Community Care launches survey on care home safeguarding

Safeguarding, meaning the protection of vulnerable people using care services, is a vital part of any care training course, but how well are the principles of safeguarding actually being carried out in care homes?

There have been a number of reports over the last year or so of vulnerable users of care services being suffering abuse, and this has understandably worried care services users and their families, as well as those within the industry. To find out more accurately what opinion is on the subject of safeguarding in care homes, Community Care has launched a new survey to gather information.

Community Care, whose motto is “inspiring excellence in social care”, is asking for social care professionals to give their views on the practices – regulation, monitoring, management and commissioning, to name but a few – which make up safeguarding in care environments. The results of the survey, which is sponsored by the disability care and support provider Care Tech, will then be used to produce a report on the issue.

People who work in care homes, as well as individuals who investigate safeguarding issues, speak for residents, inspect care homes or place people in care environments, are all invited to respond to the survey on the Community Care website.

Indian restaurant owner caught breaking fire safety rules for the second time

The owner of an Indian restaurant in the Cumbrian town of Barrow has been caught breaking fire safety regulations, despite having received a formal warning from fire chiefs once before.

Ferdous Ahmed, the owner of the Mithali restaurant, admitted in Preston Crown Court that he hadn’t adhered to an official Prohibition Notice which required him to stop allowing people to sleep on the floor above his restaurant. The Notice was issued after inspectors visited the property and found that it wasn’t safe for people to live on the second floor, due to a lack of the proper fire safety measures.

The restaurateur is no stranger to prosecution for fire safety offences, as he had previously been convicted of eight offences. For these offences, he was fined £10,000 and given a six-month suspended prison sentence. At the time, Mr Ahmed had far greater control over the running of the restaurant, but was obviously badly in need of a course of fire safety training. In the latest set of charges, the businessman claims he was only running the restaurant for a short period of time. He will be sentenced next month.

Edinburgh shop owners handed health and safety fine after customer injury

The owners of a well-known Edinburgh gift shop have been prosecuted and fined for breaching health and safety laws after a customer suffered an accident on their premises.

The incident occurred at the Gold Brothers shop, which was then known as The Auld Christmas Shop, back in October 2009. A customer who was browsing in the shop, fell through an open hatch leading to the basement, which had been left open so that staff could access lower level stockrooms. The customer suffered a badly broken ankle after falling into the open stairwell and trapping her ankle between treads.

Following the incident, Environmental Health officers from the local council were called in to investigate. The owners of the shop were found to have breached health and safety regulations, which put their customers in danger. Had the measures taught in most health and safety trainingcourses been put in place, the incident may not have occurred.

In Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Gold Brothers pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined a total of £16,000.

Commenting on the case, Councillor Lesley Hinds said:

“This incident shows the potential dangers when hatches are used to gain access to basements or cellars.

“It was wholly avoidable and totally unacceptable. Businesses must carry out suitable risk assessments to ensure there is a safe means of accessing cellars and to protect workers and customers.”

First aid training helps mother save her son’s life

A mother whose three-year-old started choking on his food was able to use her first aid training to save her son’s life – training that she had undergone only one day earlier.

Claire Gascoyne, who lives near Sheffield, was able to use her newly-learnt skills and knowledge to act swiftly and effectively when her young son Thomas started to choke on a crisp that became lodged in his throat. Staying calm in what must have been a very frightening situation, Claire managed to clear the obstruction by delivering a number of well-placed blows on the youngster’s back. The crisp flew out of his throat and he could breathe normally again.

Following her experience, Claire is now encouraging other parents to go on a first aid training course so that they can potentially save their children’s lives if the worst should happen. Speaking to local publication The Star, the mother of two said:

“I definitely recommend going on a first aid course because it just gives you the basics.

“You don’t realise that your child could die because you don’t know what to do, so it is really important.”

Why a food hygiene qualification is essential for anyone starting a food business

When you start a food business, such as a café, catering company or a restaurant, for example, you are not legally required to undergo a formal food hygiene training course.

However, you are required to meet all food safety regulations, and to ensure that anyone who works for you has all the relevant training they need. With this in mind, it could be a very good idea indeed for you and your colleagues/employees to attend a food hygiene awareness training course and get proper qualifications.

Food hygiene training is essential for a number of reasons – firstly, because it teaches you and your workers how to handle and store food safely, as well as helping you to put a sound food safety management system in place. This can help to prevent food poisoning, which could be disastrous for the reputation of your fledgling business. It will also help you to pass all official food hygiene inspections with flying colours, the results of which you can proudly display to all of your customers.

So, if you’re starting a food business, make sure you get food hygiene right from the very start.