Category Archives: In the news

Will drinking alcohol reduce your risk of dementia?

People who don’t drink any alcohol in middle age may be at a greater risk of dementia later in their life, research has suggested. But will drinking alcohol reduce your risk of dementia? We look behind the headlines.

Researchers have found that not drinking alcohol in mid-life is associated with a higher risk of dementia.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that abstinence in middle age was associated with a 45 per cent higher risk of dementia later in life compared with people who consumed between one and 14 units of alcohol per week.

The researchers looked at the health of more than 9,000 civil servants in London over an average of 23 years. They used data from the long-running Whitehall II study, which is funded by the British Heart Foundation among others.

They also found that excessive drinkers, who drank more than 14 units per week, had a heightened risk of dementia. This risk increased the more that a person drank. With every seven-unit-per-week increase there was a 17 per cent rise in dementia risk.

The current government guidelines say men and women should drink no more than 14 units a week — equal to six pints of 4 per cent alcohol lager or ale, or six 175ml glasses of 13 per cent alcohol wine. This research supports that recommendation.

Alcohol consumption was measured during assessments between 1985 and 1993, when the participants were, on average, 50 years old.

There were 397 recorded cases of dementia, which were identified through hospital, mental health service and mortality records. The mean age at dementia diagnosis was 76 in the non-drinking group, 76 for the 1-14 units a week group, and 74 in the more than 14 units group.


Nursing Times – Care home nursing staff in Wales to be offered free flu jab

Care home staff in Wales will be eligible for free flu vaccinations from this winter, the Welsh government has announced.

There were 42 flu outbreaks in Welsh care homes during the winter, accounting for 60% of the total outbreaks in Wales.

While care home residents have high rates of flu vaccination, the immunisation rate among staff is low, the Welsh government said today.

Until now immunising staff was the duty of employers but, from this winter, care home staff will be able to receive flu vaccinations for free at NHS community pharmacies.

Click here to read full story on Nursing Times

190 mile walk for Contact the Elderly

Good luck to Gregg and Will raising funds for a fantastic cause!

A PAIR of dedicated fundraisers will walk 190 miles across Scotland next month.

Gregg Morrish and Will Ayling will trek from just outside Glasgow to Inverness raising money for Contact The Elderly Thurrock.

The pair have already raised more than £1,000 and will be hoping to add to that before they set of in June.

Contact The Elderly support older residents by organising free monthly tea parties for over 75s.

Source: braintree and witham times

Bromsgrove care home deputy manager recognised for her achievements in nursing

THE DEPUTY manager of a Bromsgrove care home has been invited to Buckingham Palace after being recognised for her achievements in nursing.

Faye Upton, who works at St John’s Court, will attend a reception on March 14 for those engaged in Front Line Nursing in the United Kingdom which will be in the presence of The Prince of Wales.

Manager Laura Wilkes, said: “We are so thrilled that the work Faye has done for nursing and her guidance to others has been recognised with such a fantastic opportunity.

“We are proud that Faye will be representing St John’s Court as she is a fantastic nurse with high standards who supports the nursing team and guides them to be able to support individuals with the best possible nursing care we can offer.”


Resident says ‘Mum’ for the first time in 24 years


A care home in Essex, which helped a resident with complex behavioural needs learn to talk after 24 years, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Beacon House, a five-bedroom home, was awarded the highest possible rating in December, with inspectors praising the committed staff who ‘always go the extra mile’.

In the report they wrote: “Staff were exceptional at helping people to express their views, so they could understand things from their point of view.

“For example, one resident had been unable to speak when they first moved into the service and used a specialist piece of equipment to communicate. Staff worked closely with the individual, who is now verbalising their needs and does not have to use the specialist equipment at all times.”

According to the relative of the resident, “they have done an amazing job.” They said: “I have waited twenty-four years to hear the word ‘Mum’ and now they are able to say it clearly. When people are able to achieve things in their lives, you can see how important it is to them and how they react in a positive way.”

The care home was also praised for instilling a culture of independence. Residents, who are at the ‘heart of the service’, are involved in every day decisions such as menu setting, deciding who to invite to social events and in larger decisions, including staff recruitment.

