Collective purchasing will save your business money on all areas of consumable supply.

Dry January

Dry January is when you go alcohol-free for the whole month of January. It’s good for the mind, body and soul!

Dry January began in 2011 when Emily Robinson signed up for her first marathon. This marathon was happening in February and she decided to quit booze for the month to help her prepare; As a result, she lost weight, slept better and had more energy to do the race!

Woman in Gray Crew Neck Shirt Running on Brown Soil during Daytime

2012

In January 2012, Emily joins Alcohol Change UK and again does no alcohol in January. As she is working for alcohol change UK she now has a platform to speak to people about the benefits of stopping drinking for one month – and dry January is born!

A debate about the usefulness of giving up alcohol for a month kicks off. Can a month alcohol-free really make a difference long-term?

Alcohol change UK decide to work with alcohol behaviour change expert Dr Richard de Visser from the University of Sussex. He surveyed people taking part, to see what happens to them.

“De Visser found that six months after the campaign has finished, seven out of ten people have continued to drink less riskily than before. Almost a quarter of the people who were drinking at “harmful” levels before the campaign are now in the low-risk category.”

Assorted Wine Bottles

2014

By 2014, more people are talking about dry January. Some people believe you have to hibernate for the month to avoid booze; when in fact it is a good chance to test yourself. If you are out with friends or for dinner, could you turn down a drink? Willpower was being tested!

“What you have is a pretty average group of British people who would not consider themselves heavy drinkers, yet stopping drinking for a month alters liver fat, cholesterol and blood sugar and helps them lose weight. If someone had a health product that did all that in one month, they would be raking it in.”Professor Kevin Moore, Consultant in Liver Health Services, University College London Medical Centre

In 2015 they partner with Public Health England to broaden the reach of the initiative and by 2020 they have over 100,000 participants signed up and using the app. (with more people doing it without signing up)

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So what are the benefits?

With January coming after Christmas, a period of overindulgence, it is a perfect time to quit drinking. You will not only save money, but your body will thank you too. Your skin will appear brighter, you sleep better and your mind is calmer; A perfect start to the new year!

 research published in 2018, conducted by the Royal Free Hospital and published in the British Medical Journal, found that a month off alcohol:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces diabetes risk
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Reduces levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.
Person Holding Black Tube

And that is just the beginning.

The best benefit is that it encourages people to drink healthier amounts throughout the year. It proves to us that we don’t need booze to have a good time, or to socialise. We learn skills that help manage drinking, and it helps our overall wellbeing.

‘alcohol is linked with more than 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer. In fact, alcohol is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability for people aged 15-49 in the UK. Cutting back on alcohol long-term reduces your risk of developing these conditions. ‘ (taken from alcohol change UK website)

You can do dry January on your own, but by signing up to the app you get help, guidance and motivation from Alcohol change UK! Sign up here – its still not too late!

Going booze-free

January is the month for new changes, resolutions and generally being healthier; and shops know this. So check out these two companies that offer alcoholic free ‘grown-up drinks’. Of course, supermarkets and wholesalers will offer booze alternatives as well, so ask us or check-in when you next place an order to see what they offer.

Crop person with can of alcohol free beer

Lyres

Lyres are award-winning alcohol-free spirit makers. Tasting just like their boozy brothers these drinks can help ease the transition into alcohol-free living. From Gin to Rum, they have everything for you to make cocktails, without the hangover the next day.

Dry Drinker

Dry drinker offers a range of alcohol-free beer, wine and spirits at affordable rates, and they are plastic-free – bonus! They offer bundles and singles to help you on your journey.

Final Note

If you struggle with alcohol issues please check out some of these websites. Throughout the past 12 months, we have had a lot to deal with and many people have turned to alcohol to manage. Please know that there are companies and organisations out there to keep you safe and help you.

https://alcoholchange.org.uk/

https://www.rehab4addiction.co.uk/alcohol-detox

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/mental-health/alcoholism


2020

Ok, so 2020 has been an unusual year, to say the least. We have spent a lot more time at home, and have sung ‘happy birthday’ more times than we can remember whilst washing our hands! But, there are loads of positives from this year, and in this blog, we are going to take a look back at the good stuff that happened in 2020!

