The Carer #55 July/August 2021

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Issue 55

Mandatory Covid Vaccine for Care Home Staff in England from 11 November

The Covid vaccine will be mandatory for all care home workers in England from 11 November, with the government’s own figures revealing that up to seven per cent of the workforce, equating to between 40,000-70,000 staff, could lose their jobs, with women and ethnic minorities disproportionately affected, according to an official estimate. In an impact statement from the government, officials believe between 3% and 12% of care home staff may still resist getting a Covid jab by the end of a 16-week grace period. A conservative estimate was that 40,000 could be forced to leave their jobs, but it could be as high as 70,000 or as low as 17,000. The government estimates that by the time the vaccine becomes compulsory, around 87 per cent of the workforce would have had both doses. It announced a 16 week grace period from 22 July for all care home workers to be vaccinated, with 16 September being the last date for care workers to get their first vaccine

so they are fully vaccinated before regulations come into force. Residents in care homes are particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19: Based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, around a third (31%) of registered deaths from COVID-19 in England were care home residents, as of 2 April 2021. The impact statement says that: “Making vaccination a condition of deployment in care homes will help ensure that residents at high risk from COVID-19 either due to their age, underlying health conditions, or disability are better protected against the virus. The consultation set out our proposal to amend regulations to require care home providers with at least one resident over the age of 65 to deploy only those workers who have received their COVID-19 vaccination (or have a legitimate medical exemption from vaccination).”



VIEWPOINT In the 14 years we have been publishing THE CARER I have commented on many contentious topics affecting the sector. Funding is always the top of the agenda. However, the government's decision to press ahead with mandatory vaccinations to be enforced by November the 11th is possibly the most contentious yet. I have often said that the government has found Editor itself between a rock and a hard place. However, the forcing of vaccinations on dedicated care staff who have, during this past 15 months, risen to take on one of the country's greatest challenges in modern history is the wrong approach. I have just read the governments own social care blog entitled :“Care home staff vaccinations we need your views”, and it made very interesting reading. The most startling being that there are clear genuine concerns which are just not being addressed. There are numerous comments from care staff with years of experience who really are concerned, and this is where the government may have lost the battle. The government’s own report reveals that it is going to lead to an exodus of staff and it is putting care providers in an impossible position. The government needs to reach out and provide reassurance - something which has been lacking, and a dictatorial approach is, I suspect, going to lead to enormous and long lasting damage. I note the Prime Minister is coming under increasing pressure to make good his promise and deliver on social care reform. An article in this issue reveals that six out ten over 45s support a cap on care costs. (See page 9). I am frankly surprised that it is as low as that. I thought that the whole country will overwhelmingly supported a cap. The Prime Minister pledged not to kick the can down the road as all his predecessors have. However, there has been nothing put forward which would fill the country with any confidence. Plans by the government to raise national insurance to pay for long-term social care reform have been thrown into further doubt after a senior minister appeared to rule it out. I noted earlier this week that Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News that a reported hike in national insurance would be off the cards when the government brings forward proposals later this year. “That’s what it says in the manifesto, I don’t see how we could increase national insurance,” he said, adding that he believes a social care plan will come “by the autumn”, ruling out a National Insurance increase. Proposed tax increases have been criticised as placing an unfair tax burden on the younger sector of Society to protect the older sector from having to sell their homes to pay for social care. We are going to have to accept the unpalatable fact that we are going to have to pay towards our care. And the sooner somebody gets to grips with that the better!

Peter Adams

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Mandatory Covid Vaccine for Care Home Staff in England from 11 November


The consultation asked for views on whether people supported the proposed legislative change, the scope of the policy, proposed exemptions, implementation methods; and sought views on equality impacts and impact on maintaining safe levels of staffing and the workforce. DHSC undertook thorough analysis of the more than 13,500 consultation responses and considered the feedback received. Overall, the consultation showed that, while a majority (57%) of respondents did not support the proposal, the responses from the adult social care sector were mixed, with some group, for example care home providers mostly supporting the proposed legislative change while others, such as service users and relatives of service users were mostly opposed. In a separate statement on the public sector equality duty, the government said the policy of mandatory vaccination for care home staff was “likely to have a significant impact on ethnic minorities” as one in five members of the social care workforce are Black, Asian or from another ethnic minority, a higher proportion than in the overall population of England.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF) responded to the signing off of the regulations by the Care Minister to start the countdown for compulsory vaccines as a condition of deployment for care home staff. Rayner said: “With the regulations now approved, the countdown to implementation begins. The regulations will come into force on the 11th November, and the delayed impact statement produced by the government earlier this week outlined the potential impact on the care sector across all care homes. The statement itself was limited in detail and we await the full-scale analysis that backs it up. However, even with its summary assessment it is clear that even the lower level assumptions recognise the very significant and potentially catastrophic chal-

lenges for the delivery of care if the right level of guidance and support is not available. “By their own assumption the government have determined that it is likely that 7% of the workforce will not be deployable as a result of this policy. The assessment claims that this is likely to mean that 40,000 staff are unlikely to be able to work in care homes within the next 16 weeks. In addition, the statement identifies an associated cost of £100 million to recruit and train replacement staff. However, this assumption does not bear any reference to the costs of implementation of the policy itself. “With less than 16 weeks to go, the sector urgently needs guidance and sufficient resources provided in a timely manner for the sector to prepare for the implementation of this policy.” The anticipated impact on staffing through the new regulations comes at the same time as a host of social care leaders from across the sector have put forward a Vision for a future workforce strategy. The need for this strategy is borne out of a recognition of the urgency within which the workforce needs reform – around pay, terms and conditions, training and career pathways. Without this, the current position of high turnover and high vacancies will only be sustained. It highlights a figure that will be very familiar to many – that on any given day social care has approximately 112K vacancies. The change to regulation could in 16 weeks’ time, without preparation or support, add a further 40K to that figure, something that we simply cannot allow to happen. The care workforce needs to be treated with the same level of respect and appreciation as NHS workers. “The announcement around pay increases for NHS staff can only serve to rub salt in the wound for care staff, many of whom will have received no increase at all this year, or at best an increase in line with minimum wage. On taking up his post as Secretary of State for Health

and Social Care, Sajid Javid wrote to all staff telling them he would ‘do everything he can to look out for you’. Let’s hope that he returns from isolation ready to honour this commitment, as right now the message is bearing no resemblance to the experience on the frontline.”

RECRUITMENT CHALLENGES Helen Badger, an employment partner at law firm Browne Jacobson, said : “The introduction of compulsory vaccines in the care sector will inevitably increase recruitment challenges, although it remains to be seen whether the numbers choosing to vote with their feet or being dismissed as a result of not being vaccinated will be as high as predicted. “Even if the numbers are exaggerated, it is a significant challenge for care homes. Employers may find themselves on the receiving end of grievances or claims of discrimination from affected employees. “Whilst ultimately an employer is highly likely to have objective justification for requiring vaccinations in care home settings, dealing with internal complaints or claims will impact both on management time, and employee relations. Replacing staff who refuse to be vaccinated will be costly and disruptive to the employer and its residents. “It will be important therefore that employers use the ‘grace period’ of 16 weeks from the date the regulations are signed into law to engage sensitively and compassionately with all those employees who remain resistant to the vaccine. This should involve the employer seeking to understand the reason for any vaccine resistance and giving factual information about the benefits of vaccines. It may be appropriate to seek support from community and religious groups to provide balanced information to concerned employees. The period should also be used to ensure the employees understand the choices available to them and the potential consequences of those choices. The more sensitive an employer can be to an employee’s concerns, the greater the chances of being able to retain valuable members of the workforce.”

Culinary Treats, Massages and Caribbean Party for Staff Appreciation Week Care staff at Royal Star & Garter in Solihull have enjoyed a week of treats, pampering and a lot of TLC. They relaxed with neck and foot massages, mindfulness and tai chi, and enjoyed healthy smoothies and snacks. They also took part in a treasure hunt and put their detective skills to good use in an interactive murder mystery. These were just some of the events and activities, which took place during the Solihull Home’s Staff Appreciation Week. It ran from 12-16 July and concluded with staff enjoying a Caribbean-themed party and buffet with residents. Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving compassionate care to vet-

erans and their partners living with disability or dementia. Several of the events took place in the evening, to ensure night staff did not miss out. Home Manager Cheryl Harbourne said: “We did this to show our staff how much we appreciate them. After what has been an incredibly difficult time they deserve to be spoilt.” Carly, Lead Health Care Assistant at the Home, said: ”We had so much fun all week, it really lifted staff morale. We are lucky we have such a lovely working environment.”


Cycle Awareness Days Must Do More To Involve Service Users By Leah Cooke, QCS, Content Operations (

COVID-19 restrictions permitting, when was the last time you rode a bike to work? Perhaps you’re used to commuting on two wheels every day? It might be that you haven’t cycled to work in years, or that you’ve never biked there at all. On Thursday 5th August, however, to mark ‘Cycle to Work Day’, the organisers of the event are urging as many people as possible to use two wheels rather than four to get to their offices. I’m sure in care services with an outstanding culture of IPC and where a robust set of guidance has been put in place, many carers will sign up to Cycle to Work Day. And why not? It's a wonderful way of keeping fit and alleviating stress. However, in a sector which practices outstanding Infection, Prevention and Control measures, it’s vital that the settings they work in have been fitted with the right infrastructure to facilitate a large number of staff cycling to work. Do they have enough shower capacity? Are there enough secure places on site where staff can safely leave their bikes? For those who work in new-build care homes, often architects have factored in all of these requirements into their designs in the planning stages. But, for professional carers who work in older builds, in rural settings or in domiciliary care, the simple act of commuting to and from work by bicycle may be much more challenging. But, that said, if there is enough interest amongst staff in a care home to participate in such a scheme, the best Registered Managers will always find a way to ensure events like this go ahead. If there are limited showering facilities and bikes racks, for example, it might be that ‘Cycle to Work Day’ is staged over the course of a week to allow every care staff member to ride to work on their bikes.

INCLUDE SERVICE USERS TOO However, why stop at carers? What about service users? Surely they

should be able to participate too? People accessing and using our services may have been keen cyclists, but lack the opportunities to continue cycling in a care home. We mustn’t also forget that half of all service users in the UK social care system are young people. A large proportion of them enjoy the freedom that a bike gives them. It allows them to explore, to discover and to absorb the raft of different sights and sounds in a myriad of different environments. As a sector, we need to work harder to ensure that every service user – no matter how complex and nuanced their needs – has the opportunity to enjoy the experience of travelling by bicycle. That’s not to say that this isn’t already happening. It is. There are trailblazers across the UK, who have adapted bikes to meet the needs and abilities of a wide range of people. Before I provide some best practice examples, however, I’d like to focus on compliance. While personalised care and innovation are two areas that the CQC is keen to champion in its new strategy, it's critically important to build a robust compliance framework around activities. That means employing a rigorous but nuanced risk assessment process, which recognises that all activities carry an element of risk. The risk assessment framework, created by Quality Compliance Systems, the leading provider of content, policies and standards for the social care sector, helps care teams to achieve this delicate balance, while its ‘Supporting people with Recreational Activities’ policy empowers providers to lay the groundwork for activities.

CELEBRATING THE INNOVATORS But returning to the pioneers, there are visionaries out there who have realised that the use-case for a rickshaw bike goes much further than simply ferrying tourists around big cities. There are several charities across the UK that have acquired several rickshaws and made them available to vulnerable service users and their carers’. This allows service users and their carers them to venture into parts of their local area that they might never have explored before. The beauty of the rickshaw bike too is that due to its elevated seating position, it enables the passenger and rider to get a unique view of the sur-

rounding area, which increases the sensory impact of the experience. It is also a great way of taking in the sea air, not to mention admiring the boats on the ocean and the sometimes powerful force of the waves beneath them. For those who enjoy riding, but are concerned about dexterity, grip and balance, many care homes have bought tandems, so they can fully enjoy the sensation of riding a bike without the worry of taking a tumble and potentially injuring themselves. To prevent falls, some care homes have invested in recumbent bikes, which enable the rider to pedal from a seated position. These bikes are particularly popular with disabled service users and those with learning disabilities and brain injuries. Stationary bikes that transport you to another world For service users who want to stay fit but are more comfortable confining their exercising programmes to the home itself, some services have purchased stationary bikes, which are linked connected to video screens. This allows the person to cycle in some of their favourite landscapes, or in places where they have never travelled before. Such bikes are not only great to use in the colder months of the year, but for people living with dementia or some form of memory loss, while there is no scientific evidence to prove it, it could be that the combination of bike and screen aids the reminiscence process. While that remains unclear, we do know that riding a bike or travelling on one promotes physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Perhaps, therefore, on Thursday 4th July, we as a sector should mark ‘Cycle to Work Day’, by not just pushing down on the pedals ourselves, but ensuring that as many service users as possible have the opportunity to experience the multitude of benefits that only a bike can bring. To find out more about QCS, contact our compliance advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email Alternatively, if you're seeking a new challenge, QCS is hiring. For a list of current vacancies, click here

Chichester Care Home Residents Enjoy ‘Revolutionary’ Trips Out Residents from a Chichester care home were among the first passengers to take a neighbourhood trip aboard a specially adapted community bike. A party from Colten Care’s Wellington Grange took turns to sit in a ‘trishaw’ powered and steered from behind by a volunteer ‘pilot’. Their rides follow the summer launch of BrightRide, a not-for-profit community interest company which has brought the city’s first trishaw into service with funding from Chichester City Council. After touring round the local area in the sunshine and fresh air, Wellington Grange residents said they were thrilled with their mobile change of scene. First up for a spin was Jean Moss who joked about being the home’s ‘guinea pig’ and commented: “This is the most fun I’ve had in years.” And after a ride around Oaklands Park, close to the Broyle Road home, Chloe Appleby said: “I had a brilliant time. It was just like going for a walk, which I can't do now, so I loved it. It was great to feel the wind in my hair.”

Chloe praised her volunteer pilot Richard Turnbull after she learned he had founded BrightRide in a break from paid work during the pandemic and he explained its aim of helping to bring ‘fresh air and happiness’ into people’s lives. “I just found the idea really inspiring,” said Chloe. “He chose to spend his time creating something good for others to enjoy rather than do nothing when his work was on hiatus in the first lockdown. He saw the idea through to fruition and I think it’s amazing.” Richard said: “It’s so lovely to see the pleasure that going out and about on the trishaw brings to people. They get so much happiness from it.” Sarah-jane Willis, Companionship team member at Wellington Grange, said: “It was a fantastic afternoon and proved a very popular activity. Richard and his trishaw will definitely be back, especially once the word has got round how brilliant it was. We think most of our residents will be queuing up to have a go.” For more information on BrightRide, visit

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The Care Workforce At 'Breaking Point' The National Care Forum (NCF) has welcomed the research by member Community Integrated Care providing an absolutely essential independent perspective on the complex, skilled and demanding roles within social care. Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the NCF states: “’Unfair to Care’ is hard hitting – and rightly so. It is hard to believe that in 2021 we have workers who are highly skilled, doing complex work that enables people to live the life they want and yet being paid at minimum wage. If we have learned anything in the last year, surely it is how valuable and how precious it is to be a part of your community and have control of your life. That is what good quality care work delivers, day in and day out, for some of the most vulnerable members of society. Yet somehow, whether by design or neglect, we have sleep walked into a position where staff are undervalued and underpaid. We must take action now to intervene in the very real workforce crisis that is happening in hundreds and thousands of organisations up and down the country.” “The Korn Ferry research is extremely important. It provides an independent perspective on care worker roles, and enables them to be externally evaluated and compared with other public sector roles. In

doing so, it brings to light what all within the sector understand, that care work should be viewed as a comparable role to that of colleagues within health and other public sector services. This level of responsibility, requiring the care worker to respond to constantly changing needs and complexity of tasks shows the skills, resilience and personal qualities needed in these roles. It also highlights how care roles require ongoing upskilling through training and high levels of knowledge to understand how best to offer care and support that changes lives.” The reality of government neglect of the social care workforce for years is being felt right now. NCF have carried out research this week with members to find out how their workforce is changing in light of the opening up of the economy. Our research shows that a recruitment crisis is happening right now, and feedback from social care staff leaving makes clear just what is driving this; Vic Rayner says:- “Members have told us loud and clear that they are experiencing an incredibly challenging time in recruiting and retaining staff – and they only see this getting harder in the coming months. In our survey, nearly 60% said they have seen the rate of exit increase since April 2021. Over 40% of staff who leave, are leaving the sector alto-

gether which represents a higher trend than previous national statistics. They are predominantly heading to the health sector where they can receive higher wages and better terms and conditions. They are also leaving to join hospitality and retail and they are stating that stress and burnout are at the top of the list for reasons to leave, with pay and terms and conditions coming not far behind. At the same time it is harder to recruit replacements, with particular issues in rural areas.” We need the government to act rapidly on the evidence presented by Community Integrated Care, which rightly calls for an immediate increase to care workers’ pay, a full scale independent evaluation of roles and a detailed workforce strategy to ensure social care is a viable, respected and sustainable career. Vic Rayner concludes: “We let this moment pass at our peril. Early indications from members show that the trend for exiting social care is higher than normal, that some services have to close or be reorganised as a result of these shortages, and that we have a workforce that is stressed, burnt out and looking for the door. We simply cannot sit back and allow this to happen because people rely on having the care and support they need when they need it.”

Quarter of Older Adult Care Home Staff Not Fully Vaccinated Reveals NHS England An estimated one in four staff in older adult care homes in England eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine have not yet taken up both, according to new figures. A total of 73.9% of eligible staff were reported to be fully vaccinated as of June 27, according to NHS England, however, proportion fell to 67.9% in London, suggesting around a third of staff in the capital have not had both doses. To date it is believed that over 347,000 eligible staff have now been fully vaccinated. Staff in older care homes are classed as eligible for the vaccine if they have not tested positive for Covid19 in the previous 28 days. The Government announced in June that from October 2021 all people working in care homes registered with the Care Quality Commission must have two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, unless they have a medical exemption. The new law, subject to parliamentary approval, comes with a 16-week grace period aimed at enabling staff who have not yet vaccinated to be so. Volunteers in care homes will also be required to get vaccinated, as will those who undertake work at care homes, including hairdressers, tradespeople and inspectors. Announcing the move, Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “People working in care homes have played an incredibly important role throughout the pandemic caring for those most at risk from this terrible virus.

“The vaccine is working, with over 14,000 lives saved so far. It’s only right that we take every possible step to protect those most at risk now and in the long term. “I want to take this opportunity to urge everyone working in social care to take up the jab if they haven’t already to protect those they care for, themselves and those they work alongside.” However, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said mandatory vaccination for NHS staff was an “incredibly complex issue that raises many ethical, legal and practical questions”. He added: “Vaccine hesitancy is not the same as flat-out refusal, and there could be several reasons why some staff may be unable or unwilling to be vaccinated. “Recent research has highlighted that pressurising health and social care workers can have damaging effects, leading to an erosion of trust, worsening concerns about the vaccine and hardened stances on declining vaccination.” The petition against mandatory vaccines for care workers now has 69,000 signatories, the petition launched in June states that “We, the people, demand that health and social care workers are given the right to exercise free will in relation to any medical procedure and so to be able to refuse to take the covid 19 vaccination without fear of facing discrimination at work or in wider society.”


Communicating Effectively in Challenging Times Effective communication with employees is key to running a successful care home. But communicating well is harder than it may first seem – and Covid-19 is just one of the hurdles care home managers now face when it comes to approaching internal communications. Shift patterns, multiple sites, language barriers, accessibility and many more issues besides combine to make communicating in care homes a difficult task. So what steps should care home managers take to ensure their communications are working as effectively as possible? Vicky Fagan is founder of FJC (, a marketing agency which specialises in internal communications and works with care home organisations throughout the UK, as well as Rowlands Pharmacy and Numark. She said: “The key to effective internal communication is simply to consider your audience first and foremost. As with all marketing and communications, the person who really needs to take on board what you’re saying is your target audience – so really understand who they are and how they would like to be communicated with.

