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January Employee of the month...

Goes to Romy..

Since joining the company is the summer, Romy has shown herself to be super flexible and adaptable and now works across several departments.

She throws herself into every new task with tons of enthusiasm and has won herself lots of fans because of her amazing can-do attitude.

Employee of the Month - December 2019

is........  Multidrop driver Rich

Both our clients and our team voted for Rich in December! Such is his helpfulness and cheeriness with our clients when hes delivering their goods they have been emailing in to make sure we all know what an asset he is to the team. Always with a smile on his face Rich is definitely a hit with our clients and is now smiling all the way to bank with his cash prize.   

 

Guide to:- Choosing the correct pressure care system

Choosing the right pressure care mattress

There is a wide range of terminology used for pressure care mattresses including air/airflow mattress,  alternating mattress, redistributing pressure mattress, replacement systems and dynamic mattresses to name but a few.

We take calls every day from clients seeking help and advice on which mattress to choose, which grade (medium, high and very high risk), which will best suit a user. With nearly 20 years of experience in the care home environment we would suggest taking the following into account when selecting the best system.  

Skin Assessment

This will be carried out by a healthcare professional such as a nurse, usually following guidelines of risk assessment or scoring such as The Braden Scale which will calculate a level of risk and this will then be matched to the appropriate risk rated mattress system.

Pressure care mattress options: -

Static or Foam mattresses

Made from foam and usually feature a two way stretch, vapour permeable, waterproof cover which helps to reduce the shear and friction forces and help prevent tissue breakdown.  The internal air channels help to encourage skin integrity and reduce the build-up of moisture underneath the user.

These mattresses are predominantly used for those who may present with some minimal risks of pressure damage, classified as low or medium risk although high risk versions are available.

Alternating pressure mattresses

Alternating/air Mattress systems offer advanced pressure relief therapy for patients rated high and very high risk.  They normally consist of individual alternating air filled cells, usually working in small targeted groups to regularly and automatically alter distribution of pressure in sections, protecting the most vulnerable sections of the body such as the head, heels and sacrum areas and to maximum effect.

There is a choice of analogue or digital pump to activate these systems and controls provide pressure alerts and comfort settings 24/7.

Options can include evacuation kits, static pillows etc

Hybrid mattresses

Combination of air and foam, providing a comfortable foam interface which reduces pressure over vulnerable areas of the body and an alternating surface beneath weight bearing sections of the body. These are used for those rated high or very high risk.

Replacement or Overlay?

Alternating pressure mattresses are supplied as replacement or overlay, both provide the same level of pressure care: a replacement system is just as it sounds a full mattress system, an overlay fits on top of an existing standard mattress. We will of course offer help and advice on which is the best option for your service user. 

Service user mobility

Your service user is unique and will have their very own requirements and we encourage you to take the following into account when choosing a mattress:

  • will the service user be getting in and out of bed independently and frequently and if so will require a mattress structure which will allow ease of movement, including overall mattress height?
  • if your service user is limited mobility and requires patient lifting aids the mattress will of course need to be of a higher risk rating and comfort level, with alternating functionality built in.

Bed and bed accessories impact

  • which bed will the mattress go on, can it be securely positioned and fastened, if not, an alternative bed may be required,
  • check your bed accessories are compatible with the mattress. For example, do not use an alternating mattress with a separate profiling backrest as it may restrict the air-flow of the mattress.
  • Check the height of the mattress vs required anti-entrapment bed rail requirements. From April 2013 government legislation stipulates the minimum gap between the top of the mattress and the bottom of the bed rail must be 120mm to avoid entrapment and your mattress may raise the mattress height and reduce this gap to below legal levels. Furthermore, the distance between the top of the bedrail and the mattress must be a minimum of 220mm.

Comfort

A good night’s sleep is vital for health and wellbeing so testing the mattress for comfort is key as an uncomfortable mattress which interrupts/prevents sleep will severely impact the users health vs pressure care considerations.

Andway offer a comprehensive range of pressure relieving airflow alternating mattresses, suitable for low, medium, high, very high and bariatric users.  At the forefront of technology our aim is to provide you with choice and expert advice.

