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January 2021

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 25.01.2021

  1. Vaccination update: vaccination sites with good availability - we understandthere is currently good availability across all COVID-19 vaccination sites, but particularly - Chelmsford Racecourse, Colchester Hospital, The Lodge Wickford and Princess Alexandra Hospital. We would encourage your staff to look to book at these sites to make use of this capacity over the next week. Please note, however, that there are no walk-in appointments available.  Your staff must still book their slots for these sites, and this can only be done once you have received your booking email.
  1. Updated Government guidance for Supported Living, Homecare and Care Homes - new documents added covering IPC, Testing, Vaccinations, Visiting (care homes) and wellbeing:
  1. Supporting people with learning disabilities to be vaccinated against COVID-19 - People with learning disabilities will be invited to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations as part of the roll out to cohorts 4 and 6. We know that as social care providers you are best placed to enable people to attend their vaccination appointments as you know and understand the needs of the people you support best. We also know that a small number of people may struggle and you may need some additional advice and support to enable people to be vaccinated. The Essex Learning Disability Partnership (ELDP) - our specialist learning disability health provider - can provide advice and support where specialist input is needed. Their contact details are below.      
 

Mid Essex

01376 308700

hpft.mwcommunityldteam@nhs.net

 

Castle Point & Rochford

01277 637211

epunft.ldreferrals@nhs.net

 

Southend

01277 637211

epunft.ldreferrals@nhs.net

 

Basildon & Brentwood

01277 637211

epunft.ldreferrals@nhs.net

 

Thurrock

01277 637211

epunft.ldreferrals@nhs.net

 

North-East Essex

01206 363255

hpft.necommunityldteam@nhs.net

 

West Essex

01376 308700

hpft.mwcommunityldteam@nhs.net

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 22.01.2021

  1. Vaccination update: further clarity on processes to book vaccines for social care staff - Following the release of a Standard Operating Procedure last week we are now able to provide you with further clarity on the process for social care staff to book their vaccinations. Please read carefully as there are some differences depending on where you work.

As of today the following provider groups will start to be contacted. Each provider will receive an email which details the process for staff to book slots. Please note:booking information won't be released to all providers at once as it will overwhelm the booking systems

    • Domiciliary
    • Reablement
    • Mental Health
    • AWD (residential and supported living)

From next week the following services will start to be contacted:

    • Shared lives
    • Day opportunities

Eligible staff- All frontline care workers directly working with people clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 who need care and support irrespective of where they work (for example in people's own homes, day centres, care homes for working age adults or supported housing)

Not eligible:Administrative staff who do not have any direct contact with clients, and unpaid carers

ECC email - Each STP (West; Mid & South; North East) has a different process for registering to book appointments. No matter which of the processes you are asked to follow you will receive an email from ECC that:

  1. Confirms that your staff are eligible for vaccinations
  2. Confirms you must prioritise your staff based on the JCVI definition of a frontline worker
  3. Includes x2 attachments for you to share with staff. The first is a letter of eligibility they must bring with them to their appointment and some information on consent.
  4. Includes a link to the provider vaccines inbox if you have any queries

Booking slots - ECC will be providing Health colleagues with contact details for providers which they will use to contact you. The booking process will vary slightly by area:

    • NE Essex - you will be contacted by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
    • MSE - you will be invited to book a Covid-19 vaccination on the ShiftPartner booking platform
    • West Essex you will be asked to complete a spreadsheet
  1. Slido details for next week's vaccine Q&A session - Further to our message on Wednesday regarding the vaccine Q&A session next week (Thursday 28 January, 12-1pm) below are the Slido details to ask a question for the session.

Go to: https://www.sli.do/

Enter code: A483 (you can submit your questions from Wednesday, 27 January)

As a reminder you can view the Public Health video which gives you more information about the vaccine, and addresses a number of concerns raised. In the meantime if you have any questions please contact the Provider Vaccines team ProviderVaccines@essex.gov.uk.

  1. North East Essex: Free Mental Health Awareness training for care home staff, 22nd February 9am-2pm - this is a half day online MHFA England Mental Health Awareness training course. It will cover how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing mental ill health. Read more information about the course and how to book a place.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.01.2021

  1. Vaccination update: Public Health webinar and Q&A session - ECC's Public Health team has produced this recording covering a number of concerns raised in regards to having a covid-19 vaccine. For clarity this video doesn't cover the process for booking vaccines. To help answer your vaccination questions we are holding a live Q&A session next week. This will follow a similar format to previous live Q&A sessions whereby we will use Slido to respond to your questions. The answers will then be published in the subsequent bulletin. Vaccine Q&A session: 28 January, 12 - 1pm. Slido details to follow.
  1. Government update on the roll out of 4 monthly course of vitamin D to care settings - the Government will provide a free 4-month supply of daily vitamin D supplements for residents in residential and nursing care homes in England to help support their general health, in particular bone and muscle health. This one-off 4-month supply will be delivered directly to residential and nursing care homes from this month. Read more here.  
  1. Indemnity support for designated settings - The Government has announced it will provide indemnity for care homes approved to safely receive Covid-19 patients discharged from hospital. This will be a "time-limited state-backed indemnity" for care homes registered or intending to register as "designated settings" who are unable to obtain sufficient insurance cover. Read the statement here.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.01.2021

  1. Provider Vaccinations update: new email address, updates on access and side effects - as mentioned in Friday's bulletin we have set up a dedicated email address for your vaccination questions - ProviderVaccines@essex.gov.uk. Any emails regarding vaccinations sent to Provider Resilience will be forwarded to this email address for an answer. Please also be reminded of the dedicated provider hub page which details the latest information regarding vaccinations for the social care market in Essex. Further updates are as follows:
  • Social Care Providers: We received the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) from government late last week. We will, as per the guidance, be in contact in the coming week to provide you with information on how your care staff can access vaccinations.
  • Care homes (OP) - you should have received emails from the NHS with the booking links to send to staff. If you haven't received contact yet please contact the Provider Vaccines email address. Additionally we are calling homes to check you have received the emails.
  • Side effects - Covid-19 vaccinations, as with all vaccines, can give individuals short term side effects (find out more about covid-19 vaccinations). It is therefore recommended that you encourage your staff to stagger appointments so no more than 25% of your staff are having vaccinations at one time.
  1. Adult Social Care Rapid Testing Fund - Guidance around the testing fund (announced on 23 Dec) was issued on Friday. We're working through the guidance and will confirm to you how this will be distributed ASAP via the bulletin.
  1. REACT Mental Health Train the Trainer training for social care managers - Skills for Care have managed to access some places on the course for social care managers. Please see overview slide, further information document and expression of interest form. Application need to be completed by 22 January.
  1. West Essex Homes: Change to the EPUT dietetic service for nursing and residential homes due to the covid-19 pandemic - this EPUT letter advises that until further notice they will be offering a reduced dietetic service to Nursing and Residential Care Homes across West Essex.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 15.01.2021

  1. Thank you message and video from Councillor Spence and Nick Presmeg - please see attached thank you letter showing our gratitude for the hard work and dedication of care providers in Essex in response to Covid-19. Included is a link to Councillor Spence's video which we would very much like you to share with your staff.
  1. Vaccinations Update: FAQs and new vaccination Hub Page - We are continuing to do everything we can to support the NHS in their rollout of the vaccinations. Thank you for your continued patience and also for your questions regarding vaccinations. We are still working through the processes with the NHS for social care staff to receive their vaccines and will publish these as soon as we know. In the meantime we have answered some FAQs below and included a link to the new web page. Additionally we will soon have a dedicated email address to answer your vaccination questions. We will put details of this in Monday's bulletin.
  • If I deliver care services but don't contract with ECC, how will the NHS know how to contact us?Please email us and we will make sure your company details are passed on
  • How do the NHS know our staff are priority to receive the vaccine? ECC is assisting the NHS with contact details for care providers. We are awaiting confirmation of the process for sending the staffing lists of those who have given consent and expect to be in contact in the coming weeks.
  • How do we put our support staff forward for the vaccine?I have already got the consent forms signed by our support start, stating whether they would like the vaccine or not. We are awaiting confirmation of the process from each NHS CCG and will publish the information as soon as we know.
  • Do the service users we support wait to be contacted by the NHS regarding when they will receive the vaccine or do we as the provider need to put them forward for it. Service users who are not residents of care homes will be contacted directly by the NHS
  • How will the GP's know who is a care worker to ensure they are vaccinated at the correct time? It's unlikely GP's will need to be sent this information.
  • Are foster carers and staff operating in the independent fostering sector in the priority lists? As foster carers provider frontline care they are considered part of the priority list at this time
  • When will Day Services staff be vaccinated? Day centre staff also provide frontline care so will be considered as part of the priority list at this time.
  • How do I get my care agency (not CQC registered) staff vaccinated? Please email us and we will make sure your company details are passed on. We may come back to you for further information if you are not CQC registered.

Provider Vaccine Hub Page - We have set up a vaccine page on our Hub to provide you with the latest information regarding vaccinations for care staff.

  1. PPE update: Warehouse and Ordering - Effective immediately we have extended the opening hours of our PPE warehouse in Colchester for PPE collections. It will now operate weekdays 8am - 3pm. Please continue to order through your usual routes and, if eligible, through the government portal.

We will have an on call system at weekends for urgent PPE requests, please continue to make your orders in the usual way. Should you have an urgent need, you will be given a time to collect your order by the team member. Please note that the warehouse is not open for ad hoc collections at weekends.

Please do try and place your orders and collect them in good time to ensure that you have the PPE you require.

For more information please see our dedicated PPE Hub page

Government PPE Portal

As a reminder, access to the Government PPE portal has been extended, and will now be in place until 30th June 2021 for those who are eligible.

Since 11th January, the Government PPE portal will now be able to provide FFP masks and gowns for providers who are undertaking Aerosol Generating Procedures

  1. Essex Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Service website launched - Essex County Council is striving to increase apprenticeships within the county. To provide quality opportunities for learning and development to strengthen the Essex economy. The council's new Essex Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Service will allow levy payers to utilise unspent levy to support the apprenticeship training costs for smaller businesses. This is an online service that allows companies looking to donate unspent apprenticeship levy funds (maximum of 25%), to view details of opportunities created by smaller organisations looking for funding. Organisations can specify their objectives and based on these are matched with other appropriate organisations. The online system makes the process easy and there is also a dedicated team to support businesses during this process. Visit the website for further details www.essexalts.co.uk or contact the team directly at info@essexalts.co.uk
  1. Infection Control Fund - 2nd Payment  - ECC are currently checking that the mandatory requirements of the fund have been met across all providers and are working on distributing the second payment of the fund.  These checks will soon be completed and your second payment will be made.   Please ensure your schedule 4 reports are returned and the capacity tracker is completed every week to avoid payment delays. 

Any questions, please contact infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk

  1. COVID-19 & BAME communities Webinar (Skills for Care): Examining the recommendations from the COVID-19 & BAME Communities Advisory group in more detail - the webinar is being held on Zoom on 19 January at 10am to help further support our BAME colleagues who have been disproportionately affected by COVID 19.  Register here.
  1. Red Bag Scheme for care homes - For those of you using Red Bags we are sure you are aware of their importance to provide crucial patient information on admission to hospital. Therefore can we ask that you make sure all the information is up to date so that it doesn't cause any delays.
  1. One Step programme - online, self-led training on Palliative End of Life Care (PEoLC) - This programme is aimed at, although not exclusive to, care homes, domiciliary and housing care organisations and their staff. Individuals can complete at their own pace and all resources are fully accessible without any cost. The programme comprises of four units: Identification, Assessment, Discussion and Engagement. For further information about the programme, please email lynne.Partington@eolp.org.uk or visit the Six Steps website
  1. Webinar:how video groups can help support COVID vaccination - the event will help you to understand how clinical teams are using video groups to help them gain informed consent for the vaccine quickly and efficiently; with a specific focus on care home residents. The webinar will discuss the implications for consenting other priority groups to ensure maximum uptake of the vaccine. Please do sign up by following the link below and you will be sent joining instructions:

Thursday 21 January 2021: 12.30 - 13.30

Register here (places are limited)

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 13.01.2021

  1. Care staff vaccinations update - further to our update in Friday's bulletin we know many of you are yet to receive appointments for your vaccination. You will be called in as soon as there is enough vaccine available and vaccines will be offered in a range of settings. In Essex you may be offered an appointment at your local hospital, through a GP-led site, or from next week through a Mass Vaccination centre. If you work in a Care Home you may be able to get the vaccine when your residents are vaccinated.

In Essex we have 25 sites currently offering vaccines, with a further 12 sites due to come online in the coming week. We are confident that with this new capacity, and supply of the vaccine, you will be able to source appointments shortly.

For those that have been contacted, you may have received booking links to access appointments. It is important that you continue to check these sites as appointments will become available going forward. Where possible, please can you encourage your staff to book slots throughout the week.

North Essex Care Homes (older people) - you should have received an email from Health colleagues regarding access to bookable slots for your staff. The email will contain a booking link and we are advised there is currently good capacity, including this weekend. Please send the booking link to your staff so they can register and book an appointment. They should be able to do so from tomorrow.

For more information there are many sources but the following links will be particularly helpful:

NHS Vaccine information

North East Essex Vaccine website - The Suffolk and North East Essex ICS has today launched a brand-new website which aims to offer residents a single, comprehensive and accurate source of information about Covid-19 and vaccinations.

  1. Important:Resumption of social visiting in care homes without elderly or clinically extremely vulnerable residents - Please see letter from Mike Gogarty detailing the changes to visiting
  1. Domiciliary Care - Contingency Care Arrangements -Further to the bulletin dated 8th Jan 2021 regarding contingency arrangements for the delivery of care, if you are experiencing staff shortages and as a result of this are adapting your services or reducing the level of face-to-face care and support for any Adults, please could you notify ECC either via your Contract Manager or via Procurement.adults@essex.gov.uk. We will then be in touch to discuss your individual circumstances.
  1. Announcement: Free COVID-19 PPE for care sector extended to June 2021 - The Government has extended the provision of free personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 needs to social care providers until the end of June 2021 (previously March 2021).
  1. Grant for Increased Care Home Testing - Essex County Council is aware that the government has announced a further £149 million to support increased care home testing of their staff.  We are still awaiting further guidance on the grant from the DHSC. Once we receive further details, we will make an announcement as to how these funds will be distributed to care homes.
  1. Please help us show the impact of coronavirus through your stories - inaccurate information is detrimental to the work of those working in the Health and Care system on the frontline dealing with the pandemic. In Essex we would like to show the effect covid-19 has had on real people's lives with a peer to peer campaign to create empathy and improved understanding. As workers directly involved in the pandemic response we would very much like to use your authentic experiences for this campaign. To give you an idea of what the campaign might look like, please see an example of a campaign run by Bradford City called Behind the Mask. If you or someone you know would like to be involved please contact us via ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk.
  1. REMINDER: Infection Control Fund 2 - NECSU Capacity Tracker - Eligibility and criteria of the Infection Control Fund 2 requires providers to have completed the national Capacity Tracker at least once per week.  Some common errors and tips for completing are -
  • Access the questions from the heart logo only where you will see the ICF tabs. 
  • All three separate tabs need to be completed. 1) Business Continuity.  2) ICF Weekly.  3) ICF Monthly
  • Ensure you are saving the page.  Your entries will not be recorded unless you save.
  • The system will not record any questions answered with 'None'  'n/a' or 'No'.  You should be inputting the number 0 in these cases.
  • Further guidance can be found on the care provider hub

For queries with the capacity tracker, you can contact the help desk on email necsu.capacitytracker@nhs.net  or telephone number 0191 691 3729 

  1. Day Opportunities Updated Guidance - Further to the Council's recent correspondence regarding the implications of the latest phase of the ongoing pandemic for day opportunities providers, please be advised that the authority has issued further guidance to clarify the extent of the closure notification and the applicable risk stratification task which all day opportunities providers must undertake during this period. Please review this document to ensure that your organisation is aware of the latest guidance for day opportunities provision during the current phase of the pandemic.
  1. ECC's care recruitment campaign: please continue to advertise your vacancies - our digital and social media recruitment campaign is continuing to direct thousands of people towards the national recruitment campaign site. These individuals have been specifically targeted based on their interests and many will be looking at the vacancies being advertised. If you are recruiting, or looking to recruit soon, please do the following:
  1. PPE portal: how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) - Updated order limits for domiciliary care providers, residential care homes and children's residential special schools to include FFP masks and gowns.
  1. My Care Record - ECC is proud to be one of a number of health and social care organisations across the region to be signing up to My Care Record. My Care Record enables health and social care professionals supporting our adults, to access the information they need from records held by other health and care services. We are currently undertaking a 12 week public campaign to inform and engage with our adults on this programme of work so if you would like to know why we are involved and what this means for the adults you support, you can find out more at www.mycarerecord.org.uk. We will be sharing more information on My Care Record as the campaign progresses so look out for further updates.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.01.2021

1.    New infection prevention and control webinars in care homes announced - The Department of Health and Social Care and the Better Care Fund team are hosting a series of webinars on Infection Prevention and Control in Care Homes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, infection prevention and control has been a priority for care homes and local systems across England.

While great progress is being made in testing and delivering a vaccination programme, the risks remain and the new variant of COVID-19 potentially increases the risk as infection is spread more easily. The series will be made up of four webinars: a national webinar - to be held on 15 January 2021 - followed by three regional webinars, covering the North of England, the South of England and the Midlands region.

Book your webinar place here

  1. Skills for Care Webinar: Driving and evidencing improvements in difficult times 26 January 2021 | 14:00 - 14:30 - This webinar will look at how to maintain focus on quality improvement to ensure services continues to strengthen the quality of care, including how processes have been adapted during the pandemic. It will also look beyond the pandemic to sharing tried and tested approaches to gather evidence, identify areas for improvement and progress towards achieving these. Adult social care providers will be sharing insight and introducing some new resources. Booking your webinar place here 
  1. Learning disability and/or autism - Upcoming event and consultation guide (Skills for Care)

12 February 2021 | 10.00 - 12.00: The Oliver McGowan mandatory training in learning disability and autism - Stakeholder forum #2

The event will update anyone working to support people with learning disabilities and autism about the progress to date on the work currently taking place with partners to design, develop, trial, and develop the training. It's the second in a series of stakeholder forums and will give stakeholders the opportunity to highlight issues arising from the trial.

It's aimed at self-advocates and user led groups, campaigners, health and social care employers and self-advocacy groups which support autistic people and people with a learning disability, training providers to these services, commissioners of these services are all welcome to join.

Book your place here

  1. NHS Newsletter:Older People's Mental Health and Dementia Newsletter COVID-19 Vaccination Issue - this special issue features guidance and resources relating to the vaccination process for COVID-19 and dementia. It includes FAQs, easy-read books to help explain vaccination to people living with dementia and several resources and webinars on consent for vaccination and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 08.01.2021

1. Important: Mutual aid for emergency staff shortages in care homes & actions for domiciliary providers

You will all be aware that the health and social care system in Essex is now at a critical position because of COVID-19.  We are already seeing significant pressures caused by high levels of staff absence, and the risk this poses to the safe care of the people we care for; it is vital that all providers are prepared to seek or supply mutual aid to others in their locality.  This letter provides more detail about our expectations.

In addition, we may soon be in a position where we will require domiciliary providers to redeploy their staff to other settings. We wrote to all domiciliary providers before Christmas about the need to RAG rate clients.  Please can we ask that you ensure these ratings are up-to-date.  Given the gravity of the situation we are now facing it is possible that we will ask you to redeploy staff covering those people rated lower risk (green calls) into other care settings.  This could be higher priority home visits in your locality which are normally served by other providers or support in other settings such as care homes. We know that we are likely to have some difficult weeks ahead of us and we are likely to have to make some hard decisions.  We know that we can continue to rely on your support and dedication to ensure we keep the most vulnerable in our communities safe.

2. Support services for you and your staff - these are extremely difficult times for you and your staff and we know you are under considerable pressure and stress. We have collated a list of services to help you cope during Covid-19 and would really urge you to use them. There are various options including support via text and phone.

3. Retesting after positive covid test - There has been confusion over the use in covid-19 testing with lateral flow devices in those who have tested positive.  This confusion has been added to by some of the guidance on the Gov.UK website which appears to be in error.  Please follow the following approach:

  • Do not retest for covid-19 (either with a PCR test or a lateral flow devise (LFD)) within 90 days of a positive test unless covid-19 is clinically suspected.

4. Covid-19 Vaccinations Update - We wanted to provide an update regarding vaccinations as we have received a number of queries relating to when they will become available.

In the UK, there are 2 approved COVID-19 vaccines. They both require 2 doses to provide longer-lasting protection. Both have been shown to be effective in clinical trials and have a good safety record. The JCVI  has recommended that the NHS first offers these vaccines to those at highest risk of catching the disease and of suffering serious complications or dying from COVID-19. This includes older adults in care homes and frontline health and social care workers. When more vaccines become available, the vaccines will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.

The COVID-19 vaccines will become available as they are approved for use and as each batch is manufactured. This means that appointments will become available over time and the vaccine and staff become available to deliver the vaccine. You may not receive an appointment straight away, but as a care provider in Essex you will be some of the first to receive the vaccine.

We realise you are anxious to get your staff and residents / clients vaccinated and rest assured we will be in touch with further information as it becomes available. If you have any questions please contact us through the provider resilience inbox - ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk

If you would like to know more about the vaccine please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

5. Direct Payments Frequently Asked Questions - If you support any customers via direct payment, you may find some useful information and guidance in our updated DP provider FAQs. The key messages are as follows:

If you provide support to people who pay via direct payment, please contact them to reassure them that you are still able to offer them a service. If the service you are offering needs to change please contact the Direct Payment holder to agree any changes as the contract is between you and the Direct Payment holder and not the Council. If you are not able to offer a service but would still like to receive a retainer payment this must be agreed with the Direct Payment holder and evidence of this agreement must be in place before you send an invoice. The Council is comfortable with Direct Payment recipients paying retainers to their providers to ensure their service is retained and sustainable. However, the Direct Payment holder must ensure that they have sufficient budget if they need to have their needs met in alternative ways before agreeing a retainer.

There is lots of useful information including our policy for charging when services can't be delivered. You can also access the standard FAQs documents and further information below:

If you would like to be kept up to date in regards to changes to our direct payment offer please email DP.Covid19@essex.gov.uk and we will add you to our mailing list to keep you informed of changes and updates.

6. Updated Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care - Updated to reflect guidance on shielding: clinically extremely vulnerable people should now shield at home.

7. NHS Vaccine Fraud Alert - Fraudsters are targeting vulnerable people with scams relating to the covid-19 vaccinations. One example is sending random texts requesting banking details in relation to Covid vaccines (You can find out more here). Please can we ask that you remain vigilant regarding scams targeting the vulnerable. Thank you.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 06.01.2021

  1. National Lockdown restrictions now in place - access further information on the new rules.
  1. Important: Follow up letter re care home visits - further to yesterday's letter informing of a cessation of care home visits please see follow on letter in response to questions we have received. We hope these answers provide clarity.
  1. Webinar on preparing for vaccinations in care homes for older adults - JCVI Cohort 1 - on Thursday 7th January 2021 from 12.30 - 1.30 pm  - a webinar for care home managers and local authority leads supporting vaccination in care homes for older adults.  The webinar will provide an overview of arrangements for roll out of vaccinations to all care homes for older residents, and speakers will share their experiences of early implementation.  The session will cover topics such as: latest national guidance and available vaccines, practical preparations, consent, vaccination in an outbreak, and the role of local authorities in supporting rollout. The registration link is HERE and bookings will close at 9.00am am on Thursday 7 January. Joining details will be circulated by 11.30am on Thursday 7 January to only those who have pre-registered. Apologies for the late notice.
  1. Infection Control Fund (Round 2) - Reminder -December Schedule 4 Report is Due

As part of the terms and conditions of the Infection Control Fund and to meet the mandatory reporting requirements for the Department of Health & Social Care,  please note your December schedule 4 report is now due.  You will receive a reminder email today with a recap of what is required.   Please ensure you have also returned the schedule 3 from Round 1 of the fund and continue to update the capacity tracker at least once per week. 

If you need the template resent or have questions, please contact the Infection Control Fund team at infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk

 

Important: Notification of cessation of care home social visits (05.01.2021)

In light of yesterday's government announcement of national lockdown restrictions now in place please see attached update from Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health regarding cessation of social visiting in care homes.

We acknowledge the distress which these restrictions will cause and thank you for your continued efforts. We will continue to provide further updates via the regular bulletins.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.01.2021

  1. IMPORTANT: Care home hospital admission pathway - message from Health colleagues

TO:  Care Homes and Nursing Home Managers

Following on from the letter sent 29 December from Dr Ronan Fenton (System Medical Director, MSE Health and Care Partnership) to the GPs and the declaration of a major incident, you will be aware of our immediate system pressures. 

We are working at pace to improve hospital flow and are seeking your support in identifying opportunities and solutions to manage acute episodes of ill health and specialist interventions in the community.

A new pathway has been developed by system clinical leaders to support more responsive care delivery in care homes with an enhanced level of support that is required at this time and to reduce avoidable crisis admissions to the acute hospitals from care homes, see attached. 

The purpose of this pathway is to ensure that patients are managed in the most appropriate environment. 

The pathway involves senior clinicians collaborating on decision making regarding individual patients together with enhanced clinical support for residents best managed outside of hospital.  Key members from your local clinical hubs will be in touch next week to speak with you about it too.

Staff who are concerned about the clinical condition of a resident and considering involving the Emergency Services should follow this guidance until further notice.

2.    Supporting hospital discharges: £1,000 Incentive Payments for Care Providers - The Essex health system is currently experiencing significant pressures from covid-19 related demand, especially in Mid and South Essex and West Essex. To support the acute hospitals we ask that providers make every effort to support quick and timely discharges of patients that are medically fit, including during weekends and bank holidays. To recognise the extra demands on providers, we are doubling the winter fast track payment to £1,000 for all new discharges from 31st December to 31st January inclusive.

3.    Day Opportunities: Closure Notification - In the wake of the recent rapid increase in the infection rate of COVID-19 and corresponding pressures on acute hospital provision across Essex which has prompted the enactment of a major incident status in the county; please be advised that the Council has elected to enact a further closure notification for building-based day opportunities providers with effect from Monday 4th January 2021. In addition, please be advised that a copy of this closure notification can be accessed here and we will publish any additional guidance regarding this matter as soon as practically possible. 

