The Carer #62 September/October 2022

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Issue 62

Liz Truss to Scrap “Ring Fenced” Health and Social Care Levy

New Prime Minister Liz Truss has confirmed during her first Prime Minister’s Questions that she will be reversing the 1.25% rise in National Insurance and will be scrapping the Health and Social Care Levy. The National Insurance rise may be reversed as soon as November in Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's upcoming mini Budget. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced, in September 2021 plans for a new ‘health and social care levy’ to fund increases in associated spending in England, alongside reforms to the provision and funding of social care. This followed a previous pledge, made upon becoming Prime Minister in July 2019, to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all”.

The levy was to be a 1.25% tax on earnings for employees, the self-employed and employers, and was to tax earnings in the same way as National Insurance contributions (NICs), except that it will also apply to the earnings of over state pension age, and was due come into force in the tax year starting in April 2023. The levy was to be “hypothecated in law to health and social care, which meant that the levy was “ring fenced” and was to be only to allocated for a particular purpose, in this case a commitment that the £12bn raised will be used directly to fund increases in health and social care spending.



VIEWPOINT We here at THE CARER are very honoured, and indeed humbled, to share a number heartfelt tributes from care sector providers, representatives and residents following the death of Queen Elizabeth II (See page 12). Her Majesty was a patron of many health and care organisations and is being remembered as an ardent supporter for charitable causes, including an unreserved commitment to care. Editor Her words of support to the care sector in April 2020 were hugely inspirational. That was at a time when the sector was experiencing its most difficult time in history. I have said before that in October 2021 I sat in on a seminar where care providers were invited to share their experiences of life in their homes at the height of the pandemic and how they coped. It was as heart-breaking as it was heart-warming. Stories of sadness and grief at the loss of residents, in some cases residents’ families, also in some cases staff, plus the heartache of families being banned from entering and visiting loved ones, to the other end of the scale stories of inspirational leadership, dedication and commitment from the sector as a whole. That can often be taken for granted, and it was wonderful that her Majesty not only appreciated the dedication and hard work of the sector but shared that appreciation with the nation. The fact that Prime Minister Liz Truss has now abandoned Boris Johnson’s National Insurance increase to fund social care has not come as a surprise since it was, of course, part of her pledge when she was campaigning to become Prime Minister. There is, however, no detail in her plans on how social care would be funded other than our new Health Secretary’s comments that it will come out of “general taxation”. Adult social care has repeatedly asked successive governments for a definitive policy on how the sector be funded. Sector leaders have continually warned that tackling healthcare pressures requires investment in social care – particularly by raising wages for the workforce. This is because the mounting vacancy rate in adult social care is a key driver of delayed discharges from hospital, reducing capacity to admit new patients. I think for me, and possibly other observers as well, the issue is that during the leadership campaign, Ms Truss said she wanted to divert the additional funding allocated to the NHS this year raised through the 1.25 percentage point increase in National Insurance contributions to adult social care, in order to tackle delayed discharges. At the same time she vowed to reverse the NI rise, which she has now done, stating that funds will be raised through general taxation. However, with the current cost of living crisis and the government having to subsidise rises in energy costs it seems implausible that taxes will be raised to fund adult social care. Unpalatable though it is we have to be encouraged to contribute to our own adult social care costs. And, sooner or later I suspect that the models that we see in Germany Japan and South Korea will have to be considered here in the UK. Please do keep your stories and comments coming to

Peter Adams

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Liz Truss to Scrap “Ring Fenced” Health and Social Care Levy (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Over three years, of an estimated £36 billion the levy would have raised, just £5.3 billion of that would have been allocated to social care. On becoming Prime Minister, Liz Truss has however, confirmed that she will be reversing the NI rise and will be scrapping the Health and Social Care Levy. Thérèse Coffey, who is the country’s third health and social care secretary in two months, said spending on health and care will remain unchanged. “Instead of having, in effect, a ring-fenced levy, we will be funding health and social care changes out of general taxation”, Thérèse Coffey told the BBC. “The investment going to health and social care will stay exactly the same. It’s an important challenge we are facing and I’m looking forward to delivering that.”

TACKLING CURRENT STAFF CRISIS Care providers have repeatedly called for money raised from the levy to support care homes and home care providers and to see better pay for care staff to tackle the current staffing crisis. Earlier this month Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum said: “We need her government to deliver on the care workforce and for an immediate need to increase the funding to adult social care to make sure it can offer staff the terms and conditions that recognise the vital, life changing work they do. We cannot run the risk that they cannot afford to work in care. Care is the backbone of communities up and down the country and they are the lifeblood of its delivery. “We need her government to deliver on reform and drive forward the necessary reform plans at pace. We know that the current £5.4bn earmarked is simply not enough to address the challenges facing the sector. Never mind the next 100 days, the next 10 days will be pivotal, not only in her premiership but also for the many millions of people who work, use and operate adult social care across this country. The reforms Boris Johnson [ as Prime Minister] announced will not and cannot ‘fix social care’ because they don’t improve the quality and availability of care – the new Prime Minister must go further”

UNMET NEEDS Ms Truss’s NI reversal follows new analysis by Age UK for the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) which has found that a massive 2.6 million people aged fifty and above are living with some form of unmet need for care in England. This is the best estimate so far produced for the numbers of people in mid-life, as well as of above State Pension Age, who require assistance with one or more activities of daily living, like washing and eating. The 2.5 million over-50s in this position are equivalent to 12%, or one

in eight of the entire same age population in this country. Latest data by Age UK and the Care and Support Alliance show that: • 70% (1.8 million) of those with an unmet need for care have difficulty dressing • 18% (450,000) of those with an unmet need for care have difficulty walking across a room • 47% (1.2 million) of those with an unmet need for care have difficulty bathing or showering • 12% (320,000) of those with an unmet need for care have difficulty eating • 36% (930,000) of those with an unmet need for care have difficulty getting in and out of bed • 23% (600,000) of those with an unmet need for care have difficulty using the toilet • 7% of people in their 50s have an unmet need for care, 12% in their 60s, 15% in their 70s, 21% in their 80s and older • 21% (540,000) of people with an unmet need for care are often lonely, compared to 6% of people who have no need for care and 12% of people who have a need for care which is met Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said: “To have as many as two and half million over-50s now living with some unmet need for care is truly astonishing, and it shows how far below an acceptable level of operation our social care services have been allowed to fall. This number is equivalent to one in eight of the entire same age population, and the lack of support must be having a huge impact on all these people’s ability to live a normal life and participate in and contribute to our society. There’s no doubt that the long term neglect of social care services by central Government is having very real consequences, not only for the individuals whose lives are at best diminished, and their families who often have to pick up the pieces, but for other public services too, especially the NHS. What folly it has been for our politicians to be so careless about such a crucial public service – it’s high time that changed and I hope our new Prime Minister will turn the page and take a more intelligent approach to social care.” “At the moment all the data point to social care becoming weaker as time goes on, not stronger, particularly when you look at the state of the workforce, where vacancies are increasing month by month. This is scarcely surprising when you consider how uncompetitive the terms and conditions in social care now are: the incoming administration must understand that they will not begin to turn the curve on quality and access in social care until they ensure care staff are properly recompensed for the incredible work they do.”

DELIVER ON MANIFESTO PROMISE Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England, which represents care providers, has written to Liz Truss calling for the direction of ‘a greater share of the money generated through the Health and Social

Care Levy towards the adult social care sector’. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “The adult social care sector is under extreme pressure. Long-standing workforce and funding issues have been exacerbated by the cost-ofliving crisis, set to worsen in coming months. Care England has delivered a blueprint of immediate action to the new Government to start the re-stabilisation of the sector which current Government support packages have failed to do for energy, workforce and funding. This is essential to prevent widespread market collapse and to help commence the journey towards a sustainable future for the sector given 45% of providers in the South East are considering exiting the market.” The letter to the Prime Minister Calls for: • Page one is on a trailer Matt The introduction of a per-bed energy price cap equivalent to the proposed domestic energy price cap or the reimbursement of providers for the increased energy costs incurred by other means. • The extension of the £400 energy rebate to vulnerable people in care and supported housing, introducing parity in the way they are treated compared with those living in their own homes. • The removal of VAT and the Green Levy on energy bills. • Zero rate VAT with immediate effect to inject £350m directly to the frontline. • Directing a greater share of the money generated through the Health and Social Care Levy towards the adult social care sector. • Implement the recommendations of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee report and commit to addressing existing inequalities through increased funding to the adult social care sector. • To address the concerns raised in the Health and Social Care Committee’s recent reports at pace. • To commit to a long-term workforce strategy for adult social care which aligns pay and benefits with the NHS and local authority-run services. • To remove with immediate effect the charges made by the Home Office and for the full reimbursement of recruitment costs by providers for overseas recruitment. Martin Green continues: “It is time that the Conservative manifesto promise to ‘fix social care’ is taken seriously and finally actualised under this new leadership. Providers are still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and against the backdrop of the cost-of-living-crisis, chronic underfunding, and the absence of a longterm workforce strategy, these will culminate to be the straw the breaks the camel's back. Adult social care can only survive with the necessary support from central Government, without which it will face total collapse. We are continuing to find opportunities for the Government to take advantage of, yet little has been acted on. Change is needed, and it is needed now, to protect some of the most vulnerable members of society.”


What Impact Will The Queen’s Death Have on People We Care About?

Article supplied by QCS (

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. During her years of tireless service and dutiful dedication she was an inspirational figure to so many people for decades. The death of a public figure can raise questions and bring up people’s grief, especially from those who have a connection to the person who has died or remember someone close. Some of the people you support may well be deeply affected by the death of the Queen. Coverage will be everywhere for many days to come so our QCS Policy Manager, Alison Lowerson, offers some advice on how you can assist them during this period of mourning. For some it feels strange or even a shock to feel very sad or upset about someone we didn’t know personally. But the Queen touched the lives of millions of people directly and indirectly in many ways, either through her family, connections from war time, or events and televised broadcasts during the year. How many of your residents, neighbours, friends or relatives have fond memories of the Queen or were young children during the last war in Europe and have vivid recollections?

TALK TO THE PEOPLE YOU CARE FOR AND SUPPORT You can ask your residents or relatives living at home or being supported by your care or support teams how they might be feeling about the loss of the Queen and how things will change now we have a new King. Ask how this might be affecting them emotionally and mentally. Those of you who have elderly neighbours may want to go and check. Hold out a hand of friendship as they may be experiencing memories of the past, bringing into focus grief and loss they may have endured as a result. If they are already lonely, the sad news this week could increase their feelings of loss, emptiness,

or even anxiety and worry. Whilst we are currently a nation in mourning there will of course be celebrations to come in the months ahead when Kings Charles III is crowned at his coronation and there will be a new era of the monarchy.

CONSIDER WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT PEOPLE IN YOUR CARE? Have you and your team discussed what you can do to support people through this current situation? Here are some suggestions: • If you are in a service that has a TV running just for background noise, then think about the channels you may have on and what is being aired • Do your key workers have training to support some difficult conversations that may result from reading the papers? • What about pastoral advice and support that may be available in your community? • Do you know who to escalate any concerns to if needed? • Do you know where people can sign a book of condolence if they wish, either in person or online? • How can you keep people informed on the funeral and forthcoming commemorative events? • Are there simple activities which could be arranged for people who want to remember or celebrate the life of the Queen? Just knowing who in your circle may need a little bit of extra support, a friendly face or a hand to hold, a reassuring smile and words can make a huge difference to the people you care or love the most.

Further information Grief for Her Majesty The Queen offers useful advice from Cruise Bereavement Support, of which the Queen was a Royal Patron and long standing supporter. The government has released National Mourning Guidance for the public and businesses There are a number of other charities that may be able to offer support:

Bespoke Prayer Book Created for Care Village A bespoke Siddur (prayer book) designed to meet the needs of older Jewish people residing at Belong Morris Feinmann has been unveiled at a special Sabbath service, marking the culmination of years of collaboration between the Didsbury care village’s chaplain and community volunteers. The new version distils hundreds of pages of a traditional prayer book into a focused, large print version, making it easier for Belong’s customers, including those living with dementia, to follow and take part in the monthly services. Countless hours of meticulous translation, transliteration and proof reading has brought the prayer book to fruition, thanks to generous support of Belong Morris Feinmann chaplain, Rabbi Perez, and community volunteers, Alex Crawford and Elaine Newman. The project was the brainchild of Helen Lister, Trustee of The Feinmann Trust, which works closely with the Belong village to provide a Jewish cultural and religious input. She said: “The goal was to produce a prayer book that was easier for Belong’s customers to handle and find their way around. We are delighted that we can finally share the finished version with everyone, and we are happy that it has been so well

received.” The book is dedicated to the late Tom Einstein, funder of the prayer book and son of a co-founder of the original Morris Feinmann Home, setup during World War II to support Jewish refugees settling in Manchester. Today, it is run by not-for-profit dementia specialist, Belong, having opened the state-of-the-art care village on the former Palatine Road site to continue caring primarily for the Jewish community. Adding to the special nature of the occasion was the 80th Bar Mitzvah anniversary of resident, Harold Franks, who read the Va’etchanan haftorah portion of the service. A beautiful Kiddush, provided by the Feinmann Social Committee, followed in the on-site Bistro for customers and their families to enjoy. Angela Luckett, religious and cultural coordinator at Belong Morris Feinmann, said: “A lot of effort has gone into creating this book and our customers have been expressing how much more they are enjoying the services, with our personalised Siddur making it easier for them to participate. We are very grateful to The Feinmann Trust and all those involved for their generosity and their thoughtfulness.”

NACC Awards 2022 Shortlist Revealed The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has revealed the shortlist for the NACC Awards 2022. The prestigious awards recognise and celebrate teams and individuals that epitomise excellence, innovation, dedication and outstanding contributions within the care catering sector. Across six categories – including the new Bev Puxley Award, introduced in memory of Bev Puxley, a longstanding friend, supporter and champion of the NACC who sadly passed earlier this year – the finalists represent those working in or associated with care catering that deliver exceptional service every day, from care homes, Meals on Wheels services and Lunch Clubs to suppliers to the sector. The overall winners will be announced at a special gala awards dinner on Thursday 6th October 2022, which is part of the NACC Training & Development Forum held at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham. The NACC Awards 2022 finalists are:

Care Establishment of the Year Award, sponsored by Hobart UK • Green Meadows Residential Home • Metchley Manor, Care UK • Chandler Court, Care UK • Karuna Manor Care Home, TLC Care Meals on Wheels Award, sponsored by apetito • Meals At Home, County Enterprise Foods • Community Meals Service, Bristol City Council • ICare GB Ltd • Monmouthshire Meals

Catering Team of the Year Award, sponsored by e-f group • Care UK Food & Hotel Services Team, Care UK Residential Services

Packaging • Caroline Lloyd, Head Chef, Prince George House, Care UK • Valerie Kelly, Chef Manager, Houndswood House • Kiryl Drozdov, Head Chef, Elsyng House

The Bev Puxley Award, sponsored by Worshipful Company of Cooks

• The HC One Catering & Housekeeping Team, HC One Limited • Lakeview Manor Care Home Catering Team • Kitchen Team of Cherry Hinton Care Home

Catering Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions • Vicky Meakin, Kitchen Manager, Aspen Court • Mateusz Wojciechowski, Chef Manager, Westholme Care Home • Christopher Rees, Head Chef, Shipston Lodge Nursing Home • Valerie Kelly, Chef Manager, Houndswood House • Chris Burdett, Group Food & Beverage Manager, Signature Senior Lifestyle

Our Care Catering Hero Award, sponsored by Bullseye Food

• Christopher Rees, Head Chef, Shipston Lodge Nursing Home • Valerie Kelly, Chef Manager, Houndswood House The winners of the following coveted awards will also be honoured at the gala awards dinner: • NACC Region of the Year Award, sponsored by Meiko • Pam Rhodes Award, sponsored by Anglia Crown • National Chair’s Award Sue Cawthray, National Chair of the NACC, said: “Huge congratulations to all the shortlisted finalists. Care catering professionals continue to work and care for older and vulnerable people in incredibly challenging circumstances – from staff shortages to the cost-of-living crisis and supply chain issues, and not forgetting the impact of the pandemic that we are still feeling. The agility, tenacity, dedication, energy and brilliance that care caterers continue to exude across the country are encapsulated in the NACC Awards finalists and I am in awe of them all. I very much look forward to the gala awards dinner where we will come together with fellow members, colleagues and friends, to reflect, recognise and celebrate the amazing people in our sector. Their fantastic work and achievements make an enormous difference to the lives of so many through good food and nutrition and meaningful mealtime experiences. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck!” For more information on the NACC Awards 2022 and the NACC visit


NHS Roll Out Booster Jab with Care Residents a Priority The NHS has become the first healthcare system in the world to use the next generation, bivalent COVID vaccine as it kickstarts the autumn booster rollout. Following the updated advice from the JCVI, the NHS set out plans for the next phase of the COVID19 vaccination programme – the largest and fastest vaccine drive in health service history. As with previous campaigns, the oldest and most vulnerable will be called forward first, with people able to book in online or through 119 for as long as it has been three months since their last dose. The NHS will continue to advise local sites to allow immunosuppressed patients to self-declare and attend walk-ins to make getting the extra protection as easy as possible. Around 26 million people across England will be eligible for an autumn booster in line with guidance set out by the JCVI. As many as 3,000 sites are expected to be part of the rollout, including GP practices and community pharmacies, with new sites joining the programme all of the time. The autumn booster campaign is among a package of NHS measures to prepare for winter, including ramping up bed capacity and increasing the number of 999 and NHS 111 staff to deal with any additional pressure. More than 126 million COVID vaccines have been administered by NHS staff and volunteers since the first COIVD-19 jab was delivered outside of clinical trials to Maggie Keenan in Coventry in December 2020. NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “The NHS was the first healthcare system in the world to deliver a COIVD-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials, and will now be the first to deliver the new, variant-busting vaccine when the rollout begins at the start of September. “Our fantastic NHS staff have worked incredibly hard to deliver 126 million doses to date and behind the scenes they have once again been preparing to deliver the latest phase with the same speed and precision as we have had throughout the rollout.

“I would strongly encourage anyone who is invited to take up both an autumn booster and flu jab, to do so as quickly as possible – it will give you maximum protection this winter”. The NHS will offer people the new next generation bivalent vaccine where appropriate and subject to sufficient supply being made available to the NHS. The JCVI and MHRA have stressed that the original vaccines also continue to provide great protection and people should come forward regardless of vaccine offered. NHS director for vaccinations and screening Steve Russell said: “This winter will be the first time we see the real effects of both COVID and flu in full circulation as we go about life as normal – and so it is vital that those most susceptible to serious illness from these viruses come forward for the latest jab in order to protect themselves. “We know that our GPs and community pharmacies have been integral to the success of the NHS Vaccination Programme due to their locations and relationships with local communities, and so it is fantastic that so many have opted to be part of the latest phase of the campaign. “The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to get an autumn booster and will be inviting the first people outside of a care home to book in ahead of the formal rollout in early September – please book in as quickly as possible when invited to give yourself protection this winter”. The NHS will also being rolling out the flu vaccine and encouraging eligible people to take up the offer from the first of the month where possible. Eligible individuals may be offered the flu and COVID jab at the same time, with the doses approved to be co-administered. Health and social care staff will also be eligible to get the autumn booster in line with JCVI guidance and in order to ensure NHS staff are protected, all providers are being asked to ensure their staff are offered the autumn jab, co-administering with the flu jab where possible.

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Balancing Rising Energy Prices With Dropping Temperatures By Billy Pryke – Business Development Manager – Healthcare, Zenergi ( The current energy crisis is seeing care home budgets squeezed by soaring bills. This is calling for drastic action to avoid threatening the level of residents' care. The recent announcement from Prime Minister Liz Truss, which unveiled her plans to stem the energy crisis, hopes to ease the pressure. However, in the absence of detail on the specific measures planned, care home providers should take decisive action now. The demand for energy will only grow as we enter the cold, dark winter months, calling for more lighting and heating. To help manage this, care homes must look to the energy efficiency measures they can take to ensure all waste is eliminated. By implementing our recommendations for simple low-cost or no-cost solutions, care providers can protect budgets and help keep residents warm and comfortable.

MAXIMISE YOUR HEAT Heating is one of the biggest areas of spend for a care home during the winter and vital for maintaining residents’ comfort. To maximise your heat and minimise your waste, why not try some of these quick and easy tips… • Set thermostats to the right temperature – it may not need to be the same in every room, so avoid overheating rooms unnecessarily and focus on heating the rooms that need it most.

• Closing curtains and blinds before it gets dark will prevent heat escaping and will block cold drafts. • Thick curtains are much better at insulating, keeping the cold out and the warmth in. • If you have long curtains and a radiator underneath a window, try to tuck the curtains behind the radiator to prevent heat from being trapped. • Avoid placing large furniture in front of radiators that will prevent the warmth circulating around the room. • Bleed your radiators to ensure that any trapped air is released. Warm water cannot circulate around your radiators when there is air inside which means it will take longer to heat up.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY TRAINING To maximise energy efficiency, there is plenty that can be done to engage staff and change behaviours. With the potential to cut energy use by up to 20% through effective behaviour change, establishing a strategic staff behavioural training programme can be hugely beneficial. Holding regular workshops that remind your staff of simple measures like the above engages your team in practical ways they can help and builds energy-efficient habits. But consistency is key, so consider scheduling regular workshops to keep the tips top of mind.

