News Page 2

Stepdown of infection control precautions and discharging patients to home settings

This guidance has been updated to reflect guidance around isolation if a contact of a confirmed or suspected Omicron variant of COVID-19. See the section ‘Discharging COVID-19 patients to a single occupancy room in a care facility, including nursing homes, residential homes and designated settings’.


Management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings

This guidance has been updated to reflect the Omicron variant. See sections 2.5.1, 2.5.2, 3.1, 3.2 and 4.1. In short:

  • Staff members who are a contact of Omicron case must isolate for 10 days even if they are double vaccinated.
  • Residents who are known to have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case should be isolated or cohorted for 14 full days after their last exposure to a COVID-19 case. If they are cohorted, this should only be with other residents who do not have COVID-19 symptoms but who have also been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case. This also applies to residents who have previously recovered from COVID-19. Residents who have been exposed to a suspected or confirmed case of Omicron variant SARS-CoV-2, should be isolated separately.
  • Asymptomatic and fully vaccinated residents will not require self-isolation if certain additional mitigations are in place, unless they are identified as a contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant
  • Staff and residents who have previously tested positive within 90 days but have since become a contact of Omicron are no longer exempt from testing.

WHITE PAPER (at last)

I am delighted to inform you that the Adult Social Care White Paper – People at the Heart of Care – has been published. This is accompanied by a letter to the sector from the Minister for Care, Gillian Keegan, please find this attached. The Minister is currently delivering an oral statement in the House, you can watch this on Parliament TV.

The White Paper sets out a new programme of improvements for adult social care and marks an important step towards a long-term vision for social care in England. The new measures aim to give greater choice, control and independence to individuals receiving care, as well as support for the workforce. Over £1.7 billion will be spent on these reforms, forming part of the £5.4 billion announced in September funded by a new UK-wide 1.25% Health and Social Care Levy from April 2022.

The package includes:

  • At least £300m to help local authorities offer a wider variety of supported housing options to help individuals live as independently as possible.
  • The digitalisation of social care to support people to live independently and improve their quality of care, backed by £150m of funding.
  • A new professional development plan for the social care workforce and mental health and wellbeing resources funded with an investment at of least £500m.
  • An additional £70m to improve and increase the range of care and support services.
  • A new £30m Innovative Models of Care Programme to support local authorities to launch innovative new ways of delivering care in the community to improve the choice of care available to individuals.
  • New pilots to understand how best to help people understand the care and support they need.
  • And investing up to £25m to work with the sector to kickstart a change in services to support unpaid carers.

This system reform White Paper sits alongside changes to the way that people pay for their care, which was also announced by the Prime Minister in September. The amount people pay for personal care over their lifetime will be capped at £86,000, giving individuals and families greater certainty over how much they will pay for care. We will also be making the means test more generous and anyone with less than £20,000 in assets (compared to £23,350 under the current system) will not have to pay anything from their care from their assets. Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will contribute towards their care but will be supported by the state. If somebody or their spouse lives in their home, their home is not counted as part of their assets.

I am also pleased to announce the launch of our new campaign website – Transforming Social Care. The objective of the campaign is to ensure the public understands the changes to social care and how they will impact them and their families. The dedicated campaign website on Gov.uk will act as a central hub of up to date information for the public and stakeholders on social care reform. It will feature key explainer content, information on the reforms, downloadable resources, and interactive tools for the public to use to navigate the social care system. The campaign website can evolve and we are very much open to feedback and suggestions for how to improve it, so if you have suggestions, or perhaps case studies that we could feature, please do let us know. A huge thanks to colleagues who have already provided case studies. We hope that you will support our campaign and promote it through your communications channels.




GLA Funding – Do you support Women Returners?

Successful Mums Career Academy have secured funding from the Mayor of London to work with a number of forward-thinking employers. The funding is aimed at Care employers that encourage flexibility and ​diversity by including parents into their future workforce.

This means Successful Mums can provide employers with FREE advertising on their job board along with practical, short online training sessions covering;

  • Introduction to flexible working
  • Flexible working in practice
  • Managing a flexible workforce
  • Attracting skilled women to your workforce- how to advertise and attract talented mums
  • Women’s health and wellbeing

Plus, policy templates for your adaptation;

  • Women’s health and menopause
  • Flexible working
  • Equal opportunities

…and guidance on quality standards accreditation for your company to embrace flexible working and stand out as an employer of choice.

By signing up, you will also receive free advertising on our job board to reach out to our skilled audience of women for up to two years, plus PR opportunities as a forward thinking employer.

Taking part is completely free and just requires a few hours of your time and an interest in implementing flexible working practices in your workplace.  

Interested? Get in touch with Jane@successfulmums.co.uk for more information, find out more on their website here or contact the academy on 0776 161 5371.


“Free webinar – Weds 1 December at 12pm – Citation will be outlining your employer responsibilities with regards to the use of personal vehicles for work purposes and how to manage driver safety in your business”

Adopting a Vat Strategy for GROWTH

Businesses could save thousands in new government digital support scheme

Small businesses could get up to £5000 towards the cost of buying new digital software to help boost their business growth.

From December, the government’s new Help to Grow: Digital programme, will give free and impartial advice to businesses on how digital software can help them grow and reach their full potential.

