How First Response Training is responding to the latest vaccination requirements

National workplace training provider, First Response Training (FRT), has taken decisive steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its staff, clients, learners and they people they support.

The leading training provider, which works with hundreds of local and national health and social care providers on a regular basis, has confirmed that all of its trainers are double vaccinated.

FRT have verified that all of their trainers have received two doses of an approved Covid-19 vaccine and have stated that it is their policy, for the foreseeable future, not to recruit or deploy any trainers that remain unvaccinated.

In addition to this, all trainers carry out Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) on a twice-weekly basis and the results are recorded centrally. Trainers can only deliver courses if they have evidence of a negative test result.

Providing Covid-19 secure training

The training provider continued to provide a wide range of workplace training throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, adopting stringent safety procedures to control the risk of transmission. Their Covid-19 Secure Pledge encompassed a number of measures in line with government guidelines, recommendations and changing lockdown rules. This included the development and regular updating of a Covid-19 risk assessment addressing their training activities and additional secure measures for practical training.

FRT also supported many of their clients to move their staff training programmes across to the virtual learning environment, delivering over 2,000 live, remote webinars as well as providing bespoke e-learning courses throughout the pandemic.

The company was also able to access priority vaccination for their trainers due to their role in delivering essential training to frontline workers within settings which housed or supported vulnerable people.

Vaccination requirements for care home workers

Current government guidelines state that all care home workers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by 11th November 2021 in order to continue to carry out work within a residential care setting, although certain exemptions do apply. Many care services have also confirmed that they will not be allowing anyone who has not been vaccinated to enter their setting.

As a major provider of training to the adult social care sector, with Skills for Care Endorsed Learning Provider status, FRT takes its position on this matter very seriously.

Amy Ridge, Managing Director at FRT, explained: “We deliver training for some of the providers and frontline workers who were hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. They require certain assurances from us, and we are committed to protecting their safety and to enabling them to continue to provide safe, high-quality care through the provision of essential training.

“We must therefore confirm, after careful consideration, that we have made the decision to only utilise trainers who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Our entire training team is double vaccinated, and we will not be using any trainers who remain unvaccinated.

“We understand that taking up the offer of vaccination is a personal choice, and can be a sensitive issue, but we have to take steps to protect the health, safety and welfare of our staff, our clients, our learners and the people they support – many of whom are among the most vulnerable members of society.”

You can view and download First Response Training’s poster regarding their policy on vaccination for trainers here.

New campaign to improve public mental health

The government has launched a new campaign to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the general public.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), which was only officially launched on 1st October 2021, has initiated its first campaign as part of the government’s mission to tackle health problems at an earlier stage.

The Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign is designed to empower people to support their own mental health through practical tips and expert advice.

Half of adults struggling with mental wellbeing

It comes as new research commissioned by OHID, which will be responsible for tackling health inequalities across the nation, found that nearly half (49%) of adults in England said that the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

The campaign aims to tackle this by urging people to find out “what works for me” in terms of reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, boosting mood, sleeping better and feeling in greater control of their lives.

The OHID study also revealed that just over a third of adults in England (34% or 15.1 million people) said they did not know what they could do to improve their own mental wellbeing.

Researchers also found that younger adults aged 18-34 were the most significantly affected group, with 57% within this age group saying that the pandemic had negatively affected their mental health and 44% admitting that they did not know what to do to improve it.

The Every Mind Matters platform enables people to answer 5 questions in exchange for a tailored ‘Mind Plan’ which will provide them with personalised tips.

Expert mental health advice

Minister for Care and Mental Health, Gillian Keegan, said the general public had demonstrated “great resilience” throughout the last 18 months but that the pandemic had “served as a stark reminder that we all need to look after ourselves not only physically, but mentally.”

She added:

“There are simple steps we can all be taking to improve our mental wellbeing and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. For anyone who is unsure what they can do, I urge you to visit Every Mind Matters and take advantage of the expert advice and practical tips available to you.”

Meanwhile, the NHS National Director for Mental Health, Claire Murdoch, assured people: “[…] The NHS is here for you, so if you’re struggling with anxiety and depression our rapidly expanding talking therapy services are available, while anyone who needs urgent help can access our 24/7 NHS crisis lines – available to people of all ages.

“I would encourage everyone to look after their mental health, and by answering 5 simple questions, get a tailored ‘mind plan’ which will give you tips to help boost your mood, sleep better and deal with stress and anxiety.”

Support for mental health campaign

The new campaign is supported by a coalition of mental health charities, including CALM, The Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Innovations and a range of commercial, third sector, NHS and local authority partners, including Mental Health First Aid England.

It has also received celebrity backing. Actor, writer and mental health advocate Stephen Fry is voicing a new television advert that highlights ‘what works for me’ and provides details of simple steps people can take to support their mental health, such as being active, talking about their worries or taking up a hobby.

He spoke in support of the campaign, saying:

“It’s fair to say that the last 18 months have presented us all with uniquely different and challenging obstacles from a mental health perspective. However, just like keeping in physical shape, it is important to find activities you enjoy to keep your mind healthy.

“I’ve found food preparation and cooking has helped me relax over the past year. It’s all about finding what works best for you to help deal with the everyday stresses and strains of life – it could be exercise, baking a cake or getting stuck in with gardening – the list is endless.

“If you are struggling and need advice then check out the Every Mind Matters website for tips and guidance to get you started today.”

Mental health training and support

Mental health learning and development solutions can also play a significant role in helping managers, supervisors and frontline workers to recognise mental health risks and proactively support positive mental health and wellbeing across the UK workforce.

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading national training provider delivering courses in subjects such as health and safety, first aid, fire safety, manual handling, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care, safeguarding and more.

