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March 2020


ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 27.03.2020

  1. Essex County Council has a dedicated team in place to support businesses with general advice and information to help them through the challenges being faced as a result of Coronavirus. There is information available on the Essex County Council website, which is being updated regularly. If you're unable to find what you need from the information available, contact the team at:
  2. Police officer attendance at care home deaths - HM Senior Coroner is content that, during this national crisis, there is no necessity for police to attend all deaths occurring in care homes; the only exception will be where there is suspicion with regards to involvement of a third party, including negligence.
  3. National Care force - Care providers can use this free online platform to find volunteers to help with cooking, child care, driving, running errands and other such assistance, freeing up frontline staff to focus on immediate care. Sign up here


ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 26.03.2020

  1. Please see letter from the CCGs regarding the need for providers to sign up to NHS Mail (application form and user guide) & upload information into a Capacity Tracker in order to support the system during the covid-19 outbreak.
  2. PHE Guidance for when to use a surgical face mask or FFP3 respirator.
  3. PHE Guidance for putting on PPE for non-aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) and taking off PPE for non-aerosol generating procedures (AGPS)
  4. 3 hour window for discharge from hospital
  5. Government to provide free car parking for NHS and social care staff (announcement)


Hospital Discharges (26.03.20)

We wanted to make clear to you the requirements around assessments, including the timeline for decisions to accept.

The Government has mandated a 3 hour window for discharge from hospital once an adult is 'medically stable, fit for transfer'.   This timeline gives an hour for the adult to be transferred from the ward to a discharge lounge, and a further 2 hours for the adult to be discharged from the hospital.  This means that you will NOT have the ability to meet and assess the adult prior to accepting them into one of the contracted beds.

Essex County Council, working our local CCGs and Acute and Community health providers will ensure that information about each adult is shared with you in a timely manner, to allow you to consider and accept the referral.  This information will be proportionate, and at times may be limited due to the pressure in the system.


ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 25.03.2020

  1. The Supply Disruption Service helpline can answer PPE calls and emails 24/7 on 0800 915 9964 or email  
  2. Domiciliary Care, Supported Living and Independent Living Financial Support: Questions and Answers
  3. Today's webinar can be accessed below and covers a number of concerns you have raised with us. You can also view the slides here. We will publish the answers to the questions received in Slido as soon as possible on the FAQ page.
  4. Apologies to those who experienced issues downloading the spreadsheet for the RAG rating request yesterday - the updated spreadsheet can be accessed here.


Today's Webinar (25.03.2020) 

Copy of Slides 


ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 24.03.2020

  1. Tomorrow's webinar will be uploaded to the hub on or around 2pm. We will publish the Slido code on the hub tomorrow and will start answering your questions via the system from 2:15pm.
  2. Urgent data request - To understand which service users you have RAG rated at each status level, please could you complete the attached spreadsheet and return to this mailbox by close of business 25th March 2020.  Please note you will also be required to enter details of any frustrated visits you are claiming, so we are able to cross check against the submitted invoices.
  3. Day Opportunities COVID-19 update: closure notification
  4. Guidance for Supported Living Providers for potential reduced community access and tips to keep active whilst keeping a safe distance
  5. Pharmacy opening times update and medication support from community pharmacies                
  6. NHS Infection control for residential care leaflet
  7. To help ease communication with the NHS they are contacting providers to set up NHSmail accounts. Please do this as soon as possible.


 ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.03.2020


 ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.03.2020

  • Care Home Food Supply - please see update below
  • The FAQs have been updated (from Q46 onwards)
  • Dept of Health and Social Care will be answering your FAQs - please submit them here
  • Provider Resilience inbox - for clarity this inbox is being used to collate your questions. Due to the volumes individual responses to the questions raised are not possible. However answers to the themes raised will go out via the daily updates or via updates to our FAQ
  • Please note: Catheter training on March 23rd has been cancelled    
  • Easy read guidance document regarding Covid-19 


Care Home Food Supplies

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; full product details can be found on their website -

If you would like you start utilising Brakes please contact Joe Murgia directly.

Joe Murgia
Business Development Manager

T: 0344 800 4900
M: 07483 952385


COVID 19 update for day opportunities

From today the 19th of March, in light of COVID-19 situation Essex County Council will cease to make new referrals to Day Opportunity services. Please note support to existing placements should continue to be delivered as  planned until further notice or guidance is received from ECC.

If you intend to enact your business continuity plan or close your service please inform the service placement team: and

If you or anyone attending your service needs to contact ECC out of business hours please contact the emergency duty team on: 0345 6061212

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued extremely valuable work to support vulnerable adults in this very difficult time.


Social Care Market Capacity (19.03.2020)

To enable Essex County Council (ECC) to understand capacity within the Social Care market and any challenges you might be facing, we are implementing a questionnaire that is available at the following link   We would kindly ask that this questionnaire is competed and submitted as soon as possible but by 2pm Friday 20 March.  The intention will then be to request this information on a weekly basis however frequency of response is subject to review.

A question within the domiciliary care section, requires a spreadsheet to be completed (if applicable) and returned.  This spreadsheet is attached to this email and should be completed and returned as applicable to when you submit your questionnaire.

Should you have any questions in relation to this questionnaire, please do not hesitate to contact us via email on


Covid-19 Webinar 19.03.2020


Home Care, Supported Living and Independent Living Financial Support (18.03.2020)

Please see attached important information regarding interim arrangements of financial support being made available to you.

Communications for other provider markets will be issued shortly


Update regarding use of PPE and supplies (18.03.2020)

Over the last few days, some queries have arisen from providers around when PPE should be used in connection to Covid-19.

We have shared a number of links to the government position on how an individual who is showing symptoms of Covid-19 should be cared for, which includes using PPE of aprons, gloves and fluid repellent masks. If the individual receiving care is not showing symptoms of Covid-19, no PPE is required above good hygiene practices where organisations should follow their standard policies.

As previous communications have mentioned, we are awaiting stock of PPE and are working on how we can distribute this to providers as needed once received. We will share this information as soon as we have taken receipt of the PPE. But as we await this, it is important that the PPE in the system is used in line with the guidance which is when caring for individuals showing symptoms of Covid-19 and not used as a matter of course on all visits. Our letter on this issue on 17th March added more information from Health Protection England:

'Their advice was that most risk is associated with aerosol generating procedures such as suctioning in care homes. Home care support and other types of support in care homes would be lower risk and that using your normal procedures for someone who has a respiratory infection should be adequate while we are waiting for supplies to be released.'

We will update you on the position on PPE as soon as possible. 

The government advice on how to care for individuals with and without symptoms can be found here;

Our letter of 17th March with additional information can be found here.


Reminder: Webinar 19.03.2020

To watch the presentation and ask questions:

  1. Go to the hub news page at 11am and await the pre-recorded video
  2. Go to: and enter the code we will publish on the hub news page tomorrow
  3. Ask questions via Slido. We will aim to answer as many as possible live via the system from 11:15am


Covid-19 Planning and Support update 17.03.2020

Please see attached latest letter from Steve Ede, Head of Procurement. As part of this update we are requesting some urgent information from you about your clients. Using the attached guidance on prioritising the needs of individuals please complete this form by COP Thursday (19th March). We very much appreciate your continued support.


Covid-19 FAQs and this week's webinar

We have published a provider coronavirus frequently asked questions (FAQ) page and have included answers from questions raised in the webinar last week. We have received a large number of questions in the provider resilience inbox and these FAQs should help to answer most. However we will be adding more answers to your questions and publishing them on this page.

We are also holding another webinar on Thursday at 11:15am. The presentations will be pre-recorded and published on the hub news page prior. At 11:15am we will be taking live questions via Slido and responding to them. Details to follow.


ECC Covid-19 Planning and Support 16.03.2020

Please see attached letter from Steve Ede, Head of Procurement in regards to ECC planning and support available to support you. This includes a message regarding PPE as we recognise this is of significant concern to you.


Updated Covid-19 Government Guidance 13.03.2020

Please see updated government guidance for social care organisations. This includes advice whereby staff are concerned they have Covid-19, and where residents display symptoms of the virus. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with this new guidance.

Residential Guidance

Supported Living Guidance

Home care Guidance


Covid-19 Support for businesses

The government has published details of support available to businesses to help you through the period of disruption caused by Coronavirus. Details of which can be found below:

  • SMEs to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19 (click for eligibility)
  • a Business Rate Relief for small businesses (details)
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance. This service will be available in the coming weeks (details)
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme to help businesses with tax bills in financial distress (helpline 0800 0159 559)
  • reminder to check your insurance cover so that it covers pandemics

Throughout this extremely challenging period we want to assure you that our immediate concerns continue to be the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable residents across Essex, and how we can support you, both financially and otherwise, to enable that to happen.

At this stage we are working through all options, in relation to any actions we may take, to help you continue to provide these essential services, essential to maintaining the market; whilst preventing any consequential financial hardship as a result of disruption to normality. 

We will provide more information as soon as possible to help in your planning and preparation for the weeks ahead.

We ask that you maintain communication with us through the inbox that has been created to ensure that we are fully aware of your current situation in order that we are able to continue to plan for the best way to proceed on behalf of you and the people of Essex.


Covid-19 Webinar Video 11.03.2020

The recording of the Covid-19 webinar from 11th March is now available. Thank you to all who joined and asked questions, which we are currently reviewing. Apologies again to those who experienced sound issues during the live event, we have made some sound improvements to the recording. We have had good feedback about the format and will look to run these again.



Coronavirus (Covid-19) Webinar Slides

We held a live Coronavirus webinar earlier today (11th March) which included presentations from the Directors of Commissioning and Public Health. The slides are available to download and we intend to publish the recording of the webinar as soon as possible. Thank you to those that joined, we understand there were some sound issues, but we have also received good feedback on the format. 