Priorities changed

We have spent the year with our close family, initially just our family and then bubbles or groups of 6. This may have led to some more family arguments and tension, but I for one have enjoyed spending more time with my children. We have done baking, arts and crafts and reading. I have taught my girls to garden and we had many long summer days in the outside laughing and having fun. Families have been able to spend more time together this year than they have done so in a long time. It has made people appreciate what really is important in life. We have become more present with our families and in years to come, I believe we will look back to this time fondly.

Woman and Girl Using Tablet Computer

Appreciation

We all were all appreciative of key workers before covid, but I think we are all that little bit more aware of just how hard they work. From teachers to nurses, shop staff to delivery drivers. These men and women have worked hard throughout lockdown serving the nation. Teachers are finally getting a bit more recognition after parents have had to home school. We stood on the pavement every Thursday clapping for the care staff, who before may have been undervalued. We stood outside, rain or shine waiting to get into do our food shop, as shops, limited capacity, all whilst shop staff were being friendly and I for one now know my parcel force delivery driver by name as I shopped more online! Everyone who has done their bit to help keep the nation going deserves a big pat on the back! (and a hug when we are allowed!!)

2 Person Holding Hands

Community

From Caption Tom raising millions for the NHS to food services being set up to help the local community, we have pulled together as a nation to help support one and another. Joe wicks set up a virtual PE lesson every day and VE day was celebrated by many with socially distanced parties. The year has taught us to value our friends, family and neighbours; to help people when in need and to be there for people. For a while, vulnerable people were told not to go out so neighbours were doing food shops. Food banks saw an increase in usage, so people donated more. Marcus Rashford campaigned for free school meals and won – a real sense of community has been felt in 2020.

Selective Focus Photography Cement

Technology

How amazing is technology!!?? We all loved it before 2020 but this year we could not have lived without it. From weekly zoom quizzes, family video calls and birthday parties being held virtually to millions working from home. All this could not have been done without technology! Here at Collective Purchasing, we have weekly team catch-ups virtually; it’s great seeing the team and means we stay safe, but connected.

Macbook Pro Beside White Ipad

Our planet

With the world in lockdown, we moved less. We all used our cars less, We didn’t holiday abroad and Factories closed. All this led to better air quality in many major cities! We are facing a real threat with Climate change; and this year has bought us all a little time in order to make some changes!

Planet Earth Close Up Photo

Finally

In record time a vaccine has been created! The world worked together on creating a covid vaccine to help every nation. Meaning hopefully we can all get together in the not too distant future.

Person Holding Syringe

We all hope you are safe, stay safe and hope for a safe future. When we can return to a little bit of normality; I hope we keep hold of some of the things we have learnt this year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Xmas Text On Wooden Scrabble Tiles

Christmas and New Years 2020

2020 has certainly been a year to remember! Although we may be able to visit friends and family over Christmas this year, it will certainly be a different one!

How can we make it special?

There are many ways you can still make it as special from games, food and drink to decorations and virtual family visits; and CP are here to help!

Food

You may have food covered already, but with fewer people to feed, you may be wondering what to do with leftovers? Here are a few of our fave leftover recipes.

Turkey bubble & squeak

Method

  • STEP 1
  • Peel the potato and parsnip, grab a bowl and grate them both into it. Grate or finely slice the sprouts and chuck them into the bowl too. Put the veg in a sieve and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Return the mixture to the bowl and crack in the egg. Mix and season, then add your rosemary and garlic.
  • STEP 2
  • Now it’s time to get your hands messy. Shape the mixture into three rösti patties, equal in thickness. Slice the leftover turkey breast. Put it in a pan with the gravy on a low heat and simmer until the turkey is warm. Heat the coconut oil in a separate frying pan. Cook the röstis for 3 mins each side until golden brown, then put them on a plate, layer with the sliced turkey and add a dollop of cranberry sauce on top. Voilà – a lovely, lean Christmas leftover meal!