An accredited Mindful Employer themselves, FRT’s specialist mental health training courses include Understanding Mental HealthMental Health Awareness in the WorkplaceManaging Stress in the WorkplaceAnxiety and Phobias AwarenessSelf-Harm Awareness and Suicide Awareness.

They can also provide qualified, approved trainers to deliver accredited Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training courses, including the Adult, Youth and Lite versions.

A trainer from FRT says:

“It’s vitally important that we prioritise our mental health and wellbeing in the same way that we do our physical health.

“There are simple steps we can all take to proactively support and promote positive mental wellbeing and it’s important that people are aware of these and that we are focusing on preventative strategies as well as treatment and recovery for those that need it. Our mental health courses look at ways of supporting mental health, including Mind’s five ways to wellbeing, and explore techniques to build emotional resilience.

“Businesses and organisations across the UK can experience immense benefits if they provide relevant mental health training for their staff.”

We have a number of free infographics available to download which provide simple tips for helping to manage your mental health and wellbeing. These include:

You can also download our free Guide to Mental Health Training from our website.

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

What we need to know about Covid-19 transmission as the UK unlocks

Now that the majority of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been removed in England, and with other UK nations also easing controls, the PROTECT COVID-19 National Core Study offers some key points to keep in mind.

The PROTECT COVID-19 National Core Study on transmission and environment is a UK-wide research programme designed to improve our understanding of how Covid-19 is transmitted from person-to-person.

The study is examining how transmission of the virus varies in different settings and environments in order to enable more effective measures to be introduced to prevent transmission, with the aim of saving lives and helping us move back to a ‘normal’ life.

Led by the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Andrew Curran, the study involves more than 70 researchers from 16 institutions across the UK.

It commenced in October 2020 as part of the Covid-19 National Core Studies programme, which was established by the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. Funded by the treasury, it is due to run until March 2022.

The key points we all need to remember

Now, a one-page briefing document has been published to outline the key points we all need to know about transmission of virus, based on evidence from the study.

It is hoped that this knowledge can be utilised by policymakers, businesses and individuals to help them manage the associated risks from coronavirus and reduce transmission.

The document outlines three key things to remember about Covid-19 virus transmission:

  1. Transmission is a continuous risk. Covid-19 transmission can occur in any of the environments that we populate and pass through during the day, including the workplace. Outbreak investigations conducted as part of the PROTECT study have shown that effective risk management should focus on small spaces such as canteens, changing areas and meeting rooms as well as the spaces that people inhabit for the majority of their working day, such as office spaces or factory floors. Work-associated transmission can also occur when commuting or socialising with colleagues.
  2. There are three main routes of transmission and all must be addressed for effective risk management. This means that, in every setting and during every activity, measures should be in place to reduce transmission via surfaces, directly from person-to-person via inhaled particles, and through the air in a shared room. Lab-based experiments, computer modelling and human volunteer studies have demonstrated that face coverings can be effective in reducing all three routes of transmission, as long as they are worn correctly and by the majority of people. Perspex screens can also be effective in blocking larger particles at close range but should not be relied upon to prevent airborne transmission. In fact, airborne transmission is the most difficult to control and improving ventilation is key to this.
  3. Control measures are more effective if introduced pre-emptively. Agent-based modelling has demonstrated that measures can limit transmission when introduced early but are much less effective if an outbreak is already underway. This means that organisations should implement good baseline measures from the start if they are to effectively manage transmission risks in the workplace. Such measures include social distancing, ventilation, testing and isolation. The PROTECT study is working to develop evidence on the most effective combination of measures and the optimum time of intervention within different environments and situations.

The one-page briefing document can be viewed and downloaded online.

Further training and support

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.

sanitisation remains crucialTheir diverse portfolio includes training awards in Infection Control, Lone Working, Risk Assessment, Managing and Supervising SafetyManaging Stress in the Workplace and Understanding Mental Health, among many others.

They also offer a portfolio of e-learning training courses, including COVID-19 Infection prevention, identification and control.

A trainer from FRT explains:

“We’re at a really key point in the pandemic and it is important to remember that, while restrictions have mainly been removed, Covid-19 is still present in society and still poses a risk. Responsible businesses will maintain control measures to keep workers, clients and the general public safe and these three key points will help them determine how to do this most effectively.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

IOSH urges caution as people return to workplaces

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has urged caution over the gradual return of staff to workplaces.

Speaking after the government confirmed that England would move to the final stage of its gradual easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures, IOSH’s Head of Advice and Practice, Duncan Spencer, warned: “Covid-19 still poses a significant threat, so we urge businesses to ensure they continue to do all they can to protect staff from contracting it.”

Ensure a healthy and safe return to work

As the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, spoke out to encourage workers to head back into the office and other workplaces, IOSH advised that businesses be guided by health and safety professionals.

Mr Smith said that risk assessments formed the “starting point” for a safe return to workplaces, “as they can help to identify proportionate controls to protect workers, clients, consumers and communities.”

Advocating continued caution, he added:

“With Covid risks, this might include a reasonable request for people to continue wearing face masks and observe social distancing measures.

“Employers might wish to emulate other socially conscious organisations by asking workers to test themselves regularly, including supplying them with lateral flow test kits.

“It is crucial that any preventative measures are communicated clearly, thereby empowering people to work safely while this disease remains a significant threat.”

Maintain control measures

The (HSE) has issued advice about workplace controls that businesses should maintain despite the removal of lockdown restrictions and social distancing guidance.

Britain’s health and safety watchdog says that organisations must still control the risks of Covid-19 transmission and should continue to review and update their risk assessment.

The following workplace control measures also remain unchanged:

Employers are also advised that communicating with workers and representatives about health and safety matters helps to reduce risks.

The HSE continues to conduct Covid-19 spot checks and inspections to ensure that businesses across the country are managing the risks.

Consider mental health and wellbeing

As a recent survey suggested that 40% of workers feel less resilient now than they did before the pandemic, and that over half feel under pressure to mask mental health challenges as they return to the workplace, transmission of Covid-19 is not the only risk that employers need to manage.

Indeed, Duncan Smith at IOSH agreed that “employers also need to consider the impact of returning to work on people’s mental health and wellbeing, with the possibility that staff may be deeply concerned about returning.”

He added:

“We advocate that open and non-stigmatised conversations are proactively arranged by line managers as part of a strong overall mental health and wellbeing strategy.

“Organisations need to be safe from Covid and safe from the mental health consequences of this pandemic and the impact it has on people’s lives.”

Further training and support for the workplace

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.

Their diverse portfolio includes training awards in Infection Control, Lone Working, Risk Assessment, Managing and Supervising SafetyManaging Stress in the Workplace and Understanding Mental Health, among many others.

They also offer a portfolio of e-learning training courses, including COVID-19 Infection prevention, identification and control.

A trainer from FRT explains:

“Businesses must ensure they conduct a thorough Covid-19 risk assessment and have effective measures in place for cleaning, hygiene and handwashing, ventilation and protecting vulnerable workers. Continuing measures such as social distancing, working from home and wearing face coverings should also be considered where appropriate.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

Self-isolation exemption for care staff poses ‘significant risks’

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has warned that a new exemption from self-isolation rules for double-jabbed care staff poses “very significant risks.”

In a press release, the directors’ body said the policy shift, which means that frontline adult social care staff who have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine are not required to self-isolate after contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case, could bring further harm to those using services.

Changes to self-isolation guidance

The changes, which came into effect last month, mean that fully vaccinated care workers whose absence could cause significant risks to the health or safety of service users can continue to work even after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace or advised to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app.

Such workers can only ignore self-isolation guidance if they have no Covid symptoms and have received a negative PCR test. They must also have daily negative lateral flow tests for the required self-isolation period.

Staff must also comply with all relevant infection control procedures and should not work with clinically extremely vulnerable people.

The organisation’s management should also ensure that a risk assessment is carried out and authorisation must be granted by its lead professional for health protection or the relevant director of public health.

If, at any point, the staff member receives a positive test or starts to experience symptoms of Covid-19, they must stop working and self-isolate fully.

Temporary measure to alleviate pressures in care

The government introduced the change in guidelines as a temporary measure before the introduction of a general exemption from self-isolation rules for all fully vaccinated contacts from 16th August. It has been brought in to relieve pressure on care services that were dealing with high levels of self-isolation as a result of rising infection rates.

However, ADASS has said that, while it supports measures to alleviate the immense pressures placed on care staff, it had “concerns that this announcement presents very significant risks,” during a period of high and rising community transmission rates.

The association pointed out that social care staff “work with people who are the most vulnerable to Covid: older, disabled and mentally unwell people, among others.”

They added:

“These are the very people, alongside care (and NHS) staff who have suffered most through the pandemic. Our priority must be to absolutely minimise further harm.

“Our concerns are magnified by the fact that there has been an immediate change in policy with no prior warning, guidance and information about the change and how this can be introduced safely. The policy is intended to be applied on a case-by-case basis, and with a full risk assessment, but the absence of information and guidance raises the risk of blanket applications.”

Calls for urgent guidance and funding

ADASS have called for urgent guidance and funding to support the new policy, while public service union UNISON raised concerns that some “reckless employers” may pressure staff who have had contact with a confirmed Covid case to return to work when it is not appropriate for them to do so.

Christine, McAnea, General Secretary, explained: “If care workers who’ve been in contact with someone with the virus are pushed back to work without proper safeguards in place, the consequences could be dreadful.

“Everything possible must be done to ensure staff in hospitals and care homes don’t bring in the virus or take it home. That includes making sure they are fully paid when sick or isolating.”

ADASS also reiterated their call for urgent, long-term, fundamental changes to the funding of adult social care:

“Social care needs fixing. Care staff shortages, acute staff retention challenges, a low remunerated workforce, an avalanche of need rising from the pandemic – these underlying issues will only be addressed with a clear Government long-term plan to reform social care, one that gives local authorities sustainable funding, direction and capacity to truly transform lives.”

Further support and training

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider.

They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.

Care workers have taken risks during the pandemicTheir diverse portfolio includes training awards designed for health and social organisations, such as Infection Control and PreventionSafeguarding AdultsDuty of CareEquality, Diversity and InclusionUnderstanding Mental Health and many others.

First Response Training are a Skills for Care Endorsed Learning Provider for the delivery of classroom, e-learning and webinar training to the social care workforce.

As an Endorsed Provider, FRT have also recently been awarded grant funding to provide free Covid-19 Essential Training for adult social care workers, including Rapid Induction training for new starters.

A trainer from FRT explains:

“There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a massive toll on health and social care workers and those who receive care and support services; they have been through so much and are still under tremendous pressure.

“Safe and sensible measures to help relieve this pressure and ensure everyone can receive the highest quality care and support are always welcomed, but it is important that the correct information, guidance and training is in place to safeguard health, safety and wellbeing at all times.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

CQC publishes data showing Covid-19 death notifications

The Care Quality Commission has praised the efforts of care staff during the pandemic as it published data showing death notifications involving Covid-19 received from individual care homes over the past 12 months.

CQC publishes data showing Covid-19 death notificationsThe CQC’s latest Insight Report has also drawn on this data to establish key points and provides crucial context to help understand what the data means.

The data, featuring notifications received between 10th April 2020 and 31st March 2021 from care homes across all regions, shows that Covid-19 has contributed to a significant increase in the number of deaths in nursing and residential care settings.

