Is the Awards Dinner Just a Fun Night?

At Care & Support West we really want to make a noise about how fabulous is the work and dedication of thousands of care workers, and what a difference that work makes to the lives of countless people; so for us The Care Awards is how we do that the Gala Dinner is the centrepiece of it all.

Attending the Gala Dinner is a joy; it’s a glitzy night at a prestigious venue where the room is decked out as for a ball; there are magicians; there’s dancing; there’s music. Everyone looks fabulous, ladies in lovely frocks, coiffed, painted and perfumed; gents in their suits; it’s a far cry from the workaday world that is care. People tell us every year:  “It’s a great night, we had so much fun!”

But, is it just about fun? Is it just for the finalists, simply a night of mutual congratulations?

Is there more to it? Are there more subtle benefits of attending the Awards Dinner? We’re taking a brief look at some of the motivational messages that come from being there and being part of the celebrations.

The key underlying message is about motivating staff. There is no doubt whatsoever that motivated employees perform better and deliver significant benefits to the bottom line; the trick is to find the way to keep staff motivated and to find ways to stop them becoming disaffected and demotivated.  In this blog we are looking at Reward and Recognition

The original ‘pay as a motivator’ theory doesn’t really work in the care sector where, squeezed with chronic underfunding, monetary rewards are not a major enticement. (Equally, the traditional ‘stick’ side of the equation doesn’t work because labour is so scarce you can’t afford that negative message.) Essentially the care sector has to focus on the social and psychological motivators, the need for social rewards, being part of a team; the need for self- fulfilment.

Freddie Silver ( talks about the need to reward good behaviours and to reinforce positive attitudes. Connecting the reward to the behaviour in a consistent way and where it is really valued by the employee can have significant short term and long term benefits. Research has shown that recognition and prestige can have great motivating potential so that praise and public acknowledgement of a job well done can work wonders.

The Awards process is ideally placed as a mechanism for this type of reward framework. Embracing the Awards process within the business, identifying great work, and outstanding contributions; nominating employees for awards constitutes motivational behaviour in itself because employees feel recognised, acknowledged and valued.

Further, your employee may not be a finalist, but when you take employees to the dinner you are saying that you value them sufficiently to put your money where your mouth is and take them to the event.  You are also giving that sense of social inclusion within your business team, the employee has the opportunity to see the manager at play, to see a different dimension, contributing further to the ‘social’ reward structure.

In illustration of this Emily Bladen-Wing of Community Therapeutic Services told us:

“The first time we attended the awards ceremony we had one or two nominations but did not win. Regardless of this, the evening had a positive impact on the staff who attended. The buzz of the event became hugely motivational. This led to staff going back to their respective teams and motivating other team members to celebrate their outstanding care practice by nominating colleagues for more awards the following year. We have now been fortunate enough to win on some of these nominations and the awards ceremony has become a fantastic way to celebrate the hard work and innovation of our staff members”.

In another theory about motivation, Scott Thompson ( builds on the premise that people want to do ‘worthwhile’ things at work and will work better with ‘inner motivation’.  The Awards help to foster this sense of inner motivation, attending the event  develops a feeling of being part of something bigger, part of a worthwhile mission to improve the lives of those we care for, part of a bigger group of people all working towards the same end.

Of course, we’re sold on the Awards and think you should all join in and help us to celebrate, but we’re realistic and know that in cash strapped times, it is easy to see only the cost involved. It’s important to look past that and calculate impact on the bottom line of motivated, committed staff.

So, if you haven’t yet got your table or places booked, contact or you can fill in this FORM

Costs and booking administration
Ticket price includes a pre-dinner drinks reception at 6pm, followed by a 3 course meal plus tea and coffee.

  • Standard tickets are £60 per guest or £600 for a table of 10

  • Early Bird (EB) ticket purchase are still available until Sunday 18th for organisations with Finalists. These are £55 per guest or £550 per table of 10

We will invoice you on receipt of your order. We will send the form for you to complete your guest list and their menu choices separately.

ALTURA Workshop: Preparing for Inspection

Altura Learning’s First CQC ‘Preparing for an Inspection Workshop’


On 23rd July 2019, Altura Learning held its very first in-house ‘CQC - Preparing for an Inspection’ workshop at their offices in Milton Keynes.


Delivered by Jill Timms, one of Altura’s subject matter experts involved in our Preparing for an Inspection course, the workshop proved to be very informative and insightful. Attended by care providers from across the country, the aim of the workshop was for Jill to provide coaching to help homes to try and achieve good and outstanding CQC ratings. The workshop covered how to prepare and plan for an inspection, examples of what makes an outstanding care home as well as time for Q&A’s.


The delegates were also offered a tour of Altura Learning’s state of the art production studio and got a better insight into how Altura Learning produce and deliver all their own video content.


Kasia Rykowska, Service Manager from The Edmund Trust Training said: ‘The training was very informative, took on lots of pointers and information. it was very good to hear from other providers and their experience with the CQC and learn about the services they provide. Very helpful materials, example presented in form of support plan and paperwork that Jill shared with us’.

