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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

Latest news from us

Wednesday 28 October

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

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. Order limits have been updated for home care providers and residential care homes.

NHS Test and Trace in the workplace

 The guidance on NHS Test and Trace for employers, businesses and workers has been updated to reflect employers’ legal duties around staff who are self-isolating.

EU Settlement Scheme: ID document scanner locations

This information relates to those applying through the EU Settlement Scheme.  The locations where you can  go to get your biometric ID document scanned are now available  if you do not have access to an Android device with near field communication (NFC).

Tuesday 27 October

Covid 19 Infection Alert 

In the light of the recent Government announcements and the reported continuing rise in national Covid 19  infection rates please ensure that you and your colleagues review the contents of  this letter which is the second of a series of Covid 19 alerts to Care Providers in Dorset from Dorset Council.

Care Home Incident and Outbreaks 

Partners in Care have recently circulated detailed information on this issue to providers.

Please remember when you have any confirmed cases (residents or staff) or suspected cases in residents in your came home, you still need to tell the Health Protection Team (HPT) – Tel: 0300 303 8162 or swhpt@phe.gov.uk

However, when you have a single confirmed case in a staff member in your came home but no other cases (either symptomatic or on whole home testing), the HPT will no longer be ringing you to conduct a risk assessment. Partners in Care have sent out the  information that you might require we  on this issue earlier this week and we ask you to familiarise yourselves with it so that you are prepared for what you will have to do when the time comes. Please refer back to this information when you have a single member of staff with infection.

 Please, however, do contact the Health Protection Team if:

  • Any residents are symptomatic or have tested positive
  • There is more than one staff member who has tested positive within 28 day period

 Any symptomatic or confirmed COVID-19 positive staff member will need to stay off work for 10 days from the date of onset of symptoms (or date of test if asymptomatic) . They can return to work on day 11 if they are feeling well and have been free of fever for the 48 hour period prior to their return.

Friday 23 October

Care badges available to order

The Department of Health and Social Care is providing CARE badges free of charge to staff employed across the adult social care sector to recognise their critical work, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak. We hope CARE badges will be worn as a symbol of pride for the values and skills embodied in social care and the tireless work of the sector to support people to live better lives.

Order your Care Badge now for your employees and yourselves . The link will take you through to the  APS’s ordering site. APS are a trusted third party supplier who are delivering CARE badges on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. CARE Badge FAQ

CARE brand guidance update

Guidelines on using the CARE brand are now available. The brand is designed to help the adult social care sector get the recognition it deserves.

 The brand gives the sector a clear way of identifying their workforce and services and will help the public recognise social care providers as essential workers.

Coronavirus:  Emergency Funding for Local Government

The information on allocations of additional funding to local authorities  has been updatedon 22nd October to include a further £919 million of a further un-ringfenced funding to respond to spending pressures.

NHS Capacity Tracker and CQC Home Care Survey Reminder

  • Please ensure that you are completing the NHS Capacity Tracker (care homes) and CQC Home Care Survey at least weekly in line with the Infection Control Fund Round 2 Grant Conditions.
  • More information on Grant Conditions Round 2  can be found on this page
  • Care Homes: – please ensure that your update includes the 13 infection control questions. You can click the ‘save details’ button at the bottom of the page if your situation has not changed from the previous update. You may find this  Capacity Tracker Guide helpful.
  • Community/Home Care Providers:More information on the CQC Survey can be found via this link. Please note that not all community care providers currently submit a regular return; you can receive a link to upload your data by contacting Covid19DailyUpdateCQC@cqc.org.uk

Care Home Test Issues

If you experience issues with Care Home Testing such as test results or couriers not arriving you  should always call the 119 service as advised by Department of Health and Social Care to escalate the matter. To get straight to the Care Home Team, when you call 119, after confirming your country, language and data please select Option 1 “calling about a test” and then Option 3 “calling from a care setting”.

This is a dedicated care home team who are there to help with testing queries.

NHS Online Survey Extensions

  • The online proxy ordering survey (all care homes and substance misuse providers) deadline has been extended to 28th October 2020.
  • The syringe pump survey (nursing homes only) has also been extended to 28th October.
  • More information can be found here

Queries regarding these surveys should be directed to the following contacts:

Tuesday 20 October

COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable (updated 15 October)

The updated guidance is based on new measures including the rule of six, tiering alert system and use of face coverings. This guidance is for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (updated 15 October) 

This guidance is only valid during the COVID-19 pandemic and applies to those caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment. The guidance applies until withdrawn by the Department of Health and Social Care. During the pandemic, the principles of the MCA and the safeguards provided by DoLS still apply.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Travel Corridors

List of countries, territories and regions from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate. Crete added to list 4am, Sunday 18 October 2020. Italy, San Merino and Vatican City State removed from list 4am, Sunday 18 October 2020.

Monday 19 October

Covid 19 Alert Level  Information Resources

The government has recently introduced a three-tiered system of local COVID alert levels in England.  These tiers  have been labelled "Medium", "High" and "Very High Risk", setting out information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do and how to manage the outbreak in their area.  

Here in Dorset we are currently at "Medium" Alert Level and Public Health England and the NHS  have created a  2020 Medium Alert Level Information Poster which you can display in relevant areas.  Additional  resources for information and awareness raising produced by Public Health England and the NHS  can be found in the  Coronavirus Resource Centre.

Thursday 15 October

Covid 19 Infection Alert 

In the light of the recent Government announcements and the reported rise in national Covid 19  infection rates please ensure that you and your colleagues review the contents of  this letter which is  the first of a series of Covid 19  alerts to Care Providers in Dorset from Dorset Council.

Health Protection Team Weekly Meeting: Q&A opportunity

The Health Protection Team are continuing to host a weekly meeting each Friday at 3pm to discuss and answer questions on how to prevent and manage cases and outbreaks of acute respiratory infection, including COVID-19, in social care settings.

 To join the meeting

 Please continue to call the Health Protection Team on 0300 303 8162 if you have:

  • One or more residents with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or Influenza, or
  • Two or more  staff with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or Influenza
  • Or an escalation of an outbreak that you have already told us about

To advise us of a single confirmed case in care staff, or any other urgent enquires  please email: Ask.SWHPT@phe.gov.uk 

Care Home Winter Readiness Site 

Please visit the recently updated Care Home Winter Readiness site , from the South West Public Health England Centre, which has been hosted by our colleagues in NHS England and NHS Improvement South West.

You will find further information on this page: Covid 19 Adult Social Care Guidance

Tuesday 13 October

Reminder: iPAD Offer to Care Homes closes 23rd October 2020 

As previously mentioned on this page, NHSX are offering free  iPads to Care Homes to help provide care to residents.  So far there has only been a 50% uptake of the iPADs by Care Homes. Please visit the NHSX website now to check your eligibility and the terms and conditions of the offer as applications close on 23rd October 2020.

Supported Living Services during Coronavirus

 Guidance onSupported Living settings has been updated. This guidance now includes:

  • key messages to assist with planning and preparation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic so that local procedures can be put in place to minimise risk and provide the best possible support to people in supported living settings
  • safe systems of working including, social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning
  • how infection prevention and control (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) applies to supported living settings

Social Care Sector Covid 19 Support Taskforce:report on first phase of Covid 19 pandemic

This latest report sets out the progress and learning from the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in informing advice and recommendations to government and the social care sector. There is also an "easy read" version of  how coronavirus has affected people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

Free access to flu vaccination for PA’s  

All frontline health and social care workers are encouraged to get the winter flu vaccination and for the first time, this year, PAs will be able to access the vaccine free of charge from GPs and community pharmacies through the NHS Complementary Scheme. 

Sometimes people have been asked to provide proof of their entitlement to a free flu vaccination and the attached letter can be used for identification.

The process for PAs to access the flu vaccination, is as follows:

  • Step 1. Print this Letter of Entitlement to Flu Vaccine (PA)
  • Step 2. Employers should complete the letter, to prove that their PA is employed. Once the PA has this, this will act as their ‘letter of entitlement’ to the vaccination.
  • Step 3. They will then need to visit their local GP or community pharmacist, who will be able to give them the flu vaccination. If they need to prove their entitlement, they can use the letter of entitlement and a copy of the guidance (when published).
  • Step 4. The vaccination will then be given to them, free of charge. 

Keep Learning during Covid 19

  • Dorset CCG deliver free Infection Prevention Control training. Please contact the Dorset CCG Quality Improvement Team  for further details: - QIT@dorsetccg.nhs.uk
  • NHS: Health Education England has e-learning that is Government funded and can be accessed by Social Care workers with an NMDS-SC organisation code. There are also a number of e-learning modules that can be accessed without registering.
  • As part of the e-learning offer Health Education England have developed a suite of online learning to support workforces working in and responding to the Covid-19 outbreak. These can be accessed via this Health Education England link
  • Here you will find the latest list of adult social care training courses available through Dorset Council. These include:

Additional resources which you may find useful:

Monday 12 October 

Mental Health For All 

Saturday 10 October 2020 was World Mental Health Day The coronavirus pandemic has not limited its effects to the purely physical, but impacted many of us on a psychological level. This year the theme of 'Mental Health for All' has never been more timely.

  • The Samaritans, working with NHS England, continue to offer their helplines to all social care workers, giving staff a safe space to offload and get support from trained, specialist advisers. Call them on  their free helpline number 116 123 - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Connection 24/7 Mental Health Helpline - is a round-the-clock helpline for people of all ages, anywhere in Dorset, who are experiencing mental health problems and need support.
  • Hospice UK offer a  bereavement helpline  available on 0300 303 4434 or you can text 'SHOUT' to 85258 to start a conversation with  SHOUT a 24/7 text  messaging support service. 

Thinking of hiring from the EU next year?

The way you recruit staff from the EU is changing from 1 January 2021. Free movement is ending, and the new points-based immigration system will introduce job, salary and language requirements. The new system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which employers recruit from outside the UK. You’ll need a sponsor licence to hire most eligible employees from outside the UK. This does not apply to Irish citizens.   You can find full details on  this government website

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors

Here you will find the latest list of countries, territories and regions from where you can currently  travel to England and may not have to self-isolate on your return. Lesvos, Santorini, Serifos and Zakynthos  have now been  added to the England travel corridor list at 4am Saturday 10 October 2020 which means you will not currently have to self isolate on return from these areas either. Please be aware that the list changes frequently and check before travelling.

Thursday 8 October 

NHS Test and Trace: how it works

You can find an overview of the current NHS Test and Trace Servicehere , including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive. If NHS Test and Trace calls you by phone, the service will be using the phone number 0300 013 5000.

COVID-19: how to work safely in home care in England

A resource for those working in home care has been developed providing information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). There is also an added notification that the use of gloves is being reviewed and will be updated shortly.

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes

Updated guidance  (08 October) for those working in care homes provides information on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19. There is also an added notification that the use of gloves is being reviewed and will be updated shortly.

Winter plan: Importance of regular testing in care homes

The winter plan focuses on the continued importance of regular testing in care homes, and following infection control guidance. All care homes in all parts of England must test all staff weekly and all residents every 28 days. There have been some instances where care homes have been told to test staff less frequently than once a week.  This is against national policy.

The only exception to this policy is:

  • In the case of outbreaks, where you will receive more intensive outbreak testing and support locally from your health protection team, or
  • Where staff or residents have received a positive result and completed their isolation – in these cases, they will not need to return to regular testing for 90 days. See full guidance here in Section 5

As you prepare for winter, please encourage all your staff to familiarise themselves again with the current testing guidance by reading the guidance documents online and joining one of our weekly  Care Home Testing Webinars

Update on the testkitcollect.co.uk portal (care homes)

The www.testkitcollect.co.uk portal is the only way that  care homes  can send test kits to the labs. You can book your courier up to 6 days in advance and it must be booked before 7pm the day before testing. Couriers are available seven days a week.

When arranging your courier 

  • It is essential that you have a courier booked for the day that you are testing. You must book these couriers  in advance  at   www.testkitcollect.co.uk 
  • We now ask you to predict the number of kits you expect to send back. This is to help us with our logistics operations. You will not be able to change it after submitting, but please do not worry if you end up testing a different number – it is only there to help us plan volumes and does not need to be exact.
  • If your courier does not arrive you should never discard your test kits. Call 119 the following morning and they will be able to arrange an emergency courier for you which will take the test kits straight to the lab to ensure these do not get voided
  • To get straight through to the care home team when you call 119, you should – (after confirming your country, language and data preferences) – select option 1 “calling about a test” then option 3 “calling from a care setting”
  • All test kit registrations should be completed on the day of testing and not in advance. This is to reduce avoidable voids at the labs where it looks like the swab was taken earlier than it was. You can however prepare in advance by beginning to populate the record keeping spreadsheet on this Gov.UK page.
  • All organisations are assigned an 8 digit unique organisation number (UON) which you must use to access all testing services; you can search for your UON using your CQC ID  through the portal which can be found here.
  • All guidance and support documents for care home testing can be accessed via this link

As mentioned above if you have any questions at all about testing, please join our weekly care home testing webinar Care Home Testing Webinars

Wednesday 7 October

PPE portal: how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) (updated 6 October)

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 with the updated information on pharmacy order limits.

Care Home Update: At-Home Antibody Testing for Adult Social Care Staff

All care home managers in the North East, North West, South West and Yorkshire and Humber should have received an email on 5 October with information on the initial roll out of the new at-home antibody testing service. The service is designed to support surveillance studies across the UK that will help to understand COVID-19 and how it has spread. Regardless of the result of an antibody test, individuals must continue to comply with government guidelines, including wearing PPE and social distancing. 

Antibody testing is already being provided through the NHS for staff in adult social care. The new at-home antibody test provides an additional route to access an antibody test, giving greater flexibility and choice. Staff should only take one version of the test. The team would like to encourage all staff to apply for an antibody test using the link Antibody test.

The at home tests are different from the offer of local blood draw testing at NHS clinics, these blood draw tests are still available and still being delivered in a large number of local areas by the NHS. The hope is that the at home tests are more convenient for some care home staff who cannot travel to their local NHS clinic. If a care home has any questions, they can email the anti-body testing team at antibodytesting@dhsc.gov.uk 

This testing is separate from weekly swab retesting and outbreak testing by PHE and local HPTs, and that swab retesting of all staff and residents in care homes continues as a priority, even if individuals receive a positive antibody test result. If care homes are currently facing an outbreak or suspected outbreak, they should contact their local HPT. 

PPE – A Message from Helen Whately, Minister for Care, Department of Health and Social Care

“The DHSC has distributed more than 3.5 billion PPE items to health and social care services in England. As winter approaches, we have made sure we have enough PPE to supply social care with all that’s needed to be COVID-secure. We’re calling on all care providers to make sure they are stocked up too. It’s crucial every care worker has the right PPE every time they need it.  

If anyone doubts the seriousness of this endeavour, we have also published a dedicated PPE strategy to guide and support everyone working in or with the health and care sector.

Its primary aim is to build resilience and an adaptable system to make sure PPE stocks are always there. From November, there will be a four-month stockpile of items in place, including face masks, visors and gowns, to make sure there is a continuous flow to the frontline. I urge all providers to review the guidance and order through the PPE portal.”        

Visit the  Social Care News Blog to find out more about PPE.

Why do I need to wait for my flu vaccine?

We have previously highlighted  on this page the latest  Flu Campaign Update from Public Health England and the Dept of Health and Social Care.

This winter it is extremely important that you protect yourself and the people you care for against flu and the best way to stay protected is by getting the flu jab. Whilst currently there is no national shortage of the flu vaccination, deliveries are usually made in stages and there will be particularly high demand for the vaccine as well as different vaccines offered for different age groups. 

Public Health England and the NHS have produced a flyer which you may wish to share  with your staff and colleagues which explains in more detail  why you may have to wait for your flu vaccination this year and also why you should  take up your opportunity to have the vaccine when it is available.  It is hoped that 100% of frontline health and social workers, and at least 75% of those in eligible groups will take up the vaccine this year.  Visit  www.nhs.uk/flujab for more information.   

Monday 5 October

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund: Round 2 (updated 01 October)

The Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund has now  been extended until March 2021, with an extra £546 million of funding. The details of what the  new infection control fund will supporthave  been published including information on the distribution of funds and reporting requirements.

The Fund  supports Adult Social Care providers to reduce the rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission within and between care settings, in particular by helping to reduce the need for staff movements between sites. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors

Here you will find the latest list of, territories and regions from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate .   The changes include the facts that  Bonaire, St Eustatius, Saba, Poland and Turkey have now been removed from the England travel corridors list at 4am, Saturday 3 October 2020 and therefore travel to these areas will now require self isolation on return to England.

Friday 2 October

"PPE for the frontline, all the time" - just published on the social care blog (01 October)

The Department of Health and Social Care, published a new PPE strategy, which sets out how PPE will be delivered to the frontline and how to order, in both health and social care, until the end of March 2021. This is a good opportunity to firstly thank the health and care workforce for everything they do – and have done – during the exceptional circumstances we all find ourselves in.

NHS Test and Trace in the workplace

Guidanceupdated 30 September on NHS Test and Trace for employers, businesses and workers with the change made - corrected an error implying that the NHS COVID-19 app is mandatory - this is not the case.

Retesting exemption period for staff where there are no COVID-19 symptoms

Gov.uk guidance has been updated; Staff who have previously tested positive for Covid-19 should be exempt from being retested within a period of 90 days from their initial illness onset, unless they develop new possible COVID-19 symptoms.  Please visit the Gov.uk page to read the guidance in full. 

Wednesday 30 September

PPE Guidance

Please note that Public Health Dorset are no longer publishing advice and guidance on PPE as the national guidance is now very comprehensive.  A list of guidance sources has been collated here - Withdrawal of SW PPE guidance form of words

COVID-19: Supporting Adults with Learning Disabilities and Autistic Adults (updated 29 September)

This updated guidanceis for care staff who are supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The guidance will help care staff to:

  • keep people with learning disabilities and autistic people safe
  • support them to understand the changes they need to make during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • protect their own wellbeing

COVID-19: How to Work Safely in Care Homes (updated 28 Sept 2020)

Guidancefor those working in care homes providing information on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19. The guidance includes:

  • PPE recommendations for care home staff
  • FAQ on the use of PPE in care homes
  • Examples which help to identify the correct use of PPE when undertaking activities that require physical contact or activities which do not require physical contact but are carried out in close proximity to residents
  • Guide to putting on PPE for care homes
  • Guide to taking off PPE for care homes

COVID-19: Management of staff and exposed patients and residents in Health and Social Care settings (updated 28 September)

This updated guidanceprovides advice on the management of staff and patients or residents in health and social care settings according to exposures, symptoms and test results. The exemption of PCR retesting period has been updated from 6 weeks to 90 days. It includes:

  • staff with symptoms of COVID-19
  • staff return to work criteria
  • patient exposures in hospital
  • resident exposures in care settings 

Tuesday 29 September

Ipad offer to care homes

Through the NHSX website iPads are being offered to help care homes provide care to residents.  Please visit the NHSX website to check eligibility, applications close on 23rd October.

Flu Vaccination: Important news for care workers

This year it is more important than before that you protect yourself and the people you care for against flu. The best way to stay protected is by getting the flu jab.

All staff should check if they are classed as eligible through the NHS programme and contact their GP or local pharmacist for a free flu vaccination.

As a care worker providing direct personal care, you can also get you flu jab at your GP or pharmacy. We have heard reports that some carers have been turned away from pharmacies and GPs but we encourage you to keep trying as you are eligible and a priority for a free vaccine.

There are some national issues with supply of stock but we will keep you updated on this.

Flu season covers now until February so there is plenty of time to get protected.

Monday 28 September 

New legal duty to self-isolate comes into force today (28 September)

 Legal duty to self-isolate comes into force today, to ensure compliance and reduce spread of COVID-19. People in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person (updated 28 September)

Guidance for contacts of a person with a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19) who do not live with that person. If you have been in close contact with, but do not live with, a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, follow the guidance below. This may include people in your support bubble

The new NHS COVID-19 app: emails and SMS messages

The government is texting and emailing people across England to inform them of the new contact tracing app available to download from the App Store and Google Play.

  • Download resourcesto support visitors at your business or organisation. These resources can be shared by email, hosted on your website or displayed at your venue. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategy: Stabilise and build resilience

The government’s strategy for preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 covering supply and logistics for distribution of PPE with huge increase in UK Personal Protective Equipment production.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors

List of countries territories and regions from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate, including Curaçao, Denmark, Iceland and Slovakia removed now from the travel corridors list.

Friday 25th September

Cleansing and PPE waste at a healthcare waste management facility

Please check the latest updated guidance  on this Gov.UK page if you use a healthcare waste management facility to dispose of :

  • waste from cleaning people or places infected, or potentially infected, with coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • separately collected personal protective equipment (PPE) waste, for example used facemasks and gloves, from commercial premises and produced as a result of social distancing measures

Coronavirus (COVID-19): antibody testing (updated 24 Sept)

Information on eligibility for antibody testing and how to get a test have now been updated on this page from Gov.UK.

PPE Portal  - Are you registered?

Please ensure you are registered to use the portal . You should previously have received an email with details about how to access the portal. However if you missed it there will be a reissue of this invitation next week. Alternatively you can contact DHSC via ppe-portal@dhsc.gov.ukor  call 0800 876 6802 and ask for a new email address to be registered to use the system. Community and residential drug and alcohol services can now order from the portal. Delivery times have also been updated: orders will now  be delivered within 4 days.

Data Security & Protection Toolkit – Register by 30/9/20

As identified in the Adult Social Care Covid Winter Plan 2020-21you may be aware that all providers need to register with the Data Security & Protection Toolkit by 30/9/20 if they have not already done so.

In order to register please ensure you take the following steps by 30/9/20:

  • Register your organisation via: this link
  • To register you will need an email address and an ‘ODS Code’ which can be found clicking here. If you cannot locate your ODS code please contact us via picare@bpc.ac.uk
  • There is a step by step visual guide to registration  on Digital Social Care

PIC will be running a short virtual information session to give you an overview of  the Data Security and Protection Toolkit and how to register ahead of a wider programme of support being released in the autumn. This will be held on the following date via MS Teams:

Monday 28th September at 2:00pm – 2:30pm  – Please book here on Eventbrite

If you are not sure if your organisation has already registered or not, or if you have any other queries please contact picare@bpc.ac.uk

Thursday 24th September 

NHS COVID-19 app launches across England and Wales

NHS Covid 19 App launches nationwide today (24 Sept) to help control COVID-19 transmission alongside national and local contact tracing

  • Features of the app include contact tracing using Bluetooth, risk alerts based on postcode district, QR check-in at venues, symptom checker and test booking – with user privacy and data security at its heart
  • Businesses are now required by law to display the official NHS QR code posters from today , which can be downloaded via a website to display as posters in premises  so people can check-in at different premises with the app.
  • New and updated privacy notices  have  also been added for the  national launch of the app, including an updated data protection impact assessment.

NHS Test and Trace: How it Works

This overview of the NHS Test and Trace- How it Works, includes what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.    Advice on how you can help reduce the transmission  of  coronavirus (COVID-19) and additional resources   for those working in home care are included as well as information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Wednesday 23 September

PHE SW: Winter Readiness - Flu Campaign

Public Health England South West have sent a  PHE SW Care Home Winter Readiness Letter to the managers of residential homes, nursing homes and hospices.  The letter highlights a number of useful documents that are available in the NHS England Winter Readiness Pack including checklists for flu, covid and gastroenteritis, as well as action cards and posters. 

The key messages from  PHE SW are

  • Be Prepared
  • Recognise Outbreaks
  • Report Outbreaks  - to your local Health Protection Team 24/7 on 0300 303 8162

Tuesday 22 September

Update on policies for visiting arrangements in care homes

There has been a further Gov.UK  update for providers on care home visiting arrangementswhich now forms part of the  Adult Social Care: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Winter Plan 2020 to 2021. 

Adult Social Care Winter Plan: letter from Minister for Care to local authorities

This letter from Helen Whateley, Minister for Care and updated on 21 September,  outlines the expectations of local authorities in relation to the Adult Social Care Winter Plan.

Adult Social Care: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Winter Plan 2020 to 2021

The Winter Plan sets out

  • The government's ambitions for the sector and the challenges facing adult social care this winter
  • Key actions for national bodies (Department of Health and Social Care), local systems (local authorities and NHS England) and adult social care provider

It covers 4 themes:

  • preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings
  • collaboration across health and care services
  • supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers
  • supporting the system

The plan applies to all settings and contexts in which people receive adult social care. This includes people’s own homes, residential care homes and nursing homes, and other community settings.

Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: report on first phase of COVID-19 pandemics

This report sets out the progress and learning from the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in informing advice and recommendations to government and the social care sector.

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund (updated 21 Sept)

This update on the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund sets out the infection control measures that the infection control fund will support, including information on the distribution of funds and reporting requirements. The Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund is worth £600 million. The primary purpose of this fund is to support adult social care providers, including those with whom the local authority does not have a contract, to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience.

A small percentage of it may be used to support domiciliary care providers and support wider workforce resilience to deal with COVID-19 infections.

Allocation of COVID-19 swab tests in care homes in England (updated 21 Sept)

Based on the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), allocation of Covid 19 swab tests in care homes for older adults and dementia, (with and without symptoms) will be undertaken for:

  • staff every week
  • residents every 28 days
  • all new admissions

In addition, in the event of an outbreak whole care homes will be tested.

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

Eligible providers can now use the portal to order PPE for Covid 19 requirements, rather than as an emergency top-up system. This guidance has been updated to reflect this. Added information includes  when to use the National Supply Disruption Response.

COVID-19 Rehabilitation guidance aimed at Residential/Nursing care providers

We are recirculating  this COVID Rehab Booklet following a rise in the number of people experiencing Covid-19 locally. The booklet has been written in partnership with Dorset CCG, Dorset County Hospital, Dorset HealthCare, Poole Hospital and the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals for you to share as required. The booklet also includes a link to Your Covid Recovery which is the national online rehabilitation programme launched this summer by NHS England.

Monday 21 September 

More than £500 million for social care to reduce coronavirus transmission over winter

The infection control fund has been extended to March 21  .Care providers will be given an extra £546 million to bolster infection control and help protect residents and staff throughout winter (published 17 Sept 20) to ensure providers have the resources they need to halt transmission of COVID-19 throughout winter. The fund can be used to pay staff wages for those self-isolating and hire more staff to restrict movement between homes to stop the spread of the virus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): antibody testing

Information about the antibody testing programme has been updated Antibody tests are to check whether a person has had the virus. Department of Health and Social Care is working directly with organisations in the adult social care sector in order to offer tests.

PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment

Healthcare providers can  order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the portal to top up their existing supplies for COVID-19 in an emergency.

Home care providers with 50 or more clients and residential care homes with over 50 or more beds can now order one box of visors (usually 200 per box) per week.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested (updated 17 Sept)

Registered Adult Care Homes in England  can  apply for coronavirus tests.

You should contact your local Health Protection Team (HPT) in the following circumstances:

  • if you suspect your care home has a new coronavirus outbreak (one or more suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19)
  • it has been 28 days or longer since your last case and you have new cases

Your HPT will provide advice and arrange the first tests.  Routes to Access Coronavirus Testing for Adult Social Care  can be found in the infographic.

Using PPE in health and social care work during coronavirus pandemic

Employers must protect workers from injury or harm to health which could happen as a result of work-related activity. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus (COVID-19). During the pandemic, the Health and Safety Executive has worked with others to develop guidance about current issues with PPE (personal protective equipment):

Claim for wages through Job Retention Scheme

Claim for some of your employees wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19). From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked, you can read more about the changes here including a summary of the scheme as it has changed on a month by month basis.

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you’re an employer, find out here if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees’ coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Changes made from 26 August 2020  mean you can claim for employees who have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery.

Hospital discharge service: policy and operating model

This document sets out how health and care systems should support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital. The aim of the policy and operating model  is to ensure that people

  • are discharged safely from hospital to the most appropriate place
  • continue to receive the care and support they need after they leave hospital

This replaces the previous update ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hospital Discharge Service Requirements’ published on 19 March 2020.

Wednesday 16 September

Launch of Health and Social Care Workers’ Flu Vaccination campaign

Today, Public Health England launch national PR activity to support the Health and Social Care Workers (HSCWs) flu vaccination campaign. The flu vaccine is the best way for HSCWs to protect themselves, their family and those they care for from the flu. This year, with coronavirus in circulation, it’s more important than ever that frontline HSCWs get their flu vaccination.

Campaign materials, including posters, leaflets and digital assets, are live on Public Health England’s  Flu Campaign Resource Centre ready to order, download, adapt or print locally, together with a campaign toolkit providing guidance on the use of these resources. These campaign materials can be used to encourage uptake of the flu vaccination amongst your colleagues and can be used either “off the shelf” or adapted to suit your needs.  Also available is a Communications Toolkit, with key messages, background information, and FAQs to help promote the campaign.

Care Sector Winter Webinar Series 

A series of webinars are being hosted by NHS England / Improvement as an opportunity to share with peers what is working well and get support and help in working through ideas to further improve practice. The topics will be generated by the group, based on common areas of interest. The webinars are aimed at anyone who is supporting the Care Sector; in particular Care Home staff, Care at Home staff, community health and care teams, PCN teams,  and staff supporting the implementation of the Enhanced Health and Care Homes Framework. Here are the full details  of the Care Sector Winter Webinar Series .

Care Home Winter Readiness Pack for Care Homes 

Winter readiness is more important this year than previously as it will bring additional challenges, due to the pandemic, resulting in added pressure to you and your colleagues.

The purpose of this South West Care Home Resource Pack is to provide guidance and informative links to support care providers prepare for winter. The information is aligned with national guidance, including good practice which can be embedded locally by care providers.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: What you can and cannot do

Gov.UK has produced guidance in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQ) on what you can and cannot do during the coronavirus outbreak which you can find here.

What safety standards  need to be in place in Care Homes?

Public Health England have produced detailed guidance  about infection control and staff safety in care homes to help admit and care for residents safely and protect care home staff which  can be found here This guidance  includes isolation procedures, PPE and infection control training for all staff, cleaning and how to provide personal care safely. As with all PHE advice, this guidance is kept under constant review and updated frequently, in line with the latest scientific evidence.

Monday 14 September

Latest Update from Dept of Health and Social Care Director Stuart Miller 

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued a letter  which highlights Public Health England data showing that the recent rise in Covid-19 cases is starting to reflect in care homes. The letter sets out actions to prevent the spread of the virus in the care sector.

Summary of Covid-19 guidance for  Adult Social Care providers

This link will take you to  an updated overview of Covid 19 related guidance for Adult Social Care providers from Gov.UK (updated on 11th September).

Private Day Opportunities - Provider Update

New rules introduced today on the numbers of people allowed to meet  will affect the provision of Private Day Opportunities. This Private Day Opportunities Provider Update - 14.9.20. prepared by BCP Council and Dorset Council summarises the guidance for local providers.

COVID-19: reducing transmission – what you can do to help

Advice on how you can help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Updated guidance on 14  includes information on  the number of people allowed to meet. The actions outlined in this guidance will reduce your chance of catching COVID-19 or passing it on to others. For more information on how to work safely in domiciliary care in England, please click here

Wednesday 9 September

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Travel corridors

This guidance has been updated by Gov.UK on 09 September, and includes the list of countries and territories from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate.   However please note that Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos are  removed from the travel corridor list with effect from  4am today  (9 Sept)  and if you are returning from these specific Greek Islands you will now need to self isolate.

Antibody Testing for Social Care Staff

Antibody tests are being provided free of charge by the NHS to anyone in paid adult social care employment, whether they have had symptoms or not. The antibody test is a voluntary blood test which involves taking blood from the arm and determines whether you have had Coronavirus and whether your body has responded by developing antibodies.

You can find out here  why you should take the antibody test   and  how to access an antibody test in Dorset 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity

Guidance for health and social care staff who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity. The updated guidance “The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS)” during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic includes information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals.

Monday 7 September

PPE: Fit Testing for FFP3 Masks

Due to the high demand for fit testing requests, Dorset CCG have developed a dedicated email address for this purpose only.

To book a fit test for FFP3 masks please email your request to: dorsetfittesting@dorsetccg.nhs.uk

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.   This guidance updated on 7 Septemberhas removed suggested templates for recording resident and staff tests because they are no longer required.

Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed COVID-19 infection who do not live with the person

If you have been in close contact with, but do not live with, a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, please ensure you follow this latest guidance This may include people in your support bubble

Thursday 3 September

Dorset Open Door: Partners offer a new bereavement service for Dorset

Experiencing bereavement is difficult at any time, but it may be particularly traumatic at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, if someone has been bereaved by suicide, the grieving process can be complicated and distressing.

That’s where Dorset Open Door, a new partnership between charities, health and care organisations can help. If someone isn’t sure where to go to get the best bereavement support, Dorset Open Door can help with finding support from the right organisation and guide them through the process.

If you would like more information about the support available, or you feel Dorset Open Door would be useful for anyone you work with, Dorset Open Door can be reached by phone on 01305 361 361 or email on:  dhc.dorsetopendoor@nhs.net.  The service is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm.This poster also includes useful information about bereavement support in Dorset and you may wish to display it in your areas.

The partnership is made up of Dorset HealthCare, Dorset Mental Health Forum, NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, Cruse Bereavement Care, Mosaic – Supporting Bereaved Children, Dorset Mind, Rethink Carers Support Dorset, Dorset Race Equality Council, Dorset Community Action, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Community Action Network and the Douch Family.

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

How to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak. This updated guidance on 02 September now includes a new section on how care homes can support the NHS Test and Trace service

Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care

Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the coronavirus outbreak. This updated guidance includes a new section on how home care providers can support the NHS Test and Trace service and updated links to hospital discharge service guidance.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): reuse of medicines in a care home or hospice

Standard operating procedure on how to run a safe and effective medicines reuse scheme in a care home or hospice during the coronavirus outbreak, for more information please follow this link

PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment

Healthcare providers can order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the portal which is designed to be an emergency top up system, to top up their existing supplies for COVID-19 in an emergency. Please click here to find out who can use the portal  what the order limits are currently, and delivery arrangements.

Wednesday 2 September

"Credit where it’s due"

Professional Care Workers' Week (1-4 September)

In the last few months, the coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the extremely important work care workers do across the country each and every day. Even before the first covid-19 cases were reported in England, it was already known  that care workers have high levels of empathy, compassion and a commitment to care that goes above and beyond what is expected of them. The pandemic has only served to highlight their amazing efforts.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what to do if you’re employed and cannot work

This updated guidance from Gov.UK (1 Sept) explains when you must stay at home and when you may be able to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)  if you are employed and cannot work due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Tuesday 1 September

COVID-19: Admission and care of people in care homes

How to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak with the updated links to hospital discharge service guidance made on 27 August.

NHS Test and Trace: How it Works

An overview of the NHS Test and Trace service, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.  This includes added references regarding local contact tracers and how and when they may contact you .

Thursday 27 August

BCP Day Services – important update

BCP Council has recently written to providers of day services to share a further update. Please see the two attached documents for more information: Day Service August Update Provider Letter V1  and PHD Day services re-opening guidance

Randox test kit recall update

Instructions were sent by DHSC on 12 August about how to return Randox Test kits as soon as possible using the Recall portal - please refer to these instructions - Randox Test Kit Recall.  All kits should be returned by 31 August.

Overview of Adult social care guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

New government guidance has been published on 25th August to provide information for adult social care providers about COVID-19 guidance and support. Please see the full guidance here: Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dysphagia training - end of discounted rate

Due to the situation regarding social distancing measures, we are pleased to be able to offer you our distance-learning Dysphagia Training (Assistant Dysphagia Practitioner Level) course at a discounted price of £25 per person until the end of August.  However, from the 1st September our normal cost of £50 will apply.  More information is given here: Dysphagia Training

Care Home Infection Control: Top Tips Guide

The following article has been published to share some of the ways in which residential and nursing homes have responded to Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that residents are safe. The guide has been compiled from a desktop review of policy and best practice guidance and can be found in full here.

