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October 2020

 

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:

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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

 

May 2020

 

29.05.20 UPDATE: Important information regarding Infection Control Fund and Support for care homes

On 14th May Helen Whatley MP, Minister of State for Care, contacted Essex County Council setting out how the Government would be working with Local Authorities to support people In receipt of Adult Social Care, specifically in Care Homes. This letter required all Local Authorities to outline their strategy and plan for supporting Care Homes, including how Essex allocation of the additional £600 million Infection Control Fund would be supported locally.

The strategy has been developed focusing on the following elements of support:

  • Infection, Prevention and Control

  • Stepping up NHS Clinical Support

  • Comprehensive Testing

  • Oversight and Compliance

  • Building the Workforce

  • Funding

The Essex Strategy and overview of support to the Market can be found here and further information here.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 29.05.2020

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

Whole Care Home Testing

It is now possible for whole care home testing to be arranged, including all symptomatic and asymptomatic residents and all asymptomatic staff. Eligible care homes can access the portal here.

Whole Care Home Testing Webinars

The Department of Health and Social Care are hosting a webinars each weekday, in the morning and afternoon on the whole home swab testing process The target audience is care homes.  We strongly recommend them for care homes about to receive their test kits, but anyone from an eligible care home yet to carry out whole care home testing can attend one.  More dates/times are added all the time.

Main objectives of the webinar series: 

  • Outline the end to end whole home testing process
  • Share top tips
  • Provide an opportunity to ask questions

Care Homes can register to access the webinar: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2375949/724EF6345473A192F6B9C19334699A29/1077953

The feedback from care homes that have attended the webinars has been that they have been helpful to them as they prepare for testing.

 

PPE:

Cardinal Masks 

UPDATE 29.06.20 - please see following update on Cardinal Masks where it recommends supplies are disposed of locally. 

We have received this alert on Cardinal IIR masks. There have been 5 complaints raised on these items. ECC did have a supply of cardinal masks, and have distributed them. At this point we  are unable to advise of we have had any of the impacted batch numbers. Please note this is not a recall, and further instructions are in the alert. Please let us know if you have any questions, or if you need additional IIR masks please contact us for support with PPE through the usual routes.

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 Tuesday, you will be given a timeslot to collect the PPE on a nominated day.

 

Easter Eggs

ECC has received a kind donation of Easter Eggs from Cadburys to distribute to care homes in Essex. They will start arriving from next week, so please do look out for them.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 28.05.2020

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

Issues accessing testing/test results

Please see the following guidance to be followed should you be having issues with arranging COVID-19 testing or receiving results:

  • In the first instance Care homes should be calling the  call centre: Coronavirus Testing Call Centre on 0300 303 2713. It is open from 07:00 to 23:00 every day.

If there is no resolution, in order to make a complaint:

 

Medical Assessment for COVID-19 positive adults

In North East Essex, if you have a resident who is COVID-19 positive but needs a face to face medical assessment, then the Care UK car will come out to them.  To access this service you must go via their GP.  Currently this service is Monday to Friday only. Access the flowchart here.

If you require urgent medical advice, please call 111.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 27.05.2020

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

  1. Today's webinar can be viewed below. Please endeavour to find the time to view it in order to ensure you are up to date with all the latest COVID-19 developments. Slides are available here. Thank you to all providers who attended this afternoon's Q&A session.
  2. For all providers who have paid Statutory Sick Pay to employees due to COVID-19, there is now guidance available on whether you are eligible for the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.
  3. The Queen's Nursing Institute have published their Summer 2020 Newsletterwhich contains guidance and support for those providing care in community settings and in care homes.

 

North East Essex Support

For those of you in NEE, we wanted to let you know a few things that we have put in place to support local care homes:

  • Daily call - members from health and social care teams meet on a daily (Mon-Fri) basis to discuss how we can support care home outbreaks and issues.  Because members have access to community nursing teams, GPs, the county council contracts team, social workers etc. we are able to deal with most issues and if we don't know the answer, we will find someone who does
  • We have created a Facebook group specifically for front line care workers https://www.facebook.com/groups/CareWorkersDuringC19/  It is a forum for us to share information but also a safe space for people to ask questions of us and one another.  The group is monitored by a small group of admin staff and any questions raised via Facebook will be discussed during the daily hub call

To ensure that we are accurately representing care homes and care workers we are actively seeking a representative from the care home sector to sit on our board to help inform our strategic direction.  If there is enough interest, we are also keen to set up an advisory group.  Anyone interested in joining this group, or the board, please email nee.carehomehub@nhs.net 

 

Today's Webinar and live Q&A session (27.05.2020)

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 26.05.2020

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

  1. An IMPORTANT REMINDER that in order for providers operating care homes to receive ECC's allocation of the infection control fund all providers must register with and then complete the daily care home NHS Capacity Tracker by TODAY
  2. Please see the following guidance from the NHS around COVID-19 Medicines Re-use Scheme for Care Homes
  3. For home care providers, there is updated guidance available on providing care during COVID-19, covering key issues such as PPE, shielding and care groups, hospital discharge and testing, recruitment, safeguarding and providing mental health support
  4. Newly published BPS guidance is available to support the psychological needs of people with LD and their carers

Important information regarding Infection Control Fund for care homes (23.05.2020)

Please see important letter attached regarding ECC's allocation of the Infection Control Fund which is intended to support providers to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience. See Minister's letter and care home support package document for further detail. Please note specifically that to be eligible for support from the grant, providers who do not already must complete the daily care home NHS Capacity Tracker, by 26th May 2020.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 22.05.2020

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

  1. Additional testing sites have been opened, commencing from the 25th May. These remain available to be booked through the government website.
  2. Make sure you are familiar with the following guidance on working within the Mental Capacity Act during the pandemic
  3. CQC have published additional information on how it is monitoring the Mental Capacity Act and people who are subject to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
  4. Announcement that the Government will be offering antibody tests to health and social care staff and patients in England from next week
  5. Guidance is available on how to make urgent dental care appointments during the pandemic

 

Essex Rapid Care Technology Deployment

We're now full steam ahead with the Essex Rapid Care Technology Deployment and have already activated 30 users with 300 devices deployed. As a care provider, if you have not yet booked on a briefing session or completed your training, we would suggest you do that as soon as possible so that you don't miss out. You can do this by email ertcd@essex.gov.uk

The next briefing sessions will be held on;

  • Tuesday 26 May, 4pm - 5pm 
  • Tuesday 2 June, 4pm - 5pm
  • Tuesday 9 June, 4pm - 5pm 
  • Tuesday 16 June, 4pm - 5pm 

PPE

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 Tuesday, you will be given a timeslot to collect the PPE on a nominated day.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.05.2020

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

  1. Important information regarding the NHS Capacity Tracker (residential services)
    • Please ensure you complete all sections by 26th May 2020 and then regularly thereafter, when any response changes.
    • Capacity Tracker Drop-in Session for Care Home Providers - 26 May 2020 11:00-13:00. This session is for care home providers who are having problems getting on to the Capacity Tracker and/or have questions relating to the business continuity changes and completion of the template. How to join: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting or +44 20 3855 4234 United Kingdom, London (Toll) - Conference ID: 488 010 860#
  1. Covid-19 Financial Support Hub page - this page brings together the financial support ECC has made available to the care market in response to the Coronavirus.
  1. COVID-19 Crisis Counselling Support Service for NHS and residential care home staff
  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19): informing DHSC of the death of a worker in social care - new government guidance
  1. COVID-19: guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home settings - advice on appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) precautions for patients recovering or recovered from COVID-19 and remaining in hospital, or being discharged to their own home or residential care.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.05.2020

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

  1. Today's Webinar video is available to view below and you can view the slides. The webinar includes: updates from Public Health, including testing for residents and staff, PPE update Care Market Support offer and the Infection Control Fund.
  1. We have updated the list of PPE suppliers for you to purchase from. ECC continues to be a supplier of last resort. When requesting stock from the Council please be reminded of the questions you will be asked should you be requesting urgent supply from ECC
  1. Clinical Leads in care Homes (West Essex) - West Essex CCG have now identified a named clinical lead for each care home within West Essex. As part of national guidance, "it was critical that Clinical Commissioning Groups identify a named clinical lead for each CQC-registered care home in their area. This clinician will provide clinical leadership for the primary care and community health services support to the care home, and is responsible for the co-ordination of the service provision set out in the 1 May letter to the care home residents. The clinical lead may be drawn from general practice or the community health service provider and may be a job share arrangement." Please contact WECCG.primarycare@nhs.net who will advise who your clinical lead is (West Essex only).