TAKING THE NEXT STEPS While eliminating energy waste, care homes must also consider their 2050 net zero roadmap as a priority. Implementing energy efficient behaviours is a good start, however, more is needed to be done to reach this ambitious deadline. An energy audit can play a key role in identifying your path to reducing carbon emissions. The audit provides a comprehensive review of the energy used across your building to offer insight into areas where cost effective energy, operating and carbon savings can be achieved with different levels of investment and a clear identification of return on investment.

Warminster Care Home Resident Celebrates 104th Birthday “Follow your dreams” – the words of advice from a Wren House resident who recently celebrated her 104th Birthday. On September 3, Manchester born Muriel Whitworth celebrated her 104th birthday alongside friends and members of the Wren House community. Presents and decorations were in abundance at the Warminster care home as residents tucked into birthday cake all afternoon. Muriel, a lifelong Manchester City fan, is an experienced traveller and has been fortunate enough to follow her dreams by travelling around the world alongside her husband Eric. After the struggles of the Second World War, Muriel moved to Scotland with her husband Eric, where he worked for Scottish Airlines. Eric’s job

allowed Muriel to travel to some amazing places with the Seychelles being her favourite place to visit. Whilst travelling, Muriel met some incredible people over the years. One memory that sticks with her was during her honeymoon when Clark Gable sat himself next to Muriel and her husband. When he got off the train, he wished them a happy life together, with Muriel thinking he was a very handsome and kind man. Muriel said:“I’m delighted that after all these years, I still get to have a birthday party! “It was great to see so many residents celebrating my birthday with me and I hope that everyone at Wren House enjoyed it as much as I have” Wren House Manager, Tracey Atkins said,“Muriel is loved by everyone here at Wren House, she is a great character and makes us all laugh.”

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BMA Urges new PM to Tackle NHS Pressures, or Face an Uncontrollable Crisis this Winter The new Prime Minister must put the NHS at the very top of her priority list to avoid a once-in-a-generation crisis snowballing out of control this winter, says the BMA. In a letter1 to Liz Truss, Professor Philip Banfield, the Association’s chair of council, sets out the extreme pressures facing the health service – record waiting times, overwhelmed community-based services, and plummeting staff numbers – and why it’s more important than ever for Government to tackle them. He says: “This is a workforce that stood up to the challenge of the pandemic, that went above and beyond to continue caring for patients and to deliver the lifesaving vaccination programme, but is now being taken entirely for granted by the Government. He tells Ms Truss, “You have an opportunity to right that wrong.” Professor Banfield encourages the new Prime Minister “not to see this problem from Whitehall or through sanitised visits”, but through the eyes of NHS staff, who, because of the pressures, are “taking the unenviable decisions over which patient to prioritise and which to leave waiting in distress.” The letter also explains that reconsidering the recent pay award and tackling punitive pension taxation is crucial to boosting staff morale and retaining talented healthcare professionals – especially as the country faces a crippling cost-of-living crisis. Professor Banfield warns of the pressure in primary care warning that “GPs and their teams are bearing the brunt of excessive waiting times while many are themselves overwhelmed with demand.” In fact, as of June 2022, more than 130,000 posts in secondary care in England were vacant – the largest number of unfilled vacancies since June 2018. This is an increase of nearly 25% over one

quarter, clearly demonstrating the effect that NHS pressures are having on staff retention. Since September 2015, we now have the equivalent of 1,857 fewer fully qualified full time GPs. “The recent pay award was, in reality, nothing more than another pay cut,” it reads. “Junior doctors, GP partners and a significant proportion of staff and associate specialist (SAS) doctors have all been held to multi-year deals agreed in good faith prior to the pandemic. The impact of the decision to exclude them from pay awards given to their colleagues hardly needs explaining. To hold junior doctors for the second year running to a pay deal agreed before the pandemic and before spiralling inflation hit, is simply callous.” Professor Banfield adds: “We acknowledged your commitment to ‘sort out’ the problems with NHS pensions which are driving senior doctors from the NHS in their droves when we need them most. The scale of this problem cannot be underestimated. However, suspending “retire and return” restrictions is just one small part of the problem and will have minimal impact on the overall numbers of doctors leaving as it will only help a small minority of doctors who hold mental health officer status. It will not address the problems faced by GPs or the majority of consultants. To suggest otherwise and that this is the solution would be disingenuous.” Professor Banfield argues that “even in such difficult financial times the NHS must be prioritised”, and that that means putting staff first. He concludes: “The NHS will be one of, if not the, leading issue at the next general election and not to act on the issues I have outlined above will have a lasting impact for years to come.”


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Care Providers Struggling to Compete with Supermarkets on Pay Social care providers are struggling to recruit staff as new research reveals that entry-level supermarkets are generally paying better wages than care providers can afford to pay. Kings Fund research examined the minimum rates paid to staff by the 10 biggest supermarkets in June 2022 and compared them to the rate paid to care workers in the independent sector (which employs the vast majority of care workers, around 790,000 in total). The results are, they say, chastening, if not surprising. For social care, the minimum rate for staff over the age of 23 in June 2022 was £9.50 – the statutory minimum set by the national living wage. It has been estimated that around 50 per cent of care workers (which would equate to 395,000 of the 790,000) earn within 30 pence of the national living wage level. Unfortunately for social care, and the people it serves, in June 2022 nine of the 10 largest supermarkets were paying more than this. The temptation for staff to move sectors is, the research states clear. It is estimated that 30 per cent of care workers (237,000 of the 790,000) are paid at or within nine pence of the minimum level. If a care worker paid at this rate had been able to secure a job with Tesco in June 2022, they would have seen, as a minimum, an immediate 6.3 per cent pay increase.

LONG-TERM, SUSTAINABLE STRATEGY NEEDED The report went on to say: “No wonder, then, that the Health and Social Care Committee concluded that it was not just an improvement in hourly rates of pay that was needed in social care but ‘a long-term, sustainable strategy… which includes the prospect of pay progression, professional development, training, and career pathways.’ “There has however been no progress on delivering such a strategy in adult social care and no sign that the government is seriously interested in developing one. The government’s impact statement on its adult social care reform programme has a whole chapter on the workforce that manages to avoid even once using the word ‘pay’. “For the foreseeable future, the opening of a new Aldi is set to be good news for local shoppers but bad news for the local social care sector and for the people who use its services.” MPs taking evidence into the crisis earlier this year heard of care home managers saying: “I dread hearing Aldi opening up nearby, as I know I will lose staff.”

WORK AT PACE TO INCREASE OVERSEAS RECRUITMENT” Mr Barclay told The Telegraph that he has ordered civil servants to

‘work at pace’ on proposals which will ‘significantly’ increase overseas recruitment in the NHS, and made this announcement as part of a warning that the NHS could face a ‘triple threat’ of Covid, seasonal flu, and the cost of living crisis this winter. He said the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) was in a “real sprint” to get ready for September and a decision to hire more overseas staff could not wait until a new prime minister is selected on 5 September. The health secretary has suggested more hiring for British jobs could take place in the Philippines, India and Sri Lanka, countries which, Mr Barclay said, produce more nurses than they need, and also said the social care sector would benefit from hiring foreign workers who have nursing qualifications, but not a high enough standard of English for front line NHS work, into non-nursing roles.

“CRITICAL WINTER” ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We agree with the health secretary that we need more overseas staff to ease the shortage but the truth is Home Office bureaucracy is strangling the process. “Care providers are waiting months to get their application for a licence to recruit overseas workers approved and in the meantime, care is suffering. “So whilst we applaud the health secretary for highlighting the issue, he needs to get on to the Home Office and sort out the bottleneck, otherwise a situation that is already dire, will be critical this winter. Last month, Skills for Care revealed that the number of vacant posts in social care had shot up by 55,000 in the past year – an increase of 52%.

ANNUAL RISE OF £1,000 THIS YEAR A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We value the huge contribution to society which care workers make day in, day out. This is why we are providing at least £500m to workforce development, training and wellbeing. This is part of an additional £5.4bn investment into adult social via the health and care levy which will allow us to continue a comprehensive programme of reform. Local authorities work with private care providers to determine fee rates, which should take account of wage

costs, based on local market conditions. April’s increase in the national living wage means a full-time care worker on the NLW will see their annual earnings rise by over £1,000 this year.”


Ombudsman Issues Guidance on Care Finance Decisions The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has issued guidance to councils on the often-complex issue of Deprivation of Capital decisions. Based on lessons from the complaints it receives, the guidance is aimed at financial assessment practitioners in local authorities. It sets out the Ombudsman’s approach to investigating complaints from people whose local authority has decided they have intentionally deprived themselves of capital when assessing how much they should contribute to their care fees. Deprivation of capital is when someone knowingly reduces their capital for financial benefit. When councils are carrying out financial assessments to work out how much people should pay for their care, they must sometimes make very nuanced decisions about whether someone has given away money, or deprived themselves of an asset, with the intention of avoiding charges for care. Using casework examples, the guidance highlights the common issues seen in the complaints the Ombudsman receives. These include assuming all gifts are deprivation of capital, wrongly applying the Personal Expenses Allowance to people who fund their own care, and not keeping proper records of how decisions are reached. Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman said: “With increasing pressures on council budgets, and a growing number of people in need of care in this country, we know that decisions about whether people have intentionally deprived themselves of capital can be a difficult – and for the families

involved – emotive issue. “The guidance we are issuing today sets out how we look at councils’ decisions, and the common areas we find fault where we have been asked to investigate. “We hope that by publishing this guidance those practitioners involved in making such decisions can have some clarity about the steps they need to take to ensure the decisions they make are fair and equitable.” Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said: “Adult social care makes up a large proportion of council spending and with decreasing budgets and growing pressures, delivering statutory services have become more and more challenging. “Councils rightly expect that all those who can afford to contribute financially to their own care actually do so in accordance with national and local charging policies. If people try to avoid paying for their care, this ultimately puts further pressure on the system and the taxpayer, and It is unfair to those who do make the expected financial contribution. “Councils support further guidance to ensure that work around possible deprivation of capital is handled fairly, accurately and carefully. “Adult social care services are under enormous financial strain and given councils’ responsibility to protect and spend public resources diligently, they have a duty to act where they suspect deliberate deprivation has taken place.”

Staff Member Celebrates 30-Year Work Anniversary and says “Retirement is Last Thing on Mind” A staff member at a Cheshire based care home has celebrated her 30-year work anniversary and says she is not even considering retirement. Suzanne Hitch started working as a kitchen assistant at MHA Handsworth in 1992 and to celebrate her achievement, the home manager presented her with a certificate and some flowers. Suzanne says she will continue to work for as long as she can and the friendly atmosphere of the home is what keeps her going. She added: “I wouldn't have stayed if I weren’t happy, and I can't believe it's been 30 years since I started. “It's a challenge but one I love, and the job satisfaction is something that keeps me wanting to come back. “I don't think I have ever thought about leaving and I really enjoy working here. “I get on well with everyone, from staff through to residents and everyone is friendly

and approachable. “It was a nice surprise when the team called me in and presented me with my award, and it was a bit of a shock. “Retirement is the last thing on my mind, for now I am really enjoying my time at work and will continue to do so.” Julia Ronan, home manager said: “Suzanne is a lovely lady and a huge asset to the home. “She is always there for everyone and has a beautiful personality, “Some staff members call her Aunty and that's because when you spend time with her you realise how much care and affection she has. “I am very proud to have staff like Suzanne here and she really is an amazing person.”


Care Sector Pays Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II nation. “Queen Elizabeth was part of the fabric of our lives and our older residents in particular shared so much history and life experience with her. For them especially her loss with be deeply felt and mourned.”


The care sector has paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II following the sad news of her death at Balmoral on September 8. The Queen, described as “Elizabeth the Great”, has drawn a wave of reflection and remembrance amongst representatives in the care sector, charities, providers, organisations and Britain’s elderly generation, to express their deep sorrow, and share their own stories about the country’s longest reigning monarch. When Princess Elizabeth turned 18 in 1944, she insisted upon joining the Army, where she trained as a truck driver and mechanic. Five months later she was promoted to Junior Commander, which was the equivalent of Captain. Her younger sister Princess Margaret was a Girl Guide and later joined the Sea Rangers. She remains the only female member of the royal family to have served in the Army. Royal Star & Garter a provider of care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia and was established in 1916 to care for severely disabled young men returning from WWI battlegrounds paid tribute to its Patron, Queen Elizabeth II who became the charity’s Patron in 1953, following the death of her grandmother Queen Mary, and made several visits to the Richmond Home. Expressing his deepest sympathies to the entire Royal Family, Major General Tyler said: “Her Majesty The Queen’s role as our Patron was just one aspect of a reign characterised by support for good causes and devotion to public service.” He explained that The Queen’s visits to Royal Star & Garter demonstrated “genuine support and enthusiasm for the veteran community and our important work.” He continued: “As a veteran herself, Her Majesty had a natural affinity with our residents. Always a proud advocate of the Armed Forces community, The Queen’s support for Royal Star & Garter never wavered. It was an honour and privilege to have had Her Majesty’s patronage.”

QUEEN’S TRIBUTE TO THE CARE SECTOR In April 2020, during the first Covid lockdown, the Queen paid special tribute to care staff, and other key workers, for their service during the pandemic, in a televised address. She said they had “selflessly continued their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all, adding: “I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times.” Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum said: “We mourn with the nation in our loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who has been a model of dedicated service for over 70 years. As the patron of many of our member organisations she has demonstrated unreserved commitment to care, charity and community through her ongoing patronage and her previous patronage of members. “Many of the people in care will be thinking about her and remembering the huge part she has been in all of their lives and how key chapters in their lives have been shaped, influenced and in harmony with key elements of her reign – from her wedding, coronation, jubilees, children, annual Queen speeches and many more. Care settings have always marked these moments with love and gratitude for her dedication and service and will be deeply saddened by the news of her death at this time. “Our thoughts are with her family and King Charles III as he takes to his new responsibility as monarch and King.” Mike Padgham, Managing Director of the Independent Care Group, said: “We are saddened by the death of Queen Elizabeth II. She was our beloved head of state, our patriarch, our Queen and the mother of our

Paying their tributes, care home residents at Royal Star & Garter spoke of their love and admiration for the late Monarch. WWII Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) veteran Phyllis, who received a card from The Queen earlier this year to mark her 100th birthday, said: “I was born three years before she was, so she’s been part of my life. I’ve always watched what she’s doing and what it meant, and [thought] how lucky we were to have her, because she was so dedicated. I can’t imagine a world without her, and it’s very sad that she’s gone.” RAF veteran Michael was awarded his MBE from The Queen at Windsor Castle in 2012. He said: “It’s often said when she speaks to somebody it seems like there is nobody else around, and I found that during the very brief time I was in front of Her Majesty. She asked me various questions but was totally focussed on me and I found that quite extraordinary... A most wonderful lady, extraordinary. I’ll miss her, she was always there, she was a constant.” Discussing Her Majesty’s lifetime of service, RAF veteran Vera said: “There wasn’t anything more she could possibly do and still be human.” WAAF veteran Elsie said: “She meant a great deal to me. She was someone we could always look up to and admire for her hard work, and hope we could do just as well. She worked very hard and I don’t think anyone could’ve have worked harder.” Monica, whose husband was in the Navy, said: “Her service was amazing, and she went on for so many years. We were very proud to have her as our Queen.” Ken, who served in the Army, said: “She was a very dutiful lady. When she made that speech when she was aged 21, that she would devote her life be it short or long, she stuck to it. I never met her, but one felt connected to this lady.” Addressing the length of her reign, he added: “I think it was marvellous, and a wonderful achievement. The fact she did it over 70 years was immaterial, the fact is she was doing it so well. I was thinking that if we have to give this Elizabethan era a label, like we had William the Conqueror or Alfred the Great, I would think Elizabeth the Dutiful.”

CARE RESIDENTS REMEMBER THE MONARCH Tanglewood Care Homes said “We have been truly blessed to live through the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, we have watched her grow, we have grown with her. We have celebrated every landmark, the birth of her children, her grandchildren, and great grandchildren, we have partied at jubilee celebrations and mourned the loss of her mother, her sister and her beloved husband, Prince Phillip. Her presence has been a constant, her loyalty to this country and to the commonwealth, unbounding and we shall be forever in awe of her and eternally grateful to her.” “We, like the rest of the nation are still trying to come to terms with the sad news, it will take a while to process.” “We have spent this weekend sharing our memories, we have taken a stroll down memory lane, we have laughed, remembering the excitement of the coronation, the jubilee street parties we organised with close friends and neighbours, and we have, of course cried, mourning the profound loss to the world. We have been following the televised coverage and the documentaries charting the life of our beloved Queen Elizabeth. We have begun to compose messages of support for the new King and his family and watched the official proclamation as it happened on Saturday morning.” Staff and residents at Fleetwood Hall Care Home have also been mourning and paying tribute to the Queen. Bronnie, 77, has been remembering the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

She said: “I was eight years old when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned Queen. “We lived on Kent Road in Blackpool and in our house we didn’t yet have a television as it was on order and hadn’t arrived. I can remember my grandma being very cross because she was going to miss the coronation. “We ended up watching it at the Brockson’s corner shop. Mr Brockson took us through the front door of the house – a big novelty as we normally only saw the shop itself – and showed us into the lounge. We sat crossed legged in front of the television, and because I was one of the youngest, I got a seat right at the front. “Watching the Queen on the television, I was in complete awe of all the soldiers in their uniforms with their shining helmets and medals. I had never seen anything like this before. I remember thinking how beautiful the Queen was and hoping that I would grow up to look just like her. “For a young girl of eight the whole thing was like a fairytale. There will never be another like Queen Elizabeth II.” Derek, 95, met the Queen while serving in the Navy. He said: “I was part of the crew on HMS Vanguard in 1947 when the Royal family travelled to South Africa. “I was Seaman and on board for the 14-day trip was King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth (soon to become Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margret. Our Captain was Rear Admiral Agnew. “We arrived in Cape Town, South Africa on 17th February 1947. While travelling over I can remember watching Princess Elizabeth playing rounders on board. I never joined in the games, but I enjoyed getting a glimpse of this side of the Royal family. I interacted and spoke with Princess Elizabeth on many occasions and remember how kind and gentle she was and how very approachable.” Kenneth, 91, met the Queen when she visited Church Fenton Airfield in Leeds. He said: “I was at Church Fenton Airbase in Selby, North of York, when Queen Elizabeth II was due to arrive. “I was a heavy goods driver for the RAF at the time. We were told to expect her and that we were under instructions to keep a low profile. “Several others and I stood peeping between the bowsers to try and catch a glimpse of her arrival. Queen Elizabeth II arrived on the airbase in a large shiny black car, and when she arrived all the Army and RAF personnel stood to attention as she passed. “She was checking our RAF uniforms to make sure we had nothing out of place, and I can remember her being truly great and very lovely. She will be missed by so many people.” Over this period of National Mourning, the Excelcare family joined thousands of others across the country in paying their respects and honouring the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in their 32 care homes as well as in their Support and 4 Regional Offices. They have created an online book of condolences where many have left touching, heartfelt messages about the Queen’s impact and service, as well as collating video messages for a piece of memorial content in Her Majesty’s honour: Contributions included:“Our gracious Queen of 7 decades will always be remembered for all her hard work and dedication to the nation. My Dad John G (resident) was proud to serve her majesty along Charles and Ann when he was based at RAF Marham in the 50’s. RIP” With another writing: “A life well lived. Queen Elizabeth will go down in history as the most loved, admired and respected Queen in our history. Rest in peace your Majesty. You can truly know that you lived respected and died regretted.” On Monday 19th September each home welcomed relatives and key community members across the group to watch the funeral procession together. This has been an emotional time for all, but Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be forever in our hearts.


Government Outlines Plans to Help Cut Energy Bills for Businesses New support for households, businesses and public sector organisations, including adult social care, facing rising energy bills in Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been unveiled by Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg today (Wednesday 21 September) – supporting growth, preventing unnecessary insolvencies and protecting jobs. Through a new Government Energy Bill Relief Scheme, the Government will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers (including all UK businesses, the voluntary sector like charities and the public sector such as schools and hospitals) whose current gas and electricity prices have been significantly inflated in light of global energy prices. This support will be equivalent to the Energy Price Guarantee put in place for households. It will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts. It will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, running for an initial six-month period for all non-domestic energy users. The savings will be first seen in October bills, which are typically received in November. As with the Energy Price Guarantee for households, customers do not need to take action or apply to the scheme to access the support. Support (in the form of a p/kWh discount) will automatically be applied to bills. To administer support, the Government has set a Supported Wholesale Price – expected to be £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas, less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter – which is a discounted price per unit of gas and electricity. This is equivalent to the wholesale element of the Energy Price Guarantee for households. It includes the removal of green levies paid by nondomestic customers who receive support under the scheme. The level of price reduction for each business will vary depending on their contract type and circumstances:

Non-domestic customers on existing fixed price contracts will be eligible for support as long as the contract was agreed on or after 1 April 2022. Provided that the wholesale element of the price the customer is paying is above the Government Supported Price, their per unit energy costs will automatically be reduced by the relevant p/kWh for the duration of the Scheme. Customers entering new fixed price contracts after 1 October will receive support on the same basis. Those on default, deemed or variable tariffs will receive a per-unit discount on energy costs, up to a maximum of the difference between the Supported Price and the average expected wholesale price over the period of the Scheme. The amount of this Maximum Discount is likely to be around £405/MWh for electricity and £115/MWh for gas, subject to wholesale market developments. Non-domestic customers on default or variable tariffs will therefore pay reduced bills, but these will still change over time and may still be subject to price increases. This is why the Government is working with suppliers to ensure all their customers in England, Scotland and Wales are given the opportunity to switch to a fixed contract/tariff for the duration of the scheme if they wish, underpinned by the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme support. For businesses on flexible purchase contracts, typically some of the largest energy-using businesses, the level of reduction offered will be calculated by suppliers according to the specifics of that company’s contract and will also be subject to the Maximum Discount. A parallel scheme, based on the same criteria and offering comparable support, but recognising the different market fundamentals, will be established in Northern Ireland. If you are not connected to either the gas or electricity grid, equivalent support will also be provided for non-domestic consumers who use heating oil or alternative fuels instead of gas. Further detail on this will be announced shortly.

We will publish a review into the operation of the scheme in three months to inform decisions on future support after March 2023. The review will focus in particular on identifying the most vulnerable nondomestic customers and how the Government will continue assisting them with energy costs. Prime Minister Liz Truss said: I understand the huge pressure businesses, charities and public sector organisations are facing with their energy bills, which is why we are taking immediate action to support them over the winter and protect jobs and livelihoods. As we are doing for consumers, our new scheme will keep their energy bills down from October, providing certainty and peace of mind. At the same time, we are boosting Britain’s homegrown energy supply so we fix the root cause of the issues we are facing and ensure greater energy security for us all. Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said: We have stepped in to stop businesses collapsing, protect jobs, and limit inflation. And with our plans to boost home-grown energy supply, we will bring security to the sector, growth to the economy and secure a better deal for consumers. Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said: We have seen an unprecedented rise in energy prices following Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, which has affected consumers up and down the country and businesses of all sizes. The help we are already putting in place will save families money off their bills, and the Government’s plans for businesses, charities and public sector organisations will give them the equivalent level of support. This, alongside the measures we are taking to boost the amount of domestic energy we produce to improve both energy security and supply, will increase growth, protect jobs and support families with their cost of living this winter.

Care Home Goes ‘Full Pink’ to Help Combat Cancer Residents and staff at RMBI Care Co. Home Zetland Court, in Bournemouth, have joined forces to raise money for Breast Cancer Now, a charity that provides research and life-changing care for people affected by breast cancer. The staff used pink ornaments to decorate the Home, including its extensive gardens, and organised a series of afternoon tea parties. Even relatives gave a hand by making wonderful cakes for every-

The residents and staff set up tables on the end of the Home’s drive and served tea, coffee and cakes to passers-by, neighbours, ambulance staff, postmen and refuse collectors. Karen Casey, one of Zetland Court’s Activities Coordinators, said: “We suggested donations and they were very generous! The residents joined us and were very

one to enjoy. In total, the care home has managed

happy to meet the neighbours and wave to people

to raise around £500 from raffles and donations.

on the open-topped buses passing by.”


Improving Efficiencies Without Compromising on Quality of Care With the care sector facing difficulties all exacerbated by inflation, nursing care businesses can be left wondering how they can continue supporting service users to the same standards. Mike Williams, managing director, Tagtronics (, explains the impact of the current cost of living crisis on nursing care businesses and how to improve efficiency without compromising on quality of care.

RISING COSTS Current increases in inflation have affected all of us, and nursing care businesses are no exception. With prices rising faster than they have in 40 years at a rate of nearly 9.5%, it’s left many businesses wondering how they can change their processes in order to save money. In the care industry, raising wages to match inflation is never easy, but with over two thirds of workers in the independent care sector being paid less than the real living wage (£9.90), nursing care providers need to support their carers to retain quality talent in the sector. In addition to this, inflation is making budgets even tighter, with increas-

ing fuel prices making a bad situation even worse for nursing care businesses subsidising travel expenses of its carers. 92% of providers are concerned about the effect of the rise in fuel costs on the longevity of their business. Many are aware of the obvious solution to relieve the pressure the sector is under: more government funding. But public money often takes months if not years to filter through and the care sector needs support now to counteract the effects of dramatic inflation. Most care businesses don’t have the time to wait for government support.

SAVING MONEY WITH EFFICIENCY Although budgets are stretched, often nursing care businesses are concerned about saving money, as there can be a common misconception that this should include cutting back on staff or resources and thereby diminishing quality of service. However, saving money doesn’t necessarily mean compromising the quality of care of your nursing care business if it’s done with careful consideration. You may have hidden efficiencies that you’re not aware of that could help to support your nursing care business during times of tight budgets. Here are some ideas for exploring, identifying and quantifying your hidden efficiencies: 1.Allocating resources An important way to make your money last longer is by allocating your resources effectively. If you decide which carers should go where based on what will take the least time, you’re increasing the number of visits they can make, saving on petrol and improving the continuity of care in

your business – which will increase the quality of care of your business as a by-product. 2.Improving communication How efficient is your team’s communication? The harder it is for team members to communicate with each other, the more time is wasted sharing simple information. In the nursing care industry, we’re communicating all the time, whether that’s to change a rota, a patient’s medication or to provide feedback on a visit. The more time that your carers spend communicating, the less time they spend caring for those who need it. Make communication as efficient as possible with seamless communication channels, and you’ll save time and improve quality of care. 3.Automation and technology We all know that there are some things in the nursing care industry that will always be done personally ie by an in-person carer. That’s because staying social is an important part of recovery. However, as in other industries, we’ve seen various benefits of automation in the nursing care industry. For example, automated reminder systems can remind service users to take medication to free up carer time. Automation and technology are supporting those who need care to remain independent and recover at home with the support of care, rather than relying on this. Although saving time is important, it’s not the time to cut back on quality of care. By identifying potential capacity and improving the efficiencies of your business, you can save money and improve your care quality, one service user at a time.

Care Home Staff Experience First-Hand What It Feels Like To Be A Resident To mark Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September, staff at RMBI Care Co. Homes recently took part in an innovative training programme called Experiential Learning. Through this training, staff have the opportunity to experience first-hand what it might feel like to be a resident in a care home. One of the sessions took place at Prince George Duke of Kent Court, in Chislehurst. Staff members were presented with different challenges, such as wearing a wet incontinence pad throughout the training session, doing a crossword while wearing goggles that simulate impaired vision, and wearing gloves to simulate arthritis. The aim was to help give them a better understanding of how residents should be cared for, and develop a greater sense of empathy in their roles. Maisie Bourne, the Home’s Training Manager, said: “All staff at our Home, at every level, have to go through this training. It’s important that we all understand the challenges faced by our residents, whether they have a mobility need, require support at mealtimes or need additional one to one support.” As part of the training session, staff members also took part in a variety of scenarios, such as:

• Being pushed in a wheelchair with artificially impaired vision. • Being supported to eat a meal by another trainee. • Having their face and neck washed by another trainee. • Being left on their own in an empty room whilst unable to move from their chair. The programme was first launched in 2014 and has been refined and expanded with different scenarios in recent years. Louise Bateman, Group Human Resources Director at RMBI Care Co., says: “Learning through experience can be very powerful; this programme has become a vital tool in supporting new staff members to empathise with residents and to care with compassion. We want to ensure that we recruit individuals not solely upon their technical skills or abilities, but on the basis of their values and attitudes to care.” Diane Connor, Activities Coordinator and one of the trainees, said: “This training emphasises the importance of being in someone else’s shoes and treating others the way you want them to treat you.” RMBI Care Co. is part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. For more information, please visit:

Keeping Eyesight Healthy for People Living with Dementia Maintaining good eyesight can be a really important lifeline for people living with dementia, and can help support the people who care for them. Zetun Arif, an ophthalmic director for Specsavers Home Visits in the Greater Manchester area, speaks to The Carer about how important eye tests are in helping people live well with the condition, and about the service the teams offer to people living in care homes.

Q. Why is maintaining good eyesight so important for people living in care homes, whether they are living with dementia or not? Maintaining good vision really matters for all of us, but it’s especially important for care home residents because they are more likely to have limited mobility and may be at a higher risk of falls. Many of the things they may enjoy doing will involve good vision, like watching television or doing puzzles or craft activities.

Q. So that’s why regular eye tests are so important for care home residents? Sight loss can lead to people feeling really isolated, and if a person is also living with dementia it can make them feel more confused. Regular eye tests allow changes in vision to be tackled quickly, and can also detect other eye conditions (such as glaucoma or cataracts) which may need further treatment at an early stage.

Q. How can Specsavers Home Visits help? Our home visits teams are trained to support people living with dementia and the people who support them. They’ll work with to deliver a personalised service to your residents, delivered with kindness, patience and a smile. Our optometrists use objective assessment techniques which don’t require responses from the person being tested, which means we can offer full support to people living with dementia even if they face challenges in communicating with us. 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 does your service work? We’ll come to all types of care centre, from community houses to residential homes, to dementia specialist nursing homes and everywhere in between. In some services, we’ll visit for a whole day and provide full routine free NHS eye tests to everyone who lives there, while in others we’ll visit new residents to give them a check-up, or see a single resident who is having particular issues with their vision. We supply NHS and private funded spectacles which we deliver and fit in person, and which are engraved with the person’s name so you can easily find their glasses when you need to. Glasses start from £19, and the same offers apply as would in store. To find out more, visit


‘Tweet In Haste, Repent At Leisure’: Becoming Social Media Savvy While social media has proven to be a miracle marketing tool, it also serves as a very public platform for stakeholders to air grievances or potentially breach end-user privacy - creating a ticking timebomb for many in the care sector. Grace Mcgarry, PR and social media expert from Edson Evers (, shares her tips on how to mitigate these risks in order to protect your clients and the reputation of your business. In this digital age, social media is undoubtedly a fantastic tool for communication. It’s a quick, easy and affordable way to promote your business and reach your stakeholders, whether they be new and existing residents, residents’ families or community members. It’s also a flexible medium, with a range of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest or TikTok, each with its own USP, which allow you to post as frequently as you like. Yet while social media brings huge gains, there are also pitfalls to be aware of – namely how to protect your reputation and the privacy of your end-users. The sensitive nature of care services can quickly make social media a minefield, even when no harm is meant - take for example reports of a care home manager who was fired for posting pictures of residents enjoying a Hallowe’en party on Facebook. This begs the question: do your colleagues know what you expect of them? And in turn, what do clients and their families expect of you?

STAYING AHEAD OF THE SOCIAL GAME A strong approval protocol for the social media channels your business owns is an essential starting point. This may involve circulating upcoming posts with different departments in the business who may have knowledge which helps them to spot an issue, or securing written consent from an end-user if you want to share any images of them.

sion. However, restrictions do apply when concerning issues such as the protection of the reputation of others, or preventing disclosure of information received in confidence. If you feel that someone has crossed this line and isn’t willing to discuss the issue, you can report these comments on the social media site, who should support you in taking care of the issue.


Once your content is posted, ensure it is closely monitored so you can quickly tackle any complaints. Here, the golden rule is to take the conversation offline as quickly as possible. Whether it’s a disgruntled colleague or a client’s family, get in touch and offer a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible. Believe it or not, social media is often a last resort for frustrated families, and showing that you are willing to listen can quickly disarm any digital conflict. Should any online commenters persistently post unfounded negative comments about your business, then don’t ignore it. The Human Rights Act means that, thankfully, everyone has the right to freedom of expres-

Lastly, one of the most effective ways to maintain control of your online presence is to create a social media policy. This is a simple way to introduce a framework covering clearly defined objectives which provides guidance to colleagues on what they should and should not post about. This helps to make sure you’re all singing from the same hymn sheet. A policy should cover how sensitive or confidential information must not be shared on any social media sites – regardless of whether they are owned by the business or the people who work there. While there are data protection laws in place to safeguard a resident or end user’s privacy, it is still vital to ensure your employees understand them before any damage is done. For example, though an employee might be the one liable for sharing confidential data from their own social media accounts, as soon as that post is ‘live’ then the resident’s privacy has been violated, thus harming your own reputation. Your goal should be to prevent it from reaching this stage with clear policies and regular training.

SEEK OUT SUPPORT So yes, while the use of social media in the care sector can be considered a risk, it’s one that can be managed with a mix of care, attention to detail and experience. Therefore, outsourcing your social media strategy is also something to consider in order to provide peace of mind, knowing that you are reaping all the benefits and mitigating the risks.

Care Home Residents Prove You’re Never too Old to Learn AN EDINBURGH care home is encouraging lifelong learning for its residents as it partners with the Open University to form an in-house college. Cramond Residence will be launching ‘Cramond college’, offering its residents an opportunity to strengthen their cognitive function by giving them the option to enrol in a variety of courses offered by the online university. Courses will range from one to four hours, and residents will receive a diploma for their efforts in a planned monthly graduation ceremony at the care home. The partnership is part of Cramond’s aim to provide its residents with a richer and more satisfying lifestyle and hope the courses will allow for its residents to learn new skills and dive deep into subject areas of their choice. Garylee Rushforth, lead lifestyle coordinator said: “I was determined to think of a way to develop our approach to activities that

challenged the residents, and offered them a chance to learn a new skill. “The Open University ticked all the boxes in terms of a meaningful activity while allowing residents to pick from a wide range of subject areas.” The opportunity has proven to be very popular with a large number of the residents at the care home expressing their interest in achieving a diploma. Garylee also said: “When we initially suggested the idea of Cramond College to our residents, there was great interest with over half of them being eager to take part with a lot having a keen interest in courses which focus on arts and history. We have also seen a number of residents who are living with mild to moderate dementia eager to take up some of the courses on offer. At the end of each month, we plan to hold a graduation ceremony for those who have achieved their diploma.”

What Can England Learn From the Professionalisation of Care Workers in Other Countries? Perceptions of care work as low skilled continue to persist, despite the pandemic highlighting just how vital care workers are. In recent years there has been increased debate around the ‘professionalisation’ of this staff group, which generally refers to the creation of a statutory register of staff and their professional regulation. This new Nuffield Trust report reviews what the evidence shows about the professionalisation of care workers in other countries.

REPORT There is growing public recognition that care workers have long faced a formidable number of challenges. These include low pay, poor terms and conditions, hugely variable access to training, and limited opportunities for career development. These have been exacerbated in recent years by increased rates of sickness and burnout during the pandemic and changes to immigration rules following Brexit, which have led to intensified recruitment and retention challenges. Perceptions of care work as ‘low skilled’ continue to persist, despite the pandemic highlighting just how vital care workers are. Their dedication and capability has also been recognised in Baroness Cavendish’s report. In recent years there has been increased debate around the ‘professionalisation’ of this staff group. This generally refers to the creation of a statutory register of staff and their professional regulation, and can involve improvements to pay, training and career development, and terms and conditions. The report reviews what the evidence shows about the professionalisation of care workers in other countries. It draws on the experiences of those other countries to inform policy reforms that England may wish to consider as part of a longer-term strategy for the adult social care workforce in this country.


The review found that: • Evidence from the other UK countries shows that registration and professional regulation can reduce risk to the public, improve outcomes for people drawing on social care services, improve confidence in the workforce, and can drive up workforce standards through mandatory minimum training. England is the only country in the UK that has not introduced registration and professional regulation of care workers. But the experience in Scotland and Wales also warns that it could introduce unnecessary barri-

ers to recruitment and retention, and such a system could be costly. • Care workers who receive relevant, high-quality training are more likely to stay in their role and be equipped with the skills and confidence to deliver better care. Mandatory minimum training, or the right to receive training, are approaches used internationally to good effect. Benefits to these approaches include improved outcomes for people drawing on services, improved confidence and status among workers, improved person-centred care, and reduced turnover. Programmes tend to be most effective when training is relevant to the role, equitable in terms of access, and sits alongside alternative routes for workers to demonstrate their skills. • Evidence demonstrates that increasing pay to competitive wages would reduce staff turnover, particularly for staff paid at lower wage levels. Countries around the world have used a number of different routes to improve pay: Scotland and Wales are taking steps to standardise pay and increase it beyond the National Living Wage, and pay bonuses have been awarded in all three devolved countries. Germany has introduced a sector minimum wage and policymakers are seeking to implement collective wage agreements to increase and standardise wages across the country. The national pay and progression framework introduced in New Zealand has helped improve retention, and this more attractive pay scale has also attracted new starters who are male, younger, or with graduate degrees. • The day-to-day working terms and conditions of care workers in England need urgent attention. Countries around the world have sought to

address precarious employment and improve conditions in a variety of ways. New Zealand funds home care workers’ travel time and travel costs, while Germany has introduced childcare grants and additional days of annual leave. Scotland is distinct in the UK for requiring providers to take staff wellbeing into account in their staffing decisions. Other countries such as Norway and Germany offer much more generous sick pay provision. • International experiences suggest that measures must be designed and implemented together rather than introduced in isolation. Unless reforms are designed in tandem, they are likely to have limited effectiveness, and could even risk exacerbating workforce recruitment and retention challenges. The evidence base on the impact of the different measures is still emerging, and should be closely followed. While there are many examples of positive impact, there have been a number of notable unintended consequences which can be learned from. For example, mandatory training may introduce unnecessary rigidity, making it more difficult to retain specific groups of staff. Pay increases may further minimise the difference in pay for more senior staff, and attempts to introduce guaranteed hours at a national level may not benefit all staff consistently. • Care workers are a diverse staff group. One in four are from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds and these groups are less well represented in senior positions. Professionalising the workforce and providing consistent opportunities to access training and development opportunities could help to address inequalities in progression and earnings, and could also help attract underrepresented groups into the workforce. Care workers are first on the front line, delivering care in precarious conditions, but last to see meaningful acknowledgement of their perseverance. Protecting the health and safety of these staff should be a longstanding priority for employers and the DHSC, and not just during a pandemic. Ensuring that pay, training, and terms and conditions better reflect the value of care work to wider society is in the public interest. A number of workforce initiatives have recently been introduced, however, and there is now an opportunity for policy-makers to go further to reverse the deepening workforce recruitment and retention crisis in England. As governments across the world are taking increasingly bold and creative action to embed workforce reforms, there is much for England to learn as it pushes forward with planned reforms while considering further action as part of a longer-term adult social care workforce strategy.


ATTENTION HEALTHCARE WORKERS: The Best Way to Claim a Tax Refund - What Can You Claim and How Much Are You Missing Out On? Would you like some good news? Healthcare professionals can claim tax relief on their work-related expenses. And did you know that the quickest, simplest and most financially rewarding way to make a claim is via HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) online portal on GOV.UK? The rising cost of living means many families and households are feeling the pinch. Every penny counts and it’s never been more important for workers to claim all the money that they’re entitled to.


Employees may be able to get tax relief on: uniforms and work clothing buying equipment professional fees and subscriptions using their own vehicles for work travel (this doesn’t mean their journey from home to work) working from home

HOW TO CLAIM Some people are reluctant to claim tax relief for themselves because they think it’s time consuming, challenging or difficult, but in fact it’s quick and easy to do. The best way to claim is to apply to HMRC directly for your own tax relief. You can check your eligibility online and find out more useful information about claiming tax relief on work-related expenses on GOV.UK. Making this check will only take you about five minutes. If you can make a claim and already have access to your Government Gateway account, you can go straight ahead and make the claim there. If you don’t already have an account, it is straightforward to set one up. Once you’ve submitted the claim, HMRC will contact you if they need written confirmation of the payments

you’ve made, or if there’s anything else they need to check.

ISN’T IT EASIER TO USE A COMPANY INSTEAD OF DOING IT MYSELF? Healthcare work can involve long, stressful hours. Busy people, who are short on free time, may find themselves drawn to the many advertisements often seen online and on social media, offering a quick and easy rebate from HMRC, all handled by a third-party company to save you the trouble. These companies are known as repayment agents. The ease of leaving everything to someone else can be very appealing, but it’s vital that you look into the company carefully and are fully aware of the specific terms and conditions involved. Most importantly, there is always a fee involved in using an agent. Depending on the company, these can be up to 50% of the refund and could also include an administration charge. This can take a significant chunk out of any money you eventually receive. The information you give these companies to apply for your refund is almost always the same you will give HMRC if you apply yourself. We would always recommend taking the time to look into applying yourself before committing to a repayment agent, as you then get to keep all of the money you claim. The government is aware that some have taxpayers faced issues or felt misled when using agents that specialise in claiming tax refunds from HMRC. HMRC has received complaints about a few companies relating to matters such as how transparent they are over their fees and how the relationship between the customer and the agent works.

THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN CLAIMING TAX RELIEF 1. Check GOV.UK to see if you are eligible to claim tax relief on work-related expenses. 2.When you are ready to make a claim, the quickest and easiest way to do so is directly with HMRC. 3.If you do choose to use a repayment agent to make a claim – do your research and check the terms of the service and what fees you will be charged. Don’t be caught out.

HELP FOR HOUSEHOLDS It’s not just work-related expenses that people are missing out on. The government is offering help for households as a result of the increased cost of living pressures. Check GOV.UK to find out what cost-of-living support you could be eligible for.

