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We have finally managed to get through the long month of January! Aren’t we glad it’s over? Yes we are! But we wouldn’t have been able to get through this month without our HCA’s and Nurses working as hard as they do to provide an amazing service to all of our clients. Here at Secure Healthcare we have the most incredible team of healthcare professionals that does their utmost to make sure that every shift is covered.

Our highly skilled and dedicated office team work very hard to ensure our clients and candidates receive the highest level of service; which makes us stand out from our competitors by maintaining good old fashion values. This year we are very pleased to announce an employee of the month scheme to our candidates whereby we are able to demonstrate our appreciation for all their dedication, enthusiasm and their commitment to Secure Healthcare Solutions.

We as an agency could not be where we are today without the incredible staff that we have working for us. For the month of January we have selected two of our candidates who have shown efficiency and initiative. They have stopped what they’re doing to help the nursing homes that are struggling, have constantly had amazing feedback from the Nurses in charge and they have always been asked for when homes are requesting cover. For the month of January we are pleased to announce we have selected Arun for HCA of the month and Daniel for Nurse of the month and wish to thank them for all their hard work.

        

At Secure Healthcare Solutions, we are pleased to offer roles that allow our teams to work flexible hours which suit their needs, whether to fit in with family responsibilities, allow you top up your income, or to fit in with your social life. For many, that means working night shifts, be it as a nurse, a healthcare assistant or in another role.

However, when working non-traditional hours, a danger can be that your sleep can become disordered if you don’t put appropriate measures in place to ensure your health and wellbeing. So we have put together some tips to help you to get a better night’s (or day’s) sleep!

Healthy Eating

While it can seem strange to tuck into dinner at 8 am, eating a healthy meal before you go to bed will stop hunger of thirst waking you up, and therefore disturbing that much-needed sleep.

However, what you tuck into can be just as important; night shift workers are more likely to experience metabolic syndrome and have a 29% increased risk of becoming overweight due to poor diet and disruption of your body clock. While it may be tempting to grab a sugary easy snack when you come home, ideally you should stick to a similar eating pattern that you would during the day.

Before sleeping, opt for foods that are easy to digest to avoid being woken up. Upon waking, think about eating a balanced meal that includes slow release carbohydrates that will give you energy.

It’s also worth noting that, while alcohol may initially help you drop off to sleep, it diminishes the quality of sleep, leaving you feeling unrefreshed, and can disturb your sleep too.

Night Shifts and Light Exposure

One of the biggest factors that can disturb the sleep of those who need to sleep during the day (and even at night) is exposure to light. While it’s obvious that sunlight can interrupt your sleep, exposure to artificial light, such as light from your mobile, tablet, or TV, shortly before you attempt to sleep can also play havoc with your ability to drop off.

If it’s bright on your commute home, consider wearing sunglasses on your journey to ‘trick your brain’ into getting ready for sleep. Consider using blackout blinds or curtains in your bedroom to block out the daylight, or if this isn’t possible, use a sleep mask.

Avoid screentime before going to bed – including mobiles, tablets and TV, and don’t leave your phone on your bedside table – the constant light from notifications is bound to wake you up!

Be Careful of Caffeine

We all love a good cuppa! Whether your choice is to grab a latte, brew yourself a tea when getting home, or top up on instant throughout you shift. Caffeine is a stimulant, and while lots of us take a lovely dose of caffeine at the start of our workday to kick start our shift, drinking too much coffee, tea, or cola can lead to sleep problems.

Avoid drinking any caffeine product at least six hours before bedtime to make sure that it won’t affect your sleep.

Managing your sleep as a shift worker needn’t be difficult, with a little planning, and understanding what works for you will enable you to enjoy all the benefits of night shifts, without the downsides.

 

When considering a care at home plan, you may wish to consider whether you or your loved one needs assistance during the night. Choosing to use overnight care can be something that you wish to do from when you start to use care at home services. or may become a requirement at a later stage if you become more reliant on your care professional.