Christmas pudding trifle

  • STEP 1
  • Peel the oranges using a sharp knife, ensuring all the pith is removed. Slice as thinly as possible and arrange over a dinner plate. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar followed by the Grand Marnier and set aside.
  • STEP 2
  • Crumble the Christmas pudding into large pieces and scatter over the bottom of a trifle bowl. Lift the oranges onto the pudding in a layer and pour over any juices.
  • STEP 3
  • Beat the mascarpone until smooth, then stir in the custard. Spoon the mixture over the top of the oranges.
  • STEP 4
  • Lightly whip the cream and spoon over the custard. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and grated chocolate. You can make this a day in advance if you like, chill until ready to serve.

Drink

Why not make cocktails and change the names to reflect the year we have had. Think captain Tom, Furlough, quaratine – You name it you can find someone who has created a drink for 2020! Here is a list of some but I think our fave has to be the Quarantini – a take on the traditional martini, but adding honey and orange juice for that immune boost we need!

Clear Glass Footed Drinking Glass With Orange Juice

Decorations

We are aware that some places are not putting a traditional tree up this year, due to risk of infection – BUT we have found a solution!!!

Wall decors are a great idea as an alternative, simply stick on the wall and you can create a winter wonderland!

Why not get mini trees, just for dinner! They can create a festive appearance and will look magical with crackers, napkins and table cloths. We are able to source a fantastic range of table and room decors, at very reasonable pricing – just give us a call, or drop us an email.

Or is you feeling super fancy and creative, what about one of these below? However you decide to decorate, use bright colours, that bring joy; and dont forget to share pics with us!!

Photo of Decorations on the Wall

Visits

At the time of writing this, visits to care homes are just starting up. With the news of a vacine, and quick turn around testing many carehomes are allowing families to visit and hug their relatives. If you are deciding to err on the side of caution make sure you have plenty of ipads/tablets/computers and so on to allow resisdents to see their family virtually! There are some great products availble, like facebook portol, amazon echo, google nest and so on. If you are wanting to update your devices, this is something again we can help with.

Woman Holding A Gift While Having A Video Chat

Whilst this year may have been a challange, it has also brought us all closer together. We have learnt to appreciate the things we have and value those people around us.

Everyone at Collective Purchasing hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a very happy 2021!!!

International Stress Awareness Week 2nd- 6th November 2020

Managing Stress and Mental Health Issues

Woman in White Shirt Showing Frustration

Stress and Mental health have never been more important than now; especially with Covid 19 and the ever-changing world, we live in!

It’s not just businesses that are struggling to adapt to these new challenges, but individuals too.

Pre pandemic, roughly 1 in 10 adults suffered from some form of depression. In June of 2020, this had doubled to 1 in 5, with many of those people saying they felt stressed or anxious.

The International Stress Management Association [ISMAUK] is a registered charity and the lead professional body for the workplace and personal Stress Management, Well-being and Performance.

They promote sound knowledge and best practice, nationally and internationally; with International stress awareness week being an initiative they have been running for some time now.

ISMAUK promotes sound knowledge in the prevention and reduction of human stress and is an advocate of best practice in the field of stress management. With branches in 6 countries, ISMAUK has a global reach and hosts an annual highly popular Stress Management Conference which attracts internationally recognised speakers from both Government and Industry.

22 years of raising awareness

International Stress Awareness Week was created in 2018 to raise awareness about stress prevention, following the establishment of Stress Awareness Day in 1998.

Person Holding Note with Be Kind Text

International Stress Awareness Week has developed as a major annual event focusing on stress management. This years event will broch upon some of these subjects….

  • Experiences people have with mental health challenges and what can be done to help them
  • How employers are responding to mental health issues and what can be learnt
  • Campaigning against the stigma associated with stress and mental health issues
  • The role of stress management professionals in alleviating stress, with practical and proven techniques for building resilience
  • What further actions need to be taken in the light of the pandemic and possible changes in future working practices
  • Ensuring that those suffering from stress know where to go to seek advice

New for 2020

Person Writing on Notebook

International Stress Awareness Week 2020 will be the first-ever to be held online; due to covid.

The Summit will offer guidance on stress management, mental health and employee wellbeing. A prestigious line-up of experts will debate, inform, and advise on every aspect of these vital subjects.

