HCS - Latest News

  • How to bring a lifetime of memories together to improve the wellbeing of ladies and gents living with a Dementia. Think inside the box!

    What are memory boxes and what can they mean to ladies and gents living with a Dementia?

    They hold a lifetime of memories and tell the stories of peoples’ lives.

    They help to find the way home.

    They are a safe place, bringing comfort and calm amidst chaos.

    They give back lost identity and warm feelings of familiarity of the treasured belongings they contain, and evoke memories of happy life moments.

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  • How improving orientation for your residents living with a Dementia can help them to lead safer, more independent, and happier lives. 

    I would like you to imagine for a moment that you find yourself in a new unfamiliar building and you have spent the last ten minutes wandering aimlessly round a series of endless colourless corridors, all looking exactly the same, without any information to signpost you in the right direction. Oh and did I forget to mention, you are bursting to go to the loo!

    A very good example of a bare, unfriendly and frustrating corridor and a much brighter, well signed corridor.

    How do you think this would make you feel? Frustrated? Stressed? Confused?

    But that’s okay because you’re confident and fully mobile, so you can find someone and ask for directions, right?  Wrong! You are also infirm, uncommunicative, dependent, and you didn’t find that toilet in time.

    Can you imagine the indignity and humiliation you would feel?

    If you were living with a Dementia, disorientation and bewilderment could be a common experience for you, and you could feel very distressed and frightened.

    According to the University of Stirling; ‘Many people living with Dementia have had to change where they live by, for example, going to live in a special housing unit or care home.

    They could find it really hard to adjust to a new space, because adjustment needs memory and learning. It needs a capacity to work out where they are and how to behave.

    They might see wavy lines moving, for example, or a change in floor colour as a step. These, combined with sight and hearing impairments can make the world a confusing, hostile and stressful place. No longer can they understand where things are. People can be shown where the toilet is, but next time they need to go, they can’t remember.

    The environment can be made more supportive and enabling with quite simple additions. The first step is to make sure that what is important is highly visible.

    There must be enough light and colour contrast to allow people to see properly.

    Pictorial signs can be very helpful if they are clear, mounted low enough, contain words AND a picture and contrast with the background.

    Signs can be directional with a finger or an arrow showing where to go, or can be on the door of a room.’

    So here are some interesting facts for you:

    Effective Dementia signage, used properly, WILL improve people’s safety and mobility by:
    • Reducing incidents of incontinence
    • Reducing agitation and aggression
    • Reducing slips, trips and falls.

    We know that CQC are focusing on ensuring that care environments support people with a Dementia as discussed in Cracks in the Pathway: Peoples’ experience of dementia care as they move between hospitals and care homes in 2014

    ‘Environment can have a significant impact on someone living with Dementia. It can cause anxiety and confusion, and make it difficult for people to orientate themselves.

    We have seen examples where care homes and hospitals have made improvements to the environment to support good care. These include the use of pictorial signage and photographs to identify bedrooms and bathrooms’

    We also have recent evidence and experience of this, where a care home customer of ours had been deemed to be ‘dementia unfriendly’ by CQC due to a lack of signage to help their residents navigate their way around the building.

    We were able to complete a Dementia Environmental Audit for them, based on industry best practice, and identify and recommend various modifications to their environment, including a selection of high quality, robust and non-reflective dementia enabling signage. These signs also met their infection prevention and fire regulatory standards, and were developed in conjunction with the University of Sterling.

    Investing in this signage system has enabled our customer to achieve:
    • Compliancy with CQC
    • Improved orientation for their residents
    • Increased communication
    • Reduction in slips, trips and falls

    Investing in dementia enabling signage is the most cost-effective, long-term solution for providing reliable, visual orientation aids.

    But how many signs are needed? (Too many can cause more confusion.)
    Where do they need to be located? (There are definite right and wrong places)
    What is the optimum height for recognition? (People with a dementia tend to walk with their heads down).

    If you would like to receive your FREE copy of our Dementia Enabling Signage Essential Checklist email us on [email protected] or call Beckie on 01773 713713

    If you would like more comprehensive advice, Hcsuk can provide this for you too.
    We are offering you a Dementia Enabling Environmental Audit service:

    We will provide an on-site survey of your environment
    • You will receive recommendations and product solutions to improve your environment.
    • You can source all the solutions you need from one company

    Helping you to achieve:
    • Compliancy with CQC
    • Improved orientation for your residents
    • Increased communication
    • Reduction in slips, trips and falls

    If you were living with a Dementia, would your drive for self-determination, dignity and living independently cease? – No, if anything, that desire would increase.