"The Workforce Gaps In Social Care Are Terrifying – And Yet We’re Being Gaslighted By Central Government"

Article supplied by The Care Workers' Charity (

If anyone ever questioned the extent of the crisis in social care, this past few weeks you could not escape the terrifying truth. Two reports from the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee, a report from the Levelling Up Committee, updated workforce data from Skills for Care, plus a survey of NHS Leaders published by the NHS Confederation are all raising the alarm. The “ravaged” social care sector is experiencing the greatest workforce crisis in its history and this is having a devastating impact on quality of care, NHS waiting times and patient outcomes. We are hearing from heartbroken care workers who feel they have no choice but to find better paid work elsewhere as the job has become too overwhelming. The independent evaluation of government policy commissioned by the Health and Social Care Committee finds that the overall response to workforce issues to date has been inadequate. The Committee chaired by Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP urges the government to increase annual funding for social care by £7 billion a year. The NHS Confederation insists a £10.50 minimum care worker wage is needed to address the recruitment and retention crisis. But central government remain defiant – no more money. We know that care workers who remain in the sector are overstretched, working overtime to deliver the complex care that’s needed in their communities. The pressures existed before the pandemic, they were exacerbated at its height, and now they’re worse than ever. The Commons report paints a picture of a dire situation – one in three care workers left their jobs last year, 95% of care providers are struggling to recruit staff, three quarters of care workers are paid

below the Real Living Wage. Worse still, when travel time is taken into account, many home care workers are paid below the national minimum wage. The government proudly insist they’ve invested £1 billion extra a year in social care without providing a breakdown of how this was spent and still their colleagues in the Commons say it’s not enough. They have allowed local authorities to raise council tax but overall cuts to their budgets have been calculated at £15 billion over the last ten years. It simply doesn’t add up to an increase. This is gaslighting on an industrial scale. Social care is a notoriously fragmented system, but for once everyone is in agreement. Without immediate action to fill 165,000 vacancies in social care, the impact will be felt in hospitals and homes across the UK. 85% of healthcare leaders agreed that the absence of a social care pathway is the primary cause of delayed discharges of medically fit patients, and the latest monthly data tells us that there are 12,400 of these healthy patients stuck in hospital on any given day. Over half a million people are waiting for a care assessment and it is the largely female workforce in social care who will have to take time off work to look after family members who can’t get the care services they deserve. The care workers who approach us for a grant can’t afford to pay for fuel to support people in their community. They often tell us that relationships are the most rewarding part of the job but that the workforce pressures are making it impossible to deliver high quality care. The sector is still dealing with the emotional toll of the pandemic when many of the people who receive care lost their lives and frontline care workers are too burned out to deal with the next set of crises. This all comes during a cost-of-living crisis which is pushing people in secure employment into poverty – Citizens Advice report increasing numbers of people in negative budgets who are being referred to food banks. With chronic low pay and lack of opportunities for progression, care workers have no choice but to leave their rewarding jobs supporting other people to live the life they want, just so they can feed their families. This is more than a national crisis, it’s a tragedy. We can’t allow experienced care workers to leave the sector for equivalent, better paid roles in the NHS, or low pressure, better paid roles in hospitality and retail. A statement from a director in the social

care sector was cited in the Commons report: “I dread Aldi or Lidl opening a new store near any [of our] homes because every time four to five staff leave”. We are the only national charity which exists to support care workers who experience financial hardship, and the increasing demand for our grants suggests that this workforce crisis will only get worse this winter. The amount we give out in crisis grants is increasing by 55% from one month to the next, and over the last year there has been a 27% increase in care workers requesting support with daily living costs. However, despite this high demand and clear need for financial support, we are struggling to raise enough funds and have been forced to temporarily close our national crisis grant programme while we attempt to secure additional funding. We need government to take action now to address the workforce crisis in social care by increasing care worker pay across all public, private and not-for-profit providers. We have written to the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, to request funding so our charity can continue to provide life-changing grants to care workers in crisis and keep them in the sector while solutions are found. And we are appealing to businesses in social care, UK energy suppliers and the general public to support our costof-living crisis appeal so that care workers are not at risk of going hungry or homeless in 2022. But short-term funding is only one part of the answer. We want to see care workers valued for their contribution to society by achieving parity of esteem and pay with their counterparts in the NHS, rewarded for length of service, and recognised for their skills via care worker registration. Care workers need better access to training and development opportunities so that social care is seen as an exciting career for younger people with appropriate pay progression. And fundamentally, there must be adequate levels of funding in the system to meet levels of demand for care services. Without fixing social care, there will be terrifying consequences for the NHS, unpaid carers and people who depend on care and support. We must do all we can to keep care workers in the jobs they love and encourage new people to join the sector.


An Introduction from the Black Women in Care (BWIC) Community Hello Readers, Trust you are keeping well and having a joyful autumn season! My name is Adebimpe, a business associate from the Black Women in Care (BWIC) Community.

ABOUT US BWIC is a Community Interest organization founded in 2020, born out of the founder’s 15-year experience in the Health and Social Care sector. BWIC Founder Olayinka Thomas started her Career as a Care Assistant. She rose to become a Registered Manager after many years of experience, now a Social Care Consultant and a renowned Trainer. Having seen and experienced first-hand cases of discrimination and workplace equality but rising through them with a skill set, Olayinka founded the BWIC Community Platform to support Black women and other minority ethnic groups that work in Health & Social Care sector. Alongside other seasoned care industry experts, Olayinka believes that the well-being of the BWIC community group has utmost priority on Personal and Professional development. Similarly, it was profoundly prompted by the George Floyd protests for the Black Lives Matter movement that started in the US in March 2020. At BWIC, we support women working within the health and social care sector-Nurses, Care Assistants, Social care Managers, to mention a few, we support and encourage our members to rise into senior and managerial roles and promote inclusivity, and well-being within the workplace through various need-based, well-tailored projects.

BACKGROUND The health and social care sector, in general, depends heavily on migrant workers, and with the current changes to immigration policy, a further rise is imminent. Recent findings show that 12% of the UK population are of Black/African/Caribbean/Black British backgrounds and account for over 50% of the Black and other Minority Ethnicity (BAME) adult social care workforce. Another report discloses that women perform over 85 percent of the direct care jobs in adult social care. It is evident that BAME, particularly black women make up a large part of the workforce in this sector.

OUR PAST PROJECTS • Our monthly empowerment series project, BWIC Careers’ Forum has reached over 2000 BAME women. You can register for a free account at to become a BWIC member • Similarly, our annual Awards recognize passionate health and social care workers, and in 2021, the premier Black Women in Care (BWIC) Awards and Summit had an enormous impact as veteran carers from African/Caribbean backgrounds who have never received such recognition in their care careers were awarded duly, here are some awardees' feedback

UPCOMING PROJECTS • The BWIC Skip for Carers event will hold between the 1st and 10th of October 2022, kindly find attached the event flyer, it seeks to encourage people to skip/or walk-in carers’ shoes by taking 2000 steps or doing 100 200 skips daily for 10 days while supporting carers to raise funds for offsetting their bills amidst the ongoing costing of living crisis. More information on the event and donation is at: We would equally be pleased if this is shared within your network for participation. • The 2022 Awards and Summit will take place on 26th of November 2022 and we are currently receiving nominees at or we would be delighted if this is shared with health and social care managers in your network, Private and Public, to nominate their outstanding colleagues. Please note that the nominations will close on Friday, 30th of September 2022.

CONCLUSION We hope to share insights into specific ways and best practices for Nurses, Care Workers, & Care managers to support and manage their BAME staff as well as sensitize the UK community in general on workplace equality and diversity. We will continue to share insights into black women as they relate to the health and care sector. Thanks for reading and do let us know if you have any questions at or call us on 03301749695 ADEBIMPE ADENEYE Business Development Associate, BWIC

Care Provider Alliance Welcomes Nadra Ahmed OBE, Executive Chairman of the National Care Association as Incoming Chair The coalition of national voices of adult social care providers in England, the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) is delighted to welcome Nadra Ahmed OBE , Executive Chairman of the National Care Association as the incoming Chair for the 2022/2023 term. Nadra has served on numerous government task forces and she was the Vice Chairman of Skills for Care for 11 years having been appointed at its inception. Nadra is a trustee of RBLI and Patron/President of numerous other charities. She is the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Kent and a Kent Ambassador. The role of CPA chair rotates annually across each of the ten associations. Nadra follows Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England who served as the CPA’s Chair for the past 12 months. Commenting on her new role, Nadra said: “I am delighted and honoured to be the incoming Chair at the same time as our new Prime Minister. The pandemic has shown just how vital social care is for people to live well in our communities. We are on the brink of another complex and challenging winter along with a cost of living crisis the stark realities of how interdependent social care and the NHS are will be further highlighted. Social Care requires all parts of government to support our services, assist carers, and most importantly the millions of people we sup-

port every day. “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Martin over the past year as he guided the voice of the sector through recovery from lockdowns. Over the coming months, the voice of the alliance will be crucial as we face the challenges of the energy crisis in addition to to addressing the long-standing issues of funding, recruitment and workforce wellbeing. We will be ensuring the sector is understood by system partners and receives the recognition it deserves as a sister service to our health colleagues.” Outgoing Chair Professor Martin Green comments: "It has been a privilege to work with such an amazing group of dedicated people and lead the CPA over the last 12 months. “I am delighted to be passing the CPA mantel to Nadra, who has been an essential part of our national ability to respond effectively and swiftly to the challenges of the pandemic and rapidly adapting to new ways of working “Nadra has true vision for the reform of our social care provision, and she brings with her a collegiate leadership style and wealth of experience. We are all very much looking forward to working with her, and I’m confident she will take the Alliance forward to tackle the next impending economic crisis social care sector faces with calm consideration and deep determination.”

Regular Asymptomatic Testing Paused in Additional Settings Regular asymptomatic testing for Covid in all remaining settings in England has been paused as Covid cases continue to fall. Free testing for the public ended on 1 April as part of the government’s Living with Covid plan, but asymptomatic testing continued to be used in some settings, including care homes during periods of high case rates. The vaccination programme means Covid cases have now fallen to 40,027 and the risk of transmission has reduced. Deaths have fallen to 744 and hospitalisations to 6,005 in the last seven days, meaning wider asymptomatic testing can soon end as planned in most instances. Symptomatic testing in high risk settings will continue. Settings where asymptomatic testing of staff and patients or residents will be paused include: • The NHS (including independent health care providers treating NHS patients); • Adult social care and hospice services (apart from new admissions); • Parts of the prison estate and some places of detention; and • Certain domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings. Testing will remain in place for admissions into care homes and hospices from both hospitals and the community, and for transfers for immunocompromised patients into and within hospital to protect those who are most vulnerable.

Testing will also be available for outbreaks in certain high-risk settings such as care homes. Year-round symptomatic testing will continue to be provided in some settings, including: • NHS patients who require testing as part of established clinical pathways or those eligible for Covid treatments; • NHS staff and staff in NHS-funded independent healthcare provision; • Staff in adult social care services and hospices and residents of care homes, extra care and supported living settings and hospices; • Staff and detainees in prisons; and • Staff and service users of certain domestic abuse refuges and homelessness services. Individuals will continue to be protected through vaccination and access to antivirals where eligible. Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Thanks to the success of our world-leading vaccination roll-out, we are able to continue living with Covid and, from 31 August, we will pause routine asymptomatic testing in most high-risk settings.” “This reflects the fact case rates have fallen and the risk of transmission has reduced, though we will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with sectors to resume testing should it be needed. Those being admitted into care homes will continue to be tested.”

“Our upcoming autumn booster programme will offer jabs to protect those at greatest risk from severe Covid, and I urge everyone who is eligible to take up the offer.” Responding to the Government’s announcement Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “NHS leaders will put their faith in the experts that this decision is the right one but after over two years of the pandemic, they know that it doesn’t take much for cases to increase again and that much of the spread of coronavirus previously, including within healthcare settings, was from people who were asymptomatic. “As services gear up for rolling out the autumn boosters from next month, members have also reflected that the timing of this policy change could downplay how serious Covid still is and could undermine messages around the need to get vaccinated. “This comes as the NHS is planning for what is widely expected to be the busiest winter on record with a triple threat of Covid, flu and norovirus and against a backdrop of 105,000 vacancies, crumbling estate, rising treatment backlogs and an under-supported social care sector. “While the policy change could free up capacity within hospital and other services, it remains vital that the experts keep this position under close review and if needed, be prepared to revise it.”


Major General Tim Tyler’s Reflections on the Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Royal Star & Garter Chair Major General Tim Tyler represented the charity at the funeral of its Patron, Her Majesty The Queen. Here, he looks back on what was ‘a long and emotional day’. I had the great privilege of representing Royal Star & Garter at the funeral service for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey. My wife and I walked to Westminster from Kensington. The roads were closed; there were police and security personnel to be seen but otherwise silence as if the world had stopped. As we got closer people emerged from everywhere, all going the same way; there was a sense of expectation. My wife headed for St James’s Park and The Mall as I walked towards the inevitable security checks before entering the Abbey. I met old friends and made new acquaintances, all united in respect for Her Majesty and her extraordinary legacy. The Abbey was filling up. I have been there before for ceremonial occasions but none like this. It was immediately clear that this sad but uplifting event was bringing together peoples and organisations from every corner of the world. The Queen and the Royal Family have a very strong relationship with the Armed Forces which I have enjoyed over the years but Queen Elizabeth had clearly had just as strong and invigorating relationships with everyone! I was sitting next to two wonderful people: Brian Roberts, recently awarded the MBE for his work with Healing Hands Network which provides support to those who are suffering from the mental, physical and emotional after-effects of war, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina and now to British military veterans; and Victoria Clayton of the Shire Horse Society which, of course, takes a special interest in the Household Cavalry drum horses. We were sitting near holders of the Victoria Cross and George Cross and among representatives of all the orders of knighthood. As the processions of dignitaries arrived: Heads of State, Prime Ministers, members of the Royal Household, religious leaders of many, many faiths and the Royal Family, I found myself thinking of the

weight of history there today. Five generations of my family have had Queen Elizabeth as our monarch. I could feel this concentration of history and could sense the presence of the Royal Star & Garter residents, most of whom have lived through the changes witnessed by Queen Elizabeth, our Patron for 70 years, and who were watching the service on TVs in our Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. Will there ever be an event like it again? How did one person manage to provide such a shining example over all those 70 years? What a challenge Queen Elizabeth offers us all and how do we respond? I wonder not how her successors will follow in her footsteps but what can we all do to support His Majesty the King and his Royal Family to continue her work as a unifying and inspiring force for good in our world? The atmosphere changed from the moment the coffin was carried into the Abbey. The service was, of course quiet, contemplative and with a sense of sadness for an irreplaceable loss. This was the place of the Queen’s marriage and coronation and now the place for us all to say farewell. But the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded us that this was a moment for celebration of a remarkable life and the transition of Her Majesty into the heavenly estate to which Christians aspire. For me the highlight of the service was the singing of the anthem composed for the service by Sir James MacMillen CBE based on St Paul’s letter to the Romans in which, after a quiet opening, the choir erupted into a joyous and almost chaotic ‘Alleluia’. If you didn’t notice this you must listen again. After the service I set off to find my wife in the packed St James’s Park. I was crowded with people who wanted a photograph of the Order of Service. People clearly respected the solemnity of the occasion and they wanted to be a real part of it and not just spectators. What a joy it was to be in my uniform again. I lost count of the number of people who thanked me for all the organisation of the period of mourning and the funeral – I explained that I had had no responsibility, but they just wanted to thank the Armed Forces who are held in such respect. There were many soldiers from various units assisting with security and directing and advising the visitors, doing a fantastic job. I stopped to chat to quite a few and that immediate empathy was obvious, independent of rank and age, just soldier to soldier. These young men and women will, in time, be veterans and I am sure that Royal Star & Garter will be there to provide for any of them should they need our care. Home now, after a long and emotional day, I would like to extend Royal Star & Garter’s condolences to His Majesty the King and all the Royal Family. We have all had time privately to grieve for a Queen who we all treasured in our own way. They have all lost their Queen, mother, grandmother and great grandmother and been in the spotlight for days, and they now need time to themselves. I am sure we all look forward to their full presence again, in time, in the life of the country and more widely. We will continue to provide our ‘Care with courage’ to our veterans, following the example set by Queen Elizabeth and with the continued love and commitment of our President, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra.

Care Home Organises Helicopter Ride for Two Residents as Part of Seize the Day Initiative A Falmouth based care home organised a helicopter trip for two residents as part of a seize the day initiative. MHA Langholme organised the trip for two residents Mike Ogden and Mike Harris. The initiative encourages residents to re-experience activities or events from the past or to do something they would like to do for the first time. The pair were accompanied by two staff members Linda Rowe and Carol Woodland and travelled from Falmouth to Perranporth. The helicopter experience gave them a bird’s eye view of Perranporth and was paid for by the home’s amenity fund. Linda Rowe, activities coordinator said: ‘The helicopter experience was great for the two residents and something I want to do for others.

“When I asked residents if this is something they want to do both Mikes were really keen and I am glad we did it for them. “Afterwards they would not stop talking about it and had a great time and I was very happy to be a part of it. “Personally, I felt it all happened really quickly, but it was worth it to see our residents smiling. “When we went back to the home and told other residents you could see some of them were interested and hopefully next year, I want to plan it for more residents. “It's great that we have the seize the day initiative as it encourages our residents to try something completely new or reconnect with their past, so it's a great initiative.”

QCS Enhances Dementia Centre to Improve the Lives of People Living with Dementia Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), a leading SaaS platform serving over 4,000 social and primary care providers, has today released major enhancements to QCS Dementia Centre that significantly advance care for service users living with dementia. Customers can now capture, store and review PAL cognitive assessments within the QCS system, and benefit from new resources that guide care givers on how to deliver the best possible care. QCS Dementia Centre now fully incorporates QCS PAL Instrument, which is the brainchild of Jackie Pool, a world-renowned dementia specialist, and is a reliable and validated tool for assessing cognitive ability. A PAL cognitive assessment identifies individuals at a Planned, Exploratory, Sensory or a Reflex level, and provides care givers with the appropriate help and guidance on how to best support the service user based on their assessment level. An individual's assessment result and the associated guide can also be downloaded and shared with other systems or with the service user's family. Using the PAL Assessments dashboard, care managers can improve the management of their teams, their budgets and their recruitment strategies. They can schedule assessments, see when they are due or overdue and review the history of all assessments by service user, care team, or location. By understanding both progression and signs of regression, they can better coordinate and resource activities in the care environment, such as getting service users dressed in a timely manner and efficiently managing mealtimes. In addition, many new resources have been added that will help with the training and development of staff who are caring for service users living with dementia. Jackie Pool, QCS’s Dementia Care Champion, said, “With PAL cognitive assessments fully integrated into QCS Dementia Centre, along with all of the innovative resources that link to it, QCS is transforming how service users living with demen-

tia can be cared for. This demonstrates the invaluable role that technology plays in supporting and evidencing excellence in dementia care.” Damaris Daniels, QCS’s Director of Content and Operations, added, “We are delighted to launch the new release of QCS Dementia Centre, which is the culmination of many months of close collaborative work between Jackie and our technology team. As the care sector moves away from paper-based systems and embraces digital care planning, this highly accessible and scalable resource can play a greater role in championing person-centred dementia care in a range of care settings." More information on the new version of QCS Dementia Centre, which is immediately available, can be found here: To celebrate World Alzheimer's Day , QCS has partnered with Apetito on a Webinar and Q&A on 'Best Practice in Dining for People Living with Dementia', taking place today at 11:00am - 12:00pm. To register or view a recording, visit

ABOUT QCS Quality Compliance System (QCS) is the leading compliance management system for the care sector. QCS provides over 140,000 care professionals with access to the most comprehensive set of customised policies, procedures and compliance toolkits, enabling users to stay compliant with the latest regulatory requirements. With over 350 customised policies, procedures and compliance toolkits, QCS customers can be safe in the knowledge that they will always be up-to-date with any changes to legislation, regulation and best practice, whatever happens. For more information, visit or call 0333-405-33 33 or email

It’s time for Action! The war in the Ukraine has, amongst other things, highlighted our overdependence on fossil fuels. With uncertainty around fuel supply and mounting energy costs, we find ourselves in a global energy crisis. Yet, in the midst of all this uncertainty, it’s clear there exists a momentous opportunity. An opportunity to embrace and accelerate the deployment of clean technologies, to help achieve energy security and ultimately arrive at net-zero.

The Challenge Facing the Care Sector When it comes to climate change and the continued burning of fossil fuels, business as usual is no longer an option. Nursing homes and care homes provide a critical service ensuring patients and residents are cared for in a comfortable and warm environment. The majority of facilities provide heating and hot water from fossil fuel boiler systems – the fact is this must change. As with every sector of society, the care sector must become more sustainable. But, when it comes to decarbonizing buildings, and in particular heat, there are significant challenges facing the care sector. How do you decarbonise buildings rapidly, cost effectively, and without disrupting the critical service of caring for patients? Enter the ActionZero EscoPod.

The EscoPod – Decarbonising Heat Rapidly & Without Disruption The EscoPod is a patented, high temperature heat pump technology designed to replace traditional heating systems with a high efficiency and fossil fuel free alternative. The EscoPod AZH, ActionZero’s dedicated heat pump system for the healthcare industry, has been designed specifically to deliver heating (and cooling) to non-domestic buildings in the healthcare sector, including hospitals, nursing and care homes.

ActionZero Senior Leadership Team at Townhall Summit in the Sky Suite, Penrose Offices Cork. Photographer: David Keane

The EscoPod in action Earlier this year, ActionZero announced a partnership with the Bons Secours Health System, the largest private hospital network in Ireland. The ActionZero EscoPod AZH is currently being installed at the Bons Secours Hospital Tralee, Co. Kerry with plans to expand the roll out of the technology across six other sites in the healthcare group.

Not only does this technology replace the need for fossil fuels, but it also produces multifunctional outputs that can be used for heating, cooling and domestic hot water. The EscoPod AZH also offers significant energy efficiencies, with savings of up to 70% and cost savings ranging up to 65%.

The EscoPod AZH solution enables healthcare organisations to address the very significant challenge that is decarbonising heat, and it does so while putting money in our customers pockets, a win/win where commercial opportunity meets social good.’ said ActionZero CEO Denis Collins, former global executive with IBM and previous chairman of IDA Ireland Regional Development.

