Latest News - Lincolnshire Care Association

 



30/10/2023   Comment re: overseas care workers

Comment re: overseas care workers - 30th October 2023

The following comments can be attributed to Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association:

There are reports in the media today raising concerns that some care workers who come to the UK from overseas are under-qualified and at risk of exploitation.

As Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association I would argue that the staff who have joined our care system from overseas are essential to the quality of care being provided to older people and adults with learning difficulties.

Many of these overseas recruits are thriving and bringing much needed skills and experience to our care sector.

Unfortunately there are some employers who are not delivering what they promised. We must work to eliminate this and make sure that all recruits have access to ethical employment with good training and development.

We should not make all overseas workers feel undervalued by implying that they do not have the technical and language abilities to do their job. Most of them are excellent when they have access to an appropriate induction. There may be some aspects of life in the UK that are unfamiliar to them, but these challenges are easily overcome.

19/10/2023   Volunteers prepare to support the health, care, & wellbeing of Lincolnshire communities this winter

Lincolnshire’s Volunteer Centres support around 1,500 people each year to volunteer locally and are preparing to support people across Lincolnshire this winter. Volunteer Centres Lincolnshire and LVET are working closely with the Royal Voluntary Service, the NHS and community organisations to help people through the winter months.

As they have done in previous years voluntary and community organisations of all sizes, from individual small groups of volunteers in a neighbourhood to larger more structured organisations, will be offering a range of support to people including:

  • Befriending
  • Shopping
  • Collecting medication
  • Support groups

Giving people the support, they need to stay, safe, well and connected to their communities. Paul Gutherson, Managing Director of Lincolnshire Voluntary Engagement Team (LVET) said, as a collective of over 125 voluntary and community organisations involved in Health and Social Care LVET’s members are always there supporting the people of Lincolnshire but winter can be a particularly difficult time for some and of course, the NHS and other services, come under greater pressure at this time too. This is where many of our members step in and lift some of that pressure through helping people to feel less isolated with a friendly voice on the end of the telephone or assisting with community transport to get to appointments or to shop for food.

Ben Rollett, Chief Executive of Voluntary Centre Services said that it is important to align national volunteering programmes with the local need in Lincolnshire and that we work in collaboration to ensure we are meeting the needs of our volunteers and communities.

If anybody has time or skills that they want to share with their community, please get in touch with:

Abbi Taylor, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Tel 01427 800960, abbi@voluntarycentreservices.org.uk

Or visit the website of Lincolnshire Community & Voluntary Service www.lincolnshirecvs.org.uk/ or Voluntary Centre Services https://voluntarycentreservices.org.uk/

12/10/2023   Care Leader Backs Reportís Call for New Workforce Strategy Todayís social care workforce report pub

Care Leader Backs Report’s Call for New Workforce Strategy

Today’s social care workforce report published by Skills for Care clearly shows the very serious challenges currently facing the social care sector.

That’s the view of Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA), who says that the most concerning issue is the number of people leaving the sector in the past year.

“The report reveals that 390,000 people left their jobs in social care this year, and around one-third of those left the sector altogether,” said Melanie.

“So while the workforce grew slightly by 1% and the vacancy rate fell to 9.9% from 10.6% the previous year, businesses in our sector still have great difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled staff.

“Even if you can find and recruit the right people, the fact that so many are leaving at the other end means maintaining appropriate staffing levels is a constant battle.”

The report covers the year from April 2022 to March 2023 and highlights some improvements in workforce capacity, largely driven by an increase in international recruitment.

It predicts that we will need 440,000 more people working in social care by 2035 if the number of adult social care posts grows in line with the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population.

It identifies five factors that are key to retaining staff in the sector:

  • being paid more than the minimum wage
  • not being on a zero-hours contract
  • being able to work full-time
  • being able to access training
  • having a relevant qualification

Where none of these factors apply, care workers are more than twice as likely to leave their jobs as when all five factors apply – a 48.7% turnover rate compared with 20.6%.

At the same time as it published its report, Skills for Care - the strategic workforce development body for adult social care in England – announced plans to develop a new and comprehensive workforce strategy for adult social care.