    Good design, good signage and good advice combined, can go a long way towards improving quality of life for us all.

    Could Health Care Services hold the key to enhancing your Dementia enabling environment?

    To find out more about our Dementia Environmental Audit Service please contact Beckie today on 01773 713713 or email her at [email protected]

  • How a few mealtime interventions and lots of tlc has helped Jo's Mum to live longer

    This is a very touching and personal story of how in December 2016, Jo, MD of Hcsuk was told that her Mum had given up on life and had stopped eating, but Jo persevered and has been able to improve her Mum's dining experience to the point that she recently celebrated her 98th birthday. What a fantastic outcome!


  • UPDATED! - Eating and drinking independently after a stroke tastes the best!

    May is Stroke Awareness Month and we wanted to share with you an article  we have written specifically to help you to develop greater empathy to support ladies and gents who have survived a stroke to continue to eat  and drink, as best they can independently and with  dignity.

    I would like you to imagine, for a moment, how you would feel if you were suddenly struck down with a stroke - seemingly coming from nowhere in the space of a moment, and with potentially life changing consequences – not just for you who is immediately affected, but also for your loved ones.

    After all, shaky hands, limited movement in your neck and/or potential paralysis down one side of your body, would make it nearly impossible for you to eat and drink independently. And having to have someone assist you with your meals, or face spilling food on a table or yourself, can be embarrassing and have a negative effect on your self-esteem and even lead to you refusing to eat.

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  • Save Lives: Clean Hands

    So last week to mark Clean Hands day all of our customers received this pack in the post with a HAND Written message from me, in a hand written envelope containing industry best practice guidance on hand hygiene and a cheeky free sample of personal issue hand sanitiser.

    Why did we do this?

    Because our customers really matter to us, and we want you to feel loved and special. ❤️

    We also want to help you to be the best care home you can be, by sharing our 30 year industry knowledge, latest best practice and fit for purpose product solutions. ?

    Here at Hcsuk we always aim to add value to our customers, because you matter to us. ?

    Please don't under estimate how much partnering with a reputable, knowledgeable, passionate and caring supplier who has invested decades in this industry to understand the challenges you face, can help you to achieve improvements in you care home. 

    3 of our top 10 customers who we have worked with for nearly 30 years have achieved current Outstanding ratings with CQC. ???

    And not forgetting, I have very personal experience, as I help to support my lovely Mum, living with me at home aged 98 with Vascular Dementia.?

    We publish regular blog posts with relevant content. Here's a selection of our latest articles:

    improving oral care a case study 
    Improving infection prevention - mattress decontamination
    Helping your ladies and gents with a dementia to eat better
    Reducing the risk of falls in your care home

    We are aiming to send you something different and exciting every month to arrive on your desk, which we are calling our 'lumpy mail' , which will be topical, relevant or sometimes just a bit of fun!

    If you would like to receive something exciting and different in the post every month give us a call on 01773 713713 or email us on [email protected] to join our tribe and make sure you're following our channels here on Linkedin and the blog to receive relevant regular information to help your care business.  

  • Don’t Pull the Red Cord it’s for the Warden!

    I’m sure many of you will have enjoyed a giggle at this famous Peter Kaye line about his Nan who lives in a warden aided complex with red emergency cords installed both in her kitchen and in her bathroom (which interestingly, Peter describes as being ‘tied up’.)

    Whilst visiting his Nan one day Peter accidently pulls the red emergency cord in the kitchen mistaking it for the ‘big light’ and his Nan shouts at him, “Don’t pull the red cord, it’s for the Warden!”. Peter then proceeds to smooth over the situation with Dougie, the warden, who is 14 miles away doing a word search!

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  • Save Lives: Clean your Hands!

    Did you know that May 5th is the World Health Organisation’s global call to action for workers in healthcare : Save Lives: Clean your hands!? 

    So we wanted share with you the very latest practical advice for hand hygiene taken from the British Healthcare Trades Association’s new Get Wise to Hand Hygiene publication, which our MD Jo Bonser has been involved in putting together, as part of a team of infection prevention industry experts. 