Wednesday 26 August

Weekend testing in care homes to fully utilise laboratory testing capacity

 We have been asked to encourage care homes to conduct Covid-19 tests on a weekend wherever possible.  The vast majority of care home testing is carried out during the week. This means the labs have to be able to cope with a significant surge of swabs during the week, and then there is under-used lab capacity on weekends. Any capacity not used at the weekend is lost – it cannot roll it over into weekdays.  Additionally, if homes test at the weekend, as the labs are less busy this should mean you receive results quicker.

Please could you consider weekend testing wherever possible, both if you are already testing and if you are waiting for kits. All care homes who placed an order for test kits before 14 August will be contacted this week by NHS Test and Trace, asking you to commit to weekend testing if you are able to do so. All homes placing an order on or after 14 August are asked to commit to weekend testing when placing their order.

Changes to the guidance on shielding in England

Please see this recent letter from from the Department of Health and Social Care, it contains useful links and guiding principles to support employers in managing the return to work of individuals who have been shielding. 

Expansion of the national flu immunisation programme

Detailed information has been shared on the plans to expand the programme.  There is a raft of information, which had a specific section for frontline health and social care workers.  Good practice guidance along with a range of resource material are also included:  NHS England Increasing Health and Social Care Worker Flu Vaccinations

To help raise awareness and inform staff, residents and visitors  frontline health and care campaign resources   are available  which can be ordered, downloaded and amended from the PHE resource centre for local use.

If any staff are passionate about promoting the  flu vaccination please contact Public Health Dorset: Kirstie Smith kirstie.smith@dorsetcc.gov.uk or Jo Tibbles j.tibbles@dorsetcc.gov.uk   so that they can create a case study/video with you.

Monday 24 August 

Pan Dorset Care Home Admissions Protocol

We have developed the  Care Homes Admissions Protocol August 2020 which  outlines considerations and approaches to managing care home admissions, including detail of when admissions will be suspended due to suspected or confirmed Covid cases.

Update to management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings guidance

This guidance was updated on 18 August  and Section 4 now includes information about when health and social care staff are exempt from being considered as a contact for the purposes of Test and Trace. Please note the following:

  • "It is important to note that the effectiveness of the use of face masks, face coverings, or other PPE for prevention of transmission or acquisition of coronavirus infection cannot be guaranteed in settings other than the provision of direct care with patients or residents.
  • Therefore, the use of PPE in other settings (such as a staff room or canteen) will not exclude an individual from being considered a close contact."

Have you downloaded our CARE Workforce app?

Download the CARE Workforce app to stay up to date with the latest advice on coronavirus as well as free access to wellbeing support from Sleepio, Daylight and Silvercloud and much more. Simply search 'CARE Workforce' in the App Store or on Google Play. Or you can view the app content online here if you don't have a smartphone.

Wednesday 19 August

Update from GOV.UK – COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings

Guidance on the management of staff, patients and residents who have been exposed to Covid-19 can be found here: Covid-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings

Updates made to Section 4 to include guidance on when health and social care staff can be exempt from being considered a contact for the purposes of Test and Trace.

It also includes:

  • staff with symptoms of COVID-19
  • staff return to work criteria
  • patient exposures in hospital
  • resident exposures in care settings

Antibody Testing - FAQs for Organisations

 Information can be found here to show the two different types of testing and what they aim to do: 

The future of Public Health

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock spoke at Policy Exchange about the future of public health.

Tuesday 18 August

PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment

The PPE Portal was updated on 17th August.  Healthcare providers can  order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the portal to top up their existing supplies for COVID-19 in an emergency. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK

Updated guidance sets out how to self-isolate when you arrive in the UK. You will not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK. This updated guidance includes "Self isolating on return to the UK: your employment rights

Monday 17 August

Registration now open for Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)

  • The Data Security and Protection Toolkit is a free, online self-assessment for health and care providers to evaluate and improve their data and cyber security.
  • In the wake of COVID-19, Data Security Protection Toolkit (DSPT) compliance requirements were paused.
  • However, CQC-registered care providers must now register for DSPT by 30 September 2020.
  • Registration is required for care providers to continue accessing NHS mail and Microsoft Teams. A new version of the DSPT for social care is being co-produced with councils and providers and will launch in October accompanied by a programme of funded support  
  • Care associations and similar organisations, including councils, interested in delivering DSPT support to care providers at local and regional levels should submit initial expressions of interest by 10am on 1 September 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Admission and Care of People in Care Homes

The updated guidance to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak now  includes a new section on  testing people moving from the community into a care home (Annex K) updated 14 August.

Thursday 13 August

Important Customer Alert: Flosteril Gowns - Non-sterile FLO-MED 8130 

An Important Customer Alert (ICA) for Flosteril non-sterile gowns (FLO-MED 8130). These gowns do not meet the minimum standard for fluid resistance and should not be used.

Discharge to Assess Form - Your Feedback Please!

All Care Homes in Dorset will receive an email from their relevant Council Commissioning Team with a link by which you can give your feedback on the Discharge to Assess (D2A) Form.

We are very keen to seek feedback on the latest revised version of the form to ensure it contains all of the information that Care Homes require to enable a safe and efficient transfer from hospital.

Wednesday 12 August

Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Communities Workforce and Service User Survey – survey deadline 14 August 2020

The government has recently established a Social Care COVID-19 Taskforce to help oversee the implementation of the government’s Social Care Action Plan and Care Home Support Package.  

Community Swabbing Service Launches in Dorset

Help improve access to COVID-19 antibody testing

NHS Digital wants to understand how they can support adult social care staff to access COVID-19 Antibody Testing in the community. To support this they would like to speak to people who work in adult social care to understand the experience of ordering kits and collecting data to register tests, as well as taking tests. 

Your help will give them a better understanding of the needs of adult social care services and care staff, and help them to build a better service.

Research sessions will be conducted remotely and last approximately 45 minutes. They will ask you some questions and also show you a website prototype. All feedback will be anonymised, stored securely and used only for the purpose of improving the service.

If you are interested in participating, please contact rachel@hippodigital.co.uk 

Important Changes to the NHS Capacity Tracker from Monday evening, 10th August 2020.

Following feedback, there has been a small change to add a new category for answering the questions on PPE supply – BLUE – to indicate that you have a long-term supply. Click on this link for more information

Friday 7 August

DHSC update on coronavirus testing in care homes 

The Department of Health and Social Care has recently provided further information on coronavirus testing in care homes. This includes an update on the use of Randox test kits and the plan to roll out re-testing to care homes for older people and people with dementia, and all other adult care homes. Additionally two new tests, both able to detect the virus in just 90 minutes, will be made available from this week. This communication also includes a care home testing information sheet and flow chart showing how to access testing. 

BCP Care Sector Support – an update

BCP Council has updated it’s webpage to reflect the latest information on the financial support provided to the care sector during the covid-19 pandemic. 

Full information can be found here: BCP Care Sector Support

PPE Portal: Updated

The guidance for health providers on how to order emergency personal protective equipment was updated last week to reflect that pharmacies and larger social care providers can now order from the portal. The number of visors that can be ordered via the portal has also changed. Details can be found here: How to order emergency personal protection equipment.

How to book a Covid Antibody Test (Care Staff)

Dorset Testing Cell have produced guidance on Antibody Testing for Care Home Staff which is now available for all adult social care staff until the middle of September. This guidance also includes a link to the relevant online consent form to begin the process of requesting a test and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. 

It is important to note that the science around COVID-19 is uncertain. A positive test result for antibodies only means that you have been exposed to COVID-19. Public Health England is conducting a study to establish whether antibodies detected by this test do indicate immunity to COVID-19. For further advice please contact: covidtesting@dorsetccg.nhs.uk

Gov.UK Supported Living Guidance 

Covid 19 Guidance for Supported Livinghas been issued for providers of supported living settings. The guidance includes:

  • key messages to assist with planning and preparation during the COVID-19 pandemic so that local procedures can be put in place to minimise risk and provide the best possible support to people in supported living settings
  • safe systems of working including, social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning
  • how infection prevention and control (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) applies to supported living settings

Weather Alert Update: Thursday - Sunday (level increased)

  • Please note that a Heat Health Alert Level 3 (Amber) for SW England has now been issued from the MET OFFICE. There is a 90% probability of Heat-Health criteria being met between Thursday 9 August and 2100 on Tuesday 11 August.
  • Level 3 is reached when a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care, such as power or water shortages, and/or where the integrity of health and social care systems is threatened.

Wednesday 5 August

Health Watch Dorset – Care Home Focus Group Feedback

Health Watch Dorset Care Home Focus Group have produced a report on what it is like to live and work in a care home during Covid 19.

"Please give me space" - support with social distancing

The Government has provided some online resources to support social distancing: which can be printed off the Gov.UK website: a label to put on your phone which says "Please give me space. Be kind. Thank you for understanding" a badge which says "Please give me space" or a card that you can print out and carry around with you saying "Please give me space. Be kind. Thank you for your understanding" to indicate to others that you may have difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing.

Bereavement Support and Practical Support Information during Covid 19

You may wish to share this latest Practical Support poster during Covid 19 which contains useful contact details for CAB, Universal Credit, accessing food and bereavement support.

More detailed information on bereavement support contacts can also be found in this Bereavement Support poster and this Covid 19 - Bereavement Support Infographic Pathway

Tuesday 4 August

Testing update

Government guidance has been updated to reflect changes to ‘regular testing in care homes (England)’. For more information please refer to the guidance which can be found here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

Face coverings

Please read the full guidance on wearing face coverings in an extended range of indoor settings, because as a care provider you may be supporting service users to attend these settings. COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities

Update on people shielding

Information for shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 has been updated to include information related to the pausing of shielding. Full guidance can be found here: COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

Friday 31 July

Update on Care Home Visiting from Public Health Dorset

The national updated guidance on visiting care homespublished last week, set out the importance of continued visiting restrictions to prevent infections in care homes, but recognised that as the rate of community transmission has fallen for care homes, limited visits may now be possible, as long as appropriate actions to minimise risk of infection are followed. It states that the decision on whether or not to allow visitors, and in what circumstances, is ultimately for the provider and managers of each individual setting to make, based on the knowledge of their home and their residents, taking account of advice from the local director of public health.

Public Health Dorset have now created a local framework Dorset Framework for Care Home Visits which provides more clarity on the local approach, and an assessment of the current local situation. The Public Health Dorsetwebsite provides further information on the local picture and is updated on a regular basis.

Covid 19: Infection control precautions and discharging patients to home or care

Updated guidance on appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) precautions for patients recovering or recovered from COVID-19 and remaining in hospital, or being discharged to their own home or residential care is now available.

Return to UK Self Isolation Rules update 

If you are a health or social care worker you will now be required to self isolate on return from high-risk countriesfor 14 days. 

An exemption was originally put in place, at the beginning of June, which meant registered health and social care professionals did not have to self-isolate when travelling to England from overseas. This was so that health and care workers travelling back from overseas could return to England to provide essential healthcare. However as travel routes reopen, the government has removed this exemption and from 31 July, all registered health and care professionals must lawfully self-isolate when returning to England from a high-risk country.

The data for all countries is kept under constant review and the exceptions list is subject to change at short notice so please ensure you check the list of countries with no self isolation requirement when travelling.

Covid-19: Management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings.

This guidance updated on 30 July is to reflect the extension of the self-isolation period from 7 days to 10 days for staff who have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result from the community, 14 days isolation period for staff and patients who are admitted to hospital, and inclusion of re-testing guidance for staff.

EU Settlement Scheme – Care Provider Alliance Guidance for Care Providers 

Most EU citizens need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to ensure they are able to continue to live, work and access funding and services in the UK after 30 June 2021. The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) is calling on all social care organisations to ensure their staff and people who use their services are aware of the EUSS and how to apply. The CPA has published guidance for adult social care providers on the EUSS This guidance includes a summary of the Scheme, links to useful resources and sources of support, plus tips on how to raise awareness with staff and service users. CPA has also issued this press release about the guidance

Wednesday 29 July 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing unpaid care

This Gov.UK guidance is for people who are caring, unpaid, for friends or family during the coronavirus outbreak.. This may be because the family member or friend has a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, mental health condition or an addiction.

Coronavirus Testing - Updated guidance

There is now updated guidanceon coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested for people who have symptoms and want to get tested. There is now a single Gov.UK testing service available.

