What's New Bulletin 72 - 16 December 2021

This is the seventy second weekly provider bulletin, containing information on guidance, procedures and new initiatives. Very urgent or high priority communications may still be issued on an ad hoc basis, but we will try to keep these to a minimum.

COVID RELATED INFORMATION

  1. URGENT Accelerated booster rollout programme in relation to social care (information for all providers)
  2. UPDATED GUIDANCE Visiting arrangements in care homes (information for all Care Homes)
  3. PRESS RELEASE Extra £300m short term funding for Care workforce (information for all providers)
  4. GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE Daily rapid testing for COVID-19 contacts launches this week (information for all providers)
  5. REMINDER Message from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC): updating COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Information in the Capacity Tracker (information for all providers)
  6. Recent changes to the national Capacity Tracker (information for all providers)

IN OTHER NEWS

  1. Message for Birmingham contracted Home Support Providers: bulk package take up options (information for all Birmingham contracted home support providers)
  2. IPC Care Home Champions First News Letter  (Information for all Birmingham care homes)
  3. REMINDER Continuing Health Care (CHC) Nursing Home Training Events 2022 – UPDATED EMAIL ADDRESS (information for Birmingham and Solihull nursing homes)

COVID 19 RELATED INFORMATION

1.URGENT Accelerated booster rollout programme in relation to social care (information for all providers)

A letter from the Department of Health and Social Care about the accelerated booster rollout programme in relation to social care, has been circulated to all providers. If you don't have a copy, please email marketintelligence@birmingham.gov.uk

Following advice from the UK Health Security Agency and in the light of the rapid increase in Omicron cases, the UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director have recommended to ministers that the UK COVID-19 alert level should increase from Level 3 to Level 4. It is extremely important that if you or your staff are eligible for the booster dose that this is arranged as quickly as possible. Please ensure your staff are aware that the interval between vaccines for booster jabs has been reduced from 6 months to 3 months.

Information on vaccination walk in centres can be found below:

Walk-ins – Birmingham & Solihull NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Service

Vaccines can be booked online below (staff can book 2 months after their 2nd dose for an appointment to receive their booster vaccination once 3 months has passed);

Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS

Two Q&A leaflets have been issued, focusing on COVID-19 booster and flu vaccinations this winter. You can download all care staff winter vaccine materials below, including posters, social media graphics and stickers. A new winter vaccines communications toolkit is also available, featuring case studies, expert blogs and a range of materials to promote flu and COVID-19 boosters.

2.UPDATED GUIDANCE Visiting arrangements in care homes (information for all Care Homes)

This guidance sets out how care homes can support families and visitors to visit residents. Following on from the Department of Health and Social Care letter to care providers dated 10 December (attached for reference), this guidance has been updated to add new restrictions on care home visiting due to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. This includes reducing the number of visitors each care home resident can receive to 3 (not including essential care givers or preschool age children), requiring testing or self-isolation following visits out of the care home, and changing testing arrangements for staff and essential caregivers.

The full guidance can be found below;

Visiting arrangements in care homes

3.PRESS RELEASE Extra £300m short term funding for Care workforce (information for all providers)

A package of new measures will help protect the social care sector from COVID-19, including £300 million to help recruit and reward the workforce. We will share further information about this funding once the guidance has been published.

The full press release can be found below:

Support Package to protect care sector this winter

4.GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE Daily rapid testing for COVID-19 contacts launches this week (information for all providers)

From Tuesday 14 December, fully vaccinated contacts of a COVID-19 case should take a daily lateral flow test for 7 days to slow the spread of the virus. We anticipate that guidance specific to the social care sector will be updated to reflect this change shortly.

The full press release can be found below:

Daily rapid testing for COVID-19 contacts launches this week

5.REMINDER Message from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC): updating COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Information in the Capacity Tracker (information for all providers)

Thank you for everything you are doing to continue to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data that you report each day is invaluable to central government, CQC and local councils to identify the key challenges and where action and support is most needed. As you are no doubt aware, incidences of the Omicron variant are being reported in the UK. Due to this, booster vaccinations have become a key part of Government strategy in managing the risks to those receiving care. As a vital first step, the DHSC are urging you to check that what your location is reporting for booster uptake reflects the current situation. If your data needs amending, please do so at the earliest opportunity.

If you have questions or queries regarding how to update the data and where to report specific scenarios, please contact Capacitytracker-guidance@dhsc.gov.uk

Finally if you are experiencing technical issues with Capacity Tracker, please contact necsu.capacitytracker@nhs.net or the Capacity Tracker Support Centre on 0191-691-3729.

6.Recent changes to the national Capacity Tracker (information for all providers)

The following recent changes have been made to the national Capacity Tracker;

Under 18s

Providers are asked to confirm if they have any under 18s deployed within their setting and the number of under 18s partially/not vaccinated.

Staff claiming MAT B1 (maternity) exemption

The Number of staff in receipt of NHS Covid Pass medical exemption has been amended to: Number of staff in receipt of NHS Covid Pass medical exemption or claiming MAT B1 (maternity) exemption to enable locations to capture the number of staff. 

Less than 48-hour PPE Supply  

Users who select "Yes" to having less than 48hrs of PPE, will be presented with a list of PPE items from which they must indicate which ones they have less than 48hrs supply. The list will remain visible. Selecting YES generates a system alert to the DHSC and provides information to those responsible for ordering/dispatching PPE stocks and is made visible to Unipart for ordering of PPE supplies. Please ensure that this status is reviewed daily and updated upon receipt of PPE stock(s).

IN OTHER NEWS………………….

7.Message for Birmingham contracted Home Support Providers: bulk package take up options (information for all Birmingham contracted home support providers)

In order to support our hospital discharges and citizens requiring long term care after a period of enablement support we are facilitating the take up of groups of care packages that are currently out to the market through the CareMatch Portal within your designated areas.

A list showing the packages that are available in groups, either all of those in an area or a smaller batch, is attached. These are open to all home support providers on our general Home Support 2019 contract (unless currently suspended or being decommissioned).  If you are interested in picking up a group of care packages in your area and wish to discuss this further, including how call flexibility can support with this, then please urgently contact your Area Commissioners to discuss further. You can find details of your area commissioners below;

Who to contact in the commissioning team

8.IPC Care Home Champions First News Letter  (Information for all Birmingham care homes)

The first IPC Care Home Champions Newsletter reflecting on the training event in September has been circulated to providers. It has information on preventing the spread of Norovirus, an update on the Omicron variant and much more. If you don't have a copy, please email marketintelligence@birmingham.gov.uk

9.REMINDER Continuing Health Care (CHC) Nursing Home Training Events 2022 – UPDATED EMAIL ADDRESS (information for Birmingham and Solihull nursing homes)

A flyer with the 2022 dates for CHC Nursing Home training events and details of how to book has been circulated to providers. Please note the email address has been amended from the flyer circulated previously. If you don't have a copy, please email marketintelligence@birmingham.gov.uk

The training is aimed at Registered Nurses who could be involved in completing Checklists and/or contributing to Decision Support Tools (DST) in relation to NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC).

The aims of the training are to:

  • Understand NHS Continuing Healthcare process using the Checklist and Decision Support Tool (DST) pathways.  Including the Primary Health Need test and decision making.
  • Revisit the key processes in line with Revised National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare 2018

On completion of this course, attendees will receive an electronic certificate towards their professional revalidation and CPD portfolio.

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