Never let them slip from your focus when you’re putting your communications together and always provide opportunity for a two-way communication. “There are a lot of complicating factors in care homes specifically which must be considered. Having multiple sites, shift workers, agency staff and language barriers all make internal communications trickier,” she added. “It’s always important to make sure employees understand what’s going on within the business, but the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified that. Not only do they need to be able to talk to and reassure residents and their families, but they also need to feel safe in their place of work and understand how the business is taking care of its team.”

GO VISUAL “It can be very easy to rely on email to communicate key messages with staff because it’s fast and it’s cheap,” adds Vicky. “However, research shows us that employees take on far more of what they’re being told when they see a visual aid like a video or presentation. Animations are particularly effective to engage with your audience, which is why so many healthcare businesses are using short animations to communicate with their staff.”

CONSIDER THE MESSAGE It’s important that employees feel they are being consulted with, rather than dictated to, explains Vicky. “Good management / employee relations start with a healthy approach to working. Ruling by diktat rarely works and usually serves merely to sour good relationships, contributing to increased staff turnover, hostility in the workplace and other management headaches. “But, when staff feel they are valued and considered a vital part of the

organisation, they become more amenable to change.” Ways to achieve this include avoiding management speak, using multiple formats for distributing messages, being available to answer questions and keeping the tone of communications light. “But the most important thing to remember is that communications are two-way: you must listen as well as talk,” adds Vicky.

OVERCOMING PHYSICAL BARRIERS The care sector must content with a number of physical barriers that make communicating with staff harder than in many other sectors. These include digital and technical literacy of staff as well as multiple locations, shift patterns, languages and prevalence of agency staff. Vicky advises care home managers to consider practical ways around each barrier, rather than take a ‘one size fits all’ approach. “Physical barriers to effective internal communication often mean that managers become over reliant on email communications and even print outs pinned to noticeboards in order to reach everyone easily,” said Vicky. “For simple updates and so on, this is fine, but staff become blind to it over time – so managers must consider other means of conveying messages when it is something important. “That might include video, presentation, animations, printed materials, face to face briefings or even recorded Zoom chats. Technology allows us all to make these quickly and without vast expense, so there is no reason not to embrace new ways of communicating.” The key takeaway for the internal communications of today is to keep it clear, consistent and regular. Use multiple formats so that communications work for team members wherever they are based and ensure that your tone of voice and messaging remains consistent.

Local Care Home Residents Tour the Magnificent Gardens at Blenheim Palace Staff and residents at Barchester’s Hugh Myddelton House care home in Southgate were treated to a talk and tour of the wonderful gardens at Blenheim Palace, hosted by Antonia Keaney, the Palace’s Social Historian and Author. The Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site has been offering virtual tours and talks throughout the pandemic in order that people can continue to enjoy all the rich history and splendour that Blenheim Palace has to offer. The Palace is now open again and welcoming visitors to its stunning setting. Antonia’s horticulturally-themed talk took residents through the history and beauty of the Formal Gardens, created over centuries by esteemed landscape architects. Residents enjoyed a virtual look at how the gardens at Blenheim have developed over the past 300 years - from the formality of Henry Wise through to the ‘natural’ landscape created by Capability Brown and beyond. Everyone was very impressed by the many jewels hidden within the 150 acres of beautiful gardens. “I’m proud to say we have broadcast a total of seven livestreamed events for Barchester residents and it has been wonderful that so many people have been able to join our talks,” said Antonia.

“Blenheim Palace has such a fantastic history, we have thoroughly enjoyed being able to share some of its amazing stories with all the residents and patients through our series of tours and talks.” Lucy Tomlinson, Resident Experience Manager for Barchester Healthcare, commented: ““We have been using technology to keep residents connected with their loved ones as well as offer virtual events and activities throughout the pandemic. We are excited to work with our wonderful partners like Blenheim Palace to bring a wide range of fascinating experiences into our homes for all to enjoy. “Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active, and provides a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities,” Lucy added. General Manager, Ramona Stanciu, said: “Our residents have learned so much and they have loved being taken back in time to experience all kinds of wonderful moments. It has been absolutely brilliant to find out so much about so many different places and historic events through the live streaming events on offer.”


Government Fails to Live Up to Its Commitment to Deliver Parity of Esteem Care England has noted its disappointment that the health and social care sectors have not been treated with equal parity of esteem. Something that was encapsulated by the Government's recent decision to increase NHS nurse pay by 3% whilst only offering a 2% for adult social care through the Funded Nursing Care 21/22 increase. Care England believes, instead, that the two parts of the nursing workforce should have a corresponding uplift. The need for such parity is especially acute given the potential for adult social care nurses to be pulled into the NHS in the event that equality of funding is not established. This lack of parity does not pay sufficient dues to the fact that the adult social care sector's nurses were, and continue to be, on the frontline in the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst such behaviour by the Government merely entrenches perceptions concerning which sector it prioritises. At the same time, all of this is being played out the adult social care nursing workforce is being subjected to mandatory vaccination, which may have unin-

tended consequences such as increasing the attractiveness of the NHS over social care. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: "Despite all the talk of parity and adult social care reform, this action by the Government merely confirms our fear that it still does not value both the NHS and adult social care in an equal manner. Such actions will not serve to assist the adult social care in meeting the 36% increase in its size necessary if the demand for the social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over." Care England will continue to campaign to ensure that adult social care nurses have the funding needed to be on a par with their fantastic NHS colleagues. When the FNC rate was announced earlier this year, Care England noted how the 2% Funded Nursing Care increase was itself incommensurate when considering the plethora of additional costs associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst this action will merely increase the 7% gap between the pay rates for adult social care nurses and the rates available for nurses in the NHS. Martin Green continues: “With a new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in position, we want to work with him to ensure that social care is once and for all understood and recognised”.

75,000 Waiting for Social Care Help says ADASS Survey Almost 75,000 disabled and older people and carers are waiting for help with their care and support as social services struggle to cope with an avalanche of needs arising from the Covid pandemic. Directors of social services report unprecedented numbers of people waiting for an assessment of their needs, or for agreed care and support arrangements to be put in place. Almost 7,000 people have been waiting more than six months for an assessment. The figures have emerged in the annual budget survey of local council social services in England by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS). Despite the worsening delays in meeting people’s needs, councils are being forced to plan for savings of £600m in social services spending this year. The survey has also found that directors are concerned at least equally, or more, about being able to help people of working age who have disabilities or other needs as they are about being able to support older people. Just 3% of directors say they are worried most about older people. Stephen Chandler, ADASS president, said: “Many directors are saying they have never seen such an avalanche of need. Tens of thousands of people have lost their independence during the pandemic, suffered fresh distress or seen existing care and support arrangements break down. Many have delayed coming forward until now. “Behind every one of the 75,000 cases of people waiting for an

assessment or for care and support is a human story of someone unable to lead the life they want to lead and enjoy the minimum that any of us would want to guarantee for our fellow citizens.” The ADASS survey was completed by directors of almost all English councils responsible for adult social services. The survey has been carried out annually for the past eight years and presents the clearest and most comprehensive picture of the adequacy of state funding of social care – a total of £16bn this year - to meet people’s needs. Councils were found to be making £601m savings in services in 2021-22, representing an average 3.7% of budgets. Savings will mostly be through greater efficiency, or doing more for less, and developing so-called “asset-based” support whereby people receive help from within their local community rather than from formal services. Since 2010, councils have made a cumulative total of more than £8bn savings. However, only one in five directors say they are fully confident of making planned savings this year or of meeting all their statutory duties. Specifically, fewer than one in four directors is confident of meeting their duties to provide information and advice, safeguard all people considered at risk, or carry out assessments of all people seeking care and support. The survey suggests that almost 55,000 disabled or older people, or carers, are waiting for an assessment of their needs, while more than

19,000 who have been assessed and deemed eligible are waiting for a service or direct payment to arrange their own care and support. Of those awaiting assessment, almost 7,000 have been waiting more than six months. Asked for their chief concern, only 3% of directors said it was being able to meet the needs of older people whereas 40% said it was being able to do so for people of working age and 54% said they were equally concerned about both. The government’s manifesto commitment to reform social care focuses on older people. Stephen Chandler said: “Our survey shows starkly why the government must now, without any further delay, produce its plans to reform social care. We have called for the outline of the plans to be tabled before parliament starts its six-week summer recess next week. Those plans must address the needs of people of working age as well as older people." Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: "While Ministers fiddle, social care burns, leaving hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people, and their family carers, without the support they need to live decent, dignified lives. The Prime Minister has promised to fix social care and he should live up to his pledge. It's hard to imagine how the results of a survey like this could get much worse, but there's no doubt they will, unless and until the Government delivers on their promises."


Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccinations – What Care Home Managers Must Know

By Sarah Dillon, director at ESP Law (

Following the Government’s announcement that it intends to require care organisation employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the legislation is expected to be enacted later this year and take effect in October 2021. That means the mandatory vaccination of all employees and workers of CQC-regulated care homes will be required. Additionally, it is expected that individuals will be provided with 16 weeks in which to obtain both doses of the vaccination. The only exemption proposed relates to those who have a medical condition. Early indications are that the requirement to be vaccinated will apply to all those employed or engaged by care homes – including agency workers, volunteers and even visiting workers to the homes such as chiropodists, doctors, nurses, hairdressers, maintenance workers and others. This will mean that organisations who are not specifically regulated by the CQC could be required to ensure their employees and workers are vaccinated. The announcement followed a public consultation – which received 13,500 responses from owners, employees, residents, and their families – into the question of mandatory vaccination. The consultation was prompted by Government concerns of the poor take up of vaccinations

in some areas of the country amongst care workers. SAGE has released guidance stating that the minimum level of vaccinations needed to protect vulnerable people in care homes is 90% of residents and 80% of staff (fully vaccinated). As of 16 June 2021, the Government reported that only 65% of older care homes in England are meeting this minimum level of staff uptake needed to reduce the risk of outbreaks in high-risk care settings – falling to 44% of care homes in London. Here are four steps that care providers can take now.

1. COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION There are several reasons why employees or others, may refuse the vaccine – from concerns regarding fertility and pregnancy, concerns over the safety of the vaccine, medical conditions, and religious beliefs. Employers should engage with employees and share information on the latest research regarding the vaccines to provide reassurance and encourage voluntary vaccination. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have extensive materials on their website, including videos, outlining advice to pregnant women and those concerned about fertility. The Government and other bodies have also produced guidance on vaccination safety. Educating staff with information from trusted and reputable sources can help employees make an informed decision on receiving the Covid19 vaccine.

2. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES If staff ultimately refuse to have a vaccine, and legislation is passed to make it mandatory, employers may be left with little option but to dismiss employees. Even where the reason for the dismissal is due to legislation, employers will still need to follow a fair procedure. Start looking at, and drafting, a vaccination policy outlining the procedure to follow and the steps to take. For example, before dismissal,

employers would need to consider whether the employee can be redeployed elsewhere in the organisation where they would not be a risk. Other policies, such as the Data Protection Policy, must be amended to deal with how information on staff vaccinations will be handled, where the information will be stored, and how long it will be retained.

3. RECRUITMENT Examine recruitment processes, procedures, offer letters and contracts to include the upcoming requirement to be vaccinated. Some companies already require new employees to be vaccinated unless there is a medical (or other) reason for refusing. If an organisation does not yet require vaccination, consider whether the policy should be updated to include the requirement. Finding good staff is difficult for care organisations at the best of times and has been extremely challenging during the pandemic. The new legislation is likely to cause more people to leave the profession. Consider how the organisation will attract new staff. Where will they come from? What else can be offered? Acting early may put an employer ahead of the game.

4. EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS Identify which external organisations regularly send workers into the home – early contact and communication over the future requirements are vital. Some organisations may not realise that the legislation could affect their staff. It may be possible to agree a plan for future and notification requirements. If this is not possible, it may be necessary to amend commercial terms to reflect the new legislation. In a sector that has been battered and bruised from the Covid-19 pandemic, there are more challenges to come. However, swift action could help ease the management of the upcoming legislation.

Residents at Primrose Croft Care Home in Cambridge Excel in Photograph Challenge In May Excelcare Holdings challenged all their 33 Care Homes to put together a fun and exciting photoshoot for the residents to take part in. The winners are to be used in future promotional material to welcome new residents to all their homes. The residents at Primrose Croft Care Home in Cambridge really enjoyed their day of being photographed. Residents had chosen to work around a theme of chores and relaxing. They had lots of props to choose from and were dazzled by

the large professional lights that shone on them. The day was full of laughter and the residents said this must be how the professional models must feel, exhausted but feeling full of life. Recently the residents at Primrose Croft found out that 6 of the 20 winners were Primrose Croft entries, they were delighted and cannot wait to see the photographs in print.


Landmark Report Reveals Frontline Social Care Workers Should Be Paid An Extra £7000 A Year A ground-breaking report has found that many frontline social care workers are undervalued by as much as 39% – nearly £7000 per year – in comparison to their peers in equivalent positions in other public funded sectors. With the social care sector losing more than 34% of its employees every year and having 112,000 vacancies presently, this research brings into stark focus the roots of an unprecedented workforce crisis. Community Integrated Care – one of Britain’s biggest social care charities – has commissioned the first ever independent analysis of the frontline Support Worker role. Their report, ‘Unfair To Care’, provides indepth evidence that frontline carers receive an unjust deal in comparison to other public funded industries and breaks the stereotype that social care is a ‘low skilled’ sector. This bombshell analysis has led to calls for the Government to provide an immediate and fair pay rise to social care workers and deliver a robust social care sector people plan, which ensures long-term parity of pay with other public funded sectors. The full report can be found at:

A PAY INJUSTICE The average pay for Support Workers in England who assist people to live independently in the community is £17,695 or £9.05 per hour – 45p per hour below the Real Living Wage. Community Integrated Care commissioned Korn Ferry, the global experts in job role evaluations, to undertake an in-depth analysis of this position, objectively assessing its true value across sectors. Their researchers found that roles with equivalent scope, complexity and accountability within other public funded sectors are, on average, paid at £24,602. The gap is even greater in the sector’s counterpart – the NHS. The average take home pay for equivalent jobs in the NHS is £25,142, mean-

ing that many social care workers would need a 42% pay rise, an additional £7447, to have parity with their NHS peers. The analysis demonstrates that the role of social care workers has changed beyond recognition in the past decade, as the sector increasingly supports people with highly complex health and care needs. With frontline colleagues commonly supporting and understanding complex medical and behavioural needs – from dementia to acquired brain injuries, having innate and rare personal gifts, and taking an exceptional level of personal accountability, the position was found to be significantly undervalued. This data demolishes the crude assessment by Home Secretary, Priti Patel, that social care is a “low skilled” sector. It demonstrates that Support Workers frequently have the same or a greater level of skill and accountability as professions such as healthcare assistants, police community support officers, and senior teaching assistants. The report outlines that the local authorities who fund social care and the social care providers they commission are at financial breaking point and cannot deliver increased pay without greater investment and progressive reform from central government. It has strengthened calls from across the sector for the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to live up to his promise, which is now almost two years old, of “fixing the crisis in social care once and for all.”

A CALL FOR ACTION Unfair to Care outlines astonishing personal crises – such as mental health challenges, homelessness, family breakdowns – that are played out across the sector, due to low pay. It also shows how the turnover of the sector impacts upon the quality-of-care that people receive – showing that the loss of a much-loved Support Worker can be felt like a bereavement to people who access care. Community Integrated Care has called upon the Government to

immediately resolve what they describe as “an injustice played out on a grand scale across society”. It asks the Government to give an immediate and fair pay rise to all frontline social care workers. It also calls upon the Government to urgently prioritise implementing a social care workforce strategy, which sees all roles being benchmarked to have parity of pay with other public funded sectors.

AN ISSUE OF STRATEGY AND FOCUS, NOT POSSIBILITY Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, says: “The moral case for investment in social care and its workforce has, sadly, been ignored for years. This research now provides cold hard facts, which surely cannot be ignored by the Government. Our research proves that in other related sectors, many frontline Support Workers would be getting paid at least £6907 more per year, and almost £7500 within the NHS. This is immoral, illogical, and cannot be justified.” “This is a significant challenge, but it can be fixed – firstly, by recognising the £46bn contribution that social care makes to the UK economy annually, and also delivering progressive reforms that improve efficiency and quality of live through delivering joined-up services, reducing the burden on family carers and embracing innovations. All evidence points to overwhelming public support for investment in the sector. This is an issue of strategy and focus, not of possibility.” “It is a matter of national shame that social care workers, who provide such an invaluable service to society, are in such desperate circumstances. Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, frontline workers have risked their health to protect those who need their support. Most have done so below the poverty line and without the basic safety net of sick pay. This cannot continue.”

Six In 10 Over-45s Support Capping Care Fees, Just Group Care Report 2021 Reveals More than six in 10 (61%) over-45s favour the government introducing a cap on the amount of money that people needing later life care are expected to contribute before the State steps in to pick up the bill. Research by retirement specialist Just Group for its Care Report 20211 found that only 13% of over-45s disagreed with the idea of the cap while support for it was higher even than the State picking up the whole bill (52%) for everybody needing later life support. “At the moment, no-one knows how much professional care might cost them in the future,” said Stephen Lowe, group communications director at retirement specialist Just Group. “Some will face no or modest costs while others will have their costs covered due to having particular health needs. However, an unlucky

few will end up needing many years of expensive support that can leave even wealthy people with virtually no savings or assets. “The levels of support for capping costs reflects the fact that people know that whether they will need care is a lottery and, while happy to contribute, they fear having to write a blank cheque.” A cap on care costs was proposed in 2011 by the Commission on Funding of Care and Support chaired by Andrew Dilnot which said that about one in 10 over-65s would face care costs of more than £100,000 in their lifetime. The cap was designed to cover personal care, but not spending on ‘hotel’ costs such as food and accommodation which the individual would still be expected to pay themselves from income.

Legislation for a cap of £72,000 was passed but never implemented. Recent press speculation suggests Boris Johnson is considering a cap of around £50,000 which would still cost several billions at a time the economy recovers from the pandemic. “The Prime Minister has to weigh up the cost of any funding reforms against the cost of doing nothing and seeing more pressure put on families and communities,” said Stephen Lowe. “If he wants people to plan for the future and to look forward to later life with confidence rather than fear, then he needs to come good on his pledge to fix social care. There are a number of different ideas doing the rounds, but the principle of a cap is certainly one that a majority of the public seem to broadly understand and support.”


Providers Mourn Those Lost To The Pandemic YEARS of neglect and under-funding meant the care of older and vulnerable people was in crisis when the pandemic struck and tragedy was inevitable, care providers said today. Representative body the Independent Care Group (ICG) said providers mourned every single Covid-19 death and sent their condolences to everyone who had lost loved ones. The priority now was to force the Government into setting a deadline for getting the sector the reform it needs to ensure it is not left in crisis and vulnerable again. The ICG said social care was virtually ignored at the start of the pandemic and providers were left unable to get proper tests, personal protective equipment, and the right guidance. The ICG was commenting after the sector’s watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), published a list of how many people have died from Covid19 in each individual care and nursing home across the country. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Behind these statistics are stories of personal tragedy and we must never forget that. Every Covid-19 death is the sad loss of a much-loved husband or wife, parent or grand-parent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or friend. “As care providers today, we mourn each and every one of them." “All care and nursing homes that have lost residents to Covid-19 have been left changed, shell-shocked and exhausted after shedding blood, sweat and tears to the task of keeping residents and staff as safe as they possibly could in the face of a cruel, indiscriminate and unprecedented pandemic. “If it were not for the close partnership working with North Yorkshire County Council, City of York Council and the local Clinical Commissioning Groups, the figures would have been much worse. In many cases the local authorities were in front of government thinking and acted in a supportive way from the start of the pandemic. The ICG worked very closely with these organisations and relationships have been strengthened accordingly. “This is also a perfect moment to thank the amazing social care staff across the country who have performed miracles to keep care and nursing home residents and people being cared for in their own home as safe as possible. They have been magnificent. We thank them and owe them a huge debt of gratitude. “The reasons that social care settings were so vulnerable to Covid-19 are many.

