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News Archive

November 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 30.11.2020

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 27.11.2020

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

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

Care package / placement restarts

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

New care packages / placements

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 25.11.2020

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

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

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

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

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

End of Life Study Webinars:

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

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

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

Supporting Your Residents and Staff

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

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.11.2020

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

 

Meaningful Lives Matters Video

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

MLM Video

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.11.2020

1. Infection Control Fund - Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

Dear bidder

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

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

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

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

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

L3 Health & Social Care                                 

L2 Health & Social Care                                 

L4 Adult Care (limited availability)                          

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

L2 Understanding Technology Enabled Care                                        

L3 Principles of Leadership & Management                                         

L2 Infection Control                                       

L2 Safe Handling of Medication                                 

L2 Care Planning                                              

L2 End of Life Care                                          

L2 Care & Management of Dementia                                     

L2 Dementia Awareness                               

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

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

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

 

New learning module - 'Learning from Events'

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

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

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

Specifically the module will address:

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

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

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

Click here for details on how to access this module.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.11.2020

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.11.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 13.11.2020

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

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

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

 

 

Christmas2020Shows

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.11.2020

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.11.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, more are still needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 06.11.2020

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.11.2020

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

 

Day Opportunities Update 04.11.2020

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

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

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

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

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

Telephone: 0345 603 7630

Textphone: 0345 758 5592

Email: socialcaredirect@essex.gov.uk

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.11.2020

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

Dear Care Home,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

October 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 28.10.2020

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

  1. Seasonal Flu Vaccine:

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

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

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

  1. Updated guidance on ordering PPE:

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

  1. IPC Webinar: For all CARE HOME staff

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

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

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

  1. IPC: Guidance for Care Workers

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.10.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.10.2020

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

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

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

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

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

See attached letter for more details

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 19.10.2020

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.10.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Free Business support Service (16.10.2020)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 14.10.2020

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

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

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

For more information and to book a place

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 12.10.2020

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

 Relationship Survey QR code

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.10.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The benefits of being a part of this framework include:

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

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

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

 

Being prepared for EU Exit 

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

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

Business Continuity Plans

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

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

EU Settlement Scheme

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

Resources

List of actions for your business:

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

Further information and guidance available:

Best Growth Hub

Essex Chambers of Commerce

ECC general advice for Brexit

 

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

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

Details of  timings for stopping the antibody testing are below:

Antibody testing for domiciliary care staff

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

From that date antibody testing will no longer be available at

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

Antibody testing for care home staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.10.2020

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

Relationship Survey QR code

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 05.10.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.10.2020

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like you start utilising Brakes please contact:

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

 

Day Opportunities Invoicing Guidance - 1st October 2020 onwards

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

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

 

September 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 30.09.2020

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

Eligibility for PCR retesting in staff

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 28.09.2020

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

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ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 25.09.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.09.2020

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

 

ECA membership 2020-21

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

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

Small Providers*: £99      Large providers: £175

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

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

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

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

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

What you will gain from your membership

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

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

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

We look forward to welcoming you for 2020-21.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.09.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.09.2020

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.09.2020

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

 

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

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

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

Our next workshop details:

Vision for Personalisation

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 14.09.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.09.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.09.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.09.2020

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

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ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.09.2020

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Day Opportunities COVID-19 Recovery Provider Survey (04.09.2020)

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.09.2020

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

For more information please see this DHSC letter

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

 

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

How to request a test

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Test results will be one of three values:

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

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

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

 

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

MSE Antibody

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Please find attached the following materials:

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

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

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

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

If you require any further information please contact:

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

West Essex staff westessexantibody.support@nhs.net

 

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

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

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

QR Code


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

 

 

August 2020

 

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.08.2020

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

 

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

MSE Antibody

Dear Manager,

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

What the outcome of the antibody test means for you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 19.08.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 17.08.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 10.08.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.08.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 05.08.2020

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

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

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

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

The agenda is as follows:

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

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

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

 

July 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 31.07.2020

Covid 19 Fund Update

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

 

Updated:Visiting care homes during coronavirus

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

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

 

EU Settlement Scheme - CPA guidance for care providers

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

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

Issues obtaining test kits for care homes

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

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 24.07.2020

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 22.07.2020

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

 

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

Please see below today's webinar. 