 

Today's Webinar (20.05.2020)

Copy of slides

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 19.05.2020

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

  1. Expansion of eligibility for Covid-19 Testing - please see DoHSC letter detailing the new eligibility for testing and FAQs document. Please also see latest government announcement detailing anyone aged 5 and above can now request a test.
  1. Video: How to administer a Covid-19 test to care home residents

  1. The four UK Chief Medical Officers have announced that anosmia - the loss or a change in your normal sense of smell or taste - has been added as a symptom of COVID-19.
  2. Wellbeing support line for NHS and social care workers - the Samaritans and NHS, working in partnership, have launched the new confidential support line: 03001 317 000 available 7am-11pm, 7 days a week.
  3. Please read the following information aboutcourier fraud and ensure your clients are aware - Elderly victims are being contacted by fraudsters claiming to be from their bank. They are often using the COVID19 crisis as a reason, but claim the victims bank card needs replacing, and that a courier will attend their home address in order to do so. The fraudsters may have a great deal of the victims personal data, including date of birth, how long they have been a member of the bank and what type of accounts they have which is why they are so believable and are being so successful. People should be vigilant and not provide their banking details, nor cards to anyone who is alleging on being a courier at their home address. You can find out more about this type of fraud on the action fraud website 
  1. Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is set to launch available from 26 May and will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees.
  1. Tomorrow's webinar and Q&A session - 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.

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.05.2020

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. Clinical Leads in care Homes (Mid Essex) - Mid Essex CCG have now identified a named clinical lead for each care home within Mid Essex. As part of national guidance, "it was critical that Clinical Commissioning Groups identify a named clinical lead for each CQC-registered care home in their area. This clinician will provide clinical leadership for the primary care and community health services support to the care home, and is responsible for the co-ordination of the service provision set out in the 1 May letter to the care home residents. The clinical lead may be drawn from general practice or the community health service provider and may be a job share arrangement." Please contact MECCG.primarycare@nhs.net to advise who your clinical need is (Mid Essex only).
  1. Video showing how to take a coronavirus self-test swab (home test kit)
  1. COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol
  1. COVID-19: government document detailing the support for care homes available
  1. PrescQIPP interactive map - To support timely access to palliative care medicines during  the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic PrescQIPP have developed an interactive Map of all the Palliative Care Pharmacy sites currently available in the East of England. 
  1. Please see document regarding the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) in relation to Covid-19 alongside an easy read guide for swab tests

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 15.05.2020

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

  1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Testing staff and Residents - please see attached letter from Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health, regarding changes to testing for staff and residents in care homes. The new process details the actions that need to be taken. Additionally please see the DHSC letter announcing the roll out of testing, a flow chart showing the processes for staff, residents and those receiving homecare, and a FAQ factsheet.
  2. Please see updated PPE suppliers list for companies who have advised ECC that they have Personal Protective Equipment available for purchase for those that require it. Additionally, as a reminder, you can access urgent supply of PPE by calling: 03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers & 03330139972 for residential or supported living provider
  3. Homecare invoicing for adults who are self isolating - As you will be aware ECC has put in place provision to allow you to continue to bill for adults (within the restrictions outlined in the attached letter) who have self-isolated and taken the decision to cancel some or all of their service from you. We have become aware that not all providers have been following the guidance for how to invoice for this time. Invoicing details need to be entered onto extranet using the following instructions, delivered hours will need to be updated in the normal way and the difference added to the non-delivered section as frustrated visits. You will still be paid for frustrated visits, but we need to log these. See instructions on pages 5 - 8 of the Extranet Manual attached.  The reason invoices need to be entered in this way is to prevent adults being invoiced for their contribution towards care that has been cancelled. If you believe you have invoiced for any adults using the incorrect method please can you reply to Contractmanagementadults@essex.gov.uk providing the mosaic ID and the number of hours of care that was delivered / cancelled for the relevant invoicing periods. We can then ensure that correct billing is then passed to the adult.  Supported Living providers should refer to the guidance previously issued
  4. Please see attached poster for care homes which gives advice on handling falls during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. Reminder: NHS Information request for Care home residents vs GP Practices within Mid Essex only. Please complete the attached spreadsheet and return to MECCG.primarycare@nhs.net and jadelawson@nhs.net.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 14.05.2020

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

  1. We are aware our bulletins from Tuesday and Wednesday may not have reached you on their respective days. We apologise for this and have raised the issue with our IT department. You can view both bulletins below
  1. Please see COVID-19 Waste Management guidance for care homes regarding the management of waste from people who are suspected or confirmed Covid positive in care homes.
  1. The QNI has launched a new listening service called TalkToUs to offer emotional support by phone to registered nurses working in the community. To find out about how the new service works, please visit the QNI website
  1. Deaths of employees and volunteers in the adult social care sector - The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has written to all local authorities and social care providers setting out their commitment to ensuring that employers, families, and the people who they cared for are given the support they need. The letter includes a request for providers to inform DHSC if a care worker has died and the process for doing this is outlined in the letter, which you can access here.
  2. CQC have updated their interim DBS guidance to reflect the most current information on the DBS website regarding free of charge DBS applications and fast-track Barred List checks for COVID-19 recruitment. 
  3. Care home connectivity - to further support the technology, NHSX and NHS Digital have negotiated a range of internet connection offers with telecom companies. details of which are available on the NHSX website. This is complemented by two new pieces of guidance: choosing an internet connection for your care home and how to use digital services in your care home.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 13.05.2020

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, including testing for residents and staff, PPE update and Paula Wilkinson (Chief Pharmacist for Mid Essex CCG) talks about medicines re-use for care homes. You can view the slides here.
  1. Important updates regarding testing of staff and residents / clients:
  • The Care Home portal for testing coronavirus is now open.  This service is currently only available for care homes whose primary client type is older people (over 65 years) and those with dementia and you need your CQC Location ID.  For clarity, when a care home identifies its first symptomatic resident, you should continue to contact the PHE Health Protection Team who will undertake a risk assessment, provide public health advice, and arrange urgent testing of all symptomatic residents. All symptomatic care workers, including those that work in domiciliary care, can continue to be referred via the gov.uk portals to access tests, as can symptomatic recipients of domiciliary care over 65 years old.
  • As of Friday 15 May we will stop taking referrals for testing via our online survey. All future requests for testing will need to be made via the government portals.
  1. Day Opportunities updated closure guidance - please be advised that the Council closure notice of 24th March 2020 remains in effect and providers are expected to continue to deliver outreach provision until further notice. Click here for further information.
  1. Please see information regarding an Alert Notice issued for Goggles from the national supply ECC have received.

 

Today's Webinar (13.05.2020)

Download the Slides

 

Alert Notice for Goggles used in Covid-19 situations (13.05.2020)

We have received the attached alert around tiger goggles, and we have identified that you have been in receipt of a donation of these goggles from the national supply ECC have received.  We have discussed with Infection Control colleagues at Mid Essex CCG, who have provided the following additional advice on the CAS notice:

This states:

The current Infection Prevention and Control Guidance recommends that a full face shield or visor should be used when performing aerosol generating procedures (APGs).

