The Carer #57 December 2021 / January 2022

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Issue 57

Government Sets Out Its Ten-Year Adult Social Care Vision

The government has delivered its long-awaited social care white paper which sets out a 10-year vision for social care and includes how the government will spend the £5.4bn promised to the sector over the next three years. The white paper is part of the government’s wider social care plans, which for the first time provides a limit to the cost of care for everyone in the adult social care system, and significantly increases state support. The transformed social care system will apply to people in both residential and at home care and will set daily living costs at a lower rate than originally pro-

posed, helping people save more money. It will mean nobody is forced to sell their homes in their lifetime. As part of the white paper, the government has set out further details on how over £1 billion for system reform will be spent over the next three years to improve the lives of those who receive care – as well as their families and carers. This will include providing greater choice, control and support to help people lead independent life by including funding to transform homes and improve the physical, digital and technological infrastructure.

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PAGE 2 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

VIEWPOINT We are faced with the prospect of another difficult winter for the sector as a spectre variant grows daily. So far and very fortunately (at the time of writing) no deaths have been linked to this new variant named Omicron, however it has sent shockwaves through the country and mandatory mass are now required in shops and on public transport. Editor The most vulnerable in the country are set to get four coronavirus jabs, as are frontline health and social care workers, in a race to stop the spread of the Omicron variant. This really could not have come at a worse time of the sector’s struggle with staff. Not only residential and nursing care staff, but also home care staff as well. The social care sector in England may have lost up to 70,000 workers across all settings in the past six months, according to analysis of government figures by the Nuffield Trust. The think tank found staff numbers reported by social care providers fell from 1,584,535 in the week ending 27 April 27 to 1,542,590 in the week ending 26 October. That decrease of about 42,000 staff may actually be in the region of 50,000 to 70,000 workers when adjusting the data to account for the fact that a changing number of providers across all care settings submitted data over this period, the Nuffield Trust said. The government, to give credit where credit is due, has intervened swiftly, and at this stage we can only hope that the variant proves not to be too serious. Another story in this issue is an ADASS survey, which reveals a rapidly deteriorating picture of Social Care Services. The ADASS is urging the government to fund a £1,000 winter retention bonus for all staff, which I think is a wonderful idea and one that I hope the government seriously considers! We have done our bit and are delighted to announce in this issue THE CARER’s latest Unsung Hero (see page 7). I was also delighted to see how popular the award is! We had a wonderful response with some truly uplifting and heart-warming nominees, which is a wonderful indication yet again of how dedicated those working in the sector truly are! We all here at The Carer will take this opportunity to wish a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Thank you for all your support this year and we do hope you find our enclosed year planner useful! And please do keep your stories coming in! Anything you would like to share please do send it to me at editor@thecareruk.com

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.

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THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 3

Government Sets Out Its Ten-Year Adult Social Care Vision (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) The funding will help pay for: • The range and amount of new supported housing to be increased through £300 million in housing investment, to help local authorities offer greater choice, care and support, alongside a new practical service to make repairs and changes in peoples’ homes to help them remain safe and either stay with their families or live independently in accordance with their wishes. • New technology and digitisation backed by at least £150 million to improve care quality and safety, support independent living and allow staff to provide focused care where it is needed. For example acoustic sensors which monitor movement will help residents sleep uninterrupted and allow carers to monitor them safely and be alerted if needed. Digital care records will be updated to make sure all caregivers have the latest up-to-date details to provide the best support possible. • The 1.5 million strong adult social care workforce will see a record £500 million invested so they have the opportunity to progress in their careers with training and qualifications while providing an even better standard of care. This will help recognise their valued skills and prioritise their wellbeing with greater support for their mental health. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The pandemic has been an important turning point for social care, putting into the spotlight the incredible work the sector delivers day in and day out and highlighting the urgent need for change.” “This ten-year vision clearly lays out how we will make the system fairer and better to serve everyone, from the millions of people receiving care to those who are providing it. “We are investing in our country’s future – boosting support to help people live at home with their families for longer and ensuring that health and care work hand in hand so people get the help they need.” Minister for Care Gillian Keegan said: “The lives of millions of people will be improved by our plans for social care supported by significant investment for system reform to deliver the person centred care we need.” “We promised to come forward with proposals to improve social care and that is exactly what we are doing.” “Our fantastic care staff, people who receive care and their families deserve a care system which works for them and these plans are the next step in helping make it a reality.” The reform programme also includes: • £70 million to assist local authorities and improve the delivery and standard of care. • An increase to the upper limit of the Disabled Facilities Grant for home adaptations such as stairlifts, wetrooms and home technologies to allow people to live where they want to and increase the options for care.

• Up to £25 million to work with the sector to kickstart a change in the services provided to support unpaid carers, to boost support and increase access to respite services giving them much needed support and a break. • A new national website to provide easily accessible information for the public on social care and at least £5 million to pilot new ways to help people understand and access the care and support available.

“MUTED WELCOME” Care providers gave a muted welcome to a long-awaited White Paper on the future of social care. The Independent Care Group (ICG) welcomed parts of today’s White Paper, ‘People at the Heart of Care’, but ICG Chair Mike Padgham warned: “A vision without action is merely a dream. “There is no promise of any extra funding, other than what has already been announced, to help recruit and retain the thousands of extra staff we need to tackle a growing crisis in the sector. And there is no real, bold, long-term plan for the total reform of the social care sector that everyone wants. “There are measures to be welcomed in the White Paper, including plans to invest in staff training, extra care housing and in new technology. And I applaud the Government for setting out its 10-year vision to put ‘People at the Heart of Care’. “But whilst I appreciate that it is only a start, it is a very small start and well short of the bold action we were promised and which we need.” Main concern is the lack of any new funding for the sector on top of the £1.8bn a year, over the next three years that the Government pledged earlier this year. Industry experts say social care needs an extra £10bn a year. Mr Padgham said recent days had exposed the current crisis in social care after ADASS reported that services are “rapidly deteriorating” with half of councils responding to a care home closure or bankruptcy in the last six months.

£1,000 BONUS TO HELP RETAIN STAFF Mr Padgham backed ADASS’s call for an immediate £1,000 bonus payment to help retain staff. ADASS found that some 400,000 people are now waiting for an assessment for their care needs. Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF) says: “The wait is over – and we have before us a 10-year plan that is underpinned by many of the ambitions outlined by NCF and our members. The paper focuses in on key issues around quality, housing, technology, data and innovation – and rightly centres its attention on people who receive care and support, unpaid carers and the incredibly valuable workforce. “It is a vision that I think many will feel represents the social care that we want for the future. It is clear that there is an appetite for change based on shared principles, and an understanding that investment in social care is critical to facilitating that change.

“Does it go far enough and fast enough? No. “However, it is definitely a narrative that the not-for-profit care and housing sector can support. It does create a different vision for care that starts from the perspective of people who receive care and support. It will help people who know little about care and support to understand the truly transformational potential of social care. The funding allocated for social care reform as part of the social care and health levy payments is absolutely insufficient, and drastically out of line with the ambitions outlined here. “Does it address the current crisis affecting the social care sector – particularly in relation to workforce shortage and how that is impacting on people who need or receive care and support? No “Therefore, for the vision to succeed we need the government to urgently go further. The reform paper says nothing about how we go from the here and now to the future. Bridging this risk filled chasm must be a priority over the next 4 months. People who need care right now are being left either in hospital or at home without the support they require. Staff who have worked in care for years are leaving in their droves through exhaustion, stress and the ability to be paid better in other sectors that can flex and change their wages. Organisations who have delivered care as a vital part of communities are closing their doors, unable to continue in the face of unsustainable pressures. If the government does not take urgent action– then this admirable vision will remain a distant dream. People in communities across all parts of the country need this, social care matters to us all.”

RESIDENTIAL & NURSING CARE MUST NOT BE IGNORED Neil Russell, Chairman of specialist neurological care group PJ Care says that while the focus on care at home is good and will benefit many people, residential and nursing care must not be ignored. “The use of the word ‘institutions’ to describe residential care homes is a clear example of how far behind the Government is in their thought processes. Residential and nursing care plays a vital role in social care, and in supporting the NHS, but the funding arrangements for the sector need to be addressed to ensure that all care providers can afford to provide the support they want to and that their residents deserve.” He adds that much of the training and upskilling the government says will be offered is already available and is “nothing new”. Care providers such as PJ Care already have comprehensive training plans in place for employees at all levels. Neil adds that, as ever with large-scale white papers, the devil will be in the detail and the action plans to deliver on the proposals. “There is a lot of wishful thinking in this white paper, and it remains to be seen if they will be able to follow through with the actions required to achieve a part of it,” he says.


PAGE 4 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

Putting Winter Planning Into Action By Barry Price, QCS Care Specialist (www.qcs.co.uk) With the advent of Storm Arwen, we can definitely say winter weather has arrived. And with it a reminder of the constant risk of severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow. Providers should have already created their winter contingency plans. But what planning points should they pay particular attention to when preparing for inclement weather? Firstly, and most crucially, winter planning needs to be centred around the business continuity plan. It’s all about knowing the business, the business location and being able to effectively forecast what to do when bad weather hits. Whether it is snow, floods or power cuts - they all need to be taken into consideration and adequately risk assessed. What’s critical to remember is it’s about ensuring people aren’t left in vulnerable situations, and managers not only support their service users but their staff too. The same planning principals apply to both residential, supported living and domiciliary care, whether the business is in one place or spread out over a larger geographic area. If a sudden spell of bad weather comes in, staff need to know what to do.

CARE PLANNING A key element is care planning, looking at vulnerable service users and reviewing their risk rating. The QCS business continuity plan has a dedicated section which outlines policies and procedures for supporting service users during adverse weather conditions. It covers vulnerability levels, contingency measures such as providing medication support in an emergency situation, and in domiciliary care and supported living settings, who to call when service users can’t be reached. Each service user is assessed in terms of risk and vulnerability. The plan defines who, in the event of bad weather, can check on them and provide support – whether its family, neighbours, or friends. If no one is available, then the next step would be to contact social services or police. In cases such as Storm Arwen providers should also seek advice and guidance from local authority civil emergency planning teams.

COMPLIANT AND SAFE VEHICLES It’s important to check that vehicles are road worthy and winter ready – for community-based staff who drive to support service users as well as residential care staff who commute to work. For those who drive for work providers should check that the MOT is valid, the insurance is up-to-date and staff have breakdown cover (in my experience, many don’t due to the extra cost). All vehicles should have a first-aid kit and a professional car winter kit, which includes everything that’s needed if a member of staff breaks down in the middle of nowhere – from a thermal blanket and water, to a torch, a spade and a high-visibility vest. Contingencies should be in place for when they might be needed. It’s important to think outside the box. For example, I have known some providers who have used 4X4 vehicles in the winter when heavy snow prevents staff from getting to work. Check with staff that they can get to work in rural areas, which might experience more severe weather conditions than urban locales. Think about the process and action plan when staff do not respond or turn up where expected.

SUPERVISION Supervision Contracts need to be in place to ensure harmonious working relationships between staff and managers are maintained and strengthened. The contracts provide the ground-rules and include a section on work-life balance. This is where managers can discuss personal and health issues to provide an overall picture of the staff member’s home life. Understanding a person's life away from a care setting means you can provide better support. Many working in the sector face a raft of challenges. Some, for example, have elderly or sick relatives a home. Others have young children at school and can't therefore work outside the normal working hours. It's only by giving care staff a safe platform to talk openly about their problems that Registered Managers can put effective programmes in place to address them.

By identifying challenges experienced by staff, managers have a better idea of what’s coming and can adjust plans accordingly. If a spell of bad weather hits, and local schools are closed, they will know that staff without childcare will be affected and so can put contingency plans into action. Wellbeing of staff, particularly in the challenging winter months, is critical. Make sure that they have everything they need and address their concerns. Set up one-on-one awareness meetings with staff to discuss their health and mental wellbeing worries and develop a wellness action plan as an extension of the supervision plan. Create a buddy system and nominate Mental Health First Aiders to be the first point of contact for any employee experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. Inform staff of self-referral portals to NHS counselling services. Talk about the measures in winter planning sessions. Many people struggle at Christmas so it is a good time to make sure staff feel valued.

STAFFING LEVELS Winter season pressures often impact staffing levels – from no-shows due to bad weather to family care taking precedent. Providers need to ensure staffing levels are sufficient to meet requirements and have a strategy in place via business continuity planning. Understand staff members personal circumstances and the implications for the service. For example, if a staff member has elderly relatives that they care for or children at school, they might need to be back at home straight after their shift. Providers can publish future rotas for a longer period than usual to make staff aware of when they are working. A contingency rota will help ensure that all shifts can be covered. If a provider uses an agency, they need to find out what contingencies they have in place to deal with winter weather related issues and ensure supply.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION Ensure there are emergency preparedness kits in place in the event of an evacuation. If policies determining what items should be included in the grab bag were developed previously, make sure the grab bags are fit for purpose and up to date. Suggest staff try putting in place emergency evacuation plans and strategies at home, especially if they have young families or care for elderly relatives. Collect feedback, make tweaks if necessary and update policy and bags. Make sure they are placed at the exit. Some service users might benefit from their own bag if they have specific health or medication needs. Someone who is Autistic, for instance, will likely better deal with the situation if supported with a social story and a bag containing key items. As part of the business continuity plan, and fire risk assessment, develop Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP). These need to be kept up to date. Develop a list of places of safety such as hotels where service users can be taken.

CHECKLIST FOR PROVIDERS: 1. Review QCS Winter Planning Toolkit 2. Review Business Continuity Plan 3. Make sure staff are aware of the Business Continuity Plan and what to do in an emergency such as a severe storm or power cut. 4. Remind staff of appropriate policies such as: • Adverse Weather Policy and Procedure • Supporting Service Users During Adverse Weather Policy and Procedure • Business Continuity Plan Policy and Procedure • On-Call Policy and Procedure 5. Are emergency grab bags accessible and all PEEPS up to date? Try testing out your emergency evacuation plan at a team meeting. To find out more about QCS please contact their team of advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email: sales@qcs.co.uk.


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 5

Government Launches Adult Social Care Recruitment Campaign The government has launched its latest recruitment campaign to encourage people to follow a career in adult social care. The campaign entitled ‘Made with Care’, will run across, broadcast and social media for five months, and follows previous campaigns, including Every Day Is Different in 2019, which focused on people aged 20 to 39, highlighting opportunities for progression and professional development. The campaign follows a report released last month entitled “The annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report which revealed that on average, 6.8% of roles in adult social care were vacant in 2020/21, which is equivalent to 105,000 vacancies being advertised on an average day. The vacancy rate in adult social care has been persistently high at above 6% for the previous six years. The report also revealed that the turnover rates across the sector remain high, at 28.5% in 2020/21. This figure had decreased during the pandemic, but since March 2021 many employers report that retention is now more difficult than before the pandemic. The rate was higher for registered nurses at 38.2%, much higher than for their counterparts in the NHS (8.8%). The campaign the government says “aims to encourage people to apply for exciting and rewarding roles across the country” Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said: “Care workers have done a phenomenal job throughout the pandemic, in difficult circumstances, and I thank them for all they have done. “A career in social care is rewarding and inspiring. Over the next three years we are investing at least £500 mil-

lion to support the training and development for carers. “We need more people who possess the core values this workforce embody so strongly - kindness, compassion and resilience - to look after our friends and family with dignity and respect.” The launch of the new recruitment campaign follows the announcement of £5.4 billion of additional funding to reform social care over the next three years, including £500 million to support training and career development for the workforce. Minister for Care Gillian Keegan said: “I am dedicated to making working in social care not just emotionally rewarding but a career opportunity with future development for people. “The care workers represented in our ‘Made with Care’ recruitment campaign are passionate about working in the sector – and the impact they have on those they care for has really moved me. I strongly encourage people to apply for these great opportunities. "We are investing record amounts into social care making this is an exciting time to join the workforce and play an important role in helping to develop a world-leading social care system as we bring forward our plans for reform later this year." ‘Made with Care’ builds on the momentum of the previous phase of the campaign launched in February 2021. It celebrated the huge impact that adult social care workers have made during the pandemic and addressed the key barriers stopping people from considering it as a career option.

MPs Narrowly Vote to Support Cap on Social Care Costs Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a commons vote in support on how his proposals on a social care cap for England is calculated, despite a substantial Tory rebellion. MPs voted through a change to how the £86,000 lifetime cap on care costs is met but critics have said this will affect those with fewer assets the most while people with more assets will gain more. The Bill change was passed by 272 votes to 246 – a majority of 26 – with 19 Conservative MPs voting against the measure and 68 abstentions. Under the government’s broader social care plan, from October 2023: • Those with assets of less than £20,000 will not have to pay anything from these towards care fees – although they might have to pay from their income • Those with more than £100,000 in assets – the value of their home, savings or investments – will not get any financial help from the council • Those with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will qualify for council help, but will have to pay £86,000 themselves to reach the cap The bill change, referred to as Clause 49, has moved to a Second Reading that will see MPs debate the main principles of the bill in the coming weeks.

The changes are expected to save the government £900m a year by 2027. The cap was expected to amount to a combination of all care costs, including means-tested council funding. Sir Andrew Dilnot told MPs the move would exacerbate geographical divides as most people with assets of less than £100,000 live in the north of England.

REGRESSIVE STEP Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said: “The change to the social care cap is a regressive step that will leave people with low levels of wealth still exposed to very high care costs. “It is likely to mean that some people with moderate assets living in poorer areas will still be forced to sell their home to pay for their care, while wealthier people from richer parts of the country will be protected from this. “This change was sprung upon MPs with very little notice and with no impact assessment made available. It is not the end of the story though – the Health and Care Bill will now pass to the House of Lords for peers to consider the implications of this regressive policy shift.

“The government was brave in raising taxes to fund the long-overdue reform of social care but, having taken two steps forward, it has now taken one step back. “People with low and moderate levels of wealth may well wonder why the Prime Minister’s promise that no one need sell their house to pay for care will benefit wealthier people but doesn’t seem to apply to them.” Stewart Stretton-Hill, tax, trusts and estate senior associate at Irwin Mitchell said: “The Government’s stance that that everyone should pay less for their care under the new system is ‘technically correct’ but it will result in inequality, hitting those with fewer savings proportionately harder. Individuals need to understand that the cap of £86,000 does not mean that’s all they will have to pay if they need care. It’s really important to read the small print to see what is excluded from counting towards that cap. This can include care fees paid by the local authority, daily living costs, payments by the NHS for care, fees for care needs that have not been assessed by the local authority, third party top-up payments… the list goes on.”


PAGE 6 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

How Carers are Combating Loneliness Among Residents By Jacqueline Renshaw, activities co-ordinator for Lidder Care (www.liddercare.com) When working inside a care home, it is crucial that not only do carers provide physical care for their residents but also provide mental stimulation and companionship. Where loneliness was once seen as a trivial matter, it is now understood to be a detriment to a resident’s physical and mental health. Lidder Care offer good rated CQC registered care homes for the elderly that are designed for individuals, ranging from those who require some support with everyday activities, to those who require specialist nursing care. At Lidder Care, their person- centered approach is helping to combat loneliness among their residents. If you are looking to assist your residents and help improve the quality of life within your care home, the fantastic team at Lidder Care have these suggestions. Provide safety and comfort with regular family Zoom calls Although for some the pandemic may seem like it is nearly over but for those who are vulnerable and living in care homes, it is far from that. For many inside care homes, they have been restricted in their outings and visits from friends and family. Zoom video calls are an excellent way to ensure that residents do not feel closed off from their families. Ensure that family members can book regular meetings with their loved ones via an online scheduling system or by simply calling your team. For residents that need more support than others, it is suggested that you have an activity coordinator or carer stand by for assistance. These Zoom video calls do not need to be very long, just enough time for residents to feel connected and loved.

PROVIDE REGULAR GROUP ACTIVITIES FOR RESIDENTS

Another way to help combat loneliness is to help develop friendships between residents. At Lidder Care, each home has their own Activities Coordinators that are responsible for building relationships and bringing residents together. Not only do they hold activities and events for the residents, but they actively encourage friendships and connections to ensure residents feel less alone. It is important to bring variety to residents' lives with a whole host of activities that change regularly. Instead of simply switching on the television, a cinema day can be put on, with ‘tickets’ and popcorn. Tea parties can be themed depending on the time of year, as well as singing and dancing to songs that are reminiscent of the residents’ younger years. When hosting these activities, residents will also be able to find friends who share similar interests to them. It is important for carers to keep an eye on these connections and help them flourish into full friendships.

TURN EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES INTO SOCIAL ONES Activities don’t have to be planned events that take up a lot of time and money. Mealtimes can become an important part of your resident’s day by simply asking questions. In the morning, you can ask what they hope their day will look like, and in the evening, you can ask how they felt about their day. This can also guide how activities and the general running of the care home are structured in the future. Retain normality in residents’ lives Your care home is your residents’ home, and it is important for them to feel as though it is. Creating a safe and comfortable environment that acknowledges their needs and helps them feel in control is vital for their mental health. Simple activities such as getting their hair washed and blow-dried or having someone paint their nails can help to combat loneliness. Newgate Lodge Care Home, has an in-house salon where residents can have their hair done without leaving the home, thus allowing accessible self-care, and pampering to all. For the most part, combating loneliness in your care home can be as simple as helping residents feel that their life is as normal as possible. By simply taking a few moments of your day to speak to your residents, you can help them feel engaged and listened to.

Evidence to Support Mandatory NHS Staff Vaccination Not Good Enough says Lords Committee The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has published a report on the Department for Health and Social Care‘s (DHSC) proposed legislation to require all NHS staff working “face to face” with service users to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The report raises several concerns about the quality of evidence supplied to support the proposed legislation and criticises the lack of clarity about how key expressions used in it are to be applied in practice. Issues raised include: •The lack of a thorough and detailed Impact Assessment to accompany the legislation. The explanatory material provided by DHSC does not include the level of detail required to enable Parliament and the wider public, including those directly impacted, to understand the effects of the legislation on the operational effectiveness of the healthcare system. While there are clear societal benefits from the vaccination programme, the increase in protection from vaccinating the last 8% of health workers may be marginal and the explanatory notes (Explanatory Memorandum) that accompany the legislation are silent on any contingency plans to cope with the 5.4% NHS staff losses which may result when the Regulations take effect in April 2022. •Whether the benefits are proportionate. DHSC figures estimate that of the 208,000 currently unvaccinated workers in the sector, this legislation will result in 54,000 (26%) additional staff being vaccinated and 126,000 (61%) losing their jobs because of non-compliance with the requirement to be vaccinated. Given the legislation is anticipated to cause £270 million in additional recruitment and training costs and major disruption to the health and care provision at the end of the grace period, very strong evidence should be provided to support this policy choice. DHSC has not provided such evidence.

•Lack of clarity on key expressions. The Committee’s report criticises the DHSC for failing to include in the legislation practical detail about how key expressions such as “face to face” or “otherwise engaged” will be applied, but instead referring to guidance to be produced in the future. DHSC indicates, for example, that those who do voluntary work within the health and social care sector, and those who do maintenance work separate from providing healthcare such as installing IT equipment will also need to be vaccinated. Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, Chair of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee said; “In our 10th Report on the preceding Care Homes Regulations, we said that if the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) decided to extend its mandatory vaccination policy, we would expect to see a more effectively argued case for it: unfortunately, the Explanatory Memorandum (EM) accompanying this instrument is just as superficial. “DHSC has published a very broad-brush document they call an Impact Statement, but this is no substitute for a thorough Impact Assessment which should have been integral to the policy development process. “We fully support high levels of vaccination, but DHSC is accountable to Parliament for its decisions and needs to give us a clear statement of the effect of these Regulations, the effect of doing nothing and any other solutions considered, so Parliament fully understands all the consequences of what it is being asked to agree to. This is particularly important when the NHS is already under such pressure. “DHSC has provided no single coherent statement to explain and justify its intended policy, and this undermines the ability of the House to undertake effective scrutiny of the proposed legislation.”

How Horses can Help People Living with Dementia Equine therapy can be used to improve everyday life for people living with a variety of conditions. In this article, Katie Allen-Clarke from the leading equestrian sports network Horse & Country (https://horseandcountry.tv), explains how horses can be a positive influence for people living with dementia. The deep connection between horses and humans spans over centuries (The Horse). And in more recent years, the creatures have been used to improve our wellbeing in the form of equine therapy. Equine therapy has been found to be beneficial for people living with numerous physical and mental health conditions, including autism, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and more (FEI). It’s also proven to be particularly beneficial for people living with dementia, as it has been found to improve mental and physical health in a number of ways. Interacting with horses improves communication skills People with dementia often find it difficult to communicate exactly how they're feeling or what they need. Dementia makes it challenging for people with the condition to comprehend language and find the right words, which can be distressing as it can make them feel out of control. The good news is that equine therapy can help in this regard. By interacting with horses, people with dementia can practice communicating clearly with an appropriate tone. This can also be beneficial for dementia carers to take part in, as it demonstrates the importance of patience and calm communication (Equus). Equine therapy encourages physical activity Exercise is good for all of us, but it can be particularly beneficial for

Caring for horses boosts confidence Dementia has more of an impact on self-esteem than many of us realise. In fact, it's sadly fairly common for people with the condition to lose confidence in themselves and their abilities (Alzheimer's Society). This insecurity and lack of self-esteem can lead to anxiety and depression, so it's important to look for ways to help people with dementia boost their confidence. A great way to do this is by using equine therapy. As horses can sense how humans are feeling and respond to this in their behaviour, it forces the therapy patients to practice their leadership skills and develop a more authoritative, yet calm tone. And as the horse begins to respond to their command, this will boost their confidence even further. Horse therapy can improve people's mood People living with the condition often experience negative moods, stemming from insecurity and frustration. The good news is that equine people living with dementia. Despite the condition being largely associated with memory loss, there are a number of physical side effects which come with it, such as loss of balance, weak muscles, and trouble sleeping (WebMD). The good news is that by staying active, it's possible to reduce the severity of these side effects to prevent them from getting in the way of day-to-day life. Taking part in equine therapy is a great way for people with dementia to get exercise that is enjoyable and not too strenuous, such as by walking and grooming the horse.

therapy has been proven to help with this. In fact, research has found that encouraging people with dementia to interact with horses, by walking, feeding, and grooming them, can improve their mood (Science Daily). As well as giving them a positive boost, the study also found the participants who spent time with horses were less likely to resist care later in the day, which was beneficial for both the patients and their carers. While there is no cure for dementia, interacting with horses can certainly help improve the lives of people living with the condition.


