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Social Care providers say they are “dismayed” after the government failed to commit to paying a potentially devastating back pay bill for sleep-in shifts.

The crisis arose after a court ruled that carers staying overnight, known as sleep-in shifts, were entitled to the minimum wage, rather than a flat-rate £30 which had been paid by care providers. Charities say they had been wrongly advised by government guidance. It means some face bills for back pay covering up to six years, with many saying they will simply fold without a bailout.

Care providers say they are “dismayed” after the government failed to commit to paying a potentially devastating back pay bill for sleep-in shifts. In a long-awaited announcement on Wednesday, the government said it would give care providers 15 months to compensate staff who were underpaid for the shifts, which require workers to stay overnight in care facilities in case of emergency.

In the past carers were paid a flat rate for the work. But after a recent ruling they are now entitled to an hourly minimum wage and compensation for six years of back pay – a cost care providers are expected to bear. The liability could leave the learning disabilities sector alone facing a cost of some £400m, while children’s homes may face a bill of between £40,000 and £2m each.

It is a bill many organisations say will bankrupt them if the Government does not step in.

“Having to pay that amount would drive medium to small providers out of business,” Derek Lewis, Mencap’s chair of trustees, told Sky News.

Under the government’s proposed solution to the problem, care providers will opt into a “compliance scheme” which will give them 15 months and HMRC support to identify and pay what they owe workers.

It is a programme the government says has “been designed to help ensure workers are paid what they are owed, while also maintaining important services for people who access social care“.

But providers have criticised the scheme, and have urged the government to commit to financial help with the bill.

In a statement responding to the scheme, Mr Lewis said it meant only the “promise of further delay”, with “no commitment, even in principle, to accept responsibility for a liability created by Government changing the rules.”

“Today’s announcement may help HMRC understand the extent of the liabilities for back pay but it completely fails to give any reassurance to people with a learning disability that their homes and care are secure and to carers that their jobs are not under threat,” he said.

An assessment of the 2,000 specialist independent children’s homes in the UK found 25% could close if forced to meet the cost of back pay.

Jonathan Stanley, the chief executive of the Independent Children’s Homes Association, said the cost would be the “final nail in the coffin” for providers who had not received funding increases from local authorities for many years.

“Without urgent Government assistance, the residential child care sector faces profound change and one of the most important care options for vulnerable children will be lost forever,” he said.

The Problem

Cavell Nurses’ Trust spoke to over 2,200 nurses, midwives and HCAs about financial hardship and deprivation, domestic abuse, health, illness, wellbeing and employment. Here’s what we found:

  • Nurses are nearly twice as likely as the average person to be unable to afford basic necessities like beds, washing machines and keeping their homes warm
  • Two in five nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants have a long-term physical or mental illness that limits their day-to-day activity
  • Nurses are 3 times more likely to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year

“This is appalling, and we’re taking action”

Will you be here for nurses?

Cavell Nurses’ Trust gives money and support to nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants (HCAs) who are facing financial hardship, often because of illness, domestic abuse and the effects of older age. If you believe we should be here for nurses, please join us and take action at cavellnursestrust.org/research If you’re a nurse, midwife, HCA or work in healthcare, please take action and help your colleagues at cavellnursestrust.org/ research

Still caring

In spite of all this, nursing professionals are getting on with the vital job of caring for the UK. Nurses give so much to us all. They help bring our children into the world. They care for us when we’re dying. They’re here for us with care and compassion at the darkest and the brightest moments in-between.