  1. Self Care & Recovery Sessions: New Dates January through to March 2021 - Your wellbeing during these times of extreme stress and pressures is extremely important. Amanda Waring's sessions are designed to give you a little bit of time out to focus on yourself and to recalibrate your own wellbeing which often gets side-lined whilst looking after others and meeting the ever changing demands the pandemic has created.  There are sessions specifically for Managers and separate sessions for your staff.

One manager's feedback from attending the Self Care & Recovery Sessions:

"I have found from my own experience in the last few weeks 'I am COVID worn'. This course came along at the right time, an opportunity for 'self-care'. This is the first holistic training session based on my own wellbeing in the last 10 years - if not the first, which is sad when you think about what we all do.  Such a kind, timely, thoughtful and caring training session to give to those in care."

To book please complete the attached booking form and return to quality.innovation@essex.gov.uk. For more information please see the course overview.

 

 

December 2020

 

Day Opportunities: Closure Notification (31.12.2020)

In the wake of the recent rapid increase in the infection rate of COVID-19 and corresponding pressures on acute hospital provision across Essex which has prompted the enactment of a major incident status in the county; please be advised that the Council has elected to enact a further closure notification for building-based day opportunities providers with effect from Monday 4th January 2021. In addition, please be advised that a copy of this closure notification can be accessed via here and the Council will publish any additional guidance regarding this matter as soon as practically possible. 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 24.12.2020

The update yesterday (23rd December) had the incorrect email address for the Emergency Duty Out of Hours Team.  The correct address is eds@essex.gov.uk and post the below has had the email details updated. Please note this is the only change to the update issued on the 23rd December, all other details and information remains the same through the Christmas and New Year period.

  1. Important: Communications and Emergency contacts for the Christmas period - please make note of the following regarding contacting ECC between Christmas and New Year
  • Provider Resilience bulletins - this is the final bulletin of 2020. The bulletins will commence again 4 January 2021.
  • The Provider Resilience inbox will be monitored until 3.30pm on 24 December. We will resume monitoring of the inbox 30 & 31 December. For urgent and out of hours enquiries please continue to contact the Emergency Duty Out of Hours Team on 0345 606 1212 or email eds@essex.gov.uk  Please be assured that we have colleagues on rota to be able to support you with urgent situations.
  • The Service Placement Team can be contacted by email service.placementteam@essex.gov.uk. Please see the SPT Christmas and New Year rota for contacts between 26 December 2020 and 3 January 2021.
  1. PPE Access Christmas to New Year - We have detailed below how to order PPE for critical need between Christmas and New Year. Please note that the Lexden warehouse is shut from 24 - 29 December inclusive.
  • 24- 29 December - contact Emergency Duty Out of Hours Team on 0345 606 1212 or email eds@essex.gov.uk
  • 30 - 31 December - warehouse is open as usual
  • 1 January - contact Emergency Duty Out of Hours Team on 0345 606 1212 or email eds@essex.gov.uk
  • 4 January - normal service resumes

For warehouse orders please be reminded of the forms and location of the warehouse:

Order process and forms

Location of the warehouse and contact details

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.12.2020

  1. Important: Communications and Emergency contacts for the Christmas period - please make note of the following regarding contacting ECC between Christmas and New Year
  • Provider Resilience bulletins - this is the final bulletin of 2020. The bulletins will commence again 4 January 2021.
  • The Provider Resilience inbox will be monitored until 3.30pm on 24 December. We will resume monitoring of the inbox 30 & 31 December. For urgent and out of hours enquiries please continue to contact the Emergency Duty Out of Hours Team on 0345 606 1212 or email emergencydutyteamoutofhours@essex.gov.uk. Please be assured that we have colleagues on rota to be able to support you with urgent situations.
  • The Service Placement Team can be contacted by email service.placementteam@essex.gov.uk. Please see the SPT Christmas and New Year rota for contacts between 26 December 2020 and 3 January 2021.
  1. PPE Access Christmas to New Year - We have detailed below how to order PPE for critical need between Christmas and New Year. Please note that the Lexden warehouse is shut from 24 - 29 December inclusive.

For warehouse orders please be reminded of the forms and location of the warehouse:

Order process and forms

Location of the warehouse and contact details

  1. Updated Guidance: Visiting arrangements in care homes Tier 4 - Under Tier 4 guidance visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed. The visiting care homes guidance has been also updated to cover visiting in Tier 4. The change is in the "Overview of visiting practice" which now says that all care homes (regardless of Tier and except in the event of an active outbreak) should seek to enable outdoor visiting and screened visits.
  1. Domiciliary Providers: Preparation for COVID-19 vaccination of staff - although we are yet to confirm when your staff will be vaccinated we have been asked to request you start making preparations. This will support Health colleagues in managing demand and allow the process of vaccinations to run smoothly and at pace. Please can we ask that you:
  • Request staff complete the covid-19 vaccination consent form
  • Put together a list of those giving consent (template) (you don't need to send this to us)
  • Consider the Covid-secure logistics of releasing staff to receive their vaccine, while maintaining staffing levels. Practical and implementable plans should be in place
  • Be ready to provide each staff member with a letter confirming their employment in the care sector
  • Keep staff records of vaccination and report via the Capacity Tracker (this functionality may not be available straight away)
  1. Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) support - Following visits to care homes to support with infection prevention and control, some common problems and themes were identified. The attached table shows where the problems were and solutions on how to fix them. Please be reminded that monthly IPC webinars are available on the first Tuesday of every month. The next one is Tuesday 5 January at 2pm, you can log in using the link in this flyer.
  1. Updated Guidance: Arrangements for visiting out of the care home - This guidance applies to residential care settings for older people and adults of working age (not supported living). Change made: Updated to include information about visiting out of care homes in Tier 4.
  1. Six Steps To Success In End Of Life Care- This free to access programme is aimed at anyone who is working within health and social care, and especially for those working in care homes, residential homes and home care. Unlike the original Six Steps programme, this is a self-directed programme of study and can be completed without a facilitator.
  1. Finally, from all of us here we would like to thank you for your dedication and immense efforts to keeping our most vulnerable residents as safe as possible during this extremely challenging year. Through your professionalism and your amazing staff you have had to endure so much in a short period of time, and in an ever changing environment. For this, we can only thank you. We realise there are still tough months to come in 2021 but we hope the vaccination programme, and continued efforts, will lead to better times ahead in the not too distant future. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

 

PPE Access Christmas to New Year (22.12.2020)

There is now limited time to place PPE orders prior to the 24th December (when the Lexden warehouse is closed) for pick up. We have detailed below how to order PPE for critical need between Christmas and New Year

24- 29 December - contact Emergency Duty Out of Hours Team on 0345 606 1212 or email emergencydutyteamoutofhours@essex.gov.uk

30 - 31 December - warehouse is open as usual

1 January - contact Emergency Duty Out of Hours Team on 0345 606 1212 or email emergencydutyteamoutofhours@essex.gov.uk

4 January - normal service resumes

For warehouse orders please be reminded of the forms and location of the warehouse:

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.12.2020

  1. Most of Essex moves to Tier 4 - You'll be aware on Saturday the Prime Minister announced that, because of the continuing rise in COVID-19 infection rates and the associated increase in hospital admissions, most of Essex would move to Tier 4 - the highest level of alert. This means all parts of Essex which were previously Tier 3 moved into Tier 4 yesterday (Sunday 20 December). You can read more about the new Tier 4 restrictions on the Government's website. For Christmas, those in a Tier 4 area cannot meet other people indoors over the Christmas period, unless you ordinarily live with them, or they are part of your existing support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household. These rules will not be relaxed for Christmas for Tier 4: you cannot form a Christmas Bubble in Tier 4.

Areas of Essex which remain in Tier 2 (Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford) have been urged not to let down their guard and will also see some tighter restrictions over the Christmas period.

The tier restrictions will be reviewed on Wednesday 30 December.

  1. Important: Domiciliary providers - Ensuring support for our most vulnerable over Christmas - the recent government announcement regarding changes to the proposed Christmas covid rules will inevitably change some caring arrangements. Additionally pressures on staff may mean some services will have to adapt to ensure they care for the most vulnerable. Please ensure you have an up to date RAG rated list of your service users so you know who to prioritise should staffing numbers mean you can only support the most vulnerable face-to-face. The RAG guidance can be found here. For others you will need to ensure their needs are still met (eg. phone calls)

We would like to remind you of the 25% flex arrangements for commissioned hours as detailed in this letter (you can also access FAQs here). Please note that these arrangements have been extended to 3 April 2021. ECC will:

    • Enable you to flex down up to 25% of commissioned hours on the premise that all service users are safe and appropriately cared for
    • Pay for up to an additional 25% contact time for each service user without the requirement to obtain upfront approval
  1. Day Opportunities - Implications of the revised tiering within Essex -In the wake of the recent introduction of the revised tiering across Essex, please be advised that the Council has published further guidance to support the continued, safe delivery of day opportunities during the ongoing pandemic.
  1. Care Home Capacity Tracker Business Continuity Video - this YouTube video tutorial has been produced for updating the Business Continuity page in the tracker in relation to the new validation that has been added.

5.    Updated Guidance: COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable (Tier 4) - Change made: Added new shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable in Tier 4.

 

 

Day Opportunities - Implications of the revised tiering within Essex (21.12.2020)

In the wake of the recent introduction of the revised tiering across Essex, please be advised that all social care providers must adhere to the Central Government guidance regarding Tier 4.

Please note that this guidance retains the exemption for formally organised support groups of up to 15 participants to take place in premises other than a private home which applies to most day centres as per the corresponding SCIE guidance.

Please be advised that as per the Council's previous guidance, all day opportunities providers are expected to offer a blend of building based and outreach provision during the ongoing pandemic. In view of the recent Central Government guidance to implement Tier 4 restrictions in the majority of Essex, with the notable exceptions of Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford; there may be cases whereby staff and/or clients would need to travel across tiers to access their building based day opportunities provision. In order to mitigate the risk of infection within day opportunities centres or further transmission of the Coronavirus across Essex, day opportunities providers should review the structure of their building-based sessions and staffing with a view to preventing the delivery of support across different tiers. In addition, day opportunities providers must liaise with clients to discuss the support options during this period and inform the Council's Adult Social Cares Connects team if any individuals are unable to access support during this period to mitigate unmet need via:

Telephone: 0345 603 7630

Textphone: 0345 758 5592

Email: socialcaredirect@essex.gov.uk

Please be advised that the Council will continue to monitor any further developments regarding the national guidance and local infection rates with a view to providing any additional guidance which may be required in relation to the safe provision of day opportunities during the ongoing pandemic.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.12.2020

  1. Important: Update to isolation periodsfor social care staff

The National Guidance has been further updated regarding the isolation periods for social care staff. Please disregard the message in Wednesday's (16.12.2020) bulletin regarding staff isolation. Below are the new isolation periods:

  • Health and Social care professionals who are contacts of a positive case are now required to isolate for 10 days only.
  • Household contacts of positive health and social care professionals also need to isolate for 10 days
  • The only thing constant is residents in care homes and inpatients in hospitals who are contacts of positive cases will need to isolate for 14 days.
  • Any individual (health care or otherwise) who requires hospitalisation for COVID will be advised 14 days isolation.
  1. Mass Vaccination Consent in Essex - we have outlined Essex' position in relation to mass vaccination consent. The document covers decision making, including for those who lack capacity. Ultimately, obtaining valid consent, addressing mental capacity assessments, best interest decisions, and administration of any vaccination requirement including restraint, are the responsibility of Health.
  1. REMINDER: Infection Control Fund (Round2) - November Reporting Overdue

In order to meet the mandatory reporting requirements for the Department of Health & Social Care, please see below recap of what is required:

  • Complete the November return in the new template sent on 9 December 2020
  • Send completed template to IFC2schedule4@essex.gov.uk
  • Ensure the capacity tracker is updated weekly

If you need the template resent or have questions, please contact the Infection Control Fund team at infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk

  1. New Guidance: Discharge into care homes: designated settings - this guidance builds on the letters previously sent to directors of adult social services about arrangements for the designated settings scheme.   The adult social care winter plan included a commitment to deliver a scheme of designated settings for people leaving hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are transferring to a care home.  Every patient must receive a COVID-19 test within 48 hours prior to discharge and if they test positive be discharged into a designated setting that has additional policies, procedures, etc to maintain infection control.  People should undergo a 14 day period of isolation before moving into a care home from a designated setting.  Immunocompetent (those with a normal immune response) patients who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR, and have already completed their 14-day isolation period, should be exempt from testing prior to hospital discharge within a period of 90 days from their initial illness onset or test (if asymptomatic), unless they develop new COVID-19 symptoms.

The guidance covers:

  • Advice on setting up designated settings with information for local authorities and providers.  Local authorities must ensure there are sufficient designated settings available. 
  • Information on discharge arrangements and supporting individuals to ensure that their care needs and preferences are catered for.  Hospital discharges should follow the principle of Home First.  Local authorities should "ensure they are involved in the discharge process for anyone being admitted to a care home for the first time." 
  • Additional information on data collection, funding, visiting and infection prevention and control requirements. 
  1. LeDeR report into the deaths of people with LD in the first wave of COVID - the attached report includes actions for providers to help prevent avoidable deaths amongst people with LD. With inpatient numbers of LD COVID infections rising again, and some deaths also, it is vitally important the services take note of the lessons learnt from wave 1.
  1. Resident vaccination consent form - our apologies for the broken link in Wednesday's bulletin. Here is the correct link for the resident vaccination consent form

7. Government PPE Portal update - Change made: Updated order limits for GPs, domiciliary care providers, pharmacies, dentists, orthodontists, optometrists, community drug and alcohol services, and residential drug and alcohol services.

  1. Get paid to help St Helena Hospice to promote the My Care Choice Register in north east Essex

Research has shown that those people at end of life who register their care choices on the My Care Choices Register (MCCR) are more likely to die in their preferred place of care.  This is so important, however, more recently the number of people registering their choices has decreased but with your help, St Helena would like to improve this.

With training, senior care home staff are able to access the MCCR.  The next training dates are Weds 20th Jan at 2pm and Fri 29th Jan at 11am. 

If you register two staff to attend this training a reimbursement of £100 will be made.  For every advance care plan that is then reviewed before 31st March 2021, a £30 incentive will be paid (NB: we have a finite budget, first come, first served).

To register your interest or ask any questions, please email MCCR@sthelena.org.uk as soon as possible. 

Thank you for your support.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.12.2020

  1. Updated 17.12.2020 - Change to isolation periodsfor staff - In the early stages of the pandemic we advised we would implement a longer period of self-isolation in Essex, in some circumstances, than were applied nationally. We will now be following the National Guidance and any supplementary guidance from the Public Health England team. Below are the isolation periods for Essex:
  1. Care Home Capacity Tracker: Vaccine Data Guidance -  we understand there have been some error messages when homes are trying to enter Covid-19 vaccine data.  In response, the following guidance has been released:
  • Make sure that your data in each columns for first dose and second dose in the CV vaccine section match up e.g. if you have 10 residents, and 5 staff, then there needs to be 10 and 5 in both dose sections. People cannot have had their second dose yet as there needs to be a 3 week gap, so therefore you just need to make sure you're putting numbers against the correct row - i.e. have had the dose, have not had the dose (which will be the case currently for second dose section), or unknown.
  • Please make sure the numbers in the covid vaccine section also match with your flu vaccine data - e.g. if you have 10 staff and 5 residents in your CV vaccine section, you should also have 10 residents and 5 staff in total in your flu section.
  • Please make sure this info also matches up with your workforce section (also under the business continuity section). The information in this part was recently zeroed because we changed the format from FTE to headcount, so this could be another reason it will not let you save if you've not yet updated this part.
  • Finally, please make sure that you have completed the "total number of residents" questions, which is found at the bottom of your vacancy section (as above, the tracker won't let you save unless you have updated this box too).
  1. Care Home COVID-19 vaccination: consent form for social care staff and adults - for those care home staff and residents awaiting vaccinations please make sure all who wish to have the vaccine complete a consent form and are added to an internal list, which should be kept within each home (see links below). This will support Health colleagues in managing demand and allow the process of vaccinations to run smoothly and at pace.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 14.12.2020

  • Tier 3 Restrictions for parts of Essex coming into effect from 00:01 on Wednesday 16th December - The areas affected are: Basildon, Brentwood, Harlow, Epping Forest, Castle Point, Rochford, Maldon, Braintree, Chelmsford, Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea. Please see this poster which provides an overview of Tier 3 restrictions as well as government guidance on what can and can't be done in Tier 3.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.12.2020

  1. Infection Control Fund (Round 2) -IMPORTANT CHANGES to Monthly Reporting - After listening to provider feedback, we have simplified the monthly schedule 4 reporting for the Infection Control Fund (Round 2). Please note the following changes -
  • An excel template has been emailed to all providers which has to be completed monthly.  This template is pre populated with your information for ease and also provides a step by step video guide. 
  • Previous online forms could not be saved.  This new form can now be saved for your future reference.
  • Previous schedule 4 forms do not need to be resubmitted.  ECC Infection Control Fund team will update any previous online forms on your behalf.
  • Email forms into ICF2schedule4@essex.gov.uk.  This email is for your schedule 4 submissions only and is not monitored for queries. 

We apologise for this late change, but we do assure you this new version is much easier to use and will provide central government with the reporting required.

If you need your template resent or have any questions, please contact the team at infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk

  1. Lateral Flow Testing and care home visits letter from Director of Public Health - please read this letter regarding the importance of adhering to infection, prevention and control measures alongside the Lateral Flow Test kits (rapid tests) for care home visits.
  1. £500 Incentive Payments for Residential, Nursing and Domiciliary Placements to support Hospital pressures - the county's hospitals are under increased strain currently and so we would appreciate your co-operation in supporting rapid discharges, especially at the weekend. You can find details of our incentive payments to support rapid discharges and unmet need on the provider hub.
  1. Updated government PPE portal information - Change made: Updated order limits for the Christmas period. Added a video about using the portal.
  2. Covid-19 Testing for Supported Living and Extra Care: The Department of Health and Social Care are expanding their covid-19 testing programme for Supported Living schemes. The initial offer was a one-off testing programme for eligible providers and sites; this is being expanded to regular tests being available every 28 days. Access details of the scheme and eligibility. Please note that eligibility for this scheme is limited to supported living and extra care schemes where residents share facilities and the support is CQC regulated (ie includes personal care).
  1. Care Homes Infection Prevention & Control COVID 19 PREVENTION Tool - The NHS has created this IPC tool for care homes. The purpose of this tool is to help identify if a home is well prepared for dealing with a resident suspected or confirmed as being infected with Covid-19 and minimise the spread of infection.
  1. Vaccine updates from West and Mid/ South CCGs:

West Essex CCG - Some residents may have received a phone call, text message or letter from one of these centres inviting them for a vaccine.   We would suggest that any individual invited to a centre should consider, along with those important to them and the home, if having the vaccination outside of the care home is the best option at this time.  Some care home staff may have received a similar invitation and this may be a good option for them.  For those who decline or for other care home staff and residents who have not yet received an invite, invitations will be offered for vaccinations once local sites and timescales for administering within care homes have been developed.This will take place when the vaccine supply becomes available and can be transferred safely.

Mid / South - Basildon Hospital had a finite amount of vaccines for their first batch and these have all been booked already. Sorry for anyone who has had problems accessing the Hospital's Shift Partner booking site.

Some residents may also have received a phone call, text message or letter from one of these centres inviting them for a vaccine.   We would suggest that any individual invited to a centre should consider, along with those important to them and the home, if having the vaccination outside of the care home is the best option at this time.  Some care home staff may have received a similar invitation and this may be a good option for them. For those who decline or for other care home staff and residents who have not yet received an invite, invitations will be offered for vaccinations once local sites and timescales for administering within care homes have been developed. This will take place when the vaccine supply becomes available and can be transferred safely.

In the meantime please make sure all residents and care home staff who wish to have the vaccine complete a consent form and are added to an internal list, which should be kept within each home.  This will support in managing demand and allow the process of vaccinations to run smoothly and at pace.  We will be in touch when there is a booking process in place.

If you have any questions, please contact your CCG Care Home Hub Lead.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.12.2020

  1. Covid-19 Vaccinations: Update and useful informationfor care homes -

Mid and South Essex - We know some of you have not been able to book your COVID vaccines yet. The initial appointments offered to care homes in mid and south Essex have now been booked up. Should more slots become available we will let you know.  

North and West Essex - You will be keen to know when you can book in vaccinations for your staff. We should be receiving further confirmation about when the vaccines will be available to care homes in the North and West of the county and how you can access these over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, here's a leaflet which explains about the vaccine, how it might make you feel afterwards and the process to follow. Additionally the government have published the following documents:

We'll be sending more information out, as and when it becomes available.

  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing service for Extra Care and Supported Living settings - Guidance on regular retesting for extra care and supported living settings that meet the eligibility criteria.
  1. Flu vaccinations for care home staff - please see this letter urging all care home staff to get their free flu vaccination. It asks that you contact your local community pharmacy directly and make arrangements for your staff to be vaccinated. You can also email england.pharmacyeast@nhs.net if you have any problems in engaging with your local pharmacy or if there are issues in your staff being vaccinated due to vaccine availability.
  1. Community Providers: Capacity Tracker User Guides - the following guidance has been produced fordomiciliary care services, extra care housing schemes, supported living schemes who are now inputting covid information into the Capacity Tracker tool:
  1. Care worker survey 2020 Findings - This year's care worker survey results are now available. View the summary slides and a video summary. The responses will be used to inform ECCs future workforce activity to help adult social care providers. If you have any questions or comments on the findings please email MarketPortal@essex.gov.uk
  1. Government Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) lateral flow testing of visitors in care homes - Sets out how care homes and visitors can prepare for visitor testing with lateral flow devices (LFDs).

7.    Important changes to Capacity Tracker (Care homes) - please see below changes:

    • COVID vaccination questions to be added to Capacity Tracker for Care Homes
    • Workforce - now capturing headcount - You will no longer be asked to provide daily workforce data using a Full Time Equivalent (FTE) measure. Instead we will be asking you to provide daily workforce data that tells us the number of people who have worked in the care home that day, regardless of the number of hours they have worked.  On Thursday evening, current data captured in Workforce will revert to 0 to enable you to input the new headcount information.
    • Costs and Vacancies - now capturing Resident numbers Providers will be asked to complete the new field "Total number of Residents today" within the Costs and Vacancy section. This will help provide a more accurate view of progress with flu immunisation and COVID vaccinations of residents
    • Flu ImmunisationsThe question relating to experiencing delays or issues with flu immunisations has been split out to identify if there are issues being experienced by residents or staff or both.

Have a query?
Please contact Capacitytracker-guidance@dhsc.gov.uk for any questions or queries regarding how to answer the questions
Please contact necsu.capacitytracker@nhs.net for any technical issues with Capacity Tracker

  1. Vaccination Scam Warning: Essex Trading Standards has been made aware that some residents in the Basildon area have received texts asking them to book their vaccination appointment - clicking the link in the text then takes personal details and requests payment. The vaccination is free and you will never be asked for payment. We would ask residents to be vigilant if they receive a text or call such as this, not to give any personal information and report it via Citizens Advice here or call 0808 2231133. Please also make sure older or vulnerable family and friends are aware of this scam so they don't fall prey to it.
  1. New group calling function available on Video Carephones

Our Alcove Video Carephones have, over the last few months, supported hundreds of your customers to stay connected with their friends and family and care services.

We have listened to feedback and are incredibly excited to announce a fantastic, new group calling feature which launched on all Video Carephones from 3 December.

With Covid restrictions continuing through the Christmas period, the new feature will allow people to enjoy even more interaction with their loved ones and help prevent loneliness and isolation.

Group calling allows users to speak to and see more than one person at the same time and also to participate in group sessions such as exercise classes, therapy sessions or activities such as arts and crafts, coking or bingo.

The functionality brings the Alcove Video Carephones in line with other software, such as Zoom, but without the complicated logins and software requirements. It means people who do not have access to mainstream technology, or cannot use complicated functionality, can benefit from group calling and are not digitally disadvantaged.

This is another brilliant step forward in the way we deliver care technology to residents and we continue to evolve and improve services.

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.12.2020

  1. Video explanation: Lateral Flow Testing for Care Homes - please see this video recorded by Public Health which covers using them for visiting, and interpreting the results (including risks and mitigation). You can access the slides from the recording here.
  2. COVID-19 vaccinations and care homes: programme launch & actions for care homes - Helen Whately, Minister for Care, has written to care homes [for older adults], local authority chief executives, and directors of adult social services, outlining plans for getting the first COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) to care home staff, from the first day vaccinations are available. Last week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations confirmed that adult social care is in its top priority groups for vaccination. Group 1 is 'residents in a care home for older adults and their carers' and Group 2 includes 'frontline health and social care workers'.

Actions for Care Homes

The steps here are for two purposes. Firstly, so that your care home staff can be part of the early wave to be vaccinated in Hospital Hubs, but secondly so that when the vaccine is available you will be ready for it.

In preparation care home managers should:

    • put together staff lists, including basic details (name, gender, date of birth, NHS number, GP details) for each staff member
    • be ready to provide each staff member with a letter confirming their employment in the care sector
    • keep staff records of vaccinations and report via the Capacity Tracker (as you do with flu vaccination)
    • consider the covid-secure logistics of releasing staff to receive their vaccine, while maintaining staffing levels within their home. Practical and implementable plans should be in place from early next week
    • take steps now to ensure that staff understand need for obtaining consent, so that they in turn can help residents and families to complete the necessary forms when a vaccine is ready to be delivered within a care home. Once issued, these forms will provide additional information about the vaccine they are receiving

The NHS is working on a standardised consent form, as you will need to gain consent to vaccinate. When the form is released, please use it to gain consent. You may want to start talking to residents and their families now about the vaccination. 

  1. First vaccination centre opens at Basildon Hospital, starting from Tuesday 8th December, for care home staff in Mid and South Essex -  Care home staff in Mid and South Essex can now book their vaccination at Basildon Hospital online at https://covid.shiftpartner.com/. If you are registering for the first time please select 'Care Home' as your organisation to make sure you can select a Covid vaccination when booking.

Other vaccination locations will follow within the borough. We cannot confirm exactly when this will be but it is currently expected to be in a few weeks time.

The service at Basildon is provided by GPs, paramedics and registered nurses. All care home workers will be expected to have some form of ID proving they are a Care Home worker and when booking will be asked to confirm that they have spoken to their line manager before they book their appointment. For those who might like a bit more detail there is information that the MHRA has published for both healthcare professionals and recipients of the vaccine which is available here. Also below are some FAQs around the Vaccine which you may find useful.

Care home workers in North East Essex will be able to access vaccinations at Colchester Hospital. Details on when and how to access this will be shared as soon as it is available.

Information for care home workers in West Essex will be shared once the vaccination centres have been determined.

  1. PPE Warehouse Update: We can now confirm that our relocation of the PPE warehouse to the new site is complete. All details of the new location are on our update of 25th November. Please remember that requests placed in the 2 week period following the 7th December will automatically be doubled by the team to ensure that you have enough PPE for the Christmas period. You do not have to change your usual order, we will do the calculation here. That will make your next collection 4 weeks later, and it will be collected no earlier than the 4th January. Again further information is in the update of 25th November.
  1. Government PPE portal update - Updated order limits for domiciliary care providers.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.12.2020

  1. Video explanation: Why an individual with covid-19 doesn't need a negative test at the end of their isolation period -  Please see this video recorded by Public Health
  1. Reminder: Laptop Recycling Scheme - Do you have a laptop you could donate to help a child/young person to access learning? During the first lockdown some young people did not have laptops to access work that was being set at home and this scheme looks to close the tech gap. If you have any devices you would be willing to donate please contact: TSLaptopDonations@essex.gov.uk. For more information about the scheme please view the flyer and copy of letter to suppliers.  
  1. Reminder: ECC's Annual Relationship Survey 2020 - Click here to access the survey or use the QR code below. Your feedback is extremely valuable and the data obtained from your anonymised answers will be used by senior managers and directors to help plan future activity. If you have any questions about completing or accessing the questionnaire, please call the survey helpline on 0800 0092 117 or email helpline@enventure.co.uk 
  1. Dementia Support Groupfor families and friends - The Alzheimer's Society are putting on support groups for family and friends who have a loved one in a Care Home - please see attached flyer for more details.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.12.2020

  1. The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.  The vaccine has met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

At first, the vaccine will be offered to people who are most at risk from coronavirus, before being offered more widely.

We expect the vaccine will first be offered to:

    • people who live in care homes and care home workers,
    • people aged 80 and over
    • health and social care workers in England

The final decision on who will get the vaccine first will be available soon. We're currently working with colleagues on the logistics to be able to roll out the vaccination programme around the county and will publish more information as soon as we have it.

  1. Reminder: relocation of PPE warehouse - Following our update on 25th November, we would like to remind you that we will be relocating our PPE warehouse over the next few days. Please note that the warehouse in Witham will no longer be in use after today, Wednesday 2nd December, and no collections will be able to be made on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th December. Collections will resume on Monday 7th December from the new location in Colchester.

Directions to the new warehouse are available on the update of 25th November.

  1. Get ready for visitor testing - Rapid testing kits are being delivered to all care homes in England to be used for visitors. CQC registered care homes will start to receive these tests in December with the aim to have sufficient quantities to test up to 2 visitors per resident. Please also see the updated guidance: Visiting arrangements in care homes

To prepare for visitor testing you should:

  • decide where your designated entrance or outside dry space will be, for donning personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • decide where your testing and results waiting area will be, away from your main area, so visitors can social distance while waiting
  • find storage space for your test kits
  • take part in a webinar (care homes will receive links by email)
  • complete the online training (care homes will receive links by email)
  1. Financial support available for covid related costs including roll out of testing and vaccinations -
    • the Infection Control Fund (ICF) is available to help cover additional staffing costs associated with the roll out of testing and vaccinations. You can find out more about round 2 of the fund here.
    • ECC's Covid-19 Response Fund can help with costs over and above those covered by ICF. Further information regarding this fund can be found on the provider hub.
  1. Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) webinar recording - The NHS have produced this recording to help you understand the main points of good infection, prevention and control. This presentation supports the monthly webinars for staff working in the care sector. You can join these sessions on the first Tuesday of every month from 2pm - 2.40pm.
  1. New Guidance: Arrangements for visiting out of the care home - Sets out how care homes can support residents of working age on visits outside of the care home.
  2. Updated: COVID-19: letter to clinically extremely vulnerable people - Reference-only version of letter from the government to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

 

November 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 30.11.2020

  1. Infection Control Fund Round 2 (residential and non-residential services) DEADLINE REMINDER
    • If not already done so, please return your acceptance of the Infection Control Fund (Round 2) Agreement
    • You must maintain the capacity tracker on minimum weekly basis
    • Complete the online form (schedule 4) monthly for Infection Control Fund (Round 2) reporting. This step by step presentation will provide guidance on how to complete your monthly report. 

Note: Government guidelines state funding may be refused or delayed without these mandatory requirements

Any questions? Please email infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk

  1. Infection, Prevention and Control E-Learning - new IPC training resources available for care providers covering: Social distancing, Hand hygiene, PPE; Taking care of residents and yourself; Taking care of the environment; and Planning ahead. Whilst most are geared towards Care Homes, several have been adapted for use with Home care as well. The training is for training the trainers but is adaptable for champions in care homes.
  1. Government Guidance for the Christmas Period: Visiting relatives in care homes- visitswill be able to continue in care homes in all tiers. Visits should be held with social distancing and PPE in place, outside or in other Covid-secure visiting areas.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 27.11.2020

1.    Important: Imminent move of the COVID-19 impact questions (Domiciliary) to a new Capacity Tracker Home Care section - the questions domiciliary providers currently complete are in the process of being moved to a new section of the Capacity Tracker tool, created to capture and report on this key COVID-19 information. This means that from Monday 30th November 2020, domiciliary care services, extra care housing schemes, supported living schemes will report their COVID-19 information through the Capacity Tracker. Shared Life service providers do not answer these COVID-19 questions and do not form part of this transition. The transition timeline is as follows:

    • Today (Friday 27/11/2020) you will receive your final email from CQC, you will have until 8pm to make your last submission
    • On Monday 30/11/2020 you will receive an email invite from the Capacity Tracker team, asking you to confirm your registration on the Capacity Tracker tool, or an email confirming you are already registered and now have access to the home care screens.
    • Users who do not receive an email (please check email junk folders), by 02/12/20, can register manually.
    • Once your access is confirmed you can immediately complete the questions
    • If you try to submit responses using the CQC link, this will not be successful, and you will be directed to the Capacity Tracker tool
  1. Important: The Capacity Tracker system is changing its web address from Monday 30th November 2020 to CapacityTracker.com - For ease of use there will be an automatic redirect in place from the old website address to the new one. Depending on how you have saved your login details, you may be prompted to enter your password again when you first login via the new website address, but this can be saved after first entry or reset if you can't remember it. Please see the Help tab on the initial Log In page for additional guidance and remember to check your junk/spam folders if you don't receive the automated password reset email. For users that have saved a shortcut and password these will need to be updated via your browser settings. If you cannot access the tracker on Monday, please use the "forgotten password" button which allows you to reset your own password.
  1. From 2 December 2020 Essex will be in Tier 2 (High Alert) for covid restrictions - please see the government poster detailing the main restrictions in place for Tier 2 areas
  1. £500 Incentive Payments to domiciliary care providers - As part of a programme of work around preparations for winter pressures and an anticipated surge in demand resulting from the second wave of the pandemic, the council is operating two incentive schemes to improve the system flow from hospital to domiciliary care services.
    • Speedy discharge incentive payment - this is a £500 incentive payment, per care package, to be used to support with securing capacity and the rapid assessment and discharge of Adults that are in hospital or interim care services. This is available to Framework providers only, for care packages accepted and commenced on the same day as a referral is made, or the next day where a referral is made after 2pm.  This incentive payment is applicable to new care packages exiting hospital (not package restarts), those exiting interim care services (not framework in lieu of reablement services), also packages referred from the community as admission avoidance.  Providers must be able to accept referrals and admissions between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week. We are issuing an email with the full details this week as well as terms and conditions that Framework providers need to sign up to be eligible to receive the Speedy discharge payments.   If you are a Framework provider and have not received an email by Monday, please contact us at Winter.payments@essex.gov.uk
    • Package acceptance from the available package list payment - this is a £500 incentive per package of care awarded to providers who start packages from the available packages list.
  1. Discharges from Colchester Hospital: contact details for care providers - Care providers requiring information to support a hospital discharge should use the following telephone numbers

Care package / placement restarts

    • Providers looking to speak to ward staff to get additional information in relation to the needs of an Adult, prior to discharge should in the first instance contact the ward directly.  The ward number and name should be included on the Information to Service (ISP).  For ease of reference these are listed in the attachment.
    • If the provider is unable to get a response from the ward, the provider should then contact the Integrated Discharge Hub on 01206 748 338

New care packages / placements

    • For information around the needs of the Adult not included within the ISP, providers should contact the ward
    • For information relating to equipment, medication or transport, providers should contact the Integrated Discharge Hub (01206 748 338)
    • For information regarding start date or any other queries regarding the purchase order, providers should contact SPT on 03330 139 974
  1. Reminder: Infection, Prevention and Control Webinars - the NHS has set up a monthly webinar (see flyer) which will take place on the first Tuesday of every month (2pm-2.40pm) to support infection, prevention and control within Care Homes and Domiciliary care providers. A presentation will be followed by a chance to ask questions. The next webinar is Tuesday 1 December and you can join the webinar at the stated time via this link.
  1. NEW webinar for registered managers: Risk assessment - key principles to apply to protect your people, staff and service - Tuesday 8 December 2020, 14:00 - 14:30. Whether responding to the pandemic or other factors impacting your service, risk assessments are an important part of the day to day running of all types of adult social care services. This webinar is aimed at those registered managers who are looking to build their confidence in undertaking risk assessments and learn how to take positive risks even during challenging times. Book your place here.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 25.11.2020

  1. Important PPE Update - accessing ECC's supply of PPE through the holiday period and our new warehouse location - please see attached document detailing the changes.
  1. Delirium, dementia and depression Webinars -the three Ds have similarities in presentation and sometimes co-exist, they have very different treatment responses. To raise awareness of the 3Ds, their inter-relationship and the importance of a person-centred approach, NHSE/I have commissioned Life Story Network to deliver two webinars for the East of England. The webinars are aimed at professionals and unpaid carers of people living with dementia. Please find a flyer attached with further details of what can be gained by attending the webinars, and instructions on how to book a place.

Be aware that the webinars will be delivered via Teams so places are limited to 250 per session and will only be available to those who book a place.

  1. Social media recruitment campaign now live - further to last week's announcement (18.11.20) we are pleased to confirm the social media campaign to attract people to care roles in Essex commenced this week. As a reminder if you would like to take advantage of increased interest in care jobs please do the following:
    • Advertise your vacancies using these instructions - the campaign should increase the interest in job applications through this site. Please do this as soon as possible.
    • Register here to find applicants for your vacancies (as the campaign progresses you should notice more candidates available). Keep checking this site for new applicants.

Should you have any questions in relation to this please email MarketPortal@essex.gov.uk

  1. End of Life Study Webinars by St Clare Hospice (West Essex) - St Clare Hospice contributes to the field of palliative care education locally, nationally and internationally. They support and work with you so that the right patients are referred to St Clare at the right time.

End of Life Study Webinars:

The End of Life Care study webinar days virtual training days will support the development of knowledge and understanding around a variety of elements relating to End of Life and Palliative care, including:

    • Inspiration for working in Palliative care
    • Advance Care Planning
    • Care of the dying patient
    • Ethical issues
    • Gastrointestinal symptoms
    • Pain Management
    • Psychological symptoms
    • Syringe drivers

The day's learning events will be delivered via Zoom - the lectures will be previously recorded and replayed whilst Dr Qamar Abbas will be on hand throughout to answer any questions. The webinar days are:

Supporting Your Residents and Staff

In addition, the Hospice can support your Home with a raft of supportive measures for both staff and residents.  For full details, please view the attached flyer.

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.11.2020

  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for homecare workers - NHS Test and Trace is making weekly COVID-19 testing available to all homecare workers in England. All CQC registered homecare agencies will be contacted by the service with details of how to apply for test kits for their homecare workers. This will be further expanded to all other homecare workers, including live-in carers and personal assistants in a phased roll-out. We will provide further details in due course about how these groups access testing.
  2. Updated Guidance: Adult social care winter plan 2020 to 2021 - Change made: added easy read version of the plan.

 

Meaningful Lives Matters Video

There are new COVID guidelines for some groups with additional needs, including adults with Down's Syndrome. Here are just a few of the star performers from the brilliant Dance 21 Dance Group from Chelmsford with some more information.

MLM Video

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.11.2020

1. Infection Control Fund - Round 2

  • Community Support Providers
    • A letter and grant agreement for the second round of Infection Control Fund have started to be issued today by email to all providers that have updated the CQC homecare capacity tracker.   Please make sure you return your agreements by 30th November to enable the first payment to be made.
    • The first monitoring return is now due, please can you complete by 30th November.
    • As a reminder - to meet the requirements for the Infection Control Fund ALL community care providers are required to update the CQC homecare survey at least twice (once per week) prior to the first instalment being issued and then continue to update weekly thereafter until 31st March 2021.  If you have not received the link from CQC in relation to CQC national tracker please email covid-19dailyupdatecqc@cqc.org.uk to request that the link is re-sent.  Unfortunately ECC are unable to access the information being collected by CQC and are therefore not in a position to be able to provide any support with registering or updating the system.
  • Care Home Providers
    • Please make sure you return your agreement as soon as possible (if you haven't already done so) to enable us to issue the first payment.
    • As a reminder the first monitoring return was due on 14th November.  If you have not completed this yet for October spend please complete by 25th November at the latest, and then on a monthly basis thereafter as outlined in the grant terms.
    • To clarify the Schedule 3 excel template is only to be completed to finalise ICF- Round 1.  Monitoring returns for ICF Round 2 should be completed on the monitoring return form.

Please direct any queries in relation to the Infection Control fund to infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk

2. Important: Care home visiting guidance - We have produced summary guidance and public health advice to support you in developing your own policy and procedures to enable safe care home visits:

3. Reminder: Fully funded Nursing qualifications - our offer to nursing providers of fully funded nursing apprenticeship courses is still open. Please see attached flyer for more information and express your interest here.

4. Live at Home Tender Extension Update: We would like to highlight the following message that was published via Proactis tender portal for providers seeking to bid for the 2021 Live at Home Framework:

Dear bidder

The deadline for tender submissions has been extended to 24th May 2021.  The deadline for clarifications has been extended to 30th April 2021.  Revised tender documentation to reflect these updated deadlines will be issued shortly.

We are currently going through the governance process for formal approval around the decision to extend the current Live at Home framework for 6 months to 11th August 2021 and the approach around the interim price arrangements.  A communication will be issued once the full governance process has been completed.

5. Day Opportunities COVID-19 Recovery: Online market engagement Thursday 19th November 2020 - Following the Council's recent online market engagement event for day opportunities providers, please find a copy of the slides which were presented during the session. Please note that the slides contain a significant amount of supporting information including links to secure additional advice and guidance which may be useful to inform your organisation's considerations for the ongoing recovery phase of day opportunities. In addition, please be advised that the Council has updated the workshop slides with anonymised feedback to reflect the key themes of the discussions. However, the residual slides within this pack remain unaltered from the version which was presented during the session. The Council welcomes any further feedback or questions which your organisation may have in relation to the topics which were discussed within this session. Please contact the Council via: rachel.horne@essex.gov.uk if you would like any further information on the content of these slides.

6. Accessing Day Opportunities: If Supported Living or Residential care providers are supporting people who would normally make use of day opportunities, we would encourage those individuals to access outreach services offered by their usual day opportunity providers.  This is in line with the message that can be found here (04.11.2020)

7. Nightingale Bursary: fully funded courses still available - we launched the Nightingale Bursary in August to give opportunities for existing Care Workers to develop their skills. We still have some places available and a list of the courses on offer are below. All the information including how to apply is in the attached brochure, and you can contact the team via email - acl.businessdevelopment@essex.gov.uk     

L3 Health & Social Care                                 

L2 Health & Social Care                                 

L4 Adult Care (limited availability)                          

L5 Leadership for Health & Social Care and Children & Young Peoples Services (limited availability)                          

L2 Understanding Technology Enabled Care                                        

L3 Principles of Leadership & Management                                         

L2 Infection Control                                       

L2 Safe Handling of Medication                                 

L2 Care Planning                                              

L2 End of Life Care                                          

L2 Care & Management of Dementia                                     

L2 Dementia Awareness                               

8. Learning from events: NEW digital learning module - Skills for Care has developed a new digital module on conducting learning reviews that has been commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care and is referred to in the winter plan. Specifically the module will address:

  • What learning reviews are and why they're needed
  • How managers can move from completing reviews at an individual level to involving the wider team
  • Support managers and leaders develop the skills and confidence to carry reviews out effectively within care settings 
  • Practical tips for embedding learning reviews into the working environment

The module is 35 minutes of guided learning, with additional self-directed learning and is FULLY FUNDED. £100 can be claimed through the Workforce Development Fund for each learner. Click here for details on how to access this module.

 

New learning module - 'Learning from Events'

Skills for Care has developed a new digital module on conducting learning reviews that has been commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care and is referred to in the winter plan. 

Managers and leaders in social care can use learning reviews to support their efforts to keep people safe. When incidents happen, it's often a sign that something needs to change within the environment and learning reviews can help us to identify what needs to change. They offer a chance to pause, review and reset. 

This module will outline the positive impact of learning reviews and provide managers and leaders in social care with the skills and practical tools to carry out these reviews.

Specifically the module will address:

  1. What learning reviews are and why they're needed
  2. How managers can move from completing reviews at an individual level to involving the wider team
  3. Support managers and leaders develop the skills and confidence to carry reviews out effectively within care settings 
  4. Practical tips for embedding learning reviews into the working environment

The module is 35 minutes of guided learning, with additional self-directed learning and is FULLY FUNDED.

Our aim is to reach and engage as much of the adult social care sector as we can with this learning and we're asking for your support to help achieve this by promoting this to your members and networks. £100 can be claimed through the Workforce Development Fund for each learner, which contributes to the time required to complete the module then apply and embed it within an organisation (usual WDF criteria and claims processes apply). Learners will complete the module and can then complete an evaluation and download their certificate.

Click here for details on how to access this module.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.11.2020

  1. Today's care home Webinar video is available to view and you can view the slides. The webinar was delivered by Public Health covering care home visiting guidance and hospital discharge processes. Thank you to those who joined the live Q&A session this afternoon. We will publish the questions and answers as soon as possible.
  1. ECC to continue to support adult social care market recruitment via targeted digital, social media and PR campaign - Building on the success of our summer care recruitment drive we will shortly start a new recruitment campaign for care, which will continue until at least March 2021. We will be paying for digital and social media promotion, using the same promotional materials as we did previously. The focus will be on community (eg. domiciliary) and LD services.  The digital campaign will be supported by PR activity. We have 2 simple asks from you if you would like to take advantage of this excellent opportunity:
  • Advertise your vacancies using these instructions - the campaign should increase the interest in job applications through this site. Please do this as soon as possible.
  • Register here to find applicants for your vacancies (as the campaign progresses you should notice more candidates available). Keep checking this site for new applicants.

Should you have any questions in relation to this please email MarketPortal@essex.gov.uk

  1. 'Having difficult conversations' Webinar, Thursday 26 November 2020, 13:00 - 13:30 - Having difficult conversations with staff is a key part of a registered managers role. This webinar, facilitated by ACAS, will offer registered managers the guidance on preparing for, and conducting these conversations in a positive and supportive manner. Case studies will be used to help illustrate some of the challenging situations that you can experience both as a manager generally and in the current Covid pandemic. Register for your place now
  1. Updated Guidance: PPE portal - Change made: Updated order limits for domiciliary care providers and children's residential special schools.
  2. Explaining the 2nd National Lockdown for People with Learning Disabilities - This video is for people with learning disabilities to help them understand about the Second National Lockdown in England. It describes what you can and can't do during this time.

 

Today's Webinar (Care home visits and hospital discharge) 18.11.2020

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/BhDM1CjZOwE

Slide Pack Download (you can listen to the presentation via this PowerPoint, accessed through the Slide Show tab)

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.11.2020

  1. Important: Hospital Discharge Process - please see this covid-19 hospital discharge diagram and important information below in respect of discharging those who have tested either negative or positive for Covid-19.

Covid-19 negative patients: Patients discharged from hospital will have a covid-19 test no greater than 48 hours before discharge.  Those testing negative are unlikely to have the covid-19 virus.  Such patients are safe to be discharged into residential or domiciliary care.  Although these patients are at low risk of having coivd-19, the simple precaution of isolation is still needed.  Rarely a person with covid-19, or incubating the virus, will test negative.  Patients need to be isolated for 14 days after hospital discharge.  As the vast majority of patients will test negative, they have to be discharged into standard care settings.  There are too many such patients to be cared for anywhere else.  As these patients are low risk this should not cause a problem for care providers.

Covid-19 positive patients: Patients discharged from hospital who are known to be covid-19 positive still needing residential or nursing care must be discharged into a designated setting or community hospital to complete their isolation.  Those not needing residential care will be discharged home first.  The isolation period needs to be for 14 days and until their fever has resolved for 48 hours consecutively without medication to reduce their fever.  If the patient's 14 days of isolation has started in the hospital it can be completed in the community.  A negative covid-19 test is not needed to end isolation.  In some people viral particles may be detectable long after they are infectious. 

The exception to not needing to retest positive patients is patients who have one of a list of conditions that make them severely immunosuppressed.  You can access the Severe Immunosuppression Definitions list here.  In these patients testing for virological clearance is encouraged.

What is different now compared to the first wave that saw care home outbreaks caused by infectious patients being discharged?  A great deal of experience has been gained since the first wave of covid-19 hit our health and care system.  Our systems are now more able and more equipped to deal with covid-19.  In addition to tightening up on the basics that have always been important, hand and respiratory hygiene, we now have good access to quality personal protective equipment (PPE) with staff trained in how to put it on and take it off safely.  Practice has changed throughout health and social care so that staff are always wearing PPE when around patients.  It is these good practices, that can be expected of all professional care providers, that enable safe care in the time of covid.

  1. Please ensure your staff are vaccinated against Flu -  This year's flu vaccination programme is well underway, and it is more important than ever with the added risk of flu and COVID-19 co-circulating.  Care home residents are a particularly vulnerable priority group and, in addition to vaccinating this group, we can also protect them by making sure those caring for them are also vaccinated to minimise spread in care home settings. However uptake is currently low.  Health and social care staff employed by a registered residential care/nursing home are eligible for a free vaccination and should be vaccinated by the GP practice where they are registered as a patient. Both care home residents and staff can both be vaccinated for flu by a visiting GP if they are registered at that GP practice. Pharmacies can also vaccinate both staff and residents.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 13.11.2020

  1. ECC Care home visiting and discharge process webinar (Slido Q&A details) - as mentioned in the last bulletin we are hosting a webinar and Q&A session next Wednesday (18 November) covering care home visits in line with government guidance, and cover discharge processes. The webinar will be pre-recorded and published on the provider hub in the morning. Then 2-3pm we will have a live Q&A session via Slido where we will aim to answer your questions. The Slido login details for the session are:

You can enter your questions now and if we are unable to cover them in the presentation we will answer them in the Q&A session.

  1. Information requested following notification on an outbreak - Commisceo have asked us to send out the document they distribute to care homes following notification of an outbreak from the Health Protection Team (HPT). An outbreak is defined as a single case, or multiple cases, of suspected or confirmed COVID-19. We recommend that homes have all this information ready and accessible as it will speed up the process of arranging testing.
  1. ECC's Annual Relationship Survey 2020 - Just a gentle reminder, if you haven't already done so please click here to access the survey or use the QR code below. If you have any questions about completing or accessing the questionnaire, please call the survey helpline on 0800 0092 117 or email helpline@enventure.co.uk. Thank you.

 

 

Christmas2020Shows

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.11.2020

  1. ECC Care home visiting and discharge process webinar - next Wednesday (18 November) we will publish a recording on the provider hub in the morning which will concentrate on care home visits in line with government guidance, and cover discharge processes. Then 2-3pm we will have a live Q&A session via Slido where we will aim to answer your questions. Slido details will be sent out via the next bulletin on Friday. We hope you can join us.
  2. Mass Covid-19 testing in Essex - Further to recent government announcements we received a letter from the Secretary of State this week (9 November) regarding preparation for the roll-out of mass Covid-19 testing in Essex (excluding Southend and Thurrock). Work has now started to consider how we, together with partner organisations, can facilitate this across the county to protect our residents as quickly as we can. We will keep you updated as and when we have more information.
  1. Infection Prevention and Control reminder - As we continue lockdown, which aims to reduce the instances of coronavirus in the community, there is no better time to make sure we continue to do everything we can to protect the vulnerable. It is vitally important that you continue to follow the appropriate government guidance (you can find all adult social care guidance here). Of utmost importance is the implementation of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures. This includes scrupulous hand and respiratory hygiene, and strictly adhering to PPE guidance. Many of you are eligible to order, free of charge, PPE supplies from the government's PPE portal but for those who are not able to you can request supplies using this process. We therefore don't expect there to be any issues relating to access to PPE. To help, the NHS has set up a monthly webinar which will take place on the first Tuesday of every month (2pm-2.40pm) to support infection, prevention and control within Care Homes and Domiciliary care providers. A presentation will be followed by a chance to ask questions. You can join the webinar at the stated time via this link.
  1. Can you help us show the real life importance of social distancing? - As you are acutely aware the level by which social distancing measures are followed by the public in everyday situations impacts the care sector. Reducing the levels of the virus in the community ensures our vulnerable residents are less likely to be infected. One area ECC is keen to highlight is to remind parents of primary school age children the importance of maintaining social distancing at school drop offs and pick ups. If you or an employee would be willing to help us with this campaign by talking about the importance to you in your work, please email ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk. We would be particularly keen to hear from a parent of a primary school child who works with vulnerable people to explain in their own voice and inspire others to follow the social distancing measures. The video produced can be filmed on a phone, or we can arrange a socially distanced filmed conversation. If possible please signal your interest by next Monday (16 November). Thank you.
  1. Special Christmas Variety Performances for Care Homes - the Provider Quality team are pleased to bring you The Gift of Christmas and A Festive Delight. Two unique variety entertainment online shows on 9 & 16 December at 2.30pm. These will be repeated 11 & 18 December. The Christmas Variety shows will be a virtual online show hosted by Amanda Waring with special guest appearances from Film, TV and Theatre.  These unique shows have been specially created for Essex Care Homes; Staff and Residents. To book a place please complete the booking form.
  1. Help St Helena Hospice to promote the My Care Choice Register in north east Essex - Research has shown that those people at end of life who register their care choices on the My Care Choices Register (MCCR) are more likely to die in their preferred place of care.  This is so important, however, more recently the number of people registering their choices has decreased but with your help, St Helena would like to improve this.

With training, senior care home staff are able to access the MCCR.  The next training dates are Weds 9th & Thurs 10th December.  If you register two staff to attend this training a reimbursement of £100 will be made.  For every advance care plan that is then reviewed before 31st March 2021, a £30 incentive will be paid (NB: we have a finite budget, first come, first served).

To register your interest or ask any questions, please email MCCR@sthelena.org.uk as soon as possible.  Thank you for your support.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.11.2020

  1. Update to ECC PPE allocation arrangements - Currently there are a number of ways for social care providers and other organisations to access the PPE that is required for their Covid-19 needs. Please note this is access to PPE that is beyond your Business as Usual (BAU) needs, which you should consider to source via your usual routes.

If you are registered with CQC, you will be able to access the Government PPE portal directly. Eligible providers are invited to join and are able to receive weekly deliveries of free PPE to a capped volume directly to your specified location. The volumes available through this route have regularly been increased, and we encourage you to register for the portal as soon as you can if you have not already.

If you do not have a CQC registration, but have a need for PPE within the social care sphere, ECC can help you with access to the relevant free PPE for your Covid-19 needs, As above, this is PPE beyond your BAU needs. Some examples of organisations or individuals who may wish to use this resource follow, but please note this list is not comprehensive;

    • Those in receipt of direct payments employing PAs
    • Day Centres
    • Homeless Shelters
    • Advocacy Services
    • Mental Health Supported Living Schemes

If you feel that this applies to your organisation, please place your request with us via one of the following forms. If you find that any of the forms do not fit your service design exactly, please use the most appropriate one. The guidance note for completing the form is also included. Forms:

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to let us know on the email PPESupplies@essex.gov.uk.

If you are already registered for the portal and your Covid-19 needs are more than the current portal limits, please use the appropriate form to request this additional PPE.

  1. Your chance to help children in need of technology - Essex County Council (ECC) is appealing to residents and businesses to donate laptops and devices to support Essex children in need.

During lockdown, local authorities including ECC were involved in a Department of Education (DofE) programme to provide free laptops to disadvantaged children to help them in their learning and development, safety and wellbeing.

However, more are still needed.

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Cllr Louise McKinlay said: "Access to technology can be so important to supporting a child's progress and personal development but there are many children out there who do not have the luxury of a device or online access. At ECC we want to continue to do all we can to help these children.

"Even though we have made great strides in ensuring those children most in need now have the equipment they need, there are still children that do not.

"If you have an old or unused laptop device gathering dust or hidden away somewhere, with a bit of help it could make the world of difference to a child and family by giving them access to online resources and learning."

Once received, all laptops will receive a thorough clean inside and out with all data and programmes removed.

Where It is not possible to reuse a laptop, the device will be dismantled and sold for parts and the money raised will be put into a fund we can use to buy other laptops for the cause.

Working with Education colleagues all devices will then be allocated around the county to schools who will issue them to those who most need them.

If you can help please email MarketPortal@essex.gov.uk. Thank you.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 06.11.2020

  1. Important: Care homes visits - Please see attached letter from Public Health regarding changes to the care home visits policy. The change reflects new guidance issued by government this week.
  1. Important: Live at Home - tender deadline delayed - We have been in discussion with the Essex Care Association about the pressures being faced by the sector currently which are impacting on providers' ability to complete tender responses.  In recognition of these concerns we have decided to delay the submission deadline by approximately six months to allow the market to focus their attention on immediate operational concerns.  We are conscious that the national living wage is due to increase in April so prices will be adjusted from this point until the new go-live date.  We will confirm the details of how this will be achieved along with a revised tender deadline through the care provider hub shortly.
  1. Direct Payments Frequently Asked Questions - If you support any customers via direct payment, you may find some useful information and guidance in our updated DP provider FAQs. There is lots of useful information including our policy for charging when services can't be delivered.  You can also access the standard FAQs documents and further information below:

If you would like to be kept up to date in regards to changes to our direct payment offer please email DP.Covid19@essex.gov.uk and we will add you to our mailing list to keep you informed of changes and updates.

  1. Updated Guidance: Government PPE portal - Change made: Updated order limit information for all sectors to reflect changes to visor orders

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.11.2020

  1. Day Opportunities update - In preparation for the forthcoming national lockdown, please be advised that ADASS have advocated that day opportunities falls within the permitted exclusions to enable formally organised support groups of up to 15 people to continue operating. This approach is in line with the exemptions provided within section 3 of the national guidance. Providers are expected to continue to risk assess their clients in relation to their vulnerability and must consider how to balance the protection of those who are deemed to be most vulnerable to Coronavirus with the ongoing provision of support to meet their assessed needs. Pending any further clarification from DHSC in relation to this matter, the Council is not seeking to enact any further closure notification in relation to day opportunities provision during this period. You can access full terms of the Council's current guidance for day opportunities and read the full version of this update.
  1. Updated guidance on the use of gloves for Domiciliary and Residential providers:
  1. Video Carephones - Thank you to all providers for your hard work and referrals for Video Carephones for your customers. We are delighted to say that in just 16 weeks, we have delivered one of the largest and fastest care technology roll-outs and have already seen over 1,000 Video Carephones deployed to vulnerable people in our communities. Our infographic showcases our successes - and highlights the positive impact it is having on people's lives. As we all gear up for winter and with the second wave of COVID-19 approaching, we are keen to build on this success. Please continue to refer people to the service at erctd@essex.gov.uk
  1. NHS Discharge to Assess (D2A) Webinar series: Domiciliary Providers and Care Homes -Thursday 19th November, 11:00-12:00. The webinar will cover: What does the policy mean for domiciliary care providers and care homes? Hear from two areas about their experience of implementing the policy in domiciliary care and care homes. More information and to register a place.
  1. Webinar: What support is required to effectively manage a Direct Payment? - Hosted by ECC and Think Local Act Persona (TLAP) this is their 2nd workshop in relation to Personalisation and Direct Payments. If you missed the first workshop,a 'Vision for Personalisation', there will be a recap given, and you can also access the personalisation slides here. Find out more information about the second workshop and to book a place here

 

Day Opportunities Update 04.11.2020

In preparation for the forthcoming national lockdown, please be advised that ADASS have advocated the use of the following exemption for day opportunities:

"Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement."

This approach is in line with the exemptions provided within section 4 of the national guidance which can be accessed via:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae#meeting-with-family-and-friends

Pending any further clarification from DHSC in relation to this matter, the Council is not seeking to enact any further closure notification in relation to day opportunities provision during this period. However, providers must continue to adhere to the previously published guidance in order to operate in a COVID-secure environment and offer a blended approach of provision, including the use of outreach provision to enable an alternative delivery mechanism to ensure that individuals continue to receive access to the support which meets their assessed needs. In the event that any individuals within your care indicate that they are unwilling to access building-based or outreach support during this period or exhibit any indications of enhanced support needs or emotional health and wellbeing concerns, please ensure that you contact the Adult Social Care Connects team to discuss potential alternative support options via:

Telephone: 0345 603 7630

Textphone: 0345 758 5592

Email: socialcaredirect@essex.gov.uk

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.11.2020

  1. CARE badges available to order - You can now order free CARE badges for your organisation. The badges are for anyone working in adult social care to help provide greater recognition of the amazing care and support your profession provides.
  1. Message from West Essex CCG regarding iPad Distribution / Apple Passwords -

Dear Care Home,

We understand that a number of Care Homes have been in contact with West Essex CCG and Essex County Council to advise that the Apple password provided for your iPad isn't working.  We understand that this is affecting the ability to download additional apps such as WhatsApp on your iPad.

West Essex CCG configured 52 iPads and were initially advised to use a generic Apple ID account, on the bases that once Care Homes had received their iPad they would be able to sign out of the generic account and setup a unique Care Home Apple Account.

Unfortunately, it appears that by using a generic account and by multiple sites attempting to access their iPads, the account has been temporarily blocked.

We have been in contact with Apple Support, who have raised a ticket and will be resetting the password on the 9th November.  Once this action has been taken, a member of staff from West Essex CCG will be in touch with each Care Home.  We will then provide support to you to create your own Apple Account, specific to your Care Home and no longer needing to use the generic Apple account originally setup by the West Essex CCG.

For the time being Care Homes who would like access to video calling apps still have access to Zoom and Microsoft Team which are download onto the iPads already and can be used to support virtual visiting/online consultations etc.

If you have any queries, please contact : Redhwan Ahmed - redhwan.ahmed@nhs.net

  1. Reminder: ECC's Annual Relationship Survey 2020Click here to access the survey or use the QR code below. Your feedback is extremely valuable and the data obtained from your anonymised answers will be used by senior managers and directors to help plan future activity. If you have any questions about completing or accessing the questionnaire, please call the survey helpline on 0800 0092 117 or email helpline@enventure.co.uk 

 

 

October 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 28.10.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Seasonal Flu Vaccine:

The seasonal flu letter sets out the responsibility of all employers of frontline health and social care worker to enable them to receive seasonal flu vaccine, encourage to be vaccinated and monitor uptake.  The following groups are included in those eligible to receive the seasonal flu immunisation from community pharmacies or their GP.

  • health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza. .
  • health and social care workers employed through Direct Payments (personal budgets) and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants, to deliver domiciliary care to patients and service users.

Unfortunately, currently there are problems in the supply of the seasonal flu vaccine, but it is anticipated that this will improve in the coming weeks. 

  1. Updated guidance on ordering PPE:

Guidance for eligible health and social care providers on ordering PPE has been updated. Changes have been made to the order limits for Domiciliary Care providers and Residential care homes.

  1. IPC Webinar: For all CARE HOME staff

Following a rise in infections of COVID and the upcoming usual winter infections also starting to show, the Infection, Prevention and Control Teams are supporting a monthly webinar around PPE, Infection Control and prevention measures. You and your team will be able to ask questions in this interactive session. We hope this will provide a helpful update and reminder on best practice.

The first session is on Tuesday 3rd November at 2pm for 40 minutes.  Please also note there has been an update to the working safely in Care Homes guidance on 7th October which you can view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-care-homes

Please view the attached PDF poster and use the link at the bottom of the poster to join the meeting. Please encourage all members of staff to join if they can.

  1. IPC: Guidance for Care Workers

The Mid Essex Health and Care Partnership's Infection Prevention and Control team has put together a set of slides with accompanying audio commentary.

  1. Testing for Critical Key Workers - alternative testing facility in Epping

Given the current pressures on the national Covid-19 testing service, NHS West Essex are offering an alternative testing facility for critical key workers in Epping. This includes frontline NHS staff, social care and care home staff, professional visitors to care homes, 'blue light' services and frontline education staff in schools and early years settings. The attached letter gives full information and includes a phone number and directions to the Epping site with additional details on how to make an appointment.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.10.2020

  1. Professional visits to care homes - for the avoidance of doubt, while national guidance is that social visiting to care homes must stop, other than in exceptional circumstances such as end of life, professional visits should continuethat are needed for the health and wellbeing of the residents.
  1. Reminder of the Mid and South event on Tuesday afternoon - Essex Care Association (ECA), ECC and Health colleagues would like to invite you to a virtual provider event for Mid and South Essex on 27 October, starting 1.30pm. You will hear about relevant updates for your areas, from ECC and Health, and there will be an opportunity to share your experiences of the pandemic and ask questions of the panel, which will include ECC directors. To join the meeting click this link at the time of the event.
  1. Fully funded Nursing qualifications - we are pleased to be able to offer nursing providers fully funded nursing apprenticeship courses. See attached flyer for more information. Please express your interest by 2 November for the courses starting January 2021.
  1. Correction to NEE training article - some of you may have received a broken link to free training opportunities on offer in North East Essex in Wednesday's bulletin. Here is the correct link.
  1. Qualification review consultation events - Skills for Care (SFC) is interested in your expert insight and experience to help review the content of three important adult social care qualifications for care workers and managers:
  • Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care,
  • Level 4 Certificate in Principles of Leadership and Management in Adult Care
  • Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management in Adult Care.

Join the online consultation events to tell SFC about your priorities for care workers' and managers' learning and development.
Care providers, sector leaders and commissioners:
Wednesday 4 November, 14:00-15:00 Register
Thursday 5 November, 11;00-12:00 Register 
Care workers:
Thursday 5 November, 14:00-15:00 Register

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.10.2020

  1. Follow up to care home visits guidance - Further to our communication on Friday regarding ceasing care home visits due to Essex's move to a Covid-19 High alert area we wanted to follow up to acknowledge the distress which these restrictions will cause you, your staff, residents, their relatives and friends. We realise the decision, which was not taken lightly, has resulted in a number of difficult conversations with families and friends of your residents. For this, we thank you for your continued dedication to protect our vulnerable residents during this difficult time. We also wanted to acknowledge the government guidance which mentions allowing visits in exceptional circumstances, such as end of life. To limit risk, it recommends that where visits do go ahead, this should be limited to a single constant visitor, per resident, wherever possible.

You can find out more about Essex's Covid alert level on the ECC website.

  1. Follow up to Extra Care and Supported Living test kits - firstly thank you to those who have contacted us about receiving the unique code to access the tests. We will be following these up with the Dept of Health.Secondly we have been advised of some updates to the service which are listed below:
    • All courier collections will now take place the following day after testing between 9am - 1pm, when booked through https://testkitcollect.co.uk/. Please select 'Other' on this portal to take you to the correct courier booking portal.
    • All existing courier bookings will be honoured and will take place between 4pm - 9pm on the day of testing
    • To book a courier the next day, you must book this courier by 5pm the day before. You can book couriers up to 6 days in advance
    • Please only book a courier when you plan to complete 9 or more tests a day. If you complete 8 tests or less in a day, they should be posted through a Royal Mail priority post box. Find your nearest priority post box

Also, a reminder of the testing webinars where you will be able to ask questions about the service

  1. Free training for north east Essexcare homes covering:
    • Infection, prevention & control (IPC)
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • COVID-19 testing

See attached letter for more details

  1. Data Security & Protection Toolkit learning and support resources - Digital Social Care is launching 'Better Security, Better Care' a programme of national and regional support for care providers completing the Data Security & Protection Toolkit (DSPT). The programme nationally will have:
    • Webinars covering different aspects of the DSPT - starting in October 2020. For details and to book.
    • Tools and guidance on the Digital Social Care website.
    • The Digital Social Care helpline - 0208 133 3430 or by email on help@digitalsocialcare.co.uk (9am and 5pm Monday to Friday) - which is open to all care providers for advice on the DSPT.
    • Direct contact with and guidance for larger providers, including those that are part of the CQC Market Oversight Scheme - starting in November 2020.

All adult social care providers, including services such as day services which are not registered with CQC, can access this national support.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 19.10.2020

  1. Extra Care and Supported Living test kits - ECC has provided the Dept of Health with contact details for Supported Living and Extra Care schemes in Essex to contact you regarding Covid-19 testing. By now emails should have gone out to the contacts provided for each scheme, with your code to be able to register for tests. The next steps are as follows:
    • In order to apply, you will need the following information ready:
      • Your unique organisation number (emailed to the primary contact)
      • Total number of residents, including number of residents with coronavirus symptoms
      • Total number of staff, including agency staff
      • Contact details of the main point of contact for testing at the organisation

If your organisation has not received an email and you believe you should have, please contact us at ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk so that we can pass your details on.

You are also invited to regular Extra Care and Supported Living testing webinars. The webinars will last 1 hour and give detailed information about all aspects of testing and will include a live Q&A.

To book a place click here. If you have any further questions, please call 119. When calling, after you have selected country, language preference, and heard how your data is used, select option 1 "calling about a test" and then option 3 "calling from a care facility".

  1. Covid-19 Response Fund: Updated claim form - To reflect the COVID19 Response Fund extension, the claims form template has been updated with the claim end period of the 31 March 2021. When claiming for the month of October onwards, please ensure you use the revised template. The headers are coloured BLUE to allow easy recognition that you have the most up to date template. The Declaration tab, has a drop down tab to select "main service type". Please select the appropriate option.
  1. Reminder: ECC's Annual Relationship Survey 2020 - Click here to access the survey or use the QR code below. Your feedback is extremely valuable and the data obtained from your anonymised answers will be used by senior managers and directors to help plan future activity. If you have any questions about completing or accessing the questionnaire, please call the survey helpline on 0800 0092 117 or email helpline@enventure.co.uk  

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.10.2020

  1. Important information regarding care home visits: From midnight today (Friday 16 October 2020) when Essex will be under covid high alert regulations (Tier 2) all care home social visiting must stopPlease see attached letter from Essex's Director of Public Health, Mike Gogarty.  
  1. For more information about high-level restrictions, which will come into place in Essex at midnight tonight (Friday 16 October), please visit ECC's website which includes a Q&A document. Also please see this useful diagram which gives an overview of the effect on services in High alert areas.
  1. Correction to email address stated in the article in Wednesday's bulletin "Infection Control Fund (Community Care Providers) - Round 2 - URGENT ACTION REQUIRED" -please note the email address to contact CQC is covid-19dailyupdatecqc@cqc.org.uk. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
  1. Free Business support - ECC has contracted Let's Do Business Group to provide a direct and fully funded business support service, 'Back to Business Essex', for businesses located across the ECC area to directly advise and help businesses deal with challenges you're facing as a result of Covid-19. You can get up to 12 hours of free, professional, one-to-one mentoring advice giving you direct access to the skills and experience of a variety of business experts, all with private sector backgrounds. You can access more information about this offer, or visit the Back to Business Essex website to register your enquiry. Alternatively, email essex@ldbgroup.co.uk with your details and one of the team will contact you to discuss your requirements or call 0800 9708981 to speak with a member of the team directly.
  1. ECA, ECC and Health colleagues would like to invite you to a virtual provider event for Mid and South Essex on 27 October, 1.30 to 4pm. You will hear about relevant updates for your areas, from ECC and Health, and there will be an opportunity to share your experiences of the pandemic and ask questions of the panel, which will include ECC directors. To join the meeting click this link at the time of the event.
  1. Important updates to the Capacity Tracker - The national tracker team have made some amendments to the questions asked. There will be additional questions to answer in relation to Flu vaccinations. To help, a Flu Immunisation Discharge questions guide has been created

Additionally two surveys will be available on for just one week and are to be completed once by 21 October.

You can find out more about the tracker on our dedicated hub page

Please also note: The National Tracker will not be available for updates on the weekend of the 24th & 25th October, we understand that the system should be available on the morning of the 26th October

  1. Winter Incentive Grant 2020-2021 applications for Domiciliary care providers - During this winter period Essex County Council would really like your creativity in bringing innovation to our services by creating the flexibility to ensure our older people are cared for within their own homes. Domiciliary providers will have received the Winter Incentive Grant Guidance and an invitation to participate with ideas that will support the following aims:
    • Facilitating the prompt exit from hospital
    • Supporting entry / exits from reablement
    • Facilitating effective short-term health placements
    • Supporting people to live independently, in their own home for as long as possible

Please have a careful think on how you believe we can achieve these aims. We welcome your input and look forward to receiving your applications so we can help fund projects this winter. The Grant applications close next Friday (23rd October at 11.00), please ensure you submit by this time. All applications must be submitted via the Proactis portal (see how to register on Proactis).  Any questions please email Dave.Grosch@essex.gov.uk

  1. Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payments - The Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payment (WFTAP) £500 that has been available to domiciliary care providers for accepting packages of domiciliary care on the unmet needs list finished on 1st October.  There are winter pressures schemes including the Winter Incentives Grant available to providers to support project ideas. Further details of this grant fund are available above.
  1. West Essex CCG are currently distributing iPads to each Care Home within West Essex CCG.   Please note this is separate to the NHSX offer of free iPads to care homes (which was promoted via Wednesday's bulletin). This is to support the implementation of the steps outlined from NHSE and NHSI, with the aim of supporting Homes to facilitate secure and reliable video consultations between residents, GPs and Multi-Disciplinary Teams, delivering structured medication reviews and supporting residents to have virtual visits with those important to them. The iPads will be distributed free, on a basis of 1 per Home.  Upon receipt, the device becomes the responsibility of the Home.  Any loss, damage or technical issues etc. must be managed and funded by the Home.
  1. Updated Guidance: PPE portal: how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) - Change made: Added instructions and infographic on getting free PPE. Changed delivery times section - orders will be delivered by Royal Mail within 5 days.

 

Free Business support Service (16.10.2020)

There is no doubting that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on almost every business in Essex and as a supplier of services or goods to Essex County Council you may well have been presented with challenges that are putting pressure on your business, not only in a negative manner but also positively which present additional business issues.

Essex County Council (ECC) has contracted Let's Do Business Group to provide a direct and fully funded business support service, 'Back to Business Essex', for business located across the ECC area to directly advise and help businesses deal with these challenges.

This service provides business with up to 12 hours of free, professional, one-to-one mentoring advice giving business direct access to the skills and experience of a variety of business experts, all with private sector backgrounds that include business banking, insurance, manufacturing, commercial finance, global relocations, smart technologies, food industry and low carbon technologies.

From accessing business funding to marketing and refining your brand, our expert team is here to help businesses to respond to the impact of COVID-19 and plan for the future.

Concentrating on five key pillars of sustainable business 'Back to Business Essex' our specialist and experienced team can provide advice and guidance on:

  • Finance and Risk
  • Marketing
  • Workplace Operations
  • Human Capital
  • Logistics and Supply Chains

To find out more visit: https://backtobusinessessex.co.uk and to register your enquiry.

Alternatively email essex@ldbgroup.co.uk with your details and one of the team will contact you to discuss your requirements or call 0800 9708981 to speak with a member of the team directly.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 14.10.2020

  1. Infection Control Fund (Community Care Providers) - Round 2 - URGENT ACTION REQUIRED - To meet the requirements for the infection control fund ALL community care providers are required to update the CQC homecare survey at least twice (once per week) prior to the first instalment being issued and then continue to update weekly thereafter until 31st March 2021.  ECC will be basing the calculation for the community care providers based on the information provided by yourselves in the CQC homecare survey.  To avoid missing out on this fund please take the following actions:
    • By the end of this week update the CQC homecare survey; and
    • Update the CQC homecare survey as a minimum weekly from next week onwards.

If you have not received the link from CQC in relation to CQC national tracker please email covid-19dailyupdatecqc@cqc.org.uk to request that the link is re-sent.  Unfortunately ECC are unable to access the information being collected by CQC and are therefore not in a position to be able to provide any support with registering or updating the system.

  1. COVID-19 infection prevention and control in care homes webinar - 20 October 2020, 14:00-16:00. This webinar will look at Government policy on Winter Planning and Infection, Prevention & Control and share learning from local systems and care homes. Participants will:
    • Learn about national policy in Infection Prevention & Control in preparation for Winter Planning and management of COVID 19
    • Recognise the importance of multi-agency working to enable people to live and work safely in Care Homes
    • Consider lessons learned during the COVID-19 emergency period
    • Share practice, learning and ideas

For more information and to book a place

  1. Updated guidance: Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Change made: Added COVID-19: guidance for supported living: easy read.
  2. Reminder: Free iPad offer to care homes - please see details of an opportunity for care homes to apply for a free i-pad from NHSX. The iPads will allow staff in care homes to:
    • Hold video consultations with health and care professionals
    • Use NHSmail (a secure NHS internal email service)
    • Connect care home residents with loved ones remotely
    • Get direct access to any other tools or systems needed to support the care of residents

For care homes without a stable wifi connection throughout their building, a data enabled SIM card will be included with each iPad. The SIM card will be free of charge for 12 months.

Care homes that receive some or all of their funding for residential care from the NHS or from a local authority can apply.  As there are a limited number of iPads, only care homes that meet our eligibility criteria will receive an iPad.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 12.10.2020

  1. £500 Incentive Payments for Residential and Nursing Placements - Essex County Council (ECC) have agreed to pay care homes an additional £500 payment for rapid acceptance and admission of residential and nursing placements as part of the Adult Social Care response. It will support demands on hospitals this winter to speed up hospital discharges and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.  Providers who are able to apply should shortly receive an email from the IRN Project Team.
  1. Reminder: ECC's Annual Relationship Survey 2020 is live - Click here to access the survey or use the QR code below. Your feedback is extremely valuable and the data obtained from your anonymised answers will be used by senior managers and directors to help plan future activity. If you have any questions about completing or accessing the questionnaire, please call the survey helpline on 0800 0092 117 or email helpline@enventure.co.uk  

 Relationship Survey QR code

  1. Reminder: ECC survey to explore service users' experience of Covid-19 - Essex County Council (ECC) and partners want to understand what people's experiences during Covid-19 has been like over the last few months.   The survey is aimed at people aged 18 and over who receive a service from Social Care, or Essex Welfare Service, Self-funders and Carers.  Listening to the views of our service users is important to us.  The responses will help us to understand what is important to our service users and to inform work we do across Adult Social Care in future. The online survey can be completed until 18th October 2020. Please make this is available to users who would like to give their views.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.10.2020

  1. Infection Control Fund - round 2: Following the announcement of the Infection Control Fund please note the following grant conditions that need to be adhered in order for ECC to distribute the funds.  The Government expect the grant will be fully spent on infection control measures (as outlined in the grant determination letter) by 31 March 2021.  A non-exhaustive list of examples of ways in which providers can spend funding as part of the 'per beds' or 'per user' allocation can be found in annex A.