A healthcare professional told the CQC inspectors: “I have seen where their actions and support have turned people’s lives around. Some other services would have placed people in secure units but at Beacon House they are committed to care for people in their own environment. Due to the complex needs of some people this is extremely challenging, but they never give up and these people have now settled and their behaviours have changed.”

Ray Rigby, unit manager at Beacon House, said he was proud of his staff and residents at the home. “The Beacon House Support Team have worked exceptionally hard over the years with the residents who live there.

“Each and everyone progressed with the team’s caring nature and dedication. The residents’ best interests are at the core of the support and I am proud of everyone who lives at Beacon House for their accomplishments.

“The home works closely with the residents’ families and maintains a family atmosphere to ensure a high quality of living for everyone.”

Our thoughts are with those effected by the Fire At Woodlands View Care Home In Stevenage


One man has died, and another resident is critically injured following a fire and explosion at a Hertfordshire care home.

Emergency crews were called to the blaze at Woodlands View care home in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, at 16:30 GMT on Saturday February 3.

Hertfordshire County Council said there had been a “minor explosion” caused by an oxygen cylinder.

A resident believed to be 80s who was in the room where the fire started died in hospital.

Another resident is in a critical condition and five others are being assessed in hospital.

The home in Magpie Crescent is owned by HC-One. A spokesman said: “Our deepest sympathies are with their family and we are doing everything we can to support them.

Darryl Keen, chief fire officer and director of community protection at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to reports of a fire in one area of Woodlands View Care Home in Stevenage at 4.30pm yesterday (Saturday, February 3) afternoon.

“Eight fire engines were sent to the scene.

“There were 41 people in the premises at the time of the fire, many of these self-evacuated but firefighters completed five rescues and assisted another 10 from the property.

“All 41 residents, staff and visitors, were assessed by the ambulance service. The fire was out by 5pm.

“Seven people were taken to hospital and sadly one man in his 80s has died. One person remains in a critical condition in hospital.”

A Hertfordshire County Council spokeswoman said there appears to have been a “minor explosion caused by an oxygen cylinder”, but stressed a full investigation needs to be completed.

A spokesperson for HC-One, which owns the home in Magpie Crescent, said it is doing everything it can to support residents’ families, with additional staff from across the organisation arriving quickly to help the effort.

“At this stage we do not know why yesterday afternoon’s incident took place and in due course, there will be a full and proper investigation,” they added.

“Our immediate priority remains providing all support possible to everybody connected to the home and affected by yesterday’s events.”

Complete our Nurse Salary Survey to be entered into prize draw!

Our clients ask us on a daily basis advice on staff rates of pay, so we would like your help and ask that you kindly take the time to compete the anonymous salary survey below.
In turn, we will share our results with you so you can compare your results to other Nurses across the country PLUS, as a reward for taking the time to complete our 2 minute survey we will enter you into a prize draw to win a £50 Marks & Spencer Shopping Voucher!


Thank you for your time and good luck.

Big care home chains to face new inspections (source

Britain’s big care home chains are to face a tough new regime of corporate inspections to prevent financial problems from leading to poor or dangerous care for elderly residents, England’s first chief inspector of social care said.

Under the plans, if a single care home run by a larger group is found to be inadequately caring for residents, it could trigger an urgent, wider look at other care homes run by the company.

Andrea Sutcliffe said she also wanted to improve the Care Quality Commission’s scrutiny of corporate leadership provided by care home chains to ensure standards were maintained and enforced.

“We will be making sure there is a much better relationship between the CQC and our corporate providers so that we are looking at the picture across the piste,” she said. “We need to say: ‘We’ve seen this happening in Netherwallop so what’s actually happening in Northumberland’ and do we need to do that comparison?”

Ms Sutcliffe is overseeing the launch of an new system to regulate England’s 10,000 care homes which for the first time will have each institution rated as either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. Those rated as inadequate will be put into special measures and possibly shut down unless an immediate improvement is made. So far, trial inspections have revealed a worrying 30 per cent of homes require improvement while 5 per cent are judged inadequate.