Melanie Weatherley welcomed the announcement. “The government needs to work with the care sector and the NHS to address this critical issue of recruitment and retention,” she said.

“We can only hope that this report will prove to be the spur that leads to action at the top so we can begin to overcome these challenges for the benefit of service users across the country.”

If you would like to arrange an interview with Melanie Weatherley MBE, please contact Jez Ashberry at Shooting Star by calling 07780 735071 or emailing jez@weareshootingstar.co.uk.

Notes to editors:

  • Skills for Care supports the adult social care workforce in England to lead, deliver and grow, providing information, initiatives and resources to support social care leaders and their teams.
  • Download a copy of the Skills for Care report here.
  • Lincolnshire Care Association is a not-for-profit organisation supporting adult care providers of domiciliary care, end of life care, learning disabilities, mental health, nursing homes, residential care homes, and supported living within the independent and voluntary sectors in Lincolnshire.

28/09/2023   Care Workers Charity to Benefit from Donation

As the cost-of-living crisis worsens in the UK, those working in the adult social care sector have been amongst the hardest hit.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

In response, the Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA) has raised £1,500    through charity raffles held at the last  three Lincolnshire Care Awards    ceremonies and is donating the money to The Care Workers’ Charity (CWC.

The Care Workers’ Charity was founded in 2009 to support current and former care workers with one-off crisis grants.

Since 2020 it has paid out over £5.6 million in grants to 10,350 care workers in need. The charity supports around two million care workers in the UK who care for some of the most vulnerable people in our society with little recognition and often no reward.

Care workers face challenges every day such as loss of income and inconsistent hours, and they lack adequate resources to help them do their job to the best of their ability.

The Chair of LinCA, Melanie Weatherley MBE, said: “Many care workers are under great financial pressures with soaring food, energy, and housing costs, and this is negatively impacting on both their physical and mental health. We want to ensure care workers get the support they need to make ends meet this winter.”

Karolina Gerlich, CEO of The Care Workers’ Charity, said: “We are delighted to have had LinCA supporting our work; care associations have a very meaningful role with care providers in their local areas, and LinCA’s support enables us to connect with those care providers and care workers.

“The money raised by LinCA will make a huge difference to the lives of care workers in the UK and will help to provide crisis grants for care workers in need.

“The CWC is a safety net for care workers and their families who are struggling and might not have the means to support themselves.

“A grant of £500 for a family means they can continue to heat their house over winter or repair their car to ensure they can get to work.  

“Our support eases the stress for care workers and helps them to keep caring.” 

If you would like to arrange an interview with Melanie Weatherley MBE, please contact Maz Davis at Shooting Star by calling 07719 015121 or emailing maz@weareshootingstar.co.uk.

26/09/2023   Lincolnshire Care Association hosting Unforgettable: Telling the Care Home Story, on October 9th

On 9th October LinCA will be hosting Unforgettable a play depicting real life events from the COVID pandemic. The Playwright, Brain Daniels, interviewed multiple residents along with family and staff members from Care Homes, to hear their stories. COVID hit us all hard, but Care Homes went through one of their toughest times to date.

This play was first shown at Portcullis House, to showcase to members of Parliament the dedication social care workers have and the things they had to experience. Care staff had to comfort residents as they were left unable to be visited by families.  Unforgettable is a play that we can learn from, to show how to be prepared and what we could do, should something like COVID happen again. This play is open to Care Providers, and we are inviting students from University of Lincoln, Lincoln College and Bishop Grosseteste University to view this play to learn more about the social care sector.

After the play, there will be a panel discussion for the audience to get involved and learn more about both social care and the play.

 All enquiries to linca_events@linca.org.uk

11/08/2023   CQC is changing: webinar now available

Webinar now available: New regulatory approach and provider portal roll out

The first webinar in CQC transformation series, this episode focuses on how they'll roll out their new regulatory approach and provider portal to all health and social care providers.

They also let you know when they expect to start using their new regulatory approach and the steps they’ll take to get there.

This one-hour webinar is led by Chris Day, CQC's Director of Engagement, and Amanda Hutchinson, their Head of Policy, Regulatory Change. It’s an opportunity to hear the latest updates about the new regulatory approach.

There were some technical issues during this webinar and unfortunately, some of the presentation slides were cut off. Access the full slide deck.

If you have any queries please contact helpdesk@linca.org.uk 

09/08/2023   Business Lincolnshire Celebrates Helping Businesses through the European Regional Development Fund

Business Lincolnshire Celebrates Helping 44,500 Businesses with the Help of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Since the inception of the ERDF fund, through varied Business Lincolnshire branded schemes, 2,073 grants have been approved, totalling an astounding £7,817,595 in funds distributed to support local businesses.

Find out more here

25/07/2023   New Technology Helping Carers to Relieve Pressure on NHS

New Technology Helping Carers to Relieve Pressure on NHS

Care homes in Lincolnshire are trialling a new digital system which allows care workers to carry out some clinical tasks, saving time and reducing pressure on the NHS.

Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA) has helped to introduce a digital observation kit into care homes in the county to enable care workers to take clinical observations and then transmit them digitally to the NHS clinician who needs to read them and monitor them. 

Working with the NHS Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board, LinCA has also published a delegated healthcare activities governance toolkit to provide guidance for care professionals. 

“The aim of the new system is to delegate the taking of clinical observations such as blood pressure or blood oxygen levels, which can be a vital measurement for older people, without delegating the decision making,” said Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association. 

“This is nothing new – parents are trained to undertake highly technical interventions to support children living with complex conditions, for example. And diabetics have managed their own blood glucose and insulin successfully for many years. 

“If we become unable to do these things for ourselves we have to rely on health professionals, even when the knowledge and expertise of a trained nurse is not really needed. Delegation of some of clinical activities to carers can produce better outcomes, especially if it is seen as an innovative choice rather than a way to manage scarce resources.” 

Melanie explained that during the Covid-19 pandemic interactions between care home residents and clinicians was reduced and care home staff were encouraged to support residents with dressings, insulin management and physiological readings. 

“When the pandemic ended many of us wanted to carry on doing this work, if done safely and if the extra contribution and responsibility were recognised,” said Melanie. “If delegation is done properly it can give the person who draws on care and support more control as well as giving care staff opportunities to develop.

“Delegating some of the more routine aspects of healthcare can give our skilled health colleagues more time to devote to those who need their knowledge and expertise.” 

Ashdene Care Home in Sleaford is one of the homes which has been trialling the new digital observation kits. 

Assistant Manager Luke McCarthy said: “Before we had this kit we had to write everything down manually on a piece of paper. The risk of writing down observations was that it might be recorded wrongly, or if it got missed that observation was not recorded.” 

Clare Burrows, a nurse practitioner working in South West Lincolnshire, said: “My experience with working with telehealth is that it most definitely improves collaboration between professionals caring for these people. 

“What it also does is improve health outcomes because it ensures that we can work collectively to meet the needs of the individual person, and that in turn reduces admissions to hospital.” 

Melanie Weatherley added: “I recognise there are risks with delegation. It must always be done for the benefit of the person drawing on care and support and there should be a clear governance structure around it to keep everyone safe.

“The publication of guiding principles for delegated healthcare activities is a major step in the right direction, helping to embed best practice, safety and expanded skill sets right across the care workforce.” 

Lincolnshire Care Association and Lincolnshire ICB have produced a short video about the new telehealth monitoring kit which you can watch here. 

Melanie has also written a blog about it here. 

Lincolnshire Care Association supported the introduction of the digital observation kit working with the Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board and Lincolnshire County Council.

05/07/2023   QES Q2 2023

The results for the Quarter 2 Quarterly Economic Survey are in.  The Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey is the largest economic survey in the UK and has been the private sector's leading indicator of the UK economy since 1969.  

Read the latest results here

15/05/2023   Financial wellbeing support

Financial wellbeing support

Please see below a range of information on Financial Wellbeing in the current climate. 

What is Financial Wellbeing - an Employers Guide

Money Advisor Network Brief

St Barnabas Welfare and Benefits Leaflet

11/05/2023   Financial Support for Individuals and Families who are Experiencing Fuel Poverty

Financial Support for Individuals and Families who are Experiencing Fuel Poverty and Struggling to Pay their Energy Bills (England, Scotland and Wales)

The British Gas Energy Trust has announced that its Individual and Families Debt Write Off Fund is now open for applications. Eligible applicants, regardless of whether they are a British Gas customer or not, can receive a grant of up to £1,500 to clear arrears with their energy supplier. However, customers of Eon, Eon Next, EDF, Scottish Power, and Octopus should apply to their respective funds instead.

