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News Archive
Society calling on care homes to complete survey
Society calling on care homes to complete survey
ALZHEIMER'S Society is asking care home workers to complete a short set of questions to find out the challenges they face in dealing with the coronavirus health crisis.  
The answers will be used to inform the charity's urgent campaigning calls to the Government, following the release of statistics from the ONS showing a 300 per cent rise in care home deaths.  
Kathryn Smith, chief operating officer at Alzheimer's Society, said: 'Care homes have become the 'forgotten front line' in the fight against coronavirus.  
'Following our urgent letter to Matt Hancock we are keeping a close watch to make sure the Government's plans to help care home residents are backed up by actions and not just words.  
'To do this successfully, we need your help and opinions to make sure we're prioritising the most urgent issues affecting care homes today.' 
More than 400,000 people are living in care homes in the UK and 70 per cent have dementia, many with other underlying conditions.  
With 95 per cent of people with dementia being over 65, many are extremely vulnerable to contracting the virus.  
However, reports from care homes show that testing for residents and care home staff is not routinely taking place so far, and that many staff still do not have access to PPE, putting both staff and residents at risk. 
To take part in the survey visit https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/BIBM25/

A companion in a crisis
A companion in a crisis
DEALING with complaints is an unfortunate but inevitable aspect of operating any business.  
But a care home isn't just any business. It's a place where people - particularly residents - need to feel that their voices are being heard, and that their problems are taken seriously.  
They also need to feel safe and protected, and be confident that they can trust those who look after them. After all, care home residents are often among the most vulnerable members of society - a fact the coronavirus crisis is brutally exposing. 
Likewise, coronavirus has revealed how central care home staff are to our society, fulfilling a vital role of safeguarding those vulnerable people.  
The minute-to-minute priorities of care home workers are likely to come under constant pressure as they respond to the demands of an incredibly difficult situation.  
Care home staff are unlikely to have the time and capacity to pay attention to every issue that arises at such a time, and complaints from residents or their representatives may end up being pushed to the back of the queue as more immediate problems take precedent. 
There is a risk, however, that doing so may result in a breach of consumer law, which could lead to serious consequences further down the line. It is as essential now as it's ever been that care home managers and staff are properly conversant with the aspects of consumer law which apply to their profession. 
It is with this in mind that the Chartered Trading Standards Institute has, with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, launched a free online resource designed specifically for those working in the sector.  
CTSI chief executive Leon Livermore said: 'Our authors have looked at much of the good work done by the many different bodies involved in adult social care over the past few years.  
'It's important that we all work together to improve the lives of people living in care home accommodation. This guidance has been designed to put residents at the heart of the care they receive, and to help them live fulfilling lives with dignity and respect.' 
Care home complaints is a reliable, easy-to-use information resource that provides useful guidance to busy care home managers and staff that they might need to check quickly when problems arise.  
It offers an overview of the main legal principles involved in dealing with complaints and useful tips on staff training. 
The free downloadable guidance booklet is available on the Business Companion website - the free government-backed website - written by trading standards experts to help you understand the laws that affect your business.  
It provides more detailed information on how to develop a robust complaints handling procedure that is in line with consumer law, as well as flowcharts to demonstrate the correct approaches to various common types of complaint succinctly. 
During trying and unprecedented situations, it is essential to have a source of accurate, up-to-date information that gives you the facts as and when you need them.  
We hope you find CTSI's care home guidance resources a useful companion during these difficult times.

Making dreams come true at care home
Making dreams come true at care home
FROM theatre trips to seaside visits and harbour walking, memories are coming alive for residents at an Eastbourne care home, thanks to a new project. 
The team at Sovereign Lodge Care Centre, which is part of the Healthcare Homes group, launched the 'Make a Wish Come True' initiative with the aim of granting a wish for a resident every month. 
Activities coordinator Tracy Wenham speaks with residents to learn more about their past and their happy memories, then plans trips, visits or activities to make their wishes come true. 
Varied 'wishes' have already been granted, with residents enjoying all kinds of visits and experiences, based on their requests.   
Resident Thelma Lipp is pictured enjoying fish and chips at Harry Ramsden's.

Operator celebrates double win at the Norfolk Care Awards
Operator celebrates double win at the Norfolk Care Awards
RESIDENTIAL, nursing and domiciliary care services provider Healthcare Homes Group received two accolades at the prestigious Norfolk Care Awards. 
The Motivational Leadership award was presented to Helen Jackson, manager of Overbury House in Wroxham. She was praised for the way she has led a successful improvement programme at the home, which has culminated in a 'good' rating from the CQC. Helen was described by her staff as 'amazing', with 'an infectious energy'. 
In addition, Meadow House Nursing Home in Swaffham won the 'TEAM - Together Everyone Achieved More' award for its unrelenting in ensuring every member of staff works together to deliver the best individual outcomes for its residents.  
The 'Outstanding' rated home was also recognised for its ongoing fundraising efforts for its residents and charities that are important to them, including the MS Trust. 
Helen Jackson, manager of Overbury House in Wroxham, is pictured receiving her award.  
Credit Santos Photography.

Care provider supports Nutrition and Hydration Week
Care provider supports Nutrition and Hydration Week
BOROUGH Care, the largest not-for-profit provider of care for older people in Stockport, marked Nutrition and Hydration Week with a programme of special food and drink related activities.  
Nutrition and Hydration Week is designed to highlight and educate people about the value of food and drink in maintaining health and wellbeing in health and social care settings.  
Events at the homes during Nutrition and Hydration Week included 'The Big Brunch', mocktail making, a global tea party, 'Thirsty Thursday' and 'Fruity Friday'. 
Lisburne Court in Offerton's activity lifestyle facilitator Joanne Sherratt and deputy manager Julie Williams are pictured making mocktails.

Covid-19 care death figures 'likely to be higher'
Covid-19 care death figures 'likely to be higher'
CARE providers have warned that new figures showing the number of deaths in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 could be below the true figure. 
Figures released yesterday showed that at least 5,500 people could have died due to Covid-19 in care and nursing homes so far, according to the Care Quality Commission and Office for National Statistics. 
The Independent Care Group has warned that the real figure may be higher. 
ICG chair Mike Padgham said: 'Any death in a care or nursing home is a cause for great sadness and care providers are seeing Covid-19 take a terrible toll. These are our loved ones - mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and friends who have been taken from us early. They deserve better. 
'Due to the lag in collating these figures, we do fear that the true number of people who have died in care and nursing homes since the start of coronavirus may be higher than these figures suggest. It may well be that they are increasing whilst hospital deaths are falling. 
'We hope not, but it might be that the numbers will actually be higher. 
'Social care providers are now on the true front line in the fight against Covid-19 and we need more support. The Government must provide better support for care providers in terms of PPE, testing and finance so that we can protect more people and keep these numbers as low as we can. There must be no let up.' 
The ICG has previously warned that care providers are being hampered in their fight against Covid-19 through a lack of PPE and insufficient testing. It has also called on the Government to provide better financial support for care providers amidst concerns that the £3.2bn pledged for local authorities to help them support social care is not getting to the front line.

Duo announce free gig for care workers
Duo announce free gig for care workers
BEAUTIFUL South's Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott have announced a special concert for care workers. 
Carers must have GMB or Unison membership to get their hands on one of 2,000 tickets for the gig at Sheffield City Hall on October 28.  
Union members can apply for two tickets each and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.  
Sue Wood, GMB senior organiser, said: 'We're so proud to be part of this event with Paul and to do something special for the care workers who are helping to keep the country running.  
'Unions are all about the values of solidarity and mutual support - we're proud to be coming together in Sheffield.'

Residents relish reminiscent mini museum
Residents relish reminiscent mini museum
RESIDENTS at Connors House in Canterbury enjoyed a nostalgic activity, looking back at yesteryear and the role their mothers played. 
Courtesy of Celia Walton, grandmother of the care home's activity coordinator, Rosie Higham, the residents were invited to enjoy a nostalgic activity and a visit to their past, with the help of a few memorable objects. 
Intrigued residents were invited to explore and interact with an array of items, many with a sensory purpose, and share their thoughts that arose. The session focused on motherhood, encouraging the residents to talk about what their mums were like growing up, what they did and their role as parents. 
There were plenty of items for residents to peruse, including a Brownie uniform, ladies' white gloves and a hat, old photographs and a ration book. The residents were also able to look at Rosie's mum's first pair of shoes, which the residents adored.