Being run online over 5 days with 5 different themes, this is one online event you should not miss.

What can you do?

There are many ways in which you can support your staff with their wellbeing and mental health. Here are a few suggestions….

  • Giving them access to apps such as headspace.
  • Rewarding them, making them feel valued.
  • Duvet days – letting them have days where they can not come into work, no questions asked.
  • subsidise gym memberships
  • Support leaflets from charities such as Mind
  • Offering access to fruit and healthy snacks
  • Be there and be approachable.

Have you got any further ideas? Let us know!!!

National Curry Week

The 22nd National Curry Week takes place from the 5th to 11th October 2020.

This year has been a difficult one, so why not get involved and talk curry instead of Corona! Whether you go out, get takeout or host your own curry night you would be ‘madras’ to miss it!

History of Curry in Briton

Although curry is an Indian dish modified for British tastes, it’s so popular that it contributes more than £5bn to the British economy. Hence it was hardly surprising when in 2001, Britain’s foreign secretary Robin Cook referred to Chicken Tikka Masala as a “true British national dish”.

First taste

If Britain taught India how to play cricket, India perhaps returned the favour by teaching the British how to enjoy a hot Indian curry. By the 18th century, East India Company men (popularly called ‘nabobs’, an English corruption of the Indian word ‘nawab’ meaning governors or viceroys) returning home wanted to recreate a slice of their time spent in India. Those who couldn’t afford to bring back their Indian cooks satisfied their appetite at coffee houses. As early as 1733, curry was served in the Norris Street Coffee House in Haymarket. By 1784, curry and rice had become specialties in some popular restaurants in the area around London’s Piccadilly.

Assorted Powder Lot

First cookbook

The first British cookery book containing an Indian recipe was ‘The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy’ by Hannah Glasse. The first edition, published in 1747, had three recipes of Indian pilau. Later editions included recipes for fowl or rabbit curry and Indian pickle.

By the 1840s sellers of Indian products were trying to persuade the British public with the dietary benefits of curry. Curry also gained popularity as an excellent way of using up cold meat. (Turkey curry anyone?)

Cooked Food in Bow

Curry houses

In the 1940s and 1950s, most major Indian restaurants in London employed ex-seamen from Bangladesh. Many of these seamen aspired to open a restaurant of their own. After the Second World War, they bought bombed-out chippies and cafes selling curry and rice alongside fish, pies, and chips.

They stayed open after 11 pm to catch the after-pub trade. Eating hot curry after a night out in the pub became a tradition. As customers became increasingly fond of curry, these restaurants discarded British dishes and turned into inexpensive Indian takeaways and eateries.

Blue Harp Decor on Brown Wooden Table

After 1971, there was an influx of Bangladeshi immigrants into Britain. Many entered the catering business. According to Peter Groves, (founder of curry week) “65%-75% of Indian restaurants” in the UK are owned by Bangladeshi immigrants; and today there are more Indian restaurants in Greater London than in Delhi and Mumbai combined.
(find out more on the history of curry here)

History of curry week

The very first National Curry Week took place in October 1998 and was founded by the late Peter Grove; a journalist who had fallen in love with curry. His vision was to drive awareness and appreciation of the Indian restaurant industry, whilst also raising funds for charity.

To this day National Curry Week honours this vision with its three core objectives:

  1. HONOUR THE NATION’S FAVOURITE CUISINE
  2. CELEBRATE AND SUPPORT THE INDIAN RESTAURANT INDUSTRY
  3. RAISE MONEY FOR POVERTY FOCUSSED CHARITIES

Show me the curry (houses)

It has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone, not least for the hospitality sector and our beloved curry houses. More than ever, they need your support and your custom. So whether you’re eating in or taking away; to keep calm and curry on supporting the Great British curry house. Use this website and its interactive map to find your nearest curry house.

http://www.nationalcurryweek.co.uk/visit-your-local-for-a-curry.aspx

Platter of Foods

Don’t feel like heading out?

Due to the current situation you may not feel like heading out to a curry house, but that doesnt mean you cant still take part!

