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Providing the full picture

By LaingBuisson

The full extent of Covid-19 deaths in care homes in England

is to be revealed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) next week. Mei-Ling Huang, partner in Royds Withy King’s health and social care team, offers advice to providers of what they need to look out for

https://www.laingbuissonnews.com/care-markets-content/inlaw/providing-the-full-picture/


PPE Update

Personal protective equipment (PPE): resource for care workers working in care homes during sustained COVID-19 transmission in England – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

 

Updated government guidance on visits out of care homes from 19 July

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/arrangements-for-visiting-out-of-the-care-home/visits-out-of-care-homes


Regulations for making vaccines a condition of deployment – including update from Anthony Collins

As circulated earlier, yesterday the House of Commons voted to pass the regulations which will make two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine a condition of deployment in care homes. It was passed 317 votes to 247. The regulations now need to go through the House of Lords, which should happen next week. Providing the Lords passes the regulations, they would then come into force 16 weeks later, taking us to early November. Anthony Collins has now produced a briefing which you will want to read detailing what you now need to do: https://blog.anthonycollins.com/post/102h2wt/mandatory-vaccination-law-passed-what-do-you-need-to-do.   

The regulations were passed by the Commons despite the objections of the Regulatory Policy Committee due to the fact that an impact assessment of the policy has not been shared.

Separately, the Vaccine Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, alongside Stuart Miller, Director of Adult Social Care Delivery and Martin Teff, head of COVID-19 Vaccines Consultation and Legislation, were all called before the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee yesterday due to the following concerns:

  • Lack of clarity and practical detail about how the legislation is to operate
  • Absence of any assessment of the impact on the workforce and care homes in general
  • Confusing analysis of current vaccination levels in the sector
  • Absence of any clear explanation of the policy choices made

You can watch this session here.

We are continuing our work to influence the shape of the operational guidance and implementation of the policy, and will continue to call for additional support and funding as part of this.

Local Authorities and Mandatory Vaccination

In a recent email briefing from ADASS/LGA, it was made clear that LAs are not required and do not need to make contractual changes to accommodate the new regulations. Instead, they are encouraged to support providers in implementing the policy.

Update to Infection Control and Testing Fund Grant Conditions

Please see the attached letter from the Minister for Care regarding the grant conditions of the extended Infection Control Fund. The grant conditions have now been updated:

  • Costs to avoid public transport and accommodation costs are no longer a use of the direct funding for providers. This will remain part of the discretionary local authority funding.
  • All testing costs (PCR and LFD) are to be met from the testing funding. Community care providers will be supported through the discretionary allocation of the testing funding with regards to PCR testing.

Top Tips on Retention

The Care Provider Alliance and Local Government Association have shared a briefing on retaining adult social care staff. The briefing includes some of the approaches taken by organisations to reduce staff turnover and help retain people in the care and health workforce.

CQC Strategy

Anthony Collins Solicitors, has created a number of podcasts on the CQC strategy and responding in the event of an unfavourable inspection. In the first podcast, Tim Coolican and Freya Cassia discuss the new strategy, what it means for health and social care providers and what providers can be doing to prepare for the new style inspections: https://www.anthonycollins.com/resources/webinars-and-podcasts/podcast-cqc-strategy-2021-part-1-how-inspections-will-change-and-how-providers-can-prepare/

In the second podcast, they explore the legal and practical options available to providers if a disappointing result is received following an inspection. They will also discuss some tips on the factual accuracy and rating review processes to give listeners a steer on to how to challenge a report or rating: https://www.anthonycollins.com/resources/webinars-and-podcasts/podcast-cqc-strategy-2021-part-2-how-ratings-could-change-and-how-to-challenge-them/

Urgent Community Response Webinar

NHS England and Improvement is running a webinar on ‘Urgent Community Response referrals: Enabling referrals into two-hour crisis response services’ – this may be of interest. It will run 12pm-1pm on Thursday 15 July. More details here.


Very useful guide to paying for residential care

Ideal to hand on to enquirers, or add to your website.

CFG Guide to Paying for Care Homes (2021-22)

OWAIN WRIGHT    I    FOUNDER

CARE FUNDING GUIDANCE LTD

Direct:   01978 513317   I    Email: owain.wright@carefundingguidance.org

Mobile:  07595 600884    

Reg No: 09093736


Day Care service provider?

Wondering about VAT exemption?

In their recent release of Revenue & Customs Brief 9 (2021), HMRC clearly outlined that day care provision, by non-regulated private organisations in England and Wales, is subject to VAT. So, what are the implications for day care providers required to be VAT registered? How can Contract Restructuring help?

For more information on how VAT Registration could support your care provision… read the full article or email Emma@vatsol.com

VAT Treatment of Day Care Services – VAT Solutions


Extension of the Infection Control and Testing Fund

 
Letter from the minister – Helen Whatley
 
 

End of COVID restrictions: a Health & Safety checklist

The Prime Minister confirmed that England will move to the final phase of the lockdown roadmap on 19 July, ending all COVID restrictions on social distancing and limits on social contact, along with a ‘gradual return to work’.

While many have deemed 19 July ‘Freedom Day’, the government has urged a cautious approach, as COVID cases continue to rise. It remains vital that, as an employer, you consider your Health & Safety responsibilities as restrictions begin to lift, so your people and your business stay protected from any risks – both COVID-related and otherwise.

To help you get prepared ahead of the day itself, Citation’s Health & Safety experts have created this free checklist covering all the essential Health & Safety angles you need to have covered so your business and your people are protected when 19 July arrives.

DOWNLOAD

Your member benefit

If you’d like to chat about how Citation can help with the HR and Health & Safety side of your business, just give them a call on 0345 844 1111, or fill in their call-back form and they’ll get right back to you.

Quote the association (s) you are a member of when enquiring to access your member benefit.

 
 

New right to work checks: what changes for employers?

  • What’s the situation for European citizens?
  • Why are right to work checks so important for business owners?
  • What are the key changes to right to work checks outlined in the government’s new Code?
  • What if an employee started work on or after 1 July, but I carried out checks before then?
  • How are right to work checks supposed to be carried out?
  • How can I conduct right to work checks if my employees are working from home because of COVID?

In June 2021, the Home Office published new guidance on right to work checks for EU citizens, which came into force on 1 July 2021. Employers are required to carry out checks to make sure that the people they employ have the right to work in the UK.

This applies to all right to work checks carried out from 1 July 2021, and failure to comply carries criminal and civil penalties – from unlimited fines to a potential jail sentence. Are you confident you know what your responsibilities are and how to carry out the correct right to work checks?

The HR & Employment Law experts of Citation, have created this free guide summarising all you need to know about these changes e to make sure you’re doing the right thing by your people and your business.

DOWNLOAD

Your LCAS member benefit

If you’d like to chat about how Citation can help with the HR and Health & Safety side of your business, just give them a call on 0345 844 1111, or fill in their call-back form and they’ll get right back to you.

Quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your member benefit.

 


Welcome to your new regular e-newsletter from the NHS Test and Trace testing team. To receive this directly, Contact news@dhsc-mail.co.uk Please add the above email address to your contact list to ensure that you receive our communications going forward.

We are aware that the recent government announcements will mean a huge change to daily life for all of us in the coming months, but we understand that this might also leave you with questions on what these changes will mean for the adult social care sector. This week we’ll use this newsletter to try and give you a picture of what we think will stay the same for you, your staff and your residents after July 19.

Care workers are on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 and we are determined that staff have everything they need to help to protect themselves and the people they care for. We are asking the adult social care sector, including day care centre staff, to continue testing as restrictions across the country ease, even if they have been fully vaccinated.

Regular asymptomatic testing

We anticipate that there will be no changes to your testing regime come July 19th. You should plan to continue testing as normal for the foreseeable future. This means that we are asking you and your staff to test once per week (on a Thursday – Sunday) with PCR and twice per week using rapid Lateral Flow Tests. These tests are a vital part of our defence against Covid-19, helping to protect staff and those who receive care and support. You can refer to the ‘Coronavirus testing in adult care homes’ guidance here.<http://email.dhsc-mail.co.uk/c/eJxdUMtugzAQ_Bq4GdmGADlwqIKiqIdUVXLqBRl7ASt-UNtA1K-vkdJLJUvrmdnR7qxoWNWnsqGYElyRnBBa53mGKyo4x3Vd06o8VjgpsJg8R5pJlXGbLY90anraUzHAAceKy7Lgw3GooaS0OgxlUeNUNVMIs0_yt4Se49u2LRvtGt0RxA84o8GECOalV5KzIK3xEXLrrGGrdItH3K5SIHJEAXyQZkTSICYWFRBnDtBkNcQJ521GSpqHNAKeSd7ihJZL0B1nemZyNJG6Xm73-yl6LtFyhc0rCAEcoTEs-Wu3Juwb5e2_uC9dg5CLjjLs0ov0dnEcItnCzFzYI3V26C7AVJg6ZkR3s1wy1e3DU9fo0QFb49YFnqzzA1NqsouH12FDc3sSyb7a94SePtYf-uD4-_MXIsSO2Q>

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Visitor testing

There will be no change to the testing requirements for visitors to care homes. However, the limit on the number of visitors for people living in care homes will be removed, pending capacity of providers to safely enable visiting. Visitors will still be required to test via rapid Lateral Flow Test in order to access care homes for visiting. Please refer to the Guidance on care home visiting<http://email.dhsc-mail.co.uk/c/eJxdUTtvwyAQ_jXORmQgNc7goWpURR1SVenUxbrA2UbB4PKwo_764iqqqkoMfK-741ANiMtGN6xktBSUU8pqzrelYErKsq5rJqq9KItdqYYgyQjabKXbputmaCohkFcCOi5UTWm1u3BeP3S12AncV2q_Mc0Q4xQK_liw53yWZdn2bs7pDPIFvR3RxgymdDFaQtTOhgxnHXTUticSPJLBjRiISv6Hcd5ZmLVPqzFNCiISZ8nkcgGdfZ3z5DcP3oPtce0SiLZ_6hX8eZmI0faqrcJbwQ-0YFWKYythnED3NlOn4_n9_SlnjjlywiUYjBE9ZXk_v3Zn4_oIfvi3obs-otJpzDKu0p0MLnmJmTzgBD6u87Wua48IJg4tWNWendRg2rX5xjdj7xHmPPWuHJwPHRgzuBTw_hexOd-oho_DS8GeXucvdpXl59s3y4iidA> for current and updated visitor guidance.

PPE

PPE guidance for adult social care settings will not change on 19th July, regardless of the easing of mask wearing requirements for the general public. It is vital that care homes continue to adopt practices which limit infections, and care workers are expected to continue to follow the PPE recommendations in the ‘How to work safely’ guidance<http://email.dhsc-mail.co.uk/c/eJxdUU1v4yAQ_TXOjQhwYycHH6pGVdRDqyo97cWawNhGwUD5sNv99QvbtNKuhAQzb96bmYfsoL1sVMcpZ7RlNWN8X9db2nIpBN3v97xtDi2t7qicgiAzKL0Vdpuum6lrmdzJHQVsqGDtcNk19IJ1U3SkODC20d0UowtVfV_xx3zWdd2OdsnsHOQHejOjiTlw6aKVgKisCTkUdlGSsAOZ7EqiJav1VxJgQP1JlCECPGZoxlLr0AdrQBPnbUQR1YIE35NyRZo4h8RjsMkLJIP1X9yil2l_b2XGfzWJTL4kQwoRlEFJfsaJHkyYVQh5zkJCM2owsqofV0e0MllM4kdVH3nFmxTnXsDsQI0mp55P57e3h9zllJs84xo0xoie8ew1-y63JhZD6uN_bt_wGaVKc4axQLfk13I5eUQHPpa1ezv0JwQdpz6P15-tUKD70nzju3n0CEv27o5O1ocBtJ5sCnj719idP5iCX8enij-8LL_5VdD31z9dp768>.

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Webinar with Dr Chris Kenny

We understand that sometimes it’s nice to speak to someone face to face, which is why we’re hosting a sector wide webinar on Thursday 22 July with Dr Chris Kenny to talk about exactly what step 4 will mean for adult social care. Please look out for this invite from us in the coming days.

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Commissioning letter to the MAC for the review of adult social care

Letter from the Minister for Future Borders and Immigration to commission the MAC to undertake an independent review of adult social care.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/commissioning-letter-to-the-mac-for-the-review-of-adult-social-care?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=6dfb8e9b-5ff0-4f9f-96d2-26219b799c85&utm_content=immediately

The Minister for Future Borders and Immigration writes to Professor Brian Bell to commission the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to undertake an independent review of adult social care and the impact that ending freedom of movement has had on the sector.


Grant conditions for the new Infection Control and Testing Fund

Last week, DHSC published the grant conditions for the new iteration of the IPC and Testing fund. The grant conditions largely remain the same but there are a few changes and other things you will need to take note of. As before, the fund has different grant conditions for testing and IPC. In total it is £250m split between £142.5m for IPC and £108.8m for Testing. It is about £91m less than the last iteration but appears to require the same level of activity.

The purpose of the fund is to:

  1. Reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission within and between care settings through effective infection prevention and control practices and increase uptake of staff vaccination.
  2. Conduct testing of staff and visitors in care homes, high risk supported living and extra care settings, in order to enable close contact visiting where possible

Other things to note:

  • Funding will be paid to LAs at some point this month and they then need to pay it to providers within 20 working days who are eligible to be directly paid. Full conditions can be found in the guidance and includes completion of the capacity tracker. A proportion of the money has also been assigned to LA’s discretion which doesn’t fall in this 20 day limit.
  • The funding has to be spent by 30 September 2021
  • It cannot be used for costs prior to 1 July 2021 but can be used for ongoing costs
  • LAs will be expected to report to DHSC about spending on 1 September and 29 October so expect LA requests for information and spend
  • LAs have been told not to penalise those care home that have temporary vacancies due to COVID-19 when working out the ‘per-bed’ allocation. However, it is up to LA discretion to fund beds unoccupied for non-COVID reasons.

Infection Control Portion of the Fund

70% of this portion of the fund is to go directly to the types of providers listed below:

  • Care homes, including residential drug and alcohol services, within a LA’s geographical area on a per bed basis
  • CQC regulated community care providers on a per user basis.

We believe the bit about residential drug and alcohol services is new. LAs are also allowed to use ‘alternative arrangements’ to allocate the money. The guidance gives the example of allocation on the basis of ‘staffing ratios’. If a LA decides to allocate money on a different basis it must:

  • be consistent with the intention of the funding to provide an equitable level of funding among providers of community care, including those with which the local authority does not have existing contracts
  • have consulted upon the arrangements with the local provider sector
  • be carried out at the LA’s own risk
  • Inform DHSC

The grant conditions themselves for the IPC portion of the fund are largely the same as the last iteration with one difference, PCR testing costs have been moved to the testing portion of the fund. This has implications for community settings as I will explain below.

30% of this fund can be spent by LAs at their discretion on activities consistent with the grant conditions.

Providers should also note that their employees are not eligible for the Test and Trace Support Scheme as this grant is supposed to cover any isolation costs.

Testing portion of the fund

The split of funding in this fund is more complicated. All testing – PCR and Lateral Flow Tests – now sits in this portion of the fund but only care homes have guaranteed direct funding. On the face of it, 70% is allocated directly to care homes while the remaining 30% is discretionary. Having said that, the guidance states that it is expected that the LAs should use their discretionary portion to fund testing in community settings such as supported living and extra care settings. Still, this is a concerning change.

It gets a little more complicated as depending on how many of each type of setting there is within the local authority’s geographical area will change the percentage split between direct funding and discretionary funding. For example, if a LA has more community care users than care home beds, the LA’s discretionary funding may be greater than their allocation of direct funding to providers.

In terms of the grant conditions themselves, they remain largely the same as last time with the inclusion of PCR testing.

Designated settings should access the hospital discharge programme to cover additional costs above IPC and Testing needed to reach the standards to provide safe care for COVID-19 positive residents.

Weekly PCR Testing Request

NHS Test and Trace is requesting providers of  care homes to spread PCR testing across the week due to pressures on testing labs. They are requesting care homes to move their PCR testing days away from Mondays and Tuesdays.

 


A message of recognition and thanks,

from our new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid.

Whether you’ve been visiting people’s homes, or working in care settings, you’ve combined care with controlling COVID-19. I understand how it has made your job so much harder, but the whole country has seen it hasn’t stopped you from delivering the very best care. You’ve kept people safe and kept up their spirits, and I know the return of small pleasures, like visits indoors from family members and walks in the garden, is making a great deal of difference.

You’ve helped us through this pandemic; now you’re helping us vaccinate our way out of it. I’ve been impressed by how you worked so closely with NHS colleagues to offer COVID-19 jabs to all older residents in those few short weeks after we began vaccinating. It was an astonishing pace, and I’m so grateful. I now ask that those working in care, who are yet to get the jab, make it their top priority. It’s a step we know saves lives.

The importance of social care – and the people who deliver it – has played a big part in many of the jobs I’ve taken on in government. As Local Government Secretary, I was your voice calling for billions of pounds of extra funding into the sector. As Chancellor, I worked to put in billions more.

As Health and Social Care Secretary, it’s now my job to help put social care on a sustainable footing for the future. I’ll be working closely with the Prime Minister and so many others on that vital national challenge. I’m determined we get it right. Any proposal we bring forward will build on the spirit of integrated working you’ve embraced so enthusiastically, because we know we’re at our best when we work as one.

This past 18 months, you’ve all moved mountains to keep people safe. You don’t only have my gratitude, but my word that I will now do everything I can to look out for you.

Visit GOV.UK for the latest care sector guidance


Keeping Well North West London

July 8th 10.00 – 11.30 Virtual RM Meeting

The Keeping Well NWL portal

https://www.keepingwellnwl.nhs.uk/

This covers the boroughs of

It is an incredibly diverse and useful resource for you, your staff and service users to access and utilise, particularly in these very stressful and pressured times. To help you understand its uses, we have

Dr Chloe Schneider, who is the Clinical Lead for the Keeping Well Service in North West London, Chloe has a particular interest in staff wellbeing and helping facilitate reflective working environments that are supportive of staff development.

Peter Helmer, is an experienced NHS mindfulness practitioner

Skills for Care’s Selena Docherty

Will also provide an update of all the newly available support from SfC

To Join the Zoom v-meeting

https://zoom.us/j/94530347745?pwd=WnJOa0JnNkJnSlI2cFFnMU1qa0F6dz09

Meeting ID: 945 3034 7745

Passcode: 131150

One tap mobile

+443300885830,,94530347745#,,,,*131150# The United Kingdom

+441314601196,,94530347745#,,,,*131150# The United Kingdom

Some of you will already have signed up and be members of the RM Network, either personally, or as an organisation.  If you haven’t, do look at https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/support-for-registered-managers/membership/membership.aspx and consider the benefits of joining.

 

Any queries, contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org 07956878901

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@lcasforum.org 07984466130

E&OE

 


Recruitment & Retention

Finding & Keeping Good Staff

a very useful and detailed presentation from Selena Docherty of SfC

Finding & Keeping Good Staff


How is stress affecting your care business?

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has carried out a survey to mark Stress Awareness Month and found stress, depression, or anxiety accounts for 51% of all work-related ill-health cases. See https://press.hse.gov.uk/2021/04/06/new-tools-to-prevent-reduce-and-manage-stress-in-the-workplace/ for more information.

The HSE emphasised the importance of reviewing stress-causing factors in workplaces, saying employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work. If you’d like to create your own workplace survey, https://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/step2/surveys.htm

Or, take the easier option, if you’re not sure where to begin on this tricky topic? Citation have put together a free guide to help you manage your peoples’ wellbeing through the pandemic and beyond.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Your LCAS member benefit

If you’d like to chat about how Citation can help with the HR and Health & Safety of your business, you can give their team a call on 0345 844 1111.

Quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your member benefit.


DHSC Update – Compulsory Vaccination for Care Home staff

Stakeholder QA – Vaccination as a condition of deployment in care homes

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk)

I can confirm that the regulations were laid in Parliament yesterday and should be online imminently. I’ll share a link with you once they’re published.

I take the point that you and others have raised around implementation support.  We are rapidly planning stakeholder engagement to inform operational guidance that we are aiming to publish by end of July.  This should include advice around managing HR/employment issues. As you’ve noted, the majority of care home staff have already taken up the vaccine – and there is time for staff who have yet to be vaccinated to have both jabs between now and implementation. This includes the 16-week grace period, which not only provides time for staff to be vaccinated but also for care homes to manage staff transitions if this is necessary.

We are working with Skills for Care to ensure that resources such as guidance and best practice are available to support providers and local authorities with capacity and workforce planning, recruitment and well-being. Skills for Care will also provide local and national workforce support to local authorities and employers. We will also work with local authorities to ensure they are contingency planning and accessing additional support, as well as promoting joint working across a region to assist with targeted recruitment.


Buying a Care Home? Growth Strategy?

There Are VAT Implications For Your Provision…

Care sector providers undertaking growth and acquisition strategies need to consider VAT implications before purchasing property. Is the property a new build or an established care home? Is VAT being charged on the sale and is that VAT recoverable? For more information on how VAT strategy might impact your growth plans… read the full article or email Emma@vatsol.com

Vatsol Buying a Care Home – The VAT Implications for Your Provision


Skills for Care Roadshow Reconnect, recharge and reset

July 13th 10.00 – 12.30

Come along to find out about:
■ practical tips and guidance for ensuring the continued wellbeing of your staff
■ local initiatives that can support your recruitment
■ how to re-establish – and build – local partnerships.
There will also be an update from the CQC on upcoming changes to regulation, with the
opportunity to ask questions afterwards.
Places can be booked at:
https://events.skillsforcare.org.uk/lonseroadshow1

Full details below

SfC Roadshow-July 13th-2021


DHSC

 
Policy paper

 

Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data (draft)

Published 22 June 2021

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-saves-lives-reshaping-health-and-social-care-with-data-draft/data-saves-lives-reshaping-health-and-social-care-with-data-draft

A timely reminder, if one is needed of the power of good data. An area that social care is lacking in providing.


Changes to care home admissions guidance

As part of limited changes to come into effect from Monday 21st June, the Prime Minister has announced further easing of restrictions on admissions in care homes. These are:

  • Where specific criteria are met, including an enhanced testing regime, residents will no longer need to isolate following admission to the care home from the community. 
  • Residents admitted from hospital or another care home, or who return from any overnight stay in hospital should still isolate for 14 days. 
  • All care home residents will be able to nominate an Essential Care Giver. Essential Care Givers are subject to the same PPE and testing requirements as staff and should always be able to visit care homes, including during an outbreak.

The updated guidance, Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19  was published late on Friday 18 June, and a brief summary follows:


New admissions

New residents who have been admitted from the community do not need to isolate upon arrival into the care home, subject to risk assessment based on the following:

  • they have been fully vaccinated, plus 3 weeks if possible,
  • advice on local transmission rates and variants of concern is being taken into account and followed
  • there has been no known contact with a person who has COVID-19,
  • circumstances at the person’s home are taken into account
  • and if the person has undergone an enhanced testing regime prior to admission.

New residents who have been discharged from hospital should self isolate, for 14 days, in their own room.  People being admitted from an interim care facility or from another care home may need to isolate for 14 days, however the guidance states that care home managers should undertake a risk assessment and factor in any monitored isolation that has already taken place in the previous setting. 

Symptomatic people or those who have tested positive for COVID-19 should not be admitted to a care home other than a designated setting unless there are exceptional circumstances .  Further information on designated settings is in discharge into care homes: designated settings.


Essential care giver visits during isolation

When a resident is newly admitted into a care home, the care home should enable visits from the resident’s essential care giver at all times, including during the 14-day period of self-isolation (but not when a care home resident has tested positive for COVID-19).  Further information on essential care givers can be found in section 2.2 in the guidance for visiting arrangements in care homes.


Vaccination

The guidance has been updated to include a section on vaccination, which provides information on the vaccination programme and links to sources of additional information, while stating the continuing need for IPC measures including social distancing.


Caring for residents

The guidance has been updated to include additional information on support for care homes when caring for care home residents, including best practice that should be followed even throughout sustained community transmission of COVID-19 (Section 5). 

Section 4 outlines care homes’ duty of care for residents. It also signposts to NHS tools and resources, including the NHS clinical support offer. All these can be used for non-COVID-19 specific care too.

Visits out to medical and other professional appointments should be supported and there is advice for care homes in separate guidance on visits out of the care home.

 

Where a care home provider is comfortable that social distancing and IPC requirements have been met, it is advised that the resident will not need to self-isolate on their return provided that the visit has not included an overnight stay in hospital or been assessed to be high risk after a risk assessment conducted by the care home.


Hospitalisation

There is a checklist in the guidance for supporting existing residents who might need to be treated as an in-patient.  At this time, based on clinical advice, residents should self-isolate for 14 days when they return from overnight stays in hospital or from a visit considered high risk by a provider following an individual risk assessment. Separate guidance includes advice on risk assessment.


Visiting health professionals

The guidance states that care homes should facilitate visits from healthcare professionals where necessary (if remote consultation or treatment is not possible) and use appropriate IPC measures and testing.  Please refer to the guidance on testing health professional visits for further information on testing requirements.


Outbreaks

Where there is an outbreak, care homes, under the advice of their local health protection team (HPT), will need to implement restrictions on communal activities for 14 days.  Recovery testing on all those who had previously tested negative should be carried out 14 days after the last positive test result. If all recovery testing shows negative results, restrictions on visiting should be removed.  An outbreak will be declared over and restrictions in the care home will be lifted unless:

  • there is a verified case of a variant of concern among residents or staff, or
  • where recovery testing shows that a resident or staff has tested positive

HPTs may advise that restrictions should be implemented for at least 28 days.


Care for people at the end of life and after death

The guidance has been updated to include additional information on DNACPR which sets out that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will raise cases of inappropriate use of DNACPR and will take action where registered providers are responsible.


Working with NHS Test and Trace

Care homes should keep a record of current and previous residents, visitors and staff. Any records or reports produced specifically for NHS Test and Trace should be held for 21 days. After 21 days, this information should be securely disposed of or deleted.


EU Settlement Scheme and the end of the Grace Period on the 30 June 2021

The EU Settlement Scheme has been fully open since 30 March 2019. EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens, and their family members have until 30 June 2021 to apply.

  • The EU Settlement Scheme is a free scheme which enables EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK by the end of the transition period, and their family members, to obtain the status they will require in order to live, work and access public funding in the UK.
  • Applicants need to complete three key steps – prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions.

The Home Office is hosting a number of sessions covering:

  • Who needs to apply?
  • What is Settled/Pre-Settled Status ?
  • Late applications
  • Right to Work Checks
  • Support for EU Nationals
  • Q&A

Please sign up to one of these sessions using the registration links below:

22 June 2021

EU Settlement Scheme and the end of the Grace Period on the 30 June 2021 Tickets, Tue 22 Jun 2021 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

23 June 2021

EU Settlement Scheme and the end of the Grace Period on the 30 June 2021 Tickets, Wed 23 Jun 2021 at 13:10 | Eventbrite

25 June 2021

EU Settlement Scheme and the end of the Grace Period on the 30 June 2021 Tickets, Fri 25 Jun 2021 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

29 June 2021

EU Settlement Scheme and the end of the Grace Period on the 30 June 2021 Tickets, Tue 29 Jun 2021 at 09:30 | Eventbrite

30 June 2021

EU Settlement Scheme and the end of the Grace Period on the 30 June 2021 Tickets, Wed 30 Jun 2021 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

We will be joined by Heather Booth, ADASS Programme Manager, tomorrow during our Members’ Weekly Call to discuss the Settlement Scheme and how it is progressing. A key area of concern is a very low rate of applications from people of 65 or over, suggesting that many people are not aware that they need to apply, or are finding the application process difficult.  Heather has kindly produced the attached briefing paper in advance of the discussion.


‘Every Action Counts’

 
IPC toolkit with your members – link here: Infection prevention and control (skillsforcare.org.uk)

NHSX Survey

NHS is asking providers to complete a short questionnaire giving feedback on how you think they are doing to digitally transform the NHS and social care. The results will inform their ongoing engagement and communications.

They’d like to hear from you if you work in health technology and digital services across the NHS and social care, or are a leader or manager in clinical and non clinical roles. The research is conducted independently and fully anonymous. The survey is done every 3 months – if you have participated before NHSX would still like to hear from you again. Please complete by Friday 2 July 2021.


V-RM Meeting with SfC

Recruitment & Retention – Getting Your House in Order

June 24th 10.00 – 11.30 Virtual RM Meeting

Getting this right and using processes such as Values Based Recruiting is vital to the success and sustainability of a well-run social care organisation. It reflects upon the culture and ethos of how that organisation treats and respects its staff and also those individuals that the organisation cares for and supports.

Skills for Care’s Selena Docherty an expert in workforce development and management will take you through the stages ensuring that you get the process correct and how to work with SfC items such as The Care Certificate and the use of NICE Guidance and how to link these with training and staff development.

To Join Zoom Meeting; 10.00 – 11.30

https://zoom.us/j/98248141290?pwd=VkhnaFlpL1l4T2NLZE1vSDFwRDNKZz09

Meeting ID: 982 4814 1290

Passcode: 684927

One tap mobile

+442034815240,,98248141290#,,,,*684927# United Kingdom

+442039017895,,98248141290#,,,,*684927# United Kingdom

Some of you will already have signed up and be members of the RM Network, either personally, or as an organisation.  If you haven’t, do look at https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/support-for-registered-managers/membership/membership.aspx and consider the benefits of joining.

Any queries, contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org 07956878901

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@lcasforum.org 07984466130

E&OE


DHSC Letter – Compulsory Vaccinations for Social Care Staff

Please also find attached a letter from our Director of Adult Social Care Delivery, Stuart Miller, to the sector

Letter on making vaccination a condition of deployment in care homes – FINAL


Guide to recruitment and retention in care

Care providers are reporting increasing problems both finding and keeping staff. With the economy bouncing back and hospitality and retail sectors aggressively rehiring, now is the perfect time to review the way you recruit and retain staff.

If you need a refresher on how to bring the best possible people into your business and give your recruitment a revamp, the HR experts of our partner, Citation, have created a free guide to help you – from writing great job ads to keeping employees engaged, it’s the perfect recruitment reference point.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE

The above guide has been written specifically for care businesses by our sector specialist.

Your LCAS member benefit

If you’d like to chat about how Citation can help with the HR and Health & Safety side of your business, just give them a call on 0345 844 1111, or fill in their call-back form and we’ll get right back to you.

Quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your member benefit.


DHSC Update

Care home residents can stay overnight as visiting restrictions ease

  • Residents will be able to spend time away from their care home with family and friends
  • Every resident can nominate an ‘Essential Care Giver’ to provide additional support during visits
  • This is the latest cautious step taken to restore care home visits to as close to normality as possible

Care home residents will be able to spend more time with family and friends, including overnight stays as part of an easing of visiting restrictions announced today.   

Currently residents can only leave the care home for a visit if outdoors or for high-priority reasons, such as a dental or GP appointment, but will now be able to leave the home for more social reasons without having to isolate.  

From 21 June, people admitted to a care home from the community will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, so residents will have a less disruptive introduction to their new home.

To ensure this happens safely, residents will undergo an enhanced testing regime – a PCR test before admission, a PCR test on the day of admission and a further PCR test 7 days later. 

Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: 

“I have heard first-hand from those living and working in care homes how difficult the restrictions around visiting have been and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone working in the sector who has helped reunite families safely.

“Thanks to the continued success of the vaccine rollout, I am pleased we can now take another step towards normality, helping more people enjoy visits out of the care home while protecting them from the continued risk of COVID-19.”

The government has also strengthened the role of the ‘Essential Care Giver’, which means every resident should be able to nominate a friend or family member to provide extra care on their visits. Essential Care Givers can continue to visit during outbreaks.

The Essential Care Giver role is intended to provide additional support from someone with a unique personal relationship with the resident.

They have access to the same PPE and testing supply as care home workers and should be allowed to continue to visit during periods of isolation or where there is an outbreak.

Care home residents would still need to isolate for 14 days following a visit out that would be deemed high risk through a risk assessment or after an overnight stay at hospital.

If a person is admitted from a hospital or another care home they must also self-isolate.  

The government has worked to do everything it can to make sure staff are kept as safe as possible while they support others, including prioritising them for the COVID-19 vaccine, increased testing and a constant supply of free PPE.

Almost £1.8 billion has been made available for adult social care including infection prevention and control measures to support providers to pay staff who are self-isolating and limit the movement of staff where possible.


advice on visiting social workers etc & testing

The advice on visiting social workers etc, homes can insist that a LFD is taken on the door if they are not part of any other testing regime. And you can turn them away if they refuse. There are obvious differences if it is an emergency etc.  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-in-adult-care-homes/testing-for-professionals-visiting-care-homes

Professionals not regularly tested through NHS or CQC staff testing

As detailed in previous guidance, professionals who are not part of a regular testing regime (that is, those who are not included in NHS staff and CQC inspectors) should be tested on the door of the care home. Professionals who have to visit multiple care homes per day do not need to be tested at a care home more than once a day.

Professionals should be tested, using rapid LFT testing, on the door of the first care home they visit on that day. The testing process is set out in the visitor testing guidance (‘On-site testing for adult social care services’). These professionals should then use the email or text they receive from NHS Test and Trace with their result and show this as proof at each care home they visit.

As above, care homes should ask professionals when they were last tested and request to see proof of the result and date of the relevant professional’s test. If the professional is unable to provide proof, they should be tested at the care home door.

If the individual has not been tested (or is unable to provide proof) and it is not possible to test prior to entry, the care home will need to make a risk-based decision regarding whether to permit entry, taking into account the reason and urgency of the visit. The default position is that without proof of a recent negative test, the professional should not be admitted, unless entry is required by law.

This guidance is not exhaustive and there are other categories of professionals who, like CQC inspectors, have a legal right of entry to the care home as part of discharging their duties. This guidance does not prevent their entry to a care home if they are unable to evidence a negative test result. Of course, anyone who has tested positive (or who has symptoms) must self-isolate as per the guidance. There is also guidance on return-to-work criteria for health and social care staff.


CQC – Publication Date

Death notifications in care homes at location level

I’m writing to share that we’ve now confirmed a date for publication of data showing notifications received from individual care homes relating to deaths of people with Covid-19 between 10  April 2020 and 31 March 2021.  This is in addition to the data we already publish on a weekly basis with ONS on the total number of care home residents who have died with Covid-19.

We made a commitment to publish data on location level death notifications as soon as we were able to do so accurately and safely. We can now confirm that we are working towards bringing this data to our Public Board meeting on 21 July 2021, with publication on the CQC website later the same day.

The only factor that would prevent publication on 21 July is if an issue with data quality emerges during the quality assurance process. While we currently have no reason to believe this might be the case, we will delay publication if we have any concerns about the accuracy of the data. We are acutely aware that every single number represents an individual life lost to Covid-19 and we have a responsibility to represent these figures – and these lives – as accurately as possible.

Why has this date been chosen?

This date has been chosen primarily because our analysts, and colleagues from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), believe that it will allow enough time to complete the additional quality assurance processes required for publication. Providers will be given advance sight of the information they have previously provided to us to ensure they have had the right conversations with people in their care and their loved ones. It will also give our Board the opportunity to have a full public discussion about this data.

Will we contact providers?

Throughout the pandemic, we have encouraged care providers to be transparent with people in their care and their loved ones, and we know that most providers have done all they can to ensure that information about the circumstance of peoples’ death is shared appropriately.

If a service has notified CQC of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 related death we’ll be in touch in the coming weeks to share the data we hold on their service. This information will help providers to have important conversations with the families of people who died and those in their care, in advance of publication. We’re asking providers not to contact us directly – we’ll ensure that they are contacted ahead of publication.

What data will we show?

The data will let people see the number of death notifications relating to Covid-19 we have received from every care home location in England over the course of the pandemic, as well as how many death notifications we have received in a local authority area.

How will we engage with trade associations and providers?

We’ll be letting providers know the above in today’s adult social care bulletin which will be sent shortly. This will also link through to a statement on the CQC website which is attached for information.

News Story – Location Level Deaths Data Publication Date


ASC ‘How to Work Safely’ PPE guidance updates

As discussed in today’s (June 10th) meeting the accompanying visual guides for the ASC ‘How to Work Safely’ PPE guidance have been updated. Below are the links to the updated visuals and also some suggested text to share alongside. We would be grateful if you could please cascade these links to your members.

‘Working in conjunction with key stakeholders, Public Health England recently updated the How to Work Safely in Care Homes in England and How to Work Safely in Domiciliary care in England PPE guidance. The accompanying visual guides have been updated to further support care workers to follow the updated PPE guidance and good infection prevention control measures, in conjunction with local policies. The guides outline what PPE to wear, when, and how.

Updated visuals:


From the DHSC

Please find attached a letter notifying service providers that Full Support Healthcare Easimask FSM25 masks have been approved for use as a Type IIR face mask by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

In some cases, you will notice that the label on the inner carton does not indicate the type (Type IIR) and some do not bear the expected CE mark. However, we can confirm that these have been approved for use as Type IIR face masks.

This mask is not available on the PPE Portal, therefore it may not be applicable for all members. However, please can you cascade to your members for information.

2021.06.02 FSM25 MHRA confirm safe to use – Type IIR Masks – Letter V0.1


You Heard Me, but Can You Hear Me
 
 

YOU HEARD ME, BUT DO YOU HEAR ME?

Join us on the 16th June to hear how you to overcome the communication barrier within the ethnic workforce as we ask ourselves, do we care for the health and social care staff enough?The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt said:

“Workforce burnout across the NHS and care systems now presents an extraordinarily dangerous risk to the future functioning of both services.”

This is nothing new to us in the industry, we live it everyday and the simplest of things, such as not being understood can turn our mental state topsy turvy.
Next week, we’ve brought together a great line up for you who will share best practices and guidelines around:

  • What rights you have as an employee with mental health concerns
  • How to communicate with your manager in a clear and concise manner when english isn’t your first language
  • How communication can empower the workplace to be more inclusive

The contributors on the day are:

Dr Tina Mistry, Clinical Psychologist.Brown Psychologist

Maxine Spence, Associate Mental Health Worker at Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

Abdul Shakoor. MBE, Mental health practitioner MIND 

Sonia Rai, Director Nectar HR

 

To join us, register here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/158649646363

 

Feel free to share with those who will gain value from attending.


Nutrition & Hydration Week 14th – 20th June

Upskilling Health Care Support Workers in the community setting.
Refresh, review and enhance for hydration and nutrition.

Hydration and nutrition 04062021


CQC – Regulation and data and cyber security

8 June 2021

David James, Head of Adult Social Care Policy at the Care Quality Commission discusses current and future plans for regulation and data and technology.

CQC regulation and data and cyber security 8 June 2021


Burnout of the Social Care Workforce

The Government has published an important report into burnout of social care & NHS staff as a result of the pandemic. The report also goes into the situation regarding workforce and other issues pre-pandemic.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmhealth/22/2204.htm#_idTextAnchor001


Changes to Red, Amber, Green travel areas and how this may affect your staff

Given the recent update to the red-amber-green travel list and future reviews, employers will have to carefully manage the self-isolation period for their people who may take international travel over the coming months. This free guide fro, Citation, covers the key considerations for employers, including whether travel-related quarantine is paid or not: https://www.citation.co.uk/resources/hr-and-employment-law/an-employers-guide-to-managing-travel-related-quarantine?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=LCAS&utm_campaign=partner_LCAS_quarantine_june21

How to manage travel-related quarantine in your business

Following a review of the red-amber-green travel list, the government announced on 3rd of June, that Portugal is being removed from the green list and being put on to the amber list as of the 8th June. That means that anyone traveling back from Portugal after that date (8th June) will now have to isolate for 10 days upon their return. There were also seven more countries added to the red list.

As we move more into summer, and people might be thinking of booking holidays – or even already be on holiday – it’s essential that you’re confident in how to manage any travel-related quarantine your employees might have to undertake, or how to respond to their queries.

LCAS’s partner, Citation, have put together a free guide with the key considerations you need to make if / when an employee has to quarantine, from what pay they’re entitled to, to what to do if travel is a part of their job.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE

Your London Care & Support Forum member benefit

If you’d like to chat about how Citation can help with the HR and Health & Safety side of your business, just give them a call on 0345 844 1111, or fill in their call-back form and they’ll get right back to you.

Quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your member benefit.


Vaccinations; encouraging staff to be vaccinated

From the DH&SC. Thank you for your continued support in encouraging social care workers to take up the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 1.2million colleagues have now taken up the offer of a vaccine, helping to protect themselves, their loved ones and the people they care for from the virus. While most social care workers have now been vaccinated, we know that there are some who are still unsure about having the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to our recent webinar with Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam and Dr Nikita Kanani, which you can view here, we have also produced a suite of new resources to help care managers reassure their staff about having the vaccine. This includes a briefing leaflet for care managers, a Q&A, downloadable posters, social media graphics, and email signatures. Please download these from our Google Drive or from Public Health England’s Campaign Resource Centre.

We also have a range of other materials available in our Communications Toolkit for the Adult Social Care sector, including case study videos, blogs, and social media content in a variety of languages which you can use across your own channels.


Please could you spare a minute to complete this survey on the verification of expected death by non-registered staff. This involves two questions to complete.

Survey Link:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SQT9C8M

Your assistance is appreciated.

 

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status)

You will be aware of the changes at the end of June. Make certain that you and your staff have the right information, advice and have acted correctly.

https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families


Update to UK-Wide Infection Prevention and Control Guidance

You may have noticed that PHE published an update to the UK-wide IPC guidance on Tuesday. This guidance does not apply to adult social care settings in England – existing guidance for adult social care settings continues to be relevant. Whilst all guidance remains under continuing review PHE does not expect any increased FFP3 use in adult social care due to this new IPC guidance. It is aimed at the NHS red pathways.

The main changes in the IPC guidance relate to strengthened messaging and clarity on hierarchies of control and what should be done if an unacceptable risk of infection remains when caring for a COVID-19 positive patient due to a difficult implementing these hierarchies of control (eg ventilation, testing, vaccination etc.). There are additional references to FFP3 masks in this guidance which apply to those environments where there is a high number of COVID-19 positive patients or where the patients require access to emergency or urgent care facility on a red pathway where the hierarchy of control cannot be applies – these will almost certainly be acute settings and not community/social care settings.


PHE Report

Last week, following criticism directed at the government’s handling of the pandemic and care homes, PHE published a report analysing the link between hospital discharges and outbreaks in care homes.

The report states that between 30 January and 12 October 2020, 1.6% of outbreaks were identified as potentially seeded from hospital associated COVID-19, with a total of 806 care home residents who tested positive. Considering the lack of testing we do not think this data can tell us anything as conclusive as the PHE report claims. It is also important to note that the PHE analysis doesn’t include people who weren’t care home residents prior to their admission


National Living Wage Survey

The current National Living Wage (NLW) is £8.91 as of April 2021. The Low Pay Commission (LPC) is consulting on a NLW rate of £9.42 for over 23s from April 2022. By 2024 the LPC is aiming to bring down the eligible age and specify a NLW of £10.33 for over 21s.


Adult Social care and COVID-19 after the first wave: accessing the policy response in England

The Health Foundation has produced a report analysing the national government policy response for social care between June 2020 and March 2021. This is a very timely publication and includes a timeline of key policy decisions.


A Guide to attracting and retaining a thriving workforce

The Work Foundation has published a guide to attracting and retaining a thriving workforce in social care in partnership with Totaljobs. You may find this useful.


Thank you letter to adult social providers

Please find attached a letter from Helen Whately, Matt Hancock, Deborah Sturdy and Lyn Romeo
for circulation to all adult social care providers and partners


21 May 2021, NHS @home Operational Update Issue 1 

 

Contents  

Regional support offer meetings  

May Measurement Month: The importance of home blood pressure monitoring 

NIHR research funding opportunity: NHS @home evaluation 

Using clinical judgement to assess patients for COVID Oximetry @home 

Multilingual versions of pulse oximetry patient video – please share  

NHS @home e-learning programme homepage now live  

HSJ Awards: Don’t miss your opportunity to apply 

Events and webinars 

 

NHS @home Update Issue 1 May 2021

 


Introducing the Citation Podcast

Citation have launched a new podcast, which will bring you essential updates and know-how on all things HR, Employment Law and Health & Safety.

In their first episode, Citation’s host and Head of Employment Law, Gill McAteer, discusses the new phase of the roadmap out of lockdown, returning to the workplace and the HR considerations every employer needs to know now. Plus, she’ll be covering key talking points on vaccinations, COVID-testing and more!

LISTEN NOW

Earphones ready? Tune in to the full episode of the Citation Podcast, available now on their website, Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Keep an eye out for more information and upcoming episode announcements.

 

Managing ventilation in a care setting

With the easing of lockdown restrictions and relaxation of care visiting arrangements, it’s vital you’re doing all you can to limit the spread of infection in your care setting.

Care providers are being urged to make use of all COVID-secure measures, especially when it comes to challenging practices such as ventilating spaces.

The experts of our care partner, Citation, have summarised all you need to know in this exclusive free guide to keeping spaces ventilated safely and comfortable. From why it’s important to the key considerations you need to make before implementing ventilation, it’s a great starting point.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE

Your LCAS member benefit

If you’d like to chat about how Citation can help with the HR and Health & Safety side of your business, just give them a call on 0345 844 1111, or fill in their call-back form and we’ll get right back to you.

Quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your member benefit.


RM Learning & Partnership Meeting Notes & and Recording May 19th 2021

Jo McCormack – NICE Presentation –

NICE Intro_RMN_JM_190521

Laura Anthony – SfC presentation – Achieving Good and Outstanding

RM network slidesCroydonWandsworthVirtual190521

https://youtu.be/WcZYrSlNfGI


How to work safely in care homes

The PPE guidance for care homes has finally been updated. This guidance should now clarify many of the queries raised following the various iterations issued in April – in particular on when to change a facemask following direct or personal care and the difference between wearing a face mask for source control (i.e. protecting others from you) and for PPE (i.e. protecting yourself as well as others). The guidance now has a section at the top detailing what has changed.

In order to try and clarify the confusion created with the previous version of the guidance, there are now 3 main scenarios:

  • providing direct personal care (with distinctions made for those who have COVID-19 and those with no symptoms/a negative test)
  • other contact within 2 metres of anyone else (where direct personal care is not being carried out – like a group activity or working in a communal area)
  • carrying out domestic duties or other activities
  1. Providing Direct Personal Care

When providing direct personal care, gloves, aprons and eye protection (where needed and single use) are single use only. Some eye protection may be designed to be reused once decontaminated. Type IIR masks for direct personal care are single use when providing care for someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days or has respiratory symptoms. There is an exception for those with a negative test and who do not have respiratory symptoms: 

If you have provided direct personal care to a resident who has tested negative for COVID-19 and does not have respiratory symptoms (for example, coughing, sneezing), and assuming your mask is not damp, soiled or worn for more than 4 hours, you can wear it for the next resident contact. However, you will need a clean change of apron and gloves for any care or task where PPE is required.” 

  1. Other contact within 2 metres of anyone else

Eye protection is advised when there is a risk of splashing of body fluids (including respiratory secretions) – these are defined in this section of the guidance. The only required piece of PPE for these scenarios are Type I or Type II masks. These can be worn sessionally for the duration of an activity. If Type IIR masks are more readily available, and there are no supply issues for their use as PPE, then they can be used for the purposes of source control as an alternative to Type I or II masks. The guidance also states that a Type IIR masks can also be worn if the wearer is wearing it for an extended period of time while carrying out duties that do not include caring for residents who are COVID-19 positive or with respiratory symptoms. Type IIR masks should be worn if there is a risk of splashing of bodily fluids onto the mask.

A facemask can be worn for a maximum of 4 hours and should be changed when damp, soiled, contaminated or uncomfortable. Masks should be replaced after eating or drinking.

  1. Carrying out domestic duties or other activities

Type I or II surgical masks are recommended as a means of source control. These can be worn sessionally for a maximum of 4 hours. The guidance makes it clear that these are sufficient for domestic duties but that Type IIR masks can also be used it there are enough. Gloves are only needed due to the use of chemicals in cleaning rather than for PPE (unless there is a risk of coming into contact of bodily fluids). The same applies to plastic aprons or if the area you are working in has a resident who is within 14 days of a positive test or is in isolation. Eye protection is only needed if you are carrying out domestic duties in a room where there is a resident who is COVID-19 positive or has respiratory symptoms or is unable to comply with a 2-metre social distancing rule.

Please read the full guidance for more detail, as well as information on putting on and removing PPE, AGPs, and disposal of used PPE.

 


Extension of consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes

The consultation on mandatory vaccination for care homes for over-65s has been extended to midday on Wednesday 26th May. This appears to have come after we raised the short timescale between the publication of translations of the consultation earlier this week and the original deadline this evening. Please ensure you make your voice heard. Do also note the new ‘Social Care Working Group consensus statement‘ that was added this afternoon.


Test and Trace Update for Extra Care and Supported Living Settings

Please find attached an email sent by Test and Trace to managers of Extra Care Housing and Supported Living Schemes. The email contains an update on surge testing for these settings in areas with a high prevalence of a variant of concern, an update on visitor self-testing and reporting, and visits to day care centres.


Hospital Discharge and Community Support: Finance Support and Funding Flows

The government has provided a national discharge fund via the NHS to help cover some of the cost of post-discharge recovery and support services following discharge from hospital. NHS England and NHS Improvement have published Hospital Discharge and Community Support: Finance Support and Funding Flows. This outlines the financial arrangements in relation to the national discharge fund for quarters 1 and 2 of 2021/22 (1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021). These financial arrangements apply for patients discharged or using discharge services during that time period, with updated guidance to follow for the remainder of 2021/22. If you have any questions contact england.d2a@nhs.net.

The full discharge policy on the government website is likely to be updated over the next few weeks.


New award to recognise exceptional practice in the adult social care workforce

Deborah Sturdy, the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, has launched awards to celebrate the nurses and care workers in adult social care who go above and beyond their everyday roles to provide excellent care, leadership and inspiration. Gold and silver awards will recognise outstanding contribution to adult social care and are designed to mirror the awards given by Chief Nursing Officer, Ruth May, to staff in the NHS.

The awards are not limited to registered nurses and are extended to include all carers across all care settings, not just care homes. See the press release for links to a gold and silver award nomination form. Each nomination should be supported two signatories.


Visiting Arrangements to Care Homes

This guidance has been updated and will apply from 17 May. It builds on previous iterations so I have highlighted the main changes, which are centred on indoor, close-contact visits (sections 2.1, 2.2 and 2.4).

  • Residents can now have 5 nominated visitors. Confusingly, this limit includes an essential care giver if the resident has one (technically 4 named visitors + an essential care giver in this scenario). While the assumption is that there is only one essential care giver, the guidance does leave some room for exceptions to be made subject to an assessment of individual circumstances.
  • No more than 2 named visitors are allowed at any one time or over the course of one day. Essential care givers are exempt from this limit.
  • Any children visiting (with the exception of babies and preschool-aged children) should be counted towards the maximum number allowed for a visit. National restrictions on indoor gathering should be followed.
  • Where it is reasonable and practicable any children visiting should wear the same PPE as adult visitors. It is not recommended that face coverings are worn by children under the age of three. Guidance on LFD testing of children can be found here.
  • Named visitors should be tested using LFDs and wear appropriate PPE. Visitors can either be tested using LFDs on-site or at home. Guidance on how to do this can be found here. LFD testing must be conducted on the day of the visit, and evidence must be presented if self-testing at home. If a visitor cannot produce a negative test, they may be asked to reschedule or take a test on site. Visitors will need to register test results themselves whether at home or on-site. Managers will need to give visitors the UON of the care home to do this. If a result is positive, the visitor and their household must self-isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test.
  • Essential care givers will be expected to follow the same PPE, IPC and testing arrangements as care home staff. This means a minimum of 2 LFD tests a week and a PCR test. The LFD tests can be done at home.
  • Hugging is discouraged for nominated visitors.
  • Vaccination is not a condition of visiting but it should be strongly recommended to visitors.
  • Care homes can continue to offer visits to other friends and family members who are not nominated visitors through arrangements such as outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods or from behind windows.

Visits out of Care Homes

This guidance has also been updated and will apply from 17 May. It lists examples of scenarios where a visit out of the care home would not result in 14 day isolation.

Activities where the risks are lower:

  • Spending time outdoors
  • To take part in outdoor exercise not involving close contact with others.

Residents should also be supported to leave the home, subject to carefully considered risk assessments (there is an entire section on individual risk assessments), for the following without having to self-isolate for 14 days on return:

  • To go to work or take part in education or training
  • For medical appointments such as GP appointments, excluding overnight stays in hospital
  • To take part in other activities necessary to maintaining an individual’s health and/or wellbeing (e.g. going to a day centre or to a place of worship)

Where a setting (e.g. a day centre) has regular testing, the resident should take part in this where possible. Any visits outside of the above continue to be subject to 14-days isolation on return – including all overnight stays.

The guidance also lists a number of other measures to support safe outward visits. Among these is a clarification that residents may be (but are not required to be) accompanied by a member of care home staff, nominated visitors or their essential care giver. Where this is the case, the relevant testing regimes listed in the visiting arrangements to care homes should be followed. Other measures include:

  • Maintaining social distance from anyone who is not a nominated visitor, essential care giver or staff member.
  • Ensuring that visiting arrangement are discussed in advance with residents, nominated visitors and essential care givers
  • Crowded places should be avoided
  • Visits to indoor spaces should normally be avoided unless they are for work, education, medical appointments or where an individual assessment has determined the activity is necessary to maintaining an individual’s health and wellbeing.
  • Visits should not involve the use of public transport

Finally, the outbreak guidance has been updated. In the event of an outbreak, visiting in and out should stop. These restrictions should continue until 14 days have passed since the last confirmed case, and recovery testing (on all who had previously tested negative) shows negative results at this point. If a Variant of Concern is confirmed then the visiting must stop for 28 days rather than 14. This guidance doesn’t mention the exception given for the Kent Variant but that is what was communicated in an email from Test and Trace earlier this week. As such, we believe the intention is that this guidance on variants of concern does not include the Kent Variant – we have asked for clarification.

 


Are you a care worker or nurse in an adult social care setting?  Your opinion matters.

Ipsos MORI are asking care workers and nurses working in adult social care to complete a short survey to share their views and experiences of using digital devices and technology, both at home and in the workplace.  The survey will take no more than 20 minutes to complete, and you’ll receive a £10 shopping voucher as a thank you for your time. 

The research is being carried out for NHSX, a joint unit of NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, driving the digital transformation of care. The findings will help them identify what support is needed by adult social care staff, where further investment is required and help NHSX plan its future strategy.

Register for the survey before it closes on 14 June 2021 or call 0800 15 22 773 to take part. Please share the link with your colleagues.

The survey also offers a chance to volunteer for a telephone or online interview/discussion group about your use of digital technology.  If selected, you’ll receive £40 (cash) on attendance, as a thank you.  We want to hear from as many people as we can so please share the link with your colleagues. You can find out more information about the survey here or email UK-NHSXskills@Ipsos-MORI.com

POSTS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

Please use the hashtags #SocialCare #SocialCareChange and tag @IpsosMORI.  Attached is a social media banner to accompany the posts.

Employed in adult social care? Receive a £10 shopping voucher as thanks for completing short survey from @IpsosMORI to share your views and experiences of using digital devices / tech at home and workplace #SocialCare #SocialCareChange https://ipsos.uk/NHSXdigitalskillsASC

Employed in adult social care? Complete a short survey from @IpsosMORI to share your views and experiences of using digital devices / tech at home and workplace and receive a £10 shopping voucher #SocialCare #SocialCareChange https://ipsos.uk/NHSXdigitalskillsASC

For more information about the survey, please click here or email UK-NHSXskills@Ipsos-MORI.com

Many thanks again for your support which will be of great help to this research and its subsequent impact.

 


Sign up for the CQC strategy launch webinar

Join us as we set out our ambitions for the next five years. We want to become a more dynamic and flexible regulator, able to keep pace with the changes across health and social care, strengthening our core purpose: to ensure health and care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate high-quality care and to encourage those services to improve.

The CQC strategy launch event will take place on Thursday 27 May, 10am – 11am, and will be held on Microsoft Teams Live. 

During this one-hour webinar you’ll hear from our CEO Ian Trenholm and other members of our executive team as they explore our future direction and outline our priorities for 2021-22.  Signalling the changes we’ll make first to improve people’s care. There will also be time for you to ask questions.

Sign up now



National Booking Service Suspended for Under 40s

As many of you will have noticed, DHSC has removed social care workers from the National Booking Service at short notice. Those over 40 can still access the portal (although they may need to go through the same route as wider public rather than specifying social care).

We have been told that this is a temporary measure in response to the JCVI guidance issued on 7 May which stated that under 40s should be offered an alternative to the Oxford vaccine. The self-referral route was temporarily removed in order to allow the team behind the portal to add functionality to allow people to book into specific vaccine appointments. We believe it should be back up and running in a few days. In the meantime, DHSC is advising social care workers under the age of 40 to speak to their GPs to book a vaccination.


Visiting and Outbreak restrictions eased for Care Homes

We are still waiting for guidance to be published and so we still have only a press release to rely on. However, I have attached an email sent by the Test and Trace team to all care home managers. It gives a little more detail than the press release as well information on a webinar tomorrow at 12pm about changes to care home testing. See the attached for more details.  

From Monday 17:

  • Care home residents will be allowed 5 named visitors. This includes the essential care giver. Only 2 visitors can visit at a time in addition to the essential care giver.
  • Self-isolation will no longer be required following visits to medical appointments
  • Visits will only pause for a minimum of 14 days rather than 28 days following an outbreak.

Significantly, the period when a COVID-19 outbreak in a care home can be declared over will change from 28 days to 14 days after the last positive case assuming there are no Variants of Concern identified (this excludes the Kent Variant).

An update from the Test and Trace team has been sent to care home managers about these changes (which I have attached) but there is still no formal guidance.


As you are aware, the NHS England and NHS Improvement Community Services and Ageing Well team are running a series of information sharing webinars on Anticipatory Care.

The series will provide:

  • An opportunity to find out more about Anticipatory Care, inc. information on upcoming guidance and policy;
  • An overview of synergies with other policy / programme areas, and an explanation of how this fits within the Integration agenda outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan and recent White Paper;
  • Deep dives into topics particularly pertinent to Anticipatory Care delivery

In these sessions we will hear from areas delivering innovative models of Anticipatory Care and there will be opportunities to ask questions of both the national policy team as well as our range of speakers.

These webinars are aimed at any colleagues working in health and care, who are looking to either start delivering Anticipatory Care or would like to enhance their existing models.

To register for any of the sessions or for more information please follow the links below.

20th May 11:00-12:30- An Introduction to Anticipatory Care: Insights into proactive, personalised care

26th May 11:00-12:30- Anticipatory Care-Population Health Management and Risk Stratification

2nd June 11:00-12:30- Anticipatory Care-Data Sharing and Digital Tools for MDTs

9th June 11:00-12:30-Anticipatory Care-Personalised Care within Anticipatory Care

16th June 11:00-12:30-Anticipatory Care-Evaluation and Impact

 


PHE webinar on implementing the HTWS in care homes

Please see below information, and link to the registration page, for the PHE webinar on implementing the HTWS in care homes guidance on Tuesday 18th May 10:30-12pm. I’d be grateful if you could cascade this to your members to ensure we reach as many people as possible.

‘’PHE webinar on implementing the ‘How to Work Safely in care homes in England’ guidance – Chaired by DHSC Social Care Chief Nurse, Deborah Sturdy

For care home managers in England and those applying the guidance

Tuesday 18th May from 10:30-12pm

Following feedback from guidance users across the adult social care sector, PHE have revised the ‘How to Work Safely in Care Homes’ guidance published on 6th April 2021, including clarifying when to change the facemask after delivering personal care. The updated guidance is currently going through clearance and is expected to be published shortly.

PHE will be hosting a webinar to support care home managers and other guidance users to implement the forthcoming revised COVID-19 ‘How to work safely in care homes’ guidance. This will include a presentation on how to apply the guidance to different scenarios and a Q&A session with the panel. To pre-register for an invitation, please click here: PHE COVID -19 webinar on implementing the HTWS in care homes PPE guidance Tickets, Tue 18 May 2021 at 10:30 | Eventbrite.’’


DHSC External Affairs Weekly newsletter

https://dhsc-mail.co.uk/campaign/Sx1iaZDJ/791d6c2c2cf7f175389a6804/e10c1a06fd50e089f5097054a6bf4b72?wp-linkindex=0&utm_campaign=DHSC_External_Affairs_weekly_newsletter&utm_content=dhsc-mail.co.uk&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Department_of_Health_and_Social_Care


Infection prevention and control in care – your free guide

With care home residents in England now able to go on low-risk trips without having to self-isolate for 14 days when they return, we know that you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your people and service users safe as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased.

With that in mind, the care experts of our partner, Citation, have put together a free guide sharing key questions they ask care providers when inspecting their site, specifically relating to infection prevention and control.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE

In the above free guide, we look at important areas such as the use of sharps, food hygiene, welfare training, personal protective clothing and equipment, workplace health, safety and welfare.

Your LCAS member benefit

From infection control, risk assessments and visiting arrangements to recruitment and retention, staff training, mental health and wellbeing, professional bereavement and tricky HR issues, Citation can help you operate both safely and compliantly in the coming weeks and months.

They can also help with fire and electrical safety, Care Policies & Procedures, Care Mock Inspections, and CQC Pro – an application to demonstrate you’re meeting CQC requirements.

