sonning provided iPads to encourage all the residents to have regular video calls over lockdown. Jean was asked what the key is to living a long and happy life, she said: “My life advice would be to stay close to the family, involve them in your life. Family support is very important. There is a lot of experience and knowledge that your parents and the rest of the family have. Ask them for advice and listen to what they say. They are saying it for a reason. They want to help you. You might not like their advice, but they have a reason for saying it. “Ask them, involve them and stay close to them. You will never be alone if you support your family and they will support you in return”. Margaret Whitmarsh, Jean’s daughter said: “I just wanted to thank the amazing team for the wonderful birthday celebration they gave Mum. It was truly lovely and she enjoyed it immensely. The cake and all the little extras helped make the day, this will be a day our family will remember.”
FUN-loving pensioners who were missing out after the world’s biggest arts festival was cancelled have been treated to a bespoke day of events instead. Cramond Residence, Edinburgh’s most exclusive care home, hosted a Festival-Fringe-style celebration for its residents since the annual arts event was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. The day-long ‘Cramond Fringe’ saw residents and staff enjoy a celebration of arts and entertainment, while abiding by social distancing rules. It included performances by magicians, jugglers, poets and singers. Lisa Sohn, Lifestyle Co-ordinator at Cramond Residence, said: “This offered something different for our residents and it was wonderful way to bring everyone together safely. “While nothing can make up for Edinburgh losing the Festival-Fringe this year because of the pandemic, we still had a brilliant day of entertainment and performances here. The residents absolutely loved it.” The Cramond Fringe event was held in the resi-
dence’s dedicated cinema room – a sizeable, multi-purpose space which enabled strict social distancing. The residence also includes a library, hair salon, private, fine-dining space and a physiotherapy room. Lisa added: “The fringe celebrations started with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the morning, followed by refreshments over a presentation on the history of the Festival and a Fringe trivia quiz for those more competitive residents. “After lunch we started our afternoon of entertainment which included juggling, magic shows, skits, jokes, and a sing-song. We tried to create the feeling of a variety of acts by switching the chairs around and creating different ‘stages’. “Speaking with the residents after the event, they told us they’d loved it a really good time and would love for it to happen again – maybe we will need to make the Cramond Fringe an annual celebration due to popular demand.”
NACC Training And Development Forum 2020 – Postponed The National Association of Care Catering have announced that this year’s training and development forum has been cancelled. In a statement released Statement by Sue Cawthray, National Chair, National Association of Care Catering (NACC) she said:“A few weeks ago, in line with Government guidance, we were delighted to announce that we would be able to run the annual NACC Training and Development Forum 2020 as a live event in October. However, since then, we have had to review this decision due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation around the country and the developing governmental restrictions and increasing number of regional lockdowns.
“After consulting with the East Midlands Conference Centre venue and a health and safety expert we have taken the very difficult, but sensible decision to postpone the NACC Training and Development Forum 2020 to 6-8 October 2021. Given the continuing uncertainty and the fact that many of our delegates work on the front line, this is the right decision for everyone involved, from our members and events team, to our delegates, speakers, presenters and exhibitors. We would like to thank them all for their support. “The NACC Awards, which are part of the Training and Development Forum, are an important NACC event and highlight the dedication, innovation and excellence within care catering. Given the exceptional and selfless contribution that care caterers on the front line have made throughout the pandemic, it’s incredibly important that we recognise and honour our care catering heroes this year. We are therefore holding a virtual NACC Awards ceremony on Thursday 8th October 2020 and we look forward to coming together with colleagues and friends as a membership and sector to celebrate the winners, all the finalists and the care catering sector as a whole.”
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 25
FURNITURE AND FITTINGS Interiors Company Working To Provide A ‘Healthier Solution’ SOMMER Rose Interiors is working with upholstery manufacturers to provide a ‘healthier solution’ to care home furniture. Sarah Thompson and her team would like to introduce Sileather™. Sileather™ silicone fabrics are highly durable and abrasion resistant, thanks to our unique silicone, and Sileather™ upholstery fabrics are all over 200,000+ Wyzenbeek double rubs, over 130,000 Martindale and 3000+ Taber cycles (rotating “cement discs”). We take a long term approach when considering our production of silicone leather and want to do our part to be environmentally friendly. With our non-solvent production technique and with the lack of PVC or PU elements, we are much safer and healthier than traditional fabrics. Unlike PVC fabrics, we do not need to use chlorine in any of the production process, and our fabrics do not leak VOC emissions throughout its life. There’s no need to clog up landfills – silicone leather is recyclable! We have passed the most common environmental standards so you can breathe
Sileather™ fabrics have ultralow VOCs, so it is among the healthiest fabrics, making it perfect for use around children, hospitals, ALL HEALTHCARE ENVIRONMENTS, hotels, boat cabins, trains, and any number of enclosed spaces.
comfortably knowing that you are using a fabric that’s safe for you and the environment. We take pride that our fabrics are environmentally friendly and safe to use by anyone, Sileather™ silicone fabrics are made with the same material as baby bottle nipples, so they are gentle enough even for babies’ skin.
High Quality Soft Furnishings Manufactures Tailored For All Your Window Needs WL Interiors are a family run company with over 20 years experience in manufacturing high quality soft furnishings for the healthcare industry based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. WL are suppliers of flame retardant curtains, blinds & soft furnishings. We offer high-quality fire resistant fabrics that are perfect for care homes, including any dementia specific requirements where needed. Working on your care home refurbishment, new build or general replacements, WL Interiors Ltd can do site surveys and check measures, offer free samples and quotations. • UK Wide Fitting & Installation Available
• UK Manufactured • Highest Quality British Manufactured • FREE QUOTES Contact details – Lorraine Firth Telephone- 01924 298953 Email- Lorraine@wl-interiors.com
It’s our mission to bring you a healthy fabric that’s safe, hygienic and meets high standards that help to ensure your well-being. Thanks to the unique advantages of our proprietary silicone, Sileather™ fabrics are inherently: • Flame resistant. • Does not promote growth of mildew or mould. • Superior in hydrolysis resistance compared to vinyl and polyurethane fabrics. • Superior in UV and colour fading resistance. • Stain resistant to many substances found in healthcare facilities, including biro, iodine, betadine, blood and urine. • Resistant to liquids and fluids. • Easy to clean – common stains need only water, including biro. • Medical grade skin friendly and allergen free. • Highly abrasion resistant and durable with recovery ability to reduce sagging and wrinkling. • Luxurious soft touch. For free samples of this upholstery or to view sample furniture, please contact Sarah Thompson on 07495 471038 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Euroservice Trolley Manufacturers celebrating 40 years of experience in the sale and manufacture of wooden trolleys for the catering trade, Euroservice trolley manufacturers have now acquired a worldwide reputation and still offer an extensive /comprehensive range of top quality wooden trolleys manufactured in the UK. Top quality is a priority in the production of all of our products and Euroservice are specialists in the manufacture of sturdy and beautiful looking trolleys which will grace any environment from the small privately owned restaurant to
Freephone: 0800 917 7943 www.euroservice-uk.com email@example.com
Manufactured in the UK
the splendid 3 to 5 star hotels, resorts and Residential homes. Euroservice’s excellence in the manufacture of wooden trolleys is backed by a personal, efficient and friendly service second to none. We are always busy researching the needs of the market and launch new ranges according to market demands. Whatever your needs you can be assured that Euroservice can cater for them and we look forward to your call. Freephone: 0800 917 7943 www.euroservice-uk.com firstname.lastname@example.org
CELEBRATING 40 YEARS IN THE TROLLEY WORLD 10% discount with the code 40TC
PAGE 26 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
Deep Cleaning, PPE and Regular Testing Most Important Covid-19 Measures For Care Homes Deep cleaning, a good supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and regular testing of staff are the most important measures for Covid-19 protection in care homes, according to new research amongst residents in England. The research carried out by the National Care Forum (NCF) – the voice of not-for-profit social care providers – reveals that robust deep cleaning and infection control procedures are most important for three quarters (73%) of the population. A good supply of PPE is important for 72% of respondents, while regular Covid-19 testing for staff (71%), residents (66%) and managing family visits safely (66%) are also important. These figures rise amongst the over 50s. In response, NCF is launching a checklist guide to help those choosing a care home setting to navigate decisions during Covid-19. It sets out the questions to ask and things to consider, so families know the home is doing all it can to keep everyone safe and the health and wellbeing of the person receiving care is the top priority. The checklist provides information on what to expect when it comes to testing, how to help maintain contact with friends and family, PPE, health and hygiene measures and what the quality of life is like at the home. The initiative is part of National Care Forum’s Here to Care campaign, which focuses on the incredible work being done in care settings and by care staff, in the face of the pandemic. Vic Rayner, Executive Director at National Care Forum, says:
“Choosing care can feel overwhelming at times, especially in the current climate. Our checklist is designed to give those needing care, their family and loved ones confidence and peace of mind when choosing a place to call home. Care providers and our amazing care staff have worked around the clock in these unprecedented times to put stringent measures in place, to ensure the safety of those receiving care. This checklist gives you all the questions you need to ask to be reassured that a care setting is doing all it can in the face of Covid-19.” Simone Cotter, Deputy Manager at The Chestnuts Care Home in Aylesbury, part of Ambient Support, says: “We are continuing to adapt our processes as the current situation evolves. Our stringent infection control measures and risk assessments have been in place from the start and are playing a vital role in the home to ensure the safety of all residents, staff and visits from loved ones, which is of paramount importance.” Chris Jarmaine’s 89-year-old mother, Ann, is a resident at Jubilee Court Care Home, part of Quantum Care, in Stevenage, and says: “My mum has been cared for so well by everyone at Jubilee Court, from the housekeeping staff all the way through to the manager. I really feel like I can relax at home knowing that so many extra safety measures have been put in place and that mum’s being loved and cared for by the wonderful team. It’s been lovely to see mum since visiting has safely started again and knowing I don’t have to worry about the home’s safety and the care she’s receiving is so important to me.” You can download the NCF Covid-19 checklist here: https://www.nationalcareforum.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2020/08/NCF-Care-Home-Checklist-A4-v5.pdf
Mölnlycke Launches New Wound Care Patient Educational Resources to Support Patients and Carers During the Coronavirus Pandemic 16 June 2020 at 9am. Milton Keynes. Mölnlycke launches a suite of new patient educational resources to support wound care practice during the coronavirus pandemic, when home visits from a healthcare professional are more limited. The resources feature a range of easy to follow guides and videos for patients, or their carers, on how to look after their wound in their home, without a healthcare professional present. The resources include simple step-
by-step guides on how to remove an old dressing, clean a wound and apply a new dressing. It also includes top tips on when to change a dressing, signs of possible infection and how best to help a wound to heal. Commenting on the resource, Alison Scofield, Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist said: “During this current climate supporting patient self-care with their wounds has never been so important. With step by step pictorial processes to follow for dressing changes, advice on lifestyle and any issues to look out for, this guide is suitable for patients at home and in care settings.” All resources are available to view, download and print via patient educational resource centre on the Mölnlycke Advantage webpage www.molnlycke.co.uk/patientselfcare/ .