The Future is green According to ActionZero COO Cormac Murphy ‘The EscoPod is coming to market at a time when companies are struggling to meet the increasing demands to decarbonise existing facilities. We are excited to be part of the solution, supporting these businesses in their transition to zero emissions in a cost-effective manner’.

Amongst the many benefits of this technology is the fact that it can be installed with minimal disruption i.e., there is no need for costly building fabric or mechanical system upgrades which are typically required with conventional heat pumps. This offers many organisations a lifeline - a realistic pathway to decarbonise their operations without enormous cost and business interruption. ActionZero describes themselves as a ‘one stop shop’. They will manage a clients decarbonisation journey from end to end – providing an aftercare package that includes Operations & Maintenance, as well as ongoing performance validation via data analytics.

‘We are thrilled to partner with Bon Secours; an organisation that are showing commitment to climate change and taking definitive action to reduce their carbon emissions.

ActionZero partners with Bon Secours Health System in group wide deal to reduce carbon emissions. Pictured: At the announcement from left, Paul Foley - Group Director of Supply Chain Bon Secours, Denis Collins - CEO ActionZero, Cormac Murphy- COO ActionZero, Gerry Ryan Manager of Facilities & Maintenance Bon Secours, TJ O’ Connor - CEO Bon Secours Tralee.

Photographer: Valerie O’ Sullivan

To support the ongoing development and expansion of its EscoPod product range, ActionZero opened an Irish manufacturing and research & development centre in May 2022. From here, the company will design and manufacture their heat pumps before exporting them to clients internationally. This site will create at least 50 high-value engineering and manufacturing jobs locally. With plans to invest €3m in the company over the coming three years, ActionZero projects sales growth of €50m over the next two years.

Get in touch To find out how you can start the process of decarbonising your nursing home today, call ActionZero today on +44 2045 090626 or visit

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath officially opens ActionZero's new manufacturing, R&D centre in Tralee along with ActionZero CEO Denis Collins Photographer: Cleary’s Photography – Photography Services Tralee, Co. Kerry


5 Considerate Ways To Support Employees Dealing With Stress and Anxiety ‘As a manger you’re responsible, in part, for the preservation of your employees’ health and wellbeing. After an extremely challenging 24 months, this is now more crucial than ever; as it’s been reported that 1 in 6 working adults are suffering from stress, depression, anxiety, or similar, mental health has rightfully been positioned as a key priority among employers – including those within the healthcare industry. The healthcare sector was put under immense, unprecedented pressure during the pandemic and the consequences of this continue to be seen. Many care workers themselves are struggling with stress and anxiety, whilst managers and CEOs across the industry face feelings of burnout. However, despite the pandemic improving mental health awareness and acceptance, this continues to be a topic that many would rather not discuss; including care workers, who shoulder the responsibility of caring for our community’s most vulnerable. With this in mind, it’s vital that we never ignore signs of stress or anxiety in our employees; they may not come to us for help, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need it… After all, it’s been reported that around 20% of employees feel they can’t approach their managers with respective mental health issues. We must be proactive.’ Thankfully, we have an ideal expert on hand to help. Dr Ant, The Brain Whisperer (, is a mindset specialist who helps businesses’ staff and CEOs alike enrich their mental health, so as to improve their wellbeing and job satisfaction in turn. To help you ensure your employees are supported, he’s now sharing his expertise.

1. LISTEN AND ENGAGE. ‘One of the simplest and yet most effective things that you can do to support your staff is listen to them and genuinely engage. They need to know that you truly care, have processed their feedback, and are willing to help. If you can, sit down with your team members individually to catch-up and establish any struggles they’re facing. This way, you can help to create a plan for the workplace that’ll lessen their anxieties.’

2. INVEST IN SUPPORTIVE PLATFORMS. ‘Ensuring your employees have the resources to address feelings of stress and anxiety is crucial. I would recommend investing in a platform which offers your staff access to expert-led guidance, information, and support. For example, BrainSparx is a digital platform that’s home to invaluable videos and advice which can help staff members re-discover lost confidence and address these hurdles without feeling alone nor overwhelmed.’

3. CONSIDER A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER. ‘Sometimes employees are apprehensive to raise their mental health concerns individually. This may be a daunting prospect and the conversation may feel more comfortable in a group setting. For this reason, I would suggest considering a motivational speaker; by having an expert visit your employees in person and offer informed guidance surrounding mental wellbeing, self-confidence, and success, you can ensure your employees feel supported without any pressure.’

4. NURTURE YOUR OWN MENTAL HEALTH. ‘As a leader, you can only enrich your employees’ wellbeing by focusing equally on your own. If you are confident, happy, and flourishing, you will more easily be able to instil these feelings in your staff. Equally, be honest with your staff; by showing that you’re human and discussing any problems you’ve personally overcome, you will not only build a strong team rapport but demonstrate the resilience that we are all capable of, with a helping hand along the way.’

5. RECOGNISE THAT YOU’RE IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT. ‘In my opinion, one of the most important lessons you can teach your staff is that they are the pilots of their own lives and ‘what we think, we become’. This lesson can be seen on the BrainSparx platform, however I would also recommend remembering this for yourself. Even in our darkest moments, we must never forget that we are capable of creating positive change in our lives – no struggle is permanent. As a manger and/or business leader in the healthcare sector, it’s important that you prioritise for your own mental health whilst paying close attention to that of your staff. Mental health struggles often go unnoticed and as the care sector is home to demanding, sensitive jobs that have only become more immersed in stress amid the pandemic, this needs to be every employer’s priority. Thankfully, you needn’t do this alone; seek support from an expert, invest in resources that’ll support your team, and remember that this is an ongoing responsibility.’

How Reviews Can Help Build Confidence in Your Care Home

By Suman Saha, Co-founder and Medical Director at Doctify (

Choosing a care home is understandably difficult, both for individuals entering the care setting and their families. There are countless options out there, meaning it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or worried about making the right choice. Add the emotional toll of these decisions, and it’s not hard to see why people find it hard to pick a care home. So how do you make it easier for families to trust your care home and be confident that you provide the best care? One way you can build confidence in your care home is by collecting and publishing reviews from current residents and their visitors. Many care homes do not encourage residents and their guests to shout about the facilities and staff that make a residence special. The average number of reviews on Google for 400 care homes in the UK was only four, and often these reviews are several years old. Fewer than 15 percent of care home residents or their families leave a single review in a year. This is a missed opportunity that can have a huge impact on your care home and the residents staying there.

WHY ONLINE REVIEWS ARE CRUCIAL TO FAMILIES SEARCHING FOR SOCIAL CARE FOR THEIR LOVED ONES Word-of-mouth recommendations have always been highly regarded. People are far more likely to trust an opinion from another person rather than a suggestion from an advert or a company. Now, word-of-mouth recommendations are taking place online. Individuals share their experiences and tips on the internet, in a bid to inform others and help them make good choices. Care homes should embrace this trend, and use this as an opportunity to get the word out about their unique strengths. Clear, informative online reviews for your care home are an invaluable way to promote transparency. They increase your credibility, as you prove that your institution is open and honest. This in turn helps families to feel confident that their loved one is in safe hands. The more information that is available, and the more positive testimonials they read, the more likely a family is to trust your care home.

WHAT FAMILIES LOOK FOR IN CARE HOME REVIEWS Families look for several different things in care home reviews, including: • Proof that the care home can provide the kind of care their loved one requires. These needs could include care for dementia, respite, old age, challenging behaviour, stroke, epilepsy, speech impairment, and more • Reassurance that their loved one will be safe in their new home • Evidence of high quality of care for residents • Kind, welcoming staff who can fulfil residents’ needs • Lists of different activities that keep residents busy and entertained, helping them to feel at home • Relatable stories from people in similar situations, including residents and their families, to help them understand what life in the care home is really like

WHY REAL-TIME FEEDBACK IS SO IMPORTANT FOR FAMILIES Families are unlikely to trust a facility that only has a few reviews from back in 2015, and for good reason. Why would they encourage their loved ones to live in a setting with so many unknown factors? Research shows that at least 40 reviews are needed for a person to trust a care home, and 85 percent of people consider reviews that are more than three months old totally irrelevant. Real-time feedback gives residents a voice, allowing them to talk about their own experiences. Reading these testimonies helps families make up their minds and feel secure in their choices as they should not have to leave their loved one’s future up to chance. Reviews can equip them with the knowledge they need to make the best choices, and empower your care home to provide the best care possible.

HOW REVIEWS CAN HELP IMPROVE YOUR CARE HOME A consistent stream of reviews can enhance your brand presence online and increase conversion for potential customers. Forget expensive and ineffective SEO tactics – Google simply loves new, informative content. The search engine is more likely to reward brands that display up-to-date content that is always being expanded on. A strong online presence achieved through reviews can make it easier to recruit great staff who want to work at an excellent facility. Positive reviews also boost team morale, letting current staff know that their hard work has been noticed and encouraging them to keep it up. Reviews can even help to reduce the risk of a low CQC rating, as you can identify areas for improvement before inspectors come in. Achieving a good CQC rating is another way to reassure families that your care home is an excellent choice. Find out more about why online reviews are becoming so important for care homes at

AKW Extends its Range of Bidets to Meet Market Needs Managing toilet hygiene independently is one of the key concerns of those who need carers and for many, using the toilet safely is one of the most important things they do each day. That is why AKW, a leading provider of bathroom accessibility solutions, has extended its bidet range to ensure even more end users’ clinical and financial needs are met. Seat-like attachment bidet - AKW offers the Side-Entry Bidet that has been designed for installation on existing toilet pans and features an external side-entry water feed. This flexibility means the bidet can be easily removed and re-installed on another pan if required in the future. However, for a longer-term seat attachment bidet solution, AKW also offers its Bottom-Entry Bidet that has been designed specifically for use with select pieces of sanitaryware from AKW’s Navlin and Navlin Doc M collections and has a bottom-entry water feed. Flexible fitted bidet - AKW has designed a flexible height Rise & Fall bidet. The height of the pan can be set to meet everyone’s needs, promoting toileting independence. The easily adjustable toilet pan seat height (410mm-610mm height range from finished floor level to

top of bidet) can accommodate users of different heights, needs, and ages, and the fold-up arms allow for ease of access (that support up to 18.8st (120kg) each). This bidet also facilitates wheelchair transfers and can help users safely navigate around the bathroom. Ergonomic and contact-free flushing - The AKW Bidet Collection also includes a wide, ergonomic bidet seat for optimum comfort. An infrared sensor flush addition is also available for use with AKW’s Navlin and Livenza Plus raised push button flush cisterns, to enable contact-free flushing where required. AKW’s Bidet Collection offers users an extensive range of competitively priced, high quality bidet options that provide modern, discreet toileting solutions. To find out more download AKW’s latest bidet range visit For more information contact AKW on 01905 823298, Email: or visit See the advert on page 9 for further details.

Carer Readers Celebrate Afternoon Tea Week 2022


Say Hello to the Winner of the Carer’s Afternoon Tea Week Competition… ...Hutton View Care Home in Brentwood We are delighted to announce that Hutton View care home Brentwood is the winner of our Afternoon Tea Week competition which we launched to celebrate one of our finest and quintessentially great British traditions. All that we asked was for care homes around the country to tell us about their tea week celebrations and send us some photographs of your events. That was it! We wanted to encourage care homes to tap into the British Tradition of afternoon tea and delicious treats to help bring a bit of elegance and pomp to an otherwise “unremarkable time of day”. And you did us proud. We were truly overwhelmed the nominations we received, and sent hundreds we are delighted to say! (And it did take us some time to plough through them all)! Once again we are sorry we could only pick one winner, it was the most difficult of choices the nominations were truly wonderful and inspirational, demonstrating the time, effort care and dedication care homes around the country took to make afternoon tea week that extra special occasion! So very well done to you all, and very well done of course to Hutton View Care Home.

And some of our other wonderful entries:

Wentworth Court Nursing Home, Cheltenham

Nightingale Lodge Care Home, Hunstanton

Torkington House, West London

Haywood Lodge Care Home, Studley

Woodland View, Droitwich Spa

Housteads Residential Care Home, Sheffield

Sowerby House Care Home, Thirsk

Amherst Court, Chatham

Belmore Lodge, Lymington

Runwoodhomes Windmill House, Wymondham

Southborough Nursing Home, Surbiton

For The Cuppas That Show You Care With lots of refreshing fruit and herbal blends as well as Original and black tea, Tetley has a solution for everyone when it comes to having a cuppa. 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.

EVERY CUPPA COUNTS It can be hard to make sure your residents are drinking up to 8 glasses of water a day. Tea counts towards the recommended daily water intake,2 making this the perfect comforting beverage to serve as a way of keeping on top of hydration. Whilst black tea remains a firm favourite among tea drinkers,3 having a range of tea blends including fruit and herbal options, is important and goes a long way in keeping your residents hydrated. This way you can maximise the opportunities to maintain hydration levels throughout the day by catering to different dayparts. As the nation’s favourite,4 by serving Tetley to your residents, you will be bringing to them a familiar taste, helping them relax and settle. For the love of tea, for the love of Tetley.


Tetley is No.1 in the foodservice sector.5 We’ve been serving quality 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 perfection 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 that you and your residents drink, you’re helping us in reaching our sustainability and environmental goals.

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 merchandising material available to reassure residents that you serve the much-loved taste of Tetley while having physical drink prompt reminders for staff.

Sources: 1. Open Access Government (2022), “Eradicating dehydration in the elderly with Aquarate”, 2. NHS (2021), “Water, drinks and your health”, 3. Allegra Project Tea UK 2019 4. Kantar World Panel No. of Households Buying Dec 2019 5. Kantar World Panel L52W to April 2022


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Hassle -and Stress- Free Bath Adaptations - Without Delay Bath-time- it should be relaxing, but if a client needs care support, it is fraught with risk unless a major adaptation is undertaken. AAT GB has developed a unique solution, that can eliminate the need for that major adaptation of replacing the bath- and all the cost, delay and disruption that entails. It can be in place within 10 working days (subject to T&Cs). Aqua Liberty provides a safe, supportive, pressure-free option. It forms perfectly and exactly round the bather, to hold and support them safely. There is no need for the carer to try and support them, to suspend them safely during the execution of intimate hygiene care. The core Aqua Liberty system uses suction technology to firmly attach to ANY bath. Waterproof, infinitely mouldable vacuum posture cushions are attached to provide shaped support, abduction and stabilisation exactly where needed- head, torso, hips, seat. In this way, the carer’s hands are freed to safely concentrate on intimate care, whilst minimising risk from stretching and weight-bearing over the bath. Importantly, the Aqua Liberty system is easily removed from the bath to allow its use by everyone else in the household. The cushions themselves can be removed from the base,

to provide correct postural support, stabilisation and abduction wherever else required for daily life. The Aqua Liberty system stows compactly away, freeing up often restricted space in the bathroom for other users. Says Peter Wingrave AAT Director: “Aqua Liberty is a game changer for supported bathing. At a fraction of the cost and with none of the delay and disruption of replacing a standard bath for a specialist design, Aqua Liberty provides a safe, supported, stable answer for client and carer alike.” Adds Jane Turton, Mencap home manager: “Aqua Liberty has been the ideal answer for us as a care team. The resident who needs it is now relaxed in the bath. It is quick and easy to fit, and remove. It stows away compactly too. That is really helpful in a bathroom that is used by other people, and already includes a raft of assistive equipment. We still have room to move.” Find out more about Aqua Liberty and book your free, no obligation assessment here:

Jolly Trolley Brings Therapeutic Activity and Safeguard Your Care Home with InVentry Entertainment to Patients That Are Isolating 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 the front cover.

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,

BIOFROST Cold Therapy Gels for Drug-Free Pain Relief ®

ingredients (i.e. ethanol, menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint, 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® 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

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), discomfortfree 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: / W: See the advert on page 5 for details.

Ambassador Textiles We pride ourselves on the quality of our Taiwanese Anti-piI fleece and the range of over 50 colours we offer. We have been in the fabric trade for over 50 years and manufacturing our fleece blankets for over 20 years. High volumes of our quality cosy fleece blankets are sold to the hospitality, nursery, and pet sector. This is due to the cost effectiveness of fleece along with the durability and washability. The anti-pil brushed surface of the fabric lessens the bobble-effect found on many fleece fabrics of inferior quality. Co-ordination to a theme is normally achievable due to our wide range of colours and contrasting or matching edging stitch. Own

branding can be included in the manufacturing process by adding a sewn in label. Alongside our regular fleece blankets which are available in a variety of sizes, we currently have several clearance fleece options available in our two most popular sizes. In keeping with our mission of the last 50 years, along with all our other fabrics, Ambassador Fleece Blankets offer great value for money backed up with the quality assurance and good service we have always offered. Please contact a member of our helpful experienced sales team on 0161 624 4167 or for information and pricing. See the advert on page 5 for details.

Care homes are crucial for our society, so it’s important to ensure they’re a safe setting to help staff carry out the best possible care. With many family members and friends visiting their loved ones daily, InVentry is essential to track who’s entering and leaving your care home. Visitors are met with a simple signing in process and their information is stored directly in the system. This not only allows you to track who is onsite at any given

time, but it ensures an even faster sign in during repeat visits. You can also ensure that the contractors you have onsite have the skills to do the job safely by asking custom questions before they sign in, with options to include documents they may need to read upon arrival, ensuring health & safety and the security of your site is always maintained. InVentry can even help you become CQC and Care Inspectorate Compliant as our software allows you to receive star-rated feedback from those who have visited your care home. You can store this feedback within your system and note any actions taken to improve your processes and procedures! Head to our website: or see the advert on page 7.

Yeoman Shield Fire Door Services Taking the Guess Work out of Fire Doors Fire Doors are an imperative part of fire safety and are considerations of the design and maintenance of any building, but especially residential. Article 17 – RRFSO states fire safety provisions (includes fire doors) must be maintained in a suitable condition and working order. If you are the Responsible Person, it’s imperative you appoint a competent person to assist in meeting your duties under the fire safety order to ensure fire safety measures including fire doors are kept in working order. Yeoman Shield’s Fire Door Services can help to take the guess work out of fire door maintenance by providing fire door inspections, condition reports, remedial work and fire door installation all carried out by FDIS and/or FIRAS accredited team members Having a good maintenance routine will dispel some needs of fire door replacement therefore being more cost effective.

The implementation of Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Protection products can also be in the long term financially beneficial by halting impact damage from the start eliminating many repairs in the future and again will extend door lifecycles. Installing Yeoman Shield door protection products such as, door protection panels, door edge protectors and PVCu glazing bead units will not affect the integrity of the fire door as all products have been tested, in situ, to the current standard required. Vulnerable frames and architraves can also be protected from impact with Yeoman Shield to prevent dangerous splintering and splitting as well as abolishing the time-consuming, repetitive need for repainting. For a complete repair and protect service contact the team today or visit or see the advert page 10.

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

How do you access the free PAT Testing Course? It’s simple, just go to Here you will be able to access the course, you just need an email address to sign up. The course is made up of short modules and is simple to follow.

Who should do the course? Probably everyone should do the course, as it shows you basic electrical equipment safety; which given the

amount of electrical equipment we now have in our homes makes sense. Both employers and employees are responsible for inspecting and maintaining electrical equipment in the work place. So you should encourage all staff to do the course. What equipment do you need? Any competent person can PAT Test, however you will need to use a PAT Tester that give you and outcome Pass or Fail. It’s great if the PAT Tester has readings as well, but they are not essential.

How often should I PAT Test? Frequency of PAT Testing is dependent on your Risk Assessment. You need to include the routine inspection & maintenance of electrical equipment in your Risk Assessment and the risk should determine the frequency. Factors affecting the frequency include: • What the electrical equipment is • How often its’ used • Where its’ used • Who uses it Want to discuss further? You can call us on 01392 364933 or email We are always happy to help! See the advert on page 11.



Renray Healthcare Renray Healthcare has been producing high quality furniture for over 50 years and is one of the UK’s largest and leading suppliers to the healthcare sector. Whether you require a fast efficient delivery of quality

furniture or a full room installation and fitting service, we have the experience and resources to handle your contract. We manufacture and assemble our products in our own purpose built factories in Cheshire and Europe to British Standards. Hence we are able to ensure your furniture is produced to the highest quality, working with you to plan and meet your projects time schedule and budget. We understand you are purchasing furniture that is fit for purpose, stylish and will continue to perform well into the future, which is why we design and build our furniture with you in mind. Telephone: +44 (0)1606 593456, Email:, or see the advert on page 3 for details.

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 See the advert on page 7.

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.

HOW DOES MOBILITY FURNITURE BENEFIT CARE HOME RESIDENTS? 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? 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. 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.

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 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 0800 810 8726 for a free brochure, or visit us at

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 or see the advert on page 5.

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

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

50 Years of Design Excellence. 50 Years of Skopos

2022 marks the celebration of 50 years for Skopos fabrics! As a tribute to this milestone, throughout this year, we will be looking back at some of our favourite designs over this half century. The 50th Anniversary Collection will see some of these authentic landmark designs reborn using contemporary design production techniques. The evolved designs will be developed in line with current trends for use within contract interiors today. Each month

these ‘new’ designs will be brought to life as prints, perfect for Care Interiors, available on a wide choice of Skopos base-cloths. As with all Skopos prints, customers will be able to order the ‘Anniversary’ designs across base-cloths for upholstery, curtains and bedding. Qualities include waterproof upholsteries, velvets, drapery linen-effect qualities and blackout/dimout fabrics. Many of our fabrics are antimicrobial, com ing under the umbrella of Skopos ProtectPlus. Skopos offer a full range of fabrics including upholsteries, plus made-to-measure curtains, bedding and cushions, for Care Interiors. To request a quote for new curtains, bed-throws and cushions for Care, please contact our sales team, 01924 436666. For free samples of our Anniversary Designs please log onto our website: Skopos Fabrics Ltd are dedicated to design, service and best performance. Our full service or fabric only option provides choice for our customers, with expertise in design, make-up (curtains, cushions and bedding), fitting and installation.