Important information regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The government has published a comprehensive guide for social care providers on preventing and dealing with cases of the coronavirus. It includes advice on what to do in a number of scenarios including if your staff or clients become unwell, or have been in contact with someone with the virus and what actions you can take now to help prevent the spread of the virus. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the contents.

It's important to note that where someone is undergoing testing for the virus, or a confirmed case has recently been in the workplace or residential setting, closure of the workplace or residential setting is not currently recommended. In all situations please follow the advice from the Public Health England (PHE) local Health Protection Team. Additionally, people who have not had close contact with a confirmed case do not need to take any precautions and can continue their routines as usual.

The CQC has also sent a letter to all registered care services, detailing how they are responding to the outbreak.


February 2020


Important: Delays receiving Egress messages

Update 27 February: Egress have advised the issue has been fixed. We will continue to monitor this but should you continue to experience issues please contact

The Service Placement Team (SPT) are currently experiencing issues with Egress, the secure email system.  The issues are resulting in delays in providers being able to access ISPs and in some instances the team are manually password protect files before emailing them for data security.  We are working closely with our IT department to identify the reasons for this fault, therefore please accept our apologies whilst this issue is resolved.


Information regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a new illness with symptoms including fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. As of 17th Feb 2020 nine patients in England have tested positive for Covid-19 and none of whom were Essex residents.  The Covid-19 virus is not yet circulating in the community and should have little impact on care providers at the moment. 

Those seeking general information on covid-19 will find the NHS website a reliable source.  More in-depth and technical information can be found on the Public Health England website. 

For specific concerns related to caring for an individual who may have the virus call Public Health England's Covid-19 help line: 0300 3038 537 (option 1).


E-Learning to Help People in Cold Homes 

Plese find below details about a new e-learning programme to support health & care staff to spot the signs of people living in cold homes. Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) haas worked with Public Health England (PHE) to develop the Helping People Living in Cold Homes e-Learning Programme for health & care professionals. The e-learning resource supportshealth & social care professionals to put National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) guidance into practise. 

Aimed at healt & care staff who undertake home visits, the resource provides information on local service that can assist people living in cold homes, such as installing insulation, improving heating systems or helping reduce energy bills. It also helps pwople spot the signs of a cold home- including less obviousl ones. With this information, staff can have a conversation with pople whosehealth may be affected by being cold at home, & signpost them to the relevant local services. For more information about the e-learning programme, including details on how to access, visit:


Care Home Recycling 

We all have a duty to recycle, wheather at home or at work. We trust that you have arrangements in place to rycycle & safely dispose of items such as medicines. Proper removal of food waste, which is inevitable in care establishments catering for people, is also very important. Separating food waste is not only good for the enivironment, but also reduced gdeneral waste & could result in lower costs for collection services. Below are a few organisations that offer business waste collection coutnywide: 

Biffa  0800 307307 
CSH Environmental 01206 916273
Green Recycling  01621 842600


Do you have innovative ways of reducing your waste? Or tips for recycling? Please get in touch so we can share these with other care providers. 


Report: A Strategic and Objective View of the Adult Social Care Market in Essex

Essex County Council commissioned Kingsbury Hill Fox, a health and social care consultancy company, to provide an independent view of the care market in Essex.  The objective was to create an evidence base which could be used to inform future commissioning strategies for the council.  The report is already helping to shape thinking about future contractual models for domiciliary care and it has prompted internal discussions about the financial resilience of the care market more generally.  The council will continue to work with care providers and service users to ensure that it commissions solutions which people want, which improve outcomes and which the market can supply.  You can read the full copy of the report where recommendations are outlined along with ECC's response to each


Important: New e-Sourcing System 

Essex County Council isimplementing a new E-Sourcing system, Proactis, where the organisations's sourcing, contract & supplier management activity will be undertaken. The Council previously used BiP Delta.

The System go live is scheduled to commence on the 3rd of February. From this date all Essex County Council Procurement activity will be conducted through Proactis. 

In order to participate or register interest in advertised bid opportunities for Essex County Council you will need to register your orgganisation on the Proactis Supplier Newwork which cna be reached on the link below; 

In adition, our current suppliers will receive an email from the Proactis systme over the next  ocuple of months which will be a "request to engage". You will need to follow the link in the email to ensure that your supplier record is correct. This will allow us to communicate & share contractual documentation through the system including performance reporting & policy updates. 

Proactis system support

Should you require any assistance with any ssytem please scontact Supplier Support helpdesk

Alternatively, you can email to automatically log a ticket for the system


Adult Safeguarding Staff Survey 

The Southend, Essex and Thurrock Safeguarding Boards are requesting that all staff please take a 10 minute survey to allow us to establish the strengths and the gaps within adult safeguarding, to then enable us to know how we can help you to feel more confident and knowledgeable when dealing with adult safeguarding issues going forward.

