The Carer #70 January/February 2024

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Issue 70

Social Care “Has Waited Long Enough For Change”

Campaigners are calling on the main political parties to ‘be brave’ and include reform of social care alongside NHS changes in their General Election manifestos, saying the parties must promise bold and urgent action and deliver on that pledge, unlike previous administrations. The call comes amidst an abundance of new information painting a bleak picture of the state of social care. January 16 saw the release of a report highlighting the stark challenges facing the sector, with “unsustainable financial and workforce pressures” forcing adult social care providers to turn down new admissions and close services, as

government grants are not reaching the people who need them most. The 2023 Sector Pulse Check report, commissioned by learning disability charity Hft and Care England, paints a dire picture, revealing that government grants are not reaching the people who need them most. The report, based on a large-scale survey of adult social care providers, finds that despite a £7.5bn funding boost in the 2022 Autumn Statement, there has been little progress in the key challenges facing the sector, and is arguably more perilous than ever.



VIEWPOINT Welcome to our first issue of 2024, and we here at THE CARER would take this opportunity to wish you all a very (belated) happy New Year ! We would also like to take the opportunity to thank the many (and we do mean many) carehomes around the country who shared their festive celebrations with us as part of our Christmas competition! Regular readers will be aware we do throughout the year put up a “no-frills” competition, a small gesture on our part and invite carehomes to Editor share various celebrations, such as Christmas, Easter, Afternoon Tea Week with a prize we put up the lucky winner! A big congratulations to Queens Court care home Buckhurst Hill Essex our winner, but we had such a wonderful response we added on four small runner-up prizes so once again very well done to you all. (See page 9). I would also draw your attention to a thought led article on page 6, and thank you to Anna Fee Senior Associate at RWK Goodman law firm who put this piece together for us at very short notice. It follows on the back of an article which appeared in mainstream news regarding the abuse of a care resident and the subsequent criminal prosecution. It goes without saying that any abuse must be punished, there is no excuse for such behaviour. However, there is always a frenzy around the stories, which are extremely rare, and uplifting heartwarming stories of dedication and commitment are always ignored. Which made our festive competition that bit more special! We had such a response that our design team burned the midnight oil to create a six page supplement which is still available to view on our digital issue (, so please do take a look. If you sent something into us you are sure to be on there! Our front page makes rather stark reading. The recently released Sector Pulse Check Report by Care England and HfT paints a blunt picture of the immense pressures faced by care operators. The findings underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reforms to ensure the sustainability of adult social care in the face of mounting challenges. Workforce cost pressures have reached a critical juncture, with a staggering 79% of care operators expressing that local authority fees fail to cover the increased costs associated with the National Living Wage. The burden is further exacerbated by soaring energy costs, which have surged by as much as 72% across adult social care and a staggering 350% for some care providers, quite unsustainable! Our lead story also highlights comments from the CEO of a leading care provider who expresses dismay at the lack of mainstream party support. The silence is deafening, and this is something we hope to embellish on in the coming months as we lead up to a general election. The report does offer a glimmer of hope, through its insightful recommendations to alleviate workforce and financial pressures. Reforming VAT, introducing national commissioning standards, and establishing a cohesive national approach to adult social care representation on integrated care boards are crucial steps that can hopefully pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient sector. One more thing! We are exhibiting at UK Care Week at Birmingham’s NEC March 20-21 (see page 25). We are on Stand F16, so please do pay us a visit. We are always interested in your feedback! I can always be contacted at

Peter Adams

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Social Care “Has Waited Long Enough For Change” (CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) The report stated: • the majority (71%) of care providers surveyed for this year’s report were in deficit or experienced a decrease in their surplus in 2023. • the Government’s ‘record investment’ is simply not reaching providers, with 84% stating that financial initiatives from government – such as the Market Sustainability and Improvement Fund and International Recruitment Fund – made no difference to their financial sustainability. • the option to recruit staff internationally simply doesn’t apply and recruiting via this route may become increasingly difficult in light of changes to immigration rules announced in December 2023. • the staff vacancy rates across adult social care remain sky-high. • almost a fifth of providers offered care to fewer individuals, while two in five providers considered taking steps to close.

STAFFING & ENERGY COSTS Energy cost increases of up to 350% and unfunded rises in the National Living Wage left 40% of adult social care providers in deficit in 2023. This is particularly concerning when 84% of care providers said that recent funding initiatives from Government – such as the Market Sustainability and Improvement Fund and International Recruitment Fund – made no difference to the financial sustainability of their organisation over the past year. The inevitable result has been a reduced capacity to deliver care across providers, as: • 43% closed services or handed back contracts • 18% offered care to fewer people • 39% considered exiting the market altogether These financial challenges are compounded the report adds, in the report by a deep-rooted and systematic crisis in the workforce. Despite a rise in international recruitment, staffing shortages remain widespread. Nearly half (44%) of organisations had to turn down admissions due to a lack of staff. The findings, the report went on to say are a clear indication that the current approach to adult social care funding simply isn’t working. The recent tightening of immigration rules for overseas care staff and a growing concern about the severe state of local government finances only serve to add to the distress surrounding the future of the adult social care sector. Hft and Care England call on the government to implement immediate measures to support the care sector – including improving commissioning practice, revising VAT arrangements and removing barriers to ethical international recruitment.

SUSTAINED CRISIS “It is difficult to offer words of hope and motivation when the past 12 months have seen the adult social care sector engulfed in a sustained state of crisis,” says Steve Veevers, Chief Executive of Hft. “Despite moving away from the immediate challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been little respite from the fundamental financial and workforce pressures that have faced our sector for many

years. The fact that 43% of providers told us they closed a part of their organisation or handed back contracts last year is testament to this. “It is extremely disappointing that the over-arching recommendations from last year’s Sector Pulse Check report haven’t been actioned and, despite additional investment from Government, we continue to operate amid significant challenges. “The upcoming General Election provides the new Government with a perfect opportunity to address what is a key challenge for today’s society but one which nobody seems to be taking seriously enough. “Our report provides several realistic, practical and impactful suggestions – including reforming VAT, revisiting the new visa laws for international workers and establishment of national commissioning standards – which we shouldn’t delay in implementing if we want to see real change from the next Government.”

SECTOR “HAS WAITED LONG ENOUGH” As the report was released social care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) hit out at the lack of mainstream party support saying that the sector has waited long enough for change. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We expect that the main political parties will be working on their manifestos, and we appeal to them to include reform of social care – for the sake of those people who cannot get care and the thousands more who are joining them each day. “Decades of under-funding, neglect and broken promises have left social care on its knees, with care and nursing homes and homecare providers closing down, leaving more and more people without care. We need bold action, now.” The latest figures from the sector’s regulatory body, the Care Quality Commission reveal that at the end of 2023 there were 518 fewer care homes in England than at the same time the previous year – a loss of 14,169 beds. “Now rising costs, including the cost of implementing a bigger than expected increase in the National Living Wage, will heap further pressure on providers,” Mr Padgham added. “We appreciate that commissioners, especially local authorities, are facing financial difficulties, but they will have to dig deeper this year and pay a fair price for the care they commission, otherwise more and more providers will leave the sector and there will be even less care to go around."

WORTHLESS PROMISES The ICG said it is dismayed at a lack of mention of social care by the main parties, despite pledges to improve NHS healthcare. In its latest mission document, ‘Let’s Get Britain’s Future Back’, the Labour party doesn’t mention social care despite having three full pages on NHS reform. At the party conferences last autumn, only the Liberal Democrats addressed social care, promising free social care and a real living wage for care workers. Mr Padgham said: “Promises of reform for NHS healthcare are worthless unless they are matched by improvements to the social care sector. The two go hand in hand. “For example, we are seeing now that thousands of people are stuck

in hospital beds, contributing to increased NHS waiting lists and delayed operations, because there is a lack of social care to look after them when they are discharged. “Investing in social care will ease that pressure on the NHS. In turn, a penny spent on social care will be a penny saved for the NHS.” The ICG wants to see fresh thinking on social care reform, the creation of a National Care Service and better funding into the sector so that social care workers can be properly paid.

152,000 VACANCIES “We need to create a new social care narrative – one that promotes the profession as a rewarding, attractive and properly paid career, an attractive place to work and build a career,” Mr Padgham added. “Reforming social care is an opportunity to go down in history as the government that created a new era of care for older and vulnerable adults – meeting the needs of those 2.5m people over 50 who currently can’t get care; boosting the 1.6m people who work in the sector and adding to the £55.7bn contribution the sector makes to the economy – in the process. “It is likely to take two terms of government before we can return social care to an even keel, so we need work to begin straight away. The number of people aged over 65 will rise from 10.5m to 13.8m by 2035 and we will need an extra 480,000 people in the social care workforce to provide care to meet extra demand. We have to start planning for that and we have to start doing so now.”

SYSTEM NEEDS “RETHINK” Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “The narrative that social care is under pressure is not a new one. What’s disappointing is that we find ourselves in a worsening crisis amid the Government’s narrative of ‘record investment’ into the sector. “While the Government did make substantial commitments in the 2022 Autumn Budget, the outcomes have not matched the ambition. The new money into the sector has not led to tangible change or any significant progress towards ‘fixing adult social care’. “It’s clear that the way our system is funded needs a rethink. For years, adult social care providers have absorbed increased costs and inflationary pressures without corresponding funding. When money is made available it simply isn’t cutting through. “Recent changes to immigration rules and an insufficient Local Government Finance Settlement this year further suggest a Government that is heading in the wrong direction. The sector’s needs are now on red alert. “Our long-term vision remains one of a sustainable sector that is financially viable and an attractive destination for staff. While this may seem a distant reality, there are a range of policies at the Government’s disposal that would help turn the tide and put us on the path towards a sustainable future. As we count down to a general election, the Government must now make good on their promise to fix our sector. The recommendations outlined in this report represent pragmatic first steps and I urge the Government to lose no time in implementing them.”


Weathering The Storm: How Can Care Operators Cope With Current Challenges? By Jonathan Dunn, Partner in the Restructuring Advisory team at FRP Advisory ( and a qualified Accountant and Insolvency Practitioner.

need care. Challenges in the workforce have also worsened in the last year, exacerbated by prolonged industrial action. There is no doubt that operators are facing a substantial challenge – so what should managers be aware of, and how can they shore up operations in the coming months?

Providers and customers may be eligible for discounted wholesale gas and electricity prices under the Energy Bills Discount Scheme, which runs until April 2024. However, despite wholesale gas prices beginning to fall, the underlying issue of elevated bills is likely to linger for some time, especially following the recent announcement that the energy price cap will increase in January. We would advise operators to continue to take regular meter readings to ensure that they aren’t relying on estimated bills and are only paying for what they use. Those who are locked into electricity and gas contracts should also check their contract end dates and whether they need to send a termination notice to switch suppliers. If your contract is set to end soon, you can start shopping around for the best price available. Armed with the indicative pricing, this information can help inform cash flow forecasting. We always recommend a 13-week cash flow forecast, which will also take in weekly and monthly receipts and payments, and quarterly payments like VAT, rent and interest charges, to identify peaks and troughs through the period. Should any shortfalls be identified, management teams will need to carefully review their options and put in place robust contingency plans. Increases in local authority fees don’t reflect the increase in operational costs, so homes with private residents will be looking to raise their fees to compensate. But ultimately firms must also think long term, with a focus on making facilities and operations as energy efficient as possible.



As is the case in many sectors, care operators are acutely experiencing the impact of soaring energy prices. Running a home can be particularly energy intensive, especially throughout the colder months.

The sector is also facing a growing skills crisis. Low wages in the sector have pushed many to find better paid, more flexible jobs elsewhere, and more than a quarter of care workers are aged 55 or over and nearing

Much ink has been spilled chronicling the challenges facing the UK’s care sector. Recently, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released its annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England, with the headline finding being that there is currently a two-tier system at play. As a result, those who can afford to pay for treatment are able access it easily and freely, while those who cannot face longer wait times and reduced quality of care. This has been underpinned by the inability of local authorities to keep pace with rising costs and the increasing amount of people who

retirement themselves. This was an issue even before the pandemic, but there is no doubt that Covid caused many in the industry to re-evaluate their careers. As a result, many homes can’t take new admissions because of low staffing levels, or have had to turn to expensive agency staff, which is only increasing financial pressures. And although our advice would usually include considering the potential to prioritise staff retention through financial incentives, such as bonuses paid to an employee to stay with the company for a specific amount of time, we appreciate that for many this is not a feasible option. As a result, it is likely that we may see an uptick in M&A activity in the sector, as firms look to consolidate their operations and benefit from pooling resources. This will especially be the case for independent care homes, which can greatly benefit from utilising the economies of scale bought by merging with a more established operator. Overseas recruitment will also likely form part of the solution, and recent changes to Migration Advisory Committee rules that allow care firms to recruit from overseas are welcome. However, it’s worth noting that the government’s recent decision to ban care workers moving to the UK using the Care Worker Visa from bringing dependants will likely impact the sector’s labour market further. It’s been a turbulent few years for the care sector, and many operators will be pleased by indicators that the cost of living crisis is beginning to ease. Despite this, it’s likely that the difficulties being experienced in the sector will persist in the coming months. Being proactive in forming a plan and building resilience is a sure-fire way for operators to better navigate the market conditions.

Care Group Recognises Workforce’s Outstanding Care A Surrey care group has hosted its annual ‘Superhero Awards’ for staff members, highlighting the outstanding work that its care staff do throughout the year. CHD Living, a family-owned and operated group of care homes, rehabilitation, and home care services in Surrey and South London, has hosted its very own internal awards ceremony – where care workers who have gone above and beyond were recognised and rewarded for their efforts. At the heart of this year’s event was choreographer and television personality, Arlene Phillips, who joined forces with drag queen, Ms. Caera Lott, to co-host and present the awards. Despite its 800-strong workforce, nearly 900 nominations were received by the Superhero Awards judges, giving them the hard job of whittling the entries down into the winners of just 18 awards. One of the staff members recognised was Simmy George, winner of ‘Health Care Assistant of the Year’, who was nominated by colleagues as an exemplar of kindness and responsibility. She was described as having “extraordinary qualities” that extend far beyond conventional caregiving, with a remarkable ability to listen attentively coupled with an incredible team spirit that has set a benchmark within the organisation. Her reliability, patience, and commitment have made her the go-to person in delicate situations. When

residents face challenges in accepting personal care, Simmmy’s calm and compassionate approach has been instrumental in easing their resistance. Similarly, Martine Garden, winner of the ‘Care at Home Worker of the Year’, was recognised for her work beyond her primary duties, taking on the role of mentor and generously sharing her wealth of experience and knowledge with new staff. Her guidance and support were named as “invaluable”, shaping the development of new team members and ensuring a high standard of care delivery. Arlene Phillips, co-host of the awards, said: “I’ve really loved being at the awards tonight. We’re in a beautiful hotel having a fantastic dinner, but these awards are celebrating people working in the care sector at every single level. It’s just so important. Care is all about what can be given to people who need the help of others, and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it.” Discussing the Superhero Awards, Liakat Hasham, founder of CHD Living, said: “At our awards ceremony, we honour our everyday superheroes – the heart and soul of our organisation. Their dedication, compassion, and resilience have shaped the lives of those in our care. This awards ceremony celebrates the selfless actions that define our incredible team.”

Nutrition and Hydration Week Tea parties, Webinars and Focus Days see NH Week’s legacy grow to a year round event The latest Nutrition and Hydration Week will commence on Monday 11th March, and run through to Sunday 17th March. Planning has taken place around the country in NHS Trusts and care homes with a view to holding events to promote their good practices and key messages on food and drink for those they care for. There are many others around the world also looking to take part especially around the Wednesday, 13th, when Afternoon Tea is the focus. The week is also continuing focus on the following aims: • Promoting the 10 Key Characteristics for Good Nutritional Care • Promoting Mealtimes Matter and Protected mealtimes • Encouraging the introduction of Nutrition Advocates /Champions to each health and Social Care Setting • The introduction of minimum standards for good nutrition in all settings • Sharing Good nutrition and hydration practice • Promoting Continued Education and Professional Development especially in the health and social care sector for catering staff. • Improve staff awareness of their own hydration and nutritional requirements. The three founders of the week - Caroline Lecko, Andy Jones and Derek Johnson provide their thoughts below. Caroline Lecko commented “It is amazing what the supporters of the week continue to do to showcase

their support through nutrition and hydration for those they care for every year. It is great to see people highlighting their innovations so they can share, reinforce and grow the fantastic care they provide through food and drink.” Andy Jones added “The Wednesday is a global focus through hat most British of institutions an Afternoon Tea, this appears to grab our colleagues overseas to join us in sharing and promoting good nutrition and hydration in health and social care around the globe, whilst having a bit of fun and providing a novel experience for the people they care for. I reiterate the week is the focal point of the year for many in highlighting their services.” Derek Johnson stated “The week grows and is a success as the Speech and Language Therapists, Dieticians, Care Home Staff, Public Health Food Leads, Workplace Well Being Leads and Health and Social Care Catering Staff the world over share their ideas and inspire others to grow. We know from the turn of the year onwards, plans are being created as our inbox fills with people asking for information about the ‘week’ plus if they are a novice what they need to do. We always say check the resources page on the website loads of tried and trusted activities there and then build in your own key messages and enjoy the week.” The Week now sees other promotions taking place during the year with a social media based Thirsty Thursday in May and June providing tips on good hydration and the focus switches to Mealtimes Matter in October with a tip a day on how to embedded these in health and social care. Further details of the legacy that Nutrition and Hydration Week is building across health and social care can be found at


Dementia is “The UK’s Biggest Killer” New analysis from Alzheimer’s Research UK, has confirmed that dementia continues to be the UK’s leading cause of death, accounting for more than one in ten of all deaths across the country. In total, dementia claimed more than 74,000 lives. Alzheimer’s Research pulled together the latest data from the three agencies that track official causes of death across the country – the Office for National Statistics (which covers England and Wales), the National Records of Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency – to uncover the full scale of dementia’s impact across the UK. Dementia affects women more than men, it has been the leading cause of death in women in the UK since 2011, with women continuing to be at greater risk last year, with 48,000 dying from the condition compared with over 26,000 men. Among the devolved nations, Northern Ireland had the highest dementia death rate at 11.8%, compared with 11.4% in England and Wales, and 10% in Scotland. The research also reveals that over the past two decades, deaths

from many major common conditions, including heart disease, lung cancer and cerebrovascular disease (which includes strokes and aneurysms) have fallen. At the same time, deaths from dementia have risen. Alzheimer's Research UK says that recent research breakthroughs in treatment and diagnosis are finally bringing hope that one day a cure can be found. But sustaining this momentum needs greater ambition from the current and future governments to reach a future free from dementia. The charity has set out a series of recommendations in its report, Tipping Point: The Future of Dementia, which outlines the actions needed to transform the way dementia is prevented, diagnosed, and treated, and to ultimately find a cure. Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK said, ‘This new data paints a stark picture of the scale and impact of dementia across the UK, and unfortunately, it’s not surprising. We fear these figures are likely an underestimate because many people with dementia don’t even receive a formal diagnosis. Data on who gets diagnosed and where is frustratingly incomplete,

New Guidance On Vitamin D Supplements For Residents In Adult Care Homes The Care Inspectorate (Scotland) has this month published new guidance on offering vitamin D nutritional supplements to eligible residents in adult care homes. Vitamin D is important for keeping bones and muscles healthy. Current advice is that groups at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, including people living in care homes, are advised to take a daily supplement all year round. This advice is based on recommendations made by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) in 2016. The guidance was developed by a Scottish Government Short Life Working Group (SLWG) comprising care homes and those that support care homes. The SLWG recommended that care home staff discuss vitamin D supplements with residents and/or their representatives and that any decisions should be considered on an individual basis, taking into account the resident’s

personal choice, needs and circumstances. The guidance materials, which were successfully piloted in some care homes, aim to support care home staff with these conversations. The guidance and a supporting letter for care homes can be found on The Hub. Workshops on the new guidance have been arranged by the Scottish Government for care homes and professionals who support care homes, with the next taking place on Tuesday 23 January 2024, from 11:00-12.30, and will provide information on vitamin D supplements, the findings from the pilot in Ayrshire and Arran, how to use the guidance to support conversations around vitamin D and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. The content of both workshops will be the same, so there is no need to attend both. Join the workshops from The Hub.

and this makes dementia a huge blind spot for healthcare decisionmakers and politicians.’ Evans added, ‘Dementia is the biggest health crisis of our time, casting a dark shadow over the near million people affected by the condition in the UK. Not only does it bring fear, heartbreak, and harm to the ones we love, but it’s also having a huge impact on our economy.’ Currently, dementia costs the UK £25bn annually, with loved ones providing over one billion hours of unpaid care to those living with dementia.


Stories Of Abuse In The Media – How To Protect Yourself Against Every Provider’s Worst Nightmare By Anna Fee, Senior Associate Solicitor, RWK Goodman ( There is often a media frenzy around stories relating to abuse in the care sector and whilst these stories draw attention to an important issue, they also detract away from the ‘good news’ stories that exist. Fortunately, abuse in the care sector is not a widespread issue and the majority of care homes provide good care to residents.

WHAT CAN PROVIDERS DO TO REDUCE THE RISK OF ABUSE? Providers have a legal duty to comply with Regulation 13 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, which relates to safeguarding service users from abuse and improper treatment. It is therefore important to ensure that there are measures in place to help protect against abuse including the following: • An open and transparent culture. • Robust recruitment processes.

• Appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures. • Suitable staff training and supervision. An open and transparent culture is key in any organisation and this includes care homes. Providers and managers should promote a culture where safeguarding matters are openly discussed and where staff feel safe to report any concerns that they have. Providers need to have robust recruitment processes in place to prevent unsuitable staff working with vulnerable service users. This includes undertaking enhanced DBS checks and ensuring that satisfactory reference checks have been completed. Care homes should have an appropriate safeguarding policy in place which sets out why safeguarding is necessary, the signs of abuse and how to report concerns (both internally to managers and externally to the Local Authority Safeguarding Team). The NICE guidance on ‘Safeguarding adults in care homes’ (2021) is a useful document for providers to refer to as it sets out recommendations on policy and training to help providers improve staff awareness of safeguarding matters. Staff training is also key. Once staff commence employment at a service it is important that as part of their induction they receive appropriate safeguarding training. The training should inform staff about how to recognise the different types of abuse and the ways in which they can report concerns to senior staff. Competency in relation to safeguarding matters should also be assessed regularly through supervi-

sion and ongoing training.

THE USE OF CCTV CAMERAS A number of providers now have CCTV in place in the communal areas of their services. The reason for this is because it can help to protect service users from harm. CCTV can also serve as a deterrent to any individuals who might commit abuse and equally protect innocent staff members who are accused of any wrongdoing. If providers do use CCTV in their service, it is important that they have a robust CCTV policy setting out what protective measures are in place. It is also important that staff, service users and their families have been consulted on the use of CCTV and that appropriate consent has been sought from them. The use of CCTV must be proportionate and there should be appropriate mechanisms and safeguards in place. Covert surveillance is not recommended in service users’ bedrooms or other areas where they receive personal care due to the infringement on their Article 8 right to private life.

