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Online plans to improve care revealed By Dominic Musgrave PLANS to improve standards of social care in England to protect the elderly have been unveiled by the Government. They include an online ‘good care guide’ to allow family members to rate and review care homes and providers in a similar way as hotels or restaurants are scored on TripAdvisor. The ideas - proposed during workshops of care users and their relatives - will form plans for a new patients' rights group, Healthwatch. They will go on to form the basis of a white paper in the spring. Care services minister Paul Burstow said the plans would help to tackle ‘quality and mistreatment’. He added: “Measures like publishing social care comparison sites and opening care services up to greater scrutiny will revolutionise the way people and their loved-ones choose their social care. “It can't be right that you can find out exactly what a hotel or restaurant is like, in just a short time searching the web, but people have so much trouble working out the standards of different care homes and home care providers - when that choice is so much more important.
The website would also include the latest information from inspections, plus any record of mistreatment or abuse by staff, as well as feedback from care users and relatives. Under the proposals, local Healthwatch scrutiny teams would visit and speak to residents about their experiences. Committees featuring relatives of care users will also be formed to scrutinise services that do not meet standards, although any formal inspection would still rest with the CQC The announcement has been welcomed by Oliver Thomas, director of Bupa’s UK care homes. He added: “We welcome any initiative that consistently and fairly identifies the thousands of excellent care homes across the country as well as those that are not performing well. “We would like to see the CQC return to giving each home a star rating as we believe this system offers residents and their families the best way of differentiating between a good and a great care home.” Email healthcare editor Dominic Musgrave at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01226 734407 with your thoughts.
Developer picks up award
Alzheimer’s Society’s ambassador Linda Bellingham officially opened Avery Healthcare’s Cliftonville care home in Northampton. Linda, whose adoptive mum Ruth was diagnosed with the condition and died in 2005, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening. Avery has introduced three programmes: Connect, Optimise and Aries to ensure the wishes and requirements of residents and their relatives are fully acknowledged and acted upon.
A WEST Yorkshire property developer has picked up the award for the most outstanding retirement apartment development in the UK for its award-winning site in Holmfirth. Conroy Brook, which is also based in the West Yorkshire town, won the award for Holme Valley Court, beating off competition from more than 700 entries at a ceremony Held in Westminster. Chief executive Richard Conroy said: ““Achieving this success at Holme Valley Court confirms that our approach to designing and building retirement homes is working. “We aim to build on this achievement with our next proposed scheme, Prickleden Mills also in Holmfirth, which goes in for planning this month.” Holme Valley Court was built in the grounds of the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital. Facilities include full disabled access, eight person lift, communal lounge, patio and garden areas and two guest bedrooms for visitors.
02 Courtney Thorne
Home ‘no longer sustainable’ in climate - charity By Dominic Musgrave A CARE group has blamed the current economic climate for its decision to close one of its homes in Lewisham. Mission Care, a Christian charity established in 1904 which currently runs six care homes and has more than 250 residents, plans to close Morton House nursing home, which is currently home to 22 people. Jonathan Crisp, executive director, said: “This has been a very difficult decision for the board of Mission Care given the legacy of care that has been provided in Lewisham by Morton House. However, its financial situation is no longer sustainable for the charity. “The board and senior management have spent several months considering alternative solutions but unfortunately continuing to operate the home in the current economical climate is no longer tenable. “The board of Mission Care has considered this question for a number of months, and has only recently taken this difficult decision.” He added that every provision will
be made to assist current residents in preparing for their future care needs, as well as continuing to provide care at Morton House for the next few months. “Mission Care recognises the impact this announcement will have for the residents and families of those for whom we currently provide care at Morton House. “Every provision will be made to assist our current residents in preparing for their future care needs, as well as continuing to provide care at Morton House for the next few months. “It is anticipated that the period of closure for the home will, if necessary, continue up to the end of March 2012, however the home will not formally close as a provider of nursing care until the future needs of all our current residents are satisfactorily resolved. “This could include moving to another Mission Care home where possible and if desired.” Jonathan added that the company will seek to avoid redundancies where possible, but anticipates that some may be unavoidable.
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Childhood memories have been revived for residents at a New Forest nursing home who now have their own Christmas grotto. Handyman Simon Woodland has converted a TV lounge at Woodpeckers home in Brockenhurst into the seasonal attraction. The outside of the grotto is decorated with Christmas lanterns while the inside boasts a full-size Santa sleigh, a Christmas tree and an armchair for Santa. Simon said: “I like to do something a bit different each Christmas. Last year I built a sleigh, this year is the grotto and who knows what it will be next.”
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‘Boutique’ extension opens at care home A NEW ‘boutique’ facility has opened its doors at a Cirencester care home. ‘The Lodge’ at Hunters care centre was opened by mayor Andrew Lichnowski, and all of the eight rooms offer different features ranging from double patio doors leading out to the lawn, inglenook fireplaces and high beamed ceilings. Each has been named after one of the species of trees found in the home's grounds, and have feature walls behind the bed made of luxurious hand picked fabrics. There is also a shared lounge and study to create a community feel and a sense of a country home living. General manager Tracey McDonald said: “The rooms, accessed by a fob system, are unique in their style and each room has its own individual look and feel. “Bespoke care will be delivered by a dedicated care team.”
Life exceeds residents’ expectations, study finds By Dominic Musgrave THE majority of residents who took part in a study into their experiences of living in a care home said it had been better than they expected. The residents interviewed for the research by the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at the University of Kent – once just after moving into their care home and again three months or more later – generally found they had more say over their lives than expected. They also felt their quality of life had improved, their health and other needs were being met, and their social life was as good as or better than it had previously been. Results of the study show that, without exception across many different aspects of their lives, the residents believed they were more in control of what happened to them – and in some instances much more in control – than they had thought they would be before moving to the care home. The study was carried out for the RNHA. Chief executive Frank Ursell said: “The results show that, for the majority of care home residents who took part in the study, their experience of living in a care home
generally exceeded their expectations. “What is significant about this study is that it explored the views of care home residents themselves. “It is clear that, for many individuals, going into a care home makes a positive difference to their lives. “This challenges the assumption made by some commentators that older people would nearly always prefer to stay in their own homes. In many instances, this is simply not the case.” Of the 69 residents in the study who had not previously lived in a care home, only 39 per cent had initially believed that care homes in general were good, with a fifth thinking they were bad. In the follow-up interviews conducted after they had been in their new care home for three months or more, 84 per cent believed that care homes in general were good, with none of the participants now thinking they were bad. Relatives of residents considered too frail to take part in the study were also interviewed. They told researchers that, for a substantial number of residents, quality of life had changed from bad or very bad to good or very good.
Frank Ursell In the initial study, only 17 per cent of relatives thought care homes in general were good. However, this figure rose dramatically to 92 per cent of relatives who were followed up three or more months after their loved one had moved into a care home thought care homes in general were good. Almost 50 homes were randomly selected for the study from six different regions of the country. The mix included some with three, two, one and zero star ratings.
05 T.C Group
Human rights being breached, report reveals By Dominic Musgrave
Tyspane carers from the Military Wives' Choir.
Carers eye number one FOUR carers from a Devon care home are part of the all-singing Military Wives’ Choir, which is in the running for the Christmas single number one spot this year. The choir that has sung for the Queen and has celebrity backing from Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, could be a serious contender to top the charts with their single, ‘Wherever You Are’, written by Paul Mealor. The carers all work at Tyspane care home run by Barchester Healthcare are Sarah Wall, Hayley Flood, Carly Pearce and Kirsty Cunningham. Hayley said: ‘We all wanted to get
involved to make others aware of how difficult it can be for the families of those soldiers deployed in dangerous war zones and to highlight the plight of injured service personnel their wives and children. “Being a member of the choir has helped us wives meet other families in similar circumstances. It made it easier to get through the six months when our husbands and partners were away in Afghanistan.” All of the funds raised will go to forces charities SAFFA and the Royal British Legion which help to support those in need.
OLDER people living in their own homes are having their human rights breached because their care is so bad, an inquiry has found. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s final report ‘Close to home: older people and human rights in home care’ highlighted cases of physical abuse, theft, neglect and disregard for privacy and dignity. It says hundreds of thousands of older people lack protection under the Human Rights Act and calls for this legal loophole to be closed. The report also questions commissioning practices that focus on a rigid list of tasks, rather than what older people actually want, and that give more weight to cost than to an acceptable quality of care. Sally Greengross, commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “It is essential that care services respect people's basic human rights. This is not about burdensome red tape, it is about protecting people from the kind of dehumanising treatment we have uncovered. “The emphasis is on saving pennies rather than providing a service which will meet the very real needs of our grandparents, our parents, and eventually all of us. “This inquiry proposes some steps that would make sure human rights are protected in future – including
changes to the law so that, at a minimum, all people getting publicly funded homecare are protected by the Human Rights Act. Currently this is not the case. “Most of us will want to carry on living in our own homes in later life, even if we need help to do so. When implemented, the recommendations from this inquiry will provide secure foundations for a home care system that will let us do so safely, with dignity and independence." Evidence given to the Commission included a woman being left stuck on the toilet in her bathroom, as the care worker said she was too busy completing the list of care tasks to help her; and people with dementia not being prompted to eat or their food ‘hidden’ in the fridge, so they go hungry; and a woman who asked for help with her washing up and to be assisted to walk out into her garden but was given help washing herself instead. The report also found that ways for older people to complain about their home care are either insufficient or not working effectively. Reasons for their reluctance to make a complaint about their treatment included not wanting to get their care workers into trouble, fearing repercussions such as a worse standard of care or no care at all and preferring to make do rather than make a fuss.
Home’s end of life care recognised STAFF from a Prescot care home are celebrating after receiving a national award recognising their ‘Gold Standard’ end of life care. John Joseph Powell received 'Beacon' status, which is the highest accolade of the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) in Care Homes Quality Hallmark Awards. Only a handful of homes applying
for the scheme achieve Beacon Status nationally. Manager Dot Pye said: “If we can help prevent inappropriate hospital admissions and help people to enjoy their lives, receiving high quality care right up until the end we have done our job.” John Joseph Powell is owned by Meridian Healthcare.
Fee framework would improve quality, claim A NATIONAL fee framework that local authorities can work to is needed to improve the quality of the country’s care homes, it has been claimed. Lawrence Tomlinson, who owns and runs Ideal Care Homes as part of the LNT Group, made the comments as the final batch of care homes owned by the now collapsed Southern Cross were handed over to their new owners. He called on a new framework to be accompanied by the abolition of third party top up fees - an issue which he says the report by Andrew Dilnot into the state of the sector earlier this year does not address. “The care home sector labours under an unnecessary complex and inconsistent financing structure,” said Lawrence. “What we as a society need is for the sector to focus on providing good quality of care at a fair price for all. “Southern Cross had no reason or incentive to invest into improving the quality of their provision. Southern Cross failed because of poor quality care, leading to low occupancy not because of their rent. “The call for tighter monitoring is also not the answer to the recent care home crisis. I am not totally against monitoring per se but, as the saying
Lawrence Tomlinson goes “the pig doesn’t get any fatter by weighing it” more direct action is required.” Ideal Care Homes currently has 26 operating homes, with plans to open further ones across the North and Midlands in the next couple of years. Lawrence, who was recently announced as the ninth most influential leader within the healthcare industry in the Health Investor Power Fifty for 2011, added: “The solution isn’t radical, it’s simple, it doesn’t require a whole new department to manage it, the departmental body is already in place it just needs to refocus.