“Government after government, of all political party, have failed to tackle the social care issue. Instead, a generation of neglect of the sector – which has seen £8bn cut from social care budgets since 2010, some 1.5m people living without the care they need and 120,000 vacancies in the sector – left it on its knees, with providers already closing or on the brink of survival. “Against this backdrop, the pandemic struck, and social care providers were hit by a brutal virus they were ill-prepared for. “As the Government struggled to cope it concentrated its efforts on the NHS and social care was virtually abandoned. Poor access to proper testing, poor supply of the right type of personal protective equipment (PPE) and a lack of clear guidance from the Government compounded an already dreadful situation. “At the same time, as wards overflowed, hospitals were discharging patients into care homes without tests, taking the virus into those care settings and causing many of the deaths we are seeing listed today. “It was a perfect storm – a storm that has not abated since. “The Government hasn’t got everything right but to be fair, this pandemic was unprecedented and any administration would struggle, as they have all over the world. Many things our Government has got right, including the rollout of the vaccine, which has been exceptional.” Mr Padgham said the priority now was to give social care the reform it needed to ensure social care was not left in such crisis again. “We know that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away yet and we are still working hard to keep our care and nursing home safe by keeping all of our restrictions in place. Those homes are safe and we want to get that message across,” he added. “Many care providers are facing an existential battle to survive. Already on their knees before the pandemic they have been battered by Covid-19, left physically and emotionally exhausted and financially crippled. Rising costs due to the pandemic and the failure of occupancy rates to recover means a real struggle. “That means we must now have the reform of social care that we have been promised for a generation. “Social care needs better funding – whether through taxation or National Insurance – to create a sector that can cope with rising demand, recover after Covid-19 and properly reward and recognise the staff who have performed miracles this past 16 months.”

Wish You Were by the Sea, Surrounded by Beautiful Countryside and Gardens? If you are a Registered Care Home Manager who wants to make a real difference, then this could be you. With acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and views of the Quay, Fremington Manor Country House Care is an elegant 19th-century manor house set near beautiful Barnstaple, North Devon and rated ‘Outstanding’ by CQC. Set in the heart of the local community, and just a short drive from stunning countryside and beaches such as Instow and Westward Ho, Fremington Manor has an exciting and rare opportunity for a Registered Care Home Manager with a proven track-record to lead an exceptional team, including nurses, and successfully manage an Outstanding care home. With 54 welcoming and comfortable, fully furnished rooms, we give all of our residents support and peace of mind, whether they need just a little assistance, or full-time

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The Role Hormone Health Plays For Women In Social Care By Leni Wood, Nutrition & Wellness Manager at Nellsar ( According to Skills for Care, 82 per cent of the adult social care workforce are female, with an average age of 44 years. Working in social care is a rewarding yet demanding job. It can involve long shifts which are often busy and offer very little time to rest and recharge. Knowing the workforce is made up of mostly women, we have the opportunity to consider what are common factors in female health at different life stages, and how we might best support this essential human resource. It is around the age of 44 that many women can begin to enter what is known as perimenopause. This is a time when certain hormones start to reduce, and the body begins to prepare for menopause – the stopping of menstruation and fertility. Hormone health can have a huge impact on day-to-day living for many women, and if out of balance can result in fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, emotional struggles, hot flushes, headaches, IBS, weight gain, and in some cases depression and anxiety. There is no one-size-fits-all magic pill to hormone balance and the experience is different for each woman, whether they are having a difficult menstrual cycle, in perimenopause, or menopause. Although the experience can vary, the physical impact is real and can often make working a long shift challenging and demanding. The good news is that there are general diet and lifestyle adjustments

that you can make which help support the body and can reduce the aforementioned symptoms.

DIET AND NUTRITION Feeding your body with enough nutrients and keeping blood sugars stable are key in improving hormone balance. Eating fibre-rich foods which include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and pulses (also known as complex carbs) help to regulate bowel movements and stabilise what is known as the ‘blood sugar roller coaster’. Essential fats are also important for improving hormone health. They can be obtained from nuts, seeds, avocado, oily fish, eggs and olive oil. It is equally crucial to steer clear of non-essential fats such as too much saturated fat, and in particular trans fats that come from processed foods, as these can have a negative effect on hormone health. Make sure you eat before you start your shift and that the meal includes a protein source to prevent energy dips. You should also consider avoiding sugary breakfast bars and high-sugar snacks and drinks. In addition, be organised and have a lunch made at home to bring to work, but make sure it includes a complex carb, a protein source, a healthy fat and vegetables. Have a snack that includes protein with you for later in the day when you might get hungry, as this will prevent blood sugar drops and spikes which will support hormone health. In addition, drink plenty of water as this helps to flush hormones from the body and prevents them from recirculating in the system which can contribute to negative symptoms.

SLEEP Getting around eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night (or day if you work nights) will help to regulate hormone health and enable you to better deal with stress, fatigue, brain fog and anxiety. If you have trouble sleeping, then look at your sleep hygiene. What can you improve? You should refrain from screen time for an hour before bed. You could also consider blacking out any light coming into the room or try a bedtime routine that includes a bath or reading a book to wind down. Alcohol will

Footie Star Tells His Story Jules Rimet. Ferenc Puskas. Telmo Zarra. There are many famous figures from the world of football to have a trophy named after them. Normally you would have to be an international superstar, or have had a major influence on the game, to have such an honour bestowed upon you. However, the Chris Nicholl Trophy is named after a former player and manager who, although not enjoying world fame, is hugely respected in Walsall and Southampton, where he spent much of his career. When he lived in Walsall, he could not walk down the street without someone winding down their window to talk to him. He had a tremendous influence on many famous faces in the game and counts some legends, including as Lawrie McMenemy, as personal friends. First reported in the Express & Star, the inaugural Chris Nicholl Trophy match was played in June between a Midland Legends and a Southampton Legends team, with the former securing a 4-1 victory. Many stars from Southampton FC – where Nicholl spent a total of 12 years as a player and manager – and Walsall FC – where he managed them to promotion from the old Third Division in 1995 – turned out for the game, including former England international Matt Le Tissier. Nicholl gave First Division debuts to a

number of well-known players as manager of Southampton, including Le Tissier and future England captain Alan Shearer, whom he later sold to Blackburn Rovers for a British record transfer fee. After football fever gripped the nation for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, Chris has now spoken a bit more about his life ‘in the beautiful game’. “I started playing as a young boy with the other lads from my neighbourhood, on the green just by my house. We all gathered there to play, and football was the natural game for us. It was football every day. “My grammar school actually played rugby instead of football, but it felt all wrong. I was a natural footballer. Fortunately I was decent at it and was given the opportunity start my professional career at Burnley.” Chris credits his love for the game to his father. “My dad was my main influence. He played football in Northern Ireland, having come from Belfast originally, and taught me everything I know. We used to go out on the green and practice all the time. “I’ve remained a follower of some of the clubs I played for, particularly Aston Villa. I’m glad I got the chance to play there, as it was my

negatively impact sleep quality so it’s best to avoid drinking in the evenings. If you do enjoy a tipple, then limit it to when you don’t have work the next day and keep quantities low.

REST & RELAXATION Resting is hugely overlooked and is such an important part of hormone health. Taking time to relax reduces stress hormones which when increased can negatively impact on sleep and sex hormones, resulting in challenging hormonal symptoms.

EXERCISE It is common for social care staff to be on their feet all day. The idea of adding in any extra steps after a 12-hour shift can often feel like madness. Consider swapping post-work exercise for body movement. Regular movement helps to clear hormones, improve balance, and reduce stress. When we move, our body can process and clear out unwanted waste from the system. High intensity exercise can put more stress on the body and if you are experiencing hormonal discomfort, then extra stress is not a good idea. If you are sedentary in your job, then make time to move more and get your heart rate up each day. A daily 30-minute walk is better than nothing. If you are on the move all day, then look at exercises like yoga or pilates which are strengthening and mindful. Overall, it is extremely important for women in social care look after their hormone health to ensure a high quality of life. By striking the right balance between diet and nutrition, sleep, rest and exercise, the body will remain healthy and happy. Leni Wood is the Nutrition and Wellness Manager at Nellsar, a family-run group of 13 care homes throughout Kent, Essex and Surrey. Built on strong foundations, Nellsar has worked hard to build the trusted reputation of its homes and prides itself on being approachable, accountable and ‘handson’ in its relationships with the families it supports. dad’s club too and a part of our family. It was great to go back to him and tell him that Villa wanted to sign me.” Indeed, Chris has legendary status at Villa, having captained the side to victory in the 1976/77 League Cup, scoring an incredible for 40-yard left-footed strike which helped take the game to extra time. It is remember as one of the club’s all-time greatest goals. “My proudest moments,” Chris continues, “were playing for Northern Ireland. I won over 50 caps and scored three goals, which was a great way to honour my dad.” Chris was never afraid to get stuck into the game and mainly played in defense. “I was quite good at heading the ball, and I had a good jump,” he recalls. “It could get a bit rough – I broke my nose a few times, but it’s all part of being a centre-back. I think I headed too many balls and that’s what has affected my memory!” Chris is now living at Speedwell Court, a dementia-friendly care home in Southampton managed by The Abbeyfield Society. “My daughter lives nearby and recommended it to me. She will often come to see me, and I’m also in regular contact with my brother, who lives in America and is a keen footballer like me. “I’m very happy here and well looked after. I still try to keep active, and I feel healthy for it. I regularly play golf and might occasionally kick a ball around to show the young lads how to do it. The staff have drawn me up a sports schedule for TV as well so I don’t miss any important matches!” After Chris’ playing career he began coaching at Grimsby Town before managing Southampton and Walsall, and he spent two years as Assistant Manager for the Northern Ireland national side. “I always wanted to pass on what I knew,” he says, “and staying involved in football was important for keeping up my fitness and health. Football was my life, my reasons to live, so I was never going to give it up entirely when I retired from playing.”

Open Study College Announces 39% Increase In Students Aged 60 And Over

Leading distance learning provider Open Study College has revealed a significant shift in its demographic, with a 39% increase in new student enrolments from those aged 60 and over. The statistic is based on figures comparing 2018 enrolments with those in 2020 during the global pandemic. As part of research undertaken by Open Study College, there are a number of reasons people typically choose to follow the distance learning route including: those who are unable to physically attend a college or university due to suffering with mental or physical health; caring for family and home responsibilities whilst learning; individuals looking to upskill; or students that need to learn new skills and gain necessary

qualifications for a new or change in career. More recently however, a pattern has emerged as a significant number of older students have joined Open Study College purely because they want to keep on learning in their later years about subjects that are of interest to them, providing purpose and keeping their minds active. John, 74, from South Gloucestershire said: “It's important to keep the intellect alive in later years and completing a course and receiving the accreditation acts as a tremendous boost to one's mental health.” Marilyn, 70, from Truro said: “I am 70 going on 29 years old. Physically I am doomed but will not be mentally. This is my tenth course with Open Study College, and I hope there will be more. To retirees thinking about taking a course online I would say ‘go for it’.” Linda, 75, from Worcestershire said: “I am enjoying the course at Open Study College and I’m lucky to have been able to choose, for the first time, what it is I study.” CEO of Open Study College, Samantha Rutter, said: “Learning new skills shouldn't stop when retirement starts. We couldn’t be prouder of all the students in the Open Study College family, and those that are continuing to study and excite their minds well into their years of retirement really help solidify our ethos of making education accessible to all. “It’s interesting to see how life-changing events such as the global pandemic can contribute to how people chose to spend their free time, and in our research it’s clear that some of our older students are keen to keep on learning about subject matters that really interests them or was once integral to their careers and lives. “This increase in older generations studying proves that learning is more accessible than ever before. We work incredibly hard to ensure that we adapt our courses for the young and young at heart. Many of

our courses come with the option of studying online or via a paperbased study pack where course materials are sent to your home. We know that this is often a preferred method of studying with our more mature learners. "Our student support team and personal tutors are also on hand to guide students through their course, and for those with additional needs we can provide our materials in larger fonts or on coloured paper where required. Making learning more accessible is always going to be one of our top priorities and we hope to see more retirees benefit from learning with us.” To find out more or to register for a course visit or follow Open Study College on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.


Adult Social Care Given Over £250 Million Extra To Continue Covid-19 Protections

People in care homes or those being cared for at home will benefit from an extra £250 million to continue to protect them from COVID-19 transmission. Made up of £142.5 million Infection Control Funding and £108.8 million for testing, the fund will help protect people in adult social care by continuing to meet the cost of rigorous infection prevention and control measures, as restrictions in wider society are eased, and supporting rapid, regular testing of staff to prevent COVID-19 transmission. This funding brings the total funding given specifically to social care to £2 billion throughout the pandemic to help support the sector and keep people safe. This is on top of prioritising the sector for vaccines, providing regular, rapid testing to care homes and bringing in regulations to make vaccines a condition of deployment in care homes. Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “We are keeping up our support for social care through the pandemic. This new funding will help care services continue to protect those they look after and their staff from this cruel virus. It brings our total support to social care to £2 billion during the pandemic, along with billions of items of free PPE, over 120 million tests and the prioritisation of social care in the vaccination programme.” The new money will be a continuation of Infection Control and Testing Fund, which was due to run until the end of the month and will now last until the end of September.

Infection Control Funding is used by care homes and home care providers to keep their staff and residents safe. It can be used to: • ensure staff who are isolating receive their normal wages while doing so • ensure that members of staff work in only one care home where possible • limit or cohort staff to individual groups of residents or floors/wings, for example paying for extra staff cover to provide the necessary level of care and support to residents • support recruitment of additional staff (and volunteers) if they’re needed to enable staff to work in only one care home Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England. “The extension of the ICF and Testing Fund is very welcome and we applaud the DHSC in securing this extension. The adult social care provider sector has worked extremely hard to continue to protect the people it supports and cares for through extensive infection control and testing procedures. This funding is a recognition of these efforts. “Care England is happy to work at speed to ensure the successful roll out of the money to the front line where it is most needed and where providers have been anxiously waiting for news.” Testing funding will continue to support providers with the costs associated with ongoing testing in care settings. This includes funding to support visitor testing to ensure residents can see their loved ones as safely as possible. Throughout the pandemic the government has sought to protect everyone working in the social care sector or receiving social care, particularly given the increased risk people in these settings face. Free PPE is provided to the care sector until March 2022 and to date, more than 35 million PCR swab test kits and 85 million LFDs have been sent to care homes. Over £2 billion has now been given to the sector including infection prevention and control measures and prioritised the sector for the vaccine.

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Mental Health Pandemic Huge Concern, Says Care Provider

EMPLOYERS at care homes across the UK risk facing a mental health pandemic if they don’t ensure they are looking after their staff in the wake of coronavirus, according to an expert from a leading care provider. Claire Leake, people director at National Care Group, believes that the incredibly tough challenges faced by care home teams over the past eighteen months have the potential to be hugely damaging for staff, if employers aren’t taking care of their wellbeing and mental health. She said: “With NHS data showing that the number of days taken off work by the UK public for mental health-related issues surged during 2020’s lockdowns, it has never been more important for employers to take care of their team’s mental health. This is especially relevant in the

care sector, where staff have truly been on the front line of the pandemic and dealing with its impacts on a daily basis since early last year.” Claire believes that one of the keys to success is for employers to lead by example, ensuring that they are showing their colleagues that mental health is a priority. She said: “It is absolutely critical that the senior team in any business leads from the top. We aren’t immune to mental health issues ourselves but as leaders we often feel pressure to battle through them, thinking that is the way to lead by example. “In reality, we need to be demonstrating that mental health comes first, and that it’s OK to take some holiday and have some downtime. By doing that, it pushes through to the team and cascades through the business. “As part of this awareness, we try and ensure that as many of our senior team as possible have been through mental health first aider training – we want to build up a resilience within the business, which comes from knowing that our team leaders have the ability to spot those warning signs early and ensure that the individual gets the help they need.” National Care Group currently employs 2,400 people across England and Wales. Its commitment to supporting the mental health of its colleagues has seen it train one mental health first aider for every 24 members of the team, with the target of that being one to every ten by the end of the year. Claire said: “Since May, we have started to see a significant reduction in the number of days of mental health related absence, which we believe is a combination of the number of trained mental health first aiders, as well as the work we have done as a team around Mental Health Awareness Week. “Our focus on increasing the number of managers equipped with the knowledge and understanding to support colleagues with mental health related issues will hopefully lead to a continued reduction in mental

health related absence, as well as ensuring proactive support upfront when warning signs occur.” While Claire acknowledges the challenges posed by the differing attitude to mental health across the generations, she believes that significant progress is being made. She said: “For some colleagues, there is still a bit of a stigma and they find it harder to talk openly about mental health than younger generations do, but progress is being made. For those younger members of the team, conversations about wellbeing are taking place from school age onwards, so they can talk to a friend or family member and the stigma just isn’t there. “However, for a bank of people in the middle of their careers, they are still feeling their way with these kind of conversations, so it’s important for us to ensure we are opening it up to them and making it as broad as possible.” Among the measures introduced by National Care Group are Wellbeing Wednesday, featuring on-demand yoga and mindfulness sessions, and the Employee Assistance app, which provides a daily mood tracker to offer holistic support as well as a confidential adviceline that provides access to counselling support. Claire believes that these measures help set National Care Group apart from other providers, ensuring that colleagues are happy in their roles and, in turn, able to offer the best possible care to the people they support. She said: “Overall, this kind of approach is indicative of the commitment we have to our colleagues and ensuring that we are putting them at the forefront of everything we do so that they can unlock their potential. As an executive team, we lead by our actions and our examples, and we want to show that the support is not only there, but something we actively engage in.” To find out more about National Care Group, please visit:

Brave Harrogate Carer Receives New Award Honour Named After Care Figure John A carer who battled back after suffering Covid-19 to look after older and vulnerable adults in North Yorkshire is the first recipient of a special new award. Denise McEvoy, Head of Care Services with Harrogate Neighbours was last night presented with the John Fisher Award at the regional Great British Care Awards in York. The award was sponsored by care provider organisation the Independent Care Group (ICG) in honour of John Fisher who died from coronavirus last year. John was founder and Chairman of the Harrogate-based Fisher Care Group and a much-loved member of the ICG. In March 2020, Denise made the decision to lockdown one of her registered services before the national lockdown. As Covid lead she reorganised services, navigated round the lack of PPE and supported clients, families and staff. Then just when it seemed the situation couldn’t get any more challenging, she was struck down by the virus herself and became quite poorly. Her own family was affected too. But, showing tremendous character, she fought back to health and was soon back to the frontline. As the residential service was hit by the heartbreak of losing clients to Covid-19, despite being in recovery herself Denise was side by side with families, friends and staff to help and support them. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Denise is a very worthy winner of the new John Fisher Award. “She has shown amazing courage and determination to overcome her own battles to keep helping and caring for others and supporting her colleagues. “She epitomises the amazing self-sacrifice that care workers have shown during

the past 16 months in the face of this cruel and indiscriminate pandemic. “I think John would have recognised Denise’s huge contribution and been delighted that the winner was also from Harrogate – congratulations to her!” Mr Padgham also paid tribute to Mr Fisher. “John’s loss to Covid-19 was a tragic one, to his family and friends and to everyone who knew him, including those in the social care sector,” he said. “He was a warm, friendly, larger than life character who was great fun to be around and who gave a great deal to the care of people. “His loss was very deeply felt and we were delighted to be able to launch this annual award in his memory on Wednesday. It will recognise a special contribution to social care. John loved the awards and so it is fitting that through this award he will be a part of them again, every year.” Speaking at the awards, he also thanked all carers for their efforts. “I am honoured and humbled to be standing here tonight in a room full of heroes,” he told the audience. “A room full of people who have made the greatest sacrifice of all, to put their own safety, their own health, their own life, on the line to care for others. “From top to bottom in our care settings people have performed miracles. In care and nursing homes, in people’s own homes, in sheltered housing, in day care, across the board you have quite literally shed blood, sweat and tears to look after others. “We owe you all a huge debt of gratitude and we will never be able to thank you enough!” • Some 24 awards were presented, recognising all aspects of the care sector, at a special ceremony at the National Railway Museum in York.

It’s #Nottoomuchtomask; Campaign To “Keep Protecting Ourselves and Each Other” Launched Now that the final coronavirus restrictions across England have been lifted and the legal requirements to wear a face mask and social distance ended, leading healthcare organisations, charities, unions and medical professionals have joined forces to support the public to make sensible choices that can keep themselves and others safe from infection. Launching a new campaign #NotTooMuchToMask, the group, led by the NHS Confederation, alongside a host of other organisations are encouraging everyone to keep protecting themselves and each other from catching or passing on coronavirus at a time when cases are soaring, and hospitalisations are also rising. Supporters include the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges, NHS Providers, the British Medical Association, the Patients Association, and the Richmond Group of Charities, cancer charities, Unison and other membership bodies. Well-known TV doctor, Dr Sarah Jarvis, has also thrown her weight behind the campaign. While the vaccination programme has been a phenomenal success and has helped to reduce the link between infection, ill health and death from the disease, the campaign is warning that as COVID-19 has not been eradicated and that with over a third of the adult population either not vaccinated or having only had one dose, it is too early for the public to let down its guard. Millions of people are still very vulnerable to catching the infection as well as passing it on to others. As the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to sweep across the country at pace, and with health and social care secretary Sajid Javid warning that we could see 100,000 confirmed cases a day in the weeks to come, the organisations have joined forces to encourage and support the public to continue to make sensible choices to help stop the virus from spreading. Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “We

know the vast majority of the public want to continue to do all they can to protect their fellow citizens from the danger of catching or passing on COVID-19 even after the government has lifted the final restrictions in England. “As the threat of coronavirus remains, it is not too much to ask of people to continue making sensible and cautious choices on how they go about their lives if it can keep themselves and those around them safe and we are keen to show that we support and stand in solidarity with them.” Through the NHS Confederation’s #NotTooMuchToMask campaign, the organisations are calling on the public to sign up to five key pledges to keep themselves and others safe this summer. These are to continue: 1. Wearing a face mask or covering, including where not wearing one could make someone feel unsafe. 2. Doing what they can to keep indoor spaces well-ventilated and opting for meeting outdoors, where possible.

3. Cleaning their hands regularly, including before and after social contact with those outside their household. 4. Getting tested, supporting contact-tracing measures and self-isolating, when required. 5. Making sure they get both doses of the coronavirus vaccine and that they encourage people they know to do the same. Dr Sarah Jarvis, said: “At the start of the pandemic, we had no idea that COVID-19 could be transmitted so effectively through aerosol spread – just breathing out. At the time, I was sceptical about face coverings on the basis of the evidence. But as the science has progressed, it has become increasingly clear that face coverings can greatly reduce the risk of passing the virus on to others.” Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: “It really isn’t too much to ask. We all have a duty to protect each other from the virus and so wearing a mask, following social distancing guidance and continuing basic hygiene measures are just a minor inconvenience and that’s all they are for the vast majority. But we also know those measures can have a major impact when it comes to reducing the spread of the disease and ultimately saving lives.” Neil Tester, director of The Richmond Group of national charities, said: “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the first restrictions came in, the whole country came together to support each other and our key workers. “Now as the legal requirements come to an end, we can again show our strength and solidarity by adopting the five pledges in this vital campaign. In doing so we can help continue to protect each other, our communities and our vital frontline services as much as we can and get through this pandemic together.” It’s #NotTooMuchToMask.


1.4 Million Requests for Care From Older People Turned Down Since the PM Promised to “Fix Care, Once and For All”

New analysis from the charity Age UK has found that in the two years since the Prime Minister made his promise to “fix social care once and for all”, over 1.4 million requests for social care from people aged 65+ have been turned down in England. This equates to nearly 14,000 older people a week not getting the vital care and support they believe they need. In some of these cases an older person was found by their local council not to meet the tight eligibility criteria set for the social care system and that was the end of it (24% of all requests for help); while in others the older person was found ineligible but their council then referred them onto other services in the hope that they could assist them instead, including their local Age UK (26% of all requests for help). The Charity marked the 2nd anniversary of the Prime Minister’s time in office by urging him in a letter to fulfil his first day promise to fix social care, and handing it in to 10 Downing Street earlier this month This follows a poll recently carried out by YouGov for the 76 charities, including Age UK, who campaign together as the Care and Support Alliance, which found that more than four in five (83%) of people want the Prime

Minister to fulfil his pledge to “fix social care, once and for all”. Meanwhile, all the indications are that in the midst of this pandemic, demand for care is high and rising. For example, data from the latest ADASS budget survey shows that Two in three (67%) of Directors of Social Services say the number of · people seeking support due to carer breakdown, sickness or unavailability of care has increased in their areas · More than half (56%) of Directors report that the temporary closure of services, such as day services, has led to an increase in the number of people presenting with needs to their local authority More than half (53%) of Directors state that some care providers in · their area have closed, ceased trading or handed back local authority contracts. Research recently published by Age UK has also found that being stuck at home for long periods, largely immobile and without the stimulation of company, is accelerating and intensifying some older people’s need for care. This has been a week of important anniversaries for social care: not only has it been two years since the PM made his historic promise, it’s also ten years since the Commission on Funding of Care and Support (the ‘Dilnot Commission’) delivered its recommendations on the future funding of social care. Yet a whole decade later, social care in England remains chronically understaffed and underfunded, long term problems the pandemic has only made worse. In the last ten years, there have been six ministers for social care and four Secretaries of State, all of whom have ultimately failed to reform and refinance provision. We have heard many public commitments from politicians but none have been fully followed through, letting down many millions of older people, disabled people of working age and unpaid family carers too. Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “After all the recent media stories suggesting that the Government wanted to make an announcement about its social care proposals before recess it is very disappointing to have been let down once again. The fact that we all now thoroughly used to being led down the garden path doesn’t make

this latest disappointment any easier, especially when we consider the damaging impact on older people and their loved ones. “These constant Government delays carry a cost, and our new statistics show it is one paid above all by people who need care, vast numbers of whom are turned away when they approach their council for help. It’s easy to blame local authorities when this happens, but the responsibility lies squarely with central Government. Councils can only provide a person with care when they have the funding to do so, and when enough care staff can be sourced locally by care agencies to deliver it. Both are now in increasing short supply in many places, making it harder than ever for older people to get the support they badly need.” “Two years after he made his historic promise it’s high time the Prime Minister followed through, and more than four in five of the English public agrees. I can certainly assure you that Age UK and other like-minded charities will be working hard to ensure the Government doesn’t forget the commitment it has made. Fulfilling it would make such a huge difference to today’s older people, and to all of us tomorrow too.”

Friars Mead Bids Farewell to Sweet Karoline Friars Mead residential care home in King’s Langley, managed by the Abbeyfield Hertfordshire Residential Care Society (AHRCS), has bid farewell to its Manager of 13 years, Karoline Gullin. Karoline, who has worked at the home for 23 years in total, was treated to a retirement afternoon tea with her colleagues, the residents, and some of their family members who wanted to express their gratitude for her hard work and dedication in keeping their loved ones happy and safe. Homemade cakes were on offer, presented on wooden cake stands made for the occasion by the residents, and the rooms was decorated with flowers, ‘good luck’ balloons and England flags ahead of the Euros final that evening. With Karoline being an avid football fan, the timing of the party was especially apt, and everyone was able to join in singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ with the fans in the stadium. Friars Mead’s newest resident, Sylvia, was invited to give a toast over some prosecco. She said, “Thank you so much for your compassion and time helping me move and settle into my new home here at Friars Mead,” and presented Karoline with a puppet she had knitted in her favourite football team’s colours. “I stayed up all night to finish it,” she joked.

Geoff Fairfield, Chair of the AHRCS, added, “The other Trustees and I would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication, especially over the last 18 months keeping the residents safe and happy during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Karoline was joined by her husband, Tony, who was also stepping down after spending five years as the Friars Mead caretaker. She said, “I’ve been through so much over the last 23 years and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me to make Friars Mead a great place to be. “The last 18 months have been especially tough, and I’d like to especially express my immense gratitude to the amazing staff here for their dedication and support. We could not have kept COVID at bay if we hadn’t pulled together, co-operated and worked as a team. “However, the biggest thanks goes to our wonderful residents, pas and present, who have made it an absolute pleasure to work here and given me tremendous satisfaction in my job.” Karoline ended her speech by handing over to the new Manager, Julie Hutchins, and assured the residents that they would be in very safe hands.

Join Us at The Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo The Carer are happy to say we have once again partnered with this year’s Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo. Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham 15th & 16th September. The Carer have supported the show for several years, so we’re delighted to be in partnership and spread the message of what Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo is all about! As the UK’s most dynamic social care event, Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo focuses on inspiring business growth and implementing a sustainable social care model. Whether you own a care home, you’re a manager of a residential home or an activities coordinator working within one. There is plenty for you to explore at the show! With over 200 exhibitors in attendance and 100 speakers, Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo is the leading social care event taking place in 2021. Exhibitors include some of the most recognised names in social care with Alzheimer’s Society, Care England and Motitech UK in attendance and ready to meet the 3,000 strong audience come September. What’s more, there will be industry leaders delivering seminar sessions on the latest topics affecting social care. Kate Terroni, Chief Adult Inspector of Social Care at The CQC is just one of many keynote speakers that

will be delivering high class content. All seminars are CPD accredited and given Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo is free to register, there is nowhere else you can obtain education like this in 2021! For FREE! Other show features include the Virtual Dementia Tour, offering a unique insight to what is to experience dementia as a resident, NAPA’s Activities Arena, an opportunity for audience members to trial activities you can introduce to your community, and Care Tech Live, a new exciting feature of this year’s show focusing on the digital technology that is not only helping streamline our services, but also improving the lives of residents. Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo recognises the challenges we have all faced the last 18 months which is why we’re delighted to be part of this year’s show, helping businesses to get back on their feet and supporting a hub where ideas can be created and shared. Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo aims to usher in a new era of social care. Want to be part of the conversation? Register for your free ticket today and we will see you come 15th September at the NEC, Birmingham! Visit


Full Extent of Covid-19 Deaths in English Care Homes Revealed by Care Quality Commission By Mei-Ling Huang is a partner in Royds Withy King’s health and social care team ( Earlier this month, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released full data on Covid-related deaths notified to them between 10 April 2020 and 31 March 2021. Ahead of this announcement, care providers and managers should be preparing to provide the full picture in a respectful, considered way. All English care homes who submitted a notification of at least one Covid-related death will be included in the data, and this includes deaths where Covid-19 was a suspected cause. Covidrelated deaths that occurred in hospital will be included in the figures for a care home if the person was ordinarily a resident there. Families, residents and staff are likely to be distressed all over again when this story hits the media, so providers should display as much clarity and transparency as possible when they receive press enquiries. Providers began receiving emails from CQC on 9 July informing them how many deaths would be included in the data for individual homes, breaking them down by quarter. There currently is no way for providers to challenge inaccurate numbers, but CQC have created a dedicated email address so that any providers wishing to report a discrepancy can put this to CQC in writing. (This puts their side of the story on record, should there be any issues in regard to an insurance renewal or need to explain the discrepancy in response to external enquiries.) If a care home was a designated setting or subject to any other special circumstances which made it susceptible to naturally higher numbers, providers should explain this and write to those concerned, ideally before the data is released.

Many people will have forgotten how desperate things were in the spring of 2020. At the time, many people were discharged from hospital without being tested. The Government advised that it was safe for people to be discharged into care homes. By the time the wearing of masks was recommended, the whole country was experiencing a PPE shortage. There was no vaccine and little understanding of the disease. Providers may need to remind people of those circumstances diplomatically and explain what they were facing in a way that facilitates understanding but does not come across as an excuse. As difficult as it is, transparency around this data is key and will foster trust and a culture of responsibility. Discussions of this information may cause residents, their families and care home staff to experience feelings of grief all over again. Providers should send a letter to residents and families so they can hear this news from the home before it hits the papers and social media. Furthermore, information for the press, politicians and other stakeholders should be prepared in advance so providers can deal with questions in a considered and measured way. Providers should also provide their manager with written information in case they receive queries. There are excellent sector specialist public relations consultants available if they need help articulating a response. Not only should staff be pre-warned about what is happening, they should be advised to avoid engaging with queries from the press and others. Questions will be answered but the burden of providing a response should not fall to them. Management should ensure there are support mechanisms in place should any feelings of grief amongst staff be reignited and be ready to direct employees to necessary resources. Providers need to engage with residents and families, protect their staff, and ready themselves for media enquiries. It is difficult to deal with a situation like this but the past can’t be changed so transparency is key now. Although only recent history, many will have forgotten (or tried to forget) how little information there was at the start of the pandemic and the PPE shortages that took place. These wider issues should be remembered when reading the data release, rather than finger pointing at individual providers.

Garden Study Turns Dementia Care Home Residents Into ‘Eco Warriors’

Learning more about the plants and animals on their doorstep has prompted residents of a Dorset dementia care home to start their own tree-planting campaign. The Aldbury in Poole held a month-long study of biodiversity to

highlight the birds, mammals, insects, flora and other species living in its garden. Based in the summer house at the Colten Care home, residents spent time each day observing and recording details of everything from trees to creepy crawlies. The awareness of how important the various eco-systems are for the environment led to the idea of planting more trees to help strengthen natural habitats. Encouraged by the Woodland Trust’s efforts to address the climate crisis through reforestation, residents decided to plant an oak and a horse chestnut tree in the garden and call on community contacts to take similar action. Companionship team member Wendy Harrington said: “Our garden study involved identifying the plants and animals in our midst, finding out why they are here and how they relate to other species in garden. “The ultimate aim was to find out how our own garden affects the environment and what we could do to help. “It began as a quiet study but became fascinating, with residents finding out lots of facts about trees and their essential role as the ‘lungs of the earth’. “We learned how trees not only provide essential oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide but are also proven to lower stress and lift our moods. “And we discovered that if every household in the UK with a garden planted just two trees there would be 45 million new trees in the

country. “This has inspired our residents to become ‘eco-warriors’, keen to spread the message to their local community and try to save the planet one garden at a time. “The expression ‘from little acorns mighty oaks grow’ could not be more appropriate, with residents saying they will never look at trees the same way again. “By planting two new trees in The Aldbury garden, we have made a start in lowering our carbon footprint and making our environment a happier, healthier place in which to live.” Resident and former teacher Ena Grant said: “Whether it is a small tree or a large one, let’s get planting and improve the environment we live in. We absolutely must do this. Our message is simple: please plant two trees to save the world.” Ena was joined at the tree-planting by fellow residents Joyce Holden, Connie Davis and Brian Hayles.

Well Pharmacy Partners with The Access Group to Support the Delivery of Outstanding Care Well Pharmacy, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy chain, is delighted to announce a new partnership with The Access Group, the largest provider of software to UK care and nursing homes, designed to support the delivery of outstanding care. This partnership will highlight Access’ innovative Medication Management solution, which has already been successfully implemented in a number of care homes serviced by Well Pharmacy. Access Medication Management is the UK’s most widely used eMAR system and is proven to reduce medication errors and make manual time-consuming processes like ordering medication and stock checking much more accurate and efficient. Cited in CQC reports as helping clients achieve ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ ratings, Medication Management is a quick and efficient way to introduce technology and help ensure residents safety. Access Medication Management offers everything care home organisations need to support patient safety including all equipment, installation, training and technical support. They also provide the full range of solutions needed for care homes to transition to fully digital care provision. Key benefits of Access’ Medication Management solution: Access’ market leading electronic care planning system gives care and nursing homes a unified record of both medication and care notes/activities.

Full integration with Well Pharmacy making data transfer more efficient and improving communication between the local pharmacy and home. Reduction in medication errors using pro-active alerts, alarms and best practice workflows to make sure medication compliance and safety for residents. Greater visibility and compliance - provides all staff and management with a clear picture of medication administration.

