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Here you can read updates and insights from Advantage Accreditation. Our posts feature a range of topics, relevant to industries from health and social care to construction, to hospitality. Browse our recent posts below, and see our Resources for more information.

Samaritans Awareness Day

Samaritans: A Lifeline for Those in Need

At Advantage Accreditation, we are proud to support Samaritans Awareness Day. This annual event takes place on 24th July (27/4) to remind the public that they can contact the Samaritans 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Samaritans exists to provide support to those suffering from a range of issues, including mental health challenges, loneliness, and crisis situations. Their free, confidential phone line takes a call for help every 10 seconds. Even more people are helped through online chat, email, in-person visits and letters.

They operate throughout the UK and Ireland. Throughout July, many Samaritans branches will host events to raise awareness about their work. You can find your nearest branch on their website.

You can support Samaritans Awareness Day by spreading the word with the hashtag #SamaritansAwarenessDay

If you need support, you can call Samaritans on 116 123 or get in touch online

As advocates for excellence in education, we are happy to support the fantastic work of the Samaritans. We also support the education of the public on mental health. Here are some facts from our training courses on mental health:

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem

1 in 10 children and young people will experience a mental health problem

It is likely that we all work with a person or people who have a mental health problem

There are more annual deaths as a result of suicide than road accidents

Just like physical illnesses, mental health disorders are not deliberate or controllable and people require treatment and support to get better

You could have a significant positive impact on a person experiencing a mental health problem by offering support

We offer a range of learning materials on mental health-related topics, including:

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Loss and Bereavement

Understanding Mental Health

These materials are available for our accredited training centres to deliver to their delegates. If you would like access to our high-quality learning materials and support, please get in touch about becoming a centre.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Beyond Pride Month

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Beyond Pride Month

As Pride Month draws to a close, we at Advantage Accreditation want to remind everyone of the importance of promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) all year round. Pride Month is a significant time for celebrating members of the LGBTQ+ community, but our commitment to creating an inclusive and respectful environment for all people must continue beyond June.

Under the Human Rights Act 1998, everyone has the right to live a life free from discrimination. Under the Equality Act 2010, individuals are protected against discrimination in the workplace and wider society based on the following nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. These terms are used in legislation, however, we recognise that language and identities are ever-evolving.

We offer comprehensive training materials on EDI, which are available to our accredited centres. These materials include:

– Detailed slides on terminology associated with LGBTQ+ groups
– Strategies for promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion in various settings
– Guidance on fostering a respectful environment for everyone

If you are interested in delivering accredited training on these topics, please get in touch with us. Our resources are designed to help learners understand and implement best practices for EDI.

As we move beyond Pride Month, let’s continue to show respect and kindness to all individuals, fostering equality in every aspect of our lives.

Keep the right people

Invest in Training to #KeepTheRightPeople

In the health and social care sector, retaining skilled and dedicated staff is a constant challenge. This May and June, Skills for Care has been promoting #KeepTheRightPeople. This initiative is focused on helping care providers keep the right people working for them.

At Advantage Accreditation, we recognise the importance of this initiative. We believe the best route to retaining a workforce is through high-quality training and development.

Retention is about more than just keeping staff on the payroll; it’s about building an effective, motivated, and committed team. High staff retention rates lead to better care, better staff well-being, and fewer recruitment expenses.

Data from across a range of sectors shows the impact of training on employee retention and organisational success:

Increase Retention Rates: Organisations with robust learning cultures see retention rates increase by 30-50%. Moreover, 94% of employees say they would stay longer at a company that invests in their learning and development (Shortlister) (Lorman).  

Enhanced Productivity and Growth: According to HR managers, 90% believe that training benefits employee productivity and development (Shortlister).

Employee Satisfaction: About 59% of millennials consider career development opportunities extremely important when applying for positions. Furthermore, 76% of employees feel that a company becomes more appealing if it offers additional skills training (Lorman). 

Closing Skills Gaps: Training is a primary method to address skills gaps within companies, with 51% of HR managers citing it as the best way to close these gaps. Reskilling and upskilling are common approaches, offered by 37% and 36% of organisations, respectively (Shortlister).

Leadership Development: Leadership training can increase learning capacity by 25% and performance by 20%. Organisations that develop leaders at all levels are 4.2 times more likely to outperform those that restrict development to management (MarketSplash). 

Employee Preferences: Many employees prefer on-the-job learning, with 68% expressing a desire to learn at work and 58% wanting to learn at their own pace (Whatfix). Personalised and relevant training is a key demand, with 91% of employees desiring it (Shortlister).

These elements are crucial for building a work environment where staff feel valued and supported, leading to better retention rates.

At Advantage Accreditation, we specialise in accrediting health and social care organisations to provide training for their staff. We believe that high-quality training is a cornerstone of staff retention. Our accreditation process ensures that your training programs meet the highest standards, equipping your staff with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their roles.

By investing in accredited training programs, you not only enhance your team’s capabilities but also demonstrate a commitment to their professional growth and well-being. This, in turn, fosters a positive workplace culture and strengthens your ability to retain top talent.

