skip to main content

News Archive

March 2020


ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 31.03.2020

  1. Updated categorised FAQs
  2. PPE data request
  3. Reminder of Mutual Aid approach
  4. Reminder: this week's webinar will be published on the Hub at 2pm tomorrow with live questions via Slido from 2:15pm. Slido login details will be published on the news page tomorrow.
  5. Accessible Info on Coronavirus and Information in Other Languages
  6. NHSMail: Following communications from the CCG regarding the government guidance that all care homes should have access to NHS.mail. Please could you advise if your email application has been successful and forward your new email address, or if you have received communication that the setting up of your account has not been successful please can you contact


ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 30.03.2020

  1. Thank you letter from Matt Hancock. For the latest DoHSC info you can follow @DHSCgovuk on Twitter
  2. Capacity data request (every Monday and Thursday)
  3. This week's webinar and Slido Q&A will be Wednesday afternoon from 2pm. More details to follow.
  4. Covid-19 Testing update from the Department of Health and Social Care
  5. Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. Add 07860 064422 to your phone contacts and message the word 'hi' in a WhatsApp text to get started
  6. Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  7. The British Geriatric Society has produced care home guidance online. In particular it covers two key issues for care homes:
    • What do we do about 'wandering' residents?
    • Frail older people with atypical/non-respiratory/non-specific symptoms - do they have COVID?


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

Copy of slides


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)
  • 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.

Copy of slides


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="

December 2018 


Ombudsman Adult Social Care Provider Events

In 2019 the Ombudsman will be running four Adult Social Care provider events, for both providers and adult social care complaint handlers. It is an opportunity to meet other care providers and adult social care complaint handlers, share best practice and learn how the Ombudsman can help you. There is a charge of £50, which includes lunch and refreshments.

To find out more, or book a place follow the link - in care homes

West Essex CCG is developing a plan, as part of the Hertfordshire and West Essex STP, to implement in care homes. This will ensure that care home staff are able to benefit from secure email communication with health and social care professionals. This plan will include dedicated support to homes to implement This has already been implemented in East Herts, further information on the East Herts projects and benefits of within homes can be found here:

 If you have any questions about this exciting project, please contact Claire Cowdery at West Essex CCG via   


Changes to clinical waste collections

Clinical waste includes material like human tissue, blood and other bodily fluids, swabs and dressings, syringes, needles or other sharp instruments.

From 1st January 2019 it is the responsibility of district, borough and city councils in Essex to collect clinical waste generated at home by self-treatment, but they may charge.

Contact details for district clinical waste services

Prior to this the NHS offered a free service for collection of the waste but this is now ceasing.

Clinical waste is infectious and can cause disease and could harm refuse workers, it should never be put in household rubbish.

Clinical waste produced by a healthcare (NHS) worker during a home visit should be removed by them at the end of their visit.

Most clinical waste to be collected will be "sharps boxes" containing used syringes.

For advice on disposal, residents should contact their local council, GP, hospital or health care provider.

Offensive waste, which is non-infectious and does not contain pharmaceutical and chemical substances can be bagged and then placed in with normal domestic (i.e. black bag) waste. Offensive waste includes hygiene waste and sanitary protection like nappies and incontinence pads.

Contact for further information at ECC

Simon Cooper, Waste Strategy Manager

033301 39293


November 2018


Market Briefing on Allied Healthcare

Further to the announcement by Allied Healthcare on 16 November 2018 that they would be selling or transferring their care and support services, Allied Healthcare announced on 28 November 2018 their intention to sell the company to CRG Homecare.   

The sale will enable the transfer of all services to CRG on the same day and CRG will therefore be responsible for delivery of care from that point.  In addition, all current Allied Healthcare staff, including senior management will be transferred to CRG at the same time.

Essex County Council have identified that this will affect over six hundred people within the county.  These individuals are either receiving a Reablement service which is a short and intensive service for up to 6 weeks delivered to people in their own home or they are receiving long term domiciliary care.

Essex County Council has taken the decision to deal with the two services in different ways.


Essex County Council will terminate the current Reablement at Home service with Allied Healthcare and direct award a Reablement service to Essex Cares Limited for a period up to 3 May 2021.

The contract period will enable Essex County Council and the CCGs to continue to review its long term strategy for intermediate care and to engage with the market on potential future models.  The contract term also aligns with the end of the Live at Home framework.

Domiciliary Care

Current domiciliary care, extra care and 24 hour care services with Allied Healthcare will remain with Allied Healthcare, under the new ownership of CRG Homecare.  

We would like to thank all Live at Home organisations who expressed an interest in the domiciliary care transfer and to thank our care providers generally for your continued support through this difficult time.

Should you have any questions or concerns or wish to discuss please contact


IRN 2019 - Tender Update

ECC and CCGs will be opening up a Tender at the Beginning of December 2018, subject to governance, for the new Older People Residential Services Framework, which will become operational in June 2019.

ECC and CCGs have completed a number of workshops and surveys with the market, we have listened to the valuable feedback provided by providers to understand what would be needed to incentivise providers to join a framework. The new offer includes; Increasing rates on the framework for both residential and nursing services, rationalisation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Management Information (MIs) and the bidding process has been streamlined to make it easier to become a framework provider. ECC are also committed to investigating a way of implementing 3rd Part Top Ups on the framework and work is continuing to facilitate this.

There are plans to hold a bidder information event held following the launch of the tender, final details will be sent out to providers. There will also be a number of library drop in sessions organised. Currently the following session has been confirmed;

  • Braintree Library 10am - 12pm Thursday 13th December

We are in the process of finalising other session across the other districts and these will be advertised on the events section of the Care Information Provider Hub (/events-provider-hub/forthcoming-events-and-training/)

If you have any questions please direct them to the IRN mailbox (


Important: Public Health England advice regarding assessments in hospitals affected by norovirus

Norovirus outbreaks are unfortunately a common problem in care homes and acute hospitals. Whilst unpleasant there are rarely any complications in those affected other than dehydration. The major problem is the interruption to services when staff are affected and patients and care home residents require isolation and extra nursing care.

Although many people may have norovirus in their stools in general it is those who have acute diarrhoea and vomiting who are likely to spread it.  Prevention of onward spread from cases requires careful attention to hand hygiene and appropriate use of gloves and aprons.

There is no justification for avoiding contact with asymptomatic individuals, even in affected areas in hospital or care homes, providing good hygiene is practiced. Care staff should therefore continue to conduct assessments in hospitals affected by norovirus. Now that we have entered the winter season the risk of contact with a case (whether identified or not) is as likely in the general community as in hospital.

Further detailed guidance is available at:


Dedicated 111 service for Care Homes (Mid and South Essex)

Care homes across Mid and South Essex can gain rapid access to GP support when calling NHS 111, by following the *6 process. The *6 process supports the evidence base that early intervention from GPs can have a positive impact on care home patients.

When care home staff call the NHS 111 service they will be given an option to press *6 and their call will be answered by a 111 advisor as soon as a call handler is available. By dialling *6 the call handler will be alerted that the call they are about to take is from a care home.

The call handler will take the patient's details, complete a short initial screening process and then pass the caller to a GP for a detailed assessment by telephone.

Following this assessment the GP will identify the appropriate course of action that should be taken in terms of continued care for the patient.

Note: During normal working hours, care homes should continue to contact the residents own GP, or the care homes aligned Practice, in the first instance.

If you have any questions please contact IC24 at


The Dementia Challenge

How could you support Essex County Council to improve the lives of people living with Dementia, their families and Carers in the community?

