Giving a helping hand to the elderly during the festive season

elderly lady with Christmas gift

While there are various positive aspects and associations related to the festive period, Christmastime can also result in loneliness becoming clearer for people to see. The Mental Health Foundation has found that 19.7 per cent of people aged 16 years old and above across the UK showed symptoms of depression or anxiety in 2014, while the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that there were five per cent of adults throughout England alone who reported feeling lonely either ‘often’ or ‘always’ in 2016 to 2017. 

Volunteers reduce pressure on frontline NHS staff, report finds  

NHS staff

Volunteers in hospitals play a vital role in improving the experience of patients and relieving pressure on frontline staff, according to a new report from The King’s Fund. 
The report, commissioned by Royal Voluntary Service and Helpforce, is based on a survey of nearly 300 hospital staff in England including nurses, doctors and support staff – the first time that NHS frontline staff have been surveyed for their views about volunteers.  

Why Should I Invest in Care Management Software?

Care Management Software

You have probably heard about the ways that technology can improve the way you run your care business. So what are the things you need to consider when choosing Care Management Software? 

It might be best to start by asking yourself what you want the software investment to achieve? Many factors will affect your decision, from inspection ratings, GDPR readiness to staff retention and morale. The desire to improve quality of care within the organisation must drive everything. 

What Do You Need from the Software?

Understanding the drivers is probably the best place to start. In other words, what parts of your business do you need to improve? For example:

Operational efficiency

Better care environment

Regulatory compliance

Sara Livadeas appointed new Chief Executive at The Fremantle Trust

Sara Livadeas from The Fremantle Trust

Sara Livadeas has been appointed Chief Executive at The Fremantle Trust, a registered charity and not for profit organisation providing care and support services for older people and adults with a learning disability. She will take up her position on 23rd January 2019.  

Sara has extensive experience working across social care, health and housing and has held executive roles in a large local authority and a national charity.

Best ancillary worker in the North East care industry is…

Winner of best ancillary worker in the North East

HANDYMAN Chris Sogorkski has been named the best ancillary worker in the North East care industry.

The Oaks Care Home maintenance man picked up the award at The Great North East Care Awards 2018 gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel, in Gateshead.

The accolade recognises Chris’s person-centred service, excellence and pride in his work and the dignity and respect he shows residents and staff at the home, in Blyth, Northumberland.

He said: “I can’t believe it. I love working at The Oaks. The residents are lovely and the staff are wonderful.  

“I can’t thank home manager Ann Mielnik enough for nominating me. It’s a great honour to have been given this award.”

NACC Care Chef of the Year 2019 competition opens for entries

NACC Care Chef of the Year 2019 logo

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has begun its annual search for the nation’s best care chef.  The NACC Care Chef of the Year 2019 competition is now officially open for entries.

The prestigious culinary competition is open to all chefs and cooks working in the care sector, from care homes, day centres, lunch clubs and meals on wheels services to local authorities and other care organisations, including hospices.  

The entry brochure can be downloaded at and the deadline for entries is 1 February 2019.

Hospice To Open £500,000 Satellite Unit

Hospice exterior

A HOSPICE is on course to open a £500,000 satellite unit that will create 15 jobs and provide vital end-of-life care for patients in isolated areas of north west Wales.

St David's Hospice plans to unveil the new four-bed inpatient complex in 2019, with building work set to start next April at a converted ward at Penrhos Stanley Community Hospital, Holyhead.

The opening will mark a year since the Llandudno facility was merged with Hospice at Home to form one charity covering Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey.

Music all in a day's work at Balhousie Care Group

Patsy from Balhousie Care Group dancing to music

It's not a bad day at work when you spend a large part of it listening to your favourite song tracks. But that's just how Balhousie Care Group employees spent a day recently when they learned the benefits of music to people living with dementia.

Sixteen care home staff from across the award-winning group gathered in Balhousie Monkbarns in Arbroath - one of Balhousie Care's 25 homes across Scotland - to receive their latest training in the popular Playlist for Life, a programme launched by broadcaster Sally Magnusson for use in care homes, hospitals and the community.

Care Home Celebrates Outstanding Report From CQC

Care Home Celebrates Outstanding Report From CQC

Staff at a Plymouth residential care home are celebrating after the service was given the Care Quality Commission’s highest rating following a recent inspection. After its previous CQC inspection in January 2016, Restormel House was given an overall rating of good. But following its latest inspection, in September this year, it has been upgraded to outstanding.

Carla Dearing, who has been manager of the service for four-and-a-halfyears, said: “I’m so pleased that the hard work, commitment and passion demonstrated by the staff here has been rewarded with the CQC’s highest rating.

“I’m privileged to lead an excellent team here who put everything into providing the best possible care for the people we support, and the team thoroughly deserve to be recognised in this way.”

Hillgreen Care Limited fined £300,000 - for not monitoring ‘sexual predator'

Hillgreen Care Limited fined £300,000 - for not monitoring ‘sexual predator'

A care home provider has been fined £300,000 for allowing a man in its care with a history of sexual assaults the freedom to prey on vulnerable people.
The Care Quality Commission brought the case against Hillgreen Care Limited for not providing the constant, one-to-one supervision required for the man, who was described in court as XX. 
CQC prosecuted Hillgreen Care Limited for failing in its duty to protect people in its care, exposing them to the risk of sexual abuse. District Judge Susan Williams also awarded CQC £141,000 in costs. The judge ruled that residents at the care home must not be identified.

