The Carer #56 September/October 2021

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Issue 56

Care Organisations Call for Urgent Support as Staffing Crisis Deepens

Leading social care organisations throughout the UK have written to the government urging immediate support to address “serious staffing shortages” the sector is experiencing. The chief executives of Anchor Hanover, MHA, Sanctuary Group, The Orders of St John Care Trust and National Care Forum said the current situation is “the most acute recruitment and retention crisis” the social care sector can recall, due to a toxic combination of underfunding, staff exhaustion from COVID and mandatory vaccination. The letter says: “This is the most acute recruitment and retention crisis that we

are aware of historically. It is the result of many years of underfunding in the sector, compounded by a number of other factors including some staff exhausted from the pandemic and others moving to the NHS due to different approaches on mandatory vaccine regulations. “Not only are these workforce issues causing our services to be stretched, but they are also preventing organisations like ours from providing essential care to more people who need it. This is inevitably leading to more people having to stay in hospital unnecessarily when they are unable to access care packages and be safely discharged.”




Peter Adams

The Carer is published by RBC Publishing Ltd, Suite 4, Roddis House, Old Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth, Dorset. Contributions are welcome for consideration, however, no responsibility will be accepted for loss or damage. Views expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or the editorial team. Whilst every care is taken when compiling this publication to ensure accuracy, the publisher will assume no responsibility for any effects, errors or omissions therefrom. All rights reserved, reproduction is forbidden unless written permission is obtained. All material is assumed copyright free unless otherwise advised.

Welcome to the latest issue of THE CARER. Regular readers will know that we have increased our frequency from quarterly to bimonthly now, I would also take this opportunity to remind you all of our weekly digital issue of THE CARER. We are the only publisher to provide a weekly digital edition dedicated to the adult social care sector, distributed each Wednesday, so please do sign up for a copy direct to your inbox at Our front page story, alarming though it is, will be nothing new to anybody working in the sector. I have been editing this title for the past 13 years, and I have reported on a regular basis ongoing staffing

crisis since 2008. This, as observers highlight, will get worse after November 11 when the mandatory vaccination deadline kicks in with an expected exodus of staff from the sector. The government's own research has revealed that between 40,000 and 70,000 staff are expected to leave due to the “no job no job policy”. I have just returned from the first trade show event for residential and nursing care since the pandemic broke. The event took place earlier this month at Birmingham’s NEC. It is a great opportunity to get feedback from those working at all levels in the sector, and also from the many organisations and observers who take part in seminars. Plus of course suppliers of products and services to the sector many of whom advertise with us on a regular basis. I was regularly approached by visitors only too eager to “voice their opinions on this matter”, with those involved in frontline care seriously concerned about the government’s mandatory vaccine policy. Even those who are vaccinated are concerned at what they consider to be an “affront” to their civil liberties, with many vociferously supporting their colleagues have chosen for whatever reason not to take the vaccine. I think many recognise those working in front-line care should have the vaccine, but I am of the opinion that the government has undertaken a heavy-handed approach despite warnings from care employers of the implications on staff recruitment and retention. As editor I regularly speak to people at all levels, and it is clear that the policy is damaging the sector and undermining trust in the vaccine and morale generally, the consequences of which will drastically reduce standards of care. Observers I have spoken with also believe that the government has not done enough to reassure “vaccine-hesitant staff” opting for threats and ultimatums. I did note comment from UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea who said: “Instead of encouraging much-needed recruitment into care, the government is actively driving experienced staff away. It’s not too late for ministers to admit the error of their ways and bring care back from the precipice.” Wise words! I very much hope new Minister for Care Gillian Keegan will take heed. I was also thrilled to see how popular our “Unsung Hero” award is! We had some wonderful feedback from Care homeowners, department managers and staff themselves, and we were delighted to launch the latest UNSUNG HERO at the show. See page 7 for details. A fantastic luxury hamper awaits the winner so please do get nominating And please do keep your story is coming in, we are delighted to publish some delightful stories from various homes around the country, from birthdays to fund raising, from baking to growing vegetables, anything you would like to share please do send it to me

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Care Organisations Call for Urgent Support as Staffing Crisis Deepens (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Staff turnover is currently estimated at around 30% and mounting with a recent survey of more than 2,000 social care services by the National Care Forum (NCF) revealing that 74% of providers had seen an increase in staff exits since April 2021 with 50% of workers leaving due to stress and 44% finding better pay elsewhere. The letter’s signatories urged the Government to invest in social care now in a series of measures: • Offer a retention bonus to care staff • Add care workers to the shortage occupation list for a defined period, to enable more workers from overseas to work in UK care homes with Skilled Worker visas • Create a wholly flexible Workforce Capacity Fund now to support immediate recruitment and retention challenges. The last fund ended in March 2021. • Extend the Infection Control Fund to offer practical support to care providers, after funding closed in June this year • Launch an effective national recruitment campaign They added: ‘Without the social care workforce we have no care system. Their skills and dedication, highlighted by the pandemic, have been undervalued for too long.’

REFORM CALLS “NOT NEW” The sector has repeatedly called for reform, the King’s Fund made the point that there have been many failed attempts to address the problem: in the past 20 years, there have been 12 white papers, green papers and other consultations on social care in England, as well as five independent reviews and commissions. In October 2020, the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee’s report, ‘Social Care: Funding and Workforce’, argued that the “crisis in social care funding has been brought into sharp focus by the Covid-19 pandemic” and that the case for reform accompanied by adequate funding has “never been more urgent or more compelling”. The committee called for “an increase in annual funding of £3.9 billion by 2023–24” to meet demographic changes and planned increases in the national living wage. However, it also argued that this was a starting point and “alone will not address shortfalls in the quality of care currently provided, reverse the decline in access or stop the market retreating to providing only for self-payers”. It said that further funding to address

these issues would be needed and that the full cost of adequately funding social care has the potential to run into the tens of billions of pounds.

MOUNTING MENTAL HEALTH TOLL The government’s failure to deal with the growing staffing crisis in social care risks worsening the mounting mental health toll on workers, says UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea. Figures from a recent UNISON survey show a substantial proportion of care workers have suffered problems during the pandemic including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with more than two thirds (68%) saying their mental health has declined. The vast majority said their work had contributed to the difficulties they were experiencing. UNISON says there is a serious risk their health woes could worsen because severe staff shortages across the care sector are piling on the pressure. Staffing problems, they say are likely to become more acute in the coming few weeks as thousands of care workers leave their jobs because of new compulsory vaccine rule

TAX INCREASES TO FUND SOCIAL CARE Earlier this month the government announced an extra tax to fund social care in England, and help the NHS recover after the pandemic, with employees, employers and the self-employed will all pay 1.25p more in the pound for National Insurance (NI) from April 2022 The increase will be used exclusively on health and social care, and will raise £36 billion over the next three years, the Prime Minister said in his address to the House of Commons. He told MPs the measures will cap COVID backlogs in hospitals by increasing hospital capacity "to 110% and enabling 9 million more appointments, scans and operations". The plans include: • Employees pay NI on their wages • Employers also pay extra NI contributions for staff • The self-employed pay NI on their profits From April 2023, National Insurance will return to its current rate, and the extra tax will be collected as a new Health and Social Care Levy. This levy, unlike National Insurance, will also be paid by state pensioners who are still working.

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Govt Urged To Get A Grip On Social Care Care providers are calling on the Government to step in and tackle the crisis in social care like it is doing over petrol and food shortages. The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the Government is willing to do anything to support some issues but continues to ignore the crisis in social care. It today warned that a whole raft of challenges is mounting which could push some care providers to the brink of survival just before winter. These include: • A staffing crisis exacerbated by mandatory vaccination and Brexit • Rocketing energy costs for care and nursing homes • Homecare workers struggling to do visits due to petrol shortages • Rising insurance premiums following the Covid-19 pandemic ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “The Government is willing to do anything – including granting visas to overseas workers – to tackle food and petrol shortages but continues to be deaf when it comes to the care of our most vulnerable. It needs to get a grip on social care before it is too late and the number of people who aren’t getting the care they need, some 1.5m, doubles. “We are facing a whole raft of problems. Only today we hear that homecare workers are struggling to visit people in their own home because they cannot get petrol. “The Government will need to remember that care workers are just as vital as other sectors when it comes to ensuring they can get petrol. “Before Covid-19 we had more than 120,000 care staff vacancies, we have seen from advertising statistics that the sector advertised for more than 55,000 staff earlier this month and there are predictions that imposing the mandatory vaccine will add another 40,000. We can’t survive like this. “Winter is just round the corner, a time when demand for care increases dramatically and social care is stretched to the limit. “But following Covid-19, the sector is already on its knees and further storm clouds are gathering that could push many providers to the brink, leaving the country short of care when it needs it most. “The Government thinks it solved the social care problem through the extra funding it announced some weeks

ago, but that isn’t the case. The vast bulk of that will go straight to the NHS whilst social care has to wait. Social care and the NHS have to work hand in hand – supporting the NHS without supporting social care is a waste of time. If social care collapses it will pile even greater pressure on the NHS and take that to the bring too. “The care of our oldest and younger, vulnerable adults needs urgent support today. “We are heading for a staffing meltdown and a situation across the country where we won’t be able to safely deliver care in care and nursing homes and in people’s own homes, through domiciliary care,” he warned. Social care has already been hit hard by the inability to recruit overseas workers following Brexit. The ICG says. “Why is the Government breaking its policy on overseas workers for one sector and not for social care, which needs help just as urgently?” said Mr Padgham. The ICG also says care providers are being put in a Catch 22 situation over the mandatory vaccine for care staff, which comes in on 11th November. It says the Government should get rid of that deadline. “If they allow unvaccinated workers to continue to provide care, they will be breaking the rules and risk sanctions from the Care Quality Commission (CQC),” Mr Padgham added. “But if they sack staff who refuse to have the vaccine they will risk being understaffed and again risk sanction from the CQC, including being unable to offer care.” Mr Padgham also believes the Government is going to need to provide extra financial support to care providers to cope with rising energy costs and increased insurance costs, following Covid-19. “These are going to add huge extra costs at a time when they can least afford it,” Mr Padgham added. “They may be enough to send some to the brink of survival unless the Government recognises it and does something to help.” The ICG is campaigning for: A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded • • NHS care and social care to be merged and managed either locally or nationally • Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance Dementia treated like other high priority illnesses, like cancer and heart disease • • A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT. •

Can You Make A Care Home Resident’s Wish Come True? From a VIP luxury train ride to playing Vegas casino slot machines, can you help to make a care home resident’s wish become reality? The thoughtful care team at Sedgley Court care home in Dudley have partnered with the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton to launch a ‘Wishing Line’ for residents to ‘peg’ their wishes in the hope that members of the local community can assist to make dreams come true. Residents discussed the wishes that they would most like to come true, before working together to make the fun washing line with each wish written on an item of clothing and pegged to the line. The wishes range from a trip to the local swimming baths, a visit to the Black Country Museum, a day of fishing, a VIP Casino experience, being tailored for a 3 piece suit, meeting a parrot and even learning how to waltz. The wishing line will be on display in the front window at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton, situated on Lichfield Street, for the rest of the year to give members of the community the opportunity to assist in granting wishes for the residents. Deputy Manager, Emma Southall, said, ‘We are really excited about the launch of

our wishing line and can’t wait to hear from members of the community who can help us! We have some brilliant wishes, and it means the world to everyone at Sedgley Court to be able to make our residents wishes come true, no matter how challenging, big or small – I am determined to make each wish a reality!’. Valerie Roberts, wished to use the ‘Vegas’ style slot machines, she said, ‘I think it is incredibly kind that the team are working so hard to make our wishes come true. It would make my day to visit a casino and learn how to play on the slot machines – and even win! I would love to connect with people who can make it happen. It would be a memory that I would treasure forever!’. Home Manager, Kim Dean, said, ‘We decided to launch this initiative as we wanted to give our residents the opportunity to do something they love that they thought they’d never get the chance to do again. It has been really fantastic learning about all of our residents interests, wishes and the back stories behind them – it has been a brilliant reminiscing activity. We have a great relationship with our local community, and I look forward to hearing from them to help one of our residents to live out their wishes’.


National Insurance Increase and Social Care Cap Does Not “Cover Food or Accommodation”

The Prime Minister's social care reforms announced last week has been criticised after it emerged the new lifetime cap fails to cover food and housing for care home residents. Speaking on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new system of funding social care which will come into effect from October 2023. The long-promised and highly contentious reforms see a cap of £86,000 on lifetime care spending and a "floor" on assets which stops anyone who needs care from spending all their savings. Out of the £36bn pot raised from the government's new Health and Social Care Levy, some £30.6bn will be allocated to the NHS to help tackle longer waiting lists due to the Covid pandemic while £5.4bn will go to social care over the next three years. Health Minister Sajid Javid has said a larger amount will be given to social care after three years. Of the £5.4bn available for social care over three years, £2.5bn will fund the PM’s £86,000 care cap. It has however emerged that the £86,000 cap on lifetime care spending only applies to “personal care”, which mean the physical acts of caring regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

Consequently, the cap will not cover “hotel costs” for residents of care homes, which includes accommodation, cleaning and food, which can according to providers often exceed This is, the government say, in line with what has always happened with social care in the UK, since, if people in care homes were receiving care at home they would have to pay those bills. The Prime Ministers cap on care spending has been denounced as “misleading” by experts, who warn that it will not prevent a “catastrophic loss of assets.” Jane Brightman, director of social care at the Institute of Health and Social Care Management, spoke to The Telegraph about the high cost of “hotel costs” for care home residents. “Hotel costs are really expensive – it covers food, bedrooms, and so on – and you’ll still have to sell your property to pay for these things,” she told the outlet. “How are you going to come up with that money?” It’s quite difficult. “The way this has been described via the announcement in the health and social care strategy is a little misleading. “We urgently require clarification on this.”

Gillian Keegan Replaces Helen Whately As Care Minister In Cabinet Reshuffle Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed former Skills minister Gillian Keegan as the new care minister as part of his Cabinet reshuffle, replacing Helen Whately who will now take up a Treasury post. 53-year old Keegan was formerly Parliamentary UnderSecretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills at the Department of Education, and is the Conservative MP for Chichester, having served as an MP continuously since 8 June 2017. Ms Keegan was appointed as apprenticeships and skills minister in February 2020, a month before the first Covid-19 lockdown. During her stint she has helped oversee the launch of the FE white paper and skills bill, the initial rollout of T Levels, and skills bootcamps. “On Twitter she said: “It has been an incredible priv-

ilege to serve as the apprenticeships and skills minister, working to level up opportunities across the country. It has been wonderful to work with so many exceptional teachers, colleges, learning providers, businesses and most of all students. “I am hugely grateful to the Department for Education staff for their support, in particular my private office team. There’s a huge amount of exciting work ongoing in the DfE – I wish Nadhim Zahawi & his team all the best as they continue improving our education system. “I am honoured to have been asked by Boris Johnson to join the Department of Health and Social Care. “There are significant challenges ahead and I am looking forward to working closely with Sajid Javid and the team to get stuck in.”



Quarter Of A Million Sign Petition Against Care Home Visit Ban A petition with over 250,000 signatures has been delivered to Downing Street on Thursday September 16th, calling on the Government to enshrine in law the right of everyone living in a care home to nominate an essential visitor / caregiver who will be enabled to visit in any situation. Eighteen months into the pandemic, campaigners say care home residents are still being deprived of the right to a family life with some only allowed one 15 minute visit from just one family member every two or three weeks, despite all parties being fully vaccinated. 100-year-old care home resident Frances Heaton has issued a video plea for greater freedom, complaining that thousands of people can go to pop festivals but she is being prevented from seeing two of her children at her home in Yorkshire. Ms Heaton said “human rights and equality are out of order altogether”, as 240,000 people signed a petition demanding a new law ending isolation for care home residents, with many saying care operators are still refusing to follow government advice on facilitating visits and are imposing their own stricter regimes. The petition is titled: “Please let me hug my family before it’s too late!”. In a video, Frances says: “After 18 months of being shut out from the outside world, my daughter can now see me in my room but my other daughter and my son are not allowed in my room.

“But 90,000 people can visit the Leeds [music] festival. Human rights and equality is out altogether.” Government guidance has been amended to include the need for every resident to nominate an essential care giver / visitor that can visit in all circumstances, including during a Covid outbreak. But despite this, families say many care homes refuse to follow the official government guidance – as it is advisory and not law – and instead impose their own more restrictive visiting regime. John’s Campaign says that residents of care homes have been largely forgotten, and while many might assume that their lives have returned to some kind of normality, this, they say is not the case. The restrictions persist and the suffering continues. The voluntary approach has failed they added. Too many homes continue to ignore the current government guidance that seeks to promote the concept of the Essential Family Caregiver. Legislation must now preserve a fundamental human right that has been so flouted during the past year and a half, with incalculable cost to those reaching the end of their life. In May the Joint Committee on Human Rights drew up a Statutory Instrument to be included in Regulation 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 that would make this intimate contact a right (dependent on an Individual Risk Assessment). This could be passed into law immediately. We then expect it to be monitored and enforced as a fundamental part of

person-centred care. People who live in care homes should not be treated differently from the rest of the UK population when there is no legal basis for differentiation. Campaigners Rights for Residents protested at the gates of Downing Street at 1pm on alongside Ruthie Henshall, a West End performer turned ambassador for Rights for Residents campaign group, who says she has been personally affected by harsh visiting restrictions imposed in care homes during the pandemic. She is now urging Health Secretary Sajid Javid to support ‘Gloria’s Law’. She says her mother Gloria, aged 87, died in a care home and she witnessed “her decline from the other side of a window”, over many “torturous months”. The petition posted on states: ‘Family contact is an essential part of care that has been denied from residents during the pandemic and the huge deterioration in their mental and physical health has been shocking. ‘Many have simply given up the will to live, leaving families unable to say their last goodbyes. Whilst the general public can socialise whenever and wherever they want, many residents and their families have to plead with their care home manager just to be allowed to sit in their own room together.’

The Carer’s Next Unsung Hero Award Launches! Once again we here at The Carer are looking for an Unsung Hero! A super deluxe luxury hamper will be the prize for the lucky winner!! Since the beginning of the Covid crisis we have been inundated with absolutely wonderful, uplifting and heartwarming stories from residential and nursing care homes around the country. It is always a delight to publish them! Fundraising, engaging with local schools and communities, baking, candlemaking, knitting, poetry, recitals, fancy dress – you name it we and have been receiving fun stories! Behind the scenes we have also received stories of the dedication commitment and devotion staff have shown in particular during these testing times. However, this the hard work and dedication that those working in the sector often in extremely challenging situations can go unnoticed! In previous years we have sought to redress that by inviting residential and nursing care homes to nominate somebody in their home who they believe is that “Unsung Hero”. Every care home will have somebody who goes that extra mile, and often receives little recognise or reward. Since we launched our Unsung Hero award we have always had a phenomenal response, with some absolutely heartwarming and uplifting stories. Our last Unsung Hero was Sandra McGale Activity Coordinator from Larkfield View Care Home Greenock. Sandra was nominated by head office marketing administrator Jenni Mack, who explained the changing role

and the duties Sandra undertook to ensure that residents and families were reassured and were able to visit safely. “As visiting restrictions were lifted every one in the home was so excited at the prospect of our Residents finally being able to meet with their loved ones at this time outside and later in doors ,” Jenni said. “However it was quickly established that not all of the visits were nice visits and were proving challenging, and Sandra was readily available to undertake new responsibilities to organise and monitor the visits and provide support for the Resident and their loved ones as necessary . “This role was a difficult one and Sandra found that the visits could be distressing as the Resident had no knowledge or recollection of the person who was visiting. Sandra provided reassurance and distraction which made the visit more comfortable for both the resident and the visitor .” “We are thrilled Sandra’s hard work and dedication has been recognised.” Your own Unsung Hero can be from any department, frontline care, laundry, maintenance, kitchen, administration – we will leave that up to you! We will be drawing a winner on November 12th 2021, so please get your nomination with a short paragraph on what your nominee has done to deserve recognition and please send


New Report Analyses the Impact of the Government’s Social Care Reforms The County Councils Network has released a new report examining the state of social care in county and rural areas, in partnership with the Rural Services Network. This report is designed to describe and quantify the current state of adult social care in county and rural areas, drawing on fresh analysis of the most recent NHS England activity and financial data, alongside funding estimates and cost projections for adult social care in England. Following the announcement last week of the government’s initial proposals for adult social care reform in England, the report also explores the potential impact of measures on existing service provision alongside reforms such as a ‘cap on care’ and new rights for self-funders to access council arranged care contracts. The County Councils Network (CCN) and the Rural Services Network (RSN) strongly welcome the government’s determination to reform adult social care, including many of the proposals that have been set out. However, building on the analysis within the report, it outlines that the current system of adult social care is under severe strain. The report demonstrates that by themselves the reforms and funding announced to date will not be sufficient to fortify the system to address the challenges, especially in the short term. Moreover, while many of elements of the reforms in relation to the cap on care and more rights to self-funders are well intended, they present a number of fundamental challenges which could destabilise local care markets unless they are fully understood, risk assessed and funded. Key Findings: • County and rural areas have the highest percentage of service requests – 58%, – where no formal service is provided. Some 545,000 requests to county and rural unitary councils during 2019/20 resulted in advice or signposting, or no service being provided. Just 8% of all requests (77,000) resulted in long-term care support. • Some 47% of spending in county and rural areas is on working age adults in receipt of care. This is despite three quarters of demand for care services in county and rural areas coming from those aged 65+.

