UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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CQC style rating system for government progress on health and social care pledges to be pilotedCQC style rating system for government progress on health and social care pledges to be piloted

The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee has announced that it will be piloting the independent evaluation of government progress against its pledges on health and social care policy. This will be undertaken by a panel of experts who will give 'CQC style ratings'.

See the news item here.

Read the report here.

The Committee are also looking for applications for the expert panel.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235957

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Hot weather - guidance on reducing the risk of dehydration and overheatingHot weather - guidance on reducing the risk of dehydration and overheating

With very hot weather predicted this week in parts of England, there is guidance on reducing the health risks of dehydration, over-heating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke at:

NHS: How to cope in hot weather

England: Heatwave Plan for England Resources include ‘Beat the Heat: Coping with heat and COVID-19’ poster, leaflet and keep cool at home checklist.

Advice for Health and Social Care professionals

Wales: Extreme hot weather - advice from Public Health Wales on the health risks of extremely hot weather.

Scotland: Hot weather advice from Ready Scotland

Northern Ireland: Hot weather advice from NI Direct

Age UK: Advice on staying cool in a heatwave

Dementia UK: How to support somebody living with dementia in hot weather and prevent dehydration

Met Office weather app

See also: Public Health England hot weather warnings


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235955

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Supported housing: new guidance from DHSC (England)Supported housing: new guidance from DHSC (England)

The government have issued new guidance for supported housing providers and staff in England.

This will assist with planning and preparation to reduce risks assoicated with COVID-19. It may also clarify how to apply other COVID-19 guidance to supported living contexts.

The guidance "is primarily for supported living settings, but many of the principles are applicable to extra care housing for older people. It may also be a useful resource for the wider supported housing sector, such as retirement or sheltered housing."

The guidance is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235956

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Care staff returning from holiday may need to self-isolateCare staff returning from holiday may need to self-isolate

All homecare staff returning from countries which are not on the exempt destinations list, will be required to self-isolate for fourteen days on return to the UK. Care and health professionals registered with a UK-based regulator are also now required to self-isolate for 14 days. This is a change from the previous advice. Read the Government travel advice

The list of countries which are exempt destinations is liable to change, and different effective dates may apply in UK nations. For example, Belgium, Andorra, and Bahamas have been added to the UK quarantine list effective 04:00 BST on 8 August except in Wales, where the change was effective midnight on 6 August. Quarantines have already been re-imposed for returnees from Spain and Luxembourg.

Scottish Executive: Quarantine rules change for five countries

Welsh Government: Written statement regarding international travel

Northern Ireland Department of Health: Quarantine regulations updated

Briefing by Anthony Collins Solicitors for UKHCA members on travelling abroad and quarantine restrictions.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235954

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Benefits of applying early to the EU Settlement SchemeBenefits of applying early to the EU Settlement Scheme

If you have staff who is an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, there are benefits to applying for EU settled status well before the deadline of 30th June 2021. Successful applications will lead to either settled or pre-settled status.

Ensuring staff apply as early as possible gives them the chance to address any issues if the Home Office ask for more information or they need to re-apply (where appropriate to do so) before the deadline of 30 June 2021 without impacting their eligibility to work in the UK.

Keep in mind that the application process is taking longer due to COVID-19 delays.

Read more information here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235953

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Further guidance on RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19Further guidance on RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated the guidance for reporting cases of Covid-19. Providers should follow the RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19 guidance on what to report.

This guidance has been developed to assist responsible persons in determining whether reports need to be made for cases of Covid-19.

HSE has decided that it no longer requires a diagnosis of Covid-19 to be confirmed by a registered medical practitioner before a report is made under RIDDOR. Responsible persons should consider any official confirmation of COVID-19 infection such as from a public testing body as being equivalent to a registered medical practitioner's diagnosis.

The advice above applies in England, Scotland and Wales.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235950

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Local lockdown in AberdeenLocal lockdown in Aberdeen

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a lockdown in Aberdeen due to a local coronavirus outbreak. Pubs and restaurants have to shut by 5.00 pm and remain closed for at least seven days.

People are being told not to go to Aberdeen, and residents should not go more than five miles for leisure purposes, or into each others' houses. Only travel for work or education is allowed.

The lockdown will be reviewed in seven days and may be extended.

BBC News


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235951

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Social distancing cards and badges availableSocial distancing cards and badges available

As revised Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19 advises shielded people in England can leave their homes to go shopping etc, subject to safety precautions, from 1 August, new Guidance - 'Please give me space' social distancing cards or badges, includes optional badges that can be used to show the carrier may have difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235949

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Ministers announce £800m stabilisation package for Welsh NHSMinisters announce £800m stabilisation package for Welsh NHS

Welsh Ministers have announced a new £800m stabilisation package to help the Welsh NHS prepare for a potential second wave, and meet winter pressures.

Plans for the funding include a strategic approach to the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for both the health and social care sectors, so that an appropriate 'buffer' of supplies can be established to respond to any second wave of infections, and a reliable supply of PPE is available for GPs, dentists and optometrists. The funds will also help deliver Wales' flu campaign.

https://gov.wales/ministers-announce-800m-stabilisation-package-welsh-nhs

Cabinet statement: https://gov.wales/written-statement-further-funding-adult-social-care-providers


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235948

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Mandatory registration deadline approachesMandatory registration deadline approaches

The deadline for support workers in care at home and housing support in Scotland to register with the Scottish Social Services Council is fast approaching.

Workers who were in post on or before 2 October 2017 must be registered by 30 September 2020. Those who started after that date, should apply to be registered as soon as possible.

More about registration: https://news.sssc.uk.com/news/mandatory-registration


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235932

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2020-21 Voluntary Sector Development Fund open2020-21 Voluntary Sector Development Fund open

The Scottish Social Services Council is inviting applications to the 2020-21 Voluntary Sector Development Fund (VSDF).

Around £900,000 is available for costs associated with staff meeting SSSC’s registration qualification criteria. Support workers in care at home and housing support services are eligible, and small and medium-sized voluntary organisations, registered with the Care Inspectorate, are particularly invited to apply.

A maximum of £1,200 is available for each worker undertaking the SVQ in Social Services and Healthcare at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 6 after 1 January 2021. There is an upper ceiling of £24,000 for one organisation.

More information: https://news.sssc.uk.com/news/2020-21-voluntary-sector-development-fund-open

The deadline to apply is 30 September 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235933

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Phased lockdown relaxations continue in WalesPhased lockdown relaxations continue in Wales

A series of changes are being made to relax lockdown restrictions in Wales.

From 3 August, restrictions preventing more than two households or extended households meeting outdoors have been removed so up to 30 people can meet outdoors, provided physical distancing is maintained.

Pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and certain other venues can re-open indoors.

Children under 11 no longer have to maintain a 2 metres distance from each other or from adults. Older children and young adults must continue to follow social distancing and the other measures to keep safe.

The reopening of swimming pools, indoor gyms, leisure centres and children’s indoor play areas is planned from 10 August.

https://gov.wales/family-and-friends-at-the-heart-of-new-coronavirus-regulations


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235935

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New campaign promotes StopCOVID NI appNew campaign promotes StopCOVID NI app

A publicity campaign has started to promote StopCOVID NI app, the mobile phone app that informs users in Northern Ireland if they have been in close contact with other users who have tested positive for Covid-19.

The Apple and Google links for downloading the app are:

Playstore - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.hscni.covidtracker

Appstore - https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/stopcovidni/id1519404160

The app uses only anonymised information in its operation to safeguard user privacy.

Explainer guide: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/stopcovid-ni-application-easy-explainer-guide

The TV ad is available at: https://youtu.be/KU3Yv2qmpIA

Poster: www.ukhca.co.uk/pdfs/778207PHAAPPPOSTERA4.pdf

More about the app: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-stopcovid-ni-proximity-app


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235938

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Sudden - support service for people bereaved by COVID-19Sudden - support service for people bereaved by COVID-19

There is a new government-funded free sudden bereavement service (set up as a pandemic response and for the long term) in England.

Health and social care professionals can refer people bereaved in sudden or shocking ways from day one of bereavement.

The Sudden service is operated by a charity experienced in helping suddenly-bereaved people through trained and named case workers, operating over the phone.

Sudden provides support for up to 10 weeks, delivered in partnership with relevant community-based statutory and NGO agencies.

The Sudden helpline is 0800 121 6510 but this is due to change - please see www.sudden.org or email help@sudden.org for the latest.

There is a short referral form here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235952

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Comprehensive Spending Review 2020 - still time to make representationsComprehensive Spending Review 2020 - still time to make representations

The Treasury has invited representations from interest groups, individuals or representative bodies that comment on government policy or suggests new policy ideas, in preparation for the Comprehensive Spending Review.

This provides an opportunity to make policy suggestions for the Autumn Budget and explain the desired outcome, policy rationale, costs, benefits and deliverability of proposals.

There is guidance on what the CSR is, what the Government's priorities are, and what to include in representations at:

Guidance - Comprehensive Spending Review 2020 representations: guidance

The closing date for submissions is 24 September 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235924

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Hot weather predicted - guidance on reducing the risks of dehydration and over-heatingHot weather predicted - guidance on reducing the risks of dehydration and over-heating

With very hot weather predicted this week in parts of England, there is guidance on reducing the health risks of dehydration, over-heating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke at:

NHS: How to cope in hot weather

England: Heatwave Plan for England Resources include ‘Beat the Heat: Coping with heat and COVID-19’ poster, leaflet and keep cool at home checklist.

Advice for Health and Social Care professionals

Wales: Extreme hot weather - advice from Public Health Wales on the health risks of extremely hot weather.

Scotland: Hot weather advice from Ready Scotland

Northern Ireland: Hot weather advice from NI Direct

Age UK: Advice on staying cool in a heatwave

Dementia UK: How to support somebody living with dementia in hot weather and prevent dehydration

Met Office weather app


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235745

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Minister announces extra £22.7m to help adult social care sectorMinister announces extra £22.7m to help adult social care sector

Health and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething has announced £22.7m funding to help meet the additional costs of adult social care providers in Wales in the pandemic.

The money is in addition to the £40m Welsh Government made available to local authorities in April.

Financial pressures include those on care homes facing financial challenges through loss of income as a result of increased vacancies.

The funding will be made available immediately and continue until the end of September, when the situation will be reviewed.

https://gov.wales/minister-announces-extra-ps227m-help-adult-social-care-sector


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235946

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Lords conduct inquiry into life beyond COVID-19Lords conduct inquiry into life beyond COVID-19

The House of Lords COVID-19 Committee is conducting an inquiry into Life beyond COVID. The Committee is inviting people to share their hopes and fears about what the pandemic might mean in the long-term for our home and working lives, and for how we function as a society. What might it mean for social cohesion, for (in)equality, for our environment or for arts and culture?

The deadline for response is 31 August 2020. Discussion packs are available for young people and others. More from: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/421/life-beyond-covid/

The House of Lords COVID-19 Committee has been established to look at the long-term implications of the pandemic for our economy and our society.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235923

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Fast coronavirus tests to be rolled out ahead of winterFast coronavirus tests to be rolled out ahead of winter

The Government has announced two types of rapid coronavirus tests will be rolled out across NHS hospitals, care homes and labs in the UK from next week.

Both tests will be able to detect COVID-19 and other winter viruses in 90 minutes and increase testing capacity ahead of winter. They do not require a trained health professional to operate them, meaning the tests can be rolled out in more non-clinical settings.

There are more details of the two tests in the Government press release.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235922

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£50 million additional funding for social care sector in Scotland£50 million additional funding for social care sector in Scotland

Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman has announced a further £50 million funding to help the social care sector with additional costs relating to COVID-19. The funds will be distributed through the Integration Joint Boards, and come on top of £50 million previously allocated.

The funds are intended to help with reduction in occupancy in care homes, extra staff or sickness costs, infection prevention and control and PPE.

https://www.gov.scot/news/further-gbp-50-million-for-social-care-sector/


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235926

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Scotland remains in Phase 3 as shielding is pausedScotland remains in Phase 3 as shielding is paused

Shielding officially paused from 1 August, allowing people in Scotland who were shielding to follow the general advice about going out.

Routine eye care services resume in community optometry practices and in patients’ homes from 3 August 2020.

A list of confirmed dates for Phase 3 easing of lockdown restrictions is available at:

https://www.gov.scot/news/phase-3-continues-with-further-indicative-re-opening-dates/


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235930

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Many over 75s have to pay for TV licences from 1 AugustMany over 75s have to pay for TV licences from 1 August

Some people of 75 years or older who previously had a free TV licence will have to pay from 1 August 2020. A free licence will still be available for those who receive Pension Credit, or their partner living at the same address.

More information about TV licensing which states people who had a free TV Licence up to 31 July 2020, don't need to do anything now to stay licensed. Starting in August, they will be writing to people to explain what they need to do to set up their next licence.

BBC information about TV licensing This change applies UK-wide.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235920

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NICs and employer pension contributions due for furloughed staffNICs and employer pension contributions due for furloughed staff

Changes to the UK's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) mean employers have to pay national insurance and employer pension contributions from 1 August 2020. From September businesses will pay 10% of wages of furloughed staff, and in October, 20%. The scheme closes at the end of October.

Guidance - Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, updated 28 July 2020.

A Job Retention Bonus scheme is being introduced. More information

The scheme to support the self-employed has been extended so eligible self-employed workers can receive a second and final grant, at a reduced rate.

Guidance, Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, updated 28 July 2020.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235742

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Mandatory MOT testing resumed for due dates from 1 AugustMandatory MOT testing resumed for due dates from 1 August

Mandatory MOT tests for car, motorcycle and van owners in England, Scotland and Wales resumed from 1 August. Vehicle owners with an MOT due date between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 received a 6-month exemption, provided their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.

Guidance, Coronavirus: MOTs due from 30 March 2020, updated 1 August 2020.

The is information about Northern Ireland on NIdirect's Coronavirus (Covid 19) and motoring webpage.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235812

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Coronavirus - new measures on when to seek medical adviceCoronavirus - new measures on when to seek medical advice

Anyone isolating at home with COVID-19 is urged to contact 111 or their GP if their symptoms don't improve after seven days or if they experience breathlessness or vomiting, or if fatigue stops them doing their normal daily activities.

This new advice for the public in Wales reflects learning from the first wave of the pandemic and recognises that not everyone who becomes seriously unwell from COVID-19 will experience breathlessness.

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-new-measures-when-seek-medical-advice


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235947

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Shielding paused but questions remain for social care employersShielding paused but questions remain for social care employers

The national guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable in England has been updated. From 1 August, people shielding are no longer advised to shield and can visit shops, places of worship and other venues. They can return to work if their workplace is safe but should carry on working from home where possible, and maintain social distancing where possible and hygiene measures. Where there are local issues, the government will write to those affected when advice is changed. Local measures are recorded here.

With SSP stopping, some people may wish to return to work, but UKHCA notes there is a lack of clear guidance for employers on how they should create a safe working environment for shielded staff in social care. UKHCA has raised this several times with DHSC and is continuing to press the issue. Anthony Collins Solicitors produced a briefing in mid-July with options for employers. Government's Working Safely guidance

There is guidance on accessing food and essential supplies for those formerly shielding. Homecare providers may wish to discuss with people who use their services whether additional support is needed for those who will no longer receive government food boxes and medication deliveries.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235919

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Shielding paused in Northern Ireland, but caution advisedShielding paused in Northern Ireland, but caution advised

Shielding has been paused in Northern Ireland, from 31 July 2020, but people who were shielding have been urged to exercise caution, minimising risk and managing contacts with the outdoor world carefully.

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/news/public-health-advice-underlined-shielding-paused


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235937

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Protect others, protect yourself - the case for wearing face coveringsProtect others, protect yourself - the case for wearing face coverings

Northern Ireland's Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Ian Young, has set out the case for wearing a face covering. He said as many people as possible should wear a face covering in an indoor space where it is not possible to maintain 2m separation from other people.

A face covering will protect others if the person wearing it is spreading the COVID virus. It will also protect the person wearing it if someone else nearby is spreading the virus. The benefit is greatest when everyone wears a face covering where appropriate.

More information: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/news/protect-others-protect-yourself-wear-face-covering-prevent-covid


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235939

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Face coverings mandatory in wider range of settings from 8 AugustFace coverings mandatory in wider range of settings from 8 August

Face coverings are mandatory using public transport, and in enclosed public spaces in England, including shops, supermarkets, shopping centres, transport hubs and take-aways.

This is being extended to other indoor settings from 8 August, where people are likely to come into contact with people they do not usually meet: such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. Voluntary wear before 8 August is recommended.

There are a range of exemptions, for example, where people have disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments, that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering. There are optional downloadable exemption cards or badges in the guidance.

Guidance, Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own, updated 31 July 2020.

The police have powers to enforce these measures and fine people, but have said they will explain and persuade in the first instance.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235852

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New tool compiles adult social care statisticsNew tool compiles adult social care statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have launched a new, interactive tool compiling official statistics relating to adult social care across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The tool is available here.

Read the ONS blog post here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235918

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New CQC guidance on how to get the most out of inspectionNew CQC guidance on how to get the most out of inspection

The CQC have worked with UKHCA and others to develop a short guideline document for providers in England. The document sets out key principles, addresses common misconceptions and develops a shared understanding so that everyone can get the most out of inspection.

See the CQC news item here.

Read the document here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235917

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Prime Minister announces postponement of lockdown release, amid rising case levelsPrime Minister announces postponement of lockdown release, amid rising case levels

Today the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a delay in the easing of some national lockdown measures. This is due to an increase in the number of cases seen nationally. 

