Information for those employing registered nurses, short survey by the


Impact of COVID-19 on the Nursing and Midwifery workforce study (ICON) study

Thank you for your interest in the Impact of COVID-19 on the Nursing and Midwifery workforce study (ICON) study. The survey takes about 15-minutes to complete.The following information gives more information about the study to help you decide if you wish to take part.

To participate, you must be a registered nurse, registered midwife, healthcare assistant, nursing associate, trainee nursing associate or student nurse working in the UK.

Please take the time to complete this, it will be useful for them to have as much social care input as possible.

COVID-19 prioritisation within community health services

PHE Guidance

Explanation of the updates to infection prevention and control guidance

Government Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes (update &

replacement of previous Guidance)

How to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak.


Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp

Here are links to the new Job Retention Scheme guidance released on Saturday.

It confirms that:

Furloughed workers can work for other companies (not their employer or group companies) while furloughed and still get 80% of pay from their primary employer (subject to employment contract terms). Big opportunity for social care to get some temporary staff to manage Covid19 and who hopefully want to stay in the sector longer term.

It answers some other questions but:

  1. No more detail on extent to which publicly funded providers are eligible under the Scheme
  2. Still unclear whether there needs to a strict redundancy/layoff situation. The general guidance seems to relax this requirement:

If you cannot maintain your current workforce because your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

This is a temporary scheme in place for 3 months starting from 1 March 2020, but it may be extended if necessary and employers can use this scheme anytime during this period. It is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. However, all employers are eligible to claim under the scheme and the government recognises different businesses will face different impacts from coronavirus.

But bizarrely it then says this for shielding employees:

Shielding Employees

You can claim for furloughed employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay home with someone who is shielding) if they are unable to work from home and you would otherwise have to make them redundant.

There is still going to be uncertainty until we get the legislation/full guidance.

Our client update will follow.

Kind regards


James Sage
D: 01225 730231 T: 01225 730100 ext: 1187 ​

Integration & Better Care Fund

COVID-19: admission and care of people in care homes guidance webinar

Join this interactive webinar to support the implementation of the Admission and care of residents during COVID-19 incident in a care home guidance. The webinar will consist of an overview of the guidance through short presentations, followed by opportunities for Q&A.

The webinars will be the same content run over four different sessions with the opportunity to ask questions and hear responses and we strongly encourage every system to have some representation in at least one of the sessions.

Who is this for?

The webinars will be of interest to all registered care home managers and deputies, local authorities, CCGs, community service providers and those working in hospital discharge settings.

HSE – RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19

The Health and Safety Executive have updated their guidance on RIDDOR reporting during COVID-19.

IPPR Survey

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) are carrying out new research on the impact of Covid-19 on health and care. This research focuses on how frontline staff have been impacted, and what support they need from government. This includes issues around PPE, priority testing, mental health, and financial support. They are also interested in how the providers have been impacted, and what risks they anticipate in the future. To support this, they have opened a consultation – to hear thoughts from providers, professionals and service providers. It should take around five minutes to complete, and is available here:

CQC FAQ Delegating medicines administration. (April 2nd)

Court of Protection

Here is a blog that discusses the updated Guidance from the Court of Protection.  They still seem to be functioning.

PHE Webinar

Webinar – coronavirus and care home settings – a free training resource for staff working in London Developed and provided by PHE London
PHE London are currently receiving many enquiries about coronavirus from care home settings. A webinar has been developed to provide some basic training for care home staff and will be available from PHE London between 1st and 3rd of April 2020.

How does it work?
• webinars are provided over Skype
• each webinar will cover the same content
• the webinar will last around 45 minutes including time for questions and answers
• if you cannot get Skype to work then you can dial in by phone and follow the slides
• two webinars are scheduled to take place, one on 1st April and one on 3rd April

What do I need to do?
• select the webinar you wish to attend and register at the links below
• each delegate must register to attend the webinar individually however one person can register for a workplace and the webinar can be viewed with colleagues
• instructions on how to join the webinar will be sent up to one hour before the webinar
• please ensure you have time in your diary to set up Skype/dial in beforehand
• where possible, please try to use the Skype connection as then you can see the trainer, view the slides and interact with the webinar

If you would like to contact the webinar team, please email:
Coronavirus and care home settings – webinars
Date 01/04/2020  /  03/04/2020
Start time 11am
Link to register

COVID-19: infection prevention and control (updated April 2nd)

17 documents in all.

Interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks from CQC

We have issued interim guidance in response to temporary changes being made by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to DBS applications and processes. It will be in operation for the period the Coronavirus Act 2020 remains in force, and we will review it on a regular basis.

You can find the interim guidance in full on our website

COVID-19 prioritisation within community health services

Updated Version April 2nd 2020


Interesting & useful NHS information film on Coronavirus

SfC training updates for the Covid-19 situation

Changes to Mandatory Training

SfC Relaxation of mandatory training DRAFT v0.4 SfC The-Care-Certificate-Self-Assessment-Tool-online

Care Certificate Sel-Assessment Tool

SfC The-Care-Certificate-Self-Assessment-Tool-online

Guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19)


15% of daily testing capacity has been made available for testing staff within the NHS. The aim is to test staff with family members who have been asked to self-isolate who do not have symptoms themselves.

First call on the testing is for those in critical care and A&E followed by Ambulance and Primary Care staff. As the capacity grows it will also be made available for social care staff.

If you have any services which are at risk due to this type of absenteeism (ie not ill themselves, but having to self-isolate), please speak to your local CCG to see if there is any local capacity.

PPE suppliers

We are advised that these suppliers have stocks. Other suppliers may also be available.



03300 552 288 *


01756 706 050

Countrywide Healthcare

01226 719 090

DHSC update on plans to support access to PPE

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has written to health and care sector providers to update on plans to support access to personal protective equipment (PPE) during the current response to COVID-19.

This includes the development of a Parallel Supply Chain to support the normal supply chain with a focus on delivering core PPE products for COVID-19. DHSC has also mobilised the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR), which can be contacted in the event that providers have an urgent requirement for PPE, which they are unable to secure through their business as usual channels.

Visit our website to read the letter in full.


Food Banks

There will be social care providers with staff who have used, or may start to need to use food banks. Food banks are struggling at present for several reasons;

Lack of donations, as more people use delivery services, and people hanging on to their supplies

Many food bank volunteers are older, so staying at home, so no-one to assemble and distribute

Some food banks have closed as they cannot manage the increased number of customers, combining with others that may be farther away from clients, who can’t access new location as they don’t have transport and bus services have been cut

Those of your staff who have been using / are using food banks may need more support to enable them to stay well and working.

The Trussell Trust is a major food bank organisation, there are many others some small and local.

Hospital Discharge Form

Examples from Wiltshire

Hospital Discharge Form COVID19 Response Wiltshire

Hospital Discharge pathway COVID -19 response Wiltshire (Sharing)

Updated Infection prevention & Control Guidance


April 6 Employment Law Changes – The Good Work Plan

Though coronavirus is currently dominating the headlines, there are major employment law changes that have to be legally implemented by 6 April 2020.

Known as The Good Work Plan, these are designed to give greater protection to those working under more flexible work arrangements. They will impact every single business in the UK, for example, through changes to holiday pay calculations and the increased protection of agency workers.

To help you better understand the changes, here are two free guides that the HR & Employment Law experts of Citation, have constructed:

Not heard of The Good Work Plan or want a refresh of the changes due to come into effect? Click below to read an overview.


Got any questions about how you’ll be affected?

Call 0345 844 111 to speak to a friendly advisor, or click here to make an enquiry. If you are a member of a trade association, just let them know which when inquiring. 

Letter to all in social care from Matt Hancock


A useful round-up of current CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 information is available at

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme & Furloughed Worker information (updated 27th March)

Here is the latest guidance published last night for ease of reference.  Answers some but not all questions.


A petition supporting social care for you to sign and  pass on

A legal view by blog on the Coronavirus Bill.

Mei-Ling Huang
Dispute Resolution
D: 01225 459 950 T: 01225 730100 ext: 1174 ​M: 07944 996256

The Blue Light Card

A recognisable and acceptable form of ID for social care staff who may be finding get their roles across difficult


The latest version of the NHS Hospital Discharge Documentation.


The latest version of COVID-19 prioritisation within community health services (March 25th)

CQC Update (March 25th)

If you do not get the updates direct from CQC, sign up now.

Working with volunteers

There a handbook: and also the attached presentation.

volunteering-induction-presentation (002)

SfC & the DoH&SC are working to produce new guidelines and these will be added when available.

Self-Isolation details

British Geriatric Society

A number of useful items here

Advice from The British Dietetic Associations Older People’s Specialist Group

who have published a recommendations for action by dietetic services for older and vulnerable people living in their own home


Make sure that you have this in place in your organisation.

Really useful link below for registering vulnerable people needing shopping, medication collecting.


