F: COVID-19 – Useful Links

ADASS (National):

adass.lga.covid@local.gov.uk

ADASS and LGA ASC Hub and are shared with ADASS members and staff and LGA colleagues. If you wish to read previous daily updates, there is a Knowledge Hub site - https://khub.net/group/lga-adult-social-care-hub-covid-19

2020/21 winter funding for post-discharge support for mental health patients 08.12.20 

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued new guidance alongside £50m additional winter funding for post-discharge support for mental health patients. The funding will be made available directly to NHS Mental Health Trusts, via CCGs, to ensure that people who are ready to leave inpatient facilities have the community support they need to do so. NHS Providers are expected to work alongside LAs, VCS and other system colleagues to commission extra support from local services embedding as routine some of the principles of the ‘discharge to assess’ or ‘home first’ ethos.

Interim report: CQC review of DNACPR decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic 08.12.20 

CQC has published their interim report for the Review of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report sets out the progress of the review so far and CQC’s expectations around DNACPR. Early findings show that a combination of increasing pressures and rapidly developing guidance may have contributed to inappropriate advance care decisions.

Guidance note: Vaccination and mental capacity 08.12.20 

This rapid response guidance note on vaccination and mental capacity, published be the Court of Protection Team at 39 Essex Chambers, provides a general discussion, as opposed to legal advice on the facts of individual cases. It primarily relates to the position in England in relation to those aged 18 and above; specific advice should be sought in respect of Wales and those under 18. Reference should also be had to the DSHC’s guidance, which is to be updated shortly to address vaccination.

Care Technology Support Programme 08.12.20 

The LGA’s Care Technology Programme with Rethink Partners is designed to support councils seeking to innovate their care technology approaches through flexible and practical support. From themed masterclasses to our first care technology coaching programme there’s something for everyone. Join our launch webinar on 16 December between 10.00 – 11.00 to find out more.

Personalised care and support for people from BAME communities – call for examples 08.12.20 

TLAP is looking for examples that demonstrate good personalised community-based care and support for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. They want to showcase promising practice, whether developed in response to COVID-19 or not, in order to improve people's experience of support. If you have something to share, or know about other organisations that are doing good work in this area, get in touch or contact David.Truswell@icloud.com who is doing this work on behalf of TLAP. The deadline is 18 December.

LTC Responses to COVID-19 blog posts 08.12.20 

The International Long Term Care (LTC) Policy Network has published two new blog posts. The first, Social Connection in Long-Term Care homes looks at the results from a scoping review of mental health outcomes for LTC home residents and highlights the potential strategies that might be used to maintain social connection during COVID-19. The second blog post, New resources for care home staff supporting residents with COVID-19, collates best practice from the frontline to help staff who support the health and care needs of residents.

Webinar series: Safeguarding and Homelessness 08.12.20 

The LGA and ADASS are running a series of eight webinars on adult safeguarding and homelessness, to disseminate and build on the positive practice briefing. The webinars are free to attend and are aimed at practitioners, managers, commissioners and providers of services for people experiencing homelessness. The first webinar will take place on Thursday 17 December at 10.00am – 12.00pm. Please book your place online.

Webinar: Inequalities and COVID-19 in England 08.12.20 

Jointly hosted between the Health Foundation and UCL Institute of Health Equity (IHE), this two-part webinar on Tuesday 15 December, 9.00-10.30, sees the launch of Build Back Fairer: the COVID-19 Marmot Review. Commissioned by the Health Foundation as part of its COVID-19 impact inquiry and produced by the IHE, the report investigates how the pandemic has affected health inequalities in England.

CQC weekly IPC narrative issue 4 08.12.20 

The attached report from CQC is a weekly narrative that covers latest information and data on CQC’s Infection Prevention Control (IPC) framework, to inspect all care homes and on designated settings, locations where COVID-positive patients can be discharged to.  

DHSC External Affairs 08.12.20 

DHSC External Affairs newsletter - week commencing Monday 23 November 2020 

This week’s newsletter includes items on the COVID-19 vaccinations, visiting arrangements for in and out of care homes, and at-risk groups receiving free supply of vitamin D.

UK Government COVID-19 Winter Plan 25.11.20

The Government has published its new COVID-19 Winter Plan. This sets out its plans for suppressing the virus, protecting the NHS and the vulnerable, keeping education and the economy going and providing a route back to normality. It also outlines the Government’s approach to ending the national restrictions on 2 December.

Mental Health 25.11.20

The Government has published the Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19 including statements for VCSE, Local Authorities and social care services.  It should be considered alongside the Social Care Covid-19 Task mental health advisory group  Social Care Covid-19 Task mental health advisory group  report published earlier this year.

Home Care testing 25.11.20    

Last week, the Government announced that domiciliary care workers, employed by CQC registered providers and looking after people in their own homes, will be offered weekly COVID-19 tests from Monday. All registered homecare agencies will be contacted with details of how to apply for test kits for their carers this week. Homecare agencies will be responsible for ordering and distributing tests to all homecare workers for them to conduct at home on a weekly basis, testing on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

COVID-19 vaccination deployment strategy and operational readiness  25.11.20      

Please see attached letter, copied to local authority chief executives, from NHS England regarding the deployment of vaccinations. It is important that DASS’s are aware of their ICS System Leads for the COVID-19 vaccination programme in order to ensure that they feed into the deployment plans for the vaccination.

DHSC Coronavirus social care update 25.11.20    

Here is the latest Coronavirus Social Care Update from DHSC. This week’s message from Minister for Care Helen Whately, focuses on care home visiting pilots, covid-19 vaccines and free flu jabs.

Publication of LPS 'document collection page' and LPS announcement 19.11.20

Last week, the Government launched a Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) ‘document collection page’ on gov.uk. This brings together key documents on LPS and the latest information on progress towards their implementation. This webpage also includes a published note of the last LPS steering group (Oct 13th), which announces a key message; the Government does not intend to implement the care home manager role within the LPS process, when it is implemented in April 2022.

Updated guidance: Using direct payments during the coronavirus outbreak 19.11.20

The Government has published updated guidance for people receiving direct payments and personal assistants, including an easy read version, and an additional document: Using direct payments during the coronavirus outbreak: the most important things to know. The updates reflect current national policy and add sections on mental health support, accessing the winter flu vaccination and testing.

ASC Tracker – Latest Summary 19.11.20 

For latest summary of the ASC Tracker, can be found on the Knowledge Hub site.    

CQC: Infection control management in care homes & COVID-19 inpatient experiences 19.11.20

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently published two new reports. The first report, How care homes managed infection prevention and control during the coronavirus pandemic 2020, shares the findings from CQC’s IPC inspections which includes what they have seen and what care home providers have reported has worked and what has caused them challenge through the pandemic.  The second report, COVID-19 inpatient experience survey presents the results of a survey looking at the experiences of people staying in NHS hospitals during the first wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Both reports are also featured in this month’s Insights Report looking at health and social care, along with an update on CQC’s regular data.

New report: State of Ageing 2020 19.11.20

A new report from the Centre for Ageing Better highlights the risk that the COVID-19 pandemic is setting people in mid-life on a pathway to poverty and ill health in later life.

 

The interactive report, The State of Ageing in 2020, warns that low-quality & unsafe housing, poor health, and a lack of social connections have exacerbated the impacts of the pandemic, particularly among the less well-off, and this will further exacerbate inequalities.

Care homes study 19.11.20

A study led by University College London which is seeking to understand the spread of infection in care homes in England will be expanded. The number of care homes taking part will increase from 100 to 340. The findings of the Vivaldi 2 study aim to help improve understanding of these vulnerable groups' immune response to COVID-19, help inform future treatments for the virus and inform the public health and social care response to the outbreak.

Missing in lockdown – new report reveals the vulnerable are more at risk 19.11.20

The number of people who went missing during the first national lockdown in England fell by over a third, compared to data from the previous year. However, a new report shows that those who did go missing were deemed more vulnerable and at higher risk.

New Social Work Health Check 2020 19.11.20

On Monday (23 November), the LGA is launching the Social Work Healthcheck on behalf of the social work profession. This year, the survey has been designed to be simpler for Principal Social Workers to implement in their localities and includes some COVID specific questions to assess the wellbeing of your social workers. The survey is quick and simple to use and will provide each organisation with a free bespoke report. To opt into the health check please email workforce@local.gov.uk

New guidance: Supporting safe care home visits 06.11.20

Today, the Department of Health and Social Care published new guidance to support safe care home visits. The guidance sets out principles for how visits are conducted – with social distancing and PPE - to encourage and support care homes to provide safe visiting opportunities as new national restrictions come into effect.

ADASS has updated their Advice Note to reflect to updated government guidance.

Updated guidance: Infection Control Fund - second tranche 06.11.20

The Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2 guidance now adds, as of yesterday (in the section sub-titled ‘About the 80% ‘per beds’ / ‘per user’ allocation’):

Local authorities may propose alternative approaches for allocating the funding in cases where this would help facilitate the allocation of funding. However, any alternative approaches must:

  • be consistent with the intention of the funding to provide an equitable level of funding among providers of community care, including those with which the local authority does not have existing contracts
  • have been consulted upon with the local provider sector
  • be carried out at the local authority’s own risk

The Department of Health and Social Care has also made a change to clarify the interaction with the £500 Test and Trace payments.

ASC Tracker – Latest Summary 06.11.20   

Please see attached the latest summary of the ASC Tracker, which can also be found on the Knowledge Hub site.   

Updated guidance: ‘Clinically extremely vulnerable’ people

The DHSC has publish updated guidance to CEV individuals with important additional advice on how they can protect themselves during this 4-week period. DHSC will write to all CEV residents in England over the coming days, outlining the updated guidance and providing details of how to seek support. There are 2 versions attached, one for the parents of CEV children, the other for CEV adults.

Guidance clarification: Day services 06.11.20

Guidance from the DHSC regarding the impact of lockdown on day services.

‘Support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes, but is not limited to, support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement, and vulnerable young people, including for them to meet young workers.

Day services are covered by the term ‘support group’. Therefore, yes they should be able to stay open where they need to deliver face to face care – or they may amend their service to online/distance support (as some already have). This is in the national guidance on gov.uk.’

New guidance: Helping care homes order resident medications 06.11.20

The LGA and NHS have published a new step-by-step guide for care homes to quickly and safely order medications online for residents via proxy access to their GP online services account. Hosted on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website, the guidance provides examples of all the documentation needed and explains the data sharing, staff training, information governance, confidentiality, set-up and communication requirements needed between care homes, GP practices and pharmacies. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the team socialcaredigital@local.gov.uk.

Quick guide: Providing care and support at home to people who have had COVID-19 06.11.20

A new quick guide will help home care workers and personal assistants to provide safe care and support to people who have left hospital after having COVID-19. It comes at an important time as the country prepares to go into lockdown for a second time.

Ombudsman report on NHS Continuing Healthcare 06.11.20

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has published a report on the learning from complaints it has handled about NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC). Continuing Healthcare is a form of NHS-funded care that is administered by local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups with oversight from NHS England and NHS Improvement. The report shows the impact that mistakes in administering NHS Continuing Healthcare can have on people and their families.

Understanding risk factors: infections/outbreaks resident facility & community level 06.11.20

This rapid review, by the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, includes evidence available up to October 5, 2020 to answer the question: What risk factors are associated with COVID-19 outbreaks and mortality in LTC facilities and what strategies mitigate risk?

Government consultation: Raising accessibility standards for new homes 06.11.20

In September, the government launched an open consultation seeking views on how to raise accessibility standards, recognising the importance of suitable homes for older and disabled people. Care & Repair England has produced a document to help organisations and individuals submit feedback to the consultation. Their recommendation is that mandatory standards to make all new homes accessible homes are needed urgently.

Care Quality Commission update 06.11.20

3 November – CQC update

NHS Confederation bulletin 06.11.20

4 November - NHS Confederation bulletin

5 November - NHS Confederation bulletin

LGA CEX bulletin 06.11.20

3 November - LGA CEX Update

New guidance: New national restrictions from 5 November 03.11.20

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement over the weekend that new national COVID-19 restrictions will come into force from this Thursday, 5th November, the Government has published guidance on the new national restrictions. The guidance includes what the restrictions mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available.

Joint Statement from ADEPT, ADPH, ADASS, ADCS 03.11.20

After recent announcements by the Government and the evolving challenges brought by the COVID-19 Pandemic, ADASS President James Bullion, in a common statement with Jenny Coles, ADCS President, Nigel Riglar, ADEPT President, and Jeanelle de Gruchy, ADPH President, have called on the government to ensure that the Spending Review provides both long term certainty and greater levels of funding for local councils.

Survey reminders: Snap Autumn Survey and Unpaid Carers Day Services Survey 03.11.20

DASSs should have all received a) a request to complete the ADASS snap Autumn Survey and b) the Unpaid Carers Day Services survey. The latter is part of a project funded by DHSC. We do appreciate just how busy you all are and how magnificently you are responding to the pandemic. Both are intended to help us nationally, regionally and locally to support older and disabled people and their families. We appreciate just how busy everyone is but please do complete these.

ADASS Advice Note: Infection Control, Essential Visiting & Human Rights Care Homes 03.11.20

Please read this advice note which has been developed by ADASS for DASSs in relation to thinking about care home visits from a Human Rights perspective, to support them in fulfilling their Public Sector Equalities Duty as well as requirements in the Care Act 2014 relating to personalised approaches and wellbeing.  This of course sits alongside infection control arrangements that equally supports the right to life. This isn’t about two opposing sides: public health versus resident rights; these are not mutually exclusive

Care home visits: joint call for action 03.11.20

An open letter, sent by a coalition of over 60 organisations, was sent to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Helen Whately, Minister for Care calling on the government to ensure that care homes are supported to enable visits by families and loved ones, now and in the future. Brought together by the National Care Forum (NCF), the letter, calls on the government to adopt this position in any new regulations it is drafting for the care sector to cover the national lockdown and the aftermath. This follows a letter to the Secretary of State sent by ADASS, Healthwatch and the Care and Support Alliance on this subject.

New report: Impact of COVID-19 policies in care homes 03.11.20

This pre-print rapid review looked at the evidence on impacts of visiting policies in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having found no scientific evidence that visitors have introduced infections to care homes, the review highlights the importance of allowing visitors in facilities where there are no COVID-19 and calls for unpaid carers to be classified as essential workers.

Updated guidance: how to work safely in care homes and domiciliary care 03.11.20

Public Health England has recently updated their how to work safely in care homes and how to work safely in domiciliary care in England COVID-19 guidance. The updates include guidance on use of gloves.

The latest from the national recruitment campaign 03.11.20

DHSC has circulated the latest national recruitment campaign update. The update provides statistics on campaign performance and the top line results of a survey of those working in the social care sector, demonstrating an increase in either enquiries, applications, interviews or vacancies filled while the campaign was live

Uber Eats and Care Provider Alliance: Discounts for care workers 03.11.20

The Care Provider Alliance has partnered with Uber Eats to provide discounts on food deliveries for social care staff during the coronavirus outbreak. To benefit from it, the care worker needs to have an existing Uber Eats account, and then they can just join the CPA 10% DISCOUNT profile. Offers are available until 31 December 2020. 

New report: How public services have coped with coronavirus 03.11.20

This report, by CIPFA and Institute for Government, analyses the disruptions that the pandemic imposed on five key public services (hospitals, GPs, adult social care, schools, and criminal courts) and changes made during the pandemic. The report makes recommendations about what the government should do at the next multiyear spending review, including which changes are worth keeping or extending after the crisis.

New report: Housing and care for older people 03.11.20

The British Property Federation (BPF) in partnership with Cushman & Wakefield, has produced a report, Housing and Care for Older People: Defining the Sector, detailing the current state of housing for older people and recommendations for change to government. The report identifies an acute lack of housing-with-care for older people in the UK and sets out three recommendations to the Government to support an increase in supply.

Webinar: Getting started with the data security and protection toolkit 03.11.20

The Institute of Public Care, on behalf of Digital Social Care, is holding a series of webinars in November for providers of adult social care to help organisations prepare for registering on and completing the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT). Find out more and register.

Infection Control Fund - community care user numbers  27.10.20

DHSC is aware that some Local Authorities have asked for the number of community care users (by provider) in their LA, to help with distribution of the Infection Control Fund money. In response, DHSC has confirmed that they will make this available upon request:

Community care users - We appreciate the work that local authorities are doing to verify the numbers of community care users in their area, and we have been asked for the user numbers underpinning the allocations for community care. We know that some local authorities would find it helpful to see the underlying information from the allocations – this can be sought through a request to SCFINANCE-ENQUIRIES@DHSC.GOV.UK. The Department does not intend to revisit the allocations.

Residential drug and alcohol services - Some authorities have identified that there are residential drug and alcohol services located in their LAs that are not featured in the CQC Care Directory. Attached is the list of residential drug and alcohol services, the relevant number of beds, and where they are located. We recognise that local authorities may have already allocated funding on the basis of the information in the CQC Care Directory but would welcome any support local authorities may choose to offer to these important services.

Overpayment of ICF2 - We have heard that some authorities have not been requested to make a repayment. DHSC advise that any authority who has not received a request to repay the funding should contact the DHSC Grants hub on the email address (grants@dhsc.gov.uk).’

ASC Survey 20/21 27.10.20

Due to the impact of COVID-19, it has been agreed with Department of Health and Social Care that the Adult Social Care Users Survey for 20/21 will be downgraded from mandatory to voluntary for councils.

COVID-19: supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults 27.10.20

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has provided clarity on the status of day services in areas under high or very high local COVID alert levels. The very high alert level guidance states ‘support groups of up to 15 participants – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support (not to take place in private dwellings)’ are allowed to gather in groups larger than 6 people, from different households. The DHSC has confirmed that support groups include day services.

At-home antibody testing for adult social care in England 27.10.20

NHS Test and Trace has launched an at-home antibody testing service which is now available to all paid staff in the adult social care sector in England. The attached two template documents about the testing service can be used to communicate this information in your area. Antibody tests are not compulsory, but please ensure that all providers and adult social care staff are aware they are available. Antibody Testing information – care home audience and Antibody Testing information - general ASC audience 

DHSC Winter Plans confirmation email address 27.10.20

The DHSC has set up an email address for local authorities to write to by 31 October, confirming that they have put in place a winter plan, and that they are working with care providers in their area on business continuity plans. Please send your letter of confirmation to winterplanteam@dhsc.gov.uk

Advocacy during Covid-19 and beyond 20.10.20

Please find below the link to a paper commissioned by National ADASS to which we contributed; outlining 6 key actions to ensure we make the best use of advocacy during these challenging times.

https://www.adass.org.uk/advocacy-during-covid-19-and-beyond

Infection Control Fund – further advice relating to community care providers 16.10.20

Please see the attached document that sets out further advice in response to questions that authorities have raised about the guidance issued by DHSC. It includes:

  • guidance on determining the numbers of people supported by community care providers.
  • implications of identifying different numbers of people supported by community providers to that identified in Annex B;
  • national approach to avoid cross-boundary confusion
  • the timetable for making the first payment
  • overpayment by DHSC.

We have shared this note with DHSC and they have agreed the contents.

Tracker – Latest Summary 16.10.20

Please see attached the latest summary of the ASC Tracker, which can also be found on the Knowledge Hub site.  

Amended version Winter Plan checklist 16.10.20

Please see attached updated Winter Plan checklist to replace the version circulated in this bulletin on 6 October. The PPE section (1.9-1.10) has been amended to reflect the actions required for local authorities.

COVID-19 Adult Safeguarding Insight Project 16.10.20

COVID-19 Adult Safeguarding Insight project, based on voluntary data from 92 Councils the final draft report is being circulated to relevant networks in response to requests, prior to being made publicly available on the LGA website. A one-page summary of the report is also provided.

There will be webinar on Tuesday 10 November 11.30-12.30, where the results will be presented in more detail and there will be an opportunity to discuss the findings in the report.  If you would like to attend the webinar, please register your initial interest by contacting us at CHIP@local.gov.uk.

The project will continue to collect safeguarding adults data, at least for the rest of the calendar year. To obtain the pro forma for this period, or to join the project, please contact CHIP@local.gov.uk.

We are aware that NHS Digital is undertaking a voluntary data collection exercise to help understand the impact of COVID-19 on adult social care activity. This covers the first 6 months of 2020/21, and Adult Social Care collections: SALT, SAC & DoLS. The SAC elements are designed to complement the Insight project.

Guidance to the clinically extremely vulnerable 16.10.20

The Government has published new guidance explaining the next steps for supporting clinically extremely vulnerable people in England. The guidance will be tied into the new Local COVID Alert Levels framework, meaning those at the highest risk of serious illness from the virus will receive specific advice depending on the level of risk in their local area, as rates continue to rise. This latest guidance explains the current advice for each of the three tiers.

Three tier system and guidance to the clinically extremely vulnerable 13.10.20

The Government today published new guidance explaining the next steps for supporting clinically extremely vulnerable people in England. People in this group will receive new guidance to help them reduce their risk from COVID-19, tailored to where they live. The guidance will be tied into the new Local COVID Alert Levels framework, meaning those at the highest risk of serious illness from the virus will receive specific advice depending on the level of risk in their local area, as rates continue to rise. This latest guidance explains the current advice for each of the three tiers.

TLAP report: ‘A Telling Experience’ 13.10.20

TLAP, working with an alliance of other organisations including ADASS and the LGA, has produced a report seeking to understanding the impact of Covid-19 on people who access care and support through the voice of people with lived experience. The report acknowledges the unique challenges faced by everyone working in the sector, highlights different examples of how councils responded to these challenges, and makes a number of recommendations for councils, ADASS, the LGA, DHSC and others. 

Advance care planning nursing homes - COVID-19 outbreak, necessary discussions 13.10.20

This NEW research study, led by Lancaster University, Marie Curie Edinburgh and Dementia UK, will develop and evaluate an online advance care planning COVID-centric intervention for training nursing home staff and will provide an informational and supportive resource for their family carers. Find out more about the study.

Home adaptations guide 13.10.20

LGA, ADASS, Care & Repair England and Age UK have updated their guide to meeting the home adaptation needs of older people in the light of COVID-19. The guide highlights how councils are putting in place personalised interventions that enable people to live in their homes for longer and promote positive ageing, often in partnership with the voluntary and community sector. It also sets out practical steps which councils can take to further improve local approaches to home adaptations.

Resilience across the UK during the coronavirus pandemic 13.10.20

The Mental Health Foundation has published new findings from their ongoing Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic study, carried out in partnership with the universities of Cambridge, Swansea, Strathclyde and Queen’s Belfast. This research briefing looks at resilience across the UK during the coronavirus pandemic and how people are coping.