There are several instances where you may decide that overnight care will be beneficial for the health and the safety of the person receiving care, and below we talk through some common reasons why people choose to include overnight services in the care plan.

Night Time Care for Dementia Sufferers

If you have chosen care at home services for someone suffering with dementia or Alzheimers, as the condition progresses, you may wish to ensure the safety and security of the person requiring care, by having someone to care for them overnight. Additionally, it can be frightening and confusing for those who suffer from dementia to wake up alone, therefore having a professional carer on hand gives you peace of mind that your loved one has the support they need.

 

Overnight Care for those with mobility issues

For people with limited mobility, tasks such as getting in and out of bed can become difficult. It can also be worrying, as you may feel that you are in a vulnerable position should there be any type of emergency.

Care at home can be arranged overnight to give you assistance with getting in and out of bed, getting up to use the toilet, and additionally gives you peace of mind that you have someone to help should there be any type of emergency.

Security

Many of our clients choose care at home services as they wish to maintain their independance and remain in their own homes in later life. However, feeling safe and secure in your own home is key to ensuring that you continue to have that self assurance. For some people who require care, that feeling of security may be eroded if, for example, they have been a victim of crime, or live alone.

Having someone close by can help to alleviate fear and anxiety and give peace of mind, allowing them to feel secure and safe.

Medication

If you or a loved one is required to take medication on a regular basis, whether as part of recovering from an illness or surgery, or as part of a long term medication plan, care professionals can help you to ensure that you take your dose at the correct times.

Resting can be vital recovering from injury or illness, however worrying that you may forget to take your medication can cause restlessness and anxiety, therefore putting the responsibility for waking you for medication onto your carer can allow you to be better rested as you know you are in safe hands.

Whatever your reasons for considering overnight care at home, Secure Healthcare Solutions can help. We work with you to ensure a fully tailored care plan that meets with your exact requirements and will provide a carer who fits in with your lifestyle and personality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you or a loved one are struggling at home, it can be difficult to understand what types of care may be right for you. There are many different types of care available, so it can be helpful to understand what type of service you will need in order to work out a care plan that is suitable for your needs.

Homecare

Wanting to stay in your home can be a major factor that delays those needing help from seeking out a carer. However, with care at home services you are able to enjoy the benefits of having a full or part time carer, without having to leave your home.

Live In Care

Live in care is a perfect solution for those with full time needs who require 24/7 care while remaining in the comfort of their own home.

Your live-in carer is able to assist with basic help such as washing, dressing and food preparation, enabling you to stay at home for longer. Live in care also gives family and friends peace of mind knowing that their loved one is receiving one to one attention from an experienced carer.

Dementia Care

With dementia affecting one in six people over the age of 80 and those figures increasing as we live longer, living with dementia is becoming a wide spread issue. For those affected, staying in the familiar surroundings of their own homes can help to ease some of the symptoms associated with the disease.

That’s why care at home can be a sound option when it comes to caring for someone with dementia. It can be very difficult for family members to know how to deal with someone suffering with dementia, as symptoms can mean that the patient can be confused, or find it difficult to control their emotions. That’s why our specialist dementia carers are trained to deal with clients with dementia.

Respite Care

For those who look after a loved one with care needs, having a break can be highly beneficial both for their mental and physical wellbeing. Respite care offers fulltime caregivers a much-needed break, allowing them to take some time to themselves, which can be great for the person being cared for, as it allows their carer time to recharge and therefore be better equipped to help them.

Our respite care services will match you with a carer who can fit around your routine, allowing you flexibility around when you need help.

Convalescence Care

If you are coming home from hospital after an illness or injury, there’s nothing better than the comfort of your own home. However, sometime you may require additional support in order to recover properly, such as help with physical tasks, getting around, or using specialist equipment to help you get better.

Secure Healthcare Solutions offer you a wide range of convalescence care which is tailored to your needs. Whether you just require an extra pair of hands or a dedicated nurse who can help you with your medication, we will work out a plan tailored to your needs, and can even arrange transport to get you home.

Physical Disability Care

There can be numerous physical difficulties that a person experiences that will require them to need a little help at home. From having a carer to help with manual tasks that may have become difficult, to more serious injuries or disabilities that require round the clock assistance, enabling someone with physical disabilities to lead as independent and active a lifestyle as possible will help to ensure both physcial and mental wellbeing.

We can assist with coming up with a tailored care plan that is suited to the requirements of the person requiring help, taking into account both their personality and lifestyle.

Palliative Care

Palliative care, which is also known as end of life care, helps to ensure that the patient is comfortable, and well looked after in the familiar and comfortable surrounding of their own home. It also offers support to friends and family at a very difficult time.

Learning Disabilities Care

Establishing a care plan for someone with a learning disability will take into account the complex requirements of the person needing care. In many cases the benefits of help with homecare for someone with learning disabilities can be both in terms of general support – such as help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and can also help with building social skills.

Care plans can focus on the development of vital life skills as well as assisting the person needing care with forming and maintaining social relationships.

 

At Secure Healthcare Solutions all of our care plans are as individual as the person requiring care – so get in touch to find out how we can assist you.

Winter has a tendency to make the symptoms of dementia worse than they
already are.
If you have loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s, you may have noted their
increased agitation, distress and general detachment during the winter. A long-
standing theory, research has concluded that the winter weather has a direct
impact on the symptoms of dementia.
Specifically, experts have pinpointed four reasons why shorter days and
unpleasant weather can adversely affect individuals with dementia:

Heightened risk of depression

When the human brain is starved of natural light, the risk of developing
depression intensifies. Depression associated with the changing seasons is
known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can have a particularly
heavy impact on dementia sufferers.

Disrupted sleep patterns

During the winter, the early onset of darkness and the later rising of the sun can
wreak havoc with our internal body clocks. Longer nights potentially confuse
the brain as to when it should and should not be asleep. This can lead to
disrupted sleep patterns and lower quality of sleep, which can cause significant
problems for patients with dementia.

Visual problems

The confusion and disorientation associated with dementia are worsened by
visual problems. Darkness can lead to disorientation and frustration –
particularly in those already experiencing visuospatial symptoms. Darker days
and longer nights often bring visual problems for dementia patients, which only
stand to exacerbate their symptoms further.

Cold temperatures

When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, it is forced to produce
additional heat and energy for its protection. This can leave a person feeling
tired and drained, while at the same time heightening their risk of contracting
winter illnesses. Once again, an even greater threat and issue for those who
suffer from dementia.

Addressing the Issues

Unfortunately, there isn’t a thing any of us can do to change the seasons.
Instead, it’s a case of doing whatever we can to help those affected by dementia
cope with the winter weather.

Maximise exposure to natural light

Where possible, ensure that the affected individual enjoys at least a short period
of direct exposure to natural light each day. Even if it’s simply a quick walk
outdoors, exposure to natural light can reduce stress and enhance a person’s
mood rapidly.

Vitamin D supplements

Seasonal Affective Disorder may be exacerbated by the human body’s
starvation of vitamin D during the winter months. When the ‘sunshine vitamin’
isn’t available from the sun itself, supplementation could prove helpful.

Create a routine

The confusion and disorientation associated with shorter days can be effectively
addressed by creating a routine. When a dementia patient understands what’s
happening and when it should be happening, they’re far less likely to succumb
to panic, confusion or depression.

Avoid boredom

Last but not least, providing plenty of entertainment can be a great way of
helping dementia patients through the winter. Boredom is the worst enemy of
anyone at risk of depression, anxiety or agitation. Simply providing personable
company for dementia patients can be one of the best ways of staving off
harmful boredom.