About Cavell Nurses’ Trust

Cavell Nurses’ Trust is here for nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants (HCAs) with money and support when they are experiencing personal or financial hardship. We also help people who are retired or have changed profession and help students in exceptional situations. We’re proud to offer a listening ear and practical support to everyone who gets in touch. Cavell Nurses’ Trust was established in 1917 following the execution of British nurse Edith Cavell in WW1. She helped 200 Allied soldiers reach freedom from German-occupied Belgium and Cavell Nurses’ Trust is her living legacy. We’re proud to maintain Edith’s values of compassion, courage and care in the work we do. Put simply, we’re #HereForNurses

“I was devastated; the idea that I wouldn’t walk again and be unable

to return to work was horrible. I couldn’t imagine my life without nursing”

In 2010, nurse Michelle’s life changed forever. Until then, she’d worked with new born babies suffering heart problems and loved every minute of it, but increasing pain in her lower back turned into bad news – two ruptured discs. It soon became clear that Michelle would be a wheelchair user for the rest of her life. Michelle’s determination was strong and after five months in hospital and six months rehabilitation, she was ready to return to work. But costly modifications were needed to her wheelchair so Cavell Nurses’ Trust was able to secure funding to convert her manual wheelchair into an electric one. This help has ensured Michelle’s return to work as a Cardiac Education Nurse.

“The help I’ve received from Cavell Nurses’ Trust has been life changing, I will be forever grateful to them.”

A student job in a nursing home opened Louise’s* eyes to a career caring for others and after qualifying in 2005, she nursed in her local hospital. Now a nurse and mother, Louise found her life took a bad turn as her partner was becoming increasingly abusive towards her – physically, emotionally and financially. She ended up in a women’s refuge with a bag of clothes and a toy for each child. Cavell Nurses’ Trust was quickly able to fund items for Louise’s new home and pay her registration costs, allowing her to return to her beloved nursing career.

“I’ve given so much during my nursing career and I’m so grateful to know that Cavell Nurses’ Trust

are there for me if I need help.”

Could this report be a catalyst for making a change?

The money and support Cavell Nurses’ Trust gives must be made available to more and more people. To do this we need to raise awareness of the cause described in this report. We need to raise awareness of the help available. And we need to raise the funds to make it all happen. Cavell Nurses’ Trust can only do this with your support. So I ask you to consider how you, the people you know and the people you work with, could be here for nurses too.

What is Hypotention ?

Doctors measure blood pressure using two numbers – the first and higher of the two is called the systolic blood pressure, and it occurs when the heart beats and fills the arteries of the body with blood. The lower number is called the diastolic blood pressure, and it’s the pressure in the heart when it rests between heartbeats. A normal blood pressure is said to be in the region of 120/80mmHg (systolic/diastolic) and doctors spend a lot of time dealing with people with high blood pressure. Use a blood pressure chart to see what your blood pressure means.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) on the other hand often requires no treatment but elderly people in particular can find it a problem, especially when standing up from sitting or lying down. In general terms, the medical advice is that the lower the blood pressure the better, and for most people their blood pressure rarely falls below 90/60.

Recognition

However, low blood pressure can sometimes mean there’s not enough blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs, which can lead to symptoms such as:

What to do if you have symptoms

If you think you may be experiencing an episode of low blood pressure, you should:

  • stop what you’re doing
  • sit or lie down
  • drink some water

The symptoms will usually pass after a few seconds or minutes.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if you have frequent symptoms of low blood pressure. Your GP can measure your blood pressure and help identify any underlying causes of the problem. Read more about diagnosing low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure after suddenly standing up

If you experience symptoms of low pressure after changing positions, such as standing up, it’s known as postural, or orthostatic, hypotension. Symptoms shouldn’t last longer than a few seconds, as your blood pressure will adjust to your new position. This type of low blood pressure tends to affect people more as they get older, when it can lead to more frequent falls. Similar symptoms may also occur after exercise.

Low blood pressure after eating

If you experience symptoms after eating, it’s known as postprandial hypotension. It occurs more often in older people, particularly in those who have high blood pressure or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes mellitus. After a meal, your intestines need a large amount of blood for digestion. If your heart rate doesn’t increase enough to maintain blood pressure, your blood pressure will fall, causing symptoms.

Low blood pressure after standing for long periods

Some people experience symptoms after standing up for long periods of time. This is sometimes known as neutrally mediated hypotension, and most often affects children and young adults.