Dementia can make people feel alone, frustrated and like they have lost their identity. People can no longer do the things they once enjoyed and have greater care needs putting an emotional and physical strain on all involved.

There are real opportunities for innovation in Essex to ensure that people have the best support available to live well with dementia. We want Essex to be more inclusive for everyone living with dementia and empower people to live the life they want in the community for as long as possible.

Please email with your ideas and suggestions by 31st December 2018

Click here to view Facts, Our Priorities and Current Provision


Winter Pressures 2018/19 Winter FAST TRACK ACCEPTANCE PAYMENT

ECC are pleased to announce the commencement of a new initiative the Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payment as a result of money recently received to support winter pressures 18/19.

The aim of this payment is to support all our domiciliary, residential and nursing framework providers to secure resource during the winter period to help speed up discharge from hospital or interim care during the winter period by gifting £500 for each placement that is made that supports the aim.

The initiative commences on 16th November 2018 and is planned to continue until 30th April 2019.

Framework Providers will have received full details of the terms and how the payments will be made by email. For any queries or further information please contact us at


GSF Care Home Programme 

We are delighted to be able to offer an excellent opportunity for nursing and residential homes to take part in the Gold Standard Framework Programme for Care Homes.

This programme is recognised by CQC and has been shown to improve quality of end of life care for residents. It has also been shown to improve staff retention.

Funding has been made available for train the trainer sessions to be delivered to 2 senior staff from each care home. It is hoped that care homes will then implement the Gold Standard Framework and progress towards accreditation.

This programme is supported by the CCG and Essex County Council and is being hosted at St Helena Hospice.  This training will support the end of life training requirements identified within the IRN framework contract specification. We hope to launch the second wave of trainer training in March 2019. Places will be allocated first to interested nursing homes and subsequently to interested residential homes.

To find out more information, St Helena have arranged a free open access information session on Thursday, December 6th 2018 from 14:00-16:00.

Home care flyer

Interest session


A unique opportunity to join My Home Life Essex!

We are very pleased to announce the next cohort of the My Home Life Leadership support Programme for residential care home managers and deputy managers. This programme is open to both Older People and Adults with Disabilitiy/Learning Disability Residential Care services.

'My Home Life' is a UK wide initiative that promotes quality of life and delivers positive changes. It is based on a vision for best practice that is evidence based and relationship centred, led by City University in partnership with Age UK.    

The Programme provides an opportunity to re-examine and grow leadership roles, develop new skills and lead on best practice.

Cohort 21 commences in February 2019.  To book a place please complete this booking form and return to   

More information on My Home Life can be found at;


New approach to tackling loneliness and social isolation 

Essex County Council has been working with a wide range of system partners to develop a new approach to tackling loneliness and social isolation. Through this work we have developed four key ambitions for communities and citizens across Essex, and we are progressing multiple strands of activity to contribute to achieving these ambitions.

We have used the extensive insight gathered from partners across Essex to shape very high level ideas around a new approach to addressing loneliness and social isolation and we would like to share these with you.

This Market Event will be a follow up meeting to the events we held across the county in May 2018 where we will be sharing our new approach and you are able to come with your own questions and enquiries.

This event will take place at County Hall, Chelmsford on Tuesday 20th November with a start time of 10am. Please come to Reception where you will be collected and escorted to the Council Chambers.

You will need to book on to this event using the Eventbrite link below


Re-opening of Live at Home framework

We are pleased to announce that the Live at Home framework (LHRL) and the LHRL annual review have now re-opened.  This is an opportunity for domiciliary care providers who have not yet joined the framework, to apply to do so.  Benefits of being a part of the LHRL include:

  • Being offered packages before spot providers. Currently we issue a spreadsheet on daily basis showing all available packages in a district from which providers select the ones they are interested in. This allows providers to understand the spread of packages across a district which in turn can support them to build efficient and sustainable rounds.
  • Participation in group transfer processes via group batching and/or mini-competitions that allow framework providers to bid for groups of packages prior to these being offered to the spot market
  • The opportunity to work more strategically with the Council to help shape the way Adult Social Care commissions domiciliary care services in the future.

For new bidders, if you would like to be invited to submit your bid, please email with the appropriate contact email address for your organisation.  We will add your details to Delta (our e-sourcing tool) which will generate an automated email to your designated email with a link to the Live at Home tender.  From there you will need to register to be able to access the documents and submit your response.

Existing framework providers are required to submit an updated pricing matrix in order to remain active on the framework from 7th April 2019.  All existing providers should have received an email with a link to the relevant tender.  If you have not, please email us at  To support the current LHRL providers in completing the documentation for this process, an event is being held in the Council Chambers, County Hall, Chelmsford CM1 1QH on Thursday 8th November 2018 from 10:00am to 11:00am where we will share information about the process and respond to any questions you may have.  There are still tickets available for this - please email us at the above address for the link to event and password.

Please note this event is for existing providers only.  There are no tickets left for the event for new bidders, however, slides and information from this event will be posted on these pages.


October 2018


Safe and Well Visits

fire essex logo 

Our Safe and Well Officers can fit smoke detectors,and specialist sensory alarms if required. We risk assess each home we visit, ensuring that the right alarms are fitted in the most appropriate places.

On every visit we'll discuss...

Fire Safety

As you would expect, we'll talk about fire safety, and give advice and guidance on how the resident can live more safely at home. We'll talk about the importance of having working smoke alarms, situated in the best places in the home. We'll ensure they have an escape route planned, that everyone who lives at the property knows about. We'll talk about the little things someone can do to protect themselves and their property from fire, such as shutting internal doors at night or replacing box plugs. And we'll talk about the most dangerous rooming their home - the kitchen.

Home Security

All of our Safe and Well Officers are trained basic Home Security Advisors. That means they can offer information, advice and guidance about how the resident could make their home less vulnerable to burglars and fraudsters. We'll discuss the security of their doors and windows, and where they keep their keys. We'll look at the perimeter of the property and may be able to suggest ways of making it less vulnerable to burglars. We'll make sure they know our key personal safety messages, especially in relation to doorstep fraud.

If someone needs it, we can also offer help with...


If a resident can't easily move around the house, they may find it more difficult to leave the property in a fire. All of our Safe and Well Officers are fully trained, Trusted Assessors and can offer advice and guidance if an individual is concerned about their mobility or slipping, tripping or falling. We can also order a range of equipment, such as grab rails to help at home. Most items can be ordered and fitted within five working days, free of charge.

Health and Wellbeing

Often, there is other health and wellbeing related factors that can increase an individual's vulnerability to fire or burglary at home. If they need extra support or guidance related to their health, wellbeing or lifestyle, and we aren't the expert, chances are we know who is. During a Safe and Well Visit, we can help people to find the support they need, and refer them directly to appropriate services and organisations. We're always willing to listen, and help where we can.

Our Service Values;

We are Open, Honest & Trustworthy, We are Courageous in everything we do, We work as One Team, We are always Professional, We value the Contribution of all.

follow these links:

call to action

information sheet 


Recovery Model For Adult Social Care 

what is it?

Essex County Council Adult Social Care is looking to transform the way that it supports Essex residents.

You may have heard of the Recovery Model. It is a model that has been embraced by Mental Health services across the UK for a number of years.

