Free "Human Factor" Training For Home Care Providers

C&SW member Jane Redman, owner of BS Healthcare, has been involved in an exciting venture developing ‘Human Factor’ Training in conjunction with the BNSSG Community Education Provider Network (CEPN). The project recognises the value of Home Care Providers in helping service users to remain well at home.

Amongst other things, the training will look at:

  • Identifying Frailty

  • Identifying ‘The deteriorating patient’

  • Identifying risk factors for the prevention of pressure injury.

There are 3 training days across the BNSSG area. Download the flyer for dates and further details

Members NewsBarbara Harris
State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England 2107 / 18

Here is a summary of the summary of key findings; you can find the whole reports here:

It would be interesting to get feedback from local providers as to how they feel this reflects our local market. Comments are enabled below. Please feel free!

Three Key Findings.

  1. Most people receive a good quality of care: and overall quality has been maintained despite challenges

  2. Quality is not consistent: depends on type of care, where you live and how joined up services are.

  3. Individual providers offering good care is not enough. Good sustainable high quality care is about successful collaboration between services as part of an effective local system.

CQC outline and describe the 5 factors that affect sustainability

  • Access: varies; family and friends bridge the gap; need to travel for in-patient mental health; variable access to GP services; increasingly stretched workforce

  • Quality of care: slight improvement overall. Hallmarks of quality care are Good leadership and governance; strong organisational culture; Good partnership working

  • Workforce: right workforce is crucial but most services struggle to recruit, retain and develop.

  • Capacity: demand continues to rise: services need to plan together to meet predicted needs

  • Funding and commissioning: challenges are well documented. 32% Directors Adult Social care have seen providers closing in the past 6 months. No long term solution in sight for adult social care; geographic variations in council payments

Introducing a New Member Blue Sky Enabling

Blue Sky Enabling is a provider of domiciliary support across BANES and Wiltshire. We pride ourselves on providing high quality flexible live-in and person-centered services to adults of all ages living with impairments, mental health issues and/or disabilities. The company is dedicated to ensuring that all of the people that we work with are supported to live their lives in a way that promotes: choice, enjoyment, empowerment and safety.

The Registered Manager, Rachel Eades, has been working with Blue Sky Enabling for 6 years after completing a Psychology Degree in Bath. She has been acting as Registered Manager for nearly a year and in July supported the company to achieve a ‘Good’ CQC rating. Currently studying for her MSc in Health and Social Care, Rachel is excited and passionate about the service Blue Sky Enabling provides and strives for continuous improvement to achieve the highest quality of care possible.

Our Core Values:  

Building Trust, Developing Lives, Empowering People, Inspiring Passion

We believe that ‘Life is for Living’ and by embedding our values in everything we do we aim to assist our service users to remain living in their own homes, engage in activities and maintain relationships in a way that they choose.

So, what is ‘enabling’?

We believe enabling is the only way to provide support that builds on people strengths and never focuses on their disability or the things they are unable to do. Enabling is a way of working alongside people at their own pace, focusing on building people’s capacities, positive experiences and successful outcomes.

How is ‘enabling’ different?

-         Enabling deals with people’s conditions in a way that considers the person as a whole and complete human being.

-         Enabling services do things WITH people rather than FOR them; always encouraging independence and enhancing self-esteem.

-         Enabling see tasks such as cooking, cleaning and personal care as steps toward achieving wider goals such as going to a social group, theatre, shopping or chatting to a friend etc.

How we can help you:

Blue Sky Enabling would offer you or your loved ones the opportunity to live at home rather than going into residential care. Our company focuses on the importance of having a place that feels like home. So as far as possible we concentrate on making your home a livable space again without alterations. By utilizing the skills of our Enablers, you would be helped to ensure all daily activities become fun and enjoyable again.

Whatever your needs are, we have an enabler that will suit the situation.

15 minute visit? No thank you!

Nobody likes to rush through their daily routine. It is for this reason that we offer our support services with a minimum of a 2-hour visit. Our members of staff are there to guide and enable our service users to do things for themselves – even if this takes twice as long. We believe that the sense of independence, achievement and the boost to their self-esteem individuals get from being self-sufficient is much too important to rush a 15-minute visit and not provide this opportunity.  Therefore, where it is safe to do so our service users do things with our enablers, rather than our enablers doing things for our service users.

The right person at the right time:

We take our responsibility to recruit, train, supervise, develop and monitor staff very seriously; our aim is to have happy, passionate and competent staff working with every service user. We keep staff teams small, to include only 2-4 members of staff so that service users always know who to expect at the front door, and each member of staff gets to know their service user’s likes, dislikes and habits well.

