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News for professionals

Living well through activity in care homes
Free online resource of practical ideas on how to support care home residents to live their lives doing day-to-day activities that are important to them. The toolkit promotes dignity and respect, mental and physical wellbeing and integration into the community. It includes free training materials and audit tools to review and evidence aspects of care such as personalisation and choice. The toolkit consists of five sections aimed at care home residents, their family and friends, care home staff, owners and managers, commissioners and inspectors, and occupational therapists. Read more at: www.cot.co.uk

Supporting people in the advanced stages of dementia - a guide to good practice (3/6)
This resource is designed to support people in the advanced stages of dementia. The guide, which has been developed in partnership with employers and key partners, is a case study-based manager's guide to good practice in learning and development for social care workers. The guide considers how reminiscence can be used by staff to support people with dementia. It provides examples of meaningful activities to engage people who have dementia. It also highlights dementia-specific qualifications, which can be used to develop the knowledge and skills of social care staff, what support is available from other professionals to help them, as well as many other topics. There are case studies and examples, as well as links to further resources. Download the guide at www.skillsforcare.org.uk

Dementia: workers and carers together (3/6)
A practical guide with hands-on advice for care workers in day centres, domiciliary care, residential care, social work and related roles, and for social care managers, on typical experiences of family and friends who are caring for a person with dementia and the support they need. It has numerous quotes throughout giving real carers' perspectives. The guide stresses that the social care role is to support the carer as well as the person with dementia, and to supplement the carer's work, not replace it. The guide has been jointly developed by Skills for Care and Dementia UK and is free to download from www.skillsforcare.org.uk

Common core principles for dignity resource (23/5)
The Common core principles for dignity resource is now available to use online. The resource has been developed to provide clear guidance and practical examples for the adult social care workforce to ensure dignity is at the heart of quality care and support. The online edition allows you to easily navigate between the sections, includes a function to search for specific elements and allows you to download any individual section. For more information visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk

Helping people to choose good quality, local care - information for care providers (added 11/3)
The Department of Health is launching in April new online profiles for registered care and support providers to the public. People will be encouraged to use these new provider profiles on the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk) to help narrow down their search for good quality, registered care that meets their personal needs and preferences. The profiles are a major step in enabling people to make more informed and confident choices about care for themselves or family members. Registered care providers will be able to use their profiles to tell people what makes their service special and how their support can improve someone's quality of life.

Guidance for care workers to help reduce monthly fire deaths (added 11/3)
Skills for Care has worked with London Fire Brigade to develop a free fire safety leaflet (www.skillsforcare.org.uk) that includes guidance on how to access free advice from their local fire service. A fire safety induction must be undertaken by all workers in their first 12 weeks with an organisation. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) requires that a care provider demonstrates that their service meets these essential fire safety standards.

Dementia carers are given support by new Dementia Pledge initiative (added 14/2)
Dementia Pledge supports care providers, allowing them to give the best care to people with dementia, their families and friends. The pledge outlines four key principles for care providers to embrace and implement to provide excellent care. The Dementia Pledge was commissioned by the Department of Health National Dementia Workforce Advisory Group. Care providers signing the pledge agree to demonstrate their commitment to providing excellent dementia care services, show how their workforce have excellent understanding of dementia and how to support people with dementia. By signing the pledge providers will also be demonstrating the contribution that their workforce makes to the provision of excellent dementia care services. The aim of the initiative is to support the social care workforce to put individuals at the centre of dementia care and support. To make a pledge visit www.dementiapledge.co.uk

Improving relationships in the care market (added 16/7)
Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) has launched a new protocol to guide market relations, developed by the National Market Development Forum. Stronger partnerships for better outcomes offers a set of principles and good behaviours that, if applied, will enhance effective ways of working between people, family carers, service providers and local authority commissioners. Read the news item at: www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk

How to get ahead in Ö care home management (added 16/7)
Receiving the right training and fighting for recognition are key issues care sector staff are currently having to deal with. The independent commission set up to look at the care of older people said managers of care homes need to be recognised as experts in their field, with employers investing in their training and development. Skills for Care's Manager Induction Standards support new and aspiring managers in their role. The standards set out clearly what a manger needs to know and understand and can be used in a wide range of settings. The standards, with an introduction and blank certificate of successful completion, can be downloaded free at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/mis. To support the use of standards, Skills for Care has published Becoming the new manager, which gives additional guidance for each knowledge requirements in the standards. The workbook is available for £19.50 (including p&p). For more information visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk

New law proposed to improve support for carers (added 11/7)
Carers UK has joined forces with Barbara Keeley MP and a cross-party group of MPs to work on a new piece of legislation to improve the supply of social care and help identify hidden carers. They need the support of organisations working in the care sector to help get the bill passed into law. Read Carers UK's article about the bill and what you can do to support it: www.carersuk.org

Supporting Dementia Workers Guide (added 7/6)
Skills for Care has launched the Supporting Dementia Workers guide to support leaders and managers in developing their workforces, enabling them to provide the highest quality of care for people with dementia. The guide considers how workforce planning and development can best improve the outcomes for people with dementia, supporting managers to work in the most effective way with training providers to deliver service outcomes and implement the Common Core Principles to Support People with Dementia. Read more at: www.skillsforcare.org.uk

Young Carerís Mental Health Toolkit (added 13/3)
This toolkit, from The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, is now available online for anyone working with young carers. Funded by the Scottish Government, this toolkit is put together by the Young Carers Mental Health Development Coordinator in partnership with the Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers. Although primarily for Scotland, it could be useful elsewhere. Visit: http://professionals.carers.org

Better Breaks - on-line journal for the short breaks workforce (added 7/12)
Better Breaks is a sector-led journal to explore current themes, answer questions and inspire readers to engage, innovate and develop their practice. Contributions to the journal are invited from across the sector and will include parent carers, local authorities include short break practitioners and carers, researchers, young people, local authorities and health practitioners. Better Breaks is published quarterly as a digital journal. www.shortbreaksnetwork.org.uk

Common Core Principles and Competences for End of Life Care (added 27/1)
Caring for and supporting people approaching the end of their life is amongst the most challenging work any Health and Social Care worker faces. It can also be amongst the most rewarding - if they have the right knowledge, skills and attitude to provide the care and support they need. Skills for Care has worked in partnership with the National End of Life Care Programme, the Department of Health and Skills for Health to develop Common Core Principles and Competences for End of Life Care. The competences provide a basis for all health and social care workers to develop their skills - whatever their level of expertise and involvement in end of life care. Read more at: www.skillsforcare.org.uk

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Improving access to social care for adults with autism (added 5/12)
This guide looks at how social care services can improve access to adults with autism. It is based on research that explores the barriers to services experienced by people with autism. It covers people with autism, whether or not they also have a learning disability. The guide suggests ways services can improve, identifying how best to meet the goals of the government's autism strategy. Download the guide from: www.scie.org.uk

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