Care & Occupational Therapy Show 2022 Blog Posts

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Thinking about starting your own domiciliary care business?

Starting any care business is exciting but not always easy. Here are a few things to consider before starting your journey.

Know the market

It’s crucial to know what’s already offered in the geographical area where you intend to offer services. There is likely to be a range, all with varying fees, almost all of varying quality. Just like house buying, there will be a market ceiling of what customers will pay.

It’s also vital that you fall within the right price range for the quality of the services you intend to offer. While regulations are minimum standard requirements that all providers must meet, some will go far beyond them in their service provisions. It’s always worth remembering, however, that a Rolls Royce service cannot be delivered at ASDA prices.

Priced for the market you are in or identifying a niche service with a price to match – or any combination in between – a knowledge of your local market will help you make the right choice.

Know your local authority

There are over 150 local authorities in England, all of which are presently grappling with the new social care funding arrangements. Local authorities work under a broad framework, which is set by central government but subject to very different interpretation, charges and support levels. In effect, they are a second regulator.

If you choose to offer your services as a provider to a local authority, each will have its own approval process and offer contracts in varying forms for a range of services. You will find the information on their website – although as a note of warning: some are easier to navigate than others.

Know the self-funding customer

This ‘market’, depending on the geographic and demographic features of your area, varies hugely with any local authority boundary. Census data will identify areas of relative wealth, but local postcodes are usually known and labelled as ‘deprived’ or ‘well off’. This could determine where you are going to offer your services, and what type of contractual arrangements are available with the local authority area.

It's wise to consider this before a decision on premises is taken, as one of the biggest cash costs as a domiciliary provider is mileage.

Know where to come for help

When it comes to the social care sector, W&P’s experienced team are here to help. Our wide range of services include business start-up support, CQC registration support, ongoing compliance support and complete policy and procedure sets. For more information on how we can help, visit www.wandptraining.co.uk

 

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Integrating Technology in the Care Home Setting

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the need for streamlining processes within the care setting, making better use of technology and identifying new ways to support over-stretched care staff. The integration of the latest technologies is essential to ensure that carer’s precious time is better spent and systems allow more efficient ways of working. Nurse Call and Digital Care Planning Integration Technology will, and already does, play an essential part in mitigating risk. Artificial intelligence (AI), wearable technology and 'big data' are all starting to appear in care homes at affordable prices. Nurse call systems have been wireless for a long time, based on robust and reliable radio networks. Radio networks ensure that a call is always able to get through and has far less risk than the risk often associated with the use of WiFi. Wireless call bells provide flexibility, allowing call points to be easily moved and allow rooms to be configured to a resident's individual needs. The core reason for installing a call bell system is to improve safety for residents and staff alike. They all come with a vast range of accessories that can be further tailored to an individual's needs. The data logging integrated within most modern nurse call systems records data on what type of calls have been made and when. More intelligent systems can also allow staff ID to be recorded against each call to show who has responded. Nurse call providers are working hard to make data more detailed through the design of new intelligent accessories and integrate that data with other independent systems used within care settings, particularly with digital care plans. The collection of data from any form of technology is obviously important but we do with that data and how it is collated is even more vital when helping to plan for better care. InstaCare Systems are able to work with all the leading integration companies such as Nexus, Blaucomm, Ascom and Blue Sky, who have produced very clever technology that takes call bell alerts to produce alarm sounds on your digital care planning handheld devices. Taking the call bell data from any nurse call system and integrate it with any digital care platform on one handheld device. Care staff will therefore only need to carry one device instead of two or three. Plans are also in the pipeline for the nurse call data to be fully integrated into the digital care planning applications. This means that more information is fed into a resident's individual care plan. Better still, the calls will be integrated into a digital care plan via the phone. This gives a complete picture of a resident's care needs. Alerts can be tracked by activity and the person delivering the care, whether a planned action or an ad hoc call from a resident's call point. InstaCare Systems are able to take ANY call bell system and integrate it with ANY digital care plan. With 30 years of expertise and all of our specialist engineers trained by the manufacturers, we can provide a tailored solution for your home, whilst keeping costs down due to our locality to the South West.