“CQC should continue to register homes, but the responsibility for ensuring compliance with contracts and nationally agreed and transparent quality terms should sit firmly with the local authority – this is how they will drive quality within their locality. “If we sit back and continue to simply monitor, then those quality care providers that are out there will turn their focus away from local authority residents and focus on private fee payers. This will leave the local authority residents with an increasingly poor quality pool of care to choose from.”
Homes to create 200 new jobs NEARLY 200 new jobs are to be created in Hampshire with the building of two care homes costing more than £15m. Colten Care, which operates 18 care and dementia homes in the south, has already started work on one of the homes, St Catherine’s View in Winchester. The £7m specialist dementia home will employ 80 people and is due to open next spring. Managing director Ian Hudson said: “The building of the homes represents a major expansion for Colten Care. Both will combine the highest standards of care with the latest technology and building techniques.” The second home is on the site of the former Linden House residential home in Lymington. Demolition work is due to begin shortly, with building of the new £8.5m home expected to get under way early next year. The home will be the largest care home to be built by Colten Care, which already operates three homes in Lymington. It will create between 80 and 100 new jobs and is due to open in the early summer of 2013.
Priority is quality care, survey of managers finds By Dominic Musgrave
Resident Betty Bickerstaff presented HRH The Earl of Wessex with a posy when he officially opened a new state-of-the-art new nursing home in Bristol. The purpose-built Mortimer House, which costs £3.3m to build, was 18 months in the making, and has 28 bedrooms. The Milestones Trust owned site is unique in the city as it caters for people with both learning disabilities and dementia. The Earl of Wessex was taken on a tour of the home, including its landscaped gardens, and met the chief architect, several of the charity’s trustees and the chief executive of NHS Bristol, Deborah Evans.
Group celebrates with investment A CARE group which celebrated its 70th anniversary last month is investing in a new £8m building. The ‘Saffron site’ in Bristol was acquired by Brunelcare from the city council in 1974 in order for it to be developed to provide housing and care for older people. The final building will house 100
residents, along with the community services for South West and the charity’s head office also being relocated to this site. The care home will occupy the ground floor, while the first floor will have a number of flats so people with dementia can live an independent life with a partner.
PROVIDING an excellent quality care and support service is the main priority for care sector managers, a survey has found. Delegates at the NCF’s annual managers’ conference were asked to debate and vote on the issues which were most important for them, with the starter question “As a manager in the care sector, what matters to you?” Attention to personcentred/individual support and the value of training, well-trained and motivated staff completed the top three. The top two issues accounted for 34.9 per cent of the responses and the top three over half. Executive director Des Kelly said the results were in stark contrast to last year, with funding, CQC compliance/ratings and recruitment and retention making up the top three. He added: “These results offer a useful insight into what motivates managers in care settings. Managers this year have articulated the values that drive them rather than the external pressures they face.
“It is clear that quality and personcentred approaches are far and above their main priority and I find that greatly encouraging. “These results are very interesting as they provide some insight into the balancing act at the heart of leadership and management of care services. “Despite the competing expectations, pressures and demands, it is people management issues and their underpinning values that lie at the heart of their concerns.” Making up the top 10 this year were: Contentment, well-being and happiness of people receiving care and support; Dignity, respect and compassion for people receiving care and support; Staff feeling valued; Relationships and communication: Creating positive change: Being a good listener and Confidence. Do you agree with the results of the ballot? Let Dominic Musgrave know your views by emailing email@example.com or telephone 01226 734407.
Trial aims to spot early signs of malnutrition By Christina Eccles A MILTON Keynes care home is piloting a a programme of assessment, evaluation and action to identify early signs of possible malnutrition in residents. Sue Lamming, lead nurse for nutrition at Milton Court, is implementing the scheme which uses the MUST universal screening tool to calculate risk of malnutrition. A resident with a MUST score of one or above commences a fortified diet to increase calories without trying to increase the amount of food given. She told Caring UK the risk of malnutrition can be managed if weight loss is seen as part of the caring process, along with the entire medical and health needs of residents. “Food and snacks taken by residents is recorded on a food record chart,” added Sue. “Each resident at risk is weighed weekly and details recorded in their care plan. “Between meals residents are encouraged to drink home made milkshakes made with full fat milk, ice cream and fruit. Milk powder is also added to further nourish the drinks. In addition small chocolate bars or cheese and crackers are offered. “MUST charts are evaluated each
month, and a resident’s current weight assessed against their previously weight. “Any resident at risk has information recorded on a chart that indicates, at a glance, the overall picture of MUST scores, weight loss or gain.” Sue assesses and reviews the position of residents at risk each month with a doctor, who follows the Food First Protocol. A resident with a MUST score of one is prescribed multivitamins. Sue added: “If they continue to lose weight after two months the multivitamins are stopped, the resident continues to have a fortified diet and in addition the doctor prescribes an oral nutritional supplement. “If the weight is not stabilised, or increased after six months the GP will refer the resident to a dietitian. However the GP will refer a resident earlier than the six months period if necessary. “This work is a pilot for our local area and reports from multidisciplinary teams have been positive and this may pave the way for similar practice in other care homes.” Are you currently trialling a new scheme at your care home? Let Dominic Musgrave know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01226 734407.
Nation’s sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn officially opened a hobbies and craft fair at an East Sussex retirement village. Held to celebrate the arts and crafts created by the residents, the three-day event at St George’s Park in Ditchling was attended by around 400 people. Sister Thomas and Mick Good from St George's Park are pictured showing Dame Vera Lynn around the fair.
Home ‘tickled pink’ for charity A NORTH West care home held a tickled pink’ event to raise £65 for Cancer Research. Family, friends and members of the local community joined staff and residents at the CLS owned Garswood House in Ashton-inMakerfield dressed in pink attire to
raise money for the charity. The home’s dining room was also turned into a pink paradise, with staff, residents and guests also playing games of bingo, chancing their luck on the tombola stall and raffle and feasting on cakes at the cake stall.
Daring staff take the plunge to raise money for residents By Dominic Musgrave DARING staff from a Tyneside care home took the plunge into the North Sea to raise funds. Dressed as everything from hula dancers to bumble bees, the team of hardy workers from Executive Care’s Hillcrest facility in Jarrow defied the winter chill and went for a dip. Despite the blustery wind and icy temperatures they still managed to smile as they submerged themselves in the water at South Shields beach. Receptionist Judith Nicholson was one of the staff who volunteered to take part in the sponsored dip. The 40-year-old, who is no stranger to the delights of the North Sea as she took part in the Boxing Day dip last year, says there’s a chance they may make it an annual event.
She added: “It was very cold but it was still a good laugh. There were quite a few onlookers and wellwishers standing around watching as we all ran in together and had a bit of a splash about. “Luckily we all had towels and dressing gowns waiting for us when we came out. “It’s definitely an idea as we’re always looking for ways to raise money for the residents. The money raised will go towards all sorts of things like the Christmas party and entertainment.” More than £500 was generated through sponsorship of the dip, which will all go towards the home’s residents’ fund. Marion Redhead, support manager at the home, said: “The residents’ fund does not increase on its own. The dedication of the staff and support from the local community all help to raise the
The staff prepare to take a dip in the North Sea. much-needed funds for our residents. “It pays for all of the activities and entertainment that take place at Hillcrest; something we are constantly trying to keep on top of and improve.” Residents at the home take an active role in deciding what
activities they would like to see going on with regular meetings with family and friends. Are you planning a fundraising event with a difference at your care home? Let Dominic Musgrave know by emailing email@example.com or telephone 01226 734407.
Forums designed to help develop strong relationships
An Oxfordshire care home development and project management company has scooped two major industry awards. Ian Holmes, property director of NorthStar, picked up the best projects director in the care home sector at the UK Over 50s Housing Awards and went on to collect the international version of the same award at a ceremony which celebrated winners from across the world. Ian Holmes is pictured with fellow NorthStar director Danny Sharpe and the awards.
THERE are several benefits of attending one of the the care forums organised by the experienced DP Events Management. The events bring together both high profile buyers and suppliers and are held twice a year at luxurious venues, which create a relaxed yet highly focussed and professional environment At the recent two-day Care Industry Forum held at the luxury Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London, DP Events hosted more than 65 buyers from UK care operators and more than 150 leading suppliers to the sector, in a series of 20 minute face-to-face meetings, along with key networking functions, delegate mixed seamlessly to achieve high level business opportunities. Sales director Stan Berry said the
forum is also designed to aid the development of strong business relationships. He added: “In just two days you can meet senior delegates, save 10,000 miles on the road, a minimum of four months in time, large fuel and hotel expenses and the stress of that time on the road its a no brainer.” The next Healthcare Industry Forum takes place at the luxury fivestar Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort in Portugal between March 8 and 11. There will be more than 45 buyers attending from the UK and are only 60 supplier places available. DP Events Management partner with Caring UK, the NCA and the British Contract Furniture Association.
Green Power fp
12 Required Systems
John Baldwin opens the new room with manager Rachael Crocker, hairdresser Michelle Southall and resident Betty Rowberry.
Stylish reminder to remember former resident Ruth By Dominic Musgrave RESIDENTS at a Warwickshire care home will have a stylish reminder of a friend who loved to look her best. John Baldwin opened a new pamper room at Mockley Manor in memory of his late mother Ruth who died in June aged 92. Her family decided to donate money in her memory to create a bright new room to help keep the 46 residents looking lovely. Clients will be able to relax in calm and comfy surroundings while their hair is washed and styled, their nails are manicured or they enjoy a soothing massage. There is also a portable washbasin which can be wheeled to other areas so residents who are poorly or bedbound do not miss out. He said: “My mother was a very proud person and her appearance was important to her. She loved to have her hair and nails done at the home but had remarked that the
hairdryer was old and needed replacing. “There had been plans for a sponsored walk by staff to raise cash towards new equipment and mother had made me promise to join in. “But the walk had been postponed and after she died it seemed a fitting tribute to donate money in her memory to create the new room. I'm sure she would be very pleased.” The room has been decorated a calming lilac - the colour representing dignity - and equipped with a new backwash, dryers and towels in the £1,000 makeover which has also made access easier. A hairdresser visits the Alpha owned facility twice a week to offer treatments at reasonable prices to all residents. Manager Rachael Crocker said: “Ruth always looked really nice and smart and we are delighted to be opening the pamper room in tribute to her.”
Group retains Investors status A GLASGOW based care group has successfully retained its Investors in People status for another year. Lambhill Court Ltd has five care homes in and around the city, and employs more than 350 people. To retain the award,the company had to demonstrate its continued commitment to achieving high standards of care and career develop-
ment for its employees in all areas.Sunita Poddar, managing director, said: “We are honoured to have retained our IIP status for another year and I feel that our greatest asset here is our people who have the skills, motivation, commitment and passion to understand and meet the needs of the people we look after.
Mario Kreft and his wife, Gill, with First Minister Carwyn Jones and Health Minister Lesley Griffiths after receiving the recognising achievement award.
George Gray with Sam Poddar.
Government honours Mario Nutrition award for A SOCIAL care pioneer from Wales has been honoured by the Welsh Government. Pendine Park owner Mario Kreft, who is also chair and a founder member of the independent care providers' representative body, Care Forum Wales, received a special recognising achievement award from First Minister Carwyn Jones during a ceremony at Ruthin Castle. He was one of 20 recipients who were recognised for their innovative work in health and social care. Mario, who last year was also awarded the MBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his services to social
care, said: “The achievement award is recognition of the huge contribution of social care in communities right across Wales, including the teams at Care Forum Wales and Pendine Park. “It’s a huge team approach and it’s a reward for all the work that we’ve been doing together over the years to raise standards in social care and to promote the profession of social care.” Mario is also the founder of the Wales Care Awards which celebrates the skill and dedication of the unsung heroes and heroines of social care. The event will be celebrating its 10th anniversary next year.
group’s chef George LAMBHILL Court Ltd head chef George Gray won the nutrition and eating well award at the Scottish care national conference, exhibition and care awards held at Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel. George joined the company 12 years ago, and is currently head chef for the five Glasgow care homes within Lambhill Court Ltd - a business with a turnover in excess of £10m. Managing director Sunita Poddar said: “George goes above and beyond
the call of duty to ensure that our residents have everything that they need and that the service is perfectly suited to their needs. “It’s testament to all of the hard work that George and his team have put in. I have nothing but admiration and respect for George and am delighted he has won such a fantastic award.” The Royal Bank of Scotland was the main sponsor for the event.
Balhousie’s Auchterarder site.
Refurbished home opens By Dominic Musgrave A NEWLY refurbished care home has opened its doors to the public and invited locals to come and see the results of a £2m refurbishment of the building. The event at Balhousie’s Auchterarder site is well known locally as it was a family residence before being turned into a hotel and later a care home, which was taken over by the group in recent years. The work was carried out by Muirfield Contracts Ltd and is part of Balhousie’s wider plans for expansion, which includes a series of new builds and renovations. The home, which can now care for up to 51 residents, will be managed by Ian Smallwood.
He said: “The open day was a great opportunity for the local community to come along and see all the work which has been taking place recently. “We have extensively refurbished the home, although many of the original features have been retained, and created 17 new suites, which allow residents to have their own homely facilities within the care home.” The group’s Coupar Angus Care Home opened recently, and additional facilities are currently under construction in Arbroath and Huntly. Ambitious plans to create a £14m urban care community on the banks of the River Tay in Perth have also been lodged, which include two care homes, assisted care apartments and a number of residential properties.
System enables Gwynne to keep in touch By Dominic Musgrave
Directors David Bates, Richard Clough and Graham Lomer.
Provider reaches milestone EAST Anglian care provider Healthcare Homes has reached a milestone after its 1,001st bedroom was registered by the CQC. The Colchester-based company has invested heavily throughout 2011 in an expansion and refurbishment programme at many of its homes across East Anglia. With the most recent addition of six new bedrooms at The Hillings in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, the total number of beds within the company
has passed the 1,000 mark. Executive chairman Richard Clough said: “The creation of our 1001st bedroom is a huge milestone for us as a company. “It is testament to the hard work of all our staff in providing the best possible care for our residents.” “We are very proud of what we have achieved since we started Healthcare Homes. We now employ 1,500 staff looking after residents at our 23 homes. “
A 97-YEAR-OLD former school secretary is using the latest video calling technology to see and speak her family 1,900 miles away after the Shropshire care home where she lives installed Skype. Accord Housing Association’s Bennett House, in Telford, decided to install the video conferencing technology to help residents stay in touch with their loved ones more easily. Grandmother-of-one Gwynne Hall, who has lived at Bennett House for more than two years, is the first resident to use Skype to chat to her daughter Jonquil Warbuton and sonin-law Dave, who live in Greece. Now the care home is hoping to help other residents use video conferencing technology to stay in touch with their families and friends, abroad and at home. Bennett House manager Lisa
Johnston said: “We think it’s really important for residents, especially those with dementia, to have as much interaction with their family and friends as possible. “However, we understand that faceto-face contact isn’t always possible which is why we decided to start using Skype, so that residents whose families or friends live further afield can still stay in touch.” Gwynne said: “It’s marvellous to see my daughter on screen and talk to her every Sunday. I can’t believe it sometimes.” Bennett House is a bungalow-style residential care home for older people, including those with dementia, run by Accord Housing Association. The home uses the Eden Alternative approach to supporting residents with dementia, which works with plants, animals and children to create lively and interesting places to live.
Residents at a Shrewsbury care home were transported to the West Indies during a ‘Caribbean Day’. To combat the cold December weather, staff at Morris Care’s Radbrook Nursing Home created an indoor beach, complete with palm trees and waves, bringing a touch of the exotic to Shropshire. For lunch, residents tucked in to Jamaican inspired Jerk Chicken, rice and peas and finished off the feast with a pineapple upside-down cheesecake. The afternoon was then spent tackling a Caribbean quiz and themed games, including boules played with coconuts. Social life co-ordinator Margaret Kozyra is pictured with resident Jean Bedford.
Floral success for home MILL Lane Nursing Home has won a top prize in this year’s Felixstowe in Flower competition. Minibus driver Kevin Read worked alongside handyman Frank Swann and residents including 88-year-old John Davies to plant a balcony display including petunias and lobelias, amongst other flowers. The result, which had a pink, blue and purple theme, was chosen by judges to be crowned best floral
balcony. It was a double success for Kevin, who also won best newcomer for his own garden at home. He said: “It’s the fifth year in a row that Mill Lane has won a top prize in the Felixstowe in Flower competition. “It’s perhaps even more special this year because we created the display while lots of extension work was taking place at the home.
17 James Spencer
Environment manager to lower energy consumption ONE of the country’s leading care providers has recruited an energy and environment manager to drive forward its new sustainability agenda to reduce energy consumption across its homes. Ben Collard has joined Barchester’s property service team as the company builds 13 new facilities across the UK that will all open by the end of next year. The company, keen to become a market leader in developing environmentally friendly buildings within the care sector, is also committed to modifying the properties in its portfolio. Bill Wilson, director of property services, said: “The major part of the role is to increase energy efficiency awareness across as part of our carbon reduction pledge. “We have already been doing a fair amount in this area and, as it is so important, we decided to appoint someone with a wealth of experience that can dedicate all their time to it.” Before joining Barchester, Ben worked as a director at north east based gfw-Renewables, where he was instrumental in project managing wind energy, solar photovoltaic and renewable heat projects for landowners and rural businesses across the north of England. He added: “Each home presents its own challenge to reducing energy consumption but identifying and solving common issues is vitally important. Implementing metering and monitoring systems will be key to cutting energy consumption within the care environment.” Ben is also studying for an MSc in renewable energy and enterprise management at the University of Newcastle, which he completes in 2013.
‘More noise needed to break deafening silence’ By Dominic Musgrave THE current care system encourages people to cheat, causes inter-family strains and leads to fear that could be overcome with proper reform, it has been claimed. Andrew Dilnot says it is crucial that the profile of the issue of the impending care crisis is raised urgently, with “modest” groups involved in care turning up the volume and making more noise. Speaking at the Saga Thought Leadership Seminar in the House of Commons, he said the sector needs to ‘raise the temperature’. “There’s something about the groups involved in care that means they are naturally rather modest,” Andrew added. “But this is not a minority sport – it will affect threequarters of us. The big prize is the removal of fear. “The population, and politicians, faces a simple choice: either to allow the most vulnerable groups in our society to be appallingly underserved, or to engage in proper reform. “We need to get traction, we need to raise the temperature. This is a vast issue – three-quarters of us face this
Andrew Dilnot issue before the end of our lives. “There are many people who are not enjoying a quality of life – we need to raise this up the political agenda. We need to get the message to the PM, deputy PM, Leader of the Opposition that this is an issue you need to deal with. Now.” Politicians from all sides of both Houses of Parliament were united in calls for a kickstarting of care funding and support urgently proceeding with
his proposals presented to government in the summer. However, the Government has only promised a ‘progress report’ on this issue, which Dr Ros Altmann, director-general of Saga, says is not good enough. She added: “For some reason the Treasury seems to want to avoid Dilnot’s proposals, because they seem to involve spending more public money. “But that view is misconceived. Government will have to spend far more money anyway, because inadequate care funding will merely push added costs onto the NHS, which is likely to then run out of funds. “The media is alive with scandals and stories of appalling behaviour and service in the care sector - how many scandals does it take to make Government feel the urgency? How many people have to suffer or die before they take enough notice? “This is not just about personalisation of care once it is needed, it is about planning and preparing beforehand – and there simply seems to be no sense of urgency.”
John Stanton, a Jewish Care volunteer at Rubens house in Finchley was presented with an award at the Health and Social Care Volunteering Awards ceremony, hosted by Age UK. The event was part of a one-off awards scheme made possible through funding from the Cabinet Office, as part of the European Year of Volunteering 2011 (EYV). The awards recognised excellence of volunteers’ contribution to the delivery of health and social care services for older people. Nominated by Christina Brago Nimako, social care co-ordinator at Rubens House, John was awarded a certificate of Commendation for Wellbeing. Joining John and Christina in the picture are Helena Herklots, services director, Age UK and Connie Stanton, John’s wife.