This survey will be open to all staff at all levels, including receptionists, volunteers, contracted staff, social workers, mental health workers, stakeholders, trainees, as well as any other in direct employee of the organisation.  The staff survey will allow the boards to comply with the Care Act (2014) by helping us have a clear, agreed understanding of the roles, responsibilities and accountability of its member agencies.  The link for the staff survey is HERE, as previously mentioned, it should take no more than 10 mins to complete and all responses will be anonymous.  The survey opens on Monday 27th January and closes on 6th March.

Link -

SET Missing Protocol

This protocol has been developed by Southend, Essex and Thurrock (SET) Safeguarding Adult Boards to give guidance on how to provide the best possible service to adults that are at risk of going missing or have gone missing. Alongside the guidance is a missing form which should be completed where there is a risk of someone going missing, alternatively it could be completed at the time it is discovered that someone is missing but shouldn't delay reporting the incident to the police.  The form will enable the police to risk assess the person accurately and have all the necessary information to assist during the search and investigation.

Link -


January 2020


Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payment

ECC are pleased to inform providers that the Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payment will be re-introduced from Monday 20th January 2020.  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 20th January 2020 until 31st March 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


Update on mid and west Essex outbreak of invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS)

Mid Essex CCG is pleased to report there have been no new cases of invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS), caused by the outbreak strain, in mid Essex and west Essex since August 2019.

As a result the CCG, along with partners involved in the incident management including Public Health England (PHE) and Provide Community Interest Company, have taken the decision to step down the Incident Management Team and some of the control measures that have been in place since March 2019. This is in line with criteria agreed in September 2019 by all organisations involved in the Incident Management Team.

All organisations involved in managing the outbreak will remain vigilant in the coming months and will continue to assess the situation as the control measures are carefully reviewed and downgraded.

Some of the control measures will continue and others have been revised. For example, wounds of adult patients being treated by mid Essex community nursing teams will continue to be closely monitored for signs of infection and swabs taken where required to check for the bacteria. However, community nursing teams who were only working in the CM7 Braintree postcode area to minimise the risk of the infection spreading, have returned to their normal working pattern.

Rachel Hearn, Director of Nursing and Quality at Mid Essex CCG said: "We are beginning to step down the incident management and control measures following advice that there have been no new cases of invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) linked to the mid Essex outbreak since August 2019.
"The safety and care of our patients and residents across mid Essex remains our first priority and we want to reassure everyone that the CCG is still working closely with partners to monitor the situation and will continue to do so.

"Our thoughts remain with the families of patients affected and those who have died as a result of iGAS."

Last autumn Mid Essex CCG commissioned an independent investigation into the outbreak. A report from the investigation is due to be published in the spring.

For background information on the mid Essex iGAS outbreak visit 


Healthy Lifestyles Booklet for Adults with a Learning Disability 

Following our recent healch check guidance providers & people with learning disabilities &autisum, heere is a very handy easy-read guide about living a healthy life. 

People with learning disabilities have poorere physical & mental health than other people & die younger. Annual Health Checks (AHCs) can be offered to anyone on the learning disability register aged 14 years & older. 

We know that not everyone registered with their GP in Essex as having a learning disability is getting an Annual Health Check (AHC)

AHC'S can identify undetected health conditions early, ensure there are effective ongoing treatments & establish trust & continuity of care. 


Subsidised Training Opportunities

Pleses see below details of subsidised training courses still availbe, alongside a new course added. For more information on these & other training & development opportunities please email or call Lorretta Wilshire: 03330 138387 or Shane Carter: 03330 320985 

NEW - Level 2 Understanding to Technology Enabled Care (flyer attached) 

  • Enables indibiduals to understand techonlogy enabled care that can be used to support an indivitual's quality of live. 
  • Enables individuals to understand person-centred approach to tecnology enabled care to support independence, health & well-being
  • Enables individuals to understand roles & responsibilityies in relation to technology enabled care. 
  • Gain a nationally recongised qualification 

Cost to the employer: £125 per person 

Unit Accrditation Towards Level 4 Adult Social Care (City & Guilds) 

  • Ideal for individuals who take the lead in the quallity of your provision e.g. care certificate 
  • Ideal ffor those looking to progress onto management or senior worker status
  • Provides the next steps in your personal & professional development 

Cost to the employer: £125 per person 

Level 2 Award in Leadership & Team Skills. 

  • Ideal for those looking to boost their perfomance as a team mem er & make the transition from team member to leading a team. 
  • This course will enable those already pra tishing as a team leader to become more effective &  confident & boost productivity in the workplace. 
  • Gain a nationally recognised qualification 

Cost to the employer: £125 per person

Microsoft Office (Wordk & Excel) 

  • These courses are sutable for those looking to develop basic digital skills or for those who need refresher training 
  • Supports staff to keep up with digitisation of records in the workplace 

Cost to the employer: £150 per person 


Request for Case Studies

Do you have a staff member who is passionate about care and would like to be part of a national campaign to promote careers in care? 

We know it is often difficult to find and keep staff and we want to help. Through raising Essex's profile and a targeted recruitment campaign we are aiming to help fill your vacancies.

Essex Case Studies

We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care to tackle the recruitment need by using the national campaign to gain coverage. The National Recruitment Campaign team are interested in having case studies from Essex to be part of the national campaign. We want to promote care in Essex through case studies of your amazing staff, to appear in the National Recruitment Campaign. The case studies are being themed, with a new one each month:

  • January - 'career switchers', those who have moved from another industry into adult social care
  • February - those supporting people with learning disabilities
  • March - those working in rural areas

To join in the campaign and raise the profile of care in Essex, please complete the attached case study form and submit it to

Essex targeted digital campaign

Once we have Essex case studies we intend on using digital channels including social media to target people with the right values and behaviours for a role in care and direct them to current vacancies in Essex. Having Essex case studies of care staff passionate about what they do will add weight to the local campaign as well. The Essex digital campaign will point the targeted local people to the national DWP vacancy page so, to ensure that we have all the available vacancies on the page, please support us by uploading your vacancies and keeping them up to date.

Why should you be interested?

The national campaign drive that started in October has seen an average of 26,600 new visits to the website each week, and vacancies are being filled. A targeted digital campaign will draw in more interest and more people applying for care roles, helping to fill your vacancies. Having Essex case studies will allow applicants to relate more with the jobs and will increase the profile of care in the county. Also, targeted digital channels including social media are powerful tools in recruitment drives. This approach has been used by the Council successfully in other recruitment campaigns eg. foster care.

What else can you do?

Upload your vacancies

Use campaign materials

Refer friends and family

Sign up to receive updates from the campaign

We're always interested to hear about your experiences of recruiting staff in the county, including if you have already advertised through the campaign, and how you think ECC can help. Please email us at to tell us more, or if you have any questions regarding the above.


Free Workplace Health Promotion programme and MHFA England training

As a care provider it can be difficult to recruit and retain staff.  Traditionally the sector pay is low, staff working 24 hour shift patterns, often lone working and supporting clients in difficult circumstances.  Because of these challenges staff health and wellbeing often takes a back seat.

Essex Lifestyle Service is commissioned by the Essex County Council Public Health Team to deliver an innovative, evidenced based holistic health and wellbeing programme to support organisations in Essex.  The Stevenson Farmer Review "Thriving at Work", which was published in 2017, produced a set of 6 core standards which they encouraged workplaces to adopt, to improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce.  The Working Well programme and Accreditation can help you to achieve these Mental health core standards:

  1. Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  2. Develop mental health awareness among employees
  3. Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling
  4. Provide employees with good working conditions
  5. Promote effective people management
  6. Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

We also know that over half of UK employers would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing, but don't feel they have the right training or guidance.  Your workforce is your most precious asset, what are you doing to protect it and secure your future and business edge?

The free Working Well programme offers a broad range of activities including: discounted (and free) MHFA England Mental Health First Aid Training (2 day Mental Health First Aider, 1 day Managers training and half day Mental Health Awareness plus the NEW 3 yearly refresher training.  They can also offer you a free anonymous staff needs survey, training for your own Workplace Health Champions, Managers and Staff Stress Awareness workshops, healthy eating and weight management programmes, physical activity support and guidance (including funding), a Working Well Accreditation quality mark and regular support from the Working Well team.  Our HR Specialist can work with you to audit your policies and procedures, and give additional training for managers to improve confidence to support staff with poor mental health in the workplace.

Click here to see the Flyer and for more details email:


Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payment 2020

ECC are pleased to announce the Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payment has been introduced from 20th January 2020 to support providers that are able to accept placements from the available packages list. 

 The aim of the 2020 payment is to support all our domiciliary providers to secure resource that will help reduce the number of placements on the available packages list that is issued on a Tuesday and Thursday from SPT.  Providers will receive a one-off payment of £500 for each placement that is made from the available packages list.

The initiative commences on 20th January 2020 and is planned to continue until 31st March 2020.

 For any queries or further information please contact us at


Workforce strategy survey - what should we commit to do?

We want to help you recruit and retain staff. This workforce survey is for you to tell us how we (ECC), you and other health and care organisations can help. The Council is working to produce a care market workforce strategy (for adult social care services) and we need your views to help inform the document. Please take  5 minutes to tell us your thoughts and shape this important piece of work. The survey closes on Friday 31 January

Please email should you have any questions.


