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February 2010

incorporating The Number One magazine for the care sector

no.165 • £4.75 In association with

‘Excellent’ homes put in jeopardy By Dominic Musgrave ‘GOOD’ and ‘excellent’ care homes will close in a Devon seaside resort unless the council increases its fees, it has been claimed. And Clare Hunter, director and one of the founders of the Torbay Quality Care Forum, says the town’s Care Trust spends £44-a-week per person below the average spent in other parts of the South West. She told Caring UK the residential care sector is one of the largest employers in the region, with more than 80 per cent of fee income spent on wages and other locally sourced products and services. Clare, who runs two homes in Torquay, added: “We are most concerned that this will impact on resident care as homes cannot afford to meet the standards demanded by CQC, the Trust’s own requirements, and indeed the reasonable expectations of every council taxpayer in the area. A care home’s operating costs are closely linked to inflation, with around two thirds being wages and these driven by government determined minimum wage increases. Other costs,

including energy, water, food and repairs are closely linked to inflation, if not above average inflation in many cases.” And she warned this could have an adverse affect on the quality of care being provided. Clare added: “It is very difficult, if not impossible, to economise on items without compromising on standards and that can only have one result – a decline in the quality of resident care. There is a serious risk of ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ rated homes closing. A loss of supply now will mean shortages and higher prices in the future.” Owners of a care home that was heavily criticised in a BBC documentary have met with officials to discuss some of the findings. Torbay Care Trust representatives met with representatives from ADL Care owned Woodland House in Torquay to discuss some of the ‘below acceptable standards’ in the documentary ‘Can Gerry Robinson Fix Dementia? A trust spokesman said a member of its staff had been allocated to the care home after Gerry aired concerns about the type of care provided for the 30 dementia patients.

Snow fails to keep chef from her kitchen

Television celebrity Tommy Walsh officially opened a £2m extension at a Kent nursing home. The former Ground Force favourite cut the ribbon on the new extension and refurbishment at Canford Healthcare’s Barty House, which will provide an additional 27 en suite bedrooms and potentially create an additional 60 jobs.

THE wintry weather proved no obstruction to a chef at a West Yorkshire care home. Louisa Pickles, who works in the kitchens at Abbeyfield Residential Home in Ilkley, ran through seven miles of deep snow to cook up a tasty lunch for residents. The 29-year-old usually takes a bus to work, but the service ran into difficulties following heavy snowfall, and she was forced to abandon her attempts to take the car after getting into difficulties on a steep hill. But Louisa, a member of a local running club, made the decision to dash home and change into her running gear before setting off at a steady pace. She said: “I needed to get to work because I knew that they had no cover for that day. My boss was away on holiday and the other cook had the day off so there was nothing for it but to run to work.” For more about the wintry conditions turn to Page 12


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CARINGNEWS Care homes group boss Tony Banks will return to Liverpool for the next series of Channel Four's Secret Millionaire. In the last series the former paratrooper, who is estimated to be worth £50m, was pulled out of the rundown Anfield estate where he was staying early when violence flared and he was targeted by yobs. The entrepreneur, who runs the Balhousie Group in Scotland, was the first Secret Millionaire forced to move for safety reasons, and described the ordeal as being ’like Beirut’. After spending a week undercover, the Falklands veteran donated £126,000 to the area on his visit, to numerous charities and individuals in one of the city's poorest areas.

www.caring-uk.co.uk Advertising Sales and Marketing Director: Tony Barry Sales Manager: Jackie Brook Tel: 01226 734479 Email: jb@whpl.net National Sales Executives: Mandy Edwards Tel: 01226 734333 Email: mandye@caring-uk.co.uk Fax: 01226 734477 Rebecca Hazell Tel: 01226 734 685 Email: rh@whpl.net

Optimism in failing home’s future By Dominic Musgrave THE management company put in charge of a failing Norfolk care home say they are confident they can turn its fortunes around. Healthcare Management Solutions were put in charge of Brunswick House in North Walsham by receiver Tenon after its owner Nightingale Healthcare went into administration on October 30. The county council has stopped making placements to the home, which is registered for 75, after it was given a ‘poor’ rating by the CQC in September. Kevin Groombridge, director of Healthcare Management Solutions, said the main problems at the home centred around recruiting and retaining staff. He added: “The home had significant problems with staffing, mainly due to its reputation in the local area, but since taking over we have completely reorgan-

ised it and have improved conditions to attract people. We are confident the residents are safe and can move the home forward, and informal reports that we have had from the inspectorate and social services are positive “We know there is some way to go, and the next stage is to put a refurbishment programme in place because the home needs some work doing to it. A new buyer is being sought, but I cannot see it happening in the next six months. The inspector also found residents “bored to tears” due to the lack of activities offered, there was no hot food available for evening meals, and companies which maintained hoists and pressurerelieving mattresses had suspended services due to outstanding invoices. In response Norfolk County Council stopped placing residents at the home on November 4. It had placed 29 people there since January 1 2008, six of whom

were there for short-term respite care. James Bullion, assistant director of community care at Norfolk County Council, said: “Although we have no current identified concerns about the safety of the residents, we will not be making any new placements with Brunswick House at this time as a precaution. “This decision is in line with our policy of suspending new referrals to poor performing providers. We would lift the ban on placements when the CQC found it to be anything above poor.” A spokesman for the CQC said the results of an inspection carried out in December are due in the near future. He added: “The home will receive a rating from the latest inspection. 'At a meeting, which took place in December, CQC established the number of staff had been increased. CQC will continue to monitor this home and take action should it be found that any action is at all required.”

Publishers Wharncliffe Publishing Ltd. 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 2AS. Email: info@caring-uk.co.uk

Editorial Group Editor: Andrew Harrod Tel: 01226 734639 Fax: 01226 734478 Healthcare Editor: Dominic Musgrave Tel: 01226 734407 Reporters: Christina Eccles Mary Ferguson Louise Cordell Group Deputy Editor: Judith Halkerston Tel: 01226 734458 Database enquiries to: 01226 734695 E-mail: circulation@ wharncliffepublishing.co.uk Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of all content, the publishers do not accept liability for error, printed or otherwise, that may occur. You can now follow us on Twitter at caringuk


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Whim Hall, near Peebles

Under-threat home to stay open for now By Louise Cordell AN under-fire care home in Scotland has been told that its doors can stay open for now. A closure notice was being sought for Whim Hall, near Peebles after inspectors found no progress to have been made on faults identified by the Care Commission in June. The home’s owners, Guardian Care, who operate five other homes in the Borders, immediately drafted in a specialist management team to steer through major improvements and a new action plan to improve care for the home’s 29 residents. Cleethorpes Care and Nursing Ltd now oversee the day-to-day running of the home and they've brought in five more healthcare assistants to boost staffing while its managers will be in the home daily to introduce new systems and staff training. And the Care Commission has written to Guardian saying it is satisfied that improvements are progressing well enough for the home to remain open, and that it

is no longer proceeding with a move to cancel the registration of the care service. Managing director Gary Hartland apologised to residents and their families for the failings at Whim Hall and promised to rectify them quickly. He said: “We are pleased that the Care Commission is satisfied with the progress we are making and I know that residents, their relatives and our staff will be relieved that Whim Hall will remain open. “We know that there is still more that we must do and we are working closely with the commission to make sure that all of the improvements needed are made for the benefit of our residents.” An improvement notice for the home continues in place while the commission continues to monitor progress there. Guardian has pledged to make sure that Whim Hall is 100 per cent committed to the changes it needs to make, mainly in improving staff training and making sure that paperwork is of a high standard.