Death notifications do not equal poor care

England’s care watchdog was quick to point out, however, that death notifications “do not in themselves indicate poor quality care.”

Covid-19 death notifications from individual care homes are reviewedIn fact, in a press release accompanying the publication of the data, they emphasised that, across all types of care settings, “staff have gone to great lengths to try to contain the effects of this virus, as our report published today on infection prevention and control in hospitals shows.”

They explained that many factors, including the rate of transmission in the local community, the size of the care home and the age, health and care needs of residents can all potentially influence the number of deaths.

Many of the notifications also relate to the deaths of care home residents which occurred when they were receiving care in other settings, meaning the death notification does not necessarily indicate that Covid-19 was present in the care home.

Data used in inspection decisions

The figures have been presented alongside government data on all Covid-19 deaths. This is because care homes form part of the local community and so are impacted when Covid-19 is prevalent in the area.

Data on Covid-19 death notifications is available onlineDeaths are counted as involving Covid-19 based on the statement made by the care home provider. This may or may not correspond to an official medical diagnosis or test result and may or may not be reflected on the death certificate.

The CQC has used information from individual care homes about deaths involving Covid-19 alongside other information to make decisions about where to inspect.

The watchdog conducted 5,577 inspections of residential adult social care providers during the period the data covers. These included wider ongoing monitoring of adult social care services and specific infection prevention control inspections, which focused on eight key criteria to ensure services had an effective approach.

These inspections looked at whether staff had been properly trained to deal with outbreaks and whether there was adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available for both staff and residents.

While enforcement action had to be taken in a small number of cases, CQC inspectors found “generally high levels of assurance.”

A duty to be transparent

Commenting on the publication of the data on death notifications, the Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care at the CQC, Kate Terroni, explained:

“In considering this data it is important to remember that every number represents a life lost – and families, friends and those who cared for them who are having to face the sadness and consequences of their death.

“We are grateful for the time that families who lost their loved ones during the pandemic have spent meeting with us and the personal experiences they have shared. These discussions have helped us shape our thinking around the highly sensitive issue of publishing information on the numbers of death notifications involving Covid-19 received from individual care homes.”

She said that, as an independent regulator, the CQC has “a duty to be transparent and to act in the public interest” and that this has dictated their decision to publish the data.

“In doing so, we aim to provide a more comprehensive picture of the impact of Covid-19 on care homes, the people living in them and their families,” she added.

“It is important to be clear, however, that although this data relates to deaths of people who were care home residents, many of them did not die in or contract Covid-19 in a care home.”

“As we publish this data, we ask for consideration and respect to be shown to people living in care homes, to families who have been affected, and to the staff who have done everything they could, in incredibly difficult circumstances, to look after those in their care.”

The data can be viewed on an online dashboard.

Further support and training for care settings

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and more.

Their health and social care range includes Infection Control and Prevention, Handling and Recording Information, Dignity in CareDuty of CareSafeguarding Adults and many more.

They can also provide an e-learning course in COVID-19 Infection prevention, identification and control.

As a Skills for Care Endorsed Provider, FRT have also recently been awarded grant funding to provide free Covid-19 Essential Training for adult social care workers, including Rapid Induction training for new starters.

A trainer from FRT says: “The adult social care workforce is full of dedicated, compassionate workers who do their best for the people they support each and every day.

“The past year has been incredibly challenging across the sector, and it’s important to understand the full impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on adult social care services and the people receiving care and support from them, while remembering the wider context and local community picture.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

Adult social care sector receives last minute funding boost

The government have announced an extra £250 million worth of Covid funding for adult social care, just three days before existing funds were due to run out.

Care sector receives covid funding boost

The funds will be used to help care providers to maintain sufficient staffing levels while controlling Covid-19 infections, and to fund testing, in line with the latest government guidance.

An extra £142.5 million has been promised to help with staffing levels, while £108.8 million is being provided for testing.

The new funds are expected to last until the end of September and the majority of the funding will go to care homes.

Recognition of hard work in the sector

The previous infection control and testing fund was worth £341 million and had been in place since April, but it was due to run out at the end of June, with many care providers warning that they would be left in financial hardship as a third wave of the virus gathers pace in England.

Adult social care funding will pay for infection control and testing measuresThe Chief Executive of Care England, Martin England, said the additional funding was “recognition” of the fact that the sector “has worked extremely hard to continue to protect the people it supports and cares for through extensive infection control and testing procedures.”

The infection control funding can be used by care providers to pay staff who are required to self-isolate their usual wage. It will also enable them to recruit additional staff to enable care home workers to work in only one home or, where required, restrict them to working only with certain residents or in certain areas of a home.

The testing funding will be used to support ongoing testing for staff and visitors, so that people can continue to safely visit individuals who are living in care homes.

Care sector funding reaches £2 billion

The new batch of funding means that the total amount of money provided to the adult social care sector during the pandemic now stands at £2 billion.

Care workers have taken risks during the pandemicIn addition, much of the £4.6 billion awarded to local authorities to meet the costs of the pandemic have also been directed to the sector, and adult social care services have also received some of the £2.5 billion hospital discharge funding.

The government has also pledged to fund free personal protective equipment (PPE) for the adult social care sector until March 2022.

The President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said they welcomed the latest funding but added that the government must continue to prioritise adult social care in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “We now need certainty for all other aspects of adult social care funding so that we can ensure that everyone continues to get the care and support they need.”

Training and support for adult social care

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.

Care funding will help maintain staffing levelsTheir diverse portfolio includes training awards designed for health and social organisations, such as Infection Control and PreventionSafeguarding AdultsDuty of CareEquality, Diversity and InclusionUnderstanding Mental Health and many others.

They also offer a portfolio of e-learning training courses, including COVID-19 Infection prevention, identification and control.

