News Page 2

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.

Joint-Survey with Outstanding Manager Network

You will be interested in this survey forwarded to us from the NCF

You will hopefully have seen the press this morning in response to the results of a survey we’ve published showing the stark reality the care workforce is facing in terms of staff shortages and unmet need. We have now published the press release & a copy of the survey results. Please feel free to share this far and wide. We’ll be doing more work on workforce pressures later this week.


Registered Manager V-Meeting

October 27th 10.00 – 11.30

Recruitment & Retention

An area of major issue to social care providers. We will offer some innovative suggestions to help you recruit & RETAIN staff.

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

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

To Join this Zoom Meeting

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

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.

The November 13th v-meeting will be CQC focussed with Mick Feather from Citation.

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

Or Dudley Sawyerr dudley@lcasforum.org 07984466130

E&OE


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

(to be added shortly)

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)


World Mental Health Day Sunday 10th October

Managing employee wellbeing | new podcast and free guide

Sunday, the 10th of October marks World Mental Health Day, which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world to mobilise efforts in support of improved mental health.

With the pandemic causing widespread disruption and change, it’s more important than ever to be supporting your employees and their mental health and wellbeing.

To help managers and business owners support employee mental wellbeing, Citation have put together a free guide to managing team wellbeing – from tips on promoting a healthy work-life balance, to how to support remote workers.

Plus, they’ve created an exclusive episode of the Citation Podcast. Their host, Michael Brown, is joined by Citation’s Head of HR, Jenny Ware, to discuss their top tips for employers when it comes to mental health and wellbeing at work.

DOWNLOAD YOUR GUIDE


LISTEN TO CITATION’S PODCAST

Your member benefit

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

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


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


ABI/Biba guidance on accessing public liability and employers liability insurance in social care. 

Please find attached the final version which we have also published on our website today


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.  

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Booster Vaccines

The JCVI has recommended and DHSC has accepted that booster vaccines should be given to those that are in the original priority groups 1 to 9:

  • Those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • All adults aged 50 years or over
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • All those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that out them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, and adult carers
  • Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

The booster programme will start from Monday 20 September.

A booster vaccine dose will be offered no earlier than 6 months after the completion of the first 2 doses. The JCVI has a preference for the Pfizer vaccine for boosters but alternatively a half dose of Moderna can be offered. AstraZeneca is only to be offered where mRNA vaccines cannot be offered, for example, due to allergies. The flu vaccine can be administered at the same time.

This announcement is separate from the recent advice for those who are immunosuppressed to have a third dose.


Interested in Workforce Development Funding to support your staff development?

See this page on the Skills for Care website – this gives information about what qualification and learning programmes are covered by the funding, etc: www.skillsforcare.org.uk/wdf

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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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Driven by Health with Care e-magazine –

https://drivenbyhealth.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=198c3d83f001d590b7ffb2431&id=837088b728&e=6f87af3336

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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:

COVID-19 Booster Programme

We are still awaiting final information and approval from the JCVI before any COVID-19 booster programme can take place. In contrast to the above, a booster dose is designed to extend the duration of protection from the primary course of vaccines.

The NHS and DHSC are planning a booster programme on the assumption that the JCVI will imminently approve it, starting with the priority groups from the previous two doses. You may want to start gathering consent from residents in preparation. It is likely residential care homes for older adults, frontline health and social care workers, adults over the age of 70, adults over the age of 16 who are immunosuppressed, and adults over the age of 16 who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be prioritised. This should be followed by adults aged 50 or over, adults aged 16-49 in an at-risk group (including residents within non-older adult care homes) and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. The delivery model for care homes will take place via a roving model from PCN led sites – the same as the first two doses. The relevant SOPs are:

  • Local Vaccination Services SOP – this appears to have been removed from the NHS website to be updated
  • Roving Model SOP – likely to be updated

Social care staff should have access to vaccination via the National Booking Service, Roving PCN teams or potentially by a direct call from the NHS – this last one is subject to information governance approval. We will circulate updated information when we have it – hopefully with NHS draft operational slides.