As expected, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a 2018/2019 budget
that did little to reassure the care industry and its users.
Falling outside the government’s pledged NHS spending commitment, the
Chancellor committed additional funds to social care for both this year’s budget
and the 2019/2020 budget. Prior to this, the government had previously
committed to the provision of funding worth £240 million for social care and
support via local charities. The idea is that through additional spending, more
NHS beds would be freed over the winter months by providing more effective
and accessible care in the community.

In addition, £240 million in winter pressures money was promised by the
Chancellor to councils across the country for the 2019/2020 year.
The above comes alongside a further £410m in social care funds pledged to
councils across the UK for the same 2019/2020 year. The funds have been
earmarked to improve social care services for children and the elderly alike.
However, it has been left to the local authorities themselves to make difficult
decisions as to how these budgets are allocated and prioritised. Going by current
spending patterns, this would mean that the total increase in social care
spending over the next year will come out at 2.9%.

Advocates have praised this 2.9% real-terms increase as welcome news for the
social care system in the UK. However, critics have pointed out how the 2.9%
increase doesn’t come close to augmenting rising pressures of 3.7% annually. It
has also been labelled insufficient spending commitment to address essential
quality improvement requirements that perpetuate across Britain’s social care
system.
Additional pressure is likely to be placed on local authorities due to rising staff
costs, which are increasing at a much faster rate than inflation. The national
living wage is once again set to increase from £7.93 today to £8.21 in April next
year. This alone will have a marked impact on the extent to which the
government’s 2.9% spending increase makes any real difference for the social
care sector.

Recent calculations by economists project a social care spending gap of at least
£1.5 billion by 2020/2021. Even with a further £55 million in disabled facilities
spending, it’s unlikely the Chancellor’s budget will make so much as a dent in
the growing deficit.

As for what all of this means for the British public, adults and elderly care costs
look set to rise once again. Care homes across the UK may have little choice but
to significantly increase costs, in order to cover their own rising expenses. If the
money isn’t provided courtesy of the government, it needs to come from
somewhere – directly from the pockets of residents and customers.

This is unlikely to resonate positively with those who already struggle to meet
the  costs of professional care. It also goes some way to explain the
growing popularity of at-home care, as an affordable alternative to permanent
residence in a care facility.

There’s still technically time for modifications to the Chancellor’s budget to be
finalised and implemented. At this point in time, however, the likelihood of this
occurring is minimal.

According to research undertaken for Age UK in 2017, almost 5 million people aged 65 or over in the UK believe that they have been targeted by scammers. Additionally, the National Trading Standards Scams team report that the average age of postal fraud victims is 75 years old.

For those with elderly parents who may be more vulnerable, it can be extremely worrying if you believe that fraudsters are looking to take advantage.

Warning signs that an older person is being targeted

While in some cases, your elderly relative may not even be aware that they are being scammed, there are some signals that you can watch out for. Some indications can include

  • Evidence of large unexplained cash withdrawals or cheque payments
  • They are short of money when that should not be the case
  • They have a larger than usual amount of post or letters around the house
  • They are becoming secretive about their finances
  • They are upset or anxious and won’t disclose why

 

Type of fraud committed against elderly people

Doorstep Scams

Doorstep scams can range from a person trying to gain access to your relatives home by way of appearing at the front door as a utility worker or tradesperson with the aim of burglary, or to hard sell products that are neither wanted nor needed, to rogue traders who tell your relative that there is urgent work that needs to be carried out, such as window or boiler replacement which is not actually required.

How to avoid them

Speak to your relative about the risks of distraction crimes and rogue traders, this will help them to make better decisions about when and when not to answer their door. On a practical level, it can be worth working with your parent to create a ‘script’ that they use when someone is trying to pressurize them into buying – such as ‘I never make a decision without consulting my solicitor’ or ‘I don’t ever use a trader without properly checking them out first’. In some cases, it can also be worth investing in either a real or even fake CCTV camera over a front door.

Postal Fraud

Postal scam letters tend to grab attention by telling the reader that they have won a prize, or have been chosen to take part in a great money-making or investment scheme. They can be written in a way that looks likes they come from a reputable company, bank or authority, so it can be difficult to identify that they are, in fact, a scam.

