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Prime Minister Pledges “Full Independent” Covid Inquiry But Not Until 2022
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed he is establishing an independent inquiry into the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, starting next year. Speaking to the House of Commons (May 12) , the Prime Minister said the probe will be set up “on a statutory basis with all powers under the Inquiries Act of 2005, including the ability to compel the production of all relevant material” and telling the Commons it will be able to take oral evidence under oath and put “the state’s actions under the microscope”. In his statement he said: "Amid such tragedy the state has an obligation to
examine its actions as rigorously and as candidly as possible, and to learn every lesson for the future – which is why I've always said when the time is right, there should be a full and independent inquiry. "I can confirm today that the government will establish an independent public inquiry on a statutory basis, with full powers under the Inquiries Act 2005 – including the ability to compel the production of all relevant materials and take oral evidence in public under oath. "In establishing the inquiry, we will work closely with the devolved administrations."
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PAGE 2 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
VIEWPOINT Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week that an independent public inquiry with wide-ranging statutory powers will begin hearing evidence in spring 2022 into the UK government’s handling of Covid-19. From what I can gather the terms of reference have yet to be agreed, and the inquiry is expected to focus on identifying lessons from the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 127,500 people - Europe’s highest Editor death toll. No doubt wide-ranging, but I expect there will be a significant emphasis on care homes. More people died with Covid in care homes in England and Wales in the second wave of the pandemic than in the first, according to new figures by the Office of National Statistics which revealed that 20,664 deaths from March to September 2020, and 21,677 from September to April. This is the most controversial aspect of the entire pandemic for the government. It has drawn enormous government criticism, and long been regarded as one of the greatest failures of the government in its handling of the pandemic. Discharging Covid patient from hospital into care homes, with no PPE in place or any strategic plan, proved to be catastrophic. I understand concerns of been raised that the inquiry will not take place until 2022, and in all honesty, I would share concerns as well. The advantage of a swift review means that measures can be implemented quickly. I think the best example of this would be following the Hillsborough football stadium disaster on April 15, 1989, the Inquiry of Lord Justice Taylor delivered interim findings within 11 weeks, allowing life-saving measures to be introduced in stadiums ahead of the next football season. The inquiry must also include evidence, opinion, and comment from the sector itself. The government’s handling of the crisis when it broke is confirmation of just how little it understands the social care sector. We must ensure that the same mistakes do not happen again. Social care, in terms of those who work in it and are cared for, were caught in the eye of the storm, and bore the brunt of the pandemic. The evidence will be crucial in helping the sector deal positively with any future pandemics. On a side note, I would also take this opportunity to congratulate Thelma O’Leary, Activities Co-ordinator at Fernhill House Care Home in Worcester, and THE CARER latest unsung hero! Please do see our article on page 11. It took us quite a while to sift through the nominations, we do go through everyone, it’s not a “lucky dip”, and we were humbled at some truly inspiring submissions we received. Well done and thank you once again to you all, and do watch out for our next Unsung Hero Award coming soon at www.thecareruk.com
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THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 3
Prime Minister Pledges “Full Independent” Covid Inquiry But Not Until 2022 (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Since the pandemic broke in March 2020 127,000 people have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test , with over 150,000 deaths having COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate. The PM said that “amid such tragedy the state has an obligation to examine its actions as rigorously and as candidly as possible” and “learn every lesson for the future”. Given the potential threat of new COVID variants and the possibility of a winter surge, Mr Johnson said he expected the “right moment” for the inquiry to begin is spring 2022. “This inquiry must be able to look at the events of the last year in the cold light of day and identify the key issues that will make a difference for the future,” he said. Last month, Downing Street told a campaign group there was was "simply no capacity" for the government to divert resources to an "intensive" inquiry at the current time. The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK group has been lobbying the Prime Minister since last summer to meet them and to launch an urgent independent investigation into the pandemic. Jo Goodman, co-founder of the group, said: "An inquiry must begin this summer. The prime minister may feel he can wait for answers, but bereaved families certainly can't. "Learning lessons from the pandemic is critical to saving lives now and in the future." She also urged the Prime Minister to commit to holding a statutory inquiry, where witnesses can be legally compelled to attend and give evidence under oath.
July last year the Mr Johnson created a storm after he accused care homes of failing to follow proper procedures amid the coronavirus crisis: “We discovered too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have but we’re learning lessons the whole time. Most important is to fund them properly ... but we will also be looking at ways to make sure the care sector long term is properly organised and supported.” He said The comments met with fury from industry leaders, Nadra Ahmed, chair of the National Care Association, called it a “slap across the face of social care” and said Boris Johnson needs to apologise and retract his statement. She told Sky News "This sector has looked after some of the most vulnerable people through this pandemic. "And they've done it not having been shielded as a sector but being left to deal with it in their own way whilst all the attention was put on the NHS. "When you think they stood clapping and talked about social care in the way that they did, they have used those same hands that they were using to clap to slap across the face of social care." Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement of a statutory public inquiry the BMA Chair of Council, Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “The BMA has long called for a full public inquiry into the decisions that were taken and the mistakes that have been made in the management of this pandemic.” “It is encouraging that the Prime Minster has said that the inquiry must be rigorous and candid but that should not mean that bereaved families and front line staff have to wait the better part of a year before it gets underway. Whilst it would not be right to distract healthcare staff from
their hugely important day to day work, the Government mustn’t use that as an excuse to not get this inquiry underway as soon as is effectively possible.” “Almost one hundred and twenty eight thousand people have lost their lives to the virus and some communities have been impacted far worse than others.” “Scores of health and social care workers have put their lives at risk every single day, with hundreds who died from the virus and an NHS that was already not coping with demand when the pandemic took hold. We have seen the failures of inadequate PPE provision and supply, the fiasco that was Test and Trace, the lack of proper risk assessment and mitigation, especially for black and ethnic minority staff and the devastation that caused.” “This inquiry needs to be thorough, with no stone unturned. As we have previously made clear, it must also be about lessons being learned so the mistakes made cannot be repeated and the country is better prepared for future pandemics. This inquiry must involve all those who need answers and it needs to start much earlier than the Spring of next year.” The PM also announced the creation of a “commission on Covid commemoration”, having been “deeply moved” when he visited the Covid Memorial Wall opposite Parliament earlier this month. “I wholeheartedly support the plan for a memorial in St Paul's Cathedral, which will provide a fitting place of reflection in the heart of our capital,” he said. "I also know that communities across the whole country will want to find ways of commemorating what we have all been through, so the government will support their efforts by establishing a UK commission on Covid commemoration. "This national endeavour above party politics will remember the loved ones we have lost, honour the heroism of those who have saved lives and the courage of frontline workers who have kept our country going. "Celebrate the genius of those who created the vaccines, and commemorate the small acts of kindness and the daily sacrifice of millions who stayed at home buying time for our scientists to come to our rescue."
Care Home Hosts Spring Olympics to Stir Activity Among its Residents A CARE home has hosted a ‘Spring Olympics’ event for its residents to fulfil their cravings for competition and activity. Organised by the care staff, the week-long series of competitions at Mansfield Care’s Pine Villa featured rounds of pool, Jenga, and basketball, with a Sports Quiz to close the tournament. It comes after the residents enjoyed a programme of competitions throughout the winter months which inspired the care staff to curate the Spring Olympics, creating opportunities for healthy competition and action. Denise Williams, Pine Villa Care Home Manager in Loanhead, said: “The residents are all very competitive so we thought this would be a fun way to stay active and play some fun games. “Seeing as the winter games week was such a success, we wanted to make this even better. We spent a few weeks organising and planning the activities that were requested by the residents, rearranging a few tournaments due to weather but still managing to fit in games everyone enjoyed.
“It was great fun. We tried to make it a little more competitive this time round by splitting residents into teams. “We hosted three separate games so that after each event we scored up the points and announced the winner at our closing ceremony where our residents enjoyed a spot of afternoon tea.” As part of an ethos to provide the care we wish to receive in later life, Pine Villa, one of 11 care homes run by Mansfield Care, specialises in bespoke services to support its resident’s wellbeing. Denise added: “We want residents to live in a stimulating environment and have activities and plans to look forward to. It’s been really challenging over lockdown with visitor restrictions, but the team has been extraordinary and really stepped up, coordinating more activities to meet our resident’s needs. “These types of activities really help support our residents’ mental and physical health, so we feel it’s important to get creative and organise active games and events. Everyone enjoys them and looks forward to them, staff and residents alike.”
PAGE 4 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
What Lessons Can The Current and Next Generation of Workers Caring for Our Elderly Learn from the Pandemic? Prof Farhad Huwez is a certified Consultant General Physician and Geriatrician. Here he outlines some of the major learnings from the pandemic that those working with the elderly should take forward. Our elderly population has felt the heavy weight of Covid-19 more than most. Older people have experienced a significant period of social isolation, cut off from friends, family and communities. While it has been for their own safety, it has not come without significant cost and there are lessons to be learned to ensure the best possible care is provided to older people moving forward. Putting aside the specifics of the pandemic for a moment, by 2050, the number of people over 65 globally is set to increase to 1.5 billion. With this ageing population, who are now also recovering from the impact of Covid-19, comes higher health and social care costs and more age-related causes of morbidity and mortality. While we were already aware of this, the pandemic has put it into even sharper relief meaning that there is a rapidly growing need for healthcare staff, in all professions, to have relevant, up-to-date training and knowledge within elderly care to meet the needs of our aging society. And not just in a medical context, healthcare professionals who work with the elderly also need to have an established understanding of the financial, social, psychological, legal, ethical, environmental and political context of care and how this affects clinical decision-making for older people. Factors all carers have experienced in some capacity throughout the pandemic. So how can we take these lessons forward and improve how we provide care for older people?
ATTITUDES TOWARDS OLDER PEOPLE Attitudes towards older people have been put in the spotlight, which
has unfortunately revealed prevalent stereotypes and even the implication by a minority that certain older people are expendable. Nevertheless, such attitudes, however damaging, do provide us with an opportunity to discuss, learn and utilise them to shape societal thinking regarding the elderly. After all, the mark of a caring and compassionate society is how they treat their most vulnerable. Framing discussions in such a manner forces people to consider which side of the moral divide they wish to take.
workers stepped up to support older people to access technology to communicate with their families and friends, but this is not a sustainable approach. Post-pandemic we need a programme focused on digital inclusion of older populations as technology remains an ever-present part of our lives. Those working with older people must be upskilled to support this effort and consider how they can best utilise technology in their own care provision.
It also means that those providing care for older people must consider their own role in empowering the elderly and advocating on their behalf for the important role they play in society.
Having attended some Zoom family meetings, we have noticed the palpable positive impact on the patients. Technology has helped to bridge the barriers necessitated by the isolation required due to COVID19.
HEALTH AND CARE DELIVERY ENVIRONMENTS
END OF LIFE CARE COMMUNICATION AND PLANNING
The suffering care home staff and residents have endured due to high transmission and mortality rates during the pandemic will have long-lasting effects, and as a result some families are favouring home care for elderly relatives.
Reports about the use of ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ or DNRs have raised concerns recently. Ensuring dignity and compassion in dying is an essential part of working with older people, and all care workers must be best supported to work with patients and their families in decisionmaking towards the end of life.
This creates an opportunity to focus resources on providing at-home care in coming years, particularly with an ageing population, as it is a preference for many and can support continued independence. This illustrates the need for better integration between care settings. A joined-up approach within the sector is crucial to eliminating unnecessary risks, and current and future care providers must be equipped to understand how care provision works across delivery environments. However, it cannot be disputed that care homes play a crucial role in providing care for those with multiple chronic diseases, co-morbidities, and more complex needs like dementia, and they are invaluable in providing end of life care
STAYING CONNECTED In the early weeks of the pandemic the majority of the digitally engaged world took their lives online, but care homes are often not renowned for their up-to-date technological infrastructure, and as a result many residents were suddenly without visitors, both real and virtual. To bridge the gap as best they could we know that health and care
Amid the urgency of the pandemic there have been too many instances of poor communication around end-of-life planning. Patient agency and consent should always be at the forefront including peaceful and dignified way to eternal rest. DNR orders should be made after consideration of prime issues: the patient’s known or ascertainable wishes; the likelihood of successfully restarting the patient’s heart, and the patient’s human rights, including the right to life and the right to be free from degrading treatment. Therefore DNRs are used ethically to ensure comfort and dignity in death as priority rather than using futile procedures. A legacy of Covid-19 must be to have more open conversations around end-of-life care, particularly for those suffering with Dementia who make up 1 in 6 people over the age of 80. Prof Farhad Huwez is a certified Consultant General Physician and Geriatrician, Professor of Geriatrics at New Vision University, Georgia, and Programme Leader of the Care of the Elderly Diploma MSc provided by online learning specialists, Learna (www.learna.ac.uk)
Anton Lesser Is Supporting Every Small Step – Making Dementia Carers Count Anton Lesser, star of Game of Thrones, Wolf Hal, Endeavour and The Crown, is supporting Dementia Carers Count's (DCC) flagship fundraising event for 2021. Every Small Step is a walking challenge alongside a series of emotive and informative podcasts. Aimed at raising awareness and vital funds for DCC’s work, this unique event celebrates the lives and contributions of the families and friends caring for someone with dementia in the UK. Every Small Step 2021 will be a five-day celebration running from Wednesday 16th to Sunday 20th June. On each day of the event, two specially recorded podcast episodes will be released, featuring the voices of family carers, comedians, authors, dementia campaigners and more. Anyone can show their support for friends and family members caring for someone with dementia by registering online. There’s the option to set a walking challenge for the five days – whether it’s 100 or 10,000 steps – and we aim to reach a cumulative step count of 700,000 each day: one for every family dementia carer in the UK. Attendees can download the podcasts for their daily walk, connect on a private Facebook group and meet other event participants in their area for the final walk of the challenge. Anton Lesser has recorded a message of support, encouraging people to sign up for the unique event and help to raise £30,000 to fund DCC’s innovative digital services, which aim to provide remote support to family dementia carers across the country.
DCC is the national charity dedicated to family and friends who are caring for someone with dementia. The charity offers a range of expert-led services, designed and delivered by health and care professionals, in partnership with carers. These include in-depth one- and three-day courses, as well as online sessions and a Virtual Carers Centre for access to information and resources. Trevor Salomon sits on DCC’s Carers Advisory Panel, is married to Yvonne who has young-onset Alzheimer’s and lives in a care home. Trevor said, ‘Taking part in Every Small Step is a unique opportunity to show your support for those who work tirelessly to care for a friend or family member with dementia. Family carers don’t get days off, especially not during the pandemic, and DCC has helped them stay connected by providing a much-needed sense of community. We can’t let family carers be forgotten, especially in current times.’ Claire Goodchild, DCC’s CEO, added: ‘After the success of last year’s event, we’re looking forward to sharing more of the stories of the carers that we meet and celebrating their invaluable contribution to society. The work of a family carer never ends, and by taking part in Every Small Step and raising funds for DCC, we'll make sure they get the support they deserve.' You can register to take part in Every Small Step at https://dementiacarers.org.uk/event
More Ways To Make Music In Care Homes
Good old-fashioned singalongs were one of the less devastating casualties of Covid when experts discovered a link between coronavirus outbreaks and adult choir rehearsals across the world. Here Jody Ashfield, managing director of outdoor musical instrument provider, Percussion Play explains how some care homes have used this time find more ways of making music. According to a government website, when adults sing, they produce 'large droplets of respiratory secretions that generally fall onto surfaces within two metres of the singer, and small droplets that are carried on the air for some distance' . There are also the ominously named 'super
emitters' who presumably have the power to belt out a good ballad. But music in all its forms is a key source of good emotional and mental health in care homes. It both stimulates and exercises the brain and, according to researchers at John Hopkins University in the USA, 'listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.' However, music does not have to be about singing and words. A snatch of a melody may unlock memories, even if we can't remember what the tune is called, who sung it or even which decade it belongs to. For those care homes keen to reintroduce singing, the government's advice is that it can continue but it must be in larger well-ventilated spaces, or outdoors. There should be a limit on the number of people singing together and performances or rehearsals should be for shorter periods of time using microphones where necessary so people can sing quietly. But this will be a tall order for homes where residents are looking forward to getting together again, so centres may want to explore alternatives. Learning to play an instrument can be just as beneficial as singing. According to several surveys the most popular instruments for older people are drums, piano, guitar, recorder, ukulele and harmonica. Music making stimulates neural connections, improves memory and motor skills, reaction times and the ability to multitask. It also increases feelings of positivity. Some people just want to 'have a go', but others take it more seriously. Some recent converts like to have a teacher and regular scheduled sessions, others like to forge their own path, and some have found that YouTube is their ideal tutor as they can access it whenever they have a free moment.
Some homes have found ingenious ways to keep music going when restrictions were in place. During the winter when it was too chilly to spend much time outdoors, Milkwood’s Care Homes enjoyed Name That Tune and Sing-and-Dance events, Musical Bingo and Zumba. At one home residents compiled a list of their favourite music from their childhood while another organised a poll of favourite music and found Elvis, Cliff Richard and The Beatles were the most popular performers. Milkwood Care is one example of a care home group that has been pushing the boundaries by installing outdoor musical instruments, including weatherproof drums and xylophones, for their residents to access. In the past, instruments suitable for beginner musicians often looked as if they were designed for children but these instruments from Percussion Play are different. Not only do they look age-appropriate but they are tuned to the pentatonic scale so they will please even experienced, active musicians while being easy enough for a complete novice to get started. The Outdoor musical instruments have encouraged the residents to collaborate and use the instruments to create sounds that even impress themselves! Giving them a reason to get up and outside and engaging their hand-eye coordination, movement and balance has been a great success. Milkwood Care is now looking forward to the summer to give its residents a reason to get more mobile, and outside in the fresh air. Outdoor musical instruments are a new consideration for care homes but day by day senior residents across the UK are joining the growing numbers who are finding that music has many beneficial effects both for their physical and mental health.
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 5
Plans Are ‘Baby Steps’ Towards Care Reform - Need To Invest In Social Care First
A Government committee’s new care integration plans are just ‘baby steps’ towards proper reform of the way we care for older and vulnerable adults, campaigners have said The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the Government must first better fund and reform social care to help the 1.5m who can’t get the care they need and pave the way for integration. Their words came as a report from the Health and Social Care Committee backed plans for the creation of Integrated Care Systems, bringing health and social care together to improve care. It includes a call for a 10-year plan for social care. The ICG has welcomed the report’s proposals as a move in the right direction but warned that proper reform of social care must happen first otherwise the new systems will be meaningless. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “The report is right, in that we do need to integrate health and social care, but in reality, these are just baby steps when we need a giant leap forward.
“We need to see urgent, root and branch reform of social care with an injection of funding to create a fit for purpose, sustainable social care sector that has parity with NHS healthcare in terms of status and standing. “Only when that happens will we be able to move towards integration and at that point we need to see a single body delivering both NHS healthcare and social care and not the central and local authority split we have at the moment. “At the moment we are talking about redecorating the house whilst the roof is still leaking. “Reports like this, whilst correct and important, also act as a smokescreen and stop us from seeing that real reform is just not happening. “I am also concerned that this is also yet more costly bureaucratic change. In the past few years alone, we have had primary care groups, primary care trusts, clinical commissioning groups and now integrated care systems. “The time and resources used on creating ever-more complex bureau-
cracy could have been far better spent on front line services or on proper social care reform for the future.” The ICG recently wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to make social care reform a priority. In the ICG’s letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Padgham says 1.5m people are now living without the care they need after £8bn was cut from social care budgets since 2010-11. There are more than 100,000 staff vacancies in the sector. The ICG wants to see a promise of urgent reform backed by proper deadlines. It wants: • A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally • Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance • Dementia treated like other high priority illnesses, like cancer and heart disease • A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care
Emotional Trip Down Memory Lane As Barbara Celebrates 95th Birthday
A Royal Star & Garter resident has enjoyed an unforgettable 95th birthday after the staff at the Solihull Home teamed up with a local school for a trip down memory lane. Celebrations to mark Barbara Bale’s special day on Friday 7 May started with a surprise visit to Solihull School on Warwick Road, a place dear to her heart as it was where husband Bill taught Latin for 17 years, before his death in 1969. Barbara described the visit as “a wonderful surprise” and said she was “absolutely thrilled.” Royal Star & Garter staff had told Barbara and other residents that they were going on a regular minibus outing but, soon after setting off, it diverted into the grounds of the independent school. A number of Solihull staff were gathered outside the Headmaster’s
Wing to welcome the birthday guest, presenting Barbara with a bouquet of flowers and a bound edition of A History of Solihull School 1560 – 2010. Bill Bale, a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm during WWII, joined Solihull School in 1952. The well-respected and admired teacher was also an officer with the Combined Cadet Force, an outdoor education activity for pupils which is still run at the school today. Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. Driver Kevin Dempsey, who organised the visit, said: “As soon as we discovered Barbara’s close connection with Solihull School we knew this would mean the world to her. We’re grateful to the team in the Development and Alumni Office for helping us make this a very special day for Barbara. It was very emotional for everyone present.” Lucy Lunt, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Solihull, said: “Barbara and Bill were an important part of our community for many years, so it was our pleasure to play a small part in her celebrations. We are always delighted to welcome back former pupils and staff.” Barbara first came to Royal Star & Garter as a day care guest, before becoming a long-term resident. She said: “It was a wonderful surprise, and I was absolutely thrilled. It was a beautiful day and I’m grateful to both Royal Star & Garter and Solihull School for making it happen.”
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PAGE 6 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
Why Pioneering New Research Could Be A Game Changer For Those Living With Dementia By Jackie Pool, Dementia Care Champion, QCS (www.qcs.co.uk) I want to begin this column by focusing on an intriguing study, the results of which could have positively game-changing consequences for dementia. In a nutshell, the report, published by the University of West London and the University of Manchester, says that using video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, on a regular basis could help elderly people to avoid dementia. What was particularly striking about the findings, which took 15 years to compile, was that people who used a myriad of communication tools to enable their social contact experienced less deterioration in memory that than those who only relied on traditional methods, such as using the phone or meeting in person. Dr Snorri Bjorn Rafnsson, an Icelander, who headed the research, went as far to say that using Zoom throughout the crisis, has provided benefits to older people. The Guardian newspaper quotes him as saying, “It is fair to say that Zooming that went on during lockdown might well have provided people with a protective cushion against dementia.”
WHY ZOOM, TIK TOK AND INSTAGRAM? But why have video conferencing platforms been singled out, and why are they proving to be so instrumental in helping to reduce the risk of developing dementia? Reading between the lines, while video conferencing systems like Zoom have great merit, they are also fashionable tech platforms which grab headlines. I think the central point to keep in mind as Dr Rafnsson stresses in his Guardian interview, is that it is “the act of learning to use and engage with online social technology”, that is most important. His research also revealed that “the more diverse” the technology, and “the more platforms” that older people “can master, the better”. While Dr Rafnsson and his team’s findings are truly ground breaking and the first of their kind, there have been many studies centred on episodic memory, which is what this research taps into, that may prove to be equally significant. For this reason, it strongly resonates with me too. As the creator of the Quality Compliance Systems PAL instrument, which assesses the cognitive functional level of ability of an individual, I
have been advocating for a long time the need to give people living with dementia the opportunity to experience the world through all of their senses and through as many cognitive processes as possible.
EXPERIENCING THE WORLD THROUGH THE SENSES But why is this important? It could be, for example, that a person’s dementia has damaged the part of the brain responsible for visual perception, but, on the other hand, the lexical memory, which ensures that a person is able to link a word to an object, or the temporal lobe, which helps a person equate sounds to objects, are still working. This is very important for a care professional to establish. By using cognitive rehabilitation techniques, they can help a service user to carry out everyday tasks. This is achieved by focusing the process of an activity through the brain function that is still working and which is currently unaffected by the condition causing the dementia. Let me give you an example. A lady I cared for who was living with advanced dementia had troubles visiting the lavatory. She knew that she needed to go to the bathroom, and also how to get there, but was unable to visually recognise the toilet. However, by observing the way that she engaged with her environment, it was clear that she was responding to auditory cues. It is likely that the neural pathways in her brain responsible for processing and making sense of sound were still intact. Therefore, I asked her daughter to go into the bathroom and flush the toilet. When she did so, her mother was immediately able to link the sound of flushing with the toilet itself, meaning she was able to recognise the toilet through sound and therefore was able to regain some of her independence.
PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES The question is, to what extent will we be able to push the boundaries of cognitive rehabilitation in the future? Researchers at the University of Exeter have been working on a potentially transformative therapeutic approach for some years now. It's called GREAT Cognitive Rehabilitation and a key principle within this method is Effortful Processing. It is area of research which I have also been heavily involved in, and it chimes with many of the discoveries that Dr Rafnsson and his team have unearthed. As the name suggests, Effortful Processing is the act of practicing, drilling and rehearsing in order to remember things. To help support information to be channelled through more than one area of the brain, this practice uses a combination of processes including physical action, verbal iteration and, the action of writing. Let me give you an example as to how it can make a big difference to all our lives. Imagine you go shopping and park your car in a multistorey car park. If you're anything like me, you're probably thinking
about what you’re going to buy and whether you have a face mask and sanitiser. However, at the same time you’ve probably forgotten to take a note of where you parked the car. It’s only when you finish shopping that you realise it, and finding your car, which may be one of thousands, can often take a while.
USING EFFORTFUL PROCESSING Nowadays, whenever I shop in a mall, I use Effortful Processing. I simply repeat the car park level, the zone and the number allocated to the space, and when I return I can always find the car quickly and efficiently. But let me explain the science behind it. From a cognitive perspective, by consciously repeating the car park space information in my head, I am using several different areas of the brain to remember the information. Not only has the information been absorbed into my visual memory, it has also been retained by my spoken memory and my lexical memory. By using several of the brain’s memory banks, which are connected by a complex web of neural pathways, I give myself the best chance of retaining the information. For people living with dementia, the pioneering research techniques that are currently being explored in the field of cognitive rehabilitation, including Effortful Processing are very exciting. In the same way that Zooming may halt memory regression in older people, if Effortful Processing is also deployed, it has the potential to add another layer of experience and may also boost episodic memory too, which is defined as the ability to remember past events. How? Well, by paying attention to these events, which often have a strong emotional or sensory impact, past memories can often be recalled. So, let’s take a Zoom Call, for example. The call not only gives a person living with dementia an invaluable opportunity to remain in social contact with their loves ones, it also gives them a chance to write a diary entry about their Zoom Call. What did they enjoy most about the interaction? Who was wearing what? And was there any news from their loved ones that left a strong emotional impact? Noting down all of these points in a diary, discussing it with friends, relatives and the care home activity team, gives that person a much greater chance of remembering that Zoom session, and possibly even bringing lost memories to the surface once again. In marking Dementia Action Week, learning more about pro-active techniques like this, which can make a profound difference to people’s lives, seems very fitting. Quality Compliance Systems (QCS) is a leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector. If you wish to find out more about QCS , why not contact QCS’s compliance advisors on 0333405-3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org?
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 7
Sector Backlash at Government’s ‘Lip Service’ To Care in Queen’s Speech The Government has been accused of paying lip service to social care in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, betraying hundreds of thousands of older and vulnerable people who cannot get the care they need, care campaigners say. The government has promised to tackle obesity and improve mental health support, however, there was no sign of long-promPicture by the Parliamentary Recording Unit. ised legislation to reform adult social care. A single line in the Queen’s speech on Tuesday morning stated simply: “Proposals on reforms to social care will be brought forward”, and further details of any forthcoming changes are now not expected until the autumn at the earliest. The Independent Care Group (ICG) has expressed its fury that plans for social care reform were once again delayed, is calling for plans to be set out immediately and for the Government to be held accountable for their delivery. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “How dare the Government delay reform of social care yet again? Older and vulnerable people have been betrayed and reform has been pushed down the road to some indeterminate time. “Yes, social care was mentioned in the Queen’s Speech but in reality, the Government was just paying lip service to the reform that is now so long overdue. “If the Government is so committed to reforming social care, as the Prime Minister and other ministers keep telling us they are then we need to see it happen. We need some accountability and the Government to be held to account if it fails to deliver." In the Queen’s Speech the Government said it would bring forward proposals on social care reform. But Mr Padgham said that wasn’t good enough. “We have had too many promises and pledges, we now need to see action,” he added. “We need the Government to set out what it plans to do and set strict deadlines as to when it is going to do it, so that it is accountable to the hundreds of thousands of people who are being failed by this Government today and every day.” Before the Queen’s Speech, the ICG wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to put the welfare and happiness of people before financial
constraints and make social care reform a priority. In the ICG’s letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Padgham says 1.5m people are now living without the care they need after £8bn was cut from social care budgets since 2010-11. There are more than 100,000 staff vacancies in the sector. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “This is a missed opportunity. Without the much needed, not to mention heralded, reform it is questionable as to how much longer the sector can be expected to limp on. A sector that supports and employs vast swathes of the population cannot be ignored. We stand ready and willing to help the Government deliver its manifesto commitment, but the Health and Care Bill which has a focus on the NHS, is not the vehicle to deliver this huge shift as it will not produce the system change that is necessary to ensure the future sustainability of the sector”. He added: “Sadly, we have been here before and it is simply unfathomable as to what will influence the Government to bring about reform; surely they can’t be waiting for provider failure and further chaos in the already overstretched NHS. The oven-ready plan is truly burning, or maybe the Government forgot to ever put it in the oven.” Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK and Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) said: “After an awful lot of dithering the Government has finally nailed its colours to the mast by formally committing to social care reform this year. The question now is how good the Government’s proposals will be, not whether there will be any at all, so this is an important step forward for the millions of older and disabled people and carers who deserve so much better than what’s often on offer to them. “Ministers have made it clear that they see a cap on sky high care costs as the centrepiece of their reforms, because it is so evidently unfair for anyone to be financially ruined by long term care bills. However, this is not the only unfairness in how care operates today, and it would be a bizarre outcome if we gave more protection to home owners, while leaving those with fewer assets to the current underfunded system. This would especially disadvantage sick and disabled adults who have just as much right to decent care as older people. So as well as bringing forward some kind of cap, there is no avoiding the need for the Government to invest billions more into care – topping council budgets back up again after having allowed them to fall so disastrously over the last decade. “The final essential element is the need for the Government to professionalise the care workforce, giving care workers the terms and conditions, and career structure, that should rightfully be theirs’ after their magnificent performance during the pandemic. It’s high time we ended the situation in which care staff are constantly the poor relations of their equivalents in the NHS.”
“If the Government brings forward a package of reforms of scale and ambition, backed up by the funding required, we will be able to hold our heads up high again as a nation, consigning our current, shamefully neglected social care system to the past, where it belongs. If this happens older and disabled people, and their carers, will be able to breathe more easily, confident that they will get the help they know they need.” Social Care Institute for Excellence Chief Executive Kathryn Smith, says: “It’s hugely disappointing that a social care bill hasn’t been put forward today as a matter of urgency. It was good to hear that proposals will be brought forward in due course. However, today – and the budget in March – have been just the latest in many missed opportunities over the last few years to sort out social care reform; and time is ticking. In March, we and others called for the Government to publish its proposals for the future of adult social care before the summer parliamentary recess; the Queen’s Speech was an opportunity to do that. “The sector is seeing so many innovative new initiatives, from the use of co-production to strengths-based approaches. But to fulfil its potential the sector needs a sustained increase in funding, to stabilise the care system, particularly with the impact of Covid-19, and to bring the long-term reform that’s so desperately needed. Local councils commission many of the services that people who draw on services, and carers, rely on. Local leaders from across the political divide have also urged the Government to ‘fix social care’. We agree with them that any continued failure to provide long-term reform would be a disappointment.” Commenting on the Queen’s speech, QCS’s Head of Care Quality, Philippa Shirtcliffe, said: “To mark the State Opening of Parliament yesterday the Queen spoke for around nine minutes, but the government, who wrote her speech, reserved just nine words for social care. All we learned was that proposals for social care would be “brought forward”. "For a sector with a history of funding, recruitment and retention challenges, this was not the message that hundreds of thousands of providers, and millions of service users, wanted to hear. They have been crying out for detail, clarity and reassurance for years now, but the government has offered them few crumbs of comfort. "It felt like the government was more concerned with the optics rather than providing the nation with a detailed policy summary of how it planned to repair the broken care system. Mr Johnson may be riding high in the polls right now, but he and his cabinet need to start ‘walking the walk’ instead of merely “talking the talk”. "This means not just promising to ensure that everyone “receives the dignity and security they deserve” but actually delivering on it. The government should start by outlining real policies and shouldn’t shy away from having an honest conversation with the public regarding the cost of fixing the social care system. That should be the minimum expectation and is the very least that millions of people deserve.”
PAGE 8 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
Covid -19 Vaccines Within the Care Sector: Can It Be No Jab No Job?
By David Bradley, Head of Employment at Ramsdens Solicitors (www.ramsdens.co.uk)
Lawyers are often considered to be two handed; on the one hand this, on the other hand that! “Just give me a view” they scream. Here it is, the answer is YES. However, you know better than to believe the YES is completely unqualified and there are some caveats, but as an employer in the sector you should be able to reach that position if you wish, in most cases. Let’s start from the position all employers are in. They are obliged (by law) to provide a safe place of work for their employees. They are also obliged to avoid endangering those that come into contact with the business and the employees of that business, for example customers and clients. Think of the sign that the supermarket floor may be wet (and slippery) for a benign example. Care sector businesses have exactly the same obligations regarding their employees, contractors and their clients (residents). There will be employees who wish to refuse a vaccine. What can the employer do? The following analysis is based on an assumption that a vaccine is available to the individual. We look at the most likely reasons for refusal;
1. YOU CANNOT FORCE ME, MY CONTRACT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO INSIST ON A VACCINE. Undoubtedly an express provision in the contract is helpful and places employers in a strong position to insist and in the absence of
good reason for refusal (see below) there would be a fair basis, ultimately for dismissal. Without an express term the employer will rely on the implied terms in the contract that an employee will act reasonably in making themselves available for work (i.e. take reasonable steps to avoid illness, injury or other impediment to discharging their duties) and not to endanger colleagues and clients. In a sector sensitive to Covid issues such as Care it is entirely foreseeable that a colleague may refuse to work with an unvaccinated individual or that a client will refuse to be treated by them. Recent data showing the dramatic reduction in the transmissibility risk following a vaccine is extremely helpful to employers should they decide that, despite consultation and persuasion, an employee continues to refuse to be vaccinated. A further and broader based business issue might be where a business would be rendered uncompetitive in a market where clients demand their carers be vaccinated. How would your business compete when a rival organisation could reassure clients that all their staff had been vaccinated. Ultimately, continued refusal by an employee to be vaccinated may lead to a dismissal. The fair reason for dismissal is likely to be “Some other Substantial Reason”, the fifth stated fair reason for dismissal set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996.
2. I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION OR STATUS THAT PREVENTS ME FROM RECEIVING THE VACCINE. This is a valid reason for refusal and the principal caveat to the broad view expressed at the start of this article. Where the reason stands up to scrutiny, employers should respect this. The employer should act in the same way as if the employee is disabled and seek to make reasonable adjustments to allow the employee to continue working. This may mean a change to role or duties to reduce exposure to colleagues and clients. Consultation with the employee is key. At the end of that process if
there is genuinely no reasonable adjustment that can be made, dismissal will be an option.
3. IT WOULD BE A BREACH OF MY HUMAN RIGHTS TO INSIST ON A VACCINE. The first lawyerly point is that in the private sector, Human Rights are not directly enforceable against employers but should the employee take the matter to a Tribunal then the Tribunal can take human rights into account. Clearly, no employer or anyone else can force someone to have a vaccine. That would be a breach of human rights in itself and also, probably a criminal offence. It should be kept in mind that human rights operate both ways in a Care sector scenario. Clients and colleagues have the right to be protected from harm too. The area of human rights most pertinent is that of protection from discrimination. See next. Aside from that it is difficult to see a human rights defence affecting an employers decision based on the issues set out at 1. above.
4. TO INSIST ON VACCINATION WOULD BE AN ACT OF DISCRIMINATION. Employers do need to be mindful of this issue but the basis of discrimination relied on by an employee should be clear. If the employee is of a recognised faith that condemns the receipt of a vaccine then the situation will be similar to that regarding a medical condition. Investigation and consultation will be key, consideration of alternative roles and adjustments would need to rule out (reasonably) before an employer could justify a dismissal. In summary employers should be clear on their risk assessment and business rationale for insisting on the take up of the vaccine, brief staff as to that rationale and then deal with objections on a case by case basis. Employers should not move towards dismissal before taking professional advice.
Residents At Preston Care Home Launch Their Own Radio Play A group of residents at Finney House in Preston, all aged between 83 and 99 have taken part in an inhouse production of a radio play that was specially written just for them. A spoof of a radio play classic, ‘The Haharchers’ is a fictitious comedy radio play. Based on a five minute snap-shot of life at Finney House, scripts have already been written for four more episodes. Episode one ‘The New Gardener ’ begins with several residents sitting and chatting together while waiting for afternoon tea to be served. They are looking out of the window watching the comings and goings on the car park. One of them spots the arrival of a new van that they’ve not seen before, before we know it there is an unexpected turn of events! ‘This has been such a fun thing to do. Our residents have done incredibly well and we are looking forward to producing the next episode’ said Jen Stutter, Activities Coordinator at Finney House. ‘We are constantly looking at new ways to engage our residents in meaningful and stimulating activities. For some of the residents involved this has been the first time they have tried anything like this. We think it is fabulous
and are very proud of what they have achieved. You never know, they might even make it to the ARIAS 2022! ’. Said Jo Fogg L&M Healthcare’s new Quality and Clinical Director, with a smile and a cheeky wink. Cheryl Bris who has just joined Finney House as the new Home Manager said ’I think this is absolutely brilliant. I’ve never heard of anything like this being done before in a care home. It really does show that you are never too old to try something new.’ Written by Louise Harder and edited by Philip Pitcher who have been working on L&M Healthcare’s brand communications for the last six years, ‘The Haharcher’s ’ will be launched today on all L&M Healthcare’s social media platforms. Disclaimer: No cars, gardeners or home manager’s husbands were injured in the making of this play and we can assure you that the length of the grass here is never a disgrace! To listen and download this first episode please click the link at https://vimeo.com/543089141thhttps://vimeo.com/543089141
Sunrise of Hale Barns Care Home Celebrates Four Weeks of Travelling the World
Residents and team members at Sunrise of Hale Barns have set sail on a 12-week journey visiting new countries each week, from the comfort of their care home. One month in, and the care home has visited France, England, Italy and Greece. During these weeks, they have celebrated each country by organising various activities and events. Residents have taken part in language lessons, virtual tours of famous landmarks, enjoyed local music, and experienced each country’s culinary delights as prepared by the care home’s dining team. In week one, residents at Sunrise of Hale Barns visited Paris and learnt all about the beautiful monuments. They also visited the Louvre where they saw the Mona Lisa. They rounded off the week by enjoy-
ing a lovely meal at a French brasserie, where they tucked into a variety of wines, cheese boards and pastries. The following week, the care home visited England just in time for St George’s Day. Residents were delighted to try a bakewell tart from ‘Maggie’s Bakery’, that was cooked by resident Margaret Brown. In the evening, residents and team members enjoyed some fish and chips in the sunshine. Residents then arrived in the city of Milan in Italy, feeling a bit peckish, they visited Lorenzo e Luigi Ristorante. After a genuine Italian meal, residents made their way to the Palatrussardi di Milano, as they had tickets to watch Andre Griminelli e Luciano Pavarotti concert. They enjoyed the concert with a nice glass of prosecco.
Most recently, the care home travelled to Greece, where residents tried some incredible traditional Greek food. They went on to visit the ancient Greek Temple of Hale, when they had a visit from Laney, who sang away the afternoon as the residents danced with the Greek goddess. For the remaining eight weeks, Sunrise of Hale Barns will go on to visit countries including South Africa, Mexico, China and India. The extensive travel itinerary has been launched as part of Sunrise Senior Living UK’s #NewDawnNewDay campaign to encourage those who may be considering moving into a care home to take the step with a sense of reassurance in this new chapter of their lives. Residents have told team members that they have
really been enjoying tasting the different cuisines from the variety of countries. Recently, the home welcomed a live singer for the first time since social distancing restrictions were eased and resident Brian danced the afternoon away. Everyone has said how fabulous it was to see entertainment back in the care home. Speaking of the campaign, Amanda Holland, the General Manager of Sunrise of Hale Barns care home, said: “We have had the most amazing time so far residents have been having so much fun. The campaign has really lifted everyone’s spirits and has reminded us all of the importance of celebrating other cultures and everything this beautiful world has to offer. We are excited to see where the rest of our travels will take us!”
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 9
Most Vulnerable Offered Second Dose of Covid-19 Vaccine Earlier to Help Protect Against Variants The country’s most vulnerable are to be offered their second COVID19 vaccine earlier, the government has announced, as part of plans to tackle rising cases of the B1.617.2 variant of concern first identified in India. Appointments for a second dose of a vaccine will be brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for the remaining people in the top nine priority groups who have yet to receive their second dose. This is to ensure people across the UK have the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity. The move follows updated advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which has considered the latest available evidence on the variant and has recommended reducing the dosing interval to help protect the nation from the variant. People should continue to attend their second dose appointments and nobody needs to contact the NHS. The NHS will let those who should bring their appointment forward know, when they are able to do so. Those aged under 50 will continue to get their first dose, with their second dose at 12 weeks, as has been the deployment strategy so far. Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “It’s vital we do
everything we can and use every resource we have to ensure we continue to keep the nation safe. We have implemented measures at record pace to get on top of this new variant and control the spread. “Everyone has a role to play in this effort – accept the invite to get a jab when it comes, and if you live in one of the areas where we’ve introduced surge testing, get your free PCR test. Let’s work to fight this together.” The move will be supported by targeted new activity to accelerate vaccine uptake amongst eligible cohorts in Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen. The latest data on the B1.617.2 variant, published by PHE shows the number of cases across the UK has risen from 520 last week, to 1,313 cases this week. Most cases are in the North West of England, with some in London. Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said: “Our vaccines are preventing tens of thousands of hospitalisations and deaths due to COVID-19 and there’s early evidence to show the vaccine prevents serious illness from the variants in circulation too. “This move is a belt-and-braces approach to ensure as many people as possible have the full protection a vaccine has to offer – make sure to book in your jab when contacted.”
Additional measures will be implemented in areas where clusters of cases have been detected to stop further spread. These include: • Enhanced testing and contact tracing, including enhanced community and surge testing in areas defined by the local authorities and regional teams; • Increased genome sequencing of positive cases; • Increased community engagement, including ensuring that messages are accessible in languages that are used by communities; • Working closely with communities and community leaders to ensure that individuals are supported to test and self-isolate; and • Encouraging uptake for the age and risk groups currently prioritised for vaccination. The Department of Health and Social Care has also confirmed that surge testing is being deployed in Hackney where cases of the variant have been detected. The government and its scientific experts are monitoring the evolving situation and rates of variants closely, and will not hesitate to take additional action as necessary. The government continues to work closely with pharmaceutical companies to develop new vaccines specifically for the different variants.
Eight-Hour Relay as Care Homes Raise Over £1,000 for Covid Relief In India Residents from two Braintree care homes took part in an eight-hour relay with children and churchgoers from the local community to raise over £1,000 for India as the country grapples with the Covid-19 outbreak. Residents from St Mary’s Court and The New Deanery, along with children from Scallywags Day Nursery and parishioners of St Mary’s church in Bocking, each took turns covering part of the care homes’ six-acre gardens, handing sanitised batons to each other to continue the event from 9am to 5pm. Jo Whitehouse, Activities Manager for Sonnet Care Homes, said: “I’m overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to take part and raise funds for India as it struggles with Covid-19, from a one-year-old child to a 106-year-old lady. “The relay was a massive success, with everyone being able to do their part, no matter how big or small, in collectively covering the extensive distance over eight hours.” Jo was inspired to help raise funds for India’s Covid-19 relief after watching the devastation on TV with her son, seeing it as an opportunity for St Mary’s Court and The New Deanery to get back into fundraising after being unable to do so because of social distancing
restrictions over the past year. Jo got in touch with Reverend Rod Reid of St Mary’s Church and Scallywags Nursery, who immediately took interest in the idea, and set up a JustGiving page for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which represents 14 charities that quickly respond to overseas disasters.
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Reverend Rod said: “It is through our shared sense of community and close working relationship with the care homes that Jo approached me about raising funds following the distressing and upsetting scenes of the Covid crisis in India. While many, many miles away, we still wanted to do something to help. “The idea of the continuous eight-hour relay came forward and seemed the perfect way to both raise money and awareness, but also to do so while following the Covid restrictions in place here at the time.” A number of care home residents including Margaret, aged 106, were able to take part in the event, with the steel batons ordered by Jo being sanitised between each pass, and the whole event taking place outdoors while maintaining safe social distancing. Simon Beresford, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the DEC, said: “I want to say a heart-felt thank you to all who took part in the relay at St Mary’s Court and The New Deanery. What a great example of a community working together to make a difference.” Visit www.donation.dec.org.uk/coronavirus-appeal to donate to the DEC and www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sonnetcarehomesstmaryschurch-dec-india to support Jo’s fundraiser.
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 11
Say Hello to the Carer’s Latest Unsung Hero
We here at the CARER are thrilled to announce that Thelma O’Leary, Activities Co-ordinator at Fernhill House Care Home in Worcester is our latest Unsung Hero! Over the past year and through the difficulties of the pandemic Thelma has gone out of her way to keep the residents busy and entertained, organising a range of activities that target the mind, body and soul. Thelma’s weekly schedules contain a whole range activities and events that are requested by the residents, however, Thelma spend a great deal of her own time researching activities that the residents didn’t know they would enjoy! Francesca Brennan. Customer relations manager at Fernhill House Care Home. said: “Thelma’s ability to think “out of the box” is a credit to the home and she has organised lots of activities and events that are
certainly outside of the norm.” “She bought nerf guns in and set up targets for the residents to shoot, organised a wacky races event in the gardens where staff raced different themed wheelchairs, hosted our own Grand National where staff dressed up as the horses (we also had a unicorn and a dinosaur!) and she has been in regular contact with local schools, churches and musicians to ensure that the residents still feel part of the community.” “There has been wine tasting, cocktail making, seated yoga, Zumba, drumming and even a beer festival!” “She has started a “This is your life” project, where she takes the time to really get to know the resident and their history. She involves their loved ones so that she finds out as much detail as possible. She then puts all the information and photos together in a scrap book, which is then presented to the resident.”
Francesca added: “There has been a lot of fun here at Fernhill over the past year and Thelma has ensured that residents have been stimulated and entertained. She has an infectious personality, and nothing is too much trouble.” Well done Thelma!
We here at The Carer are delighted to award worthy winner Thelma a luxury “celebration” hamper packed full of all those “artful” little extras that make any celebration a truly memorable occasion, containing an absolute smorgasbord of luxury comestibles that are sure to delight the senses and tickle the palate!
UNSUNG HERO HISTORY We started our Unsung Hero award in 2015 to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It was at that time a “one-off” prize reward that member of staff going above and beyond their normal duties. A no glitz or glamour small gesture on our part to put a bit of cheer back into the sector. Little did we know just how popular it would become, and, more importantly, just how much of an insight it gives us into the dedication, devotion, and commitment those working in the sector have, and can often goes ignored or taken for granted. Once again were overwhelmed not only with the number of nominees care homes up and down the country sent to us, but the truly heart-warming and uplifting stories which once again makes us proud to be associated with such a passionate and caring profession. It has become increasingly more difficult over the years to pick an overall winner, and we are delighted to add some “unofficial” Marks & Spencer vouchers as runner-up prizes. I cannot say enough just how proud we are to be involved in such a vital and devoted industry, and our 4 extra runner ups are: Louise Turner: Registered Manager of The Elms Residential Home Dorset. Aydzhan Mehmed-Mustafa: Aquarius Nursing Home. Southsea Duncan Lloyd: St Vincent’s Nursing Home in Eastcote Pinner Christine Lovell: The Firs Care Home Essex A £25 Marks & Spencer’s gift voucher is on its way! Well done to you all!!! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who put forward nominations we had a wonderful response, it may sound tired old cliché, but it is not meant to be, when we say, that in our eyes “every nomination was a winner” and we are just sorry we cannot give an award to everybody! Watch out for further details of our next “Unsung Hero” with the same great prize of a luxury celebration hamper!