The Recovery model recognises that whilst people may not have full control over a condition that has placed some restrictions on their lives it does allow people to have full control over their own lives. The model supports a way forward that looks beyond any life restrictions but rather focuses on current abilities, interests, hopes and dreams and encourages people to move forward to set new goals and utilise resources and support currently available around them.

By building and adding to our existing strength based approach to social care we will adopt a change of culture.  At foundation level the recovery approach reinforces Social Care staff to have discovery led conversations with Essex residents to support them to improve their lives and achieve the outcomes that matter to them

who is it for?

Alongside ECC Social Work staff the training will also let ECC partner organisations in the form of Care Provider services (both Residential and Domiciliary) to understand the model that we are striving to work to.

1.Understand and explore the concept of recovery in relation to clients facing different challenges (mental health, learning disability/autism, physical impairments and long term health conditions, dementia)

2.Explore the implications of a recovery approach in relation to individual clients

3.Develop a more recovery-oriented approach in their work

4. Explore the implications of a recovery approach in relation to key areas of work ( discharges,safeguarding/risk,Autism/Learning Disability and Long Term Health Conditions) and develop more recovery-focused practice in these areas.

current availabilities:

Choice of A.M or P.M sessions on each day:

22nd October Weston Homes, Colchester  (30 spaces available on each session)

25th October Writtle College, Chelmsford  (30 spaces available on each session)

5th November Holiday Inn, Basildon  (30 spaces available on each sessions

Am session is 9.30am to 12.30pm

Pm session is 1.30pm to 4.30pm



Tovertafel 'Magic Table' Pilot - Expressions of Interest

The Quality Innovation team are looking for Two Residential Care homes or supported living services for people Living with a learning disability and or Autism to pilot the innovative Tovertafel ('Magic Table' in Dutch).

The Tovertafel projects, onto a table, a series of games for people living with a learning disability and or Autism, engineered to encourage instinctive participation, inviting engagement and stimulating a level of physical and social activity. The games were developed specifically for people with a learning disability and or Autism and can be played both independently and under supervision.

The pilot will require the home to undertake observations of interaction and record their emotional wellbeing, their engagement and attention with the activity and whether there is a difference in their behaviours before and after interaction with the Tovertafel. We would also like to hear how and when the Tovertafel is used to support people living with a learning disability and or Autism, for example at night when a resident wakes and is restless, unable to settle again or late afternoon when a person may become agitated, as group sessions or individually.

The expectation of the pilot is the home will fully utilise the Tovertafel making it available to residents at all times.

The Tovertafel and 8 games will be provided free of charge and installed by the supplier of the Tovertafel, however there are important installation requirements which the home must ensure are in place prior to installation, details can be found here.   

Installation requirements and information:

Tovertafel original

Installation requirements

Power supply and installation

Height of Tovertafel

If you would like to take part in the pilot or would like to discuss in more detail please email


Prosper project published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

Essex County Council's award winning Prosper project has just had an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine detailing the findings of its initial first 2 years following an evaluation undertaken by UCL Partners.  Prosper is now in its 4th year and continues to evolve through partnership working with with care providers. If you would like to be involved in Prosper email:

Follow this link to see the article:


Launch of the Red Bags in Mid Essex on 1st October 2018


Please see message below sent on behalf of Mid Essex CCG,

Following the engagement events with Care Home representatives in September, please see below refreshed paper work for Care Homes in support of the Red Bags Hospital Pathway.

Representatives from the Mid Essex CCG visited Care Homes on 1st of October to deliver the Red Bags. We expect the care homes to start using the Red Bags for their patients from 1st of October 2018.

The information below needs to be included in the Red Bag when the patient is taken to hospital:

Following information from the attachments below:

1)         The Red Bags checklist 

2)         Care home to hospital form - these needs to be completed when an ambulance is called for patient to be taken to hospital

3)         Health Care Summary Record

4)         Confidentiality form - this stays on the front of the bag

5)         Reminder card - this stays in the bag

6)         Cleaning instruction - this stays in the bag


Following additional information the Care Home needs to include:

1) Personal belongings including  pair of clothes, glasses, hearing aid, denture, etc..

2) Readily available medication such as inhaler, eye drops, prescribed cream, etc..

3) A Medication Administration Record (MAR sheet)

4) Weight Chart

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for attending the engagement events in September and supporting the Red Bags hospital pathway for the Care Home residents, which we hope will help improve their experience and quality of care while in the hospital.

 Kind regards,

 Procurement Services


Colchester Bus Stop reallocation

The County Council has been working in partnership with Colchester Borough Council 

and the commercial bus operators to make changes to the use of bus stops around Colchester. Key improvements will include bus service punctuality, reductions in bus stop congestion and better customer information in relation to the services using a bus stop.

The changes will be implemented from Sunday 21 October and a press release has been communicated.

So that you are updated with all communications, please see below  a letter giving details of the changes, a document showing common questions we anticipate will be asked and 3 further documents:

.           Letter giving details of changes

.           Document showing common questions we anticipate will be asked

.           Colchester Bus Stand Leaflet

.           Colchester Bus Stand Poster

.           Colchester Bus stop map



Service Placement Team Christmas 2018 and New Year Cover

Please click on the below image for SPT cover over Christmas and New Year.

SPT Xmas 2018


September 2018


Extension of NHS seasonal influenza vaccination for care workers

In 2017 NHS England provided additional funding to support the delivery of flu immunisation for social care workers that offer direct patient/client care. This will continue in 2018/19 and will be extended to include health and care staff in the voluntary managed hospice sector that offer direct patient/client care. The vaccinations will be offered by GP practices and community pharmacies.

The extension to the seasonal influenza vaccine will be available to:

  • Health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza. Vulnerable means those patients/clients in a clinical risk group for flu or who are aged 65 years and over.
  • Health and care staff, employed by a voluntary managed hospice provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza. Vulnerable means those patients/clients in a clinical risk group for flu or who are aged 65 years and over.

Any queries can be directed to NHS England at


You could claim money towards developing your employees

If you're an adult social care employer in England, you can claim the Workforce Development Fund (WDF) towards the costs of your employees completing adult social care qualifications and learning programmes. WDF funding is made available by the Department of Health and disbursed nationally by Skills for Care. This funding is allocated locally throughout Essex, Southend and Thurrock by Essex Care Training Partnership.

You can claim for qualifications and learning programmes completed between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2019. You can claim WDF towards the cost of course fees (or employer contributions) and associated costs, such as employees' salaries whilst they are undertaking training, coaching and mentoring costs, venue costs for the training and wage replacement costs. You can also claim WDF towards the cost of some Apprenticeships.

The WDF contribution depends on the size of the qualification or learning programme. All qualifications and learning programmes are funded up to the value advertised on completion. A maximum of £1,200 can be claimed per learner per funding year. Funding years run from 1 April to 31 March.

Here are some examples of what could be claimed:
. Level 2 Diploma in Care: £690
. Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care: £870
. Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care: £1,050
. Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services, adult pathways: £1,200
. Level 5 Certificate of Fundamental Knowledge in Commissioning for Wellbeing: £300
. 'Lead to Succeed' learning programme: £350

To find out more please contact tel: 01268 565551 or email


Essex Care Association Breakfast Conference

The next Essex Care Association (ECA) Breakfast conference is scheduled for the 6 November 2018 at the Best Western Marks Tey Hotel in Colchester.

Keynote speaker is CQC Inspection Manager, Victoria Rose who will present on Driving Improvement in Social Care. Also presenting will be Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health for Essex County Council along with Attwells Solicitors giving an update on the 'sleep in' crisis, Citation presenting on HR Issues and as usual representatives from Essex County Council.