Pioneering Dementia Advice Centre launched in Newcastle

The mayor and mayoress of Newcastle in the Dementia Advice Centre

In a bid to ensure effective, coordinated, community-based support for people who have been diagnosed with dementia, a pioneering dementia advice centre has opened in Newcastle.

Designed to provide support and information services for people living with dementia, their families, friends and carers, the Centre, which is the first of its kind on Tyneside, is the result of a campaign led by North East specialist dementia charity, Dementia Matters. 

The Brunswick Village-based specialist day and residential care service provider has partnered with fellow North East charity, Newcastle Carers and sourced funding from The Ballinger Charitable Trust and the Lloyds Bank Foundation, to get the project up and running with additional support from local authorities and the NHS.

Live-in care provider becomes a Telephone Friend for those feeling lonely 

Gary becomes a Telephone Friend for those feeling lonely 

A care provider based in the Ribble Valley has been in touch with his first The Silver Line ‘telephone friend’, after volunteering with the helpline in a bid to help combat loneliness. 

Gary Derbyshire, partner at Promedica24, wanted to do more for The Silver Line after it was chosen as the live in care provider’s charity of the year.

The Silver Line provides information, friendship and advice to people aged 55 and over, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 

Gary, after completing his The Silver Line training and becoming a Telephone Friend, has recently made his first phone calls and said it is “one of the very best things” he has ever done. 

Zipping across the Tyne for charity and residents

Woman zipping across the Tyne for charity and residents

DAREDEVIL care home staff flew across the Tyne on a zipwire to raise funds for residents and charity.

Over £1,000 was raised by staff from The Oaks Care Home, in Blyth, Northumberland, after they launched themselves off the Tyne Bridge.

The home’s carers and support staff jumped from the bridge’s balustrades before zipping across the river on a cold autumn day.

The team included care assistants Samantha Porter and Linda Palmer, senior carer Sarah Geggie, care assistant Jessica Maxwell, maintenance man Chris Sogorski, senior carer Paige Gallagher, activities coordinator Natalie Brimelow, and care assistant Sarah Ferrow.

Chocolate Treats For All Gives Care Staff A Golden Glow

Chocolate Treats Given To Care Staff

Care sector staff who told Investors in People inspectors how much they ‘love coming to work’ have even more reason to be happy after being rewarded by their employers – with chocolate!

Comments from staff were instrumental in the Regard Group, the UK’s third largest private care provider in its sector, retaining the coveted Investors in People Gold status.

Staff across the whole organisation were randomly selected for interview by the inspector and encouraged to be open and frank about their views on how they felt Regard meets the Investors in People standard.

Less than half of organisations nationwide succeed in retaining the Gold status when they are reassessed.

Elf Day sees care home raise funds for dementia fight

Staff dressed up for elf day

ELVES were running around a Tyneside care home spreading Christmas cheer and raising funds for the fight against dementia. Willowdene Care Home, in Hebburn, near Newcastle, took part in The Alzheimer’s Society’s annual Elf Day.

Staff and residents’ family members all dressed as Santa’s helpers for the day.

The residents enjoyed watching Elf, among other Christmas movies, singing carols, playing a Name The Elf game and tucking into a selection of cakes.

Lynda Jones, daughter of resident Joan Welsh, baked pumpkin cake and iced lime cake for the occasion.

The home raised £54 for the Alzheimer’s Society, with the funds going towards supporting those with dementia.

Huddersfield Giants teens entertain care home residents

Huddersfield Giants teens entertaining care home residents

BINGO brought teenagers and elderly care home residents together in Huddersfield. National Citizenship Service (NCS) students from the Huddersfield Giants Community Trust have been paying regular visits to Aden Court Care Home.

The 15-to-17-year-olds organised a bingo night with nibbles and drinks, as well as a games afternoon, quiz and arts and crafts sessions.

Pairing up with the home’s residents, the students helped create gift tags and decorations for Christmas.

Resident Jean Heapworth teamed up with volunteer Cameron Parks. She said: “No matter how old you get or how long your husband has been gone you always miss male conversation. Cameron has made my day.”

Exemplar Health Care reveals how care home residents are getting into the Christmas spirit

Exemplar Health Care residents Christmas cards

As the countdown to Christmas begins, care home provider Exemplar Health Care have revealed how they are working to make this Christmas special for their residents.

Providing care for adults with complex needs, Exemplar homes and services are tailored to the needs of the individuals in their care. With the aim to make every day better, it’s no surprise that there is a great deal of activity and enthusiasm about the Christmas season.

Supporting independence is at the core of care plans and this year Exemplar have worked with their Service User Council to develop a Christmas card competition. Residents across the care homes have been involved in designing cards to be sold from their home with regional winners announced.

Borough Care Residents Enjoying New Meal Service    

Borough Care Residents Enjoying New Meal Service    

Borough Care residents have welcomed the changes to the food on offer at meal times since the service was brought back in–house earlier this year.  Borough Care is the largest not-for-profit provider of care for older people in Stockport and has eleven homes in the area.

As part of Borough Care’s commitment to ensuring its residents eat healthily, the company appointed apetito as its catering partner six months ago. apetito is the leading producer and supplier of meals for the health and social care sectors.