• The data shows that there has been a long-term trend of shrinkage of the residential care home market even before Covid, with county and rural areas witnessing the closure of 272 residential and nursing care homes over the past three years. • Public and private fee polarisation has become more deeply embedded as a structural feature of the care home market, with private fees more than 40% higher than publicly paid fees for the same level of amenity, and in all probability the same level of care. This had led to a care home fee gap of £761m for counties alone in 2020/21 – the estimated annual cost of bringing local authority fees closer to self-funder rates. • Analysis in the lead up to the previous plans to implement a cap on care showed CCN member councils accounted for two-thirds of the total early assessment and review costs identified. • Funding and the costs of services has diverged dramatically over the past five years. As a result of growing demand for services and costs, the difference between funding and service costs has grown 20.8% over the period, some £1.2bn for county and rural unitary councils. • Future cost projections for the period 2020/21 to 2029/30 show that nationally total costs will rise by £6.7bn, some 38% just to keep services operating as they are presently are without any increase the level or quality of services. County and rural unitary councils account for £3.3bn of this total increase in costs over the period, with estimated spending need rising 40% – higher than the national average and for metropolitan boroughs. The report includes the following recommendations: • Increase funding in the Spending Review to meet rising cost and unmet need before 2023; Unless Government provides more funding at the Spending Review to meet rising costs; expand service provision to meet needs going unmet; and better support younger adults, further reductions to services will be required in county and rural unitary councils in the period leading up to reform. • Fully assess the impact of new duties for self-funders; It remains extremely uncertain that the funding announced to date will be sufficient to meet the costs arising from reform when the additional costs from establishing a ‘fair

price for care’ are considered – estimated at £761m annual in county and rural areas alone. The impact of extending commissioning duties to self-funders to enable them to have their care arranged by councils, and access local authority contracts and fee levels, must be consulted on, and risk assessed, with appropriate funding and policy mitigation to prevent unsustainable financial costs and risks to councils and providers. • Enshrine in law a dedicated proportion of the new Health & Social Care Levy for care services; The nature of insufficient short-term settlements and temporary resources for social care have undermined efforts to transform services. It is therefore imperative the Government enshrines in law the proportion of the Health and Social Care levy that will be dedicated to social care. Without a proportion of funding being enshrined in law for social care, there is no guarantee that income from the levy beyond 2025 will be used to predominantly fund social care once the NHS backlog is cleared. • Support the social care workforce in county and rural areas • Ensure fair funding and equality of service across the country; The Government needs to ensure that all citizens are able to access the similar levels of social care service regardless of where they live. A sustainable and fair distribution of resources between health and social care must be coupled with a fair formula for distributing between different councils. This must recognise the costs of service delivery in county and rural areas and also an understanding that reform to social care will change demand patterns and eligibility for support for self-funders, in the process creating new, specific pressures, for these councils. Any funding distribution must also recognise the already disproportionate burden placed on council tax to fund services in county and rural areas. • Manage the transition from residential to domiciliary care; To help support the transition from residential to more domiciliary care reform should help encourage the better development of mixed forms of provision such as retirement communities which offer specifically adapted housing with care on site enabling a more gradated approach to care needs among those ageing.

FREE Care Home Guides from Business Companion We all know that running a care home is extremely challenging, especially in these unprecedented times. Thankfully, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in cooperation with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has a series of free information resources designed to make managing your care home a little easier. This resource is available on the Business Companion website - the free government-backed website written by trading standards experts to help you understand the laws that affect your care home. There are four key guides available on the subject of care homes: Fair trading focuses on the best way to serve customers and residents, along with understanding the importance of consumer rights and your responsibilities as a care home. Care home complaints addresses the legal responsibilities of care homes in dealing with complaints from residents and their representatives, setting out in plain English the procedures

that should be followed in order to resolve complaints as efficiently and amicably as possible. Web layout lays out the best approach to designing the website for your care home, covering the information that needs to be on it to conform to the law, along with a guide for website development. Communications gives you the vital information you need to make the most out of communicating with residents and their families. Want to learn more about these free guides and other free guidance? Business Companion is exhibiting at the Dementia, Care and Nursing Expo at the NEC, Birmingham, on September 15 and 16 and we look forward to meeting you. Visit Business Companion at stand B120 to receive wide-ranging, expert advice on best practices in the care homes industry. Download your free guides at:


Supply of UK Care Home Beds Fails To Keep Up With Demand The UK healthcare sector has seen stifled supply growth in care home beds in the past year despite ever-increasing demand, with data from global property adviser Knight Frank revealing that UK care home supply has grown by only 6% in the last decade, while the UK’s over 65 population has increased by 22% over the same period. Knight Frank’s annual UK Healthcare Development Opportunities 2021 research report shows that total care home beds across the UK grew by 0.1% in the past year to 480,072 across 12,034 care homes. This is largely attributable to developers pausing operations to deal with the impacts of the pandemic. The limited growth in new stock, far outstripped by the growth in the over 65 population, is coupled with concerns around the quality of existing units. Older care homes are often converted from other use and many fail to provide adequate facilities for elderly residents. 29% of existing beds lack en-suite facilities, an essential component of care provision, and 21% of UK homes are currently rated by the CQC as “requires improvement” or “inadequate”. Furthermore, despite the partial abatement of the pandemic in 2021, the number of care home closures across the UK fell only very moderately in the 12 months to April 2021 versus the preceding financial year. Knight Frank expects to see an uptick in closures as the government concludes its year-long financial support package, which will result in a further shortage of beds. However, Knight Frank’s report also highlights a number of positive indicators which point to a bounce-back in quality care provision post-pandemic. An increase in vaccination rates among existing residents has seen

a rebound in occupancy in the second quarter of this year, following a decline from 89% to 79% in the 12 months to April 2021. This year has also seen the resumption of much of the construction activity which was paused or delayed as the pandemic took hold in 2020, leading to a healthy pipeline of new beds. 2021 has seen a return to near-pre-pandemic activity levels, with 35 new care homes (2,430 beds) delivered or due to be delivered by end of Q2, compared to 4,610 beds delivered in the whole of 2020. There are over 7,000 beds currently under construction and a further 10,000 in the planning or tender stage. Julian Evans, Head of Healthcare at Knight Frank, said: “The pandemic has brought significant challenges for the provision of high-quality care home beds across the UK, and the sector needs substantial investment if it is to match the rising demand for care facilities. While the past year has seen a modest increase in the total number of beds, this rate of growth remains insufficient and we risk an imminent care bed crisis, especially given the projected surge in the UK’s over 65 population in the coming decade. “It is vital that new homes are built and existing stock is upgraded to meet the standards required of care providers. Though development activity is showing signs of recovery, the industry is still grappling with the latent effects of the pandemic, and we expect these problems to persist into the next year. There are concerns over limited finance funding development in the sector owing to increasingly risk averse high street clearing banks being reluctant to take a development risk combined with increased cost of raw materials and labour. A full recovery will rest on the targeted use of granular data to map regional demographic trends and pinpoint opportuni-

ties for development.” The UK is on the brink of a significant demographic shift that will see the over 85 population grow from 1.6 million in 2020 to 3.7 million by 2050. The growth in the UK’s elderly population is such that by 2050 an additional 350,000 people will potentially need an elderly care bed, almost doubling the level of bed demand within 30 years. In anticipation of this rapid increase in demand for care home beds, Knight Frank’s Development Hotspots index gives an insight into which locations present the best future prospects for care home development based on analysis of 62 counties across England, Wales and Scotland. This year, counties in the South of England account for five of the top six areas of future care home development, with Greater London leading the rankings. This is driven in part by regional disparities in wealth and income as care home residents are increasingly self-funding their care. Low volumes of current and future supply also contribute to regional difference, with the development prospects for Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands both ranking highly as a result. Knight Frank projects that the UK elderly care market is at risk of reaching capacity by the end of the decade, requiring as a priority the construction of new, high quality care homes and the renovation of existing stock to meet the needs of elderly residents and ensure the residential elderly care system is ready for the future. It expects that there will be an accelerated closure of tertiary assets and restrained care home development owing to building material inflation costs which will be exacerbated owing to further rising costs due to increased smart specifications necessary for future new build care homes.

Care South Awards Caring Canines with £2,400 Chairman’s 2020 Fund Award Care South has awarded local not-for-profit group, Caring Canines, with a £2,400 Chairman’s 2020 Fund award. The Fund has been established with the aim of benefiting Care South employees, volunteers and community groups who provide a community service to care homes, care at home offices, clients or residents. Its purpose is in “Supporting Care South’s Friends”. Caring Canines offers the assistance of its assessed, vaccinated and insured dogs in the Bournemouth and Poole community to break down barriers and enhance the lives of those people who miss canine companionship or benefit from it. Interacting with a friendly pet is known to help residents, and Care South’s care homes have recently been welcoming the friendly pooches into their homes for many calming cuddles. The cheque presentation took place at Care South’s Fairlawn home in Ferndown where Jane Stichbury, Care South’s Chairman and Simon Bird, Chief Executive Offer, were joined by members of the Caring Canines’ team and some

cuddly companions, including an eight-month trained puppy with L plates attached. Simon Bird, Care South’s Chief Executive, commented: “We are delighted to be able to support Caring Canines and the work that they do. We have worked closely together for some time now and the award made from the Chairman’s 2020 Fund is a further way of supporting our very good friends at Caring Canines.” Sue Dennett, Co-Founder of Caring Canines, added, “We are thrilled and honoured to receive this esteemed award and want to thank Simon for nominating Caring Canines and to Jane for agreeing and awarding the not-for-profit group with this incredible sum of money. Our partnership with the care homes is prospering, which is fantastic to be part of. Our team thoroughly enjoy their visits to all the care homes, especially the dogs who receive lots of attention from all the residents.”


The Importance of Hydration in Adult Social Care

By Sarah Scotland - BSc Nutrition, Exercise and Health(Hons) (

Dehydration in the elderly is very common and can have serious consequences. When the elderly are dehydrated, they can become dizzy, weak and suffer from worsened memory loss. These are all factors that increase the likelihood of falls, and in turn, a rise in hospitalisations of the elderly. Making some simple adjustments to your care to prioritise hydration could make a real difference to the overall health and wellbeing of the elderly. Firstly, what causes dehydration? The human body is made up of 65% water, which is used by the body for lots of reasons, such as breathing, sweating, and going to the loo. However, this is not an endless supply. The body’s water must be replenished regularly so that we can keep functioning properly. When water levels in the body have not been maintained, dehydration sets in. In a young and healthy individual the first indicator of dehydration is thirst, reminding the body that it needs to drink. Unfortunately, the sense of thirst is diminished in old age, so the elderly must be constantly reminded to drink or offered food and drinks with a high water content. This is particularly important in hot weather, when the body sweats out more water. Another reason the elderly are more vulnerable is that they have a lower percentage of water compared to when they were younger (about 50%). Dehydration creeps in gradually and is not always easy to spot. Many old people can seem confused, tired or listless when really they are just dehydrated. Headaches are a key sign of dehydration, often resulting in irritability.

A good way to determine if someone is dehydrated is to examine the colour of their urine: the lighter in colour it is, the more hydrated, the darker, the more dehydrated. Due to many different illnesses in old age, like dementia, how drinks are offered to the elderly must be given more consideration. For example, think about the choice of cup. Brightly coloured plastic cups are a good option as they are easily seen, especially if poor sight is an issue. As they are plastic it doesn't matter if the cup is dropped, as breakages can be avoided. Depending on the illness, feeder cups with lids are often a great idea. Two-handled cups are a must for elderly who suffer with trembling hands or from dementia. For those who have lost coordination, cups with straws work well. There are other reasons why drinks cannot be consumed aside from the inability to hold cups. It might be that drinks are placed too far away and cannot be reached. Although this is never done intentionally, it must be given thought. Are there side tables within reach for the cup to be placed up and down easily? Is there a way for hot drinks to remain hot? Tea and coffee are not nice to drink when cold, and this might well be the case if they forget to drink them. Invest in a thermal cup - you can even find these with two handles. It is often difficult to convince people to drink water, so try to find alternative ways to encourage hydration. Tea and coffee do hydrate, but they are also diuretics, so offer these in moderation. Drinking chocolate or hot Ribena are great drinks to offer (these are high in sugar, so be careful if there is a weight issue). Dilute food and drinks to increase the water content. For example, you can easily dilute fruit juices and soups. Certain foods contain lots of water. This can be a useful way to introduce water into the diet. Fruit and vegetables are an excellent choice as they provide a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as water. Carbohydrates such as rice and pasta are good choices and mixed together with some protein and vegetables can make a nutritious and water replenishing meal. Many old people dislike eating by themselves. Even if they are able to look after themselves, they can find preparing and cooking food hard. Eating together in a group where there is stimulation and socialisation is key to old people eating and drinking well.

NACC Awards 2021 Shortlist Unveiled The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has unveiled the inspirational individuals and teams shortlisted for the NACC Awards 2021. The prestigious awards recognise and celebrate the innovation, excellence and dedication within care catering and the unsung heroes across the sector that go above and beyond every day for the benefit of their residents, service users, customers and colleagues – from care homes to community services, including Meals on Wheels and Luncheon Clubs. The overall winners will be announced and presented with their awards in front of NACC members, industry colleagues, friends and guests at the NACC Awards 2021 gala dinner. This special event takes place on Thursday 7th October 2021 at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham. The finalists are: The Triumph Over Adversity Award, sponsored by Bullseye Food Packaging The Hertfordshire Independent Living Service Team Anwar Kajee, Head of Hospitality, Country Court Denise McEvoy, Head of Care Services, Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association Paul Robottom, Owner/Director, Signature Dining Care Establishment of the Year Award, sponsored by Hobart Invicta Court Care Home Long Close Retirement Home Mill House Catering Team Meals on Wheels Award, sponsored by apetito Harrogate and Ripon Food Angels Nottinghamshire County Council Meals at Home Team The Bevy Community Pub

The Umbrella Café West Sussex County Council Catering Team of the Year Award, sponsored by CaterCloud Care UK Food and Hotel Services Team Catering Team of Sunrise of Sonning Country Court Mill House Catering Team Catering Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions Rida Diab, Chef Manager, Royal Star & Garter-Surbiton

Natalie Jordon, Chef Manager, BUPA Beacher Hall Stuart Keown, Senior Dining Services Coordinator, Sunrise of Banstead Dianne Lilley, Hotel Services Manager, Care UK Residential Care Services Daisy Slavkova, Head of Hospitality, Elsyng House Our Care Catering Hero Award, sponsored by Premier Foods Adriano Carvalho, Dining Service Coordinator, Sunrise of Sonning Luke Webb, Second Chef, Mill House Care & Dementia Home The winners of the following coveted awards will be revealed at the gala awards dinner: NACC Region of the Year Award, sponsored by Meiko Pam Rhodes Award, sponsored by Anglia Crown National Chair’s Award Sue Cawthray, National Chair of the NACC, said: “The past year has continued to be an incredibly challenging time for care caterers as we continue to navigate and adapt to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Care caterers up and down the country have pulled out all the stops to remain agile and innovate in the face of obstacles, changing pressures and new ways of working. We have been continually impressed by the dedication, ingenuity and sheer tenacity of our members and care catering colleagues. It’s for this reason that the NACC Awards in 2021 are so very important. It’s crucial that we take this time to pause, reflect, recognise and celebrate the fantastic efforts and achievements of those that enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of so many older and vulnerable people through good food, nutrition and uplifting mealtime experiences. “The NACC Awards 2021 are even more special this year as once again we will be able to celebrate with colleagues and friends in person. It’s going to be a wonderful evening and a highlight of what’s been another difficult year. I, for one, cannot wait to honour the amazing people that work within the care catering sector. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck.” For more information on the NACC Awards 2021 and the NACC visit


Mandatory Vaccination: How the New Rules Will Affect the Care Sector New legislation which mandates that care home employees must be fully vaccinated in order to work threatens to put further pressure on an already struggling industry. In this article Lee Jefcott and Andrea James, employment and healthcare regulatory experts at law firm Brabners, highlight how employers can prepare for the new legislation, and the legal claims which may arise as a result. Mandatory vaccination is a controversial topic, and many have protested against the legislation on the grounds that it violates personal freedoms. The implementation of this policy is likely to lead to a surge in legal claims from employees that oppose the rules, so it’s vital that employers ensure that they are well prepared for these changes and understand the legal claims that may arise as a result.


As of 11th November, all CQC-regulated care homes in England will have to ensure that any worker looking to enter the premises is able to provide satisfactory evidence that they have been fully vaccinated or are exempt. This requirement is not applicable to residents, visiting friends and relatives, persons carrying out urgent maintenance work, emergency services or persons attending to a dying or bereaved resident. However, the requirement does apply to any other individuals who enter the home to work, such as therapists, doctors and hairdressers. The requirement has been brought into law by recent amendments made to The Health and Social Care Act 2008 which were enacted on 22 July 2021. Mandatory vaccination now forms part of Regulation 12 around safe care and treatment, and Regulation 17 around good governance, both of which form part of the CQC fundamental standards (the minimum standards below which care must never fall). This means that CQC can use both its civil and criminal enforcement powers against providers in breach of the vaccination requirement, with powers including the ability to cancel a provider’s registration.


There is a minimum eight-week period required between the first and second vaccination dose, so care workers needed to have received their first vaccination by 16th September 2021 at the very latest to ensure that they’re ready by the cut-off date. For those workers who did not have their first dose in time, employers may need to consider taking appropriate action, such as granting employees a period of time off work until they have had both vaccinations. The responsibility will also fall on employers to ensure that workers are aware of the changes and their implications. Managers are advised to hold meetings to discuss and address any issues that workers have, in order to maintain an honest, open dialogue about the new rules and their impact on working life, and to provide time to address any objections to the requirements. Furthermore, organisations should be proactive and ensure that their staff are trained to understand what they are required to do in order to ensure compliance with the regulations.


It is predicted that out of around 570,000 people working in care homes, 40,000 will refuse to have the vaccination, equating to just over 7% of all workers – and with the deadline looming, thousands of workers are yet to receive their first dose. Of course, an employer cannot physically force a worker to have the vaccination, and a worker has the right to choose whether or not they have it, be it for personal reasons or as a health requirement. However, it will need to be made clear to employees that, unless they have a valid medical exemption, and if redeployment to an unregulated setting - such as the head office - is not an option, then their employment will be terminated. Care homes are not the only employers affected by these changes - any other organisations that regularly need to enter care homes such as agencies and suppliers will also be beholden to the requirement. All employers who could potentially be caught by the regulations should take steps to ensure that they are prepared. This process may lead to legal claims of unfair dismissal and potentially even discrimination – but would such claims hold any weight?


Any employee that feels their employment has been terminated unjustly is eligible to bring a claim of unfair dismissal, provided generally that they have at least two years of service with the employer. In such a case the employer must be able to provide a valid reason for dismissal and prove

that they acted fairly and reasonably in deciding to terminate employment. Continuing to employ an unvaccinated worker would be in direct contravention of the law, so dismissing an employee for refusing vaccination is likely to be seen by an Employment Tribunal as a fair reason for dismissal. However, it’s worth noting that an Employment Tribunal would likely consider whether all other reasonable options, such as redeployment, were considered. For this reason it’s important that employers treat termination of employment as a last resort, and instead explore all alternative avenues before making the decision. Employers should also follow a fair dismissal process and offer a right of appeal against the decision to dismiss.


Dismissing an employee for refusing the vaccination may also give rise to discrimination claims. Some employees may have religious or other moral objections to the vaccine, while others may fall into groups where there is a noted high degree of vaccine hesitancy, such as pregnant women. Ultimately there is likely to be a powerful justification argument that an employer could run to defend such claims, but these issues will undoubtedly be tested in Employment Tribunals in the future. Whereas we cannot predict the exact outcome of such cases, employers should engage with staff at the earliest convenience to sound out any objections they may have and to respond to them.


