Regulated Care Sector
This week: 12th April 2021
1. News & updates
Staff who have had COVID-19: Even if you have had COVID-19 we don’t know how long immunity lasts, therefore staff should continue to wear PPE and follow IPC guidance.
Staff who have had the vaccine: Staff who have had the vaccine should still continue to wear PPE, follow IPC guidance, maintain social distancing and continue to be tested
FOR MANAGERS : Every Action Counts: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/03/every-action-counts-hints-and-tips.pdf
Here is a poster that you can download and use Regulated Care Poster
Proxy Medication Ordering in Care Homes: Important changes to how repeat prescriptions are ordered (Letter from medicines management)
Care Home Residents Survey – please can care home managers could support 2-3 residents in their home to complete this: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9FSY9DG
Coffee and Engagement Events – Second Wednesday of each month, 2pm-3pm
Calling all Regulated Care Providers! Please join us for a coffee and chat session to have your say! The purpose of these sessions are to support the Regulated Care sector to provide high quality and safe services and to be a fully integrated part of the Pennie Lancashire Health and Social Care service delivery model by listening to, learning from and working together. Please use this MS teams link to dial in at 2pm on the dates below, no need to book. Click here to join the meeting. We look forward to seeing you there on the 14th April, 12th May, 9th June and 14th July, 2021
National Testing Programme to all care homes - Following feedback, here is revised guidance regarding testing for professionals visiting care homes:
We have worked with care home providers, Dr Jenny Harries the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Public Health England and NHS E to develop this new guidance. The guidance strengthens the existing approach for testing professional visitors to care homes in order to reduce risks from visits from professionals.
The full guidance can be found here.
The key changes are:
The default position is that without a negative test, the professional should not be allowed into the care home, (unless in an emergency, unless overridden by the care home manager following a risk based decision, or unless their entry is required by law such as CQC inspectors).
For NHS professionals, care homes should see evidence from the professional of a negative rapid lateral flow test within the last 72hrs, which shows they are following the NHS staff testing regime.
As per the previous guidance, professionals who are not part of regular testing for NHS staff or CQC inspectors (for example professionals such as podiatrists or engineers) will need to be tested at the care home in the same way as visitors.
If they are visiting multiple care homes in one day, they will now only need to be tested at the first care home they visit that day and can use evidence of this test at the next care home they visit that day.
CQC inspectors will now test at home using a lateral flow test on the day of a care home inspection, in addition to their weekly PCR.
Like care home staff, visiting professionals are exempt from testing for 90 days following a positive PCR test, unless they develop new symptoms.
The guidance provides further details and outlines the different forms of test evidence.
This guidance should be implemented as soon as possible but we also understand that professionals and their employers will need time to get to grips with practical issues, such as how they will provide evidence to care homes. Therefore this guidance should be implemented by care homes and professionals by 22nd March if not before.
Testing is, however, only one part of the approach to reduce risk and it is critical that visiting professionals don and doff PPE appropriately and follow the relevant infection control measures when visiting a care home including hand hygiene and distancing, in order to help keep care home residents and staff safe.
Every Action Counts guidance including hints and tips: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/03/every-action-counts-hints-and-tips.pdf
COVID-19 Vaccination Booklet - please see, and feel free to download and share this information guide to covid vaccinations which was developed by Burnley Council and made relevant for every area in Pennine Lancashire by the CCG communications team: pdfCOVID 19 Information Booklet (1.37 MB)
National surveillance system has been developed for reporting of Covid-19 cases in vaccinated individuals - The details can be found on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-enhanced-surveillance-of-cases-in-vaccinated-individuals/reporting-to-the-enhanced-surveillance-of-covid-19-cases-in-vaccinated-individuals
Vaccinated individuals who test positive using a lateral flow device should be confirmed using PCR.
An individual who has received 1 dose of vaccine at least 10 days prior to symptom onset should report through the online form.
An individual who has received their second dose of vaccine at least 7 days prior to symptom onset should report through the online form.
New: NICE safeguarding in care homes guidance: pdfSafeguarding adults in care homes (411 KB)
Covid vaccination stay safe and protect others – Poster pdfReg care advisory v2 (160 KB)
PLEASE READ : OFFICIAL: New Care Home Resources COVID testing pathway -Please read the following documents:
Lateral Flow Tests post isolation - the Director of Public Health for Lancashire has advised that care home staff should continue lateral flow tests post isolation due to the high number of cases in our area (this is currently different to the National Guidance published on the 16th February). Care Home Managers should ask staff to continue to carry out lateral flow tests on return from isolation – they remain exempt from PCR tests for 90 days (unless they have a further positive lateral flow result when a confirmatory PCR should be carried out). Summary advice and guidance is here:
Covid19 Resource Pack for Care Homes - please do have a look at the Covid19 Resource Pack for Care Homes developed by Lancashire County Council (East Lancs area) and Blackburn with Darwen Council.