Award for whistleblower carer By Christina Eccles A CARER who raised a safeguarding alert on behalf of a couple of clients and acted quickly to protect their bank accounts from further fraudulent use has won an award. Connie Adams, who works for Longdene Homecare in Goldalming, scooped the Beyond the Call of Duty accolade at the annual Surrey Care Awards, which were presented by Richard Stilgoe, at Epsom Racecourse. She helped support the clients through the trauma of subsequent police investigations and taking the abuser to court. Guest of honour was Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Surrey Corinna, Lady Hamilton of Dalzell and master of ceremonies was BBC Surrey presenter Sylvie Blackmore. Erica Lockhart, chief executive of Surrey Care Association, which represents the interests of more than 700 providers in the county, said: “This year we had more nominations than before, and it was an exceptionally difficult task to choose the winners. “Care workers are so often the unsung heroes and we want to change that by recognising their achievements. “These awards are helping raise the profile of adult social care in Surrey and highlight the rewarding
Winners at the annual Surrey Care Awards. employment opportunities that exist within the sector.” Other winners: Ancillary worker Sandro Marino (Whiteley Village, Walton on Thames); Beyond the call of duty (care home) - Dawn Grant (Queen Elizabeth Foundation Brain Injury Centre, Banstead); Beyond the call of duty (learning disability) - Gayathri Porambage (Ranmore House, Banstead); Care newcomer Rosanna Stevens (Ashcroft Support for Living, Horley); Chairman’s spe-
cial award - Pat Beswick (Meath Epilepsy Trust, Godalming); Dementia team - BUPA St George’s, Cobham; Excellence in workforce development - National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy, Lingfield; Manager (care at home) Kerry Edwards (The Orpheus Centre, Godstone); Most innovative activity programme (individual) Sue Lee (The Grange, Bookham); Most innovative activity programme (team) - The Art House Team
(Meath Epilepsy Trust, Godalming); Nursing team - Broome Park Nursing Home, Betchworth; Outstanding contribution to social care - Merlyn Leacock (Broome Park Nursing Home, Betchworth); Volunteer - Sally Jones (Cedar Court Nursing Home, Cranleigh); Volunteer special recognition Arthur Mitchell (Whiteley Village, Walton on Thames).
Couple scoop national award By Dominic Musgrave A COUPLE who set up their own homecare franchise after listening to a radio programme about care standards in Europe have scooped a national award. Husband and wife team Mike and Catharine Chalton chose the Home Instead Senior Care model in 2007 after meeting with the company’s master UK franchisor Trevor Brocklebank and deciding that was what they were looking for. Their Wirral business, which currently employs 140 caregivers and has over 150 clients, delivers in the region of 7,500 to 8,000 hours of care per month. And their efforts have resulted in them being named overall winners at the national BFA HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards. Catharine said: “Winning this award is fantastic recognition of the lengths our whole team has gone to to make a positive change in the community we live in. “To be named as the franchisees of the year is a great honour and a very exciting reward for everyone at Home Instead. “We are extremely proud of this achievement, which also helps to raise awareness of the company and its vision to change the face of elderly care in the UK.” Mike and Catherine’s work in the Wirral has been recognised with other accolades including the NHS North
Mike and Catharine Chalton receive their award from BFA director general Brian Smart and Cathryn Hayes and Ben Nealon from sponsors HSBC and Express Newspapers respectively. West Dignity in Care Award. They were also a finalist for the Ceretas Dignity in Care Award, while one of their caregivers also won the Ceretas Home Care Worker of the Year award for the North West. Before entering the care sector, Mike worked in pharmaceutical sales and marketing. Catharine trained as a nurse in the army and was a
specialist nurse with experience in General Practice Nursing, Respiratory Nursing and Health Research. “It’s been really hard work, but so very rewarding,” said Catharine. “Every day is different and there are challenges, as I guess there are with any business, but we are part of a wider team, the international ‘Home Instead family’, and receive lots of
support and advice from our UK national office and from the team in the States.” On a day to day basis Mike is the company’s business director, while Catharine is the director of care. Have you or your company won an award? Let Dominic Musgrave know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01226 734407.
Residents Angela Atkins and Jeanie Gittins with Mike Parsons, founder and chief executive of Barchester, Tom Wright CBE, group chief executive of Age UK and general manager Lynda Gardner.
Age UK chief opens extension AGE UK group chief executive Tom Wright opened a new extension at Lynde House care home in Twickenham. He was taken on a tour of the four refurbished en-suite bedrooms and dining space at the Barchester owned home by founder and chief executive Mike Parsons and the home’s general manager Lynda Garner. She said: “Lynde House has been open for more than eight years now and we are always looking for new
ways to enhance the quality of life for our residents. “We have added and improved many features of the home including adding en-suite facilities to four of the bedrooms. The dining room is often the nerve centre of many homes and it is just the same here.” Mike was recently pipped at the post in this year’s HealthInvestor Power Fifty, which reveals the UK’s most influential leaders in healthcare.
Another council loses judicial review over fees By Dominic Musgrave LEICESTERSHIRE county council is the latest to lose a judicial review hearing against care home owners over the amount of fees it pays. It coincides with a report by the Public Affairs Committee calling for more monitoring of care home finances following the collapse of Southern Cross earlier this year. The decision means the council will have to re-open discussions with local care home providers, many of whom are represented by and members of East Midlands Care Ltd, to re-negotiate their funding agreement for 2011-2012, taking into account the rising costs associated with providing their services. The judicial review hearing concluded that council was acting illegally by imposing a freeze on the fees it paid to care homes for a second successive year. In his ruling, the Judge commented that ‘at the very least’ the local authority should have sought to make itself aware of ‘the actual costs of care’ and that there should not be a significant imbalance between these costs and the funding that the provider receives. Lisa Botterill, corporate partner at Shakespeares’ recently opened Leicester office, said: “Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that there is
Lisa Botterill adequate provision for the care of elderly and vulnerable people. “Based on this ruling, it may now be unlawful for them to contract out services to operators, based on arbitrary funding agreements, without showing due regard to the actual cost of care and the impact that changes in provision could have on the individuals concerned. “While the ruling will help to clarify the legal duties facing local authorities, it is unlikely to be welcomed. Many councils have been struggling to maintain funding for elderly care in the face of major public sector spending cuts and growing demand from an ageing population. “Local authorities could be forgiven for
feeling that they are stuck between a rock and hard place, being responsible for the provision of elderly care but lacking the cash resources to meet demand.” The news has been welcomed by ECCA chief executive Martin Green, who has been leading the fight to ensure care homes are paid fairly through the Fairer Fee Forum. He added: “This judicial review is one of many that have shown care providers are being abused by local authorities, who are using their monopoly commissioning power to pay unacceptable fees for care services. “This victory should serve as a warning to all local authorities that if they continue to behave in a dictatorial way, with no regard for the true costs of care, they will find themselves in court and be judged as acting illegally. “The money and time that Leicestershire county council has invested in defending unacceptable practice would have been better used supporting the development of care services to vulnerable people” Are you currently fighting a judicial review with your council? Let Dominic Musgrave know by emailing email@example.com or telephone 01226 734407.
Home extension creates six new jobs A £1M extension has created eight new en-suite bedrooms at a Stockport care home. The project at Southfield House, which has been funded by owners Niel and Joanna Lingwood and The Royal Bank of Scotland, involved the purchase and conversion of a property next-door to the existing home to increase the number of bedrooms from 15 to 23. Seven of the new rooms are dedicated to offering ‘assisted living’ accommodation and the development has also involved the creation of a new kitchen, dining facilities and residents’ lounge. The home has operated at 100 per cent capacity for several years and potential residents have had to register their details on a waiting list until a place becomes available. Neil told Caring UK the extension and refurbishment was completed in just four months and, once fully occupied, they expect to recruit six staff. He added: “We have operated at full
Niel and Joanna Lingwood in one of the newly created bedrooms with RBS relationship manager Stuart Davies. capacity for several years and it has been frustrating having to turn people away. “The last extension took place almost 20 years ago so this latest development is overdue. Our goal at Southfield House is to help older people live as independent a life as possible whilst providing them
with the best possible care.” Southfield House was established in 1985 and bought by its present owners eleven years ago. The home is a detached three-storey dwelling set in its own acre of grounds and was converted into a purpose-built care home in 1992.
Caring UK Commerce section brings you all the latest property, business and training news every month.
In this issue: Minister lays first
brick as work begins at village Page 24
overshadow the good operators Page 25
reinforce provider’s service provision Page 26
Group appoints associate director BEVERLEY Aldridge has been appointed associate director responsible for operations by Shrewsbury based Coverage Care. She joined the company as an assistant manager at Summercroft in 1996, followed by management appointments at Farcroft in Wellington and Innage Grange in Bridgnorth, before moving on to promotion to the central office in 2002 as operations manager, then head of operations in 2005. She said: “I have been very fortunate to work for a professional care company with a varied and continuing career development path. “The majority of our managers started as care assistants or support workers and have progressed by taking advantage of the training and career development opportunities available with Coverage Care.”
What happens to employees when a home is insolvent? By Ben Stepney THE care home industry is having a tough time. The majority of local authorities have either frozen or reduced the amount that they pay for care home placements. This will lead to increased pressure on a care home’s profit margins and has led to concern that some may end up going insolvent. It is not all doom and gloom though, and there are buyers out there who will see care homes as attractive businesses if they can be purchased as a going concern. If a care home is insolvent then an administrator may be appointed to try and rescue the business or, worse case scenario, a liquidator would be appointed to wind it up. If a care home is put into administration then the administrator takes control of the business and the employees continue to be employed and paid by the company, albeit under the direction of the administrator. Where an administrator is able to sell the business as a going concern then the employee’s employment will automatically transfer to the buyer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection from Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). Once the business is sold the seller company has no further liability towards the employees. The buyer will inherit any liabilities for unpaid wages that the seller or administrator failed to pay to the employees, although it will not take on liability for the amounts guaranteed by the NIF described above. When a care home is put into liquidation, a liquidator will be appointed to distribute the assets to the creditors and close down the business. Depending upon the exact type of liquidation, the employee’s contracts will either automatically terminate when the liquidator is appointed or be terminated by the liquidator shortly afterwards. Unfortunately for employees any money owed to them, including wages and statutory redundancy
Paddy Brice, managing director of Richmond Villages, Elisabeth Parker, village manager and Ed Vaizey MP.
Ben Stepney payments, are unsecured debts and rank low in the order by which the liquidator must distribute the assets of the company to its various creditors. In practice this is likely to yield, at best, a few pence of every pound that the company owes them. The exception to this is that any unpaid wages prior to insolvency, up to £800 per employee, will rank as preferential debts, meaning that employees are far more likely to receive these amounts. Also, the Government, through the National Insurance Fund (NIF), will guarantee up to eight weeks’ pay, statutory notice pay and holiday pay for each employee, each capped at £400 per week. Not surprisingly there are few winners in a liquidation scenario and employees are likely to find themselves out of a job and with money owed to them. If an administrator can rescue the business and sell it as a going concern then the liability for amounts due to the employees will be spread among the outgoing employer, the buyer and the NIF, according to what items are due, and the employees should not find themselves out of pocket. This article assumes that the insolvent employer is a company, not an individual, partnership or LLP. Ben Stepney is a solicitor with Thomson Snell and Passmore.