Make Good PR

Get every relative, staff member, point of public engagement, to produce positive moments sharing positive care comments on social media…..right now Granny and Grandads are a big focus and we need it all to be positive for us and them. Social Care needs to keep morale up amongst staff and volunteers and all that helps them feel valued and appreciated.  We have many tough weeks ahead.

Use this situation to build links across the community, we have social care providers making virtual pen-pals for their clients with others young and old.

Use your social media, Twitter, Whatsapp, Facebook and others to spread positive messages about your service, the clients you care for and the hard-working staff doing a great job


Updated weblink for PPE advice & guidance (23/03/2020)

Discharge to Assess Guidance below,

which may be of use in your workings.



Corvid-19 / Coronavirus Update

 Information for shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

National guidance on shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable – COVID-19

Letters will be sent from GPs and consultants this week to people in the highest risk category.

Further information (March 21st) on

Community based health and social care and ambulance services

including Community based PPE Guidance

ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES – FOOD / TOILET PAPER / CLEANING / etc for social care providers using supermarkets and

other local suppliers.

If you are struggling to maintain supplies, a few suggestions

Ask your local Age Concern, or similar group if they can help with volunteers to fetch and deliver the required supplies.

Talk to the manager at the store, explaining the circumstance and taking evidence of your position / role. As an example, this has proved very successful with a branch of Morrisons, the order was assembled and collected from a side entrance. have proved helpful to new customers and arranged deliveries.

Contact your MP (& Councillors) MP details available at

This has worked for at least one operator, their MP rep contacted them instantly and put them in contact with the supermarket HQ for action.

When this is all over, remember to support those who supported you.

The Coronavirus Bil has now been published.

Coronavirus Bill 19-03-2020 (W5069302xAE01B)

Are social care staff counted as Key Workers?

Updated information, 20th Match

Apparently, they are on the list as used by the PM for the use of schools for childcare, so allowing the parent /s to carry on in their work role. It is becoming clear that some schools are not being helpful about accepting anything other than a very tight definition, wanting to see pay-slips and evidence from the employer. For those working for the NHS, it is quite simple. It is hoped that this situation will be clarified as a matter of urgency.

Holiday Clubs (Easter Holidays are almost here)

It seems that most holiday clubs will not run due to Corvid-19, this may be amended, but it is a question worth asking locally. will these still operate for children of key-workers?

New guidance on how to evidence self-isolation due to coronavirus without needing a GP Fit note:


If you cannot get supplies of PPE, please contact the National Supply Disruption Line and you need to be persistent

The National Supply Disruption line

Tel: 0800 915 9964


Do not try to buy FFP3 masks these are considered unecessary in socal care situations.


NHS Videos of donning & doffing PPE (March 24th)

This video shows how to safely don (put on) PPE specific to COVID-19 and should be used in conjunction with the quick guide to donning PPE and local policies.


This video shows how to safely doff (take off) PPE specific to COVID-19 and should be used in conjunction with the quick guide to doffing PPE and local policies.


if we can locate social care specific examples, they will be added


Debbie Harris – Deputy Chief Medical Officer for PHE said that ALL PPE must be changed after each contact with a resident.  Some were under the impression that the mask could continue being used for up to 20 minutes having being told this by medical professionals.

Updated information – March 20th


________      __________        ________________             _____________

There have been reports of PPE with long expired BBE dates, or new lables over previous BBE dates, we cannot advise on this, and suggest that you e-mail The National Supply Disruption line below for help. You may also wish to contact your H&S advisor, or insurer for advice.

We know that supplies of personal protective equipment to the care sector is fundamental for the good care of individuals with suspected symptoms of Covid-19.  

We are clear that no wholesaler has been asked to prioritise NHS provision over the care sector nor should they be doing so.  

Free distribution of fluid repellent facemasks from the pandemic flu stock will start this today Wednesday 18th March, with every care home and homecare provider receiving at least 300 facemasks.  We anticipate the distribution will be complete by next Tuesday.   This is aimed at tiding over the initial rise in demand following the change of guidance on facemasks last week. Providers are not required to take action; the stock will be delivered to them.

We are working rapidly with wholesalers to ensure a longer-term supply of all aspects of personal protective equipment, including gloves, aprons, facemasks and hand sanitiser.  For future PPE requirements, care providers should order PPE from their usual suppliers.  

If care providers have immediate concerns overs their supply of PPE, there is now a dedicated line for you, the health and social care sector.

The National Supply Disruption line

Tel: 0800 915 9964


In the future, if a care provider is unable to get PPE from their normal supplier, the supplier is will be asked to report this to the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) team (as above), who can advise on alternative suppliers.