If you are interested in becoming an accredited training centre, please get in touch.

Every Second Counts

Advancing Equality in Resuscitation

When it comes to saving lives, every second counts. However, recent findings from Resuscitation Council UK show disparities in CPR training and access to defibrillators (Every Second Counts – Tackling Inequalities in Resuscitation Across the UK).

At Advantage Accreditation, we are dedicated to ensuring high-quality training in first aid and other areas. We support the Resus Council’s recommendations to improve survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA).

The report found only 38% of adults have received CPR training, with lower rates among ethnic minorities and residents of cardiac arrest hotspots. Language, culture and socio-economic factors contribute to these inequalities. The Resus Council’s recommendations are carefully tailored to address problems in specific sectors and locations. 

 

These recommendations include:

Collaboration between governments to fund a public awareness campaign during ‘Restart a Heart‘ month in October.

Ensuring all students receive CPR training before leaving school. 

Including CPR training in driving tests.

Continuing collection of OHCA data to inform targeted interventions.

Establishing the Resus Council’s ‘Save A Life Northern Ireland’ to boost cardiac arrest survival rates.

Providing additional defibrillators in locations with more OHCA incidences.

Registering defibrillators on The Circuit and keeping these accessible to the public.

Targeting CPR training for underrepresented groups, such as jobseekers, e.g. through online ‘Lifesaver’ training.

 

These recommendations emphasise the importance of collaboration between governments, educational institutions, and the private sector. By implementing these measures, we can work towards everyone having the knowledge and resources to save lives in critical moments.

If you are interested in providing accredited first aid training, please contact Advantage Accreditation

World Food Safety Day

World Food Safety Day: Prepare for the Unexpected

World Food Safety Day takes place on 7th June 2024. The annual event reminds us of the importance of food safety across the globe. 

 

Key Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO)

  • More than 10% of people become ill after eating unsafe food every year
  • Over 200 diseases are caused by unsafe food
  • 40% of foodborne diseases affect children under 5 years old
  • On average, 1.6 million people become ill from unsafe food every day

 

This year’s theme is “Prepare for the unexpected.” This is a call to action for all, from governments to consumers, to prevent ill health from unsafe food.

 

Governments develop and update food safety emergency response plans and report international emergencies. 

 

Food Operators maintain and update food safety management plans, adhering to good hygiene practices, and providing regular training for their staff. As an accreditation body, we believe the best way to prepare for the unexpected is through education. We offer learning materials for food safety courses, which are available to our accredited centres. These materials provide the knowledge and skills needed to maintain food safety standards.

 

Consumers can follow the WHO’s Five Keys to Safer Food

  1. Keep clean
  2. Separate raw and cooked
  3. Cook thoroughly
  4. Keep food at safe temperatures
  5. Use safe water and raw materials

 

Join the conversation on 7th June 2024 using the hashtag #WorldFoodSafetyDay 

 

If you are interested in delivering training on food safety, please contact us.

Martha’s Rule

Martha’s Rule for Urgent Health Reviews

The NHS introduced Martha’s Rule in April 2024. This policy is designed to empower patients, families and carers to seek urgent reviews of patient health concerns. Martha’s Rule is endorsed by the General Medical Council (GMC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), and Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The rule is named for Martha Mills, who died in 2021 at the age of 13. Her death followed failure to identify and properly treat sepsis that developed while she was in hospital after a bike accident. Martha’s mother campaigned for the NHS to create a formal strategy for requesting a second medical opinion.

Through Martha’s Rule, healthcare staff and patients, and the patients’ families and carers, will have access to a rapid review by a critical care outreach team. The goal is to respond quickly to concerns and prevent potentially avoidable harm. Healthcare providers will collect information about patients’ conditions daily to promote continuous monitoring and responsiveness. Hospitals will provide information about this process to patients and families so that they know how to raise concerns. Martha’s Rule aligns with the NMC’s Code and the GMC’s Good Medical Practice.

In care settings, carers must ensure those they support and their families feel heard. This may require training in a range of topics, including basic clinical observations, effective communication, mental health awareness and person-centred care/support. Care staff need to collaborate with healthcare professionals while advocating for those they support. The introduction of Martha’s Rule highlights the need for continuous learning and development for health and social care staff.

The NHS is currently in the First Phase of introducing Martha’s Rule. Acute provider sites with existing critical care outreach capabilities will participate. This phase will help develop a standardised approach to Martha’s Rule. Future phases are expected to begin in 2025/26. At this time, other NHS sites, including community and mental health hospitals, will incorporate Martha’s Rule.

At Advantage Accreditation, we are proud to accredit over 100 care organisations to deliver training for their staff. Our centres deliver a mix of original courses and our 150+ ready-to-use awards. If you are interested in becoming a centre with us, please get in touch.

The 25th Anniversary of NICE

The 25th Anniversary of NICE

At Advantage Accreditation, we specialise in accreditation for health and social care providers. We ensure our accredited centres and learning materials meet the standards of national bodies, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

NICE recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. 

