F: COVID-19 – Useful Links
Please refer to the guidance that produced with CPA and LGA.
Care Act: Easements
- The Department of Health and Social Care issued guidance setting out how Local Authorities can use the new Care Act easements.
- Worcestershire Council & CCG guidance for care homes (and other providers):http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20739/professionals_partners_and_providers/2190/covid-19_coronavirus_advice_for_care_providers
Commissioners & Workforce:
- New COVID-19 dedicated webpage 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 sent to all clinical staff across the NHS re: needs of people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism and duties:england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp…
- How local authority commissioners can support providers financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.
- Social care provider resilience during COVID-19: guidance to commissioners. ADASS, the LGA and the Care Provider Alliance has published guidance for commissioners on service provider resilience during the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance, which can be found here, is for local authority commissioners. It is designed to summarise pressures on social care providers arising from COVID-19
- CQC: Stay up to date. We're making changes to the way we work during the COVID-19 outbreak. We've developed a dedicated area on our website so that you can stay up to date with the latest information. Find out more.
- Registration with CQC and changes to statements of purpose during COVID-19.The CQC have put some information together for those making an application to change their statement of purpose to meet the demands of COVID-19 either by increasing capacity or seeking temporary change of use. More information can be found here.
- Advanced Care Planning. Some provider organisations are concerned about pressure being exerted to ensure that all the people in their care have advanced care planning in place and blanket ‘do not resuscitate’ orders.
A joint statement by the Care Provider Alliance, Care Quality Commission, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association makes it clear that advance care planning should be personalised and must not be applied to groups of people.
It’s very important that the wishes of people are respected, taking into account their capacity to make decisions, and unnecessary distress is avoided.
The Resuscitation Council has published some FAQs on ReSPECT (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) and a Quick Guide for Social Care is available from NICE.
- CQC to stop routine inspections to focus on supporting providers to deliver safe care during COVID-19 pandemic
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that it will be stopping routine inspections from Monday 16 March. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CQC’s primary objective will be to support providers to keep people safe during a period of unprecedented pressure on the health and care system. CQC confirms that It may be necessary to use some of their inspection powers in a very small number of cases when they have concerns of harm, such as allegations of abuse. However, inspections will not be conducted in their present form during the period of the pandemic. When physical inspections are deemed appropriate, they anticipate having a conversation with the provider before a visit takes place. Click here.
- Useful guidance (CQC)
- NEW: Guidance from Skills for Care on training staff during the COVID-19 pandemic
- UPDATED: Investigation and initial clinical management of possible cases
- NEW: NICE has updated its rapid COVID-19 guideline on critical care following concerns raised by patient groups
- Ethical framework for adult social care
- Guidance for residential care, supported living and home care
- Guidance on the supply and use of personal protective equipment
- Guidance for health professionals
- Guidance for health professionals who have diagnosed a case within their facility
- Infection prevention and control
- Rapid tests for use in community pharmacies or at home
- Guidance for sampling and for diagnostic laboratories
- Department of Health and Social Care's coronavirus action plan
- NHS England has published measures for people who might be at greatest risk from coronavirus. Guidance (including an easy read version) is available on its website. People who are classed as extremely vulnerable are being asked to register for support.
- Accessibility resources to help you communicate about COVID-19
- NEW: Signhealth is providing a videos of summaries of key coronavirus guidance in BSL
- Public Health England stay at home guidance, translated and in easy read
- Public Health England guidance on social distancing, translated.
- NHS guidelines translated into 32 languages by Doctors of the World
- Easy read information on COVID-19 from Mencap
- Public Health England resources in accessible formats
- COVID-19 guidance for providers of services for people experiencing rough sleeping
- The handwashing rap, produced to help people who have a learning disability
- Further information
DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service):
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.
Digital and Technology:
- 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.
- 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 during the 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.
- 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
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.
- Coronavirus Act 2020
The Coronavirus Bill has passed through Parliament and has now received Royal Assent to become law as the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Act's purpose is to ease the burden on NHS and adult social care staff, be time-limited for two years, used when strictly necessary and to be switched off once no longer necessary.
The Act has five key areas:
- increasing the available health and social care workforce
- easing the burden on frontline staff
- containing and slowing the virus
- managing the deceased with respect and dignity
- supporting people
Latest Government updates about COVID-19, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Government publication: COVID-19 guidance
On Friday 13 March, the government published guidance on COVID-19 to support residential care, supported living and home care providers.
Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults.
- Prioritisation MCHLG communication to Local Government
Following further engagement with local government, commissioners and Public Health England who supported development, the NHS has published a refresh of guidance initially issued last week that sets out how commissioners and providers of community services across health and social care can prioritise in order to release capacity to support the COVID-19 preparedness and response.
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.
