News Page 3 (January 2022 on)

To make accessing information easier, we have started another News Page. News Page 2 is still in place and all the content can be accessed.


Registered Manager V-Meeting March 2nd Presentations & Recording

Skilled Worker Visa & Sponsorship Licence Application and the use of the London Living Wage

Fragomen – Siobhan Owers & Laurence Keir-Thomas

Living Wage Foundation Kezia Pugh, the many benefits of signing up to the LLW.

SfC Update Laura Anthony, details of their new safe and fair recruitment guide including information about overseas workers

Meeting Recording


Long-term sickness

To complement the recent Guide to Short Term Absences, here is one on Long Term problems.

Long-term sickness has always posed a large obstacle for employers and Citation has seen that this is set to rise, with more and more employees experiencing long COVID-19 symptoms.

As a result, employers are losing increasing amounts due to work long-term sickness and, without the appropriate policies and procedures, this could be a huge loss for employers.

To help LCAS members, our HR & Employment Law experts have created an exclusive guide on how to manage long-term sickness absences.

Long COVID: managing long-term absence | Free guide for employers

1.3 million people in the UK are estimated to be experiencing long COVID-19 symptoms*.

In the UK alone, 32.5 million working days** have been lost due to work-related ill health in 2019/2020.

Without the appropriate policies, procedures, and support in place for your employees, this could be hugely costly for you as an employer.

To support you in tackling this, the HR & Employment law experts of Citation, have created an exclusive FREE guide on managing long-term sickness absences.

DOWNLOAD: https://tinyurl.com/lcaslongtermsickness2022

From creating a policy and return-to-work processes, to avoiding a discrimination claim, this includes important advice from our experts on how to best manage long-term sickness absence, in a world which is consistently evolving due to COVID-19.

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 them a call on 0345 844 1111, or fill in their call-back form and they’ll get back to you.

Please quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your member benefit and preferential rates.

*Source

**Source


Short term absence issues?

We are aware that short term absence is on the increase and makes staffing even more problematic when recruiting is so difficult. The free guide below offers helpful tips to assist you in resolving the issues.

Managing short-term sickness absence

The government reports that two-thirds of small businesses (62%) do not have formal sickness / absence policies in place. In order to manage this in the best possible way it is important that you, as the employer, consider implementing a fair and clear process to help identify repeat offenders, deter other employees from not turning up to work, and ultimately retain as many employees as possible in the workplace.

To support you in overcoming this, our HR & Employment Law experts have put together an exclusive guide on managing short-term sickness absence,covering from what processes you should put in place, managing recurring absences and more.

DOWNLOAD: https://tinyurl.com/lcassickness2022

This includes insightful advice from our experts on how to best manage sickness and absence through an ever-changing working environment.

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 them a call on 0345 844 1111, or fill in their call-back form and they’ll get right back to you.

Please quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your member benefit and preferential rates.


Does the cap fit? Analysing the government’s proposed amendment to the English social care charging system

From the Institute for Fiscal Studies

This briefing note considers the effects of the government’s proposed amendment to the Care Act, which would mean that means-tested support does not count for an individual’s progress towards the social care cost cap. Our analysis does not compare the government’s proposed system with the existing system (which does not include a cap). Rather, we compare the government’s proposed system with how the new system (including the cap) would work without the proposed amendment to the Care Act.

https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15930


Cyber Security

Digital Social Care has released a statement for social care employers about cyber awareness linked to the Russian cyber activity in and around Ukraine. The National Cyber Security Council has set up 12 actions which all business should undertake to improve security.

Please utilise the following 2 links and keep up to date and know what steps you need to take around cyber security:

Digital Social Care article – https://www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk/cyber-aware-issue-russian-cyber-activity-in-and-around-ukraine/

National Cyber Security Council – https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/actions-to-take-when-the-cyber-threat-is-heightened


No change to ‘Stay at Home’ guidance. 23/02/2022
From today, there is no longer a legal requirement for people with COVID-19 to self-isolate. Guidance will be updated to remove references to the legal requirement, but the advice will continue to recommend that: anyone with symptoms should stay at home and get a PCR test those who test positive should stay at home and avoid contact with people Staff If a member of staff develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should not attend work and should do a PCR at home as soon as possible. If they test positive, they should not attend work (for 10 days) and UKHSA recommend they should stay at home and avoid people. The guidance remains the same that to return to the workplace before 10 days have elapsed, staff should have negative LFDs on two consecutive days, starting no earlier than day 5.   Full detail can be found in the Management of Staff guidance.
Infection Control and Testing Fund (ICTF)
Providers can still use the Infection Control and Testing Fund (ICTF) to pay their staff full wages whilst not working and is available until the end of March 2022. This is not impacted by the legal duty to ‘self-isolate’ ending.
Asymptomatic Testing
Regular asymptomatic testing should continue as per the testing guidance. Testing remains important to quickly identify individuals who are likely to be highly infectious and enables them to stay away from work to reduce transmission and keep the most vulnerable safe. The regular asymptomatic testing regimes are currently under review, and further detail on future testing and any changes to guidance will be provided in due course.   Thank you,  NHS Test and Trace

DHSC Update 25/02/22 COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings


DHSC Update: 21/02/22. Living with COVID-19 has now been published and is available online here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-living-with-covid-19

The Prime Minister has given a statement to the House and we expect a press conference around 7pm tonight.

