What's New Bulletin 76 - 13 January 2022

This is the seventy sixth 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. Vaccination a Condition of Deployment – health and social care workforce (for all home support, supported living and extra care providers)
  2. Vaccination a Condition of Deployment – care homes amended regulations (for all care home providers)
  3. Reminder - press release, Confirmatory PCR tests to be temporarily suspended for positive lateral flow test results (information for all providers)
  4. Reminder - updated guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing service for extra care and supported living settings (information for all supported living and extra care sheltered housing providers)
  5. Home Support Provider Forum (for all home support, supported living and extra care providers)
  6. Reminder - help needed with long term home support, (information for contracted supported living providers)
  7. Reminder - update on long term home support, (information for contracted home support providers)
  8. Free Taxi service to take citizens to and from their covid jab (for all citizens in Birmingham)
  9. Updated guidance COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings (information for all providers)
  10. Updated guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for adult social care settings (information for all providers)
  11. Updated guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in adult care homes (information for all care homes)

IN OTHER NEWS

  1. Level 3 Cold Weather Alert for West Midlands from 6 pm 13 January 2022 to 9 am 17 January (information for all providers working in the West Midlands)
  2. Reminder - Care Home BSol Deterioration Service Guide and Training on 19 January 2022 (information for Birmingham and Solihull Care Homes)
  3. Let’s talk – Eating and Autism Webinar – 18 January 2022 (information for all providers supporting people with Autism)

Covid related information

1. Vaccination a Condition of Deployment – health and social care workforce (for all home support, supported living and extra care providers)

It was announced on 9 November 2021 that vaccination will become a condition of deployment in wider health and social care settings. The regulations have been made and therefore, the 12-week grace period has begun. Please see below for some important dates:

  • 6 January 22 – Regulations made. Start of 12-week grace period.
  • 3 February 22 – 8 weeks before regulations are enforced (and the period required between the first and second vaccination dose).
  • 1 April 22 – Regulations enforced. All staff in scope must be fully vaccinated or have secured a medical exemption.

National guidance will be published in the coming weeks along with Q&A sessions, digital assets and explainers for stakeholders and providers to use as you wish.

DHSC Impact Assessment of Compulsory COVID Vaccination

2. Vaccination a Condition of Deployment – care homes amended regulations (for all care home providers)

As you will be aware, Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment in CQC-regulated care homes, came into force on in November 2021. The regulations for the wider health and social care settings amend the existing care home regulations. Therefore, from 6 January 2022:

  • An unvaccinated new starter can be deployed in a care home 21 days after receiving one dose of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine as long as that dose was received less than 10 weeks ago
  • Clinical trial participants can evidence their participation in order to be exempt from the requirement

From 1 April:

  • Self-exemption for staff vaccinated overseas will end and from 1 April, staff vaccinated overseas will need to provide evidence that they have been vaccinated in line with the schedule in the regulations or may need to receive a top-up vaccine dose, as per UKHSA advice.

More detail of these amendments will be laid out in additional guidance, to be published shortly.

Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment in CQC-regulated care homes

3. REMINDER - PRESS RELEASE Confirmatory PCR tests to be temporarily suspended for positive lateral flow test results (information for all providers)

From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

Read the full press release below:

Confirmatory PCR tests to be temporarily suspended for positive lateral flow test results

4. REMINDER - UPDATED GUIDANCE Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing service for extra care and supported living settings (information for all supported living and extra care sheltered housing providers)

This guidance relates to regular retesting for extra care and supported living settings that meet the eligibility criteria. The following section has been amended; ‘Testing within 90 days of a positive result’.

The full guidance can be found below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing service for extra care and supported living settings

5. Home Support Provider Forum (for all home support, supported living, and extra care providers)

Please be aware a provider forum has been arranged for 19 January 22 between 9:30 am – 10:30 am. The focus of this session will be the new COVID-19 vaccination Regulations and the invitation is therefore extended to all home support, supported living, or extra care providers – regardless of contractual status with the Council.

To join the meeting please use the following link:

Join the meeting

Join on your computer or mobile app or call in (audio only) +44 20 3794 0272,,795625776# Phone Conference ID: 795 625 776#

6. Reminder - help needed with long term home support, (information for contracted supported living providers)

As you will be aware from national and local media, we are currently experiencing a further wave of Covid. With the Omicron variant being more infectious and the case numbers rapidly rising, the demand for home support we are experiencing means we really need your help.

Therefore, as a valued and quality assured supported living provider, with effect from Friday 7 January, we will be sending you referrals via the CareMatch Portal for citizens who require long-term home support. These will have been shared with our contracted home support providers already before they come to you. There will be no requirement for you to have accommodation in place for these packages and they will be clearly marked so you know which referrals these are. As you will appreciate, this is an emergency measure to ensure our citizens are safe and receive the care and support they need as quickly as possible and does not change your contractual status with the Council. However, we are hopeful that you may have some capacity to support us and our citizens whilst we work through this difficult period.

These packages of care will all be long-term packages and we have no plans to remove these once awarded (subject to any usual safety or quality concerns in line with your current Supported Living contract). As with all other packages awarded under the supported living and home support contracts, there will be a fee uplift in April 2022.

We will be identifying the successful providers based on your quality rating and where there is a tie (e.g. 2 silver offers or 2 Bronze offers), the provider who placed their offer first, will be the successful provider.

To ensure you receive these referrals, please ensure your CareMatch Portal email notifications are switched on and please look out for these new home support referrals.

The CareMatch Portal user guide can be found below and details about how to switch on notifications can be found on page 23.