When applying for the Individual and Families fund, it is important for the applicant to provide information on how they plan to manage their energy costs in the future. It is highly recommended that they seek professional money advice before applying, as there may be more suitable options available for their particular situation.

To be eligible for the grant, the applicant must meet several criteria, including living in England, Scotland or Wales, not having received a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust in the last 2 years, and seeking a grant to clear an outstanding debt on a current or open gas, electricity or dual fuel energy account in their name or be a member of that household. The energy account must relate to their main residence, and if their application is successful, the grant will be credited to their energy account - no cash payments will be made.

Additionally, the applicant must have electric and/or gas debt, be in or facing Fuel Poverty, and have received help from a money advice agency. If they do not meet all of these criteria, their application will not progress to assessment.

More info:

Organisation name:
British Gas Energy Trust - Individual and Families Fund

Link:
https://britishgasenergytrust.org.uk/grants-available/

05/05/2023   Cost of Living: The Impact on Health & Wellbeing

 

Cost of Living: The Impact on Health & Wellbeing 

 

The rising cost of living (rising household energy bills, inflation and interest rates) is adversely affecting people’s mental health and wellbeing.

The impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on many people’s ability to heat their homes and eat well has been widely reported. However, Healthwatch Lincolnshire’s new data suggests people are increasingly avoiding booking/attending NHS appointments or taking up prescriptions and over-the-counter medications because of the costs.

 

People are avoiding vital care due to the fear of extra costs

The number of people who avoided an NHS appointment due to the cost of travel doubled to almost one in 10, 11%, in December 2022, up from 6% in October 2022 .* * Healthwatch England National Poll results

 

Healthwatch Lincolnshire ran a public survey and received 327 responses.

 

Key Headlines

81% of respondents agreed that the rising cost of living is causing them to worry/feel anxious.

 

As a result of the rising cost of living respondents reported a decline in their mental (69%) and physical (50%) health

 

83% of respondents reported that their financial situation had worsened over the past 6 months.

 

To try and cope with the rising cost of living respondents had made changes to their health and social care, which included:

  • Avoiding going to the dentist due to associated costs
  • Cutting down or stopping private services (e.g. counselling)
  • Avoiding buying over-the-counter medication
  • Stopping a special diet needed for a medical condition

 

Respondents had also made changes to their general lifestyle, which included:

  • Putting on more clothes than normal to stay warm
  • Not turning on the heating when they usually would
  • Turning off or avoiding using an essential appliance to save on energy costs
  • Reduced how much food they eat and buy

 

These changes have in turn had a negative impact on many aspects of daily life including isolation from friends and family, ability to manage any feelings of physical pain and/or a long-term health condition.

 

Whilst many respondents had been negatively affected by the rising cost of living, some of the most vulnerable in our communities appear to have been disproportionally affected. Individuals who seem to have been especially affected by the rising cost of living include:

  • Carers
  • Those with a disability
  • Those with a long-term health condition
  • Those whose income includes means-tested and/or disability benefits.

 

Recommendations

Healthwatch Lincolnshire recommends greater support is needed for everyone but especially those who are carers, have a long-term health condition, a disability or whose income includes means-tested or disability.

 

More resources available for these individuals on where they can get help.

 

Continue to monitor and engage with these groups – the impact the rising cost of living is likely to have on existing health inequalities and with this survey we are likely to have not even reached those who are suffering the most.

 

(See full report for further recommendations)

Growing anxiety about the effect of the cost-of-living crisis on people's health and well-being is rising. People are putting off prescriptions, doctor's appointments, and even travelling to them, all because of additional expenses. Such measures taken in the name of cost reduction can seriously impact their physical and psychological health, adding to the strain on the already overwhelmed NHS.

 

The cost of living should not be a hindrance to health care. Governments and health organizations must act urgently to combat the increasing number of people neglecting essential care.

