• By Chris Easom / July 27, 2021

    A fantastic use of technology is being used by Methodist Homes Association within their Hillside nursing home in Aylesbury.

    The use of VR technology is allowing residents to participate in teams and activities they can no longer physically do in real life – as well as going on virtual holidays!

    As massive fans of technology at StaffAid we think this is absolutely fantastic and we are looking forward to the system being implemented in more homes across the UK. We can’t wait to see how far this future use of technology can go!

    Great work #technology


  • By Chris Easom / July 23, 2021

    A 105th birthday was celebrated in style at Westwood Care Home last week, complete with birthday cake, ballons and decorations donated by generous local businesses.

    Minnie Rudderham had a garden party complete with a musical performer to mark the special occasion and was ‘blown’ away by her card from the queen.

    We hope a wonderful time was had by all!

  • By Chris Easom / July 19, 2021

    Starting on ‘Freedom’ day on July 19th McDonalds has announced that national health service workers will get 20% off the entire menu.

    A spokesperson for McDonalds said that the offer ‘is a small token of thanks to the National Health Service workers for their tireless efforts over the last 15 months, and beyond”

    You are allowed to use the discount once a week for the remainder of the year, all you have to do is download the My McDonalds app to access your discount if registered with a NHS email address.

    Hats off McDonalds!

  • By Chris Easom / July 15, 2021

    Further to the excitement of the Euro 2020 competition that England narrowly missed out on the players have chosen to donate the prize money to various NHS charities.

    The prize fund for the tournament would of been £24 million if England had been successful against Italy, however due to the loss the bonus is reduced to approximately £8 million. The final amount to be donated is yet to be set due to tax implications, however various NHS charities will receive a huge windfall due to the teams on field success.

    Players had already donated there match fees for each game to other worthy prizes but the cash sum for coming second will be greatly received by the NHS!

    Well done Team England! #itnearlycamehome

  • By Chris Easom / June 16, 2021

    Early reports are suggesting that care staff in England are to be given 16 weeks to have the Covid 19 Vaccination.

    Firstly reported by the Guardian, the government are due to make an announcement in the next few days.

    Individuals that are exempt on medical grounds will not be affected.

  • By Chris Easom / May 13, 2021

    The statue of the female medic stands 8ft tall in a sculptor’s studio in West Sussex. She is dressed in full PPE, with only her eyes visible behind a visor and mask, and she is wearily taking off her gloves. It is a defining image of the Covid pandemic, and the subject for a monument planned for central London honouring the efforts of doctors, nurses and other emergency workers.

  • By Chris Easom / May 6, 2021

    Care home residents will be able to leave their home for low-risk trips without having to self-isolate for 14 days afterwards, the government says. The rules will be relaxed allowing for walks or garden visits without self-isolation. The government says a fall in Covid cases means it is “much safer” for care home residents to go outside

  • By Chris Easom / May 5, 2021

    Around 4.7 million people were waiting for routine operations and procedures in England in February – the highest since 2007, NHS England figures show. Nearly 388,000 people were waiting more than a year for non-urgent surgery compared with just 1,600 before the pandemic began.

  • By Chris Easom / May 4, 2021

    Care home residents are now able to leave for “low risk” visits without isolating for 14 days on their return. The change in coronavirus restrictions comes into force today, meaning residents will be able to leave their care home for a walk, or visit a loved one’s garden, and not face any restrictions when they get back.

  • By Chris Easom / May 2, 2021

    Care home staff in England could be mandated to receive a coronavirus vaccine in new plans under consultation by the government. Ministers are seeking views on the proposal, which would see the jab requirement introduced this summer. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said requiring a jab was “something many care homes have called for” and would make care home residents safer. NHS England figures show 78.9% of older adult care home staff have had a jab.

  • By Chris Easom / April 29, 2021

    More than a million people have not yet taken up the offer of a COVID vaccine in England, analysis shows. It comes after the government said it had reached its goal of offering a coronavirus vaccine to everyone most vulnerable to the disease ahead of the April 15th target. NHS England says 19 out of 20 of those most at risk have had a COVID jab.

  • By Chris Easom / April 26, 2021

    British companies sharply stepped up hiring and offered higher pay to new staff last month as they grew more confident about economic recovery and prepared for COVID restrictions to ease. The REC said employers hired permanent staff at the fastest rate in 6 years and spending on temporary staff rose by the most since November 2017

  • By Chris Easom / April 21, 2021

    The UK’s most prestigious nursing awards have opened for entries, with honours including the RCN Nurse of the Year 2021 title. The RCN Nursing Awards invite nurses, students and nursing support workers to share their innovations and expertise and celebrate their contribution to improving care and outcomes for people of all ages and walks of life. Entries are open to individuals and teams in 14 categories. The deadline for entries is April 30th and you do not need to be an RCN member to enter.

  • By Chris Easom / April 12, 2021

    Medical students have lost thousands of pounds after being refused refunds for foreign training placements thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic. They had paid to volunteer in hospitals in Asia, Africa and South America but were unable to go when international travel was halted in 2020. Those unable to rebook say they have been left “devastated and sickened”, losing £2,000 in some cases. Work the World said a “small number” of students were not eligible for refunds.

  • By Chris Easom / April 8, 2021

    Matt Hancock has announced a further £341 million in funding for the adult social care sector. The Health and Social Care Secretary said the funding will help with infection control and testing to allow more of those receiving care to see their loved ones. The additional money takes the total infection control fund to almost £1.35 billion and support for rapid testing to £288 million, with the money helping to keep residents and staff safe while supporting visiting in line with the latest guidance. This funding is in addition to free PPE and further support for designated settings to ensure safe hospital discharge.

  • By Chris Easom / April 4, 2021

    People with mental health difficulties, ranging from severe mental illnesses such as bipolar and schizophrenia, to those with more common mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, will benefit from expanded mental health services backed by £500 million as part of the government’s Mental Health Recovery Action Plan.

  • By Chris Easom / March 31, 2021

    The network of emergency Nightingale hospitals set up to cope with a surge of Covid-19 cases is to close from April, the NHS has said. Established last spring amid fears that the NHS might be overwhelmed, the temporary hospitals in England were largely not needed. Some were used as rehab centres and the sites in London and Sunderland will stay open for vaccinations. The NHS said they had been the “ultimate insurance policy”.

  • By Chris Easom / March 24, 2021

    Carers who sleep at their workplace overnight in case they are needed are not entitled to the minimum wage for their whole shift, the Supreme Court has ruled. Judges dismissed appeals against previous court rulings from two care workers. Care organisations said the ruling meant the sector had avoided a “potentially catastrophic financial outcome” and estimated back pay liabilities of £400m

  • By Chris Easom / March 20, 2021

    Wales has offered a £500 bonus to health and social care workers for their work during the COVID crisis. The country’s health minister Vaughan Gething announced NHS and social care staff will receive a £735 payment to recognise their efforts during the pandemic. The one-off payment will see most workers take home £500 after tax and national insurance deductions.

  • By Chris Easom / March 18, 2021

    Record numbers have applied to study nursing at UK universities during the coronavirus pandemic. The number of people applying for nursing courses has risen by almost a third, according to statistics from the university admissions service. The government says it is “another step closer” to delivering 50,000 more nurses for the NHS.

  • By Chris Easom / March 8, 2021

    Care home visits from a nominated friend or relative will be permitted in England from today – but hugging and kissing residents is still off limits. Every care home resident will be able to nominate someone to visit them indoors, while residents with the highest care needs can receive more frequent visits from a loved one who will provide essential care and support.

  • By Chris Easom / March 7, 2021

    People aged 56 to 59 in England are being invited to book their coronavirus vaccine from this week. It comes after eight in 10 people aged 65 to 69 have taken up the offer of a jab, NHS England said. More than 18 million people in England have already had one dose of the vaccine – over a third of the entire adult population.

  • By Chris Easom / March 5, 2021

    Care homes can impose ‘no jab, no job’ contracts on new staff, the Justice Secretary has confirmed. Robert Buckland said care homes must have “obvious rationale” to require employees to be vaccinated. He added that the Government would not be adopting a “blanket approach” to care homes imposing “no jabs, no jobs” policies.

  • By Chris Easom / March 2, 2021

    The NHS risks an “exodus” of nurses after the pandemic abates if Rishi Sunak fails to offer a decent pay rise to staff, union bosses have warned. Nursing leaders said staff are “exhausted and morale is on the floor” after nearly a year of gruelling shifts battling coronavirus. The RCN urged the Chancellor to use next week’s Budget to boost central NHS funding for the explicit purpose of increasing staff pay levels or risk staff shortages which could hit patient care.

  • By Chris Easom / March 2, 2021

    Vaccinating people in order of age is the fastest way to cut Covid-19 deaths in the next phase of the roll-out, say experts advising the UK government. People in their 40s will be next, once the current phase is completed. Priority based on jobs would be “more complex” and could slow down the programme, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said.

  • By Chris Easom / February 28, 2021

    Healthy, young volunteers will be infected with coronavirus to test vaccines and treatments in the world’s first Covid-19 “human challenge” study, which will take place in the UK.

    The study, which has received ethics approval, will start in the next few weeks and recruit 90 people aged 18-30.

    They will be exposed to the virus in a safe and controlled environment while medics monitor their health.

  • By Chris Easom / February 25, 2021

    33% of social care staff have not had the Covid-19 vaccine, despite them being among the groups prioritised. Matt Hancock said it was “important” for the staff, patients and wider society that they get the vaccine. The government says everyone in the top four groups has been offered a jab with 15 million people getting a first dose

  • By Chris Easom / February 23, 2021

    As many as 600,000 coronavirus cases have been prevented as a result of the NHS COVID-19 app, new research suggests. Scientists at The Alan Turing Institute and Oxford University found that for every 1% increase in app users, the number of infections falls by up to 2.3%.

  • By Chris Easom / February 20, 2021

    Face-to-face visits in care homes could resume within weeks as England’s lockdown is eased, a minister has suggested. Care minister Helen Whately says she wants to see a return to more “normal” visits as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. People would not have to wait for their relatives to receive their second vaccine dose before seeing them, she suggested.

  • By Chris Easom / February 18, 2021

    More than 12 million people in the UK have now had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, after 550,000 first jabs were given out on Saturday. The government is aiming to offer first doses to 15 million people in the top four priority groups by 15 February. At the current rate, about 16 million people would receive a first jab by that date.

  • By Chris Easom / February 15, 2021

    The weekly cost of staying at a care home is £848 on average but varies dramatically across the country, new research reveals. At the extremes, prices range from £1,488 a week in Islington in London to £621 in Blaenau Gwent in Wales, according to figures from insurer Legal & General. The local cost breakdown comes as politicians urge the Government to launch a long-term plan to fund social care, and to integrate the system more closely with the NHS.

  • By Chris Easom / February 11, 2021

    A new hospital named in Captain Sir Tom Moore’s honour is reportedly in the works as Downing Street considers ideas of a fitting permanent memorial. The WW2 veteran, who captured the hearts of the nation with his incredible NHS fundraising during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, died on Tuesday at the age of 100 after a brief battle with Covid-19 and pneumonia. Boris Johnson has informed the Moore family that he is “enthusiastically looking” at plans for a permanent memorial. The family will have the final say after consultation with ministers.

  • By Chris Easom / February 8, 2021

    North Lincolnshire has been ranked among the best in the country for adult social care. The findings come as part of the recent national Adult Social Care Outcome Framework (ASCOF) that compares local performance with other councils in England. The service has improved or remained consistent in 24 out of 29 performance indicators, ensuring that North Lincolnshire remains in the top 10 nationally for councils with numbers of adult social care outcome measures in the top quartile.

  • By Chris Easom / February 5, 2021

    Two newlywed pensioners are urging everyone to get vaccinated as they were among the first to receive a dose at a new centre.

    Geoff Holland, 90, and 86-year-old wife Jenny married in August after meeting at Town View independent living centre in Mansfield.

    The pair tied the knot after being forced to postpone their nuptials twice due to the pandemic.

    They both received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • By Chris Easom / February 3, 2021

    A nurse has said she reached the point where she “could have walked away” from the stress of the Covid pandemic but had to stay for her patients.

    Mel Kerr, 26, currently works at Lincoln County Hospital and has been in the NHS for five years.

    She said: “Yesterday, I didn’t even have the energy to say I am OK, because I am not.”

    United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust thanked staff “for everything they have done to help us keep patients safe.”

    Ms Kerr, who is branch chairwoman for the Royal College of Nursing, said about one in nine staff in her trust were off sick with Covid and non-Covid-related illness, including stress, depression and anxiety.

  • By Chris Easom / February 2, 2021

    Captain Sir Tom Moore has died with coronavirus. The 100-year-old, who raised almost £33m for the NHS, was taken to Bedford Hospital after requiring help with his breathing on Sunday.

  • By Chris Easom / February 2, 2021

    More than 50 doctors are working as intensive care nurses to help coronavirus patients in Leicester, a health boss has said.University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust’s medical director Andrew Furlong said the medics are also supporting staff working in intensive care. He added they are currently operating at 155% of its normal capacity.

  • By Chris Easom / February 1, 2021

    Every care home resident in England has been offered a COVID-19 jab, the NHS has confirmed, just hours after a new record was set for vaccinations in the UK. Older people living in more than 10,000 care homes across England have either been vaccinated or offered the jab and those forced to wait because of an outbreak of the virus will be treated as soon as possible, health professionals said. It follows the news that more than 600,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine were administered in just one day at the weekend.

  • By Chris Easom / January 31, 2021

    Student nurses can opt into a paid extended clinical placement to help with the UK’s pandemic response. The NMC has announced it will reintroduce emergency education standards to enable final year nursing students to opt-in to support the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, via extended clinical placement. This decision follows a request from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, supported by the Chief Executive of the NHS in England, in response to the continuing, intense pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • By Chris Easom / January 29, 2021

    Twenty-four hour vaccination sites will be piloted in London before the end of January, the vaccines minister has said. Nadhim Zahawi said the NHS will be “targeting forensically who we want to protect” to ensure the most vulnerable people can be vaccinated first.

  • By Chris Easom / January 26, 2021

    Secondary school pupils were knocked out to find their remote-learning PE teacher was the world heavyweight boxing champion. Anthony Joshua secretly recorded workouts in the hall at Kings Langley School in Hertfordshire where he attended as a teenager. He told them it was “important to keep yourself active” during lockdown.

  • By Chris Easom / January 24, 2021

    Ten new mass Covid vaccination centres are to open in England, as the government bids to meet its target of offering 15 million people in the UK a dose by 15 February. NHS England said the new centres would offer “thousands” of jabs a week. It comes as a further 324,233 vaccine doses were administered across the UK, taking the total above 3.5 million.

  • By Chris Easom / January 22, 2021

    Eighteen residents at a care home near Spilsby died after a six-week coronavirus outbreak, which also led to two staff being treated in hospital.

    All 27 residents at The Old Hall at Halton Holegate, which is run by Kesh-Care Limited, tested positive at the same time on November 16, as well as 20 staff.

    Sadly, two thirds of the residents died, with most in their 90s

  • By Chris Easom / January 21, 2021

    A nurse who lived in a caravan for nine months to protect her mother from coronavirus says moving back into her house was like “winning the lottery”. Sarah Link and her husband Gary, who usually share a home with her mother, bought the caravan in March to allow them to isolate. “I have cried a river in the caravan, if it wasn’t for Gary, I wouldn’t have got through it,” Mrs Link said. They moved back home for Christmas after her mother received the vaccine.

  • By Chris Easom / January 19, 2021

    Care providers are seeking legal advice over whether they can force staff to have a coronavirus jab, as a poll reveals some young people are shunning vaccines. The National Care Association has taken the unprecedented step of seeking a legal opinion on whether care home workers can be made to accept vaccination after thousands refused. Between 6% and 8% of the 1.5 million adult social care workforce in England are declining jabs.

  • By Chris Easom / January 18, 2021

    “I think the impact would be huge,” says Ahsan Bhatti, owner of online pharmacy Quick Meds. He is concerned about the prospect of online giant Amazon moving into the pharmacy business in the UK. “I’m worried. They’ll have a massive marketing budget, and they’ll definitely take a sizeable chunk out of every other pharmacy on the market. There will be closures as a direct result of it,” he says. Mr Bhatti will be closely watching developments in the US where Amazon Pharmacy launched in November.

  • By Chris Easom / January 15, 2021

    Hundreds of extra military personnel are being deployed across the UK to tackle COVID-19, in the biggest homeland operation the UK has ever seen in peacetime. It will take the number of armed forces working in the fight against the pandemic, codenamed Operation Rescript, to over 5,000 – more than at any point during the pandemic.

  • By Chris Easom / January 14, 2021

    A regional breakdown of England’s vaccines rollout shows the Midlands leading the way in the number of jabs administered, while London has the lowest vaccination rate.

    New NHS data shows 2,371,407 doses have been given in total across the country – that includes 1,997,304 first doses and 374,103 second doses – in the week leading up to 10 January.

  • By Chris Easom / January 13, 2021

    The event, held in a warehouse at Lieuron near Rennes in Brittany, began on Thursday and is still going on.

    A number of ravers are from the UK and Spain, police said.

  • By Chris Easom / January 9, 2021

    People devised many ways to avoid becoming couch potatoes during lockdown. But few were as novel as actually carrying sacks of potatoes up a Rhondda mountain. Corey Williams, 10, did not stop there though – cycling up another and running up a third. His efforts raised £4,000 to buy tablet computers for patients at hospitals such as Llantrisant’s Royal Glamorgan who could not have visitors.

  • By Chris Easom / January 8, 2021

    Joe Wicks is restarting his online PE lessons from next week, to help families keep fit during lockdown. The personal trainer told the BBC he wanted to “give children structure” and help them feel “more optimistic”. He said live sessions would run on his YouTube channel at 09:00 GMT on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

  • By Chris Easom / January 8, 2021

    Vaccine shortages are likely to cause problems for “several months”, England’s chief medical officer has warned, amid fears that emergency healthcare staff at COVID “battle stations” are at risk of burnout. Professor Chris Whitty said the UK needs to urgently maximise the number of people who are vaccinated, as he defended a shift to prioritise first doses for as many at-risk people as possible. But he said a lack of global supplies will likely hamper efforts to protect the nation in the first part of 2021.

  • By Chris Easom / January 6, 2021

    Clap for Carers is to return under a new name of Clap for Heroes, the initiative’s founder has said. The weekly applause for front-line NHS staff and other key workers ran for 10 weeks during the UK’s first coronavirus lockdown last spring. Founder Annemarie Plas tweeted that it would return at 8pm Thursday 7th January.

  • By Chris Easom / January 5, 2021

    Members of the armed forces are to give remote support to secondary schools and colleges in England setting up mass Covid testing as the new term begins. Military personnel will hold webinars and give phone support to school staff, the Ministry of Defence said. Head teachers say they need support on the ground to make the plan workable.

  • By Chris Easom / January 4, 2021

    Batches of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine have started arriving at UK hospitals ahead of the jab’s nationwide roll-out. Some 530,000 doses of the treatment will be available for roll-out across the UK from Monday Jan 4th, with vulnerable groups already identified as the priority for immunisation.

  • By Chris Easom / January 3, 2021

    Spain is to set up a registry of people who refuse to be vaccinated against coronavirus and share it with other European Union nations, the health minister has said. Salvador Illa said the list would not be made accessible to the public or to employers. He said the way to defeat the virus was “to vaccinate all of us – the more the better”. Spain has been one of the countries in Europe worst affected by the virus.

  • By Chris Easom / December 31, 2020

    The most common new year resolutions:

    1. Exercise more

    2. Lose weight

    3. Get organized

    4. Learn a new skill or hobby 

    5. Live life to the fullest

    6. Save more money / spend less money

    7. Quit smoking

    8. Spend more time with family and friends

    9. Travel more

    10. Read more

  • By Chris Easom / December 30, 2020

    Coventry University has announced they are launching an online nursing degree “offering maximum flexibility and ensuring widening participation” to those wishing to join the profession. Seven universities have been selected to pilot the new way of training nurses by Health Education England, the new Blended Learning Nursing Degree, which will start in January 2021. The university says the new nursing degree mixes flexible, fully interactive digital learning with practical placements in clinical settings and makes it easier for student nurses to balance their studies with family or carer roles and part-time work.

  • By Chris Easom / December 30, 2020

    Care homes across the country are refusing to implement the rapid testing devices rolled out by the government due to concerns over their accuracy and safety. More than a million lateral flow tests, which can return a Covid result within 30 minutes, have been distributed to England’s 385 biggest care homes as part of plans to allow family visits over the Christmas period.

  • By Chris Easom / December 29, 2020

    Margaret Keenan, the grandmother who became the world’s first patient to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine outside a clinical trial, has received her second jab. Vaccinations for COVID-19 in England began on December 8th and official figures say more than 520,000 people received their first dose within the next 13 days, 366,715 of which were provided to people aged 80 or over.

  • By Chris Easom / December 27, 2020

    There are not enough nurses to safely care for patients in the UK, according to the body that represents the profession, and many of those who are working are suffering from anxiety and burnout after a gruelling nine months treating Covid patients. The latest NHS figures show there were 36,655 vacancies for nursing staff in England in September, with the worst shortages affecting mental health care and acute hospitals.

  • By Chris Easom / December 25, 2020

    Staff at a Somerset care home moved in for 84 days earlier this year to keep residents safe during the coronavirus pandemic. One worker was separated from his wife and their four-year-old daughter, while another slept in a stock room to ensure they could look after residents safely. In a unique show of thanks, families of those they cared for came together virtually to sing for the staff

  • By Chris Easom / December 23, 2020

    Teams of volunteers have delivered hundreds of meals to lorry drivers stranded in Kent. Members of Maidenhead’s KhalsaAid travelled 80 miles to take food to drivers hit by the travel ban between the UK and France. On Tuesday, some of the Sikh charity’s LangarAid members travelled almost double the distance, from Coventry, to take water and food.

  • By Chris Easom / December 22, 2020

    Jamie Cullum put on a very special socially-distanced show for residents of White Plains care home in Buckinghamshire. The singer’s performance was shown on The One Show. The residents lit up with joy at the wonderful Christmas surprise, at a time when many of them haven’t been able to spend it with their own families. The nurses and carers were seen masking up as they enjoyed his performance, with some of them even getting up to dance with the residents as he played.

  • By Chris Easom / December 21, 2020

    Supermarket giant Morrisons is extending its discount scheme for key workers into 2021 and making a few changes too. In April this year, it announced that it would providing a 10% discount to NHS staff, and in November extended the offer to teachers and school staff. The discount also applies to Blue Light Staff as well. Now the retailer has announced that the discount will be extended for all these key workers beyond Christmas and into 2021.

  • By Chris Easom / December 21, 2020

    A Burton woman had clearly caught the festive bug as she wrapped nearly 170 Christmas presents for residents in Burton care homes. Jessica Arthur has already packed and collected 168 gifts ready for delivery and she is looking forward to putting a smile on the faces of the recipients. Each gift box will contain a selection of items including toiletries, chocolates, snacks and a Christmas card.

  • By Chris Easom / December 20, 2020

    Nottingham-based business Home Shield Products has partnered with leading charity UK Mask Force to boost PPE supply to the nation. And now, the Nottinghamshire firm has just completed construction of a new production facility designed to manufacture IIR Surgical 3-ply Face Masks, making it one of a few new mask facilities that are emerging across the UK. The move bids to end the UK’s reliance on imported PPE from the Far and Near East, which is often of dubious quality.

  • By Chris Easom / December 18, 2020

    A 108-year-old woman who lived through the Spanish flu pandemic is among the first residents at a care home in Carmarthenshire to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Mary Keir was 1 of 37 people to receive their first dose of the Pfizer-Biontech jab. She said she felt “much safer and happier” having done so. Covid-19 is the second pandemic she has lived through – she was 4 at the onset of the 1916 Spanish Flu outbreak.