Our Management Team ensure that everyone that we employ enters the right job role with the right attitude. We know that to support someone, enable that person, and make it possible for them to enjoy their life to the fullest take’s dedication and hard work. We ensure that all of the staff are on board with strong organisational culture of respect and equality.

Blue Sky Enabling go that extra mile to ensure that our staff have an affinity with the people that they help to support. That they have something in common, that they understand each-other, and can coexist together and grow together to provide the higher quality of support possible.

Barbara Harris
Dementia: Free Conversation Cards from Alive

Older people’s charity, Alive, has launched a free resource that offers conversation ideas and advice to help relatives, friends or carers in their relationships with people who are living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most feared disease for British people over the age of 60. 58% of people say they feel they would struggle to be able to join in conversations2, and for families the idea of ‘losing’ the person they know and love can be heart-breaking.

Alive is the UK’s leading charity enriching the lives of older people in care and training their carers to engage in meaningful ways. Not only do we often see people living with dementia become socially isolated, lonely and depressed through lack of engagement, but all too often the families and friends of loved ones can feel alone too, knowing that their relationships are going to change. It can sometimes be hard for people to know what to say or do. But evidence from Exeter University suggests that just 10 minutes of meaningful conversation per day can have a positive impact on older people’s wellbeing1.

Based on delivering many thousands of creative and arts-based activity sessions for older people and talking to carers and loved ones since being founded in 2009, Alive realised there was a limited number of resources available to help build conversations with people living with dementia. Families said that those free resources available tend to be text heavy, confusing and overwhelming, while more appealing resources come at a cost many cannot afford.

Alive’s free resource pack contains pages of illustrations and ideas that anyone can use as simple conversation prompts with their loved one. The questions are themed around specific interests like gardening, school, travel, and music; topics that everyone can relate to. Designed by Alive’s specialist team, the conversation cards enable people living with dementia to recall and share memories more confidently.

The cards were piloted with people living with dementia and their families, friends, carers and care groups, and feedback from the trial was overwhelmingly positive.

 Families reported that the questions “prompted humour, memory-searching, emotion but mostly pleasure and pride” (Janet, wife of Pete who is living with dementia). They allowed people to find out more about a person’s life and feel closer to them at a time when, so often, families feel like they are losing the person they knew.

 Alive’s CEO Simon Bernstein says “Helping people with dementia to stay connected to the people around them is key to their happiness and quality of life. As dementia develops it can become harder and harder for people with the disease to interact and converse with family members and friends who may also feel ill-equipped to cope. This can lead to people living with the disease feeling alone, socially isolated and may result in their gradual withdrawal from ordinary interactions. Often, family members may experience feelings of guilt and helplessness as a result. We hope this free resource will support those with dementia, their loved ones and carers, to feel closer, providing an enjoyable way to share special memories and experiences together at a time when it matters most.”

 The cards are available as a free downloadable pdf from the Alive website from the 27th September

The charity is asking people for voluntary donations to support its aim to light up the lives of many more older people.


1.       Exeter WHELD research

2.      Dementia Statistics Hub, Alzheimer’s Research UK

 For further information about Alive please see:


Barbara Harris
Free Mental Health Training

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership is offering free mental health first aid training as part of the Healthier Together (formerly BNSSG) STP work. 

There are 3 separate programmes; more information and course dates can be found below:

Mental Health First Aid Awareness

Mental Health First Aid 1 Day Champion

Mental Health First Aid 2 Day

An indication of suitability for different groups of workers can be found here

Target Groups

Post Brexit: EU Settlement Scheme

As the Home Office delivers the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), it is critical there are clear plans and arrangements in place to accommodate the broad needs of citizens that it expects will need to apply for the EUSS.

The Home Office has put a range of measures in place to ensure that the EUSS is accessible and that all applicants are handled with flexibility and sensitivity. However, ensuring that the most vulnerable EU citizens and at-risk communities are engaged and supported is essential.

The voluntary and community sector plays a vital role in representing people who are unable to advocate for themselves, and engagement has been carried out with a range of Voluntary and Community sector organisations to ensure that the right support and programmes are in place to protect those most in need. The Home Office will soon be launching a full campaign, which will seek to create a network of eligible VCS organisations who can raise awareness of the EUSS amongst vulnerable EU citizens and their family members, and to provide EUSS application assistance to those who need it. Organisations will be provided with a tailored communications toolkit, to help inform vulnerable, at-risk and marginalised individuals around the EUSS. There will also be outreach events and training sessions organised to provide organisations with greater detail and support.

