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.
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
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 and reach of contact tracing, by helping to identify those who you may not know, such as someone sitting next to you on public transport. The app will also give powerful insights into the spread of the virus and how to contain it.
Care Home Support Planning
Local Authorities have been asked to draw up Care Home support plans. Below, is a very detailed FAQ explaining this plus additional information about what commissioners in general need to do and what is being asked of care providers. This covers all residential and nursing beds.
Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to your employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
DoH&SC Guidance for the Home Care Sector
Today (May 26th) guidance for the home care sector has been published for registered providers, social care staff, local authorities and commissioners who support and deliver care to people in their own homes, including supported living settings, in England.
A link to this guidance can be found here : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-providing-home-care/coronavirus-covid-19-provision-of-home-care.
New tool launched to speed up social care recruitment
- Join Social Care will accelerate the recruitment process for adult social care
- People looking to work in care can upload an online profile to be viewed by CQC registered care providers in their local area
- Online training and DBS checks available free of charge
A new online platform to fast-track recruitment into the adult social care sector has been launched the government has announced today.
Join Social Care is a recruitment platform that makes it easier for care providers to reach people in their local areas looking to work in the sector.
The online platform, developed and licensed from Cera Care, allows candidates to record a video interview and access free training supported by Skills for Care before starting employment.
Registered providers are then able to search for candidates in their local area, view their video interviews before starting DBS checks and training processes and make conditional offers making recruitment more streamlined during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
- To view the full website visit www.joinsocialcare.co.uk
- This platform can be used alongside other applications or initiatives available in local areas.
- To gain access to the site providers will need to register with their CQC contact email address for the location. All registered providers are able to sign up now at www.joinsocialcare.co.uk/care-company
PPE – Homecare
The new guidance covers:
- Links to PPE guidance
- Shielding and care groups
- Hospital discharge and testing
- Government support for social care
- Information collection and governance
Please also see the letter attached from the Director-General of DHSC.
PPE – FFP3 mask shortages
DHSC appreciate there are challenges in sourcing PPE, including FFP3 masks. FPP3s have been provided to Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) to help respond to need amongst eligible service providers, if they are performing aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) and they are unable to access stock through their business as usual routes.
Providers who have an urgent requirement for PPE, which they have been unable to secure through their business as usual channels or their LRF, should continue to raise this issue through the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR). DETAILS BELOW
The NSDR does have a stock of FFP3s available.
Accordingly, we would recommend logging your request with NSDR again if you they still have not managed to source through other channels, as it is possible that a particular model of FFP3 mask was out of stock at the time of the original request.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): antibody tests
The government has announced the start of a major new national antibody testing programme, with plans to provide antibody tests to NHS and care staff in England from the end of May.
Clinicians will also be able to request the tests for patients in both hospital and social care settings if they think it’s appropriate.
The UK government is buying tests on behalf of the devolved administrations, and each devolved nation is deciding how to use its test allocation.
Recruiting during the COVID-19 pandemic: sharing local recruitment solutions
Skills for Care, the Care Provider Alliance, the Local Government Association and ADASS, are working together to gather creative solutions or initiatives from employers and individual employers in their local areas that have resulted in the recruitment of:
- people returning to work in social care
- students in their final year of study who are starting their career in social care early
- people coming from other sectors.
The information gathered will be shared with the sector to support other providers in finding a solution to their own recruitment challenges. Full details can be found here.
legal risks of Covid-19
This artcle was recently penned by Mei-Ling Huang, Partner at Royds, Withy King
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CPA Briefing for care homes
CPA Briefing note for care providers; COVID-19: Insurance, risks and possible liabilities
CQC Emergency Support Framework
Although we paused our routine inspections, our regulatory role and core purpose of keeping people safe has not changed – safety is still our priority. We have therefore developed an emergency support framework that we will follow during the pandemic.
Our interim approach has a number of elements:
- using and sharing information to target support where it’s needed most
- having open and honest conversations
- taking action to keep people safe and to protect people’s human rights
- capturing and sharing what we do.
We will use this emergency approach in all health and social care settings registered with CQC during the pandemic, and for a period afterwards.
Our emergency support framework is not an inspection, and we are not rating your performance.
NHS Providers response to care provider concerns about hospital discharges
Below is the NHS Providers response to care provider concerns about dicharges from hospitals to social care organisations. It appears to have no input from social care providers and state that the NHS acted correctly. If you have examples of discharge that concern you, or involved taking patients / clients untested for Covid-19, or that had tested positve and you were not made aware of this before transfer, please let us know. Comments (can be anonymised) will be grouped through the Care Association Alliance.