Staff in your organisation may already have used the above Tiger Eye Protector product for non AGPs (see alert). The risk from using it in direct patient contact when not performing AGPs is limited.

Note:

Use of these products is not contra indicated for non-aerosol generating procedures.

Social Care staff may face risk of "splash" that may require some eye protection - splash is not aerosol generating.

We recommend that your organisation carries out a risk assessment of these goggles for the setting you work in, and take the appropriate action.

In order to confirm you have received this alert, can you please email ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk on receipt, and if you have any further questions please let us know on this email and a member of the team will come back to you as soon as possible.

Providers are reminded that you should use your own supply chain, but if you have urgent need for PPE to supply within the guidance, please follow the instructions on the provider hub to contact us for support with PPE.

 

Day Opportunities - Updated closure guidance (13.05.20)

In the wake of the recent advice from Central Government regarding the phased reduction of the COVID-19 lockdown; the Council would like to clarify how this position affects the provision of Essex based day opportunities services. Please be advised that the Council closure notice of 24th March 2020 remains in effect and providers are expected to continue to deliver outreach provision until further notice.

In addition, please be advised that the Council is currently considering the requisite recovery procedure for day opportunities, including but not limited to, any conditions or revisions which may be required to vary the conventional arrangements. The Council would be interested in any considerations from a provider's perspective to inform these discussions which will include considerations regarding the provision of suitable PPE, infection control measures, maintaining hygiene and deep cleansing alongside issues affecting transportation, accessibility and respecting the social distancing requirements. In addition, please let the Council know if your organisation would be interested in participating in a webinar session to share ideas and provide feedback or raise any questions via Slido. If your organisation would like to engage in this process, please contact the Council via: rachel.horne@essex.gov.uk

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 12.05.2020

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

  1. Tomorrow's webinar will be published on the hub by midday. The Q&A session will commence at 2:15pm for you to ask your Covid-19 related questions.
  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19): health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce - Advice for those working in adult social care on managing your mental health and how employers can take care of the wellbeing of their staff during the coronavirus outbreak.
  2. Key COVID-19 Resilience Support Actions for Care Homes Webinar - This webinar is to provide support for areas in drawing up their care home resilience plans which will be provided by the Better Care Support team. (3pm-4pm, 15th May 2020). Book your free place here.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.05.2020

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

  1. Please see information about the Care home hubs (updated 12.06.2020) which have been set up in Essex to reduce the number of contacts you receive while still providing information, expertise, enhanced training and emotional support.
  1. NHS Information request for Care home residents vs GP Practices within Mid Essex. Please complete the attached spreadsheet and return to MECCG.primarycare@nhs.net   and jadelawson@nhs.net by Thursday 14 May.
  1. Our webinar this week will be published on the hub Wednesday by midday. The Q&A session will commence at 2:15pm for you to ask your Covid-19 related questions.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 08.05.2020

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

  1. Please see update on PPE including list of potential suppliers and questions asked when requesting urgent supplies from ECC
  1. For information we have been informed the mobile testing sites, bookable through the government website, for next week (commencing 11th May) are as follows. Additional sites are being planned for the coming weeks.
  • Clacton Leisure Centre (11 & 12 May)
  • Harlow Football Club (12, 13 & 14 May)
  • Rayleigh Leisure Centre (13, 14 & 15 May)

 

PPE potential suppliers and questions asked when requesting urgent supplies from ECC.

Potential suppliers of PPE

The following Suppliers have advised Essex County Council (the Council) that they have Personal Protective Equipment available for purchase for those that require it. These Suppliers have given permission for their details to be published.  The suppliers are listed in Alphabetical order with no order of preference.  

The information provided by the Suppliers and the products on offer are in no way warranted or guaranteed by the Council. The products on offer or the numbers available may differ from those published below.

List of Potential PPE Suppliers

Access to PPE

As you will be aware, we have widened access to PPE and it is available for all care visits in line with the guidance with supply for up to 7 days. ECC will not be a long term supplier, this is designed to support you with urgent until your wider supply routes deliver as expected.

In order to allocate the correct amount of PPE to each provider in line with the sessional guidance for PPE wear, we need to understand a bit about your service. As well as being asked about your current stock levels, one of the questions is around your shift and visit patterns.

For Residential/Supported Living/Day Opportunities and Extra Care Providers, we will ask the following:

  • Number of Individuals supported in the service
  • Number of carers per day
  • What are the standard shift pattern
  • How many breaks does each carer have per day
  • Number of Carers per night
  • What are the standard shift patterns
  • How many breaks does each carer have per night
  • Taking sessional use into account, how many masks do you estimate you will require per 24 hour period

For Domiciliary providers, we will ask the following:

  • Number of Individuals supported in the service
  • Number of Visits per Day
  • How many rounds/rotas/shift patterns occur per 24 hour period
  • How long do they last
  • How many carers work on each
  • On average, how many visits occur on a round
  • Taking sessional use into account, how many masks do you estimate you will require per 24 hour period

When you call the team on the phone will take you through these questions. It would eb really helpful if you could think about some of these questions in advance. If you are unable to answer at that point we can help with a small supply of PPE in the short term, but we won't be able to assist fully until we understand the scale of your service. We hope you can assist us to get the right supply of PPE out to you the first time you call.

As a reminder, you can access this PPE in the following ways:

  • 03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers
  • 03330139972 for residential or supported living provider

The other information as per our PPE update of 6.5.20 remains. 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin (07.05.20)

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

  1. Correction to Covid-19 Response Fund email address - please note the correct email address to use for claims and queries is Covid19ResponseFunding@essex.gov.uk. We apologise for the error in the communication yesterday.
  2. New app for adult social care workers in England - The Care Workforce app, developed with NHSX and NHS Business Services Authority will be introduced under the new CARE brand and will act as a single digital hub for social care workers to access relevant updates, guidance, support and discounts from their phone.Download the app now or search 'Care Workforce' on Google Play or the App Store.
  1. CQC Webinar: The Emergency Support Framework has been developed to provide a structured framework for the regular conversations that inspectors are having with providers, and is part of CQC's regulatory approach during the coronavirus pandemic. To help CQC have set up a series of webinars to provide information and answer your questions.
  2. NHS Volunteer Responders webinar and Q&A - Thursday 14th May: 1pm - 2pmThis session is particularly aimed at councils and care providers who want to use or have questions about the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme. To join on the day, please use this link: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting or dial in on +44 113 486 0108
  3. Managing a fall that may require an ambulance during the COVID-19 pandemic - please see this poster
  4. Easy Read - Coronavirus, faith and what to do if someone dies
  5. ACL Online courses - new collection of free hour-long courses are designed to inspire people to explore new subjects and ways of learning. Courses include improving health and wellbeing, philosophical thinking and art skills. There will be more sessions added over the coming weeks including understanding chemistry and a look into healthcare history.
  6. Document detailing Atypical Covid-19 presentations in older people

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin (06.05.20)

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

  1. A new COVID-19 Response Fund for providers has launched and is intended to refund Covid related costs not covered by financial flexibilities already announced. For more information including how to claim please click here
  1. ECC have made some changes to the allocation of PPE and more details can be found here. Access to the PPE will be by following the same processes as before, please contact SPT on:
  • 03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers
  • 03330139972 for residential or supported living providers
  1. Today's webinar can be viewed below and includes updates from Public Health, including testing for residents and staff, changes to PPE provision and ECC's COVID-19 Response Fund for providers.
  1. Providers are reminded to book on the Essex Rapid Care Technology Deployment briefing and training sessions as soon as possible. Service users will start to benefit from the Alcove Video Carephone next week and we will be rolling-out new devices every week thereafter. The service is providing a virtual care model to 2,000 appropriate services users during COVID-19 and aid social distancing and help protect your teams from infection. Briefing sessions are held on a Tuesday and Wednesday at 4pm and to book onto a session, please email erctd@essex.gov.uk.
  1. NHSMail - This letter aims to clarify what care homes will get when they sign up to NHSMail, as well as the expectations of the CCGs on how they and other organisations will use the emails in an appropriate manner.
  1. For residential providers entering information into the NHS capacity tracker or any other local tracker please ensure you are using the following rationale when completing the section on your current PPE supply. Please note local authority supplies of PPE are limited and must be reserved for providers who have an urgent need.  Please help us to ensure you have plenty of supplies. Thank you.
  • Green: Acceptable level
  • Amber: Current stock will run out within 7 days
  • Red: No stock/Stock will run-out in 48 hrs

 

Update on ECC PPE provision (06.05.20)

Following the updated guidance around the use of PPE for all episodes of care, ECC have been evaluating how best to support providers with the changes.  