Sustainable & Cost-Effective Hot Water For Care Homes Care facilities typically exhibit significant, but varied, hot water and heating usage patterns, which contributes to the current 40% tally of UK greenhouse gas emissions generated by the built environment. To help achieve climate-neutral building stock by 2050 the industry is being challenged to reduce operational energy use over all other measures. By increasing the use of renewable energy supply and prioritising on-site renewable energy sources the hope it to reduce both carbon and bills. Sustainability comes with a cost. Whether in the form of new build projects or, and far more likely, the refurbishment of existing, yet ageing facilities understanding the necessary capital investment, operational savings and payback periods is going to be key. Addressing the efficiency of domestic hot water (DHW) systems - whether through the implementation of heat pumps, solar thermal, direct electric water heating or even simple modernisation of existing gas appliances - helps care facilities meet sustainability goals in a practical and cost-effective manner. It also delivers improved year-round conditions for staff and clients in care, providing access to spaces better suited to delivering medical care and assisted living. For buildings already on gas and that rely on large amounts of DHW - a large proportion of current UK care and nursing home properties - solar preheat is the preferable option. For new build properties, the expec-

Alliance Online Here at Alliance Online we are a company that have been operating in the care home and wider catering sector for over 23 years, we stock over a total of 20,000 products we understand the demands and needs for a care home especially in the upcoming Winter. As the care home sector starts to stock up for the upcoming winter, we believe that we can deliver certain necessities that will help cover and enhance the care home experience that many will be going through.

CHURCHILL SIMPLE MEASURES MUG Preventing dehydration and accurately measuring the amount required. An example of an essential that a care home should be considering is the Churchill Simple Measures Mug that is designed to help care workers with being able to judge the perfect amount

tation is for specification to default to a mixture of heat pumps and direct electric afterheat. New system approaches, including prefabricated packaged plant rooms, also provide for better use of the spaces that already exist, without the need to undertake expensive and disruptive building projects. This is especially valid as demands for beds continue to increase, placing new demands on care facilities. Adveco can help achieve emission reduction targets. With more than 50 years of specialised expertise in designing, supplying, and servicing hot water systems to the nursing and care industry, Adveco is the single resource you need for independent expert technical guidance on choosing and developing bespoke sustainable applications today to get you on the right path towards net zero operation. that is needed rather than trying to accurately measure by eye. It doesn’t need to be said the potential issues this can cause in terms of dehydration and precise drinking amounts.

PAPER HYGIENE From janitorial to paper hygiene and all inbetween, Alliance Online can help any commercial care home with providing the necessary tools and appliances for the upcoming Winter. It has happened on numerous occasions where a care home will run out of something they didn’t even know they were short on; this is why it is crucial that correctly restocking the appropriate aspects of a care home are achieved in due time. One of these sectors that will often be understocked is paper hygiene. Toilet paper, hand towels or facial tissues are used in abundance in the care home sector and need regular restocking. For more information on our product lines, or to see how we can help you and your business, contact us on 01270 252 333, email us at or visit our website or see the advert on page 8.



Dysphagia is a Difficult Diagnosis to Swallow By Carla Bartlett, Director of Speech and Language Therapy (Social Care) at Cygnet Health Care and Dominique St Clair Miller Director of Speech and Language Therapy (Health Care) at Cygnet Health Care ( The majority of us enjoy snacks, meals and drinks without much thought or effort, for some people living with dysphagia this can be a difficult and frightening experience, with potentially significant consequences on health and quality of life. Imagine that every time you are invited out for a meal, you have to think about whether you will be able to chew and safely swallow the food on the menu. Imagine that you are told it is not safe for you to eat your favourite food anymore as it is considered “high risk” for choking. Imagine that every time you are faced with eating food, you feel tense and fearful – you are terrified you might choke. You barely have an appetite anymore and over time, you lose weight when you don’t mean to. Imagine that every time you take a drink, you cough and splutter so you avoid drinking to the extent that you become dehydrated and experience frequent urine infections. This can be the reality for people living with dysphagia. This is the reality for 560 million people worldwide. At Cygnet Health Care, Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) assess, diagnose, and formulate management plans to support individuals with different aspects of eating, drinking, feeding and/or swallowing difficulties. The ultimate aim is to ensure safer swallowing whilst balancing quality of life with individuals preferences and beliefs. Our SLTs will seek support from other health care professionals where necessary. They will also make recommendations based upon the difficulties an individual is experiencing. Sometimes this will include positioning advice, adaptive equipment, specific oral motor / sensory exercises or swallow techniques and food and fluid texture modification. However, for others, simply managing the speed at which they eat or prompting them to take smaller mouthfuls and chewing for longer can be enough. There are also lots of things you can do to create an environment that is safer for eating and drinking. Simple strategies like sitting upright, creating a calm environment, switching off the radio or TV and limiting conversation can make the difference for many individuals who require support. It is important that we raise awareness of this life-altering condition and are alert to its signs and symptoms to ensure those diagnosed with dysphagia are able to continue living a full and fulfilling life.

FIVE FACT BOXES 1. What is Dysphagia? Dysphagia is the medical name for difficulties in swallowing. Dyshagia puts a person at risk negative health consequences such as, aspiration, asphyxiation and/or choking, malnutrition and dehydration, which can all be life threatening. If these risks are not managed appropriately people are at high risk of poor health, hospital admissions and reduced quality of life. Dysphagia is secondary to a primary condition such as neurological disorders e.g. stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone Disease, Wilson’s Disease, head injury; head and neck cancer e.g. laryngeal cancer; disorders associated with the elderly; disorders associated with trauma e.g. smoke inhalation; tracheostomy; ventilator dependent individuals; and learning disability to name a few. Dysphagia can also be drug-induced e.g. side effects of medication, and arise as a result from the treatment of diseases e.g. radiotherapy. Swallowing may become difficult because the muscles and nerves used for chewing and swallowing become weak or uncoordinated. Food or drink can ‘go down the wrong way’ into the lungs instead of the stomach. This could lead to serious conditions such as recurrent chest infections and aspiration pneumonia.

2. Signs, Symptoms and Characteristics Dysphagia is associated with an increased morbidity, increased mortality and a reduced quality of life. People may experience the following signs, symptoms and characteristics which carry serious consequences:

• Coughing, throat clearing and/or choking when eating or drinking • Repeated chest infections or those that require multiple treatments to clear • Difficulty managing specific foods, textures or drinks e.g. excessive chewing, spitting food out, losing food from the mouth, food and drink remaining in the mouth after attempted swallows • Refusal of food and drink • Anxiety around mealtimes, food, drink or when eating and drinking • Malnutrition e.g. losing weight, weak skin, hair loss • Dehydration E.g. Constipation, strong urine, UTI’s. • Reporting difficulties with swallowing medication

3. Statistics Dysphagia can occur in all age groups. Swallowing difficulties can occur as a result of a wide range of conditions. However, in the adult population, dysphagia affects: • 95% of people with Motor Neurone Disease • 65% of people who have had a stroke • 50% of people with Parkinson’s Disease • 68% of people with dementia living in care homes • 15% of people with a learning disability • Up to 19% of people with mental health illness, where there is a link between dysphagia and side effects of medication.

4. Top 10 Safe Swallowing Tips: 1. Sit upright when eating and drinking 2. Reduce distractions whilst eating and drinking 3 Avoid talking with food in your mouth 4. Eat slowly 5. Take small mouthfuls of food and fluid 6. Pause between mouthfuls of food and fluid 7. Avoid high risk foods 8. Swallow twice on every mouthful 9. Have small, more regular meals 10. Stay upright for at least 30mins after eating and drinking

5. High Risk Foods to avoid: There are certain food textures which can be harder to manage if you have dysphagia. As part of the assessment process, Speech and Language Therapists will provide specific guidance on how to make eating and drinking enjoyable but safe experiences. They will advise of any foods that may carry greater risks, these may include: • Crunchy Foods: Crunchy Toast, Flaky pastry, Dry biscuits, Crisps • Crumbly Items: Bread crusts, Pie crusts, Crumble, Dry or flaky biscuits • Hard Foods: Boiled or chewy sweets, toffees, nuts, seeds, large pieces of tough/chewy meat • Husks and Bread: Sweetcorn, Bread crusts, Granary bread, Baguettes • Stringy, Fibrous Texture: Raw vegetables and salad items, onions, raw hard fruit, melted cheese, Pickled vegetables, Bacon fat, sausages • Vegetable and Fruit Skins: Orange segments, grapes, tomatoes, apple, peppers, potatoes, beans, potato skins • Mixed Consistency Foods: Cereals that do not blend with milk, mince with thin gravy, soup with lumps, soaked bread


CATERING FOR CARE Can Your Homes Afford Not To Work with Delicious, Nutritious, And Safe Texture Modified Meals Delivered from It’s Made For You Allmanhall To Mitigate Rising Food Prices? As winter approaches, care homes are faced not only with the spiralling cost of food but also extraordinary energy price increases. Heating and eating will be very real challenges faced by many. allmanhall are able to ease some of the pressure faced by care homes. Through negotiations, tendering and supplier management on behalf of care caterers, allmanhall are delivering value and support. allmanhall’s benchmarks on food costs give average savings of 12%. What’s more, additional categories such as janitorial and medical supplies recently showed savings of over 15%. The support goes further than that. allmanhall provide advice on how to maximise catering budgets. It’s so important for care caterers to have information regarding which products are stable and which are volatile when it comes to price movement. allmanhall do exactly this. For example, having a greater proportion of stable products making up your residents’ menus will make it easier to manage the impact of rising prices. “The mobilisation of the new catering suppliers, and the transfer of existing ones to allmanhall was smoothly managed and supported expertly… allmanhall’s approach provides my team with reassurance and peace of mind.” St Martins Care There’s currently a harsh spotlight on homes without

strong procurement practices. Despite chefs working tirelessly to cost recipes, source the best value ingredients, manage portion control and waste, some will continue to struggle to produce food at a low cost without the experience of a procurement team to manage and negotiate price increases for them. allmanhall also reduce the pressure on finance resources by consolidating billing and providing admin efficiencies and further savings. Why not visit the allmanhall team on stand 8 at the NACC TDF to find out more?

Here at It’s Made For You Softer Foods, we believe that everyone should look forward to tasty, safe, and nutritious texture modified meals. The It’s Made For You range is designed for the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) framework standards and includes valuable nutrition. Our range of meals have also been developed to ensure the nutritional content will meet the nutritional needs of your patients whilst they follow a texture modified diet. Research has shown that up to 50% of people with dysphagia are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. There could be numerous reasons for this, including a reduced appetite or the inability to consume large quantities of food in one sitting. Our range of ‘classic’ and ‘mini meals’ can help to ensure your patients are getting the most nutritional value from the food they consume. The use of pre-prepared It’s Made For You meals can also be a practical time-saver and bring peace of mind to the person with dysphagia. The range includes over 80 tasty dishes including

chicken, beef, lamb, fish and vegetarian recipes. We also offer a tasty selection of lighter bites, desserts, and breakfast options as well as mini meals for those with smaller appetites. At It’s Made For You, we offer a delivery service that cares, making it easy and convenient for our customers to eat delicious meals which can be delivered directly and safely to their homes. This helps them if they cannot leave the house or go to the shops. Plus, people love to use our service, as they can rely on a regular delivery of good quality and safe meals, directly to their door, by a friendly local Oakhouse Foods delivery driver. Find out more at

Anglia Crown – Offering You The Complete Package The summer of 2022 will be long remembered as a hot one. For many, especially in the care sector, perhaps it was a little too hot! As we are now moving towards autumn our thoughts are turning once again to those warming meals and the feeling of comfort that only good, wholesome food can bring. Our current range includes Crown Choice and Crown Advantage meals available frozen, with Crown Choice also available as chilled products. We are always looking to keep our dishes current and reflecting current trends which is why we are now offering more vegetarian and vegan dishes than ever before. The company now offers over 70 vegan and vegetarian dishes, many have been accredited with the Vegan Society. This approach led to the company being named a Veggie Wholesaler of the Year. We recognise that everyone is busy so we have crafted a menu cycle that can be readily adopted by any care setting, with the knowledge that the menu is nutritionally balanced and has been approved by a professional dietitian.

The two-week cycle offers something for everyone. Where a bulk service is required for resident dining, we have it covered, a similar menu using Crown Advantage dishes can be similarly employed. The specially designed menu is cost effective, as it has already considered the financial balancing that is required in our sector and just as importantly, it also helps with any staffing issues that you might encounter, allowing properly trained Care Assistants to help with the complete delivery of the meals to your residents. Mary Wedge, Business Development Manager at Anglia Crown comments; “As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we are proud to be a trusted partner with the care sector, providing quality, nutritious food 365 days a year. We will continue to review our menus, adapting to your needs whilst maintaining our vision of driving excellence in residential and care home catering.” The current range is now available. Visit for further details or contact us on



How Efficient Is Your Laundry Operation? With soaring energy costs and the care sector’s increasingly stringent hygiene and safety requirements, it has never been more critical that care providers establish appropriate laundry operations. It is important to note that, upon inspection by the CQC, domestic machines will not suffice within any care home as they fall short of the necessary guidelines for waste disposal and infection control. New commercial laundry machines can enable significant savings in both water and energy consumption whilst adhering to all applicable industry guidelines. Notably, heat pump dryers can consume up to 70% less energy than standard dryers, making them a hugely popular, and considerably more cost and environmentally efficient choice. Forbes Professional is a family run company, established in 1926, that provides Miele’s commercial laundry from our expansive nationwide infrastructure. Our large network of in-house field engineers allows us to deliver a multi-award winning localbased service to both small care homes and national care operators. We have a solid understanding of the industry requirements and our dedicated account managers deliver a consultative service from complimentary site survey to on-going service sup-

port. Clearly, within any healthcare environment, hygiene is of paramount importance and our Miele commercial laundry and dishwashing equipment ensures full compliance with all WRAS and QCQ stipulations. With both sluice and thermal disinfection to kill viruses and bugs, our equipment eliminates any risk of cross contamination. We make it our business to ensure that all clients fully adhere to the industry regulations, whilst providing a solution that is tailored the individual requirements. For a small operation, or where space is of a premium, Miele’s Little Giants deliver on every level. They offer the utmost in utility, flexibility and product quality, whilst providing a stackable option to minimise their footprint and allow for easy scalability. Our Complete Care package gives access to premium brands with no initial capital outlay, comprehensive user training and support and a same/next day engineer response. 0345 070 2335

Discover Girbau Laundry Innovation at the Care Show

Girbau offers energy efficient, high productivity laundry equipment for efficient in-house laundry operation with control of turnaround times and quality of finish. Visit Stand F51 at The Care Show, NEC Birmingham, 12-13 October to discover Girbau’s innovative new GENIUS Series Internet-enabled wash-

ers with Sapphire software for remote performance and disinfection monitoring. Designed to lower water and energy consumption while boosting productivity, Girbau GENIUS washers offer unmatched durability and a high degree of programmability, together with high-speed spinning and automatic chemical dosing. Additional features include robust chassis design, high water extraction, gentle Care Plus drum and an easy to use 10-inch colour user interface. Girbau’s Sapphire remote-control software gives easy, flexible and versatile control. You can manage the laundry, compile production reports and analyse data remotely in real time from any device. In healthcare settings, Sapphire can be used to configure washers to operate and record the use of thermal disinfection programs. Girbau laundry support services include site surveys for refurbishment projects, laundry design and production of full M&E CAD drawings. Girbau can also advise on machine choice, clean and dirty area demarcation, disinfection, safe handling and operating procedures. Maintenance and servicing remain key considerations for operators of on-premise laundries. With a team of company-trained engineers and direct access to the factory for spare parts, Girbau is able to respond quickly to any urgent customer calls with high levels of first-time fixes. Girbau UK’s service operation supports on premise laundries for every type and scale of business from single premises to nationwide multi-site

operations. Girbau UK was recently awarded We Invest in People - Silver Accreditation by Investors in People. Tel: 01462 427780 Email: Website:


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

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

LaundryTec - Innovation and Support as Standard For 10% discou nt on all woven an d iron-on nametapes, ad d CARE2022 at the checkout ! Valid to 31/10/20 22

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

In these times of uncertainty with everyone facing ever increasing energy costs , do you really know how much it costs to operate your laundry dryers? Energy efficiency has advanced enormously of the past few years and our Lavamac LDR350 has a connect load of 26.4 kWh. Many older dryers are rated at a minimum of 36kwh. Replacement of two of older machines can offer a hourly saving of a minimum of 20kwh which based of a 8 hour working day of 160kWh daily! Recently we supplied 3 x LDR490 24 kg dyers and

replaced 3 x 37kg dyers and reduced the energy consumption from 210kwh to 90kwh! This was a extreme case but when the laundry door is shut are you really aware what your dryers are costing you to operate? Our LDR dryers can offer a return on investment that would make your head spin faster than on of our washers! We can complete a free of charge energy survey. Can you afford not to investigate what your laundry is costing? See the advert below for further information.

LaundryTec Ltd offer a unique approach to laundry equipment

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

Quality, Innovation and Support


We are also Lavamac distributors

0151 317 3127




How to Improve Confidence in the Care Sector Professor Martin Green OBE is an Expert Advisory Council member for P&G Professional ( and the Chief Executive of Care England. The effects of Covid-19 are still being felt across the care sector. In recent months we have seen significant increases in the levels of Covid infection, and despite that the rest of society seems to have moved on, social care services are still on the front line of a global pandemic. Recent data suggests that the care home population has reduced by about 8% and this is due to many factors, but the consequence is, reduced occupancy and reduced income. The tragic loss of so many residents in the first stages of the Covid-19 pandemic has been exacerbated by the quarantine requirements of the Government. It is vital that the care sector starts to think strategically about how it builds confidence to re-establish positive relationships with the public and the people who will be future residents. The rise in Covid-19 cases over the last few months has further undermined people’s confidence in the sector and care homes now have to do even more to reconnect with the public and improve confidence in our services. Covid-19 also put a very clear focus on the issue of hygiene and infection control, and people who are considering residential care, are starting to ask more questions about cleaning and hygiene regimes. The cost-of-living crisis is also having a big impact on care services, and it is important that care homes look at their cleaning regimes and establish what products deliver the best outcomes, whilst at the same time are the best value for money. People often say that

Countering Unseen Fire and Water Risks Behind the scenes in a care setting, the safety and wellbeing of service users partly depends on expert cleaning of kitchen and laundry ductwork, as well as clean, safe water, ad Gary Nicholls, MD or duct cleaning and legionella risk experts Swiftclean, explains. No matter how healthy your kitchen, kitchen extract ductwork must be regularly cleaned in order to remove the grease deposits that arise from cooking. People often think that this grease layer must be really thick in order to pose a fire risk. However the specification TR19® Grease, which governs kitchen extract hygiene, issued by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), requires for grease layer to be controlled within an average of 200 microns. This is about half the thickness of an average business card. Anything more than this thin layer represents a significant fire risk. The only solution to this problem is a regular complete removal of the grease layer by specialist TR19® Grease cleaning. A second, frequently overlooked, fire safety cleaning task is for removal of dust, fibre and lint from laundry extract ductwork. Tumble dryer fires are surprisingly frequent, especially in their extract ductwork. The drying process resulting a significant buildup of ductwork deposits which are highly flammable and should be regularly removed to eliminate the fire risk. Cleaning in accordance with TR19®, also issued by BESA, it's the most

if they see familiar products and recognise familiar smells when they go into a care home, this gives them confidence in the cleaning regime and also a sense of homeliness. P&G Professional is well-known and respected and has a range of notably superior cleaning and sanitising products for the health and care sector. In recent years, the focus has been on Covid-19, but we must not forget there is a range of other viruses. Norovirus and the flu virus have all been significant challenges for care homes, but products such as Flash Professional Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner have been proven to kill these viruses as well as COVID-19. However, there are many challenges facing the care sector. Energy costs are soaring in the UK, and this is of course having a massive impact on care providers. Helping mitigate the effects, P&G Professional products are formulated to provide an outstanding clean, even in one wash, on a short cycle, or indeed when the temperature of the wash has been reduced. In order to rebuild confidence after a global pandemic we have to ensure that we do things efficiently but above all, we have to make sure that our services are hygienic and free from infection. Visit to see P&G Professional's full range.

effective way to remove these. If you have a mechanical ventilation system, you will almost certainly have fire dampeners installed where the ductwork passes from a side room to a corridor, to reinstate the compartmentalisation provided by an internal fire resistant wall. Fire dampness comprise a set of steel louvres which normally remain open to allow the flow of air through the ventilation system, but which automatically close in the event of a fire to delay it spread. These must be 'dropped tested' at least every twelve months, in accordance with BS: 9999, to ensure that they will close if needed. Any that fail must be repaired and re-tested. Ductwork cleaning and fire dampness testing a specialist task and should be conducted by technicians with appropriate competence and training. TR19® Grease contains advice that property manager should choose as a member of BESA's Vent Hygiene Elite (VHE) scheme to provide these specialist services. VHE members like Swiftclean can also provide post clean certificate certification, which insurers are increasingly expecting to see, especially in the event of a fire, to demonstrate the property owners' or managers' compliance with the regulations. Care must also be taken in ensuring that the water system is free from Legionella bacteria. The elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions, are particularly vulnerable to Legionnaire's Disease, the potentially fatal disease caused by Legionella. You are legally required to always have a current Legionella risk assessment, which must be updated if there are any changes at all to the water system, ownership of the property, or designated Responsible Person. The water system must be managed in accordance with L8, the approved code of practice, issued by the HSE. If you need any assistance which with legionella control, you should choose a certified member of the legionella control Association to help you. Visit for further information and advice.


