Dementia crisis on horizon: The Sound Doctor helps raise awareness

The Sound Doctor

Health educators, The Sound Doctor, say a dementia crisis is on the horizon, as it is revealed that only 3% of people make active preparation for the disease. 

The Times has reported that, despite the fact that 75% of the population are afraid of developing dementia or losing their ability to make decisions, 97% of people have taken no legal steps toward securing care in the future.

Dementia is the leading cause of death in England and Wales, making up 12% of the total deaths in 2016. It’s on the rise, too: the number of people diagnosed has increased by 54% in the last ten years, according to The Times. 

In just 7 years, more than 13 million people who are at risk of dementia will have no legal or medical arrangements made due to a lack of preparation. 

Balhousie's Advanced Specialist Care unit celebrates rebranding with top Care Inspectorate rating

Balhousie Care rebrands ASC unit

Balhousie Care Group has rebranded its Advanced Specialist Care (ASC) unit, a residential facility for adults with learning disabilities, creating a new brand with input from the people living at the facility.

The Perthshire-based specialist unit is now called ‘Accepting. Supporting. Citizenship', keeping the initials the same but with a stronger focus on the personalised care received.

Linking closely with Balhousie Care Group's drive to deliver person-centred care across all its care homes and its Participation Charter, which offers residents and service users a bigger say in the care they receive, the ASC unit has worked closely with the people living in their care to rename the unit to reflect its people, their beliefs and the service being provided.

The Lydian MindHarp - a tool which allows non-musicians to create their own music

The Lydian MindHarp - a tool which allows non-musicians to create their own music

Two musicians have developed an app to help enrich the lives of people living with dementia after experiencing the effects of the illness first-hand. Mark Smulian and Stewart Redpath, from Bristol, have created the Lydian MindHarp, a tool which allows non- musicians to create their own music.

The Mindharp has been shown to help people with dementia engage with music and interact with people around them - having a long-lasting effect on their emotional well-being.

Producer and bass player Mark, who has created Platinum and Gold albums for internationally successful artists, said: “We are excited by the MindHarp as we know it can enrich lives for both those affected by the condition and their carers. 

Thor light robot hammers superbugs


With the country’s hospitals and care homes struggling in the grip of a superbug crisis, a recent study has revealed that a UK-developed UV light robot, the THOR UVC ®, which could spell the end of this catastrophe, saving money and lives.

Superbugs have evolved during a ‘post-antibiotic apocalypse in which bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites have mutated to become untreatable. Cleaning to the extent required to eradicate them has become almost impossible; traditional cleaning techniques kill just 50% of the bugs responsible for the Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) which cause 30,000 deaths and cost the NHS alone a staggering £1 billion each year.

The benefits of strategic workforce planning within the care sector

NHS workforce planning benefits

by Michael Ellis, Healthier Recruitment

It’s no secret that access to talent is the biggest issue facing the heath sector today, a recent survey of 149 trust managers by NHS providers found that staff shortages are the ‘single biggest risk’ facing the National Health Service.

This is unsurprising when you consider that, according to official figures, there are currently in excess of 100,000 vacancies across England’s 234 acute, ambulance and mental health trusts, including 35,000 nursing posts.  

Shirlfest is a king-size birthday celebration


A resident at Heathcotes’ Whitley services in West Yorkshire enjoyed an unforgettable 50th birthday party when the care provider held a music festival, Shirlfest, named in her honour.

Service user Shirley is a lifelong Elvis fan with a love of music and iconic events like Glastonbury. With the big-50 milestone approaching, Shirley discussed her ideal celebration with Heathcotes staff and Shirlfest was born. The festival took place at Whitley, Heathcotes’ specialist residential accommodation for adults with autism, dual diagnoses and associated complex needs.

YPO invests in social care offering by appointing former Local Authority Commissioner and Public Health Lead

social care manager andy perrins

YPO, the UK’s largest publicly owned buying organisation, has boosted its Social Care team with the appointment of Andy Perrins and Lesley Harper as Category Managers.

Andy Perrins brings a wealth of operational experience to YPO having previously worked with a range of local authorities and social care providers. Most recently, he has supported the transition of Public Health from the NHS and subsequent procurement of many of the services, working closely with commissioners and providers to design innovative services that deliver.

Andy said:

Pupils rehearse school play for Bolton care home residents

Lever Edge Care Home

PRIMARY school pupils treated elderly residents to an early viewing of their play after rehearsing at their care home in Bolton, Lever Edge Care Home.

Year 4 children from St William of York RC Primary School visited Lever Edge Care Home, both in Great Lever, for the performance.

The rehearsal of the play, called English Rose, took place ahead of the first showing at the school on the same evening.

The children sang a collection of songs to delighted residents, who provided feedback and encouragement. 

Karen McMahon, home manager at Lever Edge Care Home, on Lever Edge Lane, said:

Childcare voucher-style scheme proposed to tackle social care crisis

social care vouchers proposal

The County Councils Network has warned that social care funding will face a £2.5bn gap by 2019-20. This problem should not surprise anybody, as forecasts over the last several years have predicted this.

There have been few practical suggestions to solve this problem, however a new salary sacrifice scheme similar to childcare vouchers has been proposed as a way to partly fund the future of adult social care. 

Currently, there is no obvious and financially viable solution to this problem despite predictions that the issue will continue to worsen. 

Hampshire care experts hold summit to facilitate better digital care

The Hampshire Care Association (HCA)

The Hampshire Care Association (HCA), the body representing care providers in the county, organised a care experts’ summit to discuss how technology can be used to provide better outcomes for service users.

Held at The Winchester Hotel, the private roundtable, Using Digital Care to Provide Better Outcomes for Service Users, was chaired by Mark Allen, Head of Strategic Commissioning at Hampshire County Council and was attended by key care sector figures who over the morning shared best practice advice on using digital care effectively and the challenges of adopting technology in the care sector, based on their extensive subject knowledge.

Your Health Group partner with Dechoker to help nurses and carers to support their residents

Dechoker Airway Clearance Device

Derbyshire based Your Health Group which encompasses Your Health Limited and ENA HomeCare Services, a Domiciliary Care agency, have become the latest high-profile provider to choose the Dechoker Airway Clearance Device.

Care teams in all ten care homes across the country which provide services including day care and residences for adults with an array of physical impairments and mental health conditions, are already undergoing a rolling programme of training. This is being delivered by Your Health’s own support team who have received additional instruction from Dechoker.

Teesside care home throws party for NHS 70th anniversary

NHS Foundation Trust

A NURSING veteran was among those celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS at a special event in Stockton-on-Tees.

87-year-old Sheila Bradley was joined by members of Teesside’s health services for the celebration at The Beeches Care Home, on Green Lane.

Sheila was an NHS mental health nurse for over 30 years, having trained at Newcastle University and worked at North Tees Hospital.

Now living at The Beeches, she presented goodie bags as a thank you gift to members of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust district nursing team, community matrons, GPs and dentists.

The bags contained wine, chocolates, face masks, notepads and pens as well as a personal thank you card to each of the attendees.

CQC publishes its review of how local health and social care systems work together in Northamptonshire

CQC Publish new findings

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its findings following a review of health and social care services in Northamptonshire.

This report is one of 20 targeted local system reviews looking specifically at how older people move through the health and social care system, with a focus on how services work together. The reviews look at how hospitals, community health services, GP practices, care homes and homecare agencies work together to provide seamless care for people aged 65 and over living in a local area.

During the review carried out in April 2018, CQC sought feedback from a range of people involved in shaping and leading the system, those responsible for directly delivering care as well as people who use services, their families and carers.