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 7

Say Hello to the Carer’s Latest Unsung Hero… SUZANNE GOODMAN

ly thrilled to hear that their hard work and dedication has been recognised. Being an activities and lifestyle mentor for one home is a difficult enough job and Suzanne is lifestyle and activities mentor for 5!” “She has introduced some wonderful initiatives during these difficult times and has developed a strong understanding of how teams can and should work together across all levels and support each other within the care home setting.” Here are just some of the activities Suzanne has

introduced:; Team’s pets visiting during Covid Maintained connections with local schools and stayed in touch through becoming Pen pals Supported residents to enter & win the Christmas Card competition 2021 Encouraged residents to maintain hobbies and skills in task-based activities. Brought the beach to Chamberlain during lockdown in

a Hawaiian themed day. Evidence of encouraging exercise for the residents during lockdown. The residents created miniature gardens to maintain in their rooms Well done Suzanne! We here at The Carer are delighted to award worthy winner Suzanne a luxury “celebration” hamper packed full of all those delightful luxury extras that make any celebration a truly memorable occasion, containing an a assortment of extravagant comestibles that are sure to delight the senses and tickle the palate! It has become increasingly more difficult over the years to pick an overall winner, and we are delighted to add some “unofficial” Marks & Spencer vouchers as runner-up prizes.

We here at the CARER are thrilled to announce that Suzanne Goodman from Chamberlain Court Care home in Kent, a regional activities and lifestyle mentor for five Hallmark homes is our latest Unsung Hero! Suzanne deliver’s induction training on the introduction to relationship-centred care and the Lifestyles tree of life strategy, and as a Dementia champion, provides information sessions for new team members and in the community. Over the past year and through the difficulties of the pandemic Suzanne “worked flat out” to keep the groups residents’ spirits up, keeping them busy and entertained, organising a range of activities that target the mind, body and soul. As a dementia champion Suzanne uses the Montessori method when communicating with residents living with dementia, which is based upon preparing the environment and tailoring activities to ensure the person succeeds in understanding what is being delivered. General manager Judy Heathfield Eliott said: “We were delighted to nominate Suzanne and absolute-

Sandra McGale: Larkfield View Care Home in Greenock Denise Mensah: Chestnut View Care Home Lion Green Haslemere Surrey Prity Somani: Cherrytree Care Home, situated in Countesthorpe, Leicestershire. Vesela Petrova: Whitgift House South Croydon Ange Booth: Runwood House 107 London Road Hadleigh, Essex A £25 Marks & Spencer’s gift voucher is on its way! Well done to you all!!! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who put forward nominations we had a wonderful response, it may sound tired old cliché, but it is not meant to be, when we say, that in our eyes “every nomination was a winner” and we are just sorry we cannot give an award to everybody! Watch out for further details of our next “Unsung Hero” with the same great prize of a luxury celebration hamper!


PAGE 8 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

Care’s Biggest Crisis – Is Youth The Key To Tackling The Skills Gap? After more than 18 months battling the Covid-19 pandemic, the care sector is now facing its latest challenge – retaining and recruiting its workforce. According to a recent report by Skills for Care, the current vacancy rate for adult social care roles in England is more than 7.3%, with more than a quarter of those being aged 55 or above. In order to tackle this issue, which has led to a shortfall of 30 million care professionals, organisations need to be investing in the younger generations, as Claire Leake, people director at National Care Group, discusses. It’s no secret that there is a disproportionate number of vacancies in care to trained professionals who can fill them. However, it’s up to us, as a sector, to identify why this is the case, change the narrative and find ways to attract people to pursue a career in care – particularly by those who often overlook it, such as young people and school leavers. A popular way this can be done is through apprenticeship programmes, which we’ve watched grow rapidly in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. By allowing individuals to learn in a variety of ways, they can develop into exceptional colleagues who will thrive when placed in a working environment. This not only benefits the teams they work with, but the individuals undertaking the apprenticeships as they’re better prepared for real-life situations. That’s why we established the National Care Group Academy and Support Worker Apprenticeship programme. By combining practical, on-the-job experience, with academic learning, individuals are nurtured

and equipped for a promising career, while simultaneously achieving a qualification in health and social care. Pursuing a career in care is incredibly rewarding, and there’s never been a better time to join the profession, with 100,000 social care vacancies being posted across the country between April and August this year – according to Skills for Care. However, one of the common

misconceptions and concerns is that strong academic performance is essential, but this is not strictly true and should not be considered a deterrent. People across the care sector come from a wide range of backgrounds and for those who consider themselves less academic in their ways of learning make prime candidates for apprenticeships. The benefit of an apprenticeship is that it focuses on practical – ‘hands on’ – learning, rather than classroom sessions and examinations, which allows individuals to learn in a way that better plays to their strengths. However, putting any type of qualifications to one side, we need to primarily be encouraging candidates into the sector based on personal attributes. An individual that is empathetic, hardworking, flexible and eager to learn would make the perfect addition to any care setting, and its candidates with these qualities that are the key to closing the skills gap. From there, it is down to organisations like ourselves to ensure the successful integration of the young people entering the profession, by offering them the opportunity to upskill, progress and -most importantly – remain in an industry that puts people at the heart of everything it does. To find out more about the National Care Group, please visit: www.nationalcaregroup.com

Care Home Makes Dramatic Turnaround After Risk of Closure! A care home that was in administration, rated “inadequate” and threatened with closure has made a remarkable turnaround during the pandemic. Now full, it recently won Care Employer of the Year Award in the Southwest at the Great British Care Awards and is seen as a model of best practice. The White House in Teignmouth, which is a Dementia specialist care home, was rescued in 2018 by Centrum Care Homes which had been in administration. The care home was rated “inadequate” and since then, has made a remarkable turnaround being rated “Good” by CQC following their inspection in July 2021. The home’s fortunes have turned around and is now full with a waiting list of residents wishing to move into the home. The CQC report quotes, “The provider and management team had worked to make significant improvements at the service. Feedback from a visiting professional stated, "I have seen significant improvements in the management, communication and professionalism over the last two years”. The management and care team invested heavily in technology to solve the challenges the home had in managing its care and responsibilities. Over £50,000 has been invested into electronic care plans, auditing system, state of the art telecoms system, and much more to ensure that the homes were fit

create a culture of care that allows the team to not only support residents, but also provide a meaningful life in their homes. Demelza Lamport Coles, Registered Manager for the homes expressed that “the team have worked hard to turnaround the homes, the investment in the homes has paid dividends during the pandemic.” Tracie Bowen, Manager for The White House expressed her delight in the transformation by stating “the staff have been incredible. They have embraced the challenges and worked hard as a team to save the care homes and residents by moving in with them during the pandemic”. The future of the homes are now secure, with a further investment of £200,000 planned to refurbish the homes and expand its capacity. The efforts of the team have not gone unnoticed with the home winning Care Employer of the Year award for the Southwest at the Great British Care Awards recently. Director, Tushar Shah quoted, “the team have worked really hard to for purpose both now and for the future. The investment also extended to the employees, with new interactive online training, in-house training blended with external training to

transform the homes and help secure it’s future. Working in partnership with Devon County Council and the NHS, they have created a model of care which is much needed and it’s a credit to them that other homes in Devon are now looking at The White House for guidance.

Challenge to Govt After TV Care Documentary THE Government is being urged to respond after a two-part documentary exposed a crisis in the care of older and vulnerable people. Mike Padgham, whose nursing and care homes appeared in the programme said: “The documentary has shown the country the terrible state social care is in – now it is over to the Government to show whether or not it cares about how we look after our most vulnerable.” Mr Padgham was speaking after the second part of Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls was broadcast on BBC2. He wants to meet with Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Care Minister Gillian Keegan to talk about under-funding and the staffing crisis raised in the documentary. “I don’t think anyone who saw the two programmes can be left in any doubt that the care of our most vulnerable cannot continue as it is any longer. “It showed a sector starved of proper funding, unable to provide adequate care and with an under-valued, demoralised workforce. “It posed the question: how much, as a society, do we really care about how we look after our most vulnerable? Well now we are going to find out. “We have to have reform, meaningful investment and proper pay and conditions for the army of amazing carers who provide care. “In a sense, Ed Balls, the programme makers and ourselves have done our bit in raising this issue, now it is up to the Government to do something about it, urgently.” Mr Padgham allowed a film crew into Saint Cecilia’s Nursing Home and Saint Cecilia’s Care Home in

Scarborough as part of the two-part BBC Two documentary, presented by Ed Balls, on the challenges facing the social care sector. He is hosting an event to mark the documentary, which will include excerpts from both programmes and a question-andanswer session with presenter Ed Balls and the production team. He has invited the Secretary of State and Minister to attend. He has also offered to go to Westminster to meet with the politicians to make progress. “We want to work with the Government to find solutions to the crisis and to find a way to improve the care we give to our most vulnerable,” he added. Mr Padgham hopes the documentary will open people’s eyes and prompt the Government to tackle the under-funding and staffing crisis. “Care providers are working extremely hard to provide the best possible care in a sector that has seen more than £8bn cut from funding since 2010. Some 1.5m people are living without the care they need and we have 120,000 staff vacancies across the country. Things are only going to get worse. “The staffing crisis has been exacerbated by Brexit robbing the sector of overseas job applicants and people finding other, less stressful and better paid work elsewhere. “The million people receiving care at home and in residential homes, the 1.5m who can’t get the care they need and our amazing staff all deserve better. “The documentary can only be the start; it has to be the catalyst that begins long-awaited change to get people the care they deserve.”


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 9

Care Home Sector Shows Signs of Slow and Steady Recovery from the Pandemic UK care home operators are set to see occupancy rates slowly rise and profits steady as the impacts of the pandemic show promising signs of receding and demand for beds remains strong, according to leading global property adviser Knight Frank’s 2021 UK Care Homes Trading Performance Review. The report, which collates data from across the UK care home sector and surveys operators on their individual performance, including 98,000 beds across 781 towns and cities, points to signs of stabilising occupancy rates across the UK in the latter half of FY2020/21. This follows a predictable fall in occupancy during the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw rates drop to 79.4% from 87.9% the previous year. Given the resilience of the sector despite unprecedented circumstances, Knight Frank is confident this steady recovery will continue, with its research indicating operators are experiencing increased demand for beds and a corresponding backlog of potential residents, in addition to average weekly fees increasing by 6.7% year-on-year. As the impacts of Covid-19 filtered through operators’ accounts and occupancy fell during the pandemic, sector-wide EBITDARM as a percentage of income fell from last year’s level of 26.8% to 26.2% in FY2020/21.

However, Knight Frank expects profitability will likely to be sustained amid the easing of nationwide lockdown restrictions and the resurgence in occupancy rates. Furthermore, 11% of operators surveyed reported an EBITDARM margin of over 40% of income this financial year, signalling many operators’ capacity to adapt and withstand the challenges of the pandemic to deliver strong financial results and a continually high standard of care for residents. Nevertheless, the 2021 Care Homes Trading Performance Review also points to numerous unresolved challenges including the extent of how future government support, such as the adult social care infection control fund, will aid the sector and affect long-term profitability trends in addition to concerns around rising staff and property costs. Knight Frank’s research also highlights vast disparities between the profitability of newer and older stock with margins falling from an average of 31.4% for newer homes to 25.2% for older stock. This demonstrates how the profitability of the sector, and the wellbeing of residents, hinges on the refurbishment of older stock and the development of new and high-quality care assets. Julian Evans, Head of Healthcare at Knight Frank, commented: “Against the backdrop of the pandemic it’s encouraging to see the start of a rebound in the care home market. Rising occupancy rates and stabilising profit margins across the sector are an

indicator of sustained demand for high-quality beds, and this year’s UK Care Homes Trading Performance Review points to its resilience. “But there is no doubt that significant challenges remain. The impact of government support on profit margins is still an open question and the disparity in margins between new and old units is a cause for concern given the proportion of care homes which are more than 20 years old. However, if developers and operators focus on building new, high-quality homes and retrofitting older units, we remain confident in the future prospects of the sector.”

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Minister for Care Gillian Keegan Visits Home Instead Minister for Care Gillian Keegan, met with caregivers and clients at Home Instead’s Wimbledon and Kingston office. The minister started her morning shadowing one of the company’s caregivers, Eleanor, on a home care call to clients Dorothy and Eric in New Malden. The couple, both in their nineties, have been clients of Home Instead for over a year and the visits they have received from a small team of caregivers have been a lifeline, particularly during the months of pandemic lockdown. Ms Keegan spoke to the couple about the care they received and how it had supported them to remain at home and living independently. This was followed by a visit to the company’s offices to gain insights into the delivery of person-centered home care. Speaking about the visit, the Minister said:

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to shadow a domiciliary care worker on one of their visits, and to Dorothy and Eric for taking the time to talk to me about their experience receiving care in their own home during COVID-19.” Clare Jefferies, owner of Home Instead Wimbledon and Kingston said, “I was delighted to have the opportunity to showcase our work in the local community. It’s not every day that a government minister comes to call. “The work we do helps to keep people out of hospital, as well as allowing them to return home sooner following a stay in hospital. The last few years have shown us, more than ever, just how important it is for us to work to blur the line between health and social care, looking for more opportunities to collaborate and better support each other.”

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PAGE 10 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

The Importance of Person-Centred Care for People Living with Dementia By Julie Booth, Consultant Nurse for Dementia Care at Exemplar Health Care (www.exemplarhc.com)

For people living with dementia, person-centred care should be at the heart of all care planning and delivery. Person-centred dementia care focuses on knowing the unique person through meaningful relationships, that foster choice, independence, purpose and belonging. In this article, Julie Booth, Head of Quality at Exemplar Health Care, talks about what person-centred care looks like for those living with dementia, and how to foster a person-centred culture for dementia care.

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL As Professor Tom Kitwood famously states, “when you’ve met one person with dementia, you’ve met one person with dementia.” This statement broadly supports the principles and ethos of personcentred dementia care – that the individual living with dementia is more than their symptoms or diagnosis. People living with dementia should never be defined by their diagnosis. All too often we hear phrases such as: “Mrs Smith has dementia so therefore can’t do this or understand that” or “well, Mr Jones is acting that way because he has dementia.” For people living with dementia, person-centred care should be at the heart and centre of all care planning and delivery, especially when someone moves into a care home setting. Although the principles associated with any effective model of personcentred dementia care should include knowledge and understanding of dementia and the impact the disease process can have on brain functioning, it should also include knowledge and understanding of each individual’s personality, life history, health and wellbeing.

PERSON-CENTRED CARE FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA Person-centred care is an approach that centres care around the individual, promoting the ethos that every person living with dementia is unique. Person-centred care values choice, dignity, respect and purposeful living, honouring personal preferences and goals, and promoting meaningful relationships and communication across all care partners. It’s important to know and understand each individual’s beliefs, values, interests, abilities, both past and present, which can then inform the subsequent interactions and experiences each person has when living in a care setting. A quality person-centred care model should also include an understanding of and reference to social psychology. This is important in under-

standing the impact that a new environment and day to day interactions surrounding the person living with dementia can have on their overall wellbeing. If the right approach is taken, by trained care staff, then the care home environment can be both supportive and enhancing for those living with dementia. However, if a person-centred approach isn’t taken, care home environments can become institutionalised and damaging, in particular when routine and task driven practice takes precedence over the promotion and delivery of personalised care.

CARE PLANNING TO PROMOTE PERSON-CENTRED DEMENTIA CARE Care homes should ensure that they have a care model that can encompass all aspects of person-centred dementia care. This will enable staff to gather all the critical information they need to know about each individual before they actually come into the care setting, as they are then admitted and on an on-going basis. This is to ensure that the care can be adapted and developed as the individual’s needs change. This approach should be done both with the person with dementia as well as their loved ones and current care givers, so that everyone can feel part of the process. Regular review of all care plans is vitally important, and common practice would be to review each individual’s care on a monthly basis, determining if needs have changed and adapting new care plans that better meet need but don’t detract from the need to remain personal to that individual’s life history and personality. This should always be done by involving the person with dementia and their loved ones as much as is possible, finding the best way for each individual to engage with them and have meaningful interactions and discussions. This could involve staff adapting their styles of communication, to better enable the person with dementia to interpret and understand, or choosing different times of the day to have the conversations, when someone is more receptive and able. The main aim of the care we provide should always be to maintain and facilitate as much independence as is possible, and as dementia progresses this may mean adapting certain activities to be able to better meet people’s needs, whilst maintaining meaning, participation and enjoyment.

MAKING A HOUSE A HOME Often, when an individual moves into a care home setting, the new home does not immediately feel like a home, the walls and décor don’t seem familiar. It’s important that at least one small space feels more familiar to that person. The care home team should encourage people with dementia and their loved ones to bring items of furniture, mementos and photos that were present in their previous home setting, that can be used to make bedrooms feel more like a place to call home.

The care home should provide an environment that facilitates orientation and independence as opposed to confusion and reliance on others. Some of the ways that care homes can do this are: signage that appropriately indicates where things are (including important rooms such as toilets, bathrooms, bedroom and dining room) communal areas decorated in such a manner as to further aid orientation and reduce confusion and visual disturbance - for example, avoiding patterned carpets that may trigger the illusion of insects or mice running around which can be unsafe. People with dementia should be encouraged to participate in the everyday tasks they would normally be doing in their own home such as cooking, washing up, cleaning, folding laundry and gardening. This will help to foster a sense of “home” and belonging and give more meaning to each day and to where they are and why they are there. The development of this sense of daily routine will help people with dementia to establish themselves in their new home, and provide further cues to aid orientation to time and place and improve things such as eating and drinking, physical and emotional wellbeing.

TRAINING FOR CARE WORKERS A quality person-centred care model also acknowledges that professional carers also need support and training to be able to effectively meet the needs of those living with dementia. Training programmes should include an in-depth understanding of what dementia is and how it can impact the brain and the overall functioning of an individual. This should be coupled with an understanding of the different types of dementia and how they can differently affect the brain and in turn how symptomology can differ between different types of dementia. Training should also include the development of knowledge what person-centred dementia care should look and feel like, through the eyes of each individual based on the premise of “would the care I am delivering be good enough for me and my loved ones.” To ensure that the best training is being given, ongoing support and supervision is also vital for carers. This can be done through individual clinical supervision, but it can also be done through group reflection, facilitating group discussions and allowing a staff team a sense of ownership of the care they are delivering. Teepa Snow has a powerful and passionate quote that tells us, “Dementia doesn’t rob someone of their dignity; it is our reaction to them that does.” Any care setting that is delivering a truly person-centred model of dementia care will have residents who feel valued, and whose distress is understood from an individual perspective. This will be based on a deep understanding of the known information of each person’s history, cultural identity and beliefs. This enables professional carers to try to interpret the world through the eyes of the person living with dementia and in turn adapt and shape care based on empathy and compassion.

Staff and Residents at Local Care Home Receive Booster Vaccinations Residents and team members at Barchester’s Cheverton Lodge care home, in Islington, are delighted to have received their third booster Covid-19 vaccinations at Whittington Health Trust Vaccination Team. General Manager, Earl Elliott said: “We’ve all been through such a difficult time over the past 18 months but the vaccine has been so important in helping us get our residents’ lives back on track. I am so proud of the team and how they have worked together and continue to do so and we are all so grateful to be prioritised to receive the booster vaccine first. We’re not com-

pletely back to normal yet but we know the booster vaccination is vital to help us keep everyone safe.” Maria Martinez – Sanchez life enrichment coordinator at Cheverton Lodge said: “We know that Covid isn’t over and we still need to be careful and follow the guidelines, but there is a huge sense of relief now that we have had our booster vaccinations. We know that this will help keep our residents safe and allow us to enjoy more trips and entertainment over the winter months.”

Staffing levels in Care ‘Dangerously Low’ says UNISON Survey Nearly a third (31%) of care staff say staffing levels are dangerously low, getting worse and negatively affecting the care provided, says a UNISON survey. The findings are based on responses from more than 1,600 care employees and reveal some dying residents are being denied a dignified end to their lives. This is because there are not enough staff to sit with them in their final hours, says the union. Other shocking consequences of the staffing crisis highlighted by the survey include people being left in dirty sheets, denied regular baths or showers, and not helped to dress until the afternoon. An overwhelming majority (97%) of workers say their care employer is currently experiencing staffing shortages with burnout, overwork, and low pay (or better pay elsewhere) among the main reasons cited.

The findings were based on responses from care workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The majority (52%) work in care homes, with the rest providing support in other locations such as people’s own homes or in supported living accommodation. Other findings from the survey include two thirds (67%) of staff saying they are thinking of leaving social care. The union says this is a disastrous but inevitable consequence of poverty wages, low morale and years of chronic underfunding. Care workers who took part in the survey were asked to choose a statement that best described the situation where they worked. A total of 47% said staffing shortages are having a negative impact on the care provided and 31% that staffing levels are dangerously low, getting worse and having a negative impact on the care provided. This compares with 20% who said there are some staffing shortages but their workplace is managing, and 1% who said the situation is fine and there are no serious staffing shortages. Of those thinking of leaving social care, the top reasons staff gave were burnout, stress, mental health and wellbeing (30%), followed by better pay elsewhere or low pay (29%) and compulsory vaccination (14%). Other reasons for wanting to quit included poor treatment by their employer (11%) and overwork due to staffing shortages (10%).

Commenting on the findings, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Social care is experiencing an unprecedented staffing crisis. “Care workers are leaving in their droves – burnt out from the pandemic, exhausted from covering under-staffed shifts and fed up with low wages. “This is nothing short of a nightmare for families worried about the care of their loved ones, overworked employees struggling to cope and employers concerned they won’t have the staff to stay open. “The care sector is desperately short of workers and can’t wait months for the government to come up with a solution. “Ministers should give all care employees some early festive cheer and announce an across-the-board pay rise. This would persuade many on the verge of quitting to stay and encourage more people to think seriously about working in social care.” This month, the government’s ‘no jab, no job’ mandate for care home staff in England came into force. Until Christmas Eve, care workers can temporarily exempt themselves from having the Covid jab. After this date they will require a formal medical exemption. UNISON fears the end of the year could see an exodus of staff, pushing the care sector over the edge and forcing homes to close.


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 11

Government Agrees New Deals to Future Proof Vaccine Rollout in Light of New Variant The new contracts with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were accelerated in light of the new variant, as part of the ongoing efforts to ensure the government is doing everything it can while scientists across the world learn more about Omicron. These future supply deals include access to modified vaccines if they are needed to combat Omicron and future Variants of Concern, to prepare for all eventualities. The agreements signed through the Vaccine Taskforce are building on existing partnerships with the vaccine companies, and will see the government procure a total of 114 million additional doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for 2022 and 2023. This is in addition to the 35 million additional doses of Pfizer/BioNTech ordered in August for delivery in the second half of next year, and the 60 million Novavax and 7.5 million GSK/Sanofi doses expected in 2022. Following the emergence of the new variant, the Health and Social Care Secretary asked the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for rapid advice on extending the booster programme to all those aged 18 and over. The advice was accepted this week, with operational plans being set out to speed up the vaccine programme and offer all eligible adults in England a vaccine by the end of January. To speed up the vaccination programme, around 400 military personnel will be drafted in to support deployment, with 1,500 community

pharmacy sites, additional hospital hubs, and pop-up sites opening in convenient locations across the country. More than 3,000 sites are already open in England – more than double the number in February. The government already has enough supply of both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech for the expanded booster programme, and the new deal makes sure we will continue to have the supplies we need moving forward. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Thanks to the Vaccines Taskforce, we have an excellent track record of securing the vaccines the country needs to keep this virus at bay. “These new deals will future proof the Great British vaccination effort – which has so far delivered more than 115 million first, second and booster jabs across the UK – and will ensure we can protect even more people in the years ahead. “This is a national mission and our best weapon to deal with this virus and its variants is to get jabs in arms – so when you are called forward, get the jab and get boosted.” For the booster programme, the JCVI has advised that mRNA vaccines are offered made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Data from the CoV-Boost trial indicate that booster doses of COVID19 vaccines are generally well tolerated and provide a substantial increase in vaccine-induced immune responses. In particular, mRNA

vaccines provide a strong booster effect. As well as ensuring we have supply to protect the public in this country, the UK remains committed to donating 100 million doses to countries in need by mid-2022. We will have donated more than 30 million vaccines by the end of 2021 and have announced plans for donations totalling 70 million doses so far. We will continue to work to ensure that any vaccine that the UK does not need is reallocated to other nations who require it wherever possible. The latest data shows why boosters are so vital. The most recent evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) shows that protection against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant falls from 65%, up to 3 months after the second dose, to 45% 6 months after the second dose for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and from 90% to 65% for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Protection against hospitalisation falls from 95% to 75% for Oxford/AstraZeneca and 99% to 90% for Pfizer/BioNTech. The first UK real world study from the UK Health Security Agency published in November showed that boosters give over 90% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 in adults over 50, reinforcing how vital the boosters are keeping people safe ahead of winter.

Care Home Workers Charity Cycling Challenge Success Hard core staff from Barchester’s Bushey House Care Home in Bushey showed their mettle by taking on a freezing cold 63 mile cycle ride across London to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support and Barchester Healthcare’s own Charitable Foundation. On Sunday 28 November, Wayne Hughes, Regional Director of Barchester Healthcare’s London Region, led a team of care home workers from his division on a cycling tour around 10 Barchester care homes to raise money for two worthy charities – Barchester’s Charitable Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Support. They stopped at each of the 10 care homes in their region and were met by wellwishers who cheered them on to victory. The tour started at 6.30am at Magnolia House in Hampstead and finished at 5.30pm at Ashford

House in Stanwell taking in Islington, Wembley, Bushey, Chalfont St Peter, Harrow and Chorleywood. Bushey House raised money for the two charities with a bake sale and a raffle with fantastic prizes donation made by local businesses. They were joined by members of the community who braved the cold to lend their support. Regional Director, Wayne Hughes, said: “Despite the chilly conditions, it has been a fantastic day and all the support we had along the way did wonders to keep us warm and spur us on. We are all delighted at the amount we raised, thanks to everyone who bought a coffee and a cupcake, donated and cheered us on along the way – we’re so grateful.”

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THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 13

Over a Million Older People Expect to Be Lonely This Christmas Research from Age UK shows a massive 1.4 million older people are expecting to feel lonely this Christmas, and worrying numbers are feeling depressed and anxious about the prospect of spending it alone. However, the analysis also found that a phone call from a loved one is the best Christmas present many older people feel they can receive, so Age UK is encouraging everyone to make the effort to phone an older friend over the Christmas season, so they know they are not forgotten. The Charity is also urgently appealing for people to donate to its Make Christmas a Little Brighter campaign, to help it meet an upsurge in demand for its telephone-based services, to support those that need it the most. The Charity’s new survey shows that nearly a million older people don’t have anyone to celebrate the festive period with this year, and when it comes to spending Christmas alone this year, around 675,000 over-65s are feeling fed up about this, around 625,000 are feeling depressed, around 400,000 feel forgotten and around 250,000 feel anxious. ONS statistics show that around two million (23%) people aged 70+ reported feeling lonely at least some of the time. Optimistically, Age UK’s new research also highlighted that there are some simple ways we can all help make Christmas a little brighter for older people who struggle during this time. More than five million older people say the best present they could get this year would be a phone call from a loved one. As part of the campaign, the Charity is also calling on everyone to come together this Christmas season and reach out to older relatives and friends, and other older people who live nearby. There are plenty of simple and very practical things we can all do to help older people feel included and supported over the festive season,

but this year especially Age UK is appealing to everyone to phone an older friend or relative at Christmas time, or pop round to say hello, with the Charity’s research making clear that these are the things that older people who are alone would most value. Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Our research shows that rather than being something to look forward to, Christmas is now looming into view as a potential ordeal for those older people who feel intensely lonely and alone. It’s not hard to see why: if you’ve no one to spend time or raise a glass with, it can be pretty miserable, “like being in permanent lockdown”, as one older person told us this year. “Many older people will enjoy a wonderful, convivial Christmas with family and friends, but the numbers who won’t are worryingly high – well in excess of a million aged over 65, according to our analysis. That’s a lot of potential unhappiness spread across the land. “The good news though is that for many older people in this position, a friendly phone call or visit turns out to be the best Christmas present

of all: the gift of kindness and friendship, which costs nothing and is so easy to offer, yet so gratefully received. “That’s why this year we are encouraging everyone to reach out to the older people around them with a phone call or visit, or an invitation for a cup of coffee or tea. These straightforward things make a big difference if you are a lonely older person and it’s the only chance you’ll have of a cheerful chat that day or, for some, that week. Simple things like these literally brighten up their day. “This Christmas, like every Christmas, Age UK is determined that no one should have no one, but demand for our Telephone Friendship Services is at an all-time high – no surprise perhaps given the impact of the pandemic and what we’ve discovered about how many older people are feeling, from our research. We want to help everyone who asks us for telephone based friendship, information or advice, so please donate to our Make Christmas a Little Brighter campaign if you can. You’ll be making a big difference.” Dame Helen Mirren, Age UK ambassador, said: “It’s heart breaking to hear that so many older people don’t have anyone to share Christmas with this year, especially after the past 18 months everyone’s had. That’s why I’m supporting Age UK’s annual campaign to help Make Christmas a Little Brighter for older people. “There are very simple ways we can all make a difference to those who struggle during this time of year. A friendly phone call or a visit for a cup of tea with an older person in your life could really brighten their day and help them feel connected again. But Age UK also needs your support to continue to run its vital services, providing comfort, reassurance and support to those older people who don’t have anyone to turn to. “Please give generously and support the fantastic work of Age UK to help them be there for older people most in need.”

Raising Spirits: Care Home Opens On-Site Pub for Residents A care home in Steyning has launched a mobile bar for residents to enjoy as the cold weather sets in. The ‘Croft Arms’ has opened at the Shaw healthcare-operated Croft Meadow care home, providing residents the chance to have a tipple while chatting and playing various pub games with each other.

of accidents such as slips, trips and falls. The bar was the brainchild of Irene Pudduck, who was deputy manager at the home before recently moving to another Shaw-operated home. Her husband, Ricki, designed the bar with donations from Howdens Joinery and the owner of local pub, O’Connors. Carmen Flueras, service manager for the home, said, ‘You can see

The bar will offer the residents the chance to enjoy and create several non-alcoholic drinks. The idea came from a ‘mocktail morning’ that has previously been trialled during a hydration week in June, which found that by engaging with residents to create the ‘mocktails’, they were more likely to increase their fluid uptake – reducing the risk

the resident’s faces light up when the mobile bar makes an appearance. The residents love to reminisce about their visits to the pub or even working in them when they were younger – it encourages interaction, and everyone has a great time.”


PAGE 14 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

Here's One Way to Reduce Healthcare Staff Burnout

By Kit Kyte, CEO, Checkit (www.checkit.net)

It’s natural that we want to bestow our healthcare workers with heroic status. They’ve been operating at the epicentre of the Covid outbreak for almost two years. And they continue to do so, despite the rise of burnout borne from exhaustion, stress, staff shortages, long hours and personal vulnerability. It is a credit to our healthcare staff that care standards remain as high as they do.

EXCESSIVE WORKLOAD WORSENS In England, the NHS has 94,000 vacancies, including 9,691 doctors and 38,952 nurses according to the Health Foundation think tank. The same report also claims that, ‘personnel shortages are the biggest threat to the NHS’s attempts to tackle the care backlog’ Healthcare staff burnout is a contributing factor. Stress levels have become so toxic that they risk causing staff to make mistakes and cut corners, leading to patient dissatisfaction and poor quality of care. This is supported by the findings of regulators such as the CQC. It was also evidenced in a recent report from the Kings Fund, describing the chronic excessive workload in the NHS. Authors Suzie Bailey and Michael West said: “In a context of inadequate resources including unsatisfactory levels of staffing, equipment, training and supportive leadership, workload is the number one factor predicting ever-increasing levels of staff stress.” It’s a shocking observation, considering the times we are in and there's clearly a need for a new approach.

THE UNDIAGNOSED COMPLAINT The pandemic has forced healthcare providers to prioritise digital transformation but it has primarily been prescribed as a treatment patient engagement. There’s an internal complaint that remains undiagnosed. Technology adoption has accelerated at an astonishing speed and that momentum will carry through into 2022. According to research by Accenture, 81% of healthcare executives are continuing to speed up the pace of innovation. There have been huge strides in areas such as telehealth but without equivalent digital investment to empower staff, the impact of transformation efforts in healthcare will be limited. To address healthcare staff

burnout, we need a forensic look at the myriad tasks our healthcare teams have to tackle on a daily basis and how this can be improved.

ERADICATE PUNISHING PAPERWORK Daily processes and procedures underpin almost every aspect of patient care. However, too much of what happens in healthcare is manual, bureaucratic and mired in mountains of paper-based admin. It doesn’t support staff and doesn’t align with the demands of today’s fast-moving environment. Given the large proportion of temporary and agency staff required to support healthcare providers facing high demand and restricted resources – with staff absent due to illness or isolation – we have to look at ways to support staff who may be unfamiliar with specific localised requirements. Checklists are not the answer. We need to eradicate paper-based, outdated, manual processes, endless feedback forms and countless audits checking up on staff. Providing joined-up systems across multiple sites, with mobile solutions for staff who have little access to desk-based technology, can be an important quality and safety driver. It’s something already being used with success at places like Hallmark Care Homes.

PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO SUPPORT STAFF There’s an opportunity to move forward with real-time information systems designed to guide and support staff and provide the automated audit trail for compliance and regulators, so that quality is embedded in the process of care. Given the workload in healthcare, there’s limited time for traditional training and oversight. Delivering step-by-step best practice guidance to mobile devices can strengthen confidence and consistency. By delivering step-by-step best practice guidance to mobile devices, healthcare employers can strengthen confidence, compliance and consistency. Mobile solutions put processes directly into the hands of the people who need them, prompting and guiding both scheduled and unscheduled work.

REVERSING THE RISE OF BURNOUT It’s now time to harness the power of data to bring the myriad of dark operations into the light. Doing so will reveal why the healthcare heroes exist. They cover up the cracks in the system, using huge amounts of time and energy to smooth over the bumps, repeat lost processes, generate paperwork and backdate signatures to satisfy compliance audits. On the face of it, they are heroes. But deep down we are covering up the true problem. It’s time to build better support structures for healthcare staff, harnessing digital innovation to reduce manual burdens and begin to reverse the rise of burnout.

How To Create An Inclusive Culture In Your Care Home – One That Works for Both Staff and Residents

By Sid Madge, Meee (www.meee.global)

Culture refers to the social behaviour and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups. Culture is where you meet others and the environment you individually and collectively create together. In this context is it easy to see why culture has such a massive impact on a care home. By developing an inclusive culture, that works for all - your staff, your residents, and your visitors - you will create a healthy place to work, live and visit. Here’s how to create a nurturing, supportive and inclusive culture so everyone can shine:

1. ASK MORE What is your culture? Is it what you want it to be? From there build something that accepts, honours and nurtures everyone involved for who they are. Everyone is interesting, has value, and brings something unique to the world. As adults we stop asking. We don’t want to look ignorant. We stop asking for what we want. But we all have the right to be in a place that is nurturing and supportive and to speak up when it’s not. Culture isn’t changed overnight. It comes about when lots of people start to speak

up. 60” Action: Think about the culture of your workplace. What stands out? Is there something specific that bothers you? If so, speak up. Decide to stop accepting it and lead by example.

2. BE MORE BILBO I recently lost my best friend Bilbo, a 12 year-old Springer Spaniel. He never complained, growled or moaned, he just lived life to the full. He was always happy to meet new people and saw the best in everyone. I think we should all Be More Bilbo. Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Bilbo always made me feel better. 60” Action: How does the culture of your care home make you feel? How do you make others feel? Are you uplifting and supportive or grumpy and demanding? How are you contributing to a positive or negative culture? Be More Bilbo.

3. EMBRACE CHANGE The greater we are at adapting to change, the richer our lives became. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck refers to the growth and fixed mindsets. Children naturally have a growth mindset, they try, fail, try again and ask a million questions about everything. Adults try, fail and cover up any attempt they even tried and refuse to ask anything in case they look foolish. The kids have it right. 60” Action: When was the last time you resisted change? How did it turn out? Do you have a growth or a fixed mindset? Change is inevitable so we may as well embrace it and enjoy the journey.

4. BE THE BEST YOU Be the best you, you can be. Hold yourself to a higher standard and the results will follow. We can’t always control the outcome.

Everything is always changing around us, but we always have control over what we do in that change and who we are. 60” Action: In the last week can you point to at least one example where you were your best self? The more we demand that of ourselves the quicker cultures will change around us.

5. CELEBRATE DIFFERENCE Everyone matters, regardless of who we are or where we come from or where we are heading. In his book Wisdom of Crowds author James Surowiecki states that at the heart of collective intelligence is a “mathematical truism". If we ask a large enough group of diverse, independent people to make a prediction, then average those estimates, the errors each makes will cancel themselves out. If we celebrate difference and seek input from a diverse set of people, we will always get a better result than simply consulting the same type of people or a small set of ‘experts’. We should celebrate our own difference too. And make space for difference and diversity in all our cultures. 60” Action: When was last time you met someone from a different country or background – how did you react? We can all learn from each other. By taking just a few minutes a day to check in and monitor how we are impacting the other people in our environment we can develop better, stronger and more inclusive and supportive cultures in every care home. Sid Madge is a transformation and change specialist and founder of Meee. Meee draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people embrace change and achieve extraordinary lives. Web: www.meee.global Web: www.meeebooks.com

Cleva Launches to Bring Fintech Revolution to the Care Sector Cleva, a fintech developed for the home care sector, has launched its payments system for home care agencies – bringing a safe, quick and easy way for carers to shop and handle expenses for people under their care using a single card, and removing the hassle and admin of using cash. The new system brings proven technology developed by a leading UK-fintech to a whole new market, enabling care agency staff to spend more time looking after the clients they care for, and ensuring transparency of payments for both those under care and their families. Cleva is available for care agencies today and additional information can be found at www.clevacard.com. Cleva provides every client with a digital wallet which can be loaded and monitored by them and their family. Each care worker then has a single Cleva Mastercard prepaid debit card which they can use for all of their clients, and an app which allows them to select a client’s digital wallet and spend on their behalf. Until now, carers have had to juggle petty cash, paper receipts and allocating correct change for each of their clients – which is complex and time-consuming to manage when buying items for multiple clients at once. “The core business of care agencies is to look after their clients and dealing with petty cash means they

have less time to do that. In particular, when looking after multiple people, the manual payment reconciliation alone creates piles of unnecessary admin,” said Tom Bishop, CMO at Cleva. “We built Cleva to solve this issue using the same fintech approach which has revolutionised payments for consumers in the UK. Cleva delivers a better way, saving time and hassle for carers while also giving peace of mind to agencies, their clients and their families.” Cleva significantly eases agencies’ time and cost of managing a remote team of care workers by providing the care agency with a comprehensive web-based management system that allows full oversight of all payments and usage. The prepaid debit cards can be activated, deactivated and topped-up with funds without the need to divert the care worker to visit the local office. Security features include a range of payment restrictions, preventing payments being made across certain controlled areas including gambling and adult services, alerts when payments are made on the card, and full oversight of card usage by both the client, their family and the care agency.About Cleva Cleva is the first fintech developed specifically for the care sector bringing a safe, quick, and easy way for carers to make payments and buy things for the multiple people under their care all using a single managed prepaid card - removing the hassle and admin associated with using cash. Cleva brings proven technology developed by a leading UK-fintech to the care sector, enabling carers to spend more time looking after the clients they care for, and ensuring transparency of payments for both those under care and their families. Cleva is available for care agencies today and additional information can be found at www.clevacard.com. The Cleva card is issued by Transact Payments Limited pursuant to licence by Mastercard International Incorporated. Transact Payments Limited is authorised and regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.



PAGE 16 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

Social Care Sector Loses Up to 50,000 Staff in Lead Up to Winter Months The social care sector in England may have lost up to 50,000 workers across all providers of care, heaping pressure onto burnt out existing staff and restricting access to care in the leadup to a very challenging winter, analysis from the Nuffield Trust reveals today. Providers of home care services could be acutely affected with the number of staff recorded as working in registered providers falling by around 11,000 (2.5%) in the six months to the end of October. This shortfall is fuelling an invisible care crisis in people’s own homes with many unable to access the care they need, increasing care burdens on unpaid carers and impacting hospital discharges. Figures from experimental data published by the Department of Health and Social Care is likely to substantially underestimate the true fall given not all providers submitted data during that period. Shortages of workers in home care are already having an impact on care with ADASS reporting 1.5million hours of home care unable to be delivered between August and October this year due to lack of staff. A Chart of the week and accompanying blog published by the Nuffield Trust confirms a deepening workforce crisis within social care, a sector that employs some 1.5million people. Analysing experimental data published by DHSC to monitor the impact of the pandemic of the social care workforce, it finds: • The number of staff reported by those providers of social care that submitted data fell by 42,000 in the 6 months to the end of October 2021. • Adjusting the data to account for the fact that a changing number of providers across all care settings submitted data over this period, the fall in staff numbers would be more likely in the region of 50,000 to

70,000 workers. • A reduction of staffing within this range would represent the workforce shrinking between 3% and 4% and puts providers, and burnt out staff in a very difficult position ahead of what is expected to be a very difficult winter. • The workforce shortages estimated in this analysis, across social care providers, are within the range of other evidence suggesting that the vacancy rate had increased by half, from 6% in April to 9% in October. • Across home care providers specifically, a fall of 11,000 staff during this month period is consistent with estimates from Skills for Care. However, the experimental data is likely to substantially underestimate the true fall given not all providers submitted data during that period. • Adjusting for home care providers that did not submit data, based on assumptions on size of providers, could lead to fall in staff of 30,000. The reasons behind staff leaving in different types of providers vary, for example any impact of the mandatory vaccine policy would at present only impact care home staff. However, if the government’s estimates that another 35,000 home care staff could leave their posts due to mandatory vaccination from 1 April 2022 are accurate, we estimate that as many as 110,000 people could lose out on home care as a result. Home care providers currently face a toxic mix of workforce challenges, including an increase in staff self-isolating with Covid, staff sickness from flu, rising energy costs, delays in processing driving applications, routes to overseas recruitment cut off, while at the same time they are struggling to compete with other industries offering higher wages or Christmas sign-on bonuses.

While the home care sector needs strategic reform as part of the government’s strategic vision for social care, this winter crisis needs immediate and radical thinking. It must now urgently consider policies that include competitive recruitment and retention packages and fast visa routes for overseas staff, alongside developing a long-term workforce strategy. Nuffield Trust Deputy Director of Policy Natasha Curry said: “Gaps in workforce data supplied by providers of social care services means there is uncertainty over the scale of the staffing shortages across this fragile sector. “But this analysis does paint a bleak picture of a deepening crisis just as over-stretched care staff prepare for what is expected to be one of the sector’s most difficult winters. Unless further and immediate action is taken, it’s likely we will see even more care staff leave the sector this winter at the worst possible time. “While there has been much attention over winter pressures in hospitals, and even to some degree care homes, a shortage of staff providing care within people’s own homes has been an invisible problem. “The home care system is at the point of breaking this winter. There will be far-reaching consequences for people and health and care services if no urgent action is taken. Unfortunately, more people will be unable to access the care they need, more pressure will land on unpaid carers, and problems getting people into appropriate care settings when they come out of hospital will be exacerbated.”

North Wales Staffing Provider Taking Radical Steps To Address The Care Sector Staffing A North Wales specialist health and social care staffing provider is taking radical steps to help tackle the rising demand for care workers in the face of sector-wide staffing shortages across the UK. Enhanced Healthcare, which supplies temporary healthcare staff across North Wales and England, will invest £100,000 to train job seekers aged 18+ who would like to retrain for a career in care. The staffing provider says this will pay for 100 job seekers to retrain with their industry-leading ‘Pathway into Care’ course. The Colwyn Bay-based business is partnering with care homes across North Wales to deliver the comprehensive and fully accredited course, which is designed to give real-world insight into the practicalities of being a carer within a supportive learning environment. Set over five weeks, the Pathway into Care course starts with four days of theory-based classroom learning, designed to prepare candidates who are new to the care sector for support roles within a care home setting. Delivered by experienced healthcare practitioners who will share their own valuable real-world experience, the course will include interactive activities including dementia simulation, practical training in moving and handling, basic life support, and the realities and importance of infection control. The classroom element of the course will be followed by a paid and fully mentored 30-day work placement at one of the North Wales care homes which is partnering with Enhanced Healthcare to deliver the course. Director of Enhanced Healthcare, Chanel Williams said: “As far as we are aware, no other UK agency in our sector offers this level of support or upfront investment in their healthcare assistants. “By funding all training ourselves rather than expecting our candidates to pay, and then offering flexible hours and paying our staff more generously, our ambition is to dismantle the very real barriers to entry to a career in care, which have held the sector back for far too long.”

Natalie O’Brien, director of operations for Enhanced Healthcare said: “There’s no disputing that care work can be demanding, and it’s not going to be the right career option for everyone. But the flip side of that is that it can be incredibly enriching, rewarding, and progressive. “Attitude is far more important than experience. By offering the right candidates the best possible training and support, we can help them to kick start what could become a hugely rewarding career and vocation.” Enhanced Healthcare was launched in 2021 by Chanel Williams, a former care worker who went on to work in HR and management. She says Enhanced Healthcare prides itself on being an advocate for continued personal development, and fully supports flexible working to allow for part time study and career progression. Haley has worked with Enhanced Healthcare since it was launched, having worked with Chanel and Natalie previously in the sector. The registered general nurse started her career in healthcare when she was 19, and worked as a carer for ten years before deciding to enrol on a nursing degree. “After a few false starts and frustrations, that first job I got as a carer is when things started to fall into place for me. It felt like I had found my direction in life, and had a real career to pursue. As well as being able to support myself with part time work whilst I was studying, care work gave me a great grounding in a lot of valuable skills, and the ability to adapt to so many nursing situations. Yes, it can be challenging, but it is hard to think of many more rewarding career options. I’ve worked with so many great people over the years.” With a first cohort due to start their training mid-December, Enhanced Healthcare says it has already had significant interest from workers leaving the seasonal hospitality sector, which has just entered its winter low season. Once the initial training and month-long placement has been completed, care workers registered with Enhanced Healthcare can earn up to £19 per hour. Qualified nurses earn up to £46 per hour. The first Pathway into Care course stars on Monday 13th December 2021, with subsequent courses running throughout 2022. With limited places available, job seekers who are interested in finding out more should contact Enhanced Healthcare as soon as possible by calling 01492 459 896, or by emailing register@enhancedhealthcare.co.uk. Candidates must complete their registration prior to their course start date.

Moneypenny Launches Free Inbound Call Handling Guide For Care Professionals A free guide has been launched to help care professionals improve their approach to inbound call handling. Moneypenny, the leading outsourced communications provider which handles 50,000 interactions for UK care providers each year, has compiled the handy eight-step guide to help care providers review inbound call handling practices and find ways to improve efficiencies and reputation. Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, head of the health and care sector at Moneypenny said: “Lots of care providers view answering the phone as something that just happens, rather than an important communications activity that requires a strategy of its own. “This guide is intended to help domiciliary providers as well as nursing and care homes think more closely about the caller journey and how the quality of call handling can impact their ability to attract customers and project a professional and caring image. It’s also super important

when trying to recruit new staff – a challenge the care industry is really grappling with right now. If phones are ringing out or not being answered quickly enough, care providers could lose out on interested new recruits and the best talent.” The guide’s contents address why effective inbound call management matters, the importance of goal setting and benchmarks and the eight strategic steps to devising a call management strategy. Stephanie added: “We know first-hand that many care providers find call handling difficult. Often, they don’t have adequate resource and so

care givers are expected to chip in with answering ringing phones. This just isn’t effective use of their time, particularly for a sector which is already understaffed.” The guide is available to download for free on Moneypenny’s website https://www.moneypenny.com/uk/resources/blog/8-step-guide-tobetter-call-management-for-care-providers/ Moneypenny provides telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard and customer contact solutions to hundreds of care providers across the UK, thanks to its dedicated team of 41 healthcare receptionists. In total, more than 13,000 businesses across the UK benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and ground-breaking technology. For more information about Moneypenny’s work in the health and care sector visit: www.moneypenny.com/uk/healthcare-answering-services/


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 17

Health Secretary Defends Social Care Plans Saying ‘Everyone Will be Better Off’ Health & Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has defended the government’s health and social care plans after critics said they would hit those less well off. Mr has said “everyone, doesn’t matter where they live in the country, will be better off” under the Government’s new social care plans. The government has however have faced mounting criticism for changes to proposals which critics have said will mean poorer recipients of care, including those in the north of England and in areas with lower house prices, will be hit hardest by a cap on costs, amid reports that senior Tory MPs were urging the Prime Minister to ditch the plans or risk being forced into a U-turn. Sir Andrew Dilnot, who made previous care cap proposals, said those with fewer assets would see no benefit from the government’s plans. Tory MPs in the government’s ‘red wall’ seats in the north have threatened to oppose the plans when they are voted on this week in Parliament. t Mr Javid, speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One said that Sir Andrew was

only comparing his own proposals with the Government’s plan. The Health Secretary said: “No-one will have to pay more than £86,000, doesn’t matter who they are, where they live in the country.” When questioned that that not everyone has assets of more than £86,000, Mr Javid replied: “That’s where we’ve set the cap, so to protect you from catastrophic costs, because most people’s care journey is not that long, most people’s care journey is a couple of years. “But one in, I think it’s around one in seven people, have costs higher than £86,000. “What we have also done, which is very different to what Andrew had set out in his original plans, is we’ve got a much more generous means test. “So what our plans mean, taken together, is that everyone, everyone – doesn’t matter where they live in the country – will be better off under the new proposals that we set out, versus the current system. Everyone will be better off.”

Porthcawl Care Home Residents and Staff Celebrate Dog Show Residents and staff at RMBI Care Co. Home Albert Edward Price of Wales

Dylis and added: “We hope that this will be the start of an annual show in the

Court, in Porthcawl, have recently joined forces to launch their first Dog Show

Home, and hopefully it will grow each year. The Dog Show has been a great

at the Home. The staff brought in their pets, who competed in a range of dif-

success and we’ve been thrilled with everyone that took part in it, both dogs

ferent categories, including fastest retriever, temptation alley, egg and spoon,

and their owners. Indeed it’s been an amusing and fabulous afternoon, and the

and musical hoops. The winners and all participants received rosettes and

residents loved it!”

certificates at the end.

The staff at Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court are fully aware of the bene-

The Home’s Dog Show judges were 85 year old resident Mollie Gould and

fits that pets can provide to their residents. The Home welcomes therapy dogs

soon-to-be 90 year old resident Dylis Waddington, with the support of Gillian

regularly, who not only bring joy and a sense of calm to the residents, but also

Thatchell, member of Therapy Dogs Nationwide. Dylis Waddington, who

benefit their mental health and wellbeing by boosting their activity levels,

always had dogs and keeps treats for any dogs that come to Albert Edward

reducing stress and combating loneliness.

Price of Wales Court, said: “It has been a marvellous experience. It was so

Activities Coordinators Mandy Kilpatrick said: “A lot of our residents at Albert

lovely to see my friends, the dogs! I can’t wait until next year.”