COVID-19 & RIDDOR for Care Providers: When and When Not To Report By Peter James, partner in safety, health and environment team, BLM and Edward Sainsbury, partner in disease team, BLM
escape of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This must be reported asa dangerous occurrence. • a person at work (a worker) has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 attributed to an occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported asa case of disease. • a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported asa work-related death due to exposure to a biological agent. The HSE subsequently has providedfurther guidancewhich details a number of examples of reportable and non-reportable occurrences:
The Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) guidance on COVID-19 related incidents in respect of RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) presents a significant challenge to those responsible for reporting within a care setting. Care providers are understandably concerned that notifying the HSE of a non-reportable incident could result in an unnecessary HSE investigation. Some care providers are also concerned that a notification under RIDDOR may be misinterpreted as an admission of responsibility should a criminal and/or civil action be subsequently pursued, Perhaps in part as a consequence of ambiguity within the HSE’s guidance, recent data suggests that care providers may not be complying with reporting obligations under RIDDOR. After all, the HSE accepts there are difficulties in applying the reporting criteria in the unusual circumstances presented by the COVID-19 outbreak. Consequently the HSE has supplemented its initial guidance with a number of examples setting out when and when not to report. It is debatable whether the necessary clarification was achieved. Care providers should be aware that a failure to report deaths, diseases and dangerous occurrences in accordance with RIDDOR is a criminal offence that can attract a significant fine and/or imprisonment. It is essential that you fully consider the applicability of RIDDOR when assessing a COVID-19 related death or occurrence.
THE HSE’S GUIDANCE The HSE’s guidance regarding reporting under RIDDOR and COVID-19 indicates the following: There is no requirement under RIDDOR to report incidents of disease or deaths of members of the public, patients,care home residentsor service users from COVID-19. The reporting requirements relating to cases of / deaths from COVID19 under RIDDOR apply only to occupational exposure, that is, as a result of a person’s work. The guidance further states an employer must report under RIDDOR when: • an accident or incident at work has, or could have, led to the release or
• A laboratory worker accidentally smashes a vial containing coronavirus on the floor, leading to people being exposed • A sample from a COVID-19 patient breaks in transit leading to spillage
NOT REPORTABLE • A worker, for example a police officer or prison officer, is deliberately coughed on or spat at by a person of unknown COVID-19 status • A health or social care worker is providing treatment or care to a patient or service user who is not known to be COVID-19 positive, but the patient or service user subsequently tests positive
THE CHALLENGE – REPORT OR NOT REPORT? Whilst a COVID-19 associated death of a resident in a care home is not reportable under RIDDOR, theremayhave been occupational exposure to employees working within the care home from residents. If a care worker is diagnosed with COVID-19, would this be reportable under RIDDOR as an occupational disease? The care provider must make a judgement on whether the care worker contracted the disease at the care home. If the worker had cared for a resident who died of COVID-19, there would appear to be a reasonable prospect that the infection of the care worker was attributable to exposure to an infected resident, particularly if staff were not provided with suitable personal protective equipment (PPE),either through shortages or a failure to follow government guidance. The guidance says as follows: There must bereasonable evidencelinking the nature of the person’s work with an increased risk of becoming exposed to coronavirus. Factors to take into account when making this decision could include: • Whether or not the nature of the person’s work activities increased the risk of them becoming exposed to coronavirus? • Whether or not there was any specific, identifiable incident that led to an increased risk of exposure? • Whether or not the person’s work directly brought them into contact with a known coronavirus hazard without effective control measures, as set out in the relevant PHE guidance, in place such as personal protective equipment (PPE) or social distancing For an occupational exposure to be judged as thelikelycause of the
disease, it should be more likely than not that the person’s work was the source of exposure to coronavirus, as opposed to general societal exposure. Responsible persons do not need to conduct extensive enquiries in seeking to determine whether a COVID-19 infection is work-related. The judgement should be made on the basis of the information available. There is no requirement for RIDDOR reports to be submitted on a precautionary basis if there is no evidence to suggest that occupational exposure was the likely cause of an infection.
SITUATIONS THAT REMAIN UNCLEAR There are number of likely scenarios which are not covered by the HSE’s guidance and could potentially fall within either the reportable or non-reportable bracket. These are scenarios which some care providers will undoubtedly find themselves in. A situation may arise where a person at work has not been diagnosed as having COVID-19, but there has been a failure to provide staff with suitable PPE. Exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 could be construed as “an accident or incident at work” which “has or could have led to the release or escape of coronavirus” and as such, reportable as a dangerous occurrence. This does not however fall within one of the examples of a reportable incident. A specific example is given of a health or social care worker providing treatment or care to a patient or service user who is not known to be COVID-19 positive, but the patient or service user subsequently tests positive. According to the guidance, this would not be reportable as a dangerous occurrence.
POTENTIAL FOR UNDER-REPORTING According to the Office for National Statistics, to date there have been circa 14,000 reported COVID-19 associated deaths within care homes.Those deaths are a potential marker of COVID-19 exposure within the working environment. So, whilst these deaths are not reportable, the circumstances surrounding those deaths may well be, especially considering the challenges that care homes are facing (i.e. lack of PPE and resources). It has been reported that to date the HSE has only received 91 RIDDOR reports relating to the death of health and care workers. This appears low compared to the number of reported deaths of care workers (131 as of 20 April 2020) and suggests that some care providers may not be fully satisfying their reporting requirements under RIDDOR
ADVICE TO CARE PROVIDERS GOING FORWARD Each incident & occurrence will need to be assessed on its own facts when considering if reportable under RIDDOR. The consequences of a duty holder failing to comply with its obligations under RIDDOR can be very significant including large fines for care providers and individuals responsible for reporting incidents. We advise care providers to seek legal advice if uncertain whether a COVID-19 related occurrence or incident is reportable – your duty under RIDDOR should not be ignored.