Order your favourite dishes from your go-to takeaway and enjoy an evening of eating, drinking and curry conversation. Or show off your kitchen skills and cook up a curry feast! Create a menu that showcases the cuisines from around the different Indian regions, or use the National Curry Week recipe book to recreate signature dishes from some of the top UK Indian restaurants.

Put on a potluck spread

You could even put on a potluck spread – ask each guest to bring a different dish to the party and you can all tuck into a range of fantastic food! – But remember the rule of 6!!!

Charity

Curry week is not about all the wonderful herbs and spices, it’s about raising money for those that are on the poverty line! One in nine people suffer from chronic hunger because they don’t have enough food to it.

The majority of these people live in very remote areas of Asia and Africa, without the means or opportunity to speak out and change their situation for the better.

Curry for Change

Find Your Feet and Health Poverty Action are the UK charities behind Curry for Change, and they help vulnerable rural families to build a future free from poverty.

Find Your Feet and Health Poverty Action help families grow more food so they don’t go hungry, earn an income so they can provide for their families, and access vital information on nutrition and health.

So how can you help?

https://curryforchange.org.uk/restaurants –  these restaurants donate at certain times in the year to the two charities – if local to one why not visit. Or you can buy a herb and spice kit from the same site to help.

How can we help?

Stuck on menu ideas? Need knowledge or tips on how to pick the perfect spices? Need some serving dishes for your event? We can help you! Just email sales@collectivepurchasing.co.uk to see how we can help you!

World Alzheimers Day

What is World Alzheimer’s Day?

World Alzheimer’s Day is an international campaign to raise awareness and highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia. It’s an opportunity for people and organisations to demonstrate how we can overcome these issues and help people live well with dementia.

Globally, dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face, with nearly 50 million people living with dementia worldwide. To tackle this global dementia challenge we all need to work together and to collaborate and share best practice with one another.

What can I do on World Alzheimer’s Day?

This World Alzheimer’s Day Alzheimers society have chosen to challenge stigma and grow the global Dementia Friends movement. You can help by becoming a Dementia Friend, or – if you’re already a Dementia Friend – sharing what it is to be a dementia friend with friends, family and colleagues.  Make sure you get involved on #WorldAlzheimersDay conversation on twitter!

What is Dementia?

The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with; however they soon become severe enough to affect daily life. A sufferer may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one. The specific symptoms that someone experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.

Photo of Head Bust Print Artwork

 Symptoms

A person with dementia will have cognitive symptoms (to do with thinking or memory). They will often have problems with some of the following:

  • day-to-day memory – for example, difficulty recalling events that happened recently,
  • concentrating, planning or organising – for example, difficulties making decisions, solving problems or carrying out a sequence of tasks (such as cooking a meal),
  • language – for example, difficulties following a conversation or finding the right word for something,
  • visuospatial skills – for example, problems judging distances (such as on stairs) and seeing objects in three dimensions,
  • orientation – for example, losing track of the day or date, or becoming confused about where they are.

Breaking the stigma

Families affected by dementia are facing an illness that’s often frightening and debilitating. They shouldn’t also have to deal with ignorance, thoughtlessness and cruelty from the people around them.

Dementia isn’t a joke – and people affected by it deserve to be treated with understanding and respect. 

How we help

As a company who looks after the spending for hundreds of care homes on a daily basis; We fully support ways to improve
the quality of life for sufferers. We are all also dementia friends. If you need to find out more about dementia friends, click here!

Trusted suppliers

We work with the likes of Care shop, Countywide, Andway and Blueleaf who are all specialised in the dementia field. Not only do they supply medical goods, but they supply items such as memory boxes and games.

1950S60S Mix Reminiscence Box With Memorabilia Pack

Food moulds

As part of our offering, we can source food moulds through our furniture and equipment department. A fairly new concept within the UK care home, a silicon food mould will transform a dementia patient’s plate. Making meals more visually pleasing, appetizing and helping residents to dine with dignity. Read more here…

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Dementia friendly crockery

Equipment to help support residents with dementia is the perfect way to promote independence. We provide a  wide range of tableware that does just this.

 “Eating three times a day is something many of us take for granted but just think how difficult mealtimes can be for many people with disabilities; we believe the right tableware can be a relatively simple way to ensure your guests get the nutrition they need as independently and safely as possible”. Bidvest Catering Equipment.