Tory minister tells residents about new party policy A SENIOR Tory visited an Essex care home to talk to residents about his party’s new policy. Shadow health minister Mike Penning listened to their experiences at Godden Lodge in Benfleet. The Conservatives want to reform the current law, which forces anyone with assets of more than £23,000 to pay for their own care home fees. They want to create a voluntary insurance scheme which would allow

people to pay £8,000 at any point in their lives and know their fees will be taken care of. Rebecca Harris, the Conservative’s parliamentary candidate for Castle Point, who accompanied the shadow minister on his visit, said: “This scheme would lift a major worry from older people and their families, especially in Castle Point, where more people own their own homes than almost anywhere in the country.”


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CARINGNEWS

Honour for Jan who spent big day at home A SENIOR carer who held her wedding reception at the home where she works has been honoured for her long service. Jan Paul was presented with a bouquet of flowers by staff and residents her for 20 years at Hampden House in Harrogate, which can cater for 66 residents. She says she has seen a lot of changes at the Elizabeth Finn Care charity owned home over the years, and met her husband there when he worked as a chef. Jan added: “The residents were part of our special day back in April 1991. They are such a big part of our lives that we decided to bring the reception to them, and they got involved in the meals and ate at the reception. “When I first came here I certainly didn’t expect to stay for this long as I hadn’t been in any of my previous jobs for more than three-and-a-half years. “Fingers crossed I will be here until I retire in 15 or so years’ time because I love the atmosphere here and like to help people. The company always makes sure we have up to date equipment as well to ensure we can do our jobs properly, and we are just about to start the second major refurbishment that I have been involved with. ” Her husband left several years ago to take up a manager’s post at anoth-

Hampden House care home manager Lynda Cooper and Jan Paul er home, with Jan taking charge of the night shift. She added: “I mainly deal with the medications and seeing to the residents throughout the night, as well as accompanying them to hospital if necessary. “I particularly enjoy working these shifts because there is little going on so you have time to sit down with residents and talk to them about any worries they may have. Sorting them out when I can makes it all worthwhile. “They are long shifts, around 11and-a-half-hours, and I do six in a row because the residents like the routine and who is going to be on.”

Resident Ramkunver Bhogaita presents a garland to high commissioner of India Nalin Surie and his wife Poonam.

VIP visitors at Belgrave home STAFF and residents at a Leicester care home rolled out the red carpet for a VIP visit. The high commissioner of India Nalin Surie and his wife Poonam dropped into Asra House, a residential care home for people with an Asian lifestyle in Belgrave, to see first hand the benefits of a home which caters specifically for the religious, social and cultural needs of older residents. He was joined by local councillors as part of a tour of the city.

Nalin said: “The home is an excellent example of what can be achieved when an organisation is committed to developing homes and services tailored to meeting the specific needs of a culturally diverse group of older Asian people.” The facility, which is run by Asra Midlands, a subsidiary of the Sanctuary Group, is home to 38 people in self-contained flats who have access to a range of culturally appropriate services and activities.

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Improvements put down to teamwork By Dominic Musgrave THE manager of a Barnsley care home says teamwork is the main reason why it went from a ‘poor’ rating to a ‘good’ at its last inspection. When Chris Nicholson took over Willoughby House at the end of July, the home had been banned from new admissions and morale was low among the 21 staff. He told Caring UK the first thing he did was to get them on his side and go back to basics. Chris added: “The management and administration side of things were in a bad way, with care plans and rotas very dated. The poor rating wasn’t the staff’s fault because they were providing good care, so there was no need for me to crack the whip but instead work with them. “After a couple of days I think they realised I knew what I was talking about. I outlined my plans and told them what I expected at a staff meeting, and they responded well because there had been no leadership here for so long.” The Flagswan Two Ltd owned

home, which has 30 beds, can now accept new admissions, and has also received a five-star rating for food hygiene from the local council’s Scores on the Doors scheme. Chris added: “I expected an improvement in the inspection, but to get the two-star rating felt very good. We had a lot of requirements from the previous inspection, and she could tell we had an action plan in place. Some of the staff had had no training so we have bombarded them with it, and they are now asking for it – everybody from the cleaner to the kitchen staff. “The whole atmosphere of the home has changed, and we have put an open door policy in place. The residents and their relatives are a lot happier and, judging by the laughing and talking, the staff are as well, which is nice to hear.” Chris says the challenge now is to increase occupancy and gain an ‘excellent’ rating in the next inspection. A refurbishment programme of the residents’ bedrooms is in the pipeline, with a further extension plan also being considered.

A former professional footballer has celebrated his 106th birthday at a Scottish care home. Residents, staff and family of Sam Latter, who is believed to be the country's oldest man, held a party at Strachan House, where he has lived for the past 10 years. The son of a Glasgow tailor, Sam spent time as an armourer in the RAF before signing for Third Lanark between 1929 and 1931 for £25.

The home’s manager Fiona Moncur said all the staff are very fond of him. She added: “Up until very recently Sam was very active, however he still enjoys life and watching from his window the golfers on the home's putting green and debating the daily news with the team of physiotherapists who keep him going. Sam is a real sun worshipper and at every opportunity can be found in the conservatory or patio area soaking up the rays.”


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Call for more homes to accept pets By Dominic Musgrave

Television personality Stephen Fry delighted residents and staff at a south London care home when he dropped in on their Chanukah celebrations. The QI presenter was invited by a friend of Nightingale, cartoonist and jazz musican Barry Fantoni, whose late mother was a resident at the home. He entertained the residents and also also spoke about his recent appearance on the genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, tracing his family tree to discover his Slovak Jewish ancestry, many of whom perished in Auschwitz. Picture: Stephen Fry chats with resident Rosalie Naydorf

ELDERLY residents in care homes should be allowed to keep their pets, it has been claimed. Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Nigel Waterson has launched a Bill aimed at increasing the number of care homes and sheltered housing which allow pets to live with their owners. He told Caring UK the transfer of elderly people to care homes results in 38,000 pets being put down every year because there is no other option, with a further 100,000 having to be given up and put in rescue centres. Nigel added: “This is totally unacceptable in a civilised country. Many other countries, such as France or the USA have laws aimed at allowing people to keep their beloved pets. “Enlightened councils in the UK, such as Wandsworth, have shown how positive policies can easily be brought in and have great benefits.” “Moving to a care home or sheltered housing is a big upheaval and is stressful at the best of times. It is only fair we try to stop a practice that just adds needless trauma to the process.” The shadow minister for older people says he has long supported moves to encourage care homes and sheltered accommodation to be more flexible with their pets’ policy. He added: “A nationwide policy on

Nigel Waterson pets in homes would help lift a burden from many older people considering their future.” “Additionally, pets are an important source of physical, emotional and social support. They have proven health benefits for older people and can improve cardiovascular and mental health. “They are also a great antidote to loneliness, which can afflict so many older people.” His bill has had cross-party support from MPs.  Do you allow residents at your home to keep pets? Let Dominic Musgrave know by emailing dm@whpl.net or ring 01226 734407.