PAGE 12 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
Utilising Gamification To Improve Healthcare Training By Michelle Gorringe, COO Newcross Healthcare (www.newcrosshealthcare.com) If you use a smartphone, you might not know it but you’ve probably encountered something called gamification – as in, game-ification – which applies video game principles to learning in general. For those of us in the healthcare sector, this begs the question, could best-practice gaming technologies and techniques be employed to improve the way we train the nurses and carers? The answer is yes. We’re using gamification principles to enhance our clinical training in the healthcare industry to help provide our staff with the skills required to work in a range of establishments including care homes, hospitals, prisons and schools. Technically speaking, ‘gamification’ can simply mean leaderboards or other basic elements seen in computer games. Yet at its most advanced, gamification can allow for virtual simulations of the real-life settings in which nurses and carers work. ‘Characters’ with their own stories can be created, to whom users (i.e., nurses and carers) can strongly relate. These characters and their narratives are built on a variety of real-life situations, all blended to provide the best learning possible in a simulated environment. And scientific study into how the brain learns best shows that gamification increases the effectiveness of information recall and retention. The ways in which gamification can be used are myriad; ‘Lifesaver’ from the Resuscitation Council UK puts
Anna Chaplaincy: Here To Help! Anna Chaplaincy began just over 11 years ago with one person - the former broadcaster Debbie Thrower, in Alton in Hampshire. Now, it’s a rapidly growing, widely respected nationwide ministry with Anna Chaplains and people in equivalent roles, in places as diverse as Orkney and Cornwall, south Wales and the Scottish highlands, Cumbria and Kent, Cheltenham and Newcastle. The purpose of Anna Chaplaincy – named after
the widow, Anna, in the Bible – is to offer spiritual care for older people and their carers, to advocate on their behalf and to champion their contribution to the wider community. As Debbie Thrower explains: "Our vision is to see an Anna Chaplain in every small- and medium-sized community in the country, and for the Anna Chaplain name to become synonymous with spiritual care for older people." Anna Chaplains work closely with care home managers and staff and carry out a wide range of activities in care homes and in the wider community. In normal times, being an Anna Chaplain involves visiting older people wherever they may be living, meeting one-to-one, hearing life-stories, taking services and home communion, drinking tea, praying, making music or simply holding someone’s hand in
you at the heart of the action when someone has a cardiac arrest, Melbourne’s Metro Trains went viral after they used gamification to promote rail safety and, closer to home, Newcross Healthcare has adopted gamification to create a ‘virtual shift’. The benefit of a virtual shift is that it can provide a number of scenarios, each centred on a different character with each scenario not only covering physical, clinical and emergency situations but also an individual’s emotional needs. If, for example, an elderly person has a fall, a carer needs to know how to handle that situation practically; but if the person also has dementia, their care must also take into account the communication challenges that person’s dementia poses. People love stories, and tend to remember them better than facts. In a healthcare setting, this means that healthcare staff embarking on the educational experience are immersed in the world of the character in a way that’s interactive, engaging and fun, instead of reading information following which they are then tested on, as is the case with much eLearning today. ‘Characterisation’ can also build a rapport between user and character, proving that the caring aspect of the job translates well to the virtual-learning environment. And nurses and carers can learn in a safe environment, too – immediately seeing the consequences of their decisions, and gaining from instant feedback. Put simply, gamification, when used in a healthcare context, lets you learn in a place where it’s safe to make mistakes – and learn from them. However, when using gamification techniques in the context of learning, you need to be clear on your desired learning outcomes. Once these are identified, the course content and experience as a whole can be engineered to meet that outcome and meet the requirements of a care certificate. For example, users should come away with the precise skills they need to work in a particular environment, whether it be schools, hospitals, prisons or, in our case, care homes. companionable silence. They also offer pastoral support to front-line care home staff. But for Anna Chaplains, as for everyone else, these have been far from normal times. They haven’t been able to go into care homes or make home visits for months but, ever creative and adaptable, they’ve switched to Zoom and FaceTime, window visits, telephone calls, handwritten notes and individual gift bags of tea and cake. Former nurse, Sally Rees, was ordained priest and commissioned as Anna Chaplaincy Lead for Wales, in a small socially distanced but very special service at Brecon Cathedral late last September. "I’ve been part of the Anna Chaplaincy network from the very first gathering,’ she says, ‘so I’ve been witness to Anna Chaplaincy growing. "Lockdown has been very difficult for Anna Chaplains, their teams, and the people for whom we care. But in this time when we can’t ‘do’, our praying for people is no small thing – praying is never a small thing, but in these times I really do believe our
goal is to do that deeper prayer, which protects and holds and keeps." As the whole area of social care, and support for the older members of our communities, moves centre stage as a result of the pandemic, (The Carer 12.04.21), Anna Chaplains are uniquely placed to share their wisdom and experience with practitioners and policy-makers alike. Increasingly, team leaders Debbie Thrower and Julia Burton-Jones are consulted by government, church leaders and academics and there is an increasing demand for Anna Chaplaincy training and resources. In an indication of the growing regard for the work of Anna Chaplaincy, Debbie Thrower was honoured to lead a special service on BBC Radio 4 to commemorate the 125,000 people who lost their lives in the first year of pandemic. For more information go to www.annachaplaincy.org.uk. Anna Chaplaincy is a ministry of the charity BRF. For more information go to www.brf.org.
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 13
Three Quarters Of Care Workers’ Mental Health Has Worsened During Pandemic Three quarters of care workers have experienced worsened mental health because of their work during the pandemic. A survey of more than 1,200 care workers found their mental health declined throughout the second wave, with respondents reporting it being poorer in December and January than in September and October. GMB, the care workers’ union, has warned of a looming care workers’ crisis, and has urged the Government and employers to step up and address the mental health crisis in social care. GMB’s major survey of more than 1,200 care workers conducted between December and January found that: • 75% of care workers say that their work during the Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious negative impact on their mental health • Care workers report anxiety levels are almost half as high (44% per cent higher) than all employees in the wider economy • Care workers’ mental health declined throughout the second wave: care workers reported poorer mental health in December/January than at the start of the second wave in September/October • Some groups of care workers were more likely to report poor mental health: women, disabled, residential, and care workers who were only entitled to statutory sick pay all reported lower mental health scores
The new findings – reported by the BBC – should be a wake-up call for the social care sector, GMB said. The union said that poor mental health in social care was a longstanding concern. Research carried out before the pandemic found that care workers are at a significantly higher risk of dying by suicide. Worryingly, the new survey found that care workers’ mental health had declined since the summer. Survey respondents’ scores for happiness had fallen by 12% and self-reported anxiety levels had risen by 6%. GMB said that low pay, insecure working, and inadequate sick pay were all contributing factors to poor mental health in the sector. The average care worker in England is paid £8.80 an hour and a third of care workers are employed on a zero hours contract, according to figures reported by employers. The findings are being released to mark the one year anniversary of the peak in care home residents’ deaths, after 1,300 residents died on Easter Sunday 2020 (of which 495 residents were known to have had Covid-19). GMB is campaigning for higher wages, full sick pay so care workers can afford to self-isolate, better support from employers including sepa-
rate recording of mental health absences, and national funding for new mental health services for care workers including talking therapy and specialised PTSD support. Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer for care, said:“Care workers have been asked to make incredible sacrifices during the pandemic, and these sobering figures demonstrate the urgent need for better support. “Members describe having to nurse much loved residents as they died from this terrible disease, while all the while worrying about their own safety and how they were going to pay the bills. “Our care members are dedicated, compassionate professionals but everyone has their breaking point. For too many, the combined effect of poor employment conditions and the pandemic has been too much to bear. “If any good is to come out of this pandemic then it must include urgent reform of the sector. Ministers and employers need to explain how they are going to care for the people who have cared for us. “As a minimum, this must include dedicated national mental health services, a substantial increase in pay, and full sick pay cover so that care workers can afford to self-isolate when they are ill – no-one should be asked to live on £96.35 a week.”
Over 400,000 Social Care Staff Not Vaccinated, Research Suggests Over 400,000 of England’s adult social care workforce have not received a coronavirus vaccine, according to research. An estimated 80.4% of eligible staff working at older adult care homes had received the vaccination by April 18, NHS England said, and a total of 72.3% of staff working in independent Care Quality Commission-registered younger adult care homes and domiciliary care providers have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. For social care staff working in other settings in England, including non-registered providers, the figure was 69.4%. According to analysis by PA news agency, 1.17 million out of 1.58 million social care staff in these settings have received a first dose, which
leaves 417,989 social care staff who have not been vaccinated or whose vaccination has not yet been recorded. The total includes over 1000 older adult care home staff who are not eligible because they have had Covid-19 in the past 28 days and may include a small number who work at a home currently in outbreak and therefore cannot be visited, and may also include staff who cannot be vaccinated for valid medical reasons or staff whose vaccination status is currently unknown, while NHS England said there may be a time lag in vaccinations being reported. Of the 417,989 total, 43% work in other settings including non-registered providers.
The figures came as the Government opened a public consultation on a proposal for staff to be required to get a jab as a condition of employment to protect elderly residents. The figures show that the vaccination rate for staff at older adult care homes is below the level recommended by scientists advising the Government in more than half of England’s local authorities. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) says 80% of care home staff and 90% of residents need to be vaccinated to provide a minimum level of protection against Covid-19 outbreaks. Figures published reveal that 76 out of 149 local authorities have not reached this threshold for employees.
PAGE 14 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
Compulsory Vaccinations in the Care Sector and What the Implications Be for Care Providers and Their Staff By Nathan Donaldson, employment solicitor at Keystone Law (www.keystonelaw.com) who has specialised in advising the care sector for more than 20 years The government has launched a five-week consultation on the possibility of mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for care home staff in England, questioning whether a vaccine may become a condition of employment. A decision is set to be reached in the summer. Why is the consultation taking place now? It is estimated that in some parts of the country, care home staff vaccination rates are below 70%. Medical opinion estimates that vaccination rates need to be above 80%-90% to provide the minimum level of protection for care home residents. Currently only 53% of older adult care homes in England are meeting this threshold. What are the justifications for compulsory vaccinations? The latest medical evidence is beginning to show the efficacy of vaccinations in preventing coronavirus transmission and infection. For instance, Public Health England has predicted that the Covid jab has saved the lives of 10,400 over-60s. For this reason, England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has commented that it is ‘a professional obligation’ for staff in a medical or care settings to have the vaccine to protect the most vulnerable. Various government ministers have also suggested that it would be reasonable for employers to insist on vaccination. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that “making vaccines a condition of deployment is something many care homes have called for, to help them provide greater protection for staff and residents in older people’s care homes, and so save lives”. As of April 2021, the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust has already written to its staff (and other Trusts) indicating that it is going to implement compulsory vaccination.
SO WHY CAN’T THE CARE SECTOR ALREADY REQUIRE MANDATORY VACCINATION?
COVID-19 and the resultant pandemic is unprecedented in modern times. There is much diversion of opinion amongst employment lawyers, government ministers and even unions and professional bodies on the topic of mandatory vaccination. Vaccinations are not presently compulsory in the UK. The Government can rely on the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases, but this Act specifically excludes the power to require a person to undergo medical treatment, including vaccination. For such reasons, employers insisting on mandatory vaccination face several risks, which are summarised below:
DISCRIMINATION Compulsory vaccinations in the workplace are potentially discriminatory due to an employee’s: • religion, • age, • disability and/or • gender
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS Compulsory vaccination may also be a breach of an employee’s human rights and in particular: The right to life (Article 2), namely the duty to protect life and failures to protect life. The right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 3): namely issues including serious mental or physical harm and restraint. Right to liberty (Article 5): namely issues including mental health, mental capacity and restraint. Right to private and family life, home and correspondence (Article 8): namely issues including autonomy, wellbeing and “vaccine passports”. Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 9): namely issues including the right to exercise strongly held beliefs. The right to be free from discrimination (Article 14): namely issues including groups of people being treated differently
DATA PROTECTION An employee’s health information is ‘special category’ personal data and employers must ensure they are handling their employee’s data with
PERSONAL INJURY If an employee has an adverse reaction to the vaccination against their express wishes to having been vaccinated, they may bring a claim for personal injury. For such reasons employers who implement compulsory vaccinations may face several legal claims from their employees. This could be both costly and incredibly time consuming. In addition to legal risks, the Trade Union Congress have also stated that "… forcing workers to get the jab will harm trust and employee relations.”
WHAT ARE THE LIKELY OUTCOMES OF THE CONSULTATIONS? It may be decided that the current status quo will be unchanged. Alternatively, it could result in a statutory basis for employers in the care sector to make vaccinations mandatory. This would likely include exemptions based on health grounds. The government may take a middle approach of issuing non-binding ‘guidance’ which could offer the industry further support moving forward. Care sector employers must balance ensuring the safety of their residents and staff, whilst also respecting employees’ freedom of choice. Moreover, in absence of further statutory intervention by the government, it will be difficult to make vaccinations legally compulsory. It is for these reasons that the government has rightly moved to consult on this topic, so that care sector employers will have statutory certainty as to what they can require of their staff. It is hoped that the outcome of the consultation will result in legislation or guidance that will support providers to make long-term and pragmatic decisions to ensure the welfare of its employees, residents and their families. It is also assumed that any steps to make vaccinations mandatory will have associated safeguards, through requiring informing and consultation obligations upon the employer and for legitimate exceptions to apply where vaccination would not be appropriate. Exceptions may include those relating to employees who have a disability, pre-existing medical condition or are of an age or religious/philosophical belief that would afford them reasonable grounds to refuse vaccination.
105 Year Care Home Resident Becomes Social Media Star Edna Alvis, a resident at Brunelcare’s Deerhurst care home, has gone ‘viral’ on social media after her 105th birthday celebrations were recorded by BBC Radio Bristol. On Thursday 15th April, the easing of lockdown restrictions allowed Edna to celebrate her 105th birthday with a small garden party at Deerhurst. Her party included flowers, cake and balloons, and she even received her second birthday card from the Queen. BBC Radio Bristol joined in on the celebrations, recording the day to share on their social media channels. After posting the story on Facebook, Edna’s story was shared around the world and she has received over 4,000 birthday messages – including from the USA, Australia, and Nigeria! One well-wisher said: “Happy birthday. What’s your secret? You don’t even look 90”
Edna revealed that the secret to staying young is ‘having a great family and a sherry on a Sunday’. Edna has enjoyed reading all of the comments, and is overwhelmed by the number of birthday wishes she has received. Lesley Hobbs, Manager at Deerhurst care home, said: “Edna is thrilled. She can’t believe all the attention it’s received but she is one very happy lady, and thoroughly enjoying the limelight.” Edna moved into Deerhurst care home in 2018 after thinking she only had three weeks to live, but after receiving dedicated care she has now been enjoying her time at Brunelcare for three years. Edna said: “Here it’s been marvellous, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. They have been marvellous to all of us, we don’t want for anything.”
Getting Fit To Boost Wellbeing In Care Residents Alice Mitroi, Registered Manager of Belvedere House, the nursing care home of maritime charity The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, discusses the importance of fitness and exercise in supporting the emotional and physical welfare of elderly residents. Looking after our mental and physical wellbeing has never been more important, and it’s a topic that has been high on the news agenda during the pandemic as the nation is urged to stay fit and healthy. We all know that exercise can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers, osteoarthritis, and dementia, but it also releases serotonin, endorphins, and other chemicals into our brains that help to lift our mood and is even prescribed to help treat mild cases of depression and improve mental health. Exercise is proven to help keep us all active, fit and healthy whilst also alleviating pressure on the health service for drug alternatives and reducing time spent at the doctors for minor ailments. Research shows that physical inactivity is now a close contender with smoking as one of the UK’s biggest health problems. Last summer, the government announced a £4million pilot scheme trialling “green prescriptions” to encourage people to take up outdoor physical activity to improve their overall health and help ease pressure on the NHS. With this in mind, care providers must ensure they integrate fitness and exercise in their resident person centred care plans to support wellbeing. Here at Belvedere House, the nursing care home of maritime charity The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, we know the importance of incorporating physical activity to support our residents’ overall health and help them to socialise and to live as independently as possible. We have
provided nursing care to support elderly, sick or disabled seafarers, their widows and dependants since 1865 – including those living with dementia – and we have always taken a holistic approach to caring for residents with a range of unique needs.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS The NHS advises that adults aged 65 and over should aim to be active every day, even if it's just light activity, and do activities that improve strength, balance and flexibility at least twice a week. Here at the Society’s nursing care home, Belvedere House, we are lucky to be situated within 14 acres of our own beautiful Surrey greenbelt countryside, so our residents are able to get outdoors for exercise and fresh air daily, dependent on the weather! Given the age of many of our residents, time outdoors is often in the form of an accompanied walk up to our North Field pond site where residents love to visit with family or care staff to bird watch or simply enjoy the beautiful flowers and surroundings. However, last year one of our 91year-old tenants challenged himself to walk laps of our grounds for 30 days to raise funds for key workers. Inspired by Sir Captain Tom Moore, John walked 365 metres each day during his sponsored walk of 13,950km, raising more than £5,000 in donations which he put towards gifts for the home’s key worker staff. Not only did this have a positive effect on morale at the home, but it also boosted John’s health and wellbeing and demonstrated the importance of keeping fit and spending time outdoors. Care homes should take full advantage of the outdoor space around them that enables residents to stay fit and get plenty of fresh air. Our care home residents enjoy activities such as gardening, which can be a great form of exercise for those unable to participate in overly strenuous outdoor activity. Equally, there are plenty of seated exercises that can be carried out at home, in a garden, or in a care home setting, which can help people with reduced mobility gain strength and improve posture – particularly when paired with light hand weights and resistance bands.
STRIKING A BALANCE
At Belvedere House, our activities coordinators ensure that every week there are effective and varied forms of exercise scheduled for our residents, whether it’s outdoor activities like gardening or walking, group exercise classes or – firm favourites at our home –seated yoga and swing and sway exercises. Improving balance is one of the key reasons that exercise should be part of elderly residents’ care plans because having good balance reduces the chances of falls and helps older people be as independent as possible. Walking is one way of maintaining balance, along with dedicated exercises, but it is important for individuals to go at their own pace and exercise in a way that works for them. The NHS has some useful guidance including its Exercises for Older People handbook but there are plenty of resources online – from national health bodies and charities like Age UK – and many care homes like ours have experts that can identify the best forms of exercise to suit individuals’ needs. The right care plan can have a transformative effect on residents’ wellbeing, if tailored to their individual needs, which is why we work closely with our residents and their families to identify the best ways to support their health and improve their strength and mobility. We had a resident who was wheelchair-bound when he first arrived with us and was struggling with a number of health issues. Within the caring environment of the modern facilities at Belvedere House and in our specialist dementia care unit, residents and staff supported him in regaining his mobility and independence. All in all, our role as care givers is to help residents lead happy and healthy lives and remain as active and as independent as possible. It’s our duty to encourage and support residents in improving their fitness and participating in activities that will not only be enjoyable but be beneficial to their overall health and wellbeing.
References: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/exercise-for-depression/ https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/physical-activity-guidelines-older-adults/ https://assets.nhs.uk/prod/documents/nhs-balance-exercise.pdf
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 15
MPs Call for Law to Protect Care Home Visiting Rights Government guidance on care home visits must be supported in law to protect the rights of residents and their families, according to a report. Current guidance says every care home resident in England can nominate up to two named visitors for regular visits, and residents with the highest care needs can also nominate an essential care giver. It says staff should not make blanket decisions for groups of people and that the individual resident’s views, needs and wellbeing should be considered when making visiting decisions. However, without statutory force, there is no legal recourse for residents to require their providers to implement the guidance. The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) said it is “completely unacceptable” for some care home providers to argue it is not safe to follow Government guidance. The committee has called on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to implement vigorous processes on data collection and monitoring of care home visits by the end of May after it found many providers are Harriet Harman MP not following government guidance. The Joint Committee on Human Rights, appointed from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, said it was “astonished” that the CQC was unable to offer a clear picture of adherence to care home visitor guidance. When giving evidence to the committee, the CQC said it did not collect quantitative data on how many visits have occurred across care homes. “It is clear that public authorities do not have a clear enough view of the care home sector’s adherence to the guidance on visiting,” said the joint committee. “It was astonishing to hear the CQC claim that they were not aware of any care home in England that was
not following the guidance, despite clear evidence to the contrary from residents and their families. The CQC needs to get a grip on what is going on in the care home sector,” it added. The joint committee has prepared a draft statutory instrument to lay before parliament to secure legal protection for care home residents deprived of family visits. In its Care homes: Visiting restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, the committee called on the government to make the existing requirements for individualised assessment for visits mandatory by laying its draft regulation as soon as possible. Harriet Harman Labour MP and committee chairwoman, said the pandemic has been heartbreaking for “far too many” families whose right to family life has been breached. “The CQC assurances that visits are being allowed properly now in all homes is wholly unconvincing. Because care homes see guidance about allowing visits as advisory rather than binding, the government must now bring forward regulations to give their guidance on visits legal force,” she added. She said: “The Government has listened to recommendations from this Committee and others that restrictions on visiting rights must be only be implemented on the basis of an individualised risk assessment which takes into account the risks to the resident’s physical and mental wellbeing of not having visits. “By not underpinning this guidance in law, care homes have not felt bound by it and important rights have therefore not been respected. Social Care Minister Helen Whately said the care homes themselves should decide on visiting policies. "We recognise that every care home has a unique layout, physical environment and facilities, and residents have their own individual health and wellbeing needs, which is why care homes themselves are best placed to decide how to enable visiting safely," she said. Social Care Minister Helen Whately MP
Calls for £75,000 Care Costs Cap and Increase in Taxes to Fund Care A London School of Economics-led commission has called on the government to introduce a Dilnot-style cap on care costs of £75,000, and to put 1p on income tax, national insurance and VAT to secure the future of the NHS and social care. The report calls for £102bn funding injection for the NHS and social care over the next 10 years and a £3.2bn one-off injection in social care. The LSE–Lancet Commission, set up in 2018 to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, also recommends making the means test for social care more generous by raising the point at which people have to pay for their own care from £23,250 to £100,000. In the report, the commission suggest a long-term solution to NHS troubles with seven main recommendations, including “yearly increases in funding of at least 4 per cent in real terms” for health, social care and public health over the next decade. The LSE–Lancet Commission on the future of the NHS: re-laying the foundations for an equitable and efficient health and care service after COVID-19 report published in The Lancet found the measures would improve financial protection for the most vulnerable. The measures could be paid for by a one-off injection in social care
spending of £3.2 billion in England in 2018/19 terms. The report recommends funding for the NHS, social care, and public health should increase by at least four cent every year in real terms over the next ten years. Co-chair of the LSE-Lancet Commission, Professor Alistair McGuire from LSE, said: “This report outlines an ambitious, long-term vision that looks beyond the election cycle. Our collective ambition should be as much about preventing ill-health and keeping people healthy as it is about treating people when they are sick. “This means the NHS, social care and public health working in partnership with other public services, civil society and communities to improve the nation’s health, and deliver a health system that is prepared for future health shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that health and national economic prosperity cannot be disentangled, and health must be a key area as we rebuild post-COVID.” Based on tax revenue before the pandemic, the report proposes raising personal income tax, National Insurance and VAT contributions by a penny each by 2025-26, and increasing personal income tax and national insurance to two pence by 2030-31.
The changes would be phased in along with rises to several other, smaller taxes, including corporate and wealth taxes. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our NHS has faced huge challenges over the past year due to COVID-19 and we continue to support our incredible health and care staff who have kept services open for thousands of patients. “We have made £63bn available for health services over the last year and an additional £29bn next year, including new investment to address backlogs and tackle long waiting lists which have built up because of the pandemic. “Improving the adult social care system, including promoting integrated care, remains a priority for this government and we will bring forward proposals later this year. “The new UK Health Security Agency has been established to protect the country from future health threats and ensure the nation can respond to pandemics quickly and at greater scale. Alongside UKHSA, the new Office for Health Promotion will promote and drive better health at all levels of government and healthcare.”