Edward Prince of Wales Court had pets before moving in, and they have fond

Mandy Kilpatrick, one of the Home’s Activities Coordinators, agreed with

memories attached to dogs. It’s also a good way of helping them to remember.”

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PAGE 20 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

Social Care and Recruitment: How Can We Reverse The Crisis? With over 110,000 vacancies across the social care sector, we’re currently facing an acute recruitment and retention crisis. Vaccinations becoming a condition of deployment, Brexit, and burnout thanks to the pandemic have all contributed to people leaving the sector and a struggle to recruit new talent. Sam Rhodes, Recruitment Manager at the UK’s leading provider of specialist dementia care Vida Healthcare, shares her top tips for care home operators to develop a strong workplace culture and recruit and retain talent effectively. Invest in career opportunities: Employers who understand why providing opportunities for career development is important will be more successful in recruiting and retaining talent. Showing compassion and interest in the personal development of employees will create a positive workplace culture and working environment which retains existing staff and attracts new talent. Employers could invest in a training platform to provide learning resources and career development tools to help staff deliver best practice and identify new skills. Protecting mental health: Investment in mental health initiatives, such as a counselling service, mental health wellbeing sessions, or appointing a mental health leader, will ensure the health and wellbeing of staff is easier to maintain, and reduce pressures on services and the workforce. A mental health crisis within a care setting can lead to inef-

fective care delivery, high staff turnover, and a place of work which doesn’t attract new talent. Keep staff connected: Connectivity with residents and their family members is crucial for staff. Opportunities to develop personal relationships with residents is important to engender trust and reduce stress,

while connectivity with family members enables staff to showcase the crucial work they’re doing. Connections with family members are also likely to drive positive testimonials which provide carers with a sense of achievement and purpose in what they’re doing. Connectivity can be generated in a number of ways, for example apps where staff can share pictures and videos of residents with their families. Understand recruitment: Social care employers which invest time in understanding the role of the recruitment process will generate greater opportunities to source and employ talented individuals. The recruitment process is also a key factor in confirming what potential staff and current colleagues are looking for from their workplace, whether it be mental health support or opportunities to socialise with service users, so that they can be supported effectively. Although recruitment and retention has been irreversibly changed, if reasonable steps are taken to ensure new and current staff are adequately supported and sufficiently supervised, we should begin to reverse the current crisis. We must take advantage of the progression we’ve experienced during the pandemic and ensure it doesn’t slow to reduce staff turnover and attract new talent to the sector. For more information about supporting carers at work and initiatives that can be put in place, please visit www.vidahealthcare.co.uk

Nursing Home Staff in Kent Become Their Best Elves for Alzheimer’s Society Staff at Barty House Nursing Home, in Bearsted, unleashed their inner elf while handing over a donation of £2,330 to Alzheimer’s Society. As part of the charity’s annual Elf Day on Friday December 3, the home’s boldest residents and staff dressed from head to toe in pixiewear, joining thousands of fundraisers around the country also donning their festive attire for the occasion. Barty House, one of Canford Healthcare’s eleven residential and nursing homes, invited Liz Taylor, Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect Local Services Manager in Kent, to be part of the festive fun. As well as getting dressed up, Liz joined residents in one of their favourite seasonal activities, handmade Christmas tree decorations, followed by a slap-up tea. She said: “I had a fabulous time meeting staff and residents and joining in with the festivities. “We would like to say a huge thank you to Barty House for being their best elves this festive period. Elf Day is a fantastic opportunity for friends, colleagues and families to come together and have some fun.”

Adding to the day, home manager David Willis presented Liz with a cheque for £2,330. He said: “We are delighted to be supporting

Alzheimer’s Society and all the valuable work that the charity does. Many of our own residents are in the early stages of dementia and we know that living with the condition can be difficult and frightening for residents and their families, especially as it progresses. At Barty we are focussed on providing the care and support that ensure all our residents feel safe, secure and supported during their time with us.” The home’s festive-themed fundraising event comes at a crucial time for people living with dementia and their carers. People with dementia have been worst hit by coronavirus, and for many this festive season, the magic of Christmas will be marred by families having to cope with an unmanageable and irreversible decline in their loved ones. Liz said: “Christmas can be a challenging and isolating time for people affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s Society often sees an increased demand for our services from families noticing changes in loved ones over the festive period.

Signature Senior Lifestyle Acquires 20 New Homes Care home provider Signature Senior Lifestyle has added 20 new care homes to its roster of existing homes across London, the Home Counties and the south coast. The acquisition not only provides a promising new chapter for Signature as a business, but also as an employer of choice, thanks to the host of new job opportunities that will be available for those looking for a rewarding new role in the care industry who can also enjoy the generous benefits package the company has to offer, plus the beautiful working environment of each home. There are huge opportunities in the sector, with opportunities in hospitality, housekeeping, activities, sales

as well as care, and the fact that Signature is continuing to grow provides great confidence to those looking to join the sector, current team members, and those wishing to develop their careers. Aidan Roche, CEO of Signature Senior Lifestyle, says: “Adding 20 new homes to our portfolio is the latest stage of the growth story that began when we started the business in 2006 and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Signature team. Since day one, Signature has pursued a relentless focus on quality, with the resident at the heart ofevery thing we do. We will be working towards a seamless transition for staff and residents and are hugely excited to be taking these next steps together.”

£400 Bonus to Encourage Hertfordshire Care Workers to Stay in Jobs New mandatory vaccines law for social workers in November has resulted in 300 staff Hertfordshire care workers leaving their jobs. In efforts to encourage social workers to remain in their jobs, £7.8 million investment has been part funded with £2.8 million from the Government’s Adult Care Services Workforce and Recruitment Grant, and 5 million will be provided from joint Hertfordshire County Council and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups funds. Conservative councillor Mr Roberts observed that there are huge pressures within the social care sector because of growing concerns that the mandatory vaccine will increase staff turnover; he explains that he really wants care workers to stay working in the social sector over

winter. In efforts to encourage staff to stay he commented “we want to show our appreciation and make sure [care workers] are rewarded for their continued dedication and effort.” Mr Roberts continued “We are so grateful to care workers who have done such incredible work throughout a really challenging time. Without them the whole health and social care system could not function” Camille Leavold, managing director and co-founder of Abbots Care, home care provider in Hertfordshire, previously expressed concerns that recruitment would be a challenge after the mandatory vaccine law. She said “Retention and recruitment is tougher now than before

the pandemic”. The new fund gives care home providers the support with recruitment going forward and makes a positive change to social workers lives. Camille said: “Our highly skilled staff work incredibly hard, 365 days of the year. As well as the challenges COVID-19 has presented, winter will bring additional pressure to those working in social care to keep residents in need of care and support well”. She added “We’re delighted that the public sector in Hertfordshire is acknowledging the part we play with this funding, not just in response to the pandemic, but in keeping the wider health service running smoothly”.


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 21

New Law to Prevent Use of Force in Mental Health Settings Patients in mental health settings will be better protected from inappropriate use of force following the commencement of landmark regulations and publication of guidance of the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 20180. The important legislation will protect patients and workforce by providing a much-needed drive for improved record keeping and reporting of data on the use of force, the quality of staff training and the way in which investigations are carried out. The Act sets out the measures needed to both prevent the inappropriate use of force and ensure accountability and transparency in mental health units, ensuring patients are treated with dignity and respect at all times. New guidance published today will make sure trusts will have a clearer understanding on how to comply with the duties under the Act. Minister for Mental health Gillian Keegan said: It is vital anyone receiving care in a mental health setting – a time which can be incredibly distressing – is treated with dignity and respect.

Today’s legislation and guidance is an important step forward to ending the disproportionate and inappropriate use of force – protecting both patients and our fantastic workforce – within our mental health services. We must ensure what happened to Seni does not happen to anyone else. I want to thank Seni’s family, particularly his mother Aji, and Steve Reed MP for driving this work forward. The Act, which received royal assent in November 2018, is better known as Seni’s Law and is named after Olaseni Lewis, who died as a result of being disproportionately restrained while a voluntary inpatient in a mental health unit in South London. The guidance has been developed following extensive engagement with the mental health sector and a wide range of stakeholders including those with lived experience, the NHS, regulators and Aji Lewis and Seni’s family. Aji Lewis, Seni’s mother said: It’s so good to see the guidance published today and the Act being commenced.

This is my son’s legacy, and I hope it will mean what happened to Seni will not happen to anyone else. I look forward to continuing to work with the government and mental health providers to make sure the act is properly implemented and real change is achieved Steve Reed MP said: I’m delighted the guidance for Seni’s Law has now been published and a date is in sight for the Act to come into force. Seni Lewis died in tragic and avoidable circumstances. His legacy is this Act and the changes it makes to ensure people with mental ill health are treated with care, compassion and respect. Seni’s Law forms part of the government’s wider commitment to transform mental health services for those with severe mental illness and follows publication of the Mental Health Act White Paper earlier this year which set out proposals for once in a generation reform.

Bristol Care Home Manager Wins Prestigious Award A manager at a care home in Bristol has been recognised for her outstanding care and leadership throughout the Covid-19 pandemic at an annual awards ceremony. Trudie Morse, service manager at the Shaw healthcare-operated Urmston House in Bristol, received two awards at the Carers Celebration Awards 2021. Winning the ‘Specialist Care Award’, which recognises the outstanding care given working with learning disability, mental health, dementia, and vulnerable individuals, Miss Morse also took home a second-place award for ‘Learner of The Year’ – recognising the importance of continuous learning and development in the care sector. The ceremony, launched last year by Bespoke Consultancy and Education Ltd, took place virtually for the second year running and featured prizes from 15 different sponsors – including the likes of Village Hotels and the Manchester United Foundation.

Miss Morse said: “I am incredibly grateful to have been recognised by my colleagues for not only one, but two, awards. To have been able to bring a smile to people’s faces during what has been such a difficult time is a definite highlight of my career.” During the pandemic, Trudie also gained her Level 5 Diploma for Leadership in Adult Social Care despite suffering the loss of a close family member and maintaining an excellent quality of care to her residents. She added: “One of the positive impacts throughout was seeing how a staff team can come together, no matter how stressed and tired they are, stand side by side, smiles on faces and great attitudes to work. I am honoured to work with such an amazing team.”

Gainsborough Baths ‘Bring Tears Of Joy’ To Residents At New Ardale Oakham Grange Care Home Located in scenic Oakham, Rutland, Oakham Grange opened in 2020 and is the latest luxury care home from Ardale. It delivers a new level of care in the UK’s smallest county – supported by the latest accessible bathing solutions from Gainsborough Specialist Bathrooms (www.gainsboroughbaths.com) This contemporary 60-bed building is organised into three households providing quality homes for residents with a range of conditions from restricted mobility to dementia. Oakham Grange delivers a sense of belonging to all residents, so they experience a genuine homely feel, whilst benefiting from the latest care facilities. As a loyal client, Ardale has recommissioned Gainsborough to provide three specialist Gentona baths to ensure its care excellence ethos is present in the bathrooms of Oakham Grange and beyond. Gentona baths provide powered height adjustment and bather transfer seats so bathers and carers benefit from safe moving and handling. Bathers once again have freedom to bathe and enjoy the sensation of soaking in a bath. The mental and physical health benefits of bathing, as opposed to adapted showering, are frequently reported – results show improved mood, positivity, and wellness for residents. In addition, care staff are protected from back injury as manual lifting and adjustment of bathers is not required. Eye level engagement is possible and administering personal care does not involve uncomfortable stooping. With the inclusion of multiple safety and therapeutic features built-in, Gainsborough baths are now providing a vital hygiene and sensory experience at Oakham Grange. Catherine Ferguson is the General Manager at Oakham Grange and has been highly impressed with their Gentona baths, as she explains: “Our Gainsborough baths have been an absolute bonus for our residents and staff. I’m really proud of them. They’re one of our highlights when we show potential new clients around as they are vital for well-being. Times have been really tough over the last year with Covid so being able to soak in a bath has become a real treat for residents, not just a procedure for personal hygiene. They can enjoy the airspa bubbles, chromotherapeutic lighting and even music through the inbuilt Bluetooth sound system – really stimulating for people with dementia. So many clients haven’t had a bath for an awful long time before they arrive, due to challenges at home. Here they can, with safety and peace of mind, resulting in the most amazing differences in an individual’s positivity and mood.” The flagship Gentona bath from Gainsborough continues to be a leading choice for healthcare providers. It delivers an ultra-efficient bathing

solution that reduces water and energy consumption without compromising comfort for bathers. A key Gentona feature that gives Oakham Grange a care advantage is the BioCote antimicrobial technology which is included in every one of Gainsborough’s UK manufactured baths. This silver-ion technology ensures advanced, dependable hygiene with 99.9% 24/7 protection against microbes such as influenza A H1N1, E.coli, Salmonella and CRO, CRE, VRE and MRSA. As it is integrated into the glass reinforced plastic, it cannot be wiped or worn away whilst also reducing stains and odours. This world-class additive has been proven effective for over 20 years across the world and now brings a new level of hygiene and peace of mind to Oakham Grange. The safety and comfort of residents is always top priority for all ethical healthcare providers. However, without equipment that also protects staff, care can be compromised through injury, staff absence and a reluctance to perform certain tasks. This is where Gainsborough baths again excel and Catherine continues: “We wouldn’t be able to physically lift someone into a standard bath and our residents wouldn’t be able to get in. How our clients can access a bath is a common question we get asked when potential clients come for viewings. With the Gentonas and their powered transfer seats, staff can manoeuvre bathers with ease and without hurting themselves – strengthening our moving and handling best practice. This prevents team members from having time off due to bad backs and also makes them more likely to use the equipment.” The ergonomic support the baths provide is clearly valued by the care staff as Cat Statham, Senior Nurse, confirms: “I’ve been a nurse for

over 20 years and I’ve never come across equipment like these Gainsborough baths. I would recommend them for both healthcare professionals and residents alike. From the point of view of care staff, movement of residents in and out of the bath is easy as we do not need to rely on traditional bath hoists which can be difficult to manoeuvre. With literally the touch of one button we can transfer bathers without manual handling.” Cat is on the front-line of care and encounters on a daily basis how access to a bath enhances resident wellness. She continues: “With residents, you see them benefit time and again from bathing; we have experienced many tears of joy over the years. It can be a very emotional experience for all of us especially when a new resident is able to bathe for the first time in years. When you start to lose your mobility, being able to access a bath safely is one of the first things to go. Here at Oakham we facilitate a return to bathing freedom through equipment we can trust.” “We have a specific resident who used to be bed bound in hospital and through our physio and Gainsborough baths is now able to mobilise. He loves to have a bath, if possible, especially in the morning when he can feel the warmth and bubbles around his joints. As people get older they can experience more stiffness and pain which can also have a detrimental effect on mental health. This particular gentleman always comments how he feels better, clean and fresh after a bath. This is a significant mental sensation that adds to the physical benefits of bathing.” As with other Ardale homes, Oakham Grange has been constructed and decorated using best practice, making the home a dementia friendly environment. From colour coded door frames to memory wall boxes and appropriate flooring, the whole environment has been considered for individuals with cognitive challenges. The latest technology has been installed for smart monitoring, and lower windowsills allow wheelchair users to freely view the external leafy residential setting. In conclusion, Catherine states: “Our aim at Oakham Grange is to provide an environment that allows every resident to truly relax, however they want to. Whether that’s enjoying a glass of wine or soaking in the bath, we make sure individualised opportunities exist. Being able to bathe can set residents up for the day and help with sleep at night. Bathing also helps to maintain well-being and reduce anxiety, which in turn improves happiness and ultimately health as residents are less prone to infection. Our Gainsborough baths have massively changed some of our resident’s lives.”


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New Organisation Launched to Support Social Care Heroes As the pressures on social care workers mount and the care sector faces the hardest winter on record, a new organisation has launched to support social care workers and recognise their dedication and personal sacrifices. Support Social Care Heroes (SSCH) has been established by Nicola Richards, Managing Director of Palms Row Health Care and Chair of the Sheffield Care Association. SSCH, which is in the process of achieving charitable status, aims to preserve, protect and improve the health and wellbeing of those providing social care. There are 1.54m people working in social care in the UK and this is expected to increase to 2.17m by 2035. This workforce is often overlooked yet they keep the most vulnerable people in our society safe and well. Carers often work long, anti-social hours and they don’t often get the recognition and rewards they deserve. The situation was desperate before the pandemic but the last two years has seen them struggle like never before. It is hoped that SSCH will receive significant support following research which found that the overwhelming majority of the public feel that social care staff are undervalued (81%) and underpaid (80%). Nicola Richards commented: “We’re facing a precipice in social care and Support for Social Care Heroes is building a bridge to a future in which those who need care, and those caring for them, are valued by society. “The care sector loses its best people every week. Our organisation aims to end this revolving door for employees by bringing greater

meaning to their role and supporting employers to make meaningful, long-term changes to their circumstances. “Our country’s social care heroes have been on the front line and in the headlines for over 18 months and, though there is more public recognition for the amazing work they do, they are overworked, underpaid and lacking support. “While the sector continues to fight for fair wages and conditions for carers, Support Social Care Heroes aims to fill a gap by improving the wellbeing of these vital workers and show them that they are valued. It’s time to care for our social care heroes.” Donations to SSCH will raise funds to be used solely in supporting care workers, enabling a better work / life balance, improved resilience, fewer acute cases through stress, and eliminating chronic long-term illness whenever possible and retaining talent within the sector to help stabilise the current staffing crisis. Work will focus on taking successful person centred, holistic and fun wellbeing pilot programmes and scaling them up to deliver for care heroes across the country. Laura Hibbard, Care Manager at Westbourne Care home in Sheffield, added: “The last 18 months have been so tough for everyone in the care sector. Care home residents across the country have shown unimaginable resilience throughout the pandemic but the people who care for them are mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. “No one becomes a carer for the money, we do it to improve the lives of vulnerable people. It can be a hugely rewarding experience but it can also be extremely difficult at times. Carers often feel forgotten so I think it’s wonderful that SSCH is being established to acknowledge the cru-

cial role they play in our society.” Nadra Ahmed OBE, Executive Chair of the, National Care Association, commented: “Valuing our workforce for the professionalism they have shown though the past 20 months, and for many years before, is essential “We must do everything we can to show them how much we care about them as they support those in our services. The passion with which Support Social Care Heroes is being launched as an innovative, led by providers, organisation demonstrates how invaluable our workforce is to us “Being able to do something tangible for them when they need it most feels positive. Caring about those who care for others is the right thing to do.” Brigitte Kaviani, Head of Health and Wellbeing at the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, commented: “The last 18 months has been one of the most difficult periods in NHS and Social Care organisations. The SYB ICS is already supporting our care worker ‘heroes’ by providing mental health support via our mental health resilience hub Home (tercltd.co.uk) which provides fast-track access to assessment and the appropriate support pathway via a 24/7, 365 helpline. “We also provide access to ‘free’ Health and Wellbeing programmes via our extensive programmes Workforce wellbeing :: SYB ICS. “Being able to support our Care home colleagues is paramount as we need to ensure we support them by providing Health and Wellbeing programmes and supporting any holistic and rewarding HWB initiatives.”

Salutem Services Scoop Top Prizes In Photography Competition rapher of the winning picture, said: “I’m so happy that our picture Cwmbran Day Opportunities in Cwmbran, Morley Road care home in Tiptree and Oxclose Lodge care home in Nottingham were received third place in the photography competition. We had a celebrating after receiving third prize in a photo and video competi- marvellous time on the walk, and that joy was caught on camera. “At Cwmbran, we want the individuals we support to have fun tion. and live their best lives, so trips and special events help us to get The services, which are part of Salutem Care and Education and everyone in good spirits. aim to empower the individuals they sup“I’m delighted that this picture of our port to enjoy the freedom to live fulfilling lovely riverside walk spoke to the judges lives, scooped the prizes with photos of and represents HumanKind across the the individuals supported by the service. whole of Salutem.” The competition brief was to show what John Godden MBE, CEO of Salutem HumanKind, the premise at the very heart Care and Education, said: “I’d like to conof Salutem, meant to staff and the individgratulate everyone who took part in our uals they support through a photo or photo and video competition. video. “We saw so many examples of The winners received a Fujifilm Instax HumanKind and what it means to our Polaroid camera, and the top three entries team. It’s fantastic to see so many people were also presented with a printed canvas living the Salutem values. The pictures of their winning photo to display at their really captured a lovely moment. Very service, as well hanging at the Salutem Riverside Walk by Megan Gwyer (Cwmbran) well done.” head office in Windsor. Ladies on the Pier by Emma Mann (Morley Road) Megan Gwyer, Service Manager at Cwmbran Day Opportunities and the photog-

Wippet Xmas Giveaway To celebrate its first Christmas, Wippet, the healthcare marketplace, has got together with some of their suppliers to promote the Great Wippet Christmas Giveaway. It’s a prize draw whereby every time somebody buys anything at all from wippet.com before midnight on December 31st 2021 they are automatically entered into a draw to win more than 100 prizes and amazing discounts. Prizes and discounts have been contributed by Care Shop, Renray Healthcare, Bayliss Mobility, and Social-Ability – even from United Fresh Consortium which is only in the process of joining the platform – contributed to the prizes which also include up to a £500 credit on wippet.com Wippet is a new website where people in the care sector can get all the things they need, from weekly essentials to specialist equipment and furniture, all in one place. Wippet was the talk of the Care Show in October and is set to grow and grow.

IT’S ABOUT TIME With most care services under resourced and care professionals always short on time, Wippet has developed a time-saving website

designed to make is easier and simpler for care providers to buy for healthcare. Features like a “favourites” function allow you to identify the things you need once - and then add them all to your basket for regular essentials. And the repeat ordering function allows customers to do the same with multiple shopping lists. Matt Oxley, the CEO of Wippet who had the idea for the company said: “We only launched in October and already we’ve had thousands of care professionals visiting our site. The response has been fantastic. So our Great Christmas Giveaway is a way we can thank everybody for their enthusiasm for Wippet and do something to help the people we’re all in this to help – the residents!”

Home Spa by Remi Fox Novak (Oxclose Lodge)

for residents in care settings.”

CHOICE AND EFFICIENCY By bringing on suppliers to a single website, Wippet brings choice and efficiency to a sector we all know could benefit hugely from both. Suppliers can upload their entire catalogue and sell directly through wippet.com so customers don’t have to go from site to site. Customers can even compare products side-by-side, fill their basket from multiple suppliers at the same time and then pay in one order with one invoice. See www.wippet.com/xmas for details.

GIVING RESIDENTS A HAPPY CHRISTMAS More than 100 lucky homes will be able to win a 50% discount from Social-Ability’s Happiness Programme worth £450. Oxley continued: “Having worked in two of the biggest elderly care providers in the UK I understand the difference this sector makes to people’s lives, so we’re thrilled to be able to give these prizes away and the Social-Ability Happiness Programme is just amazing. It’s a unique initiative helping to change the lives of people living with cognitive challenges. It uses interactive light technology to provide engaging and meaningful activities

Award-Winning Accordionist Entertains Residents AN AWARD-WINNING Scottish accordionist will dazzle residents at a Loanhead care home every month. Matthew Maclennan will play traditional Scottish folk music, including favourites such as Skye Boat song and other Scottish Jigs and many more to the residents at Mansfield Care’s Pine Villa. The multi-prize winner has been performing at functions regularly since the age of 15 and will now become a familiar face around the care home. Matthew is a three-time champion at the National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs Festival, and has picked up prestigious awards at Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival. The 36-year-old also regularly features on BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Take the Floor’ programme hosted by famous Scottish musician Gary Innes, and has also recorded his own album ‘Traditionally Inspired’. Matthew, who is originally from Kiltarlity in the Highlands, said: “It’s great to be able to entertain the residents. Due to the pandemic, some of them hardly got to see their families so I’m very grateful to be able to bring them that extra bit of joy. “I was performing outdoors for Pine Villa towards the end of the summer and

the residents at the home seemed to really enjoy it, so it is great that I’ll be there a bit more regularly. “The entertainment industry has been shut for so long now so as a full-time musician it has been hard. I’m just very happy to be back playing again and bringing some music to people’s lives.” Sandra Wood, a 76-year-old resident at Pine Villa, said: “It brings me and the other residents so much joy to hear great traditional Scottish music being played live in our home. “I’m so glad that we are now getting regular musical visits, it makes it more than just your average care home!” Mansfield Care continue to go above and beyond for its residents with this being the latest of a string of celebrations and occasions to keep spirits high around its homes. Denise Williams, Manager at Pine Villa said: “To have Matthew performing on a more regular basis is brilliant news. He’s won so many awards for a reason. He’s extremely talented and the residents absolutely love him and his music. “Alongside Matthew, we now also have a regular piper who plays every month as well. The residents love when our musical guests visit.



PAGE 24 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

How Rochdale Borough Council Developed a Fair and Accurate Approach to Calculating Residential Care Costs Rochdale Borough Council provides a range of social services for adults across its borough. The Council’s social care strategy sets out a vision that provides quality services which are safe and deliver positive outcomes for its residents. Working in partnership, the Council is committed to supporting residents with complex and high needs including older people and working-age adults with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and mental health problems – and commissions support and specialist services from a wide range of private providers. For those who can’t be supported to live independently, the Council works with providers to offer residential and nursing care. With a focus on creating and delivering person-centred solutions that meet the needs of the individual, the Council was keen to implement a system that would accurately calculate individualised care home budgets. Creating a care homes model fit for the future Using a standardised method for calculating high needs funding often made it difficult for the Council’s social care practitioners to provide a transparent financial allocation based on an individual’s needs and negotiate a starting point for funding. With this in mind, the Council implemented the needs-based care home budgets module within Imosphere’s Formulate solution, a resource allocation system that offers accurate, equitable and sustainable estimated budgets for care and support costs. As part of the project, the Council also created a new residential care banding model based on an individual’s behaviours and the level of support required – replacing the existing standard and non-standard placements. For costed placements that do meet the criteria of the new

by its social care practitioners.

TRANSPARENT, FAIR AND EQUITABLE BUDGETS The process for calculating care home budgets has now been streamlined, providing the Council with a consistent method that gives an early indication of the appropriate amount of funding required to meet the identified needs for each individual.

THE RIGHT RESOURCES TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS’ NEEDS Michelle Hernon from the Council’s adult care service said: “The system has allowed us to negotiate a fair rate for complex placements, as we now have the confidence to break down care and non-staffing costs and have open discussions with providers when we need to. This is something we’ve never had before and a huge step forward for Rochdale. A huge well done to all our staff involved in an innovative project, which has shown our pioneering spirit at its very best.”

THE RESULTS residential care bandings, the Council now uses a standard ‘banded’ rate. However, for placements at the highest level in the banding model, the new module within the product is used to generate costs based on an estimated number of hours of care and support each individual will need in a care home setting. The care costs are then used alongside non-staffing costs (including hotel costs) calculated by a third-party system, CareCubed, to provide the Council with the information its practitioners need. The overall new solution has allowed the Council to move away from standard rates for those with complex needs and instead calculate an estimated budget for service users based on the person-centred assessments carried out

· Moving to needs-based care home budgets has given Rochdale Borough Council transparency on the resource allocation based on individual need. · This has facilitated commissioning to negotiate a fair rate for complex placements. · Process improvements have been achieved using the new residential banding model and assessment processes, as there is a sole focus on the needs of the individual. · Ability to track where a higher cost has been paid (above the estimated budget) as a market supplement. · The Council has been able to identify gaps in the market and present this information to the accommodation strategy group to develop and inform the market.

Hope that TV Doc Will Boost Care Campaign A TV documentary highlighting the crisis in the care of older and vulnerable people must be the catalyst for improving the sector, a North Yorkshire care provider told an audience attending an event to mark the programme. Mike Padgham, whose homes appeared in the two-part BBC documentary Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls said he wanted the programme to help bring about change. Speaking after the event in Scarborough, Mr Padgham said: “The documentary was very much a pivotal moment in our campaign to get better social care and we will be continuing that fight in 2022. “It exposed a care sector on its knees after Covid-19 and starved of the funding it needs to deliver care and to reward those amazing people who provide it. “I hope we will look back and see the documentary as a key moment in our battle to get the care sector we deserve.” Mr Padgham’s care company, Saint Cecilia’s Care Group, invited a

film crew into its nursing and care homes as part of the documentary which was broadcast last month. Saint Cecilia’s hosted an event to mark the documentary, which included excerpts and a question-and-answer session with presenter Ed Balls, the programme’s production team and members of Saint Cecilia’s staff who featured. Mr Padgham added: “The evening was a great success, with lots of excellent feedback for the documentary and a wonderful question and answer session. “The overriding message from the evening was that this cannot go on any longer and we have to improve the way we look after the most vulnerable in our society. “I was struck by how passionate people are when it comes to the care of their loved ones – it is a shame that passion is not shared by those in power.”

Runwood Homes Sponsors Together With Music’s Christmas Competition Runwood Homes are a proud member of the Together with Music initiative and this Christmas are delighted to sponsor their 2021 Christmas colouring competition, spreading creativity and Christmas cheer to school children. The competition has been created with fantastic support from Runwood Homes, who have provided two generous prizes of £200 book vouchers for the winner's school libraries. The colouring sheets are sent out to schools that are members of the Together with Music platform, and children are invited to either colour or created their own Christmas scene. The two winning entries; one for the age

4 to 7 years category and one for the age 8 to 11 category, will win the book vouchers for their school. The entries will be judged by the team at Together with Music, alongside Runwood Homes, and the winner will be announced in the New Year. This competition is an additional way to connect with the community, particularly strengthening intergenerational links. Runwood Homes are proud to sponsor a competition which encourages children to express their creativity and imagination.

South Croydon Care Home Resident Gets Knitting For Charity A resident at RMBI Care Co. Home James Terry Court, in South Croydon, has been getting into the true meaning of the festive season by giving back to charity. Ninety-eight year old Marian Royston has been putting her love for knitting to a meaningful cause this winter. She has been knitting squares to support ‘Knit-a-Square,’ a charity which supports vulnerable children in South Africa. Marian was introduced to the project by her daughter Gillian, who provides coloured wool for her mother to knit. The knitted squares are collected, donated and sewn together to create colourful blankets to provide warmth for children in need. “Knitting is one of my favourite pastimes. It is very good for my arthritis and

keeps my hands moving for a few hours of the day, every day,” said Marian. “I am very proud to be part of such a worthwhile project; anyone can do it,” she added. Marian was born in August 1923 and was one of five children. She worked as a telephonist, and later moved to India for her husband’s work. They lived in India with their two children and even bought a hotel, before returning to the UK. Marian later moved to Ibiza, Wales and Edinburgh, before settling in at James Terry Court care home. “Whenever I visit Marian, she is always knitting! She is truly dedicated to her art and an inspiration to us all,” said Lucy Fernandes, one of the Activities Coordinators at James Terry Court.


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 25

Falls in Care Homes Can be Significantly Reduced with Intervention, says New Study The largest study of care homes in the UK, led by experts at the University of Nottingham, has found that a co-ordinated approach to fall prevention in care homes is effective in significantly reducing the number of times residents fall. The ‘Falls in Care Homes study’ (FinCH), led by Professor Pip Logan and experts from the School of Medicine, Centre for Rehabilitation and Health Care Research, tested a new approach called the ‘Guide to Action to prevent Falls in Care Home’ (GtACH) programme, which was designed by a collaborative group including care home staff, and families. The study, published today in the BMJ, was conducted across 84 care homes in 11 different areas of England and included over 1,600 residents over a three-year period. The team found that the GtACH programme reduced the rate of falls by over 43% compared with residents who did not receive the intervention. There was no adverse effect on residents’ mobility or independence and most importantly, the treatment was found to be cost effective and fell well within the cost-thresholds set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for treatments to be funded through the NHS. Falls are very common in older people living in care homes and are associated with a high risk of injury, admissions to hospital and significant cost to healthcare systems. Although fall prevention interventions have been shown to be effective in other settings, previous systematic reviews suggested that the benefits were uncertain in care home residents. Experts at Nottingham developed the GtACH programme in collaboration with care home staff and residents to devise a set of guidelines in

and training enable the care home staff to achieve this by taking action such as introducing smoothies, having more fruit juice on offer, providing appropriate crockery, making soups, and making an event of coffee time. Overall, the training and resources increase both awareness and knowledge about the management of falls. Professor Pip Logan from the Centre for Rehabilitation and Ageing Research at the University was one of the lead authors of the study. She said: “‘The falls prevention programme significantly reduces the chance of falling over for people living in care homes and is cost effective. This research is the largest care home study completed in the UK and the team included academics, care home residents, families, care home staff, social care and NHS employees, a truly interdisciplinary UK trial. “By preventing falls, the FinCH programme could improve quality of life and save lives, whilst also saving NHS and social care providers money, that can be reinvested into high quality care for older people.” the form of a 33 point checklist with a list of 33 associated actions that care home staff can use to reduce the risk of falls among their residents. The programme includes one hour of training for all care home staff (including gardeners, caretakers, cooks, cleaners, managers) in small groups, delivered by a falls specialist. A manual summarising the GtACH programme is left in the home after training and includes resources such as a falls incident chart (to detect patterns) and a medication falls risk chart. Once trained, staff are expected to use the GtACH risk assessment and guide to action checklist with all residents. For example, the assessment might highlight that a resident is dehydrated and the recommended action is to increase fluids. The manual

Victoria Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum, said: “Preventing falls is one of the key priorities within all care homes. This research will support managers and staff to work with people receiving care and support to minimise the risk of falls, whilst continuing to prioritise activity and independence. The timing of this could not be better, as it coincides with the publication of the Government White Paper on Adult Social Care reform, People at the Heart of Care. The White Paper incorporates a strong focus on reducing falls, and this research will ensure that care providers can have immediate access to support this aim, using resources produced through research carried out in partnership with care home managers.”

Sutton Care Home Dedicates Prestigious Industry Award to Late Friends The Cherry Tree, a four-bed residential care home in Sutton, Surrey which supports adults with autism and challenging behaviour, has been named as the winner of The Care Home Team Award in the Great British Care Awards. Manager Nicki Miller nominated the home because of the team’s resilience during COVID and in memory of two people they supported who died in the last two years. The award citation stated: The team have shown a fantastic morale and that caring is everyone’s responsibility no matter the role. The consistency is brilliant and the compassion they have for not only their service users but also their colleagues, shows exactly how they all kept going throughout the pandemic. Nicki Miller said: “I nominated The Cherry Tree for a number of reasons. As a staff team, we have been through some extremely challenging times, including the loss of two very dear friends. The team have pulled together so well supporting each other and our individuals to

maintain as much normality and consistency as possible. “My team showed that together we are stronger and that working towards common goals we can encourage our guys to achieve. One aim for our team is to enable our individuals to be the best they can be and to have the most fulfilling life as possible. “We are extremely lucky to have amazing support from the individual’s families who have been with us every step of the way during the difficult times.” John Godden MBE, CEO of Salutem Care and Education, said: “On behalf of the whole Salutem family, I’d like to congratulate Nicki and the team at Cherry Tree for this extraordinary recognition. “They’ve been a fantastic support to each other in times of adversity and the award is well deserved. I wish them the best of luck for the national finals.”

Covid Warrior Arlene Honoured by the Philippines Ambassador A “coronavirus warrior” who appeared in a hard-hitting TV documentary about the pandemic has been honoured by the Philippines ambassador to Britain. Arlene Elano, the long serving deputy manager of Pendine Park’s Bodlondeb Care Home in Summerhill, Wrexham, is originally from the Philippines. She was astounded to find herself having lunch with the top Philippines diplomat in Britain, Antonio M Lagdameo after a London VIP screening of the documentary in which she featured. The in-depth two-hour film, Kontra Corona, focuses on huge challenges faced by expatriate Filipino frontliners in Europe and their families during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic. Arlene, 49, was interviewed by the documentary makers who filmed her outside Bodlondeb centre of excellence for dementia and mental health care. They showed how she and fellow staff, including numerous colleagues from the Philippines, worked tirelessly to protect residents. Arlene was among Filipino health sector workers from across Wales and England invited to attend the exclusive screening headed by Rose Eclarinal, who executive produced and presented the film. She was introduced to the Filipino ambassador who congratulated her for doing the Filipino community in the UK proud. She was also presented with a commemorative certificate. Arlene said: “I had not realised we would be meeting such top dignitaries. I thought we were just going to watch the film so I was completely unprepared for anything else. It was such a surprise to discover we would be having lunch with the ambassador. I felt so honoured.”

The celebratory occasion coincided with a second achievement for Arlene who has also been jointly awarded a 2021 Semmelweis accolade by Pendine Park care organisation in recognition of her exceptionally high standards of hygiene. In the documentary Bodlondeb is highlighted for its remarkable work. Arlene describes to the interviewer how one of the first measures introduced at Bodlondeb was to install external hand-washing facilities to ensure everybody would wash their hands prior to entering the homes. She said: “This was in place before we were instructed to do so by the Government.” Staff also changed clothes on arrival and followed an elevated regime of strict hygiene protocols. Holding high her two awards certificates, she said they are a tribute to all her colleagues who have worked selflessly and courageously through the pandemic. She said: “I will dedicate these two awards to the whole team of Bodlondeb and the Pendine Park care organisation. They are part of the process, and together as a team we deliver quality care, we follow our training and embrace every new day as an opportunity to better the provision of care for our residents. “The team around me have been determinedly fighting a war against the invisible enemy during the height of the Covid pandemic. “Our manager Ann Chapman continuously supports us and encourages us to put all our heads together and decide how any helpful ideas that protect us all can be implemented.”


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Changing Perceptions: What Do Brits Really Think About Care Homes?

Care homes play a larger role in our lives than we think. In fact, 28.6 million UK adults (54%) have, or have had, a friend or family member live in a care home. During the pandemic care homes were placed in the spotlight and, as a result, awareness and knowledge of what they are and how they operate has increased. Now, more than two thirds (67%) claim to know more about the industry than ever before. With this increase in knowledge comes an increase in trust, with confidence in the safety of care homes almost doubling year-on-year (24% to 45%). Overall, more than a third (34%) agree that their impression of care homes is now more positive than before the pandemic. However, according to new research released by the UK’s leading

provider of specialist dementia care, Vida Healthcare, less than one third of people (32%) believe that care homes offer a sense of community for residents. James Rycroft, Managing Director at Vida Healthcare (www.vidahealthcare.co.uk.), believes that the pandemic has provided an opportunity for the social care sector to speak out and educate the public on the new generation of outstanding care homes being developed. Referring to the research, he said: “According to the results of our research, almost half (47%) of UK adults consider a care home as a home for older people to spend the rest of their lives rather than just a place for care delivery. Despite this, we clearly have a fantastic opportunity to educate the public and prove that care homes are a home for many vulnerable people which offer social activities, specialist care, and unique facilities.” The research found that the pandemic has led to well over half (56%) of respondents who have known or know someone in a care home becoming concerned for the mental health of their loved one due to separation during lockdowns. Yet care homes provide a social atmosphere, with residents and staff able to keep each other company, thus reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. This is emphasised by 47% of the public agreeing that they would feel more comfortable if a loved one living with dementia lived in a care home with people on hand who can interact, support, and care for them. James added: “Care homes across the UK understand the importance of providing a home for their residents, and at Vida we’re no exception. Not only do we look to train staff to better equip them to care for our residents who all live with a form of dementia, but we provide various social activities and facilities to keep our residents occupied and fulfilled. We’re currently in the process of building a third home, Vida

Court, dubbed ‘the home of the future’ which includes a 12-seater cinema, florist, coffee shop, and landscaped gardens, amongst other things, to support social interactions and ensure our residents have a high quality of life.” 40% of those who responded to the research are in agreement with Vida Healthcare when it comes to the importance of recreational activities, believing that creative arts, entertainment, and outings to shops and hairdressers, can be as effective for long-term care of older adults, particularly those with dementia-related illnesses, as traditional methods such as medication. Family days (61%), afternoon teas (61%), birthday celebrations (60%), hairdresser appointments (60%), and exercise classes (54%) are the social activities that Brits are most keen to see implemented in care homes. In addition, popular facilities including specialist staff training (57%), hairdressers (55%), coffee shops (51%), and gardens (48%), would also create a feeling of familiarity and homeliness within care homes for Brits. James concluded: “Our research has shown that while the traditional perceptions of care homes as an undesirable place to live are changing, our sector still has a long way to go to prove that care is being revolutionised to make sure we meet the long term demands and needs of our modern population. “We know that loneliness, a lack of specialist care, and poor facilities are all concerns of the public when it comes to care homes. We hope that by tackling this conversation head on and showcasing the new care homes being built, including Vida Court, we can prove that care homes are more than just a place for care delivery, but a home for people to spend the remainder of their lives.”

Care Home Residents Weigh Anchor and Take to the High Seas Residents at Bernard Sunley, the Woking-based care home run by charity Friends of the Elderly, have taken to the high seas, sailing around the Mediterranean before heading off to the Caribbean, via Japan. Throughout the cruise, residents have virtually visited different countries all whilst staying safely inside their specially decorated ‘Cruise Lounge’. They have been on excursions, tried new culinary delights, made and received country-specific souvenirs and enjoyed delicious cruise-like cocktails and tipples. Following the success of their popular ‘2020 Around the World Culinary Experience’ activity, which saw residents enjoying new culinary dishes from around the world each month, Bernard Sunley’s Manager, Andy Cumper, decided to utilise one of the lounges at the care home. They used decorations to create an authentic travelling and cruising environment for residents. The Cruise Lounge has a holiday atmosphere and through clever imagery, gives the residents – or Cruise Passengers – a realistic cruise experience. During lockdown last year, the idea of bringing global experiences to our residents was a runaway success. “It provides another focus to the day for residents, their relatives and the staff here,” said Andy. “We’re always looking for ways to engage and delight our care home community and knowing how well this was received last year meant we couldn’t wait to cast off and start travelling again.” The international voyage began back in January and has continued each month, giving passengers the opportunity to experience different cultures, sights, traditions and customs. To make the virtual trip even more realistic, each trip begins with a video of a cruise boat sailing and then docking into port. Residents then go on excursions, taste the local delicacies and choose their own keepsake souvenirs. So far, passengers have sailed throughout the Mediterranean, docking in Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, France, Monaco, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus and Tunisia. Cruise Passengers were also treated to an excursion to landlocked Jordan and visited the ancient city of Petra, which has been inhabited from as early as 7000

BC. When HMS Bernard Sunley made port in Italy, passengers found themselves moored in the Port of Civitavecchia. They were taken on a virtual coach trip and visited beautiful Rome which was first known as The Eternal City. Using imagery and videos, residents took in all the historical sites and admired the stunning architecture. Tour stops included The Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, The Vatican City and Spanish Steps, plus a look at the 2,200-year-old Bocca delia Verita, also known as the ‘Mouth of Truth’, which was featured in the 1953 film Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Andy Cumper, said: “Our Cruise Passengers have had a lovely year visiting a vast array of international countries and learning about different cultures and civilisations. Taking part in the cruise and visiting all the different destinations has been very stimulating and everyone has enjoyed the escapism – visiting sunnier climbs when it’s been raining outside. The virtual trips were great for reminiscing and sparked a lot of conversations about past holidays and brought back lovely memories.” Andy concluded: “We’ve not stopped yet. Our next destination is the Caribbean. We’ve already visited the shores of Jamaica, where we tasted delicious Jamaican food and learnt about the island’s natural beauty and history. Our passengers heard all about how the Spanish colonised the country after Christopher Columbus arrived there in 1494. In addition, how in 1655, the British conquered Jamaica and established many coffee, sugar and cocoa plantations. “All the passengers are looking forward to visiting our next destination, Barbados. Whilst enjoying themselves in the Cruise Lounge, one passenger asked, “How do we know that the ocean is friendly?” Nobody knew, until he said, “It’s easy, it waves.” That had everyone laughing, which has been a common theme throughout the international journey. It’s great to see and hear everyone having a fun time.”

A Guide To Living With Dementia and Incontinence As age is the most significant risk factor for dementia there is naturally expected to be a growing number of people with dementia as the population ages. Let’s look at some of the statistics • It is estimated that in the UK, at least three to six million people, therefore 5-10% of the population, suffer from urinary incontinence • In 2015, the number of people with dementia was approximately 10.5 million in Europe. The number of affected people is predicted to increase to 13.4 million by 2030 and to 18.7 million by 2050 • There were an estimated 44.4 million people in the world diagnosed with dementia in 2013 and this figure is predicted to rise to 75.6 million by 2030 and to 135.5 million by 2050 What is clear from these statistics across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world is that the situation is only going to worsen not improve. And it’s not just an older person’s problem as younger people can also develop dementia. Although it is less common, it is important to avoid associating dementia uniquely with the older people and overlooking the many younger people who also experience it. Ontex understands that a review of numerous studies has demonstrated a correlation between increasing age and an increased preva-

lence of urinary incontinence and suggests that age is an independent risk factor for urinary incontinence. Alex Shaw, Marketing Manager UK & Ireland for Ontex comments, “Ontex believes that dementia is not an inevitable consequence of ageing and neither is incontinence. Equally, incontinence is not an inevitable consequence of dementia, however in cases of advanced dementia, where sufferers are completely dependent, incontinence will unfortunately be inevitable.”

THE FIVE CONTINENCE ACTIONS To be continent you must be able to: 1. Recognise the need to pass urine 2.Identify the correct places to do so 3.Reach the correct place 4.Hold on until you get there 5.Pass urine once you are there If someone has a problem with any of these issues they are at risk of becoming incontinent. A person with dementia is more likely to have problems going to the toilet or suffer from incontinence than a person of the same age without dementia if they are unable to follow these five important steps.

HOW TO HELP SOMEONE IN THIS SITUATION • Be supportive and remember that the person may feel embarrassed and upset as they may not realise they have been incontinent • Look for the non-verbal signs that someone needs to go to the toilet • Try to offer prompts and reminders every few hours to use the loo • If someone has an accident they may try to hide wet clothing or bedding.

Discreetly deal with it to avoid further embarrassment. • Try to encourage the person to drink six to eight glasses of fluid per day as it’s really important to stay hydrated • It’s also helpful to encourage a healthy, balanced duet with plenty of fibre • Consider practical things you can do in the person’s home such as placing a sign near the toilet entrance, a toilet seat or rail and things that might help at night such as a commode. • Keep continence pads in the bathroom and bedroom.

HOW ONTEX CAN HELP Ontex specialises in products for continence management and has designed its products ranges around discretion and giving confidence to the user. The iD & Lille product range covers all types and levels of incontinence for males and females of all ages. Approved by Dermatologists, the iD & Lille product range covers all types and levels of incontinence for males and females of all ages. The products deliver ultra-fast liquid absorption and keep liquid locked in the pad, as well as providing anti-leakage protection, odour control and breathable material for added comfort.

THE NEW ID PANTS RANGE The new look pants range now offers extra skin benefits by incorporating an improved top sheet with a mix of camomile, known for its soothing and calming properties, Vitamin E with antioxidant properties and zinc oxide, a natural purifying mineral component to help protect the skin. See the advert on page 7 for details.


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 27

End Mental Health Patients Being Cared for Miles from Home says BMA The BMA is warning that the Government’s failure to meet its promise to stop sending mentally unwell patients far from home for their care, is continuing to harm some of society’s most vulnerable people. The latest data reveals that 1,260 new patients have been inappropriately sent for inpatient care miles from their homes in the three months up to August. This means these patients are not being given the care and treatment they need near their home, family, and friends, despite the Government’s pledge to end this harmful practice by April 2021. Poorly resourced NHS mental health services mean this practice is becoming increasingly common. While the pandemic disrupted much of the health service, NHS England was not on track to meet the target even before Covid-19. The number of new Inappropriate Out of Area Placements2 rose by nearly 10% in the two months preceding lockdown, and the data also shows that the number of detentions under the Mental Health Act are at their highest level in four years, currently standing at 53,239. Dr Andrew Molodynski, BMA mental health policy lead, said: “It is nothing short of appalling that, despite consistent warnings from the BMA and the wider mental health community, the Government is still allowing mentally unwell patients to be cared for miles from home, still failing to provide the mental health beds that are so desperately needed and failing to fund the workforce we need to provide the care People should feel that if their mental health deteriorates, they will be safely cared for and have a bed if they need it. Unfortunately, the current system is unable to offer that guarantee.” “Those working in mental health care across the country know only too well the dire situation services are in, as patients, many with very severe and debilitating mental health problems, continue to suffer needlessly because of years of underinvestment. “The backlog of care created by the pandemic means many have waited far too long for treatment and as such we are seeing an increase of demand alongside an increased severity in cases. This is in the context of a system that was already struggling to cope before the Covid-19 pandemic. “It is heart-breaking that many of these patients are not getting the urgent and often lifesaving care they need or are being placed so far away that their loved ones cannot visit. No one should be placed in this terrifying position. “The Budget was a wasted opportunity to reverse the Government’s shameful track record on mental health, and it must urgently act to provide investment in services for adults, children and young people, and provide

the beds that are lacking.” The BMA has estimated that at least 1000 extra beds are required to meet overall mental health demand, and research from the Centre for Mental Health has recently reported that poor mental health has an economic and social cost of £119 billion per year. The BMA has previously called for increased investment of at least £4.6 billion per year by 2023/24 for mental health care in England. It is also calling on the Government to urgently develop a strategy to eliminate the harmful practice of sending patients out of area as a matter of priority, considering the increased demand from the pandemic and the fact the previous target of eliminating the practice by April 2021 has been missed by a considerable margin. More than one in eight medical mental health posts in NHS hospitals in England are currently vacant3, and more beds are no use without staff, which is why the BMA is also calling for an amendment to the Health and Care Bill to publish regular and detailed workforce assessments to inform current and future needs-based recruitment. Dr Adrian James, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Being treated far from home, sometimes hundreds of miles away, because the right bed isn’t available locally is disastrous for patients and their loved ones. It’s extremely disappointing that the target for eliminating inappropriate out-of-area placements hasn’t been met. “The pandemic has led to more people in crisis and reduced capacity on many wards. The Government must urgently invest in additional beds in the areas that need them most and maintain funding for post-discharge support. “Efforts to expand community services must also continue so that people with mental illnesses can get the right support earlier on, reducing the likelihood of reaching crisis point.” A psychiatrist based in Thames Valley said: “I recently had to admit a patient to hospital and because there were no female psychiatric intensive

care beds in the whole of England, she had to remain in a ‘holding room’, very similar to a police cell, for 4 days until arrangements could be made. This is clearly a distressing and dehumanising experience that should simply not be happening in modern mental health care.” A consultant psychiatrist based in Suffolk said: “There has been chronic underinvestment in mental health services for older adults, whose full needs are often made ‘invisible’ by dedicated unpaid carers. However, since the pandemic staff shortages have become critical and staff still standing are exhausted. “We regularly have elderly patients sent a 4-6-hour drive away from their hometown for a bed. As a result, very often, these patients received limited family visits which in turn makes them feel isolated and cut off, and this has a negative impact on recovery. “We were previously able to spend time encouraging depressed patients to eat and drink while still unwell, we now find it physically impossible to do this. As a result, those patients often don’t eat or drink properly and have to be moved from their psychiatric care to medical wards in an ordinary hospital, or even to the emergency department. Mental health care simply cannot go on like this.” This comes amid concerns that the impact of the pandemic and the backlog of care is putting a particular strain on the mental health of patients and is increasing demand on services. The charity Rethink Mental Illness has expressed alarm at the effect of the pandemic while highlighting recent NHS statistics showing a significant increase in the number of people referred to mental health services with suspected first episodes of psychosis during the pandemic – over 9,440 referrals were made in April 2021, a 29% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Alexa Knight associate director for policy and practice at Rethink Mental Illness said: “The increase in people presenting to services with suspected first episodes of psychosis points to the significant and increasing levels of distress across the population, with the number of referrals to mental health services forecast to increase in the wake of the pandemic. When people are at their most vulnerable and unwell, they must be able to access treatment close to home, where they can have the support of family and the community in their recovery. Despite calls for action from across the mental health sector, the Government’s own target to end Out of Area Placements has not been met. Faced with the prospect of increased demand and overstretched services, we must see an end to Out of Area Placements and act quickly on the warning signs.”

Romance Blossoms for Rotherham Care Home Residents

Two residents at HC-One’s Silverwood residential and residential memory care home, in Rotherham, have found companionship and want everyone to know about it! Harry, who is a new resident to the care home, came to Silverwood looking for companionship and was introduced to fellow resident, Lily, over lunch one day. And they have been inseparable ever since. Both enjoy dining together, completing puzzles and spending time with each other; over the weeks they have realised they have fallen for each other romantically. Harry commented, “I came to Silverwood looking for companionship and Lily was

more than I could hope.” Lily added, “It has made me realise, you are never too old to find love.” Carrie Ann Davies, Care Home Manager, remarked, “Everyone knows I am a romantic at heart. I feel privileged to witness two people on their next adventure together.” “Lily is absolutely over the moon with this story. She has said that she would like to spread awareness that when you enter a care home you aren’t written off. Both Lily and Harry are so excited for their next chapter, and both have full support from their families.”


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Improving The Employee Experience For Care Workers Recruitment and retention are huge challenges in the care industry right now with research highlighting how employee engagement among frontline staff has declined sharply over the past 18 months. And as the promise of a large pay rise or hybrid working just aren’t possible, care industry leaders need to find other ways to prevent their best people from walking out the door. The employee experience is therefore key, with a focus on making care workers feel valued, appreciated, and supported. Steven Frost, Founder and CEO of employee engagement expert WorkBuzz explains how this can be achieved.

THE STATE OF ENGAGEMENT Care workers have experienced the full brunt of the pandemic, forced to cope with health and wellbeing concerns, including burnout. It’s therefore unsurprising that 49 per cent of organisations with mostly frontline workers have seen engagement decline dramatically over the past year. This is in sharp contrast to engagement levels in office-based companies (that have had remote working as an option) in which most organisations have reported that employee engagement has increased.

Many care workers are disengaged, demotivated, and exhausted, and they’re heading straight for the door!

CREATING A WORLD-CLASS EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE There’s an urgent need to improve the employee experience, with an emphasis on making every care worker feel valued and appreciated. Here’s how: Have an onboarding plan – The reason most care workers will leave their job in the first 90 days (and often the first few days) is because they feel lonely, isolated, and unsupported. There needs to be a clear onboarding plan which makes new recruits feel welcome, starting with a handwritten welcome note from the employee’s manager and colleagues to show that extra level of effort. Providing every new starter with a buddy/mentor for support must also become standard. Give employees a ‘voice’ – Decisions are often made far away from the frontline and yet care staff can contribute a lot to decision making. Interestingly, Germany has it written into law that when companies have more than five employees, a works council can be elected by the employees, thereby providing them with a voice. Many German care providers therefore consult with their workers on various matters, and this is an important lesson for the UK care market. By continually requesting feedback from employees and then using these insights to inform decision-making, care workers feel valued and heard. This approach also delivers a number of business benefits, such as improved service levels. Prioritise appreciation – Employees are unlikely to stick around if they feel taken for granted. It’s therefore vital for leaders to get to know their teams on a personal level and be quick to give genuine appreciation. A personalised thank you note from a manager to an employee can have

a huge impact, for example, helping to build engagement and loyalty. Develop your people – What are your employees’ career aspirations and developmental goals? By providing opportunities to learn and grow, care workers are more likely to remain loyal. This could include providing workers with the opportunity to be mentors and/or involving them in the recruitment of new staff. Offering courses/training would also be well received. Provide wellbeing support – What's in place to look after care workers’ health and wellbeing? Leaders must regularly check-in with their people to see how they're coping physically and emotionally, while watching for signs of burnout such as loss of motivation, fatigue, and work avoidance. Providing or signposting staff to mental health support services is also important. Train managers – Most managers will never have been trained on how to be a leader. Spend time on training ‘soft’ skills, such as active listening, how to use blame-free language and effective recognition giving. Put the right technology in place – Lack of 'mobile first' technologies can mean care workers just don't have the means to effectively engage with their leaders, colleagues, and the organisation, heightening their isolation. By using technology and apps that streamline communications and allow ongoing employee feedback, care workers will feel a greater sense of belonging and believe that their opinion matters.

A FINAL WORD In the face of ‘The Great Resignation’, it’s time to rethink care worker recruitment and retention. By continuing along the same path, staff attrition will only continue, and so it’s vital for the employee experience to become king.

Witney Care Home Gets Happy Feet With The Visit Of Two Penguins Residents and staff members at Newland House Care Home in Witney p-p-picked up not one penguin but two during a visit on Wednesday (17th November)! The Humboldt penguins, Charlie and Groot, together with their handlers Jersey Shepherd and Aaron Newman from Heythrop Zoological Gardens in Chipping Norton, entertained everybody with their antics at Newland House. Some residents were delighted to have the penguins sitting on their laps while others fed them fish.

Aaron told them that 25-year-old Charlie, now something of a senior citizen himself, is the grand-dad of three-year-old Groot who is still getting used to being a penguin superstar on their visits to care homes. Sue Kent, Newland House’s Registered Manager, said: “What an afternoon we had! The penguins were a total hit with our ladies, gentlemen and team members, and brought many smiles to everyone’s faces. It was a fantastic experience for all of us and we were so sorry to see them go.”

'Deconditioning - The Warning Signs And How To Prevent It' By Lynda Holt, CEO of Health Service 360 (www.healthservice360.co.uk)

Without dwelling on the pandemic, it feels like 2020 changed everything in the care world. Carers, health professionals and volunteers gave relentlessly, often in scary and difficult circumstances, and sometimes with little thanks. The pandemic has also created the perfect conditions for physical and psychological deconditioning to thrive. The impact of isolation, social distancing, restrictions on visitors and changes to the way care is delivered have all made it more difficult to prevent deconditioning in care homes. While there may be a sense of urgency around how we stem deconditioning, the conversation is certainly not a new one, we have been considering the dangers of immobility for over 70 years. But we have a challenge; the evidence may be there, but our emotional desire to help,

to care for people, hasn’t quite caught up. The bad news is there isn’t a clear set of early warning signs, we are all at risk if we don’t move – I bet if you think about a period of inactivity, or not going to the gym, not playing your favourite sport, it’s hard work getting back into it, isn’t it? That is a very mild form of deconditioning. We know there are circumstances that exacerbate deconditioning such as lack of movement, particularly weight bearing, lack of cognitive stimulation and lack of social contact. We have to make these our early warning signs, or if you like, our prevention triggers. One of the challenges we face is that early signs of deconditioning are often written off as inevitable old age. We lose muscle mass as we age which results in a loss of strength of around 1-2% a year, and when you are over 75, immobility rapidly accelerates this, creating a spiral of decline. Yet deconditioning is often not considered until reduced functional ability is evident. Let’s look a little deeper into deconditioning. Deconditioning is the term given to the physical, psychological and social consequences of inactivity and/or lack of social and cognitive stimulation. The following occurs: • Loss of muscle strength, poorer balance and increased risk of falls • Decrease in cardiopulmonary capacity – including breathlessness and heart failure • Difficulty in maintaining daily living activities, functional mobility, dignity and choice • Lethargy, constipation, incontinence, poor appetite • Confusion and memory loss, leading to reduced self-confidence and withdrawal from social interaction. In older people this can happen really quickly – 24 hours in bed can reduce muscle power by 2-5%, and in 7 days up to 20%, mostly in lower

limbs which may be the difference between being able to walk or not. We know prevention is much more effective than treatment, and while deconditioning is, in theory, reversible, most older people do not regain their prior functionality and independence. We need to be proactive in our prevention strategies, with an individualised focus on what is important to the resident, maintaining functional ability, and preserving independence and dignity. There are three areas to focus on: 1. Physical activity 2.Cognitive or intellectual stimulation 3.Social interaction This is not about exercise or activity for its own sake, it’s about adding value, helping residents with the things that matter to them, and having some fun along the way. There are a few things which might seem obvious but are worth a mention; ensure people have the equipment they need, from glasses and hearing aids through to well-fitting footwear, sticks, frames, that they are hydrated and don’t have health contraindications and that there is appropriate supervision. When it comes to exercise, resistance and gravity exercises are the most effective. A final word on fun. Add a bit of competition and you could well tick all three of the above. Having run many #EndPJParalysis Challenges and activities like ‘pimp my zimmer’, creating a little competitiveness between units, care homes or individuals increases engagement and commitment while also preventing deconditioning. The #EndPJparalysis campaign (link: www.endpjparalysis.org/join) is a global social movement committed to reducing deconditioning by sharing best practice, research and expert talks. It is hosted by Lynda Holt & Professor Brian Dolan OBE

Care Home Workers Take on Charity Cycling Challenge Staff from Barchester’s Magnolia Court in Golders Green are taking on a gruelling 63 mile cycle ride across London to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support and Barchester Healthcare’s own Charitable Foundation. On Sunday 28 November, Wayne Hughes, Regional Director of Barchester Healthcare’s London Region, will lead a team of care home workers from his division on a cycling tour around 10 Barchester care homes to raise money for two worthy charities – Barchester’s Charitable Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Support. They will stop at each of the 10 care homes in their region to meet well-wishers and to be cheered on in their endeavours. The tour will start at 6.30am at Magnolia House in Hampstead and finish at 5.30pm at Ashford House in Stanwell via Islington, Wembley, Bushey, Chalfont St Peter, Harrow and

Chorleywood. Magnolia Court will be raising money for the two charities, their General Manager Octavian Stanciu will be joining the bike ride and in the home they will be holding fun activities such as Guess the bear’s name competition and a bake sale. We do hope you can join us on the day for a coffee and a slice of cake. Regional Director, Wayne Hughes, said: “It is going to be a long and tiring day in the saddle but we’re all really excited to take part and we’re hoping to raise lots of money for both causes. We know all the staff, residents, relatives and visitors will get behind us at each of the homes along the way. We’d like to thank everyone who has helped us so far, it has been a real team effort.”


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 29

Snap Survey Reveals a Rapidly Deteriorating Picture of Social Care Services A snap survey of the state of social care services has revealed a rapidly deteriorating picture of hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people left waiting for help despite record increases in care being provided to people in their own homes. Directors of social services across England are expressing unprecedented alarm at the findings as winter approaches. They say the government must act to stabilise the care system. The survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has found: • Almost 400,000 people are now waiting for an assessment of their needs or service; • More than 1.5 million hours of commissioned home care could not be provided between August and October because of a lack of staff, despite record growth in provision; • One in two councils has had to respond to a care home closure or bankruptcy over the past six months. Stephen Chandler, ADASS president, said: “This survey confirms our worst fears. Red lights are flashing right

across our dashboard. “Despite magnificent efforts by the committed, courageous and compassionate people working in social care who are delivering extraordinary amounts of care and support, services are failing to meet everyone’s needs and older and disabled people are suffering. “The government must now acknowledge the scale of the crisis and step in with emergency funding and measures to ensure we can get through the winter ahead.” “The survey findings come ahead of the expected publication of the government’s white paper on reform of adult social care. ADASS is calling as a priority for action to raise the pay and status of care work and put it on a professional footing in the long term. “The findings suggest, however, that immediate steps must be taken to stem the loss of care workers to other sectors to ensure services can be maintained. ADASS is urging the government to fund a £1,000 winter retention bonus for all staff. Responding to the survey Danny Mortimer chief executive of NHS

Employers and deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation said: “Despite a record increase in home care provision, there is huge pressure on adult social care staff and services this winter. “For the NHS, it will take the backlog caused by the pandemic even longer to clear if we don’t immediately tackle the pressures facing social care. “For social care more generally the government must act immediately to stem the loss of more care workers this winter and the social care workforce should be awarded a £1000 retention bonus. “In the longer term, Government must immediately publish their longpromised White Paper, along with a long-term health and social care workforce plan. “Staff in the social care system are working flat out to ensure people get the care they need. The challenges they face have been unsustainable for some time. There can be no further delay.”

Inspirational’ Iraq Veteran Wins Prestigious Soldiering On Awards An ex-Rifleman left severely disabled by a bomb blast in Iraq has won a prestigious award in recognition of his charity fundraising. Stephen Vause was named winner of the Soldiering On Awards’ Inspiration category following a public vote, on 28 October. The 34-year-old lives at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton, and was nominated by the charity, which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. Stephen undertook a gruelling 60-mile virtual London to Brighton cycle ride from his Royal Star & Garter room during the second lockdown, despite his injuries leaving him in a wheelchair and using a tablet to support communication. With the help of staff at the Upper Brighton Road care home, he completed the challenge on his adapted static bike in six weeks, raising more than £5,000 for Help for Heroes. The Soldiering On Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of those who have served their country, and the diverse people and groups who work together in support of the Armed Forces community. His achievement was praised by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who said: “Stephen has shown remarkable courage in dealing with his injuries and great fortitude in raising money for armed forces charities.

I take my metaphorical hat off to him for his latest fund raising exploit. I am full of admiration for him.” Stephen’s Help for Heroes fundraising efforts began on Christmas Eve 2020, and were backed by celebrities including Lord Sugar and Jeremy Vine. The final moments of his exploits on 1 February were captured on film by Royal Star & Garter staff and shared by Lorraine Kelly on her ITV breakfast show. Stephen also encouraged others to raise money with him using #do60withSteve. His Help for Heroes fundraising is not the first time Stephen has demonstrated kindness and generosity. In 2018, when his sister raised

money for Royal Star & Garter by participating in Other finalists in the Inspiration category were Margo Hetherington MBE, Mark Ormrod MBE and Martin Hewitt. Stephen said: “I’m stunned. I want to thank everyone who voted for me, but I also want to share this award with the other finalists. They all deserved to win.” Royal Star & Garter works closely with Help for Heroes, who also funded a bespoke wheelchair and specialist gym equipment to support Stephen’s care. Carol Betteridge OBE, Head of Clinical & Medical Services at Help for Heroes, said: “Huge congratulations to Steve for winning such a highly fought category where all the finalists are absolute inspirations. Steve fights every day to manage his physical injuries so his fundraising challenge for us was a major undertaking, and he did it with such determination and humour. He shows us all the great things you can achieve when you put your mind to it. He is an absolute hero.” Stephen was just 19 and on his first tour of Iraq, serving with the 4th Battalion The Rifles, when a mortar explosion near Basra left him fighting for his life in 2007. Speaking after he finished his London to Brighton fundraiser, Stephen said: “Help for Heroes have helped me a great deal and I wanted to do something for them.”

Stigma of Talking About Death Causes People to Miss Out on Care, says Marie Curie The UK’s reluctance to talk about death and low awareness of palliative care contributes to 1 in 4 people missing out on vital care at the end of their lives says Marie Curie. The end of life charity hopes to help break the persistent stigma around death to help people understand the care and support they might need at the end of their lives. In a recent survey, despite living in pandemic times, around half of people in the UK (51 percent) think we don’t talk enough about death and dying as a society. The findings also reveal as many as a third of people, in the UK are not familiar with common terms used by healthcare professionals and others in care for dying people. Marie Curie says this means that people who need this vital care may not access it, or don’t understand what care to ask for. Among the words people didn’t recognise were palliative care (31 percent), hospice care (32 percent) and end of life care (33 percent). And when it comes to practical steps around end of life care and funeral planning nearly half didn’t recognise Power of Attorney (44 percent) or Living Will (53 percent) and over three quarters weren’t familiar with Advance Care Plan (77 percent). The lowest recognition was for the term used to describe written documentation expressing your health care wishes if you’re not able to communicate them yourself; Advance Directive (87 percent). The charity warns that our reluctance to think or talk about death and dying mean many of us feel deeply unprepared and distressed when facing the end of life, either for ourselves or our loved ones. Chief Investigator Professor Annmarie Nelson, Scientific Director at the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre based at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine said: “Our research clearly shows that as many as one in three people are unfamiliar with end of life care terminology, which is a barrier to accessing care or services. It is shocking to realise that over 30% of the popula-

tion do not understand everyday language used by health and care professionals. This lack of a common language can lead to unnecessary confusion and distress at a time when important conversations are and should be taking place.” Marie Curie is highlighting its free phone line and web resources in its latest advert ‘Life’s Questions’ in the hope it will encourage more people to contact them for practical and emotional support (0800 090 2309/ Mariecurie.org.uk/support). Marie Curie is also calling for The Health and Care Bill, currently making its way through Parliament, to include a legal right for everyone in England to be offered a conversation about their personal needs, preferences and wishes for care at the end of life. Julie Pearce, Marie Curie Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Quality and Caring Services, said: “We’d urge everyone to become more comfortable talking about what they would wish for themselves at the

end of life as we know this can aid the conversations we initiate with patients. We have seen care professionals grow in confidence initiating conversations about end of life care needs, but there is still some way to go for it to be the norm. It's essential we support patients and their loved ones through this journey and start conversations much earlier so that care can be better planned in advance.” Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders, RCGP & Marie Curie National Clinical Lead for End of Life Care (EOLC) said: “When someone is ill and dying, the person and those important to them should not have to think about how to get the best care for them in the last few months and weeks of their lives. For care to be planned and delivered in the best possible way, having 'what matters most' conversations early with their GP and community teams is vital to help plan the support they want to live well and die well. “Having discussions about end of life care, including ‘what matters most’ conversations in an open way, will help GPs and healthcare professionals to ensure they have all of the necessary information to plan and deliver personalised end of life care, taking into account a person’s wishes and preferences. This is why the work by organisations such as Marie Curie to address and remove the stigma around discussing death is so important. It can reduce the distress around talking about death and illness, and ensure people receive the end of life care they want and deserve. “GPs and community teams play a vital role in caring for people and their families at the end of life. It is essential that GPs are fully supported and resourced to deliver this sensitive and essential care. But in order to support what matters most to our patients, we need to urgently see government investing into general practice and our community teams in order to best support people at the end of life.” View the Marie Curie Life’s Questions TV advert created by Saatchi & Saatchi at mariecurie.org.uk/advert


PAGE 30 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Scrubs UK and Uniforms UK

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

to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. Visit www.yeomanshield.com for details or see page 12.

“… Never Did I Think An Apron Could MOWOOT II for Constipation Free Life Be Game Changing, But I Do Now!” These are the words of a Limon Attire customer, Alexandra, about their specially designed Dining drApron®. The rest of her note read - "I can't tell you the difference it has made at mealtimes! We have no more arguments, nothing has seeped through, comes up brilliantly and, most importantly, Mum can put it on herself! Until Mum fell ill, never did I think an apron could be game changing but I do now! Sometimes it really is the little things in life." Barbara Lewis designed the Dining drApron® for her mother who had dementia and was having difficulty eating. She didn’t want to ask her stylish mother to wear an ugly, demeaning bib so she designed an attractive and practical apron for her to wear at mealtimes. Mum was quite happy in an apron to protect her clothes; she had

worn aprons all her life and there was no stigma with them. They have no unnecessary straps to get tangled in the wash, fit neatly around the neck and have a hidden towelling layer to soak up spills and, best of all, they are attractive. Barbara was inspired to make them with the pattern facing Mum as she had seen her interacting with the design and realised how frustrating it must be to see everything in her closest environment upside down. Wearing a Limon Dining drApron® a person can retain their dignity, identity and individuality whilst protecting their clothing. There are lots designs to choose from to suit differing interests for both men and women. Go to www.limonattire.com to learn more and see the other helpful products they make.

Irish Coffeetini Headlines New Fortified Cocktail Recipe Resource A tempting Irish Coffeetini cocktail is one of five new fortified cocktail recipes which are available to claim free from Lakeland Dairies’ brand-new fortified recipe and activity resource. Dairy experts Lakeland Dairies have launched the second of their fortified recipe series specifically for care sector caterers in time for this year’s festivities, Fortified Focus: Festive Tipples. Packed with delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic festive tipple recipes, thefortified drinks have been carefully crafted by the company along with a dietitian and a specialist care home chef. Together they have successfully overcome some of the enormous challenges faced by care caterers when fortifying drinks, namely that of how to devise recipes which are high in protein and still delicious to consume. Dietitian Rachael Masters who was involved in the creation of the recipe’s comments, “I can assure you, these festive tipples not only taste amazing, they are also nutritionally loaded in both protein and calories. They provide a higher percentage of protein than many prescribed nutritional supplements and taste amazing!” Jean Cattanach, marketing controller at Lakeland Dairies adds: “It’s our ambition to help care caterers deliver fortified food and drink in a delicious, appetising, and engaging way. Our 100% Dairy Skimmed Milk Powder, which is used to fortify the new recipes is full of the goodness of milk and recommended by dietitians for fortification because it has the ideal combination of protein and calories.

MOWOOT II - a novel noninvasive and non-pharmacological solution to chronic constipation Developed by a team of medical professionals, MOWOOT II performs gentle abdominal massage that speeds up intestinal transit in the sufferers of chronic constipation. Clinically proven and sideeffects free, MOWOOT II Chronic Constipation Therapy System fights constipation effectively, safely and comfortably without laxatives, enemas or colon cleansing supplements. Comfortable to use MOWOOT II treats and manages chronic constipation in people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease and medication-related constipation problems. MOWOOT II also combats idiopathic chronic constipation of menopausal and post-menopausal women and elderly people. In a published clinical study*, MOWOOT II increased evacuation frequency, softened stools, improved regularity, reduced gasses and bloating and relieved

Renray Healthcare

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abdominal discomfort. Results showed that as many as 72.2% patients experienced increased bowel movements, 77.4% patients manifested reduction in constipation symptoms and 81.0% patients enjoyed better quality of life. 10 – 20 minutes per day of abdominal massage with MOWOOT II demonstrates improvements with significant results noted within days after the first treatment. Regular applications ensure positive health benefits and better quality of life. MOWOOT II – effective, safe and comfortable solution to chronic constipation! * McClurg D; Booth L; Herrero-Fresneda I. Safety and Efficacy of Intermittent Colonic Exoperistalsis Device to Treat Chronic Constipation: A Prospective Multicentric Clinical Trial. Clin Trans Gastroenterology 2020; 11(12): e00267.

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C&S Seating Ltd is 30 Years Old! Since 1991, C&S Seating has been providing postural control equipment to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and medical equipment services nationwide and supply regularly

This ensures the recipe are delicious whilst also providing a proven health benefit for residents at risk of undernutrition.” In addition to the fortified cocktail recipes, it includes a series of engaging activity resources created in conjunction with wellbeing experts NAPA. Claim the free fortified recipe and activity resource at https://bit.ly/3EIq2Q4 Every entrant who requests the guide will receive a free roll of Millac piping bags F lakelanddairiesfoodservice T @lakelandFS #festivetipples

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PAGE 32 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

CATERING FOR CARE

Dysphagia Call to Action

By Sophie Murray, Head of Nutrition and Hydration, Sunrise Senior Living (www.sunrise-care.co.uk)

In the industry we know that the numbers are rising for those who have swallowing problems and the skills required to modify foods are greatly needed in some sites as catering staff need much more than an ability to use a blender to break food down. This is as a result of the safety framework which ,many of us know called IDDSI, standing for International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative which has been built upon research of swallowing to be able to give very precise levels which comprise of very specific food and drink test to deduce if it is safe for the Level. Most foods can be modified but not all and the modification process requires equipment, techniques and knowledge. As foods themselves vary in texture, it is not as simple as adapting a recipe – a banana or an avocado are 2 examples of foods which can vary greatly in their ability to be soft enough to push a fork through with little pressure, and other foods such as white fish do not blend smoothly to a puree so may need to be replaced with an oily fish for a person who requires a pureed diet There are publicised cases of fatalities such as in 2017 when a care home was prosecuted and closed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), after a resident choked on porridge twice in one day and died. Protocols and processes between care and catering teams needs

to be watertight so that only those trained correctly modify the foods and this includes all snacks too – careful management to ensure safety as well as choice are prime considerations – in itself this has challenges as a persons may have recommendations for Care homes seeking to buy in ready modified food need to ensure that this matches the menu properly and meets needs and choices so that there aren’t There IS only one qualification that can formally train and accredit Chefs called the Level 2 Award for Chefs in Healthcare but there are few providers offering this due to poor uptake and awareness https://www.cthawards.com/qualifications/culinary-programmes/cth-ioh-level-2-specialist-award-chefshealth-social-care/ There is also a framework for care teams called the Inter-professional Dysphagia Framework (IDF) which sets out the knowledge and skills care staff require to do safely care for a person with swallowing problems. The IDF should be implemented in every care home to ensure residents receive safe and effective care but in reality care homes don’t all know about it and it needs translating to a workable process with solid training although it is written with good clarity. Speech and Language Therapists are a great source of knowledge and support for care teams as they are the identified professionals who can diagnose a swallowing condition and recommend appropriate IDDSI Levels. IDDSI has set up a UK reference group so that best practice can be shared across the UK and organisations such as the NACC can provide support to care homes needing traning and awareness When risks are fatalities as a result of poor practice, there is much to do to ensure amazing food and choice is offered and residents are safe from harm as a result of choking or aspiration. The high risk is choking and aspiration.

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*This training is intended for healthcare professionals only. Did you know that between 50-75% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia1? Nutricia has a training solution for you, a FREE e-learning covering the fundamentals of dysphagia management using Nutilis Clear. The training is divided into 4 sections and has been specially designed for busy health and social care staff caring for people living with dysphagia. It takes 60 minutes in total to complete, however you can complete one section at a time.