Care providers will be required to adhere to the following requirements for the duration of the fund (which is until 31 March 2021):

    • care homes, including homes with self-funding residents and homes run by local authorities, will be required to have completed the Capacity Tracker at least twice (two consecutive weeks), and have committed to completing the Tracker at least once per week.  The NHS has set up weekly Q&A sessions which you can join via this invite. You can also find further information about how to use the NECSU Capacity tracker via the following guides: User Guide, How to register and  User guide for Business Continuity
    • community care providers, including those with exclusively self-funded clients, will be required to have completed the CQC homecare survey at least twice (two consecutive weeks), and have committed to continuing to complete this survey (or any successor, as per government guidance) at least once per week. If you have not received the link from CQC in relation to CQC national tracker please email Covid19DailyUpdateCQC@cqc.org.uk to request that the link is re-sent.

Providers will be required to maintain records of where funds have been spent and provide an update to ECC on a monthly basis.

  1. Important: Public Health update - steps to take when there is an isolated (unexpected) positive covid-19 test result in an asymptomatic resident. This letter includes a helpful diagram detailing the change in the standard operating procedure
  1. Important: Being prepared for EU Exit (Brexit) - please read this important communication regarding steps you need to take to prepare for the end of the EU transition period (which ends 31 December 2020).We are asking that you pay particular attention to your Business Continuity Plans so you are prepared for a number of scenarios, which include shortages (eg. food, medicines, fuel) and road disruptions.
  1. Cessation of Coronavirus (Covid-19) antibody testing - the Coronavirus (Covid-19) antibody testing offer for care home, social care and domiciliary care staff in Mid, South and West Essex will be stopping. You can find out more information here.

5.    DoHSC Extra Care and Supported Living webinars to update on the national rollout of testing for these services - The webinars will last 1 hour and give detailed information about all aspects of testing. The session will include a Q&A with representatives from the national testing team, who will be able to answer your questions and address any concerns in the session. Sign up to attend Extra Care and Supported Living testing webinars

  1. Essex County Council is pleased to announce that the tender for the Live at Home (LHRL) framework 2021 is now open. 

This is an opportunity for domiciliary care providers to work innovatively with the Council in developing a domiciliary support market in Essex that enables Adults aged 18 and over to live as independently as possible in their own homes and to play full and active roles in their lives and local communities.

The benefits of being a part of this framework include:

    • Receiving care package offers before non-LHRL providers
    • The potential to be involved in 'test and learns' to develop new approaches and delivery models
    • The opportunity to be included in mini-competitions

To access this tender opportunity please register / use our new system - Proactis
Further information can be found here

  1. West Essex Yellow Folder for providers - The Yellow Resource Folder has been created to provide the most updated guidance for Care Providers within West Essex CCG and supports local and national guidance for best practice. The folder will be regularly updated and your input on content would be most welcomed for future updates.Topics Covered in the Yellow Folder:
    • Referral Processes - To all community services and relevant organisations
    • Care Planning
    • Supportive Information to your Home - Including: prognostic indicators, symptom management, Community services, services to support residents care and support for staff.

 

Being prepared for EU Exit 

Please share this communication with appropriate staff, including managers and owners. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with this information too. You need to understand if your business should take action to prepare.

We have detailed below further guidance for making preparations prior to the end of the EU transition period (which ends 31 December 2020). There will be changes for business, including those that operate only in the UK, and the coronavirus pandemic will add further strain to preparations. Whilst negotiations are still ongoing the default position currently is a no-deal scenario. The Essex Resilience Forum (ERF) will co-ordinate planning in the county and will make preparations for the situations more likely due to EU Exit.

Business Continuity Plans

Your business plans should be up to date but they will need to be reviewed to ensure they are suitable for EU Exit (Brexit) including a no-deal situation. We have listed below examples of situations that may be more likely due to EU Exit. Please therefore pay particular attention to your plans to ensure they are up to date and ready for 1 January 2021 and cover, where appropriate, the following (which is not exhaustive).

  • Port disruption
  • Road disruption
  • Loss of IT
  • Protests
  • Shortages - eg. food, PPE, medicine, fuel
  • Community impacts
  • Social care - eg. Workforce availability, Entitlements to service and charging
  • Loss of utilities - eg. gas, electric
  • Effects on businesses

EU Settlement Scheme

EU nationals need to register for settled status if they have been in the UK for 5 years or more, or pre-settled status if they have been here for less than 5 years. It is free to register, please use this link - Apply to the EU settlement scheme. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021

Resources

List of actions for your business:

Answer a few questions to get a personalised list of actions for your business.

Further information and guidance available:

Best Growth Hub

Essex Chambers of Commerce

ECC general advice for Brexit

 

Cessation of Coronavirus (Covid-19) antibody testing for care home, social care and domiciliary care staff - Mid and South Essex and West Essex

Our Coronavirus (Covid-19) antibody testing offer for care home, social care and domiciliary care staff in Mid and South Essex and West Essex will be stopping.

Details of  timings for stopping the antibody testing are below:

Antibody testing for domiciliary care staff

Antibody testing for domiciliary care staff will cease from Friday 9 October.

From that date antibody testing will no longer be available at

  • Brentwood Community Hospital, Crescent Drive, Shenfield, Brentwood
  • Sutton Road Surgery 508 Sutton Road, Southend-on-Sea
  • St Margaret's Hospital, The Plain, Epping

Antibody testing for care home staff

Antibody testing for care home staff will cease from Friday 16 October

From that date the mobile antibody testing offer where our provider Commisceo visited care homes to run antibody testing on site for care home staff, will no longer be available.

Information for staff having an antibody test before the testing ceases:

If you are having an antibody test presently (or before the closing dates above), please be advised that there is likely to be a delay in the laboratory analysing the results due to circumstances beyond our control. Any samples taken during this time will be safely stored and analysed as soon as possible. We ask for your patience as there is likely to be a delay in you receiving your results.

Other options for  care home, social care and domiciliary care staff who want an antibody test to check if they have had coronavirus:

The government is running an at-home antibody testing service which is now available to all staff in the adult social care sector in England.

To sign up for an at-home antibody test, staff will need to register on the online portal.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.10.2020

  1. Being prepared for winter 2020 - this winter will likely be particularly challenging with coronavirus cases rising, coupled with usual winter pressures and additional considerations around the impact of EU Exit. So it is even more important that you make the necessary preparations and, to help, we have collated the key actions for providers detailed in the government's winter 2020 plan. Additionally we have included some resources and useful contacts. You can access the Preparing for Winter 2020 pages here.
  1. ECC's Annual Relationship Survey 2020 is live - Enventure Research is conducting the survey again which is an opportunity for you to give feedback on your relationship with ECC. We have included a section this year for you to comment in relation to the Council's response to Covid-19. Click here to access the survey or use the QR code below. Your feedback is extremely valuable and the data obtained from your anonymised answers will be used by senior managers and directors to help plan future activity. If you have any questions about completing or accessing the questionnaire, please call the survey helpline on 0800 0092 117 or email helpline@enventure.co.uk  

Relationship Survey QR code

  1. Important information regarding social care staff using the NHS Covid-19 App - Social care staff are encouraged to download the app but be aware of situations where the contact tracing function should be paused, for example when wearing appropriate PPE or when phones are stored in communal areas. Read more about how and when to pause contact tracing

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 05.10.2020

  1. Care home visits letter from ECC's Director of Public Health - please note this advice has now been replaced - please see updated letter (16.10.2020). 
  1. Health and social care staff mental health webinar -  Wednesday 7th October, 3.30pm  - 4.30pm. Learn how to support the mental health of your frontline team members. NHS England and NHS Improvement national mental health team is holding a webinar for social care to discuss the importance of staff mental health and what resources are available in this area. You can access more details and booking information here.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.10.2020

  1. Covid Financial Support - We are pleased to confirm that ECC have made a decision to extend the Covid19 Response fund until the 31st March 2021.  This fund is available to support providers with additional costs incurred as a result of Covid19.  Full information, including how to claim can be found on the provider hub.  We would request that providers who have any claims they intend to make for the period 19th March up to end September submit these by the end of October so they can be processed.  To help us manage flow of claims over the extension period we would encourage providers to make claims on a monthly basis.
  1. Domiciliary care providers: We wrote to you on 18th March to set out interim arrangements to support providers to deal with the strain the pandemic put on the management and delivery of care services (letter titled: Continuation of the Home Care, Supported Living and Independent Living Financial Support arrangements). These arrangements will now be extended up to 03 April 2021.  We will advise you if there are any further changes to these arrangements.
  1. Details of a second round of Infection Control Funding was announced yesterday - we are currently reviewing the guidance documentation and will provide more details shortly.  We will aim to distribute funds to the market as soon as possible.
  1. Day Opportunities Invoicing Guidance - 1st October 2020 onwards - Following the expiry of the Council's underwriting of invoices for managed day opportunities services on 30th September 2020, please consult the Council's invoicing guidance which will take effect from 1st October 2020. In addition, please note that the Council has recently secured approval from internal governance to expand the scope of the COVID-19 response fund to include day opportunities provision. Please consult the Council's Provider Hub for further details on this announcement.
  1. Free iPad offer to care homes - please see details of an opportunity for care homes to apply for a free i-pad from NHSX. The iPads will allow staff in care homes to:
  • Hold video consultations with health and care professionals
  • Use NHSmail (a secure NHS internal email service)
  • Connect care home residents with loved ones remotely
  • Get direct access to any other tools or systems needed to support the care of residents

For care homes without a stable wifi connection throughout their building, a data enabled SIM card will be included with each iPad. The SIM card will be free of charge for 12 months.

Care homes that receive some or all of their funding for residential care from the NHS or from a local authority can apply.  As there are a limited number of iPads, only care homes that meet our eligibility criteria will receive an iPad.

  1. Upcoming Registered Manager wellbeing webinars - Skills for Care are offering Registered Managers (and managers who directly supervise others) a series of two wellbeing webinars: 
  • Wellbeing for managers (Thurs 15 October from 3.00 - 3.30) - practical support and ideas to look after yourself to help you look after others.
  • Leading for wellbeing (Weds 4 November 11:00 to 11:30) - practical support and ideas to support your teams with wellbeing.
  1. Updated Guidance: PPE portal - Updated order limit information for all sectors to reflect recent increases and removed order information on type II masks.
  1. Care Home Food Supplies - further to our reminder on Monday regarding supermarket restrictions on food supplies we would like to remind you of an offer from Brakes which we first distributed back in March, when food supplies to homes were affected:

Brakes are prioritising our care homes for food deliveries and have agreed for care homes to contact them directly on an individual basis to open an account. Brakes offer a full range of food and catering provisions and further information can be accessed through their website and Care Hub     

If you would like you start utilising Brakes please contact:

Ben Preedy-Everett
Local Area Sales Manager
Brakes
M: 07483 929541
E: Benjamin.Preedy-Everett@Brake.co.uk

 

Day Opportunities Invoicing Guidance - 1st October 2020 onwards

Following the expiry of the Council's underwriting of invoices for managed day opportunities services on 30th September 2020, please consult the Council's invoicing guidance. Please note that this guidance will take effect from 1st October 2020. In addition, please note that the Council has recently secured approval from internal governance to expand the scope of the COVID-19 response fund to include day opportunities provision. The Council will publish specific guidance for day opportunities providers to clarify the precise scope of this claims fund and instructions regarding the claims process in due course. However, you can access an indicative view of the process which has been adopted for other adult social care services.

Please note that the information regarding the COVID-19 response fund is currently predicated on providing access to claims for other adult social care services and should only be reviewed to secure an indicative view of the process which is likely to be adapted to meet the specific requirements of the day opportunities market. In addition, please note that this claims process will be governed by certain conditions, including but not limited to, a declaration regarding access to any external funding. In order to assist the Council's considerations for day opportunities, please could you confirm whether your organisation has furloughed staff at any stage during the pandemic via the following e-mail address: rachel.horne@essex.gov.uk

 

September 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 30.09.2020

  1. Supported Living Guidance - There has been some confusion around appropriate use of PPE in a Supported Living setting. We would like to remind providers of the PPE advice for Supported Living providers. You can also access the full Covid-19 guidance for Supported Living here. PPE is necessary in a Supported Living setting, with different requirements depending on the circumstances. There have been outbreaks in Supported Living settings, and we would like to remind providers that not following the PPE guidance can be seen as a safeguarding concern. If you have any difficulties obtaining PPE you can contact us using the process found here
  2. Guidance and PPE considerations when supporting people living with dementia 
  3. Updated Guidance: COVID-19 providing more information on types of gloves - the guidance has been updated forcare homes  and domiciliary care
  4. Guidance: COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings - Updated the retesting exemption period for staff from 6 weeks to 90 days if they have not developed new COVID-19 like symptoms (see details below)

Eligibility for PCR retesting in staff

Staff who have previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR should be exempt from being retested within a period of 90 days from their initial illness onset, unless they develop new possible COVID-19 symptoms. This is because fragments of inactive virus can be persistently detected by PCR in respiratory tract samples for some time following infection. If a staff member is found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR within 90 days from their initial illness onset, depending on their symptoms and advice from an infection specialist, they may need to self-isolate again. Additional consideration should be given to staff who are immunocompromised regarding retesting for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR.

If staff are tested for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR after 90 days from their initial illness onset and are found to be positive, this should be considered as a possible new infection. If they have developed new possible COVID symptoms, they would need to self-isolate again and their contacts should be traced. If, however, they are asymptomatic, further management should be discussed with an infection specialist (e.g. Microbiology, Virology, Infectious diseases) before a decision is made regarding another self-isolation 

  1. Updated Guidance: COVID-19: supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults - Change made: Replaced links to social distancing guidance and easy-read counterpart with updated guidance on staying alert and safe, coronavirus outbreak FAQs and guidance on meeting with others safely. Updated links to guidance on both supported living and home care provision.
  1. Updated Guidance: NHS Test and Trace in the workplace Change made - Updated to reflect the launch of the COVID-19 app and how it should be used in the workplace. Corrected the period that people are infectious to say: from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 10 days from onset of symptoms.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 28.09.2020

  1. New legal duty to self-isolate comes into force today -From today people across England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
  1. DoHSC Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategy - The government's strategy for preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 covering supply and logistics for distribution of PPE
  2. ADASS Care Homes Infection Control: Top Tips Guide
  3. Supermarket restrictions on some items and possible reintroduction of queueing systems - please be reminded of the letter for supermarkets to help you secure food supplies for your residents should stores start to reintroduce restrictions on purchases.
  4. Final Reminder: the care worker survey closes this Wednesday (30 September) - please ask all of your staff to complete the questionnaire to have their say and help us to understand the issues affecting them. And remember, 4 people will win £100 for the charity of their choice. Click here to take part or use the QR code below. Thank you

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ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 25.09.2020

  1. Reminder: the care worker survey closes next Wednesday (30 September) - please ask all of your staff to complete the questionnaire to have their say and help us to understand the issues affecting them. And remember, 4 people will win £100 for the charity of their choice. Click here to take part or use the QR code below. Thank you

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  1. Reminder: Free induction and refresher training available from Skills for Care - rapid induction programme (aimed at new staff), refresher training (aimed at existing staff) and a volunteer programme. The training is provided free of charge when accessed through Skills for Care, meaning staff can be trained quickly ahead of winter
  1. NHS COVID-19 app launches across England and Wales - the app will aim to help control coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.
  2. Covid-19 Dementia Wellbeing resource- the document sets out information and advice to support those caring for people with dementia during the pandemic

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.09.2020

  1. Essex Care Association (ECA) membership offer - The new ECA membership year begins on 1st October 2020 and you are invited to join.  In recognition of the exceptional challenges that the sector is facing, ECA have significantly reduced membership rates as follows: Small Providers £99, Large providers: £175. Please visit the care provider hub for more information about benefits of joining, and the application form
  1. Summary of the Capacity Tracker New Functionality and Reporting deployed 22/09/20 - this document details changes to the capacity tracker for residential providers. Pleasecontinue to update the Capacity Tracker daily.
  2. National Care Forum Infection, Prevention  and Control (IPC) Compliance Assessment Tool - This compliance assessment is a simple tool which has been developed using the most recent information from the CQC and others. It will help you know how well you are doing, identify areas in which you need to improve and bring the guidance together into one place.

 

ECA membership 2020-21

The new ECA membership year begins on 1st October 2020 and we would like to invite you to join our Association.  

In recognition of the exceptional challenges that our sector is facing, we have significantly reduced our membership rates as follows:

Small Providers*: £99      Large providers: £175

This is a saving of at least 50% - more for small providers!

We would love you to join us and have the opportunity to connect with like-minded people working in the same sector; share views, or concerns; and keep up to date with what's new in social care across Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

We continue to work to influence the Local Authorities to develop contracts with the provider market that are fair, sustainable, and workable for all parties.

The more members we have, the more influential we can be on your behalf.

*Small providers are those with fewer than 25 beds (Care Home) or 50 service users (Home Care)

What you will gain from your membership

  • ECA representing your views and influencing key decision makers in Essex.
  • Being part of the Care Community in Essex and being involved in key conversations and issues that affect you locally.
  • Regular communications and newsletters on issues relevant to you.
  • Seminars relevant to your business, e.g. Employment Law, Recruitment
  • Access to commercial partners at members rates, e.g. Insurance; Customer Feedback; Waste disposal, etc
  • Key business information such as early warning of Local Authority commissioning intentions
  • Access to Skills for Care Funding and Priority Booking for Skills Academy Training and Events
  • Being able to lobby at a national level via our link to the Care Associations Alliance

Members will benefit from discounted rates for any conferences we organise and priority booking for any training or consultation events that we run.

In order for us to maintain an up to date and comprehensive database of all our Members contact details we are attaching the ECA Membership application form for you to complete and return. Our BACS payment details are on the application form.  An ECA Membership Certificate 2020/21 will be emailed to you on receipt of your completed application form and payment.

We look forward to welcoming you for 2020-21.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.09.2020

  1. Adult social care: coronavirus (COVID-19) winter plan 2020 to 2021 - The government has set out the key elements of national support available for the social care sector for winter 2020 to 2021, as well as the main actions to take for local authorities, NHS organisations, and social care providers (including in the voluntary and community sector). The winter plan sets out the government ambitions for the sector and the challenges facing adult social care this winter, and key actions for national bodies (Department of Health and Social Care), local systems (local authorities and NHS England) and adult social care providers. It covers 4 themes:
    • preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings - this includes provide free PPE for COVID-19 needs in line with current guidance to care homes and domiciliary care providers, via the PPE portal, until the end of March 2021
    • collaboration across health and care services
    • supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers
    • supporting the system
  1. 119 Coronavirus Testing Contact Centre: Improvements for care homes - There is now a specialist team trained to support care home queries at the 119 coronavirus testing contact centre. The care home team will replace the COVIDCareHomeTesting@dhsc.gov.uk mailbox for care home testing queries.
    • If your scheduled courier (booked at https://testkitcollect.co.uk) does not arrive to collect your test kits, you can now contact 119 the following morning, where they will be able to arrange an urgent collection. Please do not call 119 the evening the courier is scheduled to arrive.
    • Please note that all couriers should still be booked at https://testkitcollect.co.uk, and 119 should only be called if one does not arrive as scheduled between 4pm and 10pm.
    • For any care home testing queries please refer to testing guidance. If you can't find the answer in our guidance documents, please call the national Coronavirus Testing Contact Centre on 119. The Contact Centre is open 7 days a week, 7am - 11pm.
    • When calling, to speak with a member of the specialist care home team, select your country, language and data preferences, then select option 1 "calling about a test", then option 3 "calling from a care facility".
    • You may have to wait for an operator to answer your call; the average waiting time for a care home is usually 10mins.
  1. Government Report: Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: final report, advice and recommendations -  this report sets out a number of recommendations to support social care as the pandemic response moves towards the autumn and into winter.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.09.2020

  1. Quality Innovation Autumn Programme of free virtual training launched on the Care provider Hub Events and Training page, includes Oral Health Care and Dignity in Care virtual sessions for all providers, Baseline Observation training for Residential Care and a series of Catheter Care, Pressure Area Care and Stoma Care sessions for Domiciliary Care staff.  More sessions have been added for Amanda Waring's Self Care and Recovery for both Managers and staff. There is also a unique opportunity to attend the Montessori for Dementia and Aging workshops.
  1. Covid Financial Support - We are working on a range of decisions in relation to financial support for the winter period as most initiatives end at the end of September and will be advising you as soon as possible on arrangements going forward to the end of the financial year. In addition to the above we are accelerating outstanding second payments of the Infection Control Fund and will be reallocating and distributing unclaimed money from the first allocation amongst providers that have returned their agreements.  Please note that yesterday the government announced that the infection control fund has been extended until March 2021 and will offer an extra £546m for social care to reduce coronavirus transmission over winter. We will provide further detail in relation to each of these areas when it becomes available.
  1. Day Opportunities: Exemption from the "Rule of Six" provisions - Providers are advised that the Department of Health and Social Care have confirmed that day opportunities are exempt from the "rule of six" which was enacted by Central Government from Monday 14th September 2020. Please note that day opportunities are deemed to fall within the exemption of facilitating the continuation of support to vulnerable people as detailed in the section 3.18 of the corresponding Central Government guidance which can be accessed via this link.
  1. West Essex: Testing for critical key workers - Given the current pressures on the national Covid-19 testing service, we are offering an alternative testing facility here at the West Essex CCG site at St. Margaret's Hospital in Epping for critical key workers in west Essex and neighbouring parts of east Hertfordshire. This includes frontline NHS and GP practice staff, social care and care home staff or professional visitors, 'blue light' services and frontline education staff in schools and early years settings. The facility will be open 9-5 Monday to Friday from 21 September, but bookings can be made by telephone from today (18 Sept). Please see attached for details. The facility will remain in place until the national testing system returns to full operation. If any employing organisations have any general questions can they please email weccgimt.covid19@nhs.net
  1. Care Worker survey reminder - please ensure all of your staff have the opportunity to take part. CLICK HERE TO TAKE PART or use the QR code below. Thank you

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  1. National Care Forum Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) Compliance Assessment Tool - National Care Forum, Quality Compliance Systems and Standards Wise International have forged a unique partnership to help care providers enhance Infection Prevention and Control procedures. This compliance assessment is a simple tool, which has been developed to support organisations assess their own practices and prepare evidence for audit which meets CQC requirements. https://www.nationalcareforum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/NCF-Infection-Prevention-Control-FINAL-AUG-2020.pdf
  1. Government Announcement: New plan to help protect care homes from coronavirus over winter
  1. Government PPE portal order quantities updated - Domiciliary care providers with 50 or more clients and residential care home with over 50 or more beds can now order one box of visors (usually 200 per box) per week.
  1. COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC) - new IPC quick reference guide added
  2. CQC have published a statement that sets out how they will regulate during the next phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Updating on how, from 6th October, they will begin to roll out our transitional regulatory approach, starting with adult social care services.

 

Day Opportunities - Exemption from the "Rule of Six" provisions (17.09.2020)

Please be advised that the Department of Health and Social Care have recently confirmed that day opportunities provision is deemed to be exempt from the recently introduced "rule of six" provisions. The full rationale for this exemption is covered in section 3.18 of the corresponding Central Government advice which can be accessed via the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do#clinically-vulnerable-groups-and-clinically-extremely-vulnerable-groups-and-care-homes

However, in summary, day opportunities provision is deemed to fall within the exemption to enable the continued caring of people with, any long-term illness, disability or terminal condition or who are vulnerable. Therefore, day opportunities providers are advised that they should proceed to resume their support in line with the Council's existing guidance as intended. Please be advised that the Council will continue to provide any updates in relation to the national or local guidance which may be introduced to mitigate the developing trends of COVID-19 via the Provider Hub in due course.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.09.2020

  1. URGENT - Infection Control Fund Spreadsheets Final Returns - Please note that the Council requires your final Schedule 3 spreadsheet return in relation to how you have spent the total Infection Control Fund money by 17:00 tomorrow (17th September 2020). We need this because the Council has to report back to Central Government on the 23rd September 2020 detailing what the money has been spent on. Please refer to the YouTube video for more detail on how to complete this process.
  1. Important: NECSU National Tracker Updating - Further to the letter from the Director of Adult Social Care Delivery to providers, please can you ensure that you are updating the Capacity Tracker on a regular basis.  Providers are reminded that as of 10th August, they are now required to complete both the Business Continuity & Vacancy Update and the Infection Control Questionnaire daily where possible and bi-weekly as a minimum.  Essex County Council has produced guidance on how to update these two areas. Should you require assistance the capacity tracker team are able to support and can be contacted either by telephone: 0191 691 3729 or email: necsu.capacity@nhs.net.  When emailing, please ensure you title the email Capacity Tracker.
  1. PPE portal update -  the government personal protective equipment (PPE) portal has added type II masks to the list of items that can be ordered and updated order limits.
  2. Fully funded virtual Values Based Recruitment Workshops - 23 and 30 September 2020. More information and to book a place

 

Vision for Personalisation Workshop in collaboration with ECC & TLAP - 22nd September

Essex County Council (ECC) is undertaking a transformation of how it implements Personalisation across everything it does, giving greater choice and control to individuals receiving support from the council. A core aim of ECC is to co-produce the Council's vision statement for the Personalisation and Direct Payment offer. We hope that by running workshops and bringing people together we can design services and support in Essex as equal partners.

The first workshop surrounding Personalisation and Direct Payments took place earlier this year in February, however, the work unfortunately had to be paused because of the the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst this pandemic is still prevalent in our day-to-day lives we are determined to resume the workshops and build upon on the good work that has already been established.

Our next workshop details:

Vision for Personalisation

  • 1:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Tuesday 22nd September 2020
  • Event will be virtual and via zoom. A link for the workshop will be sent onto you closer to the event date
  • Please click here to register to the event on Eventbrite. Further details of this workshop can be found on the Eventbrite page.

We hope that you can attend and look forward to you joining us on this journey.

If you have any questions leading up to this event please do not hesitate to contact me and my colleague Debbie Kirk -  Deborah.kirk2@essex.gov.uk

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 14.09.2020

  1. COVID-19 infection rises: letter to care providers from Director of Adult Social Care Delivery - please read this important letter highlighting the rising infection rates and requesting action to conduct regular care home testing and ensure consistent use of PPE in all care settings. Additionally the letter emphasises the importance of both infection prevention control practices and of providers continually updating the Capacity Tracker (residential) and domiciliary care tracker, as this rapid flow of data is crucial.
  2. ECC survey to explore service users' experience of Covid-19 - Essex County Council (ECC) and partners want to understand what people's experiences during Covid-19 has been like over the last few months.   The survey is aimed at people aged 18 and over who receive a service from Social Care, or Essex Welfare Service, Self-funders and Carers.  Listening to the views of our service users is important to us.  The responses will help us to understand what is important to our service users and to inform work we do across Adult Social Care in future. The online survey can be accessed here. Please make this available to users who would like to give their views.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.09.2020

  1. Covid-19 Staff Support and Wellbeing - we have collated support available to you and your staff to help manage the stress caused by coronavirus. We know just how important the mental health of your workforce is and we hope you find the pages helpful. As always please do send your comments / feedback to MarketPortal@Essex.gov.uk for anything relating to content on the Hub.
  2. Covid-19 Residential 12 Month Guarantee Underwrite guidance - please see FAQs document in relation to this financial support for the residential market which will be in place until 31 March 2021. You may also wish to see further information regarding the fund and guide on how to produce statements showing the 12 Month Underwrite payments on Abacus Extranet
  3. Covid Infection Control Fund: Final submission video tutorial - this presentation will guide you through the claim process for the final submission for this fund. You can find more details about the fund via the following links:
  1. Antibody testing reminder - please be reminded your staff are able to register to receive the covid-19 antibody tests. Further details can be found via the links below. Please ensure this information is sent on to your staff.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.09.2020

  1. COVID-19 Response Fund Reminder - The Covid-19 Response fund, which gives Essex social care providers who have incurred additional expenditure as a result of COVID-19 access to financial support, closes at the end of September. Providers can claim for costs incurred between 19th March - 30th September 2020 inclusive. You can access a document detailing eligible and ineligible costs, and for more information including how to claim please go to our dedicated hub page.
  2. Delirium: Everybody's problem? Please take the time to watch the video below, which is an overview of delirium for those caring, across care environments, for others who may be at risk of delirium.The presentation gives a definition with signs and symptoms of delirium, then explores causes, outcomes, presentation and identification. This will help the viewer identify possible deliriums and seek appropriate help and advice. There is also this video for further viewing on this topic. 

  1. For care homes in north east Essex - by now you should have received (via snail mail) a letter explaining forthcoming changes regarding the way in which medical services will be offered to your care home.  Rather than from a specific GP surgery, or for some homes, many GP surgeries, your home will have contact with just one PCN.  A PCN is a Primary Care Network which is made up of a number of different surgeries.  The letter explains which PCN you have been allocated to.  Should you have any query with this allocation, you can give feedback to the NEE CCG before Friday 18th September by emailing: nee.carehomehub@nhs.net
  1. Updated Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity - Changes made: updated information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals in a number of the documents. More details can be found via the link.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.09.2020

  1. IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION regarding Antibody testing for social care staff - Change of venue for Southend - Further to the previous announcement on 2 September please note that from today the antibody testing site for Southend will be at the following address:
  • Central Surgery
  • First Floor
  • North Road Primary Care Centre
  • 183-195 North Road
  • SS0 7AF
  1. Care Worker survey reminder - we've had a really good response so far, so thank you to those who have already completed the questionnaire. Please ensure all of your staff have the opportunity to take part. CLICK HERE TO TAKE PART or use the QR code below. Thank you.

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ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.09.2020

  1. Important information regarding use of alcohol hand gel - please see this leaflet detailing the risks associated with decanting alcohol based hand rubs
  1. Care Home Covid-19 Regular Testing & FAQs - regular testing in care homes has now been expanded out to encompass all registered care homes. Initially this was focused on care settings registered for over 65s and / or Dementia. You can access the testing portal here. Please also see document detailing the process and list of FAQs
  1. Confirmation of Essex County Council's guidance on the use of multiple day opportunities provision: In response to a number of enquiries regarding the use of multiple day opportunities provision, please be advised that the Council has published further guidance to providers which can be accessed via the Provider Hub.
  1. Day Opportunities COVID-19 Recovery Provider Survey - As part of the Council's ongoing planning for the resumption of day opportunities, providers are invited to engage in a survey to secure feedback on your experiences during the recovery phase of COVID-19 alongside capturing the extent of contingency planning in the wake of the forthcoming Winter period and projected additional waves of strains of Coronavirus. In order to access and engage in this feedback opportunity, please use this link to access the online survey. However, if you would prefer to complete a Word document version of this survey, please contact: rachel.horne@essex.gov.uk
  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care - Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the coronavirus outbreak. Change madeAdded a new section on how home care providers can support the NHS Test and Trace service. Updated links to hospital discharge service guidance.
  2. Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes - How to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak. Change madeAdded a new section on how care homes can support the NHS Test and Trace service.

 

Confirmation of Essex County Council's guidance on the use of multiple day opportunities provision (04.09.2020)

Further to the Council's online market engagement regarding the COVID-19 recovery phase for day opportunities, the authority is aware that a number of providers have raised concerns regarding the current guidance on the use of multiple provision within Essex. Just to clarify, following advice from Essex County Council's Public Health representative, the current guidance regarding the use of multiple day opportunities provision in Essex remains as follows:

"Providers are required to minimise the use of multiple day opportunities provision and consider optimal transport arrangements to mitigate the risk of exposure to infection."

Please note that this guidance remains in line with the Council's published clarification responses to this issue which were issued following the online engagement session with day opportunities providers on 4th June 2020.

From a Public Health perspective, provided day opportunities support is conducted in a COVID-19 secure environment which adheres to the current social distancing requirements with the use of appropriate PPE, this provision is considered to be relatively low risk in terms of the potential for cross-infection. However, if the aforementioned conditions within the day opportunities provision are not fulfilled this would equate to an individual household which would be considered a risky environment in relation to the potential of cross-infection which would be heightened if individuals are attending multiple sites, thereby facilitating the spread of infection across a network. At the moment, the latter position is not deemed likely to occur provided day opportunities services are adhering to the SCIE and Essex County Council guidance regarding risk assessments as presented to the market on 4th June 2020.Therefore, at this stage the Council has elected not to implement any prohibition or veto on the use of multiple day opportunities provision.

However, please be advised that Essex County Council is actively liaising with our counterparts across the region in relation to this issue which needs to be addressed with reference to the specific local concerns, including but not limited to, the current rate of infection and risk factors which may necessitate variations between the administrative boundaries of Essex and neighbouring boroughs and districts. Unfortunately, the nature of the ongoing pandemic has resulted in a fluid situation which may require prompt proactive measures to mitigate the risk of escalating infection rates in line with Public Health advice from both Central Government and at a local level. In the event that the current guidance on the use of multiple day opportunities provisions changes, Essex County Council will publish an update accordingly.

 

Day Opportunities COVID-19 Recovery Provider Survey (04.09.2020)

As part of the Council's ongoing planning for the resumption of day opportunities, providers are invited to engage in a survey to secure feedback on your experiences during the recovery phase of COVID-19 alongside capturing the extent of contingency planning in the wake of the forthcoming Winter period and projected additional waves of strains of Coronavirus. In order to engage in this survey, please use this link and return your response via return e-mail by 17:00 on Friday 18th September2020. Many thanks in advance for your support in relation to this survey which will be used to inform the Council's considerations for the recovery phase of day opportunities from COVID-19.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.09.2020

  1. Update: Antibody testing in Mid, South & West Essex for social care staff - please see update here
  1. North East Essex Antibody testing for social care staff - Staff members (including volunteers and contractors) can self-register for an antibody test. Please click here for more information
  1. ECC's Care worker survey - please encourage your staff to complete this year's survey which includes questions about the impact of Covid-19. Click here to take part or use the QR code below:
  1. Shielding update - On 1st August, the Government in England paused the shielding advice for those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to COVID-19. This change in advice was because the rate of transmission of COVID-19 in the community had fallen significantly. If the risk of exposure to the virus increases significantly in a local area, national Government may reintroduce shielding advice in that local area. In these circumstances, the Government will write to all CEV individuals affected, advising them to resume shielding and not to attend work while the shielding advice is in place. Employers have a responsibility to protect all workers from harm by carrying out workplace risk assessment. Employers and those who work in social care should continue to follow Government advice on safe working and to take the maximum steps to ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace. Key sources of advice include:

For more information please see this DHSC letter

  1. Newly Published: Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) - Information for adult social care providers on COVID-19 guidance and support.
  2. Reminder: Internet connection deals for care homes - this page lists new internet deals available specifically for care homes which suppliers will fast-track to set up for you.  
  1. Hospital discharge service: policy and operating model - The following guidance sets out how health and care systems should support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital.
  1. Updated guidance: COVID-19: personal protective equipment use for aerosol generating procedures - Change made: Updated headings on instruction sheets, in line with the written guidance, to include airborne precautions.

 

Social care staff in North East Essex are now able to book COVID-19 antibody testing (02.09.2020)

How to request a test

Staff members (including volunteers and contractors) can self-register for an antibody test via this link: bit.ly/PublicSectorAntibodyTest

Once you have registered and completed the form, a 'virtual worker' robot creates the test request. It can only do this if you have entered your details correctly. It is particularly important to get your email address right! You won't get your results otherwise.

  • You will need your NHS number. You can find this on a prescription, GP app (if used), clinic letter or NHS card. Please do not look up your own record on clinical systems as this would be a data protection breach.

You will then receive an email where you can select which social care phlebotomy clinic testing location, to book your test:

  1. Colchester - JobServe Community Stadium, United Way, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5UP (14th and 16th September)
  2. Brightlingsea - Brightlingsea Community Association, Lower Park Road, Brightlingsea, Colchester, CO7 0LG (15th September)
  3. Halstead - Halstead Town Council, Queens Hall, Chipping Hill, Halstead, Essex, CO9 2BY (21st September)
  4. Harwich - Fryatt Hospital Day Centre, 415 Main Road, Harwich, CO12 4ET (17th and 18th September)
  5. Clacton - tbc.

Please select your preferred phlebotomy clinic testing location. You will then have a choice of date and time to book your test.

You will get your results by email (if you put your correct email in!) within 3 working days.

Test results will be one of three values:

  • POSITIVE. This means you have had an immune response to the virus. Our scientific understanding of the virus is still at an early stage. Therefore, a positive antibody test does not necessarily mean that you cannot be infected again. You should continue to follow guidance on social distancing and PPE. If you develop symptoms you must follow guidance on self-isolation and your organisation's policies e.g. contacting your line manager.
  • NEGATIVE. This means you have not had an immune response to the virus.
  • INVALID. This means there was a problem with the sample. Please register for a repeat test.

You can find more information about the process in the attached leaflet.

If you have difficulty booking or do not receive your result within 3 working days, please contact stafftesting@esneft.nhs.uk

 

Please ensure your staff are aware that COVID-19 antibody testing is now available care home, social care and domiciliary care staff in Mid and South Essex and West Essex.

MSE Antibody

We are pleased to send you full details of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) antibody testing offer for care home, social care and domiciliary care staff in Mid and South Essex and West Essex

Please use the link below to download a comms pack with the information and materials you need to promote the offer of a free COVID-19 antibody test to your staff.

https://coronavirus.msehealthandcarepartnership.co.uk/health-and-care-staff/useful-resources/coronavirus-covid-19-antibody-testing-for-care-home-social-care-and-domiciliary-care-staff/

Please note there are different processes - one for care home staff and another for social care and domiciliary care staff. This is a voluntary test and is not mandatory for anyone.

Antibody testing for care home staff - available from Monday 24th August 2020

The provider Commisceo will be in contact with all care/ residential and nursing homes to arrange a date to visit each home and set-up antibody testing on site for all staff that want to have it. Managers will need to inform their staff of the designated date and time of the antibody testing session at their care home and have a list where staff can register to book an appointment.

Antibody testing for social care and domiciliary care staff -Available from Tuesday 1st September 2020

Social care and domiciliary care staff will be able to have an antibody test at community hubs.

You will need to go to the Shift Partner website to book a test

Mid and South Essex testing sites: https://covid.shiftpartner.com/sign-up

  • St Michael's Hospital, Rayne Road, Braintree CM7 2QU
  • Brentwood Community Hospital, Crescent Drive, Shenfield, Brentwood CM15 8DR
  • Central Surgery, First Floor, North Road Primary Care Centre, 183-195 North Road, SS0 7AF (updated location 07.09.2020)

West Essex testing site: https://nhswestessex.covid.shiftpartner.com/sign-up

  • St Margaret's Hospital, The Plain, Epping CM16 6TN


Click on Create Account to register your details which will enable you to book a test.

Staff from care homes who are not able to attend their place of work for a test may also be able to register and book a test at one of these testing clinics.

Please find attached the following materials:

  • Comms pack (including article for staff intranet pages/staff newsletter)
  • Sample Antibody Test Consent form
  • Sample copy of Antibody Testing care home staff booking form
  • Antibody testing booking instructions for care home staff
  • Antibody testing booking instructions for social care and domiciliary care staff
  • FAQ sheet
  • Posters
  • Staff intranet web banner

All the information and materials will be available from Monday 24th August via the Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership's website for healthcare professionals at

https://coronavirus.msehealthandcarepartnership.co.uk/health-and-care-staff/useful-resources/coronavirus-covid-19-antibody-testing-for-care-home-social-care-and-domiciliary-care-staff/

Many thanks for your assistance in promoting the COVID-19 antibody testing offer to your staff - please note this offer of an antibody test is not open to family members, friends, care home residents or their relatives etc.

If you require any further information please contact:

Mid and South Essex staff workplace.testing@nhs.net

West Essex staff westessexantibody.support@nhs.net

 

ECC's 2nd Care Worker Survey is now live (01.09.2020)

To help Essex County Council understand issues relating to recruitment and retention in care and develop a strategy, the Council is undertaking its 2nd survey with care workers in Essex. The survey asks about working in the care profession, your experience, your role and your future intentions. This year, we have also added questions about the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact. Please ensure all your relevant staff are asked to complete this survey.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE PART or use the QR code below:

QR Code


Your feedback is extremely valuable and the data obtained from your anonymised answers will provide Essex County Council with useful insights about the care profession in Essex and will be used to improve the way it works with care providers.
The survey is made up of quick and easy to answer questions which you can complete in around 15-20 minutes.
The survey will close at 5pm on 30 September 2020. If you take part, you will have the opportunity to take part in our prize draw for a donation to be made to a charity of your choice. At the end of the survey, three winners will be chosen at random and a donation of £100 will be made on their behalf to their choice of charities.
If you have any questions about completing or accessing the questionnaire, please call the survey helpline on 0800 0092 117 or email helpline@enventure.co.uk.

 

 

August 2020

 

Testing in care homes: a request on when to carry out your testing (26.08.2020)

We kindly ask all of you who work in care homes to, wherever possible, consider conducting your routine testing of residents and/or staff over the weekend. This is to help the testing service smooth out their demand and make best use of the testing capacity they have. Currently there are very few tests being done over the weekend and their testing equipment stands idle. We are aware of the challenges that some of you face in relation to reduced staffing over the weekend and therefore this is in no way compulsory, but would nonetheless be of great help.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.08.2020

  1. Antibody testing update for Mid and South Essex - antibody testing will launch 24 August for care home staff, and 1 September for domiciliary staff, in Mid and South Essex. Please see update below for more information.
  2. Free flu vaccines for health and social care workers - Public Health England (PHE) is encouraging health and social care staff get their free flu vaccine to reduce pressure on the system this winter. The vaccination is more important than ever this year with circulation of coronavirus. The vaccine protects you, your family and those you care for from the flu. You can find a range of flyers on the PHE website to encourage staff to get vaccinated.
  1. Reminder: please update the Care Home Tracker - please ensure you are updating your answers to the 13 Questions on the trackeronce a week. It is vitally important that the information is up to date. Thank you for your cooperation.
  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing adult social care - please see this diagram showing the routes for testing by social care setting. Additionally for care homes please see the care home testing factsheet
  1. Reminder: advertise your vacancies to take advantage of ECC's digital and social media recruitment campaign for care - the campaign is now over a week in and there has been a lot of interest through the various channels. We therefore would urge you to make sure your vacancies are being advertised. You can advertise your vacancies using these instructions and register here to find applicants for your vacancies (keep checking this site for new applicants during the campaign).

 

Mid and South Essex: Coronavirus (Covid-19) antibody testing for care home, social care and domiciliary care staff (21.08.2020)

MSE Antibody

Dear Manager,

We would like to ensure that you are aware that care home, social care and domiciliary care staff are now being offered the opportunity to have a COVID-19 antibody test. The antibody tests are being provided free of charge by the NHS to staff whether they have had symptoms or not.

What the outcome of the antibody test means for you

The antibody test is a voluntary blood test which involves taking blood from the arm and determines whether you have had Coronavirus. Antibody tests differ to swab tests, which test to see if you currently have the virus.

It is important to note a positive test result for antibodies only means that someone has had Coronavirus. Positive results will be shared with Public Health England to help understand how the disease spreads and where it has been present in different regions of the country.

There is currently no evidence to show that someone cannot be re-infected with the virus, or pass it on to others, or have protective immunity. This means anyone with a positive antibody test will need to continue following government guidelines, such as social distancing and using personal protective equipment.

Antibody testing for care home staff - launch date Monday 24th August 2020

The provider Commisceo will be in contact with all care/ residential and nursing homes to arrange a date to visit each home and set-up antibody testing on site for all staff that want to have it. Managers will need to inform their staff of the designated date and time of the antibody testing session at their care home and have a list where staff can register to book an appointment. This is a voluntary test and is not mandatory for anyone.

Antibody testing for social care and domiciliary care staff - launch date Tuesday 1st September 2020

Plans are being made for social care and domiciliary care staff who want to have an antibody test. Community hubs will be set-up for these staff groups to attend and we will update you once these plans have been finalised. Staff from care homes who are not able to attend their place of work for a test may also be able to have a test at a community hub once they are established. Staff will need to register and book an appointment.

Please be assured we will send further information by email in the next few days which will include details of how staff can to book an antibody test, sample copies of consent forms and a Frequently Asked Questions sheet.

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 19.08.2020

  1. Nightingale bursary - An exciting opportunity for existing Care Workers to develop their skills is now available from ECC.  ACL will be delivering a range of fully funded Health & Social Care Qualifications to eligible staff working within Essex Care Providers. 195 places are available with recruitment starting in August 2020. All the info including how to apply is in the attached brochure. Alternatively you can email acl.businessdevelopment@essex.gov.uk  
  1. Guidance updated to include when health and social care staff can be exempt from being considered a contact for the purposes of Test and Trace. (this is an update to the 'COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings' guidance)

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 17.08.2020

  1. ECC's digital and social media care recruitment campaign is now live. Please make sure you Advertise your vacancies here and Register here to find applicants for your vacancies (keep checking this site for new applicants during the campaign). Should you have any questions in relation to this please email MarketPortal@essex.gov.uk
  1. Updated guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes - Added a new section on testing people moving from the community into a care home (Annex K).
  1. ECA / ECC Covid-19 Market Event (6 August) - the recording is now available to view and includes presentations from ECC, Health and Melanie Weatherley (Co-Chair Care Associations Alliance)

  1. Update on Randox test kits - further to the update on 24 July please see this update with instructions to return the test kits
  1. North East Essex - Helping our patients to get Up and About at Colchester Hospital - please see information from ESNEFT regarding preventing deconditioning in hospital.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 10.08.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. ECC's 2nd Care Worker Survey is coming in September - We're pleased to advise the 2nd Essex Care Worker Survey will be live for you and your staff to complete throughout September. This survey is very important for us to understand what Essex's care workforce is thinking and feeling about working in the sector and it's especially important this year that we understand your thoughts in response to coronavirus. We have added a few more questions to the survey in relation to Covid-19. So we can best promote the survey we would like to share your contact details with Enventure, who are again conducting the survey on behalf of ECC. If you previously responded to the survey for last year you don't need to do so again. However, if you are happy to be contacted directly by Enventure please complete this short form. By completing the survey you can again enter a prize draw to win £100 for the charity of your choice.  You can view a presentation by Enventure of last year's results here
  1. Updated Guidance: COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC) - included new document Epidemiological definitions of outbreaks and clusters in particular settings  which provides nationally agreed epidemiological definitions for coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks and clusters in particular settings.
  1. Updated Guidance: COVID-19: providing home care - changes: Updated 'shielding and care groups' section (now titled 'Clinically extremely vulnerable people and care groups') and 'annexes A and B' to reflect wider changes to shielding advice. Updated 'social care recruitment' section to include further details about the new online recruitment platform for social care.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.08.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Covid 19 Response Fund Update - As a reminder, the Covid 19 Response Fund is now accessible from the 19th March - 30th September 2020 inclusive. You now have less than 8 weeks to submit your claims for this period. The Council has produced a new claim form which must be used from 1st August 2020. The form has been updated to assist you to make a full and complete claim, to be submitted with your supporting evidence and will help the Council to deal with claims more efficiently. For more information on the amendments made and a copy of the new claim form please go to our dedicated hub page.
  1. Supported Living Guidance -  please see the newly published guidance for this service, which covers:
    • key messages to assist with planning and preparation in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • safe systems of working, including social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning
    • how infection prevention and control (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) applies to supported living settings
  1. Yesterday's ECA / ECC event - we would like to thank all who joined yesterday afternoon's live event, which included presentations from ECA, ECC, Health and Melanie Weatherley. We were pleased to see so many in attendance and getting involved by asking questions of the panel. We hope to hold further live events in due course, and you can access yesterday's slides here.
  1. All social care providers using NHSMail must register with the DSPT by 30 September 2020 - please see this article for more information
  1. Updated list of PPE suppliers for you to order from
  1. Further to Wednesday's update regarding changes to the government PPE portal please see below the updated quantities you can order:
    1. Domiciliary care providers
  • Domiciliary care providers with fewer than 20 clients can order 200 IIR masks, 400 aprons, 800 gloves (400 pairs) and one box of visors (usually 50 per box) per week.
  • Domiciliary care providers with 20 or more clients can order 300 IIR masks, 600 aprons, 1,200 gloves (600 pairs) and one box of visors (usually 50 per box) per week.
    1. Residential care homes
  • Residential care homes with fewer than 10 beds can order 200 IIR masks, 400 aprons, 800 gloves (400 pairs) and one box of visors (usually 50 per box) per week.
  • Residential care homes with 10 or more beds can order 300 IIR masks, 600 aprons, 1,200 gloves (600 pairs) and one box of visors (usually 50 per box) per week.
  1. Infection prevention and control (IPC) in care homes - set of questions and prompts CQC inspectors will use to see how well staff and people living in care homes are protected by infection prevention and control

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 05.08.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. ECA/ECC Online Event, tomorrow 6th August - Covid-19 in Essex, the Challenges and Opportunities for Adult Social Care

The joint ECA / ECC live webinar will take place tomorrow 6th August, 3.30pm to 5pm.

Please join the event at 3.30pm using the following link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/426209021.

The agenda is as follows:

  • Introduction by Clive Weir, Chair of ECA
  • National Reflections,  Melanie Weatherley, Co-Chair Care Associations Alliance
  • Presentation on ECC reflections and future discussions, Moira McGrath (Director of Commissioning), Steve Ede (Head of Procurement)
  • NHS experience - presentation from Geraldine Rodgers, Director of Nursing, B&B CCG on the NHS experience
  • Panel Q&A

For those joining the live session please mute microphones and turn off webcams. You will be able to answer questions live via the chat function. Please note the webinar will be recorded and published on the provider hub.

  1. Testing in care homes - please see below a summary which we hope you will find useful
  • Testing for symptomatic residents - It is essential that if any residents develop symptoms the care home contacts Public Health England's Health Protection Team (tel: 0300 303 8537).  If they think testing is needed, they will advise Commisceo Primary Care Solution are contacted (tel: 07943 182022) to arrange this.  This is the most important testing that is currently available.
  • Routine testing in care homes - Care homes with residents over 65 years old or with dementia have been able to request testing weekly for staff and four weekly testing for residents.  The plan to roll this out to all adult care homes has been delayed due to problems with managing the demand for testing.  This testing is voluntary.  It is not essential for good infection prevention and control, but it can help.
  • Antibody testing - Antibody testing has become available.  This can show if a person has previously been infected by the virus that causes covid-19.  It is important to understand the limitation of antibody tests and our current knowledge of this virus.  We do not know if having antibodies is linked to immunity; or reduces the risk of reinfection or the likelihood of transmitting the virus to others.  It is important that anyone having the test continues to behave in the same way as before having the test.  Anyone who develops covid-19 symptoms must self-isolate and anyone who is in contact of someone who tests positive for covid-19 must self-isolate.  The is regardless of the antibody test result.
  1. Larger care providers now able to order PPE from government portal - additionally quantities able to be ordered have been amended and opening hours are now 7am to 7pm
  1. Free training course: Grief, Loss, and Dying During COVID-19 - Explore how to help bereaved individuals to process their experiences. With extensive use of visual and audio material giving access to the voices of people affected by the crisis, and developed by practitioners with long experience in the field of loss and bereavement, the course offers a range of empathic, reflective perspectives, activities and insights that will help restore a sense of balance and resilience.
  1. NECSU Capacity Tracker bi-weekly Q&A and tutorial session - care homes and hospices can drop-in if you have a question or would like to see where to access/update something directly on the tracker. Please see attached invite.
  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) illustrated guide for community and social care settings - newly published guidance. This resource outlines personal protective equipment (PPE) advice for health and social care workers working in the community.
  1. Hot Weather Guidance: Please see below some information to support you and your residents as we approach a level 3 heat health alert. Over-heating, especially for residents who might be confined to their rooms is a real threat to their health and wellbeing. The poster is here.
  1. Health and care workers to self-isolate on return to England from high-risk countries - Registered health and care professionals travelling to the UK from high-risk countries will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, the government has confirmed.
  1. Updated Guidance: COVID-19: guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home settings - Change made: Changes to self-isolation policy for all admitted patients to 14 days; updated section 3 to include the provision of written instructions for ongoing isolation when discharging patients.
  1. Updated Guidance: COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings - Change made: Updated to reflect the extension of the self-isolation period from 7 days to 10 days for staff who have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result from the community; 14 days isolation period for staff and patients who are admitted to hospital (section 2); inclusion of re-testing guidance in staff (section 3).