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PAGE 16 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
Person-Centred Care Enables Families and Their Loved Ones with Dementia to Get the Very Best Care and Support By Steve Mason, Admiral Nurse, Greensleeves Care (www.greensleeves.org.uk) When a loved ones gets diagnosed with dementia, the affect on their family and friends can be devastating. Relationships change – a husband may become a carer, or a mother may have to accept that her son now has to look after her. When a family decides that a loved one with dementia needs the level of care that only a professional dementia care worker can provide, it is the role of the care home to support families when they reach this decision. Many families describe how bereft and guilty they feel when they reach this decision, but if they receive the right support and help in coming to terms with this life changing moment, it can help to maintain relationships and keep families united. With families often expressing how they can feel excluded from the
care of their loved ones after they go to live in a residential or nursing home, it is the responsibility of every home to ensure that care is a triadic arrangement. By putting the person needing care at the head of the triad, with the care provider and the family being at the other corners of the care triangle, it ensures that everyone is working together to give the very best care. By involving families from the beginning in the care plan of their loved ones, care providers can ensure that they learn about the caredfor person. Families of residents are one of our greatest assets when planning their care plan. By getting to know the person who will be receiving care as an individual- through those who love them most- it allows a real focus on person-centered care. For someone who has dementia, knowing about their routine; their hobbies and pastimes; their past work/life experiences, and their greatest achievements, ensures that they receive carefully planned care and everyday activities j. order to give the individual resident enjoyable days that are meaningful and satisfying. When a loved one enters a care home, it is often a very emotional time for their families. At Greensleeves Care we believe that the provision of regular support for families, by bringing them together in family support
groups, not only enables them to share experiences of a loved one having dementia, but it can help reduce the isolation that some family carers can experience. Often family carers will form relationships with each other as they realise that their experiences of caring for a loved one living with dementia are similar. Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on many. Families have been separated and support networks have been disrupted. As lockdown restrictions are slowly lifted, families are now having to deal with pronounced changes in their loved ones’ health or mental state. After not been able to visit their elderly relatives for many months, some families are now discovering that their loved ones don’t recognise them anymore. Ahead of this year’s Dementia Awareness Week, the care sector will be supporting those living with dementia, alongside their families and loved ones. With families feeling concerned that relationships have floundered over the past year, we must support them in finding that connection again and ensure that strong, loving and important family ties can be renewed and maintained. Also, we will provide services and provisions that enable families to support each other to prevent further isolation and loneliness. By working together, we can ensure that everyone who is touched by dementia gets the support and help they need.
Residents at Swaffham Care Home Complete Personal Challenges for Charity “Meadow House has enjoyed a fantastic week raising money for the MS Trust; a charity that is very close to our hearts. Everyone really got behind the various activities and fundraisers to raise money for vital research. “I would like to personally mention our resident Lavanda Norgate who walked around the home for 12 miles and cycled 14 miles, which is just fantastic. In addition, our maintenance specialist Chris bravely volunteered to have his chest waxed at the end of the week! To raise £400 is an amazing accomplishment; thank you to everyone who sponsored, donated, bought raffle tickets and took part to make the week so much fun and for such a great cause.” Since 2016, Meadow House nursing home has raised over £3,800 for the MS Trust through a variety of home and community-based fundraising activities, including a parachute jump.
Residents and staff at Meadow House nursing home in Swaffham, Norfolk – which is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission – have completed a series of activities and personal challenges to raise £400 for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Trust charity, as part of a national MS Awareness Week. The home, which is part of Healthcare Homes, provides residential and nursing care for residents with a range of physical disabilities and specialises in the care of those living with MS. The awareness week took place between 18th and 24th April with its traditional ‘blue’ theme and the Meadow House team rallied to support this by hosting a range of personal challenges and activities, including Blue Karaoke, bingo, games, tombola, a raffle, as well as personal challenges with sponsored walks, indoor cycles and even waxing! Explains Joanna Jankowska, manager of Meadow House nursing home,
Care Provider’s High-Quality Approach To Training Recognised Nationally A highly regarded competition to find some of the best employers in the country has demonstrated that Care UK is in the top three for the way it helps its team members to learn and develop their skills. Care UK was awarded the bronze medal in the UK Employee Experience Awards under the Employee Training and Development category for its commitment to all colleagues in developing a fulfilling career through clear career ladders, comprehensive inductions, a diverse range of apprenticeships and innovative development programmes. The awards are open to all types of business and Care UK shares the top three slots with the bank TSB and the London and North East Railway company. Care UK was the only social care provider to win in this year’s Employee Experience Awards. This is the second year that Care UK’s commitment to its employees has been
recognised at the same awards – in 2020 it picked up a silver award in the Best Company to Work For category. Commenting on the award after attending the online ceremony, Care UK’s Human Resources Director Leah Queripel said: “We are incredibly proud to have our approach to developing our colleagues recognised in this way. We have a strong ‘grow your own’ ethos and a great many of our home managers and directors have developed their career paths from team member through to their current senior role thanks to the development opportunities we offer. “I truly believe that this recognition reflects the fact that society is finally realising that social care offers a great career for people who want to learn valuable skills as well as make a difference to the lives of older people. And, for those who aspire to climb a career ladder to a very senior level, we can help people to make that happen through our leadership development programmes.”
Bluebird Care and QCS Announce Specialist Compliance Package for the Republic of Ireland Bluebird Care, a specialist in domiciliary care services, has chosen Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), to deliver content, guidance, policies and procedures to all of its home care businesses in the Republic of Ireland. The partnership comes as the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), which monitors the safety and quality of the healthcare and social care systems, announced that it was seeking extra regulatory powers. As part of the agreement, QCS, the UK’s leading content provider for the social care sector, has worked closely with Care Quality experts, HIQA and the Irish National Health Service (HSE) to tailor all of its policies and procedures to meet standards in the Republic of Ireland. The content and compliance package contains a raft of policies and procedures, which have been specifically written for the Republic of Ireland.
Neil Murray, the Director of Quality and Compliance at Bluebird Care, Ireland, said, “We are delighted to be working with QCS in the Republic of Ireland. By working in partnership with QCS to curate specialist and bespoke content for the care sector in the Republic of Ireland, our frontline care workers will be able to call upon an even greater assortment of content and compliance tools going forward.” Philippa Stevens, QCS’s Head of Partnership and Alliances, added, “We're exceptionally proud to be involved in this partnership. In the last 18 months, the social care sector has experienced many challenges. One of the central hurdles to providing outstanding care is being able to create a rich culture of compliance, where care professionals always have right tools at the right time. Moving forward, we hope the partnership will enable more care services to have access to those tools as they continually strive to provide outstanding care.” To join QCS, contact our compliance advisors on 0333-4053333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Care Home Residents To Be Granted Wishes Staff at the charity run care centre in Essex asked their residents to hang a handwritten note asking for something that they would really love to receive on a ‘Wish Tree’ and much to all the residents absolute delight the first wish has been granted – a kitten who will live at Edensor. Diane Groom, 72, placed her wish which said “I would love to have a cat to love and care for” on the tree and was over the moon when hers was the first wish to be granted and ‘Dave’ a tiny little tabby kitten arrived to live permanently at the Care Centre. Lindsey Milliken, Deputy Manager, Edensor Care Centre,
said, “When I suggested that we create a ‘Wish Tree’ at Edensor I had no idea quite the impact it would have. Our new kitten Dave has made a huge difference to the atmosphere in the Care Centre and seeing the residents faces light up when he is about is magical, and he is bringing immense joy and happiness to residents and staff. And we are absolutely delighted that Clacton Pet Store has donated some toys and food for our new housemate. “The staff also added a wish to the tree inspired by one of our residents, a young man, Simon Keyes, 34, who was with us for end-of-life care. On the day before he died, I
was taking him along the sea front, when he told me that he would love to go on the beach to feel the sand and be taken to the water’s edge to put his feet in the sea. Not being able to do this for him was heart breaking and I knew that we needed to fundraise for a couple of beach wheelchairs to ensure that in future we would be able to take our residents on to the sand.” Other wishes on the tree include, to go and see West Ham play and tour the stadium, to have a round of golf and to go ten pin bowling and one resident simply wanted to walk in the rain.
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 17
Lack Of Social Care Reform Could ‘Destabilise’ Health Care Local authority leaders have warned that the absence of a long-term, fully funded social care plan could destabilise other health and care reforms. The report by the Health and Social Care Committee into Government reforms of the NHS and social care calls for new legislation that would impose a duty on the Government to publish a 10-year social care plan with detailed costings, within six months of the Health and Care Bill receiving Royal Assent. The committee warned that the lack of a fully funded plan for social care could undermine the success of the creation of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) throughout England. The inquiry into the White Paper, Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care concluded that that the creation of Integrated Care Systems throughout England has the potential to improve the delivery of care services for patients. The Report welcomes a commitment from the Secretary of State to act on the Committee’s suggestion to include in the Bill provisions for independent ratings of the ICSs, to be carried out by the Care Quality Commission. MPs also call for a more detailed framework that sets out the roles and responsibilities of both the NHS Body and the Health and Care Partnership, with clear lines of accountability to ensure success. On social care, the Committee urges that new legislation should impose a duty on the Secretary of State to publish a 10-year plan with detailed costings, within 6 months of the Bill receiving Royal Assent. Funding should be at the levels set out by the Committee in its Social care: funding and workforce Report. The absence of a fully funded plan for social care has the potential to destabilise Integrated Care Systems and undermine their success, and without secure long term funding
problems that have bedevilled the care sector for decades would not be resolved, say MPs. Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, said: “We broadly support the proposed changes provided the new Integrated Care Systems are held accountable for the quality and safety of care delivered through transparent CQC assessments. But we remain concerned about glaring omissions, including the lack of social care reform, and a much-needed overhaul of workforce planning. “If such issues are addressed the government has an opportunity to deliver a post-pandemic watershed ‘1948 moment’ for the health and care system, matching the significance of the year the NHS was founded. But if they are not, it will be a wasted opportunity to deliver the truly integrated care required by an ageing population.” Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said: “The Committee rightly acknowledges the possible benefits of the government’s health and care reforms, whilst also identifying the significant pitfalls ministers must avoid. “By sweeping away clunky competition and procurement rules, the government’s NHS reform plans could give the NHS and its partners greater flexibility to deliver joined-up care to the increasing numbers of people who rely on multiple different services. Whether these benefits are realised will critically depend on how the reforms are implemented. “However, these reforms only deal with part of the problem facing health and social care. The government has yet to say how it will tackle staff shortages, redress deep-seated health inequalities, or bring forward long-overdue reform of the social care sector. “As part of their inquiry, we told the Committee that the government’s White Paper proposals to improve workforce planning are wholly inadequate. Reformed services are no good without the staff to run them. As
staff emerge from the pandemic physically and emotionally drained, there is an increasingly urgent need for a fully funded workforce strategy to increase recruitment and tackle staff stress and burnout. “The reforms will place greater power in the hands of the Secretary of State, but ministers should be careful what they wish for. Political expediency should not trump clinical judgment so we support the Committee’s call for greater clarity on why these new powers are needed and how they will be used.” Cllr David Fothergill, chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘As the committee’s report rightly states, the absence of a long-term, fully funded plan for social care has the potential to destabilise other proposed health and care reforms. ‘A clear timeline is urgently needed from Government on when concrete proposals will be brought forward. We are keen to work with the Government and other stakeholders on a cross-party basis to ensure the millions of people of all ages across the country who draw on social care are able to access the support they need to help them live the life they want to lead.’ Cllr Fothergill also said that the LGA supports the aim of greater transparency in social care but has ‘significant concerns’ about the report’s recommendation for Ofsted-style ratings for councils’ social care services. ‘Assurance needs to build on existing sector-led improvement support, recognise local democratic accountability and give a meaningful voice to people who draw on social care,’ he said. ‘We favour a review-driven approach looking at care as a whole, based on a shared agreement of what ‘good’ looks like, a person-centred approach and locally flexible care and support.’
Lord Mayor Of Grantham Visits Care Home To Open Brand New Visitor’s Room Elderly residents from a local care home in Grantham have received a very special visit from the Lord Mayor, Dean Ward. The residents and staff at Red Court Care Community on St Edmunds Close spent the afternoon chatting to the mayor and trying on his Civic regalia (chain). The day was filled with an array of cakes, tea and coffee and plenty of laughs. Lin Amos, residential manager at Red Court Care Community said: “We are delighted that the Lord Mayor of Grantham accepted our invitation to open our brand-new visitor’s room. We wanted to give families a safe, warm space during their visits so they can relax and enjoy their surroundings. “We hosted an afternoon tea party for the mayor and our residents wore their very best clothes as some of them expressed how it was an important day so suit and ties were needed. While eating French Fancies, a number of residents asked the mayor questions about his position and background which he was more than happy to answer. We all had such a wonderful afternoon and I’m extremely grateful for our special visit, we’ve got lots of pictures from the day
to hang up around the home.” The Lord Mayor of Grantham, Dean Ward said: “It’s been a very difficult year for us all as Covid-19 has caused lots of pain and suffering across the country. I’ve also been dealing with my own health battles this year and I’m thankful to have received such positive support from Red Court during my recovery. A number of handmade get well soon cards were sent to me not long after I’d been taken into hospital. “I was invited by Red Court to open their brand-new visitor’s room which allows family members to have their own space with their loved ones. I was thrilled to be asked to cut the ribbon to this bright, private space for all to enjoy. This is just one of the many things Red Court has been doing to adapt to these unprecedented times.” “The staff, the residents and the home are truly wonderful, I was really impressed with the safety measures they take and the interior themes that run throughout the home. I’m glad I was able to bring even more smiles to everyone’s faces, thank you for having me.”
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PAGE 18 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
More Than 20 Million UK Adults Receive Both Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine Health services across the UK have now administered a total of 56,677,012 million vaccines between 8 December and 15 May, including 36,573,354 million people with their first dose (69.4%) and 20,103,658 million with their second (38.2%). The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April, and remains on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We have more great news about the vaccination rollout and are making extraordinary strides as 20 million people now have the fullest possible protection from this virus – huge thanks to the team for hitting this milestone. “The latest real-world data has once again demonstrated how effective the vaccine is at providing life-saving protection, with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine providing 97% protection against mortality. “Receiving a second dose is vital to ensure you have the ultimate protection from this deadly virus – I encourage everyone to book their jab as soon as they are offered it. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “20 million people have received the strongest protection from this virus – another incredible milestone. “It is inspiring to see the incredible public response to our call to arms to get the jab. We have one the highest vaccine uptake rates in the world, but our work is not done yet. “It’s time to redouble our efforts on the second dose, so please come
forward for the second jab as it could be a life-saving extra boost of protection.” The milestone comes as government announces that appointments for a second dose of a vaccine will be brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for the remaining people in the top nine priority groups yet to receive their second dose. This is to ensure people across the UK have the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity. It is part of government’s plans to tackle rising cases of the B1.617.2 variant of concern first identified in India, as well as strengthened surge testing, genome sequencing and enhanced contact tracing measures deployed across the North West to control the spread. Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms. Vaccinated people are even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it and there is growing evidence that vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus to others. Data from Public Health England’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and deaths, saving more than 11,700 lives and preventing 33,000 hospitalisations in England by the end of April. New PHE analysis shows that individuals who receive a single dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have approximately 80% lower risk of death with COVID-19 compared with unvaccinated individuals. The report also shows protection against death from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rises from approximately 80% after one dose to 97% after two doses.
‘Save Your Kisses For Us’, Care Home Residents Sing to Eurovision’s Nicky Residents and staff at a Dorset care home found the perfect way to bid a fond farewell to a Eurovision Song Contest winner who worked with them during lockdown. Brotherhood of Man singer Nicky Stevens joined the Companionship Team at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Ferndown home, Amberwood House, at the end of 2020. Over the following months, the classically trained singer and pianist sang and played music for residents, led arts and crafts sessions, quizzes and games, and spent one-to-one time with individual residents. On the day her temporary contract finished, Nicky was astonished when residents and staff gathered to perform their own version of her band’s Eurovision-winning song Save Your Kisses for Me. With lyrics amended and personalised by Fiona Pritchard, Colten Care’s Music and Arts partner, the heartfelt musical tribute brought a tear to Nicky’s eye. “I was busy sorting out afternoon tea with the residents and I could see a lot of staff coming down the corridor,” said Nicky. “I thought, ‘what’s going on, is there a meeting?’. Then they all entered the lounge and I said to myself, ‘this must be serious’. I never twigged until one of my fellow Companionship Team colleagues started mak-
ing an announcement. “When I heard the start of the singing, I couldn’t believe it. I heard later they had been practising for two weeks on days when I wasn’t in. I am so humbled they thought so much of me that they went to all that trouble. It made me very emotional and I had tears in my eyes. I could-
A separate new PHE report provides further evidence that the vaccine is highly effective in reducing the risk of hospitalisation, especially in older ages. For the over 80s, it is estimated that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduce the risk of hospitalisation by 93%. ONS data published on 6 May found that more than 9 in 10 (93%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine. All vaccines being used in the UK have met the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality. Rolling reviews are underway by the MHRA to assess the Janssen and Novavax vaccines. Approved vaccines are available from thousands of NHS vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums. UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “This milestone underscores the incredible progress we are making right across the country in our fight against COVID-19. “The UK government is supplying vaccines for people in all parts of the United Kingdom, and our fantastic NHS is working tirelessly to administer first and second doses. “This is just one way the UK government is supporting every part of the country through the pandemic.” n’t get over it. Nobody has ever done anything like this for me before.” Sung to the same tune as the original, the lyrics included lines such as: “Though we’re sad to see you go, We just want to let you know, That your time with us has brightened every day, We’ll miss you, it’s true.” Among those serenading Nicky was resident Sheila Wakefield who said: “It has been such a joy to meet Nicky. We’ve all loved her.” As well as the song, Nicky was presented with a card, box of chocolates, flowers and a framed photo of her with residents. Like other performers, Nicky had been looking forward to a busy season of gigs last year before the Covid crisis hit, prompting her to respond to a Colten Care advert for entertainers and companions. Now, as well as hoping to confirm Brotherhood of Man engagements in the pipeline, the easing of lockdown will enable Nicky to return to her other professional music activities as a voice coach, singing teacher and choir leader. Reflecting on her time at Amberwood House, Nicky, who lives in Corfe Mullen, Dorset, said: “It was wonderful being there. I am so glad that circumstances made it possible. The knowledge I have gained is vast. It has opened my eyes tremendously. “Seeing the nurses, carers and companions all working hands-on, you can understand that the amount of care that goes in for the wellbeing of residents is phenomenal. I have great empathy for people who find themselves in a care home. Helping to look after them is a lovely job. If you have a caring soul, it is so rewarding. It makes you feel really good.” After Brotherhood of Man won Eurovision in 1976, Save Your Kisses for Me went on to be a number one hit in 33 countries, holding the top spot in the UK for six weeks.
Social Care Staff Urged To Respond To Call For Evidence The social care workforce are being urged to respond to a call for evidence which will help shape a new Women’s Health Strategy. This week the Minister for Care, Helen Whately, and Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Professor Deborah Sturdy, met with women working in social care to discuss the health issues affecting them in the sector. The roundtable was organised to promote the Women’s Health Strategy’s call for evidence – by encouraging participants to complete the survey which aims to help reduce health inequalities, improve wellbeing and ensure health services are meeting the needs of women. During the roundtable the Minister heard first-hand experiences of care workers and managers who spoke about their experiences of caring for people during a the pandemic. The government are urging women who are care workers to talk about their own personal experiences of the health and care sector and encouraging all social care workers regardless of gender to feed in about women they have looked after. Mental health support and help with anxiety were raised as key challenges for the workforce, as well as the physical demands of caring, particularly as staff get older. Participants also raised issues around irregular shift patterns and healthy eating, with many having to buy unhealthier meals for convenience. Shift times during the pandemic and working extra hours meant that going to the shops and trying to get healthy food became a challenge for some women and their families. The Women’s Health Strategy will be guided by the experiences of women from all walks of life, and by sharing their views in the call to evidence they are helping create a health and care system that works for them.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said: “Women make up 80% of the social care workforce and they have an incredibly important viewpoint. Not only do they have their own personal experiences of the health and care system but they care for many women who have multiple health conditions. Their perspective is second to none. “There has already been an incredible response to the call for evidence for our Women’s Health Strategy, with over 50,000 women, organisations, clinicians and carers responding so far and it’s really important we capture the experiences and expertise of the social care workforce. “I’d urge everyone working in social care to make their voice heard in our call for evidence, as it is vital we better understand more about women’s experiences in the workplace and in care, ultimately making health and care work better for us all.” Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Professor Deborah Sturdy said: “Millions of women play a crucial role supporting the health of so many across the NHS and social care every single day, but it’s important that the health and care system also works for them too. It was fantastic to speak to women working in social care to hear their views on how their mental and physical wellbeing can be supported in the workplace, and I want to encourage all women to take part in the call for evidence and help play their part in making sure the healthcare system meets the needs of all women.” Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO, Care England said: “It was fantastic to see so many Care England members on the women’s health roundtable with the Minister for Care. The Women’s
Health Strategy discussed is a really timely piece, which Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, very much hopes will overturn some of the historical inequities that continue to be played out in the workplace and society. For example, breaking those taboos which are often applied to women’s health issues. As we advance, Care England will continue to work with the Minister for Care and the Department of Health and Social Care in their work on this crucial issue.” Amanda Griffiths, Director of Quality at Voyage Care, said: “I was delighted to join the Minister for Care and Deborah Sturdy today to discuss women’s health within the social care workforce. “As the Quality Director of Voyage Care, it was both personally and professionally reassuring that the minister provided the opportunity and time to listen to a wide range of women from the social care sector and hear what really matters to us in relation to our current, previous and future health needs.” Already more than 50,000 women, carers, clinicians and organisations have responded to the call and more views are needed. To enable as many women as possible to have their say, the call for evidence has been extended by 2 weeks, and will close on 13 June. Women can share their views and experiences in the call for evidence consultation at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/womens-health-strategy-call-for-evidence/womens-health-strategy-call-for -evidence An ‘easy read’ version can be found at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/womens-health-strategy-callfor-evidence-easy-read
PAGE 20 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
How to Ensure Safe Vaccine Storage By Mike Butt, Managing Director at LEC Medical (www.lec-medical.co.uk) with many relating to incorrect storage. This is before Covid vaccines are taken into account.
THE IMPACT OF BADLY STORED VACCINES The active chemicals in vaccines can change in molecular form when exposed to different temperatures. For example, measles and the combined MMR vaccines could have their potency reduced by higher temperatures, while the Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines are sensitive to temperatures which are too cold. This potential to change applies equally to the Covid vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca. Vaccines naturally biodegrade over time and being stored outside their recommended temperature range may speed up the loss of potency. This impact cannot be reversed, and a vaccine may then fail to create the desired immune response and give protection – an unthinkable situation where vulnerable care home residents are concerned.
HOW TO AVOID WASTE With annual Covid-19 booster jabs almost inevitable, care home leaders including Queen’s Nursing Institute Chief Executive, Dr Crystal Oldman, and the chair of the Independent Care Group, Mike Padgham, have made it clear that qualified care home nursing staff could administer vaccines to residents on site. If your care home has the staff capability and capacity, this would be a logical step to take. However, the question every care home manager should ask themselves first is: “Do we have the correct facilities for storing the vaccine safely?” The importance of this cannot be overstated. Figures for 2018 show that vaccine wastage had a list price value of around £6.3 million. In terms of doses, about half of the reported incidents were avoidable -
The ‘cold chain’ is designed to protect vaccines and other biologics from point of manufacture, through their transportation to pharmacies, where they must be safely stored before being distributed to the locations where they will be administered. During this process, Pfizer’s vaccine must be kept extremely cold: minus 70 degrees Celsius, whilst Moderna has said that its vaccine needs to be frozen too, at minus 20 Celsius. Once delivered to points of administration – which could soon include care homes - all the currently available vaccines can be stored for up to five days within strict 2 to 8-degree parameters. Failure to store vaccines according to manufacturers’ strict temperature requirements can invalidate the expiry date and cause manufacturers to disclaim responsibility for any apparent failure of the medicine, as the safety and effectiveness of such medicines can be significantly
compromised or unknown.
SO, HOW CAN CARE HOMES ENSURE COVID VACCINES (AND OTHER HEAT SENSITIVE MEDICINES) ARE STORED SAFELY? It is vital to note that refrigerators used for the storage of medicines must be designed specifically for that purpose. Standard domestic refrigerators cannot be used, for several reasons, including uneven temperature distribution (as a result of minimal air circulation) and a normal operating range of between 0°C and 10°C. The refrigerator used must be of an appropriate size for the quantity of stock to be stored, i.e. filled to no more than 75% capacity to allow adequate air circulation. It must also be reserved exclusively for the storage of vaccines and other pharmaceutical products and not for food, blood, milk, drinks, or anything else representing a contamination risk. Care must be taken to ensure the refrigeration unit is sited in a wellventilated room maintained between 10°C and 25 C, away from external windows and heat sources e.g. radiators or direct sunlight, and at least 5-10 cm from walls and other units. To ensure its ongoing effectiveness, any vaccine refrigeration unit must be serviced according to manufacturer’s instructions and have its integral thermometer independently calibrated to ensure readings are true. The medical refrigerator must be cleaned regularly, and the internal stock should be stored according to first expiry. Finally, ensure you have named individuals responsible and accountable for the receipt and storage of the vaccines, and the monitoring and recording of fridge and ambient room temperatures. Providing in-house Covid vaccination in care homes is a very strong possibility. By embedding safe storage provision and practices from the outset, you will help to ensure that not one batch of vaccines is wasted.