Read more about the causes of low blood pressure and High blood pressure in the elderly

What is Hypotention ?

Doctors measure blood pressure using two numbers – the first and higher of the two is called the systolic blood pressure, and it occurs when the heart beats and fills the arteries of the body with blood. The lower number is called the diastolic blood pressure, and it’s the pressure in the heart when it rests between heartbeats. A normal blood pressure is said to be in the region of 120/80mmHg (systolic/diastolic) and doctors spend a lot of time dealing with people with high blood pressure. Use a blood pressure chart to see what your blood pressure means.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) on the other hand often requires no treatment but elderly people in particular can find it a problem, especially when standing up from sitting or lying down. In general terms, the medical advice is that the lower the blood pressure the better, and for most people their blood pressure rarely falls below 90/60.

Recognition

However, low blood pressure can sometimes mean there’s not enough blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs, which can lead to symptoms such as:

What to do if you have symptoms

If you think you may be experiencing an episode of low blood pressure, you should:

  • stop what you’re doing
  • sit or lie down
  • drink some water

The symptoms will usually pass after a few seconds or minutes.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if you have frequent symptoms of low blood pressure. Your GP can measure your blood pressure and help identify any underlying causes of the problem. Read more about diagnosing low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure after suddenly standing up

If you experience symptoms of low pressure after changing positions, such as standing up, it’s known as postural, or orthostatic, hypotension. Symptoms shouldn’t last longer than a few seconds, as your blood pressure will adjust to your new position. This type of low blood pressure tends to affect people more as they get older, when it can lead to more frequent falls. Similar symptoms may also occur after exercise.

Low blood pressure after eating

If you experience symptoms after eating, it’s known as postprandial hypotension. It occurs more often in older people, particularly in those who have high blood pressure or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes mellitus. After a meal, your intestines need a large amount of blood for digestion. If your heart rate doesn’t increase enough to maintain blood pressure, your blood pressure will fall, causing symptoms.

Low blood pressure after standing for long periods

Some people experience symptoms after standing up for long periods of time. This is sometimes known as neutrally mediated hypotension, and most often affects children and young adults.

Read more about the causes of low blood pressure and High blood pressure in the elderly

We have never thought we would be writing about this but facts are facts and we feel it is our responsibility to act and act fast .

Nursing hardship does exist and this must stop !

  • Nurses are nearly twice as likely as the average person to
    be unable to afford basic necessities like beds, washing machines and keeping their homes warm
  • Two in five nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants have
    a long-term physical or mental illness that limits their day-to-day activity
  • Nurses are 3 times more likely to have experienced domestic
    abuse in the last year

This is appalling, and we all need to take urgent action

Unfortunately, many people seem to think that the most important people in the healthcare system are the doctors, but this is simply not true. Ever the underdog, nurses play a key role in all of our medical institutions, being responsible for the welfare, safety and recovery of patients. Nurses have an enormous amount of knowledge and many diverse skills they spend years perfecting and developing, all the time working in decidedly tough environments where extreme stress is just a part of the job. Nurses help bring new life into the world, care tirelessly for the sick and injured, and sometimes watch the patients they did everything to save pass away despite their best efforts.

We are very proud to collaborate with Cavell Nurses Trust in this fundraising campaign to raise both money but most importantly urgency and awareness to tackling this national issue.  Cavell Nurses’ Trust is a very active charity that provides help and financial support to UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who are suffering hardship. Together with supporters like you, we can make a difference.

How we can help :

£1000 to help a nurse fleeing domestic violence establish a new home after leaving everything behind

£500 to pay the deposit for a rental flat for a homeless nurse in crisis

£500 to help a nurse who has had to suddenly leave their job to become a full-time carer for a loved one

£300 to help a nurse facing working-age poverty with vital home repairs they cannot afford
£100 to help a nurse with mental health problems stay in their own home

Feel inspired to help? We’re looking for people like you to take action

To support and raise money for Nurses in need , kindly click here

 Nurses .. they make a difference in our lives every day !