The support for eligible small businesses provides vouchers worth up to 50% (up to £5,000) off the cost of approved software from a range of approved leading technology suppliers.

To register interest in the scheme, visit Help to Grow


Updates to Discharge Guidance Leaflets

A series of leaflets have been updated relating to discharge:


Update to supported living services

This guidance was updated earlier this week in line with the latest advice from UKHSA. The summary of changes note at the top of the page outlines what has changed. Changes include advice on staff moving between care settings, visiting and discharge from hospital. On that last point, the guidance now states that supported living settings that ‘are comparable to care homes should refer to the admissions guidance for advice on self-isolation following an unplanned admission’.


Infection Prevention and Control Good Practice Guide

Skills for Care has published a guide outlining good practice examples for care home and home care workers, and for infection control teams. It has a preamble from Professor Deborah Sturdy.


Updates on recently published guidance:


Wellbeing Champions Training Dec. 8th 12.00pm.



CQC – Getting Inspection Ready & Building Organisational Culture – Nov 17th

Presentations

From Mick Feather of Citation

From SfC’s Laura Anthony & Selena Docherty

From Hannah Wilson of SLaM

Event Recording


Keeping Well London event Nov 25th

Bringing Social Care, Community & Healthcare together.

With Dudley Sawyerr, Patience Mukosa, Anoushka Farouk and Michael Mahy


Important free care webinars – mandatory vaccinations (updated guidance) and culturally appropriate care



Social Works Funded Training Courses and Dates



Keeping Well Portals for London


Care Home Guidance with Ambulance Crews.

We do not have the exact one for all London areas, this will act a as guide. If you have local ones, please share with us.


Please find attached DHSC weekly Stakeholders Q&A.  

Some key themes highlighted in the document include:  

  • Secretary of State, Sajid Javid on Covid-19 and winter illnesses
  • Government to introduce COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment for all frontline health and social care workers

You can read more in the full stakeholder Q&A here, along with the latest announcements from the last week, as well as past copies and the social media assets here.  

We will continue to add short clips from announcements along with graphics, visuals and further videos.    

Further resources including social content are available on PHE’s campaign resource centre.  

Please let us know how you have used the resources and how they can be improved.   

We would like to signpost you again to some useful links:  


Stakeholder toolkit 

Following the government announcement stating that the COVID-19 vaccine will become compulsory for care home workers or volunteers as of 11th November 2021, the Department for Health and Social Care has released a stakeholder toolkit. The toolkit offers guidance to those affected by this new regulation and breaks down what it will mean for them going forward. 

Find out more


Digital Social Care have published with a disclaimer.

UPDATED – CQC and DHSC vaccination lead have confirmed that care  homes only need to record who came in on what date and the fact that they have checked the vaccination status. There is no need to record any further details.

COVID-19 vaccination as condition of deployment – Data Protection Support – Digital Social Care


Being Black in #socialcare beyond October.

Hear the interview from Dudley Sawyerr and respected black colleagues,

Victoria Oladosu CMgr-MCMI MIHSCM, 

Deanna Berry and

Janeth Morgan

Social care, which has one of the largest black workforces in the UK, being represented and heard beyond #blackhistorymonth in October is very important. To hear this insightful and thought-provoking discussion please click on the link below and feel free to share.

Watch the video: https://lnkd.in/dbhdes3T


Free Guide to Infection Control

Implementing the Home First Discharge
Policy


Following the consultation: Making vaccination a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector;

the vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) policy will now be extended to all health and care staff. The Secretary of State has just announced this in the House.

Key points:

  • Staff working face to face with patients or service users will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to be deployed, unless they are exempt.
  • Covid-19 boosters and flu vaccinations are not included in the policy scope.
  • Once the regulations have been laid and approved in Parliament, there will be a 12-week grace period before the regulations come into force. Therefore, the policy is expected to come into force in April 2022.

Additional information can be found in the below press notice. Further details can be found in the consultation response, published here

This policy does not supersede, but sits alongside, the previously announced regulations requiring anyone working in a CQC-regulated care home to be vaccinated by Thursday 11 November. The operational guidance for this policy can be found here. The regulations that introduce VCOD across health and wider social care settings will include some amendments to the existing care home regulations. Once approved by Parliament, these amendments will take effect in the coming months:

  • An unvaccinated new starter can be deployed in a care home 21 days after receiving one dose of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine
  • Staff vaccinated overseas can be deployed but may need to receive a top-up vaccine dose, as per UKHSA advice.  The government intends to run the self-certification process for people vaccinated in care homes until the end of the proposed grace period which is expected to be 1 April.
  • Clinical trial participants will need to evidence their participation in order to be exempt from the requirement
  • The definition of authorised vaccine will be aligned across the two policies

Please find here our stakeholder toolkit, including posters, social media assets and Q&As, which we will continue to update over the coming days. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch, and if you could forward me any comms your organisation puts out on this, I would be very grateful.


Providing Home Care

This guidance has been updated to reflect the latest advice from UKHSA (formerly PHE). This is separate from the PPE guidance. The summary table at the top of the main guidance page outlines what has changed. The updates largely bring this piece of guidance in line with other pieces of guidance.


Invitation to participate in research on Covid-19 impacts on care home staff  

This is a really useful, short and anonymous survey, please help your sector by completing. Thanks.