Adding to the list of potential pitfalls for care providers, the regulations will also mandate that care home providers gather and keep information relating to vaccination status from both their own staff and other personnel. This information will constitute “special category data”, meaning that employers must comply with the usual requirements of data protection and have a specific justification for collecting the information. For example, they must make it clear why they are required to collect and keep the data, what it is used for, and how long it will be retained. Failure to do so would be a breach of data protection principles, so providers and care home managers must ensure that they remain vigilant when handling vaccinerelated data. The new regulations are uncharted territory, and will undoubtedly require a period of getting used to for both care providers and employees – and with CQC enforcement action looming against providers failing to abide by the rules, it’s important that the correct provisions are made ahead of the November 11th deadline.

Hallmark Partners with FaultFixers to Deliver COVID-Safe Maintenance Management Hallmark Care Homes partners with maintenance management software app, FaultFixers ( in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within their nineteen homes. The decision, led by Group Estates Manager Steve Brine, was made during the height of the pandemic when social distancing was initially introduced. Maintenance management prior to FaultFixers was a collection of paper-based spreadsheets and logbooks. Face-to-face interactions were necessary in reporting faults and third-party maintenance operators were often visiting homes to perform maintenance tasks. Steve Brine, Group Estates Manager at Hallmark Care Homes says, “we normally would bring an outside contractor into the home but during the pandemic that’s another person coming into the home who could put residents and team members at risk.” He continues, “with FaultFixers we can now stop that from happening as it gives the team the chance to assist the home over the phone [via the App] and get that repair resolved quicker. It prevents and limits the number of people coming into the home.” FaultFixers are the only digital maintenance platform for care businesses that offers completely virtual maintenance management and social-distancing compliant maintenance reporting that can be used by every team member, residents and their family

members. FaultFixers is rapidly growing within the care sector, working with more and more care providers and hospitals such as their recent partnership with Hallmark Care Homes, Morris Care, Oakland Care, and many more. Tom O’Neill, CEO at FaultFixers says, “We are very excited about our recent partnership with Hallmark Care Homes to deliver innovative maintenance technology to their nineteen homes across England & Wales. The partnership is a real testament for us and further establishes the need for maintenance management software during a time where digital solutions are not only in demand but vital for bolstering the protection and safety of the public.” The recent implementation of FaultFixers across the homes have already proven effective with an overall reduction in costs. Alongside a financial benefit, Hallmark has been able to reduce paper waste and fuel consumption by adopting a digital solution impacting the group’s carbon footprint. To read more about the partnership you can view the case study at Alternatively, watch an interview with Estates Manager, Steve Brine from Hallmark to find out more about how maintenance management software has benefited the care group at

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Burnout In Healthcare: The ‘Second Pandemic’

By Steve Carter, Director of Consulting Services, FirstCare (

Clearly, for those who bore the brunt of frontline work during the height of the pandemic, Covid has left a legacy of poor mental health, compassion fatigue, and physical exhaustion.


Whisper it: in the UK, the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic may be behind us. But for those in healthcare, the challenge is far from over. In the months since the start of the third wave, staff burnout and mental health issues have jumped alarmingly. Our data shows that from February to June 2021, there has been a 37% increase in mental health-related absences in the sector. And this isn’t just a result of the immediate pressures of a high Covid case-rate. Even if we compare recent months – when Covid cases were flat or falling – with the same time last year, in May we find a 55% year-on-year increase in mental health-related absences. In June, the increase was 42%.

And it doesn’t end there. Of those healthcare workers who’ve tested positive for Covid, between one in four and one in twenty will go on to develop ‘Long Covid’, suffering symptoms for weeks or even months on end - an experience that itself often contributes to a decline in mental health. Overall, our data shows that amongst people who take time off for Covid-related reasons, around one in seven will go on to suffer subsequent mental health troubles. For employers in the sector, this ‘second pandemic’ of burnout and mental illness presents a raft of challenges, particularly when combined with a potential Long Covid time-bomb. First and foremost there’s the imperative to help affected staff, and alongside that the need to address the concurrent impact of staff absence on service provision and costs. To use the NHS as an example, although mental health issues account for just 5% of NHS absences during 2021 to date, they represent 17% of the related costs and lost working time, adding to the difficulties caused by high levels of mental health-related absence.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP? The potential combined impact of mental health troubles and Long Covid may begin to seem insurmountable - but we firmly believe that there are concrete, effective actions employers can take to improve staff wellbeing and increase their organisations’ resilience. Put another way, you and your staff are not at the mercy of Covid’s after-effects. Early intervention is crucial to tackle rising mental health issues. Employers need to be able to understand when staff are off, why they are off, and when they are likely to return - with that information, they’ll be well

positioned to take action during the crucial early phase when engagement, support, and signposting are proven to speed up recovery and minimise the chance of problems getting worse. When it comes to Long Covid, you can lay the groundwork for an effective early response by helping your HR team and line managers understand the symptoms they need to look out for. And given Long Covid cases aren’t likely to decline in the near future, it’s a good idea to incorporate it into your absence policy to make sure affected employees are treated fairly. For example, if you can, you might offer a phased return to work or a period of flexible hours. Above all, develop a culture of talking with employees - it bears repeating that early intervention can help prevent more serious problems getting a foothold!

HEALTHY STAFF, HEALTHY ORGANISATION It’s not just staff who benefit from an intelligent early-intervention strategy. Healthcare organisations that have clear, real-time visibility into staff absence and wellbeing will be able to make better decisions, allocating people to shifts more effectively and reducing agency costs. With real-time insights, you can monitor, pre-empt, and react to the evolving impact of poor mental health and Long Covid - giving teams the resources they need to provide better care and service, avoiding burnout, and ensuring productivity is not negatively impacted. Healthcare workers have dealt with a huge amount during the last 18 months. But the picture can improve. The incredible work they’ve done doesn’t have to come at the cost of their mental health. As employers, with the right information, you can give them the support they need - and help your organisation keep providing the essential care your patients need.

Veterans Keep In Trim At New Bespoke Gym Residents at Broughton House Veteran Care Village are keeping in trim at a new bespoke gym created as part of its £13m redevelopment. Specially-designed equipment has been installed at the care village in Salford after it received a £24,000 grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation, a charity which helps fund self-development through participation in sport. Broughton House chief executive Karen Miller said: “The ability for our residents to have access to a gym is crucial to their physical and mental wellbeing, particularly as care homes have been, and will continue to be, subject to a number of restrictions due to the pandemic. “This gym provides a welcome safe space for our residents to keep fit and active, and it is proving a huge hit with them. We have been able to provide addons which give improved accessibility and safe use to those veterans who have limited mobility or physical disability. “The gym is a wonderful feature of our new care village and has been made possible by a generous grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation. It’s having a positive impact on the residents and we are sincerely grateful to the foundation and its trustees for their fantastic support.” Andrew Ross, director of the Peter Harrison Foundation, said: “The late Peter

Harrison visited Broughton House on one of his trips to Manchester to watch Chelsea play, and he was hugely impressed with its history of care for veterans. He was brought up in the north west and was also keenly interested in, and knowledgeable about, military history. “The plan to invest in a specialised gym to enhance fitness and rehabilitation programmes for the veterans was a perfect fit for the Foundation’s use of funds to promote sport and exercise for people with disabilities. “Peter was pleased to help this initiative with a grant for the Foundation to pay for fitting out the new gym with specialised exercise equipment.” World War Two veteran Derrick Corfield, 94, who moved into Broughton House earlier this year following an accident on his electric scooter, said: “It’s great having the gym. I put on a bit of weight after my accident when I couldn’t move around as much as I used to. Now that I’m using the gym, I can notice the difference. I’m getting stronger, but I still need to lose a few pounds, so I think I’m going to increase my sessions.”


Wonderkin UK, Managing Director, Marites Allen, Talks About Smart Digital Incontinence Aid & Providing Convenience & Confidence in Chronic Care Management Care-giving, in real-time, is an issue that has been looked at again and again in chronic care management- it is not enough to look at if care is being given effectively, but also with efficacy and assurance- to both patients of care and those of the carers. Since the Covid-pandemic, the issue of time, lack of resource, and the disproportions of high quality care are at the heart of this matter. Wonderkin UK, a brand of digital incontinence pads, and app, is now changing the game quickly by elevating the status quo, and creating wonders through providing convenience and confidence through their digital technological products. Wonderkin UK’s, Managing Director, Marites Allen, tells us in the following interview how products such as Wonderkin’s digital incontinence pads and app are ensuring a better quality of life, for all, as we age; and how we all should think about, our own, not so distant future, when approaching the subject matter of implementing technology into taking care of the elderly and those in care homes and facilities.

Q: HOW DOES YOUR NICE CARE SMART INCONTINENCE PADS AND MONITORING SYSTEM WORK? MA: Smart phone (Smart Mobile Devices) are used as the medium- to which it sets

alarms and signals a disruption in the homeostatic condition or the patient. Unlike the regular brands that mainly functions as only a pad, Wonderkin's Bluetooth feature (enable) makes safety ( Provide Real-Time Alert) precautions a function (Compare to other incontinence aids) that no other pads on the market currently offer. With the Nice Care Smart Incontinence aids Real-Time Monitoring Technology and Bluetooth enable sensors, Wonderkin offer carers in elderly care facilities to be notified of the patient's void, sleeping posture, and inactivity in real-time, hence, effectively easing the care-giving process especially pressure care.


care staff. A good example would be body rotation and diaper change, where though they are seemingly simple tasks, it takes workflow, task management, pad stock management to keep it all together and ticking along. The difference with a simple product like pads going digital is that carers are able to keep up and be informed of patients in real-time. Aside from prioritizing tasks, costs of pad consumption are cut down dramatically, making not only ‘cents’ financially, but ‘sense’ for the environment. Our pads are 70% biodegradable and hence, when you think about it, if every pad can be used to its full potential, with the patient not having skin irritations and rashes, by the way, the product is not only addressing financial costs to institutions like care homes, but also, providing a corporate social responsibility to those who use them. In Japan, for instance, our products have reduced pad consumption from 30K to 20K in facilities. It is not just about minimising the use of disposable wastes, but improving the quality of sleep for patients, and giving them more dignity, (of not being checked upon constantly) by reducing the number or times a change has to occur during the night.

Q: WHAT OTHER ISSUES DOES WONDERKIN AIM TO SPEARHEAD WITH ITS DIGITAL INNOVATIONS? MA: Another common issue for patients is communication- between their family mem-

bers and the carers or care home. Our digital innovations give personalised health insights, powered by data that can be easily provided and accessed by both parties. Data protection and that data is being stored securely is paramount to us, and this type of application if it is to be applied to chronic care management. Hence we employ Amazon Web Services (AWS) as our Cloud System provider, which adopts world-class, highly secure data centres utilising state-of-the-art electronic surveillance and multi-factor access control systems. Different access rights are given to various account types within our system, including super admin, general admin, nursing home, nursing home manager and nurse accounts. The data transmission from the Sensor to the Hub is encrypted and contains no client’s data. For more information or enquiries on Wonderkin’s emerging technology and latest innovation solutions to care-giving in residential nursing and care homes visit: or contact

Residents at Care Village Donate Support for Afghan Refugees Kind-hearted residents at a Didsbury-based care village founded by a Jewish First World War refugee are lending a helping hand to refugees by donating aid to those arriving in the UK. Moved by the plight of those fleeing Afghanistan as the Taliban retakes control of the war-torn country, members of the Belong Morris Feinmann community have donated 70 toiletry bags, accompanied by messages of personal support. The donation efforts are being led by Care4Calais, a volunteer-run charity, working with refugees in the UK, as well as France and Belgium. The UK government has pledged to welcome around 20,000 people through a resettlement scheme. Belong Morris Feinmann residents and colleagues have also extended their generosity by donating much-needed clothing and footwear to Afghans in need, in another effort being led by Bowdon Shul, South Manchester Synagogue, for which the village has an extensive relationship.

Angela Luckett, experience coordinator at Belong Morris Feinmann, is coordinating the village’s contributions. She said: “Our village’s foundations lie in the support of refugees, originally set-up to help Jews fleeing persecution in Europe, and so, as soon as we heard about the awful situation in Afghanistan, we felt compelled to do something to help.” Morris Feinmann, a Jewish refugee who had fled Eastern Europe in WWI, dedicated his life to supporting Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in the Second World War, including founding a guarantee scheme to enable German Jews to escape from the country and settle in Manchester. His groundwork eventually led to the Manchester Jewish Refugee Committee purchasing a house for those in need. Angela Luckett continues: “For many of our residents, seeing the news in Asia has been deeply moving – some are refugees themselves and so their contributions are all the more personal. Community and supporting others are key to Belong’s ethos and we’re pleased to be fortunate enough to be in a position to help those who need it most.”

Government Pledges to Reduce Overprescribing of Medicines The Government will take action to prevent medicines being prescribed unnecessarily, as a new review highlights the impact of overprescribing on patients and staff. Led by Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England Dr Keith Ridge CBE, the government-commissioned review into overprescribing – published today – found 10% of the volume of prescription items dispensed through primary care in England are either inappropriate for that patients’ circumstances and wishes, or could be better served with alternative treatments. Overprescribing describes a situation where people are given medicines they do not need or want, or where potential harm outweighs the benefit of the medication. It can happen when a better alternative is available but not prescribed, the medicine is appropriate for a condition but not the individual patient, a condition changes and the medicine is no longer appropriate, or the patient no longer needs the medicine but continues to be prescribed it. Around 1 in 5 hospital admissions in over-65s and around 6.5% of total hospital admissions are caused by the adverse effects of medicines. The more medicines a person takes, the higher chance there is that one or more of these medicines will have an unwanted or harmful effect. Some medicines, such as those to reduce blood pressure, can also increase the risk of falls amongst the frail and elderly. The review sets out a series of practical and cultural changes to make

sure patients get the most appropriate treatment for their needs while also ensuring clinicians’ time is well spent and taxpayer money is used wisely. This includes shared decision making with patients about starting or stopping a medicine, better use of technology, ways to review prescriptions more effectively, and considering alternative medicines which would be more effective. Ministers have accepted all recommendations and work will now begin to implement them, with reforms to pharmacist training already underway. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is an incredibly important review which will have a lasting impact on people’s lives and improve the way medicines are prescribed. “With 15% of people taking 5 or more medicines a day, in some cases to deal with the side effects of another medicine, more needs to be done to listen to patients and help clinical teams tackle overprescribing. “I look forward to working with Dr Keith Ridge and our dedicated NHS teams to deliver on these recommendations.” The key recommendations from the review are: • the introduction of a new National Clinical Director for Prescribing to lead a 3 year programme including research and training to help enable effective prescribing; • system-wide changes to improve patient records, improve handovers between primary and secondary care, develop a national toolkit and deliver

Designer Contracts Pulls Out All The Stops To Beat Pandemic Delay Designer Contracts, the UK’s largest flooring contractor, has supplied and fitted a leading West Midlands specialist dementia care living home with safety floorcoverings – despite major delays caused by the second national lockdown. The company ensured a super-swift turn-around at Dorothy Terry House following a seven month delay on materials – ordered last October – caused by the winter COVID resurgence. The home at Redditch in Worcestershire is a 42 bedroom retirement complex specialising in dementia care living. Over 1,000 square metres of communal corridors, stairs, landings and lounge areas, spread over five floors, were identified as areas in need of replacement. Undertaking its first project as a preferred supplier for the Rooftop Housing Group, Designer Contracts was asked to uplift all the existing flooring and replace with PolySafe Wood FX safety vinyl. Said Adam Denny, asset investment manager for the Rooftop Housing Group: “Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our residents, and it was reassuring that Designer Contracts appreciated their complex needs. The specification we required for the flooring was met exactly with a quick turnaround once the project was signed off.” PolySafe Wood FX is a high specification safety

floor, perfect for environments such as Dorothy Terry House, combining decorative designs with sustainable slip resistance and high durability. Featuring authentic reproductions of popular and high clarity wood designs, the range incorporates a light to dark colour spectrum with nonintrusive safety aggregates in the vinyl to create a safe yet attractive interior in commercial or residential areas. Following the success of the Dorothy Terry House project, the Rooftop Housing Group has now instructed Designer Contracts to prepare quotes for a further seven similar sized projects in Worcestershire. Designer Contracts is based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire and operates across 15 UK regional facilities. Call 01246 854577 or visit for further information.

training to help general practices improve the consistency of repeat prescribing processes; • improving the evidence base for safely withdrawing inappropriate medication (deprescribing), and updated clinical guidance to support more patientcentred care. This would include ensuring GPs have the data and medical records they need, and are empowered to challenge and change prescribing made in hospitals; • cultural changes to reduce a reliance on medicines and support shared decision-making between clinicians and patients, including increasing the use of social prescribing, which involves helping patients to improve their health and wellbeing by connecting them to community services which might be run by the council or a local charity. • providing clear information on the NHS website for patients about their medication and the creation of a platform for patients to be able to provide information about the effectiveness and the adverse effects of their medicines; and • the development of interventions to reduce waste and help deliver NHS’s net zero carbon emissions. The review also calls for more research to investigate the reasons why overprescribing is more likely to affect older people, people from ethnic minority communities and people with disabilities.

Wedging Fire Doors Open – An Illegal Practice Fire doors are an essential part of your fire safety strategy and could save lives and limit the collateral damage in your care home should a fire break out. Despite this some care facilities turn a blind eye to the practice of wedging a fire door open, putting the lives of vulnerable residents at risk. If you are the responsible person in your care setting, you could face a large fine or even a prison sentence for allowing this illegal and dangerous practice to happen. To prevent fire doors being wedged open it is important to first understand why staff and sometimes even residents do this. Fire doors must all be self-closing causing staff difficulties when carrying trays and equipment around the care home. Wedging fire doors open in corridors enables them to move quickly and complete their tasks faster. Residents also can feel trapped and isolated when their bedroom door is constantly closed. Due to the often frail nature of elderly residents and impaired mobility and use of walking aids such as sticks, walkers and wheelchairs, many residents may not be able to open their bedroom door to access communal areas and socialise with other residents and staff. This can have a significant impact on their mental health and can lead to feelings of depression. Fire doors prevent the spread of fire and create a barrier of protection. Removing this protective barrier

by wedging the fire door open can significantly increase how quick a fire can spread and can severely hinder your evacuation as smoke and fumes from a fire rapidly fill corridors and rooms. Finding a legal solution to these problems is the only way. A fire door retainer such as the Dorgard has been providing a legal solution for decades. The Dorgard retainers hold the fire door open in normal operation but will close the door when it ‘hears’ the fire alarm. With three versions, Dorgard original, SmartSound and Pro, there is a Dorgard for all care settings. The type of environment will determine which Dorgard is best suited, giving you the peace of mind that you are meeting all your legislative requirements and ensuring that residents are able to move about as independently as possible. Dorgard Original and SmartSound are suitable for small to medium sized settings and can be easily installed by a handyman with the SmartSound being used in noisier environments. For larger establishments Dorgard Pro is ideal as it can accommodate up to 500 doors and offers a simple ‘one glance check’ that the entire system is functioning. For help and advice or more information, please contact Safelincs on 0800 612 7980 visit or see the advert on page 29.