  • By Chris Easom / December 17, 2020

    A military dog who charged through enemy gunfire to save the lives of British soldiers as they fought off al Qaeda insurgents has been awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Kuno, a Belgian Shepherd, had to have one of his rear paws amputated after he suffered bullet wounds to both back legs during a compound raid in 2019.

  • By Chris Easom / December 15, 2020

    StaffAid has been appointed as a preferred supplier to the NHS for agency nurses and carers via the Workforce Alliance and HealthTrust Europe Frameworks. Our aim to support the NHS by providing high quality, experienced agency staff to acute and community hospitals within the Midlands region. If you would like to register for NHS agency work, and you have previous hospital experience, please register your interest at www.staffaid.co.uk/nhs

  • By Chris Easom / December 13, 2020

    NHS staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals are set to benefit from state of the art sleep pods to enable them to catch up on much-needed sleep after long shifts. The sleep pods will give frontline clinical staff a peaceful and relaxing space to go to catch up on sleep before either returning to work or driving home safely.

  • By Chris Easom / December 11, 2020

    Self-isolation for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus will be shortened from 14 to 10 days across the UK from Monday.

    The change will also apply to people instructed to quarantine after returning from high-risk countries.

    And it means anyone who has been self-isolating for 10 days or more will be able to end their quarantine on Monday.

    The announcement comes as data shows Covid cases falling in most of England and Northern Ireland.

  • By Chris Easom / December 10, 2020

    A “potential game changing” blood test could be used to predict who will develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists. The diagnostic test is based on the discovery of two protein molecules in the blood which contribute to neuronal damage in the brain. By identifying the presence of these proteins, doctors could be able to diagnose the disease or distinguish it from other common forms of dementia.

  • By Chris Easom / December 9, 2020

    Brits may need to be repeatedly vaccinated for coronavirus as the jab’s protection might last as little as 9 months, England’s top medic has warned. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said it is not yet known how long the Pfizer jab will stop people getting sick. He said it was likely longer than 9 nine months – but didn’t yet know how long. Prof Whitty told MPs social distancing restrictions could start being lifted once 20 million vulnerable Brits have been vaccinated.

  • By Chris Easom / December 9, 2020

    Student nurses are calling for paid contracts to be reinstated for those on placement in hospitals in the UK, saying they feel “forgotten about” during the second wave of Covid-19. In March, final-year student nurses in the last six months of their degree were offered the option to join the NHS workforce under paid contracts. Other final year students and those in second year could also opt in for paid clinical work. Paid contracts finished in September as pressure on the health service eased, and there are no plans to reintroduce them in any of the four nations of the UK.

  • By Chris Easom / December 8, 2020

    The fight against COVID-19 has taken a historic leap forward after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was given to someone outside a clinical trial for the first time. Grandmother-of-four Margaret Keenan, 90, has become the first person in the world to receive the jab as part of a vaccination programme.

  • By Chris Easom / December 7, 2020

    Peterborough nurse Wendy Osborne has been awarded the coveted Queen’s Nurse title by the Queen’s Nursing Institute. Wendy, who is the Clinical Lead for Chronic Care at Peterborough-based med tech company Coloplast, received the accolade from the community-nursing charity in recognition of her outstanding commitment to high standards of patient care and continually improving practice throughout her 35-year career. The title of Queen’s Nurse is open to registered nurses with more than five years’ experience working in the community. Managers and patients provide feedback about applicants, which is assessed along with their application.

  • By Chris Easom / December 4, 2020

    A 94-year-old man has been honoured for his selfless efforts to brighten up life in a city care home. Tony Bradley, a former teacher, was named ‘unpaid volunteer of the year’ at the Great British Care Awards for work he carries out at Beaumont Hall in Leicester. Tony began volunteering at the home after his wife of 74 years, Renelle, moved there 3 years ago.

  • By Chris Easom / December 3, 2020

    The first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will arrive in the UK in “hours, not days”, according to Jonathan Van-Tam. The deputy chief medical officer for England made the announcement today as he hailed the UK’s approval of the jab.

  • By Chris Easom / December 3, 2020

    Positive coronavirus cases have dropped by 28% in England, weekly Test and Trace figures show. Between 19 and 25 November, 110,620 people tested positive for COVID-19 in England. It marks a 28% decrease on the previous week, reversing a trend that saw cases rise steeply at the end of August.

  • By Chris Easom / December 2, 2020

    Care home residents and their carers will be first in line to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the UK, it has been confirmed. The government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has confirmed its priority list for the first phase of the UK’s mass vaccine rollout, which will begin early next week.

  • By Chris Easom / December 1, 2020

    A Middlesbrough university, working in partnership with Cygnet Health Care, has developed a nurse training programme that has received praised from the Student Nursing Times Awards 2020. Cygnet’s Trainee Nursing Training Programme was developed with Teesside University to create a new generation of skilled mental health nurses. The programme was recognised when the university was awarded the top prize of Nursing Associate Training Programme Provider of the Year in the prestigious awards.

  • By Chris Easom / November 27, 2020

    Care bosses are demanding £500m in extra government funding to make care homes safe in the run-up to Christmas, while some councils have been accused of taking infection control too far by banning tinsel or advising against trees. Some care home managers are concerned about the rules, arguing that Christmas decorations can be an important stimulus to memory for people with dementia. Jane Ashcroft, the chief executive of Anchor Hanover, which runs care homes and retirement villages, struck a defiant tone, saying: “Santa’s had his test and is on his way.”

  • By Chris Easom / November 22, 2020

    St John Ambulance has confirmed it has been approached to potentially train up volunteers to administer a coronavirus vaccine. Last month the rules over who can give a vaccine were extended to include independent nurses, allied healthcare professionals, paramedics, physiotherapists, pharmacists and student nurses and doctors.

  • By Chris Easom / November 19, 2020

    A “once-in-a-generation show” over a four-day bank holiday weekend will mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. The Queen, 94, hopes as many people as possible across the UK will have the opportunity to join the celebrations, Buckingham Palace said. She will have reigned for 70 years on February 6th 2022 but plans are in place to stage a series of events from June 2nd – 5th.

  • By Chris Easom / November 16, 2020

    The number of people waiting more than a year to start non-coronavirus hospital treatment in September was the highest of any month since 2008, new data reveals. In England there were 139,545 patients left waiting more than 52 weeks to start their hospital treatment – up from just 1,305 in September 2019. The most recent figure is the highest recorded in more than a decade, according to the NHS report.

  • By Chris Easom / November 14, 2020

    Eleven-year-old budding footballer Imogen Papworth-Heidel has completed her target of 7.1 million keepy-uppies – and has raised thousands of pounds for charity in the process. Imogen, from Hauxton, near Cambridge, wanted to do a keepy-uppie for every key worker in the United Kingdom, and she completed the final 3,000 at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium on Wednesday.

  • By Chris Easom / November 12, 2020

    A resident at a Surrey care home who recently beat Covid-19 celebrated her 100th birthday in style with her home organising a day full of surprises to mark the occasion – including a special equine visitor. Joyce Tofts started her 100th birthday with a head-to-toe pamper session in the home’s salon, where she was able to have her hair, makeup and nails done. After her glamorous makeover, Joyce was escorted down a specially-laid red carpet to a table of presents, cards, balloons and a bouquet of flowers from her fellow residents and care staff. Having joked with her carers that she hoped to receive a pony for her birthday, staff at the home went about fulfilling Joyce’s wish. Reaching out to members of the public via social media for help, the home was able to arrange a surprise pony visit, which saw local resident, Lisa Dahar, bring her pony, Honey, to wish Joyce a happy birthday.

  • By Chris Easom / November 11, 2020

    Over 250,000 people who work for an employer who has voluntarily signed up to the “real living wage” are set for a pay boost of 20p to £9.50 an hour.

    This is not to be confused with the compulsory National Living Wage, which is currently £8.72 an hour for anyone over the age of 25.

  • By Chris Easom / November 11, 2020

    The UK’s unemployment rate rose to 4.8% in the three months to September, up from 4.5%, as coronavirus continued to hit the jobs market.

    Redundancies rose to a record high of 314,000 in the same period, the Office for National Statistics said. Firms made more workers redundant in anticipation of the end of the furlough scheme, which was originally supposed to finish at the end of October. It has now been extended until the end of March 2021.

  • By Chris Easom / October 26, 2020

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  • By Chris Easom / October 14, 2020

    Mabel, who lives at Shinfield View Care Home, celebrated her milestone birthday on August 2nd with a champagne breakfast with another resident in the bistro.

    She then enjoyed a garden visit with her son and daughter where she opened her telegram from the Queen, along with her other cards and presents. Jodie Whatmore, the care home’s deputy manager, said she was “overjoyed by receiving the telegram”.

    She sat down for a social distancing luxury high tea in the afternoon with four other residents, where she was presented with her cake and a hamper of all her favourite thing- including Jaffa Cakes and fruit and nut chocolates!

  • By Chris Easom / October 3, 2020

    The sister of a chef who has been creating amazing dishes at a Perthshire care home was so proud of her brother’s work she published images online. The dishes look like something out of a fine dining restaurant – but they’re being served to care home residents in Perthshire. And now the photos have gone viral, with more than 20,000 social media shares worldwide.

    The talent behind them is Kevin Nairn, head chef at Balhousie Stormont Lodge care home in Blairgowrie, part of Balhousie Care Group. His sister Yvonne McDonald, sent photos of Kevin’s dishes – including venison, crème brulee, aubergine fritters, brie and red onion Yorkshire puds and apple charlotte – to the popular website bored panda.

     He said: “My sister really surprised me with this! It’s lovely to see my work being shared worldwide, although it really is all in a day’s work here at Balhousie Stormont. The chefs throughout the group work hard to bust the myths surrounding care home food. Our residents deserve the best, and to be part of the menu process.”

  • By Chris Easom / September 27, 2020

    Funding of up to £172m for thousands more apprentice nurses in England has been unveiled by the government.

    The money will allow healthcare employers to take on up to 2,000 nursing degree apprentices every year over the next four years, helping to make the career more accessible, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

    Nursing apprenticeships offer an alternative to full-time university courses, allowing people to earn a salary while their tuition costs are paid. The programmes usually take four years to complete, at the end of which apprentices are able to qualify as fully registered nurses.

    The funding should enable more employers will be able to meet the costs of taking on apprentices, and help the government to deliver its target of 50,000 more nurses by 2024-25. Under the scheme, £8,300 per placement per year will be given to both the NHS and other healthcare employers, for new and existing apprenticeships.

  • By Chris Easom / September 25, 2020

    From Wednesday 5th, Lincoln Cathedral will fully reopen to allow tourists, pilgrims and general visitors inside. Since it’s closure in late March due to COVID-19, this will be the first time the cathedral has been open to the public.

    Since June 15th, it began a gradual reopening for private prayer. On July 5th, it will finally be open again for gathered worship. A reduced price of £5 per adult will now allow visitors, with under 16s going free for a limited time.

    The Very Revd Christine Wilson, Dean of Lincoln, said: “Lincoln Cathedral is a place of hospitality and welcome for all, so it is a great joy once again to invite visitors to come and explore this sacred space, discover its rich history and enjoy its unique and peaceful atmosphere.”

  • By Chris Easom / September 17, 2020

    A new reminiscence room has officially opened in Millfields Care Home, designed specifically to help those with dementia connect with the past. With the help of residents, the room was created at the Pontefract care home to feature a range of period items from the 1950 up to the 1970s, including a record player with a range of music, a sewing machine, a pub bar and bell.

    Laura Jones, the Care Home Manager, said “We’re really excited to be able to offer something unique to our residents, we know how much of a positive benefit a facility like this can have on health and well-being. It was particularly heart-warming to see how residents got involved and contributed their thoughts on what they wanted this room to be like.”

    The idea came from Laura and care home activities and fundraising coordinator, Victoria Jenkins, who observed research from Bradford University, which offers psychosocial research into living and caring well for people with dementia.

    “It’s all been worth it, we’ve had such a good response. It was really touching to see a couple of our residents with severe dementia dancing away in the reminiscence room to old records.”

  • By Chris Easom / September 13, 2020

    Work has begun on the construction of an 80-bed care home which will create 140 jobs locally. The new luxury development, which will be built by Savista Developments (Hallmark’s sister company) is being built at a cost of nearly £20 million across a two-acre site at Kings Drive in Eastbourne.

    Conservative MP, Caroline Ansell said: “I was pleased to ceremonially start the work on this much needed care home for Eastbourne. The Hallmark Group is a family-run business dedicated to providing social care, which is at the frontline of the pandemic.”

    The Eastbourne development is to be called Willingdon Park Manor, scheduled to open its doors to its first residents in late 2021. The new development will be the Essex-based care group’s 22nd care home.

  • By Chris Easom / September 9, 2020

    Company payrolls have plunged by 730,000 since the start of the coronavirus crisis lockdown as the UK braces for a feared acceleration in unemployment. Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed 81,000 net fewer people on payrolls last month alone, despite continuing support for employers via government loan vehicles and the Job Retention Scheme for furloughed workers.

  • By Chris Easom / September 8, 2020

    20% of home care workers in Wales have been in their role for more than a decade, challenging the perception about retention in the social care sector. A report by Social Care Wales also found that two-thirds (44%) of the workforce have been in their current role for more than two years. As of June 1st, there were 19,637 domiciliary care workers on the Register of Social Care Workers in Wales, which was opened to the workforce in April 2018 and became mandatory to register on April 1st, 2020.

  • By Chris Easom / September 3, 2020

    Carefound Home Care is set to open a new branch in Nottinghamshire, creating over 50 jobs. The provider, whose existing offices in Cheshire and Yorkshire are both rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC, is expanding to West Bridgford to support families in the town and surrounding areas with hourly visiting care. It will also be offering 24-hour live-in care to residents across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

  • By Chris Easom / September 1, 2020

    A Cardiff student training to become the UK’s first deaf and blind doctor has been shortlisted for a national bravery award in the Against All Odds category. Alexandra Adams has just entered her 4th year of medical school at Cardiff University, but was born completely deaf and has just 5% vision and is on her way to becoming the UK’s first deaf and blind doctor.

  • By Chris Easom / August 25, 2020

    A care home in Wetherby is offering up luxury living packed with life’s little extras in a safe and welcoming environment. Windsor Court has been designed and purpose-built with residents in mind. The spacious home incorporates plenty of large and airy day spaces for residents to enjoy including a helpful onsite convenience store, beauty parlour, lavish cinema room and botanical garden rooms leading onto landscaped gardens. A home from home, Windsor Court has all the finishing touches you would expect with the added benefits of 24 hour support from a highly trained care team, a full programme of resident-led activities, freshly cooked nutritious meals and all cleaning and laundry taken care of.

  • By Chris Easom / August 25, 2020

    People needing additional follow-on care after being discharged from hospital, including older people and those with disabilities, will be supported by a new £588 million fund from the Government to cover adult social care or the immediate costs of care in their own home. From September 1st, the NHS will be able to access the funding in order to provide up to 6 weeks of additional support so people can receive ongoing help with their recovery and rehabilitation after they leave hospital. These new funding arrangements will apply up until March 31st 2021.

  • By Chris Easom / August 4, 2020

    The Queen has led the royal family’s tributes to the “dedicated work” of the British Red Cross on its 150th anniversary. Volunteers and staff are “valued and greatly appreciated”, she said. And the Duchess of Cambridge had a personal reason to hail the charity’s staff and volunteers as “inspiring”. Catherine’s grandmother, Valerie Middleton was a Red Cross nurse in World War Two, as was great-grandmother Olive Middleton in World War One.

  • By Chris Easom / July 30, 2020

    An armchair, upholstered in a replica of the World War Two uniform worn by army veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore, has been delivered as an “amazing” gift to the fundraising hero.

    Capt Sir Tom won the hearts of a nation as he met a family challenge to walk 100 lengths of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday – raising more than £32m for NHS charities.

  • By Chris Easom / July 20, 2020

    The University of Lincoln has been included amongst the best young universities in the world for the first time ever. According to a list compiled by Times Higher Education (THE), Lincoln is a part of a group of the best universities that opened in the last 50 years. The THE Young University Rankings placed University of Lincoln within the top 150 across the globe, looking at teaching, research, international outlook and work within their industry. 414 universities around the world were selected for the list, and Lincoln was one of just 36 UK universities to make the final rankings, finishing sixth overall out of the country’s picks.

  • By Chris Easom / July 15, 2020

    After it was announced they are to be honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the dedicated volunteers at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust are celebrating.

    The equivalent to an MBE, the prestigious honour is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

    A range of services at St Helens, Whiston and Newton hospitals is provided by more than 300 volunteers. Each volunteer plays an essential role in keeping hospital services running smoothly,
    supporting the health and wellbeing of patients, and helping visitors.

    Representatives of the Volunteers Service will receive the Award from Mr Mark Blundell, Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside later this summer. Two volunteers will also attend a garden party at
    Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s award.

  • By Chris Easom / July 12, 2020

    A care home in Northampton has created a special social distancing room to allow residents to reunite with their loved ones. Timken Grange Care Home has not been able to welcome visitors for more than 3 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, residents who have spent lockdown having to speak to loved ones via online technology have finally been able to reunite with family and friends. The room was officially opened this week, with tears of joy shed and special moments captured, as residents were delighted and overwhelmed to see their loved ones once again.

  • By Chris Easom / July 10, 2020

    Student nurses in England who took up the offer to join the frontline response to Covid-19 have finally been offered some clarity about their futures, after tensions on the matter started to reach boiling point. Almost 30,000 student nurses have been deployed into paid placements since April, giving up their right to supernumerary status in order to support the workforce during the coronavirus pandemic. While contracts varied between different trusts, most students would have signed up for 6 months. However, it has now been confirmed that paid placements will end for all 2nd year students and most 3rd year students on July 31st. Nevertheless, the information did not filter down to all students, with many giving up paid employment to take on a placement on the assumption that they would have a guaranteed income for 6 months. Student nurses have this week taken to social media to vent their anger. One wrote: “Some of us left jobs for this. Many of us have children and families to care for. All of us will come out with a debt succeeding £30,000 for doing a degree we have such passion for.”

  • By Chris Easom / July 8, 2020

    First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed that kitchen and domestic staff working in care homes in Wales will receive the £500 extra payment for social care staff.

    The payment – announced for the social care sector last month – will also be extended to agency staff and nursing staff employed in care homes, as well as personal assistants and domiciliary care workers providing care to people in their own homes.

    Arrangements are now being put in place to start making the extra payment to tens of thousands of social care staff across Wales.

  • By Chris Easom / July 6, 2020

    Christie Michael is so worried about protecting her elderly mother that she has not gone outside her front door since the lockdown began in March. She says it is “lonely and isolating” – but the mother and daughter in Essex have also found themselves hungry. Research from Sheffield and Birmingham universities suggests more than 100,000 unpaid carers in the UK have had to rely on food banks during the pandemic. Helen Walker of Carers UK says unpaid carers are at “breaking point”. The study looked at the experiences of people caring for parents and disabled relatives during the lockdown – and found 229,000 unpaid carers were in households where people had “gone hungry”.

  • By Chris Easom / July 3, 2020

    An uptick in demand for care at home, a new wave of industry start-ups and an increase in funding are just some of the predictions home care providers are making for the future of the sector, post pandemic. Leaders in the sector believe the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the vital role care staff play in safeguarding the wellbeing of elderly and vulnerable people living at home, and that this recognition could lead to positive outcomes. Providers have already seen a surge of enquires in recent months for home care, and live-in care in particular, and expect this trend to continue.

  • By Chris Easom / July 2, 2020

    Drive-thru visits for residents to see loved ones during lockdown were created by Summerlee House in Coatbridge. The staff have designed two areas in the grounds of the residential home to allow families a socially-distant visit.

    Residents were brought out to the front of the building at the allotted times with family members driving forward in their cars wearing staff-provided PPE, meeting their loved ones from a safe two metre distance.

    The drive-thru was the idea of owner and director Julie Balmer, who has run the facility with her brother Alan for more than 15 years, in an attempt to bring families together during lockdown. The new service is proving to be popular with both the elderly residents and their families.

  • By Chris Easom / June 28, 2020

    Sebbie Hall (17) has a rare chromosome anomaly which has resulted in learning and physical difficulties. During lockdown, he has been supported with online Zoom meetings and other virtual feeds, which has helped him learn new skills and further develop his communication skills. As part of the support he receives, Sebbie was challenged by his online disability support group to do an act of kindness, which saw him do the washing up at home. He then decided to do 100 acts of kind in 10 days, with an aim of raising £2,000 to provide communication aids for his peers who have been living in isolation during lockdown. This included giving his pocket money to Lichfield Cathedral, lighting a candle for a poorly person, sweeping the garage floor, picking up litter and clapping a key worker in a car park.

  • By Chris Easom / June 25, 2020

    A hospital worker was “married” in a mock ceremony in the corridors, in full personal protective equipment (PPE), on what should have been her wedding day.
    Nicky Price was due to get hitched with Will Bussell this month, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the couple postponed it until October.
    Instead, friends at Basildon Hospital in Essex arranged the surprise event with one colleague posing as the groom by wearing a photo on his face visor.
    Ms Price said it was “amazing”.

  • By Chris Easom / June 24, 2020

    Sara Quickfall-Leonard, a nurse at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, walked to work every day in her inflatable dinosaur costume. She undertook the challenge to raise money for Bournemouth Hospital Charity to help them purchase a Walkerbot – a robotic machine to help people living with stroke relearn to walk.

    Her inspiration stemmed from being unable to take part in the annual Jurassic Coast 100km. She said: “It was really tough as it was so hot. It felt like I was in a tent with a heater on. But the public made up for it by beeping and cheering which kept me going. Thinking of the charity and the Walkerbot also kept me focused.”

    Sara completed the challenge on May 29 after many days walking to Bournemouth Hospital in the sweltering heat.

  • By Chris Easom / June 22, 2020

    A woman who struggles to stand up will aim to do it 100 times before her 100th birthday in June to raise money for the hospice which cared for her dying son. Shortly after her 99th birthday, Joyce Richardson developed sepsis and had to be treated in hospital. Since then she has struggled with the use of her legs and cannot stand for any length of time. However, ahead of her milestone birthday next month, Joyce aims to stand 100 times for 10 seconds each time.

  • By Chris Easom / June 19, 2020

    A doctor and nurse who were forced to cancel their wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic have got married at St Thomas’ where they both work. They sought permission to have a private ceremony in the Grade 2 listed chapel at the hospital accepting their guests would have to watch remotely.

  • By Chris Easom / June 19, 2020

    83-year-old George Harding usually spends his time trekking, walking or cycling. However, with recent restrictions making these difficult, he has been climbing the 60ft fir tree in his garden everyday to raise money for the NHS.

    Mr Harding, a volunteer at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, undertakes various fundraising activities for charities close to his heart every year. Mr Harding said: "I have been so impressed with the NHS in recent weeks and wanted to do something. I usually do a physical challenge every year and have climbed Kilimanjaro before and walked the Great Wall of China, but because of lockdown I couldn’t do anything like that.

    I was looking out the window and the idea just came to me.His climbing, which he does at the bottom of his garden, will also raise money for two charities, The Forever Friends Appeal and Macmillan Cancer Support.

  • By Chris Easom / June 16, 2020

    A British traveller stranded abroad has finally returned home after a treacherous journey by bus, taxi, plane, and a horseback ride where she used the moonlight to find her way. Annabel Symes, 19, from Eastbourne, got back from Patagonia five weeks later than planned due to the coronavirus lockdown. She had been fulfilling the “dream of a lifetime” working as a volunteer hosting tourists at a remote horse ranch in the foothills of the Andes.