What to do if an employee refuses to take a covid 19 test – This is an interesting article, here: https://www.homecareinsight.co.uk/legal-what-if-your-employee-refuses-to-take-a-covid-19-test/ which concludes: “Given the health and safety duties, providers should have a risk management strategy in place for managing COVID-19 risks and this should set out the role that testing plays in reducing the rate of COVID-19 transmission. The testing should be the key component of managing the risk and the Government is clearly expecting all care workers to be tested. Although mandatory testing may amount to an infringement on the right to a private life, with a clear risk management strategy in place, a court is most likely to consider it is a legitimate course of action to protect public health. Refusing to take a test is therefore likely to be a potentially fair ground for taking disciplinary action, including dismissal. Providers however need to be careful to explore the employee’s reasons for refusal and decide whether those reasons are reasonable in the circumstances. A fair disciplinary process will also of course have to be followed.
2. Policies and procedures
LRF Care Home Visiting Policy Update guidance: LRF Care Home Visiting Policy (update guidance)
Ventilation Guidance (from the CCG Infection Control Team) - We appreciate that as the weather turns colder it may become difficult to maintain natural ventilation (e.g. opening windows) in care homes and office spaces and still keep staff and residents at a comfortable temperature. However adequate ventilation and air exchange is important in reducing the risk of aerosol transmission. Therefore, please consider the points below:
Ensure you have a ventilation strategy as part of your Providers COVID -19 risk assessment
Consideration needs to be made regarding adequate ventilation and still ensuring thermal comfort for staff and residents
When residents are in communal areas consider opening the windows in their bedrooms while they are not occupied
If staff are cold please ensure the provider Uniform policy is not breached (encourage layers underneath the uniform rather than cardigans) staff should be bare below the elbows
In communal areas if it is too cold to open the windows continuously consider partial opening or intermittent opening to encourage air exchange
3. Training opportunities
Accessible from the telemedicine laptop or https://meet.medio.link/webapp/ (MUST BE ACCESSED VIA GOOGLE CHROME)
Access code: 512005
Accessible via MS Teams using this link Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
Resources and learning for social care staff - https://www.reactto.co.uk/ This is also free for all care staff and covers a wide variety to subjects focusing on prevention.
Discussing SLT Solutions/Swallowing Difficulties following COVID. To watch the video please click here
Please also find the CQC guidance to ensure that care settings are compliant with IPC.
5. Domiciliary Care
Useful links for the domiciliary care sector (LCC) :
6. Primary Care
7. Digital, IT and data
The Future of the Telemedicine Service Pendle and Hyndburn- Dear Pendle and Hyndburn Providers we appreciate your localities are high Telemedicine users thus we would like to invite you to attend an engagement session in relation to the news below and attached. Please come along to work with us on next steps. No need to book. If you are in Pendle please click the first link below at 1pm on Thursday 15th April. If you are in Hyndburn please click the second link below at 2pm on Friday 16th April. The next coffee and engagement session will also focus on telemedicine too.
Pendle – Thursday April 15th 1.00-2.00pm
Hyndburn – Friday April 16th 2.00-3.00pm
Specific support for digital technology for the regulated care sector - can be found via the Digital Social Care website which is funded by NHSx and contains a host of valuable information.
Update NHSX free iPads to care home offer - Support for Care Homes
‘Getting started with your iPad’ guidance (provided by Jigsaw24) can be found in the Books app on the iPad home screen, and a printed copy has been included in the iPad box. This guidance includes instructions for installing additional apps and using features such as Guided Access.
Care homes can access a range of support materials on the Digital Social Care website here. This webpage includes the below resources, and will be updated regularly as more resources are published:
- Weekly support webinars on iPad set-up and troubleshooting. Webinars can be accessed through Teams on Wednesdays, 2-3 pm here. Webinars run through the set up process and guide care homes through using NHSmail, MS Teams and downloading apps. There is also a Q&A opportunity. We would be grateful for your support in promoting the support webinars to care homes.