A trainer from FRT explains: “All those in the health and social care sector have worked incredibly hard during what has been a very challenging and, at times, distressing, year. It is fantastic that the sector is receiving additional financial support to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable people in society can continue to be met, and that they can be kept safe.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

Skills for Care offers guidance on vaccination for care workers

Skills for Care is providing resources to help employers in the care sector to engage with their workers and provide guidance about wellbeing and Covid-19 vaccinations.

It comes as the government announced that they are planning to bring forward regulations that will make Covid-19 vaccination a condition of employment for those working in CQC-regulated care homes

The national workforce development charity says they understand that this policy will present a variety of challenges for care providers.

Variations in vaccine take-up

Data shows that there have been regional variations in vaccine take up across the care sector and Skills for Care acknowledges that there are many different views and opinions held by individuals working across social care organisations.

It is understood that the new regulations will apply to all individuals working in care homes in England that are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and which provide nursing or personal care. Certain medical exemptions will still apply.

The government are still planning to launch a further public consultation on whether or not to make Covid-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in healthcare and the wider social care sector.

If they come into force, the regulations will mean that care home providers can only deploy staff who have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccination.

If the proposed regulations are approved by Parliament, there will be a minimum of a 16-week grace period before they come into force to provide care workers who have not yet been vaccinated with the opportunity to take up the vaccine.

Guidance for the care sector

During this challenging time, Skills for Care has grouped together vaccination guidance and advice from a number of sources to help aid employers in the care sector.

Care workers have taken risks during the pandemicTheir locality teams are also available to offer workplace support for local authorities and employers.

It is important to remember that the regulations will remain under review to ensure that they continue to reflect the latest clinical guidance.

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.

Their diverse portfolio includes training awards designed for health and social organisations, such as Infection Control and PreventionSafeguarding AdultsDuty of Care, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Understanding Mental Health and many others.

They also offer a portfolio of e-learning training courses, including COVID-19 Infection prevention, identification and control.

A trainer from FRT explains:

“This is a difficult issue for both care workers and employers. On the one hand, it is vitally important that vulnerable care home residents are kept safe and that they can be provided with high quality, compassionate and person centred care from the right people at the right time, without being placed at risk.

“On the other hand, vaccination is a personal choice and there are many reasons why someone may choose not to take up the vaccine or may be hesitant. The best that any organisation and any worker can do is to ensure they are properly informed, from credible, reliable sources, about the virus and vaccinations and that they are up to date with all key guidance and advice.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

Autumn Covid-19 booster jabs for over 50s

Vaccine experts have advised that more than 30 million people, including all adults aged 50 and over, should receive a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine ahead of winter.

Covid-19 booster jabs planned for autumnIt is understood that the NHS has started planning a Covid vaccine booster jab programme for the UK in anticipation of a bigger than normal flu season this year, meaning that extra protection against Covid will likely be required.

Interim advice provided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) states that booster jabs will help maintain protection against Covid-19 and new variants for the most vulnerable before the colder weather sets in.

Vulnerable groups set to get booster

The JCVI have recommended that the following groups receive both a Covid booster jab and a flu jab from September this year:

  • Adults aged 16 and over who are immunosuppressed or clinically extremely vulnerable
  • Residents in care homes for older adults
  • All adults aged 70 and over
  • Frontline health and social care workers

After those groups have been jabbed, the booster programme and flu vaccinations will be rolled out to:

  • All adults aged 50 and over
  • Adults aged 16-49 who are in a flu or Covid-19 at-risk group
  • Those living in the same house as people who are immunosuppressed

It is not envisaged that younger adults who are not in at-risk groups will be offered a third jab at this stage, as they are likely to have only received their second dose during the summer.

Safety first approach

Experts have advised that a booster programme would represent a ‘safety-first’ approach as it is as yet unclear exactly how long immunity lasts following vaccination.

The final advice, however, will be published before September when more data will be available regarding how long protection from two doses of a coronavirus vaccine lasts and the latest figures on hospitalisations, emerging variants and trials will also be reviewed at that point. This could alter the recommendations.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, explained:

“We want to be on the front foot for Covid-19 booster vaccination to keep the probability of loss of vaccine protection, due to waning immunity or variants, as low as possible – especially over the coming autumn and winter.”

He said that other respiratory viruses, such as flu, will almost certainly “make a comeback” this winter after national lockdowns led to a decrease in such cases in 2020 and will likely have resulted in a drop in immunity.

He explained that the health sector will “need to ensure protection against flu, as well as maintaining protection against Covid-19.”

Restoring freedom

Meanwhile, the new Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said that ministers were working with the NHS to ensure the booster programme could be rapidly rolled out from September.

He said: “Our first Covid-19 vaccination programme is restoring freedom in this country, and our booster programme will protect this freedom.”

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.

Their diverse portfolio includes training awards designed for health and social organisations, such as Infection Control and Prevention, Safeguarding Adults, Duty of Care and many others.

They also offer a portfolio of e-learning training courses, including COVID-19 Infection prevention, identification and control.

A trainer from FRT explains: “The vaccination programme has been a wonderful success so far and the NHS have worked very hard to ensure that it was rolled out as quickly as possible to all those at risk. If further measures are needed to help ensure people remain protected, we should all be in support of that.”

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HSE continues Covid spot checks as infection rates rise

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have advised that they will be continuing to carry out Covid spot checks and inspections on businesses after the date for the final easing of lockdown restrictions was pushed back.

Businesses must remain covid secureAmid rising infection rates, as the new Delta variant of Covid-19 spreads, businesses must continue to have Covid-secure measures in place in line with government guidance.

Britain’s health and safety watchdog have therefore confirmed that they will continue to work with local authorities to carry out Covid spot checks and inspections on businesses in all areas of the country in order to ensure they are managing the risk.