Step change in the use of technology during COVID-19 pandemic

A report on from the Institute of Public Care and Digital Social Care on The Impact of Technology in Adult Social Care Provider Services, has identified significant benefits for care providers arising from the use of technology in the rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, (commissioned by NHSX), makes recommendations on how the recent experience and rapid deployment of digital technology can be consolidated and harnessed for future needs.

Infection Control Grant Update

The Gov.UK guidance has been updated on 27 July and sets out all the latest information on the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund including information on the distribution of funds and reporting requirements.

Dysphagia Training - Discounted Rate 

Dorset Healthcare's Dysphagia Distance Learning Course (Assistant Dysphagia Practitioner Level) is currently available at a discounted price of £25 per person (usually £80) whilst social distancing measures are in place. There are a limited number of places available.

The Dysphagia Training workbook is for 

  • Anyone working in a healthcare setting, caring for patients with dysphagia. It provides an understanding of the condition, risks, common causes, and safe management. It will examine why dysphagia is a patient safety issue and explain how to manage, and when to escalate, concerns about swallowing.
  • It will provide you with a good, basic knowledge of dysphagia, and the tools to safely support patients. It can be completed at your own pace and convenience, and with full tutorial support.
  • To qualify as an Assistant Dysphagia Practitioner, you will also need to participate in a short practical workshop at a later date.
  • Workshops are under development and may be delivered in a remote/virtual classroom (dates and details to follow).

The workbook will be emailed to you as a Word document, and can be completed either by printing out and returning, or by completing online, returning as an attachment. There are links to additional resources online. The workbook takes 5-7 hours to complete and you can contact the Dysphagia Trainers by email or telephone for tutor support. Full details will be sent with your workbook.

Once we have received your workbook for marking it will be returned to you within two weeks. You will require an 80% mark or higher to pass the workbook element of the course. You can re-sit any sections that will help improve your mark if you wish.

Please contact Suzanne.Shaw5@nhs.net, Operational Manager, Dysphagia Training Team,Dorset Healthcare if you would like to receive a workbook or have any other queries. 

Monday 27 July 

Direct Payments: Recent updates to existing guidance 

Guidance for people receiving direct payments was updated on 22 July.

Disabled people exempt from wearing face coverings under new government guidance

As the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces is now mandatory, the Government has set out a list of face covering exemptions

COVID-19: number of outbreaks in care homes – management information

You can see the weekly number and percentage of care homes reporting a suspected or confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 to PHE by local authorities, regions and PHE centres. This dataset is derived from reports to Public Health England of infectious disease outbreaks in care homes.

Wednesday 22 July 

Getting Tested for Covid 19: Documents for Care Homes

The documents advising on both Randox and non Randox testing for care homes using the online application portal have been updated to reflect changes to clinical guidelines that people testing positive will need to be retested after 6 weeks.

The "guidance on Randox testing" document was also updated to include a note that Randox test kits should not be used for testing until further notice. Click on the link for further details on the latest Coronavirus Testing Information which was updated on 20 July.

Care Home Visits Recommence

Today the Government has published updated guidance on visiting care homesduring Covid19. This press release contains full details of the announcement from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Tuesday 21 July 

Safe working in Care Homes and Home Care- updated guidance from Gov.UK

Gov.UK have updated their advice on the use of PPE in Care Home and Home Care settings on 20 July to incorporate the recommendation for the use of facemasks and coverings to prevent coronavirus transmission. Please ensure you and your colleagues refer to the latest guidance.

Returning to the workplace after Covid 19

  • the Society of Occupational Medicine in conjunction with ACAS, MIND, BITC and CIPD have produced some useful Return to Work Toolkits for managing the return of employees to work after the lockdown comes to an end
  • given that line managers are often the first contact on return to work there are also some simple steps to identify and support those in need of help on return to work
  • the challenge for all employers and employees will be sustaining work-relevant mental health after Covid 19 and there is a specific toolkit on that issue

Coronavirus: Key Messages (updated telephone number)

This new brief, clear and easy to read document about Key Messages on Coronavirus has been compiled by Public Health Dorset and includes guidance about symptoms, repeat symptoms, re-testing and whole home testing.

Friday 17 July 

Liberty Protection Safeguards Update

On 16 July 2020, the government announced that the implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) will now be delayed until April 2022. Consultation on the Code of Practice is hoped to be undertaken and concluded at least six months before implementation. It is important to note the CQC’s comments about keeping a focus on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in the intervening period. The written statement on implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards and guidance from a specialist lawyer on Mental Capacity Law and Policy are included for your information.

Reminder: normal parking restrictions have resumed

The period of parking concessions made for Key Workers has come to an end in both BCP and DC areas so everyone must now pay for parking as normal and adhere to all time limits and other instructions of the parking place at all times or they will incur the usual penalties.

Tuesday 14 July

PPE Portal - visors now available

Healthcare providers can now order visors as well as other personal protective equipment (PPE) through the portal to top up their existing supplies for COVID-19 in an emergency. Full details are here: PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment This guidance also clarifies the order limits that small social care providers can now place multiple times per week. Please note you can only log in and place an order on the portal if you’ve received an email invitation to register. 

Monday 13 July

Joint Dorset response to Prime Minister’s criticism of care homes during the pandemic.

The huge effort of the care sector across Dorset during the pandemic has been praised as BCP Council and Dorset Council shares concern about the Prime Minister’s comments that ‘too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedure in the way that they could have."

  • Councillor Lesley Dedman, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, BCP Council said: “With more than 280 homes across the area caring for the most vulnerable of our residents during the pandemic it has been impressive to see how we have all worked together. Challenges have been addressed with the utmost professionalism throughout the care sector, and joint solutions have been found to the demands. Social care leaders and staff have continued to provide the high-quality care our residents deserve and have shown true and wholehearted commitment. They have all been working under unprecedented and constant pressure and continue to do so. I would like to express my sincere thanks and admiration to everyone working in the care sector.”

  • Councillor Laura Miller, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Dorset Council, said: “Throughout COVID-19, our experience of Dorset’s care sector has been hugely positive. We have worked in partnership with care homes staffed by people who are absolutely committed and determined to keep their valued residents safe and well. We salute all our care workers, managers, and indeed all staff working to keep our care homes safe and happy places.”

Covid 19 Gov.UK: Recent updates to existing guidance

  • guidance for people receiving direct payments updated 10 July  -now it is no longer necessary to keep temporary records of the shift patterns of your PA's for 21 days for Track & Trace purposes

  • reducing risk in adult social care updated 10 July includes a framework to assist employers  to assess and reduce risk for their staff who may be at increased risk of coronavirus. Applies in England only and now in easy read and translated format

Delivering Safe Face to Face Adult Day Care

Please ensure you are familiar with the current national guidance from the Social Care Institute for Excellence on delivering  safe face to face adult day services This guidance is currently being reviewed by BCP Council who will provide further updates when possible. The guidance also clarifies the current ordering limits for small social care providers.

Friday 10 July

Regular Covid 19 Testing Roll Out for Care Homes staff and residents has begun

Guidance for employers, learning providers and in-house trainers on face-to-face training and assessment during COVID-19

Skills for Care have updated their statement which includes useful guidance for all providers delivering face to face training and assessment during Covid 19.  As mentioned on these pages previously please remember that Local Authorities do not currently encourage face to face training. Any training (with the exception of fire training) should be done virtually. Where this is not possible social distancing should be maintained and shared resources should be minimised.

Feedback Survey for MCA:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for Care Homes

Updated information on the support package to keep care homes safe during the coronavirus pandemic now includes a link to a list of local authorities that have published information online on how they’ve spent funding for adult social care during the pandemic.

COVID-19: number of outbreaks in care homes – management information

You can see the weekly number and percentage of care homes reporting a suspected or confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 to PHE by local authorities, regions and PHE centres.This dataset is derived from reports to Public Health England of infectious disease outbreaks in care homes.

COVID-19 Health and Care Survey

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people who work in health and care services and the voluntary and community sector across Dorset and the South West have offered new choices to patients and the public, eg, by making more use of online and telephone appointments. Dorset CCG would like to know what you think about these new ways of working to help us understand how we can best meet the future needs of the people living in Dorset and our region. 

The CCG have worked with NHS England and Improvement in the South West to develop this survey and we would be grateful if you could please share your views by completing this 15 minute questionnaire: Covid 19 Survey South West which is open until 31 July 2020.

The information you provide will be used to develop an understanding of views across Dorset from health and care organisations and help commissioners at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South West to understand what suits different people best in different parts of our region.

A report with the results of the survey will be published on the NHS England and NHS Improvement South West website and be available to participating health and care organisations.

Recent Updates on Gov.UK Covid 19 Guidance

  • Covid 19: Guidance for Care of the deceased: Updated advice to assist people required to manage bodies of deceased persons infected with coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • Covid 19: Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection: Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection with a new addition of local lockdowns guidance for households with grandparents, parents and children living together where someone is at increased risk or has possible or confirmed coronavirus infection

  • Covid 19: Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable. Here you will find useful guidance for shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 with changes that apply from 8 July 2020

Thursday 9 July

BCP Council Area - Information for Vulnerable or Shielding Residents Without Means of Accessing a Supermarket

With the government’s recent announcement of shielding coming to an end there is some important information about how eligible residents can access or continue to access priority supermarket delivery slots.

  • access to priority supermarket delivery slots for vulnerable or shielding residents will continue to be available if they have already signed up for support. If they have not signed up, and would like to do so, the registrations for food supportwill close on 17 July 20 .

  • all government food parcels will stop on 31 July

  • If vulnerable and shielding residents still need support to access food, the BCP Together We Can helpline: 0300 123 7052  can provide advice and arrange volunteers to help with shopping.

  • Hampshire residents can contact The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable 0333 370 4000.(Calls charged at local rate.)

Guidance following Covid 19 related death of adult social care workers or volunteers

For your information please read the Gov.UK guidance setting out the actions for council and social care providers following the death of a person who worked in adult social care in England either as an employee or volunteer due to coronavirus. This information was updated on 7 July to include a new section on informing the coroner.

Tuesday 7 July

Day Service Providers update 

Repeat Covid 19 testing for care home staff and residents

Repeat testingfor Covid 19 is now available through the portal for Care Home staff (weekly) and Care Home residents (monthly). Staff and residents in care homes for over 65s and those with dementia will receive regular coronavirus tests from next week as part of a new social care testing strategy. Further information on this strategy is available in the latest letter from the Department of Health and Social Care dated 3 July 2020.

Updated guidance for those shielding and vulnerable 

Updated information and guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerableis now available with changes that apply from 6 July 2020.

Guidance on Taxable Expenses and Benefits 

There is updated guidance about taxable expenses and benefits when they are paid to employees because of coronavirus and how to report them to HMRC.

0% VAT on PPE extended

HM Treasury announced on 3 July that the VAT waiver on PPE purchased by care homes and home care providers to protect against Covid 19 will be extended until 31 October 2020.

Wednesday 1 July

NHS Test and Trace - Implications for Care Homes

In order to minimise the number of care home staff who are absent from work due to self isolation please remind your staff about the importance of social distancing during break times as well as in care giving and in areas where PPE is not routinely worn. Any close contacts of a person who has newly tested positive for Covid 19 will have to self isolate for 14 days at home and will therefore be unavailable to work.  

Close contact is defined as:

  • having face-to-face contact with someone (less than 1 metre away)

  • contact within 1 metre for one minute or more without face to face contact.

  • spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone

  • travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey), or travelling close to them in a large vehicle or on a plane

Further information and guidance is is available here and FAQ's on re-testing for Covid 19 in care homes may also be useful.

Tuesday 30 June

Infection Control Grant – reminder and update

Care Homes: It is your responsibility to ensure that the information provided on completion of the Capacity Tracker is accurate and should be in line with the total number of beds you are registered for with CQC. Please double check this information is correct when you next complete the Capacity Tracker.

All providers: As per the grant Agreement you must account for all payments made using your allocation of the Infection Control Fund and keep accurate records accordingly. Dorset and BCP Councils are required to seek assurance that funds have been used in line with the conditions. You must be satisfied that spending of the fund is in line with the conditions of the grant and ensure you have sufficient records if required for audit purposes. Please note the Councils cannot approve spending on individual items.

