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Facing up to funding complaints

Earlier this year, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman released a good practice guide in a bid to share common complaint themes and advise on the key principles of good practice in complaint handling (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, 2019). Since 2010, the Ombudsman has been the single independent source for redress against care providers, last year upholding …

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Oral healthcare in care homes

The Care Quality Commission has recently published a review of oral healthcare in care homes, which comes 3 years following the release of the NICE guidance ‘Oral health for adults in care homes’ (NICE, 2016).  Their findings suggest that the guidance has had little impact on the quality of oral healthcare in care homes, and that awareness of this guidance …

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Supporting the delivery of competent catheter care

In order to reflect developments in catheter care and to further clarify competencies, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Continence Care Forum has published updated catheter care guidance (RCN, 2019).  Continence and catheter care are essential elements of nursing care, in which the incorporation of best practice guidelines can improve quality outcomes for residents. The guide is written and designed …

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Reclassification of anticonvulsants: shifting the problem elsewhere?

Gabapentin and pregabalin are routinely and widely prescribed anticonvulsant medicines licenced to treat conditions such as epilepsy, the management of neuropathic pain and generalised anxiety disorders (ACMD, 2016). Statistics spanning several years have highlighted some worrying and harmful effects, with either gabapentin or pregabalin appearing on 64 death certificates in 2014 alone.  Some of these cases suggest that combining either …

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Music and dementia: Can music stimulate the brain?

The BBC and The Open University have co-produced a new two-part series, presented by Vicky McClure, to scientifically explore the extent and impact of music on people with dementia (BBC Media Centre, 2019). Over the past 10 years, several controlled studies have been carried out to investigate the effect of music interventions on people living with dementia. Positive results have …

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