New Falls Improvement Group 

Do you have an interest in Falls Reduction? Mid Essex CCG have joined forces with partners from the local health and social care system to create a new Falls Improvement Group for mid Essex area. The group's aim is to work collaboratively on improving falls and would welcome care home partners to get involved. If you are interested in attending the group (6 weekly meetings at Broomfield) or would like to learn more about how you can reduce risk of falls, please email Louise Pinder (CCG Resilience Team) on  


Annual health checks for adults with a learning disability

It is well recognised that people with learning disabilities have poorer physical and mental health than other people and die younger. Many of these deaths are avoidable. Annual Health Checks can be offered to anyone on the learning disability register aged 14 years and older. We know that not everyone registered with their GP in Essex as having a learning disability is getting an Annual Health Check (AHC). AHCs can identify undetected health conditions early, ensure there are effective ongoing treatments and establish trust and continuity of care. In line with the NHS Long Term Plan, Essex County Council is committed to reducing health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities to lead longer, happier, healthier lives. Increasing the update of annual health checks was one of the measures identified to help. Please see the attached documents that outline what an individual with a learning disability can expect when they visit their GP and details of how Annual Health Checks work (gold standard).

Important reminder regarding assessments

To All Home Managers

Throughout the winter months it is important we work together to ensure our plans for keeping residents safe and in good health are robust. Older people are particularly vulnerable during winter months and we urge all social care providers to particularly consider capacity and contingency plans at this time. Please see attached Public Health England letter detailing winter illness preparation advice and NICE guidance for infection prevention.

As you will be aware hospitals will be under increasing pressure to keep bed capacity at a maximum during this period.  It is imperative that when you are requested to undertake an assessment of any kind for someone residing in a hospital that it is done as soon as possible after being notified of the request. If the person is then being discharged into a residential or nursing service, for example, it is important that the home admits/re-admits the person as soon as possible once the assessment decision has been made. Ideally this should be done on the same day as the referral request. The same standard should be applied 7 days a week.

Also please be reminded that for those leaving Broomfield Hospital, the Trusted Assessor can support in completing the preadmission assessment.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for your support over the winter months.


Free Sepsis Training

NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG and NHS Southend CCG are offering Free Sepsis Training to care staff to build awareness on how to identify sepsis, what to do once identified and when to get help. This will be held on Wednesday 5th February 2020 from 9:30 to 12:30 at the Skylark Hotel Southend. To Find out more information and to book a place please see the attached flyer.


December 2019

 EU Settlement Scheme - Essex Update

The EU Settlement Scheme is the government programme which allows EEA & Swiss Citizens, as well as their non-EEA family members, to apply to remain in the UK after it leaves the EU.

In order to gain a full understanding of how to apply for the scheme and which status someone may be eligible for, please visit:

The application can be done at home, using a device with an internet connection for the main application. There are a couple of options for the 'scanning documents' section, all of which require a download of the 'EU Exit: ID Document Check' app.

1) Android device with:

  • Android 6.0 and above - this can be found in the device settings
  • at least 135MB of storage space to install the app
  • connection to 3G, 4G or WiFi
  • NFC (Near-Field Communication) so the app can scan the document - this can be found in the device settings. If the phone can be used to pay for things using contactless, this means it has NFC and the app can be used

2) Apple Device (iPhone 7 or newer) with:

  • iOS 13.1 or newer -(to find the software version installed, go to Settings > General > About)
  • at least 120MB of storage space to install the app
  • connection to 3G, 4G or WiFi

3) A visit to your nearest digitally assisted application

  • Essex county council has now implemented Scanners in the following location to aid with settlement status applications:

    -Basildon Library

    -Chelmsford Library

    -Colchester Library (Colchester Borough Council)

    -Harlow Library

    These are free to access via a walk-in service. The librarians are trained to aid with the document scanning. Computers can also be booked per hour via the libraries website, in order to complete the rest of the application.

    If you choose to use our service please do not start your online application before your document has been scanned.

    All applicants must attend, including children, as a photo needs to be taken of each applicant during the process.

    We do not charge for this service. You do not need to book an appointment, but you may need to wait for a member of staff to be available before you can be seen.

    You will need to bring with you:

    • a current valid biometric EU, EEA or Swiss passport or Biometric Residence Card for each applicant
    • a mobile phone that can receive text messages
    • an email address to use to complete your application.

    We will not need to keep your ID document and in most cases you should not be asked to send your passport anywhere else after it has been scanned.

    For further information regarding the scheme within Essex, the libraries or anything similar, please go to:
  • Tendring District Council has benefitted from the help of a worker from Migrant UK. This worker is available to help understand the EU settlement scheme and advise on what an individual may need to do to ensure that rights are protected and they can continue living in the UK after it leaves the EU. David is running drop in sessions from 10am - 2pm at 88-90 Pier Avenue, CO15 1TN. Appointments can also be made by contacting:


Subsidised Training Opportunities 

Adult Community Learning (ACL) in partnership with Essex County Council Economic Growth team are delighted to offer a number of subsidised training opportunities to the care provider market. These training programmes aim to support the development of care management skills, leadership and team skills, and digital skills. In addition to these programmes, there is the opportunity to undertake unit accreditation towards achieving a L4 Adult Social Care Diploma.