PAs are not included in this distribution and are expected to have their own supply line. This also applies to any self-employed carers.

Again, further information is being sought.


COVID-19: Changes to standard and enhanced ID checking guidelines


Discharge of patients to social care who have tested positive for Covid-19 and what to do when clients in social care develop symptoms of Covid-19 and what actions to take with staff who have been supporting those developing, or having Covid-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): hospital discharge service requirements

Sets out how health and care systems and providers should change their discharging arrangements and the provision of community support during the coronavirus situation.

There is information from the ECDC below –

Covid-19 tech report



‘Coronavirus Bill’ and your care business: what to look out for in the emergency legislation

On 17 March, Health Secretary Matt Hancock unveiled details of emergency legislation to be presented as a bill to the House of Commons within the next week – the ‘Coronavirus Bill’.

Infection, Prevention & Control

Care Home.Corona (2) BECCG 1732020

A comprehensive slidedeck from E Berks Care Association

Other sources of Information

Coronavirus / Covid-19

This is intended as a guide to easily access some of the sources of advice and guidance available for you.

The CQC provide a range of routes to access their information, such as newsletters, they can be located

This government website provides information for both employers and employee;

ACAS provides advice for both employers and employees and has a free advice line

This is a link to an advice document from ADASS, the LGA and the CPA, Social care provider resilience during COVID-19;

Many providers are adding advice to their websites and, or printing information such as effective hand-washing and passing this to clients and their families.

If you are struggling with supplies of PPE, we suggest talking with your local authority, or perhaps linking with other providers to share supplies.

A TV advertising campaign is to be started. You need to be aware of changes in advice guidance and so make sure that you update your organisations data frequently.

From Citation


General best practice: business growth, HR, Employment Law, Health & Safety


Below is the CQC Annual Provider Survey, you may already have received this directly. Do take the time to complete this and return it. If CQC do not have the views and opinions of providers, they cannot take these into account, these are important.

CQC Annual Provider Survey

Dear Colleague

I wanted to email you personally to encourage you to complete our annual survey of providers before the deadline on 6th March. This survey helps us to get to the heart of your views and experiences of CQC. It is essential for us to understand this so that we can learn from you and improve on what we do. It provides important information for me, my Executive Team, and the CQC Board, to assess our performance and identify how we can continue to adapt and respond to your feedback.

Please complete the survey by clicking on this link:

The survey will close at midnight on 6th March. Please ensure you submit your response for it to be included.

The survey covers important issues such as consistency, demands on your time from CQC, and how well we are performing our role. The more responses we receive the better informed we are about these matters, and the better able we are to fulfil our purpose.

Can I thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing your views.

Ian Trenholm

Chief Executive

Care Quality Commission

About the survey

The survey should take between 25 and 40 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 use from survey responses remains anonymous. We do this by keeping the identity of invitees separate from the responses we analyse 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.

To opt out of further communication about the CQC Annual Provider Survey for 2019-20 please click below unsubscribe me from further messages about the CQC Provider Survey 2019-20

The latest edition of the Social Care e-magazine – Driven by Health with Care – is now available at

Brexit and it’s effect on Social Care

Brexit has finally arrived, and with it comes the year long process of reprising our country and our laws from the EU, raising yet more concerns for the sector. It has been advised that the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee carers will be considered ‘low skilled EU workers’. Currently EU nationals make up 104,000 carers working in the UK, with this number still looking to grow. Free movement will cease to end in 2021, therefore ending the increase for our staffing numbers.

Here at Driven By Health with Care would like to urge the committee to review this statement, as carer’s although low paid, are not low skilled and with social care in crisis this will only be adding to the worries of all within this sector.


The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the UN Migration agency. Established in 1951, IOM works with migrants, governments and other partners to provide humane responses to
the growing migration challenges of today. With nearly 400 offices and 11,000 staff worldwide, IOM promotes international cooperation and dialogue on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to key issues facing migrants and societies alike.
In the UK, key areas of IOM’s work include resettlement and integration, community cohesion, combatting human trafficking and modern slavery, diaspora and development, migrant assistance,
supporting migrant children and migration policy and research.


These documents (below) offer much useful data and links, including where to get more information and agncies with grant funding to help

IOM EUSS Project Info Sheet


The Trading Standards Chartered Institute has published Care Home Complaints:

Business Guidance, this is a consultation document, please take the time to respond–policy/consultation-responses/care-home-consultation-document.pdf

You have only until January 3rd 2020 to do this.

The overall document contains useful information about how social care providers can effectively manage and learn from complaints.

