Thursday, 12 December 2013

Office Opening Times


Please find below our office opening hours over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

All enquires should be made during normal office hours.  Only emergency calls will be answered by our on call manager. 

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and New Year.




OFFICE HOURS
EMERGENCY ON CALL
Monday 23rd Dec
09:00 – 17:00
0845 0945 279
or
0131 618 0777
Tuesday 24th Dec
09:00 – 17:00
Wednesday (Christmas Day)
Closed
Thursday (Boxing Day)
Closed
Friday 27th Dec
09:00 – 17:00
Saturday 28th Dec
Closed
Sunday 29th Dec
Closed


OFFICE HOURS
EMERGENCY ON CALL
Monday 30th Dec
09:00 – 17:00
0845 0945 279
or
0131 618 0777
Tuesday 31st  Dec
09:00 – 17:00
Wednesday (New Year)
Closed
Thursday (New Year)
Closed
Friday 3rd Jan
09:00 – 17:00
Saturday 4th Jan
Closed
Sunday 5th Jan
Closed

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

ROBOTIC WHEELCHAIR

Two wheelchair control technology advancements have made headlines this week. One, reported on by BBC Health, involves using a tongue piercing to move your wheelchair. And the other needs little intervention from the wheelchair user at all.
It applies lessons learned from work on self-driving cars to making powered wheelchairs safer and less unwieldy for people who find accurate movements a struggle.
"Robotic Adaptation to Humans Adapting to Robots, (Radhar), was an EU-funded initiative which ran from 2010 until this September. Ian Steadman writes for New Statesman that Radhar has created a semi-autonomous system for wheelchairs.
He says that a wheelchair that drives itself without any intervention wouldn't work. "A better method is to smooth out jerky journeys, estimating where it thinks its owner wants to go and making subtle alterations to the journey route that leaves the user feeling absolutely in control, without the sensation of being ferried around."
Radhar's system uses two Kinect cameras and an onboard computer to do just that.
One camera scans the surroundings and makes a map. The computer uses this to spot obstacles and generate possible routes.
The other camera scans the wheelchair user, "assuming that the destination correlates with the direction of gaze. It also recognises if someone has a part of their body sticking out to the side, and knows to warn of the danger of hitting something as a result".

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

ANNUAL REPORT


Every year we publish a short summary of some of the things we have achieved together.  This is collated into our Annual Report.

I am proud of what we have achieved and what we plan to do in the coming year.


For those new to Social Care Alba this is a good place to see just some of what we have been doing, as well as some of the projects that are currently in progress.

You can view our Annual Report HERE

Thank you to all those who have and continue to contribute to our success.

Nataly and Stephen 

On behalf of everyone at Social Care Alba

IT'S GOOD TO TALK

There is nothing worse than thinking you have asked someone to do something then nothing has happened.

The image of a swan gliding across a pond comes to mind.  Whilst on the surface there appears to be no effort, underneath their feet are paddling furiously.

The same can be said when a request is submitted to the office.  We always work hard to answer your enquiries as quickly as possible, however sometimes this may mean we need to do some work in the background. 

New System Launched


Starting from today we are introducing a new system to help keep you updated on your enquiry as part of a 3 month trial.  The system will:

  •          Be used to record all requests and enquiries from staff and service users.
  •          Allow us to prioritise the enquiry and set timescales for resolution
  •          Allow us to publish progress notes
  •          Give you secure access to your enquiry and view progress online.
  •          View when an enquiry has been resolved

To make the new system as simple as possible we will phase it in over the coming months.  If you have an enquiry you can still contact us by:

  •          Phone
  •          Email
  •          Text
  •          Letter
  •          In person
  •          Via a staff member

We will then log your enquiry on the system and create an online account for you.  You can then access updates to your enquiry 24/7.   In the coming months you will also be able to access the system via our website.

We hope you find the support system useful and we welcome any and all feedback.

Stephen Wilson

Director

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

WHAT IS INFECTION CONTROL?


Infection Prevention and Control is about preventing infections particularly those that are associated with healthcare – for example, ways of preventing infections being spread on the hands of healthcare workers or carers.

We all have a part to play in controlling infection.