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 27
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Scottish Company Launches Facial Recognition And Thermal Imaging For Care Homes A Scottish company has unveiled an attendance ‘track and trace system’ that uses facial recognition and thermal imaging to detect people with high temperatures and infection which will mean better safeguarding of Care Home staff and patients against Covid-19 infection The technology was developed by Reddy Punna, the CEO of Edinburgh-based enterprise technology specialist Purview Services and himself a Covid-19 survivor, having been diagnosed the virus on a business trip to India. The system is capable of scanning 30 people per second and will indicate those at higher risk of Covid-19 infection, so that they are swiftly detected and contained as they enter the Care Home. Currently unable to return to Scotland, Reddy focused on developing the facial recognition and thermal imaging technology whilst in India. He comments; "Immediate protection from The Covid-19 pandemic requires compliance with test, trace isolate and protection strategies and we’ve done this through the development of our optical attendance and access system. The facial recognition and thermal imaging system can detect people’s temperature, the presence of a
face mask and social distancing as they walk past the scanning technology at a rate of up to 30 per second and within a range field depth of 9 metres. Those entering a Care Home with a raised temperature can be identified and then diverted to be helped by staff to stop any potential spread of Covid-19. Containment through an attendance and access system with zero contact and temperature measurement can be a key to avoiding easy spread of the virus that can take place with a biometric access system.” Purview’s Facial Recognition and Thermal Imaging technology allows the system to check and enable access (e.g. light goes green from red). For example, if there is a temperature alert on the system, a person can be re-checked with handheld thermal imaging. The reading can then be conveyed to the individual and they would then be advised accordingly. The reading can also trigger the tracing process to find who the identified person has been in contact with. The strategy is to have free flowing footfall with access control , allowing people to move without congestion and
Airdri Launches Air Purifier To Flush Away Washroom Bacteria Airdri, a leading designer and manufacturer of hand dryers, has added a new air purifier unit to its portfolio, to tackle washroom bacteria and eliminate odours. Complementing its range of hand drying solutions, the Airdri Air Purifier uses custom thermal convection technology to kill airborne and surface bacteria and viruses, eliminating the bad odours they cause, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Offering both odour and infection control, the unit is ideal for use in busy washrooms. Its compact profile means it can sit discretely in the top corner of a washroom, yet can service the entire space, covering a floor area of up to 30m2. With minimal maintenance and low energy consumption of 10w, the Airdri Air Purifier is a green solution for providing constant sanitised washroom air. Trudi Osborne, Marketing Manager at Airdri, says “Washrooms are the primary source of infections, with many housing bacteria and viruses that are unseen to
the eye. Given that in just eight hours a single bacterium can multiply into over eight million cells, it is vital to ensure washrooms are kept clean and hygienic at all times. Cleaning and disinfecting alone are only a partial solution – they do not stop ongoing surface contamination or tackle airborne bacteria. Equally, fragrances or fresheners simply mask the associated odours, doing nothing towards hygiene. “The Airdri Air Purifier kills both surface and airborne bacteria, removing the unpleasant odours that they bring with them. The unit processes contaminated air in the purifying chamber, emitting an efficient cleaning agent. Other solutions, which may feature a HEPA filter or have an antibacterial coating, only clean the area immediately surrounding the dryer. The Airdri Air Purifier provides a complete hygiene solution for the whole washroom ensuring that the whole environment is clean, hygienic and odour free.” For more information visit www.airdri.com
Care and Protect
Cromwell Polythene is a major supplier of waste management solutions to the healthcare sector and an active member of the Sanitary Medical Disposal Services Association. We offer a full range of sacks for clinical waste management, from ultra-strong sacks with very high tear resistance to economically priced sacks with a high recycled content. It is essential that care staff, who work so hard to protect us, have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent the spread of infection. Our Wave® range of disposable gloves are both latex and powder free, for comfort and performance. Options available include a blue nitrile examination glove which has strong barrier properties and high resistance to oils, fats, and chemicals; synthetic examination gloves; and vinyl general purpose gloves. The gloves are packed in a way that they are dispensed ‘cuff first’ which has clear hygienic advantages. All of the gloves are tested to BS EN 455 and conform to a number of other standards. The Wave® range also includes water-soluble strip laundry bags for the safe containment of soiled linen, with a water-soluble seal and a tie string for securing
the bags. The strip and tie part of the bag dissolve in water allowing the contents to discharge into the wash. We also supply other forms of PPE such as aprons; face masks and protective plastic sheeting for receptions and other areas of work. www.cromwellpolythene.co.uk
Sanozone. The Easy Way To Sanitise Your Indoor Spaces SANOZONE, which delivers the most efficient sanitisation performance in indoor spaces, is now available from Barbel. Manufactured by Vitaeco S.r.l., the world famous manufacturer of the highly regarded HotmixPro thermal blender range, SANOZONE sanitises rooms of many sizes in enclosed HRC sites, hotels, restaurants, bars, conference rooms and similar establishments where totally reliable and regular sanitisation is needed. SANOZONE is particularly suitable for hospitals and care home areas, where absolute cleanliness is mandatory, and in areas where it is difficult or impossible to deliver effective sanitisation throughout. The SANOZONE range of
machines use Ozone (O3) technology, a gaseous form of Ozone that fills the room, reaching every corner of the space, santising surfaces and critical hard-toreach corners homogenously, consistently and safely. The SANOZONE range of sanitisation machines are all equipped with the latest technology and customised disinfection programmes to suit your specific requirements. The running costs are considerably lower than any traditional disinfecting programmes and most importantly, there is no manual labour involved. For further information about the SANOZONE range, please contact Barbel on 01629 705110, email email@example.com, or visit the website at www.barbel.net
being hampered by unnecessary delay. With little sign of stability in the rise of Covid-19 infection around the world, the public needs assurance that risk of infection in crowd management can be completely minimised and controlled immediately when a case is flagged by the facial recognition and thermal imaging software. As measures are being gradually relaxed, the public is mindful that the spread of Covid-19 is yet to be fully contained and until there is a wholesale decrease in infection rates, facial recognition and thermal imaging will give assurances to businesses that this type of technology can further reduce infection rates. Visit www.purviewservices.com today for further information.
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PAGE 28 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Staysafe Visor - CE-Certified PPE Manufactured in the UK Staysafe Visor is a subsidiary of 1st Packaging Ltd, a leading specialist UK plastics manufacturer founded in 2002. Used in a wide range of health and commercial settings, our high-quality recyclable CE-certified face shields offer protection against liquid droplets, sprays and splashes. Our visors are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, are anti-fog and easy to assemble. As a long-established UK company, we have been able to step up our manufacture of PPE to meet high demand during the current unprecedented circumstances. Our facilities enable us to produce well in excess of 200,000 items per week. At Staysafe Visor our experienced team takes very seriously its role in support-
ing the health of the community by helping to maintain a safer environment. Availability and affordability are the cornerstones of our operation. Because we sell directly to businesses, organisations and the general public, we are able to remove the need for intermediaries and keep costs low. We believe that we offer the most competitive rates on the market for this type of CE-certified PPE. Our high-quality products are helping to better protect employees in the NHS, care homes, education, transport, manufacturing and a host of other workplace settings. For further details about our range of visors please do not hesitate to contact our friendly expert team. See page 4 for details or visit www.staysafevisor.co.uk
Haigh Engineering Resident and patient waste is a day to day practical matter that simply cannot become a problem for frontline carers and nursing staff. With the raised awareness of cross infection risks, the proven reliable waste disposal systems from Haigh are recognised more than ever as being a key part of the toolkit for ensuring that human waste is effectively and efficiently removed as a source of risk, day in day out, without the risks and complications of either washing pots or manual bagging waste for collection. The team from Haigh have been working hard to support this beyond just the manufacture of the Incomaster and Quattro
waste disposers here in the UK, but also developing innovative and safe methods to enhance the servicing provisions that are available to customers. The recently launched all-inclusive rental proposition has proven particularly effective and popular with new and existing customers alike, not least as it reduces the operational, maintenance and financing headaches from sites which have more critical matters to address. For more information about incontinence and bedpan waste disposal please feel free to contact the Haigh team on 01989 763131 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE MENTION THE CARER WHEN RESPONDING TO ADVERTISING
Callero Shield for Care Homes and Clinics
For over 40 years, Gratnells Medical products have been widely used for hospital storage. From trolleys and frames, to trays and accessories, the wide range of products makes up the ideal storage solution for any medical environment. Designed with a multitude of settings in mind, the Gratnells Medical range would fit suitably into care homes, dental practices and other surgeries. The Gratnells Callero Shield range is a complete collection of products designed to offer ample storage that is easily moveable and fits neatly into any environment. Treated with BioCote® antimicrobial additive, the trays and trolleys in the range protect against the spread of various viruses, bacteria and germs. Callero Shield trolleys are available in double and treble column width and with multiple tray combinations. Suitable for the safe storage of PPE, medical files and equipment, uniform and beyond, the trolleys are easily movable between locations and can be set in place with lockable castors. They’re also popularly used as sanitation and
cleaning stations due to the ample storage space and the antimicrobial metal worksurface. The antimicrobial Gratnells Rover allows the movement of heavier loads with ease. Robust, hygienic and practical, safely carry medical equipment over any terrain and up and down stairs. With a safety strap to secure antimicrobial trays in place and the option to add antimicrobial lids to trays, contents will be safe on their journey from place to place. Recently added to the Gratnells antimicrobial range are the new SortED inserts. SortED is a new range of removable, modular inserts designed to fit and create separate sections in shallow and deep Gratnells trays. Also treated with BioCote® additive, the dishwasher safe inserts offer a safe and hygienic solution for the storage and distribution of smaller medical equipment or PPE. Browse the full Gratnells Medical range: www.gratnellsmedical.com/
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 31
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Show How Much You Care with DispenserONE ®
In a world where building and operations managers in every sector fight to make their premises COVID secure and prevent the spread of coronavirus, nowhere is the importance of safe, effective hand hygiene starker than in care homes. With around 30% of all nursing and residential care home deaths attributable to coronavirus and operators striving to control its spread, conventional sanitizer dispensers are a common sight. However, such systems, with their limited capacity, reliance on batteries and fragile dosing mechanisms, can only be considered a short-term fix. For a permanent solution, professionals choose SEKO’s DispenserONE® hand sanitizer system. Designed specifically to handle the high demand for hand sanitizer during and post-COVID19, DispenserONE® features robust, revolutionary pump technology – unprecedented in hand sanitizer dispensers – that automatically delivers the same pre-defined dosage every time. That’s without the spillages typical of manual systems as their dosing mechanism wears out, meaning that as well as removing a potential slip hazard, operators can minimize product wastage. The DispenserONE® series boasts a broad capacity range that enables between 3,000 and 25,000 doses to be delivered between refills, compared to 1,000 when using traditional 1-litre systems. This allows operators to select a system ideally suited to their facility and guarantee residents, visitors and staff alike access to sanitizer 24/7 while avoiding the common problem of
dispensers running dry as busy maintenance staff struggle to keep them topped up. Meanwhile, DispenserONE®’s built-in Wi-Fi hotspot enables operators to access the unit wherever they are via smartphone, PC or laptop by logging into their personal online dashboard. This allows managers to view the live status of all their DispenserONE® units across multiple sites, using key information such as product level to ensure maintenance staff refill only when necessary. As a failsafe, operators also receive notifications when product quantity falls below a pre-set level to help guarantee sanitizer on demand. DispenserONE® helps operators to prevent virus transmission with its automatic sensoractivated delivery, using touch-free technology to ensure users do not need to contact the unit with their hands. Encapsulating the attention to detail in the system’s design is the delivery nozzle position, set at a height that makes it accessible for wheelchair users. Finally, DispenserONE®’s mains power connection frees operators of their reliance on batteries, guaranteeing continuous use and removing the environmental impact of battery disposal. Helping nursing home managers to properly protect residents, visitors and staff alike, nothing says “we care” better than DispenserONE®. Find out more – visit the dedicated DispenserONE® website today: www.dispenserone.com or see the advert opposite.