Young artists bringing home’s corridors to life By Louise Cordell THE corridors of a Scarborough nursing home are being brightened up by talented young artists. Activities organiser at Dunollie, Sally Jones, contacted the town's college and asked the students to showcase their skills after the residents complained that the walls were boring. A group visited along with their teacher to get some ideas from the residents of what they would like to see, and have been attending the home for a couple of hours each week to bring them to life. Sally said: “At first the residents said they would like to do something on the walls themselves, but that is not really possible with the illnesses that a lot of them have, so we got in touch with the college instead. “Some of the ideas the residents

came up with were colourful images of people, a landscape scene and a realistic bookcase. “The students have been able to chat to residents, which they have all really enjoyed too.” Sally says the mural is expected to take around two months to complete, and once finished they are thinking about doing something on another of the home's corridors. Plans are also in place to name the wings of the home to give them an identity. She added: “The residents are over the moon with what the students have done so far, and if all goes well we will probably look at doing something else later in the year. “Some of them might also like something to brighten up their bedrooms, which is also a possibility.”


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Home reopens after £50k refurbishment By Dominic Musgrave A WEST Yorkshire care home has reopened its doors after being closed for a major refurbishment costing more than £50,000. The whole interior of Eldercare’s Holme Dene in Halifax has been decorated, while a new sprinkler system was also installed. Manager Liz Smith said the home was shut for two months, with the 15 residents and 23 staff moving to various other sites the company owns in the area. She added: “The home was looking pretty outdated and in need of a total upgrade. Due to health and safety we couldn’t leave it open so we took the decision to move everybody out for a few weeks. “Some of the residents were understandably a bit unhappy about having to move out because this is their home, but I think they have enjoyed it in some ways, particularly seeing how other places work and meeting new people. “They had a member of staff with them at their new surroundings, and

I think were glad to come back.” She said the change of scenery has also been beneficial for the staff, who have seen new ways of working. Liz added: “It was interesting for the staff to work in other homes, and learn new ideas and techniques. “I know I have come back with a few ideas in relation to how to run shifts and filling out care plans. I think we have previously spent too much time filling out documents, and with a few tweaks the staff are now spending more time with the residents. “We are also looking to getting a designated activities co-ordinator at the home. The staff have always led on this sort of the thing and have come in in their spare time to take the residents out on trips and to the shops. But the home where I worked had one who worked 25 hours a week and was brilliant, so we will look to recruiting for one here.”  Are you undergoing any refurbishment at your care home? Let Dominic Musgrave know by ringing 01226 734407 or email dm@whpl.net

Bishop of Taunton Peter Maurice visited Calway House care home to meet residents and staff from across the Somerset Care group. During his visit he joined in a residents’ activity session where a Nintendo Wii and Skype computer were in use, and had a tour of the home where he met residents. He then enjoyed a cream tea with directors, managers and staff. Picture: The bishop of Taunton uses a Skype computer with resident Audrey Collins

Healthy meals earn award for home A LOCAL authority run residential care home has won an award for its commitment to providing healthy meals. Staff at Park View in Warwick were given a ‘Heartbeat Award’ by the district council in recognition of its commitment to meeting the dietary needs of older people and for providing good standards of hygiene. The facility has been taking part in the county council’s Focus on Mealtimes project which is all about making mealtimes for residents the

highlight of the day by improving nutritional care, general wellbeing and people’s quality of life. Manager Annis Tombs said: “Our catering team have worked very hard with our residents and customers to achieve this excellent award. “Our involvement in ‘Focus on Mealtimes’ is about meeting residents’ wishes and choices, while at the same time considering the dietary and nutritional needs of older people.” Park View is the first county council care home to receive the award.


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CARINGNEWS

Determined care staff have had to battle their way through the heavy snow and ice to continue to look after the elderly. Dominic Musgrave reports.

Carers battle through treacherous weather THE Caring UK newsdesk has been inundated with stories of care home and domiciliary care workers who have gone the extra mile to continue to provide a service. Many have had to walk their daily rounds rather than driving to ensure people receive the vital care they need during the treacherous conditions. Trish Hopwood, home care manager for Aberdeenshire Council’s team of carers in South Aberdeenshire,said community spirit has been alive and well in the region. She added: “Carers have been trying their best to get out to clients with many getting stuck in their cars in the process but we’ve had Royal Mail postal staff as well as other council staff clearing the roads helping to dig out our home carers. “It’s great to see everyone working together as the home carers are battling awful conditions as they try to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities get services and their determination is to be commended.” And at Froxfield Care Home in Wiltshire, manager Hilary Harding said some staff opted to stay for the week rather than attempting to get home. She added: “We had around six inches of snow here, and because most of our staff live in the surrounding villages many of them had problems getting into work. “Some stayed over, including myself, with several others having to leave their cars at home and walk a few miles to get here. “All of the staff here have been brilliant, and thanks to really good teamwork and a lot of multi-tasking we have got through it despite not having the numbers we usually have.”

Froxfield manager Hilary Harding and her grandson Drew with the snowman they built in the grounds May Barker, a resident at a Harrogate care home also told staff she would love to go outside and throw a snowball, but due to her severe disabilities this request required thoughtful planning. Hampden House social events coordinator Daphne Johnson said: “May threw a snowball, and was taken round the garden laughing with delight. On her return indoors May said that it had brought back so many happy memories of her childhood. “Following May’s adventure, other residents requested trips out into the snow. Our residents are very much young at heart.”  How have you coped with the wintry weather? Let Dominic Musgrave know by ringing 01226 734407 or email dm@whpl.net

May Barker

Residents moved after main water pipe bursts RESIDENTS had to be moved from a Cheshire care home after burst pipes caused part of the ceiling to collapse and affected the heating. The 39 residents at Houghton Hall in Orford were moved by patient transport ambulances to a ward at Halton General Hospital in Runcorn after freezing temperatures caused a main water pipe to burst in the ceiling. The facility is managed by Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and

provides care for patients who have been treated in hospital and who are receiving some final support before going home. Simon Wright, director of operations at Warrington Hospital, said: “We managed to quickly arrange for the ward at Halton to fully open and take the majority of the residents from Houghton Hall so we could get them moved quickly from the unit. “We’re already looking at alternative accommodation closer

Residents’ panto proves a hit RESIDENTS at an Essex care home put on their own pantomime for relatives. Treetops Care Home put on their own version of Little Red Riding Hood adapted by activities co-ordinators Victoria Robertson and Christine Ball, which saw members of the home dressing up in colourful costumes for the performance. The event continued with further

performances from the Epping Forest Brass Band, the Theydon Bois Singers and the musical duo Too Hot. Deputy manager Linda Lawrence said: “The production involved a lot of hard work but the response from families and friends made it all worth while.” The home has also recently jumped from a ‘poor’ rating to ‘good’ at its most recent CQC inspection.

to Warrington for the longer term if the unit is going to be out of action for a while.” “The staff at Houghton Hall handled the incident incredibly professionally and smoothly, and we were able to move everyone quickly to the main dining area and out of any potential danger.” Although the damage to the ceiling was not extensive, the heating system was affected so all residents were moved given the low temperatures.

The fire service worked with staff to assess the damage and North West Ambulance Service was responsible for moving the patients. Houghton Hall is a former nursing home that was converted and reopened in December 2008. It is managed and run by the hospital trust in partnership with the Community Services Unit of NHS Warrington and Warrington borough council.