Guidance (Updated May 19th)
Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for care homes
Sets out the support package to keep care homes safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
FCA Guidance:Coronavirus and customers in temporary financial difficulty: draft guidance
for insurance and premium finance firms
NHS: Clinical guide for supporting compassionate visiting arrangements for those receiving care at the end of life
NHS: Operating framework for urgent and planned services in hospital settings during COVID-19
SCIE: Safeguarding in faith-based organisations during the COVID-19 crisis
Guidance around free-of-charge applications and our new fast-track Barred List check service, in response to COVID-19.
The Care Homes Support Package
The Care Home Support Package (referred to as Annex A in the Minister’s letter) contains the following:
- Infection prevention and control and PPE: Particularly, training in infection control by CCG infection control nurses, a restatement of the efforts being undertaken to source PPE for LRFs and the establishment of the Clipper system, a statement that workforce movement between care homes should be minimised as far as possible, local authorities are being asked to ensure there are quarantining facilities which can be used before returning a resident to a care home if needed. SAGE have established a sub-group to look at care homes.
- Stepping up NHS Clinical Support – including timely access to named clinical contacts, proactive support for people living in care homes, support for care home residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 from multi-disciplinary teams where possible and sensitive and collaborative decisions around hospital admissions.
- A commitment to comprehensive testing for all residents and staff – it repeats much of the information I shared with you yesterday.
- A commitment to oversight and compliance – all local authorities are being asked to review or put in place a care home support plan, informed by the views of care providers. These need to be submitted by 29 May to DHSC/MHCLG.
- A commitment to expanding the workforce by 20,000 people in the next three months. This section mentions the new care campaign, CARE badge and app, as well as measures to fast track DBS.
- Funding – it reiterates that the £600m is in addition to previous tranches of money given to Local Authorities for social care among other areas. ADASS is currently surveying its members to understand whether the £3.2bn has actually been passed to social care providers – this needs to be completed by 15th May. Local Authorities are being directed to publish on their websites their rate uplifts and other extra funding they may have given to care providers – deadline for this is 29 May. This section also states that £1.3bn was also given to the NHS to support safe and timely discharge from hospitals into care.
- There is an Annex which describes in further detail ‘restricting workforce movement and minimising workforce transmission’
Dementia in care homes and COVID-19. Supporting residents, supporting carers, supporting homes
Testing Update – May 19th 2020
From the 14th update
Update from the D o H & S C.
This week there have been a number of key COVID-19 announcements relating to adult social care that I would like to share with you. Please see below:
Whole care homes testing
DHSC’s Director General for Social Care, Ros Roughton has written to the sector about the roll-out of whole care home testing. This letter is below, and outlines the processes around testing in care homes, including DHSC’s portal for ordering COVID-19 home testing kits.
Technical Specifications for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The documents attached within the link below define the technical and regulatory standards for Personal Protective Equipment
Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.
There is further testing information further down this page.
Social Works – John Buttle – http://www.socialworksltd.co.uk/
Laura Anthony Skills for Care – https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Home.aspx
Rosie Figgess Citation – https://www.citation.co.uk/
Walking, cycling, and travelling in vehicles or on public transport during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Wellbeing of Staff at Work
An additional piece of guidance has just been published for anyone who works in adult social care. It provides advice on how you can manage your personal mental health in the current circumstances. It also provides adult social care employers with guidance, tools and advice on how to take care of the wellbeing of staff at work.
You can find a link to this guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-health-and-wellbeing-of-the-adult-social-care-workforce/health-and-wellbeing-of-the-adult-social-care-workforce
ONS data on COVID-19 and different occupational groups
ONS released some stark data on May the 11th, which shows that 131 social care workers have died due to COVID-19. This means that deaths per 100,000 involving COVID-19 amongst care workers is higher than those amongst healthcare workers.
You may have seen this on the BBC – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52616080
We understand that providers face challenges around the cost of PPE during a time of high demand. We encourage providers with concerns around markup of PPE costs to report this through the Competition and Markets Authority at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tell-the-cma-about-a-competition-or-market-problem
If you are having PPE supply / quality issues, LCAS is able to access the national PPE Task & Finish Group – Adult Social Care. Let me have details of issues and I will forward them on your behalf and report back. email@example.com 01932 355598 / 07956 878901
During the recent PPE T&F, members were asked to send through information they may have on the issues listed below.