Grant Scheme

To enable organisations to support those most at-risk, a key first step in this campaign is a Grant Scheme. Today, the Home Office is pleased to announce notice of its Grant Scheme, expected to award between £5 and 9million to fund Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations in delivering practical assistance to vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens and their family members, and to provide them with end-to-end support to apply.

Extensive engagement with VCS organisations has helped to shape the development of this Grant Scheme. However, the Home Office is seeking to refine the approach and assess provision for support services before formally launching the open competition, expected to commence at the end of November 2018.

Interested VCS organisations are invited to take part in an engagement teleconference to find out more information about the EUSS, the Grant Scheme process and the wider campaign, and to give organisations an opportunity to ask the Home Office questions. There will be several repeat teleconferences taking place on 7 and 8 November, to ensure as many organisations as possible have the chance to take part.

To sign up to attend a teleconference, and for more information on the Grant Scheme, please go to the Contract Finder Notice on GOV.UK. If you have any specific questions, you can email: For further information on the EU Settlement Scheme, please see below.

EU Settlement Scheme

EU citizens living in the UK and their family members will need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). The straightforward system is designed to make it easy for them to obtain their new UK immigration status.

The EU Settlement Scheme is in private beta testing and will be open fully by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.

More details on how EU citizens and their families can obtain settled status in the UK is found in the statement of intent, which confirms that:

.     Applications will be via a short online process.

.     Most EU citizens will only need to prove their identity, demonstrate their residence in the UK and declare whether they have any criminal convictions (we will check that they are not a serious or persistent criminal).

.     It will cost £65 for those aged 16 years or more and £32.50 for children under 16.

.     It will be free for those with valid documented permanent residence or valid indefinite leave to remain or enter.

EU citizens can sign up for regular email updates on EU citizens’ rights and the EU Settlement Scheme from the UK Government.

Hilary Bagshaw

EU Exit Immigration Strategy, Home Office

2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

T: +44 (0)20 7035 3917  M: +44 (0)7770 855368


Workforce Development Fund: up to £1200 per learner / new information pack

Since its launch in 2011, the Workforce Development Fund (WDF) has helped to support over 140,000 learners complete adult social care qualifications and learning programmes. We disburse this limited pot of money on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care, to use as a contribution towards the costs of employees completing qualifications and learning programmes.
You can claim up to £1,200 per learner per funding year, which runs from April to March, depending on the size of the qualification or learning programme. Take a look at the list of funded adult social care qualifications and learning programmes that can be claimed for.
Find out more and apply here.

Locality Manager Lindsey Thomas reminds local providers that all 4 Local Authorities that used to make up Avon are on  “Direct Access” and can apply directly to Skills for Care for funding for qualifications staff have gained. A new information pack is available here.

Barbara Harris
Words from the Care Face 3: Providers between a rock and a hard place.

Should CQC be more explicit about the resources needed to meet their requirements?

One of the issues identified in the “Issues We Face” report* is that providers often find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand they are answerable to CQC in terms of the quality of the services they provide. On the other hand their resources are often determined by local authorities who want to pay as little as they can get away with. If CQC were more vocal about the level of resourcing they feel is necessary to meet their requirements this could really help providers make the case for the resources they need.

Should CQC be clear about whether they feel the National Minimum / Living Wage is adequate incentive for providers to attract sufficient staff to create the workforce and deliver the quality of care that they expect? If not, should they be clearer about what they feel would constitute pay rates to improve the chances of providers building a workforce designed to meet their requirements?

Should CQC be clearer about the proportion of non contact time they feel staff should have to meet the expectations of regulations being placed upon them?

Should they come up with an equivalent proportion for Registered Managers?

Providers are trying to deliver person centred services. Quite clearly everybody’s needs are not the same but local authorities do not factor in higher levels of management and administrative time if people have more complex needs or higher levels of dependency. Should CQC be more explicit about the relationship between the complexity of a person’s needs and the amount of management and administrative time that should be included as part of their support package?

What are your thoughts? Leave any comments below

*C&SW’s annual The issues we face report is developed from a series of conversations with Registered Managers and people providing care and support services. It is designed to provide a voice for the sector based on the actual experiences of those who work in it. 

If you are interested in looking at the full ‘The issues we face’ report, you can download a copy here.