To find out more or arrange a free consultation, click here or call 0345 844 1111.   Quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your preferential rates as a member.


Update from Vat Solutions…Care Home Sale and Lease Back….Supreme Court Rules Against HMRC

The Supreme Court has ruled against HMRC in a case concerning the sale and lease back of a care home, thus potentially opening the door for many care home operators to raise finance for new buildings without incurring a large VAT liability. Lynne Gill, Senior Indirect Tax Manager at Healthcare specialist Vat Solutions, summarises the ruling below…

A care home acquired by Balhousie (a commercial care home operator) was ‘zero rated’, when acquired, as it was a new relevant residential building being operated as a care home. The change of use or disposal of such a building within 10 years triggers a self-supply adjustment known as ‘clawback’ which results in VAT having to be paid to HMRC.
Balhousie sold its care home to raise finance on the basis that it would receive a 30 year operating lease on the property. HMRC’s view was that this was the disposal of Balhousie’s entire interest in the building and subject to VAT as a ’deemed supply’. Balhousie appealed against this to the First Tier Tribunal who agreed with Balhousie that the sale and leaseback was not an entire disposal (as the sale was conditional on Balhousie leasing back the building and continuing to operate as a care home).

Subsequently, the Upper Tribunal and Court of Session chose to see the sale and leaseback as two separate transactions and ruled that the sale did amount to the entire disposal of the building. However, the Supreme Court agreed with the First Tier Tribunal that the sale and leaseback was a single event and at no point did Balhousie entirely dispose of their interest in the building. The Supreme Court went as far as to describe HMRC’s arguments as ’close to fanciful’.

The Supreme Court’s decision is the ultimate, non-appealable decision and confirms that the sale and leaseback of a care home does not trigger a charge to VAT under the ‘clawback’ provisions.

What does this mean, going forward, for care operators who have used leaseback arrangements? In short, the ruling means that care operators who have used such arrangements should now review their position and ensure that they are falling within the scope of the Balhouisie case in terms of any leasing interests …. and thus ensure that they will not be subject to HMRC assessing for VAT on a self-supply charge.  

For further details, or if you would like to discuss your particular care provision’s position regarding the above, please contact Clare Newboult at Vat Solutions (clare@vatsol.com)

tel: 0114 280 3630

VAT Solutions

The Mansion House, 19 Kingfield Road

Sheffield, S11 9AS

Tel: +44 (0) 114 280 3630

Mobile: 07905 506 909

Website: www.vatsol.com

 


Three quarters of care workers’ mental health has worsened during pandemic

https://www.gmb.org.uk/news/three-quarters-care-workers-mental-health-has-worsened-during-pandemic

Urgent action needed to battle ‘mental health crisis’ as major survey of 1,200 social care workers finds 75% report pandemic work has caused worsened mental health and sharp increase in anxiety

GMB, the care workers’ union, has warned of a looming care workers’ crisis as new research found that three quarters of care workers have experienced worsened mental heath as a result of their work during the pandemic.

The Government and employers must step up and address the mental health crisis in social care, the union said.


RWK logo

Social care sector training:

The UK’s immigration regime and your workforce

Having up-to-date information on how you can recruit from outside the UK is essential at a time when the social care sector has over 100,000 vacancies and faces significant staffing challenges created by Covid-19.

We are pleased to invite you to our free joint training session with The Care Association Alliance that will provide information on the UK’s new immigration system and its effect on the care sector’s current and future workforce.

In this practical one-hour session, Mike Thomson and Adrian Henderson in our Health & Social Care team will cover the following:

  • The end of free movement for EEA nationals: what you – and your EEA staff – need to know now
  • The new Skilled Worker route: who is eligible and what criteria must be met
  • The Shortage Occupation List: which roles are on it?
  • Obtaining your sponsor licence: licence types and costs.

Who should attend?

  • Care home owners and managers
  • HR professionals and anyone with responsibility for HR in their organisation.

Webinar details

When: Tuesday 4 May | 3pm – 4pm

Where: Zoom

Book now

If you would like more information about the webinar or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch via: events@roydswithyking.com.

We hope you can join us.

Best wishes,

Health & Social Care team at Royds Withy King 


DHSC External Affair Weekly newsletter

Three quarters of care workers’ mental health has worsened during pandemic

https://www.gmb.org.uk/news/three-quarters-care-workers-mental-health-has-worsened-during-pandemic

Urgent action needed to battle ‘mental health crisis’ as major survey of 1,200 social care workers finds 75% report pandemic work has caused worsened mental health and sharp increase in anxiety

GMB, the care workers’ union, has warned of a looming care workers’ crisis as new research found that three quarters of care workers have experienced worsened mental heath as a result of their work during the pandemic.

The Government and employers must step up and address the mental health crisis in social care, the union said.



In this week’s newsletter:

Covid-19

  • Covid-19 Antivirals Taskforce to roll out innovative home treatments this autumn
  • 9 in 10 pharmacies now offering free, rapid coronavirus (Covid-19) test

Covid-19 vaccines

  • Over 10 million people receive second dose of Covid-19 vaccine
  • Open consultation: Making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes
  • Social media assets

https://dhsc-mail.co.uk/campaign/Sx1iaZDJ/d6860c92add087847bed30bd/1260ebd711ac97c8c2001164319d8b2c?wp-linkindex=0&utm_campaign=DHSC_External_Affairs_weekly_newsletter&utm_content=dhsc-mail.co.uk&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Department_of_Health_and_Social_Care


YouTube video of the RM meeting with Neil Cox from CQC – April 22nd 2021

 

https://youtu.be/ZqKRv3zm_rw


Information about registering for a proxy vote

You will not doubt have seen our statement about voting and the 14 day isolation period in the visiting guidance. DHSC has since issued the advice below about voting. Clearly, this is not exactly what we are asking for and we will continue to work to get the 14 day isolation policy changed. Nevertheless, do ensure that everyone who wants to vote, is enabled to do so.

Reminder: Less than a week to go to register for a proxy vote for local council and mayoral elections

Care home residents can still register for a proxy vote for the local council and mayoral elections on 6th May. This is where a resident can ask someone to vote on their behalf, as long as that person is also eligible to vote in the local elections. A proxy vote for May 6th will avoid the requirement for isolation after a visit out of residential care. The deadline to get forms back to your local elections registration office is 5pm on Tuesday 27 April. For more information: Proxy voting application forms – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Why does staff testing use both PCR and LFT Tests

The testing task and finish group has provided a rationale for testing using PCR and LFT tests in care homes:

“The tests have different benefits and combining them on the same day gives the speed of Lateral Flow Tests and also the higher sensitivity of PCR tests. Using LFTs help to quickly identify some individuals who have lots of the virus in their body and are very infectious. LFTs will not identify everyone who is infected, but we know that speed is important for stopping the spread of the virus. LFTs can help to give an earlier warning of infection in the care home, rather than waiting for the PCR result to return from the lab, helping to contain the infection as quickly as possible.

Since LFTs were introduced to care homes, over 21,000 positive cases in care homes have been found using rapid lateral flow tests, enabling action to be taken quickly to stop the spread and isolate the individual.

The PCR tests find people who are infected but were not identified by the LFT, for example people who have lower amounts of the virus in their body because they may be at the start of the infection. Using the LFTs midweek and on the same day as the PCR is the best way to identify people who are infectious and the best way to use three tests in a week according to public health experts. The LFTs help to identify some people who have become infectious since the last PCR was taken and therefore taking one LFT on the same day as the PCR and one midweek is better than spreading the three tests out evenly through the week.”

Letter from NHS and DHSC about reopening of National Booking Service

Please find attached a letter confirming that direct access to appointments for eligible and care workers through the National Booking Service has now reopened. Eligible health and care workers can book appointments through the National Booking Service or through their GP. The Booking System should now allow staff under 30 years of age to book appointments for the Moderna vaccine.

Do also note that the JCVI now advises that it is preferable for pregnant women in the UK to be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines where available.

C1263 Vaccination for Eligible Social Care Workers Access to vaccination via the National Booking Service and Primary Care


Better Security, Better Care: local support, webinars and films

Adult social care providers across England are invited to access local as well as national support to improve their data protection and cyber security. As part of the Better Security, Better Care programme, 29 local support partners across the country are helping care providers to ensure they are storing and sharing paper and digital records safely. Most of the support partners are local care associations, though in some areas, support is led by local councils or the NHS.

The programme supports providers to use the self-assessment tool – the Data Security and Protection Toolkit – which in turn enables many of the other data and cyber security initiatives across the care sector. For example, care providers who reach Standards Met on the Toolkit can apply to access NHS systems such as shared records.

Data and cyber programme leads, social care commissioners, inspectors, data system suppliers and policymakers are also invited to a webinar on how Better Security, Better Care supports them, and how works alongside related data and cyber initiatives. And, in a new series of short films, social care leaders and practitioners explain why data and cyber security matters, and how the Better Security, Better Care programme improves skills and care. Care providers can also book to attend webinars on How to register for the DSPT.

Book for the national webinar: Better Security, Better Care: Collaborating on data and cyber security in social care – 12 May 2021, 3-4.30pm

Book for How to register for the DSPT – 12 and 26 May 2021, 12 noon

View the Better Security, Better Care films

 


Link to resources from Skills for Care

Updates from Skills for Carehttps://id.skillsforcare.org.uk/Account/Register to access fortnightly enews and updates on your area of interest

Culturehttps://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/managing-a-service/workplace-culture/Positive-workplace-culture.aspx

Wellbeing–  https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/managing-people/Wellbeing/Wellbeing.aspx

Supervisionhttps://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/managing-people/supervision/Supervision.aspx

Registered Manager networks- https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Documents/Leadership-and-management/Registered-managers/Registered-managers-networks/Registered-managers-network-directory.pdf

Deputy Manager Networkshttps://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/support-for-registered-managers/Deputy-manager-networks.aspx

Webinars for managershttps://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/support-for-registered-managers/Registered-Manager-webinars.aspx

Supporting the diverse workforce within adult social carehttps://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/developing-leaders-and-managers/Supporting-the-diverse-workforce-within-adult-social-care.aspx

Succession- https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/developing-leaders-and-managers/Developing-new-managers-and-deputies/Developing-new-managers-and-deputies.aspx

Recruitment and retention

Values based recruitment– Values-based approaches to recruiting and retaining staff- These new workshops will support you through the five stages of a values-based approach to recruitment and retention: Articulate, Attract, Apply, Assess and Assimilate.

Email randr@skillsforcare.org.uk   

Learning from events modulehttps://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/ongoing-learning-and-development/Learning-from-events/Learning-from-events.aspx

Good and outstanding guidehttps://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/CQC-provider-support/Delivering-good-and-outstanding-care/Delivering-good-and-outstanding-care.aspx


Vaccination for Eligible Social Care Workers – Access to vaccination via the National Booking Service and Primary Care

C1263 Vaccination for Eligible Social Care Workers Access to vaccination via the National Booking Service and Primary Care

 


Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019: Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS)

Legislation and guidance on the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) and the latest information on progress towards their implementation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/mental-capacity-amendment-act-2019-liberty-protection-safeguards-lps


CONSULTATION LAUNCHED ON STAFF COVID-19 VACCINES CARE HOMES WITH OLDER ADULT RESIDENTS

  • Staff working in care homes with older adult residents, may be required to have a Covid-19 vaccine to protect residents from the virus

  • Consultation launches today on making Covid vaccination a condition of work for people who are deployed in these homes 

  • Care home workers urged to take up offer of a vaccine now to keep themselves and those they care for safe

Staff in care homes with older adult residents in England may be required to have a Covid-19 vaccine to protect residents from the virus.

Making vaccines a condition of deployment would help to further protect older people living in care homes, who are among the most vulnerable to Covid-19, with some providers already implementing similar policies.

Experts on the social care working group of SAGE advise 80% of staff and 90% of residents need to be vaccinated to provide a minimum level of protection against outbreaks of COVID-19. Only 53% of older adult homes in England are currently meeting this threshold.

This means nearly half of all care homes with older adult residents, home to 150,000 vulnerable people, don’t meet SAGE’s recommended vaccination thresholds for care homes and staff.

Currently the staff vaccination rate is below 80% in 89 local authority areas – more than half – and all 32 London boroughs. There are 27 local authority areas with a staff vaccination rate below 70%.

The vaccine has already had a significant impact on reducing hospitalisations and deaths, with more than 10,000 lives saved between December and March but as we progress through the roadmap and restrictions begin to ease, it is vital we continue to protect those who are most vulnerable to the virus.

A five-week consultation will be launched today looking at requiring care home providers, caring for older adults, to deploy only those workers who have received their Covid-19 vaccination to further protect residents who are among the most vulnerable to Covid-19, and staff.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“Older people living in care homes are most at risk of suffering serious consequences of Covid-19 and we have seen the grave effects the virus has had on this group.

“Making vaccines a condition of deployment is something many care homes have called for, to help them provide greater protection for staff and residents in older people’s care homes and so save lives.

“The vaccine is already preventing deaths and is our route out of this pandemic. We have a duty of care to those most vulnerable to COVID-19, so it is right we consider all options to keep people safe.”

This will not include those who can provide evidence of a medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination.

With some providers already implementing similar policies, the consultation will help inform decision-making around how the change could be implemented and whether respondents think it will be beneficial.

 The consultation will seek views on the proposal, it’s scope, any potential impact it could have on staffing and safety as well as how it is implemented and who could be exempt.

Staff, providers, stakeholders, residents and their families are being urged to take part to have their views heard with a final decision expected this summer.

Chair of the Adult Social Care Covid-19 Taskforce, David Pearson said:

“I would like to thank all our social care workers for providing care and support during the last very difficult year, for having the vaccine and supporting people who have social care services to be vaccinated.

“It is absolutely vital those who have not yet taken the opportunity to have their vaccine do so to keep themselves and those they care for safe.”

NHS England has been running a minimum four-visit schedule for each older adult care home and with hundreds of vaccination centres across the country to make vaccinations as easy as possible. 

Vaccination is a safe and effective way of protecting people from infectious disease. Vaccines help prevent the most serious symptoms and there is growing evidence the vaccine also reduces transmission, making having a vaccine even more important.

This will build on the successful rollout of priority vaccinations in care homes with more than 40 million vaccinations given.

Taking up the Covid-19 vaccine will protect those who work in care homes, their colleagues, residents and provide reassurance to their families.

All eligible care homes have been visited and vaccines offered to staff and residents, with the vast majority of homes having now had repeat visits.

When people are called to get the vaccine, they should get their jab. Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and provide strong protection against Covid-19. 

All the approved vaccines are safe, effective and have already saved thousands of lives.

There has already been a significant impact of the vaccination programme on reducing hospitalisations and deaths, with more than 10,000 lives saved by vaccinations between December and March.

Last week, the JCVI advised that it is preferable for adults aged under 30 with no underlying conditions to be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine where available.

The MHRA – the UK’s independent regulator – and the JCVI have said the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults. 

Requiring care home providers, caring for older adults, to deploy only those workers who have received their Covid-19 vaccination will increase uptake in these areas and assist in helping all care providers reach the required rate of uptake to keep people safe and save lives.

We continue to do all we can to protect care homes, including spending £1.35 billion on infection and prevention control and offering priority vaccines, free PPE and rapid testing.

Barchester Healthcare chief executive Dr Pete Calveley said:

“Barchester believes the vaccination programme has transformed the outlook for the vulnerable residents in older people care homes, a significant proportion of whom will not acquire full immunity despite being vaccinated.

“We have not lightly introduced our vaccine policy, but we take the view that providing safe care for those we care for is our paramount obligation.

“As the Chief Medical Officer has said, it is a professional duty for care home staff to accept the vaccine unless there is a medical reason they should not. 

“As time has progressed, the safety, efficacy and transmission-reduction evidence has become ever stronger, which supports our initial view.

“For those reasons we support the proposal by the DHSC to open a consultation on this important matter and strongly encourage other providers to support this proposal.”

 


Guidance update: Personal protective equipment (PPE): resource for care workers working in care homes during sustained COVID-19 transmission in England 

  • On the 6thApril 2021, How to Work Safely in Care Homes was updated.  Following stakeholder feedback, two paragraphs were identified as causing confusion and were removed on 10th April 2021.   
  • The first paragraph was a duplication of what was already covered in other paragraphs in this section.  It had been under the section headed Providing close personal care in direct contact with the resident(s) in the sub-section headed Fluid-repellent (Type IIR) surgical mask: 

‘A fluid-repellent surgical mask must be single use and disposed of after giving personal care to each resident, and a new fluid-repellent surgical mask applied when giving personal care to another resident.’ 

  • The second paragraph was under the section headed Carrying out domestic cleaning duties, in the subsection headed Type II surgical mask

                             ‘The facemask must be single use and disposed of before leaving the resident’s room. A new mask must be donned before entering the next resident’s room.’ 

  • This paragraph was deleted because it is not necessary to dispose of a face mask when leaving a resident’s room when a member of staff has been more than 2 metres from a resident, undertaking domestic duties or other activities and not delivering personal care.  In these situations, it is appropriate to wear the same mask. 
  • However, the removal of this second paragraph does not mean a return to sessional use of masks when providing personal care within 2 metres of a resident.  In those situations, the facemask should be removed and disposed of after the staff member has completed the contact. Sessional use of masks is no longer recommended when working within 2 metres of a resident and providing personal care.  

DHSC Q&A about National Booking Service and Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine

Please find attached a Q&A document from DHSC. It explains the rationale for temporarily closing the National Booking System to social care staff who have not already had a first dose, alternative routes for vaccination as well as information about the AstraZeneca vaccine (also see below). Do note that it states that ‘Care home residents and staff might be vaccinated with either the BioNTech/Pfizer or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, but their second dose will always be with the same vaccine as their first.’ We are aware that some of you have experienced GPs trying to offer different vaccines to the first dose and have made the department aware. This should not be happening. Please tell us if this is happening or if you are struggling to access second doses.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine

As you will have seen, the MHRA and JCVI has recommended that those under the age of 30 have the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. This is being done out of an abundance of caution because of a probable link between the Oxford vaccine and clotting in extremely rare instances in younger people. Those that have already had a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should continue to get the second dose. The benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for the majority of people.

If a person who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine experiences any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination, they should seek medical advice urgently:

  • a new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over
  • an unusual headache that may be accompanied by:
    • blurred vision, nausea and vomiting
    • difficulty with your speech
    • weakness, drowsiness or seizures
  • new, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain

We recognise that this announcement will cause concern amongst your workforce – do keep us updated about any increased vaccine hesitancy and other concerns. I have included a number of links below to various pieces of guidance and information published in the last 24 hours.


RM Learning & Partnership Meeting April 8th

Presentations and contact details

Getting CQC Inspection Ready – Citation Mick Feather

Slides

Citation Mick Feather – Getting inspection ready in 2021 – LCAS

CQC Link as mentioned

https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20180530%209001095%20ASC%20assessment%20framework%20with%20sources%20of%20evidence%20v4%2000.pdf

Booklet, how to be outstanding

Citation A guide to inspections

Skills for Care – Laura Anthony

Slides

RM network slidesCroydonWandsworthVirtual080421

SfC Links as discussed

Resources to help with CQC inspections: www.skillsforcare.org.uk/cqc

Covid symptom management guide: www.skillsforcare.org.uk/symptommanagement

Skills for Care Contact details

SW London:

Laura Anthony: 07890 514106 / laura.anthony@skillsforcare.org.uk

NW London:

Selena Docherty: 07825 933674 / selena.docherty@skillsforcare.org.uk

 

Tendering webinar from Citation

Free webinar – 13 April, 9:45 to 11:00 AM

Citation is also running a free webinar specifically for care businesses on tendering, how to win more business and drive efficiency.

It will look at key questions surrounding CQC requirements, certifications and accreditations, care policies and procedures, and more.

FIND OUT MORE

 


Updated Visiting Guidance

The visiting guidance has now been updated. As announced over the weekend, from Monday 12 all care home residents will be able to nominate up to two named visitors who will then be permitted to enter a care home for regular visits. This is in addition to the essential care giving role. The updated guidance is largely unchanged and builds on the previous iteration. For that reason I haven’t listed everything in this guidance but do note the following, particularly the bit about children visiting:

  • Each care home resident can nominate up to 2 named visitors who can visit together or separately.
  • A young person under the age of 18 can be one of the 2 nominated visitors. In general a child under the age of 2 does not need to be counted as part of this limit.
  • These named visitors should take an LFD test before every visit, wear PPE and follow all IPC measures. These requirements differ for children depending on age. Children aged 11 and over should wear the same PPE as adult visitors. Children under the age of 3 should not wear masks. Children under 11 should not undertake regular asymptomatic testing.
  • There should be no physical contact between babies or young children and the residents they are visiting.
  • As before, the essential care giver is in addition to the named visitors. A young person under the age of 18 can also be an essential care giver – although this would only be appropriate for older teenagers and must be with agreement of care home manager.  
  • Currently all visitor testing must be done in the care home as visitors are not allowed to self-test at home. This may change in a couple of weeks but MHRA has to approve it first.
  • Care homes can also continue to offer other friends and family visits via outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods etc.
  • Visitors or residents do not need to be vaccinated for a visit to take place.
  • End of life is defined as ‘early identification of those who are in their last year of life and offering them the support to live as well as possible and to then die with dignity’
  • The next change to the guidance will be no earlier than 17 May.
  • Continue to access our Partners in Care Resources to help you implement the guidance.

Arrangements for visiting out of the care home

The visiting out of care home guidance has also been updated. This guidance applies to both working age and older adults but the 14 day isolation requirement following a visit out still applies. Other than that, the guidance largely remains the same as the previous iteration. Do note:

  • While on a visit out of the home, residents must follow the national restrictions that apply at the time relating to gathering and household mixing. The care home in which the resident lives is considered to be one household.
  • All members of the household involved in the visit out should have had a negative result from an LFD test immediately before the visit out. Care homes can provide these tests. If a LFD test is positive, the individual with the positive result must immediately self-isolate and use a PCR test provided to them by the care home to confirm the result.
  • The resident should be tested immediately before their visit using an LFD test. If positive, the visit should not go ahead and the result confirmed with a PCR test. The 90-day retesting rule applies to care home residents in this scenario.
  • In the event of an outbreak, the home should immediately stop outward visiting.

Updated PPE Guidance

The ‘How to work safely’ PPE guidance has now been updated for both care homes and domiciliary care. The guidance sets out the minimum standard required but it also allows for providers to adopt stricter measures if they wish. Organisations that do this will be responsible for ensuring safe system of work, including the completion of risk assessments approved through local governance procedures. Order limits for the PPE portal have been increased ahead of this guidance being issued and they will remain under review. I have summarised the main changes but please read both pieces of guidance carefully.

The main changes in the How to work safely Care Homes guidance:

  • If a resident has respiratory symptoms compatible with recent COVID-19 infection or has tested positive for COVID-19 it is recommended that eye protection (visor or goggles) is worn (along with a Type IIR mask, which is already required).
  • The eye protection and facemask should be removed and disposed of after completing personal care. If the eye protection is not labelled as single use only, it needs to be decontaminated before reuse.
  • Sessional use of masks is no longer recommended when giving personal care. At the end of each client contact when giving personal care, the facemask should be disposed of and fresh PPE, including a new facemask, will need to be donned before entering the next client’s room. (To be clear this refers to all personal care).  

If your eye protection is reusable, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or local infection control policy to clean and disinfect between uses. As a minimum, between uses you should clean with a natural detergent wipe, allow to dry, disinfect with 70% alcohol wipe and leave to dry.

The care home guidance also lists what constitutes Aerosol Generating Procedures and the higher grade of PPE required.

The guidance also contains information about what to do with PPE waste. Waste should be placed in a tiger striped (offensive) waste bag and can be disposed of in the usual waste stream unless the resident has symptoms of COVID-19. In this instance PPE and any waste from cleaning of areas where they have been:

  1. Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when three-quarters full
  2. The plastic bag should be placed in a second bag and tied
  3. The rubbish bag should be put in a suitable secure place and marked for disposal 72 hours later.

The main changes in the How to work safely in domiciliary care guidance:

  • If a client has respiratory symptoms compatible with recent COVID-19 infection or has tested positive for COVID-19 it is recommended that eye protection (visor or goggles) is worn (along with a Type IIR mask, which is already required).
  • The eye protection and facemask should be removed and disposed of after completing personal care for a client. If the eye protection is not labelled as single use only, then it needs to be decontaminated before reuse.
  • Sessional use of masks is no longer recommended. At the end of each homecare visit, the facemask should be disposed of and fresh PPE, including a new facemask, will need to be donned before entering the next client’s home. (To be clear this refers to all personal care).  

This guidance applies to:

  • visiting or hourly homecare
  • extra care housing and supported living schemes
  • directly employed personal assistants
  • live-in homecare

We believe that the principles behind this guidance will also apply to day services.

If your eye protection is reusable, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or local infection control policy to clean and disinfect between uses. As a minimum, between uses you should clean with a natural detergent wipe, allow to dry, disinfect with 70% alcohol wipe and leave to dry.

The domiciliary care guidance also lists what constitutes Aerosol Generating Procedures and the higher grade of PPE required.

The guidance also contains information about what to do with PPE waste. Waste should be placed in a refuse bag and disposed of as normal domestic waste unless the resident has symptoms of COVID-19. In this instance PPE and any waste from cleaning of areas where they have been:

  1. Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when three-quarters full
  2. The rubbish bag can be disposed on in domestic waste 72 hours later

The domiciliary care guidance also has some guidance about cleaning uniforms and work clothes.

Closure of the National Booking System to eligible frontline health and social care workers and carers who are ‘unknown to the system’

Last Thursday, the National Booking System for vaccinations was closed to eligible frontline social care workers who are ‘unknown to the system’. Instead, PCNs and GPs are being encouraged to work with local partners to put plans in place to ensure that those in Cohorts 1 and 2 can still get access. Obviously, this is less than ideal when at the same time DHSC is contemplating making vaccination mandatory. You can read our response here.  See also the following letters issued by the NHS:

Extra Care and Supported Living Self-Referral Portal Reactivation

The self-referral portal for supported living and extra care settings that are eligible for testing but have not yet been able to access it, has now been re-activated:

  1. Go to https://request-onboarding.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/
  2. Input the ‘DHSC Referrer Unique Organisation Number’ 99874802
  3. Provider complete eligibility questions
  4. Provider inputs information for the setting, including delivery address and contact details
  5. Submit referral

If successful you should eventually get a Unique Organisation Number (UON) to begin ordering tests.

Twice weekly rapid testing to be available to everyone in England

From 9 April, everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing twice a week: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/twice-weekly-rapid-testing-to-be-available-to-everyone-in-england. We have asked DHSC what this means for testing arrangements for visitors in care homes.

 


TWO VISITORS ALLOWED IN CARE HOMES TO REUNITE LOVED ONES 

 

  • Care home residents to be allowed a second regular visitor indoors to reunite families and friends 
  • Babies and toddlers will also be able to accompany visitors, allowing grandparents to meet grandchildren
  • Visitors can hold hands, with tests required before entry and PPE  

Care home residents in England will be able to receive two visitors indoors from Monday 12 April as covid restrictions continue to be cautiously eased.  

Regular visits are being extended from one to two people under carefully designed conditions to prevent transmission of Covid-19

Visitors will be asked to provide a negative test result and wear PPE during the visit to keep themselves, staff and residents safe. 

In the coming weeks, as testing capacity continues to increase, some visitors will be able to conduct tests at home rather than at care homes to help manage the flow of visitors and allow more visits to take place.

Visitors who are parents will also be able to visit with babies and very young children, who will not count as one of the visitors.

This means grandparents and great-grandparents will be able to meet the newest members of their families for the first time.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Reuniting family and friends has been a priority each time restrictions have eased, and the next step will be no different.

“I’m particularly pleased to allow residents to have more visitors, including grandchildren, given the isolation and concern felt by so many this past year.   

“Thanks to the tireless work of care home staff, and the success of the vaccine rollout, we’re able to increase the number of visits in a safe and controlled way.”

The drop in community infection rates and the successful rollout of vaccinations in care homes means the increase in visiting planned in the roadmap can go ahead as long as infection prevention and control measures remain in place. 

Further opportunities for relatives and contacts to have outdoor, pod and screen visits will continue in line with the published guidance which has been in place during lockdown. 

Minister for Care Helen Whately said:

“Increasing care home visiting is a top priority as we ease Covid restrictions. I know just how much these visits mean to residents and their loved ones.

 “I’m pleased we were able to introduce more meaningful visits to care homes in March. Seeing friends and family reunited has been incredibly moving. Thank you to all of our amazing care workers for helping to make this possible.

 “We want to go further, so we’re allowing more visitors at this next stage of the roadmap – and our aim is to make visiting to care homes as normal as possible by the summer. We know how cruel this virus can be in care homes so we must continue to follow the science and data, but things are looking up.”

Arrangements for essential care givers for those residents who require the greatest support and which have been welcomed by residents and care providers will continue. 

Some residents, such as those with advanced dementia, some autistic people and people with a learning disability need a particular, trusted person to provide some aspects of their care which is why the essential care giver scheme will also be extended. 

Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society said: 

“We’re so pleased two named visitors will be able to have meaningful close contact visits with loved ones in care homes from 12 April.

“Visits are vital to care home residents with dementia, who have been isolated from their loved ones, without the essential care and support their families so often provide, and as a result experienced a devastating increase in their dementia symptoms over the past year.”

“We’ve come a long way since the first lockdown, and soon we hope to see the benefits from people with dementia being reunited with their loved ones. As infection rates continue to drop and more people get vaccinated, we hope care homes will be able to safely open up further.

“It’s essential that an individual’s circumstances are considered, and care homes do what they can to ensure the needs of all residents are met. If you are finding it difficult to visit a care home, please contact Alzheimer’s Society for support.”

All care home providers not experiencing an outbreak will be asked to follow the updated guidance and continue to work together with families and local professionals to ensure visits are possible while continuing to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Vida Healthcare’s Gil Chimon, home manager at Vida Grange, said: 

“The reopening of care homes to one visitor per resident from 8 March was a fantastic morale boost which was welcomed by staff and families alike

“We’ve seen some incredibly emotional scenes of families reconnecting with their loved ones which has been very humbling. The planned extension of the number of visitors to two per resident from 12 April is an exciting step in our journey back to normality, and we’re really looking forward to more family members and friends being able to reunite with their loved ones.”

We have recently announced a further £341 million to support continued rigorous infection and prevention control measures and extended rapid testing and free PPE to protect care homes and save lives. 

This combined approach to protected visiting is based on the latest scientific evidence and data and represents a balance between the risk of infections and the importance of visiting for the physical and mental wellbeing of residents and their families. 


Visiting Guidance for Supported Living Settings

Guidance has been published within the existing supported living guidance for supporting visits. The guidance is aimed at supported living setting but it also states that ‘many of the principles are applicable to extra care housing for older people’.

The guidance essentially leaves it up to the care provider to develop a visiting policy based on 3 key elements:

  • People living in supported living settings live in their own homes and should be treated as such. They and ther visitors need to follow the same national restrictions as other members of the public – including each step in the government’s roadmap around social contact. There are some flexibilities which may apply to people in certain supported living settings for things like support bubbles and some indoor gatherings.
  • Supported living managers should seek to support and facilitate these opportunities wherever it is safe to do so. Policy should be developed for visits into and out of the setting that are based on dynamic risk assessment, and include consideration of the individual needs of the people who live there. These risk assessments should be developed in consultation with them.
  • Supported living managers should also work with the people being supported to identify what further steps they can take in order to manage and mitigate risks that arise from visiting.

The default position set out in the guidance is that visits should be supported and enabled wherever it is safe to do so. The guidance also outlines measures to take to improve the safety of visiting:

  • Arrangements for visiting into and out of the setting should be supported by a dynamic risk assessment for the overall setting, as well as an individualised assessment of the benefits of visiting and the risks to particular people because of their care and support needs.
  • In the event of an outbreak, the provider should take advice from the local health protection team.
  • Visitor testing using LFD tests is recommended but it is not a requirement. All providers who are currently eligible for staff testing are able to access LFD tests for the purpose of supporting safer visits. Managers can place an order for tests using their unique organisation number (UON) from the test kit portal. Each setting will receive 4 test kits per person. These must be carried out by a trained member of staff. Visitors can also get tested at a LFD Rapid Testing site on the day of their visit.
  • Setting managers have discretion to set up testing areas in line with guidance.
  • If a visitor tests positive, they must leave the premises and complete a PCR test, which should be provided by the care setting. There is no need to retest if the visitor has had a positive PCR test result within 90 days unless there are new symptoms.
  • Setting managers may also decide to use some of their LFD testing allocation to test the person being supported. This should be in addition to the regular PCR testing for all people in high-risk settings.

The guidance sets out further things a manager may want to consider for both visits taking place at the setting and out of the setting. I have listed the key ones below but see the guidance for the full list.

Visiting at the setting, managers should consider:

  • Use a communal garden, which can be accessed without going through a shared building, if possible
  • In shared accommodation, visitors should avoid contact with other people who live there and staff
  • Visitors should be reminded to wash their hands on entering and leaving the home
  • PPE should be viewed as a tool to mitigate risk rather than a requirement for people to visit settings. Managers may wish to provide visitors PPE where visiting a ‘high-risk’ setting. See guidance for full details.

Visiting away from setting, managers should consider (again not exhaustive just the key points):

  • The need for those returning from off-site visits to self-isolate if they develop symptoms, test positive for coronavirus, or have been identified as being in contact with someone who has tested positive. There is no expectation for someone to self-isolate for 14 days after a visit has happened if this is not the case.

In all cases, managers should work with people being supported and their families to (again not exhaustive just the key points):

  • make sure that no-one visits who should be self-isolating as they have been a close contact of a COVID-19 case in the previous 10 days, nor anyone has returned from certain countries in the same time period
  • in some circumstances, subject to risk assessment, visors may be preferable to masks, to facilitate the more effective provision of care and social interaction through non-verbal communication, but social distancing should be maintained wherever possible.

Confirmation of free PPE to March 2022

I am pleased to confirm that free PPE will continue to be provided for the COVID-19 needs of the Adult Social Care Sector, until the end of March 2022.

Free PPE Extension Factsheet


Diabetes UK and NHS England & NHS Improvement

would like to invite you to join one of five interactive webinars being held to support the national launch of the delegation of insulin administration resources and voluntary framework for health and care workers.

As well as going through the Delegation of Insulin Administration suite of resources, each hour long webinar will feature a best practice model presentation from one of the exemplar sites, details on local implementation and a live Q&A panel.

Please share this opportunity with all of your colleagues, networks and communication teams. We have attached a toolkit to make this process as easy and effortless as possible.

Please see the attached poster for full details, webinar dates and the registration links, which are also below:

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to improving care and we look forward to welcoming you.

Please send any questions about registration to anthony.walker@diabetes.org.uk


DHSC Guidance

Adult Social Care Infection Control and Testing Fund

Sets out the measures that the new Infection Control and Testing Fund will support, including distribution of funds, conditions on funds and reporting requirements.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-social-care-infection-control-and-testing-fund


Pulse Oximetry Survey

As you might have already seen in the CQC Bulletin earlier in March, the National Institute of Health Research has commissioned researchers at the Birmingham, RAND and Cambridge Evaluation centre (BRACE), to help care homes learn from one another in using pulse oximetry with residents to manage COVID-19 and other health conditions, and to assess the impact of NHS support with this. This study is part of the national evaluation of oximetry in residential settings led by Prof. Jonathan Benger, Interim Chief Medical Officer at NHS Digital, and you can read his letter about the importance of this research here.

The researchers are running an online survey of care home managers in England. We would be very grateful if you would share your experiences by completing this short survey.

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/POinCareHomes/

If you would also share this email within your network, encouraging care home manager colleagues to complete the survey, that would be wonderful.

The survey will remain open until 6th of April. All answers will be anonymised.

If you would like more detail about this research, please contact the study team at OximetryStudy@randeurope.org

Thank you!

The BRACE research team


Webinar Presentation

March 30th 10.30 – 11.30

VATSOL

Care Group VAT Registration (Contract Restructuring)

 

What is it and what are the benefits for your care provision?

Many care operators have heard about the opportunity which exists within the sector to reclaim VAT on an ongoing basis, but many are unaware of the extent to which it is already being adopted or what process is involved to achieve the fully working structure in their own business…

The ongoing VAT reclaim benefits of ‘contract restructuring’, plus the wider business efficiencies of adopting and implementing this model, will be set out and discussed in our webinar presentation by Rob Burton, MD of our commercial partner VAT Solutions

Rob will explain how it works in practical terms, drawing upon his years of experience of implementing the arrangement, using case studies and addressing frequently asked questions around the process. In addition, he will explain the historical reasons why the VAT reclaim opportunity is available to the sector (covering regulatory/funding bodies and HMRC), as well as explaining the working mechanics, what is involved operationally and how to avoid any pitfalls.

Q&A session included.

How to Book

Date: Tuesday 30th March Time: 10.30am-11.30am

Places will be limited on an invitation only basis.

To reserve your place please email Clare@vatsol.com

Or call Tel: 0114 280 3630 VAT Solutions

Any queries, contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org  07956878901  Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@lcasforum.org 07984466130

E&OE


RWK logo

Supreme Court tells care providers that ‘sleep-in’ shifts are not subject to the National Minimum Wage

The Supreme Court today gave care providers a lifeline, saying that they do not have to pay staff the National Minimum Wage when working ‘sleep-in’ shifts.
The decision lifts an estimated £400m burden from care providers that would have pushed many into insolvency.
Matthew Hendra, a senior associate and employment lawyer in the Health & Social Care team at Royds Withy King comments.
“The Supreme Court agrees with the Court of Appeal that sleep-in shifts are not working time for the purposes of national minimum wage laws. This will apply to all workers where the arrangement is for them to sleep on premises subject only to emergency calls.
“The Supreme Court found that Parliament had always intended there to be an exception for sleep-in shifts and they overruled a whole body of previous cases.
“It is welcome news for care providers and a crucial outcome for the sector, however, there are still some key issues that now need to be addressed.
“Care providers and employers must still ensure that workers are expected to sleep. Where interruptions are known to be frequent then it will likely be more difficult to argue that the exception applies.
“The Government, in response to the earlier ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, introduced a Social Care Compliance Scheme for providers to declare their non-compliance to HMRC and repay staff.
“The Government must clarify what will happen to those providers who joined the Scheme and any HMRC enforcement action must be abandoned.
“The Government must still take the opportunity to find a sensible solution to the funding crisis affecting the sector.”

If you are interested in a free no obligation consultation about our ‘help’ service please email James Sage, co-head of our Health & Social Care team at james.sage@roydswithyking.com.  


State of health and care: The NHS Long Term Plan after Covid-19 – IPPR Report

https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/state-of-health-and-care

 


£341 addition to emergency funding for Infection Prevention and Control and Rapid Testing

In Parliament, Matt Hancock announced an additional £341m to support both infection prevention control and rapid testing until the end of June 2021. The new fund appears to combine the Infection Control Fund with the Rapid Testing Fund. However, there is no sign of an extension to the Workforce Capacity Fund. We are still waiting for the grant conditions to be published, but these may come next week unfortunately. We expect DHSC will combine the previous grant conditions in some form.


Changes to Shielding Guidance

From the 1 April people on the clinically extremely vulnerable list will no longer be advised to shield. Letters are currently being issued to those on the list. People are still advised to:

  • maintain strict social distancing
  • keep overall social contacts at low levels
  • continue working from home where possible

I have attached Q&A documents from DHSC as well as an employment toolkit.

Shielding QA Post 31 March stakeholder QA

Employment support toolkit for use with CEV workers and their employers


AstraZeneca Vaccine Safety

A range of regulators have now given the AstraZeneca vaccine the all clear. Both the UK’s MHRA and the European Medicines Agency have found that the vaccine was not associated with a higher risk of blood clots. The WHO has also called on countries to continue using the vaccine.


CQC Report into DNACPR Decisions

CQC has released a report which has found evidence of an inappropriate use of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation decisions being made during the COVID-19 pandemic without consent. The report, ‘Protect, respect, connect – decisions about living and dying well during COVID-19’ contains their findings and recommendations.



Vaccine Supply Shortages

Yesterday the NHS circulated a letter stating that there will be a significant reduction in the weekly supply available from the end of March for about a month. This will constrain the number of first doses available. As such for the duration of April, the focus will be on completing the vaccination of cohorts 1-9.

The NHS has also begun instructing local vaccination sites about how they can reach people who are housebound or who will require significant support to access services.


DHSC Flu Campaign Evaluation

DHSC is keen to get the thoughts of all social care workers about the ‘I’ve had my flu jab’ campaign. They are looking for feedback to help them improve the campaign and messaging for next year. The survey should not take more than 10 minutes and can be accessed here.

 


Vaccination support video

From a group of social care providers and ADASS, a very useful video to help persuade doubters to be vaccinated:

https://youtu.be/TUXQ839WZ78


RM Learning & Partnership meeting March 17th presentations and data

SfC slides

RMN Slides NW SW London March 21

Care Friends

LCAS and Care Friends 170321


DHSC

COVID-19 Vaccine Programme

Communications Toolkit to Support Vaccine Uptake in Adult Social Care

 

Last updated: 16/03/21

 

Please use these resources to encourage and reassure staff about having the COVID-19 vaccine. Additional information and resources can be also found via the DHSC Google Drive and Public Health England campaign resources centre

 

Full Q&A and Guidance for Creating Content

·         Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. [link]   

·         You can also use this Q&A to create your own content about the COVID-19 vaccine: [link]

·         Here is some guidance on how to create your own video content. [link]

Data cards on vaccine uptake among social care workers

·         Here you can find the latest social media graphic with figures on how many social care workers in all care settings in England have received their vaccine, with accompanying post copy [link]

Call for vaccination for agency staff and social care workers

·         Graphic cards promoting the National Booking Service for agency workers and social care workers to get their vaccine [link]

·         Video from Deborah Sturdy, Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care calling on all social care workers to get vaccinated [link]

·         Q&A video from David Pearson Chair of the Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce, Dr Nikki Kanani Medical Director of Primary Care for NHS England, and Prof Jonathan Van-Tam Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England answering questions from social care workers [link]

 

·         Social media graphic asking social care workers to get the vaccine [link]

·         Materials to promote the social media vaccine badges for staff to use on their own profile pictures [link]

Vaccination information in a range of languages

  • BBC Asian Network has produced a series of videos about the COVID-19 vaccine in Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil and Sylheti.  [link]
  • NHS doctors, nurses and other frontline staff have recorded messages in some of the most commonly spoken languages – apart from English – about the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. They explain how the vaccine is given, and give clear evidence that the vaccines work and are safe. [link]
  • NHS England has created videos in a range of languages explaining why it’s important to follow the rules after vaccination. [link]

Vaccine effectiveness

  • Social media graphic showing the latest data on the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine [link]
  • Video from Professor Chris Whitty on vaccine effectiveness [link]

Information about accessing the vaccine

·         Social media graphics promoting information about what to expect at your vaccine appointments  [link]
Video about the vaccine delivery plan [link]

·         Infographic about how to access the vaccine and what to expect at your appointment [link]

·         Vaccine consent forms and information leaflets available in different languages [link]

·         Two posters listing the top things both care providers and employees need to do before having the vaccine [link]

How to reassure people about the vaccine

·         GP Dr Sarah Jarvis video – How to reassure people and have positive conversations about having the vaccine [link]

·         Series of videos from GP Dr Amir Khan about the importance of vaccines and addressing key concerns.

Addressing misinformation

·         The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has released a communications toolkit with shareable social media materials to help tackle the spread of false information about the COVID-19 vaccine. You can access the toolkit here: [link]

·         Social media Q&A fact cards addressing concerns and misinformation about the vaccine including fertility, ingredients, safety etc. [link

·         Video from BAME celebrities encouraging vaccination among BAME communities and addressing misinformation [link]

Case study examples

·         Video: Homecare workers explain why it was important to them to get the COVID-19 vaccine. [link]

·         Blog: Dr Jane Townson, CEO of the UKHCA, talks about the importance of Homecare workers to take up the vaccine. [link]

·         Blog: Home care manager about how she empowered staff with information to overcome vaccine hesitancy to get 98% staff vaccinated [link]

·         Blog: Clenton Farquharson MBE on addressing hesitancy among BAME communities [link]

·         Blog: Care home workers Louis Laleye on why he’s had the vaccine after having COVID-19. [link]

·         Video: The rollout of the vaccine to staff and residents at a Manchester care home [link]

·         Blog:  Foxholes Care Home on how important the vaccine has been for their residents and staff [link]

Concerns about: Fertility

·         British Fertility Society information sheet on vaccines and fertility [link]

·         Dr Charles Esene, from Afro GP Herts & Beds, explains why there is no evidence the vaccine affects fertility. [link]

·         Government guidance on COVID-19 vaccine for all women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant or breastfeeding [link]

·         Video: Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam at Public Health England explains why there is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines will affect present or future fertility. [link]

·         Q&A fact card on fertility [link]

·         Statement from Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology on vaccines and fertility  [link]

Concerns about: Ingredients and suitability for different faiths and ethnicities

·         Dr Charles Esene, from Afro GP Herts & Beds, explains why the vaccine is safe for people from all ethnic backgrounds. [link]

·         GP Dr Amir Khan on vaccine ingredients and suitability for all faiths [link]

·         Q&A fact card on ingredients [link]

·         Video from Guru Nanak Gurdwara temple in Bedford which is one of several places of worship being used as a COVID-19 vaccination site. [link]

Concerns about:

Safety and speed of delivery

·         Series of videos from Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam on vaccine safety [link]

·         Series of videos from GP Dr Ellie Cannon on safety and importance of the vaccines [link]

·         Series of explainer videos from Dr Mary Ramsey at Public Health England about the vaccine [link] and the speed of delivery [link]

Concerns about: Allergies 

·         Q&A fact card on allergies [link]

Following guidance after vaccination

·         GP Dr Amir Khan video on following the rules after vaccination [link]

·         Q&A fact card on continuing to follow guidance [link]

·         Video on following Hands Face Space advice after vaccination [link]


VATSOL free Webinar

On the 30th of March 10.30 – 11.30 we have a Vatsol event around contract restructuring & VAT reclaim, this is a route to business efficiency, so better return on your investment, the event is free, to reserve your place please email Clare@vatsol.com or call Tel: 0114 280 3630 or let me know peter@lcasforum.org

VAT Solutions – LCAS Webinar – 30th March 2021 V2


The visiting guidance has now been updated to state that:

‘Being on the Shielded Patient List (SPL) does not prevent a care home resident from receiving visitors in the same way as other residents.’

Visits to people on the shielding list is allowed.


Health and safety spot checks and inspections during coronavirus (COVID-19) – HSE

https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/regulating-health-and-safety/spot-inspections.htm


Updated LFD Testing Guidance for Professionals

DHSC has published guidance on testing professionals who are visiting care homes. It comes into force on 22 March. It sets out the expectations of professionals in terms of testing arrangements. In summary:

  • The default position is that without a negative test, the professional should not be allowed into the care home, (unless in an emergency, unless overridden by the care home manager following a risk based decision, or unless their entry is required by law such as CQC inspectors).
  • For NHS professionals, care homes should see evidence from the professional of a negative rapid lateral flow test within the last 72hrs, which shows they are following the NHS staff testing regime.
  • As per the previous guidance, professionals who are not part of regular testing for NHS staff or CQC inspectors (for example professionals such as podiatrists or engineers) will need to be tested at the care home in the same way as visitors.
  • If they are visiting multiple care homes in one day, they will now only need to be tested at the first care home they visit that day and can use evidence of this test at the next care home they visit that day.
  • CQC inspectors will now test at home using a lateral flow test on the day of a care home inspection, in addition to their weekly PCR.
  • Like care home staff, visiting professionals are exempt from testing for 90 days following a positive PCR test, unless they develop new symptoms.


CQC Guidance update: The duty of candour

CQC has updated its guidance on regulation 20 – the duty of candour. The regulation puts a legal duty on all health and social care providers to be open and transparent with people using services and their families in relation to their treatment and care.

It also sets out some specific actions that providers must take when a notifiable safety incident occurs. These include:

  • Informing the people affected about the incident
  • Offering reasonable support
  • Providing truthful information and a timely apology.

The updated guidance gives a more specific explanation of what is defined as a notifiable safety incident and examples covering a range of scenarios. It makes clear that the apology required to fulfil the duty of candour does not mean accepting liability and will not affect a provider’s indemnity cover.


DNACPR and learning disabilities – Letter from NHS

A letter has been sent by NHSE&I and NHS commissioner and healthcare providers stating what the should be happening in terms of DNACPR and people with a learning disability:

The key principle is that each person is an individual whose needs and preferences must be taken account of individually. Blanket policies are inappropriate whether due to medical condition, disability, or age. This is particularly important in regard to DNACPR orders, which should only ever be made on an individual basis and in consultation with the individual or their family. The NHS is clear that people should not have a DNACPR on their record just because they have a learning disability, autism or both. This is unacceptable. The terms “learning disability” and “Down’s syndrome” should never be a reason for issuing a DNACPR order or be used to describe the underlying, or only, cause of death. Learning disabilities are not fatal conditions.


Free Tablets for Learning Disability Services

The new Digital Lifeline scheme will provide 5,000 internet enabled tablets. Any organisation that supports people with learning disabilities can apply. Successful applicants will receive the tablets for free, which are preloaded with data and provided with technical support. For every device you receive, your organisation will get a grant of £100 to support the cost of helping the individual to learn how to use their device.


New research about the use of pulse oximetry in care homes

The National Institute of Health Research has commissioned researchers at the Birmingham, RAND and Cambridge Evaluation centre (BRACE), to help care homes learn from one another in using pulse oximetry with residents to manage COVID-19 and other health conditions, and to assess the impact of NHS support with this. Part of this study is an online survey with care home managers.

CPA is encouraging all care homes to complete the survey which is available here:  https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/POinCareHomes/

The survey will remain open until 6 of April. All answers will be anonymised. If you wish to find out more detail about this project, please contact the study team at OximetryStudy@randeurope.org

You can also access CPA’s guidance on Oximetry @Home service services for care home residents.


Vaccination Update

ONS has published an analysis of differences in vaccine hesitancy between sub-groups of the population based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering 13 January 2021 to 7 February 2021. Of note:

  • around 9 in 10 (91%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine, while 9% of adults reported vaccine hesitancy
  • around 1 in 6 (17%) adults aged 16 to 29 years reported vaccine hesitancy; this was the highest of all age groups
  • more than 4 in 10 (44%) Black or Black British adults reported vaccine hesitancy; this was the highest of all ethnic groups
  • around 1 in 6 (16%) parents living with a dependent child aged 0 to 4 years reported vaccine hesitancy, compared with 8% of non-parents or parents not living with a dependent child
  • around 1 in 6 (16%) adults in the most deprived areas of England (based on Index of Multiple Deprivation) reported vaccine hesitancy, compared with 7% of adults in the least deprived areas of England
  • “Side effects”, “long term effects on health” and “how well the vaccine works” were the top three reasons for reporting negative sentiment towards the vaccine; this was consistent across all population groups

Useful Links:


Guidance

 

Testing for professionals visiting care homes

Updated 11 March 2021

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-testing-in-adult-social-care-settings/testing-for-professionals-visiting-care-homes


Palliative and End of Life Care

 

Issue 17 – 11 March 2021

 

Below is an update of the work we are doing in response to COVID-19, including that undertaken with and by our partners. We will continue to share information with you regularly via email. If you have any queries relating to any of this content, please contact england.covid-eolc@nhs.net.

 

📢 Key messages and updates

 

PPE reimbursement

Hospices in England are invited to reclaim the costs of PPE purchased to meet the COVID-19 infection prevention and control requirements between 27 February 2020 to 31 March 2020 and between 1 August 2020 and 31 October 2020 from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). A guidance document, setting out the process, has been circulated to all hospices in England by Hospice UK. All claims must be submitted by 5pm on 19 March 2021. Please contact ppe@hospiceuk.org should you have any further questions.

 

Supporting people at the end of life to access benefit payments – new
online form

The DS1500 form confirms a diagnosis and treatment plan to allow people at the end of their lives to receive benefits quicker. People may also get benefits at a higher rate or get extra money. The DS1500 form is now available to complete online at ds1500.dwp.ncrs.nhs.uk. The online service is significantly quicker and ensures the patient receives their benefits swiftly. Sign in to the NHS Spine portal using your Smartcard to access the form and download a copy for your patients’ records. If you don’t have access to the Spine portal, we are currently working on a way for you to access this digital DS1500 too. If you experience issues accessing the DS1500 link, ask your NHS Trust to add it as a ‘Trusted site’. For more information, email the DS1500 team at dwp.digitalds1500@dwp.gov.uk.

 

Palliative and end of life patient and carer experience research bid

As part of our patient and carer experience workstream we are looking for a researcher/research agency to establish methods of gaining qualitative feedback about PEoLC. The initial focus is on health inequalities and understanding the need and experiences of black, Asian and minority ethnic people who are not proficient in English, and/or whose main language is not English. The methods will be set out as a toolkit to be used by local providers and commissioners to guide quality improvement and provide insights that can be shared nationally. For more details please visit the .Gov bid finder and register. The closing deadline for contract applications is 22 March 2021. We encourage you to share this opportunity through your networks.

 

National PEoLC and Ambitions Partnership webinars

Our PEoLC sessions and Ambitions Partnership sessions will be moving to a monthly schedule. Please see below for upcoming topics and details on how to register. Previous slides and Q&A documents can be found on the Practitioners Network.

  • Thursday 18 March, 4-5pm​, Ambitions Partnership for PEoLC webinar. ​This session will cover dementia, befriending and bereavement. ​Request an invitation by emailing england.covid-eolc@nhs.net​.
  • Thursday 1 April. This national PEoLC webinar has been cancelled due to Easter bank holiday.
  • Thursday 15 April, 4-5pm – Ambitions Partnership for PEoLC webinar. Topic will be shared in future email updates.
  • Thursday 29 April, 4-5pm – national PEoLC webinar. Topic will be shared in future email updates.

Staff wellbeing services

Where needed there is a full NHS staff support offer, as well as support offers from non-NHS partners, such as Hospice UK.

📄 Publications and guidance

A full list of relevant guidance can be found attached. If you have any queries about guidance, please email england.covid-eolc@nhs.net.

 

Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) and people with a learning disability and or autism. Letter from Prof Stephen Powis, Ruth May, Dr Nikki Kanani, Prof Bee Wee, Claire Murdoch, and Dr Roger Banks. Published 4 March 2021.

 

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) information. Webpage published by NHS.uk, 10 March 2021.

 

COVID-19 vaccination information and guidance

The latest NHS England and NHS Improvement vaccination information and guidance can be found on our website. If you have any queries, email the national vaccine operations centre, england.covidvaccs@nhs.net. Further information can also be found on the NHS.uk website.

 

To note: NICE is now the single point of advice on caring for people with coronavirus and the management of COVID-19 in different healthcare settings. 24 of the NHS England and NHS Improvement COVID-19 speciality guides have now moved to its website. Please use these live links to ensure you are accessing the most up to date information.

 

📢 Resources, news and guidance from other organisations

 

COVID-19 symptom management guide for care homes. Published by Skills for care, January 2021. This guide has been developed for adult social care managers to support their teams where they’re providing care and support to someone with COVID-19 symptoms in residential care, supported living services or in a person’s own home. It provides some practical tips for managing symptoms of COVID-19 based on clinical guidance and can be used to guide workers whilst taking into consideration each person’s individual wishes, preferences, health and specific needs. Individual employers, personal assistants and unpaid carers may also find it useful.

Conversations for ethically complex care. Published by the Royal College of Physicians, 9 February 2021. This guidance provides a framework for ethical discussions to support decision making and documentation in clinical practice. It outlines a structured, patient-focused approach suitable for use by all professional groups, specialties and in all care settings. It is intended to be disease- or diagnosis-agnostic and to ensure fair and equitable care for all, without causing harm to their long-term health and wellbeing. The accompanying Ethical Care Decision-Making Record (ECDMR) has been designed for use in more complex situations.

Improving access to palliative and end of life care for South Asian communities. Published by Compton Care, 19 February 2021. This short video has been created as a tool for professionals to begin conversations with people about advance care planning. The video also encourages people from the community to talk to family and friends about PEoLC. The film has actors speaking in four South Asian languages and includes subtitles in English. Compton Care have produced a variety of resources to support people from a South Asian background to access PEoLC. Documents about grief and support are available in Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi.

Dying Matters Awareness Week, 10-16 May 2021. This week is a chance to bring people and partners together to break the stigma, challenge preconceptions and normalise public openness around death. This year will focus on the importance of being in a good place to die. You can get involved in many ways – from taking the opportunity to have a conversation with colleagues and sharing stories on social media, to actively taking steps to prepare for end of life for you or your loved ones or even holding your own virtual events during the week. You can find more information about the week on the Dying Matters website.

Coronavirus Hub from Macmillan Cancer Support. This hub provides the latest guidance for people with cancer, their families and carers. The healthcare professional section includes support for having difficult conversations, advance care planning and emotional health and wellbeing. There is also a section covering end of life care.

Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination Systems (EPaCCS) study. This study, conducted by the University of Leeds, Kings College London and Hull York Medical School, will help to understand how EPaCCS are being used across England and how to best support local implementation. End of life care leads, EPaCCS leads, and clinical commissioning groups with new, established or no EPaCCS are invited to take part in the first part of this project and complete an online survey. The survey will close on 31 March 2021.

The Personalised Care Group
Palliative and End of Life Care Team

If you have been forwarded this update and would like to join our mailing list, or if you no longer want to receive these updates please let us know by emailing england.covid-eolc@nhs.net.

 

 

Care Home Visiting Guidance

Today the updated visiting in care homes guidance was finally published. This comes into force on Monday. Before diving into this guidance it’s worth pointing out that there is a note in this guidance which acknowledges that visiting in supported living and extra care settings is also important and that the principles of this guidance may be a basis to enable safe visiting in those settings. It also states that LFD testing will provided for visitors in supported living and extra care settings to support visiting and implies that there is further guidance to come.

Our initial response to the guidance can be found here and resources to support you in implementing it can be found here and are attached. These resources were created from the visiting session we ran with some of you – so thank you for the feedback!  Below, I’ve included a summary of the new visiting guidance. Visiting is to be enabled by default by all parties where it is safe to do so and in all cases vaccination is not a requirement to be able to visit. Dynamic risk assessments are essential for the different types of visiting. DPHs and DASSs are also instructed not to impose blanket visiting bans.

In short, this guidance enables the following types of visiting:

  1. Indoor visiting from a single named visitor nominated by every care home resident who can visit regularly, as agreed by the care home. These visitors need to take LFD tests before every visit, minimise physical contact, use PPE (following the domicilary care guidance) and follow all IPC measures. It is up to care homes to decide how often and for how long it is possible for visitors to come into the home. Note the 90 day retesting policy applies. (section 2.1)
  2. Residents with the highest care needs will also be able to nominate an essential care giver in addition to the named visitor where close contact personal care from a loved one is critical for the resident’s immediate health and wellbeing. The essential care giver is able to visit even during an outbreak. The essential care givers should be treated as an extension of the care home staff. They should follow the same testing arrangements (as a minimum 2 LFDs + 1 PCR test per week + outbreak testing), PPE guidance (following the care home PPE guidance) and IPC measures. Note, the 90 day retesting policy also applies. Again, the care home will need to agree the number of visits and the length of the visits. (Section 2.2)
  3. Outdoor visits and screened visits will continue allowing residents to see more people than just their nominated or essential visitors. This is largely the same as the previous iterations of the visiting guidance. (Section 2.3)
  4. Visiting in exceptional circumstances continues, even during outbreaks. LFDs should be used for named visitors and essential care givers should continue to follow the guidance in section 2.2 – including the outbreak testing regime. Visits by essential care givers and those visits in exceptional circumstances should always be enabled – even during an outbreak. Note the definition of ‘end of life’ in this section. (Section 2.4)

Section 1 Outlines advice for developing a visiting policy in the care home – including defining the role of public health and the director of adult social services.

Section 2.5 outlines the IPC measures that need to be followed while Section 2.6 gives some suggestions about communications with friends and relatives.

At step 2 of the roadmap (April 12 at the earliest), the government will consider allowing each resident to have 2 named visitors. This will depend on community transmission and data from the vaccine roll out.


Vaccination rates in care homes for older adults

The NHS has sent a letter to all LAs and vaccination teams with information about reaching those not yet vaccinated.

The letter asks the vaccination teams and care providers to work with local partners to ensure that the social care staff vaccination rate increases. Local systems are being asked to develop plans to do this. This may involve PCN-led roving vaccination teams undertaking second visits to older adult care homes to complete the first dose vaccination of staff. However, this second visit will depend on individual care home circumstances and the numbers still needing a vaccination. For instance, if there are only one or two staff members who need a vaccination, they would be advised to contact the National Booking Service instead or by accessing a Hospital Hub.

The PCN teams have been asked to complete the above by the week commencing 8 March. After this, the intention is to begin rolling out second doses.


COVID-19 vaccination deployment next steps w/c 8 March and 15 March

A letter has been issued by the NHS to the ICS and STP leaders outlining next steps and plans for weeks of 8 and 15 March.  

  1. Local systems will be given the ability to set up mobile temporary vaccination clinics at places of worship and other local venues in the community which will encourage those hesitant to get a vaccine in setting they are more comfortable with. They are asking that these and other interventions are targeted towards frontline health and social care workers, the clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable, as well as unpaid carers and those aged 60 and over. Bookings can be made through the National Booking System (which has been extended beyond 28 February) into community pharmacies or vaccination centres, in addition to PCN booking processes.
  2. Second dose planning is underway and national supplies are being distributed. Further guidance will be issued shortly.
  3. There will be a substantial increase in the amount of vaccines available from 15 March – particularly Oxford vaccine. The rate of vaccination should increase.