We are inviting you to answer a short survey on how Covid-19 has affected care homes and their staff. The survey is focused on your experiences of working in a care home during the pandemic.  

Your perspectives will help decision-makers in government and employers to understand what funding and support are needed by care homes and their staff.   

The study will inform policy and practice with the academic outputs being shared with all stakeholders. Therefore, your input can make a real difference to how we deliver these services in the future.  

The survey will take about 10 minutes. It is up to you if you take part. You will not be asked for your name or the name of your workplace in the survey.  

10 people who answer the survey will win a £50 shopping voucher. 

This research is led by Professor Marianna Fotaki (University of Warwick) and her team, with public funding. NCF and UNISON are supporting this valuable research.  

To take the survey please go to here.  Or to find out more, contact Dr Didem Derya Ozdemir Kaya (didem.ozdemir-kaya@wbs.ac.uk) or Dr Aaron Gain (aaron.gain@warwick.ac.uk). 


The Adult Social Care Winter Plan

Has been published & can be found here. Please also find attached a letter to care colleagues from our Minister, Gillian Keegan, outlining what is in the plan



Are you able to spot Workplace Stress?

The first week of November marks Stress Awareness Week, which aims to increase the awareness of the causes and signs of stress, including within the workplace. With 11 million working days lost to stress each year*, it’s your legal duty as an employer to take steps to protect your employees from stress at work.

Stress can impact anyone, regardless of skill, experience, age, or disability – are you confident you can spot the signs and mitigate the risks to your people and your business?

To help you support your employees and stay on the right side of the law, the Health & Safety experts of our Citation, have put together an exclusive guide on stress risk assessments – including how to recognise the signs of stress and assess the risks involved.

DOWNLOAD YOUR GUIDE

Your member benefit

As an employer, you’ve got a lot of responsibilities. But don’t worry, Citation is here to help! If you sign up with them, they’ll help you meet your compliance goals with their bespoke HR and Health & Safety handbooks and policies, access to 24/7 advice and much more.

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

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

*Source


Adopting Digital Social Care Records – Masterclasses

During 2021-2022, Digital Social Care are partnering with NHSX to run a masterclass series for adult social care providers. The series will bring together sector experts, technology companies and care providers to share their experiences in choosing and using digital care records.

You can access recordings of the following sessions which have already taken place:

Find out more and book a place at future masterclasses.


Home Care Cost of Care Tool: Demonstration and Discussion Webinar 16 November, 10-11am

A free Cost of Care Tool for home care has been commissioned by ADASS and LGA, and developed by ARCC Ltd. The tool is now being shown to councils, care providers and other partners across the sector. The attached slides give an overview of the purpose and function of the tool and next steps. A webinar has been arranged to demonstrate the tool, show how it works and answer any questions. This is for providers only and takes place on Tuesday 16th November from 10.00 – 11.00. Please register to attend.

We have asked to see the underlying assumptions for this new model and will also attempt to arrange a members’ session with the developers of the tool, ADASS and LGA.


COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Guidance Updated

The clinical guidance has been updated to allow COVID-19 boosters to be given earlier than 6-months to those at highest risk where this makes operational sense. One example in the press release is that of care home residents who may have received second doses at different times. This guidance would allow all those residents to be vaccinated at the same time, as long as it has been 5-months since their second dose. The Green Book Chapter 14a has been updated to reflect the change.


The DHSC has written a letter to visiting professionals which (alongside a range of other materials) can be found on Skills for Care’s vaccination resource page. We have also added two items to the stakeholder toolkit – a social media graphic (which we will be posting on DHSC channels soon) and a poster for care homes to display, as below.



DWP update on Universal Credit

The Chancellor has delivered the Autumn Budget and Spending Review for 2021, setting out how we will level up opportunities as we build back better from the pandemic. In this he has stated that the taper rate in UC will be increasing,

Cut to the Universal Credit taper rate, and Universal Credit Work Allowance increased

The taper rate means that if people increase their earnings, by working more hours for example, their Universal Credit is gradually reduced. The current taper rate is 63p, meaning for every £1 a person earns after tax, their Universal Credit is reduced by 63p.

The Chancellor announced that the Government is cutting the taper rate by 8p, from 63p to 55p, ensuring more money in people’s pockets.

The Work Allowance allows some households to earn a set amount before the taper rate kicks in. This is generally for households on Universal Credit who are in work and either looking after a child or have a household member with limited capability for work

Work Allowances are currently set at £293 a month if the household receives housing support, or £515 if they do not receive housing support. These are both being increased by £500 per year

Both of these changes will be implemented from December 2021, and together will benefit 1.9 million households who will on average keep around an extra £1,000 a year. The changes apply across Great Britain, and the Northern Ireland Executive will be funded to match them.


LCAS RM V-Meeting October 27th on Recruitment & Retention, presentations and recording

An area of major issue to social care providers. Here are some new and innovative suggestions to help you RECRUIT & RETAIN staff.

Thoughts Become Things Sue Jones. Sue has a successful track record, including with Home Instead, of helping organisations to innovatively recruit and retain staff in difficult circumstances.

The Values exercise referred to in the presentation can be accessed from the PDF above and the Employee Segmentation Template is below

Skills for Care’s Laura Anthony. SfC have a wealth of knowledge, support and tools for you to freely access to help you succeed with recruitment & retention.