Jill Timms commented: ‘I had the pleasure of meeting with Managers from a range of services, from Residential Care, Learning Disabilities, Domiciliary Care and Retirement Village environments. We are all inspected to the same KLOEs, and general Care, Recruitment, Compliance standards, so we found common ground. The workshop was a great idea, hopefully a rewarding morning for a selection of Directors, Operations Managers and Registered Managers’.

 If you would be interested in future workshops with Altura Learning, please email

What’s Holding Back the Adoption of Technology in the Social Care Sector

Following on from the Conference where the topics were all about using digital technology, we found this paper What’s Holding Back the Adoption of Technology in the Social Care Sector? 11 Jun 2019, written by Dr Sarah Carlick, an International digital safeguarding expert, who works tirelessly to bring the benefits of digital technology into safeguarding.

She argues that it is not just the social workers that need to be included in the conversation, but support workers, housing staff, voluntary sector charities, and care staff. You can read the full article here but the main barriers are below; It would be interesting to get your comments!:

·        There is an inherent lack of innovation in this space for social practitioners. Simple proof of this is by making a comparison with the health care sector – compare to health tech

·        A lack of feasibility, seed funding, notwithstanding the lack of upscale and sustainability funding.

·        Poor and inadequate resources within everyday practice.

·        We are at the beginning of acknowledging how technology could impact on outcomes for the sector and holding a committed belief that this is the way forward for enhancing communication and interaction with service uses. Nevertheless, we do not know what this looks like and it feels like a never-ending cycle of, if we always do what we do we, will always get what we get…

·        A lack of strategy for merging and creating new viewpoints for information sharing and technological pathways and frameworks.

·        There is no recognition that Local Authorities Digital Strategies are combined with social care and health strategies. I believe these should be viewed as one.

·        Culture change where we move from the traditional masses of databases (Carlick, 2018) to one of mobile applications with secure seamless capabilities.

How can C&SW support the new Loneliness Strategy?

According to a report last year from the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, more than 9 million people in Britain—around 14 percent of the population—often or always feel lonely.

Risk factors for loneliness include “family breakdown, a divorce” or “perhaps the safety net wasn’t there to stop that descent,” Like other developed countries, the U.K. has largely focused on the elderly when addressing issues of loneliness, But data shows that in Britain and the U.S., poor, unemployed, disabled and migrant populations tend to suffer most from loneliness and isolation—and typically struggle to access adequate support. Young people aren’t immune either. a study found that 16 to 24 year-olds reported feeling more lonely than pensioners between the ages of 65 to 74.

The ‘Minister for Loneliness’ appointed last year produced a strategy document which can be found here.

The strategy focuses on the need to ‘work together’ for everyone to play their part; the Social Care sector, although not specifically mentioned (see below) has a massive role to play, particularly given their proximity to the vulnerable in our society. The strategy also talks of personalised and local initiatives so we ask you how we in our area can support the strategy, both as individual businesses and as an association, what can we do? We have enabled comments on this post so you can add your voice.

For more information, the text below is extracted from the executive summary.

The strategy looks at what can be done to design in support for social relationships in our changing context. It builds on the strengths we have as a nation – including our strong public, private and voluntary sector institutions, as well as the great everyday contributions that people make to their communities. To get there requires society-wide change. Three overarching goals guide government’s work on loneliness.

  • The first is a commitment to play our part in improving the evidence base so we better understand what causes loneliness, its impacts and what works to tackle it.

  • The second goal is to embed loneliness as a consideration across government policy, recognising the wide range of factors that can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and support people’s social wellbeing and resilience

  • The third goal is to build a national conversation on loneliness, to raise awareness of its impacts and to help tackle stigma.

Guiding principles A number of principles have guided the development of this strategy:

• working in partnership with businesses, the health sector, local government, the voluntary sector and wider civil society, recognising that government can act as an important catalyst but that we must all take action to reduce loneliness effectively.

• a willingness to test, iterate and learn as government takes forward its approach,

• ensuring a truly cross-cutting and crossdepartmental approach,

• focusing on the key trigger points that push people in and out of feeling lonely frequently, alongside preventative action that can benefit wider society.

• recognising the importance of personalised approaches and local solutions to tackle loneliness.

taken from the Loneliness Strategy document

taken from the Loneliness Strategy document

C&SW Supports Launch of the Care Badge

A new badge is launched as a unifying symbol of pride in our 9 million social care champions and to raise money for care-related causes 

With 9 million paid and unpaid carers in the UK, Care England and everyLIFE Technologies have launched the CARE badge, to promote awareness of and appreciation for this crucial service and raise the esteem in which social care and its participants are held.

·         Public launch of the CARE badge as a unifying symbol of pride and quality in social care for those providing, receiving or supporting care across the UK

·         34,300 CARE badges sold during the three-week soft launch phase, with a further 42,000 of badge enquiries awaiting restocking

·         All profits from CARE badge sales go to care-related causes and charities selected by care workers and carers

The CARE badge was born on 19th March 2019 while listening to Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, highlight the opportunities and challenges faced by care providers and the lopsided message that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care sends by only wearing an NHS lapel badge. The Chairman of everyLIFE Technologies, Robin Batchelor, sitting in the audience, turned to his colleague and said: “We should work with Care England to change that.”