What the Social Care Reform Means for the Sector

By Jordan Glackin, partner and healthcare specialist at law firm, Shakespeare Martineau (

The Government has announced that in April 2022, National Insurance Contributions (NIC) will increase by 1.25% in a bid to raise £12 billion to help fund the UK’s health and social care industry. While this much-needed funding could be essential for protecting the future of the healthcare system, clarification is still needed around how this will specifically support social care providers. The social care sector has been fragile for a number of years, but the Covid-19 pandemic has magnified this further. With an ageing population, the need for social care providers has never been greater. However, as the need for these kinds of services increases, more must be done to support the sector, now and in the future. One of the main challenges the sector faces is funding. Little financial support is provided by local authorities, and what is available is often not enough to cover the cost of care per resident. To overcome this, care home providers would need to raise their prices, but this presents another problem, as the cost of care is not the only area that needs funding. The salaries of healthcare staff have been a topic of debate for years. Shifts often include long hours for minimum wage, resulting in significant shortages, as the sector struggles to retain staff. This is further impacted by the end of free movement, which has made accessing the overseas labour considerably more expensive and complicated. There is also the matter of compulsory vaccination requirements, which adds another level of difficulty for those that can’t have the vaccine due to medical conditions or personal beliefs. With the obstacles mounting up, there are concerns that the challenges facing the sector could get significantly worse before they get better. Initially, the £12 billion ‘booster shot’ of funding will be dedicated to helping the NHS tackle its backlog over a three-year period, including the pandemic. After this, it will be extended to the social care sector, but how much will

be invested and what areas it will be invested in, is still to be confirmed. While the funding comes as welcome news for the NHS, there are concerns that it will come too late for the social care sector, as it faces another three years of uncertainty and lack of financial aid. In the Government’s latest proposals, there is a lifetime cap of £86,000 on an individual’s cost of social care. This figure only covers assistance with daily tasks and not support around food or accommodation, which could prove problematic. If funding is not addressed soon, it is likely that many care operators will shift their focus towards private paying residents, leaving the Government with a shortfall of care providers for those relying on state support. Further clarification is vital to prevent this. To ensure the areas most in need of the funding injection benefit from the booster, the Government must set out a clear policy structure on how the funds will be accessed and who will be eligible. Consistency and transparency are crucial in this process and beyond, to avoid any pitfalls further down the line. During the peak of the pandemic, the social care sector was offered support in the form of free PPE, infection prevention and control training and grants, as well as Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBIL). However, these resources are now running low, and the sector must look to the Government for further aid. While the sector waits, the Government could offer assistance in other areas, such as recruitment, which remains a significant problem. During the Covid-19 outbreak, healthcare staff were pushed to focus on a career in hospitals to relieve some of the pressure, causing further strain for care home providers. However, now things are slowly returning to normal, the Government could play an important role in using its recruitment platforms to fill those muchneeded gaps in the sector with nurses, carers and other support staff. Unfortunately, concerns around wages within the sector are likely to get worse as NIC rise. Many social care providers are already struggling to compete with large employers when it comes to paying staff, and the increases in costs will inadvertently make this more difficult, potentially triggering price increases for residents. Ultimately, as the ageing population continues to grow, alongside the demand for social care services, action needs to be taken. To ensure the reform works as intended, the Government must clarify that the social care sector will not be forgotten. Although the funding is potentially a good start to protecting the future of the sector, further planning and resources will be required in the years to come.

Skills, Knowledge, and Confidence Delivered Online

Bring Some Festive Cheer to Your Residents

Covid19 reminded us all just how important the NHS and care home staff are to our society. We are grateful for their hard work and bravery, and feel honoured to support them through our Laser Care Certificate course and CPD short courses. Working in the care sector is certainly demanding, so our objective is to make it convenient and straightforward for workers to upskill and acquire confidence in the process. The Laser Care Certificate course provides knowledge to cover every standard included in the official Skills for Care specification. Every lesson includes bespoke video tutorials specifically for the Care Certificate course, as well as reading materials and good practice examples. Furthermore, a mandatory quiz at the end of each lesson (which requires a 100% pass mark) ensures both competence and confidence. Managers are able to create their own accounts to enrol staff on the course and track their progress. All of the content is accessible remotely via computer,

smartphone or tablet, enabling care professionals to make progress towards the certificate in a way that suits their circumstances. Additionally, Laser delivers CPD short courses to equip staff with highly-relevant skills and knowledge so they can tackle new challenges or progress in their career. Two courses in particular – ‘Causes and spread of infection’ and ‘Infection control and prevention’ – were very popular during the pandemic. Unlimited use subscriptions are available at affordable rates, for organisations wishing to take advantage of a large number of short courses. Whether you are an owner, manager, or independent learner, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free demo of the Care Certificate course platform, and/or the CPD short course offering. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on or +44 (0)1753 584 112. See the advert on page 11.

With over 30 years of experience, CWE can help you provide safe water systems for your care home, including:

• Water sampling • Legionella compliance • Asset inspection – tanks, calorifiers etc. • Remedial works • Swimming and spa pool testing

Tel: 01844 347678 Email:

Whether it be an NHS hospital, a private hospital a care home or a Dr's Surgery, no where deserves brightening up at Christmas more than these places. Whilst the majority of the population are at home enjoying the festivities there are people right across the country who are not able to, either because they are too poorly to be at home or they are one of the many Christmas heroes whose rota means they are working and are away from their families and loved ones. “We get orders for Christmas Trees going into all sorts of NHS establishments from up and down the country…”, says Stephen Evans MD of Christmas Tree World “Some of these are tiny little desktop/bedside trees, or a larger tree for a ward and we’ve even done one that was 30ft tall, outside a brand new hospital”. These are the reasons why artificial trees are becoming the tree of choice:• It is far cleaner to use than a real tree • Real trees can be cumbersome to erect and damage doors etc when installing them • Real trees drop needles everywhere and damage carpets with moisture • Real trees bring insects and fungal spores into the

building which can cause sever long term damage • You can choose the shape of tree to fit the space, full, compact, slim or for very tight spaces pencil. • When real trees dry out they become a fire hazard All Christmas Tree World trees are fire retardant. Christmas Tree World trees are guaranteed for 10 years but will last at least of 15 years, the cost spread over 15 years makes them far cheaper than buying 15 real trees In fact, we have supplied that many NHS organisations ordering Christmas Trees from us that it has even spilled over into the world of reality, with Holby City placing an order for a Giant Outdoor Tree for their 2019 Christmas Special. Whatever tree is purchased from Christmas Tree World, for your healthcare establishment, you can be safe in the knowledge that it is fire retardant (excludes snow flocked trees) and will be looking amazing…… if the nurses have anything to do with it. Visit for special offers.


Fortuna.Bambach, based in Enfield, is London's largest independent living centre.

We supply everything from daily living aids to highly specialised equipment and services, so we can offer a ‘one-stop shop’ to nursing and residential care homes, local authorities, hospitals and individuals. Our team of Trusted Assessors and technicians can offer expert advice, and work closely with Occupational Therapists (OTs), and other healthcare professionals to provide individual solutions. Not only do we sell and rent out a wide range of high-quality products, we also provide high standard aftercare including maintenance, LOLER testing and a comprehensive range of training courses. We provide a range of solutions at competitive prices, so that you don’t have to worry about ensuring that your equipment is safe and compliant.

✓ Wheelchairs, walking aids, seating, profiling beds, daily living aids and more ✓ Rental Options ✓ Adaptations - grab rails, stair lifts, level access showers, ramps, wet rooms ✓ Moving & Handling equipment and training ✓ Maintenance, Repairs and LOLER testing


Ornamin, a market leader in eating and drinking aids, who supply more than 2,000 care institutions worldwide have – in collaboration with Occupational Therapists (OTs) and nurses - developed a range of intelligent and functional tableware for people with cognitive problems or limited motor skills in their hands or arms.

Their range includes mugs with a unique cone-shaped interior design, - which help those with limited neck and arm movement or anyone who is bed bound to drink without assistance - plates and bowls that are non-slip with a sloped base, making it easier to trap the food (useful for those who have problems using their hands), and non-slip grip cutlery that provides a firm hold for a user with clammy, shaky or numb hands.

The stylish designs helps remove the stigma of using ‘special’ tableware, which in turn improves dignity and independence, while also easing the support needed from families, carers or care home staff. All of the products are made using high quality materials which are 100% recyclable, plus they’re durable, light to lift, quiet to use, break-resistant, and BPA FREE.


Drinkup21, is an innovative hands-free drinking system, which can dramatically improve the health of those at risk of dehydration.

This simple but effective product works on the same principle as a cup and drinking straw, but has been designed to enable anyone who cannot lift a cup to drink without assistance (even when arm function is completely lost), making drinking easier, improving fluid intake, and reducing the workload of carers.

Drinkup21 consists of a 1 litre bottle with a cap, a body (holder), a multi-positioning clamp and a flexible arm assembly. It also includes a Consumables Parts Pack containing a drinking tube, bite valve (mouthpiece), elbow connector. A tube cleaning brush is also available.

It can be secured to beds, tables and wheelchairs, and used with water, fruit juice and thickened fluids that contain higher nutritional content, thus providing a simple solution to the serious issue of dehydration in the elderly and those living with disabilities. Drinkup21 is beneficial for those with conditions including spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, the effects of stroke, dementia, and those who do not recognise the need to drink.

For advice and information: Fortuna.Bambach, 4, Northgate Business Centre, Crown Road, Enfield, London, EN1 1TG. Visit: | Email: Telephone: 020 8805 2020


How The Care Sector Can Stop A Perfect Storm In Its Tracks

By Barry Price, QCS (

As Autumn begins to force its hand, the weather on the coast, where I live, slowly but surely begins to unravel. Fair skies give way to gunmetal grey ones and balmy breezes are replaced by stiff winds, sheet rain and swells, which crash against ageing piers. In the UK care sector, where I work as a consultant for QCS, the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, the first storms of the autumn have already made landfall. They are not meteorological squalls, formed by rising warm moist air, however, but man-made storms, which have been fashioned by Brexit, fed by COVID-19 and made more powerful by a government, that has not given the care sector the financial help it so badly needs to flourish.

In terms of government intervention, again I’m not a policymaker but there are a series of short and long term measures that could be introduced to help services overcome funding concerns. The first would be to extend the Infection Control Fund, especially if England suffers a fourth wave of COVID-19, or, as we expect, a new winter flu and respiratory illness to surge. Recruitment worries could be eased by re-classifying social care work as a skilled job, which of course it is. That would mean immediately widen the recruitment pool. However, legislation always takes time to push through. In the short-term, therefore, the government may have to consider temporarily bringing back freedom of movement for care workers living in the EU.



Take the government’s Health & Social Care Levy, which is expected to raise around £36 billion over the next three years. According to the Nuffield Trust, only £5.4 billion will actually go to the care sector in that time and with much of it being spent on capping the £86,000 lifetime cost of care, many strongly doubt whether there will be enough in the pot to provide professional carers with the salary and training they deserve to map out a defining career path.1 Many providers, however, are struggling to think that far ahead. Sadly, without government help, some are simply focusing on staying afloat. They desperately need an injection of cash, but according to The Guardian newspaper, they are unable to borrow from banks. The National Care Association, a partner of QCS, confirmed this was the case. Executive Chair, Nadra Ahmed told The Guardian, “We haven’t seen surveys but I know these conversations are beginning to be held across the country with all banks. Some a bit more aggressive than others. Definitely we are hearing that providers are beginning to feel the pressure.”2

RISING ENERGY BILLS In the short term, Ahmed is also concerned that the gas crisis, which has seen prices soar, and worried that the Infection Control Fund is due to finish at the end of the month. Having worked in the sector for over 15 years, it is a view that I agree with. Energy bills are not cheap due to the number of months in the year when the central heating is on, while ending the Infection Control Fund is sure to add to the cost of PPE. With services often operating on wafer-thin margins, even paying the cost of VAT on PPE could present a significant financial burden for providers this winter. On top of this, there are many services in England, who are struggling to renew insurance policies due to a poor rating or because of a substantial hike in premiums brought about by the pandemic.

RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION But, it is two age-old challenges – recruitment and retention – combined with Brexit and COVID-19 – that have combined to give this storm real potency. In a sector where overcoming staff shortages presents a perennial problem for Registered Managers, Brexit has dramatically narrowed the talent pool. Before Brexit, there were around 113,000 EU carers working in the care sector. Now, the Migration Advisory Group says that immigration rules brought in after Brexit, which do not categorise care workers as skilled workers (meaning they are ineligible to work in the UK care sector), will create a “looming shortage” of staff. (3 and 3) COVID-19, which shows no signs of disappearing, is of course the other major challenge. According to figures published in last week’s Sunday Times, 5,000 professional carers have left the sector in the last two months following the government’s decision to make two COVID-19 jabs a compulsory requirement in all care homes in England – and possibly all settings subject to the results of a consultation – from November 11.5

UNKNOWN KNOWNS Depending on the results of consultation, as to whether jabs should be compulsory across the entire health and care sector, it may lead care – or parts of it – staring down the barrel of a recruitment ‘cliff edge’. Why? Well, anecdotally at least, it appears that many care staff, who don’t wish to be vaccinated, have chosen to work up until November, 11. This has led some in the sector to suggest that an exodus of unvaccinated workers leaving the sector at the same time, many of them tempted by retail and logistics firms offering higher wages to care staff, could lead to some care providers closing. The question is, is there anything we can do to stop this gargantuan storm in its tracks, or it is a case of battening down the hatches and trying to ride it out? The good news is that unlike physical storms, man-made ones can be calmed and even quelled if effective and affirmative action is taken.

PUT AN END TO PANIC CULTURE The pandemic, has for example, brought it home to us that we live in uncertain times. This has created a culture of panic, which is often sparked by a misplaced quote and accelerated by social media. It has led to a shortage of toilet rolls, petrol and other commodities. We all need to break this cycle. If we don't care services that need gas, food, PPE and other supplies, will suffer. But, what can be done to solve the deeper, more intractable issues? I’m not a politician or a legislator, but as it becomes clearer that the compulsory vaccination programme is having a negative effect on social care recruitment, depending on the results of the consultation, the government could choose to level the playing field and make mandatory jabs a condition of work across all health and social care settings. Or, it could temporarily extend the November 11 deadline. Paying a higher hourly rate to staff may also stem the tide of care

workers wishing to leave, but, that said, I would expect this to only have a limited effect. Why? Well, those workers who have elected not to be jabbed, have made their decision on principle, and are unlikely to change their minds - even if they are offered a considerable wage hike.


Thirdly, Registered Managers can play a significant role too. Leading from the front as many have demonstrated throughout the pandemic, they can ensure that their care and support delivered always strives to be as outstanding as it can be. On this front, QCS provides all the tools that frontline workers need to deliver outstanding care and exceed regulatory requirements. Registered Managers can also plan for the future by using tools such as QCS’s winter planning document, its risk assessment instrument, recruitment plans and QCS’s recently updated Business Continuity Plan.

THE PROFILE OF THE CARE SECTOR NEEDS TO CHANGE But I want to finish on the profile of the care sector, which is very important too – especially when it comes to attracting new blood to the ranks. Too often the social care sector gets a negative press. Perhaps I’m being too harsh on the media, but every time I pick up a newspaper, I only ever seem to read stories of care homes failing service users, or mercenary staff jumping ship for better opportunities. This paints a wholly inaccurate picture of the care sector and deeply damaging one for a sector which desperately needs new recruits. The reality is very different. Care settings are inspirational places, where teams of dedicated, responsive and resourceful staff make remarkable breakthroughs with the service users they support on a daily basis. These good news stories are just not reported. Maybe they should be. If they were, more young people from different walks of life might join the ranks.

CLOSER INTEGRATION But for the narrative to really change, good news stories are not enough. The health and care sectors need to forge a closer, more integrated bond to prioritise educational and career opportunities. New entrants need to know that whatever care service or health service they join, they will have access to a progressive career ladder, underpinned by a culture of professional training, which will give them the best opportunity to realise their stellar ambitions. This exciting vision of the future is the prize which comes from seeing off the super storm, which is currently bearing down on the sector. It’s our collective responsibility to make this vision a reality – for service users, for families and for the legion of brave carers, who sacrificed so much during the pandemic. If we do nothing, their efforts were in vain. To find out more about the QCS or to purchase a subscription, please contact QCS’s team of advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email:

End notes 1 Nuffield Trust Chart of the week: How much of the health and care levy will social care receive and what is this intended to do? By Camile Oung Date: 10, September, 2021 2 The Guardian UK care homes face funding crisis as banks refuse loans By James Tapper and Michael Savage Date: 25, September, 2021 3 The Independent Thousands of EU care workers in UK face losing immigration status By May Bulman Date: 25, January, 2021 4 ‘I’ News Social care sector faces ‘looming shortage’ of workers due to post-Brexit immigration rules By Jane Merrick Date: 20, September, 2021 5 The Sunday Times Get jabbed, win a car: care bosses on desperate drive to keep hold of staff By Tom Calver Date: 25 September, 2021


Keeping People In Touch As restrictions have eased many of us are spending more time with our friends and families. Unfortunately this is not the case for everyone, and many residents living in care homes are still facing limitations. At MHA we recongise the importance of enabling older people to stay connected with their friends and families and because of this we launched Famileo in all of our 89 care homes. Resident’s family and friends can use their smartphones, tablets or computers to post messages and photos on a social media type platform. These messages are then turned into a personalised paper gazette which is printed out every week and given to residents living in MHA care homes. David Moore, MHA’s dementia lead said, “The gazette is ideal for residents living with dementia who we found were struggling to use new technology such as zoom. This is because the gazette is something that many residents are familiar with and are comfortable using, paper”. Family and staff members have noticed vast improvements in the emotional wellbeing of residents who have

been receiving the gazette. Pauline, a family member said, “Famileo has been such an active way for my mum to see photos and messages from family and friends. Over this difficult time seeing her great grandchildren grow has given her great pleasure. Mum’s sister lives in the USA so Famileo is wonderful for keeping in touch. We send photos of the changing sessions on our walks and in our gardens as gardening is such a great passion of mum’s”. Amy Cleary, Activity Coordinator at MHA Coed Craig care home stated that: “All our residents really look forward to a Monday when they receive their Gazettes. A lot have family who live abroad or in a different part of the UK so even with visiting allowed now some still don’t see all their loved ones. This is why Famileo has worked so well”. More information about MHA’s use of Famileo can be found on MHA’s website.

South East Care Group Returns To The UK Following Epic Six-Month Virtual World Cruise Residents at a South East care group have finally reached UK shores following the journey of a lifetime, as its very own virtual cruise liner returned home after a six-month world cruise – boosting physical and mental well-being for both residents and staff. Disembarking with a wealth of laughs and cherished memories, residents at all 13 of Nellsar’s care homes across Kent, Surrey and Essex were welcomed home as their grand voyage reached its epic conclusion – which involved one last hurrah; a traditional British summer party. Dubbed ‘Around the World with Nellsar Cruises’, the virtual ship docked at a different country each month, with destinations including China, India, Spain, Italy, France and the Caribbean. Caregivers and staff at Nellsar’s Meyer House Care Centre, in Erith, Kent, Loose Valley Care Centre, in Maidstone, and Woodstock Residential Care Centre, near Sittingbourne, were just a handful of homes to pull out all of the stops to ensure their residents’ wrap party was a memorable experience for everyone involved. Embracing the best of British culture, residents were able to enjoy all

ice cream van on-site for residents and staff to enjoy. With decorated backdrops of London and wartime tunes, residents could sit back and reflect on their globetrotting adventure, before rounding off their experience with a royal-inspired quiz. Viv Stead, Recreation and Well-Being Manager at Nellsar, said: “Our residents and staff could not have envisaged a better way to escape the past 18 months and explore far-flung destinations. Let’s face it, we’ve all been through a really difficult time, so we made it our mission to ensure 2021 was filled with sunshine and adventures to last a lifetime. The best part about the virtual cruise was that every destination brought something different – whether it was Hong Kong, Italy or the Caribbean, there was the sights, tastes and sounds our island has to offer. For cuisine, there was no shortage of fish and chips, bangers and mash, and trifle with, of course, a generous supply of custard! Woodstock even had its very own

something for everyone.” Following the success of the cruise, Nellsar is planning to launch a virtual staycation camping adventure in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

A Person-Centred Approach To Mobility and Hygiene Maintaining a level of independence and involvement in activities of daily living for those in your care can be a challenge. Using the Mobility Gallery™ assessment tool (figure 1) allows you to understand a person’s functional mobility, the level of assistance required, the risk to the caregiver and the importance to stimulate functional mobility.

Person centred care places the resident at the centre of all we do. This assessment tool helps to optimise the mobility of the resident, improve dignified care and reduces the risk of injury to both the resident and the caregiver. Promoting mobility is the driving force behind The Positive Eight™ philosophy shown in figure 2.

When looking at specific hygiene tasks, needs differ significantly across

care settings and need to encompass both physical and cognitive capabilities determined through individual assessment. Assisted hygiene solutions are designed to allow you to work in an ergonomically sound position, to reduce the risk of injury, whilst supporting a beneficial interaction with your resident. Caregiver safety is paramount, and factors, which affect the risk of musculoskeletal injury, should be considered, such as: • The number, type and functional mobility levels of residents being transferred or participating in hygiene routines • The inadequacy (or absence) of suitable equipment • Restricted spaces • Lack of education and training for care skills To mitigate these risks, evidence has demonstrated that education alone is insufficient. Use of the right equipment improves caregiver safety and reduces injury-related costs for the organisation. Understanding functional mobility, combined with selection of appropriate equipment to support your resident and caregiver can assist in addressing this challenge. Visit or see the advert on page 6.