New Mobile Hands-Free Wash Basins from Hygiene Does Not Stop At The Washroom says Kimberly-Clark Professional Mechline Have the X Factor Mechline Developments has extended its line-up of BaSix hand wash stations with an all new range of space-saving, mobile, hands-free basins. The range facilitates hygienic handwashing in any location—even where water, waste and electric utilities are not available—and the completely portable ‘X’ model provides double the washes per litre of any comparable product on the market. As Nick Falco, Product and Technical Director at Mechline, explains: “As Coronavirus lockdown measures are eased and many businesses reopen their sites, hand washing remains key to mitigating against the risk of Covid-19 transmission. Every business needs to encourage customers and visitors to wash their hands, especially when first entering venues, and the new BaSix mobile hands-free basin range makes this very easy to do. Models in the range are slimline, easy to manoeuvre thanks to removable castors and a splashback grab handle, and the ‘X’ model can be used in locations without any utilities at all—as it all comes integrated. This means it
can be wheeled out daily if necessary, to sit outside an establishment, and with a compact footprint of just 384 x 360mm it is an ideal and reassuring addition to entrances and other small spaces. We have also used our experience to incorporate water-saving technology into the range, adding value to the basins by providing unique water saving benefits for the end-user. Using the ultra water-saving diffuser supplied, the ‘X’ model can provide up to an impressive 304 hand washes per water container, so users can rest assured it will last a long time between refills! Furthermore, with its hands-free design, the new mobile basin maximises user hygiene. Unlike traditional taps, where the lever or handle must be touched with dirty hands, and then revisited with clean hands to turn it off, our mobile BaSix range removes the need for manual contact—reducing the risk of cross-contamination.” BaSix mobile hands-free basins are operated via a foot pump or time flow foot valve, depending on which model is required. All models can be fitted with an optional hanging bin, soap/sanitiser dispenser, and towel dispenser, to provide a complete hygiene station in any location. The ‘X’ range stores water and waste containers within the unit, which can be easily accessed via a hinged door with a ¼ turn thumb latch. For further information please contact Mechline at email@example.com or call +44 (0)1908 261511
Now more than ever we all want to know that we are doing everything we can to keep ourselves, our colleagues and visitors safe and well. To do this requires understanding the science behind surface wiping and cleaning, says Kimberly-Clark Professional. We want to know that people have washed their hands properly and that places are as clean and as hygienic as possible. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends prioritising the daily cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces. Cleaning vs. Disinfecting Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and other impurities
from surfaces or objects by using detergent (or soap and water) to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects by using chemicals1. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. The CDC recommends a two-step daily routine to clean frequently touched surfaces. For Step 1 clean surface with a detergent or soap and water. With Step 2 disinfect the surface using an EN-registered disinfectant. Surfaces considered hot spots for germs include computer keyboards, phones and light switches. Science indicates why these surfaces need daily hygiene protocols in addition to hand hygiene standards in facilities For more information about how to make your facility truly exceptional – a place where everyone feels equipped and empowered to contribute to a more hygienic environment – visit our hand and surface cleaning page. https://youtu.be/WHNYNtVeymM https://home.kcprofessional.com/UK_Healthy_ Workplace_Cleaning_0520
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL 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 www.angloplas.co.uk and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code.
Environmental Science Limited (ESL) Restructures its Business to Launch Unique and Effective Palm Tree Foaming Hand Sanitisers
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Environmental Science Ltd based in March, Cambridgeshire was originally set up in 1994 and has focused primarily on the authoring of Safety ata and Workplace Activity Safety Protection (WASP) Sheets, identifying chemical hazards and providing on-site COSHH monitoring, LEV testing and risk assessment services. This core activity will continue, however due partly to the changed circumstances brought about by Covid-19, the company has made the decision to significantly expand and restructure the business. ESL has built and established trusted relationships within the UK chemical industry over the last 25 years, therefore it is a natural progression for the business to move into the development, manufacture, and distribution of hygiene products. These will include hand sanitisers, sprays, medicated soaps, surface and floor wipes and disinfectants. To facilitate these new product lines, a new business entity is being created with the name “Environmental Science Hygiene Ltd”, and the existing company is renamed as “Environmental Science Group”. Their new website is: www.envsciencegroup.com One factor behind the change of direction for the business is that some products are being very hastily marketed during this pandemic; therefore they do not perform as efficiently as may be implied. By contrast, the team at Environmental Science are committed to pro-
ducing high quality products that are both safe and effective. They also feel it is important to provide complete transparency by supplying the relevant GHS Safety Data Sheets, Product Labels, Product Information Sheets, etc. Our Palm Tree Foaming Hand Sanitiser is unique and different from other current products for the following reasons: • The alcohol is naturally sourced and distilled from the sap of palm trees. • The palm trees are not damaged in the extraction process, so the product is both sustainable and eco-friendly. • Unlike most other sources of Ethanol, by tapping into an existing resource it means that valuable agricultural land can be used for food production instead. • The foaming action is preferred by the healthcare sector over gelbased products. • The alcohol content is in excess of 60% as recommended by the World Health Organisation. • Conforms to the European Standard EN1276. For further information, please contact: Tel: +44 (0) 1354 653 222 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.envsciencegroup.com
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 33
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL CTU Services' Thermal Access System With the introduction of various measures to constrain and manage the emergency of COVID-19 in the UK, CTU Services Thermal Access System presents the ideal solution. To address the challenge of social distancing many public places are implementing restrictions on customer ﬂow. This includes locations such as the hospitality industry and the retail sector. CTU Services perfectly resolves the problem of "how to accurately and efficiently control customer flow in a premises" Their system detects how many people are present in the targeted area and display the ﬁgure in real-time. If the capacity is reached the system's display immediately indicates no more people should enter. The two systems that CTU Services supply can be merged together to give you more security and social distancing. The Thermal camera can be wall mounted or comes on a sleek stand. It will also notify
any number of members of staff of any issues with potential clients entering the premisses via text or email. • Facial recognition is fully integrated with body temperature monitoring. This means no additional staﬀ are required. • The solution is contactless, reducing the risk of cross infection. • Extensive storage of facial images and temperature information enabling easy historical access. • Fast facial recognition and temperature monitoring reducing access congestion. In Scotland will detect if you are or are not wearing a mask / face covering. • Integration with third party products such as turnstiles and VMS. See a demonstration of the system at https://youtu.be/lcQllOytA7Y For further information, see the advert this page, call 01257 477060 or visit www.ctuservices.com
Airox Face Masks - Protection. Quality. Comfort. Airox face masks are made from advanced textile technology from Baltex one of the UK's leading textile companies. They provide you comfort and security. The Airox AX100 and Airox AX110 are textile face covering masks produced with stretchy 3XD Spacer fabric - developed for medical textiles by our parent company Baltex in the UK. It provides: • Snug fit and comfort • Good coverage of face and mouth
• Anti-bacterial • Machine washable - 40oC • Breathable • Reusable • Treated with Viral Off treatment* The fabric is made from Polyester and Lycra and is treated with a durable water repellent finish to avoid the absorption of droplets. They are also anti-bacterial reducing odour and providing superior comfort compared to basic textile masks. Many masks are made from Cotton and will absorb moisture and water droplets. For further information and to order, please visit www.airox.co.uk
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 35
LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS A Reliable Service Partner is Key to an Efficient Laundry Function - FORBES PROFESSIONAL A laundry function is a central service in any care home and commercial laundry equipment is an important procurement area in terms of hygiene adherence, day-to-day logistical operations and financial projections. As such, it is vital to source the right service partner, who will support the smooth running of your operation and offer the relevant industry, planning and technical advice. You need to ensure the reliability and stability of any supplier, and to feel confident that they are capable of delivering a service that you can depend upon. Forbes Professional has been providing an awarding winning first class customer service since 1926 and has a solid understanding of the specific requirements of the healthcare sector. With depots across The South East, The Midlands, The South West, The North East and Scotland, we deliver a local service on a nationwide basis. We have flexible finance options and can provide commercial washers, dryers, rotary ironers and dishwashers on a rental, lease or purchase basis. We can also provide chemical detergents and auto-dosing equipment for a complete solution. From the initial site survey, we assume a consultative and advisory approach to business, with all clients being assigned a dedicated account manager who remains their contact for all on-going account management or service requirements. We advise upon all plumbing, electrical and regulation requirements, and ensure that the right product decisions are made for the
specific project. Our team of manufacturer and City and Guilds trained field engineers fully install and commission all equipment, as well as providing any necessary user training to enable the products to be fully optimised. Forbes runs a centralised administrative and customer support operation from our head office in Surrey, which enables us to deliver a streamlined and efficient response to our clients. If a service requirement arises, we provide a same/next day engineer response. Our clients have total peace of mind in that they know that they will receive the on-going service that their organisation requires. For more information contact Forbes Professional email@example.com or 0345 0702335.
Please go on our website to see the new range of Dishwasher proof ID labels which can also be stuck onto textiles.
5 Reasons Why You Should Choose LaundryTec Chester based LaundryTec since its foundation in early 2016 has become one of Alliance Internationals major UK distributers. Founded by Jeremy Hartigan, the team of industry professionals with the backing of the Alliance Lavamac brand and supported by its service partner PDS Laundry based in Nuneaton. They supply a significant number of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading health care operators with equipment, installation and after sale support. The LaundryTec designs offer not only washing, drying and ironing equipment but a full range of handling, distribution, folding and identification systems, to create a fully functioning laundry complete with all items necessary for efficient operation. Every LaundryTec machine includes full installation options, including the removal and disposal of an existing machine. A training program and a minimum of 24
months part and labour warranty. The environment is at the forefront of every operatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind. Standard specification on a Lavamac machine includes functions that automatically weigh and control the energy input into the machine and store the data in the machines memory. Our LS range of electric heat pump dryers require no ventilation or gas services and operates at 3kw per hour.
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE LAUNDRYTEC 1. Cost 2. Efficiency 3. Service 4. Design 5. Innovation Telephone 0151 317 3127 Web www..laundrytec.com
Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
0151 317 3127
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE LAUNDRYTEC 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Cost Quality Service Design Innovation
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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Renray Healthcare Design and Manufacture New New Pressure Relief Options from Airospring Medical COVID19 Response Beds for Temporary Hospitals Renray Healthcare has developed a field response bed to supply to temporary hospitals, with our design expertise and manufacturing capability we have been able to put the COVID-19 Response bed and mattress into production quickly, with deliveries going out across the country to help in the fight against COVID-19. Renray has been supplying beds, mattresses and furniture for over 50 years and due to the increasing spread of Coronavirus, we are proactively using Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour (HPV) decontamination system in all our Heavy Goods Vehicles prior to delivery of your goods to eliminate the virus or any potential contaminant, making deliveries safer for our staff, customers and users. Let us know if you require beds for temporary or permanent hospitals, to ensure you have everything you need to continue caring for patients in this difficult time. Download our brochure now for more information: The COVID-19 Response Bed Brochure at https://tinyurl.com/unofs42 Please contact customer service on 01606 593456 or firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to assist you. See the advert on page 3.