Restricting workforce movement between care homes and other care settings

As mentioned on the members’ call and in the newsletter earlier this week, a new piece of guidance has been published setting out measures to limit staff movement between care settings. Much of this has been previously communicated by DHSC before. The guidance has now been updated to reflect the correct retesting policy.


Guidance on the ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus

PHE has published general guidance on how ventilation of indoor spaces can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Additions to Shortage Occupation List

Senior care workers and residential, day and domiciliary care managers have been added to the Shortage Occupation List.


NHS Futures Platform – Social Care Pages

The NHS Futures platform now has a Social Care settings page which contains links to areas such as CPA guidance, e-learning, recordings of recent webinars and information about Oximetry @home. If you are not yet registered request/register an account.

Vaccination Resources

Key resources:


The care homes visiting guidance has been updated and is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/update-on-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes

Partners in Care – resources to support meaningful visits  

4th March 2021

Introduction

The country has been living with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic since early 2020. Locking down care homes in March was an emergency response to the global pandemic caused by a virus about which little was known.

A year on, we better understand the risks of transmission and have put in place a range of robust measures that will keep us safer – this is as important for care homes as it is for the rest of our society. And care homes, including residents, staff, relatives and friends all have a part to play in enabling safer visiting.

Partners in Care Visiting Support Resources Final version 040321

 


 

Social Works Course Update March 4th 2021

‘WELL LED’ & ‘LEAD TO SUCCEED’

STARTING NEXT WEEK

FULLY FUNDED*

All classes are live, tutor-led virtual sessions and allow you to learn from anywhere.

WELL LED

(4 day course)

Signature course for existing managers

Next group starting:

Thurs 11 March AM

(then Thurs 18 March, Thurs 25 March & Thurs 1 April 2021

Zoom sessions 10am- 12.30pm each day

LEAD TO SUCCEED

(5 day course)

Ideal for new and aspiring managers

Next group starting:

Thurs 11 March PM

(then Thurs 18 Mar, Thurs 25 Mar, Thurs 1 April & Thurs 8 April)

Zoom sessions 2pm-4.30pm each day

________________________________________

Last few places available

1 day Management CPD courses also available

Contact us or find out more

Fully Funded & Endorsed by Skills for Care*

________________________________________

LEVEL 2 – AWARENESS OF DEMENTIA (RQF) 

Next session:

Wednesday 10 March 

Zoom session 10am-1pm (training + Assignments)

AWARENESS OF WORKING IN END OF LIFE CARE 

Next session:

Wednesday 24 March 

Zoom session 9.30am-1.30pm (training + Assignments)

Contact us or find out more

Fully Funded by Skills for Care*

________________________________________

New Workers

Fully funded* virtual training for new carers. Starts every Thursday for 4 days. Covers Care Certificate (Knowledge) &Medication L2 (RQF).

Now available to book.

Contact us or find out more

Specialist Courses

Fully Funded* virtual training on Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Medication, Awareness of Dementia and End of Life Care.

Now available to book.

*Fully funded through Skill for Care’s Workforce Development Fund. To access Skills for Care Workforce Development Funding you will need to engage with the ASC Workforce Data Set (previously known as the NMDS-SC) and join a local employer partnership.  

________________________________________

PLEASE NOTE: All learners will need to have access to a Laptop/PC/Tablet and have internet access. All workbooks will be able to be completed electronically (via Word or Editable PDF). Once learners have enrolled, we will confirm their start dates, tutors etc.

Contact us today to see how we can help.

Contact us or find out more

 

Updates to Extra Care and Supported Living Settings Guidance

The testing guidance for Extra Care and Supported Living schemes has been updated.

A summary of the changes are as follows:

  1. Twice weekly staff LFD testing to high-risk Extra Care and Supported Living settings in addition to the previously set out weekly PCR testing regime. Residents will continue to receive monthly PCR testing.
  2. Weekly staff PCR testing for the wider Extra Care and Supported Living settings (see below)

High-risk EC/SL are those which meet both of the below risk-based factors, and wider EC/SL are those that meet one of the following risk-based factors:

  • A closed community with substantial facilities shared between multiple people, and
  • Where most residents receive the kind of personal care that is CQC regulated (rather than help with cooking, cleaning and shopping)

We will be calling for additional resources to support the expansion of testing across all social care settings.


Email Error from the Test and Trace Team

You may have received an email in error from the Test and Trace team entitled – Changes to the record keeping spreadsheet for registering multiple test kits on the registration portal. Please ignore this email. They apologise for the error and the confusion that this may have caused.

Please read the communications they sent at 11.12 am, which explains that the new record keeping spreadsheet is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/organisation-testing-registration-record-of-users/

The issues reported in the new record keeping spreadsheet for registering multiple test kits that was available on Tuesday have been rectified as a matter of priority.

Please note that if you have downloaded and prepared a new spreadsheet since they emailed to inform you that it was available on Tuesday, you can continue to use this previous version of the record keeping spreadsheet as your details will be validated when you upload the portal.


Vaccination Update

Today, the Independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has published its interim advice for phase two of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Looking at data from the second wave of the pandemic, it is clear that age remains the most dominant factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations from COVID-19. Therefore, Phase 2 of the vaccination programme will focus on adults between ages 18-50.

Prioritisation will continue in the following order, once all at-risk groups in Phase 1 have been offered at least one dose of the vaccine:

  • All those aged 40-49 years
  • All those aged 30-39 years
  • All those aged 18-29 years

JCVI will continue closely monitoring the impact of the programme, including vaccine safety, effectiveness and uptake, and will update its advice as required.

Please see the attached JCVI Interim Statement on Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

JCVI statement Phase 2 final HTML


The Equalities Report on COVID-19

Today, the Government will publish its second report on COVID-19 disparities. The report brings together a range of work being done to monitor and tackle ethnic disparities that have emerged during the pandemic, and it outlines the important progress made to date. It also highlights the continued programme of engagement that will be used to promote vaccine uptake in ethnic minority communities.


International Recruitment

The Department of Health and Social Care has published the revised ‘Code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care personnel in England’. The Code of Practice (CoP) provides a set of guiding principles and best practice benchmarks that set out how UK health and social care employers can ethically recruit from overseas. The CoP will help to meet the UK’s target of delivering 50,000 more nurses by 2024.

To align with the WHO Health and Workforce Support and Safeguard List, 2020, this guidance features a list of 47 countries where active recruitment can’t be undertaken.


Surge Testing for New Coronavirus Variants

Due to the small number of cases of COVID-19 variants and mutations which can’t be traced back to international travel, the Government has expanded its surge testing in specific and targeted locations.

The new locations were surge testing is being deployed are the London Borough of Lambeth (areas in SW8 and SW9) and Buckinghamshire Council (areas in HP10).

The London Borough of Ealing is to get further testing as additional cases of the variant first identified in South Africa have been found there.

You should get a test for coronavirus if you:

  • live in targeted locations within one of the postcode areas listed on this page
  • are aged 16 years or over

You should get a test even if:

  • you have no symptoms of coronavirus
  • you’ve had a vaccination for coronavirus
  • you’ve tested positive for coronavirus previously (but not within the last 90 days)

Shielding Guidance

The shielding guidance has been updated. There have been changes to the shopping and support sections. The new formal shielding measures will apply across the whole of England until at least 31st March 2021.


Vaccination Resources

I have included a list of useful resources below.

 

CENSUS 2021

Your questions answered_LargePrint_Leaflet_ENGLISH

Staff briefing_ email for care in the home

How will those who are in respite care or in hospital for a long time be enumerated?

https://census.gov.uk/help/types-of-household-or-accommodation/communal-establishments/i-manage-an-establishment/care-home-hospital-or-hospice-managers

Extra care housing/ not a care home (enumerated under the household process).- we hope that support workers, family members etc can provide support for completion:

https://census.gov.uk/help/getting-started/completing-the-census-for-someone-else

What is the process for those living in assisted living? If this is considered sheltered housing it will follow the household process as each household has its own address and is not a managed property but let us know if your definition is different

https://census.gov.uk/help/types-of-household-or-accommodation/communal-establishments

 How can those who are frail or without the capacity to engage complete the census? We hope that staff, carers, family etc. can provide support for completion: 

https://census.gov.uk/help/helping-someone-who-lacks-the-capacity-to-answer-for-themselves/do-i-have-to-complete-the-census-for-this-person

Zora will be back in touch with answers to:

  • In a care home who is responsible for ensuring that the residents complete the census?
  • How should a census form be completed for someone who has passed away on 21 March?
  • There is concern that the census on 21 March will not be representative of the situation outside of Covid-19. How will the ONS ensure that the results are useful and don’t result in a lack of funding for services?

As mentioned in the presentation I have attached:

  • Email to staff working with care in the home to flag up the process and key messages and support mechanisms
  • ‘Your Questions Asked’ in large print

Also a reminder that we can offer further training and support sessions:

  • Overview of census and where to find support
  • How to help others complete the census
  • Completion events – step by step census help for groups or individuals

the national team can be contacted for further questions:

2021census.engagement@ons.gov.uk   

 

JCVI advises vaccinating people in Learning Disability Register

Today, the JCVI advised the government to invite adults with severe and profound learning disabilities, and those with learning disabilities in long-stay nursing and residential care settings, to be offered a COVID-19 vaccine as part of priority group 6 which is now being vaccinated. The GP Learning Disability Register will be invited for vaccination alongside adults with other related conditions, including cerebral palsy. This will mean at least 150,000 more people with learning disabilities will now be offered the vaccine more quickly.

It is however worth pointing out that this announcement doesn’t actually cover everyone with a learning disability – only those deemed most at risk. Nevertheless, this is a hard won victory after weeks of influencing by a whole range of organisations to the JCVI.


CQC COVID-19 Insight Report 8

CQC has published its latest Insight Report. This month’s report looks at how urgent and emergency care services have been impacted by the pandemic during the winter. It also contains data on on designated settings and the death rates in both care homes and of people detained under the Mental Health Act.


Market Oversight of ‘difficult to replace’ providers of adult social care

Between August and October 2020, CQC ran an engagement exercise for providers and the public to comment on proposals to update the Market Oversight provider guidance. The updated guidance has now been published.


Data Security and Protection Toolkit

The DSPT is a pre-requisite for access to NHS systems, including NHSmail and Proxy Access to GP records. NHSX are announcing two change in relation to the DSPT for adult social care providers:

  1. During the COVID-19 pandemic care providers are able to access NHSmail without the need to complete the DSPT. The original deadline for this waiver was 31 March 2021. The waiver has now been extended to 30 June 2021.
  2. A new Approaching Standards status will be introduced on 5 March and Entry Level will be removed.

More information can be found on the Digital Social Care website.


Roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions

Today plans to ease the current restrictions were placed before parliament by the Prime Minister. There will also be an address from the PM at 7pm tonight. You can find a full version of what was announced in this document: ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’. I have included a summary below and there will be more detail in tomorrow’s members’ newsletter. In short the aim is to end all legal limits on social contact by 21 June.

There are four tests before an easement is allowed:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  • The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

There are four steps (including one with two parts) to easing restrictions, each with 5 weeks between them. These are the earliest possible dates and may change if we are not meeting the four tests above.

  1. Step 1, Part 1 – 8 March – This will include the full return to schools, allowed to meet one another person in public spaces, as well as care home residents allowed one named visitor (see below). See pg  27-32 of the roadmap document.
  2. Step 1, Part 2 – 29 March – The rule of 6 will return outdoors and 2 households of any size will be allowed to meet outdoors. See pg  27-32 of the roadmap document.
  3. Step 2 – No earlier than 12 April – Non-essential retail will reopen; personal care including hairdressers and nail salons. Pubs and restautrants will open outdoors. See pg 33-35 of the roadmap document.
  4. Step 3 – No earlier than 17 May – Most restrictions on meeting outdoors will be lifted subject to limit of 30. Rule of 6 indoors or meeting of two households. Pubs and restaurants will reopen indoors. See pg 36-38 of the roadmap document.
  5. Step 4 – No earlier than 21 June – All legal limits on social contact and on weddings and other life events lifted. Everything will reopen. See pg 39-42 of the roadmap document.

Care Home Visiting

Over the weekend DHSC announced its intention to move cautiously towards enabling indoor visiting from 8 March. We expect updated visiting guidance to be published next week.

The rules will change to allow every resident to have one nominated regular indoor visitor. This visitor will be required to have a LFD test beforehand, wear PPE and avoid close contact – although the press release states that they will also be able to hold hands.

You can read NCF’s response to this announcement here: https://www.nationalcareforum.org.uk/ncf-press-releases/ncf-response-to-cautious-easing-of-lockdown-for-care-home-visiting/.


Updates to Extra Care and Supported Living Testing Guidance

We expect the testing guidance for extra care and supported living to change by the end of the day on Thursday 25 February to include both LFD and PCR testing. There will be webinars to support this (apologies for short notice, we were only informed today):

The changes are:

  1. LFD testing to high-risk Extra Care and Supported Living settings in addition to the previously set out PCR testing regime
  2. Weekly PCR testing for the wider Extra Care and Supported Living settings (see below)

High-risk EC/SL are those which meet both of the below risk-based factors and wider EC/SL are those that meet one of the following risk-based factors:

  • A closed community with substantial facilities shared between multiple people, and
  • Where most residents receive the kind of personal care that is CQC regulated (rather than help with cooking, cleaning and shopping)

This includes staff working with individuals who live alone and receive personal care.

I have attached a document aimed at Local Authorities which outlines the changes which are coming. When the guidance is published, I will circulate the link with a summary.

EC.SL Testing Updates – LAs


Testing for adult day care centre workers

We circulated this guidance about a month ago but it has now been added to the DHSC website.


Learning event on setting up and running designated settings

The Care Provider Alliance, Local Government Association, Care Quality Commission, NHS England and Improvement, and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services are jointly hosting a learning event for those involved or interested in running a designated setting.

The event will provide a closed space to share experiences including what has worked and what could have worked better, good practice, challenges and questions. With the need for designated settings likely to continue, it is also an opportunity to think about issues and opportunities in the future. The event will be hosted by these national partners alongside providers and commissioners from local systems, and take place on Wednesday 24 February 3-4pm. It is aimed at those directly involved in delivering designated settings on both the provider and commissioner side. This learning event will begin with a 20-minute introduction with a panel of national representatives and local providers and commissioners sharing their experience of setting up and establishing a designated setting. This will be followed by three facilitated discussions. Each will run for 20 minutes twice, giving you a chance to join two of the three sessions:

The three sessions are:

  1. Establishing a setting including assurance and contracting
  2. Discharge process including patient pathways and staffing
  3. Supporting a setting including clinical input, IPC support and testing

To book your place, please email integration@local.gov.uk with your name, title and organisation, and nominating the two facilitated discussions that you wish to attend. If you are unable to attend but would like to receive the note of the event, please email us stating this clearly in the email. For GDPR purposes, we will hold and use your information only in relation to this event


Update to Designated Settings Guidance

This guidance has been updated to reflect clarification on the need for clinical assessments on discharge from the designated setting to a care home. The main guidance has also been updated to reflect the note that was issued last month about the discharge into designated homes for people who tested positive.


Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund: round 2

There has been an update to this guidance to clarify that funding under this allocation could also be used for reasonable administrative costs associated with:

  1. organising and recording the outcomes of COVID-19 tests and;
  2. organising COVID-19 vaccinations, where these were not being supported by other government funding streams

EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

ADASS is running webinars to help raise awareness of the EUSS in social care. All events will be attended by a member of the Home Office EUSS Grants Team, guest speakers and will include an overview of the EUSS. You can see the list of webinars and book a place here.


Vaccination Update

There have now been over 18m vaccinations. Today we have seen data published on the efficacy of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines in real life conditions. They are encouraging.

Data from PHE for the Pfizer vaccine indicates that:

  • One dose reduces the risk of catching the infection by more than 70%, rising to 85% after the second dose
  • For those over 80, one dose reduces the risk by 57%, while the second dose improves this to more than 85%

We don’t have data for the AstraZeneca vaccine for England yet, but Scottish data indicates the following:

  • The first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine reduces hospital admissions by 94%. The figure is 85% for the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Among the over 80s there was an overall 81% reduction in numbers admitted to hospital in Scotland.

I have included a list of useful resources below.

 

Learning event on setting up and running designated settings

You are invited to share your experiences and learn from others about setting up and running designated settings. The Care Provider Alliance, Local Government Association, Care Quality Commission, NHS England and Improvement, and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services are jointly hosting a learning event for those involved or interested in running a designated setting.

The event will provide a closed space to share experiences including what has worked and what could have worked better, good practice, challenges and questions. With the need for designated settings likely to continue, it is also an opportunity to think about issues and opportunities in the future.

The event will be hosted by these national partners alongside providers and commissioners from local systems, and take place on Wednesday 24 February 3-4pm. It is aimed at those directly involved in delivering designated settings on both the provider and commissioner side.  

This learning event will begin with a 20-minute introduction with a panel of national representatives and local providers and commissioners sharing their experience of setting up and establishing a designated setting.

This will be followed by three facilitated discussions. Each will run for 20 minutes twice, giving you a chance to join two of the three sessions:

The three sessions are:

  1. Establishing a setting including assurance and contracting
  2. Discharge process including patient pathways and staffing
  3. Supporting a setting including clinical input, IPC support and testing

To book your place, please email integration@local.gov.uk with your name, title and organisation, and nominating the two facilitated discussions that you wish to attend. If you are unable to attend but would like to receive the note of the event, please email us stating this clearly in the email. For GDPR purposes, we will hold and use your information only in relation to this event

 

 

 

CARE HOME RESIDENTS TO BE ALLOWED ONE VISITOR AS PART OF CAUTIOUS EASING OF LOCKDOWN

  • Every resident will be allowed one regular indoor visitor from 8 March
  • Visitors to be allowed to hold hands, with tests required before entry and PPE to be worn on site
  • Scheme designed to be the next, cautious step in bringing families back together 

Care home residents will be able to be visited indoors by a single named individual from the 8 March as part of the Prime Minister’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions.

The scheme will allow a single visitor to hold hands indoors with their relative or contact in a care home, and make repeat visits under carefully designed conditions to keep residents, staff and visitors safe.

Every resident will have the opportunity to name one individual, who will be required to have a test beforehand, wear PPE during the visit and avoid close contact.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said:

“I know how important visiting a loved one is and I’m pleased we will soon be in a position for people to be carefully and safely reunited with loved ones who live in care homes.

“This is just the first step to getting back to where we want to be. We need to make sure we keep the infection rate down, to allow greater visiting in a step by step way in the future.”

Restrictions on visits have been in place during national lockdown to protect vulnerable residents. While coronavirus cases remain high, the number of infections is falling – and the UK’s vaccination programme has seen every care home resident offered a jab, with more almost 17 million vaccinations carried out in total.

Outdoor, pod and screen visits will be able to continue in line with the published guidance which has been in place during lockdown, meaning there will be chances for residents to see more than just the one person they nominate.

The clinically led approach has been designed in partnership with the Deputy Chief Medical Officers and Public Health England and is the next step towards regular indoor visits resuming. 

Minister for Care Helen Whately said:

“One of the hardest things during this pandemic has been seeing families desperate to be reunited with their loved ones kept apart and I absolutely want to bring them back together.

“Throughout this pandemic we have sought clinical guidance on how visits can be conducted safely.

 “We had to restrict the majority of visiting when the new variant was discovered but we have done all we can to enable visits to continue in some form. That includes providing funding towards costs of screens and PPE.

“As we begin to open up we will move step by step to increase visits while remembering we are still in the grip of a global pandemic.”

All visitors will receive a lateral flow test and be required to follow all infection prevention and control measures.

These measures, based on the science, represent a balance between the risk of infections and the importance of visiting for the physical and mental wellbeing of residents and their families.

Professor Deborah Sturdy, chief nurse for adult social care, said:

“I know how much people want to visit, hug and kiss their loved ones but doing so can put lives at risk so we would ask people to continue to follow the rules.

“This is a first step towards resuming indoor visits and we all hope to be able to take further steps in the future.

“I am pleased as a result of so many people following the rules we are in a position to increase visits and hope this is just the start.”

Close contact care will be restricted to visitors who provide assistance – such as help dressing, eating or washing – which is essential to the immediate health and wellbeing of a resident. Existing guidance already enables these visits under exceptional circumstances. 

We are providing extra support for these carers by providing them with the same regular PCR testing regime and PPE arrangements as care home workers to further reduce the risk of infection to themselves and those for whom they provide vital care.  

All care home providers not experiencing an outbreak will be asked to follow the updated guidance and continue to work together with families and local professionals to ensure visits are possible while continuing to limit the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

The government will continue to provide free tests and PPE to support the scheme and has already distributed £1.1billion from the infection control fund, an additional £149million to support rapid testing and visits and £120million to increase staffing.  

Notes to Editors

  • The person nominated will remain unchanged while this step is in place.
  • There will be discretion for care homes to allow more than one named visitor in exceptional circumstances.
  • Home testing of single named visitors will not be allowed during the start of the scheme but will be reviewed.
  • Hand holding is allowed but named visitors will be asked to avoid any closer contact.
  • Vaccination is not mandatory and will not be a condition of visiting.
  • In terms of visiting out the rules and guidance will remain unchanged at this stage.
  • Visiting will be suspended during local outbreaks in individual homes
  • Further guidance will be published before the launch of the single named visitor scheme on 8 March

The guidance on discharge of people who have tested positive has been updated – hopefully this makes it clearer for everyone.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/designated-settings-for-people-discharged-to-a-care-home/discharge-into-care-homes-for-people-who-have-tested-positive-for-covid-19

There will be changes in the way that questions are worded in the next few days so that providers who have admitted residents in the 15-90 day, post COVID period do not have to answer unnecessary questions.

It should also help to highlight any instances of residents being discharged without a test or who are positive and are not going to designated settings.


Free member webinar: getting CQC inspection ready

Expert insight into key trends from 50 CQC reports…

With inspection activities beginning to resume, focussing on preparing for these inspections will not only ensure you are ready when they come, but also help to bring back some normality.

With this in mind, we are running a free webinar on 25th February at 10 AM with our partner, Citation, which we encourage members to join.

To register, please click below and the blue ‘REGISTER’ button on the page to leave your details (you do not need a meeting password).

REGISTER NOW

Hosted by Employment Law and Health & Safety presenter, Flora Neville, who will be joined by former CQC inspector, Mick Feather, to share his expert insight into the patterns and trends found from the analysis of 50 CQC reports.

As well as answering any business-specific queries you may have, Mick and Flora will cover a range of topics including:

  • Making sure COVID-secure measures are in-line with your legal obligations
  • A reminder of the CQC Rating Limiters and identifying key areas to focus on
  • The support and knowledge needed to maintain a ‘Good’ rating
  • Hints and tips to prevent deterioration into ‘Requires Improvement’ ratings
  • Getting the basics of your HR and Health & Safety in place, including legislative updates on topics like The Good Work Plan

This will look at reports both in 2019 and 2020, so we can take learnings from both before and during the pandemic.

REGISTER NOW

Date: 25th February

Webinar time: 10 to 11 AM

How to join: Please register by clicking the button below and you will receive an email invite with a link and instructions on how to join the webinar. 

REGISTER NOW

Any troubles with registering, please email seminars@citation.co.uk who will be happy to help.

 

Constructive Financial Opportunity

Many of you will have concerns around the future of your organisation, staffing, finance and looking to the longer term. Despite the extra efforts providers have made during the pandemic ordinary concerns remain to be managed. One financially beneficial way forward may be to look into Contract Restructuring. This is a specialist financial service that works with you to manage and help you deal with your contracts and reclaim and recover VAT on a continuing basis. This system works with organisations large and small and for those in both the “for-profit” and the “not-for-profit” and charity sectors.

The explanatory documents below provide information and to learn more, Vatsol can be contacted through Clare Newboult clare@vatsol.com

Office: 0114 280 3630 / Mobile: 07905 506909

www.vatsol.com

Contract Restructuring – What Is It (Vat Solutions)

VAT Solutions Introduction VF


Open University Report on the Future of Social Care

The path forward for Social Care in England_2021_10952_20210215122329983-1


NEW VACCINE UPTAKE PLAN PUBLISHED

  • Ministers and NHS launch plan to help boost vaccine uptake in all communities
  • Plan based on local initiatives already in place that are successfully boosting uptake
  • Plan sets out best practise and will help vaccinators and local leaders to engage with communities
  • Comes ahead of 15 February target date to give all top four priority groups their first jabs

From vaccination buses to WhatsApp groups and charity engagement, the new COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Plan aims to boost vaccine uptake in vulnerable and under-served groups.

Published today (Saturday 13 February), the plan sets out how the Government and NHS England are partnering with directors of public health, charities and the faith sector to increase vaccine take up and ensure equal access.

Evidence from the rollout so far has shown the vital role of health and social care staff and community leaders who are providing advice and information to their local communities.

Data published today shows comparable vaccine programmes achieved a 75% uptake rate, but so far, the COVID-19 vaccination programme has exceeded expectations, seeing 93% uptake in those over 75 years of age. Our aim remains to achieve the highest possible uptake in all other groups.

Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:

“We have seen an incredible response so far from the public to the vaccination programme and are on track to offer everyone in the top priority groups a jab by 15 February.

“We recognise that some groups feel more hesitant about getting a jab, or have more barriers, both physical and mental, preventing them from accessing one when it’s offered.

“Each shot in the arm brings us closer to beating this terrible virus. That’s why we are setting out our plan to make sure everyone is protected equally, by working hand in hand with those who know their communities best to make sure as many people as possible take up the offer of a lifesaving vaccination.”

The plan highlights work being done at a local and national level to make sure specific groups, including those with mental illness or without a fixed address, can access the information and advice they need to make a decision on taking up the vaccination.

Building on work already underway to reach more hesitant audiences, which includes translating vaccine resources in over 13 languages, the plan aims to raise awareness of how the NHS is making vaccination accessible to all, especially ethnic minorities, homeless people, asylum seekers and those with disabilities.

Community leaders are being urged to make clear an NHS number is not needed to get a jab and that there are a large number of vaccination sites spread right across the country that people can go to. Over 98% of the UK population now lives within 10 miles of a vaccination site.

The uptake plan sets out best-in-class real-world examples of community-led engagement to improve vaccine uptake which other local areas could replicate to drive uptake in their areas. This includes:

  • The GP Federation Alliance for Better Care have launched a mobile vaccination service in Crawley, staffed by members of the community, to reach those who are housebound or less physically mobile;
  • The OneSlough Partnership has trained vaccine community champions and produced social media resources to dispel vaccine myths and boost vaccine uptake within their communities;
  • Bradford Council and the Race Equality Network have built on established groups and events such virtual women’s exercise classes and befriender services as a forum to ask questions and share information about vaccination;
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement have produced short films to provide accessible information for people with a learning disability including autism, about what a vaccine is, how it’s made and how to decide whether to get vaccinated;
  • A branch manager at MiHomecare, a domiciliary care provider in North London, noticed her staff were initially hesitant to take the vaccine, so she shared a video of herself getting a vaccine on her workplace social media and WhatsApp group. This led to a noticeable increase in staff vaccine uptake.

Local initiatives are also being bolstered by national support programmes. The Community Champions scheme that recently received a £23 million boost is helping 60 local councils to fund local engagement with groups including older people, those with disabilities and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

NHS England and PHE have been working with Rethink Mental Illness to produce communications materials which aim to overcome barriers and address common causes of concern faced by people living with severe mental illnesses or learning disabilities and autism

A new Vaccination Equalities Committee, led by NHS England and NHS Improvement, is bringing also together government departments with national representatives from the Association of Directors of Public Health, local authorities, Fire and Police services and third sector organisations to advise and guide the vaccine deployment programme on addressing inequalities.

The plan published today builds on the UK Covid-19 Vaccines Delivery Plan, published on 11 January, which provided details about vaccine investment and supply, as well as the operation of vaccination sites across the country.

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch said:

“COVID-19 affects everyone, whatever their background. Life-saving vaccines need the trust and confidence of every community to protect us all from the virus. That is why the Government is working with local figures, faith leaders, and doctors to combat misinformation and encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

Two months since the start of the vaccination rollout, over 13 million people across the UK have already taken up the offer of a vaccine. Jabs are now being administered at 267 hospitals, 1,034 local vaccination sites, 90 vaccination centres and 194 community pharmacies. The NHS is on track to offer a first dose to the top four priority groups by 15 February – care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care workers, all those aged 70 or over and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

NHS top trauma surgeon and volunteer vaccinator, Dr Martin Griffiths, said:

“Thanks to the fantastic efforts of hard-working NHS staff and volunteers, the largest vaccination programme in the health service’s history has now jabbed four in five people aged 70 and over – but it’s not too late to come forward.

“Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people are disproportionately affected by Covid so it’s really important they get the vaccine. I’ve had it myself but understand that each person has their own specific reasons why they are hesitant and I want to ensure every person I see understands the vaccine is safe and effective as this will help us all get back to as normal a life as possible.”

 

DHSC – Q&A for care providers: Call to Care                                      

On 09 February the government launched a national Call to Care, aimed at increasing staff capacity in adult social care to help alleviate the shortages being felt across the sector. The Call to Care encourages individuals to take up short-term paid work in the adult social care sector.

Call to care


Supporting Frontline Social Care Workers to Receive COVID-19 Vaccination 

A number of helpful developments have happened in the last day or two, improving access to vaccines for frontline staff. This comes off the back of data collected by NCF and presented to DHSC about the vaccination roll-out to social care staff. See the results of the Snap Survey we ran earlier this week and our monthly Pulse Survey.

Please see the attached letter from Stuart Miller, Direct of Adult Social Care Delivery at DHSC:

Final Letter to Providers_

  • LGA has published a list of contacts for each Local Authority to support COVID-19 vaccination for frontline staff.
  • The National Booking Service has been opened to all frontline care workers so they can book their first vaccination. Staff can also call 119.
  • The attached document also contains a communications toolkit to support vaccine uptake in adult social care. This contains links to the DHSC Google Drive and PHE campaign resources centre.

Other useful resources:


DHSC White Paper on NHS Reform

DHSC has published a white paper laying out proposals for a new Health and Care Bill – ‘Working together to improve health and social care for all‘. We will have more analysis for you in due course but note that this is not the social care reform we’re looking for! The white paper states that proposals for social care reform will be laid out later this year.

Some key elements to note:

  • The Secretary of State will be given the power to make payments directly to social care providers in an emergency.  
  • CQC will gain new duty to assess LAs’ delivery of adult social care. The Secretary of State will gain emergency powers to intervene if a LA is not meeting its duties as assessed by CQC.
  • Integrated Care Systems (ICS) will have a more clearly defined role for social care within the structure of an Integrated Care System NHS Board.
  • Build on the Capacity Tracker and fill in gaps in available data such as collecting information from self-funded care. Data to be used to inform national policy but access given to LAs and other partners as well.
  • Intention to create a new discharge mechanism between the NHS and social care settings to allow for greater flexibility when discharging patients from hospital to a care setting for assessment.
  • The create of a standalone power for the Better Care Fund, separating it from the NHS mandate setting process.
  • It has a big focus on cutting bureaucracy within health and between health and social care.

 Our initial thoughts:

  • Integrated Care Systems (ICS) do not fit the bill of truly joined up integrated care as the voice of social care is not at the top table currently. Any new role must be for social care providers not just LAs. 
  • Bureaucracy reduction is a great ambition – but a lot of culture change is needed for this to translate into a more person centred approach to joined-up, sustainable care
  • Better assurance for the way LAs commission and fund social care is welcome and overdue.
  • Improved data collection requires resource and a focus on the right data at the right time with a rounded analysis. Social care has been locked out of that during the pandemic with the Capacity Tracker data which is supplied by the sector being unavailable to us. This is an opportunity to build a shared view of what data matters and for us all to use it to improve what we do
  • We need to see social care reform proposals brought forward urgently.

Update on funding of post-discharge support for remainder 2020/21

This letter from Matthew Winn, Director of Community Health, NHS England and NHS Improvement, provides an update to health and social care systems on funding of post-discharge support for the remainder of the 2020/21 financial year. The government has confirmed that the £588 million of government funding can be used for new packages of care (up to six weeks for persons with new or additional care needs) and payment for designated care settings that commence up to 31 March 2021.


Survey on DHSC Communication

The communication team at DHSC are running a survey to understand the effectiveness of government guidance to gauge additional feedback and input.

The survey should only take 4 minutes to complete: https://dhexchange.kahootz.com/connect.ti/COVID19SOCIALCARECOMMS/view?objectId=7160259

It will be open until the end of the day on Wednesday 24 February.


A New Life-Saving Treatment

DHSC has announced that NHS patients who are hospitalised due to COVID-19 will now be able to receive tocilizumab. UK clinical trials have shown that this treatment reduced the risk of death by 14% for patients on oxygen.



Skills for Care – Wellbeing Offers

Skills for Care has launched a new workforce wellbeing resource finder to help the workforce find trusted resources to support their own or others’ wellbeing.


Impact of NHS COVID-19 App

Please find attached a document outlining the impact of the NHS COVID-19 App on reducing transmission of the virus. The app claims to have prevented 600,000 cases since in launched in September 2020.

2021.02.08_Poster_Impact_Of_App


King’s Fund: Stories from social care leadership

If you have some free time have a read of the new publication from The King’s Fund.  


WHITE PAPER PUBLISHED

Here is the link to the White Paper that has been published on gov.uk Working together to improve health and social care for all – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)



BLUE PRINT LAUNCHED FOR NHS AND SOCIAL CARE REFORM FOLLOWING PANDEMIC

  • New proposals launched to join up health and care services and embed lessons learned from the pandemic
  • Action will support recovery by stripping away unnecessary legislative bureaucracy, empowering local leaders and services and tackling health inequalities
  • The reforms build on the NHS’ Long Term Plan proposals and a Bill will be laid in Parliament when parliamentary time allows to carry the proposals into law

The Health and Social Care Secretary, with the support of NHS England and health and care system leaders, will today set out new proposals to build on the successful NHS response to the pandemic. The proposals will bring health and care services closer together to build back better by improving care and tackling health inequalities through measures to address obesity, oral health and patient choice.

The measures set out today, in a government White Paper, will modernise the legal framework to make the health and care system fit for the future and put in place targeted improvements for the delivery of public health and social care. It will support local health and care systems to deliver higher quality care to their communities, in a way that is less legally bureaucratic, more accountable and more joined up, by bringing together the NHS, local government and partners together to tackle the needs of their communities as a whole.

The proposals build on the NHS’ recommendations for legislative change in the Long Term Plan and come a decade on from the last major piece of health and care legislation. While the NHS has made practical adaptations within the current legal framework, this can be unnecessarily time consuming and changes are now necessary as part of the future recovery process from the pandemic.

The measures include proposals to make integrated care the default, reduce legal bureaucracy, and better support social care, public health and the NHS. The reforms will enable the health and care sector to use technology in a modern way, establishing it as a better platform to support staff and patient care, for example by improving the quality and availability of data across the health and care sector to enable systems to plan for the future care of their communities.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“The NHS and local government have long been calling for better integration and less burdensome bureaucracy, and this virus has made clear the time for change is now.

“These changes will allow us to bottle the innovation and ingenuity of our brilliant staff during the pandemic, where progress was made despite the legal framework, rather than because of it.

“The proposals build on what the NHS has called for and will become the foundations for a health and care system which is more integrated, more innovative and responsive, and more ready to respond to the challenges of tomorrow, from health inequalities to our ageing population.”

By acting now, the Government can make permanent some of the beneficial changes where Covid has catalysed new and better ways of working and clear the path for improvements into the next decade such as delivering on manifesto commitments including 50,000 more nurses and 40 new hospitals.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, said:

“Our legislative proposals go with the grain of what patients and staff across the health service all want to see – more joined-up care, less legal bureaucracy and a sharper focus on prevention, inequality and social care.

“This legislation builds on the past seven years of practical experience and experimentation across the health service and the flexible ‘can-do’ spirit NHS staff have shown in spades throughout the pandemic.”

The proposals are designed to be flexible, allowing the health and care system to continue to evolve, and are designed to better equip the NHS and local health services to meet the longer-term health and societal challenges over the coming decades.

Key measures included in the ‘Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all’ White Paper include:

  • The NHS and local government to come together legally as part of integrated care systems to plan health and care services around their patients’ needs, and quickly implement innovative solutions to problems which would normally take years to fix, including moving services out of hospitals and into the community, focusing on preventative healthcare.
  • Hardworking NHS staff currently waste a significant amount of time on unnecessary tendering processes for healthcare services. Under today’s proposals, the NHS will only need to tender services when it has the potential to lead to better outcomes for patients.  This will mean staff can spend more time on patients and providing care, and local NHS services will have more power to act in the best interests of their communities.
  • The safety of patients is at the heart of NHS services. The upcoming Bill will put the Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch permanently into law as a Statutory Body so it can continue to reduce risk and improve safety. The Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch already investigates when things go wrong without blaming people, so that mistakes can be learned from, and this strengthens its legal footing.
  • A package of measures to deliver on specific needs in the social care sector. This will improve oversight and accountability in the delivery of services through new assurance and data sharing measures in social care, update the legal framework to enable person-centred models of hospital discharge, and introduce improved powers for the Secretary of State to directly make payments  to adult social care providers where required.
  • The pandemic has shown the impact of inequalities on public health outcomes and the need for Government to act to help level up health across the country. Legislation will help to support the introduction of new requirements about calorie labelling on food and drink packaging and the advertising of junk food before the 9pm watershed.

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said:

“We welcome the central proposals to drive integration and support greater collaboration through integrated care systems (ICS), that go beyond the traditional NHS boundaries. This is absolutely the right direction of travel for health and care more widely.

Legislation won’t make collaboration happen, but it can remove barriers and facilitate the changes that the NHS really needs as we move into the post-pandemic recovery stage.

It is vital that we see genuine clinical engagement at every level of the operation of the ICS to drive collaboration.

We will look forward to reviewing the full range of proposals and engaging in the development of the legislation.”

The legislation will fold Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority into NHS England, while maintaining the clinical and day to day operational independence of the NHS. Corresponding reforms will ensure the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has the right levers to ensure accountability back to Parliament and taxpayers.

The White Paper sets out the government’s proposals for legislation, building on the extensive consultation that has already been undertaken by NHS England. A Bill will be laid before Parliament later in the year

The Government intends to bring forward separate proposals on social care reform later this year.

Ed Garratt, Executive Lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said:

“I welcome the White Paper, as the lead of an Integrated Care System, as it gives clearer accountability for the NHS and at a system level formalises shared governance across the NHS, Local Government and other partners. The proposals will support greater collective effort on improving outcomes for our population, which is the ultimate purpose of our work.”

Notes to editors

  • The white paper will be published on gov.uk

Case study on joined up care

Greater integration of services across the NHS, voluntary sector and local authority has enabled Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to provide more effective support to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

By establishing a community-based mental health crisis First Response Service (FRS), the county has been able to provide responsive support for anyone experiencing mental health crisis.

Before the service was launched, there was no capacity to see people in need of mental health care out of hours, except via A&E. And there was no self-referral route, meaning many sought help direct from A&E.

Open 24/7, the FRS provides support for people of all ages across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It welcomes self-referrals as well as urgent referrals from carers, GPs, ambulance crews, police and the emergency department. The result has been a 20% reduction in the use of the emergency department for mental healthcare and a 26% decrease in the number of people with mental health needs being admitted to acute hospitals from the emergency department.

It has also resulted in fewer ambulance call-outs, assessments and conveyances to the emergency department and reduced the need for out of hours GPs to see people in mental health crisis. 

Case study on bureaucracy

The DHSC’s consultation reviewed what bureaucracy looks like in the health and care system. It found that NHS staff felt that unnecessary bureaucracy is time-consuming, frustrating and stressful, largely because they felt it took them away from patient care.

In Manchester, following the 2012 reforms, re-tendering and re-procurement have become much more frequent to meet competition regulations, even when they are won repeatedly by the same organisation. In order to overcome this hurdle, the Local Government Association shifted the procurement window of a project on homelessness in Manchester from 3 to 7 years. The new re-procurement period allowed the organisation to retain staff, think longer term about the project and to consider innovative solutions that had been impossible before because of time constraints.

 

DHSC – Vaccination Support Update

Dear all,

Final Letter to Providers National Booking Service

Local Authority Points of Contact for Social Care Worker Vaccination final

Local Authority Points of Contact for Social Care Worker Vaccination final

Thank you for everything you are doing to support social care workers to access their COVID-19 vaccine.

It is vitally important now that we redouble our efforts to support the remaining frontline social care workers who haven’t received their first dose to book their appointment by the 15th February and we need your help with that.

To support with that task, I want to share the following updates:

  1. Attached is a letter from Stuart Miller, our Director of Adult Social Care Delivery, and David Pearson, Chair of the Social Care Sector Covid-19 Taskforce, advising on the steps we would like all care providers to take now to help staff to access their vaccine. Please could you support with cascading this letter through your networks.
  2. To make it as easy as possible for social care workers to access their vaccine, all eligible staff who haven’t yet received their first dose can now book their appointment via the national booking service.  Employers can also contact their Local Authority urgently if their staff haven’t been called for vaccination. Attached is a list with points of contact within Local Authorities who can assist with the necessary arrangements, in PDF and Excel format.
  3. We have also produced a toolkit listing all of the resources available to help employers address any concerns that staff may have about having the vaccine. Please can you cascade this through your networks and share the content across your channels.

As ever, do feel free to contact me with any questions.

Kind regards,

Louise

 

Louise Thomas

Senior External Affairs Manager

39 Victoria Street, Westminster, SW1H 0EU

E: louise.thomas@dhsc.gov.uk T: 020 7210 5860   M: 07825 781598

W: www.gov.uk/dh  @DHSCgovuk

External Affairs Team inbox: DHSCExternalAffairs@dhsc.gov.uk


Invitation to Citation Webinar Feb 17th

Free vaccinations webinar for care providers

In response to a number of questions from care providers, our partner, Citation, is delivering a free webinar on vaccinations and employers’ responsibilities, which we encourage members to register for.

In January, local authority chief executives and adult social care providers were given details of what they are required to do to help frontline staff access the vaccine.

Citation’s advice line has received hundreds of calls with questions about what this means for employers.

To help care providers prepare for tricky HR issues, we will be answering some of our most frequently asked questions, including:

  • What care providers are required to do in relation to the vaccination programme
  • What are my responsibilities/obligations as an employer?
  • Can employees refuse the vaccine? What are my rights if they do?
  • How do I put safety first whilst avoiding tribunals?

REGISTER NOW

Date: 17 February

Webinar time: 10:00 to 11:00

Join us: Please register by clicking the button below, and you will receive an email invite with a link and instructions on how to join the webinar.

REGISTER NOW


SfC – Laura Anthony’s Slide deck Feb 10th 2021

RM network slidesCroydonWandsworthVirtual100221

This includes the Start Here data

The NW London Keeping Well website

https://www.keepingwellnwl.nhs.uk/


Vaccine information

 
The two videos are embedded in the word document

Insurance Contacts

Towergate Richard Barnes – Richard.Barnes@towergate.co.uk

PiB Mark Gale – Mark.Gale@pib-insurance.com


Communications for Covid oximetry in care homes webinar

Remote monitoring using pulse oximetry in care homes webinar – comms pack (004)


 
 
 

Department of Health & Social Care

 
 
   
 

Please see the amended courier booking update for care home managers in England.

Important changes for you to be aware of:

·         You can now select a courier slot at a time that is most convenient for your organisation

·         When booking a courier you will have three collection slots to choose from

You can now select a courier slot at a time that is most convenient for your organisation

As of yesterday, January 28 2021, the courier booking portal will allow you to pick between three time slots for your courier collection.

The three time slots available to you are now:

Morning (9:00am – 1:00pm)
Afternoon (2:00pm – 4:00pm)
Evening (4:00pm – 9:00pm)
Please note that you can only book one slot a day.

You will also be presented with the option of a 6:00pm to 9:00pm time slot, you should not select this time window as it is for specialist Ministry of Justice testing.

There is a limited number of morning and afternoon collection windows available each day. Once these are full the option will no longer be shown to your organisation. However, you can book a slot 28 days in advance, so please book a slot in advance.

As a reminder, please do not book a courier in the 6:00pm – 9:00pm slot, this slot is for specialist Ministry of Justice locations only.

If you no longer require a booked collections, please call the contact centre to cancel, by calling 119 if you’re in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, and 0300 303 2713 if you’re in Scotland.

Please do cancel a booking if you no longer require the slot, this will mean the slot will become available for another organisation.

Who should you contact in an emergency?

Please remember that if, at any stage over the next few days, someone at your organisation cannot cope with the symptoms, or their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days, use the https://111.nhs.uk/COVID-19 service or call NHS 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999.

Thank you
NHS Test and Trace.

This email and any attachments are intended only for the attention of the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return email.

 

DHSC

letter from David Pearson about the COVID-19 vaccination programme next steps

DHSC letter COVID19 Vaccination of Social Care Workers_providers_1 Feb 2021


Invitation and Agenda

Registered Manager Learning & Partnership Virtual Meeting

Wednesday February 10th 2021. 10.00 – 11.30

This a great opportunity for you to ask questions of CQC and SfC. The Covid-19 pandemic has added much stress and strain to the social care system and this is a great opportunity for you to discuss these issues and gain useful knowledge. If you would rather a question was asked for you, let us know in advance.

Introductions; Peter Webb LCAS & Dudley Sawyerr Chair

Alison Murray from CQC; Alison is CQC’s London lead and also the CQC lead for Infection Control

Laura Anthony from Skills for Care; with the regular update from SfC. They have been providing huge support to the sector with Covid-19 information and webinars.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/94417965302?pwd=bERTT0lHQUU3c0hyM0w2dEhMM1MrUT09

Meeting ID: 944 1796 5302

Passcode: 089625

One tap mobile

+442080806591,,94417965302#,,,,*089625# United Kingdom

+442080806592,,94417965302#,,,,*089625# United Kingdom

Some of you will already have signed up and be members of the RM Network, either personally, or as an organisation.  If you haven’t, do look at https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/support-for-registered-managers/membership/membership.aspx and consider the benefits of joining.

Any queries, contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org 07956878901

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@peoplecareservices.com 07984466130

E&OE


COVID-19 Vaccination and the MCA – the first Court of Protection judgment

This is a very interesting document and shows the importance of co-working with other professionals and getting evidence.

https://www.mentalcapacitylawandpolicy.org.uk/covid-19-vaccination-and-the-mca-the-first-court-of-protection-judgment/?fbclid=IwAR06AE_eNIHDFiRSXjqAx5RAcfTxr4JUrpTF0EcGTsNNSK3_oEozr7tu2cE


DHSC Guidance

 

Workforce Capacity Fund for adult social care

Published 29 January 2021

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/workforce-capacity-fund-for-adult-social-care/workforce-capacity-fund-for-adult-social-care


Vaccination in older adult care homes – next steps by 31 Jan

Yesterday a letter was sent to PCN-led vaccination teams telling them:

  1. All older adult care homes still awaiting their first visit must receive this by close on Sunday 31 January
  2. Where a LA or DPH has concluded that a visit to a care home with a COVID-19 outbreak should not take place, this must be confirmed in writing by the LA or DPH by 31 January to the CCG and region, and needs to include the names of each care home and how many residents have not been able to receive their first jab. A new date to undertake the first visit to that care home at the earliest opportunity must be arranged and a new date confirmed with the care home by 31 January.
  3. Any second/follow-up visits needed to complete administration of the first dose must be made by close 31 January, or, if this cannot happen, that a date is arranged by then.
  4. Regular contact should be maintained between care homes and PCN groupings to ensure that new or recently returned residents’ vaccination status is confirmed and any unvaccinated new or returned residents receive vaccination as soon as possible.
  5. Work with care home managers to encourage staff members to have the COVID-19 vaccination – including offering it to them on return visits.

If you have not yet received any details about plans to vaccinate staff and residents, contact your PCN lead who should be able to provide the information for you. If there are difficulties in arranging a date for vaccinations, contact the local System Vaccinations Operations Centre (SVOC). If this doesn’t work – email covidvaccineASC@dhsc.gov.uk.  


Vaccination Update

A reminder of important information:

Statements from British Islamic Medical Association on Oxford Vaccine and Pfizer Vaccine

 

Need to know your NHS number?

NHSE have just launched this. 

https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/find-nhs-number/


 

Welcome to your January edition of Mind@Work.

https://mind.turtl.co/story/mindwork-january-2021/?utm_source=MIND%20(THE%20NATIONAL%20ASSOCIATION%20FOR%20MENTAL%20HEALTH)&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=12116681_Comms_Mind@work_Jan21_25_01_21_manual_regular_AA&dm_i=CZC,77PAH,48LQ6F,T8DHF,1

It’s been a tough start to the year and I’m sure many of us are dealing with lots of difficult situations and emotions. We’ve put together a bumper edition of Mind@work for the new year which we hope goes some way to helping you get through. We share our advice on coping with burnout, winter wellbeing tips, support for key workers and information on the links between money and mental health.

There’s still time to get your workplace involved in Time to Talk Day on 4 February and we’re asking for your views on online mental health support.

Best wishes from all of us at Mind. Whatever you’re feeling, remember you’re not alone.

Emma Mamo

Head of Workplace Wellbeing

work@mind.org.uk

PS. We hope you enjoy these emails, but just a reminder that you can unsubscribe at anytime by clicking on ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of the email.

 

 



Managing vaccinations for frontline care workers  

your FREE guide

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the care industry the hardest. With service users being the most vulnerable, there has been a lot for providers to consider and manage to protect both their staff and the people in their care.

Earlier in January, the Minister for Social Care, Helen Whately wrote to local authority chief executives and adult social care providers, detailing what they are required to do to help frontline staff access the vaccine.

The care experts of LCAS Partner, Citation, have created an exclusive guide to give you an overview on what the guidance outlines for care service employers and the key responsibilities employers have in assisting the rollout of the vaccine to frontline social care workers.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE GUIDE

The guide looks at an overview of employers’ obligations, along with private providers who employer social care workers, a standard operating procedure (SOP) for vaccine deployment, and other key HR & Employment Law considerations.

If this guide proves useful, Citation have created the ultimate content hub packed with loads more free guides to help you navigate the changes of the coming months.

Expert, discounted support available to LCAS members

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to keep on top of your Health & Safety, HR and Employment Law.

From infection control and visiting arrangements to managing their people and caring for their mental health, Citation has supported 1000s of care providers during these challenging times.

They also offer LCAS members preferential rates on our services.

FIND OUT MORE


Open University Training

You may be interested to learn about what The Open University can offer you to unlock the potential of your workforce. We are not just academic experts – we understand skills challenges too.

Our work-based, educational programmes deliver immediate impact, improve performance and vivify organisational culture. Please take a look at our offering here: http://www.open.ac.uk/business/

We work with organisations to understand their organisational goals and provide outstanding learning and development solutions. We work with more than 2,400 organisations and 77% of the FTSE 100 companies have sponsored employees on OU courses.

Our learning and development solutions include short courses, apprenticeships, degree qualifications, microcredentials, vocational qualifications, free learning as well as tailor-made solutions.

Here are just some of the reasons why we are in demand:

  • Flexibility: we offer over 200 qualifications and 480 modules; our teaching methods are inherently flexible, and we can adapt solutions to your organisation’s unique needs. Online learning reduces travel time and helps employees fit learning around personal and work commitments
  • Practicality: Due to the nature of Open University study, our programmes mean minimal disruption to your organisation and maximum productivity
  • Range: we can upskill your employees, help you attract and reskill new staff and work with you to nurture future leaders and skilled professionals
  • Value: our business solutions deliver rapid return on investment through increased employee retention and engagement
  • Scale: as the UK’s largest university we can deliver locally, nationally and internationally. Our scalable solutions will meet the needs of your organisation, whether you wish to develop one employee or 10,000 across multiple sites worldwide.
  • Open access policy means that prior academic qualifications are not required for many of our courses

We have vast experience in working with public sector, third sector, private sectors and through educational partnerships.

If you would like to have a conversation with one of our team or a Skype meeting, please email do-business@open.ac.uk .


Joint statement on the use of COVID-19 positive staff in care settings

CQC have sent the statement to all ASC providers and you can find a copy here – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKCQC/bulletins/2bd2f4d

There is an error in this document; re full pay in last paragraph is incorrect.

If ICF monies have not been claimed or have been fully utilised then youou do not have to pay full wages.

Providers should be declaring this on their tracker as it will help us to generate more funds from government.

Most providers do not normally pay full wages when staff are off sick.


Joint Letter about digital support for care providers

Please find attached a letter from LGA, DHSC and NHSX outlining a summary of the digital support available to the social care sector and how to access it. This is part of the goals of the Adult Social Care Winter Plan.

Joint winter letter to LAs and ASC providers


EXTRA CARE AND SUPPORTED LIVING Test & Trace Guidance

Extra_care_and_supported_living_retesting_guidance


 
 
 

Department of Health & Social Care

 
 
   
 

Care home testing update: Lateral Flow Device (LFDs) approval for self-test granted

This announcement is for care homes in England only.

Following our communications on updated staff testing using Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests, we are pleased to inform you that we now have approval for care home staff to conduct self-test LFDs. This means your staff are now able to take and register their twice weekly LFD tests at home, before they arrive at the care home to start work.

This only applies to care home staff and not to other settings in adult social care.

We are working with care homes to ensure they have enough LFD kits to enable the provision of a box of 25 LFD tests to care home staff. These are the same LFD kits that you have been using previously.

If you have enough LFD tests to be able to provide each care home staff member with a box of 25 LFD tests, please feel free to start this process. If you do not have enough kits, please do not ring 119, we will launch the online replenishment portal w/c 1st February, which will allow you to place an order for LFDs.

The online replenishment portal is very similar to the current process you follow for ordering the standard PCR test kits that are used for regular staff and resident testing. The only difference being that from this portal you will select LFD test kits, rather than your standard PCR test kit order. You should continue to order regular PCR kits for staff and residents as per usual.

Once you have placed an order, your delivery will provide you with enough LFD test kits for you to provide each staff member with one box of 25 test kits, which should last them 1 month of testing. Within this order you will also be provided with a confirmatory PCR, for each staff member, which will be part of the replenishment package, and is used should an individual receives a positive LFD.

Please only place an order if you require a replenishment of LFD test kits. There is no obligation to place an order if you have enough LFD test kits already in your home.

As a reminder, these LFD test kits are a new technology which provide a rapid Covid-19 test result in 30 minutes and do not require a lab to process. These should be used in addition to regular PCR testing.

Self-test Guidance

Please share the published self-test guidance to all your staff members who will be testing at home. It is the care home manager’s responsibility to maintain records of the kits that are distributed, including the LOT number, which can be located on the box of 25 LFD tests.

You can find the self-test guidance at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/955242/care-home-lfd-self-test-guidance-v22-01.pdf

Registering LFD test results

All lateral flow device tests must be registered (whether positive, indeterminate/void, or negative) as a legal requirement at:

https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

Understanding results, and the prevalence rate is crucial for public health teams to understand the prevalence of coronavirus in care homes across the country and be able to support the care sector appropriately. It is therefore very important that care homes have made the necessary arrangements with staff self-testing at home to ensure that all results from lateral flow device tests are registered online.

Registration should be done within 24hrs to ensure that results can assist NHS Test and Trace in understanding transmission and prevalence.

Training

All care home staff members that are using LFD tests must have completed the training on the NHS Test and Trace online training portal. The training videos last about 15 minutes followed by a competency assessment.

Link: https://go.tessello.co.uk/TestDeviceTraining/
Token: 3wkcVi4UTX

Any care home staff member who has not yet completed the training can use the above link to create an account, access the training videos, and complete the competency assessment. Once the training is complete, screengrabs of the competency assessment can be sent to the care home manager to be stored for internal records.

Please note, the registration process on the training portal is different to the one described above. You must follow the registration process highlighted in the section above (please see pages 16 to 19 in the self-test guidance for further detail on the registration process).

It is critical that your care home staff member does not begin LFD testing until they have completed the assessment.

Webinars

Another reminder, we are continuing our regular care home testing webinars. You can sign up for the webinars here:

https://event.webcasts.com/viewer/portal.jsp?ei=1369434&tp_key=296e54cdc9

These webinars last 90 minutes and give detailed information about all aspects of care home testing. The session will include a live Q&A with representatives from the national care home testing team, who will be able to answer your questions and address any concerns in the session.

If you are not able to attend the webinars, please sign up and a recording of the session will be made available to you after the webinar has been completed.

Who should you contact in an emergency?

Please remember that if, at any stage over the next few days, someone at your organisation cannot cope with the symptoms, or their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days, use the https://111.nhs.uk/COVID-19 service or call NHS 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999.

Thank you
NHS Test and Trace.

This email and any attachments are intended only for the attention of the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return email.

 

Please find attached an (UPDATED) letter from the Minister for State for Care, Helen Whately regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for community based social workers.

 
 
 

You may find these useful if you have staff who are reluctant to accept the vaccine.


 DHSC message

If you have not received this messsage directly, please contact your PCN Lead.

 

You are receiving this email as the care home manager of a care home for elderly and dementia residents in England.

You should by now have heard about plans to vaccinate staff and residents in your older adult care home.

If, by chance, you have not yet received any details, then please contact your Primary Care Network Lead for the care home who will be able to provide the information for you.

If there are any difficulties in getting a date for your vaccination, then please contact your local System Vaccinations Operations Centre (SVOC).

Please make sure no-one gets left behind. Vaccinations are for staff too. Please do all you can to support uptake.

Thank you


Designated Settings Indemnity Support

 DHSC has created an indemnity scheme for designated settings. I have attached a briefing from DHSC and a powerpoint with more details than I was able to share yesterday. Please also note the Written Ministerial Statement informing Parliament of the Designated Settings indemnity arrangements. You can read NCF’s response to this announcement here.

In light of increased pressure for hospitals to discharge patients, NCF has published advice on hospital discharges and the designated settings following updated discharge guidance. You can read this on our website.

Please see the designated settings guidance.


Improving discharge patient flow from acute settings

Please note this NHS guidance published yesterday. It sets out 3 options for discharge which can be funded from the £588m hospital discharge scheme. It includes:

  1. Use of hotel accommodation as a short term measure when there are delays in arranging care at home (see annex A) – we are concerned that there is no mention about COVID status in this overview.
  2. Utilise the national framework for independent sector providers for hospital at home services and reablement/rehab services
  3. Designated settings – including use of the indemnity scheme to set up new designated settings where a setting can’t get insurance.


Expansion of asymptomatic testing

DHSC has announced the expansion of asymptomatic community testing across all local authorities in England. We are aware that many in social care still cannot access any form of asymptomatic testing – you may want to liaise with LAs to understand if they can prioritise care workers for these tests.


Letter from Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care

Prof Deborah Sturdy OBE, Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, has written to the social care workforce thanking them for their hard work. She also shares key information and news about vaccination, the £149m rapid testing fund, the £120m staffing fund and PPE guidance among others.  


Letter from the Minister for Care

The Minister for Care has sent a letter to the sector regarding vaccinations for community based social care workers. This repeats much of the same information I circulated earlier this/last week. The letter is attached.

MSC letter on community-based SCW_Final


Vaccination Update

We have been told that over 60% of older adults in care homes have now been vaccinated but we have not been given figures for staff in those settings. Just shy of 5 million people in total have had the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A reminder of important information:


Supporting you to make decisions while caring for someone living with dementia during Coronavirus (COVID19) and beyond

A very useful and simple to complete document

ENDEMIC decision aid 09 12 20


COVID-19 vaccinations for community based social workers

Please find attached a letter from the Minister for State for Care, Helen Whately regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for community based social workers

Factsheet PPE MSC letter on community-based SCW_Final


Free PPE

I can confirm that the provision of free PPE to the health and social care sector has been
extended to 30 June 2021. The department will conduct a review in April in order to inform
plans for post-June 2021.

The sectors that are eligible for PPE via the LA and LRF distribution route are:
 local authorities (including children and adult social care workers)
 mental health community care
 personal assistants (LA, CCG commissioned, and funded through personal health
budgets)
 domestic violence refuges
 rough sleeping services
 education and childcare services
 social and primary care providers on the PPE Portal in clinical need: for example, if there
is an increase in local COVID-19 cases or temporary difficulties accessing other
distribution channels

Since writing to you in the Autumn we are aware that other key non-Portal eligible sectors
have been supported by you, including: self-funded personal assistants, supported living,
extra care, shared lives and day services. These are key sectors and we would be grateful if
you could continue to supply PPE to these services.

From the week commencing 11th January, FFP masks and gowns will be made available on
the PPE Portal to social care providers who are carrying out aerosol generating procedures.
Thank you for the support you have provided with FFPs and gowns so far. We would be
grateful if LAs and LRFs could continue supplying these items to providers who cannot
currently access them through the Portal.


Vitamin D and care homes guidance

This is the guidance for supplemental Vitamin D.  

The supplements will be delivered directly to all care homes before the end of the January- Most providers should be aware of the safety issues but Important to flag the risk of overdosing as many GP’s are routinely prescribing. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vitamin-d-for-vulnerable-groups/vitamin-d-and-care-homes-guidance


U-Turn on restricting staff movement via CQC regulation + £120m

You may have spotted a press release over the weekend announcing £269m for social care to boost staffing levels and testing. This is broken down into:

  • A new funding pot of £120m for LAs to help boost staffing levels in social care
  • The details of the £149m announced before Christmas to support care homes undertake LFD tests (see further down this update).