Essential Planning for the COVID Inquiry By Sophie Kemp, Head of the Public Law team at Kingsley Napley LLP ( well as policing responses to information requests whilst the pandemic is on-going. Boris Johnson has reportedly promised to appoint a Chair by Christmas.

TERMS OF REFERENCE There is no obligation on the Government to consult widely on proposed terms of reference; however, the Chair once appointed can consult and amend them. The terms of reference shape any inquiry, its scope, the evidence required and therefore, inevitably to some degree, the conclusions eventually reached. Given there are are already numerous investigations going on at a Parliamentary Committee level as well as by organisations like the People’s Inquiry and BMA, it is to be expected that interest groups will likely want to have the ability to influence the terms of reference set. It will be important for those in the Care home sector to seek to feed in to any consultation process.


Given a judge-led inquiry into how the Scottish Government handled the COVID pandemic will start before the end of this year, many are anxiously awaiting news of the Government’s promised UK- wide public inquiry. Back in May 2021, No 10 committed to that inquiry starting in Spring 2022. Yet months on, details are scant. Who will Chair it? What are its terms of reference? Yes, there may be six months to go, but vital questions remain before any inquiry of this national significance and stature begins.

Since the Public Inquiries Act 2005 came into force 17 inquiries have concluded. The average length was three and a quarter years, although the longest (still ongoing) has already taken 7 years. Most anticipate the UK-wide COVID inquiry will be amongst the longest to be heard since the Act was introduced. Some have even cynically suggested the timing of the Inquiry has been deliberately chosen to avoid a Final Report appearing before the next election. It is entirely possible to have short and focused inquiries but all the indications are that the forthcoming COVID inquiry will be long and complex, with sessions taking place around the country and an emphasis on accountability as much as learning lessons for the future.



The choice of Chair will be crucial. We saw what happened with The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, with three appointed Chairs falling by the wayside. With the COVID inquiry, we need a Chair who will command the respect of myriad stakeholders and interest groups including families, businesses and the healthcare / scientific community. More importantly, the postholder will need to stand up to intense political pressure, be robust in the face of media scrutiny, as

So what can be done now to prepare for the Inquiry? Those who anticipate being a Core Participant or called as a Witness may want to consider speaking to lawyers now with independent experts already dusting down their cvs. Participants should be thinking now about the lines of enquiry they want to see pursued and how they can best engage with the Chair when appointed. Those who expect they will be required to give evidence should also be thinking now about their document retention and

storage policy. Professional witnesses may want to meet the inquiry team early on to explain a technical subject or enhance their understanding before information requests are made. Thinking ahead is advisable. A statutory public inquiry has enormous information gathering powers and the ability to draw on information from a wide range of sources. The Chair can even issue a section 21 notice, requiring information, and reminding recipients that intentionally witholding information is a criminal offence. Requests can be extensive and issued at very short notice, requiring significant effort to search, collate and organise. It is wise not to be caught on the back foot. The inquiry, once underway, will need to follow a strict timetbable.

CONCLUSION Public inquiries are by their very nature daunting, stressful and time consuming. For those involved, in whatever capacity, preparation is key at each stage whether that be evidence gathering, during hearings or at the final report phase. From experience, stamina, resources and sincerity are the three essential elements when preparing for an Inquiry. And this applies more than ever for the forthcoming COVID inquiry. Inquiries have a hugely valuable purpose. Foremost they help us understand what happened in relation to matters of public concern and make recommendations for the future. They also enable people to be heard, to tell their stories and put those involved under the spotlight. The COVID inquiry is never going to keep everyone happy, but this will represent probably the most important opportunity we have for those involved in our response to the pandemic to reflect on their roles and to contribute to a learning process for the nation. The author is Sophie Kemp, Head of the Public Law team at Kingsley Napley LLP. Sophie has extensive inquiry experience from representing families in the 7/7 Inquest and the Catholic Church before the IICSA, to advising senior witnesses in the FCA’s Davis Inquiry and the Undercover Policing Inquiry. More recently she acted as solicitor to RICS’ Levitt Review into Treasury Management.

Surbiton Carer Receives BEM for Services to Veterans During Covid-19 A long-serving Royal Star & Garter carer has received his British Empire Medal at an investiture ceremony in Guildford. Lead Healthcare Assistant Emrys Owen was given his medal at Loseley House by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, on Monday 20 September. Emrys was awarded the BEM for services to veterans during Covid-19 in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2021. He joined Royal Star & Garter nearly 40 years ago in 1982 and was originally based in Richmond. He has worked at the charity’s award-winning Home in Surbiton since 2013. Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. Emrys, from Dorking, said: “I would say receiving the BEM was the proudest moment of my working life. When my citation was read out I nearly cried.

I had to really try to stop the tears when I collected the medal.” Director of Care Pauline Shaw, who herself has been with the charity for 20 years, said: “Emrys is an outstanding carer. He is dedicated, compassionate, and leads by example. We have been lucky to have him for so long, and we’re all immensely proud of him. I’m delighted that his hard work has been acknowledged in this way.” Home Manager, Helena Maher said: “I count my lucky stars to have Emrys on my team. He’s a remarkable Lead Healthcare Assistant and a great role model. Everyone at the Home is delighted for him.” Michael, an RAF veteran cared for at the Surbiton Home, who himself has an MBE for services to Scouting, said: “His devotion to his work is extraordinary. Emrys takes tremendous care in looking after residents, and I’m delighted that it’s now been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen.”

World Alzheimer’s Day: New Care Minister Views Royal Star & Garter Home The new Minister for Care, Gillian Keegan MP, visited Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton to mark World Alzheimer’s Day on Tuesday 21 September. The Minister was taken on a tour of the award-winning dementia house to experience first-hand the exceptional care delivered at the Home. Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. It also has Homes in Solihull and High Wycombe. Ms Keegan, who took up her new position on Monday (20 September), spent nearly two hours talking to the charity’s Chief Executive Andy Cole, Home Manager Helena Maher, residents and staff. She was taken on a tour of the Home’s Lister floor, which provides care to people living with dementia. She watched residents use the omiVista Mobii interactive table – a motion-activated projection system that creates dynamic images on a surface – and keeps them physically and mentally active by stimulating movement, memory, reasoning and recall. Ms Keegan spent time talking to residents and carers on Lister, before seeing the rest of the Home, including the physiotherapy room and hair salon, and chatting to more residents.

She then joined nurses and carers in the garden to discuss their experiences during the pandemic. After her visit, Ms Keegan said: “It was great to meet staff and residents at Royal Star & Garter care home to mark World Alzheimer’s Day, and see the innovative care they are delivering to support those living with dementia. While our workforce continues to go above and beyond, the UK is also leading the way in dementia research – it’s crucial we continue to accelerate progress on how we look after, treat and ultimately find a cure for this cruel disease.” Royal Star & Garter Chief Executive, Andy Cole, said: “We are delighted that the new Minister for Care was able to join us to mark World Alzheimer’s Day, and experience the outstanding dementia and nursing care we provide in our Homes. I am grateful that the Minister took time to speak with our staff, hear about the challenges they have overcome in the past 18 months and listen to their views about the issues affecting the future of the care sector.” The Home Manager, Helena Maher, added: “I was really proud to showcase our exceptional care and wonderful environment to the Minister on only her second day in post. The residents really enjoyed chatting to her and were impressed that someone so senior was visiting their home. It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister and I hope she will come and see us all again soon.”


APPG Launches Report Outlining its Vision for Social Care

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Social Care has launched its report ‘A Vision For Social Care’. This report identifies a number of key areas around which the reform of social care will achieve the sustainable and meaningful impact for people who access care and support. This report sets out the scale and breadth of the social care system and provides a number of case studies to further illustrate the impact it makes on the economic and community well being in areas across the country. Investment in social care leads to tangible benefits in the spending power of local communities, supporting direct and associated employment and prosperity at the same time. Investment in social care makes a difference to the lives of the people supported, and the communities in which they live. The report also outlines what social care should look like in 10 years, including • More joined up action between health, housing and social care and other publish services. • Commissioners should encourage new models of care and innovation - in terms of technology, housing with care and social care practice, including greater scale in the aims of the Transforming Care agenda for people with learning dis-

abilities with improvements in community housing provision.

It suggests that a National Strategy for digital transformation across social care would help to ensure more consistency across the country and improve outcomes for people who access care and support. It is within this context that digital transformation can enable innovation in terms of service design, enabling new models of care to be developed and scaled up. This is particularly important in the context of housing design and the incorporation of new technology and innovation, including in the development of new models of care. The report can be seen here 7/A+Vision+of+Social+Care.pdf

Bristol Nurse Receives National Social Care Award For Covid Response A Bristol nurse has been handed one of the first-ever National Social Care awards by the government’s chief nurse for adult social care, in recognition of his outstanding work in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Clinical nurse advisor Reuben Collings works for social care charity Milestones Trust which supports people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and dementia in the South West. An experienced adult nurse who began working for the Trust in 2014, Reuben led the organisation’s pandemic response and has been instrumental in enabling front line teams to keep the people Milestones Trust supports and its staff safe. The new Social Care Awards were announced by the government in May this year and are designed to celebrate outstanding contributions to adult social care and offer recognition in line with national NHS staff awards. Unaware of his nomination, the 30-year-old was presented with his silver award at a surprise, socially-distanced staff gathering by Milestones Trust’s director of operations, Jeff Parry. The government’s chief nurse for adult social care Professor Deborah Study joined the event online to say a few words about Reuben’s dedication and innovation. Possibly the most difficult moment, Reuben recalls, came over Easter weekend 2020 when government guid-

ance on PPE changed almost overnight from staff being told to wear PPE only when someone they were supporting had symptoms of Covid-19 to all staff being required to wear PPE at all times. PPE was in such scarce supply in the weeks that followed, that Reuben set up contracts with suppliers around the world. This meant on some occasions sourcing translators to ensure that the masks we received were of the right standard. Hilary Crowhurst, chief executive for Milestones Trust said: “Reuben’s calm, pragmatic and above-all incredibly caring approach enabled our frontline staff to navigate what has been a traumatic and often frightening time with greater confidence, by making sure that the skills, equipment and information were there in the right place and at the right time. “He is cheerful, pragmatic, and staff trust what he says. This has been critical, at a time when so much information and advice was confused. He regularly reviewed, interpreted and disseminated complex, sometimes even contradictory guidance, getting information to those who need it around the clock and over a seven-day week. “Reuben is a highly talented and professional nurse. He embodies the spirit and professionalism of modern nursing and we are delighted to see his skills and achievements recognised with this new, national award.”

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How Digitalising Healthcare is Benefiting Everyone By James Murphy, Head of Customer Success for Over-C ( In recent decades, quality and safety issues have become increasingly important in healthcare this fact has been accentuated by the coronavirus pandemic. As such, the amount of reporting and admin for staff has increased. Whilst this is a good thing for mitigating patient risk, the healthcare industry has traditionally monitored these circumstances using paper records, making the process very time consuming. This system has become incredibly outdated, leading to potential audit failures, a lack of live insight into the day-to-day maintenance of hospitals and a detrimental impact upon patient care. Digitalisation could provide the answer to overcoming of these challenges in a wide range of healthcare settings, from hospitals to dental surgeries to care homes.

DIGITALISATION OF HEALTHCARE PLATFORMS Digitisation of healthcare records provides a comprehensive system which supports the cleanliness, maintenance and upkeep of vital components of the healthcare industry. For example, sensors can monitor the air quality in an operating theatre helping to control the risk of surgical infections. Furthermore, monitoring systems ensure the operating theatre equipment is evaluated on a consistent basis, mitigating the risk of an operating theatre being out of action for a sustained period of time. The digitisation of the healthcare system ensures no corners are being cut from frontline workers in their duty of care to patients and the maintenance of healthcare facilities. Digital systems also enable healthcare facilities to empower their frontline workers and gain complete transparency in the day to day running of operations. Real-time workflow data and resource deployment are visible through the system, ensuring frontline workers know exactly what tasks need to be completed and that they are alerted to any potential risk. This helps achieve both a greater value from healthcare resources as well as a high-level duty of care to patients. This highlights the crucial impact maintenance staff have on the operations in a healthcare facility.

EMPOWERING THE WORKFORCE Shifting to a digital approach also allows for greater collaboration between frontline workers and management. This creates an atmosphere of shared responsibility, increased productivity and employees feeling valued. This improved collaboration allows for greater prioritising of resources, allocating them in a more effective, efficient way.

Facilities management software aids awareness on routine tasks in hospitals which at times can be forgotten about. Digital platforms can set reminders of, for example, quarterly check-ups of back-up generators which keep healthcare facilities running in case of power failures, guaranteeing that healthcare facilities can continue to operate in the event of a loss of external power. With healthcare facilities often located in old buildings over four or five floors, the nooks and crannies of healthcare facilities can often be overlooked; with digital operating systems, though, healthcare officials can be assured every aspect of the facility is monitored and maintained to the highest standard.

MITIGATING HEALTH RISKS Mitigating the risk of spreadable diseases such as superbugs in hospitals is vital. Superbugs consist of resistant bacteria. The risk of a hospital being sued due to a patient suffering from a superbug whilst under the hospitals care is high. Outbreaks of disease in a hospital which is not consistently monitored and maintained are much more likely than outbreaks in hospitals where a high standard of cleanliness is kept. The ability to have insightful data in real-time allows healthcare employees to monitor areas where there is the possibility of surfaces becoming contaminated. Sensors can oversee all parts of the healthcare facility ensuring the healthcare facilities are managed, maintained and sanitised to the regulatory standards. The digitalisation of records in hospitals is imperative in being able to conveniently and safely secure hospital records in an efficient manner. Traditionally, hospitals have relied on paper records for storing data on cleaning rotas, patient records and maintenance of healthcare apparatus. Not only is the paper records method inefficient, but the space needed to store the records and filing cabinets is substantial, taking up storage which could be put to better use storing vital medical equipment or extra PPE.

HEALTHCARE AUDITING ASSISTANCE External audits of hospitals are used to assess characteristics of a healthcare-providing organisation against specified standards. The audits are rigorous and play an integral part in the quality assurance rating of a hospital. Digital operating systems ensure present and historical records are readily available to provide information for external audits or check on patient records. This makes the process efficient, cost-effective and allowing potential risk events to be identified and rectified quickly. All activity is logged and time-stamped assuring a complete auditable record can be given at the touch of a button. The digitalisation of the healthcare industry is incredibly important for the future of healthcare facilities, and can ultimately assist in saving lives, enabling better allocation of resources and providing exemplary patient care efficiently. The coronavirus pandemic has brought to light how important a well sanitised, monitored and coordinated healthcare system is. Through State-of-the-art technologies and a shift of culture to a more collaborative approach, the healthcare sector can ensure the highest duty of care is offered to patients and front-line workers every single day, eliminating the elements of risk which are involved in the healthcare system. Digitalisation not only protects healthcare facilities from reputational damage, but ensures cost-effective strategies are in place so that every member of healthcare staff gets the credit they deserve.

Social Care Plan “Contains Nothing to Help Millions ‘Here and Now’ Councils Warn In a detailed briefing on the Government’s plan, the Local Government Association, which represents councils, says the plan contains far too little detail and no action at all on several crucial issues which need to be resolved and that the NHS cannot be fixed without also fixing social care. The LGA says the Government’s apparent reliance on council tax, the adult social care precept and long-term efficiencies to meet core costs is deeply troubling. Council tax raises different amounts in different parts of the country, unrelated to need, while social care has already had to meet a £6.1 billion funding gap over the past decade through savings and diverting money from other council services, cutting them faster than they otherwise would have been. Instead, the LGA said the Spending Review needs to provide an urgent cash injection of genuinely new funding to tackle the huge pressures facing the care system now, including on staff pay to help address recruitment and retention, which has been severely stretched to breaking point by the pandemic. Of the estimated £36 billion the new UK-wide health and social levy will raise over three years, only £5.4 billion is to be ringfenced for social care in England. Unlike for the NHS, none of this money appears to be allocated to help tackle the significant pressures facing social care now. The LGA says that addressing the NHS backlog and freeing up hospital beds cannot be done without also fixing social care, which will require additional support for those discharged in the community. Councils say the lack of any itemised breakdown of how this share of the levy will be used for social care is creating concern, while urgent clarity is also needed on how much will go to adult social care beyond the three-year period and an absolute guarantee that this will be delivered. Funding the plan’s cap on care costs and increased financial means tests thresholds will absorb a substantial part of the £5.4 billion and the costs of this financial reform will continue to rise into the next Spending Review period. Councils are concerned that this will leave little or nothing to pay for other desperately needed reforms such as investing in prevention, care worker pay, quality, access, innovation and new models of care, and meeting unmet and under-met need. The upcoming Spending Review must tackle these issues head on. While protecting people from paying ‘catastrophic costs’ for their care is important, the LGA says the

introduction of the care cap is an enormous undertaking and councils should receive all the support they need to implement it. It is good that the Government intends to co-produce the planned white paper on wider adult social care reform. This should be published before the end of the year and should draw on the huge body of work the LGA and other social care partners, particularly those with lived experience, have done in recent years, backed up by additional new funding. Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Social care was facing an uncertain future even before the pandemic, which has exposed and exacerbated some fundamental weaknesses in how we continue to pay for and provide care and support. “The Government’s long-awaited plan has some potential promise on how care is paid for and the contributions people themselves make, but has left open many more questions which need answering urgently. As it stands, it will not improve access to or quality of social care services, or provide an uplift on care worker pay, in the here and now which would better support people to live the lives they want to lead and in turn strengthen our communities. “We need a cast iron commitment from government that the white paper, together with the Spending Review will result in a long term plan and a steady stream of investment into social care. It is vital we understand what proportion, if any, of the future funding from the levy is set aside for this purpose, for the benefit of the millions of people who work in and draw upon social care. “The bulk of the cost of publicly funded social care is already met through council tax. Increases in council tax, including the social care precept, has always been a sticking plaster solution to a complex funding problem and should not be relied upon further. Increasing council tax to pay for social care is a double whammy for hard-pressed residents, who may feel they are shelling out twice for a service now that the levy is being introduced. “The Spending Review should be used to set this plan straight and provide upfront, desperately needed new funding to meet immediate demands and pressures in our care system so that people can live their best life. The Government must see this as investment in people – in all of us.”


Rise in Social Care Complaints Raises Concerns

The Ombudsman’s annual review of social care complaints, covering both councils and independent care providers across England, shows the service found fault in 72% of the complaints it investigated last year. This percentage of upheld cases is greater than the previous year and shows a rise over the last decade in the proportion of cases in which care users and their families have been let down by local services. The faults the Ombudsman finds in its investigations are often not due to one-off errors caused by staff working under pressure but are increasingly caused by the measures employed by councils and care providers to mitigate the squeeze on their resources. Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “Viewed through the lens of complaints from the public, and our impartial findings, the adult social care system is progressively failing to deliver for those who need it most. “Increasingly it is a system where exceptional and sometimes unorthodox measures are being deployed simply to balance the books – a reality we see frequently pleaded in their defence by the councils and care providers we investigate. “At a time of such pressure, it is now more important than ever to listen to public concerns in the form of complaints: they provide free intelligence to spot problems and drive improvement.

“Following on from the recent government announcement, I hope this report and the evidence it contains can help contribute to the debate about what a more sustainable care system will look like in the future.” Last year (April 2020 – March 2021), councils and care providers operated under the fast-evolving backdrop of COVID-19. Early signs from the Ombudsman’s completed cases, and those it continues to receive, about COVID-19 suggest the sector overall responded well to the unprecedented challenges it faced. However, what the data also suggest is the pandemic intensified existing issues rather than created a raft of new ones. In 2020-21 the Ombudsman received 2,033 complaints and enquiries about adult social care. This included 270 about independent care providers, where the person arranged and paid for their own care. As in all areas of its casework, last year the Ombudsman received and decided fewer complaints about adult social care than the previous year because of the disruption caused by COVID-19. The Ombudsman made 1,642 individual recommendations to put things right in adult social care investigations last year, of which around a third (546) were aimed at improving services for everyone. Common examples of service improvements include reviewing policies and working practices, training staff and changing public information.

Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s

Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils and care providers have been doing all they can to keep vital care and support services going over the last year, which were already severely stretched before the pandemic. “As this report rightfully highlights, coronavirus has exacerbated preexisting pressures in the social care system, primarily caused due to underfunding. “It is right that providers continue to work with the Ombudsman in its investigations, to make improvements to their services. We also need to apply the lessons learnt from our response to COVID-19 in any future reforms. “The Government’s recent social care plan has some potential promise on charging reform, but has left open many more questions which need answering urgently. “The Spending Review should be used to set this plan straight and provide upfront, desperately needed new funding to meet immediate demands and pressures in our care system so that people can live their best life.”

