Care home manager to 'bring change' as director at Institute of Health and Social Care Management

Care home manager Adam Purnell is leaving his job to become the new director of social care at the Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM).

Mr Purnell has regularly been seen on TV news programmes during the pandemic to highlight the challenges facing care homes as a manager at Kepplegate care home in Lancashire and will leave his job on 29 October to start his new role at the Institute on 1 November.

Since April 2021, Mr Purnell has also been the co-host of a popular weekly online chat show called 'The Caring View' which is live-streamed every Tuesday evening.

Commenting on his new post at IHSCM, Adam Purnell told “I hope to be instrumental in bringing change to the sector!”

Adam Purnell said in a statement:“I am extremely excited to be leading the Institute’s activities and direction in the social care sector, delivering positive outcomes for all those who work in it and equally for those who rely on it.

“I am determined to ensure that membership of the IHSCM is unparalleled in its benefits whilst also becoming the place to be for all Social Care managers."

Having spent 14 years working in the care sector, first as a care assistant and working his way up to registered manager, Mr Purnell is currently an ambassador for the care home residents and families group John’s Campaign which has been calling for greater care home visiting rights.

His work recently led to recognition of his involvement with Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS and a DHSC Silver Award for Above and Beyond Contribution to Social Care.

The Institute of Health & Social Care Management, originally founded in 1902, is a leading independent membership organisation for managers and leaders across health and social care.

Jon Wilke, chief executive of the IHSCM, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Adam has agreed to join us as our new Director of Social Care.

“Our Institute exists to support and encourage the development of our members and Adam will perfectly fulfil both of these elements for our members in the social care sector.

“He has a deep understanding and empathy for the demands of social care management and I have no doubt that he will thrive in his new role with us.”

11 Oct 2021

PM says he has 'the guts' to tackle big issues like social care

Banging his fists on the lectern, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered his trademark punchy prose to the party faithful at the Conservative Party conference by promising to “get social care done” and address problems “no government has had the guts to tackle before”.

Speaking today beside his slogan ‘Build Back Better’, Boris Johnson said: “When I stood on the steps of Downing Street, I promised to fix this crisis.

"And after decades of drift and dither this reforming government, this can do government, this government that got Brexit done, that’s getting the Covid vaccine rollout done, is going to get social care done.

“We are going to deal with the biggest underlying issues of our economy and society, the problems that no government has had the guts to tackle before.”

‘Brutal lottery of old age’

Mr Johnson told the country: “When this country was sick our NHS was the nurse: frontline health care workers: battled against a new disease, selflessly, risking their lives, sacrificing their lives.

“In 1948, this country created the National Health Service but kept social care local. And though that made sense in many ways generations of older people have found themselves lost in the gap.”

The prime minister pledged to stand by those who “face total destitution in this brutal lottery of old age" in which treatment for cancer is funded by the state "and care for alzheimers is not – or only partly and to fix these twin problems of the NHS and social care”.

Mr Johnson announced he would use new technology to deliver a single set of electronic records as patients pass between health and social care. He also said hospital waiting lists “will almost certainly go up before it comes down” and promised to improve care by ensuring that “cash goes to the frontline and not on needless bureaucracy”.

His ‘levelling up’ speech has been described as light on policy and went down less favourably amongst care leaders who are hoping for some real policy solutions from his Chancellor’s Spending Review on 27 October.

NCF: 'Harness the economic potential social care brings'

Vic Rayner, chief executive of National Care Forum (NCF), which represents care providers, has called for end to “the short-termism over investment in social care”.

Ms Rayner said after the recent announcement of the Health and Social Care Levy, the Comprehensive Spending Review must now “take the next steps to recognise and harness the economic potential social care brings at a local, regional and national level”.

“Social Care must be seen as an essential part of the nation’s infrastructure. Adult social care is a major economic driver in the UK and contributes to local economies in every part of the country."

Following the announcement of £5.4bn over three years for adult social care in England as part of the new levy, the National Care Forum’s chief said “a larger share of the Levy needs to be apportioned to adult social care now” .

