The Care Certificate from Unison

The care certificate will ensure that minimum standards of training are met before any health or social care member is allowed to work without direct supervision in England.  Covering 15 areas of competency this certificate will provide a benchmark of introductory training and will minimise the need for organisations to repeat training. During the roll-out stage health and social care organisations are expected to focus on ‘new starters, new to care work’ however many may benefit from assessing their existing staff in the same way.

As the certificate is not yet mandatory this may cause some disruption in the health and social care industry. The associated training may become an additional cost to responsible organisations that already provide training, meaning that competitors that do not provide the training can undercut them on price, especially in a tender process. This calls for authorities to prioritise organisations who engage with the care certificate during the tender process. Further to this, some care organisations fear that staff may become demotivated if they are unable to complete the training necessary which may add to the already high staff turnover rate of the industry. The full report is available below.

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A Successful Co-Researcher Training Session at the Znanie Association

The training of the Co-researchers in Sofia took place in Znanie’s office with 3 participants – two professionally engaged with caring (former employees of the Social and Healthcare system, now retired and working as caregivers) and one who is taking care for family members.

Two people from Znanie were present – Valentina Georgieva, project manager and Vasilena Simova, researcher.
The discussion around the topic “My ideal carer” was supported by using of Ketso method.

The three participants agreed around three very important features that the “ideal carer” should posses:

• To be a good person – this is the starting point, the most important one. To be a good carer one should love people. If they don’t love people, no matter what training they are provided it wouldn’t help;
• To have relatively high level of education/wide interests. To be able to discuss different topics, to be a good companion, to behave properly;
• To behave in professional manner – to keep the distance between the carer and the client, to use plastic gloves, to know their rights and to fulfill their obligations with self confidence and dignity. To be aware of the diseases/condition of the client and possible complications. To know what to do in case of emergency.

The third point was the room where they see the training must be focused and will help.
The atmosphere of friendliness, openness and good will to cooperate could be felt during the session. A lot of experience, many examples and positive attitude fulfilled the room. Ketso model was welcomed; two of the participants were aware of it and found it very useful and appropriate, as well as pleasant to be applied.

Co Researcher Workshop

As part of the next stage of the research element of the HELPCARE project, Dr Carolyn Downs ran a workshop to train six volunteer people recruited locally who work in the care sector to become co-researchers for the project. The workshop was held at Lancaster & Morecambe College and featured the KETSO toolkit (Ketso means ‘action’ in Lesotho, Southern Africa, where it was invented), to help structure and deliver the training effectively.

The training was positively received by the co-researchers, who felt more enthusiastic and informed at the end of the day. In particular, citing the use of collaborative learning as one of the highlights of the training. The co-researchers also felt that they are now better prepared to enable the next stage of the project to move forward. The co-researchers will now be involved in interviewing and gathering useful information and opinions from the people who access care. This will hopefully help to provide a further invaluable source of evidence to inform the project.


HelpCare at the ‘Town and Gown’ event on Dementia Futures, Lancaster Town Hall – Friday 18th September 2015

Lancaster & Morecambe College, core partners from the European Erasmus+ funded HelpCare project attended a special event designed to engage practitioners and members of the general public in the North West. The full day event was held at Lancaster Town Hall and attended by over 150 delegates from the sector.

This event aimed to showcase some of the newest and most innovative research around Dementia and Health and Social Care currently being undertaken in the UK by universities, private and third sector organisations and projects.

Lancaster & Morecambe College set up an information stand to share the Helpcare project information and many delegates showed an interest in this and other projects in the field.

This informative and interactive event was an ideal platform to communicate our project outputs to a relevant audience and gave us the opportunity to exchange information and knowledge.

Keynote speakers from around the UK included Dr Penny Foulds from Defying Dementia, Dr Susan Davidson from Age UK and Dr Hazel Morbey & Dr Yingying Wang with a presentation on ‘Evaluating dementia training for NHS staff in acute NHS hospitals’.

Advisory Board Meeting

We are very excited about our advisory board meeting, taking place today at Lancaster University. Our board members are listed on their own page of the website, and bring a wide range of expertise to support the project. We are really looking forward to a fruitful meeting and will share key ideas and thoughts from the meeting via our website as soon as possible.

Defying Dementia Update

Dear all,

You are invited to a Walk to Defy Dementia on Sunday 18th October at Lancaster University to raise money for a groundbreaking drug which combats Alzheimer’s disease. So far, we have raised over £32,000 and need your help to reach our target of £165,500 to get this drug through safety trials before it can reach Phase I human clinical trials.

This two mile woodland walk is located around the University campus and there are many fun pit-stops along the way. There will also be some entertainment at the end and the walk is suitable for all ages and abilities. The registration fee is £5.96 with £5 going straight to the lab to help with their important research.

The day will start at 11am and finish at 4pm. If you would like to register, please click here. For more information on the work that Defying Dementia does, please follow this link.

The HELPCARE team in Thessaloniki!

The HELPCARE team are currently in Thessaloniki in meetings to discuss the data generated by the project thus far. All partners have been busy with their individual responsibilities that has lead to a fruitful debate regarding the nature of employment in the care industry and how this will affect the planning of the education and career guidelines. Anticipation of the outcomes of our current and imminent activities are also contributing to the development of a robust impact pathway, which will increase in both size, significance and scope as the project progresses.