Resident celebrates World Book Day with schoolchildren
Resident celebrates World Book Day with schoolchildren
A FORMER award-winning poet and writer who founded a charity to help disabled horse lovers was among a number of care home residents meeting primary schoolchildren on World Book Day as part of an intergenerational partnership. 
Maureen Cameron Francis, better known as Mo, joined Year 3 pupils from Llanfaes Primary School and her fellow residents at Trenewydd care home to mark the internationally-recognised day through the sharing of stories. 
Horse-mad Mo had plenty of tales to tell, as the qualified riding instructor has a fascinating equine background, which includes founding the carriage-driving branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association in order to help disabled equestrians who cannot ride.

Carers 'get on their bikes' to support people in their homes
Carers 'get on their bikes' to support people in their homes
MANORCOURT Homecare, which provides a range of care and support services to people living in their own homes throughout Norfolk, has opened a new branch in Bowthorpe, Norwich.  
To mark the opening of the new location, the team has embraced the city's love of cycling and has purchased two new bikes for its carers to use when visiting nearby customers. 
The branch, which is led by manager Anne-Marie Brown, was previously located in Attleborough, however the new base provides a more convenient location to access both the city as well as the neighbouring villages.    
Branch manager Anne-Marie Brown is pictured with care coordinator Kelly Soane and team leader Ryan Girard on their bikes.

Owls bring smiles to faces of homecare provider's clients
Owls bring smiles to faces of homecare provider's clients
GETTING up close and personal to a collection of rescued owls brought smiles to the faces of elderly clients of Westmorland Homecare. 
Owls including Elmo, a 23-year-old Bengali owl, and Star and Thor, both Little Owls, delighted those attending one of Westmorland Homecare's social events, held at the Beck Community Centre at Kendal. 
The birds came from The Owl Sanctuary at Barrow, which has a range of hand-reared and rescued owls, which are no longer able to survive in the wild due to captive breeding or injury. 
About 15 of Westmorland Homecare's clients, whose ages ranged from 75 to 90 years old, were able to hold and stroke the owls. Some donned protective gloves so they could perch on their hands.

Excellence celebrated at annual awards ceremony
Excellence celebrated at annual awards ceremony
SUNRISE Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare have celebrated brilliance across the organisation at their annual awards ceremony. 
As well as awarding prizes to distinguished team members, the conference raffle raised more than £2,250 for the Good Samaritan Fund. This has been created to help team members at Sunrise UK and Gracewell Healthcare, and its affiliates, who are suffering severe financial hardship - resulting from a catastrophic event in their lives. The first prize of a two-week holiday at a villa in Northern Cyprus went to Gill Fitches, head of HR business partners. 
Award winners: Activities champion -  Gillian Grove, activities coordinator, Gracewell of Horley Park;Champion of quality care - Arlene Acuavera, deputy manager, Gracewell of Maids Moreton and Geraldine Parke, regional quality partner; Joy in service (regional) - Dawn Buchanan-Hole, learning and development manager; Joy in service (community) - Patrick Maher, maintenance coordinator, Sunrise of Chorleywood; Sales leadership - Christine Ellesley, home admissions advisor, Gracewell of Kentford; Team member leader - Giles Conroy, executive chef; Founder award - Suzanne Garston, general manager, Sunrise of Banstead and Tanta Stefanescu, general manager, Gracewell of Maids Moreton.

Awards success reflects apprenticeship commitment
Awards success reflects apprenticeship commitment
A SOUTH coast care home provider has won a prestigious education sector award recognising its commitment to employee apprenticeships. 
Family-owned Colten Care, six of whose 21 homes are officially rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, was hailed as a top employer at the inaugural Apprenticeship Awards held by Havant and South Downs College. 
The company saw off competition from businesses in other industry sectors to win the Outstanding Investment in Employee Development award. 
Colten Care team members are pictured at the inaugural Apprenticeship Awards held at Havant and South Downs College in Hampshire. 