Webinar: https://youtu.be/5Pxt8hrT38w

Access the slides

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.07.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 17.07.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Please see further information regarding this precautionary measure

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 15.07.2020

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

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

https://youtu.be/uhnVe1Ssni0

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 13.07.2020

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 10.07.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 08.07.2020

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.07.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 03.07.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 01.07.2020

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

 

Essex County Council expands its business support service

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

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

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

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

Essex businesses can access advice and support including:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

What does this mean for you?

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

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

What is different?

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

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

What Else is New?

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

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

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

 

June 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 29.06.2020

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

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

 

Changes to the PPE ordering process (29.06.2020)

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

Domiciliary/Day Services/Supported Living/Extra Care

Residential

Direct Payment Or Personal Assistant

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 26.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 24.06.2020

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

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

 

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

Webinar slide pack (please also see amended slides below)

Updated Public Health slides: Download slide pack 

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

Please see attached useful diagram for more information

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 22.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 19.06.2020

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

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

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

03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers

03330139972 for residential or supported living provider

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

 

Changes to the PPE ordering Process (19.06.20)

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

Collection Locations and access

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

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

Ordering PPE

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

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

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

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

Many thanks,

The PPE Supplies Team

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 17.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 15.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 12.06.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.06.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 10.06.2020

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

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

 

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

Copy of slides

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 08.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 05.06.2020

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

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

 PPE Weekend Access

You can access urgent supply of PPE by calling:

03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers

03330139972 for residential or supported living provider

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 03.06.2020

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

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

 

Today's Webinar (03.06.2020)

Copy of Slides

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.06.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 01.06.2020

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

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

May 2020

 

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

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

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

  • Infection, Prevention and Control

  • Stepping up NHS Clinical Support

  • Comprehensive Testing

  • Oversight and Compliance

  • Building the Workforce

  • Funding

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 29.05.2020

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

Whole Care Home Testing

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

Whole Care Home Testing Webinars

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

Main objectives of the webinar series: 

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

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

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

 

PPE:

Cardinal Masks 

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

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

PPE Weekend Access 

You can access urgent supply of PPE by calling:

03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers

03330139972 for residential or supported living provider

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

 

Easter Eggs

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 28.05.2020

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

Issues accessing testing/test results

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

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

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

 

Medical Assessment for COVID-19 positive adults

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

If you require urgent medical advice, please call 111.

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 27.05.2020

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

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

 

North East Essex Support

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 26.05.2020

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 22.05.2020

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

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

 

Essex Rapid Care Technology Deployment

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

The next briefing sessions will be held on;

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

PPE

You can access urgent supply of PPE by calling:

03330139974 for domiciliary and day opportunity providers

03330139972 for residential or supported living provider

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.05.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.05.2020

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

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

 

Today's Webinar (20.05.2020)

Copy of slides

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 19.05.2020

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

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

  1. The four UK Chief Medical Officers have announced that anosmia - the loss or a change in your normal sense of smell or taste - has been added as a symptom of COVID-19.
  2. Wellbeing support line for NHS and social care workers - the Samaritans and NHS, working in partnership, have launched the new confidential support line: 03001 317 000 available 7am-11pm, 7 days a week.
  3. Please read the following information aboutcourier fraud and ensure your clients are aware - Elderly victims are being contacted by fraudsters claiming to be from their bank. They are often using the COVID19 crisis as a reason, but claim the victims bank card needs replacing, and that a courier will attend their home address in order to do so. The fraudsters may have a great deal of the victims personal data, including date of birth, how long they have been a member of the bank and what type of accounts they have which is why they are so believable and are being so successful. People should be vigilant and not provide their banking details, nor cards to anyone who is alleging on being a courier at their home address. You can find out more about this type of fraud on the action fraud website 
  1. Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is set to launch available from 26 May and will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees.
  1. Tomorrow's webinar and Q&A session - we aim to publish the webinar recording by midday to allow you time to view before the live Q&A from 2:15pm. We look forward to answering your questions.