Should you experience any difficulties with using the CareMatch Portal, please refer to the user guide in the first instance and if still unresolved, please email marketintelligence@birmingham.gov.uk who will be happy to support you.

CareMatch Portal User Guide

When responding to a referral, please answer No or N/A to any accommodation related questions as we are not seeking accommodation for these referrals, only care and support.

Brokers will be processing a batch of around 80 referrals over the coming few days (including over the weekend), so if you do have any capacity to accept these, please do look out for these and make offers where you can. The CareMatch Portal User Guide link above also contains details about how to review referrals and make offers.

Thank you in advance for your support. If you have any further questions regarding this process, please email marketintelligence@birmingham.gov.uk

7. Reminder - update on long term home support, (information for contracted home support providers)

As you will be aware from national and local media, we are currently experiencing a further wave of Covid. With the Omicron variant being more infectious and the case numbers rapidly rising, the demand for home support we are experiencing means we have reviewed our current market capacity.

Therefore, with effect from Friday 7 January, we will be sending all referrals for long-term home support that don’t receive offers from contracted home support providers, to our contracted supported living providers. As you will appreciate, this is an emergency measure to ensure our citizens are safe and receive the care and support they need as quickly as possible and does not change the contractual status of any providers with the Council. Please be assured this is an emergency measure and you will continue to be given first refusal of these referrals. However, we are hopeful that our supported living providers may have some capacity to support us and our citizens whilst we work through this difficult period.

If you hold both a home support 2019 and supported living 2018 contract, you will be able to make offers under both contracts as the referrals become open to offers to the various contracts. These packages of care will all be long-term packages and we have no plans to remove these once awarded (subject to any usual safety or quality concerns in line with current contracts). We will still be identifying the successful providers based on quality ratings and where there is a tie (e.g. 2 silver offers or 2 Bronze offers), the provider who placed their offer first, will be the successful provider.

If responding to a referral under your supported living contract, please answer No or N/A to any accommodation related questions as we are not seeking accommodation for these referrals, only care and support.

Thank you in advance for your support. If you have any further questions regarding this process, please email marketintelligence@birmingham.gov.uk

8. Free Taxi service to take citizens to and from their covid jab (for all citizens in Birmingham)

Birmingham Jab Cab - free taxi service to get a vaccine or booster | Birmingham City Council

9. Updated guidance COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings (information for all providers)

This guidance covers the management of staff, patients and residents who have been exposed to COVID-19. It has been updated to remove requirement for people testing positive on an LFD test to have a confirmatory PCR test and guidance has been clarified on returning to work after a continued positive LFD test. The full guidance can be found below:

COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings

10. Updated guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for adult social care settings (information for all providers)

This guidance outlines the COVID-19 testing available for testing staff, residents, and visitors for all adult social care settings. It has been updated to remove on-site testing and self-test attachments and a ‘Step-by-step guide to COVID-19 self-testing: SureScreen 25 pack nose-only test’ has been added. The full guidance can be found below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for adult social care settings

11. Updated guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in adult care homes (information for all care homes)

This guidance covers how to access test kits and step-by-step guides on how to use PCR and rapid lateral flow test kits for regular and outbreak testing of residents, staff, and visiting professionals. The information on what to do in the case of a positive COVID-19 result has been updated. The full guidance can be found below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in adult care homes

In other news

12. Level 3 Cold Weather Alert for West Midlands from 6 pm 13 January to 9 am 17 January (information for all providers working in the West Midlands)

The latest Met Office Cold Weather Alert for the West Midlands has been increased to Level 3. There is now a 90% probability of severe cold weather between 6 pm Thursday 13 January and 9 am Monday 17 January. This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.

Met Office Cold Weather Alerts

Please continue to share the following information and attached guidance with your staff, service users, communities, and partner networks to help ensure that citizens - particularly those who are most vulnerable ­- are adequately prepared:

Weather update

Region

Warning Level

Risk

Comments

West Midlands/WM

Level 3 (Amber)

90%

The Midlands carry the greatest risk of seeing areas of fog persist to suppress temperatures, the risk highest late in the current working week and at the start of the weekend.

In addition, please be aware that you can sign up to the Met Office email alert service via the link below

Guide to Met Office email alert service

13. Reminder - Care Home BSol Deterioration Service Guide and Training on 19 January 2022 (information for Birmingham and Solihull Care Homes)

The West Midlands Academic Science Network Deterioration Programme was established in March 2021; its focus is to improve management of residents’ deterioration and quality improvement in care homes across Birmingham and Solihull. This national directive is being delivered locally through the BSol Deterioration Network, which has complied Service Guides listing the relevant service pathways which will signpost care homes to deterioration support services. Please do refer to the following service guides for Solihull and Birmingham; please note the column in yellow on the Birmingham Guide, indicates services that can ONLY be accessed by Concept Care Homes in Birmingham.

The West Midlands Academic Science Network

Furthermore, we would like to use this opportunity to understand which care homes are currently using deterioration tools and would request you to complete a short survey monkey, link below.

BSOL Care Homes Managing Deterioration Survey

Training is being offered, on Deterioration Tools and Guides, taking place on 19 January 2022

For further information, please contact sheebamir@nhs.net Programme Manager or sophie.greave2@nhs.net Project Support Officer.

14. Let’s talk – Eating and Autism Webinar – 18 January 2022 (information for all providers supporting people with Autism)

Given some of the recent conversations about 'disordered eating' and autism, we wanted to share details of this webinar

Let's Talk Eating and Autism Webinar Tickets, Tuesday 18 January 2022 at 7 pm | Eventbrite

Learning Disability and Autism Programme Team

NHS England and NHS Improvement – Midlands Region

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