How to avoid postal fraud

Tell your relatives to never respond to any request for money that comes through the post. If the letter appears to be from somewhere offical, such as their bank or pension provider, tell them to contact them directly (not through any contact numbers given on the letter) to verify. You can also register with the Mailing Preference Service to help to avoid getting junk mail.

Email Scams

While most people are aware of email scams where the sender asks for money, tactics are getting more sophisticated. Fraudsters may send emails that appear to be from your relative’s bank, utility provider, or in some cases send emails from fake PayPal pages, or send invoice requests.

How to help your loved one to avoid email scams

Ensure that their computer is protected by the latest security and antivirus software to help to prevent them from downloading or clicking links from sites that are likely to be scammers. If they receive an email from a bank or institution, like with the postal scams, ensure that they contact them directly by telephone on the established phone number (not the one provided on the email). Most importantly, make sure that they are aware that these types of scam exist.

Investment and Pension Fraud

A fifth of elderly people who have fallen prey to investment scams, don’t actually report them, which sadly exacerbates the issue. There are a wide number of investment scams, and the elderly are particularly targeted as they tend to be focussed on their financial affairs.

Avoiding investment and pension scammers

To avoid your parents or other relatives falling for this type of scam, it’s vital that you keep your lines of communication open. Speak to them regularly about the types of scam out there and ensure that you speak to them about their investments if you can.

Telephone Scams

Telephone scammers are getting smarter. In addition to high pressure selling tactics, they can also use the telephone to try and get hold of personal details such as banking information and passwords. They may pretend to be a utility provider and suggest that the service is about to be cut off, or crueller still, pose as the bank and suggest that there has been a fraud commited on the account and they need the details from your relative to solve it.

Helping elderly relatives to avoid telephone scams

Ensure that your relatives are aware of just how sophisticated telephone fraudsters are. Tell them never to give out password information over the telephone. They can also register with the Telephone Preference Service to help to eradicate nuisance or fraudulent calls.

 

Find your next job in nursing

If you are a nurse who’s looking for their next role Secure Healthcare Solutions offer a nursing agency service in Birmingham and across the West Midlands and beyond. We have a wide range of temporary and permanent roles available and offer a wealth of benefits.

Our nursing vacancies cover a wide range of nursing practice, and we have roles available both in NHS and private settings such as care homes, nursing people in their own home, and within the prison service.

While our available roles change often, below are just some of the typical types of nursing jobs and placements we have on a regular basis.

 

Adult Nurse Roles

Being an adult nurse can be a rewarding career, where in certain circumstances, you can very much get to know your patients on a one to one basis. At Secure Healthcare Solutions, we have a wide range of adult nursing jobs which become available on a regular basis. From taking care of patients in their own home, to working in a busy hospital ward.

 

Mental Health Nurse Jobs

We are always looking for registered mental health nurses to cover a range of roles across care and nursing homes in the West Midlands. We offer flexible shifts, a referral scheme, and other benefits. If you are MAPPA qualified, take a look at some of our mental health nursing jobs. 

 

Theatre Nurses

Whether you are a general theatre nurse or a specialist in an area such as surgery or anesthetics, we often have a requirement to fill jobs for theatre nurses for roles in both NHS and private settings. Assisting with all elements of the surgical process, our theatre nurse roles offer you the flexibility to work in a range of settings.

 

 

 

 

 

With the costs of residential care homes for the elderly increasing, a huge number of people are now considering care at home services to allow their relatives, parents and spouses to be cared for in their own environment.

Being looked after at home can be incredibly beneficial for those who need support – being in familiar surrounding can help with feeling comfortable, and also combat symptoms of dementia. For families who realise that a loved one is in need of care, it can also be comforting to know that the person requiring care will be looked after on a one to one basis.

Is it more expensive to be looked after at home or a care home?