For prices or further information, email shop@collectivepurchasing.co.uk

World Egg Day

Eggs have been described by nutritionists as nature’s large vitamin pill – a mineral cocktail; they contain many of the essential vitamins and minerals required for a healthy diet.

Packed full of goodness; from vitamin A and B12, right through to choline, vital for nerves and muscles to function correctly.  Eggs really are a wonder food, in 100% natural packaging.

Egg-traordinary facts

Did you know……

  • Eggs are the highest quality protein you can purchase
  • The yolk contains a natural source of vitamin D (which many brits suffer a deficiency in)
  • The yolk colour depends on the diet of the hen
  • The older the hen the larger the egg
  • large eggs contain roughly 70 calories and 5g fat – making them very nutritional indeed!
  • A hen will lay roughly 300 – 325 eggs a year and it takes between 24 and 26 hours to produce one single egg
  • Eggs are second to only mothers milk for human nutrition, making it a very healthy choice
  • Eggs age more in one day at room temp, than they do for one week in the fridge!

World egg day

World Egg Day is celebrated every year on the second Friday in October; with this years being on Friday 9th October!

Whether you celebrate World Egg Day every year, or this will be your first time, make sure that this year, you get cracking and help to make this World Egg Day the biggest and the best ever.

Egg-citing ideas

To celebrate world egg day why not try one of our cracking ideas below

Omelette making

Did you know the fastest omelette maker in the world made 427 two-egg omelettes in 30 minutes? American Egg Board’s Howard Helmer, is the Omelette King; he holds three Guinness World Records for omelette making.

Why not host a friendly competition? How many omelettes can you make in 30 minutes, or who can make the quickest omelette – whatever you do you will have some eggcellent fun!

Eggs-ercise

We all loved doing the egg and spoon race when we were younger – so why not hold an egg festival! Egg and spoon race, balancing the egg, egg throwing, painting the eggs and egg recipe contests? Finish the day with some smashing egg food (think omelettes, eggy bread, dippy egg, egg custard tarts – it really is such a versatile food!!)

Egg-ploring

From egg hoppers in Sri Lanka to Scotch eggs in the UK, the egg is a staple food in many countries. Check out this list of how eggs are eaten around the world! Huevos rancheros from Mexico is one of my personal faves! Corn tortillas are topped with fried eggs, salsa, beans, and avocado. Why not create a menu with egg dishes from around the globe!?

However you celebrate world Egg day – we are sure you will have a smashing time! Don’t forget that if you need any help with sourcing your daily foods (including eggs) we are here to help! Just give us a call, or contact us on sales@collectivepurchasing.co.uk

one final note……

How do you know if a chef is mean?

He beats all the eggs.

Easing of Lockdown – The new Norm

Saturday, July the 4th 2020; the day pubs, cafes and restaurants could reopen in England after a long three months closed due to Covid-19.

Whilst this is great news for businesses, it poses new challenges for business owners that may never have been faced before.

Social Distancing

It is advised to stay 2ms apart, but if you cant 1m will suffice. However many smaller businesses may not be able to conform to this restriction. Small cafes, pubs and eateries that have tables close together are having to half their capacity in order to reopen. This is leading to a loss of ambience, identity and atmosphere that customers may associate with some of the businesses; as well as, reduced income from fewer people being allowed in. One way to combat this is for you to start, or continue, offering takeout services, or increasing seating outside.

This, of course, has its own problems; the added cost associated with purchasing more seating for outside, the need for containers for food and drink to be supplied as a takeaway and added cleaning costs can be daunting for business owners. Using single-use plastic is not great for the environment, and you may not be aware of the alternatives available if you have never needed to use them before. Luckily, there are many options available for all concerns. There are budget options for furniture and more environmentally friendly options for takeaways. We have been able to help customers save money on disposable consumables as well as seating and furniture for outside. If you are interested in how we can help – email shop@collectivepurchasing.co.uk to find out more.