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The quality standards aim is for all new health and social care staff members caring for patients with Dysphagia to complete the modules as part of their induction programme. Existing health and social care staff members should also complete the learning to support their continuing professional development. There is a certificate that can be downloaded once the training has been successfully completed. Use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code to access the elearning and get started! For any questions contact your local Nutricia sales representative or our Resource Centre at resourcecentre@nutricia.com. Nutilis Clear is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of dysphagia and must be used under medical supervision. Reference: 1. O’Loughlin G, Shanley C. Swallowing problems in the nursing home: a novel training response. Dysphagia 1998; 13, 172-183.( https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-language-therapy/clinical-information/dysphagia)

Maintaining A Healthy Balanced Diet Can Support The Immune System The media is full of advice on how to ‘boost’ your immune system, with many claims of certain supplements or foods doing just this. But how much of this is based in science? Rachael Venditti, Registered Nutritionist from allmanhall (www.allmanhall.co.uk) looks at how diet can help us remain healthy as we move into the winter months, and whether there is anything to support the mantra that food alone can ‘boost’ the immune system.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF NUTRITION? The complexity of the immune system means that it cannot be modified acutely by a specific nutritional intervention. There is currently no convincing evidence that any food or dietary pattern can ‘boost’ our immune system and prevent or treat Covid-19. Rather, adhering to a healthy diet provides ongoing support to the immune system and may even delay the process of immunosenescence (the natural gradual deterioration of the immune system as we get older).

WHAT SHOULD WE BE EATING THIS WINTER TO BOOST OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS? There are many nutrients that are involved with the normal functioning of the immune system, which is why maintaining a healthy balanced diet is the best way to support immune function. No single, one food is recommended over another. Eating a variety of foods will help to maintain a healthy balanced diet. The immuno-protection of many nutrients is based on their antioxidant capacity (oxidation is a chemical reaction that can damage cells) which is in fact lost if consumed in excess. In addition to healthy eating, being physically active, reducing stress and getting enough sleep will also all help support immunity function.

ARE THERE ANY SUPPLEMENTS THAT ‘BOOST’ OR PROTECT US FROM COVID-19? There is currently no evidence nor EU approved health claims that any supplement can ‘boost’ our immune system and prevent or treat viral infections, like Covid-19. Making sure we meet our dietary requirements for many vitamins and minerals is important for good health and normal immune functioning. Eating a healthy balanced diet should provide all the necessary nutrients we need. In case of specific challenges in meeting the dietary requirements, supplements can be used to

add nutrients to our diet.

GUT HEALTH AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM Another area covered in the media relating to immunity is gut health. Gut microbiota has been a hot health topic for a while now. The gut and its microbiota have been shown to impact metabolism, immunity and even behaviour. It is thought that the predominance of the beneficial bacteria, referred to as the probiotic bacteria, such as bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria, ensure good health and prevent diseases of the gut and other organs in the body. Probiotics fight harmful foreign substances and can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria by producing organic acids that lower the PH in the intestine. To support good gut health, the advice is to eat a wide range of foods, a diverse microbiota is a healthy one, a diet including different food types can lead to a diverse microbiota. High fibre foods promote microbiome diversity such as fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, and Wholegrains. Live plain natural yoghurt, and fermented foods, such as kefir, kimchee and kombucha, are also thought to support a healthy gut.

FOOD AND NUTRITION ADVICE FOR THIS WINTER • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – try to get a large variety, especially of vegetables, set yourself a challenge to have 30 different vegetables in a week • Eat a diet high in fibre – fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, beans and lentils • Include food with good bacteria (probiotics) live yoghurts, kefir, and fermented foods such as kimchee and sauerkraut. Try to ‘eat something living every day’ • Take Vitamin D supplements from October – April (all year round if you have darker skin, have little exposure to sunlight or are over 65). To summarise, using a statement recently published from the British Dietetic Association “Simply put, you cannot “boost” your immune system through diet, and no specific food or supplement will prevent you catching Covid-19 / Coronavirus. Although eating a well-balanced diet can help ensure the normal functioning of the immune system, no individual nutrient, food or supplement is going to “boost” it beyond normal levels. Good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection”. For further advice about nutrient provision in menus, it is important to seek advice from a Registered Dietitian or other healthcare professional and that you follow the current advice set out by the Government, NHS and Public Health England.



PAGE 34 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Research Into Infection Prevention Control In Care Homes Reveals How To Make Improvements Post COVID-19 A new study has investigated measures used to control infection in care homes for older people. The study involved analysing data and previous research from 2007 to 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, in a bid to understand the reasons how viruses spread and identify how to influence this both now and into the future. The research was published in the journal, Health Expectations, and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (NIHR GM PSTRC). The Centre is a partnership between The University of Manchester and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Maria Panagioti, lead of the GM PSTRC’s Safer Care Systems and Transitions Theme and an author of this study, said: “In England, Government policy around the discharge of patients from hospitals into care homes has been used to explain how COVID-19 spreads though care

homes. “However, we believe this is only part of the story as less attention has been given to investigating the role Infection Prevention and Control played. In conducting this research we’ve analysed a large number of studies to identify some of the reasons why Infection Prevention and Control might not always be effective in stopping COVID in its tracks and how this can be improved to make healthcare safer in care homes for older people. The research identified that one of the challenges faced by care homes is uncovering how an outbreak begins. Then, once an infection begins to spread, identifying who is responsible for the necessary control measures is not always easy. High staff turnover was also found to be an additional challenge. The need to bring in external health care professionals such as GPs to diagnose or treat an infection effects Infection Prevention and Control (IPC). Researchers concluded that training staff repeatedly could support them in ensuring IPC is effectively practiced across care homes as this would help to, overcome one of the key reasons why IPC in care homes has not been as effective as it could have been, i.e. high staff turnover. However, the success of this measure depends upon managerial commitment and organisational improvements being made within care homes. Dr Panagioti, continued: “Our research has identified how important it is

to understand the unique challenges care homes face regarding IPC. We believe repetitive staff training in IPC is key in helping to improve safety for care home residents and we look forward to seeing these recommendations being acted upon.” An experienced public contributor, who is an informal carer, was involved in the research, and said: ‘‘Having previously inspected acute hospital inpatient and mental health inpatient wards for their condition and cleanliness as a Public Member throughout Northwest England, and previously having family members / family friends admitted into care homes, I was genuinely interested in assisting with this much needed research study. “The findings from this study on effective Infection Prevention and Control in care home settings if adhered to by owners, managers and the staff working within care homes, should make a positive difference to the safety and welfare of care home residents by reducing the risks of any potential infections that may originate and then spread. A particular strength of the study was that the voice of those with lived experience of care homes and their family members/ family carers was both listened to and incorporated into the recommendations.”

Far-UV Sanitisation For Care Homes Means Staff, Residents and Visitors are Safer From Viruses, Bacteria and Pathogens An outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increased need for safe, disinfected public spaces. BiocareUV have been working with the government, education and healthcare sectors to provide a solution to the ongoing health issues in the UK and the rest of the globe. Our Far-UV products safely sanitise rooms and high touch areas leaving them free from pathogens, bacteria and viruses such as Covid 19, MRSA & Norovirus. The UV light at 222nanometers is safe to be around humans and animals whilst also being effective at destroying unwanted germs, leaving the room safer for your staff, residents and visitors in these uncertain times. Manufactured in the UK with government support, BiocareUV strive to make day to day living safer. The products come in various forms, from a hand held Biowand unit which sanitises the area manually, to a Biolume which fits into the ceiling and sanitises the room throughout the day, BiocareUV have the right solution for you. Businesses nationwide are struggling with the cost and inconvenience of absent staff members due to covid, flu or other winter viruses, BiocareUV can help to reduce this. The Biotile and Biolume products fit into the ceiling fixtures and are specifically timed to make sure the room is constantly sanitised, leaving it safer for your residents, their guests and your staff, significantly reducing the risk of staff illnesses and sick days. Your residents are the most important part of your business and keeping them

safe is your priority. Here at BiocareUV, the safety and wellbeing of everybody is our priority! Ultraviolet light (light at wavelengths between 100 and 400 nanometers) has well-known disinfection properties and have been used for many decades in the food and water industry. Most UV disinfection systems use germicidal lamps of wavelengths 240nm-280nm, with the most common being 254nm. Unfortunately, exposure to 254nm UVC light also causes damage to skin and eyes in humans. However, recently published studies have demonstrated that UV light at 222nm has the same germicidal capabilities of 254nm light without damaging skin or eyes and has increased efficacy for killing bacteria and viruses. Regulations permit the use of UV at these wavelengths within occupied spaces, properly controlled. Our products & systems ensure those regulations are never breached. “We’re justifiably proud of our products and our innovation and genuinely believe they will become a part of the global response to not just this pandemic, but how we deal with global health for the future” says Mike Humphreys, BiocareUV’s Operations Director. BiocareUV are here to help, to learn more about the products visit our website www.biocareuv.com or get in touch with our team today by emailing sales@biocareuv.com. BiocareUV – Your Health is Our Priority!


Medi-Clean Technologies: Innovative, Sustainable Hygiene & Cleaning Solutions Exactly one year ago we were on the brink of full-scale national lockdown for the third time and Christmas was soon to be cancelled for many. In just 12 months the United Kingdom has turned the Pandemic on its head and celebrations and festivities can go ahead as normal. With visitors to care and nursing homes likely to increase dramatically during the lead up to Christmas, we at Medi-Clean are hoping to provide “best in class” equipment to keep people Covid-free and safe. If there’s one thing the Pandemic has taught us, its how important correct hygiene and cleaning practices are in keeping bacteria and viruses at bay.

Medi-Clean has developed a complete range of systems aimed at providing “best in class” premium products, enabling customers to overcome any short- term or long-term hygiene issue. We have developed products to disinfect, purify and sanitise any surface of any environment as well as remain hygienic for people and animals. Some of the high-tech premium products in our catalogue include the following… • Electrostatic Fogging Equipment that sprays a fine, atomised mist carrying decontaminating compounds, such as anti-toxins, disinfectants or sanitisers. The foggers are powerful, compact, and quiet for continuous operation and sprays up to 3 times more than conventional foggers on target. • UVC Air Sterilisation Units clean the air that we share and provide extra confidence and re-assurance when gathering in confined spaces, we have three different types to choose from, dependent on individual customer requirements.

• Portable & Intelligent Disinfection Unit is a unique, innovative and revolutionary channel, developed to provide an extra layer of safety and hygiene when allowing people access care facilities, whilst also providing staff, visitors and residents confidence and reassurance. The system can also be used as an advanced clocking in and out system for all members of staff and visitors.

Another aspect that the Pandemic opened our eyes to is the current state of the environment and the climate crisis. It forced us to reflect on old practices, and to find new ways of doing things in a more sustainable and ecoresponsible manner. As a result, we developed a sustainable product range to not only protect people, but the planet too. Innovation and sustainability are paving the way for a new type of care giving, allowing us to use technological solutions to repeatedly improve the level of care that we can provide.

Our Solupak daily cleaning system is the perfect solution to regular, single use plastic cleaning products. Within our own laboratories we manufacturer a range of water- soluble daily cleaning and disinfectant products for commercial, domestic and leisure use across many industries. The watersoluble products are effectively contained within PVOH films until the point of use… simply just add water when required. The product offering is extensive, with a full catalogue available upon request and the benefits of this product both in terms of environmental cost effectiveness are endless. The Solupak Daily Cleaning Range… • Without requiring large, expensive dosing systems. • Without relying on operatives dosing correctly. • Without having expensive ready to use products. • Without waste; just add water... and they dissolve. • With the highest possible environmental accreditations. • With the guarantee that the active ingredients are optimally dosed. • With a product for all applications.

“We are fully committed to the utmost hygienic and cleaning safety standards for all.”

Contact us at 01514 595 955 www.medicleantechnologies.co.uk


PAGE 36 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Robust Testing for Airborne Illnesses Urged Across the Care Industry This Winter to Protect Residents and Staff Airborne illnesses beyond COVID-19 and influenza must be part of prevention strategies in care homes to reduce hospitalisation of residents this winter, according to healthcare company Abbott. While the nation is increasingly familiar with COVID-19 symptoms, as well as influenza, there are airborne diseases that are also putting people at risk. Respiratory Syncytial Virus – known as RSV – is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. While COVID-19 and influenza testing are becoming common practice, visitors entering care homes with RSV may go undetected. The vital role testing plays in protecting both care home residents and staff is supported by Care England, the leading representative body for care providers in England. "It is helpful to raise awareness of other airborne diseases that care home staff, residents and visitors might be unfamiliar with. Before the pandemic, not many people had heard the term ‘coronavirus’, but increased awareness has helped most understand why safety precautions and testing are of paramount importance in the care sector," commented Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive at Care England. "We are fully aware of the immense pressure care homes are under as we head into the winter season, but the first line of defence against lesser-known airborne diseases – like RSV – is ensuring care staff are aware of it, increasing education on the symptoms, and ensuring testing is in place wherever possible," added Green. RSV symptoms may include a runny nose, cough, temperature, sore throat, and wheezing[i]. For those aged over 65, RSV accounts for 175,000 appointments with general practitioners, 14,000 hospitalisations and 8,000 deaths per year in the UK[ii]. There are currently no specific treatments for RSV infection and management is purely sup-

portive through oxygen supplementation; therefore, prevention of contracting the disease is essential. To detect RSV, care home providers should look to utilise kits that scan for airborne diseases – like Abbott’s ID NOW – a portable instrument used for front-line testing in health settings. It quickly provides results for COVID-19, influenza A & B, strep A and RSV, with positive results shown in a little as five minutes, and negative results in 13 minutes. Gabriela Zackova, director of Dementia and Wellbeing at Loveday & Co Care Homes has recently added an ID NOW testing device. Gabriela said: "We’re excited to be using this point of care test for our staff, residents and their visitors. Last year, winter was one of the hardest times for our sector, not only due to the increased pressure to keep people safe, but also for our residents, who were separated from the people they love which had a significant impact on their wellbeing and mental health." "ID NOW is a small, lightweight machine, about the size of a toaster, that will allow us to make even better decisions about risk levels for numerous viruses, enabling us to provide a more robust screening process for everyone at the facility." Abbott has been a global leader in COVID-19 testing throughout the pandemic. "While many staff and visitors will self-test for COVID-19 at home before entering the premises, it is vital precautions are taken for other airborne illnesses. By utilising a diagnostic testing device on-site, we can slow the spread of illness, better protect vulnerable residents, and minimise the risk of catching potentially life-threatening illnesses this winter," added Sam Lloyd, general manager, Infectious Diseases at Abbott’s rapid diagnostics business in the UK and Ireland. For more information on Abbott’s ID NOW testing instrument, visit: www.Globalpointofcare.abbott/idnow or see the advert on pages 18-19.

Waterless Bathing Products Could Help Nurses Reduce the Risk of Infection Transmission

By Yvonne Carter, Clinical Director at GAMA Healthcare (https://gamahealthcare.com/) and previously Head of Infection Control at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (www.royalfree.nhs.uk)

For both nurses and carers, helping patients with their personal hygiene and bathing are essential components in quality of life and quality of care. Bathing has been argued to have a strong effect on patient well-being and patient comfort. For immobile patients, sometimes, a body wash in bed is the only option. Traditionally, the bed bath is performed with water and soap. However, alternatives are increasingly used in health care. Washing without water is one such alternative that has been claimed to provide several advantages, such as improved hygiene and skin condition. In practice, it is fast, minimises discomfort and results in less mess. In two studies, nursing staff have significantly preferred washing without water over traditional bathing.i

Built on the experience from GAMA’s founders, the Carell wipes are an easy-to-use bathing solution to clean, moisturise and refresh. Delivering a full body wash in a single product and no need to spend time gathering supplies. They contain aloe vera and active moisturisers to promote healthy skin. They're dermatologically tested, alcohol, lanolin and paraben free with a patented skin-pH neutral formula.

SPEED AND EFFICIENCY Wipes replace the need for traditional cumbersome patient cleansing methods, which include preparing bowls, washcloths, soap, lotions and water. They require no towel drying which decreases waste, increases staff compliance and may save money. A time in motion study comparing traditional bed bathing with waterless bathing in elderly care wards was carried out in practice, finding that staff saved 40 minutes whilst delivering care to six patients.i

PATIENT COMFORT AND PREFERENCE In the previously mentioned study, it was found that the experience was preferred by patients and improved staff practice due to the simple one pack one person formulation.i The drying time for the wipes is minimal, reducing the need for abrasive towelling, whilst the wipes themselves are soft. A study showed the prevalence of skin abnormalities in the traditional bathing group increased overtime, whilst the waterless bathing group observed a decrease in abnormality prevalence.i Additionally, another study showed a significant difference in skin dryness, favouring the waterless group.ii

INFECTION PREVENTION Carell wipes also remove the risk of microorganism transmission associated with wash bowl contamination, risks from re-using washbowls between patients, spillage, non-drying of washbowls or less than effective decontamination

between washbowl uses. Improved patient cleanliness reduces the number of microorganisms present to transfer to healthcare workers, visitors and the environment The wipes are designed for use on each area of the body and can be used and disposed of safely, breaking the chain of transmission via bath basins. Once waterless bathing has been completed, wipes can be resealed in their original packaging and safely disposed of. This reduces the risk of outbreaks and HCAIs associated with drainage systems. A randomised trial into the cost-consequence of washing without water revealed there is no difference in costs verses traditional bed bathing, making waterless washing the more efficient alternative.i Find out more about Carell Wipes and access to dedicated training/resources on waterless bathing https://gamahealthcare.com/carell i https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25173772/ ii https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-

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

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


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 37

DEMENTIA CARE Alive On Demand – Apps Release – Video Streaming Platform for Older People Designed to Engage and Spark Conversation With Loved Ones and Carers Alive On Demand is a video streaming platform with over 200 unique videos designed by and for older people. This platform has been designed with activities staff/care staff/carers and loved ones in mind to better engage, spark conversation and learn more about individual and group interests. Each video comes with a variety of additional activity resources to maintain and nurture engagement. These resources turn an engaging video into well rounded activity. Alive On Demand is available through a browser on the internet and can now be enjoyed through both Android and iOS apps. Viewing these through the apps also means that each video can be viewed offline by everybody, in areas with no WiFi. Alive On Demand was born out the need for specifically curated video content for people with varying levels of dementia,availablewhenever suits the busy lives ofcarers,both at home and in care homes. Following extensive consultations with older people, including specific information on what places and activities they would like to engage with, Alive On Demand was built with its audience at the centre. Before COVID forced care homes to close their doors, many local

Silent Memories

Music therapy is a well established form of treatment for patients, particularly those suffering with dementia. It can help evoke memories and create a deeper sense of coherence and communication, whilst allowing residents to communicate on a different level with care workers and family members. Here at Silent Memories we offer an innovative form of music therapy, whereby rather than playing the music out loud for all to hear, it is played through our wireless headsets directly to the patients. All music is carefully selected by the residents, care workers, family members and our DJs. When listening to music through our headsets we have noticed a distinct increase in engagement, animation and stimulation amongst patients. Often the music seems to evoke memories and allows the

attractions had contributed to Alive’s various projects by allowing visits and providing outreach sessions. Since lockdown, Alive has been delivering online zoom activity sessions to care homes in Bristol and now nationally.Some of these were ‘Out and About’ sessions. Care homes were taken on tours of attractions or areas, so they were able to feel like they had been out of the home and explored parts of the city. As the severity of COVID has increased Alive has observed that homes are no longer able to attend live activity at a fixed time. This led to homes asking for a way of accessing our unique content on demand whenever it might suit them. The platform allows you to search for content based on the viewer’s level of dementia, their personal interests and the length of time they have to enjoy the video.The videos are designed to be a mixture of learning, entertainment and reminiscence with questions that guide group discussion and one to one conversation. “What makes Alive On Demand stand out is really the fact that we have designed the content to be watched with loved ones, to create conversation and spark memories. The content is designed to support people in engaging with people living with dementia as well as allowing those living with dementia to enjoy things that are meaningful to them.” – Emma Dyer, AOD Project Manager. To see Alive on Demand in action watch our promo video at https://youtu.be/eTM9iUWZzzc. Sign up to the newsletter at www.aliveondemand.co.uk to find out more about Alive On Demand and keep up to date with new releases and features. Take a look at Alive’s sample videos at https://aliveondemand.co.uk/orders/customer_info?o=58533 or contact Alive Activities for more information.

residents to become completely immersed in the sessions. Using headsets allows residents to opt in or out of the sessions. The silent disco can be taking place in a communal area and anyone not taking part won't be distracted by the activity. With a long transmission range it also allows patients with limited mobility to take part in the sessions in their own rooms. For more information on how we can help your clients recall memories and help to enhance the quality of life through the enjoyment of music please get in touch.: info@silentnoizeevents.com, call 0203 727 5382 or visit www.silentnoizeevents.com/silentmemories

TO ADVERTISE IN PLEASE CALL OUR SALES TEAM ON

01202 552333



THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 39

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Forbes Delivers a Streamlined Solution for National Care Groups

A national care group needs to know that they are delivering a consistently high standard of care and in order to do this they need to ensure that they are working with service partners that they can trust. When it comes to laundry provision, centralised procurement and management teams want to know that they will have access to a streamlined process for all account and service management. Established in 1926, Forbes Professional offers a nationwide delivery of a local-based service, with the security and reliability that comes from being a multiaward winning, CHAS approved business. We have an expansive network of depots and field engineers including our own in-house Gas Safe engineers. This enables a highly responsive service and maintenance response, which is mobilised via a dedicated hotline at

LaundryTec

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

our head office. We work closely with clients to devise the solution best suited to their requirements; conducting comprehensive site-surveys, offering detailed CAD designs and always specifying the most appropriate, industry compliant machines. We choose our manufacturers extremely carefully to ensure that we are offering the highest quality of both product and service. For the care sector, hygiene is always of paramount importance and our commercial laundry equipment fully adheres to the relevant WRAS and CQC guidelines for infection control. We are proud to be Miele National Partner which enables us to offer market leading, energy efficient machines including a wide range of heatpump dryers. All of our laundry equipment is available for rent, lease or purchase with maintenance. Our Complete Care rental solution gives access to premium equipment without upfront capital outlay and with no repair or replacement bills for the life of the contract. Clients are assigned a dedicated account manager who remains their point of contact, centralising all account management for a highly efficient process that keeps things simple for both procurement teams and care management staff. www.forbespro.co.uk info@forbes-professional.co.uk 0345 070 2335 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 www.laundrytec.com to see what of customers say info@laundrytec.com

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

BEFORE

We are also Lavamac distributors

www.laundrytec.com

0151 317 3127

AFTER

info@laundrytec.com


PAGE 40 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Keeping Care Homes Hygienic Textile Services Association provides support for care homes looking to improve laundry hygiene The Textile Services Association (TSA) has released guidance aimed at the care home sector to help explain how laundry helps control infections and how commercial laundries can help to raise hygiene standards. This is part of the ongoing effort the TSA has made during the pandemic to help encourage high standards for hygiene in a number of sectors, including healthcare and hospitality. The advice is based on research carried out by De Montfort University, in association with the TSA, which was aimed at determining the survivability of coronaviruses on various fabric types and laundry processes. This research demonstrated that while model coronaviruses can survive in water at 60°C for ten minutes, when combined with the agitation washing machines impart and detergent, no trace of the virus was found at 40°C and above. However, other pathogens like C.difficile, B.cereus, E.faecium and so on will require further thermal disinfection. For care homes looking to maximise their hygiene, the knowledge that professional wash processes effectively eliminate the infection risk from pathogens and coronaviruses is good news. However, it was also determined that the tested strain of coronavirus can remain infectious on polyester fabric for up to 72 hours, and 100% cotton for 24 hours. It’s also possible for polyester fabric to transfer the virus to other surfaces for up to 72 hours. With this in mind, the TSA recommends that care homes review procedures for laundry, including the loading and unloading of washing machines and the handling and storing of soiled and clean textiles, focusing on the need to reduce the chances of cross

contamination. While each care home will have its own processes, common areas to focus on include bagging soiled items, separate storage areas for soiled and clean textiles, ensuring that collection and delivery times for laundry are different, and putting in rigorous procedures for sanitising all at risk areas. The pandemic has hugely increased the importance of maintaining the strictest hygienic standards in care homes. While some care homes may be able to implement the kind of systems required to guarantee the safety of their laundry needs, from resident’s bedsheets, clothes etc. to staff uniforms, the services offered by commercial laundries provide a simple solution to these logistical issues. The TSA has created a technical bulletin outlining the government’s advice, as well as breaking down the kind of steps care homes should consider as part of any risk assessment they take to improve the hygiene of their laundry procedures. As well as this, the TSA will be running an interactive webinar later in the year allowing operators to ask a panel of industry experts questions related to laundry hygiene. The bulletin can be downloaded on the TSA’s website, from the healthcare section of the documents library, and further details about the webinar can also be found there. The TSA is the trade association for the textile care services industry. The TSA represent commercial laundry and textile rental businesses. Membership ranges from family-run operations through to large, multi-national companies. Visit www.tsa-uk.org for more information.

Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name” At Cash's, we aim to capture, reinforce and communicate our clients’ brand equity through quality and innovation, from design to distribution. Our product range fully caters for the needs of both small and large retailers and brand owners alike comprising of woven and printed labels, woven badges, care labels, branded and promotional swing tags, garment accessories, packaging and barcoding. Our ground breaking labelling and security technologies are also able to provide an unrivalled level of

protection to our customers' brand by assisting to combat counterfeiting and grey market activity. Our industry leading eCommerce system is designed to reduce cost, improve efficiency and streamline supply chain management and will fully protect the integrity and accuracy of critical business data. The order entry process is very simple meaning suppliers and vendors can spend their valuable time on tasks other than ordering apparel labelling and accessories. See the advert this page for details.

Southern Contracts Industrial Equipment Suppliers

Contact us now on 03301 222888 www.southerncontracts.co.uk Follow us on : Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Southern Contracts is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of industrial laundry, catering and commercial cleaning equipment. We work with many care homes, hotels, restaurants, holiday parks, cruise lines, offshore platforms, marine companies and local authorities, the NHS, the MoD as well as schools and colleges. Founded in 1964 to initially supply and maintain commercial laundry equipment, we are still family run today and are proud to have become a global supplier of not only laundry equipment, but also professional kitchen appliances and commercial cleaning equipment, to well known independent and national clients. We pride ourselves on delivering the very best products and service to our customers. By stocking the leading commercial washing machines, industrial tumble dryers, cleaning, HEPA vacuum and catering equipment, we are able to offer

independent and unbiased advice to ensure your purchase precisely meets your requirement and budget; our expert team of technical staff are on hand to ensure your business is supported through every aspect of your purchase. From initial advice on current government standards (eg. infection control for commercial washing machines and meeting government legislation for kitchen appliances) we understand the importance of minimal disruption to operations for our clients whilst covering all aspects of installation, customer training, ongoing maintenance, service and repair. For more information regarding our services for : • Laundry equipment • Kitchen appliances • Commercial cleaning equipment Contact us now on 03301 222888 Follow us on : Facebook, Twitter, Instagram LinkedIn


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 41

NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION Introducing Intercall One – Building Lotus Care Technology on our Bestselling Legacy System Intercall is a leading UK manufacturer of nurse call systems used in healthcare facilities across the UK and around the world. Known for their innovative products, including the Touch and 600/700 series, Intercall’s latest development is One, a modern affordable nurse call system created for the digital age. Installed on the robust Intercall framework, it provides an opportunity for a nurse call system upgrade with minimal disruption with interconnected call points that supply unrivalled reliability while assisting in the smooth running of the care facility. The Intercall One system delivers real-time accurate call data to the right people at the right time, ensuring a prompt response. Furthermore, the system is supported with Intercall Care Cards to control access to sensitive areas, while integrating with care management functions.

Launched at this year’s Care Show in Birmingham, the One series underwent rigorous testing, including the successful installation into trial sites at Brooklands Nursing Home in Ashdown Forest and Sutton Court Residential Home in Nottingham. Initial feedback for the One series has been extremely positive, with the facilities impressed by the ease of installation. Intercall One has been developed to help reduce alarm fatigue, while the stylish, clean design integrates seamlessly into modern décor in a discreet, unobtrusive manner. During 2020, Intercall installed an inhouse state-of-the-art training facility, which has allowed them to offer COVID-safe product training and demonstrations to colleagues and clients across the world. If you’d like to arrange a demonstration or simply find out more about the One series, visit www.one.intercall.co.uk

How Flexible Is Your Nurse Call System? Touchsafe® Pro Wireless Nurse Call is an essential communications system for alerting staff to calls, visually and audibly, from patients to other members of staff. Fitting a nurse call system can often be disruptive, time consuming and expensive; but not with Aid Call’s wireless system. Aid Call utilise wireless technology because there is no need to install cables to any of the call points and the impact is minimal, which is reassuring at a time of increased pressure on resources and environments. Wireless systems also have lower installation and operating costs over a traditional hard-wired system, as well as being quicker and easier to install. Wireless configuration offers complete flexibility and mobility, which makes our system infinitely changeable and expandable, allowing for

the constant ability to deal with ever changing priorities and demands. Our system is safe, reliable and cost-effective. It can be designed to suit individual requirements and needs and adapted to work within your budget. It also has a variety of features which can help to maximise staff efficiency and improve the overall quality of care offered to your clients and patients. Aid Call pagers also work seamlessly with our Touchsafe Pro wireless Nurse Call system, they can be integrated with your existing system, or they can be used as a stand-alone system. So whether you need 2 pagers or 12, our products provide the ultimate flexibility for healthcare facilities. For further information visit www.aidcall.co.uk or see the advert on page 15.

The NurseAlert pressure mat has been one of the most successful floor pressure mats due to it being non slip and carpeted which makes it feel very natural under a residents foot. Lotus Care Technology Ltd have many other fall saving devices that can give you peace of mind whilst caring for this at risk of falls.  Having many years of experience in

fitting and maintaining Nurse Call Systems helps the guys at Lotus Care Technology understand that every home is different and has different needs. They can specify not only the best system for the environmental factors in the home but also take into consideration the best products that will make your carers and nurses jobs that little bit easier. Visit lctuk.com for details.


PAGE 42 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

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

FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR

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

Benefits include:

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

Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts

TREADNOUGHT ®FLOOR SENSOR PAD The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our 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 www.fallsavers.co.uk.

The New MPCSA11 from Medpage

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

Medpage is a family ran company, with a huge heart and resources gathered over our 35year 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 suc-

cessful in hospital and care home trials by reducing patient falls while also reducing false positives from a safe patient. The device can monitor and interact with up to three sensor products: bed and chair occupancy pressure pads, PIR movement detection sensors and proximity signal products. In use, a patient or resident rising from their bed would be considered a falls risk, but what if they are simply moving to sit in a chair close to their bed? A standard bed monitor would raise an alarm alerting care staff, who would arrive to find the person safely seated. The MPCSA11 would only generate an alarm if the person was out of their bed or chair for a selectable time duration. Learn more www.easylinkuk.co.uk/mpcsa11


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 43

NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION 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.” www.edisontelecom.co.uk

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: info@c-t.co.uk

NURSE CALL

IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS

EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)

have spares, enhancements and expertise for wired and wireless systems abandoned by the original manufacturer, whoever they are.

Call us on 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future.

www.edisontelecom.co.uk Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

www.nursecallsystems.co.uk



THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 45

TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE New Fintech Helps Healthcare SMES Combat Late Payments Small businesses are being given free access to a new digital payment platform to help them get outstanding debts paid more quickly. Debt Register is giving healthcare SMEs in the country the opportunity to load and collect up to five free outstanding debts every year by using its platform which it claims can resolve debts anything up to 10 times faster than ‘traditional’ legal action and without the unnecessary cost. Businesses simply log onto the Fintech platform using one of their five free credits and the system takes over. It automatically contacts their debtor and in the appropriate language and time of day, requesting that the payment is settled, and ensuring the invoice is cor-

Oysta Intelligent Care Technology

Giving Vulnerable Independent People (VIP) the option to remain in their own homes and out of expensive long-term care, Oysta’s telecare technology enables carers to monitor well-being and provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any location. “The cost savings that we are seeing are immense. We are now in a position where we are more streamlined, yet just as effective in our care provision. From a management point of view, we are able to prioritise the time of our teams, whilst still providing the care where it is needed. This is enabling us to provide better care, for more people, all within the familiar surroundings of their own home”. – Care service provider with Oysta, Telford, Shropshire. Continually, and securely, monitoring activity and patterns of behaviour, Oysta care solutions provide carers, family and the VIP themselves with peace of mind and support. Should an alert be raised, everyone within the VIPs

care network is notified. Responding to emergency alerts triggered by the VIP, or detected by a sensor within the home, Oysta technology kick starts a connected-care process to prevent a problem becoming a crisis. Digital tracking technology also enables fast finding of a VIP who may have wandered out of preset safe zones. The ‘cloak of care’ for the VIP from Oysta contributes to reduced feelings of isolation, fewer falls and emergency A&E admission. Oysta solutions also enable patients to be discharged from hospital sooner. Combining mobile technology with the latest digital communications, Oysta provides easy to use, easy to install, data-rich systems all connected to Oysta’s innovative IntelliCare platform. An invaluable management tool, care providing teams can understand quickly what the issues are, or will be, based on trends and metrics collated by IntelliCare, for each VIP in their care. Enabling better use of care resource, staff time and care budget, IntelliCare supports a more intelligent care service. Enabling faster and more targeted care, Oysta telecare solutions are in use within Care agencies and prescribed by Social care authorities around the country, protecting 10,000’s of Vulnerable People. Flexible and reliable, Oysta solutions are digital, freeing VIPs from the confines of the home. Allowing greater freedom, VIPs can rest assured that they are always connected to Oysta care, wherever they may venture. For further information on Oysta and their range of solutions, please visit: www.oysta-technology.com

rect and not in dispute. Should the debtor not respond or payment is not immediately forthcoming, the matter is reported to the Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) and the debtor’s credit score negatively impacted. It is this ‘consequence’ that provides the leverage for an outstanding debt to be addressed, and on launch, initial data shows 80% of debtors engaged through the platform paid their clients directly within seven days. Gary Brown, Founder of Debt Register, said the product and platform were created out of necessity: “SMEs often don’t have the luxury of time or a dedicated team to chase debts and they can quickly become overdue. Whereas some might eventually try to legal action, its time-consuming and costly, and outcomes are difficult to predict. “With the accelerated payment platform we have developed, we hope to play our part in helping SMEs

get paid for the work or services provided, and keep the cash flowing.” Debt Register provides a series of tools for users including auto-translation for companies recovering debts from overseas customers. The system is intelligent, to recognise different time zones, working days and cultural nuances including national holidays or religious festivals, and times the despatch of any communications accordingly. The platform has also been designed to streamline the payment process for the debtor with a specially designed portal providing three points of payment resolution as well as a series of tools including messaging services and payment acknowledgement tools. Debt Register is available globally and designed to suit any business regardless of industry. For more information or to sign up for a free trial, please visit: https://debtregister.com/freetrial

Global Software Solutions from Leecare 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. Mobile Apps which link to the program can also be modified at the push of a button. Layers of permissions built into the programme ensure staff can only read / write in particular resident files or assessments and do what they are mandated to. Our comprehensive understanding of the legal and political environments that govern each of the markets in which we operate means we are able to expediently add required forms / functions to the program to ensure our clients stay abreast of any changes. The Leecare platform incorporates a resident/client-centric care system comprising over

150 aged / social care expert assessments and monitoring charts designed with the latest evidence-based tools and the sector they serve in mind. We also provide over 100 meaningful, quality and system analysis ready reports. One source of truth is ensured and duplication is eliminated through linked data which maps throughout all relevant assessments in the program. Whenever an assessment is completed and saved the information entered will trigger a number of functions including the mapping of the information to another relevant assessment in the program, the generation of an automated progress note, a prompt to update a resident goal; the need to update other related clinical information in the program such as neuro obs post fall, the updating of any one of three different resident care plans, an update of relevant resident and management reports. As the system can be used from any device and accessed via Wi-Fi from anywhere, data can be entered in a timely manner at the point of care or when it is convenient, streamlining and simplifying workflow for nurses and care staff be it assessment data at the bedside or downloading maintenance reports from the workshop. Visit www.leecare.co.uk for further information.


PAGE 46 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

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 www.gov.uk/eusettledstatus. An employer toolkit is at www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlementscheme-employer-toolkit See the advert this page or visit www.bizimply.com

Eliminate Paper & Payroll Stress

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

Reliant Care Solutions provides Time & Attendance systems for Care Homes using Face Recognition technology and mobile communications with your employees. Accurate, fast and easy to use for staff and Management. We have been in the business of Time Management for over 20 years, and have a vast experience in software development. DutyHours™ and TimeCap™ are easy to use and will dramatically reduce management time to produce Rosters, staff payroll and collect data. It is suitable for a single home or for organizations that may have multiple homes with centralized payroll. With our Employee Portal staff can check their rosters by using their Mobile or other devices to quickly view, past, present and future shifts. They can quickly request holidays and if you need someone for an open shift the Portal will display them and the employee can

request to work the shift. Approve or Reject any requests direct to their Mobile Phone, Laptop, text or email and eliminate paper, phone calls with instant communication that will save everyone time and money. The system creates an electronic timesheet of which job, where, when, which department and accurately calculates and controls pay hours including Bank Holidays, Vacation, Sickness and other absence. It will identify allowances such as overtime, weekend and night shift working and export the hours and Gross Pay for your payroll or to send to your accountant. Call Workforce Group on 03333 4444 562 for more information and a demonstration of the system, or visit our web site at www.rcscare.net



PAGE 48 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

EDUCATION & TRAINING

Care Staffing Crisis Tackled with Comprehensive Recruitment, Retention, and Fully Funded Nationally Training Pathway Programme Recognised and Accredited Qualifications

We are a Company that finds learners for Colleges and Learning Providers. MSD Independent offer market-leading fully funded

Courses for a wide range of Certificated Health and Social Care qualifications.

These cover a diverse mix of subjects, such as Autism, Mental Health, Mental Health First Aid, Dementia Awareness, and the

Safe Handling and Administration of Medicines as well as many

more. Also we have fully funded courses in Safeguarding, Business Administration, and Digital Services. The courses are available

through several Colleges we work with so staff will get

access to qualified tutors to help them if needed, plus longer submission times than many providers.

Staff shortages in the care sector are well-documented and Staffordshire-based Acacia Training has responded with the launch of a new Professional Care Pathway programme. Structured as a flexible sixyear package, the training programme provides learners with the opportunity to progress to a Level 5 qualification with the option to additionally complete a teaching qualification in the final year. It is open equally to those new to the sector, those already following a career within it, and those considering a return to health and social care. For employers, the pathway commences at the recruitment stage making it the most comprehensive and advanced programme of its kind in the care sector. Created in direct response to the needs of care employers, Acacia’s Professional Care Pathway has been developed to transform how care workers are perceived, through the raising of standards and provision of professional qualifications to degree level and beyond. Lisa Davies, speaking on behalf of Acacia Training, said: “The pandemic shone a spotlight on the vital role of those working in care, but recruitment and retention combine to pose the sector with its biggest challenge of all and there are now in excess of 100,000 positions vacant. “Care employers are under immense pressure to deliver their core services, yet they’re also battling to keep their existing staff empowered and invested in their careers AND attract new talent. They’re superheroes but they can’t do it all - our Professional Care Pathway addresses this.”

Starting with recruitment, the Professional Care Pathway allows employers to hand their vacancies over to Acacia’s dedicated recruitment service to manage all aspects of advertising the vacancies, vetting applications and recommending an interview shortlist. Acacia Training then delivers sector specific pre-employment induction training for successful candidates before they commence on their professional career training. The Professional Care Pathway not only offers flexibility to the learners but is also entirely flexible to meet the needs of the sector. Acacia’s first partner in the programme is Home Instead which provides care at home services nationwide. Lisa Davies concludes: “When Home Instead approached us to support on its recruitment and training needs, it quickly became apparent that the challenges it faces are far from unique. “Acacia can relieve the pressure for care providers across areas including engagement, motivation and promotion. Starting with recruitment and onboarding, through our in-house careers guidance service, our impactful employee engagement strategies, and our rich heritage in all areas of care sector training, we can provide the most comprehensive and professionally focused recruitment, training and retention programme to meet the needs of every UK care provider.” To find out more about Acacia’s Professional Care Pathway programme, contact the team on 01782 646 346 / www.acaciatraining.co.uk

FUNDED LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA in ADULT CARE At Step Up Training and Care we offer: • Tailored learning journeys and programmes • A flexible blended approach of one to one, in-house, classroom, practical assignments and online assessment methods • Training that will lead to higher quality of care delivery

Learners are able to further their own continuous professional

• Training led by tutors and assessors who are specialists in health and social care

can then progress on to further qualifications in Health & Social

• Level 3 diplomas that are accredited to Highfield Qualifications

development which may also improve their career prospects and care or other related subjects.

Visit our web site www.msdindependent.com

Email us at distancelearning@msdindependent.co.uk Call us on 01656 502059 and speak to one of our dedicated Team We are here to help

T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : www.stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk E : info@stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk



PAGE 50 | THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22

EDUCATION AND TRAINING How A Tailored Regional Approach Is Tackling Critical Social Care Skills Shortages In The West Midlands By Clare Hatton, Head of Skills Delivery, West Midlands Combined Authority (www.wmca.org.uk)

If nothing else, the global pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of the roles of health and social care workers. Despite this, the social care sector faces a critical skills shortage, with more than two thirds of care managers reporting limited services due to a lack of qualified staff. Impacting the sector’s ability to effectively operate, the shortage has already seen more than 5,000 requests for care being denied since the beginning of September. Responsible for the West Midland’s £130 million Adult Education Budget since 2019, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has implemented sustainable solutions to regional skills shortages across all industries. Despite strong economic growth and improving employment rates, the impact of the pandemic has hit the West Midlands particularly hard, resulting in record-high vacancies in the care sector and more than 1,500 expected NHS vacancies. Effective and adaptable training initiatives are needed to proactively fill vacancies, meet employers’ needs and ensure the continuous delivery of high-quality care. To achieve this, the WMCA has developed an agile and responsive skills ‘roadmap’ that offers residents the opportunity to upskill, retrain and move into care sector roles; all whilst supporting wider economic and sector recovery. This roadmap provides training across all levels allowing upskilling and

progression for those already within the sector and in turn creating greater availability of entry-level positions. This mobility, and the alignment of the programmes’ content with regional employer skills needs, are key to the roadmap’s success; meaningful engagement with employers throughout the training process allows local skill demands to be met and ensures a consistent source of qualified talent – a model that can be replicated in other areas.

It’s important to embed training at each level – a strategy we’ve adopted in the West Midlands which has seen opportunities to gain nationally recognised Level 3, 4 and 5 qualifications in care expanded. As a result, this builds a stronger and more resilient workforce, with the longevity to enhance existing capabilities and offer new pathways for existing employees, while also creating gaps for prospective employees to gain the entry level positions made available.

SECTOR-BASED WORK ACADEMY PROGRAMMES

CHALLENGES FOR SMALLER EMPLOYERS

In partnership with Jobcentre Plus, Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) help people enter or re-join the workforce, fully equipped with the skills and abilities tailored to the requirements of regional employers. Offering a flexible opportunity for local unemployed people to retrain in a new industry, and with no cost to learners or partner employers, thanks to funding from the AEB, care-sector SWAPs engage with employers at all stages, from curriculum consultation to the guaranteed interviews upon completion. As a result, this collaborative approach helps participants gain a strong understanding of the realities of the sector whilst shaping and building the skills, attitudes, and experience that industry needs.

HIGHER LEVEL SKILLS TRAINING

Whilst SWAPs provide a new wave of qualified entry-level talent, higherlevel skills training is vital to address critical skills gaps amongst more senior positions such as care home managers. More upskilling opportunities address the higher-level skills scarcity and prevents career stagnation within the industry, simultaneously solving skills issues and presenting the sector as a more attractive, sustainable career choice.

Why Train Beyond the Care Certificate It can be tempting to think that once the Care Certificate has been achieved it’s the end of training. The Care Certificate can demonstrate that staff have the minimum level of required training. Training to Level 2 and beyond will therefore improve abilities to cope with the challenges presented by working in a difficult sector. Obviously one of the most significant challenges was dealing with Covid but there will be new and different challenges ahead However, it is the clients who will benefit from the improvement that additional training will bring. Whilst these may include advances in the treatment of dementia, or changes to the legislative framework, there will undoubtedly be any number of other issues that will create new and complex problems that need to be dealt with. So, if you think the Care Certificate completes all the training, it might be time to think again.

Smaller employers face additional recruitment challenges, struggling more than their larger competitors to attract skilled staff and lacking budget to provide training in-house. Leveraging the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund is useful when addressing these issues, helping cover the costs of apprenticeship training for SMEs. The WMCA’s levy transfer funds – one of the largest in the country – has supported 56 health and social care SMEs gain the qualified workforce needed to maintain services, as well as helping over 300 individuals begin a new and exciting career via an apprenticeship. The effective and adaptable training models provided by comprehensive skills initiatives offer a flexible solution to many employment challenges within social care. They also help develop a substantive and reliable talent stream, preventing future shortages or interruption to services. The success of these programmes demonstrates how a skills delivery system developed in coordination with industry partners can effectively and proactively meet sectoral needs, whilst providing residents with greater employment opportunities – a model that holds great promise for other areas facing similar critical skills shortages.

SO WHY CHOOSE STEP UP TRAINING AND CARE? We provide training services that will build implicit trust, leading to confidence by clients looking to use your services. At Step Up Training and Care, we know people are busy, work long hours and that a set 9-5 timetable will not work for most care homes and providers. We can tailor our learning programmes to meet individual needs, time our training to meet business commitments, working shift patterns and around family life. Zoom Boom is here to stay, and we can accommodate teaching and learning through blended learning such as classroom, remote, assessor based, one to one training sessions. Our trainers have personal experiences of working in the health and social care sector, hence our flexible approach. We empower people to learn. Training beyond the Care Certificate - Can you afford not to? Call 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 or visit www.stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk for details.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 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 enquiries@globalbusinessfinance.net

Power Of Attorney Considerations For Carers By Ashley Partridge, Head of Wills, Probate & Estate Planning, Parker Bullen solicitors (www.parkerbullen.com) THE MENTAL CAPACITY ACT The Mental Capacity Act is essential when dealing with those individuals that may be losing or have indeed lost capacity to make important decisions for themselves. Under the Act, a person is considered to be incapacitated to make a particular decision if he or she suffers from an impairment of the mind or brain, and that impairment makes them unable to reach decisions on their own. This could apply when a person has trouble understanding or retaining information. Where a person is considered to be incapacitated to make a particular decision, a decision may need to be

made on their behalf. The Act states that the decision must be one that is made in their best interests. So, who can make the decision on their behalf? This depends on whether there is a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney in place.

HEALTH AND WELFARE LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY (LPA) A Health and Welfare LPA enables an individual to grant someone they trust the power to make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. This is the only way to grant those powers. Being a family member or friend doesn’t allow you to make decisions unless an LPA is in place. If there is a decision to be made about treatment, medicine or care more generally and an individual is considered to be incapacitated, then you must establish LPA is in place for that individual and who their attorney is under the LPA.

(CONTINUED ON FOLLOWING PAGE...)


THE CARER | DEC 21/JAN 22 | PAGE 51

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Power Of Attorney Considerations For Carers (CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE) The LPA does not only grant the power to make important decisions on behalf of an incapacitated individual, it also places a duty on that individual to make decisions that are in the best interests of the individual. Many attorneys of an LPA may not realise the powers they have or the duties imposed on them by law. That is why is it so important that the attorneys are brought into the process as soon as it becomes clear that an individual may soon lose or has lost capacity.

POWERS OF HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS In the circumstances where an LPA is not in place, healthcare professionals may have the power to make decisions on behalf of an individual that has lost capacity.

THE COVID-19 VACCINE The Covid-19 vaccine is yet to be made compulsory, so it is an individual’s choice whether they receive the vaccine or not. Whilst a person has capacity, they are entitled to refuse the vaccine. It may be that this decision is objectively an unwise one, especially if they are in a high risk category for Covid-19. However, the fact that an individual is making an unwise decision does not mean that they are incapacitated to make that decision. Both an LPA and the healthcare professional’s powers should not be used to override a person’s decision whilst they retain capacity. If an individual has lost capacity, it may be that the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine seems to be in the individual’s best interest. There are a few things to consider before coming to that conclusion. Healthcare professionals, close family members and the medical history of the individual should be taken in consideration. For example, if an individual had never received any vaccinations before, or was strongly against the vaccination this should be taken into account when evaluating their best interests.

It is possible for an individual to make an advanced decision to refuse treatment. This decision must be appropriately recorded and be specific to the treatment that they wish to refuse. Where an individual has denied certain treatments whilst having capacity, it would be good practice to ask whether they wish to make an advanced decision regarding that treatment to ensure that if they ever lost capacity, their decisions would be respected.

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR CARE HOME MANAGERS - ASK Ensure that all residents consider whether they wish to put in place an LPA. Many people value the knowledge that if they lost capacity, someone that they trust would be making decisions on their behalf. This is particularly relevant if a resident is likely to lose capacity in the short to medium term. - ASK Where relevant, ask residents if they would like to make an advanced decision. This can make attorney’s decision making easier in the future and can give the resident peace of mind. - RECORD Keep a record of who the attorneys are for each resident. Keep their contact details on file so that they can be contact quickly in the case of emergency. Similarly, keep a record of their advanced wishes, easily accessible in the case of emergency. - INFORM Keep attorneys informed and up to date. Lay out clearly their powers and duties and any considerations that they should especially have (such as advanced decisions, healthcare professionals' advice, previous medical history and choices).

USEFUL RESOURCES FOR CARERS LPAs and the COVID Vaccine https://publicguardian.blog.gov.uk/2021/02/08/lasting-power-of-attorney-and-the-covid-vaccine/ LPAs and attorney duties – https://www.gov.uk/lasting-power-attorney-duties/health-welfare Making decisions on behalf of someone – https://www.gov.uk/make-decisions-for-someone/making-decisions

Moneypenny Launches Outbound Calling Service For UK Care Providers

Leading outsourced communications provider Moneypenny has launched an outbound calling service to help time-poor UK care providers keep on top of customer care and recruitment. The newly launched service has two key functions – to handle new customer enquiries requiring bed availability and care provision and to follow up CVs and providing first stage candidate vetting for current vacancies. Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, head of the health and care sector at Moneypenny said: “We’re well aware of the huge demands on care home staff the moment – particularly when recruitment is still such a challenge. Our outbound calling service is designed to help care providers by alleviating some of the time-intensive every-day duties such as making follow up calls.” The launch is particularly timely as the care sector faces the worst recruitment crisis it has ever seen. Stephanie added: “People make evidence-based decisions when choosing their care provider, whether for themselves or a relative and first impressions are often one of those factors. How you handle calls,

including follow-ups, speaks volumes about you as a business and a care provider. It can make the difference between whether a new customer chooses you or a great candidate comes for interview. “By providing call follow-up, we’re able to make sure that care provider’s very first impressions are as positive as possible and importantly, that we save time for in-house teams so they can focus on greater endeavour. Finding ways to help an already-stretched sector operate more efficiently is a key priority right now.” Moneypenny’s outbound call service follows the recent launch of a dedicated call handling guide for care providers, which is intended to help review inbound call handling practices and find ways to improve

efficiencies and reputation. Stephanie concluded: “Lots of care providers view answering the phone as something that just happens, rather than an important communications activity that requires a strategy of its own. We hope that the launch of our free guide and now our outbound calling service will really demonstrate that we’re here, ready and able to help the care sector – whether you’re an independent care home, a multi-site group or a domiciliary care provider.” Moneypenny provides telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard and customer contact solutions to hundreds of care providers across the UK, thanks to its dedicated team of 41 healthcare receptionists. In total, more than 13,000 businesses across the UK benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and groundbreaking technology. For more information about Moneypenny’s work in the health and care sector visit: www.moneypenny.com/uk/healthcare-answering-services

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