The Carer #59 March/April 2022

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MAR/APR 2022 MARCH/APRIL 2022 Issue 19


Issue 59

Covid Vaccine Effectiveness “Wanes” After Three Months Among Care Home Residents

Vaccination-acquired immunity against Covid-19 significantly wanes after three months among elderly care home residents, indicating that regular booster jabs may be required for this “vulnerable” group, according to preliminary findings from the Vivaldi study led by UCL researchers. Over than 15,000 care home residents were surveyed in 331 care homes across England between December 2020 and December 2021, with the results revealing that protection against hospitalisation and death fell by one-third three to seven months after vaccination. The decline is significantly greater than that

seen in younger people, where immunity against infection wanes, but protection against severe illness appears to be robust. The researchers found that two vaccine doses were effective at preventing 85.4% of hospitalisations and 94.4% of deaths among care home residents between two and 12 weeks after the second dose, but that this fell to 54.3% of hospitalisations and 62.89% of deaths at three to seven months after vaccination.



VIEWPOINT Just over a week ago, (23 March 2022), marked the second anniversary since the Prime Minister asked people to 'stay at home' due to the emerging situation around the Covid Pandemic. This date has now been designated as a National Day of Reflection by the Marie Curie charity, and is a day to support the millions of people in the UK who've been bereaved during the coronavirus pandemic and to reflect on the lives of the people we've lost. Editor Throughout the pandemic, a total of 186,094 people lost their lives to Covid-19. This includes 969 care staff who also sadly lost their lives to the virus. The whole country was affected, and it was the care sector that found itself in the eye of the storm, having a truly devastating impact. Data released by the Office for National Statistics shows that, while the rise in coronavirus deaths among care home residents was much sharper during the first wave between March and September 2020, the number and proportion of Covid deaths were higher in the second wave from September to April 2021. There were 20,664 care home deaths (23.1%) in wave 1 – from midMarch to mid-September 2020 – that mentioned Covid on the death certificate. This compared with 21,677 deaths (25.7%) between then and the start of April. There is no doubt that every single loss experienced during the pandemic will have caused pain and anguish, added to which was the isolation where families could not see loved ones, the fallout over shortages of personal protection equipment, and inadequate personal protection equipment, and also the impact on mental health for residents and staff working in such difficult circumstances. Many working in health and social care not only experienced this personally, but have supported thousands of people and their families throughout very dark and uncertain times. Marie Curie chief nurse Julie Pearce drew attention to the “several million” people still living with the trauma of loss, and not being able to grieve properly, and gave special mention to nurses and to Marie Curie senior healthcare assistant Barbara Sage, who died in April 2020. “Whilst observing the minute’s silence at midday, I will be thinking of all the nurses and healthcare professionals across Marie Curie and the NHS, and in particular the family of Marie Curie senior healthcare assistant Barbara Sage who sadly died in April 2020,” said Ms Pearce. I too heard very distressing stories when I attended a care seminar last October. The main speaker invited members of the audience consisted of care home owners, managers and staff to share their stories of the losses, difficulties and triumphs experienced during the pandemic. I said at last October and I repeat it now, it was truly a humbling experience, but also an uplifting experience listening to the dedication of the sector, from care home owners and staff at single every level demonstrated, putting their own safety at risk, isolating themselves from their own families, and as stated above working above and beyond normal duties in the most exceptionally traumatic circumstances. March 23 was the 2nd day of reflection of what I hope becomes entrenched in our calendar, and I would like to thank the many care homes who sent us wonderfully uplifting stories of initiatives undertaken by staff and residents to mark the day. In particular Brotherhood of Man singer Nicky Stevens (who I was delighted to meet many years ago but has probably forgotten!), gave a heartfelt rendition of Amazing Grace, at a care home in Dorset.

Peter Adams

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Covid Vaccine Effectiveness “Wanes” After Three Months Among Care Home Residents (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Looking at booster jabs given in the autumn, the researchers found they restored powerful short-term immunity, reducing hospitalisations among residents by 89.9% and deaths by 97.5% compared to pre-vaccination levels. However, they cautioned that this protection was likely to wane in a similar way to the protection provided by first and second doses Of 19,000 care home staff, with an median age of 45, who were also tracked in the study, protection against infection fell marginally from 50% to 42% reduced risk after three months and there appeared to be no substantial waning in immunity against severe disease, with very few hospitalisations occurring after vaccination.

REPEATED BOOSTER JABS NEEDED Professor Laura Shallcross, public health expert at University College London and leader of the UCL-led Vivaldi team , said: “Our data suggests that repeated booster jabs may be needed to protect elderly care home residents in future, as immunity wanes relatively quickly in this group following vaccination. “We observe an increased risk of infection, hospital admission and death in residents as early as 12 weeks following vaccination. This underscores the critical need for continued surveillance in care homes to provide an early warning of surges in infection linked to new variants or waning immunity. “Our data stops before Omicron became dominant, but it is likely this pattern of diminishing immunity after vaccination will continue with this milder variant.” Professor Shallcross added that “annual boosters may not be enough”. A second booster (fourth dose), is being offered from April to adults aged 75 and over and residents in care homes, with the potential

for further boosters to be rolled out in the autumn, depending on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). “A booster every six months, based on our data, is not unreasonable,” she said, adding that it may make sense to give people an autumn booster ahead of a winter surge, as with flu. However, epidemiologists predict that Covid-19 will not settle into a regular seasonal pattern in the next year or two, with a likelihood of erratic spring and summer waves of infection.

ELDERLY “UNDERESTIMATING RISK” Professor Shallcross also raised concerns that elderly people in the community might underestimate their continued risk from Covid-19, particularly since government messaging has stressed the need to get back to normal. “People might think they’re protected and not get the next dose, but they might not be as protected as they think,” she said. Dr Maddie Shrotri (UCL Institute of Health Informatics), lead author of the study, said: “Our study shows three vaccine doses maximise immunity against infection and severe Covid-19 for both care home residents and staff, including those with previous infection. However, given the waning of immunity among residents, it will be important to consider how this vulnerable group can continue to be protected against Covid19 whilst ensuring global vaccine equity.” Prof Danny Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London who was not involved in the work, said the findings were important and that the emergence of the Omicron variant had underlined the need for further protection even in younger age groups. “It really supports the strong case for fourth boosts in over-75s, but in fact, as we’re seeing, most of the younger population likely need it just as much,” he said. Ultimately, the hope is that a next generation of vaccines will pro-

duce much longer lasting immunity, meaning that repeated boosters will not be necessary, Altmann added.

REVISED VISITOR GUIDANCE The government has also set out its revised guidance for visiting residents in care. Currently there are no nationally set direct restrictions on visiting in care homes, however the government is encouraging providers to facilitate visits wherever possible, and to do so in a “risk-managed” way. “Visiting is an integral part of care home life. It is vitally important for maintaining the health, wellbeing and quality of life of residents. Visiting is also crucial for family and friends to maintain contact and life-long relationships with their loved ones, and to contribute to their support and care” the revised guidance states. Adding: “While vaccination is proving very effective, we are still seeing some cases of severe illness, hospitalisation and death of care home residents who have been vaccinated.” The government has now put in place additional measures to facilitate visiting while keeping care home staff and residents safe. These include: • infection prevention and control (IPC) measures • individual risk assessments • testing arrangements • isolation on return from some high-risk activities out of the home From April, a second booster (fourth dose), is being offered to adults aged 75 and over and residents in care homes. Further boosters could be rolled out in the autumn, depending on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the health secretary, Sajid Javid said earlier this month.

Aria Court Care Home Raises over £600 in 12-hour Comic Relief Bikeathon

Late last month the team and residents at Aria Court Care Home in March, Cambs took on some exciting challenges for Comic Relief! The headline challenge was to keep the wheels turning on our exercise bike for 12 hours straight. Our team and visitors were extremely committed and managed to keep going the full time and, so far, they’ve raised an incredible grand total of £645 for Comic Relief.

Home Manager, Mavrick Feast said, “

We wanted to take on a unique, fun challenge as part of Comic Relief; something which all the team could take part in. It’s no mean feat keeping the bike going for 12 hours and I’m proud of our fantastic team and family members for joining in and being such great sports!”


How Employing IPC Best Practices Can Help Smaller Care Homes Survive It is a legacy of COVID-19 and not necessarily a positive one. As most of us finally begin to look forward, a number of family-owned care homes are struggling to survive. Many closed their doors during COVID but some who managed to keep their heads above water are now facing the possibility of closure. According to Liz Jones, Policy Director of the National Care Forum, “most smaller care homes just don’t have the capacity to absorb some of the shocks that came with the pandemic, such as reduced occupancy rates, dealing with constant changes in guidance, staffing pressures, and managing infection prevention and control (IPC).” Recent data from CCQ provides insight into the issue. Its analysis of adult social care locations that ‘provide residential nursing or personal care in England’ shows that between August 2021 and January 2022, 474 locations de-registered, 340 registered, with a net loss of 134 locations. In terms of capacity, it meant a net loss of 1,617 beds. Liz says that the figures show that COVID-19 has taken its toll on the sector. “I know it's a relatively small proportion of the total number of places in care homes, but usually the overall levels of provision remain quite stable,” she said.

GOOD VENTILATION IS KEY One of the reasons for some closures is that many homes built in the 60s or the 70s are not designed for modern IPC needs. Some suffer ventilation issues, and to conform to recommended guidelines would require extensive renovations they can ill afford. According to Liz, good ventilation is critical to stop viruses such as flu and of course Covid-19 circulating. But not everyone can afford to install the latest ventilation systems in their home. “Moreover, we haven’t received any concrete advice to manage the conundrum of keeping fresh air flowing but at the same time making sure

people are warm,” she said.

EMPLOYING IPC BEST PRACTICES She does believe that robust IPC policies can help, which providers can source from compliance platforms such as QCS. “Being a small, older care home doesn't mean you can't have great infection prevention and control policies in place,” she said. “And there are essentially four weapons in a care settings IPC armory: testing, PPE, vaccination and hygiene. “Staff should be well trained in effective IPC procedures. Providers can make sure everyone is following the proper guidance about hand washing, and it’s important to have clearly defined processes around cleaning. “PPE and mask-wearing are important too, as is following distancing guidelines when someone is unwell. Testing needs to be a regular occurrence, especially as we now know people can test positive and be asymptomatic. “Finally, vaccination is vital in prevention. A booster programme has just been announced for those aged 65 and over living in a care setting. So that will keep the levels of immunity up.”

KEEPING UP WITH CHANGING GUIDANCE What has been particularly challenging for all care providers, but particularly small ones, is the constant changing of IPC and other guidance. “Keeping up to date with this shifting landscape is essentially a full-time job,” she said. “Our partner QCS, who provides guidelines and standards for the social care sector, has been very supportive throughout the whole period. It does the heavy lifting in ensuring providers follow the latest policies and guidance in an ever-changing IPC landscape. This can help smaller settings run more efficiently.” To start a free trial with QCS, please visit

Local Schoolchildren Help to Name Rooms for New Care Home Eve Belle care home in Wickford, Essex, is set to open its doors in spring, and the team are hard at work establishing meaningful community connections, meeting residents in the local area and making the home ready for its much-anticipated opening in Spring. Over the past few weeks, Eve Belle’s Customer Relations Manager, Laura Cook, has been making the most of the lead up to the home’s official opening, establishing herself and the home within the community. To start off a long-lasting relationship with the local school, Laura invited pupils to name some of the key areas within the home, including the cinema, pamper room and salon. Pupils at North Crescent Primary School all suggested names and displayed their ideas in graffiti style artwork, on large A3 paper, which will be mounted and showcased in the home’s marketing suite when it opens. The names picked were all named after different kind of gemstones, which the children are currently learning about in school. The wonderful ideas and artwork were presented to Laura on the 9th of March, by Sharon Walker, Inclusion Mentor Julie Quick, and the

Pupil Ambassadors. Laura Cook said: “It’s been a pleasure working with the pupils and staff of North Crescent Primary School; to have the community involved in naming parts of Eve Belle care home has been so special for us. We can’t wait to invite the pupils in so we can show them the results of their hard work – thank you to all at North Crescent Primary School!” Sharon Walker, Head Teacher of North Crescent Primary School, commented: “We are extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to work in collaboration with Eve Belle, the Sanders Senior Living home. We are excited about ‘Letting the Light in’; connecting with our local community and showing what North Crescent has to offer. Together we will flourish and grow, every corner, every subject, every person matters”. Inviting the local primary school to be a part of Eve Belle’s construction has begun a long-lasting friendship between two generations. The team hope to continue this with regular visits from the pupils to Eve Belle, and the residents to North Crescent Primary, for special events and assemblies.

Local Councilors Visit Blaina Care Home for Special Event A special event aimed at recognising staff achievements was held at a Blaina specialist service earlier this month. Cwm Celyn hosted a celebration to mark the achievements of its staff throughout the pandemic, recognising two workers in particular for their long service. Beverley Williams and Julie Watkins have both dedicated 31 years of their career to Cwm Celyn, having both joined in April 1991. They received certificates to mark their impressive milestone, and were given chocolates, prosecco, wine and a large bouquet of flowers as a thank you for their on-going commitment. Situated on High Street, the home welcomed councilor Gareth Collier and councilor John P Morgan to join the party, which included a hog roast, ice

cream van, singer and drinks. Service manager of the Shaw healthcare operated home, Leanne Smith, said: “I will be forever grateful to all the staff for how they pulled together at the beginning of the pandemic. Each and every member of the team, from cleaners and cooks to care staff, continued to give everything 100 per cent.” Chief executive Russell Brown, chief financial officer, Mike Smith and newly appointed Regional Director, Cosmin Lemnaru, of Shaw healthcare, also attended the event. Mrs Smith added: “We thoroughly enjoyed welcoming our local councilors and representatives of Shaw to our home – it was clear that not only did our staff enjoy the celebrations but our residents did too.”

CleanEx 2022/Hospitality Expo: Not Long to Go! There’s just six weeks to go until Hospitality Expo/CleanEx 2022 opens its doors to the main grandstand at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire. It’s been four years since the last CleanEx event with ‘you know what’ constantly changing our plans. As they say though, absence does make the heart grow fonder, so expect to find all the exhibitors excited, keen and ready to talk you through and show you all their latest innovations. The brand new Hospitality Expo – will take place at the same time as CleanEx 2022. Same time. Same venue. Hospitality Expo is aimed at procurement managers, care home owners, general managers and housekeepers from care homes and hotels across the country. Hospitality Expo will take place on its own floor at Ascot Racecourse. So those visiting Hospitality Expo will benefit from meeting with specialist industry exhibitors, and also be able to walk the aisles at CleanEx 2022 and see what the leading industry suppliers there are showcasing about their latest innovations, products and services. Many of the stands will have fully operational equipment and technology and run demonstrations throughout the two-day event so you can see results first-hand. This event is a great opportunity to compare different

products or machinery under one roof and talk to leading suppliers directly. Exhibitors will all have their experts on hand on their stands to answer any questions you have. This will help you to plan your visit in advance to make sure you use the time well and gather the research and information you need to make the right decisions for your business. Exhibitors often run event-only promotions too, so there’s potential savings to be made by talking to the specialists direct. Visitors to Hospitality Expo and CleanEx include: If you’re in one of the following businesses or job roles then Hospitality Expo is ideal for you! Care Home owners • Hotels - owners and managers • General managers • Head housekeepers/ managers • Hospitals • procurement managers • Private schools Registrations are open! FREE ENTRY – FREE PARKING – FREE ENTRY – FREE PARKING It’s simple to register your place to attend Hospitality Expo/CleanEx. Simply visit the Hospitality Expo page at and click on ‘attend the event’ and enter


Sector Leaders Call for Action on Social Care Workforce National adult social care organisations have come together to call on the Government to deliver a long-term care workforce strategy and tackle the issue of care worker pay. These organisations, which represent people who draw on care and support, social care providers, care workers and commissioners, all argue that action on these key issues will help address the serious problem of recruitment and retention and in turn, deliver better support for people across our communities. The sector bodies say that without improving the pay, conditions and career progression opportunities of care workers, it will be difficult to make meaningful progress towards their shared goal of best supporting people to live the lives they want to lead. Whilst they support the positive workforce developments in the Government’s recent adult social care white paper, they do not amount to a proper long-term workforce strategy. They say this is desperately needed to

allow for better workforce planning, including consideration of the types of roles and provision that will be needed in the future, as well as establishing the links that need to be made between the care and health workforces. Their organisations stand ready to support government with the development and delivery of the workforce strategy including ensuring coproduction with people with lived experience. A position paper published by the group says: “Social care is at a turning point, with a period of major change taking place over the next two years and major reforms now underway. The role of the workforce must be seen as fundamental to delivering integrated, personalised and preventative care. “The insights and expertise of people who draw on social care and the frontline care workforce must be central to this work and serve as the foundation for bringing about a more robust and respected workforce.”

Care Group Launches ‘Through the Decades’ Initiative to Enable Residents to Relive Cherished Memories Residents rolled back the years at a South East care group to mark the inauguration of ‘Through the Decades’ – an initiative launched to help the older generation relive some of their most iconic and cherished memories. With the music rocking and costumes at the ready, residents across the group of Nellsar’s homes in Kent, Surrey and Essex took a trip down memory lane to the 1950s – when many residents were in their teenage years enjoying a disco – or two! Residents and staff at Nellsar’s Meyer House Care Centre in Erith, Lukestone Care Centre in Maidstone, and Princess Christian Care Centre near Woking, were just a handful of homes that embraced a decade remembered by many with nostalgia. Dubbed ‘Through the Decades’, the first of several themed days at Nellsar, staff pulled out all the stops to ensure residents were able relive their younger days in style, with Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers all making a musical appearance. To commemorate the era of rock ‘n’ roll, jukeboxes, drive-in theatres and the introduction of television, 50s themed music and entertainment were provided as residents engaged in fancy dress, watched some all-time classic movies and shared cherished photos from the era. In addition, 1950s delights such as spam fritters, baked Alaska and tinned fruit with evaporated milk were enjoyed across the care group’s homes. Viv Stead, Recreation and Well-Being Manager at Nellsar, said: “Our residents have

seen an incredible amount of history transpire in the past two years alone, so we thought it appropriate to remind them of happier and younger times. Let’s face it, it’s been a difficult period for everyone and how better to raise spirits than give our residents the opportunity to reminisce about the good old days! Our ‘Through the Decades’ initiative offers no pressure or rules, just a welcomed nostalgic distraction. Our first stop in the booming 1950s was a great success. Everyone embraced the yesteryear culture and we had so much fun across our homes.” Doreen, a resident at Nellsar’s Meyer House, said: “The staff always put so much effort into what they do. The way they decorate the home is amazing and so much thought goes into it. The entertainment is always good, and we always have a good singalong and a right old laugh. I really cannot fault anything, it’s just perfect!” While fellow Meyer House resident, Joan, added: “I really had a lovely time on our 1950s day. I’m a big Elvis fan so I had a good singalong with my friends. The team makes everything so special for us and they work so hard planning and decorating, but are always happy and cheerful. I love our special days and am looking forward to the next one.” Nellsar’s ‘Through the Decades’ initiative will continue to dedicate a day each month to the celebration of each decade, with the 60s and 70s due to make an appearance in the coming months.


Managing Distrust Social Care – How Can We Shift The Dial?

By Laura Salvage, Senior Account Manager at The PHA Group (

Last month, Orpea, Europe’s second-largest nursing home, received widespread accusations of misconduct and mistreatment of elderly relatives. Following three years of investigations, French journalist Victor Castanet accused Orpea of alleged market rigging and the embezzlement of public funds. Almost immediately, a staggering $3.4bn was wiped off the company’s market value, and it has now been announced that all of France’s 75000 nursing homes are to be inspected. Such stories of malpractice are not uncommon within social care. Narratives regarding understaffed and ill-equipped workers have prevailed for decades, and according to figures obtained by the BBC, more than 20,000 allegations of abuse of elderly residents by care home workers have been made in the last three years. It is no surprise then, that the government has announced a range of social reforms, some of which are due to come into place in April 2023. This will see a total of around one billion spent on promoting social care housing, technologies and training, and should hopefully support a wave of renewed

trust in the industry. The sector’s overall reputation, however, remains a challenge, and the pandemic has done little to redress these issues. According to an analysis by Collateral Global, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected those living in care homes. The authors of the report claim that poor testing and inadequate infection controls have exacerbated long-running problems, with the result being that care home residents accounted for an estimated 30 percent of all excess deaths during the pandemic.

It must not be forgotten, however, that social care is a vital cog in the UK’s complex system of services and support. It provides critical services to patients and families in some of the most challenging circumstances and plays a significant role in local economies. And despite stories of a few poorly managed care homes, there are many more that are simply outstanding - offering fantastic care and excelling when inspected by the Care Quality Commission. This story needs to be told in the media. As it stands, however, even softer media narratives tend to focus on a lack of integration between health and social care services, as well as inequality in access to care and burgeoning demands from an ageing population. These issues, it is widely reported, have led to a range of complex challenges, ones that are worsened by hesitancy on digital provisions and a lack of communication between local jurisdictions. With Covid-19 and ongoing uncertainty continuing to cause issues in markets all over the world, competition is rife, and all firms within the social care space; like companies in many other sectors, are facing more demand and greater attention on their business practices than ever before. Social care businesses will therefore need to work harder to manage their reputations, build rapport with patients and redefine what the industry stands for, and shift the dial on public perception. More than ever, organizations are also now being judged on their fundamental beliefs and reasons for being by stakeholders. Accountability on employee wellbeing and environmental and social governance is now a priority issue, and proactivity on these sorts of issues is now an imperative for success. The scope is there - from charity partnerships to, positive corporate news, and profiling, there is a wealth of tactics available to develop more positive relationships with stakeholders and the media through an impactful healthcare marketing and communications campaign. From providing traction for investors to enhancing reputations, driving sales, and engaging with patients, a clear communications strategy will allow social care firms to navigate these complex waters, better communicate their purpose, and stand out from competitors.

Care Home Residents and Staff Mark Day of Reflection Care homes joined a national day of reflection to mark the second anniversary of the start of the pandemic. Residents and staff at Colten Care homes in the south honoured those people who have lost their lives and the millions of others who have been bereaved worldwide. As well as observing a national one-minute silence, the day featured poetry readings, prayers, songs, ceremonies and displays of fresh daffodils. Thoughts were put in writing to hang on ‘memory trees’ and there were garden walkways of candles in jars with yellow ribbons around them. And in craft sessions, residents made dream catchers hung with yellow crystals while staff led discussions focused on the need for reflection and encouraging positive themes such as ‘remembering the smile behind the mask’. In the garden sunshine at Amberwood House in Ferndown, Dorset, resident Jim Smith read out the William Wordsworth poem ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ and Companionship

Team member Nicky Stevens, who sings with the group Brotherhood of Man, gave a heartfelt rendition of Amazing Grace. “It was just so beautiful,” said resident Mary Whitehouse. The home’s gardener Lyndon Thompson explained to the gathering how he relates memories to the growth of the Amberwood House garden while resident Tony Kass thanked everyone at the home for their hard work and dedication during the pandemic. Fellow resident Pat Fisher said in response to the day: “I am very thankful for all my care.” Companionship Team Leader Kirsty Richmond Cole said: “This was a poignant but relaxed occasion that enabled staff and residents to come together in the sun and remember those lives lost in the pandemic and show support for those bereaved.” Other Colten Care homes taking part in the day of reflection included Avon Cliff in Bournemouth, Brook View in West Moors, Canford Chase in Poole, Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst, Court Lodge in Lymington and Abbey View in Sherborne.


Spring Statement- “Social Care Remain as Challenging as Ever” Chancellor Rishi Sundak’s Spring Budget has failed to address the pressures being faced by social care, say sector leaders. The Chancellor reiterated the government’s commitment to the Health and Social Care Levy while raising the income threshold for National Insurance (NI) by £3,000 to £12,570 in July and cutting fuel duty by 5p, however sector bodies are calling for more targeted support. Kari Gerstheimer, CEO and Founder, Access Social Care said: Despite the Prime Minister’s promise to fix Social Care, this government and politicians of all stripes, have failed to address the decades old problem of social care workers being undervalued and underpaid. Now, with the cost of living rising more dramatically than it has in generations, care workers are leaving social care to take higher paid jobs in retail and hospitality. The social care workforce crisis is so bad that there are parts of the country where it is impossible to recruit, social care services are operating with dangerously low staffing levels and families with loved ones are telling us they are close to collapse. All this is happening at a time when there is more demand for social care than ever before. The social care sector needed more targeted support. We expect to see an increase in safeguarding issues and hospital admissions as a direct result of the failure to address these pressures in this Spring Statement. Vic Rayner OBE, CEO said: “We welcome the announcement of the increase in the National Insurance (NI) threshold by £3,000, equalising it with the income tax threshold, which we hope will help many of those working in social care

from July onwards. The 5p cut in fuel duty is also welcome and will also help both employees and employers, but is in no way sufficient to deal with the price increases that will fall particularly hard on domiciliary care provision. “At this stage it is unclear what effect the change in NI thresholds will have on the overall amount of funding for health and social care raised through the NI levy. The amount of money going from the levy to support social care is already too low – at £5.4bn out of a previously estimated £36bn – and the government cannot allow any reduction in the total promised for social care as a result of this Statement. “The pressures in social care as a result of COVID remain as challenging as ever and this Statement did not address them. With less than 8 days to go, the government has been completely silent on what 1st April and the assumptions about ‘living with COVID’ mean for those receiving care and support, their loved ones or the adult social care workforce. It is of grave concern that there was no recognition in the Spring Statement of the need to continue the Infection Control and Testing Fund, which provides financial support to help the sector navigate COVID. This comes to an end on 31 March, and yet all guidance continues to point to significant expectations around testing, infection control, isolation and the ongoing management of outbreaks within services. For social care this seems less about ‘living with covid’, and more about ‘living without a plan’. “We call on the government for clarity now on the plans to ‘live with COVID’ in adult social care and for ongoing financial support for the sector in recognition that COVID has not gone away and the costs for managing

infection prevention and control are very much still here.” Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “We’re pleased our call to double the value of the Household Support Fund has been heeded but as that was the only announcement that helps older people on low and modest incomes – unless they are drivers – we don’t think the Chancellor has gone far enough today. Older people tell us that every time they go shopping the prices seem to have gone up again, and that’s really tough to manage if you’re reliant on a meagre Pension. Unfortunately, for older people like these, and younger ones on low incomes too, the next few months threaten to be extremely stressful, as they struggle to continue to make ends meet.” Nick Sanderson, CEO, Audley Group said: “The government has recommitted to the levy on health and social care. There is no doubt that funding is needed. But we know that Treasury funds are stretched, and we also know there are other ways of improving the black hole that health and social care is experiencing. Housing is not mentioned in the same breath as health often enough. That must change. The newly announced government Housing with Care taskforce is an important step. It’s up to that taskforce to take action: creating the right conditions for increasing the units of specialist housing in this country that have care and wellbeing facilities attached. Taking that pressure from the NHS and social care systems when they most need it. And in return alleviating the pressure on the Treasury coffers.”

Two Friends Reunited at Care Home More than 60 Years After First Meeting Dora Weaver (L) and Beryl Wornham (R) have been reunited at MHA Morel Court, more than 60 years after first meeting Two friends who met each other whilst working more than 60 years ago have been reunited thanks to a Penarth based care home. Beryl Wornham and Dora Weaver both worked at the Salvation Army in Cardiff and “instantly” became friends. They both stayed in touch with one another until Dora moved away and now, more than 60 years after meeting for the first time, they are both living at MHA Morel Court care home. The home is situated in landscaped grounds a short distance from the seafront and one mile south west of Penarth town centre and offers 36 places for residential care. Dora moved into the home last week and was recognised by Beryl, and once the home started to find out it was a huge but pleasant surprise Beryl, 90, has lived at the home for five years and said: “I recognised Dora as soon as I saw her and it's so nice to see her after a very long time. “We instantly became friends when at the Salvation Army and shared the same humour which really helped.

“We have been friends for a long time and it's been nice to catch up and listen to one another about what we have been up to since we last met. “It's been great seeing Dora again and I am very happy we have been reunited again.” Dora, 93, said: “I have known Beryl for more than 60 years so it's nice to see a familiar face in the home. “We have been spending a lot of time together and I am glad to have met with her again.” June Mansell, community coordinator said: “You can't separate the two ever since they have met again. “We have had instances in the past where couples have been reunited but I don't think we have had anything like this before. “Beryl was elated when she recognised Dora, and you will always see the two of them together when we are doing activities or when they are

just spending time in the lounge. “It's great for the two of them and it just shows that you never know when you will bump into old friends again.”


Will £500m Government Funding Solve The Adult Social Care Attraction And Retention Problem?

By Geraldine Donworth – Industry Manager: Health and Social Care – City & Guilds

The past 2 years have highlighted more than ever the vital role played by care workers and the care sector as a whole. During the pandemic, pressures on care homes, homecare providers and individual carers dramatically increased with the need for increased health and safety measures to protect the vulnerable. Both government and the general public showed increased awareness of the difficulties faced by those within the sector. However, despite the publicity, the sector faces ongoing issues with recruitment and retention of staff, a challenge that it is vital to address, particularly in light of the ageing population and growing demands the care sector is expected to experience in the coming years. The key question right now is, will the proposed government investment of £500 million in the social care workforce, that is promised in the new adult social care white paper, fully address the issues experienced by employers, care staff and the potential recruits into the care sector? Recent research by City & Guilds and economic modellers Emsi highlighted that there will be 226,000 job vacancies in the care sector in the next 5 years, 166,169 of which are expected to be brand new roles – these are likely to be increasingly hard to fill in a sector that already struggles to attract candidates. These findings are corroborated by the 2021 Skills for Care report, which also highlighted issues around staff retention, with 34.4% of care workers having left their jobs in 2020 to 2021, 37% leaving the sector as whole.

Our research found that just 25% of 10,000 working age adults surveyed would consider working in the sector. Women were more likely to consider a role in social care (30%) compared to men (20%) but overall, it is clear many care employers are struggling to attract interest from large numbers of potential job applicants of any gender. This, of course, leads to the question of how the care sector can attract the number of applicants necessary to meet growing demand, as well as having the tools and funding to retain and develop skilled and experienced staff. City & Guilds’ Great Jobs report asked respondents what they considered most attractive in essential roles and found that salary was considered the most important factor, with 67% saying that higher salaries would make them feel happier and prouder to do their jobs. One way to address this issue would be to assign some of the promised Government funding to increase the value paid under local authority contracting arrangements to local care providers to make it possible for the employers to increase wages. However aside from salary, sociable hours and good opportunities for training and career progression were also considered highly significant – offering an opportunity for employers to attract candidates by offering flexible working hours and by highlighting the opportunities they can offer for training and development to attract and retain staff. In order to meet demand, employers in the care sector will need to persuade underrepresented groups of people to consider careers in care. For example, currently just 17% of the workforce in social care is male. By taking proactive steps to target men in future recruitment campaigns for the sector and focusing on younger people at senior school age to help change perceptions of the care sector, employers will be able to access a broader range of applicants. Younger workers who responded to our research were more likely that any other group to say that they value a job with meaning and also highly valued progression and flexibility – by ensuring that job adverts highlight the elements that different groups find

most appealing, employers may be able to attract workers from different groups. Other effective strategies already being used by some employers include focusing recruitment campaigns in the local area rather than wider, national strategies, as well as offering referral bonuses to current staff to improve retention, supported in some cases by technology, such as the Care Friends App (, developed by Neil Eastwood, in partnership with Skills for Care. It is also important to note that our research revealed a very positive perception of the care sector among the public which has the potential to be capitalised on to attract new employees. 61% of those surveyed said that they would be proud to work in social care, while 80% of those already working in the sector said that they were proud of their job and 83% said that it gave them a sense of purpose. Using positive case studies telling the stories of these workers could also attract new workers to the sector. In the coming years, it will be essential for work to be done to improve the recognition of the importance of social care roles by government and wider society. Increases in salary are likely to play an important role in achieving this but must form part of a wider effort to highlight the potential benefits these jobs can bring to individuals. In addition to attracting new people to the industry, it will also be vital to focus efforts on retaining high quality, skilled and experienced staff. Opportunities for training and development will have to form a cornerstone of this strategy, allowing individuals to make progress in their careers, either moving into management positions or more specialised forms of care. By ensuring that the care sector is seen as a viable career path for people from all backgrounds and one which can offer meaningful and fulfilling employment, the sector has the opportunity to rise to the challenge of meeting the significant demands of a changing society and tackle it’s stubborn recruitment and retention problems once and for all.

Moors Manor Care Home Team Take on Sponsored Walk on National Walking Day Staff from Moors Manor Care Home in St Leonards are taking on a 12 mile walk from their sister home in Hamworthy to raise money for Helpful Hounds Assistance Dogs, with residents having their own mini challenge at the home. On Wednesday 6th April, which is also National Walking Day, Tracey Aldin, General Manager, will lead a team from the home on a route from Upton Bay care home, passing through stop off points including Dorset Chamber and Kings Park Care home to raise money for our residents chosen charity – Helpful Hounds Assistance Dogs. The tour will starts at 8am in Hamworthy and finish at 4pm at our home, Moors Manor. Whilst the team are out doing their walk, residents and staff at the home will be doing their own walking challenge around the garden to mimic the route.

The homes will be raising money for the charity, who help to change the lives of young people to enable a greater quality of life and more independence. We would welcome you to cheer us along on route, we are getting back into the home at 4pm on 6th April where we will be greeted by some representatives from the charity and enjoy some much needed refreshments in the garden. General manager, Tracey Aldin said: “It is going to be a long and tiring day but we’re all really excited to take part and we’re hoping to raise lots of money. 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.”

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Minister Rejects Call for Care Home Attendance Bill

Calls for a change in the law to give care home residents the legal right to unrestricted visits from a care giver have been dismissed by the government, care minister Gillian Keegan told attendees at meeting between cross-party MPs and campaign groups that it was “not as simple as putting laws in place”. Campaigners and MPs are calling for a new legal right, would enable people in health and care settings to maintain contact with at least one loved one providing essential support. The legal right has been named “Gloria’s Law”, named after actress Ruthie Henshall’s mother, who died in a care home during the pandemic, Gloria’s Law calls for it to be made a legal right for a person who needs care to have unrestricted visits from at least one care supporter. The minister’s response at the meetingwas branded “dismissive” by some attendees many of whom have been calling for action after the Covid pandemic saw their

access to dying relatives being severely restricted, with some attendees describing family separations as “soul-destroying”. Ruthie Henshall, whose mother passed away in care during the pandemic, said that she would not give up until the law was changed to ensure “that nobody in care is ever on their own again”. Rights for Residents co-founder Diane Mayhew said the minister’s response had left her “saddened and devastated”, adding that “I think it’s unfortunate that [the minister] could only spare us fifteen minutes and unfortunately those fifteen minutes were at the very end and it was after everyone had spoken, so she hadn’t heard all the devastating stories and trauma that people have been through. “I think as the care minister to say that she gets it when she clearly doesn’t is quite offensive. I got quite emotional when she said that because it’s coming up to the anniversary of my dad’s death and I didn’t even get to say goodbye to him.”

Downton Abbey Actor Impressed By Care Home’s Community Engagement Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville has praised a new community meeting room sponsored by a Sussex care home. Hugh, who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, in the popular historical drama, toured the Colten Care Wellington Grange Learning Room during his official unveiling of the newly restored Graylingwell Chapel in Chichester. The independent charity Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) has raised almost £2m to help transform the Chapel into a café , meeting and workshop rooms, with children’s play area and open space used by the community during the day, and functioning as an events space in the evenings. The Chapel is close to Colten Care’s Wellington Grange home, which was delighted to be approached to sponsor the creation of an internal meeting room to host both residents and different groups from the community. Hugh, who lives in Midhurst, close to Chichester, admired The Wellington Grange Learning Room and called it ‘impressive,’ adding: “It complements the building very nicely.” Home Manager Helen Smith said: “The residents

are very excited to visit the new Chapel and The Wellington Grange Learning Room and were thrilled to hear that Hugh Bonneville, one of their favourite actors, was so impressed with it. “It’s wonderful that this historically important building has been so lovingly restored. Our residents have received membership cards to attend the events at Graylingwell Chapel and there are some very interesting talks coming up. I’m sure it is going to provide many talking points for everyone. As ever we are really pleased to be connected with community projects such as this one.”



Government Has ‘Seriously Underestimated’ the Costs of Adult Social Care Charging Reforms says Report England’s largest councils and care providers have warned that care homes could face widespread closures and a shortage of beds when adult social care reforms are introduced next year, with the government ‘seriously underestimating’ the costs of its proposals by at least £854m a year. The warning comes as the County Councils Network (CCN) releases a new independent report by healthcare market specialists LaingBuisson, which analyses two key aspects of the government’s adult social care reforms: proposals to allow private payers (self-funders) to ask councils to arrange care on their behalf at lower local authority rates and the intention to introduce a new ‘Fair Cost of Care’, which aims to increase care fees paid by councils to make the care market sustainable. Presently, the government has allocated £378m per year for councils to pay this new Fair Cost of Care for care home placements and to protect providers from revenue losses when private fee payers are eligible to ask their local authority to arrange their care – and access lower council rates – from October 2023. However, the study concludes that that the government’s allocation ‘seriously underestimates’ the amount of new funding required and could cause a ‘severe sustainability risk’ to care homes across the country. Widespread care home closures could leave councils struggling to find beds for those who require care and trigger a deterioration in the quality of care between local authority and private placements. The report calculates that an extra £854m a year is needed, at the bare minimum, to make the proposals workable by avoiding large-scale closures and to ensure ongoing investment into the social care sector. CCN says it supports the premise of making private and council fees fairer but warns that local authorities will be ‘left between a rock and hard place’ unless government commits more funding to the reforms. Already facing severe financial pressures, councils would be unable to make up for the shortfall in fees without cutting services or proposing significant council tax rises – and would therefore face care home closures in their areas. Responding to the findings, Care England says that the funding allocated so far could lead to ‘catastrophic financial failure’ for its providers. For the first time since the proposals were announced in September, today’s analysis highlights the impact of the policy, as currently funded, for local areas and care providers: As a result of private fee payers accessing council

care contracts and current Fair Cost of Care rates being too low based on government funding, care providers across England could face lost revenue amounting to £560m a year. This represents a loss of 3.8% on their overall revenue per annum. The report concludes losses on this scale could cause a severe sustainability risk to care markets, with widespread provider failure, across the country. This comes off the back of two years of the pandemic, with many councils and providers already facing financial difficulty. Care homes witness revenue losses in all but one region in England. The largest losses would be for providers in the South East, East, and the South West, as these are the areas with the largest amount of private fee payers eligible to ask councils to arrange their care. The 36 county areas that CCN’s councils represent are the most vulnerable areas in the country, with providers in these areas witnessing a potential 5.6% reduction in their annual revenues. Providers in those county areas account for 86% of all financial losses to the social care sector. Currently, people who pay for their own care tend to pay up to 40% more on average than those eligible for state support, for whom their local authority arranges care. The government says it wants to end this ‘persistent unfairness’ by allowing private payers to ask their local authority to arrange their care. Providers will lose fee revenue from customers who approach their local authority instead, which will be made possible by the government activating part 18(3) of the Care Act 2014. At the same time, a ‘Fair Cost of Care’ is to be introduced to make local authority fee rates more sustainable and reduce the revenue losses experienced by providers from greater fee equalisation. CCN is calling on the government to bring forward funding for local government in the Health and Social Care Levy, to pay for the additional £854m a year required. Currently, councils will have to wait until 2025 to access full funding from the levy. This uplift must be confirmed this year, to give councils and providers the confidence their care markets will be sustainable. This level of funding is based on what LaingBuisson believes is necessary to operate a mid-market care home and ensure that a steady level of investment made into these properties. However, this still will not be enough to offset losses in the South East and the South West.

If no extra funding is forthcoming, CCN argues the Fair Cost for Care and Section 18(3) policies should be delayed until at least 2025. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England and Chair of the Care Provider Alliance, said: “This is a hugely important report that puts, for the first time, a realistic evidenced based estimate on the cost of implementing much-needed reform through the introduction of a fair rate for care. It shows that the annual cost to councils is at least three times current government funding allocations and if not immediately revised this could lead to catastrophic financial failure to be experienced by providers, leading to home closures, and an inability to invest in services for some of the most vulnerable members of society now and into the future. “We commend the CCN for publishing such an informed report and urge the Department for Health and Social Care and the Treasury to take note of the additional funding critical to successfully deliver on the government’s ambitions to make adult social care a fairer system for all who need it.

“Care homes are a key part of the whole health and social care system. They meet the care and health needs of hundreds of thousands of people and are essential to the NHS in assuring swift hospital discharge and preventing unnecessary hospital admissions. Levelling out self-funder and council funded fee levels is welcome but must be on the basis that care costs are met in full and allow the sector to invest for significant growth of our aging population, and to improve the pay and career development of its staff. Implementing fee reform will be pointless if services are lost because of underfunding driven by incorrect cost calculations by government, for a sector that has delivered so much, and stood up fantastically during this pandemic. “We want to see care home provider representatives now closely involved in detailed talks to ensure the risks, highlighted by CCN, to these vital services are mitigated, and the additional funding delivered, to provide the assurance care home residents and families need, that high quality care continues to be delivered in local communities.”


Relaxing Immigration Rules: Enough To Save Social Care? By Tijen Ahmet, business immigration specialist, and Jordan Glackin, partner and healthcare expert at law firm, Shakespeare Martineau ( Social care has been struggling to recruit and retain staff for years, but the pandemic, vaccine mandates, and Brexit have left the sector with around 40,000 gaps to fill. To do so, care workers that were not previously able to be sponsored under post-Brexit immigration rules will now be accommodated. However, will this be enough to bolster the ranks? In 2020, the Government launched the Health and Care Worker visa, which enables non-UK medical professionals in adult social care to live and work in the UK for up to five years. In February 2022, this was expanded to encompass a wider range of roles, such as home care workers and care assistants, which were not originally eligible for the visa. Following a recommendation from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), these roles have been added to the shortage occupation list for an initial 12 months, subject to review. The list gives eligible workers the required points needed under the immigration points-based system to qualify for a visa. As such, workers don’t have to meet the usual salary thresholds, which are often higher than those typically awarded for social care roles, instead only having to meet a minimum salary threshold of £20,480 per annum. The Health and Care Worker visa can also be fast-tracked and has lower Government fees than other skilled worker visas, with dedicated resources at the Home Office available to support applications, saving time and money for social care organisations. Those using this visa route can bring family dependents with them to the UK and apply for settlement after five years, should that be something the applicant wishes to do. Workers that have chosen the three-year visa can extend it to five-years to become eligible for settlement. For employers looking to hire non-UK citizens from abroad or the UK, a sponsor licence is mandatory. These are valid for four years, so are not in line with the full length of the Health and Care Worker visa, but still enable

Free Online PAT Testing Course Everyone can benefit from free training! Parker Bell offers a free online PAT Testing course, which is ideal Care Home Managers and maintenance staff. It gives you all the information about your legal obligations and responsibilities. It also covers practicalities such as: • Equipment needed • Full visual Inspection • How to do a PAT Test • What records to keep As a result of the pandemic, many have found their working environment has changed dramatically. You may no longer allow people/contractors on your premises, PAT Testing is straightforward to do and can be easily managed in house. Our free course will show you how you can PAT Test, and what’s more, the HSE say any competent person can do it!


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organisations to sponsor an employee for up to five years. Employers that want to continue to hire from abroad after these four years will need to extend their sponsor licence. Social care organisations must be aware of the compliance duties associated with hiring from abroad. If they get them wrong, not only could this lead to reputational damage, but it could also result in civil penalty notices and revocation of their licence. As a result, the additional administrative burden that comes with hiring foreign workers shouldn’t be taken lightly. Professional legal support is available for obtaining a sponsor licence and keeping up to date with auditing and monitoring, as well as other employment issues such as Right to Work checks. Aside from the administrative aspects of hiring foreign workers, care homes will also be faced with competition for recruitment, helping families to settle in, and handling the potential impact that a minimum salary will have on their existing pay structure. As such, continued support from the Government will be essential to keeping the sector afloat. For example, at present, it can take up to two months to obtain a sponsor licence. For those that need staff now, this is a considerable amount of time to wait on top of the visa processing time. A specific resource for social care, which fast tracks licence applications, would be incredibly helpful while the sector regains its numbers. While the 12-month visa relaxation period is appreciated, it remains to be seen how many Health and Care Worker visas will be processed during this time. It is already a fairly laboured process, and with Ukraine family scheme visas being prioritised, there will likely be delays for other applications. Realistically, this relaxation is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Further thought needs to be put into how the sector can be supported in the long run, taking a proactive rather than reactive approach. Helping people to get settled is a core part of this. The Government needs to give confidence to those coming to the UK that they will have everything they need when they arrive, from suitable accommodation to education opportunities for families. With the social care sector facing a shortage of 40,000 staff, the relaxation of immigration rules is a key step to easing the pressures that have been created since Brexit and the start of the pandemic. The removal of compulsory vaccinations should also encourage some workers to return to the sector, but this will be a drop in the ocean compared to the number of workers needed to fill the gaps. Further Government support and resources will be vital to the future success of social care.


Probably everyone should do the course, as it shows you basic electrical equipment safety; which given the amount of electrical equipment we now have in our homes makes sense. Both employers and employees are responsible for inspecting and maintaining electrical equipment in the work place. So you should encourage all staff to do the course.


Any competent person can PAT Test, however you will need to use a PAT Tester that give you and outcome Pass or Fail. It’s great if the PAT Tester has readings as well, but they are not essential.


Frequency of PAT Testing is dependent on your Risk Assessment. You need to include the routine inspection & maintenance of electrical equipment in your Risk Assessment and the risk should determine the frequency. Factors affecting the frequency include: • What the electrical equipment is • How often its’ used • Where its’ used • Who uses it Want to discuss further? You can call us on 01392 364933 or email We are always happy to help!


Are YOU The Carer’s Next Unsung Hero? Once again we here at The Carer are looking for our next Unsung Hero! A super deluxe luxury hamper will be the prize for the lucky winner!! March 23 marked the country’s second National Day of Reflection, as people from across the country join together in a minute’s silence at 12noon to reflect on those who have died and show support to the millions. No sector was impacted as much as adult social care, and National Care Forum CEO Vic Rayner put it very well when marking the first anniversary last year when she said: “In amongst all of this [ The Pandemic] the country turned its focus to social care – often because that is where the epicentre of impact of this deadly virus has hit home. It has been care workers who have borne the brunt of supporting people in homes and communities – day in day out – seven days a week. It has been care providers who have had to change and flex the way that they provide care to cope with the ever-changing understanding of how to provide care in a COVID-19 environment. Critically, it has been people living in care homes who have lost so much – so many of whom have tragically lost their lives to COVID, while huge numbers have been unable to see loved ones throughout this terrible year.” Regular readers will know we launched our Unsung Hero award 10 years ago when we were celebrating our 10th anniversary, and it proved to be so popular we have been running it ever since. When the pandemic broke, and we began reporting on a daily basis on how COVID and

restrictions were impacting care homes, staff and residents, and we were reporting on a daily basis the dedication of care staff and the difficulties they were experiencing. So, we decided to add on a few more awards! And, we received hundreds of nominations each time, heart-warming, heart-breaking and inspirational stories, making it almost impossible to choose an overall winner, so much so that each time we tagged on runner-up prizes! We are thrilled to announce our latest unsung hero award! Every care home will have somebody who goes that extra mile, which, due to pressures of work can sometimes go unrecognised or rewarded. A small gesture on our part and we aim to put that right! Once again, a luxury hamper awaits our next “Carer Unsung Hero”. No-frills, glitz or glamour, just send us your nomination with a paragraph or two, and please do give a little background/detail of what your nominee has done, and why you think your nomination deserves to be rewarded. Your own Unsung Hero can be from any department, frontline care, laundry, maintenance, kitchen, administration gardening– we will leave that up to you! Nominations close Monday, May 2 please send to:-

An Introduction from MSD Independent I would like to introduce myself . My name is Mark Durbidge and I have been in the Distance Learning environment for the past 12years and have built this business to where we are today. I started originally with a market leading Company and moved on to starting my own business finding and enrolling people onto the courses. Our job is to introduce people to our Government funded courses to the Care Sector including Care Homes and Providers. We have enrolled over the years many people , and they have benefited in accomplishing a level 2 NCFE Cache certificate in one or more of our courses. Care Homes and Agencies also benefit as these courses are free through the funding. As with everyone else it took a downturn during the pandemic as we were unable to visit Care Homes or Agencies , so we started doing telephone and online enrolments. This proved very successful and we are continuing this service and now offering the original visits and group enrolments. We had a new website built during this time which has also been a great success as it contains detailed information regarding the courses we have

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Government U-Turn on Mandatory Vaccinations Requirement – What Next For Care Homes? Rachel Wright, trainee solicitor at BLM law firm, explores the implications of the government’s latest reversal of the mandatory vaccination placed on care home staff and employers need to look out for going forward The government’s handling of the pandemic and its treatment towards care home staff has been chaotic to say the least. Not only have care home staff had to deal with the pressure of mandatory vaccination in order to keep their jobs, managers have also had to navigate through new and everchanging complex and contentious litigation. With the emotional toll of keeping residents safe from the virus, and having to restrict loved ones from visiting each other, the mandatory vaccination requirement was another burden to deal with. In January, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid announced that it was “no longer proportionate” to require all social and care staff to be vaccinated as a requirement of employment. Whilst this takes some off the pressure off care homes, the reality is that mandatory vaccination requirement has already in place since November. The chopping and changing of the government’s policy to protect vulnerable patients and residents will undoubtedly have a significant impact on care homes in terms of morale. Many individuals will feel hard done by if they were dismissed when the law required them to be vaccinated. Care home managers will also be equally frustrated. With care homes already suffering from an industry-wide staff shortage, managers will have dismissed valuable team members at a time when there is already a shortage, due to the whims and lack of foresight from government officials.


Despite the emotional frustrations of the reversal, it is important to outline what this all means from a legal perspective. The new regulations will revoke the requirement that CQC registered persons only permit those who are vaccinated against COVID-19, unless otherwise exempt, to be deployed for the provision of a CQC-regulated activity in health or social care, and to enter CQC registered care home premises. The overturning of the law will not apply retrospectively.

Currently there is no requirement for an employer to do anything in relation to those who are no longer employed at care homes. If individuals wish to issue a claim in the employment tribunal for unfair or constructive dismissal, they will have to do it within the usual time frame from the termination of employment. Individuals may wish to pursue claims if they were dismissed by the vaccination requirement. However, on the basis that employers dismissed staff due to the current law, these cases have an arguable defence. The recent case of Allette v Scarsdale Grange Nursing Home Ltd is a good place to start. The case involved the dismissal of a care assistant working in a nursing home who refused to be vaccinated before the mandatory vaccination law came in place. The Employment Tribunal (ET) found the dismissal to be fair - this is only a first instance case and is not legally binding and can only be used for as indication going forward.


Although the government’s own vaccination requirement was the reason for care homes to dismiss employees, individuals who wish to bring a claim are only able to bring it against their employer, not the government. In order to bring a claim against the government there would need to be a challenge to the lawfulness of a government decision – this is more likely to be brought by someone challenging the decision to overturn as opposed to those that have been dismissed. Life after the revocation of mandatory vaccination The position going forward after the revocation will be far less clear as employers will no longer be able to rely on breach of statutory restriction. As advised by the government, care homes will need to have their own vaccination policies in place to protect vulnerable residents. Care homes may argue that unvaccinated staff endanger other employees and residents, which would contravene their own vaccination policy. The regulations may provide a fair reason to dismiss an employee over 18 who is not vaccinated or medically exempt. A potentially fair reason could be that the employee cannot continue to work in their position without the employer contravening a duty or restriction imposed by or under an enactment.


Before dismissing any employee, care homes should explore all options and alternatives when dealing with staff who are unvaccinated and cannot provide a valid exemption. This can include redeployment into alternative roles where exemption is not required, or a role without direct contact

with residents outside of the care home. It is crucial for care homes to exhaust all options of redeployment. If a care home continues to need the same number of employees to carry out the work in question, and cannot redeploy everyone who is neither vaccinated nor exempt, this will not amount to a redundancy situation. This is because the reason for termination of employment will be dismissal, not redundancy, and dismissed employees will not be entitled to a redundancy payment.


Having exhausted alternative options, care homes may have to consider dismissing employees or terminating contracts of workers. This should only apply to those over 18 who are not vaccinated and have not obtained a medical exemption. If it leads to this, care homes must comply, at all times, with employment and equalities law, and adhere to good employment practice. From 1 April 2022, employers are not explicitly required to consider COVID-19 as part of risk assessment. There is still an overriding duty to identify all risks in the work places, and The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 obliges employers to take reasonable steps to reduce these risks. This duty gives employers justification for encouraging their staff to be vaccinated and accept offers of boosters to protect themselves and everyone else at the workplace. Therefore, risks arising from coronavirus should still be included in employer risk management assessments. The fact that COVID-19 is a reportable disease under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) strengthens employers’ encouragement that employees should agree to vaccination. Overall, the reversal in the regulations will increase the administration costs for care homes, especially as they will have to construct their own policy on vaccination. The care home industry has experienced some of the worst moments of the pandemic, and the confusion and hindsight of the government has not made life easier for those involved. Care homes will need to be diligent and make sure every potential dismissal is taken under the correct steps, and that every option is exhausted. Although it is a relief that care homes won’t have to legally require new members to be vaccinated, it should also take the right measures to protect existing staff and residents.

Mental Health Problems Cost UK Economy at Least £118 billion a Year says New Research Mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £117.9 billion annually according to a new report published by Mental Health Foundation and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The cost of mental health problems is equivalent to around 5 per cent of the UK’s GDP. Almost three quarters of the cost (72%) is due to the lost productivity of people living with mental health conditions and costs incurred by unpaid informal carers who take on a great deal of responsibility in providing mental health support in our communities. Across the UK there were 10.3 million recorded instances of mental ill health over a one-year period, and the third most common cause of disability was depression. The report, ‘The economic case for investing in the prevention of mental health conditions in the UK’, makes the case for a prevention-based approach to mental health which would both improve mental wellbeing while reducing the economic costs of poor mental health. Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of Mental Health Foundation, said: “Our report reveals the monumental cost to the economy of poor mental health. It also demonstrates the opportunity to make a radical change in our approach to mental health by prioritising prevention, resulting in improved wellbeing for all and reducing costs to our economy. “We urge governments across the UK to pay attention to what the evidence is telling us and commit to investing in cost-effective prevention interventions that are proven to work. Too often decision makers may ignore or dismiss evidence-based programmes and policies focused on prevention, citing prohibitive expense. The truth is we cannot afford the spiralling costs to both people’s wellbeing and our economy by trying to treat our way out of the mental health crisis. Investing in society-wide measures to prevent poor mental health and address the factors that pose a risk to our mental health, will help people to thrive at every stage of their lives and boost our economy by billions in the long-term.” Research gathered from the UK and internationally shows the potential public health and economic benefit

of programmes that target and prevent mental health problems and empower more people to live well. For example, by addressing issues such as perinatal depression, bullying, and social isolation in older people. Other well-evidenced initiatives include promoting positive parenting, rapid access to psychological and psychosocial supports for people with identified needs and building supportive and inclusive workplaces. A growing number of studies report on the significant return on investment from parenting programmes. Methods and costs vary, but those assessed in this way cover a long-time frame and report positive returns of up to £15.80 in long-term savings for every £1 spent on delivering the programme. Similarly, a review of workplace interventions found savings of £5 for every £1 invested in supporting mental health. Lead author of the report, David McDaid, Associate Professional Research Fellow in Health Policy and Health Economics at the London School of Economics, said: “Our estimate of the economic impacts of mental health conditions, much of which is felt well beyond the health and social care sector, is a conservative estimate. What is clear is that there is a sound economic case for investing in effective preventive measures, particularly at a time when population mental health may be especially vulnerable because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This requires further sustained and co-ordinated actions not only within the health and social care sector, but across the whole of government.” The £117.9 billion cost is likely to be a significant under-estimate of the true costs – based on the lack of data available around some key areas. For example, health service costs are based on the number of people receiving treatment and do not consider the many people who would benefit from treatment but either do not receive it because of pressure on services, or do not seek help. Additionally, no costs are included for reduced performance at work due to mental health problems, costs to criminal justice and housing systems linked to poor mental health, costs associated with addiction issues, or the costs associated with self-harm and suicide. To read the full report visit

Award-Winning Family Business Medoris Has New Family At Its Helm For over 20 years, Brenda, our founder, paid particular attention to designing specialized care products for those with differing care needs and to providing good, old-fashioned customer service. Today, we’re proud to say that the Bird family continues to follow in her footsteps. As a family run business, we too put people’s care needs and customer satisfaction at the heart of everything we do. In the late 90s, Brenda, in conjunction with the Occupational Therapists in Oxfordshire, identified several areas in need of improvement when it came to addressing comfort and dignity issues for the vulnerable.

Combining her vast experience in textile design and her close working relationship with the care profession, she developed a range of easy-to-use, adaptive clothing for the elderly together with other helpful products addressing the issues of dementia, pressure care, positioning and continence care. Today, with the help of modern technologies and medical advancements, we have been able to expand these ranges and introduce new innovative products for a broader range of care needs, including those for children. Alongside Medoris Care, the Bird family also owns a domiciliary care company and a daycare company for children up to 5 years old. We believe that our first hand experience in these allied areas of care, gives us the knowledge we need to continually develop exciting products giving the comfort, care and dignity for those in need. For more information, please visit our website at or call us on 01202 925 914 for further information.


Conducting General Risk Assessments: Your Questions Answered

By Nick Wilson, Director of Health & Safety Services at WorkNest (

Every business has a moral obligation and a legal duty to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone affected by your organisation. Care homes must regularly carry out risk assessments to identify and record significant risks and put in place measures to control or remove them. As we emerge from Omicron, now is the perfect time to revisit yours, to ensure any recent changes to your environment or operation are considered. By conducting a General Risk Assessment (GRA) you will know what basic steps you need to take to comply with health and safety law, but there can never be a one-size-fits-all assessment. Given the nature of the care industry, Specific Risk Assessments (SRAs) are also often needed. However, a GRA is the best starting point to ‘generally’ assess hazards found in typical or routine activities. Here, Nick Wilson, Director of Health & Safety Services at WorkNest, answers the most commonly asked questions around General Risk Assessments.


As an employer, you are required to make a “suitable and sufficient” risk assessment of your work activities. This may start with a GRA but be prepared to conduct a SRA in some instances. A GRA must cover the health and safety risks both to employees and non-employees. For example, it must include people such as staff, contractors, visitors, residents, and members of the public. Employers have a legal duty to reduce all risks to as low a level as is “reasonably practicable”. Once completed it is most important that you clearly inform your employees of the risks that you have identified as well as outlining the preventative and protective measures you have taken to reduce and eliminate risks. You must review your GRA/SRA if there is reason to believe it is no longer valid or there has been a significant change.


You can do them yourself or have it carried out by someone in your employment or by an external Health & Safety Consultant. You must have “competent” person to be your health and safety assistance. A competent person is someone who has knowledge, familiarity and experience of your sector together with relevant training such as an IOSH or NEBOSH accredited course.

Q. WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF A RISK ASSESSMENT? The main goal of a Risk Assessment is to decide what steps you need to take to comply with health and safety law to reduce the level of occupational injuries and ill health. Risk Assessments allow you to know if you have taken enough precautions and without them it’s impossible to be sure of the significant issues you need to control.

Q. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF RISK ASSESSMENT? There are two basic ways of assessing risk. Quantitative Risk Assessments and Qualitative Risk Assessments. “Quantitative” measures risk by relating the probability of the risk happening to how serious things would be if an accident occurred. It’s then given a numerical value. The second and more common way of assessing risk is “qualitative”. This is subjective as it’s purely based on personal judgement backed by generalised data on risk. Risks are normally defined as high, medium or low. In care homes, several regulations also contain their own requirements for an SRA. They include regulations on manual handling and substances hazardous to health.

Q. WHAT DOES A PROPER RISK ASSESSMENT INCLUDE? For a Risk Assessment to be “suitable and sufficient”, its record should contain details of the: • Hazards and risks identified • Existing protective control measures and their effectiveness • Further preventative controls needed • Group of people being exposed to risk • Review date.

Q. HOW DO I COMPLETE RISK ASSESSMENT? The Risk Assessment process can be divided into a basic six-step approach: Step 1 - Identify hazards Step 2 - Identify who is at risk of harm Step 3 - Evaluate the risk level Step 4 - Are existing risk controls sufficient? Step 5 - Keep a record of the GRA findings Step 6 - Monitor and review For more information on each of these steps, our free guide is available to download here:

The National Association of Care Catering Launches its Care Chef of the Year 2022 Competition The National Association of Care Catering’s (NACC) Care Chef of the Year competition has opened for entries, officially starting the association’s search for the best chef working in the care sector. The prestigious competition has been shining a spotlight on culinary talent across the care sector for 22 years. Open to all chefs and cooks working in care settings1, it recognises, showcases and celebrates their sector-specific knowledge, skills and flair. The entry brochure can be downloaded here and the deadline for entries is 25th April 2022. The NACC Care Chef of the Year 2022 competition is supported by main sponsor Unilever Food Solutions and event sponsor The Worshipful Company of Cooks. Focusing on the importance of food, nutrition and positive mealtime experiences as part of quality care, entrants are challenged to create an appealing and delicious twocourse menu (main and dessert) appropriate for people in a care setting. The combined food cost for both courses should be no more than £3.00 per head based on three portions and it must be nutritionally balanced. The menu must also feature at least one product from Unilever Food Solutions’ sector-relevant catering range2. All paper entries will be judged by a central judging panel and the successful chefs that make it through to the next stage will compete at the regional heats in June/July 2022. Here they will have 90 minutes to produce their dishes and demonstrate their skill set and knowledge under the watchful eyes of the competition judges. The judges will be looking for clear nutritional understanding of the foods they are using and how they benefit the needs of their clientele, plus culinary flair through flavours, menu balance, execution, presentation, and hygiene best practice. The two highest-scoring competitors from each regional heat will compete for the title NACC Care Chef of the Year 2022 at the national finals on 5th October. Sue Cawthray, National Chair of the NACC, said: “The launch of the NACC Care Chef of the Year is always an exciting event. This fantastic competition is a highlight of the NACC calendar and a brilliant platform to showcase the skills, knowledge and excellence of chefs working in our sector, as well as the career opportunities it offers.

“Delicious, nutritious food and positive dining experiences are fundamental to quality care, so you could say that the kitchen is at the heart of a care home. It’s therefore only right that we celebrate and champion the incredible talents of care chefs who, day-inday-out, ensure the individual and varied needs of those in their care are understood and met with skill, flair and dignity. “I encourage everyone to enter their amazing chefs and showcase the culinary excellence our wonderful sector delivers. I can’t wait to see how this year’s competition unfolds. Good luck everyone!” Alex Hall, Executive Chef at Unilever Food Solutions, said: “We are very excited and proud to continue sponsoring the NACC Care Chef of the Year competition in 2022. This competition provides a great opportunity for care chefs around the country to showcase their skills and raise the profile of care catering. “Our team at Unilever Food Solutions is delighted to be working alongside chefs within the care sector to ensure that every mealtime is the highlight of the residents’ day, be that supporting with activities to nutritionally analysed recipes, training, inspiration and competitions like this. We look forward to seeing how this year’s competitors rise to the challenge and wish them the very best of luck." Virginia Bond, Master of the Worshipful Company of Cooks, said: “Once again, the Worshipful Company of Cooks is proud to sponsor the NACC competition. For more than 500 years we have been involved in the world of cookery; initially being responsible for standards of catering and hygiene in the City of London and more recently closely engaged, through our support for competitions such as this one, in encouraging chefs to achieve high standards that they can then take back into their workplace. “To all competitors we send our best wishes and we look forward to being able to host the winner at our annual Prize Winners’ Lunch when you will be able to sit back and enjoy the results of someone else’s hard work. Good luck!” For more information on the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2022 competition and to download the entry form visit

Robby Steam & Vac by OspreyDeepclean®: The Ultimate Cleaning Machine, Proven By Independent Scientific Research The healthcare sector requires rigorous cleaning methods to maintain the highest levels of hygiene to ensure the safety and well-being of patients, residents, and staff. The National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness, first published in May 2021, outline modern methods of cleaning and infection prevention and control, whilst imparting important considerations for cleaning practices during a pandemic. In principle - healthcare environments should pose minimal risk to patients, staff and visitors. Compliance to these standards are mandatory by April 2022 for all healthcare settings. How can you ensure compliance? Invest in a manufacturer who has been guided by scientific research and medical sector expertise to equip your cleaning team with the right tools for the job. We were the first company to formally assess the efficacy of dry steam cleaning in healthcare environments. Partnering with the NHS and University College London Hospitals, our machines achieve up to a 5-log reduction.

The Robby Steam & Vac is an all-in-one machine, ideal for maintaining hygienic standards of housekeeping. The dry steam, delivered at 4.5 bar, eliminates the need for harsh chemicals and the powerful integrated vacuum can be used simultaneously, ensuring surfaces are left touch dry and ready for use, removing harmful pathogens and allergens for fast and effective deep cleaning, every time. To ensure your care home is properly equipped to deliver hospital levels of clean, we have a great offer, exclusively for The Carer readers. Our Care Home Complete Cleaning Bundle includes: 20% off our Robby Steam & Vac all 21 accessories incl. brushes and nozzles a black metal trolley for improved manoeuvrability a cleaning sign All for FREE! To claim this offer give us a call on +44 (0) 1242 513 123 or email us at quoting “Robby Cares”.