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Join Local Care Home Residents For Dementia Awareness Walk Staff, residents and friends of Barchester’s Southgate Beaumont Care Community in Enfield were joined by representatives from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation for a walk in the home’s beautiful grounds to mark 10 years of global dementia awareness. The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is a charitable organisation that was set up over a decade ago to support the local community and help change lives. The Foundation has a long established, productive and valued partnership with its local communities to create, deliver and sustain positive change. General Manager, Beatrice Godfrey, said: “We are very grateful to the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation for all their support. It was lovely to be able to meet everyone in person and walk in our wonderful gardens to raise awareness

of dementia.” Joanna Yeung from the Foundation said “We were delighted to be involved and great to see people of different abilities able to join in. Southgate Beaumont is such an amazing place, it was so interesting finding out more about its history and we excited to be running some sporting memories workshops in the near future “ Daphne Moorey, resident at Southgate Beaumont “It was great to meet the team from the Tottenham Hotspurs Foundation, we had a lovely afternoon walking in the sunshine. The team at Southgate Beaumont arranged a lovely party after the walk, they always put on a good spread.”

Celebrities Put Their Best Foot Forward For Memory Walk Famous faces from TV joined a sea of fundraisers this weekend at two of Alzheimer’s Society’s landmark Memory Walk events that took place on Sunday 26 September, – raising money for people affected by dementia who have been worst hit by the pandemic. This Morning and Loose Women’s Ruth Langsford joined a sea of people wearing blue t-shirts walking at Surrey Memory Walk, while Made in Chelsea and luxury clothing brand director, Gareth Locke-Locke, attended another Memory Walk at London’s Olympic Park in Stratford. Ruth, who is also an ambassador for the charity, attended in memory of her late father, Dennis, who was cared for by her mother for 13 years before he sadly died from dementia in 2012. Ruth Langsford cutting the ribbon at the Memory Walk starting line Ruth Langsford said: “I’m walking in loving memory of my dad, who I miss every day. I am lucky enough to have taken part in several Memory Walks, and they are always a wonderful way to celebrate and remember a loved one who had dementia. After a difficult year for everyone, but particularly for those living with dementia, there’s never been a better time to lace up your boots, and I’d encourage anyone who can to join in by signing up today. “Money raised will help Alzheimer’s Society reach and support more people through their vital services, like their support line, which have been a lifeline for thousands of people.” Gareth Locke-Locke also put his best foot forward, joining hundreds, despite the drizzly weather to unite against dementia, which affects 850,000 people across the UK and so many more partners, families and

friends. Gareth’s beloved mother, Margaret, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 11 years ago when she was just 54 years of age. He suffered huge heartache during the pandemic, as he was unable to visit his mother in her care home for months due to the lockdown restrictions. Gareth Locke-Locke said: “My wonderful mum has been living with early-onset Alzheimer’s for more than a decade and it still breaks my heart every day. The pandemic was tough for me, as it was for many families – not being able to see Mum because of lockdown and not being able to have her at my wedding to watch me walk down the aisle was particularly painful. It’s incredibly touching to know that everyone here today has a connection to this terrible condition, and we’re doing all we can to raise as much money as possible for a future without dementia. Lauren McEvoy, Memory Walk Project Manager at Alzheimer’s Society said: “We are in awe of our incredible supporters, Ruth and Gareth who joined hundreds of our dedicated fundraises to support people living with dementia in Surrey and London this weekend. It was extremely moving to see so many people come together to honour or remember their loved ones. Coronavirus has been catastrophic for people with dementia. Thousands of people have died, but many more have been left isolated, deteriorating rapidly and carers are exhausted. Every pound raised from the Surrey and London Memory Walk will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research, and create lasting change for people affected by dementia. It’s not too late to sign up for our October events or to do your own walk, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Memory Walk such a brilliant success so far.”



Why Cyber Insurance Should Be Part of Your Risk Management Programme As our reliance on the digital world increases it is no real wonder that cybercrime is on the increase, and this has been clearly evident in the last twelve months. For the opportunistic cybercriminal, it’s been a good time to commit cybercrime, as we have moved away from our usual routines and reliable systems, leaving an exploitable gap in our security as we quickly adapted to new ways of working. According to Police data analysed by cyber security company Nexor, there was a 31% increase in cyber related cases over May and June last summer. The most common attack occurred through email or social media, and accounted for 53% of all attacks on businesses, leading to substantial multi-million pound losses. Healthcare, financial institutions, manufacturing, real estate, and education were the most targeted industries. The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020, released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) revealed that nearly half of all businesses in the UK had reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months but only 32% have insurance against such events. Whether a big or small-scale event, a cyber-attack is likely to have serious consequences for any business – shutting systems, deleting data, preventing data access or stopping them from trading altogether. Dealing with the fall out of a cyber-attack can be complicated and stressful, not to mention time-consuming and potentially expensive.

TYPES OF CYBER ATTACK Cyber-attacks can take many forms, all engineered to get the victim to disclose information or take action, or to infect systems with malicious software. Phishing, malware attacks and ransomware pose a threat to all businesses. It’s common to think that cyber threats against businesses come from unrelated hackers, cyber-attacks or ransomware and are big events, but sometimes they can be more subtle and come from sources a little closer to home.

employees, your reputation and may ultimately affect the future of your business. Having a comprehensive contingency and business interruption plan in place along with adequate insurance will help you to address and quickly overcome any fallout from a cyber-attack. A robust plan is vital to make sure you meet your legal obligations regarding data breaches and to reassure your customers.


There are four categories that cyber threats against a business typically originate; insider threats, human error or negligence, external threats and third-party threats. Wherever the threat originates the bottom line is how you to respond. Have you thought about how you would continue to run your care home if you lost access to all your data? You could lose access to client records and supplier data, order information, diary appointments, financial data, your website and more. If you are held to ransom for access to patient files, the financial consequences could be significant. Additionally, you may be affected by reputational damage, which could affect existing relationships and damage future prosperity. You may need to rebuild and replace lost systems or create a new website. And, if a data breach occurred you are likely to face significant fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office. All of the above will require money, time and resources and need to be addressed in a timely manner to help you retain customers,

Cyber liability insurance is a must for any care home business because it provides you with protection and peace of mind, should the worst happen. It will help against denial of service, which may occur with ransomware, the recovery from computer virus damage, which may have resulted in a significant loss of data, and other data breaches such as the loss of a memory stick or laptop. Getting assistance quickly and from reputable, knowledgeable and reliable sources will be key in ensuring your business can continue to operate with minimal disruption. If your care home holds data on a computer system, even with antivirus software in place, you can still be vulnerable to a breach. Cyber liability insurance is relatively inexpensive and will provide you and your business with complete reassurance in the face of a data breach crisis. Every business is different and will have specific needs, so make sure you get advice for your unique situation and requirements. Don’t wait until you have experienced a cyber-attack to put measures in place, be proactive and help protect your business now. Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker are specialists in arranging robust insurance for those operating in the care home sector. As independent advisers they provide impartial advice on the best solution for your specific needs. Telephone: 01480 272727 Email:

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Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker is a trading style of Barnes Commercial Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN: 844370. Registered address: 3 Fenice Court, Phoenix Park, Eaton Socon, St Neots, Cambs, PE19 8EW. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 11909011.


CATERING FOR CARE Has The Pandemic Created A Permanent Change In The Way Catering Operates? Rupert Lynch, Client Relationship Manager and Executive Chef at allmanhall, the independently owned food procurement expert, discusses whether the pandemic has led to permanent changes in the way catering operators work. Have caterers adapted and improved their operations as a result, or are they likely to return to the old ways of doing things.


Circa 18 months since the start of the pandemic, catering establishments are now well versed in the intricacies of ‘Covid compliance’. Kitchens have adapted to an ever-changing environment that was outside of their control and devised systems that could cope with the guidelines laid down by the Government. Following the relaxing of all rules in England, catering teams have undertaken risk assessments to ascertain whether all or some of the changes made over the previous year are required or whether they could adapt and implement some of the ‘enforced’ changes to enable a better and more efficient operation. Catering teams are still hesitant to make too many alterations, but many have relished the ‘new normal’ and many changes will now become permanent. These include the way the canteen or foodservice facility is laid out, how food is served (self-serve or served) the number of items on the menu and myriad of other changes that albeit were previously enforced, have now proved to be highly beneficial. For example, structuring lunch

service in schools, care homes and offices, to enable reduced volumes in canteens has been substantiated as a very successful practice, however this does have an impact on staffing hours in order to cope with the longer lunch service. Another benefit has been the introduction of split services, utilising servery counters to mirror a like-for-like service across the canteen, the offering has been reduced. In some instances, this has meant the lunch period allocated has been maintained, but at the same time held additional costs despite no increases regarding labour hours or shifts. One key consideration caterers have had to deal with was addressing the risk of a complete kitchen shutdown due to one or more staff testing positive. This has been a very real concern and limitation; a number of kitchen teams we have spoken to have stated they will be maintaining a ‘bubble’ status, whilst still trying to ensure an element of flexibility. Keeping teams working in bubbles has so far meant that some catering teams have been able to maintain a service even during the “ping-demic” of summer 2021. The indication at the time of writing is that many are looking to revert to pre-pandemic operational processes for their foodservice, including the use of crockery and cutlery in place of disposables.


Supply chain challenges and disruption continued into the summer period and has been further exacerbated by the shortage of HGV & LGV delivery drivers and issues surrounding availability of product. Catering operations must ensure they have adequate stock going into the autumn and are going to need be prepared to change menus, last minute. Service level agreements with suppliers are now subject to increased scrutiny and operators are going to fair best by being understanding of

Major NEW Product Launches Make a Change for the Better! Keeping healthy is increasingly seen as a social responsibility with many consumers now being motivated to protect their health not just for themselves but also for the ‘greater good’. In research that Major carried out, a staggering 93% described strengthening their immune system as important. That’s why at Major they have been busy creating an industry first… A gravy which

not only tastes amazing but is a great source of Vitamin D! Major’s Instant Gravy is allergen free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, meets 2024 salt targets and is available in two varieties, perfect for meat and poultry dishes. Want to find out more and try for yourself, simply drop us an email at: or give us a call on 01933 356012 quoting The Carer for your free sample. See the advert on the previous page for details.

the situation, aware that they may not receive deliveries within their agree window. From allmanhall’s insight into how both clients and suppliers are adapting and planning ahead, it seems that the majority of catering teams are managing this well, communicating, showing flexibility and placing orders day 1 for day 3 as a minimum.


By their nature, kitchens are designed with good hygiene in mind and the pandemic forced an even more rigorous cleaning regime. Areas to keep a focus on are key touch points, cleaning regularly and deep cleaning the whole kitchen area at least once a week. A number of clients have spoken of the changes they have made to their shift and staffing requirements to facilitate this, and the extra training that has been required, too.


The majority of catering operators allmanhall has spoken to have indicated they will revert back to pre-pandemic levels and processes for some operational activities, notably the way the menu is designed. During the pandemic, menus were reduced to cope with the extra demand on staffing levels and time taken to pre-package food for delivery across campuses, for example. That said, having discussed this with a number of catering teams, they have largely indicated that although there will be more choice back on the menus, they will tailor it in such a way that the production methods are no more labour intensive than they have been over the last 18-month period. Operators have taken this opportunity to review their existing procedures and practises and implemented changes that they may have been previously considering, as improvements. See the advert on the facing page for details.

Cracking New Egg Dishes For Care Homes from Chef Martin McKee

Martin McKee, former NACC Care Chef of the Year, has created a series of new recipe videos showing how British Lion eggs can be used to create exciting, creative, and nutrient dense dishes to support the needs of care home residents. The recipes have been created to reflect the growing trend for menu simplification that has emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting staff and skills shortages, as well as incorporating nutritious ingredients in an original way. The five recipes have been developed in association with a specialist dietician to meet various nutritional requirements of residents, including undernourishment, dementia and dysphagia. The dishes include both savoury and sweet recipes and include Chicken and Leek Stuffed Mushroom; Deconstructed Spanish Omelette; Smoked Turkey, Cranberry and Egg Fried Sandwich; Lemon Meringue Pie; and a Custard Filled Doughnut. All the recipes are designed to serve 12 or more people and are easy to follow. British Lion eggs are approved by The Food Standards Agency to be eaten runny or

even raw by vulnerable groups, including care home residents. Before the change in advice for Lion eggs, care homes had to restrict the way they served eggs, but the change in 2017 meant that care home residents could once again enjoy a dippy egg, and benefit from a range of other nutritious, and delicious egg-based dishes. Martin said: ‘’Eggs are a must on care home menus and are a fantastically versatile ingredient. I have created a range of savoury and sweet recipes, calling on familiar favourites with a modern touch. The recipes I’ve created highlight the nutritional benefits of eggs, as they contain key vitamins and minerals and are high in protein which is essential for care home residents’ diets. I have also ensured that the recipes are straightforward and easy to replicate so that they can be enjoyed in care homes of any scale.” The video recipes are available to view on British Lion eggs YouTube channel and can also be found on See the advert on page 32 for further details.


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Uniquely Adapted Clothing By Adaptawear At Adaptawear we specialise in uniquely adapted clothing for day and night. Our garments are designed to help improve independent and assisted dressing, removing the limitations of conventional clothes. A key product in our night time range is the Iona Nightie; fully opening at the back and at both shoulders, it can be put on from a lying or seated position. It ensures dignified toileting due to it’s open-back with generous overlap. Another unique product to Adaptawear are the All-InOne Pyjamas, these feature shoulder to ankle and between the legs zips. These pyjamas are designed to enable carers to dress a person from a lying position. They are suitable for people who have a tendency to inappropriately disrobe and help avoid picking and smearing behaviour. They also allow easy and quick

access for toileting. Our day time range is particularly popular with those who can independently dress with a few discreet adaptations. These include; velcro/magnetic shirts, front fastening bras, pull on elasticated waist trousers and discreet open back day and nightwear. Adaptawear clothing can help improve the life of those living with a variety of conditions and many of our items are available with VAT relief. All items can be found at or call 0800 051 1931 for more info. Don’t forget to use code CR10M at checkout for 10% off your order. See the advert on page 3 for details.

Jolly Trolley Brings Therapeutic Activity and Entertainment to Patients That Are Isolating The Jolly Trolley® is an essential for any care establishment as it promotes social interaction between the service users and their carers. This innovative system is fully mobile and battery operated, allowing residents who may be unable to leave their rooms to also be included with ease. The Jolly Trolley® comes complete with its own videos, quizzes, karaoke and other content, but personal music, photos and films can then be added from a USB stick to really bring out the magic! Don’t just take our word for it here are just some testimonials from our very happy Health and Social Care clients:

Chester Park- Megan Allan, Activities “The fact that we can upload what is relevant to the specific Individual is so meaningful for that person and I can assure you we have shed some tears being able to be part of that residents memory journey. It has been an amazing addition to our care home – from staff and residents – thank you.” Pennine NHS Trust - Beech Ward“we have been able to provide therapeutic activity & entertainment with ease to patients that are isolating” To see what the Jolly Trolley® can do for you, call us for a free demonstration on 0800 093 8499. See the advert on page 4.

The Power of Scent It has been known for many decades that fragrance has the power to evoke emotions and memories, whether it is smelling a perfume that reminds you of an occasion in the past or a loved one that perhaps wore the fragrance or bought it for you, scent can bring back all of those happy memories and occasions. Your olfactory system is responsible for your sense of smell. Often called the “emotional brain”, it can instantly prompt powerful responses and memories. For instance, the scent of lemon might make you think of the lemon tree in your back garden growing up, but for another person it might be associated with the cleaning products their parents used in their childhood home. Having lost both parents to dementia, I remember going to see my mam in her care home and presenting her with a perfume that she wore occasionally for special occasions, at this stage she did not know my name, but I sprayed the perfume into the air and within seconds she told me what the perfume was and then over the next 30 minutes she was reminiscing of the times gone past, this had the same effect when we played her music to her, the memories and emotions came flooding back. Whether you use essential oils, fragrance oils or a mixture of both the scent can play a major part in your wellbeing and mood, for instance the aroma of fresh citrus and fresh green notes will make you feel uplifted, awake and fresh,

while rich fresh floral notes will give you a feeling of happiness, and spring and summer, while oriental will give you a feeling of warmth and a relaxed state of mind. At scentworks we offer a substantial range of essential oils, fragrance oils and formulations of both to suit all environments and needs whether it is for communal areas, washrooms, waste areas, offices, personal rooms, entrances etc. Our oils are all manufactured within the UK and are all IFRA controlled and compliant. Our scent diffusion equipment is discreet but also stylish, very quiet and very low maintenance, requiring only 1-2 service visits per year on self-replenished units which helps to keep costs to a minimum, from as little £1 per day. We have a selection of scent diffusion equipment with a wide range of coverage from small tabletop units suitable for an office environment, floor or wall mounted options for medium sized areas and up to larger units that connect directly to an air conditioning system above a roof void. All our scent diffusion equipment is programmable, which means that once set up you can just enjoy the fragrance not having to worry about switching the machine off as it will happen automatically. We offer a wide range of pricing solutions, whether this would be renting or purchasing of equipment along with fragrance and equipment packages, we are totally flexible to suit your requirements. Visit or see the advert on page 12.

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

Specialist Dementia Bathroom Design Guide Launched by AKW AKW, a leading provider of accessible home solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of a new guide to creating dementia-friendly bathrooms. Produced with advice and support from specialist dementia design advisers at the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), it offers best practice guidance on designing this important space. The bathroom is one of the most challenging and dangerous places for a person with dementia and Dementia Friendly Design aims to compensate for the changes people experience when living with this condition. Importantly, a dementia-friendly bathroom doesn’t need to cost more than a standard bathroom adaptation, but the products and guidelines regarding colour etc. need to be followed to ensure maximum safety and comfort. Lynsey Hutchinson, Senior Interior Designer at DSDC, University of Stirling, comments: “The bathroom, despite being one of the smallest rooms to design in any building, is one of the most complicated. Indeed, there are at least ten tonal considerations within a bathroom or shower room. These include tonal contrast

Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Edge Protector When specifying for a structure, it’s important to be aware of the level of wear and tear a door can be exposed to in a public building. Door edges, in particular, can be easily damaged or worn down by regular use – which can then render them non-compliant for fire safety regulations. To ensure that a project remains compliant, an architect can specify durable door edge protectors to add durability and longevity to doors. Not only will specifying edge protectors increase the longevity of doors, they will enhance the cost efficiency of a project by reducing maintenance demands and the possibility of having to replace unsafe fire doors. Yeoman Shield fire rated Door Edge Protectors are unique with a 2.0 mm Vinylac outer and a specially formulated 9mm PVCu reinforced core. They are FD30 (1/2 hour) and FD60 (1 hour) rated with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal

to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. Visit for details or see page 10.

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!

Renray Healthcare

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.

for surfaces / critical planes such as walls, floors, doors, skirtings, sanitary ware and toilet seats which should achieve a minimum contrast of 30 points LRV (Light Reflectance Value) in order to see one object against another.” Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW explains why the new dementia guide has been developed: “We have worked with the University of Stirling to translate the complex issue of dementia into practical design points that can be easily applied in any bathroom adaptation. The guide details the seven major dementia challenges that impact bathroom design and gives specific advice on what to install and where, to help overcome these issues. From flooring colour to lighting placement, the guide has it all.” For health and care professionals, specifiers, relatives, contractors and social landlords wanting to find out more, AKW’s Guide to Creating Dementia-Friendly Bathrooms is available to download from See the advert on page 9 for further details.

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

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 16.

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


CLEANING AND HYGIENE The Cleaning Show Returns post-pandemic future.


The global pandemic has seen cleanliness and sanitation become a top priority for business owners and consumers alike. Helping showcase the latest advancements in cleaning practices and technologies, The Cleaning Show returns to ExCeL, London from 2-4 November 2021. The show, organised by the British Cleaning Council and Quartz Business Media, is set to attract more than 7,000 senior cleaning professionals from across the contract cleaning, facilities management (FM), healthcare, hospitality, retail, and public services sectors – making it the UK’s largest and most important event in the cleaning and hygiene sector. Attendees will be able to connect, learn and discover new products, services, and suppliers at a critical time as businesses across the UK prioritise cleaning protocols to ensure returning staff and customers remain safe.

Reflecting on lessons learnt during the global pandemic and celebrating the hard work and achievements of cleaning professionals across the UK, The Cleaning Show conference makes an eagerly awaited return. It will provide a platform for attendees to learn and discuss the latest developments, and the critical next steps for an industry on the frontline of public health and safety. Industry experts will come together to discuss the role of cleaning in protecting public health and safety.



