Sea Hero Quest Update

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the principle Charity in the UK for people affected by sight loss at the end of last week created a new resource site for professionals that looks at Dementia and Sight loss.   The site includes a set of ten top tip cards which cover some handy hints for supporting people living with dementia and sight loss amongst a host of other resources. You can find them at Dementia and Sight Loss

This week it was also reported that Sea Hero Quest, a mobile phone game played by 2.4 million people has become the largest dementia study in history, generating the equivalent of 9,400 years of lab-based research!

For more about this story go to:

If you want to join the study you can download the app at  Sea Hero Quest

For the early results watch:


A Chance to Say Well Done and Thanks


First of all, congratulations to Geraldine Hutton one of my current Master’s students on the MSc in Gerontology and Later Life Studies programme and her team of Mental Health Practice development nurses from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde ; who were  successful in obtaining an award at the Mental Health Nursing Forum awards last week.

Following completion of the NES Dementia Specialist Improvement Leaders programme, a leadership and development programme that supports Commitment 11 of Scotland’s dementia strategy, Geraldine and her team set out a strategic approach to carrying out improvement projects within specialist dementia wards. The work was carried out with ward staff supported by the clinical governance effectiveness team, to increase psychological interventions offered to patients, reduce the use of as required medications  and  improve the physical health care planning done with patients.

It was also a great honour for me to be invited along to the Thistle Healthcare Ltd staff awards ceremony at the Macdonald Crutherland Hotel on the 4th. of November. It was really nice to be asked to present some of the awards on the day and great to meet some inspirational staff, residents and carers from the organisation. Most of the winners are in the picture below.


There are also one or two initiatives and individuals from within the company who have been nominated for  Scottish Care, National Care Home Awards who may know by now how they got on. Hope you came home with an armful of prizes! Let me know Margaret Callaghan!

Hospital Admissions in England Reach a Record High


This week it has been reported by NHS Digital, the national provider of information, data and IT systems for commissioners, analysts and clinicians in health and social care in England, that hospital admissions in England rose to record levels last year, with 16.2 million admissions during 2015-16 – up from 12.7 million ten years ago. They have also stated that, while the total number of admissions has increased by 56 per cent since 2005-06 (6.8 million to 10.6 million), the average length of a hospital admission has reduced from 6.6 days in 2005-06 to 4.9 days in 2015-16.

At the same time the number of hospital beds has been reducing at a steady downward rate so that in England there are now 51% less beds overall than there was in 1987-88. See:

These figures aare not a surprise for anyone who has an interest in working with older people in acute hospital care, but it does show clearly the pressure that exists on hospitals and the real need to convince people that going to hospital is not always the most effective way to get healthcare. They also show that investment in better health and social care in the community is now becoming essential, as the only other solutiomn is to invest in building more hospitals and creating more beds and that seems highly unlikely!

Note this is just as relevant in all parts of the UK, its just that its not often that you can get a hold of these figures as easily as I have been able to this month.

The other thing to bear in mind when you are looking at these figures is that ‘Winter is Coming’ and there is an interesting article on the BBC Health News Pages on that very topic at: 

Housing, Care Standards and Wisdom


Age UK released another report last week on the reality of life for people over 65 at the bottom of the private rented sector. Currently, households aged over 65 account for fewer than one in ten of all those living in the private rented sector but it is becoming increasingly common and is a trend that looks set to rise. The report which is called   ‘Ageing in squalor and distress’, a title which sort of sells the conclusions rather early can be found here Ageing in Squalor Report

Last week I blogged about a consultation exercise that is looking at the future of nursing. This week I am going to let you know about another consultation exercise that you should perhaps try and get along to if you work in the Scottish Care Home sector. This consultation is being conducted by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate   who are delivering a series of consultation roadshows on the new National Health and Social Care Standards. These events are an opportunity for you to get involved in the public consultation on the National Health and Social Care Standards. Details about the events which commence next week can be found at:

Finally something a bit more uplifting: