Ahead of the curve? The future of first aid in care homes
Currently 416,000 people live in care homes in the U.K.
– This equates to 4% of the population aged 65 and over with 16% aged 85 +.*
A recent nationwide census in Scotland alone** (2006-2016) revealed that there has been a 6% rise in private nursing homes with an 18% decrease to public nursing homes. The clear preference for the private sector of this industry suggests a desire for higher quality care and attention for patients and the willingness to pay for these services. Considering this, professional training within both private and public sector care homes must be up-to-date in order to remain ahead of competitors.
Presumably the key concern of a patient’s family and friends is that he/she is appropriately cared for and comfortable throughout their stay. First aid training is mandatory within these facilities*** but not for every member of staff. In 2016 the Health and Safety Executive provided a case study of a typical nursing home looking at the staff – patient ratio and the necessary first aid qualifications in keeping with the facility’s legal requirements. This case study demonstrates that a care home with up to 30 patients and 26 staff requires just one Emergency First Aid at Work certified person. Although this does raise the question – is this enough?; The HSE does suggest an additional First Aid at Work certified employee with specific training in the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Current projections suggest that the population of Scotland will rise to 5.7 million by 2039, and that the population will age significantly, with the number of people aged 65 and over increasing by 53% between 2014 and 2039. **** In terms of elderly care, if these projections are accurate then we can expect a rise in the needs of these services – therefore a higher demand for quality facilities across both sectors with a subsequent rise in the private sector as the, already strained, national health service struggles to finance these changes.
Whether public or private sector, this increase in demand will put pressure on existing facilities.
Push ahead of the curb and invest in the appropriate first aid training and equipment to ensure your patients and their families’ peace of mind and confidence in your facilities. Additionally, investing in first aid will also benefit staff. Cuts, bruises and falls aside – cardiac arrest can strike anyone at any time, it does not discriminate by age or lifestyle like other conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Unfortunately even with preventative measures such as training or restrictions in place, accidents in the workplace do happen. In the past year there were 6 fatalities in the public administration/education/human health and social work activities industries, with a total of 19 workplace fatalities across all sectors. *****
Ultimately employers within the care sector have a duty to ensure that, at the very least, the minimal first aid training and equipment is available to staff and should consider going beyond their legal requirement in order to stay prominent in this changing sector.
Cost-effective ways you can invest in first aid within your care home facility:
Online First Aid Training
These interactive online courses are designed to refresh or teach basic lifesaving skills and first aid knowledge. Although not a First Aid at Work or Standard First Aid qualification, each course is CPD certified and specifically tailored to your workplace requirements whether that be in a hospital or care environment, school or childcare or simply everyday life. The courses also feature a range of AEDs so you can select the one that matches your own for the online demonstration. Available at bulk buy costs, this is the most cost-effective way to ensure each staff member in your building can administer basic lifesaving skills if an incident occurs.
AED Starter Packs
Lifesaving machines may seem priceless to those saved by them however companies can often feel the pinch of the initial purchase cost, sometimes up to £1,500. We realise the inconvenience and irritability of hidden costs in these circumstances and offer an £995 + VAT starter kit for sale on our website to help get these machines in your facilities as quick as possible.
You can access all our available first aid training and supplies on our website, along with access to further information on legal requirements.
* 2016 Laing and Buisson Survey
** Care home census for adults in Scotland – 31st March 2006 – 2016. Section2: Carehomes for older people.
*** HSE (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, Guidance on needs assessment
***** HSE workplace fatalities report 2017
Written by Kristina Rennie, Marketing Executive