Thursday, 25 May 2017

CQC Move's to Cancels Care Home's Registration

A nursing home in Addlestone, Surrey, is to close after the Care Quality Commission moved to cancel its registration.

At a recent meeting in April 2017 attended by CQC and the local authority, the provider, Pinebird Ventures Limited, said that it had informed Surrey County Council (SCC) that it had decided to close Fermoyle House Nursing Home in Church Road, Addlestone.

The home had 18 residents at the time of CQC’s most recent inspection. Ten people funded by Surrey County Council, six by other local authorities and two are privately funded. The home had the capacity to look after 32 people living with dementia.

In January 2017 CQC inspected Fermoyle House and rated it Inadequate overall.The inspection followed one in July 2015 when Fermoyle House was rated Requires Improvement overall and another in July 2016 when it was rated Inadequate and placed into special measures.

At the most recent inspection CQC found:
  • Changes in the management of the service had led to a lack of clarity for staff about who they should take their lead from.
  • Monthly quality assurance checks failed to consider key aspects of the service, such as checks on care documentation and recruitment documentation.
  • There was insufficient evidence of learning from accidents and incidents or of actions taken to minimise risks to people.
  • There were inconsistencies in the recorded information about people's capacity.
  • The provider had not established effective systems for people to contribute their views about the service or recorded any feedback they had received informally.
  • People were not adequately protected by the provider's recruitment procedures.
  • Care plans did not record people's preferences regarding end of life care, which meant their wishes were not known to the staff who cared for them.
  • People's privacy was not always protected because one of the shared bathroom doors was not able to be locked.
  • People were not always able to exercise their choices regarding their care. 

You can read the report in full on the CQC's website.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Creative Future Literary Awards Open for Submissions From the Under Represented

Founded in 2013, the Creative Future Literary Awards is the UK’s only national writing competition and high profile awards ceremony for under-represented writers.

The awards showcase talented writers who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, identity or other social circumstance. Prizes are awarded for both poetry and short fiction, including £1000 of cash prizes and professional writing development support and mentorship.

Entrants need to submit a piece of flash fiction (300 words) or poetry (200 words) on the theme of 'important nothings'.

Winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts.

Are You Eligible?

This competition is for under-represented writers in the UK who fall into one or more of the following categories:
  • having a mental health issue
  • having a physical disability
  • having a long-term limiting illness
  • having a learning disability/ASD/ADHD
  • having a sensory impairment
  • having a substance misuse issue
  • being homeless or in temporary accommodation
  • being a survivor of abuse
  • being a care leaver
  • being long term unemployed
  • being a carer
  • being an offender or ex-offender
  • being part of the BMER/traveller community
  • being part of the LGBTQ+ community
  • being an older person (65+)
All competition entrants will have to state how they are under-represented on the competition entry form before being accepted as a valid competition entrant. 

How to Apply

You can apply to the awards online, by post, or in person. 

You’ll need to fill in an entry form and attach your poem, your flash fiction piece, or both. The closing date for submissions is 26th June 2017.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Devon Care Home Rated Outstanding in All Areas by CQC

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by a care home in Sidmouth, Devon, to be Outstanding in all categories following an inspection in March 2017.

Arcot House Residential Home is a 23 bed residential home for older people who are physically frail and require help with personal care, it does not provide nursing care.

Inspection Report Highlights 

  • Staff treated patients as part of their extended family and knew them well.
  • All patients were treated with the utmost dignity and respect.
  • Training for staff went above and beyond the basic statutory requirements to provide holistic services and support to patients. Staff demonstrated a real enthusiasm to learn and had received excellent training including aromatherapy and nutrition courses to better support people.
  • Each person had a trusted member of staff who took a lead role in each person's care and well-being. They continuously looked for ways to ensure people had positive experiences and led fulfilling lives. Staff knew about people's lives, their interests and talents and encouraged them to share them with others.
  • The home supported people in creative ways to live life to the full and maintain their hobbies. People who used the service were encouraged to pursue new interests and learn new skills, for example, an artist worked with a group of people on painting landscapes and the home has supported people to paint on a regular basis.
  • Staff also used innovative ways to promote improved health and well-being through good nutrition and hydration. A daily 'nutrition' and 'hydration' boost offered people a variety of food and drinks to try as a fun way to expand people's food and drink choices and try new flavours and textures. For example, Fizzy Friday' each involved trying a range of different juices and sparkling water 'cocktails.'
  • Where people were on soft or pureed diet because of swallowing difficulties or choking risks, the service used food moulds to present each component of the person's meal in the shape of food it represented. For example, moulds in the shape of fish, chicken and carrot. This made the person's food more attractive and appetising and meant it was easier for them to identify what they were eating.
Deborah Ivanova, CQC's Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said “Arcot House Residential Home demonstrated that people were consistently at the heart of the service. People living here were clearly seen as part of an extended family where staff know each person well, recognising their individual interests and what mattered to them. Care was provided by an innovative and committed team who looked after people with the utmost dignity and respect."

“To receive an Outstanding rating overall is a commendable achievement, but to gain an Outstanding rating in all five categories as well is exemplary and I would encourage other providers to read this report, to see what they can learn.”

Monday, 15 May 2017

University Student Crawls Through Air Ducts to Steal Exam Papers

A student at the University of Kentucy (USA) was so desperate to get a good grade that he crawled through the air duct system to steal exam papers!

This wasn't the first time Henry Lynch had used the air ducts to access his professor's office to steal exam papers, but this time he got caught.

It is not clear how he accessed the air ducts but he crawled through the network and dropped into his statistics instructors' room.  Henry's tutor was working late and suprised him and his accompliced, fellow student Troy Kiphuth, both of whom fled the scence.

Later, Mr Lynch confessed - and told the police that he had tried to get the test earlier that day too, but couldn't find it.

A university representative told the BBC that the air duct method had worked for him before. He went on to say  "He has confessed to stealing an exam earlier in the semester, but said he had not shared it with other students".

"Cheating and theft of this kind is very serious in an academic institution,".

Henry and Troy are now facing the university's discplinary board.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Domiciliary Care Service Rated Outstanding by CQC

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by Hamax Ltd in Malvern Gate, Worcestershire, to be Outstanding overall following inspections in February and March.

The service provides personal care to people living in their own homes in the community. It's primary focus is to provide a service to older and younger adults who live with dementia and other conditions. At the last inspection, 75 people were receiving support with personal care.

Inspectors found:
  • staff were highly caring and compassionate, with staff going above and beyond for their clients.
  • life journals were completed to a high standard, reassuring family members and supporting staff in their caring duties.
  • the management team listens to the views of staff, clients and relatives and have made changes to services as a result of feedback.
Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC's Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said “The quality of care which our inspectors found here was exceptional and I am very pleased that we can celebrate the service’s achievements."

“An outstanding service is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment. I would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved.”

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Missing Pages From One of the First Books Published in England Discovered

A unique example of 15th century printed text by English printer William Caxton has been unearthed at the University of Reading.

The two pages are from a medieval priest handbook dating back to late 1476 or early 1477, which was among the first books printed in England by William Caxton’s pioneering press. No other copies of the pages, printed either side of a single leaf of paper, are known to have survived.

It was found in the University’s archives by Erika Delbecque, Special Collections librarian, while she was cataloguing thousands of items illustrating the history of printing and graphic design. The find has been verified by Caxton experts and valued at up to £100,000 by a specialist.

The surprise find will go on public display in the University’s Special Collections department, within the MERL museum on London Road, from 9 May until 30 May.

Ms Delbecque said: “This well preserved item is the only one of its kind, and one of just two surviving fragments from this medieval Caxton book in existence.

“The leaf had previously been pasted into another book for the undignified purpose of reinforcing its spine. We understand it was rescued by a librarian at the University of Cambridge in 1820, who had no idea that it was an original Caxton leaf.

“I suspected it was special as soon as I saw it. The trademark blackletter typeface, layout and red paragraph marks indicate it is very early western European printing. It is incredibly rare to find an unknown Caxton leaf, and astonishing that it has been under our noses for so long.”

It is written in Medieval Latin and is from a book called the Sarum Ordinal or Sarum Pye, which instructed priests on how to prioritise religious feast days for English saints.

The page was part of a collection that previously belonged to late typographer John Lewis and his wife Griselda, a writer and book designer. The collection was purchased by the University for £70,000 at auction in 1997, with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The leaf then lay hidden among many thousands of other items in the archives for almost 20 years before being identified.

“In the world of rare books, certain words have special, almost magic, resonance, and Caxton is one of them." - Early printing specialist Andrew Hunter

Copies of the Sarum Ordinal were produced in Westminster, before the Reformation, and consisted of around 160 leaves. The text was originally established as a manuscript by St Osmund, the Bishop of Salisbury, in the 11th century. It would have been owned by clergymen and consulted on a regular basis, but was discarded after the Reformation.

Only one other surviving fragment of the book exists, consisting of eight double-sided leaves, which are held at the British Library in London.

Dr Lotte Hellinga, formerly Deputy Keeper at the British Library and an expert on Caxton, said: “It is very rare that an unknown piece of printing by William Caxton is brought to light. The example found in Reading belongs to a different part of the book than those held in the British Library.

“Its condition is good, considering that it spent some 300 years bound in the spine of a book, and another 200 resting forgotten in an album of fragments rescued from other bindings.”

Early printing specialist Andrew Hunter, of Blackwells Books, who carried out the valuation of the leaf, said: “In the world of rare books, certain words have special, almost magic, resonance, and Caxton is one of them. Thus the discovery of even a fragment from among Caxton's earliest printing in England is thrilling to bibliophiles, and of great interest to scholars.

“If this were ever to come on the market there would definitely be competition for it; it would be a great prize for a private collector, and a feather in the cap of any institution.”

Monday, 8 May 2017

Students Invited To Find Out More About Fair Trade on an All-Expenses Paid Trip to India

The NUS is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to one student in its latest competition. 

The winner will get the opportunity to go on an all-expenses paid trip to India to view the Epona clothing supply chain, from farm to factory, to see first-hand the impact Fairtrade cotton and ethical fashion is having on the lives of those involved in the cotton and garment trades.