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CARINGLAUNDRY

Make on-site laundry as simple as possible Retriever solves laundry issues LAUNDRY is a key issue for more than 60 per cent of care homes and residents, as their clothes are the most important personal belongings they bring. The process of tracking, identifying and returning individual items to the right resident presents a major problem to the vast majority of facilities as conventional nametags are often lost or obliterated over short time periods due to the laundry process and detergents. Retriever is a revolutionary and easy to use solution which immediately identifies garments. Smart buttons are attached to each garment (and laundry bags, for smaller items) and scanned by a hand held reader to provide

instant details of who the garment belongs to and their room number. It also provides detailed report functionality, allowing to search by resident, room and date, and produces inventories of residents’ possessions. The data is available immediately. Retriever promotes good standards of hygiene, eliminates lost laundry and gives complete control over the laundry process. Use of water and electricity is also more efficient. It is cost effective, time efficient and easy to use, and ultimately frees up more time for staff to provide care, ensuring that dignity returns to the resident.

PHS LAUNDRYSERV has launched a unique, all-inclusive service designed to making running an on-site laundry as simple as possible. Complete Care provides all the equipment, dosing systems and detergents a laundry needs in one easy to budget for, all-inclusive monthly price. Traditionally, laundry managers have used one supplier for their commercial laundry equipment and another to supply their detergents and dosing system. Managing director Lynne Vanes said the new service will change traditions. She added: “We believe Complete Care is a unique offering, and by ensuring there are no hidden costs or surprise bills, and that all the equipment and detergent costs are included in a single monthly cost, we can make laundry budgeting simple.� Complete Care offers complete flexibility, allowing it to be tailored to any laundry requirement and any washer size. It can include Miele or Primus washers, dryers or ironers in any quantity and any combination. It also includes the installation of a reliable and accurate detergent dosing system, as well as all maintenance and any repairs for the lifetime of all the equipment. With all the detergents, destainers and softeners included, Laundryserv has also removed the hassle of having to continually place repeat orders by delivering the quantities of each your laundry needs automatically each month.

Double solution with Super Twinstar FOLLOWING the success of its Huebsch Twinstar, Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems has launched the new Super Twinstar. The machine provides to dryers in the footprint of one, which means you have two 421 litre dryers in less than 12 square feet. The Super Twinstar is also small enough to go through a standard 36 inch door. The new machine has all the features of the existing Huebsch Loadstar and Twinstar models, including a fast drying performance based on axial airflow and sealed cylinder rims to improve drying efficiency and save energy. Enquiries: Telephone 01635 263410 or email enquiries@armstrong-laundry.co.uk


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CARINGLAUNDRY Miele has opened a new state-of-theart, experiential showroom in central London which gives visitors the opportunity to 'try before you buy'. The option is available on a range of domestic cooking, cleaning and laundry appliances, to help ensure the choice suits their lifestyle and aids the smooth running of multi-tasking households. The Miele Gallery London offers a hands-on experience, with a range of fully live machines to enable visitors to try them out as they would be used at home. Visitors can test a washing machine programme on a favourite garment, and even put an award-winning vacuum cleaner through its paces to test the agility and performance power. The centre is hosted by a team of product advisors and home economists.

Simple and reusable labelling method ATTACH-a-Tag is a simple, cost-effective method for labelling clothing and soft objects.

process.

Replicating a button, it attaches in seconds to the garment seam or laundry label, making it discreet and comfortable to the wearer.

Each tag has the owner’s name clearly etched, and is guaranteed not to come off in the wash. This combined with the unique fixing method means the owner is identified every time.

Attach-a-Tag’s patented design is easy to attach but difficult to remove, and cannot be taken off by accident or come off during the laundry

Suitable for industrial laundry and iron proof, Attach-a-tag is reusable, making it even more cost effective for your care home.

New Octoplus from Miele Professional MIELE Professional has added an 8kg load capacity machine to its compact commercial laundry appliances. The Octoplus range offers a larger load capacity while continuing to deliver the excellence in care, stain removal, convenience, energy and cost efficiency for which Miele is known. The Octoplus washer-extractor (PW6080) and tumble dryer (PT7186) offer more than 70 washing and 40 drying choices. These can be packaged into bespoke programmes upon installation to suit the specific needs of business’ laundry care requirements. Options not activated immediately can be added later as business demands evolve, and likewise, programmes can be deactivated if they are no longer needed. The intelligent machines also offer ‘Flexplus’ - a series of five customised wash and drying programmes which can be put together from pre-defined options to suit individual needs. To ensure ease of use within the business, setting controls can be geared to the skill levels of staff. Enquiries: To find out more visit www.mieleprofessional.co.uk


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CARINGCARE SHOW

Exhibitors add diversity to Care Show Frank Ursell

Experts support show CARE sector experts will take to the podium at the Care Show Bournemouth to give free guidance and advice for care home operators in a special two-day programme. Open to all show visitors, the event will take place in the dedicated Seminar Theatre and will consist of a series of 45minute sessions which take a look at various aspects of managing a facility. These include ‘The compliance criteria for care home registration’ with speaker Frank Ursell, CEO of the Registered Nursing Home Association, and a presentation from Philip Austen from Partnership, a provider of financial solutions for people with health

conditions, on ‘Funding long term care’. Paul Marriott of Hays Social Care will take a fresh look at ‘New recruitment opportunities in the care sector’, and advice on catering is at hand with Derek Johnson, national chair of the National Association of Care Catering, who will discuss ‘Managing nutritional care and meal times’. Tim Lynch, of sensory garden design specialists Tim Lynch Associates, will also raise the question ‘Is your garden profitable?’ The Care Show Bournemouth, which is for owners and managers of care homes, runs from March 30-31 at the BIC. Entry is free, but registration is required.

A NUMBER of new exhibitors are adding to the diversity of the Care Show Bournemouth with a major showcase of products and services for care homes. The broad range of new and existing products and services that will be on show range from Danfloor UK’s antimicrobial flooring to Medi-Technique’s digital observation system for remote care observation and diagnostics. Events director Jonny Sullens said: “The recent amount of media attention given to the care of older people has given increased significance to the Care Shows. “If you own or manage a care home, this is a unique opportunity for you to get right up to date with what’s

newly available and on the market. “It has become a fast moving sector and visitors to the Care Shows see plenty of innovation and improvements in standards.” Visitors will also have the opportunity to see demonstrations from Aidcall’s nursecall communication systems, meet representatives from Vision Call, the largest provider of domiciliary eye care in the UK, and see an extensive range of laundry equipment from Girbau. Furniture, catering, pharmacy services and mobility are just a few of the care-related product categories at this year’s event.


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YTM Furniture will once again be launching a new range at the Care Show in Bournemouth at the end of March. Last year proved to be a successful one for the company and, despite the difficult economic climate, YTM have continued to grow. Following on from successful launches of the express range last spring and dementia range in the autumn, the company will unveil YTM Innovations – a collection of new products designed to suit all manner of tastes; from classic, more traditional styles through to the fresh and fashionable designs of today at the event.

New systems ‘set to revolutionise’ AID Call’s new Touchsafe R CP5000 and ATX5000 are set to revolutionise efficiency and safety in the nurse call market. Most nurse call systems display alarm calls from patients on a central display panel, possibly some distance from the patient’s rooms. Response times can be slow as nurses attend to the call and then return to the central screen to pick up details of their next alarm call. Mindful of this, the company has developed a radical new wireless nurse call system. The Touchsafe R

range of products address the key safety and functional issues of current systems on the market. The centrally placed CP5000 display panel shows location, patient’s name and attending nurse’s identification on its high visibility display, while permanently logging all information. And the new ATX5000 call points feature an LCD screen which displays a ‘next call waiting’ message, enabling staff to access their next call from the current patient’s room without having to revisit the central display panel.

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Residents take a trip down memory lane

A Fife care group has presented long service awards to more than 100 members of staff who have been with the company more than five years. Abbotsford, which has more than 250 beds in the region in seven care homes, held a special lunch for it staff, some of whom have been with the company since its inception in 1987. Senior managers Margaret Bridgeford

and Elspeth Steele have been with the company all 23 years, while Suzanne Docherty joined while she was still at school, left to do her nurse training and returned as a staff nurse in 1993, working to her present position as service support manager Pictured: Elspeth Steele, Suzanne Docherty and Margaret Bridgeford.

RESIDENTS of three care homes in Gloucestershire are now able to take a trip down memory lane thanks to a new initiative. The Blanchworth owned care homes, Astley House in Cheltenham, Church Court in Stroud and Breadstone House near Berkeley have each redecorated and furnished a sitting room in the style of the 1940s with help from Gloucester Antiques Centre to encourage residents to rekindle memories of when they were younger. The idea was the brainchild of Linda McNee, director of nursing at the nationwide care home group, as a way to enhance the daily lives of residents. Astley House manager Tony Foxwell said most items are authentic, but new drapes and sofas have had to be ordered to comply with modern regulations. He added: “We are as authentic as health and safety legislation will allow, and the room is helping to bring back sometimes long-forgotten but happy memories. In each of the rooms there are tables, chairs and many items from an era now almost unimaginable for

many people under 60. “There are no televisions, computers and few of the modern amenities that many people regard as standard today. The staff at the antiques centre are no strangers to researching projects like this, having previously sourced period pieces for dramas including the BBC’s Cranford.” General manager Stephen Zacaroli said they held a private viewing evening for the staff. He added: “It was a wonderful project to work on. We were asked to source a range of items from 1940 through to 1952, covering most of the Second World War period and beyond, to just before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. “This was a time of austerity when every item in the home would have had a practical use – and we were able to provide practically everything.” “This was an opportunity to bring an era back to life for those who lived through it – so we had an excellent reference point to ensure that all of the pieces were in line with the appropriate period.”


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Operators urged to act quickly over star ratings By Dominic Musgrave CARE home operators must act quickly if they are given a poor star rating and feel that it is unfair, or risk losing their right to appeal the decision of the inspectorate. Matthew Morton, a solicitor who specialises in star ratings review work with Leeds-based Lee and Priestley, says many care home operators are missing the opportunity to voice their disagreement at a rating due to a lack of awareness over the short window of appeal open to them. This leaves many facing a bar to any review of the star rating provided, which

Former cricket umpire Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird MBE cut the ribbon to officially declare a new Barnsley care home open. Ideal Homes’ state-of-the-art Oakwood Grange will provide a home for 60 people - 31 for those living with dementia and 29 for residential clients with 100 per cent en suite accommodation. Facilities include a sensory gardens and a hair dressing salon. ‘Dickie’ went on to sign autographs for

could have a potentially disastrous affect on occupancy levels. He said: “The procedure for review is a potential minefield for anyone unaware of the time limits, review criteria, and of course the forms that need to be completed. “If a complaint is not notified within 28 days of the draft inspection report being issued, the report will be published and care home operators will be time barred from having the star rating reviewed. “With reviews currently scheduled on a bi-annual basis, the consequences for failing to use the review process properly can be disastrous.” Although the system has been generally welcomed, many believe the true pic-

staff and residents before being presented with a cheque from company chairman, Lawrence Tomlinson which will make a charitable donation to the Dickie Bird Foundation. Oakwood Grange is the fifth home to be opened by the company. It was built by sister company LNT Construction, both part of the Leeds-based LNT Group. Picture: Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird unveils a plaque with Lawrence Tomlinson

ture of a how a home operates and the services which are offered may not be reflected by the rating provided. Matthew added: “Consumers are now increasingly aware of the published ratings, and those homes falling below the two-star rating are often ruled out as an option. But the fact that the outcome of a report can be made on the basis of what is found on a particular day, and the inflexible nature of CQC’s rating criteria means the system is not without flaws. With so much resting on the star rating procedure it’s clearly critical that those running care homes get the right advice from the outset so that they avoid the pitfalls.”

Caring UK Commerce section brings you all the latest property, business and training news every month.

In this issue:  Contractor appointed for multi-million pound scheme page 20

 Operator aiming for ten new care homes in 2010 page 20

 Job losses ‘inevitable’ says latest analysis page 22


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Families urged to secure control of relatives’ affairs Midland Heart director of new business and development Carl Larter looks at the plans with Frank Haslam Milan managing director Fraser Mercer

Contractors appointed for multi-million pound scheme COMMUNITY regeneration specialist Frank Haslam Milan has been appointed contractor for a multimillion pound extra-care housing scheme in Dudley. The Midland Heart independentliving apartment complex in Coseley will consist of 72 units, offering a mix of one and two bedroom properties for rent and shared ownership. The scheme is one of five developments planned for the Black Country and forms part of Dudley council’s extra care housing strategy which highlights the need for high quality, safe accommodation. Carl Larter, director of new business

and development at Midland Heart, said: “The extra care scheme is a great way of making sure that people stay independent and receive quality care. Giving people the chance to stay in their own home, keep control of their own lives and become part of a thriving community, is a way of life we feel totally passionate about.” Customers will have full access to on-site communal leisure areas, which include a restaurant, bar, shop, fitness centre, well-being facility, craft and activity suite, library and a greenhouse. Work is due to be completed in summer 2011.

FAMILIES are being urged to protect elderly parents and relatives after concerns about a rising numbers of dementia cases. Edinburgh-based family law firm Gibson Kerr is recommending people to secure control over ageing relatives’ affairs to ensure they can help them if they become ill in their final years. The company is also advising those with ageing family members to seek Power of Attorney over their affairs. Partner Fiona Rasmusen said the process can be ‘complicated and expensive’ if it is left too late, and that it could end up with going to court to secure guardianship or an intervention order. She added: “Dementia is a big worry for clients, but in reality there are numerous ways that someone could be left unable to make their own decisions. “If someone has been granted Power of Attorney, they will be able to deal with anything from paying the person’s bills to dealing with their welfare issues like arranging medical treatment or helping them move into a care home if they need to. “If this has not been pre-arranged, families are not able to step in to help in the same way. If a person becomes incapacitated families will not have access to their loved one’s confidential information or any decision-making clout.”

Fiona Rasmusen Fiona added that if financial Power of Attorney has not been granted there may be difficulties managing jointly owned property or money held in joint accounts. “Several clients have told us that having the welfare Power of Attorney in place has been extremely helpful to them when dealing with social services or doctors on behalf of their parent,” she said. “They have found that having the official powers put them on a much stronger footing to say what would be best for their parent in terms of where they should live and what medical treatment they should get. “Anyone could get hit by a bus tomorrow and be left unable to make decisions about their own welfare or financial affairs.”

Operator aims for ten new care homes for 2010 A NATIONWIDE operator has sets itself a challenging New Year’s resolution of 10 new care homes for 2010.

Further plans are also in the pipeline to build new homes at sites in Great Yarmouth, Jersey, Cheshire, Bath, Basingstoke and East Sussex.

Barchester Healthcare has three projects currently underway: a 64 bed care home near Derby, a 70-bed facility near Basingstoke and a 60bed one near Oxford.

And the company is also investigating future development opportunities in Oxford, Birmingham, Ashchurch, Canterbury, Cobham and Five Ash Downs.


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Job losses ‘inevitable’ – analysis By Dominic Musgrave

Mario and Gill Kreft at the Bryn Seiont site.

‘World class’ dementia centre plan would create 100 jobs PLANS have been unveiled for a “world class” dementia centre, which will create 100 jobs in Gwynedd. Wrexham-based care organisation Pendine Park is about to lodge a planning application to build the £4m centre on the site of a former community hospital, Ysbyty Bryn Seiont, in Caernarfon. The Canolfan Gofal Parc Pendine (Pendine Park Care Centre) project for Caernarfon is the brainchild of Mario Kreft, the proprietor of Pendine Park, and his wife, Gill. The couple run six care homes, a domiciliary care company and a teaching care centre, in North East Wales, employing 500 people. They are also building a pioneering dementia unit at their main site. Mario said: “Our vision is to provide a world class community based resource for older people with a range of needs primarily for people who are suffering from

various forms of dementia. “We aim to create a centre of excellence in Caernarfon to provide 24/7 services and they will include respite and day services. “But they will also be closely linked with a domiciliary care organisation that will support people in their own homes and a teaching care centre which is going to ensure that our staff have the highest possible standard of training and personal development.” The site will also include specialised ‘extra care’ accommodation, which will enable the spouse or partner to remain as the main carer. The sale by Welsh Health Estates was handled by chartered surveyors Legat Owen. The Krefts celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pendine Park later this year, having entered the care sector when they were unable to find suitable residential care for their grandparents.

JOB losses are inevitable in the care homes sector if companies are to return to profit and remain competitive, it has been claimed. David Pattison, senior analyst and author of the 2010 Plimsoll Analysis, made the prediction despite claims early signs suggest 2010 could be much brighter for many groups than last year. He said: “Our latest analysis projects that a further 1,000 jobs will have to be shed if companies are to get back to profit and remain competitive in 2010. Whether through natural wastage or compulsory lay offs, job losses are necessary. “£814m worth of profit has been wiped from the market in the last year, and employers have no choice but to cut their cloth accordingly and get more from their resources. “Even as the market improves there are a lot of companies, large and small, that survived by the skin of their teeth, and they have to rebuild their profit margins and efficiencies.” And David said that it will continue to be a buyers’ market, with many companies still recovering from the recession. He added: “In all we named 108 companies in our latest analysis that are ripe for takeover or merger with a larger parent. “There are some great examples of companies that are currently undervalued because of the recession that would be very attractive to prospective owners.

David Pattison “For many struggling companies, a buy out may be the quickest route to get the company back on an even keel – even if it means relinquishing their independence. “Inevitably, this will further increase job losses as new owners would quickly look for efficiency gains and to synergise their new acquisition with existing operations.” The new Plimsoll Industry Analysis – Care Homes gives a performance rating of the top 500 companies in the market. Each has been rated as ‘Strong’, ‘Good’, ‘Mediocre’, ‘Caution’ or ‘Danger’ according to their latest performance. David added: “We rated 106 companies as ‘Strong’ in our latest report. “As expected this number is down compared to previous years, but these companies will lead the market out of the downturn. They have managed to be commercially successful without jeopardising their financial stability.”

Management team buy-out A LEEDS-based conglomerate has sold its business valuations company to its management team in the first of a two-stage divestment process. LNT Group chairman Lawrence Tomlinson decided there was a potential conflict of interest within the group, since its re-entry into care home operation with Ideal Care Homes. The new operator is experiencing

rapid growth due to a £67m funding package which will see it have over 650 beds in operation by June. Lawrence said: “I am delighted that the Taylors Business Surveyors and Valuers Ltd management team will continue to run the business as an independent valuations practice, and I have no doubt the company will retain its excellent reputation within the sector.”

Ageing society minister to speak at conference ANGELA Eagle has been confirmed as one of the speakers at a conference in London at the end of February. The minister for pensions and the ageing society will address delegates at the Ageing Population Conference on the next steps for

implementation of key documents, ranging from the Building a Society for all Ages strategy through to the Shaping the Future of Social Care Together green paper. The afternoon keynote speech will be provided by Sally Warren, the

incoming head of social care strategy at the Department of Health on the relationship between health, housing and social care services, and the role local authorities play in providing innovative and highquality care. The conference, which takes place

at the QEII conference centre on February 25, will focus on a range of issues including older people's health, a review of the default retirement age, fuel poverty strategies and sheltered and extra care housing schemes.


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Care and support executive assistant Emma Rudge and health and wellbeing manager Angela Causton appeal for pieces of the past.

Call for people to rummage in their attics By Dominic Musgrave A MIDLANDS based housing association is appealing for people to rummage around in their lofts to help older people take a trip down memory lane. Accord is looking for a range of items such as newspapers, cooking utensils, books and records dating from the 1930s to the 1960s to create special reminiscence boxes. These will be used at the group’s care and support schemes – including those in Birmingham, the Black Country and Shropshire - to trigger conversations and evoke memories among residents. Health and wellbeing manager Angela Causton said reminiscence activities can have a positive effect on the wellbeing of people with dementia. She added : “Encouraging people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease to reminisce about the past can be very beneficial to their health. “Not only does it improve their

A care group has been described as a ‘beacon of quality’ for its innovative care solutions and commitment to personcentred care. Nick Bosanquet, professor of health policy at Imperial College London, was speaking at Brendoncare’s annual event at the Royal College of Nursing in London titled ‘The Changing Shape of Care’. In his keynote address he highlighted important changes affecting older people that have occurred over the past five

communication skills – as they share their happy memories with friends, family and staff – but it also gives them a real sense of importance and belonging. “We are appealing for people to donate items they may consider to be old junk but to us could help improve the lives of those living with serious mental heath conditions.” The company also uses a groundbreaking approach to care called the Eden Alternative, which uses the care of plants, animals and specific activities to tackle the feelings of loneliness and boredom. Director of care and support Maureen Bradley added: “There are approximately 700,000 people across the UK with dementia. As such, we believe that it is vitally important to use interesting ways to support those with the condition, allowing them to live full and fulfilled lives.” If you have any items that you can donate for a reminiscence box, call Angela Causton on 0300 111 7000 or email angelac@accordha.org.uk

years. Nick then presented awards to 39 staff and volunteers in a variety of categories including innovation, excellence in care, improving learning and performance and outstanding achievement, as well as kitchen of the year. Thirteen staff whose combined service amounts to over 300 years also received long service prizes. Pictured: Professor Nick Bosanquet presents awards to Brendoncare staff


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Fees freeze would damage social care – warning By Dominic Musgrave A FREEZE on increases in fees paid to North Yorkshire providers would damage social care across the county, a leading sector body has warned. North Yorkshire county council, City of York council and the local primary care trust have all indicated there may be no increase in the fees they pay to providers to offer social care to older and vulnerable adults in the area. They have also warned that, as government cuts on local authority spending continue to bite, the prospects for improvement in future years look bleak. That has brought a firm reaction from the body representing many providers in the area, the Independent Care Group (York and North Yorkshire), who have warned that standards could suffer. Chair Mike Padgham said social care has never had its fair share of available funding, even when times were better. He added: “A zero increase would constitute a considerable reduction on last year’s terms.