From today, we will be able to support with access to additional PPE. You will have seen the update around additional resilience funding for providers which allows claims to be made for PPE. Providers should continue to do their own ordering, and to claim back within the guidance and the criteria.

However, if your own supply is delayed, ECC will be continue to be able to act as a provider of last resort for PPE. The change will be that we are able to provide with surgical level masks which are suitable for care calls where the individual is not symptomatic/diagnosed with Covid -19. These masks are not suitable for use in situations where the individual receiving care is symptomatic/diagnosed. The fluid repellent masks for this purpose will remain available when needed in urgent situations.

From today, when you call to request PPE for all care visits that are not on covid-19 symptomatic/diagnosed situations we will be allocating PPE in line with the PHE guidance referring to sessional use. To process your request, we will ask you to provide a bit more information about your service to allow us to calculate what the volume of PPE you require for 7 days will be. This will include asking you for specific pieces of information where they are applicable to your request, such as;

  • Current PPE stock levels
  • Number of carers on shift per day
  • Number of visits made
  • Number of people you support
  • How long shifts last
  • The type of service you are requesting for
  • How much PPE you estimate you require

Please do call even if you are unsure of this information, we will work through this with you and make sure there is some supply available to support you in the short term whilst we work through what your weekly demand may be.

If you need PPE for more than one type of service, we will ask you to talk through each one separately, but both can be done in the one call.

If you need to request PPE, please call one of the following numbers between 9-5pm each day:

  • 03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers.
  • 03330139972 for residential or supported living providers.

Please do not make requests via any other route as this may delay the information reaching the correct person to process the request. If you do not get through the first time, please do call again as the line can sometimes be busy. After you provide the relevant details and your request is logged, a member of the team will call you back to discuss when you can collect PPE and how much we can allocate. The team will call you back as soon as possible, but in busy periods this may not be until the next day. Please consider this when you contact us.

You will be able to collect PPE from Witham 7 days a week (including bank holidays) and the local hubs in Harlow, Colchester and Basildon on Monday - Friday. All are open 10-4pm. Please only come to collect PPE when it has been confirmed it will be ready for you and we give you a time slot for collection. If you arrive at the hub and an order has not been processed, the team will not issue PPE. We hope you can support us to follow this process to ensure all providers receive the urgent PPE as soon as possible.

 

ECC COVID-19 Response Fund (06.05.20)

A new COVID-19 Response Fund has been launched to Essex care providers.  

Funding may be available for you if you are a residential, live at home, supported living or other care provider to Adult Social Care and you have incurred additional expenditure as a result of COVID-19.  

You can access grant funding for certain costs up to 10% of the costs that you claimed from ECC for the period 1st March to 31st March, minus any other funding that ECC has provided to you since 19th March (for example for block bedding that has not been used). 

Eligible costs will be determined on a case by case basis with justification provided as to why the additional costs were incurred due to COVID-19. In addition to costs incurred from purchasing additional goods, costs for internal costs (e.g. overtime) may be claimed; to calculate payment for this ECC will be referring to market averages to determine the sum due.  

You will need to declare that you have accessed all other sources of government funding to support COVID-19, or attempted to access these, and that you are only claiming for costs directly incurred to support ECC Service Users.  

To claim, download a claim form fromand submit this to the Essex County Council email address Covid19ResponseFunding@essex.gov.uk with relevant evidence of expenditure. When all required information has been received by ECC and the claim has been ratified the target will be for payment for eligible expenditure to be made within 5 working days of ECC receiving the claim (payment shall reach your account in 5 working days from this date). Only one claim will be accepted per supplier per month. 

As part of the conditions of accepting the grant, care providers shall agree to operate on a zero profit basis for the period 19th March to 8th July. Care providers shall also provide financial evidence to ECC on an open book basis as and when requested. 

FAQs will be issued shortly and any updates will be made available on this website.

The scheme is running until 8th July 2020.  

 

Today's Webinar (06.05.20)

Copy of slides

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 05.05.2020

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

  1. Reminder: Tomorrow's Q&A session with ECC and Health is at 2:15pm. We intend to have the webinar video ready by midday here to allow you time to watch it before the Q&A session. 
  1. Digital Social Care helpline to help social care providers access practical advice to troubleshoot a technical problem or give in-depth one-to-one support. The helpline will be open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday by calling 0208 133 3430 or by email on help@digitalsocialcare.co.uk

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.05.2020

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

  1. This week's Q&A session with ECC and Health, and Webinar video, is on Wednesday. We intend to have the webinar video ready by midday to allow you time to watch before the Q&A session at 2:15pm. 
  1. Testing for Mental Health discharges - EPUT will now be testing patients prior to discharge to residential/nursing care/supported accommodation. It has been agreed that individuals requiring transfer to residential, nursing or supported accommodation providers will be tested 48 hours prior to discharge and then placed in isolation pending the result and discharge.
  1. Details of Skills for Care support during coronavirus outbreak- Skills for Care would also be interested to know what support providers need with workforce/training needs at the current time. Please let us know so we can pass on this information.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 01.05.2020

  1. Treasury cut taxes to reduce PPE costs  From today (1 May 2020), PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.
  2. NHSX and the Care Quality Commission are working together to identify and disseminate priority food offers for social care staff and providers.
  3. PPE reminder - for urgent access to PPE please continue to call SPT on 03330139974 for domiciliary providers, or 03330139972 for residential or supported living providers. Please note that at the weekend collections will only be available from Witham. Regarding the latest PPE guidance please note currently we cannot fully implement the guidance as we would wish, as we do not have the supplies. If we did implement we would rapidly run out meaning they would not be available for the high risk settings (eg. those who are +ve or symptomatic). When the supplies are available we will be able to implement the guidance in full. We are doing further work on trying to move to fully implementing.
  4. Availability reminder for referrals at weekends and bank holidays - please note for Live at Home referrals you should continue to respond 9am-5pm Saturdays, and 10am-4pm Sundays and bank holidays. For residential referrals you should be available to respond 8am-8pm every day.
  5. CQC chief inspectors' joint statement on their regulatory approach during the coronavirus pandemic (30.04.20)           
  6. How the sector is expected to interpret guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  7. Regulating coronavirus (COVID-19) antibody testing - important information advising against use of unapproved antibody tests.
  8. Share your good practice and innovations in relation to Coronavirus with CQC so they can build a database of useful resources. Please email C19innovation@cqc.org.uk.
  9. Covid-19 Test Results helpline - staff who have been tested for Covid-19 at one of the National Centres (Stansted, Ipswich, Milton Keynes and Peterborough) should receive a text with their results. For those who haven't heard the helpdesk telephone number is: 0203 514 3817.