Please see the attached draft flyer for more information (this is subject to change). 


August 2018


ECC's Market Position Statement

As a commissioning organisation ECC periodically produces a Market Position Statement to understand our care market to ensure we have the right provision in place both now and in the future. Our aim is create a stable market that can meet demand.

Traditionally our statement would be a downloadable document which would be reviewed again in a number of years. However, our Provider Hub allows us to be more dynamic and offer a 'live' document, allowing the information to be up to date and relevant, based on the latest data.

The Hub offers Essex providers a wealth of information including our current activity, future vision and commissioning intentions, opportunities for providers, latest news and events, statistical data, contractual information, contact details, resources, quality and workforce initiatives. With open access to available opportunities, including free training courses, as well as giving providers the opportunity to help shape the site we believe this gives our providers something unique.

You can view our Vision pages here, which include the previous MPS document. As always we welcome your feedback. Is the Hub the right platform for a Market Position Statement? Is the current information helpful to your organisation? Please send any comments to


Hospital Transfer - "The Red Bags Scheme"

The Hospital Transfer - "The Red Bags Scheme",  helps provide a prompt, safe and efficient transfer of clinical care, when a resident moves between a care home/nursing home and other clinical settings, such as; hospitals.

Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and partner organisations (care homes, hospital and ambulance service) have agreed to adopt this scheme as part of NHS England's New Care Models programme to improve the quality of care for the residents in care home and nursing home settings, as well as to better support communication between local care homes, ambulance service and hospitals.         

The aim of this initiative is to help Mid Essex care home residents receive an improved experience and quicker transfer if they become acutely unwell and need to go to hospital. As well as quicker and effective person-centred treatment upon arrival by ensuring medical teams have the relevant information to assess and provide the appropriate treatment plan. At the point of discharge, the care home has the relevant information to enable continuity of care and that all patient property is returned.

With this in mind, the Mid Essex CCG has agreed with partner organisations to launch the Red Bags in Mid Essex on 1st October 2018. Each care home and nursing home will be provided with set allocation of the Red Bags that the homes will use when a patient gets admitted in the hospital.

To support the launch of the Red Bags and speak to you and your colleagues to take your view and feedback in planning of the launch, The Mid Essex CCG have organised four soft launch events in four localities for Care home and Nursing home colleagues. We want to invite you and your care home/ nursing home staff to attend one of these events at a care home/nursing home near you. Dates and venue details are as per below:

  1. 10/09/18  from 2pm - 4pm - St Georges Care Home, 18-20 Avenue Rd, Witham CM8 2DT
  1. 11/09/18 from 2pm - 4pm - Admirals Reach Care Home, Ridgewell Ave, Chelmsford CM1 2GA
  1. 13/09/18 from 2pm - 4pm - St Peters Hospital, Spital Rd, Maldon CM9 6EG 
  1. 14/09/18 from 2pm - 4pm - St Marys Court Residential Care Home,  St Mary's Court, Deanery Hill, Braintree CM7 5SR

Please come and join us to have a chat about the Red Bags and share your views and ideas over a cup of tea/coffee.

Please contact or  if you have any queries on the above or require further information.


Funding announced to prevent homelessness and insecure shelter

Information regarding grants available to fund projects / activities to prevent homelessness and insecure shelter is available in this flyer


Guidance on outbreaks of influenza (flu) in care homes

Public Health England has just released the latest guidance for outbreaks of flu in care homes, including what to look out for and how to prevent and control an outbreak.


Essex Care Sector Awards 2018: The Prospers

The nomination window for this year's Essex Care Sector Awards opens on Monday 6th August 2018.  There are 14 awards up for grabs!  The Awards are open to all sectors of care including Domiciliary Care, Day Care, Residential Care Homes, Nursing homes and Learning disability services.

To enter download the nomination form and category criteria and email completed forms to by 5pm 21st September 2018.

Shortlisted entries will be invited to the awards gala ceremony taking place on the 4th December at the Chelmsford City Racecourse where the winners will be announced.

Thank you to our sponsors for this year's awards; Florence, Tovertafel and Training2Care.

Flyer for the event.

July 2018


Excellence in Continence Care Guidance

The latest guidance issued by NHS England to help ensure people receive excellent continence care has just been issued. 


Follow up to IRN Soft Market Testing Event

Following the Soft Market Testing Event on 13 June 2018 the outcomes are now available here.  Please register your interest in any of the workshops on the events page.


Hot Weather Advice from Health

Mid Essex Hospital Trust has reported a large number of patients attending A&E with injuries consistent with a fall, 19 resulting in Fractured Neck of Femur. To help reduce the risk of more frail and vulnerable people suffering similar injuries, the trust and Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group would be grateful for your help.

We are particularly concerned that people are not drinking enough water in the hot weather, with resulting dizziness and confusion leading to falls. Your teams making home visits will of course be looking out for service users' welfare already, so please ask them to take a moment to check that any frail or vulnerable people in households they visit are properly hydrated.

In case any of your staff are not familiar with the signs of and actions to take around dehydration, the NHS offers a simple guide on its website at and we would be very grateful if you could encourage them to check on these.

If we gain further insight on causes of the increase in falls we will share them with you.

Please refer to the Heatwave Plan for England for further information.


IRN Soft Market Testing Event

A joint Soft Market Testing Event was held at County Hall by Essex County Council, North East Essex CCG, West Essex CCG, Mid Essex CCG, Brentwood and Basildon CCG, Castle Point and Rochford CCG and Southend CCG on Wednesday 13 June 2018. The purpose of the event was to outline the objectives and ambitions for the next contract, and seek to gain input from providers to help develop and shape the requirements for the future IRN.

Those who attended were introduced to Suzanne Westhead, the interim Director for Strategic Commissioning and Policy and Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care. Both speakers highlighted the desire to work together on the challenges presented in the market for the benefit of Essex residents.  They also outlined the three key objectives of the procurement;

  • Support the Vision for Good and Outstanding Only
  • Address Existing and Forecast Capacity Issues
  • Support the Sustainability of the Residential and Nursing Market for Provider for ECC and CCGs.

Simon Evans, Category and Supplier Relationship Specialist for Older People Residential Services went on to give a background of the market in Essex, explain the proposed new design of the future framework, the initiatives that the IRN Project Team is looking to develop and implement alongside the new contract.  He also shared the proposed timescales for the Procurement and provided an overview of the different workshops which followed the presentation. A copy of the presentation can be found here

Providers had the opportunity to ask questions to a panel made up of representatives from the Commissioning directorate, the Procurement directorate and a number of CCGs. A copy of the questions raised and the answers provided can be found here Stands were available throughout the event to share information with attendees.  These included stands for; the Social Value Act, the Care Provider Information Hub, the Quality Improvement Team and Occupational Therapists.

