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Editor's Viewpoint Afternoon Tea Week
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JUL/AUG 2022 JULY/AUGUST 2022 Issue 19
“Time for Facts Not Opinions” as Covid Inquiry Opens
Baroness Heather Hallett has officially launched the UK Covid-19 Inquiry and opened its first investigation into how well prepared the UK was for a pandemic. Baroness Hallett also set out a timetable, with preliminary hearings starting this year, and the first witnesses to be called next spring. Opening the inquiry, she promised to be "fair and robust", saying that those who had suffered the most deserved to know if more could have been done.
Lives had been lost, education harmed, businesses folded, and mental and physical health had suffered. "Every person has had their life changed to some extent. Those who have suffered the most will want to know if any more could have been done to reduce their suffering."
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VIEWPOINT The long awaited Covid enquiry has now been launched, and the chair has warned she will speak out against anyone who "stands in the way" of the inquiry, saying she wants lessons to be learned before another outbreak strikes. Baroness Heather Hallett said she will treat all holders of evidence and witnesses fairly, but added that she would speak out about any Editor organisation or person “who stands in the way of the inquiry performing its task”. More than 200,000 Covid deaths have been recorded across the UK, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, and at least 20% of those recorded deaths will have occurred in care homes. At a residential nursing care trade event in October 2021 operators and frontline workers who were sitting in the audience were invited to share their experiences of working in, and managing, care homes at the very height of the storm. It was harrowing. Many were reduced to tears and struggled to finish their stories, and how I wished there was a government minister in the room that day. I can say quite confidently that there will be many within the care sector who will have a great deal to say. They will remember the early warnings from other countries about the vulnerability of care homes, none of which were heeded. Care providers must have the opportunity to recount their struggle to get protective equipment; what they saw as delayed government guidance; the swift discharge of hospital patients into care homes, some taking with them the virus , and utter sense of being forgotten, being left to ‘get on with it’ and the sector as a whole being taken for granted. The inquiry must hear their voices and I do hope that a specific dedicated allocation of time is reserved for adult social care. A date for your calendar - it is Afternoon Tea Week coming up August 8-14. A quintessentially British tradition celebrated in every care homes throughout the UK! We have a wonderful feature on pages 28-31 with some interesting statistics and fun ideas, also highlighting how important nutrition and hydration are, and also the opportunity to win a grand prize for a lucky care home! We are inviting residential and nursing care homes to send stories and photographs of their celebrations for Afternoon Tea Week and a luxury hamper will be on the way when Afternoon Tea Week ends to a lucky winner, so please do check the feature! Once again we have received some wonderful and uplifting stories from care homes around the country - awards, birthday celebrations, fundraising, sports events, singing and dancing - you name it, we are receiving them at the moment! All feelgood stories which highlight the dedication, commitment and devotion staff display in every day, improving the well-being of the residents. So well done, and please do keep them coming to firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 3
“Time for Facts Not Opinions” as Covid Inquiry Opens (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) The inquiry is already gathering evidence with preliminary hearings timetabled for later this year, and the first witnesses scheduled to be called in spring 2023. The Inquiry will take a modular approach to its investigations: • Module 1 will examine the resilience and preparedness of the UK for the coronavirus pandemic. • Module 2 will be split into parts and will examine core political and administrative governance and decision-making by the UK government. Modules 2A, 2B and 2C will address the same overarching and strategic issues from the perspective of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and hearings will take place in each nation. • Module 3 will investigate the impact of Covid, and governmental and societal responses to it, on healthcare systems, including on patients, hospital and other healthcare workers and staff. The Inquiry’s first procedural hearings will begin in September and October of this year, for Modules 1 and 2. Public hearings for Module 1 will begin in spring 2023 for Module 1 and summer for Module 2. More information on Module 3 timings will be available in due course.
“RESOLUTE IN QUEST FOR TRUTH” Chair, Baroness Heather Hallett said: “It’s time for facts, not opinions – and I will be resolute in my quest for the truth. The Inquiry is already gathering evidence and I will be holding public hearings next year. “Our work must be swift. The Inquiry’s scope is broad, so we will start with the most pressing questions – was the UK prepared for a pandemic? I will share more information on our investigations as our plans evolve. “When meeting those who lost loved ones earlier this year, I was struck by the devastating nature of their loss, exacerbated by the impact of the restrictions in place at the time on their ability to grieve. Millions felt hardship and loss during the pandemic, and for some life will never feel the same again. “I will do my very best to undertake the Inquiry in a way that acknowledges this suffering and seeks to reduce the scope for others to suffer in the same way in the future.” The launch marks an important day for those with an interest in Module 1 to consider whether they wish to apply for Core Participant status. Core Participants have a particular formal role within the module. Applications will be open from 21 July to 16 August and more details are available on the Inquiry’s website.
The Inquiry will announce further modules in 2023. These are expected to cover both ‘system’ and ‘impact’ issues including: vaccines, therapeutics and anti-viral treatment; the care sector; Government procurement and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); testing and tracing; Government business and financial responses; health inequalities and the impact of Covid-19; education, children and young persons; and the impact of Covid-19 on public services and on other sectors. The Inquiry will be looking at the impact of the pandemic on inequalities at every stage of its investigations.
CARE HOME DISCHARGE POLICY 'IRRATIONAL AND ILLEGAL' Earlier this year the High Court ruled that the government’s hospital discharge policy that sent thousands of people untested into care homes was not only illegal, but “irrational”. The judges found that “those drafting the March  discharge policy and the April  admissions guidance failed to take into account the highly relevant consideration of the risk to elderly and vulnerable residents from asymptomatic transmission”. In their ruling, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Garnham determined that, despite there being “growing awareness” of the risk of asymptomatic transmission throughout March 2020, there was no evidence that then Health Secretary Matt Hancock addressed the issue of the risk to care home residents of such transmission. Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris, whose fathers died, said it caused a “shocking death toll” of residents. The women said key policies of discharging patients from hospitals into care homes were implemented with no testing and no suitable isolation arrangements in the homes. Speaking outside the High Court Ms Gardner said the ruling vindicated her belief that the government had “neglected” care home residents during the campaign and justified “our campaign to expose the truth.” “It is also now clear that Matt Hancock’s claim that the government threw a protective ring around care homes in the first wave of the pandemic was nothing more than a despicable lie,” she said.
LESSONS MUST BE LEARNED Jo Goodman, co-founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign, said: "Today (July 21) was an emotional day for those of us who have lost loved ones and it meant a lot to hear Baroness Hallett recognise the devastating nature of bereavement and the pain we've been through.
"Ultimately, all bereaved families want the same thing, which is to make sure that lessons are learnt from our devastating losses to protect others in the future." Dr Emma Runswick, deputy chair of BMA council, said: “We welcome Baroness Hallett’s determination to gather a wide range of evidence and pursue the truth about the UK Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. The families of the more than 200,000 people who have lost their lives to Covid-19, as well as the healthcare workers who have spent more than two years working in the most harrowing conditions, deserve answers. The nation also needs assurances from the Government that they will take the findings on board to prevent tragedy on this level in the future. “The BMA will be forthright in representing doctors as the inquiry gathers its evidence and we have already started work by publishing a series of reports on the nation’s response to the pandemic1. These reports show beyond doubt that the UK Government has failed in its duty of care to the workforce; through the shortages of PPE and protection for healthcare workers, the disproportionate impact on those from ethnic minority communities, the harrowing rates of burnout and exhaustion, and the lack of preparation for a pandemic.
GOVERNMENT “CONTINUES TO MAKE ERRORS” “It is positive to hear Baroness Hallett confirm that the inquiry will publish reports with analysis, findings, and recommendations whilst its investigations are ongoing. We cannot afford further delay in understanding the UK Government’s response to the pandemic. The BMA would welcome evidence that the UK Government has learnt lessons. The Government continues to make errors such as withdrawing special Covid leave for NHS staff, dialling back protections in healthcare settings, and failing to plan for the NHS workforce. We are concerned that alongside ongoing mismanagement of this pandemic, there is still no plan for how to manage the next pandemic or health crisis. We hope that the inquiry’s approach will prompt leaders to improve the nation’s preparedness and response to current and future health crises. “As the inquiry begins its work, we are preparing to publish two further reports detailing the effectiveness of the Government’s public health response to the pandemic, and the impact of the pandemic on population health and inequalities. We look forward to publishing this evidence and presenting our findings to the public inquiry in due course.”
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How To Manage Challenging Conversations Jenny Heyes, Head of People Projects at Napthens LLP, Quality Compliance Systems (QCS) legal partner, looks at how to handle challenging conversations and what topics are likely to crop up in the social care sector. A difficult or challenging conversation is a discussion where the parties involved need to manage emotions, and handle information in a sensitive way to address a specific issue. Managers may fear having these types of conversations, as they address topics they are not comfortable talking about, and outcomes are uncertain. They might not be sure what to say and worry about conflicting opinions coming into play, But no matter how difficult a conversation is likely to be, it is important that it is dealt with quickly and directly. Otherwise, issues may continue and develop into larger problems later.
CONVERSATIONS AROUND FINANCIAL WORRIES Within social care, two current concerns around staff’s wellbeing that are likely to elicit difficult conversations are financial difficulties in the face of the cost of living crisis and dealing with bereavement and grief, especially following the pandemic. When it comes to the first issue, it can be difficult for managers as they have two hats to wear. The first hat is operational, in the sense that they must ensure that the operations of a care home or business are financially viable. The second hat is a people management role, where they need to look after the wellbeing of their staff, as well as those they support. Of course, having financial worries when inflation and the cost of living are rising is not limited to the care sector. But as care sector workers are still classed as low-skilled or unskilled – a travesty when they play such a vital role in today’s society – they are faced with low pay and limited benefits, despite the huge amount of responsibility they have. But when it comes to talking about financial struggles, handling conversations sensitively is key. Without a sensitive approach it is very easy for a staff member to become embarrassed. Especially as, there is a certain shame attached to money problems for many people. This is particularly true of male staff members. Although it is perhaps a stereotype, some men may consider themselves to be the main family earner and provider. It can be hard for them to admit they have issues and hiding their concerns may have a detrimental impact on their mental health. Ultimately, it’s all about knowing the individuals and being observant of any signs that they are facing difficulties.
CONVERSATIONS AROUND BEREAVEMENT For difficult conversations around grief and bereavement, first look at what available resources the provider has in place to deal with the issue. What’s key to remember that managers are not medical professionals and are not trained to resolve mental health issues. What they can of course do is offer support and advice, while listening to staff problems and providing a caring environment.
Whatever the issue, it's important for managers to schedule regular one-on-one conversations. By keeping in regular contact, staff will not feel uncomfortable if they are suddenly called into the manager’s office for a chat. In this case, the first thing they might think is: “What have I done wrong? Where’s my P45?”
HOW TO MANAGE DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS These regular conversations should be held in an informal setting to create a more relaxed atmosphere to make it easier to lead on to the more difficult conversations around financial challenges, bereavement and mental health issues. QCS supervision forms provide prompts for managers to start conversations by asking open-ended questions such as: ‘Do you have anything in your work which is impacting on your life or vice versa?’ Skills for Care also provides guidance on how to train managers to plan and deliver effective supervisions that will help staff address any issues. When dealing with an individual’s circumstances, it’s best not to be too prescriptive. Preparation is important, as opposed to ‘winging it – especially if a manager anticipates that the conversation with a staff member will be particularly difficult. When it comes to what to say, I often recommend going with your gut and feel you way through it. Assess non-verbal cues, as well as what’s been said and what’s not been said – and that will steer the direction of the conversation. Assumptions are deadly, especially when dealing with people. Never assume anything. Plan different directions the conversation could go in and prepare possible outcomes. Have the conversations in a private space, and make sure you have enough time. If you have time to ask a question, make sure you have time to listen to the answer.
GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIPS ARE KEY Ensure the person leading the difficult conversation has a good working relationship with the member of staff. If not, then ask someone else to talk to the individual– whether that’s a team leader, supervisor, line manager — just make sure it’s an appropriate person. It’s also important to write down the key points covered as well as agreed outcomes. This does not mean that this will be a formal HR document. It’s a file note, to jog the managers memory in the next conversation and to track trends and progress.
THE MANAGER’S ROLE When dealing with mental health issues, then, the manager’s role is to observe, listen and understand what staff members are going through. The best way to do this is by having one-to-one conversations, which can be challenging. Managers have to be flexible so staff can get the care they need and provide signposts to the right resources to help employees take responsibility for their own self-care. Watch the free QCS webinar here: www.qcs.co.uk/thecarer-webinar where Head of People Projects at Napthens LLP, Jenny Heyes discusses 'How to manage challenging conversations in your managerial roles'.
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THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 5
Coming Year “Most Challenging Ever” for Adult Social Care ADASS, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, is warning that the year ahead will be the most challenging ever faced for adult social care and for the people needing and working in it. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services’ (ADASS) spring survey revealed that inflation and a labour market crisis were expected to add to long-term pressures caused by austerity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Directors reported increases in care needs while 82% said they had experienced increased referrals of people discharged from hospital. Almost seven in 10 directors said care providers in their area have closed, ceased trading, or handed back contracts to councils. Many more cannot deliver the increased care and support needed due to staffing shortfalls. The survey revealed that just 12% of respondents said they are confident they have the resources to deliver on all of their legal responsibilities this year, falling to 3% next year.
of living crisis. People who need care and support, unpaid carers and those who work in adult social care are amongst the most exposed. This, the survey says, has profound implications for people who need care and support today, those who will need support this winter and our chances of providing the type of care and support we all want in the future. Cathie Williams, ADASS’s Chief Executive said: “Our health and social care services are in jeopardy. Without immediate and substantial help from the government, we face the most difficult winter we have ever experienced during which more people will miss out on vital care, others will wait longer for support and choice and quality will decline still further. “Measures so far to ‘fix’ social care simply do not address the scale of current funding and workforce challenges and are crying out for a long-term, properly funded plan.”
INCREASED REQUESTS AND REFERRALS
Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) said: “ The ADASS Spring Survey confirms what we have been telling government for some time – that the current funding for care and support services is pushing people’s social care services to the brink. Increasing levels of unmet need, mounting workforce pressures, and a failure by government to provide sufficient financial resources all contribute to the bleak picture painted by Directors of adult social care services today. “Chief executives of disability charities are telling me that the soaring financial costs of provision are not being matched by funding local authorities. This is all having a direct impact on services, and it is the people who draw on, or who are in need of social care, whose lives will be disproportionately affected. “The recommendations thoughtfully laid out by ADASS are all achievable and are backed by the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group. Today, central government can choose to make a difference to the lives of people who draw on social care and adopt these recommendations.
Respondents also reported increased requests and referrals for support because of mental health issues (87%), domestic abuse safeguarding concerns (67%), a breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements (73%) and a lack of other services in the community (51%). Some 82% said they were receiving more referrals of people discharged from hospital, with 46% reporting increased activity because someone could not be admitted to hospital, and 74% saying they were recording more referrals and requests for support from the community.
“AT THE CENTRE OF A STORM” Sarah McClinton, ADASS President, said: “Adult social care has long been in a fragile state, but growing economic turbulence is rapidly deepening our problems and concerns. We are at the centre of the storm. Those who need or work in care are amongst the most exposed to the cost-of-living crisis. “A growing number of Directors tell us that they have never been more concerned than they are about the winter to come. We need action and funding now to support recovery in social care, just as in the NHS, and build firmer foundations for the reforms we all want to see.” The survey, the leading and most comprehensive assessment of adult social care, shows that the long-term impact of both austerity and the Covid-19 pandemic on support for people with care needs is now being compounded by spiralling inflation and intense labour market pressures.
UNDERPAID, OVERSTRETCHED, UNDERVALUED WORKFORCE Existing challenges of rising requests for support, increasing complexity of care required, fragile care markets, and underpaid, undervalued and overstretched workforce, risks being compounded by the current cost
“PUSHING SERVICES TO THE BRINK”
“SOCIAL CARE WORKFORCE ARE VALUED, APPRECIATED AND SUPPORTED” A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “Reforming adult social care is a priority and we are investing £5.4 billion over the next three years to end the lottery of unpredictable care costs and support the workforce. “This includes £3.6 billion to enable all local authorities to move towards paying providers a fair cost of care, and a further £1.7 billion to begin major improvements across adult social care in England – on top of record annual funding to help councils respond to rising demands and cost pressures. “Our social care workforce are valued, appreciated and supported, which is why we are also providing an additional £500 million for training to boost career opportunities.” “As ADASS has highlighted, the next 12 months were always going to be challenging given wider unprecedented external cost pressures. Urgent attention to these recommendations is, therefore, required immediately. We need the forthcoming leadership of government, through the role of a new Prime Minister and Cabinet, to grasp social care and put our essential services on a sustainable footing.”
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How Your Care Home Can Reduce Energy Consumption Energy Saving expert at Love Energy Savings - www.loveenergysavings.com Care homes and nursing homes tend to have significantly high energy bills; this is primarily caused by high energy consumption. These facilities run 24 hours a day, so it is important to keep buildings warm and well-lit. It’s claimed that there are more people over the age of 60 than there are individuals under the age of 18 in the UK, so it’s clear that care homes won’t be short of residents any time soon. To help combat excessively high energy bills, care homes and nursing homes can become more energy efficient. Aiming to reduce energy wastage will help lower overhead costs. Assessments and the right balance are required to ensure the living environment is suitable. Continue reading this guide to find out how you can reduce your energy consumption and lower your bills, without compromising the comfort of your residents.
overheads, we highly recommend investing in LED lightbulbs. LightEmitting Diodes use 90% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. They’re also longer lasting, so you can save on purchase costs. After installing LEDs, you should switch to a cheaper business electricity tariff for maximum savings. Additionally, you could cut costs by installing motion sensors for your facility’s lighting. Older patients may forget to turn lights off when they leave rooms. Motion sensors will detect when rooms are empty and switch the lights off automatically, thus helping you reduce energy wastage. The fact that the lights will also turn on automatically when a resident enters a room may also make it easier for them to manoeuvre around. Alternatively, you could invest in smart key cards, like those used in hotels, to turn lights and other appliances off when a resident vacates the room.
WHY IS ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPORTANT IN CARE AND NURSING HOMES? The UK’s healthcare sector spends over £400 million on energy per year and a great deal of this energy is wasted, according to the Carbon Trust. This means that healthcare facilities like care homes and nursing homes are spending excessively on energy. This is money that could instead be spent on improving these spaces for the wellbeing of elderly residents. This energy wastage also has a damaging effect of the environment. With climate change becoming an increasingly serious issue, we should all be increasing our efforts to stop energy wastage and preserve the earth. By taking steps to improve energy efficiency, care homes and nursing homes could reduce their overheads and have more money to invest into their services. They could also reduce their carbon footprint and help with environmental sustainability.
HOW TO IMPROVE THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN YOUR CARE HOME OR NURSING HOME Energy efficiency, coupled with a suitable energy tariff, can help you lower your care home’s energy bills significantly. You can boost your nursing home’s energy efficiency with a number of simple measures. Below we list some key areas for you to target within your facility and highlight energy saving measures to help you lower your consumption.
1. HEATING Heating typically accounts for around 70% of a care home’s energy bills. Ideal temperatures for these facilities are likely to be higher than in everyday households, as older people are more susceptible to the cold. Although it’s inevitable that the heating will be used to a greater
4. WATER degree in care homes, there are ways in which you can heat the facility efficiently in order to keep your bills as low as possible. For example, choosing central heating instead of electric heaters could help you save and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. You should also reduce your thermostat temperatures to the lowest comfortable setting for your residents; this small measure can help you save significantly over time. Additionally, investing in low H20 radiators could help you save as they use less water to produce the same amount of heat as standard radiators. Last but certainly not least, you should ensure that your heating appliances are maintained properly. Organising a yearly service for your facility’s boiler and heating system could help to prevent any expensive and disruptive faults from occurring.
2. INSULATION Insulation plays a key role in maintaining temperatures in your building. Investing in wall, cavity, roof and/or floor insulation will help you retain heat in your facility and reduce your reliance on your heating system, thus helping you lower your energy consumption. You could also invest in double glazing for your windows to help keep heat in and maintain your ideal temperatures. We also recommend keeping doors and windows closed where possible to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from entering from outdoors. Additionally, you should ensure that any insulation you have installed is well-maintained and topped up regularly.
3. LIGHTING To boost the energy efficiency in your care home and reduce your
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Approximately 12% of a care home’s energy consumption comes from heating water. To cut costs on water heating, you could invest in products like water-efficient shower heads and tap aerators to reduce water consumption. You should also ensure that you fix leaking or dripping taps as soon as possible. It’s claimed that a dripping tap could waste over 5,000 litres of water per year! Additionally, where physically possible, you could encourage residents to take showers instead of baths in order to save water. We also recommend insulating your hot water tank and pipework in order to keep hot water warm for longer periods. Many are not aware that businesses are now able to switch water supplier. You can even request a free water audit to improve efficiency. You can compare water suppliers here.
5. APPLIANCES Finally, you should always aim to purchase energy efficient products for your nursing home facility. Appliances that have high Energy Label ratings will help you reduce your energy consumption and lower your overhead costs. For example, investing in A-rated kettles, refrigerators, freezers and boilers will boost your facility’s energy efficiency and also reduce your carbon footprint, as these efficient products are manufactured to operate using minimal energy. Please note, the energy labels for products in the UK and EU have now changed, visit the website for further guidance. Furthermore, it’s also recommended that you avoid keeping appliances on standby mode. Electronics still consume energy when they are on standby, this is known as a phantom load. Switching off your appliances completely will help you save energy and further reduce your bills.
THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 7
Government to Delay Social Care Reforms Until 2025 The government has announced a delay in some of its social care reforms, in particular the right for “self-funders to take advantage of, typically lower, council care home rates, following concerns authorities would lack the workforce to implement the change. In the announcement Minister for Care and Mental Health Gillian Keegan said that the government had dropped its original proposal to extend the right to have your council arrange your residential care, under section 18(3) of the Care Act 2014 – to all self-funders, from October 2023. Following a consultation, instead of all self-funders currently in residential care being allowed to approach their local authority from 2023, only those entering care after October 2023 will be able to do so for the first 18 months of the reforms’ implementation. As part of a raft of reforms to the Care Act, announced in 2021, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it would extend the right for self-funding individuals to have their eligible care needs met by their local authority. The delay follows a waring from local authorities that they did not have the funding or workforce to be able to cover implementation of the reform. In a written statement to Parliament Ms Keegan said the that implementation of section 18(3) of the Care Act 2014 will be phased in. Ms Keegan, minister for care and mental health, said: “This staged approach to introduction will allow individuals funding their own care to benefit from local authorities’ expertise in commissioning as quickly as possible, while allowing local authorities and social care providers to plan for this change and avoid unnecessary disruption to service provision.” The reforms also include a new cap on care costs of £86,000, a new ‘fair cost of care’ and a more generous means-test.
PROJECTED LOSSES OF £560MILLION A YEAR In March, the County Councils Network (CCN) and LaingBuisson released research showing that unless the government provided more funding to councils to pay a new ‘fair cost of care’, the full implementation of Section 18(3) from October 2023 could see care providers across England face lost revenues amounting to £560m a year. The report
concluded losses on this scale could cause a severe sustainability risk to care markets, with widespread provider failure, across the country. The report calculated that an extra £854m a year is needed, at the bare minimum, to make the proposals workable by avoiding largescale closures and to ensure ongoing investment into the social care sector. In its response to the consultation in April, CCN specifically recommended the policy mitigation announced in the absence of a full delay to the implementation of 18(3), alongside significantly more funding to implement a fair cost of care. Cllr Martin Tett, Adult Social Care Spokesperson for County Councils Network, said: “The announcement of a phasing to the implementation of Section 18(3) of the Care Act 2014 responds directly to the advocacy by the County Councils Network (CCN) and our research with LaingBuisson. This work showed that a full implementation of this new duty to arrange care on before of self-funders from October 2023 could cause major financial risks for both councils and care providers. “CCN welcomes the government acting on our recommendation to, at the very least, implement section 18(3) only for new individuals entering the care system from October 2023. However, while this will help reduce the funding shortfall and better manage immediate demand, CCN still remain very concerned that funding provided to move towards a fair cost of care will be insufficient to off-set providers’ financial losses from Section 18(3), impacting on their sustainability. “Concerns on funding and implementation timescales of social care charging reforms, however, are not limited to the impact of Section 18(3). CCN’s report with Newton demonstrated that both the extended means test and cap are underfunded and create significant workforce challenges. It is vital the government re-examines both the quantum and distribution of resources for these reforms to local government so county local authorities do not face significant unfunded burdens and considers potentially phasing other elements of the reforms package so councils have more time to transition and prepare.”
CARE PROVIDERS “ANGRY RESPONSE” CARE providers have reacted angrily to further delays to promised reform and called on candidates for the vacant Prime Minister’s job to
make social care a priority. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “It is no surprise, as every piece of social care reform that is put forward is always delayed, delayed and delayed. “I would say to those who would be the next Prime Minister: unless you have a bold commitment to getting social care done, don’t bother to put your name forward. “With a new Secretary of State and ultimately a new Prime Minister, we desperately need to see signs of change and a proper, binding commitment to reform social care once and for all. “Many warned the Government that there was not enough money available to enable councils to pay a fair price for care and therefore make the changes fair for those who pay for their own care and fair to hard-pressed and cash-strapped care providers who currently face great challenges just to survive. “Now the whole thing is being kicked down the road for 18 months and we are no further forward. “Unless the Government starts to reform and properly fund social care, we are never going to make any headway in making the system work for the benefit not only of those who are already receiving care but also for the 1.5m people who can’t get the care they need. “On his first day as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson promised to get social care done. It is ironic that on what might well be one of his last, the Government delays another piece of reform.”
“LIMITING COST OF SOCIAL CARE” A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We’re limiting the cost of social care so people keep more of their savings and know they will not face spiralling charges if they need long term care in the future. Everyone who needs care will benefit from the cap on care costs that will be introduced from October 2023. “We have worked with the sector to understand how best to implement changes to the charging system. By extending self-funders’ rights to local authority commissioning in a phased way, local authorities will be able to secure affordable and quality care for all who need it, ensuring a smooth transition and certainty and stability for the sector during a time of reform.”