CQC to review use of DNACPR during pandemic 13.10.20

The Department of Health and Social Care has asked CQC to review how Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions were used during the coronavirus pandemic, building on concerns that CQC reported earlier in the year. The scope and methodology of this work are being developed at pace; but it is expected to look at people’s experiences in care homes, primary care and hospitals. Interim findings are expected to be reported later this year with a final report in early 2021.

Amended version Winter Plan checklist 13.10.20

Please see attached updated Winter Plan checklist to replace the version circulated in this bulletin on 6 October. The PPE section (1.9-1.10) has been amended to reflect the actions required for local authorities.

 Now, next, future: Our transitional regulatory approach & strategy webinars 13.10.20

The Care Quality Commission are holding a series of webinars on their regulatory approach and strategy for 2021. These one-hour webinars are aimed at providers, health and social care professionals, strategic partners and trade associations. Each webinar has a focus on an individual sector they regulate, including Adult Social Care.

Extra Care and Supported Living COVID-19 testing update 13.10.20

The attached email update provides information on the national rollout for testing in extra care and supported living, answers to frequently asked questions that have been raised during our onboarding sessions, top tips for how organisations can prepare for testing, and an invitation to webinars.

Winter Plan Checklist 07.10.20

See a summary of the actions for local authorities within the DHSC Winter Plan, in a format which enables local authorities to verify that actions are in place, ready for the assurance that has to be submitted to DHSC on 31 October.  We are aware that some local authorities have already drawn up their own version of this, but we are making this available for those who may not yet have had time.

Please do advise if you have any positive examples of where care home providers have managed to enable safe visiting, how people are informed about visiting arrangements if they are considering moving into a care home and how that is impacting on their decisions as we are very concerned about the impact of not seeing families.

Please also note that we are in discussions with DHSC, CQC and others about work to designate premises for people who are Covid-19.  Please e-mail: adass.lga.covid@local.gov.uk

Bereavement:

Cruse Bereavement Care CQC 30.04.20

Cruse Bereavement Care is the largest bereavement charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It provides support, information and advice for adults, children and young people when someone they loved dies. They are continuing to be there for bereaved people during the COVID-19 outbreak and are also preparing for a huge uptake in demand.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Cruse branches across the country are currently only offering telephone and online support. The Worcestershire Cruse branch can be contacted on 01905 22223, or worcestershire@cruse.org.uk.

People can also access instant support via the Freephone National Helpline. It is open on weekdays from 09:30 to 17:00 and until 20:00 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The number is 0808 808 1677. More information can also be found at www.cruse.org.uk.

Information about grief and bereavement during the coronavirus can be found on the Cruse Bereavement Care website.

Capacity Tracker:

Capacity Tracker Training NHS 27.05.20

Training on how to register to and access information in the Capacity Tracker can be organised by emailing Stuart Flanagan stuart.flanagan1@nhs.net

NHS:

Capacity Tracker went live as the sole data return for care homes on Tuesday of this week. Councils can register to get into Capacity Tracker to use the data: https://carehomes.necsu.nhs.uk.

Care Act:  Easements:

Guidance on New Care Act Easements, DHSC 21.09.20

Guidance on new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, has been recently issued to ensure the best possible care for people during this exceptional time.

Changes to the Care Act 21.05.20

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to the Care Act 2014

Summary:  Changes to the Care Act 2014 to help local authorities prioritise care and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Change made:  In Section 6, added local MPs to the list of people to whom the decision to exercise Care Act easements should be communicated. Added a paragraph at the end of Section 6 listing who the local authorities’ information will be shared with and how to find out details of which local authorities are operating under easements. Added a link to guidance on direct payments in Annex B.

CQC list of councils enabling Care Act Easements now live 30.04.20

https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/adult-social-care/care-act-easements-it

The Department of Health and Social Care:

issued guidance setting out how Local Authorities can use the new Care Act easements.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-changes-to-the-care-act-2014/care-act-easements-guidance-for-local-authorities

Care Homes:

BGS Care Home Guidance 25.11.20

Care Home Guidance just published: https://www.bgs.org.uk/resources/covid-19-managing-the-covid-19-pandemic-in-care-homes

National Care Forum share call to action on care home visiting CQC 03.11.20

This week a coalition led by the National Care Forum (NCF) have issued a statement calling for action to ensure that visiting in care homes is safely enabled for everyone.

In a new blog Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care says:

We know how important it is for people in adult social care to keep in touch with their friends and families, and how challenging it has been for providers to support this during the pandemic.

It’s important you seek to provide a proactive personalised approach to supporting contact with loved ones where it is safe to do so, within the framework of the latest government guidance and applying appropriate IPC measures

You can find more information on the NCF website.

Care Homes Visiting Judiciary Letter Mr Justice Hayden ICC 15.10.20

https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Letter-from-Mr-Justice-Hayden-for-website-1.pdf

How to work safely in Care Homes, NHSE/I, Gov.uk 29.09.20

Click here_How_to_work_safely_in_Care_Homes

Commissioners & Workforce (also see Workforce below):

Commissioning & Market Shaping LG:

https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/our-improvement-offer/care-and-health-improvement/commissioning-and-market-shaping/covid-19

New COVID-19 dedicated webpage:

We’ve created a new web page to share the latest guidance and support for the adult social care sector. The page can be accessed from the home page or at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/COVID-19

Guidance to clinical NHS staff; needs of people with LD and/or Autism and duties:

england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp…

How local authority commissioners can support providers financially during the COVID-19:

The Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, the United Kingdom Home Care Association and the National Care Forum have produced joint guidance for commissioners on what they can do to help providers stay as financially resilient as possible, and thus continue to provide care and support. This comes from a shared recognition of the challenges that providers will face. local.gov.uk/covid-commissioners

Social care provider resilience during COVID-19: guidance to commissioners:

ADASS, the LGA and the Care Provider Alliance has published guidance on service provider resilience during the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance, which can be found here, is for local authority commissioners; designed to summarise pressures on social care providers arising from COVID-19.

Confirmed Cases & Deceased Tracking:

Deaths of employees and volunteers in the adult social care sector 14.05.20

People working in the adult social care sector continue to demonstrate incredible professionalism and compassion to continue providing care and support in the most challenging of circumstances.

It is with deep sadness that we are learning of care workers who have died from COVID-19, and we know this is incredibly difficult for those affected.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has written to all local authorities and social care providers setting out their commitment to ensuring that employers, families, and the people who they cared for are given the support they need. The letter includes a request for providers to inform DHSC if a care worker has died and the process for doing this is outlined in the letter, which you can access here.

Increased risk for BAME 12.05.20

National and Regional discussions within NHSE/I and WM ADASS about the increased risks of COVID for BAME people and staff in particular – there will be more information hopefully soon around webinars and opportunities for staff to express their concerns and be supported in managing risk.  Here are two links that may be of interest: 

https://www.nhsemployers.org/covid19/health-safety-and-wellbeing/risk-assessments-for-staff

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/coronavirusrelateddeathsbyethnicgroupenglandandwales/2march2020to10april2020

ONS:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending3april2020

PHE Provider Notifications:

https://www.rcgp.org.uk/about-us/news/2020/april/joint-statement-on-advance-care-planning.aspx

https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/notifications/death-person-using-service-notification-form

CQC: Updated Regulation 16 (death notification) form

We would like to understand the numbers of deaths that are occurring due to COVID-19, whether suspected or confirmed. To do this, we have updated the Regulation 16 (death notification) form so you can indicate whether the death was a result of coronavirus (either confirmed or suspected). 

Please use this updated form to provide all Regulation 16 notifications from now on. We are aware that providers may have copies of the form saved locally on their computers – please check to make sure you are using the updated version. You can also bookmark the notification pages, or add them to your favourites, to ensure you are always able to access the most up-to-date form. 

The information you provide will help us develop a more accurate picture of the number of deaths due to COVID-19, which in turn will help us to work with system partners to mobilise the right level of support. It will also help the inform the government response, so it can put in place appropriate measures to support the health and social care system during this time.  Visit our website to access the updated form.

Updated guidance for DoLs and MCA

The DoLS Guidance was published last week, here is a short ‘video’ explaining it.

https://www.mentalcapacitylawandpolicy.org.uk/dhsc-mca-covid-19-guidance-summary-and-commentary/

https://www.courtofprotectionhub.uk/news--views/new-chief-coroners-guidance-on-dols-published-in-force-3-april

LG Inform:

Provides easy access to the daily tracking of confirmed cases of COVID-19 as published by Public Health England.  England overview report

Local authority report (select your county or single tier authority area at the top)

You may be aware that there are currently two sources of published information on the confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19. A full explanation of the differences is available here, but in summary they are explained below. The LG Inform reports are public so please feel free to share with colleagues.

There are two main sources of COVID-19 deaths data:

  • The daily DHSC COVID-19 deaths data, which are published for the UK at 2pm every day; these data come from NHS England, Public Health Wales, Health Protection Scotland and Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), and this is the most reliable for giving daily reporting for an immediate understanding of the pandemic. This is what we have used in the LG Inform reports – it is available at local authority level.
  • ONS weekly death registrations data for England and Wales, which are released every Tuesday at 9:30am and relate to the week that ended 11 days prior (for example, data for the week ending 20 March are released 31 March). This is produced at national level with an age and gender breakdown, and currently at regional level. There is no LA level data at this stage.

The daily data provide a vital early indication of COVID-19 deaths that occur in hospitals after a positive test. The weekly deaths figures will include all deaths where the registration mentions COVID-19, including those occurring outside of hospitals (for example, in care homes). Weekly figures by registration date roughly follow the daily figures, with a short time lag. This reflects the time between a death taking place and being officially registered.

CQC:

Resources on infection prevention and control (IPC) 20.11.20

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) is collating information on IPC to support you. This includes the CPA’s own briefing, an extensive toolkit developed by the National Care Forum and QCS as well as other resources.  

You can access these resources on the CPA Coronavirus Infection Prevention and Control web page.

COVID-19 Insight: Issue 5 20.11.20

We build on the learning about good practice in infection prevention and control. We also present the key findings from a survey to understand the experience of inpatients who were discharged from hospital from April to May 2020, when the first wave of the pandemic was at its height.  You can read the report here.

Notification forms 20.11.20

We are making changes to our notification forms to make them easier for you to use and improve the quality of information collected. The death of a service user notification form has now been updated, with other forms being updated soon.  

Submitting a notification is as easy as possible, make sure you are using the latest form either by downloading from our website each time you submit a notification or accessing through the provider portal.

Visit our website for information about what you need to notify CQC about and how to do it.

Certification of training in Restrictive Practices 20.11.20

The Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards (2019) were published in April 2019 and are available on the Restraint Reduction Network website.

In August 2019 we announced that it was likely that use of the standards will be a contractual requirement for mental health providers from April 2020, and it would be good practice for other health and social care providers to comply. More details are available in this letter.

Further update:  From April 2021 CQC all services across health and social care will be expected to only use training in restrictive practices that is certified as complying with the Restraint Reduction Network training standards.  Further information can be found in this letter to providers.

Proposal to regulate to stop movement of staff between care settings 20.11.20

The DHSC have launched a consultation to consult on a proposal to stop staff movement between different care settings in adult social care.    The deadline for submission is midday on Monday 23 November.

You can read the full consultation and share your feedback by visiting the GOV.UK website.

Reviewing the use of do not resuscitate decisions during COVID-19 20.11.20

In October, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) asked us to review how do not resuscitate orders were used during the COVID-19 pandemic, building on concerns that we reported earlier in the year.

We’ve been talking to a wide range of people/groups to understand their experiences and concerns.