Tax reclaims for care home owners... CAPITAL allowances are among the most valuable and least exploited methods of reducing property owners’ income tax or corporation tax liabilities. Capital allowances arise from capital expenditure on purchasing or constructing a new property along with extensions and refurbishments. We comprehensively survey the property which allows us to identify any qualifying items that, for numerous reasons, have previously not been claimed. Don’t delay as the government are considering closing this opportunity for retrospective claims. Call now for your free appraisal. Have you made a Vat reclaim? If you were operating between 1993 and 2002 call now to start making your claim. We will quickly identify the validity of a claim without obligation. If it does not proceed there will be no fee. Enquiries: Telephone 01246 293011 or visit www.salmon-business.com
Minister lays first brick as work begins at retirement village By Dominic Musgrave ED Vaizey, minister for culture, communications and creative industries and MP for Wantage and Didcot, donned a builder’s hard hat and reflective safety jacket to lay the first brick of the final phase at Richmond Village Letcombe Regis. He was joined by managing director Paddy Brice and village manager Elisabeth Parker. The final phase comprises retirement properties ranging in price from £310,000 for a large one bedroom apartment to £620,000 for the largest, two bedroom apartment measuring 1,460 sq ft. All have a spacious kitchen and living room, the choice of one or two bedrooms, and an en-suite to the main bedroom. All are generously proportioned and compare well against the average size of a three or four bedroom new-build home. Paddy said: “In the current challenging economic climate, we are delighted to have been able to establish the Letcombe retirement village so quickly, and to the point where we have the confidence to press on with the final phase so soon.
“Securing off plan sales of over 40 per cent in just a few days certainly bucks the trend in the property market at the moment, and underlines the importance of having the right product at the right price and at the right time. “These properties are ideal for those thinking about living independently yet like the idea of being in a safe and sociable community with care and assistance close at hand if required. “We listened carefully to our residents, who told us they particularly want a large living space and up to two bedrooms, especially important if they are downsizing.” The retirement village now employs around 150 people and is recruiting for care staff who live nearby. Set in 36 acres, Letcombe Regis provides residents with a wellness spa with swimming pool, gym, health and beauty treatment rooms and a hair salon. There’s also a restaurant, a village shop and a café, IT and craft rooms, a library, bowling green, nature reserve with lake and a kitchen garden and greenhouse for green-fingered residents.
Mayor opens new home A NEW multi-million pound care home complete with its own cinema and residents’ bar has officially opened its doors. Ronnie Campbell MP together with the mayor of Blyth Robert Parker and Gena Nicholson, the first resident of Ridley Park, performed the ceremony at the home which has been built on the site of a former school.
The £4m development built by Hadrian Healthcare also provides a hair salon, traditional-style newspaper and sweet shop, a bistro and library for its residents and has created more than 60 jobs for the area. The 59-bed development incorporates specially designed suites to provide residential, nursing and dementia care.
Bad headlines overshadow the good operators By Paul Birley THE last few months have seen the care sector gain unprecedented newspaper column inches and, although it cannot be denied that things sometimes do go wrong, we must not forget there are dozens of thriving operators providing an excellent standard of care for those that require their services. Good care can produce incredible results in the improvement of the quality of life of those that receive the services. In most cases this is down to the sheer dedication, innovative and investment of care home operators. While healthcare is a steady state business which does not suffer from huge highs and lows, it is cyclical. Trends develop slowly over a seven or eight year cycle, enabling successful operators to identify these trends and adapt their offerings accordingly. Understanding the trends and planning for the cyclicality is imperative for successful operators. One clear trend has been the shift by providers towards the private-pay market, reducing their reliance on local authority funded residents. It is also easy to forget people have a choice. Offering excellent care home facilities to an ageing population does not mean to say domiciliary care does not have a place in the market. However, it is not the complete solution - it is beholden on providers to flex their services in light of prevailing conditions and demand to provide care that peo-
Manager Tracey Harris with Barclays Corporate relationship director Greg Allen.
Home’s expansion complete
Paul Birley ple want. This requires operators to continually review their services and the way they operate. In a recent survey conducted by Barclays, over 70 per cent of the operators surveyed were “very confident” about their business’ futures and, from the many visits I’ve made to care homes up and down the country, I regularly see and hear great examples of operators providing tremendous care. Care remains high on the political agenda with the Dilnot Report and the new Healthcare Bill still being discussed. I am hopeful these ongoing debates will keep healthcare in the public domain because it is only with concerted action will we see the changes needed to ensure we can continue to look after those that aren’t able to look after themselves. Paul Birley is head of healthcare at Barclays Corporate.
Bupa Care Homes is investing £7m to build a new flagship nursing and nursing dementia care home in Glasgow. Mugdock House Care Home will be a purpose built 64-bed nursing facility which will provide care for people with general nursing needs, and is also specifically designed to provide specialist care for people living with dementia. The investment will also create more than 90 new jobs in the local area. The flagship care home will include special features such as distinctive reminiscence activity areas, secure sensory gardens and memory triggers to aid connections with the past.
A WARWICKSHIRE care home has realised its expansion plans with financial support from Barclays Corporate. Long Lea Care Home in Nuneaton used the £220,000 funding package to create a nine bedroom extension at its premises on The Long Shoot, enabling the home to now offer care services for 35 elderly individuals. The home, which is owned by Dwell Holdings Limited, first opened in 1986 and is managed by Tracey Harris, a qualified nurse and midwife who spent a number of years in NHS management. She said: “We have always endeavoured to provide the highest level of care for our residents, previously earning us three stars from CQC. “This expansion is going to allow us
to extend our offering to more elderly people in the local community. “It will add another dimension to care, by offering better services for those nearing end of life and better facilities for bereavement care.” The business employs 41 staff, most of whom are trained to a NVQ Level III standard and staff retention at the home is high. Long Lea has great links with many areas of the community, often fundraising for local charities, and residents are encouraged to take part, giving something back to the community they live in. Recently they have been knitting squares to make blankets for the Cyrenians charity, while residents’ daughters have been sewing them together.
CARINGCOMMERCE Nicola Copeland, former deputy manager of Yeovil’s Somerset Care at Home office, has been appointed the firm’s community services manager. She joined Somerset Care At Home in January 2009 as an initial response worker, and was shortly promoted to deputy manager. In recent months Nicola has been awarded for her commitment and determination with a senior management award at the group’s annual awards.
New chief announced by New appointments Scottish care regulator reinforce provider’s service provision Head of people development Sally Ann Tommy, head of quality development Karen Sands, director of quality Mark Douglas and head of people management Ellen Parker.
By Dominic Musgrave CARE provider Voyage has redesigned its approach to quality management, recruitment and staff development and made two senior appointments to reinforce its reputation for quality service provision. Karen Sands has been appointed as head of quality development, while Ellen Parker becomes head of people management. Karen re-joins the company following two years at Nottingham Community Housing Association where she was responsible for the operational delivery of care and support services across the East Midlands. Before that, she was employed by Voyage for four years as an operations director. In her new role Karen will take a fresh look at the company’s policies and processes to ensure that they all enhance quality of life for people in Voyage’s care. She will also lead an enlarged team of five quality assurance managers. Ellen Parker re-joins Voyage
following almost two years as HR manager for Care UK. Before that, she spent eight years as part of the HR team at Voyage. Her role will be primarily focused on ensuring that all new members of staff share Voyage’s passion for quality care and outstanding service. Both Karen and Ellen will report to Mark Douglas, Voyage’s director of quality. Previously responsible for quality alone, Mark has recently taken on additional responsibility for human resources, training, staff development and health and safety. This is an unusual move for the sector, but one that demonstrates Voyage’s commitment to ensuring a consistently high standard of care for the people it supports. Under the new structure, Voyage’s head of people development, Sally Ann Tommy, will also report into Mark. She has responsibility for delivering a programme of training and development which results in a team of employees who embody the company’s values and quality approach.
ANNETTE Bruton has been appointed the new chief executive of Scotland’s regulator. Currently director of education, culture and sport with Aberdeen City Council, Annette will join the Care Inspectorate early in the New Year. She will lead the organisation as it develops new proportionate, targeted and intelligence-led approaches to the regulation and inspection of care services. Annette joined the city council in 2009, having previously worked as a geography teacher and chief inspector for HM Inspectorate of Education. Speaking about her appointment, she said: “This is a crucial time for the organisation as we develop targeted, proportionate and
intelligence-led scrutiny and inspections. “There are real challenges and opportunities for us. Care of older people has been identified a national priority by the Scottish Government, the integration of health and social care is a major strategic change and working with other agencies to improve care has never been more important. “The Care Inspectorate has a strong record of making a real difference to the lives of people the length and breadth of the country and I am confident we can build on that strong record.” The new regulator was formed in April of this year and has been led by interim chief executive Jacquie Roberts since it was established.
The Somerset Care Group has appointed a new manager at Sydenham House residential home in Bridgwater. Becki Bidgood has been appointed to the position from her current role as deputy manager at Oak Trees, also run by the same company. She had been in her previous role for the past three years and replaces Jeanette Martin, who has been appointed to the role of operations manager.
Area manager role for Michael MICHAEL Doolin has joined Countrywide, the sister company of the Maria Mallaband group, as area manager. He will look after the group’s
homes in Scotland, while Melissa Wormald, Pam Tatler, Tony Hobbs, Faye Crabbe and Hannah Dudzik have also been added to the accounts team.
Ceremony marks opening of new centre and scheme By Dominic Musgrave A SPECIAL ceremony has been held to mark the official opening of the Madeley Centre and the adjacent Lea Court extra care scheme. Commemorative plaques for both schemes were presented and a cake decorated with a picture of the development was shared among the guests. Accepting the plaque on behalf of the Lea Court residents was 67-yearold Thalia Wright who, with her 71year-old husband Michael, was one of the first to move into the groundbreaking £8.2m development to provide villagers with purpose-built accommodation as well as a new community hub. Another Lea Court resident, Joan Bell, 90, who has lived in the Staffordshire village for many years, accepted the plaque on behalf of the Madeley Centre. Joining residents in the celebration were representatives from the project partners – Housing 21, Madeley Village Hall Charity, Newcastleunder-Lyme borough council, Staffordshire county council, Madeley parish council, Thomas Vale Construction and the Homes and Communities Agency, who contributed £3.1m towards the development.
Care homes gather for conference and awards CARE homes from across England will gather for the annual Gold Standards Framework conference and awards ceremony in January. The event is an opportunity for commissioners, health and social care professionals, as well as care home managers, to share best practice and the success of the latest homes to receive accreditation.
Residents Michael Wright, Thalia Wright and Joan Bell with Madeley Village Hall Charity chairman of the trustees Roger Godwin at the official opening. Kris Peach, regional business development manager for Housing 21, said: “This has been a particularly exciting development and it’s good to have the opportunity to see the impact that this unique initiative has had on the village.” The development, which was completed earlier this year, provides 63 two-bedroom apartments for older people. Residents enjoy independent living along with 24 hour on-site care. They have easy access to the facilities at the adjacent Madeley Centre, which boasts a 200 seat capacity
recreational hall, a café/restaurant, information centre, healthy living suite, children’s centre and multi-use meeting spaces for various local groups. The Madeley Centre features thermally insulated floors, walls and ceilings, passive solar thermal panels for water heating and photovoltaic panels to provide the majority of the electricity requirements. Additional features include rainwater harvesting, a ground-source heat pump, a ‘natural’ ventilation system and a ‘green’ roof.
Ninety homes have applied for the coveted quality hallmark, joining the 250 to have already been accredited. Speakers at the event include Barbara Pointon MBE, Alzheimer’s campaigner, Dr Clive Bowman, medical director, Bupa Care Services, Dr Nick Warner, consultant psychiatrist and dementia specialist Andrew Makin, nursing director at RNHA. The event takes place on January 25 at Mary Ward House in London,
VIPS system showcased at group’s annual conference By Christina Eccles THE need for greater emphasis on the individual dominated a care provider’s dementia conference. Speaking to representatives from the Orders of St John Care Trust’s 77 care facilities, keynote speaker, professor Dawn Brooker, a leader in the field of dementia studies from the University of Worcester, discussed the VIPS, an individualised system of care and how this can be implemented. The model values people, provides individualised care, looks at services from the perspective of the person living with dementia and provides the supportive social-psychological support to compensate for the disability of cognitive loss. Diane Bowden, service development director for the group, said: "The event aimed to highlight the importance of person centred dementia care as well as giving practitioners the opportunity to learn about new topics and share ideas with their colleagues from across the Trust’s homes. “It also gives us the opportunity to
showcase some of the fantastic work that is already being done in our homes.” NAPA director Sylvie Silver discussed the importance of understanding the activity needs for people with dementia and how staff can enable older people to enjoy a range of activity while living in care settings. Dr Rosalind Ward, old age psychiatrist, highlighted pain management in dementia and how a lack of communication skills with the individual can have significant negative impact on a resident’s behaviour. The idea of using creative arts activities to recreate episodes relating to residents’ life stories was discussed by Jude Sweeting, trainer, coach and development consultant from Ladder to the Moon, a social enterprise using coaching, training and creativity to support care providers to improve the quality of their services. Over 250 delegates, including managers, activity coordinators and dementia champions from the group’s 72 care homes and five extra
Dr Simon Manchip, consultant in old age psychiatry for OSJCT; professor Dawn Brooker, from the University of Worcester; Diane Bowden, service development director for OSJCT and Andy Bradley from Frameworks 4 Change. care schemes, alongside representatives from The Alzheimer’s Society, Stroke Association and Dementia UK attended the conference in Swindon. A demonstration of ‘Singing For The Brain’, a service provided by
Alzheimer's Society was also performed, following a short film of the support aid in action. The service uses singing to bring people together and provide a way for people with dementia to express themselves and socialise with others in a fun and supportive group.
Satellite technology used to track people
Robert Powell with Laura White.
Event raises money for ground-breaking new dementia service ACTOR Robert Powell and former X Factor contestant Laura White helped a national care charity raise almost £10,000 for a ground-breaking dementia service. The masquerade ball at The Monastery in Manchester was organised by CIC Group, and the money raised has contributed towards the inclusion of specialist health and exercise facilities in a specialist £5m dementia care service the charity is opening next spring. The service will incorporate a care home, which will provide 24-hour residential and nursing support for 48 people; a short-term respite service for 12 people; as well as a day service which will give people with the condition the opportunity to spend a day with company, enjoying engaging activities. The charity has launched the first stage of the integrated service - a specialist dementia domiciliary care ser-
vice that supports people with the condition across Greater Manchester. Ingrid Smillie, director of strategic projects, said: “In offering all four types of support (home care, day care, respite and residential support) from one location, CIC will be able to support people with dementia throughout every stage of their condition. “Our integrated service will give people with dementia a far greater quality of life and because of this, we received incredible backing from the local community and beyond.” The fundraising event attracted support from a host of local and national businesses, and included an auction featuring items donated by the likes of Rory McIlroy, Colin Firth, Victoria Wood, Manchester United and Manchester City. The charity was also given an exclusive donation of a pair of tickets to the X Factor final.
The quickest way to label residents’ clothes RESIDENTS with dementia often experience distress if they cannot find the clothing that they are familiar with and, as with all residents, it is important that an individual’s garments are correctly returned to them after washing. With new clothes being given for Christmas and over 1,200 garments going through the care home laundry this is not an easy task, especially if the garment is not named adequately. Attach-a-Tag is a simple, cost effective method of labelling clothing and soft objects and is an ideal way to quickly label short term and respite residents clothing as well as normal laundry.
Replicating a button, it attaches in seconds to the garment seam or laundry label, making it discreet and comfortable to the wearer. The patented design is easy to attach but difficult to remove, and cannot be taken off by accident or come off during the laundry process. Each tag has the owner’s name etched onto it, which is guaranteed not to wear off in the wash. This combined with the unique fixing method of Attach-a-Tag means the owner is identified every time. Suitable for industrial laundry and iron proof, Attach-a-Tag is reusable, making it even more cost effective for your care home.
A SERVICE is being developed by the City of Edinburgh council that uses satellite technology to prevent people with dementia becoming lost. Two women in the north of the capital, both in their 70s, have started using the GPS devices in the past month as part of the Safe Walking service, which aims to help clients access their local communities, reducing the risks of them becoming lost or getting into difficulties. The small electronic devices, either worn on the wrist or carried in pockets, trigger an alert to a call handling centre if the client go out of the predetermined geographical area. This service provides relatives and friends an opportunity to identify where their loved ones are ensuring they are not lost or in difficulty, bringing peace of mind. Coun Paul Edie, health, social care
and housing leader for Edinburgh, said the city’s university is also carrying out a research study into the pilot to find out more about people’s experiences and the benefits of using the devices. He added: “The families of the older people using the devices have told us about the dramatic differences that are having in their daily lives. “They have a greater peace of mind knowing that their loved one is safe whether it’s in their own home or being out and about in the local area. “We used this technology to help pupils at special schools travel independently to school and using these devices to help those with dementia is a natural progression. “This council has really embraced this new technology, which is transforming people’s lives and making a real difference to them.”
National accolade for Billy A NORFOLK activities co-ordinator is celebrating after scooping a national award. Billy McKee, who works at Caring Homes Group’s Oak Manor care home in Dereham, was named best activities co-ordinator for people with dementia at the National Dementia Care Awards held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Liverpool.
In 2011 he set plans in motion for a reminiscence area, which will be filled with retro furniture, outfits and sensory items. Activities that Billy has put in place include ‘A Grand Day Out’ where residents take a variety of trips out and about in the local area and ‘Movie Mondays’, a cinema club where residents can watch their favourite films.
Generating income through land sales By Andrew White UP UNTIL recently when a person moved into a care home, great emphasis was placed on the outdoor space and extensive landscaped gardens and grounds were an important criteria when choosing a care home. But times have changed. Over the last few decades life expectancy in the UK has risen and this year the average age of RMBI residents has reached 88 years. Older residents need more specialised care facilities and are less physically able to enjoy extensive outdoor space. So, although not obsolete, gardens need to be smaller and more secure to protect the safety of residents, particularly those with dementia. Selling off land that is surplus to requirements could provide a solution for care home providers looking to rationalise costs. Money from this sale can be re-channelled into the home to provide specialist
care facilities or increase service provision. Over the past five years the RMBI has sold off surplus land at four of its sites. An impressive 65 houses have been built on one plot of the land sold, which has generated a staggering £5.5m in revenues. This significant contribution will help the charity to maintain its excellent standard of care and provide residents with the resources and assistance that they deserve. It has enabled a number of renovation projects such as James Terry Court in Croydon and Barford Court in Hove to go ahead. Both will offer enhanced services to residents. However, the road to selling or leasing the surplus land is not without its pitfalls, especially as the final buyers or developers will be future neighbours. If you are considering a similar deal, the following advice may be useful: Planning permission is the key, but be warned: the process can be lengthy with no guaranteed positive
outcome. Awareness of the local environment - birds, bees, even bats could protect your interests in the future so do your homework. Gain some supporters in your corner. The Charity Commission safeguards the commercial interests of charities in these situations. Engage with them as early as you can and involve them in the project. Trust your surveyor. A stringent qualified surveyor’s S36 report will protect trustees and ensure the best value is achieved. Offers on the table, subject to planning permission, should be compared against realistic projections on the open market. The best offer. Carefully consider offers and select preferred bidders. Price isn’t the only factor in the long run. Consider the best offers using a variety of criteria. Remember that the successful buyer will be a neighbour so think about future implications such as shared access roads and infrastructure. The RMBI chose to sell its land to housing providers in all of its recent
Andrew White land sales. It was decided by RMBI board members housing would provide the best ‘window’ for our properties sharing similar community focused interests. It has been a bumpy ride but hugely rewarding for the organisation. It has been so successful in fact that we are now considering the sale of land at least four other locations. Andrew White is property director at the RMBI.
Resident has a hair raising experience for home A RESIDENT at a Cheshire care home has shaved his head to raise money for the Residents’ Comforts Fund, which pays for trips out and activities. Trevor Johnson, 78, a resident at the CLS owned Parklands in Poynton, wanted to raise money
so the residents could adopt a donkey from the nearby Elizabeth Svensden Trust. The sanctuary provides therapy visits and riding for older people and children with special needs, and a short while ago Rusty the donkey paid the residents
a visit. Family and friends were invited to watch Trevor have his head shaved, which raised £145. Manager Chris Machin said: “Trevor was a fantastic sport volunteering to have his head shaved to raise money. The residents and
family members enjoyed watching the ‘show’ and Trevor was making us laugh the whole way through – especially when his hair was styled in a mohican. This money raised will allow us to sponsor a donkey of our own.”
If you would like to advertise in our home care section please contact: 01226 734692 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds helped by community meals plan A £220,000 community meals service set up to support the elderly and vulnerable in Walsall has helped more than 350 people since it was launched a year ago. Taste for Life, run by Caldmore Housing Association and Age UK Walsall, was launched in partnership with the council. The service was originally set up to help former meals-onwheels customers get hot and cold meals delivered to their homes and attend lunch clubs. Since then it has expanded, offering services such as Safe and Well calls, where staff visit or call people to ensure they are managing on their own, and cooking help for customers who want to prepare their own meals. Mike Hew, chief executive of Caldmore Housing Association, said: “We are now doing so much more than helping people with meals; we are supporting people to remain active and independent by working with some fantastic lunch clubs and providing cooking help in the home.”
Provider expands CITY and County Healthcare Group Ltd has expanded its domiciliary care operations in the North West with the acquisition of Springbank Community Care. Springbank provides a number of homecare services for Stokeon-Trent city council, Staffordshire county council. and several other trusts. The business, which was established in 1995, employs over 100 members of staff who deliver around 2,700 hours each week. Managing director Gary Collier will remain with the company post-acquisition.