This will mean a delay of at least two weeks in the loosening of restrictions on high risk venues such as some sports centres and conference centres and will also affect weddings.

However, the changes to the timetable will not affect shielding being paused from 1st August as planned. It will not affect the increased discretion employers have about adjusting arrangements for those working from home if they can work in a Covid Secure workplace.

The guidance to wear face coverings will be extended to a wider range of indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not usually meet: such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. This will become enforceable from 8 August.

The speech is available here. Guidance, Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own, updated 31 July 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235915

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Secratary of State delivers "Future of healthcare" speech, launching consultation on bureaucracySecratary of State delivers "Future of healthcare" speech, launching consultation on bureaucracy

On 30 July the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, delivered a speech at the Royal College of Physicians on "The future of healthcare." 

Key themes of the speech included the desire to cut unnecessary bureaucracy, integrate health and social care and to "push power out of the centre, closer to where care is delivered". Following the speech, the Department of Health and Social Care have launched a consultation inviting feedback from those working in health and social care about how to cut unnecessary bureaucracy (respond by 13 September).

The Secretary of State also referenced the intention to bring forward plans to reform social care funding and oversight. He indicated this was a "top priority".

The speech is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235916

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PPE Portal to be rolled out to larger providers in EnglandPPE Portal to be rolled out to larger providers in England

Domiciliary care providers with 99 or fewer clients in England can currently use the PPE Portal. In the next phase, larger social care providers will be invited to order free PPE.

The current order limits only meet a small proportion of PPE needs, so providers are asked to use their existing supply routes as their main source, and the portal for emergency top-up. Providers will receive an email invitation to register with the Portal between 3 August and Friday 7 August.

DHSC would like providers to register so if they need supplies in the coming months, they are ready to order.

Guidance on PPE Portal


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235914

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New illustrated guide to PPE for community and social care settingsNew illustrated guide to PPE for community and social care settings

Public Health England have produced a new illustrated guide to PPE for care workers which is available here.

This is a useful resource for helping to interpret and communicate the existing guidance.

This guidance is relevant to homecarers and those working in extra-care and supported living settings and should be read in conjunction with any local policies. 

Live-in carers, who only provide care to the person that they live with, are considered to be a member of the household and should, therefore, follow publicly available guidance and use PPE as per standard infection prevention and control guidance (see question 26 of the domiciliary care PPE guidance).


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235911

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Further details of Job Retention Bonus announcedFurther details of Job Retention Bonus announced

Further details of the Job Retention Bonus have been announced by HMRC. Under the scheme, businesses receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every previously furloughed employee if they are still employed at the end of January 2021. More information

A policy statement published by the HMRC gives employers details of eligibility requirements and what they need to do now to claim the bonus. Policy paper Job Retention Bonus, published 31 July 2020.

Employers should ensure employee records are up-to-date and their Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims have been accurately submitted and any necessary amendments notified to HMRC.

Further guidance on the bonus scheme is expected by the end of September.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235912

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Travelling abroad and quarantine restrictionsTravelling abroad and quarantine restrictions

From 27 July, the Government has advised against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country.

All homecare staff returning from 'High Risk' areas, including Spain, will be required to self-isolate for fourteen days on return to the UK. It is important to note that from 31 July, medical professionals registered with a UK-based regulator such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council who are returning to England are also required to self isolate for 14 days. This is a change from the previous advice. Read the Government travel advice

Briefing by Anthony Collins Solicitors for UKHCA members on travelling abroad and quarantine restrictions

Luxembourg has been removed from the exempt list for arrivals from 31 July 2020. 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235913

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Assessing the impact of COVID-19 in EnglandAssessing the impact of COVID-19 in England

A briefing by the Health Foundation concludes that, as of July 2020, there have been over 30,500 excess deaths among care home residents in England, and a further 4,500 excess deaths reported among people receiving domiciliary social care. While fewer domiciliary care users have died than care home residents, the proportion is higher, although the reasons are unclear. 

The Foundation commented that because of data gaps concerning domiciliary care, it is not currently possible to track and understand the spread of infection in this setting.

Adult social care and COVID-19 Assessing the impact on social care users and staff in England so far Karen Hodgson, Fiona Grimm, Emma Vestesson, Richard Brine and Sarah Deeny.


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UKHCA News ID: 235908

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Local restrictions begin on 31 July in North West EnglandLocal restrictions begin on 31 July in North West England

New restrictions have been imposed on people who live, work or travel in the North-West area and other affected areas, which limit social contact.

The government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules. 

More information


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UKHCA News ID: 235909

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Self-isolation period extended from 7 to 10 daysSelf-isolation period extended from 7 to 10 days

The Government's 'Stay at home' guidance for England has been amended to extend the period of isolation for those who have symptoms from 7 to 10 days from the date when symptoms started. Those who are asymptomatic, but who test positive, must self-isolate for at least 10 days starting from the day the test was taken.

Guidance - Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, updated 30 July 2020. This is available in alternative languages.

A 14 day isolation period for staff and patients who are admitted to hospital was also included in updated Guidance - COVID-19: guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home settings.


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UKHCA News ID: 235910

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Contact tracing app to be developed in ScotlandContact tracing app to be developed in Scotland

There are plans for develop a contract tracing app in Scotland, to support the NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system. The aim is to use Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for coronavirus. The app will be available in the autumn via Apple and Google app stores, and complement person to person contact tracing carried out by Test and Protect.

The app is voluntary and relies on individuals who test positive receiving a code on their mobile and agreeing to this data being sent to a server. The app doesn’t use personal data and is similar to the one in use in Northern Ireland.

https://www.gov.scot/news/contact-tracing-app-development/


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UKHCA News ID: 235927

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Travel to North West England should be avoided, says Scottish GovernmentTravel to North West England should be avoided, says Scottish Government

Following the local lockdown restrictions imposed on areas in North West England, the Scottish Government is advising against travel to the area unless absolutely essential. It says people do not have to return home in Scotland from that area, but should take extra precautions to stay safe, and monitor their health both during their stay and on returning home.

https://www.gov.scot/news/travel-to-north-west-of-england/


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UKHCA News ID: 235928

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Test Trace Protect leaflets and translations availableTest Trace Protect leaflets and translations available

Leaflets are available to describe testing and contact tracing in Northern Ireland. They provide a step-by-step infographic guide to explain what people should do if they have symptoms, including self-isolating, getting tested and assisting the contact tracing service to identify people you have been in contact with.

The infographic is available separately.

The leaflet has been translated into 11 languages. Other languages may be available upon request.

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/test-trace-protect-needs-everyones-support-leaflet-and-translations


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UKHCA News ID: 235940

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Information for health and social care professionals in WalesInformation for health and social care professionals in Wales

There are useful resources for health and social care professionals on coronavirus on the Welsh Government website.

This link brings together a collection of information on topics such as working in the NHS and social care, the rehabilitation of people affected by coronavirus, PPE, clinical guidance and mental health services:

https://gov.wales/health-professionals-coronavirus


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UKHCA News ID: 235943

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Expanded flu vaccination programme, some further detailsExpanded flu vaccination programme, some further details

Free flu vaccination will be available to shielded patients and their household, pupils up to year 7, people over 65, pregnant women, those with pre-existing conditions, including at-risk under 2s, plus people aged 50 to 64. The campaign will start in September.

Frontline health and social care workers will be urged to get vaccinated. We await further details on how this will be accessed and will provide an update when information is available. Previously circulated information on the vaccination programme is available here.

Public Health England are in the process of preparing marketing materials for flu vaccinations. This includes posters, information leaflets, shield shaped stickers for staff to show that they have been vaccinated and digital resources.

An order form for printed materials for use with staff is available here. Orders will be distributed from week commencing 24th August to mid-September.

From mid to late August digital resources and campaign resources relevant to the general public (including service users) will be available via the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre


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UKHCA News ID: 235907

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Homecare featured on BBC Radio 4 You and YoursHomecare featured on BBC Radio 4 You and Yours

The subject of homecare was featured on BBC Radio 4 You and Yours today.

Thank you to UKHCA members Penrose Care for raising awareness of testing and the homecare workforce. Also features a quote from UKHCA's Policy Director Colin Angel. Listen from 32:04


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UKHCA News ID: 235906

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Skin care creams and lotions - Guidance for Homecare ProvidersSkin care creams and lotions - Guidance for Homecare Providers

UKHCA has updated its guidance on emollients. The updated version reflects the latest advice the Medicine and Healthcare Products Agency who refer to skin care creams and lotions rather than emollients. The guidance covers the use of skin care creams and lotions in a homecare setting and is particularly concerned with identifying and minimising the risks associated with their use. The guidance was prepared for UKHCA members with advice from the London Fire Brigade and is intended for domiciliary care providers generally.

The freely downloadable document, is intended to be guidance rather than instructions for those providing homecare.

Download from https://www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx 


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UKHCA News ID: 235904

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UKHCA's response to Public Accounts Committee reportUKHCA's response to Public Accounts Committee report

The Public Accounts Committee recently produced a report on "Readying the NHS and Social Care for the COVID-19 peak."

Here is UKHCA's Policy Director Colin Angel's reaction to the report:

"The report reflects the early chaos of the pandemic, with constantly changing guidance, inadequate availability of PPE and testing, and funding given to councils that failed to reach frontline care services.

"Homecare providers and their staff have had an outstanding response to what happened but, in the future, it is essential government gives them better support.

"The pandemic has exposed the vital need for reform. Social care must be treated as the equal partner of the NHS, and a sustainable system put in place, ready for what could be a difficult winter and in the longer term."


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UKHCA News ID: 235903

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Easy read guides on keeping safe during and after shieldingEasy read guides on keeping safe during and after shielding

Updated guidance has been issued by the Welsh Government in easy-read format on protecting people most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus (shielding), and how to keep safe after stopping shielding from 16 August 2020.

https://gov.wales/guidance-protecting-people-most-likely-get-very-poorly-coronavirus-shielding-easy-read-guide


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UKHCA News ID: 235944

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Impact of technology on adult social care providersImpact of technology on adult social care providers

The Institute of Public Care has published a report on the impact of technology in adult social care provider services, which looks at how providers coped with adapting to digital technology during the pandemic. Funded by NHSX, the project identifies both the challenges and benefits of greater use of technology, like the increased use of NHSmail to communicate with NHS organisations.

The Impact of Technology in Adult Social Care Provider Services, IPC, Oxford Brookes University, July 2020.


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UKHCA News ID: 235901

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Health and Social Care Secretary's speech on future of health and care, 30 July at 11.15 amHealth and Social Care Secretary's speech on future of health and care, 30 July at 11.15 am

The Health and Social Care Secretary's speech today on The Future of Healthcare is due to be livestreamed. This will cover his vision for the future of our health and care system, drawing on the lessons we have learnt from the coronavirus pandemic.

The event will take place Thursday 30 July at 11:00 - 12:00, with the Secretary of State due to speak at around 11:15. Live streaming of the event from the Royal College of Physicians is here.


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UKHCA News ID: 235902

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New tool calculates COVID-19 risk at workNew tool calculates COVID-19 risk at work

An individual risk assessment tool will help people returning to work after shielding assess how seriously they might be affected by coronavirus, using information about their sex, ethnicity, age and underlying health conditions.

The tool is intended to help managers and staff to have supportive and constructive conversations with staff to identify risk and take action to make the workplace safer.

https://www.gov.scot/news/safety-at-work/


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UKHCA News ID: 235929

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Expired passports can be used for ID checkingExpired passports can be used for ID checking

Expired UK passports can now be used temporarily for DBS ID checking purposes in England and Wales.

In response to delays in processing UK passports due to the pandemic, DBS will temporary allow expired UK passports to be used for ID checking purposes, if within 6 months of their expiry date. The applicant must be in possession of their expired passport, to use it as an identity document.

More information about updates to ID checking guidelines as a result of coronavirus can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-update-to-id-checking-guidelines

 


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UKHCA News ID: 235936

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Minister gives update on developments in Northern IrelandMinister gives update on developments in Northern Ireland

Health Minister Robin Swann gave Northern Ireland’s MPs an update on recent developments on COVID-19 on 28 July, including travel regulations, where a 14-day quarantine period has been re-introduced for people arriving from Spain, a planned programme of COVID-19 testing for all residents (monthly) and staff (fortnightly) in ‘green homes’ which do not have a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19, contact tracing and the new smartphone app.

With regard to rebuilding capacity, rebuilding plans issued by Health and Social Care Trusts on 10 July, covering the three months until end September, will be followed by further successive three month plans.

Work is also work is underway to develop regional approaches to service delivery across a range of areas.

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/health/statement-by%20minister-swann-28-july-2020.pdf


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UKHCA News ID: 235942

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MPs criticise lack of readiness for pandemic and impact on social careMPs criticise lack of readiness for pandemic and impact on social care

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has issued a report critical of the Government's early handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in England. In particular MPs were concerned about the lack of planning, frequently changing guidance, inadequate stocks of PPE and the availability of testing. The discharge of patients without testing to care homes is highlighted, together with the need to fund, and reform, the social care system generally.

UKHCA's CEO, Dr Jane Townson, said: "There are many lessons that the government must learn, not least giving adult social care equal support to the NHS and considering them as two parts of a single system, adequately funded and with clear accountability arrangements."

Readying the NHS and social care for the COVID-19 peak

Independent article


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UKHCA News ID: 235897

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Common redundancy questions answeredCommon redundancy questions answered

With some sectors, although not generally social care, planning to make redundancies in the light of the coronavirus pandemic, Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP have published a briefing on common redundancy questions.

Common redundancy questions


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UKHCA News ID: 235898

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Figures show many homecare providers not benefitting from infection control fundFigures show many homecare providers not benefitting from infection control fund

New figures have been uploaded to the government website on Local authority spending of the first tranche of the Infection Control Fund which indicate many homecare providers haven't benefitted from the Fund, despite having similar pressures as residential care providers.

The figures show over 40% of councils had given no funding to homecare providers by 23 July, although a few intended to make provision.

The figures were based on local authority returns from councils in England relating to the first tranche of the £600m funding. A second tranche of £300m was given to local authorities for distribution on 24 July 2020.

UKHCA has repeatedly called for funding to be increased to domiciliary care providers, who have experienced hugely increased costs on PPE and staffing during the pandemic, and for local decision-making to reflect this.

 

 


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UKHCA News ID: 235896

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Report challenges perceptions of domiciliary care workforce in WalesReport challenges perceptions of domiciliary care workforce in Wales

In a recent blog, David Pritchard, Registrar at Social Care Wales, reflects on what can be learned from the Register of social care workers in Wales.

He says there are nearly 20,000 people homecare workers in Wales - more than double the total of health care assistants and ambulance staff working in the NHS.

64% have an appropriate qualification, and most of the remainder are currently working for one.

Two-thirds of workers have been in their current role for more than two years, and one in five is still doing the same job after 10 years.

Homecare workers are predominately women (84%).

David comments that future recruitment needs to attract a more diverse workforce, which has implications for levels of pay in the sector and the way recruitment campaigns are designed.

Blog 'What can we learn from our first report on domiciliary care workers in Wales?'

Domiciliary care workers on the Register report, Social Care Wales, 1 June 2020.


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UKHCA News ID: 235895

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Dashboard shows COVID-19 statistics more clearlyDashboard shows COVID-19 statistics more clearly

Public Health Scotland has launched an enhanced daily dashboard which presents COVID-19 data in a more accessible way.

The dashboard continues to show cases of COVID-19 and the number of deaths of individuals who were laboratory confirmed with COVID-19 at a national and local authority level. In addition, the data shows demographic breakdowns (such as age, sex and deprivation) for Scotland.

An interactive map shows recent cases and over time, and the dashboard summarises confirmed cases within each local authority area over a 7-day period, and comparing it with earlier periods.

https://publichealthscotland.scot/news/enhanced-covid-19-dashboard-published/


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UKHCA News ID: 235934

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Take 5 steps to wellbeing - maintaining mental healthTake 5 steps to wellbeing - maintaining mental health

The public in Northern Ireland are given tips on maintaining their wellbeing in a leaflet that describes how to look after mental health during the pandemic.

The leaflet lists practical steps people can take, as well as further sources of support for those in mental destress.

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/take-5-steps-wellbeing-looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-covid-19


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UKHCA News ID: 235941

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New guidance for providers from Care Provider AllianceNew guidance for providers from Care Provider Alliance

The Care Provider Alliance has produced two publications for social care providers:

Guidance for adult social care providers on the EU Settlement Scheme This 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.

Business continuity guidance: medicines, non-medical supplies and fuel for transport This supports planning for actual or perceived shortages of these items.

The CPA supports providers in England, but this guidance may also be of interest to providers in the devolved nations.


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UKHCA News ID: 235893

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Report shows domiciliary care jobs now exceed those in care homesReport shows domiciliary care jobs now exceed those in care homes

Skills for Care's new report on the size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England shows there are now more domiciliary care jobs (715,000) than care homes (680,000) or any other part of social care.

The number of jobs in domiciliary care has also increased at a faster rate between 2012/13 and 2019/20 (an increase of 95,000 jobs and 15%) than jobs in residential services (an increase of 25,000 jobs and 4%). 

Dr Jane Townson, CEO of UKHCA, said the figures highlighted the need for proportionate funding and focus from the government. Adequate public funding for homecare would bring benefits both for health and the economy.

The size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England 2020, Skills for Care, report and visualisation.


