What's New Bulletin 78 - 27 January 2022

This is the seventy eighth 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. REMINDER Vaccination a Condition of Deployment – health and social care workforce (all home support, supported living and extra care sheltered housing providers)
  2. REMINDER - UPDATED GUIDANCE Vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes operational guidance (for all care home providers)
  3. Infection Control and Testing Fund round 3 – reporting point 2 – spend returns deadline 11 February 2021 (information for all Birmingham providers)
  4. UPDATED GUIDANCE Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in adult care homes (information for all care homes)
  5. UPDATED GUIDANCE Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes (information for all care homes)
  6. NEW REGIONAL GUIDANCE Supporting safe hospital discharge into care homes (for all West Midlands care homes)
  7. Care Quality Commission (CQC) Supporting visiting in adult social care (information for all care homes)
  8. UPDATED GUIDANCE Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19) (information for all supported living providers)
  9. UPDATED GUIDANCE PPE portal: how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) (information for all providers)

IN OTHER NEWS

  1. National Care Forum Managers Conference (information for all providers)
  2. West Midland Care Association Provider Coffee Catch Ups (information for all Birmingham providers)

COVID RELATED INFORMATION

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

From 1 April 2022, social care providers registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) must ensure that anyone they employ or engage to carry out direct face-to-face CQC-regulated social care activities (outside of care homes) will need to meet the vaccination requirements set out in regulations. Please see below for some important dates:

  • 6 January 22 – Regulations made. Start of the 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.

REMINDER - NEW GUIDANCE Vaccination of workers in social care settings other than care homes operation guidance

New guidance on Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment (VCOD) in wider social care settings has now been published. From 1 April 2022, people carrying out face-to-face, CQC-regulated social care activities will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless exempt. The full guidance is available below:

Vaccination of workers in social care settings other than care homes GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Communication toolkit and resources

The Department of Health and Social Care has produced a vaccine communications toolkit for adult social care staff. The communications toolkit can be used to provide information and resources to social care workers in all care settings in England about the COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine. It also includes key resources for vaccines as a condition of deployment. Links to available resources are included and these can be used on your own channels, or as a basis for creating your own communications materials.

Updating the Capacity Tracker

Please ensure you are regularly updating the National Capacity Tracker with your staffs vaccination status. The Department of Health and Social Care and our Commissioners will be monitoring this information closely and we will be making contact with those providers who have low dose 1 take up in the coming days.

The Capacity Tracker can be accessed below. 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.

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.

National Capacity Tracker

2.REMINDER - UPDATED GUIDANCE Vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes operational guidance (for all care home providers)

Since 11 November 2021, anyone working or volunteering in a care home has needed to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19), unless exempt. These conditions were updated by regulations that came into force on 6 January 2022 and additional regulations that will come into force on 1 April 2022. The full guidance is available below:

COVID-19 vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes - GOV.uk (www.gov.uk)

3.Infection Control and Testing Fund round 3 – reporting point 2 – spend returns deadline 11 February 2021 (information for all Birmingham providers)

Further to the distribution of Infection Control and Testing Fund round 3 allocations the grant conditions now require you to complete spend returns covering the period 1 October 2021 to 31 January 2022. Please complete the applicable online form using the links below – a separate return must be made for each care home or CQC registered Location. The deadline for completion is 11 February 2021.

Care Homes spending return

Community Care spending return

4.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. It has been updated to reflect removal of confirmatory PCR after a positive LFT and advice on testing within 90 days of a positive result. The ‘COVID-19 testing schedule for a suspected or confirmed outbreak in a care home’ guidance has been removed. The full guidance can be viewed below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in adult care homes

5.UPDATED GUIDANCE Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes (information for all care homes)

The guidance covers how to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance has been updated throughout in line with the latest clinical advice from the UK Health Security Agency. Please see the summary change note in the guidance for a full breakdown of all updates. The full guidance can be found below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes

6.NEW REGIONAL GUIDANCE Supporting safe hospital discharge into care homes (for all West Midlands care homes)

New West Midlands regional guidance on the principles for ensuring safe and effective discharges from hospitals to care homes has been issued to all care homes. This has been produced by NHS England and Improvement and the UK Health Security Agency for the Midlands region. If you don't have a copy, please email marketintelligence@birmingham.gov.uk

7.Care Quality Commission (CQC) Supporting visiting in adult social care (information for all care homes)

Visiting plays a vital role in the quality of care for many people who access care, and their loved ones. The majority of providers and registered managers are making every effort to follow the latest guidance. We are asking that if something changes and you are no longer able to do this then you should speak with your CQC inspector as soon as possible.

A group of stakeholders –The Relatives & Residents Association, Rights for Residents, the National Institution for Health Research, and King's College London – have made some resources available to support providers during outbreaks. These include a co-produced fact sheet on the essential caregiver role that care homes can refer to and share with residents, their families, and carers.

Essential Care Giver information (paragraph 1.1)

The group has also written to Directors of Public Health, Directors of Adult Social Services, Local Authority Public Health Teams, and UKHSA Health Protection Teams, on supporting visiting in care homes, promoting a better understanding of the role and its value.

Stakeholder letter about care home visiting

8.UPDATED GUIDANCE Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19) (information for all supported living providers)

This guidance is for providers of supported living settings. Guidance for staff members in health and social care settings who have developed COVID-19 symptoms, or tested positive on a lateral flow or PCR test, has been updated. The isolation guidance for supported living workers – those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to end self-isolation after 6 days, following 2 negative lateral flow tests taken 24 hours apart has also been updated. The full guidance can be found below:

Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19)

9.UPDATED GUIDANCE PPE portal: how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) (information for all providers)

This guidance details eligible health and social care providers who can order PPE through the portal to meet the increased need that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been updated to say that it is a legal requirement on employers that FFP3 masks must be fit tested on all health and care staff who may be required to wear one. The full guidance can be found below;

PPE portal: how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)

IN OTHER NEWS …………

10.National Care Forum Managers Conference (information for all providers)

The National Care Forum (NCF), supported by Skills for Care, is holding a Managers Conference open to managers from all care settings across the country, both NCF members and non-members in the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors.

The Conference supports managers in their pivotal role, as their services move from crisis to recovery, and helps them to support their teams to build resilience for the years ahead.

For more information including offers on bookings go to the NCF website below

National Care Forum website

11.West Midland Care Association Provider Coffee Catch Ups (information for all Birmingham providers)

West Midlands Care Association (WMCA) is offering Birmingham providers a platform to network with other providers and seek support from them and West Midlands Care Association in an informal, non-judgmental environment. If you would like to get a frustration off your chest, discuss an ongoing problem you need support with, discuss something positive that has happened recently, and/or learn about what WMCA are offering providers as part of their membership, then these coffee catch-ups are a safe space for you.

3 February 2022 – for care providers in the following areas:

Selly Oak/Edgbaston- 10am - 10:30am

Longbridge/Northfield- 11:30am - Noon

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