  • By Chris Easom / June 14, 2020

    A fine art student has drawn a portrait of a nurse wearing PPE by using the word hero over and over. Jessica Wilcox-Drew, 18, of Bradley Stoke near Bristol, created the piece after being inspired by NHS key workers. The image took about 15 hours to complete. Ms Wilcox-Drew is going to have her picture made into postcards which will be sold for NHS Charities Together. After taking part in the clap for carers and seeing so much about the work of nurses during the coronavirus pandemic, she said she wanted to do a picture “thanking nurses and giving them recognition”.

  • By Chris Easom / June 14, 2020

    Around 2,500 people visited Lincoln Castle for its first re-opening weekend, whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines. Since Saturday, May 23 the grounds now remain open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.

    Since social distancing begun in the middle of March, it was the first time the iconic building had been open to the public. Social distancing measures, including a one-way system, were put in place.

    Staff said there were lots of positive comments from people who were grateful that the grounds were open, with one saying it offered her a ray of hope.

  • By Chris Easom / June 10, 2020

    Ashley Lindsell, who is a nurse at Boston Pilgrim Hospital, set up the national campaign ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ to sew scrubs for NHS workers.

    Fiona Robertson, who is a technician at the University of Lincoln and an Imps season ticket holder, is running the project locally alongside Holly Byrant and Pearl Constance.
    Volunteers, including former students, technicians and over 400 community sewers have been cutting and sewing scrubs for healthcare workers in Lincolnshire. As a result, 3,674 scrubs, 5,422 laundry bags and 458 scrub hats had so far been delivered to Lincoln County Hospital on May 27.

    Donations of football fabric were collected by local Lincoln Imps supporter, Helen Gill, to help the team create some amazing Lincoln City themed scrubs. The Imp-themed scrubs are being worn by frontline workers at Lincoln County Hospital.

  • By Chris Easom / June 9, 2020

    A health worker has been reunited with her young daughters after nine weeks apart. Suzie Vaughan usually assists surgeons at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, but was redeployed to a ward looking after patients with Covid-19. She decided to protect her girls Hettie, 7, and Bella, 9, from infection by moving them to her sister’s home in Peterborough, where she turned up unannounced for a surprise reunion. She said: “It was an amazing feeling, it’s so hard to describe. I thought my heart was going to burst. It was brilliant.”

  • By Chris Easom / June 8, 2020

    A Scottish charity is trying to give away thousands of chocolate eggs after lockdown forced it to cancel its Easter egg hunts. The National Trust for Scotland had taken delivery of 30,000 eggs by mid-March. With a use-by-date of July, the clock is now ticking for the operation to give them all away. About half of the stockpile has already gone to hospitals, food banks and community groups.

  • By Chris Easom / June 7, 2020

    Only one ward at the NHS Nightingale hospital in London was ever used. A volunteer who worked in the hospital has said just one of the dozen wards at the ExCel Centre was ever put to use, after a lack of demand from NHS Trusts across the capital. “Each ward had capacity for about 42 patients and at no point did they fill up more than one ward. On average there were about 30 patients in the hospital at a time.”

  • By Chris Easom / June 5, 2020

    A brand-new Derbyshire care home which is to be used exclusively for Covid-19 virus victims will look after 20 patients. The new 40-bed care home, built by Derbyshire County Council, will temporarily open as a Covid-only Nightingale-style facility. Once open, the facility will be temporarily called the Florence Nightingale Home. The authority hopes the home will open in June.

  • By Chris Easom / June 3, 2020

    A mystery knitter has been decorating post boxes with figures of key workers in a small Surrey village. The first knitted creation appeared on a post box in West End, near Woking, a few weeks ago and more have been cropping up since. “It’s a mystery as to who is doing them – we have our very own Banksy!” said Lizzie Austin, who has spotted them on walks with her two children. The knitted figures include NHS workers, bin collectors, firefighters and other key workers.

  • By Chris Easom / May 31, 2020

    A new Banksy artwork has appeared at Southampton General Hospital. The largely monochrome painting, which is one square metre, was hung in collaboration with the hospital’s managers in a foyer near the emergency department. It shows a young boy kneeling by a wastepaper basket dressed in dungarees and a T-shirt. He has discarded his Spiderman and Batman model figures in favour of a new favourite action hero – a NHS nurse. The nurse’s arm is outstretched and pointing forward in the fashion of Superman on a mission.

  • By Chris Easom / May 28, 2020

    Captain Tom Moore is to publish two books, one of which will be an autobiography, in support of his new charity, the Captain Tom Foundation. Over the past month, Captain Moore became nationally renowned by taking part in a walking fundraiser in his garden in the lead-up to his 100th birthday. Having completed 100 laps of his garden in Bedfordshire, the Second World War veteran raised almost £33m in aid of NHS Charities Together

  • By Chris Easom / May 26, 2020

    In an open letter, more than 100 charities, unions and think tanks say that carers on the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus are facing “intolerable pressure”, having been undervalued and under rewarded for far too long. The urgent plea comes as a YouGov poll commissioned by Oxfam found that 70% of adults think that care workers are paid too little, while 78% believe care work is not valued highly enough by the government.

  • By Chris Easom / May 24, 2020

    Eight trainers from Bolton Total Fitness worked together to host a virtual race night, alongside some other challenges pushing them to do 100 press-ups, 30,000 steps, and a head shave. Luke Walker, one of the trainers involved, said: “We decided to host this race night just to lift spirits and mix it up a bit. A lot of our clients are just sitting at home bored and we all needed picking up too. We wanted to do something to help out and thought why not raise some money for our NHS heroes while doing it.” Despite the coronavirus crisis, people have been very generous, with one local businessman donating £140.

  • By Chris Easom / May 21, 2020

    A care home in Great Yarmouth held a drive-thru disco on May 2nd so that its residents could see the families they’ve been missing during the coronavirus lockdown. According to local media reports, the event was held after consultation with the police, with cars arriving with only people from the same household inside, in line with government guidelines.

  • By Chris Easom / May 19, 2020

    Forty-five percent of all coronavirus deaths in Northern Ireland have been in care homes – far higher than the 25% in England and Wales. But the number fell last week for the first time and one facility in County Armagh has beaten the odds to record an 86% recovery rate. Twenty-nine of their residents tested positive for Covid-19 but 25 of them have made a full recovery. The support of an acute team from the local hospital and testing have been critical, according to home manager Patricia Purvis. She said: “We found a lot of our residents were just off their food for a few days, generally not feeling well. In the early stages, we were asking for these people to be swabbed for early detection. I think that has helped a lot.”

  • By Chris Easom / May 17, 2020

    Businesses are facing desperate times as the coronavirus lockdown takes its toll. But with a bit of imagination, British bulldog determination and entrepreneurial flair, some owners are pivoting their businesses into ones which will be able to survive and possibly even thrive during the crisis. Among them is Tim Foster, co-founder of The Yummy Pub company. He saw his business change overnight because of lockdown – but he has never been busier. He has kept his food and drink supply chain going, delivered donations of beer to NHS staff, set up a click-and-collect grocery store from his 15th Century lakeside pub in Surrey, and organised hundreds of meals for the homeless. Tim estimates he has lost at least £1 million in sales so far due to lockdown and now owes his suppliers hundreds of thousands of pounds, but he is determined to keep on going. ‘I’m a fighter,’ he says.

  • By Chris Easom / May 14, 2020

    Kind-hearted police officers arranged a special visit to a pensioner whose 90th birthday celebrations were scuppered by the coronavirus pandemic. PC Neil Morris and PCSO Gayle Muizelaar surprised Mary Murray, who lives on in South Shields, in order to mark her memorable milestone. Given the current Covid-19 restrictions, it was all set to be a quiet day for unsuspecting Mary as the birthday party that her family and friends had hoped to organise was cancelled. However, officers were keen to make sure her special day did not go unnoticed – with PCSO Muizelaar dropping letters through the doors of the pensioner’s neighbours asking them to pop their heads out on the morning in question to join in with the singing. On her big day, as she enjoyed the sunshine from the comfort of her front garden, Mary was then surprised to see officers and her neighbours appear and start to sing ‘happy birthday’. One of her neighbours, Melanie, also showed off her baking skills and made a cake to mark the occasion.

  • By Chris Easom / May 11, 2020

    Two junior doctors who were preparing to buy their first house as a married couple before the coronavirus crisis began have moved into a motorhome to protect their families from becoming infected. Jared Leggett and wife Amy Kitchen had been living with their parents, but they are now staying in the vehicle in their hospital’s car park so that they can continue working without fear of spreading Covid-19. They work at The Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in East Lancashire, and have been deployed to wards where coronavirus patients are being treated.

  • By Chris Easom / May 9, 2020

    A new national adult social care recruitment campaign has been launched to boost the adult social care workforce in England as part of a wider plan to attract more staff into the sector. The campaign, titled ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference’, will look to inspire the public to consider a career in social care. To help fill the recruitment gap, the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock and Care Minister Helen Whately launched the campaign to encourage the right people with the right values and attributes to consider a paid career in adult social care work. The campaign includes the new CARE brand for social care which symbolises the entire care profession – like the iconic and recognisable NHS logo. The brand aims to raise the profile of the care sector and allow businesses to show them the same appreciation as NHS workers.

  • By Chris Easom / May 3, 2020

    Spectacular street art has sprung up all over England to thank NHS workers for their dedication during the coronavirus pandemic. Artists up and down the country have used their talents to make a big show of their gratitude, with some creations spanning huge walls. Sculptor Jamie Wardley created a 100-metre long tribute in a Yorkshire field, while welder Pete Henson made a 6ft statue of a nurse in Exmoor. Mural artist Rachel List has been prolific in Pontefract. She said: “I think people just want to show their appreciation for the NHS and hopefully, I have, in some small way allowed that message to travel.”

  • By Chris Easom / April 30, 2020

    Captain Tom Moore, the World War Two veteran who has raised almost £30m for NHS charities, is celebrating his 100th birthday, after being promoted to the rank of honorary colonel. Captain Moore had originally set out to raise £1,000 by walking 100 laps of his garden, but after his story captured the nation’s heart the donations flooded in. In recognition of his achievements, Chief of the General Staff General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith has promoted him to the rank of honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College, a promotion approved by the Queen.

  • By Chris Easom / April 30, 2020

    A man who helped save the life of a seriously injured airman after his plane crashed near Melton during the Second World War has celebrated his 100th birthday. Dennis Kirk was serenaded by villagers as they gathered in the garden of his home at Plungar to sing happy birthday accompanied by a lone trumpeter. It was a lovely moment for Dennis and his 93-year-old wife, Joan, and with the need to maintain social distancing on his special day he had a video conferencing call with family members. He retains remarkably vivid memories from his life stretching back to the 1920s and to that harrowing moment when he came to the aid of the surviving airman in that wartime RAF aircraft crash in 1943. Dennis, who has received nearly 100 birthday cards including the traditional one from The Queen, continues to mow his own large garden and puts his longevity down to a healthy life spent mainly doing farmwork in the open air.

  • By Chris Easom / April 26, 2020

    The highest performing council in the country for Adult Social Care has been named as Rutland County Council.
    The IMPOWER INDEX compiled the data for 149 English Councils, showing that Rutland is achieving greater than average outcomes in Adult Social Care, from a less than average spend per head. This means that users of Adult Social Care services in Rutland are getting better outcomes at the same time as the council is making best use of public funds.

    As the population continues to age, Adult Social Care is an important service area for Rutland County Council. This year the Council has budgeted £12.75m to supporting the county’s adult population.

  • By Chris Easom / April 24, 2020

    Residents of a street in northeast London are getting to know each other for the first time by taking part in fitness sessions outside their front doors. Elyse Blemmings, who is known as the Mancunian Motivator because she is originally from Manchester, began hosting sessions for her street in Chigwell, Essex, after her neighbours spotted her working out during the coronavirus lockdown and wanted to join in. The 31-year-old started out with two sessions last week, which were joined by several of her elderly neighbours as well as by children as young as five. She has since gone on to get a large group of people involved.

  • By Chris Easom / April 22, 2020

    Amidst the chaos of Covid-19, an uprising of community spirit has been praised by Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable as ‘truly heartening’. During the past week the Force has seen some fantastic examples of community groups and individuals who have stood up to help others in need. Chief Constable Nick Adderley, said: “During these difficult times all of us have a responsibility to do our bit to help beat the worst of this pandemic. There has been a significant uprising of people volunteering to help and showing an amazing level of community spirit. It is truly heartening to see the resurgence, which offers hope to all that we will get through this tumultuous time.”

  • By Chris Easom / April 19, 2020

    After receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission, team members and residents at a Billericay care home are celebrating.

    Anisha Grange Care Home on Outwood Common Road was given the maximum overall rating by the health watchdog, putting it in a small percentage of care homes across the country to achieve this high standard.
    The report praised the residential, nursing and dementia home for their ‘exceptional and distinctive leadership’ and out of five key areas reviewed, two of the five were rated ‘Outstanding’ whilst the others was rated as ‘Good.’

    The care home owner and Managing Director, Ram Goyal said: “It gives me great pleasure that Anisha Grange has been recognised by our regulator for delivering exceptional care to residents.”

  • By Chris Easom / April 19, 2020

    As Captain Tom Moore, 99, continues to receive donations for his record-breaking garden walk, another nonagenarian has smashed her own fundraising target to help the NHS. On Thursday, Mr Moore completed his challenge of walking 25m lengths of his family’s garden in Bedfordshire to mark his 100th birthday on 30 April. The war veteran originally set out to raise £1,000 – but donations have now passed £18m. Now, Margaret Payne, 90, has surpassed her hopes of hitting £10,000 as she attempts to climb the equivalent of a Scottish mountain on her stairs. She says she started her challenge on Easter Sunday and thinks it will take her several weeks to complete. In a post on her fundraising page, she said: “I am planning to climb the equivalent of Suilven, 2,398 feet. Margaret’s revealed she first climbed Suilven in 1944 during World War Two, when she was 15, with her sister Elizabeth.

  • By Chris Easom / April 16, 2020

    For the entertainment of the residents in a nearby care home, staff at a Bristol GP surgery have started daily lunchtime dances outside in the car park.

    At first, the dance routines by Green Valleys Health were just to boost staff morale and bring some cheer. Now the surgery staff, as well as the workers from the care home next door, are out every day bringing a smile to the residents.

  • By Chris Easom / April 16, 2020

    A 99-year-old war veteran who has raised more than £12m for the NHS by walking around his garden says he will keep going while people continue to donate. Captain Tom Moore, who turns 100 at the end of April, has smashed his original target to raise £1,000 by walking 100 lengths of his Bedfordshire garden. Captain Moore said: “We set out originally to raise a little bit of money by me walking up and down 100 times in reference to my 100th birthday.” Donations continue to pour in from people wanting to support front line NHS workers fighting the coronavirus.

  • By Chris Easom / April 14, 2020

    A 99 year-old army veteran has raised over £1m for the NHS with a sponsored walk. In honour of his 100th birthday, Captain Tom Moore is walking 100 laps of his back garden before his birthday at the end of the month. He has committed to 10 laps a day, and as of now is currently at £1.3M in donations!

  • By Chris Easom / April 13, 2020

    Kelly Muller says her 82-year-old mum, Annette Muller has always been “the life of the party.” Although staying inside during the coronavirus pandemic, the mum of 6, grandmother of 13 and great-grandmother of 4, proved she still has her sense of humour when she greeted her daughter at the window of her house waving a bottle of wine and holding up a sign that read “need more wine.”

  • By Chris Easom / April 13, 2020

    A former police dog trainer got an early birthday surprise, when Nottinghamshire Police’s Dog Section visited him at his care home in Arnold. Gordon Galley, 90, spent 30 years with the police in Durham and most of that was working within the dog section. Staff at the care home where Gordon now resides love hearing the stories he has of working with the Police Dogs, and say he often tells them about the fond memories of his time with the dog section, particularly being partnered with his very own police dog, Guy. “I have far too many memories of me and Guy chasing bad guys but I can assure you we always got our man” he said.

  • By Chris Easom / April 11, 2020

    Tapping her feet and swaying, care home resident Freda Colbourne is transported to another world by the singing she’s listening to outside her window. Family and friends aren’t allowed to visit the Cedar Lawn care home in Stratford Upon Avon due to lockdown restrictions, as coronavirus continues to spread across the UK. Contact with the outside world is now minimal, but Hannah Ciotkowski, from the healthcare charity Kissing It Better, is making sure people don’t feel too lonely, standing outside and singing a collection of golden oldies for the residents inside. Freda, 97, seems particularly touched by the music, telling us how lovely it is to hear the singing, especially Over The Rainbow, which reminds her of her late husband and was played at his funeral. Kissing It Better was set up in 2009 by Jill Fraser to “try and do what we can to help the isolated and lonely”.

  • By Chris Easom / April 9, 2020

    In order to boost the morale of self-isolating residents, care home staff at Bilton Court in Wellingborough made an online appeal for cheerful letters and pictures. Schoolchildren recorded uplifting messages to the self-isolating elderly people in response.

    On Wednesday, the messages from Year 5 pupils at the town’s Park Junior School were broadcast live on BBC local radio. Head Teacher David Tebbutt said he asked Year 5 pupils if anyone wanted to help people in self-isolation and “everyone’s hand went up”.

    “Children are very aware of their predicament, they’re worried about their grandparents and their parents.”

  • By Chris Easom / April 8, 2020

    A care home in Wales came up with new ideas to keep their residents in high spirits, engaging them in a life-size version of the board game Hungry Hippos.

    In a video that has been viewed almost 500,000 times on Facebook, the residents at Bryn Celyn Care Home in Maesteg were wheeled back and forth while attempting to grab multicoloured balls with baskets.
    “Residents really enjoyed playing a new game today of Hungry Hippos,” the care home wrote. “Lots of laughter to lift morale of the team and residents!”

  • By Chris Easom / April 3, 2020

    Prince Charles will open the new 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale later today – less than two weeks after work started on the giant specialist coronavirus field hospital. With 80 wards, the temporary facility at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands is now the largest critical care unit in the world. Soldiers, carpenters, stewards and volunteers have worked around the clock to ensure NHS Nightingale could be ready for use in record time.

  • By Chris Easom / April 3, 2020

    Although many elderly people in the UK are preparing to self-isolate due to the coronavirus pandemic, three friends have decided they won’t be doing it alone.

    Doreen Burns, Carol Spark and Dotty Robinson from Salford, Greater Manchester, have known each other for over 40 years. They plan to isolate together in the same home in an attempt to combat loneliness. Not only do they have all of their favourite series on Netflix to watch while self-isolating, but they also have a ‘supply of wine in’. Apparently, it was the only thing they’ve been panic buying!

  • By Chris Easom / April 1, 2020

    A group of care workers have left their families and moved into a care home for a “lock-in” with residents to help protect them from the coronavirus. At Bridgedale House, in Sheffield, nine staff members have packed their bags and said goodbye to loved ones in order to move into the facility full-time, reducing the risk of them infecting vulnerable residents. The care home is now effectively locked down, with staff members staying put and no visitors allowed, although family members can leave letters and gifts outside the main door.

  • By Chris Easom / March 31, 2020

    A retired nurse is going back to work to head up the new Nightingale Hospital that will care for thousands of patients. Deirdre Barr, 62, has been appointed director of operations at the newly established ExCel national emergency medical centre in East London. Deirdre, of Derry, Northern Ireland, is a former St John Ambulance cadet who went on to dedicate 40 years of her life to the NHS.

  • By Chris Easom / March 30, 2020

    A headteacher has donated his school’s protective equipment to frontline NHS staff and is urging others to do the same. David Phillips, head at Chilwell School said as a result of the Clap for Carers nationwide applause his thoughts turned to NHS workers and how he could help. The science and design departments at the school often use protective equipment for experiments and creative projects. Mr Phillips said he managed to gather around 20 boxes worth of equipment and delivered it himself to Queen’s Medical Centre.

  • By Chris Easom / March 29, 2020

    Samantha Stanfield, a first year nursing student at the University of Sunderland, spotted an older man in difficulty whilst shopping in a supermarket near her home in Stanley. Realising he was in distress, the 31-year-old student asked the pensioner if she could help.

    The man explained he was his poorly wife’s only carer, and he had come shopping because he was worried there would be no food left and he felt a responsibility to make sure she was okay. She helped him get everything on his list, pack his bags, and finally secure a taxi home before returning to her own shopping.

    Her kindness has inspired others to pull together packages for neighbours who may be forced into self-isolation in the coming weeks.

  • By Chris Easom / March 18, 2020

    The NHS in England has no chance of training enough GPs and nurses to solve the shortages it faces, experts say. A report by three leading think tanks predicts that in the next five years nurse shortages will double and GP gaps nearly treble, without radical action. The Nuffield Trust, Health Foundation and King’s Fund says a combination of international recruitment, student grants and innovation is needed. Current figures suggest there’s more than 30,000 extra nurses needed and almost 3,000 GPs. The think tanks say on current trends this will rise to nearly 70,000 nurses and more than 7,000 GPs within five years.

  • By Chris Easom / March 2, 2020

    Bryan Jones is a resident at a care home in the Welsh border town of Chepstow. The 75-year-old is keen to go back to his beloved house near Tintern Abbey, but Monmouthshire county council has been unable to arrange any home care for him for five months. “I want to get back to living a normal life … or as normal life as I can,” he says. “I miss my friends dropping in and going on the bus to get my shopping. I can run my own affairs from home – I’m not used to people holding my hand.” These problems are not just confined to Monmouthshire. Wales is the country with the oldest population in the UK, with the number of over-75s due to increase by 70% and over-85s expected to double by 2040.

  • By Chris Easom / February 27, 2020

    The number of care providers cutting support for vulnerable adults has doubled in the last year because of financial pressures, a charity has said. Research by Hft, which supports adults with learning disabilities, suggested 20% of the 80 providers surveyed had offered care to fewer people in order to balance the books or meet rising wage bills. A third of those questioned had cut staff, while almost half had shut parts of their organisation. Billy Davis, public affairs and policy manager for Hft, said the sad reality was that the social care sector has “run out of options”.

  • By Chris Easom / February 21, 2020

    A review of A&E department parking charges in England found that some car parks across the country are demanding daily fees of up to £77 if you are unlucky enough to need to leave your vehicle on the premises. Just 7 hospitals in England offer free A&E parking analysis found. The NHS made a record £154million from car parking charges in 2019.

  • By Chris Easom / February 14, 2020

    The number of over 85s in the UK is set to double within the next 25 years new data reveals. In mid 2018, there were 1.6 million people aged 85 years and over; by mid 2043, this is projected to nearly double to 3 million. The data has prompted concern from elderly care charities and campaigners who fear that an ageing population is set to deepen an ever-worsening social care crisis.

  • By Chris Easom / February 10, 2020

    When Margaret Mackie, 83, and Jamie Lee Morley, 31, sang Frank Sinatra’s My Way at a Christmas party, they had no idea they would make it into the charts. The video of Ms Mackie, who has dementia, performing the song with her carer went viral in December last year. The pair, who both live in Edinburgh, have now recorded an official single to raise money for dementia charities. They are trying to get the song to number one, with all of the proceeds going to Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK.

  • a&e
    By Chris Easom / February 7, 2020

    Waiting times for A&E departments in Wales hit their worst levels in December, with only 72.1% of patients waiting less than four hours. The target is for 95% of patients to be seen in that time – but that target has never been met. Figures show a record number of patients waited more than 12 hours.

  • By Chris Easom / January 30, 2020

    The new future midwife standards have now been published. Midwifery is a unique, rewarding and dynamic profession and midwives are highly skilled, knowledgeable professionals. Every birth is touched by a midwife and that is an incredibly special privilege. In order to provide the best and safest care, midwives must meet the needs, views and preferences of women and their families, take account of demographic differences, and consider health and care profiles. The NMC have worked in partnership with midwives, student midwives, women, families, other health and care professionals, charities and advocacy groups across all four countries of the UK to coproduce standards that fully prepare midwives of the future.