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UKHCA News ID: 235891

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NHSX to consult on re-introduction of DSPT requirementNHSX to consult on re-introduction of DSPT requirement

NHSX temporarily waived the requirement for social care providers to complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) before accessing NHSMail, due to the pandemic. Plans have now been announced to consult on re-commencing this requirement.

All social care providers using NHSMail must register with the DSPT (sign up and provide contact details) by 30 September 2020. Guidance on how to register will be issued on 14 August 2020.

NHSX will consult widely on when to require social care providers in England to gain DSPT compliance for NHSMail access, but it will not be before March 2021. 

In October 2020, NHSX will launch a programme of support for social care providers to help them comply with the 20/21 DSPT, including a refreshed DSPT.


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UKHCA News ID: 235892

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Wales announces largest ever flu vaccine programmeWales announces largest ever flu vaccine programme

More people will benefit from the free flu vaccine programme this year in Wales.

Existing eligible groups - those aged over 65 years, pregnant women and people with medical conditions - will be vaccinated first. The Welsh Government says increasing uptake in health and social care workers will be a key priority this season.

Subject to confirmation by the UK Government that additional vaccine supply will be available, those who will also be included in this year's programme include:

  • households of people in the shielded group
  • lowering the eligibility age from 65 to over 50 year olds – who will be vaccinated in a phased approach

The NHS will contact those who are eligible.

https://gov.wales/wales-announces-largest-ever-flu-vaccine-programme


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UKHCA News ID: 235945

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Fundamental review of business ratesFundamental review of business rates

HM Treasury is calling for evidence on how the business rates system currently works, issues to be addressed, ideas for change and a number of alternative taxes.

This follows the government announcement in the Budget 2020 that it would conduct a fundamental review of the business rates system in England, and terms of reference published concurrently.

This consultation closes on 18 September 2020.

More on "Fundamental review of business rates" Opens in new window


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UKHCA News ID: 235921

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Obesity can increase risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19Obesity can increase risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19

Being obese or excessively overweight increases the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, a new Public Health England (PHE) report has confirmed.

The current evidence does not suggest that having excess weight increases people’s chances of contracting COVID-19. But obese people are significantly more likely to become seriously ill and be admitted to intensive care. One study found that for people with a BMI of 35 to 40, risk of death from COVID-19 increases by 40% and with a BMI over 40 by 90%, compared to those not living with obesity.


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UKHCA News ID: 235889

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Tax for over 40s being considered to share social care costs, according to press reportTax for over 40s being considered to share social care costs, according to press report

A new compulsory tax on everyone of over 40 is being considered by government to address the social care crisis and avoid catastrophic care costs being imposed on individuals. The Guardian reports that plans are being drawn up, as we pass the anniversary of Prime Minister's promise to fix the 'social care crisis'.

However, the report warns, the Treasury is likely to have the final say. Changes to the tax system usually take effect UK-wide. Guardian, 27 July 2020

UKHCA's response to PM's pledge to fix 'social care crisis' one year on


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UKHCA News ID: 235890

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NHS Pharmacy First Scotland launchesNHS Pharmacy First Scotland launches

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is a new service enabling people to get healthcare advice and support for minor illnesses and common conditions in their local pharmacy.

This will help people avoid having to go to their GP or Accident and Emergency Department.

https://www.gov.scot/news/right-care-right-place/


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UKHCA News ID: 235931

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UKHCA's response to PM's pledge to fix 'social care crisis' one year onUKHCA's response to PM's pledge to fix 'social care crisis' one year on

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now been in position for one year this week.

Here is UKHCA's response to his first year as PM, from Policy Director Colin Angel:

"The Prime Minister pledged to ˜fix the crisis in social care', giving every older person the dignity and security they deserve. He referred to having a clear plan of reform, but there was no detail, other than protecting people from selling their homes to pay for care.

"Government's response to coronavirus has delayed progress on reform, but we have seen little evidence that it is prepared to deal with the size of the problem, or that planning is at an advanced stage.

"Older and disabled people's needs cannot continue to be ignored. The NHS and social care depend on each other, but are funded and organised completely differently. Without radical change, people with care needs will continue to receive services rationed by underfunding and started far too late to prevent their independence deteriorating."


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UKHCA News ID: 235888

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Only nineteen families have received benefits from compensation schemeOnly nineteen families have received benefits from compensation scheme

Government figures suggest 19 families have received death benefits from the NHS staff coronavirus compensation scheme, and at least 540 health and social workers have died in England and Wales during the crisis. A further 32 claims are being considered.

DHSC say employers should, if they become aware of a death where there may be eligibility for a claim, contact the next of kin with details of the scheme.

The scheme relates to England. There is a separate one for Wales.

Answer to written question by Layla Moran MP


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UKHCA News ID: 235894

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Flu programme expanded this winter due to coronavirus pandemicFlu programme expanded this winter due to coronavirus pandemic

The Government has announced that there will be an expanded flu vaccination programme in England this year, in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

All frontline health and social care workers will be urged to get their free vaccine to protect themselves and their patients or residents from the flu.

People who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household, all school year groups up to year 7, people aged over 65, pregnant women, and those with pre-existing conditions, including at-risk under 2s, will be eligible.

In addition, free vaccine will be made available to people aged 50 to 64 later in the year, once the main campaign is well underway. 

The programme will start in September, alongside a full campaign to raise awareness. Further details of the programme and campaign for social care providers are expected shortly. UKHCA is in touch with the organisers and will be emailing members with information, once received.

Government press release


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UKHCA News ID: 235887

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Visiting care homes during coronavirusVisiting care homes during coronavirus

Guidance has been issued on visiting care homes during coronavirus in England. This is aimed at directors of public health, care providers and others who'll be involved in planning to enable visits to care homes. 

Visits by a single constant vistor, per resident, are allowed to re-commence from 22 July, subject to the advice in the guidance, which covers PPE, visit frequency and social distancing, plus the need for record keeping and making arrangements in advance for visits.

Visiting care homes during coronavirus


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UKHCA News ID: 235886

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Consultation on Caldicott principles and role of guardiansConsultation on Caldicott principles and role of guardians

The National Data Guardian (NDG) has an independent role advising the health and care system on ensuring citizens' confidential information is safeguarded securely and used properly.

The NDG has launched a consultation on revisions to the seven existing Caldicott Principles on confidentiality, a proposed eighth principle, and the role of Caldicott Guardians. All NHS organisations and local authorities that provide social services must have a Caldicott Guardian.

The consultation, which applies to England, closes on 3 September 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235885

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Dysphagia Guide e-learning resource now liveDysphagia Guide e-learning resource now live

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has worked with experts to develop the Dysphagia Guide e-learning resource for those working with people living with dysphagia.

Dysphagia, which is difficulties chewing and/or swallowing food and drinks, has serious implications for a person's health and wellbeing with increased likelihood of chest infections, malnutrition, dehydration, choking incidents and hospitalisations.

For more information about the e-learning resource, including access details, please visit: https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/dysphagia/.


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UKHCA News ID: 235883

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Testing now available for under 5s with symptoms in ScotlandTesting now available for under 5s with symptoms in Scotland

The First Minister has announced that children who are under age 5 are eligible for testing from 22 July, if they have COVID-19 symptoms. Routine testing is available through drive-in Regional Testing Centres, Mobile Testing Units and by ordering a home test kit. Testing for all children under 11 years old should be completed by their parent or carer.

The expansion of testing comes as childcare resumes. Testing was previously only available for special cases.

COVID -19 testing for under-fives


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UKHCA News ID: 235884

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Public Inquiries - their purpose, the practicalities and horizon scanningPublic Inquiries - their purpose, the practicalities and horizon scanning

The Prime Minister has committed to an Independent Inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In an e-briefing, Tim Coolican and Lorna Kenyon, of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, outline the purpose of a Public Inquiriry and how it may affect different sectors.

In social care, the Inquiry is likely to examine PPE availability, delays and changes in guidance, the discharge of hospital patients with COVID-19 into care homes from hospital and the collation of data related to social care provision. 

At present, it is unclear what form the Inquiry will take or the breadth of its focus.


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UKHCA News ID: 235880

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Views sought on symbol to remind people to keep their distanceViews sought on symbol to remind people to keep their distance

The Patient and Client Council in Northern Ireland is calling for views on whether a symbol should be developed, like a badge, to let the public know someone is shielding, and remind them of the need for social distancing.

To comment, complete a survey There are online focus groups on 23 July at 7pm or 24 July at 10.30am or 24 July at 4.00pm - see survey.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235878

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More mental health support for social care staff in ScotlandMore mental health support for social care staff in Scotland

Health and social care workers in Scotland now have access to mental health support 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a new national helpline

The health and social care workforce mental wellbeing support line (0800 111 4191) commenced on 20 July and operates on a 24/7 basis by NHS 24.

More information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235873

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Inspiring Care Stories from across ScotlandInspiring Care Stories from across Scotland

The Scottish Social Services Council has launched Inspiring Care Stories which tell how the social service workforce has adapted and coped during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are over 60 stories from all types of social services in the Inspiring Care Stories resource.

People in social services are invited to share their own Inspiring Care Stories on social media. More information If members do, please share them with us for our Good News and Innovation blog - email editor@ukhca.co.uk


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235874

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Updated PPE guidance for homecare providersUpdated PPE guidance for homecare providers

Public Health England have updated their guidance on PPE use for homecare providers to include further recommendations on the use of face masks and coverings in social care settings.

A third table has been added to cover use in 'any other work situation when in a client's home or in your work office/ premises; or with other staff members'. More Q and As have been added (Questions 4 and 34-37), including adapting advice provided by NHS England for hospital settings to a domiciliary care context. There are also updates to existing questions and answers.

COVID-19 Personal protective equipment (PPE) - resource for care workers delivering homecare (domiciliary care) during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235868

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Welsh AMs issue recommendations on PPE shortages, testing and contact tracingWelsh AMs issue recommendations on PPE shortages, testing and contact tracing

The Welsh Parliament's Health, Social Care and Sport Committee have issued the first report of their Inquiry into the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, and its management, on health and social care in Wales.

The Committee made 28 recommendations to address issues raised in evidence concerning lack of PPE, testing, food and medication supply, support for those shielding, contact tracing and public messaging.

In his introduction, Committee Chair Dr Dai Lloyd MS said, of a potential second wave, 'there are serious challenges ahead and we need to ensure that measures are in place - a resilient supply of appropriate personal protective equipment; ready access to testing with swift turnaround times for results; and a fully functioning contact tracing system. These are the tools that give us the best chance of success against the virus.'

The inquiry remains open, without a deadline. Call for evidence.

Inquiry into the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, and its management, on health and social care in Wales Report 1


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235867

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Lockdown is lifting - ebriefing for employersLockdown is lifting - ebriefing for employers

Anthony Collins Solicitors have produced an update for employers on recent pieces of government guidance and their ramifications.

The e-briefing covers redundancy and furlough, holidays and furlough, holidays and quarantine, and statutory sick pay changes.

Lockdown is lifting - update for employers #1 by Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, 15 July 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235866

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Contact tracing vital to handle any local outbreaksContact tracing vital to handle any local outbreaks

A reminder there are details of Northern Ireland's testing and contact tracing arrangements at Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing and contact tracing

This includes when and how to get tested, testing for children, testing for primary care workers and booking online, plus how the contact tracing system operates. The Northern Ireland Executive has made clear that contact tracing will be essential over coming months, to handle any outbreaks.

Guidance for HSC staff, healthcare workers and care providers, including separate Q and As


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235882

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New tool on ageing population data by regionNew tool on ageing population data by region

The Office for National Statistics have published a new tool that allows exploration of indicators related to current and future ageing of the population via region and local authority.

Available here

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235865

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Last chance to nominate for COVID-19 honoursLast chance to nominate for COVID-19 honours

Nominations for national COVID-19 honours close on 22 July 2020 at 9.00 am. To submit nominations to ensure frontline staff across health and social care are recognised for their contribution during the pandemic, see information on the GOV.UK website

The person nominated needs to live in the UK, and should meet the contribution criteria listed. 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235863

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Translations and alternative formats of Scotland's Phase 3 route mapTranslations and alternative formats of Scotland's Phase 3 route map

Translations and alternative formats of Phase 3 in Scotland's route map through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic, are now available, including a BSL video, easy-read version and alternative languages.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: Scotland's route map update - translations and alternative formats


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235869

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Extended use of face masks in Scotland's hospitals and care homesExtended use of face masks in Scotland's hospitals and care homes

Guidance has been issued on the extended use of medical face masks by staff within residential healthcare settings such as hospitals and care homes in Scotland.

On use of face masks in community settings, the FAQs state 'the existing UK guidance on use of PPE still applies in GP practice and community settings, and in practice this means that any clinical staff treating patients should wear a face mask (and gloves, apron and eye protection if appropriate to the task) and follow good hand hygiene practices. However, the UK-wide infection prevention and control guidance is being reviewed, and potential changes may impact on the wider use of masks for certain settings, such as primary and community care. The Scottish Government is keeping this under review and will update the guidance, if required.'

Coronavirus (COVID-19): interim guidance on the extended use of face masks in hospitals and care homes, published 17 July 2020


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UKHCA News ID: 235870

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Funding allocations confirmed for individual councils in EnglandFunding allocations confirmed for individual councils in England

The Government has confirmed the individual allocations to councils in England of £500 million unringfenced additional funding for coronavirus-related spending pressures, announced on 2 July 2020.

The allocations have been made on the basis of population, deprivation levels, and how the costs of delivery of services vary across the country. The funding is in addition to £3.2 billion funding previously provided and intended to address loss of council income and shortfalls in tax receipts.

Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): emergency funding for local government, allocations of additional funding to local authorities, updated 17 July 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235862

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people with specific medical conditionsCoronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people with specific medical conditions

Specific guidance has been published for people in Scotland with medical conditions including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, IBD; chronic kidney and liver disease; dermatological, neurological, (specific) ophthalmic, respiratory and rheumatic conditions, chronic pain, and rare diseases. Some will have been shielding, others not.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people with specific medical conditions


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235871

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Lockdown eased for people shielding in ScotlandLockdown eased for people shielding in Scotland

The First Minister has announced that people who are shielding in Scotland, from 17 July, can stay in any holiday accommodation, including hotels and bed and breakfasts, and visit outdoor markets and public gardens. The aim is for shielding to be paused at the end of July, though those shielding will still be encouraged to take extra care with physical distancing and hygiene. Further information will be provided.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's speech 16 July 2020


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235872

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Shielding to be paused in Wales from 16 August 2020Shielding to be paused in Wales from 16 August 2020

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has confirmed that people in Wales who are shielding will no longer need to do so after 16 August. Whilst people who were shielding will be able to go to work, school or the shops as usual, it is recommended that they take other measures to protect themselves such as staying 2m away from others and washing their hands frequently.

UKHCA is continuing to seek clearer guidance on how the return to work of social care staff who are shielding should be managed.

See the statement from the Welsh Government on shielding here. 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235860

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Welsh Government publish COVID testing strategyWelsh Government publish COVID testing strategy

Earlier this week, the Welsh government published a COVID testing strategy. Based on the evidence available, care home staff will be offered routine testing on a weekly basis, this may be reduced to fortnightly over the summer if prevalence is low. Meanwhile, homecare staff will continue to be able to access testing if they have symptoms, but will not be offered routine testing if they do not.

Further study is being undertaken to understand which parts of the population are most at risk including the use of antibody testing in social care staff.

The strategy is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235861

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Strengthening of local lockdown powers, additional funding for the NHS in England and further relaxation of national lockdown measuresStrengthening of local lockdown powers, additional funding for the NHS in England and further relaxation of national lockdown measures

The Prime Minister has announced there will be a shift from "blanket national measures" to "targeted, local action". From 18 July, local authorities will have new powers to close specific premises, shut public outdoor spaces, and cancel events. Next week, draft regulations are expected that would allow central government to intervene at a local level, regarding matters such as rules on gathering size, business opening, transport and 'stay at home' orders.

£3bn additional funding will be provided to the NHS in England (as well as additional funds being available in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). Additional hospital capacity, including the Nightingale hospitals, will be maintained through the winter and there will be "the biggest ever flu vaccination programme in the history of the UK".

Relaxation of national lockdown measures were also announced: "anybody may use public transport" in England, though people are encouraged to consider alternative means of transport where possible. From 1 August the government will "give employers more discretion, and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely." This may lead to fewer people working from home.

The Prime Minister's Statement is available here.

Guidance for local decision makers on managing COVID outbreaks is available here.

Statutory Guidance on local authority powers under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(England) (No.3) Regulations 2020

Policy document: The next chapter in our plan to rebuild


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UKHCA News ID: 235859

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Message in Northern Ireland is to avoid complacency about virusMessage in Northern Ireland is to avoid complacency about virus

The Department of Health is sending out a strong message that everyone in Northern Ireland must avoid being complacent about the risks of coronavirus, and stick to social distancing and hand washing with the same rigour as at the start of the pandemic.

The Covid-19 cluster in the Limavady area is cited by the Public Health Agency as an example of the need for vigilance.

Local lockdowns have not been ruled out if new cases rise in particular areas in future.

COVID-19 cluster identified BBC News - Northern Ireland


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235876

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Regulating in a volatile and uncertain worldRegulating in a volatile and uncertain world

Regulating in the pandemic has been likened to living in a 'VUCA world' - volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, by Patricia Higgins, Interim Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

In a recent article, Patricia Higgins described how the workforce regulator switched to remote working, went digital producing eLearning resources for registrants, and in collaboration with partners, extended support to registrants during the pandemic.

Regulating in a pandemic: Introducing 'VUCA'


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UKHCA News ID: 235877

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Care regulator publishes plans to engage with people in WalesCare regulator publishes plans to engage with people in Wales

Care Inspectorate Wales have published an Engagement Plan setting out how they will seek and incorporate people's views in their work from 2020 to 2023, including people who own, manage and work in social care, those who use services, commissioners and others.

Future plans include engagement on ratings, online feedback on inspection reports, and using digital technology to share information with providers.

Working together to make a difference: Engagement Plan 2020-2023


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235875

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Guidance on apprenticeships in England updatedGuidance on apprenticeships in England updated

The guidance on managing apprenticeships during the COVID 19 outbreak has been updated in England. Funding arrangements from August 2020 have also been confirmed.

The funding arrangements feature some further details on the grant payment announced in the Chancellor's 'Plan for Jobs' last week. Claims can be made by employers in relation to apprentices from 1 September 2020 via the apprenticeship service. The grant will be £2000 for apprentices aged 16-24 and £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over. It will be paid directly to the employer in two equal installments where the apprentcie is still in learning at day 90 and at day 365.

The updated guidance is available here.

The information on funding from August 2020 is available here. 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235856

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Local measures recommended in Blackburn with DarwenLocal measures recommended in Blackburn with Darwen

Blackburn with Darwen's Director of Public Health has announced new local measures to help control the spread of Coronavirus, as there has been a rise in cases locally. The measures are intended to help avoid a local lockdown like that imposed in Leicester recently, and include:

  • A limit of two people from the same household allowed to visit another household
  • Wearing cloth face coverings in all enclosed public spaces
  • Greeting and embracing should be by elbow bump
  • Support for small shops with public health advice
  • Targeted and expanded testing.

Blackburn local measures The Director of Public Health said a phased lockdown could happen if the rise is not halted by 27 July. BBC news item


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UKHCA News ID: 235857

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When the shield falls away, who provides protection?When the shield falls away, who provides protection?

Revised shielding guidance has been published, in advance of the Government's intention to 'pause' shielding in England from 1 August 2020, subject to transmission levels of COVID-19 in the community.

Although helpful, the guidance does not appear to provide all the answers. A briefing by Anthony Collins Solicitors comments the guidance may disappoint employers looking for detailed and practical guidance.

For a summary of what we know, what we don't know, and what to do, see: When the shield falls away, who provides protection? and listen to Podcast: Preparing for the end of shielding

Guidance, Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

UKHCA members are entitled to a limited amount of free legal and human resources advice on employment issues. Please call the member helpline for further assistance.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235855

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Government’s position on migrant workers post-BrexitGovernment’s position on migrant workers post-Brexit

On the 13th July 2020, Home Secretary Priti Patel revealed the Government's latest post-Brexit plans for migrant workers.

It includes a new health and care visa.

Colin Angel, UKHCA's Policy Director, said:

“For the homecare sector, it is incredibly disappointing that the new health and care visa will not include the vast majority of those who work in social care.

“At the moment, there are well over 122,000 vacancies in the social care sector as a whole. We want Government to fund social care properly, while also recognising the contribution that overseas nationals make, by adjusting the future points-based system to enable social care employers to recruit from outside the UK when the domestic labour market does not meet total demand.”

Notes for Editors

United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,200 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Regularly updated statistical information about homecare services in all four UK administrations is available from "An Overview of the UK Domiciliary Care Sector".

For further information please contact:

Colin Angel, Policy Director

United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd

Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH

Telephone: 020 8661 8160

Mobile: 07393012113

E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk

Website: www.ukhca.co.uk

Registered in England, No. 3083104


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235851

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Preparing for a challenging winter aheadPreparing for a challenging winter ahead

A report from the Academy of Medical Sciences warns that the UK must prepare for a potential serious new wave of coronavirus infections this winter. The Academy calls for 'intense preparation' during July and August to reduce the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed, including:

  • Minimising transmission of coronavirus in the community, with a public information campaign, and tailored advice to high risk individuals and communities, and
  • Reorganising health and social care staff and facilities to maintain COVID-19-free zones, and ensure there is adequate PPE, testing and system-wide infection-control measures to minimise transmission in hospitals and care homes.

Preparing for a challenging winter 2020/21


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235854

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Visors can now be ordered from PPE PortalVisors can now be ordered from PPE Portal

Domiciliary care providers with 99 clients or fewer can now order 200 visors from the PPE portal for emergency supplies in England. PPE provided through the portal is free.

Providers need to be invited to use the portal.

Updated guidance - PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment, dated 13 July 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235850

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Pilot prevalence survey suggests home care is relatively safePilot prevalence survey suggests home care is relatively safe

The prevalence of COVID 19 amongst homecare workers is similar to the general population, according to the results of a pilot survey undertaken by Public Health England published last week.

The report's findings align with feedback UKHCA has received from its members throughout the pandemic. Dr Jane Townson, the CEO of UKHCA said "Homecare has proved itself relatively safe and our amazing workforce has been a lifeline to many."

Whilst routine testing has been offered to asymptomatic staff working in care homes, there is believed to be a significantly higher prevalence for them, compared to the general population. A consequence of the relatively low prevalence rate amongst homecare workers is that the report does not recommend routine testing of homecare workers who do not have symptoms of coronavirus.

We await confirmation as to whether the government will adopt the recommendation on testing from this report.

The survey results do not alter the guidance on PPE use in homecare services.

The survey report can be found here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235846

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Local authority data published on support to care providersLocal authority data published on support to care providers

The guidance on the Government's additional £600 million support package for providers through an adult social care infection control fund asks local authorities in England to publish online the support they are offering to local social care markets, including domiciliary care services, care homes, and other social care services they are supporting.

The first information has now been published: List of local authorities with links to the transparency information on their websites, a welcome development, although in some cases more detail would be helpful.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235853

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Trust rebuilding plans published for Northern IrelandTrust rebuilding plans published for Northern Ireland

Rebuilding plans have been published for Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland, following the publication of the Rebuilding Health and Social Care Services Strategic Framework in June, which planned for an increase in services, to prepare for the possibility of future surges of COVID-19. The plans include resuming domiciliary care, where this was suspended in earlier stages of the pandemic, and responding to new requests for care, including from those who have experienced COVID-19.

The documents include three-month Trust plans, a covering paper and data annex setting out service activity.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235849

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Summary of support for businessesSummary of support for businesses

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have drawn together a list of support available for businesses from sources outside of government, ranging from marketing advice to tips on supporting mental health and wellbeing. This is available here. 

A number of these resources will be relevant across all UK administrations.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235847

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Updated guidance on face to face trainingUpdated guidance on face to face training

Skills for Care have updated their guidance on training in England. They still encourage digital solutions to training wherever possible. However, if a digital solution is not possible and face to face training is required, a thorough risk assessment should be undertaken. Guidance has been provided to support the risk assessment process.

The guidance is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235848

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Scotland progresses through Phase 3 of route map out of lockdownScotland progresses through Phase 3 of route map out of lockdown

As Scotland progresses through Phase 3 of the Scottish Government's route map to ease the lockdown, a list of confirmed dates has been published for measures which take effect at different dates in July:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: Scotland's route map update, published 9 July 2020

The need for individuals to comply with FACTS is being emphasised: Phase 3 update

Other measures are being held back for the time being, with dates to be confirmed later in the phase.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235840

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Wales COVID-19 workforce risk assessment tool available onlineWales COVID-19 workforce risk assessment tool available online

The All Wales COVID-19 workforce risk assessment tool can now be completed online, on the Learning@Wales national e-learning platform.

The risk assessment tool is for people to check if they are at higher risk of more serious symptoms if they come into contact with COVID-19. This tool helps people consider their personal risk factors for COVID-19 and suggests how to stay safe. Designed for health and social care staff, it can be used in any workplace.

Those new to Learning@Wales, can create an account to complete the Risk Assessment, and access other e-learning, To do this, please complete a form available from elearning@wales.nhs.uk

COVID-19 workforce risk assessment tool, updated

Workplace guidance for employers and employees: COVID19, 2 June 2020


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UKHCA News ID: 235843

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Improving hydration in domiciliary care - resources for providersImproving hydration in domiciliary care - resources for providers

Dehydration is a serious issue for older people, as it can have potential adverse effects on how they function and their clinical outcome.

Wessex AHSN (in collaboration with Hampshire County Council) is working on improving hydration for people who use domiciliary care or who live in care homes, and has produced a range of resources to support providers on the importance of good hydration, and how to improve hydration in the domiciliary care settings.

Further information about the project, downloadable leaflets, and access to a free e-learning toolkit for care staff

Hydration at Home Tool kit - e-learning for both care homes and homecare providers.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235839

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Updated advice for people shielding in ScotlandUpdated advice for people shielding in Scotland

Advice for people who are shielding is to change in the coming month. The Chief Medical Officer is writing to affected individuals with new guidelines. From 10 July those shielding:

  • Will no longer need to physically distance from people they live with.
  • Can meet in groups of up to 8 people outdoors from 2 other households in a day, following strict hand hygiene and physical distancing advice.
  • Can travel more than 5 miles from home, book places to stay, and use toilets in other people's houses if they are meeting outdoors.
  • Can form an 'extended household group' with one other household.

A decision on whether shielding can be paused from 1 August will be announced before the end of July, with advice on returning to work, and whether children who are shielding can return to school.

More information https://www.gov.scot/news/next-steps-for-people-shielding/


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235841

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Points Based Immigration System: Cavendish Coalition Writes to PMPoints Based Immigration System: Cavendish Coalition Writes to PM

The Cavendish Coalition has written to the Prime Minister urging that the Government's proposed new immigration system must provide a migratory route for social care staff to enter the UK after the end of the Transition Period, in January 2020.

You can read the letter here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235838

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CQC and Healthwatch England launch "Because We All Care" campaignCQC and Healthwatch England launch "Because We All Care" campaign

"Because We All Care" is a new innitiative from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Healthwatch England. The campaign encourages people to share feedback on their experiences of health and social care services in England.

The CQC are encouraging providers to share the campaign and contribute case study stories that demonstrate how they have improved their service in response to feedback - see the campaign toolkit. Further information about the campaign is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235836

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CQC local area reviews to take place in EnglandCQC local area reviews to take place in England

The CQC will be undertaking reviews of how providers are working collaboratively in local areas in England. These will focus on the interface between health and adult social care for the over 65 population group. They will include conversations with providers and consideration of the experiences of people using services.

The first phase in July and August will cover 11 local areas. The reviews aim to share learning as areas prepare for future pressures on local health and care systems.

Further information is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235837

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Quarantine - Welsh travel regulations amended to exempt travellers from listed countriesQuarantine - Welsh travel regulations amended to exempt travellers from listed countries

The Welsh Government has agreed to amend The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to exempt travellers from a list of countries from quarantine. This takes place from 10 July 2020 and is in addition to exemptions for certain categories of people.

More information: https://gov.wales/written-statement-international-travel-regulations


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235845

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Northern Ireland ministers approve initiatives concerning COVID-19Northern Ireland ministers approve initiatives concerning COVID-19

Northern Ireland Executive ministers have approved further relaxation of lockdown restrictions. Gyms, cinemas, bingo halls and outdoor playgrounds are to reopen from 10 July and competitive outdoor sport will resume from 11 July.

Mandatory use of face coverings on public transport starts on 10 July unless someone is in an exempt group.

The Executive has agreed amendments to the International Travel Regulations. There will be no self-isolation requirement for those travelling to Northern Ireland from low to medium risk countries.

For a full list of easements, and relevant dates, see: Daily Update 9 July 2020


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235844

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Government announces job protection and training schemesGovernment announces job protection and training schemes

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak has today (8 July 2020) announced schemes to protect jobs and create new opportunities for training and apprenticeships. The statement included:

Job Retention Bonus a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. Further detail about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.

Kickstart Scheme a new Kickstart Scheme to create high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.

Traineeships employers who provide trainees with work experience, will receive £1,000 per trainee.

Apprentices a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over.

Read the Chancellor's speech




Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235833

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Guidance for people in Leicester during the local lockdownGuidance for people in Leicester during the local lockdown

New guidance has been issued for people in Leicester on meeting people from outside their household, during the local lockdown. People can check if the guidance applies to them by checking their address.

Meeting people from outside your household: guidance for Leicester, published 4 July 2020.

The guidance may also be of general interest to others in England.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235835

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Local lockdown restrictions end in Dumfries and GallowayLocal lockdown restrictions end in Dumfries and Galloway

Following the local outbreak of COVID-19, the Scottish Government has said its Test and Protect measures were successful, and the Dumfries and Galloway areas are no longer subject to local restrictions. News item, 7 July 2020.

The move came as the Scottish Government announced the operation of mobile testing sites will pass from the Army to the Scottish Ambulance Service from the start of September.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235842

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New guidance for day centres on opening after lockdownNew guidance for day centres on opening after lockdown

Social clubs and community centres in England are allowed to open again from 4 July, so day centres need to make their services safe and reduce the risks of infection to service users and staff.

Research organisation NIHR ARC South London has co-produced free guidance that aims to support managers or volunteer co-ordinators of day centres to plan for a 'new normal'. It has two parts covering the practicalities of opening and a Word document that aims to prompt reflection on the lockdown.

The resource, 'Helping adult day centres to - unlock lockdown' is free and can be downloaded from www.kcl.ac.uk/scwru/res/ARC-SL/unlock-lockdown.aspx.

NIHR ARC South London would appreciate feedback on the document's usefulness.


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UKHCA News ID: 235834

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No local authorities in England currently suspending duties under Care ActNo local authorities in England currently suspending duties under Care Act

The Coronavirus Act 2020 allowed 'easements' to local authorities duties under the Care Act 2014. Whilst this has been used by eight authorities, at the time of writing, there are no longer any English local authorities applying easements of their duties under the Care Act 2014. Note that it is still possible for easements to be introduced and this does not represent a change in the legal position.

See CQC information on easements

Article by Community Care

 


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UKHCA News ID: 235832

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NHS England to launch online COVID-19 rehab serviceNHS England to launch online COVID-19 rehab service

The new 'Your COVID Recovery' service, expected to be available later this summer, will be an on demand service accessible from home that will include:

  • Access to a local clinical team including nurses and physiotherapists who can respond either online or over the phone to any enquiries from patients;
  • An online peer-support community for survivors - particularly helpful for those who may be recovering at home alone;
  • Exercise tutorials that people can do from home to help them regain muscle strength and lung function in particular, and;
  • Mental health support, which may include a psychologist within the online hub or referral into NHS mental health services along with information on what to expect post-COVID.

Access to the service will follow an initial face-to-face consultation with the local rehabilitation team.

 

Further information available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235831

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Funding for independent domiciliary care providers extended by one month in Northern IrelandFunding for independent domiciliary care providers extended by one month in Northern Ireland

The Minister of Health has approved a further month's financial support for independent providers who are contracted to Health and Social Care Trusts. This will cover July 2020 and facilitate the continuation of salary contributions in circumstances where employees are required to self-isolate or work from home.

Providers must keep records of staff paid as a direct result of COVID-19 issues and ensure these records are available after the period of disruption.

Health and Social Care Trusts have been asked to write to domiciliary care agencies /providers urgently, with the terms of the extended funding.

The original funding arrangement was set out in Guidance in respect of financial support, reporting and monitoring for Domiciliary Care Agencies /Providers.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235829

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COVID-19: adult social care risk reduction frameworkCOVID-19: adult social care risk reduction framework

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued a COVID-19: adult social care risk reduction framework. This has been developed in response to requests from employers and concerns that workers who are potentially more vulnerable to infection or adverse outcomes from COVID-19, may not be adequately supported.

The framework focuses specifically on how employers can support workers with factors which may make them more vulnerable to infection or adverse outcomes from COVID-19 to make decisions about their risks in the workplace. These risk factors may be age, ethnicity, gender, underlying health conditions or pregnancy.

The guidance takes employers through the risk assessment process, how to discuss the outcome with employees, and measures that can help reduce risk, either individually or across the workplace.

Guidance, COVID-19: adult social care risk reduction framework, published 19 June 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235828

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Travel corridors to start on 10 July 2020Travel corridors to start on 10 July 2020

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has made a written statement to Parliament which provides details of passengers who will not be required to self-isolate when they arrive in England from a list of exempt countries and territories, including France and Spain. This applies from 10 July 2020. The country exemptions do not apply if people have visited or transited through any non-exempt country or territory in the preceding 14 days.

Travel corridors, 6 July 2020

The Guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK, updated 6 July 2020, which includes people who are exempt from the requirements, has been updated to include the list of exempted countries.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235824

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Fewer children and young people advised to shieldFewer children and young people advised to shield

A review by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has found that many children and young people may no longer need to shield, following a clinical review. For example, those with asthma, diabetes or epilepsy who are cared for by primary care.

RCPCH COVID-19 - 'shielding' guidance for children and young people which includes details of the group of children and young people who should continue to shield.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235825

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Scottish Government launches Social Care Staff Support FundScottish Government launches Social Care Staff Support Fund

The Scottish Government is launching the Social Care Staff Support Fund, to top up statutory sick pay, so social care workers do not experience financial hardship if they are ill or self-isolating due to coronavirus. This is intended to encourage social care workers to be tested, where appropriate, under the national Test and Protect programme.

Social care workers contracted to deliver care and support in the social care sector, as defined by section 47 of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, are eligible for support from the Fund. The list of workers who are eligible includes care at home workers providing essential support to people so that they can live independently in their homes. This includes housing support workers working in homelessness, addiction services and mental health. 

Social care agency workers or self-employed are not included. People who employ their own personal assistant with funding from the Independent Living Fund should apply to the ILF for help with additional costs.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): social care staff support fund guidance


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235826

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Welsh Government responds to call for evidence on Shortage Occupation ListWelsh Government responds to call for evidence on Shortage Occupation List

The Welsh Government has issued a robust response to the Migration Advisory Committee's Call for Evidence on the Shortage Occupation List, following engagement with the social care sector.

The response strongly opposes the UK Government's proposals on future migration and asks it to pause current plans. The Welsh Government says the pandemic has 'thrown into sharp relief the UK's reliance on key workers, many of whom came originally from the European Economic Area (EEA), and without their support essential front-line services we have been depending on now more than ever would not be sustainable. The current experience has shown that we must value all skills and that the proposed skill selective approach to future immigration may indeed be damaging in response to the skill requirements of a post-COVID-19 world.'

Written Statement, which includes a link to the Welsh Government's response

UKHCA's response to the MAC (username and password needed), which puts the case for careworkers to added to the Shortage Occupation List, because the homecare sector in the UK needs to choose from the widest range of candidates.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235827

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Free webinars available on carbon monoxide awarenessFree webinars available on carbon monoxide awareness

The Gas Safe Charity is running free on line, interactive carbon monoxide awareness Zoom workshops, aimed at staff who work in the homes of vulnerable people. The hour long workshop covers the sources, signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and takes a practical approach in addressing how to respond to a CO risk, with a particular focus on long term, low level poisoning. If you would like to participate in one of the 7 workshops over the next few months, please book via the link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115618952399


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235822

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PPE to be VAT-free until 31 October 2020PPE to be VAT-free until 31 October 2020

PPE purchases to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a further three-month period. This applies to everyone purchasing PPE, including homecare providers, care homes, personal assistants, family carers, charities and businesses, UK-wide.

A zero-rate of VAT will apply to sales of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Covid-19 from 1 May 2020 until 31 October 2020.

Treasury news story


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235821

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Outdoor visitors now permitted in Scotland's care homesOutdoor visitors now permitted in Scotland's care homes

A phased plan has been issued on visiting in care homes in Scotland, with residents able to receive visitors outside from 3 July.

The accompanying guidance says relaxation of visiting restrictions will proceed through two further stages, moving from outdoor visiting to indoor visiting by one designated person and eventually to a controlled programme of outdoor and indoor visiting. 

Other documents include guidance on what precautions will be taken to safeguard the safety of residents, visitor and staff, a letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health, FAQs and a leaflet for visitors.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care homes visiting guidance


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235817

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Welsh government confirm easing of lockdown restrictions on 6 JulyWelsh government confirm easing of lockdown restrictions on 6 July

Mark Drakeford, First Minister for Wales, has confirmed that planned adjustments of lockdown regulations for 6 July will go ahead. This will include a removal of the requirement for people to stay within 5 miles of their home and an announcement that two households will be able to join together as one extended household (meaning that they can visit each other's houses and stay overnight).

Click here to read the announcement in full.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235818

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New survey launched for BAME care workersNew survey launched for BAME care workers

Following concerns that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are at disproportionate risk from COVID-19, Skills for Care is seeking to find out more about the experience of BAME adult social care workers in England. They have launched a survey, which will be followed by a series of webinars and peer coaching sessions.

Click here to find out more, including how to take part


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235819

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CQC inpatient survey raises concerns about access to support following dischargeCQC inpatient survey raises concerns about access to support following discharge

A CQC survey of inpatients in England, carried out before the pandemic, has raised concerns about access to support following hospital discharge. The survey revealed over a third (40%) of respondents left hospital without printed or written information telling them what they should do or not do after discharge and, of those who were given medication, 44% were not told about the possible side effects to watch out for. It also showed that a third of frail people (and 20% of non-frail people) responding to the survey said that the care and support expected was not available when they needed it after leaving hospital.

UKHCA believes that care and support at home should be an available option for everyone who needs it.

You can find out more about the CQC survey here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235820

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Free webinars on carbon monoxide awareness for frontline social care staffFree webinars on carbon monoxide awareness for frontline social care staff

The Gas Safe Charity are offering free, interactive Zoom webinars on carbon monoxide awareness for frontline social care staff on 29 July 9.30 or 15.45 and 31 July at 10.00, for about an hour.

These will cover the sources, signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning risks in the homes of vulnerable people and then apply the learning to real work situations, providing information to help keep staff and clients safer.

For more information, e-mail: thinkco@gassafecharity.org.uk or to book, see: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/111657695172


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235823

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Flexible furlough arrangements start 1 JulyFlexible furlough arrangements start 1 July

From 1 July 2020, UK employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for the hours not worked.

The Government's policy paper on changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been updated, as has related guidance on the furlough scheme.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235816

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One year left to apply to EU Settlement SchemeOne year left to apply to EU Settlement Scheme

This is a reminder to members that the deadline for applying to the EU settlement scheme is 30th June 2021. Successful applications will lead to either settled or pre-settled status.

To continue living and working in the UK after the deadline, homecare staff need to apply for settled or pre-settled status if:

  • They are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • They not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, but a family member is.

The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Staff do not need to apply if they are:

  • They are an Irish citizen (or dual Irish/British)
  • Have indefinite leave to enter the UK
  • Have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

Read more information here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235815

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Liberty Protection Safeguards - implementation delayedLiberty Protection Safeguards - implementation delayed

According to Community Care, councils have been told by the government "not to prioritise" implementing the Liberty Protection Safeguards which were due to go-live from October 2020. No further information has been given about when to expect the new arrangements to be put in place.

The current DoLs arrangements will be replaced by the Liberty Protection Safeguards but before being introduced, the government must carry out a 12 week consultation on a code of practice and put regulations in place. That timetable means the October 2020 start date for the Liberty Protection Safeguards cannot now be achieved.

Read the Community Care article


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235814

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Major insolvency reforms come into forceMajor insolvency reforms come into force

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act came into effect on 26 June 2020 and brings in new corporate restructuring tools, with a new role of monitor to oversee a corporate moratorium, and temporary easements to give distressed companies breathing space to increase their chances of survival.

The Act provides temporary relief until 30 September 2020 from being subject to a winding up petition and wrongful trading provisions where a business can demonstrate its difficulties arise from trading conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Act also makes changes to company filing and meeting requirements to relieve the burden on businesses during the pandemic.

News story, Major changes to insolvency law come into force, published 29 June 2020.

Northern Ireland intends to keep in step with this legislation. Executive daily update, 26 June 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235813

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Local measures announced to tackle coronavirus in LeicesterLocal measures announced to tackle coronavirus in Leicester

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced local measures to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Leicester. These include:

  • Additional testing capability and requiring anyone in Leicester with symptoms to come forward for a test.
  • Giving extra funding to Leicester and Leicestershire councils to support communications and translations into all locally relevant languages.
  • Through councils, support for those who have to self-isolate.
  • Working with workplaces that have seen clusters of cases to make them Covid-secure.
  • Non-essential retail shops have to close from 30 June and schools need to close from 2 July, except for vulnerable children and those of critical workers.
  • People are asked to stay at home as much as they can and strictly observe social distancing rules.

The Government recommends against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester.

The relaxation of shielding measures cannot now take place in Leicester from 6 July, and measures to ease the lockdown in England from 4 July (opening of bars, restaurants and haridressers) have been postponed in Leicester for at least two weeks, when there will be a review.

Oral statement to Parliament, Local action to tackle coronavirus, 29 June 2020. The measures apply to the city of Leicester, and the surrounding conurbation, including for example, Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield.

Lockdown restrictions in Leicester to be extended for at least two weeks, press release by Leicester City Council, 29 June 2020


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235810

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Explanation of different regulations which apply to PPEExplanation of different regulations which apply to PPE

Guidance has been updated on the regulatory status of equipment being used to help prevent coronavirus (COVID-19), which sets out the different regulations that apply to devices and equipment including hand gels and PPE (personal protective equipment).

Although aimed at suppliers, the guidance will be of interest to those involved in purchasing PPE in the UK.

Guidance, Regulatory status of equipment being used to help prevent coronavirus (COVID-19), updated 29 June 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235811

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PPE portal - maximum order levels for masks, aprons and gloves increasedPPE portal - maximum order levels for masks, aprons and gloves increased

There have been some changes to the PPE portal emergency top-up system for domiciliary social care providers (99 clients or fewer) in England.

Domiciliary care providers with 20 to 99 clients can now order 300 IIR masks, 600 aprons and 1,200 gloves (600 pairs) per week from the PPE portal. Those with fewer than 20 clients can order 200 IIR masks, 400 aprons and 800 gloves (400 pairs) per week.

Provider, who need to be invited to join the portal, can now place multiple orders weekly, up to the limits above. They should continue using business-as-usual and wholesaler routes to access PPE and only use the PPE portal for additional PPE, if needed. PPE ordered from the portal is free.

Guidance, PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment, updated 29 June 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235808

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Walk through local testing sites opened in EnglandWalk through local testing sites opened in England

Six new 'walk through' local testing sites are offering appointments to people in England, in Newcastle, Rochdale, Leeds, Brent, Newham and Slough. These are in addition to the 68 drive-through regional testing sites across the UK. Slough is the first hybrid drive and walk-through site.

In addition, those using home testing kits can now return their kits using Royal Mail priority postboxes across the UK. 

Government announcement


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235806

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£257.6 million funding for COVID-19 approved by Scottish Parliament£257.6 million funding for COVID-19 approved by Scottish Parliament

Almost £258 million of extra funding for local services, such as social care, food provision for those in need, and education, has been approved by the Scottish Parliament.

An additional £72 million is being agreed with COSLA and will be subject to Parliamentary approval in due course.

This will bring the total additional funding for Scotland's councils in the pandemic to almost £330 million.

Government announcement


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235807

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MPs debate social care petition in ParliamentMPs debate social care petition in Parliament

Over 43,000 people signed a petition calling for social care to be given equal recognition to the NHS and health system, resulting in the petition being debated in House of Commons on 25 June 2020.

A range of MPs spoke from across the political divide, with notable contributions from Catherine McKinnell (Labour), who introduced the debate, Rushanara Ali (Labour), and Paul Bristow (Conservative), among other MPs who warmly supported the work of social care workers in the pandemic.

Helen Whately MP, Care Minister, winding up the debate, said the Government would be looking at how they can build a long term solution for social care, so that in the long term care workers get the rewards they deserve. Catherine McKinnell said she hoped MPs would support action on this.

You can watch the debate via Parliament TV on this link, read the Hansard report of debate and view the original petition on this link.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235793

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Updated guidance published for homecare providers in EnglandUpdated guidance published for homecare providers in England

The Government has updated its guidance on providing homecare in England.

The guidance covers PPE and emergency supplies, shielding and the use of 'care groups' to reduce risk, hospital discharge and assessment, testing for careworkers and people who use services or patients being discharged, the Government and local authority support available to the homecare sector, data collection, mental health support and safeguarding.

Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care, updated 24 June 2020.

Updated guidance is also available on working safely during the coronavirus, which has a section on working in other people's homes:

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19), updated 24 June 2020.

 

 


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UKHCA News ID: 235805

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Provisional dates announced for further easing in ScotlandProvisional dates announced for further easing in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, has announced indicative dates for the next stages of lifting lockdown restrictions, implementing Phase 2 and early Phase 3 measures of the route map.

Scotland retains the 2 metre social distancing rule, with an update on 2 July.

Detailed guidance for different business sectors will be produced and people will be encouraged to wear face masks in shops. Final decisions on Phase 3 will be made at the new statutory review on 9 July.

Provisional timetable for Phases 2 and 3

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235804

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New lockdown guidance for businesses and individuals in EnglandNew lockdown guidance for businesses and individuals in England

The government has issued new and updated guidance to accompany the easing of the lockdown that takes place from 4 July 2020:

Businesses:

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed.

Opening certain businesses and venues in England from 4 July 2020

Individuals:

Guidance, Meeting people from outside your household from 4 July

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do

Guidance, Staying alert and safe (social distancing)

Guidance, Staying safe outside your home


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235803

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Further easing of England's lockdown rules from 4 July 2020Further easing of England's lockdown rules from 4 July 2020

The Prime Minister has announced more easing of the lockdown from 4 July, including the introduction of a 1-metre-plus concept, where the 2 metre social distancing rule will not apply, provided mitigating factors are in place to reduce risk, like a screen, face coverings or hand-washing facilities. This will help certain businesses re-open and guidance is being published to assist them protect workers and customers.

One household of up to six people will be allowed to spend time with another household indoors, including staying the night, but they should maintain social distancing. Other sectors will be enabled to open from 4 July, including pubs and restaurants and holiday accommodation, provided they are Covid-secure, and theatres, museums and galleries, including their cafes, but not for live performances. Indoor gyms and swimming pools will remain closed, but places of worship can open for more people to attend (but without singing).

Prime Minister's statement to the House on Covid-19, 23 June 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235802

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UKHCA gives evidence to MPs on social care funding and workforceUKHCA gives evidence to MPs on social care funding and workforce

Dr Jane Townson, CEO of UKHCA, was among those giving evidence to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee on 23 June, and her comments on per minute payment of careworkers were reported by the Guardian, in Ministers urged to rethink payment of UK home care workers by the minute

The Committee is conducting an inquiry into social care funding and workforce, and heard from several frontline care workers and managers, as well as care provider representatives.

List of witnesses and timing. To view online evidence session, 9.30 am to 11.30 am: Parliamentlive.tv


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235797

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PCC chair appointed interim chair of Northern Ireland's regulatorPCC chair appointed interim chair of Northern Ireland's regulator

Health Minister Robin Swann has appointed Christine Collins MBE as interim Chair of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, following the resignation of Professor Mary McColgan. Other board members have also resigned and their replacements have yet to be appointed.

According to the Irish Times, the changes were due to a dispute between the RQIA Board and the Department of Health, about RQIA's operation and role in the COVID-19 crisis.

Christine Collins is currently Chair of the Patient and Client Council (PCC) Board.

Press release: Swann appoints new Interim Chair of the RQIA

Irish Times article, 22 June 2020.

There is to be an independent review into the RQIA Board resignations, to be completed within three months:

Terms of Reference

BBC News report


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235796

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Shielding advice to change in England from 6 July 2020Shielding advice to change in England from 6 July 2020

Advice to people who are shielding in England is to change. From 6 July 2020, they can:

  • Gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors, including those from outside their household, provided they keep 2 metres apart. They no longer have to stay 2 metres away from members of their own household.
  • If they live alone, or are single parents with children, they can form a 'support bubble' with one other household of any size.

From 1 August 2020:

  • Shielding advice will be suspended, but support will remain available from NHS volunteers and local councils. People will retain priority supermarket delivery slots.
  • Those who need to work and cannot do so from home will be able to return to work as long as their workplace is COVID secure. Employers will be expected to put in place robust measures.
  • SSP and free food boxes will stop.
  • This group can go out, for example, shopping or to places of worship, but should continue to follow strict social distancing measures, as well as frequent hand washing, and should remain home as much as possible.

The government will be writing to all individuals on the Shielded Patient List with updated advice. Any future shielding advice is likely to be more closely targeted, according to research on risk.

Press release, Plans to ease guidance for over 2 million shielding, published 22 June 2020.

Updated shielding guidance, with the detail of the changes, published 23 June 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235795

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Care Quality Commission publishes data on deaths by ethnicityCare Quality Commission publishes data on deaths by ethnicity

The Care Quality Commission, supported by ONS, has published its analysis of the impact of coronavirus on different ethnic groups in adult social care settings. The data, based on death notifications from 10 April -15 May 2020 (and the equivalent period in 2019), indicates that a disproportionate number of deaths are among people from BME groups.

CQC said urgent action is needed to fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on people from BME backgrounds in adult social care settings. A range of data limitations meant that more work was needed on this important issue.

https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/cqc-publishes-data-deaths-care-settings-broken-down-ethnicity


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Shielding further eased in Northern Ireland from 6 JulyShielding further eased in Northern Ireland from 6 July

Health Minister Robin Swann has announce further easing of advice to those shielding.

From 6 July, people will be able to meet up to six people outside the home, as long as social distancing is strictly observed. People living alone can form a support bubble with one other household.

Further details will be sent to people who are shielding, with plans to put shielding on hold from 31 July, as previously suggested.

Swann announces further easements in shielding advice, published: 22 June 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235799

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Test and Protect leaflet to be sent to households in ScotlandTest and Protect leaflet to be sent to households in Scotland

A letter from the First Minister, leaflet and step by step guide on NHS Scotland's Test and Protect service is being sent to every household in Scotland in June. They describe how Test and Protect works and how to prepare in case people need to self-isolate.

This information is available in different languages and alternative formats.

More information


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Wales retains current shielding adviceWales retains current shielding advice

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Chris Jones, has confirmed that no further changes are being made in advice to people who are shielding in Wales, who are asked to continue following the shielding advice set out in the Chief Medical Officer for Wales' letter sent out at the beginning of June, until August 16.

Wales is working with other UK nations to develop a tool to provide a more personalised risk assessment, and will review advice for those who are shielding on the same 21-day cycle as the review of the lockdown regulations.