 

To find out more about the findings you can download the full report here: https://www.healthwatchlincolnshire.co.uk/report/2023-04-27/cost-living-impact-health-wellbeing

 

 

If you require this in a different format please email info@healthwatchlincolnshire.co.uk  or call 01205 820892.

25/04/2023   Long Covid Information Hub

Long COVID Information Hub

Please see below the link to the Long COVID Information Hub which is currently in development that will be regularly updated by new resources and information. 

Click here to visit the Information Hub

 

23/03/2023   DSPT (Digital Security Protection Toolkit)

A Lincolnshire providers experience of a cyber attack and how the DSPT can help avoid one.

Please see link below with more information:-

https://www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk/success-story/the-importance-of-business-continuity-planning-in-the-event-of-a-cyber-attack/

06/03/2023   Chair of CAA and LinCA calls out lack of funding in social care sector

Chair of Care Association Alliance and Lincolnshire Care Association calls out lack of funding in social care sector

 

Melanie Weatherley, MBE, chair of Care Association Alliance and Lincolnshire Care Association stands with The Care Provider Alliance who are calling on government officials to allocate more funding towards the social care sector.

 In a new letter published by The Care Provider Alliance, the government have been called upon to acknowledge that the Fair Cost of Care funding they have put forward is not sufficient enough to bridge the financial gaps within the care sector.

The Care Provider Alliance released The State of Care and Support Provision report in November 2022, highlighting some of the key issues facing the social care sector, the most notable being workforce recruitment and retention. The report draws attention to the fact that one in ten posts within the care industry are currently vacant due to care providers being unable to increase wages in line with the rising cost of living. This inability to increase wages can most likely be attributed to the estimated funding gap of £7 billion within the sector, as without adequate funding, publicly funded care providers will be unable to keep up with the wages offered by their privately funded counterparts. 

Melanie Weatherley, MBE, said: “The funding proposed by the government is disappointing, but we are not surprised. The report compiled by the councils does not give a true picture of the current situation in care and we are calling on the government to invest diligently in social care so we can look after those most vulnerable in our society.

She added: “If we properly fund social care and work to integrate with our partners in the NHS, we can create a better life for all of our service users. In order to do this, we need the right staff, funding, and infrastructure. We will not rest until the government commits to a real change in the sector.”

To view the full letter, click here. To learn more about LinCA, visit www.linca.org.uk.

14/02/2023   Staff Wellbeing Hub

Staff Wellbeing Hub Lincolnshire

Supporting all health and social care staff in Lincolnshire.  Brief therapeutic interventions supporting you to maintain your mental wellbeing.  The support line acts as a triage process for those in need but is also available as a space to offload, wobble or even just chat in judgement free, safe space.  Facilitated by the LPFT Staff Wellbeing Service.

Call 01522 518609, 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday (excl.Bank Holdiays)

Find out more here

 

06/05/2022   Bridging the Gap - A strategy for the independent and voluntary sector, adult social care workforce

Bridging the Gap

A strategy for the independent and voluntary sector, adult social care workforce in Lincolnshire.  Read the full document here.

19/10/2021   Mental Capacity Toolkit

The Mental Capacity Toolkit

Materials which have been created to help support health and social care professionals working with individuals whose decision-making capacity is limited, fluctuating, absent or compromised.  Find the toolkit at Mental Capacity Toolkit

25/06/2021   The Anne Robson Trust Helpline

The Anne Robson Trust is a pre-bereavement charity that offers company and support to anyone facing the end of life themselves, or those who are dealing with the death of a loved one. They have recently launched a telephone helpline service to help bridge the gap that has been created by the pandemic in accessing these services, and to meet demands for the increased support that is now necessary due to the higher number of people who have suffered a loss throughout the pandemic. 

This service also offers support to anyone who works with people who are dying, including care home staff, carers, and NHS staff. They may wish to use the service themselves or use it as a resource to refer others to. 

The helpline number is 0808 801 0688

The service is confidential, free to call, and oper as demand increases).  If you require any further information about our helpline service, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please see a short film that encapsulates the work the Anne Robson Trust does within hospitals. More information about all their work can be found on their website.