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Covid-19 Guidance and Webinar Resources

Staff Exemptions to self-isolating

In exceptional circumstances fully vaccinated front-line social care staff, if identified as a close contact positive case, may be allowed to leave self-solation in order to attend (including travelling to and from) work.

» Please see the detail and process here
» Please find the checklist here

Please send the completed checklist, plus supporting information here: assistance@hcpa.co.uk

 

Please find below Local and National COVID-19 Guidance for Hertfordshire Care Providers

SectionGuidance/FAQsAdditional InformationLinks
ACASCoronavirus: Advice for employers and employees inc SSPClick here
Antibody Testing*At-Home testing to see if you / your team have had Covid in the pastAntibody testing – at-home testing service
DHSC have launched an at-home antibody testing service, which is available to all paid staff in the adult social care sector in England.
- Click here to register for an at-home antibody test: https://hcpa.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06&id=d077c9121e&e=9b7f8bd309
If your care home is participating in the Vivaldi research study, please do not use this service, but access antibody tests through Vivaldi.
Both Vivaldi and this at-home testing service will inform participants whether they have detectable antibodies or not.
Please note:
• Antibody tests are used to detect antibodies to the COVID-19 virus to see if you have previously had the virus. The test does not tell you if you currently have the virus, nor can it tell you definitively if you are immune

• This at-home antibody testing service is collecting important data to improve our understanding of COVID-19

• We believe that one day in the future, a national antibody testing programme may provide an important role in the next phase of this pandemic

• By participating and taking a test you will be contributing to this effort

• Our understanding of the body’s immune response to the virus is limited, and we do not currently know how long an antibody response lasts, whether you can be re-infected, nor whether having antibodies means you cannot transmit the virus to others

• Regardless of the result of an antibody test, you must continue to comply with government guidelines, including wearing PPE and social distancing
Click here
Care Home Visitors*Can we allow visitors to Residential Care Sites?Latest Government guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/update-on-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes
Most recent HCC Visiting framework document: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Framework-for-Residential-Care-Services-visiting-arrangements-V9.pdf
The care home visitor checklist based on government guidance must be completed by all homes and sent to assistance@hcpa.info: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-19-support-checklist-Care-Homes-Herts-Nov-2020-v7-002.docx The checklist outlines all the key elements that a Care Home must have completed before opening the home to visitors. You may be required by the County Council to close to non-essential visitors if you have not completed the risk assessment or your risk assessment is not satisfactory. All checklists must be signed by the home manager and dated

There is a poster you can display, which should be helpful for families and friends wishing to visit: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Advice-for-visitors-to-our-Home_-Keeping-your-loved-ones-safe-200731.pdf We would advise this Visitor tracking form is used: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Visitor-Tracking-Form-V6.docx (Note - It is unlikely visitors from CQC will fill these forms, as per their recent communications on CQC visits). If you do have an outbreak or suspected cases, you should follow isolation procedures and contact the Health Protection Team 0300 303 8537 / phe.eoehpt@nhs.net and order swabs from Herts Urgent Care HUC.admin@nhs.net . Our expectation is that essential health professionals should continue to be given access during outbreaks. If you have ANY concerns or questions about this, please call the Provider Hub 01707 708108

If you do have an outbreak or suspected cases, you should follow isolation procedures and contact the Health Protection Team 0300 303 8537 / phe.eoehpt@nhs.net and order swabs from Herts Urgent Care HUC.admin@nhs.net .
Our expectation is that essential health professionals should continue to be given access during outbreaks. If you have ANY concerns or questions about this, please call the Provider Hub 01707 708108
Click here
Care Home Visitors*When should my home close to visitors?HCC (09/10/20): "We understand that the restrictions that have been put in place have been challenging for many residents and their families. However as infection rates continue to rise within the community we need to do everything that we can to limit the spread of the virus, and where possible, we will seek to allow visits from family members and non-essential visitors." The Framework document can be found here: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Framework-for-Residential-Care-Services-visiting-arrangements-V9-1.pdf Main changes to the Framework include: - Homes must now close to non-essential visitors immediately if there are 2 or more symptomatic residents or staff and a test must be completed - Homes must now close to non-essential visitors immediately if there are 2 or more COVID positive cases. The home or care setting can reopen once they have had no new cases for 28 days, or if the symptomatic staff or residents are negative.

Please https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Framework-for-Residential-Care-Services-visiting-arrangements-V9-1.pdf to read Framework for residential Care Services visiting arrangements for the situations where all homes in an area should close and where individual homes should close.
Click here
Cleaning*What changes to our cleaning regime do we need to consider at this point?You should consider frequent and thorough cleaning of well-used touchpoints such as door handles and lift buttons, with regular cleaning of surfaces in communal areas including phones etc. Also don't forget the pieces of equipment that are used by residents / clients such as hoists, weighing scales and thermometers. A combined detergent/disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000ppm available chlorine or a general-purpose neutral detergent in a solution of warm water followed by a disinfectant solution of 1,000ppm can be used (follow the manufacturers recommendations on dilution, making and storage). There is guidance on environmental decontamination within the national documents -
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/880274/Admission_and_Care_of_Residents_during_COVID-19_Incident_in_a_Care_Home.pdf
Cleaning*What should we be doing with waste for suspected cases in care homes?Care homes have well-established processes for waste management.
If homes have Cat B (orange) infectious waste bin's then waste may be put directly into these streams and no need to double bag or wait for 72 hours
If a resident is suspected or confirmed to have Covid 19 all waste should be disposed of via cat B waste stream
Cleaning*When is a deep clean needed and what does this entail?
Frequent cleaning of well used touch points along with the communal areas of the home, resident’s bedrooms, staff rooms general surfaces and equipment must take place during the course of an outbreak. When an outbreak is declared to be over then a post outbreak deep clean can take place. This would usually commence 14 days post the last new case but here discussions must take place with HPT prior to any decisions being made.
Care homes should have access to cleaning manuals – these must include the specifications of how items and areas are routinely cleaned.
A combined detergent/disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000ppm available chlorine or a general-purpose neutral detergent in a solution of warm water followed by a disinfectant solution of 1,000ppm can be used (follow the manufacturers recommendations on dilution, making and storage).
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control/reducing-the-risk-of-transmission-of-covid-19-in-the-hospital-setting and
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/880274/Admission_and_Care_of_Residents_during_COVID-19_Incident_in_a_Care_Home.pdf.
The post outbreak deep clean should start from the least affected area/unit of the home progressing to the most affected area/unit.
Once the post outbreak deep clean has been completed nominated staff members should spot check the cleaning standards prior to sign off.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/norovirus-managing-outbreaks-in-acute-and-community-health-and-social-care-settings and
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/214929/Care-home-resource-18-February-2013.pdf.
See attached document which could be used by care homes as a framework to build upon following an outbreak situation. Post Outbreak Deep Clean- Example Checklist- https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Post-Outbreak-Deep-clean-2020-v4-3.docx
Cleaning*Why are you required to label and date laundry? Linen must be laundered in line with local policy for infectious linen. All linen bags must be stored in a designated safe lockable area whilst awaiting laundering. Attention must be given to placing the linen in a red soluble bag and then placing in an impermeable or nylon polyester bag, the outer bag must state “infectious linen”. If linen is sent to an off-site laundry, the laundry should be made aware of its nature, and written guidelines should be agreed and followed regarding its transportation and handling – This would include details of labelling the linen
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/527545/Social_care.pdf
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/880274/Admission_and_Care_of_Residents_during_COVID-19_Incident_in_a_Care_Home.pdf
Clinical*Named clinical lead for Care Homes and Weekly Check in'sNHS and social care organisations have been asked by Simon Steven’s to ensure that all care homes have a clinical lead and that care homes are made aware of their named clinical lead. It will be the responsibility of the clinical lead to conduct weekly check in’s with their allocated care home. The CCG has been working in close collaboration with Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH) our community providers, GP primary care, mental health and social care to develop a multidisciplinary approach to support care homes and their residents. To read letter https://www.hcpa.info/?p=61761 .For the weekly check in pathway https://www.hcpa.info/?p=61763
Closure and appeal*What is the appeal process for home closure? In some circumstances care homes may feel that they have assessed the risk as to be manageable and therefore can safely open some or all of their home to non-essential visitors before the currently policy outlines. In these instances, the following process will be followed by the care home and the wider system partners in Hertfordshire in the form of the Covid19 care home outbreak cell. The care home must complete the non-essential visitors appeals template ( https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/HCC-non-essential-visitor-guidance-appeal-template-091020.docx ) and email Hertfordshire County Council using the email assistance@hcpa.info, outlining the risk assessment they have undertaken to reach this conclusion. The county council will respond to the care home with a clear decision within a maximum of 3 working days although will aim to respond quicker.