- 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
- Covid19 - Temporary changes to the Mental Health Act
- Covid-19 Information Governance Advice
- Government update on PPE 02.04.20
The Government has just now published updated guidance on PPE – available here.
The guidance details how PPE should be used across different clinical scenarios and settings; advice on sessional PPE use and reusable PPE; change in close-contact distance; advice on washing forearms if exposed; and advice on acceptable respirators.
- DHSC update on plans to support access to PPE
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has written to health and care sector providers to update on plans to support access to personal protective equipment (PPE) during the current response to COVID-19.
This includes the development of a Parallel Supply Chain to support the normal supply chain with a focus on delivering core PPE products for COVID-19. DHSC has also mobilised the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR), which can be contacted in the event that providers have an urgent requirement for PPE, which they are unable to secure through their business as usual channels.
Visit our website to read the letter in full.
For further information on COVID 19 see https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Residential Care & Supported Living:
- 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:
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 other 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
Social Care Suppliers:
0330 055 2288
Kevin Newhouse 01756 706050
- Countrywide Healthcare
01226 719 090
WM-ADASS Regional Links to Community Webpages:
- Telford & Wrekin
COVID-19 National and Local Guidance for Care Providers – Warwickshire County Council
- Letter from the Secretary of State to the social care workforce
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has written to the social care workforce to say thank you for their continued commitment, hard work and help on coronavirus so far. Read the letter in full.
SfC have a dedicated webpage specifically for principal social workers, social workers and employers www.skillsforcare.org.uk/covid19socialwork
- Tutorials (ONLINE)
- Skills for Care – Essential Training covering the following areas:
- Care Certificate
- assisting and moving people
- basic life support and first aid
- fire safety
- food safety
- health and safety awareness
- infection prevention and control
- medication management
- safeguarding adults.
Endorsed providers are now available to deliver fully funded virtual training to adult social care employers depending on their training need:
- training for volunteers
- training for existing staff
- rapid induction for new staff (this includes an easier to use Care Certificate self-assessment)
- training for staff who are being redeployed.
During this time, we strongly recommend all training should be delivered online. For further information please click here.
- Skills for Care - COVID-19 in care home settings training
NHS England and NHS Improvement are hosting a training session on Friday 3 April 11:00 – 12:00 where you’ll learn about the following:
- how to protect yourself and your patients from becoming infected with COVID-19
- personal protective equipment - understanding the risks and what you need to wear
- when patients will need isolating and how to looks after a number of patients with the coronavirus infection
- how to care for patients who have been discharged from hospital with Coronavirus
- personal protective equipment and ordering
- useful resources for staff
You can join the session by clicking on this Microsoft Teams link. Please join slightly earlier to help avoid interruptions.
- Skills for Care - The apprenticeship programme response to COVID-19
The government has published Coronavirus (COVID-19): apprenticeship programme response that outlines new policy changes and flexibilities that may impact you or your apprentice. The guidance provides information on:
- applying the policy on breaks in learning;
- delays to end-point assessment (EPA); and alternative arrangements for EPA and external quality assurance.
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has also published guidance on the delivery of assessment here. This will be updated regularly
- Skills for Care - Latest information for individual employers and personals assistants
We’ve created a dedicated section within the Information hub for individual employers (IE) and personal assistants (PA) where you’ll find information and guidance dedicated to IEs and PAs that may be of help during these challenging times of COVID-19.
- Skills for Care - Registered manager networks are using WhatsApp to stay in touch
Many of the registered manager networks that we support to regularly meet face-to-face are establishing WhatsApp groups to allow registered managers to stay in touch. If you’re a manager and would like to join your nearest group email your Skills for Care locality manager and ask to be added or contact your network chair. If your network doesn’t already have a WhatsApp group, speak to your locality manager about starting one.
- Skills for Care - Recruitment support during COVID-19
Recruiting the right people is especially challenging in these unprecedented times. We have resources that will help you to safely and effectively recruit people to support your service.
- Free recruitment resources from the Department of Health and Social Care’s ‘Every day is different’ campaign.
- Use social media to help you recruit, find example posts in the ‘Every day is different’ campaign toolkit (page 10).
- DWP advertise your job lets you advertise a job for free on their ‘Find a job’ service.
- Skills for Care - How to recruit the right people
Many employers will be facing pressure to recruit, but it remains crucial that the right people are selected.
- Our ‘What values do I need to work in social care?’ worksheet ensures the expected behaviours are part of your interviewing questions and on-going induction processes.
- A Question of Care is an interactive quiz that uses scenario-based videos and questions to assess people’s values and behaviours. Download our guidance.
- Skills for Care - Supporting workers: resources to help
- Greater resilience, better care includes examples of how to reduce the risk of workplace stress and help workers develop resilient behaviours (pages 13-15).
- Download our guidance on Supporting staff that regularly work alone if employing lone workers, which includes risk assessment guidance and checklists (pages 30-33).