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 18.05.2020

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

  1. This week's webinar and Q&A session will be on Wednesday. We aim to publish the webinar recording by midday to allow you time to view before the live Q&A from 2:15pm. We look forward to answering your questions.
  1. Clinical Leads in care Homes (Mid Essex) - Mid Essex CCG have now identified a named clinical lead for each care home within Mid Essex. As part of national guidance, "it was critical that Clinical Commissioning Groups identify a named clinical lead for each CQC-registered care home in their area. This clinician will provide clinical leadership for the primary care and community health services support to the care home, and is responsible for the co-ordination of the service provision set out in the 1 May letter to the care home residents. The clinical lead may be drawn from general practice or the community health service provider and may be a job share arrangement." Please contact MECCG.primarycare@nhs.net to advise who your clinical need is (Mid Essex only).
  1. Video showing how to take a coronavirus self-test swab (home test kit)
  1. COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol
  1. COVID-19: government document detailing the support for care homes available
  1. PrescQIPP interactive map - To support timely access to palliative care medicines during  the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic PrescQIPP have developed an interactive Map of all the Palliative Care Pharmacy sites currently available in the East of England
  1. Please see document regarding the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) in relation to Covid-19 alongside an easy read guide for swab tests

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 15.05.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 14.05.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 13.05.2020

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

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

 

Today's Webinar (13.05.2020)

Download the Slides

 

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

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

This states:

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

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

Note:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Day Opportunities - Updated closure guidance (13.05.20)

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 12.05.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 11.05.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 08.05.2020

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

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

 

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

Potential suppliers of PPE

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

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

List of Potential PPE Suppliers

Access to PPE

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

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

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

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

For Domiciliary providers, we will ask the following:

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin (07.05.20)

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin (06.05.20)

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

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

 

Update on ECC PPE provision (06.05.20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC COVID-19 Response Fund (06.05.20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The scheme is running until 8th July 2020.  

 

Today's Webinar (06.05.20)

Copy of slides

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 05.05.2020

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

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

 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 04.05.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 01.05.2020

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

 

April 2020

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 30.04.2020

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 29.04.2020

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

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

 

Today's Webinar (29.04.2020)

Today's webinar is below and includes:

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

Click here to view the slides. 

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 28.04.2020

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

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

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes

COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care

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

Health & Wellbeing Information for Care Staff

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 27.04.2020

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

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

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes

COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 24.04.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 23.04.2020

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

  1. Important information regarding Data Collection

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 22.04.2020

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

 

Today's Webinar (22.04.2020)

Webinar Slides (22.04.20)

NHS Capacity Tracker as mentioned in the Webinar

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 21.04.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 20.04.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 17.04.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Hospice Advice Lines

Mid and South Essex

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

North Essex

 

Covid-19 Testing of Key Workers (16.04.2020)

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

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

Locations 

.Stansted Airport - Open Now

.Wren House, Chelmsford - Available from 20/04

.Phoenix House, Basildon - Available from 20/04

.The Lighthouse, Southend - Available from 20/04

.Copdock, Suffolk - Available from 20/04

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 16.04.2020

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

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

  1. Residential Block beds

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 15.04.2020

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

 

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

Copy of slides

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 14.04.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 10.04.2020

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

 

Testing / swabbing of key workers (10.04.20)

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 09.04.2020

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

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

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

 

Urgent Supply of PPE - Updated 09.04.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 08.04.2020

