Circumcision for kids under 9

September 9, 2012 Leave a comment

I was a bit skeptical about my 8-year-old son having his circumcision done but it is customary for Filipino boys to undergo the procedure.  I’m pretty sure that I was more nervous about it than my son.  Fortunately we had a terrific doctor who came and did home service.  My son and his best friend had their circumcisions together and believe it or not, having a companion to go through the same thing really helped my little boy a lot.  The doctor gave him a local anaesthetic whilst he lay on a padded table reading a children’s book.  This took his mind off what they were doing and the doctor was very friendly and asked him questions about school and what he did whilst on holiday. The procedure itself took approximately 15 mins and my son and his friend were joking around after the procedures and did not find it at all traumatic.  They used a ring on my son which was preferable rather than using stitches.  He did have occasional pain which we managed with analgesics such as paracetamol and the doctor also gave us Instillagel which is a gel in a syringe which you can use on the penis to help with pain.  All in all the healing process took 9 days and he was back in school the day after the ring dropped off.

The World Health Organisation are now recognising the benefits of circumcision To all the parents who are worried about getting circumcision done for their little ones; it is a very short procedure and the more positive you are about it with your son, the less traumatic it will be for them. We have had a very positive experience and I am glad that I got it done when he was 8 rather than at an earlier age so he could understand the benefits, know the effects and manage his pain effectively. This was very much a partnership with our son.


Two thumbs up for the Samsung Galaxy Note

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

When I first handled the Samsung Galaxy Note, I was sceptical about its size.  More to the point, its enormity freaked me out.  However, for one reason or another, I kept getting drawn back to it and in the end signed up to the Samsung Android.

Am I disappointed?
On the contrary, I have been showing off my new gadget to anyone who will listen and dare I say, it is a tad bit better than the iPhone 4s.

My previous phone,the BlackBerry bold 9100 cannot be compared to the genious gadget of the Samsung Galaxy Note. I remembered when I first held my BlackBerry bold 2 years ago, I nearly cried because it wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do.  At one point it nearly met its death on the kitchen wall.  However, I faithfully stood by it and to be honest it hasn’t let me down.  The Samsung Galaxy Note on the other hand has basically enthralled me from the outset.  Impressed with its versatility, I did think that nothing could beat the iPhone but Samsung have out done themselves with this beautiful `phab`.

Size isn’t an issue and though it may be a little big for the back pocket of a pair of jeans, how often does a lady put their phone in their jeans anyway?  That’s what handbags are for!

Applications are easy to get hold of and the Swype thing is kind of quirky and so easy to use.  I still have yet to get more out of the s pen, but in time I’m sure that will come.

This certainly has my vote.  Two thumbs up for the Samsung Galaxy  Note.

The importance of Christian parenting

August 18, 2011 1 comment

Concerned by the recent riots in the United Kingdom, lawlessness seems rife and a lack of respect for society appears rampant amongst young people today.
I deleted a Facebook contact because I could not stand his vulgar language on his status. Shameful thing was he is a 16 year old relative of mine but every other word was a swear word and it made me cringe. I was even more saddened to hear that his father (who unfortunately is separated from the boy’s mother) has no control over this young man. I believe that you can see good parenting through children’s attitudes and behaviour.

I’m not the perfect parent but I pray daily that God will teach me how to be a good mother. Whilst on holiday with my family, my seven year old son has been leading us in prayer before we go out. We tell him daily how blessed he is to have gone on holiday as many are not as fortunate as him to have been given the same opportunities he has experienced in his young life. We remind him that God is our provider, that God gave his mum and dad their jobs, the food on his table, the clothes on his back, the money to buy his toys with. My two year old daughter has been copying his prayers and at meal times is the first one to remind the rest of the family to pray and give thanks for the food.

I’m so thankful to my mother who is an exemplary Christian teacher to my children. We were driving to Disney World and she led a family discussion about the ten commandments. She did it in a fun way for the kids to understand and my son raised questions which my husband and I were able to answer.

Teaching children about God is a lifestyle and should not be ‘cloak and dagger’. I am always reminded by the bible verse Proverbs 22:6 ‘Train a child in the way that they should go so that when they are old, they will not turn away from it’. There’s too much going on in the world today to not be concerned as to what happens with your child. I heard somewhere that if you don’t discipline a child by the time they are seven, it’s going to be struggle to instil discipline thereafter.