    You can read the complete Get Wise to Hand Hygiene document by clicking on the link below: 


    Jo told us, ‘hand hygiene is widely acknowledged to be the single most important activity that reduces the spread of infection and I am passionate about promoting best practice in this area, including advising on correct techniques and fit for purpose product solutions’ 

    There are four key stages to quality hand hygiene: 

    Hand cleansing 

    Hand sanitising 

    Hand drying 

    Hand moisturising/rebalancing 

     So we thought we would highlight one of the lesser known interesting and sometimes shocking facts about each stage of hand hygiene for you: 

    1.Hand cleansing

    If you are still using refillable or bulk fill  soap dispensers  you could be washing your hands with contaminated soap.  

     These dispensers are a breeding ground for bacteria and are often inadequately cleaned. Once the lid is removed and refilled with soap, airborne germs and bacteria can enter the reservoir and contaminate the soap, leaving your hands with up to 25 TIMESMORE BACTERIA ON after washing.  

     There are typically more bacteria in a bulk filled soap dispenser than in a toilet in the same bathroom, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns do not add soap to a partially empty soap dispenser as this practice can lead to bacterial contamination of the soap. 

    The safe alternative to bulk fill dispensers are hygienically sealed cartridge systems which are ultrasonically airtight being free from complete air and gases for maximum hygiene. 


    2. Hand sanitising 

    Alcohol based sanitisers must contain at least 60% alcohol as the active ingredient to achieve effective disinfection. 

    Handsanitising can be a very good substitute for washing hands, providing hands are visibly clean. It will not remove any dirt, contamination or soiling from the hands, ie faeces or secretions, or during outbreaks of Norovirus or C diff. 

    In these instances washing hands with mild soap and water is necessary. 


     3. Hand drying 

    ‘We often say that hand washing is the key to preventing the spread of illnesses, but wet hands increase the risk of transmitting bacteria, so drying is an equally important step in prevention’ says urgent care specialist Theresa Lash Ritter MD 

    Lots of research has focussed on hand drying techniques. In one study, microbiologists compared jet air dryers with warm air dryers and paper towels. What they found was disturbing: 

    • Jet air dryers dispersed 20 times more viruses than warm air dryers and over 190 times more than paper towels. 
    • Drying your hands with absorbent paper towels not only dries them faster but the friction also dislodges bacteria to leave them cleaner. 


    4. Hand moisturising/rebalancing. 

    Good skin condition is a really important element in ensuring good hand hygiene practice, and moisturising is the most important step in maintaining healthy skin condition by keeping skin soft and supple and avoiding dryness, soreness and cracking,which in turn can harbour potentially harmful bacteria, especially when hands are frequently washed. 


    If you would like any additional information on any of these topics, here’s that link again to read the complete Get Wise to Hand Hygiene document: 


    If you have any concerns about your existing hand hygiene provision and would like some expert help and advice to help you improve your practices, here are the ways we can help you: 

    • A hand hygiene audit service 
    • A tailored hand hygiene programme for your care home needs 
    • Bespoke dispensers unique to you 
    • World leading skin friendly products 
    • Cost advantage 
    • Free education and training materials to support compliance 
    • Expert knowledge and support 

     Call us TODAY, we’d love to help you .................. it’s in your hands!  

    01773 713713 or email us [email protected] 


  • Discover which 5 positive outcomes for loved ones help shape Hcsuk.

    In this very short video Jo talks about how having her own Mum at home aged 98, living with vascular dementia helps her to shape the business with real empathy.

  • Are you that special, wear your heart on your sleeve kind of person we’re looking for?

    Do you feel passionate about helping to improve the quality of peoples’ lives?

    Do you currently, or have you had experience of working in a care environment?

    Can you empathise with the challenges care providers and managers face striving to deliver the best possible outcomes for the ladies and gents they support whilst working towards improving compliance and CQC ratings?

    Do you also possess effective sales skills to help generate growth in revenue and profitability for your organisation?

    Are you looking for a new, exciting and unique challenge and are based in or around the East Midlands area?

    If you can answer yes to these questions, then we have a highly rewarding customer focused role for you.
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  • I’m back! A BIG thank you, and some exciting news on Hcsuk’s future

    Hello friends,

    I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your warm wishes for my recovery and notes to say that you’ve missed me, and to let you all know that I’m now back! (Just like The Terminator!)

    After a very hectic few years, where I have been extremely ‘hands on’ in the business, I took some much needed time out for some “R and R” for me, which has given me time to reflect on both my needs and the needs of the business moving forward. It also gave me time to cook, decorate, garden, learn to arrange flowers and join a choir!

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