This new initiative calls on the UK’s business leaders to buy the £1 CARE badges and distribute them for FREE to their employees and customers in a visible display of support for the 1 in 4 of the UK population that is either providing or receiving care outside of a hospital environment every day.  Care and Support West are supporting the CARE badge imitative.  

With 9 million paid and unpaid carers in the UK, Care England and everyLIFE Technologies  launched the CARE badge to promote awareness of and appreciation for this crucial service and raise the esteem in which social care and its participants are held.

While the CARE badge is personal to everyone, those wearing the CARE badge share common benefits, including:

·         showing involvement with and/or support of social care in its many forms

·         building a team spirit within a widely distributed care community

·         a personal commitment to quality in care

·         an invitation to start conversations about care

·         encouraging recruitment and retention of care staff

·         reinforcing the size and importance of this often-overlooked care community.

Robin Batchelor, Chairman of everyLIFE Technologies said: “Two million professional carers and 7 million more unpaid carers provide care for others each day, no matter if it’s a holiday for the rest of the population or if the weather is adverse and travel is difficult. Unfortunately, they often do so with minimal or no financial reward and without the public interest and support that other care professionals reasonably enjoy. The CARE badge will help everyone make sure that these care heroes don’t go unnoticed or underappreciated.”

Liz Jones Policy Director National Care Forum said “The CARE badge is such a simple and inspiring idea – a great way to recognise and thank the millions of people involved in providing great quality care across the UK and a great way to help that huge community of people feel proud and valued. I am delighted to join the Board and am wearing my CARE badge with pride – I hope you will all get you orders in for the CARE badge and start wearing it to help us all raise the profile of care!

For further information regarding the CARE badge, please contact Robin Batchelor or Professor Green via or visit @thecarebadge #badge4careitative.

Able Care get Kickstart Funding for music therapy

Able Care are always innovative in ensuring that their activities are meaningful and engaging. Recently they engaged with the Bristol Ageing Better – Kickstart Funding and have been successful in getting funds to support a new activity. Manager Teresa sent us this information:

Bristol Ageing Better has committed £250,000 to help kick start community activities that will help reduce isolation and loneliness amongst older people in Bristol.  The Community Kick-Start fund allows Organisations, groups and individuals to seek up to £2,000 for a new activity.

We recently had a taster session with Music Therapy with Stephen at one of our Care Homes with excellent feedback from the residents and staff present.  Music therapy is a new activity idea and completely different from music education as it focuses on health, functioning and wellbeing.  Every person is unique and Stephen’s music therapy sessions are person-centred based.  During a music therapy session the residents are invited to experiment music and sounds using a variety of instruments.  No previous musical experience is needed and the focus is to support residents in expressing themselves creatively through sounds, silences, songs, rhythm and words.  An evaluation was completed after the taster session and the feedback was as follows; all the residents present thoroughly enjoyed the session and responded well to Stephen.  One resident who usually chooses not to join in actively participated and said he would like to join in with future music therapy sessions.  Another resident who had been a little unsettled at the start of the session quickly became very relaxed and moved her hands to the rhythm of the music and said ‘more, more’.  Each music session is tailored to the residents needs, whether in a small group or on a one-to-one basis according to the residents preferred choices and needs and interests, creating an inclusive and supportive environment.  The one-to-one sessions would be particularly beneficial for some of the residents who do not wish to socialise/interact with others in groups preferring to socialise on a more personal level.  These one-to-one sessions would reduce any isolation or loneliness they have  previously experienced.

Stephen also regularly provides presentations/workshops with the staff in order to increase awareness and knowledge of music therapy,  The workshops are particularly important for the carers in order to involve them to create an inclusive working environment and comprehend the meaning and value of music therapy for the elderly and to ensure the residents individual therapeutic goals and objectives are being met during the sessions.

For every session a music therapy report will be compiled by Stephen for both groups and one-to-one sessions and will be given to the Care Homes.

At Able Care Homes we were very excited about this new activity and the positive feedback received and put in a bid to the Kick-Start Funding.  We were thrilled when our application for Kick-Start funding was successful and have now set some dates for Stephen to visit each home.

Brunelcare nurses celebrate nurses week, caring for mind body and soul

Nursing teams within the charity Brunelcare have have been inspired by this year’s international nurses week theme: mind body and soul.

 Since 1965 nurses day has been celebrated around the world on 12th May to mark the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth 1920, also recognising the contribution that nurses make to society.  From 6th - 12th May 2019 nurses around the world are celebrating the theme: The Balance of the Mind, Body and Soul.

 At local charity Brunelcare, its nurses were asked how they have been inspired by this year’s nurses week theme and celebration and this is what they said:

 Amanda Cooper (pictured, with Brunelcare senior nursing team and an article about nurse Princess Campbell), Senior Nurse, at Brunelcare’s Orchard Grove Reablement Centre says:

 “We often source new inspiration for our nurse training here at Brunelcare’s Orchard Grove Reablement Centre, where we are helping people back on their feet after hospital stays. Inspiring nurses help motivate us with our learning. This not only motivates us as nurses but also teaches us valuable techniques we can use with those we care for every day. A nurse who used to work at Bristol’s Glenside Hospital is a recent inspiration to us: Princess Campbell was the first Black Nursing sister in Bristol and this was her mindful message:


                      “Use determination and your self-esteem; value yourself

                      and let no one crush you. When you come up against

                      challenges and adversity, don’t run away; stay and fight if

                      you want to change things. Education is a most powerful tool

                      and it opens doors.”