Infections are caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses entering the body.  They can be minor and stay in one area, like a boil or wound, or they can spread throughout the body, like Flu or a blood stream infection.  Often, infections are easily dealt with, but sometimes they can cause serious problems.


OUR COMMITMENT

Social care Alba takes preventing, minimising and controlling the risk of healthcare associated infection to service users/staff/ and carers very seriously.  Ways in which we do this include:

·         Education and training in infection control for all staff employed by SCA
·         Staff using good hand washing technique or using alcohol handrubs
·         The use of disposable aprons and gloves


FUNCTIONS OF THE INFECTION CONTROL CHAMPION

  •        Provision of information education and advice on Infection Control
  •          Monitoring and reviewing infections in the community eg MRSA and C difficile
  •          Development of Infection Control policies and procedures for health care staff
  •          Advise on measures to tackle healthcare associated infections
  •          Support  in the prevention, management and control of infection
  •          Monitoring of infection control standards and practices
  •          Changing behaviours, promoting a culture of cleanliness
  •          High standards of cleanliness
  •          Making sure equipment is clean
  •          How to recognise signs of infection
  •          Educating service users/healthcare professionals and carers

  
USEFUL RESOURCES

The Preventing Infection in Care at Home toolkit allows staff to choose information when presented with common infection risks when caring for someone in the home and reveals the "must do" SICP guidance that should be followed to minimise the risk of spreading infection to themselves, other staff and the person receiving care.  It also highlights key advice on factors "to consider" as part of the SICPs and identifies other factors that keep staff and those being cared for safe.  Alternatively if information is required simply on each SICP and how they relate to community care in the home then a quick link is provided.

The toolkit is presented to community health and social care staff in the form of a digital app and a pocket guide for easy reference.
Digital App
The Apple digital app is available HERE
The Android digital app is available HERE
 Pocket Guide
The pocket guide is currently out of print but Stephen has secured some copies which he will distribute to everyone.  You can view the guide HERE
  
SUPPORT AND ADVICE

If you need more support or advice then please do not hesitate to contact me via the office or blog.

Daniela Angeli

Infection Control Champion


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Phones For All

Earlier this year I read about a company who had created a phone for children.  OWNFONE is the little personalised phone that connects you directly to the most important people in your life - that's it! Just press the name of the person you want to talk to.

Immediately seeing the benefits of a simplified custom phone, I contacted them suggesting their phone design could be adapted for other vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those with dementia or visual impairment.

Following up recently I am glad to see that phones for "Seniors" are now available.  The design can be customised to include:

  • Phones in a variety of colours
  • Name buttons instead or numbers 
  • Pictures instead of names or numbers
  • A simplified layout

Soon to Come

The other suggestion of phones for those with visual impairment can also be created.  This development is being extended further with phones preprinted with BRAILLE to come soon.

So if you think you or someone close to you may benefit from a simple, personal phone this company are worth considering.

We will keep you up to date with other useful developments soon.

Stephen Wilson, Director

Monday, 21 October 2013

Dementia Design Survey

A team of researchers working in the School of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Stirling are currently undertaking a project that will help inform best practice in the design of residential environments for people living with dementia and sight loss. This includes aspects of the layout, d├ęcor and fixtures and fittings used in people's homes.

Through their exploration of the scientific literature, expert opinion, and the views of people with dementia and/or sight loss and those who support and care for them, they have identified design elements such as colour, contrast, and lighting that might be important in home environments for people with dementia and sight loss.

At this stage of the study, they would like to know what you think about these and therefore would like invite you to take part in a short survey.

The survey can be completed online until the 28th October 2013 and can be accessed using the following link: SURVEY

Should you wish to discuss the study further, the team can be contacted via email or telephone:

Dr Louise McCabe
Senior Lecturer, Dementia Studies, University of Stirling


Alternatively you may want to view the Dementia Services Development website HERE, which has a range of useful information and resources.

Stephen Wilson
Director

Make Every Moment Count

The Care Inspectorate have working with a team of experts to develop the ‘Make Every Moment Count’ resource, an information leaflet which contains easy to read and simple guidance for everyone supporting older people in a care home or at home. 