Regulator turns its focus to homecare services By Dominic Musgrave THE regulator has revealed it is to carry out a themed inspection programme of homecare services next year. The CQC says the programme will help it develop new ways to ensure these services meet the essential standards people have a right to expect and that people are being treated with dignity and respect. It will start in April and cover approximately 250 providers of domiciliary care services. It will run alongside CQC’s planned reviews of these services and focus on three outcomes: Respecting and involving people who use services Care and welfare of people who use services Supporting workers. The inspectors will be joined by professional experts and ‘experts by experience’ – people who have a personal experience of using home care services. The programme will be supported by an advisory group, with members drawn from a range of organisations including the Equality and Human Rights
Cynthia Bower Commission, Age UK, the UKHCA and ADASS. CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said: “Often the people who use home care services find themselves in vulnerable circumstances and the operation of home care is not as transparent as care in hospitals and other sectors because the interactions happen behind closed doors in people’s homes. “We know decisions made about commissioning are critical to those
who provide and receive home care. External issues such as pressures on council budgets and the desire of people to remain in their own homes as long as they can, create challenges for those providing services, and may increase risks of unsafe care. “This underlines the need for us to thoroughly analyse service delivery in this area. “We will use a range of ways of checking up on these services, including going into people’s homes, contacting people who use services and their families, talking to local groups who represent the users of home care services, and we will also ask people to fill in questionnaires.” As well as producing an inspection report for each agency, the regulator will also produce a national report that will set out what it has found about quality and safety in these themed inspections. The inspections follow a pilot programme of 30 domiciliary care agencies, where CQC has been trialling different methods to make sure inspectors clearly hear the views of people who use the services and their families.
Announcement is a ‘positive step’ THE regulator’s announcement that 250 domiciliary care providers will be inspected next year is a ‘positive step for the care sector’, it has been claimed. Jo Guy, managing director of AJ Community Care, called on the industry to support the CQC’s proposals and, where appropriate, should sharing new ways of working and learning, which are highlighted from the findings of the inspections. She said: “Despite changes to the way that the CQC now measure performance within the care sector, the new approach will still provide our service users and their families with the confidence they need to know that we put their care first, which as a responsible business is of paramount importance to us,” added Jo. “As a business which champions the care industry we want to see
best practice encouraged and in order for this to make any difference at all it needs to impact on those who rely on the service we provide. “It therefore makes sense that the CQC would steer towards those who can feedback on the provision of care first hand. “This news shouldn’t be considered as a negative, it should be a positive step forward. With so much negative news in the media about care we should all be focusing on what can be done to make the business less process driven and more personalised. “As a sector which is heavily regulated and relies on approved and agreed policies and practices I am pleased to see that the experience of the service user is now central into that evaluation – after all it is them who rely so heavily on the service that we all deliver.”
Dementia puzzles launched IN response to customer feedback, Active Minds has developed its latest activity product for people living with dementia. The range of customisable wooden jigsaws act as a powerful reminiscence activity that stimulates memories and conversation time and again. By using a personal image of family, friends, pets or weddings for example, Active Minds is able to produce a jigsaw tailored to the
individual. Puzzles are available in three levels of difficulty, making them suitable for individuals at varying stages of dementia. Each has been tested to help users of all abilities complete the puzzles unassisted. Launched last year, they proved an extremely popular Christmas present for residents across the UK.
Firm offers lower prices Why involve residents in the medication ordering process? TECHNOLOGICAL advances have enabled Badgemaster to offer new, lower prices. For over 20 years the company has placed keen emphasis on investing in the most up to date manufacturing and order processing systems which, coupled with consistent volume growth, has always enabled economies to be passed on to customers. “We’re now in a position to complete even the shortest runs extremely cost-effectively”, said MD John
Bancroft. “We’ve overhauled our price list to make lower quantities of badges accessible at the same discounted rate previously reserved for higher volumes and are able to offer further significant savings for larger users - and the product quality is better than ever.” John believes competitors will be hard pushed to match Badgemaster’s combination of product quality and pricing and invites buyers to check out their current deal against his own company’s offer.
Forum allows practitioners to interact with their queries THE life expectancy of a new born British girl is 100 years. As medical science keeps advancing we can and should expect to reach old age, and the number of patients who will require residential or nursing care will grow exponentially over the coming years. Health economics mean will have to try and keep our elderly population in good ocular health to reduce the number of falls associated with reduced vision and the decreased quality of life associated with blind or partial sight. This in turn means we have to be prepared for these changes now. Visioncall is already investing in new equipment to measure potential indicators of eye disease so early intervention can occur. An example of this is a Domato visual field screener to record periph-
eral loss associated with Glaucoma, an insidious progressive disease more prevalent in the elderly. We also have to train our staff in gerentology so they can identify conditions which may affect the outcome of the eye examination. Dr Scott Mackie has been working alongside Visioncall on a consultancy basis and is looking forward to sharing his 30 year knowledge base in the optical world to assist in delivering the core mission statement “a fundamental right to sight”. He has introduced a forum “Ask the Doc” to allow practitioners to interact with professional queries. Going forward he is also arranging peer review Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in his new role as director of professional services for all optometrists and optical assistants.
ON average an elderly patient is prescribed eight medications and almost a third of these may not be required. During the ordering process, residents are often out of sight of the carer and unable to inform them of changes, should they no longer require a medicine. If residents play no part in this crucial process how can the need for each repeat prescription be verified? Carers may not be able to decide whether or not a resident with a chronic condition such as hypertension needs an antihypertensive medication, but they are in a key position to establish continued need for treatments such as laxatives and sedatives, in particular those prescribed for ‘prn’ (i.e. when required) adminis-
tration. Carers and nurses may play a vital role in medication reviews by close monitoring of residents, their routines and behaviour. Carers can significantly help mitigate the financial loss (£300m worth of wasted medicines each year) and improve care for patients ensuring they are not dosed with unnecessary medications. GP Dr Clive Barker said: “Circumstances may change i.e. a prescription a GP may have written may no longer be the most appropriate way of the patient taking the medication, and the only way we’re going to know that is if the carers tell us.”
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Beaucare® now stocking Clinell®
Pods can make your home more profitable
BEAUCARE® Medical Ltd is the UK leading supplier of hygiene, medical supplies and equipment to individual care homes, care home groups, hospitals and NHS Trusts. Beaucare have added the Clinell® Universal Sanitising Wipes to our comprehensive nursing disposables range. These wipes are NHS approved, developed by doctors and used by professionals. They can be used to clean and disinfect hands, surfaces and equipment. The wipes are proven to kill at least 99.999 per cent of germs according to European Standard tests EN1276 and pr EN12054, effective in 10 seconds. They contain a mix of biocides with different mechanisms of action preventing bacterial resistance and super bug formation. Our extensive hygiene and janitorial range provides a solution for all situations, ensuring high levels of cleanliness and infection control.
MAKE 2012 more profitable by turning your existing kitchen and laundry spaces into extra bedrooms. The PKL KitchenPod and LaundryPod are permanent modular buildings which enable you to maintain a full catering and laundry service, while turning existing facilities into revenue-generating space. They are available in a wide range of external finishes, including custom colours and brick or wood cladding, so they can complement surrounding buildings. Both come fully equipped with highquality professional equipment to suit your requirements, and are available on either a purchase or contract rental basis. PKL also provides inclusive service, parts, labour and preventative maintenance visits, both for the building and the equipment inside. Ready within just six weeks of order, KitchenPods and LaundryPods arrive on-site fully equipped and ready to connect to services, and can be up and running within a matter of hours. What’s more, if your needs change, they can be relocated, moved or extended as required.
Enquiries: Telephone 01423 878899, email email@example.com or visit www.beaucare.com
Enquiries: Telephone 0845 840 4242 or visit www.pkl.co.uk
Versatile Ticino seating offers diversity of options
Freedor’s the easy solution
THANKS to its smart, understated styling and wide selection of product options, the Ticino collection of seating by Knightsbridge Furniture has applications in a diversity of situations across the residential care sector, from reception areas and foyers to residents’ bedrooms and communal spaces. Inspired by timeless geometry, Ticino includes club chairs in easy and compact styles, together with a classic upright armchair. Complementary armchairs and sofas in both twin and triple formations boast useful extra-wide arms and are available with either plain or buttoned backs. All Ticino seating can be upholstered in a wide range of fabrics, including anti-bacterial finishes: customer-specific requirements can also be accommodated. Six standard show-wood finishes are available to complement the upholstery - Cherry, Wenge, Bleached Beech, Oak, Natural Beech or Walnut. Ticino chairs and sofas are manufactured in the UK using materials from renewable sources.
FIRECO’S award winning Freedor, the world’s first wireless, electrically powered free-swing door closer, is proving to be a great success in the healthcare sector. At Grimsby’s Carisbrooke residential care home, where residents and staff had found heavy fire doors difficult to navigate, Freedor has proved to be an excellent solution that home manager Dean Smith says was easy to install, with none of the expense and disruption to occupants or the building associated with the installation of hard-wired door closers. Installed at the top of a fire door and allowing the door to swing freely, Freedor lets users hold open fire doors at any angle, automatically closing them when the fire alarm sounds to prevent the spread of fire and smoke around the building. Features include Fail-to-safe technology; Complies with BS EN 1154, BS EN 1155, BS 7273-4 categoryB.
Telephone 01274 731442 or visit www.knightsbridge-furniture.co.uk
Enquiries: Telephone 0845 241 7474 or visit www.firecoltd.com
Urgent medication delivered in three hours HAVE you ever been in a situation where the doctor has had to come in on a Sunday or a Bank Holiday to attend to a critically ill resident? The doctor has issued a prescription and the patient needs to start the medication as soon as possible. But your chemist is not open and you may have to wait until the next day or sometimes longer. We can delivery 365 days a year and on most days we aim to deliver urgent medication such as anti – biotics within three hours. All of our care and nursing homes have access to on call pharmacist who can help out of hours with emergency dispensing. Enquiries: Telephone 0116 2988739 or visit wwwyakubchemist.co.uk
Girbau adds to popular range of washers GIRBAU UK has added enhanced LOGI PRO control to its popular 6 Series range of washers to offer even greater operational flexibility and lower consumption of energy and water for a wide range of commercial on-premise laundry applications including care and nursing homes. LOGI PRO programming is now available as an option on Girbau UK’s top-selling 9kg capacity HS-6008 high-speed washer and all four models in the 6 Series Medium Spin range from the MS-610 to MS-623. For optimal control of water levels, mechanical action and chemical dosage, LOGI PRO allows the creation of up to 25 programs. Each parameter can be separately programmed across eleven phases exactly as required. All LOGI PRO washers come with Girbau’s Just in Load feature, which allows the user to quickly and easily adjust the consumption of water and detergent according to the weight of the load and the wash program. Other new features of the Girbau 6 Series LOGI PRO models include Rinse Hold and Delay functions. The Rinse Hold button halts the machine on the final spin cycle, leaving the load to soak. This can be used to prevent creasing if the machine cannot be unloaded immediately. The Delay function allows the user to delay the machine start to a chosen time to take advantage of off-peak energy tariffs. The Delay and Rinse Hold functions can be used together to start the machine in the evening. The first wash of the day can then be completed with the final spin on arrival in the morning. Telephone 01462 427780 or visit www.girbau.co.uk
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
DATIX is the leading supplier of patient safety software for healthcare risk management, incident reporting software and adverse events. Datix gives care home managers the information they need to build a complete picture of risk in their organisation. The firm can help to improve safety for residents and staff, while reducing administrative overheads. From small care homes to large groups, Datix plays a key part in the corporate governance of the organisation. Key features for social care include: Management dashboards which display information on the organisation’s risks in a clear, simple format. Sophisticated alerting mechanisms that give care home managers early warning of potential trouble spots. Flexible views of risk management information, allowing risks to be shown by particular care home, department or even an individual resident. Security of access to information, restricting managers to viewing only data that is relevant to their care home or area of interest. Enquiries: Contact 020 8971 1971 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Can you prove your water is free from legionella bacteria?