Where ‘risk’ categories are given, these are to the Waterlow scale and are for guidance only and we strongly advise calling our expert mattress team to help in selecting the correct combination of comfort and pressure relief.

Employee of the Month for November

Shaun wins it again!

Our warehouse manager Shaun weighed in at number one again this month, commended by his colleagues for going above and beyond both in hours worked, care and attention paid to our clients and ensuring our distribution operations runs ontime.

Well done Shaun and using his winners cash to treat his wife to an extra pressie this Christmas.  

HSE LOLER Guidelines - Overview

HSE LOLER Guidelines

Safe and successful lifting operations depend, in large part, on the continued safety of the lifting equipment and accessories that are used. Failures in this kind of equipment can result in significant or even fatal injuries. Health and safety law therefore places a number of specific obligations on those providing, controlling and using lifting equipment to properly manage these risks.

In addition to the requirements for safe design and construction, all lifting equipment should also be checked and maintained as necessary to keep it safe for use, so:

  • users may need to undertake simple pre-use checks (eg on lifting chains and slings), or make checks on a daily basis (eg for lift trucks)
  • in some cases, inspections and checks should be made on a regular basis, often weekly, but this may be on a monthly or quarterly basis (eg the checks undertaken by an operator on their crane)
  • employers should ensure that lifting equipment is thoroughly examined (normally once or twice a year but, in some cases, this may be more or less frequent)

These checks are necessary to verify that the lifting equipment can continue to be safely used. This page concentrates on thorough examination and inspection, and the reporting and record-keeping obligations of LOLER (regulations 9, 10 and 11).

What is a 'thorough examination' under LOLER?

This is a systematic and detailed examination of the equipment and safety-critical parts, carried out at specified intervals by a competent person who must then complete a written report. This report must contain the information required by LOLER Schedule 1, including:

the examination date:-

  • the date when the next thorough examination is due
  • any defects found which are (or could potentially become) a danger to people,

Where serious defects are identified, the competent person carrying out the examination must immediately report this verbally to the dutyholder. This should then be followed by the written report, a copy of which must also be sent to the relevant enforcing authority.

What is a 'competent person'?

The term 'competent person' is not defined in law but the LOLER Approved Code of Practice and guidance (paragraph 294 on competent persons) states that:

  • 'You should ensure that the person carrying out a thorough examination has such appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment to be thoroughly examined as will enable them to detect defects or weaknesses and to assess their importance in relation to the safety and continued use of the lifting equipment.'

Although the competent person may often be employed by another organisation, this is not necessary, provided they are sufficiently independent and impartial to ensure that in-house examinations are made without fear or favour. However, this should not be the same person who undertakes routine maintenance of the equipment - as they would then be responsible for assessing their own maintenance work.

When should thorough examinations be carried out?

In order to verify that lifting equipment and accessories remain safe for use, and to detect and remedy any deterioration in good time, thorough examinations are required throughout the lifetime of the equipment or as follows

  • before use for the first time - unless the equipment has an EC Declaration of Conformity less than one year old and the equipment was not assembled on site.
  • If it was assembled on site, it must be examined by a competent person to ensure that the assembly (eg a platform lift installed in a building) was completed correctly and safely.
  • after assembly and before use at each location - for equipment that requires assembly or installation before use, e.g. tower cranes
  • regularly, while in service
  • if the equipment is exposed to conditions that cause deterioration which is likely to result in dangerous situations.

Most lifting equipment will be subject to wear and tear and so will need regular in-service examination. Some may be exposed to significant environmental conditions which may cause further deterioration. You have a choice:

  • arrange for thorough examination to be carried out at the intervals specified by LOLER (every 6 or 12 months, depending on the equipment) or
  • conduct examinations in accordance with an examination scheme, drawn up by a competent person

Following exceptional circumstances - liable to jeopardise the safety of lifting equipment, which may include:

  • damage or failure
  • being out of use for long periods
  • major changes, which are likely to affect the equipment's integrity (eg modifications, or replacement / repair of critical parts)
  • What are the specified intervals for regular thorough examinations?
  • Unless there is an 'examination scheme' specifying other intervals, thorough examinations should be conducted every:
  • 6 months, for lifting equipment and any associated accessories used to lift people
  • 6 months, for all lifting accessories
  • 12 months, for all other lifting equipment

What is covered by a thorough examination?

This depends on the professional judgement of the competent person undertaking the examination, but needs to include all matters which affect the safety of the lifting equipment, including likely deterioration with time.  For most common lifting equipment and accessories, there are industry standard procedures and criteria which a competent person would follow when undertaking thorough examinations and making judgements as to the continued safety of the equipment. Methods used include:

  • visual examination and functional checks
  • measurements of wear
  • (in some cases) traditional NDT (non-destructive testing) and load testing
  • Some disassembly or internal examination of parts may also be required.

Where an examination scheme has been drawn up, this should identify and specify:

  • the parts to be thoroughly examined
  • the methods of examination and testing
  • the intervals for examination (and testing of the different parts, where appropriate)
  • The scheme should also include details of any other inspection regimes for the equipment.

Examination schemes may be drawn up by any person with the necessary competence. This does not need to be the same competent person who conducts the thorough examination in accordance with the scheme.  Although examination schemes do not need to be preserved in the form of a document, it should be possible to produce a written copy when required (eg on request by the relevant enforcing authority, for example CQC). These should be secured from loss or unauthorised modification.

Testing of lifting equipment

Most lifting equipment does not need routine testing as part of the thorough examination - in fact some overload tests can cause damage to lifting equipment. Where testing is deemed necessary, it may not need be undertaken at every thorough examination. The need for, and nature of, testing should be based on an assessment of risk - taking account of information from the manufacturer and other relevant information - as determined by the competent person.

Maintenance and inspection of lifting equipment.

Maintenance of lifting equipment to ensure it remains safe for use is a requirement of PUWER. In some cases - to assist with this, and detect any deterioration so it can be remedied in good time - lifting equipment may need to be inspected between thorough examinations. Such inspections need to be undertaken by suitably trained and competent people, which can often be the lifting equipment operator or maintenance personnel.

The nature, need for and frequency of such inspections should be determined through risk assessment, taking full account of any manufacturer's recommendations.

Lifting accessories do not normally need formal inspection, provided that proper pre-use checks are made and they undergo their standard thorough examination.

Reports and defects

Records should be kept of all thorough examinations and inspections, and of the EC Declarations of Conformity for all lifting equipment and lifting accessories. Examination and inspection records do not need to be kept in hard copy form but you should be able to provide a written copy when necessary (eg upon request by the relevant enforcing authority or when lifting equipment leaves your undertaking -under hire, use elsewhere, or second-hand sale). The records should also be protected from unauthorised alteration. The contents required in a thorough examination report are specified by Schedule 1 of LOLER. There is no longer a defined format or form for such a report, provided that all 11 items listed in the Schedule are included.

Where, following thorough examination or inspection of lifting equipment, a defect is identified - which in the opinion of the person undertaking the examination or inspection - is (or could become) a danger to people, you as user (employer or self employed person) should be notified immediately. You must then take effective action to manage risk by ensuring the lifting equipment is not used until the defect is remedied.  Such defects must be confirmed in writing in the report, even if it is remedied immediately (eg by destruction of a sling).  The person making the report must also notify the relevant enforcing authority with a copy of the report. Enforcing authorities may follow up such reports to check that risks are being adequately managed.

In some cases, a defect may be identified which does not require the immediate cessation of use of the lifting equipment. In these cases, you must remedy the matter, or not further use the equipment, within the time period specified on the report.

Reports of thorough examinations sometimes contain additional non-statutory observations from the competent person on the condition of the lifting equipment. Analysis of this may provide useful information to manage your lifting equipment.

Christmas 2019 Opening Hours and Delivery Information

Brexit Continuity & Stock Protection Plan

Brexit Continuity and Stock Protection Plan

Whatever the outcome of the general election on 12th December and the ensuing stages in the BREXIT negotiations, Andway are busy working with all our clients to help them plan around any supply chain issues and potential changes in trading conditions.