What Happens to NHS and Care Home Staff Dismissed Due to Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Regulations Which Have Now Been Revoked? This is one of the concerns raised by the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee in its 33rd report of Session 2021-22 as it considered the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No. 3) Regulations 2022. These Regulations revoke the two sets of Regulations that made full vaccination against COVID-19 a condition of employment in an NHS or care home setting. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) stated in the Explanatory Memorandum (EM) accompanying the Regulations that, as the risks of the Omicron variant are now known and not as serious as anticipated, the mandatory vaccination requirement is no longer proportionate. In its report, the Committee commends the substantial factual information and scientific evidence DHSC had provided to support the decision – but expresses surprise and disappointment that the EM fails to address: • the estimated number of care home staff who were dismissed when the first set of Regulations took effect in November 2021 or of staff in an NHS setting who were dismissed or left in anticipation of the second set, which were due to come into effect on 1 April 2022; and • any mention of whether such staff should be reinstated. DHSC told the Committee that the matter of rehiring staff was an issue to be addressed by each individual employer. In addition, the Committee questions DHSC’s future policy on the vaccination of health and care sector staff. The EM mentions that DHSC is engaging with the NHS to review its recruitment policy so that it considers vaccination status when hiring new staff. The report recalls that the DHSC consultation on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for NHS staff included mandatory influenza vaccination as well and undertook to review the matter in 2022.

Given the several concerns raised the Committee concludes that the House may wish to press the Minister for more information on all the issues highlighted in the report. Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, Member of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee said: “While we commend the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on this occasion for providing more detailed justification for the revocation of these Regulations than was presented when they were originally imposed, there are issues that still give cause for concern. The hints in the Explanatory Memorandum that certain vaccinations may become a requirement for the recruitment of NHS staff in the future needs proper evaluation in light of the pandemic experience. “It is disappointing to note that despite considerable staffing difficulties caused to care homes and distress to dedicated care home staff who were dismissed as a result of the compulsory vaccination requirements, the Department is silent on whether they can or should be reinstated. This change still leaves a lot of loose ends that must be addressed.”

Care Home Residents Celebrate World Poetry Day Rhyming couplets were the order of the day at Cubbington Mill care home in Leamington Spa where residents were keen to get involved in World Poetry Day celebrated on 21st March, 2022. UNESCO says: Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures. Residents at Cubbington Mill care home enjoyed an Oomph poetry workshop ran by Activities Coordinator, Hannah. First looking at the history of local poet, William Shakespeare they each read lines from his famous Sonnet 18. They learnt how a sonnet must have three quatrains, written in iambic pentameter and finish with a couplet. The workshop led residents to think of a theme for their own sonnet, after brainstorming they decided on the idea of a river. Working together on lines which rhyme, and following the rules to create a sonnet, they produced a beautiful poem which follows the journey of a river and plays on themes of love and age. [Original piece as

created by Audrey, Betty and Bill attached] Laura Russell, General Manager at the home, said: “Our residents have had a great day reading and writing their own poetry. It has been such a treat to immerse ourselves in the rich, evocative language of poetry – we have all found it so rewarding.” Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active, and provides a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities. We’re making our homes as safe as possible and will ensure that all new residents and staff are vaccinated before moving in or working in our homes. Please do give us a call on 01926 932 353 if you are looking for care or need any further help. Cubbington Mill care home is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, which is committed to delivering highquality care across its care homes and hospitals. Cubbington Mill provides nursing care, residential care, respite care.


A Day In The Life Of A Hairdresser Turned Care Assistant Gemma, 36, is from Thatcham near Newbury in Berkshire. After 16 years as a hairdresser she joined The Donnington Bupa Care Home as a home assistant when hairdressers had to shut up shop in the pandemic. Here she tells us what prompted her career change and what a typical day as a care assistant looks like. I started working as a hairdresser straight after leaving school. I just worked on Saturdays at first and then carried on learning from there. Secretly I’d always wanted to explore a caring profession. I cared for my grandad when he was unwell and my friends said I would be good at it, but I’d never had the confidence to go for it before. But suddenly the pandemic hit and I found myself at a loose end, with no more excuses left. I applied to the Bupa care homes nearest me and ended up at Donnington, a few miles down the road, and quickly I knew this was where I was meant to be. When hairdressers opened back up again I knew I wasn’t going back. -When I started at the home I was doing jobs like cleaning, working in the kitchens, just helping out where needed and spending time with the residents. But when I told the Home Manager that I wanted to stay for good, they helped get me to where I am today. Now I’m working towards my NVQ level 2 and I’m also a Bupa Buddy (supporting new starters) and an engagement champion at the Home so I’m quite busy! On a typical day I arrive at work and check to see where I’ve been allocated that day. Then I look at all the

residents’ charts, make sure all the details for food and fluids are filled in, and assist the residents in getting ready for their day, including any activities or trips out. During the pandemic I was known to get out my scissors occasionally to do some touch ups, but I’ve retired my hairdressing tools now. -One of the best things about working at the Home is that we all feel like a big family. Some of the newer carers can come to me if they’ve got a question but the management team are always there if you need them too. They always have time to listen to your problems and lend a helping hand, whether that’s to do with work or your home life. We all want to be able to give 100% to our residents so that means supporting each other when other things come up, and everyone understands the need to be flexible. Then the residents steal your heart too. We treat them all as if they’re all our grandparents – it’s what they deserve – and that’s what I tell new residents and their families to help put them at ease too. -During the pandemic we all worked really hard to keep everyone safe. It was a huge team effort and we can’t take our foot off the gas now, so although restrictions are lifting in everyday life we still have safety measures in place to help protect the residents. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun though, and it’s really nice to see more people’s family members. We’ve got some fun activities coming up; everyone’s looking forward to the Queen’s Jubilee and we’ve got summer sports days and arts and crafts planned in too. -When I’m not at the Home I do my NVQ coursework or go to watch football (my husband manages a local team). I’m really enjoying learning and want to do all the qualifications I can, and I feel really lucky that Bupa are supporting me in that. If we have a free evening we watch TV or catch up with friends and family and then it’s bed time ready to start work bright and early. -For more information or to start your Bupa caring career visit:

Care Providers Urged to Bid for Technology Testbed Funding, So Homes are Care Ready Care providers are being invited to apply for grants of £75,000 so they can test out with older people which technology tools and digital housing services work best for them and explore why. The funding is part of the Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI) project – led by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN), the TEC Services Association (TSA) and funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust – which is calling for ‘care-ready’ digital infrastructure to be woven into the fabric of all new and retrofitted homes, right from design stage. The first phase of TAPPI concluded in 2021, examining current practice and then setting out ten practical principles for using technology in housing and care for older people. The second phase will trial the use of these principles in people’s homes over a 12 – 15 month period. A wide range of organisations, including providers of social housing, supported living services, grouped living schemes and step-down dwellings that support reablement are all eligible to apply for funding to become demonstrator sites, as are those that support older people to live independently at home. Four organisations will each be awarded a grant of £75,000 so they can try out different mainstream and specialist technologies with older people, gathering their feedback. Digital services and solutions will be assessed using TAPPI principles to ensure they are: Adaptable, Coproduced, Cost-effective, Choice-led, Interoperable, Inclusive, Outcome-focused, Person-Centred, Preventative and Quality-focused. Each demonstrator site will share their findings throughout the project, reporting on people’s views, barriers to using digital services, what worked well and how easy it was to embed the TAPPI principles when building and retrofitting homes. The Housing LIN, the TEC Services Association (TSA) and the Dunhill Medical Trust will use case studies

and learnings from the project to support other housing providers that are seeking to adopt the TAPPI principles and make their homes ‘care ready’. Jeremy Porteus, CEO of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN) said: “I am really excited about TAPPI2 and embedding the principles identified in last year’s Inquiry into practice. With co-production at the heart of TAPPI, we’re keen to work with older people to find out what technologyenabled care and housing solutions support them best. The results will offer vital information on how technology can be better applied in homes for our ageing population.” Alyson Scurfield, CEO of the TEC Services Association (TSA) said: “Although some housing providers are already supporting older people through tech, it’s a patchwork of provision, not an organised or transformational system, adopted across the sector. We want to change that through TAPPI, testing digital solutions and then creating guidance, standards and a widely accepted framework so housing providers, architects and builders can integrate tech into housing and make life more fulfilling for our ageing population.” Susan Kay, CEO of the Dunhill Medical Trust said: “We view enabling technology as a vital element of supporting people to remain as independent as possible in their own homes and communities as they age, so this programme is much broader than simply evaluating the impact of the digital upgrade of a scheme’s alarm systems, for example. We’re looking for practical, holistic solutions that enable people to choose and control the support they want so they can do the things they love, in the communities they call home.” For further details on how to apply, visit: . The closing date for applications is 16 May 2022.

The Access Group Launches Platform To Make Policies and Procedures Management Easy For Care Providers The Access Group has added Access Policies & Procedures to its Care Management Software suite to help busy care managers stay on top of and be able to evidence compliance to the CQC. Access Policies & Procedures, which is the newest tool in The Access Group’s Care Management Software, contains over 260 policies for Care providers in England. These policies are continuously reviewed by a team of expert policy writers, in line with updates in the sector, to ensure documentation is kept up-to-date. Care providers can easily upload their own documentation to the platform and a print option is also available. The solution is designed to help both new and established care providers improve efficiency and get the best ratings possible from the CQC for the quality care they provide. Through the platform, documents can be updated quickly and allocated to relevant groups. Care staff can easily see what documentation they need to read and confirm they have understood the information with just the click of a button. All documentation is written in plain English, there is a translation feature and easy read versions are available on key items too. Activity is visible in one dashboard, allowing managers to review and chase up outstanding items and demonstrate compliance to a regulator in a simple snapshot. Overall, making it easier for carers to keep up to date the latest policies. Access Health and Social Care works with more than 10,500 registered care locations in the UK, including over 6,000 care and nursing homes and around 4,500 community care agencies. Its managing director, Steve Sawyer, sees the new platform as another step in the care solution provider’s vision to help care set-

tings reduce time consuming tasks that take them away from their focus on providing quality care, he said; “Access Policies & Procedures will make demonstrating compliance much easier for care managers. They will be able to manage and distribute policies to those who need to read them and can quickly identify any issues or instances where care workers need to be brought up to date. All actions are captured in an easy to view dashboard which can be used to help demonstrate compliance to the CQC. “Provision of top quality care is a key focus of all care providers. Our vision is to provide tools which remove time consuming tasks that are of course important, but ultimately take care workers and managers away from serving the needs of their residents and service users. Access Policies & Procedures makes compliance management easy, for what is a traditionally time consuming and complicated process. “All home care and care home providers in England require policies and procedures to become a registered Care provider and maintain the ability to provide care. It is crucial for them to remain compliant. Access Policies & Procedures is a vital tool for care settings. We will be updating each policy in line with regulatory requirements and carrying out bulk updates twice annually to support settings with their compliance. We are confident in the quality of our policies as we have a team of expert policy writers who, collectively, have over 150 years of experience in the sector.” For more information about Access Policies and Procedures, go to


The National Insurance Hike Comes At The Worst Possible Time - And It Won't Even Help Ease The Social Care Crunch Matthew Dunster, MD of Digital Home Visits, believes the Health and Social Care Levy is barely a sticking plaster for the care crisis, so where do we go now? The UK is experiencing the worst cost-of-living crisis in many people’s memories, so no-one expected miracles from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement. But despite warnings on how the National Insurance rise would hit hard-working people at the worst possible time, little was done to soften the blow. Of course, the hike comes with good intentions: it was originally planned to ease the social care crisis. The beleaguered social care sector is short of both staff and long-term investment – and the ultimate cost of that is our loved ones suffering at a time when they need the most help. But although the Health and Social Care Levy, the catalyst behind the NI hike, was billed as a tax to help ease the health and social care crisis, this year will see the lion’s share of funding distributed to the NHS. Although the tax will raise around £12billion a year, only £1.8 billion of this will reach social care in the first three years, with the rest being used to clear the long NHS waiting lists. The Government claims it wants people to pay a fair price for care, but by the time the funding filters to the social care sector will it be a case of too little, too late? The rise comes as the cost of living crisis bites, coinciding with the time when many people will be forced into fuel poverty as the removal of the energy price cap spells soaring gas and electricity bills.

What’s really disturbing is that piling on the poverty will, of course, hit the most poorly paid in society. And this will have a further impact on the staffing crisis in the care sector. So many people go into a career in care because they want to make a difference, because they want to help people, because they love it. But now that employees are seeing their take-home pay reduced by additional taxes, coupled with the cost of living rising aggressively, they could be forced out of their jobs in social care and into higher paid – but less rewarding – roles elsewhere. This will only exacerbate the crisis. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that domiciliary care is the best option for most elderly people and their loved ones, so this is an area that needs investment. My overriding concern is that domiciliary care companies won’t be able to afford to cover their work, so will hand it back to the local authorities. Even one day without a visit from a carer could be disastrous for an elderly person in need. The result could be hospital beds blocked by people whose acute problems could have been prevented by proper care, residential step-down accommodation will also feel the pressure and vulnerable adults will be left without their familiar surroundings and care. At DHV, the first step to preventing this is to leverage technology to provide more efficient services so we can try and alleviate these issues. By introducing more automated feedback points in the care delivery cycle, we can more effectively evaluate where mismatches of commissioned and required care exist. More investment should be made by the Government on piloting and assisting development of technologies such as DHV’s investment in home-monitoring solutions, which will alleviate these mounting issues in the future.

Derby Care Home Brings in Hug Dolls for Residents to Increase Comfort and Replicate Human Touch A Derby based care home has introduced a new initiative to help residents living with cognitive impairment, dementia and those in end-of-life care. MHA Willowcroft in Spondon has brought in six HUG dolls following training sessions on how to use them. The purpose of the dolls is to help comfort residents and replicate the same feelings they would get from hugging a relative or loved one. The product is designed to be cuddled and has a beating heart within its soft body and they can also play music of your choice to intensify comfort levels. The home is a 60 place residential and dementia care home and has two wings providing 30 residential places and 30 places for dementia care. Helen Matthews, activity coordinator said: “We had the initial training session on how to use the dolls and we covered what the benefits were.

“During the sessions I was cuddling one of the dolls and I was very impressed with what they did. “The dolls are weighted around the arm which gives you a strong hold and it genuinely feels like you are hugging someone. “We have tried some of the dolls with residents and they do find them quite comforting and soothing. “We are aiming to distribute the dolls across the home and will see where they get most use. “Even though they're aimed at those residents who are living with dementia we will not restrict usage just to them, they are available for any of the residents to use.”

Bournemouth Care Home Chef Manager Trains with Marcus Wareing Stowell Barry, Chef Manager at RMBI Care Co. Home Zetland Court, in Bournemouth, was recently selected to take part in a cutting-edge culinary training programme in collaboration with esteemed Chef, Marcus Wareing. This is alongside a Senior Culinary Chef Level 4 Apprenticeship. The programme, ‘Forward with Marcus Wareing,’ is one of the first hospitality courses to include a dedicated module on sustainability. In addition to honing culinary skills, the programme looks at the commercial side of the business, creating a more diverse kitchen team in terms of social mobility, gender and ethnicity, as well as developing mental first aider skills and mentoring of leadership styles. Zetland Court’s Chef Manager Stowell Barry remembers a valuable lesson from this training course: “Marcus always said to all 15 of us apprentices: ‘Work well as a team but, as an individual, always stand out and strive to exceed all expectations.’”

Regarding the advantages of this learning experience, Chef Marcus Wareing said: “This cutting-edge culinary training programme was designed to build skills, grow knowledge and expand imagination. Candidates were able to explore every aspect of the modern kitchen, from culture to commerce, question assumptions and challenge conventions with guidance from myself.” Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland, says: “This is part of Compass’ commitment to support development at every stage of our people’s careers. ‘Forward with Marcus Wareing’ looks beyond cooking techniques to the realities of the climate crisis and food system. It is all about future-proofing our chefs and forging a new generation of industry leaders.”

Essex Care Home Shows Progression Is Key with Double Promotion An Essex based care home has shown the importance of investing in staff by promoting two members into managerial roles. MHA Alexandra House has a new home and deputy manager, with both positions being held by employees who have climbed the ranks within the home. The home is purpose-built for 47 people with residential or dementia care needs. New home manager Kerry Graves joined the home in 2016 as a deputy manager and started her new role earlier this month. She said: “I am extremely happy to have started a new role in MHA and I am looking forward to what it brings. “I have always had a passion for working in care and started off doing work experience as a care assistant. “Once I joined MHA, I always wanted to be a home manager and worked very closely with the former home manager when I was deputy. “The former home manager Hayley was very supportive and helped me to develop my skills. “MHA has been great for my development, during my time here I have completed my Level 3 NVQ in Health and Social Care. “The organisation as a whole is very supportive and has always encouraged me to

develop. “The future is daunting but exciting at the same time and I am confident in making the role my own.” New deputy manager Elysia Mccoy joined the home as a care assistant before moving up to a senior care assistant and now will be joining Kerry as her deputy. Elysia, who joined the home in 2017 said: “Both Kerry and Hayley have been very supportive of me and pushed me to develop and work my way up. “I have wanted to work in care, and that's why I studied Health and Social Care at college. “Even though I live closer to another MHA home in Ipswich, I still commute to Alexandra House as I love working here. “Things were tough, especially during the height of the pandemic but thankfully we managed to carry on and work through it. “My new role is brilliant and I am confident that with the support of Kerry I can justify my promotion. “MHA is great, the support and confidence you get from working in such a compassionate organisation really does help, and I can’t see myself working anywhere else.”


Covid Testing Remains Free to Care Staff and Residents Covid testing for care home staff and residents will continue to be free according to the government’s ‘Living with Covid’ guidance. People at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and eligible for treatments, will continue to get free tests to use if they develop symptoms, along with NHS and adult social care staff and those in other high-risk settings, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid announced yesterday(Tuesday 29 March). Free testing for the general public ends on 1 April as part of the Living with Covid plan which last month set out the government’s strategy to live with and manage the virus. Although COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations have risen in recent weeks, over 55% of those in hospital that have tested positive are not there with COVID-19 as their primary diagnosis. Free universal testing has come at a significant cost to the taxpayer, with the testing, tracing and isolation budget costing over £15.7 billion in 2021-22. This was necessary due to the severe risk posed by COVID19 when the population did not have a high level of protection. From 1 April, updated guidance will advise people with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and a high temperature or who feel unwell, to try stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature. Until 1 April individuals should continue to follow the current guidance. From 1 April, anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result will be advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious. Advice will be provided for individuals who need to leave their home when they have symptoms or have tested positive, including avoiding close contact with people with a weakened immune system, wearing a face-covering and avoiding crowded places. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid said: Thanks to our plan to tackle Covid we are leading the way in learning to live with the virus. We have made enormous progress but will keep the ability to respond to future threats including potential variants. Vaccines remain our best defence and we are now offering spring boosters to the elderly, care home residents and the most vulnerable – please come forward to protect yourself, your family, and your community. Under the plans set out today free symptomatic testing will be provided for: • Patients in hospital, where a PCR test is required for their care and to provide access to treatments and to support ongoing clinical surveillance for new variants; • People who are eligible for community COVID-19 treatments because they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. People in this group will be contacted directly and sent lateral flow tests to keep at home for use if they have symptoms as well as being told how to reorder tests; and • People living or working in some high-risk settings. For example, staff in adult social care services such as homecare organisations and care homes, and residents in care homes and extra care and supported living services, NHS workers and those working and living in hospices, and prisons and

places of detention (including immigration removal centres), where infection needs to be identified quickly to minimise outbreaks. People will also be tested before being discharged from hospital into care homes, hospices. Asymptomatic lateral flow testing will continue from April in some high-risk settings where infection can spread rapidly while prevalence is high. This includes patient-facing staff in the NHS and NHS-commissioned Independent Healthcare Providers, staff in hospices and adult social care services, such as homecare organisations and care homes, a small number of care home visitors who provide personal care, staff in some prisons and places of detention and in high risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings. In addition, testing will be provided for residential SEND, care home staff and residents during an outbreak and for care home residents upon admission. This also includes some staff in prisons and immigration removal centres. Infections in health and care settings will also be monitored through bespoke studies including the Vivaldi study in residential care homes, the SIREN study in the NHS, and RCGP surveillance in primary care. The government has retained the ability to enable a rapid testing response should it be needed, such as the emergence of a new variant of concern. This includes a stockpile of lateral flow tests and the ability to ramp up testing laboratories and delivery channels. Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: As we learn to live with Covid, we are focusing our testing provision on those at higher risk of serious outcomes from the virus, while encouraging people to keep following simple steps to help keep themselves and others safe. The pandemic is not over and how the virus will develop over time remains uncertain. Covid still poses a real risk to many of us, particularly with case rates and hospitalisations on the rise. That is why it is sensible to wear a mask in enclosed spaces, keep indoor spaces ventilated and stay away from others if you have any symptoms of a respiratory illness, including Covid. Vaccination remains the best way to protect us all from severe disease and hospitalisation due to Covid infection. If you have not yet come forward for your primary or booster I would urge you to do so

straight away – the NHS vaccine programme is there to help you and the sooner you are vaccinated the sooner you and your family and friends will be protected. Most visitors to adult social care settings, and visitors to the NHS, prisons or places of detention will no longer be required to take a test. More guidance on what people should do when visiting adult social care settings will be published by 1 April. A number of changes and new guidance is also being confirmed today for adult social care including: • From 1 April, those working in adult social care services will also continue to receive free personal protective equipment (PPE). Priority vaccinations and boosters for residents and staff will also continue • Updated hospital discharge guidance will be published setting out how all involved in health and social care will work together to ensure smooth discharges from hospital and people receive the right care at the right time in the right place • Designated settings will be removed. These were initially set up to provide a period of isolation to COVID-19 positive patients before they move into care homes and before routine point of care testing for COVID-19 was available. Restrictions on staff movement will also be removed • Streamlined guidance on infection and prevention control measures will be published to set out long-standing principles on good practice, and support consistency across the adult social care sector. This will include details on future measures for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses to ensure providers have the latest information on best practice which will include information on admissions, visiting and PPE • Updated guidance for adult social care providers and staff to set out the current testing regime across adult social care • Outbreak management periods in care homes, which can include visiting restrictions, have been reduced from 14 to 10 days • People aged 75 and over, residents in care homes for elderly adults and those who are immunosuppressed are now eligible to receive a Spring booster jab to top up their immunity to COVID-19. Around five million people will be eligible for a Spring booster around six months after their previous dose, and the NHS has contacted over 600,000 people inviting them to book an appointment. Anyone who has not yet had a COVID-19 jab continues to be encouraged to take up the ‘evergreen’ offer. The cost of these changes will be met within existing funding arrangements. As part of this, free parking for NHS staff introduced during the pandemic will also come to an end on 31 March. We are delivering on our the manifesto commitment to provide free hospital car parking to thousands more NHS patients and visitors - with over 94% of NHS trusts implementing free car parking for those who need it most, including NHS staff working night shifts. Through the Health and Social Care Levy, funding will rise by a record £36 billion over the next three years. This is on top of the previous historic long-term settlement for the NHS, which will see NHS funding increase by £33.9 billion by 2023-24, which has been enshrined in law. The success of the government’s Living with Covid plan, will enable the country to continue to move out of the pandemic while also protecting those at higher risk of serious outcomes from the virus through our testing regime.