Reviewing the case: The right to appeal in adult social care

The Independent Age report ‘Reviewing the case: The right to appeal in adult social care’ shines a light on a neglected but crucial aspect of adult social care: how people can challenge decisions about the care and support they receive. While the Government has previously acknowledged the importance of a robust appeals system for adult social care and consulted on this in 2015, no response to the consultation has been published to date.

New Freedom of Information research for this report confirms that as few as one in five local authorities have put in place a separate appeals process, with the majority instead relying on a complaints process which can be unfit for purpose. We are calling on the Government to introduce a statutory appeals process for adult social care and our report discusses the clear advantages this system would offer

CQC’s report: The state of health care and adult social care in England 2018/19, can be downloaded below

CQC Report; The State of Health Care & Adult Social Care in England 2018 – 19

This is the accompanying press release.

Growing pressures on access and staffing risk creating ‘perfect storm’ for people using mental health and learning disability services

Growing pressures on access and staffing risk creating ‘perfect storm’ for people using mental health and learning disability services

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England shows that quality ratings have been maintained overall – but people’s experience of care is determined by whether they can access good care when they need it.

Providing the right access to the right care at the right time is increasingly key to the sustainability of health and social care as services struggle to cope with increased demand. When people can’t access the services they need, the risk is that they are pushed into inappropriate care settings – ending up in emergency departments because they can’t access the care they need outside hospital, or in crisis because they can’t access community based mental health and learning disability services.

Difficulties in accessing the right care can mean that people with a learning disability or autism end up detained in unsuitable hospitals. CQC’s ongoing thematic review, which began in 2018, highlighted the prolonged use of segregation for people with severe and complex problems who should instead be receiving specialist care from staff with highly specialised skills.

This year’s State of Care considers the pressures faced by health and social care as a whole – but focuses particularly on inpatient mental health and learning disability services, the area where CQC is seeing an impact on quality.

While the overall quality picture for the mental health sector, which includes community mental health services, remains stable, this masks a real deterioration in some specialist inpatient services which has continued after 31 July 2019, the cut-off point for the data included in the report. As at 30 September 20191:

  • 10% of inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism were rated inadequate, as compared to 1% in 2018
  • 7% of child and adolescent mental health inpatient services were rated inadequate (2018: 3%)
  • 8% of acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units were rated inadequate (2018: 2%).

Since October 2018, 14 independent mental health hospitals that admit people with a learning disability and/or autism have been rated inadequate and put into special measures. Two of these services have since improved, three are now closed and one service is still registered but is closed to new admissions with no people resident.

Although inspectors have seen much good and some outstanding care, they have also seen too many people using mental health and learning disability services being looked after by staff who lack the skills, training, experience or support from clinical staff to care for people with complex needs. In the majority of mental health inpatient services rated inadequate or requires improvement, a lack of appropriately skilled staff was identified as an issue in the inspection report. This reflects a national shortage of nurses in these areas of practice, with 8% fewer learning disability nurses registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in 2019 than 2015.

Access and staffing are presenting challenges across all care settings, with geographic disparities – as highlighted in last year’s State of Care – presenting particular barriers in some parts of the country. People sharing their experiences with CQC have described having to ‘chase’ care in order to receive basic services, or experiencing worsening health as they move from service to service, unable to access the care they need.

Where patients struggle to access non-urgent services in their local community, including GP and dental services, this can have a direct impact on secondary care services. Figures for emergency admissions after attending the emergency department are continuing to rise year-on-year. This peaked at 31.2% of attendances in December 2018, and in July 2019 it was 28.9% – the highest figure for July in at least the last five years. There has also been an increase in referral to treatment times over the last year, with 4.4 million people at the end of June 2019 waiting to start treatment – an increase of 40% since June 2014.

In adult social care, issues around workforce – including a lack of qualified staff – and funding continue to contribute to the fragility of the sector. 2018/19 saw providers continuing to exit the market and in 2018, CQC twice exercised its legal duty to notify local authorities that there was a credible risk of service disruption because of provider business failure. These were the first notifications of this type CQC has issued in four years of running its Market Oversight scheme.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said;

“In this year’s State of Care, we have highlighted mental health and learning disability inpatient services because that’s where we are starting to see an impact on quality – and on people. There has been a deterioration in ratings in these services – and our inspection reports highlight staff shortages, or care delivered by staff who aren’t trained or supported to look after people with complex needs, as a reason for this.

“Increased demand combined with challenges around workforce and access risk creating a perfect storm – meaning people who need support from mental health, learning disability or autism services may receive poor care, have to wait until they are at crisis point to get the help they need, be detained in unsuitable services far from home, or be unable to access care at all.