  • By Chris Easom / January 27, 2020

    The number of British people choosing to pay for private hospital surgery has soared with the total amount spent doubling in six years to £1.1bn. Widespread NHS rationing of treatments and record waiting lists have helped deliver a 7.4 per cent real-terms growth in self-paying patients between 2014 and 2018. Experts forecast the self-pay market for operations will continue to grow from £1.1bn in 2018 to £1.3bn by 2021

  • By Chris Easom / January 23, 2020

    Avery Healthcare has received planning permission for an £8.5m care home in Aylestone, Leicester. The purpose-built care home is to be built on the site of two uncompleted apartment blocks that have stood empty for more than a decade. The home, which is expected to be completed in late 2020, will have a range of smaller lounges and dining rooms to all floors, an all-day café, cinema, hair salon and barbers, spa therapy room and landscaped gardens. All the spacious 60 bedrooms will have private en-suites and be furnished to a high standard with flat screen TVs. Some of the ground floor rooms will open out on to patio areas and the gardens.

  • By Chris Easom / January 22, 2020

    All Lincolnshire hospitals have now banned smoking on their grounds to try and reduce the effect of second-hand smoke. Smoking was previously permitted in designated areas at hospitals in Lincoln, Boston, Grantham, and Louth. E-cigarettes and vaping will still be permitted within outdoor areas of the hospitals as long as it is not done in close proximity to others.

  • By Chris Easom / January 20, 2020

    British families are sending elderly relatives with dementia overseas to Thailand in a small but growing trend. Researchers visiting private care homes in Chiang Mai have found eight homes where guests from the UK are living thousands of miles away from their families, because suitable care in their home country was impossible to find or afford. “Thailand already has a long history of medical tourism and it’s now setting itself up as an international hub for dementia care,” said Dr Caleb Johnston, a senior lecturer in human geography at Newcastle University. Some of the facilities are British-run; some are Thai-run but with substantial investment from British citizens; and some are Swiss-run. All have the backing and support of the Thai government. In Thailand, 1:1 around-the-clock residential care in award-winning facilities costs around £750 a week.

  • By Chris Easom / January 18, 2020

    Staff at a Northampton care home are celebrating after being given the best possible rating by the healthcare watchdog. Ashurst Mews Care Home was rated ‘outstanding by the Care Quality Commission following an inspection in August, which left inspectors ‘impressed’. Manager Rex Pudol said everyone at the Moulton nursing home is ‘over the moon’ after the agonising wait for the report to be published. “The ‘outstanding’ rating was achieved from a great team effort,” he said.

  • By Chris Easom / January 12, 2020

    Lincolnshire’s hospital trust is underfunded and in need of “consistent” financial support, according to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell. United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, which runs Lincoln County Hospital and Boston Pilgrim Hospital, is currently in financial and quality special measures with a deficit target of £70 million for 2019/20. The health service in the county also needs £450,000,000 for backlog maintenance and to fund future healthcare plans.

  • By Chris Easom / January 10, 2020

    NHS accident and emergency departments in England recorded their lowest-ever performance in December. The latest figures show 79.8% of patients were seen within four hours in all A&E departments last month, compared with 81.4% in November 2019 and 86.5% in December 2018. It comes as pressures on the health service continue to grow. The number of patients visiting A&E departments in December increased 6.5% on the same month last year, with 2,181,024 people attending. There were 560,801 emergency admissions in the month, 2.9% higher than the same month last year.

    There were 4.6 million people on the waiting list to start treatment as of the end of November 2019, up from 4.4 million.

  • By Chris Easom / January 6, 2020

    Three cheeky penguins waddled into a Lincoln care home as part of its dementia therapy on Tuesday afternoon. Residents and staff at Bernadette House care home were visited by Charlie (12), Pringle (6) and Groot (7 months) from Heythorp Zoological gardens in Oxfordshire. The excitement and happiness on the residents’ faces was clear to see as the penguins sat on their laps, wandered around with their trainer, and enjoyed fishy treats. Resident Barbara Lavington, 90, said it was a “lovely experience to be able to get as near to them as that” and Carol Sears, 76, added “I think they’re absolutely fantastic. It was just wonderful”. Care home owner Elizabeth Stephens said “We specialise in caring for people who live with dementia and animal therapy is very calming and therapeutic for them.”

  • By Chris Easom / January 3, 2020

    A pair of lifelong friends have moved in to the same care home together almost 80 years after they first met. Kathleen Saville and Olive Woodward, both 89, became friends as 11-year-old schoolgirls in 1941. They bonded over teasing boys and playing games and have stayed close friends ever since. Staff at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield, have dubbed them the “dynamic duo” and say you can still “see their love for each other”. Mrs Saville, who said she can “still pull the boys” and is “fighting for every minute”, believes the key to their long friendship was that neither like arguing. We knew we would always be friends when we met. She means a lot to me. If Olive goes first she’ll come back to fetch me,” she added. “We’re going to be friends in heaven.”

  • By Chris Easom / December 31, 2019

    Happy New Year to everyone, in-particular our amazing agency nurses & carers. Your continued professionalism and loyalty is very much appreciated. Our customers think you’re great, and so do we. Be safe tonight whatever you do, and we wish you all health and happiness for 2020 x

  • By Chris Easom / December 27, 2019

    There must be something in the water at St Christopher’s Care Home as their fourth resident turns 100. Former clothes shop owner, Joan Gammage is not even the oldest resident. Nancy Summers, Edna Grant, Eileen Rouse also marked their milestones in 2019. Since Joan was born in 1919, she has experienced the aftermath of World War One, World War Two and has lived under four monarchs. Manager of St Christopher’s, Sarah Clarke, said: “She is a willing and enthusiastic participant in many of the Home’s weekly activities, and her beaming smile will cheer the dullest of days”.

  • By Chris Easom / December 18, 2019

    Nursing students in England will be given at least £5,000 a year from September, Downing Street have confirmed. The funding, which will not need to be repaid, will be given to all new and continuing degree-level nursing and midwifery students from September 2020 to help with living costs. It is expected to benefit more than 35,000 students every year.

  • By Chris Easom / December 11, 2019

    A care home in Stroud enjoyed a surprise visit from a cyclist on a 580-mile charity ride. Care UK’s Scarlet House in Stroud, recently welcomed keen cyclist and charity fundraiser, David Merrett, who was pedalling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. He was joined by friend and fellow cyclist, Kevin House, who was raising funds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind. The care home became a very special pit stop for David and Kevin as they took a well-earned break to visit David’s sister, Serena, a resident at Scarlet House, who has lived with multiple sclerosis for many years.

  • By Chris Easom / December 5, 2019

    Nurses are in such short supply in the UK that the NHS is relying on less qualified staff to plug the gaps, according to a new report. According to the Health Foundation charity, healthcare assistants and nursing assistants have been used to help with tasks that qualified nurses would normally carry out if there were enough of them. Numbers have been shored up for years by overseas recruitment – but Brexit has caused a drop in the number of those coming from the EU, the report says, so the health service is now taking more nurses from countries further afield, including India and the Philippines. The number of nursing vacancies across the NHS is 44,000 – 12% of the nursing workforce.

  • By Chris Easom / November 30, 2019

    A care home in Mansfield with an “excellent record” for improving the lives of its residents has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC.

    Baily House was hailed by inspectors for the way it supports residents to do activities that are “meaningful” to them, while setting “ambitious goals” to improve patients’ wellbeing. In the unannounced visit by the healthcare watchdog, the inspector found that the home provides a “very high standard of care” that is “valued” by the families of its residents. The home is now part of an elite three per cent of homes across the country that can boast the ‘outstanding’ grade.

  • By Chris Easom / November 26, 2019

    Hospital staff have won half-price parking from next year, which is estimated to put £75 a year back into the pockets of the lowest-paid. The half-price parking will come into force from April 2020. ULHT made £845,703 from charges and penalty fees by NHS staff using parking across its sites in 2017. The move is predicted by Unison to put over £600,000 a year back into the pockets of NHS staff across the county.

  • By Chris Easom / November 20, 2019

    A&E waiting times in parts of Cheshire are already as bad as would be expected during a winter crisis – with doctors warning it is a sign of chaos to come. Latest NHS figures show just 68.6 per cent of people arriving at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s major A&E waited less than four hours before being admitted, discharged or transferred. This is the trust’s second worst performance since A&E waiting times began to be measured on a monthly basis in June 2015. The previous worst performance was 67.1 per cent waiting less than four hours in December 2017. The BMA has warned poor A&E performance in September meant the NHS was on a “collision course” for what is likely to be the worst winter ever. Overall, 77.4 per cent of patients waited less than four hours at all A&Es and minor injury units run by Mid Cheshire Hospitals in September.

  • By Chris Easom / November 17, 2019

    The NHS has recorded its worst A&E waiting times in England since current targets began in 2004. The latest figures show that 83.6% of patients were seen within 4 hours in October. That compares to 85.2% in September, and 89.1% in October 2018. However, attendances rose to 2,170,510 in October, 4.4% up on the same month last year. There were also 563,079 emergency admissions, a rise of 3.1%. The 95% target in A&E was last met in July 2015.

  • By Chris Easom / November 14, 2019

    An elderly care home in Brittany is encouraging residents to remain active in old age, by offering “surf therapy” lessons in the waves of the English Channel. The Ehpad (elderly care home) in Dol-de-Bretagne (Ille-et-Vilaine) now offers the sport to its residents, many of whom have eagerly taken part. “Surf therapy” requires participants to lie forward on their boards, rather than stand – and seeks to encourage confidence, agility, and wellbeing.

  • By Chris Easom / October 25, 2019

    Taurai Matare has been named RCN Nurse of the Year 2019 for her innovative work in transforming her unit, its care pathways and workforce over 14 years. The matron for ophthalmology at Whipps Cross University Hospital, received the accolade at the RCNi Nurse Awards 2019. Ms Matare, an advanced nurse practitioner, was recognised in part for her role in achieving a zero nurse vacancy rate in eye theatres at the hospital, as well as zero complaints in 2018. The Care Quality Commission has described the theatres as the ‘gold star’ of Whipps Cross. In addition, 80% of the trust’s ophthalmology staff would recommend the unit as a place to work. Ms Matare was named as the overall winner, having earlier won the Leadership category at the awards. On being named RCN Nurse of the Year, Ms Matare said: ‘I have been a nurse for over 25 years, and to be recognised in this way for me is the pinnacle of my career.’

  • By Chris Easom / October 20, 2019

    The UK is home to the best university in the world, but the nation is facing intense competition from overseas institutions, new rankings show. Oxford University has topped the latest Times Higher Education world university rankings for the fourth year in a row. Overall, the UK has 28 institutions in the top 200, down from 29 last year. Of these, almost two-thirds (18 universities) have fallen by at least one place. The annual list rates more than 1,300 universities in 92 countries on five areas: teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook. While Oxford was named the best-performing university globally, Cambridge University takes third place in the list. This is down one place on last year, when it was second.

  • By Chris Easom / October 18, 2019

    Nurses and midwives across Nottinghamshire scooped a number of awards at a special event to mark their achievements. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) organised the annual Nurse and Midwife of the Year Awards on October 14th.  More than 300 nominations for the awards were received from patients, relatives and colleagues to celebrate those who work tirelessly across Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham City Hospital, Ropewalk House, as well as within the community. The shortlisted candidates enjoyed a ceremony held at Crowne Plaza in Nottingham. Sophie Robson, a Nurse in the Assessment Unit of the Nottingham Children’s Hospital was named the overall winner on the night. Sophie, who also achieved the Children’s Nurse of the Year accolade, was given a glowing nomination by the mother of one of her patients and received the highest number of public votes.

  • By Chris Easom / October 18, 2019

    Strictly Come Dancing’s Flavia Cacace waltzed into Loughborough to open the town’s newest care home, Woodthorpe Lodge. The local community joined the opening day celebrations with guided tours of the luxury facilities. Guests also had the opportunity to meet Flavia to get photographs and autographs. Youngsters from Loughborough Dance School performed an acrobatic dance for Flavia and guests, before Flavia officially opened the care home with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

  • By Chris Easom / October 15, 2019

    A trainee nursing associate at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been praised for saving a man’s life after a car crash happened near her home. Jade Myatt, who works on the acute medical unit, was driving from her uncle’s home in Stirchley to her own house in Madeley, near Telford, when she came across the scene of the accident. Ms Myatt performed CPR on the man who she believed was having a heart attack, while she waited for an ambulance to arrive. The driver was subsequently taken to the trust’s Princess Royal Hospital where he was stabilised before being transferred to University Hospitals of North Midlands in Stoke. Ms Myatt is due to qualify as a nursing associate in January and said she planned to gain more experience before going on to study to become a registered nurse.

  • By Chris Easom / October 10, 2019

    Residents and staff at a Bath care home were treated to a free taxi ride to a nearby farm as part of a fun day out. Taxi driver Paul Roles, a prominent figure around Bath, got in touch with Winfield Lodge Residential care home with the idea of giving its residents a day to remember. After Mr Roles acquired the help of fellow cabbies, Mike Bean and Stephen Lasota. Thanks to the taxi drivers, care home residents and staff were driven to Bath City Farm, and enjoyed a couple of hours of seeing the farm animals and a spot of tea and cake too.

  • By Chris Easom / October 4, 2019

    Organisers of the Leicester Curry Awards have teamed up with Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland to launch a unique campaign which celebrates the valuable contributions of older people in the local community. ‘Naan for a Nan and Poppodum for a Pop’ is being launched to tie in with National Grandparents Day, which this year takes place on Sunday October 6th. The event is now underway and will run until Monday October 7th. Campaign organisers say that despite the vital role that older people play, they continually face some of the hardest challenges in our society. They say that many older people are currently left to struggle without their basic care needs being met, which makes day-to-day life a continual battle. Loneliness is also a growing problem amongst older people, with more than 180,000 local people saying that they feel lonely, resulting in Leicestershire being ranked amongst the worst in the country. It is hoped that ‘Naan for a Nan and Poppodum for a Pop’ will help combat these issues.

  • By Chris Easom / October 4, 2019

    LIGHTWEIGHT frying pans and a mobile garden are just two of the innovations that have helped a Bournemouth care home become one of only four in the UK to be rated as Outstanding in all areas. Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission made an unannounced visit to Bupa Queensmount and noted that: “An outstandingly caring culture was promoted at every level. Without exception everything the service did was to enhance the lives of the people living there and their families.” Among the innovations staff devised for their residents was a mobile garden so that those who were confined to bed could still enjoy a little gardening. The report also praised activities at the home, stating how they were tailored around residents’ personal interests and people were encouraged to get involved with daily tasks to help them feel valued.

  • By Chris Easom / October 1, 2019

    For the 3rd year running we’re proud to sponsor the Lincolnshire Care Awards

  • By Chris Easom / September 28, 2019

    A crisis in dementia care has cost businesses in England £3.2bn in the last year, according to a charity. Research by the Alzheimer’s Society looked into people who have had to quit jobs, reduce hours, or change working patterns to care for their loved ones.The charity said the figure was likely to double over the next 20 years to £6.3bn and are now calling on the government to deliver on their promise to end the dementia care crisis. “Up and down the country, families are desperately trying and often failing to get the good quality dementia care their loved ones need,” said Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes. “Instead, over 100,000 people have had no choice but to leave their jobs and try to care for their loved ones themselves. The knock-on cost to businesses is only going to get bigger, with more and more people set to develop dementia and no solution put in place to sort out social care. It’s devastating for people with dementia, devastating for their families and carers, a drain on the NHS and now we see how badly it’s affecting our economy.”

  • By Chris Easom / September 22, 2019

    A 50-bed care home has been officially opened in Hyndburn by TV actor John Middleton and likened to a ‘seven-star hotel’. The former Emmerdale star attended Pendle Brook Care Home in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, last Thursday and was joined by Hyndburn Mayor June Harrison, Mayoress Joyce Plummer and other dignitaries. Family-run operator Rochcare said the ‘architectural masterpiece’ on Haworth Street will be their ‘flagship’ care facility, create at least 50 jobs, and also offer support to people living with dementia and other needs. Pendle Brook Care Home, situated next to the Civic Arts Centre and Theatre, will also include residential areas, hairdressers and a public cafe.

  • By Chris Easom / September 22, 2019

    A RESIDENT at a care home in Basingstoke has celebrated a milestone birthday. Ellen ‘Nellie’ Barton, who lives in Barchester Healthcare-run St Thomas Care Home, was joined by friends and relatives for her 102nd birthday. Daughter Jean said: “Nellie is and has been a fantastic mother, sister, auntie, grandmother and friend to so many over the past 102 years, and it’s wonderful to be with her on this very special day to say just how proud she makes us feel.” The secret to a long life is kindness to others, as well as gin, according to Nellie.

  • By Chris Easom / September 15, 2019

    The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the 20 NHS organisations to receive a share of £850 million in new funding. The trust will receive £99.9 million which will go towards a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in the centre of the Royal Cornwall Hospital site in Truro. It is the only trust in the South West to benefit from the huge cash injection. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Today I’ve announced a multi-million pound cash injection for vital upgrades to 20 hospitals across the country – delivering on my commitment to make sure funds are reaching frontline services as quickly as possible.”

  • By Chris Easom / September 14, 2019

    Over 40 care and nursing homes in Lincolnshire were closed through enforcement actions, placed in special measures or rated inadequate over the last five years. Five homes were closed through enforcement action, 17 were placed in special measures and 21 were rated as inadequate. Some of the ratings have since changed and risen up to ‘Good’, while some other homes have changed ownership. However, Lincolnshire has seen a significant improvement in CQC ratings over the last two years according to the county council. In February 2017, 81 providers in Lincolnshire were rated as either requires improvement or inadequate, but this figure has reduced by almost 40% to 49. In the same period Lincolnshire has gone from one service rated as outstanding to ten.

  • By Chris Easom / September 9, 2019

    The launch of a new care home in Clowne has created 50 jobs for the area. The employment boost comes after Lime Tree Care Ltd breathed new life into the former Ground Works Creswell site, converting it into a mental health care facility. The company already runs a 10-bed care home in New Whittington, Chesterfield. Cherry Tree House will provide nurse-led care for people with mental and neurological illnesses, creating full and part-time positions for carers, nurses, catering, domestic and office staff. Director Robert Lee said: “We are happy to see this new project create so many opportunities in the area and think it’s important to inject life into existing buildings rather than just leaving them standing empty.”

  • By StaffAid / September 3, 2019

    The NMC will review post-registration standards, such as the specialist community public health nurse standards, after a major evaluation found them ‘not fit for purpose’. The evaluation, led by consultancy firm Blake Stevenson, highlighted a limited understanding and lack of clarity around the standards, parts of which have not been updated in over a decade. As a result, the NMC has announced that it is reconsidering the role it plays in regulation beyond initial registration of nurses, midwives and nursing associates. It also admitted that there was a ‘degree of confusion and complexity’ around how its register is structured and annotated.

  • By Chris Easom / September 3, 2019

    A care home in Nottingham has been rated as outstanding, following an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The Conifers Rest Home, in Bakersfield, caters for up to 18 older people, including people living with dementia. The Conifers was last inspected in 2016, when it was rated good overall but now, three years later, it has been given the top rating possible. The strong ‘person-centred culture’ was praised throughout the report. Inspectors found a number of examples of where the staff had gone above and beyond for service users. The registered manager, deputy manager and care staff work extra shifts if they are short staffed, to provide consistency for people, rather than employ agency staff who did not know the home or the people living there. Debra Buxton, the manager and owner of the care home said she was blown away when she read the report.

  • By StaffAid / August 29, 2019

    They are two inspirational teenagers who have juggled their school exams with providing crucial care for their loved ones, and the pair’s selflessness has earned them awards from a charity which recognises the vital role of carers. Lynne Haverson, 16, from King’s Lynn and Charlea Medcalf, 18, from Long Stratton were named the Young Carer of the Year at the regional Carers Trust awards ceremony. Lynne cares for her sister, who has additional needs and has had to balance looking after her with going to school, revising for her GCSEs and going to college. The judges were impressed with the positive impact she has on others, particularly through her work volunteering with the Norfolk Young Carers Forum. While she was happy to have won, the modest teenager said she was a bit confused as “I don’t feel I do anything special”. Charlea, described by the judges as “a brave and inspirational carer”, has cared for her mother, Donna Medcalf – who has a degenerative spinal condition – since the age of six. She has also become an integral part of the Norfolk Young Carers Forum, with praise for her friendly and supportive attitude.

  • By StaffAid / August 21, 2019

    A new extra care scheme in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, has welcomed its first residents. Bransdale View was built by Housing 21 in partnership with Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire County Council as a positive alternative to residential care. The property is designed to offer independent living for people over the age of 55 with access to on-site care for those who need it. Residents are able to live in their own apartments and remain part of the community as a result of the scheme’s communal facilities, which includes a café bistro, hair salon, communal lounge and hobby room. The apartments at the property are available for affordable rent and shared ownership.

  • By StaffAid / August 21, 2019

    The social care sector will continue to struggle to recruit and retain nurses unless pay is increased in line with what they can earn in the NHS, according to new analysis that warns of a £4.4bn funding shortfall. Poor pay and conditions for nurses working in social care in England are a major threat to the quality of care and future sustainability of the sector, said the Health Foundation in a report. More than 40,000 nurses work in adult social care but almost a third are estimated to have left their role within the past 12 months. A key reason for problems with recruitment and retention was the fact wages are low and below equivalent salaries in the NHS, said the analysis. According to the think tank’s document there is a 7% gap between the pay rates for adult social care nurses and the rates available for nurses in the NHS.

  • By StaffAid / August 17, 2019

    The historic city of Lincoln will be transformed on August Bank Holiday weekend as the biggest and longest running Steampunk festival on Earth returns for the 11th year. The annual event which takes place between August 23rd -26th, celebrates a steam powered world in the late 19th century and attracts visitors from all over the world. So expect to see a swarm of people taking to the famous cobbled streets in top hats, flying goggles, corsets and flamboyant feathers. Over the holiday weekend, the city will play host to a full convention-style day programme with a fringe style programme of art, literature, music, fashion and comedy.

  • By StaffAid / August 17, 2019

    A&E attendances for mental health conditions have increased elevenfold at United Lincolnshire Hospitals over the past decade – to an average of 10 a day.

    Exclusive figures show people with a diagnosis of psychiatric conditions visited the trust’s A&Es 3,495 times in 2018/19 – the
    highest number in at least a decade. Doctors and mental health charities warned busy and stressful A&Es were not the best place for those in need of mental health help.

  • By StaffAid / August 13, 2019

    Health watchdogs have found one in every three nursing homes on Merseyside is below standard. The analysis looked at the latest inspection data from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – regulators of health and care services run by the NHS and private companies. The investigation revealed that 142 nursing homes on Merseyside had been inspected as of June 3rd. 7 of these were found to be inadequate at their most recent inspection, meaning the CQC has taken action against those running it. Inspections found 51 homes in the county were rated inadequate or requires improvement.

  • By StaffAid / August 9, 2019

    Health watchdogs have found one in every three nursing homes on Merseyside is below standard. The analysis looked at the latest inspection data from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – regulators of health and care services run by the NHS and private companies. The investigation revealed that 142 nursing homes on Merseyside had been inspected as of June 3rd. 7 of these were found to be inadequate at their most recent inspection, meaning the CQC has taken action against those running it. Inspections found 51 homes in the county were rated inadequate or requires improvement.

  • By StaffAid / August 9, 2019

    Nurses who visit children and their families at home are threatening strike action over pay and an “erosion of professional standards.” A total of 57 health visitors employed by Lincolnshire County Council will take action in what is believed to be an unprecedented move. Unite Union claims that staff have lost more than £2,000 since they were transferred from the NHS to the council in 2017. The worker’s union also said it is seriously concerned about the downgrading of the health visitors’ professional status – something which the county council denies. The ballot closes on Thursday, June 27.