Our response to the £120m announcement can be read here.

This money is to help boost staffing levels. We don’t yet have details about how this will be allocated or when. It is, however, worth noting that this announcement hides a U-turn. DHSC has dropped proposals to use CQC regulations to enforce the restriction of staff movement between care settings. The information you have submitted to us helped make the case – so please continue to send all issues and information you have to us.

The fund is intended to:

  • provid additional care staff where shortages arise
  • support administrative tasks so experienced and skilled staff can focus on providing care
  • help existing staff take on additional hours if they wish with overtime payments or by covering childcare costs

Adult Social Care Rapid Testing Fund

We now have information about the £149m announced before Christmas to help with Lateral Flow Device testing. The guidance also details allocations. The new funding is modelled on the Infection Control Fund but it has different grant conditions which you need to review. This fund will cover expenditure from 2 December 2020 to 31 March 2021. Payments should be made within 10 working days by LAs once they receive it.

The funding will be passed to Local Authorities who will distribute:

  • 80% to care homes on a per beds basis, including residential drug and alcohol services and those the LA does not have existing contracts with.
  • 20% to support the care sector more generally to implement the increased LFD testing. LA has discretion.

What the 80% can be used for

Be aware that the following is dependent upon the registration of LFD test results for staff, residents and visitors – including professionals who need a test:

  • Payment for staff costs associated with training and carrying out LFD testing, including time taken to:
    • attend webinars, read online guidance and complete an online competency assessment
    • explain the full LFD testing process to those being tested, and ensuring that they understand all other IPC measures
    • ensure that any LFD tests are completed properly, including overseeing the self-swabbing process, processing tests and logging results
    • wait for results, if staff are coming in to undertake tests on site prior to their shift
    • for those care homes that can undertake indoor, close-contact visiting: welcoming visitors, gaining consent and overseeing that PPE is correctly donned.
  • Costs associated with recruiting staff to facilitate increased testing
  • Costs associated with the creation of a separate testing area where staff and visitors can be tested and wait for their result. This includes the cost of reduced occupancy where this is required to convert a bedroom into a testing area, but only if this is the only option available to the care home.
  • Costs associated with disposal of LFD tests and testing equipment.

What the 20% can be used for:

The 20% can be used at the discretion of the LA. This could include:

  • supporting care homes or other providers that are currently experiencing an outbreak to ensure that they have the resource needed to administer the LFD tests and equipment that they need to increase LFD testing
  • supporting smaller homes to implement LFD testing as they may face relatively higher costs compared to large homes
  • supporting other settings such as supported living and extra care settings eligible for LFD testing (this is news to us as we are aware many have not been able to access PCR tests yet! We think this is preemptive)

Reporting Requirements

  1. be completing the Capacity Tracker regularly (at least weekly)
  2. committed to continuing to complete the Capacity Tracker regularly (at least weekly) for the duration of the grant
  3. have committed to providing the LA with monthly reports on their spending against this grant

Vaccine Update

Today the government announced it has started to rollout vaccines to those aged 70 years and over (JCVI priority group 3 + 4). However, the priority should remain with the top 2 cohorts.

A reminder of important information:


Enhanced Health in Care Homes

CPA has pulled together a useful guide to Enhanced Health in Care Homes.


Vitamin D for vulnerable groups

In case you have missed it, new guidance has been issued for care homes about vitamin D. It states that the government will be providing a free 4-month supply of daily vitamin D supplements for residents in residential and nursing homes in England. These will be in liquid form.


End of Transition Period: Keeping Data Safe

This CPA document has been updated following the Trade and Cooperation Agreement made between the EU and the UK government.


Update to supported living guidance

This guidance has been updated to state that if you have had close contact with someone who had COVID-19, you must self-isolated for 10 days. However, this should increase to 14 days based on a risk assessment if the setting is considered high risk.


Reminder: Better Care Fund webinar on discharge into care homes

This is a reminder that there is a webinar on 21 January, 12:30-1:30 to set out the process of discharge from hospital or designated settings into care homes for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are not considered to pose an infection risk. The session aims to simplify and clarify national guidance on discharge.


Update to the COVID-19 positive discharge process

COVID-19 Positive Discharge Process – Note and Flowchart for Care Homes 13.01.21 FINAL

A supporting webinar is scheduled for Thursday 21st January 2021 at 12.30pm, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/clarified-guidance-on-discharge-into-care-homes-webinar-tickets-136925815801 to register.

 


Vaccines

Vaccinations for Community-based Staff

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for frontline community-based social care workers was issued yesterday  (NB this excludes care workers working in care homes for older adults who are covered by a different SOP

The SOP outlines the process to identify all community-based care workers in the JCVI Priority Group 2b, who are eligible for vaccinations now.  The groups identified include:

  • Roles providing direct care – including directly employed Personal Assistants
  • Management roles – team leaders and overall managers
  • Support roles – such as Housing support officers, volunteers, care navigators (social care prescribers), some admin roles with direct client contact
  • Ancillary staff
  • Regulated professionals –  eg Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Nurses.

Those who are not eligible within Priority Group 2b include:

  • Administrative staff who do not have any direct contact with clients
  • Social care workers working with children who are not considered priority
  • Unpaid carers – however, many of these will be eligible under other Priority Group categories.

Employers’ responsibilities are set out on page 15.  In summary they will be responsible for cooperating with the local authority and the NHS to ensure that eligible workers receive their vaccination.  Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Informing the local authority of the total number of workers likely to meet the criteria for vaccination (we suggest that you start gathering this now to be ready).
  • Arranging appointments for their workers in the way requested by the local authority.
  • Providing staff with the necessary information which will be supplied by the local authority and NHS.

Frontline workers’ responsibilities are set out on page 18 and include cooperating with the process, reading the available information leaflets, and working with their employer on booking appointments.

As well as reading the guidance carefully, you may find the following helpful:

A range of leaflets which providers may find useful to share with staff have been issued by Public Health England about COVID-19 vaccination.  Accessible versions and translations are available in the links below:


Local vaccination services

Here is a link to the Google Drive  which continues to be updated daily with social media content for you to share on your channels. It includes:

o             Updated Q&A – found in the Google Drive and also attached

o             New content about the vaccine delivery plan found here 

o             Q&A fact cards for social care workers about getting the vaccine found here

o             Q&A video from David Pearson, JVT and Nikki Kanani for social care workers found here  


Local vaccination services

The Standard operating procedure: COVID-19 local vaccination services deployment in community settings – updated 14 January 2021 by NHSEI covers local vaccination services in community settings including at NHS sites (GP Practices, Community Pharmacies), non-NHS sites, care homes, and patients’ own homes. Updates are highlighted in Yellow on the document.

ASC COVID VACCINE QA FINAL (002)


Timing of second dose of vaccinations

Instruction on timing of second dose of COVID-19 vaccinations – 11 January 2021 – a letter from NHSEI to All CCG Accountable Officers, All CCG Chairs, All PCNs and all GP practices, All NHS Trust Chief Executives stating that all appointments to receive the second dose must be rescheduled, with recipients to be booked in for a second dose in the 12th week.


Hospital discharge

Here is a reminder of advice for appropriate discharge arrangements.

Youare invited to sign up to this webinar on Thursday 21st January, 12:30-1:30pm which aims to clarify guidance on discharge to care homes, delivered by policy and clinical leads for DHSC, PHE, NHSE/I and the Care Provider Alliance. 


Workforce

Managing mental health and wellbeing

A reminder about this guidance, issued in May and updated yesterday with national lockdown requirements.  This gives advice for those working in adult social care on managing mental health and how employers can take care of the wellbeing of their staff during the coronavirus outbreak.


Learning disabilities and autism

Also a reminder about this guidance, which was first issued in April last year for care workers and personal assistants who support adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults to keep people with learning disabilities and autistic people safe,       support them to understand the changes they need to make during the COVID-19 outbreak, and for care workers to protect their own wellbeing.  It has been updated recently with the new lockdown rules.

There is also more comprehensive guidance on the SCIE website


RM Partnership & Learning Meeting Jan 13th

ACAS – Henicka Uddin

https://www.acas.org.uk/

Free Helpline – 0300 123 1100

Skills for Care – Laura Anthony

RM network slidesCroydonWandsworthVirtual130120

There is some particularly useful information on the slides with regard to CQC’s virtual inspections.

 

Richard Whittome – New City College, with a wide range of social care and other training & apprenticeship opportunities, mainly with funding.

Lecturer, Assessor and IQA

T: 07703 770587

E: Richard.Whittome@NCCLondon.ac.uk

The next meeting will be on February the 10th with CQC – Alison Murray

LCAS RM Learning & Partnership Event
Time: Feb 10, 2021 10.00 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/94417965302?pwd=bERTT0lHQUU3c0hyM0w2dEhMM1MrUT09

Meeting ID: 944 1796 5302
Passcode: 089625
One tap mobile
+442080806591,,94417965302#,,,,*089625# United Kingdom
+442080806592,,94417965302#,,,,*089625# United Kingdom


Vaccine SOP now published:

Report template – NHSI website (england.nhs.uk)

C1037 Vaccinating social care staff 14 January 2021

C1037 COVID vacc deployment SOP_community-based care workers 14 January 2021


Discharge Arrangements and Designated Settings

The guidance for discharging from hospital and designated settings has been updated to make it clearer and easier to follow.

Do pay careful attention in particular to the note added to the designated settings guidance- I’ve attached a copy of this with a flowchart. This note clarifies section 4.3 of the existing designated setting guidance:

  • The current requirement is for hospitals to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test on all people discharged into a care home in the 48 hours prior to discharge. All individuals who test positive within this timeframe should be discharged into designated settings in the first instance. The outcomes of tests should be shared with care homes prior to discharge and be included in the discharge summary information
  • There is an exception to the above for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are within 90 days of their initial illness onset or positive date. If these individuals have already completed their 14-day isolation period from onset of symptoms or positive test result (if asymptomatic) and have no new COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, they are not considered to pose an infection risk. They therefore do not have to be re-tested and can move directly to a care home from hospital. Note the questions on page 2 of the attached and in the linked version for deciding this.

Now, having stated the above, do note that the care home manager has absolute discretion to accept or decline a resident depending on their local context. The hospital discharge team has been told that they must not put undue pressure on a care home to accept a resident.

NCF is currently working on advice, similar to what we issued back in April, in relation to safe discharge in the event that you are asked to take people directly from hospital using the exception mentioned above. NCF believes that the following safeguards should be in place (and we have been been calling for them to be) for any discharge of a person from hospital into care homes:

  • only the care home can decide if the person can be safely admitted into the care home from hospital
  • clarity and evidence on their COVID status with full details of their most recent COVID test, when it was taken and what the results are
  • comprehensive discharge notes with clear clinical history. If the patient has at some point been COVID positive, then this history must clarify that it was at least 14 days since the first positive test was taken, the current situation in relation to symptoms, clarity about their current level of likely infectiousness and any exposure to new COVID risk while in hospital
  • guarantees about local community health support post-discharge
  • vaccination of individuals pre-hospital discharge as well as across the care home community, including residents and staff
  • agreed fixed fee for discharge, eliminating the unnecessary and time-consuming local negotiations on a patient-by-patient basis

We should have a fuller version of this for you tomorrow – do keep us updated about any pressure to discharge to your care settings. Please do not share outside your organisation until we circulate the final version. We have been very clear with the NHS and DHSC that it would be a grave mistake to discharge large numbers of COVID positive people to care and nursing homes, particularly with the new variant being so virulent.

COVID-19 Positive Discharge Process – Note and Flowchart for Care Homes 13.01.21 FINAL


Speeding-up of Vaccinations for Care Homes

As you may have already seen in the news, a letter has been sent to PCNs, CCGs, NHSE/I Regional Teams and Community Health Providers stating that all PCN local vaccination services must administer the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to care home residents and staff in care homes for older adults by 24 January. PCNs are expected to operate 8am to 8pm 7 days a week in order to achieve this. They will be incentivised with a supplement to their pay per vaccine given – see the letter for more details. In some areas ICSs and CCGs will coordinate mutual aid provision to ensure the vaccination schedule happens where PCNs are unable to.

The letter also emphasises that vaccinations should continue to take place in homes with outbreaks. Vaccination may be deferred in some individuals who are acutely unwell or still within 4 weeks of COVID symptoms but all other staff and residents in a care home where an outbreak is occurring must receive prompt vaccination. This reflects the guidance issued by the NHS on 31.12.20.

Do also keep an eye on the following links which are being regularly updated with new guidance. We are expecting a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be published to reflect the rollout of the vaccination to the wider care sector.


Further vaccination information

Below I’ve linked some pieces of guidance and information that may be helpful for your employees (thanks to Royal Star and Garter for pointing it out):

Pregnancy:

Jewish Community:

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has praised the vaccine roll-out and called on the Jewish community to support the vaccine effort.

Muslim Community:

The British Islamic Medical Association has released detailed statements on both the Oxford vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine addressing concerns amongst Muslims and calling on the wider community to get vaccinated.


LFD registration grace period ends 15.1.21

We continue to raise the significant concerns you have about the LFD testing regime.

This is a reminder that the registration grace period ends tomorrow. From Saturday 16 January the results of all lateral flow device tests must be registered (whether positive, indeterminate/void, or negative). Unfortunately, this has been made a legal requirement and they should be registered at: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.

All results from visitor and vising professionals LFD tests must continue to be registered, even if negative. Capacity Tracker will also be updated to input the total number of tests completed each day and the number of negatives per day over the grace period.

We still have no information about the allocation of the £149m which is supposed to support this, despite asking multiple times for it.

There is also currently no portal for ordering additional LFDs in social care – we expect this to go live next month. It would appear DHSC is operating a ‘push’ model for this month, automatically allocating tests – if you run into shortages let us know and also raise it with 119.


Post-COVID-19 infection

PHE has published a study which suggest that those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19, have some immunity for at least 5 months but people may still carry and transmit the virus.

Pulse oximetry guidance update

The guidance for pulse oximetry to detect early deterioration of patients with COVID-19 in primary and community care settings has been updated.


SOCIAL WORKS Training

NEW DATES FOR THE NEW YEAR

Fully Funded* classes for new staff, managers and specialist care staff

All classes are live, tutor-led virtual sessions and allow you to learn from anywhere

MANAGERS – take time out to refresh and refocus in 2021. 

WELL LED (4-day course, with a mix of live virtual tutorials and digital resources)
Next group starting: THURSDAY 21 JANUARY 2021 AM (then Thurs 28 Jan, Thurs 4 Feb & Thurs 11 Feb)
Zoom sessions will be from 10am- 12.30pm
LEAD-TO-SUCCEED (5-day course, a mix of live virtual tutorials and digital resources)
Next group starting: THURSDAY 21 JANUARY 2021  PM (then Thurs 28 Jan, Thurs 4 Feb, Thurs 11 Feb & Thurs 18 Feb)
Zoom sessions will be from 2pm- 4.30pm

If you want to top-up, develop or refine aspects of your management skills, then these 1 day sessions could be perfect for you.

UNDERSTANDING SELF-MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Next Group: WEDNESDAY 27 JANUARY 2021
(1-day module, with a mix of live virtual tutorials and digital resources)

UNDERSTANDING WORKPLACE CULTURE
Next Group: WEDNESDAY 3 FEBRUARY 2021
(1-day module, with a mix of live virtual tutorials and digital resources)
UNDERSTANDING PERFORMANCE-MANAGEMENT
Next Group: WEDNESDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2021
(1-day module, with a mix of live virtual tutorials and digital resources)

 

All Zoom sessions will be from 10 – 12.30pm
Social Works

Contact us or find out more

New Workers
GROUPS STARTING EVERY THURSDAY IN JAN & FEB
Fully funded* virtual training for new carers. Starts  every Thursday for 4 days. Covers Care Certificate (Knowledge) & Medication L2 (RQF).

Contact us or find out more

Specialist Courses
CLASSES STARTING IN LATE JAN AND EARLY FEB
Fully Funded* virtual training on Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Medication, Awareness of Dementia and End of Life Care.

Contact us or find out more

*Fully funded through Skill for Care’s Workforce Development Fund. To access Skills for Care Workforce Development Funding you will need to engage with the ASC Workforce Data Set (previously known as the NMDS-SC) and join a local employer partnership.  

PLEASE NOTE: All learners will need to have access to a Laptop/PC/Tablet and have internet access. All workbooks will be able to be completed electronically (via Word or Editable PDF). Once learners have enrolled, we will confirm their start dates, tutors etc.


DHSC Guidance

 

Discharge into care homes for people who have tested positive for COVID-19

Updated 13 January 2021

COVID-19 Positive Discharge Process – Note and Flowchart for Care Homes 13.01.21 FINAL

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/designated-settings-for-people-discharged-to-a-care-home/discharge-into-care-homes-for-people-who-have-tested-positive-for-covid-19


An open consultation has gone live on reforms to the Mental Health Act

here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reforming-the-mental-health-act <https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reforming-the-mental-health-act>  along with supplementary documents.


UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan

DHSC has published a delivery plan for COVID-19 vaccines. It includes the PM’s commitment to vaccinate the first 4 priority groups by 15 February (page 4). Do note that Personal Assistants are mentioned in 5.22 on page 38. They are included in cohort 2.

Update to PPE Portal

FFP3 masks and gowns are now available on the portal for domiciliary and residential care home providers who need to carry out aerosol-generating procedures. Order limits have also been updated.


General vaccine guidance

You can find guidance on the vaccine roll-out at the following:


ICYMI: Free PPE extended to end of June 2021

Free PPE can be accessed via the PPE portal or the LRFs/LAs until the end of June 2021. The following pieces of guidance have been updated to reflect this:


Kickstart 2021 – your free guide to CQC care inspections

After such a difficult year, the future is looking brighter with the COVID-19 vaccine now being distributed to key workers in the care sector and their service users. But 2021 is still set to be an uncertain time for many organisations.

What we do know for certain is that inspection activities are beginning to resume and focussing on preparing for these inspections will not only make sure you’re ready when they come, but also help to bring back some normality.

Brought to you by an ex-CQC inspector, this in-depth guide from LCAS partner, Citation, explores all the key areas regulatory bodies will check when inspecting your care service.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE GUIDE TO CARE INSPECTIONS

From Health & Safety and engaging your employees, to quality assurance and working in partnership, it offers 100 proven tips to improve your care service’s rating.

Expert support available to LCAS members – at a discount!

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to keep on top of your Health & Safety, HR and Employment Law compliance. From infection control and visiting arrangements to managing their people and caring for their mental health, Citation has supported 1000s of care providers during these challenging times.

We also offer LCAS members preferential rates on our services. Just click below to find out how we can help you.

FIND OUT MORE



PPE

Today we had the very welcome news that Government is extending provision of free PPE to social care providers until at least the end of June – supporting the key stage for vaccination and mass testing programmes. Social care providers should continue to access PPE via their current distribution channels. The scheme will be reviewed in April 2021 to determine PPE provision beyond June 2021.  More details are in the factsheet, attached.

Factsheet PPE


Vaccines

Moderna vaccine approved

Some more good news , the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna has today been given regulatory approval for supply by the MHRA.  The vaccine has been shown to be 94 per cent effective in preventing disease, including in older people.

Information for healthcare professionals and members of the public is here.


Operational Guidance: Vaccination of Frontline Health & Social Care Workers

A letter from Dr Emily Lawson, Dr Nikita Kanani and Prerana Issar has been sent to Trusts, PCNs and others informing them that, by mid-January, all NHS Trusts will be established as “hospital hubs” and the default provider of COVID-19 vaccinations for all healthcare and social care workers.  It gives operational guidance on the immediate need to vaccinate frontline health and social care workers ensuring timely, equitable access across all groups.  The letter states that this includes:

‘frontline social care workers directly working with vulnerable people who need care and support irrespective of where they work (for example in hospital, people’s own homes, day centres, or supported housing); or who they are employed by (for example local government, NHS, independent sector or third sector)’


Vaccination Centre Operations

A Standard Operating Procedure has been developed to provide Vaccination Centre operational leads and site managers with information and guidance on setting up and managing the booking capacity of each centre.  See page 3 which describes how patients will be invited to book a vaccination.  When people book, they will book appointments for their first and second dose


See also DHSC’s Q&A for Stakeholders on vaccines for an overview of the area.


Child care for key workers

This guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings will be relevant to social care workers with children.


Infection Prevention and Control in Care Homes webinars

The Department of Health and Social Care and the Better Care Fund team are hosting a series of webinars on Infection Prevention and Control in Care Homes.  The new highly infectious COVID variant raises the risk for care homes, even though testing and vaccinations are being rolled out, and the webinar will be looking at IP&C in that context.  Participants will:

  • Learn about risk factors and the evidence base for Infection Prevention and Control
  • Recognise the importance of multi-agency working to enable people to live and work safely in Care Homes
  • Consider lessons learned over the last 9 months
  • Share practice, learning and ideas

The first webinar will be held on 15 January, 2021, 14:00-15:30. We don’t have a link for this as yet, but please save calendar space for it and we will get this information to you next week.  Dates for the regional webinars are being finalised and will be published as soon as possible on the Better Care Exchange .


Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19) 7 January 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference. Key dates and points summarised below.

Immediately:

Tocilizumab and Sarilumab to be made available immediately to NHS.  These drugs have been found to reduce the risk of death for critically ill patients by almost a quarter, and they’ve cut time spent in intensive care by as much as ten days

Mon 11 January 2021:

  • publish full vaccine deployment plan
  • publish daily on progress (to date 1.26 million people in England have been vaccinated)

By the end of next week [15 Jan 2021] there will be:

  • over 1,000 GP-led sites providing vaccines
  • 223 hospital sites
  • seven giant vaccination centres
  • and a first wave of 200 community pharmacies

By the end of January 2021:

  • every elderly care home resident vaccinated.

By 15 February 2021:

Everyone in key groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation should be offered a slot for vaccination by 15th of February for. That’s over 12 million people in England, and 15 million in the UK. Key groups include:

  • older care home residents and staff
  • everyone 70 or over
  • all frontline NHS and care staff
  • and all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

These groups account for 88 per cent of all those who have sadly lost their lives.


Infection Prevention and Control in Care Homes webinar, Friday 15 January 2021, 14:00-15:30 

We are running the first of 4 webinars on Infection, prevention and control with DHSC on 15th January at 2pm and I would appreciate it if you were able to send out the information below to your members. The new highly infectious COVID variant raises the risk for care homes even though testing and vaccinations are being rolled out and the webinar will be looking at IP&C in that context. We will update the information below with speakers next week and your assistance in promoting this is really appreciated. We will come back to you to discuss the other subjects  areas

The Department of Health and Social Care and the Better Care Fund team are hosting a series of webinars on Infection Prevention and Control in Care Homes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, infection prevention and control has been a priority for care homes and local systems across England. While great progress is being made in testing and delivering a vaccination programme, the risks remain and the new variant of COVID potentially increases the risk as infection is spread more easily. The series will be made up of four webinars: a national webinar – to be held on 15 January 2021 – followed by three regional webinars, covering the North of England, the South of England and the Midlands region. 

The webinars will look at the risk factors for the spread of infection in Care Homes, good practice in Infection Prevention and Control and provide the opportunity to share learning. Participants will: 

  • Learn about risk factors and the evidence base for Infection Prevention and Control 
  • Recognise the importance of multi-agency working to enable people to live and work safely in Care Homes 
  • Consider lessons learned over the last 9 months 
  • Share practice, learning and ideas 

The webinars are open to all, but they are aimed primarily at care home providers and health and social care services involved in infection prevention and control in care homes. We will hear from speakers from across the sector, including representatives from the Department of Health and Social Care and Care Home Providers. 

This event page is for the first webinar which will be held on 15 January, 2021, 14:00-15:30. Dates for the regional webinars are being finalised and will be published as soon as possible on the Better Care Exchange


DHSC PPE announcement

The Government is extending provision of free PPE to social care providers until the end of June – supporting this key stage for vaccination and mass testing programmes.

Social care providers should continue to access their COVID-19 PPE via their current distribution channels. The scheme will be reviewed in April 2021 to determine PPE provision beyond June 2021.  

Please see attached factsheet.

Factsheet


CQC launches strategy consultation – we want to hear what you think

https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/cqc-launches-strategy-consultation-%E2%80%93-we-want-hear-what-you-think


Shielding guidance

The guidance for those shielding has been updated to reflect the new lockdown rules. I have also attached a Q&A document to accompany this guidance from DHSC. Note that the guidance will remain in force until at least 21 February 2021. I have also attached a copy of the letter those being asked to shield should receive.

CEV shielding letter Jan 2021 lockdown

210105 QA – National Lockdown CEVs FINAL


New testing regime for care homes

The guidance for the new care home testing regime was updated yesterday to add information on using handheld scanners and registering tests in bulk – although we’re not sure if this process applies to both PCR and LFD tests – please let us know. See pages 19 and 20 in particular. You can use a handheld scanner (provided by the National Testing Programme) to speed up the process of entering barcodes into the portal for individual or bulk registration.

Please also note that while staff now need to undertake 2 LFD tests a week in addition to a PCR test, the current policy for residents is to test every 28 days not every week as stated in the Winter Plan. The Winter Plan is now out of date and doesn’t reflect current policy. We are aware that this has caused some confusion.


SOP: Local vaccination services deployment in community settings

This guidance was updated yesterday to reflect the approval of the Oxford vaccine. Annex D has information about care homes.


Statement from JCVI about prioritising the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

The JCVI has issued a statement giving the rationale for the second dose of each vaccine being given 12 weeks after the first.


Update to Infection Control Fund round 2 guidance

Please note that the ICF grant conditions have been updated to state that providers should ensure that staff who need to attend work or another location for the purposes of being vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 are paid their usual wages to do so, and any costs associated with reaching a vaccination or testing facility.


Supported Living guidance

The supported living guidance has been updated to reflect the new lockdown.


Vaccine consent form and letter for social care staff

A new letter template for frontline social care staff has been added to this page.


Three short animations from HEE reminding care home staff about:


CQC’s Promoting Sexual Safety Through Empowerment

highlighted the importance of training for social care staff surrounding sexuality and relationships. Skills for Care, in consultation with CQC and DHSC, are completing an extensive evidence review of all the existing learning materials surrounding supporting sexuality and intimate relationships for social care staff across client groups. This review will examine what existing learning materials are available, how are they being used and what impact they have. We are running a series of focus groups and a survey for staff supporting specific client groups to discuss the training/ learning materials are being used and how helpful they are in addressing the issues staff encounter. We are also keen to hear from organisations that do not currently provide training in this area regarding the key issues staff face and what they believe training on sexuality and intimate relationships needs to cover. Please join us to share your opinions and experiences. 

Link to survey  https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=uTpSACUQX0-3ePIRKKsuXrUcEZ3hMvBLggoNGhMbHuFUN0RSTjdGVUFSM1NMNkg0VE9YNkdQSzNERi4u

Planned focus groups – just click and book a place

Staff supporting people with a learning disability 19/01 – 11am  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135480952175

Staff supporting people with a learning disability 19/01 – 2pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135481525891

Staff supporting autistic people 20/01- 11am https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135486161757

Staff supporting people with an acquired brain injury 20/01– 2pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135487776587

Staff supporting older people 21/01 – 11am https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135474304291

Staff supporting older people 21/01 – 2pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135475078607

Staff supporting people experiencing poor mental health 22/01 -11am https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135476476789

Staff supporting people experiencing poor mental health 22/01 -2pm  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135479872947

Staff supporting disabled people 25/01 – 11am https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135491836731

Staff supporting disabled people 25/01 – 2pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/135495230883


Learning Disability Annual Survey

Every year when we look at the causes of death for people with a learning disability we find that being able to identify when someone’s health is deteriorating and then being able to communicate that really effectively so that clinicians can hear what is being said is a real theme.  We saw this again in the COVID deaths report from the University of Bristol.  We are keen to try to prevent premature mortality of people with a learning disability and we know there are tools out there that can help.  Tolls such as RESTORE2.

We are therefore embarking on a project to train 5000 paid and unpaid carers of people with a learning disability in the use of RESOTRE2 mini The model would see ‘super trainers’ trained by the NHS and then they would roll out the training to others in their organisation and beyond.

We are running training courses for ‘super trainers’ in the first two weeks of February 2021 and are looking for partners to work with us,  Each ‘super trainer’ would be expected to train a number of people who are paid or unpaid carers in the tool.

The training of the super trainers takes about 2 hours and the training of carers themselves takes about 2 hours.  Super trainers will be equipped with a slide deck which can be customised with logos and a set of resources that can be shared for printing etc.

As you can imagine to train 5000 people we do need to train about 120 ‘super trainers’ and are hoping that your organisation might want to join us in the endeavour and have a number of colleagues trained so that they can then train others.

We would need you to keep a record of the people that they then train just so that we can check and audit that we reach our target, but the resource is yours to share and use and there are no costs of you using it once trained with super trainers.  (Sorry for the word it was the best we could come up with!).  We truly believe that this training will help save lives.

My colleague Nasreen is leading on this for me and can fill you in on any other details. If you have any questions please do contact her directly.I do hope that you will feel able to join us in this endeavour.

Best wishes

Rachel Snow-Miller

National Transformation Lead for LeDeR

Telephone: 07341078106   email: rachelsnow-miller@nhs.net

Save a life, take the free suicide prevention training – accessible to all.


RM Learning & Development Partnership Meeting

Wednesday 13th 10.00 – 11.30

Invitation & Agenda

Henicka Uddin, London Director for ACAS

Laura Anthony, Locality Manager SfC Update.

Many of you will know of and may have used the free services provided by ACAS. What does ACAS stand for and what do they do? Arbitration & Conciliation Service was the original remit, but now it is so much more, a vital resource for all. ACAS gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. We also offer training and help to resolve disputes. https://www.acas.org.uk/about-us

Their information and guidance cover changes through Covid-19 and Brexit, as well as more basic employment issues such as job descriptions and contracts of employments, with templates and data available to download and a free telephone helpline service. Areas of interest for you may include discrimination, bullying and harassment, being discriminated against and what an employer can do to prevent this

There is also time for discussion to cover issues that you’d like to discuss, or gain further information on.

We look forward to seeing you and hearing your workplace issues at the RM meeting with ACAS on January 13th 10.00 – 11.30 – Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/97032023143?pwd=anVhZSsvL282bjJ6SlllWTBvc3FQdz09

Meeting ID: 970 3202 3143

Passcode: 660158

One tap mobile

+442034815237,,97032023143#,,,,*660158# United Kingdom

+442034815240,,97032023143#,,,,*660158# United Kingdom

Any queries, please contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org   07956878901

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@peoplecareservices.com   07984466130

E&OE


Guidance

National lockdown: Stay at Home

Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across the country. Find out what you can and cannot do.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home


Care Home Visiting

This is the extract from the gov.uk website 

Care home visits

Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed. No visits will be permitted in the event of an outbreak.

You should check the guidance on ​visiting care homes during COVID-19 to find out how visits should be conducted. Residents cannot meet people indoors on a visit out (for example, to visit their relatives in the family home). There is ​separate guidance for those in supported living

But it doesn’t make sense to encourage lots of visits given that the advice to people is to stay at home, it seems a slightly conflicting message. 

I’m sure there will be further updates.


Testing queries

The Care Association Alliance contacted the DHSC with regard to some of the issues that have been raised. Starting with a small change to the process which would alleviate most of the concerns. We are aware that in many other sectors whose staff undertake twice weekly testing, this is done from home immediately before staff are due to start work. Is it possible for this process to be adopted for care home staff?

Providers fully appreciate the need for enhanced vigilance during this period, but the process as currently set out in the guidance is problematic:

  • Staff who come are asked to come in before their normal start time may not be able to do so if they have parental responsibilities. Child care is unlikely to be available earlier, particularly if it is only twice a week.
  • Staff working part-time hours may be unwilling or unable to attend the care home in their own time in addition to the additional visit that they make to undertake PCR testing.
  • Many smaller homes do not have space to keep staff socially distanced whilst they are waiting for the tests to develop. They could be asked to return to their cars but this is unlikely to be well received during cold weather.
  • If the tests are administered by senior staff within the home, this may result in less hours being spent on resident care. Staff are already stretched and there are no additional staff to call on.
  • With significant number of tests all being developed at the same time, stringent, time consuming, procedures will need to be adopted to prevent the risk of tests being mixed up.

DHSC Response

Thank you very much for raising the issues

  • Testing at home – unfortunately at this time, we do not have regulatory approval from the MHRA for care home staff to be able to test with LFD at home – only NHS staff have received this. We are hoping that this will come through very soon and we’ll be able to begin rolling out self test LFD with smaller kit sizes, buffer solution being given in smaller bottles etc so that staff can take it home. We’ll provide a further update when we know more.
  • Testing before the shift begins/asking staff to socially distance – for regular twice weekly LFD staff testing, it would be ideal for staff to be tested before their shift begins similar to visitors but we know this may not be possible and there are operational difficulties such as, as you say, staff being unable to come in and therefore testing before the shift may not always be possible.
  • Staff time & impact on resident care – we absolutely don’t want resident care to be compromised, and it’s for this reason we sent an email to all care homes in England this morning (attached) letting them know we’re implementing a two week grace period of reporting negative staff LFD results so that staff can conduct the testing without having to spend time away from caring in order to register the results. We have also announced additional funding of £149m for care homes to spend on testing which should help with the pressures.

Care homes have been incredible during this pandemic and stepped up massively to protect their residents and staff in unprecedented times and we’re incredibly grateful to the sector for working with us to try and achieve the best possible outcome. I completely get the additional testing announced is an additional burden and that’s causing worry. We’re trying to take all the steps we can to support care homes through it whilst trying to do the right thing to identify and isolate as many Covid positive people as possible. Please do continue flagging any issues and we will keep trying to do everything we can to help mitigate those.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

It is unclear to us why social care staff are being treated differently and detrimentally from NHS staff.


Testing of Staff and Visitors

Enhanced testing of staff in care homes

The DHSC held webinars last week and this week to provide more detail on the enhanced testing in care homes.  If you didn’t get a chance to attend, the slides are attached with this briefing.

Webinar_29122020 DHSC (002)


Extra Care and Supported Living homes

DHSC has acknowledged delays in processing applications to the Self-Referral portal for testing by Extra Care and Supported Living homes.  If you have had problems with this, please let us know and we will forward your concerns.


Return to schools guidance

The guidance for schools is quite complicated – the key point is that the children of key workers are being prioritised across all primary and secondary school settings for return as normal.

Early years and primary schools: Early years and most primary school age pupils are returning as normal, from their school’s advertised first day of term.

In parts of London and the south east, some primary schools will not open for most children until 18 Jan due to high levels of COVID infection in the local area – see here

Secondary schools: From 4 January, secondary schools should only provide on-site education to vulnerable children and children of critical workers, and prioritise remote education to those in exam years (years 11 & 16).

From 11 January, secondary schools should provide on-site education to vulnerable children, children of critical workers and those in exam years (years 11& 13), and provide remote education to all other pupils

From 18 January, all secondary school pupils should return to on-site education


Vaccine Updates

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

Information for healthcare professionals and the public has been updated to reflect changes to the dosage interval, advice for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and to those with allergies.

COVID-19 vaccination guide for older adults

There is a revised leaflet and British Sign Language version here


Vaccine news

We start this briefing with the very welcome news of the MHRA approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, to begin use on Monday 4th January.

This vaccine does not need to be frozen, instead it requires 2C to 8C which is similar to a conventional fridge, for storage up to six months. This makes it much easier to transport and store in a wider range of settings.  The UK has secured access to 100 million doses of this vaccine.

The regime for delivery of doses has also been changed on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), with the aim now of delivering the first dose of either vaccine to as many people as possible in the first instance and the second dose to be given 4-12 weeks after the first.

Information for Healthcare professionals and members of the public is here.


Priority groups

The JCVI have published their rationale on the prioritisation of population groups in delivery of the vaccines.  NB this includes an update that pregnant women should be considered for vaccination if they are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 or at risk of serious complications.


Update to guidance regarding people who lack mental capacity

The original guidance on caring for people who may lack mental capacity during the coronavirus pandemic has been updated to include an additional section on Best Interest decisions in offering a COVID-19 vaccine.


Tier 4 Areas

Many more areas are moving into Tier 4 from Thursday 31 December 2020.

From Tier 2:

  • Cumbria, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

From Tier 3:

East Midlands

  • Derby and Derbyshire, Leicester City and Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

North East

  • North East Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of County Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland), North of Tyne Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland), Tees Valley Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees)

North West

  • Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen, and Blackpool, Warrington and Cheshire.

South East

  • Isle of Wight, New Forest

South West

  • Gloucestershire (Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester City, Stroud and Tewkesbury), Somerset (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, and South Somerset), Swindon

West Midlands

  • Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, Coventry, Solihull, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, Warwickshire

The guidance on visits to care homes has been updated with Tier 4 rules and you can find it here.


EU Trade Agreement and preparations for end of the transition period

DHSC’s letter (attached) to the Health and Social care sectors, provides an update on the deal and transition arrangements.  Points to note are:

Data Sharing – the position will not change on the 1st January. Whilst an adequacy agreement has not yet been agreed, there is a period of up to six months for this to be put in place, and we will be expecting more detailed information about any further action required on the part of social care providers over the coming weeks.

A restatement on supplies of clinical and non-clinical goods – reminding those who work on a ‘just in time’ basis to maintain a 72 hour additional leeway built in.

There are no urgent issues on professional qualifications of staff due to an existing two-year standstill period.

MS(H) letter to health and care sector EU Outcome_201230


PHE 3 sources of Covid-19 related information

PHE_11843_Covid-19_guide_for_adults_leaflet

PHE_11843_Covid-19_social_care_staff_leaflet

PHE_11843_Covid-19_what_to_expect_leaflet


Testing – Updates to Staff and Visitor Testing

Enhanced testing of staff in care homes

The Secretary of State today announced an expansion of staff testing in care homes accompanied by an additional £149m funding to support it. See the DHSC press release

The DHSC held a webinar this afternoon to provide more detail on the enhanced testing in care homes.  The slides are attached and you can share the recording of the webinar here:  https://event.webcasts.com/viewer/event.jsp?ei=1416862&tp_key=4f8b37401b

Testing in care homes Webinar 23122020 (003)

Another version, with the Q&A.

Webinar 23122020 (003)

2012 Total Answered Questions

The relevant pieces of guidance have now been updated:

Coronavirus: Getting tested  and   Care home testing guidance have been updated to reflect the new policy on staff testing with lateral flow devices (LFDs)

Key points on the new testing regime are as follows:

Enhanced testing for all care home staff in all tiers is to come into effect immediately. This will be one PCR test per week, as has been taking place and 2 further LFDs per week. The PCR and the first LFD will need to happen on the same day and the second LFD midweek – 4 – 5 days after. If any staff test positive with the LFD take an immediate confirmatory PCR and take isolation action

Staff must also have an LFD test if they have worked elsewhere or are returning from a period of leave – there was no clear definition of what constitutes a period of leave. When queried, the response was that ‘leave is defined as a break when the staff member has gone back into the community and may have picked up the virus’ (no time definition was given)

In Tier 4 – if a positive case is detected then all staff must be tested DAILY for the next 7 days. This additional 7 day testing should be in addition to any outbreak testing that may be necessary from local Health Protection Teams. Please note: This only needs to happen the first time you have a confirmed positive via PCR test -this is a one-off to help identify all asymptomatic cases, and you will not need to repeat this again if you later get another positive PCR result in the home.

Additional testing for residents is NOT being recommended at this time.


Clinical Rationale for increasing routine testing

This approach should help to manage the risk of the new variant of COVID and its increased transmissibility. PHE is seeing very rapid increases in cases and this is designed to help manage the risk of this. They report positivity rates of 25% – 30% in local communities which are unprecedented. There are real concerns that this will translate into rapid rises in cases in care homes.

The rationale for a combination of LFDs and PCRs is to pick up true positives quickly as PCR only testing will have a delay; the new protocol is a combination of the rapidity of LFDs and sensitivity of PCR; if there is a positive LFD and a negative PCR then the PCR test result should be followed. After a positive LFD test, take an immediate confirmatory PCR and take isolation action. Regular LFD testing is an extra tool in the IPC toolkit. It is very effective at identifying highly infectious people.

The guidance is based on clinical evidence and the advice of SAGE so if there are conflicts with local advice. DHSC have been reaching out to local DPHs to persuade of the value of LFDs; let us know of areas where it remains very difficult

Staff movement: still need to restrict this as far as possible while maintaining safe staffing levels, but if you do have to have staff move between settings, make sure they are tested on arrival with LFD ( as well as their weekly PCR

Testing and the vaccine – testing must be continued post vaccine

Evidence summary for Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) in relation to care homes

The key message from this guidance published today, which can be viewed here is that the rapid turnaround LFD tests are appropriate to use in care homes as part of your risk reduction strategy. These must be used in conjunction with Infection Prevention Control measures and PPE to support visiting to be carried out in as safe a way as possible. Research has shown that LFD tests are effective at detecting a high viral load in an individual. Those with a high viral load are thought to be the most infectious.

It is important to note that LFD tests should only be used where the individual is not displaying symptoms. If a prospective visitor is symptomatic then the care home manager should advise them not to visit, and to seek a PCR test.


Operational advice for Lateral Flow Devices

 

All care homes should now have received their delivery of lateral flow devices.

If your delivery has not arrived, please call 119 as a matter of urgency so replacement orders can be issued. You should do this even if you do not plan on conducting visitor lateral flow testing.

More lateral flow kits will be sent out to all care homes in January. If you have already used a significant amount (over 25%) of your lateral flow devices please call 119 to request sooner.

If you have not started using your lateral flow devices please ensure that your staff are familiar with the guidance, have viewed the lateral flow webinar, and have completed the NHS training.

Read lateral flow testing of visitors guidance


Resourcing

There will be an extra £149m for care homes in all tiers to support the rollout of this additional rapid testing and for Tiers 1 – 3 to support visiting. It is intended to cover the creation of testing areas, training and the time to co-ordinate & run the testing regime and will run up to March 2020.

The money will be issued in the New Year, via LAs and the allocations will be announced then.


Couriers for PCR tests over the festive period.

There are limited numbers of couriers slots over the festive period. Please make sure you book your courier in advance and only test on days where you have a confirmed courier booked.  Courier slots for 24 December are near capacity, but there are still slots available on 26, 27 and 28 December, and thereafter.

Couriers should be booked online.

If you have booked a courier and you no longer need it, please call 119 to cancel the courier, so that your slot can be used by another care home.  As usual, if your courier doesn’t arrive, please call 119 the next morning to arrange an urgent courier.


Emergency contacts for PPE and Testing

Please ensure as far as possible that stocks are managed and orders made in advance – it is important to allow an extra 72 hours’ lead time to mitigate for any disruption to supplies.

Over the Christmas period if you need emergency stocks of PPE you should:

If you have a problem with the PPE portal you can ring the customer service team on 0800 876 6802.

If you are facing issues with testing you should call the coronavirus testing contact centre on 119.


Care home vaccination support

NHS have issued a Care home vaccination mobilisation support pack and checklist which is attached to this email.

Care Home Vaccination Mobilisation support pack 22 December 2020

This pack includes information from care homes and we would encourage you all to start engaging with staff as well as residents and relatives at the earliest opportunity.


Vaccine Communications Toolkit

A comprehensive communication toolkit has been released today which includes resources for care homes to use to communicate with both staff and residents around the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The attached guide contains template narratives to aid the conversations you will be having, links to useful leaflets and further resources, as well as comprehensive FAQs.

COVID-19 vaccine – care homes comms pack 1stEd FINAL


Changes to Tiers from 00:01 on 26th December

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock announced this afternoon that due to escalating cases, there will be some changes to which areas fall into which tier from 00:01 on Boxing Day.

Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, those parts of Essex not already in tier four, Waverley in Surrey, and Hampshire – including Portsmouth and Southampton but with the exception of the New Forest – will be escalated to tier four.

Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset (including the North Somerset area), Swindon, the Isle of Wight, the New Forest and Northamptonshire, as well as Cheshire and Warrington, will be escalated to tier three.

Cornwall and Herefordshire will be escalated to tier two.


Discovery of a further new strain.

Matt Hancock announced that two cases of a new variant of COVID-19 have been isolated. These cases are both in individuals with close contact to someone who has travelled from South Africa recently. The new strain is thought to be increasingly more transmissible. Anyone who has either travelled from South Africa, or been in contact with someone who has travelled from South Africa in the last two weeks is being ordered to quarantine immediately.


DHSC Christmas Notice

DHSC have produced a visual 1 page notice (attached) to remind care homes how to keep safe over Christmas 2020. This includes details of help lines that are accessible for staff over the festive period.

 


NHS Care Home Vaccination Policy

Care Home Vaccination Mobilisation support pack 22 December 2020


Emergency contacts for PPE and Testing

Please ensure as far as possible that stocks are managed and orders made in advance – it is important to allow an extra 72 hours’ lead time to mitigate for any disruption to supplies.

Over the Christmas period if you need emergency stocks of PPE you should:

If you have a problem with the PPE portal you can ring the customer service team on 0800 876 6802.

If you are facing issues with testing you should call the coronavirus testing contact centre on 119.


Visiting Care Homes

Tier 4 guidance has now been updated, saying that outdoor visits only are allowed.

Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed.

It also sets out the following general rules regarding travelling in or out of Tier 4:

You must stay at home and not leave your Tier 4 area, other than for legally permitted reasons such as:

  • travel to work where you cannot work from home
  • travel to education and for caring responsibilities
  • visit or stay overnight with people in your support bubble, or your childcare bubble for childcare purposes
  • attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health

You should not travel into a Tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for reasons such as:

  • travel to work where you cannot work from home
  • travel to education and for caring responsibilities
  • to visit (including staying overnight with) those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare
  • to attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health

Please see attached a note we have prepared specifically on the issue of visits in and out of care homes between Tiers – this is based on discussions with DHSC arising from your queries.

Advice for NCF on care home visits out 22Dec20 final


Isolation Guidance

Two more pieces of guidance have been updated with the reduction from 14 to 10 days for Supported Living  and home care services.  The Supported Living guidance now references a 10 day isolation period for staff and for people using the service, although 14 days’ isolation may be needed for the people using the service if the setting is considered high risk – see section on Testing. The Home Care guidance now references a 10 day isolation period for staff.


Vitamin D for vulnerable groups

Vitamin D supplements are being supplied to people in care homes in England, to support general health and in particular bone and muscle health.  Unlike vulnerable people in private households, those in care homes do not need to opt in, the supplements will be delivered directly to care homes free of charge from January 2021.

Further information and guidance will be made available in the coming weeks.


Letter to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People from the government

This letter has been sent out to everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to COVID-19, with changes to reflect Tier 4 guidance.  In Tier 4 areas, CEV people are advised to work from home if possible or, if not possible, to not attend work.  The letter is a formal shielding notification and can act as evidence for employers who may want to consider furlough or statutory sick pay, until 18 January 2021.


The latest on the COVID-19 Vaccine rollout to care homes

We had a helpful update from Dr Adrian Hayter, National Clinical Director for Older People, on the roll out of the vaccine to care homes.

  • The roll out is happening at speed.
  • The vaccine is not like other vaccines – it has specific characteristics which need extra care in roll out as it is very fragile, hence the strict licensing arrangements and the complexity of the logistics.
  • The NHS has given the roll out to care homes its highest priority.
  • The plan is to vaccinate the largest care homes as soon as possible in the next 2 weeks (which means care homes of 50 beds plus) including residents and staff. If an area does not have larger care homes, then smaller ones should be prioritised.
  • Residents will be prioritised.
  • The Standard Operating Procedure  has now been published, following a pilot run through’ to ensure that the vaccine was safe and effective when it got to care home residents, working through all the logistics.

The Green BookChapter 14 – is the bible for professionals on who can and cannot have the vaccine. There are some limitations to its use, so this vaccine (the Pfizer one) is not suitable for people who have had previous severe allergic reactions to vaccines or meds or foods and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding; caution is needed with certain medications, such as anticoagulants


COVID Oximetry at home – a reminder

As you will already know, the NHS are rolling out the COVID Oximetry at Home programme. The Standard Operating procedure was published in November.

It was recommended that all clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) should put in place a “COVID Oximetry @home” model as rapidly as possible during November 2020, further to guidance on the use of pulse oximetry first published in June 2020.

This programme should also be supporting care homes as well as people living at home. See Section 1.6 for more details. To note: it is recommending 1 oximeter per 10 beds and your Enhanced Health in Care Homes Clinical Leads should be able to assist in securing these.


DHSC Webinars for care homes in Tier 4 areas

Finally, we sent you a link to these webinars yesterday, they will cover visiting, testing and additional guidance.  An additional date has been added, on Tuesday 29th December.  If you can make this new date, sign up here .


CQC DCA Pilot

Those of you running & managing DCAs will be aware that CQC was pilotting a virtual inspection programme, here is an example of their findings

20201209 DCA Pilot Avant Hounslow


DHSC Tier 4 Update

Please see below a visual ‘one-pager’, with updated messaging since the Tier 4 announcement.

Your care home during Christmas 2020

For all updates to guidance please refer to the GOV.UK social care portal: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/overview-of-adult-social-care-guidance-on-coronavirus-covid-19


Memory Service Assessments

An updated NHS document (originated outside of London), very useful nonetheless.

MSA – A New Way of Working revised Dec 2020


Government statements

Following the statement from the Chief Medical Officer   about the new variant Coronavirus and the Prime Minister’s Statement  on measures to contain its spread, government guidance is being updated to reflect the changes.


Tier 4 information

Areas which have moved from Tier 3 to Tier 4 restrictions are:

London – All 32 London boroughs plus City of London

South East – Kent and Medway, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire (Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire), Surrey (excluding Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Havant, Gosport and Portsmouth

East of England – Hertfordshire, Essex (excluding Tendring, Uttlesford and Colchester), Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough

Tier 4 Guidance

Tighter restrictions have been put in place from 20 December. In a brief section on visiting relatives in care homes this guidance states that visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits supported by testing, which are allowed in Tiers 1-3, will not be allowed in Tier 4.

DHSC Webinars for care homes in Tier 4 areas

These will cover visiting, testing and additional guidance; to sign up to attend one of these webinars please click here.

New advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable in Tier 4 areas

Guidance is here, stating that this group is advised to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home.  The link to register for support is given here.

Testing in Tier 4 areas

We are expecting some revised guidance about testing of care home staff in Tier 4 areas – we will keep you updated.

Guidance regarding LFD staff testing following returning from leave over the Christmas period:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/946187/Care_Home_Testing_Guidance_England_v18-12_2.pdf

Updated infographic showing the testing available for adult social care:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/946177/Care_Home_Testing_Guidance_visual_v1712_-_2.pdf

COVID Vaccine information

NHS published updated COVID-19 vaccination services deployment in community settings standard operating procedures on December 18th.  We have compiled a summary (attached) for you which outlines what it will mean for your services, how you can prepare and how the scheme will be implemented.  Please also see the Social Care COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A attached.

ASC COVID VACCINE QA FINAL

We hope this can help to be prepared and ready for when vaccinations are rolled out.


Guidance due to be updated but not updated yet (as at 1pm on 21 Dec)

Visiting Arrangements in care homes guidance. Although other information refers to this document as if it has been updated, it does not seem to have been updated as yet.

Guidance for the Christmas period

This guidance  is also yet to be updated – the section on visiting relatives in care homes states that visits can continue in all tiers except in the case of an outbreak.


Respecting diversity in social care: we must do better

https://socialcare.blog.gov.uk/2020/12/16/respecting-diversity-in-social-care-we-must-do-better/


Self-isolation guidance for health and care settings

Public Health England has published updated guidance  on the management of people in health and social care settings according to exposure, symptoms and test results.

The self-isolation period has been reduced from 14 to 10 days for health and social care workers.  There are some flowcharts for symptomatic  and asymptomatic staff returning to work following a coronavirus test.

For residents of care settings, there is a more cautious approach and the isolation period remains at 14 days.

The guidance provides some background explanation, which is that there is a higher level of vulnerability to COVID-19 in people aged 70 or over, however it reads as if it applies to all care settings.

NCF note: We are seeking clarification as to whether the guidance applies to all care settings or just those for older people.


Vaccinations

Guidance for health professionals to share with pregnant women immunised with COVID-19 vaccines is here.


Hospital discharge of COVID-19 patients and Designated Settings

Guidance on IPC measures and discharge of COVID patients from hospital   has been updated to refer to the Designated Settings information.


Testing for Adult Social Care in England

Some new graphics have been added to this guidance  today, which provide helpfully summarised information on testing in the following instances or settings:

  1. If you have a suspected or current outbreak in a care home –this includes two things to note:

Firstly, whereas staff or residents who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should not be included in regular PCR testing until 90 days after onset of symptoms or testing positive, LFD tests can be used straight away after isolation, there is no need for the 90 day wait time for LFD tests.

Secondly, staff returning to work after a period of leave which has resulted in them missing their weekly PCR test should take an LFD test at the beginning of their shift.

  1. For visitors and visiting professionals to a care home

This notes that all visiting professionals who are not regularly tested through another route such as NHS staff or CQC inspectors, should be tested on every visit in the same manner as visitors. There is a link to further guidance in the infographic.

  1. For High-Risk Extra Care and Supported Living settings

If your setting is not currently testing, there is a link in the graphic to the self referral portal. Eligible settings can get access to testing either through a referral from their Local Authority or through the organisation self-referral portal.

  1. Home care testing

Testing will be expanded to all homecare workers, including personal assistants, in a phased roll out.  Further details will be forthcoming in due course.


Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has recorded a message specifically for social care staff, thanking them for their extraordinary hard work this year – please find it here.

Getting your medicines after Brexit 

You do not need to take any special action to keep getting your medicines and medical products after the end of the Brexit transition period from 1 January 2021.

The NHS, the Department of Health and Social Care and medical companies are prepared for the end of the Brexit transition and plans are in place to help make sure you keep getting your medicines and medical products.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/medicines-information/getting-your-medicines-after-brexit-transition/?wp-linkindex=15&utm_campaign=DHSC_External_Affairs_weekly_newsletter&utm_content=dhsc-mail.co.uk&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Department_of_Health_and_Social_Care

 


Learning disability providers are being encouraged to share their perspective on the last 12 months, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, to build an informed picture of the financial health of the social care sector.

https://www.hft.org.uk/blog/sector-pulse-check-opens-2020/


Emergency contacts for PPE and Testing

Over the Christmas period if you need emergency stocks of PPE you should:

If you have a problem with the PPE portal you can ring the customer service team on 0800 876 6802.

If you are facing issues with testing you should call the coronavirus testing contact centre on 119.


Designated setting for people discharged to a care home

Last night the guidance for designated settings was finally published. I have attached my own summary of the guidance. You will want to note the following:

– LAs are responsible for commissioning sufficient designated settings. And this will be met through the £588 million discharge funding until the end of March 2021. There is a big push for Home First and Discharge to Assess throughout this guidance and the way the funding is constructed. (section 8)

– Section 8.6 states that ‘Existing local authority or CCG care contracts for individuals placed in designated settings will be maintained, and we would expect ordinary funding sources to pay for these. Where the policy causes a material impact to care providers because of a shortfall between this contractual entitlement and the ordinary level of funding received for this patient, it is for local areas to agree any recompense, as appropriate.’ – you might want to take a look at section 8 in full.

Section 2.7 states that everyone being discharged into or back into a registered care should first be discharged into a designated setting but section 4.19 states that if an individual does not want to be discharged into a designated scheme then alternative arrangements should be made (see also 4.11). Sections 4.12-4.14 also outline a couple of other exemptions to having to use the designated setting but it is very clear that the guidance expects people to be discharged to designated settings and not their original care setting. Do also note section 4.26 which states that once the individual has finished 14-day isolation in designated setting the individual can go back to the original setting or a different one.

The scheme does not apply to people who have contracted COVID-19 in a care home setting, people using hospital services such as outpatient, emergency departments, emergency assessment areas, day case facilities as long as they aren’t admitted to a bed for an overnight stay. It also doesn’t apply to people returning to their own home or to sheltered and extra care housing or supported living. (section 2.11)

Designated settings can also be used for Discharge to Assess, rehabilitation or reablement functions for people who are COVID-19 positive but need residential care whilst this happens (Section 4.7)

– Where a LA is unable to set up or use a designation scheme admissions to care home guidance applies. (sections 2.7, 4.8, 4.14, 9.3)

No care home – designated or otherwise – will be forced to admit an existing or new resident with a positive result if they cannot cope with the impact. (section 2.5)

The guidance states multiple times that designated settings need ‘sufficient’ insurance – Sections 3.6-3.7, Section 6.

– Section 6 and 7.4 states that designated settings are expected to input data into the capacity tracker on a daily basis.

– Section 4.11 outlines the responsibility of the NHS discharge manager – it includes ensuring that people or their advocates if lacking capacity, and their original place of residence have full information about temporary arrangements and DoLs if appropriate. Throughout the guidance there is an emphasis on giving individuals and their relatives a say in the decision-making process where possible.

– There is a big emphasis on restricting staff movement throughout (see section 3.8 and section 6)

– Section 9.1 essentially bans visits to designated settings except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life and the hospital visiting guidance should be followed in these cases, not the care home visiting guidance. As such, a provider might have the situation where a setting is running two types of visiting guidance where one part of a home is a designated scheme and the other is not.

See my summary for more information.

NCF summary of designation setting guidance 16.12.20


Staff movement: Risk management framework for care homes

The Care Provider Alliance member, Registered Nursing Home Association, has created a risk management approach to staff movement which you might find useful. This can be used to prepare in advance of the government changing the regulations on staff movement. We are still waiting for more information on when this will be.


Vaccine Guidance Update

The COVID-19 vaccine Q&A for social care has been updated again. This has come from DHSC.

The DHSC Google drive communications toolkit has also add additional assets added to it. A video has also been uploaded to youtube where David Pearson, Dr Nikita Kanani and Professor Jonathan Van Tam answer questions about the vaccine for the care sector.


Isolation Guidance

Further to my email yesterday, we are aware there is still confusion around this and other pieces of guidance about the isolation period. Do note that DHSC and PHE are in the process of updating all the guidance to reflect the following:

  • Staff, regardless of care setting, who are a close contact of a positive case will be required to isolate for 10 days.
  • For residents/individuals in supported living and care home settings or for those receiving domiciliary care, the current 14 day isolation guidance will continue to apply. We think this applies to anyone receiving care so there is a vagueness over whether this applies to some types of tenants or residents in some care settings. We think this should be resolved in any new updates to guidance.
  • Visitors: close contacts of positive cases will not be able to visit care home/other settings unless they have completed 10 days isolation, in line with national guidance.

There may be additional nuance and we hope that all the relevant guidance will be updated by the end of tomorrow.


Furlough Scheme Extended

The furlough scheme (Job Retention Scheme) has been extended by another month to April 2021.


List of private providers of coronavirus testing

The government has created a list of approved private providers of COVID-19 testing.


Supporting the Care Workers’ Charity

The Care Workers’ Charity has carried out amazing work this year to support the workforce. The charity has been able to provide over 3000 care workers over £2 million in terms of grants, helping them through financial hardship. In February 2021 they also plan to launch a Mental Health Support programme. If you would like to support the Care Workers’ Charity click here.


Christmas Bubbles

The Christmas Bubble guidance has been muddied today after the PM cautioned that Christmas celebrations should be short and small and avoid elderly or vulnerable relatives if possible. The PM stopped short of significantly changing the Christmas guidance in England but Wales and Scotland have already reintroduced restrictions since this morning.

The Christmas Bubble guidance has now been updated to reflect the PM’s remarks:

  • ‘The safest way to celebrate Christmas this year is with your household or existing support bubble in your home’
  • you should stop unnecessary social contact outside your immediate household as soon as possible and for at least five days before you meet other households in your bubble
  • you should keep your bubble as small as possible
  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • if necessary, you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
  • you can only meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier you are meeting in
  • do not meet socially with friends and family that you do not live with in your home or garden unless they are part of your Christmas bubble

We have also been told by the visitor testing stakeholder group to stress that a person from a household that forms a Christmas bubble with 2 other households should not visit a care home in addition to that.


Local Restriction Tiers by area

This guidance has been updated to reflect changes about London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire moving to tier 3 and we expect it to be updated imminently to reflect further changes to other areas. The review of the tiers was scheduled today but at the time of writing there has been no announcement.


Management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings

This guidance was rather confusingly changed twice on Monday. Once to state that the self-isolation period was reducing to 10 days and then a second time which seemingly reinstated the 14 day self-isolation period in some cases. Due to the confusing nature of the change, and the fact that the guidance now appears to be inconsistent, we are urgently asking for clarification from PHE and DHSC.

Our conversations with PHE lead us to expect that the following changes will be made to the guidance later this week:

  • Staff close contact cases will be updated in line with the new national test and trace policy, so will require 10 days isolation after a close contact or positive test result in line with new definitions
  • For residents/individuals in supported living and care home settings or for those receiving domiciliary care, the current 14 day isolation guidance will continue to apply.
  • Visitors: close contacts will not be able to visit care home/other settings unless they have completed 10 days isolation, in line with national guidance.

Needless to say, do check the updated guidance when it is published. We are also continuing to seek a rationale for the change.


Lateral Flow Device Testing of Visitors Guidance

This piece of guidance has been updated to add the link to the online registration portal. The link is: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.


CQC Regulating COVID-19 Testing

We now have it in writing from the CQC that you do not need to apply for diagnostic and screening procedures to carry out testing staff, residents or visitors.