Ben Smith, Care Homes Sales Manager for Well Pharmacy said: “We are pleased to highlight Access’ Medication Management solution to over 350 care homes we serve across the UK. At Well Pharmacy we are always looking for new ways to help and support our care home customers. Patient and resident safety is our number one priority and we’re pleased to be working with The Access Group offer new solutions to give residents the best possible care.” Steve Sawyer, Managing Director, Access Group’s Health and Social Care Division said: “At Access, we pride ourselves on supporting care staff to provide the highest quality of care to their residents. Access Medication Management reduces the risk of medication errors, while giving everyone in a care home more time back to interact with residents or focus on work that will improve care, capacity, and occupancy at their homes. We're proud to be working with one of the largest pharmacy chains in the UK, who share our vision of using software in health and social care, to better manage all medication processes, encouraging fellow organisations so that this becomes a standard way of working across all UK care homes.” For more information, about Well Pharmacy’s Care Home Service please contact: For more information about Access’ Medication Management software visit:


“Dear Mr Health Secretary…” By Victoria Sylvester, CEO Acacia Training ( Sajid Javid settles in as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at a time when the lifting of legal Covid restrictions and the uncertainty that brings, is balanced against a sustained period of media scrutiny on the sector. So, faced with a daily barrage of news headlines, what should he believe and where should he focus his attentions? Recent news reports on health and social care burnout came as little surprise. Pressures were acute before the pandemic and have since increased and whilst this is the reality for many, it’s not the case everywhere and the new Secretary of State must remember this. Mr Javid must consider why staff shortages can be so acute; why turnover can be so high; and why stress and anxiety levels are higher than in other sectors. In no small part, it’s down to how the people at the heart of care are treated. Simply, the sector needs to adopt a far greater appreciation of staff needs, from professional development to wider wellbeing. This isn’t just an aspiration. There is a direct correlation between investing in people and their careers and how they, in turn, value their role. Providing care workers with on-going training, investing in their well-being, and supporting them when things get tough pays dividends. I know this for a fact. Samuel Hobson House in Staffordshire has a positive culture and an established focus on wellbeing. Here, Acacia Training works with the leadership team on a range of wellbeing, mental health, and training provisions. The impact is clear: staff turnover is 7% compared to the local average of 26%; sickness days are half the regional comparison; and, significantly, the percentage of staff with a Level 2 or above

qualification is 92%, compared to the local average of 55% . Acacia’s wellbeing support programme is embedded in our care training. It includes the significance of a balanced diet and relationships with food; building resilience and mindset development; and the importance of sleep. It may sound abstract but equipping a team with the tools to decompress after a long, tough day is critical. Of course, there will be staff who feel the pressure more than others and here, early recognition and empathy is vital. Access to counselling and support around mental health can make a significant difference in preventing pressure boiling over. It’s important too, that managers recognise their own pinch points – they are not, after all, invincible. This wraparound support is essential when investing in a care team that feels valued, but professional training is crucial too. Those employed within care are too often seen simply as ‘workers’ – they must be considered ‘professionals’. There is no coincidence that the high percentage of the team at Samuel Hobson House with a Level 2 or higher qualification (amongst other factors) correlates to the low staff turnover there – the team recognises that it is valued and invested in. The myriad of government initiatives that exist to drive greater levels of training within the sector provide it with the power to give staff a career that offers longevity and tangible progress – both appealing aspects in attracting the best talent. So, Mr Javid as you focus on funding and forecasting for care, please don’t also forget that training and wraparound wellbeing support both go an incredibly long way to making those at the heart of the sector feel truly valued and invested in their own careers - that’s important! Victoria Sylvester, CEO – Acacia Training tel: 01782 646 346 email: web:

Difficulty Hearing Speech Could be a Risk Factor for Dementia In 2020 a landmark report by the Lancet Commission estimated that people with unaddressed midlife hearing loss are up to five times more likely to be affected by dementia than those without hearing loss. Most previous studies have focused on our ability to detect sounds and we tend to think of hearing problems as sounds seeming quieter and less likely to be noticed. But the ears are instruments that pick up sound waves and send out nerve impulses, while our brains interpret these signals. On Wednesday 21st July a study conducted at the University of Oxford investigated the ‘cocktail party problem’. The results are published in the scientific paper, Alzheimer’s & Dementia. The cocktail party problem is the challenge people have focusing on a single speaker or conversation in a noisy environment. For example, most people talking to a friend at a bustling cocktail party are able to listen to and understand what they are talking about – and ignore what other people nearby are saying. This becomes increasingly difficult for many people with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists studied over 82,000 women and men aged 60 years or older from a large ongoing dementia study known as the UK Biobank. At the beginning of the study, partic-

ipants attempted to identify spoken numbers against a background of white noise. Scientists then grouped the volunteers into three groups based on their performance in this task. The scientists identified 11,285 participants who went onto develop dementia in an 11 year period after the test. They found that the volunteers who were poorly or insufficiently able to distinguish spoken numbers from a background of white noise had an increased risk of developing dementia. Dr Katy Stubbs from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “While most people think of memory problems when we hear the word dementia, this is far from the whole story. Many people with dementia will experience difficultly following speech in a noisy environment – a symptom sometimes called the ‘cocktail party problem’. “This study suggests that these hearing changes may not just be a symptom of dementia, but a risk factor that could potentially be treated. “Large studies like the UK Biobank are powerful tools for identifying genetic, health and lifestyle factors linked to conditions like dementia, but it is always difficult to tease apart cause and effect in this type of research. “Anyone who has concerns about their hearing should speak to their GP.”

World Music Day Inspires On-song Colten Care

From cardio drumming to performing song and dance routines, World Music Day inspired a harmonious week of uplifting sounds for care home residents and staff. South coast provider Colten Care found a host of ways to celebrate the universal joy and power of music, bringing smiles and positive vibes all round. Residents at Belmore Lodge in Lymington stretched their arms for a fun workout drumming on exercise balls to the rhythm of the 1961 Dion hit The Wanderer. Those living at Outstanding-rated Woodpeckers in nearby

Brockenhurst took part in a closely fought musical bingo tournament featuring lyrics from favourite pop songs. And all four of Colten’s dedicated dementia care homes got in on the act too, staging musical experiences for residents. There was a 1950s singalong at Outstanding-rated Linden House in Lymington and a song and dance afternoon at Outstanding-rated Fernhill in Longham near Bournemouth. It featured Companionship team members Anne Marie Knight and Megan Fletcher dressing up and performing the Judy Garland song A Couple of Swells and the signature tune from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In a karaoke session, residents at St Catherines View in Winchester sang and played percussion instruments while The Aldbury in Poole held a name-that-tune competition. Among other homes, Braemar Lodge in Salisbury invited residents to join the global dance challenge prompted by the success of the song Jerusalema by South African DJ and producer Master KG. And while singer and Companionship team member Rebecca Osborne performed ‘a musical trip around the world’ at Outstandingrated Amberwood House in Ferndown, residents at Avon Reach in

Holding Fire Doors Open Legally Fire doors, which are part of fire safety provision within care settings can pose a barrier to the mobility and wellbeing of residents. Residents can feel isolated and alone as the closing action of the fire door closer fitted to their room door doesn’t allow them to keep their door open. They are unable to interact with staff and other residents as they walk past their room, which can impact on their mental wellbeing. Gangways with fire doors and closers are also hard to manoeuvre if you are frail. Don’t be tempted, though, to use an object or door wedge to hold fire doors open, this is a breach of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and you could find yourself facing a heavy fine or even a custodial sentence. However, there are ways of legally holding fire doors open, which enhance the independent mobility of the elderly without compromising your

Mudeford enjoyed a trip down memory lane with music hall songs and reminiscence. Voices and playing from all 21 Colten homes in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and West Sussex are represented in a new music video celebrating their creative talent. It features a special arrangement of Barry Manilow’s song One Voice by Colten’s Music and Arts Partner Fiona Pritchard. Opening with a solo from Kirby Sharp, a Healthcare Assistant at Abbotts Barton in Winchester, the video includes cello, flute, violin and guitar as well as singing. Fiona said: “Some of the singers and players may have been nervous beforehand but everyone finished their parts with laughs and smiles. There was a real sense of achievement and positivity as with all our Music Day activities. The homes came up with such a wide variety of ideas to celebrate the occasion, all supporting our residents’ wellbeing.” Jo Gough, who lives at St Catherines View and is shown in the One Voice video in the role of conductor, said of her experience: “It’s wonderful, it’s beautiful.” The film is available to watch on Colten Care’s YouTube channel

fire safety integrity. Certified fire door holders and retainers can be fitted to fire doors, enabling them to be pinned open. Fitting battery-operated door retainers, such as Dorgard, Dorgard SmartSound and Freedor SmartSound could not be easier and they provide you with a legal solution to holding your fire doors open. Easily installed by your handyman they can be fitted to existing fire doors. These devices ‘listen’ for the sound of your fire alarm and on hearing it will automatically activate and allow your fire door to close, preventing the spread of fire. Fitting Dorgards on fire doors along corridors will empower your residents to independently move from one area to another, increasing their independence as well as contributing to good mental health. To ensure that you can fit the right type of fire door retainer to suit your needs Dorgard have developed a range of products. Dorgard original is best suited to small or medium settings with low to normal noise levels, whereas Dorgard SmartSound can provide the right solution for noisier environments where the enhanced sound recognition is beneficial. Dorgard Pro offers the ability to manage up to 500 fire doors and gives you a ‘one glance’ check system, ideal for large premises. Holding fore doors open gives you the added benefit of increasing ventilation as well as reducing common touch points, which can prevent the spread of viruses. If you would like to find out more about Dorgard or to discuss your needs further with our knowledgeable customer care team please call 0800 612 6287 or visit


Interior Design In Care Settings By Maria Tibblin, Scandinavian Interior Designer for Health & Wellbeing and Holistic Design Director at MARIA TIBBLIN LTD ( “Covid-19 has forced us rethink and redesign our approach to spaces that offer care facilites; and to embrace design that improves our wellbeing and increases levels of human satisfaction. It’s provided us with a fresh opportunity to reset some of our values, creating new business models where aesthetically beautiful environments are seamlessly integrated with health and safety attributes. This is particularly important with regards to the care sector. ” Maria Tibblin. As a holistic Interior designer with a specific background in medicine and Public Health, I consciously create sustainable and natural deluxe environments for the retail, hospitality, health, wellness, and care sectors. I do this using a unique system called ‘The Five Senses Design approach’. This holistic approach stimulates the human senses and increase human satisfaction. I believe that the future of the care home industry lies in a fresh and long-term approach, which puts human-centric design front and centre. With a rapidly ageing population, and general lack of strategic reform in the public sector, it is likely that the industry will see a new wave of providers emerge, who will compete for contracts based on a number of criteria, which will include quality, safety and reputation. No matter who we are, when we are unwell or growing old, we all need a bit of extra love. The care home sector is one that is often neglected. From rehabilitation and respite care to day-care, short-stay, group homes for those with dementia to more general elderly living facilities. I have a positive design vision that challenges preconceived ideas for a complex and ageing society. Having worked within both medical and private health care, I know of the importance of a positive environment

and client/patient journey. There is absolutely no reason that care homes, whether they offer day-care, respite or specialist dementia care services can’t also look and feel like a high end residence. I passionately believe that care homes can be designed to make residents and their visitors feel better. Enriched spaces that encourage intergenerational socialisation; where residents can feel relaxed and comfortable whilst giving peace of mind for their families that the spaces they occupy also meet all the correct legislative criteria too. Working with private and public health care providers I provide an assessment of spaces and make recommendations about how to create supportive and life enhancing schemes. Some of the elements that could be used in this new approach to design for care homes could include:

Air quality and biophilic design As a holistic designer, I have always looked for ways to incorporate fresh clean air into my schemes. I’m seeing an increase in requests for things like air purifiers or air filtration exchange systems, or for light wells with access to fresh air. I always prefer to work with an architect from early stages in the design process to built these into schemes. In addition there are also simple ways to improve air quality by using plants and vegetation too. Plants help us to feel relaxed and recuperate by reconnecting us with the natural world; they also offer tangible psychological benefits such as stress reduction and improved creativity or concentration. They help to improve air quality, ventilation and can help to reduce the toxin levels in the air.


Anxiety will remain high, as we emerge from the recent pandemic, but are mindful that more could follow. Pared-back colour palettes are a subtle way to help people feel relaxed and calm. I would also recommend investments in beautiful handmade artisanal and natural products to decorate interior spaces. Sourcing locally from designer-makers, also helps with community engagement. These make us feel good whilst supporting craftspeople and small artistic communities whilst also keeping vital multi-generational creative skills alive.

Safe social distancing is something we will have to live with going forward; it will be a key factor in any design scheme of the future. I recommend using some simple solutions such as supportive occasional chairs instead of sofas and carefully placing side tables between seating spaces. Clear movement protocols should be agreed in advance such as clearly marked traffic ‘flow’ systems for people walking through communal spaces, and clear well-designed signage indicating how many guests can safely occupy any given space.

CLEANLINESS AND HYGIENE Cleaning surfaces and good hygiene practice are paramount in any care facility. As a designer, I can help clients to properly understand the footfall ‘journey’ of a given space, and then create a bespoke design to work for the safest ‘flow’. I also recommend selecting from a range of natural and sustainable materials that are easy to clean, and which often have additional anti-microbial properties. Options for these don’t have to be sourced from the usual suppliers, but can be selected for their aesthetic look as well as their functional benefits. Simple design elements such as touch-free sanitisation options can be aesthetically pleasing. Educating staff and employees is also fundamental consideration. Educate staff as to why cleanliness guidelines are important and show them how to implement them properly to a high standard, with regular checks. This is such a simple action we can all take.


TECHNOLOGY We have seen a big leap in technological advances in recent times. From smart integrated systems such as voice controlled sensor controlled taps to audio, lighting and air devices as well as features including voice-activated booking systems, through to digital methods of engagement such as virtual events, art shows and meetings, we can increase the use of integrated technology to help us stay safe and healthy.

SENSORY TOUCHES Sensory touches are fundamental to the holistic design approach, take music for example, it is such an important element for the sick and the elderly. In the specific case of Dementia patients it has been actively proven to help stimulate memories, and spark the imagination. Using special technology this can be zoned area-by-area or room-byroom. Likewise selecting furnishing accessories that provide tactility or allowing an area where pets can be introduced will encourage interactions and bring about positive feelings in patients.

Liverpool Care Home Staff Take Part In Immersive Experience To Understand What It’s Like To Live With Dementia Brook View, an Exemplar Health Care home in Liverpool, recently held a training day which welcomed colleagues aboard a ‘Dementia Bus’, to learn more about what it’s like to live with dementia. The initiative, which was held in partnership with dementia specialists, Dementia Experience Bus, gave colleagues the opportunity to experience the challenges someone living with dementia may typically face, by completing a series of simple, daily tasks. Colleagues working at Brook View, who support adults living with a range of complex and high acuity needs, including dementia, took part in a series of 15-minute sessions – testing both their physical and sensory reactions through various tasks. Sharon Mcloughlin, Brook View’s Home Manager, said: “The virtual dementia bus has helped the team gain invaluable insight into what challenges peo-

ple who live with dementia face, day to day. Colleagues found the experience very thought provoking; I would recommend it to anyone working or living with someone with dementia. “The team were given woollen mittens, specialist shoes, headphones and glasses blacked out with black tape, to replicate common symptoms of dementia such as impaired hearing and pins and needles. They were also asked to do a series of tasks like writing a shopping list, use a small bathroom and kitchen facility. “Colleagues realised that things that seem simple for us and we take for granted, are much harder for someone living with dementia. As a result, the team is now more mindful of things like lighting, sound and personal space.” Following the success of the Dementia Bus, the home is planning on holding a follow up training session later this summer.

Number of People Looking for Care Homes Hits Record Levels as UK Emerges From Pandemic The number of people searching for a care home has seen a huge rise as the UK emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a 33% rise on December 2020 when the UK had entered the second wave of the pandemic, when traffic to the site was 1,206,323. In March last year, just as the UK was entering lockdown, traffic to the site was 1,381,361, 17% lower than March this year. With visits now allowed again inside care homes and residents able to go on trips outside the care home, it seems people are once again turning to residential care as a safe place where elderly and disabled people can be looked after in a nurturing environment. The number of COVID-19 deaths in care homes has also seen a sharp decline due to the UK carrying out a comprehensive vaccination programme, that has seen around 95 per cent of care home residents vaccinated against COVID-19. Sue Learner, Editor of, said: “Care homes have been on the frontline during the pandemic and their staff went through a terrifying ordeal doing their best to protect their residents and keep them safe. “Residents are often like family to care home workers with some staff leaving their own families and going into lockdown at the care home. However, the huge numbers of deaths of residents – as well as the ban

on visits with families unable to see their loved ones – led to some people shunning residential care last year. “We are delighted to see this rise in traffic to as it shows trust has returned and people are once again seeing residential care as the right place for their loved ones, where they will receive care

that is tailored to their needs and take part in stimulating activities in a compassionate environment.” Joanne Balmer, Chief Executive of Oakland Care, a luxury care home provider with six communities in the south of England, leads one of those care home operators which are seeing greater interest by prospective residents and their families. “As a care provider, we have seen enquiry levels increase significantly with a record month in March 2021. Confidence to move loved ones into residential care has been restored as the vaccination programme accelerated and visiting restrictions began to ease. We have seen this increased interest throughout March and April and are looking forward to welcoming more residents and families into our homes.” Nicole Cook, Marketing and Communications Manager for Rapport Housing & Care, which has five care homes in Kent, has seen a similar rise in demand. She said: “We have received a significant surge in the traffic to our website since the first easing of restrictions in March, with enquiries and admissions increasing too. “With further easing from 17 May, we expect and hope this will continue, as the care sector has struggled significantly over the past 14 months, often being perceived as unsafe places to be, despite many care homes managing well.”


Robot Helpers Among Showcase Of Digital Innovations Improving Adult Social Care

Robots which help carers to lift people without extra assistance are among dozens of innovations being highlighted as examples of best practice in adult social care. The innovative ways of using digital technology were developed by 69 local authorities as part of the Social Care Digital Innovation Programme and the Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerators projects, which were run by NHS Digital in collaboration with the Local Government Association. The computer-controlled robots – known as ‘cobots’ – were trialled in the Isle of Wight and Hampshire. The robotic devices are worn around the waist and lower back to support carers in lifting, holding and moving people without assistance. The cobots lessen the risk of injury and fatigue among carers, as well as reducing the need for two carers to work together. This cuts the risk of infection caused by involving an extra person, which has been especially important during the pandemic.

The Social Care Digital Innovation Programme and the Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerators – both part of NHS Digital’s five-year Social Care Programme - supported local authorities across England to develop and share new digital approaches and technologies in adult social care. Various apps, such as one which monitors the hydration levels of care home residents, another which helps prevent falls, and another to coordinate health, care, transport and voluntary staff when a patient leaves hospital, were also among 49 innovative projects trialled as part of the initiative. More social care organisations are now being encouraged to adopt the technologies, which reduced hospital admissions, increased people’s independence and saved social care staff time and resources. James Palmer, Programme Head of the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital, said: “Digital technology can make a huge difference to people’s lives and the projects funded through these programmes have improved social care as well as empowered people by giving them more control over their own wellbeing. “Front line staff have worked incredibly hard to make these programmes successful and we now want to ensure these fantastic innovations can be adopted by more social care providers, local authorities and charities so that as many people as possible can experience the benefits they bring.” Digital technology can help people live healthy, independent lives and enable health and social care services to be more effective, personalised and efficient. The first phase of the Social Care Digital Innovation Programme was launched in 2018, followed by the most recent phase, which was launched in 2019. This phase provided over £1 million funding for local authorities to use technology to respond to adult social care challenges in their area. The Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerators projects were launched from 2020 and provided over £500,000 to encourage co-funding and collaboration between councils on new digital projects. The projects developed through both programmes aimed to meet

the needs of people, care providers and professionals while working in partnership with technology suppliers. Though the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought challenges, teams adapted to the changing circumstances so that digital tools could continue to support people effectively. Local authorities in Essex and Hampshire tested using everyday consumer technologies like tablets and voice-activated speakers, which helped people stay connected and feel secure in their own homes during lockdown. Some schemes introduced remote assessments, making the process easier and quicker. Derbyshire County Council carried out equipment and care assessments via phone and video, which received very positive feedback from participants. In Kirklees, people receiving long term care and their families could access care assessments and book social care appointments online, enabling more personalised and timely services. Coun David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into stark focus the opportunities presented by digital technology, to improve and tailor social care services to meet an individual’s preferences. “There was already a growing trend towards using digital devices, apps and online support to make everyone’s care experience more personal and specific to their needs, which has been accelerated by the events of the past year. “Working with partners, including those who use and work in care services, these programmes have allowed councils to continue adapting their social care offer, to let people live the lives they want to live and in the places they want to be.” The Social Care Digital Innovation Programme and the Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerators concluded at the end of March 2021 and information on the products developed is now being made available online so that other local authorities can use them. More information and case studies are available at and

Residents Create Master Pieces Thanks To Art Classes Lead By Fellow Resident At Maidstone Care Centre, General Manager Jacqui Gregg and the team are committed to supporting the residents to live fulfilling and engaging lifestyles. When Bruce Argue moved in to the Nursing, Dementia and Residential home in Boxley Road, Maidstone Kent in May of this year, the team were delighted to discover that Bruce was an established artist with his own website Part of the home’s moving in process is the ‘getting to know you’ sessions so it was very early on that the team learnt of Bruce’s artistic flair and skills. At 84 years old, Bruce, who describes himself as being “young at heart”, showed from an early age an interest and instinctive talent, ‘I can remember, I was just 7 years old when I did my first painting and it went on from there. I’ve never had a lesson and my work has been shown at the Royal Academy.’ Soon the residents and the team at the home were viewing pieces of Bruce’s art with joy and wonderment. ‘There was a buzz that was created when we knew that we had a published artist staying with us. What was wonderful was that Bruce was very gracious and happily talked about his experiences and passion for art and wanted to share his passion with everyone.’ – Georgia Williams, Lifestyle Assistant.

