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A third of employees taking on extra training with a focus on compliance eLearning
A third of employees taking on extra training with a focus on compliance eLearning
A third of employees taking on extra training with a focus on compliance eLearning 
25% of course completions in data protection compliance ahead of the GDPR 2018 huge boost in online training courses for UK employees has also seen a spike in legal compliance training over the past year, with Data Protection and Information Security accounting for over 25% of course completions. Cheaper costs and work-friendly learning management systems also mean that this increase in workplace training favours online learning packages which could spell a significant decline in face-to-face and blended upskilling courses in the UK.Research recently released from Groupon reveals that businesses are actively upskilling staff at an impressive rate, with a third of employees in the UK taking measures to upskill through extra training and qualifications. Engage in Learning Account Director, Mark Edmonds, says, "Amidst this growth, legal compliance modules with Data Protection and Information Security account for over 25% of course completions in the last year. Reducing risk of non-compliance and the resulting penalties and loss of reputation is at the top of any company's agenda, particularly with the General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect in April 2018". For many employees and employers, the costs and time-consuming nature of more traditional face-to-face and blended learning approaches to staff training have been the main barriers to staff development, a difficulty when there are legal shifts that affect most businesses in the UK: 
Around 61% believe that learning new skills through face-to-face and blended learning courses is too expensive for the average person, the financial strain of which can be unavoidable during times of legal shift and compliance changes.This has led to an increase in training managers saying that they are more likely than ever to consider automated online training courses which are significantly cheaper, particularly when purchased in bulk. Most online training and upskill courses now come with a bite-size learning function built in, allowing learners to study at their own speed and for short periods of time, which reduces time spent away from tasks and makes it easier for employees to integrate training into their working day. This flexible online approach means that staff training and compliance preparedness can take place cost-effectively and can be completed during work hours in bite-sized chunks, at their own pace and with reduced disruption to productivity. Engage in Learning is a UK based supplier of automated, multilingual, bespoke eLearning solutions helping small businesses, local government and multi-national companies to improve safety, compliance and staff performance. Website: www.engageinlearning.com 
James Morelli-Green  
Engage in Learning 
0845 4560465 

Care homes counting the cost of energy bills
Care homes counting the cost of energy bills
By Rachel Adamson 
MEDIA coverage of the decision in the Budget to devote extra funding to tackle the dire state of finances in the UK's care home industry generally overlooked one of the big causes of the squeeze. 
The Chancellor's decision to pledge £2bn extra into social care over the next three years comes after warnings by the Care Quality Commission last year that services for the elderly had reached a 'tipping point'. 
Care homes are suffering from huge pressure on their finances. Figures released by the Insolvency Service late in 2016 showed that a total of 380 care home businesses had been declared insolvent since 2010. 
The cash crisis has been blamed on councils paying less towards fees for residents, and rising costs, particularly staffing overheads. 
Care homes also face paying for administration and regulation. Providers are dedicating increasing time and resources to the maintaining of standards and accreditation for the various regulatory bodies - often at the expense of front-line care, and often involving copious amounts of reporting and so-called 'red tape'. 
The high cost of gas and electricity has largely been overlooked. Soaring energy costs are a big factor and they could be helping put the health, safety and well-being of residents at some of the nation's 20,000 care homes at risk. 
There is an intense and almost round-the-clock demand for energy and water at care homes, which are open 24/7. 
While some estimates say energy bills at care homes went up by 151 per cent from 2004-2012, others say energy costs have risen by 40 percent in three years. Whatever the precise figure, there is unanimity that prices have increased substantially. 
And this is only the beginning. Energy experts predict that fuel bills will double in the next 10 years. 
Added to that mix is an increasing pressure due to legislative demands. Energy Performance Certificates come into effect in 2018 meaning care home operators must ensure their buildings comply with the minimum standard, or it will be considered unlawful to offer residence within their property.  
It wouldn't be surprising if there was speculation that this background of intense financial pressure was having an impact on standards of care provided in care homes. 
According to a Parliamentary answer published in December last year, 11,000 care home residents a year are not being properly fed or are being left without food and drink. 
It also said that around 312 homes had been found to be in breach of basic standards to ensure vulnerable residents are not left hungry or dehydrated. 
In 2015, the Care Quality Commission found that a third of care homes required improvement and seven per cent were inadequate. 
While the vast majority of workers in care homes work hard to maintain good standards for residents their jobs are being made harder by cash pressures of which rising energy bills are a growing component. 
Rachel Adamson is head of regulatory law at Stephensons. https://www.stephensons.co.uk/site/individuals/care_services/community/