COVID Vaccination Guidance

A number of pieces of guidance have been updated. The Vaccination Programme overview page contains links to the most recently updated guidance around the vaccine, including:

  • The green book
  • Training materials
  • Consent forms and letters – these were updated with a section on ‘Those who cannot have the vaccine’ earlier this week.
  • Information leaflets and posters
  • JCVI prioritisation information
  • Letter from the Minister for Care about the launch of vaccinations

Other key pieces of guidance to keep your eyes on include:


Community Testing

The community mass testing offer is being rolled out to the highest risk Tier 2 areas in addition to Tier 3 areas. These will involved use of Lateral Flow Devices.


National Mental Capacity Forum

The National Mental Capacity Forum is hosting a webinar this Friday 1pm-2pm on capacity, consent and vaccination. Places are limited and can be booked here.


Getting help with daily activities outside your home

This guidance has been updated to reflect how the social contact rules in the different tiers apply to people who need care and support.


Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure
COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme Hospital hub: care home staff Version 1, 6 December 2020

C0941-covid-19-vacc-deployment-sop-hospital-hub-care-home-staff-6-Dec-20


 
 
 

Department of Health & Social Care

 
 
   
 

Regular coronavirus testing update for care home managers in England

In this week’s update:

Important changes for you to be aware of:

·         care home lateral flow devices (LFD) for visitor testing

 

·         the introduction of barcode scanners

·         testing over the festive period

Important reminders:

·         sign up to our webinar series

 

·         FAQs for visitor testing with LFD kits

·         useful links

Important changes for you to be aware of

Care home lateral flow devices (LFD)

Last week we announced that testing of visitors to care homes could commence from Monday 14 December using the rapid lateral flow devices that produce a result in 30minutes.

All guidance and instructions for visitor and visiting professional LFD testing can be found here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-testing-of-visitors-in-care-homes

Every care home will have received lateral flow tests by 18 December. These should only be used for care home visitors and visiting professionals, and should not replace the regular PCR testing that you undertake for staff and residents.

Before beginning testing, staff who are running the visitor testing in your home will need to:

·         join a visitor testing webinar to find out what you need to do. You can sign up to the webinar here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1408929&tp_key=d2a77c17e3

 

·         complete the NHS online lateral flow device training and competency assessment. You will be sent an email that will include a link to the online training portal and a token to allow you to access the portal. You will need to share the link and token with all individuals who require the training. The email will be sent to the email address that has been given to us as the care home manager.

If you have not yet received access to the NHS online training portal, please share the below credentials with all members of staff that will need to support visitor testing:

Link: https://go.tessello.co.uk/TestDeviceTraining/
Token: 3wkcVi4UTX

Please remember to register all results from LFD tests here:

https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

It is crucial that all LFD tests are registered (whether positive, negative or void) to help us understand the prevalence of coronavirus.

While testing can reduce the risk associated with visiting, it does not completely remove the risk of infection. These tests should be used alongside the robust infection prevention and control (IPC) measures that you have in place, including PPE and social distancing. Using lateral flow devices on visitors whilst also maintaining IPC measures means we can safely maintain a balance between infection control and the vital benefits of visiting to the health and wellbeing of residents.

Scroll to the end of this newsletter for FAQs on visitor testing.

The introduction of handheld scanners

Over the next two months every care home will receive handheld scanners to speed up the test kit registration process for care home managers and to reduce the risk of error when entering barcodes. These handheld scanners are used for your weekly staff testing and monthly resident testing, they are not used for the LFD testing currently. Deliveries are starting this week and will be complete by the end of January 2021.

You will receive an email a few days before your handheld scanner is due to arrive with the delivery date and links to guidance on how to set up and use the scanners.

Testing over the festive period

You can continuing test every day over the festive period. Both our couriers and the labs will be working every day to enable testing and keep your residents and staff safe.

There will be fewer courier slots available between 25 and 28 December, and on 31 December and 1 January. If you plan to test on those dates, please book your couriers now to secure a courier slots and make sure you’re able to test. As usual, you should have your courier confirmed before any testing takes place.

Important Reminders

Sign up to our webinar series

We would like to invite you to our regular care home testing webinars. These are separate to the daily webinars we have been running from 7 December to 18 December that are specifically on LFD testing for visitors. These regular care home testing webinars will continue in 2021.

The weekly webinars last 90 minutes and give detailed information about all aspects of care home testing, including: ordering tests, preparing for testing, test kit delivery, a test kit demonstration, testing certain care groups, registering test kits, booking your collection and results and what they mean for your home.

The session will include a live Q&A with representatives from the national care home testing team, who will be able to answer your questions and address any concerns in the session.

To sign up to attend our new care home testing webinars click here:

https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1369434&tp_key=296e54cdc9

If you are not able to attend the webinars please sign up and a recording of the session will be made available to you after the session.

Visitor testing with LFD kits– Your frequently asked questions answered

Following our webinars for visitor testing, we have included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding LFDs for visitor testing:

·         Where can we test visitors?

You will need to set up a testing area away from the main part of the home, so a visitor does not interact with any other staff or resident prior to receiving their result. The testing area may be set up either indoors or outdoors and there must be a space where visitors can wait 30 minutes for the results, whilst remaining socially distant from all other staff and residents. All visitors must be tested on every visit on site, prior to their entry.

·         What does ‘meaningful contact’ mean – what are visitors allowed to do?

If a visitor has a negative test, is wearing full and appropriate PPE and following other infection control measures then it may be possible for visitors to have physical contact with their loved one such as providing personal care and holding hands. We are constantly assessing risks involved in care home visiting, and although we accept that physical contact is important, it is advised that this is kept to a minimum for the benefit of both the resident and the visitor.

·         Is it the care home’s responsibility to process PCR tests for positive LFD visitors?

We are providing all care homes with confirmatory PCR test kits in case any visitors test positive with an LFD kit. If a visitor tests positive with the LFD kit, care homes should provide the visitor with a PCR test kit and ask the visitor to test and register the kit online, whilst onsite, using the “testing yourself at home” instructions provided in the box with the test kit. These are the green instructions in the box with the test kit. After registration is complete, care homes will need to schedule a courier to pick up the test kit via 119. If a courier is already booked for the day of testing, this confirmatory PCR can be sent with your usual courier.

After taking the confirmatory PCR, the visitor should then isolate at home immediately, avoiding public transport (if possible) and wearing a face mask.

·         How does this fit with the 90 day no retest policy for people who have had COVID-19?

If an individual has tested positive from an LFD and their confirmatory PCR swab came back positive, they need to isolate for 10 days and follow government guidelines. They are able to return to the care home after the isolation period is over, however, they must follow the visitation process as normal and complete a LFD test. LFD are distinct from PCR swab tests and can be used on people who have had previous PCR swabs positive for Covid-19. LFD tests ‘infectiousness’ of people.

·         Does registration needs to happen on the day of testing, and do all results need to be registered?

The registration of the test kits needs to happen for all results (positive, negative and void) and on the day of testing, this is done via the online registration form that is going live on Monday 14th December.

·         Is it a nose and throat swab?

Both a nose and throat swab need to be completed as per the instructions – a double nose swab can be used in exceptional circumstances where a throat swab cannot be completed.

·         Do visiting professionals need to have an LFD test upon arrival?

All visiting professionals, including non NHS staff should be tested prior to entry unless they are already part of a separate regular testing regime, such as NHS workers and CQC inspectors.

Useful Links

Reminder that all guidance and instructions for visitor and visiting professional LFD testing can be found here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-testing-of-visitors-in-care-homes

We have launched an at-home antibody testing service, which is available to all paid staff in the adult social care sector in England. To register for an at-home antibody test:

https://www.gov.uk/register-coronavirus-antibody-test

To find out more information about antibody testing:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-antibody-tests/coronavirus-covid-19-antibody-tests#why-antibody-tests-are-useful

You are currently able to register up to 100 test kits at once. For a complete walkthrough of bulk upload process, please see the following webinar recording:

https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1363388&tp_key=e2a021f062

Please do not respond to this email, as this mailbox is not monitored. If you have any queries, please call the coronavirus testing contact centre on 119.

Who should you contact in an emergency?

If at any stage over the next few days, someone at your organisation cannot cope with the symptoms, or their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after 7 days, use the https://111.nhs.uk/COVID-19 service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999.

Thank you,
NHS Test and Trace

This email and any attachments are intended only for the attention of the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return email.

 

 
 
 

Department of Health & Social Care

 
 
   
 

Welcome to our third regular coronavirus testing update for homecare agency managers.

You are receiving this update as a registered manager of a home care agency in England, or someone who has joined one of our recent homecare testing webinars.

Inside this week’s update:

·         Homecare testing progress

 

·         Testing over the festive period

·         Special webinar this Thursday: your chance to give feedback on testing

·         Reminder: instructions on registering and returning coronavirus tests

·         Test kit ordering system issue resolved

·         Additional email addresses for communications

If you have any questions at all about homecare testing please join one of our regular testing webinars at ^https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1405251&tp_key=79f1786e36

Homecare testing progress

We are delighted to inform you that we have delivered over 1.5million test kits to homecare agencies across England since we launched testing three weeks ago.

Every agency that has ordered test kits has now either received their kits will receive them this week.

You will be able to order your next round of test kits 21 days after we email you to confirm the delivery date of your last order of kits.

You will receive an email confirming when you are eligible to place an order for your next round of test kits.

All guidance for home care worker testing can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-homecare-workers

Testing over the festive period

Regular testing should continue over the festive period.

Collections from Royal Mail priority post boxes will be made every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, however, there will be a special collection timetable operating between these days.

This means there will be fewer collections, and collections will be earlier than usual.

Please ask all your homecare workers to check their nearest priority box before they test during this period, and ensure they post their test at least an hour before the last collection.

You can check the collection times for post boxes at https://www.royalmail.com/services-near-you#/

Ordinarily, we have asked homecare workers to test on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but during the festive period, people can also test on Wednesday 23 and Wednesday 30 December.

Special webinar: This Thursday

We hope that our regular testing updates, webinars, and the frequently asked questions documents that we shared last week have been useful in keeping you informed and answering your questions about homecare worker testing.

Tomorrow, on Thursday 17 December we will be hosting a special webinar which will include key updates, information about testing over the festive period and an opportunity for you to feedback and help us improve the testing service for you and your staff going forward.

Please join if you can and provide your feedback and ideas for improvement for the testing service

To sign up please visit:
https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1405251&tp_key=79f1786e36

Reminder: Instructions for registering and returning tests

It is vital that all tests are registered correctly using your agency’s unique organisation number at https://organisations.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/register-organisation-tests

This is so we are able to monitor the prevalence of coronavirus in the home care sector and inform future interventions and support for the sector.

When following the instructions within the test kits, homecare workers should follow the blue registration route “Testing on site at an organisation” and not the green route for Testing at home”. You will need to provide all your homecare workers with your unique organisation number to register their kits with.

All test kits should be returned by Royal Mail priority post box; homecare workers are not able to return kits via courier.

Ordering system issue resolved

When ordering test kits for your staff some of you reported issues inputting “0” (zero) for “Total number of non staff”.

This issue has now been resolved, so for your next test kit order please enter “0” (zero) for “Total number of non staff” as this testing service is for staff only.

Additional e-mail addresses for communications

We have received requests from homecare agencies wanting to provide us with a second email address (other than their CQC registered office) for future communications.

If there is an alternative email address that you would like to use for communications from the national testing programme, please give this as your email when ordering your next cycle of test kits.

This will allow us to record the alternative email address and communicate with them using both the CQC registered email address as well as the additional email address supplied.

Who should you contact in an emergency?

Please remember that if, at any stage, someone at your organisation cannot cope with their symptoms, or their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days, use the https://111.nhs.uk/COVID-19 service or call NHS 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999.

Thank you,
NHS Test and Trace

 

 


DHSC – Update

Q&A and Covid-19 vaccine communications toolkit

as you will see from the guidance, confirmation that no animal products are used in this vaccine

Dear Colleague,

Please find attached our updated Q&A, which includes information the MHRA have published on the ingredients of the Pfizer vaccine, confirming the vaccine contains no animal products. We have also updated the Q&A with further guidance from the MHRA on allergic reactions.

We will continue to update and share the Q&A with you regularly. Please let us know if you need more questions answered or have specific requests for your area of work.

As ever, we will be regularly adding to the toolkit over the coming days and weeks with short clips from the announcements along with graphics, visuals and further videos. I would also like to again signpost you to PHE’s campaign resource centre where more helpful vaccine related resources will be made available as and when they are ready. Please let us know how you have used the resources and how they can be improved.


Citation, recent updates for you to download

How might Brexit affect your organisation

LCAS Brexit

Help with wellbeing for your staff

LCAS wellbeing guide

Support with the movement of social care staff

LCAS movement of staff between care settings

Useful points to make your oraganisation “Winter Ready”

LCAS winter business ready


COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities

This guidance has been updated to provide further information on communal lounges in specialist sheltered and retirement housing and on canteens in extra-care housing. Section 2.13 of the main guidance states:

‘It is reasonable that residents might be able to use communal indoor areas such as lounges (especially when the weather is cold) in specialist sheltered, retirement and housing-with-care schemes provided it is possible to practice safe distancing and regular cleaning’

The guidance goes on to explain what the social contact rules are according to the tier system.

The same section also provides guidance for on-site canteens and restaurants. In tiers 1 and 2 these can be open as long as the social distancing rules are being followed for that tier. In tier 3 all restaurants, canteens and cafes must close with the exception of “restaurants and cafes within an extra scheme for the consumption of food by certain residents where it is reasonably necessary for safeguarding that person’s physical or mental health. This exemption only applies to residents with needs for care and support who have accommodation at the extra care housing scheme.”


Risk, insurance and possible liabilities: CPA briefing

The Care Provider Alliance has updated its information about risk, insurance and possible liabilities. This is not legal advice. Providers should seek independent legal advice if they have any concerns arising from the matters in CPA’s note.

We are continuing to seek evidence and push for support on insurance and indemnity issues. If you are facing issues with insurance and COVID-19, please let us know what these are as they strengthen our argument to DHSC.


Health and wellbeing of adult social care workforce

This guidance has been updated to reflect the new national restrictions. It also appears to have some updated links and resources for your staff.


Day Services and COVID-19 Briefing

The Care Provider Alliance and the Local Government Association have produced a briefing to support the safe functioning and re-opening of day services in their local area, and to protect the future viability of those services.


PPE Portal Christmas & New Year Update

The Portal will be operational over Christmas. Our delivery partners (Royal Mail and our Pallet Carrier) will not be delivering on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Orders made during this time should still be delivered within 5 days. To make allowance for any potential disruptions or increased need, we have increased order limits by 25% for all providers, as of Tuesday 8th December, and until at least the 4th January. Call the customer service team on 0800 876 6802 if you have any questions about using the PPE portal. The team is available from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week, to help resolve your queries. The latest guidance for the PPE Portal, including order limits for the different types and sizes of provider, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ppe-portal-how-to-order-covid-19-personal-protective-equipment


December 9th RM V-meeting

Presentations

Social Works – John Buttle – Life, death, learning and living

Social Works

SfC – Laura Anthony

RM network slidesCroydonWandsworthVirtual091220

If you need to contact me about a Gregg’s Voucher – peter@lcasforum.org


Social care spending in England still £600m lower than in 2010

Annual adult social care spending in England is still £600m lower than in 2010, according to new analysis published today (Monday) by the TUC.

The analysis finds that in 112 of the 150 responsible local authorities, social care spending per head of the population is still below 2010.

Spending per head is 8% below the level in 2010 for England overall. And regional reductions range from 18% in London, to 5% in the South East, East Midlands and East of England.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/social-care-spending-england-still-ps600m-lower-2010


Guidance for Lateral Flow Testing of Visitors in Care Homes

This guidance has just been published. It contains:

  • Care home LFD testing of visitors guidance  – the pdf version is easier to read than the HTML one and is the version I refer to below
  • Visitor testing guidance pack (guidance for visitors) – the pdf version is easier to read than the HTML and is the version I refer to below
  • A template letter to care home visitors – it is in an Open Document format so you may need to save to your computer and ‘right click’ and ‘open with’ Microsoft Word or an equivalent word package to view it
  • Post-pilot rollout clinical guidance for testing visitors to care homes with LFDs – the information in this was used to construct the care home LFD guidance.

Care home testing of visitors guidance

This document should be rather straight-forward to read so I haven’t summarised it here but I have pulled out some things you may want to note.

  • Visitor testing does not begin until 14 December when the online registration portal becomes available
  • DHSC will order the initial tests kits for you automatically – further test kits can be ordered using details on page 6
  • Page 4 has an overview of the entire process and the key steps at each stage
  • The guidance states that “LFDs find at least half of the cases PCR testing detect and about three-quarters of those who have very high amounts of virus present when an individual is tested. High amounts of virus means that an individual is more likely to be infectious. They are helpful in detecting cases that would not be detected by other testing strategies in use routinely. Lateral flow testing is not a fool proof solutions: it should be seen as an addition to PPE and other IPC measures and must not be seen as a way of relaxing their use.”
  • Staff who will be conducting LFD testing must complete the online Test and Trace training – each home will receive access to the training portal through an email from a DHSC training mailbox.
  • Storage information can be found on page 6.
  • Page 7 contains a checklist of what needs to be in place for visitors as well as a list of things visitors should be aware of.
  • If a visitor returns a positive LFD test, they will need to take a confirmatory PCR test kit on site and then self-isolate. The provider needs to supply the PCR test which is completed on site and schedule a priority courier pick up. The visitor is responsible for registering their kit online using the ‘testing yourself at home’ instructions.
  • PPE requirements for visitors are on page 8.
  • Consent needs to be provided by visitors to be tested and share their results before the test is carried out. Page 8 gives more details about gathering consent and how to register test results.
  • There needs to be a separate area for visitors to complete a self-assisted swab and wait on results.
  • Pages 10-19 give a step-by-step break down of the process.
  • Oddly, pages 20-24 contain detailed terms and conditions which we have asked Anthony Collins Solicitors to look at. We’ve never seen something like this before in DHSC guidance.

Visitor testing guidance pack

This document is aimed at visitors and is also straight-forward to read. I’ve highlighted some things to note:

  • There is a reference to ‘meaningful visiting’ rather than ‘hugging’ etc.
  • It stresses the point that testing on its own is not enough and needs to be accompanied by robust IPC measures and PPE – and the cooperation of visitors in this.
  • Pages 5-7 outline the process
  • Page 8 sets out helpful expectations including the need to minimise contact as much as possible
  • Page 9-10 outlines how to don and doff PPE.
  • Page 11 explains how to register test results
  • Page 12 explains how to self-swab

Pfizer Vaccination and Allergic Reactions

You may have picked up in the news that there have been 2 allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine. MHRA have issued guidance in response to this and advise that any person with a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine, medicine or food should not receive this vaccine. A second dose should not be given to anyone who has experienced anaphylaxis following the administration of the first dose.


COVID-19 Vaccination

The Lancet is reporting that the Oxford vaccine is safe and has up to 90% which is encouraging. This BBC article has a summary. We will hopefully see a decision from the MHRA soon.


Vaccination Guidance

December 9th UPDATE

Top Lines and Q&A for stakeholders – COVID-19 vaccine – 9 December

COVID-19_Vaccination_programme_publications_-_a_guide_for_use_December_2020

Please see a link to the Covid-19 communications toolkit that includes new creative content assets for you to use and amplify through your channels.

The new assets in the toolkit include:

  • How RNA vaccinations work – video from Professor Robin Shattock, Imperial College.
  • Long Covid – video from Dr June Raine, MHRA.
  • Vaccine rollout monitoring – video from Dr June Raine, MHRA.
  • Day one vaccination video – for social channels.
  • Copy to support social posts.

I have included the information I sent out earlier today as well as a number of new items and updates. Do note the information about consent forms as well. The vaccination programme page has an overview of the guidance. I have also attached a document from PHE outlining the documents they have published today.

Do also note the NHS’s Standard Operating Procedure for the deployment of the vaccine. The diagram on the last page is particularly useful.


Testing Service for Extra Care and Supported Living Settings

DHSC is rolling out weekly retesting to extra care and supporting living settings that meet eligibility criteria:

  1. A closed community with substantial facilities shared between multiple people, and;
  2. Where most residents receive the kind of personal care that is CQC registered (rather than help with cooking, cleaning and shopping).

Staff will be tested weekly and residents every 28 days.


Settings which meet this criteria can self refer for testing from 11 December.

We are clarifying the reference to the ‘DHSC referrer Unique Organisation Number’ you need to use to sign-up to the self-referral portal on the page linked above. We would have assumed this would have to be different for each organisation. We assume this is to access the system and that you will receive a Unique Organisation Number after completing the 8 steps:

  1. Provider navigates to: https://request-onboarding.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/
  2. Provider inputs the ‘DHSC Referrer Unique Organisation Number’ which is 99874802 – This will only work from 11 December and we are clarifying whether this is correct.
  3. Provider complete eligibility questions
  4. Provider inputs the information for the setting, including delivery address and contact details
  5. Submit referral
  6. Referral is sent to LA for approval
  7. LA assess if the setting/s meet the eligibility criteria, and confirms or denies the referral request/s
  8. If eligible, setting is on-boarded onto our systems and will be eligible to place an order to test kits

The guidance contains detailed information about how to book, carry out and register tests.


Capacity Tracker

We expect the Capacity Tracker to be updated on Friday with questions about COVID-19 vaccination uptake. The questions should be similar to the flu vaccination questions.


Testing CQC Inspectors

In case you missed it, CQC Inspectors will now be tested weekly for COVID-19.


A letter from the Minister for Care, Helen Whately outlining plans for getting the first COVID19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) to care home staff from the first day that vaccinations are available.

MSC Letter to the care sector

This has also been described as Cinderella gets to go to the ball!


Covid-19 vaccine communications toolkit

Following the news about the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine receiving authorisation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), we have updated our Q&A and Covid-19 vaccines communications toolkit.

Please see attached the latest Covid-19 vaccines Q&A, that we will continue to update and share with you regularly. Please let us know if you need more questions answered or have specific requests for your area of work.

Please see a link to the Covid-19 communications toolkit that includes new creative content assets for you to use and amplify through your channels.

The new assets in the toolkit include:

  • MHRA Pfizer Covid19 vaccine approval  – a suite of videos from Dr June Raine, MHRA.
  • Speed of vaccine development – clip from “This Morning” Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical officer.
  • Vaccines meeting safety standards – video from Dr June Raine, MHRA

We will be regularly adding to the toolkit over the coming weeks with short clips from the announcements along with graphics, visuals and further videos. I would also like to signpost you again to PHE’s campaign resource centre where more helpful vaccine related resources will be made available as and when they are ready. Please let us know how you have used the resources and how they can be improved.

Top Lines and Q&A for stakeholders – COVID-19 vaccine – 4 December


DHSC – Guidance for health and social care organisations: end of transition period data preparedness

Critical actions include

Data transfers

Data storage

Data audit

Data protection

Data Preparedness Guidance (3)


Create a fairer VAT regime for social care (petition)

Welfare services provided by regulated social care companies are exempt from VAT. This means that we do not charge VAT on services to the most vulnerable. However, current VAT rules mean we cannot reclaim VAT on business expenses.
Sign petition


DHSC – questionnaire; please complete

As discussed the link for the questionnaire on PPE for aerosol generating procedures (AGP) is here: https://forms.gle/yjYaNuDx6PUB5Zqw7

Please feel free to cascade to providers who are eligible to use the PPE portal.


Wellbeing Guide

Useful to download and help support you and your valued staff.

LCAS wellbeing guide


A guide to Brexit

Will this affect you?

LCAS Brexit


JCVI Information – vaccines

Priority_groups_for_coronavirus__COVID-19__vaccination_-_advice_from_the_JCVI__2_December_2020


Insurance Queries?

We do not have the knowledge or qualifications to answer these important points. Please call Richard Barnes, he will talk with you, look at each point and respond. Do not overlook, or ignore them.

Richard Barnes

Caring Professions Division

Towergate Insurance Brokers

M: 07768 314 298

E: richard.barnes@towergate.co.uk

W: towergateinsurance.co.uk

A: Ground Floor, Interchange, 81-85 Station Road, Croydon, CR0 2AJ


 DHSC has finally published visiting guidance which comes into force from Dec. 2nd.

Overall the new guidance around visiting is largely on the money – without the money! You can read our full response here.

Two pieces of guidance have been published and replace previous guidance:

Visiting arrangements in care homes

This is an improvement on previous versions of this guidance. In particular it is positive that the government has reiterated that visiting should be the default position in care homes. We have been campaigning for this.

All care homes – regardless of Tier – and except in the event of an outbreak should enable visiting. This can take a number of forms:

  1. Indoor visits where the visitor has been tested (section 2.1)and returned a negative result and is wearing appropriate PPE and following other IPC measures. Care homes will receive enough Lateral Flow Tests to enable the testing of 2 visitors per resident, twice a week before Christmas. These visits should be limited to a maximum of 2 constant visitors. The guidance mentions that physical contact such as ‘providing personal care, holdings hands and a hug’ are allowed but should be limited. You will need a dedicated area used solely for testing in order to carry out the tests. More details are in the guidance. If a visitor tests positive they should complete a confirmatory PCR test which should be provided by the care home. The visitor should leave immediately and self-isolate.
  2. ‘Interim’ indoor visiting without testing in Tier 1 areas (section 2.2)is possible where visitor testing is not yet available – this should only be used until tests are available and only in Tier 1. This must be limited to 2 people at most but preferably 1 constant visitor, with social distancing, no physical contact, PPE use and other IPC measures. Indoor visiting in the absence of testing (and without screens) may only happen in Tier 1 areas with visitors from a Tier 1 area. This is to be viewed as an interim policy while waiting for tests. Visits should take place in a designated space and visitors should follow guidance on ‘how to work safely in domiciliary care’ to identify PPE required. These visits should be supervised at all times.
  3. Outdoor visiting and ‘screened visits’ (section 2.3) may involve visitors who have not been tested. This is essentially the old visiting guidance. These should happen in the open air wherever possible but could include the use of an awning, gazebo or open-sided marquee. The visitor and resident must remain at least 2 metres apart at all times and could take place at a window. Visiting pods or a dedicated room such as a conservatory may also be used providing:
  • the visiting space is used by only one resident and visiting party at a time, and is subject to regular enhanced cleaning between each visit
  • the visitor enters the space from outside wherever possible
  • where there is a single access point to the space, the resident and visitor enter the space at different times to ensure that safe distancing and seating arrangements can be maintained effectively
  • there is a substantial screen between the resident and visitor, designed to reduce the risk of viral transmission
  • there is good ventilation for spaces used (for example, including keeping doors and windows open where safe to do so and using ventilation systems at high rates but only where these circulate fresh air)
  • consider the use of speakers, or assisted hearing devices (both personal and environmental) where these will aid communication. This will also avoid the need to raise voices and therefore transmission risk

In all these cases:

  • visitor numbers should be limited to a single constant visitor wherever possible, with an absolute maximum of 2 constant visitors per resident. This, for example, means the same family member visiting each time to limit the number of different individuals coming into contact. This is in order to limit the overall number of visitors to the care home and/or to the individual, and the consequent risk of disease transmission from multiple different routes
  • appropriate PPE must be used throughout the visit, and around the care home building and grounds
  • social distancing (between visitors and residents, staff, and visitors from other households) must be maintained at all times – during the visit, and around the care home building and grounds
  • high quality IPC practice must be maintained throughout the visit and through the wider care home environment. (See section below on infection control precautions in the wider care home environment)
  • visiting spaces must be used by only one resident and visiting party at a time, and between visits there must be appropriate cleaning and an appropriate time interval
  1. Exceptional circumstances such as end of life (section 2.4). Visits in these circumstances should always be supported and enabled. However it also explicitly states that visiting will be enabled to happen not just towards the very end of life. This means that there should be early identification as well as a personalised care and support planning approach involving the individual, relatives and care home staff. It recognises that planning visiting arrangements in these circumstances should proceed from the assumption that visits are enabled in the final months and weeks of life – not just the final days or hours.

Other things to note:

Section 1.2 details the roles of the director of public health and the director of adult social services. The guidance seeks to encourage these officials to enable visits and be flexible. However, they retain their powers to close homes to visiting. But it should be noted that ‘… the DPH may also provide advice to a specific care home, where they are confident that the IPC measures and other arrangements in that home make it appropriate for it to allow more visiting opportunities than the generic advice set out in this guidance’.

Section 1.3 stresses the need for providers to consider individual needs rather than just groups of residents when developing a visiting policy.

Section 1.4 makes it clear that in the event of an outbreak all visiting should stop with the exception of exceptional circumstances such as end of life.

Section 2.5 outlines infection prevention and control measures that need to be carried out. Do note the paragraph about visitors bringing gifts.

Section 2.6 sets out advice on communicating with visitors

Arrangements for visits of the care home

The guidance sets out significant strictures and responsibilities for the delivery of this policy, for those living in care homes, their families and care providers, which in reality will mean that at this moment in time, the ability to use this may be limited. Nevertheless, the policy intention is definitely positive and appears to be in place beyond the Christmas period.

The policy states that visits should only be considered for care home residents of working age. Where there are exceptional circumstances such as end of life, older adults in care homes can visit a friend or relative at the end of their life. Some things to note:

  • Outward visits can only happen in agreement with the home and is subject to individual and whole home risk assessments
  • Outward visits can happen in any tier. The care home in which the resident lives is considered one household for these purposes.
  • For the Christmas Bubble period of 23 to 27 December, the resident should only mix with people from one household. The resident should not become part of a 3-household Christmas bubble.
  • All members of the hosting household must have had a negative result from a COVID test before the visit. This might be when the family goes to the care home to collect the resident – care homes could use Lateral Flow Testing to do this.
  • The resident should be tested immediately before their visit.
  • If any tests are positive, the visit cannot happen and confirmatory PCR tests need to be carried out.
  • In the lead-up to the visit, the hosting household is advised to minimise the number of people they meet for two weeks prior to the visit out
  • When the resident returns to the care home following the visit, the resident must isolate for 14 days.
  • If any members of the household bubble have symptoms of COVID or test positive for COVID during the visit, they must notify the care home and the resident self-isolates in the visit setting and not the care home.
  • In the event of an outbreak, the visit out will not be possible. If an outbreak happens while the resident is visiting out, then they will still be able to return.
  • While DPHs and DASSs have powers to restrict visits out they have been told they should not recommend an approach across the whole of the local authority area that does not take account of the different circumstance in individual homes, or variations in infection rates in different areas within the local authority.

Lastly, you will want to look at the individual risk assessments section – this is quite involved. Each person’s visit should have a plan with the arrangements and risk mitigation agree with the resident/best interests decision. See the guidance for more details.


COVID-19 Vaccinations

We have some updates from the DHSC COVID-19 vaccination stakeholders’ meeting.

We have been told by DHSC that LAs, CCGs, GPs should not be asking you for consent/best interests information or other data of residents or those who receive care at this stage for the purposes of COVID-19 vaccination. This can only happen once a vaccine is approved by the regulator and you know which vaccine is being offered. Even then, the GPs involved will be given 10 days’ notice from when they will receive their stocks. This has not happened yet. In short it is unlikely there will be a vaccine roll-out next week despite what you may have been told locally. We have asked for official comms to confirm this and will circulate when we have them.

According to the new entry in the greenbook the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine needs 2 doses administered 21 days apart. The AstraZeneca vaccine needs 2 doses administered 28 days apart. Based on current information, there should ideally be an interval of at least 7 days between COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines (such as the flu vaccine) to avoid incorrect attribution of potential adverse events. The greenbook contains other information you may need to know such as guidance on storage, priority groups (may differ vaccine to vaccine) and potential side effects.

You may also want to look at the COVID-19 vaccination programme webpage. Much of the guidance is aimed at healthcare workers. It contains:

Do note the Q&A about COVID-19 vaccines and the communications toolkit I circulated yesterday.


Staying mentally well: winter plan 2020 to 2021

The government has published a mental health winter plan to accompany the COVID-19 winter plan. It includes a section on the social care workforce – key points include:

  • DHSC has worked with NHS, Skills for Care and other organisations to develop a package of practical support. This includes bespoke support for Registered Managers, who the government recognises are facing particular challenges, such as a series of webinars and a dedicated advice line
  • ‘Our Frontline’, a collaboration between Samaritans, Shout, Hospice UK and Mind, has been set up to provide information, emotional support and access to a crisis text service for those working on the frontline, including social care.
  • Care staff can send a message with ‘FRONTLINE’ to 85258 to start a conversation. The service is free on all major mobile networks and is direct support for those who may be struggling to cope and need help.
  • Hospice UK has also extended its bereavement and trauma line to provide support to social care staff. This service offers a safe space for care workers to talk to a professional if they have experienced bereavement, trauma or anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • DHSC has introduced a new CARE-branded website and app, CARE Workforce, developed in partnership with the NHS, for the social care workforce, aimed at providing timely information and signposting to support, all in one place.

Guidance for the health and care sector from 1 January 2021

I’m afraid I need to draw your attention back to Brexit! The government has collated relevant guidance for social care providers on a new web page. It contains information on preparing for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. As we still don’t know whether there will be a trade deal with the EU, it is particularly important that you review this guidance.


NAO report on PPE

The National Audit Office has released a new report about PPE during the pandemic. NCF has contributed to this report. The report finds that adult social care providers were not adequately supported by government in obtaining PPE and came very close to running out during the first wave. It also highlights the different approaches given by DHSC to the NHS and social care. The sector received 10% of its estimated need between March and July while NHS Trusts received 80% of their requirements.


Keeping in touch using gaming

This one is a little unusual! The BBC is looking for a case study where grandparents have taken up gaming during lockdown as a way to keep in touch with their grandchildren. Alternatively they would like to hear stories about older adults asking for assistance with gaming since lockdown began. If you have any examples please email edna.petzen@nationalcareforum.org.uk


AT RISK GROUPS TO RECEIVE FREE WINTER SUPPLY OF VITAMIN D

  • 2.7 million vulnerable individuals in England to be offered free winter supply of Vitamin D by government
  • Deliveries will be made to clinically extremely vulnerable and care home residents
  • Higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency as these groups have spent more time indoors this year

More than two and a half million vulnerable people across England will be offered free Vitamin D supplements for the winter, the government has announced today (Saturday 28 November).

All care homes will automatically receive a provision for their residents, while individuals on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list will receive a letter inviting them to ‘opt in’ for a supply to be delivered directly to their homes. Deliveries will be free of charge, starting in January, and will provide four months’ worth of supplements to last people through the winter months.

The supplements will support general health, in particular bone and muscle health. This is particularly important this year as these individuals are more likely to have been indoors for extended periods due to measures introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Evidence of the link of Vitamin D to Covid-19 is still being researched with larger scale trials needed. In the meantime, the Secretary of State has asked NICE and PHE to re-review the existing evidence. The government will publish its findings towards the end of the year.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:

“Because of the incredible sacrifices made by the British people to control the virus, many of us have spent more time indoors this year and could be deficient in Vitamin D.

“The government is taking action to ensure vulnerable individuals can access a free a supply to last them through the darker winter months. This will support their general health, keep their bones and muscles healthy and crucially reduce the pressure on our NHS.

“A number of studies indicate Vitamin D might have a positive impact in protecting against COVID-19. I have asked NICE and PHE to re-review the existing evidence on the link between COVID-19 and Vitamin D to ensure we explore every potential opportunity to beat this virus.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at PHE, said:

“Vitamin D is important for our bone and muscle health.

“We advise that everyone, particularly the elderly, those who don’t get outside and those with dark skin, takes a vitamin D supplement containing 10 micrograms (400IU) every day.

“This year, the advice is more important than ever with more people spending more time inside, which is why the government will be helping the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to get Vitamin D.”

The advice from Public Health England is for everybody to take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of Vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep bones and muscles healthy.

Public Health England advises people who are more at risk of not having enough Vitamin D to take a Vitamin D supplement all year round. A range of products and doses are available at supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers.

Anyone who is able to purchase a Vitamin D supplement and start taking them now is advised to do so, even if you are also eligible for a delivery later in the year.


COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Toolkit

DHSC has published a Q&A about COVID-19 vaccines and the first in a planned suite of information tools to help you communicate about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Top Lines and QA for stakeholders – COVID vaccine – 26 November

The toolkit (the second link) includes:

  • Vaccine safety, risks and ingredients – A suite of videos from Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
  • Would I be prepared to take the vaccine? Be ready to be called. Vaccine prioritisation – Videos from Dr June Raine CBE, MHRA on public safety, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam
  • The regulator’s critical role. The importance of speed and impact – Videos from Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer, and Prof Andrew Pollard, Director, Oxford Vaccine Group
  • Vaccine safety and testing – Videos from MHRA, Dr Christian Schneider and Interim Scientific Officer at MHRA
  • How the vaccine works, everything you need to know about the Oxford vaccine, clinical trials and the pace of development – Videos from Professor Andrew Pollard and Maheshi Ramasamy, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Acute Medicine, and Professor Sarah Gilbert, University of Oxford
  • Copy – to support sharing the videos on social media and websites
  • Vaccine fact cards for social with social copy – covering key information on the vaccines

SfC Guidance update

In February this year we published our report Promoting sexual safety through empowerment. This report had a number of recommendations including that Skills for Care update their guidance on supporting personal relationships.

Supporting Personal Relationships_Final Nov20


Roll-out of Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs)

We are aware of the roll-out of LFTs to care homes as well as the email you should all have received yesterday/today informing you of this. We are also very aware of the resource issues caused by the rapid expansion of testing and we are fighting for additional support from the government.

The LFTs are to be used for:

  • scheduled visitor testing
  • increased resident testing
  • increased staff testing

This is in addition to the current PCR regular retesting in care homes.


Tier Systems

The full list of local restriction tiers by area has been published.

You can see a summary of the different alert levels here. According to CSI Market Intelligence the new tier gradings mean that 98% of all care homes and care home residents are in either Tier 2 or Tier 3 areas.


Update to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) People guidance

The guidance for protecting people defined as clinically extremely vulnerable has had a document added outlining the measures in place from 2 December. Technically not all of this is shielding guidance (see below) but rather additional measures to protect these people. There are some additional recommendations that apply to all Tier levels, including information about Christmas bubbles.

But note that the guidance also contains specific guidance depending on which Tier you are in. There is also shielding guidance which may be implemented in Tier 3 areas if advised by the Chief Medical Officer but otherwise does not apply. You can see this at the end of the Tier 3 section.

Additional advice for CEV in Tier 1:

  • Take extra precautions to strictly follow social distancing rules and meet outside if possible.
  • Work from home where possible.
  • If you need to attend work it must be COVID-secure. If alternate arrangements cannot be made, then employer may use furlough scheme.
  • Limit journeys on public transport
  • Shop at quieter times of the day.

Additional advice for CEV in Tier 2:

  • You should not meet with people indoors in any setting.
  • You can still meet with people outside, up to 6 people. The guidance advises you to limit the number of different people you meet to a minimum.
  • Work from home where possible.
  • If you need to attend work it must be COVID-secure. If alternate arrangements cannot be made, then employer may use furlough scheme.
  • Avoid all travel with exception of work, school or essential shopping. When travelling avoid public transport.
  • Reduce shopping trips and ask others to do it for you. Could also use online shopping or, if necessary, shop at quieter times.

Additional advice for CEV in Tier 3:

  • Avoid busy areas if going outside. Do not mix with people not in your household or bubble in any setting.
  • Maintain social distancing within your household if possible
  • General advice for Tier 3 is to work from home. If you need to attend work it must be COVID-secure. If alternate arrangements cannot be made, then employer may use furlough scheme.
  • You people should stay at home as much as possible and avoid all travel.
  • You should reduce shopping trips and ask others instead. Could also use online shopping or, if necessary, shop at quieter times.

Shielding Guidance

  • This portion of the advice can only be activated by the Chief Medical Officer for the worst impacted Tier 3 areas
  • Work from home. If you cannot do you job at home, you should stay at home and seek to be furloughed. If this is not possible you may be entitled to SSP or ESA.
  • Stay at home as much as possible and do not mix with other households or bubbles. Social distance within your household/bubble.
  • Do not travel and stay at home.
  • Do not go to the shops – rely on online shopping, family, friends, volunteers.
  • Do not travel to a pharmacy – rely on the above.

Admissions to care home guidance

This guidance has been updated to add a note about the new Tiered system coming into force next week. It has also had a note added telling providers to read the new shielding guidance which updates section 2 and annex A of the guidance.


Guidance for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

This guidance has been updated to include relevant links to guidance on the Tiered system that will be in place from 2 December.


Brexit transition: new rules for 2021

Guidance for the health and care sector from 1 January 2021

Information for industry and organisations involved in health and care on preparing for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-for-the-health-and-care-sector-from-1-january-2021


UK-Wide Christmas Travel Arrangements – note the bit about care home residents

The UK government and the devolved nations have published guidance on Christmas travel and bubbling arrangements. In short between 23 and 27 December (22 and 28 if travelling to or from Northern Ireland):

  • You can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • You can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • You cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • You can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • You can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
  • You can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying
  • You cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble

Look at section 6 for information about care home residents. It states that ‘visits out of care homes should only be considered for care home residents of working age.’ Even then, the guidance states that any visits out of care homes for working age adults should only happen if it is the right thing to do and safe. If someone of working age does leave their care home to form a bubble it must be subject to individual risk assessment and social distancing, hygiene and ventilation rules should be followed. All members of the bubble the working age resident joins must:

  • Take steps to minimise their potential exposure to coronavirus by limiting the number of people they meet for two weeks prior to allowing a care home resident into their household
  • Talk to the care home about getting tested prior to meeting the care home resident outside the care home. In order to safely return to the care home, the resident will need to be tested and isolated. Guidance on this will follow.

Designation Settings

CQC has published more information about the designation scheme, including the numbers of approved settings and beds by region. This will be updated weekly.


Guidance on Singing

In case you missed it, PHE has published guidance on suggested principles of safe singing. You will want to read this in conjunction with guidance created by Music for Dementia, Live Music Now, NCF, NAPA and Care England – designed to help care settings to keep singing as part of their Christmas activities.


Supported Living Services

This guidance has been updated with a note stating it is being reviewed in line with the new Tiered system guidance coming into force on 2 December.


Reducing bureaucracy in the health and social care system: call for evidence

Detail of outcome

The government hosted a public consultation from 30 July to 13 September on reducing bureaucracy in the health and social care system. This is the government response to that consultation.

The document sets out the government’s plan for reducing excess bureaucracy for health and care staff, with 8 priority areas for action.

Available via the above link


Post-Lockdown Tier System

In parliament today, the PM confirmed that the current lockdown in England will be coming to an end on 2nd December and replaced by a strengthened Tier system:

Details about which areas will be in what Tiers will be announced on Thursday. Like before there will be three levels of Tiers: Medium (Tier 1), High (Tier 2) and Very High (Tier 3). Visits to care homes can take place in all Tiers. Regular testing will be offered to 2 family members or friends per resident by Christmas which will support indoor visits and allow physical contact. We await further details.


Winter Plan

A COVID-19 winter plan has been published detailing how the government plans to get the country through the next few months. Look at the social care section. It largely repeats announcements we have already heard but you need to note:

  • The government has said it will introduce legislation to restrict ‘all but essential movement of staff between settings in order to reduce transmission’. (para 79) This is despite the consultation only closing at 12pm today. It would appear that DHSC already has a decision in mind. We will be issuing comms about this later this week.
  • The government has committed to test all staff twice weekly and residents weekly by the end of December (Section 83).
  • In the section on testing it talks about visitor testing being provided twice a week to allow regular visits from up to two visitors, potentially with physical contact. (para 47).

COVID Winter Grant Scheme

The government has published details on a COVID Winter Grant Scheme designed to support vulnerable households over the next few months.


Oxford Vaccine

Oxford University & AstraZeneca have announced that their vaccine is up to 90% accurate depending on the vaccination dose regimen. Crucially, this vaccine can be stored at fridge temperature which makes it much easier to distribute and store than the other two vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna.


Immigration Health Surcharge reimbursement

The mechanism to claim back the Immigration Health Surcharge is now live. People who work in social care roles and have paid the surcharge may be able to claim their money back. Applicants must be working for at least 16 hours per week during that period, but this can be in more than one eligible job.


CQC Death of service user notification form

This form has been updated.


 
Guidance

 

A testing service for homecare workers in England

Published 20 November 2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-homecare-workers/a-testing-service-for-homecare-workers-in-england?utm_campaign=11991235_Testing%2020%2011%2020&utm_medium=email&utm_source=UKHCA&dm_i=1DVI,750HV,KZRNAI,SW09H,1

Regular Testing for Home Care Workers

From Monday 23 November home care providers will be able to book weekly tests for their home care staff online. All CQC-registered homecare organisations will be shortly contacted with details about how to apply for test kits for their carers.

Summary:

  • All participating organisations will receive a single Unique Organisation Number (UON) to use the system. You will need to share this number with homecare workers.
  • Managers should order tests every 28 days for their homecare workers
  • 4 tests are delivered for each homecare worker to enable a 28-day testing cycle
  • Each homecare worker should be given 4 test kits every 28 days
  • Every 7 days a care worker should take a test, register it online, and return it online by post between Thursday and Sunday
  • Homecare workers will receive their results in 2 to 4 days by email and text message.

A series of webinars will be held to help support the rollout – you can signup here.

Do note that testing will also soon be extended to:

  • Unregistered homecare organisations, including live-in carers
  • Personal assistants

RM V-meeting November 18th 2020

Apologies, the recording of this meeting failed.

Presentations and information

Alison Murray CQC London Lead & Head of IPC

20201118 LCAS Forum

Laura Anthony Skills for care. Details of upcoming webinars and certificates of attendance

RM network slidesCroydonWandsworthVirtual181120


Changes to Capacity Tracker questions

At the request of NHS England, changes have been made at short notice to the Capacity Tracker to ensure the data input by Care Homes more accurately reflects their position in relation to business continuity ‘Discharge Testing of Residents’. The changes are:

  • A new initial first question asks if providers have received discharges from NHS Trusts within the last 7 days with a yes/no response required
  • Only if ‘yes’ is selected then providers are asked to submit the additional details in relation to previously required information
  • Care homes that have admitted residents who did not have a COVID test or are still waiting COVID testing results will be required to confirm their understanding of current Government policy on discharge testing

CQC DNAR review

CQC is undertaking a review of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation orders in light of the issues that arose during the first wave of the pandemic. The review will take a national view of how these decisions were made in and across different types of services – including hospitals, GPs and care homes. It will include examples of best practice as well as times when procedures may not have always been followed so that any mistakes are learnt from.


Update to reducing risk in adult social care guidance

This guidance has been updated with new clinical advice. The purpose of the guidance is to act as a framework for how you should assess and support members of your workforce who may be at an increased risk from coronavirus.


Roll out of lateral flow tests

You can find a list of the LAs who have been issued with rapid coronavirus tests here. It is regularly updated. It might be worth asking your LAs what they are intention to use these for.


Guidance for people receiving direct payments

This guidance has been updated to bring it into line with current national policy and to add sections on mental health support, accessing flu vaccinations and testing.


DHSC has published their consultation on stopping movement of staff between care settings and have only given one week’s notice. The consultation is now open and closes on Monday 23 November.

The government wants to modify regulation 18 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 which deals with staffing. This would mean residential and nursing care home providers in England must restrict the movement of staff providing personal care or nursing care in their services.


Flu Vaccination for care workers

Please continue to encourage care workers to come forward for vaccination. We have been told by DHSC that GPs and pharmacies are being sent deliveries purchased specifically for health and care workers. These are now being sent and so stocks should now be available. Do also see CPA’s flu briefing.


Home Testing Kits

A new step-by-step guide has been published for carrying out a COVID-19 home test.


List of LAs receiving lateral flow tests

DHSC has published a full list of LAs which will receive lateral flow tests. This page will be updated as more LAs are announced.


Letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people

PHE has uploaded examples of the letters they are sending to people on the shielding list.

Designation Scheme FAQs

DHSC has now uploaded its FAQs about the Designation Scheme to the .gov website. I circulated this early this week.


Extended furlough guidance – Anthony Collins analysis

Anthony Collins has analysed the new guidance for the furlough scheme and has identified a number of changes you need to be aware of. Read their blog to find out more.


COVID-19 standard operating procedure: COVID Oximetry @home

The NHS has published a standard operating procedure for COVID Oximetry @home.


Guidance for volunteering

New guidance has been published to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic.


People with learning disabilities had a higher death rate from COVID-19

PHE has published research which shows that in England people with learning disabilities had a death rate of up to 6 times higher from COVID-19 during the first wave than the general public.


Interactive COVID-19 data for charities and funders

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) has created a regularly updating and interactive data dashboard for coronavirus. You might find it useful as it pulls together official data from a range of sources.


Updated Uber Offer for Social Care

Care workers can now benefit from 25% off on Uber Medic trips (or 50% if paid by Mastercard), as well as a range of discounts on Uber Eats. The discounts are available until 31 December 2020. More information can be found on the CPA website.


LPS Update

Meeting of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) National Steering Group –13/10/20Summary note published by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC)Attendees:DHSC, DfE, MoJ, Welsh Government, NHS England, NHS Clinical Commissioners, NHS Providers, National Care Forum, Think Local Act Personal, CQC, Ofsted, LGA, ADASS, Skills for Care, ADCS, HEE.

DHSC officials welcomed all stakeholders and partners to the October Steering Group. This was the first meeting of the Group since February 2020.DHSC officials rearticulated the Government’s commitment to the implementation of LPS. They explained the importance of ensuring the successful implementation of LPS in continuing toprovide appropriate safeguards for the people that need them. Attendees discussed refreshed Terms of Reference for the group. These set out the Group’s function to oversee and advise on the delivery of LPS against its key objectives: •To create a new simplified legal framework which is accessible and clear.•To deliver improved outcomes for peopledeprived of their liberty and their families.

•To provide a simplified authorisation process capable of operating effectively in all settingsand to all ages covered by the Mental Capacity Act(MCA) 2005.

•To ensure that the MCAworks as intended, by placing the person at the heart of decision-making and that it is compliant with Article 5 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Attendees were in broad agreement on the refreshed Terms of Reference and proposed membership of the group. DHSC officials set out the high-level timeline for LPS implementation. The Government is aiming for full implementation of LPS by April 2022. Some provisions, covering new roles and training, will come into force ahead of that date.Officials explained that the nextmajormilestone is likely to be the publication of the revised Impact Assessmentofthe Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act(MC(A)A)2019, in Autumn 2020.This assessment will cover the policy at the time of the primary legislation andwill not take accountof policy detail set out in the draft regulations (thesewill be covered by future impact assessments). The Government is aiming toundertake a public consultation on the draft regulations and Code of Practice, inSpring2021. That will run for 12 weeks, allowing sufficient time for those that are affected, including those with learning disabilities, to engage properly. Attendees agreed this was a challenging timeline to deliver everything needed to successfully implement LPS. DHSC officials explained that the Government had made a series of decisions about the detail of draft regulations. The draft regulations will from part of the public consultation in Spring 2021 and the Government will take into account the outcome of that consultation before it takes final decisions about the design of LPS. Six sets of regulations will set out how LPS will operate in England. DHSC officials updated attendees on five of these as follows:

•The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) role under LPS will be set out in regulations. These regulations will amend existing IMCA regulations set out under the MCA. IMCAs will, for example,have the powerto prepare a report in relation to the arrangements or proposed arrangements for the Responsible Body.

•Eligibility criteria and statutory training needed to be an Approved MentalCapacity Professional (AMCP) under LPS will be set out in a distinct set of regulations.Requiredtraining will include a conversion course for Best Interests Assessors (BIAs) under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to become AMCPs under LPS. The regulations will explain which bodies will deliver the requiredtrainingfor the AMCP role. Practicing Social workers, nurses; Speech and Language Therapists, psychologists and occupational therapistswillbe eligible for the AMCP role. These regulations will also include a definition of a prescribed connection to a care home. Individuals who meet that definition will not be able to act as anAMCP in certain cases.

•A set of transitional regulations will set out the legal framework for LPS and DoLS to run alongsideeach other for the first year of implementation. This will ensure that people who are subject to a DoLS authorisation or a Court Order, that runs into the first year of LPS implementation, are still able to access the necessary safeguards until their authorisation or Order ends.

•A set of assessments regulations will set out who is able to carry out assessments and determinations under LPS.

•A set of consequential regulations will amend other pieces of legislation that will need updating as a result of the MC(A)A2019.DHSC officials acknowledged that the role of the care home managerin the MC(A)A2019 has always been contentious.They explained that theGovernment has heard representations from across the sector, both for and against this role, and considered its potential very carefully. The Government has decided not to implement this aspect of the MC(A)Ain England, for now. The relevant provisions inthe Act will therefore not be commencedin April 2022. The care home manager role was originally designed so that people who know the person and understand their wishes and feelings, could lead the LPS process, with the added benefit of reducing the burden on local authorities and CCGs. These aims are still valid, but the Government has decided that now is not the right time to introduce the role. Instead, the Government will focus on introducing all other aspects of the LPS; and working productively with stakeholders to ensure that implementation in 2022 is a success. Staff who care for the person every day and therefore know them best will, alongside the person’s family and friends, still play a vital role throughout the assessment process and during the consultation stages of the LPS process, in particular by helping decisions makers to establish the person’s wishes and feelings. The Government will keep the case for the role under review as it prepares for LPS, and as the system is implemented. The Government’s thinking on this issue will also be informed by responses to the public consultation on LPS, planned for 2021. DHSC officials explained that the Government was considering policy decisions needed to inform drafting of the sixth set of regulations which would set out how the monitoring and reporting of LPS in England would work. They committed to updating the Group on the outcome of those policy decisions, either at the next meeting or by correspondence, before it. Attendees agreed to meet again in two months.


We are running a joint CAA and Royds Withy King legal update on 24 November at 10am. This is free and open to all CAA members, anyone from your regional care associations and any of your provider members. Details below:

Legal resilience for the second Covid wave

   Visiting: navigating the legal issues
   Top 10 HR and employment law tips for the second wave
   Trouble-shooting and crisis management: CQC, safeguarding and insurance for Covid claims.

Sign up

Please follow this link to sign up: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/56/ox1y7bm6. Please note: The event is run on Webjam which is not supported in Internet Explorer so please use Google Chrome or another browser to open the link and book a place.

Attendees of the event will also have priority access to our latest Care Provider Board Briefing which will be released the same day.

Spread the word!

Please can you share this with your colleagues and members (and please include the web browser guidance in red).

Any queries, please let me know.

Thanks

James Sage
Partner
Employment
D: 01225 730231 T: 01225 730100 ext: 1187 ​M: 07508 297597      

New furlough guidance: analysis of the key changes

Following last week’s announcement, the Government has updated its guidance for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

My colleague James Medhurst has analysed the changes in today’s update:

Find out more about the changes and how to manage the transition.

James Sage

Partner

Health & Social Care

T: 01225 730 231

Email me


NICE Quality Standards on end of Life Care (QS update)

We are pleased to announce that the draft end of life care (QS update) quality standard consultation period is now open.

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-qs10140/consultation/html-content-2

Please submit your comments on the form listed on the website and ensure all relevant fields are completed. Responses must be submitted to QSconsultations@nice.org.uk by 5pm on Wednesday 9th December 2020.

Following consultation the comments will be considered by the quality standards advisory committee (QSAC) and a record of this summarised in the QSAC meeting minutes. Registered stakeholders that submitted comments will be sent a link to the QSAC meeting minutes on the NICE website when the final quality standard publishes so that they may see how their comments were considered by the committee during the meeting.

Comments received from non-registered organisations and individuals are not summarised in the formal report presented to the committee but are included as an appendix. These comments are not made available on the NICE website. However, if they result in changes to the quality standard this is recorded in the committee meeting minutes.

Supporting organisations

As you may be aware, NICE is proud to work with organisations that share our commitment to driving up the quality of care and support across health, social care and public health areas. We are therefore keen to work with organisations to explore the opportunities that exist to support the publication of NICE quality standards. If you would like your organisation to formally support this quality standard please email qualitystandards@nice.org.uk to express an interest or indicate your interest on the comments proforma.

Further information on supporting NICE quality standards

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.

Kind regards

NICE Quality Standards Team

 


590 people’s stories of leaving hospital during Covid-19


NHS England & NHS Improvement

Covid-19 and UCR Learning Collaborative introductory webinar

Join this interactive event hosted by Matthew Winn, Director of Community Health to learn more about delivery of the new UCR standards

About this Event

Urgent community response (UCR) services have an integral role in helping overcome the immediate challenges facing local systems. To support providers and systems’ work on developing UCR services at pace, and assist Phase 3 delivery, NHS England and Improvement are launching a new Covid-19 and UCR learning collaborative starting on November 25th to support service development and share learning across the country.

A six-part webinar series will run from November 2020 to March 2021 and specifically focus on:

supporting systems to understand and meet the NHS Long-Term Plan requirements regarding the delivery of new 2-hour and 2-day access standards.

strengthening the skills of UCR leaders by facilitating peer learning and sharing tools that can support the development of local UCR models

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/covid-and-ucr-learning-collaborative-introductory-webinar-tickets-127150726245


Partnership and Learning RM V-meeting

Wednesday November 18th 10.00 – 11.3

We understand how difficult and stressful your roles are, particularly at present. If we can help, or provide answers to your queries, do contact us and remember to look at https://lcasforumorg.wordpress.com/lcas-news/ regularly for updates

CQC’s Alison Murray: Alison is CQC’s London Head of Inspection London & IPC lead for CQC. As well as a presentation, this is a great opportunity for you to ask questions, please bring your points to the meeting, send them to us in advance, or post them in the chat

Laura Anthony from SfC will also be providing their regular update.

Please let us know how we can better support you.

To join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/99875259832?pwd=Tk1DcTk0N1Vrcnl1ZWtKeFRSZmhuZz09

Meeting ID: 998 7525 9832

Passcode: 685901

One tap mobile

+442034815240,,99875259832#,,,,,,0#,,685901# United Kingdom

+442039017895,,99875259832#,,,,,,0#,,685901# United Kingdom

Any queries, please contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org  07956878901

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@peoplecareservices.com  07984466130

E&OE


Every Mind Matters

Workplace Mental Health & Well-being

This is the content from a Govconect webinar. within the documents are links to staff mental health surveys and helplines.

Able Futures Supporting employers with mental health at work

Able Futures Supporting employee and apprentice mental health

What healthcare leaders need to do to – Prof Greenberg

How might the NHS protect the mental health of health-care workers – Prof Greenberg

Mixed signals about the mental health of the NHS workforce – Prof Greenberg

Pre-incident Training to Build Resilience in First Responders – Prof Greenberg

Mixed signals about the mental health of the NHS workforce – Prof Greenberg

Supporting the Health and Wellbeing of staff during C19 – NHS

Overview impact of Covid19 + workplace mental health – PHE

PHE links as mentioned in presentation


CQC Report – Out of Sight – who cares?

We’ve published our report Out of Sight – who cares? which looks at the use of restraint, seclusion and segregation in care services for people with a mental health condition, a learning disability or autistic people.

In the report we’re calling for improved community-based capacity and capability across education, health and care for people with a mental health condition, a learning disability, or autistic people, after our review found undignified and inhumane care in some hospital settings providing complex care.

In a new blog Kevin Cleary, Deputy Chief Inspector for Hospitals and lead for mental health, and Debbie Ivanova, Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care, discuss our findings.

For more information and to download the full report visit our website.


Managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community

NICE guideline [NG67]

This will answer recently recieved queries and is a very useful source of information and one that you should be familiar with.

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng67


The chancellor has just announced that the furlough scheme will now be extended until the end of March 2021

in response to the new current restrictions and the worry that the economic effects are much longer lasting for businesses than the duration of any restrictions

Further details on the new restrictions can be found here;

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, which will continue until March 2021. Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time.

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed.

This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work. As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing. The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.

Who is eligible?

Employers

  • All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
  • The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.

Employees

  • To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
  • Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
  • Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
  • Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
  • For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts

As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish

The Government will confirm shortly how to calculate the claims but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.

Claims can be made from 8am Wednesday 11 November. Claims made for November must be submitted to HMRC by no-later than 14 December 2020. Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month, to ensure prompt claims following the end of the month which is the subject of the claim.

HMRC will publish details of employers who make claims from December onwards under the extended scheme. Full details of this will be within the detailed guidance to be published next week.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus will not be paid in February and the government will redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time. The purpose of the JRB was to encourage employers to keep people in work until the end of January. However, as the CJRS is being extended to the end of March, the policy intent of the JRB falls away.

Further details of the recent announcement can be found here;

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-extends-furlough-to-march-and-increases-self-employed-support



Free Christmas Entertainment

https://www.oldvictheatre.com/free-tickets-for-care-homes

Might be of interest to some of your care home residents


The ICF Round 2 guidance has been updated:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-social-care-infection-control-fund-round-2/adult-social-care-infection-control-fund-round-2-guidance


Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable

The shielding guidance has been updated in preparation for the lockdown . The guidance only applies to those categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable. The guidance has a definition of what this means and examples of those that meet the definition. This now includes adults with Down’s syndrome, people with stage-five kidney disease and those undergoing dialysis.

The key points for people defined as clinically extremely vulnerable are:

  • Stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments. You can meet up with one other person from outside your household or support bubble.
  • Work from home. If you cannot work from home, you should not attend work for this period of restrictions. If you cannot attend work for this reason, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.
  • Any carers or visitors who support you, or a child or young person in your care, with everyday needs, can continue to visit
  • Do not go to a pharmacy – arrange for someone to collect prescriptions, or for pharmacy to deliver them
  • Seek support from the NHS and other health providers for your existing health conditions and any new health concerns
  • Access support from local charities, organisations and NHS Volunteer Responders. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm to arrange support or visit NHS Volunteer Responders
  • Find out what help you can get from your local council.