- In cases where providers have been sent to LRFs by the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) and not been able to receive stock please encourage providers to inform NSDR by replying to the email they will have received from CPC. NSDR will then look into whether they can send the provider emergency supplies. If CPC do not hear further from providers they will assume that the LRF has been able to provide stock and the case will be closed after 5 days.
- If members are aware of instances where providers are unhappy with the service they have received from NSDR and wish to escalate this, please send details, including case references and names of organisations where possible,
- If members are aware of instances where PPE supplies have been diverted inappropriately, please send details to
- If members are aware of wholesalers distributing damaged or poor quality products, we suggest they first challenge the wholesaler. If this is unsuccessful, they can escalate by sending the details to us.
New: Infection control e-learning and resources
A new dedicated app for the adult social care workforce in England has been launched to support staff through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The app will be available to download from on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, as well as being accessible online at https://workforce.adultsocialcare.uk
A video on the app is available to download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AQg0Vcuhwza-sPj6V1fHBTurBVk3mLJX/view?usp=sharing
Within the Croydon ASB website, is a page specifically for Covid information. https://www.croydonsab.co.uk/coronavirus-uk-covid-19/
COMPENDIUM OF GUIDANCE ON WORKFORCE ISSUES FOR COMMUNITY SERVICES, CARE HOME AND DOMICILIARY
CARE PROVIDERS AND STAFF
This document pulls together in one place some of the latest key guidance issued to employers and staff in response to the COVID-19 incident
LCAS RM Meeting May 12th 2020
LCAS are inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
May 12, 2020 10:00 AM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 962 8989 0870
The meeting will include how to access good, worthwhile on-line training with John Buttle from Social Works and updates from Citation on HR and Skills for Care on the wide range of support they have for the sector. It is also an opportunity for you to raise issues and link with other managers.
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Meeting ID: 962 8989 0870
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abzfGzKgRD
RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19
CQC are hosting a series of webinars on the emergency support framework (ESF), book early to ensure a place
Atypical Covid-19 presentations in older people – the need for continued vigilance
A very useful resource
Covid-19: help us investigate
CQC emergency support framework
From 04/05/20, CQC is launching its emergency support framework for care providers. They will be implementing calls to care service managers. They will gather information from you. They will not publish this information but it could lead to requests for you to provide information or an inspection where they feel it is necessary. They emphasise their supportive role during the crisis.
Letter from Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
to Local Authorities with regard to the £3.2bn of Covid-19 support funding that they’ve received
Update on GOV.UK.
From 1 May 2020, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.
FNC Rates 2020 / 2021
This will be of interest to those of you with nursing services.
The FNC rate was being independently reviewed in 2019 by Laing and Buisson and DoH have now concluded the review. They have increased the 2019/20 FNC rate (last year) from £165.56 to £180.31, and stated that the increase will be backdated to the 1st April 2019. They have also announced the rate for 2020/21 at £183.92.
Further information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
DHSC has directed people to the Social Care Action Plan section on page 17 which includes most of the detail outlined relating to Statutory Sick Pay etc.
The explainer on furloughing staff in the social care sector is here
Useful sources of Coronavirus / Covid-19 related information
CQC has a dedicated section to COVID-19 related changes on their website.
SCIE has created a hub for COVID-19 advice for social care.
regularly to make sure that you are keeping your organisational brief updated.
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure
Running a medicines re-use scheme in a care home or hospice setting
Essential Worker Covid-19 Testing Guidance
This is an update from the DoH&SC to information issued on Wednesday 29 April 2020 on COVID-19 testing in care homes.
Testing arrangements for care workers and care home residents with COVID-19 symptoms are set out below.
Testing for care workers with COVID-19 symptoms
Care workers can be swabbed at regional or mobile testing centres, or by using home testing kits. Workers can self-refer through the online portal or be referred by their employer. Users enter their details and will then receive a text or email the same day, inviting them to either book an appointment at a regional testing site, or receive a home testing kit. Test results are usually available via text message within 48 – 72 hours.
The first time a care home suspects that one of its residents has COVID-19 symptoms
When a care home manager suspects for the first time, that the care home has COVID-19 symptoms in a resident or residents, the care home manager should contact their local Public Health England Health Protection Team (HPT). The HPT will arrange for the testing of all symptomatic residents at this point as well as providing locally tailored infection control advice.