Karolina, Unit Care Leader, at Brunelcare’s Deerhurst care home explains:

 “I have been running Mind, Body & Soul sessions every Thursday afternoon since March this year, for some of those we care for at Deerhurst who show signs of anxiety. One of the objectives of the sessions is to see if these relaxation techniques help reduce the need for medication over time. The sessions include aromatherapy, with massage of feet and hands using specially blended aromatherapy oils, music and touch - we bring in herbs and flowers to touch and smell and a lovely relaxed environment is created in the room. Groups are no more than eight people at a time to ensure maximum benefit for everyone who takes part.”

 And finally, Amanda Hendy, Deputy Manager and Registered Nurse for Brunelcare’s Robinson House care home says:

 “A resident recently required more than just all our tender loving care for his end of life care. To celebrate his birthday we set about organising to have his band, who he had played backing guitar with, to play alongside him here at Robinson House. He was so excited when he heard we were organising this and really put everything into practicing with his band mates for it. Sadly he died a few days before his birthday, but he lived in real hope, giving him the best possible outcome. This definitely met the balance for mind body and soul for this lovely gentleman.”

 For more about the charity see and on Facebook and Twitter @Brunelcare


Brunelcare nurses, left to right - Austin Mangoba, Johanet Sloan, Amanda Cooper, Francis De Villa.JPG
DEFIBRILLATORS: CQC & CAA discussions outcomes

The Care Association Alliance, of which C&SW are members, asked CQC about defibrillators. They asked:

“The placement & use of defibrillators in care homes (with & without nursing). What are the guidelines and are they in sync with the NHS?” You can read their responses below;

 We cover the use of equipment under several different KLOES:

 S2 How are risks to people assessed and their safety monitored and managed so they are supported to stay safe and their freedom is respected? S2.6 How is equipment, which is owned or used by the provider, managed to support people to stay safe?

This prompts providers to check the appropriate equipment is available in order to meet the needs and wishes of people who use the service and that it is checked/serviced when required. We don’t specify what equipment providers must have, although we do expect providers to have the appropriate emergency protocols/procedures in place and these must be clear and transparent. This might be for staff to provide resus (if they are trained and competent to do so) or to call for emergency medical assistance.   


S3 How does the service make sure that there are sufficient numbers of suitable staff to support people to stay safe and meet their needs? And S3.3 Do staff receive effective training in safety systems, processes and practices?

Puts the expectation on providers to ensure staff are trained and competent to use all equipment. This would include a defibrillator should the home decide to have one available.


Under KLOE E2 How does the service make sure that staff have the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and support? Prompt E2.1 Do people have their assessed needs, preferences and choices met by staff with the right qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience?

We expect that staff are clear about their responsibilities regarding equipment, it is used correctly to meet statutory requirements and support people to stay safe and take into account people’s wishes around resus and their consent.

CQC Publish Local Area Profiles

CQC update their profiles of care services for older people in every local authority in England 

 How well do health and social care services in your area serve the needs of older people?   Most older people, particularly those with complex needs, will receive care at some time. Their experience will often depend on how well different services work together for them, their families and carers.

 As of today (23 July) CQC have updated their report showing a detailed picture of the care services in your local authority area and how well they work together, which is now available from the CQC website 

 • Are older people supported to stay well and to continue to live in their home?

• What happens when someone needs more care, for example, they need to go to hospital?

• Are they supported either to return home safely, or to move somewhere new that meets their needs?

CQC draws together a range of national data to build a profile on every local health and care system, to understand how services work together. The individual reports provide a detailed insight into the journey through health and social care for people who use services - and identify where there are gaps which mean that people experience fragmented or poor care. The reports compare the outcomes with similar local authority areas and against national performance. 

 For instance - how does your local area compare when an older person needs to go to hospital?    The reports presents nine elements in an acute hospital pathway, through A&E attendance, to admission, discharge and reablement, compared with the national performance across England. 

Here are downloads of our local profiles:

Bristol; North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North east Somerset

If you want to know about the rest of the country, you can access them all here: at


Care & Support West: Then and Now

Marilyn Clarke, long time secretary of C&SW shares some reminiscences of what Care & Support West was like back in the day!

It is 40 years since the seeds were sown for Care Home Providers to form a support group.

In 1979 the draft regulations for the 1980 Residential Care Homes Act were drawn. For the first time there were to be a set of standards for compliance, with consequences if these were not met.

Most providers at that time were local small businesses with very little contact with each other and often in direct competition with the numerous care homes run by local authorities in the area.