 

April 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 30.04.2020

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

  1. Document clarifying the 12-month financial guarantee arrangement for existing older people residential and nursing placements across Essex
  1. All About Me personal profile download to help provide the best individual support for adults with a learning disability or autism. In Essex we have a focus on person centred planning. Once filled in it will help you to understand what is really important to the individuals you support.
  1. Collated information on wellbeing support offers for health and care staff. Please ensure your staff are aware of the support on offer.
  1. This NHSmail Webinar will talk you through the next steps after receiving your username and password; how to activate your account; as well as the different functions included in the NHSmail service.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 29.04.2020

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

  1. Important message from the Director of Public Health: Preventing infection in care homes. Any home with 1 suspected caseshould contact ECC and PHEwithin 24 hours. You can access information about staff testing here.
  1. Today's webinar is below and covers the following topics. You can access the slides here.
  • Update from Public Health including latest PPE guidance
  • Testing
  • Care Home Surveillance
  • Expected demand
  • Finances
  1. Updated COVID-19: infection prevention and control guidance - changes are listed in pages 5 & 6 for easy reference.
  1. Care home verification of death process chart

 

Today's Webinar (29.04.2020)

Today's webinar is below and includes:

  • Update from Public Health including latest PPE guidance
  • Testing
  • Care Home Surveillance
  • Expected demand
  • Finances

Click here to view the slides. 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 28.04.2020

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

  1. We are aware of the government guidance published yesterday afternoon (links below) regarding the need to wear masks for all episodes of care. We understand and are aware this may cause significant issues for some providers unable to source sufficient stocks. Unfortunately we do not get advance sight of the guidance, but are working through what this means to ECC Providers and how ECC can support you to meet the new guidance and will providing a statement as soon as we can.

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes

COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care

  1. Do you have a Covid-19 related question for ECC?Tomorrow's webinar will be published on the Hub news page by 2pm and we will be answering your questions via Slido from 2:15pm. Details will be published tomorrow.
  2. Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult social care guidance - This page brings together coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance published for the adult social care sector and other relevant guidance.
  3. Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for social landlords on essential moves
  1. Covid-19 Diabetes Management in Care Homes
  1. Staff wellbeing advice to help during the current crisis

Health & Wellbeing Information for Care Staff

EMPLOYERS' GUIDE Managing the Wellbeing of Social Care Staff During Covid-19

Guidance for Managers and Leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic - The psychological wellbeing of care staff

Psychological wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic - guidance for staff

Advice for sustaining staff wellbeing in critical care during and beyond covid-19

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 27.04.2020

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

  1. Please see links below to updated guidance on COVID-19 for how to work safely in Care Homes and domiciliary care:

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes

COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care

  1. Free tool launched to help carers spot deteriorationand to make good decisions about what to do to help those in their care. Significant Care creator Geraldine Rodgers will be available Friday, 15 May 2020 at 3pm via a webinar to give you the opportunity to ask any questions & share your experience. Please register here.
  1. Reminder regarding new testing process
  2. New weekly FAQs page has been created to show the questions and answers from the weekly webinars, along with any other questions relating to key current issues.Also this week's webinar will be published on Wednesday and the Q&A session will be from 2:15pm. More details to follow. We look forward to answering your questions.
  1. Skills for Care Support for Registered Managers: Advice line: 0113 241 1260 / RMAdvice@skillsforcare.org.uk (09.00 - 17.00 Monday to Friday). This new advice line aims to support those managing CQC regulated adult social care services (including registered managers, service managers, deputy managers and nominated individuals) through the COVID-19 crisis. 
  1. Guidance for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults
  2. CQC offices are now closed and have stopped communicating by post. Please use other methods to contact them,details of which are available on the CQC website.
  3. Guidance on Maintaining Activities for Older Adults during COVID-19.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 24.04.2020

  1. Important update regarding Testing - The Government announced yesterday that all key workers can now access free Covid-19 tests, either via drive-thru national centres or home test kits. We wanted to confirm with you the new process. Please see attached which includes advice from ECC's director of Public Health about criteria for safe return to work, the current local testing and new government testing procedures.
  1. PPE reminder - for urgent access to PPE please continue to call SPT on 03330139974 for domiciliary providers, or 03330139972 for residential or supported living providers. Please note that at the weekend collections will only be available from Witham. You should also continue to place PPE orders with your usual suppliers to ensure you have sufficient supplies available.
  1. The DoHSC has launched a national recruitment drive for care called 'Care for others. Make a difference'. Adverts will run across national television, radio, social media and online. Find out more on the dedicated website. Also please find simplified instructions on how to advertise a vacancy.  
  1. Health and Safety Executive's Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) COVID-19 guidance - find out what you may need to report
  1. Availability for referrals at weekends and bank holidays - please note for Live at Home referrals you should continue to respond 9am-5pm Saturdays, and 10am-4pm Sundays and bank holidays. For residential referrals you should be available to respond 8am-8pm every day.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.04.2020

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

  1. Important information regarding Data Collection

Further to the joint letter on data collection you received, please be advised that Essex County Council will be using the data that is being collected nationally to understand the impact of COVID-19 on providers and therefore, for providers who deliver either residential or domiciliary care we ask that you provide regular responses to these collections in line with the guidance contained within the letter.

  • Residential Care:  Please complete the NHS capacity tracker.
  • Domiciliary Care:  Please complete the CQC's 'Update CQC on the impact of Covid' online form.
  • Until such time as there are national trackers for the other services we commission - Shared Lives; Extra Care; Supported Living; Intermediate care - we request that you continue to respond to questionnaires being undertaken by Essex County Council.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us via ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk

  1. Important note regarding testing - we have received a large number of enquiries and names being put forwards in relation to testing staff for Covid-19.We are only able to contact those who are eligible for the test. If you don't hear back regarding your submission this is because eligibility criteria hasn't been met.
  1. Therapy input and Equipment Support - The video (below) focuses on the Therapy offer to care homes in Essex. Therapists are crucial to supporting the flow of hospital discharges and rehabilitation of residents in these unprecedented times, as well as supporting with moving and handling crisis situations. It also covers how to obtain support for any urgent specialist* equipment required for residents in crisis, where you are unable to meet their needs with your existing equipment stock. (*in this instance specialist equipment relates to items required to support with transferring residents). You can download a copy of the slides.

  1. Day Opportunities - Additional guidance regarding outreach provisioncovering the intended scope of support which the authority expects providers to deliver during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
  1. Live-in carers - During the Covid-19 crisis Essex County Council is seeking options to increase capacity to avoid hospital admissions and expedite hospital discharge for all vulnerable adults. Live-in carers provides an alternative an is a model previously used by ECC to alleviate winter pressures and could be suitable for Pathway 1&2 (either home with support or a temporary residential placement for rehab / recovery) for those with or without a diagnosis of Covid-19. ECC appreciates that providers are under considerable pressure so whilst a formal response to the questions is preferred we will also accept a statement to confirm interest / capacity. Interested parties are urged to review the RFI documentation immediately upon receipt and identify and submit any questions as soon as possible and in any event no later than 12:00 on 28th April 2020. 
  1. SCIE are hosting a series of six free webinars on safeguarding suitable for anybody currently working in or new to frontline practice in adult social care and health. Additional below are resources offered by SCIE:

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 22.04.2020

  1. Today's webinar can be viewed below and you can download the slide pack. Topics covered include Testing, PPE guidance and the NHS bed tracker.
  1. Please use the following process when calling PHE East of England Health Protection Team. PHE East of England Centre number, 0300 303 8537 Upon hearing the first message please press the number 5 on your keypad - don't continue listening.   There is NO requirement to listen to the message in full. If you are calling to discuss an outbreak or case they are already aware of, please provide the reference number at the beginning of the call.
  1. St Luke's Bereavement support line for people affected by Coronavirus. The line will be open Monday to Thursday, from 1pm to 4.30pm and anyone living in the districts of Basildon and Thurrock who has lost a loved one during the Coronavirus pandemic can call the team on 03334002358 (free phone). 