Dementia Organisations Fly the Flag for Music as New Study Gets Underway Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, has joined forces with Music for Dementia, a national campaign, to highlight music as a positive way to support people with dementia and inspire those who are working relentlessly on research. The partnership comes as Alzheimer’s Research UK is seeking volunteers with dementia and their carers to sign up to the research platform Join Dementia Research. The platform is looking for volunteers to take part in a study to explore music as a therapy. Alzheimer’s Research UK will supply playlists from staff, supporters, and scientists, with the music playlists to be housed on - a free online radio station available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The partnership will also see the charities share the stories of contributors’ social media and through blog posts. Hilary Evans, CEO of Alzheimer’s Research UK who has curated a playlist for Music for Dementia said: “Music plays a very important role in many people’s lives. Music can connect people, stir emotions, trigger memories and be a source of comfort or inspiration. Like many people, I have personal experience of dementia in my family and these music choices reflect these experiences. Dementia stands out as a condition that carries an enormous impact but is met by a desperate lack of effective treatments, and research offers the best hope for changing this.” Grace Meadows, Campaign Director from Music for Dementia, said: “At the heart of Music for Dementia is a passion to harness the power of music to improve the quality of life for those living with dementia and their carers. Music’s role to support health and wellbeing has come into sharp focus in recent years and we know that music can improve and enhance the quality of life for all. That is why we are very excited to be joining forces with

Alzheimer’s Research UK, this partnership is a fantastic opportunity for the two organisations to come together to use our collective influence and shared commitment to broaden the way people think about dementia and to create positive outcomes for people living with dementia and their carers. Next month we will be launching our Power of Music report, alongside UK Music, to continue shining a light on the integral role of music in dementia care.” Graeme Armstrong, whose wife Trina Armstrong is living with Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA), and has also curated a play list said: “Music plays a large role in our lives. We have always loved music, but it is particularly important for Trina now her PCA is quite advanced as it has allowed her to both socialise, as part of a singing group, and provide escapism and enjoyment when she is at home. “As her form of dementia means her vision is almost completely gone, her world has shrunk dramatically, but listening to and singing along to music allows Trina to stay connected to the outside world and the artists she loves. It really boosts her mood.” Alzheimer’s Research UK is also looking for volunteers to sign up to the Join Dementia Research service to take part in a music-related dementia research study. Prof Keith McAdam is looking for 1000 volunteers to help investigate whether personalised music listening could improve behaviour and psychological symptoms. Through collecting examples and evidence of the ways music helps, the team want to look at how personalised music can be used a standard part of dementia care in the UK. Volunteers must have dementia or be a carer for someone with dementia. Involvement in the study will last up to three months and will be conducted entirely online, meaning it can be done from the comfort of home. Tim Parry, Director of Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “Without volunteers, we will not be able to make the progress in research that people with dementia and their loved ones deserve. Volunteering for dementia research can be extremely rewarding and is vital for helping get important studies off the ground. “To sign up and register an interest in taking part in the studies, ring Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Dementia Research Infoline on 0300 111 5111 or visit the Join Dementia Research website at"


Is It Time To Rethink Our Approach To Elderly Care? By Pete Dowds, Founder & CEO at Elder ( On top of a potential financial deficit to cover LFT costs, care homes are battling with ongoing staff shortages, the impact of the nowrescinded mandatory jab policy and COVID cases taking staff out of work. All of this is taking a huge toll on the sector and has resulted in a net loss of 134 homes in England to date.


From April 1st lateral flow tests (LFTs) will no longer be available for free in the UK. Despite efforts being made to lobby the Government to make an exception for those visiting care homes, the decision currently stands, meaning relatives risk running up additional costs of £127.50 a month to visit every day, while already living in the midst of a cost of living crisis. Where some care homes have pledged to provide visitors with LFTs when visiting, the announcement only adds to the many challenges that the sector has faced over recent years.

As the cost of living continues to soar, many people are soon going to be faced with a difficult decision. Will they be able to afford to see their loved ones on a regular basis, or even at all? Undoubtedly, for those who are already struggling to make ends meet, the 1st of April is going to be a date riddled with anguish. And this comes after many have been deprived of regular contact with their relatives during the various national lockdowns, exacerbating the feelings of loneliness that have already been endured over two years of prolonged isolation. Physical contact with loved ones is something the pandemic stripped from us, and none more so than those living in care home settings. It’s already starting to feel as though enough’s enough, yet as we slowly revert back to pre-pandemic life, this ‘tax on caring’ will inevitably have further dire consequences for the mental and physical state of residents up and down the UK for whom the end to restrictions no longer feels in sight. While care homes must of course remain responsible for the wellbe-

ing of every resident, relatives considering care provision for their loved ones for the first time may now call into question whether their physical wellbeing should come at the cost of their mental health. For providers looking to continue to effectively support their patients, now is the time to adapt.The future of care Whether rightly or wrongly, the circumstances of recent times have damaged the reputation of care homes; at Elder we’ve seen an 850% increase in demand for our live-in care in five years. No longer are customers satisfied with the one size fits all approach to their care, or the care of their loved ones. Particularly now, in light of the new regulations on LFTs, people run the risk of growing old not only alone, but lonely. The solution lies in giving our elderly the option to continue living where they feel the most comfortable, safe and like themselves - in their own homes. Care is one of the final frontiers for the tech revolution, but by matching those who need care support with a live-in care professional that can meet their specific needs, loved ones can rest in the knowledge that their relatives or friends are being cared for to the highest standard, without restriction to when they can visit them. Care needs to bring itself in line with other UK industries, promoting agility and flexibility that puts patients' needs at its very core, as the prevalent care home approach becomes increasingly unfit for purpose.

Care Homes Stage their Own ‘Oscars Season’ with Awards and Music

Forget Hollywood, there was Oscars-style razzamatazz over here too as care home residents honoured the staff who look after them every day. Team members at Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge in Lymington were rewarded for their hard work and friendliness with card trophies that residents designed and created in a fun ceremony amid smiles all round. Nominees and winners included representatives from all home departments including clinical care, catering, administration, gardening and housekeeping. Trophies were awarded for categories such as Best Sense of Humour, Best Smile, Loudest Laugh and Most Likely To Be Seen Running Round the Corridor. The award for Best Twilight Performance went, perhaps unsurprisingly, to the whole nightshift team of nurses and healthcare assistants. And there was much laughter when healthcare assistant Iulian

Rusu was announced as winner of the award for Most Likely To Be Late, only to arrive five minutes late! Home Manager Julie House read out the names of all nominees and announced the winners who then collected their trophies personally from the residents. Colten Care Chief Executive Mark Aitchison, who attended the event as a special guest, said: “It was such a joy to see the joint fun between residents and staff. This was a fantastic idea by our residents keen to demonstrate their appreciation for everything that our team members do. After all the care sector has been through over the past couple of years, this showed a very different reality to what is sometime portrayed.” Resident Maxine Pope said: “It was a nice way of bringing staff and residents together and specially to reward the hard work of the staff who selflessly ensure we are comfortable, safe and well looked after in such difficult times.” Companionship Team Leader Sharon Semple said: “It was a lovely idea from our residents. They loved the afternoon and colleagues enjoyed their moment on the red carpet and the experience of winning an award.”

‘Oscars season’ at Colten Care also featured a concert of hits from film musicals at Avon Reach in Mudeford. Companionship Team Leader and trained opera singer Chloe Akam delighted residents by performing songs from popular musicals. She was accompanied on the piano by professional musician Kevin Pritchard while Colten Care’s Music and Arts Partner Fiona Pritchard gave rousing renditions of the Superman theme and other movie favourites on the French horn. Residents received formal invitations for the concert and, on arrival, glasses of bubbly and party boxes of chocolates, diamante fabrics and party poppers. The lounge was specially decorated for the occasion with floating roses from florist Jules. Resident Margaret Johnson said: “I thought it was fabulous. I really feel like I've been to the Oscars.” Margaret’s thoughts were echoed by Noeleen Braisby who said: “I’ve had the most enjoyable afternoon. I loved the songs, I knew them well and they brought back wonderful memories of happy occasions.” And Doreen Walls said: “I loved the whole thing. I knew as soon as the morning started and things were getting ready that we were going to have a wonderful time.”

Andover Care Home Residents Party in Pink this Mother’s Day Residents at Millway House in Andover were in good spirits this weekend, as they partied ‘in pink’ to celebrate a Mother’s Day with their loved ones once again. With the Covid crisis putting restrictions on care home visitors since March 2020, Mothering Sunday hasn’t been quite the same. This year, the team at the nurse-led care home in Weyhill wanted to ensure the day was extra-special for its residents and brightened things up with a ‘Pink Party’. Everyone wore an item of pink clothing and enjoyed a pink afternoon tea, including pink cupcakes. A pink rose was also handed out to each mum at the Andover care home. Local musician and entertainer, David Dawson, also attended and sang some old classics, bringing along two microphones so that residents could join in with the singalong. For one resident in particular, Mother’s Day 2022 was a real family affair. Chinese food- lover, Bet Brant (95) had the chance to tuck into her favourite choice of takeaway with her daughter Jean and son-in-law Jimmy. After checking with Millway staff, Jean ordered a meal from Andover’s Tycoon

restaurant, to share with her mum on the special day. Claire Lousteau, Home Manager at Millway House, said: “The last two Mother’s Days have been very difficult for our resident mums here, with loved ones kept away for safety. “With restrictions now eased, we wanted to be able to celebrate properly and welcome the residents’ family and friends back into the home. It was the tonic we all needed, and spirits were high! It was wonderful to see everyone getting together to enjoy the weekend’s celebrations.” Claire added: “When Jean approached us to see if she could order in this ‘unique’ Mother’s Day meal for her mum, we didn’t think twice. Staff made sure there was a table set specially, and seeing Bet celebrating over dinner with her family, was just perfect.” Millway House is part of Sears Healthcare and CEO Richard Adams is delighted to hear that all its residents have been enjoying their special day. He said: “This Mother’s Day has been a long-time coming for many of our residents and it’s lovely to see staff pulling out all the stops to ensure it was a day to remember.


Government Publishes Fair Cost of Care Guidance The Government has published guidance for Local Authorities in England on the Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care Fund 2022 to 2023. £162 million raised by the Health and Social Care Levy will be made available to local authorities this year in order to start the process of ensuring that they are paying a ‘fair price for care’; £600 million will be available in each of the following two years. With this funding Local Authorities will be asked to: • Carry out cost of care exercises to improve understanding of how much it costs to provide care in their specific area, including assessing the various costs care providers face in the area; • Ensure the care market in the area is sustainable and identify and increase rates where a fairer cost of care is needed; and • Spend no more than 25% of funding in year one towards implementation costs to ensure remaining funding goes towards genuine increases in fee rates. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is the beginning of one of the most comprehensive reform plans that this country has ever seen in adult social care. “The Health and Social Care Levy will help fund reforms to social care and the NHS – ensuring everyone who needs support is cared for in the right place at the right time. “For this to happen we need a thriving adult social care market and this will only be possible if providers

receive a fairer cost for care.” Minister for Care and Mental Health Gillian Keegan said: “We all want to know our loved ones are receiving the best care possible and we need a thriving care market to make this happen. This is the first step in our adult social care reforms to ensure a sustainable system fit for the future. “By supporting local authorities to review the market and costs in their areas and providing funding to help ensure a fairer cost of care, we can turn our vision for social care reform into a reality.” Cllr David Fothergill, Chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Social care has been facing problems regarding instability and unsustainability within the market for a number of years, and it’s good to see recognition of this from the Government with this plan. “However, we believe that the funding allocated falls far short of needs, and will not fully resource councils and providers in delivering the Government’s objectives. Providing detailed market sustainability plans will place additional burdens on already overstretched staff, who in some cases are already struggling to deliver statutory services. “With funding allocations unknown for years two and three of the time period, councils and providers will be hampered in securing the longer-term certainty that they have called for for so long. “Adult social care is facing a funding gap for current services, increasing each year due to inflation and other costs even with these reforms fully funded. This is without considering the immediate need to address unmet and under met need on these overburdened systems. “Without adequate funding, some councils will face a battle to balance budgets, worsening existing pressures and running the serious risk of impacts on the ability to deliver timely and quality care to those who draw on it.”

British Public’s Satisfaction with the NHS at Lowest Level in 25 Years Public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to its lowest level since 1997, according to analysis of the 2021 British Social Attitudes survey (BSA) published today by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust. The survey,1 carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) in September and October 2021, is seen as a gold standard measure of public attitudes. It finds that public satisfaction2 with how the health service runs has fallen sharply to 36 per cent – an unprecedented drop of 17 percentage points from 2020 and the lowest level of satisfaction recorded since 1997. Record falls in satisfaction were also seen across all individual NHS services, including GP and hospital services. The fall in overall satisfaction with the NHS can be seen across all ages, income groups, sexes and supporters of different political parties. More people (41 per cent) are now dissatisfied with the NHS than satisfied. Concerns over long waiting times (65 per cent), NHS staff shortages (46 per cent) and inadequate government funding (40 per cent) remained the top reasons people gave for being dissatisfied with the NHS in 2021. Despite this, support for the principles of the NHS is as strong as ever. The overwhelming majority of people expressed high levels of support for the founding principles of the NHS when asked if they should still apply in 20213: that it is free of charge when you need it (94 per cent), primarily funded through taxation (86 per cent) and available to everyone (84 per cent). The think tanks’ analysis reveals that public satisfaction with GP services – historically the service with the highest levels of public satisfaction – has fallen by an unprecedented 30 percentage points since 2019 to 38 per cent4, the lowest level of satisfaction recorded for GP services since the survey began in 1983. For the first time the number of people dissatisfied with GP services (42 per cent) is higher than those who are satisfied. Levels of public satisfaction with hospital inpatient and outpatient services and dentistry are also all at the lowest level since the BSA survey began, and satisfaction with A&E services is at the lowest level since that question was introduced in 1999. When asked what the most important priorities for the NHS should be, the top three cited by survey respondents were making it easier to get a GP appointment, improving waiting times for planned operations

and increasing the number of staff in the NHS. For the first time one of the founding principles of the NHS, that it is free at the point of use, was the top reason people are satisfied with the NHS (selected by 78 per cent of satisfied respondents), followed by the quality of NHS care (65 per cent) and that it has a good range of services (58 per cent). 80 per cent of people believed the NHS has a funding problem, the same as in 2019. As with previous years, the most popular option for any extra funding was for it to come from taxes, although the proportion of respondents choosing this option has declined slightly in recent years. Satisfaction with social care remains far lower than satisfaction with NHS services. 15 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with social care services in 2021, while 50 per cent were dissatisfied. Dan Wellings, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund said: ‘Our analysis reveals an unprecedented drop in public satisfaction with the NHS, which now stands at its lowest level in 25 years. People are often struggling to get the care they need and identified access to general practice, waiting times for hospital care and staff shortages as areas that need to improve. These issues have been exacerbated by the extraordinary events of the past two years but have been many years in the making following a decade-long funding squeeze and a workforce crisis that has been left unaddressed for far too long. Despite this, support for the founding principles of the NHS remains strong. The public do not seem to want a different model, they just want the one they have got to work.’ Professor John Appleby, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the Nuffield Trust, said: ‘On top of the dramatic fall in overall public satisfaction with the NHS and care services, it is really very striking that we are seeing record low levels of satisfaction with individual health care services. The fall in satisfaction is widespread across all age groups and income groups, with political party support having no bearing. Against a backdrop of record waiting lists for surgery, disruption to services and difficulties getting appointments with a GP, people are concerned about what the NHS can deliver. We know that the NHS and social care services face a long and difficult journey to recover performance, and now public satisfaction is rapidly falling too.’

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Liberty Protection Safeguards – What Are They and Will They Ever Happen? By Chris Stark, Partner in the Health and Social Care Advisory Team, Browne Jacobson ( The already delayed Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) implementation date was recently moved from April 2022 to an “unspecified date” in the future. For those who have been following the saga, in December 2021 the Department of Health and Social Care (“DHSC”) confirmed that the April 2022 implementation date could not now be met and so was being abandoned. There was a collective sigh of relief for many in the health and social care sector. By way of reminder, the LPS will be used to authorise the proportionate and necessary deprivation of liberty for people aged 16 and above on a best interests basis (replacing DoLS) where they lack the mental capacity to consent to their care arrangements. The aim of the new scheme is to spread authorisation responsibility across NHS hospitals, CCGs and social care, whilst also building the LPS process into the care planning procedure itself. Proposals include similar but simplified assessments to DoLS but with independent authorisation (by an Approved Mental Capacity Practitioner) largely limited to those cases where P objects to the arrangements. Concerns have been raised that LPS appears to weaken important safeguards for those in care and are a pale imitation of the Law Commission proposals. Whatever the reality, implementation will come around quickly and planning will be key. We still await the consultation, draft Code of Practice and Regulations, so this article covers some of what is expected, caveated by the need to see the detail. Summary of Changes • LPS will be extended to those aged 16+ (DoLS applies to 18+) • LPS will cover domestic settings and supported living too (DoLS only applies to hospitals or care homes). • We will also see the introduction of Approved Mental Capacity Practitioners (AMCP) and urgent authorisations abolished.

• Responsible bodies will now include CCGs (for CHC funded care), NHS Trusts (for hospital inpatients) as well as Local Authorities (for care home/LA funded service users and those in independent sector hospitals). • After a referral has been made, the responsible body will be required to take steps to assess if an IMCA appointment is in the person’s best interests or otherwise if requested (by the patient or their appropriate person) • LPS will involve an explicit duty to consult those caring for the person and an opportunity for a family member or someone else close to the person, to represent them as an ‘appropriate person’. • Assessments - three different assessments will be required (a capacity, a medical assessment and a “necessary and proportionate” assessment) • DHSC have suggested ‘it will be easier to use existing valid assessments, where reasonable and appropriate’ • Longer authorisations will be permissible (12 months, 12 months and then 36 months maximum) • There will be more portability of authorisations for example one authorisation covering two different settings (subject to details yet to be seen) • Independent scrutiny (AMCP) will be more focussed on those objecting. Staying the same:• Definition of what is a deprivation of Liberty – no statutory definition of DoL will be introduced in the Act, so currently the Cheshire West ‘acid test’ remains. • The right of challenge and access to the court under s.21ZA will remain • The interface between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act has not been tackled As many will know there was talk of care home manager managers taking responsibility for a lot of the evidence gathering under the new regime. Currently it is understood this will not be implemented. Importantly, LPS will build on the Mental Capacity Act’s principles and should not be feared. Proper understanding and implementation of the Act should ensure that when the system is implemented, care staff feel empowered to provide the best care with appropriate respect for patients’ autonomy, balanced with proportionate restrictions on their liberty where this is necessary in their best interests. Chris Stark is a partner at Browne Jacobson’s top tier Health and Social Care Advisory Team. He regularly advises health and social care clients in the public and independent sector in all matters relating to the Mental Capacity Act and DoLS. He has a particular expertise in the interplay between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act. For more information please contact Chris Stark at

Call to Find Unsung Pandemic Heroes and Heroines in Wales A search has been launched to find the unsung heroes and heroines of social care in Wales who have “risen magnificently” to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. Entries are being sought for the 2022 Wales Care Awards, to honour the skill and devotion of people who work in social care looking after vulnerable children and adults. The event is making a welcome return after being cancelled during the last two years because of the pandemic The awards were introduced Care Forum Wales to inspire excellence in the care sector. As ever, this year’s event will take place in the magnificent surroundings of City Hall in Cardiff, on Friday, October 21. The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 29. Anybody who has been nominated over the past two years will be automatically entered this time. Short listed finalists will receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze Wales Care Award, an invitation for themselves and a guest to the Oscars-style gala award ceremony. The event will be hosted by the top opera singer, Wynne Evans, perhaps best known these days as Gio Compario, the moustachioed tenor from the Go Compare TV ads. There are over 150,000 people in Wales receiving social care and the sector employs more than 80,000 staff. That’s equivalent to five per cent of the Welsh workforce. Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales and the founder of the Wales Care Awards, “Care Forum Wales is engaged at every level in trying to raise the status of the social care profession and in particular the value to society of the many thousands of social care workers who provide such an important service to communities across Wales. “The Wales Care Awards is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar although over the past two years everything had to be put on hold because of the pandemic. “Front line staff working in care homes and in domiciliary care have been in the eye of the Coronavirus storm, protecting the most vulnerable people in Wales from the ravages of this dreadful virus.

“The pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges and our fantastic workforce responded heroically, putting their own lives on the line to shield their beloved residents and staff. “Care Forum Wales continues to campaign vigorously to ensure that these frontline heroes and heroines are properly rewarded. “In Wales, pay rates for carers are effectively determined by local councils who set the level of fees care homes and domiciliary care companies receive. “Most local authorities and health boards use a formula which calculates how much they want to allocate towards all care home costs, including what staff are paid. As a result, wage levels have been unfairly suppressed by the local authorities who have managed the budgets for a quarter of a century. “This is an opportunity to nominate the champions and ambassadors of social care and contribute to raising public awareness of the vital contribution of our sector, a contribution that has been even greater during the nightmare

of the past two years. “The dedication, professionalism and quality of the workforce within the care sector are an absolute inspiration. “It is occasions like the awards night that enables Care Forum Wales to recognise and celebrate such skills, talents and heroic commitment. “Our aim is to acknowledge the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of the unsung heroes and heroines working in the care sector. “It is always a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement. “We are now accepting entries for the 2022 awards and we are looking forward to a fantastic occasion during which the dedicated men and women who work in social care can enjoy their well-deserved moment in the sun.” Further information, including nomination forms can be found on or you can call 01978 755400 or email

Ventilation Issues Resolved At Luxury Retirement Development Friary Meadow is a newly-opened luxury retirement development near Fareham in Hampshire. Located by a lake & surrounded with landscaped gardens, it comprises of 86 properties & includes facilities such as its own on-site cinema.