I was contacted by the owner of Rosedale House who had worked in Social Services with my husband who asked me if I would join him to begin a support group, as many of the new requirements would be contentious. We had 2 homes, both being conversions of older properties and the new bedroom size, communal spaces and WC and bathroom requirements would need to be met. Many of the existing care homes were in old buildings and we realised we would need to form a trade association to support each other when the Council set out their registration guidance. Initially there were 4 of us. Rosedale’s Graham Doughty, Frenchay House, the Coles family, a Bath provider, all supporting elderly persons and myself with residents with learning and physical support needs. It was a case of going through the Yellow Pages to find other providers and circulating our request for them to join with us. The small number of providers to begin with met up monthly at a cold, damp cricket pavilion belonging to Imperial Club West Town Lane. Graham as Chairman led the charge when we needed to have a voice to challenge some of the Council’s requirements. Representing the Council for the registration process was Mr Edward Gully. I well remember him coming to look around my 2 homes with his clipboard and tape measure and being the obnoxious Council representative we had come to expect. He closed one of my bedrooms which did not meet the size requirements. This became a contentious issue for numerous providers and subject to many appeals at the time.

We had called ourselves the Avon Residential Care Homes Association, ARCHA and gradually as we became better known, new members came forward to join us. There was no dialogue between us and the Council because they had their own homes and we concluded that their political bias of not needing a private sector was the driver to exclude us.

The 1980 Act was superseded by the 1984 Act and still at that time the main issue for Inspectors was compliance with the physical sizes of rooms. In addition there were big changes in the hierarchy of the Council and some officers took early retirement. One of these was Edward Gully. Ted as he became known to us was invited to join us as our link with the Council and his invaluable insider knowledge was the beginning of the setting up of the Council’s Provider Forum. The officer given the task of being the Council’s representative at this forum was known to Ted and myself and this was the start of a much softer approach towards us. This gave credence to it’s not what you know, but who you know!

One of the significant development factors during those early years was the offer by the council for 4 members of the Association to join their Inspection Unit. How ironic that private sector providers were paid Council employees for 2 years. At that time there was no requirement for the Council’s homes to be registered or inspected. Those of us who were now Inspectors lobbied for that to change so that all homes in the Council area were inspected. It became clear that whilst private sector providers had a clear set of standards to meet, there were Council homes falling way below these standards. It was almost a Council own goal. We began to vocalise the double standards, the higher cost of local authority homes, the disparity in pay and conditions to the extent that by the end of the 2 years there was an awareness of the need for Council homes to be brought up to the registration standard. I believe this to be the start of the demise for Council run care homes. They had recognised that there was not a level playing field. Legislation later brought all homes into compliance standard.

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There has been many and various bumps in the road regarding Council’s commitment to work in

tandem with providers. There was a time when the first Council contract with home owners was

mooted and the Avon Registered Care Homes Association as we were then called was asked to be part

of a contract planning group. We met regularly with Council officers, Lawyers and Finance to agree the

content of the contract. We were listened to, had serious support for our views and signed off section

by section. What a contrast with how we are treated now. Contracts are presented to us and the

smokescreen of consultation results in us having to fight for any changes we might need, to sustain our


ARCHA continued to grow membership, Chairman at the helm were from the elderly sector until 2004

when the CEO Steve of Brandon Trust joined us. He served until his untimely death and was replaced

by Chris from Freeways Trust. He, too, was to suffer an untimely death shocking all who knew him.

We lost Ted Gully too who had been the rock of the Association’s growth and recognition. We owe

him a great deal.

Moving on, to widen the brief of ARCHA, Care & Support West was born. Nursing homes, Domiciliary

and Community Care, supported living providers are now all able to join this trade association. It now

has a CEO and a Board of Directors with a more ambitious strategy to support and sustain its many

providers big and small who are across the 4 Councils in the area. Each decade has brought its own set

of issues for social care and during much of the past 40 years we seem to have been the poor relation to

the NHS. The challenge for the future, apart from ever diminishing fee levels is how Health and Social

Care can work in tandem, acknowledging the value of both and hoping for parity in pay and conditions

for our amazing social care workforce.

Power Direct: Complying with energy efficiency reporting

Power Direct are experts in the Power Supply business and they help organisations understand the complexities of the market. They talk her about the issues around Power Reporting:

SECR: Does your business need to comply with energy efficiency reporting?

Streamlined Energy Carbon Reporting (SECR) was introduced in April 2019, in order to promote energy efficiency within businesses and reduce carbon emissions.

 The new framework introduces mandatory carbon and energy reporting for a larger number of businesses than ever before. However, industry estimates suggest that only around 30 per cent of qualifying business are aware of their obligations.

 Find out if you need to comply by reading our guide to SECR and if you are unsure, give us a call.

And adding a bit of more ‘domestic’ colour they have told us how they recently celebrated the workk anniversary of their first and longest serving employee:

Celebrating ten years of our longest-serving employee

We recently got together over a 10-shaped sausage roll to celebrate the work anniversary of our first and longest-serving employee! And Gill told us about her role as Compliance Manager.

Christie Update on Property Market for Care

Christie & Co reports buyer demand indicates long term potential of its specialist sectors in the south West


Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co provides an overview of the regional market in the South West & South Wales for the first half of 2019, reflecting on previous predictions, emerging trends and challenges facing the sectors.

Christie & Co reports buyer appetite throughout the South West remains strong across its specialist sectors, despite a greater level of caution in the market, as buyers become increasingly sensitive towards pricing amongst ongoing uncertainty. Although the slowdown in the housing market has made it more difficult for new entrants to acquire lifestyle businesses in the West Country, Christie & Co’s strong pipeline of deals throughout the South West & South Wales indicates long term confidence in its specialist sectors.