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Dehydration In Care Homes: Don’t Let People Die Of Thirst By Jo Jacobius, Communications Consultant for the Water Dispenser & Hydration Association (www.twha.co.uk) Fluid intake is fundamental to health and well-being. Yet in care settings where water should be readily available, hydration is all too often not prioritised not because people don’t care but just because they are sometimes not trained to understand that many people in care, especially those with cognitive impairment, need to be reminded to drink and importantly need to be helped to drink. It pays to hydrate people. It is scandalous that in the UK today, vulnerable people are dying of thirst. Apart from the human misery caused by dehydration, it costs the NHS and care homes dearly due to illness that can result from dehydration. Older people admitted to hospital from residential care settings have been found to be 10 times more likely to be dehydrated than those admitted to hospital from their own home. The consequences of dehydration include cognitive impairment, lack of balance leading to falls, constipation, UTIs and respiratory tract infections. Lack of fluid can even cause fatalities. Perhaps because hydration is a basic right, research has been limited and continuous training on this aspect of care is lacking. The situation may have worsened during the Covid pandemic, where care has been hindered by lack of visits from relatives who often are the first to note a cognitive decline that may result from dehydration. Drinks are not the only means of delivering fluid. Soups, fruits, and vegetables for example, all have a role to play. One of the best means of hydrating people healthily however is water. Some solutions are simple. In some care homes, water is often provided in plastic jugs where the fluid becomes unpleasant to drink and may be left out of reach. Even when the vulnerable person can reach, those who have dementia don’t have the trigger mechanisms to know they need a drink unless encouraged. Coloured drinking cups along with encouragement to drink, and improved palatability of the water
catering staff, care assistants and carers. Fluid charts aren’t the answer either. They can be overly complicated, misunderstood, and not completed properly. Phillipa AtkinsonClow, general manager of the WHA, said: “There is no substitute for reviewing the client’s symptoms. Is the mouth dry? Are lips cracked? Does the tongue look wrong? Is the urine dark in colour? These obvious symptoms can often be addressed by simply offering fluids and noting if the symptoms quickly clear. Often they do.” If your care home uses water dispensers, these may come in a variety of formats: bottled water coolers, mains-fed (bottle-free coolers), integrated tap systems in the kitchen area, or other forms of water station or water fountain. Whichever you choose, hydration must be delivered safely so you need to ensure your system is provided and maintained by a WHA-Safe supplier. WHA stands for The Water Dispenser & Hydration Association, the body that trains and annually can help. A report resulted written by Dr Lisa Wilson for the International Longevity Centre, Hydration and Older People in the UK: Addressing the Problem, Understanding the Solutions, concluded that hydration policies should be “mandatory with practices in place to monitor and evaluate these to ensure they are being carried out effectively”. Good hydration practice, it said, “must become a part of regulated and inspected care issues”. Some hospitals have hydration champions or nurse leads. Care homes might wish to consider having a champion to ensure correct training. However, this individual is not present all the time and so a culture of hydration should be built into everyone’s job: managers,
audits suppliers to ensure good practice. They also have a Find a Member section so you can check if your dispensers are WHA-Safe. Phillipa Atkinson-Clow adds: “It is essential to provide convenient and safe hydration. Potable water must be on hand. Risk assessments are necessary. Whatever the means of providing water or other fluids, there is a need to service the machines or taps and sanitise touch points, although increasingly touchless machines are becoming widely used”. Staff need to be well-hydrated too. Hydration breaks should be as much a part of working life as handwashing. The problem of dehydration is easily identified: it’s one of the cheapest forms of preventative treatment. Don’t risk clients dying of thirst.
Care Group Shares Remarkable Story of Carers Reuniting with Former School Teacher in a Scottish Care Home A UK care group has shared the remarkable story of three carers who have been reunited with their former schoolteacher in a Scottish care home – with their roles reversing as the trio now look after and care for their old secondary school teacher. Jamie Giles, 37, Diane Ferry, 46, and Natasha Maunder, 30, are all carers at Balquhidder House, near Alexandria, part of Handsale Care Homes, and they have a host of fond memories of their school days, including their former teacher, 72-year-old resident, Irene Mowatt – whom Natasha credits as inspiring her to get into the care sector. Irene, a Glasgow University graduate, dedicated more than 30 years of her life to teaching English Literature, starting at Sacred Heart High School in Paisley, before retiring from Vale of Leven Academy in 2007 – following 22 years of devoted service. What started as a student-teacher relationship in the classroom has now transitioned into a heart-warming tale of friendship and support following Irene’s move into care – proving that timeless friendships can be forged at any age, anytime, anywhere. Commenting on his relationship with Irene, Jamie, who has worked in care since she was 23, said: “Irene is a wonderful lady and we have such a laugh together. She always brightens my day and sometimes we reminisce about my school days which never fails to bring a smile to both our faces. Irene was an amazing teacher and it’s because of her that I passed my higher English exam – and for that, I’ll always be grateful!” Meanwhile, Diane, who is in her sixth year as a Care Assistant at Balquhidder House, said:
“I feel a great deal of privilege in helping Irene in her latest journey here at Balquhidder. I remember her as a no-nonsense teacher – even the toughest students tended to behave in Mrs Mowatt’s classes!” The third of the former students, Natasha, who has been working in the social care sector since she was a teenager, also commented on the relationship, saying: “It means a lot caring for Irene as she was my teacher at secondary school for my first and second year. I lacked a lot of confidence at school, so Irene worked really hard to build that up by throwing me into situations I wouldn’t usually put myself in, such as reading in front of the class. Looking back, it really went a long way to help me come out of my shell.” She continued: “Looking after Irene gives me immense pride and I feel like I’m able to give back to someone who had such an influential role in my education, which, of course, played a major role in my decision to become a carer. All I can say is thank you, Irene – for everything!” Rishi Sodha, Handsale’s Care Director, commented: “To hear Irene’s story was a really inspiring experience. She’s done so much for her local community, so it’s only fitting that her contributions are still being praised even after transitioning into care. I know it brings a real sense of joy and genuine reward for Jamie, Diane and Natasha to reunite with one of their favourite teachers – and they’re relishing the chance to nurture and care for someone who played such a key part in their formative years.” He concluded:“Friendships, especially those formed in our school days, are sacred, and the same is true in care homes. It’s good to remind people that friendships can blossom and withstand the test of time at any age, anytime, anywhere!”
Care Home Residents Take a Walk Down Memory Lane An Oxfordshire care home has launched a brand new, dementia-friendly corridor with a grand opening and ribbon cutting to commemorate the event. Rosebank Care Home in Bampton specialises in dementia care and invited West Oxfordshire and Witney MP Robert Courts to celebrate the completion of the seaside-themed corridor with them. The event was a huge success and celebration, which was attended by residents, their relatives, the home’s staff and the home’s new owners Robert Adams and Renos Sideras. Gemma Foster who is the activities coordinator at the home led the redesign with input from the residents, she said: “Multi-sensory experiences are really important for people living with dementia, which is why our newly decorated memory lane is so stimulating. “There is lots to look at, music that plays and even tactile elements that the residents can touch. It’s a treat for the eyes and the ears! “Most of our residents have lovely memories of the seaside, which is why we settled on this theme. If any-
one is feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed, we take a walk down ‘Memory Lane’ and talk about memories and just escape for a little while.” Memory Lane as it is affectionately known in the home has now been fully decorated and refurbished in a seaside and underwater theme. It features aquatic wallpaper, hand painted shells and fish and beach huts painted around doors. Stimulating all of the senses is a vital part of dementia care, which is why the dementia corridor is such a valuable asset to the care home. Jean McCrindle, 85 is a Rosebank resident. She attended the opening and has been enjoying the new corridor decor. Jean said: “I think it is brilliant, very well designed. It has a lovely seaside feel with the sea and boats, it makes me smile every time I come down here and actually I find myself coming down here a lot more than I did before. I love walking down here, it’s very colourful and I love the things that are hanging from the ceiling.” According to Alzheimer’s Research UK there are close to 10,000 people across Oxfordshire and The Cotswolds living with dementia.
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Protecting Human Rights in Care Settings – NCF Responds The National Care Forum has welcomed the publication of the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ report on protecting human rights in care settings. The report makes a number of important recommendations, including: • Calling on the government to introduce legislation to secure the right for care users to nominate one or more individuals to visit and provide care and support. • Calling on the government to consult on extending the protections of the Human Rights Act to ensure they apply to all those accessing care in regulated settings – not only when the care is local authority funded or arranged. • To strengthen, clarify and streamline complaints mechanisms that relate to care settings. • Strengthening of involvement of care users and their relatives and representatives, and other measures, to prevent the inappropriate use of DNACPR notices. • Specific training on human rights for staff • Ensure that providers understand responsibilities under Deprivation of
Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and that the government commits to a full timetable for the implementation of its replacement, Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) In our evidence to the committee’s inquiry, we highlighted the need for a human rights approach in guidance issued by government and in practice in care settings. We drew particular attention to our advocacy work, and that of our members, from the beginning of the pandemic in challenging inappropriate DNACPR notices, campaigning for equitable access to PPE, testing and support for care workers, visitors and users of care where appropriate, and working with relatives and residents’ organisations to enable visiting as default as well as the promotion of wider human rights in practice. Our submission also focused on the need to strike the right balance between competing rights, such as between an individual and the rights of the collective group living and working in a care service during the pandemic. The balance of harms between the risk of COVID-19 and the risk of harm from loneliness and disconnection was a difficult one and a balance was not properly struck during the pandemic, with gov-
ernment and public health guidance making it very difficult for providers, people and families. Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the NCF said:“The NCF has taken a consistent, balanced and active role in advocating for the response to COVID-19, be that policymaking, guidance or implementation, to take full account of people’s human rights. We worked with resident and relative organisations, care providers, public health teams and DHSC from the beginning of the pandemic to safeguard human rights. “As we move out of the pandemic, various reports are showing the impact of what a lack of a human rights approach has on individuals using social care. Human rights in care settings are a reflection of the way in which wider society values vulnerable people. It is important that the government has a much broader consideration of the human rights approach in social care and beyond. This is all the more important in light of the government’s intention to replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights – we need to ensure the rights of people accessing care or working in it, are protected.”
One in Five People Who Died from COVID-19 During 2020 and 2021 had Dementia Alzheimer’s Research UK says Government must take greater action to speed up the development and deployment of new dementia treatments after it’s been revealed that just over one in five (21.8%) individuals who died of COVID-19 across 2020 and 2021 were living with dementia. According to new data published by the Office for National Statistics today (Friday 1st July 2022), among deaths due to COVID-19 in England and Wales in 2021, dementia was one of the most common pre-existing conditions. Combined with data from 2020, this indicates that of the 137,321 patients who died from the virus during this period, some 30,043 (21.8%) had dementia. The UK’s leading dementia research charity said the figures underlined the urgent need for more funding into dementia research and calls on the Government to convene a Dementia Medicines Taskforce, as part of the forthcoming Dementia Strategy, to end the long wait for dementia treat-
ments. 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 this new data serves as a stark reminder of the growing challenge we face in tackling the condition, and the urgent need to address it. People with dementia are more likely to be living with a range of conditions that put them at greater risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms, and we must find new and better ways to treat and reduce the risk of developing dementia if we’re to protect people in future. That’s why it’s critical that dementia research is made a priority. “We’re calling for the government to set up a Dementia Medicines Taskforce to apply the same approach that delivered life-saving COVID-19 vaccines to bring about the first life-changing treatments for people who desperately need them.”
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THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 11
Recognition of the Workforce – Call for Fully Funded Minimum Wage Care England is calling for the Government to better support the adult social care workforce by introducing a fully funded minimum wage for adult social care workers in England, Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “The social care workforce is our biggest asset and care providers are anxious to deliver a new deal for our workforce with clear career pathways and proper remuneration. However, this is impossible on the current funding which we receive from central and local government, and there is a desperate need for significant increases in funding to keep pace with the cost of living crisis and to make care a valued and properly rewarded career. Today, Citizens UK, and various other groups gathered outside the offices of care providers to call for
increases in the pay of care workers. We want to see these increases as well, but these gatherings were in the wrong place, they should have been outside Downing Street, putting pressure on the Government to deliver the funding required to deliver a new deal for social care professionals”. Martin Green continues: “Care England continues to work on behalf of its members to ensure that a long-term workforce strategy is introduced. Social Care services have been through one of the most traumatic periods in living memory and our colleagues have been on the frontline of the global pandemic, yet we have not seen proper recognition or reward for this contribution coming from the Government. In Wales and Scotland, care staff have been given bonuses, yet these have not been paid in England.”
School Garden Launch Sows Seeds of Friendship for Care Home Residents Residents of a Dorset care home have cultivated community links with the opening of a garden at a nearby school. Children and staff at Talbot Primary School in Poole welcomed neighbours from Colten Care’s Bourne View which is just around the corner in Langside Avenue. The Bourne View party, including residents Kathleen Betty, Pat Tharme and Albert Langworthy, enjoyed a tour of the new space and complimented all involved in its planning and opening. It features raised beds enabling all children to take part in gardening activities and the care of plants and flowers. After admiring the layout of the garden and its array of vegetables, wild self-seeded flowers and mixed sunflowers, Pat said: “The displays were beautiful and it was a joy to visit such a lovely garden and see children so full of happiness.” Albert agreed, adding: “This is such a well-tended and peaceful green space.” Pupils have been involved in planting and nurturing the plants and flowers during the past academic
year. Some of the seeds they have planted recently were specially gifted to them from the Tower of London Superblooms display, part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Talbot school Head Teacher Kate Curtis said: “This has been a long-term project and it is great to see it come to fruition. We are so grateful to the Talbot Village Trust for providing the funding and delighted to share this beautiful space with our children, families, and the wider community.” Accompanying the Bourne View residents were staff from the home including Companionship Team member Brian Ramsey and Julie Steele, Customer Advisor. Brian said: “It’s clear that a great deal of work has gone into making this garden so attractive and inspiring. “We congratulate all at Talbot Primary School and thank them for being such great hosts. “They even served us afternoon tea and homemade cakes which was a delightful surprise.”
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Mis-Diagnosis Of Charles Bonnet Syndrome Leads To More Unhappiness Judith Potts, Founder of Esme’s Umbrella (www.charlesbonnetsyndrome.uk) talks about Charles Bonnet Syndrome – the extremely common, but little recognised condition which affects 1 million people in the UK. There are an estimated one million people in the UK who live with a condition called Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) which can develop when someone – of any age - loses over 60% of sight. It causes vivid, silent, visual hallucinations which range from disturbing to terrifying. As sight disappears, the brain is left with nothing to interpret, so it fires up and creates its own images. Awareness of CBS is shockingly low among healthcare professionals and too many are mis-diagnosing CBS as a mental health condition – which it is not. Without the relevant information, the sudden appearance of a flying cat, a marching army or a bewildering seascape in the garden, is enough for anyone to assume they have developed a mental health condition but GPs are assuming this too. ‘My GP insisted it couldn’t be anything to do with my loss of sight’, ‘I thought I was losing my mind’, ‘My family were convinced I had dementia’, ‘are words I have heard over and over again. CBS was first described by Charles Bonnet in 1760 when he documented his grandfather’s experience after sight loss. This begs the question – over the centuries, how many people living with CBS have been mis-diagnosed? In the seven years that I have been running Esme’s Umbrella, I have spoken to an alarming number of people for whom a mis-diagnosis was made. One person told me that losing her sight was a massive shock but then CBS developed. She had no idea what was wrong with her and, clearly, neither did her GP because she found herself in a dementia ward. It took a month for the consultant psychiatrist to see her and, when he did so, he immediately diagnosed CBS and sent her home. Of course, that was a month she will never regain. Not so fortunate was the person in the USA whose doctor convinced her family that the visual hallucinations could only be caused by dementia and she needed to be admitted to a care home. The woman saw worms and slugs writhing on her food and in her drink. With no reassurance from the staff – who had never heard of CBS - she stopped eating and drinking with tragic consequences. When her daughter discovered the truth, it was too late.
Just how many people are living in dementia wards or care homes with diminishing or no eyesight but good cognitive health? Does no one question why the person appears to have no memory loss nor confusion but may be terrified of something in the room? Shouldn’t Care Homes re-assess their residents on a regular basis? Even consultant ophthalmologists – who ought to know better - are not exempt from mis-diagnosis. A caller told me that, on describing her visual hallucinations to her consultant, she was told to ‘go home and drink more water’. After a telephone conversation with a retired consultant ophthalmologist who was experiencing visual hallucinations, I succeeded finally in convincing him that CBS was a real condition and that he was by no means losing his mind. Having never heard of CBS until then, I can only assume he is now reflecting on how many mis-diagnoses he made in his long career. Recent media coverage of Alzheimer mis-diagnoses is reminiscent of what happens to people who develop CBS. If no one steps in and questions the diagnosis, houses have to be sold, care home bills paid and life is irreversibly altered. Yet, it could be that the episodes of CBS are being exacerbated by medication taken for other conditions, by stress, isolation, fever (usually UTIs in elderly people) or by another condition like hyponatremia. Healthcare professionals have a duty to check everything and not jump to the first – and easiest – conclusion. My email inbox is full of pleas for help from people all over the world whose loved-one has been wrongly diagnosed by doctors who have never heard of CBS and for whom all visual hallucinations are caused by mental health issues. Not everyone has a devoted family member or friend determined to prove the doctors are wrong. Now that CBS has its own code in the WHO’s ICD 11, the NHS must step up and create a proper pathway for diagnosis, treatment and support. It is difficult enough to come to terms with losing sight but when CBS develops too, quality of life takes a further downward step. Any mis-diagnosis on top of that can deliver a blow from which it is difficult to return.
Care UK Home Teams Support London Pride 50 Care UK team members from 19 different care homes paraded through the streets of London to show their support for London Pride and underline the care home provider’s commitment to equality and diversity. Team members from Care UK’s central support teams, based in Colchester, as well as those from several Care UK homes including, Asterbury Place care home in Ipswich, Dashwood Manor in Basingstoke, Bickerton House in Bracknell, Queen’s Court in Windsor, Amberley Lodge in Purley, Millers Grange in Witney and Davers Court in Bury St Edmunds, took part in the parade to show their support for the LGBT+ community. This was the third time that Care UK has taken part in the London Pride parade. When the team first took part in the parade in 2018, Care UK launched its official LGBT+ Network, which continues to provide training and guidance to Care UK team members on LGBT+ related issues, as well as developing an open culture in every care home. This year was a significant year for the Pride movement and the LGBT+ community as they were com-
memorating 50 Years since the first Pride took place in the United Kingdom. It is also a significant year for Care UK, as its care homes across the country will celebrate the organisation’s 40th anniversary in September. Eileen Coyle-Jones, regional director for Care UK’s West London homes, said: “The two main values that we share with London Pride are equality and diversity. Care UK is delighted to have taken part in the event since we are dedicated to promoting equality of opportunity for all, including employees, job applicants, residents, and visitors. The fact that so many of our Care UK colleagues participated in the parade is thrilling.” Dil Perera, Home Manager at Dashwood Manor, added: “London Pride always brings people together in a very special way, so it was fantastic to be a part of the celebrations and show our support. “This was Dashwood Manor’s first time at the special event, and it was a wonderful day for everyone involved. We are already planning for next year!”
Tour de Barchester – Care Home Staff Raise Thousands Through Mammoth Cycling Challenge Staff from Barchester Healthcare’s care homes up and down the country tested their mettle by taking on a mammoth 211 mile cycling challenge in intense heat. The route started in Bradford and finished four days later in London with the team fund-raising all the way. All money generated from the initiative has been donated to Barchester’s Charitable Foundation which supports older people and other adults living with a disability or mental health problems by helping them to connect or re-connect with others in their local communities. Over four days, from July 5th- 8th, the team of care home workers and directors cycled from Yorkshire to London, stopping at 15 care homes and one hospital across all four of Barchester’s divisions. At every service, they were met with a rapturous welcome from staff and residents who had organised fund-raising events with all kinds of entertainment, from steel bands to fancy dress, chocolate fountains to residents on static bikes matching them mile for mile – the homes pulled out all the stops to show their support and help raise funds. The total raised so far is over £15,000 with more still to come. The core Tour de Barchester team of Simon McCall, Commercial Director, Genevieve Glover, HR Director, Tony Woollett, Recruitment Director and Shona Conway, Project Coordinator were joined by staff
members from different homes and divisions as the Tour passed through making the whole tour a fantastic Barchester team effort. Shona Conway, Tour de Barchester Project Coordinator said: “I can honestly say I loved every second of the Tour. I am going to be saddle-sore for a while but, despite that and the heatwave conditions, it was a fantastic experience. We all loved touring around our services and meeting so many amazing members of our staff and their residents, everyone made us so welcome, and we raised thousands of pounds into the bargain. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!” Dr Pete Calveley, CEO of Barchester, commented: “The team here at Barchester never ceases to amaze me. Their passion, drive and determination is so inspiring. To see our team members take on wonderful challenges like this, on top of their day jobs, fills me with pride. As Chairman of Barchester’s Charitable Foundation, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this initiative and everyone who supported it. We will do so much good with this money, helping people cope with isolation and loneliness through very many grants that we will now be able to give to good causes all over the country.”
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We Need a Fully Funded Workforce Plan Says NCF The Health and Social Care Select Committee has published two reports which highlight the stark situation in the health and social care workforce: An evaluation of the government’s commitments and a report on recruitment, training and retention in health and social care. The Committee’s findings and recommendations chime with what the National Care Forum (NCF) has been saying for some time. The first report makes it clear that the government has not met its manifesto commitments in relation to building the social care workforce, rating the government inadequate across the board. The second report finds that adult social care and the NHS face the greatest workforce crisis in their history, compounded by the absence of a credible workforce strategy to tackle the situation. There are a number of welcome recommendations, including: • The need for the government to carry out transparent and independently audited reports on workforce projections for social care, public health and health for the next 5, 10 and 20 years. • NHS England must undertake a review of pay in their social care jobs. In the review, NHS health and social care roles must be compared based on the skills, competencies, and levels of responsibility shown in various roles in each sector to ensure that social care roles are being paid fairly. • Annual funding for social care should be increased by £7 billion by 2023–24. • The government must ensure that the cost of care is calculated on the basis of paying care workers the same rate as equivalent NHS roles: Band 3 on Agenda for Change. • The government must fund Skills for Care to pilot the Social Care Workplace Racial Equality Standard in the independent sector within 12 months. • The government must commit to restoring social care staff free access to the same NHS training as community health colleagues by July 2023. • By 2023, the government must introduce a new, mandatory Care Certificate which is i) subject to a formal assessment process, ii) externally offered and accredited, iii) offered at no cost to providers, and iv) portable
between social care providers and between social care and the NHS. • New regulations should be introduced by 2023 in which care workers initially employed on zero-hours contracts must be offered a choice of contract after three months of employment. • Social care workers should be designated as key workers on the same basis as public sector employees so they can access affordable rented housing from local authorities and registered providers. • The government must pass recruitment and retention funds directly to providers to be invested in local recruitment campaigns. • The government should report on how many care workers have been issued with Health and Care Worker visas since the scheme was launched. Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO NCF said: “Following on the heels of the revelation of 165,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector by Skills for Care last week, the Health and Social Care Select Committee reports are timely but make challenging reading. “NCF continues to work constructively with the government on its reform agenda but as these reports make clear, the scale of the challenge clearly requires immediate urgent action. In particular, we need a more concerted and meaningful attempt to create a dedicated and fully funded social care workforce plan alongside better pay, terms and conditions – their absence from the government’s reform agenda is the elephant in the room. The reports outline the very real human pressures this is causing, both on the people working in social care and the people they support – action is needed now. “We also note that a few of the Committee’s recommendations are similar to the recommendations of the Social Care Taskforce Workforce Advisory Group in August 2020, of which NCF was a part. Whoever wins the Conservative leadership contest must face up to the challenge of workforce planning and pay in social care, otherwise we will see further reports with the same recommendations, and a continued failure to harness the economic and social value that can be unleashed from communities by adult social care.”
Helen's Dream Comes True And Raises Donations For Charity Helen Fearis from Braintree Essex has fulfilled her birthday wish and helped Essex Dementia Care and Cancer Research with a generous donation. Helen’s dad, John suffered from vascular dementia and sadly passed away five years ago. Both dementia and cancer in its various forms has affected close friends and family and so Helen chose the two charities that resonated with her experiences the most. Decision made; it was all action from there. Helen booked her Tandem skydive then appealed to supporters to make donations to ensure a better future for many people in the community. Helen says “I was amazed at how much I was able to raise and to learn how many people around me had been directly affected by dementia. The sky dive was amazing, I have been smiling ever since and would love to do it all again. Touching a cloud and flying like a bird in the sunshine was the best feeling. I know I will always smile when I look up to the clouds. I did the skydive at Beccles UK parachuting, Tibi put me at ease and Pip took some amazing photos to treasure.” Kelly Bleasdale, Senior Manager for Essex Dementia Care says “It was a lovely
surprise when we were contacted by Just Giving to say that Helen had selected us for a donation. We are incredibly grateful to Helen for choosing us. As a small Essex based charity, we do rely on donations to keep supporting clients and loved ones with activity centred dementia care and we cannot thank Helen and her sponsors enough for their kindness. Dementia diagnoses are on the rise and set to rise even further in the future, it is important that we help people to remain active and independent for as long as possible. At EDC we are all about making new happy memories and pleased that Helen could fulfil her dreams whilst helping others to improve their lives.” Kelly continues “We appeal to others in the community to follow Helen’s example by using their hobbies, interests or sporting activities to raise donations where possible and would be delighted to hear from anyone who we could support to accomplish this.” Visit www.essexdementiacare.org.uk for more information. Contact EDC by calling call 01245 363 789 or e-mail: email@example.com
Care Providers Facing a Frightening Future says ICG CARE providers face a frightening and uncertain future and will need to fight for better Government support, a celebration dinner was told. The Independent Care Group (ICG) marked its 20th anniversary with a dinner and awards ceremony in York earlier this month. ICG Chair Mike Padgham told the guests: “There are challenges ahead – Covid-19 and the current cost of living and staffing crises continue to test our mettle. “But we have shown amazing strength, fortitude and resilience over the past two decades and I know we shall do again.” He said the Government had neglected social care during the whole of the previous 20 years and beyond and providers had to lift their voices to fight for change. “Ambulances and their patients are queuing outside hospitals because there are no social care packages to enable other patients to be discharged,” he said. “Social care is sick of being the bottleneck and we deserve better. Our amazing staff, who performed miracles on the front line in the fight against the pandemic deserve better. “And the hundreds of thousands of people who are daily being denied care deserve better. “The Government hasn’t fixed social care, even if it thinks it has. “Boris says he is listening. Well, if he is, social care has plenty to say. We must fight for a better future than the past.
Raising the standard of stair climbing solutions “It took 15 years for the suffragettes to get votes for women – so everything worth getting is worth fighting and never giving up for.” The ICG celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special dinner and awards event at the Principal York Hotel on Friday evening. During the evening, the ICG presented awards to those who had supported the group over the past 20 years. They were presented by Alison Holt, the BBC’s Social Affairs Editor. Award winners included North Yorkshire County Council and Mr Padgham paid tribute to the ICG’s working relationship with the authority. “We may not always agree on every issue, but on the whole, we rub along pretty well and during the pandemic this partnership has been incredibly valuable,” he told the audience. Mr Padgham himself received an award for Outstanding Contribution to the ICG.