Calibre Audio - Unleash the Power of your Imagination Audiobooks offer a gateway to the world of independence when print is inaccessible. Reading books has many health benefits; from reducing anxiety and helping to combat memory loss, to boosting mental health. Books provide us with companionship, adventure, empathy and enjoyment, and listening to audiobooks extends all of this to people who cannot read printed books. A restricting disability can bring with it the sting of isolation, and being locked out of activities that were once enjoyed can create frustration and loneliness. However, research has shown that listening to audiobooks can boost mental health (ref. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov), helping to counteract depression and other mental health issues. Escaping to audiobooks provides comfort and companionship as well as being a coping strategy in hard times. Calibre Audio is a charity, providing free audiobooks to anyone who struggles to read print, through sight loss, dyslexia or a physical disability. Our collection of
over 11,500 audiobooks includes books from all genres, both fiction and non-fiction, from the classics to the latest blockbusters; from crime to autobiographies. Our books are available online for members or delivered to your door via a free postal service. It is free and easy to join. Visit www.calibreaudio.org.uk for more information or to join.
Why Specify a Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Edge Protector? When specifying for a structure, it’s important to be aware of the level of wear and tear a door can be exposed to in a public building. Door edges, in particular, can be easily damaged or worn down by regular use – which can then render them non-compliant for fire safety regulations. To ensure that a project remains compliant, an architect can specify durable door edge protectors to add durability and longevity to doors. Not only will specifying edge protectors increase the longevity of doors, they will enhance the cost efficiency of a project by reducing maintenance demands and the possibility of having to replace unsafe fire doors. Yeoman Shield fire rated Door Edge Protectors are unique with a 2.0 mm Vinylac outer and a specially formulated 9mm PVCu reinforced core. They are FD30 (1/2 hour) and FD60 (1 hour) rated
with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. See page 12 or visit www.yeomanshield.com for details.
Adaptawear Clothing To Help Healthcare & Care Home Workers: Independent & Assisted Dressing If you are a healthcare or care home worker or Occupational Therapist and struggling to dress your patients during this Covid-19 pandemic; then take a look at our range of Adaptawear adapted clothing for both men and women. Adaptawear comfort clothing has been designed to help independent living and assisted dressing with the aim to make getting dressed easier and less painful for both the wearer and carer. Adaptawear designs and manufacturers a range of ladies and men’s open back and drop front trousers, magnetic & open back shirts and blouses, dresses, skirts, open back nighties and front fastening bras. We also sell a selection of everyday essentials aimed at making people comfortable day and night. Adaptawear clothes are ideal for
arthritis, stroke, Parkinson, incontinence and dementia sufferers as well as people of all ages who struggle with buttons and zips. The easy fit clothes are made from quality and natural fabrics to provide maximum comfort. Adaptawear Offers: • Discreetly Adapted Clothes • Independent & Assisted Dressing • Ladies & Men's Daywear and Nightwear • UK Nationwide and Overseas Deliveries • No Quibble 14 Day Returns • VAT Exemption where relevant • FREE Delivery on orders over £100 For more information on Adaptawear’s Product Range please visit www.adaptawear.com. Carer readers please quote TC141 for 10% discount off your first order.
Airospring Medical manufactures a range of pressure relieving devices. Our flagship products are a range of lightweight and breathable pressure relief cushions and mattress overlays made from high-tech 3D Knitted Spacer Fabrics. Airospring has been awarded a full patent in August 2014 approving this ground breaking technology. Our pressure relief cushions distribute weight and allow maximum airflow. The cushions have been tested for the dissipation of perspiration, a key factor in the fight against pressure ulcers. Welcome to a new standard in healthy seating. Call: 0115 9322403 Email: email@example.com Visit: www.airospring.com
In-House Practical Engagement Workshop Scripts Now Available for Care Homes & Services As training sessions and venues may be difficult to facilitate for some time, Happy Days Dementia Workshop has acted quickly, re-writing their ‘Practical Engagement Workshop’ into a series of easy to follow presentation and training guides. Enriching social care is at the heart of Happy Days, ‘It’s amazing to see how care teams are heartened and invigorated once they see how easy it is to engage more meaningfully with residents on a daily basis’ says Gillian Hesketh, MD of Dementia Workshop. Training in-house can support the safety of your care teams, reduce travel, time and cut costs. Demonstration and nostalgic materials can be included in packages with options to add an activity manual, reminiscence baskets and memory prompts. The workshops are ideal for building carer confidence, boosting morale and uplifting everyone’s mood.
Packages can be created to suit your care team requirements and resident interests. See The Carer front page or find starter practical workshop packs online at www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk / Phone direct on 07971953620 or see the advert on page 1.
CareZips Dignity Trousers ™
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 non-iron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 www.win-health.com or see the advert on page 7.
iMEDicare Pelvic Health Naturally When it comes to women’s intimate health, many of us are reluctant and embarrassed to talk frankly about it, which often leads to women suffering in silence. A lot of the problems we worry about, however, are surprisingly common, such as stress urinary incontinence (SUI) – a frequent effect of the menopause experienced by as many as one in three women. Stylish, effective and washable, iMEDicare’s Wearever washable and re-useable incontinence underwear is a great alternative to incontinence pads, better for the environment (washable over 200 times) with absorbencies ranging from 100ml all the way up to 650ml: • 3-layer Hydrex™ (patented)
system for total protection by containing the urine and preventing it from penetrating through the garment • Unique-Dri™ System that traps liquid and controls odour with its Silver ion anti-microbial treated fibres. Wearever underwear is seamless – so that possible pressure points that could be cause for pressure sores are minimized. If you buy a 3 pack, we guarantee the first pair for another size or style or absorbency, or refund all three, provided 2 of the 3 pairs are unused within 30 days of initial trial. Choose life - not leaks. Be confident again and visit www. MyPelvicHealth.co.uk or call 01923237795.
C & S Seating Postural Management C & S Seating has been providing postural control equipment to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and medical equipment services nationwide since 1991. With 9 different sizes of T-Rolls and Log Rolls in a removable and machine washable, waterproof Titex or Soft Knit material. These rolls are used to control posture and position of the body in either supine or side lying. Our Knee & Leg support wedges are available in 2 sizes. C & S Seating is the sole manufacturer of the Alternative Positioning Support (APS) system. Ideal when more control of the abducted lower limb is required (See photo) which
has removable side cushions and middle pommel; this is available in small or large. Our popular range of Soft Knit covers in a choice of 5 vibrant colours provide a softer alternative that fit easily over our standard waterproof rolls. It is recommended you seek professional advice to select the correct product depending on your needs. Contact us on 01424 853331 or visit us at www.cands-seating.co.uk to request or download a brochure, pricelist or order form, request an individualised quotation, speak to an advisor or to place an order. See the advert on page 10.
PAGE 38 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
CATERING FOR CARE
Are You in Need of Dysphagia Training ? *
*This training is intended for healthcare professionals only. Did you know that between 50-75% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia1? Nutricia has a training solution for you, a FREE e-learning covering the fundamentals of dysphagia management using Nutilis Clear. The training is divided into 4 sections and has been specially designed for busy health and social care staff caring for people living with dysphagia. It takes 60 minutes in total to complete, however you can complete one section at a time.
HOW CAN THIS TRAINING HELP YOU? • Easy & convenient online solution to dysphagia training • Visibility to track progress in your care home • Raise the quality standard of dysphagia care in a consistent way The quality standards aim is for all new health and social care staff members caring for patients with Dysphagia to complete the modules as part of their induction programme. Existing health and
social care staff members should also complete the learning to support their continuing professional development. There is a certificate that can be downloaded once the training has been successfully completed. Use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code to access the e-learning and get started! For any questions contact your local Nutricia sales representative or our Resource Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nutilis Clear is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of dysphagia and must be used under medical supervision. Reference: 1. O’Loughlin G, Shanley C. Swallowing problems in the nursing home: a novel training response. Dysphagia 1998; 13, 172183.( https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-language-therapy/clinical-information/dysphagia) See the advert on page 37 for further information.
Renowned Care Home Chef Launches A Series Of Cracking Lion Egg Dishes NACC Care Chef of the Year, Martin McKee, has created a series of new videos showing how Lion eggs can bring inspiration to care home menus across the country. The recipes have been developed to reflect the growing trend for menu simplification that has been seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The five easy-to-make recipes have been tailored to meet various nutritional requirements of residents, ranging from undernourishment, to dementia, or dysphagia. The dishes, designed to serve 10 or more people, include: an egg and bacon breakfast muffin; salmon and broccoli stuffed pepper with baked egg; smoked bacon, scrambled egg and potato waffles; spinach, ricotta and cherry tomato frittata; chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream; and Mediterranean vegetable scotch eggs. The latest Food Standards Agency advice means that vulnerable groups, including care home residents, can eat runny, or even raw, eggs, as long as they are produced to British Lion standards. Eggs meeting the Lion standard will carry a red
Lion and best before date on every egg. Previously, care homes had to restrict the way they served eggs, but they can now make the most of this nutritious, versatile, and cost-effective food. Martin said: ‘’Eggs are an essential ingredient in every kitchen, and it is brilliant that we can now serve them runny as long as they meet Lion standards. The recipes I’ve created are easy to replicate and have been designed to make the most of the nutritional benefits of eggs, including key vitamins and minerals, as well as providing an abundance of protein which is vital for care home residents’ diets. ‘’I always use British Lion eggs and I would strongly urge any other care home chef to follow suit when sourcing and cooking with eggs, to guarantee highquality, safe dishes.’’ The video recipes are available to view on British Lion eggs YouTube channel and can also be found on www.eggrecipes.co.uk See the advert on page 19 for further information.