The increasing quality of care home stock in the region is attracting a wide variety of purchasers from corporate operators though to first time buyers. Whilst capital appreciation has remained subdued, Christie & Co’s activity in the West Country has been strong throughout the first half of the year, with a 48% increase in viewing numbers and 86% increase in offers on their clients’ healthcare businesses. The widely publicised staffing shortages are becoming ever more acute in the more rural areas, which limits buyer demand, and values are softening in these more remote locations. Some nursing home operators are considering de-registering their nursing care given the challenges they face in the recruitment of qualified staff. 

Rob Kinsman, Regional Director – South West comments, “Whilst there is greater hesitancy in the market, our pipeline of deals in the South West has never been greater. This deal volume clearly illustrates the underlying demand from innovative operators who see long term potential. We are predicting that the region will continue to provide exciting opportunities across our specialist sectors.”

Sweet Silent Disco

A local fitness instructor has branched out into therapeutic care, delivering silent disco sessions to dementia patients. Mark Sweeting had the idea to bring the healing power of music to care homes across the region in the form of a silent disco.

Each participant is given a set of headphones to wear, and all types of music, from Elvis to Frank Sinatra with a bit of Taylor Swift thrown in, is played. The effects are apparent immediately, as participants are able to reconnect with fond memories from their past. Using props from feather boas to glow sticks, the whole room soon becomes filled with people dancing, tapping their feet, or swaying along to the sounds they hear.

Mark says: “A silent disco usually invokes images of twenty-somethings raving to hard-core techno at a festival, but now dementia patients are donning the headphones and we’re seeing great success. Patients are reaping huge mental benefits; agitation and frustration are common among those with dementia, but after a session at the silent disco, patients feel far more settled and behavioural issues are reduced for the rest of the day. The concept has been a huge hit with patients and staff.”

Mark has now delivered over 200 silent disco sessions across the South West from Devon to Gloucestershire to South Wales, including at Brunel Care Day Centre, Clevedon. Maddie Norman, Team Leader, said: Everybody really enjoyed themselves, they engaged with the music wonderfully, and all the props that were used made the session so much fun. The staff had a great time too! Music is a wonderful forum to lift the spirits, and Mark delivered the session very well. We’re so looking forward to our next Silent Disco.”

For more information on Silent Discos for dementia patients, or for schools, corporate events and private hire, contact Mark Sweeting on 07412066876 or email

Barbara Harris
Access Workforce Development Fund via C&SW

We have exciting news for members and the local care community! 

‘Care & Support West’ has been successful in their application to ‘Skills for Care’, to manage the WDF Partnership for the South West.  To include the areas of Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset; and open to members and non members.

This means, Care & Support West can now assist you in obtaining funding towards staff development via WDF.  Karen Holley (Contact details below); is engaged on the contract and it’s her job to help you to access the funds.

This is a fantastic opportunity to train your staff and for your staff to achieve, good qualifications and obtain better knowledge for improved delivery in the Health Care Sector.   Great news for your residents, staff and you! 

How does this work?

  • First you have to register with a WDF Partnership.  (Karen will assist you in doing so)

  • Start thinking and planning which staff and qualifications will enhance your business.  Skills for Care have published a whole list of qualifications which you can claim funding towards. (see link below for details) Please note: there are exam board stipulation!

  • Make sure you have completed your Adult Social Care (ASD) Workforce Data Set originally known as the NMDS. (Due to re-open on the 5th Aug 2019)

  • Engage with a Learner to take your candidate through the qualification (again see the link below for more info on Learners)

  • Ensure your candidate finishes the course and obtains a certificate -

  • Apply for the funding.  (Karen can help you apply)

Why not contact Karen by either completing THIS FORM or use the contact details below if you want to talk to her. Please be aware though, there are time restraints and limited funding available, so the sooner you act the better the result.

See Skills for Care link for more information.

Please note – this fund is available to members and Non-members of C & SW.  Do you know of any owner who would be interested to know about C & SW and the WDF?

Karen Holley email:

Tel: 07540 458

*picture from Skills for Care website

Conference 2019: Keynote Speakers from CQC and from NHS Digital

CQC play a mighty role in the life of any regulated care provider, so getting their views is always important and we are delighted to welcome CQC's Sue Burn and April Cole in our opening Keynote slot! 

There are a number of key areas for use of technology in care situations including: Reaching the wider community; Enabling care users to maintain focus and contact, activities and games; Administration and management and Surveillance and tele-care. Between them April Cole and Sue Burn will be talking about how CQC view the use of technology in the these areas, what they see as good practice, how they see technology supporting the caring, management and assessment processes.

They are both well placed; Sue is the Inspections Manager in North Somerset and B&NES, and April is the Regulatory Policy Officer within the CQC Strategy & Intelligence Directorate with a career background that has covered many projects involving technology. The Q&A session will give you opportunities to discuss issues and ask questions.

To close the conference we are looking at information sharing between health and social care with Keith Strahan, Principal Lead in the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital. 

