Nursing associates: What does the scheme involve and is it working?

Denise Baker, Head of Pre-Qualifying Healthcare at the University of Derby

The University of Derby is one of the first eleven cohorts of nursing associates in the UK. Later cohorts have been termed fast followers and now we have in the region of 2,000 trainee nursing associates in England, 125 of whom are at Derby. As part of a wider review of development of the nursing workforce, the associate role was proposed as one which would free up registered nurses to concentrate on more complex cases. The associate role is also seen as a route into nursing, allowing experienced support workers access to the registered nurse role if that’s appropriate.


Grandad Inspires Entrepreneur to Make A Change.


Ben Atkinson-Willes founded Active Minds, a company who design and create activities for people living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Active Minds work with several care homes across UK and the NHS, Age UK and Bupa. We recently caught up with Ben to find out more about his journey and plans for the future…

The idea started back in 2008 when my grandfather had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for the past 10 years, and I decided to see what I could do to help support him.

Encore Care Homes is the first in Dorset to provide an immersive dementia experience


Encore Care Homes is the first care group in Dorset to offer a Virtual Dementia Tour, which provides care and health professionals with an inside look into what it’s like to live with dementia, and training on the best ways to support someone suffering with the disease. 


Encore manages three care homes in Dorset and Hampshire. Great Oaks, Encore’s latest addition, welcomed local healthcare professionals from across the county and members of the community, to learn and experience first-hand how patients living with dementia feel.


Residents get a ‘kick’ out of donkey visit

Resident Percy West welcomes a visitor from the Donkey Sanctuary

Rescue donkey Willow captured hearts when he dropped into meet residents at Acacia nursing home in Yeovil.


Accompanied by his handlers, the former show donkey travelled to the Hendford Hill home run by care provider Camelot Care from the Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth.


Percy West was just one of Acacia’s residents who enjoyed a close encounter with 16-year- old Willow who is being cared for by the world-renowned charity.


Dannielle Whitehouse, Acacia’s activities co-ordinator, said: “The donkey came round to the residents in the communal lounges.


“Residents were smiling and most of them really enjoyed meeting and stroking the donkey, and asking questions of the Donkey Sanctuary staff.


How to deal with tiredness in the workplace

Recent data from CV-Library has found that over two thirds (68.8%) of workers in the care industry admit that having a bad night’s sleep negatively impacts their working day. What’s more,  a further 22.9% claim that they feel exhausted on a daily basis. Unsurprisingly, these can have negative implications for both care workers and their employers. 


Sleep is a vital part of our wellbeing. As such, below, we’ll discuss the importance of looking after your staff, and how both employers and employees can combat issues of tiredness in the workplace.


Why is sleep so important?


WWII veteran goes back to Normandy thanks to special donation

John Dowling

A local Chorley Second World War Royal Marine veteran has attended a remembrance trip to Normandy thanks to special funding.

John Dowling, who celebrated turning 97 during the trip, went on the seven-day break with his daughter Maggie and grandson Ian. The break was organised through the Royal British Legion and paid for with LIBOR funding.

The trip included tours of the Juno, Gold and Omaha beaches, sharing tales with other people who had experienced the war at Pegasus Bridge and a visit to Arromanches Museum where the veterans were presented with a medal. The construction of Mulberry harbour was explained and visitors were able to see what remains today, as well as a trip to Bayeux which is famous for its tapestry and cathedral.

World-renowned diabetes expert Professor Kamlesh Khunti to deliver DPC2017 keynote

Diabetes Professional Care has announced that Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester’s Diabetes Research Centre, will deliver a keynote session on ‘Evidence-based commissioning of high quality diabetes care’ at the DPC2017 conference.


As co-director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, Professor Khunti leads a research group that is working on the early identification of, and interventions with, people who have diabetes or are at increased risk of developing diabetes. His work has influenced national and international guidelines on the screening and management of people with diabetes.


Miller Bear marks Hug a Bear Day at Rotherham care home

hug a bear

ROTHERHAM United’s Miller Bear took advantage of National Hug a Bear Day to visit a local care home for some love.


Elderly residents at Broadacres Care Home, on Naylor Street, were delighted to see the furry football mascot walk through their door.


Miller Bear took a tour of the home to meet the residents, staff and visitors and take photos.


Diane Rice, activities coordinator of Broadacres Care Home, said: “Hug a Bear Day might be one of the more unusual national celebrations but when your local football mascot is Miller Bear it would be a shame to miss it.


“Our thanks go to Rotherham United FC for releasing Miller Bear for the day so he could come and see our residents.


A little bit of magic at Worcestershire care home

A little bit of magic at Worcestershire care home

The husband of a resident at a Worcestershire care facility has raised more than £5000 to buy a piece of equipment aimed at helping dementia patients to relax and reminisce.

Pete James, whose wife, Nicole, lives at The Hawthorns care home, in Evesham, has used the funds to purchase a ‘magic table’. This new technology uses interactive games to connect people in the mid to late stages of dementia with each other, and with their surroundings, all the while stimulating movement.

Keeping tabs on rising patient referral figures

Lee Copestake

It’s no secret that the demands on the UK’s doctors and nurses are increasing all the time, driven by a significant rise in patient referrals over the past decade. Recent figures revealed by the NHS confirmed the headlines of many national newspapers, as it becomes clear that the struggle for efficiency is real.


Here, Lee Copestake, technical director at healthcare scheduling specialist BookWise Solutions discusses how the key to succinct resource utilisation could lie in technology.