The resource highlights how making the most of every moment can make a real difference to a person’s quality of life in simple but very meaningful ways. 

By providing key messages on how to better understand an individual’s needs, values and lifestyle, the guide will help people working in care services to deliver an enhanced experience for Scotland’s older people. 


Social Care Alba already incorporates the guidance in their practise, but intend to use the resource to reiterate this with all staff.  Staff have already received the leaflet and will have a chance to to view the video at team meetings and during their induction. 

READ THE LEAFLET 

You can hear more about the resource in their video. If you want a DVD copy of this video or if you want to order the information leaflet and poster please contact their National Enquiry line, 0845 600 9527.

I
f you would like to discuss this resource further please contact the Care Inspectorates Rehabilitation Consultant, Edith MacIntosh. edith.macintosh@careinspectorate.com

WATCH THE VIDEO

Stephen Wilson
Director

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Your Say: Long-term Conditions


About a year ago, the Welfare Reform Committee began an initiative, ‘Your Say’, to hear directly from those who have been directly affected by welfare reform. Let me say, people didn’t hold back!

Over the last year we have heard the stories of people from Glasgow, Annan, Kirkcaldy, Dunoon, Stirling, Coatbridge, Hamilton, Dundee, Edinburgh, Biggar… the list goes on.

Some of these personal stories are extraordinary, moving, shocking and often painful. Some of you may remember the evidence our blind witness, Henry Sherlock, who was asked to raise an empty cardboard box in his Work Capability Assessment, but not take it anywhere. He couldn’t, he would need to be holding his white stick in one hand.

More recently we heard from Scott Wilson, who suffers from Parkinson’s and is separated from his partner, requiring an ‘extra’ room to look after his disabled son for part of the week. He is being charged the ‘bedroom tax’ and is threatened with having to move.

I bow my head to the courage of these men and women who have come before us and shared the sometimes intimate details of their lives with the hope that this will help to make things better for others.  I also firmly believe that this process of exposing the impacts of welfare reform on people’s lives every-day is slowly having an effect on the way people feel about this process.

I am happy to say that my Committee – most of them - share this view and we will be continuing with the Your Say initiative. We would like to run an evidence session – late this year, or early next – looking at the impact of welfare reform on those with long-term conditions, generally health conditions that last a year or longer, impact on a person’s life, and may require on-going care and support.  Many of those who have given evidence to us have had long-term conditions, but we would like to focus a session on this issue.

We have an additional reason for wanting to do this. Many people are saying to us that one of the emerging issues with welfare reform is the cumulative impact of the different measures. That people who are losing income through Work Capability Assessments are also being hit by the ‘bedroom tax’, and may well struggle with PIP assessments etc. etc.

This was an issue that was flagged up to us by Professor Steve Fothergill of Sheffield-Hallam University in the research we commissioned from him on the impact of welfare reform on Scotland and we would like to examine how this is turning out in practice.
So we would like to hear from those with, or caring for those with, long-term conditions about how welfare reform - any aspect of it – is impacting on them. The day to day reality of life as well as hopes and fears. And we would particularly like to hear from those who have been affected, or think they will be, by several aspects of it. 

However, even if you have only been affected by one measure, we would still like to hear from you.  Our Committee is here to help you find your voice in the Scottish Parliament. Send us your experiences and we will do the rest.

Michael McMahon MSP, Convener
Welfare Reform Committee

Please send your experiences to the following email address: welfarereform-yoursay@scottish.parliament.uk


Further details are available on our webpage at – Scottish Pariliament

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Health and Wellbeing

WHAT IS HEALTH AND WELLBEING?

There are many different ways to define and understand health and wellbeing, for example as:
  • The achievement and maintenance of physical fitness and   mental stability.
  • The absence of physical illness, disease and mental distress.
  • Being the result of a combination of physical, social, intellectual and emotional factors.