New manager appointed at Bridgwater home
New manager appointed at Bridgwater home
PAULA Howlett has been appointed as the new manager of Avalon Nursing Home in Bridgwater, which is part of the West Country-based Camelot Care group of specialist dementia care homes. 
She was previously the registered manager at a home in Burnham, where her expertise had been swiftly recognised by promotion from carer to manager after only six months. 
Having originally trained as a psychiatric nurse, Paula has been working in mental health care for 20 years, firstly with the NHS - including experience in hospital dementia units and as a community psychiatric nurse - then moving to the private sector in 2009.

Northumberland care home officially opens its doors
Northumberland care home officially opens its doors
LONG-awaited, prestigious care facility Baedling Manor has opened its doors to the public following its initial CQC registration inspection and preview visits by health and social care professionals. 
The multi-million pound facility in Bedlington, Northumberland, operated by care provider Alcyone Healthcare, will provide a centre of excellence for residential social care and dementia care, as well as providing a flexible out-reach package to guests requiring day care, overnight and respite.  
With over 30 years' experience in the care industry working for some of the best care home providers in the UK and North East, Alcyone Healthcare is headed up by managing director Darren Taylor, who is looking forward to welcome the home's first residents.

Development raises £600 for local health service
A MELROSE retirement housing development has raised £600 to make a donation to the local health service. 
Bield's Priorwood Court successfully raised the total to fund the purchase of a Doppler machine for the area's District Nurses. 
Working closely with the District Nurses, and seeing the valuable service that they provide for the community on a daily basis, Bield's staff and tenants were inspired to find a way find a way to give back to the local community. 
The group of tenants made private donations as well as holding raffles and jumble sales, to reach their target.

Home more dementia friendly after revamp
RESIDENTS, staff and visitors at Bryn Derwen are enjoying the new revamps that have been undertaken over the last few months to make the home even more dementia friendly.  
These designs are focused on the needs that people with mid-to-late stage dementia have, along with all of the ideas and suggestions received from residents and their relatives. 
The new design of the dining room is based on a retro themed bistro and includes a sink area and breakfast bar for residents to help themselves too, along with new juice fountains and fresh fruit to promote hydration and healthy eating.  
Plans to help residents to create their own individual person centred placemats in arts and crafts 
sessions in order to aid conversation at mealtimes. are also being discussed.

New community defibrillator unveiled in Haywards Heath
New community defibrillator unveiled in Haywards Heath
A RETIREMENT housing development owned by Hanover Housing Association and known for its commitment to the health and wellbeing of its residents and strong community spirit has unveiled a defibrillator at Mill Hill Close. 
Earlier this year residents at the Haywards Heath estate successfully gained a local authority grant to install the defibrillator. The new equipment can be easily accessed by the emergency services, along with anybody living on the estate or in the wider community when an emergency situation arises. 
Some years previously a local resident was unable to be resuscitated by paramedics, despite them arriving quickly on the scene. Following this event, Hanover estate manager Jackie Parton and Mill Hill Close residents felt that having a defibrillator on site would offer reassurance to those living on the estate and the whole community.

Businesswoman to trek the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for Alzheimer's
Businesswoman to trek the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for Alzheimer's
BUSINESSWOMAN and homecare franchise owner Visha Keshwala is to trek the arduous Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society. 
The increasing number of clients in Visha's home care business who struggle with dementia or Alzheimer's made her want to support the charity and take up this challenge. 
Visha and two other members of her care team are gearing up to trek the 24 miles gruelling miles, hiking through beautiful upward terrain of 5,200 ft (1,585m) of elevation. 
None of them has undertaken such a strenuous physical and mental challenge before. 
Walking any great distance is not high on the list of Visha's regular activities, which makes her determination to achieve her goal and raise £2,000 even more admirable.