Successful Mums Jane Knight. www.successfulmums.co.uk have community funding to work with a number of care employers that want to embrace flex working and women returners /parents into their workforce

Recording of the meeting

How to access the Workforce Development Fund to help fund and support your training – Dave Vincent – David@clarendonhomecare.com

The next RM V-Meeting is on the 17th Nov10.00 – 11.30 with Citation’s Mick Feather – Getting the Best from CQC Inspections

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87866238845?pwd=TVdYN1dubEFHVy9VeEVtY0pKamVadz09

Meeting ID: 878 6623 8845

Passcode: 314950

One tap mobile

+441314601196,,87866238845#,,,,*314950# United Kingdom

+442034815237,,87866238845#,,,,*314950# United Kingdom

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

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

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@lcasforum.org  07984466130

E&OE


From the DHSC Covid-19 Testing, PPE and Vaccines Division – MASK RECALL.

Please find attached information on recall of Obisk Blue Tree Face Type IIR mask – MKTIIR0214 (tie back) and MKTIIR0199 (ear looped). Batch/LOT numbers:

• 101000345

• 101000346

• 101000348

• 101000349

• 101000350

The MKTIIR0199 (ear loop) mask has been on the PPE portal and is likely to have been ordered by ASC and other providers. Communications will also be sent from the portal team, however we would appreciate it if you could please cascade this information to providers. If any providers have these masks, as detailed in the attachment they should inform the NHS Product Enquiries Team by emailing productqueries@ppeenquiries.com , quoting Ref: Obisk Blue Tree Face Type IIR mask and confirm the volume of product in stock by 15/11/21.


Living Wage Implementation in Adult Social Care:

links to the Living Wage Toolkits.

https://www.livingwage.org.uk/living-wage-social-care-toolkit

https://www.livingwage.org.uk/local-authority-toolkit-1

The survey would help to calculate a realistic funding amount required from your local authority to enable your organisation to pay the LLW to your staff, a useful help to retain them. If you would like to complete the online survey, please go to https://www.tfaforms.com/4938772


Update to Hospital Discharge and Community Support: Policy and Operating Model

This guidance has been updated to reflect Q3 & Q4 funding.  

The updates relate to the funding only; there are no policy changes. The following summary has been sent to us by the NHS Discharge to Assess team.

Key points:

  • The fund is to help cover the cost of up to 4 weeks of post-discharge recovery and support services for new or extended packages of care delivered on or before 31 March 2022
  • The money also supports designated care settings for those discharged from acute care who are COVID-positive and cannot return directly to their own care home until they have undergone 14 days of isolation
  • The confirmed allocations use a blended approach, which has regard to weighted population and reported spend on national discharge support
  • The funding distribution mechanism will continue to follow the process used previously in that there will be a centrally held fund against which systems partners should claim expenditure (coordinated by CCGs / ICSs)
  • Unlike previous funding arrangements, national funding is not available for care delivered after 31 March 2022, even where discharge takes place on or before that date. Systems should plan to provide continuity of care for people receiving post-discharge recovery and support services at the end of March 2022
  • Systems should plan for discharge funding arrangements that are sustainable and affordable from core NHS and local authority expenditure from 1 April 2022

The accompanying FAQs (on the Future NHS Collaboration Platform) have been updated to reflect these funding arrangements. If you have any further questions, please contact england.d2a@nhs.net


Update to VCOD Operational Guidance

The operational guidance for vaccination as a condition of deployment in care homes was updated yesterday to add information about exemption and vaccination abroad. There are a number of things to note:

  • The self-exemption process for individuals vaccinated outside the UK continues until further notice beyond 24 December.
  • Links to the temporary self-exemption process and formal process have been added throughout the guidance.
  • NHSX is considering how the NHS COVID Pass service could be used to support registered persons and staff to check and demonstrate vaccination status. For the time being vaccination can be evidenced via the NHS app, the NHS website or the NHS COVID Pass letter. – we are not entirely sure what the distinction is between what NHSX is considering and the current process.


The DHSC would like to signpost you again to some useful Covid links:  


Registered Manager V-Meeting follow up. October 13th. Mental health & wellbeing

the presentations and recording (to be added shortly) of the meeting are now available

Hannah Wilson and Nadia Pantouw from SLaM. Please pass on the links to your staff, this portal is for all to use and gain from

There is also a Community Forum linked to this Follow this link to sign up. As part of this, it would be great if you are able to sign up, join in and comment. This helps to develop the forum and a portal that really meets the needs of users.

Laura Anthony SfC. The SfC website has an easy to navigate information list for staff health and wellbeing, it’s free and again has links useful to staff in organisations across social care, make these available to your colleagues.

David Vincent – Workforce Development Fund

This funding from the DHSC is a great route to supporting your staff training & development. An essential part of your organisational culture, your quality programmes and helping to motivate and retain staff.

To contact David – David@clarendonhomecare.com

Recording of the meeting

The next v-meeting is focussed on recruitment & retention with SfC, Sue  Jones – Thoughts Become Things and Jane Knight from Successful Mums and it is on October 27th 10.00 – 11.30

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86256014697?pwd=NGpwYldXYk52cDcvUlN4Zy9GcUdhdz09

Meeting ID: 862 5601 4697

Passcode: 552277

One tap mobile

+442034815237,,86256014697#,,,,*552277# United Kingdom

+442034815240,,86256014697#,,,,*552277# United Kingdom


The latest edition of the Adult Social Care Update featuring:

  • Vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCoD) – 11 November deadline less than a month away
  • Consultations closing soon: ‘VCoD expansion beyond care homes’ and ‘free PPE extension’
  • Winter vaccination campaign – blogs and resources
  • Latest blogs: staff retention and ‘Why I’m having the COVID-19 booster’.

CPA Q&A on VCOD in care homes

The Care Provider Alliance has published an updated version of their Q&A on vaccination as a condition of deployment in care homes. It covers self-certification, medical exemptions and HR issues.


DHSC Webinar: COVID-19 Vaccination of People Deployed in Care Homes

DHSC is running a webinar on 20.10.21 from 9:30am which will talk through the medical exemptions process for VCOD. You can sign up here.


Update from GOV.​UK for:

Coronavirus (COVID-19)


COVID-19 vaccinations received overseas

Time updated:
12:21pm, 13 October 2021



From SfC, a tool to support you in sourcing resources to help you help your staff and so aid retention and lower absence.


A DHSC letter to support with the exemptions process.


The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for vaccination of frontline social care workers has now been updated to include boosters in Phase 3. You can access the SOP online


Keeping Well portals for London

For SE London, that is the boroughs of

Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.

www.keepingwellsel.nhs.uk/

For NW London, that is the boroughs of

Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.

www.keepingwellnwl.nhs.uk/   

For SW London, that is the boroughs of

Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth.

www.swlstg.nhs.uk/patients-carers/keeping-well   

www.swlondon.nhs.uk/support-for-staff/   

For NE London, that is the boroughs of

Barking & Dagenham, City of London, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

www.keepingwellnel.nhs.uk

For NC London, that is the boroughs of

Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.

www.keepingwellncl.nhs.uk/

All offer free and confidential mental health and wellbeing support for you and your staff.



Updated Vaccination Standard Operating Procedures

Two Standard Operating Procedures for phase 3 booster vaccinations have been updated:

  • The roving and mobile SOP, including a section on care homes in appendix A
  • The SOP for vaccinating unpaid carers has been updated to help identify and enable unpaid carers to access priority COVID-19 booster vaccinations. It also encourages unpaid carers who may not already be identified by the health and social care system to make themselves known to their GP practices and Local Authority Carers Teams.

Vaccine clinical trial participants can now be offered an approved vaccine

DHSC has announced that people who were part of a clinical trial of a vaccine which is not yet approved in the UK will be able to access doses of an approved vaccine. This will initially benefit those who received the Novavax vaccine as part of their clinical trials. We don’t think there will be very many social care staff, if any, who will be impacted by this but this does give an indication of the direction the government might be willing to go in re vaccination as a condition of deployment for those vaccinated overseas.


Launch of the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID)

Health disparities across the UK will be tackled through a new approach to public health focused on stopping debilitating health conditions before they develop, as the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) launched this week. OHID marks a distinct shift in focus at the heart of government in addressing the unacceptable health disparities that exist across the country to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives and reduce the pressure on the health and care system as work is done to reduce the backlog and put social care on a long-term sustainable footing.


The 2020 LeDer report

LeDeR-bristol-annual-report-2020.pdf (england.nhs.uk


Free Government funded care home website and energy efficiency tool

Your residential care home can find: 

  • Effective energy efficiency improvements to make to your care homes
  • Ways to fund and procure these improvements 
  • Trusted suppliers and contractors
  • Current energy efficiency standards and regulations

This new tool can help you make savings on your care home’s energy bills and improve the residents’ comfort. Just visit https://www.bregroup.com/care-home-energy-efficiency, input simple information about your building/s to get a bespoke list of potential improvements with the associated costs and savings of each measure. Find information on the different funding options, trusted suppliers and procurement routes so that you can plan your next steps. 


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey. It is important that social care providers complete this survey to support & maintain the supply of free PPE.

Extending free PPE to the health and care sector
DHSC is seeking views on whether it should extend the provision of free personal protective equipment (PPE) to the health and care sector after 31 March 2022.


Permanent Process for VCOD exemptions

DHSC has just published the full process for medical exemptions for vaccinations and testing. The policy applies from yesterday and so the temporary self-exemptions will expire on 23 December. A summary:

  1. If you believe you are medically exempt from vaccination, phone the NHS COVID Pass service on 119 and ask for an NHS COVID Pass medical exemptions form. The call handler will ask some questions and you will have to provide your name, date of birth, NHS number (if known) and GP/specialist clinician.
  2. If you’re eligible you will be sent an application form by post.
  3. Return your application form to the GP or relevant clinician stated on the form. Your application will be clinically reviewed by your doctor, specialist or midwife. Your GP, specialist or midwife may ask to speak with you if needed.
  4. You’ll automatically get the results of your application by post 2 to 3 weeks after applying. You don’t need to contact the GP.
  5. If you get a medical exemption you can use the domestic NHS COVID Pass wherever you need to. You can access this via the NHS app or NHS website. This can be downloaded as a PDF. The pass won’t show others that you have a medical exemption – it will simply show a pass. A paper version of the pass will be available soon.
  6. The clinical decision on your medical exemption is final. It cannot be appealed.