  • By StaffAid / August 6, 2019

    A Lincoln nursing home has been shut down and put up for auction amid complaints from staff over pay. Greetwell House Nursing Home could provide care for up to 25 people before it closed down for good on July 10th 2019. 26 staff members have been made redundant. It has since been put up for auction on the SDL Auctions website with a guide price of £870,000. Bidding opened on August 2nd. The care home was last inspected by the CQC in 2017 when it received an overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’ but was rated ‘Good’ for being safe, effective and responsive.

  • By StaffAid / August 5, 2019

    The NHS is turning to Mumsnet in an attempt to entice nurses back into the profession, as it struggles to deal with a recruitment crisis. The marketing deal with the parenting website was revealed as part of the “Interim NHS People Plan”, in which the organisation acknowledged that it needed to improve working conditions if it was to retain and recruit staff. NHS leaders welcomed the attempt to deal with the problem, but said that the plan was reliant on further cash for staff training in a spending review due in the autumn.

  • By StaffAid / July 31, 2019

    The Orchards, aptly named after the apple growing tradition of the city, is due to open in July opposite the new Isle of Ely Primary School. It will provide residential and dementia care and will feature a range of facilities including a cinema room. Around 100 part-time and full-time jobs will be created with new management, frontline and support staff jobs in the area. Mayor of Ely Councillor Mike Rouse, said: “I am delighted that such good progress is being made on a new care home for Ely. The choice of the name, ‘The Orchards’, keeps the link with nearby Orchard Estate and Ely’s history.” The Orchards will be the 25th care home managed by charity Greensleeves Care. Paul Newman, chief executive of Greensleeves Care, said: “Greensleeves Care is already active in the Cambridgeshire and East of England area. We look forward to introducing our award-winning care and support for older people in the Ely area. As well as caring for 66 residents, we plan to play an active role in the local economy, creating more 100 new jobs, and supporting the local community with dementia cafes.”

  • By StaffAid / July 29, 2019

    Trefoil House care home was proud to host three star Luton Town players as it opened its new shop, aptly named ‘The Hatters’. Current midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu and goalkeeper James Shea met ex-winger Michael Cullen to cut a special football cake and officially declare the store open. The shop will sell toiletries, sweets, drinks, clothing and knick knacks, and is open to residents as well as local neighbours. Home manager, Julie Hutchings, said: “It is not always easy for our residents to get out and about, so the shop gives people the opportunity to buy items they need, without having to travel too far. It’s also handy for relatives and visitors to pick up gifts for their loved ones.”.

  • By StaffAid / July 25, 2019

    United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust [ULHT] have submitted plans to extend their MRI department. The proposal includes a single storey extension to help provide extra room and facilities, including another MRI scanner. A ULHT spokesperson said: “The project is still in its very early stages and full costs are yet to be finalised and agreed.”

  • By StaffAid / July 22, 2019

    A report by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, reveals that nearly a third of nurses are leaving the profession due to stress or declining mental health. ‘The NMC Register’ data report explores the numbers total number of nurses, midwives and nursing associates joining and leaving the register between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019. While the report reveals an overall increase in the total number of registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates, healthcare leaders warn it also highlights a number of major concerns. Stress, declining mental health and poor staffing levels were cited amongst the top reasons for quitting the profession. The report also shows a continued decline in the number of EU nurses coming to the UK, with over half of those leaving saying Brexit is a contributing factor.

  • By StaffAid / July 18, 2019

    Over-50s could be hit for £300 a year in extra National Insurance to fund social care under Tory plans. Former Cabinet minister Damian Green, an influential backbencher, will argue in a speech today that the care system should adopt a model similar to the state pension. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “ Theresa May ’s top ally and close adviser has today let the cat out of the bag about Tory intentions to punish people with a tax on getting old.” The 1% National Insurance hike is among a range of measures Mr Green sets out to fill a £2.75billion funding gap. He suggests it as is a “last resort” to bring in £2.4billion. Another £350million could be generated by taxing the winter fuel allowance.

  • By StaffAid / July 15, 2019

    A care worker has given up his job after a DNA test confirmed him to be the heir of a 1,500-acre estate worth £50m. Jordan Adlard Rogers, 31, had long thought he may be the son of Charles Rogers, a recluse who lived in Cornwall’s Penrose Estate. Despite inheriting incredible wealth and being able to give up his job, Mr Arlard Rogers said he would trade it in if his father could have known he was his son. The Rogers gave the estate to the National Trust in 1974 in exchange for a 1,000 year lease which allows the family to live there. Mr Arlard Rogers said: “I don’t need to work anymore so want to set up a charity and help the Porthleven and Helston communities. I’ve been at the point of worrying about the next bill and have had a tough start in life, but now I’m here I want to help people. I’m not going to forget where I’ve come from.”

  • By StaffAid / July 11, 2019

    A 104-year-old woman has ticked off another item on her bucket list after being arrested by the police.

    Anne Brokenbrow, who has never fallen foul of the law, cheekily grinned as officers “detained” her inside a care home and bundled her into a waiting police car.

    She had revealed her desire to be arrested as part of a charity scheme where residents write down what they want most at Stokeleigh Care Home in Bristol.

    She wrote: “My wish is… to be arrested. I am 104 and I have never been on the wrong side of the law.”

    Anne, who has dementia, was put in handcuffs by PC Stephen Harding and his colleague PCSO Kelly Foyle before being taken for a drive by the officers.

  • By StaffAid / July 8, 2019

    A besotted couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a virtual train ride – without ever setting foot outside. Kenneth Hudson, 87, and wife Anne, 83, tucked into salmon followed by custard – all served on china – as they “sped” from Cambridgeshire to Warwickshire. The couple, who met 66 years ago when Ken stole some of Anne’s chips, were treated to views of rolling countryside on the Gateway Express’ TV screen “windows”. Sounds including a whistle and track rumbles added to the atmosphere and they even bought a “ticket to paradise” at a booth before getting on board. Former barmaid Anne cried when she saw the eight-seater carriage at Gateway Care Home, Bradford, where Ken now lives. She said: “It is so posh, it is fabulous. It really does feel like a train, with the noises and the scenery. I haven’t been on a train with Ken for over ten years so this is amazing.” Ex-joiner Ken has advanced dementia and Anne is a regular visitor.

  • By StaffAid / July 4, 2019

    One of the UK’s oldest residents who lives in Cubbington has celebrated his 104th birthday with a surprise trip to watch his beloved football team play. Staff at Cubbington Mill care home made Jack Marriott’s dream come true by arranging for him to be taken to watch Coventry City FC play at the Ricoh Arena. In the weeks running up to his milestone birthday, Jack had told his carers how he wanted to go to watch the Sky Blues play live one last time. Jack said: “Going back to the Ricoh was a dream come true.”

  • By StaffAid / July 2, 2019

    Staff at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) celebrated a patient’s 101stbirthday on 19th June, by throwing him a party on the ward with cake, cards and balloons. John Moore, born 19 June 1918, wasn’t going to let his stay in hospital spoil his birthday celebrations as he starts his new century with cake and company on ward C53. John previously served in the Royal Air Force and currently lives in Arnold. He thanked the staff by saying: “I’ve had a good day and I’ve liked everything that has been going on today” as he gave thumbs up to the ward staff and offered to share the rest of his cake with the ward.

  • By StaffAid / July 1, 2019

    More than 1,000 nursing associates have joined the NMC register since January. The role, designed to bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and registered nurses was announced by the Government in 2016, developed by Health Education England (HEE) and is now regulated by the NMC. The Nursing and Midwifery Council claims the role has proved popular with people wanting to further their career and as an alternative route to become a registered nurse. In March, HEE said it intended to spend an additional £42 million this year on increasing the number of nursing associates, aiming to train 45,000 by 2027.

  • By StaffAid / July 1, 2019

    More than 70,000 extra care home places will be needed by 2025, with pensioners now spending twice as long living without independence, a Lancet study suggests. Women over the age of 65 can now expect to spend the last three years of their lives in a care home, or receiving help several times daily, the research shows. Two decades ago, they could expect to spend the last 18 months of their lives in need of such help. The average man will receive such care for the last two and a half years of his life – when 20 years earlier, they could expect to spend just over a year in need of such assistance.

  • Student Placement
    By StaffAid / June 27, 2019

    Great to catch up today with Dr Sharon Black, Director of Nurse Education/Deputy Head of School at the University of Lincoln, and two 2nd year Student Nurses – Brian Holmes, Rebekah Rigby, who we are sponsoring on their upcoming 4-week elective placement overseas. Check out our Facebook page to see their weekly video updates and pictures as we get them www.facebook.com/StaffAidHQ/


  • By StaffAid / June 19, 2019

    Waiting times at Yeovil Hospital’s A&E were the third best in the country last year, and were the best in the south of England. Every NHS emergency department (A&E) is monitored on its waiting times, with a target of seeing 95% of patients within four-hours of their arrival. At Yeovil, 97.37 per cent of patients were seen within the four-hour target, making it the third best performing hospital out of 132 in England and one of just eight in England to achieve the target for the year. The Trust saw 55,880 emergency patients last year, treating patients with everything from heart-attacks and serious road accident injuries, to broken limbs and migraines.

  • By StaffAid / June 15, 2019

    Gabriela Dumitru was supposed to retire years ago, but instead, she’s working longer hours than ever before. The 65-year-old is one half of a team of two doctors at the neonatology ward in Slobozia, a depressed town about two hours’ drive from Romania’s capital, Bucharest. Dumitru works three or four 24-hour shifts a week, catching an hour of sleep where possible on a sofa in a small box room. Her colleague is 75, and he officially retired 15 years ago. Between them, they do the work of four or five doctors, delivering approximately 1,200 babies a year and caring for those born with difficulties or disabilities. The neonatology ward in Slobozia is a small window into a larger crisis in Romania, where thousands of doctors and nurses have left the country for higher salaries in western Europe over the past decade. In a recent survey, more than 50% of Romanians said they were concerned about the impact of emigration on the country, the highest figure among all the countries studied. An estimated 3.4 million Romanians left the country in the decade after EU accession, according to a study by Romanian business leaders, while the ministry of health estimates that 43,000 doctors departed during the period.

  • By StaffAid / June 9, 2019

    Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) – which includes Nottingham City Hospital, Queen’s Medical Centre, Ropewalk House and services run from the National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine at Loughborough University – was rated ‘Outstanding’ for Caring and ‘Good’ in the Well-Led, Effective and Responsive domains, as well as Overall. In the CQC’s words: “Feedback from people who use the services was continually positive and there is a strong, visible person-centred culture.” The Report goes on to say that: “Staff were motivated and inspired to deliver care that was kind and promoted dignity, were consistently compassionate about patient care and strived to go ‘above and beyond’.”

  • By StaffAid / June 3, 2019

    A North Lincolnshire carer has been recognised by families of people she has looked after for her constant dedication. Kathryn Sate was named the Hales Group’s Personal Approach award winner after being nominated by the families of three separate clients. The group employs 2,500 people nationally and Kathryn beat 300 other nominees to the award. Explaining how she’s able to achieve such a bond with the people she looks after, she said: “I just love my clients, I love caring and I love my job. I’ve been working as a carer for 22 years, which helps you to develop really strong bonds with your clients. I’m still completely overwhelmed to win though, I thought I was just coming in for a staff meeting.” Hales Group is a national care company which has its North Lincolnshire branch on Oswald Road in Scunthorpe. Its 2,500 employees give around 30,000 care hours a week for clients.

  • By StaffAid / June 1, 2019
  • By StaffAid / May 28, 2019

    A Portuguese nurse, who moved to the UK several years ago in search of employment which she failed to find in her home country, has won a top UK prize in her professional field, being voted the ‘Best Nurse’ in England. Sílvia Nunes who emigrated to the UK in 2014, was awarded the Great British Care Award in the category of Best Nurse for Innovation, Creativity and Attention at Work. The 34-year-old was in the running with seven other colleagues in the Good Nurse Awards, and was the only foreigner nominated in her category. This is Ms. Nunes’ second top nursing prize in the UK, after being chosen as ‘Best Nurse – East of England’ by the same institution last year, as well as being named ‘Personality of 2018’.

  • By StaffAid / May 23, 2019

    The A&E at Ealing Hospital appears to have been saved after the NHS binned a controversial plan to close it. The local council welcomed the news, with a spokeswoman saying if the plan had gone ahead, the borough would have been left with a population equal to Leeds without an accident and emergency department. The NHS’s £500m Shaping a Healthier Future scheme planned to axe almost half the region’s blue light services. The dropping of the programme was confirmed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. It would have also seen the closure of Charing Cross Hospital ‘s A&E, and the loss of 500 beds for acute patients in the region. The scrapping of the policy will be seen as a big victory for local health campaigners as well as the council, who worked with Hammersmith and Fulham Council to garner roughly 22,000 signatures during a seven-year campaign to save services.

  • By StaffAid / May 19, 2019

    A parking firm has been criticised for issuing penalty notices to hospital staff, despite them paying a monthly fee to use the facilities. ParkingEye said there had been a small number of cases where vehicles were not correctly registered at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT). However, Bryn Jones, from Unite, said the system run by ParkingEye was not fit for purpose. ULHT confirmed it was working with the firm to resolve any issues. ParkingEye introduced the new automatic number plate recognition system in November 2018 when it took over the contract and said it was working to resolve any problems and had rescinded wrongly issued notices. A petition has also been launched calling for the system to be scrapped and the old barrier system brought back. ULHT, which has hospitals in Lincoln, Boston, Grantham and Louth, said it was aware of staff being issued with penalty notices and advised them to appeal.

  • By StaffAid / May 13, 2019

    A nurse has adopted a little girl she took into her care after she had no hospital visitors for several months. Liz Smith, 45, had always wanted to have a baby of her own but suffered from infertility. On the same day she found out she was ineligible for IVF in 2016, the senior nurse was introduced to then three-month-old Gisele. After the little girl had no visitors for several months, a co-worker told Ms Smith that the baby needed a medical foster home and she would be the perfect mother for her. The adoption was finalised in October 2018.

  • Emma Butler completes the London Marathon
    By StaffAid / May 9, 2019

    StaffAid nurse Emma conquers the London Marathon in 5hrs 9mins raising money for Mind mental health charity. Well done Emma from everyone at StaffAid and we’re proud to donate £250. Love the StaffAid T-shirt!

  • By StaffAid / May 4, 2019

    The University of Lincoln’s £21 million medical school has been given the green light and will become the first of its kind in Lincolnshire. Plans were submitted to City of Lincoln Council for the multi-million pound building and teaching at the school will be delivered as a partnership with the University of Nottingham. The school will be built next to the existing science laboratories, the Janet Lane-Claypon Building, and opposite the University’s Isaac Newton Building on the southern edge of the main Brayford Pool Campus. The landmark facility will help to tackle the shortage of health staff across Lincolnshire and teach the next generation of medical students.

  • By StaffAid / April 30, 2019

    Staff at an NHS trust have been praised by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals for their work which has led to it being rated as outstanding overall. Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (Sash) received the top rating for being caring, responsive and well-led and good for being safe and effective. Sash becomes one of just nine trusts in England now rated as outstanding.

  • By StaffAid / April 24, 2019

    Residents of a HC-One care home based in Coventry have been decorating their Zimmer frames, along with staff to help reduce the number of falls. The Pimp My Zimmer project aims to reduce falls after a care home matron noticed people with dementia sometimes find it hard to recognise their own frame. Zimmer frames are usually grey, making them hard for people with dementia to tell apart or, in some cases, see them clearly. With the help of staff at Brandon House, residents have had their frames transformed into colourful works of art. HC-One’s care home manager, Sheryl Davis, said: “Our main priority at Brandon House is to ensure residents recognise their frames, which will help to reduce the number of falls. We are planning to decorate other resident’s frames as we can already see that residents are responding well to the decorations and most importantly remembering to use their Zimmer frames.”

  • By StaffAid / April 18, 2019

    The NHS could be short of 70,000 nurses and 7,000 GPs within five years unless urgent action is taken to address a growing staffing crisis, according to analysis by health think tanks. The report warns that existing nursing shortages could double and the shortfall of family doctors treble unless urgent measures are adopted in a new NHS workforce strategy, expected later this year. The report, co-authored by the Nuffield Trust, the King’s Fund and the Health Foundation, estimates the budget for training and developing staff will have to rise by at least £900m to address the widening workforce gap.

  • By StaffAid / April 12, 2019

    Stopping nurses from leaving their jobs prematurely is now a “critical issue” for governments around the world as staff shortages escalate, a global nursing leader has warned. Howard Catton, new chief executive of the International Council of Nurses, issued the caution as he highlighted that latest predications indicated a nine million shortage of nurses by 2030. “Retention is now a critical issue that needs urgent attention from governments as we risk losing nurses faster than we can train them,” he said. Mr Catton noted that many of those quitting were experts in their field taking with them decades of vital experience.

  • By StaffAid / April 8, 2019

    A Derby hospital could be renamed after one of the county’s most famous former residents. The NHS organisation behind the city’s hospitals would like to rename London Road Community Hospital after famed nurse Florence Nightingale. It would also like to move her Grade-II listed statue, which has sat on the edge of the former Derby Royal Infirmary site since 1914, to the London Road site, just 300 metres away. If approved, the London Road site, built in 2009, would be called the Florence Nightingale Community Hospital. Florence Nightingale was born and lived on her family’s estate, Lea Hurst, in the village of Holloway from 1820.

  • By StaffAid / April 3, 2019

    Plans have been submitted for a brand new, state-of-the-art medical school for the University of Lincoln which would cost a whopping £21 million. The five-storey building will have lecture theatres, laboratories, clinical and prosection anatomy suites equipped with cutting-edge diagnostic tools, and a dedicated science library. The building is scheduled for completion in 2021. Lincoln Medical School will welcome its first 95 students in September 2019. Within a few years, the school will be delivering first class medical training to around 400 students. Initially, undergraduates will be taught in the universities Sarah Swift building. The medical school will be a joint venture between the University of Lincoln and the University of Nottingham.

  • By StaffAid / March 31, 2019

    Allowing Nursing Associates to act as ‘Practice Supervisors’ will ensure student nurses are better supported. Recent changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) educational standards mean that any registered healthcare professional, including registered nursing associates, can act as a practice supervisor for student nurses. Practice supervisors will supervise students on placements, create tailored and inclusive learning experiences, provide feedback and contribute to recommendations for progression. According to the NMC, there will be no formal qualification for practice supervisors.

  • By StaffAid / March 27, 2019

    Ninety Northampton school pupils visited the residents at St. Christopher’s Home in Abington Park Crescent to ask them about their memories of ‘old Northampton’. Year 4 children at Bridgewater Primary School have spent their spring term time finding out about wartime, the shoe industry, and Eleanor Cross from the residents who have spent over 90 years in the town and have a lot of knowledge to pass on. Abigail Holding, head of Year 4 at Bridgewater School said: “It is marvellous for the children to hear how things used to be from people who have actually experienced so many years in the town”. The residents loved having the young visitors and spending time with them, especially as some people don’t have families who live locally and are able to visit regularly.

  • By StaffAid / March 24, 2019

    The congregation of a Northampton mosque needed just a single morning service to raise over £1,000 for the town’s hospital. When the community of the Al Jamatul Muslimin of Bangladesh Masjid mosque heard Northampton General were raising money for a new patient transport buggy, they pitched in to do their part for charity. The mosque in St George’s Street raised £1,044.15 to help the hospital. It comes after the hospital launched an appeal for funds to buy a new £15,000 buggy in late January. NGH is spread across 40 acres where the walk from the Billing Road entrance to Tree Wards stretches over 800 metres long.

  • By StaffAid / March 20, 2019

    Five care providers based in Leicestershire have failed in their latest inspections and been ordered to improve. The care providers, either care homes or businesses that care for people in their own homes, have all been graded as ‘requires improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission in reports published in February. In addition, a report into the services provided by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust also found failings and graded the trust as ‘requires improvement’.

  • By StaffAid / March 16, 2019

    A Brigg care home has been ranked in the top three per cent in the country after being rated as Outstanding by inspectors. Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission praised the Orchard Court home for the dedication of its staff and the safe environment it offers to its 29 residents. An unannounced inspection was carried out in September 2018 and the home was given the maximum overall rating of Outstanding. In their report, inspectors said staff at the home were “extremely attentive and went the extra mile to ensure people’s lives were fulfilling and meaningful”.

  • By StaffAid / March 13, 2019

    A pioneering nurse has been nominated for a prestigious award over her dedication to patients from Hartlepool and East Durham. North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust haematology/anticoagulation matron, Mercy Cabrega, has been nominated for Oncology Nurse of the Year in the British Journal of Nursing (BJN) Awards. Mercy was nominated by one of her students, who after spending two weeks on the ward, was so inspired by her commitment, hard work and positive influence she had on colleagues. During her 15 years at the trust, Mercy has revolutionised the way bone marrow biopsies are carried out, being the first nurse ever at the trust to lead the procedure. She has since trained other nursing staff to do the same, improving outcomes for patients by reducing waiting times.

  • By StaffAid / March 9, 2019

    Work has started to build a life-size model of a Lancaster Bomber on the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire border which campaigners hope will become a national landmark rivalling the Angel of the North. The steel replica of the iconic bomber will be built on high ground off the A46 at Norton Disney, in Lincolnshire, in a spot campaigners say will be seen by 34,000 motorists each day. Lincolnshire is known as “bomber county” because of the number of military airfields it had during the Second World War.

    Picture Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/lancaster-bomber-aircraft-airplane-953196/

  • By StaffAid / March 4, 2019

    The Government has published its proposals to introduce mandatory autism and learning disability training to all health and care staff in England. This is a very welcome move that could mean that all NHS staff have the training they need to support autistic people. The Government has launched an eight-week consultation on their plans and is seeking the views of autistic people, their families, charities and professionals, including health and care staff. The proposals honour a commitment made by the Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage MP, during a debate in Parliament. The debate was organised in response to a petition started by Paula McGowan, following the tragic death of her son Oliver in November 2016. Thousands of autistic people and their families backed this petition, along with organisations like National Autistic Society.

  • By StaffAid / March 1, 2019

    Congratulations to Nogi John on winning the 2018 StaffAid Care Leadership Award at the Lincolnshire Care Awards last night. The awards ceremony was held at the County Assembly Rooms in Lincoln, and was attended by over 250 care professionals. Nogi is the Manager of Westfield Nursing Home in Boston. The award was presented by Chris Easom, Business Development Director at StaffAid.

  • By StaffAid / February 27, 2019

    A patient at Leicester General Hospital has married his sweetheart in a ceremony organised by nurses and staff. Harry Pell, 69, and his wife Beverley Saxton, now Pell, 56, got engaged at the end of 2018 having known each other for 30 years and having been together for the last six. They planned on getting married later this year, but brought the wedding forward after Harry was admitted to hospital. The ceremony was planned and put together in just 48 hours for the couple, by transforming a dayroom on Ward 20 into a makeshift wedding venue. Beverley said: “The staff have been amazing. It has been above and beyond what the staff did for us. The room was beautiful.”

  • By StaffAid / February 23, 2019

    Loughborough has been named UK university of the year alongside a set of new national rankings. The Times and Sunday Times list praised its progress in technology and science, to match its reputation for sport. The judges made the discretionary award, separate from the points-based rankings which place Loughborough fifth in the country. Nottingham was named sports university of the year and De Montfort got the first social inclusion award.Nottingham was also named international university of the year.

  • By StaffAid / February 20, 2019

    The UK’s first ever registered Nursing Associates were amongst almost 1000 students who graduated from the University of Lincoln in January. 

    The university is one of a number of training providers across the UK supporting the introduction of Nursing Associates – a new support role that will sit alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. The role is designed to address a skills gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses, and it also provides a progression route into graduate level nursing. The newly qualified Nursing Associates are trained to work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings in health and social care. They will become new members of the nursing team, supporting registered nurses and enabling them to focus on more complex clinical duties.