Care home brews refreshing retro treat
Care home brews refreshing retro treat
A GLASGOW care home has given its residents the perfect place to enjoy a cuppa, with the creation of its own vintage tea room, 'The Tipsy Teapot.' 
Staff at Bupa's Golfhill Care Home, in Dennistoun, redecorated and transformed what was previously a spare bedroom into a cafè area to give residents more communal space in the home. 
The Tipsy Teapot - a name that was chosen by the care home's residents - is kitted out with tables and chair, vintage tea sets and comfy armchairs. 
Residents were not only given input on the name but also decided on the dècor of the room, choosing a patterned wallpaper adorned with cupcakes and tea sets to add to the theme.

New manager for Sheffield care home
THE LAURELS has promoted Louise Spooner to the manager's role - after more than 24 years at the home. 
The dementia facility is one half of The Laurels and The Limes Care Home, on Manchester Road, Sheffield. 
Louise is the longest serving member of staff at the home, having started as a secretary and receptionist in 1993, before The Limes was constructed. 
She then became liaison officer, managing the marketing, social workers and admissions.  
Shortly after The Limes was built, Louise took on the role of administrative manager, managing the buildings and ancillary staff, and working alongside the registered nurse manager. 
In this role, she completed a Level 4 Certificate in Management with the Chartered Management Institute, before being promoted to home manager.

Primary school pupils become 'Dementia Friends'
Primary school pupils become 'Dementia Friends'
PUPILS from St Benedict's Primary School in Hindley have attended a dementia awareness session promoting discussion and understanding of how to engage with people who are living with the condition, led by Marie Calderbank from specialist care village, Belong Wigan. 
Marie delivered the session to pupils to highlight how to support people, including relatives, to live well with dementia. The interactive session focused on topics including the impacts of dementia on a person and making someone with the illness feel understood and safe. 
Inspired by the dementia awareness session, St. Benedict's year five pupils recently held a cake sale for their parents and fellow students, at which they raised £350 for Alzheimer's Society and Belong Wigan and delivered a presentation about what they had learned about dementia with Marie.

Supermarket bag pack raises over £500 for charity
Supermarket bag pack raises over £500 for charity
A CHARITY bag pack at a Chesterfield supermarket has raised hundreds of pounds for the Alzheimer's Society. 
Staff from several care homes across Derbyshire spent the day on the checkouts at the town's Marks and Spencer helping customers with their packing. 
Generous shoppers donated a total of £504.74 - with all proceeds going towards research and support for those living with dementia. 
Staff from four Hill Care Group homes took part, including three from Chesterfield, Holmewood Care Home, Barnfield Care Home and Springbank House Residential Care Home, alongside Burton Closes Hall Care Home in Bakewell.

Nostalgia room helps residents feel more at home
Nostalgia room helps residents feel more at home
A NEW nostalgia room has been opened to help residents feel more at home at a North Lincolnshire care home. 
Residents at Rathside Residential Home, in Scawby, will now be able to take a trip back to the good old days with a new area of the home which is set in the 1950s. 
Included in the room is a vintage radio set, a dial-up telephone and even Elvis Presley records. 
The room was created in conjunction with residents, who contributed ideas about what sort of items to include and how the room should look. It was opened by local MP Nic Dakin.

Care scheme raises over £400 for charity
Care scheme raises over £400 for charity
A CARE facility in Ledbury welcomed the Malvern Male Voice Choir to perform for its residents, raising over £400 for a local charity. 
Residents and guests at Leadon Bank Extra Care Housing enjoyed an hour-long performance from the choir, which included amusing solo pieces and three poetry readings based on a horticultural theme. 
The event was organised by the scheme, owned and operated by Shaw healthcare, to raise funds for a local horticultural charity, Herefordshire Growing Point, who arrange gardening and nature-based activities for elderly people and also those living with a disability.

Home donates dolls house to nursery
Home donates dolls house to nursery
A TELFORD nursing home has donated a much-loved dolls house to children at a local day nursery to help develop their imagination and interaction.  
Kind-hearted staff from Myford House Nursing Home in Horsehay have given the Georgian-style dolls house to ABC Nursery in Lightmoor Village.  
Myford House is an exclusive development registered for 57 residents looking to spend their retirement in privacy and comfort. 
Heather Sharpe from Myford House is pictured with Kelly Orrock, manager at ABC Nursery, and some of the children.