As labour shortages rock the care sector, she describes £5.4bn as falling “considerably short” of the extra £7bn per year recommended by the Health and Social Care Select Committee and the extra £3.9bn recommended by the Health Foundation to raise workforce salaries.

07 Oct 2021

Care home with silenced fire alarm put residents at risk

A care home that silenced its fire alarm system shortly before a small fire broke out has been rated Inadequate by the CQC.

Trafalgar Care Home in Weymouth, Dorset, which is operated by Agincare, was inspected by the CQC in August.

Inspectors found that staff did not wear PPE in line with guidance. They also found that a fire alarm system had been silenced shortly before a small broke out in the building. The CQC said the company that provided fire alarm support were not contacted during the incident.

Additionally, fire staff had refused to participate in a fire drill in March 2020 with another drill not held until January 2021.

The manager who was present when the fire broke out had not taken part in a fire drill during the year before the incident and fire training was not up to date for the majority of staff at the time of the outbreak, the CQC said.

A spokesperson for Trafalgar Care Home said: “The health and welfare of our residents and team members is absolutely paramount, and we take the CQC’s report extremely seriously.

“Following the inspection in early August, we took immediate action and I am confident that Trafalgar Care Home is now both safe and well led.

“Trafalgar Home has historically been rated Good by CQC with a dedicated team and longstanding Registered Manager. Throughout the majority of the pandemic, various checks on the home found good practice, with positive feedback on the care and infection control. Regretfully, before the CQC inspection this year the home was struck by a sustained COVID outbreak resulting in the majority of team members having to isolate, disrupting normal work patterns and established good practice. Agency staff were being used in high numbers, again something the home had not previously had to utilise.

“We have introduced an intensive package of ongoing support and training which specifically addresses not just the concerns highlighted by CQC, but includes broader supportive measures for the care home team, now led by a new manager.

“We accept and apologise that there were areas where the home fell short of the expected high quality at the time of inspection. No areas of concern were identified in the other key areas (effective, caring and responsive) and these retain their ‘Good’ status within the CQC’s inspection report.

“We continue to work closely with the CQC, and look forward to their next visit when we expect they will find significant improvements.”

06 Oct 2021

'Get out and get another job' Sajid Javid tells unjabbed care workers

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has told care workers to have two doses of the Covid vaccine or ‘get out and get another job’.

Mr Javid also said he will not extend the 11 November deadline for care home workers to have had both doses of a Covid-19 jab.

Speaking on BBC’s Radio 4 programme, Mr Javid said: "If you work in a care home you are working with some of the most vulnerable people in our country, and if you cannot be bothered to go and get vaccinated then get out and go and get another job.

Javid: 'You want to put them to bed, then you should get vaccinated'

"If you want to look after them, if you want to cook for them, if you want to feed them, if you want to put them to bed, then you should get vaccinated. If you are not going to get vaccinated then why are you working in care?"

Dawn Bunter, who worked as a manager of a care home where nine residents died of Covid during the pandemic, tweeted in response: “Cook for them, feed them & put them to bed"... really?

"The absolute LACK of understanding in relation to the skills and expertise these care staff require, in order to fulfil their roles. If working close with the sector... can I ask who?"

Sajid Javid added: "If you think about elderly relatives you might have in care homes, and the idea that someone wants to look after them and they don't want to take a perfectly safe and effective vaccine... because somehow they have got some objection to this vaccine, then really, honestly, they shouldn't be in our care homes."

Figures from NHS England data reveals 84 per cent of staff working in care homes for the elderly have had been double jabbed as of 12 September.

Care home providers have said extending the government’s deadline could give them more time to persuade vaccine-hesitant staff and therefore avoid a huge staff exodus from the sector.

Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England has warned that care homes may shutdown as a result of the government’s mandatory vaccination deadline and foreign care workers must be given 'same urgency' like HGV drivers for fuel shortages to avert a care workforce crisis.

Martin Green said, on Radio 4’s Today programme,: “We all accept we want as many people as possible to be vaccinated. But I do feel the government has gone forward with the social care compulsion without understanding the implications, without having a thought-out plan on how they are going to deal with staff shortages.