Please let us know what issues you face as a result of this guidance changing at such short notice – particularly if you are impacted by the addition of new categories of people to the shielding list.


Admission and care of people in care homes

This piece of guidance has had a note added to state that it will soon be updated and in the meantime you should view the shielding guidance I outlined above alongside the wider restrictions coming into force.


Providing home care guidance

The guidance on the provision of home care has been updated with a note saying it is under review and that in the meantime you should consult the shielding guidance I have outlined above, alongside wider restrictions coming into force.


NEW GUIDANCE TO SUPPORT SAFE CARE HOME VISITS DURING LOCKDOWN from the DHSC

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/update-on-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes

  • Visits should be tailored to residents and facilities and should prioritise residents and staff’s safety to limit the transmission of Covid-19
  • Care homes, especially those who haven’t allowed visits since March, will be encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities as new national restrictions come into effect
  • Measures put in place should provide Covid-secure opportunities for families to meet using visiting arrangements such as floor to ceiling screens, visiting pods, and window visits

All care home residents in England should be allowed to receive visits from their family and friends in a Covid-secure way – with social distancing and PPE – following new guidance to be used while national restrictions are in place from Thursday 5 November.

The guidance will enable care home providers, families and local professionals to work together to find the right balance between the benefits of visiting on wellbeing and quality of life, and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to social care staff and vulnerable residents.

It will set out clear principles for how visits are conducted – with arrangements to be adapted from home to home, based on the needs of their residents and taking into consideration factors such as layout and facilities – and reiterates the importance of ensuring social distancing and proper PPE use is observed.

Options for safe care home visits in line with the guidance could include:

  • Visits using Covid-secure visiting areas/pods with floor to ceiling screens and windows where the visitor and resident enter through different entrances, are separated by screens and visitors do not need to enter or pass through the care home;
  • Visits at windows, where the visitor doesn’t need to come inside the care home or where the visitor remains in their car, and the resident is socially distanced;
  • Outdoor visits with one other person – visitors can meet outside with a loved one, in areas which can be accessed without anyone going through a shared building and;
  • Further support for virtual visits, encouraging the use of video calls.

Plans are currently being developed to allow specific family and friends to visit care homes supported by testing. A sector-led group is overseeing the development of these plans with trials set to begin later this month.

A new national programme for weekly testing of professionals who regularly visit care homes, including community nurses and physiotherapists, will also be rolled out in the coming weeks following a successful pilot in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Northamptonshire.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:

“I know how heart-breaking and incredibly frustrating it has been for families and friends who haven’t been able to see their loved ones during the pandemic.

“Care homes should feel empowered by this new guidance to look at safe options to allow visits to care homes that suit their residents and facilities. We’ve seen some really innovative solutions used to help families see each other safely, face-to-face, which has been life-changing for some.

“It is vital high quality, compassionate care and infection control remains at the heart of every single care home to protect staff and resident’s lives, but we must allow families to reunite in the safest way possible.”

Minister for Care, Helen Whately said:

“I know how incredibly hard visiting restrictions have been for families, friends and residents in care homes. There is no escaping the pain and the very real consequences of being separated for such a long period of time. The accounts I have heard personally are truly heart-breaking, especially where care homes have been unable to reopen for visiting during the summer. 

“I am determined to bring loved ones back together even during this second wave of the pandemic; that’s why I am advising care homes to enable Covid-secure visits across the country. 

“We are also working to trial testing for visitors, so that we can reduce the risk of indoor visits and give families more opportunities to spend time with relatives in care homes.

“We must get the balance right between reuniting families and ensuring care staff and residents are safe from COVID-19.”The government is also working with providers to help them communicate to families and help them plan visits in a way that minimises the wider risks – for example, avoiding travelling to and from the home using public transport, or maintaining social distance from other families when they arrive at the home for their visit.

Visits outside of these principles should still be allowed in exceptional circumstances such as end of life.

Care homes should support the NHS Test and Trace system by keeping a temporary record, including address and phone number, of current and previous residents, staff and visitors as well as keeping track of visitor numbers and staff. It is recommended homes have an arrangement to enable bookings or appointments for visitors and ad hoc visits should not be permitted.

Protecting staff and residents has been a priority throughout the pandemic, with 120,000 tests being sent out every day solely for the care sector. The government has provided access to £3.7 billion for local authorities through un-ringfenced grants so they can address the expenditure pressures they are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including social care, as well as £1.1 billion provided to support infection control in care homes.

In addition, 11,000 iPad tablets, worth £7.5 million, will soon be distributed to thousands of care homes across England to help residents keep in touch with loved ones.


New training opportunities, many funded.

End of Life Care – new Nov and Dec dates

New Staff – training starts every Thursday

All classes are live, tutor-led virtual sessions, and carry on as normal throughout the lock-down period. Learn from anywhere.

AWARENESS OF WORKING IN END OF LIFE CARE
– Fully Funded Skills for Care Endorsed Programme*

Groups starting:

Wednesday 11 November (Zoom starts 1.00pm for 4 hours).
Tuesday 2 December (Zoom starts 1.00pm for 4 hours).

Providing good end of life care is one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences any care worker can have.
How you care for someone at the end of their life can remain with relatives and loved ones for a long time and there is only one chance to get it right.
This programme covers the main aims and principles of end of life care & the various ways to communicate with someone about it.

Contact us or find out more

New Workers
Fully funded* virtual training for new carers. Starting every Thursday for 4 days. Covers Care Certificate (Knowledge) and Medication L2 (RQF).

Contact us or find out more

Specialist Courses
Fully Funded* virtual training on Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Medication, Awareness of Dementia and End of Life Care. other bespoke (non funded) courses available.

Contact us or find out more

Fully funded through Skill for Care’s Workforce Development Fund. To access Skills for Care Workforce Development Funding you will need to engage with the ASC Workforce Data Set (previously known as the NMDS-SC) and join a local employer partnership

Contact us today to see how we can help


Care home visits: joint call to action

In case you have missed it, NCF has brought together a coalition of over 60 organisations calling on the government to ensure that care homes are supported to enable visits by families and loved ones, now and in the future. You can read more on our website.


PPE Gloves Guidance

The PPE guidance on the usage of gloves in care homes and domiciliary care has finally been published and matches what I circulated last Thursday.

It states that ‘vinyl gloves provide sufficient protection for the majority of duties in the care environment, providing the correct size of glove is chosen…’. If a task requires a greater level of dexterity, an extended period of wear, or there is a risk of the gloves tearing, nitrile gloves are recommended. Latex gloves which are powder free are given as another alternative but points out that these are associated with increased rates of contact dermatitis and allergies. A risk assessment for latex sensitivity and allergy is necessary for both the person wearing the latex gloves and the person in receipt of care and support.

See page 11 of both pieces of guidance and the various tables in the first few pages of each.


CPA Briefing on Flu Vaccines

The Care Provider Alliance has produced a briefing to support care managers, occupational health leads, team leaders and care service owners to maximise take up of the flu vaccine by their eligible staff. It covers both residential and community-based services that are being regulated by CQC. Unregulated services may also find the briefing useful.

For those of you finding it difficult to access vaccines, please note the following:

“This year Public Health England has planned for the largest flu vaccination programme to be undertaken by GPs and pharmacists. We are advised there is enough vaccine purchased to vaccinate 30 million people. It is usual for the vaccination supply chain to stagger deliveries through from manufacturers and wholesalers to communities as GP surgeries and pharmacies would not be able to safely store all of their local population stock requirements at once. Uptake of the vaccination within communities this year has been very rapid and very early, leading some pharmacies and GPs to suspend or limit access until they receive their next supply. There are also different flu vaccines depending on your age. GPs and pharmacists will need to ensure they have the most appropriate vaccine for those who are requesting it. We understand that GPs have a higher proportion of the vaccine supplies. This means that some people have been asked to wait until they get re-stocked with the appropriate vaccine.”

There is more information in the briefing.


Glove Use

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes

Page summary
Guidance for those working in care homes providing information on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19.

Single use to protect you from contact with residents’ body fluids and secretions.

Vinyl gloves provide sufficient protection for the majority of duties in the care environment, providing the correct size of glove is chosen according to the wearer’s hand size.

If there is a risk of gloves tearing, or the task requires a high level of dexterity, or requires an extended period of wear, then an alternative better fitting glove (e.g nitrile) should be considered.

If a change of gloves is required during a task because the glove is torn or punctured, then hand hygiene is needed after removal of the original gloves.

Hands should be thoroughly dried to make the donning of new gloves easier and reducing the risk of gloves tearing before donning a clean pair.

Providers need to consider the characteristics of the different gloves available for the duties the care workers are doing. This includes the gloves required in relation to cleaning products.


Furlough Scheme Update

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae

Due to certain businesses having to close, the Government have extended the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, also known as the furlough scheme.

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, which will continue for a further month. Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time.

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work. As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.

Who is eligible?

Employers

  • All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
  • The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.

Employees

  • To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
  • Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
  • Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
  • Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
  • For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.

As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.

The Government will confirm shortly how to calculate the claims and when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.

Further details on other kinds of support can be found here;

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced


The Way You Hire From the EU is Changing

The transition period is ending on 31 December and there will be no extension. The current rules for hiring workers from the EU will change. Time is running out and I urge you to act now to prepare for our new relationship with the EU.

You can find out what other actions you may need to take by visiting gov.uk/transition and using the checker tool.

From 1 January 2021, the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system that will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which employers recruit internationally.

The new points-based system will ensure we prioritise and invest in those people already in the UK, upskilling our current work force, whilst also attracting the best and brightest from around the world.

Regardless of the nature of our future trading relationship with the EU, from 1 January there will be guaranteed changes for businesses:

  • You will need to be a licensed sponsor to hire eligible workers from outside the UK. This normally takes 8 weeks and fees apply. Check your business is eligible and read the accompanying sponsorship guidance.
  • New job, salary and language requirements will apply to anyone that you want to hire from outside the UK. Check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work.

The new system will not apply to hiring Irish citizens, or EU citizens already living and working in the UK who are eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Government will continue to provide the information and support you need to prepare for these changes. This includes sector-specific webinars to walk you through the actions you need to take. All previously recorded webinars are also available on demand now.

If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted.

I know these are challenging times and I want to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you are doing to ensure a smooth end to the transition period. The Government will be there to help you to take advantage of the new opportunities that being an independent trading nation will bring.

Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy


No change to CQC fees scheme

The CQC fees scheme, which covers all our costs of regulation, including registration, monitoring and inspection, will not change next year – in 2021/22.

This means that, for most providers, their fees will remain the same as in 2019/20 and 2020/21, providing their registration or size does not change. NHS trusts, NHS GPs and community social care providers may see a small change to their fees from April 2021 (up or down), because each provider’s fee is calculated by looking at their size against the total size of the sector, both of which change year-on-year. However, the total fees collected for each sector will not change.

Since we are only required to consult when there is a change to our fees scheme, we will not be consulting on fees this year.

By keeping our fees scheme unchanged, providers can benefit from a known fee when setting budgets. We know this is a particularly challenging and uncertain period for providers across health and social care and we will continue to do all we can to support those delivering care at this time.

Since our fees scheme will remain the same in 2021/22 as in the last two years, you can find the fees scheme, guidance and calculator at www.cqc.org.uk/fees.


Flu Guidance for Social Care Providers and Care Workers

PHE has updated its flu guidance for adult social care providers and care workers. The page contains guidance for both staff and providers. Key points within the guidance:

  • All social care workers who are in direct contact with patients and service users should get the flu vaccine.
  • Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees are vaccinated.
  • Some employees are able to do this by privately arranging for their staff to be vaccinated, for example by privately arranging for an occupational health service to vaccinate staff on site or by providing vouchers to staff.
  • The guidance acknowledges that some employers do not have the resources to run a private vaccination scheme. In those circumstances, employers should arrange for their staff to receive the flu vaccination free of charge through the NHS complementary scheme. Those eligible include social care workers employed by a registered residential care or nursing home, registered homecare organisation, a hospice or those providing social care through direct payments or personal health budgets.

Contacts for Local Authorities and Local Resilience Forums for PPE

In case you missed it, DHSC has published a list of contacts for Local Authorities and Local Resilience Forums. This is to be used for those of you who are not eligible for the PPE Portal. We are aware that not every area has contact details on this page yet. We are also aware that some LRFs and LAs are continuing to insist their PPE is for emergency use only. Please let us know if this is the case in your area – they should not be doing this and DHSC has made it very clear to us that PPE should be provided for free for all COVID-19 needs.


RM Learning & Partnership meeting Oct 28th presentations

From Citation’s Mick Feather on supervisions

Citation SupervisionsLCAS2020 V2

From SfC’s Laura Anthony

RM network slidesCroydonWandsworthVirtual281020


Care Funding Guidance

Updated and bery useful guides from Care Funding Guidance on paying for care. You can pass these on to potential clients as an informative and independent source of information and use them yourselves.

CFG Live in Care Funding Guide (Oct 2020)

CFG Guide to Paying for Care Homes (Oct 2020)


CQC Covid-19 Insight Reports

CQC have issued a seriies of report (as below) on Covid-19. they are looking for your comments and feedback in relation to these questions;

• Are you aware of these reports?
• Are your members aware of them?
• What do you think of the content?
• How far do these reports contribute to CQC’s credibility ?
• What impact do these reports have?

https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20200916_covidinsight_issue04.pdf

You can feedback directly, or via LCAS peter@lcasforum.org 

and I will co-ordinate, please do respond, as CQC need your input.


DHS&C – Adult Social Care PPE Q&A

Please read through the attachment below for many responses to PPE questions.

Adult Social Care PPE Q&A 23102020


Partnership and Learning RM V-meeting

Wednesday October 28th 10.00 – 11.30.

There are many vital issues in social care at present that you as RMs have raised as matters of concern. The two selected for this meeting are

Long Covid and the after effects of Covid infections

With Lesley Heath from Right at Home

&

Supervisions, led by Mick Feather from Citation, this is a key area for CQC Inspections, retaining & motivating staff. Why are they often done so badly?

SfC will also be providing their regular updates.

Please bring your points to your meeting, send them to us in advance, post them anonymously. Let us know how we can better support you.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/98804639409?pwd=bWxtRGlNaXBMcm0yUitPZDVwQlMxZz09

Meeting ID: 988 0463 9409

Passcode: 744767

One tap mobile

+441314601196,,98804639409#,,,,,,0#,,744767# United Kingdom

+442034815237,,98804639409#,,,,,,0#,,744767# United Kingdom

Any queries, please contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org  07956878901

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@peoplecareservices.com  07984466130

E&OE


DSPT WEBINARS – FREE

The impact of COVID-19 has meant more reliance on technology, and in this digital age it’s vital that people’s information is kept secure. Have you assessed how safe your confidential information is? Are you clear on good practice to keep both paper and digital records secure? Join these free webinars to help you think about what you need to do to protect your organisation’s confidential information.

These webinars are for providers of adult social care in England. They will help your organisation prepare for registering on, and completing, the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT). No technical knowledge is needed.

These webinars are provided by the Institute of Public Care (IPC), part of Oxford Brookes University, on behalf of Digital Social Care and as part of a national support programme funded by NHSX called Better Security, Better Care.

To register for a webinar, please click the link in the attached flyer and fill out the registration form.  Any questions, please contact Jackie Daru at the Institute of Public Care via jdaru@brookes.ac.uk or by phoning 01865 790312.

Jackie Daru
Institute of Public Care
Oxford Brookes University
Harcourt Hill Campus
Oxford OX2 9AT
https://ipc.brookes.ac.uk

Our webinar programme is now well underway and great to have some of you join us for those, thank you, and feedback has been very positive.  As a reminder for people of the remaining dates, and to let people know about 3 new dates we added for How to register, please find attached an updated flyer.

Details are also available on our website here:  https://ipc.brookes.ac.uk/about-ipc/news/technology_support.html

And are available on Digital Social Care here:  https://www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk/events/

Webinars will also be made available on catch up at Digital Social Care afterwards.

Getting started with the DSPT new dates


CARE BADGES

You can now order CARE badges for your organisation.

The badges are free for anyone working in adult social care to help provide greater recognition of the amazing care and support your profession provides.

Wear your badge with pride to strengthen your sector’s voice and visibility, as you work to support the people you care for.

When you place your order, you’ll also be sent a hard copy ‘health and wellbeing’ and ‘three important actions for winter’ flyer. Attached to your confirmation email will be a digital download, so you can print extra copies for your workplace.

Order your CARE badges here



HSE to undertake spot checks of care homes.

The Health and Safety Executive has extended its programme of spot checks to include care homes. A spot check is a phone call to review the measures being taken to minimise the spread of coronavirus in the care home and to protect workers whilst they are caring for residents. See the attached HSE bulletin for more information.

HSE social care stakeholder bulletin 20thOct2020 – FINAL


INSURANCE

PLEASE DO THIS SURVEY

The Department of Health and Social Care is seeking to understand the effect of the pandemic on providers’ insurance premium. This short survey (2 mins) is to collect the data for this purpose and to enable the Care Providers’ Alliance and other provider associations to engage with the authorities on this issue.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CLMVDRC

Thank you for your participation!


Do you use Nurses?

Staffing shortages?

See this opportunity

INT_0067_International_Nursing_bridging_programme_CS INT_0067_International_Nursing_bridging_programme_leaflet


DHSC External Affairs

Weekly newsletter

In this week’s newsletter:

Covid-19:

  • Covid Alert levels
  • New guidance for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • Test and Trace
  • Travel corridors update

Project Orbis & the Access consortium

New measures announced to support rollout of vaccines

Changes in the External Affairs Tea

https://dhsc-mail.co.uk/campaign/Sx1iaZDJ/87af69d924d57a1834fdd656/b6640af35dfd6c79bee50f1859541dae?wp-linkindex=0&utm_campaign=DHSC_External_Affairs_weekly_newsletter&utm_content=dhsc-mail.co.uk&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Department_of_Health_and_Social_Care


Living Wage Foundation to celebrate social care next month

https://www.livingwage.org.uk/


CQC State of Care 2019/20 Report

https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-report/state-care


Care Home Visiting Guidance

The Care Home Visiting guidance has been updated to reflect the Winter Plan and the new COVID Alert Level system.

This guidance now only applies to areas which are medium risk or Tier 1. For tier 2 and 3 it states:

“This guidance applies fully to areas with a medium local COVID alert level. For local areas with a high local COVID alert level (high risk or very high risk), visiting should be limited to exceptional circumstances only such as end of life.”

In short, it is a blanket ban on visiting for Tier 2 and Tier 3 with no nuance. We will be pushing for nuance as we can’t see how this update fits with the commitment to designate and test regular visitors made by the Minister for Care!

The major changes are as follows – please remember this only applies to Tier 1:

  • You can now have a maximum of 2 constant visitors per resident, not just 1.
  • The guidance has strengthened the need for individualized risk assessments and human rights of the individual receiving care. A section has been added on social workers assisting in making these assessments
  • It advises care providers to involve residents, families, professionals in decision making process about visiting
  • It stress the need for visits to take place in well-ventilated spaces
  • It stresses that visitors must be supervised at all times to ensure PPE and social distancing guidelines are being followed


COVID-19 Testing for Extra Care and Supported Living Providers

There are two criteria that must both be met for Extra Care and Supported Living providers to be eligible for testing. These criteria are:

  • A closed community with substantial facilities shared between multiple people, such as shared livings spaces, kitchens, lounges etc. even where these have been closed during national and local lockdowns, and
  • Where most residents receive the kind of personal care that is CQC regulated (rather than help with cooking, cleaning and shopping).

It would appear that DHSC is relying on LAs to identify settings based in the eligibility above and this is why there is a delay. We are questioning this eligibility criteria. If you haven’t been contact by your Local Authority directly, then get in touch with them and ensure that your Local Authority has put you forward as part of this testing programme.

DHSC says they are on track to begin allocating testing to priority locations (20% of settings identified by each Local Authority) by the beginning of next week. We believe you should be emailed a Unique Organisation Number which will allow you to order tests.

They will then prioritise high prevalence areas in particular, and for every setting where councils have provided their completed returns on time, they aim to allocate tests to all eligible settings in October.

Extra Care and Supported Living testing webinars have been arrange to support this. They will cover:

  • Ordering tests
  • Preparing for testing
  • Test kit delivery
  • The testing process itself
  • Testing certain care groups
  • Registering completed test kits
  • How to send test kits back to labs
  • Results and what they mean for organisations.

The session will include a Q&A with representatives from the national testing team, who will be able to answer your questions and address any concerns in the session.

Sign up to the Extra Care and Supported Living testing webinars


Visiting Professionals

There is a new pilot being carried out around visiting professionals. It is hoped that following the pilot, it will be rolled out quickly in the priority areas of the country – and then rolled out wider.


Issues with test result turnaround times

The whole home testing team have told us that the median turnaround time for care home results was 62 hours last week. They don’t believe that test results should take more than 5 days to be communicated. They ask if you are experiencing delays of above that to check you have received an email confirming the tests have been registered. If you haven’t you should try to register again. Please let us know if this fixes anything.


Courier Issues for tests

A number of you reported issues with courier collections of tests. The whole home testing team have stated that providers should call 119 if a courier doesn’t arrive. Providers should make sure they press option 1 ‘calling about a test’ and then option 3 ‘calling from a care facility’ to speak to the specialist care home team who have the power to book another courier.


New Restrictions and Designation Scheme

In case you missed the newsletter earlier this week, I have included links to relevant pieces of guidance about the new restrictions below.

Please also be aware of the designation scheme. This will involve designating care settings for people discharged from hospital who have a COVID-19 positive status. In short:

  1. Anyone with a COVID-19 positive test result being discharged into or back into a registered care setting must be discharged into an appropriate designated setting first until the end of any isolation period
  2. The designated accommodations will be identified by Local Authorities in discussion with Care Homes and then inspected by CQC to ensure that IPC procedures are being followed.
  3. No-one will be discharged into or back into a care home with a COVID-19 test result outstanding or without having been tested within 48 hours prior to discharge
  4. Everyone being discharged into a care home must have a reported COVID test result and this must be communicated to the care home prior to discharge.

Local Authorities are being asked to identify designated accommodations by tomorrow and DHSC aims for every LA to have at least 1 designated scheme that has been assured by CQC by the end of October. CQC will aim to deliver 500 assurances by the end of November.


British Sign Language Offer

British Sign Language are currently doing a ‘Pay What You Can’ Offer on their comprehensive BSL course – so you can pay as little as a pound.

Especially right now, with everyone being masked, people who are deaf or hard of hearing are having a really difficult time, so some people might be interested in learning this.

More information can be found here:

https://british-sign.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044794654-Coronavirus-Crisis-Discounted-Free-Enrolments <https://british-sign.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044794654-Coronavirus-Crisis-Discounted-Free-Enrolments>


Last chance for care homes to apply for a free iPad

Care homes have until 23 October 2020 to apply for a free iPad (if applicable also a free 12 months data sim) using this NHSX form. The iPads are being prioritised for eligible care homes with the greatest need. The aim is to ensure that everyone living in a care home in England can access video consultations and remote care when needed. The tablets will also allow staff to access NHS mail and other tools or systems needed to support care, as well as to connect people with their loved ones. Find out more: https://www.nhsx.nhs.uk/covid-19-response/social-care/ipad-offer-care-homes/

I also am looking for members who might contribute to a webinar on using Video Consulting, from a Care Home perspective, and have a positive story to tell!  Please do let me know if anyone might be willing to share.

Best Wishes, and thank you for all your engagement.

Carey Bamber (she/her)

Senior Manager (Partnerships)

Personalised Care Group

Primary Care, Community Services & Strategy

NHS England & NHS Improvement

M: 07702 411010

E:carey.bamber@nhs.net


From The Guardian

Hundreds of dedicated Covid-positive care homes are to be set up in an effort to keep patients discharged from hospitals from spreading the virus more widely, as happened in the first wave of the pandemic.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/14/english-councils-told-to-set-up-hundreds-of-covid-dedicated-care-homes?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other


Insurance Queries?

We do not have the knowledge or qualifications to answer these important points. Please call Richard Barnes, he will talk with you, look at each point and respond. Do not overlook, or ignore them.

Richard Barnes

Caring Professions Division

Towergate Insurance Brokers

M: 07768 314 298

E: richard.barnes@towergate.co.uk

W: towergateinsurance.co.uk

A: Ground Floor, Interchange, 81-85 Station Road, Croydon, CR0 2AJ



Care UK ordered to refund £1 million to its residents

Our latest update looks at the recent decision in the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) action against Care UK in which it will have to refund £1 million in fees to its residents.

Would you like our help?

We would like to introduce you to ‘help‘, our employment advice service specifically designed for social care providers. Would you like to find out more?

If you are interested in a free no obligation consultation about our ‘help’ service please email James Sage, co-head of our Health & Social Care team at james.sage@roydswithyking.com.

Copyright © Royds Withy King 2020

Royds Withy King LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – 557896

Information contained in this communication does not constitute legal advice. All statements of law are applicable to the laws of England and Wales only.


CLINICALLY EXTREMELY VULNERABLE RECEIVE UPDATED ADVICE TAILORED TO LOCAL COVID ALERT LEVELS

  • Those considered most clinically vulnerable to receive updated guidance tailored to their local area, in line with new Local Covid Alert Levels;
  • New guidance will support them to take appropriate protective actions in their everyday lives, while retaining as much normality as possible;
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable group includes those with specific health conditions, certain cancers and organ transplant recipients

Clinically extremely vulnerable people in England will receive new guidance to help them reduce their risk from coronavirus, tailored to where they live the government has announced.

The guidance will be tied into the new Local Covid Alert Levels framework, meaning those at the highest risk of serious illness from the virus will receive specific advice depending on the level of risk in their local area, as coronavirus rates continue to rise.

With many national measures now in place that apply to everyone – for example, the rule of six and mandatory face coverings – the clinically extremely vulnerable group is already helped by wider protection measures not previously in place when shielding was originally introduced in March.

These additional precautions set out today, recommended by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) for England, will ensure an extra layer of protection specifically adapted to people’s locations and level of risk, as dictated by the Local Covid Alert Levels.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Dr Jenny Harries said:

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the prevalence of the virus across the country and we know those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are looking for practical advice on how they can carry on their lives while the virus remains in our communities.

“The new system will provide clarity on how best those in this group can keep themselves as safe as possible depending on the rates of transmission in their local area. Whilst advisory, I would urge all those affected to follow the guidance wherever they can and to continue to access health services for their medical conditions.

“We will continue to monitor the evidence closely and fine-tune this approach to make sure everyone in this group is clear about the safest way to go about their daily lives particularly over the coming winter months.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“With coronavirus rates continuing to increase, now is the time to take action and ensure we protect the most vulnerable in our society.

“Today’s announcement will mean every person most at risk from serious outcomes from the virus will have specific advice targeted to local levels, which they can follow to keep themselves as safe as possible, while ensuring they can also keep as much normality in their lives as possible.”

The clinically extremely vulnerable group includes those with conditions affecting the immune system, certain cancers and organ transplant recipients amongst others. The new advice will help this higher risk group better protect themselves from the virus, without needing to follow more restrictive shielding guidance.

Those in exceptionally high-risk areas may still be advised to adopt formal shielding in the future, including to stay at home, not go to work or school and limit social interactions to their own household and support bubble. Those in these areas will also be updated if the decision is not to follow shielding advice. If shielding advice is reintroduced in their area, they will also be eligible for a support package – including food access support, medicines deliveries and any additional care or support required. They may also be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay or Employment and Support Allowance.

Shielding advice will not automatically be triggered by an area going into Local Covid Alert Level: Very High, but will be considered as an additional intervention, agreed by ministers under advice from local public health experts and the Chief Medical Officer or DCMO. The Government will write to people in these areas if they are advised to adopt formal shielding again.

The advice for the clinical extremely vulnerable, which will be in addition to the basic restrictions set out in the Local Covid Alert Levels framework everyone must follow, includes:

  • For Local Covid Alert Level – MEDIUM: strictly observe social distancing, meet others outside where possible, limit unnecessary journeys on public transport and work from home where possible, but you can still go to work and children should still attend school. This is on top of restrictions for everyone to only meet in groups of up to six people.
  • For Local Covid Alert Level – HIGH: reduce the number of different people met outside, avoid travel except for essential journeys, work from home where possible and reduce the number of shopping trips made or go at quieter times of the day. You can still go to work if you cannot work from home because all workplaces should be covid secure, and children should still attend school. This is on top of restrictions for everyone to not meet other households indoors, unless part of a support bubble, and to only meet in groups of up to six people outdoors.
  • For Local Covid Alert Level – VERY HIGH: work from home, in general stay at home as much as possible, and avoid all but essential travel. You should also significantly reduce shopping trips, and if possible use online delivery or ask people in your household, support bubble or volunteers to collect food and medicines. People in these areas are encouraged to still go outside for exercise, and can still go to school and to work if they cannot work from home. We recognise that a small number of individuals may require additional support to follow the guidance at this alert level, and they are advised to contact their local authority if they need assistance.

It is extremely important that clinically extremely vulnerable people continue to receive the care and support they need to help them stay safe and well. Providers of social care and medical services are making every effort to ensure services remain open and as safe as possible. You should continue to seek support from the NHS for your existing health conditions. If you are told to go to hospital for a routine appointment, then the NHS has measures in place to make sure that it is safe for you to do so.

There are currently 2.2 million people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. The Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS will write to all those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and their doctors, outlining the changes to the guidance. Anyone advised to shield in the future will be written to individually as before.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director and Director of Health Protection at PHE, said:

“People who are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this group, we recommend that you follow the advice to help protect yourself at each alert level as set out in the guidance.

“In addition to the rules you must follow at each alert level, you can take additional precautions. Continue to maintain strict social distancing, wash your hands regularly and try to keep the number of social interactions that you have low. The fewer social interactions you have, the lower your risk of catching COVID-19.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19


Designated care settings for people discharged from hospital who have a COVID-19 positive status.

Please find attached a letter issued from DHSC’s Director of Adult Social Care Quality, Tom Surrey regarding designated care settings for people discharged from hospital who have a COVID-19 positive status.

20201009 Winter Discharges Designated Settings Pro forma DHSC Letter _ Designated Settings 13Oct20

20201009 Winter Discharges Designated Settings Pro forma


Calls for greater number of ethnic minority vaccine volunteers

Ensuring any potential coronavirus vaccine is suitable and effective for all across the UK, studies require a large, diverse group of volunteers – leading to calls for more people from ethnic minority backgrounds to sign up for ongoing coronavirus trials.

So far, more than 270,000 people have been recruited to take part in coronavirus vaccine trials around the UK.

However, just 7% of these belong to ethnic minorities – a collection of groups who are at a greater risk of complications should they develop Covid-19.

Similarly, researchers have also put out calls to recruit more over-65s to volunteer for vaccine trials too, helping to ensure any potential vaccine developed is suitable for elderly people; another vulnerable group.

Should one become available, their heightened risk means these groups would be among the first to be offered a vaccine.

In total, researchers are targeting the recruitment of 500,000 volunteers for vaccine trials and studies, including the promising Oxford trial which recently resumed after a short, mandatory hiatus to investigate when a patient developed a health complication.

At present, the UK has secured access to six potential vaccines, which can be divided into four distinct categories:

  • Adenoviral vaccines
  • mRNA vaccines
  • Inactivated whole virus vaccines
  • Protein adjuvant vaccines

People interested in taking part in vaccine clinical trials can sign up here.


Transitional regulatory approach: your free guide to CQC care inspections

Have you familiarised yourself with CQC’s transitional regulatory approach and what this means for your business?

Click here to read a blog article summarising what you need to know, including its key components, what the CQC will be monitoring, and how the CQC gather and collect information.

To help with your preparations, the care experts of LCAS partner, Citation, have produced a valuable free guide to care inspections, offering 100 proven top tips to improve your care service’s CQC rating.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE INSPECTIONS GUIDE

Some of the key discussion topics include what to expect, focusing on people, valuing employees, creating an open culture, striving to improve, quality assurance, Health & Safety, creative and innovative, vision and values, working in partnership, and sustaining outstanding practice.

Expert, discounted support available to LCAS members

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to keep on top of your Health & Safety, HR and Employment Law. From infection control and visiting arrangements to managing their people and caring for their mental health, Citation has supported 1000s of care providers during these challenging times.

They also offer LCAS members preferential rates on their services.

FIND OUT MORE


RM Meeting October 6th

Skills for Care presentation

RM network slides WC5 Oct updated


CQC Annual Survey

Dear CQC Registered Manager/ Nominated Individual

I’d like to invite you to take part in our annual survey of providers of health and social care to tell us your views and experiences of CQC.

This survey is your chance to share your feedback about CQC – a real opportunity to tell us what you think.  This year we particularly want to understand how the pandemic has affected your interactions with CQC, and how well we have responded. The more survey responses we receive, the better informed we are about these matters, and the better able we are to fulfil our purpose.

To start the survey, please click the link below:

Click here to take the survey.

If this link doesn’t work, please copy and paste the full link into your internet browser. The recommended browser for this survey is Google Chrome.

Whilst the survey is voluntary we encourage you to complete it.

Please complete one survey for the location or provider where you are the registered manager or nominated individual. If you are a registered manager or nominated individual for more than one service, please respond about the service you primarily provide.  If you are not the registered manager or nominated individual please forward this email to the person who has either of these roles.

If you experience any issues accessing the survey, please email ProviderSurvey@cqc.org.uk.

The survey will close at midnight on 01 November 2020 . Please ensure that your response is submitted by this date.

Your sincerely

Ian Trenholm

Chief Executive

Care Quality Commission

151 Buckingham Palace Road

London

SW1W 9SZ

About the survey

The survey should take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. You can save the survey before you submit it.

Please note that you must click ‘Submit’ at the end of the survey for your responses to be analysed.

How we will use the survey

We ensure the information we receive in survey responses remains anonymous. We do this by keeping the identity of invitees separate from the responses we receive, and by analysing responses so that participants can’t be identified from the survey data we produce, use and share.

To assist us in this please do not write information in your open responses that identifies you.

Your responses will be stored securely and analysed by CQC’s Performance Team. We may share your anonymous responses with organisations working with us for learning and evaluation purposes and where confidentiality agreements are in place.

We’ll use your survey responses to learn and improve. It’ll also help us understand how well we are performing against our strategy.

We’ll publish the aggregated findings of the survey on our website. We’ll only report aggregated results, for example, “50% of respondents reported…”. We may report some individual comments, but it won’t be possible to identify any individual respondent from them. Results will also appear in our Annual Report and Accounts and may feature in other publications.

For any other queries, to make a complaint or send us a compliment, or if you have a serious concern about someone’s safety or wellbeing, please go to our website or contact our National Customer Service Centre by telephone on 03000 616161. We cannot process official complaints about CQC from this survey.


The Three-Tier System for England

Official guidance has just been published. I have included a summary below as we understand it at the time of writing. Please also find attached a summary of the changes in table format as well as the geographical areas they currently apply to (which are bound to change!).

The new approach will divide local authorities into different COVID-19 alert levels depending on the spread of the virus and impact on local NHS services:

  • Tier 1 is for areas listed as medium risk
  • Tier 2 is for areas listed as high risk
  • Tier 3 is for areas listed as very high risk

Areas in Tier 1 will face the basic national rules currently in force:

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants will have to close at 10pm
  • The rule of 6 indoors and outdoors

Areas in Tier 2 will have extra levels of restriction:

  • No mixing between different households indoors
  • The rule of 6 applies outdoors
  • People should limit the number of journey they make and avoid public transport.

Areas in Tier 3 have the strictest restrictions (coming into force on Wednesday 14):

  • Pubs and bars will be closed
  • Households cannot mix indoors or outdoors
  • People should avoid travelling outside the area or entering the area, with the expection for work, education, care or youth services.
  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are a resident from a ‘very high’ area.
  • Shops, schools and universities remain open

Needless to say, we will be exploring what these restrictions mean for the care sector and update you.


Job Support Scheme Expanded for businesses forced to close

The Chancellor has announced that the government will pay two-thirds of employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month, to protect their jobs if the businesses they work for are required to close in local lockdown measures. This will apply from 1 November. This doesn’t appear to be of any direct benefit to the care sector although we are aware that Local Authorities threatened with tougher restrictions are calling for the scheme to be made more generous and more wide-ranging.


Retesting Exemption Period Extended

In case you missed it, the retesting exemption period for staff has been increased from 6 weeks to 90 days if staff or residents have not developed new COVID-19 like symptoms.


Update on CQC plans to monitor IPC over winter

CQC have published a news story that updates the sector on what their approach to monitoring infection prevention and control will be over winter. The IPC inspections will look to see that:

  • Adequate PPE is available for staff and residents to control infection safely
  • Staff are properly trained to deal with outbreaks and the proper procedures are in place
  • Shielding and social distancing is being complied with
  • Layout of premises, use of space and hygience practice promote safety

As inspections and regulatory activities increase, NCF will continue to call for CCQ Inspectors to be regularly tested, alongside other visiting professionals. We’re also seeking some form of testing for visiting family members or friends.


CQC Webinars

CQC is running a series of webinars on their Transitional Regulatory Approach and their emerging strategy for 2021. The webinars are one-hour in length.


Flu Vaccine Shortage

the DHSC statement regarding supplies – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flu-vaccination-why-you-are-being-asked-to-wait.

This makes it clear that even those with priority for the vaccine may be asked to wait until the supplies are available for particular age groups. We are pushing DHSC for clarification regarding access to vaccinations for care staff given the current demand and supply issues. For the moment PHE is stating: “If you have been advised you are eligible for a flu vaccine but can’t have the flu vaccine now because the best vaccine for you is not currently available, follow the advice from your GP surgery or pharmacy and book an appointment at the next opportunity.”.


Immigration Health Surcharge Reimbursement

You should already have been sent this directly by DHSC, but the mechanism for the reimbursement of the Immigration Health Surcharge is now live. If a member of staff has worked in the care sector or NHS for at least six months commencing on or after 31 March 2020 they may now be eligible, alongside their dependents, for the reimbursement.


WiFi and Data connectivity in care home and home care settings

NHSX and NHS Digital are doing some research on WiFi and Data connectivity in care home and home care settings around the country. This survey is likely to take about 30 minutes of your time at some point over the next two weeks and may cover other areas of IT too.  We would therefore ask that someone with a good knowledge of your IT is the key contact.  We also want to hear from organisations & people with little or no IT, so please don’t be put off by the subject.

If you would like to volunteer, please email jonathan.parkes1@nhs.net with your name, care site name and the best contact details (telephone and/or email).  Jonathan will then get back to you to set-up a convenient interview slot.

As IT connectivity and the use of apps and software will become a necessity across social care, this is an opportunity for you to contribute.


DHSC Coronavirus Social care update – Mental health e-shot

Even more support when you need it

The Samaritans, working with NHS England, continue to offer their helplines to all social care workers, giving staff a safe space to offload and get support from trained, specialist advisers.

Call them on 116 123 – it’s free and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Meanwhile, Hospice UK‘s bereavement line is available on 0300 303 4434 or you can text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 to start a conversation with Shout‘s messaging support service.

Mental health guidance for the health and care workforce


LESS COVID-19 Report

We are delighted to share with you the findings from research into the experiences of frontline care home and NHS staff caring for older people with COVID-19 in the first few months of the pandemic.

The National Care Forum and the University of Leeds have been working with care home colleagues and NHS staff to capture these experiences from the frontline of care and health and to share the lessons learnt with care homes that have not yet experienced the virus and other key stakeholders such as the NHS, the DHSC, PHE, the CQC and older people’s organisations.

Funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, this project looks in detail at the clinical presentation and illness trajectory of COVID-19 in older people, what had worked well, or what more was needed, for providing the best care and treatment and lessons learnt for supporting older people in care homes. The practical ideas and actions suggested will help us all to find better ways to manage the virus to inform our future response in subsequent waves.

The research was initiated by the NCF who were very keen to learn as quickly as possible from the early days of the pandemic and to share this learning to support the sector and to present helpful strategies to manage the care and support of older people in care homes during subsequent waves of COVID-19 outbreaks.

There are some very important messages for the sector as we prepare for the winter months ahead, including the importance of supporting our workforce’s wellbeing and mental health, ensuring we continue to provide good care in relation to COVID-19, so the people we care for can continue to thrive, as well as, survive, championing the expertise and skill of our workforce and expanding our use of digital technology to improve care and support

Equally, there are some key messages for the Government and key stakeholders within this research including taking lessons from the impact of hospital discharge into care homes without clarity on COVID status and having clear shared protocols for discharge, resolving the ongoing testing and PPE supply uncertainties; working in genuine partnership with the sector and putting the individual needs of older people at the heart of policymaking.

Thank you for taking the time to read the report. Please do share it as widely as you can. The report can be read in its entirety or can be accessed by reading the summary + summary boxes 1 to 7, and call to action. Feedback is welcome – within the report there is reference to an online survey to enable comments on resonance, relevance and gaps: https://leeds.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/less-covid-report-feedback.

We would like to continue learning lessons and so any feedback provided will be reviewed in January 2021 and an updated report produced.

Any queries, just ask: K.Spilsbury@leeds.ac.uk or liz.jones@nationalcareforum.org.uk

https://www.nationalcareforum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/LESS-COVID-19-v2.pdf


Vinyl Glove Use (& PPE Portal glove supply)

Following a change to guidance (Sept. 25th 2020) from the DHSC, concerns were raised, led by the UKHCA. They were informed on Monday 5 October 2020, that a mistake had been made in the guidance for homecare (version 5, revised 25 September 2020), and the equivalent guidance for residential care.

This is to reassure homecare providers that in most instances, the use of vinyl gloves in social care settings continues to be regarded as safe.  We also wish to advise, as quickly as possible, that providers are unlikely to need to make significant emergency orders of nitrile, neoprene or latex gloves. (UKHCA)

Alternative wording for the PPE guidance is being prepared urgently and we expect an amended version to be published as soon as it is ready.  We will share this change with members as soon as we are alerted to it. (UKHCA)

We are aware that moves are proceeding to resolve this issue and as we are updates, these will be added to the website.

The PPE Portal is only supplying nitrile gloves (we believe) and there is a software glitch that only allows orders up to 9 of anything (so single digit). You can claim more than 9, you just have to keep going until you reach your allocated total. This is being worked upon to resolve.


Amnesty International Report

AS IF EXPENDABLE THE UK GOVERNMENT’S FAILURE TO PROTECT OLDER PEOPLE IN CARE HOMES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/EUR4531522020ENGLISH.PDF


A message from Helen Whately,
Minister for Care, Department of Health and Social Care

Social distancing is now a fact of life for all of us. Every single day, millions of us are doing all that we can to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Whether it’s keeping two metres apart, avoiding public transport at busy times, or working from home where we can, everyone has a part to play.

Although much of this is mandated, we also know it is something within our power to do. More than that – we know it’s the right thing to do.

Our amazing care staff, however, can’t avoid these higher risk situations.

Day in day out, just like their NHS colleagues, they are caring for the vulnerable, elderly and unwell, in close proximity, for extended periods of time. Staying two metres apart, or working from home, simply isn’t an option.

That’s why we have invested time, effort and funding into providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for the health and care workforce. We’ve expanded our PPE supply chain from the starting point of 226 NHS trusts in England, to over 58,000 different care settings, including care homes, hospices and community care organisations. It was a massive logistical challenge, but it had to be done.

So far, my department has distributed more than 3.5 billion PPE items to health and social care services in England. As winter approaches, we have made sure we have enough PPE to supply social care with all that’s needed to be COVID-secure. We’re calling on all care providers to make sure they are stocked up too. It’s crucial every care worker has the right PPE every time they need it.

If anyone doubts the seriousness of this endeavour, we have also published a dedicated PPE strategy to guide and support everyone working in or with the health and care sector.

Its primary aim is to build resilience and an adaptable system to make sure PPE stocks are always there. From November, there will be a four-month stockpile of items in place, including face masks, visors and gowns, to make sure there is a continuous flow to the frontline. I urge all providers to review the guidance and order through the PPE portal.

Lastly, I want to mention the amazing contribution of foreign nationals who have come to work in our health and care system from abroad. As the pandemic continues to exert pressure, their skills, compassion and dedication are needed now more than ever.

The Immigration Health Surcharge Reimbursement Scheme launched this week removes another potential obstacle to those considering – or wanting to continue – enjoying lives and careers in our communities and health and care services (find out more below).

If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that we’re all in this together, whoever we are and wherever we come from. That’s why we’re committed to protection, support and services that leave no one behind.

Visit the Social Care News Blog to find out more about PPE

 


Acas, CBI and TUC have released a joint statement on handling redundancies

View statement on our website

If you need advice or support on handling redundancies, changing contracts or varying working arrangements you can request a free call-back from an Acas adviser who can talk through the issues you are facing and provide advice. Complete our online enquiry form to let us know how we can help:  Online enquiry form

Further advice, resources and training available:
Redundancy advice |  process map  |  podcast  |  training
Changing contracts advice  |  process map  |  podcast  |  training
Returning to the workplace advice  |  process map  |  podcast  |  training
Updated advice on Furlough and the Job Retention Scheme

Visit our business support page:
View details of Acas support available to employers managing in difficult times


South London and Maudsley (SLaM) weekly broadcasts on community psychological resilience

You may be aware that we at South London and Maudsley (SLaM) are running weekly broadcasts on community psychological resilience. In this series, we’re exploring the ways in which psychological practitioners have worked with local community groups and other statutory services to promote community mental health. The pandemic has put an unprecedented strain on health and social services and we recognise that part of overcoming health and social inequalities means working more closely with social care services.

Our next broadcast is taking place next Wednesday October 7th 12.30 – 13.00 on the topic of “Working effectively with social care” with our Director of Social Care, Carla Fourie.

We’d really value your attendance. You can join the broadcast, sign up to the entire series, and view previous broadcasts on the following link:

https://slam.nhs.uk/media/live-broadcast-series/

If you’re able to join, please post questions in the chat function that you’d like answered. Please forward the link onto anyone you think would be interested. We’re keen to engage as wide an audience as possible so that these broadcasts can act as a springboard for exploring new ways of integrated working.


Sexuality, relationships and sexual safety in care – your essential free guide

How can you support people in your care to develop and maintain relationships in a way that respects their choices and values, but also keeps them safe?

This February, the Care Quality Commission published brand-new guidance on promoting sexual safety through empowerment. This report followed their publication of guidance in 2019 on relationships and sexuality in adult social care services.

Citation, have created a brand-new guide summarising CQC’s guidance on relationships and sexuality, as well as key questions care providers should be considering when supporting care users and their personal relationship needs.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE

The guide looks at getting your culture right, the Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs), sexuality and relationships, support service users and people who show sexual disinhibition, consent, and training requirements.

Your LCAS member benefit

From CQC compliance, staff mental health and wellbeing, professional bereavement and tricky HR issues, to infection control, risk assessments and visiting arrangements, Citation can help you operate both safely and compliantly in the coming weeks and months.

They can also help with care-specific training and e-learning, fire and electrical safety, Care Policies & Procedures, Care Mock Inspections, and CQC Pro – an application to demonstrate you’re meeting CQC requirements.

To find out more or arrange a free consultation, click here or call 0345 844 1111.

Quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your preferential rates as a member.


RM V-meeting October 6th 10.00 – 11.30.

There is no stupid question!

Already, we have some topics sent in to start the conversation, add yours to the list on the day, or through Dudley or Peter.

This meeting is an opportunity, a conversation for you to raise points and gain information and guidance beneficial to you, your organisation and your client base. Skills for Care will be sharing their expertise at this event.

Winter pressures covers many topics, PPE, EoLC, staffing, CQC Inspections, Infection Control as examples. These all link into the sustainability & resilience of you and your organisation. Let’s take an overview of the last few months, as some of us may have been overwhelmed or just missed key updates.

How are you manging contingency planning?

How are you manging & implementing a monthly infection control policy review?

How have you amended your BCP due to Covid-19?

Please bring your points to your meeting, send them to us in advance, post them anonymously. Let us know how we can better support you.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/97002842186?pwd=WHNUWDZLOWRYY25sZ2FNQ09nMWFhUT09

Meeting ID: 970 0284 2186

Passcode: 206121

One tap mobile

+442034815240,,97002842186#,,,,,,0#,,206121# United Kingdom

+442039017895,,97002842186#,,,,,,0#,,206121# United Kingdom

In the longer term, what we can do for you or each other? as sharing of good practice is helpful and supportive?

Would you be interested as a collective to consider bidding for funding, for training, or other opportunities that are sometimes available for larger groups?

Do check the news page for updates – these are IMPORTANT for you and your organisation.

Any queries, please contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org  07956878901

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@peoplecareservices.com  07984466130

E&OE


DSPT (free) Webinars

We’d like to draw your attention to an upcoming programme of free webinars for providers of adult social care.  They’re particularly targeted at providers who’ve not yet registered for the Toolkit, and for those who’ve registered, but not yet published, who would like to find out more about the subject areas covered.

The webinars will refer to the revised toolkit questions which are due to be launched mid-October, and are structured around the 4 new subject areas which will be introduced at a later stage, hopefully in January.  The completion date for the DSPT has been extended to 30 June 2021.

It would be really great if you were able to distribute the attached to your contacts – a suggested covering email is included below – much of it taken from the flyer and of course you’ll wish to modify for your local audience.

Details are also available on our website here:  https://ipc.brookes.ac.uk/about-ipc/news/technology_support.html

And will shortly be made available on Digital Social Care here:  https://www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk/events/

Webinars will be made available on catch up at Digital Social Care afterwards.

Any questions – please ask !

Getting started with the DSPT 200930 FINAL


CQC Transitional Regulatory Approach

This is a reminder that from 6 October CQC will begin to roll out its transitional regulatory approach. You can read a statement from CQC to understand what this means here.


PPE Portal

The PPE Portal guidance has been updated to reflect the increase in order limits on the PPE Portal.


Department of Health & Social Care Guidance – Infection Control Fund

Annex C: grant conditions

Published 1 October 2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-social-care-infection-control-fund-round-2/annex-c-grant-conditions

The grant conditions for the round 2 of the infection control fund have been published. You can also find a letter from the Minister for Care attached. The fund provides £546 million until March 2021. Unlike the first round, this round provides funding for a wider range of care settings than just care homes. The grant conditions are stricter than the first round of funding – we also feel the reporting requirements are excessive.

The funding will be issued in 2 tranches. The first will be paid to LAs on 1 October and the second in December. The guidance states that you should receive the first payment within 20 working days. It is only applicable to costs from 1 October onwards.

The funding is split 80/20.

LAs should pass on 80% of each instalment to:

  • Care homes within the LA’s geographical area on a per bed basis, including those the LA does not have contracts with.
  • CQC-regulated community care providers (dom care, extra care, supported living) within the LA’s geographical area on a ‘per user’ basis, including those the LA does not have contracts with.

The allocations can be seen in Annex B. We’re a little concerned that this split on the basis of ‘per bed’ and ‘per user’ doesn’t leave a lot of money for each provider compared to the first round of funding. Look at 1.3 of Annex B to see how the 80% allocations are split in each LA.

The remaining 20% is up to the LA’s discretion but the grant condition guidance encourages LAs to use it for non-regulated services such as day and community services, PAs and other non-CQC regulated residential settings.


CQC-PRO

New! Design and send your own audits and surveys

With CQC inspections recommencing, would you like an easy way to record evidence of compliance, quality and continual improvement?

CQC Pro gives the power to build a robust body of evidence to demonstrate your commitment to quality, along with the peace of mind that you’re perfectly prepared for a CQC inspection.

Using CQC Pro, you can design your own audits, surveys and requests for information, and send them out as often as you like, either on demand or via regular schedules that you can configure to meet your requirements.

In addition to using available templates, these can now also be built from scratch for no extra cost.

Survey function

Now more than ever, it is important that the people who matter – including people using your services, relatives and friends, visiting professionals and staff – are accounted for when judging the quality of services being provided.

Use the survey tool to send out surveys as often as needed. As you receive responses, automated reports are built from the results. These will provide actionable feedback and serve as evidence you’re working with key stakeholders to drive continual improvement.

By having standardised question sets, it is possible to benchmark and compare different responses and gain valuable insight and trend analysis.

Audits

CQC Pro hosts comprehensive checklists against each CQC standard to show if the basics are in place. Quickly assess how compliant you are against every KLOE and identify gaps for improvement.

In addition, you can now build and create your own audits. We know that you have to carry out many audits and CQC Pro can now be used as your tool to manage everything in one place.

Use and create as many audits as you need, helping those involved in quality assurance to complete internal and external audits in an automated way that saves time and money.

Other key features

In addition to its audit and survey functions, other key CQC Pro features include:

  • Easy-to-read rating system – a user-friendly RAG rating system lets you immediately see how you’re performing against compliance goals.
  • Evidence on display – upload evidence against each KLOE to show how far you meet a standard. Set reminders, assign evidence to individual owners and add supporting documents to back up your evidence statements.
  • Action plans – where you find gaps in your quality assurance, you can create action plans that allow you to put steps in place to work towards meeting the standards.

Book a free demonstration today

Please click here to find out more or organise a demonstration. You can also call 0345 844 1111 and quote ‘London Care & Support Forum CQC Pro product demonstration’.

LCAS members are entitled to preferential rates on Citation’s support with HR, Employment Law, Health & Safety, and CQC Compliance. Click here to find out more.


BAME Risk Toolkit – Managing & Mitigating the COVID 19 Risk to the ASC Black, Asian,

and Minority Ethnic Workforce

This toolkit has a range of useful features and is practical for managers in adult social care to use to understand the risks, and what they can do to assess and mitigate them, developed with NW ADASS it includes a case study and useful links.

https://www.nwadass.org.uk/bame-risk-tool


PPE Strategy

A PPE Strategy has been published detailing the government’s strategy for a second wave of COVID-19 covering the supply and logistics for the distribution of PPE. It states that the government is confident they have secured enough supply of PPE for the winter period – partly by increasing UK based supply of PPE to 70% of forecasted demand in December. DHSC is also currently building a strategic stockpile which will be equivalent to approximately four months’ stock of each product category. They aim to have this in place by November 2020. Do also look at the summary on pages 8 & 9. It is worth saying that it still doesn’t contain the level of detail we would like to see.

There are a number of other things to note.

Section 2.3 states that DHSC will provide PPE to meet requirements of all health and social care providers ‘to support their COVID-19 needs….. We will provide COVID-19 related PPE in full until March 2021 at the earliest’.

Section 4 states that DHSC is modelling demand in order to ensure there is enough PPE.

Section 4.16 states that the PPE Portal is intended to ‘meet all COVID-19 needs supplied for free… supplementing the PPE supply for business as usual needs that these settings should continue accessing’. It also states that the weekly order limits will be increased to match the provider size.

Section 4.17 states that all LRFs should have a PPE stockpile that can be accessed.

Section4.18  states that a bespoke PPE distribution arrangements for LRFs and LAs will be established for those providers not eligible to use the PPE portal. It also acknowledges that some LRFs are standing down. DHSC is setting up alternative supply routes in the areas where this is the case. NCF continues to ask for a list of these LRFs.


Antibody Testing

DHSC is encouraging all care home staff in the North East, North West, South West and Yorkshire and Humber to apply for at home antibody testing using this link: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-antibody-test. The at home tests are different from the offer of a local blood draw testing at NHS clinics which are still available in some areas. The hope is that the at home tests are more convenient for some care home staff who cannot travel to their local NHS clinic. Questions can be directed to antibodytesting@dhsc.gov.uk


Legal duty to self-isolate

From today (28.9.20) it is now required by law to self isolate if you test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Support is now available to people on low incomes who are unable to work while self-isolating through the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. For those who break the rules they can get fined between £1,000 and £10,000.

Local Authorities are responsible for setting up the Test and Trace Support Payments and will be in place by 12 October.


iPad Offer to Care Homes

NHSx is offering iPads to help care homes provide care to residents. For care homes without a stable wifi connection, they will include a data enabled SIM care for 12 months, free of charge. The deadline to apply is 23.10.20 and more details can be found here.

FV NHSX 200920 Letter to LAs re iPads


Changes to Urgent and Emergency Care in London

Please note the two attachments about changes to urgent and emergency care in London. In short if an ED/A&E is needed, an appointment can be booked via 111 first. If people do make their own way, they will continue to be seen but those needing emergency treatment will be seen first. This will go live in three waves. Wave 1 goes live on 30 September. More details are in the attachments.

Changes to Urgent and Emergency Care in London brief – Copy

Transforming Urgent and Emergency Care in London Letter – Copy


Message from David Pearson

In case you missed a DHSC email on Friday, David Pearson, Chair of the Adult Social Care Taskforce, has written a short message explaining the final report of the taskforce, its advice and recommendations.


Our latest update for care providers 

offers guidance on deductions from pay for rent and training costs and whether gaps between domiciliary care assignments are working time.

A flurry of recent court rulings on compliance with the National Minimum Wage (“NMW”) highlight the complexity of this area of law and the need for care providers to check their pay arrangements are compliant.

James Sage

Partner

Health & Social Care

T: 01225 730 231

Email me


RM V-meeting September 24th presentations and links

Enhanced Care in Care Homes slide deck, from Jane Sproat – SPROAT, jane.sproat@nhs.net & Ezra Kanyimo – ekanyimo@nhs.net

23092020 EHCH London Winter ReadinessWinter Readiness 2020-21 LCAS Abridged

There are a number of links from this slide deck to videos, etc, including information on NHSMail, DSPT, Flu jabs and much more

The webinar recordings and slides are located here https://www.healthylondon.org/resource/accelerated-improvement-resources/enhanced-health-in-care-homes/seasonal-readiness/winter-readiness/further-resources/

Skills for Care update slides with links to webinars and further information

RM network slidesCroydonWandsworthVirtual240920

A review of the project carried out by Dr Al Beck and her team from SLAM

Care Home Review slides


Flu Vaccine

This is a reminder of the flu vaccination campaign launched for social care and health staff. Please see the attached toolkit.

The importance of this vaccine has been highlighted by new PHE research which suggests that people infected with both COVID-19 and flu were more likely to die than those with COVID-19 alone. The risk of death more than doubled for those testing positive for both.

CRC FINAL Flu vaccination campaign toolkit for health and social care workers 14 09 2020

Please let us know if your staff, residents or service users are unable to access vaccinations for any reason.


Winter Economy Plan

Yesterady (Sept. 24th) the Chancellor announced his Winter Economy Plan which included a replacement to the furlough scheme: the Job Support Scheme.

Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme is aimed at employees who are working at least a third of their normal hours. Employers are expected to pay for the hours the employee works.

For the hours the employee can’t work, the government and the employer will each cover one-third of the lost pay. The government’s contribution is capped at £697.92 per month. So long as this cap isn’t reached, an employee working 33% of their hours should earn at least 77% of their usual pay. 55% paid for by their employer and 22% by the Government.

To give another example, for someone on £2000 a month working 50% hours, they would get £1000 normal pay from their employer for the hours worked plus £333 extra from their employer for the hours not worked and £333 from the government for the hours not worked. In total, at least £1,666.

All SMEs are eligible. This scheme will last 6 months from November.

Tax

The 15% VAT cut for tourism and hospitality has been extended to 31 March 2021. Businesses who deferred their VAT bills will be able to pay back their taxes in 11 smaller interest-free instalments. Self-assessment tax payers are able to defer tax payments to January 2022.

Business Loans

The Bounce Back Loans will be extended from 6 years to 10, cutting monthly repayments. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will be able to extend the length of loans to 10 years. The deadline for the government’s loans schemes has been extended to the end of November. Businesses struggling can choose to make interest only payments for 6 months or suspend repayments altogether. Businesses will not see their credit rating fall.

See the Winter Economy Plan for more details and other measures announced. The BBC has also produced a summary.


Insurance

If you need advice on this, it is well worth contacting Richard Barnes at Towergate

Richard Barnes

Senior Business Development Executive

Caring Professions Division

Towergate Insurance Brokers

M: 07768 314 298

E: richard.barnes@towergate.co.uk

W: towergateinsurance.co.uk

A: Ground Floor, Interchange, 81-85 Station Road, Croydon, CR0 2AJ

Towergate Insurance is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England No. 4043759. Registered Address: 2 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, London, EC3R 7PD. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


How to access the PPE Portal

Thanks to our OCA colleagues for this easy to use guide

PPE Portal User Guide – OCA


Use of NHS QR posters

This morning (Sept. 24th) the Government has announced that certain venues, including venues run by local authorities will now be legally required to display NHS QR posters in their venues by the 24th September. This includes all venues from the following sectors:

  • hospitality;
  • leisure and tourism;
  • close contact services;
  • places of worship; and
  • local authority venues.

For further details on the announcement please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/venues-required-to-enforce-rule-of-6-nhs-qr-code-posters-and-contact-logs

To support you, we have prepared a bank of resources which you can share with your own venues or with businesses in your area: https://www.covid19.nhs.uk/information-and-resources.html

Further materials on our business to business campaign which also may be useful are available here: https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/Test-and-Trace/resources/customer-logging-toolkit/


COVID-secure rule changes | Your free inspection-ready checklist

COVID-compliance now a legal obligation – are you ready?

Despite spending weeks encouraging employers to introduce their people back into COVID-secure workplaces, the government announced a dramatic 180-degree turnaround. They’re now advising all those who can work from home to do so in an attempt to curb an increase in COVID cases.