CLEANING & HYGIENE 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 the facing page.

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

A New Frontier for Control of Winter Bugs It’s important to protect your residents from the rising rate of infections during the winter season and Peracide is the ideal solution. Peracide is a colour-activated in-situ peracetic acid disinfectant tested to over 70 EN, BS EN and ASTM standards. It’s even tested to kill COVID-19 at 1000ppm in only 30 seconds in soiled conditions. It was developed with the help of Prof. Peter Wilson and Dr. Shanom Ali of UCLH microbiological laboratory and has been tested to kill all known pathogens including: • Pseudomonas • Norovirus • E. coli • Legionella • Streptococcus Pneumoniae • C. Difficile Peracide is a powerful dual-action oxidising agent that targets proteins, peptides and amino acids of all pathogens, whilst surfactants clean and remove soil, making it perfect for cleaning and disinfecting in 1 easy process. This versatility means it can replace other products and be safely used any-

where, including washrooms, kitchens and on any surface including stainless steel and fabrics. Peracide is also recommended for use on equipment such as commodes, bed frames and mobility aides. It produces no toxic by-products, so it’s safe for both your users and the environment. Peracide’s innovative colour-change system makes it easy for users to see when it is active. The solution turns purple to show peracetic acid is being generated, pink when the solution is ready to use, and clear when ready to be disposed of. This ensures no solution is wasted or used while inactive. Here are two of our satisfied customers: “The staff are very happy with it!” Jayne, Ravenstone Care Home “The colour system works really well.” Nikki, Aucklands Rest Home Available via NHS Supply Chain – Product Code: Peracide 3g: MFB1002 or Peracide 6g: MFB1005 and via Bunzl FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TRIALS, TRAINING AND DEMONSTRATIONS CALL US NOW



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%. 0114 278 0222

Win the battle on

Infection Control

With a new generation of disinfection technology 10 reasons to change to Peracide Many professionally cleaned facilities operate 24/7. 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


Kills all known microorganisms including C. difficile spores, E. coli, MRSA, Legionella, Norovirus, Covid-19, 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 mobility and shared equipment


Non-sticky and leaves minimal residue


Full microbiological test report


Long lasting solution

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

Available from

Peracide Product Code: 3g MFB1002 or 6g MFB1005

or Sky Chemicals


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

DRINKS TO AVOID It is advisable to avoid certain types of drinks, such as tea, coffee, cola and chocolate, as they contain caffeine which can irritate the bladder. An irritated bladder becomes overactive, which makes you feel as though you need to empty your bladder when it is not full.

HEALTHY EATING Your diet should be balanced, not too high in fat, with plenty of fibre, and contain at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Healthy eating is also important because being overweight can make bladder problems worse.

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

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: Keep a Bladder Diary Maintain a record of every time you experience bladder weakness. Note the activity you were performing at the time, the types of beverages and the quantity you consumed beforehand, as well as the extent of the leakage. Limiting fluid intake may actually increase the frequency of incontinence. Drinking a total of 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day is recommended. Unless advised to do so by your health professional, never restrict fluids to control incontinence. The iD range of products is available to buy from or

Help To Manage Your Incontinence Issues Independently Urinary incontinence affects millions of people in the UK. Although a widespread problem, in-continence 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 suffer-ers 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 so-lutions 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.

1. 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.

2. 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 • 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

3. IQ CATHETER Thousands of people across the country must perform Intermittent SelfCatheterisation (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.

4. NEPHSYS For people who have had a Nephrostomy, and tubes are already in place, our NephSys system can drastically improve their lives. As well as providing a secure and sterile solution, which consists of an adjustable, elasticated belt; drainage bags and suspenders to secure the bag to the belt in the chosen position, the system is also comfortable and discreet. For help, support and advice, call 01604 595696, email or visit for more information about each product, or to order a free sample.



Revealed: How to Create Dementia-Friendly Documents, Posters and Signage Dementia causes the loss of cognitive functions such as memory and reasoning. It affects more than 55 million people worldwide, with almost 10 million new cases each year. Living with dementia can be extremely difficult, given that its effects can vary by nature and severity from person to person. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is thought to contribute to 60-70% of cases worldwide. Though researchers are working tirelessly for a cure, it continues to evade them. However, there are plenty of ways that we can make life easier and more comfortable for people living with dementia. Print specialists Solopress have taken a look at how you can improve your inclusivity by ensuring your documents, posters, and signage are optimised for people living with Alzheimer’s.

has a huge effect on the human brain, and has the potential to trigger emotions and memories. In fact, academic research has shown that the right colours can help enhance the memory of those living with Alzheimer’s, one of the most common forms of dementia. Dementia can affect how a person views colours, particularly how they differentiate between certain colours. As a result, colours with a high level of contrast are easiest for people living with dementia to digest; for example, implementing bright or bold colours throughout the home can help separate objects. With this thought in mind, use bold, bright, contrasting text when designing dementia-friendly documents. Ease of access comes first, so avoid loud patterns and stripes; these designs can be confusing and disorienting. Think simple, vivid colour combinations.



• Reseach shows that the use of colours can help enhance the memory of people living with Alzheimer’s. • Therefore, bold, contrasting colours can help to properly convey a message, but intricate patterns and colours can be confusing. • Associating different shapes with different ideas, concepts or decisions within your design can make your message easier for people living with dementia to understand. • Sans-serif fonts like Arial in size 14 and above are easiest to read – block capitals are not recommended, as these can be difficult to differentiate between. • Pictures can be helpful to ensure your message cuts through. Photographs are preferred to drawings or artists’ versions. • Avoid making your signage using reflective materials – reflections can be confusing to people with dementia. • By using durable materials, you can ensure the long-term efficacy of your sign.

COLOURS Known to be one of the most powerful tools of communication, colour

Dementia affects people in different ways and can even cause hallucinations. If your signage or text must differentiate between two distinct ideas, choices or options, shapes can be a good way to highlight the difference between the two concepts. Changing the overall shape of your signage is a subtle but effective way to create dementia-friendly print. Shapes associated with positive or negative feelings were found to reduce confusion amongst people with dementia, preventing them from becoming confused or lost in hallways containing those shapes.

TEXT Given that dementia can affect one’s vision and ability to understand text, any message used in your document must be as easy to read as possible. Font sizes are crucial to ensure your work is easily readable, with at least size 14 recommended. If your content contains a lot of information, break it up into reasonably-sized chunks so that it is simpler to digest. Dementia experts in the NHS warn against using block capitals, as these can be more difficult to read, particularly as dementia can cause visual impairments. Both upper and lower-case letters should be used for readability, as some people living with dementia will be able to recognise the

shape of a word before actually understanding its meaning. Think about how your document will be viewed. Alzheimer’s Society recommends using sans-serif fonts for websites or digital content as they are deemed more readable on-screen. Staying consistent with your fonts is also helpful – multiple fonts can make the interface and content confusing for someone living with dementia.

PICTURES Pictures can play a vital role in helping dementia patients to communicate more effectively by encouraging further memory retention. Looking at photo albums and family pictures has been proven to play a vital role in engagement for people with dementia, reducing feelings of isolation and helping strengthen personal relationships. As a result, implementing pictures throughout your work or signage can be a great way to stimulate readers’ brain functions, ensuring that your message cuts through. Pictures can be particularly helpful for people with late-stage dementia, given that word-based communication may not be possible. Dementia can strip people of the ability to properly read and speak, so the use of pictures and images where possible can really help consolidate your messages. Glen Eckett, Head of Marketing at Solopress (, comments: “Dementia is an awfully cruel syndrome, one which has the potential to strip people of their dignity and personality. However, inclusive design practices can go some way towards helping people living with dementia maintain some of their dignity. With the above tips, any company can ensure that its resources are accessible and understandable for people living with dementia.”

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 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.

Encouraging the Independence of Dementia Patients Through Colour and Design

colours make doors easier to see against the neutral tones on the walls. In contrast, staff areas and supply cupboards should be painted in the same colour as the walls so that they blend in and become less obvious – helping to avoid any unauthorised access.

Calming colours

For many, dementia can affect a patients’ ‘biological clock’ which means they often get confused when determining the time of day. This means they can struggle to understand when it is appropriate to go to bed. Incorporating calmer colours in the bedroom area, using blackout blinds, and adding softer golden lighting helps to instil a sense of calm and relaxation and encourages a more stable sleep routine that they can initiate themselves.

Hazard perception

Implementing strategic design techniques can heighten the awareness of potential hazards and reduce occupant risk. For example, if items such as radiators are designed using stronger colours that contrast against the walls, it will make them more noticeable and reduce the chance of them being walked into or leant against- and in turn, minimise burn risk. Features such as light switches and signage can also be more easily identified if a coloured border is painted around them.

Promoting independence in individuals is essential to instilling a sense of self-worth, and the colour and design of a room can play a significant role. Here, Dawn Scott at Dulux Trade delves into how care home managers can best plan living spaces to make sure they are as effective and enjoyable as possible for those occupying them. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, 70% of care home residents are thought to have dementia or severe memory problems. It is therefore crucial that care home managers understand how colour and design can support those with the disease and place residents’ needs at the centre of interior designs.

Photo credit: BRE

Photo credit: BRE

occupants’ wellbeing, care and – crucially – independence. Here’s how:

Consider colour and contrast to aid navigation

Up to 75% of people over the age of 75 have vision problems. As we get older, our eyes become more opaque and this makes it more difficult to differentiate between hues. It is therefore essential that contrasting colours are utilised in living spaces as they act as visual cues and ensure there are clear visual differences between surfaces. The Dementia Friendly Colour Palette advises that soft tones are used for main walls, with only small hints of colour to create a sense of calm (think 60YY 83/062, 70YR 75/075, 30YY 68/024 and 70RR 64/034). For feature walls like the front of the living room and kitchen serving areas make sure more saturated colours such as yellows (43YY 74/339), muted purples (70RR 43/104), muted oranges (38YR 40/290) and teals (50BG 19/144)are used to contrast with the lighter main walls – as this makes them stand out and draws the eye for maximum visibility. When it comes to doors that lead to regularly used rooms like bathrooms and living spaces, bolder shades should be considered - such as navies (52BB 08/128), sage greens (90GY 29/121) and burgundies (54RR 09/276). These

Upholding their autonomy is key, but with so many complex needs, knowing how to sustain dementia patients’ independence can be challenging. To help, Dulux Trade – together with the British Research Establishment – created a Dementia Friendly Colour Palette, which aims to bring colour to every room both figuratively and literally.

The palette was born out of years of experience in design and a wealth of dementia research and knowledge - with partners from Loughborough University and the Halsall Lloyd Partnership also involved in its conception. The evidencebased design principles it is founded upon assure designers that it is optimised to create an environment that champions

To aid wayfinding further, it’s important to avoid high-sheen flooring as this can appear wet or slippery to dementia patients, meaning they may not feel comfortable walking across it. Similarly, dark flooring can often be perceived as a hole, and bold patterns or stripes can give the illusion that the floor is not flat or unstable, creating a sense of anxiety amongst those using these spaces. The best option is to keep floors plain and ensure that they contrast with the walls and skirting to keep all surfaces easily identifiable.

Keeping memories alive

Photo credit: BRE

Arguably the most important way of allowing a dementia patient to retain their independence is through involving them in the process. It is vital that their living spaces are a reflection of them - by surrounding them with décor that inspires a sense of homeliness and nostalgia.

We recommend using familiar or favoured colours. For example, to recreate the front door of a childhood home by painting their bedroom door the same colour. It is also important to include some personal items on shelving near the entrance, such as an old house number, family photographs or ornaments from their home so the resident can quickly identify it as theirs.

Photo credit: BRE

For more ways to design living spaces for those with dementia, and to find out more about Dulux Trade’s offering for aged care and Dementia, visit:



Blaucomm Ltd - Telecommunications & Networks Blaucomm’s Nurse Call Messaging Service (NMS) is the market leading solution to remove the dependency on noisy nurse call panels and pagers, through its intelligent software, which delivers the alerts straight to the care staff who need them. Care homes are rapidly introducing smartphones for digital care planning and eMar - now, the same devices can be used to receive the nurse call alerts they need for the residents under their care. Furthermore, Blaucomm NMS is deeply linked into Person Centred Software MCM, so call bell data is linked straight to care plans. This unlocks a huge benefit to care homes to enhance the staff performance with how they accept and respond to residents, which ultimately promotes better response times and visibility for management to audit their performance. The best part is that Blaucomm NMS links into your existing nurse call

Southern Care Maintenance Ltd (SCM) Joins Forces with Vayyar Care Vayyar Care, a global leader in automatic fall detection and remote monitoring, has established a new partnership with Southern Care Maintenance Ltd (SCM), a premium maintenance and service provider for nurse call systems and home care equipment. A first-in-class service provider, SCM offers innovative solutions that leverage the most reliable technologies at the most competitive prices. The collaboration will strengthen Vayyar Care's installation efforts across southern England and forms part of a unique ecosystem that includes leading industry providers such as Panacea Healthcare Group, Vayyar Care's principal UK distributor. SCM's quality installations and post-sales service will play a key role in delivering Vayyar's touchless solution to care homes and social care providers. "We are delighted to partner with Vayyar Care and are excited to work with people who have so much enthusiasm and passion for their product," said David Knight, Founder and Commercial Director of SCM. "The best solution in fall detection dovetails perfectly with our mission to provide our customers with the very best service. Thanks to Vayyar Care, long lies and severe complications that can occur when a

resident suffers a fall but doesn't receive prompt assistance will soon be a thing of the past. This is sure to be a product that will continue to go from strength to strength in the marketplace." Vayyar Care's instant fall detection and activity data enables personalised, proactive care management. Interoperable and integration-ready with any nurse call system, Vayyar Care and its wide network of nurse call and platform partners are leading the way towards a new, accessible future of digital care. Vayyar Care's touchless 4D imaging radar gathers the essential data caregivers need to protect residents, as well as their dignity, privacy and independence. The solution delivers instant fall detection and 24/7 visibility on room presence, mobility, time at rest, bathroom visits and more. It overcomes the limitations and drawbacks of standard reactive technologies such as hard-to-reach buttons and cords, unreliable mats, embarrassing wearables and intrusive cameras. Vayyar Care is fully interoperable with any nurse call system and care platform, enabling care providers to deliver person-centred, predictive care that enhances outcomes across the board.

system - we work with all major brands such as Aidcall, ARM, Courtney Thorne, C-TEC, ENS, Intercall, Medicare, SAS and TeleAlarm. Care operators are constantly recognising Blaucomm NMS for its reliability and dependability to their care operations, which is why we’ve been chosen time and time again over other solutions. Head of IT Trudi Harrow at WCS Care had this to say about Blaucomm NMS: “We find Blaucomm is a genuinely fantastic company with a reliable product. We have a range of nurse call systems at different sites and the NMS system integrates to them and allows us to compare response times between sites. In addition, the integration to Person Centred Software is revolutionary. We would highly recommend this to anybody who wants to replace expensive pagers and silence those annoyingly loud nurse call screens!” To find out more about Blaucomm NMS, visit

Medpage Falls 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.


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 2 or at product-fall-detection



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 per-

stressed also, this creates a happier workplace where morale is greatly son’s ability to concentrate. It can affect their attention levels and improved, staff are retained and CQC ratings improve. Clearly, the posicapacity to cope, as well as being detrimental to their overall state of tive ramifications of a quiet Care Home run deep. Get in touch today to wellbeing. Personal paging systems are preferable to bells and find out how we can help your home become a quieter, calmer, and buzzers.” Modern Nurse Call systems can incorporate a number of more tranquil environment. methods to reduce their impact in a care home. These include zoning For more information email us at: 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 • Nurse Call “zone” whist less vulnerable residents live in an alternative Systems “zone”. Each “zone” can operate different call tones, warning lights or other methods to alert when help is required • Fire Alarm Reducing noise levels is essential to create a tranquil enviSystems ronment for residents. Pagers have been around for many • Door Access years, are a relatively simple and cost-effective measure in reducing the levels of noise, and can be added to most Nurse • Staff Attack Call systems. Smart Mobile Devices are now becoming more • CCTV Designed to combat the problem of residents commonplace for care home staff and hold a variety of apps who are inclined to walk undetected, the Nurse for care planning, e-medication, etc. Many Courtney Thorne • Infection Alert Mat can help protect residents especially at clients are now utilising the “Go” app with their Nurse Call sysControl night that are at risk of falls and accidents. tem. With the “Go” app, nurse call alarms are delivered imme• Dementia Care When connected to a Nurse Call system or the diately and silently straight to the handsets, alerting the mobile Floor Sentry Monitor it will then alert individual carers to all Nurse call alarms without creating any • Electrical staff, sounding the alarm with a small amount of general alarm sound and rarely disturbing the rest of the resiContracting pressure thus enabling staff to investigate. dents in the home. Calmer residents ultimately means that staff are less

Nurse Alert Mats

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

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

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



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


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

Benefits include:

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

Wireless door/window exit alerts

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

Features include:

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

Southern Care Maintenance Ltd – New Partnerships

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

As Southern Care Maintenance Ltd (SCM) mark their 35th anniversary this year, they continue to build upon their success with some exciting new partnerships. As a specialist independent company, SCM offer supply, service and maintenance of a large range of systems and equipment across two Divisions - Fire Alarms and Nursing Equipment throughout the south east of England. Always looking to offer their customers the best solutions leveraging the most reliable technologies at competitive prices, they are delighted to have recently partnered with: Vayyar - the world's most advanced care solution, Vayyar Care, provides touchless fall detection and rich activity data that enables personalised,

predictive care Arquella – offering AIDA Assist, an app-based nurse call system, the tool of choice for forward thinking care services Person Centred Software – the first fully mobile, easy to use and market-leading digital care management system with the ability to evidence over 50 care notes per resident per day Priding themselves on their quality of service and first-class customer experience, SCM is delighted to be partnered with companies who share the same passion and enthusiasm to deliver the very best solutions, solutions which make providing care the focus and priority. See the advert on this page for further details or visit



How The Digital Revolution In Care Is Delivering The Best Outcomes For Residents

By Rebecca Pearson, general manager for Bupa Care Services (

Technology is at the heart of the government's new health data strategy, which includes an aim to increase digitisation in social care by 2024. But why wait? At Bupa our digital transformation is already underway. Digitisation is essential for the future. Technology enables carers to spend more time on the most important part of the job; face-to-face, quality care for residents. Making processes more efficient with technology offers the opportunity to provide truly personalised care. One example of this is in dementia care, where there are many opportunities to incorporate technology. For example, Richmond Villages Willaston is a specialist village for people in the early stages of dementia, where they’re able to maintain a level of independence supported by ‘homemakers’. At night, residents are acoustically monitored and staff are alerted if there are unexpected noises or movement which might indicate someone is unwell or in difficulty. Technology has the power to change how we work in care settings more widely. Care staff have always filled out paper notes throughout their shifts including details about medication, wellbeing and feedback from the residents. As everyone will know it’s time-consuming and inefficient, and reduces the time that can be spent talking to residents and building positive long term relationships. But across Bupa Care Services we’ve introduced handheld devices which allow carers to record every interaction with residents in real time, freeing up capacity for real, high-quality care. It also means that staff can record more detailed, up-to-the-minute accurate notes, with more information about each resident’s mood, what they chatted about or what activities they had been enjoying.