Launched in April 1999, NICE was set up to evaluate the effectiveness of new interventions in the health and social care sector. This was in response to calls for a national, consistent, cost-effective approach to medicines and treatments. 

NICE guidance is based on independent advice and robust evidence. 

Read more about the 25-year story of NICE in their article.

 

NICE Today

We regularly update our learning materials and advice based on the latest NICE guidance. 

NICE recommends a new treatment for ulcerative colitis. We are investigating any relevant updates to our Stoma Care courses that may be necessary. 

A quick guide for improving oral health is available on the NICE website. This is relevant to our learning materials on Oral Health. 

 

If you have any questions about how we incorporate guidance from national bodies in our learning materials, please get in touch.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 runs from Monday 13th May to Sunday 19th May. This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is “Movement: Moving more for our mental health.” 

 

The Mental Health Foundation hosts the annual campaign. They are encouraging all people to find moments for movement in our daily lives. We are proud to support this cause and help spread their message.

 

Why Movement Matters

There is a real connection between physical movement and mental well-being. Research consistently demonstrates the benefits of moving to mental health. Every movement counts, whether it’s a gym session, a walk, a dance class, simple chair exercises, the list goes on and on. 

 

Individuals who exercise have fewer days of poor mental health compared to those who do not exercise (Chekroud et al, 2018). Physical activity and exercise are recommended as therapeutic approaches for depression and schizophrenia (Schuch & Vancampfort, 2021). According to the NHS, the wellbeing benefits of exercise include:

  • Improved sleep
  • More energy 
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Improved mood
  • Improved focus
  • Sense of achievement
  • Reduced anger or frustration
  • Improved motivation
  • Improved social skills
  • Healthy appetite
  • Reduced tension, stress and mental fatigue

 

Get Involved

Show your support for Mental Health Awareness Week 2024:

  • Share your #MomentsForMovement on social media
  • Organise a Wear It Green Day to raise awareness and show solidarity 
  • Donate to support the Mental Health Foundation 
  • Join the Strava Challenge to increase your movement and mindfulness 

 

Advantage Accreditation offers ready-to-use learning materials for our accredited training centres. These include the Level 1 Award in Mental Health, Dementia, and Learning Disability Awareness, and the Level 2 Award in Mental Health.

If you are interested in delivering these courses, please contact us.

Insights and Initiatives from Skills for Care

Insights and Initiatives from Skills for Care

In an ever-changing sector like Health and Social Care, it is important to stay up to date on the needs of care workers and those they support.

Here are some key updates from Skills for Care, published in recent months…

The New Care Workforce Pathway

Launched 10th January 2024, the pathway directs care workers in their career development. Read our guidance on the Care Workforce Pathway here. 

In collaboration with the Department of Health and Social Care, Skills for Care is moving on to the next phase of the new pathway. This phase focuses on the roles of Deputy Managers and Registered Managers. You can have your say on this, as managers are invited to share their thoughts and collaborate with Skills for Care.

Registered and Deputy Managers are invited to complete a 30-minute survey to share their own perspectives. The survey closes on 13th May, so make sure you have your say before then. Access the survey here.

If you have any additional insights or queries, you can contact [email protected]

Findings on Race Equality

Skills for Care recently published findings related to the Social Care Workforce Race Equality Standard (SC-WRES). This aims to bring about systemic change to combat race inequality in the social care workforce.

Key findings showed that care workers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds were more likely to enter the formal disciplinary process or fitness-to-practice process and experience harassment, bullying or abuse at work compared to white staff. 

In response, many local authorities have introduced evidence-based action plans with the aim to improve race equality for care workers. 

We strongly encourage any managers to contribute to the survey and make your voice heard. Let’s work together to make sure all care workers are represented and able to thrive in their careers.

The Soteria Group

Innovations in Emergency Response

At Advantage Accreditation, we aim to keep ourselves and our centres up to date on the latest knowledge and innovations in a range of topics.

Our Operations Manager, Becky Morpeth, recently attended a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) day hosted by The Soteria Group.

The Soteria Group is an accredited training centre through Advantage. They specialise in advanced pre-hospital care and search and rescue. The CPD day offered a range of insights and practical learning from The Soteria Group’s experts.

Becky shared her thoughts on the day, saying, “The Soteria Group are at the forefront of Search and Rescue in the UK and Internationally, as a fairly new company their CPD day was informative and diverse, it was clear the edge their faculty has from being clinically current. It was a great showcase of the expertise they currently offer, what the future holds for them as a company and the future of Pre-Hospital treatment in the Search and Rescue field.”

Remote Vehicle Incident Management
One session of the day covered parts of the group’s Remote Vehicle Incident Management training. This included information on rescue operations and the cutting-edge tools used in these emergencies.

Innovation and Technology
Another session discussed the use of the latest technology in search and rescue. This includes the use of drone technology in emergency response.

Advantage Accreditation is proud to work in partnership with The Soteria Group. We share a vision to deliver the best possible training to see the best possible outcomes in emergencies.

We look forward to sharing with you our updated first aid and fire safety learning materials. These will be made available to our accredited training centres who deliver the relevant courses.