A carer can also do the above process on someone’s behalf. The guidance also gives some examples of why someone might be medically exempt but it doesn’t appear to be an exhaustive list:

  • people receiving end of life care where vaccination is not in the person’s best interests
  • people with learning disabilities or autistic individuals, or people with a combination of impairments where vaccination cannot be provided through reasonable adjustments
  • a person with severe allergies to all currently available vaccines
  • those who have had an adverse reaction to the first dose (such as myocarditis)
  • Short term exemptions for those with short term medical conditions. Pregnant women can take this route but their exemption will expire 16-weeks post-partum to allow them to be vaccinated.

Also note:

‘Pregnant women can alternatively use MAT B1 certificates to show their COVID status, if they choose to use a medical exemption. Pregnant women do not need to apply for a medical exemption NHS COVID Pass if they have a MAT B1 certificate. For pregnant women who use the MAT B1 form to show their exemption, the exemption will expire 16 weeks post-partum. This will allow them to become fully vaccinated after birth.’


Acas Learning Online is a package of free e-learning modules.
They cover a range of employment, management and HR issues, including:

Covid-19 vaccinations in the workplace (new)
This new e-learning course offers good practice advice on how employers can best support staff to get Covid-19 vaccinations and explains the recent law introduced by the Government around vaccinations in certain settings. We cover how to agree a vaccine policy that’s appropriate for your workplace, staff who may be exempt and how to strike that balance between protecting the health of staff whilst maintaining good working relationships to help avoid disputes in the future.
Try Covid-19 vaccinations in the workplace e-learning today

Other e-learning topics include:  Flexible working  –  mental health in the workplace  –  change management  –  contracts of employment  –  recruitment and induction  –  discipline and grievance  –  handling redundancies  –  managing absence

Access free Acas e-learning here We encourage you to share this free resource widely with your team and with colleagues throughout your organisation.


The Bournemouth Uni MCA toolkit FREE & USEFUL

has been shared with us via the email below and you can access it by the link.  Please share with colleagues as this is a useful tool for all staff to use in relation to the MCA – it is free and the plan is this will become an app.

Home – Mental Capacity ToolkitHome – Mental Capacity Toolkit

Bournemouth University have launched ‘Mental Capacity Toolkit’, a learning tool to support nurses and other practitioners in their understanding and duties under the HRA and MCA.



Living Wage in Social Care: Toolkit Launch

The toolkit is now live on our website – you can read it and download a copy using this link. Please do share this with any colleagues or connections you think may be interested. 

You can also view and download Dr Andrea Werner’s report (including in-depth interviews with accredited Living Wage Employers), Living Wage Implementation in Adult Social Care: challenges, solutions and benefits using this link

We’re excited to continue our work aiming to grow the Living Wage in social care. If you have any questions about this work, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 


PERSONALISATION IN BLACK, ASIAN AND MINORITY ETHNIC COMMUNITIES

TLAP commissioned this project to find examples of promising practice that demonstrate what good personalised community-based care and support looks like for people in ethnically diverse communities. Fourteen organisations across England feature in this report, offering a wide range of support and services in particular groups and communities.


Double Handed Dom Care

My name is Dr Leigh Rooney Leigh.Rooney@newcastle.ac.uk and I am part of a team based at Newcastle University researching the experiences of those involved in care at home that requires two carers (double-handed homecare). As part of this we would like to interview homecare workers who have experience of both double-handed and single-handed homecare. The project aims to use its research data to produce best practice recommendations for how reviews of double-handed homecare packages are conducted within local authorities, and we recognise that the experience of homecare workers is crucial to this. Participation would involve a single telephone/video interview of around 45 minutes, with the resulting data being anonymised (identification of participants should not be possible). As a thank-you each homecare worker participant will be offered a £25 voucher.

We wonder whether you would be able to help us pass information about our study to homecare providers who might be interested in our study? We have produced a one-page leaflet that you could distribute should you be willing (see attached).

Our study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – Research for Social Care (reference NIHR200040), and has received ethical approval from the Health Research Authority (reference 19/WM/0224).

I very much look forward to hearing back from you.

Dr Leigh Rooney Leigh.Rooney@newcastle.ac.uk

Research Associate

Population Health Sciences Institute

Faculty of Medical Sciences

Newcastle University


Flu Vaccine

Flu vaccination guidance for social care workers can be found here. Material to promote the flu vaccine can be found within a new winter vaccination campaign for both vaccines: https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/92-health-and-social-care-workers-winter-vaccinations-2021