Safety

Of course, the safety of the staff is important, but it is also imperative the welfare of customers is considered too. There are many items on the market that are helping to keep both staff and customers safe. From sneeze guards to visors; Face masks to hand sanitiser. There are numerous things available to purchase in order to help with the reopening. We can help advise and source these if you wish as it may be a daunting experience due to the sheer number of products being sold.

There are some other things that can be done to help; suggest the use of card payments over cash, limiting menu choices to help kitchen staff run more efficiently, and having plenty of sanitising stations around the premises (more is better!!) Implement one way systems and ensure cleaning is done more frequently. The Government are also asking to take names and numbers of customers for track and testing. This GDPR compliant visitor book is ideal for venues to use to record visitors details. 

Running a tight ship

Due to social distancing, some staff may not be able to return to work immediately. They may be shielding, or simply not be needed currently. To help run more efficiently there are many options. As mentioned before reduce the menu size to reduce stress in the kitchen. Opt for frozen items as this leads to less wastage. Shop locally, as this will not only help support other businesses but also reduce the number of miles your produce is travelling. And opt for things that make your life just that little bit easier like pre-sliced rolls.

Engage the local community

Whilst times have been tough for businesses like you, consumers may need some encouragement to come back and part with their cash. Costa has given away free coffees to all those that have the app – whilst we are not suggesting every business can afford to do this, offering a welcome back discount will go a long way to bringing the customers back!

Give Back

Throughout the pandemic, key workers have been working hard to either keep us safe or to keep the country going. One way to boost a businesses profile is to hold some form of a charity event to highlight the appreciation we as a nation have for these people. Host an NHS themed event, raising money or providing free items to NHS staff. This will not only be good for the charity but will bring together a sense of community.

The good news is though, you are of course not alone. Every business is having to go through all these changes, and customers are learning to adapt. It may be a slow process, but this will soon become our new norm. We hope you all stay safe and if you have any problems with food supply, housekeeping issues or need any PPE/furniture – then contact us today!

Infection Control

With the heightened awareness of infection control due to Coronavirus, we thought we would give our top tips to control infection in care homes.

Managing infection control in care homes isn’t just best practice: it’s the law. Preventing the spread of infection in care homes basically comes down to knowledge about hygiene practices and a commitment to put those practices into action.

It’s key that all staff understand what leads to infection and how they can prevent the spread of it. The latest government guidelines make it clear that hygiene is a priority for care homes. The standard of hygiene in any care home will be reflected in its CQC rating.

Cleaning in care homes

The main aspect of infection control in care homes is to carry out thorough and regular cleaning. This makes sure that residents have a safe and infection-free environment. Providing proper cleaning training is essential to work towards better infection control in your care home.

Personal protective equipment

Care staff have a lot of touch contact with large numbers of residents during their work. If you work in a care home environment, protective equipment can greatly limit the number of germs that are picked up on your hands. Personal protective equipment includes Isolation gowns, face protection, masks, goggles, face shields and respiratory protection. It is vital to ensure all of your staff are provided with the correct protective equipment.

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Safe handling and disposal of chemical waste

Your care home should have a written policy on waste disposal. This provides guidance on all aspects, including special waste, pharmaceuticals, and cytotoxic waste, segregation of waste and an audit trail. This should include colour coding of bags used for waste. For example, you could use yellow bags for clinical waste, black bags for household waste and special bins for glass and aerosols.

Hand Hygiene

We all know that washing your hand properly is the number one way of stopping the spread of infection. However, you must ensure all of your staff are demonstrating best practice when it comes to this most basic of hygiene habits.

Close-up of Human Hand

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set out very specific guidelines for when and how care home staff should wash their hands, and they also offer free resources including instructional posters and reminders to stick above basins.

The WHO advises that care staff wash their hands in five circumstances:

  • After touching a resident
  • Before touching a resident
  • After touching a person’s surroundings
  • Before carrying out cleaning procedures
  • After any risk of body fluid exposure

Hands should always be washed with soap and water at these five key points, or at any other time if they are dirty.

We are able to sit with you and see if we can help save you money on all your housekeeping needs. Read this blog that we have written about how we can help!

Give us a call today on 01329 236821

Nutrition and Hydration Week 2020

Nutrition and Hydration Week

Nutrition and Hydration Week, running 16th – 22nd March has taken place every March since 2012. Its aim is to bring people together to educate them on the value of food and drink in maintaining health and wellbeing in health and social care.