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PAGE 14 | THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022
Supporting Care Worker’s Mental Health
By Bertrand Stern-Gillet, CEO at Health Assured (www.healthassured.org)
Working in a care home is both physically and psychologically demanding. It can be a stressful environment with a focus on looking after others, which means workers in care homes often neglect their own health. Additional stress and pressure placed on care homes during the Covid pandemic saw residents unable to have any visitors for almost two years, some homes experiencing serious outbreaks and high death rates, and a significant increase in poor mental health amongst care home workers. As an employer, you have a duty of care to look after your employees. There are not always clear signs that your employees may be struggling to manage stress, distress, or anxiety rather than just having a bad day. However knowing what some of the common signs and symptoms of stress are, can help you to identify if someone may need more support. These can include: • Difficulty concentrating • Feeling overwhelmed • Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness • Low energy • Being pessimistic It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, however, if you notice any of the above signs or other significant behavioural changes in any of your employees, you must do something to find out the cause. Then you can put measures in place to help them manage any issues before they become debilitating.
SUPPORTING CARE WORKER’S MENTAL HEALTH Encourage self-care: Many care workers are so focused on helping others that they forget to look after themselves. As an employer, you should encourage your employees to prioritise their own health and
wellbeing. Self-care can improve mental health, so ensure that your employees can take time to relax and do the things they enjoy. Employee support groups: Research shows that 3-in-4 care workers say that working during the COVID19 pandemic negatively impacted their mental health. This statistic highlights the likeliness many workers in your organisation have or are struggling with common mental health issues such as stress and anxiety. Your staff must know that they are not alone in their struggles. One way to do this is by running support groups, giving people the opportunity to be open and discuss any issues. By providing a judgement-free space, you're allowing your employees to voice their concerns, which can help support their health and wellbeing. Practice mindfulness: you should encourage your staff to practice mindfulness techniques. These include breathing exercises, meditation, or journaling. These techniques can help minimise stress, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed. You can also encourage your employees to practice mindfulness in a group setting, which brings a range of additional benefits including fellowship - creating a more cohesive team unit. Open wellness culture: To help support your staff, you must create a work environment that encourages open and honest communication. It’s essential that your employees feel comfortable at work. As such, you should establish an environment where your employees feel confident discussing their mental health. You should also provide constant reassurance - letting your employees know they can get the support they need whenever they need it. Encourage treatment: Encouraging treatment can be a difficult subject to approach, as you do not want to alienate or aggravate someone who is struggling. Many people with mental illness do not realise they are experiencing issues. Therefore, broaching the subject and encouraging treatment requires emotional sensitivity. By using non-stigmatizing language, you can reaffirm your support. This will let your employees know, that when the time comes, you will help them through the process. As a care home owner, you must do your best to support staff in any way you can. You will be rewarded with a healthier and happier workforce, creating a more positive work environment and culture – something every employee can benefit from, especially during challenging times.
Former Opera Singer Hits All the Right Notes at Her Care Home’s ‘Proms’ A former opera singer provided a patriotic start to the ‘Proms’ at her new Dorset care home with a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory. Doris ‘Dorrie’ Smith, 92, became a resident of Colten Care’s dedicated dementia home Fernhill, in Ferndown in May. Dorrie’s singing ability was ‘discovered’ when she was just 13 by the wellknown soprano Mavis Bennett, who regularly performed on BBC Radio where she was known as the ‘Nightingale of the Wireless’. Dorrie’s daughter, Christina Smith, who lives in Southampton explained: “Mavis, like my mum, lived in Redditch in Worcestershire. She was a customer at my grandfather’s petrol garage and one day he asked her to listen to mum sing. “She listened and announced she was a natural contralto who needed very little training. And from that point she took mum has a kind of protégé.” Over the next few years, Dorrie’s voice was heard several times on the BBC, including on the Listen with Mother programme. She was also a regular guest of the BBC Orchestra at the Redditch Theatre.
Dorrie and her husband Norman, a talented pianist, continued to perform locally and went on to open a children’s nursery, where they introduced some of the country’s earliest music and movement sessions. The couple moved to Bournemouth in the late 1960s and Dorrie continued to sing accompanied on the piano by her friend, the BBC Radio producer Jimmy Grant, whom she met through a U3A Choir. Fernhill residents enjoyed an afternoon of singing along to classical and popular songs from across the years before a delicious afternoon tea. Dorrie added: “Fernhill has so much music and singing every day. I am also helping some of the carers who love to sing with their technique. “It was lovely to sing in front of everyone and hopefully they enjoyed it too.” Fiona Pritchard, Colten Care’s Music and Arts Partner said: “Music has and still does play an important role in the lives of many of our residents across our homes. Hearing Dorrie sing in her beautiful and still very strong voice, was very emotional for us all. “She was beaming all over afterwards and went on to enjoy a great afternoon of singing and happy reminiscence with her fellow residents.”
Why Maintaining Good Vision and Eye Health is Important for Your Residents Jason Scaife, Specsavers Home Visits director and optometrist, based in Cardiff speaks to The Carer about the services Specsavers can offer to care homes. Q. Can you provide a bit of a summary of the services provided to care homes? At Specsavers Home Visits our aim is to improve the lives of those who can’t leave home unaccompanied through better sight and hearing. We serve many different types of care centre, from community houses to residential homes, to dementia specialist nursing homes and everywhere in between. We provide routine sight tests using equipment similar to that in a high street store but specifically designed to be portable and for use in the home; we supply NHS and privately funded spectacles; we deliver and fit them in person and we will always go back to provide aftercare for all our spectacles. We tailor our service to best suit each care home, some prefer us to come and see two or three residents who are new to the home or have reported vision problems; others prefer us to come for a whole day and provide routine sight tests to every resident who would like one, as long as they’re due. We will of course attend to see just one individual who is having problems. When we supply glasses to care homes we engrave each frame with the patient’s name and whether the glasses are for distance or near, which can really help busy care staff to know if someone is wearing the correct glasses, or who the glasses belong to if
they are left lying around the home.
Q. Why is it important for care home residents to maintain good vision and eye health? Maintaining good vision is a key part of any person’s quality of life, but perhaps more so for care home residents because they often have limited mobility and so most of their hobbies and pastimes will involve visual tasks. Sight loss can be very isolating and for those already struggling with memory problems or dementia, any confusion and disorientation is exacerbated by impaired vision. This can lead to a loss of engagement in social activities and sometimes increased risk of falls. Providing regular eye care can minimise or even eliminate these issues for people living in care homes allowing them to enjoy being able to do the things they want to do.
Q. We know hygiene and safety is a top priority, particularly since the pandemic. What precautions do you take to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the patients you visit in care homes? We take our responsibility as healthcare professionals seriously and we are conscious that Optometrists have to get very close to patients when examining their eyes. We continue to wear PPE, we’re maintaining Infection Prevention and Control measures and we still take a Lateral Flow Test before each care home visit. Our Infection Prevention and Control policy is continually updated in line with guidance from the NHS and the College of Optometrists to ensure that we are always providing care in the safest and most appropriate way. Care homes can be confident that we are still operating at a standard exceeding that recommended by the profession in order to protect them and their residents.
Q. In care homes some patients have more complex needs and may struggle to communicate, including those who suffer with dementia. How do you deliver your eye health services in these circumstances while also keeping the patient feeling comfortable? Our team of Optometrists and Optical Assistants are a wonderful group of people, dedicated to looking after the eye care needs of some of the most vulnerable and isolated individuals in society. It’s not only the clinical training that enables them to gather the results they need, but it’s their kindness, patience, experience and skill that leaves patients with a smile. Using objective assessment techniques which don’t rely on responses from the person being examined are a key part of providing eye care to those with communication or cognitive difficulties and these techniques allow us to provide suitable spectacles and an assessment of the health of the eyes for everyone, regardless of their ability to communicate. We provide training for our staff on dementia and how to successfully communicate with those living with cognitive impairment, and we always take our lead from carers who know the individuals best.
Q. How affordable is this service, particularly in the current cost of living crisis? The main service we provide for care home residents is an NHS funded sight test, free for those people over 60 or on state benefit who are unable to attend their opticians unaccompanied, due to their mental or physical health. We carry a broad range of spectacle frames to suit most shapes, styles, sizes and budgets, from £19 and we share the same promotions and discounts that you see at Specsavers on the high street. See the advert on the facing page for details.
PAGE 16 | THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022
Local System Mismanagement - Lessons Must be Learned – Anne-Marie Perry, CEO of Abicare Responds In his article “Local System Mismanagement-Lessons Must be Learned” published in a recent edition of The Carer Digital, Martin Green, CEO of Care England, set out a series of lessons to be learned following the care hotel initiative launched during the Covid pandemic. We in the care sector know how chronically underfunded our industry is at present, and so like everyone else, we at Abicare hate to see the mismanagement of money. It’s therefore difficult to read accusations that Abicare was involved in inappropriately spending taxpayer money. And so, to set the record straight we want to explain how and why we were contracted by Norfolk and Waveney CCG in some of the most difficult months of the pandemic. At Abicare we set-up, managed, and ran a number of care hotels in 2021, providing much needed support for hospitals and local care authorities. Our staff worked immensely hard and sacrificed a lot to ensure that these care hotels were one of the few success stories during incredibly dark and difficult times. It seems that some have forgotten very quickly just how tough conditions were during the pandemic. Care hotels were absolutely not a substitute for hospitals but were only for those people who had been deemed medically fit to return home but were stuck waiting for a care package – something which all local authorities and clinical commissioning groups found intensely challenging to source at the time. As was often reported, there was no spare capacity within adult social services, it had all been used up. The only other alternative for these individuals was to keep them in crowded hospitals.
RELIEF FOR THE NHS First and foremost, care hotels were set-up at very short notice to relieve intense pressure on the NHS. Due to the pressures of the pandemic, the NHS was in a truly desperate situation. On one occasion we had an NHS trust phone us on a Friday afternoon just before a bank holiday weekend to see if we could provide any help within the next two hours. That is how urgent the need for support was. For the local NHS trusts, care hotels provided a vital safety valve and lifeline. Care hotels freed up hospi-
tal beds and staff, at a time when some patients were stuck waiting for treatment in hospital corridors. Hotel care was an instant solution, which crucially did not weaken any local teams or care providers and instead sourced cohorts of carers from outside of the worst-hit areas. This was an immediate option to help an overstressed system which had nowhere else to go.
BETTER OUTCOMES FOR PATIENTS All the patients were given a choice on whether they wanted to leave the hospital and come into a hotel, which many found provided a welcome change of environment that gave them more autonomy, more chance to recover, and less chance of acquiring hospital-related dependencies. Of course, hotels are not designed as care establishments, but just as with the provision of in-home care, there were several things we did to create a suitable environment. We had full protocol manuals and worked very closely with our NHS partners to provide a safe and quality service. Our carers were experienced and fully trained, and primary care support was available where required. Care hotels got patients out of hospitals and onto a full activity and rehab programme so they were ready to go home when local providers had capacity. The care they received was of the highest quality and the positive response from patients was overwhelming.
SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS With regards to cost, care hotels were never intended as a long-term solution or alternative to local care. They were always an urgently needed short-term solution to a critical problem, not a model for the future of care provision. Because there was no slack in the existing local care systems at the time, the alternative would have been to leave the patients, all of whom were medically fit to return home, in a hospital bed. This hospital bed costs around £400 per day per patient – far more than the cost of a bed in a care hotel. Keeping the 36 patients who filled one of our care hotels at one point in hospital for the same length of time would have cost the NHS £1.6 million or £44,800 per patient. The cost of £15,555 per care recipient was then not only a significant cost saving, it also released 36 hospital beds and freed up hospital staff to care for other patients.
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED There are of course plenty of lessons to be learned from the last two years. The pandemic showed us clearly the fragility of the NHS and local care systems, but also their strengths. We need to establish longterm solutions to the challenges faced by our local health and social care systems. We need more coordination, more planning, and more investment. To do this, we need to grapple with what really happened and the real conditions we faced. If we can’t accurately appraise the challenges of the last few years, then we stand little chance of meeting the demands of the years to come.
Moments of Magic at Hertfordshire Care Home A Hertfordshire care home has launched a brand-new initiative pairing adorable toddlers alongside residents to promote intergenerational connections throughout the community. Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, recently teamed up with a group of local mothers and their loveable little ones to launch ‘Foxcubs’ – an initiative that enables residents to relive the most cherished memories of their adult lives – parenthood. Upon meeting with the little bundles of joy, there was an endless supply of hugs, smiles and laughs at the family-run care home, as Foxholes’ residents sang rhymes, read stories and immersed themselves in plenty of bubblethemed activities alongside six first-time mothers in a day full of smiles and happy memories. The initiative was first inspired by Foxholes’ Head of Engagement, Adele Querelle – whose 14-month-old daughter, Nellie, was the inaugural member of Foxcubs – after wanting to promote an activity that kept residents active and engaged while simultaneously benefiting like-minded mothers desperate to boost interactions for their children. The family-run home decided to launch the playful project to coincide with Good Care Month, a campaign in Hertfordshire that aims to raise the profile of the social care sector throughout July. Speaking of the decision to launch Foxcubs, Adele said: “When I first mentioned the idea of Foxcubs to the local mums they were just so keen to get involved, and they are all already excited to come back on a regular basis. From the get-go, you could see that the residents had this natural parental instinct, which comes so effortlessly to them. It was clear from seeing them interact with the children that the experience really provoked happy memories from bringing up their own little ones. They remembered all of the songs they previously sang to their kids, gave out advice and passed on their array of knowledge to all of the mothers – which as a mother myself, proved to be invaluable.” She continued: “Something that one of the residents mentioned, was that a lot of them don’t have family close by. Modern culture means that families increasingly live further and further apart – sometimes in different countries. By doing something like Foxcubs, we’re looking to keep the younger and older genera-
tions connected – providing residents with that sense of belonging and purpose that can often go astray once their children have flown the proverbial nest.” For children, intergenerational friendships can help improve communication and problem-solving skills, while for adults, they can reduce symptoms of depression and feelings of loneliness. In addition, for first-time mothers, it can be difficult, and also extremely expensive, to find regular access to weekly baby classes. The initiative strives to bridge the gap between two generations where relationships are a fundamental part of their emotional and mental wellbeing. Speaking of the experience, 84-year-old resident Shirley Dyble, said: “It was such a lovely and fun-filled day. Seeing how happy the children were really made our day! It was so lovely for us to have families here and take us back to our own days with babies, while it also gave the mums a chance to put their feet up once the children were settled and happy.” Meanwhile, fellow resident, Una Bracey, 91, commented: “Some people haven’t got families nearby, so this experience gave them the opportunities to foster meaningful relationships with the younger generation. It was an experience I hope can become a regular theme here at Foxholes.” Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home, said: “We’re really excited to see where Foxcubs can go, especially with it coinciding with Good Care Month. From the first conversation I had with Adele, I knew this would be something our residents would love and want to immerse themselves in. “Relationships, especially those formed with our children, are sacred, and the same is true in care homes. We wanted to remind our residents what it’s like to connect and preserve the memories from their younger days interacting with the little ones, while also enabling local mothers to learn from the experiences of our inspirational residents. Every resident at Foxholes has lived a full, eventful life and we wanted that array of knowledge and wisdom to come to the fold.” For more information on Foxholes Care Home, please visit https://www.foxholescarehome.com To see Foxcubs in action, please visit https://www.instagram.com/p/CePBOmrDFTQ/.
Hit Song Inspires Idea to Keep Manchester Care Home Residents Fit and Active
The Proclaimers’ hit song ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)’ has been used as inspiration by a Manchester care home to help keep its residents fit and healthy. Atherton-based Chanters Care Home, which provides specialist elderly and dementia care, as well as looking after people with learning disabilities, is organising a challenge for residents to complete a total of 500 laps of the grounds. The event will take place throughout July and to mark the start of the Commonwealth Games at the end of the month (July 28), there will medals for those who take part. Residents at the home, on Tyldesley Old Road, are being encouraged to each complete as many laps as they can. Activities manager Lyndsey McBride said: “The idea was inspired by the Proclaimers’ song ‘I’m Gonna Be’, which includes the chorus – ‘But I would walk five hundred miles and I would walk five hundred more’.
“Obviously, that sort of distance is not feasible for our residents, so we have used a bit of poetic licence and have set a target of 500 laps of our grounds.” Home manager Anne Hargreaves said: “Our activities team is continually looking for different ways of encouraging our residents to remain active and get lots of fresh air. “Setting a goal of completing 500 circuits of our grounds is a great way of encouraging those living at Chanters to take part in some exercise that they can enjoy at their own pace.” The residents’ efforts will be sponsored to help bring in money for the home’s entertainment fund with each lap being a total of about 200 metres. In the past the home, in its quest to help keep residents fit and active, hired a rowing machine, where the goal was for participants to row the equivalent of the English Channel.
PAGE 18 | THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022
Legal Basics of Buying a Care Home: Key Points to Consider for First Time Buyers By Thomas Golding, Partner and Joint Head of Care at Freeths LLP (www.freeths.co.uk) Buying a care home in the UK is a unique transaction. Not only is legal advice required on the corporate, real estate and employment aspects, but expert knowledge on funding options and practical experience in the health and social care sector is so important. If you’re considering buying or investing in a care home, the Care Team at Freeths LLP (one of the UK’s leading and most prolific law firms in the Care sector) have put together a summary of the legal process for potential first-time buyers to consider.
1. CONSIDER FINANCE OPTIONS FOR YOUR PURCHASE Seeking funding for your purchase, either from a bank or other investment funder, can mean additional steps when buying your care home. Each funder will have different requirements that you might need to comply with, such as discharging any existing security over the company/property, providing personal (or cross-company) guarantees, and completing a Certificate of Title on the real estate asset itself. You might also need to factor in the time required for any additional searches required by the funder, such as mining, fire, technical or environmental reports. Where an investment funder is involved, this could have a significant impact on the structure of the transaction and may involve an opco/propco structure (whereby an intra-group lease is put in place) or a requirement for the investor to share in the equity of your business.
2. DECIDE ON HOW TO STRUCTURE THE TRANSACTION: ASSET OR SHARE SALE? Typically, care homes are operated by their owners through limited companies. As such, your purchase might be undertaken through a share purchase or an asset purchase. In a share purchase, the buyer assumes the assets, liabilities and obligations of the entire corporate entity, whereas for an asset purchase,
the buyer might purchase only the required asset (such as the property from which the care is provided together with the operational assets and employees) from the seller. Whilst the distinction may appear small, the tax, financial and regulatory implications (among other things) can differ greatly.
3. ENSURE TIME IS ALLOWED FOR THE DUE DILIGENCE Undertaking due diligence on corporate, tax, finance, operational or real estate aspects of your purchase is a key part of the legal process. However, when buying a care home, due diligence might also include anything from the home’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports, looking for any litigation or investigations brought against the home to full review of the employment or supplier contracts.
4. REGISTER WITH THE CQC If you have not already done so, you/the legal entity operating the home will need to be registered with the CQC before you can take over the care home. This can be a lengthy process, so should be factored into the process of buying a care home. The process of registration will be different depending on the structure of your purchase; if you are buying the shares of the seller’s operating company, the care home will already be registered with the CQC as a location from where care is provided - and the company you are acquiring will be the registered provider. As a result, the process can be quicker and more straightforward than applying for a brand new registration or adding the care home to your existing registration.
5. WATCH OUT FOR LOCAL AUTHORITY FUNDING Often, a care home might have residents who are funded by the local authority. As a buyer, you will need to ensure compliance with any contracts in place with the relevant local authority. ‘Change of control’ and ‘non-assignment’ clauses (among other provisions) are very likely to be present within these contracts, and can require consultation with your legal advisors to understand the implications of these arrangements before your purchase completes.
6. CHECK YOUR EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS Particularly relevant if your purchase is structured as an asset sale, you may have some extra regulations to comply with. Where the transaction is structured as an asset purchase, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) will apply, to safeguard the care home’s existing staff. As legal advisors to the UK’s major care operators, providers and developers, the Care team at Freeths LLP are experts in helping clients buy and sell care homes. Get in touch with Thomas Golding (Joint Head of the Care Team) for further information or a no-obligation consultation.
Cascade Care Encourages Greater Focus On Relationships, Sex And Health Education Residents living with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions at Cascade Care homes in Norfolk and Withernsea have travelled to Lincolnshire for an afternoon of meeting new people at the care provider’s latest friendship meeting. The meetings enable residents to get together with others living at Cascade homes to practise their social skills in a relaxed environment. Over 50 people attended the latest event, where residents enjoyed individual picnic boxes, played fun lawn games and took part in icebreaker activities designed to encourage conversation and socialising. The meetings are part of Cascade’s commitment to providing relationships, sex and health education (RSHE). Carol Ryan, director of education and lifelong learning at Cascade, said: “Forming relationships is a very important subject here at Cascade. The sexuality of people with disabilities is often ignored, neglected or stigmatised by society and, as a care provider, we have a responsibility to provide support for our residents to explore their own sexual identity and needs. “The residents in our assisted living facilities are adults and have the right to have intimate relationships. We want to empower them to be able to do this if desired, encouraging them to feel more confident and comfortable about a subject many people find hard to talk about.”
Residents who attended the friendship meeting will now write letters and draw postcards and pictures to stay in touch with new-found friends. As part of its focus on RSHE, Cascade also provides training for all its staff, enabling them to support residents to learn about friendships, intimate relationships and sexual health through conversations, worksheets and video content. Carol continued: “There is often a lot of nervousness around the subject, but education helps to support our staff to feel confident to answer questions and deal with different situations, so that they don’t put themselves in positions where something could go wrong or where safeguarding is at risk.
Welcome Return for Sally Army Residents and staff at a specialist Bridgwater dementia care home were delighted to welcome back members of the local Salvation Army band and have been having a joyous time revisiting favourite traditional hymns and songs. Prior to Covid the Sally Army were regular visitors to Avalon Nursing Home on Taunton Road in Bridgwater, but there had been a long gap since their last visit due to the pandemic. Activities organiser, Lisa Priddice, said: “We were thrilled to see them again. Their special brand of music gets our residents really involved; they simply love hearing that fabulous brass and joining in with the hymns and songs they know so well from their youth.” The Salvation Army offers a special programme for people living with dementia called Singing by Heart which uses singing to help their audience members connect with others and bring back memories. The scheme uses a mix of popular hymns such as ‘Joy in my Heart’ and popular songs like ‘Moon River’ which span the decades. Each song has been carefully selected to ensure they are fondly recognised by the people listening. The session at Avalon was led by Lieutenant Heather Culshaw. Lisa Priddice said:
“There is, however, a lot more that needs to be done in this area across the industry. It can be easy for homes not to deal with the subject and avoid it rather than provide guidance. “That’s why we’re speaking about the work we’re doing at Cascade and encouraging others in the sector to join us, sharing our materials and expertise to create more openness and understanding around relationships and sexual health for those with learning disabilities and mental health conditions.” As a result of Cascade’s focus on RSHE, the care provider has also been selected to take part in a pioneering new training programme to support staff in teaching residents, which if successful could be delivered nationwide. The programme will be delivered by expert trainer Sue Sharples, who specialises in learning disabilities and delivers training courses worldwide. Cascade will be one of the first care homes in the UK to take part in the pilot scheme. Sue Sharples said: “I’ve been working together with organisations Supported Loving and Skills for Care, alongside the CQC and the Department of Health and Social Care, to develop a course for social care staff on how best to support people with sexuality and relationships. “Having had a lengthy and positive relationship with Cascade, and knowing how committed the team are to this area of work, I’m delighted to be able to involve them in the resource trial phase.”
“It is widely acknowledged that music can trigger past memories and feelings in those living with dementia. “Musical memories are among the last to fade, and our residents really enjoy a good sing-along and can often remember wordfor-word the songs they used to sing years ago. “We all thoroughly enjoyed this session – connecting to songs they used to sing at Sunday School and reliving other fond memories from the past. “They were tapping their toes and singing away and it was wonderful to see how much everybody was enjoying themselves. “Our residents also had a great time contributing to the music by playing various instruments, and some prayers were included in the programme to offer a spiritual dimension for those so inclined.
PAGE 20 | THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022
Two Thirds of UK Care Home Staff Admit Resident Quality of Care and Nutritional Needs are Being Overlooked Due to Outdated Procedures
A new, independent survey commissioned by eProcurement technology firm Zupa, has raised several concerns from care home professionals across the UK, with 86% admitting that vital aspects of care provision are suffering at the hands of outdated and time-consuming procedures, with many staff struggling to fulfil their day to day roles. The new data also highlights several care management challenges that need to be addressed to improve staff retention, morale and the overall quality of residential care. The study, which polled hundreds of care home professionals across the country, found that two thirds of care home staff (66%), admitted the quality of resident care and the ability to cater properly for dietary and nutritional needs, are some of the key areas being side-lined as a result of obsolete practices. The study also revealed that more than half (54%) of care home workers felt staff happiness was overlooked, and 44% of workers attribute the high turnover of staff in the care industry to low levels of pay. Specifically, 40% of care home workers felt they couldn’t provide the quality of care that they would like to due to the time they spend on admin. Over half (52%) of respondents, agreed that care home inspections simply add further pressure to their role, and would welcome a way to improve this process. More than a third of care home managers (32%) also said that keeping up with time intensive processes like day to day menu planning, allergens management, and recording resident data around nutrition and hydration, worries them. A further 41% were understandably concerned about the rising costs of food, energy and inflation, while 30% of care home workers identified supplier issues, food shortages and running out of supplies as a growing concern.
Importantly, 63% of care home managers link much of their day to day concerns to the wear and tear stresses placed upon their teams. Lack of staffing and resource also continues to be a worry for the sector, with 67% of care workers citing this as a key challenge. Only 6% of care home professionals said there is nothing that worries them in the day to day running of their care home. Lack of time available to improve day to day quality of care is a clear issue. When asked what aspects of their working day they would spend more time on if they could reduce the amount of paperwork, more than half (56%) of care workers say they would like to improve the standard of resident care if they had more time in their day. Likewise, almost half (49%) of care professionals said they would improve staff satisfaction, suggesting that reducing admin would free up more time to focus on staff morale and happiness. A further 49% would like extra time in their day to be more creative with resident social events and 42% of care home professionals said they would be keen to spend more time on individual care planning. Ollie Brand, CEO at Zupa explained: “Caring for the vulnerable and elderly is time-consuming and demanding. It requires specialist skills and knowledge. This study highlights that care home staff are having to deal with multiple challenges with little resource, and only so many hours in the day. There is also a direct correlation between what worries care home staff day to day and the quality of care they are physically able to deliver. Patchy reporting, outdated processes and a heavily reliance on manual updates, simply adds to the frustration and puts greater pressure on already stretched staff.” This latest research highlights a clear relationship between what aspects of care are being overlooked and what staff would prioritise if they had more time in their day. Almost three quarters (73%), of care home professionals who said they would improve staff satisfaction if they had more time, also said staff happiness is side lined. A further 55% of those who would like to improve the quality of resident care with more time, also said care quality is overlooked due to time wasted on outdated processes. Brand added, “Lack of staffing and resource is still a key concern for care homes. It’s clear that in many cases, that the adoption of automated, fit for purpose technology could help alleviate many of these day to day pressures and interestingly, those care professionals who said they would
implement new technology if they had more time, are most likely to say that staff happiness, productivity of staff and quality of care are being side-lined.” See www.zupa.com for further information.