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

 

Covid-19 Webinar (8 April) 

Slides from the webinar

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 07.04.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 06.04.2020

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 03.04.2020

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

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

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

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

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

For further guidance please see below: 

Domiciliary Guidance

Residential Guidance

Infection Control Guidance (including PPE)

 

Urgent Supply of PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 4th April 10-4pm

Sunday 5th April 9-5pm

 

Mental Health Supported to Independence and Intensive Enablement Announcement

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

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

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

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 02.04.2020

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

 

Mid Duty Team Email Address

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

 

ECC Covid-19 Bulletin 01.04.2020

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

  

Extension to Winter Fast Track Acceptance Payments  

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

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

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

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

 

PPE update and Data request

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today's Webinar (01.04.2020)

 

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 nhs.net 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 bbccg.qualityproviderqueries@nhs.net.

 

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: COVID19BusinessSupport@essex.gov.uk
  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 www.nationalcareforce.co.uk

 

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 supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk  
  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 - www.brake.co.uk

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

Joe Murgia
Business Development Manager
Brakes

T: 0344 800 4900
M: 07483 952385
E: joseph.murgia@brake.co.uk

 

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: Service.PlacementTeam@essex.gov.uk and Rachel.Horne@essex.gov.uk

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 https://consultations.essex.gov.uk/procurement/3a0477b6.   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 providerresilience@essex.gov.uk 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 providerresilience@essex.gov.uk.

 

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: https://www.sli.do/? 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 ProviderResilience@essex.gov.uk 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 Service.PlacementTeam@essex.gov.uk

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:

https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/cold-homes

 

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 https://www.biffa.co.uk/busiess-waste/our-services 
CSH Environmental 01206 916273 https://www.cshenvironmental.co.uk/trade-waste/
Green Recycling  01621 842600 https://www.greenrecycling.co.uk

 

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; 

https://supplierlive.proactisp2p.com/Account/Login 

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 helpdeskhttp://proactis.kayako.com/default

Alternatively, you can email suppliersupport@proactis.com to automatically log a ticket for the https://supplierlive.proactisp2p.com/Account/Login 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 - https://consultations.essex.gov.uk/esab/fbe46ec5

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 - https://www.essexsab.org.uk/media/2489/missing-protocol-may-2019-v2.pdf

 

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 ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk

 

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 https://midessexccg.nhs.uk/news/1057-group-a-streptococcus-outbreak-in-mid-essex 

 

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 acl.nostoppingme@essex.gov.uk 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 everydayisdifferent@dhsc.gov.uk.

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 MarketPortal@essex.gov.uk 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: essex.workingwell@nhs.net

 

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 ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk

 

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 MarketPortal@Essex.gov.uk 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 louise.pinder1@nhs.net  

 

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:

https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status

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: https://libraries.essex.gov.uk/facilities-and-charges/european-settlement-scheme-readers/
  • 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: euss@migranthelpuk.org

 

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: www.facebook.com/MeaningfulLivesEssex/

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 Andrew.Bennett@essex.gov.uk

 

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 - https://engage.improvement.nhs.uk/psmu/care-homes/. 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 (emma.mordaunt@uclpartners.com) or Mandeep Butt (Mandeep.Butt@uclpartners.com).

 

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 stephen.watt@essex.gov.uk

 

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.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE PART.

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 helpline@enventure.co.uk  

 

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 ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk. 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 sharon.earl@nhs.net, 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 jaymie.skelley2@essex.gov.uk

 

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:  https://www.delta-esourcing.com 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 (...@nhs.net) 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 (https://www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk/latest-guidance/completing-entry-level/) and a video from care providers promotes the benefits (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELdLFGbNxPs). 

