What's New Bulletin 118 - 3 November 2022

This is edition 118 of the 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.

  1. Cold Weather Alert - Alert Level 1 Information, Resources and Guidance (information for all providers)
  2. New initiative to reduce the impact of infection in care homes (information for all care homes)
  3. Care Quality Commission (CQC) are recruiting young champions to help shape our work (information for all younger adult providers)
  4. Care Quality Commission (CQC) - Supporting safe care and encouraging innovation this winter (information for all providers)
  5. Care Quality Commission (CQC) new regulatory model (information for all providers)
  6. New Skills for Care resources to support culturally appropriate care (information for all providers)
  7. REMINDER Please ensure your current insurance documents are uploaded to the CareMatch Portal (information for all Birmingham City Council contracted providers)

1. Cold Weather Alert - Alert Level 1 Information, Resources and Guidance (information for all providers)

The Cold Weather Alert System has now started, which forms part of the Cold Weather Plan for England. This plan aims to prevent the major avoidable effects on health during cold weather periods by raising awareness and sharing guidance to protect the most vulnerable.

Cold Weather Alert System

Cold Weather Plan for England

Paying attention to cold weather is essential. Whilst it is a significant health risk for many, simple preventative actions often could avoid many deaths, illnesses and injuries associated with the cold.

Please share the following resource information with your staff, service users and partner networks to help ensure there is ongoing awareness and preparedness during this time:

Birmingham City Council

For those worried about the rising cost of energy bills, food and transport, BCC has put together some helpful information to help. This includes guidance on how to access grants, debt advice and other funds that citizens may be entitled to.

BCC cost of living support information

Heating your home - BCC has produced guidance on several schemes now available to Birmingham residents to tackle fuel poverty, from free installation of central heating, switching energy supplier, support with fuel debts, energy saving measures, energy efficient appliances and more.

Heating your home

A network of free-to-use Warm Welcome sites is being made available across Birmingham to provide free, warm and welcoming spaces where people can come to take part in activities, access services and get practical advice and support, as well as meet members of their community.

BCC Warm Welcome information

As winter approaches and with the mounting financial pressures facing people, BCC want to support communities with information on what they can do to stay mentally and physically well. The "A Bolder Healthier Winter" campaign includes a series of evidence-based live webinars and recordings that can be accessed online.

A Bolder Healthier Winter resources

BCC has produced guidance on staying safe during severe weather, including dedicated information on winter weather, thunderstorms, lightning, gales and high winds.

Staying safe in severe weather

Simple energy advice - provide free advice on energy efficiency, grants and bills. Telephone: 0800 444 202

Age UK has produced guidance on keeping well this winter, including information on staying healthy, keeping spirits up, managing money, looking after each other, preparing for severe weather and getting the flu jab.

Age UK guidance

The Met Office has produced a range of seasonal advice to help deal with the worst weather throws at us, including guidance on travel, your home, health and wellbeing, your community and being weather ready for winter.

Met Office guidance

The NHS has produced guidance on how and why to get the Flu and Covid-19 booster vaccinations ahead of the winter period, as well as other guidance on how to stay well this winter. This information is available in in large print, audio, British Sign Language and easy read versions.

How to stay well in winter

SignHealth flu guidance

In addition, guidance from the Met Office on the Level 1 Cold Weather Alert and what you can do to prepare for cold weather throughout the winter has been circulated to providers. If you don't have a copy, please email marketintelligence@birmingham.gov.uk

2. New initiative to reduce the impact of infection in care homes (information for all care homes)

University College London (UCL) and The Outstanding Society (OS) have established a new partnership to tackle the problem of infections in care homes and learn lessons from the pandemic. The project builds on the national VIVALDI study, when researchers and care providers worked together to produce evidence rapidly, which directly informed care home policy on COVID-19. Key examples include showing how important it was to pay full sick pay to staff – supporting the set-up of the Infection Control Fund, and monitoring how well vaccines protect vulnerable residents – informing when to use booster vaccines.

More information can be found below;

VIVALDI Study | UCL Institute of Health Informatics - UCL – University College London

You can listen to the podcast below:

VIVALDI Study podcast

3. Care Quality Commission (CQC) are recruiting young champions to help shape our work (information for all younger adult providers)

The CQC are recruiting a diverse group of young people to help co-produce how they will regulate services for young people. The Young Champions programme is being run in partnership with Choice Support and youth voice experts Participation people.

Participation People will recruit, train, and support an initial group of young people. Many will have a lived and regular experience of health and social care services and will offer a fresh perspective on how the CQC listen to, value and act on children and young people’s views, opinions and lived experiences of services.