However, there are still many businesses for whom homeworking is not an option, such as those in the care sector. For them, creating a COVID-secure workplace has never been more important. COVID-compliance has now become a legal obligation and not meeting these standards in your workplace will result in fines of up to £10,000 and being forced to close your doors.

Wondering if your business is up-to-scratch and could confidently pass an inspection?

The Health & Safety and HR experts of LCAS partner, Citation, have put together an extensive checklist of all the considerations you need to make to get your workplace inspection-ready and safe for your people.

DOWNLOAD NOW

3 months free service – your member benefit

From staff mental health and wellbeing, professional bereavement and tricky HR issues, to infection control, risk assessments and visiting arrangements, Citation can help you operate both safely and compliantly in the coming weeks and months.

They can also help with care-specific training and e-learning, fire and electrical safety, Care Policies & Procedures, Care Mock Inspections, and CQC Pro – an application to demonstrate you’re meeting CQC requirements.

They are exclusively offering London Care & Support Forum members 3 months free service on Citation, if you partner with them in September only.

This means you can immediately benefit from their support and start 2021 knowing you’ve got everything in place.

TRY CITATION FOR FREE

They can also give us a call any time on 0345 844 1111 and quote ‘September London Care & Support Forum offer’ before 30 September.


PPE PORTAL

The PPE Portal Guidance has been updated to state that it is now the route for eligible providers to use to order PPE for COVID-19 requirements. It is no longer simply an emergency top-up route. We’re waiting to see if the restrictions on the amount that can be ordered will also be lifted. For those of you not eligible for this portal, you will need to access PPE through the Local Resilience Forums or Local Authorities.

I’m also aware that the PPE Portal Guidance doesn’t actually contain a link to the portal or information about how to register – it simply states you should have received an email. The link to the portal is: https://www.nhs-ppe.co.uk/customer/authentication. Contact 0800 876 6802 if you are having trouble accessing the portal.


Hydration at Home Toolkit

Launched today! Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN have worked in partnership with Hampshire County Council and Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) to develop an e-learning programme which aims to increase your knowledge and confidence in assessing an older person’s hydration needs and minimise the risk of poor hydration in a person-centred way.

Aimed at any person working with older people in the community, including care home staff, home carers, family carers and volunteers, the e-learning builds on the information and skills you may have already learnt and implemented from the Care Certificate <https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.e-lfh.org.uk%2Fprogrammes%2Fc  are-certificate-2%2F&data=01%7C01%7Ccheryl.davies%40wessexahsn.net%7C08c127ba6c6744ceed7608d85e021325%7C83777d80488347de82e432532846a82d%7C0&sdata=eED%2ByjHIoUy5GegVtVRo5%2BMX7UX66140n97Yap8YjwE%3D&reserved=0> .

The Hydration in Older People e-learning is part of the Hydration at Home Toolkit, both of which have been endorsed by the British Dietetic Association.

What can I expect?

Designed to be as interactive as possible, the e-learning takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and features a short video and an assessment in the form of a case study.

Whilst the content has been specifically designed for community carers, the messages are relevant to all carers, including those working in acute care settings.

Please note that if you have already completed the hydration in older people e-learning via the Hampshire County Council hub, you do not need to repeat the training in t he e-LfH Hub.

Additional resources

The hydration e-learning programme is part of the Hydration at Home toolkit which includes resources for the general public, including a hydration leaflet and poster.

For more information and to access these resources, please visit: https://wessexahsn.org.uk/projects/354/hydration-at-home-toolkit <https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwessexahsn.org.uk%2Fprojects%2F354%2Fhydration-at-home-toolkit&data=01%7C01%7Ccheryl.davies%40wessexahsn.net%7C08c127ba6c6744ceed7608d85e021325%7C83777d80488347de82e432532846a82d%7C0&sdata=u68h9CToxZcG%2BW2jF72qtOCyV51NeZXuWp%2FKiayrUlE%3D&reserved=0>

Accessing the e-Learning

For more information about the e-learning resource, including access details, please visit: https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/hydration-in-older-people/ <https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww  .e-lfh.org.uk%2Fprogrammes%2Fhydration-in-older-people%2F&data=01%7C01%7Ccheryl.davies%40wessexahsn.net%7C08c127ba6c6744ceed7608d85e021325%7C83777d80488347de82e432532846a82d%7C0&sdata=IlsUBLj05RW9lG0ojW%2BTDWVS89tm1%2FANthJejPvZ%2BgI%3D&reserved=0>


Towergate Insurance

are here to support London Care Forum members during this difficult time. We have launched our dedicated COVID-19 information centre that is available for London Care Forum members to utilise. This online hub includes a link to a free Health and Safety and Employment Law hub provided by our commercial partners, Ellis Whittam, as well as there being many business planning articles and risk alerts available for you to download, to advise, guide and support you in this unprecedented situation. Visit www.towergate.com/covid-19-updates or email richard.barnes@towergate.co.uk for more information.

Towergate Insurance Brokers and Towergate Insurance are trading names of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England No. 4043759. Registered Address: 2 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, London, EC3R 7PD. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Free Care Focused Cybercrime Webinar

With the recent news of a cyber-attack on cloud-based service provider Blackbaud, which has affected hundreds of businesses across the UK, making sure that you understand the dangers and opportunities for cyber-crime has never been more important.

With this in mind, Towergate Insurance have teamed up with CFC Underwriting Ltd to deliver an exclusive care focused cybercrime webinar.

Please join Towergate and specialist insurance provider CFC Underwriting on this free webinar on the 30th September at 10am, where CFC’s Cyber Development Leader Lindsey Nelson will review:

  • Why there has been a dramatic rise in cyber exposures in the care sector
  • Cyber claims case studies highlighting real cases seen
  • What your options are to mitigate this risk with key takeaways for your business

There will be time for some Q&A following the presentation along with interactive poll questions throughout.

Follow this link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1324920716415264267

Towergate Insurance is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England No. 4043759. Registered Address: 2 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, London, EC3R 7PD. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


NEW PLAN TO HELP PROTECT CARE HOMES FROM CORONAVIRUS OVER WINTER

  • A new Adult Social Care Winter Plan to support care homes through winter including free PPE and £546 million Infection Control Fund 
  • Care providers must stop all but essential movement of staff between care homes to prevent the spread of infection 
  • New Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care will be appointed to provide leadership to the social care nursing workforce 

A new Adult Social Care Winter Plan will aim to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections in care settings throughout the winter months, the Health Secretary confirmed today.

As part of the plan, people receiving adult social care and care workers will receive free PPE, a new dashboard will monitor care home infections and help local government and providers respond quicker, and a Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care will be appointed to represent social care nurses and provide clinical leadership to the workforce.

Local providers must restrict all but essential movement of staff between settings to reduce transmission, supported by an extra £546 million for the Infection Control Fund. This will help care providers pay staff full wages and enable staff to work in only one care home.

This brings the total funding for infection control measures in care homes to over £1.1 billion and underlines the Government’s commitment to ensure adult social care has the resources it needs to keep residents and staff safe.

The Government is prepared to strengthen monitoring and regulation by local authorities and the CQC, including asking them to take strong action where improvement is required or staff movement is not being restricted. This can include restricting a service’s operation, issuing warning notices or placing conditions on a provider’s registration. Further details of how the winter plan will be enforced will be set out shortly.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: 

“We are entering a critical phase in our fight against coronavirus with winter on the  horizon. Our priority over the next 6 months is to make sure we protect those most vulnerable receiving care and our incredibly hard-working workforce by limiting the spread of the virus and  preventing a second spike.

“This Winter Plan  gives providers the certainty they need when it comes to PPE and provides additional support to help care homes to limit the movement of staff, stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives. We will be monitoring the implementation of this carefully and will be swift in our actions to protect residents and colleagues across the country.”

The new Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care role will provide clinical and professional leadership, while upholding and raising standards among the care workforce. Recruitment will begin in October to ensure the department and sector can benefit from the professional expertise the new role will bring.

To improve understanding of where infections are taking place in care homes, a dashboard will be introduced as a single point of information for local, regional and national government to monitor outbreaks and measures being implemented to reduce it.

Minister for Care, Helen Whately said:

“Our brilliant care workers have been tirelessly looking after our loved ones throughout this pandemic, and Covid rates have come right down in social care through the summer. With cases beginning to rise now, we must take the strongest possible action to stop the virus and protect people.

“The creation of the Chief Nurse for Social Care is also an important step and will provide leadership to social care nurses and the wider care workforce who often work unseen. The skills and compassion of our care workers must be fully recognised and supported ”

The unveiling of the Winter Plan will be supported by the publishing of the Adult Social Care Covid-19 Support Taskforce report highlighting the effectiveness of the fund and the Care Home Support Package.

Chair of the Adult Social Care Covid-19 Support Taskforce, David Pearson said:

“A test of any country is the degree to which it supports and enables those who need care and support to stay safe and to lead the best lives they can. This report draws from expertise from across the social care sector and sets out the actions that should be taken to help keep people safe while maintaining their independence.

“I would like to pay thanks to the huge involvement from the social care sector in the taskforce and in the development of this report and indeed in aligning closely with the Winter Plan. Close coordination between local and national bodies within the sector is critically important to the success of the sector and will play an important part in keeping people safe and healthy in the winter months ahead.”

The report will also look at how we can learn from the first phase of the virus and sets out a number of recommendations to the government to prepare for winter the sector and the workforce for winter.

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP said:

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure councils are prepared to tackle coronavirus throughout the winter months.

“These new measures including providing free PPE to care homes and new ways to track care home infections will make a huge difference in limiting the spread of the virus supporting those on the frontline with this important work.”

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive , Care England said:

“We welcome the Government’s focus on care homes and will work with them to implement the Winter Plan to ensure the best outcome for residents of care homes and their families.”

 

MORE THAN HALF A BILLION POUNDS GIVEN TO SOCIAL CARE TO REDUCE

CORONAVIRUS TRANSMISSION OVER WINTER

Care providers will be given an extra £546m to bolster infection control

  • The Infection Control Fund has been extended to ensure providers have the resources they need to halt transmission of COVID-19 throughout winter  
  • The fund can be used to pay staff wages for those self-isolating and hire more staff to restrict movement between homes

Care providers in England will benefit from over half a billion pounds extra funding to reduce COVID-19 transmission and help protect residents and staff throughout winter.

The Infection Control Fund, set up in May, has now been extended until March 2021, with an extra £546 million to help the care sector restrict the movement of staff between care homes to stop the spread of the virus.

The fund will help care providers pay staff full wages when they are self-isolating, and enable staff to work in only one care home, reducing the risk of spreading the infection.

This brings the total funding for infection control measures in care homes to over £1.1bn and underlines the Government’s commitment to ensure adult social care has the resources it needs to keep residents and staff safe.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: 

“From the very beginning we have done everything possible to make sure our social care system is protected and has the resources it needs to keep our brilliant workforce and those they care for safe.

“This new funding of over half a billion pounds will support not only care home residents, but also some of the most vulnerable in society living at home and in supported living.

“I know this will give peace of mind to so many, and we will set out further detail in our Adult Social Care Winter Plan this week.”

Data published by DHSC in July showed the funding has helped providers to take key steps to improve infection prevention and control in care settings, including restricting staff movement in care homes and paying staff to self-isolate.

Minister for Care, Helen Whately said:

“I know just how hard social care staff have been working over the last 6 months to provide compassionate care for our loved ones and keep them safe in the face of this global threat. I am committed to ensuring the social care system has everything they need for the winter months ahead.

“Today we have set out additional funding to bolster infection prevention and protect our loved ones receiving care.”

From the start of the pandemic we have been doing everything we can to ensure care home residents and staff are protected.

This includes testing all residents at least every month and staff weekly since July, providing 208 million items of PPE, and making a further £3.7bn available to councils to address pressures caused by the pandemic – including in adult social care.

The government has also ring-fenced a total of £1.1bn of funding specifically for social care providers to support infection, prevention and control, on top of billions of pounds more in Local Authority funding which also covers social care.


Health and Social Care Workers Flu Immunisation Campaign

The flu vaccination campaign for health and social care workers has now launched. I have attached a campaign toolkit and image for your use. More resources can be downloaded here: https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/92-health-and-social-care-workers-flu-immunisation-/resources.

The key messages are:

  • All frontline social care workers should get the flu vaccine.
  • Social care workers can get the vaccine free of charge from GPs and community pharmacies now. (Local availability may vary).
  • Personal Assistants and other social care workers employed through Direct Payments are eligible for free vaccinations for the first time this year.
  • Social care workers don’t need ID or a voucher to be vaccinated – they just need to attend a vaccination clinic or book an appointment and self-declare as a social care worker.
  • DHSC has procured extra vaccine this year, so that 1.5m social care workers can get the vaccine.
  • DHSC and NHSEI have changed the pharmacy contract so that community pharmacists can vaccinate staff and residents in care homes at the same time.
  • Care providers should upload information on staff vaccination status to Skills for Care’s Adult Social Care Workforce dataset.

CRC FINAL Flu vaccination campaign toolkit for health and social care workers 14 09 2020


Antibody Testing

This guidance has been updated to reflect the launch of a new testing service which is currently restricted to care home workers in England and Wales who want to access an antibody test.

Social Care and the Rule of Six Guidance

DHSC has stated the following to our requests for clarification over how the rule of six impacts care, particularly day services and care homes:

“There is an exemption from the gathering limit for people working, this means that someone who is gathering with others where reasonably necessary for work purposes will not be subject to the 6 person limit. There is also an exemption from the gathering limit where the gathering is reasonably necessary to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person, which would therefore exclude gatherings for the purposes of care from the limit. Residents would likely also be considered as being part of the same household unless for example they were living in separate buildings with distinct shared facilities, and so could gather with each other in groups larger than 6. Gatherings involving people visiting a care home would need to be limited to 6 including the resident(s).  We have also included an exemption for support groups. This means that the majority of support groups are not subject to the 6 person social gathering limit if they are organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support to its members or those who attend its meetings. This includes, but is not limited to, providing support to those with, or caring for persons with, any long-term illness, disability or terminal condition or who are vulnerable;”


Update to Infection Prevention and Control Guidance

The IPC guidance has been updated to include a new quick reference guide.


Update to Statutory Sick Pay Guidance

The SSP guidance has been updated to reflect the fact that from 26 August you can claim for employees who have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery.


Update to guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use

drugs or alcohol

This guidance has been updated to include a statement on ‘hands, face, space’ and the return to school. It also adds links to social distancing guidance and the rule of six.


Update to guidance on support bubbles

This guidance has been updated to say that support bubbles cannot be changed once formed.


CQC’s transitional approach

CQC has published a statement from their chief inspectors about what their transitional approach will look like from 6 October.

CQC COVID-19 insight report

CQC has published its fourth edition of their COVID-19 insight report. It focuses on infection, prevention and control as well as early findings from provider collaboration reviews.


What to do if a pupil is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Flowchart-School-response-to-suspected-or-confirmed-cases-of-Covid-19-coronavirus-v1-10-June-2020

This is for Surrey, the principal will be similar. What is omits to mention is what to do when ‘no test available’


Complaints: Sector missing opportunities to improve adult care services, Ombudsman

reports

https://www.lgo.org.uk/information-centre/news/2020/sep/sector-missing-opportunities-to-improve-adult-care-services-ombudsman-reports


Exclusive! 3 months free service on Citation

Working closely in partnership with London Care & Support Forum, we understand it remains a difficult time for the care sector and that many challenges lie ahead. That’s why we are exclusively offering London Care & Support Forum members 3 months free service on Citation, across September only.

This means you can immediately benefit from our support and start 2021 knowing you’ve got everything in place.

From former care home managers to ex-CQC inspectors, our care experts can help with your Health & Safety, HR and Employment Law, and CQC Compliance – areas which you know are as important as ever to keep on top of.

TRY CITATION FOR FREE

From staff mental health and wellbeing, professional bereavement and tricky HR issues, to infection control, risk assessments and visiting arrangements, we can help you operate both safely and compliantly in the coming weeks and months.

We can also help with care-specific training and e-learning, fire and electrical safety, Care Policies & Procedures, Care Mock Inspections, and CQC Pro – an application to demonstrate you’re meeting CQC requirements.

Interested? Arrange a free Citation catch up

To find out more and claim your exclusive 3 months free service, please click here.

You can also give us a call any time on 0345 844 1111 and quote ‘September London Care & Support Forum offer’ before 30 September.


CQC would like to hear your feedback on the updated Skills for Care guidance on

supporting personal relationships.

We published our report Promoting sexual safety through empowerment in February this year. This report had a number of recommendations which included Skills for Care updating their guidance on ‘Supporting personal relationships’.

Skills for Care have worked with Supported Loving to update this guidance. We’d like to get your feedback before its launched and to understand if there are any other resources that could help you to use this guide.

This guidance is relevant to all people who provide social care to any group of people. It will help organisations to equip their staff to support people to develop and maintain personal relationships, in a way that respects peoples’ choices, values and keeps them safe.

Share your feedback through our short survey.

You can share your views on all of our projects by logging in using the button below

Go to the platform


Important: Coronavirus Cases Rising in Care Settings

I’ve attached a letter from Stuart Miller, Director of Adult Social Care Delivery at DHSC. PHE is reporting that the number of notifications of COVID-19 in care homes is increasing. The letter reiterates the importance of regular testing and the consistent use of PPE. It also states that they are aware of the issues with testing and results and are taking steps to resolve this.

In short, the letter is urging vigilance in the coming weeks and months.

Changes from Monday 14 September

From Monday 14 September, you must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6, indoors or outdoors. There are exemptions for COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues. Education and work settings are unaffected. More information can be found here. The Secretary of State’s update to Parliament can be found here. See also the following pieces of guidance updated to reflect the changes:

We are seeking clarification about what this guidance means for the full range of care settings, as there isn’t anything explicit about social care. Our current reading is that the rule of 6 applies to social gatherings – not workplaces. So we’d assume that care settings, such as day services and day centres, should be treated as workplaces that need to be COVID secure and are therefore unaffected as long as the necessary rules on social distancing, hygiene and PPE are followed.

Stuart Miller letter to care sector 11.09.20 PDF


Track and Trace App

The Track and Trace App is launching on 24 September in England and Wales. The App has been redesigned to use Apple and Google’s decentralised model to protect privacy.

I have attached a series of documents which we received this afternoon that provide more information about the app and how social care providers can prepare.

  • Introducing the NHS COVID-19 Pack
  • A guide for creating a QR poster for venues
  • App explainer poster
  • QR guidance sheet for organisations in health and social care

These documents are geared towards setting up systems so visitors to care homes can tracked and traced. The QR guidance sheet states:

“For care homes we advise having a QR code poster at the entrance that visitors to the premises can scan on entry. You should continue to maintain any visitor registration system that you already have in place. We also recommend that care homes have QR code posters for waiting rooms and recreational areas that are regularly attended by external visitors and guests. If there are different restaurant and café areas within a large care home, they should each have their own QR code.”

How to create a QR code poster for your venue 10.09.20

Introducing the NHS Covid-19 App

NHS COVID-19 app features overview poster 10.09.20


Flu Vaccination Campaign – Health and Care Workers

PHE resources to promote vaccination amongst health care workers are now available.


Insurance Survey

CPA has only had 33 providers take part in the insurance survey. We really need a lot more to take part in order to gather sufficient evidence to support our case for indemnity for care providers. Talks with DHSC of resolving this issue are based on having sufficient evidence from providers Our previous surveys saw almost 400 providers taking part and we would like to see response from over 100 providers to give the results some credibility of being representative of the sector.

The survey will remain open until next Thursday 17th September and can be accessed using this link https://careprovideralliance.org.uk/cpa-survey-2020


Testing Guidance for Employers

Guidance has been published for employers and third-party healthcare providers introducing their own internal testing programmes independent from NHS Test and Trace.


Testing Privacy Information

The privacy statements around the testing system have been updated. A new document has been added about antibody testing.


Update to Guidance for People Receiving Direct Payments

The guidance has been updated to set out key expectations to support people’s continuing care and support needs, continued flexibility in the use of payments, and information to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.



Updated guidance on direct payments & personal health budgets

Government has published updated Covid-19 guidance for local authorities and clinical commissioning groups in the delivery of direct payments and personal health budgets. A corresponding easy-read will be produced as soon as possible.

Please note this guidance does not have new advice – rather it sets out key expectations to support people’s continuing care and support needs, continued flexibility in the use of payments, and information to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for people receiving direct payments


Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme

The Government has a life assurance scheme for frontline health and social care staff who contract coronavirus during the course of their work. The scheme pays a £60,000 lump sum where staff die as a result of coronavirus and had been recently working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who have contracted coronavirus. The scheme is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA). Further information on how to make a claim can be found on the NHS BSA website.

Contact the NHS BSA helpline on 0300 330 3331.


As I’m sure you will have seen, the Prime Minister

has announced new measures to combat the recent rise in Covid-19 cases. From Monday 14 September, it will be illegal to meet in groups larger than six people indoor or outdoors in England. There will be exemptions, for example Covid-secure weddings and funerals. The Prime Minister also set out the obligations for businesses with regards to NHS Test and Trace, measures for local authorities to enforce the new rules, and steps to monitor compliance with border regulations.

Further details can be found in the press notice here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-9-september


Most providers face going into red this winter without extra Covid social care funding,

warns ADASS

A third of providers already making loss despite council funding to cover PPE and drops in level of service but authorities running out of cash to do so, says head of directors’ body

https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2020/09/09/providers-face-going-red-winter-without-extra-covid-social-care-funding-warns-adass/?utm_content=Most%20providers%20face%20going%20into%20red%20this%20winter%20without%20extra%20Covid%20social%20care%20funding%2C%20warns%20ADASS&utm_campaign=CC%20daily%2009%2F09%2F2020&utm_source=Community%20Care&utm_medium=adestra_email&utm_term=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.communitycare.co.uk%2F2020%2F09%2F09%2Fproviders-face-going-red-winter-without-extra-covid-social-care-funding-warns-adass%2F


The Care Association Alliance

a national body of care associations is conducting a survey with regard to the financial support received by social care

providers from local authorities during Covid-19. Please take the time to complete this:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XW7YDFG


Social care spending in England still £600m lower than in 2010

  • NEW TUC REPORT sets out how to fix social care for good  
  • As the UK faces mass unemployment after the pandemic, social care could be a major source of new decent jobs, says TUC  

https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/social-care-spending-england-still-ps600m-lower-2010


Update on Testing

We are aware of an email from DHSC that has been sent to some care homes about issues with the testing system. I have summarised the email below for the benefit of those who haven’t received the email.

  • Not all care homes are receiving results within the 72 hours promised by DHSC.
  • If you still have not received tests results by the next planned regular testing, you should continue with the next round and not wait for the results of the previous round.
  • There has been an increase in the number of unclear/void test results. If this is your experience, DHSC advises that you retest – for staff this means the next round of weekly testing but for residents this means an additional testing round.

There are also issues with the multiple registration portal. I have copied the text of DHSC’s email below:

“When completing registration for multiple people using the spreadsheet, a small number of care homes are presented with the following error message:

‘Sorry, there is a problem. Your test kits have not been registered.’

If you receive this error message, please re-register the tests one by one using the single registration option, when re-registering the test, if you see an error message which says, ‘Test kit already registered’ then this means this registration was successful the first time, despite the error message. You will receive an email to confirm the registration has been completed successfully.

If you are concerned about any tests you have previously registered using the system, please check for the confirmation email which gets sent to the email address given when registering. If you have received an email confirming that you have registered successfully, you do not need to worry. If you have not received this email please register the tests again individually using the link below and selecting the option to ‘Add each person’s details one by one’:

https://gov.uk/register-organisation-tests/

The issue with the multiple upload portal is only affecting a small number of homes, and our digital team are working hard to fully resolve this. We apologise to all homes who have been affected by this and will contact you again when the issue has been resolved.”

Lastly, a reminder that the regular re-testing portal is now open for all care homes.


CQC Update on Inspections

As you should have received directly from CQC last week, Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, wrote to social care providers to state that policies providers have put in place “are attempting to restrict how our inspectors do their job” and that attempts “to prevent or limit our ability to fulfil our statutory responsibilities are unacceptable”. NCF, of course, continues to maintain that all inspectors should be regularly tested as one way of diffusing this issue and we will continue to apply pressure to ensure that those you all care for are protected. CQC has failed to recognise the anxiety its policy has induced in the sector.


Flu Vaccines

In case you missed it, DHSC is running an open consultation on the distribution of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 and flu. In particular, they want to hear your views on proposed changes to the Human Medicine Regulations. The consultation closes on 18 September at 11:59pm.


NHSX is exploring how adoption of digital social care management tools could:

  1. benefit adult social care providers and the people they care for and support; an
  2. help social care systems integrate with NHS systems.

To support this, Digital Social Care are looking for adult social care providers to complete a short survey to understand how you feel about using technology in care settings. We are looking for responses from people who already use technology and also from those who don’t. The purpose of this research is to understand what support care providers might want around technology and to understand what types of technology are most useful for care and support services.

If you are a front line care worker and would like to give your opinion, please complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DSCBulletin2

If you are a senior decision maker in a care provider organisation (e.g. have responsibility for purchasing, IT or staff management etc.), please complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DSCBulletin1

The survey will close at 5pm on Wednesday 9th September.”


GOVERNMENT DELIVERS 250,000 CLEAR FACE MASKS TO SUPPORT PEOPLE WITH

HEARING LOSS

  • 250,000 clear face masks to be delivered to the frontline NHS and social care workers over the next few weeks
  • Speciality masks to help support better care for people who use lip reading and facial expressions to communicate

NHS and care workers will be given clear face masks to help them communicate with people with certain conditions like hearing loss, autism and dementia, the government has announced.

The masks are see-through and have an anti-fogging barrier to ensure the face and mouth is always visible to help doctors, nurses and carers communicate better with their patients.

With around 12 million people in the UK thought to have hearing loss, the masks will be invaluable for people who need to lip read to communicate during the ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

The masks will also help those who rely on facial expressions to support communication – for example, people with learning disabilities, autism or dementia, or foreign language speakers and their interpreters.

The new deal with US-based company ClearMask will see 250,000 masks delivered to NHS trusts and social care providers across the UK over the next few weeks.

Minister for Care Helen Whately said:

“Everyone using our remarkable health and care system deserves the best care possible and communication is a vital part of that.

“This pandemic has posed numerous challenges to the sector, so we are always on the hunt for simple solutions to support those giving and receiving care.

“The introduction of clear face masks will help overcome some of the difficulties carers wearing PPE are facing communicating with people who rely on lip reading. If this proves a success I look forward to increasing the supply to make sure whenever a clear mask is needed, there is one available.”

This applies across the whole of the UK and the government is working with the devolved administrations on allocations of the masks. The first delivery has already been distributed to NHS Trusts, with further deliveries over the next couple of weeks.

Social care providers will also have access to the masks through a new pilot system with Local Resilience Forums.

The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and Improvement will continue to work closely with suppliers on future orders based on demand.

The clear masks have met the government’s strict safety standards and will be rolled out to frontline workers over the next few weeks.

The Government has delivered over 3 billion pieces of PPE to the frontline and are working with around 130 new companies, including Royal Mint, Honeywell, Amazon and Royal Mail, to rapidly manufacture, source or distribute PPE at scale and pace.

This follows a national and international call to arms in April asking industry to channel their manufacturing power into making PPE for the health and care sector.

Roger Wicks, director of policy and campaigns at Action on Hearing Loss said:

 “We welcome the procurement of clear face masks which has the potential to improve the accessibility of health and social care services for those who rely on seeing facial expressions and lip-reading to communicate – including people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

“Since the outbreak of coronavirus, people have told us continually that they are worried about communicating in health and social care settings where face masks are now in constant use. We know that clear masks have the ability to reduce barriers for both patients and staff across the NHS and social care services.

“People need to understand the information and instructions that they are given by health and care professionals: ineffective communication and misunderstandings have the potential to harm the health and well-being of people with hearing loss.

“We hope that different services across the NHS and social care are able to access clear masks and effectively match them to patient need. It will also be important that these masks are complemented by effective communication tips and deaf awareness amongst staff to ensure that people with hearing loss get the support they need.”

Professor Andrew Goddard, Royal College of Physicians President, said:

“The necessary use of face masks to protect staff and patients has made communication difficult. It’s particularly true for clinicians and patients who are deaf or have a hearing loss and rely on being able to read lips.

“Clear communication is always important, but particularly in healthcare. So we’re pleased these masks are going to be available very soon.

“Of course, lipreading doesn’t work for everyone, nor is it everyone’s first choice. It’s important that all NHS employers and services find out what someone’s communication needs are and meet them, in line with the Accessible Information Standard.”

Sarah White, Head of Policy and Campaigns at national disability charity Sense, said:

“The last few months have been particularly hard on disabled people and a part of this are the barriers that PPE brings to many of them in terms of their communication. While PPE is of course vital in keeping everyone safe during this pandemic, many disabled people rely on lip reading and facial expression to communicate which means masks present themselves as a big challenge.

“We’ve therefore been delighted to work with the Department for Health and Social Care, and other organisations to raise awareness of this issue and we welcome the introduction of clear masks for use in frontline health and social care services which will benefits millions of disabled people in this country. While clear masks won’t work for everyone and they can still present a challenge to some people, it certainly is a great first step which should be part of a clear and cohesive strategy for how we ensure that health and care services remain clinically safe at the same time as enabling disabled people to communicate and feel safe.”

Allysa Dittmar, President of ClearMask, said:

“As a company that was started in 2017 in a response to the need for improved, visual communication for the deaf and hard of hearing community, we immediately understood the critical need for such see-through, transparent masks during this pandemic for many different groups of people.

“We were proud to help answer the call for critical PPE for the NHS, and this partnership is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of many individuals involved in the push for better accessibility and care during this time.”

Notes to editor:


PPE Update

Most LRFs are now standing down.

Some LAs are supplying PPE. Wholesalers have stocks and more stock is on the way. Most PPE is now UK produced.

Clear Masks – Currently being distributed.

Public announcement Saturday.

USE THE PPE PORTAL, LOG ON & REGISTER


Testing

You may have noticed an increase in news stories about testing today. The BBC is reporting that prioritising COVID-19 testing in high-risk areas has led to shortages in other places, leading to people being asked to drive for more than 100 miles for a swab test. In response, on Radio 4’s Today programme Matt Hancock talked about plans for a mass testing regime based on saliva tests and the expansion of existing capacity. A trial of saliva testing has been launched in Salford – although it is worth pointing out that there are already trials that have been running for months in Southampton and Hampshire. £500m is being committed to launching the new trial and expanding the existing ones as well as scaling up capacity. There are no detailed timescales for these tests being rolled out wider.


Launch of Kickstart Scheme

The government has launched its Kickstart scheme designed to create 6-month work placements for 16-24 year olds who are claiming Universal Credit. The UK government fully funds each placement for 25 hours a week, including associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. The government will also pay employers up to £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement

Changes to Furlough Scheme

As of last Tuesday (1.9.20) the government reduced its contribution to staff wages to 70% up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers are expected to top-up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80%.


Supporting People Outside their Home

The government has published guidance for people who need support when outside their home and for people who provide that support. This guidance may be relevant to some of your services.



Update to Admissions to Care Homes Guidance

A new section has been added to the admissions to care homes guidance with information on how care homes can support the NHS Test and Trace service in section 1. It asks care homes to keep a temporary record of current and previous residents, visitors and staff so that this information can be reported rapidly on request. The guidance goes on to state what information may be requested at short notice. Do also note the section on GDPR and Test and Trace.


Update to Provision of Home Care Guidance

The provision of home care guidance has been updated to include a new section on how home care providers can support the NHS Test and Trace service in section 3 as well as updated links to the hospital discharge service guidance. The ask of home care providers is the same as what has been added to the admissions to care home guidance: to keep a temporary record of care staff and recipients of care so that the information can reported rapidly on request. The guidance goes on to state what information may be requested at short notice. Do also note the section on GDPR and Test and Trace.


Infection control, hazardous substances, and HSE spot checks

Infection control in care: an essential, free checklist

With care providers being offered increased payments to support people who have had coronavirus, infection prevention and control will continue to remain incredibly important for all providers.

In this free guide, the Health & Safety experts of Citation, look at important areas such as the use of sharps, food hygiene, welfare training, personal protective clothing and equipment, workplace health, safety and welfare.

GET YOUR FREE CHECKLIST

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Your free guide to managing hazardous substances

The need for cleaning and sanitising has increased massively due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, with the use of new products, often involving staff that aren’t necessarily familiar with them as well as those coming back from shielding or furlough, it’s important now more than ever, to make sure those using the substances are trained in their safe use.

That’s where your Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) risk assessments come in. If you’re not sure where to start with COSHH risk assessments, or you need a refresher on best practise if you’re using new substances, Citation has created an exclusive checklist to help you get your assessments right.

GET YOUR FREE COSHH GUIDE

Don’t be caught out by HSE spot checks

Though it’s still a difficult time for care providers, it’s worth being aware that the Health & Safety Executive is rapidly increasing the regularity of its spot checks, which means it’s important to ensure your COVID-secure risk assessment is in place.

If you’d like to double-check you’ve got everything covered, our experts have compiled a short checklist to help you check your workplace COVID-secure.

GET YOUR FREE CHECKLIST

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Expert, discounted support available to members

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to keep on top of your Health & Safety, HR and Employment Law. From infection control and visiting arrangements to managing staff and caring for their mental health, we’ve supported 1000s of care providers during these challenging times.

Clients also get access to CQC Pro – an online tool to help demonstrate you’re meeting regulatory requirements. Our cloud-based Atlas platform and CPD-certified and RoSPA approved care-specific e-learning can help you to manage and upskill your brilliant people, alongside our 24/7 expert advice line and provision of legal documentation, including risk assessments, contracts of employment and handbooks.

Plus, available to you is a complete set of specialised policies and procedures and fire and electrical services.

London Care & Support Forum members are also entitled to preferential rates on our services.

FIND OUT MORE


Social Works Training

NEW MANAGEMENT, AUTISM AND DEMENTIA DATES ADDED

Fully WDF Funded training* – all using our live tutor-led virtual classrooms and materials.

Dementia & Autism courses

Develop your professional knowledge with specialist training funded by Skills for Care* leading to a Level 2 RQF.

Contact us to find out more

New Staff

Give new staff a head start with fully Funded sessions starting every Thursday. Covers Care Certificate Knowledge and L2 Medication RQF.

Contact us to find out more

PLEASE NOTE: All learners will need to have access to a Laptop/PC/Tablet and have internet access. Learners need to be registered with us at least 1 day before training begins.
Once learners have enrolled, we will confirm their start dates, tutors etc.

Contact us to find out more

PLEASE NOTE: Learners may need to complete a short diagnostic of their written English skills before joining a group.  All learners will need to have access to a Laptop/PC/Tablet and have internet access. All workbooks will be able to be completed electronically (via Word or Editable PDF).

*To access Skills for Care Workforce Development Funding you will need to engage with the ASC Workforce Data Set (previously known as the NMDS-SC) and join a local employer partnership. 


The Health Foundation

The adult social care workforce in London

Greater diversity and heavy reliance on zero-

hours contracts and domiciliary care differentiate the capital’s care workforce

20 August 2020

Key points

  • Significant workforce issues around adult social care have gained greater prominence as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has unfolded. Even before the pandemic, workforce issues were identified as the single biggest challenge for the sector. As decisions about social care are driven as much by local authorities as by national policy, regional differences need to be accounted for by policymakers. This analysis focuses on the social care workforce in London, which differs in many respects from other regions in England.
  • London has a significantly higher proportion of its social care workforce employed on zero-hours contracts (41%) than the England average (24%) and this gap has widened since 2012/13. The relatively high proportion of domiciliary care jobs in London (53%, compared to an England average of 42%) is a possible driver of this trend.
  • Migrant workers play a key role in delivering social care services in the capital, with nearly two-fifths (38%) of London’s adult social care workforce estimated to be non-British nationals in 2018/19 (more than double the England average of 17%). Care in the capital risks being disproportionately affected by current proposals for the post-Brexit immigration system.
  • Low and stagnant pay rates, both before and after adjusting for price inflation, also remain a concern for the social care workforce in London. The National Living Wage has helped prop up pay, particularly for the lowest paid independent sector care workers. However, if we use the cost of living adjusted ‘real’ living wage as a measure, the average earnings of independent sector care workers are further below the benchmark in London than in other regions.

https://www.health.org.uk/news-and-comment/charts-and-infographics/the-adult-social-care-workforce-in-london?utm_source=charityemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=aug-2020&pubid=healthfoundation&description=aug-2020&dm_i=4Y2,70H7Z,PMA3FS,S9POH,1


DoH&SC

Their guidance portal for adult social care has been published. This page summarises where care providers can go to access key COVID-19 related guidance.


Chancellor launches Comprehensive Spending Review

The Chancellor has today launched the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). The Review, which will be published in the autumn, will set out the government’s spending plans for the parliament.

The review will set UK Government departments’ resource budgets for the years 2021/22 to 2023/24 and capital budgets for the years 2021/22 until 2024/25, and devolved administrations’ block grants for the same period.

As a social care provider, you need to make your views clear to your MP, in detail and with costings and examples.

How to contact your MP, find them here; https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/

The best route is to make your points in writing.


Oral health in care – preparing for CQC inspections

CQC inspections will recommence in September, with a particular focus on ‘safety, access and leadership.’ Before inspections, the CQC will be collating as much information from care providers as possible, reinforcing the importance of making your care service ‘virtually inspectable’.

In June 2019, the CQC released its Smiling Matters report. In it, they looked at the state of oral health care in care services across England. When inspections recommence, it’s likely that the CQC will check this, as an area you’ve addressed.

To refamilarise yourself with what the report found, read through Citation’s free guide to oral health in care.

GET YOUR ORAL HEALTH GUIDE

Want the 24/7 backing of compliance experts?

Citation supports care businesses of all types and sizes with managing their Health & Safety and HR & Employment Law. Citation also have dedicated care products, including a CQC Application (CQC Pro), Care Policies & Procedures, Care Mock Inspections, and more.

Better still, as a member, you get preferential rates on Citation’s services.

To discover how Citation can help your care business, please click below.

FIND OUT MORE


Say So Ltd is proud to be hosting the first in a series of webinars

to provide inspiration, ideas, information and solutions for care owners, senior leaders, care managers and anyone involved in care service delivery.

5 professionals in their field will be presenting on the following important subject areas.
– Business Strategy and Leadership
– Transparency, Internal Communication and Reporting Processes
– Staff Support, Welfare, Practical considerations
– Efficiency reviews, use of technology
– Infection Prevention and Control

Date for your diary – THURSDAY 10th September at 2pm
REGISTER NOW ON THE LINK BELOW

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_46o91fNMQLi9GwHAFHJo7A

Say So care leaflet March 19

Say So General Brochure

 


A recent study by the Daily Express indicated that there has been a significant increase (66%) in complaints made by care staff to CQC during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the majority of concerns raised relating to infection control, social distancing and a lack of PPE.

Our latest update for care providers looks at some practical tips for dealing with whistleblowing disclosures.

From 1 August, the Government “paused” shielding for the clinically extremely vulnerable; however a woeful lack of Government guidance has created significant challenges in getting shielding care staff back to work.

Our latest update highlights the key risk areas and practical steps for care providers to take. 

James Sage

Partner

Health & Social Care

T: 07508 297 597

Email me


The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)

is a free, online self-assessment for health and care providers to evaluate and improve their data and cyber security. The DSPT will help ensure your policies and systems are secure and meet data security and CQC requirements. It will also help you manage risks and share information with other health and care services with peace of mind.

Register now

All adult social care providers in England who have not already registered with the DSPT should do so by 30th September 2020, so that we can let you know when the new version of the DSPT has launched and how to access support.

You can follow our guidance on how to register.


Weekend Testing

Weekend Testing Update August 25th

Please find attached the slide pack from a DHSC webinar on whole home testing. The key points from the webinar to note:

  • DHSC maintains that all homes with Randox kits should have had them replaced by now. If not, you can contact COVIDCareHomeTesting@dhsc.gov.uk to escalate.
  • Any remaining Randox test kits need to be sent back ASAP via courier
  • For those waiting for more testing kits (not replacement ones), there is a small backlog. This will clear as more care providers commit to weekend testing. DHSC believes they will be back on track by 31 August.
  • Pilots of Supported Living and Extra Care testing are happening in 3 Local Authorities: Hertfordshire, LB Bromley and Sheffield. More LA’s are able to volunteer but must email Kavneet.Jolly@dhsc.gov.uk.
  • To use any of the National Testing Programme’s services, users will be assigned a new 8-digit unique organisation number (UON). These will replace the care home ID that is currently in use for care homes.
  • A new dedicated 119 helpline for social care testing will be established at the beginning of September. In particular it will help with the courier booking issues if couriers fail to arrive.
  • Antibody testing is being run by local NHS rather than a nationally coordinated campaign. It is entirely voluntary and will run on a 12 week basis. Some areas will have it and others won’t. Local NHS or DPH should get in touch to let you know how social care workers can access it.

We have also clarified a few issues raised by the letter circulated earlier this week:

  • Weekend testing is an ask but not a requirement. DHSC will not refuse to give test kits to homes that cannot do weekend testing
  • DHSC is attempting to spread testing over all 7 days of the week rather than 4 to try and make the system more efficient

Lastly, see the following link for DHSC run webinars about weekend testing: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2601904/A473C7ECB515B6A15C305690478F5E29/1450322

DPH, DASS weekend testing webinar

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Please see attached the letter to Directors of Public Health and Directors of ASC. It instructs them to encourage weekend testing in care homes. DHSC is currently trying to encourage more testing on weekends as the vast majority of care home testing currently happens during the week. This means the labs have under-used capacity on the weekends. They want to try and use this capacity to reduce the delays to the testing system. Please read the letter carefully as it seems to imply that care homes will be required to commit to weekend testing rather than given a choice. We will be seeking clarification on what exactly is meant. NCF was expecting an emphasis on weekend testing but we did not expect it to be a requirement.

Please do note the webinars explaining these changes on 25 and 26 August from 10am. These are aimed at Directors of Public Health and Directors of ASC but we imagine they will be useful for social care providers as well.

Request to support weekend testing in care homes – Dear Colleague 21 08 20


Changes to shielding guidance in England

Please see the attached letter from Stuart Miller about changes to shielding guidance. It essentially states that the NHS is maintaining details of those on the shielding list in the event of the need to reimpose local or national lockdowns. In this eventuality, the NHS will write to those staff impacted asking them to shield – although it isn’t clear how employers will be informed other than from the staff member. The document also sets out the steps employers should take to mitigate workplace risk and protect individuals identified as being at higher risk.

20200821 _Letter from Stuart Miller _Guidance on staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable


Hospital Discharge Guidance

Funding for discharge service policy – Update 25th August

Following on from the information below, about the new hospital discharge service, DHSC has announced £588m to provide up to 6 weeks of funded care and support for people being discharged from hospital. This can be used for domiciliary care, community nursing services or care home costs. Assessments for those needing funded long-term care or support will resume from September.

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The hospital discharge service requirements, issued in March, have been replaced with a new section of the website which outlines the new hospital discharge service, the reintroduction of NHS continuing healthcare and action cards.

  • The discharge policy introduces a change of process for the discharge to assess approach. From 1 September 2020, for those individuals being discharged from hospital, an assessment of the individual’s longer-term care needs, including Care Act and NHS CHC assessments, should be undertaken  in a community setting during the individual’s period of funded recovery services (which can be up to a maximum of 6 weeks).
  • CCGs will restart NHS continuing healthcare assessment process from 1.9.20
  • Sections 3.13, 4.8, 5.3 of the discharge service policy states that people discharged from hospital to care homes should be tested for COVID-19 in a timely manner ahead of being discharged. But note, ‘Where a test result is still awaited, the person will be discharged if the care home states that it is able to safely isolate the patient…’
  • There is a focus in the new guidance to discharge people as soon as is clinically appropriate.
  • See section 7 of the discharge service policy  for a list of actions for local authorities and adult social care services in implementing the discharge to assess model.
  • See section 9 of the discharge service policy for a list of actions for care providers (including dom care and other types of care). Note the focus on only accepting discharged people from hospital only when it is safe to do so.
  • Section 10 of the discharge service policy outlines how the discharge policy will be funded via the NHS until 31 March 2021. This funding will not pay for:
    • Long-term care needs following completion of a Care Act and/or NHS CHC assessment
    • Social care or NHS CHC packages that are restarted following discharge from hospital at the same level as that already delivered prior to admission to hospital
    • Pre-existing (planned) local authority or CCG expenditure on discharge services
  • Annex C gives an overview of discharge decision making and escalation.

Update to PPE guidance on aerosol generating procedures

The PPE guidance on AGPs has been updated to bring guidance on airborne precautions inline with written guidance.


Eviction Ban Extended

The ban on evictions has been extended for another 4 weeks and new 6-month notice periods to be in place until at least 31 March 2021.


CQC would like to hear your views and feedback on changes they’re proposing to make to their Market Oversight guidance.

We’re proposing to make changes to the guidance on our Market Oversight scheme. We’d like to hear stakeholder views and feedback on changes we’re proposing to reflect learning from the first five years of the scheme.

Since April 2015, we’ve had a statutory responsibility to monitor and assess the financial sustainability of those care organisations in England that local authorities would find difficult to replace should they fail and become unable to carry on delivering a service. Collectively, these providers represent around 30% of the adult social care market in England. You can read more about Market Oversight and how it works on our website.

We’ve learnt a lot over the past 5 years and we’re now engaging for 8 weeks on the proposed changes we wish to make to the Market Oversight guidance, to help streamline it, build on our experience and bring it up to date.

We’d value your views and input in responding to a series of questions about the scheme. Visit our website to share your feedback.


NICE: Decision making and mental capacity

NICE has issued a quality standard which covers decision making in people aged 16 and over, using health and social care services who may need help with making their own decisions.


Update to management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings guidance

This piece of guidance was updated on the 18 August. Section 4 now includes information about when health and social care staff are exempt from being considered a contact for the purposes of Test and Trace. Please note the following:

“It is important to note that the effectiveness of the use of face masks, face coverings, or other PPE for prevention of transmission or acquisition of coronavirus infection cannot be guaranteed in settings other than the provision of direct care with patients or residents. Therefore, the use of PPE in other settings (such as a staff room or canteen) will not exclude an individual from being considered a close contact.”


CQC: Access to care

CQC has published an update for all providers reminding them of their duties to make sure that local guidelines or decision-making protocols ensure that clinical decisions and pathways are not discriminatory and enable equal access to hospital care and treatment for everyone.

CQC Blogs

Debbie Ivanova, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, has written a blog giving an update on CQC’s managed return to inspection, making regulatory contact with all services and what they are doing in areas of local lockdown.

CQC’s Chief Executive, Ian Trenholm, has also written a blog discussing the immediate priorities for CQC, information about the Transitional Regulatory Approach and further information on the future strategy.

CQC have some new projects for you to get involved with on our online participation platform.

Next steps for Provider Collaboration Reviews

The first series of Provider Collaboration Reviews have focused on the interface between health and adult social care for the over-65 population group, as this group has been particularly affected by coronavirus.

Our ambition is to look at provider collaboration in all Integrated Care Systems (ICS) and Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) areas. We’re keen to hear your views on the areas and pathways of systems, and which different population groups future reviews could focus on.

Share your views in this short survey

Research and Evaluation

We strive to be an evidence based regulator. This means making decisions about how we regulate based on clear evidence of what works and what doesn’t.

To support us to do this we’re interested to hear where you think we’d benefit from strengthening our understanding. This could be by;

  • undertaking research development
  • undertaking evaluation work
  • learning from existing research and evidence

Share your feedback through this short survey


Link to the PHE postcode map showing Covid-19 infections. Useful for dynamic assessments.

https://phe.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=47574f7a6e454dc6a42c5f6912ed7076


A message for the registered managers of care homes and/or care home providers

We work in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and our role is to support the NHS staff who have highly challenging work. We have thousands of staff and support them with a wide range of approaches. We do not provide therapy (although sometimes we signpost them to therapy services if they want that). Mostly we find ways to connect people together and think about how to make their work less stressful.

We know that working in care homes can be equally stressful for staff. We know that care home staff often change quite quickly, perhaps because the job is difficult and the rewards poor, and this can lead to a reliance on bank / agency staff which is not easy for anyone.  We are aware that these typical stressors can be felt more acutely during this pandemic.

As we move to becoming one health and social care system, we need to work better together to support each other. We do not think it is possible to provide ‘one approach’ to staff support. Care homes are very varied. You know this field much better than us. You know what the sources of stress and concern are and where things work better. We’d like to build on your expertise to learn how staff can be better supported in care homes in the four main boroughs in which we work – Lambeth, Lewisham, Croydon and Southwark.

We would like to interview you initially to learn from your experiences and understand how we can work with you and your colleagues, perhaps in one or more of your forum meetings, to think about how to better support you and your staff.

Many thanks for your help with this.

With warm regards

Al

Dr Alison Beck

Trust Director of Psychology and Psychotherapy

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

alison.beck@slam.nhs.uk


Sense: a working group have been reviewing the BAME – COVID 19 Risk Management

Guidance for Sense and have made some significant improvements.

Sense have very generously allowed us to circulate these very useful and highly relevant documents.

The new guidance is attached and now includes:

·         More detailed guidance for Managers on having open discussions with their staff team

·         Example questions for Managers to help get the most of your conversations.

·         A new risk assessment template that should be completed by Managers for all BAME employees

·         Control measures table to help you identify local control measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk from COVID-19 for BAME employees

Sense
www.sense.org.uk
Company no 1825301 Charity no 289868

Assessing the risk from coronavirus to BAME employees

BAME Risk Assessment Template and Control Measures Table


CQC Inspectors, PPE and Testing

As some of you will have already seen, CQC has laid out its position on testing, PPE and the signing of insurance disclaimers for CQC inspectors. You can read the position in full through this link.


Update to admission to care home guidance

On Friday the admissions to care home guidance had an additional annex (annex K) added to provide information on testing people moving from the community into a care home. The annex sets out a service model for testing people moving from the community into a care. It is very important you read this annex as it sets out a requirement to test any community admission for COVID-19 if they haven’t had a test within the previous 2 days. It also contains a case study.


What to do if your staff have been holidaying and that country has now had quarantine

restrictions applied?

With France, Netherlands, Belgium and other countries last week added to the list of countries whereby quarantine restrictions have been re-applied and a 14-day self-isolation period is now required for returning travellers, we have had a number of questions from employers about what this means for them.

Questions we’ve had from businesses include:

  • What is the position on foreign travel?
  • What do employees get paid during this period of self-isolation?
  • Can I force an employee to take this self-isolation period as holiday?
  • Can I cancel my employee’s holiday?
  • Can I manage this within my business?

Quarantine LCAS member guidance


CQC – Infection prevention and control in care homes

Our inspectors use this set of questions and prompts to look at how well staff and people living in care homes are protected by infection prevention and control (IPC) – key line of enquiry S5.

https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/residential-adult-social-care/infection-prevention-control-care-homes


Hospital discharge and preventing unnecessary hospital admissions (COVID-19)

Updated SCIE Guidance

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/commissioning/hospital-discharge-admissions?utm_campaign=11734349_SCIELine%2011%20August&utm_medium=email&utm_source=SOCIAL%20CARE%20INSTITUTE%20FOR%20EXCELLENCE%20&utm_sfid=003G000002HpREMIA3&utm_role=Director&dm_i=4O5,6ZIA5,K6B8Y9,S4Y56,1


Help shape a new guidance portal for providers

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NICE are working together to build a guidance portal for care providers which will sit on GOV.UK. The portal will summarise the key avenues of support and guidance on COVID-19 related issues facing care providers in a simple and accessible way under different headings. The team working on this would like to test these headings out with key stakeholders to ensure they are capturing the most common issues faced by social care providers.

If you are interested in taking part in this work could you please complete this survey on the headings by 5pm on Wednesday 12 August.  Please note the headings are still in draft and may change after feedback.


Help improve access to COVID-19 antibody testing

NHS Digital wants to understand how they can support adult social care staff to access COVID-19 Antibody Testing in the community. To support this they would like to speak to people who work in adult social care to understand the experience of ordering kits and collecting data to register tests, as well as taking tests.

Your help will give them a better understanding of the needs of adult social care services and care staff, and help them to build a better service.

Research sessions will be conducted remotely and last approximately 45 minutes. They will ask you some questions and also show you a website prototype. All feedback will be anonymised, stored securely and used only for the purpose of improving the service.

If you are interested in participating, please contact rachel@hippodigitial.co.uk.


Social Care Taskforce – BAME Advisory sub-group engagement and survey requests

The BAME Advisory sub-group has been tasked to bring forward a set of recommendations  aimed at reducing the risk of COVID-19 specifically to BAME staff working in the social care sector and those that receive care.

In order to inform the work, the sub-group is looking to hear from as many people from BAME backgrounds as possible – staff and those in receipt of care. Please see below for details of two engagement events and two surveys. Please circulate this amongst your staff and those you work with.

BAME workforce Engagement Event (10 August)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bame-adult-social-care-workforce-engagement-event-tickets-116101535819

BAME Service User Engagement Event (10 August)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bame-communities-adult-social-care-engagement-event-tickets-116106141595

BAME Workforce Survey

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2XN58D

BAME Service User Survey

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NNHLGMQ


Supported Living Guidance

Supported Living guidance,

Attached, a summary of what the guidance entails. NCF’s initial reading is that it adopts quite a lot from existing guidance and links to it, such as the domiciliary PPE guidance, rather than anything new. It leaves a lot of the planning, responsibility and operationalisation of the guidance to care providers. In terms of testing, testing will only happen if symptoms are present. There are no mechanisms built-in for asymptomatic testing. We feel there are some odd gaps around what happens to someone in receipt of care if a staff member tests positive – we assume normal Test & Trace procedures would trigger. Please have a read and let us know what you think.

NCF briefing Supported Living Guidance

It sets out:


CQC Infection Prevention Control Inspection Toolkit

CQC previously introduced how they were looking at Infection Prevention Control (IPC) in care homes and have now published a new IPC inspection tool on their website.  

The tool will be used as CQC increase targeted and focused inspections of high risk services. The tool will be used to gather information about the strengths of a service and to understand if there are any gaps or concerns around IPC where CQC could signpost to resources which could help.

20120723 IPC Thematic Review Inspector Script

 

CQC – Updates

Infection, Prevention and Control in Care Homes

Further to our Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in care homes work we have now published the questions and prompts on our website.

We previously introduced how we are looking at Infection Prevention Control (IPC) in care homes and have now published our new IPC inspection tool on our website.  

As we increase targeted and focused inspections of high risk services, this tool will be used to look at how well staff and people who live in the care home are protected by the prevention and control of infection (Key Line of Enquiry S5). Over time, we will look to improve and adapt the tool for other types of services.

The tool will help us to gather information about the strengths of a service and to understand if there are any gaps or concerns around IPC where we can signpost to resources which could help. 

As we all plan to manage any risk of a second wave of the coronavirus and the impact of winter pressures this helpful tool is something you can use to prepare.

Principles for Innovation in Health and Social Care

We previously shared the link to the Citizenlab project to submit feedback on the Principles for Innovation in Health and Social Care with all Trade Associations. I wanted to re highlight this as the project is only live for one more week. It can be found by logging in here.


Learning & Partnership Virtual Meeting

Thursday August 6th 2020 10.00 – 11.30

Jane Moore from NICE; Staff Wellbeing.

NICE presentation to LCAS network August 2020 Jane Moore for circulation

The social care workforce is playing a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that all employees feel supported in order for them to continue their valuable work.

Laura Anthony from Skills for Care; with the regular update from SfC.

RM network slidesCroydonWandsworthVirtual060820

Richard Whittome New City College Contact details

E: richard.whittome@ncclondon.ac.uk

M: 07703 770587

John Buttle Social Works

E: john.buttle1@btinternet.com

M: 07968 195491

Some of you will already have signed up and be members of the RM Network, either personally, or as an organisation.  If you haven’t, do look at https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/support-for-registered-managers/membership/membership.aspx and consider the benefits of joining.

Any queries, contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org 07956878901

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@peoplecareservices.com 07984466130

E&OE


PPE – Update

PPE Portal Now Open for ALL!

you should have received details of this via your CQC registered e-mail address, if you have not, please check spam / bulk.


Flu Jabs – Update

Opening of ADDITIONAL Ordering from the CRC

We are currently processing the orders already placed and they will arrive before the end of August. We will now be opening additional ordering of free campaign materials for those who have not already ordered for the Health and Social Care Worker flu vaccination campaign. These will be available on the PHE Campaign Resource Centre  Health and Social Care Workers Flu Immunisation from the 7th August 2020. The resources ordered through the CRC will arrive in September.

Please Note:

If you have already completed an “I’ve had my flu jab” order form and have received an order confirmation your materials will be delivered late August and you do not need to order from the additional materials from the PHE CRC.

Available to order from the Campaign Resource Centre:

  • Posters – showing a range of health and social care staff
  • “I’ve had my flu jab “Sticker sheets
  • NHS and Social Care A5 Information sheet
  • NHS and Social Care Worker Leaflets

Adaptable artwork files and digital and social care materials will be available shortly.

All materials will begin to be distributed from late August.

HSCW_Flu_Vaccination_presentation_30.07.2020


Your free guide to visitation in care homes

Last month the government announced new guidance on visiting arrangements in care homes, with residents in England now able to be visited by their loved ones, as long as the correct safety measures are in place to protect your residents and your carers.

The experts of our partner, Citation, has summarised all you need to know about putting the government’s guidelines into practice. From creating designated visitor areas to controlling the risk of infection spreading, you can read everything you need to know about the new visitation measures in this free guide.

GET YOUR FREE GUIDE

In this guide, you’ll find more information about:

  • How many visitors it’s safe for residents to have;
  • Types of visit that comply with social distancing rules;
  • Carrying out dynamic risk assessments;
  • How to create and communicate a visiting policy.

Want the support of Health & Safety experts?

Are you looking to outsource your Health & Safety? Or would you like to give your in-house team the backing of an external team of experts and 24/7 access to resources and support?

Citation supports care businesses of all types and sizes with managing their Health & Safety and HR & Employment Law. They also have dedicated care products, including a CQC Application (CQC Pro), Care Policies & Procedures, Care Mock Inspections, and more. And as a London Care & Support Forum member, you are entitled to preferential rates on their services.

To discover how they can help your care business, please click below.

FIND OUT MORE


Open consultation

Caldicott Principles: a consultation about revising, expanding and upholding the principles

Consultation description

The National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care (NDG) is seeking views on:

  • Proposed revisions to the seven existing Caldicott Principles;
  • Proposed extension of the Caldicott Principles through the introduction of an additional principle which makes clear that patients’ and service users’ expectations must be considered and informed when confidential information is used;
  • The proposal that the NDG uses her statutory power to issue guidance about organisations appointing Caldicott Guardians to uphold the Caldicott Principles.

We’ve provided more information in a background document which you can download from this page. You may find it helpful to read this before answering the consultation survey.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/caldicott-principles-a-consultation-about-revising-expanding-and-upholding-the-principles


Bereavement Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the experience of bereavement much harder than previously and presents additional challenges when seeking to support bereaved people.

The University of Cambridge alliative and End of Life Care Research Group is undertaking a national survey of a wide range of people who are supporting bereaved people during the pandemic. We would be very grateful if you could complete the anonymous survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/V97QP5Q which takes less than five minutes to complete.


Testing Update

It would appear this was sent to Local Authorities on Friday but not care providers.

It confirms the DHSC has revised their previously advised timelines:

  • They will now reach all care homes for older people and people with dementia by the 7 September 2020.
  • If you have already started regular testing, there may be a wait for your second month’s order to be fulfilled until they have reached all care homes for older people and people with dementia.
  • All other adult care homes will be able to start to place orders for test kits from the 31 August 2020.

Between now and 7 September they will take steps to target testing capacity where it is most needed.

Do also note that from 7 August, care homes will be able to bulk register tests.

Rapid 90-minute Tests

We also have news that rapid 90-minute tests – which use saliva or swabs – are being rolled out to care homes and hospitals. The LamPORE tests are going to care homes from next week – although we don’t have any actual implementation details. We are bemused why this announcement hasn’t been joined up with the announcement about the whole home testing delay.

It appears these tests can detect COVID-19 as well as other winter viruses.

Care home testing factsheet

DHSC Care Home Testing – Letter 31 July 2020

Routes for Coronavirus testing in adult social care in England


LCAS recorded webinars – risk assessment and mental health

LCAS have co-produced three recorded webinars with Citation, the first two of which can be watched on-demand here.

Staff and mental health

It is essential that employers understand the importance of staff wellbeing all of the time, and especially now. The impact that COVID-19 has had on many staff in the sector has been huge, and we should not assume that everybody is coping.

With that in mind, some of the key discussion points within the webinar include:

  • What employers do to ensure they are supporting their staff with wellbeing and mental health;
  • Practical solutions for how providers can monitor both service user and staff mental health and wellbeing;
  • Managing driving risk, tiredness and stress from the additional pressures of COVID-19, particularly in domiciliary care.

WATCH THE WEBINAR

COVID-19 risk assessments

With this and the HSE rapidly increasing the regularity of its spot checks, putting your COVID-secure risk assessment (s) in place has to be your number one priority.

To help care providers get to grips with risk assessments and avoid common pitfalls, LCAS has co-produced a bite-sized recorded webinar with Health & Safety experts, Citation. This 15-minute webinar provides some actionable top tips.

WATCH THE WEBINAR

Some of the key discussion points within the webinar include:

  • The measures that providers need to consider in respect of their infection control arrangements;
  • How care providers can make sure their staff are aware of what they need to do;
  • Any specific issues providers need to consider with respect to vulnerable staff or at-risk groups, such as BAME.