Barbara HarrisComment
Registered Manager's Networks: a bit of a Gem

Part funded by and with much support from Skills for Care, Care & Support West run Registered Managers Network sessions in B&NES, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. We are delighted to be able to offer support to managers in this way; the Network sessions are becoming increasingly well attended although there is room for more members particularly in B&NES.

We believe these sessions are a bit of a gem; they are very well received by those that attend them … 

Don’t take our word for it, we recently asked for feedback and these are some of the things that people said: 

I have found the sessions really useful & informative. The topics are all relevant to us all and it’s great to have access to the resources”. North Somerset RM Network participant

“I really enjoy the RMN as you get to meet people on your level and bounce ideas off each other. Being a Registered Manager can be lonely at times, and attending these sessions makes me remember that we are all in this together and going through the same things. The content is always really interesting and I learn a great deal. The sessions are fun and relaxed so we can all talk about different experiences. These sessions are worth their weight in GOLD”. South Glos RM Network participant 

“I always look forward to the network sessions. This is because the information provided to us is excellent and I tend to take quite a bit away from it … I also find it so refreshing to speak with others who are in exactly the same boat as I am”. Bristol RM Network participant

“I enjoy the fact that we can all let our hair down a bit. As a manager you have to be on top form at all times and this can be rather exhausting, but in the network sessions you can relax a bit … you can be a normal person who is also a manager rather than just a manager” Bristol RM Network participant 

As a new Registered Manager, I have found the Registered Manager’s Network sessions hugely helpful.  It has given me confidence in my own practice, has helped me network with more experienced managers and has given me a clear overview of the KLOE requirements.  I have found It enormously helpful in my first year as manager.” B&NES RM Network participant 

“I always find the Registered Managers Network sessions a supportive and positive workshop. Meeting other managers and off loading thoughts and gaining ideas - no judgement and good to feel at ease to speak up. Over the past couple of year have taken away some great ideas to implement and use within our organisation. “Bristol RM Network participant

If you operate in B&NES, Bristol, North Somerset or South Glos and are interested in signing up to your local Registered Managers’ Network then do contact Mik Alban (Development Director for Care and Support West) on or 07788 498909.

Barbara Harris
Arts Festival hosted by Milestones Trust helps to reduce stigma and discrimination

Milestones Trust update – Expressions arts festival

During the weekend of the 15th and 16th September, Milestones Trust hosted their annual Expressions arts festival, which this year was inspired by nature and the environment. The Expressions arts programme uses creative art to help the people we supports develop new skills, make new friends and build confidence, by offering an alternative form of self-expression and communication.

Filling the event space at Paintworks in Bristol, the ‘Opening Minds’ exhibition brought together the creative talents and original artworks of the people supported by the charity.  Key exhibits included Halfway to the Sun, a cascading plastic installation created from recycling old plastic bottles, beautifully crafted textile Peacocks and a multi-sensory installation that used sound and light to explore the natural environment.

Alongside the different forms of art, the weekend event also featured a line-up of entertainment including live music from local Bristol bands, comedy from the likes of Mark Olver, Steve Day and Juliette Butler, poetry readings and original films depicting the work of milestones Trust, to create a fascinating and enjoyable day out for visitors. 

Louise Copping, art co-ordinator at Milestones Trust, explained: “We brought together some wonderful creations for the ‘Opening Minds’ exhibition, from art installations to crafted textiles, and from poetry to ceramics. It was fantastic to be able to showcase the different works and the months of hard work by the artists involved.

“What is most important about this exhibition, is not only what’s on display, but also how this shared arts movement helps to reduce stigma and discrimination for people receiving social care support."

Members NewsBarbara Harris
New Commercial Partner Select Agencies SW.

Select Agencies South West are proud to be a category award sponsor for the Care and Support West 2018 Awards

Started some 12 years ago to act as a Uk manufacturers agent, specialising in beds, mattresses. upholstery and cabinet, we have grown from just covering the South West and South Wales to national coverage. We can now source almost any type of furniture and related products. We regularly tender with the NHS as an approved supplier, we supply Care Homes, Sheltered Housing and Housing Associations. We also have a unique Stainguard and Sanitised Range and service that is compliant with Biocidal Product Regulations legislation, and the Crib5 / fireguard regulations.

We have been working with a leading Mattress manufacturer to develop a ground-breaking mattress for the care industry, please get in touch with one of the contacts below for more information.