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  Temporary medical exemptions      For COVID-19 vaccination   Of people working / deployed in care homes
   Dear Colleague,    Regulations were approved by Parliament on 22 July 2021 to make vaccination a condition of deployment for staff working in CQC-regulated care homes in England, unless they have a medical exemption. A 16-week grace period was put in place to ensure staff who haven’t been vaccinated could take up the vaccine before the regulations come into force on 11 November 2021.   Thanks to the incredible efforts of people across the care sector to encourage and reassure colleagues about vaccination, as of 9 September, 90.4% of care home workers have now had a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 82.2% of care home staff now fully vaccinated.   The Department of Health and Social Care has been working as quickly as possible to ensure that people who are not able to get the vaccine for medical reasons are not disadvantaged.   On a temporary basis, from today, people working or volunteering in care homes who have a medical reason why they are unable to have a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to self-certify that they meet the medical exemption criteria, using the forms attached to this letter.     Care home workers who are exempt will need to sign the form attached to this letter and give this to their employer as proof of their temporary exemption status. This temporary self-certification process has been introduced for a short period prior to the launch of the new NHS COVID Pass system which will go live imminently.   Once the NHS COVID Pass system is launched, care home workers will need to apply for a formal medical exemption through that process. This temporary self-certification will expire 12 weeks after the NHS COVID Pass system is launched.     Who is exempt:   While this list is not exhaustive, examples of medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination could include individuals: Receiving end of life care where vaccination is not in the individual’s interests. With learning disabilities or autistic individuals, or with a combination of impairments which result in the same distress, who find vaccination and testing distressing because of their condition and cannot be achieved through reasonable adjustments such as provision of an accessible environment. With medical contraindications to the vaccines such as severe allergy to all COVID-19 vaccines or their constituents. Who have had adverse reactions to the first dose (e.g. myocarditis).   Time-limited exemptions will also be available for those with short-term medical conditions (e.g. people receiving hospital care or receiving medication which may interact with the vaccination).  A time-limited exemption is also available for pregnant women should they choose to take it.   Exemptions for conditions listed in section 4.4 (special warnings and precautions for use) in the Summary of Product Characteristics for each of the approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna) may also be considered.   Individuals that have received a COVID-19 vaccination abroad can also self-certify as medically exempt. This is because it is not clinically appropriate for them to be vaccinated in the UK if they have already received a partial or full course of vaccination overseas.   We will update the operational guidance we have already published in the coming days to reflect the temporary exemption system outlined in this letter.  

Presentations and recording of the RM V-Meeting September 8th 2021.

Thanks to our speakers from CQC & SfC and apologies to those who were not able to join due to a Zoom issue.

CQC – Emma MacFarlane –

SfC – Selena Docherty & Laura Anthony –

Event recording – https://youtu.be/Gb2i2l3dQfg

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Capacity Tracker Survey – Please Respond

NECS would like to help providers make the most of the Capacity Tracker, including finding information to support your organisation.   Please could you take a minute to complete this short 4 question survey so that they can better tailor their support and help you to complete the Capacity Tracker quickly and easily.  It is your chance to influence how you are supported to complete the tracker.  The closing date for the survey is Friday 17th September 2021.

To complete the survey, go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/C5QLH82.

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Five top Health & Safety mistakes & how to prevent them

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has published that a total of 142 workers were fatally injured in the workplace in 2020/21 – an increase of 29% from the previous year.

The Health & Safety experts of LCAS partner, Citation, work with thousands of clients up and down the country, helping business owners get Health & Safety right in their business.

Whether you need a quick refresher, or your usual Health & Safety obligations have taken a backseat during COVID, they’ve put together this exclusive free guide to give you an insight into the most common Health & Safety mistakes they see, and their top tips on how to avoid them in your business.

DOWNLOAD

Your LCAS member benefit

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

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

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JCVI advice on third dose vaccination for severely immunosuppressed

The JCVI is advising that people with severely weakened immune systems should have a third vaccine dose as part of their primary COVID-19 vaccination schedule. This is separate to any potential booster programme (see below).

The JCVI’s offer is to people over the age of 12 who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose, including those with leukaemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants. The idea is to provide an extra dose for those who may not have generated a full immune response to the first 2 doses. The third dose should usually be at least 8 weeks after the second dose but there is flexibility if this is not possible. mRNA (Moderna and Pfizer) vaccines will be used for the third doses. Those who receive a third dose should also receive a later booster vaccine.

You can find more detail, including full information about who this applies to, in the following links:


CPA Webinars on making vaccination a condition of deployment & visiting

The presentations and Q&A from the webinar on 23 August have now been published here.

There will be a further two webinars, one on workforce and HR issues as a result of the new vaccine policy and the other looking at how to overcome barriers to rolling out the Essential Care Giver role and wider visiting arrangements in care homes. Sign up using the links below:

CQC Strategy Surveys

CQC is looking for feedback on a number of different surveys:

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Please find attached details of the plans for vaccination Phase 3.

The process for vaccinating care home staff and the schematic slide, is dependent on some tech and data solutions.

All plans are subject to confirmation by JCVI.

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Agency Staff Costs… Are You Paying Too Much VAT?

Care providers employing agency staff may be paying unnecessary VAT charges

VAT Solutions have been able to reduce such agency costs for some of our clients, as we have found that many care operators are not aware that through an HMRC extra-statutory concession, supplies of nurses, nursing auxiliaries and care assistants by state-regulated agencies (the nursing agencies’ concession) to a third party could be treated as VAT exempt. Nursing agencies (or employment businesses that provide nurses and midwives, as well as other health professionals) may exempt the supply of nursing staff and nursing auxiliaries supplied to a third party, if the supply is of:

  • A registered qualified nurse or midwife (under article 5 of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001) providing medical care to a final patient.
  • An unregistered nursing auxiliary who is ‘directly supervised’ by one of the above.

Is your care provision employing agency staff in either of the above capacities? If you are being charged VAT on such supplies and think that the HMRC concession could be applicable, we would be happy to talk you through in more detail…. Read the full article here.