Got any questions or looking for support?

If you’d like to discuss any aspects of the Health & Safety side of your business or are looking for external support, please click here. You can book a one-hour slot with Citation to chat about your LCAS member benefit and the support they offer.

 


DHSC Request for PPE Invoice Data

DHSC has extended the time available to submit evidence to Friday 7 August. I have reattached the letter explaining what they want and the excel document for data entry.

Future Planning of PPE Supply July 2020 TFGp note final

Invoice Template – PPE invoicesFin


DHSC Survey on COVID-19 Communications

DHSC is seeking views from providers on social care COVID-19 communications. The survey is open until Thursday 6 August.


Managing community outbreaks: Actions for Social Care

See this letter from David Pearson, Head of the Social Care Taskforce, to ADASS, LGA, Better Care Support Team, NHS, Association of Directors of Public Health, CQC and CPA.

The letter outlines that the Taskforce is undertaking some work with Test and Trace and the Contain programme nationally to align advice. In view of this they have suggested that there is a simulation exercise and that they invite colleagues to take part in this.

In the meantime, from the work undertaken in Leicester the following advice about actions in the event over concern about outbreaks or rising cases has been formulated.

  • DASS: Inform all care providers of the heightened risk from increased community transmission
  • DASS: Advise of the need to follow the guidance on Infection, Prevention and Control and social distancing, including between staff in communal areas providing links to the relevant guidance
  • DASS /DPH /CCG /CQC: Review quantitative and qualitative data on risk and the areas of highest transmission i.e. those that have experienced one or more outbreaks and/or have not recovered. Including infection levels, deaths (COVID and other causes) and other quality concerns
  • DASS: Ensure frequent/regular calls to care homes on questions of infection control, risk assessments, outbreaks, staffing (isolating, sickness and capacity, PPE supply, test results)
  • CCG/DASS: Assure clinical lead arrangements in Primary Care support for care homes and residents
  • DASS/DPH: Consider reprioritising testing to high priority areas and review visiting policies
  • DASS/Providers: Reviewing high risk factors, e.g. reducing staff movement (including re-viewing other employment); paying full pay for sickness absence; social distancing outside work
  • DASS/CCG/CQC: Risk summits, audit and review of higher risk settings

PPE Illustrated guide for community and social care settings

PHE has published guidance which illustrates:

  • which PPE to wear depending on where and how you are working
  • how to work safely using your PPE and safer working practices to protect staff and residents

Job Retention Bonus

A policy paper has been published by HMRC detailing eligibility requirements and what employers need to do now to claim the bonus. Full guidance will be published at the end of September.


Whole Home Testing – Randox and new tests

You will be aware of the fiasco with Randox and the inability to source enough tests for weekly testing for most of you. There is a wait for a formal letter with a new timetable from DHSC. In the meantime it looks like DHSC have updated the timeline on the getting tested page. It now states that applications for retesting for adult care homes for under-65s won’t open until 31 August. This would imply that it may be some weeks until the regular testing routine is back to the way it was before Randox tests were withdrawn for care homes for over-65s.


Management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care

settings

This guidance now contains information on the re-testing of staff. Section 3 states:

“Staff who have previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR should be exempt from re-testing within a period of 6 weeks from their initial illness onset, unless they develop new symptoms, in which case they will need retesting.

If staff are tested by PCR after 6 weeks from their initial illness onset and are still found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2, this could be due to a persistently positive test associated with the original infection, rather than a new infection as fragments of inactive virus can remain for some time following infection. If they have developed new possible COVID-19 symptoms after 6 weeks, they would need to self-isolate again. If, however, they are asymptomatic, further management should be discussed with an infection specialist (for example a specialist in microbiology, virology or infectious diseases) before a decision is made regarding another self-isolation period.”

It also has been updated to reflect the extension of the self-isolation guidance from 7 to 10 days as well as the 14 days isolation period for staff and patients who are admitted to hospital.


Visiting care homes guidance

This guidance has been updated to say that no one should be allowed to enter a care home if they are currently experiencing or first experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the last 10 days. It also advises that visitors cycle or walk to the care home.


Changes to Easing of Lockdown

As you will have seen, the last few days have seen some significant changes in the ‘roadmap to recovery’ for easing lockdown. The PM, in a briefing today, (Friday) announced more details on North of England restrictions (see below) as well as the delay to easements that were supposed to come into force tomorrow.

Delaying proposed changes

The following changes proposed for 1 August have been delayed:

  • remaining leisure settings such as bowling, skating rinks and casinos will remain closed
  • indoor performances will not be permitted
  • restrictions will remain on the highest risk close contact services, such as treatments on the face
  • Guidance on weddings and civil partnerships is unchanged but receptions exceeding the guidance on gatherings in your local area are banned
  • Guidance on visiting care homes is unchanged except if there is an outbreak or community hotspots leading to local lockdown.

Shielding

With the exception of areas in local restrictions, the pause on shielding is going ahead tomorrow (1 August.) Guidance on the pausing of shielding can be found here.

Face coverings

The list of areas where face coverings are mandatory is being extended from 8 August and will be enforced.

Working safely

The government has left it up to employers to decide whether employees should work from home or the office.

The social distancing guidance has been updated to reflect the above. Local lockdown guidance for social distancing can be found here.


Workforce Advisory Group – Adult Social Care Taskforce

The workforce advisory group is one of the 8 advisory groups feeding into the government Adult Social Care Taskforce, chaired by David Pearson. The advisory group is meeting a total of 5 times over July/August. It will meet for the last time on the 5th August to agree a set of recommendations for the Task Force. There are currently two public documents (below, and these have already been circulated previously) produced by the group and more are likely to follow. The first looks at how the role of the front line care worker has changed during COVID-19. The second focusses on the things we need to do in order to ensure we have the workforce that we need.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about these documents or the advisory group more broadly.

Workforce Advisory Group – Ensuring we have the staff we need – Final – ..

Role of Care Worker – Public Document – 17th July 2020


Government threw care homes ‘to the wolves’ at the height of the pandemic, find MPs

25,000 patients were discharged from hospitals into care homes without ensuring all were first tested for COVID-19.

https://nursingnotes.co.uk/news/workforce/government-threw-care-homes-to-wolves-covid-19conclude-mps/



World Health Organisation

Preventing and managing COVID-19 across long-term care services

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected older people disproportionately, especially those living in long-term care facilities. In many countries, evidence shows that more than 40% of COVID-19 related deaths have been linked to long-term care facilities, with figures being as high as 80% in some high-income countries. Furthermore, in long-term care facilities, the case fatality for residents with COVID-19 may be higher than in the population of the same age living outside long-term care facilities. Residents of long-term care facilities often face high risk, low preventive measures and inadequate resources to recover from COVID-19, as well as reduced access to essential health services in a context where health systems are experiencing constraints during the COVID-19 surge. The impact of COVID-19 has additionally been high in providers of long-term care services, within longterm facilities and in other settings. A 2020 study by the United Kingdom Office for National Statistics of deaths by occupation found that the social care workforce had a significantly raised death rate associated with COVID-19.
WHO-2019-nCoV-Policy_Brief-Long-term_Care-2020.1-eng


IPPR Report: Resilient health and care: Learning the lessons of Covid-19

Covid-19 is one of the biggest shocks in modern peacetime history. It has caused huge loss of life, and severely impacted both our society and our economy. It might be tempting to see the outbreak as a case of bad luck – a one-off event from which we should return to normal, as soon as possible. This would, however, be a mistake.

The evidence is clear that global disease outbreaks are a growing threat. We should, therefore, approach Covid-19 like a natural disaster. When flooding or earthquakes occur, it is always important to build back with flood defences and resilient construction. We need to do the same in the health and care system.

https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/resilient-health-and-care


What is the Prompt Payment Code?

Are you being paid on time, for example by a local authority? All local authorities (we believe) are signed up to this code.

The Prompt Payment Code (PPC) is a voluntary code of practice for businesses, administered by the Office of the Small Business Commissioner (SBC) on behalf of BEIS. It was established in December 2008 and sets standards for payment practices between organisations of any size and their suppliers.

The Ethos of the Code

Signatories have always undertaken to:

1) pay suppliers on time, within agreed terms;
2) give clear guidance to suppliers on terms, dispute resolution and prompt notification of late payment;
3) support good practice throughout their supply chain by encouraging adoption of the Code.

The Code has subsequently been strengthened and requires signatories to undertake to pay 95% of invoices within a maximum of 60 days, work towards adopting 30 days as the norm and avoid any practices that adversely affect the supply chain.

https://www.smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk/ppc/


Social Care Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)

A new version of the Toolkit is being developed for use by care providers. We want to ensure that the questions contained within the Toolkit are more easily understood by care providers. We are therefore seeking the views of providers of adult social care.

To access the survey

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/DSPTsurvey/


CQC’s participation platform

Get involved and share your ideas on their work

https://cqc.citizenlab.co/en-GB/

This is a valuable and useful opportunity for you as experienced and highly trained professionals to contribute to the future of social care regulation.


DH&SC Advice on mask wearing

The requirement to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets from 24 July and how to support those who are exempt. The updated guidance on face coverings has now been published and is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Staff and employees are expected to act reasonably and not challenge people on why they are not wearing a face covering. Some people may feel more comfortable with a visual cue showing they do not have to wear a face covering. The updated guidance includes a link to ‘exemption card templates’ that are suggested for this purpose.


CQC – How to get the most out of inspection​: What a good inspection looks and feels like

CQC has come together with partners from across the adult social care sector to set out key principles and a shared understanding so that everyone gets the most out of inspection. The new document, published today, addresses common misunderstandings and describes clear expectations to ensure effective joint working which will ultimately result in better care for people.

Sue Howard, Deputy Chief inspector for Adult Social Care, said “I am delighted that we have been able to come together constructively to draw up these guidelines which will benefit care providers and their staff, our inspectors and the people using the service.”

“As the Adult Social Care sector continues to adjust to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to establish mutual understanding and support in carrying out inspections.“

Lisa Lenton, Chair, Care Providers Alliance, said “Effective relationships are based on communication and collaboration and we welcome this document that outlines the expectations for both providers and inspectors during an inspection. This has been a joint piece of work between CQC and provider representative bodies to set these key principles to ensure everyone involved gets the most from inspection – most importantly of course, for the benefit people who access care and support services.”

While routine inspections have been paused, CQC have continued to inspect in response to risk and concerns raised, and services have remained subject to close monitoring using a range of intelligence sources.

At the heart of this new publication is the need to establish good communication and an understanding that everyone is working to achieve the same outcome: great quality care for people using services. It also recognises the need for respect and dignity of all parties during an inspection as one of the key themes running throughout all stages of an inspection.

20200708 Inspector and Provider Expectations ACCESSIBLE v1


Social Works WDF supported training

as mentioned in the RM V-meeting July 23rd 2020

SW FUNDED New Staff CCL2Meds

SW FUNDED MANAGEMENT July Aug Sep 2020

John Buttle

Social Works Limited

Tel: 020 7277 9117
Mob: 07968 195 491
www.socialworksltd.co.uk


Sustaining Work-Relevant Mental Health Post COVID-19 Toolkit

This toolkit presents a range of information and guidance which aims to assist organisations and staff in managing work-relevant mental health. It is not a definitive document, but rather endeavours to be a useful and comprehensive resource providing an evidenced-based approach to supporting mental health in the workplace. The toolkit’s objective is to offer focused and practical solutions to reduce, or eliminate, problems which contribute to work-relevant mental ill health. In doing so, the toolkit’s purpose is to both help protect the workforce and the organisation during the post COVID-19 period.

Sustaining_work_relevant_mental_health_post_COVID-19_toolkit


Update on policies for visiting arrangements in care homes

Our first priority continues to be to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in care homes 1 and prevent future outbreaks, to ensure the health and safety of both care workers and residents. We appreciate the challenges which care homes, as distinct from other health and care settings, face in safeguarding their residents from infection, and the particular risks of outbreaks of infection in care homes.

We recognise that lockdown has been difficult for many residents and families over the past few months and that visits are important for all those in care settings. Directors of public health and care providers should follow this guidance to ensure policies for visiting arrangements and decisions are based on a dynamic risk assessment and minimise risk wherever possible.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/update-on-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes#fn


GET YOUR FREE INFECTION CONTROL IN CARE CHECKLIST

Infection control in care settings: an essential, free checklist

Infection prevention and control has always been important in care settings, but now more so than ever.

As part of the Emergency Support Framework (ESF) developed by the CQC, the first discussion area of the framework is ‘Safe Care and Treatment’. Specifically, the first question your inspector could ask during your telephone conversation is ‘Had risks related to infection prevention and control, including in relation to COVID-19, been assessed and managed?’

To give you a helping hand with your duties, the in-house care experts of Citation have shared a handful of key questions they ask care providers when inspecting their site, specifically relating to infection prevention and control.


THE ROLE OF THE CARE WORKER

Public Output from the First meeting of the Workforce Advisory Group Meeting on the 8th July 2020

The Workforce Advisory Group has been formed to support the Adult Social Care Taskforce. The remit of the advisory group is:-

Role of Care Worker – Public Document – 17th July 2020


Stop Racism

Thought provoking and very useful article by Wayne Reid, BASW England professional officer and social worker. Lots of information on how to deal with this in the workplace.

Stop Racism


PPE resources for care home and domiciliary care were published yesterday evening.

Thank you all for your contributions throughout the process of updating these resources.

These resources have been updated from the previous version of this document as follows:

  • incorporates recommendation (July 2020) for the use of face masks and coverings in care
  • homes to prevent COVID-19 transmission as follows:
    • a third table has been added
    • additional questions and answers have been added including adapting advice provided by NHS England for hospital settings to this context
    • updates to some existing questions and answers have been made

Links below remain unchanged from previous versions:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-care-homes

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-domiciliary-care


Social Works fully-funded high-quality training for new adult social care workers

Sessions now starting again every Thursday.

Over 4 days home virtual study with us your new recruits cover both the Care Certificate (Knowledge)* and the Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Medication Handling and Administration for Care Settings (RQF).
Learn more
Learners welcome from any organisation claiming WDF funding**
All is taught, by experienced and qualified trainers with extensive adult social care experience. We use a mix of Zoom conferencing, email and telephone support as well as a wealth of resources and guidance material.
All training includes extra learning on Covid-19.
Learners will need access to a Laptop/PC/Tablet, a reasonable understanding of written and spoken English, and the commitment to spend 5-6 hours a day studying with us.

To get your learners enrolled, just send us their details (name, email, telephone) as soon as you can, with their preferred start date. Learners will need to be registered with us the day before training begins. 

Contact us today to book or find out more. 

See what other funded training we now have available

John Buttle john@socialworksltd.co.uk / 020 7277 9117 / 07968 195491

*Please note the 4 days funded training covers the Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Medication Handling and Administration for Care Settings (RQF), as well as all the Care Certificate Knowledge Standards except Basic Life Support, which you can either cover inhouse, or Social Works Ltd can do it for you over an additional ½ day training which you will need to contact us directly to arrange). “*To access Skills for Care Workforce Development Funding you will need to engage with the ASC Workforce Data Set (previously known as the NMDS-SC) and join a local employer partnership.


Flu Vaccination Campaign 2020

“I’ve had my flu jab” health and social care worker flu vaccination campaign delivered by Public Health England (PHE). “I’ve had my flu jab” continues last year’s shield motif to emphasise the protective benefit of the flu vaccination and message  “Protects You, Your family and patients from the flu, You can give the flu to your family and patients without having any symptoms. Protect those close to you.”  to encourage the uptake of flu vaccinations by health and social care workers.

This year we are offering free print materials as well as digital resources to social care organisations, the materials will feature the CARE logo and will be part of a comms toolkit including posters, stickers and leaflets that can be ordered and social media and other resources that can be downloaded from the Health and Social Care Workers Flu Immunisation and used and adapted to suit local need

There will be a range of digital resources available for download:

  1. Comms toolkit including brand guidelines
  2. HSCW presentation
  3. Editable files
  4. Social assets of the following health and social care workers for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Porter
  • Paramedic
  • Social Worker
  • Community Health Worker

Case Studies

Screen Savers

E-signature

The printed materials will be available  to order using this order form –  https://partnerships.wufoo.com/forms/zo2cqka10i61at/

The national flu immunisation programme 2020/21

The_national_flu_immunisation_programme_2020_to_2021-2


Local Authority Funding – Covid-19

The Care Association Alliance is working to bring together all of our experiences with COVID-19 and funding support to social care providers from Local Authorities. Please see the link below for a survey that we have put together. We will then bring together the results and share these with LCAS, and try to get some momentum behind a PR drive to try and shame those authorities that are being particularly difficult.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XW7YDFG


Cleaning of non-healthcare settings

PHE has issued guidance on cleaning non-healthcare settings outside the home. The guidance does not apply to settings where care is being delivered but will be relevant for office environments.


PPE Portal

The PPE portal was updated this week with the ability to order visors. It also appears that the limits have also been increased. It is still aimed at ‘small’ care providers.


Face coverings

Face coverings will now be required in shops from 24 July in England. Guidance has been issued in preparation for this and to explain the other settings where face coverings need to be worn.


Testing in Care Homes: DHSC Statistics

DHSC has published statistics to 8 July about the testing in care homes.

It states that 741,021 tests (including those for family members) have been carried out for social care as a whole. 352,946 tests have been carried out for care home residents in Pillar 2 (swab testing through commercial partnerships). Note, that for both figures this isn’t the same as people being tested – an individual can receive more than one test.

Is estimated that an additional 100,900 residents of care homes have been tested via Pillar 1 testing (PHE labs and NHS hospitals). Pillar 1 testing counts the individuals being tested rather than the number of tests carried out.


Delay of Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) Implementation

The LPS have been delayed until April 2022 by the Minister for Care. These are intended to replace DoLs and were supposed to go live on 1 October 2020. While the full implementation won’t happen until April 2022, some provisions, covering new roles and training, may come into force ahead of that date.


Safety Issues with Randox Testing Kits – Stop using them with immediate effect

As you will no doubt have seen by now, DHSC is telling providers to stop using Randox Kits due to a safety issue they are investigating. The accuracy of testing results from these kits is unaffected. The request to stop using them only applies to unused Randox kits. Those already used can still be collected and analysed. DHSC has said providers will be supporting all testing settings to receive replacements kits as soon as possible.


Guidance on Best interests decisions and DoLs

SCIE has published some helpful guidance on best interests decisions and the Mental Capacity Act during COVID-19.


Health and Care Visa

The government has excluded care workers from its fast track Health and Care visa (see annex d). Unfortunately, this means they are also excluded from an automatic exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge, despite previous promises. The Home Office has said they are working on a system for these care workers to be reimbursed later in the year but in the meantime, they will have to continue paying the surcharge.


CQC Provider Collaboration Reviews

Please find below a letter from CQC with information about the Provider Collaboration reviews. It outlines the aims and what CQC sees as the benefits of the reviews. The aims are:

  • Support providers across systems by sharing learning around key attributes of partnership efforts, resulting in improved experiences and outcomes for those who have used services during the pandemic.
  • Share the learning of approaches underway to support preparation for re-establishing services
  • Share learning locally and nationally in advance of any subsequent spikes and winter 2020/21, to help drive improvement.

CQC Provider Collaboration Reviews – letter to providers


Government launches Health and Care Visa to ensure UK health and care services have

access to the best global talent

The new Health and Care Visa will make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals from around the world to come to the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-health-and-care-visa-to-ensure-uk-health-and-care-services-have-access-to-the-best-global-talent


CQC Webinars

CQC Strategy 2021: Smarter regulation for a safer future webinar, July 13th 2020.

Please find attached the meeting presentation used in the webinar. A recording of this webinar, and the other themes in this series, will be available on the CQC website soon.

20200630 Strategy – Driving and Supporting Improvement

You can also help shape our strategy by taking part in these short surveys and feeding back your views on the ‘Driving and supporting improvement’ theme:

If you would like to feedback on other emerging strategic themes you can do this through our digital participation platform by signing up or logging in here.


Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)

The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) is a free, online self-assessment tool that enables health and social care organisations to demonstrate their compliance with data protection standards. Completing the toolkit will demonstrate your good practice and it is your service’s passport to accessing NHS shared care records. That’s going to be more and more important as time goes on – but care providers have often found the toolkit a struggle.

Could you help us improve the toolkit? We just need ten minutes of your time, please click on this link to complete our survey designed to find out which questions make the most sense in practice. Thank you!


Domiciliary care staff COVID-19 prevalence survey

The findings of PHE’s prevalence survey shows that the prevalence of COVID-19 among domiciliary care workers who are currently working is in line with the general population (0.1% with a 95% confidence interval of 0.02%-0.40% compared with 0.09% (95% confidence interval 0.04% – 0.19%) in the general population) and not a higher prevalence as observed in studies of front line healthcare workers and care home staff.


Potentially infectious people: Public health officers application of Schedule 21 to Coronavirus Act 2020

This guidance outlines the powers public health officers have in regards to potentially infectious people in England.


CQC plans for rapid reviews for local areas response to COVID-19

CQC is planning Provider Collaboration Reviews (PCRs) focussed on 11 Integrated Care System (ICS) or Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) areas. The reviews will support providers across systems by sharing learning, helping to drive improvements and prepare for future pressures on local health and care systems.


Steps to take following the death of a person who worked in adult social care in England

DHSC has updated this guidance with a new section on informing the coroner.


Support for business from outside government

The government has a webpage dedicated to listing where businesses can get support from public bodies, organisations and charities.


Purchasing medical devices for social care – MHRA

This link takes you to a presentation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It details which items providers should buy, how and why decisions to expediate CE marking was made, and how providers can find out if a non-CE marked product is suitable.


Guidance for managing a funeral

The guidance for managing a funeral during the pandemic has been updated. Changes include:

  • allowing both family and friends to attend a funeral
  • the number of people who can attend a funeral
  • allowing mourners to stay overnight outside their home
  • the safe management of the funeral venue

SCIE Day Centre Guidance

SCIE has written some guidance for community-based day services, day centres and those with outdoor spaces. It includes guidance for re-opening. SCIE are happy to receive feedback and make changes to this guidance so do let us know if you think anything should be changed or added.


CQC Report

How to get the most out of inspection – What a good inspection looks and feels like

20200708 Inspector and Provider Expectations Document


BAME workforce – COVID-19 recovery and beyond

Supportive leadership during COVID-19

This is the first in a series of webinars which is part of wider work being undertaken by Skills for Care to find out more about the experiences of social care workers from a BAME background during the pandemic.

We know that people from BAME backgrounds account for 1 in 5 of the social care workforce in England and research by Public Health England revealed that people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Other Asian, Caribbean and Other Black ethnicity had between 10 and 50% higher risk of death when compared to White British.

To help us deliver the best possible support to workers from BAME backgrounds we need to know more about the direct impact on them across the sector.

All webinars will be facilitated by Paul Daly, Skills for Care and Sophie Chester-Glynn, who as well as being a frontline employer, leads the popular weekly online discussion programme Chat for Carers.

Each webinar will feature a panel of BAME leaders with lived experiences and the discussion will focus on sharing understanding and generating ideas around the key issues.

Participants will explore their own experiences, hear good practice examples and pose questions to panel members. They will have the opportunity at a later date to delve deeper into some of these emerging themes during the peer coaching sessions.

     
Tuesday 14 July 2020

 

11:00 – 12:00

Online event – via Zoom

Book now

 

RM Meeting July 9th

All the presentations, contact details, etc are now available at

https://lcasforumorg.wordpress.com/croydon-area-registered-manager-network/

Next meeting July 23rd 09.45 – 11.15 (please note earlier start time)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/99533066044?pwd=QWxUbDB3S1JRRXBNK2loWXppSGhnQT09

Meeting ID: 995 3306 6044
Password: 045225
One tap mobile
+442034815237,,99533066044#,,,,0#,,045225# United Kingdom
+442034815240,,99533066044#,,,,0#,,045225# United Kingdom


CQC: Support our new campaign to encourage more people to speak up about their

care!

Today, we launch Because We All Care, a new campaign led by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Healthwatch England. It aims to help services identify and address quality issues and support patients in response to COVID-19 by encouraging people to share feedback on their experiences of health and social care services in England.

CQC is responsible for monitoring, inspecting and regulating all health and social care services in the country. Healthwatch England is the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services. The campaign will be targeting all health and social care users in England, and front-line staff working in health and social care, both nationally and regionally. Throughout the year we’ll be focusing on different population groups including people with a learning disability and/ or autism, carers, people with a long-term condition and older adults. We’ll also be continuously working to reach out to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and people from communities that we don’t usually hear from on a regular basis.

Get involved

We’d greatly appreciate your support, here are some ways you can use our campaign toolkit to get involved:

  • Share the campaign messaging and images on social media
  • Use the #BecauseWeAllCare to spread the word
  • Retweet or share content from CQC, Healthwatch and other partners social channels
  • Contribute case study stories
  • Supporting the campaign on your website’s news page, homepage or blog
  • Highlight the campaign in your newsletters and bulletins
  • Reference or support the campaign through your press activity

 


Register now for regular testing of care home staff and residents

From the 6th of July we are starting to roll out weekly testing of staff and testing of residents every 28 days, in all care homes without a current outbreak.

Care homes will need to re-register on the care home portal to apply for regular testing.

Applications for regular testing are now open for care homes caring for the over-65s and those with dementia.

Register for regular testing here

Find out more about regular testing


Guidance on Shielding

The shielding guidance for people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable has been updated to reflect the changes that came into force today. People who are shielding will:

  • no longer need to socially distance from people they live with
  • be able to meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from other households
  • may form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household
  • still be able to get a food box, care and/or medicine delivery until 31 July (if registered online by 17 July).

From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly.


Letter from David Pearson

Attached, a letter from David Pearson which repeats the importance of reducing staff movement between care homes. It also gives an overview of what the Social Care Taskforce will be doing.

Letter from David Pearson CBE – COVID-19 and staff movement between care homes


Skills for Care survey for BAME care workers

Skills for Care is launching a survey and a series of webinar and peer coaching to find out more about the experiences of social care workers from a BAME background. Please encourage care workers from BAME communities to take part in this survey – this will help Skills for Care understand what the best possible way to support these workers will be.


Adult Social Care Testing Strategy

Regular retesting rolled out for care homes + rapid testing for outbreaks

From Monday staff and residents in care homes for over-65s and those with dementia will receive regular, repeated testing. Staff will be tested weekly and residents every 28 days. In August this will be expanded to all care homes. You can now use the coronavirus whole home testing portal to apply for re-tests. Please start doing this ASAP.

Please also find attached a letter from the Director General of Adult Social Care, Rosamond Roughton. This details how the new testing strategy will work for both care homes with (from 13 July) and without outbreaks (from 6 July). See Annex B of the letter which explains the logistics of re-testing.

Note that bank, agency and visiting staff (such as social workers and Allied Health Professionals) working in care homes will be included in the weekly staff tests in care homes.

Testing for extra care, supported living

The letter from Rosamond Roughton also contains information about testing for other care settings – something NCF is calling for. However we have no timescales.

Extra care and supported living environments will soon see an expansion of testing to them. An initial round of testing for staff and residents will happen for those settings which meet certain risk-based criteria. The data from the initial round of testing in extra care and supported living will be used to shape how re-testing for these settings will work.

Testing for domiciliary care

The letter from Rosamond Roughton also contains information about testing for dom care settings. They are awaiting the results of a prevalence study from PHE before rolling out asymptomatic testing for domiciliary care. Again, we have no timescales on this.

Adult Social Care testing strategy letter to DPHs and DASSs 3.7.20


Updates to Guidance


Facemask Recall

Cardinal-Type-IIR-Face-Masks-ICA-FINAL-CLEARED


Young Carers & Adult Carers Guidance

DHSC has released guidance for those under 25 years of age who provide care for someone who cannot cope without their support.


Local Outbreak Plans

The Association of Directors of Public Health have put together an explainer about Local Outbreak Plans to understand what they are and how they will work.


PPE & VAT

The removal of VAT on PPE has been extended until the end of October.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hm-treasury-extends-tax-cut-to-ppe-costs?utm_source=c2a6482a-f324-44c4-a2a7-fd461361486b&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate


Invitation and Agenda

Registered Manager Partnership Virtual Meeting

Thursday July 9th 2020 10.00 – 11.30

Introductions; Peter Webb LCAS & Dudley Sawyerr Chair

We would ask that you use a camera when attending these v-meetings.

To join the meeting on Thursday July 9th 2020 10.00 – 11.30

https://zoom.us/j/93266410450?pwd=QjhnVStMazhRQ043RFFDVTV6OTdNZz09

Meeting ID: 932 6641 0450

Password: 051684

One tap mobile

+442080806591,,93266410450#,,,,0#,,051684# United Kingdom

+442080806592,,93266410450#,,,,0#,,051684# United Kingdom

Jennifer Orgill of Social Works and Dudley Sawyerr of People Care Services; Diversity in the Workplace. A highly topical discussion about a subject that affects the lives of many both working in and supported by Social Care.

Jane Sproat and Ezra Kanyimo from the NHS; Enhanced Care in Care Homes. This great iniative, The Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) model moves away from traditional reactive models of care delivery towards proactive care that is centred on the needs of individual residents, their families and care home staff. Such care can only be achieved through a whole-system, collaborative approach

Laura Anthony from Skills for Care; SfC have been supporting the sector with Covid-19 information and updates. Along with support for recruitment and training.

Some of you will already have signed up and be members of the RM Network, either personally, or as an organisation.  If you haven’t, do look at https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/support-for-registered-managers/membership/membership.aspx and consider the benefits of joining.

Any queries, please contact Peter Webb peter@lcasforum.org 07956878901

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@peoplecareservices.com 07984466130


DH&SC Testing announcement; July 3rd

Regular retesting rolled out for care home staff and residents

  • Care home staff to be given coronavirus tests every week and residents monthly from Monday to identify anyone with the virus and reduce transmission
  • Repeat testing will be initially prioritised for care homes primarily looking after over 65s or those with dementia before being rolled out to all adult care homes
  • The Government’s Vivaldi 1 care home study highlights the importance of regular staff testing while there is a higher prevalence in care homes

Care home staff and residents in care homes for over 65s and those with dementia will receive regular coronavirus tests from next week as part of a new social care testing strategy.

Staff will be tested for coronavirus weekly, while residents will receive a test every 28 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus in social care. This is in addition to intensive testing in any care home facing an outbreak, or at increased risk of an outbreak.

The new testing strategy comes following the latest advice from SAGE and new evidence from the Vivaldi 1 study indicating a higher prevalence in care homes, and therefore a case for frequent testing in care homes and their staff.

The Vivaldi 1 study, which surveyed almost 9,000 care home managers and analysed data from whole care home testing, identified the higher levels of the virus among care staff, particularly among temporary staff who work in multiple care settings. The study suggests that care home staff may be at increased risk of contracting the virus, which they may then pass on to others if they have no symptoms.


Caldicott Principles

The National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care (NDG) is seeking views on:

  • Proposed revisions to the seven existing Caldicott Principles
  • Proposed extension of the Caldicott Principles through the introduction of an additional principle which makes clear that patients’ and service users’ expectations must be considered and informed when confidential information is used
  • The proposal that the NDG uses her statutory power to issue guidance about organisations appointing Caldicott Guardians to uphold the Caldicott Principles.

The consultation can be found on the .gov website.


Sharing information between adult health and social care services

The Professional Record Standards Body has launched two surveys looking for your opinions on the information that needs to be shared between health and social care.


Direct Payments advice updated

The advice for people who buy care and support through direct payment, as well as local authorities, CCGs and those who provide care and support, has been updated. There is now additional information about keeping a temporary record of the shift patterns of PAs for 21 days.


Guidance for Taking Swab Samples

PHE has uploaded 2 new videos on how to swab for COVID-19 for social care staff.


Additional funding for Local Authorities

The government announced a new support package for councils today aimed at ensuring councils’ financial sustainability. This includes:

  • Further £500 million
  • New scheme will also reimburse councils for lost income and allow council and business rates tax deficits to be repaid over 3 years instead of one.

Nothing additional has been offered for social care in this announcement.


CQC: Adult inpatient survey 2019

Positive findings:

  • Most questions on the theme of being treated in a respectful and dignified manner continued a trend of sustained improvement over the last 3-6 years
  • Results show communication between staff and patients before and after operations is improving
  • Patients continue to report positively when asked about the cleanliness of the hospital environment, the choice of food available to them and hydration
  • Confidence in doctors and nurses also remains high this year

However, this year’s results indicate that there are areas in need of improvement:

  • Patients consistently reported less positive experiences for the themes of: communication at the point of discharge and consideration of the support they will need after leaving hospital
  • Results for information sharing in relation to medicines, including: explaining the purpose, being told about possible side effects and being given written or printed information all declined this year
  • The percentage of people experiencing shortages in nursing staff remains high

Certain groups of patients consistently reported poorer experiences of their time in hospital, including:

  • Patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • Younger patients (aged 16 to 35)
  • Patients who were admitted in an emergency

See the statistical release for more information, including the results for all questions and contextual policy information.

https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20200702_ip19_statisticalrelease.pdf


Care Funding Guidance

Care Funding Guidance is a not for profit organisation that provides free advice to the public seeking information about how they can fund care, their options and alternatives. This is a very useful service and one that can save you, as provider organisations a good deal of time.

The contact at and founder of Care Funding Guidance is Owain Wright and these their contact details for any further questions that you may have.

www.carefundingguidance.org

OWAIN WRIGHT     FOUNDER

CARE FUNDING GUIDANCE LTD

Tel: 0800 055 6225I

Email: owain.wright@carefundingguidance.org

The document below is one you can download, or send on. It is comprehensive and answers many points that you may be asked.

CFG Guide to Paying for Care – Apr 2020


Applying for a moratorium under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020

The government has issued guidance on how to apply for breathing space to consider a rescue plan for your company as part of measures to support companies and other types of businesses in financial difficulty.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/corporate-insolvency-and-governance-bill-receives-royal-assent


Test and Trace FAQ for workplaces

Please find attached an FAQ on the Test and Trace service. This is a generic FAQ for all workplaces and is correct as of 16.6.20. For specific advice in a residential care environment, please refer to the Admissions to Care Home Guidance.

FAQ for workplaces – NHS Test and Trace service 160620


Care Home Testing Kits Guidance

Guidance for the Randox and non-Randox testing kits has been reviewed and updated regarding the issue of consent. See pages 4 & 8 in both documents.


Notification of deaths and disease amongst social care workers

Please find attached a letter from the campaign for Reporting, Notification, Infection and Protection to Prevent COVID 19 deaths in workers. This is a group of independent health and social care professionals who have come together around the issue of the safety and wellbeing of HSCWs, stimulated by concerns that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may find it useful to circulate this letter or the information within it to managers and Responsible Persons. It reminds them of their legal responsibilities for notification of deaths and disease amongst social care workers.

Letter to CPA about notification of deaths and disease

Consultation for social care providers about verification of expected death with clinical remote support

Skills for Care is working together with NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop supportive guidance and resources for the social care sector in line with the recently published government guidance COVID-19: verifying death in times of emergency.
They have developed the following consultation resources for the social care sector to support with decision-making, what to consider about the verification of expected death (VOED) process and a step-by-step process infographic:

Skills for Care is looking to gather feedback from the sector on the consultation resources and have created a short feedback survey. The survey closes at 17:00 on Tuesday 7 July.


Expansion to Testing Sites

DHSC has announced another expansion to testing sites:

  • 6 new walk through local testing sites for people without cars in Newcastle, Rochdale, Leeds, Brent, Newham and Slough.
  • 236 mobile testing units will be in operation by the end of July

A message from David Pearson

Director of the Adult Social Care, Health and Public Protection department

In the most recent DHSC bulletin for social care, David Pearson has written a message about the new social care taskforce and thanked the social care workforce for its ‘incredible service’ over the last couple of months.


Social Care Organisation insurance

Many concerns have been raised about insurance renewals, if you would like advice from a social care insurance sector expert, contact

Richard Barnes

Senior Business Development Executive

TOWERGATE INSURANCE

M: 07768 314 298

E: richard.barnes@towergate.co.uk

A: Ground Floor, Interchange, 81-85 Station Road, Croydon, CR0 2AJ


Co-production Week – July 6th to 10th July

Co-production is about working in equal partnership with people using services, carers, families and citizens. Co-production offers the chance to transform social care and health provision to a model that offers people real choice and control.

For more details see the SCIE website

https://www.scie.org.uk/co-production/week/?utm_campaign=11634168_SCIELine%2025%20June&utm_medium=email&utm_source=SOCIAL%20CARE%20INSTITUTE%20FOR%20EXCELLENCE%20&utm_sfid=003G000002HpREMIA3&utm_role=Director&dm_i=4O5,6XCZC,K6B8Y9,RUHZE,1


CQC

We have lots of new projects for you to get involved with on our online participation platform.

Strategy 2021: Smarter regulation for a safer future

We want to be a world-class regulator able to drive improvements in how people experience health and care services, working towards a safer future.

To achieve this vision, we are developing a bold new strategy from 2021 that builds on our successes and values, and keeps our purpose central.

The below projects exploring our emerging strategic themes are now live for you to share your views;

We will update this folder over the next few months to give you the opportunity to feedback.

Join our webinars

We’ve used what we’ve heard so far to develop four emerging strategy themes, which this July webinar series will introduce you to:

Theme 1 – Driving and supporting improvement SOLD OUT

  • Presenter: Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care
  • Date: 13 July, 14:30 -15:30

Theme 2 – Promoting safe care for people LIMITED PLACES

  • Presenter: Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals
  • Date: 14 July, 14:00 – 15:00

Theme 3 – Smarter regulation PLACES GOING FAST

  • Presenter: Kirsty Shaw, Chief Operating Officer
  • Date: 17 July, 13:30 – 14:30

Theme 4 – Systems and meeting people’s needs PLACES GOING FAST

  • Presenter: Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care
  • Dates: 22 July, 14:00 – 15:00 and 23 July, 12:00 – 13:00

These one-hour webinars are aimed at health and social care providers, health and social care professionals, strategic partners and trade associations.

Book you place now via our Eventbrite page 

COVID-19 Feedback from Providers

Thank you to those who have posted an idea or completed a survey through this difficult time. All your feedback helps us to adapt our approach to regulation, and to inform conversations with government and the wider health & social care system. The below projects are now available for your views;


 
 
 

Department of Health &

Social Care

 
 
   
 

You can order PPE through a portal we’re working on with eBay.

Register here https://www.nhs-ppe.co.uk/

Only this email address can be used natalie.kempston1@dhsc.gov.uk

Thank you for your continued work to keep people safe.

How does the PPE Portal work?

·         The registration process includes email confirmation – if you do not receive this please check your junk mailbox.

 

·         Chrome and Firefox work better than old versions of Internet Explorer.

·         During this time you are only able to order IIR masks, aprons and gloves and there are limits on the volume of each item you can order within a seven-day period. You will see an error message if you have reached your maximum. Please re-order in a week.

·         Your order will be delivered via Royal Mail Tracked within 3 days. Please make sure you are able to receive deliveries.

·         You should continue to access PPE through any commercial routes.

·         If you have problems accessing the site or registering please contact our PPE Dedicated Channel customer service team on 0800 876 6802
·         To support our planning, we need to understand your usage rate of PPE. We will therefore contact you in the future to ask about your stock position.
·         Please visit the DHSC Guidance page for more information on the PPE Portal:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ppe-portal-how-to-order-emergency-personal-protective-equipment

 

Debunking the myth: Hand sanitiser in cars DO NOT pose a fire risk

https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/News/debunking-the-myth-hand-sanitiser-in-cars-do-not-pose-a-fire-risk-

You may have received via the NHS or LA, a notification about a hand sanitiser fire risk alert.

UK Fire Chiefs Council has debunked this issue


Staying alert and safe (social distancing guidance)

The social distancing guidance has been updated to include guidance that will come into force on 4 July. If you click on the link you will see two html documents – guidance that is currently in force and guidance that comes into force on 4th July. See the section on clinically vulnerable people and 2.3 in particular. Not enough thought has been given to social care.


COVID-19 FAQs

The government’s FAQs have been updated to include current guidance and new guidance which will come into force on 4th July. See in particular the section for vulnerable groups. Again, not enough thought has been given to social care.


Staying safe outside your home

This piece of guidance has been updated to reflect recent announcements. It is likely to be updated again in July when the easements to lockdown come into force.


Provision of Home Care Guidance

The provision of home care guidance has been updated to reflect changes in hospital discharge and testing. It now states that “anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms can now be tested, which includes individuals receiving home care. This can be accessed through the digital portal or by calling 119 to book testing.”


Review of the 2m Guidance

The government has published the review which has shaped the rationale for reducing the 2m rule to the ‘1m-plus’ from 4 July.


Relaxation of Shielding

At today’s government briefing, Matt Hancock announced a timetable to the relaxation of shielding guidance in England. These easements start on 6 July and allow those shielding to spend time outdoors in a group of up to 6 people while maintaining social distancing. From 1 August the guidance will then be relaxed so that clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield, but support from NHS volunteers and local councils will remain in place.


PPE Portal

It is now possible for small social care providers to place orders multiple times per week using the PPE Portal. However, these must remain within the limits set out on the portal guidance.


Care Friends App

Skills for Care have partnered with the employee referral app, Care Friends. The app launched on 16 June and aims to improve recruitment and retention for social care employees by using recommendations from the sector’s own workforce. According to the website:

  • Interview no-shows drop to 1 in 10
  • 90% of app-generated interviews are successful
  • workers hired are 20% more likely to reach three months in post.

ADASS Budget Survey 2020 Part 2

The second of two ADASS Budget Survey reports has been published. This report details the impact of COVID-19 on local authority budgets, the under funding from central government and how much money has been passed on by local authorities to care providers (see page 15).


Local Outbreak Plans: Guiding Principles for Making Outbreak Management Work

A number of organisations have contributed to a document which outlines the principles for the design of COVID-19 Local Outbreak Plans. This may be of use in understanding how local management might be implemented. Annoyingly, it appears social care providers were not invited to be part of the discussion that formed this document and have been left out of the data sharing protocols.


Cyber Security Guidance

With the increased use of video-conferencing and other forms of tech during this pandemic, concerns about cyber security have been raised. Digital Social Care has updated its guidance on the topic for the benefit of social care providers.

A webinar on cyber security is also being run with security experts from O2 Business and Forescout.


Steps to take following the death of a person who worked in adult social care + Bereavement resources

DHSC has issued new guidance for local authorities and social care providers about the steps to take when someone working in the sector dies due to COVID-19. It also contains information about bereavement resources for the social care workforce.


Risk Reduction Framework

DHSC has published a framework for how adult social care employers should assess and reduce risk to their workforce during COVID-19. It covers:

  • The risk assessment process
  • Having conversations with workers who are identified as being at increased risk
  • Measures you could put in place, both across the workforce and for individuals
  • Useful guidance and resources

Priority for COVID-19 Vaccination

Interim advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) states that social care and health workers should be prioritised when a COVID-19 vaccination becomes available.


SCIE Best Practice: Care Homes and COVID-19

SCIE has created a new guidance hub which details guidance, resources and best practice advice for care homes and care staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Local Government Association

Please note a webinar on the NHS Volunteer Responders programme is taking place on Tuesday 23rd at 1pm and this will be specifically tailored for social care providers.

NHS England and the Royal Voluntary Service will be holding a webinar on the NHS Volunteer Responders programme for local authorities and social care providers on Tuesday 23rd June at 1pm. To join on the day, please click on the following link: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting (Dial in (audio only): +44 20 3855 4234; Conference ID: 590 921 567#)

https://teams.microsoft.com/dl/launcher/launcher.html?url=%2f_%23%2fl%2fmeetup-join%2f19%3ameeting_YjY0OGY2MTctODlmMS00ZjM5LTgzOTUtMmM5MGFlMjJhNzA5%40thread.v2%2f0%3fcontext%3d%257b%2522Tid%2522%253a%252203159e92-72c6-4b23-a64a-af50e790adbf%2522%252c%2522Oid%2522%253a%2522bd3bcc07-0690-4617-abfe-c5a5592d4e07%2522%257d%26anon%3dtrue&type=meetup-join&deeplinkId=6ba08b49-8f11-47c4-9c85-132e8ed18a68&directDl=true&msLaunch=true&enableMobilePage=true&suppressPrompt=true


DoH&SC: The Admissions to Care Homes guidance

is now live at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-admission-and-care-of-people-in-care-homes.


CARE Workforce: join the new platform for the adult social care workforce

Do you work in social care in England? You can now receive the latest coronavirus information, guidance, wellbeing support and discounts direct to your smartphone or inbox.

CARE Workforce is the new Department of Health and Social Care platform, available as an app or online, designed to keep you up to date. It gives you easy access to a range of support, as well as connecting you with others working in the care sector, providing you a space to share information and experiences.

Available from the App Store, or Google Play


Supporting Risk Assessments of BAME Staff at Risk in social care

Attached, is a document produced by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the NHS in Greater Manchester. It contains guidance and a template risk assessment.

GM ASC BAME risk assessment FINAL (003)


Reminder about wellbeing package for social care

This is a reminder that the government has developed an emotional, psychological and practical support package for all adult social care staff. This includes free access to several health and wellbeing apps, guidance on supporting your wellbeing, and a bereavement and trauma support helpline run by Hospice UK. The Samaritans have also launched a dedicated staff support helpline, this includes social care staff.

https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/health-and-care/here-listen-support-line-nhs-people/


The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

has introduced the new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill.

The measures in this Bill will relieve the burden on businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate.

For more informaton see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/how-the-corporate-insolvency-and-governance-bill-will-help-your-business


Update CQC Tracker – Supported Living and Extra Care Service

CQC is asking supported living and extra care services to complete the “Update CQC on the impact of coronavirus online form” every weekday from today. See the attached email copy from CQC with more information about why they are doing this. This tracker was previously only completed by homecare services.

CQC publishes data on deaths in care settings broken down by ethnicity

As part of its insight reports series (see below) CQC data shows that between 10 April and 15 May 2020 when looking at care home settings, 54% of deaths amongst Black people and 49% of deaths amongst Asian people are related to COVID-19 compared to 44% of deaths of White people and 41% for​ mixed or multiple ethnic groups. For all care settings the figures are 49% amongst Black people and 42% amongst Asian people compared to 41% amongst White people and 41% for people from mixed or multiple ethnic groups. However, CQC is unable to give a breakdown of the overall demographics of those receiving care in all services, limiting the usefulness of their data.

Nevertheless, this is important data and needs to be taken together with the impact of COVID-19 on staff from BAME communities. Please see the information about risk assessments for staff below.

CQC Insight Report 2

CQC has issued the second of its insight reports. This one is more substantial than the first and looks at:

  1. How providers are working together across systems in response to coronavirus
  2. How the care of people from different groups is being managed (including BAME, learning disabilities, and those detained under the mental health act)
  3. Focus on Primary Care (specifically looking at online primary care services)
  4. CQC data in graphical format on the number of outbreaks in care homes, the availability of PPE for homecare services, staff absences in homecare, numbers of deaths of people in care homes and the proportion of deaths in social care services due to coronavirus by ethnic groups.

CQC statement on regulating during COVID-19

CQC has issued a statement about their regulation work which highlights the importance about raising concerns about care. The article outlines the top concerns raised from care staff about the organisations they work for.

CQC – Pandemic News stories

https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/collaboration-between-services-essential-responding-pandemic

https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/regulating-during-covid-19-why-raising-concerns-about-care-more-important-ever

https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/cqc-publishes-data-deaths-care-settings-broken-down-ethnicity

https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/collaboration-between-services-essential-responding-pandemic


Carterwood Research COVID-19 care home impact by region

Care_home_COVID_19_mortality_rate_spatial_analysis_Carterwood


Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 by Public Health England, June 2020

Executive summary
Impact of COVID-19 has replicated existing health inequalities and, in some cases, has increased them. Risk factors include Age and Sex, Deprivation, Ethnicity, Occupation, Inclusion health groups, People in Care Homes, Co-morbidities.

PHE BAME Summary June 2020


PHE Guidance – Covid-19

Personal protective equipment (PPE) – resource for care workers delivering homecare (domiciliary care) during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892465/Domiciliary_guidance_v2_15_Jun.pdf


ACAS Update

Making working life better for everyone in Britain

Acas gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. We also offer training and help to resolve disputes. More about Acas.

The Acas Podcast launches!  In our first episode, Acas Chief Executive Susan Clews shares her key insights into what organisations can do to navigate coronavirus, looking at leadership, building trust, returning to work and communicating in a crisis.

Listen here or on all major podcast apps. Like what you hear? Leave us a review on your podcast app.

New and updated guidance

Returning to the workplace – We have new guidance to help those who may be beginning to return or are now planning on returning to work in accordance with government advice. This includes guidance for how to start the discussion, what fears people might have and where they can go to get more help and advice.

Extending or ending furlough – includes links through to downloadable letters
Changing an employment contract – key considerations when varying contracts
Rights at work – a new page linking through to key areas of guidance on rights at work
Redundancy process map – outlining steps and providing links to further guidance
Mental health – tips, videos and resources

New digital training has been scheduled by our regional offices. Topics include:

  • Transitioning from lockdown   
  • Discipline and grievance   
  • Employment law updates

View upcoming events in your area:

South East 


Supported Living and extra care providers

CQC have written to supported living and extra care providers to inform them that they’re rolling out the Update CQC on the impact of coronavirus online form to their services

20200611 Supported living and extra care survey

CQC also updated their website (https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/adult-social-care/data-collection-adult-social-care-providers-during-coronavirus


London Care Home Resource Pack

To provide clear guidance for London Care Homes aligned with NHS 111 Star lines and London COVID-19 Resource Pack for Primary Care ensuring that national guidance and good practice can be embedded locally by care providers.

Care Home Resource Pack 2.0 FINAL


Learning From the Impacts of COVID-19 on Care Homes: A Pilot Survey – from ltccovid.org

Learning From the Impacts of COVID19 on Care Homes A Pilot Survey


From SCIE

COVID-19 resource and best practice hub for social care

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/hub?utm_campaign=11604700_SCIELine%2011%20June&utm_medium=email&utm_source=SOCIAL%20CARE%20INSTITUTE%20FOR%20EXCELLENCE%20&utm_sfid=003G000002HpREMIA3&utm_role=Director&dm_i=4O5,6WQ8S,K6B8Y9,RRFPQ,1


Hospital Visiting  – updated June 5th

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0524-visiting-healthcare-inpatient-settings-5-June-2020.pdf



Updated guidance on looking after people who lack mental capacity

DHSC has updated its guidance on mental capacity and DoLs. A new section has been added to the additional guidance document called ‘The right to appeal if someone is subject to emergency health powers and lacks the relevant mental capacity’.


Updated guidance for people receiving direct payments + Using the Job Retention scheme

DHSC has updated its guidance to people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, CCGs and those who provide care and support.

The Furlough Scheme can also be used by direct payment holders who employ people for their care – all direct payment holders in the care sector with a PAYE scheme on or before 19 March 2020 can use the scheme where appropriate. See the website for full details on what situations are eligible.


Government Policy paper(you may have seen this already)

 

COVID-19: our action plan for adult social care

Updated 16 April 2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-adult-social-care-action-plan/covid-19-our-action-plan-for-adult-social-care?wp-linkindex=1&utm_campaign=Social_care_coronavirus_weekly_&utm_content=dhsc-mail.co.uk&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Department_of_Health_and_Social_Care#chapter-3


Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note – Recovery and Transition from COVID-19

This Procurement Policy Note (PPN) sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during the current coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak. It updates and builds on the provisions contained in PPN 02/20

Procurement Policy Note – Recovery and Transition from Covid19


SOCIAL CARE PROVIDERS FACE MORE THAN £6BN IN EXTRA COVID-19 COSTS

ADASS Statement

https://www.adass.org.uk/social-care-providers-face-more-than-6bn-in-extra-covid-19-costs


NHS Guidance

The document is designed to support local primary care and community health services as they work with partners to develop recovery/rehabilitation services for patients after they have been discharged following an acute episode of COVID-19.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/after-care-needs-of-inpatients-recovering-from-covid-19/


Infection Control Fund Question and Answer (updated June12th)

CPA has created a briefing note containing examples to support care providers’ reports to local authorities. We are suggesting that care providers should keep reporting to Local Authorities at a high level on the basis that getting into too much detail is an overhead to both the care providers and the LA’s in such reporting. The briefing contains a limited number of different areas at a top level against which care providers can easily allocate costs, whilst also giving a series of examples to prompt providers to think about how to consider their full range of costs.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-social-care-infection-control-fund/about-the-adult-social-care-infection-control-fund

Infection Control Fund Question and Answer


WDF statement from SfC

“As you may be aware the Department of Health and Social Care has decided to support the sector by using the Workforce Development Fund to fund rapid staff training requirements as a response to COVID-19. We’re also aware of the issues being raised by organisations and individuals around the implications of this decision. At the beginning of the crisis we were all determined to respond in the way that the whole sector needed, which was getting people recruited to and working in social care. We knew that there would be unintended consequences in terms of the Workforce Development Fund, and we have spoken about these risks with the DHSC. We still don’t know the full impact of this prioritisation of funds as a lot depends on the demand for the rapid training. We’re tracking this but don’t know yet because the new recruitment platform has only recently gone live. If demand is low, and starts to reduce, there will be more money in the WDF to continue development and skills training this year. We’re committed to reviewing this again in September, but what we do not know is how much of the fund will be remaining by then. We are modelling various options as to how much funding might be left by this date, and this will depend on how many people sign up to the new recruitment platform which has been launched, and other factors like whether there are further COVID-19 peaks. We’re capturing feedback from the sector on the impact so that we can share it with DHSC to help inform decision making. Please share any feedback you receive. We appreciate that this update won’t help the immediate situation facing many organisations but hope at the very least it gives you a definitive timescale to work to.”  


Care Home Connectivity

NHSX are helping to improve connectivity in care homes. We have put together a series of internet offers and guidance to help care home managers and staff on our website.

Your feedback is really important to us. If you are a care home manager, provider, or staff member who is responsible for the internet in your care home, we’d like to hear from you. We’re conducting 45 minute sessions to test the website pages and understand your needs. This is anonymous and will help us to support care homes better. There will be a £50 thank you for your time.

If you’re interested please contact digitalresearch@nhsx.nhs.uk to see if you are suitable. There are also more opportunities to get involved in ongoing work related to connectivity and devices.

If you prefer, you can provide your feedback, on a voluntary basis, via this link.


CQC publishes data on deaths of people with a learning disability

CQC have this morning (June 2nd) published data on deaths of people with a learning disability.

What does the analysis cover?                                            

  • Supported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) we have completed a bespoke piece of analysis to better understand the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on people with a learning disability
  • The analysis shows how the number of deaths during this period compares to the number of deaths last year
  • The analysis looks at all deaths notified to CQC between 10 April and 15 May from providers registered with CQC who provide care to people with a learning disability and/or autism (including providers of adult social care, independent hospitals and in the community), and where the person who died was indicated to have a learning disability on the death notification form.

What does the analysis show?

  • 386 people with a learning disability, some of whom may also be autistic, died who were receiving care from services which provide support for people with a learning disability and/or autism compered to 165 last year.
  • Of the 386 people who have died this year, 206 were as a result of suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 as notified by the provider and 180 were not related to COVID-19
  • 184 people were receiving care from community based adult social care services and 195 from residential social care settings
  • The data used has some limitations which are outlined in the news story below.

What are CQC doing going forward?

  • We are undertaking a targeted piece of work to review death notifications and how we work with providers to ensure the data provided to us is both accurate and accessible.
  • This includes identifying the best approach to capture the impact on autistic people as part of this reporting.
  • We will publish further data and analysis on deaths of people with a learning disability on an ongoing basis as part of our insight product.

A copy of the news story with further details is available here.


CQC – Opportunity to give feedback

CQC have lots of new projects for you to get involved with on their online participation platform. They would love to hear your ideas.

COVID-19 feedback from providers

In this folder you will find the below projects to feedback on;


A briefing paper for boards, chief execs and senior managers

https://www.roydswithyking.com/social-care-board-briefing-looking-ahead-to-mitigate-risk/

employment law updates on:


PPE distribution using the “Clipper System”

The DoH&SC has announced that this is shortly to move out of the pilot phase and the roll-out will commence with homes of 24 beds, or less.

For DCAs, this will initially be those with 99 clients or fewer

This will not resolve all PPE issues and you still need to make sure that you raise concerns as previously.

PPE Portal Update DHSC 28.5.20


Whole Home Testing Webinars

DHSC is running a series of webinars about whole home testing each weekday in the morning and afternoon. There is a chance to ask questions.

You can book on a session here: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2375949/724EF6345473A192F6B9C19334699A29/1077953


The Help Hub

The Help Hub offers free emotional support from qualified therapists. They currently have a lot of capacity for appointments which can be booked on their website: https://www.thehelphub.co.uk/. Please circulate this to your staff.


Government Guidance

Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan


Poems in a Pandemic; A poetry and art competition for frontline social care and support staff

What a great idea to use your creativity and imagination

Poems In A Pandemic A4 Poster

To enter, visit:
https://www.caretalk.co.uk/poems-in-a-pandemic/
e: poems@caretalk.co.uk


Government launches NHS Test and Trace service

  • NHS Test and Trace service to form a central part of the government’s coronavirus recovery strategy
  • Anyone with symptoms will be tested and their close contacts will be traced
  • New guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus

The new NHS Test and Trace service will launch tomorrow (Thursday 28 May) across England, the government announced.

The service will help identify, contain and control coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

From tomorrow, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

If those in isolation develop symptoms, they can book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed. If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.

Members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic, at which point they must also self-isolate for 14 days to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“As we move to the next stage of our fight against coronavirus, we will be able to replace national lockdowns with individual isolation and, if necessary, local action where there are outbreaks.

“NHS Test and Trace will be vital to stopping the spread of the virus. It is how we will be able to protect our friends and family from infection, and protect our NHS.

“This new system will help us keep this virus under control while carefully and safely lifting the lockdown nationally.”

NHS Test and Trace brings together four tools to control the virus.

  • Test: increasing availability and speed of testing will underpin NHS Test and Trace.
  • Trace: when someone tests positive for coronavirus the NHS Test and Trace service will use dedicated contact tracing staff, online services and local public health experts to identify any close recent contacts they’ve had and alert those most at risk of having the virus who need to self-isolate. This will be complemented by the rollout of the NHS Covid-19 App in the coming weeks.
  • Contain: A national Joint Biosecurity Centre will work with local authorities and public health teams in PHE, including local Directors of Public Health, to identify localised outbreaks and support effective local responses, including plans to quickly deploy testing facilities to particular locations. Local authorities have been supported by £300m of new funding to help local authorities develop their own local outbreak control plans.
  • Enable: Government to learn more about the virus, including as the science develops, to explore how we could go further in easing infection control measures.

The NHS Test and Trace service, including 25,000 dedicated contact tracing staff working with Public Health England, will have the capacity to trace the contacts of 10,000 people who test positive for coronavirus per day and can be scaled up if needed.

The rollout of the NHS Test and Trace service has been made possible by the rapid expansion of testing. The largest network of diagnostic testing facilities in British history has been created and will soon have the capacity to carry out 200,000 tests a day. This includes 50 drive-through sites, more than 100 mobile testing units and 3 mega laboratories.

People who are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service will be given clear information explaining what they must do and how they can access local support if needed. Guidance is also available online at gov.uk/coronavirus. This comes as the Department for Work and Pensions has announced that those having to self-isolate will be eligible for statutory sick pay if they are unable to work from home. This applies across the four nations of the UK.

Dido Harding, Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace, said: 

“This is a brand new service which has been launched at incredible speed and scale. NHS Test and Trace already employs over 40,000 people, both directly and through trusted partners, who are working hard to deliver both testing and contact tracing at scale. This is no small achievement and I am hugely grateful to everyone involved.

“NHS Test and Trace will not succeed on its own – we all need to play our part. This is why we are working hand-in-hand with communities and local authorities across the country to tailor support at a local level, and respond quickly to local needs. And we will be constantly developing and improving as we go. Together we can help contain the virus, stop it spreading further and ultimately save lives.”

The government has also today expanded testing availability for children aged under 5, to help support the phased opening of schools and childcare settings in England from 1 June. From tomorrow, all symptomatic individuals in England will be able to access a test if they need one, with all symptomatic individuals in Wales able to book tests from Saturday.

Anyone with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste is asked to immediately report these symptoms and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus.

A package of £300 million of new funding has been made available to local authorities to work with NHS Test and Trace to develop local outbreak control plans, building on the work already done so far to respond to coronavirus. Their plans will focus on identifying and containing potential outbreaks in places such as workplaces, housing complexes, care homes and schools, ensuring testing capacity is deployed effectively and helping the most vulnerable in self-isolation access essential services in their area. A new Local Government Advisory Board has also been established to support this work.

 Professor John Newton, National Coordinator of Test and Trace, said:

At this critical point in the nation’s response to coronavirus we are launching a service that will enable us to emerge more safely from lockdown. To control the virus we still need to continue with social distancing and good hygiene, but we also now have a comprehensive test and trace service to stop new cases spreading. This approach will allow us to gradually return to more normal personal, social and economic lives while recognising that we have to stay alert and respond rapidly to any advice from the new service.

Work continues on the NHS COVID-19 app following a successful rollout on the Isle of Wight. There has been a positive reception to the test and trace system on the island with over 52,000 downloads in the first week.

The app, which will form a part of the NHS Test and Trace service, is due to be launched in the coming weeks once contact tracing is up and running. It will significantly extend the speed a