 

Today's Webinar (22.04.2020)

Webinar Slides (22.04.20)

NHS Capacity Tracker as mentioned in the Webinar

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.04.2020

  1. Do you have a Covid-19 question for ECC? This week's Webinar will be posted on the Hub tomorrow and we will have our usual Q&A session from 2:15pm. Further details will be posted here tomorrow.
  1. Please see details of Government Covid-19 Schemes for Care Providers which includes furloughing of staff. Further details on furloughing and how to claim.
  1. Critical Care Covid-19 Communication Chart
  1. NHS COVID-19: Home Care webinars- the webinars will consist of an overview of guidance through short presentations, followed by opportunities for Q&A.
  1. St Clare's hospice support (West Essex) - A virtual befriending project for your residents and support for staff dealing with those nearing end of life and peer to peer support sessions available  

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.04.2020

  1. Important note regarding testing - Testing is only available to those people that meet the criteria and are tested within a five day window. It is crucial that we receive the names as soon after a person becomes symptomatic as is possible. We will not be able to contact those individuals that have had symptoms for more than five days. Only those who are eligible will be contacted. Please also note that testing is only currently available to those who can access the drive-thru locations. You can access the online form here.
  1. Confidential psychological support service to help social care staff manage stress and emotional difficulties relating to Covid-19
  1. PHE Webinar - COVID-19 and care home settings
  1. PHE East of England Dedicated Telephone Access to Care Home Staff
  1. This week's Webinar will be posted on the Hub on Wednesday and we will have our usual Q&A session from 2:15pm. Further details will be posted on the Hub in due course.
  1. Coronavirus advice for health and social care professionals supporting people living with Dementia
  1. Updated PPE guidance
  1. Updated Care home guidance for working safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 17.04.2020

  1. Please find enclosed a poster detailing essential phone numbers and email addresses covering queries primarily relating to COVID-19 and other operational challenges. We would kindly ask that this poster is displayed in an area where all staff can access it.
  1. PPE reminder - for urgent access to PPE call SPT on 03330139974 for domiciliary providers, or 03330139972 for residential or supported living providers. Please note that at the weekend collections will only be available from Witham. You should also continue to place PPE orders with your usual suppliers to ensure you have sufficient supplies available.
  1. Reminder of Testing of key workers - please complete the survey to submit details of eligible staff to be tested. NB 20.04.2020. Testing is only available to those people that meet the criteria and are tested within a five day window. It is crucial that we receive the names as soon after a person becomes symptomatic as is possible. We will not be able to contact those individuals that have had symptoms for more than five days.
  1. Essex Rapid Care Technology Deployment

A new fast paced, technology-enabled service has been set up to provide a virtual care model to appropriate services users during COVID-19. Read the full Overview and FAQs on the service. We will be rolling it out quickly and in phases so please look out for a separate email inviting you to briefing and training sessions. 

  1. LeDeR Programme - Death notifications for those with LD
  1. We wish to take this opportunity to remind you to contact Health Protection Team if you have any concerns about possible spread of Covid-19 (Coronivirus) amongst residents, or amongst staff in your home. As you are aware there is a requirement for notification of 2 or more cases. The Health Protection Team will advise on measures to protect your staff and residents and any need for testing. Please would you also send copies of your CQC Death of a person using the service' notification form to Essex County Council at Quality.Improvement@essex.gov.uk. It would be helpful if you also notify the CCG Infection Prevention & Control Team on meccg.essex.carehomes@nhs.net of any possible outbreaks.
  1. Supported Living Providers Invoicing

If you are submitting any invoices which includes payments for support hours that you have been unable to deliver during the current Covid-19 situation, please identify the individuals and the hours which you have not been able to deliver, and clearly identify which week this applies to.

This is to ensure that individuals receiving services are not charged by ECC for hours of support that they have not received. This information will not impact your payments.

This applies from 19th March 2020. If you have already submitted any invoices, please could you pass us the information regarding which hours you were unable to deliver.

Please submit this information to the non-residential payments team inbox: NRPayments@essex.gov.uk

  1. Hospice Advice Lines

Mid and South Essex

  • St Luke's - Telephone : 01268 526 259 (24 hours) support and advice for people with palliative care needs, or needing care at end of life https://stlukeshospice.com/oneresponse-2/
  • Saint Francis - You can call the Specialist Advice Line, 24/7, 365 days a year on 01708 758643 to speak to a Clinical Nurse Specialist.
  • Marie Curie - Marie Curie Support Line Call free on 0800 090 2309 to speak to a trained member of team, or book to speak to one later
  • Farleigh - Advice Line: 01245 455478
  • EACH - Contact our Head Office Tel: 01223 800 800.
  • Havens - Contact us 24 hours a day on 01702 220350

North Essex

 

Covid-19 Testing of Key Workers (16.04.2020)

The roll out testing of key workers and members of their household will shortly commence across Essex, in order to ensure that staff in vital roles are able to work where safe and appropriate to do so. Testing capacity is limited and is expected to be capped at 300 per STP area.  Testing is by appointment only. This is separate to any plans that are being developed nationally for care home resident testing.

In order to facilitate this we need you to tell us, using the eligibility criteria attached, which of your staff you believe are eligible to be tested for Covid-19 at one of the drive-thru locations listed below. Please submit your eligible staff information via this survey.. We need to know their name, car registration, and contact information. This is personal data and so you must get permission from them to share this information with us. Please return one completed spreadsheet (which is attached to the survey) with a list of all eligible staff to ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk. You will need to do this for each subsequent new case and we ask that you do this as soon as you are made aware so that person can be tested within the timescales needed. Please ensure you password protect the spreadsheet you return via Egress. Also note that completing the spreadsheet is not confirmation your staff will be tested. Staff will be contacted if they are to be tested using their contact details supplied.

Locations 

.Stansted Airport - Open Now

.Wren House, Chelmsford - Available from 20/04

.Phoenix House, Basildon - Available from 20/04

.The Lighthouse, Southend - Available from 20/04

.Copdock, Suffolk - Available from 20/04

Please ensure you read through the eligibility carefully as only those who meet the criteria will be considered for testing. Also note that you will also receive an alternative testing offer from CQC (using the same test) which is available from Stansted.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.04.2020

  1. Testing of key workers - please read this article for information about testing of key workers in Essex
  1. NECSU Capacity Tracker (residential)

The NECSU Capacity Tracker is a national bed vacancy tool.  We encourage all homes to register on the tracker but most importantly to ensure that the COVID-19 section is also completed so that if homes are facing problems with low supplies of PPE or have high levels of COVID -19 patients this information is reported to help provide support where necessary.  Access the tracker and a short demo.

  1. Residential Block beds

The agreement for the COVID response block beds includes the requirement to be able to take referrals 7 days a week from 8am-8pm. Please can you ensure that the responsible individual is available to respond to referrals during this time period to enable swift discharges over the weekend. Should you not be able to meet this requirement please notify the Contract Management Inbox (ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk)

  1. Community health services standard operating procedure (SOP)
  1. Helpline providing digital support to social care providers - Monday-Friday, from 9am-5pm on 0208 133 3430 or help@digitalsocialcare.co.uk
  1. Department of Health and Social Care has published COVID-19: our action plan for adult social caredetailinghow the government will support the adult social care sector in England throughout the coronavirus outbreak
  1. Reminder of Details of Infection prevention & control support to social care staff - including email contact, training video and PDF Guidance
  2. Covid-19 Hospital Passport to complete for adults when they are admitted to hospital

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 15.04.2020

  1. Today's webinar can be accessed below and includes updates on testing, PPE & cohorting.
  1. We just want to remind Care Providers that if you need support with issues or concerns relating to Covid-19 non urgent queries can be sent by email to provider.resilience@essex.gov.uk. For urgent queries please see update (11.06.2020)
  1. We continue to receive questions regarding access to PPE. Please note that you should call SPT on the following numbers for urgent access to PPE - 03330139974 for domiciliary providers, or 03330139972 for residential or supported living providers. You should also continue to place PPE orders with your usual suppliers to ensure you have sufficient supplies available.  
  1. Parking permits for critical key workers

 