“We are strengthening our approach to how we look at these services, and how we use the information that people share with us, so that we can act more quickly to spot and act on poor care. But having the right staff to deliver good care is crucial to turning the tide – as are better integrated community services to prevent people ending up in the wrong place. We’ve seen some excellent care where services collaborate and we want to see more local services working together.

“While we’ll continue to call out staffing issues at provider level when these have an impact on care, we’re also calling for system-wide action on workforce planning which encourages more flexible and collaborative approaches to staff skills and career paths. The ambitious plans to expand the mental health workforce to meet an increase in demand must be accelerated.

“We’ll continue to celebrate the providers – like those highlighted in this report – who are thinking beyond barriers to work together in new ways that not only improve quality but give their teams more development opportunities and flexibility to work across different settings, supporting them to deliver great care.”

Peter Wyman, Chair of the Care Quality Commission, said:

“The fact that quality ratings across health and social care remain broadly stable – due to the dedication and hard work of staff and leaders – should be celebrated. But at the same time, we need to acknowledge that people’s experience of care is not always good – too many people are facing unacceptable challenges and cannot get the right care in the right place and at the right time.

“Last year we warned that the continuing lack of a long-term sustainable funding solution for adult social care was having a damaging impact on the quality and quantity of available care. There is an urgent need for this solution to be prioritised by Parliament and Government – the failure to find a consensus for a future funding model continues to drive instability in this sector. Organisations that represent people who use services are telling us that the challenges faced by people, their families and their carers in getting the care and support they need are strongly related to pressures on local authority budgets and a lack of social care funding.

“The impact of these pressures is being felt across all health and care settings. We head into winter after a summer which saw a record-breaking number of patients attending A&E. Staff continue to do an incredible job, but the strain is starting to show – emergency departments were the core service that our inspectors were most likely to rate as Inadequate or Requires Improvement.

“This report points to examples that show how providers are working together more effectively – often using technology to help – to ensure that people get the care they need when they need it. But their efforts must be supported by Parliament, commissioners and national and local leaders in order to deliver real change in how and where people are cared for, and how they are supported to stay well.”

This year’s State of Care draws on quantitative analysis of inspection ratings of almost 32,000 services and providers, in addition to other monitoring information including staff and public surveys, and performance. It also draws on qualitative analysis of interviews and focus groups with CQC inspection staff and voluntary organisations, secondary analysis of ‘Share Your Experience’ comments and inspection reports, and case studies of the experiences of people who use services and innovative providers.

1 Data cited here is 31 July 2018 – 30 September 2019.


The latest edition of Driven by Health with Care magazine is now available

Interesting and useful articles and links


Social care providers encouraged to unite to tackle health inequalities in learning disability


The health of people with learning disabilities is worse than that of the general population with common health problems including respiratory disease, heart disease and obesity.

People with learning disabilities die earlier than the general population. Many of the health inequalities experienced by people with a learning disability are preventable. Social care providers have a major role to play in helping people to access good healthcare and to support people to make decisions about their lifestyle.

VODG is committed to tackling health inequalities experienced by disabled people. With the support of NHS England and NHS Improvement VODG is organising a series of three national conferences for social care leaders who want to improve the health of people with learning disabilities. Social care providers are being encouraged to actively work alongside VODG and system partners to collectively make a difference to people’s lives.

Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group said:

“Reducing health inequalities is an urgent matter. These events offer social care providers the opportunity to work together to collectively improve practice and to support system wide efforts to tackle health inequalities.”

VODG recently published in partnership with the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Lancaster a good practice guide on food and drink provision when supporting people using care services. The report recognises that sustained change involves addressing organisational cultures and personal attitudes as well as embedding a focus on supporting people to eat high quality food.

The social media hashtag is #TakeAStandTackleHealthInequalities

Leading for better health is a conference for leaders who want to explore how to foster organisational cultures, systems

and practices that reduce health inequalities.

Date: Thursday 3 October 2019

Location: London

Click here to register for London.

NAO report – Exiting the EU: supplying the health and social care sectors

Exiting the EU supplying the health and social care sectors FINAL PN 25.09.19

UPDATED Free Flu Jab Information for Social Care Staff


The brand new flu vaccination campaign for health and social care workers launches for the coming 2019/20 flu season. “Time to get your flu jab” takes a new approach – created for use by all social care organisations by Public Health England and NHS England & NHS Improvement – the staff facing campaign focusses on the protective benefit of the flu vaccination using a “Shield” motif.

Campaign materials show social care, social worker and other community based care staff going about their work protected by the shield of flu vaccination and the message “Help protect yourself, your family and the people you support. Get your free flu jab”.

The campaign is available to all organisations to use and adapt to encourage the uptake of flu vaccinations by frontline health and social care staff – the resources available include:

All materials, including adaptable artwork and social media tools, are available on PHE’s Campaign Resource Centre for colleagues to download or print locally. We would encourage organisations to localise these resources to suit their own local requirements – however please do use the brand guidelines which can be found here.

We are also keen to extend our photo-library to include a wider range of health and social care roles so do let us know if you have images you own that you are willing and able to share with colleagues across the health and social care system.

*To Note: There are a range of digital resources available – those targeting social care staff use the phrase “” and not “patients”.



Below along with guidance is the important new PIR from CQC

CQC PIR 3.ASC Residential PIR Qs.01.08.19


CQC PIR 3.Guidance.Annual PIR.Aug19


CQC PIR 3.Qs.NEW Annual PIR.Aug19


FLU Vaccination Update

NEW materials promoting the flu vaccination for social care workers available to download FREE from end of August

A brand new flu vaccination campaign for health and social care workers is launching this year, delivered by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England and NHS Improvement.

“Time to get your flu jab” will take a new approach to encouraging the uptake of flu vaccinations by social care staff – emphasising the protective benefit of the flu vaccination with a “Shield” motif and the message “Take care of others by taking care of yourself. If you work in the community, it’s time to get your annual flu jab”.

Campaign materials have been designed to show social care staff going about their work protected by the shield of flu vaccination – all materials, including adaptable artwork and social media tools, will be live on PHE’s Campaign Resource Centre for colleagues to download or print locally by the end of August. Further communication will be sent to you as and when these are made available.

The resources available include:

  • A4 posters featuring different social care professionals (alongside posters featuring healthcare workers in clinical settings for NHS Trusts, which are already available to download)
  • Leaflet
  • “I’ve had my flu jab” Sticker artwork
  • Social media tools including gifs and digital banners
  • Brand artwork
  • Communications toolkit (including long and short copy)
  • FAQ

We encourage all social care settings to adopt this campaign and brand when encouraging staff to get their flu vaccinations.

For any queries relating to this campaign, please contact

Accessing NHS Mail

Welcome to your Entry Level ‘Data Security and Protection Toolkit’ workbook!

This workbook outlines the 14 steps you must complete for the ‘Entry Level Assessment’ This has been created for
social care providers and it allows you to sign up to and benefit from NHSmail

Entry Level DSPT workbook

CQC PIR Changes

CQC are making improvements to the Provider Information Return (PIR) which includes some amendments to questions and a change to an annual collection. This month they will start to ask all providers to complete an updated PIR and then on an annual basis.

CQC have revised the PIR questions and process based on feedback and to allow them to expand how they use the information collected.  Requests for PIRs will be sent during the anniversary month of a provider’s first site visit and CQC have already started to write to providers to highlight this date.

The annual PIR will help CQC to identify areas to explore in more detail as part of our continuous monitoring of a service and ahead of a site visit.  They will continue to gather and review feedback to ensure continual development of the PIR and CQC keep you updated on this.

The amended questions can be seen here:

Residential Services

Community Services

Shared Lives Services

Specialist Colleges

The Advocacy Project Healing Words

poetry competition

We’d like to tell you about this year’s Healing Words poetry competition which celebrates creativity as a means of supporting mental health. This competition was a huge success last time it ran and we hope you will support the 2019 competition.

At The Advocacy Project, we believe a healthy society supports people’s mental wellbeing. In times where 1 in 4 of us experience mental health problems, it’s something that affects us deeply on both an individual and collective level. There’s now increasing evidence to show creativity is beneficial to our mental health – and we want to actively promote this.

“Engaging in creative activities such as doodling, music or writing
just once a day can lead to a more positive state of mind.”

Can you help us get people involved?
We want to reach as many people as possible, to help inspire those affected by mental health problems to use their creativity to improve their wellbeing. Please take a minute to share the details on social media: retweet on Twitter or LinkedIn (please use #HealingWords2019 in all posts).

More about the competition
I’ve included below an overview of the competition for you to share with colleagues, contacts and communities. You can also watch actress Joanna Scanlan’s video introducing the competition.