Our aim is simple: to work with you to ensure continuity of supply.

As you may already be aware, we source and import our products from both inside and outside the European Union. In January 2020 the UK is currently scheduled to leave the EU. However, importing from outside the EU will continue to remain the same with International trade deals and customs arrangements remaining in place for some time thereafter, unless we leave with no deal.

As you would expect we are planning for the “No Deal” scenario. This scenario will mean all purchases from the EU will require additional customs procedures being added to the import process. This will no doubt lead to longer lead times and potential cost increases from import duties, taxes and exchange rate fluctuations.

Our stock levels have been adjusted to allow for unexpected delays and we are working with our supply partners closely to limit any cost increases.

Equipment and furniture for 2020:

If you are already making your capital inventory plans for 2020 in terms of beds, mattresses, hoists, chairs, wardrobes, dining furniture etc we highly recommend you consider making a bulk purchase, to avoid any potential cost increases. We can offer lease finance and call off payment plans to help you spread this cost whilst staying within your budgets.  

We would like to re-assure you that Andway Healthcare are here to work with you to maintain your supply of goods and cost of goods ratios during this unsettling BREXIT period and here to discuss all stocking issues and ideas.

Call us on 01423 331000 to get your Brexit Protection plan in place

 

Happy Birthday David...

Happy 30th to David...

Our super salesman David hits the big 30 today and is treated to one of Lydia's spectacular homemade cakes featuring his favourite biscoff biscuits!  

And of course he's going to his favourite Nandos restaurant to celebrate..

Struggling to find Quality Incontinence Products for your Home?... Problem solved

Andway Incontinence Fitting and Product Assessments and Training Service

Andway have sourced and developed a comprehensive range of adult care products, including incontinence pants, pads, bed pads and adult nappies/diapers and pull-ups, to guarantee dignity and protection for those with light, medium or heavy incontinence.

It is vitally important our customers can completely rely on our products to offer the best performance, comfort and fit.

With discretion, protection and skin comfort all of equal importance, using high quality materials and forward-thinking design has ensured we have the right incontinence solutions that respond to all these needs.

Andway Incontinence Fitting and Product Assessments

We all share the same objective - to ensure your resident's are in the correct pad.

Understanding how to correctly fit products is key and is the most common cause of wet beds or wet clothes.  Avoiding or reducing such incidents will dramatically reduce your costs and improve skin condition and comfort for the user.

Andway are proud to offer, in conjunction with our incontinence partner Ontex, an onsite incontinence training and assessment service.

Our Nurse Advisors will carry out training sessions to both Nurses and Carers and covers topics including pad selection, absorbencies, layers of a pad, wetness indicators, when to change a pad, skin care, appropriate use of bed protection sheets, inappropriateness of double padding and proper storage.

We can also supply Incontinence Assessment Documentation that care homes can then use to complete their own assessments of the resident’s needs.

Attendance certificates are provided and online learning is also available.

Troubleshooting: managing incontinence can be complex and will impact your care home costs, from additional laundry to falls and illness, troubleshooting to find solutions to concerns and problems will have a very positive impact on care and costs. Whatever your issue, our team will help with a bespoke solution.

To discuss your incontinence challenges or find out more about our incontinence training please call Grace Harding on 01423 331000

The Ontex Difference – our incontinence partner of choice

Ontex use innovation, smart thinking and technology to offer best-value products but never compromise on quality or service, offering maximum protection and comfort for the user.

They own 2 of the most respected leading brands within the healthcare sector, Lille and ID.

       

If you would like to learn more about Nurse Incontinence Assessments and Training or our full range of incontinence products call Grace Harding today on 01423 331000

October Employee of the month is...

October Employee of the Month is our sales manager Jay.

To his colleagues he's known for being first in and last out everyday.  To his clients he known for traveling the length and breadth of the UK in all weathers and to his sales team he's the one bringing in the cakes and biscuits everytime they have a target day!

No wonder he gets lots of votes….well done Jay.