The ideas about health and wellbeing change over time and vary between different cultures and life stages.  However World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.[i]


WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Wellbeing is an important part of our health. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs defines wellbeing as a positive physical, social and mental state; it is not just the absence of pain, discomfort and incapacity. It requires that basic needs are met, that individuals have a sense of purpose, and that they feel able to achieve important personal goals and participate in society. It is enhanced by conditions that include supportive personal relationships, strong and inclusive communities, good health habits, financial and personal security, rewarding employment, and a healthy and attractive environment.[ii]

Good health and wellbeing bring many benefits for all of us. Healthier people tend to be happier, tend to play an active role and contribute to society and the economy through their families, local communities and workplaces. Conversely, poor health and wellbeing puts a huge strain on individuals, the economy and society.

 

OUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING GOALS

In our plan we are working together to promote service users health and wellbeing, we want to invite you to be part of it and help us to promote healthy lives for all our service users.


The service users health and wellbeing goals are:

·         To ensure the highest level of personal hygiene.
·         To reduce the risk of complications of disease through proper care.
·         To promote and maintain functional ability.
·         To promote and maintain safe mobilisation.
·         To promote and maintain independence and social engagement.
·         To contribute to the prevention of numerous chronic conditions.


OUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING PLAN

In order to succeed toward greater health and high levels of wellbeing we will be developing different activities and strategies over the coming months such as :

           ·         Forming a group of specialists to provide support and advice.
           ·         Creating an infection prevention and control champion.
           ·         Conducting and supervising shadow shifts, buddying up and constant training.
           ·         Promoting and rewarding good practices.
           ·         Understanding and taking into account the suggestions and desires of service users.
           ·         Promoting the role of the Keyworker.
           ·         Contributing to the training and development plan.
           ·         Providing best practice through our Blog and Forum.

LEARN MORE OR GET IN TOUCH

For more information about what we are doing or to get more involved please feel free to contact either of us directly.  You can follow our Blog and Forum posts or contribute suggestions at your Team Meeting or Supervision.

Johanna Garcia – Team Leader & Professional Advisor (Occupational Therapy)
Agnieszka Korpalska – Team Leader & Professional Advisor (Physiotherapy)




[i] Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.

[ii] Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2010) Measuring Progress: Sustainable Development Indicators 2010,

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Healthy Working Lives

Our Aim


We are working together to promote Health and wellbeing within our Organisation.  Our aim is to help create a safer, healthier workforce as well as service users, by raising awareness of health issues and planning health promotion programmes.

Health and Wellbeing is about encouraging people to build ways into their daily routines that may potentially add 7.5 years to their life expectancy.

The following LINK explains in more details how this can be done in 5 easy steps.  The steps are outline below.

1.    Be Active
2.    Take notice of the world around you
3.    Keep learning, try something different 
4.    Give or do something nice for a friend or stranger
5.    Connect with others
The article states…. “The underlying message through the five ways is that mental health and wellbeing is as important as physical health; feeling good is an important part of being healthy”

Within the Healthy Working Lives programme we aim to cover the following topics:

·         Alcohol and Drugs
·         Healthy Eating
·         Physical Activity
·         Mental Health

Our Goal

      ·         To assist staff and service users have a healthy work/life balance.
      ·         To increase staff morale
      ·         To increase knowledge
      ·         To tackle issues and concern regarding health that may be raised.
      ·         To improve health, safety and wellbeing

Events

We will be running lots of events over the coming months.  Including encouraging you to drink enough water.  Did you know you should drink between 1.6 and 2 litres of FLUID a day depending on your age and sex.

We will also be encouraging you to take some EXERCISE by walking a mile a day.

                                                                                    
Facts – The Good and the Bad


Drinks that irritate the bladder are:

  • Citrus and fizzy drinks, Tomatoes, Alcohol, Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Green Tea and Blackcurrant juice.

Drinks that do not irritate the bladder include:

  • Water, Milk, Decaffeinated Coffee or Tea, Herbal Teas, Milk and many more

There are obvious synergies in health promotion, flexible working, supporting the mental well-being of staff as well as our service users, caring for the environment and promoting social responsibility.  We hope that with the participation of staff and service users we can make a difference by raising awareness.

Find Out More

There are lots of ways you can find out more. Including:


We hope you have found this introduction useful and we look forward to working together to promote Health and Wellbeing amongst us all.


Njoki Sawaya-McLeish – Office Manager

Matthew Thomas – Team Leader