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Mobile height adjustable shower change trolley

Suitable for both adults and children, the trolley will prove an excellent choice for private homes, Changing Places facilities, schools and care institutions.

Pressalit’s mobile shower change trolley can be positioned easily to provide the space carers need to work effectively. A safe and comfortable working environment is especially important when providing care for people who are highly dependent and for those with challenging behaviour. Additionally, the number of transfers between the shower and other rooms can be reduced when using a mobile shower change trolley, as the extra transfer from a hoist or chair to the shower and changing surface can be eliminated. 

The easy-to-fold rails not only provide security for the patient and help prevent falls, they can promote a greater sense of ease and calm by providing a real visible definition of space. The contoured laminate rails feature black trim edges to aid the visual definition, with integrated grab handles.

Waterproof, non-slip, and quick drying, the durable mattress which is produced from high quality, PVS coated fabric, provides a comfortable lying surface, and has gable ends acting as further security. With flexi-pipe and drainage, the shower water runs off and away quickly and efficiently.

Freestanding trolley is easy to move

The Pressalit Shower Change Trolley is freestanding and will fit neatly into the bathroom. It can be moved into position next to the shower when needed, its large diameter wheels ensuring easy manoeuvrability while the user is lying on the bed. The non-slip press-down foot pedals provide a secure central locking system across all four wheels.

Its metal frame is lifted off the floor so that the wheels and lower frame of a mobile hoist can fit underneath if required.

As with all Pressalit products, hygiene is always a priority. Smooth surfaces and round edges ensure the table is easy to clean and keep safe. There is also a basket underneath the table for convenient storage of accessories.

Variable height for safety and comfort

With a height range of 550mm – 950mm, carers can adjust the table to suit their personal work preferences, including wheelchair transfer and minimising inappropriate lifts.

It features a gentle vertical tilt, with two secure, telescopic legs. As well as user comfort, the tilt allows for efficient water egress. The height adjustable table is powered by an easy to reach battery with an intuitive hand control. 

The Pressalit Shower Change Trolley has a maximum weight of 200kg.

Alongside the Shower Change Trolley, the company has also introduced a Mobile Change Table. This is suitable for school hygiene rooms and Changing Places Facilities where no shower is required. 

Contact Pressalit directly for more information – phone 0118 923 2696 or send an email

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How Surestop can help

Here, an occupational therapist discusses how Surestop products can help older people with dementia and other cognitive conditions protect their home from accidental flooding.

In recent months I have been receiving an increased number of referrals for bathing assessments for people with cognitive impairment in my caseload. Several of these referrals highlight the need to manage the risk of flooding whilst also maximising occupational performance. For clients with neurological diseases, Dementia or conditions that affect executive functioning, the person may not have the ability they previously had to determine safe water use at home.

Flooding always worries me as it has the potential to create a hazardous environment, leading to unsafe bathing and an increased risk of falls. The risk is further heightened by mobility issues and disorientation, unintentionally causing a slip on a wet floor or bathroom fixture. Flooding also has the potential to cause serious damage to the home, aside from the immediate loss of personal property to water damage, there is secondary damage to consider. Previous referrals to houses that have been flooded have shown me that mould is a huge problem after a flood, especially for people with respiratory illnesses. Although an area I have some experience with, this prompted me to use a bit of my CPD time to investigate any new developments, useful equipment, or clinical guidelines that I should be incorporating into my daily practice.

This led to my discovery of the Surestop stopcock, a device that can be installed easily and at a very low cost. Surestop offer a unique range of stopcocks, using no electric or batteries, enabling safe management of water use in the home. I was impressed to learn that with the simple flick of the switch, the Surestop instantly turns off the water to the bathroom, kitchen or whole property dependent upon the installation site. The Surestop can also be used for hot and cold-water pipes, making it ideal to also reduce the risk of scalds and burns. There seemed to be many advantages over traditional anti-scald devices, especially as I usually end up fitting one to each tap. This discreet device can also be fitted with a remote switch and so does not compromise the overall look of a bathroom or kitchen, which is a big help as many of my clients are concerned about the appearance of modifications and equipment. The ability to turn the water off to a single device or a whole room enables other users in the household to access the facilities as normal when needed and can be used to increase safety for a client when around water unsupervised.

Having now arranged for several of these to be fitted I am confident they are a great success and will remain a staple part of my regular toolkit, especially when planning bathroom or kitchen adaptations.
 

Occupational Therapist, The OT Service

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Mobii brings the magic to Forest Healthcare residents

Over recent weeks OMi has completed the roll-out of Mobii “Magic Table” sensory projectors to all 13 Care Homes in the Forest Healthcare Group.

The new Mobii interactive projectors have been met with delight by both residents and staff alike, in all of the group’s homes. Residents at all stages of dementia were eager to experience the different activities on offer, with many residents declaring “this really is magic”. From splatting rats, to scattering autumn leaves and berries, exploring nostalgic themes with images and music from the past, as soon as the residents gathered around the new sensory projectors, there was plenty of fun to be had at all levels of ability.

Victoria Pembroke the Activities Manager at Pinehurst Care Centre said:

“The Mobii has certainly had a very positive impact on our residents at Pinehurst. The device itself is incredibly easy to use.”

“Our home is split into 3 houses with residents with different needs in each. Mobii has such a range of uses that residents from each house can find appropriate activities without it being too overwhelming. We are also finding that many staff also love being involved in these activities and work together with the residents to either splat the paint, pop the bubbles or paint a picture. We are still discovering the activities and are really looking forward to further integrating it into our activity program.”

Forest Healthcare have introduced the portable Mobii systems to all the homes in the group to enrich the lives of their residents, provide for cognitive and physical activity and social interaction to compliment the many activities already offered to their residents. The Mobii roll-out has been particularly welcome for those homes in the Forest Healthcare group who were already considering fund-raising to acquire magic tables of their own.

Having attended the rollouts at several of Forest Healthcare hones Simon Gurney Marketing Manager at OMi stated:
“The energy in the room is completely transformed when we introduce residents and staff to their new Mobii systems It is a joy to see the rooms light up, the laughter and singing, and to see the smiles of the residents, having fun and experiencing the varied activities on offer.”

The Mobii interactive projection system is designed and developed in the UK by OMi, and its portability and ease of use, means that it can be easily moved around the homes. Forest Healthcare’s Residents can enjoy the activities in groups on floors or tables or even individually projected onto their beds. The specially designed Dementia Care activities are designed to stimulate, engage, relax and provide enjoyment. Research has shown that when used in dementia care, especially at the mid to late stages, the Mobii activities are beneficial to wellbeing and creating connections with other residents staff and family.

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How products support rehabilitation and bring peace of mind to UK residents

There are times and situations that we all find ourselves in that are unexpected and some of those situations may mean that people find everyday tasks challenging whilst undergoing therapy or realising that they may no longer be able to carry out those tasks as before.

For one British manufacturer such challenges in tackling everyday tasks has been the driving force behind its most popular product – the Surestop Stopcock.

Design key to success

Designed to allow water supply to be controlled by either the flick of a switch or the swipe of an app, the alternative to the traditional brass stopcock has imparted greater control to homeowners, property managers and landlords alike.

Particularly appealing is the control and peace of mind that it has given to homeowners with limited dexterity or limited movement; typically, stopcocks are located under sinks or in cupboards that an pose a significant problem to homeowners and property occupants who experience one or both of these challenges. With three options available ranging from a switch at source, a remote switch option and a fully integrated ‘smart’ option gaining easy control of domestic water supplies has never been easier.

In conjunction with ease of operation the design also accounted for ways in which water control can be managed to alleviate the worry, inconvenience and concern associated with water leaks in our homes and properties.

 

 

Supporting occupational therapists

Equipping people to be able to carry out independent task is key to confidence and rehabilitation and the Surestop range of stopcock solutions has been applauded by occupational therapists who have seen the benefits that it brings to homeowners. Not only does it re-establish practical control it also brings peace of mind, eliminating a worry as to what they would do if they had a water leak at their home and balancing the mental impact that physical limitations can have.

Occupational therapy has proven to be hugely important across a range of mental, physical and emotional platforms and successful engagement can be delivered in a variety of ways. Rarely a singular approach, it is often the more holistic treatment plans that achieve the greatest outcomes, and this includes making the home environment as safe, reassuring and accessible as possible.