It was Bruce himself who suggested that he would very much like to hold a beginners art class for his fellow residents. Bruce’s wish was to bring a freedom of expression for those who joined in the class. ~ “Art is fun, and it can give you great pleasure, this is what I wanted to show the other residents who joined in my first class.” ~ Brue Argue The Lifestyle Team worked with Bruce to identify the resources he would need to run the class and other specifics such as the best location within the home and how long the class should last. Once the class was advertised, residents were eager to sign up and the class was fully booked! During the class, those who took part, expressed their thoughts on the class. Maureen shared, “I’m having a really good laugh and learning a lot about art. Before the class I couldn’t even draw a square.” After the success of the first lesson there are now plans for there to be a regular Bruce’s Arts Class, which the home’s Lifestyle Team will support.

We Can’t Level Up This Country Without Levelling Up Social Care The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has published its Spring Survey 2021(formerly the Budget Survey), which describes the financial and operating state of adult social care services in England. Commenting on today’s publication, Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) said: “Society works when we invest in social care to support individuals and communities. The ADASS Spring Survey makes a grim assessment: people’s needs are not being met, and current funding levels indicate the situation will not improve any time soon. “We know that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on social care provision and that central government funding has not helped to meet the associated increased costs of funding care and support, all of which has been compounded by long-standing underinvestment in the sector. “What this year’s survey report also brings to light, however, is the impact on care and support for working age adults and the high-level of concern among Directors about funding increasingly complex care and support for working age disabled people. Throughout the pandemic,

required to live full and independent lives. “As an infrastructure body of more than 100 voluntary sector organisations supporting disabled people across England, we are concerned that the survey found a significant number of Directors are not planning to increase funding to voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) providers, again seemingly as a result of funding pressures. “In its Spring Survey, ADASS rightly highlights the vital contribution VCSE organisations make to communities, particularly in keys areas such as prevention and delivering services to working age adults. We know for example that VODG members often go above and beyond to provide vital care and support to disabled people in the community yet local authority commissioning now seems to be set on a trajectory of the fastest race to the bottom when it comes to funding, and in turn VODG has repeatedly called for a more inclusive response from the government, one that prioritises working age disabled people alongside older people. This report further demonstrates how services for disabled people are at risk of being underfunded and consequently disabled people and their families not receiving the vital care and support

quality. This is simply unacceptable. “In recent weeks there has been much mention of an impending plan for social care reform. Government must make good. It must heed these findings and make a choice – we can’t level up this country without levelling up social care.”


Health And Social Care Workers Averaged 86-Hour Weeks Through Pandemic Workforce management app, Deputy, has released its Shiftwork Economy Report, revealing the reality of shift work during the pandemic. The report, which provides analysis of 11.5 million shifts worked by more than 350,000 UK shift workers, proves the burden placed on key workers in the health and social care sector. Staff in the sector worked an average of 86-hours per week between January 2019 and May 2021, fuelled by overtime and dual-shifts in 24hour periods, as well as overnight stays in care home settings through lockdowns. The data backs up the findings of last month’s Health and Social Care Committee report, where MPs warned NHS and care staff in England are so burnt out that it has become an “emergency” and risks the future of the health service. “Our data shows unhealthy work patterns placing individuals at risk of burnout, physical injury, mental and other health issues,” said David Kelly, General Manager for EMEA at Deputy. “These findings prove how health and care workers have been expected to go above and beyond from the very beginning of the pandemic. The hours being worked are not only unsustainable but highlight the lack of protection in place for shift workers in the UK.” Former Minister for Care Services Phil Hope, Chair of the Future Social

Care Coalition, said: “This report shows the urgent need for investment in the social care sector, to deliver workforce reform and fair pay and working conditions. It cannot be right that people in social care positions are so vastly overworked and underpaid despite their heroic efforts during the pandemic. “It is time for the government to respect, reward and regulate, to support all those working on the ‘forgotten frontline’ by bringing forward as a matter of urgency a Social Care People Plan to mirror the NHS People Plan. It has never been clearer that the 1.5 million workers in the care sector deserve parity with the 1.5million employed in the NHS. They warrant and deserve a fair deal.” The Shiftwork Economy Report looked at 2.75 million shifts worked by more than 52,000 health and social care workers and found: • As the pandemic struck (March 2020), Baby Boomers (57-75 year olds) working in the sector experienced a 72% increase in the hours they worked. • Workers from Generation X (41-56 year olds) experienced a 64% increase in hours at that time. • Millennial (24-40 year olds) and Generation Z (under 24s) health and social care workers also saw their hours increase by 28% and by 15%. • Average monthly hours worked by all of these age groups are not yet back down to pre-Covid levels.

Care Leader’s Video Message to Sajid A leading care provider has spelled out the need for urgent reform in a special video message on the doorstep of the Department for Health and Social Care. Mike Padgham, Chair of the provider organisation the Independent Care Group (ICG) recorded a video giving a message to new secretary of state Sajid Javid. After writing to him last week, Mr Padgham spelt out in cards on the video: “Hello Mr Javid, congratulations on your new job. I was just passing and I wondered if you had read my letter yet? 1.5m people are waiting for an answer and for you to tackle social care. I have been waiting 30+ years. Please come and visit us in North Yorks. I have every faith in you… Be bold and solve the crisis. I look forward to hearing from you!” The video was inspired by the video for Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” filmed behind the Savoy Hotel in London in 1964. Mr Padgham said: “I was in London and thought it was too good an opportunity to miss as I knew I would be passing 39 Victoria Street and

could leave a message for Mr Javid, as part of our ongoing campaign to get reform for social care.

Liam Palmer is Registered Home Manager for Valley Court Care Home in Birmingham. He is an expert on residential care, regularly hosting a podcast on care quality and having written three books on the subject. “As a well established care home we always go above and beyond for our residents, but the past 16 months have been exceptionally demanding for our staff team,” said Liam. “In the midst of the pandemic we invested in technology to make everything run more smoothly, so our team has clarity and reassurance about when they’ll be working. However we know that this is not the case for everybody. Recruiting carers to fill the growing demand across social care continues to be challenging especially with recent developments including Brexit. There are major challenges around the longer-term risk to staffing that need to be addressed nationally.” David Kelly added: “Deputy’s data, showing hours scheduled and worked, is useful in understanding how sectors with a significant shift worker employee base have been performing and are likely to perform in the future. The UK government is failing to address the needs of critical sectors and their shift workers. We urge policy-makers and employers to use the truth of this data to their advantage, to secure a sustainable key workforce going forward.” “I wrote to him last week and to his predecessor many times but am yet to get any reply – I thought this might make a rather more visible reminder than just a photograph.” In his previous letter to Mr Javid, Mr Padgham wrote: “The Covid-19 pandemic has further ravaged an already depleted sector. Care providers, already on their knees following years of neglect, have been dealt a bitter and potentially fatal blow by the pandemic. “Rising costs associated with tackling the pandemic and the failure of bed occupancy rates to recover have plunged many into extreme financial difficulty. There have already been provider failures and more will come unless action is taken swiftly. Those caring for people in their own home through domiciliary care – a central plank in the Government policy on social care – are also struggling and there have been provider losses here too. We cannot go on like this any longer or the social care system will collapse through a loss of providers and that will be devastating for the millions of people who rely on services for a decent quality of life.” He said he hoped Mr Javid would seize an opportunity to go down in history as the secretary of state who finally tackled social care. Some £8bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010 and more than 1.6m people are now living without the care they need.

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VAT Tribunal Decisions Highlights Tax Challenges Facing Specialist Healthcare Providers, says Hillier Hopkins The Court of Appeal has delivered a judgment against specialist healthcare business LIFE Services and The Learning Centre (Romford) that highlights the VAT challenges facing private healthcare providers which are not regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or who do not have a charitable status. The decision concerns the treatment of VAT on the provision of day care services to vulnerable adults by private companies yet, says accountants Hillier Hopkins, equally applies to businesses providing Covid PCR tests, blood tests, and nursing and care homes where day care is provided. The Court of Appeal was asked to determine the liability of VAT on healthcare services provided by private

companies. The Court of Appeal upheld HMRC’s position that VAT is only exempt where providers are charities, public bodies or regulated by a relevant body, such as the CQC. Ruth Corkin, VAT and Indirect Tax Principal at Hillier Hopkins said: “In this case, LIFE and The Learning Centre provided care plans agreed and funded by a local authority. The provision of that care was monitoring and inspected by the local authority, and not the CQC. “LIFE and The Learning Centre argued that the services were exempt from VAT and HMRC disagreed. The Court of Appeal agrees with HMRC.” The Court of Appeal said in its decision that what “is required is that the institution or agency is ‘approved, licensed, registered or exempted from registration in respect of the supply of welfare services by any Minister or other authority.” “Membership of a professional or trade body does not meet this requirement,” says Ruth Corkin. Day care services open to everyone and laboratory testing facilities providing tests for businesses are not required to be regulated under law and cannot, therefore, register with the CQC. In Scotland, however, day

Retired Spitfire Pilot Honoured as Last Surviving Member of WW2 Squadron A Bracknell care home resident was presented with a special print to honour his status as the last surviving pilot of 41 Squadron from WW2. At a socially distanced ceremony, Peter Hale, a resident at Care UK’s Bickerton House was presented with a signed print by two currently serving members of 41 Squadron: Wing Commander, Lee Gordon and Warrant Officer, Stevie Dryburgh. Born in Harpenden in 1922, Peter joined the RAF during the second World War, in June 1941, at the age of eighteen. Taking to the skies, Peter became qualified to fly from September 1941, which meant opportunities travel to a host of countries around the world, including

Canada in 1942 and Belgium in 1944. During the Second World War, the 41 Squadron operated the Supermarine Spitfire which was a key defender in the Battle of Britain and the fighting at Dunkirk. From 1943 to 1944, the Squadron flew many missions, including flying defensive patrols against low level attacks and escorting essential weaponry to troops on the ground. Peter, who turns 99 on the 28th July, said: “I am delighted with this early birthday present and all of the signatures from those currently serving. I have had a very interesting life, and someone has definitely kept a very good eye on me!”

Erika Smith, Home Manager at Bickerton House, said: “Peter is a much-loved resident here at Bickerton House. Peter’s gentlemanly nature and his history in the RAF have always made him a hero – and now he has the plaque to prove it.” “We were delighted to receive the call from RAF Coningsby and welcomed serving members of the Squadron to meet with Peter and honour his courage during the War. Here at Bickerton House, we strive to celebrate the great achievements and rich history residents have and recognise the importance of revisiting and honouring those moments of the past that are reflected on with pride.

Home Office Commissions Independent Review of Brexit Immigration Impact on Social Care Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster MP has written to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to position an independent reviewof the impact that ending freedom of movement has had on adult social care. A letter from immigration minister Kevin Foster to MAC chairman Professor Brian Bell states the review should examine the post-Brexit effects on skills shortages, covering the range of roles in adult social care including care workers, registered nurses and managerial roles. The review follows a government commitment given in the House of Lords during consideration of the Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020 to look at the impact on: • the adult social care workforce (such as skills shortages) covering the range of caring roles in adult social care including care workers, registered

nurses and managerial roles • visa options for social care workers • long term consequences for workforce recruitment, training and employee terms and conditions; and • any other relevant matters the independent chair deems appropriate which are relevant to the above three objectives A report due by April 2022 is expected to provide recommendations on how the government can resolve the issues that the sector is experiencing with the immigration system and to highlight wider issues such as employee terms and conditions. Under the terms of the Commission, MAC will be ableto consult with devolved administrations, government departments, local authorities and other stakeholders as it deems necessary, as well as make a public

call for evidence to the social care sector. “The government will consider the recommendations and determine the appropriate course of action to take where it relates to reserved matters,” Mr. Foster states in his letter. “Where any recommendations relate to matters which are devolved, it will be the responsibility of the Scottish Government, Welsh Government or Northern Ireland Executive to determine how these should be taken forward,” he added. The letter can be seen here ocial-care-accessible-version

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS How Care Homes Can Protect Residents…With Washing Machines Since the emergence of Covid-19 in the UK, care homes have found themselves in the unfamiliar position of being thrust under a harsh public spotlight. Outbreaks within homes necessitated the implementation of stringent measures to ensure resident safety that included rigorous social distancing, heightened sanitation and rugged PPE. However, these intrusive measures, as vital as they have been and continue to be, risk being undermined by the most unlikely source – washing machines. Laundry hygiene is of course a priority in the vast majority of care homes, but too few recognise just how fundamental it is to preventing infection. Incorrect handling, processing and storage of linen in particular, all present an unnecessary risk. Several recently published reports have detailed how inadequate laundering of textiles in healthcare has been the direct cause of outbreaks. As care home residents are vulnerable to infection, it is critical that care homes ensure that they, as well as their carers and visitors, are protected on all fronts.

COST AND COMPLIANCE Though care homes strive to create environments that are as homely as possible, they are still commercial premises in the eyes of the law. From a purely financial perspective, this means that warranties on domestic washing machines are voided where they are used in care homes, resulting in significant costs for fixes and replacements if a machine becomes damaged. Moreover, very few domestic machines are approved by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) for the processing of infected linen. This is because they do not have backflow protection to prevent a soiled load contaminating the water supply with bacteria and viruses. As this is a UK requirement, care homes using

domestic washing machines could be contravening water regulations.

BRINGING THE HEAT The high heat of commercial washing machines not only remove stains, but ensures any harmful microorganisms present in each load are killed. As domestic machines are designed primarily for energy savings, they are not equipped with the heater elements found in commercial machines that can maintain enough heat to penetrate a full load and achieve total disinfection. The Department of Health’s HTM 01-04 Decontamination of Linen for Health & Social Care states that a traditional thermal disinfection cycle can either be 71ºC for 11 minutes or 65ºC for 18 minutes. Domestic machines offer no guarantees that a cycle will achieve (let alone hold) these temperatures, meaning disinfection cannot be achieved. Of course, multiple washes throughout the day at such high temperatures places a burden on utility budgets, but even here there is an alternative. Care homes can opt for machines which use natural chemical disinfection to achieve deeply cleaned, softer fabrics but which operate at low much lower temperatures. JLA’s OTEX laundry disinfection machine does just this – the patented technology eradicates harmful microorganisms in every wash and even prints validation receipts to prove disinfection has been attained. And by pre-programming cycles, it can be guaranteed that every wash, on whichever programme a member of staff selects, achieves full disinfection. When only the best will do, choose JLA as your trusted partner. To find out more on OTEX and our SMART laundry systems, as well as catering, heating and fire safety equipment call us on 0800 591 903 or go to


LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Care Home Laundry Equipment MAG Laundry Equipment works with care homes across the UK to provide high quality, affordable washing machines, tumble dryers and ironers. With 5 star feedback from independent care homes and groups MAG is one of the UK’s best rated suppliers. Can MAG assist you with any new laundry equipment?

They also provide spare parts, repairs, gas certificates, detergents and room sanitising machines. Get in touch for a product brochure or quote. MAG Laundry Equipment Phone: 01451 604708 Email: Website: ★★★★★ Ask MAG about their impressive care home testimonials! ★★★★★

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

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

New Girbau Laundry Provides Vital Support to Carers and Residents at Mary Stevens Hospice Refurbishment of the laundry at Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge, West Midlands with new washers and dryers from Girbau UK has a vital, if largely unseen role to play in supporting the well-being of residents with life-limiting illnesses. “Everyone in the Hospice knows it is like a puzzle, where every single part is vitally important and needs to be pieced together with little effort,” says Gerry Crow, Director of Operations & Support. “Even though the laundry is very much a function hidden away from those we are caring for, without it we would not be able to provide the level of support we do to our patients and their carers.” Mary Stevens Hospice provides specialist care and support for people who are living with a life-limiting illness, and their families. Care is provided in a 10-bed InPatient Unit and its Day Services Unit. Both offer modern facilities complemented by a warm, friendly and comforting environment. After visiting the hospice to get a full understanding of its laundry needs Girbau recommended the installation of two HS-6013 washers in combination with two of its energy efficient ED260 dryers.

“We have used Girbau products for many years and have found them to be very reliable,” says Gerry Crow. “The decision to choose Girbau products again for this refurbishment was taken on cost of ownership, the proven reliability of Girbau equipment and the level of long-term support available directly from Girbau.” Designed to lower water and energy consumption while boosting productivity, Girbau HS washers feature automatic chemical dosing, high-speed spinning, unmatched durability and a high degree of programmability. Their high spin speed achieves a market-leading centrifugal spin force of up to 400G throughout the spin cycle to leave laundry with residual moisture levels of less than 50%, offering significant energy and cost savings in the subsequent drying process. Girbau’s premium ED series dryers ensure all items including delicates are dried safely, uniformly, efficiently and cost-effectively. Designed to be more energy efficient than any other conventional dryer, ED Series feature Girbau’s Transflow technology. This is a combination of both radial and axial airflow for maximum efficiency, reduced cycle times and lower energy costs. Cabinet insulation and a double-glazed door further optimise energy efficiency. The highly reliable and accurate humidity control system on ED dryers automatically senses when clothes are dry and activates the cool down process maximising energy efficiency and assuring textile care. For more information visit:

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.

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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcareassociated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven

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

Haigh Engineering Resident and patient waste is a day to day practical matter that simply cannot become a problem for frontline carers and nursing staff. With the raised awareness of cross infection risks, the proven reliable waste disposal systems from Haigh are recognised more than ever as being a key part of the toolkit for ensuring that human waste is effectively and efficiently removed as a source of risk, day in day out, without the risks and complications of either washing pots or manual bagging waste for collection. The team from Haigh have been working hard to support this beyond just the manufacture of the Incomaster and Quattro waste disposers here in

the UK, but also developing innovative and safe methods to enhance the servicing provisions that are available to customers. The recently launched all-inclusive rental proposition has proven particularly effective and popular with new and existing customers alike, not least as it reduces the operational, maintenance and financing headaches from sites which have more critical matters to address. For more information about incontinence and bedpan waste disposal please feel free to contact the Haigh team on 01989 763131 or


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Preventing Infection In Care Homes with Effective, Sustainable Waste Disposal

The removal of human waste in care homes is a critical part of reducing the cycle of infection, and the global pandemic has highlighted the ease of transmission between healthcare workers and patients, and every effort should be taken to minimise the risk of infection to save residents lives. The world health organisation estimates that “with good infection control practices and careful hygiene, Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI’s) can be reduced by up to 30%” Human waste disposal is being overlooked when it comes to infection prevention in care homes, with methods including manual handwashing and reusable receptacles still being used. According to the Department of Health, a mechanical system is the recommended decontamination

method for bedpans and urinals in care homes. SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) can survive 1-2 days in urine and faeces therefore reusable methods must be avoided. “94% of hospitals in the UK adopt the system of using mechanical macerators and disposable pulp products for collecting human waste on ward environments, especially those with bed bound patients, and care homes should be no different.” “Using pulp with macerators is a safe, environmentally friendly way of disposing of bodily waste. It maximises healthcare workers time and having reviewed the evidence and used most of the methods throughout my clinical career, it is by far the most effective” Gary Thirkell, Infection Prevention and Control Lead Nurse. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation recommends that "all equipment should be single use and disposable to minimize the risk of transmission” The Vernacare human waste disposal system, features mechanical macerator machines which are installed into the home. Using a disposal pulp system for collecting human waste, the pulp items and associated maceratable wipes and gels are then put into the macerator and processed into a thin pulp which can be disposed of via the usual drainage system. The sustainable single-use system uses 100% recycled newspaper to create all pulp products; manufactured in the UK, including urinals, bed pans and wash bowls.