Press release


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RQIA free to resume full regulatory and inspection activityRQIA free to resume full regulatory and inspection activity

The Department of Health has lifted restrictions on RQIA's inspection activity, which were imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department's direction in March reduced the frequency of statutory inspections and stopped non-statutory inspection activity and the review programme, to reduce the possibility of transmission of infection.

With community transmission of Covid-19 now significantly reduced, the Department has decided to rescind the March direction.

Department lifts RQIA Covid-19 restrictions, 22nd June 2020.


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CMOs agree decrease in COVID-19 alert levelCMOs agree decrease in COVID-19 alert level

The Chief Medical Officers for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have reviewed the evidence and agree with the recommendation of the Joint Biosecurity Centre that the COVID-19 alert level can move from Level 4 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation).

The change of level means that, although there has been a steady decrease in cases across the UK, the pandemic is not over and the virus is still in general circulation, so local outbreaks may occur.

Government news story, 19 June 2020


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Warning concerning COVID-19 testing scamsWarning concerning COVID-19 testing scams

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute is warning the public to beware of scams concerning COVID-19 testing, in particular texts saying a 'COVID Home Testing Team' will visit their home. NHS Test and Trace will never ask for financial details, PINs or passwords and do not visit people at home. CTI warning which includes who to contact if people are concerned about a suspicious contact.

Which, the Consumers' Association, suggests people check any phone calls or texts come from the verified NHS number 0300 013 5000, although this is not conclusive because of the risk of number spoofing. They advise people who are contacted should also check the account ID they are given works when logging on to the NHS England Test and Trace website.

NHS England Test and Trace contacts people by text, email or phone. The corresponding schemes in Wales, Scotland and NI all use the phone.


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Free Care app supports adult social care workforce in EnglandFree Care app supports adult social care workforce in England

There is a free Care Workforce app for social care workers, giving access to guidance, learning resources, discounts and mental health support, all in one place.

The app is designed by NHSX and the NHS Business Services Authority to help the adult social care workforce in England while they are on-the-go through the coronavirus pandemic.

Downloadable from the Apple App store and Google Play Store, or https://workforce.adultsocialcare.uk the app provides a way for workers to connect across the country.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235679

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Frontline social care workers recommended for any future vaccineFrontline social care workers recommended for any future vaccine

The interim advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the groups that should be prioritised for vaccination, if and when a vaccine is available, has recommend prioritising two groups:

  • Frontline health and social care workers, and
  • Those at increased risk of serious disease and death from coronavirus, including, for example, adults over the age of 50 and those with heart and kidney disease.

The advice is to help the Government plan for the deployment of any safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 as soon it is licensed for use in the UK. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock provided an update on vaccine development in his statement of 18 June 2020.


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UKHCA News ID: 235788

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NHS volunteers to support frontline social care workersNHS volunteers to support frontline social care workers

NHS volunteers are to extend support to frontline health and social care staff, by carrying out socially-distanced tasks including helping with delivering food shopping and dropping off personal medication to frontline staff at their homes, according to an announcement by Care Minister, Helen Whately.

The NHS volunteer responders programme was developed by NHS England in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service and facilitated by the Good Sam app to help people in England who are shielding or self-isolating. The extension of the programme is designed to help frontline staff focus on their vital work. Those needing support can self-refer by calling 0808 196 3646.

NHS England and the RVS will be holding a webinar on the programme for local authorities and social care providers on Tuesday 23 June at 1pm. To join on the day, click: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting (Dial in (audio only): +44 20 3855 4234; Conference ID: 590 921 567#)


Announcement posted on:

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COVID-19: understanding the impact on BAME communitiesCOVID-19: understanding the impact on BAME communities

This report is a descriptive summary of stakeholder insights into the factors that may be influencing the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities and strategies for addressing inequalities.

The report summarises requests for action, which have been used to inform a number of recommendations. It also includes a rapid literature review.

These insights will form the basis of the next steps being taken forward by the Equalities Minister.

Read the report


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PHE issue revised guidance on using PPE in homecarePHE issue revised guidance on using PPE in homecare

Public Health England have revised their guidance on the use of PPE in homecare to give more information on the specification of surgical face masks, and risk assessments needed when caring for some people with learning disabilities or autism. The guidance also suggests that live-in care is more akin to living in a household, from the point of view of applicable guidance, states when to put on PPE and gives advice on laundering uniforms.

COVID-19 Personal protective equipment (PPE) - resource for care workers delivering homecare (domiciliary care) during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK, Version 2, published 15 June 2020.


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Flexible furlough - will it work?Flexible furlough - will it work?

Anthony Collins Solicitors have produced a briefing on the new flexible furlough arrangements that apply from 1 July 2020. The briefing outlines who is still eligible for furlough following closure of the scheme to new entrants from 11 June 2020 (employees returning from statutory parental leave, subject to conditions), how furloughing on a flexible basis works and what must be agreed with employees, and the number of employees an employer can claim for in a single claim.

Anthony Collins also issued a Podcast on 17 June 2020 discussing Flexible Furlough; how will it work?


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235784

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Readying the NHS and adult social care in England for COVID-19Readying the NHS and adult social care in England for COVID-19

The National Audit Offices's new report traces the steps taken by the UK government to mobile the response to COVID-19 from mid-March to the end of April 2020. In particular it looks at early steps to generate capacity in the NHS, the discharge of people from hospital, often untested, to care homes, and the development of health and social care staff testing policy until the 'peak' of the outbreak and beyond.

This report, which relates to England, is the second of a programme of work by NAO to support Parliament's scrutiny of the government's response to COVID-19.

Readying the NHS and adult social care in England for COVID-19


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Shops re-open in Northern IrelandShops re-open in Northern Ireland

Shops were permitted to reopen from 12 June, including indoor shopping centres, as part of the phased easing of the lockdown in Northern Ireland. Workplace safety guidance is to be observed to protect staff and shoppers.

A working group has been set up to look at re-opening of churches. Press release

Coronavirus: Workplace safety guidance and priority sector list, 5 June 2020.


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Face coverings to be worn on public transport in England from 15 JuneFace coverings to be worn on public transport in England from 15 June

From Monday 15 June people must wear a face covering when travelling by public transport in England. Under the new rules, operators will be able to prevent passengers who refuse to follow the rules from travelling and police will be able to issue fines of £100. Exemptions for the use of face coverings will apply to those with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under the age of 11.

The change coincides with the easing of certain lockdown measures, including the reopening of non-essential retail stores.

News story

How to wear and make a cloth face covering

 


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Eating well to boost our mood during the pandemicEating well to boost our mood during the pandemic

The Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland is advising people to eat healthily in order to boost both physical and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advice lists a number of ways food can be used to help boost people's mood and what food can have the converse effect.

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/eating-well-boost-our-mood-during-pandemic


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UKHCA News ID: 235781

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Lords' Public Services Committee examines lessons from coronavirus outbreakLords' Public Services Committee examines lessons from coronavirus outbreak

In its first inquiry, the House of Lords Public Services Committee is examining what the experience of the coronavirus outbreak means for the future role, priorities and shape of public services.

The inquiry will focus on four key areas: the integration of services; inequalities in access and outcome; the relationship between local and national services; and the role of civil society - the private sector, charities, volunteers and community groups during coronavirus.

The committee welcomes submissions from anyone with answers to the questions. The call for evidence closes on Monday 29 June 2020.

The remit of the Committee largely concerns England, unless it can learn from best practice in the devolved administrations.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235771

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Low Pay Commission continues to consult on minimum wage rates from April 2021Low Pay Commission continues to consult on minimum wage rates from April 2021

The Low Pay Commission is seeking evidence to inform its recommendations for the 2021 National Minimum Wage rates.

The end date for this consultation of 4 June has now passed, but because of exceptional circumstances this year LPC will continue to accept written evidence. The main concern is to gather evidence of the effects on the UK's employers and workers of the recent increases in the NMW and NLW, plus views on business conditions and the economic outlook, especially given factors such as the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

LPC consultation letter

UKHCA response to LPC

 


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Loneliness Awareness Week - 15 -19 June 2020Loneliness Awareness Week - 15 -19 June 2020

The Marmalade Trust is running a Loneliness Awareness Week, with partners across the UK including The Great Get Together and the Jo Cox Foundation. This year there will be a virtual campaign called 'One Less Lonely Voice', taking the 'one' out of loneliness, to signify one less lonely voice.

Get involved: https://marmaladetrust.org/law/

Join the conversation: #LetsTalkLoneliness




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Inquiry launched into the COVID-19 outbreak in WalesInquiry launched into the COVID-19 outbreak in Wales

The Welsh Parliament's Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the COVID-19 outbreak in Wales, looking at the impact Coronavirus is having on frontline health and social care workers, patients and those receiving care in Wales.

The Committee want to understand the challenges for those working on the frontline, and those whose health or care needs have been directly, or indirectly affected by coronavirus. This will enable them to raise the most common or pressing issues with Welsh Government and other public bodies.

The Committee has issued an open call for views as part of this inquiry. They say there is no need for a lengthy response, and no fixed deadline to submit - they are asking people to share what they can, when they are able to.

Here is the shareable link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CovidWales

We urge homecare providers in Wales to share their views and experiences by responding to the survey, and to share the survey with others.

More about the inquiry


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ADASS publishes temperature check on effect of COVID-19ADASS publishes temperature check on effect of COVID-19

ADASS have issued two Budget Survey reports which look at the state of adult social care in England, through the eyes of directors of adult social services. This year the major topic is COVID-19 and 146 out of 151 local authorities responded to the survey, carried out in May.

The first report, which looked at the response to COVID-19, found:

  • There was increased unmet need and decreased safeguarding referrals.
  • 80% of DASSs said providers were concerned about accepting referrals.
  • Coronavirus has made extremely fragile care markets even more susceptible to market failure at the detriment to those people accessing care and support services.
  • There were significant concerns about the availability of testing for people receiving social care, unpaid carers and personal assistants.
  • Additional funding is required from Government, above and beyond that already committed, to support the adult social care response to the pandemic.

The second report focuses on the impact of Covid-19 on budgets and wider funding issues, and found only 5% of directors are confident that their budgets are enough to meet their statutory duties. This report repeats the call for a fundamental shift in resources from Government as part of a long-term funding settlement for adult social care.

ADASS Budget Survey -1. COVID-19 response

ADASS Budget Survey - 2. Impact of COVID-10 on budgets


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NI Executive moves to relax Coronavirus restrictionsNI Executive moves to relax Coronavirus restrictions

The Northern Ireland Executive has approved a range of measures to further ease the lockdown. These include:

  • permitting indoor visits with one other household for those who live alone from June 13
  • outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from June 12
  • opening up of the housing market from June 15
  • opening up the remainder of the retail market from June 12
  • allowing outdoor training for elite athletes from June 15; and
  • allowing places of worship and community centres to open to provide day-care from June 12.

Some measures require changes to the Coronavirus Regulations, others are effected by guidance.

Press release

Guidance on restrictions in Northern Ireland and Public Health advice


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Revised information and guidance from Health Protection ScotlandRevised information and guidance from Health Protection Scotland

Health Protection Scotland has published Version 1.2 of the COVID-19: Information and Guidance for Social, Community and Residential Care Settings, dated 11 June 2020,

The changes since the previous version are listed in the version history.

Advice for Social or Community Care and Residential Settings Staff remains Version 1.1, publication date: 20 May 2020.

https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/covid-19-information-and-guidance-for-social-community-and-residential-care-settings/


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Views sought of those shielding in Northern IrelandViews sought of those shielding in Northern Ireland

Health Minister Robin Swann is urging people who are shielding, and those who are supporting them, to express their views and experiences in a new survey in Northern Ireland. The findings are intended to outline key themes for the Department of Health to consider when adapting current restrictions for those shielding.

People can complete the survey:

* On the Patient Client Council website at www.patientclientcouncil.hscni.net(external link opens in a new window / tab)

 * Via email at info.pcc@pcc-ni.net

 * Over the phone on 0800 917 0222.

 * The survey can also be returned by freepost. To receive a hard copy by post please call the Patient Client Council on 0800 917 0222 or contact it via email at info.pcc@pcc-ni.net

More information


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Single households allowed to form a 'support bubble' from 13 JuneSingle households allowed to form a 'support bubble' from 13 June

The Government has further eased lockdown in England. From 13 June, people can:

  • Unless they are shielding, form a 'support bubble' with one other household if they live alone or are a single parent with dependent children. Those in a support bubble can spend time together inside each other's homes, including overnight, without staying 2 metres apart. Individuals may only form a bubble with one other household, and the two households are treated as one if a person shows symptoms. There are special rules for children of separated parents.
  • Attend a place of worship for individual prayer

From 15 June, people:

  • Can visit more shops and additional outdoor attractions - drive-in cinemas, zoos, and safari parks
  • Year 10 and 12 pupils in secondary schools and further education colleges will begin to receive some face to face support.
  • Have to wear a face covering on public transport.

Guidance Staying alert and safe (social distancing) updated 10 June 2020.

Guidance: Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do, updated 10 June 2020.


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Returning parents still eligible for furlough after cut-off dateReturning parents still eligible for furlough after cut-off date

Parents on statutory maternity and paternity leave who return to work in the coming months will still be eligible for furlough even after 10 June cut-off date for new entrants to the UK's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This only applies where they work for an employer who has previously furloughed employees.

News story, Parents returning to work after extended leave eligible for furlough, published 9 June 2020.


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UKHCA News ID: 235766

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Public advised to wear face coverings in WalesPublic advised to wear face coverings in Wales

The Welsh Government is recommending people in Wales wear three-layer, non-medical face coverings in environments where social distancing is more difficult. This is only where people are not showing symptoms of coronavirus. Those with symptoms need to self-isolate in accordance with guidance.

Guidance, face coverings: coronavirus updated 9 June 2020. The guidance is not mandatory.

Face coverings -FAQs

How to make a 3-layer face covering


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Inquiry into delivering Core NHS and Care Services during the Pandemic and BeyondInquiry into delivering Core NHS and Care Services during the Pandemic and Beyond

The Health and Social Care Committee is holding an ongoing inquiry into the planning and delivery of other essential NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond.

The aim is to give focus to the upcoming strategic challenges, and give those working in the NHS and care sectors an opportunity to set out what help they will need from Government in meeting them.

The inquiry will consider the current situation but also take a forward look over the next six months. 

The Committee welcomes submissions from anyone with answers to the questions in the call for evidence.

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/277/delivering-core-nhs-and-care-services-during-the-pandemic-and-beyond/


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Adult Social Care Infection Control FundAdult Social Care Infection Control Fund

The Government has published guidance about the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund which is worth £600 million. The guidance advises that the primary purpose the fund is to support adult social care providers, including those with whom the local authority does not have a contract, to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience.

The guidance also advises a small percentage of the fund may be used to support domiciliary care providers and support wider workforce resilience to deal with COVID-19 infections.

Read the guidance


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New social care task force to lead next phase of social care planNew social care task force to lead next phase of social care plan

The Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, has announced that a new "National Covid-19 Social Care Support Taskforce" will lead the delivery of the next phase of the Government's plan for social care in England. Former ADASS President, David Pearson CBE, the new Taskforce chair, said:

"The taskforce will bring together the concerted and determined actions of central and local government with care providers".

"Our focus will be on stopping infection whilst trying to ensure the wellbeing of all people who receive care and support, whether they live in care homes or at home."

"Social care has a crucial role to play in supporting the people who receive care and support and their carers, and our job is to harness our efforts as we go through the various phases of this pandemic and support social care in its crucial role."

The Social Care Sector Covid-19 Support Taskforce will oversee delivery of infection control measures, delivery of testing programmes and management of the workforce.

Politics Home article


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Workers wearing PPE in accordance with guidance exempted from tracing self-isolationWorkers wearing PPE in accordance with guidance exempted from tracing self-isolation

The COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings guidance, has been revised to clarify that health workers do not have to self-isolate if they have had close recent contact with someone who has COVID-19, and are advised to do so by the NHS test and trace service, if PPE is being worn in accordance with current guidance on infection, prevention and control.

The guidance relates to both health and social care workers in England.


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UKHCA News ID: 235756

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Whole home testing rolled out to all care homes in EnglandWhole home testing rolled out to all care homes in England

All care homes in England will now be offered a coronavirus test for all residents and staff, even if they have no symptoms. Adult care homes for under-65s, including those with learning disabilities or mental health problems will be offered testing, regardless of whether residents have symptoms. These were previously omitted from testing, as care homes for those of 65 years and over were the priority.

Government press release


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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's route map - what you can and cannot doCoronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's route map - what you can and cannot do

The Scottish Government published information about easing the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, which includes a guide to what people can, and cannot do, during Phase 1 of the route map of 28 May 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's route map - what you can and cannot do

The guide includes seeing friends and family, getting around, schools and childcare settings, work and business and other guidance.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235777

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Updated advice for people shielding in ScotlandUpdated advice for people shielding in Scotland

People who are shielding are being advised to continue until at least 31 July, but they can if they choose, go outdoors to exercise from 18 June while maintaining strict physical distancing.

Those affected will receive letters from the Chief Medical Officer. The exercise can be a run, wheel, walk or cycle but those shielding should not meet people from other households. 

In all other respects, the advice is unchanged. Further guidance on individual risk will be made available over the summer.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding support and contacts, published 8 June 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235762

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Chief Medical Officer for Wales writes to those shieldingChief Medical Officer for Wales writes to those shielding

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has written to all those identified as being at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (due to a serious underlying health issue). This 'shielding letter' explains that the CMO advises those shielding to continue to do so until 16 August 2020, though they can leave home to exercise or meet outside with people from another household, strictly following social distancing and good hygiene.

The letter explains the support available to those shielding.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235775

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Hospital visiting ban replaced by local discretionary policyHospital visiting ban replaced by local discretionary policy

Revised hospital visitor guidance, issued by NHS England, lifts the national ban on visiting imposed in its April guidance. Instead visiting is subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies. There are a number of conditions that must be met before visiting can take place, like contacting the clinical area in advance, bedside visitors limited to one close family contact, practice advice t be given on infection control when visiting, and masks or face coverings are to be worn.

NHS, Visiting healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic 5 June 2020, Version 1.


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UKHCA News ID: 235767

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Guidance published on travellers exempt from self-isolation in England and Northern IrelandGuidance published on travellers exempt from self-isolation in England and Northern Ireland

Detailed guidance has been published on who is exempt from new border rules which require self-isolation for 14 days after arrival in England and Northern Ireland from 8 June 2020.

There is an exemption for registered health or care professionals. The guidance requires proof the person is starting work within 14 days of arrival, employment contract or letter of confirmation, and proof of professional registration with a UK-based regulator. The person will also need to complete the Public Health passenger locator form before travel to the UK.

UKHCA has raised omission of social care workers in England with DHSC. Social care is not a regulated or registered profession at present.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travellers exempt from border rules in England and Northern Ireland, published 6 June 2020.

Entering the UK rules and enforcement, including fines that can be imposed.


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Face coverings and masks must be worn by hospital outpatients, visitors and staff from 15 JuneFace coverings and masks must be worn by hospital outpatients, visitors and staff from 15 June

On 5 June, it was announced that all staff in hospitals in England will be provided with surgical masks which they will be expected to wear from 15 June, and all hospital visitors and outpatients must wear face coverings at all times.

Press release: Face masks and coverings to be worn by all NHS hospital staff and visitors, published 5 June 2020.

This is in addition to the requirement that, also from 15 June, passengers on public transport in England will have to wear a face covering. Transport operators are being asked to make wearing a face covering a condition of using public transport, and they will be able to refuse travel or issue penalty fines to those who do not meet the requirement. There will exceptions for very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties.

Face coverings to become mandatory on public transport, published 4 June 2020

Transport Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 4 June 2020

Guidance - How to wear and make a cloth face covering, updated 4 June 2020.


Announcement posted on:

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PPE Portal - invited providers can order free emergency top upsPPE Portal - invited providers can order free emergency top ups

Guidance has been issued on using the PPE portal, operated by Clipper Logistics, eBay and Royal Mail. Social care and primary care providers can only use the portal if they have received an email invitation to register. Small social care providers (99 clients or fewer) can order one combined pack, containing 100 IIR masks, 400 aprons and 800 gloves (400 pairs), per week or up to this amount of separate items.

PPE ordered from the portal is free. Orders will be delivered by Royal Mail within:

  • 48 hours for orders placed before 1pm
  • 72 hours for orders placed after 1pm

Guidance - PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment, published 5 June 2020. Relates to England. Organisations are expected to continue to use their usual commercial supplier, and only use the portal for additional PPE if needed.


Announcement posted on:

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Test Trace Protect sets out the Welsh Government's strategy for testingTest Trace Protect sets out the Welsh Government's strategy for testing

The Welsh Government's Test Trace Protect document, updated on 4 June, sets out the strategy for testing the general public and tracing the spread of coronavirus in Wales.

The document contains more detail about what will be done under pillar 3 of Leading Wales out of the coronavirus pandemic, our framework for recovery.

 


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Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UKCoronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK

Government guidance published 3 June 2020 sets out how you should self-isolate if you arrive in the UK on or after 8 June 2020.

This guidance sets out:

  • who must self-isolate
  • how you should travel to the place where you are self-isolating
  • how to self-isolate
  • support to help you self-isolate
  • what to do if you get coronavirus symptoms.

Read the guidance


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Post-coronavirus pandemic, resources and analysisPost-coronavirus pandemic, resources and analysis

Individuals who have had coronavirus

CSP Covid-19 Rehabilitation Standards, published 14 May 2020.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's statement, published 5 May 2020, calling for a comprehensive strategy. CSP are concerned once people are home, they are less likely to receive rehabilitative care.

Covid-19: the challenge of patient rehabilitation after intensive care , BMJ, says both the Intensive Care Society (ICS) and the British Society for Rehabilitation Medicine are working with NHS England to urgently develop - 'soon-to-be-released' covid-19 recovery plans.

NICE quality standard Rehabilitation after critical illness in adults: quality standard QS158, published September 2017.

COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements, published 19 March 2020 (under review). The discharge to assess model on page 27 has a table of pathways, suggesting 45% of people will be able to return home with support.

Long term health implications, Independent article, published 3 June 2020.


Social care

Charting a post-COVID-19 future for social care, SCIE article published 14 May 2020, by Kathryn Smith, Chief Executive, Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Readying the NHS and adult social care in England for COVID-19, published 12 June 2020. The National Audit Offices's report traces the steps taken by the UK government to mobile the response to COVID-19 from mid-March to the end of April 2020.


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Local authorities in Scotland given power to purchase distressed care servicesLocal authorities in Scotland given power to purchase distressed care services

The Scottish Government has included powers in Part 8 of Schedule 1 to the Coronavirus (Scotland)(No.2) Act 2020 (which is now law) for local authorities to purchase a distressed care home or care at home service provider, by agreement and subject to conditions.

The power can be exercised in circumstances, for a reason relating to coronavirus:

(a) the provider is in serious financial difficulty,

(b) the local authority or, as the case may be, the health body is satisfied that there is a threat to the life, health or wellbeing of the persons receiving the services, or

(c) the provider has recently ceased to provide the services.


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Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't doCoronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do

The Government has produced a series of frequently asked questions on what you can and can't do during the coronavirus outbreak. It was updated on 1 June 2020 and includes information on the limited number of things you will be able to do in England that you could not do before.

For example, the FAQs advise that from 1 June 2020, people with carers can meet in a group of up to six people (including carers) as long as social distancing is practised. The FAQs recognise that people with carers who need personal care may have to be closer than 2 metres.

People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will need to follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

Read the FAQs


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People who are shielding can now leave home in EnglandPeople who are shielding can now leave home in England

Although general relaxations of lockdown across the UK do not extend to those who are shielding, revised guidance has been issued that people who are shielding in England can now leave home if they wish, subject to maintaining strict social distancing and with appropriate precautions. If people choose to spend time outdoors, they can do so with members of their own household, or one member from another household, ideally the same person each time.

These rules apply to England. There will be further consideration and review by the UK government and devolved administrations, who will issue their own advice.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19, updated 31 May 2020.

The list of those who are clinically extremely vulnerable may change to reflect clinical decisions:

Process to remove patients from clinically extremely vulnerable list


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Advice for those shielding in WalesAdvice for those shielding in Wales

Those who are shielding in Wales can start to take exercise outdoors, according the Welsh Government. This outdoor exercise is unlimited, as long as when they go outside they strictly follow the social distancing rules and hygiene practices.

Everyone else in Wales has already been advised that they are able to meet with another household from 1 June as long as it is outdoors. Therefore the Chief Medical Officer for Wales is now advising that those who are shielding should be able to meet outside with people from another household on the same basis.

The next review of advice will be from 15 June 2020. Written Statement: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Shielding Update - changes to advice, 1 June 2020.

Shielded people in Northern Ireland are likely to be able to go outdoors again from Monday, 8 June, if the R-number is below one when ministers meet on 4 June. BBC News

Scotland is not relaxing its advice for people who are shielding for the time being: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-52867284


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Guidance on phased return of outdoor sport and recreationGuidance on phased return of outdoor sport and recreation

From 1 June, people in England can exercise alone, with members of their household, or with up to, but no more than 5 other people from outside their household while keeping 2 metres apart at all times.

Gatherings of more than 6 people are not permitted (unless an exemption applies, for example, if they are from one household or if it's essential for work purposes). Social distancing of 2 metres applies to people outside of their household. If people are playing sport or exercising with people from their own household, the 2 metre rule does not apply.

Guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England, updated 1 June 2020. There is separate guidance for personal trainers and elite athletes.


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The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 came into effect on 1 June 2020 and permit certain businesses to open for the training of elite athletes, clarify that places of worship and community centres may be used to provide early years childcare, prohibit people from staying overnight in a place other than where a person lives, without reasonable excuse, and impose more detail on prohibited gatherings.


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Update on the PPE Dedicated Supply ChannelUpdate on the PPE Dedicated Supply Channel

We have received an update from DHSC on the PPE Dedicated Supply Channel, the parallel supply chain operated by Clipper Logistics to meet urgent needs for PPE from health and social care providers in England.

The update, issued 28 May 2020, explains that small care providers from Cumbria, Merseyside, Durham & Darlington, Cheshire, South Yorkshire, Cleveland, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Lancashire and Kent Local Resilience Forums (LRF) have been invited to register on the portal. Other LRF areas will be invited over the next two weeks as the service ramps up.

More information about emergency top ups and roll out of PPE portal


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Six people can meet outside under new measures in EnglandSix people can meet outside under new measures in England

The Prime Minister has announced that groups of up to six people will be able to meet outdoors in England from Monday 1 June, provided strict social distancing guidelines are followed.

Government press release

Guidance Staying alert and safe (social distancing), published 29 May 2020.

Guidance Staying safe outside your home, the principles you should follow to ensure that time spent outside your home is as safe as possible, published 29 May 2020.


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Stay local to keep Wales safeStay local to keep Wales safe

From 1 June, 2 households in the same local area in Wales will be able to meet outdoors. In doing this, however, people must follow social distancing and strict hand hygiene practices to control the spread of the virus. 'Local' means not generally travelling more than 5 miles from home to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading from one area to another.

Press release dated 29 May 2020


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Process to remove patients from clinically extremely vulnerable listProcess to remove patients from clinically extremely vulnerable list

We have heard from DHSC that a number of patients are being identified by clinicians as no longer needing to be on the clinically extremely vulnerable list (being shielded).

DHSC have clarified that clinicians have the authority to make a clinical decison to remove patients from the shielded list if, after review, if they feel that he/she is not 'clinically extremely vulnerable'. They are advised to discuss these decisions with their patients, and mark their decision on the IT system.

Where people are removed from the list, DHSC follow up by text to ensure that the patients can still access forms of support including the NHS Volunteers network, and will retain their supermarket priority delivery slots.

In some cases patients have received these texts before they have heard from their clinician. DHSC say they are investigating the effectiveness of the process and hope to address this issue. Anyone with concerns should speak to their clinician, usually their GP.


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First phase of easing the lockdown in Scotland begins 29 MayFirst phase of easing the lockdown in Scotland begins 29 May

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced that from 29 May 2020, two households will be allowed to meet in outdoor spaces up to a suggested maximum of eight people, subject to physical distancing and hygiene rules are maintained.

https://www.gov.scot/news/lockdown-begins-to-ease-in-phase-1/




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New tool launched to speed social care recruitmentNew tool launched to speed social care recruitment

A new online platform has been launched to speed recruitment into adult social care in England. The Join Social Care online platform, developed and licensed from Cera Care, allows candidates to record a video interview, viewable by local regulated providers.

The scheme includes access to free training, supported by Skills for Care, and free DBS checks. CQC registered providers can search for candidates in their local area and view video interviews before proceeding. Providers need to register with their CQC contact email address for the location at: www.joinsocialcare.co.uk/care-company


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235737

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Northern Ireland may add to lockdown relaxations from 8 JuneNorthern Ireland may add to lockdown relaxations from 8 June

The Northern Ireland Executive has announced that, if the R number remains at or below its current level of 0.9, a number of relaxations to lockdown will be introduced in the week commencing 8 June.

Update from Executive dated 28 May 2020.


Announcement posted on:

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Contact tracing schemes launch in England and ScotlandContact tracing schemes launch in England and Scotland

The NHS test and trace service launches in England today, 28 May, to trace contacts of people who have tested positive with coronavirus (COVID-19). The accompanying guidance informs people what to do if they test positive for coronavirus or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive. The NHS test and trace service is intended to:

  • ensure that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
  • help trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

Guidance - NHS test and trace: how it works, published 27 May 2020.

Guidance, NHS test and trace: workplace guidance, Guidance on the NHS test and trace service for employers, businesses and workers, published 27 May 2020.

Government will be producing formal guidance for social care providers shortly, but have issued a preliminary explanation of what the arrangements will be: Test and Trace: guidance for social care employers about staff isolation dated 29 May 2020.

The above guidance relates to England only.

Scotland also launches its Test and Protect scheme to break the chain of transmission of coronavirus. More information

Northern Ireland already has a contact tracing scheme. More information The scheme in Wales is due to launch in early June.


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UKHCA News ID: 235736

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UKHCA webinar: Risk, Indemnity, Insurance and Mitigating Legal Liabilities for Homecare ServicesUKHCA webinar: Risk, Indemnity, Insurance and Mitigating Legal Liabilities for Homecare Services

On the 20th May, UKHCA hosted a webinar for members, which featured insights from CQC, Anthony Collins Solicitors and Towergate.

Watch the webinar in the resources area of the UKHCA website.


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Advice for blind and partially sighted people during coronavirus (COVID-19)Advice for blind and partially sighted people during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Department of Health has produced a document highlighting some key contact numbers and advice on how people who are blind or partially sighted can get support in their local community. This support may be in relation to shopping, medication, emotional or practical support, staying connected and having others to talk to, and ideas to keep active or stimulated during this time. Read the document


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Mental Health Action Plan publishedMental Health Action Plan published

The Department of Health has published the Mental Health Action Plan as part of the commitment to improve the mental health of the population in Northern Ireland.

Read the Mental Health Action Plan


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UKHCA News ID: 235723

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UK Government commits up to £23m extra funding to tackle coronavirus in WalesUK Government commits up to £23m extra funding to tackle coronavirus in Wales

The UK Government is to provide up to £23m extra funding to support the Welsh Government during the coronavirus pandemic, following the announcement of new funding from the UK Government for England's Test and Trace Services.

The funding boost will help Wales in the provision of antibody tests. The UK Government is arranging supplies of tests on behalf of all UK nations, with the Welsh Government deciding how best to use its test allocations.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-to-provide-up-to-23m-in-extra-funding-to-tackle-coronavirus-in-wales


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Testing expanded to everyone in the UK with symptomsTesting expanded to everyone in the UK with symptoms

Everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms is now eligible for a test, according to a statement by the Health and Social Care Secretary. The tests are not suitable for children under 5 years old. 

The government says it will continue to prioritise access to tests for NHS and social care, patients, residents and staff.

Government press release

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested, updated 18 May 2020

Separately, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland has announced that Covid-19 testing will be made available to all care home residents and staff across Northern Ireland. Read more information

 


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Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme opens today, 26 MayCoronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme opens today, 26 May

The government's online Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme opens from today, 26 May. Small and medium-sized employers will be able to recover up to 2 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments made to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020, subject to conditions. The scheme applies UK-wide.

Government press release

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19), updated 26 May 2020.

Online claim service using Government Gateway.


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New learning hub to launch end of MayNew learning hub to launch end of May

Health Education England's (HEE) Technology Enhanced Learning team is to release a Learning Hub at the end of May 2020 which will give the health and care workforce in England the ability to share and access resources during the pandemic.

The Learning Hub will be a new digital platform that will provide easy access to a wide range of resources that are pertinent to education and training in health and care. Learning Hub users will be able to contribute digital resources including e-learning, video, audio, images, web links and articles, subject to conditions.

Blog on new HEE Learning Hub and its features


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Survey reveals people in Wales feel cautious about changes to lockdown restrictionsSurvey reveals people in Wales feel cautious about changes to lockdown restrictions

A recent engagement survey by Public Health Wales has revealed nearly three quarters of people (73 per cent) still feel the restrictions in Wales are about right. Most people feel cautious about changes with 90 per cent of those surveyed during the week 11-17 May thinking it should be more than three weeks before schools reopen.

More about the survey


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Guidance published on providing homecare in EnglandGuidance published on providing homecare in England

The government has published Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home carewhich brings together information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the coronavirus outbreak in England.

The guidance is in response to frequently asked questions from registered providers, social care staff, local authorities and commissioners who support and deliver care to people in their own homes, including supported living settings.

Rosamond Roughton, the Director-General for Adult Social Care at the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), has written to all homecare providers introducing the new page. A copy of Rosamond's letter can be downloaded here.


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New quarantine rules for international arrivals from 8 JuneNew quarantine rules for international arrivals from 8 June

The government has issued Coronavirus (COVID-19) essential international travel guidance which provides guidance on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic and introduces a 14 day self isolation requirement for those arriving in the UK from 8 June 2020. The exemptions from self-isolation in Coronavirus (COVID-19): travellers exempt from UK border rules include a registered health or care professional travelling to the UK to provide essential healthcare, including where this is not related to coronavirus.

 


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Clarification on glove use in social care in ScotlandClarification on glove use in social care in Scotland

We understand Gordon Beattie, Director of National Procurement, NHS National Services Scotland, is writing to providers on the supply of gloves for social care, to clarify the service's email of 21 May. The new communication makes clear:

  • There is no change in PPE best practice guidance.
  • Nitrile gloves should be used where there is a risk of exposure to blood/body fluids, or when using hypochlorite for cleaning. Vinyl gloves continue to be suitable for uses where there is no risk of such exposure.
  • In the short term, NSS National Procurement will only issue nitrile gloves to social care hubs and will engage with the sector to assess the future balance of need for vinyl gloves and provide regular updates.
  • If providers require a stock of nitrile gloves before they can access them through the social care hub, they are asked to contact the NHS NSS contact centre on 0300 303 3020 to request additional supply and this will be urgently delivered.