New £1m extension unveilled at Bilney Hall
New £1m extension unveilled at Bilney Hall
NEWLY appointed Mayor of Dereham, Councillor Hilary Bushell conducted her first official engagement by unveiling a new wing at Bilney Hall Nursing Home in East Bilney. 
2017 is a special year for Bilney Hall: not only is it the 150th anniversary of when the building was built, but it sees the completion of a new, £1million extension programme.  
The extension provides modern accommodation to those looking for residential care, including specialist dementia services in addition to short-term respite support.

Lauren adds a touch of glamour to home
Lauren adds a touch of glamour to home
LAUREN Parkinson added a touch of glamour at Chirk Court Care Home recently when she called in to enjoy afternoon tea with residents and share stories about being crowned 'Miss Galaxy Wales'. 
Lauren, who is also Miss Wrexham, is travelling to Orlando in Florida in July to represent Wales at an international pageant and she called in to meet up with friends at Chirk Court as they marked 'National Dementia Awareness Week' with a range of events and activities. 
Lauren is pictured with housekeeper Bev Valentine, activities coordinator Mandi Southern and residents Nan Roberts and Graham Williams.

Staff complete 'jailbreak challenge' for charity
Staff complete 'jailbreak challenge' for charity
FOUR care home workers from Bognor Regis have completed a 'jailbreak challenge' to raise more than £600 for a Sussex children's charity. 
Marcia Ellis, Danni Andrews, Nikki Kenchington and Kodie Chesters, who work at Elizabeth House care home, took part in the challenge to raise the funds for local cause, The Sussex Snowdrop Trust. 
The Trust provides 'nursing care at home' for local children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses. 
Organised by Spirit FM, the challenge started by dropping the four members of staff 40 miles from base with a series of clues. They had five hours to travel to Fontwell Park Racecourse, but weren't allowed to spend money or use mobile phones. The team completed the challenge with just three minutes to spare.

Fun in the sun raises £400 for Essex care home residents
Fun in the sun raises £400 for Essex care home residents
ST JOSEPH'S care home opened its doors to friends and family of residents to celebrate in the sunshine at its annual summer fair. 
The Chelmsford facility invited the residents' friends and family to join them for a fun day of barbecue, cakes, stalls and a bouncy castle. The staff held a bake-off contest, where prizes were given for taste, looks and creativity, and the afternoon was rounded off with two musical performances by Robert Jerome and Tanya Honey. 
The event raised £400 to help fund resident activities and events throughout the year. 
St Joseph's forms part of Forest Pines Care Limited and provides nursing care for up to 41 older people.

Home launches intergenerational playdate programme
Home launches intergenerational playdate programme
RESIDENTS at The Oaks Care Home, Lexden, entertained seven children from the a nearby kindergarten recently. 
The children visited for a lively morning, which they spent finger and sponge painting, collecting pine cones for crafts, and playing bat and ball with the residents. They quickly became friends with residents and easily made themselves at home, engaging them in enthusiastic conversation and play within the beautiful grounds. 
The play date is the first of many between The Oaks and Lexden Lodge, and part of a series of organised events at the care home aimed at creating positive social environments for residents in a variety of ways.  
The home recently underwent a £1.2m refurbishment to enhance residents' experiences.  
Resident Sylvia Nevard is pictured with a child from Lexden Lodge.