CONCLUSION Strong leadership and appropriate staff training where staff feel empowered and encouraged to report concerns are crucial tools to help protect against abuse. Where any form of abuse is suspected or discovered, providers must take appropriate action without delay. This includes making referrals to relevant bodies such as the Local Authority, the CQC and the police where appropriate.

George Receives the Arctic Star Medal for Second World War Navy Service on His 104th Birthday Boultham Park House resident George Pearson was presented with the Arctic Star Medal by members of the Royal Naval Association as part of his 104th birthday celebrations on 21 December. The care home organised a party and a cake for George, who has lived at the care home since 2019. George received the Arctic Star Medal along with a bottle of traditional navy ‘Pussers’ rum and a Certificate of Appreciation and Life Membership of the Royal Naval Association. The Arctic Star is a military campaign medal given to those who served on the Arctic Convoys during the Second World War. Receiving the Medal and gifts, George said: “Thank you very much, I didn’t expect this.” When referring to his grand age of 104, George said: “I’m older than sliced

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bread.” George, who was born in 1919, was 20 years old when he was called up to active service in the Second World War. He was in the British Navy between 1940 – 1945 and worked in the Fleet Air Arm maintaining aircrafts. George was stationed at the Lee-on-Solent marine base before travelling to America and Malta. George also served on HMS Illustrious and was present in the Orkney Islands when King George VI visited to meet forces there. George moved to Fosse House care home in 2017 where he celebrated his 100th birthday before his moved to Boultham Park House in 2020. George is extremely proud of his cards from the late Queen Elizabeth II, to congratulate him on his centenary, and his diamond wedding anniversary in 2000.


“Stress and Inadequate Hours” Biggest Care Worker Concerns Research Reveals

A report by trade union Unison reveals that stress, inadequate hours leaving workers unable to pay bills are among the biggest concerns the co-workers according to a new report on how further advances can be made on the minimum wage. Titled Delivering greater security for the low paid: a collection of essays on the future of the minimum wage, the report features contributions from the Resolution Foundation, TUC, the Living Wage Foundation, Citizen’s Advice and Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It also includes a piece from the union’s head of health at UNISON Sara Gorton, focusing on the issue of low weekly pay, which remains a big problem for around one in four workers, including many social carers. A survey of social care workers conducted by UNISON revealed that: • 77% of staff said that they would take more hours if they were available • 73% of staff said that they would you prefer a typical full-time working week of approximately 37 hours if it were available • Contracted hours varied from week to week for three quarters of staff. In comments on their working patterns, the dominant issue was the stress and worry caused by inadequate hours, which leaves workers

unable to pay bills on time. Many respondents referred to the high fixed costs of rent and energy bills leaving them to juggle the frequently inadequate remaining income on food for them and their families. Of course, they want flexibility, like most workers do, and they want a decent work life balance. But they want it within the bounds of the contractual security that many better paid workers take for granted. UNISON therefore maintains that, while it’s important to push for an increase to the minimum hourly rate, unions should also be looking to ensure that people have secure contracts guaranteeing weekly hours too. Labour’s commitment to scrap zero hours contracts and give workers the right to a contract for the hours they do will help significantly. But as UNISON policy officer David Arnold, who edited the collection, points out, it is the party’s plan to introduce sectoral collective bargaining and fair pay agreements, with the first in adult social care, that could have the greatest impact on the low paid:

Wren Birds Of Prey Visits Residents Ashchurch View care home in Ashchurch, near Tewkesbury has had some very unusual visitors, Avalon, Mumbles and Saxon! Residents and their families at Ashchurch View were fascinated to meet and hear all about these magnificent birds. Jenny from Wren Birds of Prey, based in Gloucestershire, who bought along the amazing birds is a font of knowledge and has years of experience in training the birds. Mumbles is an Indian Eagle Owl, with her striking orange eyes is a fantastic 18 years of age, in the wild the average life expectancy would only be about 10 years. Avalon is a falcon distinctive as they wear a hood to keep them calm, once removed Avalon became very vocal and was getting

ready to catch his prey! Finally we met Saxon a buzzard bred in captivity. Sarah Walker, Activities Coordinator arranged the visit and said “Our residents have really enjoyed their unusual visitors today. We often go out on trips in the minibus but having animals come into the home is fun and something all our residents can enjoy especially as some are unable to go out. We are always looking for new activities for the residents and today we have seen the seen the enjoyment and the therapeutic influence animals can have on people. It was amazing how calm the birds were with the residents”

“This should enable trade unions to negotiate with employers and to

address the too few hours problem “In many ways this represents a shift in emphasis to a more joined up approach to addressing low pay. This is a theme that runs through the report. Agreements, living hours, better sick pay provision and an improved benefit system, will all make the minimum wage even more effective in helping the low paid.”


Government Clarifies Migration Dependent Measures The government has moved to clarify is policy surrounding overseas workers and their dependents following concerns expressed within the health sector. Overseas workers who apply for their Health and Social Care visa prior to new immigration rules coming into effect will still be able to bring in dependants, the government has announced. The Home Office said care workers and senior care workers already in the UK will be able to remain with their dependants when extending contracts and changing their care employer and applying for settlement. On Monday 4 December 2023, the Prime Minister and Home Secretary announced the plan to curb immigration abuse and cut net migration, which, alongside the package to restrict student dependants, is expected to mean around 300,000 people who would have been eligible to come to the UK under last year’s rules, will now not be able to. The package contained the following measures: - Stopping overseas care workers from bringing dependants and requiring social care firms in England who wish to sponsor care worker visas to be providing services regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). - Increasing the minimum earnings threshold for Skilled Worker visas from £26,200 to £38,700 and raise the individual occupation ‘going rate’ thresholds in line with the median full-time wage for equivalent jobs in 2023. - Those coming on the Health and Social Care Visa route will be exempt from the £38,700 salary threshold applied to skilled workers, so that we can continue to bring the healthcare workers that our care sector and NHS need. We are also exempting education workers on national payscale occupations. - Reform the Shortage Occupation List into an Immigration Salary List

(ISL), ending the 20% going rate salary discount for shortage occupations – commissioning the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review the composition of the list in line with the increased salary thresholds. -Raise the minimum income requirement for family visas. Our intention remains to bring this in line with the new minimum general salary threshold for Skilled Workers, £38,700. This will ensure people only bring dependants to the UK they can support financially and will apply to all British and settled sponsors under the five-year partner route. - We will raise the minimum income for family visas incrementally, in stages, to give predictability to families. - In Spring 2024 we will raise the threshold to £29,000, that is the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs at the skill level of RQF3 [1], moving to the 40th percentile (currently £34,500) and finally the 50th percentile (currently £38,700 and the level at which the General Skilled Worker threshold is set). - There will no longer be a separate child element to the minimum income requirement, to ensure that British nationals are not treated less favourably than migrants who are required to meet the General Skilled Worker threshold as a flat rate, regardless of any children being sponsored. - The government will also ask the MAC to review the Graduate route. However, the government has announced that until the Immigration Rules are amended, the current thresholds and policies remain in place. Full details of transitional provisions will be set out next year when further policy details will be announced; however, in order to provide further clarity for those currently in the UK on routes that will be subject to change the government has confirmed the following: Carers and senior carers – these changes will be introduced as soon as possible in the new year: - Care workers (SOC code 6145) [2] and senior care workers (SOC

code 6146) already in the route will be able to remain with their dependants, including extending, changing employer (within these SOC codes) and settlement. - Where a care worker or senior care worker is in the route before the Immigration Rules change, but has not yet brought dependants, they will be allowed to bring dependants during their sponsorship (on this visa). - Individuals who are in the UK on any other route, including where that route permits dependants, who switch into the care visa as a care worker or senior care worker after this date, will not be able to stay with (or bring over) dependants. - Care providers who were sponsoring workers in exclusively non-regulated activities (and therefore not required to be registered with the CQC) before the rules change should be able to continue to sponsor these workers, including for extensions to their visa on those terms, but not hire new ones. UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said: “This partial climb down on visa rules will bring some relief to migrant care workers already here with families. “But ministers should have been clear from the start. Overseas care staff could have been spared weeks of worry. “The muddled and chaotic approach points to panic at the heart of government. It remains the case that ministers’ reckless changes to immigration policy spell disaster for social care. “Migrant care workers are now more likely to shun the UK in favour of parts of the world where their skills and families will be more welcome. “That isn’t good for a social care system that’s become reliant upon their support. Ministers should now row back completely and still allow care workers to bring dependants here. “It’s also high time the government did what it’s long promised. Fix the care sector. That means boosting wages significantly above the minimum wage. Only when care jobs are paid.

Care Homes Share Their Christmas Celebrations with The Carer We are delighted to announce that Queens Court Care Home Buckhurst Hill, Essex are the winners of our Christmas activity competition, launched once again to bring some festive cheer following a rather challenging 2023. All we asked was for care homes around the country to show their Christmas celebrations with us. We had many heartwarming and enriching nominations from care homes all over the country spending an enormous amount of time and energy undertaking a variety of activities and fundraising efforts which once again humbled us all here at THE CARER. Congratulations to the team at Queens Court who brought Santa and reindeers, a gospel choir, held a residents and families Christmas party, brought in students from the local community as part of their enrichment program, went out into the local community to give out gifts, and brought in the "Jingle Bell Singers“ from a local community theatre company. A £100 Marks & Spencer voucher is on its way!

So once again we have had some small consolation prizes, I do wish we could reward you all since all the nominations were truly wonderful (but unfortunately our budget doesn’t stretch that far)! So a big shout out to: • Christian Mason and his team at Thornhill House in Barnsley, Yorkshire • Ann Norris and her team at Chandos Lodge in Hagley, West Midlands • Sandra Joyce and her team at Linden House Wellington, Somerset • Lianne Sturmey and her team at the Oaks Birmingham, Midlands A £25 Marks & Spencer voucher is on its way! Once again thank you all for your magnificent nominations! You can see the full feature in our digital issue at


Dynamic Lighting and Its Benefits to Dementia Patients

By Kate Turley, 1851 Royal Commission Industrial Fellow

The continued growth of the ageing population comes with a number of health-related pressures. One of the biggest challenges to address within this age bracket is a diagnosis of dementia. Dementia is a disease with no cure and is prevalent in those over the age of 65. Typically, individuals with dementia will experience symptoms such as cognitive decline, memory loss, sundowning and agitated/restless behaviours. More often than not, their reduced brain functioning impacts their sleep-wake cycles, introducing a disruption to their body clocks and causing a mistiming of sleep with the typical day/night cycle. Over time (and largely due to these symptoms), people living with a diagnosis of dementia may require additional care. Admittedly, this responsibility extends to the care workforce and has become somewhat overwhelming. As part of my Industrial Fellowship with the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, I am investigating how dynamic lighting could be involved in the alleviation of these symptoms of dementia, with the aim of improving the quality of life for people living with dementia alongside those working within the care sector. Dynamic lighting operates by changing in spectral content throughout the day in a similar manner to the sun’s daily cycle. Warmer colours at lower intensities are present in the early mornings and late evenings with cooler and higher intensity lighting present throughout the mid-morning and afternoons. It is known

that introducing this type of lighting to a care home environment can help to realign the body clock with the daylight cycle and improve sleep, restlessness, agitation and mood. The dynamic lighting device we have designed is also equipped with a sensor that can track the location of a resident, their rest-activity patterns and their sleep/wake cycles. This system then facilitates learning about an individual’s activities and tailoring the timing and duration of the dynamic lighting in accordance with this. Over time, our aim is to provide a user-centred dynamic lighting environment that will best alleviate their symptoms of dementia and improve their quality of life. By association, improving these symptoms of dementia will relieve some of the strain placed on caregivers when caring for them. For example, a Target Product Profile was carried out in January 2022 by Alzheimer’s Research UK and found that an estimated 90% of cost increases in this sector are caused by higher rates of admission to care home environments for people living with dementia who are also experiencing agitation. I am hopeful that the results of my research can be used to relieve some of these symptoms and benefit both resident and caregiver alike, so that the future of dementia care can become a lot more promising. Aside from the economic implications, the societal impact of improving the mood of people living with dementia is extremely significant, as they often self-report on how heavily their mood and sleep are felt to be interlinked. In terms of the caregiver perspective, a 2019 report published online by Alzheimer’s Association states that 60% of caregivers for people living with dementia experience very high stress levels alongside 40% reporting clinical depression. Therefore the research we are conducting could provide substantial improvement to the wellbeing and quality of life for those living with and caring for people with dementia.

Violet Home Care Ltd.

with dementia or other health conditions. We work closely with each client and their family to develop a personalized care plan, designed to meet their specific needs and goals.



We are an established domiciliary care agency in the UK. We understand that many individuals would prefer to receive care in the comfort of their own homes, rather than moving into a care facility. That's why we offer a range of home care services, tailored to meet the unique needs and prefer-ences of each client.

We believe in a person-centered approach to care, which means that we focus on the unique needs and preferences of each client, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Our caregivers are trained to provide support with dignity and respect, and to encourage clients to remain as inde-pendent as possible, while still receiving the care and assistance they need. We also understand the importance of companionship and socialization, especially for those who may be living

OUR SERVICES: Our team of compassionate caregivers are trained to provide a range of services, from assistance with daily tasks such as bathing and dressing, to managing medication and providing specialized care for those

alone. For this reason, we offer a range of social activities and outings, to help clients stay engaged and connected to their community. At our domiciliary home care agency, we believe that everyone deserves to live with dignity and re-spect, and we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Whether you or a loved one are in need of long-term care or just a few hours of assistance each week, we would be honored to provide the support and care you need to live your best life at home. Contact us at:, or 01372 700315 See the advert on the facing page for details.


Government Launches New Care Workforce Pathway New qualifications and investment in apprenticeships have been announced as part of a £75 million initiative in an effort to boost the domestic workforce in social care in a Government attempt to change perceptions of employment within the sector. Social care minister Helen Whately said jobs in social care have not always been seen as a “career choice” as she set out plans aimed at ensuring the occupation is recognised “as the skilled profession it is”. The Department of Health and Social Care said a national care career structure, with defined roles and professional development, will be introduced for the first time. The plans being rolled out include: • The launch of the Care Workforce Pathway: For the first time, there will be a national career structure for the adult social care workforce, covering the breadth and complexity of care. • Over £50 million of funding for a new qualification: This will support up to 37,000 individuals in direct adult social care roles to enrol on the new Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate qualification between June 2024 and March 2025. • An investment of over £20 million for apprenticeships: Local authorities and adult social care providers will be able to use the money towards training and supervising hundreds of new social work and nurse apprentices. • Subsidised training places: An uplift to the Workforce Development Fund will expand access to learning and development, creating opportunities for the workforce to become experts in their field or progress into new roles. • A new digital leadership qualification: This will help equip social care leaders and managers with the confidence and capability to lead the implementation and use of technology in the delivery of care. Welcoming the announcement Professor Martin

Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “This package of measures, including the Care Workforce Pathway, is an opportunity to be an asset to the sector and has the potential to make it a more attractive sector to work in. The value of enhancing our domestic workforce can’t be understated, particularly as we lost over 50,000 domestic workers last year which were replaced by 70,000 international recruits. This value has only become greater in light of the changes made by the Home Office to the international recruitment route late last year.” Professor Vic Rayner, CEO of NCF said: “The announcements are important first steps in adult social care workforce reform and will be welcomed by providers who have paused progression routes and activities in anticipation of the arrival of the pathway. The news that additional funding will become available for training and development in the sector is also welcome, although without details of what this will mean in practice it is difficult to determine impact.” “The commitment to train nearly 40,000 staff is a step up from the current position but represents under 10% of all new starters in the sector, and of course none of these commitments come with any focus on moving us closer to a set of pay, terms and conditions that match the skills and expertise laid out in the new pathway. The role of a care worker is complex and skilled – and a pathway without an accompanying properly funded pay structure will do little to attract and retain people to progress through the career structure.” Social care minister, Helen Whately, said: “The workforce is the heartbeat of the social care sector and staff should be given the recognition and opportunities they deserve. These changes will give brilliant care workers the chance to develop rewarding careers in social care.

Maintain and encourage healthy living and a good quality of life. Violet Home Care are an established domiciliary care agency in the UK. We understand that many individuals would prefer to receive care in the comfort of their own homes, rather than moving into a care facility. That's why we offer a range of home care services, tailored to meet the unique needs and preferences of each client.

At Violet Home Care we aim to provide quality health care service, to enable people stay in their homes. We recognize that everyone has different needs and hence require personalized care. Some of the many services that we can provide: • Live in Care • Overnight Care • Sleep Patterns Evaluation • Shopping e.g. grocery or personal • Help with medication • Meal Preparation • Washing & Ironing • Outings to friends, family, and walks • Cleaning the home


UK Government’s Changes To Skilled Worker Visa Salary Levels Set To Impact Care Sector By Siobhan Owers and Ian Bell, Fragomen LLP ( In a plan to slash migration, the Home Secretary James Cleverly, announced on 5 December 2023 that overseas health and care workers would no longer be allowed to bring dependants with them to the UK. A Health and Care Worker visa is a category within the Skilled Worker route which allows medical professionals to come or stay in the UK to perform an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or within adult social care. Benefits of the Health and Care Worker visa include fast tracked entry to the UK, reduced visa fees and exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge. The UK immigration system admitted an unprecedented number of overseas health and care workers in the year ending September 2023; almost 101,000 Health and Care Worker visas issued to senior care and care workers, with an estimated 120,000 visas granted to associated dependants. Further announcements delivered by James Cleverly that will also impact workers in the Health and Social Care Sectors: • Care providers in England will only be able to sponsor workers where their activities are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. • The discount available on the ‘going rate’ for occupations listed on the Shortage Occupation List will be abolished and the Shortage Occupation List will be revised in line with new salary thresholds and replaced with an Immigration Salary List. • Increased minimum income requirement for family applications, rising from £18,600 to £38,700. An increase to the minimum salary threshold for the overseas workers by 47.7%, from its current position of £26,200 to £38,700 was also proposed, but Health and Care Worker visas are exempt from this increase; however, it is not yet known whether the current threshold will remain in place.


Whilst these proposals may contribute to the UK government’s aim to reduce net migration, it will likely deter care workers with families from moving to the UK, leading to further staff shortages in an already fragile sector. In addition, longer term, sponsored care workers who have settled in the UK or acquired British citizenship may now struggle to bring across foreign national family members due to the increase in the financial threshold under the family route.

CONTINUE OVERSEAS RECRUITMENT Despite the changes announced, the government believes there will still be high demand from overseas workers for care roles in the UK, despite not being able to bring family members with them. To qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa an applicant must meet the following requirements: • Sponsorship: The individual must have an employer sponsor who holds a Skilled Worker sponsor licence. • Role: The job must be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional and be working within an eligible health or social care role. • English Language: The individual must demonstrate an ability to speak English. • Minimum salary requirement: The minimum salary requirement for a Health and Care Worker visa or the going rate for the job type (if that is higher). Consideration could also be given to other non-work sponsored visa routes which do allow for work in the health and social sector. These include but are not limited to: • Youth Mobility Scheme: persons aged between 18 to 30 (or 18-35) from participating countries • British National (Overseas): British National (Overseas) status holders and their family members • UK Ancestry: commonwealth citizens who have a grandparent born in the UK or Islands • Graduate: post study visa, although this route is being looked at as part of the announcements to ‘prevent abuse’ • Partner of a Settled Person/British citizen • Family member of an EEA national with status under the EU Settlement Scheme • Dependant family members of work sponsored visa holders As the new provisions will not come into force until spring, businesses may wish to review their headcount and workforce planning to consider whether any proposed moves could be brought forward, paying particular attention to salary levels. Businesses could also consider whether training programmes to fill vacancies with settled or British workers are a viable alternative to sponsorship.

Blanche Celebrates Her 103rd Birthday In Classic Style The care team at Friends of the Elderly’s residential care home, Little Bramingham Farm in Luton, Bedfordshire, put ‘The pedal to the metal’ and ensured that resident, Blanche Fromenton, had a marvellous day celebrating her milestone 103rd Birthday. Blanche’s special day was made extra special with gifts, balloons, cards and a birthday lunch with her family at the home, complete with a delicious birthday cake. Londoner Blanche has been a resident at Little Bramingham Farm for over three years and is a much loved and admired member of the care home family. The eldest child of six, Blanche always looked after her siblings so it’s no surprise her first job was as a Nanny, caring for a two-yearold toddler. However, Blanche met her husband whilst she was working in a grocery store on Drury Lane in London. They married at St. Mary’s Church in Hornsey and had two sons and is now a proud Grandmother to three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. The care team at Little Bramingham Farm love to hear Blanche’s stories and always encourage her to reminisce and tell them about her incredible 103 years and life experiences. Blanche, who has an infectious sense of humour, never disappoints. “During my 103 years, I’ve seen and experienced so many things,” said Blanche. “Growing up in the 1920s and 30s, and experiencing the 50s,60s and beyond, I saw

talking movies begin, the invention of things like the Microwave Oven, sliced bread, the Internet, the television – my personal favourite, Post-it-Notes and even Sellotape. “I remember when foreign holidays were all the rage as package holidays to Spain became available, and then of course in 1969, men landed on the Moon – and that’s just a snap shot of what has happened in my lifetime,” continued Blanche. “One thing that surprised, and I think even shocked, everyone at Little Bramingham Farm is that I got caught for speeding in my car,” added Blanche. Emma Lawrance, the Registered Manager at Little Bramingham Farm said: “We all wanted to make sure Blanche had a truly memorable 103rd Birthday, surrounded by her family and care home friends. She loves her family so very much and is always such a joy to be around. Blanche has a great sense of humour and thoroughly enjoys a joke.” “Blanche constantly amazes us with her independence,” added Karen Charity, the care home’s Activities Coordinator. “Blanche loves the exercise classes and keeps up so well. We all love seeing her take part.” “Karen’s right, I’m particularly fond of the exercise classes and I also enjoy joining in with the visiting singers. There’s always something different going on here for me to get involved with,” Blanche added.

What To Consider When Choosing A Staff Attack System For Care Settings With reports revealing up to 85% of care workers experience abuse each year and thousands of serious attacks on carers recorded, the need for reliable, efficient staff attack systems in care settings has never been greater. Protecting care workers is vital for staff morale and productivity, but also patient care and long-term treatment outcomes. Choosing the right staff alarm system, therefore, requires careful consideration, and the weighing up of the following factors.

Staff alarm systems for care workers should be simple-to-use and easily accessible. In the face of hostility or violence, carers should be able to activate their personal alarm quickly and without alerting the aggressor. This was a key factor in the development of Pinpoint’s new P2 System, which benefits from a more sophisticated, discreet design. Worn on the staff member’s uniform, the P2 personal alarm is lightweight and easy to use. Employees simply press a button on the device to call for assistance and in more high-risk situations where a service user is becoming aggressive, the worker pulls a pin from the bottom of the device to sound an emergency alarm.