We've now selected the seven local Clinical Commissioning Groups where we will be carrying out fieldwork for the review. This work will focus (but not exclusively) on the experience of older people and people with a learning disability or autism.

If you'd like to tell us about your experience, or that of a loved one, let us know using our Give Feedback on Care service, or by contacting our National Customer Service Centre.

For more information on the seven areas, how they were selected and how to help visit our website.

Flu vaccine briefing 20.11.20

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) have published a short briefing to support care managers, occupational health leads, team leaders and care service owners to maximise take up of the flu vaccine by their eligible staff.

It covers both residential and community-based services that are regulated by CQC but unregulated services may also find the briefing valuable.

Care providers can request local authorities to consider “paying care staff their usual wages in order to attend a GP or pharmacy to be vaccinated against flu outside of their normal working hours” out of the discretionary 20% within the Infection Control Fund Round 2 announced on 1 October 2020.

Read the full briefing on the CPA website.

Our plan to monitor infection prevention and control (IPC) this winter 16.10.20

We’ll continue to regulate care and hospital locations over the coming months to support you to prepare for winter.

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care has said, “Care home providers should only admit a resident when they are confident they can meet their care needs, so where they are confident they’ve got good infection prevention control, they’ve got the right PPE, they’ve got the right workforce.

“We will absolutely support a provider to say they cannot admit someone if those ingredients aren’t in place.” You can read the full article on the Independent website.

We’ve already completed over 400 and will do another 500 care home IPC inspections by the end of November.  We’ll share the results on our website over 400 of these have already been published.

You can see a list of services showing the new IPC information and read our full plan by visiting the website.

Visiting a care home 16.10.20

As part of our plan to monitor IPC over winter we also discuss visiting.

When thinking about visiting (both people coming in and going out), you must follow Government guidelines, give sufficient weight to local risks and advice from your Director of Public Health, give consideration to the home environment and all decisions stay under review as circumstances change.

However, we do expect care homes to discuss visitation as part of individual care plans including considering whether residents have exceptional circumstances to consider in those plans, and we'll look for these on inspection. Person centred care has never been more important and recognising that part of people’s identity and wellbeing comes from their relationships is critical. Meeting people’s holistic needs means an individualised approach.

What good looks like for digital records in adult social care  05.10.20

Good quality records underpin safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.

We’ve published some interim guidance on what good digital records look like and how it can be achieved.  This was developed in response to requests from providers and the content was built on principles developed during a joint workshop. The guidance also explains what we’ll look for on inspection and how we will support you to use digital record systems.

You can read the interim guidance by visiting our website.

Adult social care COVID-19 winter plan 2020/21 05.10.20

The Government has published its COVID-19 Winter Plan 2020/21 which sets out ambitions for the sector and the challenges facing adult social care this winter. The plan outlines key actions for national bodies including CQC, local systems and adult social care providers to ensure that high-quality, safe and timely care is provided to everyone who needs it, whilst protecting people who need care, their carers and the social care workforce from COVID-19. It also includes a commitment to an additional £0.5bn to extend the Infection Control Fund to March 2021.

We’ll continue to update you through our website, bulletin and blogs as we develop our transitional regulatory approach and new strategy alongside the winter plan.

You can read the full plan by visiting the GOV.UK website.

Our Transitional Regulatory Approach 05.10.20

We'll begin to roll out our transitional regulatory approach, starting with adult social care in early October. You can read more about how we'll regulate during the next phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in a joint statement from our Chief Inspectors here.

We've now published the monitoring questions for adult social care providers on our website together with some guidance on what to expect.

Our transitional regulatory approach is flexible and builds on what we learned during the height of the pandemic.

We'd like your feedback on the prompts that inspectors may use during their monitoring of adult social care providers. The development of our monitoring approach is an iterative process and your feedback will help to improve it over time.

You can access our survey and share your views through our digital participation platform by signing up or logging in.

Learning from safety incidents 05.10.20

With COVID-19 infection rates rising we know that your focus is on Infection Prevention and Control, however we encourage you to stay aware of other safety incidents which are important.

We’ve previously published some 'Learning from safety incidents' resources which briefly describe a critical issue - what happened, what we and the provider have done about it, and the steps you can take to avoid it happening in your service.

You can access the resources by visiting our website.

iPad offer for care homes 05.10.20

NHSX is offering iPads to help care homes provide care to residents. The iPads will allow staff in care homes to:

  • hold video consultations with health and care professionals
  • use NHSmail
  • connect care home residents with loved ones remotely
  • get direct access to any other tools or systems needed to support the care of residents.

Visit the NHSX website for more information on the offer, including frequently asked questions, eligibility criteria and the application form

PPE Strategy 05.10.20

The government has published its new PPE Strategy, setting out how it is preparing a resilient supply chain of PPE for a second wave of coronavirus alongside usual seasonal pressures. Read the strategy on the GOV.UK website.

COVID-19 insight report: Issue 4 05.10.20

We have published the fourth edition of our COVID-19 insight report, this is a monthly report that shares our key findings over recent months. In this edition we focus on infection, prevention and control and early findings from our provider collaboration reviews.

Residential drug & alcohol services eligible for IFC & COVID-19 re-testing 05.10.20

The government’s Winter Plan for adult social care includes a promise of an additional £0.5bn to extend the Infection Control Fund (ICF) to March 2021. As with the initial ICF funding, allocations will be related to completion of the Capacity Tracker.

Residential drug and alcohol services have been eligible to register for and complete the Capacity Tracker since the summer and their infection control needs should now be reflected in ICF payments to local services by local authorities.

After an initial round of one-off COVID-19 testing, residential drug and alcohol services will also join other care homes in being eligible for regular, repeat COVID-19 testing through the GOV.UK portal. After services have been invited (emails will go out shortly), they can order test kits monthly to cover weekly staff testing and monthly resident testing.

DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service):

DBS CQC:

We have updated our interim DBS guidance to reflect the most current information on the DBS website regarding free of charge DBS applications and fast-track Barred List checks for COVID-19 recruitment. 14.05.20

For providers recruiting staff and volunteers to health and social care services in response to coronavirus.

We have issued this interim guidance in response to temporary changes being made by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to DBS applications and processes. It will be in operation for the period the Coronavirus Act 2020 remains in force. We will review it on a regular basis.  Providers should read the whole of this guidance, which is available on our website.

DBS GOV.UK:

COVID-19 page on GOV.UK to highlight the measures we’ve taken so far as an organisation to support the recruitment of those needed during the coronavirus outbreak. So far it includes:

  • The Safeguarding Factsheet for volunteers
  • The new fast-track check of the Barred Lists
  • The updated ID checking guidance
  • A link to some COVID-19 specific FAQs based on queries

Additional guidance includes the NHS eligibility leaflet and the application form guidance. 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-how-dbs-is-supporting-the-fight-against-coronavirus)

Designated Settings

Confirmation of CQC approach regarding designated premises 02.12.20

In response to questions, CQC have confirmed their policy for care homes rated as Requires Improvement (RI) seeking designated premises status as below.  What requirements must a setting have to be designated? 

The setting:

  • Must meet the CQC Infection Prevention Tool set out on their website
  • Must meet CQC registration requirements and not be in breach of regulation
  • Should provide a service that is rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. If the service is rated as 'requires improvement' with no breach of regulation, CQC will assess this on a case-by-case basis.

If a service is RI without a breach, and local intelligence suggests improvements have been made, we are advising our inspectors to carry out a focussed inspection. This allows them to re-rate the service and carry out the IPC assessment at the same time.

Designated settings for COVID-19 patients leaving hospital 20.11.20

We're working with the DHSC, local authorities and individual care providers to provide assurance of safe and high-quality care in designated settings, which are part of a scheme to allow people with a Covid-positive diagnosis to be discharged safely from hospitals.

When CQC is notified of a proposed setting by the local authority we call the provider within 24 hours and if the provider is ready; we will inspect within 48 hours, informing them and the local authority if they are assured.

We explain what a designation setting is, how we are inspecting them and share an update on the number of approved settings we have registered. Read the full story here.

ADASS – considerations for designating premises 27.10.20

As of Friday, 91 councils had designated premises for people who need to be discharged from hospital but have tested positive. CQC have started their inspection of these premises. We are in continued discussion with regions, DHSC, CQC and others about how best to implement this policy and to balance the benefits (having test results, the intent to take a step to lessen risk to most care homes) with the risks of concentrating Covid positive people in one establishment, together with greater clarity as to how ‘exceptions’ can be considered. Our key advice remains to cover the considerations set out in the webinar a week last Friday – see attached.

Winter discharges - designated settings 13.10.20

The Department of Health and Social Care has written to directors of adult services, copied to council chief executives, directors of public health and health partners, about putting in place designated accommodation to support COVID-19 positive people before they are admitted to care homes, so that they are no longer infectious upon admission. The letter asks directors to notify the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as soon as possible, using the proforma mentioned in the letter, with the accommodation they plan to use for this purpose, so that the CQC can organise an inspection and assure themselves that it is fit for purpose. 

DHSC

Social Care COVID-19 Support Taskforce 25.09.20

David Pearson CBE explains the background to its formation and introduces its final report, advice and recommendations.

You can read the full taskforce report on GOV.UK

Read the COVID-19 Winter Plan in full here

BAME advisory group chairs explain their vital contribution to the taskforce report

Throughout this coronavirus pandemic, we have been reminded again of the devastating impact societal inequalities have had on the health and wellbeing of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse (BAME) citizens.

The recent Public Health England report highlighted the need for us to act and consider the unacceptable impact such inequalities have always had on our communities. 

Co-chairs Tricia Pereira and Cedi Frederick set out their roles in a crucial endeavour to address BAME health inequalities, revealed as never before by this unwelcome and persistent pandemic.

 Visit the Social Work With Adults blog

Digital and Technology:

Covid-19 Digital & ICT Impact Survey

Socitm Advisory and membership organisation, Socitm Ltd have created a Covid-19 Digital & ICT Impact Survey to provide organisations with key insight into what challenges they are encountering not only throughout their own organisation but also into what challenges other businesses and authorities are facing.

By knowing what challenges organisations are facing, Socitm is able to not only improve their own offering to support the current needs of the market but also provide essential insight allowing councils to know which direction they should be going in to run as effectively as possible in this time.
The short survey takes only 15-20 mins for each organisation to complete. Complete the survey here.

Using technology to help in the COVID-19 crisis:

There are many ways in which technology can help providers communicate, share and learn through the current crisis. We’re keen to help both those who want to increase their use of digital technology and those who want to start using it and we have many existing resources that can be found here.
Skills for Care is part of the consortia of organisations that came together to deliver Digital Social Care with a dedicated COVID-19 webpage including:

  • information and governance guidance
  • quick access to NHSmail
  • guide to Microsoft Teams
  • a list of free digital tools available through this period.

Further help will be delivered in the coming weeks, and we’ll bring you updates in this newsletter.

Easy Read:

COVID-19 easy read from Public Health England explains what COVID-19 is and what you should be doing to stay safe

Government guidance on social distancing: easy read summary from Learning Disability England outlines social distancing practices. Their website has additional resources on COVID-19 in a range of accessible formats.

Supporting disabled people and others through the COVID-19 outbreak:

A joint statement from Justin Tomlinson MP, Helen Whately MP and Vicky Ford MP outlines how the government plans to support disabled people, their carers, and their families.   
The Coronavirus Act 2020 makes time-limited changes to legislation around the Care Act and the Mental Health Act, while Human Rights and SEND provision are being prioritised and they want to reassure people that the current measures are temporary.  They expect local authorities to do everything they can to maintain existing services and to meet the needs of as many as possible, particularly for those with the most acute needs. Read the statement here.