Portable, Hospital-Grade Air Purifier Rensair is a specialist in air purification, protecting and enhancing lives through clean air. Developed to meet the strict standards of Scandinavian hospitals, ours is the only technology recommended by the WHO and UK SAGE committee and is independently validated by several scientific research laboratories. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, air purification has never been more important. Our mission is to get organisations back on their feet, destroying a minimum of 99.97% of airborne viruses to ensure clean air for every person. Rensair collaborates with clients to develop the optimum indoor air quality for meeting care home

requirements, as well as government recommendations for mitigating the risks of Covid transmission. Taking into account floor plans, existing ventilation systems and occupancy rates, we determine if there is a gap between existing air quality and that recommended by the WHO and UK SAGE Committee. If air quality is lacking, we will recommend a tailor-made configuration based on our portable, hospital-grade air purifier, in tandem with any existing HVAC systems. Our no-obligation advice is based on verifiable data, research and experience, which is made freely available to ensure that decisions affecting health are well-informed. Visit

Carole Hallam has worked as a lead nurse in the UK NHS and is now an independent infection control specialist, she commented on her experience. “On personal experience of different systems, I wouldn't choose anything other than pulp bedpans with disposal in a macerator as this method is both efficient and easy to use with no worry of a failed disinfection cycle" Vernacare are global suppliers of innovative healthcare solutions. Creating quality products which help to improve the lives of patients, residents and healthcare professionals whilst reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections. Vernacare is the market leader and inventor of the single use disposable system, with a history of over 50 years. Vernacare currently has a presence in more than 60 countries with over 20,000 macerators installed worldwide. Vernacare is the only company in the world to manufacture an integrated human waste management and infection prevention system. Their products are used by 500,000 patients every day worldwide. They manufacture over 170 million medical pulp containers per year. Vernacare pulp is medical grade, as it guarantees fluid retention for a minimum of 4 hours. It is composed of 100% cellulose fibres that make it 100% biodegradable in just 6 weeks. When macerated they break down to a similar size as flushed toilet paper A macerator machine consumes 60% less water and up to 96% less electricity than a bedpan washer. For further information please visit or call 01204 529494

The MUV-X Room UV Steriliser… Reliable Technology The market for UVC room sterilisers currently includes a lot of poor quality, cheap products which the manufacturers often describe in terms such as ‘may be effective against COVID-19’ or ‘we expect this will be effective against COVID-19’. For professionals, relying on ‘may be effective’ isn’t good enough. As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for!

INDEPENDENT TESTING OF OUR MUV-X FOR SARS-COV2 & CPE: Since we launched the Muv-X, we have had it test-

ed at an FDA-approved and ISO 17025-certified laboratory. The conclusions from this independent testing were ‘highly effective in completely removing SARSCoV-2 RNA’ and also ‘zero survival of CPE on white PVC, blue PVC and stainless steel’. Two outstanding results! Full reports available on request. The optimum runtimes for the Muv-X, as set out in our Technical Manual, are focused specifically on SARS-CoV-2 and are calculated based on a 6 log reduction (99.9999%). We have also made the product very mobile and easy for users to move from one room to the next. In other words, all the ease of movement of a lower cost product but with the proven capability associated with the higher cost products. Visit



Protecting Residents From Germs and Viruses and Creating Odour-Free Environments Within care home environments, there is an intense focus on hygiene and cleaning standards to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the residents and mitigate the spread of viruses, bacteria, germs and infectious diseases. For elderly people, the threat of viruses such as COVID-19 poses additional concerns, given that they often have more compromised immune systems. Despite the necessary measures of routine handwashing, PPE and disposable equipment, the spread of sickness, infection and viruses such as coronavirus and influenza are major concerns in the care home environment. Between 2nd March and 12the June 2020, there were over 66,000 deaths of care home residents in England and Wales, compared to just under 37,000 deaths in 2019. Whereas, due to the nature of care home facilities and the residents who occupy them, it is impossible to completely eradicate odours, sickness and the spread of infections and viruses, there is a factor that is often overlooked – indoor air quality. However, though it may be more difficult to visibly recognise, poor quality indoor air can also have severe and lasting effects on cognition and health. According to studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in care homes and other large facilities, indoor levels of pollutants may be more than 100 times higher than pollutants found outdoors. In the UK, the average person spends the vast majority of their time indoors, but due to restricted mobility or underlying medical conditions, most care home residents spend an even greater proportion of their time indoors.

Therefore, adding the complementary process of an air purification solution to the hygiene mix is a vital requirement for care homes in maintaining a healthy living space.

99.99% EFFECTIVE AGAINST CORONAVIRUS One solution is the Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifier, which utilises a unique fourstage filtration system, featuring HEPA filters, to provide maximum protection against harmful airborne contaminants – including being 99.99% effective against Coronavirus 229E. AeraMax Pro air purifiers remove germs and viruses, and eliminate odours, allergens and other irritants from the air, removing up to 99.9% of air contaminants. AeraMax Pro uses EnviroSmart technology to monitor a room’s air quality and occupancy. It adjusts its performance to optimise effectiveness whilst reducing energy consumption and extending filter life. This is particularly important in the care home environment where occupancy levels may vary greatly in common areas and dining rooms throughout the day. To learn more about the benefits of improving indoor air quality in the care home environment visit: *Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers were demonstrated to be effective in reducing aerosolised airborne concentration of Human Coronavirus 229E in a test chamber reaching 99.99% airborne reduction within 1 hour of operation, based on independent laboratory testing.

GUARDIAN Demonstrates How To Show You Care ®

Are you a care provider that wants to ensure that your water system compliance is the best it can be…? Would you benefit from reassurance that prescription medication is maintained at the optimum safe temperature and waste is reduced…? All while freeing up extra hours of staff time for what really matters … the wellbeing of your residents? Plexus Innovation brings care providers all of that and more through GUARDIAN®, a ‘musthave’ remote IoT technology. GUARDIAN® detects many issues not otherwise possible, monitoring real-time data, enhancing business compliance, while reducing risk, water waste, energy consumption and relieving pressure on human time. GUARDIAN® also reduces the risk of scalding and helps to protect staff, residents and guests from risk of legionella. Managing director, Ian

Murray, said: “We currently support care providers, all of whom are benefiting from our GUARDIAN® measurement and alert system. Designed, developed and manufactured in the UK, GUARDIAN® can be installed by our team with no interruption to your daily activities. Alternatively, we can give training enabling the user to easily set up in minutes, putting the data live onto the portal managed by our experienced team at Plexus Innovation.” Kirsty Nealis, Head of Care Delivery at Careline Lifestyles, said: “With the extra pressures brought about by COVID-19 we couldn’t be more grateful for GUARDIAN® helping us to have our compliance measurements done reliably, in real time and even better, remotely. We are always looking for innovative new ways to improve our services, freeing up staff, allowing

them more time to support our residents.” Get in touch today, or visit our stand F82 at the Dementia, Care and Nursing Home Expo on 15th and 16th September, for a free demonstration on how GUARDIAN® measures and monitors temperature, bringing business improvements to help you meet your care industry challenges. E: T: 0191 922 3969


NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION The Ageing Population: Tackling the Challenge of Falls By Barak Katz, VP and GM Essence SmartCare ( It is no surprise that populations around the world are ageing dramatically, with citizens living far longer than ever before. Indeed, the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS), reveals that a quarter of the population will be over 65 by 2045. While this reflects improved health and welfare standards, such an ageing population presents the NHS and social care services with a number of challenges, with perhaps none more important than dealing with the aftermath of life-changing falls. The Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) showed that between 2017-2018 there were around 220,000 emergency hospital admissions related to falls among patients aged 65 and over. Dealing with these falls is estimated to cost NHS England £435m a year alone. Whilst our own research, conducted in late 2020, showed around 75 percent of all falls go unreported, as people are often embarrassed about falling and don’t want to be ‘told off’ by family members and carers. Put simply, if individuals are not reaching out and raising the subject with their families or carers, care teams will struggle to prevent such incidents from happening again. What’s the answer? To focus on preventing falls, and when they do happen, to be better at detecting, and responding to them.

FALL PREVENTION REQUIRES GREATER ACCURACY AND MORE DATA INSIGHT Preventing falls requires multi-disciplinary teams who have access to behavioural information about the situation just prior to the fall. Whilst there have been some developments within social care, where technology such as smart sensors and other telecare solutions have been added to the home to track elderly subjects, there are too many gaps in the data. Most current fall detectors are based on accelerometer technology, which only detects certain types of incidents and only the fall itself. Teams need to consider the accuracy of what is being reported and verify whether

the incident was indeed a fall. This represents a serious challenge, and our research suggests, less than half of those in residential care actually wear fall detection devices even when provided to them. To some, they represent a ‘badge of vulnerability’. Elderly care needs to be far more proactive and respectful, and there needs to be greater visibility across the whole home. Relying on legacy technology that only confirms whether a fall indeed took place and calls for help, is clearly not working. Care teams need insight into the events that led up to the fall. A more non-linear approach to falls management is needed, but this requires far more effective fall detection technology.

BUILDING A NON-LINEAR APPROACH TO MANAGING FALLS Clearly to be better at falls management, more information needs to be recorded and shared. For example, consider an appraisal of a victim’s situation leading up to the fall, telecare solutions can now report on the circumstances leading up to the incident and care teams can retrace their steps. In fact, whilst multiple sensors could notice an individual’s movement within the household, more recent developments such as machine learning, can analyse trends and patterns in behaviour. It could highlight whether the individual moved suddenly following a long period of seated rest, or whether they were in fact in a darkened room. These seemingly small factors could greatly inform how care teams and families plan proactively for future events. Teams would have the insight leading up to event enabling future prevention. Once teams can improve the accuracy of recorded falls with an increase in incident logs and case history and gain real insight into what led to the fall, they can put more preventative measures in place. With greater data on high-risk individuals, they can personalise their social care programme, providing specific prevention and management help. Whether grab rails, improved flooring, or lighting, or even reconsidering the resident’s current home setting. By assessing the circumstances and identifying all risk factors for that individual, teams can make widespread changes. Using such techniques as described above will help older people feel more comfortable discussing a fall incident. Whilst falls cannot be entirely stopped from happening, we can deploy more appropriate technology, gather and share the right data, and in so doing help mitigate the risks that falls bring, leading to better health and living conditions.

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


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

use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.

Benefits include:

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

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

Features include:

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


NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION The Digital Future of Care As the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, 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 rigor-

ous clarification processes concluding with written 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

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, or visit

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

Alarm Radio Monitoring Data is now an important part of our daily routines, whether that be in a work or home environment. What we do with the data is vital no more so than in our care homes. Alarm Radio Monitoring Ltd (A.R.M) have recently released their updated Data Management software, enabling care home managers to monitor calls & emergencies along with providing analysis of shift patters and staff management. Working in conjunction with A.R.M’s Nurse Call and Bed Angel systems it is a tool that can easily demonstrate what is happening in a care home and provides evidence of care, ideal for relatives and the CQC. Having up to 60 Suites on one screen at a time gives the user an exceptional overview of their home and shows live second by second data. The

software has the functionality to set timings for room checks with warning when those times are coming to an end, the ability to monitor these settings with an in depth reporting system is crucial for providing high quality care to residents. Alarm Radio Monitoring 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 25 years experience in the design & development of wireless Nurse Call and 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. For further details call 01568 610 016 or email

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

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


NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION 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

Nursecall Mats Nursecall Mats is a family run business with a wealth of experience and knowledge in fall prevention with innovative product and excellent customer service in the healthcare industry. Stocking a large range of genuine and compatible fall prevention products such as call points, call leads, crash mats, sensor mats and PIR Detectors, with a free, next day delivery service available to most areas within the UK.


Our core range of sensor mats include the Floor Sensor Mat range, available as a robust standard black mat, heavy duty cream mat and a Carpet Mat with an anti-slip base. The bed and chair mats are available with our new ProPlus fully sealed design for improved performance and reliability. All sensor mats can be connected directly into most nurse call systems such as; Intercall, C-Tec Nursecall 800, Quantec,

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 Or see the advert on page 2. Aidcall, Courtney Thorne, SAS and more making it easier and more efficient for care home groups to purchase to suit all their homes.


With a wide range of antibacterial pull cords and accessories all available in Red, White and Orange, in stock, with accessories such as replacement triangles, connectors, acorns and more help keep your systems maintained. These include our antibacterial / antimicrobial pull cord with a revolutionary coating with inbuilt protection, proven to inhibit growth of bacteria and can be easily wiped clean. Also available as a anti-ligature, designed to snap with under force, protecting the user and eliminating risks.


Our range of overlay and full replacement pressure care mattress and cushion systems are effective for prevention and treatment of patients at risk of developing pressure ulcers in nursing and care environments, with options for all risk levels. For further information, visit our website or contact us 020 8454 7918,

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


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 See the advert on page 11.

CareZips Dignity Trousers ™

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

Dementia-Friendly Bathroom Flooring According to the Alzheimer’s Society , 70 per cent of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems in the UK. Here Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW discusses how thinking about the flooring can make a bathroom more dementia friendly. Not surprisingly, people with dementia are twice as likely to fall and these falls result in significantly higher mortality rates than for others in the same age group. The bathroom is one of the most challenging and dangerous places for a person with dementia. However, even thinking about something as the choice of a bathroom’s flooring can help reduce fall risks.

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

end of the table. The inbuilt design and flexibility of the table ensures optimal working conditions for the carer. The ergonomically designed safety rails have a practical lower central section, which provides better access and work environment while transferring, showering, drying, changing and dressing the user. The safety rails can be operated with one hand by the carer enabling them to maintain eye contact and physical contact with the user during the whole process. The water collection tray has an integrated water outlet to prevent water from splashing on carers, or the floor. The flexible hose attached to the centre mounted outlet of the tray can be connected wither to an outlet in the floor or on the wall. The height adjustable model is operated with a wired hand control, offering a height adjustment of 700mm. The Shower Change Table 3000 has a maximum load of 200kg. Pressalit offers a variety of mobile and wall-mounted, height-adjustable and fixed height shower and changing tables of high quality. For the full range, visit Tel: 0844 8806950 email:

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

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


Comfort, Hygiene and Ease Of Use – Essentials in the Accessible Bathroom The Pressalit Shower Change Table 3000, designed for comfort, hygiene and ease of use in an accessible bathroom environment, is now available in two new colours. This popular Shower Change Table, which offers a stable and secure platform for showering and changing adults and children with complex needs, is now offered in Sapphire Blue and Graphite Grey. With the choice of a height adjustable or a fixedheight version, the Shower Change Table from Pressalit, the leading Scandinavian designer of accessible bathroom solutions, is well-placed for use in private homes, Changing Places toilets, hospitals, education establishments and institutions. As with all products in the Pressalit range, its stylish and award-winning design focusses on comfort, hygiene and ease of use. For maximum use of space, it can be folded up against the wall when not being used. With smooth contact surfaces, eliminating any gathering points for dirt or bacteria, the Shower Change Table is easy to wipe down and clean before and after use. The table is extremely comfortable and secure for the user, its slightly curved form enhanced with an adjustable neck support which can be moved to either

Renray Healthcare

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 for details or see page 10.

our furniture with you in mind. Telephone: +44 (0)1606 593456, Email:, or see the advert on page 3 for details.


Consistent flooring shades are crucial as a person with dementia can interpret a change in floor colour as a step up or down, leading to trips or falls on a level surface. Avoid very dark colour flooring as this can be perceived as being a big hole, making the person suffering from dementia reluctant to step into the

bathroom. Also avoid shiny flooring as this can be perceived as being wet and flooring with a small pattern or a speckled effect, as this can be seen as having dirt flecks that the person with dementia may try and pick up, leading to the possibility of a fall. Ultimately, ensure the floor is a single, light, uniform colour and choose a wet room solution rather than a level access tray, as the colour change from floor to tray could be seen as a step to someone with dementia. For the final word on flooring, make sure that anti-slip vinyl is used. A suitable example is AKW’s Safety Flooring, as this provides the same level of slip resistance in both wet or dry conditions, regardless of whether the user is wearing shoes or barefoot and has been tested in a variety of high-risk conditions. To find out more about creating dementia-friendly bathrooms, download AKW’s latest guide from For more information, please contact AKW on 01905 823298, Email: or visit See the advert on page 8.

Scrubs UK and Uniforms UK Scrubs UK and Uniforms UK are part of Uniform Group UK Ltd suppliers of Medical and Healthcare Uniforms. Our main aim is to provide the best products at the most competitive prices and are proud to be an ‘NHS approved supplier’. We pride ourselves on our excellent reputation and customer service and firmly believe that building relationships with our customer is key to offering the best service possible. Our uniforms meet infection-control requirements and offer the best in durability and comfort. We stock a wide range of styles, colours and sizes to suit everyone. Our own brand ‘Scrubs UK Premium’ range is one of our best sellers offering all day comfort together with durability and of course style! WE ARE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SEND YOU A FREE SAMPLE OF OUR SCRUBS UK PREMIUM SCRUBS SET PERSONALISED WITH YOUR LOGO FOR YOU TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!

We stock all major brands including, Cherokee, Dickies, Behrens, Alexandra, Koi, Orange Standard, Simki and Skechers. Healthcare uniforms come in all shapes and sizes, and we sell them all! We can also provide you with your catering staff, maintenance and reception uniforms. PERSONALISATION OF UNIFORMS IS OUR SPECIALITY! All embroidery is carried out in-house so we are able to react quickly to your order. For a limited time, we are offering FREE EMBROIDERY SET UP (normally £20) to all new customers. You will always speak personally to a member of our team when you call who are more than happy to help you with your requirements. Call today on 01270 814141 or visit or See the advert on page 13.