The Encantada Experience

August 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Searching through reviews prior to coming to Florida, I was disappointed to see that the new resort offered by Club la Costa in Florida was only rated 3 stars. Having been a member of Club la Costa since 2007, I have grown accustomed to the 5 star accommodation and service that they offer so to say the least I was a bit put out by the 3 star rating. However, I was pleasantly surprised upon our arrival to our two week vacation home had 5 star finishings – plasma screen with cinema surround sound, Egyptian cotton sheets, modern furniture, granite kitchen tops and jacuzzi outside. I can’t honestly fault the accommodation. It has certainly provided what my family and I need and it’s location to the club house and swimming pools are within walking distance.

The only down side which I am not afraid to criticise is the amount of room service we have had or should I say lack of it. We are still within the first week of our Florida holiday and I am a little upset that we are not having regular room service, provision of clean towels or made up beds. Isn’t that what a holiday is all about? The ‘not having to do anything aspect because it gets done by other people’. I did phone front desk and ask how often room service is and their reply was once a week. However, they said that I can request for someone to clean the apartment if I call in the morning. Though through all my years of travelling, I have never had the need to call for housekeeping because it is automatically done. In addition, we are expected to throw our own trash out. If you don’t mind doing a little bit of housework on holiday then the ‘Encantada Experience’ is definitely for you!

Now with all that said and done, Encantada is a superb investment for those looking to purchase property as it literally is only 15- 20 mins out from Disney, Sea World and other main tourist attractions. My family are enjoying Encantada and I would definitely come back in a few years with the great hope that they could sort out their housekeeping.

Ooo one word of advice, Encantada rent out their satellite navigation GPS systems for $25 a week. A far cry from the astronomically over priced $60+ a week at the airport. Whatever you do, don’t hire a sat nav system from the airport as I would consider it ‘daylight robbery’.

Categories: vacation Tags: ,

CQC inspection – Help!

July 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Every manager’s heart must start to pump harder when they notice that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have arrived on the care home’s doorsteps.
Just this May (2011), my heart certainly did pump that little bit harder. I can remember making mental notes and wondering “Have I done that?” “I didn’t do that”, “I should have done that”. I think every manager goes through the motions of questions, queries, double checking and even triple checking but then when they mean an unannounced visit, it really is unannounced.
I have to say, having received my CQC report early this month, I am quite pleased to announce that I was fully compliant and got no action plans * yay * (I manage a 70+ bedded home). You might be wondering..”Well, how did she manage that?”
I can’t tell you that my home is perfect because in reality no home is. What I can do is share my experiences in running a home in order that you can achieve a good inspection. As always my rants are definitely not exhaustive – use them as you see fit 🙂

• When you spot something that needs correcting – write an action plan and work through it.

Inspectors know that things are not always going to be hunky dory. They will want to find out what you are doing to work through a problematic patch. I must admit for myself, I have action plans coming through left, right and centre but showing this to the inspector shows that you have a systematic approach to problem solving and that you are working to timescales which are measurable and realistic. Most of all you are showing them you are trying your best to solve the problem.

Work through your Provider Compliance Assessments and create an evidence based folder (you may end up with two or three)
Having completed my Level 4 leadership and management qualification last year, I applied the same principle of creating an evidence based folder for the PCA’s. I use it as a working folder and update it when the need arises. i.e. up-to-date training statistics, staff and resident meetings etc. It helps to have everything in one place rather than going off in an inspection trying to find all the documents that you need.

• Get your staff to work with you
I am in no way an autocratic leader and in some respects, one might even call me “soft”. However, I have learnt through my eleven years of management that working with the staff gets things done. Sometimes it might be slower that you would like but more ‘heads are better than one’.

• Prioritise
Planning never ever goes to plan. I can’t tell you how many times I have planned a day only to be disappointed that everything in my planner wasn’t achieved for that day. Simply because of other things that cropped up which took priority over what I had planned.

I particularly like Steven Covey’s quadrant urgent/important quadrant. In a nut shell, you simply put the issues that you are tackling in the relevant box which helps you prioritise.

To find out more about this topic, go to practice this

• Have minuted daily flash meetings
Running a large care home is no easy task but in order to know what goes on, on a daily basis, I have flash meetings with dept heads and RGN’s. This keeps me in the know and allows me to support, supervise and direct staff to the most appropriate action

Help with CQC fit person interview

February 12, 2011 85 comments

Had another interview with CQC today (28th June 2013) and wanted to share with you the questions that were asked of me to help you prepare for yours. My interviewer made me feel relaxed and at ease. So before you begin your interview, just try to regulate your breathing to help you relax. Remember to bring with you the documents that are requested on your interview email/letter.
Not much has changed in the line of questions but I have kept my previous questions on here just in case they do come up to assist you.

Q. What are the principles of care that you provide to the residents that you care for?

Dignity, respect, maintaining personhood and ensuring that the residents recieve individualised care.