Any decision made as part of the appeal can be reviewed and amended based on new evidence and prevalence of Covid19 in the local system. The decision only applies for that outbreak and a home will need to close for non-essential visitors if there is a new outbreak or if there is a new positive case or symptomatic resident or staff member

For full details https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Framework-for-Residential-Care-Services-visiting-arrangements-V9.pdf for the visitor framework
Click here
Community Response Volunteer scheme*Fact sheet - Community Response payment optionsNHS Volunteer Responders / Royal Voluntray Service:
"We want you to remain safe and ensure both yourself and the individual you are supporting are protected. We recognise that people who are self-isolating may not have access to normal payment methods.
If you or the person you are supporting have any concerns over payments, please refer these concerns to the Support Team on 0808 196 3382." Please see full deails: https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/community-response-volunteer/fact-sheet-community-response-payment-options
Click here
CQC/ Regulators*Are there any changes to the Care Act?The guidance sets out how local authorities can use the new Care Act provisions, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to prioritise care and support for those who need it most: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-changes-to-the-care-act-2014
CQC/ Regulators*Do you have any particular advice on supporting individuals with Dementia during Covid-19?Support guidance from NHSE - https://hcpa.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06&id=4d8e89de47&e=b9895c5f2e Tips on supporting Walking with Purpose - https://hcpa.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06&id=fccb7769ed&e=b9895c5f2e
CQC/ Regulators*Do you have any updates regarding safeguarding?The HSAB website now has a page related to Safeguarding during COVID-19. This includes updates on current services, resources for staff and a range of links to national guidance and support including a video aimed at volunteers on safeguarding, https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/adult-social-services/report-a-concern-about-an-adult/hertfordshire-safeguarding-adults-board/safeguarding-adults-during-covid-19.aspx?mc_cid=add61b66bd&mc_eid=3e0cd1f44a
CQC/ Regulators*Information on CQC resuming on-site inspectionsAs On-site Inspections are resumed, CQC have provided information on Testing for their Inspectors, PPE use during inspections, risk assessments ahead of inspections and disclaimers: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/CQC-updates-as-on-site-inspections-resume-Aug2020.docx
CQC/ RegulatorsLooking after people who lack mental capacityClick here
CQC/ Regulators*Provider Information Return requests pausedWe have paused the sending out of requests for the adult social care PIR until further notice to relieve the burden on providers.
If you have already received a PIR request, you do not have to return this to us. However, we are reviewing PIRs that we have already received and will continue to review any further PIRs that are submitted. Therefore, if you are in the process of completing a PIR and would like to continue with this and submit it, please do so.
If you have any queries regarding your PIR please contact ascinspections@cqc.org.uk , or for more info: https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/adult-social-care/provider-information-return-pir-adult-social-care-services
________________________________________
CQC/ RegulatorsThe ethical framework for Adult Social CareClick here
Direct Payments*Do you have any updated information on direct payments?Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for people receiving direct payments. Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-people-receiving-direct-payments?utm_source=3e008817-842e-47a9-a669-fc7361ab7316&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate Coronavirus (COVID-19): Q&A for people receiving a personal budget or personal health budget- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-people-receiving-direct-payments/coronavirus-covid-19-qa-for-people-receiving-a-personal-budget-or-personal-health-budget
For PPE for the recipients of Direct Payments (or Personal Health Budgets) please visit https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/ppepa
Click here
Disclosure and Barring Service *Are there any changes to the DBS process? DBS filtering rules have changed:
Care providers may need to update recruitment application processes
DBS filtering rules were first introduced on 29 May 2013 when amendments were made to legislation that affected both what an employer can ask an individual in relation to convictions and cautions (for example a self-declaration on an application form of ‘do you have any convictions’), and what is disclosed on a Standard or Enhanced DBS certificate.
These rules were updated on 28th November 2020 as follows:
• warnings, reprimands and youth cautions will no longer be automatically disclosed on a DBS certificate
• the multiple conviction rule has been removed, meaning that if an individual has more than one conviction, regardless of offence type or time passed, each conviction will be considered against the remaining rules individually, rather than all being automatically disclosed
The Disclosure and Barring Service have informed us that care providers may need to change their recruitment application process to be compliant to this new change.
Click here
Foreign Travel*Staff isolation when returning from abroad (Updated 17/12/2020)Those returning from a foreign country where a travel corridor exists can go directly back to work, whereas those returning from a country without a travel corridor must SI for 10 days and should not use the 5-day private test route. Public Health England have informed us that Health and Social Care Workers returning from territories without a safe travel corridor must self-isolate for a period of 10 days and cannot use the private test 5-day self-isolation route stated here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/test-to-release-england-introduces-testing-strategy-for-international-arrivals . Details on countries with travel corridors can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors
Funding*Herts CC Original Covid-19 Fund (for contracted providers only)
Herts Original Covid-19 Fund - Open to contracted providers only - Funding available to cover PPE (extra to that which the National free PPE portal supplies AND for covid-use only), Cleaning costs and Equipment that was previously reused but due to IPC is now single use (e.g. call bell mats)
If applicable, please fill this claim form and return to your usual HCC Contracts Officer / Monitoring Officer / Commissioner: https://hcpa.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06&id=b7eb5479d2&e=9b7f8bd309
Information on proportionality of your claims may be requested from your HCC Commissioning or Monitoring Officer

If you have any questions about contacting your Commissioning or Monitoring Officer at HCC, or other questions about this fund, please contact the HCPA Care Provider Hub 01707 708 108
Funding*Infection Control Fund (All providers eligible)
For the most up to date information of the second round of the Infection Control Fund, please visit www.hcpa.info/covid-19 and look in the big piink box marked "Latest Infection Control Funding letters here".
Further details, and a recording of the recent HCC HCPA webinar can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxBxD75IJ3g&feature=youtu.be and more info can be found here: https://mailchi.mp/hcpa/covid-19-daily-update-1281588?e=9b7f8bd309 . PLEASE NOTE THIS FUNDING DOES NOT COVER PPE
Click here
FundingJanuary 2021 update - Letter to ADS about fundingClick here
GOV.UKCoronavirus (COVID-19) Adult Social Care Action PlanClick here
Visiting care homes during COVID-19
Key message:
Each care home (the registered manager) is responsible for setting the visiting policy in that home. They should do so on the basis of a dynamic risk assessment taking into consideration the needs of individuals within their home and with regard to the advice of the local Director of Public Health (DPH).

All care homes – regardless of Tier – and except in the event of an active outbreak – should seek to enable:

- indoor visits where the visitor has been tested and returned a negative result – (section 2.1 of guidance)
outdoor visiting and ‘screened’ visits – (section 2.3 of guidance)

- Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be enabled – (section 2.4 of guidance)

- In all cases it is essential that visiting happens within a wider care home environment of robust Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, including ensuring that visitors follow (and are supported to follow) good practice with social distancing, hand hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use.

- In the event of an outbreak in a care home, the home should immediately stop visiting (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life) to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors (section 1.4 of guidance)

Care Home visits guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/arrangements-for-visiting-out-of-the-care-home/visits-out-of-care-homes and Lateral Flow Testing and Visiting guidance here: https://www.hcpa.info/guideline/care-home-visitor-guidance/
Click here
GOV.UK*Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (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 coronavirus (COVID-19), follow this guidance. This may include people in your support bubble.
Click here
GOV.UKGuidance for employees, employers and businessesClick here
GOV.UK*Guidance for providers ofservices for people who use drugs or alcoholThis guidance outlines COVID-19 advice for commissioners and service providers involved in assisting people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol or both.Click here
GOV.UK*Guidance for providers of Supported Living services
Click here
GOV.UKTesting service for extra care and supported living settingsClick here
GOV.UK*Guidance for Social or Community Care and Residential settings on COVID-19
GOV.UK*Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable
For advice on services provided to those shielding or considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV): https://www.hcpa.info/guideline/shielding/ If you have further questions please contact the Care Provider Hub: 01707 708108 / assistance@hcpa.info
Click here
GOV.UK*Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirusClick here
GOV.UK*Management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings (Outbreaks)
This guidance provides advice on the management of staff and patients or residents in health and social care settings according to exposures, symptoms and test results: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings
How long do we wait before we can declare an outbreak is over?
The Covid-19 outbreak can be declared over firstly once no new cases (staff or residents) have occurred in the 28 days since the appearance of symptoms in the most recent case, or if case is asymptomatic then the date the swab was taken. All residents should have completed their 10 days isolation period.
And secondly to confirm the outbreak is concluded, please order swabs via the national portal and swab all residents and staff. If the results are negative, then the outbreak can be defined as having concluded.
When the outbreak has been declared concluded the home should complete a post outbreak deep clean of the Home.
Information on processes (National and local): https://www.hcpa.info/guideline/swabbing/
Note: Self Isolation period for residents in care settings remains at 14-days:
The national guidance has been revised and now recommends that health and social care professionals who are contacts of a case should self-isolate for 10 days. Please refer to Section 8. This is also applicable to in-patient contacts of a positive case (Section 10). Care Home residents who are contacts of a case will also need to isolate for 14 days. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings#patient-exposures-in-hospital
PHE East of England
Following on from the Government’s decision to reduce the isolation period down from 14 days to 10 days. The Government has made further changes to the guidance for health and social care professionals and Care Homes, the guidance can be found here: https://hcpa.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06&id=85027ff6fa&e=9b7f8bd309
• Any health and social care professionals who is a contact of a case should self isolate for 10 days
• Care Home residents who are contacts of a case will also need to isolate for 14 days
• In-patients who are known to have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient while on the ward, should be isolated or cohorted with other similarly exposed patients who do not have COVID-19 symptoms, until their hospital admission ends or until 14 days after last exposure
Click here
GOV.UKSupporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adultsClick here
GOV.UKAdmission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19Click here
GOV.UK*PPE supply
The information for adult social care providers delivering services to Hertfordshire residents is set out below:

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has set up a PPE Portal which will supply PPE free of charge to care providers who are registered to use the portal. This is open until March 2021 and should be the first port of call for all COVID-19 PPE needs. Accessing government-funded PPE this way will help to reduce the council’s financial burden and will be a requirement before accessing council support.

The amount of PPE that can be requested from the PPE Portal varies by sector. Please refer to the government guidance. If you are experiencing problems with the PPE Portal, or the limits do not meet your needs please contact the PPE Portal Customer Service team on 0800 876 6802.

PPE available through the PPE Portal is for COVID-19 needs only. Your business-as-usual (pre-Covid) PPE requirements should continue to be sourced from your usual business supply channels.

If you have COVID-19 PPE requirements that cannot be met by the PPE Portal or require PPE in an emergency, please contact our Provider Hub (01707 708108 / assistance@hcpa.info).

A note about ordering from Govt PPE Portal (0800 876 6802)
Depending on the type and size of Care service, Providers have limited quotas for Fluid repellent surgical masks (IIR), aprons, gloves, hand gel and visors.
Ordering is best managed every 7 days, to meet your covid IPC needs.

As there has been some confusion about ordering and quotas, please note the following illustration:

• Care Provider (fewer than 10 beds) has a quota of 200 fluid repellent surgical masks (Type IIR).
• Care Provider orders 199 fluid repellent surgical masks on Monday.
• Care Provider then tries to order a further 199 fluid repellent surgical masks on Sunday, but can only order 1 fluid repellent surgical mask.
• Care Provider would have been able to order 200 fluid repellent surgical masks if they had waited for a full 7 days to elapse between orders (i.e. only order every 7 days)
• Quota limits will never be reduced, only ever increased. If you wish to speak about increasing your order, please call the Portal 0800 876 6802

An important note – Deliveries of PPE should NEVER arrived opened. If the boxes have been opened, the PPE items may no longer safe to use. Always call the PPE Portal if your deliveries arrive opened 0800 876 6802

Full details and quota limits can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ppe-portal-how-to-order-emergency-personal-protective-equipment#orthodontists-order-limits
Click here
GOV.UK*Government has approved the self isolation payments to help people self isolate in appropriate circumstancesClick here
GOV.UK*Routine Homecare staff testing
Flyer can be found: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Homecare-worker-flyer.pdf
Full details and slides from DHSC webinar: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Homecare_Worker_Webinar_Slides.pdf
NOTE: Testing is strongly encouraged (but is not mandatory) for those who provide care and any others within the organisation who they are in contact with
Regsiter for tests here: https://request-testing.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/ Instructional video for taking swabs: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-taking-swab-samples/how-to-use-the-self-swabbing-kit-for-a-combined-throat-and-nose-swab-video - Any problems with this service or with registering swabs, please call 119
GOV.UKSupport for Care HomesClick here
GOV.UK*Winter PlanHCPA's new Winter Plan Checklist for Care Providers can be found by clicking the big blue button on the right.

Key highlights for Social Care

The UK Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan presents a programme for suppressing the virus, protecting the NHS and the vulnerable, keeping education and the economy going and providing a route back to normality.

• So, in the weeks to come we will be using these two scientific breakthroughs to fight the disease. We will be dispensing the vaccine as fast as we possibly can. But given that this will take time, we will simultaneously be using rapid testing to identify asymptomatic cases and to reduce transmission.

• The Government recognises the huge importance and health benefits of visits to people in care homes and their loved ones. The Government wants to bring an end to the pain of separation and help care homes bring families and loved ones together in a way that recognises the risks, but enables these to be managed in the best way possible. The launch of visitor testing is a crucial step to making that happen and this approach is currently being piloted in 20 care homes. The Government is committed, by Christmas, to providing twice-weekly testing to enable all care home residents to have regular visits from up to two visitors.

• In the first wave, the movement between care homes of staff who were unwitting carriers was one cause of the virus being introduced to these settings. The Government is therefore introducing legislation, by the end of the year, that requires care home providers to restrict all but the essential movement of staff between settings in order to reduce transmission. To further prevent the risk of infections entering care homes, the Government is working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the NHS to ensure everyone discharged to a care home has an up-to-date COVID-19 test result, and anyone testing positive will be discharged to a setting that has been assured by the CQC specifically for the purposes of providing safe care for COVID-19 positive residents.

• In addition, the influenza vaccine is being made available, free of charge, to all care staff, personal assistants and unpaid carers to further protect staff over the winter period.

• Care homes registered with the PPE Portal are able to access all of their COVID-19 PPE requirements this way and 83% of eligible care homes are now registered, with registrations still increasing weekly. Over 41,000 providers have registered for this portal across primary and social care. Personal assistants supported living, shared lives and daycare services can obtain free PPE from their Local Authority or Local Resilience Forum for COVID-19 needs. The Government continues to review PPE usage in order to match supply to demand.

• Repeat testing was introduced across care homes in July which helps care homes to identify and contain outbreaks. All care home staff are now offered weekly testing and this will be increased to twice weekly by the end of December. Resident testing started in April and all care home residents have been offered monthly testing since July. This will be increased to weekly testing in December.

• The Government recognises it is important to protect those receiving care in their own home, and while the risks are lower than for those in communal residences, many of those receiving care at home are vulnerable to COVID-19. The Government is therefore providing weekly testing to domiciliary carers working for CQC registered domiciliary care providers across England.

• The Government has also launched the Adult Social Care COVID-19 Dashboard to help Local Authorities monitor outbreaks and infection prevention measures.
Details: https://hcpa.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06&id=3ec5da8828&e=9b7f8bd309
Click here
GOV.UK*PPE for Home Care Services
PPE Portal - Homecare - Updated 4th December 2020 - Change made: Updated order limits for domiciliary care providers.

Domiciliary care providers with between 100 and 149 clients can order up to (per week):
• 2,000 IIR masks
• 3,000 aprons
• 6,000 gloves (3,000 pairs)
• 8 bottles of hand hygiene (usually 500ml)
• 200 visors
Domiciliary care providers with between 150 and 500 clients can order up to (per week):
• 8,000 IIR masks
• 6,000 aprons
• 12,000 gloves (6,000 pairs)
• 24 bottles of hand hygiene (usually 500ml)
• 1,000 visors
Domiciliary care providers with between 500 and 999 clients can order up to (per week):
• 12,000 IIR masks
• 14,000 aprons
• 24,000 gloves (12,000 pairs)
• 24 bottles of hand hygiene (usually 500ml)
• 1,000 visors
Domiciliary care providers with more than 1,000 clients can order up to (per week):
• 16,000 IIR masks
• 20,000 aprons
• 28,000 gloves (14,000 pairs)
• 48 bottles of hand hygiene (usually 500ml)
• 1,000 visors
Click here
Hospital Discharge to Home Care*Hospital discharges to Home Care Provision.
Please note: Clients returning home from hospital to an existing package of care will be swab tested and the folloiwng options apply:
If Positive results are returned, they will be discharged to full barrier Service for a 14 day isolation period, so long as the ward can confirm they are Medically Optimised and the Home Care Provider has sufficient PPE and the ability to meet the discharge care needs.
If Negative results are returned, the ward must ensure the patient is Medically Optimised, and the Home Care Provider has sufficient PPE and the ability to meet the discharge care needs.
If Inconclusive results are returned, they will be discharged to full barrier Service for a 14 day isolation period (as if positive results has been received) until further testing and results are available, while ensuring patient is Medically Optimised, and the Home Care Provider has sufficient PPE and the ability to meet discharge care needs.
For further information https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Covid-19-testing-for-service-users-discharged-or-transferred-home-with-home-care-services-clarification-16-07-2020-TP-JM-alterations-1.pdf
Click here
HPFTList of online resourcesClick here
HPFTHPFT COVID-19 Support LetterClick here
HPFTManaging risks from wandering or walking with purpose during COVID- 19Click here
HPFT Contracted ServicesHertfordshire Care Provider Claim FormClick here
Infection Control ChecklistClick here
Infection prevention and controlUpdates on preventing and controlling infections, including staff PPE useClick here
Local Authority Updates*Advice for PAs and those receiving Direct PaymentsHertfordshire County Council has created a helpful documennt speaking into the most frequently asked questions surrounding Direct Payment users and Personal Assistants, including Testing, Payments, Buying PPE and where to ask for more information: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/DP-FAQ-REVISED-14-December-black-and-white.docx Please also note PPE provision as per this table: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/PPE-supply-routes-table-update-261120.docx Click here
Local Authority Updates*Letter and factsheet for those with care or support needsLetter for people with care and support needs: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Letter-for-people-with-care-and-support-needs-04.11.20.pdf
Factsheet: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Standard-factsheet.pdf
Local Authority Updates*Free iPad offer for Residential Care ProvidersPlease fill the referral form found here: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/iPad-Handover-Agreement-Master-2.docx and send to Amy.morris@hertfordshire.gov.uk (Herts Valley Care Homes) and
Lesley.watson@hertfordshire.gov.uk (ENH Care Homes)
Local Authority UpdatesLetter to Community Care / HomeCare Providers (updated 04/11/2020)Click here
Local Authority UpdatesLetter to Older Persons Residential Care Providers (updated 04/11/2020)Click here
Local Authority UpdatesLetter to all Commissioned Voluntary & Community Sector Providers (Updated 04/11/2020)Click here
Local Authority Updates*Letter to all Family Carers and FAQs (updated 04/11/2020)Click here
Local Authority UpdatesMedication Errors GuidanceClick here
Local Authority Updates*Payment Guidance to Care ProvidersInformation on standard and additional payments to providersClick here
Local Authority Updates*We are pleased to offer our latest Covid-19 social distancing videos in these community languages: Bengali, Sylheti and Urdu
Local Authority UpdatesLetter to care homes re non essential visitor guidance Click here
Local Authority UpdatesLetter to family members and carers around residents visiting the family homeClick here
Local Authority UpdatesLetter to vistors around the local visitor policyClick here
Local Authority UpdatesGuidance for Day Opportunity Providers (OP and ADS)Click here
Medication*Controlled Drug Stock Checks/ CD Cabinet Key security Please ensure your organisation has appropriate security and governance processes in place for Controlled Drugs

CD cupboards should only be used for the storage of CDs and no other medication or valuables should be stored in the cupboard. If medication is provided in a monitored dosage system (MDS), the MDS should be stored in the CD cabinet.

Access to the CD cupboard should be controlled. The CD cupboard keys should be kept under the control of an authorised, designated person and there should be a clear audit trail of the holders of the key.

An audit of the CD register and drugs cupboard should be carried out routinely. This should be done weekly, fortnightly or monthly at the discretion of the care home manager. Audits should be carried out by two authorised members of staff and recorded in RED pen. Any discrepancies must be reported to the manager immediately. It is good practice to carry out a balance check at the end of each shift.

Incidents involving CDs must be reported to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the local NHS England Accountable Officer for Controlled Drugs
(email: england.ea-cdao@nhs.net)
Supporting Information:
1) CQC - Storing controlled drugs in care homes: https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/adult-social-care/storing-controlled-drugs-care-homes#:~:text=You%20can%20store%20them%20in,controlled%20drugs%20within%20your%20home.

2) HVCCG Care Homes Newsletter, Controlled Drugs, Issue 7 (December 2019): https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/clinicians/care-homes/topic/102/Newsletter/539
Medication*Do you have any guidance on administering from original packaging?As you are aware, the escalation of cases in the UK has meant increased pressure on all primary care services, including community pharmacy. Community pharmacies core responsibilities are to ensure that all patients receive their medication in a safe and effective way. Pharmacies have been asked to assess their ability to offer services to care homes if they have a reduced workforce, due to staff absences.

To support this recommendation, some pharmacies are proposing that until such time as COVID-19 is no longer a significant threat, care homes will receive medication in manufacturers’ original packs with pre-printed Medication Administration Record charts.

Please check in "medications" section of the following webpage - https://www.hcpa.info/guideline/covid-19-available-training-education/#eol
Medication*If I collect medication from a pharmacy within a supermarket will I have to stand in the normal supermarket queue ? No , Pharmacy managers have been contacted and asked and make arrangements for staff or patients requiring immediate pharmacy access to be given preference in queuing systems. To verify their need, patients/staff will be able to show one of the following

• A paper prescription
• An email from the issuing prescriber stating they have an urgent prescription.
• An NHS or care home staff ID badge - (volunteers can get ID badges here https://www.hcpa.info/guideline/covid-19-id-cards-for-key-workers/
Medication*Should we be stockpiling medication? CCG’s have been writing to GP practices to reiterate national command and control direction: NO STOCKPILING and Prescription lengths should NOT be extended as this will cause destabilisation of the already fragile medicines supply chain. CCG’s are seeking patient information to provide clear comms to patients about stockpiling/over ordering.
Medication*Should we be carrying forward PRN Medication? Due to the existing national situation regarding Covid-19 and demands on health care provisions, Herts Valleys & East and North Hertfordshire CCG care home team would like to remind care home staff it is essential to carrying forward PRN / ‘when required’ medication such as Paracetamol to safeguard stocks and enable care home providers to continue to provide effective care. Guidance- https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/application/files/5615/8212/0501/When_Required_Medication_PRN_Guidance_For_Care_Homes_V1.0.pdf . Top Tips - https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/application/files/2415/5928/7578/Reducing_Medicines_Waste_in_Care_Homes_v1.1_February_2019.pdf
Reminder on Medicines Reconciliation and reviews- https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/adult-social-care/medicines-reconciliation-medication-review
Medication*Should we be raising Safeguarding for Medication errors?With immediate effect, Hertfordshire County Council’s Adult Safeguarding teams will no longer progress safeguarding concerns for individual medication errors where there are no other safeguarding issues.
This decision has been made given the significant pressure on our staff availability that we are currently experiencing due to COVID-19, which we anticipate will grow over the coming weeks.

Read full details- https://mcusercontent.com/7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06/files/685a22af-1af9-4278-accf-9119f4c8ac11/Herts_Medication_Errors_guidance.pdf?mc_cid=a4030261fd&mc_eid=3e0cd1f44ac
Medication*Out of hours and EOL Pharmacists East and North Herts: https://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/pharmacies and https://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/Participating%20Pharmacies%20Details%20updated%20August%202020.pdf
Herts Valley (and East of England): https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/application/files/2215/9782/6797/Interactive_Map_of_Palliative_Care_Pharmacies_in_East_of_England.pdf and https://pcm.prescqipp.info/
Medication*Urgent Medication- When you need to inform pharmacists?Most prescriptions are sent directly from the GP to the pharmacy electronically using EPS. During the covid- 19 pandemic it is likely that there will be more remote consultations and more urgent medicines prescribed.
Please remember to contact your usual pharmacy to advise them that an urgent prescription has been sent by the GP as these are not highlighted to the pharmacist in any other way. Pharmacies are extremely busy at the moment and anything you can do to support them will be much appreciated and prevent delays in residents accessing the urgent medication that they need. Please see link for more detail
https://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/content_files/Prescribing/Primary_Care_Resources/Care_Home/Managing%20acute%20and%20urgent%20prescriptions%20in%20care%20homes.pdf
Medication*What is the CQC guidance on Medication?All information from CQC on Medication- https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/adult-social-care/medicines-information-adult-social-care-services
Medication*Where do we obtain Just in case Medication?Pharmacies currently participating in the Immediate Access to Emergency Medicines Scheme. EN Herts Medication list- https://mcusercontent.com/7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06/files/3cec9a0b-54b2-491a-a8d7-efc5ac79bd72/Immediate_access_to_emergency_medicines_pharmacy_stock_list_updated_on_9.4.20.pdf?mc_cid=add61b66bd&mc_eid=3e0cd1f44a. EN Herts Pharmacies- https://mcusercontent.com/7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06/files/69b096e7-c774-4387-94a7-176812fcc376/Immediate_access_to_emergency_medicines_pharmacies_updated_on_9.4.20.pdf?mc_cid=add61b66bd&mc_eid=3e0cd1f44a. Herts Valley Pharmacies- https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/application/files/8015/8625/6724/Immediate_Access_to_Emergency_Medicines_Summary_v3.0_COVID19_Edition_April_2020.pdf?mc_cid=add61b66bd&mc_eid=3e0cd1f44a
NCVOYour organisation and managing the CoronavirusClick here
NHSPublic facing COVID-19 NHS informationClick here
NHSUpdates from Skills for Care newsletterClick here
NICECommunity-based care of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)Click here
NICECOVID-19 rapid guideline: managing suspected or confirmed pneumonia in adults in the communityClick here
NICECOVID-19 rapid guideline: managing symptoms (including at the end of life) in the communityClick here
NICENICE publishes first rapid COVID-19 guidelinesClick here
NICESCIE/NICE quick guide: Helping to prevent infection in Care HomesClick here
Nutrition*How should we manage concerns with weight loss, poor appetite or lack of interest in eating? Nutrition support resources
Undernutrition remains a concern for the older population in Hertfordshire, and isolation as a result of the current Covid 19 crisis is likely to increase this issue.

https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/application/files/3615/3847/2735/Food_first_-_Quick_guide_HMMC_062018.pdf and
https://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/content_files/Prescribing/Local_Decisions/Nutrition_and_blood/Food%20First-%20Fortifying%20food%20for%20care%20homes.pdf.

Local guidance which may be useful, both to help prevent undernutrition at this time and to support older adults recovering from Covid 19, includes:
• Food First – Eating well for small appetites focuses on enabling patients to increase their nutritional intake by at least 500 calories per day (in addition to other essential nutrients) and can be given out by any healthcare professional without additional explanation
• Food First – Quick guide is a short version of the above leaflet and shows how an additional 500 calories (in addition to other essential nutrients) can be consumed simply by making 3 or 4 small dietary changes each day
• Food First - Homemade supplements can be provided together with either of the above resources and is equally suitable for patients living in their own homes or in care homes. The homemade milkshake recipe is nutritionally almost identical to prescribed ONS
• Eating and drinking at end of life is designed for relatives and carers of people who are reaching the end of their lives. It has been written to help reassure carers that loss of appetite and reduction in food intake is a normal and expected part of the dying process, and that prescribed ONS are unlikely to be helpful at this stage

British Dietetic Association (BDA) resources on nutrition, older people and self isolation during Covid: https://www.bda.uk.com/food-health/food-facts/older-adult-food-facts.html
• Helping Older Adults Keep Well is a brief guide about maintaining nutrition during self-isolation
• Basic Store Cupboard Ideas gives a range of ideas about how to maintain a varied and balanced diet using long life products
Nutrition*Nutrition Covid-19- Taste Changes, Feeling Breathless and Weight LossA team of nutrition experts across Hertfordshire have created a series of posters to support you and your clients with some of the nutrition concerns that have been identified during Covid-19. They are created to give you some hints and tips to support your own service users and provide a range of ideas. You can print them and display them, share them with your teams and even next of kin who might be supporting older people. https://hcpa.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06&id=646ebf1b42&e=3e0cd1f44a
PPE - Gowns and Coveralls*Donning and Doffing Gown and Coveralls guidanceHere is a guide on gown donning and doffing- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-personal-protective-equipment-use-for-aerosol-generating-procedures
Here is a guide for removing coveralls: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/911307/PHE_Removal_or_doffing_coveralls_guidance_instruction_sheet_airbourne_precautions.pdf
Here is a guide for Donning coveralls: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/911303/PHE_Putting_on_or_donning_coveralls_guidance_instruction_sheet_airbourne_precautions.pdf
Please note gowns and coveralls are not included within the standard PPE Items, and are only for use in certain specific instances. For more information, please contact the HCPA Care Provider Hub: 01707 708108 / assistance@hcpa.info
PPE and AGPs*Are you carrying out Aerosol Generating Procedure and need FFP3 masks?If you are carrying out any of the AGPs in the list found below, you might need to wear extra PPE, such as an FFP3 mask.
UIn order to wear an FFP3 mask safely, you must first be fit-tested to ensure it works.
If you need FFP3s masks, or need to be fit-tested to use these, please contact the HCPA Care Provider Hub 01707 708108 / assistance@hcpa.info

Aerosol Generating Procedures - This is the list of medical procedures for COVID-19 that have been reported to be aerosol generating and are associated with an increased risk of respiratory transmission:
•tracheal intubation and extubation
•manual ventilation
•tracheotomy or tracheostomy procedures (insertion or removal)
•bronchoscopy
•dental procedures (using high speed devices, for example ultrasonic scalers/high speed drills
•non-invasive ventilation (NIV); Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure Ventilation (BiPAP) and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Ventilation (CPAP)
•high flow nasal oxygen (HFNO)
•high frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV)
•induction of sputum using nebulised saline
•respiratory tract suctioning
•upper ENT airway procedures that involve respiratory suctioning
•upper gastro-intestinal endoscopy where open suction of the upper respiratory tract occurs
•high speed cutting in surgery/post-mortem procedures if respiratory tract/paranasal sinuses involved
PROVIDER RESOURCESBusiness Continuity Plans – Your provider checklistClick here
PROVIDER RESOURCES*Guidance on Care Home provisionhttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878099/Admission_and_Care_of_Residents_during_COVID-19_Incident_in_a_Care_Home.pdf
PROVIDER RESOURCES*Personal protective equipment (PPE)Govt Guidance on PPE: Care Homes: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-care-homes
Domicilary Care Organisations: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-domiciliary-care
If you are concerned about your stock and need urgent support, or want advice about suppliers, please don’t hesitate to email assistance@hcpa.info or call 01707 708108
Guidance for using PPE (inc Donning and Doffing): https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/911188/PHE_PPE_guide_for_community_and_social_care_settings_AUG_2020.pdf
Click here
SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence)*Delivering safe, face-to-face adult day care (Updated 2 December 2020)Updated information including guidance on re-opening services and risk assessmentsClick here
Self-Isolation guidance in care settings*Does the new guidance on reduced isolation periods cover staff and residents in Care?

The national guidance has been revised and now recommends that health and social care professionals who are contacts of a case should self-isolate for 10 days. Please refer to Section 8. This is also applicable to in-patient contacts of a positive case (Section 10). Care Home residents who are contacts of a case will also need to isolate for 14 days. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings#patient-exposures-in-hospital
PHE East of England
. The Government has made further changes to the guidance for health and social care professionals and Care Homes, the guidance can be found here: https://hcpa.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06&id=85027ff6fa&e=9b7f8bd309
• Any health and social care professionals who is a contact of a case should self isolate for 10 days
• Care Home residents who are contacts of a case will also need to isolate for 14 days
• In-patients who are known to have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient while on the ward, should be isolated or cohorted with other similarly exposed patients who do not have COVID-19 symptoms, until their hospital admission ends or until 14 days after last exposure
Sick Pay (SSP)Sick pay from day one for those affected by Coronavirus / returning from abroadClick here
Staff Capacity*Can overseas students work more hours during Covid-19 as they are not studying? Students must adhere to the rules as part of their clearance to study in the UK, which is as per government guidance- https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/Working/Tier-4-work
Staff Capacity*What do I do if I am concerned about management of staffing during the this period? If you have low staffing levels where delivering care is unsafe you need to contact CQC and your HCC/NHS contact manager. For CQC contact your inspector, if you do not have their number please then they call through to the Enquiries number 03000 616161. That way they can be transferred directly and a log [Enquiry number] will be created. Please email jobs@hcpa.info to ask for support with finding staff or volunteers
For residential care providers, to help you control any staffing risks from insufficient staffing,please review the Care Home workforce mitigation document found here: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Care-Home-Workforce-Mitigations-Covid-19-v5.docx
Staffing*Questions about management, duties and wages for pregnant staff
Are you aware of the current HR requirements for Pregnant Care Staff and how employers can use the IPC funding to support?

Employers who do not undertake risk assessments or organise suitable alternatives for pregnant staff may be breaching the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW).

Current Advice Applicable to pregnant care staff (Royal College of Nursing)
(Public Health have conformed this advice is the same for pregnant care staff)

Please find below the steps you need to follow as an employer:
1. Employers are expected to carry out (or review) pregnancy risk assessments for all pregnant workers.
2. The assessment will look at the role, the work environment and the context of the pregnant person’s health (including any underlying conditions). It must highlight any potential risks and steps to be taken to remove the risk of harm to the member of staff or their unborn child.
3. The clinical advice from the RCOG’s joint statement on Occupational health advice for employers and pregnant women states that ‘social distancing is particularly important for all pregnant women who are 28 weeks and beyond, in order to lessen their risk of contracting the virus’. Employers should take this into account when carrying out the risk assessment.

Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists advice:
• Updated guidance emphasises that pregnant women of any gestation should be offered the choice of whether to work in direct patient-facing roles during the coronavirus pandemic
• Women who are less than 28 weeks pregnant should practise social distancing but can choose to continue working in a patient-facing role, provided the necessary precautions are taken
• Women who are more than 28 weeks pregnant, or have underlying health conditions, should avoid direct patient contact and it is recommended that they stay at home

Please Note: Pregnant women’s choices on whether they work in direct patient-facing roles during the coronavirus pandemic should be respected and supported by their employers, according to updated national guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives.

4. Where the risk can't be removed, your employer should look at suitable alternative work, including home working, the use of a single office or redeployment in line with health and safety standards.
5. If suitable alternative work is not available then that staff member should be suspended on full paid leave* for as long as necessary to protect their health and safety, or that of their unborn child.
6. Access Support funding:
Wages for staff suspended on full pay at 28 Weeks of pregnancy is a justified re-claimable expenditure under the Infection Control Fund, Round 2 (Oct-Mar) under the heading of "Ensuring staff who are isolating in line with government guidance receive their normal wages while doing so".
Further details on this fund can be found here: www.hcpa.info/covid-19 and https://www.hcpa.info/guideline/covid-19-12-faqs/

References:
https://www.rcn.org.uk/get-help/rcn-advice/covid-19
https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/news/updated-advice-for-pregnant-women-who-are-working-in-the-nhs-and-other-work-settings-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/
https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/

If you wish to discuss this, please call the HCPA Care Provider Hub 01707 708108 or email assistance@hcpa.info

Staffing*What happens if a staff member is exposed to a confirmed case outside of work or contacted by NHS Test and Trace?
The staff member should self-isolate for 10 days straight away. If the staff member gets symptoms, then they should be tested by booking in at one of the local test sites via the gov.uk testing portal or requesting a home test kit.
If the staff member remains asymptomatic then they should self-isolate for 10 days from the date of exposure.
The home will need to risk assess for any other staff they have been in contact without PPE.
Guidance from Department of Health and Social Care have outlined 3 potential scenarios where ‘close contact’ occurs:
• a staff member who has been caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID19 or who has symptoms of COVID-19 while the staff member was wearing appropriate PPE. Staff will not need to isolate in these cases, but these contacts will be escalated to the local public health team for further advice if needed • a staff member who has been caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID19 or who has symptoms of COVID-19 while the staff member was wearing appropriate PPE but the PPE has been breached. The member of staff will need to isolate for 14 days in line with the advice to the general population (see advice above for examples of PPE breaches) • a staff member who has been in contact with anyone else who has tested positive for COVID-19 whether at work (most likely a colleague in communal areas) or in the community. The member of staff will need to isolate for 10 days in line with the advice to the general population.

NHS T&T Info: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAhs79BRD0ARIsAC6XpaVhrQhL7NeWtaYAJOWvj3GiREYOTC36-2DFfOZf_MImh_NTBumod6UaAgVJEALw_wcB
Gov
.uk T&T info: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
*IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE IN ANY DOUBT ABOUT SELF ISOLATION REQUIREMENTS WHEN YOU / CARE STAFF / HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS ARE TOLD TO SELF ISOLATE, OR ARE SYMPTOMATIC, OR HAVE A POSITIVE TEST RESULT, OR HAVE BEEN ALERTED BY TEST AND TRACE, PLEASE CALL THE PROVIDER HUB: 01707 708108 OR EMAIL: ASSISTANCE@HCPA.INFO *

Click here
Swabbing/ TestingCare Home Resident testing referral formClick here
Swabbing/ Testing*Do we have to swab all residents even if they are distressed?
If a resident does not have relevant mental capacity, for example, to make necessary decisions (including care, treatment and residence decisions), staff will need to consider the legal, decision-making framework offered by the MCA. The Department of Health and Social Care has issued guidance on the use of the MCA and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards during this period. It can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-looking-after-people-wholack-mental-capacity Care home staff will need to consider the MCA and this guidance, when making decisions for people who lack the relevant mental capacity to make them. This includes residents who cannot make their own decision about testing.
If a person lacks capacity to provide consent to be tested for COVID-19, the decision maker should where necessary make a ‘best interests decision’ under the MCA. When doing so, they must consider all the relevant circumstances and should make a record of their decision. This must be undertaken in relation to the individual and should never be determined in relation to groups of people. Additional time may be required to make the best interests decision in these situations.
If the resident is symptomatic you should isolate them for 14 days
Swabbing/ TestingTesting for COVID-19 before a hospital procedureClick here
Swabbing/ Testing*I have questions about swabbing / testing pathways and don't know where to go for help
Please visit our new Swabbing webpage https://www.hcpa.info/guideline/swabbing/ and in particular check out the FAQs on this webpage. If any doubts, call the Provider Hub 01707 708108 or email assistance@hcpa.info
Click here
Swabbing/ Testing*How to test care home residents and workersClick here
Swabbing/ Testing*Information on whole Home testing
The Government has announced regular testing process for all residential care homes.
Care Home staff are to be given COVID-19 tests every week and residents monthly, to identify anyone with the virus and to reduce transmission. Register for Whole Home Testing here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-care-home
Please click the large blue button on the right of this text to see the most up to date info on all UK swab testing, including Whole Home Testing for Care Homes. - If you cannot access resources online, please call 119
Full details of swab testing can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/906089/Routes_for_Coronavirus_testing_in_adult_social_care_in_England_accessible.pdf
Click here
Swabbing/ Testing*Is there any training available on how to swab?
A youtube video has been produced which shows how to carry out nasal and throat swabs for residents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l0jcv37WzI&feature=youtu.be
Care practitioners and nurses who will be swabbing residents in care homes should complete the online care home swabbing competency assessment before carrying out swabbing.
Individuals can register at www.genqa.org/carehomes or care home managers can create an organisational account by contacting info@genqa.org
Click here
Swabbing/ Testing*Issues with Whole Home Testing service or courier
If you need any support over accessing the Govt testing portal, please contact the Coronavirus Testing Call Centre on 0300 303 2713 (07:00 to 23:00 every day). If you have any issues with accessing swabs or booking your courier please escalate it through: scas.Covid19TestingComplaints@nhs.net copying in acs.covid@hertfordshire.gov.uk
Swabbing/ Testing*Care Home Testing: Useful links and emergency help
For any care home testing queries, please refer to testing guidance which can be found at:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/912950/Care_home_testing_guidance_-_non-Randox__England__v24-08.pdf
and
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/933134/Routes_for_Coronavirus_testing_in_adult_social_care_in_England_accessible1.pdf
To find your Unique Organisation Number (UON) by searching your CQC location ID:

https://organisation-number-lookup.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk
To order coronavirus test kits:

https://request-testing.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk
To book a courier collection:
https://test-kit-collection.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/
To register completed test kits:
https://gov.uk/register-organisation-tests
Sign up to NHS T&T webinar series
"We would like to invite you to our regular care home testing webinars. The weekly webinars last 90 minutes and give detailed information about all aspects of care home testing, including: ordering tests, preparing for testing, test kit delivery, a test kit demonstration, testing certain care groups, registering test kits, booking your collection and results and what they mean for your home.
The session will include a live Q&A with representatives from the national care home testing team, who will be able to answer your questions and address any concerns in the session.
To sign up to attend our new care home testing webinars click here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1369434&tp_key=296e54cdc9
If you are not able to attend the webinars please sign up and a recording of the session will be made available to you after the session."

Who should you contact in an emergency?
If at any stage someone at your organisation cannot cope with the symptoms, or their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after 7 days, use the https://111.nhs.uk/COVID-19 service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999.
Swabbing/ Testing*Care home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits

Message from DHSC
We will be sending Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits to all care homes by 18 December. These are sometimes called rapid tests as they produce results very quickly, within 30 minutes. You will receive these tests in addition to the regular PCR tests that we already send you for weekly staff and monthly resident testing.
The LFD test kits will be used for scheduled visitor testing. You will not need to order your first round of LFD test kits. We will send further information as soon as we can with exact details of when your LFD test kits will arrive, and guidance on how many you will get, how to use them, how you can order more, and what support available. https://hcpa.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7275e7980a25c4f5e4939ee06&id=e62edf07de&e=9b7f8bd309
Gov.uk update 08/12/2020 Sets out how care homes and visitors can prepare for visitor testing with lateral flow devices (LFDs).: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-testing-of-visitors-in-care-homes?utm_source=534a7f78-bc2f-47e1-9360-5e01e81b0e6b&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
Webinar bokings here: https://event.webcasts.com/viewer/portal.jsp?ei=1408929&tp_key=d2a77c17e3
Recent webinar slides: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Lateral_Flow_Device_Webinar_09122020.pdf and some questions asked and answered at the webinar: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/LFD-webinar-qs.docx and some useful links: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Care-Home-Lateral-Flow-testing-useful-links-08122020.docx
Swabbing/ Testing*Home Care routine testing for staff
Translation services*Information on translation services for Testing
Please see the following helpful documents concerning translation services for Covid Testing: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/2007009_Translation-Services_User-Guide_V1.pptx and here: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/200709_Translation-Service_Other-Country-Codes.pdf
Travelling together*Advice on car sharing / travelling together in vehiclesPlease see detailed guidance on vehicle sharing here: https://www.hcpa.info/wp-content/uploads/Care-Provider-Transport-Guidance-for-FAQs.pdf and please note that ANYONE travelling in ANY VEHICLE (inc Car, Minibus or Aeroplane) wil be considered a close contact if another passenger receives a positive test result, even if wearing full PPE https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person
Health and Safety Executive*Fogging: Disinfecting premises using fog, mist, vapour or ultraviolet (UV) systems during the coronavirus pandemicDo not spray people with disinfectants, Only use products authorised in the UK, Choose the correct treatment, Avoid harm, Do not disinfect large outdoor spaces, Supply and manufacture of disinfectants, The law on chemicals, Sealing off rooms - Full guidance: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/disinfecting-premises-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm
Health and Safety ExecutiveCleaning and disinfectants: Hand sanitiser products and surface disinfectants during the coronavirus pandemic – use, manufacture and supplyClick here

Please find below recent COVID-19 webinars delivered for Hertfordshire Care Providers

Click a title below to access the resources...
TitleSlidesRecordingFAQsPPE Audit TemplateHand Hygiene Audit TemplateHand Hygiene Audit Template for Care HomesPPE Competency Template
Pressure Ulcer Awareness and Prevention | 21st July 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Infection Prevention Control and Awareness | 14th July 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
IPC and PPE Manager Responsibilities Webinar | 30th June 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Infection Prevention Control and Awareness | 23rd June 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Making the Most of your Membership and Members Zone | 3rd June 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
COVID-19 Recovery, get back to better health with StopFalls | 2nd June 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Community Commissioning Adult Disability - Business Opportunities | 26th May 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Basic Health Observations | 20th May 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Diabates Awareness and Management | 7th May 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Essex Provider Data Webinar - DSPT, Secure email and Proxy Medication | 26th April 2021 Click here to watch the webinar
PPE National Guidance Update Webinar | 22nd April 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Hertfordshire Provider Data Webinar - DSPT, Secure email and Proxy Medication | 21st April 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
COVID-19 Vaccine- The Blood Clot Issue | 15th April 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Supported Living and Extra Care Facilities | 15th April 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Care Home Visiting Guidance | 12th April 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Promote the Vote | 9th April 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Nursing Home Forum | 24th March 2021Click here to download the slides
COVID-19 Ongoing Support for Flexi care and Sheltered housing providers | 29th March 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
COVID-19 Recovery- How can you support those in your care | 25th March 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Blood Clot Risk Vaccination Myth Busting | 19th March 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Care Home Visiting Guidance | 8th March 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
COVID-19 Vaccination Care Staff Myth Busting | 4th March 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
PPE Best Practice for all Adult Care Settings | 4th March 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
EOL- Managing Breathlessness | 24th February 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Vaccine Uncertainty - Fertility Adult Social Care Employees | 23rd February 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Herts Valley- Avoiding admissions: Services and support for care home staff to keep residents out of hospital | 22nd February 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Covid-19 Vaccination- Manager Strategies | 11th February 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to view the FAQ's
COVID-19 Vaccination Care Staff Myth Busting | 4th February 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to view the FAQ's
ASC Covid-19 Rapid Testing Fund | 1st February 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
COVID-19 Vaccination Care Staff Myth Busting | 27th January 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to view the FAQ's
COVID-19 and Insurance: Are you covered...? | 26th January 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to access the PPE Audit templateClick here to access the Hand Hygiene Audit templateClick here to access the Hand Hygiene Audit template for Care HomesClick here to access the PPE Competency template
COVID-19 Vaccination Care Staff Myth Busting | 21st January 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to view the FAQ's
Ethical Framework | 14th January 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Vaccination Update- All Non- residential webinar | 15th January 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to view the FAQ's
Care Home LFD Webinar | 20th January 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to view the FAQ's
Care Home Vaccination Update webinar | 11th January 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to view the FAQ's
All Adult Non-Care Home Services Vaccination Update webinar | 11th January 2021Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
COVID-19 Vaccine Consent Webinar | 14th December 2020Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Contact Tracing | 24th November 2020Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to view the FAQ's
IPC and PPE Audit | 27th November 2020Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinarClick here to access the PPE Audit templateClick here to access the Hand Hygiene Audit templateClick here to access the PPE Competency template
Adult Disability Services COVID-19 Webinar | 30th November 2020Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar

Future webinars

see our upcoming webinars for you and your staff to book on to.

If you have any questions or are in need of support, email assistance@hcpa.co.uk