 

July 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 31.07.2020

Covid 19 Fund Update

As a reminder, the Covid 19 fund is now accessible from the 19th March - 30th September 2020 inclusive. The Council has produced a new claim form which must be used from the 1st August 2020. The form has been updated to assist you to make a full and complete claim, which includes evidence and help the Council to deal with claims more efficiently. For more information on the amendments made and a copy of the new claim form please click here

 

Updated:Visiting care homes during coronavirus

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/update-on-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes

The government has updated the guidance to say that no one should be allowed to enter a care home if they are currently experiencing or first experienced coronavirus symptoms in the last 10 days. Also updated to say visitors should be encouraged to walk or cycle to the care home if they can.

 

EU Settlement Scheme - CPA guidance for care providers

Most EU citizens need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to ensure they are able to continue to live, work and access funding and services in the UK after 30 June 2021. The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) is calling on all social care organisations to ensure their staff and people who use their services are aware of the EUSS and how to apply. The CPA has published guidance for adult social care providers on the EUSS.

This guidance includes a summary of the Scheme, links to useful resources and sources of support, plus tips on how to raise awareness with staff and service users. CPA has also issued this press release about the guidance.

Issues obtaining test kits for care homes

We understand that some care homes are experiencing problems obtaining test kits for routine covid-19 testing.  This is organised centrally by government and is regretfully something which we have no control over or information about. Naturally we hope the problems are resolved soon.

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 24.07.2020

  • Update on policies for visiting arrangements in care homes - please see important Letter from Mike Gogarty, Directory of Public Health in regards to recently published Care home visits guidance. (Please note this advice has been replaced - please see updated guidance from 16.10.2020)
  • Important update on Randox test kits: as previously communicatedNHS Test and Trace has requested that all settings pause the use of Randox test kits with immediate effect and until further notice. Homes should store the kits in accordance with the guidelines until an announcement is made regarding next steps. Care homes should NOT try and re-order kits through the portal. Where the care home is part of the initial phase of re-testing replacement kits will be sent out automatically. If the homes are specialist homes requiring kits to complete whole home testing they will be contacted by the testing team. If the home has spare kits left from the last round of testing they are currently not eligible for replacements kits.
  • Verification of expected death in COVID-19 - Skills for Care, commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement, has developed an infographic, pocket cards and a short video, along with supporting guidance for adult social care providers and Registered Managers to understand what they need to know, plan and prepare for VOED in COVID-19 emergency times.  Resources can be downloaded from this website and a VOED webinar is planned for Thursday 6 August. Please click on the link to register for the webinar and access further information. We're very interested to hear sector feedback, either from providers or our strategic partners on VOED.  The expectation is that this process will be for these emergency times only and no-one should feel pressured to verify a death. Send any feedback via the RM market intelligence channels or to policy@skillsforcare.org.uk

 

ECC to support adult social care market recruitment via targeted digital and social media campaign (24.07.2020)

Building on the success of our own foster care recruitment drive, as well as the national recruitment campaign, ECC is funding a digital and social media campaign to help you recruit care staff. The campaign will target 25-40 years olds deemed to have the right values and behaviours for care work, which we hope will help you to find the right candidates. We realise the last few months have been very difficult for the sector but we are confident now is  good time to attract new people into care, using the momentum of national appreciation for the workforce.

We have 2 simple asks from you if you would like to take advantage of this excellent opportunity:

  1. Advertise your vacancies here - the campaign should increase the interest in job applications through this site. Please do this week commencing 27 July
  2. Register here to find applicants for your vacancies (as the campaign progresses you should notice more candidates available). Keep checking this site for new applicants during the campaign.

The campaign will take place over a 3 week period and we will let you know when it starts. The first phase will make the audience aware of roles in care; the 2nd phase will encourage them to find out more; and the final phase will see them applying for jobs.

Should you have any questions in relation to this please email MarketPortal@essex.gov.uk

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 22.07.2020

  • Today's webinar recording can be viewed below. This is the last of our series of regular covid-19 webinars and includes: Preparing for future localised outbreaks, False positive test results and details of an ECA / ECC event in August.
  • Save the date - ECA / ECC live webinar 6 Aug 3.30 to 5pm - This event will provided local and national perspectives on the Covid-19 crisis and how it has impacted on Adult Social Care services in Essex. There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions of the panel. If you have not already please complete this short survey to help us shape the event. The survey closes 30 July. We will send you joining instructions next week.Please note the event will be most appropriate for the following adult social care services: Home Care; Residential and Nursing; Supported Living and Extra Care.
  • Updated Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested - Change made: Updated 2 documents in section 'Documents for care homes using the online application portal': 'guidance on Randox testing' and 'guidance on non-Randox testing'. These have been updated to reflect changes to clinical guidelines that people testing positive will need to be retested after 6 weeks. The 'guidance on Randox testing' document also includes a note to say that Randox test kits should not be used for testing until further notice.

 

Today's Webinar and Q&A session (22.07.2020)

Please see below today's webinar. 

Webinar: https://youtu.be/5Pxt8hrT38w

Access the slides

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.07.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  • This week's webinar and Q&A session will be on Wednesday. We aim to publish the webinar recording by midday to allow you time to view before the live Q&A from 2:15pm. We look forward to answering your questions.
  • Supporting vulnerable people during the coronavirus within home and community settings - A small number of health procedures increase the risk of transmission of COVID 19 through aerosols (tiny droplets). These are known as aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). Staff performing AGPs in home and community settings should follow Public Health England's personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance on aerosol generating procedures, and wear the correct PPE. To enable us to support you with accessing the required training and specific personal protective equipment (PPE) for performing AGPs please complete the following short questionnaire.
  • COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings: please see this decontamination and cleaning guidance (also covers waste and laundry) which includes general covid-19 principles of cleaning, including cleaning after an individual with symptoms / confirmed coronavirus.
  • Dementia Support UK: Connect, Consult - new service launched to provide immediate support for staff who are caring for those living with dementia. This service has been funded by Innovate UK, provided by Hammond Care and is now available to every care home in England. The service provides care home managers and their staff with access to a trained consultant at no cost to provide personal, non-pharmacological support through video conferencing and telephone consultation, to address an urgent need to help people living with dementia in care homes, their families and staff. Care homes can access Dementia Support UK: Connect, Consult in the first instance by visiting the website
  • Your Views Requested - Please Answer our Short Survey - the Countywide Care Home group have put together a short survey to assess your thoughts on the communications and support that has been made available to you across Essex during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  This will help us to see what's been valuable to you and if we need to adapt any newsletters or webinars to meet your needs. Access the survey here. We request your feedback by 12 August 2020. If you cannot access the survey please contact louise.banks3@nhs.net for a hard copy of the survey.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 17.07.2020

  1. Notification of issue relating to test kits produced by Randox laboratories - Update on Randox test kits
  2. Care home testing for suspected outbreaks - further to the changes implemented from 3 July 2020 if a care home resident is suspected of having covid-19:
    • the care home must inform the Health Protection Team (tel: 0300 303 8537)
    • following notifying the Health Protection Team the care home must contact Commisceo Primary Care Solutions (tel: 07943 182 022) who will arrange the first round of testing of all residents and all staff
    • the care home must arrange with Commisceo the retesting between 4 to 7 days after the first-round testing of any residents or staff who tested negative or who were not tested in the first round.  This is to minimise the risk of false negatives.  There is no retesting of those who tested positive in the first round of testing.
    • 28 days after the onset of symptoms in the last case (or the date of their positive test if they did not have symptoms) the care home must request whole care home testing from the on-line care home testing portal.

Regular home testing does not override the need for staff to wear PPE. PPE must continue to be worn as per government guidance.

  1. Infection Control Fund and Support for non-residential providers - thank you to those providers who have already returned the grant agreement and the Infection Control grant template spreadsheet detailing how you are going to spend the fund. The deadline for completion and return of the grant template spreadsheet is today - if you haven't done so please can you send it to the Infection Control inbox. For information, the grant usage ideas table has been updated on the Living Well Essex website today - please ensure you refer to it when completing your grant template.

If the Council are liaising with you individually please send it in as soon as you are able to after today once your concerns have been clarified. However, you will not receive the 2nd payment until we have had the template spreadsheet back. By completing the form you are telling us what the money will be or has been spent on - you do not have to spend the money by today. You have until the 23rd September to actually spend the money.

Some providers have returned the grant agreement and added/amended the number of service users stated. The Council need to look into these cases individually and this will take more time to process them. Please bear with us as we address these. Note that the Council will only include people who are funded by ECC and live within the administrative boundaries of Essex. We will not fund private service users, or those that live outside of the area.

Lastly, please help us to help you by only submitting one email to the Infection Control inbox covering all of the points you wish to make. We are experiencing an extremely high volume of emails, some of which are multiple emails from the same person/provider. Given this volume of emails we are unable to respond confirming receipt of the claim and grant agreement. For more information on this fund please visit our dedicated hub page.

  1. Reminder: Care Provider Alliance Visitors Protocol - the Care Provider Alliance have developed a visitors protocol for providers. The protocol aims to provide a set of principles and tips to help people using care and support to have the opportunity to safely receive visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is primarily aimed at care settings which cater for older people, including people with dementia, such as residential and nursing homes. However, it will be of help for other care settings supporting working age people.

 

NHS Test and Trace are requesting that all settings pause the use of Randox test kits with immediate effect and until further notice (16.07.2020)

Please see further information regarding this precautionary measure

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 15.07.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. ECC's Nightingale Social Care Bursary and Nursing Apprenticeship Scheme - £1.1m announced to help provide a gateway to training opportunities and qualifications in the care profession. Please see attached for more information as well as the below video from Cllr John Spence. Further communications regarding this will be sent in due course.

https://youtu.be/uhnVe1Ssni0

  1. Residential Homes Infection Control Fund - we are commencing processing of the second payments of the infection control fund to all providers that have returned their schedule 3 showing evidence that the first payment has been spent on allowable spend.  If we have any queries with your schedule 3 return we will contact you individually to discuss, however this will result in a delay in issuing your second payment.  Please see the update on our hub page in relation to the issuing of second payments, and important information relating to the process for your second return to demonstrate the use of the entire fund by 4pm 17th September 2020.  If you have not yet received or returned your agreement or returned schedule 3 please contact us infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk ASAP.
  1. Update to government PPE portal for emergency personal protective equipment - Change made: Visors can now be ordered from the portal.
  2. New government guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): disposing of waste: How to dispose of your personal or business waste, including face coverings and personal protective equipment (PPE), during the coronavirus pandemic.
  3. Skills for Care's response to the COVID-19 crisis facing adult social care - document detailing SfC's response and future plans.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 13.07.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Resuming day opportunities services guidance - the SCIE has recently published formal guidance to support the resumption of day opportunities services. This represents the national guidance for provision post-COVID-19 and should be referred to as a formal guide to planning the resumption of day opportunities services. For more information, including practical guidance on a number of issues, please follow this link.
  1. Covid-19 Regular Testing FAQs - from 6th July a new national Testing process has begun for care home settings. Initially this will be focused on care settings registered for over 65s and / or Dementia but will expand out over the coming weeks to encompass all registered care homes. Please see document detailing the new process and list of FAQs.
  1. Please ensure you comply with your duties under RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) -  you can read the RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19 guidance on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website. The guidance takes you through a series of links to help you understand when you should report a COVID-19 work related dangerous occurrence, case of disease or the death of one of your employees as a result of an occupational exposure to coronavirus. The Department of Health and Social Care have also published guidance on steps to take  following the death of a person who worked in adult social care which you may find helpful. 
  1. NECSU Capacity Tracker bi-weekly Q&A and tutorial session - care homes and hospices can drop-in if you have a question or would like to see where to access/update something directly on the tracker. Please email ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk for the invite.

 

SCIE Guidance for the resumption of day opportunities post COVID-19

Providers are advised that the SCIE has recently published formal guidance to support the resumption of day opportunities services which can be accessed via:

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/day-care/safe-delivery

Please note that this advice was developed in collaboration with Public Health England, the Local Government Association and Kings's College London as part of the NIHR, Applied Research Collaboration, South London and represents the national guidance for the resumption of day opportunities provision post-COVID-19. Therefore, this advice should be referred to as a formal guide to planning the resumption of day opportunities services and includes practical guidance on a number of issues, including but not limited to:

  • Communicating and engaging with staff, individuals and families/carers
  • Risk assessments
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Social distancing
  • PPE
  • Transport

In addition, please note that this guidance also recognises and promotes the opportunities to develop enhanced support following the recent experiences of delivering outreach provision, either via virtual sessions or community support. This position reflects the Council's reflections as articulated within the recovery session on 4th June 2020 and providers are strongly encouraged to consider the potential enhancements to your service delivery model. This could be established via the ongoing provision of outreach support alongside the use of phased resumption of provision to secure optimal accessibility and engagement of your service from individuals, families and carers. Please ensure that you discuss any proposed changes to your offer with individuals, their allocated social worker and, where relevant, their families and/or carers, prior to instigating any changes to your provision. In the event that there are any changes to your payments as a result of any proposed changes, please ensure that this is communicated to the Council and secure consent prior to raising future invoices to mitigate any future issues processing payments.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 10.07.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Domiciliary care providers: We wrote to you on 18th March to set out new interim arrangements to support providers to deal with the strain the pandemic put on the management and delivery of care services (letter titled: Continuation of the Home Care, Supported Living and Independent Living Financial Support arrangements).  These arrangements will now be extended up to 30th September 2020.  We will advise you if there are any further changes to these arrangements.
  2. Care homes residents' return following attendance at emergency or outpatient departments - please see attached letter from Mike Gogarty Director of Wellbeing, Public Health and Communities in response to concerns raised about covid-19 testing of residents on return from a hospital visit to an emergency or outpatient department.
  3. The Covid-19 Response Fund scheme has been extended to 30th September 2020 (previous deadline 8th July). For more information please visit the dedicate hub page.
  4. Reminder: COVID-19 Medicines Re-use Scheme for Care Homes - please see attached FAQs for providers in North East Essex
  5. Reminder: PPE ordering process - Please complete the relevant request form for your organisation (see below). Once you have completed the form, please email it as an attachment to PPESupplies@essex.gov.uk with the subject "WAREHOUSE" and no further information in the subject line. The guidance for this new process is HEREWeekend collections will remain only for urgent situations and by appointment only.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 08.07.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Today's webinar can be viewed below and includes updates from Public Health and the Infection Control Fund (non-residential services). Slides are available here. Thank you to all providers who attended this afternoon's Q&A session.
  1. Reminder: Infection Control Fund and Support for non-residential providers - A letter and grant agreement for the Infection Control Fund was issued last week to non-residential providers. If you have not received the email directly please check your admin@, info@ email addresses or with colleagues within the Company before emailing the Council. Please send the grant agreements back at your earliest opportunity so that we can process them for you. Additionally, the Infection Control Grant Template spreadsheet must be sent to the Council by the 17th July 2020. Please see our dedicated hub page for more information about the grant including ideas on what is and isn't acceptable use of the funds.
  1. Please see updated list of PPE suppliers for you to order from
  1. North East Essex - Frailty Unit:  How To Refer For A Virtual Consultation - The Frailty Unit at ESNEFT is now able to offer virtual consultations for care home residents.  If you believe any of your residents would benefit from a consultation please complete the attached referral form and send it to the Frailty Unit at chu-ftr.frailty@nhs.net.  You can also ring on 07557315024 to make a referral or discuss whether a consultation is appropriate. If you ring you would still need to follow up by sending an email along with a copy of the residents MAR chart. 
  1. Care homes in Mid Essex: As part of the national NHS initiative to offer more support to the care market, we are keen for all Care Homes in Mid Essex to register and activate NHSmail accounts as soon as possible. For those Care Homes that are not, please note that NHSmail allows the safe and secure exchange of confidential information between agencies and will be the preferred route for communications between your home and the NHS. Here is a letter from NHS MID Essex CCG summarising the benefits of using NHS Mail and requesting all care homes to register using their MHS mail accounts as this will be the only form of secure communication going forwards.
  1. ECC's local outbreak control plan - this draft outlines the plan for local outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Essex County Council area and how this works with regional and national systems for COVID-19 control.

 

Infection Control Fund and Support for non-residential providers (08.07.2020)

A letter and grant agreement for the Infection Control Fund was issued last week to non-residential providers. If you have not received the email directly please can you check your admin@, info@ email addresses or with colleagues within the Company before emailing the Council. Can you also check your junk email before contacting us as well. This should help to reduce the current volume of emails received within the Infection Control inbox and enable us to deal with the claims or issues arising from them more quickly. Thank you.

So far the Council has processed over 110 claims against the fund totalling over £750,000 in payments to you over the last week. However, this means that there is still over 250 non-residential branches that have received an email which haven't yet responded. Please can you send the grant agreements back at your earliest opportunity so that we can process them for you. Once we have received your grant agreement the form is being allocated to commence payment. The money payable should then reach your bank account within 5 working days. Please only contact the Council once a minimum of 5 working days have lapsed to also reduce email volumes.

If you have emailed the grant agreement back but disagreed with the number of service user figures stated it will take more time to process your claim because we will have to cross reference what you have advised us against our records and if agreed issue a new grant agreement to you.  

The Infection Control Grant Template spreadsheet must be sent to the Council by the 17th July 2020, please note that this is the only requirement due by this date. So far we have only had a handful back. Some providers are advising that they want to use the Infection Control Fund for the purchase of PPE items. Please note that this is not an acceptable use of the Infection Control Fund. We have published ideas on what is and isn't acceptable on the provider hub. If you as a provider have incurred additional expenditure in relation to PPE the Council may be able to support you via the COVID19 Response Fund

Please see our dedicated hub page for more information about the grant

For clarity the Infection Control money must be spent by the 23rd September 2020.

 

Today's Webinar and Q&A session (08.07.2020)

Today's webinar can be viewed below and you can download the slides here

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.07.2020

  1. Tomorrow's Covid-19 webinar and Q&A session - we aim to publish the webinar recording on this page by midday to allow you time to view before the live Q&A from 2:15pm. We look forward to answering your questions.
  1. Regular testing in care homes - Regular testing (retesting) for care homes in England is being rolled out. This involves care homes testing staff weekly and residents every 28 days. Retesting will begin with care homes for the over-65s and those with dementia. Care homes will need to re-register on the care home portal to apply for retesting. Applications for retesting are now open for care homes caring for the over-65s and those with dementia. Retesting will be offered to other adult care homes from early August.
  1. The 'Live at Home -Proposed 2021 Framework' webinar is now live.  Please click the link to access this.  If you have any questions or feedback regarding the proposals, please post them on the Slido - details of how to access Slido are included within the webinar. We will be hosting a live question and answer event Thursday 9th July 2020 at 10am.
  1. Updated Government Guidance: Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 - details of what has changed can be found here
  1. Webinar to support care workers in carrying out mental health capacity assessments and swabbing. Next Thursday 16th July at 1.30pm. Details and how to join
  1. New survey launched for BAME care workers - Skills for Care (SFC) is launching a survey, and a series of webinars and peer coaching sessions, to find out more about the experiences of adult social care workers from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background during COVID-19. SFC know that people from BAME backgrounds account for one in five of the social care workforce in England and research by Public Health England revealed that people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Other Asian, Caribbean and Other Black ethnicity had between 10% and 50% higher risk of death from COVID-19 when compared to White British. This survey is just part of SFC's response to the impact of COVID-19 on our sector, and given the vital role the BAME workforce plays in day to day care of people in our communities, it is critical we know more. Find out more about the survey and how to take part here
  1. Webinar: redeployment of nurses - Join this interactive online event (9 July) to hear directly from the leaders of three systems to learn about their experience of nurse deployment.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 03.07.2020

  1. Thank you to all Care homes and Home-Care operators across Essex from Councillor John Spence - 

"I am just writing to thank you personally, and on behalf of Essex County Council, for your immense contribution over recent months.

I think it is now acknowledged that those who operate and work in care homes and domiciliary care operations have been unsung heroes. However, Essex County Council's officers have always held the sector in high regard, and all of us have an acute understanding of the challenges you continually face.

Those challenges have been intensified by the Covid crisis and we recognise that the crisis is not over. You have had to work under huge pressure, dealing with the emotional heart-break in seeing illness and death among residents and colleagues at unprecedented levels, while coping with the need to obtain, and then to keep wearing, PPE in new ways.  

Looking ahead we see new challenges and the ongoing uncertainty of what will happen next. So this is an ideal moment for me to reiterate my thanks for what you have done, and to express my appreciation for the contribution that the council's officers and I know you will be making in the future."

  1. Reminder: Care Home provider Infection Control Fund Schedule 3 returns due - As a reminder the Infection Control Fund Schedule 3 returns are due.  Your return should include planned, committed or actual spend between the dates of 14th May and 19th June.  Please also make sure that the amount on your return is equal to or in excess of the first payment amount.  We will require these returns to issue the second payment in July.   Thank you to those providers who have already submitted their returns. If you are yet to respond to accept the terms and conditions or have any other queries in relation to your grant fund please contact us infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk. More information about the grant can be found on the dedicated hub page.
  1. The government have announced today that staff and residents in care homes for over 65s and those with dementia will receive regular coronavirus tests from next weekas part of a new social care testing strategy.
  • Repeat testing will be initially prioritised for care homes primarily looking after over 65s or those with dementia before being rolled out to all adult care homes
  • Staff will be tested for coronavirus weekly, while residents will receive a test every 28 days
  • Over the following 4 weeks, retesting will have been rolled out to all care homes for over 65s and those with dementia who have registered to receive retesting.
  • Repeat testing will be extended to include all care homes for working age adults in August.
  • The government will work with local directors of public health to deliver an initial round of asymptomatic whole-home testing for staff and residents at the extra care housing and supported living settings at most clinical risk.
    • The operational details of rolling out this testing to this sector are being worked through and more details will be provided shortly.
  1. Reminder: Changes to the PPE ordering process - Please complete the relevant request form for your organisation (see below). Once you have completed the form, please email it as an attachment to PPESupplies@essex.gov.uk with the subject "WAREHOUSE" and no further information in the subject line. The guidance for this new process is HERE. Weekend collections will remain only for urgent situations and by appointment only.
    1. Domiciliary/Day Services/Supported Living/Extra Care
    2. Residential
    3. Direct Payment Or Personal Assistant
  1. East of England Region-wide innovation survey - survey to understand impact and experiences of COVID, what has worked and what hasn't. Further information attached and link to survey.
  1. Please see updated list of PPE suppliers for you to order from
  1. Fully funded self-care and recovery sessions for Managers with Amanda Waring - The last few months have seen some extremely difficult, challenging and unprecedented times for Care home Managers and staff teams. We have commissioned Amanda Waring, who has thirty years of experience in working with those who have experienced trauma, loss, depression and feeling overwhelmed, to run self-care and recovery sessions for care home managers and their staff.  Further details, dates and how to book can be found here.
  1. Local Track and Trace system launches - We have been working with Southend-on-Sea Borough (SBC) to roll out one of the first local systems launched by any authority area in England. And we are very proud to share feedback from the Eastern region of the Department of Health and Social Care (DoHSC) which considers our plan to be one of the best in the country. The service will be responsible for identifying, containing and reducing the spread of COVID-19 at a local level. It will also be responsible for 'complex cases' such as schools, care homes, workplaces and vulnerable groups.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 01.07.2020

  1. Infection Control Fund and Support for non-residential providers - A letter and grant agreement for the Infection Control Fund has now been issued via email to providers registered to deliver domiciliary care, supported living or extra care at a location within ECC's administrative area. If you have not yet received an email please let us know via Infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk stating the email address we should send the letter to. Can you please ensure that the words NON-RES are included in the email subject heading. For those providers who have not yet returned the grant agreement on page three of the letter, please do so as soon as possible to enable payments to commence to you. 
  1. Important: Changes in the way you will receive emails - from today (1st July) the way that Essex County Council (ECC) sends secure emails is changing. We will no longer be using Egress to send secure emails.  Instead we will be using a service called Microsoft Office Mail Encryption (OME) to send emails that contain sensitive information to other organisations. Click here for more information.
  1. Essex County Council expands its business support service - Businesses can access 12 hours of direct support and advice via an Essex County Council business support service aimed at helping Essex get 'Back to Business'. For more information please read this article.
  1. Reminder: Changes to the PPE ordering process - Please complete the relevant request form for your organisation (see below). Once you have completed the form, please email it as an attachment to PPESupplies@essex.gov.uk with the subject "WAREHOUSE" and no further information in the subject line. The guidance for this new process is HERE.
  1. The Provide Podiatry team has produced two leaflets for use by care and nursing homes. The first leaflet provides education and information to staff regarding shared care/pressure offloading general foot information. Additionally there is another leaflet for staff and/or relatives/service users to give guidance on appropriate footwear. We hope these leaflets prove useful and support your homes. If you are a Mid Essex provider and have any queries or require any more information/training please contact: claresurridge@nhs.net
  1. Government PPE Portal Update - please note the order limits have been increased for eligible providers

 

Essex County Council expands its business support service

Businesses can access 12 hours of direct support and advice via an Essex County Council business support service aimed at helping Essex get 'Back to Business'.

Working with business advice agency Let's Do Business Group, Essex businesses can access fully funded support to help them survive or recover from the impact of COVID-19, improve, change or expand, or to help them consider their options for the future and develop a longer-term business strategy.

The enhanced business support service builds on the existing support the COVID-19 Essex County Council Business Support Team has been providing Essex businesses since March 2020. Now Let's Do Business Group, funded by Essex County Council, is offering up to 12 hours of consultancy services to individual businesses for the rest of the financial year.

Whether businesses have been adversely impacted directly by COVID-19 or the challenges of the pandemic has resulted in  businesses needing to  reassess how they operate or will do in the future, or reconsider their target market and how or where they may choose to expand, Let's Do Business Group's fully funded advice could help.

Essex businesses can access advice and support including:

  • Finance and risk
  • Customer interaction, target markets and marketing
  • Supply chain management
  • Staffing and recruitment
  • Workplace Operations

Essex County Councillor Tony Ball, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: "Businesses are crucial to the Essex economy and it's important we support them as much as we can, particularly through significant change in business markets and financial uncertainty. If we want Essex to be the place to do business, and for our economy to expand and thrive, we need to take action to help businesses make this happen."

Graham Marley Group Chief Executive said 'Let's Do Business Group are delighted to continue to help the businesses of Essex through what have been exceptional times. Our experience in helping businesses to plan for the future and access the finance they need whilst helping develop forward looking strategies will ensure the businesses of the county survive and then thrive into the future.'

Full details of the support available can be found at: www.backtobusinessessex.co.uk

Businesses interested in the free advice and support available via the Essex business support service from Let's Do Business Group can contact the team via their website or by calling the dedicated Essex 'Back to Business' phone line 0800 970 8981.

 

Important: Changes in the way you will receive emails (01.07.20)

From the 1st July the way that Essex County Council (ECC) sends secure emails is changing. We will be no longer be using Egress to send secure emails.  Instead we will be using a service called Microsoft Office Mail Encryption (OME) to send emails that contain sensitive information to other organisations.

What does this mean for you?

Your experience will be very similar to the way that you have previously received secure emails from ECC. You will continue to receive an email notifying you that you have been sent a secure email by ECC and you will need to click on the link in this notification email to access the message from ECC via a secure reader portal in your web browser.

You can continue to reply to us through the new Microsoft reader portal, just like you did with Egress.

What is different?

Previously, you would have used an account with Egress to access the email from ECC using the Egress portal or you had an Egress license and received emails already unencrypted.  All recipients will now need to use the Microsoft equivalent secure reader portal and to access this you will need to do one of the following:

  • create a free Microsoft account (you will be able to set this up the first time you use the service)
  • login with an existing Microsoft account (must match the email address we sent the secure email to)
  • request a one-time passcode (does not require a Microsoft account to be created to log in. This is a good option for shared mailboxes i.e. inbox@organisation.com)
    • If you choose one-time passcode you will be emailed a passcode. You can then use this passcode to access the secure email you were sent by ECC via the reader portal. This method does not require you to create an account or sign in.

What Else is New?

From July you may start to receive emails that provide you with a link to a document that you can open, view and edit in your browser rather than receiving emails with documents attached. Over time this may become more and more common as the documents remain stored in our secure cloud storage and we can add and remove access to them to ensure they remain secure.

Nothing will change until the 1st July but in the meantime, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and support while we transition to this new way of working.

 For more information please visit https://www.essex.gov.uk/secure-emails or contact us at ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk.

 

June 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 29.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Changes to the PPE ordering process - as highlighted last week, we will be moving to an online request process for PPE from Tuesday 30th June. The guidance for this new process is HERE. Please complete the relevant request form for your organisation:
  1. Cardinal Masks - following the alert published on the hub on 29th May, we have received the following update on Cardinal Masks where it recommends supplies are disposed of locally. If you have any issues with this please let us know
  1. PPE warning: face mask used in attempt to self-harm - please see Essex Safeguarding Adults Board (ESAB) letter regarding a concern raised about a case of PPE being used to self-harm. Please ensure you are vigilant of the potential danger of PPE around vulnerable people and conduct the necessary risk assessments for individuals.
  1. Innovation and Inspiration: How providers are responding to coronavirus - health and care providers from all sectors have shared over 300 examples of innovation and new working practices in response to the challenges of dealing with coronavirus. These short examples - from small home care agencies to large acute hospitals - are also a celebration of the dedication and resourcefulness of health and care providers and staff.Browse CQC's collection of case studies.

 

Changes to the PPE ordering process (29.06.2020)

As highlighted last week, we will be moving to an online request process for PPE from Tuesday 29th June. The guidance for this new process is HERE. Please complete the relevant request form for your organisation:

Domiciliary/Day Services/Supported Living/Extra Care

Residential

Direct Payment Or Personal Assistant

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 26.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Infection Control Fund and Support for non-residential providers - A letter and grant agreement for the Infection Control Fund will be issued early next week to providers registered to deliver domiciliary care, supported living or extra care at a location within ECC's administrative area. Please return the grant agreement on page three of the letter as soon as possible to enable payments to commence. 
  1. Error in public health information in this week's Webinar. It was stated that a care home worker with symptoms needs to be off for 14 days even if they test negative. Correction: the care worker would need to be off for 14 days if they test positive but would still need to be off for 7 days even if they test negative. Please see attached useful diagram for more information. Apologies for any confusion.
  1. PPE Weekend Access - if you need access to PPE over the weekend and it cannot wait until normal operating hours on Monday, you will be given a timeslot to collect the PPE on a nominated day. You can access urgent supply of PPE by calling: 03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers, 03330139972 for residential or supported living provider. Calls will be answered Saturday, please leave a message on Sunday for a call back on Monday. Please note the process for ordering PPE changes on Monday (29 June) and further details can be found in this week's webinar slides
  1. Day Opportunities: Recovery Session Clarifications - Please find attached a copy of the Council's formal response to a number of enquiries which were raised by providers during the recent COVID-19 recovery session for day opportunities. If your organisation has any further questions in relation to this matter, please contact the Council via: rachel.horne@essex.gov.uk
  1. Updated Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
    • Replaced all non-Randox guidance documents in 'Documents for care homes using the online application' section to include the updated prelabelled instructions for England, Scotland and Wales.
    • Replaced the following attachments with updated registration link: 'guidance on Randox testing' and 'how to use Randox test kits'.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 24.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Today's webinar can be viewed below and includes updates from Public Health, PPE (including a new process for ordering from ECC) and the Infection Control Fund. Slides are available here. Thank you to all providers who attended this afternoon's Q&A session.
  1. PPE and heat: risk of heat stress - please see advice from Public Health England. Additionally please see the coping with heat and Covid-19 document and flyer as well as the easy read heatwave plan
  1. Government PPE Portal Update - small social care providers can now place ordersmultiple times per week within the limits set out in the guidance, instead of a singular order.
  2. Reminder of Isolation advice for residents of care homes - All symptomatic residents / those who test positive for Covid-19 should be immediately isolated for 14 days from onset of symptoms. This period is due to care home residents being particularly vulnerable. Where you suspect there is an outbreak you should inform The PHE Corona Response Cell (CRC) - available from 9am to 6pm daily on: 0300 303 8537.
  3. Updated Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 - find out here what has changed
  4. Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE): Care Homes and COVID-19 advice and best practice - SCIE have created a new hub that brings together all the best practice, guidance and resources for care homes and care staff.  It includes guidance on infection control, dementia and autism and learning disabilities.  A directory links to all the relevant government guidance as well as resources from other sector organisations and relevant research. 
  1. Care Provider Alliance Visitors Protocol - the Care Provider Alliance have developed a visitors protocol for providers. The protocol aims to provide a set of principles and tips to help people using care and support to have the opportunity to safely receive visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is primarily aimed at care settings which cater for older people, including people with dementia, such as residential and nursing homes. However, it will be of help for other care settings supporting working age people.
  2. Please find attached a NECSU checklist (care home tracker) for the information which care homes are required to update on a daily basis. Please also see guides for updating care home vacancies & business continuity information and user guide
  1. North East Essex (NEE) Deteriorating Patient Questionnaire - Care homes in NEE, please can you complete the attached self-assessment which will help us and the North East Essex CCG to provide you with support where it is needed. Please return the form to quality.innovation@essex.gov.uk.
  1. Calling all care home managers in North East Essex, we have a date for your diary: Friday 3rd July at 3.30pm - St Helena will be providing a training session to help you understand the My Care Choices Register and to find out how your home can get access to the register. If you would like to join the session, please email Sally: sthompson@sthelena.org.uk and she will send you the link.

 

Today's Webinar and Q&A session (24.06.2020)

Webinar slide pack (please also see amended slides below)

Updated Public Health slides: Download slide pack 

Update 25.06.20: Error in public health information on the Webinar. It was stated that a care home worker with symptoms needs to be off for 14 days even if they test negative. Correction: the care worker would need to be off for 14 days if they test positive but would still need to be off for 7 days even if they test negative. Apologies for any confusion.

Please see attached useful diagram for more information

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 22.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. This week's webinar and Q&A session will be on Wednesday. We aim to publish the webinar recording by midday to allow you time to view before the live Q&A from 2:15pm. We look forward to answering your questions.
  1. CQC Data collection - the CQC are now asking Supported Living and Extra Care servicesto complete the Update CQC on the impact of coronavirus online form every weekday. More information on data collection from adult social care providers during the coronavirus pandemic is available on the CQC website.
  1. Reminder: You can receive the latest coronavirus information, guidance, wellbeing support and discounts direct to your smartphone or inbox. 'CARE Workforce' is available as an app or online, designed to keep you up to date. It gives you easy access to a range of support, as well as connecting you with others working in the care sector, providing you a space to share information and experiences. Download the app (Apple & Google) or register to view the content online
  1. New Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) reducing risk in adult social care - how adult social care employers should assess and reduce risk to their workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.
  1. Updated Guidance: Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19 - how to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak. The new guidance can be accessed here and includes a summary of the changes made.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 19.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Care Home provider Infection Control Fund Schedule 3 returns due - As a reminder your Infection Control Fund Schedule 3 returns are due on TUESDAY 23rd JUNE.  Your return should include planned, committed or actual spend between the dates of 14th May and 19th June.  Please also make sure that the amount on your return is equal to or in excess of the first payment amount.  We will require these returns to issue the second payment in July.   Thank you to those providers who have already submitted their returns. If you are yet to respond to accept the terms and conditions or have any other queries in relation to your grant fund please contact us infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk. More information about the grant can be found on the dedicated hub page.
  1. Please see important updates regarding some changes to the processes you follow to access urgent PPE from ECC. Also reminder below regarding access to PPE for this weekend:

PPE Weekend Access - if you need access to PPE over the weekend and it cannot wait until normal operating hours on Monday, you will be given a timeslot to collect the PPE on a nominated day. You can access urgent supply of PPE by calling:

03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers

03330139972 for residential or supported living provider

  1. New Guidance: Steps to take following the death of a person who worked in adult social care in England - includes resources about bereavement.

 

Changes to the PPE ordering Process (19.06.20)

Over the next few weeks we will be making some changes to the processes you follow to access urgent PPE. Please note that this is only a change to how you request and collect PPE, it is not a change to how PPE is allocated.

Collection Locations and access

From Monday 22nd June, PPE will only be able to be collected from two locations, Witham and Colchester. From Monday 29th June collections will only be from Witham. Collections will only be available between 10am-1pm.

Weekend collections will remain only for urgent situations and by appointment only.

Ordering PPE

From Monday 22nd June, those who have an urgent need for PPE will be supported with a 14-day supply. This is an increase from the current 7-day supply given

We would also encourage you to manage your need for PPE proactively. We will support you with PPE a few days in advance of your supply running low. This will assist you to plan your collections around the new opening hours of the Witham site.

Next week we will be sharing a change to the process for requesting PPE and moving this to an online process. We will share more details with you in the next few days.

Please remember that this supply of PPE should only be accessed as a last resort when you have issues with your own supply chain. This includes using the Government PPE portal, should your organisation be eligible, before requesting PPE from this supply. ECC publishes a list of potential suppliers of PPE on the provider portal regularly which may assist you.

Many thanks,

The PPE Supplies Team

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. As of next week we will be moving to sending 3 bulletins per week, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We will of course email any important information on the other days. We hope you are still finding these updates useful, we welcome any feedback you have.
  1. Further to government advice on restricting workforce movement and minimising workforce transmission the NHS is asking care home providers to update your responses on business continuity on the Capacity Tracker as part of your regular update on the site. If possible they would like this by the end of 19 June.
  1. Free use of WellBeing Tool during Covid-19 to assist your employees and your business. It allows employees to voice concerns and alerts organisations to potential issues

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 17.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Tips for getting a swab from People living with/affected by Dementia.
  1. Reminder of Heatwave plan for 2020 and risks and additional actions due to Covid-19.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. The Infection Control Fund dedicated hub page has been updated to include some ideas for usage of the funding.  If you have any queries in relation to your fund please contact us at infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk
  1. Free online psychological first aid training from Public Health England (PHE) available to frontline staff and volunteers - Training will equip staff to provide support and recognise people at risk of distress. Access the training materials through the Future Learn website
  1. Please see updated list of PPE suppliers for you to order from
  1. Updated Covid-19 Guidance to include providing support to people with learning disabilities and/or autism. See section 3 in the following guidance:
    1. Domiciliary (includes extra care housing and live-in homecare)
    2. Care Homes
  1. Eligible providers can now receive 200 IIR masks via the government's emergency PPE Portal. Further details can be found here.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 15.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Reminder of how to claim back Coronavirus related costs via ECCs Covid-19 Response Fund - please see the dedicated page on the provider hub for more details.
  1. HSE Safety Alert issued: Use of face masks designated KN95 - HSE has issued a safety alert about the poor quality of face masks claiming to be KN95. A substantial number of face masks, claiming to be of a KN95 standard, provide an inadequate level of protection and are likely to be poor quality products accompanied by fake or fraudulent paperwork. These face masks may also be known as filtering facepiece respirators.
  1. Reminder: there is no webinar or Q&A session this week. These are now conducted fortnightly.
  1. Care Friends recruitment app - Skills for Care has partnered with Care Friends, an innovative employee referral app, that aims to boost the number of quality social care candidates by using recommendations from the sector's own workforce. By allowing care workers to share jobs with their friends and contacts straight from their phone, earning points instantly at each stage of the referral process, the app overcomes the limitations of traditional refer-a-friend schemes. You can learn more about Care Friends here. More support materials will be published next week on the website.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 12.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Essex's Covid-19 Care Home Testing Strategy - please see slides prepared by ECC's Public Health team covering the following with regards to care home testing:
  • When care home residents are tested
  • What to do with suspected outbreaks
  • How to control outbreaks
  • Should staff and residents be retested?
  1. Infection Control Fund and Support for care homes

Agreements for the Infection Control Fund, where NECSU has been updated, have been issued.  We have received a large volume of questions and suggestions for how the fund could be used which we are working through.  We will update the dedicated page on the hub to respond to these questions and share ideas, this should be updated early next week with more information.

If you have not received a copy of your grant please email infectioncontrolfund@essex.gov.uk once you have updated NECSU (https://carehomes.necsu.nhs.uk/)  

If you have not returned your agreement please do so as soon as possible to enable us to process your first payment. 

  1. PPE Weekend Access - if you need access to PPE over the weekend and it cannot wait until normal operating hours on Monday, you will be given a timeslot to collect the PPE on a nominated day. You can access urgent supply of PPE by calling:
  • 03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers
  • 03330139972 for residential or supported living provider
  1. NHS Capacity Tracker - updated questions - a number of questions have been added to the NHS Capacity Tracker to help identify recovery from outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19) in care homes. The new questions are below and explanations of each will be available in the tracker:
  • Number of Staff NEWLY SUSPECTED with COVID19 TODAY                                                                            
  • Number of Staff NEWLY CONFIRMED with COVID19 TODAY                                                              
  • Overall number of Residents with COVID19 (either suspected or confirmed) currently in the care home                                                   
  • Number of Residents NEWLY SUSPECTED with COVID19 TODAY                                                                  
  • Number of Residents NEWLY CONFIRMED with COVID19 TODAY                                                                
  • Number of these residents that were admitted from outside the care home TODAY      

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Important information about changes to the monitoring of the Rapid Response telephone line and Provider Resilience inbox - we have been reviewing the communication mechanisms set up in response to Covid-19 and in order to ensure our best use of resource will be implementing the following changes:
  • the Rapid Response telephone line will close at the end of this week, and;
  • the Provider Resilience inbox will no longer be monitored at the weekends.

Please see here for further information and new out of hours and weekend contacts so you are still able to get support during these times.

  1. Updated advice regarding Red Bags: we previously wrote (01.06.2020) about the need for an adult's medication and Red Bag to be given to ambulance crews. We have since had updated advice which is detailed below:
  • Basildon University Hospital - Red Bags issued are wipe clean and so you should continue to use them as per previous advice
  • Southend University Hospital - Red Bags issued are wipe clean and so you should continue to use them as per previous advice
  • Broomfield Hospital - care homes should place key documents and medication into a labelled plastic bag (not the Red Bag) and send them in with the resident and they will be sent home in a clean plastic bag. This is due to the Red Bags issued not being wipe clean.

Should any of this advice change we will update you via the bulletin.

  1. Updated Guidance for care home test kits: this guidance gives you instructions to test for coronavirus (COVID-19) and applies to all care homes. There are two types of tests Randox Test Kits & Non-Randox Test Kits.

 

Important information about changes to the monitoring of the Rapid Response telephone line and provider resilience inbox (11.06.2020)

We have been reviewing the communication mechanisms set up in response to Covid-19 and in order to ensure our best use of resource will be implementing the following changes:

  • the Rapid Response telephone line will close at the end of this week, and;
  • the Provider Resilience inbox will no longer be monitored at the weekends.

These measures were originally set up to ensure providers had support through the most challenging period of the Coronavirus outbreak.  But in recent weeks we have seen a decline in contacts to our phone line and emails received at the weekends. So we are re-positioning these resources to core working hours to better support you. We will of course keep this under review and reinstate the above should the need arise.

We are still available to help when you need us. The care home hubs are continuing supporting our residential providers throughout this crisis and we have mechanisms in place to be contacted at the weekends / out of hours. Below is the list of contacts you can access as of this weekend:

Thank you for your continued support and dedication during this difficult time.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 10.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Today's webinar can be viewed below and includes updates on Public Health, PPE and the Infection Control Fund. Slides are available here. Thank you to all providers who attended this afternoon's Q&A session. Please note: we will be moving to fortnightly webinars and Q&A sessions going forwards, and we will look to do some more focused sessions in the coming weeks.
  1. Infection Control Fund - dedicated page published on Gov.uk bringing together information with regards to this grant funding for care homes.
  1. Please see updated list of PPE suppliers for you to order from
  1. DoHSC webinars to support providers gain a better understanding of the whole home testing process, share top tips, and ask questions. Additional dates and times are added on an ongoing basis.

 

Today's webinar and Q&A session (10.06.2020)

Copy of slides

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. NECSU provider perspective (video) outlining the impact the capacity tracker has made to their care homes.
  1. Tomorrow's Covid-19 webinar and Q&A session - we aim to publish the webinar recording on this page by midday to allow you time to view before the live Q&A from 2:15pm. We look forward to answering your questions.
  2. Please see following advice from the National Mental Capacity Forum (NMCF) regarding swabbing/testing for those who do not have capacity - A diagnostic test for COVID-19 and is 'an act in connection with care or treatment' for purposes of s.5 Mental Capacity Act 2005 (and paragraph 6.5 of the Code of Practice, specifically refers to 'carrying out diagnostic examinations and tests'). The critical question is whether, for the person carrying out a test, it will be in that person's best interests.  A question to ask is 'Will a positive or negative result alter how this person is cared for?' Although blanket policies may offer testing, the decision for the individual must be made on an individual basis, and in consultation with others as per requirements of the best interests decision making process (s.4 Mental Capacity Act 2005).

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 08.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Expanded eligibility: Whole Home Testing for care home staff and residents - From 7 June 2020 the DHSC expanded eligibility for this service to all remaining adults care homes who will now be able to access whole care home testing for all residents and asymptomatic staff through the digital portal. They expect these to be largely specialist adult care homes catering for adults with learning disabilities or mental health issues, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and other categories for younger adults under 65 years. Apply for the tests here. Also see FAQs.
  1. This week's webinar and Q&A session will be on Wednesday. We aim to publish the webinar recording by midday to allow you time to view before the live Q&A from 2:15pm. We look forward to answering your questions.
  1. NHS volunteers extend support to frontline health and social care staff - this includes helping with delivering food shopping and dropping off personal medication to frontline staff at their homes.
  1. FAQs: Infection Control Fund - This Q&A has been prepared by the DoHSC in response to a number of questions received from local government and care providers.
  1. Support for leaders through COVID-19 - free, confidential, 1-2-1 coaching or mentoring support sessions for all NHS and social care leaders.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 05.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Government PPE Portal - The government have released further details on the new PPE portal, with details on who is eligible and how it works.

 PPE Weekend Access

You can access urgent supply of PPE by calling:

03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers

03330139972 for residential or supported living provider

If you need access to PPE over the weekend and it cannot wait until normal operating hours on Monday, you will be given a timeslot to collect the PPE on a nominated day.

  1. Did you know that NHSmail also gives you free access to Microsoft Teams so that you can have secure video calls with GPs, district nurses, pharmacists, and the relatives of people who use your services? Digital Social Care is supporting care providers to use technology during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you need help and support with technology contact the Digital Social Care helpline on 0208 133 3430 or help@digitalsocialcare.co.uk.
  1. Day Opportunities COVID-19 Recovery Phase - Please find copy of the slides which the Council presented during the recent virtual market engagement event on Thursday 4th June 2020. Please note that the slides contain a significant amount of supporting information including links to secure additional advice and guidance which may be useful to inform your organisation's preparations for the recovery phase of day opportunities. In addition, please be advised that the Council is currently reviewing a number of questions which were raised during this session with a view to providing a formal response in due course. Once the applicable responses have been finalised the Council will issue a copy of the anonymised questions and applicable answers on the provider hub website accordingly.
  1. We're continuing to send out Alcove Video Carephones to residents as part of the Essex Rapid Care Technology Deployment. Many of our users say that they are loving being able to speak to their carers, friends and family.  We are accepting referrals from care providers so if know of anybody who would benefit from the device, please refer them to us by email at ERCTD@essex.gov.uk
  1. Webinar: Primary care in care homes during COVID-19 - This webinar shares examples of current good practice and collaboration between primary care and care homes, including resources to support virtual ward rounds.
  1. Video Consultation Awareness for Care Homes - This pack has been developed for care home professionals and answers relevant questions on facilitating video consultation appointments between clinical staff and care home residents.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Infection Control Fund and Support for care homes - Agreements for the Infection Control Fund are due to start being issued tomorrow 5th June by email to all providers that have updated their records on the national care home Capacity Tracker.  Please return agreements as soon as possible to enable payments to commence.  If you have not yet updated your records on the national care home Capacity Tracker please do so via https://carehomes.necsu.nhs.uk/
  1. Skills for Care Covid-19 Webinars are available to view andinclude training, recruitment and dealing with the impact of Covid-19 on your staff
  1. Updated British Geriatric Society (BGS) guidance on COVID-19: Managing the COVID-19 pandemic in care homes for older people
  1. Further to the previous information provider about COVID-19 Medicines Re-use Scheme for Care Homes please see attached poster for medicines re-use training in North Essex

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 03.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Today's Covid-19 webinar recording can be viewed below and you can also view the slides here. The webinar includes: information about the government PPE Portal (previously referred to as Clipper Solutions), and an overview of financial support ECC is offering providers in response to Covid-19.
  1. Update Guidance for care home test kits:  There are 2 types of test kits delivered to care homes ('Randox' and all other types which are known as 'Kingfisher') and the following is updated guidance for care home managers for each: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested#care-home
  1. Please see updated list of PPE suppliers 
  1. Wearing a mask: Do's and don'ts and other Infection prevention and control (IPC) good practice
  1. Updated guidance: Management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings - The government has updated the above guidance with new information on the implications of positive antibody result (introduction and section 4.3.) and the addition of guidance for staff who are notified that they are a contact of a co-worker who is a confirmed case (new section 4.4).
  1. Heatwave Plan for England - The Heatwave Plan for England remains unchanged for summer 2020. Additional actions may be needed due to COVID-19 and specific resources are available via this link

 

Today's Webinar (03.06.2020)

Copy of Slides

We will be answering your questions live via Slido from 2:15pm (until 3pm). To ask a question:

Go to: https://www.sli.do/
Enter code: 5817

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. Tomorrow's Covid-19 webinar and Q&A session - we aim to publish the webinar recording on this page by midday to allow you time to view before the live Q&A from 2:15pm. We look forward to answering your questions.
  1. Whzan Telehealth electronic patient monitoring systems are being made available to all care homes across Mid and South Essex (see attached overview of the product). Please see letter from Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership which includes the application form which should be returned to Sharon.earl@nhs.net
  1. Updated guidance from Government: Can I meet people outdoors if I also have a carer from another household? Yes - from 1 June you can meet in a group of up to six people, including you and any carers, as long as you practise strict social distancing. Everyone should observe the same guidelines, keeping 2 metres apart. But where you need personal care from your usual carer this may involve being closer than 2 metres. (Excerpt from this government guidance)
  1. Correction to email address previously published regarding the North East Essex Support article on 27.05.2020. You can view the article here and the updated email address is nee.carehomehub@nhs.net. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
  1. NHSX Connectivity in Care Homes: Call for participants - further to the information previously provided regarding Internet connection deals for care homes, NHSX are asking for care home staff responsible for the internet in your care home to take part in 45 minute sessions to test website pages and understand your needs. This is anonymous and will help them to support care homes better. There will be a £50 thank you for your time. If you're interested please contact digitalresearch@nhsx.nhs.uk to see if you are suitable.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 01.06.2020

Please see below a round-up of today's Covid-19 news from ECC:

  1. DHSC has launched a new digital tool for social care recruitment. An online platform has been built for care providers to help to simplify their recruitment process. The new online platform will facilitate swift recruitment for registered care providers by helping them reach candidates looking to work in social care. Registered providers will be able to search for candidates in their local area, view video interviews, start the DBS check and training process, create shortlists and make conditional offers before on-boarding candidates directly into their service. To register click here
  1. This week's webinar and Q&A session will be on Wednesday. We aim to publish the webinar recording by midday to allow you time to view before the live Q&A from 2:15pm. We look forward to answering your questions.
  1. Red bags and medication reminder for care homes: please ensure you provide ambulance crews with the adult's medication and red bag when they are admitted to hospital. This is to ensure patient safety and includes key information eg. DNACPR forms.
  1. Update guidance - Financial support for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  1. Nurse deployment process for providers to request a registered nurse during the COVID-19 crisis - Skills for Care has produced a flowchart which shows the journey up until the point of a registered nurse being deployed. The flowchart helps you to see what you need to do and what happens after you've filled in the NHS and Social Care Capacity Tracker, which is the first step.
  1. E-learning courses -Managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community -
  1. Updated Guidance The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  1. NHS Test and Trace service - New guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms. See also workplace guidance.
  1. Changes to the Job Retention Scheme (furloughing) - The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June. This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current 3 week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June. Click here for more information

 

 

You can find previous news articles in the news archive

 

Last Updated: 25 January 2021

 

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