The reason we were pleased to be commercial partner member of Care and Support West is that we hope, via this process, to engage with front line providers of care and their service users. The benefit we bring to the service provider is being able to supply top quality products direct from the manufacture at seriously reduced prices. The benefit for us lies in the fact we can get first-hand information from providers of care to improve our products and better target the services we offer.

Please feel free to contact me with any enquirers, I look forward to hearing from you; email me on

Cintre Celebrates Cooking Course Success

Cintre staff and service users got together on 2nd October to celebrate the first group completing their 12-week Big Lottery Funded Cooking Course.

 The course is designed to give small groups the opportunity to develop their cooking skills, and knowledge of nutrition in a safe, supported environment. It is also a great way for service users to make friends and develop new social connections. Before starting the course all participants are given the opportunity to attend a half day food hygiene training course, and each cooking session is then run by a combination of keyworkers and volunteers.

 For the celebration day, the course group prepared a fantastic, and healthy meal of fajitas, sweet potato wedges, and a range of salads. To mark their achievement, each participant was given a certificate, and a recipe book covering all dishes that they cooked across the 12 sessions.

 The cooking course is just one of several group activities that Cintre now provides for service users to help them develop new skills, find volunteering opportunities, socialise, and make new friends. Other activities on offer include IT skills sessions, sports, board games afternoons and a gardening club. The charity has big plans to expand its offering of group sessions in 2019 and beyond.

 Claire Mould, Cintre CEO said, “Cintre are delighted to be able to offer new and exciting group activities to our service users. We have been highly impressed with how much every member of the first cooking group has benefited from the course, each positively progressing onto something else as a result of their involvement in the course. This has proved so successful that we are now planning to expand our groups, and look forward next year to opening them out to service users from other organisations in the City.”

Service users from the course are pictured below with CEO Claire Mould and Activities organiser Scott Hopkinson (fyi, winner of the Activities Organiser Award at this years’ Care Awards)

"A real eye opener": Skills for Care Diversity Training Event

Skills for Care, the body set up to improve skills in social care, focused on Embracing Diversity throughout October. What does diversity mean?

According to Skills for Care, Diversity simply means understanding that each individual is unique and recognising our own individual differences. It's important that everyone, no matter their background, race, disability, religion or sexual orientation is given the opportunity to:

  • work and progress in the care sector 

  • be met by their individual care needs. 

Part of this initiative is a series of inspiring videos which you can find here. You can join the conversation on social meda using #EmbraceDiversity

There was also an event in Bristol on 18th October; SfC locality manager Lindsey Thomas commented that for her as an attendee; the atmosphere was very comfortable and that there was very positive reactions in the room to the content being presented. At the end of the event people were asking to create action plans and sign up to ‘pledge’ to carry them out; a very powerful way of getting people to take the message and the learning into their working lives.

Sam Hawker, Managing Director of AbleCare Homes shares her experience of the event:

“The ‘Confident with Difference’ conference has already helped us improve our awareness of the issues involved in providing individualised care and support for a diverse client group; including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people’s experience of social care and supporting a culturally diverse client group…….. If anyone has the opportunity to attend this event in the future we would highly recommend it.”

The event enabled them to:

  • Experience a powerful play exploring a gay couple’s experience of accessing care.

  • Hear from a charity providing information and support for older LGBT people.

  • Learn from care providers supporting culturally diverse client groups, and those with diverse workforces.

  • Explore ways of managing difficult situations arising from supporting diverse communities.

“This superb event was a real eye opener, helping us to look at things from the perspective of those receiving care.  We may think that we are open and person centred, but how often can we really experience what it is like for the person we are caring for and those close to them. 

For us one of the most valuable parts of the day was the opportunity to have open and honest discussions around the table with volunteers and staff from the groups presenting at the event including Opening Doors London and The Purple List Theatre.  We would like to thank them for sharing their experiences and for some very moving and inspirational stories”


Barbara Harris
Pictures and Comments from the Awards Dinner

The Awards Dinner is a culmination of nearly a year’s work, setting up the nomination process, judging and then organising the event. It is the flagship event for Care & Support West and we hope that it prompts the world outside the care sector to appreciate the very varied work of so many people and that for those working inside the industry it gives a real sense of the value of what they do. See the winners here

Here are some comments from people at the awards; firstly from inside the industry but also a warming insight from a parent of a service user.

