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Covid-19 Guidance and Webinar Resources

Staff Exemptions to self-isolating (updated 16.08.21)

From 16th August, staff members notified that they are a contact of a COVID-19 case are not required to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated.

  • They should inform their line manager or employer immediately if they are required to work in the 10 days following their last contact with a COVID-19 case.
  • The majority of fully vaccinated health and social care staff will be able to continue in their usual role.

The following apply to all staff returning to work following this exemption:

  • The staff member should not have any COVID-19 symptoms
  • The staff member should immediately arrange for a PCR test, either through their workplace arrangements or via the NHS Test and Trace service, and the result of this PCR test should be negative prior to returning to work.
  • Following the negative PCR result, the staff member should undertake an LFD antigen test every day for the 10 days following their last contact with the case (even on days they are not at work).
  • If a staff member has had a SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past 90 days, they should not have a PCR test and should only undertake daily LFD antigen tests.
  • On days the staff member is working, the LFD antigen test should be taken before starting their shift, and the result should be negative.
  • The staff member should comply with all relevant infection control precautions and PPE should be worn properly throughout the day.
  • If the staff member works with patients or residents who are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 (as determined by the organisation), a risk assessment should be undertaken, and consideration given to redeployment during their 10 day self-isolation period.

Hertfordshire Local Guidance – This must be followed by Hertfordshire Providers
Hertfordshire County Council have confirmed that the current exemption process* where HCC agrees the risk assessment before a staff member can come out of isolation will only apply to:
• Care homes where under 90% of the staff are vaccinated and under 95% of the residents are vaccinated.


It is important to remember these key points:

    • The process only applies to staff who have received both vaccinations plus 14 days
    • If identified as a contact, they must arrange a PCR test straight away and it must be negative before they return to work
    • They must complete lateral flow tests every day for the 10 days following their last contact with the case
    • If tested positive for COVID, in the last 90 days, they should only under take Lateral flow tests
    • Residents of care homes who have been identified as close contacts should still isolate for 14 days

*Current process for Care homes where under 90% of the staff are vaccinated and under 95% of the residents are vaccinated:

The request for an exemption from the organisation will be taken to the relevant Self Isolation Exemption Cell for a decision. The decision to allow staff to attend work will be made on a case by case basis, and only after a risk assessment by the organisation’s management which is then authorised by the Director of Public Health or their delegated nominees. In Hertfordshire, this is managed by the Self Isolation Exemption Cell.

  • The provider must complete the risk assessment checklist and submit evidence of serious risk to staffing levels in an email to Hertfordshire County Council using the email assistance@hcpa.co.uk. Please use the subject line – “Self-isolation exemption”
  • Please ensure that you have informed your commissioners and the operational teams in Hertfordshire County Council before the application is submitted so you can continue to work together to ensure continuity of care and support.
  • Please note that if the individual works across multiple care homes or supported living sites, the application only applies to one site or organisation. Therefore, if they work in multiple sites, separate applications will need to be submitted.
  • The individual must continue to isolate until a decision has been made and all testing has been completed.
  • The Self Isolation Exemption Cell will consider the risk assessment and supplementary information supplied by the organisation and any evidence from partners, including compliance with infection control measures.
  • Any decision made as part of the process can be reviewed and amended based on new evidence of the requesting organisation’s situation, and prevalence of Covid19 in the local area.
  • For a decision to be made, a quorum must be established as defined in the Front line social care Self Isolating Exemptions Cell terms of reference. The chair of the Self Isolation Exemption Cell has the responsibility to ensure that all views are accounted for when agreeing a decision.
  • The county council will respond to the organisation with a clear decision within a maximum of 1 day during the working week this will be via an email.
  • The decision made will be formally noted on the  Self Isolation Exemption decision log and an email outlining the decision will be sent on behalf of the Chair of the Self Isolation Exemption Cell.

» Please see the detail and checklist here

Please return the completed checklist, plus supporting information to assistance@hcpa.co.uk with subject line “Self-isolation exemption’.

 

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
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 -
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
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*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*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/ 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? 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*Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirusClick 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
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
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
Local Authority UpdatesMedication Errors GuidanceClick here
Local Authority Updates*We are pleased to offer our latest Covid-19 social distancing videos in these community languages: Bengali, Sylheti and Urdu
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*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*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
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 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 RESOURCES*Business Continuity Plans – Your provider checklistIf you have any concerns or wish to ask quetions about Business Continuity Planning, please email businessdevelopment@hcpa.co.uk Click here
SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence)*Delivering safe, face-to-face adult day care(Updated May 2021)Updated information including guidance on re-opening services and risk assessmentsClick here
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 staffing issues, and require support over recruitment, or want access to temporary staff agencies, please contact the Care Provider Hub 01707 708 108 / assistance@hcpa.co.uk
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

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*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.
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

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
Basic Health Observations | 20th September 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
Continued Covid Measures for Hertfordshire’s Day Opportunity Services Webinar | 10th September 2021 Click here to download the slidesClick here to watch the webinar
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.

The Government’s new plan for Health and Social Care

This paper sets out the government’s new plan for health and social care. It includes details of the plan for adult social care in England, including a cap on social care costs and how financial assistance will work for those without substantial assets.

It covers wider support for the social care system, and how the integration of health and social care will be improved. It also explains the government’s plan to introduce a new Health and Social Care Levy.

A dedicated Google drive of resources to help you share the central messages of the recent reform announcement with care colleagues and sector partners is now live. Featuring explainers, fact cards, an extensive Q&A and a suite of social media assets to share online, this toolkit provides the essential details the care sector needs to know.

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