“Care homes are now in a difficult position, facing the reality of do they have enough staff to maintain safety and quality of care? They are in the position of either having to transgress the law or expose people they support to levels of staffing that are not going to deliver the safety you’re required to.

“There’s the inevitability that in some areas, if you can’t get the staff, then there will be care homes that close.”

Care home staff who meet government criteria for a medical exemption will be able to self-certify to ensure those with medical exemptions can continue working in care homes, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to deliver his Comprehensive Spending Review on 27 October alongside an Autumn Budget. Care England has submitted written evidence to HM Treasury’s Spending Review calling on the government to act immediately to ‘stabilise the sector or face serious and far reaching consequences’.

Some 40,000 care workers could quit their jobs because of the deadline according to government figures.

As the government is allowing foreign HGV drivers into the country to tackle the fuel crisis, Care England said the same urgency needs to be given to the care sector. Care homes want the government to add all care workers to the country's Shortage Occupation List and reduce the salary threshold in the Health and Care Visa.

Care England has demanded immediate investment and government policy changes to ensure the sustainability of the social care workforce in the winter months. It wants to see the continuation of social care's testing and infection control fund beyond six months, to give certainty to the care sector, as it was due to expire on 30 September.

Care England also wants a 10-year workforce plan for social care where career progression, pay and rewards are identified, ‘something that the Build Back Better Plan fails to do’.

05 Oct 2021

Abuse and harm became the 'normal' at 'inadequate' Birmingham care home

Four residents with a learning disability or autism have been moved to alternative accommodation after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found a lack of recognition was “normal" and physical assault had become a “commonplace” at a care home.

The CQC found incidents of physical, verbal and emotional abuse suffered by residents at Summerfield House which had not been dealt with.

The CQC inspected Summerfield House, ran by N H Care Limited, in August where it provides personal care for up to five people and found evidence that residents were not protected from abuse including records which showed incidents of physical, verbal and emotional abuse which had not been responded to and staff making threats to call the police when people were anxious and on one occasion use furniture to prevent a person from moving.

Debbie Ivanova, CQC deputy chief inspector for people with a learning disability and autistic people, said: “Our latest inspection of Summerfield House found a truly unacceptable service with a poor culture where abuse and people being placed at harm had become normal, with no action taken to prevent incidents from happening or reoccurring.

“Records showed incidents of physical, verbal and emotional abuse incidents which had not been dealt with appropriately or followed up. Physical assault between people had become commonplace, made worse by a widespread lack of recognition from staff about the inappropriate and abusive practices going on.”

'Services must inform CQC when they identify safeguarding concerns'

Inspectors also saw a person being hit on the head by another person. This was not recognised as a safeguarding incident and no immediate action was taken to safeguard either person or consider how to prevent this from happening again.

The inspectors also found that the culture of the service was such whereby incidents of abuse, resulting in harm, were deemed as normal. This meant people were exposed to the risk of harm and abuse including verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

Where it was identified people were at risk of choking, there were insufficient risk assessments in place.

Ms Ivanova said: “Care records and the language used by staff to speak to people were derogatory with no thought given to people’s dignity and wellbeing. “We expect health and social care providers to guarantee autistic people and people with a learning disability the choices, dignity, independence and good access to local communities that most people take for granted and this was not happening.

“Services must inform CQC and other statutory bodies when they identify safeguarding concerns such as these to ensure people’s safety. This service’s continued failure to refer all instances of abuse and thoroughly investigate concerns has put people at prolonged risk of harm and created a closed culture at the home.

“We continue to monitor the service closely and will take further action if we are not assured the necessary and urgent improvements are made.”

04 Oct 2021

Three in four care home workers say staffing pressures will worsen due to mandatory vaccines

Nearly three-quarters of care home staff believe staffing pressures in their care homes will deteriorate further as a direct result of the government’s requirement for staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to new research.

The new data from, the UK’s leading care home reviews site, also revealed that London and Northern Ireland have the highest rate of care home workers who haven’t received any Covid vaccine.

The survey of over 7,000 care home staff reveals the differences in UK’s regions of care home workers who haven’t received any Covid vaccine, with London topping the list at 21 per cent.