 Time to give them something back – they are worth it  !

 We Count On Your Support & Kind Generosity

 🙂

 

Thinking and memory skills were most improved when people exercised the heart and muscles on a regular basis, a review of 39 studies found. This remained true in those who already showed signs of cognitive decline. Taking up exercise at any age was worthwhile for the mind and body, the Australian researchers said.

Exercises such as T’ai Chi were recommended for people over the age of 50 who couldn’t manage other more challenging forms of exercise, the study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said.

Physical activity has long been known to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including type-2 diabetes and some cancers, and it is thought to play a role in warding off the brain’s natural decline as we enter middle age.

The theory is that through exercise the brain receives a greater supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients that boost its health as well as a growth hormone that helps the formation of new neurons and connections.

In this analysis of previous studies, researchers from the University of Canberra looked at the effects of at least four weeks of structured physical exercise on the brain function of adults.

In a variety of brain tests, they found evidence of aerobic exercise improving cognitive abilities, such as thinking, reading, learning and reasoning, while muscle training – for example, using weights – had a significant effect on memory and the brain’s ability to plan and organise, the so-called executive functions.

Joe Northey, study author and researcher from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise at Canberra, said the findings were convincing enough to enable both types of exercise to be prescribed to improve brain health in the over-50s.

“Even if you are doing moderate exercise only once or twice a week there are still improvements in cognitive function, but the improvements were better the more exercise was done,” he said.

He said people should be able to hold a conversation while doing moderate exercise.

NHS guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week and exercise the major muscles on two or more days a week.

As well as staying physically active, Dr David Reynolds, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said it was equally important to look after our brains by staying mentally active, eating a balanced diet, drinking only in moderation and not smoking.

Thinking and memory skills were most improved when people exercised the heart and muscles on a regular basis, a review of 39 studies found. This remained true in those who already showed signs of cognitive decline. Taking up exercise at any age was worthwhile for the mind and body, the Australian researchers said.

Exercises such as T’ai Chi were recommended for people over the age of 50 who couldn’t manage other more challenging forms of exercise, the study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said.

Physical activity has long been known to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including type-2 diabetes and some cancers, and it is thought to play a role in warding off the brain’s natural decline as we enter middle age.

The theory is that through exercise the brain receives a greater supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients that boost its health as well as a growth hormone that helps the formation of new neurons and connections.

In this analysis of previous studies, researchers from the University of Canberra looked at the effects of at least four weeks of structured physical exercise on the brain function of adults.

In a variety of brain tests, they found evidence of aerobic exercise improving cognitive abilities, such as thinking, reading, learning and reasoning, while muscle training – for example, using weights – had a significant effect on memory and the brain’s ability to plan and organise, the so-called executive functions.

Joe Northey, study author and researcher from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise at Canberra, said the findings were convincing enough to enable both types of exercise to be prescribed to improve brain health in the over-50s.

“Even if you are doing moderate exercise only once or twice a week there are still improvements in cognitive function, but the improvements were better the more exercise was done,” he said.

He said people should be able to hold a conversation while doing moderate exercise.

NHS guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week and exercise the major muscles on two or more days a week.

As well as staying physically active, Dr David Reynolds, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said it was equally important to look after our brains by staying mentally active, eating a balanced diet, drinking only in moderation and not smoking.

Cavell Nurses’ Trust Trust is  always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help spread the word about Cavell Nurses’ Trust or work on specific projects. Could you spare a few hours to help them out to support nurses in need?

Cavell Nurses’ Trust is Edith Cavell’s legacy, a charity set up in her name that, nowadays, supports nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants suffering hardship. They provide support for UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship – often because of illness, disability, domestic abuse and the effects of older age. “We’re a charity, and we help people at no cost to them. We give a listening ear and practical support to everyone who asks for help.”