The global clothing supply chain represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity to improve the lives of the people who make our clothes; the cotton pickers, fabric cutters, and textile printers of countries like India.

NUS's own ethical clothing company Epona produces 750,000 Fairtrade cotton items of clothing each year, sold through students’ union shops across the UK.

Each year, Epona organises a visit to the producers in their supply chain in India. This gives student leaders and representatives the chance to see the impact of their purchasing policies first hand.

They have seen how the Fairtrade premium supports local primary schools, protects workers’ rights and improves the local environment.

This year, one lucky student has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to join them.

For your chance to win your place on October’s trip, simply visit

Thursday, 4 May 2017

SMEs Vulnerable to Social Media Hacking

Thousands of small businesses have had their social media accounts hacked in the last three years, a new study has found.

One in five (20 per cent) have fallen victim to cyber attacks on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, with more than half (54 per cent) admitting it had caused ‘significant’ damage to their business as a result.

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of social media hackers also demanded cash ransoms in return for handing back control.

But although the threat still persists, more than a third (38 per cent) of all owners and managers had no processes in place for dealing with hacks and less than half (42 per cent) of those hit had reviewed their processes since.

The research carried out by business law specialists, Slater and Gordon, revealed worrying levels of vulnerability at 500 UK SMEs.

Sixteen per cent of bosses didn’t know how to access their company’s social media accounts and one in four (25 per cent) had been locked out on at least one occasion because whoever had the login details had left the company or gone on holiday.

Just 40 per cent of businesses had a dedicated social media manager, with one in four (25 per cent) leaving it to younger or junior members of staff – or even those on work experience (six per cent).

Steve Kuncewicz, business advisory lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “Increasingly, a business’ greatest asset can be its digital and social media presence. But it can also be its greatest vulnerability.

“It can take years to build up a following, but a few seconds to destroy it with a careless tweet or post or not being able to respond quickly enough to negative comments and feedback or a hack.

“It is concerning that so many business leaders don’t know the login details to their firm’s accounts to prevent this from happening.”

“Senior managers and owners can be inclined to leave managing social media to younger or more junior staff because of a lack of knowledge about the digital world and an assumption that they know better.

“This is a serious mistake. Implementing a process to sign off content, manage who has access to accounts and react if you suffer a social media incident is vital in this day and age.”

One in four managers (25 per cent) said they checked rarely, if at all, to see what their firm was saying on social media – or what people were saying about them. Sixty per cent showed the same disregard for popular review sites such as Trip Advisor and Glassdoor.

More than a third of businesses (36 per cent) did not have a social media policy and 40 per cent offered no training to staff about posting comments on personal accounts that could bring the firm into disrepute.

Steve said many companies still underestimate the power of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, despite spending on social media advertising expected to hit £28billion worldwide this year.

Almost two thirds of SME managers (65 per cent) were not familiar with the Advertising Standards Authority’s CAP code of conduct and one in 10 (10 per cent) had fallen foul of it already.

Steve said: “We have seen countless examples of how incidents can be amplified by social media which can cause major long-term damage to a company’s reputation and bottom line. Also the speed with which potentially damaging events can develop or go viral in the digital age highlights how important it is to be prepared and have robust processes in place.

“Five hundred million people are using LinkedIn now including 23 million in the UK alone, which shows how fast-growing and far reaching just one platform can be. Social media can be a very powerful tool for those who know how to use it, but failure to recognise that and take it seriously could have potentially damaging consequences for a business.”

He added: “We see all too often that SMEs only identify the risk once it’s too late, after they’ve suffered a hack or some sort of serious reputational damage because of a careless or malicious post.

“Almost no one is immune from these risks. Even the biggest and most secure organisations in the world have at one point suffered serious damage due to failures to safeguard and control their digital or social media assets.”

Monday, 1 May 2017

CQC Issues Fine to Care Home Failing to Employ a Registered Manager

A care home provider which failed persistently to comply with national standards regarding the employment of a registered manager has been fined £4,000 by the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC issued the fixed penalty notice to Epsom Lodge Care Homes Limited after inspectors found that a registered manager was not employed - which is a legal obligation.

Inspections took place on the 8 April 2016 and the 19 September 2016 and the reports record that there was no registered manager in place.

CQC inspectors found that the home in Burgh Heath Road, Epsom, Surrey, had failed to have a registered manager from January 2016 until March 2017.

Epsom Lodge had told CQC that a manager had been employed since 1 February 2016 - although the manager’s application to register had been rejected because there were gaps in the information needed.

Subsequently, the CQC issued a fixed penalty notice, which the provider has accepted and paid.

Debbie Ivanova, CQC's Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care for London and the South, said "It is a provider’s legal duty to ensure that it has an appropriate registered manager in place for good reason."

“It was a matter of concern that between January 2016 and March 2017 Epsom Lodge did not have a registered manager, in line with legal requirements."

“We will keep Epsom Lodge under review to ensure that standards are sustained. We will not hesitate to take further action if necessary to ensure residents receive the service they are entitled to expect.”