Discharging people from hospital to home during Covid 19

Updated summary guidance is available to providers on safely discharging people from hospital into the community This guidance is relevant for situations where a person is discharged from hospital to home and will have registered care or personal care support, or move to supported living or an extra care housing setting (ECH). 

Alert on Cardinal Type IIR Face Masks - Do Not Use!

All providers are advised that the use of Cardinal Type IIR Face Masks be stopped with immediate effect and all current supplies disposed of locally. This is as a result of complaints earlier this year which lead to ongoing monitoring and testing of the mask. The MHRA has found that these masks pose a risk to staff wearing them if the foam strip on the mask flakes and enters the airway or mouth, and they have also been made aware of complaints of the ties and/or stitching coming away from the mask. MHRA have therefore advised all providers to: 

  • identify, stop using and immediately quarantine all lots relating to BWM028 of the Cardinal Type IIR masks

  • dispose of all stock locally

  • to help you identify them these are tie back type rather than ear loop and were sold in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic

Thursday 25 June

PHE (South West) New meeting details for weekly Q&A for Social Care

Until further notice, from this week, PHE SW are moving their daily webinar to A ONCE WEEKLY meeting each Friday at 3pm to answer your questions on how to prevent and manage COVID-19. 

Please use this link PHE SW Webinar Link to register for the day(s) you would like to attend the webinar. The events are free.

Please do continue to call the Health Protection Team on 0300 303 8162 to discuss a potential new outbreak ( a single possible/confirmed case or cases 28 days or more since the last case), an escalation of an outbreak that you have already told us about or any other urgent enquiries. Please continue to refer to the currentGov.UK Covid 19 Social Care Guidance

Wednesday 24 June

PPE and Heat Stress

Due to COVID 19 many staff in social care and health care will be using PPE on a regular basis. During the current heatwave and into the summer we need to be aware of the particular challenges of wearing PPE and the risk of heat stress. Public Health England are advising employers to plan ahead to risk assess their workplaces and put in place appropriate heat control measures, also to advise staff to take regular breaks in cool places, remain hydrated and create a buddy system for colleagues to support each other during this period.

Tuesday 23 June

Coronavirus Visitors Protocol

The Care Provider Alliance have produced a useful briefing for Care Providers on Coronavirus Visitors Protocol including principles for considering how to enable visitors to care settings and rights and responsibilities.

Monday 22 June

Thank You!

Please see this video from us to say Thank You for caring.

Admission and Care of People in Care Homes during COVID 19.

The Gov.UK information and guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes has been updated throughout to include the care homes support package information and the latest advice on infection prevention and control and testing.

Learning Opportunity: Psychological First Aid Training Course

Staff and volunteers at the forefront of the national coronavirus response across England will be able to access a new Psychological First Aid (PFA) training course from today.

Guidance for those exempt from wearing face coverings

Please use the following link to download free resources for those who are exempt from wearing face coverings

Guidance for Care Homes supporting people with dementia

Social Care Institute for Excellence have developed Q&A Guidance for Care Homes supporting people with dementia during Covid 19

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Please review the latest Gov.UK advice and information on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Friday 19 June

Infection Control Grant – Important Reminders for Care Homes, Home Care and Supported Living Providers

All Care Homes in receipt of the Grant (Dorset Council and BCP Council)

Please remember to complete the return sent to you earlier this week to confirm that the Grant you have received has been spent or allocated.

The Department of Health and Social Care have provided additional guidance to confirm that we do not expect care home providers to have spent the cash they have received by the end of June, but that they should be able to provide information to LAs on what your plans are around the funding received.

  • Care Homes in the BCP area should return this form by no later than Monday 22 June at midday

  • Care Homes in the Dorset Council area should return by no later than Tuesday 23 June at midday

All providers who have applied for the Grant must complete this return to confirm that you have fully spent (or allocated) the grant against the following measures:

  • isolation measures for residents

  • actions to restrict Staff movement

  • staff wages

  • other Infection Control Measures

  • unspent money (must be returned)

 Link to BCP Care Home proforma return here: BCP Care Home Proforma

 Link to Dorset Care Home proforma return here: DC Care Home Proforma

The Care Providers Alliance (CPA) has issued adviceto its members regarding the Infection Control Fund which you may find helpful.

BCP Home Care and Supported Living Providers

If you wish to receive the Infection Control Grant you will need to complete the e-form and Grant Agreement (BCP providers can download this form after the e-form has been completed).

Please ensure that you have signed and returned the Grant Agreement in order for us to be able to include you in the Grant allocation by Monday 22 June at midday.

If you have any queries or need a copy of the Grant Agreement please contact provider.engagement@bcpcouncil.gov.uk as soon as possible.

If you haven’t yet completed the e-form you can find a copy here: Infection Control Grant form (BCP Home Care/Supported Living only)

Dorset Council Home Care and Supported Living Providers

We have begun to issue the grant allocations, if you have not already done so please ensure that you have signed and returned the Grant Agreement in order for us release the funds to you.  

If you have any queries please contact adultscommissioningteam@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk mailbox as soon as possible.

Wednesday 17 June

Infection Control Fund for Domiciliary Care

BCP and Dorset Councils are currently working through the allocation process, if you have made an application you can expect to receive confirmation from the relevant council by Friday on the next steps and payment arrangements. Please direct any queries to your relevant Commissioning Team:

Monday 15 June

Changes to the Quality Assurance Process in BCP and Dorset Council

To support providers during Covid 19 and understand quality issues that may be arising, a new Quality Assurance Process (QAP) has been agreed between BCP and Dorset Councils and NHS Dorset CCG. All care and nursing homes will be contacted by telephone on a weekly/biweekly basis to support them to continue to deliver good quality services ensuring that we have an up-to-date picture of the issues providers are experiencing at an early stage. 

Quality Officers from Dorset and BCP Councils will be contacting all Care Homes in their localities by phone in the next couple of weeks to make an appointment in advance of the QAP phone call to ensure a suitable person is available on the agreed date and time. They will also be contacting Home Care providers and Supported Living providers. The Quality Team in NHS Dorset CCG will be contacting all Nursing Homes. 

The topics covered as part of the QAP are:

  • Infection Prevention Control

  • Health & Safety

  • Staffing

  • Wellbeing – Staff and residents

  • Covid-19 details – current positive residents or those displaying symptoms or awaiting a swab

  • Safeguarding/Quality/Complaints

  • Actions discussed and agreed and timescales

Where issues are identified, verbal agreements for actions to be completed may be recorded on the QAP by the Quality Officer and followed up on the next scheduled phone call. A copy of the completed QAP template will be sent to the provider and agreed actions will be clearly recorded. 

To date we have received very positive feedback from Care and Nursing Homes who have completed this process.

 A similar approach is being developed for Domiciliary Care. We will launch this in the next few weeks, so please keep an eye out for further updates.

Use of PPE on public transport – Public Health guidance for social care

Public Health Dorset has made an update to their PPE Guidance document PPE Guidance for Staff Issue 5 V45 11.6.20 FINAL. The update relates to the Government guidance on wearing face coverings when using public transport. Please note that an exemption applies to some people who may not be able to wear a face covering. For example young children, people with breathing difficulties and people whose disabilities makes it difficult for them to wear a face covering.

Friday 12 June

PPE Portal - Check your email account

As advised last week Ebay is working with the NHS to create a new dedicated portal allowing frontline healthcare workers to order personal protective equipment (PPE): https://www.nhs-ppe.co.uk/

DHSC has invited all small residential care providers (care homes with 24 beds or fewer), small domiciliary care providers (99 clients or fewer), and GPs to register and order with the PPE portal, in order to help meet their PPE needs in the current climate. Through the portal you can order IIR masks, aprons and gloves (quantity restrictions apply). Orders will be delivered via Royal Mail Tracked within 3 days.

To register for the portal you should have received an email from Department of Health and Social Care which sets out how to register. The email address used will be the one registered with CQC. Please therefore ensure that if you are a provider of the types mentioned above that you regularly.

NHS Passwords Reset: Genuine Email

You may have recently received this email from the NHS.net mail team. The Information Security Team at Dorset CCG can confirm this email is genuine and you should follow the instructions to reset your password. Note that if you hover over the link in the middle of the page it does indeed point to https://portal.nhs.net rather than taking you to a fake site. 

Visiting Care Homes during Covid 19

The Care Homes Group have developed a joint statement for BCP and Dorset Council for all providers with regard to visiting Care Homes during Covid 19 . The intention is that this will support providers in ensuring that visitors to the homes follow the relevant guidelines.

Government funding for small and medium charities and social enterprises in England

The Government has announced £200 million funding for small and medium sized charities and social enterprises in England. This is to help maintain and enhance services for vulnerable people affected by the current crisis and to support organisations experiencing income disruption and/or increased demand. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: people receiving direct payments

This guidance helps people who buy care and support through a direct payment to know how and when they can use the CJRS to furlough employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It includes examples of when direct payment holders may or may not choose to use the CJRS. Full details: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: people receiving direct payments

GOV.UK: Updated Guidance on the Management of Staff, Patients and Residents who have been exposed to COVID 19

The Government have published an update to guidance on the management of staff and patients or residents in health and social care settings according to exposures, symptoms and test results. Full guidance can be found here: Management of exposed healthcare workers, residents and patients

Tuesday 9 June

Test and Trace scam calls 

As reported previously, on 28th May, the NHS Test and Trace service has now launched. The service traces close contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate.

Unfortunately there have already been occurrences of scam phone calls regarding the Test and Trace scheme. Please remind anyone you’re working with that the scheme is run by the NHS and it is free:

  • you will only be contacted an official contact tracer

  • you will not be asked to part with any money for a testing kit to be sent to you in the post

  • you will not be asked any details about your bank account, PIN code or passwords, or to download anything

Dorset Police have advised that if people think they have received a scam call please report it at www.actionfraud.police.ukwhich is the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. Alternatively please call Dorset Police on 101.

Tests and Testing Kits for COVID-19 – Summary (GOV.UK)

The Government have updated the summary of the different types of tests and testing kits available for COVID-19. The updated guidance can be found here: How tests and testing kits for coronavirus workAlso, on 7 June the Government published a statement on Testing in Care Homes. The full statement can be found here: COVID-19 tests offered to every care home for elderly or those with dementia Additional guidance in the form of FAQs for Whole Care Home Testing has been circulated by NHS Dorset CCG.

BCP Council PPE weekend cover

BCP Council is making a slight change to the way your request for emergency PPE is managed. Monday to Friday requests will remain as is: if you have an urgent requirement for PPE which cannot be met by other means you can contact: provider.engagement@bcpcouncil.gov.uk. Please can we request that wherever possible requests for PPE are submitted during the working week. 

At weekends, requests for emergency PPE supplies should only be for emergencies that could not be foreseen in the preceding week. In such emergencies please continue to contact provider.engagement@bcpcouncil.gov.uk. Please note that rather than responding to your request by email, you will receive an automatic reply with a phone number to contact should you need to place an urgent order. Also note that at weekends the collection point for emergency supplies of PPE will be from Poole Civic Centre Office and not Bournemouth Town Hall.

Monday 8 June

Infection Control Grant

Care Homes

On Friday, all CQC registered Care Homes in the BCP & Dorset Council area should have received a grant agreement relating to the Infection Control Fund, which needs to be signed and returned by Wednesday 10th June 20. Signing and returning this agreement is required in order for the Council’s to pass on funding from the Infection Control Fund set out by the Government in May. We intend to pay the first instalment to you by the 12 June so it is imperative that you return the agreement on time. More information on the Infection Control Fund can be found here: Care Home Support Package (Gov.UK)

If you are a registered care home in the BCP area and have not yet received the agreement, or you have any questions about the grant please contact provider.engagement@bcpcouncil.gov.uk at the earliest opportunity. 

 If you are a registered care home in the Dorset Council area and have not yet received the agreement, or you have any questions about the grant please contact mailto:adultcommissioningteam@dorsetcc.gov.uk at the earliest opportunity.

Registered Home Care and Supported Living Providers

A proportion of the Fund will also be available to home care providers to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. We will shortly be sending all home care providers registered in the BCP & Dorset Council area information on how you can receive the grant. Please ensure that you look out for further information on this. 