Microwave Specialist Launches Its Biggest Ever Giveaway Regale Microwave Ovens is offering a free Panasonic rice cooker with every purchase of some of the brand’s microwave ovens. Users can now benefit from a free Panasonic rice cooker when they certain Panasonic microwaves via specialist supplier, Regale Microwave Ovens. Panasonic Rice Cookers are Ideal for cooking porridge at breakfast and keeps it hot for late risers when on standby without it drying out! One of the models where the giveaway applies is the Panasonic NE-1878, a 1,800W inverter-powered microwave designed to feature the benefits of an all metal door. With each purchase, companies can receive a free model SRGA421 rice cooker, worth over £120, which will also come with 2kg of FOC Tilda rice inside. All enquiries received by Regale will be passed to the nearest geographical dealer, and both units will be dispatched by Regale to the operators on the UK mainland with next day delivery, free of charge. There are three other Panasonic ovens included in the promotion, but these
qualifying for a FOC 7.2L Panasonic rice cooker. The ovens are the:• Panasonic NE-C1275 13A plug-in combination microwave oven with ‘five-way’ cooking methods. • Panasonic NE-1880 & NE-3280. The extra-large and very powerful microwave ovens can take 2 x full size (1:1) Gastronorm pans. • Each of these ovens comes with a 7.2litre Panasonic (model SRGA721) rice cooker, Free Of Charge. Each rice cooker comes with a complimentary 5kg of Tilda Basmati rice. Furthermore, Regale will deliver the equipment free to any UK mainland operator on the next working day. Regale deputy MD Iain Phillips said: “Of course there are a few terms and conditions with this fantastic giveaway, the main one being that it is restricted to ‘whilst stocks last’, however we are hoping that we can run it from now to somewhere towards the end of August.” See the advert on page 10 for details or call 01329 285518..
EF Group Launches CaterCloud - The Secret Ingredient for Menu Management Success Manchester-based, EF Group has announced it is offering free for life access to its new cloud-based, menu management platform, CaterCloud, which launched this week. The easy-to-use, next generation allergen, nutrition, menu planning and costing system offers a wealth of enhanced functionality to help caterers gain significant efficiencies in their operations, to control costs and increase profits. CaterCloud helps businesses ensure food safety remains a key focus. With food labelling regulations set to change in October 2021, as a result of Natasha’s Law, all England-based businesses working in the food industry will be required to clearly label all foods produced and packed on their premises with a full list of ingredients detailing the full allergen profile. Designed to help businesses prepare for this upcoming regulation, CaterCloud provides sub-allergen information and tagging; QR Code scanning for live allergen and nutritional information, along with the ability to print Natasha’s Law compliant food labels. CaterCloud also offers customers access to a range of accredited training for allergen awareness and food safety. CaterCloud’s innovative functionality also boasts many other benefits to enable simple menu management for caterers across the hospitality, healthcare, education and retail sectors. It offers effective menu planning with dish and menu costings; access to a nutritional database with 1,000s of ingredients and customisable dashboards to record KPIs.
Users of CaterCloud can also join the e-foods’ Buyers’ Club and benefit from its substantial buying power. The Buyers’ Club is made up of a network of trusted accredited suppliers across the UK. Users can purchase food and non-food goods from these suppliers with savings of between 5 to 10%. Paul Mizen, Chief Executive, EF Group said: “The service industries are moving at pace towards technology to help meet their stock ordering,
menu planning and compliance challenges. Our experience shows that there is increasing demand for more advanced dish and menu costing tools, as well as detailed, easy to use product data. “Catering managers require their menu management software to seamlessly integrate with their ordering systems and demand best value from their food suppliers. With CaterCloud, we will remain at the forefront of delivering the innovative features the industry needs. “The entire catering industry has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and as businesses work hard to recover, we are providing CaterCloud for free to help maximise efficiencies and reduce costs. This is our way of giving something back to the industry upon which our business is founded.” CaterCloud is a web-based menu planning, nutrition, allergen and costing system which is part of the E-F Group. CaterCloud helps hundreds of hospitality businesses deliver performance and control costs while reducing food safety risks. CaterCloud is committed to innovation in food management, its leading-edge platform helps to manage food offerings from front desk to kitchens, with the aim of improving efficiency in catering operations. Live menu costings help businesses to see how their business is performing every day, enabling them to focus on producing quality food and increasing profitability. CaterCloud’s clients are mainly in the following sectors: healthcare, education, hospitality and retail. For more information, see the advert on the facing page.
PAGE 40 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
NURSE CALL AND FALL PREVENTION Call Aid UK - Cost Effective NURSE CALL Nurse Call Systems IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS
EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)
have spares, enhancements and expertise for wired and wireless systems abandoned by the original manufacturer, whoever they are.
Call us on 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future.
www.edisontelecom.co.uk Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
At Call Aid UK we like to let our clients speak for us! “We were introduced to the PAM system a year ago and are delighted with the difference it has made since its introduction. The system is very reliable and offers a couple of sound options for day and night mode, ensuring that residents are not disturbed during quiet hours. The system notifies you as soon as movement is detected which in many cases decreases the risk of falls. Call Aid are also helpful and offer a personalised service. We have a single point of contact that ensures actions are taken quickly if required and also contact us to see how
we are getting on. I cannot fault the system nor the services “ West Lodge Nursing Home Call Aid UK is an electronics design and manufacturing company specialising in providing electronic solutions to the healthcare market. We are committed to delivering innovative solutions with easy to use systems and we recognise the importance of listening to our customers’ needs. We produce systems that use the latest technology, compliment the decor and are competitively priced. Visit www.callaiduk.com or see the advert on this page for details.
TumbleCare from Easylink Medpage Limited T/A Easylink UK was established in 1984 after the invention of an alarm clock to wake deaf people. The “Shake Awake” set a new precedent in quality standards for products designed for sensory care, notoriously at the time – rubbish. The company invented a new device for the detection of nocturnal epileptic seizures in 1994, which also set a new precedent for quality, especially after the company achieved certified medical accreditation. We could boast and say we have supplied more seizure detection monitors than any other company in UK. You could say we are innovators; we are and very proud of it. To constantly adapt to changes in demands for care technologies, remain competitive and continue to develop new care solutions it takes more than intelligence, it takes passion. Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, failing economy, factories closing and international shipping facing the worst crisis
ever known, we have battled through. At the start of the lockdown we supplied the NHS and Local Authorities with over 2000 bed occupancy detection alarm systems, many of them used to enable long term patients to be discharged from hospital to free up beds for COVID victims. Independent living support was and is essential during this pandemic. Now we launch our new brand. TumbleCare. The TumbleCare brand is a range of fall detection and prevention products focussing on affordable quality and product performance. The products are tough, easy to set, use and provide carers with reliable advance warning notification of potential falls. Visit our website. Firstly, you’ll be amazed at the variety of care solutions we offer, then blown away by our realistically fair pricing. Visit www.easylinkuk.co.uk or see the advert on page 2 for details.
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 41
NURSE CALL AND FALL PREVENTION
Wireless Fall Prevention A Digital Future of Care in a Post COVID-19 Era By Ben Kilbey – Business Development Manager, Spearhead Healthcare
The last thing any care home wants to have to deal with is an elderly resident falling in their home. However, with over 255,000 hospital admissions in England a year relating to the elderly suffering injury after a fall, being alert and aware as soon as a fall happens is critically important in the administration of aid; as well as helping reduce emotional distress. For years, the care industry has used a tremendous range of call alert solutions to help care home staff respond to these falls quickly and easily. The most popular and regularly used of these are systems which plug in to nurse call systems. Nonetheless, these come with their own issues and can often create their own risks in regard to falling; largely in the use of trailing cables that need to be plugged in to make them work. These potential trip hazards can cause the exact issues they are trying to prevent. But with new innovations come new solutions, and we are increasingly seeing a range of wireless solutions that provide a variety of benefits. Below we list things to look out for when selecting these systems:
NO LOOSE WIRES When looking at a wireless solution, make sure it truly is wireless and that any receivers, or sending features on the items are contained and are not left loose where someone can catch a foot on it, or accidently rip it out.
WIRELESS CALL BUTTONS Care home staff cannot be chained to their desk and need to be checking on residents and conducting all the
Edison Telecom 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 exten-
duties that are required to create a smooth-running home, filled with happy residents. A wireless alert that can be carried in a pocket allows the user to respond as swiftly as possible to potential falls, helping homes provide the highest level of care. A centralized alert system is an option that also presents many benefits, as homes can ensure that the right person in the right place is alerted in a timely manner. Making sure that a system works both centrally and on the move, giving you the best range of options to help provide a high level of care.
PLUGS While this might very well be viewed as a smaller issue, nurse call systems come with a huge variety of plug types; and ensuring that your receivers have the correct plugs for your call system is key.