  • By StaffAid / February 15, 2019

    Health bosses have announced plans to develop an online undergraduate nursing degree. As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England has announced plans to roll out a new online nursing degree which is designed to make nursing training ‘more accessible’. In order to attract more mature students to the profession, the plans reveal the fees will be ‘substantially less’ than the £9,250 a year currently charged by universities on traditional degree pathways. Although academic learning would take place online, the course will still offer students clinical placements within NHS organisations. The online nursing degree should be in place by 2020 – depending on the speed of regulatory approval.

  • By StaffAid / February 11, 2019

    Susan Whelan, King Power International, Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Executive of Leicester City Football Club has been made an Honorary Graduate by the University of Leicester. The University bestowed the Honorary Degree at its graduation ceremony on January 17th at De Montfort Hall in Leicester. As CEO of the 2016 English Premier League champions, Leicester City Football Club, and as Senior Executive Vice-President of the Club’s parent company, the Thai duty-free operator, King Power International, Susan has played a key part in delivering success to two businesses owned by the Srivaddhanaprabha family, to whom she has become a long-time and trusted aide.

  • By StaffAid / February 6, 2019

    A NEW ward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital is now open with the first patients already being moved in. The new 28-bed Avon 5 ward is connected by a bridge to the main building to make moving patients easier for staff. Access to the ward, located on the second floor of Aconbury East comes via the new £3m link bridge which was opened on the same day. A Worcestershire Acute Health Trust spokesman said the ward would help the hospital cope with increased winter pressures, saying: “We continue to work closely with our partners across the health and care system to manage winter pressures. These important developments form part of a comprehensive Winter Plan which will see more beds in place across the Trust in the coming weeks to help improve patient flow through our hospitals.” The ward was opened on January 16th and the first patient was moved in on the same day.

  • By StaffAid / February 1, 2019

    Hull Royal Infirmary has opened a £7,000 cinema showing footage of Yorkshire throughout the decades to help patients with memory problems. The film booth complete with cinema seats and a giant screen has been set up in the middle of Ward 80 to help people reminisce about their past and share memories of growing up in the city. Ward 80 is the Progression to Discharge Unit where patients recovering from recent illness spend time recuperating before they are discharged home with support or to a care home. The cinema helps to keep people mobile, encouraging them to move around the ward to prevent muscle wastage and get back into a more normal routine following a hospital stay.

  • By StaffAid / January 28, 2019

    Nurses are being encouraged to apply for jobs at Nottingham’s hospitals following the new emergency department expansion. A special event was held at the Queen’s Medical Centre on Monday, January 14, to encourage registered nurses in Nottinghamshire to consider working at local hospitals. NUH employs around 5,000 registered nurses, midwives and theatre practitioners but in November it had 350 vacant positions, which is around 11 percent of the nursing workforce.

  • By StaffAid / January 25, 2019

    Janet Ashton shows no signs of retiring from her beloved nursing job, as she celebrated her 80th birthday with colleagues. The mother-of two from Fulwood still works part time in the main outpatient department at Royal Preston Hospital and was surprised when fellow staff held an impromptu buffet celebration. She enrolled onto a pre-nursing course at Salford Royal in 1958 for three months and she began her nurse training at Sharon Green Hospital, where she qualified as a staff nurse in theatres in 1961. 

  • By StaffAid / January 21, 2019

    A new tax being considered by ministers as a way to fund social care could raise up to £15bn a year, according to a new report. The proposal would see a 2.5 per cent levy applied to the earnings of people over the age of 40, similar to the model used in Germany. The revenue generated by the new tax would go into a ring-fenced pot used to fund social care. Research carried out by pensions and risk consultancy Hymans Robertson suggested the German-style system could raise half of the money needed to plug the £30bn-a-year gap in social care funding the UK is facing by 2031.

  • By StaffAid / January 11, 2019

    Residents at St Oswald’s Care Home in Warrington have toasted the opening of their new local The Train Inn. It has all the traditional features of a public house and conveniently those wishing to buy a pint don’t have far to travel. Since the opening the 41 residents living at the care home and their families have been taking full advantage of having their new local within the grounds of the site. The pub serves a range of beers, wines, spirits, sherry, cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and nibbles for free, but visitors can make a voluntary contribution. As long as it is staffed, residents can use the facility whenever they wish and can even book out the pub for a special occasion. Staff plan to host quiz nights, karaoke and gin tastings for residents and their guests.

  • By StaffAid / January 8, 2019

    A Christmas miracle took place at a Teesside care home when a previously bed bound resident got up to sing Three Times a Lady. Vera Huitson, 94, spent her first six weeks at Ingleby Care Home being cared for in bed. She didn’t talk or interact with the other residents but has since become the life and soul of the home’s activities and celebrations. Despite struggling with her mobility, she was determined to join entertainer Norman Thompson for a rendition of the classic Commodores song at the Christmas party. Supported by care staff, she stood in front of residents, staff and visitors in the home’s lounge to sing along, remembering every word.

    Vera said: “I was determined to make sure I got up and danced because I love dancing.”

  • By StaffAid / January 3, 2019

    This year, Beth Spooner will give up celebrating with her family to support those with life-limiting illnesses. “Cooking the Christmas dinner with my sister, that’s the thing I’m going to miss most. She’ll have to do it on her own this year.” On Christmas morning, Beth Spooner will be at work. Instead of walking her dogs or opening presents with her family, she’ll be spending the day with those for whom this Christmas may be their last. Beth is a senior hospice-at-home nurse at Rennie Grove hospice care, a charity providing care and support for adults and children with life-limiting illnesses. This Christmas, she’ll be working from early morning to 4pm, visiting the homes of patients nearing the end of their lives. The charity, which supports patients and families in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, offers 24-hour care, seven days a week, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Beth is one of a team of nurses who will be visiting terminally ill patients on Christmas Day, to help them manage their condition, provide pain relief and support their families. “It’s just really lovely to support people and know you are making a really difficult time just a little bit easier for them.”

  • By StaffAid / January 3, 2019

    An exodus of nurses heading back to their European homeland after Britain’s decision to quit the EU has left Oxfordshire’s hospitals with an ‘extreme shortage’ of staff. Chief executive of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bruno Holthof, highlighted the dire situation at the trust’s annual public meeting. Problems recruiting and retaining staff because of the high cost of living in the area have also played their part in nursing and support staff falling by almost eight per cent since the referendum. Speaking at the meeting Dr Holthof said there was a now ‘significant shortage’ of staff across the county. He added: “We have had quite a lot of nurses from European countries going back to their country of origin – Spain, Portugal and other countries. We need to remind our European staff that the Government has made a commitment that any European staff working in the NHS will not be impacted by Brexit – although it has already had an impact. We are extremely short of people to care for our patients and this has an impact because you have to close beds. We need more people to take care of our patients and that’s a primary focus for us given the shortage.” The trust, which runs the John Radcliffe Hospital and the Churchill Hospital in Oxford as well as the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, is currently trying to fill about 450 nursing vacancies.

  • By StaffAid / January 1, 2019
  • By StaffAid / December 23, 2018

    Christmas for most of us is a happy time of year but for some it can be lonely, especially if you’re elderly and in hospital with no gifts to unwrap. With this in mind the Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund, which aims to enhance patient experience beyond what the NHS can fund, is once again calling on the people of the county to help make someone’s Christmas. The Christmas Gift appeal aims to make sure that every in-patient at Northampton General Hospital, and the community hospitals in Northamptonshire, receives a present on December 25. Last year, the charity was able to offer every patient in hospital a gift bag containing items from puzzle books to socks helping to make a huge difference to their experience of being an in-patient on the day.

  • By StaffAid / December 21, 2018

    Congratulations to Market Harborough for winning the prestigious ‘Best Town’ award at the Leicestershire Tourism & Hospitality Awards 2018

  • By StaffAid / December 18, 2018

    A school dubbed the “happiest in the UK” has launched a charity single in a bid to reach Christmas number one. Pupils and teachers at Flakefleet Primary School in Fleetwood, Lancashire have created their own single called Light Up in the hope of bagging the coveted festive top spot while raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Their song, which has won support from celebrities including Coronation Street star Lucy Fallon and singer Alfie Boe, focuses on “giving the gift of time” with the video bringing together schoolchildren with elderly residents from a nearby care home. Headteacher Dave McPartlin, who has been at the school for three years, said: “We have great links with a local care home so thought about supporting the elderly and those that are lonely. You don’t have to have a lot of money you can still give the gift of time.” The single is officially released on December 14th with all proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society.

  • By StaffAid / December 17, 2018

    NHS hospitals in England were close to capacity in the first week of December, with 94.2% of beds across the country occupied, close to last winter’s peak of more than 95%. Bed capacity is a key indicator of how the hospital system is coping with increased winter demand, and the high level of bed occupancy so early in the season will add to concerns that this winter may be just as pressured as last year. The figures will be particularly alarming as the weather has thus far been relatively mild and there is no sign of a flu outbreak on the scale that caused such difficulty for the system a year ago. NHS England says bed occupancy should not exceed 92% while health experts including the Royal College of Emergency Medicine say anything above 85% can compromise patient safety.

  • By StaffAid / December 16, 2018

    New figures, branded a “scandal” by unions, revealed how NHS staff in Lincolnshire paid over £800,000 last year for hospital parking. United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) made £845,703 from charges and penalty fees by NHS staff using parking across its sites. That was in addition to the £1.785 million made from visitor and patient parking across Lincolnshire. Across all of the NHS Trusts in England, nearly £70 million was made from staff parking charges alone. In total, NHS trusts collected £226 million from parking for the financial year 2017 to 2018, which is far higher than the 2016 to 2017 number when they collected £174 million. ULHT insist that no profit is made from parking fees.

  • By StaffAid / December 13, 2018

    The NHS could suffer a shortage of more than 51,000 nurses after Brexit, a damning new report has warned. Waiting times are also set to increase because immigration changes will mean it will become more difficult to recruit and retain staff. The authors of the new report said politicians needed to seriously examine the impact that Brexit will have on our health service. In England there is already a shortage of 41,722 nurses. It estimated that in the short term there would be an additional shortage of around 2,700 nurses. They said that would rise to between 5,000 and 10,000 during the remaining period of Brexit transition to 2021. Experts have said the total shortage across all of social care could easily top 70,000 people.

  • By StaffAid / December 11, 2018

    SCOTTISH nursing and midwifery students got a boost as Nicola Sturgeon announced their bursary will rise to £10,000. Currently, they receive £6,578 from the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary (NMSB) but the First Minister has launched a three-stage increase. This will be the first rise in the non-repayable financial support since 2009 and is to help with accommodation and living costs during their studies. This year, students with care experience will see their bursary jump to £8,100 – an increase that will apply to non-care experienced next year. In 2020, the NMSB for all nursing and midwifery students will rise to £10,000.

  • By StaffAid / December 4, 2018

    Nursing staff are being forced to choose between finishing paperwork and treating patients, as the chronic staff shortages in the NHS continue to hamper the care staff can give, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned. In a major report on nurse morale the RCN says the profession is “on the brink”, with the 43,000 vacant full-time nursing posts across the UK hampering their ability to do the job to the best of their ability. The shortage is a major source of public concern as well, with a YouGov poll of the public revealing 74% of people think there are not enough nurses to run the health service safely – and addressing this was their top priority for the NHS. For its report the RCN surveyed 30,000 nursing staff, many of who explained how the current shortages were affecting them. Some of the main concerns identified were that a lack of time means fundamentals of personal and patient care are not carried out, with nurses unable to find time to wash patients or get them back in to bed. The burden of paperwork and auditing, a major part of this government’s drive to make the NHS the safest and most transparent health service in the world through data monitoring, is another burden. Nurses also raised concerns about the lack of time to discuss patients’ care needs and next steps with love ones and relatives.

  • By StaffAid / December 3, 2018

    A care home in Skegness, Lincolnshire has raised £466 for dementia care through a sponsored walk. Syne Hills care home held the fundraiser in support of Alzheimer’s Society, and did a ‘Memory Walk.’ The walk saw residents, staff and more complete a round trip to Compass Gardens – a local attraction situated near the seaside. Cheryl Curtis, activities coordinator at the home, said: “It was such an amazing sight and fabulous experience to witness so many residents, families, friends, children, staff, and supporters all making new memories together.”

  • By StaffAid / December 1, 2018

    A major UK home care provider, offering support to 13,000 older and disabled people, is seeking to transfer or sell all its contracts to other providers. Allied Healthcare was warned by the care regulator about its financial sustainability. Since then, some local authorities have already taken steps to find new providers. The company says it is working closely with councils to ensure there is no disruption to people’s care. Allied Healthcare provides services such as preparing meals, washing and giving medication. The Care Quality Commission, which regulates such services in England, issued a notice warning that it had serious doubts about the future of the company. It was the first time the regulator had issued such a notice about the financial sustainability of a social care provider.

  • By StaffAid / November 30, 2018

    Rayner Davies Architects have received outline planning permission for 12 new houses and a 64-bed residential care home on the site of the Eden Lodge Care Home in Bestwood Village Nottingham. The proposals were unanimously approved by Gedling Planning Committee. The proposals show the demolition of the existing care home to allow for the construction of three and four-bedroom houses and a new state of the art care facility which will include a cinema, hairdresser and café.

  • By StaffAid / November 26, 2018

    A new 72-bed care home is set to open next year in Lincoln and owners are asking locals to come up with its name. The home is being built by Tanglewood Care Homes on Long Leys Road in Lincoln and will open its doors to new residents in February 2019. Between 50-60 new jobs will be also be created alongside the completion of the home. Work started in December 2017 on the home which will have a large, secure, landscaped garden as well as a cafe, cinema, tavern, hair salon and lounges. Tanglewood Care Homes already runs five other care homes – Hunters Creek in Boston, Cedar Falls in Spalding, Tanglewood in Horncastle, Toray Pines in Coningsby and Sandpiper in Alford.

  • By StaffAid / November 22, 2018

    A nursing associate is a new member of the nursing team who will provide care and support for patients and service users. This role is being used and regulated in England and it’s intended to address a skills gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses. Nursing associate is a stand-alone role in its own right and will also provide a progression route into graduate level nursing. Nursing associates will be trained to work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings in health and social care. It’s intended that the role will enable registered nurses to focus on more complex clinical duties.

  • By StaffAid / November 18, 2018

    East of England Ambulance Trust faced unprecedented demand last winter, with more than 3,200 calls answered every day. In a bid to stop a repeat this winter, bosses have asked community first responder (CFR) volunteers whether they would be prepared to drive ambulances in very early discussions on how they could be utilised. CFRs respond to local emergency calls and provide life saving first aid in those vital minutes before an ambulance arrives. The use of volunteers to drive ambulances is thought to be common place in countries such as Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

  • By StaffAid / November 14, 2018

    Hundreds of care home places for older people in Scotland vanished in a year, taking capacity to the lowest level in a decade. Almost 100 homes have shut since 2007, 19 of them during the 12 months to April last year. There are 37,278 care home beds in Scotland, down by 468 since 2016 and down 800 since 2008. Scottish Care, which represents care home owners, said that a staffing crisis, including a shortage of nurses, was making it harder for homes to survive. NHS Scotland released the figures with a report revealing that one in every 13 hospital beds is filled by a patient well enough to be discharged. About a quarter of delayed discharges are due to patients waiting for care home spaces.

  • By StaffAid / November 10, 2018

    In a move to lure overseas nurses and midwives to work in the UK, the Nursing and Midwifery Council said that the work experience requirement has been scrapped. These nurses and midwives may now apply and work in the UK after qualifying. Emma Broadbent, Director of Registration and Revalidation at the Nursing and Midwifery Council said: “More than 65,000 nurses and midwives from outside the EU deliver first class care to millions of people across the UK every year and they are a vital part of our health and care workforce. This change will remove an unnecessary barrier, making it as simple and straightforward as possible for highly skilled nursing and midwifery staff to join the workforce.” Previously, anyone trained outside the EU wishing to apply to join the NMC register must have worked for at least 12 months after qualifying and initial registration. Nurses will still need to pass the two part test of competence (CBT and OSCE) and demonstrate that they can communicate effectively in English.

  • By StaffAid / November 6, 2018

    You’re never too old to rock. Two elderly men managed to slip away from their nursing home in Germany to attend the Wacken Open Air, the largest heavy metal festival in the world. According to police, the pair were eventually found at 3am in the festival after their retirement home reported them missing. The metalheads were apparently reluctant to leave the four-day festival in Wacken. They had to be escorted home with a taxi and a patrol car as a “precaution,” police said.

  • By StaffAid / November 1, 2018

    To celebrate 70-years of the NHS, Hallmark Hotels are offering NHS staff a free stay for the remainder of 2018. The free overnight stay is available every Sunday evening when NHS staff spend £50 on food and drink in the bars and restaurants within the hotel. Staff can choose from one of the 22 hotels across the country for a sneaky little getaway, which include many features like golf courses, spas and restaurants. The offer is valid until 24 December – ID required!

  • By StaffAid / October 31, 2018
  • By StaffAid / October 31, 2018

    St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was named best acute Trust in England for the second year running. The Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) programme awarded first place to the Trust after inspections were carried out at Whiston and St Helens Hospitals, and for the first time the Trust’s new Intermediate Care Unit at Newton Hospital. Scoring an average of 99% across the board, the Trust achieved top marks in the country for cleanliness, food, privacy and dignity, condition of the buildings and facilities for patients living with dementia and patients with disabilities. The Trust was the only acute Trust in the entire country to score 100% for facilities for patients living with a disability and for the condition of the hospitals buildings. The PLACE assessments inspect and score all acute and specialist organisations throughout England. The assessments are carried out by patients, patient representatives and members of the public.

  • By StaffAid / October 29, 2018

    NHS bosses have urged hospitals to send patients to be treated by private healthcare firms in a bid to reduce the increasing number of patients waiting for planned operations. The move has sparked claims that it will waste scarce NHS funding and that profit-driven operators will use the service’s desperation to cut waiting lists to charge higher prices. The total number of patients in England on the waiting list – for procedures such as hip or knee replacements or cataract removals – rose to 4.3 million in June, the highest figure for a decade. Many hospitals are finding it impossible to treat 92% of patients within the supposed 18-week maximum waiting time, which is one of the NHS’s key performance targets. NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to hospitals and clinical commissioning groups telling them to produce plans urgently to tackle the growing backlog. The letters suggest that that may involve private firms being paid to operate on patients whom NHS hospitals are too busy to treat.

  • By StaffAid / October 23, 2018

    A Shrewsbury care home has been told to improve twice since it opened two years ago. Montgomery House welcomed the first residents to its £8 million pound development at the end of 2016. But since then inspectors from the Care Quality Commission have found the home, which is managed by Coverage Care Services Limited, needs to improve in all areas. The home caters for older people and younger adults who may have dementia, learning disabilities or mental health needs. Inspectors reported that the 90-bed home was not always safe and there were not sufficient staff to meet people’s needs. But the owners of the home said that it is making progress while recognising that further work is needed. David Coull, chief executive of Coverage Care, said: “We invest heavily in its facilities and in staff training in order to provide the best possible friendly, caring environment as a not-for-profit organisation. We work hard to follow best care sector practice in all areas. We are pleased that this inspection has recognised the progress that has been made and we share the view that further progress is still needed. We do feel some of the issues arising from this report are subject to wider factors which have perhaps not been appreciated during the inspection.”

  • By StaffAid / October 18, 2018

    A young carer from Camberley got the surprise of his life when a bunch of his Chelsea FC heroes turned up to give him a richly deserved award. Star defender and Brazilian international David Luiz presented Edward Pearce, who is just 12, a Life After Stroke Carers Award carer’s award on behalf of the Stroke Association. Edward was nominated for the gong by his dad Andy, who suffered a severe stroke in 2013. Young Edward made the brave decision to become his primary carer and cooks, cleans and completes the housework before attending school. “It was a privilege for me to present the award to such an inspirational young man, said Luiz. As footballers we get to spread a lot of happiness, but these people are the real heroes. Edward is an amazing person and to hear his dad speak about the help he provides was very touching. He is a very deserving winner of a special award.”

  • By StaffAid / October 14, 2018

    A decision by the Nursing and Midwifery Council means that trainee nursing associates will not be entitled to supernumerary status. The NMC has approved controversial proposals for an alternative approach to nursing associate training, which moves away from the traditional supernumerary status that is used for undergraduate nurses. The new approach allows trainee nursing associates to be included within staffing numbers in order to “adequately safeguard patients”. Individual employers will work with education institutions, to identify when trainee nursing associate need supported learning time. A survey of 412 trainee nursing associates revealed that 91% believe they would have ‘increased learning opportunities’ with a more traditional supernumerary status. 72% said they had missed learning opportunities because they were unable to be released from practice.

  • By StaffAid / October 9, 2018

    The University of Lincoln has been ranked 22nd in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2019. The institution has risen 25 places in the national league table, driven by its success in student satisfaction and an impressive student continuation rate. This latest success follows a rise to 43rd position in the Complete University Guide, which saw the University ranked in the top 10 for subjects in Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation and Tourism. The University has also been rated TEF Gold – the highest standard possible – in a national independent assessment of teaching quality in higher education. Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, said: “I am enormously proud of our University community and am grateful to all staff and students for the contribution they have made to our success .”

  • By StaffAid / October 5, 2018

    More than 3,000 places on midwifery training courses are to be created over the next four years in England as part of plans to meet NHS staffing demands. The government has announced a 25% boost in training places, which it said amounted to the “largest ever” increase in NHS midwives and maternity staff. It follows a similar plan for nurses which was announced last year. The Royal College of Midwives welcomed the move but said training more midwives was only half of the problem. The plan needs investment and time to make it work, the RCM added. An extra 650 midwifery training places will be created next year, followed by 1,000 new places for the three subsequent years.

  • By StaffAid / September 23, 2018

    A Birmingham care manager, who is the driving force behind a unique and vibrant care scheme for elderly people, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award. Valerie Paragon, the service manager at Mary Street Extra Care Service, has been shortlisted for the Woman of the Year accolade at the 2018 Women in Housing Awards, which celebrates the achievements of outstanding women working in the housing sector. Paragon said: “When I heard about the nomination and the shortlisting for this award, I was absolutely speechless and anyone who knows me will tell you that is a first. Precisely what it is that I have done to warrant this nomination is beyond me, but I am very proud to have been put forward, nonetheless.” In her role, Paragon leads and inspires Mary Street’s dedicated team of staff to deliver a heartfelt service to those in their care, helping to provide a varied, engaging and stimulating schedule of events that ensures their time at the centre is as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible. The centre in Balsall Heath provides individualised support for up to 20 elderly residents – many of whom are living with dementia – who choose to live as independently and happily as possible within an African Caribbean cultural setting.

  • By StaffAid / September 19, 2018

    Hartsholme House care home in Lincoln has received an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors. The care home on Ashby Avenue was rated ‘Outstanding’ in the ‘well-led and responsive’ categories and remains ‘Good’ for safety, effectiveness and care after a surprise inspection on May 10. The home, which is run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT), was praised for its ‘truly person-centred care’ and how ‘staff had an excellent and in-depth knowledge of the people they cared for’. The care offered at Hartsholme House was described as “outstandingly responsive” with staff said to be passionate about sharing best practice and increasing their knowledge in the best interest of the home’s residents.

  • By StaffAid / September 15, 2018

    Amid an ongoing NHS retention and recruitment crisis, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has seen midwife staffing levels fall below the required level and would otherwise be at a point where services ‘will be impacted’. In an effort to boost midwife staffing levels, the trust has said it will be using ‘senior management and non-frontline midwives’ in clinical roles to temporarily plug the vacancies until the staffing situation improves. NHS figures show that the number of full-time equivalent midwives employed by OUH has dropped from 296 in March 2016 to 259 in March 2018, despite an ongoing recruitment drive. As of June there were around 26 full time midwife roles to be filled. An OUH spokesman said the temporary move for bosses would mean the trust’s required midwife to births ratio would be met and that no adverse impact on patient care was anticipated. To remain registered with the Nursing and Midwifery council, clinicians must have had at least 450 hours of practice over the previous three years to remain. However, concerns have been raised about using clinicians who may have been out of regular front-line care for a number of years.