ARE you aware that should one of your clients contract Legionnaires Disease and subsequently die, the care provider can be prosecuted under The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homocide Act 2007? Scary but true nevertheless. AquaCert can assist with legionella control from providing an L8 Risk Assessment (each care/nursing home must possess one by law) through to water screening via our postal/courier service (please see our main advert). Testing costs as little as £44.50 + VAT for a 20 bed home – all you have to do is fill the bottle and Aquacert does the rest. Enquiries: Ring Freephone 0800 048 1737 or visit www.aquacert.co.uk
Safe and shine CONSORT has added the TRF25C chrome heated towel rail to its ever expanding and popular Low Surface Temperature product range. This 25 watt heater comes complete with three chrome wall mounting brackets, fitted cable and is a double insulated class II appliance, thereby eliminating the need for supplementary bonding. Its compact size H: 410 D: 86 W: 465 makes it ideal for small bathrooms and it provides the luxury of warm, dry towels – all day, every day – economically and safely. The Low Surface Temperature range also includes a variety of wall mounted fan heaters and the 30 watt TRF30 white finish towel rail. Consort’s Low Surface Temperature products are especially suitable for care environments, having a maximum surface temperature of 430C to comply with Department of Health guidelines and European safety standards. Enquiries: Contact Consort Equipment Products Ltd on 01646 692172, fax 01646 695195, email email@example.com or visit www.consortepl.com
Event attracts exhibitors from around the world CANTON Rehabilitation and Care Fair, which is approved by the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, is one of the leading events of products and technologies for people with special needs and those requiring care. It is also the only professional event located in southern China with exhibits related to daily living aids, personal care and hygiene, mobility equipment, auxiliary communication aids, barrier-free construction and housing, orthopedic aids and other products. There were hundreds of renowned companies from USA, France, Denmark, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, China mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan province showcasing their wide range of products and new technology in the most recent event, attracting 18,390 visitors from 11 countries and regions, 20 provinces and 72 cities across China in the three days. The exhibitors released their new products and also interacted with the visitors in the fair, supporting the idea that technologies make the life more healthy. Companies from Turkey, Japan, Italy, South Korea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan have already signed up for next year.
CARINGPRODUCT NEWS Over the last 18 months, there have been unprecedented fluctuations in the price of disposables. Sam Gompels, managing director of Gompels Healthcare Ltd, takes a look at some of the factors that are causing these changes.
Equipment effective in infection fight What is determining the prices of your IT IS now widely recognised that disposal of pads and pulp items is far more effective in the fight against infection than traditional washing solutions. The Incomaster™ and SOLO® from Haigh are used extensively throughout the UK in care homes and Hospitals of all sizes. Haigh equipment is proven and tested on all market leading pulp products, making the transition even more straightforward. With a free site survey to scope out your needs, our teams will be able to advise you on the best solution for your individual requirements. Our qualified engineers will come to your premises and manage the installation process to include site survey to locate best position for machine prior to installation. Installation procedure will consist of the following: Position machine into designated room. Fix machine to floor taking into account under floor heating. Connect inlet water to mains water supply via suitable isolation valve. Connect waste drainage to soil pipe. Electrically connect to main isolator supplied by others. Fully commission. User training.
Professionals can prescribe HEALTHCARE professionals are being given the opportunity to write their own ‘personal prescriptions’ courtesy of a leading healthcare furniture and equipment manufacturer. The initiative is being developed by James Spencer & Co Ltd following feedback from delegates, predominantly occupational therapists, who visited the company’s stand at an exhibition at the Disabled Living Centre in Nottingham. The scheme allows busy OTs and other healthcare professionals to complete an assessment form specially designed to meet their needs when sourcing James Spencer’s purpose-built bariatric furniture products on behalf of their clients. A professional who may be interested in the company’s Pentire bariatric chair is given the option to highlight their preferred choice of chair back, wings, arm pads, seat depth, width and height, and if adjustable height is required. James Spencer’s chairman Richard Spencer said: “This new initiative is purpose designed to help relieve the burden. It’s simple, it’s quick and it’s effective – in reality a ‘prescription form’ that the assessor can use to help them explore all options and record all relevant details regarding individual needs – then leave the rest to us.”
disposable supplies at the moment? DISPOSABLES represent the third highest category of expenditure in a care home after food and staff. The prices of these products varies over time, sometimes going up quite considerably, but also coming down. Take vinyl gloves for example, they are currently around £1.80 per packet of 100 but they have been down to £1.20 in the not too distant past. It is tempting to think that we are seeing inflation in prices and that they will never come back down again. The prices you pay for vinyl gloves are heavily influenced by the price of oil, but this is not the only component. The oil has to be converted into PVC and at times there can be a shortage in capacity to carry out that conversion. Oil (and gloves) are priced in US dollars. This means that the price is also
Sam Gompels heavily influenced by the exchange rate between our pound and the dollar. Additional factors come into play. The cost of sea freight from China can vary by 10p per box depending
on availability of space on the ships. At various times, the factories in China can have ‘local issues’ such as the shut down while the Beijing Olympics was being held or, more recently, a shortage of electricity. The outlook for vinyl glove prices is probably reasonably good if you believe that oil prices will not go much higher and the pound is fairly valued. When our Government starts printing money (quantitative easing), the value of the pound decreases and the price of gloves goes up by about 20p per box in the space of a week. This is what happened this autumn. Now it takes a bit of time for that to reach the market, but it is a very real increase that has to be ultimately borne by you the user.
System prevents residents’ falls PATIENT safety is the highest priority for healthcare providers. Patients and their families deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing that care is being provided vigilantly at all times. The problem of patient falls in care is growing, particularly in elderly care and mental health. Consequently institutions are putting measures in place to assist in preventing the risk of a fall. Falls prevention systems, most commonly bed and chair sensor systems, are used to provide peace of mind to patients, carers and
family. The SensorCare bed and chair systems are place discreetly beneath the patient’s mattress and chair cushion; when the patient vacates the bed or chair without assistance, the system audibly alarms informing the carer that the patient is at risk and is in need of immediate assistance. The carer using the SensorCare system is allowed the freedom to continue with their daily tasks while still providing the highest and most vigilant level of care. The SensorCare falls prevention
system can be used as a stand alone unit, with a paging system giving the carer additional freedom or through integration with existing nurse call. The pressure sensing panels are made from robust stainless steel and are fully protected with antimicrobial silver treatment, reducing the risk of cross infection. SensorCare is the only long lasting falls sensor system available on the market and provides a solution to the problem of limited usage systems that are offered by others.
Reduce the cost of installation and maintenance NURSING homes are forever faced with increased running costs and the temptation to cut corners can be tempting. Finding solutions that are cost effective and save money without compromising any legislative issues are hard to find. However, there is now an effective solution to reduce the cost of fire extinguisher installation and maintenance.
Fireworld extinguishers are maintenance free for their 10-year life span. They do not require a registered extinguisher engineer to come out to service them on a yearly basis or to discharge and re-fill after five years, as is required with a standard extinguisher. All you need to do is to appoint a person within the organisation to carry out a yearly visual inspection.
When you purchase a maintenance free fire extinguisher, Safelincs will carry out a free site survey to ensure that you have the correct extinguishers and give you a demonstration of the yearly visual check. Changing to Fireworld extinguishers could save you up to £300 over the lifespan of an extinguisher.
Aidcall offers cost effective solution WITH financial challenges facing the care industry, there has never been a greater need to offer more cost effective solutions. The Aid Call wireless nurse call system brings flexible and powerful features that allow you to focus on the most effective care delivery, rather than the limitations of the technology. As budgets and costs are paramount, Aid Call also offer effective maintenance solutions to keep the system working effectively
for longer, extending the longevity of the product and enabling you to protect and look after your investment. Maintenance service packages give peace of mind as standard. Your nurse call system provides vital assistance at times of need, and it is imperative that your system is maintained to the highest standard by a dedicated team of trained service engineers. The benefits of the package include guaranteed service call out to site
(within 24 hours for critical calls and 48 hours for non critical calls), cost of site visit, inclusive of all labour and materials, and unlimited service call outs within the 12 month contract. As a customer of Aid Call, you can be assured of a high level of aftersales support and service. All our products are backed by a comprehensive 12 month warranty, after which Aid Call can continue to give support by providing a maintenance contract.
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Supplier launches guide Company unveil two new add-ons LEADING supplier of everyday consumables for care homes, Gompels Healthcare Ltd, is offering free customer purchasing reports in their newly published ‘Guide to the Services We Offer’ which aim to give buyers greater control of their expenditure on bulk buys such as tissues, protective gloves and cleaning products. Purchasing reports - one of a number of special services featured in the guide - show a detailed review of expenditure on individual accounts from various aspects including quantity, category, expenditure and region.
Gompels’ customers can access details of their own purchases online with an option to double click into a particular figure for even more detail. Other customer services include an extended cut-off time of 4pm to place orders for next day delivery, free weekly and monthly task sheets to ease the monitoring of care home cleaning, and downloadable COSHH sheets. Also available are conversion charts on main ranges, including incontinence pads, which allow you to compare your current manufacturer to one that will bring savings.
SIMPLYUNITE has launched Version 2.0 for their Gem computers. Among the range of additional features are two exciting add-ons: SimplyUnite Volunteer and the SimplyUnite Families App. SimplyUnite Volunteer makes it easy for care homes to link to local volunteers from a range of organisations and all through their Gem touchscreen. The volunteers themselves
Care Home Software
register through the SimplyUnite website and can search for, and make contact with, care homes. The SimplyUnite Families App is set to revolutionise the way families and friends interact with the Gem service. Instead of using the families portal on the website, smart-phone users can download the Families App to link with their loved ones’ accounts, send photos and messages.
Eric Howard fp