For help and support please contact - england.easttransformation@nhs.net

 

 

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) - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/local-system-workshop-mid-south-homecare-tickets-76263180225

Residential Services (PM) - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/local-system-workshop-mid-south-residential-services-tickets-76264058853

 

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="https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.livingwellessex.org%2Fvision%2Fmarket-shaping%2Fprovider-relationship-management%2Fannual-relationship-management-survey%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7Cca0fcb556e064bbd9c1008d74e453b74%7Ca8b4324f155c4215a0f17ed8cc9a992f%7C0%7C0%7C637063931575400934&sdata=EmUyQgoDSC9zDHea4270N

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 - https://www.lgo.org.uk/care-provider-events

 

Nhs.net in care homes

West Essex CCG is developing a plan, as part of the Hertfordshire and West Essex STP, to implement nhs.net 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 nhs.net. This has already been implemented in East Herts, further information on the East Herts projects and benefits of nhs.net within homes can be found here:

https://www.enhertsvanguard.uk/harnessing-data-and-technology/nhsnet-email

 If you have any questions about this exciting project, please contact Claire Cowdery at West Essex CCG via c.cowdery@nhs.net   

 

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

simon.cooper@essex.gov.uk

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.

Reablement

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 ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk

 

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 (IRN.ProjectTeam@essex.gov.uk)

 

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: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322943/Guidance_for_managing_norovirus_outbreaks_in_healthcare_settings.pdf

 

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 Business.development@ic24.nhs.uk.

 

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 lorraine.mott@essex.gov.uk 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 ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk

 

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 quality.innovation@essex.gov.uk   

More information on My Home Life can be found at; www.Myhomelife.org.uk

 

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

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reducing-social-isolation-tackling-loneliness-market-event-2-tickets-52253421390

 

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 LiveAtHome@essex.gov.uk 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 LiveAtHome@essex.gov.uk.  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...

Mobility

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 (e.g.hospital 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 prosperawd@essex.gov.uk

 

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: prosper@essex.gov.uk

Follow this link to see the article:

http://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/xAh8rAb3rhFRPTYuXIHn/full

 

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

 Red Bag NOBACKGROUND

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

Capture

 

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 england.phs7apmo@nhs.net

 

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 ectp@eica.org.uk

 

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 MarketPortal@essex.gov.uk

 

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 jackie.barrett1@nhs.net or Palak.joshi@nhs.net  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 theProspers@essex.gov.uk 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 www.nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration 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 IRN.ProjectTeam@essex.gov.uk.

 

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 https://www.delta-esourcing.com. 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: karen.tucciarone@essex.gov.uk

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 ProviderForums.Adults@essex.gov.uk.

 

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 https://www.facebook.com/pg/EssexTS  and twitter https://twitter.com/EssexTS

 

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 MarketPortal@essex.gov.uk.

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 Liveathome@essex.gov.uk.

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: ProviderForums.Adults@essex.gov.uk

 

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: office@eica.org.uk

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

Procurement:

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 (commercial.team@essex.gov.uk).

 

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: http://surveys.essexinsight.org.uk/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=m8MJl85M

If there are any questions about the survey then please contact the Contract Management Inbox at ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk.


 

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 IAG.Socialcare@essex.gov.uk

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: http://surveys.essexinsight.org.uk/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=m8MJl85M 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 (ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk).

 

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 ContractManagementAdults@essex.gov.uk

 

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 http://challenge-prizes.essex.gov.uk/


 

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

Email: Service.PlacementTeam@essex.gov.uk

 

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 Lesley.cruickshank@essex.gov.uk

 

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSouYewJ2jw

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 helpdesk@delta-esourcing.com.

 

ECC's Supplier Recognition Awards

Award

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

CIPS

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: office@eica.org.uk

 

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 Nicola.faulkner2@essex.gov.uk 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:

Lorretta.wiltshire@essex.gov.uk

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.

http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-117066310   

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 simon.willson@essex.gov.uk or monika.gandy@essex.gov.uk

 

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 quality.innovation@essex.gov.uk  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.

https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/herbert-protocol/

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

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