There has been a great deal of change in Care Homes since apetito entered the market
There has been a great deal of change in Care Homes since apetito entered the market
Ellen Brown, Divisional Manager apetito Care Homes has witnessed a great deal of change in the care sector since apetito entered the market in 2008. Recent collaborations with some of the most pioneering care groups have highlighted these changes and the exciting future of UK care. One such development is the increased focus on dining experience. Ellen discusses the reasons behind this trend and points to partner Springfield Healthcare as an illustration of how dining experience can be placed at the centre of the care solution. 
Quality, nutritious meals in care homes should be a given; but perhaps less well documented is the role dining experience plays in ensuring the health and well-being of residents. Often, when people go into care, mealtimes become more of a task than an enjoyment. There are strict times during which residents are fed and they are given a narrow, unimaginative selection of meals. Frequently these are served in solitary, enclosed dining spaces, leaving residents with little to no power over their own mealtime experience. 
A pleasant and sociable dining environment can have a significant impact on the life of a resident. Making mealtimes an enjoyable experience can encourage them to eat well and often, this in turn has a positive effect on their health, well-being and weight management. Recognising this has led many modern care groups to place an increased focus on dining experience. One such group is Springfield Healthcare.  
In May 2017, Springfield Healthcare opened its new care village in York, 'The Chocolate Works.' Housed in the former Terrys Chocolate Orange factory, it has been carefully restored to provide exceptional and innovative care facilities. The village is beautifully designed; but there is more to this than just being aesthetically pleasing. 
The centrepiece of 'The Chocolate Works' is the marketplace, a large indoor space which aims to 'bring the outside in.' The space is full of natural daylight, trees and greenery and is home to shops, a cafè, spa, gym and chocolate shop. The idea: to move away from the enclosed communal spaces found in traditional care homes. 
Here residents are free to move around the marketplace, feeling like they are outdoors and part of a wider, bustling community. The shops encourage a sense of normality, so when people move in, they can continue living an active lifestyle, undertaking activities they have participated in throughout their lives. For residents with dementia, the recognisable elements of the marketplace will help to recreate a life they know and understand, making the move into a care setting less of an unsettling experience. 
These ideologies are very much reflected in the way food and mealtimes are dealt with at 'The Chocolate Works.' Just as the facilities' layout and design encourages normality, community and social interaction, so does its approach to food. Each floor has its own kitchen, but, importantly, meals are also served in the cafè, pub, terrace and other outlets. This means residents have the flexibility to eat what they want, whenever they want, either on their own, or in groups with friends and visitors. 
This flexible approach to dining means eating together, relaxing and socialising are cleverly woven into daily life. Residents retain their independence and communal dining allows the natural and enjoyable social aspect of eating to be maintained. 
Addressing the dining experience is central to apetito's approach when entering a care home. Therefore, working alongside Springfield Healthcare and having the opportunity to design branding, menus and to provide food throughout the development was an extremely exciting opportunity. 'The Chocolate Works' exemplifies that as care facilities move forward, the importance of modernising and improving residents' dining experience should never be overlooked.

Migrant workers will solve UK's 'crippling' shortage of care workers
Migrant workers will solve UK's 'crippling' shortage of care workers
A report released by Independent Age proposed that the UK should open its borders to skilled migrants from around the world to address a shortfall of more than one million care workers by 2037.  
However, this report is in direct conflict with the Government's migration policy to reduce net migration to the figures in the 1990s. Theresa May was left red faced when Jeremy Paxman pointed out her immigration plans have been dubbed 'economically illiterate' during the May 2017 televised leaders' debate. 
The Conservatives made the immigration pledge in both their 2010 and 2015 manifestos but they have so far been unable to make much of a difference in restricting the number of migrants to the UK.  
Conservative MP Anna Soubry, Labour MP Pat McFadden and Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb said migrants "made a vital contribution to our country" as they "bring innovation and ideas" as well as "paying taxes that help us invest in our public services". 
The adult social care sector "faces a perfect storm" and the report cites the crippling budget cuts and an ageing population which still rings true post-election today.  
The report warns that the sector will become crippled by a lack of workers to meet demand unless low paid care work is made more attractive to resident workers and that migrants are able to continue to work in the UK.  
There is a clear indication that there could be a shortfall of up to 200,000 workers in the care workforce in England coupled with the fact that in less than a generation this shortage of staff will stand at more than a million. 
Almost one in five of all care workers are migrants which equates to 266,000 people which make up the largest proportion of migrants working in the adult social care sector. However, despite this the Government's migration policy has become increasingly restrictive to non-EU migrants.  
The Government needs to relax rules on migrant workers to allow skilled workers from outside Europe to come to the UK in order to help the sector meet immediate staffing needs. Moreover, the Migration Advisory Committee must seriously consider replacing senior care workers to the shortage occupation list to ease pressure in the sector.  
However, this will not be enough on its own. The report states that we need to encourage resident workers to work in the care sector by offering "better funding", a 'care-prentice' scheme to encourage older people into care work and a national campaign to attract more male care workers. 
It is now a reality how a funding crisis in social care could result in thousands of elderly people being forced into hospital beds by 2020, at a cost of billions to the NHS. 
The Government needs to recognise that there is a growing need for the contribution of migrant workers in the social care sector. However, the current state of affairs is that the adult social care sector is being threatened by the Government's increasingly harsh and arbitrary changes to its migration policy.  
Mr Kashif Majeed, Director at Aston Brooke Solicitors

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