The Young Champions will then recruit more young people across the country and co-produce a self-assessment benchmark tool. This will be used to design the CQC’s new Youth Voice strategy and engagement plan. If you or someone you know would like to be involved, the CQC are inviting applications from people aged between 13 and 25 and who live in England. We'd really love to hear from people from under-represented groups.

Please share the following link:

Apply to be a Young Champion

4. Care Quality Commission (CQC) - Supporting safe care and encouraging innovation this winter (information for all providers)

NHS and social care services are under extreme pressure and as we head into what is likely to be an extremely difficult winter, the scale of the challenges ahead cannot be underestimated. In this highly pressurised environment, the CQC has a clear responsibility to ensure that people are receiving safe care. But alongside that, the CQC have an important role in helping services to manage the challenges they face by listening to and working with them to offer support wherever possible. The CQC want to actively encourage innovation and offer a space to discuss and test ideas against their regulatory expectations.

Read more in a new update published on their website, in which we also link to two key resources aimed at supporting services and local systems: PEOPLE FIRST and PATIENT FIRST.

Supporting safe care and encouraging innovation this winter

PEOPLE FIRST

PATIENT FIRST

5. Care Quality Commission (CQC) new regulatory model (information for all providers)

The CQC have been developing a new regulatory model and have previously shared information about what this will cover. They have now published more information on their website that covers how we'll assess providers in our new model.

Single assessment framework

Assessing services

This covers:

  • How often they will assess services
  • How they will gather evidence
  • How they will reach a rating (including our new scoring approach)

The CQC are currently developing the timeline for when they will implement this new approach. They will keep you updated as this develops. Meanwhile, the CQC will continue their current methods to monitor, assess and rate providers.

Read the CQC’s transformation bulletin below:

CQC's new regulatory model (govdelivery.com)

The CQC would like your feedback on what they have already published and what they should produce next. Use the following link to share your feedback;

Feedback on provider web information2 (typeform.com)

6. New Skills for Care resources to support culturally appropriate care (information for all providers)

Skills for Care has published a set of resources to help anyone involved in the care and support of individuals to have a clearer understanding of culturally appropriate care and what that may mean to individuals they support.

The ‘Culturally appropriate care guide’ covers a broad range of topics that will help you to learn about and be sensitive to people’s cultural identity or heritage.

To support the learning within the guide, Skills for Care has also published a series of resources for use in training and development. These cover supporting individuals from ethnic minority groups and backgrounds, stereotyping, and supporting relationships and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and others (LGBTQ+).

The resources can be accessed below:

Culturally Appropriate Care (skillsforcare.org.uk)

7. REMINDER Please ensure your current insurance documents are uploaded to the CareMatch Portal (information for all Birmingham City Council contracted providers)

It is an important part of your contractual obligations to Birmingham City Council, and a legal requirement, to ensure you have valid insurance at all times. It is important that when you renew your insurance documents you remember to upload a copy to the CareMatch Portal following the instructions in Section 8.8 of the Care Match Portal User Guide;

CareMatch Portal User Guide

If you are experiencing technical issues uploading the documents, please contact market.intelligence@birmingham.gov.uk

Reminder alerts were added to the CareMatch Portal in December 2020 to inform you when your insurance documents were coming up to their expiry date and when they had expired to assist you to remain compliant with your contractual obligations around insurance. For further information about this CareMatch Portal functionality and how to ensure you are receiving these alerts, please review the following previous provider bulletin items on this topic;

Bulletin 18 Item 3

Bulletin 31 Item 2

No evidence of current insurance cover on the CareMatch Portal at the levels mentioned below will be treated as a breach of contract until evidence of cover is provided

The levels and types of insurance required by the Framework Agreement for the Provision of Home Support for Children and Young People with Disabilities and Home Support for Adults and the Flexible Contracting Arrangements for the Provision of Care Homes With and Without Nursing Services and Care and Support (Supported Living) are as follows;

  • Employers Liability (including volunteers) Insurance - to be as a minimum in accordance with statutory legislation (currently £5m)
  • Public Liability Insurance (including loss or damage to service user’s personal effects) - Minimum £10m
  • For nursing homes only: Professional Indemnity / Treatment Cover, which must be a minimum of £5m and Negligence which must also be a minimum of £5m

Providers are finding the cost of insurance has risen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and as such it is important you allow enough time for finding an alternative insurance provider, if needed, before your current insurance expires. Please contact your Care Association to see what support and advice they can offer. It is important that you inform you area commissioners if you are having difficulty arranging future cover before the expiry of your current insurance.

Who to contact in the Commissioning Team?

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