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HCS - Latest News

  • How Does Wearing Of Disposable Gloves Affect The Need For Hand Hygiene?

    How Does Wearing Of Disposable Gloves Affect The Need For Hand Hygiene

    Many healthcare workers wonder why they need to clean their hands when they’re wearing gloves. The short answer is that they need to wash or sanitise their hands before wearing gloves because the gloves used for routine patient care are not put on in a sterile manner.

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  • How To Make Informed Choices On Appropriate Glove Usage To Provide Adequate Protection For Healthcare Workers

    How To Make Informed Choices On Appropriate Glove Usage To Provide Adequate Protection For Healthcare Workers

    Making informed decisions on appropriate glove choices is always about matching the level of risk involved in the task to be completed to suitable products. 

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  • How To Complete A Risk Assessment For The Appropriate Use Of Examination Gloves In Care Environments

    How To Complete A Risk Assessment For The Appropriate Use Of Examination Gloves In Care Environments

    Since the late 1980s’, the practice of using protective gloves has become part of everyday nursing home life, ensuring healthcare staff and those being cared for are protected from contracting infections via micro-organisms transmitted during certain skin-to-skin contact.

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  • How To Choose Appropriate Seating For The elderly

    Using A Seating Assessment To Find The Right Cushion/Chair

    Seating is important when we think of preventing pressure ulcers, but it is often overlooked when making purchases for a chair. When we think of seating in the nursing and care environments, we need to make sure that the prevention of pressure damage remains at the top of the list.

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  • How To Use Nursing Home Mobile Lifting Equipment

    How To Use Nursing Home Mobile Lifting Equipment

    The use of mobile hoists, tracking hoists and stand aids has now become an integral part of care within our care facilities and in the community to assist carers in the moving of residents and to reduce healthcare related injuries to carers and staff.
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  • Why Does A Wheelchair Need To Be Crash Tested?

    Why Does A Wheelchair Need To Be Crash Tested

    We have compiled this article with the sole purpose of sharing our knowledge and additional research we have undertaken regarding the provision of crash tested wheelchairs, after receiving lots of requests for help, advice and clarification from our customers.

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  • Puree Food Molds – 5 Nutritious Puree Food Recipes

    Each year, individuals of all ages all around the world are diagnosed with feeding or swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). Put simply, dysphagia can be described as difficulty moving food, liquid, saliva or medication from the mouth to the stomach.

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  • Top 5 Benefits of Using a Hoist in a Care Home Setting

    Top 5 Benefits of Using a Hoist in a Care Home Setting

    The use of hoists and slings is an integral part of delivering health and social care services in the UK.  The benefits of using mobile hoists can outweigh the risks associated with lifting people when residents are given a care risk assessment and have a robust hoisting plan in place.

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  • How To Help And Encourage People With Dementia To Eat Better

    How To Help And Encourage People With Dementia To Eat Better (1)

    For ladies and gents living with Dementia, there are complex interactions with the mealtime environment plus many eating difficulties which can affect nutritional intake.

    Jo Bonser, MD of HCSUK, speaks from personal experience on this very prevalent challenge, as she helped to care for her own Mum who was living at home with Vascular Dementia.

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  • How Having A Dysphagia Management Plan Can Help Transform Meal Times


    The normal swallow is a complex process that involves precisely coordinated movements within the mouth (oral cavity), throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), and food pipe (oesophagus). Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. Some people with dysphagia have problems swallowing certain foods or liquids, while others can’t swallow at all (NHS UK). People who have had a stroke, dementia, or have a progressive neurological condition e.g. Parkinson’s disease, MS, MND, or a respiratory condition could be at risk of developing dysphagia.