With new and recently launched innovations on display, attendees can find the solutions to help them meet the increasing demands for heightened cleanliness and sanitation in a

Haigh - Discover the Benefits of Disposable Bedpans Working with care operators nationwide, Haigh helps simplify pad and pan disposal. Clients have reduced or eliminated waste bag collections, resulting in cleaner, nicer sluice rooms. Haigh can minimise the hassle involved in change, with delivery planning, installations, staff training, and ongoing servicing capabilities; so you can focus on infection control and a great patient experience. The Haigh team has been working alongside care providers to adapt to new ways of delivering maintenance, service and user training to fit with on site teams and the additional constraints that the latest infection control and test procedures bring. This has been well received, for

example one multi-site care operator has also achieved significant operational cost benefits by moving a wide rage of maintenance services in-house, including waste disposal, and benefited from the expert support that Haigh have provided. With an in depth understanding of the end to end process for patient waste disposal, right through to the point where it is no longer the responsibility of the site, we know what is best for drainage and compliant effluent as well as the importance of reliability of the waste disposal machines themselves. For more information on how the Haigh team can help improve your pad and pan disposal processes please call or email the team at

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.

New for 2021, the Cleaning & Support Services Association will be hosting its 2021 CSSA Innovation Showcase in a dedicated pavilion at the event to highlight and celebrate the industry’s most innovative cleaning products, services and initiatives. Registration for The Cleaning Show 2021 is now open. To register today and find further information on this year’s programme, visit


CLEANING AND HYGIENE Power Driving Productivity In today’s world, the cleaning industry faces complex challenges and increased demands where cleaning is about keeping people safe. Increasing productivity is the key to meeting these demands and increasing standards. The new NX300 Pro Cordless network from Numatic delivers professional level cordless performance to a versatile and expanding range. Quicker, safer and more convenient, switching to Pro Cordless raises productivity levels, saving time and money. An extensive research and development programme utilising the latest battery technologies has resulted in the newly developed 30 cell design, delivering a 60% increase in available energy. The NX300 battery pack has been engineered and test-

ed for extended commercial use. Investing in the right cordless network will drive cost efficiency and return on investment. Networked solutions reduce purchase and maintenance costs. Users can specify and ultimately reduce charger and battery requirements, delivering up to a 50% savings compared to standalone cordless fleets. The NX range includes both cylinder and backpack vacuums while floorcare is covered with the ever popular TTB1840NX scrubber dryer and the newest additions with the 244NX compact scrubber dryer and RSU150NX Sanitise Pro. We look forward to seeing you at the Care Show, Hall 3A, Stand D50. To find our more visit:

Brookvale Care Home Relies on Rensair to Deliver 24x7 Clean Air

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

Air purification specialist Rensair has supplied Brookvale care home, located in Prestwich near Manchester, with portable, hospital-grade air purifiers to help prevent the transmission of Covid-19. Brookvale is a care home for adults with learning and physical disabilities, providing a calm, relaxed place to live and visit. “That calm and tranquility was challenged when the pandemic hit”, said Carl Richmond, CEO at Brookvale. “It became clear that we needed to put measures in place to ensure that we’re better equipped to deal with further potential outbreaks.” After conducting research, Brookvale sought advice from Rensair and, following a site visit to assess communal areas and occupancy levels, received a proposal based on the company’s modular, portable air purifiers. Rensair's patented technology, originally developed to meet the strict air quality requirements of Scandinavian hospitals, has since been adopted worldwide by doctor and dental practices, care homes and hospitals, including several NHS trusts. “Rensair’s pre-Covid experience

with hospitals added credibility and we had some prior knowledge of UV disinfection because of our hydrotherapy pool”, said Carl. It stands to reason that trapping pathogens with HEPA before destroying them with UVC light is more effective than fly-by-kill methods on moving targets.” In a test to determine the Rensair unit’s performance in reducing the concentration of Covid-19 particles in the air (using MS2 bacteriophages as a proxy for SARSCoV-2) , the Danish Technological Institute recorded a particle reduction rate of 99.98 % in 15 minutes and above 99.99 % in 30 minutes. Furthermore, the test reported 100% elimination of virus particles on the filter, with zero traces detected. “We now feel that the health of those within our care at Brookvale is properly protected and their families are reassured”, concluded Carl. “Equally important is the protection of mental wellbeing. For our clients, that means being allowed to continue their scheduled activities as well as enjoying unrestricted family visits.” See the advert on this page for details.


LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Forbes Professional Ensures that Care Homes Meet Stringent Industry Requirements For any care home, there are key considerations when it comes to their in-house laundry operation. Firstly, the process must be entirely compliant with CQC and the Department of Health, secondly it must adhere to the industry’s stringent WRAS requirements. In order to maintain the requisite hygiene control levels, is imperative to source appropriate commercial laundry equipment. It is also essential to ensure best practice through the sorting, segregation, transportation, processing and storage of all laundry items. The Department of Health’s Technical Memorandum (HTM) 01-04 requires that, for appropriate decontamination of linen, care homes must employ both thermal and chemical disinfection. Care homes also need to ensure that staff are trained in using the laundry equipment. Should the CQC find that a care home falls short of these requirements, the home may be placed into special measures, shut down or prosecuted. WRAS deems all care homes to be high risk Category


5 for the water contamination risk and washing machines therefore need to include a backflow prevention system. It is therefore imperative to use commercial laundry equipment. Forbes Professional is currently celebrating 95 years of service. A well-established family business with a nationwide infrastructure, Forbes provides care homes across the UK with highly efficient WRAS and CQC compliant laundry solutions. Proud partners of market leaders Miele, they offer the highest quality of both product and service. Forbes has a team of qualified in-house and gasregistered engineers, and all work is fully CHAS approved. They carefully specify the right equipment for each requirement and support clients with comprehensive user training and an inclusive same/ next day service response. Telephone 0345 070 2335

LaundryTec is the culmination of 40 years’ experience in the laundry equipment market by its founder Jeremy Hartigan. Based in Chester we offer support for our own Lavamac brand and all other makes. Uniquely LaundryTec will offer support for any laundry equipment, with reliable, cost-effective after sales support across the UK via our in-house service department Supported by Alliance Laundry (The World’s Biggest manufacturer) we distribute the Lavamac range of equipment that’s unique range of features include, Data Tracked Operation, Auto-Weight loading, Automatic chemical control, Simple to use controls and market leading efficiency in energy consumption make it a market leader The Air Sourced Heat Pump Dryers cost less to dry

18kg of washing than boiling a kettle! Auto- Chemical control and Auto weight Control calculates the energy required to the actual load and can control the chemical usage and offer reduction of up to 50% in chemical usage! Every replacement machine includes Installation, commissioning and as standard 24 months Parts and Labour Warranty. CMM customers will receive a 36-month warranty as Standard If you want a friendly amenable face that can deliver on their promises let LaundryTec offer you the kind of support we offer Bupa, Care UK, Abbey Healthcare, and many others to your home? From Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) to fully comprehensive cover and reactive support properly maintained, and supported laundry equipment should be a cost effective, relaxed part of the care homes operation? Check out our website to see what of customers say

FowlerUK are Back!

ments. We also offer tailor made finance packages to suit any budget. Contact us today for further information on 01200 444430 or by email

Revolution Max Ltd has a change of name and owner. We’re pleased to announce that Revolution Max Ltd will now be known as Fowler UK (Trading) Limited and is back in the hands of the original owner, David Fowler. Fowler UK are a nationwide supplier of commercial laundry and catering equipment. With a team of fully trained, gas certified field-base engineers, FowlerUK are a onestop-shop for all your servicing and maintenance require-

See the advert on page 32.

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

LaundryTec Ltd offer a unique approach to laundry equipment

We don’t want to replace equipment or sign you into a long-term agreement. LaundryTec want to support your existing equipment, through PPM, Gas Safe Compliance and Quality emergency support.

Quality, Innovation and Support


We are also Lavamac distributors

0151 317 3127




Why 4,438 Daily Falls In UK Care Homes Deserve Our Attention

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

The report goes on to discuss the importance of reducing the risk of spreading infectious diseases by eliminating avoidable contacts. There are clear benefits of using technologies that reduce the number of external contact such as those that would be required to pick up a resident following a fall. While difficult to quantify, the reduction of contacts with healthcare workers such as paramedics, GPs and district nurses with residents is seen as essential during a pandemic. Mangar Health CEO Simon Claridge adds, “we have been working with NHS Ambulance Trusts for nearly 20 years and yet this report has been incredibly eye opening for us. We know lifting fallen care home residents is a daily challenge to prioritising ambulance calls, yet equipment and technology could easily lift the considerable pressures they are under and save the NHS millions annually. “We would like to call on NHS England, NICE and CQC to review the dynamics involved in a resident fall detailed in this report and consider alternative care models in a post pandemic environment.” Anyone wishing to receive a copy of the report should email For more information email Mangar Health Tel: 01544 267674 See the advert on the facing page for more about Mangar.

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 New MPCSA11 from Medpage Medpage is a family ran company, with a huge heart and resources gathered over our 35- year trading history. The majority of the technologies we design, manufacture and distribute originate from enquiries received from healthcare professionals and personal family care observations. Our product portfolio provides a wide variety of care solutions for epilepsy, dementia, senior care, special needs and sensory loss. Our latest innovation, currently in use in several Hospitals, presents an effective fall monitoring, detection and reporting solution. The MPCSA11 is a complex software driven sensor monitor made to be user and operator friendly. This device has already proven successful in hospital and care home trials by reducing

patient falls while also reducing false positives from a safe patient. The device can monitor and interact with up to three sensor products: bed and chair occupancy pressure pads, PIR movement detection sensors and proximity signal products. In use, a patient or resident rising from their bed would be considered a falls risk, but what if they are simply moving to sit in a chair close to their bed? A standard bed monitor would raise an alarm alerting care staff, who would arrive to find the person safely seated. The MPCSA11 would only generate an alarm if the person was out of their bed or chair for a selectable time duration. Learn more Or see the advert on page 2.

Silent Running - Tranquility in Care Homes Quiet and calm care homes ensure that residents are able to live in a more relaxing and pleasant home environment. Similarly, carers and staff find that they too benefit from reduced stress when working in a home where noise levels are kept to a minimum. There are many environmental factors that can affect those sensitive to their surroundings, particularly those suffering from dementia, these can be fluctuations in ambient temperature, light, and of course noise. Repetitive and high levels of noise can originate from a number of internal and external sources, for example, telephones ringing, loud conversations in corridors, and call bells sounding, often one of the largest contributors to increasing the levels of stress and discomfort in residents. A published study by the University of Stirling stated that unanswered Nurse Call (Call Bell) alarms can be one of the most common causes of stress in dementia sufferers. The University recommends “fitting call alarms which alert nurses but do not resonate throughout the whole building. Alarms can be particularly disconcerting as they may encourage the person with dementia to respond or investigate what the matter is. At the very least the loss of sleep will compromise a person’s ability to concentrate. It can affect their attention levels and capacity to cope, as well as being detrimental to their overall state of wellbeing. Personal paging systems are preferable to bells and buzzers.” Modern Nurse Call systems can incorporate a number of methods to reduce their impact in a care home. These include zoning whereby there are sepa-

rate alarm types used depending upon the location of the call. In these circumstances, dementia sufferers and those vulnerable to noise can be located in one “zone” whist less vulnerable residents live in an alternative “zone”. Each “zone” can operate different call tones, warning lights or other methods to alert when help is required Reducing noise levels is essential to create a tranquil environment for residents. Pagers have been around for many years, are a relatively simple and cost-effective measure in reducing the levels of noise, and can be added to most Nurse Call systems. Smart Mobile Devices are now becoming more commonplace for care home staff and hold a variety of apps for care planning, e-medication, etc. Many Courtney Thorne clients are now utilising the “Go” app with their Nurse Call system. With the “Go” app, nurse call alarms are delivered immediately and silently straight to the handsets, alerting the individual carers to all Nurse call alarms without creating any general alarm sound and rarely disturbing the rest of the residents in the home. Calmer residents ultimately means that staff are less stressed also, this creates a happier workplace where morale is greatly improved, staff are retained and CQC ratings improve. Clearly, the positive ramifications of a quiet Care Home run deep. Get in touch today to find out how we can help your home become a quieter, calmer, and more tranquil environment. For more information email us at:

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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.

Nurse Call Systems from Alarm Radio Monitoring Alarm Radio Monitoring (A.R.M) is a UK based manufacturer of wireless Nurse Call and Staff Alarm systems; offering a comprehensive range of Nurse Call, Staff Alarm, Fire Alarm, and Door Access bespoke systems. With over 28years experience in the design & development of wireless Nurse Call & Staff Alarm systems, A.R.M has established itself as a key player within the wireless solutions market to the public and private healthcare sectors. Wireless systems can be fitted while your home remains operational, so you do not have to close rooms off and they offer greater flexibility and ease for future expansion. Care Homes choose A.R.M nurse call systems because they: • are quick and simple to install. • make it easier for staff to identify the source of calls because they give full text descriptions. • give management the tools they need to monitor and control best practice. The system provides a full audit trail of which buttons are pressed and response times.

• failsafe eg alerts you in the event of a system fault or batteries are running low. • carry a year’s guarantee. • are supported 24/7, 365 days a year by specialist engineers over the telephone or online. Take the ongoing cost out of your operation with our unique return to base service exchange policy and low cost of ownership along with flexible finance options. No matter how demanding your environment, A.R.M believes everyone - whether you’re a customer in a care home or team member - should be within safe reach.


NEW - Glove friendly, touch screen display. Bed Angel – see advert on this page Our new and innovative falls detection system The Bed Angel ensures overnight bed monitoring and protection against falls, wandering and confusion. For further details: 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.”


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Check EU Employees Right To Work, Warns Bizimply 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. 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

Global Software Solutions

Leecare is a leading UK and international aged care sector software system. The Platinum 5 (P5) system supports all CQC standards for optimal resident and operational management. Designed by aged care expert staff and tailored specifically to aged care organisations, P5 assists with predicting, recording and providing evidence for all resident and business needs in one user-friendly system. Leecare’s comprehensive software suite encompasses all clinical and managerial requirements on one platform assisting with the management of clinical risk and freeing up more time for staff to spend with residents all whilst exceeding CQC requirements.


Our extensive sector knowledge and experience as a result of more than 28 years in the aged care business, positions Leecare to be the software solution of choice across five continents. Our global client base is built of 900+ government, small independent services, and multi-facility corporate organisations in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, and China.

Our senior management team have years of collective experience working in, consulting to, and managing care organisations. This has led us to develop the P5 suite – an unparalleled clinical, care, lifestyle, medication, operations, and financial management software solution specifically created for the health and social care sector.


Leecare’s comprehensive Platinum 5.0 program is easily customised to meet specific organisational needs. Offering as much or as little flexibility as desired, P5 assessment content across the suite and linked Apps can be modified to provide clients with reassurance that the software is fit for purpose. Integral to the program is a specialised form and report builder which enables easy tailoring of the program. Organisations can build or modify assessments, monitoring charts care plans and reports as well as change default and individual resident settings ensuring optimal function and success. Visit for further information.

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TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Is It Time To Upgrade Your Workforce Management Technology? Covid-19 has undeniably challenged care homes and will permanently reshape how many operate. The pandemic sparked the biggest and fastest transformation of the workplace. Automation, digitalisation and innovation to fit with this new world is happening at a pace that we have never seen before. It’s clear that things are not going to simply return to the way they were, instead we all need to look to the future and re-evaluate systems and processes. Here are five areas that workforce management technology could assist your care home.


Workforce management technology gives you the ability to better manage the health and safety of your employees. You have the tools to ensure optimal shift patterns and rotations that take into account health and safety requirements, procedures and regulations. Your system can tell you things like - who is working where and when? Who in their teams they have been in contact with? If they have been self-isolating - when will it be safe for

them to return to work? Do they need a return-to-work interview? At the touch of a button, you have all the information you need to need to answer these and multiple other questions. Workforce Planning & Optimisation Workforce management planning and decisions require accurate realtime information. It is extremely difficult to manage your workforce effectively without having detailed information on employee time, attendance, absences, activities, skills and scheduling. This pandemic has led to an extreme disruption around workforce management planning and optimisation. Care homes now need to find ways to ensure that their workforce is optimised under different conditions and a good system can automate many of these processes for you.

Giving employees Control The most successful organisations today are the ones that are putting their employees in control. They view them as their internal customers and are dedicated to serving their needs as well as the needs of the business. By doing this, they foster a culture of empowered, engaged and motivated staff who are more satisfied, productive and loyal. With the use of selfservice solutions, employees can easily organise and manage their own time, attendance, schedules, annual leave, absences and personal details. This in turn reduces queries, calls and emails to line managers, HR and Payroll Departments.


As we move to a post Covid-19 world, it’s expected that new business priorities will lead to the reshaping of teams and upgrading of workforce procedures and policies that will take into account new ways of working. In order to do this, you will require reliable workforce data to determine budgets and costs. Having a proper handle on workforce costs and productivity will be critical to the smooth operation of your care home. To find out more about how Softworks solutions could benefit your care home visit or see the advert on page 15.

Even before Covid-19, employers were realising the benefits of introducing more flexible working options. Benefits including; increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and attracting and retaining talent. A good system will give you a fully automated way to record hours worked, maintain flexi balances and manage planned/unplanned absences. Employees can log attendance on a PC, tablet or mobile either by time or by honour-based email timesheets. No need for spreadsheets and no manual processes saving time, eliminating errors and reducing administration.


everyLIFE Will Be Challenging the Status Quo at The Care Show Event season is in full swing and the team at everyLIFE Technologies are enjoying every minute of it. Seeing customers, colleagues and peers face to face is a welcome return to normal and everyLIFE has a lot to talk about. COVID-19 caused many new issues for the social care sector and highlighted many more that have been battled behind closed doors for some time, which the wider public knew little about. Taffy Gatawa, Chief Information & Compliance Officer at everyLIFE will explore these issues and examine what they mean for social care both now and in the future in her keynote speech, titled “An Uncomfortable Truth: Social care deserves more” at The Care Show, NEC Birmingham, 13th-14th October. Looking forward to the event, Taffy said “We see so many hardworking professionals dedicate themselves to caring for others on a daily basis. There are common barriers that they have to try to overcome to provide the level of care that they want to, their frustration and disappointment is palpable. We want to do everything we can to help enable the best care possible, regardless of location, setting and need.”

All Your Care Home Needs This October sees the launch of a new business supporting the care sector in the form of Wippet, an online marketplace which is promising to create quite a stir. Wippet is a B2B, many-to-many marketplace where customers can find everything they need - from beds to detergents, from uniforms to food. Wippet is free to the user and provides the simplicity of one website with one login, one basket and one invoice – the ultimate one stop shop. Matt Oxley is Wippet’s CEO and has had extensive experience in the care sector and is the brains behind the idea. “I don't believe there's a care provider out there that couldn't benefit significantly from the efficiency Wippet will bring. Our mantra at Wippet is to make buying in healthcare simple. That's what we'll deliver from the moment customers first use our site.” John Barrowcliffe, Wippet’s commercial and operations director, underlined that sentiment: “When we briefed the platform design we didn't use any other B2B ecommerce websites as our quality benchmark, we looked to the best of the consumer world. Why shouldn't people in B2B enjoy the intuitive and fluid experi-

The Carer Digital Now Available Weekly

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:

Just think of a giant Andr Android oid tablet built into a solid oak surr surround, ound, on a base that houses a lar large ge battery to allow you to use it all day long and smooth running wheels for easy movement between rrooms ooms in your car care e home. !

ence of the sites they use personally? We've all enjoyed many-to-many marketplaces and their benefits with brands like ASOS, Airbnb and Deliveroo, we’re just bringing the same technology to the care sector.” Wippet is known to have signed up some of the biggest players in care suppliers already with a pipeline of customers eagerly anticipating their launch, which has the backing of their new owners who have invested in the team, the platform and Wippet’s marketing. Oxley continued: “It’s the 21st century and all the information customers need is out there, we’ve just put it all in one convenient place where it’s easy to determine best value from suppliers they know and trust. It’s just about choice, value and convenience. And all our suppliers go through due diligence checks, to provide the assurance that customers can buy from known and trusted supplier brands - but without all the usual effort.” Although Wippet hasn't launched yet, there already seems to be a long line of customers keen to see what the platform can do for them so the Wippet team will have a busy couple of days ahead of them at Care Show 21 at the NEC on October 13th and 14th. “So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive, everybody we've spoken to loves the idea and can't wait to try it. We’ll be doing demos at the Care Show and will love to meet more customers and suppliers alike.” said David Meikle, sales and marketing director. See the advert on page 17 for further details. Customers and suppliers can also register their interest at

How to enhance your rresidents esidents experience --!!