Mya helped out at Cavell Nurses’ Trust offices

“I am currently studying for my A-levels and after that I would like to pursue my dream career of becoming a nurse; this is why I joined the Cavell Nurses’ Trust on my work experience week, in which I have gained office skills and independent research abilities.

“I have enjoyed my time at Cavell Nurses’ Trust, the people are extremely helpful, positive and friendly, and they have welcomed me into their charity, in which I am greatly thankful for.”

Sabrina took part in a bucket collection at Birmingham New Street

“Collecting at Birmingham New Street Station for Cavell Nurses’ Trust was such a brilliant experience it will stay with me forever. I was helping to support nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in their time of need. This really touched me as I am a student nurse so I really wanted to raise as much money as I possibility could.

“I love volunteering and going the extra mile to raise awareness as I believe everyone can change someone else’s life for the better.

“I’m always being told I am a happy and smiley person but for members of the public to tell me to “keep up the hard work” and “carry on smiling” is really astonishing! I found it surprising that from just a few hours of volunteering my confidence grew so much and I went from an empty bucket to a heavy bucket of donations quite quickly.

“Volunteering is something I would definitely do again. It was such a great experience considering it’s my first time volunteering for Cavell Nurses’ Trust and I received great support and from the team which is amazing.”

Browse through the history of Cavell Nurses’ Trust, from the life of Edith Cavell herself right through to the latest milestones achieved by the charity.

If you are interested in  volunteering opportunities please email : fundraising@cavellnursestrust.org

Eating healthy can be a bit of a challenge, as healthcare professionals are typically managing long shifts, running around and balancing many things at once. Taking a lunch break can sometimes be impossible. For this reason, snacking might be the best way to keep you going. Snacks can be consumed quickly on the go. Plus, eating 5-6 small meals a day, instead of 3 large meals, keeps the metabolism working at peak performance. Here are some great snack suggestions for busy nurses, doctors or healthcare workers :

  • Fresh or dried fruit. Fresh fruit is portable, refreshing, and can be eaten quickly. Fruits that are ready to eat when you want them are best, such as apples, bananas, grapes, or berries. Oranges and other citrus fruits can also be a good snack, but it is best to peel them ahead of time so they can be consumed quickly on the go. Dried fruit is also a great healthy snack idea, but watch out for added sugar and preservatives. When it comes to fruit, fresh is best.
  • Sliced apple (or a banana) with peanut butter (2 tablespoons is 1 serving).Apples alone are a great snack because they are highly portable and are low on the glycemic index, which means that it digests more slowly than many other carbohydrates and does not cause an extreme spike in blood sugar. Pairing an apple with peanut butter, which is a good source of protein and good for you fats, will keep you feeling full even longer. Sliced apples can be easily dipped in peanut butter and eaten on the go. Bananas are a great source of potassium, which is essential for proper muscular function. For additional convenience, peanut butter can be purchased in serving-sized packages
  • Brown rice cake with nut butter.Anything paired with nut butter is a great workday snack. Brown rice cakes are low calorie and can be kept at work for easy access.
  • Hummus is another food that is low glycemic and a good source of fat and protein. It can be consumed with multigrain crackers or whole wheat pita bread, or with veggies, such as cucumbers, celery, carrots, or peppers, for added nutritional value. Hummus can be purchased in a snack-size or in a larger container that can be stored in the break room refrigerator.
  • Mixed nuts.Nuts are low glycemic and high in fat and protein, in additional to other health benefits. This is another snack that is easily eaten on the go, but be weary of your serving sizes. A serving of nuts is 1 ounce, which is typically about a handful. Choosing natural or lightly salted nuts over those with higher sodium. Pair the nuts with some dried cranberries or raisins for a healthy trail mix.
  • Greek yogurt.Greek yogurt is high in protein, so it helps you stay full throughout your shift. Its portability makes it a great grab-and-go snack. This is another item that is easily stored in the break room refrigerator. Add fruit, nuts, or granola for greater energy.
  • Oatmeal is full of protein and fibre, helping you get through your day. It is also warming and comforting, which makes for a soothing snack.  The healthiest variety is plain or original oatmeal, but there are also many different flavors available. Adding fruit, nuts, and honey is a good way perk up plain oatmeal.
  • Cottage cheese.2% milk fat or nonfat cottage cheese is high in protein to keep you full longer and low in fat and calories. This snack can be bought in convenient snack-size packages or in a larger container and left at work. Cottage cheese is versatile and can be eaten with virtually anything. Try it with fresh fruit or fruit preserves, veggies, or avocado to mix it up.
  • Protein or granola bars.There are many different brands and flavors of protein and granola bars to choose from. Reading the label is key to finding the healthiest ones, as some pack so much sugar they are basically glorified candy bars. Look for bars that are lower in sugar and that contain 10 or more grams of protein and 4 or more grams of fibre.
  • Fruit smoothie or protein shake.Fruit smoothies and protein shakes can be purchased at the grocery store or made at home before work and stored in the refrigerator until snack-time. If buying them pre-made, watch out for smoothies and shakes that are high in sugar or contain a lot of preservatives.

Have any other favourite healthy snacks? Leave a comment to share it with us – Sharing is caring too !

Nursing is Career … Not just a Job

You’re ready for a new job opportunity. Started job search and managed to book yourself an Interview , all is good and as planned, by this point, you need to do your home work to be ready to sell yourself and the best way in doing so is to have a close look at your potential employer’s website.This will help you grow your confidence level and show your future employer you care and want the Job more than the other candidates.

Did you know that you have a chance of asking HR questions before accepting a job offer as a nurse? The widespread shortage of nurses in many places gives you room to be a job seeker with a choice on who to work for. Don’t be timid. Ask questions about what you consider important to you and how you carry out your job. Worth considering the following questions before giving a definite answer :

  1. About salary and allowances

Ask about your starting salary and compare this with what is offered in your area for similar roles .  Inquire about allowances in relation to relocation, overtime and any other special nursing care related duties. Many healthcare agencies fail to guarantee secured working hours for their nurses. A great way to find out is to just ask and check your future employer’s reviews, testimonials and social media accounts.

  1. Job related benefits

What does the company offer for your personal healthcare? This relates to matters such as insurance, paid vacation/leave and maternity leave for women.

  1. Interpersonal relationships

Strive to know the relationship between the administration and the workers.  How easy can you have issues resolved between you and a fellow member of staff or between you and the administration? Does the company have a mentorship program?

  1. Education and Training opportunities

Does the company have a continuing education program that will improve your CV and Overall Career Development ? Opportunities to get certifications in certain areas can help in your professional progression. Many healthcare agencies do offer mandatory training , offer courses and development days to help nurses improve their practice and support their continuing professional development (CPD). It is a great chance to ask your future employer if training is included in your employment contract.

  1. Will your personal special circumstances be considered in your new job role?

This can relate to physical or social-family issues. A pregnant or nursing mother for example may find it challenging to work in certain areas. Such mothers may need a department with more flexibility where it may be possible to take a break or reduce working hours (part time ) when circumstances demand. In addition to talking to the HR officer, talk to nurses and other staff who are already working with the company. You will learn from them some things that HR may not be willing to tell you. All these will help you to decide whether take the job opportunity or not.

If you make it a priority to ask these important questions before you accept a nursing job offer, you’ll be much happier with your decision—whether you accept or decline it. It might seem like a good idea to at first take what you can get, but what you want at the end of the day is to love your job and the best way to achieve this is to do your homework beforehand.

Small things like that can be helpful conversation topics during an interview and, ultimately, they can make all the difference in securing the position. Secure Healthcare Solutions is a specialist in establishment healthcare staffing solutions across England. We are actively recruiting and supplying front line staff in Birmingham and the West Midlands,Northampton, Milton Keynes, London, Manchester and Bristol areas.