Q. Can you talk me through your recruitment process? What checks would you expect to do?

Shortlist applicants, look at experience and relevant training. At interview you can form an opinion as to whether you think they are suitable for the job. Checks that would be undertaken are the DBS checks, identity checks, two references and whether or not they are permitted to work in the UK.

Q. What are you required to report to the CQC?

(Please refer to your statutory notifications). I mentioned the following, any incident reported to the police, allegations of abuse, application and outcome for DOLs, any event that stops the service running smoothly, serious injury, notification of death, if manager is going to be absent from the service for more than 28 days, if manager will no longer be managing service.

Q. How do you ensure that your staff are providing adequate care?
Provision of training, individual and group supervision, direct observation and staff, resident meetings.

Q. What quality measures do you have in place?
Monthly quality audits carried out, resident and staff surveys which include finding out information from other stakeholders, review meetings, key performance indicators. As I have a large home I mentioned that I do daily walk abouts, staff and residents meetings.

Q. What would you do if you had alleged abuse?
Inform police, CQC, notify safeguarding authority, social services, suspend staff if allegation is against member of staff. Follow directives of lead investigating authority.

Q. How do you ensure that information is kept secure?
Information governance is extremely important. We ensure that information is kept secure and that only authorised individuals can look at it. Where a person lacks capacity or is unable to give consent that next of kin and relatives/friends who have power of attorney are made aware of information governance and data protection. Follow procedure of the organisation.

Portion of blog from 2011

So here are my thoughts and rants to help those of you who are embarking on the role of the Registered Manager.

I think that if you have been a care home manager before, you will have the knowledge and experience to carry you through the interview.

Below is just a rough guide of the questions that we tackled and my answers to them to help you.

Q. Can you tell me a little bit about your home?

(I gave the inspector a brief run down of the home and the staff ratios etc.)

Q. You have been managing the home now for several months, can you tell me what changes you have made and how this has affected the home?

(I gave the inspector an outline of the changes that I had made for example: major changes to the staff units which at first was not well received although it was for the benefit of the home as a whole. There were staff who had resigned or were about to resign at the time that I had started and therefore I had to look at the staff compliment and staff skills and competencies in order to provide a good skill mix amongst the staff. I talked about how this affected the residents and the relatives).

We somehow got onto the topic of abuse (I do tend to waffle) but this answered a set of questions without her having to ask me them.

Q. Can you talk me through the process of how you report abuse?

In the case of alleged abuse, I would notify the local safeguarding authority, the individual’s social worker, the police if necessary, and also inform CQC through the statutory notification which is Regulation 18.

We also talked about person centred planning, deprivation of liberty and best interest. I gave an example of an individual at my home where best interest is used as we were depriving that individual of the right to go out by himself as he had no road safety awareness. Though he was able to access the community when supervised. (Again, although not asked the question, this tackled the topic around mental capacity).

Q. Can you talk me through a learning experience that you have encountered at your home?

I gave her an example of a meeting that I had with all my direct reports and one staff member had made another staff member very upset. On reflection I could have tackled the situation in a different manner but this was a learning curve for me.

I also discussed with the inspector issues around medication and how I ensure that medication is administered safely.

I referred to the medication policy and procedures and the fact that we do monthly audits on the medication to pick up any anomalies. If there are any, an action plan is put into place to ensure that the anomaly is rectified. I also ensure that staff are trained on the safe handling of medication, checking of medicines is carried out by two members of staff.

Q. How do you ensure that residents views are taken into account?

By holding regular resident meetings, ensuring that the complaints procedure is robust and adhered to. By putting an action plan together if the complaint is substantiated in order to ensure that the issue or complaint has been rectified or met. Holding manager surgeries which I have on a Thursday afternoon although I do walk around the building and get to talk to the residents and relatives to ensure that they are satisfied with the care that is being provided. We are also recruiting for a resident and relative representative within the home whereby relatives or residents can go to the specific person to discuss their concern should they feel that they are unable to talk to a member of the staff team. Lastly resident surveys on their home, actives that are being provided, food and quality of care. It’s not just about the collection of the surveys but what you do with that information. Hence an action plan would be formulated to carry out the expressed opinions of the residents as far as reasonably practicable.

The inspector did say that she would be recommending me for registration which made me smile from ear to ear.

I dare say that the above is exhaustive but hopefully it will give you a heads up on the process of the CQC fit persons interview.

Traffic Sucks!

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I left work early today taking into consideration that the British government hadn’t properly prepared for the bad weather conditions. I thought leaving at 3pm would give me ample time to get home at least by 5pm and if I was really fortunate to catch at least 45mins in the gym. How wrong was I?