Alpacas Bring Joy to Romsey Care Home Residents Residents at Durban House in Romsey have received a visit from a very different pair of guests recently – in the form of two South American alpacas. The furry visitors dropped into the nurse-led care home at the end of June as part of an organised animal therapy session, and both residents and staff couldn’t help but lavish the loveable animals with attention. Used to visiting care homes in the area, Guinness and Almond were taken into the lounge, where residents and their families were able to feed, walk, stroke, and interact with the four-legged friends from Alpaca Adventure in Dorset. ‘Animal therapy’ refers to the use of animals to help people with specific physical or mental health conditions, and it has become more and more popular in care homes over recent years. Lucy Harrison, General Manager at Durban House, says the benefits for residents, are huge. She said: “Interaction with different creatures helps stimulate our residents’ brains and helps to keep them mentally active and engaged. Regular visits also mean the residents can create bonds with the animals and build up an emotional connection with them.” Lucy added: “Animal therapy also helps to decrease agitated behaviours of residents who have dementia, as it helps them to remember and talk about past
pets and animal experiences. “Thanks go to Alpaca Adventure for bringing Guinness and Almond along today – it was an absolute delight to see the reaction on the residents’ faces. I know it will be the source of conversation for days and weeks to come.” Wendy Williams from Alpaca Adventure said her animals always have a calming influence on the residents and are a perfect conversation starter. She said: “Alpacas are very calm animals, which is ideal for elderly residents. When we take them into care homes like Durban House, they always provide a reason to chat. I’ve heard many wonderful stories of animals and pets from years gone by.” Durban House is part of Sears Healthcare and CEO Richard Adams is pleased to hear that the residents can have the opportunity to benefit from these special therapy sessions. He said: “At Durban House, we are a nurse-led care home, so our approach focuses on providing a home from home for our residents while we meet their healthcare needs. It is heartwarming to hear that these two alpacas have had such a big impact here.”
Redcot Residents Bury Poignant Treasures to Create a Lasting Record for the Future At Redcot, Friends of the Elderly’s residential care home in Haslemere, Surrey, the residents have been marking not only the charity’s Royal Patron, Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but also commemorating the last few unprecedented years by burying their very own time capsule for future generations to discover. Residents decided to fill and bury their time capsule, which is made of galvanised metal and measures 30 cm in length, as they all felt that due to the COVID pandemic and resulting restrictions, they saw so much change over the last two years in their everyday lives, that memories of this unmatched time needed to be commemorated and remembered. Coupled with The Queen’s Jubilee, everyone agreed it was the perfect time to leave their own perspective, on not only the world today, but what life was like at Redcot during the pandemic. Commenting on the time capsule, Redcot’s Activities Co-ordinator, Amanda Snelgrove said: “I was chatting to our residents about our Jubilee celebrations and our conversation turned to reminiscing about how much they enjoyed the festivities, past royal celebrations and how life had changed so much for them over the last few years. We chatted further and the residents decided that they would like to a leave a lasting record of their thoughts, memorabilia, keepsakes and recollections of how things have changed for them during, and following, the COVID pandemic. “I’d read about the oldest known time capsule – The Samuel Adams and Paul Revere Time Capsule – that can be found in a cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House. Supposedly, this time capsule was buried in 1795, which makes it the oldest known time capsule in the United States and possibly the world. Buried by
former Governor Samuel Adams – who was one of the founding fathers of the United States – and Paul Revere, I suggested our own time capsule and the residents thoroughly loved the idea.” The residents thoughtfully chose what they wanted to go into their time capsule. Everyone was keen to pass on their experiences and stories to the people in the future so they would know, first hand, what went on at Redcot and what life was like over the last two years which, in their words, “have been like no other.” Practical items such as facemasks, a lateral flow test, a plastic apron and blue COVID protection rubber gloves were included. “The gloves and lateral flow test symbolise two of the many safety measures of our residents’ lives at Redcot during the pandemic. Our Manager’s old iPhone also made the cut as mobiles became so much more important to our residents as they were one of the communication methods we used to keep everyone in regular contact with their families and loved ones,” added Amanda.. “The Redcot Time Capsule is now safely buried in our beautiful grounds, waiting patiently for the future to roll around and to be found. All our residents thoroughly enjoyed creating and filling the time capsule and it’s great to know that what they so carefully put together will hopefully be found in years to come and give insight not only to the COVID pandemic years, but also to how they spent their days at Redcot, which is truly their home,” concluded Amanda.
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Adult Social Care Reforms “Hugely Underfunded” Concerns have grown among councils in recent months that the Government’s adult social care charging reforms are potentially hugely underfunded, which will risk their implementation as well as exacerbating existing pressures on the system. Of the £36 billion the new UK-wide health and social levy will raise over the next three years, only £5.4 billion is ringfenced for social care reforms in England. These include the introduction of a ‘fair rate of care’ that councils will pay providers and tackling the issue of self-funders paying more for their care than those who access support at the council rate. The survey of senior councillors responsible for adult social care across the country also found three quarters of responding councils said that they are not confident they will have the required capacity in frontline staff to deliver the reforms. The LGA is warning that underfunded reforms will exacerbate significant ongoing financial and workforce pressures, including significant vacancy rates across the sector. These have already led to over 500,000 people waiting for an assessment, care or care reviews – up from just under 400,000 in November.
REDUCTIONS IN QUALITY AND AVAILABILITY OF CARE Unless action is taken and government rethinks its plans, people who draw on care may experience reductions in quality and availability of care and support services, while at the same time paying more for them through the new health and social care levy and increased council tax. If the reforms do end up costing more, and there is no further resource from government, councils also indicated concern in the survey that other council services may be negatively impacted in order to make up for the shortfall. At its heart, adult social care reform must better enable people who draw on social care to live an equal life and a better life. the findings of this survey cast serious doubt on whether the Government’s plans will enable councils to deliver on these objectives. Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA Community Wellbeing Board said: “This survey lays bare the huge concerns of councils that the Government’s charging reforms are significantly underfunded. This has the potential to tip councils over the financial edge.
UNDERFUNDING EXACERBATES “PRE-EXISTING SIGNIFICANT PRESSURES” “Underfunding these reforms will only exacerbate pre-existing significant pressures, which the reforms – and the funding for them – do nothing to address. These include unmet and under-met need, greater strain on unpaid carers and increased waiting times for assessments and delivery of care packages. “A higher proportion of the health and social care levy needs to be spent on social care to tackle these
Dare to be Different Person-centred care is the ‘buzz’ word of the social and care sectors. Everyone knows about it; everyone supports it, and apparently everyone does it. But if that’s the case , then why is it not the everyday lived experience in our care culture? MCM recognises that individual well-being is not an ‘individual’ matter. Our relationships with the people, places and things that have shaped our life journey make us who we are and sustain our sense of personhood. Engaging in moments, experiences and activities that resonate with who we are and meet our needs for love, attachment, belonging, agency, occupation, comfort and attachment makes life meaningful. Individual ill-being occurs when these relationships are undermined and life lacks meaning and pur-
issues and create stable foundations for these reforms. Councils are stretched thin as it is, and my colleagues across the county have highlighted how many of their council services could be impacted by the cost of these reforms. “Local government is seeking immediate assurances that the Government will underwrite any additional costs councils incur and will work with councils as a matter of urgency to consider further mitigations that may need to be used if funding, capacity and timescale pressures threaten implementation.”
MORE EVIDENCE SOCIAL CARE “NOT FIXED” Responding to the survey findings, Cathie Williams, Chief Executive of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said: “This report provides yet more evidence that social care is not fixed. The LGA survey shows that there is not enough money to make the changes which will mean that everyone can get the support they need and ensure greater fairness for both those who pay for their own care and those who do not own homes or have savings. “There are now over half a million people waiting for assessments, care or reviews. In March, nearly twothirds of Directors of Adult Social Services who responded to our survey were saying that they had to prioritise assessment for people in life-threatening situations, at risk of abuse or neglect, or being discharged from hospital. So we share the concerns about whether there will be enough staff to assess people for the proposed changes to charging and fees. “We will only deliver more of the care and support we all want – to live good lives – by prioritising and paying the committed and compassionate care workforce better so that they stay in this essential and brilliant work. “It would be dreadful if these changes [were] to founder because of a lack of funding or ambition. That is why we are calling for more of the Health and Social Care Levy to come to adult social care, and sooner”.
REFORM A PRIORITY A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We have made it clear reforming adult social care is a priority and we are investing £5.4 billion over the next three years to end spiralling care costs and support the workforce. “This includes £3.6 billion to reform the social care charging system and enable all local authorities to move towards paying providers a fair cost of care, and a further £1.7 billion to begin major improvements across adult social care in England, funded by the Health and Social Care Levy. “Our investment via the levy is on top of record annual funding to help councils respond to rising demands and cost pressures.”
pose when such connections are absent in our daily lives. Meaningful relationships make us feel secure, free and able and help us to feel at home in ourselves. Having a diagnosis, disease, cognitive or physical impairments does not take these feelings away from us, it just makes these relationships matter even more. Nurturing these person-centred relationships is therefore key to sustaining individual well-being and developing an emotionally resilient culture of care. Collaboratively; we can achieve improved care cultures which are meaningful without compromising compliance and best practice. A culture where people are ‘ Free to be Me’ Do you dare to be different? We do. www.meaningfulcarematters.com Email : email@example.com Phone: 01273 242 335 See the advert below for further details.
PAGE 22 | THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022
A Day in the Life of a Care Manager Teresa Bennett-Johnson is the Care Branch Manager at Audley Cooper’s Hill, a role she started in May 2021. She began her career in care at age 18 and through her experiences has become passionate about supporting people to maintain their independence as they get older. WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE? It’s hard to tell you about my typical day because in all honesty no two days are the same as a Care Branch Manager. But a big focus of my day is working with the care team to map out our care schedules. All our care support is planned around individual need, that means person-centred care planning, supervising staff, making sure our facilities are safe and building strong relationships with people we care for and their loved ones. Another big part of my role is making sure our carers are continuing to upskill and that Audley has a real presence in an integrated care approach with local services. This means a training programme with lots of co-ordination for the team and building partnerships with other community organisations to establish the best care for clients. Aside from this, you’ll catch me keeping on top of the admin, double checking we’re meeting and exceeding the standards set by our regulatory bodies and keeping in touch with the care and village teams.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE CARE SECTOR? I started my career in biomedical science and through this worked with patients from a variety of backgrounds, with a range of experiences, but they all had at least one thing in common. And that was a desire to stay at home while they received care, regardless of the condition they were living with. It was through this, and some time working within a palliative care team, that I saw the immense value in supporting people in their own home. This steered me to Audley Care. We enable people, both those living
Seaside Memories Spark Joy Residents at a specialist Wellington dementia care home have been enjoying all the fun of the seaside without the bother of making the journey, thanks to the dedication of the activities team at Camelot House and Lodge who recreated a raft of beach and holiday activities for people to enjoy in their own home. Top of the list of favourites was sandcastle-making, with imported sand available on a table at waist height so that residents could get creative without having to stoop over. To the accompaniment of a soundtrack featuring waves breaking on the shore and the cries of seagulls, residents also enjoyed ice-creams, summer drinks and playing games of dominoes in the shade. Activities organiser, Richard Dempslake, said: “We put on a proper beach party for our residents and they really got into the spirit of things. “Obviously we had a lovely sing-along, including ‘I do like to be beside the seaside,’ and some of the party-goers also relaxed by getting their feet wet – in a foot-spa, not among the waves, but they seemed very happy with that.
in Audley retirement villages and the local community, to stay in their home, stay independent with the level of support they need.
WHAT’S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF THE JOB? I have a real passion for dementia care and in 2021 I started the Memory Lane Café. My inspiration was to create an event that was inclusive to all regardless of their condition. And this passion really translates through to the care we provide as a team. I remember one particular case where a lady we cared for, who’d had a fall, was only predicted to live for a few days in hospital. But, by being able to get her home with the right support she lived for a further two years.
WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF THE JOB? The nature of our work means that we have to deal with loss sometimes and that can be really difficult emotionally. And then, for me as a Care Branch Manager there are things which are outside of our control, like team illness or power/gas outages, which I have to manage. At these times it’s all hands-on deck and some quick thinking that’s needed, but all it does is underline the importance of the team.
WHAT WAS YOU EXPERIENCE OF COVID? Our Audley Villages locked down ahead of the Government guidance and put enhanced checks in place early and this really helped to protect many of the owners in our villages. We also had strict protocols for our care team working in the local community. The incidence of coronavirus stayed very low amongst our client base through the pandemic and many of our clients continued to get the care they needed. As I look back on it, it was an incredibly heartening time. Our care team turned their hands to hairdressing, IT support and even some landscape gardening to help people during a difficult time.
WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO OUTSIDE OF WORK? I love being in my garden, I have a little vegetable patch and enjoy growing vegetable and tending to my flower beds. A few years ago my husband taught me wood turning, so I quite often spend my time making items like fruit bowls.
“Sensory input is very important for people with dementia, so we created a pretend beach so anyone who wanted to could enjoy getting sand between their toes. “Our in-house bar, the Windsor Arms – named for actress Barbara Windsor who was a fabulous dementia-awareness campaigner – served sangria alongside the usual tipples, and that went down very well too. “We have to make the most of the sunshine when we can – it’s lovely for people to be able to sit outside to absorb some vitamin D and enjoy the summer outdoors. “We have plenty of shade available, as well as a great choice of sunhats which added to the spirit of the beach party.”
Dementia Management Tool ‘Vera’ Launches on Apple’s AppStore Deploying the World’s Largest Music Catalogue from Universal Music Group Vera announces strategic collaboration with Universal Music Group, allowing its users therapeutic access to the world’s largest music catalogue
Music Health, a Music Wellness Technology innovator, has developed and launched Vera, an intuitive music intervention tool designed for the care of people affected by dementia. Through a strategic, industry-first agreement, Vera App users are able to access the entire catalogue from Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music-based entertainment company, to develop personalised music stations specifically designed to improve the lives of people living with dementia every day. As an exclusive launch partner, UMG brings a diverse and comprehensive global music catalogue to Vera users. Vera is now approved by Apple for download via the AppStore in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, with the cross-sector Music for Dementia campaign welcoming the launch to help improve the lives of people impacted by dementia. The launch is the culmination of Music Health’s rigorous three-year development process which involved global research and development of the underlying technology that allows Vera to curate the perfect song at the right time for every individual listener. The announcement follows the launch at Universal Music UK of the Power Of Music, a report from UK Music and Music for Dementia, which outlines a blueprint to use music to help transform communities and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing. It includes a commitment from Universal Music UK to develop a dynamic online resource which will serve as a music and dementia information hub. Grace Meadows, campaign director, Music for Dementia, says, “Research shows that music is much more impactful for people living with dementia when it holds meaning and is associated with moments from
someone’s life. In our recently launched Power of Music report, which sets out how we can be harnessing the power of music more to support health and wellbeing, we emphasised the need for a personalised approach to embedding music in health and social care, and the Vera App helps carers to do that.” The power of personalised music to affect a significant improvement in cognitive function for people in dementia care is evidenced by international scientists and neurologists, including award-winning neuroscientist and best-selling author, Daniel J. Levitin; the late physician, best-selling author and professor of neurology, Dr. Oliver Sacks; and Ronald Devere, M.D., director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center in Austin, Texas. Vera analyses the age of the dementia affected person, where they grew up, and how they react to certain music. It uses these criteria to autonomously curate the right songs at the right times to effectively manage the Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD). More than 80 percent of people living with dementia experience BPSD, manifesting as agitation, aggression, depression, or confusion. Vera stimulates the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory to help manage the impact of BPSD, easing the care routine of those living with dementia. Listening to personally significant music - all the noteworthy songs from our own life - is shown to effectively decrease the effects of BPSD helping to improve mood, cognitive function, motor functions and brain plasticity. Vera curates songs from UMG’s unrivalled catalogue, the world’s largest, most diverse and culturally rich collection of blues, classical, country, folk, jazz, pop, R&B, reggae, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and soundtracks. The songs are autonomously curated and played directly from the Vera app via speakers or headphones. With more than 20,000 hours of observation and rigorous analysis, combined with research from the Global Centre for Modern Ageing, confirms that Vera has a significant positive impact on the quality of life of people dealing with BPSD. While not a cure, Vera is a tool that can temporarily improve the cognitive function and mood of the person living with dementia making it easier to care for them. Stephen Hunt, Music Health co-founder, says, “We’ve built Vera to know and find the music that means the most and has the biggest effect for each person living with dementia. It acts like a music detective, that seeks out tunes that they used to love a long time ago but may have forgotten about, which their carers may have never heard of, and their families may not even know.” Vera is a product of Australian collaborative innovation. Music Health
credits Barossa Village, Dementia Australia, the Australian Department of Health and the Global Centre For Modern Ageing (GCMA) for helping realise the innovation since 2019. Michael Nash, UMG’s Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, says, “From rigorous workouts to peaceful meditation to restorative sleep cycles, music is deeply integrated into numerous innovations promoting health and wellbeing. Now, scientists are finding that music is also a powerful tool for helping those suffering from the effects of dementia and memory loss. At UMG, we are working with a wide range of companies to develop therapeutical applications of music and we ’re proud to partner with Music Health on Vera to help improve the lives of so many around the world.” Barossa Village, an aged care organisation, worked with Music Health to refine the app and validate the impact Vera has on people living with dementia. This included daily monitoring of the changes Vera had on the people being cared for at Barossa Village as listening sessions were integrated into the daily routine of care. Findings from the studies showed an overall increase in quality of life for participants, especially after using Vera for several months. You can view a video of Barossa Village’s experience here. “Vera provides playlists that are targeted and tailored to how each of our residents relates to their favourite songs. It’s an amazing innovation. And family members love it as they can participate in a shared experience with mum or dad, grandad or nanna,” says Matt Kowald, General Manager, Integrated Care at Barossa Village. Vera is currently in trials with BUPA, an international healthcare company headquartered in the UK serving more than 31 million customers across the world, as well as several of Australia’s most innovative health and aged care providers offering hospital care, residential care and community services. Vera is available in the U.K. for GBP £69.99 for a 12-month care plan. Visit www.veramusic.com for further details.
THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 23
Healthcare Vacancies Show Signs of Stabilising While Applications Rise Following a peak in hiring towards the end of last year, healthcare job vacancies have dropped, though application numbers are showing some signs of positivity. That’s according to recent research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo). The statistics, provided by the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology, revealed that, when comparing data from the start of this year with Q4 2021, vacancies were down by 18%. In comparison, job applications rose by almost the same amount, with applications per vacancy (APV) at their highest rate since Q2 2021. When drawing regional comparisons, it’s to be expected that Greater London has by far the greatest number of healthcare vacancies, holding almost triple the number of jobs in the West Midlands, which is the region that comes in second place for new jobs. Of the top-scoring regions, Greater London and Surrey recorded the highest applications per vacancy (APV)
rates (averaging at 8 applications per job). Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented: “While a rise in the number of applications per vacancy in the sector is extremely promising, the healthcare arena has historically had resourcing challenges, so we don’t expect this trend to continue on a long-term basis. Recruitment across healthcare is highly competitive and highly complex, something that has only been exacerbated since Brexit with the sector osing a number of international professionals following the UK’s exit from the Bloc. What is needed across healthcare hiring is a sector-wide recognition of the best approach to recruitment – one that ensures top candidates are being engaged with and recruited for in not only a compliant way, but also in a manner which provides applicants with a high-quality experience. In order to drive this, APSCo has launched a new best practice standard for the clinical and healthcare sector to support quality hiring processes.
Caring Homes Group Celebrate Princess Royal Training Award with HRH Princess Anne Caring Homes, an independent national network of residential, nursing and dementia care homes, celebrates receiving Princess Royal Training Award (PRTA) by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal for their commitment to training and development in 2021. Alongside 47 other organisations, the Caring Homes Group was recognised by The Princess Royal Training Awards for its inspirational commitment to learning and development for the fourth time. Despite facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, the organisations receivingthisstandard of excellence have created and delivered highly engaging training programmes which have resulted in significant and measurable impact. Several of this year’s Princess Royal Training Awards recipients have innovatively used training as a way of addressing skills shortages and skills gaps in their sector. In response to national skills shortages and increased pressure on the healthcare sector during the pandemic, Caring Homes created an in-house programme to train overseas recruits to become nurses and address a national skills shortage. Liz Willis, director of learning and organisational development at Caring Homes, said: “We are delighted that our training programmes have been recognised in this way and that we have been included among those organisations to receive one of these coveted training awards for the fourth time.
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“At Caring Homes, we wholeheartedly believe that investing in our colleagues, their learning and ongoing development is pivotal to the success of our organisation, the exceptional standards of care, safety and wellbeing we provide our residents and indeed the way in which we have risen to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.” She continued: “As an organisation, we pride ourselves on our openness and transparency and as such we are always keen to share our best practice approaches and initiatives with the wider nursing community to enhance knowledge, improve the way in which care is provided and to ultimately promote patient safety and quality care. “One way we have approached this is through sharing our Nurse Development initiatives at meetings involving Skills for Care, the Royal College of Nursing, and NHS Trusts.” Kirstie Donnelly MBE, chief executive of City & Guilds said: “It’s fantastic to have seen so many organisations demonstrate a continued commitment to training and development as well as the positive and life-changing impact learning can have on people. “It has been a real honour to celebrate the hard work and dedication to learning and development from all of our Princess Royal Training Award recipients this year.”
PAGE 24 | THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022
What Is Considered Negligence In A Nursing Home? When you make the decision to move into a nursing home, or move a loved one, you expect a high standard of care. But nursing home neglect is actually surprisingly common, and it can have devastating consequences on the individuals involved. But what does negligence in this setting look like and how can residents and their loved ones prevent it?
WHAT DOES NEGLECT MEAN? Neglect in nursing homes and care homes means failing to provide the right standard of care, whether intentional or not, to residents. Neglect may mean not reacting to dangerous situations that put the resident’s safety in jeopardy, not providing the right level of care, or not acting on complaints they may have in regard to their care. Neglect differs from abuse, as the former refers to a lack of action or reaction from caregivers while abuse refers to deliberate harm to the residents, such as physical, emotional or sexual harm. It’s something that is unfortunately on the rise. According to research, it’s estimated that 498,260 concerns of abuse were raised in 2020-21, an increase of 5% from the previous year.
EXAMPLES OF NURSING HOME NEGLIGENCE Neglect can take many forms in a nursing home setting. It may be failing to keep harmful objects from vulnerable people, not changing bedding or cleaning their living environment. Medical negligence solicitors McCarthy & Co Solicitors explain that nursing home negligence can include medication and prescription errors, or misdiagnoses, a resident being left in bed for long periods of time causing pressure ulcers and sores, and injuries related to falls caused by inadequate mobility aids or a lack of supervision from staff. Residents and their relatives need to be mindful of the signs of negligence, in order to take action sooner rather than later. These include unexplained injuries, dehydration or malnutrition, poor personal hygiene, poor living conditions, and psychological issues such as unexplained fear and depression or a desire to simply be left alone.
FORMS OF NURSING HOME NEGLECT There are many forms of elder neglect, all of which can have a negative impact on those involved. Abandonment, for example, occurs when a caregiver leaves a resident with no regard for their wellbeing and safety, or removing them from the home completely without any regard for where they will stay. Medical neglect is also a common form of negligence in care homes, and this occurs when care providers fail to treat health problems or misdiagnose residents. Other forms of negligence include neglecting the basic needs of residents, such as providing them with food or water, or a clean living environment, or failing to help them with their personal hygiene. Social or emotional neglect may also be an issue, where nursing homes may leave residents alone for long periods or prevent them from interacting with other people or seeing their family and friends. This can be a particular issue for people with physical or mental disabilities as they may require caregivers to help them move and interact with other people.
WHY MIGHT NEGLIGENCE OCCUR IN A NURSING HOME ENVIRONMENT? There are many reasons why a nursing home may be accused of negligence, from unprofessionalism on the part of the caregivers, a lack of adequate training for staff, a lack of suitable infrastructure in the facility, or insufficient employees for the number of residents in the home. Neglect ultimately occurs when the home doesn’t make every effort to care for its residents and to prevent these types of pitfalls.
FINAL THOUGHTS Negligence isn’t a pleasant topic, but it’s unfortunately one that is a genuine concern in nursing homes that needs to be brought to light. There are thousands of care and nursing homes in the UK, and while the quality of care is largely good, it’s sadly not always the case. Nursing homes are home to vulnerable people who deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. Knowing what the signs of negligence are can help residents and those around them spot the signs and take appropriate action.
Author: Sophie Bishop is a medical journalist. Sophie aims to spread awareness through her writing around issues to do with healthcare, wellbeing and sustainability and is looking to connect with an engaged audience. Connect with Sophie on Twitter: @SophBishJourno
R. Sorbie of Abbey Health Scoops Lakeland Dairies’ Reimagine Colcannon Chef Competition £1000 Prize R. Sorbie of Abbey Healthcare scooped the Lakeland Dairies’ Reimagine Colcannon chef competition prize of a £1000 amazon gift card by creating ‘Molly Malone’s Colcannon’. A reimagined colcannon made by gently folding potato and cabbage with salmon and Lakeland Dairies Pure Irish Butter and Millac Gold Double for a deliciously creamy finish. The dish is then paned with flour, egg, and Lakeland Dairies Whole Milk before being lightly coated in golden breadcrumbs and beautifully presented in the centre of the plate, surrounded by mussels, red pesto and pancetta. A highly commended place went to B. Gollan of Ivy House with his beautifully presented savoy cabbage wrapped colcannon that was the perfect accompaniment to his Ballotine of Pork fillet with new seasonal vegetables and a sage and Earl Grey jus. Further highly commended places were awarded to J. Nicolas, Waddesdon Church of England School, D. Gunn, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and S. Hawker, AbleCare Homes. The Lakeland Dairies Colcannon Competition ran through March and April and was part of Lakeland Dairies celebration of their Irish provenance. The competition encouraged chefs to create a modern twist on Colcannon by exploring Lakeland Dairies range of high-quality professional dairy products; Lakeland Dairies Real Dairy Whipping Creams, Pure Irish Butters, delicious Milks and Millac Gold Double
Having a modern twist to one of the most iconic Irish dishes, Colcannon is a perfect way to showcase the extraordinary taste and fantastic functional performance of Lakeland Dairies’ dairy products. We were delighted to have received so many innovative ideas based around this truly Irish traditional dish. The judges were taken with how beautifully presented Sorbie’s dish was and the imaginative way that he matched colcannon with delicious seafood. The name – Mollie Malone – was an ideal title for the dish.” Lead Judge, Andrew Green, CEO of the Craft Guild of Chefs said: “It was a pleasure to judge such a range of diverse dishes. Sorbie’s take on this simple and popular dish has given Colcannon the modern twist that we were hoping to achieve. I am sure that it will prove an enormous success on any menu.” Full List Of Winners: Judged by Lakeland Dairies and the Craft Guild of Chefs, the competition considered the creativity and visual appearance of the Colcannon dishes entered. Jean Cattanach, marketing Controller at Lakeland Dairies says: “Celebrate Green is our way of shining a spotlight on our farming excellence on the island of Ireland.
Winner: R. Sorbie, Abbey Health Highly Commended: B. Gollan, Ivy House Highly Commended: J. Nicolas, Waddesdon Church of England School Highly Commended: D. Gunn, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust Highly Commended: S. Hawker, AbleCare Homes.
Efficiencies in Sluice Room Design As one of the most common sources of preventable harm, healthcare-associated infections are among the leading threats to resident safetyi and are common, costly and often fatal.ii Good infection prevention practices are vital to keeping residents and healthcare staff safe. So choosing the right equipment for human waste disposal processes is essential to minimise the transmission of preventable infections.iii
THE PLANNING OF A SLUICE ROOM Planning the workspace is crucial when designing a sluice room, it should be equipped with a collecFigure 1 © 2022 Arjo – showing the Arjo Typhoon™ flusher disinfector tion point for soiled goods, a hand washbasin, a flusher disinfector, and storage for clean goods. These are the four cornerstones to maintain good infection control routines. Clean hands on clean goods should be the dominant rule for all working procedures. Eliminating the need for manual cleaning, flusher disinfectors effectively empty, clean, and disinfect receptacles such as bedpans, urinals and commode chair pans. Automated operation features such as infra-red door operation (as shown in Figure 1), to avoid contaminating the device exterior, can help to reduce the risk of cross-contamination while delivering highly effective cleaning and disinfection results. A well-planned sluice room, along with a good hand hygiene programme, are both key to an effective infection control program.
In the sluice room, some additional considerations are as follows: • Locate the soiled utility room close to point of care to avoid long transport routes • Good ventilation is required to keep the room cool and dry, and to help remove odours • Floors and walls should be made of a water-resistant material along with surfaces which are easy to clean and disinfect • The hand washbasin should be placed close to the entrance and equipped with dispensers for soap and disinfectant, disposable paper towels and a waste paper bin. The mixer tap should be easily operated touch-free or with an arm / elbow • Plan for sufficient power supply, hot and cold-water inlets, and suitable drainage for the flusher disinfector, sink and slop hopper (optional) Minimising caregiver exposure to human waste during its disposal in the sluice room is fundamental. Caregivers can be exposed to splashes and aerosolsiv during manual cleaning of bedpans and urine bottles or when emptying waste, which can lead to caregiver illness or cross-infection with residents. For this reason, having an efficiently designed sluice room, flusher disinfector and an efficient waste management process are key to minimise the risk of cross-infection. References i Ahrq.gov, 2021. AHRQ’s Healthcare-Associated Infections Program. Available at: www.ahrq.gov/hai/index.html accessed June 2022 ii European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 2018. Healthcare-associated infections: Clostridium difficile infections. ECDC. Annual epidemiological report for 2016. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/AER_for_2016-C-difficile_0.pdf accessed June 2022 iii Arjo Clinical Whitepaper. Flusher Disinfectors: Reducing the risk of cross contamination, 2019 iv Knippenberg-Gordebeke, G., 2012. Bedpans and healthcare-associated infections - Hospital Healthcare Europe. Hospital Healthcare Europe. https://www.hospitalhealthcare.com/news/bedpans-and-healthcare-associated-infections/ accessed June 2022
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Liberty Protection Safeguards Delays: What Will Happen Next? The Department of Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Justice have extended the deadline for people to respond to the consultation on changes to the Mental Capacity Act (2005), which include guidance on the new Liberty Protection Safeguards, which will apply in England and Wales. The consultation also covers the Liberty Protection Safeguard Regulations and a revision of the Code of Practice. Originally planned to come into force in April 2022, the proposed Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) have been delayed with a new deadline of 14 July 2022. Here Rachel Duxbury, Court of Protection solicitor at Hugh Jones Solicitors (www.hughjonessolicitors.co.uk), explains what the Liberty Protection Safeguards are, what will happen next and when they are likely to come into force.
WHAT ARE THE LIBERTY PROTECTION SAFEGUARDS? The Liberty Protection Safeguards were introduced in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 and are planned to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) system. Both safeguards aim to protect the rights of people who are or who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to enable their care or treatment and lack the mental capacity to consent to their arrangements. However, the Liberty Protection Safeguards have been designed to be easier to understand and a better fit for the framework of the Mental Capacity Act which they are part of. There are also other key areas where LPS and DoLS differ: Setting: DoLS is applicable in care homes and hospitals only, but LPS will apply in any setting. Age: LPS will apply to people aged 16 or over whereas DoLS cur-
rently applies to age 18 or over. Authorisation: With DoLS, the role of Supervisory Body that signs off authorisation sits with the Local Authority. Under LPS, this will be replaced by the ‘Responsible Body’ and allow for different Responsible Bodies in different settings. Tests for authorisation will differ in that under LPS, it will no longer be required that the arrangements are in the person’s best interests. Finally, duration of authorisation is not renewable under DoLS and is currently limited to 12 months then requiring a new authorisation, whereas LPS provides for an initial 12month limit with opportunity to renew. Assessments: Under LPS, assessments will no longer have to be carried out by specially trained and qualified assessors. The only role requiring qualification and specific training is that of the Approved Mental Capacity Professional (AMCP) – a new role created by the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 to provide 'enhanced oversight'. Three assessments will form the basis of the authorisation of Liberty Protection Safeguards. For the Responsible Body to authorise any deprivation of liberty, it needs to be clear that: 1. A ‘capacity assessment’ to determine that the person lacks the capacity to consent to the care arrangements The test for whether an individual is able to make a decision is set out in Section 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and states: (1) For the purposes of section 2, a person is unable to make a decision for himself if he is unable: to understand the information relevant to the decision, a. to retain that information, b. c. to use or weigh that information as part of the process of making the decision, or to communicate his decision (whether by talking, using sign land. guage or any other means) (2) A person is not to be regarded as unable to understand the information relevant to a decision if he is able to understand an explanation of it given to him in a way that is appropriate to his circumstances (using simple language, visual aids or any other means). (3) The fact that a person is able to retain the information relevant to a decision for a short period only does not prevent him from being regarded as able to make the decision. (4) The information relevant to a decision includes information about the reasonably foreseeable consequences of:
a. deciding one way or another, or failing to make the decision. b. 2. A ‘medical assessment’ to determine whether the person has a mental disorder within the meaning of section 1(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983 A “mental disorder” is defined as “any disorder or disability of the mind”. Examples of clinically recognised mental disorders include mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety or depression, as well as personality disorders, eating disorders, autistic spectrum disorders and learning disabilities. Disorders or disabilities of the brain are not mental disorders unless (and only to the extent that) they give rise to a disability or disorder of the mind as well. 3. A ‘necessary and proportionate’ assessment to determine if the arrangements are necessary to prevent harm to the person and proportionate to the likelihood and seriousness of that harm.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? The LPS was originally due come into force in October 2020, however the impact of coronavirus and the pressures on the health and social care sector during the pandemic meant that this was then delayed to April 2022. For implementation, the LPS needs the code of practice and regulations to be drawn up and passed by Parliament. Before this step can happen, ministers must carry out a 12-week consultation on the draft code and regulations. The consultation is currently underway and will close on the 14 July 2022, the Government will then allocate a period of time to consider the consultations responses. The final code of practice and regulations will then be drawn up and laid before Parliament for 40 days.
WHEN WILL THE LIBERTY PROTECTION SAFEGUARDS COME INTO FORCE? There has been no new target date confirmed since the delays, with the DHSC stating that “we will not set a new target date for implementation.” The draft of the new Code has been published and consultation is open until 14th July 2022 with the Government expecting a wide range of stakeholders to submit detailed responses. The nature of the reforms and careful consideration needed for any final decisions and implementation plans around the LPS infrastructure, training and funding means the LPS coming into force in late 2023 is the earliest possible estimate and one that is unlikely to be confirmed until much nearer the time.
Air Force Veteran Phyllis Celebrates 100th Birthday at Royal Star & Garter An Air Force veteran who served during WWII has celebrated her 100th birthday. Phyllis Hales had family and friends join her for an afternoon garden party at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton, on Thursday, 30 June. The charity provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, and also has Homes in Solihull and High Wycombe. Phyllis has been a resident at Royal Star & Garter since 2017. Among those attending the party were daughter Jill, son Nigel and grandchildren. The guests gathered in the Surbiton Home’s new garden room, which had been decorated with birthday bunting and special ‘100’ balloons. Phyllis was born in London and did clerical work at a bookbinders before joining the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in 1942, at the age of 19. She continued doing clerical work while serving in the military, and following the
war, was stationed for six months in Belgium and Germany. She demobbed in 1946, before working for British European Airways, and later as a headmaster’s secretary. The centenarian used to raise money for the RAF Association (RAFA), and received a letter from the organisation, thanking Phyllis for her support and congratulating her on reaching 100. She also received a birthday card from Her Majesty The Queen. Daughter Jill said afterwards: “We’re really grateful to Royal Star & Garter staff who enabled us to have the party in the lovely garden room. Mum really appreciated it too, and I don’t think there’s a better place for her to celebrate. She loves the Home and we are grateful for all that staff do for her. I think being at Royal Star & Garter has not just prolonged her life, it’s given her a better quality of life.”
Care Home Residents and Local Beaver Group Come Together for ‘Memory Box’ Community Project Residents Signature at Camberley, have recently come together with the Farnborough Tenth Beaver Group to create ‘memory boxes’ as part of a community project. Building on the group’s previous visit to Signature at Camberley prior to the COVID-19 pandemic for an arts and crafts session, Lia Thompson, Activities Co-ordinator at the care home, and Clare Hills, Beaver Leader, agreed it would be a wonderful idea for the two generations to come together once again. The session, which was backed by the Co-Op Community Fund, a grant that supports projects across the UK, gave the local group an opportunity to visit the care home and spend some time with residents assembling and crafting memory boxes. Memory boxes can be filled with anything and everything from sentimental objects to messages and are increasingly being used to help remind individuals of loved ones or special memories from their lives. Particularly, they have proven to be extremely beneficial for older people or those living with dementia, offering familiarity, comfort, and a way to trigger memories from the past. Together with residents at Signature at Camberley, eleven beavers and their three team leaders spent the evening completing seven boxes for those living at the care home. Included within each was a range of sen-
sory items, including seashells, lavender bags, old coins in a purse, maracas, sensory balls, bags of sweets, and postcards. The session proved to be a huge success, with the two groups bonding over the memory boxes and spending valuable time chatting about the past and other interesting topics. Reflecting on the evening, Lia Thompson, Activities Coordinator at Signature at Camberley, said: “It was a really special evening. It was great to see the residents interact with the children, having lots of different conversations and helping each other to create the memory boxes. You can see the benefits group session like this have on our residents, the children really brighten up their day.” Clare Hill, Farnborough Tenth Beaver Group Team Leader, added: “The Beavers really enjoyed their time with your residents. It was so heartening to see the two generations interacting with each other and listening in to their different conversations. We were so pleased to be able to visit you all again – it has been over two years since our first visit back in December 2019, fingers crossed we'll be back before the end of the year!”
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“I Still Love My Job As Much As When I First Started” Says Staff Member At Derbyshire Based Care Home After 18 Years In Role Sheila Fowkes recently celebrated her 18th year work anniversary at MHA Maple Leaf House A staff member at a Derbyshire based care home has recently celebrated 18 years in her job and says she “still loves the job as much as when I started”. Sheila Fowkes started working at MHA Maple Leaf House, in Ripley in 2004 as an activity coordinator, something she did as part of a 10 year career in a previous job. To celebrate her achievement, there was a small ceremony at the home, which provides nursing dementia care for 48 residents Sheila says the challenge of being an activity coordinator and tailoring activities to suit the needs of individuals is what drives her to keep going. She added: “I love my job, I love coming into work every day and there's always something different to do which is why I don't think I will
ever get bored. “Every resident is unique and being able to help contribute towards their day in the form of the activities is a great feeling. “During the pandemic it was tough and at times the challenges were difficult, but with the great team of staff we have here at the home we managed to work through it as best we could. “I can honestly say I can see myself doing this job until I decide to retire. I am 63 years old and my husband has said I can stop working but I said no. “I love working at Maple Leaf House, the staff and residents are great and I wouldn't change it for anything, I Still love my job as much as when I first started. “For me the key to working in care is getting to know the residents, the more you get to know them the easier it is to relate with them and that does go a long way in building the right relationships.”
Tattoo Dream Comes True For 78-Year-Old Care Home Resident A temporary tattoo studio popped up at a Hamilton care home, offering residents the chance to ‘get inked’ after a 78-year-old resident expressed regret at never braving the tattooist chair. For Eileen MacIntyre, a resident at Avonbridge Care Home, a tattoo was an unfulfilled lifelong fantasy. But, thanks to the home’s activities team and local tattoo parlour Cherry Pie Tattoo and Piercing, she got the chance to make her dream come true – albeit temporarily. Kelly O’Neill, activities coordinator at Avonbridge, said: “Eileen spotted some of our team’s tattoos and was asking what they meant and if they had hurt. After a long conversation with some of the more colourful carers she admitted she’d always wanted one but had been too scared. “Over a few different chats, she told me she wanted something that reminded her of her children and grandchildren. We settled on a Tinkerbell fairy design, which reminded her of enjoying Disney films with them when they were young. It’s also a bit of a nod to never growing up and always having fun. “After that I got in touch with the team at Cherry Pie via Facebook and they jumped at the opportunity
to create a temporary transfer to make her wish come true.” The team at the home set up a mock tattoo parlour, complete with a board of designs and an ‘Avonbridge Tattoo Studio’ sign, before surprising Eileen with her custom design. Eileen said: “I was really surprised when I walked into the room to see that Kelly and the team had set up a corner to be like our very own tattoo shop. “I did get a little bit emotional when she said she had done it all for me and had even worked with a proper tattoo artist to make a temporary design for me. She really listened to me and captured exactly what we had talked about. Every time I see it, I think of my family, which is what it’s all about – I might have to look into getting a proper one now!” Kelley added: “The tattoo parlour gained a lot of interest, and lots of residents and staff got involved. It’s amazing how much fun we had with some simple stick-on tattoos. It sparked a lot of conversation with residents telling us about their own tattoos, and memories of friends and family’s tattoos and what they meant.”
Introduction of Peracide™ from Sky Chemicals to Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Trust Carol Scholey (RGN, BSc (hons)) Liam Grimshaw (BSc (hons) MSc by Research) INTRODUCTION In the transfer of an NHS Trust from one disinfectant to another, there are many factors to consider from ease of use to efficacy against healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). For many years, Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Trust (DBTH) used a chlorine dioxide (ClO2)-based product as their universal, one-application, quick kill rate disinfection solution. When the supplier announced it was to cease production, they had to find a replacement solution. Whilst scoping the market, it was found that most trusts were using chlorine-based disinfectants or a different brand of ClO2-based disinfectants. Most other solutions were complicated in their mechanism or required a cleaning and disinfecting clean (two stage), which would be time consuming. Information was sort from the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) to see what products were commonly used throughout the country and this is where DBTH were informed about Peracide™, an in situ peracetic acid (ISPAA)-based disinfectant. After further discussion with the company, it was agreed that a trial should take place to confirm the claims of the product. The product was introduced to the microbiologist and Director Infection Prevention & Control (DIPC) our Facilities management team and Health and Safety advisor. The process of using the product needed to meet the needs of facilities and Health and Safety, and the approval of the DIPC that the product had a successful kill rate to reduce HCAIs. DBTH did plate assays to ensure its efficacy and when satisfied, trialled Peracide™ on two wards to test its efficacy and ease in use. In recent years, the need for rapidly efficacious, high-level disinfectants has increased as HCAIs have become a significant issue. HCAIs negatively impact the patient recovery, turnover and average cost by increasing the length of patient stays, increasing costs associated with care, increasing pathogenic effects and increasing the risk of spread to another patient.
MATERIALS AND METHODS As an alternative to a ClO2-based disinfectant, Peracide™ was selected. Peracide™ is a broad-spectrum biocide, reacting to produce peracetic acid in-situ which is a high-level disinfectant that boasts strong, oxidizing properties. Peracide™ is extremely effective against a
wide range of healthcare-associated pathogens including spore forming Clostridium difficile, MRSA, Norovirus, Legionella, E. Coli, Pseudomonas etc. and will work to destroy established biofilms. Peracide™ is both safe to use and environmentally friendly and is suitable for high level sanitising and disinfecting on porous and nonporous surfaces. Unlike other disinfectants, Peracide™ is minimally affected by organic matter. Upon breakdown Peracide™ is completely biodegradable producing carbon dioxide, water, and oxygen. Two side rooms on the same ward were selected. The occupants were of similar admissions reasons and neither of which had any alert organisms so did not occupy the room for isolation purposes
RESULTS Cleaning had not been performed on either side room with Peracide™ prior to this test. The results show that the ClO2-based disinfectant showed no effect at the intervals measured.
From this data, routine cleaning CFU counts with Peracide™ can be predicted. Since there were slightly fewer CFUs than the pre-clean, it can be predicted that Peracide™ will lead to a cumulative effect over time as shown in Figure 2: Predicted cumulative effect of daily cleaning with Peracide This emphasises the absolute importance of regular routine cleaning and shows that Peracide™ is effective both in short- and long-term use.
DISCUSSION Overall, it was found that the ClO2-based disinfectant was almost entirely ineffective and was not suitable for use. There are many possible reasons for this. It could be a case of error in preparation as the formulation can be difficult to use correctly, or that the solution was no longer efficacious as there is no indicative mechanism for the user. It may also be an issue with the ClO2-based disinfectant in solution. ClO2 exists as a gas which readily diffuses out of liquid solution, with a diffusion coefficient of 0.145cm2s-1 at room temperature (Lee, Burgess, Rubino and Auras, 2015) On the other hand, Peracide™ was considerably more effective and had lasting effect in a high-traffic environment. Peracide™, coming in a simple tablet form, is easy to use, is indicative of efficacy and is stabilised in solution. This accumulates to an easy to use, visibly efficacious disinfectant with cumulative effect that supports long-term infection control.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The results show that there is no cumulative effect of cleaning from the ClO2-based disinfectant as the counts at the end of the day were no different from before or after the clean . The ClO2-based disinfectant showed approximately no efficacy overall. In comparison, Peracide™ showed good efficacy to begin with and an overall reduction prior to the next clean.
Thank you to the participants at DBTH for engaging in this trial, and to the laboratory team who performed the necessary assays.
Lee, Y., Burgess, G., Rubino, M. and Auras, R., 2015. Reaction and diffusion of chlorine dioxide gas under dark and light conditions at different temperatures. Journal of Food Engineering, 144, pp.20-28.
For further information see page 40.
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“Postcode Lottery” Highlights Wales Fees Discrepancy A social care champion has accused Carmarthenshire Council of trying to “defend the indefensible” over care home fees. Cabinet member Jane Tremlett was unhappy after the authority was named and shamed by Care Forum Wales after they compiled a table that revealed massive discrepancies between the fees paid by different councils. In the case of Carmarthenshire, it showed that the council pays £8,700 less per person, per year for Nursing EMI care than Torfaen Council in Gwent – for exactly the same level of care. For a care home with 40 residents that adds up to a difference of more than £350,000 per year. Cllr Tremlett had hit out after Care Forum Wales published a table highlighting the post code lottery of fees in Wales in which Carmarthenshire was seventh from bottom. She claimed that the organisation, which represents nearly 500 independent social care providers, was causing division. Mario Kreft, the chair of Care Forum Wales who was made an MBE for his contribution to social care, said: “Carmarthenshire Council clearly do not like being confronted with the truth because in their response they are trying to defend the indefensible. “If they think it is fair that Carmarthenshire pays £8,765 per person, per year less than Torfaen in Gwent for Nursing EMI care for providing exactly the same level of service, they are living in cloud cuckoo land. “This issue was laid bare once and for all by Merthyr Council a couple of months ago when councillors were given legal advice that it was unlawful not to pay fees that reflected the legitimate current and future costs of providing care, as well as the factors affecting those costs. “They were warned the fees set needed to be adequate to enable providers to meet the specifications set by the commissioners, together with regulatory requirements. “As a result, members in Merthyr voted for increases of up to 22 per cent and now we’ve seen two councils in North Wales, Gwynedd and Anglesey, following suit with increases of up to 25 per cent. “The table we have compiled has highlighted the grossly unfair post code lottery of fees in Wales, with
massive discrepancies between the top of the bottom – up to £11,000 per person, per year in some places. “Carmarthenshire Council are clearly upset about being named and shamed – but it’s their own fault. “After years of campaigning for fair fees, the tide is turning and the momentum is heading one direction so this has come as a reality check for Carmarthenshire Council. “Unfortunately, the council is trying to keep the true facts hidden from the good people of Carmarthenshire. “It’s about time the cabinet member was honest and up front with the electorate about why they do not properly value the care provided for the most vulnerable people in our society. “Contrary to what Cllr Tremlett suggests, this is actually all about seeing the big picture because she appears to be blinded to facts of the matter. “Back in the 1990s Care Forum Wales campaigned for the introduction of national standards of care to be overseen by a national inspectorate and that came about 22 years ago. “We’re now about see a new ratings systems introduced for social care with Care Inspectorate Wales applying the same criteria in different parts of Wales. “It won’t take into account that a home in Torfaen receives £350,000 more than a home in Carmarthenshire which is grossly unfair. “Some local authorities – notably Torfaen, Merthyr, Gwynedd and Anglesey – are really stepping up to the plate and should be applauded but it’s clear that there are others who cannot be trusted to do the right thing. “This is why, as a matter of urgency, we need a complete overhaul of the system so that we have a national framework to ensure fair minimum fee levels. “Without fair fees, the only way that care homes can remain viable is by charging top of fees so that they can meet those additional costs. “Inevitably, those councillors are placing the burden on honest, hard-working families and it all adds up to a stealth tax on them at a time when the cost of living is going through the roof.”
Nude Life Drawing Class Smashes Preconceptions About Care Home Life A south-west London care home has recently accommodated a nude life-drawing class for its residents, who thoroughly enjoyed the “relaxing” experience. Care UK’s Sherwood Grange care home “life drawing class” has smashed a few myths about how residents spend their days. In this care home with a difference, residents are empowered to take up any activities they fancy from day trips to France to attending the opera so when they requested another opportunity to draw a nude model after a highly successful session in 2019, the Sherwood Grange team immediately set to work to make it happen. Residents were asked what kind of model they preferred, and almost unanimously landed on a ‘nice handsome man’. A professional model – more used to working in an artist’s studio – that met the residents’ criteria, was employed for the afternoon to pose while residents got in touch with their creative side to bring his nude form to life. As part of the session, the residents at the home sharpened their pencils and dusted off their rubbers to focus their attention on an
accurate recreation of the model. When asked what she enjoyed most about the session, resident
Mollie Wheeldon, chuckled: “I can’t answer that! It was great fun to do something different – I found it very relaxing!” Kristina Jacunskiene, Home Manager at Sherwood Grange, said: “We certainly ‘bared’ all at Sherwood Grange with our memorable nude art class. “Most people expect life in a care home to be a certain way – but here at Sherwood Grange we’re keen to ensure that there are no limitations, and every day can be different and fun. Life in our care home is all about helping people to enjoy more independent and fulfilling lives – and today that meant doing something out of the ordinary and creating a memorable experience. “Sadly the session had to draw to a close – but based on the response we had from the residents and the fabulous drawings they created, we will certainly be welcoming more models in the future!” The class has also caught the attention of the media with photos of the class appearing in several national newspapers including the Sun, Telegraph and Guardian so residents have been enjoying collecting clippings of their memorable day.
Baby Boost: Carer Delights Residents At Beccles Care Home By Bringing In Baby For Surprise Visits A care home worker has delighted residents at a family-run Beccles care home by bringing in her baby for regular visits — helping to prompt reminiscence and evoke feelings of nostalgia. Gemma Snowden, a care assistant at Wellbeing Care’s St George’s home, has recently returned to the branch whilst on maternity leave to introduce the residents to her baby girl, Arabella. During the visits, the residents take turns to hold and cuddle the baby whilst reminiscing on the days in which they first became parents — recollecting fond memories and funny stories of their children’s younger years. Many studies demonstrate that babies and younger children can greatly benefit older people, with intergenerational care reducing depression, increasing mobility and fostering better communication and language. Discussing the reason behind her regular visits, Gemma said: “The residents were interested in my pregnancy, and so I promised them I would bring Arabella
in to visit them. I thought this would be something great for them to look forward to after the challenges the past few years have brought. “I consider the residents like my extended family, so I had to introduce them to our brand-new addition! It’s lovely to see them smile and comment on how lovely she is and how big she’s gotten each time they see her.” Joy Henshaw, Registered Manager of Wellbeing Care, added: “The residents have responded very positively to visits from Gemma and baby Arabella. The bond they are establishing is lovely to witness, and they always look forward to her visits. “We have also noticed that the visits help residents recount memories from when they first became parents, which is particularly beneficial for some of our residents with dementia. We greatly welcome visits from Gemma and baby Arabella and look forward to seeing our residents continue to bond with them over the summer period.”
YOUR CARE HOME’S CHANCE TO WIN A LUXURY HAMPER! Afternoon Tea Week is coming up on August 8 -14
Afternoon Tea Week celebrates that great British tradition of Afternoon Tea served with the most delicious delicacies, bringing a little bit of “elegance and pomp” to brighten the day! The CARER is offering one lucky care home the chance to win a luxury Hamper packed full of all those artful little extras for a truly memorable occasion. Presented in a traditional wicker hamper, this selection makes the ideal gift for any occasion that demands special attention.
All you have to do is tell us all about your Afternoon Tea Week celebrations, planning, events, treats, delicacies, and we will pick a winner!! Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to win!
Afternoon Tea Week is Coming Up So Let's Celebrate in Style!
THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 31
This year's Afternoon Tea Week will take place from 8th - 14th August and venues, in particular care settings across the UK, will pay tribute to the nation's favourite pastime.
Afternoon Tea Week is the perfect opportunity to take part in a range of activities that celebrate this wonderful tradition; to meet people, chat, dance, laugh and eat a lot of cake – that is washed down with some delicious tea served in a fine China cup. Furthermore, it serves an important social and emotional role that is necessary for overall resident wellbeing, enabling those in social and health care settings, who may otherwise feel isolated, to interact with staff, visitors, and fellow residents, service users or patients.