Thursday 4 June

Test and Trace: Guidance for social care employers about staff isolation

This letter from the Department of Health & Social Care outlines how the Test and Trace guidance about isolating after close contact’ with someone with symptoms of Covid-19 will apply to care settings.

New On Line Learning Opportunities

Infection control SCILS (Social Care Information & Learning Service) e-learning offer including COVID-19 section.

There is a new Infection Control e-learning opportunity which now includes a section on Covid-19. Please remember that all providers in the BCP area can access SCILS via the BCP licence.

Live Well Dorset Free Courses

Talk About Health & 5 Ways to Wellbeing

As part of Public Health Dorset's response to Coronavirus, LiveWell has developed online sessions - there are limited dates remaining, but please see this link to book spaces: 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/livewell-dorset-30162437376

Learning Disability Resources – Getting NHS help during Coronavirus

The NHS message is We Are Still Here to Look After You. For people with learning disabilities there are easy read guides to getting NHS help when you need it during the coronavirus outbreak and accessing NHS services.

New PPE Portal

Ebay is working with the NHS to create a new dedicated portal allowing frontline healthcare workers to order personal protective equipment (PPE): https://www.nhs-ppe.co.uk/

To register for the portal you should have received an email from Department of Health and Social Care which sets out how to register. The email address used will be the one registered with CQC. Through the portal you can order IIR masks, aprons and gloves (quantity restrictions apply). Orders will be delivered via Royal Mail Tracked within 3 days.

You should continue to access PPE through any commercial routes. If you have problems accessing the site or registered please contact the PPE dedicated channel customer service team on 0800 876 6802. Find here further details on thePPE Portal .

Bereavement Support for Staff

A Bereavement and Trauma Helpline (0300 303 4434) is available 7 days a week 8am - 8pm to offer assistance for those who have experienced bereavement, been affected by witnessing traumatic deaths as part of their work or to discuss any other emotional or anxiety related issues as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Specialist counsellors or support workers will answer your calls which will be treated in confidence. You do not need a referral. We have previously also shared the Bereavement Centre Self Help Guide and BC Support Poster on this page. 

Gov.UK has, this week, also updated their guidance on support and information for the bereaved

Management of staff and patients in health and social care settings who have been exposed to Covid 19

Following the guidance on this issue from Gov.UK that was published below (28th May) further guidance on exposed staff and patients in health and social care settings which was updated on 2nd June is now available.

Tuesday 2 June

Connecting to the Internet: Support for Care Homes and Care Providers and a chance to give your feedback

NHSX and NHS Digital have worked with telecommunications companies to publish a number of offers to help care homes and care providers to access the internet

Additionally, if you are a care home manager, provider, or staff member who is responsible for the internet in your care home, NHSX would like to hear from you. They are conducting 45 minute sessions to test the website pages and understand your needs. This is anonymous and will help them to support care homes better. There will be a £50 thank you for your time. If you're interested please contact digitalresearch@nhsx.nhs.uk to see if you are a suitable participant. 

Mental Capacity Act Guidance on Covid 19 Testing 

As more people are being tested for Covid-19, issues are arising around carrying out tests on people who are unable to give their consent because of a lack of capacity. Below are several information sources that we hope will offer some support:

Thursday 28 May

Financial support information for providers

We have published details of the support we are giving to providers during the pandemic.

NHS Test and Trace - How it works

Information on the new NHS Test and Trace process published by Gov.UK is here: NHS Test and Trace- How it WorksThis guidance is for the general public but also contains a link for essential workers. It includes what happens if you test positive for COVID 19 or if you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Management of exposed healthcare workers and patients in health and social care settings

This Gov.UK link brings together guidance for when staff or residents have been exposed to COVID 19 and criteria for staff returning to work: Guidance for Staff and Residents exposed to COVID 19

Latest PPE Guidance from Public Health Dorset 

Public Health Dorset (working with other South West Local Authorities, PHE and NHSEI) have updated the current PPE guidance. This version PPE Guidance for Staff Issue 5 V45 11.6.20 FINAL replaces previous Public Health Dorset guidance on PPE and includes reference to the updated Stay Alert guidance, including face coverings. It also has a specific section relating to the education sector.

Tuesday 26 May

Updated Guidance for Home Care Providers on COVID 19 from GOV UK

The Government has updated the guidance for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the Coronavirus outbreak: Guidance for Home Care Providers (Gov.UK)

How to inform DHSC of the death of an employee

New guidance was published on 20 May to advise local authorities and social care providers on how to inform the Department of Health and Social Care about the death of an employee or volunteer in social care. Please see full guidance here: COVID 19 Informing DHSC of death of a social care worker

Resources for Learning Disability Providers

The NHS Learning Disability and Autism programme have set up a Future NHS Collaboration workspace to support the work of NHS England and Improvement Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Covid-19 Response Cell. This platform will be used to share guidance and information, and encourage mental health, learning disability and autism leads and providers to share advice and feedback on how best to look after patients and staff during these difficult times. The resources on this workspace are open to those working in mental health, learning disability and autism services and will include the voluntary and independent sector. If you currently have a FutureNHS account, you can access the workspace directly through FutureNHS HomepageThose without a FutureNHS account can either self-register to the platform if they have an nhs.net or nhs.uk email account, or directly request access by emailing our generic mailbox if they are from other organisations at: MHLDAcovid19manager@future.nhs.uk

Social Care Staff Mental Wellbeing during COVID 19

We hope you will all have seen our local Care Sector COVID-19 staff wellbeing offer developed by our Councils and Health partners (see entry below on 13 May). This offer consists of tools for you to use with staff as groups, or on a one to one basis as well as offers for free counselling and digital options.

The government have also developed an emotional, psychological and practical support package for all adult social care staff to include free access to several resources and services: 

  • health and wellbeing apps (e.g. help with anxiety and stress; to assist with sleep)

  • guidance on supporting your wellbeing

  • a bereavement and trauma support line run by Hospice UK

  • dedicated social care staff support helpline run by Samaritans 

Please make yourselves and/or your staff aware of this Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Package for Social Care Staff

Tuesday 19 May

Update on symptoms of COVID-19

New information is available on the symptoms of COVID-19. Please read the following Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on an update to coronavirus symptoms: 18 May 2020

Thursday 14 May

Media Interest : Enquiries to Care Providers surrounding Covid19 deaths and cases

Public Health England (PHE) South West works in partnership with local authorities, NHS and CCG colleagues to support you in managing outbreaks and sadly any deaths that occur in your setting from COVID-19. 

The media are inevitably interested in the numbers of cases and deaths. In Dorset, we are maintaining our position of not commenting on individual cases and we won’t be quoting exact numbers of deaths or cases from individual settings or providers.

If you are approached by the media, we want you to know that you are not on your own and we are here to help you manage any communication issues.

You are under no obligation to speak to the media and can refer them through to Public Health Dorset, via this email address: kirsty.hillier@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk. 

Please see this letter for more information on the support available to care providers on managing media enquiries.

Wednesday 13 May

Care Sector COVID-19 Staff Wellbeing Offer 

COVID-19 is having a big impact on managers and staff to include stress, anxiety and worry. Understandably it is affecting the mental wellbeing of those at the front-line of social care and health. Sometimes it will feel overwhelming. These difficulties may be apparent right now or may become a problem later on. Our Councils and our Health partners have put together resources to help you and to support frontline staff. Our resources consist of tools you can use with your staff as groups, or one to one, free counselling services, and digital options.

There is also a short power-point presentation that can be used in group or individual discussions. Some of these resources are suitable for display in offices or staff rooms. All resources are suitable for staff to access on a computer.

In addition national support has also been released this week via the Gov.uk website to support the health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce.

Update to easy read guidance for Hospital Discharge service requirements

Three new documents have been added to the guidance above including:

  • What you need to know about leaving hospital

  • When you leave hospital to go home

  • Leaving hospital to go to a care home.

See the full guidance.

Training resources for Care Providers launched by Dorset NHS CCG

The Dorset NHS CCG Quality Improvement Team has developed a websiteto share training resources and other clinical tools with care homes and home care providers.

Tuesday 12 May

Recall of PPE: Tiger Eye Protectors

The British Standards Instutute has carried out a test on behalf of The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Tiger Eye protective goggles and frames. This has concluded the product does not meet the current requirement for splash protection. As a result, this product should not be used in a Covid-19 setting, and is being removed from the supply chain. Please check your stocks and dispose of any Tiger Eye protectors you may have. If alternative kit can not be sourced, please get in touch with your relevant Council and contingency supplies may be provided if available.

Please see notification letter from the Department of Health and Social Care for more information.

Rapid reviews into the deaths of Individuals with a Learning Disability (COVID-19)

It has been identified that individuals with a learning disability are not presenting with the ‘typical’ COVID-19 symptoms of a temperature and/or persistent cough. Therefore, NHSEI has requested that rapid reviews are undertaken following the death of an individual with a learning disability where:

a) The cause of death is known to be COVID-19 or,

b) The cause of death is suspected to be COVID-19.

A series of questions within the rapid review form are being asked to find out key information to identify any learning or practice that will assist in improving local support, escalating concerns, or prevent further deaths.

See further information including contact details.

Consortia Approach to PPE

You will have received an email yesterday from Partners in Care explaining that it is proposed by a group of providers, including both Dorset Care Homes and Dorset Home Care Providers Association, that opportunities to develop a consortium for buying PPE be explored. It is hoped this may enable significant bulk purchasing, making supplies more readily available and potentially lower costs. Expressions of interest are being collected. Please contact Partners in Care if you did not receive this email and are interested in understanding more about this.

Please note expressions of interest need to be returned by 5pm Wednesday 13 May - picare@bpc.ac.uk

Thursday 7 May

New app for Adult Social Care Workforce launched. 

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that a new Dedicated App for Social Care Workers (Department of Health & Social Care) has been launched in England today to support social care staff through the COVID 19 pandemic.

Care workers will get access to guidance, learning resources, discounts and support all in one place. The Care Workforce App will unite 1.5 million care workers across more than 18,000 care providers.

The App is now available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store as well as being accessible online at Adult Social Care Workforce App

Food related offers for Social Care Workers

You will find a number of food related offers for Social Care workers(brought to you by NHSX and CQC)which may be useful to you over the coming weeks.

Wednesday 6 May 

COVID-19 testing for key workers who are self-isolating

As per the email circulated this morning, changes have been made to how staff book a test if they have symptoms of COVID-19. The regional co-ordination centres for staff testing are no longer running.

Staff testing sites (including mobile testing sites) are part of a wider programme being managed by the Department for Health and Social Care. Nationally all tests are requested via the online portals.

We would encourage you to sign up for the national employer portal booking system so you can book tests direct for your staff. If you have registered via the portal already, you should receive confirmation shortly, but if you are yet to register, our Dorset regional representative has kindly offered to help speed up the sign up process for you. Please email rob.mcgovern@dhsc.gov.uk with the name of your organisation, the location of your organisation and two separate email addresses. You will then get login details sent direct to you and you can compile your lists of staff who qualify for a test. Please do not chase Rob on when this might be done he will be working his way through the requests as quickly as he can.

Who can be tested?

Please note the test is most effective on days 1-3 of symptoms

Where can I get tested?

A coronavirus testing centre has opened at the Creekmoor park and ride site in Poole.

We also have two temporary mobile units, these are currently moving between the following locations:

Blandford - Marsh and Ham car park, Dorchester – Fairfield car park, Bridport – West Bay car park and Weymouth – Mount Pleasant Park and Ride.

All sites are drive through facilities and won’t accept walk-ins. Tests are also by appointment only.

As with any other Covid-19 related queries, please contact your relevant Council Commissioning Team:

BCP Council - Provider.engagement@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Dorset Council - adultscommissioningteam@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Support for unpaid carers

Support services have identified that carers are struggling to know how to access practical support and these posters have been designed to help unpaid, family carers, or caring friends to self-identify as carers and to access support.

We know that many of these carers do not use the internet or social media, so are more socially isolated than ever during these challenging times. Therefore we would appreciate your support in signposting carers to the organisations identified on the posters, as these are specialists in supporting carers and will be able to help them.

NHS-funded nursing care rate announced for 2020 to 2021 

The NHS-funded nursing care standard weekly rate per person for 2019 to 2020 will increase and be backdated to 1 April 2019. Please read the announcement here.