NHS NSS communication re supply of gloves in Scotland


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Transition Board to oversee London's recovery from lockdownTransition Board to oversee London's recovery from lockdown

A new London Transition Board, co-chaired by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick and the London Mayor, will co-ordinate London's response as it emerges from the lockdown and begins to reopen its economy while controlling the virus. A new London Recovery Board will oversee the wider economic and social long-term recovery. More information


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Antibody testing programme will test health and social care staff in EnglandAntibody testing programme will test health and social care staff in England

A new national antibody testing programme will offer antibody tests to determine if someone has had COVID-19. The tests will be available to NHS and care staff, eligible patients and care residents in England.

The test will not determine at this stage if someone has developed immunity to the disease, but results will provide useful information to progress research about immunity.

Tests will be prioritised for NHS and care staff, and clinicians will be able to request them for patients in both hospital and social care settings if they deem it appropriate.

Health and social care staff will be asked by their employer whether they want to have an antibody test. The testing programme for care staff will be phased across regions in England. DHSC will agree the details with local leaders. Social care staff will be tested using a separate phlebotomy service, which will be able to take blood at their place of work.

Press release, Government to offer antibody tests to health and social care staff and patients in England, published 21 May 2020


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Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19)Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Government has published guidance on 13 May 2020 on how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic, where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance. Read the guidance on holiday pay

Applies to: Wales, England, and Scotland (see guidance for Northern Ireland)


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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Testing in ScotlandCoronavirus (Covid-19) Testing in Scotland

The UK government has established a network of COVID testing facilities. This programme runs alongside the existing programme of testing in the NHS for clinical purposes and testing of key workers in health and social care. Testing will allow people - anyone aged 5 and over with symptoms - to know whether or not they have the virus. Health and social care workers will be a priority and primarily routed through NHS testing at local NHS facilities.

Read more about getting tested in Scotland


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Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making - Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis 2020Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making - Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis 2020

The route map gives an indication of the order in which the Scottish Government will gradually seek to change current restrictions. It provides practical examples of what people, organisations and businesses can expect to see change over time. The phasing table will continue to be updated.

Read the route map


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Resilience and Well-Being for Social Care WorkersResilience and Well-Being for Social Care Workers

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council has designed a resource specifically to provide social care workers with tools and approaches for developing their own resilience and wellbeing during COVID-19. It is also relevant to social workers and other health and social care professionals.

More information available


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Coronavirus (COVID-19): informing DHSC of the death of a worker in social careCoronavirus (COVID-19): informing DHSC of the death of a worker in social care

The Government is asking employers to let the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) know if an employee or volunteer in the adult social care sector has died.

Please follow this process where deaths have already occurred, and if there are any further deaths.

 


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CQC shares insight into adult social care's COVID-19 pressuresCQC shares insight into adult social care's COVID-19 pressures

CQC has published the first of their regular insight documents intended to highlight COVID-19 related pressures on the sectors it regulates. This can be found here on the CQC website.

This document draws on CQC's data collection from providers, staff and people receiving care, and focuses on adult social care: reviewing data on outbreaks, deaths and availability of PPE, and in particular highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on staff wellbeing and the financial viability of adult social care services.

CQC say their Emergency Support Framework provides a structure for conversations with providers and for system partners to be informed of concerns.


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Home Office extends bereavement scheme to social care workersHome Office extends bereavement scheme to social care workers

The Home Office is extending the offer of indefinite leave to remain, free of charge, to the families and dependants of social care workers and NHS support staff who die as result of contracting coronavirus.

The offer of indefinite leave to remain will be effective immediately and retrospectively.

Further details of the scheme and how those eligible will be identified


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Northern Ireland approach to emerging from the lockdownNorthern Ireland approach to emerging from the lockdown

At the press conference on 12 May 2020, the First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill discussed the five-stage plan for gradually emerging from lockdown. View the press conference 

The Northern Ireland Executive has published it's pathway to recovery which details how lifting the lockdown applies to work, retail, education, travel and sport and leisure. Read the document published by the Executive

The statutory three-weekly review of the lockdown is due to take place on 28 May.


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Emergency funding for UK businesses during Covid-19 pandemicEmergency funding for UK businesses during Covid-19 pandemic

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP published a briefing on 18 May 2020 on the emergency funding support introduced by the Government during the Covid-19 pandemic. These include the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the charities financial support package.

Read the briefing from Anthony Collins


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Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 - review of international measuresMitigating the impact of COVID-19 - review of international measures

This review looks at measures taken internationally to support community-based care during the Covid-19 pandemic, including:

  • Closures of day care and community centres
  • Changes in delivery of home-based services
  • Measures to support care providers
  • Recognition of care staff as essential workers
  • Pay and condition improvements to boost staff numbers.

Read the review published by the International Long Term Care Policy Network

 


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Test, Trace and Protect StrategyTest, Trace and Protect Strategy

The Welsh Government's Test, Trace and Protect strategy is the next stage of the response to the virus. It aims to quickly identify people with coronavirus symptoms and new hotspots, then isolate as many of those people's contacts as possible.

The plan includes:

  • increasing testing of critical workers so they can return to work 
  • home testing for the public if they have coronavirus symptoms
  • an app to track symptoms in the general population and contact others who have symptoms or have tested positive

The strategy says contact tracing will be delivered regionally with Local Health Boards and local authorities working in partnership along with other public services to deploy contact tracing teams who understand the local context.

 


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CIW issues statement of assurance on quality of services in WalesCIW issues statement of assurance on quality of services in Wales

Care Inspectorate Wales has published a statement on how they will continue to provide assurances about the quality and safety of the services they inspect and regulate. The statement covers CIW's approach to assurance and monitoring, how they will monitor services, the approach to registration and other activity to support the response to COVID-19.

CIW statement of assurance

CIW says its priority is to continue to provide assurance to the public and Ministers that the services it inspects and regulates are doing all they can to promote the safety and well-being of people.


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UKHCA News ID: 235731

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MPs debate Immigration BillMPs debate Immigration Bill

MPs debated the Government's Immigration Bill and voted to allow the Bill to progress to the next stage.

The Bill will end free movement from the EU/EEA into the UK and introduces a new points-based immigration system. Details of the migration rules will be set out later in regulations.

The Government has said it will work with employers to develop a UK-wide labour market strategy. However, the Home Secretary made it clear that the Government expects businesses to move away from reliance on the immigration system and invest in the domestic labour market.

Subject to the Bill passing into law, from 1 January 2021, EU/EEA citizens, and their family members will become subject to UK immigration law, and they will require the permission to enter and remain in this country.

Irish citizens will continue to be able to come to the UK to live and work as they do now, regardless of where they have travelled from.

Read the debate on the Immigration Bill


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235707

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Eating, drinking and swallowing during COVID-19Eating, drinking and swallowing during COVID-19

The Public Health Agency has produced advice for staff supporting residents in care homes if they develop Covid-19 and how to safely manage problems with eating, drinking and swallowing.

Although primarily aimed at care home staff, homecare providers and their staff will find the information useful.

Read more information


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UKHCA News ID: 235727

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£37 million to support children with complex needs in pandemic£37 million to support children with complex needs in pandemic

The government has committed to a £37 million settlement to help low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children in England. The funding includes £10 million for the Family Fund to pay grants to low-income families for equipment, goods or services - from washing machines and refrigerators to sensory and educational equipment, helping parents to educate and care for children who are at home, social distancing.

Press release dated 19 May 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235705

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Loss of sense of smell or taste recognised as COVID-19 symptomLoss of sense of smell or taste recognised as COVID-19 symptom

A statement has been issued from the four UK Chief Medical Officers.

"From today (18 May), all individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia.

"Anosmia is the loss or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked.

"We have been closely monitoring the emerging data and evidence on COVID-19 and after thorough consideration, we are now confident enough to recommend this new measure.

"The individual's household should also self-isolate for 14 days as per the current guidelines and the individual should stay at home for 7 days, or longer if they still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell or taste."


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235702

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Mental Health Awareness Week - 18-24 May 2020Mental Health Awareness Week - 18-24 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this week, from 18-24 May 2020. Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week, the theme this year is kindness.

Information on getting involved.

ACAS guidance on coronavirus and mental health at work

Maintaining mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235703

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Bill ending free movement returns to House of CommonsBill ending free movement returns to House of Commons

As the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill returns to the House of Commons for a second reading, debate expected on the imposition of a minimum salary threshold of £25,600 for most workers seeking to enter the UK and lack of an exemption for jobs inaccurately termed 'low-skilled', like care work (excluded from the list of shortage occupations).

Care work has been widely recognised as a vital service during the COVID-19 crisis. UKHCA is calling for a post-Brexit migration policy which recognises overseas workers' experience and value.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235701

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£600 million fund for infection control in care homes£600 million fund for infection control in care homes

A new £600 million fund, with allocations for the devolved nations, is intended to support infection control measures in care homes. The fund, which is ring-fenced, will be given to local authorities and is conditional on care homes restricting staff movement between care homes. Local authorities will be expected to step up their supervison of care homes and local care markets.

Seventy-five per cent of funding must be passed to care homes. The remaining 25% is for local authorities to allocate based on local need, including domiciliary care workforce measures.

As local authorities vary in whether they pass on funding to providers,UKHCA is making the case for further funding for, and direct support to homecare providers from central government.

Government press release

Guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for care homes, published 15 May 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235700

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Roadmap sets out cautious steps to end lockdown in WalesRoadmap sets out cautious steps to end lockdown in Wales

First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has launched a plan for ending lockdown in Wales, following the earlier framework document. The roadmap for Wales includes traffic light colour coding for different activities, including the steps that are permitted at each stage. The roadmap emphasises the cautious approach of the Welsh Government and its intention to rely on scientific and medical advice to determine the correct phasing. No timetable is included in the plan and Wales continues with the 'stay home', rather than adopt the UK Government's recent 'stay alert', slogan.

Unlocking our society and economy: continuing the conversation, published 15 May.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235699

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More than 3.5 million apply to EU Settlement SchemeMore than 3.5 million apply to EU Settlement Scheme

The Home Office has received more than 3.5 million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, according to the most recent quarterly statistics report. The Settlement Resolution Centre telephone service and general helpline have resumed operation. Updates to the Immigration Rules have been laid in Parliament, which include changes to the EU Settlement Scheme to widen access to the scheme to victims of domestic violence or abuse.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235696

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ONS figures now include homecare deaths in EnglandONS figures now include homecare deaths in England

The ONS have published their latest statistics on deaths in the care sector involving Covid-19, which show, from 10 April 2020 (when data are first available) to 8 May 2020, there were 3,161 deaths of recipients of domiciliary care in England. The three-year average for the same time period is 1,171 deaths.

Of these, 593 (18.8%) involved COVID-19, lower than the 43.7% of deaths involving COVID-19 among care home residents notified to the CQC for the same time period.

(The figures for domiciliary care relate to regulated homecare only, so are not directly comparable with care home figures, and may omit some deaths at home where the cause of death is not tested and recorded as COVID-19.)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235697

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New guidance on spending time outdoors for those in EnglandNew guidance on spending time outdoors for those in England

New guidance has been published on spending time outdoors. The Government's recovery strategy permits people in England from today, 13 May, to spend more time outdoors for exercise and for leisure. Certain outdoor sports courts can re-open and people are able to see one person from another household outdoors. This is subject to people following social distancing guidance and the guidance of devolved nations, which may be more restrictive, if they cross borders. More stringent enforcement measures, and increased fines, apply for non-compliance. People who are shielded are advised to stay at home until at least the end of June.

New guidance on spending time outdoors

Coronavirus - Guidance on access to green spaces


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235693

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Recovery strategy published for Northern IrelandRecovery strategy published for Northern Ireland

The Northen Ireland Executive has published its Coronavirus recovery strategy, which contains a phased five-stage plan for slowly moving out of lockdown. The strategy omits dates at this stage, as the precise details of the phasing will not be decided up-to-date scientific evidence; the ability of the health service to cope; and the wider impacts on our health, society and the economy permit.

Coronavirus - Executive approach to decision making A summary is also available.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235694

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Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government has published guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidance is in eight sections; those that are most relevant to homecare providers are:

Working safely during COVID-19 in other people's homes

This guidance refers mainly to workers who carry out maintenance or repair work in a person's home. While some sections, such as those on risk assessment, could be helpful to homecare providers, the government guidance on homecare provision remains current.

Working safely in offices and contact centres

This guidance contains useful advice on social distancing in offices and staggering arrival and departure times.

Vehicles

This guidance gives advice on social distancing between individuals when in vehicles.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235691

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Furlough scheme extended to end of October 2020Furlough scheme extended to end of October 2020

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until the end of October. Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of current salary, up to £2,500 per month.

From August, furloughed workers can return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards their salaries. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month. More details are due by the end of May. The scheme applies UK-wide.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235692

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Government guidance on travelling safely during the coronavirus outbreakGovernment guidance on travelling safely during the coronavirus outbreak

The government has published guidance on travelling safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in England. It provides guidance for walking, cycling, using private vehicles (for example cars and vans), and travelling by taxis and public transport (for example trains, buses, coaches and ferries).

As far as possible, people should avoid using public transport where possible. The guidance suggests walking, cycling, or driving.

For those who have to travel by public transport, the guidance gives advice on how to stay safe. Homecare workers may not be able to choose how or when to travel. However, it is important to ensure that the normal infection control and social distancing procedures are observed.

Read the government guidance on travelling safely


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235690

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New guidance on maintaining the health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforceNew guidance on maintaining the health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued advice for those working in adult social care on managing their mental health which includes guidance, tools and advice on how employers can take care of the wellbeing of their staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance contains six steps to supporting mental health, good practice examples for employers and a range of links to further information and resources.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-health-and-wellbeing-of-the-adult-social-care-workforce


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235688

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Public should consider wearing cloth face coverings in enclosed public placesPublic should consider wearing cloth face coverings in enclosed public places

The Government's recovery plan suggests the public in England should consider covering their mouth and nose when using public transport or shops. The guidance emphasises face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing and regular handwashing and people should not buy medical grade masks so they can be saved for frontline health and care workers.

The purpose of wearing the mask is to help prevent the wearer, if they have the virus but are not showing symptoms, from infecting others, rather than protect the wearer, who should exercise care when they are putting on and removing the mask.

Press release, Public advised to cover faces in enclosed spaces, published 11 May 2020.

Guidance, How to wear and make a cloth face covering, published 11 May 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235689

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UK Government publishes COVID-19 recovery strategyUK Government publishes COVID-19 recovery strategy

The UK Government has published a 50-page recovery strategy document, following the Prime Minister's speech on 10 May 2020, announcing a conditional return to work for people in businesses that can remain open who cannot work at home, and who can return to work safely, and other measures. The document sets out the details of the Government's conditional plan or 'roadmap' to begin lifting lockdown restrictions. The first steps in the strategy apply from Wednesday, 13 May in England. More papers are due to be published this evening and tomorrow, 12 May.




Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235687

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'Stay alert' replaces 'stay at home' guidance in England'Stay alert' replaces 'stay at home' guidance in England

The 'Staying at home' guidance has been withdrawn and replaced by guidance which accords with the Government's new message: 'Stay alert, control the virus, save lives'. The change was announced in the Prime Minister's address to the nation on 10 May 2020. The new and updated guidance for England, which includes advice on face-covering in enclosed spaces, is:

Guidance Staying alert and safe (social distancing), published 11 May 2020.

Guidance Staying safe outside your home, the principles you should follow to ensure that time spent outside your home is as safe as possible, published 11 May 2020.

Guidance: Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't doupdated 11 May 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235686

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Prime Minister to set out details of lockdown changesPrime Minister to set out details of lockdown changes

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will set out more information on changes to lockdown restrictions in England, when he takes questions from MPs in Parliament after 3.00 pm on 11 May 2020. 10 Downing Street will publish a detailed document at around the same time.

Measures to modify the lockdown include a return to work for those who cannot work from home and who can do so safely at work, while avoiding using public transport to travel to work, unlimited amounts of exercise outdoors, and tentative longer term plans for partially re-opening schools and certain businesses and services, subject in all cases to social distancing. The Prime Minister also said it would soon be time to impose quarantine on people arriving by air.

The message 'Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives' has been altered in England to 'Stay alert, control the virus and save lives'.

Prime Minister's address to the nation on coronavirus, 10 May 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235685

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Stay at home message retained in ScotlandStay at home message retained in Scotland

The Scottish Cabinet has agreed to continue with lockdown restrictions, with the exception that people are from, 11 May 2020, allowed to leave home to exercise more than once a day, subject to conditions. Those who have symptoms of the virus or have received a letter explaining they are in the shielded group should continue to stay at home and not go out.

The Scottish Government is considering whether further relaxations of the lockdown, for example, permitting forms of outdoor work, and re-opening waste and recycling centres, could be allowed.

In Scotland, the 'Stay at home' message will be retained in communications, rather then adopt England's new 'Stay alert' message that commences from 11 May 2020. Wales and Northern Ireland are also keeping the original message.

First Minister's speech, 11 May 2020


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235684

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Free visa extensions for non-NHS frontline health professionalsFree visa extensions for non-NHS frontline health professionals