Coronavirus Resources for Adult Social Care.
Our sector continues to play a pivotal role in limiting the spread of this virus to the most vulnerable adults. Our situation continues to evolve and change with time and the wealth of information available is daunting.
We have brought together here the topics that we are most often asked about at head office. Some of this information has already been disseminated to members in the form of regular ebulletins but is also included here for your convenience.
CQC data on deaths in Care Homes during the pandemic.
CQC have emailed all Social Care providers detailing any data which CQC will publish related to the deaths in Care Homes. Within the article you will be taken to the insight report and the supporting data (where you need to move pages at the bottom of each screen in the centre).
We, as members of the Care Provider Alliance, have also issued a press release.
I can only say that all our thoughts, from across the entire sector, are with the families of those who have suffered or have been bereaved through this pandemic, as well as all the staff who have gone the extra mile to support them during this exceptionally difficult time.
This is not just data. As CQC state in their release, every number represents a life lost, and I sincerely hope that the press, both national and local, show the dignity and respect that these people deserve.
Visiting from 19th July 2021.
Visiting arrangements in care homes. – main change: removing the restrictions on numbers of visitors
Visits out of care homes. – main change: clarifying PPE advice on visits out
The How to work safely in Care Homes guidance has also been updated and the main change is the legal basis. Due to the nature of the settings and vulnerability of the population, PPE and other infection prevention and control (IPC) measures should continue to be practised in care homes.
DHSC have produced this poster for care homes, encouraging visitors to continue wearing face coverings.
It has been added to the COVID-19 resource page hosted by Skills for Care, alongside a letter that care home managers can share with visitors, to remind them of continued infection control procedures. There is also a letter from our Minister for Care, Helen Whately, and a Q&A.
Parliament passes the mandatory vaccination of care home staff.
On the 13th of July Parliament approved the statutory instrument which will come into force in October that will make vaccination for Covid-19 mandatory for staff in October 2021.
You can find the BBC report of this at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57829135.
The statutory instrument which has been approved can be read here.
The vaccines minister was called to the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee and a recording of this meeting can be found here.
We continue to wait for the detailed guidance on this topic which I we will guide members to as soon as it is available. At our meeting with the minister we will be asking for this guidance to be expedited.
This issue has been debated in the House of Lords, and we have written to all members of the Lords with a letter which can be read here. Please distribute this letter to any other interested parties as you see fit.
Vaccinated staff can avoid isolation in exceptional circumstances. – The DHSC have released guidance that in exceptional circumstances, staff who have received both vaccinations could avoid isolation if the service is under pressure. Note that this subject to risk assessment and also the approval of the local Director of Public Health.
RNHA Letter for Members to use – The association fully supports the vaccination programme and urges all staff within Social Care to be vaccinated.
COVID19 Vaccination Programme – The Care Homes Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which was published some time ago, has been further updated to version 3.2. As usual changes from the previous version are highlighted in yellow for convenience.
COVID-19: the green book – Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination information for public health professionals.
DHSC Detailed Q&A Document – An extensive question and answer style document from the DHSC on COVID-19 Vaccination
Vaccine Delivery Plan – This plan describes how we were able to build up a supply of vaccines and how we are planning to deploy them.
Latest vaccination data – Gov.uk Coronavirus Information Dashboard with up to date figures
Action fraud – Action Fraud is warning the public to remain vigilant as criminals begin to take advantage of the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to commit fraud. As of 7 January 2021, Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, had received 57 reports in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 Vaccination misinformation article – A team of renowned scientific experts has joined forces from across the world to help fight the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines.
The Covid-19 communications toolkit includes a suite of creative content assets for you to use.
Lateral Flow Device (LFDs) approval for self-test granted – DHSC, “Following our communications on updated staff testing using Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests, we are pleased to inform you that we now have approval for care home staff to conduct self-test LFDs. This means your staff are now able to take and register their twice weekly LFD tests at home, before they arrive at the care home to start work.”
Testing detailed guidance – Providing testing within all adult care homes will help you protect your residents and staff, and is an important part of the national effort to tackle coronavirus.
Movement of Staff
New guidance on restricting staff movement has been published – Whilst these restrictions are not new to members there is a specific section on how to report in the Capacity Tracker, staff movement in the third section of the guidance, in relation to question 1.2 of Capacity Tracker.
Movement of Staff – We have published a framework, as CPA, that you will find useful to evidence that you continue to minimise the movement of staff between services. We have gained CQC endorsement of the framework and they are undertaking to make their inspectors aware of it.
Infection Control Fund 4 – The Infection Control and Testing Fund has been extended for another quarter until September 2021. Members will see the similarity to previous iterations of these schemes.
Rapid Testing Fund – Members will remember that the Government announced an additional £149M to enable care providers to implement additional testing of staff and residents with lateral flow rapid testing kits. Guidance was published on 15th of January with the detail of how this fund is to be distributed and the conditions of the grant. This is in addition to the Infection Control Fund 2 but has a similar distribution.
Workforce Capacity Fund – The purpose of this funding (£120 million) is to enable local authorities to deliver measures to supplement and strengthen adult social care staff capacity to ensure that safe and continuous care is achieved
Infection Control Fund 3 – The conditions for the April 2021 Infection Control and Testing Fund payment to Local Authorities has been published. Due to the success of the Infection Control Fund and the Rapid Testing Fund in supporting care providers to reduce transmission and re-enabling close contact visiting, these funding streams have been consolidated and extended until June 2021, with an extra £341 million of funding.
Infection Control Fund 2 – In September 2020, the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund was extended until March 2021, with an extra £546 million of funding. This is a new grant, with revised conditions from the original Infection Control Fund, often referred to as ICF 2.
Infection Control Fund 1 – The Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund (ICF) was first introduced in May 2020 and was initially worth £600 million. The purpose of the fund is to support adult social care providers, including those with whom the local authority does not have a contract, to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission within and between care settings, in particular by helping to reduce the need for staff movements between sites. Details of the First ICF can be found here
Care Provider Alliance (CPA) Briefings – further supporting documents and explanation of the 2 infection Control funds.
COVID-19 PPE – The Government has announced that the supply of PPE through the PPE Portal will continue until at least the end of March 2022.
CARE App – A new dedicated app for the adult social care workforce in England has been launched to support staff through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Workforce wellbeing resource finder – Here you’ll find wellbeing resources that have been selected as particularly relevant for the social care sector.
NHS Support for health and social care – We hope the resources across this space are helpful for you when managing your own wellbeing, while looking after others.
From July 2021 CQC are undertaking monthly reviews of the information they hold on our services.
In the event that they deem a monitoring call is required they will use a subset of the KLOE’s and ask for your responses on these particular areas. This subset of the KLOE’s for Care Home owners can be read here.
You may want to prepare for such calls by reviewing the responses you will give, should such monitoring calls be received.
The Care Quality Commission, as with many organisations, have changed some of their practices during the pandemic. A comprehensive list can be read here.
Sector Wide Cooperation
The RNHA is an active member of the Care Provider Alliance who are working closely with the DHSC to ensure information is disseminated as quickly and effectively as possible.
The CPA website has a section dedicated to the Coronavirus here: