News Page 2

Making Vaccinations a Condition of Deployment in Care Homes

On July 22nd, the Minister has signed the regulations making vaccination a condition of deployment in care homes. This means they are now law. The grace period starts from today and will last for 16 weeks until 11 November when the policy is enforceable. DHSC will be sending out information later tonight or tomorrow to confirm this.

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CQC Data on Notifications of Deaths in Care Homes

Since the CQC data was published yesterday, it has come to our attention that deregistered settings have been included in the data set. We asked CQC why they didn’t send this data in advance to providers. We had this response:

‘For deregistered services, as these services are no longer active, we don’t hold up to date contact details for them. It would be a risk sending out sensitive information to incorrect email addresses. This meant we were unable to contact these de registered locations prior to publication.”

We are seeking more information as to why they didn’t try to contact those of you impacted via a different contact. We apologise for not flagging this earlier.

Please also be aware that the BBC has created a tool on their website to search for specific homes and regions.

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New Autism Strategy

The government has launched a new strategy to help autistic people live more independent and fulfilled lives. You can access the strategy here.

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Resources to support visiting

In case you missed it, DHSC has published a few resources on the Skills for Care website to help with care home visiting. These include:

  • Q&A
  • Letter from the Minister for Care
  • Template letter for care home managers to share with visitors
  • Care home face covering poster

PPE Portal update

  • It has been confirmed that aprons on a roll will be able to be provided via the PPE Portal for Adult Social Care. These will be added onto the Portal within the next few weeks. The will be added as a new product type with a reduced order limit to protect supply and get a better understanding of the demand required.

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Managing COVID-testing in your business

It’s predicted the UK could face 2 million* cases of COVID-19 during the summer months?

With the end of COVID restrictions and work from home guidance, there’s huge challenges for employers to keep their workplaces and people safe as cases continue to rise.

With testing previously described as the potential difference between a business having to close because of an outbreak and remaining open, you might be considering implementing a testing policy in your business. But how confident are you when it comes to consulting on, creating and communicating a testing policy? Do you know your legal obligations?

To make sure you have everything covered and you’re on the right side of the law, the HR & Employment Law experts of Citation, have created this exclusive new guide, covering the essential considerations employers must make before implementing any testing policy in their business.

DOWNLOAD

Some of the key questions the guide explores, include:

  • Can you make testing mandatory?
  • What’s the best way to communicate your stance on testing to your employees?
  • Can you ask your employees to disclose their test results?
  • What are the data protection implications of workplace testing?

Your member benefit

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

Quote LCAS when enquiring to access your member benefit.

*Source: The Guardian

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Frontline health and social care staff can avoid self-isolation in certain circumstances

This morning DHSC released a press release stating that double vaccinated NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances by using testing mitigations. This includes those who have been contacted directly by NHS Test and Trace and those ‘pinged’ by the app.

Those that are told to self-isolate must take a PCR test and then daily negative lateral flow tests for a minimum of seven days, and up to ten days or completion of what would have been the self-isolation period. These changes only apply to frontline staff where their absence may lead to a significant risk of harm. Do note that this “decision is subject to a risk assessment by an individual(s) nominated by the organisation’s management, and authorisation by the organisation’s local Director of Infection Prevention and Control and/or the lead professional for health protection and/or Director of Public Health relevant to the organisation.”

The guidance has also been updated to reflect this – see the grey box at the top. Do note that the rest of the guidance hasn’t been updated and section  9.1 as a result may clash with the update.


PPE Guidance

The PPE guidance for care homes and domiciliary care has been updated . The change mostly relate to wording and legal changes. The guidance as a result remains the same. The domiciliary care guidance has also been updated to state that of masks Type I, II or IIR masks can be used for domestic duties.

Admissions to Care Home Guidance

The admissions to care home guidance has been updated to clarify that where a resident is being admitted from another care home or care facility, care home managers should undertake a risk assessment to determine whether self-isolation is required.

Please be wary of the ‘summary of changes in this version’ section as it is misleading. It lists all the changes made to guidance not just those made over the weekend.


Supported Living Visiting

The guidance for supported living visiting has been updated to clarify the policy on limiting close contact and visiting in and out of supported living settings. From today, there are no restrictions on the number of people individuals can meet. Nevertheless, it asks for dynamic risk assessment for the overall setting and individualised risk assessments to continue to be created for individuals. It continues to suggest a number of measures to mitigate risk – including testing although this isn’t a requirement for visitors or those supported by care.


Regulations for Mandatory Vaccination

Tomorrow, the House of Lords will debate the proposed regulations for making vaccination a condition of deployment in Care Homes. Ahead of this, the Care Provider Alliance, of which we are apart, has written to members of the House of Lords asking them to ‘push the pause button’ on the legislation. We have significant concerns about the way in which this policy change is being handled – particularly in the absence of an Impact Assessment.


Flu Vaccination Programme

Over the weekend DHSC announced this year’s flu programme. They have confirmed that frontline health and adult social care staff will be eligible for a free jab as part of this programme. The jabs will begin to be offered from September 2021.

Frontline health and social care staff can avoid self-isolation in certain circumstances

This morning DHSC released a press release stating that double vaccinated NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances by using testing mitigations. This includes those who have been contacted directly by NHS Test and Trace and those ‘pinged’ by the app.

Those that are told to self-isolate must take a PCR test and then daily negative lateral flow tests for a minimum of seven days, and up to ten days or completion of what would have been the self-isolation period. These changes only apply to frontline staff where their absence may lead to a significant risk of harm. Do note that this “decision is subject to a risk assessment by an individual(s) nominated by the organisation’s management, and authorisation by the organisation’s local Director of Infection Prevention and Control and/or the lead professional for health protection and/or Director of Public Health relevant to the organisation.”

The guidance has also been updated to reflect this – see the grey box at the top. Do note that the rest of the guidance hasn’t been updated and section  9.1 as a result may clash with the update.


PPE Guidance

The PPE guidance for care homes and domiciliary care has been updated . The change mostly relate to wording and legal changes. The guidance as a result remains the same. The domiciliary care guidance has also been updated to state that of masks Type I, II or IIR masks can be used for domestic duties.

______________________________________

Admissions to Care Home Guidance

The admissions to care home guidance has been updated to clarify that where a resident is being admitted from another care home or care facility, care home managers should undertake a risk assessment to determine whether self-isolation is required.

Please be wary of the ‘summary of changes in this version’ section as it is misleading. It lists all the changes made to guidance not just those made over the weekend.


Supported Living Visiting

The guidance for supported living visiting has been updated to clarify the policy on limiting close contact and visiting in and out of supported living settings. From today, there are no restrictions on the number of people individuals can meet. Nevertheless, it asks for dynamic risk assessment for the overall setting and individualised risk assessments to continue to be created for individuals. It continues to suggest a number of measures to mitigate risk – including testing although this isn’t a requirement for visitors or those supported by care.


Regulations for Mandatory Vaccination

Tomorrow, the House of Lords will debate the proposed regulations for making vaccination a condition of deployment in Care Homes. Ahead of this, the Care Provider Alliance, of which we are apart, has written to members of the House of Lords asking them to ‘push the pause button’ on the legislation. We have significant concerns about the way in which this policy change is being handled – particularly in the absence of an Impact Assessment.


Flu Vaccination Programme

Over the weekend DHSC announced this year’s flu programme. They have confirmed that frontline health and adult social care staff will be eligible for a free jab as part of this programme. The jabs will begin to be offered from September 2021.