NHS Trusts trialing video conferencing

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The chief information officer for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, is championing the use of technology to improve the patient journey and enrich the experience of their staff.

An IT strategy runs from 2018 to 2021, that is largely around the programme of work agreed with NHS Digital.

One pilot scheme is being tested with a care home in the region.

The reason for the pilot is that the hospital sees 180 patients a year that didn’t actually need to attend the hospital – with many of them coming from a care home setting.

The pilot means we providing a small plastic suitcase with a tablet computer and a small number of Bluetooth devices that allow the care home staff, under the guidance of clinical staff at the hospital, to check the patient’s temperature and blood pressure and feed that into a virtual triage of the patient.

They can then add other clinical parties to the conversation – including an on-call GP, mental health and social care staff, or other clinicians, in order to reach a decision about what the best course of action is for a particular patient.

Apart from offering a fast, more efficient service, it eliminates the need for some patients to go to hospital and generate a saving in excess of £150,000.

NHS Foundation Trusts should continue to innovate so they can generate a return on investment through better patient care, diagnoses, staff experience and an increase in efficiency.

Read more about the work being done here.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Saving for Care Bills

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Recent research by AIG Life has found that 69% of people think they will need care at some point in their lives with 76 being the most likely age that this will need to take place.

The survey of 3000 people in the UK asked about views on funding care. 48% said they were in favour of saving into a dedicated care fund so long as it was passed to their estate if it wasn’t fully used.

The government – in it’s current state of paralysis – has been unable to bring forward any solution to the social care funding problem. Not least because almost all of the solutions will need cross party support.

National Care Funding Options

Amongst the options being suggested are: Saving into a fund. Paying more income tax. Paying a social care tax. Paying more on assets or property. Increasing the retirement age and selling property.

The current funding care system requires the person needing help – or relatives on their behalf – to use up their savings, and sell their property if they end up having to move into a care home, down to a floor of £23,250.

9 out of 10 people have no plans to cover their care needs at present, but incentives could encourage more people to prepare to contribute to the cost.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Rise in Fraudsters Making Fake HMRC Calls

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Victims of phone scams can often be older or more vulnerable.

An increasing number of scammers are using landline phone calls to con people out of money.

HM Revenue and Customs said it received 60,000 reports of phone scams in the six months to January 2019 – up 360% compared with the previous six months.

The best advice is always be suspicious of cold calls. End the call and contact the company or government department separately using a phone number taken from a piece of official correspondence or their website.

Helping the Elderly Avoid Hoax Calls

HMRC said criminals were turning to more traditional scams such as cold calling publicly available phone numbers such as landlines.

It said it had worked with Ofcom to shut down nearly 450 lines being used by scammers in the past year.

Very often fraudsters threatens legal action, to put people in jail, or ask for payment using vouchers.

Simply hang-up and report it to HMRC who can work to take them off the network.

HMRC said it would only ever call and ask for a payment if that person was already aware of. Simply hang up and call back using a number from a correspondence.

In summary, don’t assume people are who they say they are.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Age UK Warns Government Over Brexit

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Age UK are urging the Government to act to keep EU care staff coming to work in the UK.

The government has already agreed exemptions for the agriculture sector to allow the continued supply of farm labourers into the UK from the continent – Age UK is insisting similar measures are introduced to the care industry.

EU nationals currently make up 104,000 of those working in care in the UK, and that number is rising.

Caroline Abrahams, the charity’s director, said: “The government has granted a partial exemption from the new rules for fruit pickers and Age UK believes it should remove care workers from this proposed post-Brexit regime altogether.

Under a new rule recommended by the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee, carers would be considered ‘low skilled EU workers’ and would not get preferential access to the UK labour market after we leave the EU.

Age UK has written to home secretary Sajid Javid saying EU carers must be exempt from proposed new rules that say low-skilled EU workers should no longer have preferential access to the UK.

Read more about Age Uks campaign here

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Healthcare Provider Transfers Care Contracts

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A major UK home care provider – is seeking to transfer or sell all its contracts to other providers.

Allied Healthcare was warned this month by the CQC about its financial sustainability. Some local authorities had already taken steps to find new providers.

Home care agencies provide services such as preparing meals, washing and giving medication.

The company said it had to re-evaluate its long-term business plan and was exploring the sale or transition of services to alternative providers, including the transfer of staff.

Allied Healthcare, councils, the regulator and the government are focused on making sure vital care will continue as normal for the more than 13,000 people, who get visits from the company’s staff.

Read more here

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned and financed care agency. We help to look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Currently, we do not work with councils on a contractual basis because the fees that are available are well below what is needed to provide a sustainable level of care.

We pay our staff well above the minimum wage. The level of service we offer would not be possible  based on council funding alone.

However, we do work with private clients that receive council contributions to their care that they top up. We work closely with our colleagues in the council, social care and NHS departments to support clients that are referred to us.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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75% off Taxis for the Blind or Disabled

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If you can’t use ordinary buses because you’re blind or have serious walking disabilities you could get vouchers for taxis or accessible travel like Ring & Ride.