“We are seeing some services that are clearly struggling and I wouldn’t want to shy away from saying that’s the case,” said Ms Sutcliffe. “There are a small number at the bottom end who are inadequate and are providing utterly unacceptable care. We published one report last week where the inspectors walked in, and while the façade looked lovely, when you got behind it the home smelt. People were being left in bed because there were not enough staff to help them get up. People were not being helped to eat – and that was having an impact on their health.”

She has personal experience of inspections, and said it was often easy to spot struggling homes almost from “the moment you walked in the door”. “Initial reaction is a pretty good guide,” she said. “Basically if you’re welcomed in and you are immediately offered to be shown around the home, then things tend to be OK. But sometimes you will get shepherded off into the office and sat down with lots of files, and you know that everybody is scurrying around outside trying to work out what’s going on and telling people ‘the inspectors are here’.

“The critical thing our inspectors need to have is a ‘nose’ – and that’s not just the nose for how it smells which is important – but also that instinct which says ‘Yep, I can see this is something that I might need to explore further.’ ”

In one CQC inspection, she revealed, the care home owner had “imported” extra staff from an adjoining home to make it look better resourced. When inspectors found out they promptly inspected both homes simultaneously.

Ms Sutcliffe said the relationship between good care and the financial resources of companies running the homes needs more work. While the CQC does not have the legal right to inspect head-office functions, she has corporate oversight of the largest chains. “There’s a relationship between quality of care and the finances. If you see the quality dropping that can be an indication of wider problems.”

Ultimately, she said, her guide for judging services – and the guide she wants her inspectors to follow – is what she calls the “mum test”. She has a photo of her mother which she uses in presentations to underline the point: Would this service be one where you would be happy to leave a loved one?

“Regulators are often seen as remote. People don’t connect it to the work they are doing and the people they are providing the service for. But nothing could be further from the truth. We are all here to make a difference to the people using care services. I thought it was very important to say clearly that the core of what we are doing is about people – and making that human by making that connection with someone you love. And in that case that’s my mum.”


SOURCE: The Independent on Monday 08 September 2014

Man charged with killing his Grandmother at Yate care home

A Man charged with the murder of an 87-year-old woman in a care home is her grandson, the Bristol Post can reveal.

Ryan Guest, 33, is accused of killing Una Dorney at Oak Tree House in Yate last Wednesday afternoon.

He first appeared at North Avon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Yesterday Guest, of Birkdale, Yate, appeared in a six-minute hearing at Bristol Crown Court, at which prosecuting barrister Mark Hollier confirmed that the alleged victim was the defendant’s grandmother.

Guest, who spoke only to confirm his name, was remanded in custody by Judge Michael Longman until his next appearance in court, which is due to take place on July 14.

Police were called to Oak Tree House after staff reported the sudden death of the pensioner on Wednesday afternoon. Guest was arrested hours later.

Oak Tree House is run by Four Seasons Health Care, the UK’s biggest provider of nursing homes, care homes and specialist units throughout the UK.

It is a purpose-built home providing residential and nursing care for people with and without dementia and a report by watchdog the Care Quality Commission last summer found relatives praised its care and staff, with one relative telling inspectors that Oak Tree House was the “best home in the area”.

Speaking last Thursday, a spokesman for the company said: “This is a deeply upsetting and distressing time for the family and we will support them as much as we can.”
Source: Bristol Post

Charities matter

We already give money to charity by way of a contribution to the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent. As a company, 2S Recruitment have already given £200 to them in order to help children in the UK who are diagnosed with cancer – there are 10 children every single day diagnosed with cancer and as one of our co-founder’s children was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour at the age of 3, her family and her son Leo was helped massively by CLIC Sargent.

We’ve also been keen to be able to contribute to help other members of our community and given many of our team consultants here at 2S Recruitment work within our social care division helping nursing and residential homes to recruit new managers and nurses, plus the fact some of our team’s grandparents have or have had Alzheimer’s, we felt quite strongly that we’d also like to help the Alzheimer’s Society.

The Alzheimer’s Society are a vital organisation who help educate with regards to diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, help in research of cause and cure as well as more practical support by way of telephone helplines, online assistance as well as local support. If you or one of your loved on is effected by Alzheimer’s or you would like more information, you can call the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122.

Team 2SR - Charity Matters