Surestop products, both our switch and our i-water control system, is just one element where either independence can be restored or reassurance given that a family member or friend, or landlord or property manager is able to remotely control your water supply when a leak has been detected.

 

Future proofing our homes

Championed by installers as the best stopcock solution for all homes we look forward to greater integration in existing and new build homes to give homeowners greater control and remove the unpleasant and costly effects of water damage to our properties.

Further information can be found by visiting https://www.surestop.co.uk/

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How Far We've Come

The past two years have seen massive leaps forward in adoption of digital technology in Adult Social Care. Much of this has been in response to immediate pressures and restrictions put upon our workforce and as we move into a period of strategically planning for the new normal we must gather our thoughts, and should use this opportunity to reflect on how far we have come in such a short length of time.

In 2019 as part of the Skills for Care Workforce Development Innovation Fund (WDIF) a programme of training for Digital Leaders was created and delivered by The National Care Forum. Two groups of Registered Managers from both residential and home care organisations attended a 4 module in person delivery of the programme which aimed to equip them to critically appraise their individual and organisational readiness for the adoption of digital technology. The sessions looked at how Managers could recognise opportunities and challenges around the adoption of digital technology.

Flash forward just a few short months from the end of the training and every Registered Manager in Adult Social Care was in a situation where they there thrust into becoming not just Digital Leaders, but also competent jugglers.

Regulatory and Commissioning bodies suddenly required mandatory reporting through tools such as Capacity Tracker on a daily basis. Care providers were forced to utilise technology to communicate with other professionals such as community healthcare providers, GPs and Social Workers. What was a medium priority strategic vision in the minds of the majority suddenly became an immediate necessity for all.

 

Time To Breathe?

We’re now in a situation where hopefully we are able to, if not relax, then pause for breath. Whilst pressures remain high we certainly continue to struggle to take the time out to really strategize, but we are at least hopefully able to consider options and take proactive steps to embed the rapid learning into our processes and procedures.

It’s so important that as a sector we make the most of what has undeniably been a bad situation, and recognise just how far we’ve come in such a short space of time. Now is the ideal time to use the momentum to really empower your workforce to keep up the accelerated adoption and not slip back.

The recently published NHSX Adult Social Care Technology and Digital Skills Review offers a comprehensive analysis of the current skills in the sector and NHS Transformation Directorate (formerly NHSX) have commissioned alongside Skills for Care two pilot projects to provide training to Registered Managers – a revamped Digital Leaders Course; and frontline Care Workers – a Digital Champions Course. Both of these programmes have recently concluded and early feedback has been positive, but there is so much more that you, as care providers can do to continue the journey towards improving your digital skills.

Work With Your Suppliers

If you already use digital tools and technology in your setting then access the training on offer from your existing suppliers. Sekoia, a digital care planning solution used across 4 countries work closely with their customers to ensure maximum benefit is gained from their comprehensive training, they promote the use of super users within organisations to be the internal experts in the software. This mirrors the Digital Champions approach to have team members empowered to be the people within your organisation who really lead the way with adopting technology. Sekoia proudly demonstrate that their solution can save staff members 90 minutes each per shift. With the time saved it enables your staff to spend more time delivering great quality care to the people they support.

Person Centred Software – a market leading digital social care records supplier listed on the NHS Transformation Directorate Assured Supplier List offer resources to their customers to support them to complete the Data Security Protection Toolkit. They also offer tools and guides through their website that can really aide care providers to offer that extra level of truly person centred care. These ‘added’ extras offer real opportunities for care providers to push the barriers with digital technology. Integrations such as GP Connect which enables providers to access real time information from GP patient records; eRedBag which facilitates the electronic transfer of paperwork for care home residents requiring hospital care; and National Record Locator Service which supports the validation of an individuals NHS number are key to the future vision of an integrated health and care system.

Countdown

Meet with over 3000 buyers and decision makers from the care industry!

With over 10 years experience in the event industry Inspired Motive will be hosting the Care & Occupational Therapy Show. This will include buyers from Care Homes, Domiciallary care companies, Care Groups, NHS, Trusts, Indivdual Carers, Individual Practitioners also. Attracting around 3000 visitors it will truly be a festival of business for the care community. 

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