Attendees were spilt into five groups to review, comment and feedback on a number of initiatives that the Project team is looking to implement. The content of those workshops can be found here:

If you have any feedback regarding any of the above content, or have any comments / suggestions can this please be emailed to the IRN Project Team Inbox


June 2018

Revised timescales for transforming the way we deliver Mental Health accommodation

We would like to update you of the revised timescales for transforming the way we deliver Mental Health accommodation. Below were indicative timescales for Phase 1 as previously communicated;

  • Intensive Enablement at the end of April 2018
  • Support to Independence at the end of May 2018

Due to unforeseen circumstances timescales have been revised to the following;

  • Intensive Enablement at End of May 2018 (Now live - Tender process closes  8th July)
  • Support to Independence at End of July 2018

Both tenders will run for a period of 30 days as per our electronic procurement process and the details will be made available through During this two years we will continue to shape and design the long term model

We would also like to make you aware that we will be running a briefing event in Chelmsford on 16 July 2018 between 2 - 3.30pm where we will update you on our long term plans for Mental Health accommodation and recovery and more detailed plans for the Supported to Independence tender  We will be holding the event in the Council Chamber at County Hall.  If you could arrive between 1.30pm to 2.00pm to enable us to start promptly.  Unfortunately we will be unable to provide refreshments. We will also need to limit places to 2 people per organisation.  If you would like to attend please send an email to:

Helen Gilbert (Strategic Lead - Mental Health Accommodation and Recovery)

Andrea Weed (Category & Contract Manager - People Services)

Update: Adobe _PDF_file _icon _24x 24  Slides from bidder event briefing (16 July 2018)


Advisory Forum

ECC has created a new Forum which is designed to complement the existing engagement networks which we have in place.  It will provide advice and guidance to senior decision makers in the Council around how demographic and financial challenges can be met in ways which are more achievable for our providers whilst also better meeting the needs to our residents.  The Forum will therefore focus on key strategic matters rather than operational issues.

If you have any comments on the draft terms of reference please send them to


NHS Data Security & Protection (DSP) Toolkit webinar (21 June)

In previous years, organisations that have access to NHS patient data and systems are required to complete the NHS Information Governance (IG) Toolkit. With changes to legislation (e.g. GDPR), the IG toolkit has been replaced by the Data Security & Protection (DSP) Toolkit.

Any organisation with access to NHS patient data and systems are therefore required to use the DSP toolkit to provide assurance that they are practicing good data security and handling personal information correctly.

This webinar will provide a demonstration of the DSP toolkit and is open to any care provider. We encourage any Care Homes that are considering adopting NHSmail to join this webinar as completion of the DSP toolkit assurance will be a pre-requisite to accessing NHSmail.

The webinar is taking place on 21 June and details can be found on our Events page


Friends Against Scams

Mass Marketing Mail Scams are operated by Organised Crime Groups that seek out the most fragile members of society by working from mailing lists that categorise people as being elderly or vulnerable in some way.

Trading Standards have compiled a short video about mass marketing scams from an officers perspective.

The Service is also supporting the Friends Against Scams Initiative, which encourages partner agencies to do the short training session, to help identify some of the signs that a resident is being targeted.  Trading Standards is encouraging our partners to get involved and support us by becoming a friend.

June is also Scams Awareness Month and the campaign aims to create a network of confident, alert consumers who 'don't miss a trick' when it comes to scams and Essex Trading Standards will be supporting the campaign throughout June via their social media channels.

For more information please follow us on Facebook  and twitter


Useful Contacts Page Added

We have added a new page for useful contacts so you have them all in one place. If you have any questions or suggestions of contacts to add let us know by emailing

Link: Useful contact details


Mini Competition Is Coming To The Domiciliary Care LAH Framework

Earlier in the year ECC launched a Mini Competition Pathfinder which was conducted over a 6 week period to engage with Live at Home (LAH) Providers to assess the end to end process and the Delta system to support the process.  The Pathfinder outcomes show that mini competitions allows for a method of sourcing individual packages and has provided more insight into ECCs strategic approach. The Pathfinder details and subsequent findings can be viewed in our Mini Competition page.

ECC are now considering future options for mini competition within the domiciliary care market to bring LAH Framework Providers and Spot Providers together to place offers on domiciliary care packages that have exhausted the framework.  The invitation to participate in Mini Competitions will be extended to Spot Providers in addition to LAH Providers.  In order to engage further with the market, the Mini Competition Project Team will be welcoming Provider input into the process and key principles of the implementation through various engagement activities which will be communicated through the Mini Competition page.  If you would like to be involved in development activities please email us at

We look forward to sharing more developments on this initiative as it evolves through the planning and implementation phases.


Guidance for Care Home staff following 999 call

Please read this guidance for care staff following a '999' call, which ensures the ambulance crew can provide the best possible care.


May 2018


ECC's North Provider Forum - 12 June 2018

If you provide residential or community-based services you are invited to join senior officers from ECC and NHS/ CCG partners to discuss issues relating to adult social care provision in the north of the county. 

To book your place please follow the relevant link below:

Residential Services

10:00am - 12:00pm - Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester

Book your place here (residential)

Non-Residential Services

13:30 - 15:30 - Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester

Book your place here (non-residential)

Should you have any questions or items you would like discussed please email:


Essex Care Association Breakfast Conference

Wednesday 11th July 2018 from 8am - 12 noon

Best Western Marks Tey Hotel, London Road, Colchester, Essex, CO6 1DU

The Essex Care Association (ECA) are pleased to invite you to the second Breakfast Networking Conference of 2018 which includes the ECA AGM. We are delighted to welcome, as our keynote speaker, Avnish Goyal, Chair of Care England, and Managing Director of Hallmark . Other speakers will include Attwell's Solicitors speaking on the controversial 'sleep in' crisis, Sekoia Ltd discussing 'going digital' and as usual representatives from Essex County Council, bringing us the latest news, with their ever-popular question and answer session.

Book your place NOW as places are limited by emailing:

Further details can be found in this flyer


April 2018

Structure Charts Added

Structure charts and contact details for ECC's Senior Adult Operations staff and Procurement officers are now available:

Adult Operations:

Adobe _PDF_file _icon _24x 24Adult Operations Senior Management Contact Details

Adobe _PDF_file _icon _24x 24Adult Operations Team Manager Contact Details


Adobe _PDF_file _icon _24x 24Older People Services (with email addresses)

Adobe _PDF_file _icon _24x 24AWD, Supported Living, Mental Health and Public Health (with email addresses)


Fire Risk Management

During a recent IPRC meeting it was decided that Essex County Council would write to all residential based care providers again, reminding them of their obligations under the legislation to employ or engage competent persons to carry out fire risk assessment of their premises to the appropriate national standards. This letter was sent on the 16 April 2018. If you did not receive the letter you can find it Adobe _PDF_file _icon _24x 24here.

Any question in relation to the letter or Fire Risk Management should be directed to the Commercial Inbox (


Early Responses to IRN Contract and Pricing Survey

A review of the early responses to Essex County Council's (ECC) market engagement survey has been completed. So far it has provided valuable feedback that will be used to help ECC understand the market during the current procurement activity for the next contract.

Highlights of the results included 46% of providers currently on the Integrated Residential and Nursing (IRN) Contract stating that the support provided by ECC, and having a close relationship with ECC, was the largest benefit of being a part of the IRN framework. Unsurprisingly the most common part of the IRN that providers would like to change was the fees, with 69% of providers submitting this answer. The most issue was varied as there were 6 different answers mentioned by the providers, from finance to the quality of ISPs, this has given us a lot of information to take back to the appropriate departments to hopefully address these during the next procurement. This is linked to the most common issue found with the IRN, which was Finance. The most common response when asked about the exceptional needs payment process was that the communication was poor between the council and the provider once a submission was made, as 50% of those who responded mentioned this in their survey response.

The providers that are not part of the IRN were asked whether or not they would be interested in joining a future framework and 85% of those who responded said that they would be. When asked why they did not submit a bid to join the IRN framework during the latest tender, the most common answer was that the fees do not cover the cost of care, with 66% of homes in agreement with this (when no comment responses were removed).

All of the homes were also asked about the rates that are currently being paid by the council. The council currently uses an "all-inclusive rate" (covers all aspect of the care, e.g. board, food, utilities, care, etc.) and only 46% of homes that responded said that this type of rate worked for them. Showing that the type of rate that is paid to providers should be reviewed. 92% of homes that said the all-inclusive rate did not work for them stated the reasoning is the rate does not cover the cost of providing the care.

There is still a chance for you to provide feedback on the subjects above. The survey is open until the 30th April 2018 and we encourage all providers to submit a response if they have not already. The responses will be used to help inform ECC about the issues that the market is facing, so we can attempt to assist you through the next contract.

The link to the survey can be found here:

If there are any questions about the survey then please contact the Contract Management Inbox at


March 2018 


Health and Social Care Industry Boost!

Essex County Council is running an FE H&SC programme with Chelmsford College and Colchester Institute to work with students studying Health and Social Care courses. The programme prepares and encourages students into the industry after completion of their course.  

Our role as Employability and Skills Advisers for H&SC is to aid retention of students on programme, provide a greater variety of additional work placements for students to attend whilst on programme, and provide the appropriate careers Information, Advice and Guidance support to ensure that more of the students move into careers in health and social care rather than other industries.

Benefits of the programme;

  • Increase students progressing in to the health and social care industry
  • Provide detailed IAG to health and social care students
  • Specific job role information to widen job role opportunities
  • Reduce Withdrawal rates from college
  • Promote vacancies within the health and social care sector
  • Increase work placement opportunities available to colleges
  • Delivery of group workshops within colleges
  • Use industry experts to promote specific health and social care job roles
  • Keep an updated bulletin board active in both colleges

We would like to work with you as a provider of social care.

Could you please offer support to college students so they gain invaluable industry experience?

Could you offer a work placement opportunity?

There are many ways you can get involved. If you would like to discuss any of the above, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to working with you in the near future!

Contact Details;

Email us on

Or contact us by telephone on 03330 322959


Older People Residential and Nursing Provider Survey - Future Procurement Market Engagement

As part of the future procurement exercise for Older People Residential and Nursing services we are looking for feedback from current providers who are both Integrated Residential and Nursing Framework providers and SPOT providers. There are approximately 10 questions to answer, these range from questions about the current contract and also on pricing. We estimate that it takes between 5 to 10 minutes to complete and ask that you answer the questions in as much details as possible.

The survey can be found here: and ask that responses are submitted by Monday 30th April.

Please note that a few questions refers to current rate being an "all-inclusive rate", this means that the rate is all inclusive of everything that is provided (e.g. board, care, food etc.).

The survey is anonymous but there is the chance to leave your contact details, should you wish, to allow us to potentially follow up anything that may help inform future procurement exercises. Should you have any issues accessing the survey, or queries about any of the questions please either contact a Contract Manager or alternatively the Contract Management Inbox (


National Apprenticeship Week

It's National Apprenticeship Week (5-9 March) and Adult Community Learning is holding a series of events to talk about the support available.


Recent Weather Conditions

Essex County Council would like to extend our thanks to all of you for maintaining the support and wellbeing of our elderly and vulnerable residents during the hazardous weather conditions we experienced last week.

Please be aware that there is an expected increase in hospital discharges expected as a result and we would ask that you continue to do all you can to support timely and safe discharges.

If there is anything more that Essex County Council could have done to support you as providers or the Adults receiving your services during this difficult time, please do let us know by emailing


Challenge Dementia - Opportunities to spread the word

Challenge Dementia

Challenge Dementia is a national search for products, technologies and services that could transform the way people live with Dementia across the UK.  

With a £100,000 prize for the winning solution anybody can enter. It doesn't matter whether you are an individual, group, organisation or business and you can come from any background, be it architecture and construction, tech and engineering, art and design, wherever you have the opportunity to look at the issue through a different lens and the possibility to disrupt the status quo.

The prize closes on the 13th April 2018 and up to ten finalists will be awarded a £5,000 grant and the opportunity to work with our partners, the Alzheimer's Society, PA Consulting and TechUK to develop, test and evaluate their idea and formulate a final business case submitted with the chance of securing that £100,000 prize.  

Find out more about the prize at


February 2018 


Reminder about the importance of the flu jab

A reminder about the importance of vulnerable groups getting the flu jab. A short video is available to view and you can access our dedicated page to winter planning which provides information and advice for the winter period.


ECC Medicines Standards for Providers

The County Council's latest Medicines Standards for Providers is now available to view in PDF format. 


SPT Opening Hours - Easter Weekend

The Service Placement Team will be open over the Easter weekend and opening times are detailed below. Please can we ask that you are responsive to requests from the team over this busy period. We very much appreciate your continued support.

Friday 30 March (Good Friday): 10.00 - 16.00

Saturday 31 March: 09.00 - 17.00

Sunday 1 April (Easter Sunday): 10.00 - 16.00

Monday 2 April (Easter Monday): 10.00 - 16.00



Tovertafel 'Magic Table' Pilot - Expressions of Interest

The Quality Innovation team are looking for 5 Residential Care homes for people Living with Dementia to pilot the innovative Tovertafel ('Magic Table' in Dutch).

The Tovertafel projects, onto a table, a series of games for people living with mid to late stage dementia, engineered to encourage instinctive participation, inviting engagement and stimulating a level of physical and social activity rarely seen in people living with dementia at that stage of their journey. The games were developed specifically for people with Dementia and can be played both independently and under supervision.

The pilot will require the home to undertake observations of interaction and record their emotional wellbeing, their engagement and attention with the activity and whether there is a difference in their behaviours before and after interaction with the Tovertafel. We would also like to hear how and when the Tovertafel is used to support people living with Dementia, for example at night when a resident wakes and is restless, unable to settle again or late afternoon when a person may become agitated, as group sessions or individually.

The expectation of the pilot is the home will fully utilise the Tovertafel making it available to residents at all times.

The Tovertafel and 8 games will be provided free of charge and installed by the supplier of the Tovertafel, however there are important installation requirements which the home must ensure are in place prior to installation (also see Height of Tovertafel and Power Supply and Installation).

If you would like to take part in the pilot or would like to discuss in more detail please email


New DBS Guidelines.

The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) has introduced new identity checking guidelines to align with Right to Work checks. These new guidelines will apply to all applications for Standard or Enhanced Disclosure checks.


Oxygen Safety

Following the recent incident at a care home where a fire was likely started by an oxygen cylinder please share with your staff the following short video on Oxygen Safety.  This is relevant to all services where people have oxygen prescribed.

Further training materials can be found in this document.

The purpose of the training programme is to provide you with the skills and knowledge to have an understanding of home oxygen equipment and recognise the BOC safety protocols regarding its safe operation and use.


January 2018 

Day Opportunities Invitation to Tender

ECC's invitation to tender for day opportunities is now open on the BiP Delta Supplier Portal (access code: FV2B6GGD3Z). 

Providers have until 12:00 (noon) on 26 March 2018 to submit bids.  Clarification questions (submitted via BiP Delta Messaging Board) must be submitted by 19 March.    

A bidders' information event is currently being organised.  As soon as the event details are confirmed, these will be published here and in the Summary of Current Opportunities ("Tender Opportunities" section).