You can’t use vouchers if you already have a National Concessionary Travel Pass, or a Concessionary Plus Pass. 

This scheme is specific to Greater Manchester, but it is possible that authorities in different parts of the country operate a similar scheme.

Find out more about the transport for Greater Manchester scheme here

https://www.tfgm.com/public-transport/travel-vouchers

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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‘Care injustice’ Means Limited Access to Good Quality Social Care

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NHS funding and soaring patient demand in England are fuelling “care injustice” where patients cannot access good quality social care because of where they live, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found.

£20bn has already been announced for the NHS, but it is not clear if any of this will help support social care which is creating many of the health services’ woes.

Peter Wyman, chairman of the CQC, said: “It is increasingly clear without a long-term funding settlement for adult social care, the additional funding for the NHS will be spent treating people with complex conditions for whom care in the community would have been more effective both in terms of their health and wellbeing and use of public money.”

Or see the full CQC report here

Read more about the report here.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care is a privately owned independent domiciliary care company. We look after the elderly and disabled between Didsbury and Alderley Edge in South Manchester / Cheshire.

Read more about our care service on our main website https://www.deckchaircare.co.uk

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Technology and Elderly Care

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Our technology partner (www.west30.com) has been researching what home technology is currently available and whether it offers any benefits when it comes to caring for the elderly.

In short, some add convenience, some are really useful, but others are an expensive waste of money!

Find out what is available, how it is installed and what the benefits are. in home technology for the elderly.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are a domiciliary care company helping to look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester. Read more about our independent care service on our website here.

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Looking After Elderly Relatives From A Distance

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Looking after elderly relatives is challenging at the best of times. But trying to care for parents when living some distance away adds an extra level of difficulty.

Jumping in a car, train or plane every time you get anxious or there is a health status change quickly becomes unsustainable.

Having family close by helps, especially if there is a spouse or sibling. Ultimately, having a sick parent in another part of the country (or world) is unsettling.

Given our increasingly mobile society and more people moving away from their hometowns, the number of distance caregivers is growing.

Typically distance caregivers spend time scheduling appointments, paying bills, making phone calls and other related duties. The majority of distance caregivers are employed, many miss days of work or rearrange their schedules to be able to care for someone. Up to one-third of carers either have to reduce their work schedules or stop working in order to manage all the aspects of caregiving.

Long Distance Care Strategies

Distance caregivers – compared to local carers – have higher stress, feel less support, have higher anxiety and more burden. But there are ways of distance carers reduce stress.

Technology

Often, the first step is meeting doctors, nurses and physicians and getting permission to call them for updates. This helps carers stay updated with treatment and progress. Using video (for example Skype or Facetime) during consultations means relatives can hear what the professionals have to say and ask any questions.

Using technology like this can help distance caregivers connect with their loved one in meaningful ways.

Don’t neglect well-being.

It is easy to become completely focused on the well-being of a loved one. Although it can be difficult, and even guilt-inducing, making time for oneself is a prerequisite to providing sustained, effective care for others and preventing burnout.

Check in regularly.

When caring for someone from a distance, there is always a lot to sort out, but it is important to regularly talk to the person being caring for. Avoid waiting for them to call (often with another problem). Stay in control, work to a schedule and prevent a crisis.

Share the load

If there is a sibling or other close family member, divide the care tasks. This could mean that one person focuses on finances while another handles the medical aspects.

Stay connected.

If you decide employ the services of a local care agency to help, make sure they use a system that keeps you updated with the care being provided. This often comes in the form of email notifications when carers turn up. In addition they should provide an online portal so you can access appointment notes and comments from the carer.

Deckchair Care use https://www.homecare-software.net.

If you are not using a care agency, and splitting the care giving with siblings, use tools like shared calendars.

Be realistic.

This involves speaking with employers about needing time off from work. Be honest about why schedule adjustments might be needed, and realistic about the amount of time required.

The ability to work remotely is helpful – but even then it can be difficult to keep up with conference calls and emails alongside doctors appointments.

Distance caregivers also often have families of their own, placing them in the “sandwich generation,” with obligations to both their parents and children.

Keep it in perspective.

Caregiving isn’t all about feeling overwhelmed and living with anxiety. Long distance care can increase positive emotions and offset stress.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are a domiciliary care company helping to look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester. Read more about our independent care service on our website here.

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Robot Trousers to Keep the Elderly Mobile

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“What we want to do is give people that extra bit of boost, to maintain their independence as long as possible.”

British researchers think the future of improving mobility for the elderly lies in wearable soft robotics.

They’ve developed robotic muscles; air-filled bubbles of plastic that can raise a leg from a seated to a standing position. It is set to give that added boost to our ability to stand and walk when we need it most – although it may take a number of years before people start to benefit.

The next phase of the team’s work is going to involve working with clinicians, charities and prosthetic device companies.

Read more about the research here

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are a domiciliary care company helping to look after the elderly. Read more about our independent care service on our main website.

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