Domestic Abuse:

A multi-agency West Midlands wide campaign will be launched promoting these methods, information resources and these will be promoted through social media, supermarkets, pharmacies and businesses still operating using the #noexcuseforabuse  All national, regional and local resources will be listed on the website https://noexcuseforabuse.info

For Further Guidance on Domestic Abuse relating to COVID-19 please click here.

Finance:

Infection Control Fund 27.07.20

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund

Sets out the infection control measures that the infection control fund will support, including information on the distribution of funds and reporting requirements.  Added document: ‘Local authority spending of the first tranche of the Infection Control Fund’.

Infection Control Fund 17.06.20

The Care Providers Alliance (CPA) has issued advice to its members regarding the Infection Control Fund.

£600m Care Homes Funding 18.05.20

The national guidance and allocations on the care homes £600m funding came out on Friday. Please see the link below and the allocations table attached:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/care-home-support-package-backed-by-600-million-to-help-reduce-coronavirus-infections

£600m Care Homes Infection Control and Workforce Resilience Fund DHSC 15.05.20

We have announced a new support package for care homes, backed by a £600 million Infection Control and Workforce Resilience Fund.

This new money will go towards a series of measures aimed at helping adult social care providers reduce the rate of transmission in, and between, care homes. It will be used to meet the additional costs of restricting staff to work in one care home only and pay the wages of those self-isolating.

In addition, the new measures increase clinical support, by giving each care home a named clinical contact and asks all councils to make sure they have a care home support plan in place.

Social care staff will also be able to access two new mental health and wellbeing helplines run by Samaritans and Hospice UK through the CARE app.

A letter has been sent to all local authorities in England asking them to ensure the measures are adopted.

Accounting for Spend Against NHS £1.3BN: Covid Discharge Agreements 28.04.20

The LGA has published an advice note for Local Government Finance Leads and key others faced with the challenge of properly accounting for expenditure to be claimed against the national £1.3bn allocation to CCGs to support enhanced discharge arrangements during the Covid-19 pandemic, and ensuring that reimbursement claims are fully auditable, internally and externally. The attached note is intended to supplement rather than replace the NHSE&I guidance, frequently asked questions and responses, and model amendments/extensions to existing Section 75 arrangements posted on the Better Care Support Exchange website.

Birmingham Council Vulnerable Adults Themed Covid-19 Grant 23.04.20

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50233/support_for_residents_during_the_coronavirus_covid-19/2170/covid-19_vulnerable_adults_community_grants

In this challenging time, I would like to share with you some resources that will be useful for your colleagues, organisations, customers and clients that you are working with, as we all navigate through the current climate.

The Money and Pensions Service have added two pages to our website which will be constantly monitored and updated which will provide direct guidance to the public about money in general and then more specific financial guidance and actions that people can take to help themselves.

In addition, if you have any partners and stakeholders that you think would benefit from a conversation with me around other ways that we may be able to support, please pass on my details.

 https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-and-your-money

 https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you

The LGA has published an advice note for Local Government Finance Leads and key others faced with the challenge of properly accounting for expenditure to be claimed against the national £1.3bn allocation to CCGs to support enhanced discharge arrangements during the Covid-19 pandemic, and ensuring that reimbursement claims are fully auditable, internally and externally. The attached note is intended to supplement rather than replace the NHSE&I guidance, frequently asked questions and responses, and model amendments/extensions to existing Section 75 arrangements posted on the Better Care Support Exchange website.

Good News/Best Practice:

Shropshire Council “Happy Boxes” 22.04.20

Our day services team have been offering a ‘Check in and chat’ virtual services to adults with learning disabilities who normally attend our day services.  Please feel free to share amongst your channels.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lreT80MXEdE

 Here’s a press release to.

 https://newsroom.shropshire.gov.uk/2020/04/day-centres-happy-boxes/

BSL 16.04.20

To help the Deaf Community through the Coronavirus SignHealth has partnered with Interpreter Now to offer immediate and free access to online BSL Interpreters enabling communication between Deaf people and health care providers. https://www.bslhealthaccess.co.uk/

BBC West Midlands re: PPE:

https://www.facebook.com/MidlandsBBC/videos/219272042729206/

Government:

If you wish to read previous daily updates, there is a Knowledge Hub site available for ADASS, LGA and local government colleagues:  

https://khub.net/group/lga-adult-social-care-hub-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hospital-discharge-service-policy-and-operating-model

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hospital-discharge-service-action-cards

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reintroduction-of-nhs-continuing-healthcare

Update from GOV.UK – Visiting arrangements care homes during period of restrictions 05.11.20

  1. Executive summary
  2. Role of providers and directors of public health (DPH) in providing a dynamic risk assessment
  3. Advice for providers when establishing their visiting policy
  4. Providers’ general visiting policy
  5. The arrangements for the visit itself
  6. Advice for providers when taking visiting decisions for particular residents or groups of residents
  7. Infection control precautions in the wider care home environment
  8. Communicating with families and visitors

Update from GOV.UK – Visiting care homes during coronavirus 21.09.20

Click Here

Helen Whately, Minister for Care, Department of Health & Social Care 21.09.20

Read Minster for Care, Helen Whately's letter in full on GOV.UK

PHE launch free flu jab campaign for health and care staff DHSC 21.09.20

The vaccine has been made easier to access for all frontline care workers, including personal assistants, who can now have the jab for free from pharmacies or their GP.

To run your own local campaign download a toolkit here. You can also access free posters and social media assets to help encourage uptake and show your support.

Direct Payments Update DHSC 21.09.20

Recently updated advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.

Additional £546 million for infection control  17.09.20

The Government has announced today a further £546 million Infection Control Grant. The Government intends that the fund will help care providers pay staff full wages when they are self-isolating and help enable staff to work in only one care home, reducing the risk of spreading the infection. The Winter Plan is due to be published tomorrow and we are anticipating further detail in that.

Reuse of Medicines in a care home or hospice 02.09.20

Standard operating procedure on how to run a safe and effective medicines reuse scheme in a care home or hospice during the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): reuse of medicines in a care home or hospice

PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment 03.08.20

Healthcare providers can order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the portal to top up their existing supplies for COVID-19 in an emergency.

Added pharmacies and larger social care providers to the categories of provider that are invited to order from the portal. Update to the number of visors that GPs, domiciliary care providers and residential care homes can order. The customer service team opening hours are now 7am to 7pm.

PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment

Direct payments Guidance 31.07.20

Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.

Updated 3 attachments: ‘Guidance for commissioners, people receiving direct payments and care providers’, ‘Guidance for commissioners, people receiving direct payments and care providers (easy read)’ and ‘Using direct payments during the coronavirus outbreak: full guidance for people receiving direct payments and personal assistants’. Updates reflect that the self-isolation period for people with coronavirus symptoms has changed to 10 days rather than 7 days.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for people receiving direct payments

Health & Wellbeing

Health Devolution Commission Report 12.08.20

Launch of the Health Devolution Commission Report

https://healthdevolution.org.uk/health-devolution-commission-report/

LGA HWB Support Tool 08.06.20:

The LGA has developed this simple tool to support Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) chairs/chairmen move into the next stage of COVID-19. Please adapt it to your local circumstances over the forthcoming period.

https://www.local.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing-boards-reset-tool-support-hwb-chairs-move-next-stage-covid-19

Homeless & Rough Sleepers

COVID-19 guidance for hostels and day services that support homeless people - In addition to the guidance published on 13th March 2020 for care providers, on 16th March the government has published this guidance for hostels and day centres that support homeless people and rough sleepers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-services-for-people-experiencing-rough-sleepin

Hospital Discharges:

Out of Hospital Intelligence Pack ICC 02.12.20

Click Here to Download

Funding has been announced:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-9-billion-funding-to-strengthen-care-for-the-vulnerable?

The key workers list was released:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Learning Disability and Autistic People

Updated guidance: Care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities and autism 02.12.20

This guidance, from Department of Health and Social Care, is for care workers and personal assistants who support adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It has been updated to include relevant links to guidance on the local restriction tier system that will be in place in England from 2 December.

LG Inform

LG Inform: Website update and latest on our COVID-19 reports 21.08-20

We’ve refreshed the LG Inform and LG Inform Value for Money Profiles sites, introducing a new ‘home page’ to LG Inform, and modernising navigation around both sites. The data and information that underpin the sites remains as it always was, but we hope both sites will be even more accessible from now on.

LG Inform continues to be a well-used part of our offer to councils. In July, driven by the inclusion of Pillar 2 data at local authority level, we received 222,000 hits (breaking our previous record of 107,000 in June) and our COVID-19 reports were downloaded over 115,000 times (60,000 in June).

See here for a full listing of our COVID-19 reports. Should you have any questions or need further information, please contact our LG Inform team at lginform@local.gov.uk

Digital innovation in social care: supporting communities during COVID-19 03.09.20

The LGA and ADASS, in partnership with the Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University, have published a new report on social care digital innovation. The report captures examples of progress made by local government in this area in recent months and provides practical messages for councils and national bodies to help new approaches be sustained. The executive summary and full report are available at www.local.gov.uk/asc-digital-innovation.

Updated Care Act Easements Guidance 03.09.20

Updated Care Act Easements Guidance has been published along with FAQs (reframed as ‘Supporting Guidance) and a new form for councils enacting easements to complete and send to DHSC when alerting them about their decision. There are no substantive changes, mainly alignments to other Guidance e.g. on hospital discharge but an updated Briefing Note for Directors & PSWs will be circulated via the Hub shortly. DHSC are keen that supportive messaging around councils choosing to enact easements features strongly, following the adverse publicity experienced by councils enacting easements early in the pandemic.

International Long-Term Care Policy Network webinar – 7 September, 2pm

This latest LTC Covid webinar: COVID-19 and Long-Term Care workforce will look at early research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people who work in long-term care and will discuss the ways in which the poor working conditions experienced by many workers in this sector (low pay, zero-hour contracts, no sick pay) may have affected the response to the pandemic.

ASC Tracker – Latest Summary 03.09.20

Please see attached the latest summary of the ASC Tracker, which can also be found on the Knowledge Hub site here.

NHS Confederation Bulletin 03.09.20

Please see Wednesday and Thursday’s bulletins from the NHS confederation to its members.

https://mailchi.mp/7faa73baf61f/covid-19-daily-member-briefing-213703?e=57bb30c19e   

https://mailchi.mp/f59fc227d984/covid-19-daily-member-briefing-213755?e=57bb30c19e

Medication

Medicines for Care Home Residents DHSC 16.11.20

A faster, safer way to order medicines for care home residents is now available. Ordering via the GP online services account can save you, pharmacies and GP practices valuable time. The use of audit trails makes dispensing medicines for individual residents much easier too.

To help you, the Local Government Association and NHS England have published a new step-by-step guide for care homes, GP practices and pharmacies. It includes the tools you need and links to further support.  Click here for details of how to order medication quickly and safely

Pharmacies

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0265-Pharmacy-letter-re-delivery-service-10-April-20.pdf

Updates on these arrangements are on this general page:  https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/preparedness-letters-for-community-pharmacy/

Delegating medicines administration:

CQC respond to COVID-19, there is likely to be an increase in delegated tasks. They have updated our information on delegating medicines administration, setting out the key principles and responsibilities to consider. 