In the meantime, if you experience any technical difficulties accessing the tender, please contact the Delta eSourcing Helpdesk on 0845 270 7050 or email


ECC's Supplier Recognition Awards


On 4th January ECC held its first Supplier Recognition Awards event to demonstrate the council's appreciation for the hard work of its supplier base. The event was held at County Hall, Chelmsford, with awards presented to winning suppliers by Cllr Aldridge, Cllr Whitbread, Cllr Spence & Cllr Mohrinda & Helen Morris, Director of Place.

The awards categories and winners were:

Best Contribution To Corporate Social Responsibility

Winner: Voluntary Action Epping Forest

..for their outstanding support with helping adults with learning disabilities to secure volunteering placements within the community.

Best Local SME

Winner: Channels & Choices

..for their 'Stepping Stone' fostering program that deals with very complex fostering referrals.

Highly Commended: Arrows Taxis

..for their introduction of the Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) in rural communities, it is enabling people of Essex to access essential services.

Best Use Of Digital Technology And I.T. To Improve Services

Winner: BT Open Reach

..for their delivery of superfast broadband to the more rural areas of Essex. This is enabling sustainable economic growth for Essex communities and businesses.

Forward Thinking Innovation Award

Winner: Family Mosaic Floating Support

..for embracing new technologies & way of working by implementing a new software package called 'Tableau' and the use of their 'Fablets' (a cross between and phone and a tablet). By incorporating these technologies it has streamlined the process of taking assessments and reduced the time taken by more than half, and introduced the ability to access a live stream of data.

Well done to all those shortlisted, and many congratulations to the winners.


ECC's Procurement team achieve one of highest industry accolades


ECC's Procurement Services team which has again achieved one of the highest industry accolades for its effectiveness and constant drive for improvement. The team was presented with the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Corporate Certification Standard which recognises the strength of its purchasing policies, processes and procedures.

This follows an in-depth assessment process measuring the procurement function against CIPS' world-class standards in five areas:

  • Leadership and organisation
  • Strategy and policy
  • People
  • Processes and systems
  • Performance management.

The process aims to ensure we are operating efficiently and effectively and can drive constant improvement.

The CIPS Corporate Certification is an internationally recognised award and a respected mark of excellence and we are one of a handful of councils to hold it. It is the only independent, comprehensive and procurement-specific assessment of its kind and achieving it signifies we have all the procurement governance mechanisms in place for effective supply assurance and compliance.


Essex Care Association (ECA) Breakfast Networking Conference

Date: Thursday 8th March 2018 from 8am - 12 noon

Venue: Best Western Marks Tey Hotel, London Road, Colchester, Essex, CO6 1DU

For further details please view this flyer

To book your place please email:


Careers in Care newspaper supplement 

We're pleased to share with you a copy of the Careers in Care newspaper supplement which celebrates the success of people working in the care industry and who make a difference to others. The supplement was subsidised by ECC and distributed in a number of Newsquest Essex newspapers in January. Care Providers who feature in the supplement, have their jobs page link hosted on the Living Well Essex website. Please contact if you would like the jobs page link hosted on the website.

To access the online version click on the following link: Caring Essex Supplement - Digital Version

To access a PDF version please click here 

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this supplement, we hope you agree that it shows working in care in Essex is a rewarding career choice. 


ECC's new Procurement Team

As part of the Council's ongoing restructure we are pleased to announce the new Procurement function. It is a merger of the Category and Contract management teams, creating a more efficient end to end process of purchasing and delivering services and providing a better service to our customers.

Steve Ede is the Head of Procurement for People (encompassing social care), with Tony Clissold and Zoe Harris the Category and Supplier Relationship Leads for AWD and Older People respectively.

You can find a copy of the People structure chart here


Managing Norovirus Outbreaks

Please click here for official PHE guidance on managing Norovirus in acute and community health and social care settings.  


Adult Community Learning Courses

ACL has an exciting range of programmes to support staff development and training within the care sector - details on some of these can be found in this attached flyer.

In some instances programmes could be free of charge e.g. maths and English and medicine management.

Please contact Lorretta for further information:

03330 138387 | 07748623230


December 2017 

Service Placement Team (SPT) and Emergency Duty Team (EDT) Christmas Opening Times

The opening times for SPT between Saturday 23rd December 2017 and Tuesday 2nd January 2018 can be found in this document.

The EDT working hours for Christmas and New Year including contact telephone numbers can be found in this document.


Funding for Health & Social Care training: Workforce Development Fund

Essex Care Training Partnership currently has funding available from the Department of Health which supports adult social care employers to claim back a contribution towards the costs of their employees completing health and social care qualifications, units and learning programmes.

Further information can be found on the Skills for Care website or in this leaflet.


Extension of the seasonal flu immunisation

As part of winter 2017/18 resilience plans, NHS England has worked with partners to extend the flu vaccination programme to care home and domiciliary social care workers in England that give direct care to vulnerable people.

This is being delivered through an extension to the existing Pharmacy Advanced Service and a new GP Enhanced Service. It is designed to complement existing immunisation schemes already in place across health and social care and is backed by £10m of additional funding. More information on which staff are eligible is available on the NHS England website.


November 2017

Discover the Discovery Festival

Essex County Council Quality Innovation team are proud to be involved in this year's event.

Organised by Chelmsford City Council, the Discovery Festival returns in celebration and recognition of the International Day of People with Disability.

The international day has been celebrated annually on 3 December since 1992, with organisations taking part to focus on measures supporting greater integration and equality for people with disability. 

The Festival runs between 3rd and 10th December 2017.

The Festival's principal aims are to:

  • Celebrate the achievements of those living with disability.
  • Educate individuals to understand and think differently about disability.
  • Work towards a fully inclusive society for all.
  • Promote the support provided in the local area.

For further information, please visit the Discovery Festival website or download the brochure.


Congratulations to Lime Trees in Harwich

Lime Trees in Harwich is a small Essex based residential service that works with adults who have learning disabilities or acquired brain injury and often have additional mental health needs.

Following their most recent inspection by CQC they have been awarded an overall rating of outstanding.

CQC look at five Key Lines of Enquiry which require a service to be Caring, Responsive, Safe .Effective and Well Led. Lime Trees were rated as 'outstanding' for being caring and responsive and 'good' for all other areas and this resulted in an overall award of Outstanding.

The attached link leads to the full report which is in the public domain.   

Of the six services in Essex that have achieved an outstanding rating Lime Trees is the only dedicated Adults with Disabilities residential service.

Owner /Director James Moor said: 

"All of us have worked exceptionally hard at following a simple ethos across the service - we provide individualised support and person centred goal planning.

If you couple this with an understanding and empathy for each person that you support - knowing what their aspirations and goals are, then the delivery of effective support and reaching goals becomes a fluency in the performance and outcome of the service.

Undeniably, the input from our outreach team is vital in providing a stable platform for the support team to deliver the correct care for people with brain injury. We have found that by creating a foundation to provide key training and guidance within the company, our staff are able to continually follow the organisations ethos with confidence and commitment.

We can have the best plan of care, the best facilities and the most qualified people working, however, I would go as far to say that every member of the team has to be as strong a link as the other, no matter their position, qualification or role.  Our service, I feel, has reached this achievement due to this fact."


Live at Home Providers - Mini Competition Innovation for long term domicilary care

Work is underway to develop a pathfinder for the mini competition process within SPT when sourcing on the Live at Home Framework.  All Live at Home framework providers are welcome to be involved. See the Innovation section for further details. 


Reminder for Care Homes in Colchester & Tendring areas from NHS

It is the flu season and it is during this time of year that we are trying to ensure that patients in homes are vaccinated. I am sure that you all know about the importance of this, but if you have not been contacted by the surgery or surgeries who serve your patients, it may be a good time to arrange a date for your patients to be vaccinated. For more information refer to 'NHS Letter' and 'Leaflet' for details


Day Opportunities Market Engagement Event

ECC is designing a framework for providers to deliver day opportunities for adults with disabilities and older people.  Key features of this will be a focus on person-centred outcomes and progression, with the opportunity to deliver bespoke services that allow flexibility from a traditional buildings-based service.

In previous events we discussed the future of day opportunities; feedback has been used to shape the proposed contract.  We'd like to share this design with you and get your feedback on how this may work in the market.  We will explore what we mean by commissioning for person-centred outcomes in this market, how the framework will work in practice, how we will pay for services and how we will look to monitor the services delivered.  We would also like to share some details of the tender process with you.

You are invited to join us on Monday, 4 December, 1:30pm - 4:30pm, at the Essex Record Office, Chelmsford.  For further information, please visit the Events page.


October 2017

Market Shaping Strategy Update

Many thanks to all that contributed and provided feedback on the Market Shaping Strategy.  We are  in the process of finalising the document and the final document will be available within the next couple of weeks.  Once the final document is available, an update will be posted on this page along with some additional briefing materials to allow you to share the key messages from the strategy with your organisations.  The first review of the strategy will take place in the Spring and providers will be invited to contribute to this.


Are you prepared for Winter?

  • Do you have plans in place ready to deal with any unexpected incidents or emergencies?
  • Are you ready for the flu season?  Encourage your staff, residents and service users to get vaccinated against flu.
  • Do you know how to keep up to date on the local weather and weather warnings?
  • Are your service users homes' sufficiently warm to ensure they keep well over the winter period?
  • Do you know how and who to contact at ECC over the festive period?

For further information on any of these topics, please visit our dedicated page on the Care Provider Information Hub where we answer all these questions and more.


Re-Opening of the Live at Home Framework

We are pleased to announce the re-opening of the Live at Home (LHRL) framework and the LHRL annual review process planned for the 1st November 2017, subject to internal governance. Further details can be found in Reopening of the Framework


New Data Protection requirements awareness session for care providers

ECC are running two awareness courses covering the new data protection law and practice including the current act for all providers of care to Essex.

The dates of these sessions are 16th November and 28th November 2017. For further information, please visit the Events page.


September 2017 

Flu Campaign: How to fight flu this winter 

ECC have a number of flu facts on how to fight the flu this winter.  For further information, visit our  Fight flu and Fact vs Fiction pages.

Provider Market Shaping Strategy: Available for Review and Feedback

ECC have developed a Provider Market Shaping strategy for ECC Providers and Partners.  The Care Market Strategy 2017-21 is available online, with the opportunity to provide feedback.  Please provide feedback by the 13th October 2017.  In the event of queries, please contact or


August 2017

The Prospers: Essex Care Sector Awards

We are pleased to announce the Essex Care Sector Awards! Celebrating the best of care in Essex demonstrated through innovation, achievement and outstanding contribution are now open for nominations.

The Awards are open to all sectors of care including Domiciliary Agencies, Learning Disability Services, Residential Care and Nursing Homes and Day Centres. We welcome nominations from care staff, managers, seniors, relatives and the people you provide a service for.

There are 14 awards up for grabs:

  • Outstanding Carer
  • Unsung Hero
  • Team of the Year
  • Best Innovation
  • Best Community Engagement
  • Best Partnership & Collaboration
  • Best Innovation in Dementia Care
  • Nutrition and Hydration
  • Prosper Champion of Champions
  • Prosper Falls Prevention
  • Prosper Pressure Ulcer Prevention
  • Prosper UTI Prevention
  • Wackiest Idea

To enter your service, leader or individual staff for an award, please download the nomination form.  Complete the form with details of why you think they should win, your name and contact details.  You can enter nominations for as many categories as you like.

Please refer to each Category Award Criteria for guidance on what the judging panel is looking for.

Entries must be submitted by email to  no later than 5pm, 2nd October 2017. Winners will be announced at the Prospers Award Ceremony to be held at Chelmsford City Racecourse on 28th November 2017.

A poster advertising the awards can be downloaded here.


Train the Trainer Events for Domiciliary Care Providers

The dates for the North and South are now available for Domiciliary Care Providers who wish to attend this training.  These can be found on the Events page.

Further information about the events and what the training will cover can be found in Training for Care Staff page.


Locating Vulnerable People with Dementia if they go missing

From Monday, August 14, Essex Police are adopting a national scheme aimed to help reduce the time taken to gather vital information when a person with dementia goes missing.

The Herbert Protocol, named after war veteran George Herbert who lived with dementia, encourages carers, friends and relatives of people with dementia to fill in a form which could help authorities find their loved one quicker in the event of them going missing.

Essex Police are working with Essex County Council, Thurrock and Southend unitary authorities, the Alzheimer's Society and volunteer organisation Essex Search and Rescue to encourage the completion of the form which can then be passed to the police in the event someone with dementia cannot be found.

The form records all the vital details in one place including medication requirements, mobile numbers, places previously located or attended, a photo, details of daily routine etc.

In the event someone goes missing a completed form saves vital time, allowing officers the ability to get on with searching rather than gathering basic information.

Please encourage all people living with Dementia, their families, carers to go to the following site and completed and store the form for their records.

If you are a support provider, you can download a flyer which can be printed and used to raise awareness.  Further information can be found in the Herbert Protocol page.


June 2017

New Missing Protocol for Vulnerable Adults for SET Safeguarding Adults Board

The Southend, Essex and Thurrock (SET) Safeguarding Adults Boards have developed multi-agency protocol for care homes, hospitals and mental health establishments across the County.

It aims to bring together information and procedures from relevant partners to provide the best possible service to vulnerable adults at risk of or have gone missing.

The protocol was developed following a number of incidents and recommendations from a Serious Case Review and is based on one already in place for mental health establishments.

The document reflects policies and procedures within SET and Essex Police, current at the time of publishing and should be reviewed on an annual basis.


Free Maths and English Courses for Care Staff

ACL are offering free Maths and English courses to care staff.  Further information can be found here.


May 2017

Beds on Wheels

Important guidance information in relation to applying brakes to the wheels on beds has been developed by the College of Occupational Therapists in consultation with NHS Improvement.  This guidance is supported by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), National Association of Equipment Providers (NAEP), The Independent Standard Body for Disability Equipment (CECOPS) and Carers UK.

Guidance Document


April 2017

Provider Engagement E- Newsletter

The Provider Engagement E-Newsletter is now available and can be accessed using the navigation on the left.


SET Safeguarding Adults Guidelines

The Southend, Essex & Thurrock (SET) Safeguarding Adults Guidelines have been updated.  These can be accessed using the link below.

SET Safeguarding Adults Guidelines


February 2017

Live at Home Framework

The new Live at Home Framework to provide domiciliary care across Essex went live on 12th February 2017.  Further information about the framework can be accessed using the navigation on the left.


January 2017

Support Directory - Advertise your Services for Free!

Essex County Council, in partnership with Healthwatch Essex, has launched a new online directory of care services for the residents of Essex, and we are inviting you to register and advertise your services at no cost to you. 

Further information on the Support Directory and how to register can be accessed from the navigation on the left.

Last Update: 6 December 2018

rating button