They have warned it is “vital at this stage that businesses don’t become complacent and continue to have measures in place” to protect workers, customers and visitors

Don’t become complacent

HSE inspectors will provide guidance and advice for businesses where required and will take enforcement action against those organisations which aren’t effectively managing the risk from Coronavirus. This may include the issuing of enforcement notices or stopping certain work practices until they are made safe.

Businesses who fail to comply with HSE guidance or enforcement action could face prosecution.

HSE will check covid secure measuresThe Director of Transformation and Operational Services at HSE, Angela Storey, commented: “[…] As we continue to carry out spot checks and inspections, our support of cross-government work remains. We are committed to helping employers and employees as they work through the pandemic.

“All workplaces are in scope for spot checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced call or visit to check they are Covid-secure.”

The HSE provides advice and guidance about making your workplace Covid-secure on their website.

Guidance and training

Businesses must ensure they conduct a thorough Covid-19 risk assessment and have effective measures in place for social distancing, cleaning, hygiene and handwashing, ventilation, working from home and protecting vulnerable workers.

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.

Their diverse portfolio includes training awards in Infection Control, Lone Working, Risk Assessment, Managing and Supervising SafetyManaging Stress in the Workplace and Understanding Mental Health, among many others.

They also offer a portfolio of e-learning training courses, including COVID-19 Infection prevention, identification and control.

A trainer from FRT explains: “It’s vitally important, during these final stages, that we do not now let our guard down and that everyone continues to follow the guidance at all times to control the still-present risk of coronavirus.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

Children with SEND disproportionately affected by pandemic

A new report from Ofsted has revealed that children and young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Children with SEND disproportionately affected during covidThe report contains the findings of joint visits made to local areas by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) during the autumn term of 2020 and the spring term of 2021.

It states that long-standing issues and weaknesses in the system of care for children and young people with SEND have been exacerbated by the disruption of the pandemic.

Children and families ‘out of sight’

It says that children and families have suffered as a result of missed or narrowed education, the withdrawal of essential services such as physiotherapy or speech and language support, and long waiting times for assessment and treatment.

Ofsted inspectors reported that, by Spring 2021, families were often exhausted and despairing when they were still unable to access essential services for their children.

The pandemic and resulting national lockdowns have placed children with SEND ‘out of sight’ of services and led to a worsening situation within the SEND system.

The report cites:

  • Weaknesses in universal education, health and care services which have resulted in children and young people not learning essential skills and knowledge and then mistakenly being identified as having SEND
  • Significant inconsistencies in how SEND are identified
  • A lack of joined-up commissioning and joint working across education, health and care services
  • A lack of clarity between organisations about who is responsible and accountable within local area SEND systems

Experiences for children with SEND vary

Children with SEND out of sight of services during pandemicOfsted found that the experiences of children and families were partly determined by the quality of their relationships with practitioners, as well as the strength of partnership working in their local area.

They were also impacted by the extent to which the local area had implemented the government’s 2014 SEND reforms.

The report states that it is vital that all education settings are ambitious for every child and young person with SEND and that all individuals receive a good quality curriculum and teaching. This was particularly highlighted in relation to the teaching of language and early reading skills.

Improvements for the SEND system

The report contains several recommendations for improvement within the SEND system. These include:

  • More accessible universal services for children and their families, delivered by practitioners with a strong understanding of how to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND
  • More accurate identification when children need targeted or specialist support and higher aspirations for children and young people with SEND
  • A greater sense of joint responsibility between partners in a local area, clearer accountability for different organisations within local systems, and greater coordination of universal, target and specialist local services so children get the right support at the right time

Ofsted have been working with the CQC to develop a new inspection framework which is aimed at driving further improvements in the SEND system and better supporting children and young people at what is described as a “critical moment.”

HM Chief Inspector of Schools, Amanda Spielman, commented on the report’s findings:

“Many local area leaders and practitioners have gone above and beyond to support children and young people with SEND and their families during this challenging time.

“However, our report shows that children and young people were not always getting the education and care they needed, even before the pandemic.

“As the damaging effects of the pandemic on children and young people with SEND become clear, so too does the need to ensure that we are all playing our role in supporting them. We will work closely with CQC to develop a new framework to support improvement in the way education, health and care services work together to get the best possible outcomes for children.”

Improve awareness and support

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading national training provider delivering courses in subjects such as health and safety, first aid, fire safety, manual handling, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care, safeguarding and more.

They work with a large number of early years and childcare providers, as well as schools, colleges, and children’s services.

They can provide training in SEND Awareness, Dyslexia Awareness, ADHD Awareness, Introduction to the Autistic Spectrum and Learning Disability Awareness among other special focus subjects.

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‘Disruptive’ Covid school rules to end

Covid-19 control measures for schools, which mean that groups of pupils have to self-isolate when one tests positive, could come to an end in the autumn, it has been suggested.

The new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has pledged to address the issue after figures revealed that 279,000 children in England were self-isolating after having potentially been in contact with a positive case at school.

He admitted the self-isolation policy was “having a huge knock-on impact,” on children’s education.

The resulting disruption for schools and households has also led to frustration among parents and teachers alike.

The Department for Education has now written to secondary schools to ask them to prepare for a potential change in rules after the summer break and ministers are considering options, which could include daily testing for secondary school pupils.

‘Alarming situation’ for pupils

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, said that children and young people urgently need to get back to normal after the “real trauma” of lockdown restrictions.

She believes that the practice of grouping children into bubbles – which are often made up of their year group or form – should end as soon as possible. Currently, when one child tests positive, their whole bubble must self-isolate.

The founder of the multi-academy trust Oasis Schools, has told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that 10% of his pupils – equating to around 3,000 children – were currently off school due to Covid rules.

