Allergen hygiene should be scored in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and national guidance provided on how allergen responsibilities are split between environmental health and trading standards.

A consistent national approach is needed to help keep consumers with allergies safe, according to Helen Dodds, food and safety manager at Hyndburn Borough Council.

Dodds was part of the EH team that worked alongside the police investigation following the death of Megan Lee. The 15-year-old died following a severe allergic reaction to peanuts after eating a curry from the Royal Spice takeaway in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, in 2016.

Since Megan’s death, Hyndburn has worked with Lancashire County Council to increase knowledge around allergen hygiene and cross contamination – which was a particular issue in Megan's case – and implement new systems and resources.

Since April 2017 allergen hygiene has been covered during routine food hygiene interventions, for example. Hyndburn found allergen control issues at a third of interventions and so it developed a free, monthly workshop for caterers. So far this year 350 people have attended it.

But more needs to be done nationally, Dodds said. “I have been involved in a number of best practice days for EH/trading standards officers across the country and I hear time and time again that further clarity is required nationally in relation to allergen hygiene, enforcement and inclusion of allergen hygiene/management as part of the food hygiene rating scheme. There is currently a mixed picture across the country.”

Hyndburn is a two-tier authority with trading standards officers from Lancashire County Council.

Dodds added: “Historically Food Information Regulations were seen as a trading standards area of work. However, due to food hygiene intervention frequencies catering premises are more likely to see an EH officer than a trading standards officer. Also, catering premises are not deemed ‘high risk’ from a trading standards perspective.”

This led the councils to update their joint working arrangements and have new strategies in place to tackle allergen controls in catering premises.

Dodds added: “We have decision trees in place relating to which authority would do what in various circumstances. Trading standards still take a lead role in relation to sampling and labelling issues. Joint approaches are taken in respect of complaints.”

This strategy has been rolled out across Lancashire and Dodds says she is aware of “pockets of good work” in place such as Barnsley and Manchester. However, she argued: “I would like to see this work tied together nationally to provide a consistent approach across the country.”

Ref: Katie Coyne

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The government’s ‘Every Day Is Different’ campaign will help fill the 110,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector.

A new national recruitment campaign to help fill the 110,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector has launched.

The ‘Every Day Is Different’ campaign will show how rewarding social care careers can be – 96% of care professionals feel their work makes a difference to people’s lives. It will also highlight the opportunities for progression and professional development.

The campaign aims to:

  • attract new people with the right values to the sector and increase interest in adult social care as a vocation
  • highlight the range of job roles, with an initial focus on direct care roles such as care workers, where there is the most demand
  • equip the social care sector with the marketing tools to support the campaign and advice to recruit and retain the right people, to address a high turnover rate.

Over 1.45 million people work in the sector at the moment. It is predicted an additional 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to keep up with the rising numbers of people aged 65 and over.

Working in adult social care is about providing personal and practical support to help people live their lives.

People who work in the sector could be supporting the elderly or people with a physical disability, autism, dementia or a mental health condition. This could mean working in:

  • a care or nursing home as a care worker
  • your local community as an activities co-ordinator
  • a hospital as an occupational therapist
  • someone’s home as a personal assistant

The campaign has been developed in close collaboration with the adult social care sector and will run during February and March through social media, digital and local radio advertising, outdoor posters and events across England.

Advertising will feature real care workers and the people they support. The aim is to attract a diverse range of people, but the campaign will have a focus on people aged 20 to 39. Research suggests that this group is the most likely to consider a role in adult social care in the next 12 months.

Adult social care providers will be encouraged to engage with the campaign by providing case studies, advertising their vacancies on DWP Find a Job and promoting social media content using the hashtag #shareifyoucare. Materials will also be available to providers to equip them with information and assets to support the campaign locally.

Minister of State for Care Caroline Dinenage said:

Adult social care is too often seen as the ‘Cinderella service’ to our NHS. I’m determined to change this perception, starting with our hardworking social care workforce.

There is huge demand for more care professionals who work incredibly hard to look after the most vulnerable people in our society. We must spread the word that careers in adult social care can be rewarding, varied and worthwhile. Care is a vocation where you can transform people’s lives and every day is different to the next.

Our national recruitment campaign will support care providers to recruit thousands more talented people. If you think a career in care could be for you, I urge you to look up the opportunities in your local area and become part of a vital and growing profession.

Sharon Allen, CEO of Skills for Care said:

I have spent my whole career in adult social care, so I know first-hand the tremendous professional and personal satisfaction that is on offer to anyone who joins us through this campaign.

This campaign will help employers find people who have the right personal values that will make them great care workers and that means people in our communities will be supported by highly motivated and skilled workers.

Premier Training Services are delighted to announce that in partnership with Highfield e-learning, and as an additional service to the tutor led training sessions that we already provide through our Highfield approved accredited training Centre, we are now pleased to be able to provide Care certificate e-learning training, which is also fully compliant with the GDPR.

Developed by Highfield e-learning, it is one of the most comprehensive packages available anywhere for employees taking the Care Certificate, and is backed by Highfield’s expertise in developing the official Care Certificate Handbook.

The e-learning is designed to support the delivery of the knowledge elements of the Care Certificate, and can be fitted into existing workplace induction programmes. It covers all 15 standards included in the Care Certificate, with a 30-minute course (available individually) for each of the standards.
It’s also flexible so that each learner can complete the standards specific to their role, and is mapped to official health and social care qualifications so that prior learning can be recognised. It is fully customisable so that it meets the needs of individual organisations, and trackable so that learners’ progress can be monitored and verified.

Competitively priced and discounts may be available for multiple registrations.

For more information, please select the e-learning tab, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 01384 639400.

The new proposals will see first aid and CPR being added to the curriculum as part of the Department for Education's (DfE) plan to strengthen teaching of health, sex and relationships education in England from 2020.

Paramedic and leading author of the UK's No.1 range of first aid training books, Nigel Barraclough, had the following to say:

"It is great to see that this landmark decision is now becoming a reality and thousands of secondary school pupils across the country will be trained in valuable life-saving CPR and first aid. Norway has been teaching CPR in schools for many years and the increase in bystander CPR is the main reason that they have survival rates as high as 25% compared to the UK's 10%. By providing school children with the opportunity to learn these valuable skills, this is a significant step towards improving cardiac survival rates in the UK."

Premier Training Services would be happy to deliver this training within the school curriculum timetable and would be happy to provide further details in this respect.

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