Subsequent testing for care home residents with or without COVID-19 symptoms
We are working to roll out further testing, covering all care home staff and residents, with or without COVID-19 symptoms. More information will be provided when this service is available.
Further expansion of access to coronavirus testing helps protect the most vulnerable
- Everyone in England aged 65 and over with coronavirus symptoms can now get tested, along with symptomatic members of their households
- Symptomatic workers who are unable to work from home also eligible for testing
- Testing of all asymptomatic NHS and social care staff and care home residents also being rolled out
- New expansion of testing made possible due to rapidly increasing testing capacity
Anyone in England with symptoms of coronavirus who has to leave home to go to work, and all symptomatic members of the public aged 65 and over, will now be able to get tested, the government has announced today.
This will mean people who cannot work from home and those aged 65 and over can know for sure whether they have coronavirus and need to continue isolating.
Members of their households with symptoms – a new continuous cough or high temperature – will also be eligible for testing.
Anyone eligible can book a test using an online portal.
UBER Benefits for social care staff
Care Providers (&NHS) are able to benefit from a 25% discount on their staff’s trips for 12 weeks.
Skills for Care Registered Manager Advice Line
Skills for Care has set-up a new advice phone line and e-mail inbox to support those managing CQC regulated adult social care services through the COVID-19 crisis. The advice line is open to all COVID-19 related questions from registered managers, service managers, deputy managers and nominated individuals. To get in touch with us please call (0113) 2411260 or e-mail RMAdvice@skillsforcare.org.uk. Further information can be found at: https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Leadership-management/support-for-registered-managers/Advice-line.aspx
New guarantee on death in service benefits for frontline health and care staff during
A quick-read summary of the MCA and DoLS Guidance. Here is a link.
This is the guidance from CQC
We are aware of reports that providers are being asked to complete several capacity trackers, hopefully this information is helpful.
Guidance on PPE for the Social Care Sector
How to contact the LRF if you are short of PPE supplies
The Govt. are working with E-bay on a route to supply PPE, this is being piloted at present, it is due to be rolled out in May.
Updated compilation of guidance
It is still useful to keep emailing the Local Government PPE email with shortage updates: PPE@local.gov.uk
This link may be of use:
Personal protective equipment (PPE) –resource for care workers delivering homecare (domiciliary care) during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK
NMC – Nursing & Midwifery Council
Those of you who may need this information, probably have it directly, just in case
Coronavirus (Covid-19): Information and advice
Skills for Care: Free job site listings for adult social care organisations
The National Recruitment Campaign for adult social care (Care for others. Make a difference) relaunched last week – it will be targeting people who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
As part of the campaign a number of national job sites are offering free listings to adult social care organisations:
- Monster – 30 days free jobs listings until 31st May. Visit: https://www.monster.co.uk/advertise-a-job/hr-resources/market-news/adult-social-care-jobs/ and follow the instructions on the page
- Reed – free job listings until the 20th May. Call 0845 2419293
- Indeed – if you’re an existing client speak to your Account Manager and quote reference DHSC-COVID-19-MATCH. New customers please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the same reference
Jobseekers are being asked to search ‘adult social care jobs’ and will be signposted to the sites above – it may be worth posting vacancies as soon as you’re able to in order to take advantage of the increased interest generated by the campaign.
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This is our latest bulletin on the CJRS: https://www.roydswithyking.com/job-retention-scheme-essential-update-for-care-providers/
Local Authority Grants from Government for Covid-19 payments
Below is the detail of what each local authority received from the original £1.6bn distributed by the governemnt some weeks ago. A further £1.6bn was added to this last week.
What is your local authority doing to support you and your organisation?
How the funds are to be used
Updates from CQC
Sign this Petition, please get colleagues and friends to sign too
We would like the government to consider social care as equally important to NHS
You must only make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when:
- an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
- a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
- a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.
Considerations for Personal Protective Equipment in the Context of Acute Supply Shortages for Coronavirus Disease 2019
SCIE Coronavirus: Learning Disability and Autism guidance
Guidance for those working in care homes providing information on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19.
Everylife Technologies have introduced
a free service, launched today for care providers called C19 CONTROL, this is to help carers and care providers record and report COVID-19 status and PPE use at the frontline of care. This has been designed to assist care providers to manage the operating challenges Covid-19 brings and help them have the data to hand to easily report to the CQC etc as required. As they get feedback from users they will continue to refine and improve this service.