Tuesday 5 May

New Bounce Back Loans launched

The Government has announced details of how small businesses will be able to apply for quick and easy-to access loans of up to £50,000 – with the cash expected to land within days.

Councils are keen to understand any financial concerns or issues providers are experiencing, so please do keep in touch with your relevant commissioning authority via their mailbox address.

Monday 4 May

Covid-19 Testing - Additional Information on Employer Referral Portal

Please see additional information:

Recruitment Campaign to Support Residential and Home Care Providers

This week the (Bournemouth & Poole) Daily Echo will be launching a campaign to support local recruitment efforts in our area. Anyone interested in working in care will be signposted to the Department of Health and Social Care’s Every Day is Different webpage, which includes a job search facility. If you haven’t done so recently, we recommend that you update this page with any current job vacancies relevant to your organisation: https://www.everydayisdifferent.com/job-search.aspx.

More information can be found on the Government’s national ‘Care for Others, Make a Difference’ campaign launched last month. 

Friday 1 May

Important Update: Changes to process for requesting Covid-19 Tests for Keyworkers

After today 1 May, the Local Coordination Centre nomination process for referring staff for COVID-19 testing will no longer be running. Please see letter from Debbie Fleming, Joint Chief Executive for Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for more information.

Public Health Dorset Guidance - clarity on PPE recommendations

This is the latest PPE Guidance for Staff Issue 5 V45 11.6.20 FINAL from Public Health Dorset which gives clarity to the most recent government information on PPE.

Interim Care Home Guidance: COVID 19 and Diabetes

This Management of Diabetes in Care Homes during COVID 19guidance, prepared by a multidisciplinary diabetes stakeholder group, has been created to support clinical decision making in care homes. It highlights that residents with diabetes are at very high risk of COVID 19 infection.

Thursday 30 April

Looking after our mental health 

Looking after our own and our staff’s mental health is important at this time. This link provides advice and resources for those on the frontline of social care.

These three Mental Wellbeing advice sheets have been put together by BCP Council as pointers, and resources, for managers to use with their staff:

Guidance for Social Landlords on Essential Moves

New guidance was published 27 April to confirm that Councils and housing associations should continue to support vulnerable people to move home.

Communicating with relatives by phone to confirm the death of a service user.

The University of Oxford have created a step by step guide to help in the event that you need to have a difficult conversation with a relatives of a service user about the death of their loved one. 

Wednesday 29 April

Safely reusing medicines in care home settings

Guidance was published yesterday 28 April on how to safely reuse medicines in a care home or hospice during coronavirus. The guidance explains the standard operating procedure on how to run a safe and effective medicines reuse scheme in a care home or hospice during the coronavirus outbreak.

Covid-19 testing – a reminder for your staff

Further to the information circulated yesterday 28 April on how to book your staff for covid-19 testing through the Dorset Local Coordination Centre please remind your staff that if they are nominated for testing they will be contacted about an appointment by telephone and the call will be from a withheld or unknown number. We have had feedback that some nominees are not answering these calls. Please advise your staff to accept incoming phone calls from unknown numbers where they have been nominated for a test. 

Supporting people in the last weeks of life

The CCG has released information on supporting people in the last weeks of life during Covid-19.

Tuesday 28 April

New Life Assurance for Families of Frontline Workers in England

The Government announced on 27 April that families of frontline workers will benefit from a new life assurance scheme during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Monday 27 April

Ensuring PPE is of the specified standard

It is important that colleagues providing care and support, in all types of community care settings, wear the specified standard of manufactured PPE, as directed by Public Health England. Handmade masks are not suitable and must not be used in direct care delivery.

Councils are able to support providers with contingency supplies of PPE, including masks, aprons and gloves – please refer to your relevant councils protocol if you have any concerns over your current PPE supplies.

Enabling Safe Certification of Deaths in the Community

A document that sets out how to ensure that proper processes and procedures are in place to provide a smooth and efficient pathway from death to burial or cremation, minimising delays, whilst ensuring the relevant levels of investigation into the death, will be circulated to providers by email on 28th April.

SCIE Safeguarding webinars

Safeguarding is everyone’s business and it is now more important than ever that those entering or returning to practice as well as those already in frontline roles understand the basics. SCIE have developed a series of webinars for a variety of services. To register a place please see more information here

Priority Training for New Care Staff

Starting 11 May BCP Council is offering a rolling programme of seven free interactive online 'priority training' sessions via zoom for all providers. Bookings are via Eventbrite (4 places per event) with multiple dates available. Please see this advert for more information.

Support for the Bereaved

This leaflet shares important information to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make important decisions during this national emergency. It explains the next steps, answers some of your questions, and guides you to the extra help and support that is available.

Supporting adults with learning disability and autistic adults 

Further COVID guidance for care staff who are supporting adults with learning disability and autistic adults during the coronavirus outbreak was published on 24 April. 

Grab and Go Form and Guidance has also been published to complement the existing hospital passport for people with a learning disability.

Friday 24 April

PPE Guidance Updated

Public Health Dorset has revised this guidance PPE Guidance for Staff Issue 5 V45 11.6.20 FINAL in line with recently published guidance on How to work safely in Care Homes. The guidance document contains quick reference tables for when and what PPE is now recommended in a range of community settings.

Thursday 23 April

Public Health England Resources and Support 

PHE have also collated a document listing Websites, presentations and videos to further support you.

Practical tips for eating & drinking well in later life and Coronavirus

Bournemouth University (in collaboration with Wessex AHSN and the Malnutrition Task Force) have put together a sheet with practical tips for eating and drinking in later life in light of the Coronavirus pandemic

Verification of Death Training for Registered Nurses (VOLE)

In the ongoing climate with COVID 19 it has become necessary for Registered Nurses across Primary and Community Care to be trained and competent in the process of Verification of Death. The Quality Improvement Team at Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group has therefore put together training options which can be accessed now to support you with this:

This training guidance is specifically for Nursing Homes but if Care Homes are interested and have trained staff the team will also support them. Please contact QIT@dorsetccg.nhs.uk.

Wednesday 22 April

Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care

This link will take you to a one page Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care - Summarywhich is in place to ensure that the response to coronavirus takes account of ethical values and principles when delivering social care for adults at this time. The full guidance can be found using the link at the bottom of the one page summary.

Tuesday 21 April

Media interest 

We have received concerning reports from care providers who have informed us that journalists have contacted care homes claiming to be from the council to enquire about the number of deaths in the homes related to COVID-19. 

If you receive a call from someone requesting this information and you wish to verify that the person is calling from either BCP Council or Dorset Council we would advise you to ask the officer to email you to confirm their identity (they will be emailing from a local authority email address). 

Please remember , you are under no obligation to speak to the media and can refer them through to Public Health Dorset (email kirsty.hillier@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk) or BCP Council (email mailto:press.office@bcpcouncil.gov.uk).Public

Public Health will work with you or your communications lead (if you have one) to draft any messages that are needed.

Communications Support for Care Homes

In the Public Health England resource pack that was circulated to you on 9th April there were several letter templates to support communications with residents, families, GP's and staff which you may find useful:

Monday 20 April

Managing COVID-19 cases in care setting

Public Health England (PHE) South West works in partnership with local authorities, NHS and CCG colleagues to support you in managing outbreaks, and sadly any deaths, that occur in your setting from COVID-19. PHE have developed a series of short webinars you can share with your staff on some key public health actions. These are useful guides and might help answer some of the questions your staff have raised.

Dorset-wide, home first Hospital discharge to assess (D2A) service

In response to the COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirement the Dorset Integrated Care System (Our Dorset) has introduced a new ‘Discharge to Assess’ (D2A) model across all Dorset hospitals. This came into effect on Friday 17 April. 

This document provides full information about the service and there is the new discharge form that will be shared with providers for each new case. 

Learning Disability Resources

Public Health England have published an update on the Learning Disability Health Intelligence Network for Coronavirus. We have attached a copy here for your information. The latest BCP Learning Disability Partnership Board Newsletter has just been published. This edition includes information on coronavirus (easy read, for carers and for providers), an update from the People First Forum, some ideas for things to do and a recycling challenge. You can find the newsletter by visiting www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/LDPB

We have also attached two easy read PDFs that could be useful if clients need to be admitted to hospital:

Learning Disability and Mental Health Operational Services During Covid-19 – A Summary

Information has been collated on services available for across Learning Disability and Mental Health during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Technology to support people to connect with their loved ones during COVID-19

The Government issued a press release on 9 April setting out how they are working to support thousands of isolated residents and patients to connect with family and friends via video devices. 

Friday 17 April

Supporting our mental health

BCP Council has developed two documents to support mental health self-care and supporting each other at this very difficult time:

These coincide with the launch of Every Mind Matters video with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Public Health PPE Guidance - what PPE to wear and when

Public Health Dorset has updated their useful reference guide: PPE Guidance for Staff Issue 5 V45 11.6.20 FINAL

Guidance for people with Learning Disability and Autism

There is guidance for people with significant health conditions e.g. Learning Disability or Autism on exercising two or more times each day (item 15)

Thursday 16 April

Adult Social Care Plan

New guidance has been published on how the government will support the adult social care sector during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mental Capacity Act Guidance

The Department of Health and Social Care has provided the following updated information regarding MCA, DoLs and COVID 19 for use in Hospitals, Care Homes and Supervisory settings: Mental Capacity Act Guidance for Hospitals, Care Homes and Supervisory.

Tuesday 14 April 20

Protocol and additional guidance from Dorset NHS CCG regarding access to PPE supplies

NHS Dorset CCG has produced guidance notes for additional clarity on the routes by which providers can access PPE.

Please note that Councils are able to support providers with contingency PPE supplies where stocks are running low. Please refer to your relevant council's protocol:

BCP PPE Protocol for Providers 28 April 20

DC PPE Protocol for Providers 28 April 2020

NHS Dorset CCG receives offers from businesses to provide PPE and this file details the offers received to date.

Please note that this does not represent a list of CCG recommended providers or products and that NHS Dorset CCG has undertaken no steps to either verify the standard of products offered or the viability of the organisation. It is therefore recommended that you undertake the due diligence checks required under your own governance arrangements.

If you are aware of any suppliers who may wish to offer their products; please ask them to register by completing this form

Updated PPE Guidance

Public Health England updated their guidance on 11th June : PPE Guidance for Staff Issue 5 V45 11.6.20 FINAL

Webinar on Admission and Care of Patients in Care Homes

Webinar slides on the admission and care of patients in Care Homes are available here : COVID-19 Admission & Care of People in Care Homes Guidance Webinar Slides - April 2020 and associated information on Dementia Care and COVID 19.

End of life care for COVID-19 patients

Dorset NHS CCG has produced COVID 19 Support in the last weeks of life guidance for Care Homes.

COVID-19 diabetes nurse support

The Diabetes Specialist Nurses have set up a 7 day a week advice phone line which will be staffed during the COVID-19 crisis. Diabetes advice during COVID-19 for Patients and Staff.

Thursday 9 April

Public Health England Revised Guidance: COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)

 PPE Guidance for Staff Issue 5 V45 11.6.20 FINAL clarifies when PPE is required and when it is not for when staff come into contact with COVID-19 symptomatic people, and for protecting people who meet the criteria for shielding. It also provides guidance about the specific situations when clients need to wear a mask.

Please note the contingency supply of PPE held by our Councils are subject to some restrictions over the holiday period. There may be a wait of up to 24 hours.

Public Health Resource Pack - Prevention and Control of Covid-19 in Social Care Settings

You should have received an email from us with links to various resources, including a series of presentations and videos. We will also be uploading all of the resources to this site. Please contact your relevant Council if you did not receive this email.

NHS Dorset Communications to Care Homes Newsletter

Please refer to the latest newsletter which includes training support for nurses within nursing homes:

NICE guidance for community based providers

The National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE) has recently issued guidance on:

Digital Social Care Technology Helpline

Digital Social Care has set up a new helpline to support the adult social care sector with harnessing technology during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This includes MS teams and video conferencing

Carers Support Dorset – News Page

Carers Support Dorset has a raft of information and guidance to support Carers during the Coronavirus outbreak. Please share this link to the Carers Support Dorset News

Friday 3 April

Temporary arrangements for free DBS and Barred List checks in response to COVID-19

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