It also has a full-service restaurant served by a new fully-equipped commercial kitchen. The restaurant is looked after by its own on-site chef daily cooking a range of new & exciting dishes. However, the ventilation & kitchen extract system was causing both overheating issues in the kitchen & was noisy, spoiling what was otherwise a great kitchen. So managing agent, Oak Retirement Ltd, contacted Building Ventilation Solutions of Salisbury to help them try & resolve the issues. Following an in-depth survey, BVS quickly identified a badly designed make-up air system, which was both causing the noise & starving the kitchen canopy of air. This also caused draughts from the restaurant & poor extraction from the canopy. A detailed report was provided & approved & BVS then quickly carried out the works, resulting in immediate improvements. Including a considerable reduction of heat in the kitchen, better extraction from the canopy & much lower noise levels. Much to the delight of the chef who commented; “Until BVS resolved our issues, the kitchen was a very hot & stuffy place to work & very noisy. Now it’s like a different world & a very pleasant environment” Oak Retirement director, Stephen Ladyman commented; "We were very impressed that Building Ventilation solutions quickly identified problems that others couldn't resolve. They then retrofitted solutions that cured all the issues, greatly improving the kitchen conditions. We are very pleased & wouldn't hesitate to recommend Building Ventilation Solutions" In addition, each of the accommodations include a whole-house venti-

lation system with heat recovery (MVHR units), manufactured by VentAxia & quite a number of these were also problematic. So Building Ventilation Solutions found & rectified all the problems with these & recommissioned & serviced each system. BVS also resolved other issues being experienced on site with split air-conditioning units in the common areas as part of their comprehensive range of services Building Ventilation Solutions can be contacted at


The Importance Of Personalised Hospice Care Debi Oliver, a retired GP, became a carer for her daughter Emily when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just 19 years old. Here, Debi talks about the importance of hospice care in Emily’s life. When my funny, popular and incredibly organised daughter started experiencing difficulties with her vision, weakness down one side of her face and problems with her left leg during her first semester at university, I never thought she would soon be diagnosed with a brain tumour. I never thought that the next couple of years would be dominated by attempting to save our daughter. We thought that, in true Emily form, she had just overdone it during her first few weeks away from home studying for her nursing degree. She hadn’t. Emily had a diffuse midline glioma, also known as DIPG, which is one of the most common high-grade brain tumours found in children and young people. Without treatment, she had just three months to live. Fortunately, she outlived her prognosis. Over the 18 months which followed, we tried every treatment option and travelled internationally to do so – we will always be grateful that Emily wasn’t diagnosed during the pandemic which would have restricted our options even further. We never gave up hope. In the latter stages of Emily’s life, she needed a lot of care. Whilst having treatment abroad, I helped her shower whilst she wore a swimming costume to protect her modesty. I tried my best not to cry in front of her but it wasn’t easy. It was really quite a special time together and she even got her trademark giggle back for a while. As Emily’s needs got increasingly complex, we needed to find the right place and the right people to keep looking after her. Those final hours, days and weeks had to be the best that they could be. We needed Emily to be happy and well cared for under truly horrendous circumstances. At first, we hated the idea of being in a hospice – aren’t they just for the elderly? That wasn’t the place for our girl to be. How wrong we were. The Princess Alice Hospice in Esher was nothing short of amazing. It wasn’t easy and even making the first journey there was incredibly tough – we knew it would be her last journey. We were able to decorate Emily’s room at the Princess Alice Hospice with photos and general memorabilia from throughout her short yet full life. That included lots from her gap year, various holidays and the big 21st birthday party we were able to throw after her diagnosis. The nursing staff and volunteers at the hospice were always incredibly professional, kind and caring. Emily

always thanked everyone for their kindness and the team were humbled by her fight and strength of character. Every morning, before I arrived to feed Emily her breakfast, they ensured that she was washed and dressed. This was so that Emily was ready for us to spend the whole day together alongside the steady stream of friends who regularly visited us both. The weather was glorious during that time so we often sat outside on the veranda overlooking the fish pond. It was an incredibly tranquil setting which bizarrely felt like we were on holiday. The hospice team also respected my views as a doctor, Emily’s carer and - first and foremost - her mother by being open and honest with me. During her stay, she developed a urinary tract infection and deteriorated. But, they still treated her infection as I made it clear I didn’t want her dying of something treatable. After 10 weeks, Emily was coughing a lot and the hospice called me to say that Emily’s breathing was deteriorating. She passed away on 15 July at 4.40am with her dad and I by her side. The hospice have continued to be supportive after we lost Emily too – her young age and interest in nursing as well as the support she had from loved ones hasn’t been forgotten. Returning to the hospice chapel for the anniversary of her death and seeing Emily’s name in the book of remembrance is so painful but gives us strength and love to keep her memory alive. We have now dedicated our time to supporting the Princess Alice Hospice and also The Brain Tumour Charity – and we have raised £100,000 to date. The organisation provides specialist support for anyone affected by a brain tumour. This comes in a variety of ways tailored to everyone’s specific needs. The Brain Tumour Charity really knows about the importance of having a ‘good’ death and ensuring that, through heartbreaking loss, we’re empowered through knowledge and surrounded by support. The hospice ensured that we had all we need to be with Emily and provide her with the privacy and dignity which she deserved. The Brain Tumour Charity have also provided us with the ongoing support to come to terms with what has happened. We’re eternally grateful. The money we’re raising for them is to be ploughed into research to stop other families suffering in the way that we have. Brain tumours are the number one cancer killer amongst children and adults under 40 years old. A cure for brain tumours cannot wait any more. For more information visit

Accelerated Deaths of People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Highlights Urgent Need for Funding Alzheimer’s Research UK said more funding is needed for dementia research after figures reveal COVID-19 pandemic may have indirectly accelerated other causes of death, including Alzheimer’s disease and other

leading cause of death in England in Wales in January this year. These figures serve as a stark reminder of the growing challenge we face in tackling dementia, and the urgent need to address it. “The need for more investment in dementia research has never been greater. With sustained, increased

forms of dementia. David Thomas, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We’ve known for some time that people with dementia have been hit disproportionately hard during the pandemic. But it is heartbreaking to see confir-

funding, we can use the lessons learned during the pandemic as an opportunity to enhance research into the diseases that cause dementia. “We’re calling for the government to set up a Dementia Medicines Taskforce to apply the same approach

mation of how COVID-19 has accelerated the deaths of so many people with Alzheimer’s disease and other

that delivered life-saving COVID-19 vaccines to bringing about the first life-changing treatments for people

forms of dementia. “Even taking into account the higher number of deaths earlier in the pandemic, dementia returned as the

who desperately need them.”

The Residential & Home Care Show, 18-19 May 2022, ExCeL London Join us at The Residential & Home Care Show, the UK’s leadership event for delivering outstanding care, returning to the ExCeL London on 18-19 May 2022. Free for all care professionals to attend, the CPD certified conference programme will focus on the big issues facing the social care sector including recruitment and retention challenges, new employment law, personalisation, integrated care, safeguarding, raising quality, dementia, CQC ratings, which technologies work and business development. After an extremely challenging few years for the care profession, this will be the opportunity to come back together and refocus your mind. Promising to arm you with strategies, products and services, The Residential & Home Care Show will help you be in the best position to address challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Reasons to attend: • Free for care and healthcare professionals • Take away practical ideas and solutions you can adopt in your own organisation • Join thousands of Owners, Directors, and Senior Managers • Meet and network with 200 exhibitors showcasing their latest products and solutions • Build relationships between residential care providers, nursing homes, domiciliary care providers, NHS, local government, the voluntary sector and suppliers • Learn from 50 expert speakers who will share key case studies and deliver important panel discussions with more industry leaders and successful care

business operators Visit the event website: Click here to register for FREE:

The Future Of Social Care: Training The Next Generation The social care workforce is absolutely vital. Without the work carried out by the incredibly skilled and talented people both in residential care settings and for vulnerable people living at home, the sector would simply not be able to successfully meet the needs of service users. Care home operators and other care providers have a duty of care to provide training and career development opportunities to ensure that carers are equipped with the skills they need to look after the people they care for. Helen Daly, learning, development & performance programme manager at Vida Healthcare discusses why training the next generation of carers should be top of the agenda, and initiatives that can be put in place to support this.

INCENTIVISING STAFF Employers who understand why providing opportunities for career development is so important and encourage staff to consider social care as a career rather than just a job will be more successful in recruiting and retaining talent. This will also drive the passion and dedication of staff when it comes to caring for society’s most vulnerable, and ensure people are committed to delivering best practice and learning new skills. Investment in career opportunities will inspire more people to become interested in a role within social care, and make current carers feel supported in their ambitions. 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.

INVESTING IN A TRAINING PLATFORM There are lots of initiatives that can be put in place to support carers in their training, development, and skill set. One such initiative is unique and specialist training platforms which promote lifelong learning and establish carers as ambassadors for the people they care for. A range of courses can be offered through training platforms, such as mentorship programmes for staff to support new carers, development programmes, student placements, and reinvigorated Care Certificate

offers. Vida Healthcare’s training platform features a dedicated app which provides regular activity updates and opportunities, alongside the latest research, development and best practice in dementia and social care.

THE NEXT GENERATION Over the years we’ve seen care homes go through significant changes. The 1980s saw the rise of private care, while today we’re seeing an emphasis on the provision of nursing care for residents with high support needs, particularly as they come to the end of their life. With the majority of care home residents living with a chronic condition, the care homes of today can struggle to deliver care that is proactive, preventative, and unique to each individual. We’re therefore beginning to see specialist care providers becoming increasingly common which are more easily able to tailor their care to the specific needs of service users. This should be reflected in the people recruited to the sector and the training opportunities offered. It won’t be possible to train the next generation of the social care workforce without bearing in mind the unique challenges and requirements of our population and the specialist care they require. For more information, please visit


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

rinse that is maintained for 5 minutes to ensure the ultimate hygienic clean. With a default temperature of 85c they more than exceed the Department of Health’s recommendations of a twominute cycle at 82c. During lockdown, Forbes continued to install and service these machines for a number of NHS hospitals as they meet the most stringent hygiene standards. Forbes Professional’s experienced account managers provide all the necessary advice to ensure adherence to the relevant operating parameters. Under their complete care package, clients avoid capital outlay and the fixed monthly payments are entirely deductible pre-tax profits. Clients also have the peace of mind afforded by a first-class engineer response service, at no extra cost for the duration of the contract. Contact, 0345 070 2335 or or see the advert on page 25.

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. Visit or see the advert on page 23.

Temporary Catering Facilities For Events & Kitchen Refurbishments

Mobile Kitchens Ltd specialises in the hire or sale of temporary catering facilities and foodservice equipment. Ideal for events or to provide temporary catering facilities during your kitchen refurbishment, our versatile units and equipment offer an efficient and economic solution to the caterers’ needs. Production Kitchens, Preparation Kitchens, Warewashing Units, Dry Store Units, Cold Rooms and Restaurant Units are available as individual units in their own right or they can be linked together on site to form a complete complex. Alternatively, we can offer modular, open-plan facilities, usually for larger, longer-term hires. We offer a free design service, and project management from concept through to delivery and installation on site, plus full technical support throughout the hire period. The standard specification of our smallest

Production Kitchen unit includes a six burner oven range, salamander grill, twin basket fryer, upright fridge, hot cupboard, single bowl sink unit with integral hand wash basin, plus ample power points to plug in Microwaves, Food Processors, Toasters etc. Internal equipment can be interchanged and clients can effectively specify their preferred layout. We have many tried and tested design layouts and would be pleased to put forward our recommendations for your project. So if you’re planning a refurbishment or need to cater for an event then why not give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide advice and put forward a competitive proposal. For further information or to arrange a site visit, email: or call us on 0345 812 0800, or visit our website: or see the advert on page 23.

Reduce Your Operating Costs!! The first 10 CARE HOMES to respond will receive a FREE SURVEY to identify potential savings and recommendations for how you can realise: · Precise control of engineering and building services to reduce costs: • Plant room, water tanks, hot and cold distribution, heating and ventilating, lighting · Laundry services to achieve hygienic standards HTM0104 compliant: Optimum processing of bed linen, towels, staff uniforms and residents clothing · Health and Safety standards for your residents, staff and the building(s): HSG220 is the recognised guidance for implementation in CARE HOMES ACoP L8 and HTM04-01 compliance to ensure Legionella control Public Health England Covid 19 guidance on PPE and operational procedures · Sustainability, carbon footprinting to achieve a 'net zero' emissions strategy

Call or Email NOW: 07831 873355 Opeque can assist in reducing energy bills, complying with legislation, managing health and safety and achieving a sustainable opera-

tion. Over years, Opeque has worked with various industry sectors, from tyre manufacturing to laundries, schools to hotels and hospitals to care homes, optimising their manufacturing procedures and facilities management. Applying industrial engineering principles, we address productivity, resource efficiency, quality control, health and safety and asset management, bringing people, utilities, equipment, and buildings together to realise product excellence. We have worked with many care homes to provide laundry services and water hygiene and it is from these close relationships that we believe we can further assist your CARE HOME to reduce operating costs. or see the advert on page 6.

Just Imagine Being Whisked Away by Rail on an Iconic Steam Journey… Any Time – Any Place! Escape FIRST CLASS by rail through the misty mountains and glittering lochs of the Scottish Highlands OR wind through the Settle to Carlisle railway on one of the most scenic and impressive railways in the UK, all in pure comfort with familiar faces and a cup of tea to hand... “The Jolly Journey” creates a familiar and stimulating environment for residents to be whisked away with friends and family in an exciting steam carriage anywhere in the UK. Get your posh frock on, grab your handbag and enjoy the indulgence of the journey of a life time reminiscing about old times of travelling, holidays and sparking conversations about times gone by. Lunch can be served in the First Class carriage followed by afternoon tea and then a Jolly good SING SONG! The ‘Jolly Journey’ is a complete pod that is supplied and installed by our Little Islands team in just one day. It requires just 5 sqm metres of floor space; we can also theme the area around to create a traditional Victorian railway wait-

ing room. Featuring real wood panelled wall with brass luggage racks, ornate wall lights, gold cushions, antimacassars and period memorabilia. A table with brass lamp, opposite-facing seats which are designed to look and feel just like an oldfashioned travel carriage. A 55-inch 4K TV large clear window shows footage filmed in full HD with sound aboard live railway journeys from around the UK. The result is the residents can all enjoy a nostalgic day out day after day. Visitors will come more often and stay longer when joining in a live experience like ‘The Jolly Journey’. Children would love visiting and look forward to an exciting experience as opposed to being bored just sat in the lounge of the care home! The main thing is that the resident’s wellbeing and mood has been lifted supporting their mental health. Give us a call to find out more information – The Little Islands Team on 0800 093 8499 or visit You can view a demonstration at

NRS Healthcare Launches New Online Store, Healthcare Pro NRS Healthcare, the UK’s leading provider of independent living aids and associated services, and an official supplier to the NHS and local authorities, has announced the launch of its new online store, Healthcare Pro. Part of the NRS Healthcare family, Healthcare Pro demonstrates the company’s commitment to serve healthcare professionals and the general public online, underlining its unrivalled in-house occupational therapy capabilities and professional expertise in helping people live independently in their own homes. The new online shop, (previously known as, offers over 4,500 independent living aids, from personal care, to bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and mobility, chosen and trusted by professionals. Additionally, the website includes a new range of services, such as the Expert Product Advice and Home Living

Consultations with Occupational Therapists, to better support all its customers with a more complete solution.

The company’s public sector and clinical services divisions remain unchanged and continue to operate under the NRS Healthcare brand and at With a dedicated Occupational Therapy team of 130 professionals, the company offers a go-to source for up-to-date information and guidance on daily living aids, offering peer-to-peer engagement, education and support as well as guiding customers to a ‘right first time’ purchase. Clinical Services Director, Rachel Seabrook says: “NRS Healthcare is delighted to announce the launch of our new online store, Healthcare Pro. Through our 75-year heritage and position as an official supplier to the NHS, NRS Healthcare has a longstanding reputation as a trusted partner for healthcare professionals, who often recommend our website and products to the people they see.” Rachel Seabrook continues: “Healthcare Pro focuses on our high levels of expertise, credibility and professionalism, improves the customer journey and shopping experience, as well as providing easy access to product advice, support and associated services. We trust that this will give all our customers the added reassurance that they are shopping where the professionals shop.”


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Gailarde - Wholesale Supplier To CareZips Dignity Trousers The Care Home & Healthcare Sector ™

Gailarde is a family run business established in 1979 to provide household textiles specifically manufactured for the contract trade. Our core principals of putting our customers’ needs first has helped us to grow into one of the UK’s largest suppliers to the contract market. Gailarde have been successfully supplying the care home and healthcare industry for over 40 years, supplying both the public and private sector. We are proud to hold a framework agreement as a supplier to the NHS for wipeable pillows, duvets and flame retardant bed linen. Our best selling bedroom collection includes flame retardant and easy care linen, as well as our core offering of specialist pillows and duvets designed with infection control features. Our bathroom range features superior towelling, shower curtains and bathroom accessories. Our competitive homeware range, features table

linen, tableware, kitchenware and cleaning supplies. We are also pleased to offer inventory, ready-made and build your own packs suitable for housing associations and supported living schemes. For refurbishment plans and new build projects, we supply a wide selection of furniture, including beds, mattresses, sofas, chairs and dining tables all compliant with care home and healthcare regulations. Our Soft Furnishings collection is ideal for transforming rooms. By using fabric from the leading suppliers, we can supply cushions and bedspreads through to runners and curtains, in a variety of styles and designs. As a customer you will have a dedicated account manager, on hand for any questions. For all enquiries, please give our friendly team a call on 020 8905 2776. Alternatively, please email our care home and healthcare specialists directly: or or see the advert on page 8.

Wall & Door Protection for a Caring Environment For 55 years Yeoman Shield wall & door protection systems from Harrison Thompson & Co. Ltd. have been delivering healthcare providers with a solution to costly and unsightly impact damage to interior walls & doors. This proactive approach to impact damage can show a year on year saving on maintenance time and budgets. Offering a comprehensive range which includes, protection panels, protection rails, handrails and fire rated door protection systems, offered in over 48 colours, gives customers a wide choice to realise functional and aesthetic requirements. The ability to incorporate colours, signage and images, into Yeoman Shield’s core products can be beneficial to mental health environments be that creating a calming atmosphere or a practical

assistance in wayfinding. The Guardian Handrail can also be supplied in an anti-ligature option safeguarding service users. Fire doors are never more important than in a residential setting catering for those more vulnerable. Yeoman Shield offer a full fire rated door protection system that when installed can prevent compromising impact damage and by doing so extends the functioning lifecycle of fire doors. To complement these products is the company’s newly launched Fire Door Services giving reassurance to the building’s responsible person by offering fire door assessments, remedial and door replacement works all carried out under FIRAS & FDIS accreditation. More information on Yeoman Shield’s range of product and services can be found at or see page 10.

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AKW Launches Upgraded Doc M Range and Installation Compliancy Guide AKW, one of the UK’s leading providers of accessibility solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of its ugraded Doc M sanitaryware range for public-use accessible toilets and washrooms. Committed to ensuring that compliance is as straightforward as possible, AKW has also launched a design advice guide alongside the range, to make compliancy as straightforward as possible. Ensuring toilets and washrooms conform to Document M of the UK Building Regulations involves buying and correctly installing the appropriate products. As well as giving examples of how a fully compliant Doc M washroom or toilet area should be designed and installed, the guide also includes the latest AKW Doc M pack options. There are 10 AKW Doc M packs to choose from and they range from fully compliant Doc M washrooms (including hand dryers, soap dispensers Etc.), to individual toilet cubicles. As well as traditional styling, there are two contemporary Doc M packs that feature stainless steel rails to fit in with any modern design aesthetic. Designed with hygiene in mind, the packs include an AKW Navlin Doc M close-coupled or low-level

rimless, raised-height toilet pan, a water-saving cistern and direct flushing system. The ergonomic, soft-close toilet seat and the grab rails are also available in a range of colours, to enable high colour contrast between surfaces for those with visual impairments. All of the Doc M packs feature either fixed or fold-up rails, and the washroom options are available with easy to use taps and British Standard BS 8300 wash basins. Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW comments: “Our upgraded AKW Doc M packs offer specifiers even more choice when it comes to installing a public-use accessible toilet or washroom. Each pack has been designed for maximum comfort and ease of use and also comes with recommendations for how and where to fit the products to ensure compliance. Our Doc M guide has also been created to help make the whole process even more straightforward and can be downloaded at” For more information, please contact AKW on 01905 823298, email: or visit

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

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

Herriot by Skopos – A Timeless Wool-Look Collection for Care Upholstery Skopos recently introduced the launch of the new upholstery collection, Herriot, perfect for upholstery solutions within Care. Four timeless designs brought together in a woollook quality, developed specifically for the contract sector with the added benefit of a waterproof layer, antimicrobial protection and soil resist. Inspired by the natural wilderness of the Moors and Dales, Herriot is a nod to the simplicity and beauty of the Yorkshire countryside, with a natural texture and favoured classic design cues, which bring sophistication and class to contract furniture. Herriot is one of many Skopos upholstery collections specifically developed for Care Interiors and has been developed using new

back-coating technology, minimising the use of chemicals in a move towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly flame retardant contract upholstery solution. Herriot upholstery fabrics achieve 40,000 + Martindale rubs for inclusion into high traffic contract areas, across all sectors. Sitting under the new Skopos Pro-tect Plus umbrella, with the added benefit of an antimicrobial finish, this collection supports best practise hygiene goals within caring interiors. Free samples of all of our fabrics are available via our website, or by calling our sales team 01924 436666 or visit or see page 11.

Consort Claudgen launches Consort Connect app Consort Claudgen have launched Consort Connect app which allows users to have complete control over their heating remotely via their smartphone or tablet. The app is free and downloadable from Google Play or Apple Store. It can control Consort’s Wi-Fi enabled heaters and SL heaters connected to an SLPBWIFI wireless controller. It gives quick access to four operating modes and provides a 7day timer with twenty-four heating periods per day. It is easy to set up and users can configure the settings of all connected heaters on

the app. Users can also view the energy consumption statistics. Other features include a lock function, open window tracking and response capability, and custom automations. There is a selflearning control ability utilising occupancy and temperature sensors, however, this is only available on the SLPBWIFI controller and Consort heaters with Wi-Fi and occupancy sensor. For more information, contact our sales at 01646 692172 or visit or see the advert on page 6.

Safeguard Your Care Home with InVentry Care homes are crucial for our society, so it’s important to ensure they’re a safe setting to help staff carry out the best possible care. With many family members and friends visiting their loved ones daily, InVentry is essential to track who’s entering and leaving your care home. Visitors are met with a simple signing in process and their information is stored directly in the system. This not only allows you to track who is onsite at any given time, but it ensures an even faster sign in during repeat visits. You can also ensure that the contractors you have onsite have the skills to do the job safely by asking custom questions before they sign in, with options to include documents they may need to read upon arrival, ensuring health & safety and the security of

your site is always maintained. InVentry can even help you become CQC and Care Inspectorate Compliant as our software allows you to receive star-rated feedback from those who have visited your care home. You can store this feedback within your system and note any actions taken to improve your processes and procedures! Head to our website: or see the advert on page 11.

Renray Healthcare Renray Healthcare has been producing high quality furniture for over 50 years and is one of the UK’s largest and leading suppliers to the healthcare sector. Whether you require a fast efficient delivery of quality furniture or a full room installation and fitting service, we have the experience and resources to handle your contract. We manufacture and assemble our products in our own purpose built factories in Cheshire and Europe to British Standards. Hence we are able to ensure your furniture is produced to the highest quality, working with you to plan and meet your projects time schedule and budget. We understand you are purchasing furniture that is fit for purpose, stylish and will continue to perform well into the future, which is why we design and build our furniture with you in mind. Telephone: +44 (0)1606 593456,

Email:, or see the advert on page 3 for details.



Catering for Your Residents with Bidfood An estimated 70% of residents in care are affected by Dementia. The term actually describes a group of symptoms, including memory loss, confusion, mood changes, and difficulty with day-to-day tasks. It’s more likely to occur as we age. It’s a difficult phase of life for residents affected by dementia, and it is important to help them maintain their independents, dignity and a daily routine. The reduction in cognitive function caused by dementia can make eating and meal occasions difficult and it can be challenging to serve the right food in the appropriate way. Some top risks and challenges include: • Risk of malnutrition • Not recognising food • Resisting being fed • Limited manual dexterity • Change in temperament Creating uplifting resident mealtimes tailored to those who are living with dementia is so important as mealtimes are a familiar, stimulating and important part of the day. However, for those who have problems holding a knife and fork, or holding their attention for a period of time, mealtimes can be stressful and challenging. Some of the tips that can make a real difference are: • Stimulating the senses: if residents can hear the sound of food preparation, or the table being laid, smell the food as it’s being prepared, and see activity in the kitchen, the familiar sounds, smells and sights as well as tastes may prompt their memory and help to stimulate the appetite. • Introducing finger foods: these are an ideal way to help residents retain independence and dignity, making it easier for them to eat with their hands or to eat on the go, whilst walking about. Introduce finger foods over a few days to get the person used to a new way of serving food. • Think smaller, frequent meals: these can help maintain nutrition levels and are easier to eat than three big meals a day. • Create memories with meals: themes and celebrations not only lift the spirits, but can help your residents recover memories. Music is a great way to engage residents at mealtimes and spark nostalgia and memories. • Two finger food recipesFinger foods are an ideal way to help residents maintain their independence, dignity, and a daily routine.


These scotch eggs are a perfect snack to provide your residents. Delicious, and a great

finger food for your residents with dementia. Serves 10 40 minutes Ingredients: Free range medium eggs x 12 Hot & cold mix mashed potato 150g Water 50ml Whole milk 600ml Boned Scottish kipper fillets 200g Natural breadcrumbs 300g Plain flour 100g Method: 1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the eggs for 8 minutes. Then cool the eggs down as quickly as possible before taking the shells off carefully. 2. Place the other 2 eggs in a bowl with 200ml of milk and whisk together. Set to one side. 3. Place the rest of the milk and water in a pan and bring to the simmer. Place the fish in and poach until just cooked. 4. Then flake the fish into a bowl and add the mashed potato mix. Combine well, and then add the warm milk to the bowl until the potato swells and becomes firm. Allow to cool. 5. Wrap the potato and fish mixture around the eggs and allow to chill. 6. Place the bread crumbs on a tray along with the flour. Firstly, roll the eggs in the flour, then dip into the egg mix, then roll in the breadcrumbs (this process may need to be repeated). 7. Then place the Scotch eggs on a tray and either deep fry until golden brown and reaching temperature, or place in a hot oven until cooked.


This brie and blueberry tart is a perfect combination of sweet and savoury. An easy recipe guaranteed to satisfy any resident's taste buds. Serves 10 30 minutes Ingredients: Puff pastry sheets 280g Brie 200g Frozen blueberries 100g Thyme 5g Squeezy clear blossom honey 20g Method: 1. Defrost pastry and blueberries. 2. Preheat the oven to 180° then grease a muffin tray. 3. Lay the puff pastry out and

cut into 10 equal squares, then place into a muffin tin. 4. Cut the cheese into 10 equal parts and place on top of the pastry, then top with the blueberries. 5. Wash and pick the thyme and sprinkle over the blueberries. 6. Place in the oven and bake until the pastry has a crisp base and the cheese has melted. 7. Then allow to cool slightly before drizzling with honey and serving.


We all love to sit down for a nice meal, but when you have dysphagia, the meal itself can be a danger. Dysphagia is more common amongst the elderly but can affect people of all ages. It affects our ability to swallow which can lead to food or drink entering the lungs leading to significant risk of choking or pneumonia. It can be a common reason for hospital admission for care residents and can even be fatal. Catering for those living with dysphagia means helping them stay safe when eating and drinking as well as helping them retain pleasure in mealtimes. Modifying meals, for example by pureeing, means running the risk of losing up to 50% of the nutritional content, and they aren’t always pleasing to the eye. Specialist ranges of texture-modified dishes can help here, for example Simply Puree which is available through Bidfood. This range is individually created for people with dysphagia, and each meal complies with IDDSI textures. This means that you can prepare them safely and with reassurance that each one has consistency in nutritional content. Having dysphagia may mean a person consumes less, so a pureed diet should be fortified to maximise the calorific value of each spoonful. Instead of using water therefore, try full fat milk or cream, melted butter or oil, sauces, gravy, honey, or juice for dilution. The first taste is with the eye, so to ensure meals are also visually appealing, make up modified consistency foods separately, then pipe them onto the plate while still hot and serve immediately. Use stronger flavours so that the food is still tasty when diluted and pureed, and make sure you taste food before servingwould you like to eat it? It’s also vital to make sure you’re regularly monitoring residents’ intake closely, including a nutritional assessment and weight check weekly to ensure that they are not losing weight, and are receiving sufficient nutrients. Make sure those who are preparing food are fully trained and aware of the risks related to swallowing difficulties, and the correct way to prepare modified consistency foods, and to thicken fluids for patients with this need. The International IDDSI Diet Standardisation tool is a global standard with terminology and definitions to describe the texture modified food and thickened liquids used for individuals with dysphagia of all ages, in all care settings and for all cultures. The Simply Puree IDDSI guide is a free easy to use tool to help you understand and cater for the different IDDSI textures. Read the Simply Puree IDDSI Guide at

You Are What You Eat: Chef With Michelin-Star Experience Embeds Person-Centred Meal Times In Care Home

By Ross Baxter, Chef at Exemplar Health Care (

For many of us, mealtimes are an important part of daily routine. They’re often much more than satisfying our appetite - they give us the chance to sit down with loves ones and catch up on the day’s events. And that’s no different for people who live in care homes. A good dining experience helps to increase nutritional intake and enhance social interaction. Ross Baxter is the head chef at Exemplar Health Care’s Tyne Grange care home in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He joined the home at the start of 2021, switching from a role in the hospitality sector. Ross’s previous experience at a luxury resort has helped him to embed a person-centred approach to meal times in the home. His commitment to promoting choice and providing nutritious meals that meet people’s dietary needs, earned Ross a win in the ‘Care Home Chef’ category at the 2021 North East Great British Care Awards regional finals. Here, Ross explains his journey from the hospitality industry to the care sector and how he’s changed meal times at the care home to promote choice and independence which leads to overall improved health and well-being for the residents.


I joined the team at Tyne Grange in 2021 after seven years as a chef in the hospitality industry. I was inspired to make the move from the hospitality sector to the care sector because of my mother, who lived in care home. When I visited her, I saw the impact that food has on those living in care homes, and it struck me that I had the capabilities to make a difference in people’s lives with my cooking. I’ve always wanted to do something meaningful with my skills, so this was an extremely important factor for me to consider when making such a move. My past experience saw me working under the guidance of a head chef who had experience in Michelin star restaurants. I am always grateful to him for his mentorship and for teaching me my current skillset. Through working at luxury resorts and hotels, I have gained experience of creating delicious and luxurious meals, based on what customers want. When starting at Tyne Grange, I thought that the meals should be no different to the top-tier quality that I had been producing in my previous role. While I knew that working in the care sector would be different than working in a restaurant, I wanted to provide a restaurant-style experience for residents, and this is what I have done at Tyne Grange.


Tyne Grange supports 20 adults living with complex care needs. Our approach to care focuses on supporting people to maximise their independence, build their everyday living skills and live their best life! In the catering team, we promote choice and independence at meal times, as much as possible. We have set up our mealtimes to replicate a restaurant-style environ-

ment. Our meal times span an hour and a half which gives people ample time to come and enjoy their meal without feeling they’re stuck to a regimented schedule. This makes the environment and experience more relaxing. Our colleagues provide hostess service, taking people’s orders and serving their meals and drinks - just as would be done in a restaurant. The menu consists of two choices and a third ‘weekly special’ which is chosen by our residents. We develop our menu based on feedback from weekly meetings. We have an open and transparent culture in which we listen to people’s thoughts and feedback, and use it to make meaningful change. This ensures that our menu is based on what people like and enjoy! We have designed menus on each table, as well as a menu board, so people know their choices. We also produce menus in different formats, such as using coloured graphics and images, to meet people’s communication needs. We make all the food fresh to order and have a choice of handmade desserts to follow. If someone doesn’t want what’s on the menu that day, we ask them what they’d like and do our best to accommodate their request. We’re proud that our approach to meal times has people at the heart of it. I take great pride in cooking healthy and comfortable food that people love! I’m so glad that I chose to start a career in social care. It’s extremely rewarding and I’m glad that I can use my skills to make a difference to people’s lives.

Support Vegetarians This Dementia Action Week: 16–22 May 2022 This Dementia Action Week, Vegetarian for Life, a charity supporting vegans and vegetarians in later life, is encouraging carers to consider how they support people’s beliefs. What happens to the beliefs and values of those with dementia? If a person struggles to remember ideas that mattered to them, how do they continue to practice their values? This year, Dementia Action Week coincides with National Vegetarian Week – a time to reflect on how carers can and should support people to maintain their beliefs. The charity Vegetarian for Life (VfL) works with vegans

and vegetarians in later life. Many have been committed to meat-free diets for decades, often motivated by ethical desires to prevent harm to animals. Many fear, if they need care, that they may lose their ability to choose diets free from animal products. This fear is not unfounded. An Inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism highlighted many instances where dietary practices linked to beliefs were not supported in care. In some instances, people who had been vegan for decades were regularly being fed

meat. In many ways, this concern goes beyond just respecting a person’s past wishes. Recent dementia research has considered the ideas of identity and personhood. Simply because a person struggles with memory, does not mean that their beliefs, and right to hold values, have disappeared. Dementia research begins to suggest that even when the condition is advanced, people should be supported to interact with ideas and concepts that are important to them.



CATERING FOR CARE Support Vegetarians This Dementia Action Week: 16–22 May 2022 (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28)

This may support them to retain a sense of identity in a care setting, especially when interacting with carers. In such cases, the carer actually supports the person to retain a sense of themselves, even as their condition progresses. Practically, the question remains over how carers can be aware of the values held by those they care for. In some cases, people have families to explain beliefs that have guided a person’s life. However, VfL strongly recommends that people document their future wishes. In its Self-Advocacy Guide, VfL provides a template Statement of Wishes, allowing people to document their dietary beliefs. This statement includes sample wording, clearly explaining to carers how to support people on meat-free diets if they appear to be choosing meat based dishes. This may involve offering alternative meals and fortifying foods with plant based alternatives. Alzheimer’s Society also provides a template advanced statement to allow individuals to document their values. When values are documented, it is important that care providers reference these views and act accord-

Halo Hydration More than 70% of us are dehydrated at some point during the day - this can cause drowsiness, lack of focus, tiredness, confusion, muscle soreness and a dry mouth. We know water is boring, but it’s one of life’s necessities…there is however an alternative. Adding just one HALO sachet to your glass of water makes it not only delicious, but makes it highly nutritious, and makes your water work harder for you! Instead of trying to drink the recommended 2 bottles of water per day, simply mixing one sachet of delicious HALO Hydration to your glass of water gives you the

ingly. To support providers, VfL has produced a Memory Care Pledge, encouraging people to investigate and acknowledge individuals’ dietary beliefs. The pledge consists of five simple good practice points that care establishments can follow to ensure that vegetarian and vegan residents experiencing capacity issues or cognitive losses will be offered a choice of meals, drinks and snacks that uphold their ethical beliefs. Good practice recommendations include offering a resident the opportunity to eat at a vegetarian-only, or vegan-only table when possible, and in the event of an ‘accidental’ choice to eat meat, offering an alternative that upholds their philosophical beliefs. These recommendations are suggested because Vegetarian for Life is aware of vegetarian residents experiencing issues with capacity or cognition, who may otherwise pick meat from others’ plates. Beliefs are central to our identity and personhood. Dementia Action Week should be a time to focus on how providers can best support those with limited capacity to maintain beliefs and values that define them as people. For more information, visit or call 0161 257 0887. same amount of minerals that drinking 4 litres of mineral water does! Each HALO Hydration sachet contains a daily dose of Vitamin C, B Vitamins, magnesium, sodium, zinc, potassium, calcium, and an array of trace minerals, with only 1g of natural sugar and ZERO artificial ingredients. These are the nutrients that your body needs to hydrate properly, which, in these amounts, are not found as readily in a modern-day diet. Sir Andy Murray is a huge HALO fan and says: “HALO is the healthiest way to hydrate”. If there was ever a person to listen to, it’s 2 time Wimbledon Champion and father of 4, Sir Andy Murray. With summer fast approaching and dehydration becoming a factor for everyone, why not try HALO to help boost your hydration. Visit



Robust Testing for Airborne Illnesses Urged Across the Care Industry 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 supportive through oxygen sup-

plementation; 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 COVID19, 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 onsite, 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:

Fragrance Solutions for Care Home Environments At Oxy-Gen Powered®, we understand the sensitivities and challenges associated with the caring business, especially when it comes to providing a clean, safe and odourless environment for your valuable members. The Oxy-gen Powered range is designed to counter the unpleasant, tough odours that can present themselves despite a thorough cleaning regime. They are effective for odour elimination, yet safe for health. The Oxygen-Pro uses patented technology that ensures a precise dose of fragrance oil is released consistently and continuously, guaranteeing the same level of freshness throughout the cartridge life, silently and discreetly. Oxygen-Pro is a true nonaerosol, continuous Fragrancing and Odour Elimination System. Our air-care systems contain the proprietary odour neutralising agent, Neutra-Lox, which eliminates malodours rather than masking them. We can offer nonfragrant cartridges that simply eliminate nasty odours or a fantastic fragrance range that will not only eliminate those bad odours but will emanate continuous, clean, fresh-smelling fragrances into the air. The system is easy to use and is Carbon Footprint approved. In an independent study, the product has

been assessed and verified for emissions and energy consumption and was found to have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to aerosol products on the market. Changing cartridges is hassle-free and, more importantly, they are recyclable at the end of the cartridge life. The Oxygen-Pro system is an ideal replacement for environmentally harmful aerosols, gels, liquids and other fragrance systems. There are no allergens, no added VOCs, no propellants, no solvents, no alcohols, just continuous, clean fresh fragrance all day, every day! Email: or tel: 01270 766676.

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 and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code.



Top Tips for Managing Incontinence from Ontex FLUID INTAKE

Drinking sufficient fluids each day is essential for maintaining a healthy bladder. If you don’t drink enough your bladder will become overly sensitive. You should try to consume at least 1.5-2 litres (or 6-8 glasses) of fluids each day.


It is advisable to avoid certain types of drinks, such as tea, coffee, cola and chocolate, as they contain caffeine which can irritate the bladder. An irritated bladder becomes overactive, which makes you feel as though you need to empty your bladder when it is not full. HEALTHY EATING Your diet should be balanced, not too high in fat, with plenty of fibre, and contain at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Healthy eating is also important because being overweight can make bladder problems worse.


There are a number of health risks associated with smoking. A ‘smokers cough’ can place extra pressure on the muscles of the pelvic floor, increasing your chances of experiencing stress incontinence.


If you don’t drink enough your bladder will become more sensitive to smaller amounts of urine, which means you will go to the toilet more frequently.


It is a good idea to notify your GP if you are experiencing bladder weakness for the first time or if you already have bladder weakness and it has become worse.


Maintain a record of every time you experience bladder weakness.

Note the activity you were performing at the time, the types of beverages and the quantity you consumed beforehand, as well as the extent of the leakage. Limiting fluid intake may actually increase the frequency of incontinence. Drinking a total of 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day is recommended. Unless advised to do so by your health professional, never restrict fluids to control incontinence.


• 40% Fruits and vegetables • 30% Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods • 12% Meat, fish, eggs, beans • 8% Milk and dairy foods • 1% Oils and Spreads *

Ontex Launches NEW Men’s Pants Range Incontinence experts Ontex have launched their new iD for Men Level 4 pants. Providing extreme comfort and a perfect fit, the all-round stretch, elastified material has a thin and flexible core to ensure that the pants fit like real underwear, perfect for carrying on with day to day activities. The pant has been designed to stay in place, not lose its shape or become bulky even when saturated. Thanks to the cotton-like material used on both the inside and out, it feels soft, all day long, so you won’t know you’re wearing an incontinence pant. This fully breathable material means a healthy skin and no sweating.

Ontex exclusively specialises in products for continence management, including products for light, moderate and heavy incontinence in a range of unisex, female, male and junior styles. The products offer odour control and fast absorption, keeping liquid locked in the pad as well as anti-leakage protection. iD Men Level 4 come in a size Medium and Large and are available from, ASDA pharmacy and local pharmacies priced at £8.99 Ontex iD can be purchased from

Introducing The World’s First Movable Bedpan Disposer Panaway® M1 A game-changing evolutionary step towards transforming waste management in elderly care, hospices and hospitals. Haigh, a respected leader in waste disposal technology, is launching Panaway® M1 – the first-of-its-kind movable bedpan disposer helping hospitals and care homes safeguard their patients, offering a mobile, cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly solution to medical waste disposal. Originally developed to deal with issues relating to sluice room flexibility, site access and maintenance response caused byCOVID-19 restrictions, the innovative design has been a game changer helping healthcare organisations rethink their infection prevention strategies. An estimated 95%* of the UK NHS sites now use disposable medical pulp products for managing patient waste, with disposable (single-use) systems rapidly becoming established worldwide as best practice to prevent infections and crosscontamination within the healthcare environment. Panaway® M1 gives care organisations all the convenience, accessibility and benefits of a modern sluice room where and when it’s most needed - without compromising on safety. Easy to set up and relocate, Panaway® M1 is supplied with all fixtures and fittings required to use in a wide range of locations. Leading the way in performance, versatility and ease of use, the Panaway® M1 is economical and energy effi-

cient, using less energy and water than other washing systems. With no hot water required, it is good for the environment - and the paper pulp is eco-friendly, hygienic and highly cost effective. Quiet, quick and easy to use, the Panaway® M1 disposes of pulp product and contents in less than a minute. It aims to make the life of the user as straightforward as possible, freeing up time for patient care. Panaway® M1 is an invaluable addition as an emergency stand-in when a bedpan machine or washer is unavailable or as a cost-effective temporary solution whilst migrating a site to a disposable system. Jacob Shepherd, Managing Director at Haigh, said “We have been bowled over by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from Panaway® M1 trials. This is the tool site operators wished they always had when it comes to patient waste and the associated infection prevention procedures. Even sites that do not currently use disposable pulp can see benefits without having to switch from washing systems all in one go. We’ve already seen some neat ways Panaway® M1 has been used that were completely new to us and we are genuinely excited to see how this further develops over time.” For more information about renting, purchasing or a trial of Panaway® M1 contact Michelle Marriot on +44 (0)7500 626463 or email


CONTINENCE CARE Help To Manage Your Incontinence Issues Independently Urinary incontinence affects millions of people in the UK. Although a widespread problem, incontinence remains a taboo topic. Embarrassment often stops people from talking about it, let alone feeling able to access products and services that can help them. So, without the correct help and support, the problem often remains unsolved, which has a negative impact on people’s lives.

The Bendi Bag is ideal for wheelchair users who can sometimes find toilet access difficult The Comfort Leg Bag range comes in variety of materials from velvet smooth, real cotton and flock backing The Children’s Bag with smaller capacity and proportions comes with a discreet and secure twist tap that will not open accidentally while moving, or out and about

COMFORTABLE AND EFFECTIVE Since 1976 Manfred Sauer have provided a range of innovative urology products to help sufferers of urinary incontinence. But unlike other providers, our products are often designed and tested by both end users and healthcare professionals to ensure effective and user-friendly solutions that work. This means your incontinence issues can be managed independently, without worrying about frequent emptying or toilet access and do not impinge on your ability to live life to the full. Read about four of our most popular product ranges, which are all available on prescription.