I thought I was well prepared. I figured my usual 30 minute drive from work to home would take roughly a couple of hours due to the snow. I brought with me 4 small bite size chocolates, a packet of mentos and a bottle of water. I resigned myself to the fact the journey would take as long and psyched myself up. Little did I know that my anticipated 2 hour journey would take a little under 4 and a half hours and I just thank the good Lord for gadgets like the mobile phone to keep me occupied whilst sitting in traffic that did not move. Yep, Twitter and Facebook has never been more entertaining. I got through the bite size chocolates and the packet of mentos but I did give up on drinking the water for fear of not being able to go to the loo. I did not want a full bladder to be the icing on the cake.

I am fortunate to be able to drive a 4×4 in the midst of the snow and I thank God that I changed my bald tyres a couple of weeks back. Though they were expensive to change, I believe God blessed me by knowing the bad weather would come and urged me to change it. I saw so many cars struggle on slip roads and lorry and truck drivers really put their foot on the gas but their vehicles wouldn’t budge.

Another thing that annoyed me was lorry drivers blocking exit roads unnecessarily which made the traffic jam much worse. I thank God that at least I’m home safely and for really giving me the patience to sit through all that mad traffic. I tell you what though, I brought work home with me because I am not gonna sit through that again tomorrow.

week 10 – Kids learning about God

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I finally tackled John 3:16. I was oooing and ahrrring about it but finally got the courage to talk about it with my 6yo son, Sam.
John 3:16 is a core verse in Christianity. Without God giving His only Son Jesus, we would have no salvation or redemption and so it was or is a vital ingredient in forming Sam’s Christian faith. As the verse is quite long, we stayed learning it for almost 3 weeks.

The first week, he copied the verse into his notebook and stuck the memory card on the mirror. I then helped him recite it but found the most important aspect of reciting the verse was Sam being able to understand what it meant. I therefore spent time telling Sam why Jesus died for us. He had many questions like ‘Why did God allow Jesus to die?’ ‘Why do we have to believe in Jesus?’ and ‘what is eternal life?’ Once he understood the meaning of the verse, it became revelation to him (his light bulb moment as we like to put it) and he could recite it better. Today I wrote the verse on a piece of paper and cut it up into small groups which he then had to put together (a bit like a puzzle).

He had fun doing this! The one thing that I have learnt about my time sharing to Sam about God is appreciating the time we have together. Though my 1yo lingers in the background doing her own thing, Sam appreciates the attention that I give him during these short intervals and these moments of bonding I wouldn’t miss for the world.

Bringing faith to work

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

If you saw a man about to jump 100 feet to his death, would you stand by and let him jump or would you try to stop him?

I read somewhere yesterday that if we do not share to someone the things that they have done wrong then their blood would be on our hands yet if we shared to them and they did not listen then we would be blameless.

I could not have it upon me not to share about the love of God and be a bystander of seeing someone go to hell. Hell is real to me and the bible tells us that everyone who does not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour will not be a part of Heaven. There are only two places to go to after death and that is Heaven or hell. Hell does not become me or anyone else.

How do I approach it at work? As always I would ask permission. If the person is willing to hear then I would share about God and His love. If not then I have done what was required of me and pray that someone might have been able to achieve what I could not. The boundary between professionalism and who we really are out of work is a fine line but I consider my pulpit my work place. Not everyone is called to be a pastor or a pulpit minister but everyone has an opportunity to minister in their workplace where ever that might be. Could you be sharing to someone whose days are soon numbered?

Holy Spirit got me out of trouble

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

The meeting was definitely heated. I could see that the family were not happy and rightly so. I could hear my spirit within me talking in tongues yet I was just thinking ‘How on earth am I gonna get out of this one?’

My job has many different dimensions from dealing and managing staff to dealing with customers and making sure that everything ticks along whilst keeping harmony and balance within the work place.
I’ve learnt to totally rely on the Holy Spirit and each morning devote myself in prayer to ensure that every decision, action and thought that I make through the day is not only wise but favourable.

The woman opposite me was angry, tearful, hurt and honestly I could see her pain. I thank God that he gave me choice words. Words of comfort, words of encouragement, words of hope, words of wisdom and by Gods grace he granted me favour with her. I manage to alleviate her concerns and anxieties. There is no way on earth that I could have come up with what I did by myself and I just want to give God the glory for bringing me out of a very tricky situation.

Prayer is worth it. I know it and I’ve seen it work in every area of my life. Depend on God today to bring you out of any tricky situation you may find yourself in.

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