The evening was a great celebration of the wonderful and valuable work performed by those within the care industry” Anne Williams, Managing Director of Power Direct (Commercial Partner and Event Sponsor)

We were absolutely thrilled. The ladies had a lovely evening, enjoyed the venue and food” Anne Owen, Managing Director Elite Homecare

What a joy to see so many care staff enjoying a wonderful evening, I felt very privileged to be a part of it.” Lindsey Thomas, Skills for Care

“Just want to say we had a great night last Saturday we all enjoyed the evening and like to add how well organised it all went and was great to win as well” Paul Dwyer, SMILE Independent Living Support

“Just a quick line to thank you for such a fantastic evening.  The night was the best yet.  Everything went so well, the singer was brilliant, the room layout worked and all of our team were so excited to have an actual TV star taking an interest in what they do.”  Sam Hawker Able Care

And here are some heartfelt words from the parent of a service user who had been invited to attend the event by SMILE, their service provider.

It was a wonderful evening. The venue, complimentary drink on arrival and the three course meal they provided was superb. 

There were twenty people from SMILE, most of them support staff at our son's supported living home. Although their category was one of the last to be announced everyone enjoyed listening to the wonderful inspiring stories of the nominees and eventual winners in the earlier categories. When it was 'our turn' I sat with fingers crossed and 'wished' their name to come out first - and it did! Everyone was thrilled, 'yes' came the shout, smiles, hugs and kisses all around before the long walk to the stage to collect their award and a group photo. It was such a wonderful moment for everyone involved - they were so proud of each other and what they had achieved. 

The Care Awards is such a great way for parents such as me to say 'thank you' for all that is done for our loved ones on a day to day basis.” Annie Bell

2018 Care Awards Gala Dinner: Chairman's Review

Len Collacott, Chair of Care & Support West sums up the The Care Awards on 20th October

The cocktail dresses have been put away, the hairdos and make-up have changed back from Awards Dinner to everyday, as have the DJs and lounge suits as its back to the day jobs.

All that left is a trophy for a lucky (albeit well deserved) few and great memories for the rest of us.

It was another magnificent evening. Ashton Gate is becoming quite a venue to host a prestigious event- especially one like ours as, with over 400 attendees, most places can’t fit us in! The venue was good, the food was excellent and how the wine flowed!! If you are going to make the effort to mark the achievements of the industry you need to do it well and we did. Many thanks to David and his team for putting it all together. Rudolph and Laura were brilliant hosts. Rudolph is becoming quite a regular now and is so patient with his fans posing for photographs and stopping for a chat- who would have thought East Enders would be so popular in the West Country?!

Once again this was a night for the ‘doers’ of the industry. Those who put in the tough shifts ta the sharp end, those who are working over Christmas and Banh Holidays, those who work nights and anti-social shifts. Lets stand tall and recognise the sterling work that we do.

I said on the night that whilst everyone has remembered and celebrated the 70 year anniversary of the NHS the Aunt Sally of the sector- social Care has been forgotten. Social Care was formed 70 years ago too in 1948 with the creation of the National Assistance Act. As we move forward it looks like Social Care might just be the saviour of the NHS. We are entering momentous times when our industry is set for great change and hopefully recognition. We won’t be the Aunt Sally for much longer.

For now events like our Care Awards are so important to remind ourselves of what a terrific contribution we make to improve the lives of people who need us. Our care staff are the unsung heroes but the awards night is the time those praises do get sung.

So get ready to dust off the cocktail dresses, the DJs and suits, to get the hair and make up into event mode and lets look forward to doing it all again next year.

Event NewsBarbara Harris
Attention Nurses: Free Workshop Skin Conditions in Older people

RCN Bath Branch and BMI Bath Clinic are pleased to offer the opportunity to attend a Professional Development workshop on Monday 22nd October at Bath Golf Club, Golf Course Road , Bath, BA2 6JG.      10am til 3pm

'More than Skin Deep'

Speakers and Programme to include

Dr Phillips Consultant Dermatologist: - Treatment of skin conditions in older people & recognition of rashes

Bruna Costa, Centre for Appearance Research at UWE :- Psychological effects of a  change in body image due to skin conditions & scarring

Zach Jones, RCN legal Officer: - Accountability, delegation, documentation and the NMC

Lindsay Cardwell, HCP Southwest Committee -New emerging roles of HCPs – APs and NAs

 RCN Bath Branch will hold their AGM during the lunch break to which all RCN members are cordially invited.

 There is lots of free parking , Lunch is provided and you will receive a RCN certificate for 3 hours of CPD.

Please can you share/circulate the attached poster with your colleagues?

