22 February 2019

'Every day is different' - Government urge young people to work in care

  • The care sector is experiencing an ongoing carer shortage caused by three main factors: Brexit, care budgets and an ageing population. In response, the government is hoping to attract young people into care by targeting lower age groups online with a new recruitment campaign: “Every Day is Different”. 

    Last year’s report by Skills for Care on the state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England estimated that just under 340,000 social care employees leave their jobs each year.  

    "In adult social care, no two days are the same."

    While around 1.45 million people work in social care, an extra 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to look after rising numbers of older patients, ministers said.

    However, charities and care groups said that the “long overdue” recruitment drive would not be enough without fundamental changes to improve working conditions.

    Who is affected by recruitment issues in the UK? 

    It isn't just care workers that are affected. The turnover rate has increased from 27.82% to 30.7% which is more than twice the industry average of around 15.5%.

    There has also been a decline in other health and care staff numbers. Nurses and health visitors working in community health services have continued to fall, and by July 2018 had declined by 1.2%. While numbers of hospital-based doctors is on the rise, as of September 2018, GPs numbers fell by 1.6% which is the equivalent of 450 full-time doctors.

    What is the care worker campaign about?

    The recruitment drive will be running in February and March and will focus on the rewarding and diverse nature of care work.

    The Every Day is Different recruitment drive highlights the rewarding nature of care work, and how each day differs from the next. 

    It includes the personal stories of young people who have built careers in the sector.

    How will the campaign target young people for care worker roles?

    The campaign will cost The Department for Health and Social Care around £3m in advertising and will be delivered through social media and online platforms. It asks people of all ages to consider a caring role, but is mainly targeted at the under 40s and promotes care worker, therapist and activity co-ordinator roles.

    Research shows that younger people are the most likely to work within the care sector and it has been widely recognised that the care sector needs a long term plan to deal with the ageing population to cope with future demand.

    Skills for Care estimate that if the adult social care workforce continues to grow at the same rate to keep up with demand, there will be another 350,000 care jobs needed by 2030, an increase of 21%. 

    Why choose Newcross? 

    Healthcare professionals are choosing Newcross first thanks to our flexible approach to working, excellent pay rates and access to ‘same day pay’ via Flexi Pay.

    We don't believe in 'zero hours.' Our care team have minimum guaranteed hours in their contracts and the ability to choose those hours by allocating their availability on the HealthForceGo app.

    Our staff are also supported in their professional development. Every month we deliver between 150 and 200 courses which can be paid for via training credits accrued during worked shifts.

    Read why our staff love working for Newcross. 

    Are you a young carer working for Newcross? We'd love to hear your story.

    What made you go into the care sector and how has your experience been so far? Please leave a comment or email marketing@newcrossshealthcare.com with your answer. 








21 February 2019

Newcross apprentices tell all!

  • National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2019) will take place from the 4th to the 8th March 2019.

    This annual celebration of apprenticeships will bring the whole apprenticeship community together to celebrate the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.

    Something for everyone

    At Newcross, we have apprentices in roles across the whole organisation, from Operations, Finance and IT to HR, Central Recruitment, Marketing and Learning & Development. The courses range from ILM and Business to Customer Service, Marketing and more. Successful participants gain NVQs in areas which relate to their particular department, with the support of their team.

    We caught up with a few current and former Newcross apprentices about their experiences... 

    Apprentice Healthcare Advisor, Natasha Woods

    "I learned many valuable and transferable skills during my apprenticeship. When I first started at Newcross I really struggled with my confidence, but during my time here I have been given the support and guidance to be able to grow not just in confidence but also in many other aspects of my life.

    "It has been two years since I finished my apprenticeship and I have continued to expand my knowledge of the company, I have relocated to Bristol where the recruitment team are now based and have helped train new staff that have joined the department. I wouldn't have been able to have this experience without doing an apprenticeship. 

    "As an apprentice, I was given the opportunity to freely explore and discover a new career path with the help of an extensive support network across the business. Without the apprenticeship, I wouldn't have been able to find out what my dream job is and the best way of getting there."



    Management Account Analyst, Morgan Riley 

    "Studying while working on the apprenticeship programme was a valuable, worthwhile experience. 

    "I'm fortunate to have a very supportive, knowledgeable & friendly team here in the Finance Department. I had the opportunity to work within many different departments i.e.  Credit control, purchasing & month end accounts to ensure that my learning topics were transferred into my working environment.

    "Throughout my learning and time with Newcross I have always felt supported and have been able to achieve and work my way through the AAT learning platform, all the way to level 4, where I became AAT qualified and gained a professional qualification."



    Branch Liason Coordinator, Angela Feliz-Hurtado 

    'As an apprentice, I was given the opportunity to freely explore and discover a new career path with the help of an extensive support network across the business. Without the apprenticeship, I wouldn't have been able to find out what my dream job is and the best way of getting there.’


    Marketing Apprentice, Lara Carillo 

    "I decided to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to work in marketing and I thought this could be a great way of getting into this field. I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to gain experience, learn from my work colleagues and acquire some useful knowledge for my career.

    "I chose Newcross because it looked like a company where I could learn a lot. I thought the marketing department would be really busy since it is a national business, and the fact that it is a healthcare company that helps people was quite attractive as well.

    "I think that Newcross is a company with a lot of opportunities, I would love to stay and progress with my apprenticeship. The marketing team has received me with open arms and the rest of the colleagues from other departments have been really friendly and welcoming."



    Why should you join a Newcross apprenticeship programme? 


20 February 2019

"Bring back the nursing bursary!"

  • In the week Janet Davies, RCN Chief Executive, coined the removal of the nursing bursary a ‘disaster’, it was reported that nursing applications have decreased by 13,000 since 2016, the last year students received the bursary. 

    In response, on Friday 15th February, we reached out to our Facebook followers and asked: ‘What do you think would encourage more people into the profession?’ 

    The post was inundated with responses.

    Here is what our Facebook followers had to say about the student bursaries being forfeited...

    Kate Hayward: “The bursary being returned. Being a student nurse is not the same as being an 'ordinary' student and that bursary is often the only way student nurses manage financially.”

    Sophie Martin: “I think it’s shocking they got rid of the bursary. I graduate this year and if it wasn’t for the bursary I definitely would not have managed financially with a two-year-old who I had mid-way into the course. this was also on top of working 18hrs a week even when on placement. So placement weeks your talking 50hr weeks ... It’s not easy in the slightest.”

    Lyndzey Tomlin: “Allowing NVQ’s to count towards UCAS would be a mighty fine start! Most people wanting to go into nursing are the people working in healthcare already.”

    Esther Portlock: “Bring back the bursary. Student nurses must clock up hours of unpaid shifts.” 

    Melissa Louise: “I study in Wales so I receive the bursary. I still have to work as well so I can’t imagine how people manage without. Don’t understand why they would remove it when students have to work 2300 hours over three years for free.”

    Dot Griffiths: “The only way my daughter got her nursing degree was because I worked and paid her rent and her car that facilitated her being able to do her 2300 free hours for the NHS.”

    Hannah Campbell: “Bring back the bursary!”

    Sarah Hitchcox: “Student nurses should have the bursary back and where have all the nursing colleges and accommodation gone?”

    Brian Webster: “Better pay once qualified.”

    Louise Helyer-Jackson: “The bursary... Enough said.”

    Tracey Sleeman: “Go back to paying the bursary!”

    Newcross Healthcare Assistant, Ricky Baker, reached out and told us how he and his peers are feeling the pressure as a result of losing the bursary. 

    “I love being a student nurse, I have met so many amazing people working within the NHS, all passionate about what they do. However, with the axe of the NHS Bursary, student nurses now face many barriers that affect the overall learning experience. 

    “To meet the progression outcomes throughout our training, student nurses are frequently required to demonstrate progress towards working independently. As such, we regularly do tasks for many of the nurses on the ward such as observations, when deemed competent by our mentor to carry out these tasks independently. Whilst carrying out such tasks is a great learning opportunity, helping to develop our skills and understanding, it could be interpreted by many to be ‘free labour’. 

    “The NMC requires student nurses to have clinical experience in the form of placements for 37.5 hours a week. In addition to this, many student nurses, like myself work part time to be able to pay the costs of travel to and from placement, not forgetting the extortionate parking charges when we get there. This leaves little money left from our part-time jobs to pay for housing, bills, let alone food on the table. 

    “There is much focus within the NHS around health promotion, but with being on placement, working part-time and evidencing the work we do around this, the health and wellbeing of student nurses is becoming increasingly compromised. Therefore, health promotion for student nurses needs to be addressed as a matter of priority, recognising the stresses of workload and financial worries student nurses now currently face, before it has a negative impact on our mental health.”

    Newcross Healthcare is committed to supporting all student nurses in its employment. All healthcare staff choose their own shifts by allocating their availability via the HealthForceGo® app.  

    If you are a student looking to 'earn while you learn', and feel as though you would benefit from 'same day pay', choosing your own shifts and having access to training, feel free to apply today. 

    Thank you to everyone who responded in this week's Facebook #NXdebate.  

08 February 2019

50% of UK adults unaware of dementia risk factors - are you?

  • According to Alzheimer's Research UK, fifty per cent of UK adults are unable to identify key risk factors for dementia. The charity surveyed 2,361 people and found that only 1% were able to name the seven known risk or protective factors for dementia. 

    The six risk factors are:

    1.) Excessive drinking 

    2.) Genetics 

    3.) Smoking 

    4.) High blood pressure 

    5.) Depression 

    6.) Diabetes 

    Physical exercise is a protective factor against the disease.

    Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, said that despite growing dementia awareness, there is still work to be done in terms of educating the wider community.

    "It is a sad truth that more people are affected by dementia than ever before and half of us now know someone with the condition. Yet despite growing dementia awareness, we must work harder to improve understanding of the diseases that cause it."

    Half of the people (52%) who took part in the Dementia Attitudes Monitor know someone who has been diagnosed as having a form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, only half recognised that dementia is a cause of death, and they found that a fifth incorrectly believe it is an inevitable part of getting older. 

    Dementia is an umbrella term for a set of symptoms that affect cognitive function, such as memory loss, confusion and personality change, which gradually worsen over time.

    Although a third of cases of dementia are thought to be influenced by factors within our control, only 34% of people surveyed believe it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia, compared with 77% for heart disease and 81% for diabetes.

    For more dementia-related content, click here. 


    Dementia-Attitudes Monitor 


07 February 2019

Nursing degree applications drop 30% since bursary removed

  • Figures released by UCAS show the number of people applying to study nursing in England has fallen by more than 13,000 since 2016, the last year students received the bursary. 

    Applications to study nursing in England have fallen for the second year running, dropping by a third since the Government removed bursaries requiring nurses and midwives to pay £9,000 a year in fees.

    With 40,000 nursing vacancies in England, the Royal College of Nursing has said the fall in student numbers further jeopardises the future supply of nurses and puts safe patient care at risk. 

    RCN Acting Chief Executive Dame Donna Kinnair said: “These figures show the scale of the workforce challenge ahead of us, and failure to act now risks patient care for a generation. The Long Term Plan deserves to succeed, but it cannot do so without the nurses to deliver it.

    With applicant numbers showing no sign of recovering since the removal of student funding, health care services will ultimately have even fewer nurses to treat us in our hospitals, homes, schools and clinics.” 

    Today’s figures show we all need to work together to address the workforce crisis, not only through investment in nurse education in England but through a workforce strategy that reflects the demands of the population in each country. This needs to be underpinned by legislation that guarantees the right number of nurses and nursing support staff to provide safe and effective care.

    The RCN’s Fund Our Future campaign calls on the Government to invest at least £1bn per year in nursing higher education to help stop the decline in student nurse numbers and recruit the nursing staff needed to keep patients safe.

    Newcross CEO Stephen Pattrick spoke of his concern surrounding declining university applications in an article published in 2017, in which he asserted:

    "I flagged our concerns about the likely impact of Department of Health reforms in funding for nursing degrees. Withdrawing bursaries for student nurses would, I explained, probably result in fewer people applying for nursing degree courses.

    "The Department of Health refuted this and reiterated their official view that applications could actually increase. The evidence we now have suggests that they were wrong. And none of us in the healthcare sector are surprised."

    If you're studying nursing and are looking to acquire hands-on experience during your studies, we are hiring student nurses as healthcare assistants. Apply now! 

07 February 2019

How to promote dignity in care settings

  • In the healthcare sector, the word 'dignity' is one that regularly appears in job adverts, books and legislation, but what do we mean by the word 'dignity'? Dignity in care means the kind of care, in any setting, which supports and promotes, and does not undermine, a person's self- respect. 

    There are several things nurses, carers and other health professionals can do to uphold dignity - and they're usually small and seemingly inconsequential things. However, to a person who has resigned the majority of their independence to a stranger, they are everything. 

    There are 8 factors related to dignity identified by the Social Care Institute for Excellence:

    • Choice and control

    Think of the choices you make as you get ready in the morning for work: what exact time you'd like to wake up, what you'll wear, when you'll leave the house. For most of us, dressing ourselves is a very personal and private activity.  Personal taste and style have a huge part to play in our identities as individuals. Allowing someone in your care to choose their own clothes is one way of promoting dignity. 

    • Communication

    Speaking to people respectfully and listening to what they have to say; ensuring clear dialogue between workers and services.

    Ensure you're addressing the person in your care by their preferred name. This may not be their full name and might be a nickname, for example.

    • Eating

    Is food easy to eat? Does it look appealing? Does the person eating have the right amount of privacy they need? These are the questions you need to answer when a service user is eating. Everyone has a different relationship with food and this needs to be taken into account. 

    • Pain management

    Pain levels vary from person-to-person. Studies indicate that older people are more likely to experience pain but less likely to complain or request medication.  Restlessness, social isolation, and avoidance are just a few examples of symptoms associated with pain. 

    • Personal hygiene

    A person’s appearance is integral to their self-respect and older people need to receive appropriate levels of support to maintain the standards they are used to. 

    Personal hygiene includes: 

    • Washing, bathing, showering

    • Shaving

    • Oral hygiene and denture care

    • Haircare

    • Body and facial hair removal

    • Nail care, including chiropody and podiatry

    • Using the toilet and continence needs

    • Dressing and undressing

    • Laundry

    • Practical assistance

    - Having a clean home is particularly important to older women in terms of maintaining their dignity and self-respect (Godfrey et al., 2000).

    - A little bit of help can make a big difference. This includes low-level, flexible services such as help with cleaning, ironing, garden maintenance, foot care and assistance with caring for pets (JRF, 2005).

    - People receiving practical help such as ‘small housing repairs, gardening, limited assistive technology or shopping’ report significant improvements in quality of life (Henwood and Hudson, 2008).

    • Privacy

    In older age, slowing down and deteriorating health are two factors that some elderly people find difficult to come to terms with.  If a person has a reasonable desire for privacy, there is no need to ignore that person's wishes without a compelling reason to do so.

    • Social inclusion

    Social inclusion is intertwined with quality of life and independence. Opportunities to participate, and make a positive contribution to community and society, are integral to autonomy and therefore dignity. Talking to and encouraging service users to socialise 

    Are you a nurse or a carer? How do you promote dignity in care? 

     Leave a comment or tweet us. 


    Social Care Insitute for Excellence 



05 February 2019

Love and trust in the care profession

  • Love and trust are two cornerstones of the care industry. Trust is integral to the work we do. Without trust, we couldn't positively impact the lives of thousands of people all over the UK each year.  

    Complex Care Manager, Becci Buck and Team Leader, Rowena Mann explain to us how love and trust play a part in both their careers with Newcross.

    Why do clients trust us?

    Becci: "In Complex, they know our staff aren't brand new to care. We also have the luxury of having a nurse. When someone has high-end clinical needs we are able to provide staff who are confident with what they're doing with the right experience." 

    Rowena: "I would say something my clients really like is that we're a 24-hour company. There are Central Support and Clinical Governance which means that during out-of-hours they don't have to rely solely on the branch, there is extra help should they need it."

    What do we do that helps us to build and maintain positive client relationships?

    Rowena: "Visits. Going to see them face to face. Ensuring their feedback is recognised and then dealt with properly.  If they want the same staff member back, we respect that and if they don't then you deal with it and let them know the outcome of that conversation instead of brushing it off. You do something about it."

    Becci: "Honesty for me is a big one. Like Ro says, it's respecting those decisions. For us, if we can't fully staff a package of care, I am very honest and I tell them upfront. We tell them what it is that we can do, and then get it done. They love that."

    Rowena: "Take our USPs - the ten-minute updates - the fact they're allowed to give feedback n on the new app. They are really involved in giving feedback."

    Why do you love working for Newcross? 

    Becci: "It's very team orientated. For me personally, you know you have someone you can go to for support. It's the only company I have ever worked for where there's active engagement from senior management and directors. I've never had that in a company before."

    Rowena: "For me, it's networking between each branch and department. Take Bristol, we have Marketing, Recruitment,  Central Support and Clinical Governance. I also speak to people in Scotland and Head Office. It's like talking to a friend in each department - even if you haven't met them yet.  Everyone has that same sense of team spirit."

    What brings people to work in care?

    Becci: "They have to be a caring person! They care. It's not a job. As corny as it is, you have to be a caring person to succeed. Anyone can sit on a supermarket checkout. Not everyone can care."

    Rowena: I think with the way the world is going, flexibility is massive. Working in care allows people to work and enjoy their personal life. 

    What do you love about your own role?

    Becci: "I love managing people - and enabling people to live in their own home on the complex side. Whereas ten years ago they would have had to live in a hospital or nursing home for the rest of their lives."

    Rowena: "For me, it's being able to meet so many people, listening to their different stories and then making what we do work for them. I also love receiving feedback for our staff and be able to give it to them as it makes it worthwhile for them."

    Thanks to Becci and Rowena for talking to us. 

    Do you work for Newcross? How do love and trust affect your roles? Let us know in the comments section! 

05 February 2019

The importance of flexibility in care

  • Today, the BBC reported that more than 600 people a day leave their jobs because of the pressure that being an unpaid carer brings.

    The demand that comes with looking after an elderly, ill or disabled relative has made almost half a million people quit their jobs in the UK in the past two years. 

    "I love working for Newcross, because number one, it gives me the flexibility to work around my family life and gives me the perfect work/life balance."

    Jessica Davies, HCA


    An estimate has indicated that almost five million people are trying to balance looking after relatives with working, up from about three million in 2011.

    This increase is thanks to an ageing population, but the report says not enough employers are offering flexibility over working hours or taking leave. 

    Carers UK is calling for employment rights to formally recognise the needs of carers.

    At Newcross Healthcare, we understand the scale of responsibility that comes with being a carer - whether you're caring in a paid or unpaid capacity. We stand with Carers UK and encourage employers to allow unpaid carers scope to make mutually beneficial working arrangements.

    Newcross nurses and carers enjoy having control over when and where they work. Healthcare staff build their own rotas, working full or part time hours to suit their schedules, and benefit from the security of a permanent job with guaranteed minimum hours and a local line manager. 

    If you're a nurse or carer looking for flexible work, browse current vacancies, here. 

04 February 2019

Children's Mental Health Week: Should influencer ads for 'diet aids' be banned on social media?

  • After over-indulging during the festive period, you might have decided to adopt healthier habits in the new year - and you aren't alone. An estimated 26 million people embarked on a health kick trying to lose weight in January 2019. 

    If you're an avid social media user, you might have noticed an influx in celebrities and 'Instagram influencers' endorsing various weight loss products. From 'slim soups' and 'appetite suppressing lollipops', to 'tummy teas', the platform is rife with reality stars and models claiming to have reaped the benefits of what are in fact largely laxative-inducing food and drink items. 

    Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, argues these products have a damaging effect on the physical and mental health of young people who may be accessing these adverts on social media website on their mobile phones. 

    He is also urging influential celebrities to act "responsibly".

    Instagram's own guidelines state that users need to be at least 13 years old before creating an account, prompting the question: Is this too young an age to be exposed to content promoting quick-fix weight loss methods? 

    Prof Powis said: "If a product sounds like it is too good to be true, then it probably is.

    "The risks of quick-fix weight loss outweigh the benefits, and advertising these products without a health warning is damaging.

    "Highly influential celebrities are letting down the very people who look up to them, by peddling products which are at best ineffective and at worst harmful.

    "Social media companies have a duty to stamp out the practice of individuals and companies using their platform to target young people with products known to risk ill health," he said.

    Research from the National Citizens Service shows that at least one in four young people say that their appearance was the most important thing to them, with over half of girls feeling the pressure to be thinner, and a third of boys thinking they should be more muscular.

    "Taking any substance which impacts the body, without proper medical advice and support, is a risk," said Prof Powis.

    "Cosmetic treatments and get-thin-quick products which are readily and increasingly available and promoted can be harmful if not used correctly."

    What do you think? Should adverts for 'diet aids' be banned on social media? Let us know in the comments section. 

04 February 2019

World Cancer Day: 7 early warning signs

  • World Cancer Day is an international day marked on 4th February to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control.

    Spotting cancer at an early stage saves lives. Understanding what's normal for your body means you're more likely to notice any unusual changes.

    While the following symptoms are associated with several health issues and might not present any reason for concern, they are also seven early cancer warning signs you should keep an eye out for if they persist...

    1.) Changes in bowel or bladder habits

    A bowel disease may cause the following symptoms:

    • Blood in the stool

    • Mucous or purulent secretions

    • Spontaneous defecation

    2.) A sore that does not heal

    Common signs of basal cell cancers are a sore, lump, or patch of skin that itches, bleeds or develops a scab and that takes a few weeks to heal.

    3.) Unusual bleeding or discharge

    Unusual bleeding can happen in early or advanced cancer. Coughing up blood may be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in the stool could be a sign of colon or rectal cancer. Cancer of the cervix or the endometrium can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding.

    4.) Thickening or lump in the breast or any other part of the body

    Not all lumps indicate cancer, but if you have a lump and you're not sure about it, play it safe and get it checked out by your GP.

    5.) Indigestion or difficulty swallowing

    Indigestion can sometimes be a symptom of pancreatic cancer. Indigestion causes a painful, burning feeling in your chest, and can leave a bitter, unpleasant taste in your mouth.

    6.) Obvious change in a wart or mole

    Skin cancer is one of the easiest cancers to detect early, due to the presence of visible skin changes. If you discover a wart, mole, freckle or skin tag that seems to be changing colour, shape or size, speak to a professional right away.

    7.) Persistent nagging cough or hoarseness

    A long-lasting soreness of the throat may be a symptom of laryngeal cancer which is also associated with the following:

    • Difficulty breathing and swallowing

    • A feeling of a lump in the throat appears with the growth of the neoplasm

    • Hoarseness of speech proceeding.

    Health experts have suggested that more than 40% of cancer cases could be prevented by undertaking certain lifestyle changes such as not smoking, keeping a healthy body weight, cutting back on alcohol, eating a balanced diet, keeping active, avoiding certain infections (like HPV), avoidance of radiation and staying safe in the sun.

    Share this article with the hashtags #SpreadCancerAwareness and #WorldCancerDay.




    Cancer Research