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  • Non-medical prescribers cut delays and respond rapidly to need

    Non-medical prescribers cut delays and respond rapidly to need

    21.08.20 Royal Star & Garter care homes have brought the ability to prescribe medications “in-house” by supporting two of their staff to train as non-medical prescribers. Lead nurse Yuriy Bukovych and lead physiotherapist Maddie Venkatesh qualified in July and are now able to provide a rapid on-site response to residents’ health needs, avoiding delays caused by having to wait for GP prescriptions. Pauline Shaw, director of care at Royal Star & Garter, congratulated Maddie and Yuriy, and said: “The benefits of having non-medical prescribers in a care home setting are clear to see. Not only do residents benefit from speedier access to medication, but it cuts out red tape and eases the pressure on prescribers, such as GPs. It is our intention to have non-medical prescribers in all of our homes.”

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  • Care home group launches “controlled admissions suite”

    Care home group launches “controlled admissions suite”

    20.08.20 Vida Healthcare has launched a “controlled admissions suite” so that new residents can be admitted “without jeopardising the health of current residents and staff.” New residents are tested for Covid-19 before arriving and receive care for a “quarantine period” before transferring to the main area of the care home. Launched at Vida Grange care home in July, the suite can hold up to 10 residents and has a permanent team of six staff offering round-the-clock care. “It was key for us to develop an initiative which enabled us to pick back up with our admissions process, and offer high quality care to more vulnerable people,” said healthcare director Bernadette Mossman.

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  • Next steps as diagnosis rates and memory service referrals fall

    Next steps as diagnosis rates and memory service referrals fall

    19.08.20 Following a fall in dementia diagnosis rates and memory service referrals during the pandemic, Alzheimer’s Society analyses the consequences in an extended comment piece on its website. Diagnosis rates fell from 67.6% to 63.5% between February and June, while memory service referrals plummeted from an average of 2,600 a month to well below 1,000. The Society calls for routine screening to be re-prioritised, proactive case finding by primary care professionals, measures to combat lengthening waiting lists for memory services and good access to post-diagnostic support.

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  • Face-to-face visits are “priority” as some residents “feel abandoned”

    Face-to-face visits are “priority” as some residents “feel abandoned”

    18.08.20 The BBC reports from Merseyside on how restrictions on family visits have led some care home residents with dementia to “feel abandoned”. One woman tells the BBC about the “shocking” decline in her 90-year-old mother, who lives at Community Integrated Care’s (CIC) Kemp Lodge care home in Sefton: “People living in the home don’t understand the pandemic - they think their families have abandoned them [or] don’t love them any more.” Another relative of a resident there says: “We try to talk to her through the window but… she is hard of hearing and she doesn’t understand.” Describing the problem as “possibly the most difficult aspect of this crisis,” CIC managing director Martin McGuigan said bringing back face-to-face visits was a priority, but he added: “We need to be exceptionally careful and considered in how we reintroduce family visits to our homes.”

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  • Concerns about excess deaths in the community

    Concerns about excess deaths in the community

    17.08.20 In a blog for the BMJ, Sarah Deeny and Phoebe Dunn draw attention to the effect of the pandemic on social care recipients in the community. “We do know that 4,500 additional deaths of domiciliary care users have been reported so far, a greater proportional increase in deaths than in care homes (225% compared to 208%),” they write. “Worryingly, up until 19 June, which is the most recent data available, the excess deaths reported among domiciliary care users had not returned to average levels.” The authors speculate that some of the excess deaths may be due to unmet need for health and social care, but add: “Unlike residents of care homes, we don’t even have simple information on the age or causes of death of those affected.

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  • Possible new treatment could be licensed next Spring

    Possible new treatment could be licensed next Spring

    15.08.20 A potential new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease could be licensed for use in the US by Spring 2021, it has been reported. According to pharmaceutical company Biogen, which is seeking regulatory approval for its aducanumab drug, the Food and Drug Administration has granted it “priority review” meaning that it will decide whether to approve the new drug by March 7. Aducanumab has been credited with slowing cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease. According to Biogen, trials of the drug showed that patients given high doses in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease experienced significant benefits on measures of cognition and function, such as memory, orientation and language.

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  • E-Newsletter - 14 August 2020

    E-Newsletter - 14 August 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include a new care home 'admission suite', non-medical prescribers and an update on falling diagnosis rates. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • E-Newsletter - 7 Aug 2020

    E-Newsletter - 7 Aug 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include reports on day centres and care homes re-opening to visitors after lockdown, and low diagnosis rates during the pandemic. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • University wins major award for 'Class in a Bag' teaching initiative

    University wins major award for 'Class in a Bag' teaching initiative

    14.08.20 An initiative for teaching school children about dementia - called “Class in a Bag” - has won a major national award for teaching excellence. Class in a Bag is taught by student nurses in schools so that children learn how to support people living with the condition. Led by Professor Debbie Tolson and Winnie McGarry from the University of the West of Scotland, the impact of this portable, intergenerational education resource has been recognised by the Advanced HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence given to the university. Professor Tolson said that, since 2012, more than 10,000 school children had learned about dementia from over 2,400 student nurses using Class in a Bag.

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  • Stricter PPE guidance 'saved lives' says home care agency

    Stricter PPE guidance 'saved lives' says home care agency

    13.08.20 A care agency has described how setting higher standards than those prescribed in government coronavirus guidance enabled it to save the lives of vulnerable clients. “We went with stricter PPE guidance on masks, gloves, visors, gowns, and I’m sure that kept infection rates down among clients across the county,” said Jason Walker, manager of the Hereford-based Kemble at Home care agency. “Despite going house to house we didn’t have one single client infected, which we are very proud of,” he told the Worcester News website. When there were shortages the government said some PPE could be used for an entire shift, but the council and local agencies insisted masks be changed after each home visit. “We went from zero costs on masks before covid to £2,000 a week,” Walker said. "The price of a box of 1,000 gloves rose from £15 to £50 or £60.”

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