What's New Bulletin 132 - 16 February 2023

This is edition 132 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. UPDATED GUIDANCE Free personal protective equipment (PPE) scheme (information for Birmingham providers)
  2. Free Energy Bill Advice from Citizens Advice (CA). Citizens Advice Birmingham have recently launched a new service primarily for Perry Barr, Erdington, Hodge Hill and Yardley (information for Birmingham providers)
  3. Hear more on how the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is changing (information for all providers)
  4. Share your views on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) implementation timeline and approach (information for all providers)
  5. Get involved in the development of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism (information for all providers)
  6. Bringing Us Together: Tips for providers to build relationships with families (information for all providers)
  7. Cancer screening research: share your experiences as a learning disability nurse (information for all care homes)
  8. The people with profound and multiple learning disabilities group (PMLD) (information for all providers)
  9. REMINDER Norovirus – high case numbers reported in older age groups, when to report to the West Midlands Health Protection Team (UKHSA) (information for all providers)

1. UPDATED GUIDANCE Free personal protective equipment (PPE) scheme (information for Birmingham providers)

This guidance covers the provision of free PPE for all health, social care and public sector workers for coronavirus (COVID-19) infection control, between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2024. It has been updated to add the ‘Estimated stock-out dates by PPE category’ section.

The update guidance can be found below:

Free personal protective equipment (PPE) scheme

The following guidance has also been updated:

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

This guidance explains how eligible health and social care providers can order PPE through the portal to meet the increased need that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘Delivery times and cost’ section has been updated to say that PPE ordered from the portal is free of charge until 31 March 2024 or until stocks are depleted. Also updated ‘Help with using the portal’ to include a link to a contact form.

2. Free Energy Bill Advice from Citizens Advice (CA). Citizens Advice Birmingham have recently launched a new service primarily for Perry Barr, Erdington, Hodge Hill and Yardley (information for Birmingham providers)

Care providers are being asked to share the information below with their staff members.

CA know that people are struggling and often are unsure of their bills and tariffs, have limited knowledge on energy efficiency and what measures they may have access to, that can improve their financial position. Their aim is to help them understand their bills, ensure they are on the best tariffs, carry out benefit checks to identify benefit entitlement, inform them about any potential grants/schemes available to them and possibly help them apply if they are unable to do so themselves as well as provide them with energy saving tips.

The service will be primarily over the phone, however, if needed appointments via teams/whatsapp can be accommodated.

In order to refer simply send their name, address and contact number/email to energy@bcabs.org.uk

3. Hear more on how the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is changing (information for all providers)

In the latest episode of CQC Connect, you can hear from CQC's Chris Day, Director of Engagement, Joyce Frederick, Director of Policy and Strategy, and Mark Sutton, Chief Digital Officer.

They discuss how the CQC is realising its strategic ambitions by developing a new regulatory approach, taking on new powers at a system level and improving how they collect and use data.

You can find all of the CQC podcasts on most major platforms, and don't forget to subscribe for the latest episodes;

CQC Is Changing: Delivering our strategic ambitions - CQC Connect | Podcast on Spotify

4. Share your views on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) implementation timeline and approach (information for all providers)

In December the CQC shared an update outlining how they plan to implement changes to how they work across 2023.

Our revised plan and approach for transformation

Including:

  • introducing a new regulatory approach for health and care providers, integrated care systems and local authorities
  • establishing a new Regulatory Leadership team to shape our priorities and drive improvement
  • changing how our operational teams are structured to better deliver our regulatory activity
  • delivering a new and improved provider portal.

The CQC are committed to developing changes to how they work and how they implement these changes in partnership with health and social care providers and professionals. One of the ways they do this is through a provider implementation steering group that meets monthly.

You don't need to attend this group to get involved and share your thoughts, you can also do this through the digital engagement platform CitizenLab. Right now the CQC would like to hear your thoughts on their implementation approach and timeline;

January Provider Implementation Steering Group

5. Get involved in the development of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism (information for all providers)

People who are interested in being involved in the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training can now express an interest using a PDF form, as well as an online form. If you would like to get involved as an expert by experience, an employer or an education provider, and you have not already completed the online EOI form, please complete one of the following:

Online expression of interest form

Easy read trainer expression of interest form in PDF

For printing and scanning, this will need to be returned by email and sent to ommtprogramme@hee.nhs.uk

Easy read trainer expression of interest form in Word

For completing on the computer, this will need to be returned by email and sent to ommtprogramme@hee.nhs.uk

The details you submit in these forms will be sent to Health Education England who will be arranging The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in your region.

New video and guide to accessing the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training elearning

Skills for Care have partnered with Health Education England to produce an instructional video and guide to explain how social care providers can access the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training elearning for healthcare (elfh) elearning programme.

Find the video and guide on the Skills for Care Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training webpage

Use ASC-WDS to keep track of your Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training records

You can now select ‘Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism’ as a training category in the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS). This is a simple way to record and track which staff have completed the training. Having this information stored in one place can save you time and help you to evidence completion of the training during inspections.