- Tips and advice on what care homes can use their iPad for, including useful apps.
- iPad case studies
- Safety and security while using the iPad, including information about completion of the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) and the Better Security, Better Care programme.
- Guidance on using NHSmail and MS Teams with iPads. General guidance can also be found here.
- Information about NHSX’s other offers for care providers, including connectivity deals for care homes.
- Newsletter sign-up – so care homes can keep updated on new support materials as soon as they are available
Barclays Digital Eagles Support for Care Homes - NHSX has been in contact with Barclays about their Digital Eagles skills support for care homes, which includes an offer of free digital skills training delivered through remote training sessions. The Barclays Digital Eagles team is already working with a number of care homes across the country.
Data Security Protection Toolkit (DSPT) Important Update - The DSPT should be completed every year, usually by 31st March. However, due to COVID-19, the deadline for 2020/21 has been extended to 30th June 2021. This means that, if you have a continuing healthcare contract or you already use systems that access NHS patient data, to remain compliant you will need to complete the 2020/21 DSPT by 30th June 2021. Other services should aim to complete it by June 2021 for residential and nursing homes, and by October 2021 for other services.
Will Entry Level be continuing?
Reflecting the need for adult social care services to operate in a way which meets the national data security standards, the option of publishing at entry level is a temporary arrangement and has been removed since 19 February 2021.
A new Approaching Standards level will be introduced in early 2021. If you have done most of the DSPT but have a bit more work left to do, you’ll be able to get credit for the progress you have made by publishing at “Approaching Standards.” To do this, you’ll need to submit an action plan saying how and when you will complete the remaining items.
Our advice for providers in Pennine Lancashire is to aim to complete the Standards Met. There is lots of guidance and support available online.
8. Key dates and information
Pennine Lancashire Care Provider Forum – No need to book, insert date info from below here*** just use this link to dial in - Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
Coffee and Engagement Events – Second Wednesday of each month, 2pm-3pm
Calling all Regulated Care Providers! Please join us for a coffee and chat session to have your say! The purpose of these sessions are to support the Regulated Care sector to provide high quality and safe services and to be a fully integrated part of the Pennie Lancashire Health and Social Care service delivery model by listening to, learning from and working together. Please use this MS teams link to dial in at 2pm on the dates below, no need to book. Click here to join the meeting
We look forward to seeing you there on the Dates should be 27th April 2021, 25th May 2021, 29th June 2021, and the 27th July 2021!
HealthWatch Residential care staff survey - please circulate to staff and encourage everyone to respond to this important survey. BwD Healthwatch survey to find out what people’s health and social care priorities for our next year’s workplan. Healthwatch BwD are still here to listen to your experiences of health and social care and are busy planning our projects for the year ahead. What do you want us to focus on this year in Blackburn with Darwen? Tell us what is important to you in this quick survey. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SJJMZWK
9. Spotlight on: our feature about you, your residents, staff and settings!
We have opened a new section which we are calling “Spotlight on”. This is an opportunity for you to tell us about what you are doing, news and information about the work you are doing and news or interesting items about you, your residents, staff or settings! Please email us via the email address below. We need items to be received by the Friday before each edition which is published on Mondays!
10. Health and Wellbeing
Have you thought about 20-20-20? Please share this article with staff: www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-55933168 - this is a good reminder to take regular breaks from the computer screen. 20-20-20 relates to every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20ft away (probably something outside your window), for 20 seconds. If you can incorporate standing at the same time and doing a few stretches (although possibly not with your camera on, unless everyone else is joining in!), then that would be good for your back/hips, as well.
Our NHS People - has an amazing range of support, guidance and information for staff health and wellbeing – please do check it out this is available for regulated care sector staff too!
Lancashire and South Cumbria Resilience Hub – this is intended as a support resources for all public sector workers and volunteers who have worked through the Covid-19 pandemic and their families. This includes everyone from those who work in the NHS, local authorities and councils, ambulance service staff, care home workers, those working in social care and community workers.
The National Bereavement Service - offers practical and emotional support to guide you through what needs to be done. We can introduce the bereaved to trusted partner organisations in both private and charitable sectors, as well as provide information on the statutory requirements following loss, such as the registration of death and probate.
CCG Health & Wellbeing Bulletins – you can access the support that is available in these bulletins including free health and wellbeing classes:
Mental Health Family Hour – monthly talks on mental health and wellbeing live streamed on YouTube and via social media. For more information: www.lscft.nhs.uk/mental-health-family-hour