LOOK AND FEEL Make sure the system you choose is as unobtrusive as possible. Often fall prevention equipment is designed to be as hidden as possible. Should the item be particularly obvious make sure you are happy it fits as well as possible into the decor of the room it sits in and think about choosing a floormat that corresponds with the flooring in the room e.g. wood effect vinyl or carpet. Spearhead are proud to distribute the entire Alerta wireless range that has been launched this year. For further information visit www.www.spearheadhealthcare.com sion 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.” www.edisontelecom.co.uk
After 50 years being at the forefront of advances in Nurse Call solutions, Courtney Thorne continue to develop solutions which now seem more relevant and important than at any time before. The introduction of digital care planning and medication solutions has enabled forward thinking care homeowners to go paperless, giving more accurate, timely and readily available information on those in their care. These same digital devices, tablets and smart mobiles can now be used to view calls and emergencies generated by a Courtney Thorne nurse call system. Both new installations and many existing Courtney Thorne systems can benefit with calls being delivered straight to the carer. Monitoring of resident’s care planning and medications are just two areas that reduces the amount of paperwork and administration, freeing up carers to spend more time actually caring. The monitoring of the caring staff themselves can become arduous and time consuming for management, not with a Courtney Thorne nurse call solution. The introduction of Staff ID tags of fobs is nothing new, there are so called systems on the market which use simple magnets which carers need to remember to press onto a room sensor when they attend, and again when they leave a resident’s room. With Courtney Thorne’s Altra Tag the process of logging who attended, what time they attended and how long they remained in the resident’s room is all logged automatically and seamlessly. No longer are there management and staff disputes about forgetting to “fob in/fob out”. The volume and detail of the data captured automatically by a Courtney Thorne nurse call system is vast. All the data is available to management using the reporting function built into the main touch screen server. However, where visiting the home is difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions or time and distance problems, owners and managers may find retrieving data difficult, resulting in a lack of monitoring and possible reduction in quality of care delivered. Courtney Thorne’s CT-Cloud service provides ready complied, detailed reports daily, coupled with a “live” view of all data contained in the server from any location with an internet connection. Carrying out regular checks on sleeping residents is
time consuming and often counter-productive as residents often wake, have poor sleep and can even fall after attempting to use the toilet once awake. Acoustic monitoring means that only those who actually need assistance get it, those who are sound asleep do not get disturbed and carers can concentrate on more productive tasks. So, in this new COVID-19 and Digital world what other new solutions are on the horizon? Nurse call devices around a care home become intelligent enough to identify a resident in need. Already we can measure changes in levels of noise, but monitoring light, temperature coupled with wearable devices monitoring vital signs, now a deterioration in a resident’s wellbeing can raise an alert or be recorded. A resident ‘connected’ with a wearable device can have their movement, location, heart rate, sleep, blood pressure etc., monitored automatically. Instead of intrusive, often unsocial physical monitoring, at-risk residents have vital signs checked and recorded continuously. If an emergency occurs, the nurse call system will still summon help, only now one of its key functions will be to record, store and make available critical data. Thereby reducing the touch points, minimising transmission of disease, freeing up carers time and providing a safer and healthier life for both residents and staff. For further information visit www.c-t.co.uk or see the advert below.
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TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE Putting the ‘Home’ Back into Care Homes: How Innovative Technologies Can Help Carers Give Residents a Better Quality of Life By Phillip Moorcraft, UK Director, CLB (global.clb.nl) When a person moves into a residential care home, the quality of their medical and social care is hugely important to that individual and their loved ones. However, they also want a place that feels genuinely welcoming and homely, and which allows its residents to enjoy appropriate levels of privacy and independence. Striking that delicate balance, between providing a ‘home from home’ and ensuring that residents’ medical and social care needs are met, can be hard for residents, families and care home staff alike. And it is a widespread problem – with about 21,556 care homes in the UK alone, there is lots of pressure on care staff to make residents feel ‘at home’, while also meeting each person’s (often complex) needs. This pressure has greatly intensified with the challenges of the pandemic. Technologies can ease the pressure of regular and unnecessary ad-hoc welfare checks on top of providing personal quality care, while giving residents more privacy and independence. For example, acoustic monitoring technology, which has been used in many countries worldwide for more than 25 years, can monitor for adverse events and reduce their potential to cause life-changing effects. What is more, residents with acoustic monitoring can establish better sleep patterns because they are less frequently disturbed by staff visits, and better sleep conveys multiple health and wellbeing benefits. Meanwhile, the technology alerts staff as soon as an event occurs, which also improves quality of life and can make a crucial – even life-saving – difference to medical outcomes in the case of health emergencies. Furthermore, acoustic monitoring gives greater privacy and autonomy for each resident. For example, those who prefer to go to bed later/earlier than their peers are no longer restricted by the facility’s monitoring schedule and can enjoy more flexibility, and those with particular concerns about privacy can be left in peace without having to compromise their safety. What do good care homes provide? The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told service users and those who care for them what they should expect of a good care home. The expectation that residents will be treated with respect and able to exercise their rights (to privacy, to self-determination, to care of high quality, to dignity) is woven like a golden thread through that document. No reasonable care professional would argue with those values, but they can be tough to achieve simultaneously. The need to monitor residents is a prime example. Many homes carry out periodic checks on residents – often, every two hours or so – and this is a critical element of providing good social/clinical care. However, it is also highly disruptive for patients, who may be disturbed several times during the night, and it takes carers away from other duties. Residents who are disturbed during the night (even for the best of reasons) may suffer chronic or recurrent sleep deprivation, which has a serious impact on their quality of life. Sleep deprivation causes grogginess, mood changes (in some cases, aggression, anxiety or
depression) and increases vulnerability to illness. So, an action that is intended to protect a resident can also make them ill. Meanwhile, carers may become frustrated with the constant need to interrupt whatever they are doing to carry out welfare checks, particularly if this takes them away from providing personalised care for individuals, and their morale, along with the broader functionality and productivity of the care home, can suffer as a result. Acoustic technology meets the needs of care home staff and residents Unsurprisingly, some care homes have tried to solve this problem with technology. And the CQC agrees that care homes’ use of innovative technology is key to maximising their performance. The challenge lies in knowing which type of technology to use. For example, some care homes have used voice and video baby monitors, or alarmed mats that detect movement. However, these are primarily for domestic use and often cannot cope with the demands of a care home. They can be hard to maintain and may not have an appropriate radio frequency; all are intrusive but video monitors in particular compromise residents’ privacy. And they can lead to a delayed response by care staff, which has significant implications in time-critical events like a heart attack or stroke. Acoustic technology, in contrast, is not intrusive and has been designed for care home settings. Acoustic technology allows individual sensitivity settings for each resident and will alert staff when the thresholds are exceeded. It is highly accurate, so will sound if a resident falls, for example, or if a resident (e.g. with mobility problems) tries to get out of bed. When acoustic technology is used in an intelligent nurse alert system, it monitors resident welfare with a high level of accuracy. When triggered, an alert is sent to a professional operator who can assess the situation and forward the alarm directly to a carer’s device if applicable. That allows an immediate response, giving the resident the best outcome, including in cases of medical emergency. Acoustic technology also reduces adverse events, thanks to the quality and consistency of its monitoring that allows swift and preventive action. For example, it reduced resident falls by 35% in one facility. Meanwhile, carers can reduce the number of in-person visits and can maintain their focus on other work, such as meeting the needs of individual residents, which increases morale and productivity. For the residents, acoustic monitoring delivers the privacy, dignity, self-determination and appropriate independence that good care homes provide for their residents. It gives them a more relaxing and homely environment and allows healthy sleep cycles that enhance their quality of life. Above all, it keeps them safe. It is time for care homes to make technologies work for them The pandemic has caused much anxiety for care home providers, residents and their families. It has also focused national attention, perhaps more than ever before, on the most vulnerable members of our society and the people who dedicate their lives to caring for them. It has been an incredibly hard and draining time. Innovative technologies in care homes, such as acoustic monitoring, provide an exciting opportunity to move the emphasis from intrusive and unnecessary checks to discreet, yet continuous, monitoring that gives both residents and carers the comfort and security that a home should have. By putting the right technology to work in care homes, we can relieve that burden and grow a care sector that genuinely provides the relaxing and homely environment that all residents, families and staff desire, along with the top-quality care and working conditions they deserve.
Workforce Scheduling Solutions Workforce Scheduling Solutions deliver Electronic Time & Attendance systems worldwide, using the latest Face Recognition technology.
Why should care homes move from paper to electronic time sheets The industry is under considerable financial pressures. An efficient electronic booking on/off system that will schedule, provide budgets, calculate hours worked, overtime and absence such as sickness and holiday entitlement will save Time and Money.
How is time and money saved by doing things electronically?
Collecting payroll information from paper timesheets can be slow, prone to errors, and very labour intensive. Staff rosters can be produced as far in advance as practical and accurate within budgeted hours. Staff book on and off-duty electronically, thus eliminating any time errors. Wage queries are virtually eliminated and immediate checks can be made without wading through reams of paper which invariably are inaccurate, misfiled or even 'lost".
There are many systems on the market - Why facial recognition is important and how it works
Some systems use tokens, which can be lost or left at home, requiring management involvement in the booking on/off procedure. Fingerprint systems can be beaten and Social media is awash with ways to copy fingerprints. Face recognition combined with a staff PIN is simple to use and manage using touch screen technology and web cams. Staff see their image displayed immediately when booking on or off and confirms their identity visually. It provides the best deterrent available as it builds a greater 'image knowledge’ of each employee, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eliminates 'buddy punching' where employees can book colleagues on/off duty using someone’s tokens, swipe card or even fingerprint.
How is data protected?
With the correct security setup computer systems provide more data protection than paper-based records which can be easily removed or stolen. GDPR covers all data including paper records and therefore the chances of infringing the rules and incurring fines is greater with paper.
THE CARER | AUGUST 2020 | PAGE 43
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Technology in a Post-Covid World Let’s not beat around the bush: It’s been a terrible year so far. Healthcare around the world has been pushed to the limits. Here in the UK our amazing NHS pulled out all the stops, despite being hugely underfunded even before the pandemic. The unsung heroes were the Social Care sector. We heard many appalling stories of both staff and residents falling victim to this indiscriminatory virus and but also stories of people’s love and determination to help the more vulnerable amongst us. As we move towards a new post lockdown phase, we ask ourselves: How have we survived so far and what does the future have in store? Since the prime minister announced in March that we were to stay at home, we have clung on to two factors to help our mental health manage the dramatic change to our lives: long walks and video conferencing and sometimes, but not being too over indulgent, both at the same time. As many of us prepare to work from home, the discovery of “Zoom”, mainly known as a colourful ice lolly to many before March, transformed the way we began to communicate. Zoom saw its number of users explode from 10 million a day to 200 million over lockdown. Video conferencing isn’t just for business though. It allowed families and friends to remain connected throughout. Crowd funding appeals began to help raise money to pay for tablets. These were given to residents in care homes to ensure they too weren’t missing out on the digital party. It’s not just the video conferencing either. We’ve exercised with Joe Wicks and we’ve written
or partaken in online quizzes. Most of us have had more time to interact with friends and family because other distractions have been taken away. Now we’ve been able to move away from lockdown thanks to government initiatives such as Test and Trace. So, we must ask ourselves, where would we have been without technology? Amazingly, despite most of us having access to computers, tablets and smart phones, almost three quarters of our sector are still operating paper-based systems within their homes? We have fully embraced technology for our personal use, but why not our business? We’ve relied on it for months, it’s enriched our lives, imagine what it could do in our places of work. Will changing to a computer-based care system, like Ablyss CMS, change our lives? No. But, will it make a positive impact to the way we operate and run our businesses? Yes. We need to learn from the lessons of 2020. We don’t know what’s around the corner, so it’s impossible to be ready for the next challenge. But we can do our best to be prepared. The future is not written on a piece of paper, it is changeable, it will adapt and will, occasionally, throw us a Covid-shaped curve ball! We need adaptive systems in place to help us navigate the road ahead. We need to fully embrace and invest in the technology and advances that are available to us. Put faith in technology. We’ve tested it to its limits and now we know, we DO need it. See the advert on this page for more information about Ablyss.
Mainteno Facilities Maintenance and Management Software Whether it’s managing planned maintenance or dealing with fault repairs, Mainteno simplifies the day-to-day maintenance of almost any organisation. Mainteno also seamlessly incorporates asset management and tracking. Mainteno streamlines every aspect of the maintenance management process, saving your organisation time and money.
USABILITY MADE AFFORDABLE Mainteno was designed with practicality in mind. The interface is so intuitive that basic operation can be learned in minutes, and you can be a power user in one afternoon. Elegant usability usually means a hefty price tag. However, our pricing structure means that for small organisations, Mainteno can cost as little as two cups
of coffee a month. No set-up fees, no lengthy contracts and a free trial, all mean that the system starts paying for itself straight away. Dr Asif Raja, Bsc MBBS Summercare Managing Director says “Facing significant challenges of ever increasing quality and compliance demands upon time and resources as well considerable economic pressures, Summercare, an award winning provider of residential care and housing related support, sought to upgrade their systems for managing the property and environmental aspects of its service delivery. After an extensive period of investigation and research Mainteno was selected as the platform of choice for the entire organization based on its ease of use, very short-term contract, quick set up and ongoing support.” Visit www.mainteno.com, Tel: 020 8798 3713 or email email@example.com
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PAGE 44 | THE CARER | AUGUST 2020
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Covid19: Accelerating the Use of Digital Technology in Healthcare As this crisis impacts every part of the health sector, significant vulnerabilities are being exposed. The NHS ‘digital revolution’ has long been touted as the key to futureproofing both Social Care and our health service in the face of increasing patient demand. That demand has now reached unprecedented levels and seems unlikely ever to revert to previous trends; against that background; there is an urgent requirement to move quickly to realise the opportunities which are available from digital technology. It is no longer an interesting speculation; it is an essential requirement to support staff and save lives. (Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell)
when invoicing? How many industries with shift workers rely on manual payroll processing outside the care sector? Repeatable systems should harness the power of technology to cut back the massive waste of man hours spent processing and checking manual tasks. In order to work out the best technology for your needs, you should assess your current systems against your requirements. Think about what inefficiencies exist in your homes and how you could: 1. Capture relevant information, such as resident/staff details, in a simple, time-efficient way. 2. Manage your documents to ensure that information is dealt with logically. 3. Avoid duplication at all costs; completing handwritten timesheets which then need to be manually inputted into payroll is a massive, unnecessary waste of time & manpower. 4. Address technological obstacles. The perception that your staffs are not IT literate is out of date; most people own a smart phone so yes they are! See www.fusion4care.com for details or see the advert on page 17.
USING TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY Poor efficiencies in many areas of the sector are caused by the lack of investment in technology. Technology will improve the way your staff carry out tasks by either speed up existing processes or allowing new, more flexible and accurate ways of carrying out a job or process which will in turn enables live real time management information. Would you expect to check out of a hotel with an invoice and extras raised in Word or Excel so why do many operators still use this method
WristPIT from Pinpoint The WristPIT from Pinpoint,is a bespoke patient call transmitter designed to be worn on the wrist. This wrist-worn personal infrared transmitter (WristPIT) is easily accessible and allows patients to activate a call for even if they are away from their bed or a fixed call-point. Pinpoint’s renowned PIT technology (usually worn by staff for personal safety) has, for the first time, been designed around patient use. The WristPIT can withstand showering and brief submersion in water and also incorporates antimicrobial product protection, reducing the ability for bacteria to grow. According to figures published by the National Reporting and Learning System, around 250,000 incidents where patients required assistance in hospital were reported in 2015/16. In many cases, nursing staff remained unaware that a patient had had a fall for quite some time.
Pressing the clearly labelled call button on the WristPIT notifies the personnel on duty that a patient is requesting help and informs staff exactly where the patient is. The call button is recessed and surrounded by a bump guard to prevent false alarms. Pinpoint Alarm Systems are installed in thousands of medical facilities throughout the UK and USA. The new WristPIT is backward compatible and easily integrated into existing Pinpoint Systems. A green LED indicates the WristPIT is ‘activated’ with good battery level. When the battery requires changing, the LED flashes red until the battery is changed and the device has been retested. In addition to being water-resistant, the WristPIT has been designed to withstand harsh environments and user tampering, meaning suitability for facilities where service users may be at risk of self-harm. For more information: www.pinpointlimited.com or see the advert on this page.
CARE VISION – Outstanding Care is at the Heart of Everything We Do At Carevision, outstanding care truly is at the heart of everything they do. They have combined over 40 years of hands on experience running care homes and working with some of the smartest mind in tech, they have created Care Vision - An all-inone, cloud-based system that incorporates all your care and admin in to one easy to use system. Carers can compile resident notes, health observations and EMAR. Care home managers can manage rotas, accounts, HR and house-keeping tasks and log visitors using the digital visitor book. Residents can use the system to make personal choices on meals and activities and use the app to keep in touch with family and friends. Rishi Jawaheer, director at Care Vision says “The 100+ care homes
PINPOINT WRISTPIT The WristPIT is a wrist worn Personal Infrared Transmitter designed exclusively for patient use. The latest call button is recessed and surrounded by a bump guard to prevent false alarms. It is also backward compatible, allowing seamless integration into existing Pinpoint Systems.
DID YOU KNOW? Biomaster Technology is incorporated into all surface areas of the product during manufacture, inhibiting the growth of contaminating bacteria 24/7 for the lifetime of the product.
that use our system have seen its benefits – They are saving 2-4 hours of staff hours per resident, per week and they are achieving outstanding CQC results. Carers love it, residents and relatives love it, and care home managers can’t remember how challenging managing a care home was before it.” Of course, taking on a whole new system can seem daunting, that’s why Care Vision offer minimal investment, all round support and flexible hardware options. They don’t feel the need for long-term contracts, Rishi says “We have total confidence, once you use Care Vision, you will love it as much as we do.” The Care Vision team would love to talk to you about what the system can do for you. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 768 9809. See the advert on page 45 for details.
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PROFESSIONAL AND TRAINING
Meaningful Care Matters Established in 2019, Meaningful Care Matters (MCM) focuses on the development of resilient relationshipcentred cultures of care shaped by the people living and working within them. MCM believe that when cultures of care express the personhood of people within them, caregiving is meaningful for everyone involved. In these person-centred services both “caregivers” and recipients of care can flourish. Meaningful Care Matters recognises that individual well-being is not an ‘individual’ matter. Our relationships with the people, places and things that have shaped our life journey make us who we are and sustain our sense of personhood. Engaging in moments, experiences and activities that resonate with who we are and meet our needs for love, attachment, belonging, agency, occupation, comfort and attachment makes life meaningful. Individual ill-being occurs when these relationships are undermined and life lacks meaning and purpose when such connections are absent in our daily lives. Meaningful relationships make us feel secure, free and able and help us to feel at home in ourselves. Having a diagnosis, disease, cognitive or physical impairments does not take these feelings away from us,
it just makes these relationships matter even more. Nurturing these person-centred relationships is therefore key to sustaining individual well-being and developing an emotionally resilient culture of care. MCM believe that care is most meaningful when it is informed by carers' lived experience as well as an empathic understanding of what matters most to each recipient of care. This means that every person-centred practice and relationship is unique, reflecting the individuality of the people giving and receiving care and the specificity of the context in which it occurs. This stance establishes self-awareness, emotional intelligence and spontaneity as a key competency for carers. Person-centred care is therefore enhanced when carers have the confidence to be themselves, the insight to know what makes each encounter meaningful and the freedom to be guided by their empathy and practiced wisdom. MCM helps care providers optimise healthcare outcomes and realize their full potential by transforming the features of their service that undermine relationships and developing the features of care that help person-centred relationships to flourish. Meaningful Care Matters facilitates transformation of care cultures and works across the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and Australia with an approach to support people to be ‘free to be me’. See the advert opposite for further details.
Employee Engagement: Employee Retention
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Are you spending too much time on recruitment and not enough time engaging with your current employees? This is not an uncommon situation to find yourself in and is magnified by the current COVID-19 crisis where you may have to be making difficult decisions with redundancies or unable to meet your demand for care worker. It’s important to note, these are not just a couple of buzz words used by HR managers; engaging with your employees can have a significant, positive impact on your business and its performance. This handy checklist will help create a more employee focused organisation and help towards retaining your valued employees: Selection – Be open and honest about the role and
responsibilities at the initial recruitment stage Development and progression – Offer opportunities for employees to gain skills and build on their career Engage employees – ensure you’re having regular performance conversations and reviews, conduct surveys and have in place a grievance procedure Be flexible - Wherever possible, accommodate individual preferences on working hours and times Manage work load - Monitor workload and ensure it is manageable within working hours Employee well-being - Support employees with issues such as workplace stress For further information, contact The Policy Library. See the advert below for details.