Inflation is running at 1.9 per cent and at the same time providers are facing many other rising costs – increasing fuel and utility costs and rising employee costs to name just a few. “The only outcome we can expect from a reduction in funding would be a fall in standards, which is the last thing any of us want to see. “We sympathise with local authorities and PCTs who are facing tight government spending restraints. “The government recognises the importance of improving standards of care for older and vulnerable people, and yet they are not matching this desire with adequate funding for the local authorities and PCTs and hence the industry. Mike said the group has written to the local authorities and PCT involved urging them to rethink. He added: “We cannot square any potential zero increase with a desire to maintain and improve standards of social care. We are urging the local authorities and PCT to take a

Mike Padgham fresh look.” “Our calculations suggest a fee increase of 4-4.5 per cent is needed just to maintain our current position. “We hope we can work with local authorities and the PCT to achieve a more satisfactory outcome on fee increases for the coming financial year so that we can all continue our efforts to provide the best social care for some of the most vulnerable residents in the area in the coming years.”

Social Care Institute for Excellence chief executive Julie Jones has been made a CBE in the New Year's Honours List. Julie joined the independent charity in 2007, having previously worked as the deputy chief executive and director of children's services at Westminster city council. She said: "Obviously I am surprised and delighted. It is a real honour and I also take it as a recognition of the crucial work carried out by the social care sector." In 2003 she was awarded an OBE for services to social care in London.


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A Leeds homecare franchise operator has picked up two prestigious awards. Dominic Musgrave found out more.

Franchises multiply for former accountant WHEN Farina Tayub set up Caremark in Leeds almost two years ago it marked a major career change for the former accountant. She moved to the city to be with her husband, who worked as a scientist at the University of Leeds, but has since joined the company and plans to manage a franchise of his own in the near future. Farina said she moved into the sector because she wanted to be her own boss and was fed up of working for other companies. She added: “I took six months out to do some research, but had done accounts for a few care home operators so knew it was a growing and thriving industry. “I knew I wanted to go into service rather than stock and spoke to many franchisors across the country before settling on Caremark. “I originally bought Leeds West, but while I was training the Leeds East franchise became available, so I bought that one as well. I have really enjoyed it, and am kicking myself that I didn’t do this sooner.” The companies have grown from providing 60 hours per week with

three staff when she first took over to more than 2,000 with 125 staff today, which she puts down to a large marketing campaign and time networking. Farina, who won both the care employer at the Northern Care Awards and was named quality home care provider of the year by the Leeds Care Association, says she now plans to open a further franchise in either Harrogate or Selby as well as moving to bigger premises. She added: “Both awards came as a complete shock to me, and it is always nice to be rewarded for your work. “It has been a tough but very rewarding experience. In a way you are not your own boss because the clients are always right, and their needs and requirements come first. “The hardest part for me has been managing people because I have very high standards, and the turnover can be massive. How much work actually goes into running a franchise like this has also been surprising because there is never an idle moment and we cannot stop for holidays.”

Farina Tayub with her awards Diana Abel receives her award from BBC news reader Chris Vacher and Rob Davin from Hudson and Hughes Training Limited, who sponsored the award category.

A Somerset carer has been recognised for her work with a prestigious award. Dominic Musgrave found out more.

Diana thrilled by best buddy prize DIANA Abel received the best buddy/mentor prize at a gala dinner held at The Wellsprings Centre in Taunton. The homecare assistant has worked for Care South based in the Crewkerne office for the past three years, having previously worked at a local school and hospital. She said she was thrilled to have been recognised for her work. Diana added: “I didn’t realise I had even been nominated until I was

invited to go along to the ceremony, so it was a total shock when my name was read out. “I really enjoy my job, and just wish I had started doing it sooner. When I worked at the hospital I always liked the idea of working in homecare, but I didn’t know how to go about doing it. “It was only when I spoke to someone who worked as a carer that I found out how to do it.” Diana now visits around 10 clients each week, doing everyday tasks

including helping them out of bed and preparing their meals. She added: “Working in the community is a challenging but fulfilling job, and I really enjoy meeting people and helping them to stay in their own home for as long as possible. “I find it very rewarding caring for my clients who all have different needs, to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. “It can be tough when you visit a

client who is poorly or who has gone downhill, but that is all part of the job we do.” The awards are the highlight of the year for care providers in Somerset, with finalists for the 12 awards selected from over 300 nominations from all aspects of health and social care organisations. The winners were presented with a glass trophy and floral bouquet, while all of the finalists received a goody bag which included an engraved paperweight.


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£5m care home plan is unveiled PLANS for a £5m state-of-the-art care home for the elderly have been unveiled at St Ives. The new centre will replace two facilities, with staff and the 74 residents relocated to the new 80room, two-storey building. The plans, expected to be submitted for approval shortly, would also seek permission to build a small retirement community which will include a care home and independent assisted living accommodation. A similar project in Launceston

two years ago resulted in Cedar Grange, Cornwall Care's flagship, purpose-built care home. Chief executive Douglas Webb said: “We want to provide our clients with an even better living environment which exceeds their expectations. By building a new home we will be able to design it with our clients' needs at the very heart of all aspects of the home. “There are design ideas that will be included, such as wider corridors, relaxation areas and larger bedrooms with en suite facilities.”

Ted and Christine at the airport ahead of their flight to London

A Cardiff care home enjoyed a touch of glitz and glamour as it celebrated its 10th birthday. Hallmark Healthcare’s Regency House in Ely Bridge marked 10 years of caring with a black tie do complete with champagne and a jazz singer for staff and residents to enjoy. During the party, home manager Liz Stewart, care assistant Gethin Williams and senior care assistant Amanda Cousins were all rewarded for their 10 years of service with a gift from managing director Avnish Goyal. Picture: Care assistant Gethin Williams, home manager Liz Stewart and senior care assistant Amanda Cousins at the celebration.

Owner charters plane to make Ted’s dream come true By Dominic Musgrave A CARE home owner came to the rescue of one of his residents who thought he was not going to be able to see his family over the festive period. Jervis Nutt, director of Cornfield Care Centre in Limavady in Northern Ireland chartered a private plane to take Ted Maxwell to see his family in London after bad weather meant his original flight was cancelled. The 82-year-old, whose wife died shortly before Christmas, was accompanied on the trip by the home's operations manager Christine Thompson. She said: "Ted's family had originally booked scheduled flights for him, but when he went to the airport the flight had been cancelled. "His granddaughter tried to fly over and meet him, but her flight was diverted to Dublin. It was just an absolute nightmare. "He had completely given up on

being with his family at Christmas until Jervis phoned me and said 'Is there no way we can get Ted to London tomorrow'?" Staff at the home contacted flying clubs and even the local radio station to get an announcement put out for somebody that had an aircraft they could charter. Christine said the gesture was typical of Jervis, who finally tracked down a plane that would take him in Antrim. She added: "He's a very Christian man, and he always says Christianity doesn't end on a Sunday. "He just has a very big heart, and is so good to the residents, but this was just over and above what anybody would do. "'Magnificent', was what Ted said to me on the phone when I told him. He said he couldn't believe we were doing it for him, and actually got very upset even talking about it as all he wanted was to be with his family at Christmas."


