Home Support Services
Home Support Services


Check back here regularly to find out what's going on at Home Support Services.

Sector Based Training

Over the past year, we have run several successful Sector Based Training Academies in association with Age UK and in partnership with Job Centre Plus. Sector based work academies are designed to help health and social care employers find people with the right skills, training and values to join their organisation.

Home Support Services will be operating further academies in the Autumn 2015

If you would like information about this please contact us on 01332 723250 

Investors in People

During the past 18 months, Home Support Services has been working with Investors In People and has achived IIP status.

Staff from all levels of the business took part in the assessment and award process and there was an emphasis on training and development and health and wellness.

We will update this column as our IIP journey unfolds.



A great way to find out about working in care is to talk to and hear from someone who works as a care worker, which is why Skills for Care facilitates the I Care... Ambassadors initiative which Home Support Services recently became a part of..

I Care...Ambassadors is an exclusive club for enthusiastic frontline care staff, who are willing to visit schools, colleges, job centres and other employment agencies to inspire others to work in adult social care. Staff can also use I Care Ambassadors as CPD by completing the nationally recognised qualifications associated with the scheme.

Using their first-hand experience, ambassadors can talk about the wide range of job opportunities, helping to create a real life, honest perspective of what to expect from working in social care. 

Home Support Services have sucessfully done this as part of the SBWA with Age UK


Home Support Services wants to ensure that they are making a difference for people with severe learning disabilities and so they have signed the Challenging Behaviour  Foundation Charter and are an associate member of the Foundation


Major concerns have recently been raised about the quality of food available in hospitals and the way in which elderly and vulnerable patients are fed. But a number of initiatives, including Nutrition and Hydration Week which, aims to improve levels of nutrition, both in hospitals and across the social care sectors. Home Support Services views this as vital in the holistic approach required to ensure peoples wellbeing.

According to Age UK, 1.3 million people over 65 suffer from malnutrition. More than half all older people admitted to hospital are malnourished on arrival and approximately 65% are suffering from malnutrition by the time they leave. In total, the costs of malnutrition in the UK for older people are thought to exceed £7.3 billion a year.

Nutrition and Hydration Week, which runs annually in March, is a collaboration between the Hospital Caterers Association, the National Association of Care Catering and Patient Safety First. The week aims to “create a global movement that will reinforce and focus energy, activity and engagement on nutrition and hydration as an important part of quality care, experience and safety improvement in health and social care settings.”

It aims to share good practice and promote awareness through resources, webinars and case studies, and features events on the theme, including a Worldwide Afternoon Tea, which will be held by health and social care providers to demonstrate their commitment to good hydration and nutrition.

The elderly at risk
The initiative comes at a time of general concern around levels of nutrition in the health and social care sectors. Reports from 2011 found that 45% of English hospitals were failing to provide good nutrition to the elderly. At Sandwell General Hospital in the West Midlands, for example, inspectors found serious issues with nutrition, especially for patients who needed assistance to eat. It was found that most patients “had not received a thorough nutritional assessment and for those who had been identified as being at risk, care, goal and action planning was inadequate.”

In response to reports like these, new guidance was launched last year to improve patient nutrition, developed by the British Association for Perenteral and Enteral Nutrition and the Malnutrition Task Force. In addition, new hospital food standards are also set to come into effect this summer. The Hospital Food Standard Panel will produce these new food guidelines. Chair of Age UK Dianne Jeffrey will be involved, as will Anne Donelan, chairman of the BDA Food Counts Specialist Group.

“During my four decades as a dietitian, working in a wide variety of roles and settings, I have witnessed the importance patients and their families place in food and beverages and the key role they have in enhancing patient wellbeing and recovery,” says Donelan.

“Many hospitals serve excellent food, but it doesn’t happen everywhere. There is a growing need to address the variation in quality of hospital food and beverage services quality so as to improve standards for every patient.”

A complex picture
But there are a number of different factors at play in the provision of good nutrition in the healthcare sector. “We should not underestimate the complexity involved in delivering good nutritional care across hospital systems given the number of processes, healthcare professionals and departments involved,” says Dr Mike Stroud, chair of the British Association for Perenteral and Enteral Nutrition’s quality group and co-chair of the Malnutrition Task Force.

One issue that was clear at Sandwell General was making sure nurses and other care staff have the time and skills to make sure patients are eating properly. But another big concern is the availability of affordable nutritious food.

Fresh produce
One strategy to add variety and increase the nutritional content of meals is the 14:14 campaign, which aims to encourage NHS Trusts across England to cultivate kitchen gardens to grow fresh produce which can be served to patients, staff and visitors. Each hospital is encouraged to cultivate up to 14 square metres of land.

“Across England we are seeing more and more trusts turning to local suppliers to provide their produce,” says the <Ahref="http://www.nhssustainabilityday.co.uk/" target="_blank">NHS Sustainability Day website, which promotes the campaign. “It is crucial we start to reduce the environmental impact of food production. We believe 14:14 can kick-start a revolution in how NHS organisations perceive food procurement.”

Just as the provision of decent, nutritious meals in schools is emerging as a major social issue, so food in the hospital and social care sector continues to grow as an area of interest among policy makers, nutritionists and professionals in the food and drink industry.

Further Information

With the number of people aged 65 or over projected to rise by nearly 50% over 20 years, the Nourishing an Ageing Population session at Food Matters Live will address the challenges, opportunities and priorities to improve nutrition for elderly people.

- See more at: http://www.foodmatterslive.com/news-and-comment/comment/improving-standards-of-nutrition-in-the-health-and-social-care-sector#sthash.u3TJ571l.dpuf

How can we help the UK to become a good place for those of us who have dementia to live, and live well?


The Joseph Rowtree Trust believe we as social care providers need to challenge attitudes, understanding and behaviours around dementia which reinforce stigma, isolation and exclusion. We need to inspire local communities, organisations and businesses to become more aware and understanding of dementia, and more inclusive. And we need to support the collective engagement of people with dementia, so their voice is heard more clearly in this debate, and so they have more confidence and capacity to influence attitudes, policies and practice.
Their programme Dementia without Walls (July 2012 – Dec 2015) includes three main strands:
Strand 1 - Empowering people with dementia
Strand 2 - Dementia-friendly communities
Strand 3 - Thinking differently about dementia
http://www.jrf.org.uk/topic/dementia-without-wallsThis update summarises ongoing and new work in the first two and a half years of the Programme (from July 2012 – November 2014). 

This short film produced in association with Derby University, shows retired nurse Carol Stanton talking about her experience of caring for her parents when they developed Dementia. It highlights the vital need for responsive, trained and professional staff in community settings, and gives us a valuable insight into the perspectives of a family carer.

Making it Real: Marking progress towards personalised, community based support

Making it Real sets out what people who use services and carers expect to see and experience if support services are truly personalised. They are set of "progress markers" - written by real people and families - that can help an organisation to check how they are going towards transforming adult social care. The aim of Making it Real is for people to have more choice and control so they can live full and independent lives.


For information on how people who use services, carers and citizens can use Making it Real



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