ASC-WDS training categories include the eLearning, Tier 1 and Tier 2 elements of the training, so you can track which your staff have completed. Log in to your ASC-WDS account and navigate to the ‘Training and Qualifications’ section to add training to your account.

Find out more, create a new ASC-WDS account or log in to an existing account

For further information about the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training, visit:

Skills for Care’s information on the training

Health Education England information on the training

elearning for healthcare programme information

Health Education England’s frequently asked questions

6. Bringing Us Together: Tips for providers to build relationships with families (information for all providers)

Bringing Us Together is a parent-led organisation; a place for parent carers to come together, to share stories, feel confident and find solutions. With support from NHS England, they have produced a two-page ‘top tips’ for care and support providers about building relationships with families when supporting their loved ones.

Find the ‘top tips’ resource

7.Cancer screening research: share your experiences as a learning disability nurse (information for all care homes)

Dr. Genevieve Breau and colleagues at the University of Greenwich are currently interviewing learning disability nurses across the UK about their experiences recommending breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening to their patients with learning disabilities.

If you participate in the study, you will need to provide consent, complete a short demographics form and participate in a 30-40 minute interview on Microsoft Teams at a convenient time. All nurses who participate are given a £20 shopping voucher.

If you are a learning disability nurse in the UK and interested in learning more about the study, please contact Genevieve at G.Breau@gre.ac.uk.

8.The people with profound and multiple learning disabilities group (PMLD) (information for all providers)

PMLD LINK is a journal established to make a difference to the lives of children and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). People with PMLD have profound intellectual and multiple disabilities, very severe communication problems, often extreme physical and/or sensory disabilities, and complex health needs.

PMLD LINK are also seeking contributions for the next edition of their journal which has the theme of personal care.

Opportunity to contribute to PMLD LINK journal about personal care

You can find the latest journal from PMLD below:

Latest journal from PMLD LINK

9. REMINDER Norovirus – high case numbers reported in older age groups, when to report to the West Midlands Health Protection Team (UKHSA) (information for all providers)

UK Health Security Agency reported high numbers of norovirus cases in January. The recent increase in cases is mostly seen in those aged 65 and over. Norovirus, also known as winter vomiting disease, causes gastroenteritis and is highly infectious. The virus is easily transmitted by contact with another infected person, eating contaminated food and water, or via touching vomit from an infected person. You can also breathe in virus particles if they become aerosolised when someone with norovirus vomits. Outbreaks are common in semi-enclosed environments such as residential adult social care settings and can be difficult to control and long-lasting as the virus can survive in the environment.

For care providers operating in the West Midlands - When two or more potentially linked cases of diarrhoea and/or vomiting have been identified in a setting, contact the West Midlands Health Protection Team (UKHSA): 0344 225 3560, OPTION 2.

For out of hours advice (including weekends and bank holidays) please call 01384 679 031.

Useful documents - care home planning checklist and norovirus toolkit

To reduce the risk of outbreaks, we encourage settings to complete all actions in the attached checklist as soon as possible.

Please also familiarise yourself with the attached Norovirus Toolkit.

The toolkit includes answers to Frequently Asked Questions as well as checklists of actions to be taken in single and multiple cases of diarrhoea and/or vomiting.

Hand washing is vital

The virus particles are tiny, it only takes between 1 and 10 particles to infect a person and most chemicals (including alcohol hand gels) don’t kill it – it’s all about hand washing.

Remind all staff of the importance of frequent hand washing and following appropriate hand washing technique.

Support those who need help with handwashing and personal hygiene. While hand washing with soap and water is the best way to reduce the risk of transmission, moist skin wipes are an alternative if you are unable to access a wash basin.

Do NOT rely on alcohol hand gel as this is not effective against noroviruses.

Symptoms

Symptoms can begin as early as 12 hours or as many as 48 hours after exposure and usually include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, stomach ache, headaches, low fever and tiredness. Symptoms can last from 12 to 60 hours, but most people recover within two to three days.

However, older and vulnerable people are at higher risk of hospitalisation, dehydration, and severe clinical complications. It’s very important that you seek medical attention immediately if you think that they are becoming dehydrated.

All symptomatic staff should be excluded from work immediately, until 48 hours after their last symptom.

All symptomatic residents should be isolated for up to 48 hours after their symptoms have ceased.

Residents should be encouraged or helped to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Cleaning and laundry

Gloves and aprons should be worn when dealing with any bodily fluids and a good hand washing technique should be used when dealing with patients or contaminated areas.

Water-soluble bags should be used for infected laundry and these items should be washed separate to other items, at the hottest temperature possible for the materials.

Frequent cleaning of touch points with a hypochlorite solution (1000 ppm) should be undertaken. Please see pages 7 and 8 in the toolkit for detailed cleaning guidance.

Other useful resources

Infection prevention and control in care homes - Care Quality Commission

Norovirus (vomiting bug) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Norovirus: What to do if you catch it and helping to stop the spread - UK Health Security Agency (blog.gov.uk)

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