Today's webinar and Q&A session (15.04.2020)

Copy of slides

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 14.04.2020

  1. Do you have a question for ECC relating to Covid-19? Tomorrow's webinar and Q&A session is at 2pm and details on how to ask questions will be put on the hub in the morning.  
  1. Queens Nursing Institute rapid training resources for community nursing and care homes. Access the Induction checklist here.
  1. Round up of info to support End of Life care in the community
  1. Training and resources guide (14.04.2020)
  1. Updated British Geriatrics Society guidance for managing covid-19 in care homes
  1. Guidance - Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 10.04.2020

  1. Securing Additional Capacity and Providing Financial Support for Residential Services for Older People
  1. Testing / swabbing of key workers update
  1. Reminder of contacts for Covid-19 queries & Service Placement Team (SPT) Easter Rota
  1. Reminder of Urgent supply of PPE
  1. This week's webinar Q&A FAQs have been added to the hub page
  1. CQC has updated Regulation 16 (death notification) form so you can indicate whether the death was a result of coronavirus (either confirmed or suspected). 
  1. CQC announcement on interim Methodology for Mental Health Act monitoring visits
  1. Reminder of Capacity data request - please complete this short form each day over the weekend

 

Testing / swabbing of key workers (10.04.20)

Over the course of the next week or so, the NHS is ramping up testing/swabbing of key workers in health and social care.  This testing will be via drive-thru facilities and will be limited by capacity. As such the current criteria that we are aware of is that testing will be limited to:

  • A key worker that is symptomatic of Covid-19 and is currently self-isolating
  • Where a key worker is self-isolating because a member of their household is symptomatic. In this case, it will be the symptomatic household member that is tested, not the key worker.

We will make you aware if the criteria changes. It is critical that only people who meet this criteria are tested in order to ensure the efficacy of the test itself and to ensure testing capacity is focused on getting key workers back to work.

Access to the testing will be controlled and names will need to be submitted each day with confirmation of the testing slot to follow.  We will therefore be asking you to provide details of numbers of staff self-isolating who meet the criteria and will need their contact details in order to be able to confirm the testing slot.

We expect more details early next week but thought you would welcome the opportunity to start preparing the above information in the meantime.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.04.2020

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

  1. Urgent supply of PPE - please see below 
  1. Receiving possible or confirmed covid-19 residents from hospital - guidance on how to care for these individuals (from yesterday's webinar). Please also see the government guidance for further information
  1. Details of Infection prevention & control support to social care staff - including email contact, training video (See below) and PDF Guidance

  1. Please see comprehensive provider FAQs for Direct Payments here. You can also access the guidance provided for people who use Direct Payments  and their responsibilities as an 'employer' of care staff.
  1. Capacity data request - please complete this short form each day over the weekend
  1. Essex Welfare Service has been set up to support people who are without the support of family or friends during this difficult time. The service connects them to their local community hubs and volunteers, who can help with shopping, collection and delivery medication & transportation and accessing social contact. If further assistance is needed please see below: Contact details (Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat-Sun 10am-2pm) https://www.essexwelfareservice.org.uk/, 03003039988, provide.essexwelfareservice@nhs.net
  1. Service Placement Team (SPT) Easter Rota
  1. Advocacy Support - In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Council is acutely aware that vulnerable people with social care needs may require support to understand and communicate their choice or express their views on issues, and participate in making decisions which affect them. If providers are aware that an individual may benefit from support of this nature, please note that the Council's commissioned advocacy service which is provided by Rethink remains committed to the provision of independent advocacy which will be conducted remotely and can be accessed via the following channels: E-mail: essexadvocacy@rethink.org Telephone: 0300 790 0559

 

Urgent Supply of PPE - Updated 09.04.2020

PPE remains a critical issue, but in the last few days we have received some additional supply. This will allow us to give up to 7 days supply to providers supporting individuals who have Covid -19 symptoms. It still will only be available for allocation on an urgent basis and we have finalised these requirements with partners across Essex. PPE will continue to be allocated in the following way:

  1. For cases of critical urgency
    • To providers visiting symptomatic adults where all other options have been considered for their care, where the removal of care would lead to critical health issues, and the care package will breakdown without all support,
    • For providers and Practioners who are going into situations where they will have to deliver support to a symptomatic individual with no opportunity to step away and look at alternative provision
    • You will be supported with what PPE we have to these visits for up to 5-7 days
  1. Equipment is to be worn in line with the guidelines
  1. Understanding that this equipment has not been directly sourced by ECC and we cannot guarantee it's efficiency. Providers will need to be comfortable with this position and acknowledge it before receiving PPE. We will ask you to sign the following declaration when picking up PPE

This Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) has been gifted to you by Essex County Council (the Council), free of charge for use during the COVID-19 epidemic. PPE at this time is in high demand and short supply and as a result the Council has sourced this PPE from a number of sources, including donations from Health Bodies and Essex Police, but also from local businesses. The Council is not able to guarantee that this PPE meets the required British and Public Health England Standards or that it has been stored correctly in accordance with the Public Health England requirements. Essex County Council cannot therefore accept any responsibility for the fitness for purpose of this equipment or any liability arising from its use.

Any PPE gifted to you by the Council, or obtained by any other source, should be used in accordance with the NHS England guidance which can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/community-social-care-ambulance/infection-control/personal-protective-equipment-ppe/

It is vital that the covid-19 related PPE requested is only for the most critical cases described above. We will continue to do all we can to source and support access to PPE, but we cannot give what stock we have to providers so they are prepared for a situation that may arise, it must be in response to current need. We really need your support to make what supply we have go as far as possible, and we thank you in advance for your support with this.

Outside of the particular PPE for Covid-19 symptomatic individuals, we are aware that some providers are struggling to source aprons and gloves on a wider basis. There are still various sources for these and as in all circumstances we request that you explore each available route. However, in urgent circumstances we can provide a small additional supply of gloves and aprons if required.

If you feel that your organisation meets any of this criteria and needs this help, can I please ask you to call 03330139974 if you are domiciliary provider, or 03330139972if you are a residential or supported living provider and speak to our service placement team. Please do not contact ECC on other routes for PPE as you will be directed back to this number. SPT will talk you through a checklist and advise where the allocated supply of PPE can be collected from. SPT will be able to take calls Friday 10th - Monday 13th April 10-4pm, then normal working hours. If you call after 3pm you will not be able to collect PPE until the next day

At present all PPE will be collected from the warehouse in Witham. From next week we hope to have distribution sites available in Harlow, Basildon and Colchester alongside Witham for your convenience. These will remain open as long as we have supply, but weekend distribution will remain centralised in Witham. We will advise further once this is completed.

Over the bank holidays and weekends the Witham warehouse will be open from 10-4pm

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 08.04.2020

  1. A joint communication to care providers from directors of adult social care and directors of public health in Greater Essex
  2. Please take the timeto view Today's Webinar which answers many of your recent enquiries - the webinar covers explanations on what PPE to use in each setting, new comprehensive guidance for care home settings, including when residents need to self-isolate after hospital discharge

 

Covid-19 Webinar (8 April) 

Slides from the webinar

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.04.2020

  1. ECC's Rapid Response Team (RRT) provider helpline for urgent, COVID-19 related critical issues starts tomorrow (8 April). Please see this update (11.06.2020)
  2. Updated government guidance for the following services:
    1. Homecare
    2. Supported Living
    3. Residential
  3. Webinar reminder - please watch the pre-recorded webinar which will be posted on the hub on or around 2pm tomorrow. The live Slido Q&A will start at 2:15pm. Details will be posted on the Hub in the morning.
  4. Reminder of urgent supply of PPE
  5. PHE training for care home settings
  6. Letter to supermarkets to help you purchase essential food

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 06.04.2020

  1. Important letter from ECC regarding Covid-19 and Personal Protective Equipment
  2. PHE guidance for admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home
  3. Updated FAQs have been published
  4. This week's Webinar and Q&A is from 2pm Wednesday. More details to follow.
  5. ECC has set up a new page on our website which is designed to support businesses during the current situation: The webpage includes signposts for business support packages, support for the self-employed as well as advice, support and training for local businesses, so please take a moment to review.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 03.04.2020

  1. Uplift statements for 2020/21 have been published
  2. Urgent access to PPE - please see below
  3. Updated government guidance for PPE - please note changes specifically in relation to use of PPE where those in the household are shielding
  4. Mental Health Supported to Independence and Intensive Enablement Announcement - suspension of current placement process
  5. Interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks
  6. Direct Payment queries reminder
  7. Answer to FAQ: Where a care worker has had contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19, whether in a residential setting or in someone's home, does that care worker need to self-isolate if they have no symptoms? No. The guidance states only those with symptoms or household members of those who have symptoms need to self-isolate.  The guidance is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

If a member of staff is concerned they have COVID-19 they should follow the NHS guidance.

If they are advised to self-isolate at home they should follow the PHE guidance.

If advised to self-isolate at home, they should not visit or care for individuals until safe to do so.

If however someone provides 24h live-in care then they are defined as household and should have been self-isolating including not working anywhere else; they should self isolate for the 14 days as per the guidance.

For further guidance please see below: 

Domiciliary Guidance

Residential Guidance

Infection Control Guidance (including PPE)

 

Urgent Supply of PPE

As we are all aware, there remains a critical gap in the provision for PPE across the whole of the Country. ECC have been looking at various options to source this, but are experiencing the same issues in the supply chain that you are. One of the options has been donations from local Essex businesses. This community support, combined with some mutual aid from the NHS, has allowed us to create a small supply that we can share on an urgent basis. We do not have a lot of this, it won't meet all the need, therefore we propose to distribute it in the following way:

  1. For cases of critical urgency
    • To providers visiting symptomatic adults where all other options have been considered for their care, where the removal of care would lead to critical health issues, and the care package will breakdown without all support,
    • For providers and Practioners who are going into situations where they will have to deliver support to a symptomatic individual with no opportunity to step away and look at alternative provision
    • You will be supported with what PPE we have to these visits for up to 3 days
  1. Equipment is to be worn in line with the guidelines
  1. Understanding that this equipment has not been directly sourced by ECC and we cannot guarantee it's efficiency. Providers will need to be comfortable with this position and acknowledge it before receiving PPE. We will ask you to sign the following declaration when collecting up PPE

This Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) has been gifted to you by Essex County Council (the Council), free of charge for use during the COVID-19 epidemic. PPE at this time is in high demand and short supply and as a result the Council has sourced this PPE from a number of sources, including donations from Health Bodies and Essex Police, but also from local businesses. The Council is not able to guarantee that this PPE meets the required British and Public Health England Standards or that it has been stored correctly in accordance with the Public Health England requirements. Essex County Council cannot therefore accept any responsibility for the fitness for purpose of this equipment or any liability arising from its use.

Any PPE gifted to you by the Council, or obtained by any other source, should be used in accordance with the NHS England guidance which can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/community-social-care-ambulance/infection-control/personal-protective-equipment-ppe/

It is vital that the PPE requested is only for the most critical cases described above. We will continue to do all we can to source and support access to PPE, but we cannot give what stock we have to providers so they are prepared for a situation that may arise, it must be in response to current need. We really need your support to make what supply we have go as far as possible, and we thank you in advance for your support with this.

If you feel that your organisation meets any of this criteria and needs this help, can I please ask you to call  our Service Placement Team.03330139974 for domiciliary providers, and 03330139972 for residential providers.  They will talk you through a checklist and advise where the allocated supply of PPE can be collected from. SPT will be able to take calls at the following times:

Saturday 4th April 10-4pm

Sunday 5th April 9-5pm

 

Mental Health Supported to Independence and Intensive Enablement Announcement

We are sorry but under the current circumstances of Covid-19 Essex County Council are unfortunately suspending the current placement process for the following Contracts - Mental Health Supported to Independence and Intensive Enablement. The reason we are doing this is to alleviate the pressure on our hospital capacity situation as quickly as we can, therefore, we are removing Care act choice temporarily. As I am sure you agree we all find ourselves in extremely difficult circumstances and we do hope you will support us in this decision.

The following process will take effect immediately; EPUT  will be choosing best match placement to support the needs using the void list - after this point other suppliers will be approached.

To aid us in the quick and accurate collation of voids, below is a link to a live webpage which will update voids immediately. Please ensure you fill this in once a week or as and when there is a change. Please also note on this link if there has been no change. This list will be used for the new process above, it is therefore very important you keep this updated.

https://consultations.essex.gov.uk/procurement/adef41e7/

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.04.2020

  1. Update from DoHSC on plans to support access to PPE Equipment across the health and care system
  2. Skills for Care through their endorsed training providers are offering fully funded virtual training for volunteers, new staff and existing staff on mandatory subjects.
  3. North East Essex providers are being encouraged to register with the My Care Choices electronic database of people's preferences and priorities for their future care at End of Life, which will help to improve communication between health care professionals supporting residents.
  4. Further guidance to support families / carers of those with Learning Disabilities and also resources to help those with LD.

 

Mid Duty Team Email Address

Please note CountywideDuty.TeamMid@essex.gov.uk is currently experiencing issues. Please call 0343 603 7630 while the issue is looked into.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 01.04.2020

  1. Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payments extension - update below
  2. Today's webinar can be accessed below and includes updates on Public Health, PPE, Mutual Aid, Operation Shield and the Essex Welfare Service. We would appreciate your views on whether the weekly webinars are still helpful. We would also welcome any helpful tips you would like to share with other providers for any of the issues raised. Please send them to ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk

  

Extension to Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payments  

ECC are pleased to inform providers that the Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payment  has been extended until the 1st August.  This is in response to feedback from providers to support with capacity and reduce the number of packages on the available packages list.

From the 1st April 2020  ECC will give an additional one off payment of £500 for every new placement that a domiciliary provider accepts from the available packages list that is issued on a Monday and Thursday from the Service Placement Team. 

The payment will be administered by Essex County Council.  Providers will not need to take any action to receive the payment but will be informed when the payment is applicable via a note on each Purchase Order where the payment has been applied.  On a weekly basis all placements that have the incentive applied will be batched for a one off payment that will be received within 30 days.

If you have any queries or comments about the initiative now or in the future please contact us at ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk

 

PPE update and Data request

As you are aware, the flow of PPE remains a national concern. Since our last update, ECC have continued to do all that we can to ensure that the urgency of this is escalated at the highest levels in government.

We are doing all that we can to support you with a robust supply of appropriate PPE to support your staff through the covid-19 pandemic, and are looking at all opportunities available to us. You will be aware that we have asked for donations and the local community of Essex have been very responsive. We are currently collecting these and will do all we can to support with critical demand until a wider supply chain is confirmed.

It would really help if you were able to give us an oversight of your organisation's position on PPE. It would be really helpful if you return the survey below. As supply is so limited at present, please can you advise only of your most critical need for the next 2 days on your current caseload so we can support you by putting resources in the correct place where available.  

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=TzK0qFwVFUKg8X7YzJqZL2adyT4yv4dJorwiF4-vxcdUOURHQlRYREhJQVVVTlczSFUxQUk3UENEVy4u 

When returning the information, can you also please consider it in line with the following:

  • The type of PPE that is to be used with those symptomatic or diagnosed with covid-19
  • That you continue to place orders through your own supply chain and options available to you, and the escalated Government routes provided in past updates and the webinar

If you have a larger supply of PPE that you could share vis mutual aid with us to distribute, that would be very welcome. We are happy to collate and distribute this if you can help.

 

Today's Webinar (01.04.2020)

 

You can find previous news articles in the news archive

 

Last Updated: 21 October 2020

 

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