  • By StaffAid / September 12, 2018

    Care homes operator Sunrise Senior Living will pay more than £2m in compensation after charging thousands of pounds in compulsory “upfront fees”. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) secured the deal for those who had paid the fees since 1 October 2015. People who have left or leave within two years of moving into one of the company’s homes are eligible. Sunrise chief executive Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald said the firm made the move voluntarily. The average individual payout from Sunrise will be about £3,000 and if the resident dies in this timescale, their family will receive the money. The move comes as part of the CMA’s continuing investigation into how some care homes charge for their services. Last November, the watchdog found that as well as charging the “upfront fees”, some care homes were also billing families for weeks after their relatives had died. It also highlighted how those paying for themselves were paying much higher charges than council-funded residents. The average weekly charge for self-funders was £846 – 40% more than local authority rates.

  • By StaffAid / September 8, 2018

    More than £58 million must be cut from Leicestershire’s healthcare spending this financial year, but there is concern that none of the organisations responsible for allocating cash to services have yet confirmed where savings will be made. Three organisations, called clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), are in charge of funding health care services in Leicester and the county. Their three joint priorities are primary care, mental health services and keeping waiting times down. The budget for each has been increased this year, but rising costs mean spending must be reduced to get their books to balance. A spokesperson for the CCGs said that as a result of the cuts, this will be their “toughest year yet financially”. Proposals for cuts have been set out by the CCGs but will not be confirmed until September – half way through the financial year

  • By StaffAid / September 5, 2018

    Anja, who is in her 80s, says she has lived here for one hour. In fact, it has been almost a year. Like all of her neighbours, she has severe dementia. But if she is feeling particularly perky, she can buy lagers at the local supermarket, get coiffed at the hair salon and play bingo as night falls. She can dip her feet into the local fountain, or even cycle into it. She lives in Hogeweyk, thought to be the world’s first “dementia village”, near Amsterdam. Dementia villages are gated communities designed for people who suffer from dementia, a term used to describe a set of symptoms (such as memory loss and confusion) that are caused by a variety of brain diseases. Hogeweyk’s 150 residents live in six-room houses, each designed around one of four “lifestyles”. These are selected for patients after tests and interviews alongside their families. Anja and her housemates live in a “traditional” home. They eat starchy stamppot stews and have a sewing machine that says it is “Made in West Germany”. Hogeweyk’s allowance of small freedoms gives peace of mind to people who have lost a part of theirs. Grouping residents by lifestyles is meant to establish continuity between their former lives and the nursing facility. Hogeweyk received over 1,400 visitors in 2017, keen to copy the concept in their own countries.

  • By StaffAid / August 29, 2018

    Plans for a dementia care village forming part of the Wirral Waters dockside regeneration scheme have been submitted to the council. Peel Land and Property say its partnership with award-winning care provider, Belong, will lead to the creation of a state-of-the-art development. Its range of village centre amenities, open to the public, will include a bistro, specialist gym, hair salon and function rooms. It will also feature a housing complex catering for a spectrum of abilities, including 34 one and two-bedroom apartments for independent living to six households which will provide 24-hour support, including nursing and dementia care, for up to 12 residents in each household. The village will also support people in the wider community through its registered domiciliary care service, Belong at Home, and its specialist day care service, Experience Days.

  • By StaffAid / August 24, 2018

    Patients from Nottingham and the surrounding area are choosing to travel to the Royal Derby Hospital for treatment instead of going to the city’s Queen’s Medical Centre, managers have said. Patient choice and snap decisions by ambulance crews have seen a “drift” of patients from the Nottingham area to the hospital, the Derby hospital’s chief said. Sharon Martin said that the issue is not a new phenomenon, but that the site has seen an increase in patients and ambulances from out of the immediate Derby area. She said one of these reasons is patient choice. Simply put, the Uttoxeter Road hospital has a good reputation which has been well advertised – leading many patients to actively seek out treatment in Derby. The hospital’s A&E unit, which in April broke its record for the number of patients seen in one day with 504, was rated the best in the country in October 2017.

  • By StaffAid / August 20, 2018

    A woman who celebrated her 100th birthday recently has put her lasting health down to drinking Guinness. Doris Olive Netting of Plymouth says she drank a glass of the Irish stout every day for almost 70 years. She claims it is the reason she has lived to see her centenary. Her granddaughter, Tammy Netting, said “She absolutely loves Guinness, she’s had a bottle a day since the war. She refuses to go a day without drinking it.”

  • By StaffAid / August 15, 2018

    For the second year running we are proud to sponsor the annual Lincolnshire Care Awards. The 2018 StaffAid Care Leadership Award will be awarded to an individual in a residential care setting who can demonstrate leadership that leads to improved quality of life for the users of their service. They could be a supervisor, senior care worker, team leader, ICare Ambassador, manager or anyone demonstrating outstanding leadership skills. Nick Carroll, StaffAid owner, said ‘it is an absolute pleasure to once again support LinCA by sponsoring one of their awards. I am also privileged to be one of the judges again. Last year was a great event and hearing some of the inspirational stories from nominees was very moving’.

    The awards evening will take place on February 28th 2019 at the County Assembly Rooms, Lincoln.

  • By StaffAid / August 15, 2018

    Devoted 92-year-old Albert Dooley visits his wife Doreen twice a day at her care home and takes her dinner every evening. Doreen, also 92, suffers from dementia and is a permanent resident at Morton Grange care home, near Alfreton. Now his devotion has been recognised with a top national award, which was presented by Radio 2 star Jeremy Vine. Albert said: “I come here twice a day, seven days a week. Once in the morning and once in the evening to bring her dinner. Doreen does respond to me sometimes too, which I think is down to the fact that I come over so much so she recognises me. I also come to read out the bingo every week. I do it because I enjoy doing it, I have my own bingo machine and it breaks the monotony of people’s days. It’s also good for your brain and makes you think.” Albert has been married to Doreen for 67 years and said “I’ve had an absolutely wonderful marriage”.

  • By StaffAid / August 9, 2018

    The government should introduce a levy for over 40s, retirees, and employers to fund the spiralling care costs of the growing population of older people and those with disabilities, MPs have said. A report from the Housing, Communities and Local Government and Health and Social Care Committees calls for a “social care premium” for England, to address social care costs which will soon become “unsustainable”. The aim of the system would be to ensure the personal element of social care – such as washing, dressing and eating – is eventually available free at the point of delivery to everyone who needs it, although accommodation costs would continue to be means-tested. In order to ensure fairness between generations, payments into the fund would start at the age of 40 and would be extended to those over 65, it said. Social care was badly hit by government cuts to council budgets and stretched services are also heaping pressure on the NHS as there is not enough capacity to support people at home when they are well enough to leave hospital. The sector will need “many billions of pounds” to simply keep pace with the growth in demand in the coming decade, the MPs said. To address this the government should consider moving to a “social insurance system” with the additional funds raised to be specifically earmarked for key parts of home support and nursing care, they added. The social care premium could either operate as an additional element of national insurance or through a separate mechanism, as happens in Germany, the report said.

  • By StaffAid / August 3, 2018

    The home of the Red Arrows air display team is to be sold off, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed. RAF Scampton, which was also home to 617 Squadron as they prepared for the Dambusters mission in World War Two, has housed the Red Arrows since 2000. Six hundred people currently work at the site near Lincoln. The MoD, which wants to save £3bn by 2040, is also closing RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire where 300 people work. The government said RAF Scampton will close in 2022 with the Red Arrows relocating to a site “more fit for purpose”. Plans were also confirmed to transfer basic and fast jet training from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire to RAF Valley on Anglesey in 2019 and cease using Linton in 2020.

  • By StaffAid / July 31, 2018

    Two years on from the removal of the NHS student bursary, applications to nursing degree courses have plummeted by a third in England. Numbers applying to begin training in September 2018 have dropped 12% compared to the same time last year, resulting in a total decline of 16,580 since March 2016, the last year students received financial support through the bursary. The fall in mature student numbers has been even more extreme, with a 16% drop by the June application deadline compared to the same point last year, and a total decline of 40% since June 2016.

    Janet Davies, RCN Chief Executive, said: “Failing to recruit more nurses puts patients at risk, and with 40,000 nurse vacancies in England alone, we cannot sit back and watch applications fall year on year. It is clear now that removing the bursary has been a disaster. It is time ministers looked again at this policy, before patients suffer the consequences.

  • By StaffAid / July 30, 2018

    Rayner Davies Architects and Wynbrook have started work on an £8m residential care home in Nottingham. Situated on the former Clifton Bridge Inn Silverdale, the home will include 83 beds with communal lounges, cinema and hairdresser. Project architect for Rayner Davies, Julien McGuinness, said: “The project was especially challenging due to the proximity of the A453 and the Nottingham Ring Road. Also, its location within the River Trent flood zone required the building to be elevated above the potential flood level.” The project is the fifth care home undertaken by Rayner Davies and Radcliffe based Wynbrook. Wynbrook was chosen for the project because of its high level of expertise in the sector, having recently won the ‘Best New Care Home’ category award at the 2018 Pinders Healthcare & Design Awards in London. The home is expected to take nine months to complete.

  • By StaffAid / July 26, 2018

    There was a double celebration at a Derbyshire care home where two much-loved residents celebrated their 100th birthdays. Colin Frost and Frank Lowe, residents at April Park Care Home in Eckington, both reached the landmark age in the same week. The care home organised a joint party for the pair as they marked the special occasion surrounded by family and friends. A spokesperson for the care home said that Colin is a gentleman who ‘says it as it is’ and Frank is ‘very laid back’. Frank was born in Mosborough and went to school in the village. He had a number of jobs after leaving school including at Renishaw Colliery. On the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the RAF. Colin was born in Killamarsh and joined the Army in May 1938 for six years.

  • By StaffAid / July 24, 2018

    Hundreds of nurses and midwives may have let their registration lapse accidentally because the Nursing and Midwifery Council failed to send out a final reminder. The problem was revealed in the latest annual performance report on the nursing regulator that shows many nurses then had to wait up to a month or more to re-register. It occurred in the wake of changes to the annual renewal process in November 2015, which saw nurses and midwives who failed to pay their fee on time automatically removed from the register and required to submit a completely new application. Previously, there had been a grace period where registrants could quickly get back on the register without submitting a full application by simply paying the outstanding fee. However, today’s report from the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) suggests many may have fallen foul of the new system, because a final reminder email was not sent.

  • By StaffAid / July 23, 2018

    Tough “hostile environment” immigration rules are deepening the NHS staffing crisis by stopping well-qualified family doctors from working in the UK, the profession’s leaders have warned. The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has pleaded with Sajid Javid, the home secretary, to help relieve the UK’s “desperate” lack of family doctors by putting them on the migration advisory committee’s shortage occupation list, in order to make it easier to recruit GPs from abroad. Its appeal comes after Javid confirmed that the monthly cap on numbers of skilled workers that can come and work in Britain was being reviewed, prompting speculation that the government will soon announce a relaxing of the policy. Some health professionals including nurses, paramedics, old age psychiatrists and radiographers, are already on the shortage occupation list because they are in such short supply in the UK. In her letter, Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, the chair of the RCGP, warns Javid that an overhaul is urgently needed as efforts to fulfil the government’s pledge to increase the number of GPs in England by 5,000 by 2020 look set to fail, with numbers falling rather than rising.

  • By StaffAid / July 19, 2018

    Pensioners’ homes should be used to fund social care instead of major tax rises on those of working age, the head of the NHS has said. Simon Stevens said the “accumulated housing wealth” held by older generations should be used to pay for their care, saying they were in a “relatively advantaged position” compared to younger generations. The comments to MPs are set to spark a fierce political debate about how to tackle a growing crisis in elderly care. Last year Theresa May’s manifesto pledge to make pensioners pay more towards the cost of social care was swiftly dubbed a “dementia tax” because it would hit sufferers living at home while those with other illnesses would receive hospital care. Mr Stevens said the assets of the elderly – including their homes – should be used to fund their care, backing schemes which allow councils to reclaim care costs from the sale of pensioners’ property.

  • By StaffAid / July 17, 2018

    A care home operator has opened the doors to its new £12m site near Nottingham. Ruddington Manor is New Care’s second home in the city and is located in Ruddington. The doors were officially opened by The Lord of Rushcliffe, Cllr Maureen Stockwood, and her consort Cllr Francis Purdue-Horan. The new home has 66 beds and includes en-suite wet rooms, communal lounges, dining rooms and secure landscaped gardens. It also offers a host of hotel-style services including fine dining, a hair salon, nail bar, concierge and a busy and varied programme of activities and events. New Care chief executive Chris McGoff said: “We are thrilled that the Lady Mayor was able to take time out of her busy schedule to open Ruddington Manor. We are incredibly proud of the care facility and we were delighted to give her a preview tour. The cutting of the red ribbon and meeting the first Ruddington Manor residents was a truly memorable way to mark the occasion.”

  • By StaffAid / July 16, 2018

    Lincolnshire Brewing Company, in partnership with Visit Lincoln, has created the Centennial Flight ale – and it’s well worth a bottle (or two) to pay homage to the RAF. The drink is brewed with Centennial hops which are renowned for their citrus and floral aroma – meaning it has a pungent and appealing whiff. The ale also includes pilot hops which offer a spicy marmalade note. The ale bottle comes complete with the RAF Lincolnshire toolkit badge on the label in a nod to the RAF’s 100th anniversary this year. Karl Brown, head brewer and co-director of Lincolnshire Brewing Company, said: “As a Lincolnshire company, we wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF. Visit Lincoln and Lincoln BIG have organised an exciting programme of events which will bring many visitors and residents into the city. Our customers love commemorative ales and this is the second one we have done in partnership with Visit Lincoln.” The beer is available to buy from retailers such as The Crafty Bottle where it will be sold in 500ml bottles for £3 as well as in various pubs and bars across Lincoln and on all local RAF camps.

  • By StaffAid / July 11, 2018

    A care home in Ipswich is helping residents recover their mojo by dancing the night away at a specially designed nightclub. Thornbank care home has created its very own nightclub and pub, designed for residents to spend time together reminiscing over a pint or playing traditional games. In the evening the ‘Snug’, as it is known, is transformed into a dance floor – where residents are encouraged to show off their best moves. The facilities were officially opened on Saturday, June 16 by Essex-born comedian Joe Pasquale. Lyn Andrews, activity coordinator at the home, said the pub and club had “brought fun and laughter back into our residents’ lives”.

  • By StaffAid / July 6, 2018

    This year the NHS turns 70 and, to mark this major milestone, The Royal Mint has launched a NHS 10p coin. The coin forms part of an A-Z of what makes Britain great with the world famous NHS being ‘N’. The NHS 10p coin is a perfect way to celebrate the birthday, reminding people about the vital role the service plays in our lives and recognising the extraordinary NHS staff – the everyday heroes – who are always there to greet, advise and care for us. Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer said: “As we celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS, we are delighted to be a part of this special collection of coins, celebrating what makes Britain great. The NHS is loved and valued by the nation and we want the country to take part in this fantastic coin hunt, and recognise our dedicated NHS staff of whom we are all so proud.”

  • By StaffAid / July 2, 2018

    The government is to relax immigration rules to allow more non-EU skilled workers into the UK. The Home Office is expected to confirm that foreign doctors and nurses will be excluded from the government’s visa cap. The cap – introduced by Theresa May when she was home secretary – sets a limit for all non-EU skilled workers at 20,700 people a year, but NHS bosses say the rules are making it difficult to recruit enough staff. Saffron Cordery, of trade body NHS Providers, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the change was “absolutely the right decision. This is going to be a huge relief for trusts up and down the country who have been really struggling to fill their doctors and nurses vacancies,” she said. Alp Mehmet, of pressure group Migration Watch, said he accepted the change but that it should not be the long-term solution. NHS England had 35,000 nurse vacancies and nearly 10,000 doctor posts unfilled in February

  • By StaffAid / June 18, 2018

    2nd year student nurse and StaffAid agency carer Gemma Bolton is set to leave for a 4-week voluntary placement in Tanzania on June 24th. Gemma has generously given her time and expertise to helps the local community at the Amana hospital in Dar es Salaam, including caring for patients suffering with HIV. A crowd-funding campaign has helped to raise the funds Gemma needs to undertake the trip, and StaffAid, in conjunction with Dr Sharon Black, Director of Nurse Education at the University of Lincoln, are supporting Gemma every step of the way. “I am delighted that StaffAid is able to support Gemma by paying for her return flight to Tanzania” says Nick Carroll, Managing Director at StaffAid. “Supporting local people and businesses is extremely important to us. This is an exciting opportunity for Gemma, enabling her to make a positive impact where it is sorely needed. Gemma will also gain invaluable experience that will benefit her future nursing career.”

  • By StaffAid / June 15, 2018

    Nottingham Trent University has soared 18 places to overtake its better-known competitor, the University of Nottingham, a member of the elite Russell Group, in the 2019 edition of the Guardian University Guide. The former polytechnic has had a meteoric rise up the table over the past five years. From languishing in the bottom half, Nottingham Trent moved to 53rd place in the 2017 edition, 34th in the 2018 edition; it is now 16th. This year it has overtaken its competitor for the first time by one place in the rankings. The university has improved across every measure, including substantial advances in graduate career prospects and National Student Survey results, as well as attaining higher entry standards among its students and a better student to staff ratio. The top three in the Guardian University Guide are the same as last year: Cambridge, Oxford and St Andrews.

  • By StaffAid / June 14, 2018

    Nurses from the EU face paying an annual £600 fee for their own health costs after Brexit in a move that will deepen the NHS staffing crisis, their leaders have warned.

    The “immigration health surcharge” paid by migrants from outside Europe could be extended to people arriving from within the EU, the Home Office has admitted. Families are already being “torn apart” by the charge, said the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), highlighting how nurses have been forced to leave their children abroad. Now Janet Davies, the RCN’s chief executive, will tell its annual conference: “It could be about to get even worse. Ministers will not rule out extending this to European nurses once we leave the EU. The government must not put Spanish, Portuguese or Italian colleagues through the same after Brexit. We cannot afford to haemorrhage even more expertise.” The NHS is currently short of at least 43,000 nurses across the UK – despite being boosted by a total of 140,000 staff from EU countries.

  • By StaffAid / June 13, 2018

    The University of Lincoln is marking a double celebration following news of a major national award for its Vice Chancellor and a rise to its highest ever league table position. Lincoln has risen to 43rd in the Complete University Guide 2019, an achievement which is complemented by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Mary Stuart, winning The Guardian’s ‘Inspiring Leader 2018’ at a ceremony in London. The award recognises inspirational leadership within the UK higher education sector and celebrates institutions and leaders who have had a far-reaching impact on higher education, who have encouraged innovation, and demonstrated visionary thinking.

  • By StaffAid / June 9, 2018

    Steven Tsui and Stephen Large work at Cambridgeshire’s Royal Papworth Hospital and have been dubbed ‘Pioneering Heroes’ at the NHS Heroes Awards. The pair made it possible to restart a beating heart allowing a new type of transplant. Their work means more people on the donor register can receive a heart, saving more lives. They are among the winners named by organisers ITV and the Mirror as part of the event celebrating 70th anniversary of the NHS. Stephen Large, consultant surgeon at Royal Papworth Hospital, said: “It is a huge honour to win this award in recognition of our work to establish DCD heart transplantation at Royal Papworth Hospital. After many years of research, I am incredibly proud of the results we have achieved so far. It is wonderful to see more than 40 people getting a second chance at life following a successful DCD transplant.” Consultant surgeon Steven Tsui added that it was a ‘real honour’ to receive the NHS Pioneering Hero award.

  • By StaffAid / June 4, 2018

    We are proud to be supporting the Lincolnshire Independent Care Conference on Thursday June 7th. The conference will be held at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln between 9.30am – 4pm. We will have a stand promoting our services to both care homes and nurses & carers. Why not come and say hello and pick up some freebies – see you there!!

  • By StaffAid / May 30, 2018

    The Royal College of Nursing has called for a national recruitment campaign as the latest figures show a fall in applicants for student places. There have been 43,700 UCAS undergraduate applications for nursing courses, a fall of 10% compared with last year. It is estimated that the NHS in England is short of about 40,000 nurses. Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “The continued failure of ministers to get a grip on the nurse-training situation will jeopardise care for patients. The Government may have agreed to increase starting salaries for nurses but, in isolation, that will not be enough to bring in the tens of thousands more we need. More incentives are needed to make it as attractive as possible.” A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “Our priority is getting more nurses on our wards, which is why we increased the number of nurse training places available by 25%, allowing more people to study nursing than ever before. Any decrease in the number of applications must be seen in the context of this significant increase in the number of nursing places available – and places remain oversubscribed.”

  • By StaffAid / May 24, 2018

    Freya Lewis broke down in tears as she was praised by Louis Tomlinson for her epic fundraising efforts at the NHS Heroes Awards. The Manchester bombing survivor was presented with The Young Fundraiser Award by the former One Direction star after raising £27,000 for the hospital that saved her life. Almost a year ago Freya, 15, was unconscious in hospital, fighting for her life. She had been at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena last May 22 when a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured 59. Freya suffered multiple fractures from shrapnel and the blast killed one of her best friends, Nell Jones, 14. She had multiple operations and was at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for five weeks. Doctors feared she may never walk again, but after three months in a wheelchair, she was back on her feet. Freya’s mum Alison says: “She is so determined. She has shown the most incredible strength.” Freya suffered multiple fractures, lacerations and burns from being hit by shrapnel in the blast. Next weekend Freya shows courage once again by taking part in the Great Manchester Run.

  • By StaffAid / May 21, 2018

    The NHS will celebrate its 70th birthday this year, after a difficult decade since the global financial crisis culminating in one of the most testing years in our history. The terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, along with the Grenfell Tower tragedy, saw all emergency services, including NHS staff, respond with skill and bravery. Our health service, while still ranked among the best in the world, has never been busier. The NHS sees almost 1.5 million patients every day in England alone. So as well as celebrating its many achievements, in our landmark year we must also reaffirm our commitment to a taxpayer-funded service, based on clinical need and not the ability to pay. Happy birthday NHS – and thank you for doing such an amazing job.

  • By StaffAid / May 19, 2018

    A charity care home which looks after adults with learning disabilities has been declared ‘outstanding’ by inspectors. The Oaklands in Warsop was set up by the local community 30 years ago and is still run as a charity to provide care for 20 adults with disabilities. The home’s 56-year-old manager for the past three and a half years, David Wint, born and raised in Mansfield, believed the success was down to his team and how hard they worked to be as inclusive as possible. In particular he thought the home benefited from the range of activities they put on such as discos, plays, pub lunches and bingo nights and said they were “more of a family than a care home”. He added: “We are absolutely delighted, it is the culmination of four years’ hard work and I am so proud of the team.” The Oaklands has three separate bungalows for residents with mental health needs, learning disabilities or an autistic spectrum disorder with around eight also visiting for a short respite period. Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found staff were caring and compassionate and people were being provided with safe, responsive, caring, effective and well-led care.

  • By StaffAid / May 14, 2018

    Mother-of-one and dementia support worker, Suzanne Warnes, 45, has been recognised as the country’s top dementia carer at the 2018 Great British Care Awards. Suzanne works at the Independence Matters-run Harford Hill Dementia Day Service on Norwich’s Ipswich Road, and she has dedicated years to caring for people with dementia and making people more aware of the condition. Suzanne won the regional Dementia Carer Award last year which meant she was automatically put forward to the national Great British Care Awards. Ms Warnes was up against eight other regional winners at the national ceremony in Birmingham and received the main Dementia Carer Award from Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine. As well as supporting those with dementia and their families at the day centre, she supports people living with the condition in their homes. Ms Warnes is also a Dementia Friends champion which involves training individuals and organisations in supporting people with dementia. Ms Warnes said: “When they called my name my stomach hit the floor. Everything went numb. It was unbelievable.”