Reverend Jim’s Weekly Worship Comforts Fellow Care Home Residents A Dorset care home has thanked one of its residents for leading services of worship every Sunday since the first lockdown began more than a year ago. The Reverend Jim Cocke, 94, was the Church of England’s longest serving priest until his retirement in January 2020 when he moved to Colten Care’s Castle View in Poundbury. When the pandemic started, it restricted the scope for external Church representatives to visit and hold services at the home, so Jim stepped in. Every Sunday morning since then, he has led a 30-minute service, giving fellow residents a regular focal point for Bible reading, prayer, worship and hymns. Ashika Reddy, Home Manager, said: “Our Sunday services are very popular and we have seen the comfort and peace that Jim has provided our
residents during this very difficult time. “In each service, he covers seasonal topics and addresses local and global issues with prayers that help to keep Castle View’s community in faith and hope. “We have the most heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity that Jim continues to offer by creating this weekly space for reflection.” Until his retirement, Jim was an ordained priest for more than 67 years. He served as Vicar of All Saints’, Headington, Oxford, beginning his ministry as an assistant curate in 1952 and becoming Vicar there five years later. Looking back on more than a year of lockdown services at Castle View, Jim said: “I have gratefully appreciated the opportunity to lead our active worship each week.”
National Resource Consortium (NRC) and Anenta Come Together to Manage We Care Group Healthcare and Clinical Waste Services Across 16 Locations in the North and Northwest England The UK’s leading network of independent waste operators, National Resource Consortium (NRC), has announced that it has joined forces with independent healthcare waste management company, Anenta, to oversee and manage the healthcare, clinical waste and disposal services for nursing and care home operator, We Care Group. The partnership between both waste management companies is helping the nursing and care home group achieve savings of over 14% on their waste services from the offset, with further savings to come as services are standardised across all 16 locations in the North and Northwest of England. The resource management network, NRC, combines expertise from the UK’s leading independent waste firms to deliver unrivalled waste collection and processing capacity for We Care Group. Acting as contract manager, NRC takes responsibility for the group’s volume waste management with all services provided by their network of local members. Through centralised contract management, NRC has already consolidated We Care Group’s existing waste contracts with various waste providers into one single, reliable point of contact across eight locations, with eight more to come. Through the ability to mobilise a national network of providers, NRC offers a single rate solution with 100% UK coverage and the flexibility to meet all We Care Group’s local needs. As a result, We Care Group is already benefitting from a 1/7th saving on its waste costs for the on-boarded care homes, thanks to a simple and transparent pricing schedule. The three-year fixed-term contract with We Care Group com-
menced in January 2021. All 16 locations are set to be under the single agreement by mid-2022. Commenting on NRC’s appointment Paul Jackson, Director of NRC, said: “We Care was buying waste services locally, individually, site by site, and not benefiting from the cost, waste and recycling efficiency of consolidating their estate into one contract. “Both NRC and Anenta offer compliance and service-based packages at competitive rates under a single agreement. This provides customers, like We Care Group, with greater transparency, control and peace of mind over their healthcare and clinical waste management, which is an essential service for any care provider.” We Care Group operates 16 Care and Nursing Homes in Liverpool, Blackpool, Southport, Leeds, Hull and surrounding areas across North and Northwest England. Specialising in residential, palliative, end of life, dementia, bariatrics and young mental health care, We Care Group pro-
vides all 735 residents with happy, safe and homely environments in which their care, wellbeing and comfort is of prime importance. With Anenta’s dedicated, online contract management platform ‘Vector’, NRC will be able to deliver service efficiencies and identify savings that will be implemented across the group’s 16 locations. Anenta’s cutting-edge, real-time smart technology, ensures that the We Care Group receives effective contract management against existing specifications. Going forward Anenta’s integrated solution, which ensures that services are correctly specified, will provide NRC with the data needed to offer We Care Group complete transparency and the ability to proactively manage their environmental services, all in one place. Graham Flynn, Managing Director at Anenta, commented: “Anenta is delighted to be working in partnership with NRC to provide healthcare and clinical waste services for We Care Group. By consolidating multiple contracts, each of which has different end dates and varying prices, into one standard contract with uniform pricing, our real-time smart technology will provide We Care Group with vital savings worth many thousands of pounds each year.” Working for more than 8000 customers, Anenta simplifies the process of healthcare waste management, collectively saving clients millions of pounds each year. Over the past five years, Anenta has saved its clients over £5.6 million. Bernie Suresparan, Chairman at We Care Group, commented: “We selected NRC after reviewing all of our waste requirements with our procurement partner. We needed to gain control over our contracting process and to find savings – NRC offered us a centralised, managed process with initial savings – we are looking forward to developing our relationship with NRC and identifying future benefits.” Find out more about NRC and Anenta by visiting www.uk-nrc.com and www.anentawaste.com.
PAGE 22 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
Intergenerational Care Delivering Stimulation and Purpose Throughout the Pandemic By Judith Ish-Horowicz MBE, Co-founder and Director, Apples and Honey Nightingale CIC (www.applesandhoneynightingale.com) & Nuno Lopes, Director of Care, Nightingale Hammerson (www.nightingalehammerson.org)
‘It makes me so joyful when we all get together’. So said one resident after an intergenerational zoom session at Nightingale Hammerson Care Home in South London. Like many care homes across the world, we are always striving to push the boundaries and find the best ‘home from home’ approach we can. In 2017, we launched the UK’s first intergenerational care provision at Nightingale House by partnering with Apples and Honey Nightingale children’s nursery. Since the pandemic began, we have worked hard to maintain the friendships that had built up over the past 3 years since the pre-school opened and new relationships have been formed across the ether as children join the setting and Nightingale House welcomes new residents. The benefits of intergenerational engagements have become even more apparent during this dreadful pandemic year when Care Home residents have suffered the loneliness and isolation that has resulted from the need to protect them. We have been in the privileged position of having daily interactions with our young pre-school friends who have continued to bring laughter and energy into our lives.
THE SIX FEATURES OF INTERGENERATIONAL CARE In studies we have done, we have identified six features of the inter-
generational sessions that residents particularly respond to. And it is important to note that we have found this to be regardless of cognitive ability, underlying health, or age. 1. Children themselves: Some residents really enjoy developing a relationship with the children and it is the simple interaction with them that has had the greatest impact. 2. Middle age demographic: The early years teachers, parent volunteers, or nursery parents and carers who regularly attend sessions with their children and chat to the residents. 3. Child-like setting: Some have found that the space filled with toys and music from early childhood particularly comforting and pleasurable to be in. 4. The activity itself: The intergenerational sessions are designed to deliver the Early Years Statutory Framework and so have learning and development at the core. This is an entirely new experience for older care home residents and stands out from the other engagement experiences on offer to them. 5. Leader of the session: Qualities of the professional leading the activity as an early years professional, who bring different skills to an intergenerational session. 6. Religious ceremony and celebration: As a care home for Jewish faith people, we found that some residents, particularly those with advanced dementia, had a strong reaction to either reliving a religious task or singing traditional Hebrew songs.
ADAPTING OUR PROGRAMME TO THE PANDEMIC GUIDELINES When the pandemic first struck, everything stopped. The country was in lockdown and everyone was in shock. But as soon as the government permitted early years settings to re-open last June, the nursery and care staff began adapting their programme to ensure that we could continue to come together safely, in whatever medium or setting was both legal and safe. We started on zoom but soon progressed to socially distanced programmes in the garden. If rain interrupted play, we met in adjacent rooms with glass doors separating us physically, but not emotionally. Nursery families made videos of the children dancing and singing at home with messages for their friends in the home and residents learnt to use technology to research topics to help with the children’s learning. Whilst not perfect, we know that these sessions have been crucial in raising the residents’ spirits, helping them to feel that they are not separate from the world around them, providing stimulation, variety, purpose
and relationships. The impact on the emotional and physical wellbeing of the residents is clear to see. These intergenerational engagements have provided stimulation and purpose. The therapeutic value is undeniable. The children, who have not been able to visit grandparents and great grandparents are also still benefitting from living in a multi-generational community. But they are not the only ones for whom these intergenerational engagements are a reassurance and relief. Nightingale Hammerson has been able to reassure the families of the residents, who have been unable to visit their loved ones, that they are still experiencing a dynamic and varied programme of interactions, despite the limitations of Covid. The home has been able to assuage feelings of anxiety and guilt at not being present and able to hug them'. And, for the care staff, our intergenerational sessions help them to provide the therapeutic stimulation of a varied programme within the confines of lockdown. Our approach is that you are never too old to adapt or too young to ‘have a go’. We can’t wait till we can all come together again feely as before, singing on the minibus on our way to the Wetlands Centre or the library, cuddling on the sofa for our buddied reading sessions and having tea and cake in the café. With the support and determination of our residents and children, our intergenerational programme will continue to grow and evolve and respond to all challenges.
Diving Into The Blue - Local Care Home Residents Visit Sea Life London Aquarium waves with them.” Lucy Tomlinson, Resident Experience Manager for Barchester Healthcare, commented: “We have been using technology to keep our residents and patients connected with their loved ones as well as offer virtual events, entertainment and activities throughout the pandemic. We are excited to work with our amazing partners like SEA LIFE London Aquarium to bring a wide range of fantastic experiences into our homes for all to enjoy, particularly as this talk provided such a lovely opportunity to see so many different animals and learn all kinds of fascinating facts about them. “Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active and socially connected, providing a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities,” Lucy added. General Manager, Octavian Stanciu, said: “Our residents love finding out about new things and they are all especially interested in animals so we were delighted to be able to watch this presentation. We had so many questions, it was brilliant to be able to ask James and his team all about their experiences of working with the different creatures.”
Staff and residents at Barchester’s Magnolia court care home in Hampstead were treated to a virtual tour of the wonderful underwater world of SEA LIFE London Aquarium, hosted by Senior Curator, James Wright and his expert team. SEA LIFE London Aquarium is home to more than 300 species and 4,000 creatures, including Gentoo Penguins, Sea Turtles and Seahorses, which are cared for by its dedicated team of 15 Aquarists. The shark tank alone is one million litres in volume and six metres deep and is home to five species of sharks – Sand Tigers called Bungle and Zippy, a Grey Reef Shark, Nurse Sharks, Tawny Nurse Shark and a shiver of Black Tip Reef Sharks as well as a Bowmouth Guitarfish called Betty. James’ presentation featured getting up close and personal with SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s colony of Gentoo Penguins, residents were able to watch feeding time for Green Sea turtles and numerous sharks! James says: “It was wonderful to be able to show the Barchester residents some of the fantastic creatures we have at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, we are very proud of the work our brilliant teams do. We were just so happy to be able to share our beautiful world beneath the
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PAGE 24 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
Sir Tony Robinson launches Dementia Action Week outside Houses of Parliament with Alzheimer’s Society Sir Tony Robinson has launched Dementia Action Week with a giant prescription urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘cure the social care system’ outside the Houses of Parliament, alongside a giant pill bottle and neon pills suggesting cures for social care, together with people affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s Society CEO Kate Lee. On the same day that Alzheimer’s Society releases new data that shows emergency admissions from dementia care failures are soaring and set to intensify, the charity also releases a hard-hitting campaign film that highlights the stark reality facing carers across the UK. In 2019, Boris Johnson promised to fix the social care system. Two years on and we are still yet to see this materialise. Until things change, a dementia diagnosis will continue to claim more than one life, as the families facing dementia feel its destructive effects. Giant pills involved in the stunt read cures for the care system as asked for by people affected by dementia – including ‘Carer Support’, ‘Access’, ‘Funding’, ‘Parity with NHS’ and ‘Quality’. Sir Tony Robinson, whose parents were affected by dementia, said: ‘I urge everyone in the UK to sign the Dementia Action Week petition. It is vital that the social care system is one that we can be proud of. For too long, families have felt forgotten by a system that is unfair, difficult to access and inconsistent, not giving people with dementia the care they so desperately need. We can’t cure dementia yet; but the Government can cure the social care system, and they must act now to prevent further heartbreak and distress for thousands of families across the UK. Elisabeth (76), from London, who has dementia who was present at Westminster said: ‘Like many others, my experience of dementia is a personal one, and we need a system that reflects this. When I was first diagnosed, it was so alarming and difficult to know where to turn. I urge everyone to sign the petition to make a real difference to people like me across the UK. It is so important for me to see change, and to raise awareness of the situation facing thousands of people in the UK so the Government doesn’t abandon us.’ Alzheimer’s Society supporter Trevor (68), whose wife Yvonne (65) has dementia and was present at Westminster said: ‘For too long now, people affected by demen-
tia and their families have felt abandoned by the social care system. When my wife was diagnosed, it was just so difficult to navigate the system to understand both the care support and benefits to which she was entitled; good care can make all the difference to the whole family. I hope that everyone will sign the petition so that the Government can do the right thing and make the system work for the thousands of people who will be affected by this for generations to come. Kate Lee, Alzheimer’s Society CEO said: “Coronavirus has laid bare the cracks in our broken social care system; not only have people with dementia been hit hardest by the pandemic, but on top of that they are facing a care system that is inaccessible, costly and inconsistent. We want people affected by dementia to know they aren’t alone. This Dementia Action Week we need the Government to step up to the plate and cure our social care system to provide good quality, accessible and personalised care for everyone with dementia and their families Transforming dementia care must be the legacy of the pandemic.” One in three of us born in the UK today will go on to develop dementia in our lifetime, and there will be one million people living with dementia by 2025, making dementia care the greatest healthcare challenge facing our society. Unlike any other health condition, it’s social care not the NHS, that people with dementia rely on every day, getting a raw deal just because they developed dementia. They are by far the majority of social care users. The coronavirus pandemic has brutally exposed how our broken social care system fails people with dementia, showing how deeply unfair, difficult to access, totally inadequate and expensive it is. This Dementia Action Week (17-23 May), Alzheimer’s Society is urging Governments to honour their promise to rebuild the broken social care system with a concrete budgeted plan including funding solution so that people with dementia people get high quality, accessible social care, free at the point of use, like the NHS— because dementia isn’t curable yet, but the care system is. To support Dementia Action Week (17-23 May 2021) visit alzheimers.org.uk/DAW to sign our petition and join #CureTheCareSystem campaign. And for information, advice and support call Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect support line (0333 150 345)
Take Action For Dementia - Cure The Care System For Dementia Action Week (17-23 May), Music for Dementia is joining the Alzheimer’s Society to take action to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. Nearly 1 million people with dementia and their families are struggling to get the support and care that they need and deserve. Decades of underfunding and neglect have led to a care system that’s difficult to access and costly. Dementia isn’t curable yet, but the care system is. Music for Dementia is supporting the call to ‘Cure the care system’ and encouraging everyone to take part in its 7 Days of Action challenge. Grace Meadows, Programme Director at Music for Dementia says: “With the right support people with dementia can live a good quality of life, doing what matters most to them for as long as possible. We are encouraging people everywhere to take action over the next few days, no matter
how small. “For example, you could choose a way to share music and enjoyment with someone that matters to you and see the difference it makes to their mood and sense of wellbeing. Research and lived experiences show that music can reduce the distressing symptoms of dementia, stimulate people to express themselves and connect with their families and loved ones. “Care providers could join our Musical Care Taskforce – a coalition of organisations and individuals from across health, care, music and dementia sectors focused on making music a part of everyday care for people living with dementia. “The stark truth is that the number of people diagnosed with dementia is predicted to almost double by 2040 to 1.6 million. We can all play a role to transform the quality of life for people living with this condition.”
Dementia Action Week: Judi Recalls the Pressure of Caring for Husband Living with Dementia To mark Dementia Action Week, which runs from 17-23 May, Royal Star & Garter is supporting Alzheimer Society’s ‘Cure the care system’ campaign, which is calling on the government to provide quality social care, that is free and easy to access, no matter where you live. Judi’s story highlights the benefits of positive adult social care. There were times when Judi Heath didn’t know how she was going to cope. The strain and pressure of caring for her husband at home, who lives with dementia, was leaving her exhausted physically and mentally. Her family feared the impact this was having on her own health. Although Judi was desperate to continue caring for her husband of nearly 60 years, she realised that at the age of 79, she couldn’t. Alan, who served three years in the Army as part of his National Service, is now a resident at Royal Star & Garter, a charity which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. It means he receives expert round-the-clock care in state-of-the-art settings, providing Judi with peace of mind that her husband is well looked after. Judi said Alan first started coming to Royal Star & Garter’s High Wycombe Home in February 2020 as a day care guest. She said: “Alan loved the days there and because of the military connection he would call it the Headquarters. When he was getting picked up he’d say to me ‘I’m off to HQ!’ That for me was absolutely marvellous. He enjoyed going.”
It also provided her with invaluable respite: “It was absolutely amazing, suddenly I had time to myself. I could go shopping, see friends, play golf. We had a carer in the mornings but I couldn’t be more than 10 minutes away. I was on call all the time, so having those few hours was amazing.” But when the pandemic forced Royal Star & Garter to pause day care, Judi was left caring for Alan while his health deteriorated, and she bat-
tled to cope. She said: “I was struggling to care for Alan on my own. I was finding it hard and I was heading for a nervous breakdown. It was particularly difficult looking after him at night. I was getting more tired and upset. My sons could see I couldn’t cope.” The family were offered a permanent place for Alan at the High Wycombe Home, and though Judi knew it was the right thing to do, she struggled with the thought of being separated from her husband and not being able to care for him. “I was in a situation where I didn’t want him to go, even though I knew he had to because I couldn’t keep going,” Judi said. “Even though I knew it was the right thing for both of us, it was very raw for me. We’ve been together a long time and suddenly I wasn’t caring for him… that was really hard. So the night before he went I wrote a letter and put it in his suitcase. It was for the staff, and I hoped they’d find it when putting away Alan’s clothes. I wrote that Alan was the love of my life, and to please look after him. And they have.” Judi now makes regular use of the indoor visiting rooms at the Home, where she’s able to chat and hold Alan’s hand while wearing full PPE, which includes a clear face mask so that he can recognise his wife and understand her better. She added: “I miss Alan and I do shed tears, but those tears are for my loss. Alan is in a lovely Home being cared for by the most wonderful people. They are superb. My God, I can’t believe how lucky we are to have Alan at Royal Star & Garter. Nothing compares to it.”
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Emergency Admissions from Dementia Care Failures Soaring, and Worse To Come Warns Charity An Alzheimer’s Society investigation, launched to mark Dementia Action Week, has revealed, even before the pandemic, tens of thousands of people with dementia were being rushed to hospital each year, up 27%, because inadequate social care left them unprotected from infections, falls and dehydration. This news comes just under a week after the Queen’s Speech frustratingly made only a brief mention of the Prime Minister’s promise nearly two years ago to deliver a clear plan for social care reform, a devastating blow for the 850,000 people living with dementia, worst hit by coronavirus. The investigation, involving FOIs to NHS Trusts, found a 27% rise between 2015 – 2019 of people with dementia sped to hospitals with avoidable emergencies. And in 2019, nearly two thirds (65%) of all emergency admissions of people with dementia were for avoidable illnesses and injuries caused by failures in care. During Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society is releasing a hard-hitting TV ad which is calling on the government to ‘cure the care system’. Supported by billboard advertising, the heart-wrenching advert exposes the stark reality of being a dementia carer without adequate support. In a supporting survey of unpaid dementia carers, almost half (48%) reported that they had performed tasks they felt unqualified to carry out because of a lack of support, and as a result, they reported three-quarters (72%) of people with dementia having medical issues at home. Three in ten had experienced avoidable falls (29%), one in six missed medication (16%), one in five hurt themselves in the house (22%) and one in nine (11%) reported their loved one being rushed to hospital in an avoidable emergency.
And, as recently reported, this devastating lack of support means many family carers are at breaking point, with 95% admitting it impacts their physical or mental health, 69% reporting feeling constantly exhausted, 64% feeling anxious and 49% feeling depressed. While an increase in the number of people with dementia has contributed in part to the rise in avoidable admissions, much of the increase is thought to be due to cuts in spending on adult social care piling pressure on A&E and ambulance services. With interruptions to routine health and care services, and isolation enforced by lockdown, people with dementia have seen massive health deterioration over the pandemic, and with spending cuts biting, the charity warns it expects hospital admissions to increase sharply, costing the NHS millions, unless drastic action is taken to improve dementia care. In the last month alone, Alzheimer’s Society has heard shocking reports of people with dementia losing the ability to walk, getting pneumonia, and being rushed to hospital with kidney damage from dehydration. All avoidable with quality dementia care. During Dementia Action Week, 17 – 23 May, Alzheimer’s Society is urging Governments to honour their promise to rebuild the broken social care system, so that people with dementia get high quality, accessible social care, free at the point of use, like the NHS – because dementia isn’t curable yet, but the care system is: visit alzheimers.org.uk/DAW to join our #CureTheCareSystem campaign. Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘Lockdown has left people with dementia cut off from vital support and care. Interrupted routines, loneliness and isolation have contributed to rapid symptom progression, meaning there’s now more people than ever fighting for scarce dementia care. Without urgent action, avoidable hospital admissions will skyrocket, costing the NHS millions.’ Join Alzheimer’s Society’s #CureTheCareSystem campaign, urging Governments to reform the social care system
Living with Incontinence and Dementia - 5 Tips for Caregivers With Dementia Action Week upon us, Ontex Healthcare UK is providing top tips for those living with, or caring for, someone with dementia who are also suffering with incontinence. Age is the most significant risk factor for dementia and there is expected to be a growing number of people with dementia as the population ages. This in turn will have an impact on the number of people with incontinence as a person with dementia is more likely to have an accident, problems using the toilet or incontinence than someone of the same age who doesn’t have dementia if they are unable to follow these five steps.
THE FIVE CONTINENCE ACTIONS To be continent you must be able to: 1. Recognise the need to pass urine 2. Identify the correct place to do so 3. Reach the correct place 4. Hold on until you get there 5. Pass urine once you are there
Ontex has five top tips for anyone looking after someone who is struggling with both dementia and incontinence. 1. Remember that some people may be resistant to receiving help for their incontinence issues as they feel embarrassed or too dependent. 2. As a carer it’s also important to look after yourself as well as
those you are looking after. Dealing with dementia and incontinence can be embarrassing and frustrating so it’s important to make sure you have some quality time planned to de-stress and look after your own wellbeing. 3. It’s never been more important to be hygienic. Wear gloves when dealing with used hygiene products and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards. Make sure that you dispose of the hygiene products and gloves appropriately (in sanitary bins, never down the toilet). 4. Humour can be a powerful tool for lightening a situation and creating trust between you and your loved one, it may also alleviate some of their embarrassment or resistance. 5. It can be completely overwhelming when there is so much product choice, which is why iD is here to try and provide products for all levels of incontinence from light to severe. Ontex has recently re-launched iD Expert Slip and iD Expert Form brands, designed to support for those with moderate to heavy levels of incontinence The iD Expert Slip range has been designed for those who no longer feel they have control of their bladder and when urine leakage is heavy and cannot be controlled in any manner. These all-in-one products will help to manage moderate to heavy incontinence and have anti-leak cuffs and waist elastication to ensure a snug fit with a high
level of absorption. The iD Expert Form range has been designed for moderate to heavy urine leakage that cannot be controlled and is a pad style product that can be worn inside traditional underwear, or with our iD care fixation pants. All the iD products feature an odour control system, 100% breathable cotton feel material and are dermatologically approved to help keep you and your skin feeling fresh and comfortable. Ontex will donate £2 per pack of product sold from 17th May – 17th June to Alzheimer’s UK through id-direct and customers can place orders online or over the phone on 0800 389 6185. For more information visit www.id-direct.com or call our helpful advisory team on 0800 389 6185
Recognising Dementia Action Week at Care South During his life, David and his wife, Jill won 16 golds at Chelsea Flowers Show, he was an associate of the Royal Photographic Society, owned a photo library and illustrated lots of books. David lives with dementia. David has led a rich and fulfilling life and Care South’s Maiden Castle House team are now helping David to keep it that way. Life does not stop when living with dementia. Care South’s experienced teams use many methods to help people living with dementia, including reminiscence work recalling fond memories and events from the past. For David, it was the activity assistant bringing in her professional camera for David to use which brought back lots of his memories and saw him quickly photographing flowers from the home’s gardens like the natural photographer he is. David and Jill lived in Weymouth in Dorset before he moved to Care South’s Maiden Castle care home in Dorchester. He started his career as a Research Chemist before swapping jobs to open a plant nursery called Oakleigh Nurseries with his wife. They worked hard and a major milestone for the couple was winning their first gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. They went on to win an amazing 16 in total! David was even featured with Peter Seabrook in a TV programme called ‘Growing for Gold’, which led to him being asked to appear in a film about the nursery they owned. His wife still proudly owns the DVD. David was a founding member of the Institute of Horticulture and past Chairman of the Hampshire branch of the Butterfly Association. David has also illustrated lots of books and he wrote his first book for the Royal Horticultural Society before being asked to provide some photos for it. David is a wonderful photographer, and this led to lots of other books being published and illustrated during the 1980s and 1990s, as well as special photo shoots; all securing his proud membership of the Royal Photographic Society. Aaron Whitehead, Director of Residential Care at Care South, commented: Our job is to help support and nurture our residents to help them keep living fulfilled lives.