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New scheme bids to draw younger workforce into adult social care A NEW scheme has been launched aimed at attracting a younger workforce into adult social care in England, Scotland and Wales. Through a £1,000 subsidy and a free training package, the Care First Careers scheme launched by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions will encourage employers to take on jobseekers between 18 and 24 who have been receiving Jobseekers allowance for six months or more. There will be up to 50,000 jobs available under the scheme. Glen Mason, director of social

care leadership and performance at the Department of Health and co-chair of the Care First Careers Project board, said: “Through this scheme we can nurture and train new talent. And most importantly, we know from experience that people who use services enjoy and thrive on the energy and enthusiasm that care workers of all ages bring to an organisation.” A series of 11 regional launch events have been planned, which will involve adult social care employers from each region being invited to learn more about the scheme and employing young people in general.

Make a claim with Salmon Business Group IN A climate where care home operators are still suffering rising costs, reduced placements and great uncertainty about their future, the opportunity to recover up to nine years of VAT is greatly needed. Cost reduction specialists Salmon Business Group can help operators reclaim retrospective VAT for nursing and residential homes. Despite the ruling taking place back in 2002, many operators have failed to avail themselves of the opportunity thinking that they could not make a claim. You may not have all the records but this does not matter, as we can work with minimal information to secure a successful outcome. We can assess your claim free of charge and advise as to what the next step should be, and take this through to completion and funds in your bank account. If we are not successful there is no charge to you the customer - you have nothing to lose. Enquiries: Telephone 01246 293011 or visit www.salmon-business.com

Mail order bacteria testing AQUACERT operates a postal service which enables care homes to test for legionella bacteria in water systems easily and cheaply. The company offers a simple three-step solution: • Aquacert send out sterile bottles. • The bottles are filled by the care home from hot water outlets. • Aquacert collect by courier for delivery to their UKAS accredited laboratory. All for £44.50 + VAT per bottle (one bottle is normally sufficient for a home of up to 20 beds). Aquacert can also offer advice on control measures to minimise the risk of having legionella in your water systems free of charge. Managing director Duncan Hollis said: “Aquacert now has over 4,000 customers in the care sector using this service. I don’t want to see any care home featured on the national news due to a legionnaires disease outbreak, and neither do our customers.” Enquiries: Telephone 0800 783 5226 or visit www.aquacert.co.uk

Ideal solution for Hull care home IDEAL Boilers came to the rescue of a Hull care home when its 24 residents found themselves without any central heating in the midst of freezing weather. Pearson Park owner John Crosskey desperately contacted every installer he could find after the home’s ageing boiler broke down, but no-one could help. He said: “I was so desperate that I walked into Ideal Boilers’ head office in Hull and asked them if they could help. “Ideal’s response was excellent. Within 15 minutes their representative had arrived at the home to assess what was required. He quickly found a merchant who had the type of boiler we needed, and he arranged for it to be delivered the next day.” The new Ideal Imax 80kW has replaced an Ideal Concord 70KW model, which was over 20 years old. It is expected to reduce the care home’s running costs by up to 50 per cent. Enquiries: Telephone 01482 492251 or email enquiries@idealboilers.com

Innovative free smoke alarm reminder service developed by Safelincs FIRE safety retailer and wholesaler Safelincs has developed an innovative free service to remind householders to regularly test their smoke alarms. By simply going to the Safelincs website anybody with a smoke alarm can register to receive a regular reminder to test their alarm by email or SMS text message. Safelincs is one of the partners of the government’s Fire Kills campaign, whose latest advertising campaign focuses on the dangers of smoke in a household fire.

The advert “Don’t drown in toxic smoke” highlights that just two or three breaths of toxic smoke are enough to render you unconscious. When householders log on to the Safelincs reminder page www.safelincs.co.uk/reminders they are asked how frequently they would like to be reminded to test their alarms. At the same time they can register to be prompted when it is time to change the battery – every 12 months for a standard one or five years for lithium long life.

Simple solutions SINCE 1982, Colne (Lancs) based, Richards Residential Supplies have concentrated upon supplying simple solutions to common nursing home problems. The new WACMAT® adheres strongly to this tradition. With its ultra absorbent cotton pile and 100 per cent waterproof backing, the remarkable WACMAT® is an ideal accessory where spills may occur. Used as a commode mat, in bedrooms or bathrooms, the WACMAT® ensures full carpet protection. Then, after use, simply machine wash and tumble dry! It’s that simple... The WACMAT® will then be clean and odour-free, ready to perform time and time again. Alternatively the flat-laying WACMAT® can be used as an entrance mat, saving you hundreds of pounds in rental costs alone. Enquiries: Telephone 0800 074 3749.

Total Hygiene toilet is better for everyone HELPING someone go to the toilet takes up significant time, puts the carer at risk of infection or injury, and impinges on people’s feeling of independence and dignity. Total Hygiene has an innovative solution to addressing the issues, which overcomes those considerations in all environments and helps compliance with the new BS8300:2009 without any significant capital investment. An Aerolet toilet lift, whether fixed in dedicated en suites, in the main communal WC or a mobile option, which can be moved to wherever it is needed, releases carers from having to physically support someone when going to the toilet. It simultaneously helps meet elements of the code of practice for new build multi-occupancy buildings. Conscious that budgets are always under pressure, Total Hygiene is pioneering a rental system where a unit can be hired from as little as £95 a month. Enquiries: Telephone 0161 969 1199 or email info@clos-o-mat.com

Award winning Otto Bock E-Mag OTTO Bock’s E-Mag won the prosthetic or orthotic innovation prize at the Limbless Association’s annual awards dinner. E-Mag is the first electromagnetically controlled knee-joint orthosis, which gives a far greater degree of safety and reliability to the user than conventional orthoses. Two occasions when the user is most at risk of falling are when the joint is manually released or when the lock in the knee does not engage by standing. As the E-Mag gives clear acoustic or vibration feedback the user is informed of its status at all times, allowing a balanced position when the joint is operated, thus assisting in overcoming all sense of insecurity during the stance and engage phases. It can vastly improve the lifestyle for users with post-traumatic conditions such as poliomyelitis, post polio syndrome and knee extensor failure or weakness. Marketing manager Gaynor Norris collected the award at the ceremony. Enquiries: Telephone 01784 744900.


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Complete movement detection system ‘extremely flexible’ THE Live-Link passive infra-red (PIR) range is a complete movement detection system that can aid the monitoring of residents leaving their beds who are prone to falling. Likewise, it can be set up so that if a resident attends their en suite and does not exit within a pre-determined time, staff will be alerted through the nurse call system. The device can also register if residents are

Towels

Signs

inactive in their living areas, over a time period set by the management. The unit can be ceiling or floor mounted with a wide detection area. The Live-Link PIR range is extremely flexible and can be adapted to link with other manufacturers’ systems. It can also be supplied as a stand-alone unit with receiver panels if there is no existing nurse call system.

Farmyard visitors prove a hit with home residents A TRIO of farmyard animals paid a special visit to the residents at a Swansea care home. Silky the chicken, Harley the duck and Tallulah the rabbit spent an afternoon with the 29 pensioners living at the Glasfryn House Nursing Home. The animals, who hail from the Swansea Community Farm in Fforestfach, are all tame, and were passed between residents and staff. Senior carer Annette Carter said: “The animals cheered everyone up, and we all enjoyed it. One of the staff didn’t want to let

the chicken go. “Some of the residents are bed-bound but we took the animals in to see them, so everyone was involved. "Many of the residents probably had contact with animals when they were younger, so it’s good therapy for them to remember.”

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Caring UK (February 10)  

The number One magazine for the care sector.