Leon A Smith


By Leon A Smith, May 24, 2012

There are many words and phrases which suffer from serious overuse in our day to day lives – both orally and in writing. My own particular favourite is “at the end of the day”. I always find interviews with David Beckham of particular interest – as he has a number of views which involve things happening “at the end of the day”.


Over the top regulation

By Leon A Smith, May 18, 2012

As with so many aspects of our lives today the care sector is subject to very significant regulation. Nightingale House is now part of the Nightingale Hammerson charity and is regulated by a number of different authorities – the prime authority/regulator for the sector being the Care Quality Commission.


Life is full of surprises

By Leon A Smith, May 10, 2012

Life is full of surprises – so they say! Nobody could have been more surprised than me therefore to have learnt in the Queen’s Speech that the government have decided after all not to act at this point in time on the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission on Long Term Funding of Older People.


Roy Hodgson got the job instead

By Leon A Smith, May 3, 2012

Panorama once again turned its attention to an expose of malpractice/abuse in a care home. This seems to be a particular interest of Panorama and indeed the exposure of malpractice and mistreatment in a care home setting can only lead hopefully to tighter controls and minimise the chance of something like this ever happening again.


Info fatigue

By Leon A Smith, April 12, 2012

One of the most famous and memorable soundbites when the Blair government came into being was “Education, Education, Education”. Education was a strong and powerful message, and through repetition 3 times clearly signalled the fact that Education was very high up on the Labour party’s agenda.


All of this for 8 days

By Leon A Smith, April 4, 2012

A happy Pesach to all my readers – assuming there are a few out there!. Once again Pesach is upon us and as I have referred to in previous years, I believe there is every possibility that Passover preparations and the changeover for the Festival are probably on the largest scale here at Nightingale than anywhere else.


The importance of identity

By Leon A Smith, March 23, 2012

Compulsive Obsessive Disorder can be a nasty business. A sufferer has an uncontrollable urge based on thought processes to obsess about certain actions – sometimes totally irrationally or illogically.


A symbol of community in South London

By Leon A Smith, March 16, 2012

Last week I was away in Rome for a weekend and several weeks ago I was in Israel for a very short stay. When in Israel I had the pleasure of visiting the Western Wall – a physical place that always impacts upon me in an emotional and spiritual way.


Just let us get on with the job

By Leon A Smith, March 8, 2012

I don’t know if anybody remembers something called the Big Society? I seem to recall that about a year ago the Big Society was going to take over the world – well at least England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Is it me or has everything gone very quiet on the Big Society side of things at the moment?


What would happen if we were to stop all form filling?

By Leon A Smith, February 24, 2012

This week I had a visit from somebody who has been asked on behalf of the government to look at how we can cut through red tape and bureaucracy in the care sector. It is very much part of the wider initiative of government to look generally at how bureaucracy can be cut.


A demographic time bomb...............

By Leon A Smith, February 16, 2012

Life expectancy of three score years and ten has long past. We often read in the press of a variety of statistics relating to current life expectancy – depending on which particular source you happen to believe. One might believe that a baby girl born today may have a 1 in 3 chance of a life expectancy of 100.


For every negative story.............

By Leon A Smith, February 9, 2012

I return this week to something which I have covered previously – that is the serious responsibility which the media must bear (particularly the print media) for the stigmatisation of the care sector for older people. It is far too often that we read, particularly in newspapers, and particularly in certain newspapers, of shock horror stories of poor care in residential and nursing homes.


Ticking the consultation box?

By Leon A Smith, January 26, 2012

The government is very preoccupied at the moment in both Houses of Parliament with the proposed new legislation relating both to Welfare Benefits and to the Health Service. It will be publishing its White Paper on Social Care in the spring (whenever that might be). Of course White Papers are always preceded by extensive consultation as are many government/coalition measures.


We stigmatise older people.....

By Leon A Smith, January 17, 2012

Nightingale prides itself on its range of social activities, events, outings, educational opportunities etc and it considers itself privileged to have the input of a huge number of long standing volunteers who supplement the work of our staff.


Festivals Festivals Festivals

By Leon A Smith, January 5, 2012

Is it me – or are Jewish holidays coming around with increasing frequency? And/or indeed are holidays in general coming around with increasing frequency? As soon as Chanukah finished we have had New Year (Shana Tova to my readers) and now in January here at Nightingale we need to start turning our attention to Pesach.


Happy Holidays

By Leon A Smith, December 22, 2011

December in New York City is one of my favourite experiences. The atmosphere – the cold, the snow, the ice rinks in front of the Rockefeller Centre and in Central Park. The City has a buzz which is unparalleled. The words “Merry Christmas” are usually not heard but the words “Happy Holidays” are.


Regulation is good

By Leon A Smith, December 15, 2011

I was interested to see this week that the government have come up with a new idea regarding care homes – the idea is to have a website very similar to TripAdviser so that people can leave their own personal experiences on the website. What a wonderful idea – practical, creative and highly professional (not!).


Wisdom and life experiences

By Leon A Smith, December 6, 2011

On reflecting over my blog over the past couple of years I’ve noticed that I seem to have a compulsive tendency to keep returning to the subject of food – I’m going to make a serious effort in 2012 to distance myself from that subject for fear of being considered obsessive on this subject.



By Leon A Smith, November 24, 2011

One of the nice things about working in a care home for older people is access to reminiscence groups and reminiscence resources. Our wonderful new dementia unit has a wealth of reminiscence materials, be they from a 1950’s kitchen or our Morris Minor car from the 1960’s. Listening to and/or participating in reminiscence discussions can also be very rewarding.


Something must give – the question is when, how, and what?

By Leon A Smith, November 4, 2011

Once again we have read recently about further cuts in funding for older people. Where will this ever end? Of course I recognise that older people are not the only group that are being “cut”. One equally hears of cuts by local authorities for youth services and in some boroughs youth services have practically disintegrated.