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Allow a tested visitor into homes - campaigners
Allow a tested visitor into homes - campaigners
A CARE campaigner has called on the Government to allow a single, nominated, and tested visitor to be allowed to visit a family member in care and nursing homes. 
Care providers are becoming increasingly concerned about the mental wellbeing of their residents as lockdown restrictions continue and become more severe. 
The Independent Care Group has also called for greater guidance over visiting and questioned where the second round of infection control funding is. 
ICG chair Mike Padgham said: "We cannot keep residents in lockdown for ever as many have had very little contact for several months now. 
"If the visiting restrictions are to go on and become even more severe, we have to find a way to reunite them with their families. 
"One way would be to have a nominated family member who could be effectively given carer status and tested. Once the result of the test was known they could then visit their loved one. 
"The Government has promised a visiting guide for care and nursing homes, but that has yet to appear." 
There is a growing call to enable visits because of the damage continued separation is causing to the mental wellbeing of residents, particularly those with dementia. 
The ICG also says the country needs a clearer message over lockdown, rather than the piecemeal arrangements that are being set up. 
Mike added: "In my view we need some action and some clarity. Are we going to have a full lockdown for a short period to try to nip this in the bud or are we going to continue with the piecemeal geographical lockdowns that I feel are causing more confusion than good? 
"If the Government announces a short total lockdown, then that will make it even more vital that we can facilitate a way for our residents to be able to see their loved ones." 
Some weeks ago, the Government announced a second Infection Control Fund of £546m to support care providers in fighting the pandemic, which was welcomed by the ICG. However, the ICG says there has been no indication of when this money will arrive.

Homes to join forces for national event
Homes to join forces for national event
ALL Athena Healthcare Group Lodges across the North West of England and Dover will be celebrating the National Day of Arts in Care Homes this Thursday by incorporating musical and craft activities into their day. 
All residents and staff will be coming together and collaborating virtually via video call to perform a rendition of a well-loved song, chosen by the residents themselves.  
In addition to their musical performance, each resident will be creating their own personalised PPE facemask to wear during the sing-along to symbolise that, even in lockdown, residents have continued to have fun and let their creativity shine through. 
Each mask will be decorated with gems, glitter, ribbons, personal drawings and more, with residents asked to be as creative, colourful and crazy as they so wish. 
All the masks will be kept safe and treated like individual pieces of art as the Athena team have big plans for their future use once Covid-19 is over.

Donna provides care home teams with uniform bags
Donna provides care home teams with uniform bags
DONNA Powell, founder of 'Bag the Bug', has provided the teams at Marine View Lodge and Lighthouse Lodge with uniform bags to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus when commuting between the Lodges and their homes. 
'Bag the Bug' was launched in March at the beginning of lockdown when Donna found herself shielding and wanted to keep herself busy while finding a way to help others.  
After speaking to her daughter, Laura, who is a recently qualified radiographer in Preston and her best friend, a nurse, Donna realised the need for uniform bags as the strict uniform policies put in place due to coronavirus require hospital staff to change out of their uniform before leaving work. 
The bags are made from donated materials, such as bedding, and hold up to two uniforms at a time. Each person is given two bags, so one is always available to use while the other is in the wash.  
The uniform is placed in the bag at work and, once home, the bag is slightly loosened and put straight into the washing machine. This ensures that contact with the clothes is kept to a minimum, reducing the spread of the virus. 
After successfully making a bag for her daughter and colleagues, Donna continued to make more for those in the local area. Her daughter also set up a Facebook page to increase awareness and donations of the materials needed to make more bags. 
'Bag the Bug' snowballed from there and has now diversified into face masks, tote bags and more with a large team of volunteers who help with the production process.  
The company has provided these valuable bags across the North of England, including Bolton, Preston, Liverpool, York, Cumbria and now the Wirral.

Carers worried over increase in infection rate
Carers worried over increase in infection rate
A LAG between Covid-19 infection rates and reported deaths from the virus is worrying care providers as they prepare for winter and a possible second spike in cases. 
They are warning that the county must avoid complacency and be extra vigilant to avoid coronavirus claiming more lives. 
Whilst latest figures for the number of deaths in care and nursing home showed a fall, care providers warned that the overall infection rate was rising. 
Mike Padgham, chair of The Independent Care Group, said: 'Of course a fall in the death rate is very welcome but we are more concerned about the sudden sharp rise in infection rates, particularly amongst young people. 
'Given that there is always a lag between infection rates and death rates from coronavirus, we have to be afraid that we will see a new spike in cases. 
'We have to remain vigilant, not rest on our laurels and in fact be even more cautions as we head towards winter. 
'The colder season always puts extra strain on everyone in the caring professions and we do not want to see a resurgence in coronavirus cases on top of that. That could be devastating. 
'The dangers in care and nursing homes have not gone away and our need for support is as great as ever.' 
Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that deaths from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in England and Wales was 23 for the week ending August 28, down from 43 the previous week.

Thermal and face recognition display for care homes
Thermal and face recognition display for care homes
IN these extraordinary times ensuring the safety of your employees and visitors is more important than ever. With signs of Covid-19 difficult to detect by reception and security teams, all office ltd has a simple to deploy solution.  
Our self-service kiosks can check people into your facility each day using facial recognition technology and at the same time temperature scan them for signs of fever.  
The units can record 30,000 faces and take less than two seconds to recognise a face and perform a temperature scan.  
They can then interface with other security systems to permit access to a turnstile or door access system. 
However, if the user fails the temperature scan or other security measure the unit can sound an alarm to alert building staff to the situation.

Residents enjoy get together at pub themed event
Residents enjoy get together at pub themed event
RESIDENTS at HC-One's Ash Grange care home in Walsall enjoyed an early evening get together in their communal lounge which had been transformed into a pub.  
Residents enjoyed having their tea at the 'pub' along with a variety of snacks and a selection of drinks.  
They then all played bingo and dominoes and sang along to the background music that was being played. 
Home manager Anita Horton said: 'It was lovely seeing our residents all happy and enjoying a drink at our own pub themed event.'

Care workers are undervalued and underpaid, research finds
Care workers are undervalued and underpaid, research finds
THE majority of adults in England overwhelmingly believe care workers are undervalued (81 per cent) and should be paid better (80 per cent), according to new research. 
The online poll carried out by the National Care Forum also finds that three quarters (74 per cent) believe care home staff do a brilliant job. 
There are almost 1.5 million care workers in England, contributing to one of the largest workforces, and caring for some of the most vulnerable people in society. 
The research findings were released to mark Professional Care Workers Week 
Vic Rayner, executive director at National Care Forum (pictured), said: 'Care workers have been the stalwarts of the Covid-19 front line.  
'24 hours a day, seven days a week our professional care home staff have continued to provide care under the most challenging of circumstance. They have done this with compassion, providing a lifeline for the most vulnerable across all our communities.  
'It feels very timely to have a week dedicated to recognising the efforts of care workers and acknowledging the extraordinary work they do.  
'Together we have clapped for our NHS, and our carers have been included in that outpouring of public gratitude. It's great to see society recognise them for their invaluable contribution - it's time that Government does too, and that they are rewarded adequately.' 
. National Care Forum's 'Here to Care' campaign shines a light on the incredible work being done in care settings, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. 

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