He described it as a “pretty alarming situation and we would say that something needs to be done about this now.”

On-site testing pilot

Schools minister Nick Gibb said the guidelines for schools had been brought in by the government as part of “important measures to help us deal with this pandemic,” but that ministers would now be examining data from an on-site testing pilot taking place at some secondary schools and colleges to see whether there was an “effective alternative to self-isolation.”

He explained that the current trials involved “daily contact testing, where somebody who has come into contact with somebody with Covid, instead of self-isolating, takes a test every day, and if they are negative, they can go into school.”

Ministers will not make any final decisions until the results have been examined but recognise that any changes to self-isolation rules must be announced before the end of the current school term, so they can be implemented after the summer break.

Plan for the worst

It comes as official figures for 24th June showed that more than 375,000 primary and secondary school pupils in England were off school due to Covid-related reasons, representing an increase of more than 100,000 pupils in one week.

Absences included those who had suspected contacts in the wider community as well as 24,000 possible infections among students themselves.

The Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, Kevin Courtney, said that any changes to rules needed “consideration of the logistical challenge facing schools and colleges.”

He added:

“We should hope for the best – that vaccination of adults solves the problem – but plan for the worst, considering the options around mass testing, vaccination of secondary students and improvements in ventilation, for example.”

The Scottish government are also reviewing their approach to self-isolation for school children, who will begin a new term in August and, in Wales, the Education Minister says he is looking at best practice to ensure that the number of pupils isolating is not disproportionate.

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading national training provider delivering courses in subjects such as health and safety, first aid, fire safety, manual handling, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care, safeguarding and more.

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Department for Education had ‘no plan’ to deal with pandemic

A group of MPs has claimed that the Department for Education (DfE) had “no plan” to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

A report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says the DfE struggled to react to the unfolding pandemic in a timely and effective way and that their failure to set standards for both in-school and remote learning meant children in England “had very unequal experiences” over the past year.

The Chair of the PAC, Meg Hillier MP, said they were “concerned that the DfE appears uninterested in learning lessons from earlier in the pandemic, preferring to wait until the public inquiry, which won’t report for years.”

She added: “It shows little energy and determination to ensure that it’s catch-up offer is sufficient to undo the damage of the past 14 months.”

It comes as the government is due to publish its recovery plan to ensure that pupils in England catch up on the learning they may have missed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PAC is concerned that the DfE “has worthy aspirations but little specific detail about how it will build the school system back better,” and that plans aimed at supporting poorer pupils are failing to reach them.

Ms Hillier said that the pandemic has exposed “a very ugly truth” about children living in poverty and disadvantage.

The government did provide 1.3 million laptops and tablets to poorer children to aid home learning during the pandemic, but Ms Hillier says that online learning still remained “inaccessible to many children, even in later lockdowns, and there is no commitment to ongoing additional funding for IT.”

Commenting on the report, the general secretary of head teachers’ union NAHT, Paul Whiteman, said it was “extremely disappointing but not surprising.”

He added: “Throughout the pandemic, the DfE has been playing catch-up. The individual efforts of schools have almost always been quicker and better than anything centrally managed from Whitehall.”

The union has launched its own blueprint for school recovery in which it is calling on the government to make a significant investment to ensure the futures of children and young people are not harmed as a result of the pandemic.

A spokesperson from the DfE responded to the report, saying that they had “acted swiftly at every turn to help minimise the impact on pupils’ education and provide extensive support for schools, colleges and early years settings.

“The department has updated and strengthened its remote education expectations as best practice has developed and schools’ capabilities have increased.”

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading national training provider delivering courses in subjects such as health and safety, first aid, fire safety, manual handling, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care, safeguarding and more.

They work with a large number of early years and childcare providers, as well as schools, colleges, and children’s services. Their courses include Safeguarding Children.

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

HSE continues COVID spot checks

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned businesses that it will be continuing to carry out Covid-19 spot checks and inspections as the nation continues on the roadmap out of lockdown.

Britain’s health and safety watchdog is working with local authorities to carry out spot checks and inspections on local businesses as the economy reopens.

They say that, as more businesses reopen their doors, the opportunity for Covid-19 to spread only increases, “so it is critical that businesses shouldn’t become complacent. They still need to have Covid-secure measures in place.”

All businesses in line for inspection

Spot checks and inspections are being carried out on all types of businesses in all areas.

Inspectors will be checking the measures that organisations have put in place to manage and reduce the risks posed from coronavirus, ensuring they are in line with current government guidance.

They will be visiting businesses that have continued their operations throughout the pandemic, as well as those that have only recently reopened or are planning to reopen soon.

The HSE says it is assisting local authorities to target premises in the sectors they regulate, such as hospitality and retail.

Businesses must manage Covid risks

sanitisation remains crucialInspectors will offer businesses advice and guidance during spot checks and inspections, but the watchdog has made clear that action will be taken against any organisation that isn’t managing the risk from Covid-19.

The HSE has the power to issue enforcement notices and halt certain work activities until they are made safe.

Any business that does not comply with HSE action could be prosecuted.

The HSE has outlined some general Covid-secure measures that businesses should have in place:

  • A Covid-19 risk assessment for your workplace, which is updated to reflect any changes in legislation or guidance that may impact on your work activities.
  • Social distancing measures to ensure people are kept 2-metres apart or, where this is not possible, 1-metre apart with additional measures in place, such as screens.
  • Strict cleaning, hygiene and handwashing procedures for your workplace and staff.
  • Proper ventilation and air conditioning to help reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.
  • Information for workers about providing support and maintaining Covid-19 control measures.
  • Suitable measures to support staff to work from home where required, such as appropriate equipment and regular contact to ensure their wellbeing.
  • Control measures, support, and information to help protect workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

Engage with the HSE to protect communities

The Director of Transformation and Operational Services at HSE, Angela Storey, explained: “As we come out of lockdown, we are continuing to work with local authorities to check businesses are Covid-secure and providing guidance and advice where needed.