Everyone loves seeing David in the gardens photographing the flora and it is so fascinating to hear about his wonderful life and the many amazing experiences he has had. “Recognising the early signs of dementia and understanding when it may be time for your loved one to move into a residential care home can be very difficult and upsetting. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing and does not just affect older people, which is a common misconception.” Care South has always taken pride in providing exceptional learning and development opportunities for its employees and the not-for-profit charity is committed to improving how it works and its knowledge of dementia care. Over 94% of Care South’s team have completed dementia awareness training and the company is developing a dementia care framework which will deliver further training to all the teams across the South of England, even for those not providing direct care. It’s important to Care South to try and change perceptions of dementia and ensure they are aiding in the transfer of knowledge into valuable skills to help care and support those living with dementia and their families. Rachel Sohorye, Home Manager at Maiden Castle House, commented: “Dementia Action Week gives a good opportunity to really raise the understanding of dementia, the signs and when it’s time to ask for help. We know it is incredibly difficult for families that residents can live such full and wonderful lives before living with dementia. We also know that residents can find the changes happening to them so frustrating and can find it difficult to recall their wonderful life experiences. It’s very important for us that we continue to push forward with dementia research, training and care so that we all understand it and know how to interact with and respond to people with dementia, as well as support our residents’ families. David, along with all of our residents, is a joy to have in the home and it feels like such a breakthrough when we uncover reminiscence activity that brings the biggest smiles to faces.”
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL
Seconds Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Skin and surface hygiene specialist, GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd, supports the WHO’s annual ‘Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’ campaign
Skin health and surface hygiene expert, GOJO Industries-Europe, is proud to be part of the global movement to improve hand hygiene and is once again supporting the World Health Organization’s annual ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’ campaign. Its worldwide advocacy day falls on 5th May, and this year it is focused on achieving appropriate hand hygiene action at the point of care. Its ‘seconds save lives – clean your hands!’ slogan reinforces the message that taking a little extra time to practise hand hygiene makes all the difference. To achieve this, healthcare workers should have access to good-quality alcohol-based hand rub products, clean water, soap, single-use towels and an adequate number of functioning sinks within patient zones. This enables hand hygiene practise at the five key moments: before touching a patient, before clean/aseptic procedures, after body fluid exposure/risk, after touching a patient, and after touching a patient’s surroundings. 2021 has also been designated the ‘International Year of Health and Care Workers’, so focusing on their protection is just as crucial. The PURELL brand’s focus on ‘formulation without compromise’ means that products in the range have been proven to maintain skin health and have high antimicrobial efficacy. In fact, in scientific tests, PURELL Advanced Hygienic Hand Rub was found to kill 99.99% of the most common germs that may be harmful, including Coronavirus, with a contact time of just 30 seconds. Chris Wakefield, Managing Director UK & Ireland, GOJO IndustriesEurope Ltd comments, ‘As a founder member of the WHO Private
Organizations for Patient Safety group, we are strong advocates of making hand hygiene second nature to everyone – this past year has shown how this is more important than ever. We hope that this year’s campaign encourages everyone to do their part, as it takes commitment from all for
hand hygiene programmes to be successful. ‘We strongly encourage everyone in the healthcare industry to unite in support of hand hygiene improvement. As well as healthcare workers cleaning their hands, IPC practitioners need to continue mentoring and championing the act, facility managers must ensure that supplies are available at every point of care, and policy makers should invest now to enable hand hygiene for all. Everyone, the general public included, must make clean hands a habit. It protects us all.’ Backed by a wealth of scientific expertise, and specialist formulations, GOJO has the technology and experience to work in partnership with healthcare managers to implement effective hand and surface hygiene regimes, and promote hygienic and compliant hand hygiene behaviour. Assets, such as posters and product placement guides are available to download from GOJO’s dedicated ‘Hand Hygiene Day’ page at www.gojo.com/WHO-May-5 from mid-April. Free advocacy toolkits to support the WHO Save Lives: Clean Your Hands campaign are available on the WHO website: http://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/en/ WHO invites everyone to use the hashtags #CleanYourHands #HandHygiene #InfectionPrevention on social media to ensure Save Lives: Clean Your Hands posts are picked up by the campaign. For more information, call +44 (0)1908 588444, email infouk@GOJO.com or visit www.GOJO.com
Take Maximum Control of Washroom Hygiene, Efficiency and Sustainability New from Kimberly-Clark Professional is the Scott® ControlTM Mini Twin Centrefeed Toilet Tissue system designed to deliver maximum hygiene, efficiency and sustainability in healthcare and hospital washrooms. Just launched, the new dispenser is the most hygienic in the marketplace1 and is the highest capacity centrefeed toilet tissue system available. Launched as part of the Kimberly-Clark Professional 360 Hygiene & Protection programme, the new twin system provides the healthcare sector with optimum hygiene, with a one-wipe-clean dispenser that is designed with no shut lines or key holes. “In the healthcare sector, hygiene plus the safety and wellbeing of staff and patients, is the highest priority as it copes with the ongoing pandemic,” says Richard Millard, EMEA Senior Category Manager, Bath Tissue, Kimberly-Clark Professional. “The pressure on Healthcare Facility Managers and cleaning staff to deliver hygiene without compromising efficiency is higher than ever. This system is designed to reduce hygiene risks and refill events, enabling cleaning staff to be deployed to other more critical hygiene duties.” Designed with fully enclosed, protected rolls for touchless dispensing, the new system avoids cross contamination as users only touch the sheet to be used. Controlled single sheet dispensing reduces paper usage for exceptional cost in use and maximum efficiency. A never-run-out twin design delivers 100% tissue availability and reduces the need for refills for improved efficiency of staff and provides guaranteed dispensing reliability – every time.2 Fewer refills means less chance for cross contamination keeping staff, patients and visitors safe and confident that facilities are well stocked and managed for their comfort and convenience. The most hygienic and highest capacity toilet tissue system ever from Kimberly-Clark Professional, the Scott® ControlTM Twin Centrefeed Toilet Tissue System is ideal for busy washrooms in high footfall environments. It has 1,666 sheets and a total of 408 metres of tissue per fully loaded dispenser which means it has 82% more metres and 426 more sheets than other twin centrefeed systems. A full dispenser provides sufficient tissue for a huge 408 visits versus typically just 72 visits with a competitive
single bulk pack folded toilet tissue system. Compared with uncontrolled, toilet tissue systems, the new twin centrefeed dispenser provides up to 378 more visits than a small roll toilet tissue and up to 285 more visits than a 2x200 metre competitive jumbo toilet roll. “Using a controlled toilet tissue system is the future for delivering maximum efficiency. The wastage generated from jumbo roll and small roll formats makes them not the preferred choice for high traffic environments”, adds Richard Millard. In today’s world, hospital and healthcare facilities must ensure that heightened hygiene risks are managed with no concessions for efficiencies and sustainability targets. Meeting sustainability KPI’s is crucial for Healthcare Facility Managers with responsible and recycled products increasingly in demand. Meeting such a demand, the new Scott® Control™ Twin Centrefeed Toilet Tissue is produced from 100% recycled FSC certified fibre, with roll packaging also 30% recycled and 100% recyclable. Additionally, the controlled dispensing of the new system reduces paper use and reduces the need for storage and transportation of supplies. Washroom waste is avoided with this highest capacity system which has a roll change indicator to alert staff when supply is running low. Domestic Managers need worry less about the hygiene and maintenance headaches of toilet blockages. The Scott® branded quality toilet tissue has excellent paper disintegration avoiding disruptive blockages. “The Scott® Control™ range offers a complete washroom solution for the hospital and healthcare sector, delivering increased hygiene without compromising on washroom efficiency or sustainability,” adds Richard Millard. “As with all our washroom systems, the Scott® ControlTM Twin Centrefeed Toilet Tissue system delivers unmatched market leading hygiene and efficiencies, so our customers can provide facilities that support the safety, health and wellbeing of staff, patients and visitors during these challenging times now and uncertain ones ahead.” To register your interest for a trial or find out more, visit https://home.kcprofessional.com/uk/scottTwin To see the system in action, watch our video here https://youtu.be/D1re4N1Bc_E
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
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
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.
methods to enhance the servicing provisions that are available to customers. The recently launched allinclusive 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 Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 27
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL CleanRite, Proves Efficacy of Hypochlorous Against SARS-CoV-2 to Offer New Generation of Alcohol-Free Sanitisers Launching in the UK CleanRite sanitisers, a new dermatologically advanced solution to keeping surfaces and hands guarded against COVID-19 is launching in the UK in April 2021. CleanRite is a new generation disinfectant range to ensure surfaces, the air in areas such as care homes, as well as hands - are all protected from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
THE ‘WONDER’ OF HYPOCHLOROUS The CleanRite range of sanitising products are Hypochlorous-based (HOCl) which is an anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial solution, proven to kill 99.9% of germs on contact. Specifically, Hypochlorous has been proven effective against SARS-CoV-2 in an independent lab test carried out by Richard Stanton, a Reader in Division of Infection & Immunity at the School of Medicine at Cardiff University. Fully regulated and child-friendly, CleanRite, which dries quickly and leaves no sticky residue, is perfect for use in care homes - as well as being dermatologically tested and suitable for use from birth. Caroline Fogarty, Managing Director, CF Pharma, said, “In laboratory tests we were able to show that the Hypochlorous ingredient in CleanRite killed the SARS-CoV-2 virus within 30 seconds. Hypochlorous is a ‘wonder’ ingredient because not only is it free of alcohol and harmful chemicals, it is hypoallergenic and skin friendly. It is as natural as water and doesn’t need to be rinsed off. So not only is it people-friendly, but it is planet-friendly too. “I believe that Hypochlorous is the future of everyday sanitisation. As we learn to live with the need for heightened sanitisation even after lockdown is eased, choosing something that is gentle on your skin, eyes, lungs and even the environment makes CleanRite ideal for long-term usage.”
CLEANRITE – BOTH POWERFUL AND SAFE CleanRite is an alcohol-free hypoallergenic sanitiser. It is highly effective without dehydrating, irritating, stinging or damaging skin or eyes making it perfect for all skin types, including sensitive skin. CleanRite is highly effective on multiple surfaces and equipment including kitchen worktops (since it is food safe). And unlike most alcohol-based products, CleanRite is non-flammable. Clare Hughes (MPSI BSc PHARM), Founder, CF Pharma said, “The advanced CleanRite formulation based on Hypochlorous, makes this ‘nature’s powerful disinfectant’. Indeed, Hypochlorous, which is produced naturally by the body’s white blood cells to support the human immune system in fighting infection and bacteria, has been used in wound-healing for decades.” Caroline Fogarty said, “It looks like we are going to be living with the need for increased sanitisation for some considerable time. So being able to offer a sanitisation range that has a skin friendly pH for family use, from birth, makes CleanRite an essential tool for everyone as we navigate the new normal.”
AVAILABILITY CleanRite is manufactured in various sizes from 60ml to 4500ml with convenient 60ml and 150ml finger sprays for travel available, which are for sale on Amazon For further information, to view the full range of products or to place an order for your business, visit CleanRite CF Pharma http://cleanrite.ie
Fellowes Aeramax Pro Air Purifiers Certified to Remove 99.9% of Airborne Coronavirus and H1N1 Flu Leading commercial air purification manufacturer, Fellowes, is pleased to announce its AeraMax Pro air purifiers have shown a 99.99% airborne reduction of a coronavirus surrogate within 60 minutes of operation. With the recent, intensified focus on the reduction of airborne transmission of viruses, a number of worldwide bodies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ASHRAE, as well as ‘healthy building’ scientific advocates, have recommended that portable air cleaners using HEPA filtration can help in the protection against SARS-Cov-2. This is particularly key for settings such as care homes, where occupants have an increased level of vulnerability to the spread of disease and therefore require this additional protection. In response to this, air purification expert, Fellowes recently arranged for its AeraMax Pro purifier, which has a four-stage TRUE HEPA filtration system, to be independently tested for efficacy in the reduction of two of the most healththreatening airborne-transmitted contaminants seen in recent times – coronavirus and the H1N1 virus.
UK Care Homes Use Groundbreaking Health Technology to Maintain Clean Air and Surfaces
Care home owners have been among the first customers to purchase air and surface sterilisation products from Medklinn, the international health technology company, which recently launched in the UK. Following confirmation from scientists from Fujita Health University in Japan, that low concentrations of ozone gas can be used to neutralise coronavirus particles without causing harm to humans, UK care homes have an alternative method to sterilise the air and surfaces in their premises without the use of chemicals. According to the university research, low-level ozone gas in concentrations of 0.05 to 1.0 parts per million (ppm) could be key to neutralising the spread of coronavirus in healthcare settings such as examination rooms and waiting areas. Medklinn International, the health technology company that has pioneered research and development into negative ionisation and ozone in the sterilisation process, already provides air and surface sterilisation solutions in ASIA, the USA, Canada, Australia and Germany. Now the business has launched in the UK. Daniel Lu, chief technology and innovation officer of Medklinn International, said: “We are pleased to be bringing our health technology to the UK. The announcement from the team at Fujita Health University in Japan further demonstrates that ozone sterilisation technology is a viable alternative to the use
of chemicals for disinfection.” In addition to the latest breakthrough in neutralising coronavirus particles, Medklinn products are also proven to be effective in: • Killing 99.9% of harmful microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria, mould and fungi by destroying their RNA and DNA structure • Eliminating volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including those with adverse health effects • Neutralising allergenic organic compounds such as pet dander and the protein in the faeces of dust mites, which are often the cause of allergies Steve Jones, Brand Manager Medklinn UK, said: “We’re really excited to be launching Medklinn UK. Our products are already used by some of the leading global brands in the healthcare, travel and tourism, retail, education, F&B and hospitality sectors, including Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental and Singapore’s Changi Airport. We believe that they will be particularly useful as we make gradual steps towards easing restrictions and reopening the UK following the lockdowns over the past 12 months.” Medklinn UK offers a consumer range of products suitable for the home and for use in vehicles. It also offers a range of air and surface sterilisers designed for business use including: • Permanent units for spaces up to 1,000 sq ft such as hotel guest rooms, washrooms, offices and classrooms • Permanent units for large spaces of 3,000 sq ft or more such as hotel corridors, washrooms, restaurants, halls, offices, exhibition centres, supermarkets, food processing and manufacturing plants • Portable units for ad hoc treatments of indoor odours recommended for hotel guest rooms, restaurants and facilities management It will also offer ozone water systems (for washrooms, industrial kitchens, food processing factories) and integrated sterilisation systems (for public washrooms, food processing and F&B outlets and supermarkets). For further information about Medklinn UK please visit uk.medklinn.com or contact email@example.com.
Certified by Shanghai WEIPU Chemical Technology Service Company, Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the aerosolised airborne concentration of Human Coronavirus 229E in a test chamber, reaching 99.99% airborne reduction within one hour of operation. As it is not yet possible, or ethically responsible to aerosolise Sars-CoV-2 for airborne testing in the current climate, the coronavirus 229E was used as a surrogate to SarsCoV-2. Furthermore, AeraMax Pro air purifiers have also been proven to remove 99.9% of the H1N1 virus within 35 minutes of operation, as certified by Airmid Health Group Limited in Dublin, Ireland. When installed in a care home environment, AeraMax Pro therefore offers outstanding protection against the transmission of coronavirus 229E and the H1N1 virus between staff, visitors and vulnerable residents. For more information about Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers, visit www.aeramaxpro.com/uk
PAGE 28 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
CATERING FOR CARE
Dysphagia Call to Action
By Sophie Murray, Head of Nutrition and Hydration, Sunrise Senior Living (www.sunrise-care.co.uk)
In the industry we know that the numbers are rising for those who have swallowing problems and the skills required to modify foods are greatly needed in some sites as catering staff need much more than an ability to use a blender to break food down. This is as a result of the safety framework which ,many of us know called IDDSI, standing for International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative which has been built upon research of swallowing to be able to give very precise levels which comprise of very specific food and drink test to deduce if it is safe for the Level. Most foods can be modified but not all and the modification process requires equipment, techniques and knowledge. As foods themselves vary in texture, it is not as simple as adapting a recipe – a banana or an avocado are 2 examples of foods which can vary greatly in their ability to be soft enough to push a fork through with little pressure, and other foods such as white fish do not blend smoothly to a puree so may need to be replaced with an oily fish for a person who requires a pureed diet There are publicised cases of fatalities such as in 2017 when a care home was prosecuted and closed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), after a resident choked on porridge twice in one day and died. Protocols and processes between care and catering teams needs to be watertight so that only those trained correctly modify the foods and this includes all snacks too – careful management to ensure safety as well as choice are prime considera-
tions – in itself this has challenges as a persons may have recommendations for Care homes seeking to buy in ready modified food need to ensure that this matches the menu properly and meets needs and choices so that there aren’t There IS only one qualification that can formally train and accredit Chefs called the Level 2 Award for Chefs in Healthcare but there are few providers offering this due to poor uptake and awareness https://www.cthawards.com/qualifications/culinary-programmes/cth-ioh-level-2-specialist-award-chefshealth-social-care/ There is also a framework for care teams called the Inter-professional Dysphagia Framework (IDF) which sets out the knowledge and skills care staff require to do safely care for a person with swallowing problems. The IDF should be implemented in every care home to ensure residents receive safe and effective care but in reality care homes don’t all know about it and it needs translating to a workable process with solid training although it is written with good clarity. Speech and Language Therapists are a great source of knowledge and support for care teams as they are the identified professionals who can diagnose a swallowing condition and recommend appropriate IDDSI Levels. IDDSI has set up a UK reference group so that best practice can be shared across the UK and organisations such as the NACC can provide support to care homes needing traning and awareness When risks are fatalities as a result of poor practice, there is much to do to ensure amazing food and choice is offered and residents are safe from harm as a result of choking or aspiration. The high risk is choking and aspiration.
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 pro-
gramme. 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, 172-183.( https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-language-therapy/clinical-information/dysphagia)
Coping with Food Refusal
By Jane Clarke, Dietitian and founder of www.nourishbyjaneclarke.com
activities, leading to a reduction in wellbeing and quality of life. They will become weaker, increasing risk of falls, confusion and infection. Recovery from illness or surgery will take longer. If they are already vulnerable or living with a health condition, they may deteriorate faster. But there are strategies that can help break the cycle of food refusal and encourage someone to begin eating again, while at the same time treating them with dignity and respecting their right to choose not to eat certain foods – after all, we all have our favourite flavours, as well as tastes and textures we can’t easily stomach. Here are some ideas…
MAKE EVERY MOUTHFUL COUNT If portions are small, it’s essential they contain as much nourishment as possible. Enriching foods with additional vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates and calories can be as simple as adding extra vegetables to a tomato sauce, grating some Cheddar cheese into mashed potato, or adding extra lentils and a swirl of cream to a soup.
DON’T SIT AT THE TABLE From childhood to old age, the rhythms of our day tend to revolve around mealtimes – and that doesn’t change once we move into a care setting. Breakfast, lunch, teatime and supper bring residents – and carers – together around the table, and can provide precious moments of sociability, fun and connection, as well as healthy food to help maintain strength and resilience. That changes when a person refuses to eat, or is reluctant to have more than a few mouthfuls. There are lots of reasons for this – living with a condition such as dementia; feeling unhappy in a new setting; grief or illness. As a carer it’s important to tackle food refusal as soon as possible, because the less a person consumes, the less their body and mind seems to feel a need for food. Without the nourishment their body needs, an individual’s health will suffer. They will have less energy to be engaged in physical and social
This sounds controversial and I am a huge advocate for the pleasure of shared mealtimes, but they can feel overwhelming for some people and this is when the habit of refusing to eat can set in. Instead, try serving a small plate of food on a tray while they watch TV or listen to the radio. It can take the pressure off having to ‘perform’ at the table, and you may find they nibble more than expected.
SERVE A NOURISHING DRINK A ‘meal in a mug’, like a cup of soup, a fruit-filled smoothie, or an allnatural meal replacement Nourish Drink, is a good option for anyone who feels overwhelmed when a full plate of food is put in front of them. You’ll have the reassurance that the person you are looking after has had the equivalent nutrients of a complete meal but in a form that slips down more easily than a plate of cooked food. You could try this mid-morning or mid-afternoon, instead of the usual tea and biscuit.
SWAP MEALTIMES AROUND
If the person you care for has a bigger appetite in the morning but feels too tired to eat later in the day, then provide a more substantial breakfast and take the pressure off the evening by providing a smaller snack for supper. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to having dinner for breakfast or lunch at 4pm – it’s what works best for the individual and their appetite.
EAT TOGETHER Some people don’t like to eat alone. If some meals take place in a resident’s own room, rather than a dining room, try to take the time to sit and chat with them while they eat rather than getting on with a job elsewhere. It can make meals feel a lonely, challenging time for the person you are caring for, and you may find they eat more when you are with them, rather than you returning to a plate of uneaten, cold food. If residents do sit at the table together, place the reluctant eater next to someone with a heartier appetite, as it may prompt them to follow suit and eat more.
FOLLOW THEIR CUES We all have favourite foods so it’s worth trying to find out the dishes a person really loves. Even if they’re no longer able to enjoy the same meal, you could capture the flavours in a more accessible alternative – a roast chicken soup instead of a roast chicken dinner, say. Depending on the cognitive abilities of the resident, you could try creating a food and memory moodboard together, with photos of foods that remind them of happy times – ice cream on the beach, roast dinner on a Sunday, kippers for breakfast… It’s a great way to tempt the appetite and spark conversation.
BE ENCOURAGING If you ask a reluctant eater if they’d like potatoes or a pudding, the answer is likely to be ‘no’. Instead, respectfully cajole them to eat by saying, ‘Let’s try a potato, or a spoonful of ice cream…’ By encouraging a few mouthfuls, rather than giving a yes or no option to a meal, it’s amazing how many people will be tempted to take a bite, and then another, and before you know it, a good portion will be eaten.
PAGE 30 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
CATERING FOR CARE Activities & Ideas For Your Vegetarian Care Home Residents Charity Vegetarian for Life (VfL) has plenty of inspiring ideas to help you cater for your vegetarian or vegan (veg*n) residents and celebrate their lifestyle choice. Even if you don’t have veg*n residents at present, it's always a good time to introduce new foods. You’ll likely find your residents are happy to try some meat-free options.