A WORLD-WIDE TRADITION
Now a world-wide tradition, taking afternoon tea is integral to British culture, but you may be surprised to hear that the custom only dates back to the 1840s. Originating amongst the upper social classes in England, the invention of afternoon tea is widely credited to Anna Maria Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford and a lifelong friend of Queen Victoria.
Anna Maria Russell became the Duchess of Bedford in 1839, after her husband, Francis Russell, became the 7th Duke of Bedford. While on a visit to the fifth Duke of Rutland, Russell became rather lethargic and hungry, however, in the nineteenth century, it was normal to have dinner served and eaten between the hours of seven to nine at night. Since this was rather late into the evening, a small meal called ‘luncheon’ was created. However, this too, after long afternoons with no refreshment, also failed to keep the hunger pangs at bay. This is when she came up with the notion of “afternoon tea”. Tea paired with savoury sandwiches and sweet cakes became the Russell’s go-to midday meal. She also started inviting her friends for an afternoon tea session. This custom was soon picked up by people from the upper- and middle-upper classes. Today, afternoon tea is enjoyed by many all over the world, thanks in part to Queen Victoria, who was also a friend of Russell’s, started having afternoon tea. Eventually, having afternoon tea became a social event of sorts. Members of the elite would dress up and assemble to share sumptuous treats like finger sandwiches, scones with jams and clotted cream, pastries, and various cakes and teas, or share a more informal afternoon tea with just close friends.
THE PERFECT TEA TREATS
A 2021 Sass & Belle survey which asked UK consumers to rank a range of popular afternoon tea treats to rank the nation’s perfect spread, revealed that aside from the scone - a classic component in any afternoon tea – we British huge fans of chicken and mayonnaise sandwiches, sausage rolls and brownies! When it comes to our favourite tier, it seems we’re a nation of dessert lovers, with 42% rating the cakes and sweet selection the best, followed by the savoury selection and scone tier, with only one in five (21%) claiming ‘the middle tier’ as the one that makes their mouth water the most.
Afternoon Tea can also be a key focal point to demonstrate how this traditional occasion is ideal for promoting and improving nutrition and hydration. As well as offering a number of nutritional benefits, it can also be easily adapted to a wide variety of social and health care settings, care homes, community meals rounds, in day care settings, at Luncheon Clubs, during community support worker visits, and within NHS settings such as on hospital wards, cafés and day rooms.
From a nutrition and hydration perspective, Afternoon Tea undoubtedly supports the ‘three meals and two snacks a day’ message, helping with boosting calorific intake if required, and it can be adapted for all groups, including those with specific dietary needs, texture modification and eating problems. Hydration refers to the drinking of adequate amounts of fluid to keep the body healthy. It recognises that having an adequate fluid intake is an important part of maintaining a balanced diet and is essential for health and wellbeing. In this respect, the care service implements the recommended daily intake for an adult of six to eight glasses of water or other fluids (about two litres), also recognising that most people do not drink anywhere near that amount, particularly the elderly. In adult social care settings, severe dehydration makes frail people more vulnerable to infections, dizziness and confusion, and to falls, from which may have a lasting effect. Studies in care settings where a campaign of positive encouragement to maintain hydration has been run have identified a number of positive outcomes, including fewer urinary infections and fewer falls. So, a wonderful opportunity to afford service providers the perfect platform to put on their own activities and events to further highlight the absolute need for fun, good nutrition and hydration, and promote the good work they are doing.
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Celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week with Cuppas That Show You Care With lots of refreshing fruit and herbal blends as well as Orignal and decaf black tea, Tetley has a solution for everyone celebrating National Afternoon Tea Week! Here at Tetley, we understand the challenge of keeping your residents hydrated and the important role a quality cuppa can play. A significant 20% of care home residents are dehydrated1 which can lead to hospital admission. This is easily preventable by keeping hydrated.
ity cuppas to the nation for the past 185 years. Operating globally, we source, buy and blend the finest tea leaves, so you can promise residents a deliciously refreshing cuppa with every sip. Whilst we are tea masters, we are also environmentally conscious and committed to operating our business in a way that supports the people and environment it touches. With every Tetley cuppa, you and your residents drink, you’re helping us in reaching our sustainability and environmental goals.
EVERY CUPPA COUNTS With our range, we have a tea that suits every one of your residents’ needs throughout the day. As well as choice, Tetley provides a familiar feeling of comfort for residents to help them feel more relaxed and settled. For the love of tea, for the love of Tetley. Maximise the opportunities to maintain hydration levels by offering our wide range of flavoured tea alongside black tea. With tea counting towards the daily fluid intake and the recommended water intake being between 1.5L to 2L, our range will help you make sure your residents stay hydrated.
FOR THE LOVE OF TEA Tetley is the nation’s favourite tea brand2 and No1 in the foodservice sector.3 We’ve been serving qual-
Safer Drinkware and Catering Products for Staff and Residents Who are BBP Marketing Ltd? BBP Marketing is a family-owned company based in Mirfield, West Yorkshire established in 1882. BBP is recognised leader in the design and manufacture of reusable drinkware and catering products. We have a large range of styles & sizes and continually expand our range in order to meet our customer’s needs.
Why use BBP Marketing? We understand the importance of taking care of our planet, which is why we take pride in our products being reusable, as well as recyclable at end of life. They are machine washer safe, virtually unbreakable and can last a lifetime. Not only are our products helping the environment, they are also designed with you in mind. Whether it be a bowl with easy grip handles either side for better stability or a plate with cover to keep your food fresher for longer, we strive to make products that are suitable for everyday use. The benefits of using Polycarbonate over glass are endless. Not only does it eliminate opportunities for injuries which can occur during glass breakages, it also ensures a safer environment that we know is important within the care sector
as well as the hospitality industry. Polycarbonate, whilst being lightweight, is also a great insulator of hot or cold liquid. It serves as a thermal barrier to protect the user’s hands from hot or cold contents, whilst keeping the liquid at the desired temperature for longer. You may have seen already our patient water jug designed specifically for the NHS in hospitals around the United Kingdom. We worked closely with the NHS Nursing Team and in-turn successfully created a product that meets the needs of both patient and staff. We always welcome the opportunity to work with clients who hold new and exciting ideas, that fill a gap in the market. Branding, logo printing and further bespoke work can also be implemented upon request.
How do we purchase? We have a reputable list of distributors across the globe, who can supply our products along with other complimentary items to suit your needs. Please ask your distributor for our products or email us and we will be happy to recommend a suitable distributor. See the advert on the previous page for details.
MORE THAN JUST TEA Designed with care professionals and caterers in mind, the Tetley Hydration Handbook and Hydration Help Sheet offer insight and advice to help keep residents hydrated in all care environments! We have a range of free POS and specially designed care activity pack materials available to encourage extra drinking opportunities and have some fun at the same time. Get your free POS and activity pack today: www.tetleyfoodservice.co.uk/channels/care Sources: 1. Open Access Government (2022), “Eradicating dehydration in the elderly with Aquarate”, openaccessgovernment.org 2. Kantar World Panel No. of Households Buying Dec 2019 3. Kantar World Panel L52W to April 2022
Serve Afternoon Tea in Style with Euroservice Watch your resident's eyes light up when the beautiful tea trolley arrives! Euroservice trolleys can also be used as a vending trolley or to sell personal care products to residents. How about a delicious snack/pastry trolley or even a drinks trolley for that afternoon tipple? Your lovely trolley could do so much for you and your residents! Visit the website at www.euroservice-uk.com to see the full range.
Make Tea a Special Occasion with Bidfood's Afternoon Tea Guide
“Afternoon tea is a great social occasion for residents, bringing them together with the opportunity of meeting others for a chat, dance and singalong. It can improve their nutrition and hydration, as it’s a great way of getting calories and fluids into their diet. Everyone loves a scone - whether it’s sweet or savoury! “We’ve recently created an afternoon tea guide, especially for carehomes, complete with a tempting set of inspiring recipe ideas, printable activities, decoration ideas, and top tips for throwing the ultimate summer celebration. The menu builds on-trend flavours into the afternoon tea occasion, with the aim of inspiring chefs with traditional dishes that have a modern twist. For example, katsu in a Spam Katsu Sando, and sriracha in a Sriracha Prawn Vol-au-Vent. It offers everything from bite-sized snacks to substantial sandwiches and of
Manufactured in the UK
course irresistible sweets like Lemon and Raspberry Scone with Lemon Curd Cream or our Black Forest Gateau Pots. The menu works not just for the jubilee, but will bring excitement to any afternoon tea occasion. You can find the guide here: https://view.bidfood.co.uk/the-queens-jubileerecipe-guide/. We’ve have also developed a range of afternoon tea inspired cocktails to go with the recipes, created by our Unity Wines and Spirits team. For example, Strawberries and Cream, Bakewell Sour, A Messy Chase and the Cucumber Martini. Find them here: https://www.bidfood.co.uk/blog/4-afternoon-teainspired-cocktails/.
Freephone: 0800 917 7943 www.euroservice-uk.com email@example.com
PROVIDING PRACTICAL AND STYLISH TROLLEYS TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS Watch your resident's eyes light up when the beautiful tea trolley arrives! Euroservice trolleys can also be used as a vending trolley or to sell personal care products to residents. How about a delicious snack/pastry trolley or even a drinks trolley for that afternoon tipple?
Your lovely trolley could do so much for you and your residents! Euroservice trolleys are an attractive and practical alternative to clinical aluminium trolleys given that antibacterial spray can be used freely to sanitise them.
Get in touch with our friendly, experienced sales team
Visit the website at
www.euroservice-uk.com to see the full range.
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DYSPHAGIA Don't Let Dysphagia Ruin Your Resident's Mealtimes Meals are often the highlight of the day in a care home, but when you have dysphagia, and struggle to swallow, the risk of choking and food or fluid entering your lungs, can present a real challenge and even make the meal itself a danger. In fact, dysphagia is a common reason for hospital admission. Nor is it a problem that is limited to the elderly, dysphagia can affect people of all ages. However, it doesn’t have to spoil mealtimes, which can still be a pleasure as well as safe, as long as meals are prepared and presented in the right way. Just pureeing meals can reduce their nutritional content, and the dish may end up being less appetising to the eye. This is where specialist ranges of texture-modified dishes can help, for example Simply Puree which is available through Bidfood. This range is created especially for people living with dysphagia, and each dish is consistent in the nutritional content it provides, and compliant with IDDSI textures. The International IDDSI Diet Standardisation tool is a global standard providing terminology and definitions that describe the texture of 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. You can find it here: https://tinyurl.com/bdz2kktx This is a great online tool, which not only gives a refresher on IDDSI lev-
els for chefs who are already knowledgeable about dysphagia, but it’s also a great learning tool for those with less experience, who may be new to the industry. It takes you through the journey of how to adapt a range of different dishes to meet all levels within IDDSI – the cooking, blending and serving processes that ensure a dish is safe for residents with different needs. This makes dining a fun and sociable experience for those living with dysphagia, covering all their needs from nutritional to hydration. It means they can get involved with all meal occasions, which is good for their wellbeing, and presenting really appetising dishes will, of course, encourage them to eat more. Many of those living with dysphagia find it difficult to consume enough calories throughout the day, so you may need to fortify recipes to maximise the calorific value of each spoonful. An easy way to achieve this is to switch water for full fat milk or cream, melted butter or oil, sauces, gravy, honey, or juice for dilution. It’s important to ensure that dishes are visually appealing too, so it helps to make up modified consistency foods separately, and then pipe them onto the plate while still hot, so that you can serve them immediately. If you are diluting or pureeing food, it’s also important to use stronger flavours so that the food is still flavoursome. As with any dish, do a taste check before you serve to make sure it meets the same high standards you aim for with the rest of your menu. When it comes to caring for those living with dysphagia, its key to regu-
larly monitor their intake very closely, with a nutritional assessment and weekly weight check, to ensure they are not losing weight and are getting enough nutrition and fluids. Make sure those who are preparing food are fully trained and aware of the risks associated with dysphagia, as well as the correct way to prepare modified consistency foods, and to thicken fluids for patients who need this. To help with this, Bidfood have put together a new e-learning platform, called Caterers Campus, which is a fun and interactive training resource that takes the hard work out of supporting your team. The modules are aimed at helping them consistently create nutritious and delicious meals that are tailored to residents’ individual requirements. There are seven modules available, which include one on Dysphagia and IDDSI, as well as Fortification, Hydration, Dementia, and Cost Control amongst others. You can find more information about it here: https://www.bidfood.co.uk/caterers-campus/ Bidfood have developed the programme exclusively for their customers to help their teams learn in bite-sized modules, in a way which works for them - anytime, anywhere, on any device. Knowledge is checked on completion of each module, and each person taking a module gets a certificate of achievement for their records - but if it’s not a pass, it’s not a problem, you can take it again! There are also no sign up fees for the programme.
myAko Develops Dysphagia Online Courses For Carers Swallowing difficulties are common in people residing in care homes. Early identification, assessment and management by care home staff may result in a decrease in the incidence of pneumonia and death. Therefore, it is important for staff to be aware of the signs of dysphagia and what to do in order to prevent further deterioration in a resident’s condition. Dr. Elizabeth Boaden is a fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and has spent over 30 years working to improve the quality of life of those living with dysphagia. Dr. Boaden has created a set of courses on dysphagia. These courses have been researched and developed for the benefit of all healthcare workers and nurses, and are due to be available on myAko.com.
WHAT IS DYSPHAGIA?
Dysphagia is the term used to describe difficulties swallowing. Difficulties may range from a decrease in chewing ability to food and drinks going onto the lungs causing aspiration pneumonia and death. Dysphagia is a common feature of many congenital and acquired structural and neurological difficulties. It is not possible to provide accurate figures regarding the prevalence of dysphagia, as it is often unrecognised and underdiagnosed. Dysphagia affects approximately 8% of the global population. Although swallowing difficulties are seen in the paediatric population, the greater incidence is in adult client group. The incidence of
commonly occuring elderly neurological diseases in the older population are stroke (45-78%), Parkinson’s disease (75-100%) and Alzeimer’s disease (90%). Swallowing involves six cranial nerves and over 26 pairs of muscles, with the oesophagus opening within a fraction of a second of airway closure. It is therefore unsurprising that everyone has experienced at least one incident where just a slight incoordination of the swallow has caused coughing and choking as food and drink enter the airway. It is therefore to be expected that dysphagia occurs in approximately 35% of the normal aging elderly population owing to weakness in the muscles for swallowing. Furthermore, it has been reported that up to 74% of residents in care homes will present with swallowing difficulties of some description.
AWARENESS AND EDUCATION
The training, available on myAko.com, helps healthcare workers to better understand the impact of dysphagia and how to help those in their care. The nurses training helps them support Speech and Language Therapists with remote dysphagia assessments, without the need for face-to-face visits. Utilising remote teleswallowing techniques helps to reduce current NHS waiting lists and nurses and carers are able to improve early diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia.
It is imperative for care staff to be able to quickly and effectively screen for dysphagia, as a delay in doing so may have devastating effects. It is a care worker’s duty to ease the struggle presented by dysphagia; not only to avoid the possibility of death, but to simply ensure that a resident’s later life and emotional well-being is as comfortable and content as possible. Visit www.myako.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01202 283383 for further details.
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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES How Efficient and Compliant Is Your Laundry Operation?
When choosing dryers, it is notable that care homes are increasingly turning away from gas appliances due regulation changes and safety concerns. Changes to industry requirements can necessitate considerable investment in order for gas appliances to meet the current standards. Forbes Professional advises care homes on all relevant WRAS and industry requirements and helps clients ensure complete compliance with the latest regulations. Many care homes would need to reconfigure their entire laundry room to enable the newly requisite two metre distancing between gas appliances and doors. When such issues are coupled with safety concerns and the increasing costs of running
gas appliances, Forbes would generally recommend that electrical appliances should be the product of choice. Miele’s new heat pump commercial dryers are particularly highly rated for their safety, functionality and energy efficiency. They do not require any make-up air, which enables the laundry function to be installed in the basement or in a central location within the care-home, and saves on costly vent-ducting. Miele's Ecoplus technology guarantees that both energy consumption and drying times are kept consistently low. Due to the effective interaction of the Miele filter system and the maintenance-free heat exchanger, fluff cannot clog the heat exchanger or adversely affect the exceptional drying efficiency. Miele’s heat-pump tumble dryers’ employ a highly efficient and economical filter system and heat exchanger to keep run times low and enable an energy saving of up to 60% when compared to vented dryers. Forbes Professional provides a range of options for commercial laundry equipment, including the PT 8337 and the Little Giant PT 7137 heat pump dryers. All of their Miele commercial laundry is available on a purchase, rental or lease basis, with access to a comprehensive service that includes installation, commissioning, user training, and a first-class repair and maintenance response. www.forbespro.co.uk Telephone 0345 0702335 email@example.com See the advert on page 19.
BIOFROST Cold Therapy Gels for Drug-Free Pain Relief ®
BIOFROST® Relief and the BIOFROST® Active are natural topical gels that effectively relieve pain, reduce inflammation and diminish swelling without drugs and drug-related side-effects. Safe for people of all ages, including the elderly and disabled people, BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels work as standalone therapeutic modalities or alongside other interventions (i.e. drugs, physiotherapy, massage, etc.), providing affordable and long term cost-effective solution to pain and discomfort. BIOFROST® Relief Cold Gel contains only natural ingredients (i.e. ethanol, menthol, eucalyptus, pep-
permint, MSM) for instant pain relief and to activate body’s own healing. Benefits are better joint movements, lasting pain relief, comfortable sleep, fewer cramps, calmed nerve pain, reduced joint and muscular discomfort, less muscle fatigue, puffiness and swelling. BIOFROST® Active is a fast-acting dual-action cold gel with heat sensation for relief of muscular and joint aches (i.e. upper and lower back pain). Enriched with 10 herbal extracts, BIOFROST® Active stimulates local blood flow, releases muscle tension and joint stiffness and combats chronic pain. Benefits include improved joint movements, greater mobility, pain relief in treated areas (i.e. back, neck, shoulders, knees), discomfort-free sleep, less cramps and stiffness. CE marked Class 1 Medical Devices, the BIOFROST® gels are made in Finland by Viking Lab Oy. Distributed in the UK by Win Health Medical Ltd. Win Health Medical Ltd. / T: 01835 864866 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org / W: www.win-health.com See the advert on page 5 for details.
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 protec-
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
Raising the Standard of Stair Climbing Solutions The Stair Climbing Company is one of the leading providers of powered Stair Climber solutions, which have been specifically designed to assist those struggling with mobility and independence issues facing people with disabilities. The Stair Climbing Company offers an excellent range of compact, easy to use, powered Stair Climbers that are ideal for use in both home and commercial settings. Offering innovative designs, all of the company’s Stair Climbers can be separated into two pieces, for safe storage and are easily transported and charged. In addition, all of its Stair Climber’s come with a two year manufacturer’s warranty. The Stair Climbing Company maintains one main
mission; to improve quality of life, through its range of high-quality and custom devices with built-in seats. The safety and comfort of its customers is of the utmost importance to the company and it ensures that each wheelchair carrier model is designed to cater to individual customers’ specific needs, and works with all stair types. Furthermore, the company provides Stair Climbers for all ages, making them suitable for everyone, and offers a free assessment for customers. If you would like to find out any more information, please see the details below: T 01787 379160 www.thestairclimbingcompany.com See the advert on page 13.
Furniture That Improves Health For Residents… And Staff
Mobility furniture has come on leaps and strides over the last few years. Gone are the dreary semifunctional chairs and beds of the past. Today’s generation of rise and recline chairs and adjustable beds look smart, last for years and are better designed and more comfortable than ever before. Even people without mobility problems are buying them, especially when they are made to measure, giving that perfect fit.
Some adjustable beds and rise and recline chairs even come with wheels, a thoughtful touch for when residents struggle to walk between rooms. And many come with wipe clean upholstery in case of unfortunate spills. All of these features reduce the workload for busy staff and improve the comfort of residents.
HOW DOES MOBILITY FURNITURE BENEFIT CARE HOME RESIDENTS?
Mobility Furniture Company is one of the biggest mobility furniture companies in the UK. Its wide geographical spread of representatives takes furniture to care homes for managers, staff and residents to assess. “Care home managers, owners and staff, know what their residents need,” says James Mitton, Managing Director of Mobility Furniture Company. “When we visit care homes, we always gain valuable insights about real life situations for which our company can make a difference. Working with these key members of staff, we find solutions for residents – and care home employees – that make life more comfortable for everybody involved.” Call free today on 0808 265 1373 for a free brochure, or visit us at www.mobilityfurniturecompany.co.uk/sale See the advert on page 17.
Research has found that elevating the legs – one of the main features of a rise and recline chair or adjustable bed – reduces swelling of stiff and painful joints and enhances healing of injuries and wounds. In fact, experts have found that failure to elevate a limb can actually delay healing. Another advantage of mobility furniture is that it helps care home residents sleep deeply and for longer stints, which we all know is crucial to quality of life, both physical and emotional. Why? Because it allows people access to a range of sitting and lying positions that traditional chairs and beds simply do not have.
WHAT ABOUT CARE HOME STAFF? tion 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 accreditation. Tel: 0113 279 5854 | email: email@example.com www.yeomanshield.com See the advert on page 10.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.renrayhealthcare.com or see the advert on page 3 for details.
Mobility furniture improves health of care home employees because it results in less lifting/weight bearing. Press a button on the rise and recline chair and it supports the user to their feet. Some adjustable beds have the same feature. Most residents need to avoid pressure sores and again, mobility furniture helps by pressing a button on the chair or bed to gently ease people into different positions. The alternative is a member of staff shifting the resident to a new position, at risk to their own health.
WORKING WITH EXPERTS Dr Rob Hicks, popular celebrity media doctor, acts as medical expert for Mobility Furniture Company. “Mobility furniture can make life that little bit easier for people, particularly those who struggle to do things that we often take for granted, like sitting down and standing up,” Dr Hicks says. “It is great to be working with a forward-thinking company that celebrates improving quality of life for older individuals.”
AN UPBEAT APPROACH
THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 37
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Odorous Waste Inspired FREE Anti-Litter Pack Cash’s Labels- “The Name Behind the Name” more people venture outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather. Not only is public waste emitting unpleasant smells, it can attract unwanted pests such as flies, insects, birds and vermin. Whilst these pests could be a potential hazard to the public, the litter could also be a threat to local eco-systems and wildlife.
The Summer season is upon us, with lighter nights and warmer weather. No matter what season we enter, waste is guaranteed and must be handled appropriately, however, the change in seasons should prompt us to take additional waste management steps.
SCENTS OF SUMMER Rising temperatures will heat waste, producing profound odours from bins. The increase in temperatures and heat exposure to the waste allows bacteria to grow faster and odours to intensify. Although loose waste is often affected first – captured and contained rubbish will soon follow in emitting stronger odours. Summer Litter The summer season not only sees a rise in temperatures but also a potential increase in litter levels as
Cromwell are proud to be an independent, familyrun group, committed to the recycling, manufacture and distribution of polythene and compostable materials. In their aim to be the most resourceful company in plastics, Cromwell has developed an anti-littering promotional pack, free to download and used by all, developed specifically to help educate and deter litterers. The pack consists of posters, social media content and an infographic leaflet. The posters and social media posts have 4 different designs, all of which are targeting hotspot litter areas or problems, these include dog waste, Flytipping and littering in areas such as beaches and streets. All the material is FREE to use, and Cromwell welcomes anyone to download and use the material – helping to reach their goal of a cleaner, greener, and more resourceful planet, this new anti-litter pack is a step towards this sustainable vision. View, download and share FREE from Cromwell’s website www.cromwellpolythene.co.uk/free-downloadableanti-litter-pack/
Jolly Trolley Brings Therapeutic Activity and Entertainment The Jolly Trolley® is an essential for any care establishment as it promotes social interaction between the service users and their carers. This innovative system is fully mobile and battery operated, allowing residents who may be unable to leave their rooms to also be included with ease. The Jolly Trolley® comes complete with its own videos, quizzes, karaoke and other content, but personal music, photos and films can then be added from a USB stick to really bring out the magic! Don’t just take our word for it here are just some testimonials from our very happy Health and Social Care clients:
Chester Park- Megan Allan, Activities “The fact that we can upload what is relevant to the specific Individual is so meaningful for that person and I can assure you we have shed some tears being able to be part of that residents memory journey. It has been an amazing addition to our care home – from staff and residents – thank you.” Pennine NHS Trust - Beech Ward“we have been able to provide therapeutic activity & entertainment with ease to patients that are isolating” To see what the Jolly Trolley® can do for you, call us for a free demonstration on 0800 093 8499. See the advert on page 1.
Reduce Your Operating Costs!! Opeque can assist in reducing energy bills, complying with legislation, managing health and safety and achieving a sustainable operation. 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 man-
agement. 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. Call or Email NOW: 07831 873355, email email@example.com or visit www.opeque.com See the advert on page 23 for details.
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: www.inventry.co.uk or see the advert on page 6.
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 www.cashslabels.com or see the advert on page 6.
Know What You Are Asking From Contractors After attending some recent Care Industry Conferences, it was interesting to hear how some of delegates are confident and have an understanding of the importance of Passive Fire Protection. However, many are still unsure of what is required and what they should be asking and expecting from a contractor. We recently attended a care home; the owner had commissioned a very detailed Fire Compartmentation (Passive) report but in appointing a contractor they failed to ask vital questions. When we inspected the work, it was clear to see the work was poor quality, had been incorrectly installed and large areas of work had been left incomplete. Unfortunately, the owner didn’t ask for a scope of works detailing what was going to be done and how. It should have asked how the work was going to be recorded so that they could demonstrate, if required, to local authorities or assessors at future assessments/surveys, that the work had been correctly installed. Also, they failed to check if the contractor was UKAS third party accredited. Care must be taken when appointing a contractor to complete these specialised works. As a UKAS third party accredited company, we will always make sure
we understand your requirements and that you understand the service we are going to provide. We catalogue every repair and installation, taking multiple images of each stage. The product details and how it was implemented/installed will also be recorded. When the works are completed, you will receive a detailed report of each and every item repaired, accompanied with a certificate of conformance. UK Passive Fire Solutions work with you from start to finish. Call or email today to get more information and receive your information pack; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01262 469872 or see the advert on page 9.
Memory Lane Games - Reminiscence Games To Trigger Positive Memories For Those Living With Dementia Hi, where are you from? Asking where someone is from is such a common opening question for a stranger and universal small talk. Where we live and where we come from is fundamental to most people’s sense of self, identity and history and perhaps that’s why it’s a powerful topic in reminiscence therapy. Reminiscence therapy involves simple techniques to help those with memory loss or dementia to recall their memories. This can improve self-esteem and provide a sense of fulfillment, improve mood and reduce agitation, all of which are so valuable in the care of those living with a condition which doesn’t have positive outcomes. It’s where the founders of Memory Lane Games started when they decided to make games for their elderly Mums to enjoy using their favourite old photographs. After quickly realising they were onto something, the Memory Lane Games app now delivers professionally curated reminiscence and speech and language activity games across a range of topics such as music, film, food, hobbies and pets. All of our games are designed to be frustration free and encourage communication and socialisation, not to test.