“Our spot checks and inspections support the cross-government work in helping employers and employees that have worked throughout the pandemic and those returning as lockdown measures ease. All workplaces are in scope for spot checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector, can receive an unannounced check from HSE or an inspection from the local authority, to check they are Covid-secure.

“If you are contacted by the HSE or your local authority, please engage with us. By checking businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of local communities as well as support the local and national UK economy.”

The HSE provides guidance on remaining Covid-secure on their website.

Training can help you manage the risks

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.

Infection control is crucialTheir diverse portfolio includes training awards in Infection Control, Lone Working, Risk Assessment, Managing and Supervising Safety, Managing Stress in the Workplace and Understanding Mental Health, among many others.

They also offer a portfolio of e-learning training courses, including COVID-19 Infection prevention, identification and control.

A trainer from FRT explains: “After many months of restrictions, it’s great to see things start to open back up and many businesses begin to return to some sort of normal. This is vitally important for the economy as well as for the mental health and wellbeing of employers and employees.

“It’s equally important, though, that, as restrictions ease, we do not let our guard down and continue to ensure that we are following guidance at all times to control the still-present risk of coronavirus.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.

Landmark mental health study reveals rise in loneliness

A landmark mental health study reveals a mixed picture for the UK one year after the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, with more adults experiencing loneliness.

The Mental Health in the Pandemic study, which began shortly before the first national lockdown in March 2020 and has asked questions of the UK public at 10 intervals since, generating around 36,000 responses, shows that the coronavirus crisis has had wide and deep emotional impacts on adults in the UK.

Although the results show that anxiety about the pandemic has become less common one year on, falling from 62% in March 2020 to 42% in February this year, other measures have worsened.

Loneliness has become more common, rising from 1 in 10 of those surveyed in March 2020 to more than 1 in 4 (26%) by February 2021.

Among 18-24-year-olds, this figure almost doubled to 48% of those surveyed. This represents a sharp rise in loneliness among young adults in the UK, with just 16% admitting that they had felt lonely over the previous two weeks in March 2020.

In fact, the study showed that feelings of loneliness among all UK adults had not returned to their pre-lockdown levels at any point over the last 12 months, including when most restrictions were lifted during the summer.

Fewer people also felt that they were coping well with the stress of the pandemic.

The study shows a slow and steady fall in this area, with 73% of UK adults reporting that they felt they were coping well with the stress of the pandemic in April 2020, compared to 64% in February 2021.

The study, conducted in partnership between the Mental Health Foundation and the universities of Cambridge, Swansea, de Montfort Leicester, Strathclyde and Queen’s Belfast, also revealed:

  • Feelings of hopelessness had not altered much. In March 2020, 18% of people surveyed said they had felt hopeless about the Covid-19 pandemic over the previous fortnight. This remained the same in February 2021
  • The number of people experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings in the previous two weeks had risen from 8% in April 2020 to 13% in February 2021. It is not yet clear whether the pandemic will affect suicide rates.
  • Young adults (aged 18-24), full-time students, unemployed people, single parents and those with long-term disabling health problems and pre-existing problems with their mental health were all significantly more likely to feel distressed, across a range of mental health measures, compared with UK adults generally. This was the case both in March 2020 and 12 months on.

Dr Antonis Kousoulis, Director for England and Wales at the Mental Health Foundation, said the study presented a “complex picture” of the UK’s mental health.

She explained:

“Fewer of us are feeling anxious about the pandemic but more of us now feel lonely and ground down by the stress of the past year.

“It is absolutely important to remember that the experience of the past year has not been shared by everyone. We have all been in the same storm, but we have not all been in the same boat. The coronavirus vaccine brings hope. The warmer weather brings smiles. However, for many of us, the next few months – and even years – will remain tough, vulnerable and uncertain.

“We believe this study to be one of the first to have tracked people’s mental health systematically across a pandemic, using nationally representative samples. We hope that it will inform responses to future pandemics, as well as the current one, as it’s not helpful to see Covid-19 as a one-in-a-generation event.”

The findings of the study have been shared with policymakers at the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and the Governments of Scotland and Wales.

The Mental Health Foundation plans to invest at least £1 million in programmes targeting some of the groups that have been impacted most significantly by the pandemic, including people of colour, single parents and those with long-term health conditions.

Dr Kousoulis explained that identifying the groups most seriously affected by the pandemic was one of the key aims of the mental health study.

She said: “We can now see clearly that among the most seriously affected people are young adults, people who are unemployed and full-time students. In these groups, painful experiences including loneliness, hopelessness and feeling suicidal are much more common.

“This is especially troubling, at a time when unemployment is set to rise. Policymakers must target support at these more vulnerable groups, to help prevent them reaching crisis point.

“We also need to see coordinated action on mental health from across the whole of Government, with a formal requirement for it to consider the mental health impacts of all policies it develops. This has never been more important than it is now.”

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider delivering a wide and diverse range of training courses.

They can provide training in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, safeguarding, mental health, health and social care and other specialist subjects.

Their specialist mental health training range includes Understanding Mental Health, Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace, Managing Stress, Anxiety Awareness, Self-Harm Awareness and Suicide Awareness.

They can also provide externally accredited trainers to deliver Mental Health First Aid England training courses, including Adult, Youth, Champion and Lite versions.

A trainer from FRT says: “By now, I think most people are aware that we are looking at a mental health epidemic alongside the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is now more important than ever that good mental health support is available for those who need it and that everyone has an awareness of mental health issues, how to support others and how to look after their own mental health.”

For more information about the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.