The Government’s response has four principles:

  • Living with COVID-19: removing domestic restrictions while encouraging safer behaviours through public health advice, in common with longstanding ways of managing most other respiratory illnesses;
  • Protecting people most vulnerable to COVID-19: vaccination guided by Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice, supporting the NHS and social care and deploying targeted testing.
  • Maintaining resilience: ongoing surveillance, contingency planning and the ability to reintroduce key capabilities such as mass vaccination and testing in an emergency; and
  • Securing innovations and opportunities from the COVID-19 response, including investment in life sciences.

Testing

  • From 21 February, the Government is removing the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice weekly asymptomatic testing.
  • From 1 April, the Government will no longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.
  • From 1 April, there will be some limited ongoing free testing:
    • Limited symptomatic testing available for a small number of at-risk groups – the Government will set out further details on which groups will be eligible.
    • Free symptomatic testing will remain available to social care staff

Isolation

  • The legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive COVID-19  test will end on 24 February.
  • Positive cases will be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least five full days and continue following this advice until they have received two negative test results on consecutive days.
  • Household close contacts are advised to work from home if possible, avoid contact with high risk individuals and limit close contact with other people. Non-household contacts are advised to follow more general advice on ventilation, wearing masks and hygiene.
  • From 24 March, the COVID-19 provisions within Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations will end. People with COVID-19 may still be eligible, subject to the normal conditions of entitlement.

Advice for the former CEV group and people whose immune system means they are at higher risk

  • The shielding programme ended on 15 September 2021 and the government wrote to everyone on the Shielded Patient List at this time informing them of this. There is no longer a centrally defined Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group or Shielded Patient List.
  • There is a smaller group of people for whom vaccines may be less effective because of their immune system. There is separate guidance for this group containing additional public health advice and information on vaccinations and treatments. This guidance will be updated in due course.

What this means for adult social care

  • While the vast majority of care recipients in adult social care are vaccinated, individuals are still at a greater risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 relative to the general population, and the transmission risk remains high in vulnerable settings due to the kind of close contact care individuals receive. Therefore, the current protections will remain in place for those in adult social care settings.
  • As we ease restrictions in society and restrictions on freedoms in care settings, it therefore remains important to ensure that robust protections are in place in vulnerable settings to continue keeping staff and care recipients safe as we transition to living with COVID. For advice on caring for people in adult social care settings, please see the Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult social care guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • The Government will carefully review measures in adult social care settings further over the coming weeks where staff care for the most vulnerable in society. The updated position will be set out in out in guidance by 1 April.

Supported Living Guidance

This guidance was updated yesterday to reflect the latest isolation advice for residents and to remove VCOD. The two sections you want to look at are ‘Visits in and out‘ and ‘In the event of an outbreak’.

In the visits out section, note the following re isolation:

“the need for those returning from off-site visits to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19:

  • any individual who has received at least 2 doses of the vaccine and is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not – will not need to self-isolate. Instead, they should undertake daily lateral flow tests for 7 days following exposure
  • for supported living settings that are comparable to care home settings, refer to the admissions guidance for further information on self-isolation following close contact
  • for supported living settings that are comparable to a household, refer to the stay at home guidance
  • it is now possible for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to end self-isolation early, refer to the stay at home guidance

The outbreaks section has been updated to describe what a supported living worker should do if they have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive and refers you to the management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings guidance.

Similarly if a staff member with two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine is a close contact of someone with COVID-19, they should follow the management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings guidance.



The DHSC’s latest Vaccines Stakeholder Q&A

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

Here are some other useful DHSC links:


Have you thought of recruiting older workers? Maybe a good route to gaining reliable employees.

Good Recruitment for Older Workers (GROW)

We know that 36% of 50-69 year olds feel at a disadvantage applying for jobs due to their age. This project is looking at ways of reducing age bias and discrimination in the recruitment process.

https://ageing-better.org.uk/good-recruitment-older-workers-grow

The job market is going through dramatic changes with the impact of COVID-19, new technology and Brexit, making this research more timely than ever.

Minimising age-bias in recruitment is an essential part of being an age-friendly employer. More than a third (36%) of 50-69 year olds feel at a disadvantage applying for jobs due to their age. Our previous research found that age is the least scrutinised and most widely accepted form of discrimination in the UK.  

Too many older applicants are frozen out of the job market due to inadequate processes, age-bias and a lack of engagement from employers and recruiters. This ultimately disadvantages employers who fail to draw on the experience and abilities of a significant talent pool.


White Paper


RM V-meeting Feb. 2nd Recording, presentations and additional information

Safeguarding & the LPS – Denise Snow

LPS update from SCIE (this was discussed at the meeting & the SCIE update arrived the next day)

Safeguarding links and SfC’s new website

Digital Update – Paul Harper

Recruitment & retention from Purpletribe

Purpletribe Case Studies

URL links to Purpletribe case studies:

Home Care (DCA) Costing Tool as discussed & guidance


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

recently confirmed they are conducting spot checks to inspect how employers are recognising work-related stress.