Lastly, booster vaccines are not currently part of the regulations for vaccination as a condition of deployment in care homes.


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:

DHSC survey on temporary DBS checks

DHSC is running a survey on the temporary DBS checks put in place during the pandemic. They are inviting adult social care employers to complete an online survey to share their experiences implementing them.

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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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Risk Assessments

The registered manager is responsible for conducting risk assessments ‘in line with existing infectious diseases risk assessments and give consideration to the need to maintain safe staffing levels.’ The assessments themselves should give consideration to ensuring staff can deliver safe care during the period they would otherwise be required to isolate. This includes PPE, cohorting and enhanced testing of COVID-contacts. It also suggests that contacts of positive cases should be redeployed for 10 days to avoid contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable – the Q&A recognises that this ‘may be challenging in adult social care setting’ – perhaps a little bit of an understatement!

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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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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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The latest edition of Driven by Health with Care magazine is here for you to download. Lots of features –

How do we build an outstanding social care workforce post-pandemic?

The Use of A I

& much more

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Guidance on exemptions from self-isolation policy!!!!

Earlier this week, the management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings guidance was updated to bring it into line with the FAQ and Letter we circulated last week. See section 2.5.

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Acas

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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Compulsory Vaccination Update – Aug. 4th

The vaccination as a condition of deployment operational guidance has been published – LINK

Please find attached a letter to local authority chief executives, directors of adult social services, care home providers and care home managers from our Director, Claire Armstrong, to accompany the guidance. If you are able to cascade this letter through your channels, that would be hugely appreciated.

DHSC are also hosting a webinar on Tuesday 17 August, 12:30 – 13:30, for care home managers and providers: DHSC webinar – Eventbrite. The purpose of the event is to outline key points of the guidance and the details of implementation, and to give care home managers and providers the opportunity to have their questions answered.

You can find additional resources, including social media assets and a Q&A, in our stakeholder google drive, as well as on the Skills for Care vaccination as a condition of deployment resource centre once it has been updated. We would also like to draw your attention to a blog written by Dr Pete Calveley, CEO of Barchester, on their experiences of implementing a similar policy this year. We are very grateful for Barchester for sharing their experiences with the sector – if you would like to share your experiences of driving vaccine uptake amongst staff, or know of any other providers who would, please get in touch. We are keen to share as many examples of best practice as possible.

CQC statement on how they will monitor vaccination regulations

Ongoing 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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COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings – 2nd August update

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings

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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

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We’ve just published guidance on the 2-hour crisis response standard

to ensure that that everyone over the age of 18 will have access to crisis response care in their homes or usual place of residence within two hours by April next year. This programme has been accelerated to help the Covid recovery.

Attached is a briefing for your information. Please could we also ask if you could share the news and our key messages with your communities.  Some text is provided could be used on your websites or newsletters. Please amend and tailor this text at your discretion so that it speaks to your particular audiences.

Finally, would it be possible for you to promote the guidance on your social media accounts, particularly Twitter. If so, please could use the hashtag #2hrcrisisresponse.

Thank you for your support.

Regards,

Kristian Pelosi

Business Coordinator

Discharge and Community Cell

Community Services & Ageing Well Programme

NHS England and NHS Improvement

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How councils are failing to amend social care charging systems deemed unlawful by High Court

Despite the High Court finding Norfolk council was applying a discriminatory charging policy, charity CASCAIDr has found others are continuing to do similarly, highlighting the need for affordable legal help

Read more – https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2021/07/02/councils-failing-amend-social-care-charging-systems-deemed-unlawful-high-court/?utm_content=How%20councils%20are%20failing%20to%20amend%20social%20care%20charging%20systems%20deemed%20unlawful%20by%20High%20Court&utm_campaign=CC%20daily%2027%2F07%2F2021&utm_source=Community%20Care&utm_medium=adestra_email&utm_term=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.communitycare.co.uk%2F2021%2F07%2F02%2Fcouncils-failing-amend-social-care-charging-systems-deemed-unlawful-high-court%2F

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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

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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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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.



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.

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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.