EFFICIENCY & SPEED Quick intervention is crucial when preventing a violent attack. In care settings, patients may become aggressive suddenly, with little to no warning. The most effective staff attack systems work rapidly, allowing employees to summon assistance quickly and easily should they face abusive behaviour from a service user.

ROBUSTNESS Vandalism of safety systems is not uncommon in high-risk work settings, as service users can tamper with or abuse the devices out of frustration. Choosing a robust safety system is therefore an important and cost-effective measure for


care homes.

Equally, the accuracy of a staff safety system is a key consideration. When an alarm is triggered, the response team should be informed of the exact location of the call – allowing for rapid intervention and thus prevention of harm. This is particularly true for large facilities with multiple floors and rooms, and in cases where multiple alarms have been activated simultaneously. Pinpoint’s latest P2 Graphical Display Unit, for example, clearly demonstrates the call level and precise location of incidents on rotation, enabling responders to allocate support as required.



When looking into staff attack systems, it’s wise to consider how much follow-up support is offered by the provider, the length of the warranty period available, and whether repairs or assistance with maintenance issues is available. Doing this from the outset will prevent problems later down the line! As rates of violence toward staff in Care settings increase, so too does the need for powerful, efficient staff safety systems. Choosing the right system will depend on the environment in question, the security needs of the staff and the threat posed by service users. Keeping the above factors in mind will serve as useful guidance for facilities looking to make the best choice for the safety of their employees. Interested in learning more about Pinpoint’s P2 System? Visit


Care As a Career – Not a Stepping Stone ‘Creating a Sustainable Skills Pipeline for Care’ By Ric Thompson, Managing Director - Health & Care at Advanced ( At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, there is a serious staffing shortage in care. This is being exacerbated by increased Government scrutiny over the recruitment of migrant workers, not enough high quality new entrants to the profession, and by high staff turnover with many older, experienced workers deciding that enough is enough, and quitting. A pervasive culture of low-pay and low value placed on care workers isn’t helping. It is no surprise that according to Advanced’s Care Providers Trends Report [insert link], 97% of care providers say they have problems recruiting staff and 98% have trouble with employee retention. It isn’t a job for just anyone. During the hiring process 60% of employers in our survey said they received high numbers of applications from unsuitable candidates. It is imperative that care providers can find ways to reverse these trends, drive more applications from suitable candidates, attract more, high-quality talent and hold onto those people, nurturing their skills and commitment for the long-term. Many skills can be taught and developed, but the best carers have caring hardwired into their DNA. These are the people we want working in the care sector, as we try to ensure a sustainable, safe future for users and employees. One of the solutions may lie in the Government’s push to phase out paper record-keeping and encourage the implementation of digital records within the adult social care sector. The aim is to achieve 80% compliance within the year, by March 2024, with full compliance as soon as possible afterwards. These will improve outcomes for those receiving care, minimise safety risks, allow staff to respond to needs more quickly, and to share important information quickly and securely. This drive is part of a greater need to digitalise processes within care provision organisations. There is a need to attract more school and college leavers into the sector, to start what will ideally become a long and fulfilling career. This digital-native generation expects to use technology in their working lives, so it makes complete sense that employers who have already implemented the latest software that helps people do their jobs more effectively will attract the best of that new talent. It is also crucial that employers look after their existing staff, ensuring continuity of care for their clients and retaining experienced mentors for new recruits. These employees have a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience that is vital for ensuring the delivery of high-quality care all clients deserve. Disillusionment cannot be allowed to take root here. Digital transformation is the key to improving the employee experience. Specifically-designed care sector technology can massively reduce time spent on paperwork, digitalising processes so repetitive sections of forms can be completed automatically. This gives staff more time to deliver care to clients. Digital docu-

ments can’t be mislaid or lost, keeping the data within secure and making it easy for staff to refer to specific care plans, record diet and hydration information and other details for more joined-up and seamless processes. Digital records also offer more protection for staff when things go wrong as there is an irrefutable evidence trail that shows all procedures were followed correctly. Demonstrating compliance for CQC and others is crucial in such a highly-regulated sector. Implementing a Learning and Development (L&) programme for each employee not only ensures compliance with CQC requirements and those of other bodies, but also demonstrates to employees that each of them is valued accordingly. If we want people to look at care as a career, not just a stepping stone, we much ensure that long-term prospects and new opportunities are visible and attainable. Performance management can be a headache for managers dealing with staff working on different shifts, or a largely remote and mobile domiciliary team. Two-way conversations on digital platforms around targets for quality and delivery of care, recording and rewarding achievements as well as flagging any need for further training or support make it easier to monitor and manage individual performance. We need to take care of the carers. Many are attracted to the sector because it allows them to have more flexibility with shifts and days worked, so it is crucial that employers maintain staffing levels enabling people to work the hours they want. Persistent understaffing impacts heavily on the remaining team, putting them under increased pressure and at greater risk of burnout. Managers are affected too and 62% of care provider managers told us they felt stressed and unable to cope all or some of the time. 36% of these said they would have to take time off sick in order to be able to cope. The last thing a short-staffed care provider needs is management absence, piling even more pressure onto others. Digital solutions can transform rostering challenges, helping manage unexpected sickness or late requests for unspent leave more effectively. Sector-specific technology can also improve the problems with void management experienced by 95% of care providing organisations, giving them better visibility over crucial occupancy rates. 58% of the respondents in our survey have developed their own manual processes including spreadsheets to help give them advanced visibility of the business. These tools provide out-dated information for inaccurate decision-making while Cloud-based technology could give them instant access to accommodation and occupancy in real time. Employers can use the data contained in their technology platforms to help them manage many of the day-to-day tasks more efficiently, supporting more effective recruitment and higher retention rates. Employee data can be a powerful tool in gaining deeper workforce insights, helping employers identify trends that can help them make better decisions. This might be identifying the hardest-to-fill shifts, and then making recruitment for those a priority. Or it may shine a light on the circumstances that lead to higher rates of sickness absence, helping leaders to locate specific problems and make changes to reduce them. In conclusion, technology can help elevate the status of the care delivery role, improving employee experience and developing talent for a sustainable pipeline of career-care providers.

Abbot Care Home Unveils Art Exhibition to Showcase Residents’ Artistic Talents Abbot Care Home in Harlow has unveiled an art exhibition in its reception area to showcase the artistic talents of the people who live there. Residents of Abbot Care Home love getting involved in activities that bring out their creative skills and put their artistic talents to the test. These types of activities also have a positive effect on personal wellbeing, whilst also providing people with an outlet to express themselves. Based on the natural connection residents had with the arts, the team decided to create their own art gallery so they could display the artistic talents of the people who live in the home. Residents were excited to hear there would be a display to show off their artwork, and during arts and crafts sessions that followed the announcement, residents began working on artwork to display in the gallery.

Dubbed ‘Art from the heart’ the gallery now displays a range of artistic creations ranging from vibrant painted landscapes to poignant portraits that reflect residents’ stories. The gallery also proudly features beautiful bird paintings which were created by a person who used to live at Abbot Care Home. The reason behind displaying these pieces is to allow visitors to admire them in their beauty, but also, in the hopes that they can locate the artist’s family members and help to unveil the history behind them. These framed pieces will then be proudly displayed around the care home to showcase the legacy and talents of the people who have lived at Abbot. The rest of the artwork can be purchased directly from the care home. There is no set price for each piece, but a minimum donation of £5 is requested to help fundraise for the resident’s comfort fund, which helps to fund exciting days and new equipment for people who live in the home.

RECREO VR Launches Virtual Reminiscence Tool To Improve Wellbeing In Care Homes Care home residents across the UK are experiencing captivating, personalised virtual environments to improve their mental and social wellbeing with the launch of innovative VR technology built specifically for the care sector and supported by Alzheimer’s Society’s innovation programme. With Recreo VR residents can experience environments that reflect their own personal histories, hobbies they’ve enjoyed and places of interest from their past, such as favourite holiday destinations. Bespoke content can be requested by individuals, promoting person-centred care and empowerment while helping to stimulate memories. The easy-to-use headsets and software, which come with full training and support for staff, have proven successful in trials, with 90 out of 100 people living with dementia enjoying their experience. Feedback from residents and care home staff has been hugely positive across the trials as Danielle Savage Care Home Manager at Wrawby Hall said: “To see the smiles on their faces was just wonderful. We can't recommend Recreo VR enough.” “A lot of what the residents were seeing on the headset prompted memories for our residents, which they were then able to discuss and reminisce about. Such a truly wonderful experience. My heart could burst and I did have a few tears, it's amazing our residents can have these wonderful experiences.” Founders Alex and Sam were inspired to create Recreo VR after seeing the transformation a journey to a familiar beach had on Sam’s grandmother towards the end of her life. Joyce, who lived with dementia and had been non-verbal for a long time, began to smile and engage in conversation during the trip. This experience is what Sam and Alex aim to replicate using VR technology, as they said: “We believe that virtual reality has the power to transform the lives of residents, build social connections and enhance their quality of life.

We want to empower care organisations to embrace new technology and create experiences in their settings that have a noticeable impact on both residents, their families and staff that go beyond the traditional approaches.” Recreo VR, is supported by Alzheimer’s Society’s Accelerator Programme, a service that champions dementia innovation. Simon Lord, Head of Innovation at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We’ve been blown away by the impact Recreo VR has had on people living with dementia and the incredible feedback from the care sector. We believe in the power of technology to help improve and personalise care for people with dementia, which is why we chose to support the founders to develop the product and use our testing panels to help shape the experiences. It’s vital that those living with the condition are able to still do things that bring them fulfilment, for as long as possible. And that’s exactly what products like Recreo VR can provide.” The headset, which was rated comfortable by 97% of residents during trials, is lightweight and counterweighted for increased comfort. When it is turned on the Recreo VR app immediately loads and is easy to use, with sessions led by carers making it accessible for residents to engage with. The software doesn't require the use of controllers and difficult interfaces, reducing barriers for engagement for both carers and the people they support. Recreo VR creates experiences using strict filming criteria to ensure the environments are suitable for older people, and the reminiscence content has been co-designed with individuals living with dementia. To discover more about Recreo VR and its ability to enhance the lives of residents and empower caregivers visit


Christie & Co Reports ‘Robust’ Deal Volumes and Occupancy Returning to Pre-Pandemic Levels Business property adviser, Christie & Co, has launched its Business Outlook 2024 report which reflects on the themes, activity and challenges of 2023 and forecasts what 2024 might bring across the industries in which Christie & Co operates in, including the healthcare sector. 2023 was a year of consolidation, says Christie & Co, with the majority of operators reporting that occupancy had returned to pre-pandemic levels. Staffing issues eased slightly due to the successful recruitment of foreign staff via the sponsorship licence, although this may be impacted by recent immigration policy changes. The demand for bed spaces remained high, particularly for dementia care places, and fee increases predominantly kept pace with inflation. The transactional market adjusted to an environment of significantly higher interest rates, placing greater emphasis on debt serviceability. Christie & Co reported “robust” deal volumes and a 14 per cent rise in completions in 2023 compared with 2022. Wider cost pressures had a significant impact on providers of smaller, converted care homes which do not have the economies of scale and are less energy efficient. This, unfortunately, increased the rates of care home closures at a time when demand for bed spaces should be increasing. Consequentially, the proportion of closed care homes Christie & Co sold in 2023 increased to represent 19 per cent of its deal volumes, this was compared with 13 per cent in 2022. This trend is interesting, as new build developments are not keeping pace with closure rates. The number of distressed sales also increased, with Christie & Co noting a 7 per cent rise in 2023. Positively, though, the company didn’t see a material deterioration in asset values for going-concern deals – noting a 0.4 per cent decrease in its annual price index – and the performance of the sector fared well compared with other asset classes. The development market faced stronger headwinds due to construction cost inflation and the availability of debt. However, the need

for future-proof care beds remains undiminished and the underlying ESG credentials, together with future bed demand needs, remain compelling for investors. Christie & Co saw a greater number of developments in the regions last year and expects this to continue into 2024. As part of its annual sentiment survey, the company surveyed healthcare professionals across the country to gather their views on the year ahead. 48 per cent of people said that they feel positive about the year ahead – a 14 per cent rise on survey figures reported in the previous year – while just 9 per cent feel negative. When asked about their sale and acquisition plans in 2024, 77 per cent said they are planning to buy and/or sell this year. The care sector continues to be well supported by both traditional and alternative funders; with the level of finance Christie Finance generated for its clients having increased by 28 per cent between 2022 and 2023. Income potential and cashflows were seen as particularly reliable due to the sector’s needs-driven nature, however, there are now more

intense audits, assessments, and monitoring from lenders around how operators will manage the impacts of the rising cost of living and increase in debt costs on their business. In 2024, Christie Finance is hoping for a more stable economic environment which, when combined with currently reducing inflation and the increased cost of living mostly now absorbed by operators, should lead to a more fluid finance market. In 2024, Christie & Co expects: • Capital values will remain stable with strong occupancy levels and investor demand offsetting higher debt costs • Capital markets activity will increase with a more stable interest rate environment • Increased number of OpCo transactions as operators seek to expand their portfolios without tying up capital in real estate • Growing distress for smaller assets with rising staffing and capital costs, largely driven by the increasing minimum wage. • New build development activity will increase across broader geographical regions as operators seek less competitive operating markets • Ongoing rationalisation from larger providers and third sector providers • Continued protractions and uncertainty in the planning system will constrain the supply of consented care home development sites Richard Lunn, Managing Director – Care at Christie & Co, comments, “Despite the undoubted economic headwinds, the care sector remained resilient through 2023. Good levels of demand and a limited availability of stock enabled pricing to hold up well. Moving into 2024, we have had a busy January so far and are positive about the prospects for the year ahead.” The report also includes commentary from Christie Insurance on the insurance market, insights on bank and business recovery, and a broader business market overview from the company’s Global Managing Director.

Veterans Celebrate Charity’s 108th Anniversary Celebrations have taken place at Royal Star & Garter’s three Homes, as the charity marked its 108th birthday. Residents at the Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe enjoyed live music and dancing, and ate cake, as they celebrated Royal Star & Garter’s anniversary. The charity was established on 14 January 1916 to care for severely injured men returning from WWI battlegrounds, following concern expressed by Queen Mary. She charged the British Red Cross Society with finding a ‘permanent haven’ for severely disabled young men returning from war. Today, Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia from its three Homes, and has new services reaching out into the community. Celebrations at the Homes kicked off on Friday 12 January at Surbiton, with swing singer Ruy Christo coming into the Home to perform for residents, before they enjoyed afternoon tea and sang happy birth-

day to Royal Star & Garter. At Solihull, celebrations took place on the Sunday, with pianist Louise Potter playing and her daughter singing with her. Residents later had their own tea party and ate birthday cake. Music duo KelBilly also performed on Sunday at Royal Star & Garter in High Wycombe. This was followed by a party with Prosecco and birthday cake. The charity’s Director of Care & Wellbeing, Shirley Hall, said: “Over a century after we started, we are still caring for our nation’s Armed Forces community, and in the past year we have extended our new services to reach even more veterans. I love seeing the Homes filled with such happiness and celebration. Staff are always finding ways to create fun and joy, and I think they enjoyed the birthday parties as much as the residents!”

Marr Procurement: Continuing to Invest In Resourcing Solutions for the Care Sector Introducing Dan Ashenden our new head of M-Resourcing M-Resourcing are delighted to announce the appointment of Dan Ashenden to lead our M-Resourcing service with effect from 1 December 2023. M-Resourcing offers a multi-faceted approach to solving complexresourcing problems facing the care sector. Whether you facespiralling staffing costs and pressures, or simply require a newapproach to managing this critical area for your organisation, ourcomprehensive resourcing solution reduces costs, brings controland allows you to plan for the future with confidence. We knowfrom talking to our clients that managing their resourcing costs isstill a key priority and this important appointment underlines ourcontinuing commitment to the sector. Christoph Marr, CEO of Marr Procurement: “Dan is a highly-capable leader and has incredibly valuable experiencefrom his years in the care sector, managing and delivering complex temporary labour

agency programmes. We areexcited to bring that experience to our clients.” Dan spent 6 years at Priory Group "During my rewarding six-year tenure at Priory, I had the privilege of beingappointed as the inaugural UK Agency Manager, where I honed my skills in enhancing their PSL offering. Thisexperience has provided invaluable insights into the principles of effective temporary agency management,reduction, and control. Now, as the Head of M-Resourcing at Marr Procurement, I aim to leverage this knowledge tointroduce innovative strategies for temp agency reduction to benefit our clients. My goal is to ensure the delivery ofa cost-effective and compliant offering, especially in the face of increasing sector costs. With a rising demand andour commitment to fairness, our offering at Marr Procurement is poised to become even more beneficial.". Marr Procurement is a professional procurement organisation serving the care sector, and founded on the values ofIntegrity, Fairness

and Quality. In everything we do, we believe in doing things better, ensuring fairness for clientsand suppliers alike, and always doing the right thing. Marr Procurement was set up in 2008 and has since servedmore than 50 care clients in delivering savings through sourcing over £1bn of spend. Christoph Marr, CEO Marr Procurement: “At Marr Procurement we believe in seeking to level the playing field forclients, ensuring they have equal access to the best procurement services and outcomes. This is what drives us everyday in serving our clients. The team I have built are each highly capable leaders in their speciality but, importantly,they all share a common belief in fairness and transparency. This means they are always seeking the right solutionfor our clients, where trust is at the forefront. Dan is a great fit for our business and for our clients and I amdelighted to welcome him to the team.” Find out more at


Research Captures Harrowing Testimonies from Care Staff on the Impact of the Pandemic As the public inquiry into the UK’s response to Covid-19 continues, new research led by Northumbria University academics shines a light on the impact of moving patients from hospitals to care homes in England during the pandemic. Traumatised and distressed staff felt powerless to stop the spread of Covid-19 as it tore through care homes, leaving dehumanised residents feeling ‘imprisoned’ and some facing death in isolation, according to the research. During the first peak of the coronavirus pandemic – between March and June 2020 – more than 66,000 people died in care homes, with a third of those deaths attributed to Covid-19. Emotive personal testimonies about the early impact of the pandemic on the care home sector and its residents are at the centre of research spearheaded by Northumbria University academics, working with colleagues from Plymouth Marjon, Birmingham and Newcastle Universities. A paper, published in the journal Age and Ageing, investigates how the pandemic influenced the transition of care between hospitals and care homes, the study highlights a “deluge of governmental failings” and “unmanageable situations” for care home staff as it considers the impact of transitions on the quality and safety of care provided during that time. The study highlights the ‘new challenges’ that the Covid-19 pandemic brought and how the care home sector adapted, despite increased pressure from NHS discharges and a lack of government assistance, compounding the divide between health and social care. However, with the benefit of insights from 70 people working in health and social care services, it also finds that good practices and better ways of working were developed and adopted, from remote access to healthcare to improvements in joined-up working between sectors. The study suggests the Government’s decision to sanction rapid discharges exposed infection control issues and contributed to inhumane conditions for residents, with hospitals and local authorities involved in the process said to have prioritised those

discharges “to the detriment of patient safety”. Participants in the research illustrated a stark picture of stressed and anxious staff working in fear as care homes quickly became overwhelmed by urgent Covid cases and were ‘vilified’ in the media over strict lockdown policies that left residents cutoff from their loved ones. Lead author of the Age and Ageing paper, Dr Craig Newman, is a Research Fellow based within Northumbria’s Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing. He said: “This research identifies the enormity of the challenges, however, it also highlights that relationships were built between the NHS and care homes with examples of integration and sharing best practice infection control protocols. “It was apparent that care home staff were committed, professional and resilient during this time to maintain their service for their residents and by supporting families to mitigate the pressures caused by the pandemic.” Dr Stephanie Mulrine, who was a Research Fellow at Northumbria University during the study and conducted most of the interviews with care home staff, said it was a huge privilege to be able to listen to individual harrowing stories. “Much of what we heard was challenging and difficult to hear, but people were so generous with their time and what they shared, as they felt it was so important,” explained Dr Mulrine. “I cannot stress enough how those that got involved did so because it gave them the opportunity to be heard and because they thought it was important – if they shared their experiences in some way in the future, things could be different.” Relentless press coverage which focused negatively on care homes as seeding sites for the spread of Covid-19, while portraying hard-working care workers as heroes, also added to the psychological suffering of staff and residents. These were the findings of a separate research study which was the focus of a paper published in the Journal of Integrated Care by Northumbria Master’s student Dr Eniola Michael Abe.

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“Going Into Care Is Definitely Not Something To Fear.” A Daughter Shares Her Advice And Experience After Finding Care For Her Parents

In September, Cheryl Hossle’s parents moved into St Faith’s Nursing Home in Cheltenham which is part of the charity Lilian Faithfull Care. After 62 years of marriage they were able to stay together during, what turned out to be, the last six weeks of her father’s life. Cheryl shares her advice and experience, following many years of navigating through the care system, in case it is useful to others in a similar situation. Cheryl’s mum Joyce has vascular dementia and her father Derek had been caring for her at home, as Cheryl explains; “For several years we had home care but it got harder when mum forgot how to walk and became bed bound. It is really hard; the independent one [my dad] will always say that they are ‘fine’ all the time. I never saw my dad lose patience but he was stressed and losing strength. He was so tired all of the time. Home carers only came for half hour visits four times a day and so it was a very long night and day.

Mum has an active brain and she didn’t have enough to entertain her, we could see she wasn’t happy and slipping away’’. “In May mum needed permanent care and dad needed respite.” Cheryl’s parents moved into a nursing home, however when that home closed to nursing residents, Cheryl started searching again; “I did investigate 30 homes before we came here. I didn’t visit them all but I did phone calls and drive-by’s and trawled through the CQC reports. I was looking for reliability and solidly good reports and I also looked at the activities they offered. [The home manager] Teresa’s knowledge and chat was hugely influential in helping us to know the best place to move my parents to, her advice was certainly the most useful. We had no complaints about where they were but coming here [St Faith’s] it’s like a palace, it’s out of this world.” “Very quickly after arriving here Dad said ‘This is my home’ and told us ‘Your mother is looked after and loved’. He told us how all the staff were so kind and thoughtful and that gave us total trust in St Faith’s.” “The care, activities, standard of cleanliness, furnishings and equipment are amazing. The carers don’t just help with feeding but they are engaging with the residents at the same time. It is how they talk to people – that is excellent here. Even though mum has dementia she is treated with respect. All the little details makes the big picture work.”

“Something people should know is that once [your loved ones] are being cared for, fed properly and sleeping well they can rally quite a bit and that is a really precious piece of time to have with them.” “Mum is a very happy person here. Looking at her now and all the things she is doing, she has a good quality of life. In the last few months she’s enjoyed watching Scottish dancing, animals visiting and all the music. Mum was a piano teacher and can still read music and tries to play the piano and so the music here is important.” “Mum is on a puree only diet and here it is all beautifully piped and set out. They make it as normal as possible and they also prepare things like tiramisu which she can still enjoy.” Cheryl’s father recently passed away. “I am sitting here knowing he had a wonderful time full of gentle care, for the six weeks he was here.” Joyce & Derek had a double room in St Faith’s Fairhaven Suite which specialises in end of life care. “The carers were so brilliant and very gentle with him. I honestly don’t think you could get better care. When the phone call came saying that dad had passed away, the nurse who called me was able to talk me through the next steps and what we needed to do.“ “I don’t think going into care is something to be feared” “For anyone going through this I would absolutely say, don’t panic. It can be the best way forward for the whole family.”