 To book E-mail your name and contact details to    or

Look forward to seeing you there

Sue Thompson
Infection Prevention and Control Lead
BMI Bath Clinic
Claverton Down Road
Coombe Down
Bath  BA2 7BR        
Tel 01225 835555

NK1_2258_Oana Cojocaru.jpg

Oana Cojocaru’s nursing story


“I work for Brunelcare as a Registered Nurse, in Saffron Gardens care home.

My nursing career started in Romania, where I grew up and trained as a nurse, completing my nursing degree and working in a hospital; making diabetes my chosen specialism.

My passion for nursing goes back to my early childhood when I looked after my grandfather at one stage and decided I wanted to be a nurse!

Everything changed for me 12 years ago when I relocated to the UK, and with a lapsed nursing PIN, and starting a family, I found work in the restaurant trade instead for a few years. The health and safety, and food safety aspects of managing a restaurant did have some synergy with my nursing training.

Then, two years ago, with a yearning to work as a nurse again, I enrolled for a ‘Back to Practice’ nursing course with UWE (University of West of England) in Bristol. At the same time I came across Brunelcare’s Saffron Gardens care home and contacted their Clinical Lead Manager to see if Brunelcare would sponsor my University course. They interviewed me and agreed that they would! Not only this, but they employed me on a part-time basis whilst I was completing my course and paid my nursing PIN. I started working for Brunelcare in October 2017 and finished my requalification course in March 2018, when I became a Registered Nurse with Brunelcare’s Saffron Gardens care home.

What I love about my new nursing career with Brunelcare is the relaxed atmosphere in which I work, in comparison to a hospital setting. It’s like ‘being a nurse in your own home’. The work conditions are less rigid, there is less paperwork and clinical time and instead much more time spent with those in your care. I am mum to a toddler so I also enjoy the flexible work contract I currently have, enabling me to make the most of my nursing and my own family.

To those thinking of joining the care home sector as a nurse, I would say don’t believe everything you hear about dementia care. It’s one of the most satisfying nursing environments where you can give people cuddles, dance and sing with them and generally ‘be’ as you would with your own family.

“To find out more visit

Barbara Harris
Nursing Stories: Joel Tano
NK1_2154_Joel Tano.jpg

Joel Tano’s nursing story

“I work for Brunelcare as a Registered Nurse, in Robinson House care home.

I’ve always taken great pride in being a nurse.

My decision to become a nurse happened at University in the Philippines, where I come from. I originally set out to study engineering but soon realised that working with machines didn’t suit me. Instead, I loved the idea of working with people, to be able to change someone’s life by making them better. That really fired a passion in me! So I switched to studying nursing, qualifying with my nursing degree.

After qualifying, I worked for 12 years in a hospital casualty department. From seeing people arrive at the hospital ill, I always derived huge satisfaction from seeing them go home feeling fitter.

My decision to relocate, with my family, to the UK was triggered in 2005 when the UK care organisation ‘Four Seasons’ were recruiting in the Philippines. Hundreds applied, but I was one of just 80 people selected and so me and my family left to set up home in Scotland, where I worked for Four Seasons as a nurse.  After a while I grew increasingly concerned by a lack of career progression, development and support in that role - I had heard there were better nursing opportunities in the South at that time. I set about researching other care organisations and read some good reviews online about Brunelcare. They had vacancies for nurses so I applied, was offered the job and next thing we knew I was moving my family down to Bristol to start another new phase in our lives! So since 2010 I have been working as a Registered Nurse in Brunelcare’s Robinson House care and nursing home, in Bristol.

I have found the charity to be incredibly supportive, from the interview to the current day. Their working conditions are the best I have experienced. They pay for and encourage my continued training and development. They also provide work pattern flexibility, and I have appreciated how supportive they have been of me as a parent. For example, they agreed to me working overtime when I first arrived in Bristol and was house-hunting.

When I compare my work in a care and nursing home with life in hospital; the work in hospital was very fast turnaround, allowing very little time to get to know the people you were caring for. By complete contrast, at Robinson House I am with those I care for from their arrival with us to the end of their lives. There was also not so much training and support available to me in my hospital position as there has been with Brunelcare. My role is now all about day-to-day nursing and end of life care, and we specialise in dementia care too. My nursing role still has variety and has evolved over time, for example we have more high dependency needs that I am focused on now. Our care home excels in palliative care, for which we have been recognised with a Care & Support West award recently. A care home is definitely not a stagnant place to work, I sometimes hear them described that way.