For more medicines information for adult social care services

Mental Health & Wellbeing

NHSE/I LD and Autism Webinars: Slides and FAQS 02.07.20

To support collaborative working across the voluntary and independent sector in health and social care there are fortnightly webinars to raise and discuss key issues for people with a learning disability and/or people with autism. LGA & ADASS colleagues take part with representatives from NHS E/I, DHSC, PHE and voluntary and independent sector organisations. Please find attached slides and FAQs from last week’s webinar. To receive details about the webinars or to suggest agenda items please contact england.learning.disability@nhs.net

Decision making and changing Covid-19 guidance: webinar update 02.06.20

Learning Disability England are hosting a webinar about disabled people rights and responsibilities as Covid-19 guidance changes and develops at 2.30pm – 4pm 09 June. This webinar is focused on existing and new legislation affected by Covid-19 and any issues in implementing it and what good decision making and advance planning looks like under current circumstances. Further details can be read here.

Application of video/digital assessments (Mental Health Act) May 2020 02.06.20

Please see the recording of last week’s webinar about the mental health act and use of digital/video. This webinar aims to support AMHPs in their decision making on the application of video assessments during the pandemic period, whilst maintaining the principles of the Mental Health Act.

Learning Disabilities Deaths Data 02.06.20

Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published data on deaths of people with a learning disability, some of whom may be autistic, receiving care from providers. While there are a number of limitations in this data, it does show a significant increase in deaths of people with a learning disability as a result of COVID-19. This includes the worrying statistic that there has been a 134 per cent increase in the number of death notifications for this group of people this year and that the impact is being felt at a younger age range than in the wider population. The CQC suggests that, as we already know that people with a learning disability are at an increased risk of respiratory illnesses, access to testing could be key to reducing infection and saving lives.  

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 DHSC (18th to 24th May) 20.05.20

As care workers, on the front line of this pandemic, it is of the utmost importance you look after your own mental health and wellbeing, so you can continue to look after others. We should also remain mindful of the increased anxiety and loneliness vulnerable members of our community, such as older people, may be feeling during the pandemic.

Mental Health Helplines for Social Care Workers DHSC 20.05.20

Samaritans, working with NHS England, have extended their coronavirus helpline to all social care workers. Social care staff will be able to speak to a trained Samaritans adviser, who will provide a non-judgmental listening ear, a safe space to offload and signposting to other services. The wellbeing support line is available 7am-11pm, 7 days a week. Call: 0300 131 7000.

Hospice UK have also extended their bereavement and trauma support hotline to everyone working in social care, with specialist counsellors available to support staff who have experienced trauma, stress or anxiety through their work. The helpline is available 8am-8pm, 7 days a week, call: 0300 3034434.

Mental health and wellbeing guidance for the adult social care workforce has also been published on the CARE app to support staff and employers through the coronavirus pandemic.

Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on people with a learning disability or autism 14.05.20

The information that care homes submit to CQC about the deaths of people in their care is published on a weekly basis as part of the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) reporting on deaths. We are now doing further work on this data so that we can better understand the impact of COVID-19 on specific groups of people, including those with a learning disability and/or autism.

This work includes analysing all available data on confirmed and suspected COVID-19 deaths (as published by ONS) and mapping this against records which indicate whether someone had a learning disability and/or autism. This will also form part of our reporting moving forwards. This work is a priority for us and will be published as soon as possible.  Visit our website for more information.

Supporting adults; with learning disabilities / autism DHSC 30.04.30

We have published new advice for both care staff and people who are providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus outbreak.

LD Never a Reason for a Do Not Resuscitate:

Click Here for NSJ Article

https://amhp.org.uk/mental-health-response-fund/

CQC Interim methodology for Mental Health Act monitoring visits:

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published an update from Dr Kevin Cleary, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals and lead for mental health, outlining how the regulatory response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will protect the rights of vulnerable people.

https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/dr-kevin-cleary-protecting-peoples-safety-equality-rights-during-coronavirus-covid-19

CQC has written to providers of mental health services to update them on the interim methodology for Mental Health Act monitoring visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CQC is introducing new remote monitoring methods to continue our monitoring of the use of the Mental Health Act. This will include collecting data from a range of sources via phone, email or video calls. If we believe there to be a risk of harm, ill-treatment or human rights breaches for people detained in services then we will, with oversight from the Chief Inspector, carry out additional activity which may include a site visit.

We will focus on carrying out monitoring where there are known or emerging concerns, for example, allegations or complaints from people who are detained in the service. Our primary objective at this time continues to be to support providers and keep people safe.

For more information read the letter from Kevin Cleary, Deputy Chief Inspector (Mental Health) and Kevin Cleary’s blog on protecting people’s safety, equality and rights during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Support the wellbeing of the people you support:

Engaging in meaningful activities:

Enabling people to engage in activities will stimulate, create interest, reduce boredom and aid their wellbeing.

Positive behaviour support:

Due to a change in our normal routines, people may become frustrated and display behaviours that they haven’t before.  This video is an introduction to understanding positive behaviour support to help people with challenging behaviour. Find out more on our web page.

Covid19 - Temporary changes to the Mental Health Act:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-advice-to-support-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

https://www.rethink.org/news-and-stories/blogs/2020/03/coronavirus-temporary-changes-to-the-mental-health-act/

NHS

Enhanced Health in Care Homes Service; Lead Role 05.10.20

NHS Confederation has published a guidance piece about the clinical lead role for the Enhanced health in Care Homes service. 

https://www.nhsconfed.org/resources/2020/09/care-home-clinical-lead-guidance

Covid-19 testing 21.09.20

If you work for the NHS and are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 you should be able to access priority testing through www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. We know some people are experiencing issues with this and NHS England is exploring other options with government.

FutureNHS Collaboration Platform 01.08.20

Following the Midlands Region Care Homes Support Resources workspace session on 23 Jul 2020, NHS have advised:

You can join the workspace on the workspace website. You will need to register if you have not done so already.

Invitation to register is valid until 20 Aug 2020 at 08:23

Shielding 31.07.20

From 1 August, the Government has paused shielding.  Shielding guidance.  This means:

  • the Government are no longer advising people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to shield
  • support from the National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care has stopped
  • NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food, prescriptions and essential items if needed.

Social prescribing link workers should continue to play an active role in supporting people to discuss their needs as they exit shielding.

There may be exceptions to lifting the shielding guidance in parts of the country experiencing community outbreaks.  Where specific local measures are in place, the local guidance should be followed.  Individuals living in these areas will be informed by the government shielding service.

Individuals considered clinically extremely vulnerable will not receive another letter from the government to confirm these changes. The relaxation of shielding measures was communicated to everyone on the Shielded Patient List (SPL) in a letter from the government on 22nd June, via their shielding letter if identified as clinically extremely vulnerable since then.

NHSE/I Useful Links 31.07.20

NHS Health At Home:  The coronavirus outbreak means many people may need to be able to access health and care services from home. It is now possible to get NHS help using a smartphone, computer or tablet, including ordering repeat prescriptions, contacting a GP and maintaining their mental and physical wellbeing.

Your COVID Recovery is a new NHS website designed to help people recover from the long-term effects of COVID-19.  The website includes information from rehabilitation experts about how to manage ongoing symptoms and health needs at home, and signposts to sources of support. It also includes information on returning to work, and a helpful section for family, friends and carers of people who are recovering.

Connecting people to nature and accessing nature remotely.  Check out all the great resources shared in our webinar on 15 July, including from Natural England, Care Farming, the Royal Horticultural Society, and the Wildlife Trust.

Covid Third Phase Letter 31.07.20

Phase-3-letter-July-31-2020.pdf no advance sharing with LGA/ADASS!

13 pages long but it is expected that more will follow in support; over the next few days e.g. breakdown of extra £3bn NHS funding, Discharge to Assess and its funding guidance detail from 1st September 20.

FutureNHS Collaboration Platform 24.07.20

Join the Midlands Region Care Homes Support Resources workspace.  All pathways and relevant published guidance are now available for viewing via NHS Future Collaboration Platform. Following feedback from across the systems, a Midlands Region Care Homes Support Resources page has been created for easy viewing.

How to join the Midlands Region Care Homes Support Resources workspace

  1. Follow the link to join the Midlands Region Care Homes Support Resources workspace on the FutureNHS Collaboration Platform.
  2. If you are new to FutureNHS, please complete your profile details
  3. You will now be able to join the workspace and check your preferences

This invitation is only valid for 28 days. Once it has expired you will need to be re-invited.

Digital Social Care launch phone helpline 30.04.20

To provide digital support to social care providers affected during coronavirus pandemic

Digital Social Care has set up a new helpline to support the adult social care sector with harnessing technology during the COVID-19 outbreak, to help social care providers access practical advice to troubleshoot a technical problem or give in-depth one-to-one support.

Our helpline will be open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday by calling 0208 133 3430 or by email on help@digitalsocialcare.co.uk

It’s a challenging time in social care and the aim of the helpline is to provide you with technical advice, so that you can continue to provide care during the outbreak.

Remote technology, supporting your teams to use digital tools and assistance in utilising online training.

  • MS Teams and video conferencing
  • Remote monitoring
  • NHSmail and secure email
  • Data protection
  • E-learning
  • Care planning software
  • Assistive technology
  • Technology for recruitment

Over the coming weeks as the pandemic continues, we are expecting an increase in people needing technical help and support, so we encourage everyone who needs advice to get in touch.

Alongside answering your queries, we’ll also be collecting feedback from the helpline to rapidly collate best practice on how technology is being used in the sector. Then we can share the ways providers are using technology to support them during this difficult time.

We hope everyone in the social care sector stays safe and healthy. Please do get in touch with our helpline with any questions you may have about technology and digital solutions.

Call 0208 133 3430 or email help@digitalsocialcare.co.uk

Covid-19 Information & Governance Advice:

Coronavirus: news from our partners – NHS asks people to share their coronavirus symptoms to help others

https://www.nhsx.nhs.uk/key-information-and-tools/information-governance-guidance

OCS April 2020

https://mcusercontent.com/d3508ad9321aaa1c7157cc4ac/images/e0300ea3-ddc2-4191-96d9-24d3d9a0c16a.jpg

Contents:

  1. Announcement: Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities
  2. Announcement: Government launches plan to tackle loneliness during coronavirus lockdown
  3. Guidance for your organisation
  4. Guidance on funding and fundraising
  5. Guidance on volunteers and volunteering

 

  1. Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities

Charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced Click here

Tens of thousands of charities providing vital services will benefit from direct cash grants to ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the virus as well as continuing their day-to-day activities supporting those in need.

As part of a UK-wide package of support, £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.

As well as this, £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support those organisations at the heart of local communities which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.

The Chancellor also announced the Government will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.

The announcement builds on previous announcements by the Chancellor to support charities and businesses, including deferring their VAT bills, paying no business rates for their shops next year, and furloughing staff where possible with the Government paying 80% of their wages.  Read the full announcement Click here

  1. Government launches plan to tackle loneliness during coronavirus lockdown

Click here The Government has launched a major effort to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak and period of social distancing. Led by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the plan will aim to ensure that, for people of all ages and backgrounds, staying at home does not need to lead to loneliness.

The latest #Let’sTalkLoneliness public campaign has been rolled out to get people talking openly about loneliness, which includes new public guidance offering useful tips and advice on what to do to look after yourself and others safely.