 The training is subsidised by Essex County Council and there are a limited number of places on each programme.

Please see attached flyer for course information and contact details.


Flu vaccinations for care sector staff

 Please be reminded that frontline care staff are eligible for free flu vaccinations on the NHS. As an added incentive Public Health England and the NHS will be giving certificates to organisations who ensure their staff are vaccinated. Further details are within the flyer attached.

We urge you to ensure your staff receive the vaccine for the safety of those in their care.


Meaningful Lives Facebook Channel - help us spread the word 

The Meaningful Lives Facebook channel is live and we would appreciate your help by sharing the link to help get the message out across Essex and for the new page to start gaining a profile. The Meaningful Lives Matter program is the biggest transformation program in Essex and is a new countywide movement to transform the lives of children and adults with learning disability and/or autism in Essex.  The page is designed to inform our Learning Disability & Autism communities about the services we offer, events, news updates and awareness campaigns. Access the page here:

We would also welcome any uplifting or interesting stories from your schemes and residents for consideration to include in the pages. Please send these to


National Medicines Safety Improvement Programme

UCLPartners has launched a programme of work to support improvements in the safety of medicines administration in care homes. This work is part of the National Medicines Safety Improvement Programme, commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement and being led in your region by the UCLPartners Patient Safety Collaborative. This is an important programme to try and reduce the harm suffered by people living in care homes on the occasions where medicines are not given as intended. You can read more about the programme in the attached document.

 To help with this work, we would like to invite you to complete an e-survey on behalf of your care home - you can complete the survey by following this link - The deadline for the survey is 31 January 2020. Your responses will be treated in confidence, and will help to shape what the national programme will look like and how UCLPartners can support you.

 If you would like to discuss this survey or the programme further please contact Emma Mordaunt ( or Mandeep Butt (


November 2019


Digital solution to support people using Direct Payments

As part of the Choice and Control transformation programme where Essex County Council are aiming to embed personalisation across all that we do in Adult Social Care, we are undertaking a test and learn project to see if we can improve and broaden our offer to people who receive Direct Payments.  This will involve trying out a digital solution that allows people to manage their direct payment and place orders for services through an online platform. 

The platform offers the following functionality.

 The opportunity for the adult to:

  • See their support plan
  • Purchase their care and support through an e-market place
  • Recruit PA's
  • Manage time sheets and invoices
  • Pay providers quickly and efficiently
  • See their budget and what their contribution/assessed charge is
  • Set up a direct debit to pay their assessed charge

We are planning to undertake the test and learn to see how this works and whether it can become part of the offer.  We will run the test and learn in the Mid Quadrant with a mixed group of adults form April to December 2020.

If you support someone who pays for their care via a direct payment this may impact upon you.  Once we have recruited the adults to be part of the test and learn we will contact the providers that work with them to ensure that the system works smoothly and that the payment mechanisms are set up properly.

We would appreciate your support and co-operation throughout this process if it involves your organisation.

For Further information contact Stephen Watt


Annual Provider Relationship Survey 

The Annual Provider Relationship Survey is live and we need as many care provider responses as possible. Please click the link below to access the survey.


Your feedback is extremely valuable and the data obtained from your anonymised answers will be used by senior managers and directors at Essex County Council to help plan future activity.

The survey, which is being conducted by an external agency Enventure Research, is made up of quick and easy to answer questions which you can complete in around 10 minutes.

Please forward the link above onto your teams so they too can take part.

If you have any questions about completing or accessing the questionnaire, please call the survey helpline on 0800 0092 117 or email  


Care Worker Survey Results

We're pleased to announce the care worker survey results are now available and can be accessed here. Thank you again to everyone who responded, the responses you gave will be used to inform ECCs future workforce activity. If you have any questions or comments on the findings please email You can also find useful information to support recruitment and retention on our Hub workforce pages.


EPUT Care Home Training Provision Review

EPUT would like your feedback on the training currently provided and have produced this short questionnaire.

Please return your completed questionnaire to Sharon Earl, Committee Secretary, by e-mail, by post 12 Castle Road, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7QF or over the telephone Tel: 01268 464508.


E-Procurement Update

Thank you to those who attended our E-Procurement workshop on the 27/09/2019, your feedback is very valuable to our project team. Please note, you can obtain a copy of the slides and the feedback from this event on the provider hub. 

We are hoping this article enhances your knowledge of our E-Procurement project, particularly for those who were unable to attend our workshop and for those who did, this article should serve as a progress update.

What is E-Procurement

E-Procurement is a digital approach to the sourcing of Domiciliary Care. We recognise that that there are a number of efficiencies that can be realised through commissioning requests for care via a digital platform for both Providers and Essex County Council (ECC).