Yemen Strikes May Mean Higher Energy Costs, Warns Care England Following the UK strikes in Yemen, energy prices are set to spike again over the coming weeks. In conjunction with the current cold snap in the UK and the current political climate, the price of gas and energy are again exposed to volatility. This, alongside ongoing underfunding and wider challenges that the care sector has faced for the last decade due to Government inaction, presents an increasingly challenging background yet again for care providers to operate in. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England says: “Care providers are being put under unsustainable pressure this winter period, and many aren’t benefitting governmental financial. In response, Care England conducted an energy tender and lowered the cost of energy for 100% of care providers who participated. While we continue to deliver pragmatic solutions for adult social care providers, practical action is crucial to safeguard from future energy price spikes where possible via the Care England tender.” 60% of care providers cite utility bills as a key challenge and the second most cited cost pressure behind only workforce pay. Care England is responding accordingly, to ensure all care providers can alle-

viate some of their ongoing pressures. In Care England’s new publication, ‘Savings, Solutions, and Sustainability,’ energy sector expert David Woodward, Director at Focus Energy Services Ltd, shared what care providers can do to ensure they obtain the best value and most sustainable energy contracts when it comes to buying gas and electricity contracts. In the article, David also highlights what constitutes a good energy broker, and outlines tips to make businesses more energy efficient. Care England has also created a free to use Strategic Management Audit Repository Tool, containing a dedicated ESG module outlining where care providers can work toward environmental targets, including a section on energy usage and efficiency. Professor Martin Green continues: “Recent events have taught us that having our own solutions in place wherever possible is more important than ever; to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Energy is central not just to the wellbeing of people in receipt of care, but to a business itself.”

Former Nurse Turns ‘Undercover Boss’ In Efforts To Improve Care Quality A former nurse has turned ‘undercover boss’ in an attempt to improve quality and standards in care homes. Sathi Raghavan, who worked as a registered nurse and midwife in both India and the UK before establishing her own business in the sector works shifts in homes to check care quality and suggest improvements. The founder of Millennium Staffing which supplies staff to care homes, hospitals and other healthcare settings across the West Midlands joins care home teams and works alongside her staff who are oblivious she’s, their boss. Sathi said: “It all started when I was working as a nurse in a care home and got fed up with agency staff coming in, many of whom refused to carry out the tasks they were needed to do to provide the best care. “That’s what led me to set up my own specialist employment business. And when I got my very first call from a care home asking for shift cover that evening, I rang the small team I’d recruited, and no-one was free. “So, I put on a uniform and turned up and worked the shift. It gave me the opportunity to really understand the home, how the team works, their procedures and care levels so it’s something I’ve done ever since. “I spend one or two days with all new homes so I can prepare and train my staff to meet the exact needs of that home, everything from the home layout to the full variety of tasks they should be willing and able to

do.” And last month Sathi joined a care home night shift at 1am with agreement from the manager to shadow the team and watch her staff perform through the night and into handover. She said: “I love it and it’s really inciteful. Not just as a way of seeing the team first hand but also at bringing an outside perspective and a chance to suggest ways for a home to improve its care and safeguarding.” And her undercover missions have led to improvements across multiple homes including improved CQC inspection outcomes and using her medical background to improve care plans. She has also suggested changes to staffing levels to improve care quality even if this means her staff are no longer needed. Sathi added: “As a nurse I want to deliver the best care possible, so I’m personally invested in every care home and every resident. And that extends to my team.” Now providing nurses, care and kitchen assistants, social workers, and other staff to care homes, hospitals and social care providers Millennium staffing has grown from Sathi on that first shift to almost 400 employees in under three years. For further information visit

“Have Fun, Stay Active & Keep Young At Heart” Secret To A Long Life For Resident At Norwich Home A resident at a Norwich home celebrated his 100th birthday and says his secret to a long life is to have fun, stay active & keep young at heart” Charles ‘Bill’ Capp lives at MHA Cromwell House and was treated to a birthday party to celebrate his landmark. He was accompanied by his daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren with a buffet tea provided and included his favourite chicken drumsticks. Bill’s wife, Pauline who he met and married whilst living at MHA Cromwell House was also present. An Elvis tribute act was arranged as both Bill and Pauline are huge fans of the King of Rock and Roll. Bill also received a telegram from King Charles III.

Speaking after the party Angie Apurado, activity coordinator said: “Bill had a great day and was overwhelmed with the occasion. “He said he never expected anyone to make such a fuss for him and knew about his birthday but wasn’t aware of the party and everything else. “It was a great day for all at the home. We had such a great time celebrating Bill’s birthday and everyone was very happy. “I asked him what’s his secret to a long life and his initial response was quite funny as he loves to joke around so he answered, “breathe!”, but then said “have fun, stay active & keep young at heart. “Bill is such a charmer and a very popular resident, he is a huge fan of Peterborough United and I hope to arrange a trip to see them play for him.”

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As the UK’s number one discount service for emergency services, NHS, armed forces and social care workers, Blue Light Card allows over three million members across the country to take full advantage of savings, discounts and benefits that are often unavailable to the general public. In 2023, Blue Light Card saved its members a huge total of over £330 million across retail, travel, entertainment, and more. With more than 850,000 Blue Light Card members already registered as working in the social care sector, don’t miss out on your chance to partner with the country's leading specialist discount provider, aligning your organisation with a brand that resonates with the values of care, appreciation and recognition. Registering for Blue Light Card membership as part of your employee benefit scheme is quick and easy. A card costs £4.99 and includes access to the Blue Light card app where members can easily find information about all live offers. Membership is valid for two years, giving members access to exclusive offers and discounts on shopping, tech, meals out and more, all year round.

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Cause For Hope Or Concern? What Social Care Will Look Like In 2024

By Sam Monaghan, Chief Executive of MHA

The Prime Minister recently confirmed that we will see a General Election in the UK, at some point in 2024. What an opportunity that is to shine a spotlight on social care – but will the sector get the attention it so desperately needs and deserves? Regardless of the colour of the next government, now is the time for all parties to prioritise social care and build a more coherent and sustainable plan for its future. Our sector continued to face significant challenges in 2023, including higher operational costs due to inflationary increases and high energy prices. We are also still seeing unacceptably long waiting list times for social care assessments. On top of this, there are ongoing issues around staffing, and an estimated 150,000 vacancies remain across the sector. Care providers are struggling to both recruit and retain staff – and the latest rulings on overseas care worker visas will do nothing to alleviate these problems. We have long called for professionals working in our sector to be better valued and recognised. This would help us find, train, and retain the best people. Better pay and working hours, alongside access to relevant training and qualifications were also identified by Skills for Care as critical factors that would help to retain staff in future. Unless we see significant investment from the Government in 2024 and beyond, these workforce pressures will continue to mount. The UK has an increasingly ageing population, so more and more people will

rely on support in their homes or in permanent care settings, to avoid hospital admissions. Aside from these ongoing issues, it’s important to recognise that the sector has made plenty of progress. Social care organisations have rallied to share experiences, discuss their collective needs -and collaboratively we have put forward some great ideas for change. I heard many of these ideas exchanged first-hand during party conference season, as we joined social care fringe events for all three of the major political parties. I had the opportunity to sit on panels at both the Labour and Liberal Democrat conferences, where valuable and hugely positive conversations were had around what the future of the sector could look like. We’ve also seen encouraging support for our own concept of a Social Care Council, which we’re proposing that the Government funds and enables as part of our Fix Care For All campaign. This would act as an independent body, representing the 1.5 million skilled, professional people working in social care. It would examine issues such as pay scales, accreditation, training, and recruitment – and would invest more into changing public perceptions around what it means to choose care as a profession. Working together as a sector gives us a much stronger voice as we push for social care reform to be a key focus in the manifestos of all the major political parties. But we want to see commitment, not rhetoric, from policy makers in return. This means a vision, a strategy, and a properly costed plan to build real and lasting change for the most vulnerable people in our society and those who care for them. We want young people to see social care as a rewarding career path, with potential for development and progression; flexibility that accommodates the various patterns of peoples’ working and family lives; fair pay - in line with other healthcare providers. And we want everybody who needs it to have access to good quality care. In the build up to an election, like many other social care organisations, we will continue to push for the reform and investment that the sector deserves and requires – and we are committed to working with our peers and partners to ensure this is made a reality.

Scotland’s National Care Service Delayed By Three Years Scotland’s health secretary has confirmed the government has delayed its flagship plan to set up a National Care Service (NCS) by three years. Michael Matheson told BBC Scotland News that the Scottish government needed “more time” to work with councils. Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon launched the NCS plan in 2021, and said it was “arguably the most significant public service reform since the creation of the National Health Service” in 1948, with an aim to end the “postcode lottery” in community health and social care, by ensuring consistent and high standards and “embedding the principles of fair work for care workers”. The NCS was expected to cost between £644 million and £1.26 billion, however in an update, Scotland’s social care minister Maree Todd outlined revised costs, showing the total could rise to between £880 million and £2.2 billion. In her letter to the finance committee, which previously criticised the ambiguous costings for the framework Bill, Ms Todd said the “most significant change” was the ‘go live’ delay. “Due to a clearer understanding of the requirements in the set-up of the NCS at National level, obtained through the co-design workshops and engagement with people with lived experience, the NHS and coun-

cil body COSLA, the NCS programme has reprioritised and rephased various workstreams to reflect the new understanding,” her letter said. She said that “while the delivery mechanisms for the NCS may now be different” the vision behind it remained the same, including a consistently high level of care across Scotland. The Scottish government had described it as the “biggest public service reform in Scotland since devolution”. It also promised to establish a system whereby people could move between different types of care as their needs changed. The scheme would have transferred social care responsibility from councils to a new national service. However, Ms Todd proposed abandoning that transfer and abandoning plans for regional care boards, as well as creating a national board to manage the shared accountability process. She said if MSPs agree to the “significant” changes then costs could drop to between £631m and £916m. Conservative MSP Liz Smith said: “It’s time for the SNP to finally ditch their unaffordable, centralised National Care Service. The fact that the already eye-watering estimates have had to be revised so steeply upwards should signal its demise. “The details of how the NCS would function are shockingly vague and sketchy, so even these breathtaking new costings are little more than guesswork.

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Through Wippet Partner you will turbo-charge your procurement with support from our care procurement experts as and when you need it. From simple benchmarking, via our range of suppliers and partner affiliations, to multiple category tenders. Using the Wippet platform technology to manage your procurement projects more efficiently allowing you to focus more time on other areas of your business. Wippet Fuse Wippet Fuse is the simplest, yet most powerful, purchasing platform for care. Take your procurement to the next level with powerful technology that brings you P2P functionality at a fraction of the cost. Register to gain access to our 3 services and improve all aspects of your procurement. Find out more and register today at: See the advert on page 8 for details.

LeisureBench Ltd is Proud to Introduce its New Sister Company SGM Recycled Plastics Ltd LeisureBench Ltd, is proud to introduce its new sister company SGM Recycled Plastics Ltd. Made from 100% recycled plastic, our new ranges are designed and manufactured at our new premises in Granthan using the latest technology. From picnic tables to planters, the growing range of products are ergonomically designed for the commercial sector at affordable prices and most items come with a 25-year construction guarantee. Introducing our new stylish side chairs available in several colours, they are both comfortable, and at a starting price of just £99.45 +vat in black, they represent excellent value for money. Our new website has automated muti-buy discounting. Discounts start from as little as two of the same product for exceptional

value. We believe we are the most competitive in the market. Our in-house design team can design bespoke products for our clients and no job is too small or too big. Customer service is key to our success. We welcome visitors to our factory showroom at Old Wharf Road, Grantham, Notts, NG31 7AA. SGM T: 0333 0112314 Calls charged at local rate. E: SGM W: LeisureBench W: We all want to see less waste plastic and sustainability; our products are a small, but not insignificant, step in right direction. Thank you. See page 10 for details.


Research Finds Alcohol Can Be Part Of Having A ‘Good Life’ In Care Homes A study exploring alcohol policy and practice in care homes across England has been carried out by academics from the University of Bedfordshire in partnership with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The research, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) School for Social Care Research, found that residents, families, care home staff and care home inspectors felt strongly that people living in care homes should be able to continue drinking alcohol when they move into a home. Drinking alcohol can create a sense of community for residents and staff, for example, by celebrating special occasions together. It can help create a homely environment for those who enjoy alcohol and ensure that people maintain continuity between their lives before and after moving into a home. However, there are potential risks associated with people drinking alcohol in care homes. These include medication interactions, confusion, falls and injuries. The University of Bedfordshire’s research found that in most homes, alcohol was available regularly. For example, staff might serve it at meal times, or there may be a bar within the home or a drinks trolley.

Residents were supported to decide for themselves whether the benefits of alcohol outweighed the risks. Where risks were identified, strategies were put in place to reduce them. In contrast, the research found that some homes had a ‘blanket ban’ on drinking alcohol. In others, alcohol was rarely available. For example, a glass of sherry might be offered at Christmas. Some homes only gave the appearance of providing alcohol. In one care home, a bespoke ‘pub’ had been built, fitted with Velcro dart boards, fake fires, bar stools and optics, but the optics were full of coloured water and were just for show. In some homes, residents’ own alcohol was taken away to be served by staff, people weren’t able to drink in their rooms, alcohol use was routinely monitored and recorded, or everyone was restricted to one drink, regardless of their individual level of risk. These policies were mostly motivated by concerns about health and safety. But care home inspectors who took part in the study thought that, with the best intentions, care staff had sometimes gone too far, becoming paternalistic or “wrapping people in cotton wool”. They were looking for care staff to achieve a balance between health, personal

choice, risk, safety, human rights, and equality and diversity. Dr Sarah Wadd is based at Bedfordshire’s Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care and led the study. She said: “People living in care homes should be supported to have as much choice and control of their lives as possible. It is important to remember that just as health has value, so too does pleasure. The goal is to find a balance between minimising risk and maximising quality of life. Our research has shown that this isn’t always happening in practice. We have produced good practice guidance for care staff and a guide for care home residents and the general public.” Speaking about this research, Amy Hopwood from the Care Quality Commission said: “This important research shines a light on the importance of care homes safely supporting their residents to continue drinking alcohol if they wish to, using their professional expertise to balance the risks alongside the individual’s preferences. Just like anything else in life that is a matter of taste and choice, how care homes manage alcohol is a strong indicator of how well they are delivering good, safe, personalised care to their residents.”

Brighton & Hove Outlines LGBTQ+ Inclusion Skills In Care Homes A new measure to improve LGBTQ+ inclusive care is being proposed as part of a range of new requirements for council-commissioned residential care homes in the city. Councillors will discuss new measures aiming to bolster standards and continue the commissioning of good quality residential and nursing care in Brighton & Hove at the Adult Social Care and Health Sub-committee meeting on 17 January. A key part is the requirement of care providers to sign up to the Skills for care LGBTQ+ Learning Framework to ensure care all care homes are an inclusive space. Councillor Tristram Burden, chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Sub-committee, said: “We’ve been working with the CIRCLE project to ensure our care homes are inclusive spaces where our older LGBTQ+ community don’t feel they need to go back in the closet when receiving care.” “The CIRCLE project aims to support residential care providers (for older people, 50+) to be more inclusive for LGBTQ+ residents. “Our commitment will ensure a truly inclusive approach to care for all and allow us to fully consider the needs and preferences of all people using our care services.” The framework will support social care services and organisations to: - include LGBTQ+ issues in the education and training of the workforce. - include LGBTQ+ issues in the everyday care and support of people in later life. - guide the aims and focus of LGBTQ+ education and training based on evidence. - conduct a training needs analysis and design training which meets a minimumstandard of performance and capability in its assessment and provision of careto LGBTQ+ individuals in later life and their commu-

nities. - embed the relevant topics, areas, guidance and learning resources into itsrecruitment, induction, supervision, appraisal, and career progression processes. Dr Jolie R Keemink, Principal Investigator, Creating Inclusive Residential Care for LGBTQ+ Elders (CIRCLE), added: “Brighton & Hove City Council are trailblazers with regards to LGBTQ+ inclusive commissioning. “They set an example to the rest of the country by including specific, actionable clauses in their commissioning contracts, ensuring that the rights of LGBTQ+ care home residents are recognised and protected. “Their involvement in research to improve LGBTQ+ inclusion in residential care (CIRCLE) and the community consultation that has gone into developing these clauses are commendable and should be celebrated.” Professor Trish Hafford-Letchfield, author of the Learning Framework, welcomed the announcement and said: “The Skills for Care Learning Framework for working affirmatively and inclusively with people in later life has been driven and informed by a cumulative body of evidence, advocacy, and activism from the LGBTQ+ community. “It was co-produced with people with lived experience and those who have expertise and experience in the field.It represents the first systematic approach in the UK to embedding LGBTQ+ equality within social care. “This initiative of Brighton & Hove, which requires active change by providers with Third Sector and training support is of absolute strategic importance. “It demonstrates significant leadership and commitment to supporting the workforce to provide safe, quality, and inclusive services.”

Award-winning Care Provider, Lovett Care, to Develop Major New Purpose-Built Site in Manchester, Following Loan from OakNorth • Founded in 2009, Lovett Care provides high quality residential, dementia and nursing care in the North West and Wales; • The Group’s current portfolio consists of over 500 beds, with the past three years having seen the business grow to nine homes; • The bespoke loan from OakNorth will support Lovett Care’s latest purpose-built care home, situated in Northern Moor, Manchester; • Those aged 65+ in England and Wales is forecast to grow by a further 2.3m to 13.9m by 2031, highlighting the growing demand for high quality care homes. OakNorth – the digital bank for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs – has provided a bespoke loan to Lovett Care, the award-winning care home provider. Founded in 2009, Lovett Care specialises in offering residential, nursing and dementia care across England and Wales. The past three years has seen the business grow to nine care homes, with the Group’s current portfolio now consisting of over 500 beds. With a core focus of enabling older people to continue living an active and enriched life, regardless of their needs, Lovett Care have built-up a strong reputation in all the areas they operate in. The bespoke loan from OakNorth will be used to support the development of Lovett Care’s latest purpose-built care home situated in Northern Moor, Manchester. The new site will consist of 59 en-suite rooms,

lounge and dining facilities, hair and beauty salon, café, and activity room, and will specialise in offering nursing and dementia care, as well as treatments for other mental health conditions. The facility follows OakNorth’s initial loan to Lovett Care in March 2023, that was used to support the group’s future growth. Keith Crockett, CEO of Lovett Care, commented: “We were delighted to once again work with OakNorth. This is a further milestone in our longterm growth strategy and consistent with our commitment to deliver the best quality care in attractive market locations.” Dale Cowdell, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth, added “We were delighted to once again support this well-regarded care home operator. With those aged 65+ in both England and Wales set for a substantial increase over the next decade, this further highlights the importance of building new sites at locations across the UK. With a robust expansion strategy, the upcoming site will be a valuable addition to the community, enhancing Lovett Care’s overall success.” Website: Email: Phone: 07954205166

Uniting the Care Community: UK Care Week 2024 In its third edition this March 20th-21st, UK Care Week stands as a beacon of inclusivity, bringing together care professionals from across the UK to address challenges, celebrate talent, and advocate for positive change within the care sector. This dynamic event will feature industry-defining content, live product demonstrations, and interactive features designed to equip attendees with the skills to enhance the lives of those under their care. At the heart of UK Care Week is the commitment to providing care professionals with invaluable resources. With a free ticket, attendees gain access to over 100 CPD conference sessions and workshops, allowing them to immerse themselves in cutting-edge knowledge and best practices. The event also hosts more than 150 leading care suppliers, providing an opportunity to explore innovative products and services that can revolutionize care provision. The diverse line-up of industry thought leaders will explore the key themes for 2024 including business & facilities, environments, workforce & skills, wellbeing and technology in care. Expect to hear from the likes of Avnish Goyal CBE and Aneurin Brown from Hallmark Care Homes, Dr Jane Townson, CEO of Home Care Association, Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, James Bullion, Chief Inspector at the CQC and Laurence Geller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Geller Capital Partners. One of the event's key features is the CQC Inspector Hub, where care professionals can receive free,

tailored advice to ensure their care provision meets the highest standards. This hub addresses registration and inspection queries, offering guidance crucial for maintaining quality care services. Additionally, the Virtual Dementia Tour provides an immersive experience, allowing social care business owners and management teams to gain insights that enhance their approach to dementia care. For attendees seeking interactive experiences, the apetito Lounge continues to be a standout feature at this year's event. This feature allows visitors to taste popular dishes and discover award-winning, texture-modified meals and Finger Food Bites specifically designed for residents with dementia. The event's inclusivity is further highlighted by its commitment to networking opportunities. With over 2,500 care, home care, nursing, and residential homeowners, directors, and senior management teams in attendance, UK Care Week provides a platform for collaboration and idea-sharing. To ensure that the event remains tailored to the needs of its attendees, UK Care Week conducts an annual National Care Awareness Survey. Drawing insights from over 700 care professionals in 2023, the survey informs the themes of the show, ensuring that it aligns with the goals and concerns of those within the care sector. Attendees of UK Care Week 2024 can expect not only to gain valuable skills and knowledge but also to be part of a transformative experience that celebrates the dedication and talent of care professionals nationwide. Register your free ticket at


How to Reduce the Risk of Scalding By Peter Gunn - Senior Consultant and Authorising Engineer (Water), Water Hygiene Centre Ltd ( This article sets out some of the risks from scalding to which vulnerable people may be exposed when bathing or showering and the key measures required to protect them. NHS England has in place a “never events” policy. A “never event” is defined as ‘a serious, largely preventable, incident that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented by healthcare providers’. Scalding of patients and others is on the list of “never events”. The Water Management Society published ‘Guidance on the Principles of Scald Risk Assessment in Domestic Water Systems’ in 2023.

VULNERABLE PEOPLE The groups of people who are most vulnerable to scalding include: • Children; • Older people; • People with reduced capacity, mobility, or temperature sensitivity; • People who cannot react appropriately or quickly enough, to prevent injury; • People with complex medical conditions whose capacity may be impaired due to the medical treatment being received.

systems within the building from the incoming supply, the cold water storage & distribution, and all the plant equipment used to generate, store, and distribute hot water throughout the premises. The risk assessment will include all outlets e.g. wash hand basins, showers, baths, toilets, hi-lo baths, hot drinks boilers, and ancillary sinks. There is also a requirement to carry out a general scalding risk assessment on each person receiving care, considering the following: • Likelihood that the user will require the use of a bath or shower; • Capability/competence of the person who will run a bath or shower whether this is the user or whether there is someone else who might do this for them; • Lack of mobility and or ability to respond to hot water i.e., being able to get out of the shower or bath if the hot water is too hot; • Sensitivity to temperature; • Having a mental state that cannot recognise or react to hot water; • Ability to summon assistance. • Complexity of medical condition.

ENGINEERING CONTROLS To restrict the temperature of hot water at an outlet a Thermostatic Mixing Valve (TMV) is fitted locally to the outlet (wash hand basin, bath, or shower) to restrict the temperature. The desired output temperature will vary depending on the application, in non-healthcare premises hot water should not exceed 44°C and in healthcare premises, this is determined by the type of outlet following the guidance contained in the HTM 04-01: Supplement. Performance specification D 08: thermostatic mixing valves [2017]:

HOT WATER TEMPERATURE Hot water temperatures above 44°C for showering or bathing (full body immersion) represent an increased risk of serious injury due to scalding. When large areas of the body are exposed to high temperatures, scalding injuries can be very serious and could result in a fatality.

WATER HYGIENE SAFETY Controlling water temperatures is an essential element of water safety. For example, to minimise the growth of waterborne pathogens and keep any associated risk of infection as low as reasonably practical, there is a need to circulate hot water at temperatures above 50°C (55°C in healthcare premises) and to ensure that cold water temperatures remain below 20°C. There is a requirement, therefore, to put in place measures to control the maximum hot water temperature at outlets in areas where vulnerable people are likely to access.

SCALDING RISK ASSESSMENT There is a need to undertake a scalding risk assessment to understand the risks and to inform the measures that will be necessary to prevent or control them. The risk assessment will include the water

the maintenance and monitoring of water systems in Health and Social Care premises.

WHAT CAN GO WRONG? A quick round-up of related news articles reveals that scalding problems are not uncommon. The summary below links to some interesting articles and highlights the deficiencies reported in each case: Edinburgh hotel pays compensation over shower scalding death – although no Fatal Accident Inquiry was undertaken, questions were raised about whether the hotel failed in its duty of care by not having fitted a thermostatic mixing valve to regulate water temperature. Ark Housing Association fined after death of man in bath scalding –The housing association pleaded guilty to two contraventions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Ark was fined £75,000 and after cooperating with the HSE, steps to prevent future incidents were undertaken including installing thermostatic mixer valves where necessary, providing suitable thermometers, training staff and implementing written instructions for bathing and showering. A woman died after Greencroft Residential Home scalding – No effective control over the temperature of the hot water at the premises, no risk assessment had been carried out and there had been little staff training, resulting in a £5,000 fine for breaching health & safety rules. Care home to pay £145,000 over teenager's scalding death - An HSE investigation revealed that although the bath used was fitted with a special valve to prevent scalding, this valve was never set. Staff at the home were also found to have no training in managing the risks of scalding, nor was there a suitable bath thermometer in place. The precise bath temperature was unknown, but the taps could deliver water at around 66OC. Housing association to pay £135,000 over scalding death – A 75year-old sustained burns to 40 per cent of his total body surface area after water was at a temperature of between 60 and 65OC. Midland Heart, the largest housing group in the Midlands, admitted to two breaches of s3(1) of the HSWA 1974 for failing to ensure the water outlet temperature had been properly controlled to avoid scalding. They have subsequently invested money to minimise the risk of scalding accidents and installed thermostatic mixer valves on their baths.

REFERENCES A Type 3 TMV is required in all instances for healthcare premises. Where there are electrically heated showers, the temperature control must be maintained in all conditions e.g. surge or reduction in cold water flow/pressure. The hot and cold water systems also need to be adequately maintained and monitored by competent staff.

TRAINING There should be adequate training and supervision for staff involved in the care of people generally. The same is true for staff involved in

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Section 3 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations Regulation 3 Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 L08 Legionnaires’ disease - The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (2013) HSG 274 Part 2 The control of Legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems HTM 04-01 Safe Water in Healthcare Premises Parts A, B and C 2016 (2014) HTM 04-01 Supplement Performance Specification D08 thermostatic mixing valves (healthcare premises) 2016 HSE information sheet No. 6 - Managing the risks from hot water and surfaces in Health and Social Care (September 2012) The Water Management Society ‘Guidance on the Principles of Scald Risk Assessment in Domestic Water Systems’ (2023)

Local Care Home Celebrates Winnie The Pooh Day with Muddy Boots Upton Bay residents were thrilled to be joined by the youngsters from Muddy Boots nursery in Hamworthy, for Winnie The Pooh day. They joined together and acted out scenes from the iconic books, coloured pictures and enjoyed cuddling Tiger, Eeyore and Piglet. Stacey, Manager from Muddy Boots commented “It was wonderful to see smiles and joy from the children and elderly residents. The children loved every minute”. Our chef Alain made homemade biscuits shaped like pooh to finish the morning with.

Salutem Care and Education Launches Innovative Management Graduate Scheme Salutem Care and Education is launching one of the first management graduate schemes by a social care operator. The Salutem Management Graduate Scheme, is a groundbreaking initiative designed to nurture and develop the talents of emerging leaders in the social care sector. The programme represents a unique opportunity for recent graduates to gain unparalleled insight into a diverse range of specialist areas within the social care industry. It is an 18-month rotational programme that promises a structured, fast-track path to professional development. Participants will have the chance to engage directly with various aspects of the organisation. This includes working closely with both operations and support services, providing an immersive experience in the intricacies of managing a leading social care provider. Highlights of the Graduate Scheme: Strategic Exposure: Graduates will spend time with the strategic management teams, gaining insights into the challenges and goals that drive Salutem forward. Mentorship: Each participant will have access to an independent mentor from our executive team, offering personalised guidance and support. Comprehensive Training: It offers tailored training and development programmes designed to enhance the skills of our graduates, equipping them for a successful

career in social care management. Inclusive Culture: Joining a vibrant and inclusive organisation, graduates will experience a workplace that values diversity and fosters a sense of belonging. The scheme is not only an opportunity to gain valuable industry experience but also to build strong professional networks. These connections will be instrumental in supporting both personal and professional growth, significantly benefiting future career opportunities. "We are excited to launch the Salutem Management Graduate Scheme, which we believe is a step forward in developing the next generation of leaders in the social care sector," said John Godden, chief executive at Salutem Care and Education. "Our commitment to nurturing talent is reflected in this comprehensive programme, designed to empower graduates with the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to excel in their careers. “We invite motivated graduates who are passionate about making a difference in the social care sector to apply and embark on a journey of professional growth and development with us.” For more information about the Salutem Management Graduate Scheme and to apply, visit


Over 40 MPs Urge The Government To Re-Think Local Authority Funding Plans A large cohort of county MPs – including 44 Conservatives and seven former cabinet members within this group – have written to the Prime Minister urging his government to provide an emergency injection of funding for councils to prevent major reductions to local services. The government is currently consulting on its final Local Government Finance Settlement, to be published next month. This will confirm how much funding councils in England will receive in 2024/25. It follows November’s Autumn Statement, which provided no new funding for local authorities despite the County Councils Network (CCN) highlighting its members were under extreme financial pressure and set to overspend this year by £650m, with these councils facing a total £4bn funding deficit over three years. To compound this, the announcement of the National Living Wage has left those 37 councils over £230m worse off next year. With local authorities now setting out significant service reductions in their budgets next year, the 46 MPs who have signed the letter say they are ‘exceptionally concerned’ that residents will be faced with a ‘double whammy’ of reductions in services and higher council tax rates in order for councils to deliver a balanced budget. The group of MPs, include former Local Government Secretary of States Robert Jenrick and Greg Clark, as well as prominent former cabinet members such as Priti Patel, Therese Coffey, Damien Green, and Brandon Lewis. They also include former local government ministers Neil O’Brien, Heather Wheeler, Kit Malthouse, and Jake Berry. They have called for the government to provide emergency funding for councils to prevent substantial cuts to local services, or worse, some authorities facing financial insolvency and unable to deliver a balanced budget in 2024/25.

In the letter, co-ordinated by CCN and the County All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) they say ‘There is still an opportunity to rectify the situation and ensure MPs are able to support the vote on the Local Government Settlement within the House of Commons in early February. ‘We would therefore urge you to do all you can to use the Final Local Government Finance Settlement to provide additional funding for local government to ensure that the councils in our areas can continue to provide the services that our residents depend upon on a regular basis. …’As a fellow MP for a county area, we are sure that you will find the prospect of residents in county and rural areas being impacted in such a way at this time concerning.’ Out of the £650m projected overspend, 45% is down to pressures in children’s services, 25% is down to costs in adult social care, and 20% is attributable to rising demand in school transport services for SEN pupils. The signatories urge government to prioritise any additional funding to these three areas. Following the letter being submitted, the CCN and the County APPG say they are having ‘constructive’ discussions with Downing Street but are urging the government to rectify the situation and announce additional funding as soon as possible. Cllr Ben Bradley MP, Chair of the County All-Party Parliamentary Group, said: “County and unitary councils across the country are currently setting out their budgets for next year, with many proposing substantial reductions to highly valued local services as well as tightening of eligibility for care services. With council tax set to rise again this year, residents face a double whammy. No council leader will take any pride in taking

this action, but they simply have no choice after the Autumn Statement left them in a significantly worse position. “The extent of the impact can be reduced if councils are given an emergency injection of funding, and 46 MPs have signed our letter calling on the government to intervene and protect local services. The fact that we have two former Local Government Secretaries, seven former cabinet members, and support from all three main parties shows the strength of feeling on this issue, particularly amongst my Conservative colleagues. “I’m the privileged position of being both a council leader and MP and so I can see both sides. The Autumn Statement put more money in people’s pockets and I understand that the public finances are tight, but councils provide important local services that millions rely on each day. We have had constructive dialogue with Downing Street, but we are urging the government to rectify the situation as soon as possible so colleagues in the Parliamentary party are able to support the vote for the final Local Government Finance Settlement next month.” Cllr Barry Lewis, Vice-Chair of the County Councils Network, added: “We county leaders pride ourselves on being financially prudent and not afraid to make the difficult decisions but this year we find ourselves under financial pressure like never before. We desperately need government support to stave off the extent to which we will have to make unpalatable reductions to services. “It is encouraging that an unprecedented number of county MPs, including those from all parts of the country, share our same concerns over the funding shortfall we face. We have had constructive discussions with ministers, but we now hope the government listens to our joint campaign and provides emergency resource later month.”

Detecting Alzheimer’s Disease Using A Blood Test Could Be As Accurate As Standard Lumbar Punctures Findings from a study led by researchers in Sweden have suggested that a commercial blood test could detect Alzheimer’s disease as accurately as standard lumbar punctures. The blood test detects ‘ptau217’, a form of the protein tau, which is a hallmark protein of Alzheimer’s disease. The study has been published in the journal JAMA Neurology. Experts welcomed the findings. “In the past year, we have seen incredible progress in the development of blood-based Alzheimer’s tests. And as we see more and more different types of tests becoming available, studies like this are key to understanding which are most accurate,“, said Dr Sheona Scales, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. People with Alzheimer’s have a build-up of proteins known as amyloid and tau in their brain, which is one of the main ways to detect the disease. Alzheimer’s is generally diagnosed based on people’s symptoms, such as thinking or memory problems. However, only 2% of people with a dementia diagnosis receive one through ‘gold standard’ methods, such as PET scans or lumbar punctures. In this new study, levels of p-tau217 in the blood reflected the levels of amyloid and tau proteins seen in brain scans and lumbar punctures. “Before any blood tests can become standard diagnostic tools, they must be independently shown to be at least as sensitive and accurate as gold-standard approved tests, such as lumbar punctures,” said Dr Scales, who added that the test “has huge potential to revolutionise diagnosis for people with suspected Alzheimer’s.”

“What’s particularly promising about the new study is that the researchers used a cut-off threshold to group people into those who were very likely to have Alzheimer’s, those who were very unlikely to have the disease, and an ‘intermediate’ group who would need further tests using conventional methods like lumbar punctures or PET scans,” said Dr Scales. Using a blood test in this way, the researchers predict, could reduce the demand for these follow-up tests by around 80%. However, there are still unanswered questions, said Dr Scales. “We need to gain a better picture of how these types of blood tests perform day-to-day in real-world healthcare systems, including more diverse patient populations” Scales continued. Also, similar to new treatments, blood tests need to go through regulatory approval before they can be used in a healthcare setting, she added. To address these issues, Dr Scales highlighted the Blood Biomarker Challenge launched in in 2023, a £5M project led by Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society, and the NIHR, and funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. The project will involve working with world-class researchers to pilot the implementation of new blood tests in the NHS that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier and more accurately than current methods. People deserve a quick and accurate diagnosis, which will “ultimately bring us closer towards a cure for dementia” said Dr Scales.

Black Tie and Sparkles at Windmill House Care Home Windmill House care home in Norfolk, hosted a spectacular party celebrating their PAMMS result on Friday the 12th of January, bringing together residents, volunteers, relatives, and the dedicated staff team for an unforgettable evening. The event featured a live performance by the renowned bands, Treefellas and Ladybyrds, setting the stage for a lively atmosphere. Attendees were treated to a delightful array of canapes and a sumptuous buffet, complemented by a drinks bar, creating a perfect ambiance for celebration. The gathering aimed to recognise and honour the exceptional efforts, support, and teamwork demonstrated by the staff, management, volunteers, and the broader community. It served as a heartfelt expression of gratitude towards the relatives who

have contributed to the success and well-being of Windmill House. The celebration, held within Windmill House, brought together the entire Windmill House community. The live music, delicious food, and festive drinks provided an opportunity to come together, unwind, and celebrate the shared accomplishments and milestones of the community. Home Manager, Maria Paranal, said: “Beautiful celebration last night and hopefully just one of the celebrations we are going to have at Windmill House. Thank you to all the staff, residents, and families who made this event another success. Thank you, Runwood Homes, for recognising the efforts of the team and giving this party for everyone to enjoy.”

Thought-Provoking Poetry Enthrals Surrey Care Home Residents Since the Epic of Gilgamesh and Homer’s Odyssey, poetry has always played a significant role throughout history. It allows us to express our deepest thoughts, unravel difficult emotions and tell the most captivating stories. This is what residents at RMBI Care Co. Home Shannon Court, in Hindhead, are able to experience thanks to the care home’s poetry group. Hosted by Shannon Court’s Activities Coordinators, Stephen Chandler and Leah Oliver, residents and staff read poetry of all kinds, from traditional classics like Shakespeare to romantic classics and contemporary poets. After each reading follows a discussion where all attendants share their thoughts, elaborating on the several

meanings of the poems and reflecting on their relevance in today’s world. This helps them stimulate their brain and enhance their overall sense of wellbeing. Commenting on the benefits of Shannon Court’s poetry group, resident Daphne says: “Everybody has a story that’s triggered by the poems, something they haven’t told for a while or even thought about for a long time. That story then triggers memories for others, who then share their own story. This group makes us talk, think and act, and it’s great to have people to chat about these things.” Activities Coordinator Stephen Chandler adds: “Our poetry group started some years ago, and has been a firm and favourite fixture of our activities programme ever since.”


Why Demonstrating Leadership Matters In The Care Sector

By Emma O’Connor, Legal Director and Head of Training, Boyes Turner (

We have own views as to what makes a “good” leader. We may have examples of a good leader or may have had been fortunate enough to have worked for one. In today’s UK care sector, leadership can make the difference between a thriving organisation, rooted in a people-first culture and committed to the people it’s there to serve, or one reacting to one compliance issue to the next.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? For me, organisations need leaders who can lead by example, who can deliver against targets and who can work collaboratively often in difficult business situations. Organisations also rely on leaders to deliver important messages and be the conduit between senior leadership and staff. But being a purposeful and inspiring leader does not (often) happen by accident. Good leaders are shaped by their own experiences or hone their skills through various workplace challenges. Many are promoted to leadership for being good at their job and not necessarily for being a good “team player”. The list of responsibilities and expectations on leaders may seem unrealistic or overwhelming, particularly if one thinks about the enormous challenges the care sector faces. However, why does demonstrating good leadership skills matter in the care sector and what makes a “good” leader?

VISION FIRST Leadership is about vision. Vision involves identifying who you are as an organisation and deciding what “success” looks like. This could be looking at where you are in the marketplace or thinking about what the organisation’s “brand” says about it to current/perspective clients and/or its workforce. Are you where you want to be? Are you a “destination employer”? What does your business need to reach the next level? Next, what are your goals? These could be overarching – to provide excellent care services to our clients – or could be more team focused, such as setting individual targets. And how are you as a leader going to motivate, inspire and engage your colleagues and team to achieve

these goals? Working in care is a tough environment at the best of times. With the skills crisis, post-covid fall-out and so much of the care community made up of international workers, your people will be navigating both work and personal challenges on a daily basis.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS AS ESSENTIALS To achieve your businesses’ vision and goals, leaders need to be able to communicate to their peers, to their teams and to the wider world. Communication is a key leadership skill. Communication can be verbal but also involves non-verbal communication skills. Being aware of not just what is said but how it is said, being aware of one’s body language, are equally important. Especially in the care home environment. Being a good communicator allows a leader to deliver messages clearly which in turn reduces confusion and conflict amongst teams; it can help build rapport and trust. Good communicators can help encourage creativity and problem solving within teams. Communication may also be about delivering difficult messages or explaining challenging situations, which is particularly pertinent in the care sector, whilst bringing people along with you.

A CULTURE WHERE PEOPLE THRIVE Good leaders – by having a clear vision and clear communication skills – foster good relations which help develop an open workplace culture where colleagues can thrive. Knowing where you are going as a business, or as an individual, understanding the vision and expectations can help to forge a strong and purposeful culture with each person working together to overcome challenges and achieve success. When people feel valued and supported, they are more engaged. A more engaged workforce is more productive. Simple. Culture comes from the top, so it is important that messages are clearly communicated downwards to all levels of leadership and staff. Lastly, leading by example. We want our leaders to uphold the business’s values, to ensure they comply with workplace policies and to expect this in others. We want our leaders to comply with industry standards and legal requirements – not to cut corners or to shirk responsibilities. Leadership decisions should be open and transparent, and leaders should demand high expectations from their teams and colleagues as they should demand of themselves. The challenges to the care sector - from funding issues to recruitment - are ones that many businesses and managers cannot control. However, as the saying goes: people leave a manager and not a job. If leaders can improve their skills, they may be the role models for future managers in the sector.

No More Stuck In The Basement, Family Gatherings Restored! S-Max liberates Mel and Phil S-Max has restored the freedom to get out and about for Mel and Phil Sanderson after months of being confined to living in their basement. In 2022, Mel lost much of her mobility. Unable to cope with stairs, she and her husband Phil ended up living in the basement of their three-storey home in Hull town centre. With no internal staircase, only a narrow turning flight of stone steps outside and strict building/alteration constraints (the property is Grade II listed), it became nigh on impossible for the couple to get out- whether for daily essentials or leisure- nor to socialise at home with friends and family. Phil was having to physically lift Mel up and down the stone steps, putting them both in danger of falling. Phil was determined to find an answer. His research led him to AAT and its top-selling S-Max Sella stairclimber. Under the control of the care-giver, the mobile battery powered unit transfers its passenger safely and at a consistent rate up and down the steps- and beyond.

AAT visited Phil and Mel to assess the situation, that the SMax Sella would safely deal with the steps and that Mel and Phil were both comfortable using it. Phil was so impressed he ordered one on the spot. AAT delivered it, set it up to their personal preference and trained Phil in how to use the equipment correctly and safely. Under Phil’s control, with its integral seat and battery-powered kinematic climbing capability, S-Max Sella safely gets Mel around her home again. It gets her out of the house and into town. “It really is a fantastic piece of kit,” says Phil. “Before we got the S-Max, we were basically trapped in the basement. “Once trained it is very simple to use. Now we can go out for leisure and appointments after months of being stuck inside. It even means we can have family occasions upstairs as we used to, with ease! I would recommend the S-Max for anyone who needs help getting up and down stairs.” S-Max is the UK’s top-selling stairclimber, with an impecca-

ble safety record built up over 20+ years for the thousands of units in use nationwide. Class 1 Medical Device certified the SMax executes over 300 steps from a single charge. Its unique ComfortStep feature delivers a smooth, comfortable climb or descent, automatically adjusting to variation in riser height and gently braking on the edge of each riser to facilitate the process for the operator. The standard S-Max unit attaches to most wheelchair models to enable them to be safely moved up, down almost any flight of steps. The S-Max Sella features an integral seat for people who are not confined to a wheelchair. AAT has developed a Universal Back for the units to achieve optimal flexible safety and physical support for the passenger. AAT offers a comprehensive support service, including free no obligation assessment, setting up of the S-Max, training of its users, plus ongoing service & maintenance. Full details including videos of the Sella stairclimber can be found @

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

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



HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Skin Health and Surface Hygiene Expert, GOJO Urges Organisations To Be Prepared This Germ Season Skin health and surface hygiene expert, GOJO urges organisations to be prepared this germ season. GOJO, THE INVENTORS OF PURELL™, and the hand sanitiser category itself, is advising organisations, particularly those in the care sector that look after the elderly and the vulnerable, to take steps to lessen the impact of seasonal viruses this winter. Preparedness can save lives – last year’s influenza programme prevented around 25,000 hospitalisations in England . This autumn and winter, COVID-19, flu, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are likely to be co-circulating which, according to Dr Marc-Alain Widdowson, who leads WHO's High-threat Pathogen team, ‘would increase the risk to vulnerable populations and put further pressure on health services.’ Whilst flu vaccines are a powerful weapon, good hand hygiene is a critical measure in the battle against winter infections. For healthcare and long-term care settings, which support vulnerable patients, GOJO recommends paying extra attention to their specific needs. Chris Wakefield, V.P. European Marketing and Managing Director UK & Ireland, GOJO Industries-Europe

Ltd. comments: ‘As a founder member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Private Organizations for Patient Safety group, GOJO is a strong advocate of making hand hygiene second nature to everyone. Hospitals and care homes need to ensure that the protection solutions they select are suitable for everyone with a facility – staff, visitors, and patients alike. ‘For example, consider touch-free dispensers that are easier for the elderly and infirm to operate, and ensure that the formulations are suitable too. They must not only have proven efficacy against germs, but should be gentle enough to care for resident’s delicate skin as well as that of busy healthcare workers, who clean their hands repeatedly during a shift.’ Widely used in the NHS, PURELL® is a trusted brand in healthcare facilities around the world. Its solutions encompass fast-acting, effective formulas that care for skin, state of the art dispensers, and dedicated support such as the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) accredited training. For a tailored, effective, total solution for your setting, or for more information on the benefits of partnering with GOJO, please call +44 (0)1908 588444, email, or visit

Swiftclean Puts Your Care Home in Control of Grease and Legionella Swiftclean is a family-run business which has been established for over 40 years. Formed to provide specialist compliance cleaning services for ventilation system hygiene, Swiftclean is now one of the UK’s foremost providers of kitchen extract fire safety cleaning, legionella control services, fire damper testing, indoor air quality monitoring and ventilation system cleaning.