G-Touch Wireless Care Home Solution Genee is a UK leading manufacturer of innovative technological solutions. Genee plays an integral role across all major industries, including health care, to support patients, residents, and staff. Having supported Care Homes through the pandemic The G-Touch Wireless Care Home Solution is one of Genee’s most impactful solutions yet. The solution includes; the G-Touch Interactive Screen, Electric Mobile Trolley, and a Wireless Battery Pack. Its portability, specially designed and simple to use interface, as well as its multitude of applications, are specifically built for residents and staff in mind. The G-Touch Interactive Screen is an engaging resource for residents and staff. Available in 55’’, 65’’ and 75’’, the touchscreen itself has durable and toughened safety glass that can be easily cleaned. The large screen provides for spectacular viewings of videos, TV shows and movies. In addition, the size of the screen encourages residents to participate in interactive activities. With built-in 2x15w front facing speakers and an HD video conferencing camera provides the perfect communication tool to video call families, friends, and other care homes. With the built-in PC and Android 8.0 operating system, the user interface software is easy to use. As soon as the touchscreen is turned on, the system loads into a tablet style of multiple icons containing the software and Apps used daily without the need for a PC-style login. The included software also helps residents with health issues, including Dementia and Alzheimer’s. A solution that benefits all! The Electric Mobile Trolley is better suited than a traditional wall mount or trol-

Another step-change is that this information can be accessed by residents’ families. This helps build up a full picture of what life is like in the home and how their loved ones are doing day to day. There’s no doubt that we’re all getting more tech-savvy, and why wouldn’t we utilise it our care settings too? It’s what families expect to see, and increasingly, it will be what our residents expect too. That’s why it’s so important that we lay the groundwork now. But most importantly technology is helping our people get back to what they love. Our people tell us they want more time to care. That’s why they came into this profession. So it’s up to us to make this happen. Compliance, infection control and quality standards will always be top of the agenda. Electronic medical records systems are designed to reduce the time it takes to administer medications safely and improve clinical outcomes with a joined up service that all health professionals can access. This also makes it easier to refer back to previous notes to look for patterns, with residents’ full medical history available at the touch of a button. All of our monitoring processes are also now stored in our digital quality and compliance solution, which has been rolled out in each of our homes and villages. It helps our home managers carry out quality monitoring and make swift changes to day-to-day processes if needed. And regulatory partners can also be updated with the click of a button. But it’s not just about quality or compliance. There are a wealth of games, apps and tools designed to support older people while making it fun and interactive. For example, for those with dementia a memory game app can help enhance the time they spend with loved ones. Ultimately, it’s the human connection that is at the heart of our digitisation journey. As residents adjust to a new life and environment, or deal with dementia, it’s the people caring for them that bring fun and laughter back into their lives. Technology allows us to foster this human connection and ultimately get more out of our time together. ley. The mobile trolley can be electronically adjusted by height and offers 90-degree angle adjustment from horizontal to vertical, ensuring easy accessibility at different chairs and wheelchair height. The four lightweight and strong steel integrated castors include locking brakes for safety. The Wireless Battery Pack removes trip hazards and provides a helpful portable solution. Simply add the lightweight battery pack to the trolley and easily move the touchscreen from room to room. The G-Touch Wireless Care Home Solution comes with 5 years’ on-site warranty as standard with no additional costs. Our dedicated team will bring the equipment to the care home, assemble, and install the solution and test everything on site. We will also support you with free online training to ensure your Care Home gets maximum use of this incredible solution. Get in touch via: +44 (0)1902 390 862





Monika Primed to Make Care Management Simple By Keith Hopewell, Director of Operations UK & Europe, Monika ( In a care or medical setting, staff have to juggle caring for residents and patients with proper hygiene checks, medication management, and ensuring up to date records. With over 30 years’ experience, Monika is the expert in connecting teams and equipment. Their flagship service, MonikaPrime, is a complete safety, hygiene, and compliance management system which eliminates the need for manual paperwork. Monika’s innovative temperature monitoring equipment simulates the temperature of the perishable goods and vaccines, as opposed to simply recording the temperature of the air in the cooling unit – providing greater accuracy for peace of mind. Regulations require certain substances to be stored at specific temperatures, such as insulin, antibiotic liquids, and eyedrops. Outside the required 2 - 8 degrees Celsius, these medications can lose integrity – making them ineffective and potentially harmful; so having reliable and accurate temperature monitoring equipment is essential. Staff can be nominated to receive alerts if the product moves outside a pre-set safe temperature range, so

medication can be relocated before it loses integrity, or be identified for destruction if it has become harmful. This can also help identify faulty equipment, preventing the need for expensive repairs. Alerts can be sent to any desktop, mobile, or Monika smart handheld PA device, all of which can access Monika’s cloud connected system offsite. This is ideal for managers overseeing multiple care homes, as it enables comparison between the location – helping identify potential staff training opportunities for maximum safety. As well as ongoing temperature recording, Monika’s system can be programmed to send audio and visual hygiene task reminders to staff. These tasks are fully auditable, with the system recording who has done what, and when, reducing the risk of human error and miscommunication. Staff can therefore spend less time in administration, and more time caring for patients. Visit for further details or see the advert on the facing page.

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.

BUILT FOR HEALTHCARE 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 efficiency gains, and taken departmen-

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

tal reporting from 10 days to 10 minutes.

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 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: Care is was conceived, designed, built and is managed by nurses, registered managers and care home owners. 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. or see the advert on the facing page.



The CAREAudits System CAREAudits apps and systems evolved via an associated company Kern Systems were Ken Newlove director and founding member had been developing and deploying paperless systems for EPoS and Finance in the private and public sectors since 1999. Back in 2014 the team had more than 50 years experience in IT and software development as well as having been heavily involved in the third sector, with a trustee of three charities, a director of a business directly involved in the care market and a consultant in a £10 million turnover charity and interim CEO and Chair at an adult hospice. Working in the Care Sector the team recognised in 2014 the sector was becoming overwhelmed with administration driven by ever increasing legislative compliance requirements and controls and pressurised by ever increasing costs. The CAREAudits apps evolved from their desire to give something back to the Care Sector; to develop systems that genuinely reduce costs and increase efficiency as well as improving accountability and quality. And above all a system that would be easy to install and use by everyone.

THE CAREAUDITS SYSTEM The CAREAudits app and Web Portal Auditing Tool is now being used throughout the UK and Ireland by all care service providers. in numerous locations. There are thousands of carers checking everything from CQC Compliance and Safety, to Medication Audits, Training and Maintenance as well as service users quality and wellbeing and now Corona Virus. Steve Smith regional manager at Care Homes UK says “We were able to implement the system ourselves and

are now benefitting from management having all the information we need at our fingertips in real time wherever we are”. The system allows care providers to audit or check just about everything and manage areas requiring actions (or non-compliances) in it’s Web Portal. Encrypted date and time stamped evidence including photos is seamlessly auto attached and recorded in the system. Natalie Lawrence at Yorkare Homes says “It’s a paperless system that runs alongside our existing client records system helping to make our whole operation paperless.” CAREAudits ensures management and staff are aware at all times of what needs checking, that it’s been checked, actions required by whom, by when including full resolution management. Each CAREAudit also scores the answers so management can monitor improvement. Steven Tegart from Talbot Group likes reporting and says “I wish all my other systems were as easy to extract data for management reports as the CAREAudits’ Excel links.” The system has over 120 example audits to select from. CAREAudits apps are extremely easy to use and care providers can easily add or edit their own audits in minutes ensuring simple management of ever-changing requirements. App auditors can use CAREAudits with virtually no training, it’s that simple. The Care Auditor’s Hands Free Operation guides the user through each audit, each question and answer with it’s own help text, standard answers and standard actions required, ensuring that the least skilled operative becomes the care provider’s expert. Users can download the app for a free trial and be up and running with the full system in minutes. CAREAudits apps are a part of the Care Plus Innovation Group, Priory Park, Hull, HU4 7DY Info:- visit email or call Ken Newlove operations director on 01482 238887

Fill 100% of Your Staffing Needs with Care Hires Care Hires was founded to help Care Providers solve their staffing problems by making it easier to work with Staffing Agencies. Now the Care Hires platform is in use all over the UK, helping Care Providers to reach: • Complete control over agency spend • 100% Shift fulfilment • 100% Staff compliance • Reduced administration costs • And much more… The Care Hires system is a neutral vendor platform where we source and manage agencies on your behalf to make sure whenever you need, you can find fully qualified professionals with just a few clicks. No more calling multiple agencies, sending out a flurry of emails, and having to coordinate the responses. Just post your vacancy, and your bespoke selection of agencies put forward pre-vetted workers meeting your requirements The hours saved on hiring are matched by significant reductions in admin time, including: • Consolidated invoices - instead of paying dozens of agency invoices covering each service or shift, make one payment to Care Hires. • More accessible communications - by providing agency staff with our free mobile app, they can easily access

their work rota and be updated in real-time about changes to their hours. • Easier timesheet management - using the Care Hires app, staff can clock in and out and send their timesheets for approval without the delays and bureaucracy of paper-based solutions. • Better cash flow for agencies - because of the easier and faster timesheet management, hours worked can be processed and billed to the client more quickly, helping your cash flow. We make finding staff and running your business more straightforward, but what else? Although we focus on delivering quality rather than solely looking for direct savings, because we help streamline the rates your agencies charge and save your office team so much time, we can still deliver huge returns: • An average of over £8,000 saved per site on administration • Over £1.2 million saved so far on agency spend For just one customer, we identified over £500,000 of annual agency savings, on top of efficiency improvements. Can you afford to miss out on this amount of money? Contact Care Hires for a free demo, and in as little as 12 weeks from contract, you could eliminate all the headaches that come from being under-staffed. Visit or see the advert on the facing page.


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.

COSTS Costs and environment 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 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 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.

EVIDENCE Demonstrate quality of care delivery

While the delivery of person-centred care is paramount, care providers must also provide evidence of the care they deliver, and regulatory bodies 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 Call 0800 009 2121


PROFESSIONAL, TRAINING & RECRUITMENT New Digital Right to Work Checks for British and Irish Workers Employers will from 1 October 2022, need to adopt new digital right to work checks for British and Irish nationals or revert to cumbersome manual in-person checks. It will, says Gavin Webster at Vialto Partners (, no longer be possible for employers to rely on virtual right to work checks introduced by the Home Office under its Covid-19 concessions, for these individuals. The likelihood of inadvertently employing an undocumented worker is very low, but the impact could be high. If procedures are not properly followed, employers have no statutory excuse against employing an illegal worker and could face substantial fines and other sanctions. The Home Office’s right to work guidance was altered in April 2022 to allow digital identification verification for pre-employment checks. Back then, it felt slightly academic as the government had not certified any providers to conduct those checks. Whilst digital certification isn’t mandatory, and indeed it is still possible to conduct physical in-person checks - the move is designed to give the Home Office and employers the reassurance that checks are well-managed. Right to work checks reduce the risk of employing a person who does not have the right to work in the UK, for instance where an earlier work visa has expired. They are conducted in good time before or on the first day of employment and repeated when work permission is due to expire, for example after three years of a Skilled Worker visa. When conducted properly, and in line with the Home Office’s prescribed checks, they also give employers a statutory excuse against a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker, in the event they are found to be employing someone illegal. Without them an employer can be fined, even if they had no chance of spotting that, for instance, a UK passport was a fake. While the risk of employing an illegal worker may be no higher for the care sector than others, the risk of detection probably is even where an employer had no chance of spotting a fake document. The care sector has always been of interest to the Home Office, more so than other health providers and some other sectors. Historically, these checks have typically been undertaken manually and in person – imagine being sat with HR

on day one of employment, handing over a passport so they can check your face against the photo and then take a dated and certified copy. The global pandemic and resulting changing working patterns have seen right to work checks change. Manual checks are no longer available for people with biometric residence permits, biometric residence cards, or an evisa, for example, those with pre-settled status or a frontier worker permit That means the vast majority of people who are neither British or Irish passport holders need to be checked against the Home Office online service, normally using a share code provided by the prospective employee. For UK and Irish nationals, employers are currently still relying on the temporary ‘COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks’ which allow checks to be conducted via video call as opposed to in-person, with original documents. That will change from 1st October 2022, however, when it will no longer be possible to rely on this concession. and the Home Office wishes employers to conduct these checks via an authorised Identification Service Provider with accredited Identification Documentation Verification Technology.

AI TECHNOLOGY Since April, several government-certified technology providers have emerged, including our own right to work app. Many of these platforms use AI technology to scan and read documents together with ‘selfie’ digital photographs of new employees and will automatically record the name and date of birth of the individual, pictures and the date of the check. Checks can easily be conducted from anywhere in the country. Whilst the Government would encourage employers to use an authorised Identification Service Provider with accredited Identification Documentation Verification Technology, it is not essential. Manual, in-person checks can continue, but for large employers working across multiple locations that will prove cumbersome and time consuming. The use of this technology does require the human touch. Employers must satisfy themselves that a compliant check was conducted, that the person in the selfie is not an imposter, and if names differ, they must establish why, for example, a recent marriage. Checks must be retained for the length of employment plus two years.

The Importance of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in the Care Sector Upskilling and staying on top of best practice and techniques is essential in the Care sector as it directly impacts on safety and standards. When you invest in CPD, you’re ensuring care workers have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to carry out their role safely and provide the best possible care. Having gained qualifications and landed a job in the care industry should be the start of the learning journey, rather than the end of it. There is a strong link between CPD and staff retention and motivation. CPD is mentioned in the NHS Long Term Plan as a strategy to motivate staff to stay in role and equip them with the skills to advance their professional practice. Skills for Care found that 94% of employers with a low staff turnover cited ‘investing in learning and development’ as one of the main activities contributing to workforce retention. Online learning is now the expectation for learning and development at work,

and an affordable and accessible alternative to in-person training. When you’re looking for online resources, it’s advisable to seek out a reputable provider with endorsements from leading organisations in the sector. Laser Learning is a Skills for Care endorsed provider of online CPD short courses and The Care Certificate course. Our course materials are written by industry experts (including care home managers) and cover the knowledge needed for every standard in the Care Certificate and a wide range of CPD topics, such as Infection control and prevention, Dementia and communication, and Supporting adults with learning disabilities. 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 and our CPD short courses. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on or +44 (0)1753 584 112.


PROFESSIONAL, TRAINING & RECRUITMENT Key Employment Considerations For Care Home Providers By Lee Ashwood, Employment Director at Freeths LLP ( With over a decade’s experience of providing employment law advice to care home providers, Lee Ashwood of Freeths sets out his five common employment law pitfalls.

1. NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE Care homes are often inadvertently paying their staff less than the National Minimum Wage and so leaving themselves at risk of claims for compensation by their staff and of being fined. Whilst the principle of the National Minimum Wage is a simple one – that someone who works for one hour is not paid less than a set amount for that hour’s work – the calculation for determining whether or not someone is paid the National Minimum Wage is complex. The issue is compounded as care homes commonly provide their junior staff with an hourly rate of pay equal to or only a little above the National Minimum Wage. The calculation requires an understanding of precisely what constitutes time spent working. This can be far more than simply the time someone is rostered on shift and may include, for example, time spent handing over before or after a shift, working while on a sleep-in, or while receiving training. An understanding of what payments a member of staff is required to make that will reduce their pay when calculating whether or not they are paid the National Minimum Wage is also required. Here, payments by staff for their uniforms or training fees, for example, need to be considered.

2. WHISTLE-BLOWERS All care home providers work hard to encourage their staff to make it known when they have identified health and safety issues, have suspicions of neglect or abuse or have any other concerns about the provision of care at their care home. Having made their concerns known and so ‘blown-the-whistle’, it is widely known that the law states that the staff member may not be subjected to any detrimental treatment as a result of them ‘blowing the whistle’. However, commonly care home providers leave themselves at risk of such a claim as they fail to ensure that the whistle-blower’s colleagues who may well have taken umbrage do not stop treating their colleague fairly and

People – Our Greatest Asset! By Amanda Bewert OT (Australia) | Managing Director, Meaningful Care Matters I hear all too often about the shortage of skilled staff working within the health and social care sector. All too often experienced and well thought of team members burnout and leave the service or care sector completely. This is felt more keenly as it is more than just needing to replace a staff member, but it is the loss of that person’s skills, abilities, knowledge of the organisation, systems and processes, and knowledge about the individual needs of the people who are being supported and cared for. When organizations and businesses consider their assists, usually they list their tangible or fixed assets such as buildings and equipment, but it is the human assets (people) that are the most important part of any

with respect.

3. FOREIGN LANGUAGES As care home workforces become more and more diverse, the likelihood of a language other than English being spoken in a care home increases. Care home providers want the best for their residents in terms of comfort and safety, of course. Sometimes, this leads to an enforced requirement by a provider that English is spoken at all times by their care home staff or, at least, in certain circumstances. However, the law against discrimination is wide-ranging and bans on speaking a language other than English in the workplace can often fall foul of it.

4. POOR PERFORMERS With care homes struggling to recruit and retain staff and care home managers already busy, it is often easier to overlook a poorly performing member of staff than it is to deal with them. Setting aside the potential risk to the health and safety of residents, failing to deal with a poor performer can greatly affect the morale of their colleagues with them possibly leaving, as well leading to allegations of there being a difference in treatment and so discrimination. However, as employment law does not prevent poor performance being dealt with swiftly and efficiently, care home providers have no reason not to act, having first taken advice.

5. PART-TIME EMPLOYEES Time and again, it is overlooked by care home providers that the law states that part-time employees must not be treated less favourably than their full-time colleagues because they are part-time. This issue comes to light when, for example, care home providers reward their full-time employees with additional time off, the right to refuse overtime or even the opportunity to choose their shifts. In doing so, care home providers put themselves at risk of a successful claim for compensation from a disgruntled part-time member of staff.

GET IN TOUCH FOR ADVICE As a specialist lawyer for the Care sector, Lee supports individuals as well as businesses of all sizes including many small, medium or well-known organisations. He is an experienced litigator and provides pragmatic advice based on the objectives of his clients. organisation, particularly when considering the health and social care sector.

WHY ARE PEOPLE THE GREATEST ASSET OF ANY SERVICE OR ORGANISATION? They are the face of the service. Ultimately, people within your team are responsible the for the provision of care and services to the people you support. They are integral to meeting not only regulatory compliance requirements but are also the face of your service and organisation. Engagement = Productivity. The more engaged team members are, the more productive they are too. People who are satisfied, challenged and motivated are far more likely to be engaged and committed, helping the service and organisation to achieve their purpose and objectives. Skills and knowledge. While all team members must possess specific competencies and skills related to their role, some skills and knowledge are irreplaceable or take many years to develop. This includes knowledge of specific people being cared for and understanding of organisations’ cultures, systems, and work procedures. The message of being valued and respected doesn’t come from memos sent to staff. They watch to see if the leadership walks the talk. Lip service can only go so far; management can’t just say they value their workers. They must show it in real terms. If we understand that people are our greatest asset, then we must ensure that we invest in their health and well-being too. In turn, people who feel valued and appreciated will go the extra mile for the people we care and support, and the organisation. See the advert on this page for further information.


PROFESSIONAL, TRAINING & RECRUITMENT Aiming for ‘Outstanding’; A Guide to CQC Inspections Care Quality Commission Inspections can be daunting but are a necessary process for everyone who works within the acer sector. Here Emma Warren, Head of Quality at Busy Bees Education and Training (, talks through the key areas to understand and explains the steps you can take to ensure your setting achieves a top rating. If you hold a position within a care setting, you’ll probably have heard of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In a nutshell, they are the regulatory body for all care provisions offering regulated activities across the health and social care suite in England whether they are provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies, or voluntary organisations. The work the CQC carries out is vital in ensuring settings adhere to its quality standards and that every person receiving health and social care services are provided with safe, effective, compassionate care. They do this by monitoring services across the country and carrying out at least one inspection every two years. They will publish their findings in a report for each setting that includes a performance rating and areas to improve, helping people to make informed choices about their care or the care of their loved ones.

THE INSPECTION – WHAT TO EXPECT THE CQC carries out two types of inspections, a ‘Focused Inspection’ and a ‘Comprehensive inspection’. A focused inspection is a smaller scale version of a comprehensive inspection and will usually be carried out if they have any concerns about a setting or if a settings circumstances have changed. A comprehensive inspection can last up to a day and will look to answer five key questions; 1. Are they safe? 2. Are they effective? 3. Are they caring? 4. Are they responsive to people’s needs? 5. Are they well-led? Each of our five key questions is broken down into a further set of questions, called 'key lines of enquiry', which helps to ensure inspections are consistent and focus on the areas that matter most. Inspections usually last a day and conclude with feedback from the

inspector in a ‘feedback meeting’, which will cover a summary of findings, any immediate actions and when you can inspect the report to be published. The rating system for the CQC is fairly straightforward: outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate.

Documents you may want to keep copies of in your evidence file include your policies and procedures, records of any safeguarding incidents, staff information and DBS records, health and safety assessments, data protection forms, equipment maintenance records and training plans and evidence of staff training.



Hopefully the inspection will go well, with clear, helpful actions for improvement. However, more action is needed across the sector to improve standards, with only 3.5% of care homes receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating. If you strive for better outcomes, there are some steps you can take to better prepare yourself and your team for inspections and, as a result, achieve a higher rating.

PLANNING AND PREPARATION Make sure you are familiar with the CQC, their fundamental standards, the five key questions and the inspection process. The CQC website has lots of information that will explain all you need to know, including guidance on their fundamental standards and how to get the most out of inspection. It also publishes other care settings inspection reports. It may help to read through some Outstanding inspection reports to observe best practice and hopefully glean some useful information. Of the five key questions asked by the CQC, only two need to be outstanding for you to achieve an overall outstanding rating. Of course, you will want to do as best as you possibly can in all five areas, however there are probably two areas you can identify as being your strongest and focus your efforts on developing. There are also training courses you can attend that will offer more indepth advice and guidance on how you can strive for that elusive ‘Outstanding’ rating.

EVIDENCE FILE The CQC will want to see evidence to back up any claims that you are meeting their fundamental standards. It’s helpful to have an evidence file on hand that you regularly update as you go along. That way, you always have evidence to present on demand.

Recruit either an outside agency or someone experienced in-house to carry out mock-tests throughout the year. This will help give your team confidence when it comes to the real thing and will help you to identify any areas that need improvement. Gather feedback Regular feedback from the people receiving your service is a useful way of telling the CQC about the quality of your care. Embed a way of obtaining feedback into your practice, such as feedback forms in reception areas and email links to surveys (just be mindful of data protection and ensure you have the correct permissions). The feedback may not always be positive, but you can use this to demonstrate you have taken other peoples views on board and acted on it, something the CQC will view positively.

TRAINING The CQC will be looking to ensure all members of staff have the mandatory training certificates, including health and safety and care certificates. They will also expect any Outstanding care provider to have a training plan that covers entry level all the way through to higher level, including specialist areas, to support their knowledge and progression. They also consider training to help boost morale and help with important issues such as recruitment and retention. Make sure that when using an external training provider like Busy Bees Education and Training, they are approved by awarding organisations such as Skills first or NCFE. Have a chat to your training provider about what training structures they can help you to put into place and make sure they offer training that will support staff throughout their learning journey. A CQC inspection can be a stressful experience for you and your team, but if you have the right preparation and knowledge to hand, you can use the opportunity to shout about the great care you deliver within your setting.

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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


PROFESSIONAL, TRAINING & RECRUITMENT 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

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