    This condition can cause:

    • distress/anxiety for resident/carers
    • loss of independence
    • loss of dignity
    • a person may avoid eating drinking in the presence of others
    • social exclusion
    • eating and drinking becomes a negative experience
    • reduced motivation to eat

    Care providers must take action to ensure that:-

    • Care plans refer to IDDSI descriptors International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative
    • All staff understand the IDDSI descriptors and how to ensure that food and drink is provided in a safe manner 
    • Advice is sought from specialists (SLT) whenever there is a risk of dysphagia 
    • Care plans and risk assessments are consistent
    • All staff have an understanding of the normal swallow and dysphagia and know where to get more information/knowledge
    • Staff are aware of the signs of swallowing problems especially for people in the risk categories listed above
    • Staff work quickly ensure that people with dysphagia can continue to eat a healthy, balanced diet

    The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) is a global standard. with terminology and definitions to describe texture modified foods and thickened fluids. used for individuals with dysphagia of all ages, in all care settings, and for all cultures.

    With correct plans in place, dining can be transformed and the mealtime experience for residents can be amazing. This has an improved experience for carers, friends, and families as well. Staff should be aware of the contents of the individual’s nutrition/hydration care plan and any Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) recommendations and if any changes are made then make sure staff know about the changes and record appropriately.

    All staff should document accurately in food/fluid charts (if applicable) and should know how to raise concerns about the individual’s eating and drinking.

    Think about the environment around the dining experience and check the following:

    • Reduce distractions and background noise
    • Ensure that the lighting is correct, so food is visible and looks appealing
    • Encourage socialisation, unless the individual dislikes it or it puts them at risk
    • Ensure that the dining rooms are well presented with appropriate furniture and table settings
    • Ensure that the individual can sit at their preferred location/table
    • Utensils Should be adult appropriate
    • Consider size and shape
    • Consider specialist equipment if required
    • Avoid ‘bibs’
    • Avoid beakers - especially spouted ones!

    As part of the plan, 'timing' is a factor which will allow for a more independent approach for residents especially being flexibility of timing. You can also create the following as part of the plan:-

    How a person is positioned also has to be taken into consideration when thinking of mealtimes:

    Optimum positioning is:

    • Supportive chair at a table
    • Upright at 90 degrees
    • Midline o both feet flat on floor
    • Chin tilted slightly down


    • Use supports, cushions and rolled towels to help achieve this and assistance at mealtimes if required
    • Wash hands (staff and the individual)
    • Protect clothing (staff and residents if appropriate).
    • Sit upright at same level as the resident
    • Ensure the resident has correct dentures, glasses, hearing aids
    • Ensure correct utensils and food/fluid consistencies
    • Ensure correct food temperature

    Maintain conversation (about the food/other topics).

    • Explain about the food/ask preferences
    • Observe for difficulties
    • Allow as much independence as possible
    • Ensure face, hands and clothing are clean
    • Ensure the individual remains upright for at least 30 minutes

    The choice of food should be wide and varied with a nice presentation and an appropriate portion size. Check the consistency is correct and that the taste is great.

    Allow as much time as needed and ensure mouth is clear of food. Complete mouth care as needed with dignity. Poor oral hygiene increases the risk of aspiration pneumonia from bacteria in food residue, dentures, cavities and saliva.

    What do you need to do?

    Use a small-headed toothbrush. If possible use a sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) free toothpaste. Brush the tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath. Some people with restricted movements or confusion/memory problems may need help to brush their teeth.

    No need to rinse – leave the toothpaste to penetrate the teeth. Rinse the toothbrush in water and always leave it to air dry. It is also important to clean dentures – do NOT use Steradent, only use toothpaste, and brush and rinse after with water.

    If you have any questions relating to IDDSI or are coming across challenges implementing the system and would like further guidance or training then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us as at [email protected] or telephone us on 01773 713713 we have a great network of experts who can help you.  

    The CQC refer to this issue in their “Learning from safety incidents”- issue 6, this details a case study where a care plan was not updated to reflect the advice of dysphagia specialists leading to choking incidents.

    Also you can request your FREE copy of our Dignified Dining Solutions Guide – to help people with Dementia to eat better, which includes best practice advice and tips to help support your ladies and gents with Dysphagia to enjoy more independent and dignified mealtimes or visit our website to view our range of fit for purpose product solutions  to help enable people living with Dysphagia.


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