WHY SWIFTCLEAN? We do the job properly, giving you peace of mind: We tackle many new projects where dirt or grease has been allowed to build up - all our ventilation cleans are carried out to comply with BESA TR19® or TR19® Grease. Our legionella control services provide clean water: We provide legionella control services to ensure L8 regulations compliance, preventing legionella outbreaks and maintaining a healthy water supply. We help safeguard your insurance: Our unique cloud-based digital delivery system produces detailed compliance documentation to help safe-

guard your insurance, preserve your business and protect your brand reputation. We save you time and money: By using us for both ductwork and water hygiene services, you can make the best use of your budget, as well as your valuable time. We’re big enough to reach you, small enough to care: We provide nationwide coverage in England, Wales and Scotland, through one team with the same exemplary high standards. We’re highly experienced, we know what we’re doing: Our expertise has been built up over more than four decades and we’re at the cutting edge of industry progress. Our Managing Director is directly involved with BESA and we’re an award-winning, ISO registered company. We’re experienced and reliable; you can count on us to do the job properly. We would love to hear from you. Please feel welcome to contact one of our team members on 0800 243 471 option 1



How Can The Care Sector Maintain Robust Infection Control While Driving Sustainability? Article by Christina Larkin, JLA's Chief Data and Marketing Officer (Website: Email: Phone: 0800 591 903) Christina Larkin is JLA's Chief Data and Marketing Officer, shaping the organisation's decision-making through analytics and insight. As ESG lead, Christina also inspires JLA's teams to put customer and sustainability-focused thinking at the heart of their actions. As managers across the UK’s care sector continue to navigate the triple challenge of infection control, rising utility costs, and the drive for greater energy efficiency, what innovations and practices can be adopted to help future-proof care homes, protect residents and staff, and still enable organisations to meet their short and longerrange sustainability targets? In this piece on finding the balance, JLA’s Chief Data & Marketing Officer, Christina Larkin shares her thoughts on an increasingly pressing question.

WHY SUSTAINABILITY IN THE CARE SECTOR MATTERS The Covid-19 pandemic has rightly seen the care industry – and the Care Quality Commission – place renewed focus on infection control. From the laundry room to the kitchen, care home hygiene and safety are rightly non-negotiable, while compliance and residents’ safety remain everyone’s top priority. At the same time, initiatives to drive efficiency, reduce waste and decarbonise the sector continue to gather pace, with net-zero targets and more accessible alternative technologies allowing organisations to reduce their carbon footprint without compromising care standards. The good news, then, is that energy savings are still highly achievable in care settings, and can even help to demonstrate to your residents (and their families) that you are taking steps to becoming a more sustainable business, which in turn enhances your reputation. Of course, practically meeting these expectations will usually mean adopting a range of measures. These could be as simple as switching to more sustainable everyday consumables and reducing waste sent to landfill. It could mean upgrading boilers and associated heating equipment to more efficient, hydrogen-ready units. Or it could mean investing in more energy-efficient washing machine systems, which, thanks to technological innovations, will use considerably less electricity and hot water to disinfect a laundry load, and actually lower your day-to-day running costs. Whatever the path you take, improving sustainability brings a myriad of benefits – and not only in operational efficiencies or cost savings. In fact, it’s increasingly the case that committing to sustainability means investing in your people’s wellbeing as well. By making positive changes and working on sustainability together, you can help to improve morale and reduce staff turnover, which allows residents to build even deeper relationships

with your care team. You’ll also be a more attractive proposition to talent across the industry, which further drives up standards. And as more and more families begin to consider the environmental impact of facilities while making crucial care decisions, such a commitment to sustainability could well become the key difference between you and your competition.

ADOPTING BEST PRACTICE SOLUTIONS With commercial energy costs at record highs, we often hear of care homes seeking cheaper domestic washing machines for their laundry rooms. However, research shows that this can be a false economy. For one, domestic machines are much less robust, needing more regular repairs, while their smaller load capacities add up to needing more washes, at greater expense. More importantly, it is unlikely that they can achieve and maintain the thermal temperatures required to keep you compliant with the requirements of HTM 01-04. A commercial washing machine is far more likely to control temperatures effectively, as well as providing the correct holding time to achieve the full penetration of a load for disinfection. Alternatives to thermal laundry infection are becoming increasingly widespread, too. One example is ozone disinfection technology, which uses the power of natural ozone gas to eliminate infection from laundry loads on an energy-saving cool wash. During a study with Leicester’s De Montfort University, JLA’s own ozone disinfection system, OTEX, was found to completely remove the coronavirus. It also helped to cut hot water usage by up to 80% and electricity by 60%. As expected, regular servicing and proactive maintenance are more likely to extend the working life of your equipment. But when washers, dryers and other appliances reach the end of their life, it is always worth considering the latest developments to understand what they could save you in time, energy and money. This is because the most up-to-date technologies are likely to come with enhanced energy-saving features, and help you spread savings across the year. Further utility savings can also be achieved through comparatively lowcost investments such as swapping double-headed taps for single-lever taps to help control hot water consumption, installing showerheads that use aeration to save water, adding reflective heat film to your windows to reduce energy loss, and – a classic – powering down any unused appliances.

ENERGY-SAVING INNOVATIONS ARE BECOMING MORE ACCESSIBLE As technology for the care sector continues to evolve, embracing it will be key to staying ahead. Enabled by internet connectivity and state-ofthe-art sensors, remote monitoring systems are now allowing providers to keep a watchful eye on your equipment, spotting issues early and dealing with them before they can cause disruptive downtime. Similarly, customers are getting fresh insights into the way their laundry rooms are running; from one dashboard, managers can easily view real-time data

without having to be on site. By creating a fuller picture of a laundry room’s daily use, these systems offer a smart way to plan resources, save time, and make decisions that reduce energy use. And as this technology expands, we expect to see more and more use cases opening up. JLA’s own Connect service offers always-on monitoring for compatible laundry equipment. Some of its features include improving efficiency by estimating the amount of energy and water machines use, in addition to suggesting better times to run them for maximum savings. On top of that, JLA Connect offers a handy way to quantify and potentially reduce environmental impact with estimates of CO2 emissions. JLA has also introduced its own Energy Smart Hub, which combines practical tips, data-driven insight and actionable advice that is already helping customers tackle rising energy costs and stay energy smart. We view this hub as a crucial resource offering honest comparisons between products while ensuring customers have the full picture on costs and benefits when they come to explore or invest in more energy-efficient equipment. Our recently published sustainability report – a first in the commercial equipment industry – expands this transparent approach. The report not only explains the steps we’ve taken to save our customers 8 million kWh in electricity, and 276 million litres of water through OTEX, but formalises our sustainability strategy. We believe it is vital to outline our future goals as we continue to support thousands of organisations, like yours, that are the bedrock of the UK’s social infrastructure. It is our hope that by adopting best practices, embracing new innovations, and sharing inspirational success stories, the sector can navigate today’s challenges while working towards a future of excellence in care and environmental responsibility.

MAG Laundry Detergents Maintaining cleanliness and comfort in care homes and nursing homes requires selecting the right laundry products. That's why many UK care homes trust MAG Laundry Detergents for their laundry needs. MAG's specially formulated commercial laundry detergents, stain removers, and fabric softeners are designed to address the most common soils found in senior care facilities. MAG's laundry solutions stand out in ensuring that your laundry and linen remain clean, bright, and soft. By washing with the high-quality laundry

products available at, you can offer your residents the freshness and cleanliness they deserve, helping you uphold the highest standards of care for your organisation. To explore how MAG can support your care home, contact them at 01353 883025 or visit

Forbes Delivers a Streamlined Solution for National Care Groups In the realm of national care, maintaining an unwavering standard of service is of paramount importance. The key to achieving this lies in forging partnerships with trusted service providers. Established in 1926, Forbes Professional offers a cutting-edge solution that helps both small care homes and national care groups establish a streamlined process for all on-going service and account management. At the core of Forbes Professional's offering is a nationwide delivery model with a localised response; fortified by the security and dependability that comes with being a well-established company. Our extensive network of depots and field engineers ensures a highly responsive service and maintenance capability, activated seamlessly through a dedicated hotline at our headquarters. Collaborating closely with clients, we customise solutions aligned with their unique requirements. Our approach involves comprehensive site surveys, detailed CAD designs, and the meticulous selection of industrycompliant Miele laundry appliances. Recognising the paramount importance of hygiene in the care sector, our

commercial laundry equipment strictly adheres to WRAS and CQC guidelines for infection control. For those in the care sector, Forbes Professional offers flexibility in acquiring laundry equipment through rental, lease, or purchase options, all accompanied by comprehensive maintenance services. Our Complete Care rental solution stands out by providing access to premium equipment without upfront capital investment, coupled with a commitment to cover all repair or replacement expenses throughout the contract's duration. National care groups partnering with Forbes Professional are assigned a dedicated account manager, streamlining all aspects of account management for a highly efficient and simplified process. This approach ensures a seamless experience for procurement teams and care management staff, reinforcing Forbes Professional's commitment to elevating the standards of care provision in the national landscape. | | 0345 070 2335

Laundry Specialists Lavamac Receive Sustainability Award

Ipso washers , dryers and ironers . I full ground up restoration leaves these machines as good ( if not better than ) New ! sold , rented of leased these machines are between 40-50% of cost of their new equivalent with a warranty as new 24 months parts and labour ( see attached literature on our product range ) 3. Intelligent washings machines ( In conjunction with our partners ) we can potentially reduce chemical usage by up to 35% and labour by 30 % A delighted Jeremy Hartigan CEO of Lavamac Ltd said: “I am extremely proud to announce that Lavamac have been awarded a prestigious Bronze Sustainability Award by the UK Groundworks Trust. This award demonstrates our commitment to promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility within the sector. This award is renowned for honouring businesses that demonstrate exceptional dedication and innovation, and we are thrilled to be recognised for our resolute focus on offering sustainable products and services while raising awareness about the importance of environmental concerns within the sector”. See the advert later in this feature further information on Lavamac.

Chester based Laundry professionals Lavamac Ltd, official distributor of Lavamac industrial laundry equipment has received the prestigious Bronze Sustaibnability award in recognition of their policies and procedures based commitment to maintain a sustainable business for ourselves or customers and the environment The three main points Lavamac have been recognised for are: 1. Air source heat pump dryers , connected load 3kw as opposed to 30Kw for a 16kg electric dryer and 25-30 kw for Gas , clean efficient and saving the planet available from £10995 fully refurbished to £16995.00 new both with 24 months parts and labour warranty and the option to extend and cost effective annual premium ? 2.Refurbished Equipment, we completely rebuild any current model of Primus , Lavamac or


LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS Washing Machines for Residential Care Homes MAG Laundry Equipment, the award-winning supplier of commercial washing machines and tumble dryers, takes pride in its extensive support to over 10,000 care homes nationwide. Maintaining clean laundry and bedding is of utmost importance for care homes, hospices, nursing homes, hospitals, and various healthcare organisations. MAG Laundry Equipment’s nationwide team of accredited engineers has successfully served thousands of care homes with their products, services, information, and support. MAG's comprehensive product range encompasses commercial washing machines, tumble dryers, ironers, presses and detergents. With quality products dating back to 1922, MAG has continuously developed and

enhanced its equipment, making them some of the most reliable, energy-efficient, and cost-effective machines in the market. Care homes benefit from the peace of mind that their laundry machines can be promptly maintained and repaired, as MAG Laundry Equipment supplies, installs, and services equipment across England, Scotland, and Wales. For those seeking high-quality wash results capable of removing stubborn stains, MAG is the go-to choice. Their washing machines for nursing homes feature complete thermal disinfection as standard. To explore how MAG can support your care home, contact them at 01353 883025 or visit

Preserving Identity and Preventing Loss: Cash's Apparel Solutions' Century-Long Legacy


Cash's Apparel Solutions has been at the forefront of manufacturing woven nametapes for over a century, serving the nursing home sector and beyond. Their nametapes have become synonymous with preserving identity, preventing lost garments, and delivering personalised identity items and gifts. Preserving dignity Cash's woven nametapes provide a simple yet effective solution to labelling clothing in nursing homes minimising distress caused by lost garments, fostering an environment where residents are seen and respected for who they are. Cash's has earned a global reputation for reliability and quality. Their woven nametapes are sold and utilised worldwide, serving as a testament to their effectiveness. In addition, Cash's Apparel Solutions goes beyond their renowned nametapes. Their expertise in weaving and personalisation allows them to create a diverse range of identity items and gifts. From personalized badges to custom keyrings and promotional products, Cash's demonstrates their versatility in meeting unique customer needs. By offering tailored

solutions, they celebrate individuality, making a significant contribution to the spirit of personalisation and fostering a sense of belonging. A Century of Excellence: Cash's century-long presence in the industry showcases their enduring commitment to excellence. They have adapted and innovated, embracing modern technology and evolving customer demands. Cash's unwavering dedication to their craft and the nursing home sector demonstrates their genuine concern for residents' well-being and comfort. In conclusion, Cash's has established itself as a leader in manufacturing woven nametapes, personalised identity items and gifts. With their century-long legacy of quality, reliability, and attention to detail, Cash's continues to make a significant impact in the nursing home sector and beyond. By preserving identity, preventing loss, and embracing personalisation, Cash's Apparel Solutions truly embodies their commitment to enhancing safety, dignity, and individuality in care facilities worldwide. Visit


ACCESSIBLE BATHING Accessible Bathing in Nursing and Care Environments Accessible bathing in UK care and nursing homes is essential to provide residents with the best possible care. It is vital to ensure that the bathing experience is safe, comfortable, and respectful of their dignity and privacy. In this article, we will explore various aspects of accessible bathing in care and nursing homes, including health and safety, risk assessment, training, injuries, aids and equipment, technology, flooring, infection control, and patient dignity and guidance. Bathing is a routine activity that most people take for granted. However, for people with mobility or sensory impairments, bathing can pose significant risks of falls, injury, and other complications. Therefore, it is essential to conduct a thorough risk assessment of each resident's bathing needs and capabilities to identify potential hazards and develop appropriate care plans. The risk assessment should take into account the resident's physical and cognitive abilities, mobility, sensory impairments, medical conditions, medication, and history of falls or injuries. The assessment should also consider the design and layout of the bathing facilities, including the type of bath or shower, flooring, lighting, temperature, water pressure, and grab rails. Based on the assessment, the care team can develop a care plan that addresses the resident's individual needs and preferences, such as the frequency and timing of bathing, the use of aids and equipment, and the involvement of family or caregivers.

Accessible bathing requires the use of specific equipment and aids to assist residents. These may include handrails, shower chairs, bath hoists, and walk-in baths. It is vital to ensure that the equipment is regularly maintained and that staff are trained in its correct use. Technology can play a significant role in accessible bathing, with innovations such as digital showers and temperature-controlled taps providing increased comfort and safety for residents. For example, some taps can automatically turn off if the water temperature gets too high, reducing the risk of scalds. Residents' dignity and privacy should be respected at all times during accessible bathing. Staff should ensure that residents are treated with respect and that their dignity is maintained throughout the bathing process. Residents should also be given guidance on how to use the facilities and any equipment to ensure that they feel comfortable and safe. Accessible bathing is an essential aspect of providing quality care to residents in UK care and nursing homes. Health and safety, risk assessment, training, injuries, aids and equipment, technology, flooring, infection control, and patient dignity and guidance are all crucial considerations when designing and maintaining accessible bathing facilities. By prioritizing these aspects, care and nursing homes can ensure that residents receive safe, comfortable, and respectful care during the bathing process.

NEW: Omnicare Digital Shower for Level Access Bathrooms Triton has unveiled its new Omnicare Digital solution, designed for safer showering in level access bathrooms. Expanding its industry-leading collection of Omnicare electric care showers, the latest launch from Britain’s leading shower manufacturer has Bluetooth compatibility, enabling it to automatically pair with a Whale Instant Match pump, evacuating wastewater from showers where gravity cannot do so. Ideal for both new build and retrofit applications, the product joins Triton’s existing Omnicare, Omnicare Ultra and Omnicare Design products to form a complete range of inclusive thermostatic showering solutions. Packed with innovative features, the Omnicare Digital switches off instantly if power to the pump is cut for any reason, preventing flooding. Quiet in operation, the unit controls the pump’s speed based on flow rates, so gulley suction noise is minimised. With a small footprint, the pump can be installed in various locations, including bathrooms, airing cupboards and other accessible locations – making it easier and faster for contractors to fit and maintain. A 7m pairing distance through Bluetooth wireless technology also offers flexibility for the pump to be sited outside the bathroom area. Triton’s latest launch has been developed to support the continuing trend of multi-generational living amid an ageing demographic. Last year, CBRE found that 1.8m UK households now contain two or more adult generations. Ashley Cooper, Marketing Director at Triton Showers, said: “An increasing number of people are living in multi-generational households, whether due to a shortage in housing stock, cost-of-living crisis, or the population living longer. Therefore, properties must be adapted accordingly, allowing people of varying

ages with different needs and abilities to share facilities. “We launched Omnicare Digital for this type of application, further strengthening our collection of thermostatic care showers. The new model helps users with reduced mobility and can be specified in wet room applications, while still offering all the safety features that are included across our Omnicare range.” British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) Care Mark approved, all models in the Omnicare range have a maximum temperature setting of 43°C and are equipped with thermostatic temperature control to prevent scalding and sudden drops in water temperature, regulating within +/-1°C. Additionally, to help users of all abilities wash easily and safely, Omnicare products are Royal National Institute for Blind (RNIB) accredited and included audible feedback and tactile controls such as a looped lever handle and soft press start/stop button. There are additional accessories that can be paired with the Omnicare range to mitigate against slips, trips and falls, including multi-purpose grab riser rail kits and remote start/stop controls. Triton’s Omnicare Digital shows the manufacturer’s continued commitment to sustainable showering solutions. In Triton’s latest research, it found that an electric shower can cost nearly a third less than a mixer. Ashley added: “We’re always looking at impact on the planet, whether that’s from our own manufacturing processes or changing the behaviour of those using our products. For more information about Triton’s Omnicare range, please visit: Contact details: Call: 02476 324 776 Email:



The Huge Impact of Catering in Care Article by Laura Tighe, managing director for health, care, and retirement living, Caterplus ( Food and drink served at care facilities have a huge impact on residents. Meals must provide all the right nutrients to keep residents healthy and satisfied and the portion sizes need to be fulfilling, but not overwhelming, and service goes far beyond the basics of keeping residents fed. Food is also a social vehicle; mealtimes see residents interact with each other and with care staff, providing important socialisation and relationshipbuilding time. The type of meals served can also be impactful, helping residents remember memories through their different senses. Continuous improvement should be at the core of any food service provider’s approach in a care setting. By dedicating substantial resources to enhancing menu planning, nutrition, taste, flavour, hydration, food presentation, and technology, catering in care can become something beyond simply providing sustenance to residents. An in-house dietician should work closely with care staff to understand the bespoke needs of the residents in each location, helping to build the most appropriate menu. This representative needs extensive knowledge about the specialised dietary requirements to support illnesses such as dementia and dysphagia, ensuring that the food is delicious and supports residents’ health needs.

WHAT TO SERVE Fresh, seasonable ingredients should be used to prepare nutritious meals, creating a selection of familiar, traditional favourites and exciting new dishes for residents to enjoy, including residents requiring texture-modified and specialist diets. Menus are always aimed at meeting the dietary, nutritional, and cultural needs of residents. It’s important to keep traditional choices that customers love but it is also nice to present something new. Themed meal events are a lovely way to bring people together, introduce new flavours and add value and enjoyment for residents. Working closely with managers at homes, you can plan, manage, and deliver regular special events typically centred around food themes, creating an enhanced social experience at mealtimes.

ENGAGING RESIDENTS AT MEALTIMES Integrating employees within the community at the care homes during meal times is key. When mealtimes take place, employees can engage with residents and enable better social relations. Using this time to interact is essential for residents’ health and well-being, and also means staff are always on hand to help residents. Ultimately, food is a wholly social vehicle, and it can be used to help integrate with the wider local community. Afternoon tea sessions are a great way to invite people, such as families, friends, and young people into homes. The research around intergenerational relationships demonstrates fantastic results, a popular idea includes inviting children from local schools to come in and spend time with the residents, promoting learning and positive socialisation for all generations. Sensory tables are fully portable projection systems that can be used on any surface, and can also do a great job of engaging residents. With emphasis on motionactivation, the inclusive sensory activities reward any level of participation and help to engage and motivate all generations. By looking to different, innovative ways to enrich residents' days, there can be inspiration for the catering teams and how they use food as a similar vehicle. Residents love to see refreshed decorations too. Reimagining the dining rooms depending on the celebration can help make meal times that much more exciting and interactive for the residents, with menus reflecting the celebration where applicable, creating a full experience.

BUILDING BETTER Research from the British Nutrition Foundation helps catering teams understand in wider terms the importance of nutrition in older adults. By sharing the work from inside care homes with these organisations, we can help enable further research in this field and make more informed decisions about food choices for residents. In healthcare catering the priority is always to share positivity through food and for residents to be happy and comfortable.

Is a Sustainable Diet a Nutritious and Healthy One and Is It Appropriate for Older Adults? Tess Warnes, Dietitian at food procurement experts allmanhall (, explains “In the most general terms, as a population our current diet is not sustainable or healthy. The most recent UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) data shows our intakes of saturated fat, sugar and salt are above the Government recommended levels. Whereas intakes of fibre, fruit, vegetables, and oily fish are too low. In the UK, the Eatwell Guide provides a model for a healthy, varied diet. It is estimated that if everyone adopted this diet, nationally, it would lead to reductions in associated GHGE (-45%) and land use (-49%). It includes eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, wholegrain and higher-fibre starchy foods, and diversifying protein intake more towards plant sources such as beans and other pulses, as well as plant-based meat alternatives. A recent study found increased adherence to the recommendation on reducing red and processed meat consumption was associated with the largest decrease in environmental impacts and carbon footprints.

This same study found if everyone in the UK consumed a diet in line with these recommendations, it would lead to significantly less type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, strokes and cancer. All the evidence shows moving to a more plant-based diet means a positive impact on our health whilst meeting nutritional requirements and sustainable eating can absolutely include small amounts of meat, fish and diary. Is this suitable for older adults? Aside from specific requirements, if it is healthy, safe and appropriate for the individual, this is all very relevant for over 80s wanting to support the planet. David Attenborough is a good example!” Learn more by watching allmanhall’s interview with ITN: References:


PRESSURE CARE AND PATIENT HANDLING How to Approach Patient Handling In A Disability Care Setting Moving and handling is a complex and sensitive element of care giving, requiring care providers to be as knowledgeable and thorough as possible to get it right. This applies in all settings, but even more so in disability settings when clients are often vulnerable and non-verbal. When it comes to patient handling, care providers must respect their clients’ dignity – a fundamental aspect of quality care – and have the ability to adapt to clients’ changing needs to maintain a person-centred approach.

By Nick Horton, Managing Director, Select Lifestyles ( be a part of the community they live in. To avoid this, care providers should always work in partnership and communiunable to respond, as this maintains the client’s respect and dignity. cate with other healthcare professionals, such as social workers, doctors, Carers also need to make sure the correct equipment is always used – and dentists, to minimise this risk and ensure that clients receive the best not only to reduce risks but to make the job easier. People should be able possible care. to properly use equipment such as hoists, slings, standing aids, shower Another risk to consider is understaffing and busy workloads for carers chairs, grab rails, slide sheets and wheelchairs – to name a few. who are trained in patient handling. This must be avoided at all costs, as THOROUGH LEARNING AND TRAINING the quality of client care is greatly compromised if people rush tasks or The best approach for moving and handling training is through practical can’t complete them at all due to not having capacity. To minimise this, lessons. It’s a very hands-on element of personal care, so giving people care providers should have good rota planning to ensure the right staff practical experience will allow them to become familiar with the correct are always in place, as well as ensuring that patient handling training is processes and methods – something that is vital to ensure they pass the provided to the necessary people. training. Not only this, but in-person training allows learners to get imme-


BEING AWARE OF THE RISKS When undertaking patient handling tasks, there are a multitude of potential risks for both carers and clients. For example, both parties could experience physical harm such as skin, tissue or ligament damage if processes aren’t followed and actions aren’t carried out with care. For clients, there is the additional risk that, without successful patient handling, they could become isolated in their homes or rooms, unable to

In a disability care setting, carers should be aware that they are expected to follow the policies and protocols of patient handling for safety purposes. This includes carrying out risk assessments and a responsibility to follow support plans for individual clients, so everyone receives personalised care. In addition, carers have a responsibility to communicate with clients and explain what they are about to do, even if they are non-verbal and

diate clarification on any questions they might have. Compliance with patient handling training should also be monitored through practical assessments and regular on the job training, as well as through reviews and client feedback forms. Patient handling is such an important element of care giving – it promotes the safety, dignity, and wellbeing of individuals with disabilities, at the same time as safeguarding the physical health and professional wellbeing of caregivers.

Prevent and Treat Pressure Ulcers with Levabo The Pressure Problem Leading lower limb and pressure care distributors Algeos has announced the launch of a new, innovative automatic lateral turning system, The Turn All. Designed and manufactured by Danish pressure care experts, Levabo, The Turn All was developed to support clinicians and carers in the regular turning of primary immobile patients with minimal disruption to the individual. The new system fits between any standard care bed and mattress, is easy to install, and can be set to 30, 60, or 90minute increments across a 24-hour period to suit the service-users needs. Supporting the body along its entire length, the Turn All utilises a 30-degree lateral positioning – as recommended by the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel guidelines – to relieve tissue compression and

restoring blood flow. Furthermore, a 5-degree lift on the opposite side of the Turn All counteracts shear, a tissue injury that can occur when the tissue between the bone and subfloor is displaced. The Turn All system is the latest product to join the Levabo range at Algeos. Other products include the Heel Up, the Seat All, and the All Up all made from soft, flexible, heat and moisture absorbent non-woven material that stimulates the microcirculation of the skin. Developed with Danish wound-care nurses and backed by a plethora of European data, each of the Levabo products is single-patient use, machine-washable up to 60 degrees, and can be reused for six to eight weeks, making them a cost-effective solution for the treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers. To find out more about the range of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment products from Levabo, visit the Algeos websiteat or call 0151 448 1228.

Shockingly, pressure ulcers cost the NHS more than £3.8m every day; 1% of the total NHS spend in 2022/3. Moreover, the NHS paid out £23.5m in associated litigation damages in 2021/22. Pressure ulcers are blisters or open wounds, forming when pressure is applied to the same area of skin for a period of time. Annually, around 700,000 people in the UK will develop a pressure ulcer. As older people are a distinct risk group, they have a particular impact in community care settings, where individuals aged 65 and over make up 82.1% of the population. They also result in longer hospital stays, by 5 to 8 days. This is especially detrimental for elderly patients, leading to an increased risk of falling, sleep deprivation, infections, and even mental and physical deconditioning. Overall, pressure ulcers are regarded as a measure of care quality. However, prevention education is minimal, care is time consuming, and suffers from staff shortages, which negatively impacts staff morale. Fortunately, SSKIN is embedded in the NHS for pressure ulcer prevention. In particular, at risk individuals should be repositioned every 4 to 6 hours. Many care settings are therefore required to manage repositioning schedules, and provide advice and assistance to those at risk.

Unfortunately, the physical strain of moving patients can significantly impact staffing levels, with back and musculoskeletal problems accounting for 17% of staff sickness days in the NHS. Physical repositioning also deprives patients of sleep, impacting recovery, as sleep is vital for maintaining healing, and is essential for quality hospital experiences. Encouragingly, implementing sufficient prevention can reduce pressure ulcers by up to 87%, with a cost saving of £513,000, and a 362-day reduction in the number of bed days per centre. This reduces the impact on staff, while addressing overall quality of life. At Wellell, we’re dedicated to raising societal and healthcare quality. Our range of air mattresses prevent pressure ulcers while decreasing caregiver workload, automating labour-intensive procedures and complex therapy workflows. Our Optima Turn turning mattress, one of our Optima Series products, provides automatic and timer-controlled turning up to 30° supported by alternating pressure, multiple pressure relief therapy options and manually deflatable air cells for heel relief care, all easily accessible through the intuitive pump interface, streamlining patient handling and caregiver workload. Contact us to learn more about this innovative pressure injury solution. Let’s work together to provide better treatment.


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES BIOFROST Cold Therapy Gels The New “Jolly Journey” for Drug-Free Pain Relief from Little Islands ®

BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels are natural drug-free topical cold therapy gels for muscular and joint pain, chronic arthritic pain, postactivity muscle tension, general aches and overuse disorders. Easy to use and fast acting, BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels relieve pain, reduce inflammation and swelling without drugs and drug-related side-effects. BIOFROST® Gels: • BIOFROST® Relief Cold Gel for pain relieving cold therapy • BIOFROST® Active Dual-Action Cold Gel with Heat Sensation combining cold with natural heat effects to treat back pain BIOFROST® Relief provides instant pain relief and activates body’s own healing through an optimal combination of natural ingredients, including ethanol, menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint and MSM. Reported benefits of BIOFROST® Relief include lasting pain relief, improved joint movements, comfort during sleep, fewer cramps, calmed nerve pain, reduced joint and muscle discomfort and faster post-activity recoveries. BIOFROST® Active is a dual-action fast-acting cold gel with heat sensation for effective relief of muscular

and joint pain. Containing 10 natural herbal extracts (i.e. Arnica, Burdock, Roman Chamomile, Garlic, Watercress, Ivy, White Nettle, Pine, Rosemary, Menthol), BIOFROST® Active relieves chronic pain, releases muscular tension, loosens stiff joints and effectively treats back pain. Benefits of BIOFROST® Active include easier joint movements, effective pain relief in treated areas, discomfort-free sleep, fewer cramps and reduced post-activity muscular and joint fatigue. BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels are usable standalone or alongside other pain relieving therapies (i.e. medication, physiotherapy, etc.). BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels are suitable for people of any age, including elderly and disabled people living independently or in nursing care. Made in Finland by Viking Lab Oy, BIOFROST® Cold Therapy Gels are Class 1 Medical Devices registered with MHRA. Win Health Medical is the UKRP for BIOFROST® products. T: 01835 864864866 / E: / W: See the advert on page 3 and the front cover of this issue for more products.

C&S Seating Ltd

limb is required. Our popular and vibrant range of Soft Knit covers in a choice of 5 colours, provide a softer alternative, ideal for the colder seasons and are designed to fit snug over our waterproof rolls for maximum protection and comfort. Contact us on 01424 853331 or visit to request or download a brochure, pricelist or order form, request an individualised quotation, speak to an advisor or to place an order. See the advert on page 6.

C&S Seating Ltd have provided postural control equipment to residential homes, hospices, medical equipment services and NHS trust hospitals nationwide since 1991. With 9 different sizes of T-Rolls and Log Rolls, in a removable and machine washable Waterproof Titex or Soft Knit material. These rolls are used to control posture and position of the body in either supine or side lying. Our Knee & Leg support wedges are available in 2 sizes. C&S Seating Ltd is the sole manufacturer of the Alternative Positioning Support – also available in two sizes, which has removable side cushions and middle pommel for when more control of the abducted lower

Baron Medical BARON MEDICAL in Bredhurst Kent & WESTERN EQUIPMENT SUPPLIES in Bristol, have provided a wide range of services to the Care Industry, both at home and abroad since the mid-eighties. So, with a combined 60+years’ service to the Care Sector, we are probably two of the oldest supply companies in the UK, which enables us to have unique purchasing arrangements with various trade and public bodies within the industry. We have close links to the NHS, giving back much needed revenue, whilst also working with diverse clientele at home and abroad to countries less fortunate than ours. Understanding the financial constraints often faced by care organisations and individuals, we offer flexible

Oxford Up

Joerns Healthcare’s Oxford Up is an active manual stand aid, supporting assisted standing, seated transfers, and patient rehabilitation. Suitable for clients who require some assistance when standing but are able to participate and contribute effort to the process, the Up can also be deployed as a useful rehabilitation aid. With a safe working load rating of 200kg (31st), the Up quickly and conveniently disassembles into three separate components, significantly easing storage and onward transportation, making it truly portable. Reassembly takes a matter of seconds, and its ready for use again.

pricing options. As a Trade Customer, whether you're looking to purchase just one or many beds, for hire or purchase, we can offer generous discounts to help cash~flow. Our current range of Alerta Beds is a testimonial to those savings whilst current stocks last, but we can always deliver on value. Prices are INCLUSIVE of VAT to ease your financial burden, along with subsidised delivery. Call 0800 954 8801 - Text 07768 800 188 Or email: Maureen (or) See the advert on page 15 for further information on how Baron can help your business.

The new “Jolly Journey” from Little Islands is designed to simulate an old-fashioned travel carriage, featuring real wood panelled wall, brass luggage racks, ornate wall lights and table lamp, opposite-facing seating for four, including cushions, ‘First Class’ antimacassars and period memorabilia. The Jolly Journey creates a familiar and stimulating environment for ‘passengers’ to return to their fondest memories, sparking conversations of time gone by. Reminisce about travel and holidays with loved ones and friends over afternoon tea in your exclusive cabin, then maybe top it off with a jolly good ‘Sing Song’ on the way home.

Our Journeys begin with Steam Train rides through Britain, with other destinations being planned as the World opens up again. Bespoke Journeys can also be created, just let us have your ideas and we’ll see if we can fit them in with our filming schedule. In just one day our Little Islands Team can efficiently install and furnish your opulent ‘First Class Carriage pod’ with all accessories and footage. All we require is 2.5M of clear wall space, a power socket and good access, to create your very own Jolly Journey. For more information please contact Little Islands: 01828 869802 or see the advert on the front cover.

Where To Start Caring For The Environment To help achieve climate-neutral building stock by 2050 the care sector is being challenged to reduce operational energy use. By increasing the use of renewable energy supply and prioritising on-site renewable energy sources the hope it to reduce both harmful carbon emissions and operational costs. There is no doubt that being more sustainable comes at a cost. Whether in the form of new build projects or the refurbishment of existing, yet ageing facilities, understanding the necessary capital investment, operational savings and payback periods is key to developing a workable sustainability strategy. Because of ubiquitous need for hot water, from basins to baths and showers, catering and wash down, addressing how this resource is secured is one of the best ways of making active carbon savings today. 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 properties meet sustainability goals in a practical and cost-effective manner. It also deliv-

ers improved year-round conditions for residents and staff, providing spaces better suited to delivering quality care. For buildings already on gas and that rely on large amounts of DHW silent solar preheat is the preferable option. For new build properties, the expectation 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 larger accommodation space comes at a premium. Adveco can help achieve emission reduction targets. With more than 50 years of specialised expertise in designing, supplying, and servicing hot water systems for residential healthcare, Adveco is the single resource you need for independent expert technical guidance on choosing pre-sized or bespoke sustainable applications today to get you on the right path towards net zero operation. See the advert on page 5.

Serve Afternoon Tea in Style with Euroservice Watch your resident's eyes light up when the beautiful tea trolley arrives! Euroservice trolleys can also be used as a vending trolley or to sell personal care products to residents. How about a delicious snack/pastry trolley or even a drinks trolley for that afternoon tipple? Your lovely trolley could do so much for you and your residents! Visit the website at to see the full range. Or see the advert on page 17.

An over-sized multi-point push handle eases manoeuvrability for the caregiver, and the foot push pad provides a means of generating forward momentum when moving a patient. Optimum positioning of the swing-away seat pads and knee support help ensure comfort for the patient. Adjustable leg opening allows closer access around furniture, promoting improved patient positioning and general ease of use. Where additional seated support is required, the Oxford Deluxe Standing sling (With Clips) is fully compatible with the Up and available in three standard sizes: small, medium, and large. The Oxford Up is available to order now with a standard 5 year warranty for peace of mind! For more information, contact Joerns Healthcare on 0344 811 1158, send an email to or visit our website at See the advert on page 7.

Consort Claudgen Introduces Wi-Fi Enabled Heaters to LST Range Consort Claudgen’s innovation in the electric heating industry takes another leap forward by introducing Wi-Fi-enabled heaters to their low surface temperature (LST) range. These cutting-edge heaters offer unparalleled convenience and efficiency. The heaters connect directly to Wi-Fi, enabling users to control heating through the digital control panel on the heater or via the Consort Connect app. With a comprehensive 7-day timer, which allows 24 individual heating periods per day, and features such as a lock function, open window detection, and custom automation, users can tailor their heating needs to their preferences. Adding to the ease of use, users can view the ener-

gy consumption statistics of all connected heaters, providing insights into usage patterns and potential savings. The LST heaters with Wi-Fi and occupancy sensors have a selflearning control ability. They utilise in-built occupancy sensors to detect and learn a user’s weekly presence in a room, creating an intuitive heating schedule. When the space is unoccupied, the heater conserves energy by switching to a setback temperature or frost protection mode. BIM (Building Information Modelling) objects for the heaters are available for download from Consort’s website. 01646 692172 | | See the advert on page 7.


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Mainteno - Award-Winning Maintenance Management Software Mainteno is a complete, cost-effective CAFM software solution designed to simplify the day-to-day maintenance of any organization. Whether you're managing planned maintenance or dealing with fault repairs, Mainteno streamlines every aspect of the maintenance management process, saving you time and money. With Mainteno, you can keep everyone in the loop and archive all your communications and documentation in one place, allowing for total control of your organization's assets. The software also seamlessly incorporates asset management and tracking for added convenience.

Pass Profile 2023 PASS supports over 1,000 care providers every day, giving them access to market leading care management tools hand in hand with unlimited 24/7/365 support from our dedicated and friendly PASS team. Assured by NHS Transformation Directorate, PASS provides a secure platform that allows you to plan, record and evidence the care you deliver. The only assured solution built specifically for the home care sector, it provides comprehensive real-time functionality and allows you to share progress against outcomes with customisable, exportable reports.

CARE PLANNING AND ROSTERING FROM A SINGLE PLATFORM To meet the wider needs of the PASS community All-in-one PASS has recently been launched , bringing advanced rostering functionality to our established digital care planning platform. As a result advanced staff scheduling, payroll and invoicing functionality is now seamlessly linked with care planning and reporting, reducing the technical complexity, risk and overhead associated with integrating two separate systems. As a result, PASS now provides an all-in-one suite of digital care management tools, available from a single platform, designed to: • Save you time • Increase the efficiency of your teams • Improve the quality of care • Deliver better outcomes

Mainteno's interface was designed with practicality in mind, allowing basic operation to be learned in minutes and making it easy to become a power user in just one afternoon. Despite its elegant usability, Mainteno is surprisingly affordable, with no set-up fee or lengthy contracts. Mainteno adapts to any organization's maintenance needs and offers a FREE TRIAL, so you can see how it can benefit your organization before committing. Try Mainteno now and experience the time and cost savings it can provide for your facilities management. With Mainteno, you can enjoy a complete CAFM software solution that simplifies your maintenance processes and saves you money, all while providing the flexibility and ease-of-use you need to stay productive. Visit

INTEGRATED HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE Our commitment to the continual evolution of PASS is further illustrated by the addition of GP Connect. The first product of its type to offer this feature, PASS is still one of only a handful of digital care management solutions to have completed this NHS Digital integration, and is the only one offering it to the home care market. PASS GP Connect provides authorised social care staff with realtime access to their client’s GP records. It makes medical information available when and where it is needed, leading to improvements in both care safety and outcomes: • Visibility of allergies, vaccinations and medications, especially useful for clients unable to reliably share their personal information • Using medical information to inform care planning • Ensuring that the right medication is delivered to the right person in the timeliest manner. In one case, this allowed the administration of antibiotics on a Friday evening, aiding the service user’s swift recovery from infection Available to all PASS users at no additional cost, PASS GP Connect is significantly more efficient than waiting for a GP response. It’s also a positive step forward on the path to the DHSC’s goal for widespread digitally enabled care and is in full alignment with their ambition for joined up care for everyone. Get in touch:




ChatGPT and the Adult Care System We Need To Be Aware Of The Limitations Nourish Care’s Chief Product Officer Jeremy Baldwin on why the care sector should be careful in rushing to adopt AI There are many great examples of AI being used to positive effect in health and social care leading some care providers to look at open platforms like ChatGPT to generate care plans and make calls on tech providers to build into their systems. I get the attraction but we shouldn’t rush in. Yes, plans created through ChatGPT can read really well and appear person-centred, saving time, and improving the perceived standard of the plans generated, but there are significant data privacy, clinical safety and quality issues to consider. These relate to how and when the AI is being used, who or what is making the decision and who is responsible if something goes wrong. A single care provider deciding to accept these risks in their own clinical safety cases is one thing while setting best practice by integrating into systems such as Nourish that are used at scale across the sector is quite another. A common understanding of AI is technology performing human tasks and decisions. At the most basic level, asking the AI to perform a specific, usually administrative, but cognitive task like writing a report through to the AI automating decisions or tasks based on a set of rules and then to autonomous applications where the AI is doing both the decision making and action without intervention - care delivering robots, which begs the question, will the human be replaced? Can you take the human out of health care? Or perhaps put another way can the AI care? In reality, this is all a long way off in the care sector, if it happens at all. The careful, considered and responsible adoption of AI will reap benefits but, as always, will take longer to manifest than we think. Automation in our digital systems is nothing new. It’s core to Nourish and how we are developing best practice to help ensure that the right things happen at the right time. What’s changed is the availability of open language models like ChatGPT. They are trained to understand natural language, intent, and context for the action or decision and can respond with human-style conversation. This makes them useful and attractive. Using ChatGPT to give better structure to a care plan, and make it easier for others to consume is fine as is using it as a starting point for personalised care plans but not if it’s being used to generate the plan from scratch.

A ChatBot that makes it easier to access and understand information from a defined source — such as an individual’s personalised care plan and record — and is really powerful, but caution should be applied if this ends up being advice or recommendation based on data from multiple, open sources. Where is this data coming from? What happens if there is a conflict? Which fact (or more likely opinion) should I use? Nourish is advancing rapidly and one of the biggest areas of growth is integrations. What will revolutionise care is the use of devices and wearables, along with home automation devices that allow us to improve care in community settings, particularly in people’s homes. It’s a huge technological leap. All of these things become part of the puzzle in being able to identify what normal looks like for this person and to be able to identify and monitor anomalies. This makes it easier to identify those at greatest risk, or urgent need and manage resourcing accordingly. AI will continue to grow and Nourish is effectively creating a model of what good social care looks like. We’re ideally placed to do that as we’re instrumental in providing digital care support in almost a quarter (24%) of the market, which gives us access to a huge dataset that is growing all the time. AI modelling of these data sets over time, will inform better practice but we still need human beings to make those important care decisions. Automations that reduce the burden on care teams for administrative, reporting and compliance have to be a good - and safe thing. Automated workflows that guide and nudge on the next best action will lead to faster and better interventions, but caution is needed if this strays into the generation and application of treatment plans or response to an event. This need to keep decision-making in human hands won’t hinder advancement. Those predicting that we will be cared for by robots and automated systems in a few years' time will be proven wrong. It’s not going to be futuristic care of the imagination, it will be slow because the system is slow. There is still a very long way to go and one thing I predict is that we’ll seriously underestimate the impact that AI will have on social care in the future.

ABOUT NOURISH CARE Nourish is the leading provider of digital care management software in the UK. Nourish was one of the first digital social care record suppliers to be recognised as an NHS Transformation Directorate Assured Supplier at launch and is accredited by PRSB as a Quality Partner. The easy-to-use technology provides care teams with person-centred tools, timelines, assessments and more to drive outstanding care and improve outcomes for those with support needs. Nourish works with more than 3,500 care services in the UK and overseas within residential homes, nursing homes, learning disability services, mental health services, and other care settings.

Better by Design: A Fee Income System especially for Residential and Nursing Care Homes We've analysed every aspect of fee income processing to the nth degree and developed a bespoke solution that delivers simplicity and ease of use coupled with speed, flexibility and accuracy – all in one outstanding application package. SFIncS r/3 is the ultimate fee income management and control system. • Unlimited sponsor and charge code assignments allow complete flexibility of service user billing profiles. • Perfect for all types of care homes - Nursing, Residential, Mixed, Specialist. • Unique continuous billing functionality provides the most efficient charge definition possible. Only charge start points need to be maintained and all sponsor charges for each service user (including historic) are shown on just one screen. • Completely flexible invoicing. Invoice any sponsor at any time for any charges for any service user for any period of time. • Super fast receipt entry including ‘Six clicks’ copy functionality. • Balance forward accounting means you can forget laborious invoice matching. • Ad hoc charges functionality. • Cashbox module included. • Works for multiple or single home operators. • Integrates with any accounting system. • Plus all the reports, views and graphs you’ll ever need. • In use for over 12 years. • Free training and help with system set up. • Historic data loading option available (charges may apply). • 30 day free trial.

For a demo, free trial or for further information please email or visit


TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Taking Control of Time and Attendance in Social Care The social care industry faces unique challenges when it comes to managing time and attendance. Ensuring that the right skilled care worker is in the right place, while also juggling staff absences, can be a daunting task. However, there is a solution that can streamline these processes and give you greater control over absence management: Advanced Time and Attendance software. One of the key features of time and attendance software is skills mapping. In social care, it's not always possible to simply roster in another employee to cover a shift. With skills mapping, you have the ability to set parameters that ensure the replacement staff member has the necessary skills for the specific client. So, when a care worker calls in sick or can't make it to their next client, you can seamlessly find and allocate another staff member with the right skillset. Shift swapping is another valuable tool offered by our time and attendance software. If a care worker is unable to fulfil their shift or make it to their client visit, the shift can be easily swapped with another equally qualified care worker. This ensures continuity of care without disrupting the rest of the schedule. Additionally, team members may even be able to trade shifts between themselves with approval, reducing the administrative burden on care coordinators.

To make the management of schedules and absences more efficient, time and attendance software offers self-service capabilities. Employees can access cloud-based software at any time to manage their schedules, sickness, and annual leave. This empowers them to take ownership of their own time and reduces the time and effort required for managers to keep tabs on who is where, when, and for how long. Managing rosters, absence, and payroll in the social care industry can be complex, but it doesn't have to be complicated. With Advanced Time & Attendance solution, you can efficiently configure your rotas, update shifts, and track absences. The software provides real-time data and productivity insights, helping you make informed decisions and optimise your workforce. Taking control of absences in social care is crucial for maintaining the quality of care provided to clients. Advanced’s Time and Attendance software offers the tools and capabilities needed to streamline processes, allocate skilled staff members, and empower employees to manage their own schedules. By implementing a Time & Attendance solution, you can prioritise client needs while ensuring efficient and effective workforce management. For more information on Advanced Time and Attendance, you can visit our website or call 0330 311 6077. See the advert on the back cover of this issue for details.

Better by Design: A Fee Income System Especially for Residential and Nursing Care Homes We here at Intracare have analysed every aspect of fee income processing to the nth degree and developed a bespoke solution that delivers simplicity and:• Ease of use coupled with speed, flexibility and • Accuracy – all in one outstanding application package. SFIncS r/3 is the ultimate fee income management and control system. • Unlimited sponsor and charge code assignments allow complete flexibility of service user billing profiles. • Perfect for all types of care homes - Nursing, Residential, Mixed, Specialist. • Unique continuous billing functionality provides the most efficient charge definition possible. Only charge start points need to be maintained and all sponsor charges for each service user (including historic) are shown on just one screen. • Completely flexible invoicing. Invoice any sponsor at any time for any charges for any service user for any period of time.

• Super fast receipt entry including 'Six clicks' copy functionality. • Balance forward accounting means you can forget laborious invoice matching. • Ad hoc charges functionality. • Cashbox module included. • Works for multiple or single home operators. • Integrates with any accounting system. • Plus all the reports, views and graphs you'll ever need. • In use for over 12 years. • Free training and help with system set up. • Historic data loading option available (charges may apply). • 30 day free trial. For a demo, free trial or for further information please email or visit See the advert on the facing page for details.


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 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 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 See the advert on the front cover for more details.

Earzz Limited - AI-Powered Acoustic Monitoring Solutions Earzz Limited is a British business making AI-powered acoustic monitoring solutions that help the vulnerable and those who care for them. Built with a deep commitment to enhancing the well-being of residents, ‘Earzz’ listens, recognises, and alerts for critical sounds, making it an invaluable addition to residential homes and supported living facilities. Earzz listens and proactively alerts carers for critical sounds detected in resident rooms, including gasping, screaming, coughing, and also sounds of movement - like footsteps or thuds - that can help carers pre-empt a fall even before it happens, all without violating resident privacy. Unlike ANY existing acoustic resident monitoring solutions in the market, Earzz offers advanced sound recognition AI that detects specific sounds, not just anomalies, reducing false alerts and facilitating quicker, personalised responses to residents’ needs. The system also does not recognise speech or relay raw audio; it only recognises and alerts for important sounds that may be cause for concern as chosen by carers, offering

unmatched privacy protection to residents. Carers are alerted within seconds on mobile devices that they may already use to help administer care, helping: • Reduce chances of falls through timely proactive response; • Minimise disturbances in residents’ sleep; • Reduce unnecessary physical night-time checks; • Save costs as a direct result Earzz also keeps digital records of sounds captured, helping carers uncover behavioural trends when the carers are not in the room (especially at night), helping proactive fall management whilst providing insights into worsening health for residents that may otherwise go unnoticed. And all this at a price point substantially lower than competitors - starting from £7.99/monitor/month, billed annually. See pricing information at or see the advert on page 19.



Prevent 55% of Night-Time Falls with Ally Ally, an AI-powered resident monitoring system is revolutionising night-time care with its immediate advantages for care home owners, staff, and residents. Ally uses a wall-mounted sensor, easily retrofitted into rooms which send alerts to the Ally app. The AI processes sound and motion signals to notify staff when attention is required, for example if resident’s call out in pain, panic, or are moving. The result is enhanced safety, reduced disruptive checks, and improved sleep and well-being for residents. In collaboration with NHS Digital, ICB’s and customer feedback, Ally demonstrates remarkable results: • 40% increase in night staff efficiency • 55% reduction in resident falls • 20% drop in hospital visits This leads to a substantial 9x return on investment, primarily achieved by affording staff more time for personalised care. Customer testimonials echo Ally's transformative impact:

“Ally’s Resident Monitor solution exemplifies how technology can deliver personalised remote monitoring that is proactive rather than reactive to incidents, ultimately enhancing the well-being of residents.” Melanie Dawson, Home Manager at The Lawns “The first indicator of a resident who contracted Covid was Ally picked up that she was coughing a lot in the night. She still had Covid, we still had to manage that situation, but because we were aware of it a little bit earlier, it helped us to feel more in control of the situation." Robin Hall at Oaklands Care Home The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recognises Ally's positive impact on care stating in their State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England 2016/17 report “Acoustic monitoring enabled staff to respond more promptly and appropriately to people’s support needs during the night.” Ally enhances care outcomes but also positions care homes using this as preferred choices for new admissions and staff. Join the revolution in night-time care, visit and follow us on LinkedIn at

Medpage Advanced Domestic and Arquella - Connected Technology, Connected Care Commercial Fall Prevention Systems Medpage Limited has manufactured care aid technologies for 40 years and our brand is widely used in hospitals and commercial care establishments. We supply fall prevention and detection systems to suit most requirements to ensure patient safety and regulation compliance. We are a major contributor and supplier of equipment to the hospital patient discharge project, where Assistive Technology items are issued to aid independent living and keep people safer at home. We offer expert technical advice, support, and product guidance for customers unsure of their requirements. Our reputation for delivering quality services, quality products, competitive pricing, and our passionate commitment to developing new and improved technologies is acknowledged by the majority of Local Authorities in the UK.

Our latest fall prevention system based around our MPCSA11 sensor controller was successfully tested in Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Enfield and Barnet NHS, Potters Bar, Edgeware, and is now adopted and implemented as part of their falls management programmes. The CSA11WBCK system is unique in that it allows a patient with mobility to freely transfer from bed to chair and into a monitored area, such as the washroom, without causing an alarm so long as the patient is detected by a sensor, bed, chair, or movement. If the patient fails to return to their bed or chair the alarm outputs become active alerting radio pagers, nurse call trigger, or dispersed alarm dialler. To find out more about Medpage fall prevention systems visit Professionalwandering-falls.

ARQUELLA, a leading care technology provider, offers solutions to enhance the quality of care in nursing and residential homes across the United Kingdom. Arquella is passionate about making a difference in the quality of care provided to nursing and residential homes across the United Kingdom. Through the power of technology, we have developed cutting-edge solutions that are accessible and supportive, putting people at the forefront. As part of a nationwide initiative driven by a £25m UK government funding pledge to enhance the quality of care and support individuals’ independence, Arquella is proud to be at the forefront of the digital transformation in the care sector. Falls in care homes are a significant concern in the UK, with residents three times more likely to fall than older people living in their own homes. Arquella’s innovative solution, Arquella Sense, utilising sensorbased technology, and Arquella Call, a digital nurse call system, will improve reactive care and reduce

risk. Arquella Sense uses discreet wall or ceiling-mounted sensors to monitor fall risk behaviour 24 hours daily, alerting carers via mobile handsets. The technology aims to intervene before falls occur, increasing safety and providing a cost-effective solution to cumbersome mats. Arquella Call is an app-based digital nurse call system that delivers in-depth digital records and future-proof functionality. It integrates seamlessly with other software applications, offering actionable data to help shape care delivery and adjust staffing levels. Arquella is at the forefront of a digital transformation revolution in the care sector. Technology is more important than ever in providing insights and actionable data to inform decisions and improve lives. For more information about Arquella’s products and how they can benefit your care home, please call 0333 242 7505 or visit their website at or the advert on the facing page.



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


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

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


The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our anti-bacterial floor

sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors. FEATURES INCLUDE: 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

Frequency Precision Silent Running - Tranquility in Care Homes Sensors and Pressure Mats to Monitor Those in Care Technology has made people more connected with the world around them and the revolution in assistive care devices has made it possible for the elderly to spend their last years in a comfortable and familiar environment. These devices have also made it easier for home carers to provide quality care for their loved ones while managing their own lives. They allow you to care for your elderly whether they are travelling in the city for errands, staying alone at home, or staying in the same home as you. They are also helping nursing homes provide better care for them with discrete monitoring and quick responses

to emergencies. If you’re looking for these kinds of assistive care devices for your loved ones or nursing home, Frequency Precision produce some of the best systems available to help you with elderly care and mobility monitoring, ranging from bed, chair and floor sensor mats through fall monitoring and GPS tracking to fully integrated nurse call plug or wireless systems. Phone: 01837 810590 Email: Website:

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.” Modern Nurse Call systems can incorporate a number of methods to reduce their impact in a care home. These include zoning whereby there are separate alarm types used depending upon the location of the call. In these circumstances, dementia sufferers and those vulnerable to noise can be located in one “zone”

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




PROFESSIONAL, TRAINING & RECRUITMENT First Free E-Learning Resource on Data Security and Protection for Care Staff Launched Care providers can now improve and assess their staff’s knowledge of data security and protection using a new elearning resource, specifically designed for the care sector. Better Security, Better Care – the national programme supporting adult care providers with data security - has developed the course in response to a gap in the market. Speaking about the new course, Michelle Corrigan, Programme Director of Better Security, Better Care, said: "Care providers told us that they struggle to access relevant training for their staff on data protection and cyber security. Our course content reflects all care settings and staff roles – from home care and residential services, to frontline care workers and administrators. There are lots of videos, case studies and interactive elements which enable staff to understand their role in keeping both print and digital data safe. “Care providers also said that it can be challenging to meet the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) requirement to train at least 95 per cent of staff on data protection in the previous 12 months. This course has been specifically designed to meet that requirement. “We have made the course completely open access, without any need to register or login because we want to maximise the number of people using it – especially staff in small care services. But it is also available as a SCORM compliant resource for providers who have a Learning Management System." The course, which reinforces the Data Security Standards and the Care Certificate, includes four modules and one online assessment. Each module takes around 10 – 20 minutes to complete, and there is one single

assessment covering topics from all four modules. Staff can complete the modules in any order and over the course of several days. Care managers, trainers and staff can access the course and corresponding user guides at The course modules are: Module 1: Data protection rights and responsibilities covers the importance of data security and protection in the care system and staff’s personal responsibility to handle data safely. Module 2: Keeping data secure covers the importance of keeping data secure through good record keeping and data disposal, and how to share confidential data securely. Module 3: Threats to data security looks at the threats to data security that employees might encounter, including common types of fraud and scams and how to safely use and keep digital and paper records. Module 4: Data breaches explains what data breaches are, the causes of data breaches and what to do in the event of a breach. Assessment quiz: The assessment includes 20 questions relating to all four modules. Trainees are required to get 80% or more correct in order to download the certificate. The course, which was developed and tested in partnership with care providers, has been welcomed by the sector. Dr Jane Townson, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance representing the 10 national care provider trade associations, encourages members to use the course saying: “Care providers are increasingly aware of how important it is to train their staff on good data and cyber security practice. But until now, there hasn’t been anything really tailored to the specific needs and circumstances faced by our sector’s staff. “This new elearning course from Better Security, Better Care is the missing piece of the puzzle – and it complies with the training requirements in the Data Security and Protection Toolkit.

Policies and Procedures Within Social Care The delivery of safe care is the paramount responsibility of social care providers. Central to achieving this is the governance framework adopted by service providers. And at the core of this framework are policies and procedures. These enable the provider to comply – and evidence compliance – with relevant legislation and regulations, as well as facilitating best practices, supporting business needs, and assisting in recognising and managing risks. Good governance care itself is an integral part of health and social regulation, Regulation 17 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 stipulates that care providers must have systems and processes in place that ensure they can meet the requirements of Regulations 4 to 20A. Policies and procedures not only ensure that providers are compliant with this regulation and working within the law; they also enable providers to drive improvement and protect the people who access services and receive care. Providers also have a legal duty of care to the people they employ. Policies and procedures should provide clear guidelines to staff on how the organisation operates, as well as informing them of best practices and processes to be followed.

“The Care Provider Alliance encourages all care providers to use the resource to improve and assess their staff’s knowledge.” Tom Rottinghuis, Data Protection Officer at The Forward Trust who was on the Working Group that developed the course said: “Our safeguarding manager and two of our counsellors … were particularly pleased to see that there is a focus on the need to share – as well as the need to protect – people’s information, and it really shows that data protection is not the enemy of safeguarding and care, but a crucial part of it. You can and must share information in order to ensure people get the support they need.” “One of the most valuable aspects of the new resources is that they are short... Given the pressure our staff are under, and the high turnover, it is so valuable to have something that is clear, straightforward and flexible to use.” Care staff who were involved in testing the course fed back: “This will help train all staff easily and at no cost. Very clear and easy, I look forward to using these modules for our staff!” “I think it is really digestible, and has managed to strike the balance of including all relevant and necessary information whilst the training does not feeling too info heavy to digest.” “These modules are tailored to the social care context and reflect real situations that a diverse variety of care workers face in different settings. It’s visual and in plain English so it is very accessible to a wide range of staff including those with English as a second language.” Visit

Policies should be reviewed annually as a minimum to ensure they are still fit for purpose and align with legal and regulatory requirements. They should be reviewed not only by employees of the business, but also by experts in various subject matters (e.g., infection control or medicines management). For many small- to medium-sized providers, there may not be the in-house skills, knowledge, and experience to complete such a robust annual review. Many choose instead to purchase their policies and procedures from a reputable provider like W&P Compliance & Training, who will also complete reviews and ensure their policies and procedures remain up to date. This way a provider not only ensures they remain compliant; they also benefit from best practice policies and procedures that provide a solid foundation for safe working practices and – ultimately – protect and support service users and staff. Ben Erskine – Director at W&P Compliance & Training | Tel: 01305 767104 See the advert on page 2 for further information.

Elevating Healthcare Staffing with Meridale In the complex world of healthcare, the backbone of any healthcare facility is its dedicated team of nurses, healthcare assistants, support workers, and many others. The quality of care provided to patients hinges on the expertise and commitment of these professionals. At Meridale, we understand this fundamental truth and have made it our mission to revolutionize how healthcare recruitment is handled.

EXCEPTIONAL RECRUITMENT SERVICES Meridale stands at the forefront of healthcare staffing because we recognize that the heart of healthcare lies in the people who provide it. Our commitment to excellence extends beyond mere lip service; it’s embedded in every facet of our recruitment services. We specialize in connect-

ing healthcare facilities with the finest talent available.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR NEEDS We understand that every healthcare facility has unique needs and constraints. Meridale takes the time to listen, comprehend, and collaborate with you to find solutions that align with your budget and meet your specific requirements. Our commitment to tailoring our services ensures that the candidates we recommend are highly skilled and a cultural fit for your institution.

FULFILLING STAFFING GAPS EFFICIENTLY In healthcare, time is of the essence. Staffing gaps can disrupt operations and impact patient care. With Meridale’s extensive network of

healthcare professionals, we can swiftly and adeptly fill these gaps. Our goal is to ensure that your facility operates seamlessly and that your patients receive nothing short of the best care possible. In these challenging times, when the healthcare industry faces unprecedented demands, having a reliable and dedicated team is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. Meridale stands ready to support healthcare facilities in their mission to deliver exceptional care. We are more than a recruitment agency; we are your partner in elevating the standards of healthcare staffing. Contact 01902 240019 or see the advert below for details.

Do You Need Permanent and Reliable Care Staff? At Caring People Recruitment we specialise exclusively in finding the RIGHT PEOPLE to work on permanent contracts in the UK healthcare industry.

RECRUIT OVERSEAS: For companies with a sponsors license, we can provide the highest calibre English speaking candidates. You can choose to recruit face to face in the Caribbean (in Jamaica or St Lucia for example) or via video call from your own office. We offer free flights and hotels for our clients for all overseas bulk recruitment drives. Candidates are all FULLY QUALIFIED in the care sector with a minimum of 2 years PROFESSIONAL care experience. Retention rates of above 98%.

RECRUIT LOCALLY: If it’s local staff that you are looking for, then look no further. Our team can

assist to fill your vacancies fast and reduce those agency costs. We recruit from top to bottom; regional managers, care home managers, nurses, carers, chefs, kitchen staff and cleaners. We are a family business committed to providing our valued clients with a complete and personal service. We guarantee that our candidates will enhance the levels of care that being provided by your business. CONTACT US NOW: Email: TEL : 0785 24 29 294 See the advert on page 9 for further details.



Grey Matter Learning Set To Support Over 180 Care Leaders Thanks To Skills For Care Funding Multi award winning eLearning provider, Grey Matter Learning, has kicked 2024 off with a bang after receiving funding from Skills for Care to deliver their suite of leadership and management online courses to over 180 care leaders. The funding, which has been awarded by Skills for Care, will enable the training provider to offer their courses free of charge to social care professionals in leadership roles to support their career development and overall standard of care. Their Lead to Succeed, Well Led and Leading Change Improving Care (LCIC) courses will run between January – March 2024, across a multitude of cohorts, with the first having already kicked-off. Talking of the initiative, Commercial Director of Grey Matter Learning, Phil Hitchcox commented: “Normally, care providers must pay upfront for these Skills for Care courses, and we then support them to claim back the costs through the Workforce Development Fund. But, this year, Skills for Care have taken a slightly different approach and released pots of money to enable training providers like ours to deliver this training at no cost to the care provider. “We have seen a huge demand for these courses, mainly, we suspect, due to the ability to access this training with no upfront costs. We all know the struggles facing the social care sector right now, and the cost-of-living crisis has hit this sector like all others meaning budgets are stretched. So, Skills for Care taking this approach has been really well received by the sector and I hope to see such initiatives again in the future. With an average turn-over rate of 28.3% and circa 152,000 vacant posts (Skills for Care), developing and retain-

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

• We assist you to get a sponsorship license. • Qualified and experienced candidates from overseas. Tel: 01704 808227

ing existing talent is key for the success of the social care sector. Only be showing clear career progression and opportunities will the sector attract and retain professionals. Phil went on to say that: “It’s alarming to read in a recent report published by EveryLIFE, Leaders of Tomorrow, that of those leaders they surveyed, a staggering 31% are not aware of any leadership training but 58% cite recruiting skilled/experienced staff as the biggest challenge faced by care leaders. That’s why we are so passionate about initiative such as these, as they are helping to tackle these issues head on.” Through their online delivery model, Grey Matter Learning can offer care leaders the opportunity to access sector specific professional development, but in a way that works around their busy schedules and other commitments. With over 3,000 social care managers having successfully completed the Lead to Succeed programme alone, the training provider is no stranger to delivering high volumes of training at scale and pace. Grey Matter Learning is a leading eLearning provider for social care, supporting thousands of care professionals annually to gain new knowledge and skills to help drive quality of care in the sector. Working with care providers and local authorities, Grey Matter Learning pride themselves on delivering a suite of courses that address the pain points within the sector, as well as equipping professionals with the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need. More can be found here Skills for Care is the strategic workforce development and planning body for adult social care in England.

Why Train Beyond the Care Certificate? It can be tempting to think that once the Care Certificate has been achieved it’s the end of training. The Care Certificate can demonstrate that staff have the minimum level of required training. Training to Level 2 and beyond will therefore improve abilities to cope with the challenges presented by working in a difficult sector. Obviously one of the most significant challenges was dealing with Covid but there will be new and different challenges ahead However, it is the clients who will benefit from the improvement that additional training will bring. Whilst these may include advances in the treatment of dementia, or changes to the

legislative framework, there will undoubtedly be any number of other issues that will create new and complex problems that need to be dealt with. So, if you think the Care Certificate completes all the training, it might be time to think again.

So why choose Step Up Training and Care? We provide training services that will build implicit trust, leading to confidence by clients looking to use your services. At Step Up Training and Care, we know people are busy, work long hours and that a set 95 timetable will not work for most care homes and providers. We can tailor our learning pro-

grammes to meet individual needs, time our training to meet business commitments, working shift patterns and around family life. Zoom Boom is here to stay, and we can accommodate teaching and learning through blended learning such as classroom, remote, assessor based, one to one training sessions. Our trainers have personal experiences of working in the health and social care sector, hence our flexible approach. We empower people to learn. Training beyond the Care Certificate - Can you afford not to? T : 0121 794 1532 or 07384 698553 W : E : See the advert on page 11.


PROFESSIONAL, TRAINING & RECRUITMENT How you can help your clients pay for care?

If they are over 55 and a homeowner then a lifetime mortgage might be the answer to paying for care. It can release cash from their homes and use it to pay for care. They could have extra visits or services they can’t presently afford, or install stair-lifts, hoists, wet-rooms etc. to make life easier. Ideally suited to domicillary care but can be used to fund the needs of one party living in care. Best of all clients keep ownership of their home. What’s in it for you? More money! More services, longer care periods.

To find out if it could work for you contact: 07789 885611 or e-mail is a trading style of The Later Life Lending Network which is an Appointed Representative of The Right

Mortgage Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales no. 09832887 Registered address 70 St. Johns Close, Knowle, Solihull, West Midlands B93 0NH.

Recruiting Success with CVMinder ATS Care recruiting is currently challenging. So, why is CVMinder ATS a great choice for Care Providers? Stuart Haddow, MD, suggests that its Ambassador Customers make the biggest difference. Ambassadors include senior HR leaders from the Care sector. “They have proven to be great at overcoming recruiting headwinds” says Stuart. CVMinder’s Ambassador Customers also guide CVMinder product improvement programme. Using that great guidance delivers a competitive advantage for all CVMinder Care customers. Jack Morgan of Local Solutions agrees. “CVMinder has made the process as smooth and as streamlined as possible. That’s is critical when recruiting in a

demanding sector like care. It gives us central control of everything and the management information we generate from CVMinder has helped to improve our recruiting approach. Without CVMinder our recruiting costs would be much higher and good candidates would be lost in the administration clutter.” Donna Newell of The Kent Autistic Trust says “CVMinder ensures that we are being responsive to applicants and the demands of our managers. Having a one stop shop means that we can post and update jobs at the touch of a button. Receiving all applications online and using filter questions enables our recruiters to shortlist batches of applicants swiftly.” T: 01634 202 101 E: W:

Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance through to allowing groups to grow significantly in size we assist at every stage of your business Global assists clients throughout the U.K. who specialise in the healthcare sector to achieve their objectives of purchase, development and refinance. We have organised over £1.8bn for clients in the past 30 years, providing clients with competitively priced funding to refinance existing debt, ease cashflow and develop businesses further. From helping clients make their first purchase


expansion. Every proposal is individual and deserves to be treated that way, so we hope you will allow us to be of assistance to you and call us to chat through your plans and requirements, I am sure we will be able to tailor a facility to your requirements. Call us on 01242 227172 or e-mail us at

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