SHEATHS We offer 5 types of urinary sheath to facilitate the drainage of urine away from the body into a drainage bag. They are made from either latex, or synthetic materials and available in a range of sizes. We also offer skin friendly tapes, straps and adhesives, hair guards, measuring tape as well as Preventox, which cleans and protects the skin, so you are always comfortable and have the best fit possible.



We supply four main types of leg bags with varying capacities. Perfect for being outdoors, and packed full of unique features and benefits, you now have a choice when it comes to managing your incontinence issues. The shape of our Discreet Thigh Bag allows for it to be worn high up on the thigh area and can even be hidden under shorts, skirts and even swimwear

Thousands of people across the country must perform Intermittent Self-Catheterisation (ISC) to effectively empty their bladder and having something that is simple to use, soft, flexible and easy to lubricate is essential. That’s where our IQ-Cath shines, plus, new for 2022 are male/paediatric and female single-use hydrophilic catheters which are immersed in saline and ready for immediate use. Nephsys For people who have had a Nephrostomy, and tubes are already in place, our NephSys system can drastically improve their lives. As well as providing a secure and sterile solution, which consists of an adjustable, elasticated belt; drainage bags and suspenders to secure the bag to the belt in the chosen position, the system is also comfortable and discreet. For help, support and advice, call 01604 595696, email or visit for more information about each product, or to order a free sample.

Texible Wisbi Smart Care Support Monitoring incontinence of a resident is often difficult and undignified. If that client also has dementia or is liable to fall out of bed, ensuring that they are safe is also challenging and time-consuming. The innovative Texible Wisbi Home Smart Incontinence and Bed Exit Sensor Mat will detect if the bed has been wetted and send a notification via the free Texible app to the caregiver. This allows the caregiver to change the bedding as soon as possible, preventing pressure sores caused by laying on soiled sheets. The Smart Incontinence and Bed Exit Sensor Mat also detects if the person has left the bed, allowing the caregiver to monitor someone at risk of falling out of bed. The Texible Wisbi Smartphone app connects the bed pad control box to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. You can download the free app (suitable for both Android and Apple devices) and you will be able to see both the continence and occupancy status of your loved one at all times, wherever you are. This gives you

peace of mind and allows you to carry on your day, or get a good night’s rest, without constantly stopping to check your resident or worrying if they are ok. For bed users who can toilet themselves, the app allows you to adjust the amount of time that your resident is out of the bed before it alerts you, so that it only sends the caregiver a notification if the user has been out of bed for more than the normal time. Texible Wisbi is hygienic, washable and very easy to use. The sensor mat can be machine washed at 95°c, and each mat has a lifetime of 100 washes. The pad will absorb up to 700ml/m², providing excellent absorption. See the advert below or visit for further details.



Smart Synergy: Why Two Leading-Edge Technologies Are Set To Transform Care By Stuart Barclay, UK Sales Director, Vayyar Care ( COVID-19 derailed the plans of many start-ups and for a technology supplier serving the nursing home sector, the challenge might well have proved insurmountable. Unable to physically access care homes, Arquella was prevented from piloting or deploying their cuttingedge nurse call system, the only such solution featuring a unique embedded care app. Fortunately, the company was able to use the enforced hiatus wisely, by integrating Vayyar Care’s transformative touchless technology. Arquella instantly saw the value of Vayyar Care’s unprecedented fall detection accuracy, its ability to gather rich activity data, and easy interoperability. The convenience of its app-based functionality was also key. It would allow carers to receive real-time updates on their mobile devices, allowing them to work more efficiently and react more rapidly to emergency scenarios. In fact, enhancing staff effectiveness is a core purpose of the integrated offering. Since the start of the pandemic, care providers have had to do much more with severely limited resources. Vayyar Care’s recent survey of the sector confirmed that staff recruitment and retention is the most significant challenge for two-thirds of care providers. Data revealing response times and how long staff spend in rooms will allow them to receive the support they need to do what they do best, increasing long-term employee satisfaction.

The response from Arquella’s customers has been exceptionally positive. They intuitively understand the benefits and appreciate the opportunity to replace legacy devices such as floor mats that trigger frequent false alerts, wasting time that frontline carers can ill afford. That’s why the accuracy of Vayyar Care’s fall detection is a true game changer — for both staff and residents. Older adults are far more safety-conscious and technologically aware than they were just a couple of years ago. They now demand fall alert and monitoring solutions that ensure safety without compromising their dignity, privacy and independence. What’s more, they’re no longer willing to settle for solutions such as hard-to-reach buttons and cords, wearables that often cause embarrassment, or cameras that inevitably intrude on their personal spaces. The pace of digital transformation in care is increasing, partly thanks to the efforts of CQC and the government, and partly due to the challenges presented by COVID. Communities must ensure that care is person-centred and enables proactive interventions and to do so, they need solutions that automatically gather real-time data which can easily be shared between caregivers. That data will also be used to demonstrate the quality of care and its outcomes. The sector requires data-driven, digital alternatives to outdated analogue technologies and Arquella is a key player in the ecosystem we’re enabling. The company is looking forward to its first in-market installation in the coming months, supported by distributor Panacea Healthcare Group. The offering will play a pivotal role in transforming operations for care homes across the UK and unlocking true personalised outcomes for residents. To find out more, please email me at

Why 4,438 Daily Falls in UK Care Homes Deserve Our Attention A’ “Responding to falls in care homes: two innovations” report by Dr Mark Hawker and River Rea from Involve, discussed how best practice in post fall management can provide time and cost savings to the wider health and social care system. Combining benefits of assistive lifting technology and video-based clinical support could return costs savings of up to £3,911 per fall, whilst also safeguarding residents’ lives. Across the 15,000 + care homes registered by the Care Quality Commission there are between 270,000 – 1,620,000 falls per year. As one of the most frequently reported accidents among residents, falls represent a pressing issue for providers of care, particularly as demand for places is expected to rise as the population ages. Author, Dr Mark Hawker says, “the risk factors for falls in care setting are diverse and the multiplicity of elements influencing the likelihood of falls makes them incredibly difficult to eliminate entirely. For the individual, the consequences of a fall are numerous and distressing, while the repetitive lifting requirement of carers puts them at risk of musculoskeletal injury. “The pilot studies we’ve examined demonstrate that by giving care home staff the tools to empower

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

Falls Prevention Programme Features in World Health Organization Report A trailblazing programme designed to reduce falls in older people has received international recognition after being highlighted in a World Health Organization report. The Falls Management Exercise programme (FaME) targeted those at risk of falls in Leicestershire, Rutland and Derby, delivering specialist classes led by postural stability instructors over the course of 24 weeks. The classes were shown to improve balance, walking speed and reduce fear of falling, all the while helping to increase physical activity and reduce falls. Those taking part were also provided with techniques for getting down and up from the floor, should they have a fall. The success of the initiative, which saw the number of falls reduce over time, led to a blueprint being developed to allow health providers roll out the programme across the country. Now the FaME project has been given a global platform after being featured in the World Health Organization’s Step Safely report, which is designed to support practitioners, policy-makers and researchers in the prevention of falls and fall-related injuries. It identifies that each year in England, more than 200,000 emergency hospital admissions and four million bed days result from falls and

fractures among those aged 65 years and over, costing the health service approximately £2b. With the NHS facing pressure as a result of falls, researchers from the University of Nottingham put together an Implementation Manual for Commissioners to allow the FaME programme to be rolled out across other areas. They estimate widespread adoption of FaME could save the NHS more than £700m. The research was funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands. Following publication in the WHO report, those behind the FaME programme are delighted the initiative could have a far-reaching, global impact. Dr Liz Orton, Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham and Consultant in Public Health, said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better platform to share the impact of the FaME classes, which have been several years in the making and have shown such positive, encouraging results. “Exposure in the WHO report is hugely beneficial - the more people working in this field who hear about this preventative programme, the better.”

Professor Adam Gordon, Professor of the Care of Older People, University of Nottingham and Lead for the Building Community Resilience and Enabling Independence theme for ARC East Midlands, added: “We’re extremely proud to have been part of a project which is now receiving world-wide recognition and is being showcased to clinicians and researchers working at the forefront of this field. “With the blueprint now in place for other areas to implement FaME, we look forward to seeing its impact on those vulnerable to the often debilitating effects of a fall.” NIHR ARC East Midlands funds vital work to tackle the region’s health and care priorities by speeding up the adoption of research onto the frontline of health and social care. The organisation puts in place evidence-based innovations which seek to drive up standards of care and save time and money. NIHR ARC East Midlands is hosted by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and works in collaboration with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network. It has bases at University of Leicester and University of Nottingham.


NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING Silent Running Assistive Technology Tranquility in Care Homes Solutions from Medpage

Medpage t/a Easylink UK is a company who have designed, manufactured, and distributed Assistive Technology solutions to aid independent and assisted living for over 35 years. We introduced the first wireless bed and chair leaving detection alarms into the UK market more than 25 years ago. During the Pandemic, against all odds, we

launched a new brand of fall prevention and detection products. TumbleCare. TumbleCare products are simplistic, but effective, people sensors. The sensors detect a person in or out of their bed or chair, or physically falling. A warning notification is transmitted by radio signal to radio pagers, nurse call station, or over the internet to alert designated carers. Our philosophy over the years has not changed. To deliver quality, reliability, and performance at realistic prices. We are key suppliers to the majority of Local Authorities throughout the UK and the NHS of fall prevention products. Our systems operate as stand-alone solutions or can integrate with most commercial nurse call systems. We offer attractive sales discounts for trade and volume buyers and provide free advice and help in developing a falls prevention strategy. Visit our website and view our guide on wandering and falls or telephone our sales office on 01536 264869.

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.”

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 separate 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:


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


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

Benefits include:

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

Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts


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:

Nurse Alert Mats Designed to combat the problem of residents who are inclined to walk undetected, the Nurse Alert Mat can help protect residents especially at night that are at risk of falls and accidents. When connected to a Nurse Call system or the mobile Floor Sentry Monitor it will then alert staff, sounding the alarm with a small amount of pressure thus enabling staff to investigate.

• Nurse Call Systems • Fire Alarm Systems • Door Access • Staff Attack • CCTV • Infection Control • Dementia Care • Electrical Contracting

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

Lotus Care Technology 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 for details.

In addition The Floor Pressure Mat has a heavy non slip backing, It comes professionally sealed so can easily be cleaned for liquid spills and is fully serviceable.




44% of Care Employees Are Considering a Job Change This Year Close to one in every two care sector employees are thinking about a role change this year, according to new research published by workforce software company Sona. In a survey of 750 staff working in care in the UK, 30% said they are looking at a new role within care, and 14% could quit the sector entirely. Given the existing employment gap in care, these figures suggest that providers should be looking to ease the burden on their recruitment teams by prioritising programmes to increase employee satisfaction and retention. Respondents were asked which aspects of their work they feel are very important in any decision to switch employers. Salary (62%) came third, after relationships with residents and patients (63%), and more flexible schedules (62%). The research showed a clear correlation between working patterns and satisfaction at work. 54% of staff with more unpredictable hours are considering a job change this year, compared to 39% of those with predictable hours. Almost 20% of respondents who work unpredictable hours are considering leaving the sector. The findings were revealed as part of Sona’s Rethinking Retention report, which also looked at the factors most likely to make staff feel happy about working for their current employer. More recognition from management (92%), better internal communication (91%), having more freedom to choose their working patterns (90%), and better mental health support for employees (90%) were top of the list.

Intelligent Care Software (ICS) If you are looking for a care management system which answers all of your quality, monitoring and compliance needs, then looks no further than Care is. Care is provides the intelligent software solution for care home and domiciliary care managers and owners looking to roll all of their care and management functions into one electronic platform. We know this to be true because unlike some other CMS’s Care is was conceived, designed, built and is managed by nurses, registered managers and care home owners.

Richard Upshall, Product Director for Health and Social Care at Sona, said: "The possibility of more staff leaving the sector is very concerning given that recruitment is already a big challenge. However, our research shows that the most important contributors to happiness at work are all things employers can control. The status quo is clearly not sustainable, so providers should give themselves permission to radically rethink how they support, engage and motivate their staff. That includes looking at the role technology can play in creating more flexible working patterns, enhancing team communication and recognition, and supporting staff wellbeing.” For more information, please visit

ABOUT SONA Sona’s mission is to put technology in the hands of frontline staff that transforms how they manage their work and engage with their employer. Designed for the specific needs of modern care organisations, Sona’s ‘people operating system’ combines powerful productivity tools with a sleek, simple and intuitive user experience. Features include live schedule view, absence management, instant messaging, and an innovative shift booking platform that matches shift vacancies with employees willing to take on more hours. Trailblazing providers are revolutionising the way they manage, engage and retain their staff with Sona. Customers include Advinia Healthcare, Creative Support, and Praxis Care. The ‘CARE is’ suite includes care and support, care planning platform, our policy app with over 200 high quality policies which are updated regularly and which also includes our supervision, appraisals and training record apps and our audit app which templates all the essential audits and includes a record of inspection visits. At Care is we can get you started on your journey from paper or another care management system with minimum fuss, plenty of support and all for what we believe to be good value for money. With eMAR, mandatory training and a complementary care certificate coming in 2022, there has never been a better time to get on board.



Autonomy and Consent in Care Sam Hussain, Founder and CEO of the care management platform Log my Care, delves into the importance of consent in social care. Too often in care settings we hear the question “Why did no one tell me?” No care provider wants their clients to feel unheard or uninformed, that’s why autonomy in care is so important. In many care situations, service users may already feel like they’re losing control simply because of the circumstances that led them to seek support. Involving them in decision-making around their care can help them retain as much autonomy as possible.

REDUCE RISK Although there’s an element of risk with every activity in care, by giving consent, a client accepts those risks. For care providers, a signed record of this consent can be invaluable, should those risks become reality. Not getting consent right can lead to complaints, criminal liability and more. However, consent obtained correctly can protect those providing care.


Consenting to care means that people are at the heart of the plans put in place to support them. This is an opportunity to initiate discussions with clients about the care that might benefit them, and help tailor care plans to suit them.

LEGAL REQUIREMENT Finally, having a record of consent is a legal requirement that regulatory bodies, like the Care Quality Commission or the Care Inspectorate, check diligently, and will affect how they evaluate a care service as a whole.

HOW LOG MY CARE CAN SUPPORT YOU TO MANAGE CONSENT Log my Care’s consent management feature allows care providers to easily manage their clients’ consent records. Service users can digitally sign consent and lack of capacity forms directly on the platform and reminders can be scheduled to review these records at a later date. See the advert on this page for further details.

Bizimply Helps Care Homes To Spend More Time Caring For Residents As a healthcare professional, your goal is to deliver exceptional healthcare to your residents, but it can be hard to focus on them when you’re struggling to fill the soaring vacancy levels. It’s never been more important to have the right people, working in the right place, at the right time so you and your team can deliver quality care to residents. Conor Shaw, CEO of workforce management specialists Bizimply, says: “Most care homes are currently running with 10% fewer employees than they’d like, so the challenge is to achieve 100% capacity from the staff team you have. It’s not about working harder, but smarter, with the support of helpful technology.” Bizimply’s software allows managers to create staff rotas and complete payroll quickly, freeing them up to spend more time working with their

teams and caring for residents. The result is more motivated staff who provide higher quality care and are less likely to leave. In addition, by creating rotas with Bizimply’s software, managers can give staff members their shift patterns further in advance, putting an end to the last-minute requests that cause stress for so many. Shaw adds: “Nobody chooses a career in care to spend hours on administration. By automating routine tasks, care home managers and staff can concentrate on doing what they love - caring for residents.” A growing number of care homes across the UK and Ireland are now using Bizimply’s software to create staff rotas, payroll and more. To find out more visit:

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


CYBER SECURITY How To Prevent Phishing Cyberattacks In Your Care Facility are because of actions inadvertently taken by employees. Cybercriminals have become more sophisticated than ever and email recipients are finding it increasingly difficult to spot imposter emails. Whilst you have little control over what’s happening externally with BEC, there are some steps that you can take to help prevent this cyberattack impacting your business. Implement the five tips below to help prevent Business Email Compromise in your care business:


Cyberattacks are on the increase and a favourite and growing approach is via email, which we call phishing. Cyber security company Nexor reported that there was a 31% increase in cyber related cases across May and June 2020, with the healthcare sector amongst one of the most targeted industries. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 carried out by Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, among the 38% of small to medium sized businesses identifying a breach or attack, 83% had phishing attacks, 27% were impersonated attacks and 16% had malware (including ransomware). There are many forms of email phishing, but they all have one thing in common – to cause disruption to your business. One form of phishing attack known as ‘business email compromise’ uses compromised email credentials or imitates a legitimate email address in order to encourage the recipient to take action. It’s usually targeted at an individual or small group and relies upon the ability to look like someone in a senior position within a company or a trusted external provider. The aim of the attack could be to transfer funds, make a payment or share sensitive information – patient data for example. It’s exceptionally easy to fall prey to business email compromise or any phishing attack. In fact a report by Beazley PLC, highlighted that a staggering 90% of data breaches occurring in the UK in 2019 were caused by human error! This means that most incidents that occur in a business setting

Introduce multi-factor authentication into your systems. This is an authentication method that requires a user to provide two or more verification factors in order to gain access to a resource such as an application or online account. MFA will protect the user and therefore your business from an unknown person trying to access data, such as patient data, personal information or financial details. In addition to this, you could also create a rule for all new emails that come into the business from external sources. With this in place all external emails would be clearly identified, acting as an additional prompt for the recipient to make sure it’s a legitimate email.

SET UP Take a close look at the procedures in place for the set-up of new accounts. How do you verify their details and address? Look at how you manage any changes they request, to ensure that they are genuine.


2 STAFF TRAINING Carry out staff training on how to detect and avoid phishing emails. The Barnes Risk Management Hub has online learning resources that can be utilised for this purpose, and is an easy way to educate staff in what to look out for.

3 REINFORCE FUND TRANSFER/PAYMENT PROCEDURES Review and reinforce your fund transfer and payment procedures to identify areas that may be vulnerable. This could involve an authentication requirement for people or businesses that are not within your network.

At Barnes Commercial, we can help with a comprehensive risk review, including your vulnerability to cyberattacks and create a programme of covers that are best suited to your needs. As an independent broker we provide completely impartial advice on the best solution for your specific needs. Telephone 01480 272727 Email:

4 LIMIT USERS Reduce or limit the number of people that can authorise financial transfers and payments. The fewer people with the ability to carry out these tasks, the lower your risk of compromise becomes.


Specialist care home insurance We arrange tailored insurance programmes for care and nursing homes, hospices and domiciliary care providers, for both staff and business owners. Our extensive knowledge of the care market will help to ensure you have the right protection in place for now and, for the future. Secure robust cover that’s right for your business. CALL NOW FOR A QUOTE

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THEMA Healthcare

"I have got 12 years experience in the care industry working in different settings as a nurse or nurse manager. During this time I have realized and understood what clients expect from a truly reliable healthcare professional. "With this in mind, we aim to provide to our clients the people for the job. Our goal is to create long term business relationships with our clients based on trust and providing high efficiency services as we will take time to listen and understand what is important to our clients. "Understanding the importance of flexibility, continuity and stability we will always have the best interest of both client and our staff at heart. Claudiu Nicolae Burtica, Director, Thema Healthcare THEMA Healthcare Ltd. supplies Registered Nurses and Healthcare Assistants to Care Homes, Rehabilitation Centres, Hospitals, Private Clinics, GP

Surgeries and Domiciliary Care Providers. At THEMA Healthcare we complete full checks on all our staff and we make sure their mandatory training is up to date. We offer exclusive contracts which means you will get the same staff. We cover short notice calls (without a contract with us) but we also offer the option for lock booking our staff for longer periods, days, weeks or even months in advance. THEMA Healthcare covers for short notice sickness, summer holidays period, annual leave, long term sickness and we help care providers until they recruit their own staff. 07894070385

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.

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

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? T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : E :

STEP UP Training and 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 • Training led by tutors and assessors who are specialists in health and social care • Level 3 diplomas that are accredited to Highfield Qualifications

T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : E :


PROFESSIONAL SERVICES & TRAINING In Dire Need Of Experienced Health Care Assistant, Senior Carer Or A Nurse? JJ Recruitment has the large database of well qualified applicants with experience in the health-care industry, such as health care assistants, senior carers, and nurses from overseas. We also have an expert team of solicitors for the necessary legal proceedings and advices.

Why JJ?

Solicitude Training Training packages are engaging and bespoke to individual organisations to ensure that they are relevant to that particular service and therefore optimise learning and include accredited as well as awareness courses. Solicitude Training is a registered centre with Qualsafe. Training can be delivered virtually, face to face or via e-learning or through a combination. The benefit of using a blended approach is that it can reduce delivery time (and therefore cost), but knowledge can be checked during the face to face delivery, to ensure that not only have the staff gained the knowledge, but that they can apply it to practice. E-learning courses are flexible, can be done from the comfort of the individual staff members own home and at a time that suits them. This enables all individuals to learn at their own pace, without any pressure, to keep up with other staff. The on-line courses are designed to be engaging, interactive and

• We have very minimal processing fees. • We assist you to get a sponsorship license. • Qualified and experienced candidates from overseas. Tel: 01704 809756 relevant to the individual to help staff learn and retain knowledge and so content is designed to enable staff to relate theory to practice. A well-trained workforce is an essential requirement to enable outstanding care to be delivered and these e-learning courses are designed to support the whole employee life cycle from induction through to career development, which in turn empowers staff to feel valued and continue their personal and professional development. E-learning enables services to ensure that all staff are compliant with their training in a cost effective and timely manner. With multi-buy discounts available, this enables services to reduce costs and budget for the years training. Packages can also be purchased that facilitate blended learning, enabling all learning styles and needs to be accommodated. For further information you can contact Solicitude Training on: Tel: 01256 242272 Email: Website:

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

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