COVID-19 vaccination has to be comprehensive to be truly effective as protection – particularly for those most vulnerable to infection. While the SAGE recommended levels of at least 80% of care home staff and 90% of residents have been reached and exceeded in many parts of England, regional variation persists.
Deborah Sturdy, our Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, explains why the Government, following wide consultation with the care sector, has taken the difficult decision to make vaccination a mandatory condition of deployment in care homes.
Although anyone can experience mental health issues, those of us who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to develop problems including low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. As this month marks Pride Month, Andrew Seed, Integrative Psychotherapist at Cygnet Hospital Ealing, reflects on how creating a safe space for service users and staff is vital to celebrate their gender and sexual identity.
For almost a decade, care home open days have seen care homes all over the country open their doors to families, friends and local communities. This year’s event, which takes place across a week (28 June - 4 July), has particular significance, providing an opportunity to reunite care homes with their local communities, while celebrating the incredible care colleagues who have remained on the frontline throughout the pandemic.
In February 2021, the Commission on the Role of Housing in the Future of Care and Support published its first report – a policy discussion paper outlining the major issues facing accommodation provision for older people and setting out a vision for a better future, with some preliminary proposals the Commission had been exploring as part of the second phase. The Social Carer Institute for Excellence (SCIE)'s Rebekah Luff delves into the detail...
Like many of us, care home manager, Lesley Griffiths, could not have envisaged the enormous impact coronavirus would have on the care sector and our wider communities. Managing a large residential nursing home suddenly became a daunting task. Lesley shares fears, learning curves and hopes for the future.
"During a pandemic, which is still far from over, few of us have escaped moments of loneliness or isolation. Even in large households, where a major focus of stress can be a sense of overcrowding and a lack of time to yourself, people have missed out on seeing close friends, relatives and loved ones." Alex fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus, explains how the home share model has helped mitigate social disconnection.
"There is still some way to go before strengths-based working becomes the norm in our services and communities. Leadership is vital if we are to achieve this aspiration", believes Robin Miller, Professor of Collaborative Learning in Health and Social Care at the University of Birmingham.
"This last year has been incredibly challenging. The top priorities have been to save lives, protect the most vulnerable people in our society and safeguard the NHS but it has meant our contact with family and friends has been significantly limited - something that many of us, myself included, have found difficult.
"Older care home residents are among those groups identified as at greatest risk, so we have taken a very cautious and clinically led approach to social contact in these settings." Dr Jenny Harries OBE, our Deputy Chief Medical Officer, explains more about the approach.
"A year on from the last International Women’s Day and the mantra of ‘trying to have it all’ has truly taken on a whole new meaning" for Fatima Khan Shah Programme Director of Unpaid Carers and Personalised Care in West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.
In this searingly honest blog, Fatima reflects on caring for loved ones with long term conditions, looking after children and balancing all the difficulties that come with managing complex home lives.
While the pandemic has reminded care staff how capable and resourceful they are in a crisis, the traumatic nature of their experiences over the last year has also meant learning to accept help from others. As a regional manager with Cygnet Health Care, Vicky Bradshaw was struck by how many of her colleagues have bonded and supported each other in ways they had not experienced before.