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everyLIFE’s steely focus in its support of the care industry and the people cared about extends to its digital care management platform, PASS. The platform’s newest feature, PASSreporting, uses Artificial Intelligence to track and collate recorded care activities, turning this raw information into actionable insights that carers and care managers can easily apply to enhance the care they provide and the operational efficiencies of their organisation. Duncan Campbell, Commercial Director at everyLIFE, is excited by the opportunities PASSreporting offers “Care professionals gather a huge amount of information whilst they are with the people they care about, PASSreporting automatically interprets this and flags crucial moments that matter in someone’s care journey, from an increased dependency on care, to an increased likelihood of a fall. It has also been designed to highlight and support the operational needs of care organisation, including staff training requirements and simplified CQC visits, ultimately helping to save time and money.” To find out more about PASSreporting, visit stand H62 at The Care Show or see the advert on the facing page.

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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.

Empowering Your Ambition with Xledger

Changing your finance system is not something you do every day. However, the benefits of taking this leap can advance the success of your care home – with greater insight and automated processes for your team, now and into the future. Xledger is a leading provider of cloud-based finance software. It helps over 10,000 organisations in 50 countries streamline, digitise and automate their finances. Accessible at any time, on any web-enabled device, Xledger has the tools to slice and dice your data and to

easily drill down from consolidation to individual level transactions. Its automated software can reduce the amount of time you spend on repeat invoices and expenditures. Xledger also prides itself on delivering a quick and simple implementation process with no requirement for a new IT infrastructure. Ultimately, the 100% cloud solution helps you to reduce costs, run a leaner, more efficient finance department and understand key financials in real-time. This gives you the opportunity to add real value to your organisation and frees up your time so you can focus on delivering the best care for your residents. Xledger will be exhibiting at The Care Show 2021 (Hall: 3A, Stand: F64). Xledger Senior Consultant Peter Hucker will also be hosting a session on the morning of Day 1 of the event, entitled Modernise Your Finance System: Why, How and What to Avoid, which is taking place in the Business Compliance Regulation Theatre. To book a demo or arrange a 1-2-1 meeting at the Care Show 2021, you can contact them by emailing or call 0117 457 3293.

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TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Why Now Is The Moment To Embrace Digital Health Technology As Part Of The Care Home System By Axel Nordberg, Essity Global Brand Director ( As we emerge from the depths of a historic pandemic, the words of Florence Nightingale have never rung truer for carers around the world. From adapting to PPE requirements to abiding by social distancing, Covid-19 has forced all carers to relearn key parts of their trade to keep their residents safe and healthy. Naturally, this has not come without a cost. According to our data at Essity, the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on either the physical health, mental health or emotional wellbeing of more than eight out of ten of the UK carers surveyed. Every carer said their role had changed, with 95% working longer hours to manage urinary incontinence, cleaning and sterilising responsibilities – the highest of any country in Europe. Ultimately, the bravery of our frontline heroes can only endure this emotional and physical toll for so long. In the face of adversity, however, we must look forward. The development of digital health technology – and the appetite to integrate it into care homes – is accelerating at an exceptional rate, and the industry is realising that it is an essential component of a more efficient, higher quality future for care.


The pandemic has provided the care industry with a moment to step

back and evaluate how it operates. Alongside the long-term impacts of Covid-19, an ageing population will soon demand a new delivery of care – with care homes unlikely to be able to accommodate every patient that needs their service. For many, home treatment will become the practical solution. In recent years, digital health technology has made this process safer and more comfortable for those who require care, their families, and their carers. From medication reminder apps and ECG wearables, to information-sharing software that lets nurses access patient data remotely, innovation is delivering products and solutions to cater for home care. As more care organisations integrate digital health technology into their operations, they build the infrastructure for a digital future of care. With over a third of carers wanting the government or private companies to invest in more technology, there is a clear appetite to make that next step forward from those that matter.


To bring the power of digital health technology to life, it is important to discuss it in the context of the real, day-to-day issues putting an insurmountable strain on carers. Managing urinary incontinence – an important yet challenging aspect of a carer’s day-to-day role – has had both a physical and emotional impact on the carer during the pandemic, with the rate of resultant exhaustion (25%) and resentment (13%) rising by 19% and 10% respectively since 2019. It’s not just the carers that are impacted – 80% of carers find it hard to maintain the dignity of those suffering from the problem. Deploying technology to address these issues can be life-changing for carers and those needing care alike. However, the UK is currently lagging behind. Only 27% of UK carers said that they have access to

sensor technology to support incontinence care, compared to the European average of 32%. Reusable sensors, such as our recently launched TENA SmartCare Change Indicator, can track when a patient needs changing and provide app notifications to their carers, ensuring instant attention and avoiding unnecessary checks. With 71% carers currently struggling with the time required to make frequent checks associated with urinary incontinence, this technology is invaluable to the efficiency of their role.


The value of digital health technology in the management of urinary incontinence is just one example of the impact it can have in a care environment, albeit a strong one: 98% of UK carers say that it helps them feel better about their role. This figure alone highlights the value of digital health technology in enabling carers to react to health issues sooner and in a smarter way. By integrating technology into the care routine, any decline in the residents or loved one’s well-being, however slight, can be tracked and used to notify those that can provide the necessary support. As patterns appear in their personal data, it even has the potential to allow carers to predict and prevent various health issues. As an industry, we must continue to work together – as innovators and carers – to co-create digital health technology solutions that will have a meaningful impact on people’s lives. The pandemic has provided the care sector with an opportunity to engage in digital transformation and provide its frontline heroes with the technological support they need to keep those in care, safe, healthy, and happy. Better connected care will deliver better care, for everyone.

Empower Your Care Teams With Flexible Digital Care Management Nourish Care is a Digital Care Planning provider that works with a range of different care services, including residential, nursing, dementia care, learning disabilities, large care groups and more. The app-based system is made up of digital care plans, custom interactions and personalised timelines for everyone within a care service. The digital platform allows care teams to record at the point of care, and analyse data over time to tailor care plans to the individual’s needs. The most important goal for Nourish is to enable carers to spend less time on admin, and more time providing face-to-face, person-centred care. Nourish were one of only two software providers to be assured by NHSX for its DSCR (Digital Social Care Records) Digital Purchasing System (DPS) at launch, and were also the first to be certified by the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB), with whom they worked very closely to define a new set of standards for interoperability across the care sector.

Some of the most recent additions to the Nourish platform include a Medication Module that allows care providers to streamline medication management. The app also now has an additional option to use Nourish Insights - a powerful reporting and analytics feature that allows care owners and managers to closely track and monitor trends within those they support, to continue to improve the delivery of care. To learn more about the Nourish platform, you can visit them at The Care Show on 13th & 14th October at stand H82. Founder and CEO, Nuno Almeida will also be delivering two talks on the 13th, including Accelerating Quality Improvement by Empowering Circles of Care and Digital Social Care Records - Joining Up Care. You can also contact Nourish to book your free personalised demo by visiting or calling 02380 002288.



How Immigration Can Help The Care Sector

By Jemima Johnstone, head of corporate immigration at Gherson Solicitors (

For care homes facing staff shortages the UK immigration system offers some solutions, but is by no means a universal panacea. And the solutions do come at a cost – in terms of both time and money. Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the government introduced a single immigration system to apply to all non-UK and Irish nationals. For most individuals looking to come to the UK for work that means first obtaining a Skilled Worker visa, which requires them to be sponsored by a UK employer to take up a specific role. The employer must guarantee the type of role, the salary, and that the candidate has the skills and qualifications to fill it. The Skilled Worker scheme is not an option for every job. The government has set a minimum skill level for roles that can be sponsored –

RQF Level 3. The assessment is based on the nature of the job that will be done and is shown by the Standard Occupational Classification (or SOC code) of the role. For the care sector the key roles eligible for sponsorship are Nurses and ‘Senior Care Workers’. The role of ‘Care Worker’ is not considered to be at a sufficient skill level to be sponsored. The distinction between a Senior Care Worker and a Care Worker is not precisely defined by the SOC codes or anywhere in the government’s immigration rules or guidance, leaving employer’s to make the assessment. The government has also set minimum levels for the salary that must be paid to a sponsored worker. These depend on the SOC code of their job, but there is also a baseline annual salary figure and hourly rate for all roles. For Senior Care Workers the requirement will be to pay at least £10.10 an hour and a minimum annual salary of £20,480. Finally there are criteria that the candidates themselves must meet, including a level of English Language ability. This is met by some nationalities automatically, but applicants from non-English speaking countries – including the EU – may need to sit a secure language test to prove their ability, and this can take time to book and sit. Sponsoring an employee also comes at a cost to the employer, in terms of money but also time. The first step for any employer is to obtain a sponsor licence. This will last for four years, and allow them to sponsor potentially an unlimited number of eligible employees. A sponsor licence costs £536 for small companies and charities, or £1,476 for all other organisations. Visa costs themselves are more significant, though care sector roles will often be eligible for a reduction in fees because they fall under the ‘Health and Care’ visa heading. On average a 3 year visa for a Senior Care Worker will cost c. £1,500 for a small company and £3,500 for a

larger company. An application for a sponsor licence must demonstrate that the company applying is a legally operating UK organisation, that they have a genuine need for a sponsor licence – and will be sponsoring roles that meet the criteria of this visa route. Applicants must also fully understand their obligations and duties as a sponsor and make sure that they have systems and processes in place to deliver these. Applicants show that they meet the criteria by submitting an online form and supporting evidence, and potentially receiving a Home Office assessment visit. Having a licence also brings certain ongoing monitoring and reporting duties, with penalties if these are not met. Licence applications are standardly processed in 8 weeks, but there is a limited priority service available. Applicants who manage to obtain a priority slot, for a fee of £500, will be assessed in 2 weeks. Standardly visas take 3 weeks to process, though for Health and Care visas this time is reduced to c.1 week; applicants outside the EU will have to attend a biometric appointment, which can take from days to weeks to book. With all of the above limitations and costs this may still be the best solution for care homes looking to recruit senior care staff urgently. But to obtain a licence and sponsor individuals by 11th November time is getting extremely tight. Jemima is experienced in all areas of corporate immigration, from gaining and maintaining Sponsor Licences to recruitment advice and avoiding criminal and civil penalties. Her and her team assist with all issues pertaining to running a business in compliance with current immigration laws and hiring and maintaining migrant workers.

The Vocabulary of Leadership By Peter Bewert, Managing Director at Meaningful Care Matters (

Leadership! It’s a word that is commonly stated in many different situations. It comes up in personal, professional, social, family, and many other aspects of life. But what does it really mean and further still, what does it really do? Some would say that leaders are part of a bureaucratic chain that seeks to control the lives of us mere minions, conforming us to societal rules made by leaders who are above the leaders, and the bigger leaders beyond that… bureaucracy at its best! So, many self-help and leadership books assert we must ‘tap into the leader within’, well, what happens when one struggles with deciding what to have for breakfast and praying that we simply make it through the day without inadvertently telling someone to ‘go away’ (usually

said with a more uncouth colloquial vernacular in one’s head and on occasions, out loud). As human beings, we complicate many things all too frequently and most of the time unnecessarily. Leadership is simple. The test of a good leader is whether that person inspires you to make a change to better yourself as a person. Leadership, therefore, is about engagement, interaction, relationships, and connections which are meaningful and that matter. We all have the ability to tap into the leader within. Just as we all have the ability to use our leadership to inspire and empower, or to create a feeling of disenchantment around us. Over 25 years of working in health and social care, I have learnt 4 top motivators of emotionally led leadership. If we embrace these top four principles, we will undoubtedly influence positive cultures where people are real, people are genuine, and people can connect meaningfully: 1. Know Yourself: When we know ourselves and how we like to interact and engage with others, this is the first step to authentic meaningful relationship. This is the foundation of leadership. 2. Know your communication style: Knowing the way you like to give and receive information is important. This allows us to develop our communication styles where we are not so strong and in which others may have as their preference. This allows for better understanding. 3. You are not an oracle: Being open to other ideas and ways of thinking are essential. We don’t know everything and, sure, we can bring our best to the table, but when we truly listen to the collective thoughts and ideas of those who we engage with, that’s how we move from good to great. 4. You have a heart for a reason: People are driven by the heart and soul of their emotions. The difference between good leaders and great

leaders is understanding emotional intelligence and the impact of emotions on people and their actions. This means being open to feelings and emotions and learning to not only recognise them, but to also speak the language of feelings. Culture is an umbrella term outlining the societal norms and behaviours which govern our behaviours. One could argue culture designs us and, in part, this is true. However, culture is shaped by the people within. Leaders have the ability to impact culture. The question is, what influence will we exert on moulding our cultures of the future? I would like to think we are all seeking for a better world for ourselves and future generations to experience. This can only come when we embrace agile, emotionally intelligent framework, and this has to come from our leadership styles in action. Feelings, actions, interactions, and knowledge will shape our cultures of the future; we are the designers of the culture we wish to see. Good leadership begins with self. It empowers self and others to be the best version of ‘me’ and embrace the unique individualism that comes from the diversity of beliefs and cultural practices. So, what are you going to influence today? Peter Bewert is the Managing Director at Meaningful Care Matters, a leading care and organisational development group that specialises in helping health and social care providers to access a variety of support services. The group helps to facilitate the creation, reinvigoration and sustainable implementation of person-centred care cultures where people matter, feelings matter, and we are ‘Free to be Me’. Contact the team on

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How To Make Yourself An Attractive Proposition To Investors

By Pinesh Mehta, investor at BGF (

The care sector has been at the forefront in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. For 18 months it has faced extraordinary challenges that have stress tested the business, both financially and operationally, while placing considerable pressure on key workers and service users under their care. COVID-19 has undoubtedly forced many providers to reevaluate their proposition, highlighting the need to invest in a service that has proved vital during the course of 2020. While some may view it as an opportunity to expand and accelerate future growth plans, others will view the pandemic as a tipping point in the company’s lifecycle, deciding now is the time to exit the business. Whatever the motivation, the importance of investment capital in realising those opportunities is clear. So, in a marketplace that is worth around £16.5 billion a year and caters for the needs of over 400,000 service users , how can you make yourself an attractive proposition to investors, whether that’s gearing up for growth, or an exit?

CONSISTENTLY GOOD CARE If a business provides a consistently good quality of care – and, crucially, it maintains that quality as it expands – everything else follows. This is often measured by care quality user ratings from external inspectors – such as the Care Quality Commission – as well as internal data, including a serious incidents log. No matter how profitable, investors won’t invest in a care business if it doesn’t provide a high enough standard of care.

HAPPY, MOTIVATED STAFF Retaining staff is a formidable challenge in an industry where roughly three in ten care workers leave their jobs each year. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many workers are suffering from burnout, competition from other employers is high, and Brexit has made it harder to recruit from the European Union. Successful companies offer apprenticeship schemes, career progression and incremental pay rises to ensure hard-working care staff are rewarded.

CLIENTS VALUE THE SERVICE The need for care is rising due to an ageing population and the impact of the pandemic. Yet the quality of care across the industry is mixed and there is a good deal of regional variation in terms of supply and demand. To identify excellent businesses with a reliable pipeline of future clients, investors look for high occupancy rates, as well as using average weekly fees as a benchmark.

A GROWTH-FOCUSED TEAM Investors want to back ambitious businesses with exciting growth plans, but the management team must have the skills needed to turn ambitions into reality. Investment firms look for individuals with a track record of acquiring, developing and integrating new sites into the business. They also pay close attention to how the core estate has performed over time, as this is a good indicator of how future sites will perform.

REGIONAL CLUSTERING Operations at a care business can swiftly become unmanageable if the business is spread over too wide an area. The key is a growth plan focused on geographica clusters; that way, regional managers can oversee operations at several sites without having to travel hundreds of miles. Clustering is easier to achieve if the business pursues a blended strategy – building up new sites from scratch, as well as acquiring existing ones.

ABILITY TO ACHIEVE SCALE Inevitably there will be consolidation in the care industry, in which roughly three-quarters of care homes are run by single-site operators, according to EY-Parthenon. Acquiring sites is the quickest way to grow, whereas developing new sites can provide a bigger boost to the overall value of the business, but this takes longer – on average, it takes two to three years for a new site to reach maturity. If done well, more scale equals a higher enterprise multiple and a more valuable business.

LOOKING AHEAD High acuity services is a sector that has significant investment potential in the current marketplace – particularly those providers who care for adults with learning difficulties in an area where demand continues to outstrip supply, especially for operators that provide a high quality of care. As well as offering a potential return, backing these types of businesses is clearly a good thing from a society perspective. Pinesh Mehta is an investor at BGF – the UK and Ireland’s most active capital growth investor. The company has invested in 28 businesses in the healthcare sector in recent years, totalling £162m of investment. These include Springfield Healthcare, Dolphin Homes, as well as The Good Care Group.

The Social Care Sector Faces The Most Unprecedented Workforce Crisis And Needs Urgent Government Support It is clear that care providers are struggling to recruit and this is due to a combination of factors including low wages, the pandemic, Brexit-related workforce changes and the implementation of the double vaccination policy. This is against a backdrop of an increasing number of adults who need support across the country. Aston Brooke Solicitors working in conjunction with Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has urged the government to provide more support to stem the workforce crisis in adult social care. Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England said: “Quite simply care providers are at breaking point. The writing is on the wall and without immediate help, as given to the NHS, the social care sector will crumple and not be there to support the NHS over the winter let alone in years to come”. Care England wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, outlining the crisis in the sector and the steps required to be taken by government with immediate effect. This included: • Expanding the social care workforce by recruiting an additional 35,000 to 70,000 workers from abroad to combat the effects of the mandatory vaccination. • Reducing the qualifying level for overseas recruitment for social care staff (£25,600). • The inclusion of all care workers to the Shortage Occupation List and reducing the salary threshold for immigration • Waiving the Immigration Skills Charge for care workers

• Fast-track system to grant visas under sponsorship licenses for people working in social care • Bonuses/increase pay • Direct support to help fund those suffering from PTSD • The need for the continuation of COVID funds. Martin added: “We have done an enormous amount of work on what could and should be done to help the adult social care workforce and hope that we can look to the government for support.” Following the footsteps of Care England, a ground-breaking report by Community Integrated Care has found that 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. The social care sector is anxiously awaiting the government’s response on this pressing issue. Aston Brooke is working tirelessly to address the recruitment crisis by assisting care providers. If any care providers require further information, please contact Mr Kashif Majeed at See the advert on page 27 for further information.

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Will Care Homes Face an Uncertain Future Without Further Financial Support? By John Rozenbroek, CFO/COO at Capify ( Care home workers have been at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus, and the sector has faced incredible challenges throughout this pandemic. 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. 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. As lockdown restrictions continue to ease and the country starts to reopen, do care homes really have everything they need to recover from this crisis?


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. Boosting cash flow was the top priority for 57% of businesses in our recent 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. 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 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

Selling by Auction Is the Fastest and Most Certain Way to Complete a Property Transaction

Owing to the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, Charles Darrow Auctions is experiencing increasing demand from business owners looking to sell their Care Home premises by auction. While government support continues, property availability is still low. However, market demand from buyers searching for former Care Homes for either investment purposes or alternative uses is high. We are seeing sellers successfully take advantage of the high levels of market demand right now, rather than waiting to join what is likely to become a saturated market, with an anticipated influx of commercial property likely to be hitting the market in the first quarter of 2022. To satisfy this demand, we are looking for entries into our next auction and will consider all types of Care Home. Our company ethos is to achieve the best price possible by providing the most up to date accurate marketing advice to our clients. Lucy Fuller, Auction Surveyor at Charles Darrow commented “An auction sale can often take as little as

four weeks from instruction to an exchange of contracts, whereas a standard Private Treaty sale is currently taking on average four to six months to reach exchange of contracts, with no guarantee the buyer will not withdraw from the transaction at any point in the process. Our auction process allows people to seriously commit to a purchase when bidding, as contracts will exchange instantly to the highest bidder at the fall of the gavel”. Sadly, a lot of business owners around the UK are now in some form of financial distress and with this likely to worsen as government support is withdrawn, a quick method of sale is likely to be required by many of them before the year end. We believe that selling by auction is truly the fastest and most certain way to complete a property transaction and we would love to have the opportunity to discuss your marketing options with you. If we can help you, please contact the Auction team at Charles Darrow on 01626 572894 / 01626 330022 or visit

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