Our Journey so far

Our Project Team have been understanding what methods are currently used to source Domiciliary Care through engagement with our Service Placement Team (SPT), Adult Operations and our Providers. We have held a series of workshops and these have provided us with a comprehensive overview of 'as is' processes and increased insight in relation to shortcomings with current ways of working for both ECC and Providers.

The feedback obtained from these workshops will help to inform improved 'to be' processes and support with the building of system requirements.

Further to the above, the Project Team are actively engaging with potential Suppliers of the Technology and understanding the digital capabilities of each solution being offered in order to ensure the product chosen works effectively, not only for ECC but equally crucial, our Providers.

In respect of timelines for implementation, our Project Team are currently giving this careful consideration, in order to ensure we have taken onboard feedback and undertaken 'due diligence', prior to rolling out our final solution. In view of this, it is highly likely there will be a pilot during 2020, followed by a phased implementation in 2021.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for any contributions made to our E-Procurement project to date and we will keep you informed with our progress and upcoming opportunities to get involved.  If you would like further information on the project or how you can be involved in the pilot please contact the project team via


National Safeguarding Adults Week - 18th to 24th November 2019

 During this year's National Safeguarding Adult's Week, the Essex Safeguarding Adults Board are encouraging Essex residents to improve their understanding of some of the major adult safeguarding issues that agencies tackle within Essex.  Over 7 days there will be 7 different safeguarding issues that will be explored through 1-minute videos of true stories of real people from Essex, Southend and Thurrock. The campaign will highlight the information that people can access to get help and support for themselves and others who may be suffering from abuse. To find out more and watch the videos, visit the Essex Safeguarding Adults Board website.


Helping to prevent infection

Please see attached a quick guide for managers and staff in care homes, produced by NICE and SCIE.


Short-Term Enablement Tender opportunity

Essex County Council have launched a tender for Short-Term Enablement services across Essex in five geographical lots.

To view the tender documents and to make a submission, please go to: using access code 3A4ES9YVD8.

Clarifications must be raised via BIP Delta messaging system before deadline of 5pm on 2nd December 2019 & all bids must be submitted by 12 noon on Wednesday 11th December.

For more information on the tender click here.


NHS Mail Launch Event

Attend the launch event on 20 November to find out more - access the Flyer and Agenda

The NHS will stop using fax machines from April 2020.

NHSmail ( is recognised as the secure email service across the NHS.

All care sector providers can have free access to NHSmail on completion of the NHS DSP toolkit.  Information on how to complete the toolkit is available here ( and a video from care providers promotes the benefits ( 

For help and support please contact -



Request for user groups to trial new dementia mobile app

How Do I? have developed a mobile app to help those living with dementia and are looking for test and learn user groups to take part in a 6 week trial to try the product before it is released next year.  The app, which is support by the Alzheimer's Society Accelerator Programme, shows videos to the user to help with completing tasks or remembering an activity and you can find more information on the How Do I? website, including how to take part.


Updated Medicines Management Guidance

ECC has updated its medicines management standards for providers and you can access the new document here.


Winter Preparedness advice from Public Health England

Public Health England have produced advice and support to assist with your preparations for infectious illnesses over the winter period. Please click on the links below for more information.

Guidance on the management of outbreaks of influenza like illness (ILI) in care homes

Winter Illness Preparation Advice for all Care Homes in the East of England


NHS Mental Capacity Assessments Guide 

Do you know how to support adults with communication difficulties?

If you were in a foreign country where you didn't speak the language or only spoke a few words. Would you feel confident to make a complicated
decision? Would you want someone to make an important decision for you because you couldn't communicate your choice? This is what life can feel like for an adult with a communication difficulty.
Access the mental capacity assessments guide for professionals here.


October 2019


IRN Contract: Third Party Top Ups

The Third Party Top Up process has changed. Third Party Top Ups may apply when an Adult has chosen accommodation that is more than the amount specified in the adult's personal budget

The new changes consist of

  • ECC will collect the top up from the third party
  • ECC will pay the provider the gross amount of the placement
  • ECC will undertake due diligence to ensure the third party is able to commit to the top up


National Recruitment Campaign

The 2019/20 campaign has launched. Be part of the national recruitment campaign for social care "When you care, every day makes a difference". Advertise your vacancies and help to promote the sector to new talent. Click here to find out more.


Local System Workshop Mid & South

The first Local System Workshop will be held on 28 November 2019 at Barleylands. To book a place please choose from the below:

Homecare Services (AM) -

Residential Services (PM) -


ECC's 4th Annual Provider Relationship Survey

Enventure Research Ltd has been commissioned to conduct the annual provider relationship survey, now in its fourth year! The survey, which is completed by both ECC employees and care providers can be accessed here - Relationship Survey.

The results give Essex County Council a measurement of how relationships between Council staff and care providers are changing over time. Each survey identifies areas of focus which are then worked on throughout the year. You can find further information <a href="


Last Updated: 27 March 2020



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