The campaign; initially launched last year, is being supported by famous faces across social media including TV presenter Angellica Bell and Karen Gibson, founder of The Kingdom Choir.  For more information https://letstalkloneliness.co.uk/ & Click here

In a wide-ranging cross-Government & cross-sector plan, the Culture Secretary also announced that:

  • Smaller, community-based organisations in England helping people to stay connected in local communities will benefit from being a priority category of the £750 million package of support for charities announced by the Chancellor on 8 April.
  • National loneliness organisations will be allocated a guaranteed £5 million worth of funding to continue and adapt their critical work at this time.
  • As part of the national effort, loneliness charities including Age UK will be supported to work with NHS Volunteer Responders in their communities.

 Read the full announcement Click here

  1. Guidance for your organisation

Charity Commission: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector Click here

Guidance from the Charity Commission on how to run your charity in relation to registrations, permissions, reporting and other interactions related to COVID-19

Gov.uk: Claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Click here

This page sets out the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19).  NHS: Coronavirus - advice for everyone Click here

Advice for everyone including those at high risk from COVID-19 on staying at home and looking after wellbeing.

Gov.uk: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Community Interest Companies (CICs) Click here

Guidance for Community Interest Companies on maintaining services and protecting the welfare of employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

NCVO: Coronavirus advice Click here

Guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the covid-19 pandemic.

Big Society Capital: COVID 19 Information for Social Investors Click here

This page provides guidance on effects of COVID-19 pandemic on social investment including its announcement of £100m new lending facilities to provide much-needed finance to charities, social enterprises, and small businesses in disadvantaged parts of the UK.

UK Youth, National Youth Agency, The Mix: COVID-19 Guidance for young people, youth workers and youth organisations Click here

Advice, guidance, support and tools for youth workers, young people and organisations in response to COVID-19.

  1. Guidance on funding and fundraising

UK Community Foundations Click here Enter your postcode to find your local Community Foundation to view funding opportunities during COVID-19.

The National Lottery Community Fund Click here Overview of all National Lottery funding opportunities and the changes to their programmes due to COVID-19.

Charity Finance Group: Guidance for charities Click here CFG provides financial management advice & support to the VCSE sector. This page sets out their COVID-19 guidance.

Covid-19 Funders Click here This page is produced by London Funders, the membership body for funders and investors in London’s civil society.

Fundraising Regulator: Events Guidance Click here  Fundraising Regulator’s advice on fundraising during COVID-19.

ONS

ONS Blog: Impact of Covid-19 on Social Care 09.07.20

https://blog.ons.gov.uk/2020/07/09/covid-19-and-the-impact-on-social-care/ONS Figures 02.06.20

ONS Figures 02.06.20

ONS released the latest figures regarding Covid-19 deaths up to the week ending 22 May 2020 (Week 21). This included data on deaths in care homes as well as the wider community. In Week 21, there were 1090 deaths from Covid-19 in care homes, down from 1660 the week before, and deaths involving COVID-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes decreased to 32.5% from 37.2% the week before. There were 1289 excess deaths in care homes in Week 21, down from 2350 the week before.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on the countries and regions of Britain: April 2020 29.05.20

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been helping to inform understanding about the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities, with a series of weekly reports.

Today’s analysis of survey results from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) explores differences and similarities in those impacts on the countries and regions of Great Britain.

PPE

COVID-19 PPE portal for care providers DHSC 16.11.20

The portal remains available for eligible adult social care providers to order PPE, free of charge, to meet increased need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 19,000 adult social care providers have registered so far. Access the portal using your CQC registered email.

For guidance on the items you can order (including order limits), click here. If you have any questions, call the customer service team on 0800 876 6802. They are available 7am - 7pm, seven days a week. Any care providers ineligible for the portal will still be able to access free PPE from either their Local Resilience Forum or local authority.  Register and access the portal

PPE Facemasks DHSC 21.09.20

250,000 clear face masks are to be delivered to frontline NHS and social care workers to support better care for people who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate.

PPE Guidance Update 20.07.20

The guidance for PPE use in care homes and domiciliary care was updated last night. The updates include the new recommendations (July 2020) for the use of face masks and coverings in care homes to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Additional questions and answers have been added including adapting advice provided by NHS England for hospital settings to this context and updates to some existing questions and answers have been made.

PHE

PFA Digital Training Module Launched 16.06.20

Public Health England has today launched an updated Psychological First Aid (PFA) digital training module, aimed at all frontline and essential workers and volunteers.

The course aims to increase awareness and confidence to provide psychosocial support to people affected by COVID-19.  PFA is globally recognised training in emergency situations and PHE has developed this new course as part of its national incident response, and in partnership with NHS England, Health Education England, FutureLearn and E-Learning for Health.

If you have any questions about this activity, please contact publicmentalhealth@phe.gov.uk.”

For further information on COVID 19 see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Recovering from Covid-19

Providing COVID-19 recovery care and support at home DHSC 16.11.20

Practical tips to deal with common care issues on discharge from hospital are outlined in a new guide published by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).

The guide helps home care workers and personal assistants provide safe care and support.

It includes advice on tracheostomy wound care, looking after skin, fatigue and the psychological and social impact of contracting COVID-19 and needing hospital care.  Care and support for people recovering from COVID-19 at home

Residential Care & Supported Living:

Residential-care-Supported-Living-and-Home-Care-Guidance

Safeguarding:

ADASS Safeguarding Adults Insight Project: COVID-19 Data Collection 01.07.20

Many thanks to those councils which have already submitted their returns for the voluntary COVID-19 Safeguarding Adults Data Collection, which will help councils and their partners on Safeguarding Adults Boards, to promptly understand the impact of COVID-19 on adult safeguarding activity across England. The deadline for this exercise has now been extended to Friday 31st July to provide monthly data and insights for the period from January 2019 to April 2020 (with May 2020 data welcomed). We will be requesting data and insights regarding the easing of lockdown period of May and June 2020 in August. Please take part in this project by downloading the briefing document and data return template using the links below:

Briefing document: http://e-sd.org/6L5bp/  Data template: http://e-sd.org/1V0QF/

Please send the completed data template to CHIP@local.gov.uk and look on our website at https://www.local.gov.uk/covid-19-safeguarding-adults-data-collection-0 for further details.

ADASS Safeguarding: 26.05.20

Please see the following links for some relevant documents produced over the last couple of weeks which you may have missed: Safeguarding Guide for Volunteers and ESF Joint CQC/ADASS joint statement.

LGA and ADASS FAQ on COVID Adult Safeguarding 22.05.20

These FAQs are grouped under three headings: overarching issues; issues for Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs); and safeguarding issues regarding specific areas of abuse or neglect. It is aimed at a wide range of people involved in safeguarding adults including local government officers and members as well as partners of SABs.

https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/COVID-19Safeguardingfinal.pdf

Safety:

Safe Handling of the Deceased:

Some guidance has been designed to assist care staff who are required to manage the bodies of deceased persons who have had or been suspected of having COVID-19. This guidance has been developed to ensure that:

  • the bodies of those people who have died as a result of COVID-19 and the bereaved family of the deceased are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect
  • people who work in these services and mourners are protected from infection.

Scams & Loan Sharks:

Law enforcement, government and private sector partners are working together to encourage members of the public and those providing support and care to be more vigilant against fraud particularly about sharing financial and personal information – as criminals seek to capitalise on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Take five to stop fraud campaign offers advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. Information, advice and resources are also available on the Friends Against Scams website.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) recognise that this period may be one of increased financial pressure for some people. The Team is fully committed to ensuring that illegal money lenders (loan sharks) do not take advantage and profit from people’s hardship.  

The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service (0300 555 2222) remains open and fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage not only victims but friends, family members and the wider community to come forward if they suspect someone is suffering at the hands of loan sharks.

Shielded Groups’ guidance

Updated guidance: Shielding & protecting the clinically extremely vulnerable 20.10.20

Following updated guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable, communications to individuals, tailored to where they live, will follow. All council chief executives in England and lead officers working on shielding will have received updated guidance and associated resources on councils’ support to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) individuals. Shielding measures may be introduced in the very highest risk areas, based on clinical advice and for a limited period of time. The revised approach is both less restrictive than the original guidance and has a much more localised approach.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875126/Easy_read_guidance_on_shielding_March_2020.pdf

Social Care Suppliers:

Careshop

coronavirus@careshop.co.uk

Blueleafcare     

emergencystock@blueleafcare.com    PREFERRED 0330 055 2288

Delivernet

Kevin Newhouse    01756 706050

Kevin.newhouse@delivernet.co.uk

Countrywide Healthcare

enquiries@countrywidehealthcare.co.uk 01226 719 090

Social Prescribing & Integrated Care:

Consultation on integrated care systems LGA 02.12.20

NHS England (NHSE) and NHS Improvement have published a consultation document on the future of integrated care systems (ICS) in England, inviting partner organisations to give their views on proposals set out in the document Integrated Care: next steps to build strong and effective integrated care systems across England. 

You can read the LGA’s views on the consultation in last Friday’s Chief Executive bulletin. The LGA will be responding to the consultation and encourages councils to submit their views to NHSE, and to engage with their system partners in developing their own responses. Please send a copy of your response to alyson.morley@local.gov.uk so that the LGA can reflect your views and concerns in their response. 

COVID-19 alert level and updated advice on shielding 16.10.20

DHSC has issued guidance on the new ‘tiered’ approach to managing outbreaks. They have also published updated advice on protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 on the shielded patients list. In future, the Government will reintroduce formal shielding advice only in the very worst affected local areas and for a limited period.

Test and Trace App. Healthcare workers are encouraged to download and use the NHS COVID-19 app but are advised to pause contact tracing while they are working in healthcare buildings, including hospitals and GP surgeries.  There are FAQs on the NHS Test and Trace website

Long COVID: it’s estimated that 10% of people who contract COVID-19 cannot shake off the effects months after initially falling ill –  known as ‘Long COVID’. NHS England has announced a raft of measures to help affected patients. More services will also be added to Your COVID Recovery from the end of this month.

Winter Plan 16.10.20

Adult social care COVID-19 winter plan:Includes social prescribing as part of a coordinated health and care response (p26).

Flu vaccines 16.10.20

This year it is more important than ever that people at risk of getting flu have a vaccination. This includes people who have some types of long-term condition. If this includes you, you should get the vaccine through your GP as normal. You can check NHS.UK to check if you are eligible for a no-charge flu vaccination

The Government has also announced that all frontline health and social care workers should receive a flu vaccine free through their employer. If you are directly employed by a PCN or other NHS organisation you should be able to have your vaccine with them. If you work for a VCSE organisation you should discuss with them if they have an employer vaccination scheme. If not, contact your GP or PCN supervisor to discuss if you can get the vaccine as part of the Government scheme. For any further queries, please contact england.socialprescribing@nhs.net or your regional social prescribing associates.

Rolling Out Social Prescribing 21.09.20

National Voices' report:  Rolling Out Social Prescribing  For social prescribing to thrive it needs a vibrant and sustainable voluntary sector and this report, commissioned by NHS England, is based on feedback from over 300 people representing the perspective of  VCSE organisations.  

For many PCNs having link workers hosted in the voluntary sector works well, although we have excellent examples of link workers employed directly by PCNs or other organisations. Whatever the contractual arrangement, however, the relationship and mutual support between link workers and their community-based partners is essential. The recommendations in this report will help to shape our future planning.

New personalised care training hub launched 21.09.20

The Personalised Care Institute PCI) is  a virtual organisation, convened by the Royal College of GPs in partnership with, and funded by, NHS England/NHS Improvement. It launched this week (15 Sept)  and aims to reach at least 75,000 health and care workers by 2024. It will provide accredited training on all aspects of personalised care, including social prescribing.