Keith will be addressing how person led, integrated care  can help all organisations focus on what is really important and join up health and social care in the process. While not promising to provide 'victory over all things technical', Keith will also provide updates about information sharing initiatives and highlight some of the opportunities that exist for social care providers.

Keith is well placed to address the conference; with a background as a registered social worker with experience in a range of settings, he understands the care context and also has huge experience of technology led projects. He was the first from Social Care to become a Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics and in May 2018 was elected to the Faculty's Council. He is also a longstanding member of the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB) representing social care. Keith has been led projects such as the Digital Care and Support Standard, Information Governance and Cyber security, NHSmail for care providers and is currently championing information sharing between health and care.

We also have a record number of stands at the Conference so make sure you arrive in plenty of time to browse and fortify yourself with tea or coffee.

The conference is next week! Make sure you book your place. Book Here  

Also, please note slight change in running order, see below!

We will have to confirm numbers on Monday and will be sending out joining instructions at that point!

See you on the 15th May!

Conference 2019 Workshops 3: Managing Personalised Care

Can digitisation improve personalised care?

The key to good management is knowledge, the starting point for which is robust information, and without which your chances of good decision making and taking appropriate action are reduced. Similarly, good personalised Care requires detailed knowledge of the person so that every decision and action is precisely tailored to their need.

In general, smaller businesses tend to be less complex and less reliant on data but in the care sector, even small businesses have a data challenge because they have to map data across the complex processes demanded by safeguarding, compliance, mental health provisions, DoLs, audits, assessments…. Even the smallest care business has a complicated data matrix.

So, is technology the answer? Certainly it can help
“Many organisations are refocusing to put technology at the heart of their strategies because it can help ……. reduce the administrative burden that care providers face” (Nick Wilson, MD Public Sector, Health & Care, ADVANCED).

The greatest strength of technology is its’ ability to marshall huge amounts of information and make it available on request, however the crucial word in Wilson’s quote is ‘strategy’. The benefits of digitisation diminish if projects are done piecemeal and not planned as part of a general plan.
"Many companies still use a range of disparate systems... and operate in silos. the simple integration of these systems can provide the kind of operational insight that can help providers" Nick Wilson

Another cause of stress is where projects are badly implemented without thinking through the HR, training and culture aspects. It is so important to communicate well, to explain what's happening, to make sure that staff don't feel threatened, to make sure they are all on board.

At the Conference we will have 2 workshops looking at this area, both of which are firmly setting the technology within the business and human context.

The first by Chris Gledhill of Electronic Mar is looking at the benefits of using digital medications management, how it can reduce the spectre of missed signatures and medications mistakes. Chris will be drawing on real life examples of care providers who have implemented digital MAR and using examples from real CQC assessments.

The second workshop is presented by Luis Zenha Rela, of Nourish Care takes a similar approach, looking at live examples of care providers who have adopted electronic care planning to see how they have achieved benefits and avoided pitfalls.

In both workshops the focus is looking at the resident and what the technology can do to improve their life? They will be looking at how can the care provider improve their service and ultimately how they improve their service ratings. You can join the workshops and ask Luis and Chris about support for implementation, avoiding mistakes, what training is required, how to best communicate your intentions with staff members and other stakeholders.

Come and join us on May 15th at Ashton Gate Football Stadium and take part in this examination of technology in the care sector. Book Here

Barbara Harris
The Perils of Admitting Liability;


Employers Liability is one of the few classes of insurance required by law in the UK. It protects employees should they ever be injured at work. Richard Barnes, Business Development Executive for the Care Sector at Towergate Insurance Brokers explains what employers should be doing in the event of one of their employees being injured by a service user whilst at work.

 As a specialist provider of Care Home insurance, Towergate has seen first-hand the rising costs across the UK social care sector and unfortunately, insurance is no different. This is partly due to the unique nature of the industry which requires specialist knowledge and expertise, as well as the increasing media coverage of the social care sector, however the most significant reason for these premium increases is the volume of Employers Liability claims being reported.

 Saying Sorry

It’s natural to want to apologise after something that shouldn’t happen occurs and in the unfortunate case of a service user assaulting, attacking or injuring a member of your staff, apologising to your employee is not you admitting fault. However, you should be prepared for any possible claim by recording evidence; just because an accident has happened, it does not mean that you are legally liable or that compensation should be paid.

 Future-proof your foundations
An employee has up to three years in which to make a personal injury claim and we have often found that sometime after an incident has occurred, employees can suddenly decide to pursue a claim for previous injury, which at the time of it happening, they did not wish to take any further. These claims can be made by existing or previous employees, so at Towergate we advise that you keep your employee records up to date.

 It is essential that you contact the insurance provider you had cover with during the time of the alleged incident, as they will be able to give you relevant advice and inform you of steps that will need to be taken. If you have switched insurers since the occurrence, you will still have to inform the insurance provider you were with at the time of the incident as they will be the ones who may have to pay out if the claim is successful.

Accurate Record Keeping

If a claim is going to be successfully defended, then significant records will need to be submitted to provide evidence that the relevant procedures were in place at the time of the incident.
Evidence can include the following, but there are also other examples that your insurer can inform you of depending on the incident.

