We recently attended the Care Roadshow which was a lively event and packed with up to date topics. In the lobby there was an array of stands with professionals marketing their services and products.

This is an ideal annual event for Care Professionals to get up to date with CQC requirements, listen to talks on better standards of care either in falls prevention, better communication, animal assisted therapy or listening to a talk on Making the Care Act a Reality.

Faik Aktulga the Director of Wild Fangs explained how Animal Assisted Therapy in the care home industry has particular benefits for residents with dementia. The presence of animals can trigger pleasant memories and can help to remember childhood pets and jog memories of this period of past life for these vulnerable people. Animals are considered safe and in most instances there is a pleasant feeling when stroking animals which create happy memories and pleasant smiles.

According to Sequn Oladokun, Head of Inspection London South people are at the heart of the changes in CQC regulations and the new inspection regime is aimed at bringing about improvements in the health and social care sectors.  The regulations make a stronger voice for the people who receive care.  There were a number of providers and managers of care  at the sessions and they were in favour of the new inspection model which is more person centred.

Falls prevention and how care homes can implement best practice was covered by Julie Windsor, Patient Safety Lead, Older People and Falls, NHS England.

Sarah Reed from Many Happy Returns gave a clear picture of really good communication and stated that really good care needs real communication. The Seminar provided an outline of the key issues that need to be addressed in care homes. She spoke about her mother and had first hand knowledge of communicating with a loved one with dementia. She stressed the importance of Story Books and Reminiscence and said "we can’t care for people unless we care about them and we can’t care about them if we don’t know who they are"

We at Sussex Elderly Care feel that people should include what they like and what their wishes are and include some favourite memories which can be referred to by would be carers in later life when they are making a Will.  Solicitors now take Welfare into account when processing wills for people. This information could prove valuable in the future in putting a Life Story Book together and give one a better quality of life especially if they have no next of kin.

A number of changes from CQC took place this year on the 1st of April and Sheila Scott OBE, Chief Executive, National Care Association referred particularly to the fundamental standards and CQC Inspection Programme; the Duty of Candour; Fit and Proper Persons i.e. Directors; and the Care Certificates.  Of particular interest was the fact that the Director of the Company needs to have been interviewed and be fit and proper person to run the home(s). Of equal importance is the Duty of Candour which can refer to incidents in the provision of service where CQC should be notified. When these incidents occur Sheila said the Management have to apologise for any of these things that have happened. Sheila pointed out key areas like Mental Capacity Act Training and the importance of having DOLS in place for residents. The importance of good management in the administration of medication, proper training for Management and the need for good systems in place for Nutrition were also addressed.

This seminar is an ideal place to network, meet key professionals in the care industry, and get up to date on new electronic and paper tools to ensure best practice is applied in care i.e.. the Care Plan Handbook on person-centred care.