The North East reported the lowest rate of staff who are yet to be vaccinated, at 10 per cent, with 82 per cent double vaccinated and the remaining 8 per cent single jabbed.

The findings come after the deadline for care home workers to have received their first vaccine, with government analysts predicting that around 40,000 staff will lose their jobs due to refusing a jab.

In July, the government announced that from 11 November, everyone working in a care home in England will have to be vaccinated. In order to be fully protected by this date, all staff have to have had two doses by 16 September.

A spokesperson for, said: “Care homes have been on the front line against COVID-19 and are still coping with the fallout. These findings suggest the vast majority of care home workers fear mandatory vaccines will have a negative effect on staffing levels, adding to their struggle to recover from the pandemic.

“The government must provide care homes with the crucial support they need to ensure they can retain and attract more workers into the sector. The industry is already in the grip of a recruitment crisis and the mandatory policy threatens to exacerbate this, posing severe risks to the health and wellbeing of both residents and staff.”

Fifth of those not vaccinated worried it could affect fertility

The survey also found the reasons for care workers not wanting to have the vaccine, with just over a fifth worried it could affect fertility, 28 per cent having no confidence in the vaccination, 32 per cent seeing vaccination as a health risk and 40 per cent worried about the vaccine causing side effects.

The spokesperson for added: “Our survey shows there is a lot more work to be done by the government to boost confidence in the vaccine, with fears over fertility and health risks and side effects still high among care home staff refusing the vaccine.”

The survey, which ran from 17– 19 September, found 62 per cent believe colleagues will have to leave their care home because they are against receiving a vaccine, while 18 per cent think the policy will have no effect on staff losses.

Care England, which represents care homes, has been urging the government to change immigration restrictions on low paid foreign workers to address the staffing crisis in the care sector.

It wants the government to include all care workers on the shortage occupation list used to grant visas and reduce the qualifying salary level from £25,600, which is currently required for the recruitment of overseas care workers. The list, as it stands, includes care managers and senior care staff but not lower paid workers in care homes.

Prior to the pandemic starting in 2020, there were 112,000 care vacancies in England with jobs paying £8.50 an hour on average, according to Skills for Care.

The survey ran from 17/09/21 until 19/09/21. Full details of the questions can be found below.

Do you think staffing pressures will now get worse as a direct result of this policy?

Yes – 74%

No – 12%

Don’t know – 14%

How many doses of the vaccine have you received?

Single – 7%

Double – 78%

None – 15%

Regional breakdown:

London: Single – 9.35%, Double – 69.94%, None – 20.72%

North East: Single – 7.92%, Double – 82.18%, None – 9.90%

East England: Single – 6.59%, Double – 78.91%, None – 14.60%

East Midlands: Single – 7.64%, Double – 77.76%, None – 14.60%

West Midlands: Single – 10.16%, Double – 75.63%, None – 14.22%

North West: Single – 5.07%, Double – 78.55%, None – 16.38%

South East: Single – 5.29%, Double – 80.76%, None – 13.95%

South West: Single – 5.84%, Double – 80.39%, None – 13.77%

Yorkshire: Single – 8.06%, Double – 80.39%, None - 11.56%

Northern Ireland – Single – 8.11%, Double – 64.86%, None – 27.03%

Scotland – Single – 5.18%, Double – 79.88%, None – 14.94%

Wales – Single – 3.74%, Double – 85.51%, None – 10.75%

Do you think staff will have to leave your care home because they are against getting the covid vaccine?

Yes – 62%

No – 18%

Don't know – 20%

For those in your care home unhappy to be vaccinated, what have been the main reasons?

This is not an issue - all staff have been vaccinated - 19%

No confidence in the vaccination - 28%

Consider the vaccination to be a health risk – 32%

Worried about side effects – 40%

They don’t consider covid to be a serious risk to their health – 10%

Concerns around fertility – 22%

Difficulty in receiving the vaccination – 1%

Fear of needles – 6%

They refuse medication in general – 5%

Convinced by someone else not to be vaccinated – 6%

Other – 10%

Don't know – 14%

04 Oct 2021
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