Organisations worldwide and from all areas of health and social care take part each year and new organisations are welcome to join in the fun.

Assorted Sliced Fruits

With around 3 million people at risk of malnutrition in the UK and over 25 million in the G8 countries the need to raise awareness of the risks is becoming more and more important…

Preventing malnutrition and dehydration not only improves health and well-being but helps to reduce the burden on the health and social care services in treating and supporting those suffering from undernutrition and dehydration.

Fluid Pouring in Pint Glass

As our NHS is suffering from tighter budgets, Nutrition and Hydration Week is a great way to raise awareness in a cost-effective manner.

The week is all about learning new ways to improve nutrition and reduce dehydration as well as giving people a way of sharing ideas and to help others.

Who can get involved?

Nutrition and Hydration Week is open to absolutely anyone who wants to join the shared cause of helping people understand the importance of nutrition and hydration in health and social care.

It’s fun and free to join and all the resources on this website are available to download for no charge and can be personalised in whatever way you want them to be.

How to use the week

Nutrition and Hydration Week is an opportunity for you to promote your foodservice; promote special dietary needs – dietetic support, weight management, speech and language services (dysphagia), continence teams, occupational therapists; promote nutritional screening;

It can be used as an education and awareness tool for your senior management, other professionals, your team, your patients, residents, customers, and families.

Planning your Nutrition and Hydration Week

Three People Sitting Beside Table

Make your aim clear –

What is you want to achieve? Do you want to highlight what you already do? Do you want to raise awareness and educate people? Have a clear focus and run with it throughout the week.

Who is your audience?

Customers? Residents? Families? Your workforce? Tailor your plans and ideas to those people you intend to target meeting your audience’s needs.

What event are you doing?

Do you want to hold an event such as Afternoon Tea, or a poster competition? Maybe get your execs to do dinner service, or why not a come dine with me event have. The list is endless and you can really make it unique to you and your audience!

Publicise your event.

Use the posters available to you or create your own, use newsletters and social media to spread the word. Share your week by making sure you take photos. If you are on twitter make sure you use the use the hashtag #NHWeek and tag @NHWeek. Or you can email your photos to this email address and they may feature them in their newsletters.

Ideas for events and activities during N&H Week

Daily Themes

  • Monday –        Big Breakfast – the most important meal of the day
  • Tuesday –        Snack Tuesday – the value of snacks between meals and at suppertime
  • Wednesday –   Global Afternoon Tea
  • Thursday –      Thirsty Thursday
  • Friday –           Fruity Friday
  • Saturday –        Smoothie Saturday
  • Sunday –          Sundae  Sunday

Global Tea Party

The highlight of every Nutrition and Hydration Week is the Global Tea Party which takes place on Wednesday (18th March)

Beautiful Christmas Table Setting

On this day organisations are invited to hold their very own tea party.  Not only is this a good way to show commitment to nutritional care it is a great way to bring people together! This website has resources to help you plan – with menus, recipes, and invitations!

Hydration Stations

Create stations where residents can grab a drink, can have some fruit or simply grab some information on how to prevent dehydration. Below are some examples of fab hydration stations.

Image

Hydration Station at Fremantle Trust Chesham Leys Nursing Home!

Try something new – WaterADE

waterade powdered drink

A new and exciting powdered soft drink in 8 Fantastic flavours. Containing no added sugar, Gluten Free and added vitamins A, D, and E.
Each small packet makes 2 Litres of great tasting drink and the waste is minimal so great for the Planet too. If you would like to try WaterADE – email char@collectivepurchasing.co.uk who will be able to help you!

Using food Molds

These can revolutionise meal times for people with swallowing difficulties – bringing a sense of normality back again.

With a little bit of imagination, you can create anything that your residents desire; from curry to salmon. These molds will encourage residents to eat once again, and will help make them feel a part of the care home community; as the food on their plates will look like that of other residents’. Find out more here…  If you would like to purchase any molds, email – char@collectivepurchasing.co.uk who will be happy to help.


If you need or want any further information please use the links below!