May 14, 2009 -- Able Newsflash No.168

Care News

There are a shortage of District / Community Nurses in the UK and an increasing number of people who require their services.

For the last few years if one of our clients has had a need to have for example, eye drops dispensed, routine medication via a peg, we have been able through varying PCT�s to have our carers trained for the procedure for the particular client by the local District Nurse. The DN would then write a "letter of competency" which was accepted by our company insurance. This meant that the client was happy as it was their wish to have his/her regular carers carry out the procedure and the Nurses have had their time freed up and can attend other patients.

However, recently, a District Nurse/PCT has withdrawn this facility. (It was necessary when a new carer had to be introduced to the client). This means that the DN will have to attend daily when the new carer is in post as the carer will not be trained to carry out the task.

When asking the Nursing office for information about any relevant training courses we could access in the area, there was none available but they did not understand the problem as "other agencies do it".

This could mean that some care agencies are offering these designated "nursing" tasks without appropriate insurance which holds risks for both carers and clients.

Able Community Care has asked UKHCA to formally get some clarification from the insurance company that we and many of their members use. Clarification relating to what is covered by our domiciliary care insurance and related malpractice insurance.

We will let you know how the situation progresses.

The Welsh Assembly has brought in colour-coded nurses uniforms for their 33,000 nurses. This is to enable patients and visitors to recognise who is in charge on hospital wards. Ward Sisters will wear navy blue, clinical nurse specialists will wear royal blue, staff nurses sky blue and healthcare support workers will all wear green. One set of uniforms for every shift. This will take place from October.

The Assembly is not happy about uniforms being washed at home and would like to see laundries in hospitals take on this task.

The RCN congress is discussing calls to introduce a similar national uniform in England.

The Fairer Fees Forum is the name of a group of residential, nursing and domiciliary care firms who have been set up to lobby for a judicial review of the level of fees paid by councils because they do not believe that rates paid represent the true cost of the care provided. Website:

In-House News

MH training and refresher training has taken place in South Wales, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Norfolk and Devon.

Client reviews have taken place in South Wales, Devon and Sussex.

Potential clients have been visited in Norfolk, Kent and Derbyshire.

A new client care package has commenced in London. Care Manager is Sam Clarke for a younger gentleman who has LD�s and is blind. Salary �576.00pw inc. Sam�s direct line is 01603 281918.

Interesting Information / Statistics

Question of the week
"My grandson is a teenager and disabled. The family hope that he will choose to go onto university but where can we find out about the situation for disabled students?"

Answer : All universities and colleges try to offer equal opportunities and will support disabled students. If your grandson has a particular course or university in mind, contact them directly for further details.

If you are seeking general information at this stage, go to an organisation called Skill. The organisation promotes support for students with any kind of disability and you can call them free on 0800 328 5050. They also have a website at: for further information.

The Mouth and Foot Painting Artists was formed in 1956 and is now a world wide organisation.

The first recorded British mouth painter was Sarah Bittern who was born in Somerset in 1784. Sarah was born without arms or legs. In adulthood she made her living in a travelling sideshow by painting with a brush held between her teeth. She died in 1850. Her talent was such that she had a picture accepted by The Royal Academy.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this and "see you next week".

Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Proprietor
Able Community Care.