Here are VfL’s top tips: Host a vegetarian supper club, planning and serving a three-course meal. Here’s a suggested menu: Starter: Carrot, Ginger & Orange Soup (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recip es/budget-recipes/carrot-gingerand-orange-soup) Main: Mushroom, Nut & Cranberry Wellington (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/main-meals/mushroom-nut-cranberrywellington) Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/cakes-and-puddings/sticky-toffee-pudding) Run a veg*n food tasting session: e.g. vegan ice cream, vegan cheese, plant milks, faux meat products, tofu, or hummus and veggie dips. You could even make score cards and pick a winner at the end. Experiment with more unusual ingredients, such as banana blossom ‘fish’, or jackfruit curry. You might even use silken tofu to make a mousse, quiche, or scrambled tofu. Play ‘guess the ingredient’ first, and let residents suggest what you might make with it – a great way to start discussions and share experiences. It’s also a good sensory activity because people can see, touch, smell and taste the different foods. If the weather is good, why not host a vegetarian picnic or BBQ? Here are some recipe ideas: Black Bean Burger (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/main-meals/black-bean-burger) Sandwich Platter (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/soups-and-sandwiches/sandwich-platter) Coronation Chicken Pastries (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/lighter-meals/coronation-chicken-pastries)
Whether vegetarian or not, many people have a favourite meal that just happens to be meat-free. Those that do consider themselves veg*n will likely enjoy being able to reminisce and share why they follow this lifestyle. Print photos of common vegetarian products from years gone by or find old vegetarian cookbooks to encourage conversation. Here’s an example of some products that one older vegetarian misses. Visit VfL’s website (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk) for some suggested questions/conversation starters. Invite a VfL chef to deliver a virtual or in-person cookery demo for your residents. They’ll take the pressure off your chefs and activity co-ordinators, and deliver a themed demo for you. Here’s what recent participants have said: “It was brilliant, well presented, and the demonstrator was very likeable and did a great job.” “I’ve taken part in lots of video cook-alongs recently and have found them quite stressful. However, this one was really informative and easy to follow.” For a novel activity for residents, VfL runs a ‘virtual vegan lunch club’ on the fourth Tuesday of every month. It’s open to vegetarians, vegans and meat reducers, aged 65+. Recipes are sent in advance. Buy your ingredients, and cook the dishes on the day ready for the Zoom chat at 1pm. Talk cookery, recipes and more, and meet likeminded people from across the UK. For residents that are less tech savvy, but keen to connect, VfL runs a veggie pen- and phone-pals scheme (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/pages/pen-andphone-pal-scheme). The scheme has linked tens of like-minded people from across the UK, and many lasting friendships have been forged. One member said: “I love it, I really do. It’s the best thing I’ve done in a long, long time. I speak to a few people from the scheme and I’m delighted with how well it’s going” Caterers can get ahead of the curve with VfL’s accredited training. Topics include what veg*ns eat; plant-based nutrition and fortification; meal planning; and alternatives to meat and dairy. Each bite-sized module includes easy-to-follow recipe videos and fantastic, tasty recipes. What’s more, it’s British Dietetic Association accredited.
Carrot, Ginger and Orange Soup
Serves: 4 Dietary requirements: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Halal, Kosher, Vegan Ingredients Good glug of olive oil 4 small onions, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2–3 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated Zest and juice of 2 oranges 8 carrots, peeled and sliced 1 litre water with vegan stock or 4 tsp vegetable bouillon Couple of pinches of cayenne pepper or chilli powder (optional) Sea salt and pepper to taste To serve Coconut yoghurt or vegan crème fraiche (optional) Chopped coriander leaves Instructions • In a saucepan, gently cook the onion in the olive oil until softened. • Add the garlic, ginger and orange zest. Cook for a minute or so and then add the carrots, stock, and cayenne pepper or chilli powder (if using). • Simmer until the carrots are tender. • Using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth. • Add the orange juice and season with salt and pepper. Blend again briefly to mix. • Reheat gently. Serve with optional dollop of coconut yoghurt or crème fraiche, and a sprinkle of chopped coriander on top.
LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Forbes Delivers a Streamlined Solution for National Care Groups A national care group needs to know that they are delivering a consistently high standard of care and in order to do this they need to ensure that they are working with service partners that they can trust. When it comes to laundry provision, centralised procurement and management teams want to know that they will have access to a streamlined process for all on-going account and service management. Forbes Professional offers a nationwide delivery of a localbased service, with the security and reliability that comes from being a long-established company. Our expansive network of depots and field engineers enables a highly responsive service and maintenance response, which is mobilised via a dedicated hotline at our head office. We work closely with clients to devise the solution best suited to their requirements; conducting comprehensive site-surveys, offering detailed CAD designs and always specifying the most
appropriate, industry compliant machines. We choose our manufacturers extremely carefully to ensure that we are offering the highest quality of both product and service. For the care sector, hygiene is always of paramount importance and our commercial laundry equipment fully adheres to the relevant WRAS and CQC guidelines for infection control. All of our laundry equipment is available for rent, lease or purchase with maintenance. Our Complete Care rental solution gives access to premium equipment without upfront capital outlay and with no repair or replacement bills for the life of the contract. National care groups are always assigned a dedicated account manager who remains their point of contact, centralising all account management for a highly efficient process that keeps things simple for both procurement teams and care management staff. www.forbespro.co.uk email@example.com 0345 070 2335
Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name”
At Cash's, we aim to capture, reinforce and communicate our clients’ brand equity through quality and innovation, from design to distribution. Our product range fully caters for the needs of both small and large retailers and brand owners alike comprising of woven and printed labels, woven badges, care labels, branded and promotional swing tags, garment accessories, packaging and barcoding. Our ground breaking labelling and security technologies are also able to provide an unrivalled level of protec-
tion to our customers' brand by assisting to combat counterfeiting and grey market activity. Our industry leading eCommerce system is designed to reduce cost, improve efficiency and streamline supply chain management and will fully protect the integrity and accuracy of critical business data. The order entry process is very simple meaning suppliers and vendors can spend their valuable time on tasks other than ordering apparel labelling and accessories. See the advert this page for details.
PAGE 32 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Burlington Uniforms Burlington Uniforms are proud to provide healthcare uniforms to a variety of Healthcare professionals. With our friendly, dedicated Team always ready to help, their combined wealth of knowledge within the Healthcare sector covers everything from your first enquiry right through to managing your account after despatch and beyond. Supplying high quality garments to our customers is our passion, in an array of colours and sizes, our extensive healthacre ranges can provide everything you need, making us your one stop shop. We can also take care of personalisation through our talented embroidery team, giving you a final look you'll be proud of.
We can cater to the public and private healthcare sectors, so our collection of healthcare uniforms has been expertly designed with all medical settings in mind. Offering comfortable scrubs, dresses, tunics and coordinated trousers, our medical workwear is suited to every area of your industry. Designed for comfort and flexability, these garments ensure staff enjoy ease of movement and are unrestricted throughout their shifts. Besides our extensive stock service, our experience in manurfacturing and our wealth of textile expertise allows us to also provide end to end bespoke solutions for our customers, contact us for more details about working with us on bespoke requirements. Call 08707 300 150 Sales@burlington-uniforms.co.uk www.burlington-uniforms.co.uk See the advert on page 11.
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. Visit www.yeomanshield.com for details.
Mendabath UK uses high quality bath resurfacing and bathroom repair products that are trusted all over the world. Aligned with our expertise, we offer a service that is simply unparalleled in the UK. Our experienced team is comprised of experts that will deliver a service that will exceed your expectations. From minor cosmetic repairs to bringing an old bath back to life, we can restore any suite. We offer resurfacing and repair services for baths, sinks and showers for care homes, private residences and commercial properties across the UK. Commercial bath repairs and resurfacing Discoloured and damaged baths can be resurfaced with a turnaround time of just twenty four hours, keeping lost occupancy days to a minimum. This is more environmentally friendly than replacing your bath and will save you both time and money. Slip resistant application We apply slip resistance the day
after the bath or shower tray resurfacing. This works well in busy hotels, where there is a strong duty of care to customers yet time is of the essence. For this process the room will be out of commission for a further twenty four hours while the surface cures and hardens. Basin repairs and resurfacing We can repair and resurface cracked, stained and chipped basins, making them look new again. Cosmetic bath and basin repairs Sanitary ware with minor chips and scratches can be cosmetically repaired. Our technicians fade-in each repair so that they are almost invisible to the naked eye. Shower repairs and shower tray resurfacing We can fully restore any stained and cracked shower tray, giving it a fresh, new look. See the advert on page 9 or visit www.mendabath.co.uk
CareZips Dignity Trousers Bath Resurfacing and Chip Repair ™
CareZips™ preserve dignity and privacy of people receiving care during diaper changes. CareZips™ make diaper changes easier and faster, reducing workload, saving efforts, and saving time! CareZips™ help to deliver better standards of care! Fitted with unique 3-zip fastening system, the CareZips™ make changing of incontinence diapers more dignified and comfortable for the patients and easier and faster for the carers. CareZips™ feature 3 strategically positioned zips, 2 of which run from the waist to the knees on both sides of the body. The 3rd zip goes from the inside of one knee up to the crotch and down to the second knee on the inside of the other leg. This zip facilitates total opening of the trousers at the crotch during diaper changes. The 3-zip system ensures fast and easy access to the abdomen and crotch without having to undress the patients or pull their trousers down. CareZips™ are suitable for men and women. They
are available in 7 sizes for perfect fit. CareZips™ are soft and wrinkle resistant with stretch and give for extra comfort. Practical, durable, washable and noniron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 www.win-health.com
Spotta’s Early Warning System Prevents Bed Bug Infestations Smart pest monitoring system marks one year of real-world operations, detecting bed bugs in 94.2% of cases
In its first year of operation, Spotta’s monitoring and detection system identified bed bugs in 94.2% of cases, significantly reducing the number of encounters between bed bugs and residents in multi-room properties. The ‘always-on’ monitoring service uses advanced recognition technology to identify insects and provide real time alerts. Spotta enables multi-room properties such as sheltered and residential housing accommodation and their pest control partners to identify occurrences of bed bugs and treat the problem early, limiting the damage caused and spread of the pests. In its first year of real-world deployment in customer properties Spotta serviced over 91,000 room nights. Of
the detections made by Spotta, over half (52.2%) were in rooms with no recent history of bed bugs, proving the system’s effectiveness as an early warning against new infestations. Repeat detections in rooms help property managers assess whether extermination treatments are successful or if further, more extensive treatment is needed. “For accommodation providers, most of the overall financial impact of bed bugs comes from contact between the occupant and pests, which leads to complaints, disruption and high treatment costs,” says Robert Fryers, co-founder and CEO of Spotta. During the Bed Pod’s first year, 94.2% of cases were successfully detected by Spotta, with room residents reporting bed bugs accounting for just 3.3% of cases and staff identifying the remaining 2.5%. Fryers continues: “The first year results of Bed Pod show we have a credible, proven solution with realworld efficacy. This represents a transformative step for pest controllers, accommodation providers and property managers by allowing them to proactively monitor for bed bugs, rather than just reacting when problems are reported.” Find out more at www.spotta.co See the advert on page 15.
Jolly Trolley Brings Therapeutic Activity and Entertainment to Patients That Are Isolating The Jolly Trolley® is an essential for any care establishment as it promotes social interaction between the service users and their carers. This innovative system is fully mobile and battery operated, allowing residents who may be unable to leave their rooms to also be included with ease. The Jolly Trolley® comes complete with its own videos, quizzes, karaoke and other content, but personal music, photos and films can then be added from a USB stick to really bring out the magic! Don’t just take our word for it here are just some testimonials from our very happy Health and Social Care clients:
Chester Park- Megan Allan, Activities “The fact that we can upload what is relevant to the specific Individual is so meaningful for that person and I can assure you we have shed some tears being able to be part of that residents memory journey. It has been an amazing addition to our care home – from staff and residents – thank you.” Pennine NHS Trust - Beech Ward“we have been able to provide therapeutic activity & entertainment with ease to patients that are isolating” To see what the Jolly Trolley® can do for you, call us for a free demonstration on 0800 093 8499. See the advert on page 6.
Adaptawear Iona Nightie: Full Opening-Back Nightie Ideal for those bed-ridden, struggling with mobility or needing palliative end of life care - the Iona nightie from adaptawear.com has been specifically designed with these people in mind. This unique product comes with a fully opening back, shoulder openings on both sides, and easy poppers, which fasten quickly with limited effort. As the nightgown opens up completely flat, it can be put on from a lying or seated position, ensuring less stress for both the wearer and carer. The open back function with a generous overlap also ensures dignity when toileting and a quick drying cotton fabric is
comfortable and practical. As well as the Iona adapted nightie, Adaptawear have a range of other back opening nighties, including their popular Petal Back range, and also fully front button nightwear. Their men and women's ranges feature a full range of adaptive daywear, including front fastening bras and comfortable cotton underwear; with a customer recently sharing they had ‘regained their independence with such helpful items.’ All items can be found at www.adaptawear.com or call 0800 051 1931 for more info. Don’t forget to use code CR10M at checkout for 10% off your order.
Evaness 100% Biodegradable Consumables Range EVANESS is the only full range of biodegradable products for the care and health sector, from various sizes and strengths of bin liners, to clingfilm and food/freezer bags. EVANESS is a derivative from the word ‘Evanesce” meaning to vanish and the technology used in the biodegradable range is scientifically proven to degrade the material if it gets into the open environment and then facilitate the secondary process of biodegradation, without causing micro-plastics. New recent additions to the product range include compostable bin liners which are manufactured to EN13432 certification for home and industrial composting, and the UK’s first ANTI-VIRAL Grip Seal bag, which although are non-biodegradable are specifically designed to combat the transmission of viruses and bacteria. The pandemic brought about many concerns over how to store and handle a range of items, which were handled by many a person to avoid the transfer of viruses
and bacteria. Consumable Supplies created a Grip Seal bag which incorporates an advanced British technology D2P by Symphony Environmental, which provides protection to the surface of the Grip Seal bag against microorganisms or viruses for the lifetime of the bag and offers a 99.9% Anti-Viral reduction after 1 hour of contact. Although the bag can be used for the storage and handling of any items you wish to protect, such as medicines, PPE equipment, laboratory samples, cash, keys etc, as the product is Food-Safe, it also offers its use to storing food. The initial bag size offered is 150mm x 200mm, so useful for smaller items and can form part of your existing health and hygiene protection routine. Consumable Supplies strives to offer unique quality environmentally friendlier products at reasonable prices with a great no-quibble customer service. Free delivery on any order. See the advert on page 21 or visit www.consumablesupplies.co.uk
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 33
NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION
A Digital Future of Care in a Post COVID-19 Era The New Year brings good news and light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel with the roll out of vaccination programs, despite this the UK has been forced into stricter lockdown regulations. Health and care sectors are acutely aware of their responsibilities and the importance to look after technology that is fundamental to caring for the vulnerable and their carers. Should systems fail, technology suppliers should provide help and assistance remotely with telephone support and using remote diagnostic tools. At Courtney Thorne we find that most issues are resolved over the phone, where this proves difficult and further checks or reconfiguration is necessary this is done by remotely accessing systems and running diagnostics. 95% of the service inquiries we receive are resolved this way reducing the need to physically attend the site. Inquiries that cannot be rectified remotely will require an engineer to visit. To ensure the safety of residents, staff and the engineers themselves, service providers need to adopt stringent policies with rigorous clarification processes concluding with written
The New MPCSA11 from Medpage Medpage is a family ran company, with a huge heart and resources gathered over our 35- year trading history. The majority of the technologies we design, manufacture and distribute originate from enquiries received from healthcare professionals and personal family care observations. Our product portfolio provides a wide variety of care solutions for epilepsy, dementia, senior care, special needs and sensory loss. Our latest innovation, currently in use in
several Hospitals, presents an effective fall monitoring, detection and reporting solution. The MPCSA11 is a complex software driven sensor monitor made to be user and operator friendly. This device has already proven successful in hospital and care home trials by reducing patient falls while also reducing false positives from a safe patient. The device can monitor and interact with up to three sensor products: bed and chair occupancy pressure pads, PIR movement detection sensors and proximity signal products. In use, a patient or resident rising from their bed would be considered a falls risk, but what if they are simply moving to sit in a chair close to their bed? A standard bed monitor would raise an alarm alerting care staff, who would arrive to find the person safely seated. The MPCSA11 would only generate an alarm if the person was out of their bed or chair for a selectable time duration. Learn more www.easylinkuk.co.uk/mpcsa11 Or see the advert on page 2.
confirmation that there is no COVID-19 on site or where there is, that those suffering are suitably isolated. In the case of Courtney Thorne our process includes asking authorised care home management to fill out a questionnaire prior to our engineer turning up. We also insist that our staff are regularly checked, including logging daily body temperature. Finally equipping field staff with necessary PPE, making sure it is always used and includes a hand washing regime before, during and after any site visit. Courtney Thorne provides our field-based engineering staff with overalls, gloves, face masks and plenty of hand sanitiser. By diligently observing these protocols, and despite our staff visiting care homes and hospitals on a daily basis throughout the pandemic, not one of them has developed any COVID-19 symptoms at any time. For further information visit www.nursecallsystems.co.uk or see the advert on this page.
Andy Bridgewater Expands Alarm Radio Monitoring's Team
Market Leading manufacturer of wireless nurse call and staff alarm systems, Alarm Radio Monitoring Ltd (ARM), has announced the appointment of Andy Bridgewater as its new Head of Sales & Marketing. Former Royal Engineer with Her Majesty’s forces, Andy joined the business in late April, having over 15 years experience within the sales and engineering industry. Andy’s appointment to the senior management team comes at an exciting time for ARM with numerous new products and systems being launched throughout the year, none more so than the Bed Angel, an innovative wireless bed occupancy monitor.
Stuart Ibbs, Operations Director for ARM, said: “We are delighted to welcome Andy to lead our sales team during what is an exciting period of growth for the business. With numerous new products entering the market over the coming year, his appointment is a big part of the company’s commitment to provide high quality products to the care and staff alarm industry” “Andy’s drive and passion for team management will strengthen our sales division, he will be crucial in mentoring our sales team to roll out the new products we are due to roll out” Andy’s role as head of Sales & Marketing will see him lead sales growth for ARM as their product range continues to expand throughout the UK. The Bed Angel, new monitoring software and 7’ touchpad display are either currently available or due to enter the market shortly. Andy commented: “I am delighted to join ARM at such an exciting time as it continues to grow throughout the UK and innovate within the Health Care industry. He continued : Alarm Radio Monitoring’s focus on people development and working as a team is something I firmly believe in, and I am looking forward to working with the sales team to exceed targets whilst continuing to deliver the outstanding customer service that ARM is renowned for” See the advert on page 31.
PAGE 34 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION
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.
Nurse Call from 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 extension to life, adds Bob, “Edison will treat your nurse call with the same compassion that you give to those in your care. There will come a time when your equipment is beyond repair but Edison are experts in extending the life of obsolete systems.” www.edisontelecom.co.uk
Fall Savers - Affordable Fall Monitoring Solutions Fall Savers®, are an experienced market leading healthcare provider of resident safety solutions for over 15 years.
FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR Eliminate all cables with our new generation falls management solutions! Upgrade your falls programme with the latest technology from Fall Savers®. The NEW Fall Savers® Wireless eliminates the cord between the monitor and sensor pad. This results in less work for nursing staff, improved safety for patients and reduced wear and tear on sensor pads. Wireless advantages include the ability to use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.
Benefits include: Safer for patients; less work for staff Bed and chair pads available One monitor works with two sensor pads Integrates with most nurse call systems A variety of options, including: Call button Pager
Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts
TREADNOUGHT ®FLOOR SENSOR PAD The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our antibacterial floor sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors.
Features include: Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors See the advert on this page for further details.
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 35
NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION Make Your Nursecall Data Work For You and Your Residents Using your ‘Call Bell’ data can help improve the care you provide and even aid in getting an “outstanding” CQC rating. Yet, quite often this data is only used to help investigate an incident and ignored for the rest of the time. A lot of care homes still rely on a printer to record event logs making data analysis time consuming and difficult. KAM Systems Limited have launched their Kloud Care Home data logging service. Kloud can be connected to any existing nursecall system using a Kloud shuttle that has a printer or paging interface. All events are logged by the Shuttle & synchronised with the Kloud on any internet enabled device. The service then analyses the data into an easy to understand report which can even be automatically emailed to a home manager’s inbox. The data can include KPI’s such as Average Response Time, Top Five Rooms that ‘call’ the most, Busiest Hours In The Day, No. of Night Checks and much more.
Longer response times during certain hours may indicate that not enough staff are on duty. The data can also show that a resident has started to ‘call’ for help much more than usual and this can be investigated and appropriate measures put in place. Users can login from any connected device to access the Kloud and create custom reports or investigate a specific incident if required. Care Group administrators have a dashboard of all their care homes in one place making it simple to manage. Harpal Momi - Managing Director says “When we asked our customers about Nursecall Data logging most of them said that it was too difficult to analyse or they didn’t have the time. We developed Kloud to help them deliver better care based on the data analysis. The ease in which it can be implemented and the simple subscription model makes it suitable for anyone”. Contact 0330 321 1040, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kamsystems.co.uk
Alarm Radio Monitoring Alarm Radio Monitoring (A.R.M) is a UK based manufacturer of wireless Nurse Call and Staff Alarm systems; offering a comprehensive range of Nurse Call, Staff Alarm, Fire Alarm, and Door Access bespoke systems. With over 30 years experience in the design & development of wireless Nurse Call & Staff Alarm systems, A.R.M has established itself as a key player within the wireless solutions market to the public and private healthcare sectors. Wireless solutions are ideal for environments which do not lend themselves to running cables, for example listed buildings or busy environments. Wireless systems can be fitted while your home remains operational, so you do not have to close rooms off and they offer greater flexibility and ease for future expansion. Care Homes choose A.R.M nurse call systems because they: • Are quick and simple to install. • Make it easier for staff to identify the source of calls
because they give full text descriptions. • Give management the tools they need to monitor and control best practice. The system provides a full audit trail of which buttons are pressed and response times. • Failsafe eg alerts you in the event of a system fault or batteries are running low. • Carry a year’s guarantee. • Are supported 24/7, 365 days a year by specialist engineers over the telephone or online. No matter how demanding your environment, A.R.M believes everyone – whether you’re a customer in a care home or team member – should be within safe reach. Whether you need a combination of a Nurse Call, Staff Alarm, Fire Alarm, Door Access system, we have a team to help design a package that will meet your requirements. For further details call 01568 610 016 or email email@example.com
Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 37
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Reliant Care Solutions Ltd 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. For further information visit www.rcscare.net or call 03333 444 562.
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.
Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
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.
PAGE 38 | THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Care South Invests In Ground-Breaking Care Planning Technology A not-for-profit charity in the South of England is the latest UK care provider to invest in ground-breaking technology proven to boost operational efficiency, reduce errors and dramatically improve care delivery. Care South, which provides residential, nursing and dementia care to residents across its 16 care homes, also help people to live independently in their own homes. Working with service users and their families, Care South tailors personal solutions in which all parties can feel secure and confident, with the dignity of those needing care central to the charity’s goals. To ensure that the highest levels of care are maintained, Care South’s care home portfolio benefits from ongoing investment and in-depth training programmes all year round. Care South’s latest investment will see staff go paperless, using Person Centred Software’s award-winning Mobile Care Monitoring to evidence and monitor care interactions in real-time, in a move that will also save each carer up to 3 days per month on paperwork. The gradual rollout will see Care South’s Sussexdown care home receive the software first, with the wider plan being to onboard up to two locations per month until all services are fully equipped with the software. Using Person Centred Software, Care South will be able to make the
most of its unrivalled ecosystem of partners, which includes electronic medication management.