 ·         Accident book entry, including photos of the scene and/or injury

·         RIDDOR report

·         Copies of any correspondence exchanged with the HSE regarding the incident

·         Copies of the involved resident’s care plans

·         Details of any similar incidents or complaints made by staff regarding the resident involved

·         Confirmation of any dates of absence which the claimant incurred because of the incident

·         First aid reports

·         Accident investigation reports

·         Minutes from any health and safety meetings at which the incident was discussed

·         Claimant training records

·         Statements from any witnesses to the incident

·         Details of any remedial action that may have been taken because of the incident

·         Earnings details for the 3 months prior to the incident and the month after returning to work

 It is therefore not only important, but an insurer requirement, to report any incident which you think may give rise to a claim. By reporting an incident, it is important to understand that this is not the same as making a claim. Instead you are making your insurer aware of an accident that has occurred, which provides them with the opportunity to consider the circumstances and decide if they want to gather a suite of evidence to ensure that they are prepared should a claim be reported in the future.

 At Towergate, we recommend that you build a close relationship with your insurer or insurance broker, as they will be able to provide bespoke advice and support depending on your needs.


If you would like to find out more about Towergate Insurance or you require more information on Employer’s Liability, you can call us on 01438 739280 or email us:

 Towergate Insurance Brokers is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England No.4043759. Registered Address: Towergate House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

New Commercial Partner: Dunkley's Acountants
The Team

The Team

Dunkley’s Chartered Accountants are an independent practice based in Bradley Stoke, Bristol who have been specialists in the Healthcare Sector for over 25 years.

Just as you care for the people in your homes, we'll take the time to care for you. We'll learn about your business, the environment you operate in and the legislation you need to follow. Then we'll give you the best advice possible.

With our practical working knowledge of the care home sector, we can help you with residential, nursing, domiciliary and special needs care, your understanding of the multi-funding structure for residents, care quality commission requirements and employment law.

We can also provide a multitude of services to help you manage your business and maximise its opportunities including annual accounts preparation, tax compliance and planning, management accounts, bookkeeping, VAT and payroll services, cashflow projections, business structure advice, due diligence on proposed acquisitions as well as business valuation, succession and exit planning.

If you would like to organise a free appointment with Fiona, our Care Home Specialist, please get in touch today on 01454 619900 or by emailing

To find out more about the services we provide or to read case studies from our existing Care Home clients, visit our website:

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Barbara Harris
Altura Learning: Prizes and Surveys

Altura Learning partners with The Care Workers Charity to celebrate the winner of their writing competition.

 Altura Learning UK was privileged to have the winner of The Care Workers Charity annual writing competition join them in the studio at the Milton Keynes office in January. The winner for the ever popular writing competition was Chris Woodward, a former Care Worker.

Chris wrote a beautiful poem ‘Alone’, which he was inspired to write after working closely with many dementia patients over the years. Travelling to the Altura Learning office in Milton Keynes, Chris kindly accepted the opportunity to share his poem on camera. To view the poem recited by Chris, click here.

The Care Workers Charity continues to run the writing competition and is encouraging care workers to submit entries about their daily lives and help celebrate the passion of staff who routinely go the extra mile.

 To find out more about entering the writing competition and to view previous winners of the writing competition, please visit:

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Give your views on a new blended learning and recruitment model
Research from social care recruitment experts, Cohesion, has found that new starters are seeking opportunities to develop in and beyond their current role as early as 12 weeks into their new role within an organisation. As a result, they believe that introducing learning into the recruitment and on boarding employment cycle can positively impact the quality of candidates and retention of new recruits.
In partnership with Altura Learning and Neil Eastwood from Care Friends, they would like your input on a new blended learning and recruitment model. They will be sharing their findings at the NCF Annual Conference later in the year. To take part please complete the survey via the following link:

Barbara Harris
Super Teams: demonstrating Values and Behaviours

Windmill care was established in 1998 by husband and wife Team Len and Katy Collacott, following the purchase of Windmill House. In 2009 they were joined by Richard Deverson as Operations Director.

With over 20 years’ experience as a nursing sister in NHS and private residential homes, Katy quickly established an enviable reputation as a provider of quality care in exceptional surroundings. So when Kate moved to The Meadows to take on their new state of art accommodation she left a void in the organisation, her footsteps were hard to follow, but who better than Len and Katies daughter Sarah, she too came from a trained nurse background and was previously a sister in ITU in Birmingham.

Sarah was left in the unenviable position of restoring a team in mourning, away from care ask any Manchester United Fan, they still long for Sir Alex Ferguson to come back! To restore her team and to create a new vision and acceptance of change Sarah called on Karen Brasier from Cabot Training. Karen has worked with many care organisations and her focus was back to basics. To demonstrate well-led your team needs to all be on the same page and be committed to demonstrating values and behaviors. These values are actions not a set of words.

Sarah said following the bespoke training based on standards from the Leadership Qualities Framework we had a restored confidence and practical advice on how to select and train our employees to become Super Teams. What’s more the positive impact and future training is intended to take us from a good overall rating to outstanding!

Karen worked particularly with the on-site management team offering guidance and mentoring and here they are being presented with their certificates. (Pictured left to right, Karen Brasier, Tracey Young, Sarah Collacott, Maria Watts, Len Collacott.)

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