I enjoy the higher level of interaction I have with those I care for. I have also experienced valuable growth not only in my work but personally too. I feel rewarded with my great job and the happy family life I have here in Bristol, working with Brunelcare.“

“To find out more visit

Barbara Harris
NURSING STORIES: Edwin Jose and Opportunities for Promotion
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Edwin Jose’s nursing story

 “I am the Deputy Manager for Brunelcare’s Glastonbury care home.

I qualified as a nurse in India in 2008 and worked as a cardiac ITU nurse in a hospital for nearly two years.

It became my ambition to work in health care management and in 2010 I decided to move to the UK to complete post graduate diploma in health care management in  Leeds and later I undertook an MBA in General Management, specialising in HR. I was particularly interested in exploring employee motivation and performance in care homes, making this my study focus. Whilst completing my full-time study I also worked part-time as a Senior Carer in a BUPA care home, until the end 2013.

Once I had gained my MBA my sister recommended that I apply for a job with Brunelcare; she was working for Brunelcare at their Glastonbury care home. So I applied and joined them in January 2014 as a Unit Care Leader. My career has progressed quickly since then, with three promotions: to Registered Nurse (when my PIN was granted), becoming a Senior Nurse and then in March 2018 I was appointed as the Deputy Manager for the care home.

The thing I enjoy most about being a nurse is that I love the people living here. Highlights about working for Brunelcare include the incredible support I have received from senior management, the training I have received - which is more than I have received in other organisations. Our staffing ratios and employee long service is above average, and was something that felt encouraging when applying to work for Brunelcare.

In my current role I enjoy a good working atmosphere; I can plan my day and that of our teams. My role entails a lead responsibility for management, support and direction of the care services, managing medications in the home (Glastonbury provides 24/7 nursing care) and spending plenty of time with our residents. The main aspect of my Deputy Management role is the care planning, for example we carefully build an individual’s tailored care plan over several weeks and then continue to develop it overtime. I also carry out pre-assessments, that is, visiting people before they move in to the care home to assess their situation, care needs and agree when they might join us.

The aspect about my job that I most enjoy is the freedom to explore new ideas, new approaches to the care we provide and seeing the benefits of the training and support we receive working for Brunelcare.”

“To find out more visit

Care Home NewsBarbara Harris
MY VOICE MY CHOICE: Giving Disabled People in Weston Super Mare A Voice

Lora Tanner updates us on the progress of the My Voice, My Choice project, supported by the Big Lottery and Leonard Cheshire Homes:

We held our first workshop in Weston-super-Mare on Volunteering Education and Employment on 26th September. It was an incredible day filled with lots of open discussion. We were delighted that Maria Flinders, Voluntary Services Manager from Weston Hospital was able to join us and support the workshop. It was great to have such engagement and enthusiasm from the group, we hope that people enjoyed the workshop as their valuable contributions will be heard and will feed directly into the final showcase event on 23rd January.We worked really hard to ensure the session was accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Our next workshop was on 31st October; Transport, Access and Safety. We had representation from GWR, First Bus, Community Transport, Western Wheels and also the Police and it was a really great session. Contact lora.tanner@leonardcheshire to know more or book places on the December wworkshop, or telephone 01288 359 813.

My Voice, My Choice

Please promote!:

• My Voice, My Choice has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

• My Voice, My Choice is being organised by Leonard Cheshire, a registered charity providing services for disabled people.

• The aim of the My Voice, My Choice project is to allow disabled people to speak up about the accessibility of community services in the Weston-super-Mare Area and have their voices heard.

3 workshops will take place between September and December 2018 that will allow disabled adults to share stories, meet new people, provide ideas and suggest new ways of accessing the community.

People who take part in the My Voice, My Choice workshops will be invited to a larger final event in January 2019 that will:

• Show the results of the workshops.

• Provide the opportunity for organisations that have taken part in the workshops to say what services they can provide to make things better for local disabled people.

• Allow senior representatives from organisations and authorities to be told about the results of the My Voice, My Choice project and talk about any changes that can be made.

Workshop 1 - Wednesday, 26th September 2018

Volunteering, Education and Employment

Workshop 2 - Wednesday, 31st October 2018

Transport, Access and Safety

Workshop 3 – Thursday, 22nd November 2018

Activities, Lifestyle and Health

All 3 workshops will take place at:

The Campus, Highlands Lane, Weston-super-Mare, BS24 7DX

10 am until 2:30 pm and a light lunch will be provided.

There are 20 spaces in each workshop and each space will be allocated to the people who register first. REGISTRATION FORMS

Spaces are limited so please book your place early to avoid disappointment.

More information and registration forms are available from 07419 736961

General NewsBarbara Harris