New Transparent Face Mask Shields Your Smile, Without Hiding It! Newly launched Smile Shield has a transparent panel to aid communication, whilst offering medical grade protection, and meeting all elements of the government’s Transparent Face Mask Specification. Smile Shield has also over 98% bacterial filtration efficiency, is breathable, splash proof and hypoallergenic. It is a British invention, created by two founders Jennifer and Lisa, who also own TAD medical, known for its range of medical supplies, already widely used by hospitals, educational facilities and the emergency Services. Jennifer Soboslay, Founder of Smile Shield comments: “Visual facial expression is a huge benefit to many industries, as communication is so important to us all, especially a smile, which can change the senti-

ment of the information being shared or be encouraging without words. The Smile Shield allows lip reading, visible facial expressions, and a clearer understanding and connection between people to take place.” The Smile Shield™ can also be used as a surgical mask. The clear front panel makes the mouth visible, which is especially important for those caring for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, have a learning disability, or suffer with autism or dementia. Soboslay, adds: “We saw a gap in the market for a medical grade mask with a clear panel, that can be used by healthcare providers.” Hypoallergenic and latex free, the Smile Shield mask is comfortable to wear and offers over 98% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency. For more information about Smile Shield, please visit:


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Using Technology To Reduce Stress In Social Care Settings By Jonathan Papworth, Co-founder and director of Person Centred Software ( According to The Health Foundation, as we start to take stock of the unprecedented ramifications of the pandemic and make the initial steps towards recovery, evidence is emerging about the detrimental mental health impacts on UK health and social care staff; an estimated 3 million-strong workforce. For instance, half of the 1,000 care workers surveyed across the UK by IPPR/YouGov in April reported that their mental health had deteriorated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research showed those aged between 18 to 34 years were hardest hit, with 71 per cent reporting a worsening in their mental health. Put simply, stress is one of the most detrimental impacts in health and social care today. Looking at social care, in particular, care providers are finding themselves under immense pressure. They need to do a lot more than they would normally, to deliver the same quality of care as pre-pandemic. On top of this, they don’t have the luxury of having any extra time, with the build-up of workload being a key stress trigger for staff. Infection control precautions, such as wiping down surfaces and engaging with families who can’t see their loved ones remotely, are just a few of the time-consuming tasks social care workers have had to add to their already heavy workloads over the past year or so. Then there are the resi-

dents who are isolating and in need of more time and care than those who aren’t. On top of everything else, care providers have had to complete new data entry forms for the government, such as the capacity tracker. This intense time pressure doesn’t even take into account the staff who have had to take on the workload of fellow colleagues who have had to isolate themselves. These unhealthy and unsustainable levels of stress have made staff wellness a key focus in 2021. Care providers must do what they can to reduce the work burden on their staff without compromising the quality of care. With last month (April) being Stress Awareness Month and staff wellness being more crucial than ever before, we wanted to give attention to the concerning aforementioned statistics and explore sustainable technological solutions that can help reduce them in the years ahead. There’s already digital care technology out there, for example, that can save three days a month on administrative tasks. Some technology solutions are well-documented for their ability to reduce stress amongst staff by simplifying tasks and freeing up more time to provide direct care to residents, whilst enhancing communication and facilitating wider teamwork. Certain technologies on the market also offer more openness and transparency. For instance, the need for video calling between family and residents has been paramount throughout the pandemic, and care technology has enabled that social interaction, thereby reducing the burden of staff having to constantly answer phone calls from concerned family members. Staff wellness is important at all times, but especially when people are under stress, and this is where technology can make an instrumental difference. Our Mobile Care Monitoring system, for instance, allows staff to seamlessly plan, record and monitor the care of residents digitally in real-time. The mobile digital care system helps to reduce the time it would take to

physically transcribe care notes as staff can record information at the point of care, while also mitigating the risk of errors through innovative icon-driven tools. In addition, the risk of losing information is eliminated as all data is recorded in one central portal, which can be viewed anytime by anyone with access. Some recent case studies on care homes utilising digital care technology include Wren Hall, a specialist dementia care nursing home in Nottinghamshire. Its owner, Anita Astle, believes the implementation of digital care technology has enabled her staff to spend more time focusing on caring for the people they are there to support. “In a world where time is so precious, the technology has proved to be a powerful tool,” she said during a recent webinar looking at the future of care homes. As we head further into 2021 and further out of the pandemic, care providers across the health and social care sectors must look towards technology to empower staff to utilise their time efficiently and productively. At present, we find ourselves in a privileged position, whereby we have care technology at our disposal that can significantly help to improve the quality of life for people in social care, including reducing stress among staff. Ultimately, if we are to reduce workplace stress and make the industry a healthier, happier place to work, then the adoption of technology is a necessary step to achieving such a utopia. Jonathan Papworth is the co-founder and director of Person Centred Software, a market-leading digital care technology pioneer. Founded to help to improve the quality of life for people in social care, Person Centred Software has become an award-winning global company with over 2,000 care homes in the UK alone using their digital care system.

Lincolnshire Partnership Examines Resident-Focused Technology In Social Care Serco, a specialist in delivering essential public services and healthcare, has created a new partnership with Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) and the University of Lincoln to investigate how modern and costeffective technology can be used to improve independent living for vulnerable adults. The group’s work is focusing on how best to help people who might otherwise need assistive-care or be moved into a care-home. Both these choices are often emotionally distressing for those who want to be independent for longer, and represent a significant financial strain on the care system. The initial research, titled ‘Social Care Technology Innovation for the Citizens of Lincolnshire,’ began in June and over the coming five months will carefully examine how modern, mainstream technology can be applied in innovative and non-intrusive ways to assist people’s social needs. The final outcomes and recommendations will be submitted as an indepth report on how services provided through Lincolnshire County Council might be improved. It is envisaged the research will be equally applicable to other local authorities, throughout the UK. Ben Johnson, Serco Head of IT at its Lincoln-based hub, explains: “Serco already works closely with the council to deliver outsourced finance, payroll, contact centre services and IT support. “The important questions we’ll now be considering are ‘how can mainstream technology support vulnerable adults, particularly those with cognitive challenges such as dementia, and people with disabilities to live independent lives?’ Also ‘how can we ensure people wanting to use this technology are not digitally excluded?’ “As part of this it’s vital that the project works closely with key stakeholders, including the vulnerable adults we are aiming to help, their families, local councillors and central-government grant bodies.” Dr Salah Al-Majeed, Acting Head of the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, adds: “This is a tremendously exciting project and we hope the end results will mark Lincolnshire out as a national leader in the use of innovative,

How to enhance your residents residents experience -! -!

Imagine a piece of e equipment for your car care home that can enhance the experience of your ts mentally y,, rresidents esidents mentally, physically and also emotionally Inspired Inspired Inspirations have been working directly directly with care care homes in developing their interactive touch screen screen activity tables over the last few years, to provide provide a range of screen screen sizes and units to suit every care care setting.! setting.! Just think of a giant Android Android tablet built into a solid oak surround, surround, on a base that houses a large large 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 our ou ur residents” residents” Melanie Dawson, Dawso Manager, Manager r, The Lawns L at Heritage Manor The screen screen is 5mm tempered tempered glass for your residents uid ingress ingress residents safety and sealed against fluid meaning a spill of a cup of tea won’t won’t ruin your ! equipment. It also means an easy clean solution to stop cross cross contamination using any normal surface cleaner.! cleanerrr..!

digital technology to support and advance independent living for vulnerable adults. “Our current research is looking at how low-cost consumer technology can provide highly beneficial solutions within a short timescale. “These developments could, for example, include the use of smartspeakers and digital assistants, wearable technology such as smart watches, cameras and remote sensors. “We’re also considering how smartphones, tablets and apps, often developed for the general public might be used by people with dementia, as well as how assistive technology devices can help with everyday living, enabling people to carry out day-to-day tasks that enhance their safety, and monitor things like health and cooking, bathing, memory, thinking, leisure and social participation. “Our work is ultimately about using low-cost technology to prevent, rather than cure, and allow vulnerable and disabled adults to maintain as

Mentally - Brain training apps, memory apps, quizzes, board board games, reasoning reasoning challenges.! challenges.! Exercise Physically - Exer cise for the elderly online coordination, increased classes, hand eye coor dination, incr eased around large movement to move hands ar ound a lar ge screen.! screen.! Emotionally - Reminiscence tours on Google Earth, past and present YouTube present clips on YouT Y ouT Tube of ! hobbies or interests, interests, religious religious services and Group Group ZOOM calls to loved ones who cant get to visit in your residents residents person!! person!!

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high a level of independence as possible. “This could mean people being able to stay in their own home, using unobtrusive devices they are completely comfortable with. ‘Behind the scenes’ and invisible to the end-user, powerful technology such as ‘big data,’ predictive analysis, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart-buildings could be combined to bring real benefits to the citizens of Lincolnshire.” Councillor Wendy Bowkett, Executive Councillor for Adult Care and Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, comments: "The focus on low-cost, high quality mainstream technology is vitally important, as is affordability for residents and local authorities in delivering the very best social care provision. “Social care is a high priority for the county council. Based on current calculations, the county will need an additional 17,000 social care workers over the coming 15 years to adequately provide the necessary services, based on how these are currently delivered. “It’s vital that we begin exploring new ways of ensuring high quality, cost-efficient support that tips the balance towards prevention, rather than cure. “Existing technology offers the potential to detect and diagnose early warning signs and proactively alert family members, friends, social care workers or the emergency services, depending on the scenario. We’re very much looking forward to the outcomes of this project which will guide and future-proof emerging plans.” Serco currently works with a number of local authorities to support various elements of council social care processes, including case management, financial controls and IT support. This initiative marks a valuable expansion of Serco’s activity within the social care and health arena. For further information: Serco: Lincolnshire County Council: The University of Lincoln:

The Carer Digital Now Available Weekly

! w,, “We now, “W We use it daily da and would not be without ut it now even the residents residents esid find nd it easy and fun to use. Thank you!” Sandie Evans, Registered Manager, Registerred ed Manager r,, Oakland’s Care Oakland’’s Car Ca arre e Home, Crickhowell !

are order, All tables ar e made to or derr, if you’d like to enquire enquir e on a price guide and time scales for www.inspireddeliveries, just visit their website www .ins inspirations.c com or scan the QR code on the right. For general enquiries, please email ! !! info@inspir! “We’ve noticed didn’tt “W We’ve notice ed that quieter rresidents esidents who wh didn’ interact too much with others have suddenly been more more e vocal.” Lindsey morre e active ac ctive and mor re Davies, Home Manager, e Manager r, Cwrt Enfys

See the advert on the facing page for details.

Our weekly digital edition supports the sector with all the latest news, expert advice and developments Sign up to get the latest edition direct to you at:


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Now Is The Time To Go Digital! Stress is one of the most detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in health and social care today and care providers are finding themselves under immense pressure. They need to do a lot more than they would normally, to deliver the same quality of care as pre-pandemic. On top of this, they don’t have the luxury of having any extra time, with the build-up of workload being a key stress trigger for staff. Care providers must do what they can to reduce the work burden on their staff without compromising the quality of care. There are sustainable technological solutions out there that can reduce stress in social care settings. Our digital care management system, Mobile Care Monitoring, has been proven to save each carer three days a month on administrative tasks. The innovative icon-driven solution reduces stress amongst staff by simplifying tasks and freeing up more time to provide direct care to residents, whilst enhancing communication and facilitating wider teamwork. Staff wellness is important at all times, but especially when people are under stress, and this is where technology can make an instrumental difference. Our Mobile Care Monitoring system, for instance, allows staff to seamlessly plan, record and monitor the care of residents digitally in real-time. The mobile digital care system helps to reduce the time it would take to physically transcribe care notes as staff can record information at the point of care, while also mitigating the risk of errors through innovative icon-driven tools. In addition, the risk of losing informa-

tion is eliminated as all data is recorded in one central portal, which can be viewed anytime by anyone with access. Some recent case studies on care homes utilising digital care technology include Wren Hall, a specialist dementia carenursing home in Nottinghamshire. Its owner, Anita Astle MBE, believes the implementation of Mobile Care Monitoring has enabled her staff to spend more time focusing on caring for the people they are there to support. Anita said: “In a world where time is so precious, the technology has proved to be a powerful tool.” Andrew and Carole Geach, CEOs of Shedfield Lodge, a residential care home near Southampton, believes digital care technology was key to ensuring a healthy and safe working environment for staff. The couple said: “It’s about educating the staff on what you’re implementing and how it’s going to be of better use to them. We want to allow them to spend more time with the residents, which predominantly is what it’s all about.” As we head further into 2021 and further out of the pandemic, care providers across the health and social care sectors must look towards technology to empower staff to utilise their time efficiently and productively. Ultimately, if we are to reduce workplace stress and make the industry a healthier, happier place to work, then the adoption of technology is a step in the right direction to achieving such a utopia. To discover more about the benefits of going digital, or to book a demo of Mobile Care Monitoring, contact 01483 357657 or or visit

Check EU Employees Right To Work, Warns Bizimply Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

Care employers will need to keep clear records of their team members’ immigration and right-to-work status as the UK moves into the post-Brexit ‘hostile environment’ from 1 July. Care workforce specialist Bizimply is warning businesses that they need a clear and accessible record of every employee’s status in order to demonstrate compliance with the regulations. Under UK law, employers face imprisonment and unlimited fines for knowingly employing someone who does not have the right to work in the UK. Conor Shaw, Bizimply CEO, said: “Just as the care sector is bringing its workforce back as the economy reopens, there is a real danger that many businesses now face a significant new challenge as key employees lose the right to work. Of course, there are legal penalties, but with the labour shortage a challenge across the sector, businesses also need to know they have enough trained and experienced staff at all times and at every site.” A leak of Government figures this week shows that around 130,000 of the 820,000 Europeans resident in the UK have yet to apply for Settled Status, despite the hard cut-off of 30 June as the date to apply. Without confirmation of settled status, EU, EEA and Swiss living in the UK lose the right to work, as well as access to healthcare and other benefits. Shaw added: “Although the deadline has been known for some time, the uncertainty over COVID and the challenges of communicating with employees during lockdown means that many businesses may not know the status of every employee. “That won’t be an excuse when the authorities start asking for proof of right to work. UK politicians haven’t

talked about the ‘hostile environment’ over immigration for no reason. Proof both that employees have the right to work, and that employers have checked and recorded that status will be essential.” Employers using Bizimply’s suite of workforce management software can easily and confidentially record all the necessary status confirmation and supporting documentation for employees, and make it available to check if required. Employers can be jailed for five years and pay an unlimited fine if found guilty of employing someone who they know or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work in the UK. Details of the Settled Status regulations are at An employer toolkit is at See the advert this page or visit


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.


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".


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 or call 03333 444 562.



Care Vision - Less Admin, More Caring 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 cloud-based 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 or call 0208 768 9809

The Only Care Home Management Software You Need Those of you who have researched a variety of care home software systems will know that there is no 'one size fits all' with technology. Since we launched onto the market over 15 years ago, we have always remained true to our original vision and knowledge, to listen to what customers need and provide a working solution. We listen to all of the homes who are already part of the CMS family, as well as to those for whom we may have fallen shmt for, and together we continue to develop and grow Ablyss CMS into the sys-

tem that YOU need. You are our greatest critic and we have evolved the system from your feedback. Have you looked at what we can offer lately? It is certainly worth it. We have recently released CMS 8 with new and unique features inspired by our customers' needs. For example, did you know that we now have a facilities management module? Here you can keep track of all your home's assets and repairs, alongside scheduled logbooks and home audits. After all, no matter how excellent the quality of the care you provide we all want an environment to be safe and compliant. We can help you to achieve and evidence this. This is the newest string to our bow, but we continue to enhance and evolve our software which includes: • Recording resident admission and discharge details • Care planning and risk assessments

• Complete historical trail of evaluations • Shift handover and diary reminders • Medical notes, body-map charting and eMar integrations • Individual and home diaries • Messaging system • Accident and incident analysis • Rotas and absence tracking • Training and employee reviews • Design your own assessments and templates • Extensive security and auditing tools. Its time to take a fresh look at software that is as unique as you are. Call us for a free demo or 30 day trial on 01625 535685



Will Care Homes Face an Uncertain Future Without Further Financial Support? By John Rozenbroek, CFO/COO at Capify ( reopen, do care homes really have everything they need to recover from this crisis?


Care home workers have been at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus, and the sector has faced incredible challenges throughout this pandemic. As the world struggled to control the spread of the virus, care homes were amongst the worst hit and had to prioritise protecting resident’s health above all else. Now, as we begin to emerge from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 we are beginning to see the true financial impact this has had on the sector. Reduced revenue due to a drop in the number of residents; an increased need for workers; high staff turnover and the additional cost of PPE and other safety measures within care homes has had a significant impact on cash flow for these businesses. Care England estimated that the cost for adequate PPE during the coronavirus outbreak to be a huge £253 per care home resident, per week. This is an enormous increase on pre-pandemic costs, which were reported to be around £4 per resident, per week. The pandemic has highlighted just how crucial care homes are and the important role they play in supporting our loved ones at the end of their lives. However, there are fears now that without further financial support, the sector will suffer, and so will the level of care residents have access to. We recently completed a survey of SME owners – many of which are in the care sector – and 43 per cent of businesses believed the support offered by the government throughout the pandemic has not been good enough. On top of that, our survey showed that more than 80% were still looking for finance to support them, despite the many different support schemes that have been introduced. As lockdown restrictions continue to ease and the country starts to

Unlike NHS-run hospitals, care homes are often privately owned businesses and therefore their revenue comes from patient fees. In an effort to help the sector in its recovery, the Government announced additional financial support for care homes, including a £600 million adult social care infection control fund. However, this funding was distributed across local authorities and deployed at their discretion, and therefore wasn’t readily available to every care home business. However, as of March 2021 the government had lent over £76 billion to businesses, including many health and social work companies, through its four main financial loans schemes; Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Larger Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Future Fund. The statistics show that the government’s BBLS has now provided more than £46bn in funding to more than 1.5m businesses, while the CBILS has lent more than £24bn to almost 100,000 businesses. According to a House of Commons report, health and social work businesses made up four per cent of the total loan value of both the CBILS and BBLS, totalling more than £2.3bn provided to more than 60,000 businesses across the UK. The figures are huge, and although it was announced earlier this year that the new ‘Pay as You Grow’ scheme would give businesses with a Bounce Back Loan more time to repay their loans if they need it, the problem is much bigger than that. Businesses we speak to have either accessed the schemes already and now need a second injection of capital, or they were not able to access the scheme in the first place, so are facing the challenge of determining what they can do now. For many businesses that did access the schemes, we know that money has already been used to help them through what was a hugely challenging period, so very little if any has been carried forward to look at future growth or investment. Boosting cash flow was the top priority for 57% of businesses in our survey, proving there is still huge demand for working capital. For adult care homes having working capital to ensure high-quality care can be given to all residents and that they have the staff needed to deliver this is absolutely key. Cash in the bank is a necessity.

On top of all of this, the pandemic has put enormous pressure on workers within the care sector and as a result, many businesses have experienced high staff turnover and sickness, leading to a shortage of key skills. The State of Health Care and Adult Social Care report gives an indication of the toll the pandemic has had on the social care workforce with 7.5% of working days lost to staff sickness, compared with 2.7% pre-COVID-19. We know that there's a huge amount of resilience and determination amongst the UK's small businesses, which really are the backbone of the UK economy. But it's clear that SMEs, and especially those within the care sector are still in desperate need of finance this year despite the huge amounts of money that have been lent through the BBLS and CBILS. The Pay as You Grow scheme will provide some welcome relief for many businesses, but it does not address the fundamental issue, which is that SMEs still need finance.

THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL BANKS Traditional banks continue to make it difficult for SMEs to get the finance they so desperately need to get back on their feet properly, which I believe means that alternative lenders like ourselves will have a crucial role to play in the months that lie ahead. We’re seeing increasing demand from SMEs across the care sector, where we have a strong customer base already, as well as lots of other industries, which is linked to the £50m Small Business Fund we created to help businesses get moving again. The majority of the UK’s ‘big banks’ are much happier lending to larger businesses with a long track record of profitability. But that doesn’t help SMEs and the impacts of the pandemic will have damaged the chances of many smaller businesses getting finance from a big bank. That’s where I think the fintech industry will need to step up more than ever before to help companies bridge the gap. There’s already been huge growth with more and more business owners looking to get finance more quickly; with a simpler approach and with more flexibility. For these reasons, I expect 2021 will be a big year for alternative lenders with the support for the care sector set to be high on the agenda. Capify is an online lender that provides flexible financing solutions to SMEs seeking working capital to sustain or grow their business. The fintech company has been operating in the UK market for over 13 years and also has a sister company, Capify Australia, which provides similar services to Australian SMEs for over 13 years. For more details about Capify, visit:

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

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

Nexus Planning Secures Planning Permission for 67-Bed Care Home

Nexus Planning is pleased to have assisted Frontier Estates in gaining a unanimous approval for a full planning application for a 67-bed care home in Haywards Heath, at a recent Mid Sussex Planning Committee. The proposal at Bolnore Road will involve the demolition of an existing residential property. The care home scheme has been designed to cater for residents in need of high dependency care and will respond to a significant need for care bed

spaces in the area. The scheme was supported by the Haywards Heath Town Council and the Mid Sussex Design Review Panel. Nexus Planning, an award-winning planning consultancy, coordinated the preparation and submission planning application as well as public and stakeholder engagement, on behalf of Frontier Estates. The wider team included Broadway Malyan, Curtins Consulting, i-transport and Tim Moya Associates. Peter Tooher, Executive Director at Nexus Planning Manchester, commented: “It is rewarding to have assisted Frontier Estates on another much-needed care project. The Bolnore Road project makes a welcome addition to Nexus Planning’s growing portfolio of later living projects across the business.” Damian Wood, Development Director at Frontier Estates, added: “Frontier are delighted to have received planning permission for this new 67 bed care home in Haywards Heath. The home will provide 67 fully en-suite bedrooms, a range of facilities and spacious communal areas, state-of-the-art amenities all surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens.”

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