SIMPLE BUT POWERFUL. Beneath its simplicity the Memory Lane Games app
Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
is a powerful tool. Carers, families and friends are able to enjoy interactions generated by playing the games with those in their care and can even create personalised quizzes using old family photos and create questions such as “Mum where did you go on your first holiday?" or “Where did you get married?”. In addition to our popular free app (available in the usual app stores) we serve international care home groups with a SaaS platform enabling alerts based on their residents' game play: highlighting changes in 7 clinical data sets which are all game-play related and have been established in our RCT Clinical Trial (underway). This data can be used to alert earlyinterventions needed to address potential health issues like mini-strokes or urinary tract infections for example. The benefits to users and care homes are immediately evident. Improved resident and staff wellbeing, improved quality of family visits and a differentiated care home business. If you would like to create a Memory Lane Game for your residents or to find out more about us please get in touch or download the app for FREE from the usual app stores. Helpforcarehomes@memorylanegames.com See the advert on page 4.
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CONTINENCE CARE Top Tips For Healthy Skin When Living with Incontinence Healthy skin is a physical barrier against the external environment. The pH balance of skin should be between 4.5 and 5.5 to discourage bacterial growth.
HOW TO ACHIEVE AND MAINTAIN A NORMAL PH BALANCE: • Prevent changes to normal skin pH by cleaning up quickly after each episode of urine loss. • Choose mild skin cleansers, moisturisers and sealants. • Be aware that perspiration, in combination with continence pads and briefs, creates an extra risk factor for skin problems.
DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN CARING FOR YOUR SKIN • Always use the pads prescribed for you and make sure that they are fitted correctly • Tell your nurse if your skin is wet when you change your incontinence pad • Tell your nurse if you have eczema or psoriasis or are prone to other conditions that affect your skin • Note the condition of your skin whilst using incontinence pads • Tell your nurse if there are any changes to your skin. • This would include if your skin becomes red, sore or broken. • Tell your nurse if you are using any ointments or creams
• Wash your hands before and after changing your pad • Don’t apply ointments or creams unless prescribed by your doctor or nurse. • Don’t use talcum powder on your bottom or groin area. It can cause friction which may damage the skin and also affect how well your pad works. • Don’t wear more than one pad at a time
Important advice Oil based barrier creams may reduce the performance of the pads. If barrier creams must be used, they should be applied sparingly and only on areas that require treatment. Used products should be disposed of in the appropriate manner, they cannot be flushed down the toilet. The iD range of products is available to buy from www.id-direct.com or via Ontex - See the advert on below for details.
Help To Manage Your Incontinence Issues Independently 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
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.
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.
LEGBAGS 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 email@example.com or visit www.manfred-sauer.co.uk for more information about each product, or to order a free sample.
PAGE 40 | THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Colour Activated Disinfectant Tablets Peracide is an effective and rapidly stable sporicidal disinfectant tablet that tackles the transmission of C.difficile and other HAI. Peracide is the result of many years continuous development, testing and collaboration with, Prof Peter Wilson and Dr Shanom Ali of UCHL microbiological laboratory department. The development cycle has included laboratory and onward testing to validate effectiveness and useracceptability. Peracide has been tested against C.difficile spores 027 modified BSEN 13704, MRSA, Klebsiella Pneumoniae, Modified BSEN 1276 and Norovirus EN 14675 among others. A prominent novel feature is its built-in colour indicating system that alerts the user with a change of colour of the solution when it can be used and alerts them again with a second change of colour when it cannot be used and should be discarded. Other features and benefits include the following: • Destroys C difficile 027 spores in 30 seconds • Remains active over 24 hours • Fragrant non-pungent odour
• Unaffected by organic soil • Biodegradable, non- corrosive, non- toxic • Superior cleaning property • Higher efficacy than comparable chlorine based solutions Peracide is benign; it does not present any adverse risk to the environment or the user. It can be used on porous and non-pours material; and suitable for use in trigger sprays, buckets, microfiber cloths and mops for safe disinfecting of beds, washrooms and floors, surfaces & medical equipment, computers & office equipment. PERACIDE, ward trial and Laboratory testing was performed by Environmental Laboratory at University College London Hospitals NHS foundation trust. Available via NHS Supply Chain - Product Code: Peracide 3g: MFB1002 or Peracide 6g: MFB1005 FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PERACIDE INCLUDING TRIALS, TRAINING AND DEMONSTRATIONS CALL US NOW www.percacide.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 0114 278 0222
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. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with silver ion technology and which is exclusive to Angloplas. This helps reduce the risk of cross infection by stopping the growth of bacteria and mould and works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Legionella, Salmonella and mould by up to 99.99%.
For non-clinical environments Angloplas has recently launched its new Budget Range of products which are made to the same exacting standards as the antimicrobial protected ones but with lower price tags. You can order Angloplas products directly from its website by going to www.angloplas.co.uk and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code.
www.percacide.co.uk email@example.com 0114 278 0222
Win the battle on Infection
With a new generation of disinfection technology 10 reasons to change to Peracide 1
Kills all known microorganisma including C. difficile spores, E. coli, MRSA, Legionella, Norovirus, Klebsiella, Influenza and many more
Innovative Colour Activation System
Greater oxidiser than Chlorine and Hydrogen Peroxide
Clean, disinfects and deodourises in one operation
Works in the presence of organic salt
Environmentally friendly, biodegradable, non-toxic and non-corrosive
Safe for use on patient mobilitiy and shared equipment
Non-sticky and leaves minimal residue
Full microbiology test report
Long lasting solution
Available via NHS Supply Chain Product Code Peracide 3g: MFB1002 Peracide 6g: MFB1005
MORE EFFECTIVE THAN VAPOURISED HYDROGEN PEROXIDE (VHP) & UVC
THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 41
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL SEBO XP – Power with Responsibility The XP range of upright vacuum cleaners from SEBO are ideal for these health conscious times. They feature independently proven filtration, hygienic dirt disposal using sealable bags and are exceptionally quiet and light to use. Clearly, a vacuum cleaner’s number one task is to clean. The XP range harnesses the power of an onboard computer to measure performance on the floor and continuously adjust the floor head to the optimum cleaning height, completely automatically. The powerful brush action pulls the vacuum cleaner forward so that the pushing force required to manoeuvre it is close to zero, helping to make it light and easy to use for extended periods, but also giving deep cleaning performance. The integrated wand and hose mean that cleaning above the floor and reaching into awkward places is easy. The computer can also advise when the bag needs changing, or when there is a blockage, and the multiple access points and cassette style brush roller make the XP easy to maintain. Of course, once dirt is picked up, it is essential that it is retained in the vacuum cleaner and not released back into the air. The Health and Safety Executive states that we never assume that any dust is safe and that all uncontrolled dusts are potentially hazardous. Virtually all the dust and dirt which is picked up by an XP vacuum cleaner is safely trapped in the high filtration bag, which can be sealed and hygienically disposed of. The filtration of the XP has been independently tested by the DMT Test Institute in Germany to filter 99.97% of particles of 0.3 micron. Above this particle size, the filtration level is very close to 100%. Many professionally cleaned facilities operate 24/7.
M.S.B. Hygiene M.S.B. Hygiene Ltd has over 25 years experience in Water Treatment and operate throughout the UK. Our Engineers have the skills & expertise to carry out water systems risk assessment, sampling, cleaning and disinfection. Our samples are taken to UKAS accredited laboratories for testing. Certificates of disinfection and sampling are provided upon completion.
Water Treatment & Legionella Specialists
It is therefore not always possible to vacuum when no one is around. In these cases, low noise levels are imperative. Although there are regulations limiting the sound power level that a vacuum cleaner can reach, subjectively the sound generated can still be unpleasant, even where the vacuum cleaner meets the regulations. SEBO sound engineers have successfully muted the harsh frequencies to which the human ear is sensitive. This has the result that with any form of background noise, the sound from the XP virtually disappears, making it suitable in many cases for daytime cleaning. Indeed, in any situation where low noise levels are important, the XP range is ideal. Last, but not least, at SEBO we believe that vacuum cleaners should be built to last, and should be easily repairable. Our vacuum cleaners are built to be durable and reliable; to have a long service life using few replacement parts. Component parts are identified with the material they are made from, so that they can be recycled more easily when their service life is over. For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are members of the Legionella Control Association and are CHAS (Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme) accredited We provide a highly professional but friendly service together with comprehensive & straightforward advice – we aim to be easy to do business with. We’d also like to think we are “the 4th emergency service” for your water treatment & legionella control needs. 01925 758995 email@example.com www.msbhygiene.com
• Hot & Cold domestic water services • Pipework flushing & disinfection • Tank cleaning & maintenance • Legionella risk, sampling, lab testing • Attention to individual apartments • Communal areas / toilets / showers • Restaurants / Cafés • And... Heating System flushing
01925 758995 firstname.lastname@example.org www.msbhygiene.com
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PAGE 42 | THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022
HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL A Revolutionary Hand & Cleaning Specialists Small Object Sanitizing BioBax Acquire Aqua Air System For Care Homes EZISAN have invented a “NO TOUCH” sanitizer system in response the worldwide coronavirus pandemic to improve hygiene and assist the prevention from cross contamination. EZISAN will help to improve the process and convenience of hand sanitizing, it also reduces contamination on mobile phones, keys, credit cards and other small household items, that can be passed through the sanitizing mist.
EZISAN CAN ELIMINATE THE USE OF EXPENSIVE, MESSY AND MOSTLY IRRATATING GEL HAND SANITIZERS THE PROBLEM:- There are many issues with using WET or gel sanitisers and upon entry to many buildings, you are met with various sanitising options, usually a gel or liquid dispenser, paper towels and a bin, this often gets “messy” and needs regular topping up, cleaning and tidying. This can also be a slip hazard. Most Alcohol gel sanitizers are also known to irritate the skin, especially for regular users like NHS staff, care workers. Sufferers of eczema and other sensitive skin conditions are also well documented. The real financial cost to business and public venues are substantial, we also have to factor in the fact that staff have to maintain and replenish the current method, the man-hours wasted are a genuine cost. The Solution:- EZISAN uses a “semi dry sanitizing spray mist” to help solve many of the problems, you simply place your hands into the mist, rub them together and turn them over, this will effectively sanitize the majority of bacteria, viruses and other germs. EZISAN converts approved and certified water-based sanitizers fluids into “semi-dry spray mist” and there is no waste. These fluids are also known to be gentle to
the skin. The key solution is that it is truly “NO TOUCH” unlike most other systems. • Environmentally friendly fluids and big savings on single use plastic bottles, we estimate Ezisan saves 85% single use bottles over Alcohol Gel and 69% in cost. * or £624 per year • Designed and Manufactured in the UK with supply chain localised wherever possible, this will reduce our carbon footprint by minimising transportation. We intend to be carbon neutral by 2025. • Recyclable materials are used as much as possible, we also try to minimise plastic packaging and be environmentally aware of every aspect of the manufacturing process. See the advert below for further details.
BioBax of Skelmanthorpe, West Yorkshire has acquired Cheshire-based Aqua Air as part of a strategic move to expand its range of environment-friendly cleaning products and solutions. The acquisition follows a period of growth for BioBax with increased demand from customers looking to buy more eco-friendly products, including Zybax microbiological products and Meleco, the magic eraser. Kate Pawson and Dominic Barnes started BioBax in 2019, to develop and grow the Zybax and Meleco brands which are now 22 years old. BioBax products are manufactured in-house at their state-of-the-art facility in a rural setting in Huddersfield. “Aqua Air is the perfect partner for BioBax”, said Kate Pawson, Sales and Marketing Director, “they have very similar values to BioBax’s. I am looking forward to meeting Aqua Air’s customers and working with them over the years to come.” Aqua Air Ltd, was founded in 1994, by Barry Bladon and latterly co-owned with his son Simon. Barry has obsessively developed each one of the
Aqua Air products to respond to the specific cleaning challenges and needs of their clients, with the result that each product offers added performance relative to the competition. Each one of their Xtra range of cleaning solutions is designed, manufactured, and bottled in the UK, contains biodegradable components and packaging, and avoids harsh chemicals which can damage skin and surfaces. Barry Bladon said: “It has been key for us to join forces with a company who share our philosophy and passion for solving our customers cleaning. BioBax already have a strong reputation for the supply of environmentfriendly cleaning products and expanding the Aqua Air portfolio with a range of kitchen, hospitality and janitorial solutions and cleaning machines will mean that BioBax and Aqua Air customers will now benefit from the expanded range of world class products and service.” For further information visit www.biobax.co.uk or call 01484 868 970.
FOR ALL THE LATEST HYGIENE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR THE SOCIAL CARE SECTOR VISIT
THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 43
NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING Silent Running Tranquility in Care Homes Quiet and calm care homes ensure that residents are able to live in a more relaxing and pleasant home environment. Similarly, carers and staff find that they too benefit from reduced stress when working in a home where noise levels are kept to a minimum. There are many environmental factors that can affect those sensitive to their surroundings, particularly those suffering from dementia, these can be fluctuations in ambient temperature, light, and of course noise. Repetitive and high levels of noise can originate from a number of internal and external sources, for example, telephones ringing, loud conversations in corridors, and call bells sounding, often one of the largest contributors to increasing the levels of stress and discomfort in residents. A published study by the University of Stirling stated that unanswered Nurse Call (Call Bell) alarms can be one of the most common causes of stress in dementia sufferers. The University recommends “fitting call alarms which alert nurses but do not resonate throughout the whole building. Alarms can be particularly disconcerting as they may encourage the person with dementia to respond or investigate what the matter is. At the very least the loss of sleep will compromise a person’s ability to
concentrate. It can affect their attention levels and capacity to cope, as well as being detrimental to their overall state of wellbeing. Personal paging systems are preferable to bells and buzzers.” Modern Nurse Call systems can incorporate a number of methods to reduce their impact in a care home. These include zoning whereby there are 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: email@example.com
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
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.
INCLUDES A 12 MONTH GUARANTEE
firstname.lastname@example.org 0800 8499 121 www.LCTUK.com
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NURSE CALL AND FALLS MONITORING Fall Savers - Affordable Fall Medpage Falls Monitoring Solutions Management Products Medpage T/A Easylink UK have manufactured and distributed fall prevention and detection products for over 25 years. We specialise in products for one-to-one care, or small groups in a Care Home or Hospital. Our systems are robust, easy to set up and use, and have a proven track record in helping to reduce falls, in domestic and professional care establishments. How can they help reduce falls? Many falls occur when a person at risk from falls leaves their bed or chair, particularly during the night. By detecting an exit from the bed or chair early a carer or guardian gains time to attend and help the person, usually preventing the fall.
WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE
Medpage supply a diverse range of equipment for detecting bed and chair exit. There are for example, simple bed alarms, chair alarms, or multiple use products for combining bed and chair monitoring, to allow the person to move from their bed to their chair. There are systems that use a cabled pressure mat sensor connected to an alarm controller, or pressure mat sensors with a self-contained alarm transmitter to signal a radio pager. Carer alarm notifications can be by a single or multiple user pager or alarm receiver, or an external alarm device. You can find out more on the advert on page 11 or at www.easylinkuk.co.uk/product/ product-fall-detection
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 www.lctuk.com for details.
Fall Savers®, are an experienced market leading healthcare provider of resident safety solutions for over 15 years.
FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR
Eliminate all cables with our new generation falls management solutions! Upgrade your falls programme with the latest technology from Fall Savers®. The NEW Fall Savers® Wireless eliminates the cord between the monitor and sensor pad. This results in less work for nursing staff, improved safety for patients and reduced wear and tear on sensor pads. Wireless advantages include the ability to use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.
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
®FLOOR SENSOR PAD
The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our anti-bacterial floor sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors.
Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors See the advert on this page for further details or visit www.fallsavers.co.uk.
FOR ALL THE LATEST PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR THE SOCIAL CARE SECTOR VISIT WWW.THECARERUK.COM
THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 45
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Positive Solutions Launch New eMAR Solution – HxCare Positive Solutions are set to launch an innovative, cloud-based medicines management system, HxCare, which will be showcased in October at the Care Show. Positive Solutions are the leading provider of PMR solutions to the community pharmacy sector. For 30 years their innovative software has helped automate workflows, increase efficiencies and enhance patient safety whilst many of the 2,500 pharmacy sites they support already work with care homes across the UK. It is estimated that around 80% of care homes in the UK are still using paperbased Medication Administration Records (MARs) to do their rounds. The delivery of medication in this way is prone to error as well as being cumbersome for both care homes and community pharmacies. HxCare aims to digitise workflows, reduce errors and free up care providers to spend more time delivering care to their residents. Designed to be truly mobile, HxCare will be tablet based and has been developed with significant input from care homes around the country. HxCare features will include medication and round management, scanning for booking in with automated ordering linking into a full stock management system. The team at Positive Solutions have given specific attention to extensive auditability at the click of a button whilst workflows have been designed to increase efficiency, remove errors and provide full traceability. It will offer robust reporting which will be invaluable for both CQC and Care Inspectorate purposes. Steve Russell, Positive Solutions Chief Commercial Officer comments “Critical to the product development of HxCare has been a commitment to making the user experience as intuitive and easy to use as pos-
sible. Simple menus and navigation facilitate adoption, training and roll out to care providers irrespective of their technical literacy.” HxCare also has an extensive product development roadmap and Positive Solutions are keen to involve users in shaping that roadmap with a feedback function for customer development requests. HxCare will be showcased at the Care Show at the NEC in October (stand B20) where care home owners will be able to see the product first hand and register their interest, sign up for the pilot or pre-order for launch. Steve Russell, adds “HxCare from Positive Solutions will raise the bar for healthcare technology in the sector and ushers in an exciting new era for the care home community. Positive Solutions has led the way for the last 30 years in the design, supply and management of robust patient medication record systems. Bringing that expertise and pedigree to the care home sector, those adopting HxCare can expect a product that delivers exceptional value, performance and enhanced compliance and safety standards.” “Our team have worked closely with care homes across the UK for two years to ensure that HxCare offers the functionality and benefits missing elsewhere with a strong focus on intuitive user interfaces and decluttered workflows. With an exciting roadmap of new developments already scheduled, HxCare is set to transform eMAR for years to come.” For more information on the benefits of HxCare, visit the webpage at www.positive-solutions.co.uk/hxcare/
Cloud Finance Software That is Helping Care Homes Thrive Healthcare organisations face unique challenges from cost containment and multi-entity reporting to new billing models and product offerings and a cloud-based accounting system allows you to better understand your organisation and succeed in the future. At Sage Intacct, we’re passionate about building accounting software that helps you better understand your business, maintain compliance, and succeed in the ever-evolving healthcare industry.
ciency gains, and taken departmental reporting from 10 days to 10 minutes.
BUILT FOR HEALTHCARE
TRUE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY WITH OPEN API
As healthcare grows in complexity, so does your organisation. You’re managing multiple locations and practices, navigating changing reimbursement methods, and initiating cost reduction initiatives, while manual processes are draining your productivity. You need insight into your growing breadth of financial and operational data, and we’ve built our healthcare accounting software with you in mind. We provide compliant financials with continuous consolidation across multiple offices, practices and locations. Sage Intacct healthcare customers have increased profitability by 30% with better insight for informed decisions, realised 25% improvement in effi-
REAL-TIME VISIBILITY AND INSIGHTS Sage Intacct’s real-time reporting allows you to understand and measure performance for both financial metrics and operational outcomes. Because every transaction in the system can be tagged with dimensions, finance professionals can sort, view, filter, and report on the specific information they need. With greater insight, our healthcare customers have reduced board budget reporting from three weeks to one hour and have improved revenues by 25% without adding additional headcount. True cloud technology with open API As an innovator in the cloud space, Sage Intacct’s multi-tenant, true cloud foundation brings robust technology infrastructure to your organisation, without the high costs of managing servers. Our open API lets you connect to existing systems or those you are considering in the future. This means you can leverage key data from electronic medical records, payroll, budget, CRMs (including Salesforce), and other systems to track key performance indicators. For more information on how Sage can help your business please visit: www.sage.com/en-gb/cp/intacct-carehomes/
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TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE 10 Reasons To Go Digital With Electronic Care Planning and Medication (eMAR) Systems TIME More time to care Carers never have enough time to care but going digital can provide more. There are so many time-consuming tasks such as writing care notes, completing paper assessments, filling in charts, preparing handovers, and countless other administrative tasks. Going digital can automate many of these tasks and enable recording care interactions in real-time, ensuring nothing is left undocumented and saving time that can be better spent providing care.
CONTROL Better Control Controlling paper-based systems can be an onerous job. It generates reams of paper that can easily be lost, copied, and, potentially, fall into the wrong hands. Digital care systems are safe and accessible, maintaining the security and confidentiality of your data. This is difficult to achieve with paper because sensitive information must be locked away when not in use per GDPR. Furthermore, digital allows you to determine who can access and what via permission controls. Staff only see what they need to see based on their role. AutumnCare has a number of tools that assist in maintaining security and confidentiality, including this lock screen functionality for use in medication administration rounds!
PROTECTION Protect your business Social care is a highly regulated industry and going digital can help you safeguard your business. With multiple regulatory bodies, such as the CQC, CIW, Care Inspectorate, RQIW, Local Authorities and Safeguarding Teams, not to mention families and the justice system. Any of whom can make enquiries or perform inspections at any time and without notice. Going digital makes it easy and efficient to evidence the quality of care you provide. In addition, as a digital system has a complete audit trail, you can be assured the information you are providing is accurate and complete.
and confidential waste bin collection. These costs all add up very quickly and are enhanced by the savings in the administrative overhead. Furthermore, going digital reduces paper use and the carbon footprint of regular deliveries. Therefore, going digital can help you become more environmentally friendly.
RISK Reduced risk Manual systems carry many risks. It is challenging to manage, analyse and keep data and there is a lack of security. Going digital with your care planning and eMAR can significantly reduce your risk. Using inbuilt alerts ensures that nothing is missed, whether that’s a care plan change or a fall report. Using an eMAR will help reduce medication errors and ensure that the 6 Rs are always met. Going digital also allows the collection of data at the point of care, which can be analysed to identify trends and risks, and demonstrate corrective action. AutumnCare Mobile allows staff to perform clinical assessments and capture notes at the point of care for increased accuracy and care recipient involvement.
RETENTION Improve staff retention Staff recruitment and retention remain long-standing challenges for the care sector, and many factors contribute to the successful retention of staff. Morale is a crucial factor in retaining staff. Using electronic care systems to change the focus from the administration to the delivery of care helps stage engage more with service users. Additionally, providing smart tools like care planning and eMAR software to reduce the administrative burden will decrease staff stress.
QUALITY Improved quality of care
COSTS Costs and environment
With pre-built assessments covering all aspects of health, you can get to know your service users intimately. But it’s not just health; other characteristics such as emotion, likes/dislikes and how they correspond to a wide range of activities can be recorded. Because any changes can be affected at the point of care, updates become a true reflection of the care (rather than a delayed update at the end of a long shift). This information is then easily accessible by other system users, supporting a personalised care experience.
The most considerable cost saving that going digital can provide is time. While the amount of time saved will vary between service types and roles, this alone makes going digital worthwhile. Additional cost benefits include savings on printing, paper, stationary
While the delivery of person-centred care is paramount, care providers must also provide evidence of the care they deliver, and regulatory bodies
EVIDENCE Demonstrate quality of care delivery
actively encourage the use of technology. For example, the CQC states that the care provider should look to embrace technology that helps monitor care delivery. During an inspection, under the Effective key line of enquiry (KLOE), question E1.3 asks How is technology and equipment used to enhance effective care and treatment delivery and support people’s independence? Digital care plans are the best way to achieve this!
VISIBILITY Improved visibility Electronic care systems ensure that managers have real-time access to notes and information to instantly understand the care provided and help identify changes that need to be made to improve the quality of care. On an electronic care system, it is much easier to see what is going on if you are contacted out of hours or on the go. A digital system allows you to log in remotely to see what has been happening across the entire care service at a glance. AutumnCare contains a customisable Dashboard to provide Managers with a snapshot of what is occurring across the care service at any point in time.
USERS Happier service users Last, and by no means least, going digital can make your service users happier. Digital systems enable you to spend more time caring and less time on administration. There are benefits to happy service users, including positive reviews from family and friends, which may help grow your service.
WONDERING HOW TO GO DIGITAL? If you’re unsure of how to get started in your digital transformation, AutumnCare can help! AutumnCare provides specialist digital care planning and eMAR software, enabling providers to migrate to a digital system and providing the foundations for outstanding care. We can walk you through what is required step by step, as well as provide training and support every step of the way. To realise all of the benefits above, plus many more, get in touch with us today. Contact Chris Sharman Email email@example.com Call 0800 009 2121 Website uk.autumn.care
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TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Predictive Technology, Can It Really Help Reduce Care Costs? Article supplied by Karantis360 (www.karantis360.com) Unlike NHS healthcare, adult social care in England isn’t free. While some of our loved ones will be eligible for local authority support when they’re older, others won’t qualify, or you may feel they need more care than they’re offered. It’s no secret that we’re all living longer. In 10 years’ time, the number of people aged over 85 will have risen by nearly half in England alone, and the population of 65- to 84-year-olds will have increased by more than a quarter over the same period. Therefore, covering the cost of care for our parents or other family members is a growing concern. While we can’t predict what the future holds, we all want those we love, or even ourselves, to have access to the care we need to live well in later life. Being able to plan ahead for this means getting to grips with typical home care costs and nursing fees, as well as understanding how local authorities assess needs. As anyone who has had to navigate the social care system will already know, it’s a daunting task and isn’t always straightforward – and things are set to change when a new cap on the cost of care paid over a lifetime comes into force in 2023, in turn, additional hurdles are likely to occur. Helen Dempster, Chief Visionary Officer and Founder of Karantis360 discusses this concerning topic further.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS The challenge associated with supporting and funding the care for an ageing population continues to escalate. According to Age UK, the numbers of people aged 85+ in England increased by almost a third over the last decade and will more than double over the next two decades. And these people need care and support; by their late 80s, more than one in three people will have difficulties undertaking five or more tasks of daily living unaided, and between a quarter and a half of the 85+ age group are frail. With current care services under extraordinary strain, it is estimated that 1 in 8 people are caring for loved ones, many with increasingly complex needs – and this number will continue to increase, creating huge financial and mental stress for often geographical distant family members.
Combine that with the implications stress has on family members, quite often their health decreases and the dual cost therefore on the NHS. Of course, most people don’t want to go into a care home; according to Age UK, 97% of the population would like to receive care in their own home. But the funding gap in social care – predicted by the Local Government Association to reach £3.5 billion by 2025 – is creating a devastating knock on effect on the NHS, with thousands of elderly patients stuck in hospital when they are well enough to go home because there is nobody to look after them. With the cost of delayed discharges now at almost £290 million per year, the Chief Executive of the Health Service, Amanda Pritchard, said that “despite the delays of discharges, the priority is to tackle backlogs that have inevitably built up in the face of rising Covid infections.”
REAL-TIME COMMUNICATION One of the most fundamental roles that technology must play in the
future is to enable carers to undertake their primary function – care! This means minimising the admin burden they face and instead, releasing carers to spend more time with VIP’s. This stretched resource is under huge pressure to meet escalating care needs, and yet carers are still compelled to spend upwards of 20 minutes in a 30 minute patient visit filling in manual forms. In addition to the sheer waste of essential, one-to-one patient time, this paper-based information is simply not stored in a way that enables easy sharing with other stakeholders, from other carers to health providers and family members. Technology has a huge role to play in improving the quality and personal aspect of care – Imagine being armed with real time data to ask the right questions and ensure the VIP receives the right type of care on your visit. Data can play a huge role in the quality of care; data insights give you historic information which helps but real time data with predictive and preventive capabilities is where we need to be aiming. With the adoption of easy-to-use apps proven to reduce the administrative time spent by up to 75%. Combining a simple user interface with voice recognition, an app not only minimises the admin burden, but also makes it easy for carers to record more personal patient information – such as patient mood, important dates including birthdays or the anniversary of a spouse’s death – which can then support a far more personal care experience. In addition, this technology ensures the carer’s report is automatically shared not only with the local authorities and/or care agency, but with the individual’s family members, addressing one of the huge causes of stress for those tasked with overseeing the care of a loved one – stress that often leads to time off work or ill health. In this way, the traditional challenges of information sharing between agencies can be overcome and ensure the most up to date medical and personal facts are always available to those who need them.
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Care Control - Care Home Software You Can Rely On Developed by an award-winning care home in Devon, our unique software for care homes provides a modern and highly effective solution for nursing homes and care organisations. Delivering an all-in-one solution, our care planning software is used by more than 30,000 carers in the UK daily. A proven success in both nursing and residential home settings, we aim to help your care home deliver the best
care possible – efficiently, simply, and cost-effectively. Our software modernises your office processes and completely digitises your paperwork and care plans. If you’d like to learn more about how our care management software could benefit your business, please call us on 01822 738100 to speak with a member of the Care Control team and book your personalised demo today!
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TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Predictive Technology, Can It Really Help Reduce Care Costs? (CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE) SUPPORTIVE TECHNOLOGY If these innovative solutions are combined with IoT-based sensors, the care ecosystem can be extended to provide a 24-hour safeguarding service. Using AI-powered tools, carers can track habitual behaviour and spot changes in real time, allowing them to intervene when it is needed - thus alleviating the burden on caregivers and families alike. Its real-time nature provides a platform for the complete digitisation of healthcare, bringing together local authorities, healthcare providers, NHS Trusts, ICS’s, general practitioners, registered nurses, and care homes. Real-time, accurate information will not only make the social care model more transparent by including family members but will also enable it to
become preventive as opposed to reactive. And, the smart use of technology means organisations have a chance to rethink the way care is delivered, better matching care to specific patient needs. Would a patient be better served by shorter daily sessions plus continuous monitoring? With a 24x7 system that monitors and picks up abnormal behaviour, the care ecosystem has a chance to operate in a very different, preventive and personal manner whilst alleviating the pressure of carers to be there physically.
CONCLUSION From releasing beds to the pressure on carers and the extended family, it’s time to tackle the social care ecosystem in its entirety. We cannot keep using the NHS as an expensive care home. Technology is now
Staff Retention in the Care Industry Staff retention is a significant challenge in the care sector – making it even harder for the existing workforce to keep up with the ever-growing demand. Skills for Care predicted that by 2035 the care workforce will need to increase by a minimum of a third, to keep up with the ageing population and demand for new carers. In the same report, it was estimated that staff turnover within social care is 30.4%. To put this into perspective, approximately 23% of independent sector workers have a turnover rate of less than 10%. This prominent level of shift indicates that organisations within the care sector are struggling to find and retain suitable candidates. Working in care comes with many challenges, and an insufficient number of workers within the industry creates problems for both service users, workers, and organisations. Ongoing issues within the sector have meant that care providers have needed to adopt a range of new strategies to support and retain their employees. Technology, especially over the COVID-19 outbreak, has proven to be extremely successful within the healthcare industry. It has shown how embracing paperless methods can improve organisation, boost work ethics and morals, encourage communication, and reduce the number of hours completing admin.
THE IMPACT OF STAFF TURNOVER
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.
advanced, user friendly and cost effective enough to make a real difference. People want to stay in their own home and it is widely believed they are healthier and happier in that familiar environment. By leveraging technology, carers are equipped to provide an increasingly personalised care experience - and minimise the administrative burden; while family members are relieved to have immediate information on their loved one's health and well-being. And, the technology makes financial sense: for local authorities, enabling just a handful of individuals to remain safely and happily at home, rather than in a care facility, justifies the investment in new technology; while for the NHS, the ability to address bed availability will unleash vast resources. What is truly exciting is that this is just the start; from IoT to AI we now have the chance to better understand patient activity, to intervene early, even predict potential problems, to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and allow more patients to stay safely at home for longer.
High staff turnover can be incremental to an organisation’s service and reputation. It can lead to lower levels of patient satisfaction, increase the number of risks to both employees and service users, and make meeting CQC (Care Quality Commission) and Care Inspectorate standards even more challenging. The care industry is extremely valuable to our economy, contributing over £50 bn to the UK economy and equating to 5% of all employment. It is vital for the wellbeing of our ever-growing and ageing population that the high turnover rate is minimised. In addition, a high staff turnover means there needs to be a larger investment in recruiting, training, and retaining quality employees. But how can technology help take some of the pressures off both providers and employees?
HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY ASSIST? Useful technology, like Radar Healthcare can assist staff turnover issues by increasing efficiency and boosting morale. Radar Healthcare partner, ECL said: ‘By streamlining the compliments logging process, the number of compliments logged rose from 9 per year to 1,500 per year! Being able to communicate this level of engagement from our service users has had a hugely positive effect on morale and encouraged our team to always strive for better performance.’ Maintaining and tracking records of employees’ training, appraisals, supervisions, and compliance requirements shows that an organisation values their individual workers and is invested in supporting and retaining them. Technology can also significantly alleviate the daily administrative pressures faced by those working in the care sector, as one partner of Radar Healthcare said: ‘Our evolution of health and safety and quality wouldn’t have happened without Radar Healthcare. We haven’t grown our team, yet we’re doing about 60% more than we’ve ever done before thanks to the software.’ www.radarhealthcare.com
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. https://careis.net
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TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Peace of Mind is One Thing - Security is Another Sign up today at https://bit.ly/3OeaXKj
In these challenging times threats to care workers / healthcare professionals has increased. Fuelled by frustration of not being able to have in person appointments or having to wait an ‘eternity’ for a consultation, attacks on staff are sadly becoming more frequent. In these situations urgent assistance is critical and the systems used have to be quick, secure and reliable. KAM Systems have developed a range of solutions that can be easily adapted to suit GP Surgeries, Health Centres, A&E, Rehab Clinics and other Care Settings. These can be quickly and easily implemented from a simple push button on the wall to a Pager with built in attack alarm & location. Harpal Momi - Managing Director of KAM Systems says, “It is a sad reflection of the current times that
care staff are being threatened and in some cases attacked. The solution we provide is completely wireless and can be installed quickly, with minimum of disruption. Staff using the system are reassured and have peace of mind that help is always on hand.” Anti Vandal / Anti Ligature Call Points make them suitable for mental health environments. The Pager has multiple alarms, push button, rip cord, tilt and is waterproof. Once an alarm is initiated, within a few seconds a message can be discretely delivered to colleagues so that they can respond. The message will contain the exact location of where assistance is required. All alarm activity is logged for audit purposes. Call today on 0330 321 1040, visit www.kamsystems.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see the advert on page 11.
Fife Firm Unveil New Staff Safety Alarms As Violence In Healthcare Settings Surges A family-owned business in Fife has announced significant upgrades to its award-winning staff safety systems, which can be found in all NHS healthcare Trusts across the UK as well as Ireland and the US. Pinpoint, the leading provider of staff safety systems, was initially set up to address increasing rates of violence toward hospital workers which had an impact on staff morale, absenteeism, and retention. The business, which employs 43 people, many at its HQ in Leven, Fife, is marking its 30thyear in business by releasing a major upgrade to its security technology. The advancements will provide even greater protection for healthcare staff working in a variety of high-risk settings, including hospitals, mental health facilities and correctional facilities. The launch of P2 comes at a critical time for the healthcare sector. A 2022 YouGov survey found that 67% of healthcare workers experienced physical abuse in the last 12 months, while 20% reported being subject to violence once a week. Hospital staff need advanced, reliable, and effective security solutions to meet their complex needs.
Daniel Waring, CEO of Pinpoint, said: “Over the last 30 years, we have continued to develop and enhance our systems to ensure we deliver the very best results for the workers who need it most. I am incredibly proud to be able to launch the P2 System on our 30th anniversary” More information about the new collection can be found on Pinpoint’s website at www.pinpointlimited.com
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EDUCATION AND TRAINING
W&P Training W&P Training supply comprehensive sets of CQC care policies and procedures that are personalised to your business. Whether it’s Residential Care Homes, Domiciliary Homecare, Nursing Homes, Learning Disabilities or Supported Living – We cover it all.
RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME POLICIES Are Your Current Policies Up To Date? There have been many recent changes to employment law, vaccinations, covid-19 guidance plus the CQC’s new strategy and regulatory approach. W&P’s team track these changes for you to ensure customers receive up to date CQC compliant documents.
DOMILICIARY HOMECARE POLICIES Over 130 comprehensive Domiciliary Care Policies and Procedures for Homecare / Domiciliary Based Services that are researched and written to meet all the CQC regulatory, legislative and good practice guidance within the Health and Social Care sector.
Skills, Knowledge, and Confidence Delivered Online Covid19 reminded us all just how important the NHS and care home staff are to our society. We are grateful for their hard work and bravery, and feel honoured to support them through our Laser Care Certificate course and CPD short courses. Working in the care sector is certainly demanding, so our objective is to make it convenient and straightforward for workers to upskill and acquire confidence in the process. The Laser Care Certificate course provides knowledge to cover every standard included in the official Skills for Care specification. Every lesson includes bespoke video tutorials specifically for the Care Certificate course, as well as reading materials and good practice examples. Furthermore, a mandatory quiz at the end of each lesson (which requires a 100% pass mark) ensures both competence and confidence. Managers are able to create their own accounts to enrol staff on the course and track their
progress. All of the content is accessible remotely via computer, smartphone or tablet, enabling care professionals to make progress towards the certificate in a way that suits their circumstances. Additionally, Laser delivers CPD short courses to equip staff with highly-relevant skills and knowledge so they can tackle new challenges or progress in their career. Two courses in particular – ‘Causes and spread of infection’ and ‘Infection control and prevention’ – were very popular during the pandemic. Unlimited use subscriptions are available at affordable rates, for organisations wishing to take advantage of a large number of short courses. Whether you are an owner, manager, or independent learner, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free demo of the Care Certificate course platform, and/or the CPD short course offering. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on email@example.com or +44 (0)1753 584 112.
CLINICAL PROCEDURES FOR NURSING HOMES CQC compliance for new and established Nursing Homes. W&P’s clinical procedures include 70 comprehensive and upto-date documents for your nursing home. These clinical procedures complement our full set of Care Home Policies and Procedures.
SUPORTED LIVING / LEARNING DISABILITIES POLICIES Designed for Supported Living and Domiciliary providers that deliver CQC regulated activities to adults with Learning Disabilities and/ or Autism. W&P’s Policies and Procedures for Supported Living Services will assist with your CQC compliance. Looking for Supported living Policies with NO Personal Care? Visit https://www.wandptraining.co.uk/policies-and-procedures/non-registered-care-policies/ W&P’s policy and compliance team are constantly scanning and reviewing all the statutory websites and regulatory publications to track the very latest developments in the Health & Social Care Sector. Policies and Procedures are updated every 4 months or immediately if there is a critical change to regulation, good practice guidance, case law outcomes or just feedback from customers. To find out more about what we offer go to www.wandptraining.co.uk or see the advert on page 2.
Why Train Beyond the Care Certificate? So, if you think the Care Certificate completes all the training, it might be time to think again.
So why choose Step Up Training and Care?
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.
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 : www.stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk E : firstname.lastname@example.org
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EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Staff-Short Care Firms Have No Time For Training Connect2Care’s latest research shows how misconceptions around apprenticeships could be impacting their potential to fix industry-wide staff retention problems Following the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021 – when employees around the UK left their jobs in record numbers – a new survey has revealed that 100% of care managers continue to find it hard to retain staff. Yet while almost 90% believe that further training investment would help with recruitment and retention, less than 40% of care businesses offer apprenticeships to staff at all levels. Over a third have been deterred from offering training opportunities for new and existing employees due to the time investment needed. A further 37.5% of care managers are put off by the risk that an employee would leave after completing their training, even though more than 90% of people working in the sector have said they would be more likely to stay in a role if their employer invested in their training from the outset. Commenting on the research, Jill Whittaker, Managing Director at Connect2Care, said: “Since the pandemic began, staff shortages have been rife across a wide range of sectors, culminating in the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021. And the care sector is among the hardest hit. “Yet while most care operators see the value in training when it comes to attracting and retaining staff, too many believe they don’t have the time to invest in this. But with the sector continuing to strug-
unlock skills quickly and fast-track staff into positions where they can make a real impact. New flexible training models under consideration by the Government are set to make this process even quicker. For example, front-loaded training will be invaluable in helping apprentices to hit the ground running and operate efficiently for their employers from the very beginning.” The study showed that most care operators are interested in flexible training options, with 75% of employers in the sector saying they would consider front-loaded training to help speed-up the process. Over 90% of employees in the field would be more willing to start an apprenticeship or training course if they could condense learning into a shorter period. Connect2Care has released a toolkit answering common questions about apprenticeships, with advice on how businesses can maximise them through flexible training options. gle with staff shortages, they can’t afford not to. “As well as playing a role in attracting and retaining valuable team members, apprenticeships have always been one of the best ways to
Find out which apprenticeship pathway will work best for your business with Connect2Care’s See the Opportunity toolkit, which can be downloaded for free. Visit https://connect2care.net/resources/see-the-opportunity/
Workforce Challenge - The Eden Alternative – A Modern, Proven Model of Care for Staff and Resident Wellbeing WHY DO THIS? The Eden model, is built on what people say they want, in a Home or a workplace, which therefore attracts residents and team members alike. As an Eden Home builds its reputation upon the quality of life it offers to the people that reside there, it follows that occupancy improves. As a programme that empowers staff and focuses on their wellbeing, It follows that staff retention improves. With a positive culture, a motivated and dedicated workforce, It follows that positive innovation becomes more possible, sustainable and continuous.
When demand for services increase, it follows that viability improves. As a cohesive cultural progression programme, it follows that innovation, modernisation and positivity increase. The model is efficient, cost effective and the training is delivered by experienced practitioners in Care Homes. Homes are very busy places, and the programme is therefore run on line for 1 hour per week for 6 weeks, and people can do this at work or at home. The 6 weekly sessions are run online, with a workbook, with links for further optional reading or viewing and should not be a burden to busy Homes, teams and managers. It is however effective. You can try without obligation.
It is designed to make business sense to providers. It is designed to enhance viability. It is designed to support recruitment and retention. It is designed to motivate Care teams and is open to any individual to add their CV.
WHAT IS IT. It is a training programme which leads to accreditation and focuses in detail on 7 domains of wellbeing, 10 principles, and is particularly designed to address instances of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. Geoffrey Cox The Eden Alternative Call today on 01626 868192 or visit www.eden-alternative.co.uk
STEP UP Training and Care At Step Up Training and Care we offer:
An inspiring approach to care As experienced Care Home practitioners we provide training to care home teams in sustainable innovation and positive leadership that empowers people to embed companionship, partnership working and vibrancy to build enriched quality of life into care homes. Develop a culture of care with wellbeing and positive relationships at its heart, with our 6 week online training programme. Discover how to replace loneliness, helplessness and boredom with wellbeing, companionship, and meaningful activities, in just one hour of training a week. Validated Eden Alternative associates can benefit from continuing support from our expert team.
Sign up today and join the care evolution
Call today on 01626 868192 or visit www.eden-alternative.co.uk
• 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 : www.stepuptrainingandcare.co.uk E : email@example.com
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PROFESSIONALS & RECRUITMENT Why Equipping Returning Adult Learners With The Skills They Need To Enter The Social Care Sector Is The Best Solution To The Recruitment Crisis By Jonny Rees, Head of Professional Development at the College Development Network (www.cdn.ac.uk) MOTIVATED BY COMPASSION
The size of the skills gap in the care sector is startling – Skills Development Scotland estimates that 17,100 roles will need to be filled by 2024, while Skills for Care’s latest figures reveal that there are an average of 105,000 job vacancies on any given day in England. Filling that gap means the care sector needs to cast its net far and wide to find recruits. Attracting the attention and interest of school leavers, and ensuring their parents are informed about the rewarding and potentially life-long career that can be forged in caring is indeed a valuable use of resources. Young people are a recognised and important stream of talent and skills for the sector. However, it is essential that the care sector taps into the pool of adults who are either considering, or are in the process of, returning to education. They include people who may have left the workforce to start a family, people who have been sick or injured but have now recovered, or simply people who did not get the chance to study at college earlier in their lives and now want to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to start a new career. To help address the skills gap, Scotland’s further education colleges, with the help of Scotland’s national college skills agency, the College Development Network (CDN) recently developed and launched the “Introduction to a Career in Social Care” course, which can now be studied at 18 of Scotland’s 24 colleges.
MIXING THEORY AND PRACTICE Colleges work hard to tailor their courses to fit employers’ needs. Today, courses include plenty of case studies, site visits, and extended work experience placements, so that students understand the roles within the care sector, which will help to reduce turnover and increase retention in the long run, helping to address the skills gap.
Adults returning to education can bring a wealth of skills and experience to roles within the care sector. Often, they’re motivated by their own experiences of care, whether it’s having been cared for themselves or having seen the high-quality support that relatives or friends have received. Just like young people who enter college care courses straight from school, adults returning to education want to give something back to their communities. The pandemic has shone an even brighter spotlight on why it’s important to have a strong care sector.
LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER Having a mix of adults and young people in classrooms can change the dynamics of a course in very positive ways too. You can’t teach life experience, and so adults regularly act as mentors to school leavers often in an adhoc, informal manner, while young people – without falling into stereotypes here – will often help their older classmates with the digital skills that have become so important in so many roles within care homes and clients’ houses. Recruiting adults isn’t about simply filling the void in entry-level jobs. Instead, adults will often bring with them experience from supervisory or management roles within their previous careers, helping to fill skills gaps at all levels throughout the care sector.
DEVELOPING LIFE-LONG LEARNING College lecturers can walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk because they’ve usually worked within the care sector. That means they have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to help to develop the courses that care providers need to train their staff at all levels throughout their careers, helping businesses to “grow their own” recruits. Being anchor institutions within their communities means that colleges are ideally placed to help fill the skills gap within the care sector. And adults returning to education are a key part of that mission.
Care Control - All-in-One Recruitment System Here at Care Control, we are empowering customers to execute a more structured hiring process to improve efficiencies and overcome the challenges that recruitment presents. By using our all-in-one recruitment module organisations will be able to clearly evidence to regulatory bodies their full recruitment process.
Never lose track of a candidate again! Seamlessly track candidate interaction, as well as request references and complete full DBS checks - all stored within your candidate’s profile.
CANDIDATE AUTOMATION Automate the entire hiring journey. Easy to use tools such as interview schedules and onboarding workflows enable you to improve processes, reduce timeto-hire and greatly enhance the candidate experience. There’s more! Your new employees’ profile will automatically be created on your Care Control hub!
JOB APPLICATION BUILDER Save time and build your own job application with Care Control’s custom form builder and store templates ready for the next vacancy.
TALENT POOLS Fill roles faster by streamlining the hiring process of all your talent pools. Become more efficient as processes are automated. Gain greater visibility of available talent across all vacancies with our simple scoring system.
EASY SHARING Increase your job exposure and attract the best candidates. With one click, post your job on our very own integrated careers website, FindMeACareJob.co.uk You can even share your application form on multiple job boards, social media channels and your website. No more copy/pasting job specs! If you’d like to learn more about how our recruitment module could benefit your business, please call us on 01822 738100 to speak with a member of the Care Control team.
THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022 | PAGE 55
PROFESSIONALS & RECRUITMENT
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 healthcare 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.
• We have very minimal processing fees. • We assist you to get a sponsorship license. • Qualified and experienced candidates from overseas. Tel: 01704 808227 www.jjcarerecruitment.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
PAGE 56 | THE CARER | JUL/AUG 2022
PROFESSIONALS & RECRUITMENT Are You A Care Home Owner with Staff Vacancies?
ARE YOU A CARE HOME OWNER WITH STAFF VACANCIES?
GET IN TOUCH NOW! Apply for a sponsor licence allowing you to employ foreign workers
Fill your staff vacancies with skilled foreign workers
Switch your part time foreign student employees into full time work permit holders Let us help you to navigate your recruitment and immigration needs
We have access to skilled workers already in the UK ready to be employed by you.
CONTACT US: 020 8571 6889 0121 525 8899 INFO@GLSSOLICITORS.CO.UK WWW.GLSSOLICITORS.CO.UK
As recently highlighted in the media there are currently over 100,000 vacant roles in the care sector. Some 78% of providers who responded to the exclusive survey, carried out by the ITV News in conjunction with the UK Homecare Association said recruiting carers is the hardest it has ever been. Many describe being at a “breaking point”. Out of the respondents, 95% said they are unable to take on all the new clients in need of their help. 2 years ago a relative of my friend with care homes in Lincolnshire came to see me. He knew I was an immigration lawyer. He was distraught and on the verge of packing it all in. The issues? ’We can’t find the workers’….’nobody wants to work full time as they will lose their tax credits’….’the British workforce are just not interested’…’nobody wants to relocate to the sticks to work for us’… His plea “Harjap help me”….my solution? ‘have you thought about recruiting foreign workers? Or students already in the UK who are already working part time in the sector?’….he did it…and today his staffing problems have been solved… So how do we go about doing it? The UK Immigration system can be complex but with the right guidance can be navigated to benefit the care sector. In order to recruit foreign skilled workers, whether they are already within the UK or directly abroad, your company needs to be regulated by the UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration). This involves being licenced by the UKVI so that your business can successfully recruit foreign workers without fear of being fined or breaching any immigration rules set by the UK governments stringent policies. Many potential employees are already within the UK on various types of visas however, and may already be
working part time (20 hours a week) for you, in order to work for you they would need to be successfully sponsored by your company through your sponsor licence. This would involve making a complex application to the UKVI and in essence asking them for permission for you to employ the worker full time. Once permission is granted, you then have the benefit of a full time employee tied down exclusively to your company for at least a 5-year period. This is often referred to as a ‘Work Permit’. If you wish to employee multiple foreign workers then we would need to convince the Home Office to grant you an appropriate allocation under the terms of your licence. Under this licence you can also recruit carers and nurses from abroad. The solution to current staffing crisis is clearly to recruit foreign workers and it is not as daunting as people often make out. There are many specialist firms of lawyers who can do the whole process for you and you can also save on hefty recruitment fees of employment agencies. If you urgently need staff then you should definitely consider applying for a UKVI sponsor licence in order to employ qualified foreign workers and help your business grow. No business should be turning away / down work due to a staffing problem which has a solution. Harjap Singh Bhangal is a Director at Immigration Specialist firm GLS Solicitors (Global Legal Solutions) and is often seen on Sky News, BBC News, and is referred to as the “Immigration Guru”. CONTACT US: 020 8571 6889 0121 525 8899 firstname.lastname@example.org www.glssolicitors.co.uk
National Minimum Wage and Working Time: The Legal Issues By Tom Draper, Employment Partner at Freeths (www.freeths.co.uk) Buckle in for a whistle-stop tour of some of the current employment law considerations businesses in the care sector are grappling with, including some tips on how to avoid an HMRC National Minimum Wage investigation and your obligations to your workers in respect of their working hours. With ongoing staffing shortages in care homes there is a heightened risk that workers will be working extra hours to ensure that residents and vulnerable service users cared for properly. This creates legal risks for employers regarding payment of the national minimum wage and under the Working Time Regulations. National Minimum Wage (NMW): One glance at the current news headlines is enough to see the ongoing issue of the disparity between wages and the cost of living. However, little attention has been given to the substantial rise in the NMW which came in April or the cost and risks this may cause employers. For those aged 23 & over NMW now sits at £9.50 per hour. This means that the NMW does not only cause concern for employers in relation to hourly paid workers now anyone engaged on a salary of around £20,000-£24,000 who is regularly working extra hours could now pose an NMW risk. Workers need to receive the NMW for each pay period they work meaning that if they are paid weekly, they need to receive at least NMW for all the hours they work each week. All hours worked in addition to a worker’s contracted hours will be considered when calculating if NMW has been paid so it only takes a few additional hours to cause problems. STEPS TO MITIGATE RISK: • Identify workers whose salaries are close to NMW; • keep a record of hours worked for all employees, this is a legal obligation and would need to be provided if HMRC ever come calling; • each pay period, whether that be weekly or monthly, consider the hours worked by the workers in question
and calculate whether it sits above NMW. • include deductions made from salaries for things like uniform or training as these can inadvertently reduce a worker’s salary below NMW. The NMW regulations are complex so you should and always take professional advice if you are unsure about how to calculate the NMW. Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR): Unhelpfully there is a different legal definition or “time worked” under the NMW regulation and “working time” under the WTR. The key difference is that the definition of working time for WTR purposes is wider. Working time for WTR includes time where the employee is at the employer’s disposal, such as where a worker is on call if the worker must be at a set location, such as the workplace. Under the WTR employers must ensure that their workers are provided with the following rest breaks: • at least 20 minutes when working more than six hours a day; • 11 hours’ uninterrupted rest per day; and • 24 hours’ uninterrupted rest per week (or 48 hours’ uninterrupted rest per fortnight) Employers must also take all reasonable steps to ensure average working time does not exceed 48 hours per week (judged over a 17-week reference period) and there are heightened obligations for night workers. While employers are able to agree an opt out from the 48-hour working week, if a worker is regularly working over 48 hours per week then it could cause concerns that the worker is not receiving adequate rest breaks under the WTR. With workers often being asked to work longer hours due to the current labour shortage in the sector it is sensible for employers to have renewed focus on these issues.