Introductory webinars for new PCN H & WB coaches and care coordinators 21.09.20

If you work with new coaches or care coordinators in your PCN, please let them know that these webinars are taking place:

If you have any questions about the webinars contact england.patientactivation@nhs.net or england.pcevents@nhs.net

Recruiting additional social prescribing link workers 31.07.20

Social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) have been an important part of the general practice response to Covid-19.  Recognising that Covid19 will continue to have a longer term impact, we are funding a time-limited support offer to cover recruitment and induction costs for additional Primary Care Network (PCN) DES-funded SPLWs. This offer will be available until 31 January 2021.

PCNs interested in taking up this offer should submit an Expression of Interest no later than 24 August. For enquiries about the offer please contact: england.linkworkerrecruitment@nhs.net

Social Prescribing Support 31.07.20

Social prescribing collaborative network (aka the Platform) for info, resources, case studies and discussion. To join email england.socialprescribing@nhs.net

Peer support and networking. If you don’t already know who your regional learning coordinator is, email england.socialprescribing@nhs.net telling us where you’re based and we’ll put you in touch.

Social prescribing E-learning for link workers, at no charge, in conjunction with Health Education England.

NHS England resources, including a welcome and induction pack to support the work of social prescribing link workers – especially useful if you are new in role.

Social Prescribing England 24.08.20

Catch up here with the information that you need to keep up to date about your role as social prescribers during the pandemic. For queries relating to any of this information, please contact: england.socialprescribing@nhs.net.  Previous editions are on the SP Collaboration Platform in the Latest News section.

Health and Wellbeing (HW) Alliance. Applications are invited from VCSE sector organisations to be part of a refresh of the HW Alliance. Organisations can apply individually or be part of a consortium, must be based in England and be a national VCSE sector organisation and/or have national coverage through a consortium. Being a member of the HW Alliance provides a unique opportunity to work closely with the system partners in influencing and shaping health and care policy and programmes. This information pack contains more information about making an application.   

Social Prescribing - new insights and recommendations from the VCSE sector. Earlier this year NHS England and Improvement commissioned National Voices to report on the roll out of social prescribing, and some of you will have attended workshops or contributed feedback. The report on the work is being launched at a webinar on 9 September, 10-11.30am. The webinar will also include the launch of a new report by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) Social Prescribing: How do we sustain social prescribing in the wake of Covid-19?’  Register here.

Expanding the primary care workforce, NHS England and Improvement has written to all PCNs with a reminder to plan their take-up of their guaranteed funding and recruit as soon as possible to the additional roles (including social prescribing link workers), which are part of the 2020-21 GP Contract Network Direct Enhanced Specification.

National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) receives £5 million funding from Government to help people stay connected, feel supported, and maintain their health and wellbeing.  Working with partners, including Arts Council England, Natural England, Money and Pensions Service, NHS Charities Together, Sport England and NHS England will enable the Academy to increase funding and support local community activities.

Testing:

DHSC Testing 07.07.20

From 6 July we are starting to roll out weekly testing of staff and testing of residents every 28 days, in all care homes without a current outbreak.

Care homes will need to re-register on the care home portal to apply for regular testing.

Applications for regular testing are now open for care homes caring for the over-65s and those with dementia.

Register for regular testing here

Find out more about regular testing

Whole Care Home Testing DHSC 27.05.20

We are committed to reaching all care homes whose residents are over 65 or have dementia by the 6th June and we are making good progress against that commitment.

There are however still some care homes across England, who are eligible to register via the online portal who have not yet done so. We know that it some cases this is because the care home participated in the pilot programme, and others have organised their own testing through local mechanisms.

However; we’d be grateful for anything you can do to encourage eligible care homes to register as soon as possible. Eligible care homes can access the portal Click Here

We are hosting webinars each weekday, in the morning and afternoon on the whole home swab testing process. The target audience is care homes.  We strongly recommend them for care homes about to receive their test kits, but anyone from an eligible care home yet to carry out whole care home testing can attend one.  More dates/times are added all the time.

Main objectives of the webinar series: 

  • Outline the end to end whole home testing process
  • Share top tips
  • Provide an opportunity to ask questions

Care Homes can register to access the webinar: Click Here

COVID-19 testing in adult social care 14.05.20

The Government has launched a new online portal for care homes to arrange COVID-19 testing. All symptomatic and asymptomatic care home staff and residents in England are now eligible for testing. Testing will be prioritised for care homes that look after the over 65s. Visit the GOV.UK website to find out more and apply for coronavirus tests for your service

New Portal for Care Homes Testing 11.05.20

Government launches new portal for care homes to arrange coronavirus testing

DHSC Further information on COVID-19 testing in social care 30.04.20

All care home staff and care home residents are eligible for testing whether or not they have symptoms.

Care workers can be swabbed through regional testing centres, using home testing or mobile testing centres. Workers can be referred to these through the digital portals. Users can enter their details and will then receive a text or email the same day inviting them to either book an appointment at a regional drive-through testing site or receive a home testing kit. Test results from the drive-through sites will be sent out by text within 48 hours, and within 72 hours of collection of the home delivery tests.

For testing of care home residents, care homes should contact the local PHE Health Protection Team who will organise swabbing and testing for residents. You can find the contact details for your local health protection team here.

Government to offer testing for “everyone who needs one” in social care settings

All care home residents and social care staff with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms will be tested as capacity is built up, the government is announcing today.

ADASS:

Following the government intends to scale up testing around Covid-19 colleagues at Portsmouth City Council has provided a summary of the latest testing guidance.

Please refer to the guidance that produced with CPA and LGA. 

Vaccination for Covid-19

COVID-19 vaccinations and care homes: programme launch 08.12.20

Last Friday, Helen Whately, Minister for Care, sent a letter to local authorities, directors of adult social services and managers of care homes for older adults. The letter outlines plans for getting the first vaccine to care home staff and the actions local authorities and care providers should take in preparation. The letter also states DHSC are working on a standardised consent form, needed to gain consent to vaccinate as and when a vaccine is ready to be delivered within a care home.

Letter on implementing the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme 08.12.20

NHS England and NHS Improvement have shared a letter sent to COVID-19 vaccine hospital hubs. The letter sets out requirements for week one of implementing the Covid Vaccination Programme and confirms what hospital hubs need do and when.

COVID-19 vaccination guidance for social care staff 08.12.20

The Government has published a guide for social care staff providing information about the vaccine and why it is important to get it. Further documents relating to the new COVID-19 vaccination programme can be found in the COVID-19 vaccination programme collection on the gov.uk website.

Communication materials for adult social care 08.12.20

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has shared a suite of creative content assets for the adult social care sector to use and amplify through their channels:

  1. The attached Social Care COVID-19 vaccine Q&A which should help answer some of the questions you may have about the vaccine.
  2. PHE’s Campaign Resource Centre where you will find marketing materials encouraging social care workers to get the vaccine.
  3. A We Transfer link where you will find PHE leaflets for social care workers and care home residents about what to expect when having the COVID vaccine.
  4. A link to DHSC’s Google Drive containing social media assets about the COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. DHSC encourage care homes and providers to create their own content, encouraging social care staff to take up the vaccine. In the Google Drive link you will find some guidance on creating your own content as well as some suggested key messaging.

Vaccination Programme: COVID-19 and Care Homes DHSC 07.12.20

Link below to a range of documents, including vaccination consent letters, placed on the DHSC website today Click Here

COVID-19 vaccinations and care homes: programme launch 07.12.20

Helen Whately, Minister for Care, has written to care homes [for older adults], local authority chief executives, and directors of adult social services, outlining plans for getting the first COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) to care home staff, from the first day vaccinations are available.

Last week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations confirmed that adult social care is in its top priority groups for vaccination. Group 1 is 'residents in a care home for older adults and their carers' and Group 2 includes 'frontline health and social care workers'.

The letter advises that:

  • The initial focus is on vaccinating care home workers and the over 80s
  • Vaccines will be available from Tuesday 8 December 2020, initially in up to 50 Hospital Hubs across England

It also sets out a number of steps care home managers should take to prepare for the vaccinations:

  • put together staff lists, including basic details (name, gender, date of birth, NHS number, GP details) for each staff member
  • be ready to provide each staff member with a letter confirming their employment in the care sector
  • keep staff records of vaccinations and report via the Capacity Tracker (as you do with flu vaccination)
  • consider the covid-secure logistics of releasing staff to receive their vaccine, while maintaining staffing levels within their home. Practical and implementable plans should be in place from early next week
  • take steps now to ensure that staff understand need for obtaining consent, so that they in turn can help residents and families to complete the necessary forms when a vaccine is ready to be delivered within a care home. Once issued, these forms will provide additional information about the vaccine they are receiving. Read the letter in full on GOV.UK

COVID-19 vaccine communications toolkit  02.12.20

The Department of Health and Social Care has produced the first in a planned suite of information tools to help you talk to your networks about the vaccine. They will update and add to this toolkit over the coming weeks and would also like to signpost you to Public Health England’s campaign resource centre where more helpful vaccine related resources will be available as and when they are ready.

Covid-19 Vaccination NHS 19.11.20

The latest guidance and information will be published on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website here.

WM-ADASS Regional Links to Community Webpages:

Birmingham

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/coronavirus_advice

Coventry

https://www.coventry.gov.uk/coronavirus

Dudley

https://www.dudley.gov.uk/council-community/emergencies/coronavirus-advice/

Herefordshire

https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/news/article/964/coronavirus_latest

Sandwell

https://www.sandwell.gov.uk/coronavirus

Shropshire

https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Solihull

https://www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/socialservicesandhealth/Coronavirus

Staffordshire

https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Coronavirus/Home.aspx

Stoke-on-Trent

https://www.stoke.gov.uk/homepage/113/coronavirus_information

Telford & Wrekin

https://www.telford.gov.uk/info/20692/coronavirus_covid-19

Walsall

https://go.walsall.gov.uk/covid-19_information

Warwickshire

https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

COVID-19 National and Local Guidance for Care Providers – Warwickshire County Council

Wolverhampton

https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-information

Worcestershire

http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help

WM AHSN

The AHSN Network, NHS England and partners in social care

See how you can help and support the fight against COVID-19 here: Here

ASHN Network and COVID-19 

  • West Midlands partners with 5G project:

    WMAHSN is delighted to be a partner of the West Mercia Rural 5G project, which was recently awarded over £3m by the DCMS to improve infrastructure across the region. Read more

Workforce:

 Learning from events – Skills for Care new digital learning module 20.11.20

Skills for Care has launched a short digital learning module to support adult social care managers in carrying out holistic learning reviews following any incidents or near misses within their care setting, such as a COVID-19 outbreak.  The free, easy to use module commissioned by the DHSC covers:

  • what learning reviews are, why they’re needed and how they can help you
  • how managers can move from completing reviews at an individual level to involving the wider team
  • practical tips and templates for embedding learning reviews into your working environment.

Employers can claim £100 from the Workforce Development Fund for everyone who completes the module. Find our more information and how to make a claim by visiting the Skills for Care website.

COVID-19 staff deaths acquired through employment CQC 20.11.20

We would like to remind you that it is a requirement of all providers that where a staff member sadly dies from Covid-19 and there is reason to suspect this was acquired through employment, then you must consider whether your organisation should inform HSE in accordance with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).  

The Department for Health and Social Care has published guidance on steps to take following the death of a person from Covid-19 who worked in adult social care in England including notification of the death to the Department.

Impact of Covid-19 on Social Care Workers; Wellbeing & ability to provide care LTC 17.11.20

Click here to view the LTC article