The Government has extended the Job Retention Scheme to the end of June.
CQC data requirements
- Residential and nursing homes to complete only the NHS Capacity Tracker as set out in Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes
- Homecare providers to complete CQC’s ‘Update CQC on the impact of Covid’ online form (from Monday 13 April). This will be rolled out to Shared Lives services, Extra Care and Supporting Living services soon and we will be in contact with them directly when the service is available to them
The small number of providers of both homecare and residential and/or nursing homes to complete both data collections
How the government will support the adult social care sector in England throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Kate Terroni, sets out our next steps to support adult social care during the COVID-19 pandemic
Information for the social care sector on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Exercise for People with learning disabilities and/or autism
The government has updated its guidance to state that people with learning disabilities and/or autism are allowed to exercise more than once a day:
“You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health – including if that involves travel beyond your local area – then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day – ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.
Even in such cases, in order to reduce the spread of infection and protect those exercising, travel outside of the home should be limited, as close to your local area as possible, and you should remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or a carer at all times.”
CQC Guidance on DBS & other employment checks
CQC updated form for notification of the death of a person with Covid-19
MCA and DoLs COVID 19 guidance
New immigration system guidance
Here is the new guidance on the proposed new immigration system: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-immigration-system-what-you-need-to-know#lower-skilled-workers
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look helpful for social care.
The points-based system will include a route for skilled workers who have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor.
From January 2021, the job you’re offered will need to be at a required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level). You’ll also need to be able to speak English. The minimum general salary threshold will be reduced to £25,600.
If you will earn less than this – but no less than £20,480 – you may still be able to apply by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics against your salary. For example, if you have a job offer in a shortage occupation or have a PhD relevant to the job.
Details of how the points system will work are in the policy statement.
If you’re an employer planning to sponsor skilled migrants from 2021, and are not currently an approved sponsor, you should consider getting approved now.
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Activities for Older Adults During COVID19-A guide to online resources for those providing care for people with dementia
Find out about the information we have on our registers and how NHS staff and local authorities in England and Wales can ask us for it
Advice for furloughing company directors.
Firstly, there has been further advice provided with regard to furloughing and in particular the furloughing of company directors. Please see the HMRC guidance below:
As office holders, salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme. Company directors owe duties to their company which are set out in the Companies Act 2006. Where a company (acting through its board of directors) considers that it is in compliance with the statutory duties of one or more of its individual salaried directors, the board can decide that such directors should be furloughed. Where one or more individual directors’ furlough is so decided by the board, this should be formally adopted as a decision of the company, noted in the company records and communicated in writing to the director(s) concerned.
Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.
This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC).”
In short, our understanding is, as a director, you are able to carry out statutory duties such as signing accounts, sending paperwork, making decisions on PAYE etc but cannot undertake work for, or on behalf of your company. It is it up to you, or your advisors to decide whether you believe this is the case for you. The information required from you (and for any employees that may be furloughed) is as follows:
- EPAYE Reference number (I believe we will have this)
- The number of employees being furloughed and who they are
- The number of directors being furloughed
- The claim period (Start and End date, bearing in mind this scheme is temporary and is currently in place for 3 months from 1st March 2020)
- Amount to be claimed
- Your bank account number and sort code
- Your contact name
- Your phone number
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.
Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
New guidance issued for employers: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?utm_source=22073d98-c3f4-47e3-b012-3fa9f1a81e4e&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate#payroll-consolidation
Importantly this has now removed the redundancy requirement to furlough shielding employees, which was included in the earlier version. Read as a whole the guidance as therefore moved some way away from there needing to be a redundancy/lay off situation to furlough and claim under the Scheme (subject to any further guidance / legislation!).
The other potential issue for providers is the restriction for those with public funding for staff costs. This hasn’t changed in the guidance.(Update April 13th)
Update April 9th
More clarification is still required from the Government in relation to the eligibility of social care businesses for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), explains our Health & Social Care team.
The Government has provided more guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, but some key questions remain unanswered, including:
• Are health and social care providers in receipt of public funding eligible?
• Is redundancy/lay off a pre-condition of furlough?
• Can shielding employees be furloughed?
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:
- No more detail on extent to which publicly funded providers are eligible under the Scheme
- 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:
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.
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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.
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.
