NEC Birmingham |  09 - 10 October 2024

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07 May 2020

Care Home Managers put their “Battle Knickers on…” to fight COVID-19

Care Home Managers put their “Battle Knickers on…” to fight COVID-19

Industry leads have been praised for stepping up to help care homes struggling to cope with the pandemic at a time when they have felt abandoned by the Government and NHS.

Frontline care home managers are also running powerful peer-support networks to share ideas and resources in response to COVID-19, with one 2,400-strong facebook group of care home managers making national news headlines during the pandemic with its humorous rallying call of “Battle knickers on…”.

In the early weeks of the crisis care homes felt like a forgotten sector as the focus of the COVID-19 response was firmly on hospitals. Horror stories of swathes of care home residents wiped out by the disease have grabbed headlines in the UK and across the world. Lack of PPE and access to testing have until recently made care home residents and staff the forgotten victims of this crisis.

Finally, seven weeks into lockdown, as hospitalised cases are starting to decline and the NHS moves into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 response, the focus is now shifting to Care Homes. Deaths within care settings are finally being recorded in national data, swelling the figures significantly.

On Friday, NHS England and NHS Improvement laid out urgent steps that primary and community care must take to help care homes through the crisis, including GP practices carrying out weekly virtual care homes rounds. Measures were set out in the following letter


COVID-19 Offerings for Care Homes

However, throughout the crisis, industry has been right by the side of care homes, offering free support of everything from online training of new staff to apps to help isolated residents connect with relatives. Care Home managers have also launched peer support networks that have been a lifeline in these uncertain times.

The Care Show is incredibly grateful for the work of care homes at this difficult time and what industry is doing to support them. Here are just some examples of the incredible initiatives out there.


Leecare – tech to connect the isolated and lonely in care homes and the community

Leecare is providing, free of Charge, the P5Mycareplan App to all residents/clients of residential, nursing home, supported living, domiciliary and other health support services.

The App is linked to photos staff or residents or clients can upload to share with families, but is also linked to over 400 questions residents or clients can answer regarding their life preferences, goals, feelings and care wishes, which link to a summary care plan, giving residents and clients empowerment and a welcome distraction whilst they add meaningful information to share.

Staff will then be able to really know how residents or clients are experiencing isolation with COVID-19 enforcement. All this data links to an expert clinical, care and lifestyle system, which you can access for free for three months after which you don’t need to use it – but residents and families and your organisation can have access to the App and that information for a year.

 To access this offer, please contact: GM UK – Temby Nyemba: 01296 847499; 07456 050032. E:


My Learning Cloud – essential online training

Skills for Care are working with the Department of Health to ensure that the influx of new staff into the care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic are trained quickly and effectively and able to help support the sector as soon as possible.

My Learning Cloud were proud to be one of the first providers approached by Skills for Care to help deliver this vital initiative.

Through My Learning Cloud, any care organisation can get up to 10 CPD-certified elearning courses to help train new staff, redeployed staff, existing staff and volunteers. There will be no cost to the care organisations as the courses are fully-funded through Skills for Care.

Steven Embleton, Chief Cloud, said: “We are thrilled to be an early adopter of this initiative, and to work closely with Skills for Care to make it a success. This scheme builds upon our earlier independent offer of help to the industry by increasing the number of courses we can offer to care organisations.”

“The My Learning Cloud team have been working round the clock to ensure we can deliver exactly what our sector needs at this time.”

If this is something that could help your organisation visit to register your interest.


 “Battle Knickers on…” – facebook group provides crucial peer support

STORM Care Managers Inner Circle facebook group provides continuous support and guidance across the sector. It was founded three years ago by care home manager Jonathan Cunningham MBE who broadcasts a LIVE ‘catch-up’ every evening on the daily regulation changes and updates. It is ideal for care managers and senior executives across the sector. The group caused a storm of its own recently after the national media picked up on Jonathan’s humorous group slogan for the pandemic  - “Get your battle knickers on…” - a nod to the group’s 85%-90% female membership. Jonathan described being a care home manager as a “lonely world at times,” adding that membership had doubled over the last couple of months during the pandemic.

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