New social care measures welcomed
New social care measures welcomed
URGENT new measures to support care workers on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus have been welcomed by care providers. 
The Government has announced new action to help social care as it cares for older and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
The Independent Care Group said the measures were long-overdue recognition of the vital role social care is playing. 
The measures include: 
· All care home residents coming back from hospital to be tested before being admitted to the care home. 
· Priority drops followed by a new online delivery system to supply care homes with PPE. 
· Supermarkets asked to give the same priority treatment for carers as NHS. 
· A recruitment drive for care staff with Government-funded induction training. 
ICG chair Mike Padgham said: 'Credit where credit is due, these new measures will aid social care in its fight against coronavirus and we wholeheartedly welcome what the Secretary of State has announced. 
'The issue of coronavirus testing and getting proper personal protective equipment to our frontline staff has been a major issue for us so far and we welcome action at last. 
'Up until this point it has felt like social care was playing second fiddle to the NHS whilst in reality care workers and NHS are side by side in our fight to tackle Covid-19. 
'It feels like it has been a long time coming but at last social care is getting the recognition it deserves right down to the Secretary of State wearing his Care badge with pride and describing it as a badge of honour.' 
Social care currently looks after 400,000 people in care and nursing homes - that is three times the number in NHS hospital beds. It looks after a further 640,000 people in their own homes.

Special mock wedding in nursing home
Special mock wedding in nursing home
AN engaged couple donated their two-tier wedding cake to Manor House Nursing Home in Chatburn as their special day had to be postponed.  
To try and turn this originally sad situation into good, it provided the wonderful a opportunity to stage a 'mock wedding' for Jean and Fred, who have been happily married for over 50 years.  
The conservatory was trimmed for the occasion, while residents and the staff team dressed to impress in their wedding finery complete with fascinators and button holes. 
Their relatives were pleased to receive the footage of the cutting of the cake surrounded by their friends having a wonderful time. 
The social event took place prior to further social distancing within the home.

Long-serving care assistant surprised on fifth anniversary
Long-serving care assistant surprised on fifth anniversary
SYLVIA Crocker, who celebrates her 71st birthday this year, is the longest serving care assistant at Bluebird Care Hounslow and Chiswick. 
Sylvia has been a care assistant for five years after changing her lifelong career - this was her first job in the sector. 
Care manager Halina Caswell and care supervisor Marina Sharma arranged for a surprise visit to Sylvia to mark her fifth anniversary.  
Sylvia added: 'I was so surprised when Marina and Halina came to visit me. The flowers and trophy were so kind. I started at Bluebird Care Hounslow and Chiswick after 40 years in another role and I haven't looked back since.'

Young and old share love for reading
Young and old share love for reading
PROVING that age is no object when it comes to a love for books, children from Paper Moon Day Nursery joined the residents at Ruddington Manor in Wilford for an inter-generational afternoon of fun and storytelling. 
The event coincided with World Book Day and saw a group of six pre-school children aged three and four from the day nursery visit the care centre to share stories with the residents and enjoy an Alice in Wonderland-style afternoon tea party with mini sandwiches and cakes. 
The children surprised and delighted the residents by dressing up as characters from their favourite stories and performing songs and dance routines.

Home brings young and old together through activities
Home brings young and old together through activities
AN Aylesbury nursing home is crossing the generations with its activity sessions by welcoming a local nursery group for weekly visits. 
Jade's Daycare Nursery has been visiting MHA Hillside every Friday for the past year, with children getting to know the residents who are living there. 
Activities have included dancing, sing-a-longs, ball games and storytelling sessions. The children also love bringing in cakes and biscuits, specially baked for the residents. 
s fantastic to see that the children's visits are having that impact. It really is a beautiful thing to witness.' 
There are plans to bring even more cross-generational activities into the home in future, with the idea of a parent and baby group being discussed by staff.

A stitch in time helps save lives 
A stitch in time helps save lives 
AN initiative launched by Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme has seen customers and residents from two care villages join forces for a sewing bee in aid of animals affected by the bushfires in Australia.  
More than 100 handmade items have been donated to the cause, which academics estimate has already claimed the lives of more than one billion animals. The crafts will assist the recovery of burnt paws and provide homes for orphaned animals.   
The care village invited participants from neighbouring Belong Crewe to bolster efforts, and together they volunteered an afternoon knitting, sewing and crocheting a total of 150 items for the wildlife affected by the crisis.  
The five containers worth of donations have been shipped to the devastated country by Rescue Craft Collective, a charitable group supporting Australia's wildlife. The creations include bird nests, koala mitts, kangaroo pouches, bats' wraps and blankets. 

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