If you’ve got any questions, call Jo Kay on 020 8969 3000

Best wishes

Judith Davey
CEO, The Advocacy Project

Healing words… the journey to wellness and recovery
“Writing is a very cathartic experience. It’s a chance to express feelings I had always thought were indescribable” Sarah

We’re inviting you to enter a poetry competition, run by The Advocacy Project. If you’ve experienced a mental health problem, or you’re a family member or friend of someone who has, we welcome you to send us your poem.

Creativity can help people express themselves during the darkest days of mental illness and throughout recovery. We want to share this with as many people as possible to improve understanding of mental health.

Closing date: 8 Sep 2019, 5pm

Entry categories
-Darkest days: poems from before the dawn of hope
-Good days and bad days: poems from the road to recovery
-Being well: poems about more peaceful times
-Illustrated poems: poems with illustrations
-Spoken word: poems spoken by the writer

The poems will be judged by six people including Joanna Scanlan – actress and writer. All entrants will remain anonymous from the judges until the award ceremony.

More information and how to enter
Visit or call Jo Kay on 020 8969 3000


Involved & informed: good community medicines support

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE);

in collaboration with several other partner organisations, has launched a new initiative to encourage better medicines support for people who are receiving social care services in their homes.

The aim is to ensure the safe and effective use of medicines in the community, so people get the best possible outcomes with a reduced risk of medicine related harm.

To enable better multi-disciplinary working, the campaign encourages health commissioners and local authorities to have a written agreement that sets out clear responsibilities for home-based medicines support.

Understanding primary care networks

A report from the Health Foundation can be downloaded from

Key points
  • From 1 July 2019, all patients in England will be covered by a primary care network (PCN) – the most significant reform to general practice in England in a generation.
  • PCNs should help to integrate primary care with secondary and community services, and bridge a gap between general practice and emerging Integrated Care Systems.
  • Since January 2019, practices have been organising themselves into local networks to provide care at greater scale by sharing staff and some of their funding.
  • While PCNs offer huge potential to integrate care and improve services, there is a risk that the speed of implementation will undermine the best intentions of the policy.

This briefing places PCNs in the context of previous changes to general practice funding and contracting. It examines the rationale for networks, explores relevant evidence and draws out intended benefits and possible risks for the future of PCNs.


Additional prompts added to some

Statutory Notifications forms

Dear Provider

Re: Additional prompts added to some Statutory Notifications forms

I am writing to let you know that we are making some changes to the way we ask you to report some incidents to us with the aim of reducing the amount of follow up work we need to do with you. These are interim changes, which form part of a larger piece of work.

Registered providers must notify us of certain changes events and incidents that affect their service or the people who use it, notifications are submitted through our portal or via completing a downloadable form and sending it to us by email.

To make it easier for you to understand what we need to know when you notify us and to help us capture additional, more detailed information we are adding additional prompts to the word versions of the following notification forms in the additional information field:

We ask you to continue to notify us, but to also consider the issues identified by these prompts.  This change is intended to reduce the need for us to contact you to obtain more information by ensuring we have all relevant facts at the earliest opportunity.

We are currently working on a major project which is intended to improve statutory notifications forms and guidance in relation to:

  • Deaths;
  • Serious incidents;
  • Abuse; and
  • Police involvement.

We are making these interim changes to some of the existing notification changes whilst this larger project is underway.  This project aims to reduce the impact on you telling us about incidents that do not meet the threshold for a statutory notification,  and removes the need for us to ask for further information relating to an already submitted form.  Improved intelligence at an earlier stage will ensure we are assessing risks within provider services appropriately.

Ian Trenholm

Chief Executive

Care Quality Commission


This brief template has been developed to support care providers in preparing Contingency Plans for care services as the UK prepares to exit the EU. It is a working document and not intended to be exhaustive. Its key purpose is to help providers ensure continuity in delivering care and support through a record of actions that may be necessary to deal with any possible disruption. Quite simply a Contingency Plan involves preparing for a situation that may not happen but could have major impact if it did. Contingency planning is a crucial part of the routine Business Continuity Planning process.

It is not possible to produce a single guide to cover the full range of different care and support services in adult social care and so this template is intended to be used simply as a framework to developing individual service Contingency Plans. Government advice has been clear that the UK should prepare for all scenarios relating to EU exit – including the option of ‘no-deal’. Communications and information have been issued to businesses and the public, by various Government departments, in support of preparations for the UK exiting the EU. This information can be accessed at:

EU Exit Contingency Plan for Care Providers FINAL-2

Don’t forget changes to the NMW in April, details at the ACAS website

View April changes     

Solutions Social Care are running the event below on March 29th and those of you working in Learning Disability may be interested. Please contact the organisers directly with bookings and any queries.

Phone: 020 3603 0166