Ultra-luxurious Kings Lodge care home chooses latest anti-microbial baths from Gainsborough

Gainsborough bath

Kings Lodge located in Surrey and operated by Aura Care Living, has selected power-assisted Gentona and Sentes baths from Gainsborough to enhance its state-of-the-art care provision.

Opened in July 2017, Kings Lodge is a stunning 64-bed care home that provides luxurious and opulent accommodation. Offering a combination of high level residential and dementia care, Kings Lodge is a state-of-the-art facility styled on a European ski-lodge set in 15 acres of mature woodland. Located in Camberley, Surrey, this innovative building is championing a new concept in person-centred care – its selection of four assistive baths by Gainsborough Specialist Bathing is instrumental to this approach. 

Dementia Dare Devil Wing Walk

Dementia Dare Devil Wing Walk

An East Sussex lady, whose husband Derek resides at Clifden House dementia care centre, completed a dare devil wing walk to raise awareness and help reduce the stigma of dementia.
Delia Spindlow, whose husband was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago said “It’s hard when someone close to you has dementia. While my husband is lucky enough to be in the superb care of Clifden House Dementia Care Centre in Seaford, I still wanted to do something to raise further awareness of this debilitating disease. “
Delia’s wing walk challenge took place on 23 September and helped raise money for Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance, with the staff at Clifden House donating to the fundraising efforts.

New Tranquillity Room for Ormskirk Care Home

New Tranquillity Room for Ormskirk Care Home

Residents and relatives have been able to enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet in style, as Stocks Hall Care Home in Ormskirk, Lancashire unveiled its new Tranquility Room.
The renovated project of an existing conservatory has taken 4 months to complete was officially opened by Edna Adams, 95 who lives at the Care Home.
A celebration afternoon tea was held to mark the occasion and celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Edna Adams, Resident says “It’s such an honour to open this wonderful room, a lot of hard work and dedication has gone into this renovation.  Thanks to everyone at the Home for creating this special place for us to all enjoy together.”

Older people at risk of CO poisoning according to GST’s latest Downstream Incident Data Report

The Gas Safety Trust (GST) today (26 October 2017) published the Downstream Incident Data Report statistics for 2015-16. The report collates data relating to accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning incidents in Great Britain (GB) associated with the use of mains natural gas and piped Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the home. Since 2011, information, albeit less extensive than that for mains gas, has also been collected concerning CO incidents associated with the domestic use of solid fuel and oil.

This year the report recorded 20 incidents, including five fatalities. Four of which were over 60 years of age and related to piped natural gas, and one 18-year-old male caused by an LPG space heater. All five fatal incidents occurred between September 2015 and January 2016.

International guidance published on ‘overlooked’ older people with diabetes


A leading professor has claimed older people with diabetes are being “let down” and “overlooked” by the system – prompting new international guidance outlining a ground-breaking model for how they should be treated.

An International Position Statement on the Management of Frailty in Diabetes, which outlines a ground-breaking model for how to manage older people with diabetes who also suffer from physical weakness and fatigue, has been published.

Safe, Reliable, 9 – 17 Seat Minibuses

Safe, Reliable, 9 – 17 Seat Minibuses

National minibus supplier Red Kite provides real customer choice, responding to the ever-increasing demand for ‘Young Driver’ Minibuses and the need for B Licence driver compatibility. Options include:


New Peugeot Expert Combi 9 Seat Minibus. Designed to offer both driver and passenger space and comfort, this latest model Minibus is an invitation to travel in comfort and style and is available with up to 9 seats for smaller group travel. 


Empathy dolls help Hartlepool’s elderly feel calm

Empathy dolls

EMPATHY dolls are helping Hartlepool care home residents with dementia gain a sense of meaning and purpose.  


Queens Meadow Care Home, on Stockton Road, has been using the therapeutic dolls to help residents feel more comfortable and communicative.


Julie Armstrong, home manager, said: “The empathy dolls have been really successful with our residents who have dementia.


“Holding and interacting with the dolls helps them to feel calm, gives them a sense of meaning and purpose, as well as improves social interaction and communication.”


The dolls have been donated by charity History of Hartlepool, which also makes reminiscence DVDs featuring images and stories from the town.


£17million care home opens with state-of-the-art digital facilities

care home

A 120-bed Riverside care home for the elderly which is part of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games legacy has recently opened in Dalmarnock following a £17million investment project, featuring a cutting edge AV system from SSUK and LG.

The flagship care home is designed to have a non-institutional character, scale and layout with stunning architectural design to match. Each zone has a high-tech feel, with state-of-the-art commercial displays fitted throughout.

Commercial integrator SSUK specified a networkable AV system for the project, connecting each room fitted with an LG display, creating an inclusive and unified environment for residents.

Sunrise senior living and Gracewell Healthcare celebrates three shortlistings at national awards

Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare are celebrating after being named finalists in three categories at the prestigious National Dementia Care Awards 2017.


Sunrise of Eastbourne was shortlisted in two categories with Fiona White, the General Manager at Sunrise of Eastbourne, being named a finalist in the Inspiring Leader category in recognition of her ability to effectively support and motivate her team.


Sunrise of Eastbourne’s ‘Reminiscence Neighbourhood’ Team also earned their spot as a finalist in the Best Dementia Team category. 


Theraposture to extend market-leading Rotoflex bed range with pioneering new additions at OT Show

Rotoflex bed range

Theraposture will be reaffirming its position at the forefront of rotational bed solutions with the introduction of additional Rotoflex designs at the Occupational Therapy Show (stand D32, NEC, 22-23 November).