Timely ahead of ‘Time To Talk’ day this Thursday, our experts have put together a stress risk assessments guide outlining the essentials employers need to know about to tackle workplace stress.

HSE spot checks to look for work-related stress | free guide

As part of their ongoing Working Minds campaign, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently confirmed they are conducting spot checks to inspect how employers are recognising work-related stress – to help support and sustain good mental health in the workplace.

To help you support your employees with stress and stay on the right side of the law, the Health & Safety experts of LCAS Partner, 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: https://tinyurl.com/lcas22stressguide

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 them a call on 0345 844 1111, or fill in their call-back form and they’ll get right back to you.

Please quote ‘London Care & Support Forum’ when enquiring to access your member benefit and preferential rates.

*Source


Establishing care units in care homes

Following the DHSC and NHS letter on actions for accelerating the number of people discharged home further resources to support systems in developing  care units in care homes are now available on FutureNHS.

A toolkit, developed with clinicians, care home providers, local government, primary care and others, provides more information to support systems, working with local partners to set up rehabilitation units in care homes. You will need to register with FutureNHS, alternatively please contact england.communityrehab@nhs.net


The DHSC

would like to bring to your attention our updated vaccines communications toolkit featuring downloadable social media assets, marketing materials and FAQs. 

Below is a roundup of newest assets within the toolkit:

A stakeholder Q&A on vaccination as a condition of deployment in wider Adult Social Care (VCOD2) and Care Homes (VCOD1) can also be found on the DHSC VCOD Google Drive.


RM V-meeting January 19th – Presentations and links

Recording of meeting –

Digital Champions – Paul Harper

Keeping Well – SLaM

This is a tremendous resource that can be used by you and your staff teams, please make sure that you pass the details on to all your collagues.

Purpletribe

Case Studies

Testing in adult care homes guidance

This guidance has been updated to reflect the removal of confirmatory PCR after a positive LFD test. The guidance has also been updated around the 90 day retesting rule. The separate guidance on ‘COVID-19 testing schedule for a suspected or confirmed outbreak in a care home’ has also been removed because it was outdated.

Testing for adult day care centre workers and services users

This guidance was updated today to remove references to needing a confirmatory PCR test and updated the advice relating to testing within 90 days of a positive result to bring it into line with other announcements and guidance.




DHSC Guidance – Updated Jan 20th 2022

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in adult care homes

How to access test kits and step-by-step guides on how to use PCR and rapid lateral flow test kits for regular and outbreak testing of residents, staff and visiting professionals.


New digital identity checking for landlords and employers to tackle immigration abuse

The government has announced that, from 6 April, certified identity service providers (IDSPs) will be able to use Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) to conduct right to work checks and right to rent checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens.


Great news, the PPE portal is to remain open and free to ASC until March 2023:

Detail of outcome

The government hosted a public consultation from 1 October to 31 October 2021 on whether to extend the central, free provision of all items of COVID-19 PPE provided to the health and care sector for a further year. This is the formal government response to that consultation.

Overall, the consultation responses showed that the overwhelming majority of health and care providers are strongly in favour of the option to extend the provision of free PPE.

The government has decided to extend free PPE to health and care sectors by up to one year to March 2023 or until the infection prevention and control guidance on PPE usage for COVID-19 is either withdrawn or significantly amended (whichever is sooner).


DHSC GUIDANCE UPDATE – PCR testing

The guidance was updated this morning to clarify this in section 4: 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

“Asymptomatic staff, patients and residents who do not have severe immunosuppression, and who have previously tested positive for COVID by LFD OR PCR test should be exempt from routine testing by PCR test within 90 days from their initial illness onset or test date.”

So, they should pause routine PCR testing for 90 days following a positive LFD.

Further information

  • Confirmatory PCR tests temporarily suspended – Following a positive LFD, there will be no need for a confirmatory PCR apart from in specific circumstances. However, anyone who has symptoms should continue to take a PCR test and follow the self-isolation guidance. This is laid out in Section 2.2.
  • Test to release – Section 2.2 lays out how a staff member who has had a positive LFD or PCR test result can end their 10-day isolation early. If they have negative LFD results on days 6+7 they can return to work (we are clarifying whether this is on day 7 or 8) but they must continue to take LFD tests for the remainder of the 10 days. If the staff member’s LFD test result continues to be positive on the 10th day, they should continue to take daily LFD tests, and can return to work after a single negative LFD test result. If the staff member’s LFD test result is still positive on the 14th day, they can stop testing and return to work on day 15.
  • When does the self-isolation period begin? – Clarity has been added that the self-isolation period if you test positive begins from symptoms onset or from a positive result, whether that is from a PCR or LFD. This is in Section 2.2.
  • Testing within 90 days – Individuals who have received a positive PCR or LFD result should be exempt from routine PCR testing within 90 days apart from in certain circumstances. Therefore, they should continue with routine asymptomatic LFD testing during this 90-day period. Advice is also provided on how to handle positive cases within this period. This is all laid out in Section 4