Discussing their reasons for adopting Mobile Care Monitoring, Aaron Whitehead, Director of Residential Care at Care South, said: “We first heard about Person Centred Software through word of mouth and, upon doing our research, it seemed the perfect solution for us. Being fully mobile and icon-driven, the software is incredibly easy to use and saves our carers time that had previously been spent completing paperwork. “We’re delighted with the benefits that the software has delivered people living and working within our homes so far. We look forward to working directly with Person Centred Software as we complete the software roll out over the coming months,” Aaron concluded. Having launched in Australia in 2018, Ireland in 2019 and the Netherlands in 2021, Person Centred Software’s innovative technology is improving systems used in social care globally and has won numerous prestigious industry accolades. In 2020, Person Centred Software was placed on the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and top 10 SME in Digital Leaders 100, and the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 list in 2019. Furthermore, its new coronavirus-specific features were recognised at the Health Tech Digital Awards 2020 for Best COVID-19 Software Solution. For more information about the benefits of moving to a digital care management system, please visit www.personcentredsoftware.com
First Installation of Game Changing Software for the Care Industry Installed at Nyton House in Chichester The first intelligent tech system that helps both carers and residents has been launched to market by Arquella and successfully installed at cutting edge care home Nyton House in Chichester. Sheffield based Arquella was founded in 2019 –and provides innovative digital solutions for the care industry allowing the focus to be on the care of residents. Combining modern nurse call equipment with advanced software they have created a higher quality of care and improved reporting system to help raise CQC ratings. Paul Howell and Reuben Timoney are the very passionate and entrepreneurial drivers behind the care home gamechanger that is Arquella. CEO and COO respectively, they met by chance in 2018, changing their futures and the future of care home tech. So, what is the digital system? AIDA Assist is an advance nurse call system, a digital care reporter and a whole lot more! The new system is a link between call-logging and care plan software with the most comprehensive automated compliance reporting available. Most nurse call manufacturers use pagers to alert carers to a call on their system. Arquella’s wireless nurse call systems integrate with smartphones without the need for extra equipment to be installed. This allows carers to be alerted to call location instantly. So long pagers! On top of that it can be used to provide evidence for care cost adjustments and supply in-depth specific and overall care analysis during an investigation. In conjunction with good quality home management, it provides unambiguous compliance data that shows the care home is doing
The Carer Digital Now Available Weekly thecareruk.com/backissues
more than just meeting the regulatory requirements. Paul Howell, CEO of Arquella says: ‘It is not enough to be exceptional at looking after the needs of vulnerable people anymore. Alongside the hands-on care, you need to keep detailed care plans, compliance reports, in-depth care analysis, day by day monitoring of care delivery, accident and incident trend analysis, KPI monitoring against performance standards and so much more. The job of recording care is now so complex that some care facilities employ full-time compliance officers, a luxury that many other care homes don’t have. Our goal is to build a fully integrated digital world of care that helps the care homes take control.’ Arquella believes that their system will also help care homes with their CQC ratings which are often rated lower because of the recording of care, rather than actual performance. Howell says: ‘To achieve a rating of ‘good’ or higher is not a matter of simply meeting the standards of the regulator. We all know how a classification of ‘Inadequate’ or ‘Requires Improvement’ can damage a facility’s reputation and income. It gives potential clients the perception that the level of care being provided is somehow substandard. However, the reality is that more often than not, it is the recording of care that has broken down.’ Along with care plan information, AIDA Assist provides global information for the care home. Average response times for each shift pattern, average staff attendance times and frequency and time of emergency calls. The data can be easily mined quickly for patterns and trends and key point indicators can also be entered into the system. Harvey Hillary is a second-generation care home owner and owns Nyton House in Chichester, the first care home to have the system installed. After a successful career as Head of High Performance & Innovation for the British Sailing Team he came back to work with the family business and is a huge advocate of the Arquella system. ‘The vision at Nyton was to provide a ‘home-like’ experience by encouraging a ‘freedom to roam’ and for residents to spend less time isolated in their rooms and more time in communal areas. Arquella enables us to provide location-based calling from unique user pendants.
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Just think of a giant Andr Android oid tablet built into a solid oak surr surround, ound, on a base that houses a lar large ge battery to allow you to use it all day long and smooth running wheels for easy movement between rooms rooms in your care care home. ! “This amazing bit of technology is making a huge di!erence di!e !errence to ou our ur rresidents” esidents” Melanie Dawson, Manager, Manager r, The Lawns L at Heritage Manor The screen screen is 5mm temper tempered ed glass for your residents ingress residents safety and sealed against fluid uid ingr ess meaning a spill of a cup of tea won’ won’tt ruin your ! equipment. It also means an easy clean solution to stop cross cross contamination using any normal surface cleaner.! cleanerrr..!
‘Removing the clinical feel was one step but removing the triggers of challenging behaviour was a key focus. Our Coach House unit has been designed around people with Dementia and removing Nurse Call Alarms was a massive win. Arquella allows us to notify staff of a ‘Call’ using a mobile device and for a staff member to accept the call and then cancel the call once they have attended to the resident. ‘A huge frustration for me as a care provider was the inability for Nurse Call systems to inform care planning. Most systems can provide a list report of time and frequency of calls and the response time from staff. From my perspective, this is a very limited data set that is missing the most obvious opportunity for the carer to log the ‘reason for call’. Working with Arquella we are developing a carer input screen that will code all alarms and enable us to identify trends and inform care plans. This will be followed by a Task scheduling functionality for prompting medication, pressure areas care, night checks and fluids. Using API exports, we hope to streamline the point of care records keeping that is recorded in or Electronic Care Planning system. ‘As a care home, ultimately, we all want to achieve an outstanding rating from the CQC, but it’s often the accuracy of recording the data that lets us down. This takes time, is labour intensive or has us juggling platforms when we have more important things to do! That is all solved with the Arquella system and we’re thrilled to have it in Nyton.’ The modern call units can be wall mounted or portable for maximum freedom and have been designed with practicality and user-friendliness in mind. Key benefits include… Call alert to mobile Nurse Call Panel Fall sensor Nurse call reporting dashboard Reports, CQC and Call logs For more info. see the advert on page 13 or visit the Arquella website: www.Arquella.co.uk Or call: 0333 242 7505
All tables are are made to order, orderr, if you’d like to enquire enquir e on a price guide and time scales for www.inspireddeliveries, just visit their website www .inspir spiredinspirations.com inspirations.c com or scan the QR code on the right. For general enquiries, please email ! ! firstname.lastname@example.org! info@inspir ed-inspirations.com! “We’ve didn’tt “W We’ve noticed ed that quieter rresidents esidents who didn’ interact too much with others have suddenly more more been mor re e active ctive and mor re e vocal.” Lindsey Manager, Davies, Home e Manager r,, Cwrt Enfys
See the advert on page 32 for details.
THE CARER | MAY/JUNE 2021 | PAGE 41
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE StackCare UK Expands Offering with Launch Of Two New Client-Monitoring Systems – One for Care Homes CARE VISION and One for Home Care Professionals
StackCare UK, the market leading homemonitoring system provider, has expanded its product range with two new systems for the professional care industry - StackCare Pro and StackCare for Carers. Building on the original StackCare @home system that was launched earlier this year, the new systems provide care home managers and professional carers with up to the minute details on their clients’ wellbeing and activity levels, offering unrivalled extra levels of detail and resource to care packages. Managers and agencies can monitor their clients both centrally, in their office using an online dashboard, and/or through an app on carers’ mobile phones. The systems allow staff to view the status of multiple clients, and, as with StackCare @home, managers and carers can monitor activity levels and data including the number of bathroom visits the client makes, room temperatures and sleep patterns, with alerts sent if a client’s behaviour patterns change. Door sensors and help buttons are also available as optional add-ons to both systems for clients who would benefit from extra monitoring and /or a direct communication link to their care team.
FLEXIBLE, COMPREHENSIVE CARE SOLUTION
Care Control Systems Care Control Systems Ltd is proud to create the UK's best Care Management Software designed for use within all standard, niche and complex care settings. Care Control has been in constant development since 2010 and was made commercially available in 2016. Since then we have expanded across hundreds of providers within the UK and are well recognised as leaders in our field. Care Control is used by over 15,000 care professionals daily across the UK in multiple service types ensuring their services have live, up-to-date essential information. Located in Tavistock, Devon our expert team is comprised of numerous industry specialists with many years of direct, hands-on care experience. This is one of our key USP’s. Our Managing Director, Matt Luckham started the creation of the original Care Control Software in 2010
Developed in Silicon Valley, and using enhanced AI and machinebased learning, both the StackCare for Carers and StackCare Pro systems use discreet wireless smart motion sensors placed in key locations around the client’s home, or care home room. There are no cameras or microphones, thereby ensuring privacy for clients. A central hub gathers the data from the sensors which is analysed and reported back to the carer / agency. The data is anonymised and held in line with GDPR rules. The founder of StackCare UK, Noel Verbruggen, commented, “These StackCare systems give care providers an unrivalled resource that brilliantly compliments existing care packages. The cutting edge technology means carers can know that their clients or residents are OK even when they can’t physically be with them. “We all know that carers often can’t be with their clients for as long as they would like to be, and for busy carers and care homes time pressures are a real issue. It’s here that our smart tech comes into its own. Having instant access to StackCare’s data essentially gives carers an extra pair of hands and gives reassurance to carers, clients and clients’ families”. StackCare is offering agencies the option to partner with them to promote the use of the system to clients as an addition to the agency’s care package offering. To learn more about StackCare UK’s solutions visit www.stackcare.co.uk with the aim to provide essential, accurate information for Spring House Care House in Devon. Matt had purchased Spring House in 2010. Matt developed the software and then spent 6 years proving its functionality within Spring House. It soon became apparent the software could add real value to other service providers and after numerous requests we decided to commercialise the software. In 2016 Care Control Systems Ltd was founded and since then has gone from strength-to-strength with exponential growth. We now have an exceptional team of more than 20 staff who have over 70 years of direct hands-on care experience between them. On top of this our team of Software Developers are experts in their field and are constantly developing our products to ensure they offer everything our customers expect in what is a particularly complex sector. 2020 has been a record year for Care Control with record numbers of customers choosing us, office expansion, overseas sales and an ever growing team to name just a few things. We are so excited for the future! Visit www.carecontrolsystems.co.uk
At Care Vision we believe care may never be the same again. Outstanding care truly is at the heart of everything we do, with a clear purpose of Less Admin, More Care. Growing up and working in a family owned care home, Rishi Jawaheer saw at first hand the main needs in the care sector; to cut down on the burden of manual paperwork while maintaining good practice and to encourage people to become more involved in care. Using his experience as a registered manager, with some of the smartest minds in tech, Rishi was driven to create Care Vision, an all in one cloudbased care management, system incorporating all your care and admin into one easy to use system. Presently the care industry has our work cut out to keep in line with statutory and legislative compliance in addition to the essential everyday tasks of looking after our clients. Care Vision acts as a bridge which uses technology that organises care work, ensures a safer, better and more intimate experience for every member of the community, from administration, the carer to family, friends and the people we care for. Care Vision provides An easy to use system for carers, managers, relatives; bringing care and admin into one platform; to manage time, attendance, rota, HR, housekeeping, maintenance and much more An E-mar system, fully compliant with NICE, reducing medication errors and keeping people safe An intuative daily notes section that can be completed at the point of service quickly and accurately A pictorial food order system that allows the individual to choose from a menu even if they forgot what a meal looks like Daily reminders in the form of care routines which reminds staff of key aspects of care for the individual
Care Plans / Risk assessments/ Life stories which allows you to customise care plans to specifically suit the person’s needs. Reminding all about one’s history and who Is important in one’s life A family app that allows families to keep track of their loved one’s wellbeing through videos and pictures, which has been essential during the pandemic. Care Vision gives you the freedom to access it using mobile, tablet, laptop, or pc in real time whilst safely securing and storing data. within the platform. Built flexibly to adapt to services of any size, large or small, Care Vision’s structured, interactive features engage carers in sharing information with the end-user and their family. Registered manager and director of Summerhayes Care says “The carers have taken to Care Vision like a duck to water and the information that we are gathering is streets ahead of the previous system we used we are very impressed. They make it easy to understand and nothing is any trouble. I highly recommend taking a look at this system if you are wanting to meet your quality standards and CQC requirements”.
Nationally our data has shown that working with homes Care Vision can save 2-4 hours every week per carer by reducing tasks that could be better spent with the people we care for. As both carers and developers, we are unique in our focus on developing software that benefits the care sector. This allows us to continually develop and update software for our clients. The Care Vision team would love to talk to you about what the system can do for you, come and join us, we believe the future of Social care is in good hands with “Care vision” Contact us at email@example.com or call 0208 768 9809
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RECRUITMENT & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Five Employment Law Changes Care Providers Should Be Aware Of Last month saw the introduction of a raft of new changes to employment law, including some crucial details that Care Providers should keep in mind when it comes to minimum wages and contracting. Alison Gill, HR Manager at advo outlines the employment law changes which Care Providers need to be aware of:
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE The National Living Wage now applies to those aged 23 and over. Previously this was for those aged 25 and over. Workers aged 23 and over: From £8.72 an hour in 2020, increased to £8.91 an hour (National Living Wage) Workers aged 21-22: From £8.20 per hour in 2020, increased to £8.36 an hour Development rate for workers aged 18-20: From £6.45 an hour in 2020, increased to £6.56 an hour Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17: From £4.55 an hour in 2020, increased £4.62 an hour Apprentice rate: From £4.15 an hour in 2020, increased £4.30 an hour
FAMILY FRIENDLY STATUTORY RATES OF PAY Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) - First six weeks – 90 per cent of employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90% per cent of earnings if lower. Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) - First six weeks – 90 per cent of employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90% per cent of earnings if lower. Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) – paid for two weeks. £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90 per cent of employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower. Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) - £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90 per cent of employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower. Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP) - £151.97 (was previously £151.20 in 2020) or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
STATUTORY SICK PAY (SSP) The same weekly SSP rate applies to all employees. However, the amount you must actually pay an employee for each day they’re off
work due to illness (the daily rate) depends on the number of ‘qualifying days’ they work each week. The current rate is £95.85 per week since 6 April 2020 and is set to rise to £96.35 from 6 April 2021. The lower earnings limit in relation to eligibility to statutory payments is to stay the same at £120 per week.
ET COMPENSATION AWARDS AND RATES It has been confirmed that employment tribunal compensation rates are set to increase from 6 April 2021. As of this date, the maximum week’s pay for redundancy pay purposes will increase from £538 to £544. However, statutory guarantee pay will be staying at £30. This is important for the purposes of tribunal claims because it means that the maximum statutory redundancy pay, as well as unfair dismissal basic award pay, will both now be £16,320. The unfair dismissal compensatory award, which is set to compensate the claimant for past and future lost attributed to the dismissal, is a maximum of 52 weeks’ pay, subject to a new maximum of £89,493. The maximum amount of additional award for unfair dismissal, set to compensate claimants when employers fail to adhere to a tribunal instruction to re-engage them, taking into account average weekly earnings, will rise to £28,288.
FAMILY LEAVE The weekly rates of statutory family leave – eg Maternity/paternity leave, etc. – will increase by 77p per week on 4 April 2021, from £151.20 per week to £151.97 per week.
IR35 The IR35 legislation, which aims to ensure that contractors are paying the appropriate amount of tax, is also changing for some private sector businesses. The majority of contractors are required to determine their own status as employee or contractor. From 6 April 2021, this liability will pass to medium and large-sector clients. Smaller clients will be exempt from this obligation and the contractor remains liable for determining their own tax status. Lucy Pearce, Commercial Director of advo comments: “There are many changes for Care Providers to adjust to from April 2021 onwards and they should seek further advice if they are unsure on any aspects of the new employment legislation. “To help employers understand each element of these new changes and to ensure full compliance with employment legislation, we have launched the UK’s first, fully integrated platform – advo-one - which enables employers to control their payroll, HR and employee benefits, through a single, secure login.
“Unlike many self-service employer portals, every advo-one client journey is fully supported by advo people. advonians are experts dedicated to providing advice and guidance across the range of services, every single step of the way. “Care providers can access detailed reporting for HR and payroll, including contract reviews; easy-to-use online holiday and sickness reporting; and essential news and legislation updates. “advo-one also features BACs approved payroll software compliant with HMRC, RTI and auto enrolment. It helps employers to fully manage furlough claims submissions; calculates pension contributions and auto enrolment; gives employee access to online payslips through advo-one; and provides access to detailed payroll reporting. advo-one is supported by dedicated payroll experts on hand to provide support and guidance. “advo-one can be accessed anytime from anywhere and care providers can have their own portal, company branded, supported by access to advo experts. There is also a huge choice of benefits on offer, including employee perks, health insurance and wellbeing, which make managing staff simple, connected and effective. “The advo platform is designed for the modern workplace - it’s a hire-to-retire people solution.” “The advo platform is designed for the modern workplace - it’s a hireto-retire people solution.” advo-one is more than software as it features qualified advice built in, providing employers with support in areas that they need it. The platform also offers simplified access for employees – a single login to see HR docs, Payslips, P60’s, P11d’s, available benefits and staff discounts. Designed to increase efficiency and employee engagement, advo-one provides the expert support and software needed to manage each service individually, or together. Since 1997, advo has focused on quality of service and advice and has grown to be one of the UK’s largest independently owned advisory firms, providing all-encompassing services to support employers, throughout the employee lifecycle. With Payroll and HR added to the firm’s expertise, advo can now deliver all the essential employee support services. advo currently manages staff benefits and payroll for just under 1,500 employers and the health insurance needs of countless individuals. Over the years, advo has developed a reputation for cost control and customer service excellence, leading to the firm being recognised as the UK’s ‘best’ advisory firm by peers on numerous occasions. For further information, please visit http://www.advogroup.co.uk or telephone 01622 769210.
Should Care Home Professionals Be Concerned About Criminal Liability In Respect Of Covid-19 Cases? By Jonathan Grimes (Partner) and Sophie Wood (Senior Associate, Barrister) in the Criminal Litigation team at law firm Kingsley Napley LLP (www.kingsleynapley.co.uk)
In late February 2021 it was reported that a care home worker had been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter after a patient died of COVID-19. Then in March, two further care home workers were arrested on suspicion of wilful neglect following a COVID outbreak at a care home in Sidmouth, Devon. Should those working in care homes be concerned about criminal liability in respect of COVID-19 cases and on what basis can care home workers be prosecuted for incidents involving COVID-19?
THE APPLICABLE LEGISLATION There are three separate offences which may be relevant to such a situation. 1) Under section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
(“HSWA”) care home staff are required to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions. Failure to do so is an offence punishable up to two years’ imprisonment. 2) If a resident dies, in rare circumstances a care home worker may face prosecution for ‘gross negligence manslaughter’. This may arise where the death is considered to have resulted from a breach of the worker’s duty of care towards the deceased. The worker will only be liable if they breached that duty of care through a negligent act or omission; at the time of the breach there was a serious and obvious risk of death, which was reasonably foreseeable; and the negligence, which caused or significantly contributed towards the death, was so bad that it amounted to gross negligence and therefore requires criminal sanction. 3) Following the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, new legislation was enacted making it an offence for care workers to ‘ill-treat or wilfully neglect’ an individual in their care (section 20 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015). ‘Wilful neglect’ means deliberately neglecting to do something which should be done in the treatment of a patient. It is no defence for a worker to argue that even if they had administered the treatment, it would have made no difference to the patient’s health. ‘Ill-treatment’ means deliberate conduct which can be described as ill-treatment (irrespective of whether it actually damaged, or threatened to damage the health of the patient). The worker needs to appreciate that they were illtreating the patient, or to have been reckless as to whether they were acting in that way. If found guilty, a person can be sentenced up to five years’ imprisonment.
ARE WE GOING TO SEE MORE ARRESTS OF CARE HOME WORKERS RELATING TO COVID-19? Potentially yes. At the beginning of the pandemic the understanding of how COVID-19 was transmitted and what could be done to protect residents was limited. One year on however, there is a better, albeit not perfect, awareness of how staff can help safeguard against outbreaks and deaths. For example, if a care home worker recognises a number of now-known signs of COVID-19, and fails to call a doctor, they could be accused of wilful neglect. Equally if that worker, after recognising the symptoms, fails to isolate that patient, they could be accused of a section 7 HSWA offence. Due to this improved understanding of the disease, it will increasingly be possible to measure behaviour against a common standard. It will be easier to establish what was reasonable for the care worker to be doing at the time and/or demonstrate a causal link between the acts or omissions of the worker and the illness/death. The arrests so far indicate that law enforcement no longer sees COVID-19 as a novel disease about which the risks are not fully understood. They suggest there is a confidence about what standards care home staff should be meeting when managing COVID-19, and where those standards are thought not to have been met, allowing an assessment of where criminal liability comes into play. Therefore irrespective of whether these arrests lead to successful prosecutions, they indicate a change in approach by law enforcement and so care home staff and their employer organisations should expect more enforcement action in this area in the future.
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RECRUITMENT & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Supreme Court Rules Sleep-In Shift Workers Not Eligible For National Minimum Wage By Hollie Watkins, Banner Jones Solicitors (www.bannerjones.co.uk) To the dismay of employees, but a decision arguably welcomed by employers, the Supreme Court has recently ruled in cases Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad and another (T/A Clifton House Residential Home) that sleep-in shift workers are not ‘working’ when they are asleep. This in turn means that care workers should only be paid the National Minimum Wage hourly rate on sleep-in shifts when they are awake for the purposes of actively working. Here, Hollie Watkins of Banner Jones Solicitors, discusses the case and its implications in more detail. The ruling brings to an end a strenuous four-year legal battle which centred around Mencap, a UK based charity working with people who have learning disabilities. The case threatened to leave care providers with a potential £400 million back-pay bill that would have potentially jeopardised the care of the most vulnerable people in the country.
The cases were brought by two care workers who were sleep-in workers. This means that as part of their shift, they were permitted to sleep either at work, or at a place near work, in case they were required to assist. Whilst working at night, the care workers were to be present in case of any emergencies and provide assistance when required. In relation to the case of Tomlinson-Blake, The Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), found that she was working throughout the entirety of her shift regardless of the number of hours spent sleeping. Therefore, it was confirmed that each hour of her sleepin shift were to be included in the National Minimum Wage calculation when calculating her pay. However, in the Shannon case the Tribunal and the EAT dismissed the claim. Further appeals in both proceedings were heard by the Court of Appeal, which held that neither was entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage for all the hours of their respective sleep-in shifts. The Government now faces pressure to reform care laws following the Supreme Court ruling which has caused unrest and disappointment amongst care workers. Whilst Mencap is relieved not to have to pay the huge back payment that could have crippled the charity, Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the Royal Mencap Society, stands with employers who demand the Government ‘do a thorough and meaningful review of the social care workforce’. Whilst the ruling has provided some sort of clarity for employers and
has mitigated the potential huge costs payable in relation to back payments, employees now face uncertainty as to their pay. In the midst of an ongoing global pandemic, this has added extra pressure to care workers across the UK. If you are an employer or an employee who would like guidance on sleep-in shift work, please contact the Banner Jones Employment Law team.
Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance
Global assists clients throughout the U.K. who specialise in the healthcare sector to achieve their objectives of purchase, development and refinance. We have organised over £1.8bn for clients in the past 30 years, providing clients with competitively priced funding to refinance existing debt, ease cashflow and develop businesses further. From helping clients make their first purchase through to allowing groups to grow significantly in size we
Considering A Career In The Care Industry? Here's What You Need To Know... With a wealth of experience recruiting for this sector, Jon Mason, Recruitment Manager at Maria Mallaband Care Home Group fills us in on what you need to know when considering a role in the care home industry.
WHAT ROLES ARE ON OFFER IN THE CARE HOMES SECTOR? Whilst direct care is the key purpose of course, care homes are also mini communities where there really is something for everyone. There are plenty of creative, practical and management roles in the team too, with positions in catering, wellbeing and social activities, administration, housekeeping, management, maintenance, quality control, and even transport.
DO YOU NEED SPECIFIC QUALIFICATIONS? Whilst there are some roles that do need specific qualifications there are many that don't. In fact, in many cases getting hands on experience whilst studying can be a much more effective way to learn plus some employers actually value the opportunity to align your learning to their own methods and practices. For example, Maria Mallaband currently has a number of Trainee Nurse Associates studying with universities across the UK alongside their current roles. Being able to earn and learn like this gives them the opportunity to become fully qualified nurses without having to worry about funding.
ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR SECTORS THAT ARE WELL SUITED TO A CAREER IN A CARE HOME? With the pressures of the ongoing pandemic on
certain industries, many are needing to look elsewhere for reliable employment. We've seen more applications for those who want to completely change their career path and are now looking to build a long-term future in the care sector. Many of our most recent hires have come from completely different sectors, including project management, children's activities, hotels, and even personal training. Those within retail, customer service and hospitality have developed great interpersonal skills and are able to work as part of a team. In sectors that are struggling, people are now considering where those skills could be applied elsewhere, and care homes have a lot to offer.
WHICH ARE THE RELEVANT SKILLS THAT YOU WOULD LOOK FOR? One of the most important skills you can bring to this field is passion! After all, it might be your place of work, but it is home for those who live there. It’s also important that people who choose this career are confident communicators and empathetic, whether they engage directly with those living there or not. Those within retail, customer service and hospitality often cultivate great communication skills and have learnt to work well as part of a team. As well as customer facing roles I have already mentioned, there are plenty of other roles that could provide relevant skills. Experience in the food industry could lead to a career in the catering team, or perhaps a role co-ordinating hobbies and activities for those with creative or artistic inclinations. More practically minded individuals may be well-suited to general maintenance, cleaning or transport positions. A passion for people and companionship as well as the work you do can make such an impact on your role and those around you. With each home operating as its own community accommodating every need for those who live there - the possibilities really are endless.
assist at every stage of your business expansion. Every proposal is individual and deserves to be treated that way, so we hope you will allow us to be of assistance to you and call us to chat through your plans and requirements, I am sure we will be able to tailor a facility to your requirements. Call us on 01242 227172 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue #54 of The Carer - The leading independent publication for nursing and residential care homes. Published May 2021.