What's New Bulletin 46 - 17 June 2021

This is the forty 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. Thank you from Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) (information for all providers)
  2. Birmingham has become an enhanced response area (information for all providers operating in Birmingham)
  3. UPDATED GUIDANCE Care home residents can stay overnight on visits out of the care home (information for all care homes)
  4. Proof of Concept for Clinical Support in Birmingham Care Homes (information for all Birmingham Care Homes)
  5. Birmingham Infection Control Service (information for all Birmingham providers)
  6. CONSULTATION OUTCOME Compulsory vaccination of care staff in older adult homes (information for all Care Home Providers)
  7. Death notifications in care homes at location level (information for all care homes)

IN OTHER NEWS

  1. REMINDER 30 June 2021 deadline approaching for the EU Settlement Scheme (Information for all providers)

COVID RELATED INFORMATION

1.Thank you from Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) (information for all providers)

DHSC have written to all adult social care providers to thank them for their continued dedication throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In the letter DHSC share their appreciation for provider's professional and personal efforts.

You can read the letter in full below. You can also print this to make it available in shared working areas.

DHSC thank you letter to care providers

2.Birmingham has become an enhanced response area (information for all providers operating in Birmingham)

With Covid cases rising in Birmingham, the government announced in 14 June enhanced support for the city, focused on increasing vaccination take-up, testing, and support for those self-isolating. Over the next few weeks there will be surge vaccination in wards with the lowest take-up and highest Covid rates, along with greater walk-in capacity at vaccination sites. It is important we continue to do all we can to keep ourselves, colleagues, families and communities safe.

The following further information is available;

How ‘surge testing’ and genomic sequencing are being used in locations in England where coronavirus (COVID-19) variants have been identified.

Surge testing for new coronavirus (COVID-19) variants

Birmingham has been added to the areas where both surge testing and additional support is being provided

Further support for Birmingham, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Liverpool City region and Warrington to tackle Delta (B1.617.2) variant

3.UPDATED GUIDANCE Care home residents can stay overnight on visits out of the care home (information for all care homes)

Please find below the press release announcing overnight stays out of care homes for residents as visiting restrictions are further eased.

Press release: Care home residents can stay overnight as visiting restrictions ease

The following guidance has been updated to reflect these changes;

Visiting arrangements in care homes

Arrangements for visiting out of the care home

4.Proof of Concept for Clinical Support in Birmingham Care Homes (information for all Birmingham Care Homes)

Many of you will know that Birmingham Community Health Care NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC) provided an enhanced support to care homes service throughout the Covid pandemic. This service was invaluable in supporting many care homes clinically, providing training, working with your staff to recognise and support residents whose health was deteriorating or where urgent clinical support was needed. There was a great deal of learning from the service (which was stepped down in March 2021 due to significant reductions in the number of Covid cases in care homes) and a further ‘proof of concept’ has been developed with a focus on ‘the right care, right time, right place, right person’. The Proof of Concept will specifically support identification of/treatment to high risk residents, rapid access to advanced health assessment, end of life support and rapid urgent clinical access. A total of 25 homes have been identified to take part in the Proof of Concept across Birmingham, to help test and validate the approach. A huge thank you to those homes involved and we will provide feedback and updates for other care homes through our regular bulletins.

5.Birmingham Infection Control Service (information for all Birmingham providers)

In December 2020 we commissioned Birmingham Community Health Care Trust (BCHC) to provide a dedicated Infection Prevention Control (IPC) service to care homes. This was an invaluable part of our Covid response at the peak of the second wave and I know the team have been really valued by care homes that have received their support. The team is made of up infection control nurses and specialists and we are pleased to confirm the service has now been extended until 31 March 2022. The intention is that the team will conduct an IPC audit of every care home in Birmingham and provide you with support and training to help improve practice. We will also be asking every care home to nominate an IPC Champion and the BCHC team will be supporting development of an IPC Champions network to help improve IPC practice across the sector. For home support, supported living and extra care providers, there will also be a series of training available. Further details of events and training will be published on our dedicated Infection Prevention and Control web page, and through this Bulletin. For homes that have yet to receive an audit, BCHC colleagues will be in touch over the coming months to arrange your audit.

Infection Prevention and Control web page

6.CONSULTATION OUTCOME Compulsory vaccination of care staff in older adult homes (information for all Care Home Providers)

We are aware of recent media announcements regarding deployment of vaccinated staff into care homes. The government has now issued a press release and the outcome of the consultation about compulsory vaccination of care staff in older adult homes. Both can be viewed in full by following the links below. We are awaiting formal guidance from Government about the detail of the final proposal and will of course share and discuss further detail and implications once this is received.

Press release - Everyone working in care homes to be fully vaccinated under new law to protect residents

Consultation outcome - Making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes

7.Death notifications in care homes at location level (information for all care homes)

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has made a commitment to publish the data they hold on COVID-19 death notifications in care homes at location level. The following information has been published by CQC about this data release;

We can now confirm that we’ll be working towards bringing this data to our Public Board meeting on 21 July 2021, with publication on the CQC website on the same day. It’s important we get this right therefore we may postpone the release date should we find any data issues.

If you’ve notified CQC of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 related death at your care home we’ll be in touch in the coming weeks to share the data we hold on your service. This information will help you to have important conversations with the families of people who died and those in your care, in advance of publication. Please do not contact us directly – we’ll ensure that you are contacted ahead of publication.

We’ll continue working with your trade associations and other stakeholders to release this information collaboratively and with context, keeping you updated through this bulletin. You can read more information on our website.

More information about deaths in care homes on CQC website

IN OTHER NEWS…….

8.REMINDER 30 June 2021 deadline approaching for the EU Settlement Scheme (Information for all providers)

Do you care for, or employ, any EU, EEA or Swiss citizens? Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Home Office is urging EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and their family members (including non-EEA citizens), to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) so they can continue living in the UK. You can also apply if you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland

Applying if you are the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland

Settled status for EU citizens will guarantee access to:

  • Public services, such as healthcare and schools.
  • Public funds and pensions.
  • British citizenship, if you meet the requirements and want to apply

The application deadline for those who were living in the UK by 31 December 2020 is 30 June 2021. Applications can be made, for free, online on the GOV.UK website

Applying for settled status

An appropriate third party can assist a vulnerable person with their application or apply on their behalf, and you can find details of support available on the GOV.UK website.

Getting help to apply for settled status

A leaflet with information about FREE SUPPORT available for EUSS applications in Birmingham has been circulated to care providers. If you don't have a copy, please email marketintelligence@birmingham.gov.uk

Visit our City of Sanctuary webpages to get a full list of organisations that can provide free advice, and support with applications. We can also scan and verify ID documents that are needed for the application.

City of Sanctuary webpages

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