The way in which the funding system works means that in the majority of cases, homeowners have to pay their fees if they go into a care home as anyone with assets worth over £23,250 does not qualify for help with funding. The government will step in once you have used any assets you have to fund your care, including your property, any savings and pensions. With the average cost of a care home in the UK at around £600 per week, your personal assets can dwindle extremely quickly.

If you choose instead to receive care at home, you pay for your care in a slightly different way. You are still entitled to financial support from the government, which is paid to you in the form of benefits.

The value of your property is excluded from the means testing process, meaning that you can still qualify for funding if your non-property assets are above the threshold.

Why are care homes so Expensive?

The care industry is facing somewhat of a crisis. Just like any other household, they are met with increasing costs for items such as food, electricity and gas, but also face the challenges of rising wage bills, insurances and rents. Due to the way in which care homes receive funding from those residents who are not self-funded, they are often raising the costs for those who are paying for themselves in order to subsidise what is received from the local authority.

Is care at home affordable for me?

The answer is, it depends. If you are thinking about care at home for you or a loved one, it’s worth considering talking to a care at home agency in your area. The costs will very much depend on the needs of the person who requires care, and a good agency will undertake a full assessment to put together a tailored care plan for you.

As care homes have additional overheads that just don’t apply in your own home, the hourly rates for care at home can be much more affordable than in a care or nursing home.

Care at Home in the West Midlands

If you are looking for a care home provider in the West Midlands, Secure Healthcare Solutions can help. We offer a range of tailored care at home services including nursing care, respite care, and help with cooking and companionship. Whatever your needs, we are here to assist.

 

When newly qualified, it can be daunting to put together your very first nursing CV. Whether it’s a case of being unsure of what counts as experience, how long your CV should be, and what qualities that you have which you should cover, there are several factors to consider when putting together your first nursing CV.

Introduction to your nursing CV

Firstly, don’t fall into the trap of not putting the most relevant information first. At the top of your CV, ensure that you state when you graduated/are due to graduate, the title of the qualification, and also your NMC pin number if you have it – or when you expect to recieve it. This shows potential employers that you are eligible to work as a nurse and that this is a serious application.

Also, ensure that clear contact information is provided – your name, address, email, and contact number are important. If you are coming from overseas, ensure that you state if your current visa allows you to work in the UK.

How to show nursing experience on your CV when newly qualified

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that, because this is your first time looking for nursing roles, that you dont have any experience. The fact is – you have lots! You will have learnt a lot when studying – from your lectures to your dissertation, you will have gained a wealth of knowledge.

Additionally, your nursing placements would have also given you first hand experience of caring for patients in a range of settings.

Ensure you highlight the most relevant experience

The trick to ensuring that your CV is noticed by your potential employer is to ensure that, when highlighting your experience, that you match the most relevant parts of the role which you are applying for.

Present relevant competencies such as the equipment you have used, the settings you have worked in, and the procedures you have undertaken and as far as possible match them to the nursing job description.

Don’t include unnecessary information

Keep your nursing CV concise and to the point. While it’s a good idea to include a brief personal statement which tells the reader a bit about you, try to avoid the CV cliches of listing attributes such as being ‘a good team player’. Instead, demonstrate this through your previous experience.

Proof Read!

Once you are happy with the content of your CV, ensure that you check it through for spelling or grammatical errors. Where possible, get a second person to take a look too, as it’s easy to miss your mistakes when you have been working on your CV for a while.

How to find a nursing role

So your CV is all set and ready to go! How do you go about finding your first nursing role? The ways to find nursing jobs are varied, and it can very much depend on what area you wish to specialise in.

If you are looking for an NHS nursing role – you can look on their website, to find suitable roles.

Jobs boards often advertise a range of nursing jobs, in a diverse range of areas, though it can be difficult to filter out the wheat from the chafe when searching.

It can be worth signing up instead to a nursing agency. 

If you are looking for your first nursing role in the West Midlands, Secure Healthcare Solutions have a wide range of nursing jobs available.