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: ImmsTraining@phe.gov.uk
PLEASE NOTE THIS EMAIL IS NOT FOR CLINICAL QUERIES
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
Care Certificate Sel-Assessment Tool
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.
We are advised that these suppliers have stocks. Other suppliers may also be available.
03300 552 288 email@example.com *
01756 706 050 firstname.lastname@example.org
01226 719 090 email@example.com
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.
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
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:
- Your complete free guide to employment rights – a quick and easy reminder of what employees, workers and the self-employed are legally entitled to from employers.
- Your guide to defining employment status questions – 10 key questions you can ask yourself to start getting to grips with employment status in your business.
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.
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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: https://www.ncvo.org.uk/images/documents/practical_support/volunteering/Volunteering_in_care_homes/Sharing_time_and_talents_-_building_caring_communities-webversion.pdf and also the attached presentation.
SfC & the DoH&SC are working to produce new guidelines and these will be added when available.
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.
https://www.bidfood.co.uk/care-homes/ have proved helpful to new customers and arranged deliveries.
Contact your MP (& Councillors) MP details available at https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/
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.
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.
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 –
‘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
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 https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/adult-social-care
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.
General best practice: business growth, HR, Employment Law, Health & Safety
- Citation, has gathered some of the most frequently asked questions around both the Health & Safety and HR and Employment Law implications of the spread of coronavirus and put together some practical steps on how to move forward safely and keep your people and premises safe: https://www.citation.co.uk/coronavirus-your-questions-answered/?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=partner_ _coronavirusqs_mar19
- With hand hygiene as important as ever, watch this free hand hygiene training module for employees: https://youtu.be/hZ1ANWhD2pQ
- This article from Citation, looks at some of the best ways to plan ahead to manage the spread of coronavirus and how to assess the risks of travelling to other countries, along with some of the best working practices around workplace hygiene: https://www.citation.co.uk/news/health-and-safety/coronavirus-managing-risks-to-your-staff-and-workplace/?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=partner_coronavirusrisks_mar19
- With more employees working from home who might not typically do so, this guide from Citation outlines the key points for implementing temporary homeworking and making it work for your business: https://www.citation.co.uk/news/hr-and-employment-law/a-guide-to-temporary-homeworking-due-to-coronavirus/?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=partner_coronavirushomeworking_mar19
- What are the financial relief packages available to businesses to support with coronavirus? https://www.citation.co.uk/news/hr-and-employment-law/covid-19-chancellor-announces-financial-relief-package-to-boost-economy-and-protect-businesses/?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=partner_coronavirusboost_mar19
- What measures did the government announce in the budget to support businesses? Get the latest in this article from Citation: https://www.citation.co.uk/news/hr-and-employment-law/budget-2020-how-the-government-aims-to-protect-people-and-jobs-in-the-face-of-covid-19/?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=partner_coronavirusbudget_mar19
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
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.
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
The latest edition of the Social Care e-magazine – Driven by Health with Care – is now available at https://www.drivenbyhealth.co.uk/magazine/carpe-diem/
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.
IOM UNITED KINGDOM
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.
SUPPORTING VULNERABLE PEOPLE TO ACCESS THE EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME
These documents (below) offer much useful data and links, including where to get more information and agncies with grant funding to help
The Trading Standards Chartered Institute has published Care Home Complaints:
Business Guidance, this is a consultation document, please take the time to respond
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
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
Click here to register for London.
NAO report – Exiting the EU: supplying the health and social care sectors
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:
- Social Care and community/mental worker posters (three variations)
- NHS Trusts posters (6 posters – featuring a Doctor, Porter, Nurse, Mental Health Nurse, Social Worker and Paramedic)
- Leaflets for health and social care audiences
- Sticker artwork
- Social media toolkits including static and animated images for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
- Brand artwork
- Communications toolkit (including long and short copy)
- Email signatures
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”.
NEW CQC PIR
Below along with guidance is the important new PIR from CQC
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)
- “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)
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 Partnerships@phe.gov.uk
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
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:
The Advocacy Project Healing Words
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
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
-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 www.advocacyproject.org.uk/poetry 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 https://www.health.org.uk/publications/reports/understanding-primary-care-networks
- 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
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:
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.
Care Quality Commission
EU EXIT CONTINGENCY PLAN TEMPLATE FOR CARE PROVIDERS
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: https://www.gov.uk/government/brexit
Don’t forget changes to the NMW in April, details at the ACAS website
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.