  • By StaffAid / May 12, 2018

    Saturday May 12th is international nurses day, which is celebrated around the world to mark the contributions nurses make to society.  StaffAid would like to thank every single nurse for the wonderful job they do – in very difficult and challenging circumstances hasten to add!

    #ThisNurse #May12

  • By StaffAid / May 11, 2018

    Up to 3,000 elderly people will not be able to get beds in UK care homes by the end of 2018, research suggests. Research commissioned by BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme reveals a huge shortfall in the number of beds available. Increasing demand from an ageing population could see that grow to more than 70,000 beds in nine years’ time. The Department of Health said local authorities in England had been given an extra £2bn to help fund social care, but in the past three years one in 20 UK care home beds has closed, and research suggests not enough are being added to fill the gap. The research found that since 2002 an average of 7,000 new care home beds had opened in the UK every year, but by 2026 there would be an additional 14,000 people needing residential care home places per year. Lead researcher James Kingdom said: “We’re currently building half the number of care home beds every year that we need.”

  • By StaffAid / May 8, 2018

    Bosses at a care home near Burton have heralded an “outstanding achievement” after a surprise inspection. Barton Cottage, The Cottage Wing, in Short Lane, Barton under Needwood, got a “good” overall rating after a visit from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The inspectors gave the home an “outstanding” rating in the effectiveness category. The CQC report states: “The provider, registered manager and staff worked closely with other professionals to meet people’s needs holistically and to ensure they delivered care in accordance with the best practice. The provider trained and supported staff to meet people’s individuals needs and encouraged them to develop their knowledge and skills. The premises had been improved to promote greater engagement in activities and provide private space for people and their families. Staff sought people’s consent when providing support and people were able to make decisions about their care. People who used the service had the capacity to consent to their care and there were no people being restricted of their liabilty.” The report also found the facility to be “good” for being “safe, caring, responsive and well-led”.

  • By StaffAid / May 2, 2018

    The Nursing and Midwifery Council will review the current cost of registration in 2018/19 ‘in more detail’, amid ‘growing concern’ over the long-term trend of the size of the register. At a council meeting at the end of March, the NMC decided that the £120 fee will continue thanks to the ‘relatively healthy’ financial position, but with the proviso that it will be reviewed further over the forthcoming year. In 2017/18, the NMC derived 97% of its £85m income through standard registration fees, but dwindling nurse numbers has seen the NMC acknowledge that ‘the greatest risk to the organisation’s finances is a continued decline in the size of the register’. In council papers, they admit that they are assuming ‘a decline of income of £1.4m between the current financial year and 2018/19 for an expected further reduction in the register and overseas income’, although they do not expect the numbers on the register to fall dramatically over the next few years.

  • By StaffAid / April 25, 2018

    There are 3.6 million older people in the UK who live alone. A staggering 1.9 million often feel ignored or invisible, according to Age UK. This is not only heart-breaking but also dangerous considering loneliness can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. One woman is refusing to ignore the epidemic and has come up with the simplest of ideas to tackle the issue. Caron Sprake, from Exmouth, designed and printed cards for people to put on their tables to break down those initial communication barriers and encourage others to sit with them and chat. The ‘Happy To Share’ cards are mostly dotted around restaurants and cafés in Devon. However it’s not unheard of for them to be found across the rest of the UK – and even internationally. Caron designed the cards and pitched them to a local charity which was looking to fund ideas helping people with their mental wellbeing in Devon. The charity loved the idea and granted her £450 to print her first batch of cards. Thanks to the help of a local printing company, Caron was able to print the first batch of 5,000 for free. She then used the money from the charity to print more and laminated them to make them durable. The cards are having a positive impact too. One woman got in touch with Caron after using them. “I stood it up on the table and someone came to sit with me and we ended up chatting. Since I spend, and always have spent, most of my life alone, I think these cards are a fantastic idea.” She said.

  • By StaffAid / April 16, 2018

    Specialist nursing agency lends support of upcoming overseas project for student nurse

    Lincoln and Leicester-based nursing agency StaffAid provide highly skilled and experienced agency nurses and healthcare assistants to care homes, hospices and private hospitals.

    The agency is delighted to announce sponsorship of a talented student nurse, Gemma Bolton, as she embarks on a four-week voluntary placement in July to Tanzania. Gemma is currently in her second year of study at the University of Lincoln, UK, and the trip to Tanzania will enable her to explore different areas of nursing in a high-pressure environment. The role will call upon the specialist care she has learned to provide, as she helps the local community at the Amana hospital in Dar es Salaam, including caring for patients suffering with HIV.

    A crowd-funding campaign has been established to help raise the funds Gemma needs to undertake the trip, and StaffAid, in conjunction with Dr Sharon Black, Director of Nurse Education at the University of Lincoln, are backing Gemma every step of the way.  “I am delighted that StaffAid is able to support Gemma by paying for her return flight to Tanzania” says Nick Carroll, Managing Director at StaffAid. “Supporting local people and businesses is extremely important to us. This is an exciting opportunity for Gemma, enabling her to make a positive impact where it is sorely needed. Gemma will also gain invaluable experience that will benefit her future nursing career.”

    Not only does StaffAid offer continuous support to its talented bank of nursing and care professionals, but the company is always seeking new customers in need of superior agency staff. Find out more about StaffAid at http://www.staffaid.co.uk or follow the company on Facebook at @StaffAidHQ to stay up to date with the latest news.

    For more information on Gemma’s story, visit her JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gemma-bolton

    Above: Nick Carroll, Managing Director of StaffAid [left], alongside Dr Sharon Black, Director of Nurse Education at the University of Lincoln [right], and Gemma Bolton, Student Nurse [centre]

  • By StaffAid / April 12, 2018

    The first Lincolnshire medical school will open thanks to a successful joint bid by the University of Lincoln and the University of Nottingham. The University of Nottingham Lincoln Medical School, on the University of Lincoln Brayford campus, will train the next generation of health professionals in an effort to fill severe staffing shortages in the region with UK-trained doctors. Funding has been secured for an initial 80 first year undergraduate places in September 2019 with a further 80 per intake in subsequent years. When it is at full capacity in a few years’ time, the new school promises to deliver medical training to around 400 undergraduate students. Students will study for a University of Nottingham BMBS medical degree and will undertake clinical placements at local hospitals, GP surgeries and other healthcare units in collaboration with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) and the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).

  • By StaffAid / April 9, 2018

    Applications to study nursing in England have fallen for a second year, dropping by a third since the Government removed bursaries in 2017 requiring nurses and midwives to pay £9,000 a year in fees. Ucas figures for the first wave of applicants hoping to start university courses in September 2018 show that the number of students wanting to study NHS nursing have again fallen sharply, by 13 per cent on last year. This is despite the Government dropping the bursary so that more nurses could be trained, as places were previously capped by what the NHS could afford. Nursing bosses said this ambition has failed and some form of incentive, such as student loan write-offs for nurses who are trained and work in the NHS, is urgently needed to avert “unimaginable problems” in the future.

  • By StaffAid / April 3, 2018

    One of the biggest care homes in Ipswich is closing – and the news has come as a shock to residents and their families. Bosses at Anglesea Heights Care Home have announced they will be shutting the facility, which is privately run by BUPA, over a “lack of local demand”. Only 40 residents are currently living at the Anglesea Road premises despite the home having capacity to house 120, chiefs said. Managing director for BUPA care homes Barry Yarnley said: “It’s with regret that we’re announcing the closure of Anglesea Heights care home, due to a lack of local demand. Our residents’ wellbeing remains our top priority, which is why we’re working closely with the local authority and NHS partners to help find new homes for all our residents. Anglesea Heights will remain open until then.” Back in 2016, Anglesea Heights was named among six homes that were considered to be under performing by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It was put into special measures that same year but was lifted out again in April 2017 alongside nine others. Anglesea Heights currently has a CQC rating of ‘requires improvement’.

  • By StaffAid / March 30, 2018

    It was after midnight at a U.S. Army hospital in Vietnam when nurse Soni Talbert met the man she’d marry within two weeks. The problem, however, was that it wasn’t clear if he was going to live. He was wheeled in on a stretcher by corpsmen, soon after shrapnel from an artillery strike severed an artery in his right leg. By the time Lt. David Talbert arrived at the 3rd Surgical Hospital in Dong Tam in the midst of the Vietnam War, he’d lost more than half of his blood. He was in danger of losing his leg — and life. Within two weeks David Talbert and Lt. Soni Talbert tied the knot at another hospital in Vietnam. Now, both 72 they have just celebrate their 50th anniversary. “I just had a feeling of ‘this is someone special,’” Soni Talbert said. “We both just knew we were right for each other.”

  • By StaffAid / March 26, 2018

    The Lantern nursing home located in Ohio is only one of three amazing facilities designed specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Designed to look like small houses with porches leading out to a golf course, the living facility feels like a community in the 1940s. With incredible attention to detail, including paint schemes reminiscent of the time period, Lantern is an incredibly unique living facility. Using special fibre optics in the ceiling, the facility recreates a special daylight and starry sky atmosphere in the building. The floors of the facility are painted green to represent the grass, and an array of sound effects such as bird chirps are played throughout. “Every little thing you see, the wall colour, the paint, actually has a therapeutic benefit, a therapeutic value,” says CEO Jean Makesh. As a trained occupational therapist, Makesh has created the perfect environment for these special patients. After learning how controlled environments can lead to major reductions in anxiety, anger, and depression, he decided to create a facility that incorporated these ideas into a constructive living experience. Moreover, Lantern provides residents with an assortment of daily classes to help them re-learn and retain basic skills and functions.

  • By StaffAid / March 21, 2018

    A Snapchat-loving granny has been named Ireland’s most tech savvy pensioner after winning eir’s Silver Surfer Award. Doreen Thew (92) moved to Ireland from London two years ago to be closer to her son Peter, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren after the death of her husband. The iPad loving granny made sure, however, that her nursing home had an adequate Wifi system in place before her arrival. The pensioner regularly Facetimes with her friends and family in the UK and keeps up to date with her grandchildren on Snapchat. Doreen, who lives in TLC Nursing Home in Maynooth, also loves a bit of online shopping and said Google is really handy to help identify the types of birds that find the way into her garden.

  • By StaffAid / March 18, 2018

    A dedicated nurse who trekked 10 miles through snow to get to patients has been rewarded with a holiday. Kay Mayer walked through terrible weather for three hours to ensure patients at Lincoln County Hospital where she works would be properly cared for. Ms Mayer is just one example of incredibly dedicated NHS workers who have gone that extra mile this winter to ensure the British public are kept safe. Other NHS staff have been working extremely long hours and sleeping in hospitals overnight to make sure hospitals had a big enough workforce to deal with demand. Ms Mayer was called a ‘star’ and ‘amazing’ for her efforts and she was even rewarded with a holiday during an appearance on This Morning. Hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield treated the nurse to an all-expenses paid trip to Barcelona for her and her son. Well done Kay!!

  • By StaffAid / March 16, 2018

    POOLE Hospital has been named as one of only six hospitals in the country providing emergency care better than expected by patients. Based on surveys of patients using accident and emergency services, regulator Care Quality Commission found the hospital to be among the top performing in the country. It comes just weeks after health chiefs unanimously decided Poole Hospital A&E will close and instead Royal Bournemouth Hospital will become the major emergency centre for east Dorset leaving Poole for planned care. It is part of NHS Dorset CCG’s controversial Clinical Services Review. Patients were asked a range of questions, including their overall experience of emergency departments. Respondents gave the department a rating of 8.6 out of 10 for their overall experience there. Patients also rated the service 9.3 out of 10 for being treated with dignity and respect and 8.5 for care and treatment. Geoffrey Walker, matron for emergency services at Poole Hospital, said staff are delighted. He said: “We’re a busy department seeing more and more patients, so to receive this verdict is fantastic news. We work hard on providing a service that we would be proud to offer to our own friends and family and it is extremely rewarding that patients have given us this rating. To be among the best six A&E departments in the country for patients’ overall experience is an outstanding achievement.”

  • By StaffAid / March 14, 2018

    February was the worst month on record for A&E in the NHS with just 85% of patients seen within four hours. NHS England has also revealed that 22,800 elective operations were postponed as a result of winter pressure, but says that freed up 1,400 beds for urgent care. The service said it treated 160,000 more people this winter (December, January and February) than the previous year and treated 2165 more cancer patients in January than in 2017, 81.1% of them within the key 62 day target. An NHS England spokesperson said: “NHS staff continued to work hard in February in the face of a ‘perfect storm’ of appalling weather, persistently high flu hospitalisations and a renewed spike in norovirus. Despite a challenging winter, the NHS treated 160,000 more A&E patients within four hours this winter, compared with the previous year. The NHS also treated a record number of cancer patients over these most pressured months of the year.

  • By StaffAid / March 12, 2018

    The NHS is looking to recruit up to 5,500 overseas nurses from India and the Philippines in an “earn, learn and return” scheme to plug staff shortages, according to the national workforce planning body. Indian nurses have been brought to England to work for a set time, Health Education England chief executive Ian Cumming told an influential group of MPs in December 2017. Under the scheme, Professor Cumming said he hoped that 500 nurses would subsequently come from India by the end of March and eventually 5,500 international nurses would be recruited. Talks are also under way on a similar scheme with the Philippines.

  • By StaffAid / March 9, 2018

    The government is set to offer around 1 million NHS staff a 6.5% pay rise over the next three years but is insisting that health workers give up a day’s holiday in return for the £3.3bn deal. Ministers hope they are close to finalising a package to give NHS personnel in England their first meaningful pay rise since 2010, after months of behind-the-scenes talks with union leaders. Sources close to the talks say they have been constructive, businesslike and highly detailed, with both sides keen to see NHS staff pay improved as much as possible. A plan for the chancellor Philip Hammond to unveil the offer in his Spring Statement next Tuesday has been abandoned, however, as there are still some sticking points to be resolved.

  • By StaffAid / March 5, 2018

    Doctors and nurses struggling to cope in stretched A&Es have begged Jeremy Hunt for more cash to solve the crisis that is leaving patients waiting in hospital corridors. But rather than calm their fears by offering a solution as the NHS goes through its worst ever winter, the Health Secretary warned them things could get even more grave. The number of casualty patients waiting more than 12 hours to be admitted reached a record level of 1,043 last month – double that of the December figure. Those waiting more than four hours to even be seen also reached a new high of 81,003. When asked if he could reassure staff things would not be worse next winter, Mr Hunt replied: “You can’t make ¬promises like that.” Mr Hunt admitted this winter was the worst for the NHS on record. But despite evidence to the contrary, including the cancellation of 55,000 routine ¬operations, he insisted “we prepared more comprehensively than ever”.

  • a&e
    By StaffAid / March 1, 2018

    A&E waiting targets have been axed after NHS chiefs said Tory cuts make them impossible to keep. The drive to see 95% of patients within four hours is postponed until next April. But the NHS Confederation warned: “It will be an immense task just to stabilise the service. We repeat our call for the Government to tackle health funding.” NHS Providers Director Saffron Cordery added: “This is the first time we have had to accept that the NHS will not meet its key constitutional standards. The NHS will not be able to improve performance against those targets. If we want to provide quality of care, we need the right long term financial settlement.” The 95% target has not been met since 2015. A NHS England planning document recently released instructed hospitals to attempt to reach 90% by September 2018 and back to the benchmark of 95% in April next year. NHS England boss Simon Stevens last year warned waiting times would be scrapped due to funding.

  • By StaffAid / February 27, 2018

    An overseas recruitment campaign to get more nurses at Nuneaton’s hospital has seen just one pass their exams to be ready to hit the wards. Following a visit to the Philippines, bosses at the George Eliot Hospital offered 71 jobs to potential nurses with the condition that they pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams. It has been revealed that just one of the 71 is ready to make the trip to start work. Due to the slow process, George Eliot Hospital is now having a re-think about its project to recruit overseas nurses to help fill the gaps in the wards.

  • By StaffAid / February 24, 2018

    A study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience might make you think twice about that McDonald’s Deliveroo order. The study found that young adults aged between 18 and 29 who consumed fast food three times a week experienced higher levels of “mental distress,” such as anxiety or depression, than those who didn’t. While fast foods with high saturated fat content were shown to be detrimental to young adults’ mental health, a lack of meat also contributed to low moods. 18 to 29-year-olds who consumed a low level of meat—classified as fewer than three times a week—supposedly experienced worse mental health. This isn’t the first time eating has been linked to your mental wellbeing. A major study conducted by Spanish scientists found that a measurable link exists between depression and what you eat, while baking has been shown to improve crappy moods. Even just the taste of food can change how you feel—research conducted by anosmia charity Fifth Sense found that 43 percent of people suffering from loss of smell or taste experienced depression as a result.

  • By StaffAid / February 20, 2018

    Dozens of dementia patients have been forced to find alternative places to live following the closure of two wards at a Valleys hospital. It has now been confirmed that a third ward will shut later this year, causing upheaval for 14 existing patients and their families. Cwm Taf University Health Board has confirmed that Ysbyty George Thomas, in Treorchy , Rhondda, is set to be developed into a health and wellbeing “hub” which will continue to provide care for dementia patients. But rather than treating them as inpatients, beds are being greatly reduced at the hospital in favour of community-based care. The health board said it will expand its community mental health teams for over 65s and place specialist dementia advisors and support nurses in primary care settings, such as GP surgeries. But one relative of a dementia patient at Ysbyty George Thomas claims the decision to close wards could prove “unsettling”. She said: “It has left many families trying to find nursing homes for their loved ones. It could also leave them struggling to look after them in their own homes. It can be incredibly unsettling moving them as many dementia patients have very challenging behaviour.” A spokesman for Cwm Taf University Health Board said: “As our aim is to keep people well in their communities and reduce hospital admissions, the need for beds will naturally diminish.

  • By StaffAid / February 16, 2018

    It’s always tough to move away from ageing parents and living with the fear that if you’re not looking after them in their old-age, you may miss out on a chance to help them when they really need it. Many people turn to nursing homes for help when parents get to a specific age, but in America there is now another solution – Granny Pods. These pods are fully equipped with the necessary technology and amenities needed for old-aged citizens to live comfortably. The best part is that these pods can be fixed right into the backyards of the caregiver. The basic Granny Pod is 12 by 24 feet and has double French doors to accommodate those who are wheelchair bound as well. The size of the house may sound small, but it’s fully furnished to meet every need and is made keeping safety and security in mind. Builders say that each unit comes with defibrillators, hand railings, first-aid supplies and lighted floorboards.

  • By StaffAid / February 12, 2018

    An Oscar-themed party was a huge hit with residents at a Surrey care home. A red carpet and clicking photographer set the stage for the evening of champagne, canapes, and its own awards ceremony. The care home, Sunrise of Banstead, also organised a sit-down evening meal which was followed by the ceremony. Prizes up for grabs, included the ‘Most Glamorous Resident’, the ‘Most Fascinating Resident’ and the ‘Unsung Hero’ award. The celebrations were rounded off by a mix of swing and rock music, performed by Epsom singer Chaise Aitch. Tamara Juckes, Sunrise activities and volunteer coordinator, said: “The awards evening was a wonderful opportunity to bring together residents, team members, friends and family to celebrate Sunrise of Banstead and all those who make it such a friendly, engaging and fun place to live and work.”

  • By StaffAid / February 8, 2018

    POOLE Hospital has been named as one of only six hospitals in the country providing emergency care better than expected by patients. Based on surveys of patients using accident and emergency services, regulator Care Quality Commission found the hospital to be among the top performing in the country. It comes just weeks after health chiefs unanimously decided Poole Hospital A&E will close and instead Royal Bournemouth Hospital will become the major emergency centre for east Dorset leaving Poole for planned care. It is part of NHS Dorset CCG’s controversial Clinical Services Review. Patients were asked a range of questions, including their overall experience of emergency departments. Respondents gave the department a rating of 8.6 out of 10 for their overall experience there. Patients also rated the service 9.3 out of 10 for being treated with dignity and respect and 8.5 for care and treatment. Geoffrey Walker, matron for emergency services at Poole Hospital, said staff are delighted. He said: “We’re a busy department seeing more and more patients, so to receive this verdict is fantastic news. We work hard on providing a service that we would be proud to offer to our own friends and family and it is extremely rewarding that patients have given us this rating. To be among the best six A&E departments in the country for patients’ overall experience is an outstanding achievement.”

  • By StaffAid / February 5, 2018

    Orchard Court Care Home in Brigg hosted its very own 1940’s afternoon Tea and Dance Party, with Dancing hosted by the 1940’s Swing Dancers. Plenty of food was provided and people dressed up and joined in the dancing. Shelly Riby who is the activities co-ordinator for Orchard Court said ‘We had such a great afternoon, the residents relatives and staff all joined in and there was just a great buzz about the home. Thank you to everybody who was involved’. Tracy Mussett who is the Home Manager said ‘ The afternoon was great and made even better by the fact our local community were involved.  One resident said ‘The afternoon was a great success and it was great fun’.

  • By StaffAid / January 31, 2018

    A Scunthorpe care home has opened a pub for its residents. Phoenix Park Care Village, on Phoenix Avenue, Scunthorpe has opened up a pub for its residents and their families to enjoy, amongst a number of other projects they are undertaking for the benefits of those they care for. The pub has fittingly been called The Phoenix and is complete with its own bar, beer pumps and authentic traditional pub decoration. Deputy manager Alana Rees said the pub gives the residents the opportunity to “go out” and socialise with their fellow residents and family members. There is also an outdoor “beer garden” area for residents to enjoy and various games for them to get involved with.

  • By StaffAid / January 26, 2018

    The growing NHS crisis has been fuelled by the closure of almost 1,000 care homes housing more than 30,000 pensioners, research suggests. It comes as NHS figures show the worst Accident & Emergency crisis on record, amid a 37 per cent rise in the numbers stuck in hospital for want of social care, since 2010. Experts said hospitals were being overwhelmed by the spread of flu because they had almost no spare capacity to cope with surges in demand. The report by industry analysts shows that in the last decade, 929 care homes housing 31,201 pensioners have closed, at a time when the population is ageing rapidly. The research from LaingBuisson show care homes going out of business at an ever increasing rate, with 224 care homes closed between March 2016 and March 2017, amounting to more than 2,000 beds.

  • By StaffAid / January 24, 2018

    The NHS is reeling under what doctors’ leaders and hospital chiefs say is the most intense strain it has faced in decades as a result of flu, bad weather and more patients suffering breathing problems. Hospitals’ inability to keep up with the demand for care prompted NHS England to tell them to take unprecedented measures to try and stabilise the service. They included cancelling outpatient appointments and day case surgery, extending an existing ban on non-urgent surgery until the end of the month and deploying consultants in A&E units to assess if patients really are a medical emergency. Amid growing evidence of chaos as the NHS’s winter crisis bites, hospitals are being forced to create makeshift wards for patients, growing numbers are declaring a black alert – an official admission that they cannot cope – and patients are waiting as long as 12 hours for A&E care. Officials estimated that extending the ban on non-essential operations could lead to 55,000 procedures being deferred.

  • By StaffAid / January 19, 2018

    David Cameron has expressed regret he was unable to do more to deal with the “huge” challenge funding social care for Britain’s ageing population. The former prime minister – who has since become president of Alzheimer’s Research UK – said a way had to be found to meet the “catastrophic” costs of caring for people with dementia. “There is a huge social care funding challenge we have to answer, and I accept that we’ve made some steps forward, but we didn’t solve that problem. Everyone knows it’s a difficult conundrum.