To speak to a care sector VAT specialist regarding the above, please contact Emma Harrison at VAT Solutions emma@vatsol.com Tel: 0114 280 363

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Changes to self-isolation guidance for care settings

Following the 16-August changes to self-isolation guidance, the guidance for social care settings has been updated.

Due to the success of the vaccination programme, we are now able to remove the self-isolation requirement for fully vaccinated people who are:

  1. A contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  2. Returning to their care home following a planned hospital stay; or,
  3. Transferring from another care facility.

In adult social care settings, the self-isolation exemption for fully vaccinated contacts means:

  • Staff who are a contact can continue working if they have no symptoms and have a negative PCR test, followed by daily LFD tests for 10 days (from the point of contact). If the staff member works with patients or residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 (as determined by the organisation), a risk assessment should be undertaken, and consideration given to redeployment during the 10-day period;
  • Residents in care homes who are a contact should not be required to self-isolate if they have no symptoms and have a negative PCR test. This should be followed by daily LFDs for 10 days (from the point of contact). Residents can continue to receive visitors unless there is an outbreak in the care home; and,
  • Visitors to care homes who have been identified as a contact are advised against visiting for 10 days after contact unless absolutely necessary. Where visits do occur, visitors should have received a negative PCR result, and a negative LFD result on the day of their visit.

The below pieces of guidance have been updated:

Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Guidance on care home visiting – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Visits out of care homes – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

COVID-19: guidance for supported living – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Please find attached a letter from our Director, Claire Armstrong, detailing the changes and guidance, as well as a Q&A.

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Guidance for Domiciliary Care

The ‘How to Work Safely in Domiciliary Care’ guidance has been updated and now includes a paragraph on what PPE to use when supporting an individual or client on visits out. Some key things to note:

  • The risk assessment section has been updated to include what to do in a situation where a client is displaying early symptoms of COVID-19
  • If an outing with a client will include direct personal care, the correct PPE should be used as outlined in the section within 2 metres and carrying out direct personal care or domestic duties
  • Occasional physical support or assistance with everyday tasks does not require gloves or aprons
  • Face coverings should be worn on public transport and in crowded enclosed spaces where clients will be in contact with people they do not normally meet
  • Type I or II surgical masks are sufficient unless the employer has a good supply of Type IIR masks

The guidance has also been updated to include contact details for the Health and Safety Executive if staff have concerns about their safety.

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Free Citation employment law guide on compulsory vaccination in care home settings

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Both Skills for Care and the operational guidance for vaccination as a condition of deployment cite Acas as the organisation to provide impartial advice to employers, employees, and their representatives on:

  • employment righs
  • best practice ad policies
  • resolving workplace conflict

We have been told that the helpline service has been fully briefed to respond to calls and inquiries in relation to vaccination as a condition of deployment. If you have used this helpline for this purpose, NCF would be very interested in hearing your experiences. There are a number of unknowns about how useful this service will be in the limited time to implement the policy.

Acas also has a series of advice pages dedicated to the new policy or issues related to it – see page 41 of the operational guidance for a list of page links.

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Strategic framework call for evidence 2021 

Health Education England (HEE) has been commissioned to work with partners to review long term strategic trends for the health and social care workforce.

This will review, renew and update the existing 15-year strategic framework for workforce planning, Framework 15. While Framework 15 focused on health only, this update will extend into social care, encompassing regulated professionals in social care for the first time.

For full information and details of events –

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CQC statement on how they will monitor vaccination regulationsOngoing monitoring and inspection

  • Monitoring that providers comply with the Regulations is CQC’s responsibility.
  • We propose to add the following question to the Provider Information Return (PIR) once this duty is in place: ‘How are you assured that those you employ and deploy within your service have had their mandatory vaccinations?’
  • We will also build a similar question into our monitoring approach once this duty is in place. Further information will be provided in due course.
  • Where we have information of concern, through any route, we will follow this up. This may include seeking assurance from the provider or carrying out an on-site inspection.
  • On inspection, where the information we hold identifies concerns, we will look for evidence to confirm systems and processes are in place to comply with the requirement.
  • Registered persons will not be required to show a record of the evidence itself to inspectors but will need to be able to provide reassurance that systems and processes are in place to ensure individuals who enter the premises are fully vaccinated. Registered persons may choose to make a record of the evidence they have seen for their own internal staff employment record keeping. If the evidence is collected and recorded, all personal data must be handled in accordance with UK GDPR. This includes providing individuals with privacy information at the stage their data is being collected. Please refer to the guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure you have the appropriate lawful basis, technical and security measures in place to protect personal data.
  • Registered persons (or those acting on behalf of the registered person) must check that anyone wishing to enter the premises has received a full course of vaccination, unless they are exempt. CQC inspectors are included within the scope of visiting professionals for the purpose of this Regulation and we are considering the practical implications of this for our staff in exercising their regulatory activity. Compliance with the Regulations would be an appropriate reason for not granting access to a CQC inspector, or another individual, unless they are exempt.

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Free Neil Eastwood Recruitment Masterclasses – Are you finding it harder and harder to recruit care staff?

Take my online Masterclass to protect your care organisation from the worsening recruitment catastrophe… it is now FREE to access!

You can see it at www.findandkeepthebest.com