UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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New notifications for Care Inspectarate in ScotlandNew notifications for Care Inspectarate in Scotland

The Care Inspectorate in Scotland have updated their COVID-19 notifications to make them easier to use.

These include 4 new notifications:

  1. Suspected cases of COVID-19
  2. End of suspected outbreak of COVID-19
  3. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 notification
  4. End of confirmed COVID-19 outbreak notification

You can find further information here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236076

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DHSC builds strong domestic supply base for PPE this winterDHSC builds strong domestic supply base for PPE this winter

The Department of Health and Social Care's new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategy describes how the Government has reduced dependence on overseas suppliers and built a strong domestic supply base for PPE in England. DHSC say that are confident they have secured enough supply for this winter period and have the processes and logistics in place to distribute PPE to where it is needed.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategy Stabilise and build resilience, published 28 September 2020


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236075

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New interim Chief Executive for Health and Social Care Board in Northern IrelandNew interim Chief Executive for Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland

Sharon Gallagher has been appointed the new interm Chief Executive for the Heath and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland.

Further information here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236074

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Self isolation: changes in England today include fines, increased contact from Test and Trace and eligibility for £500 isolation payment for those on a low incomeSelf isolation: changes in England today include fines, increased contact from Test and Trace and eligibility for £500 isolation payment for those on a low income

The changes to self-isolation announced last week will be taking effect in England today. This means self isolation will now be a legal obligation.

These include:

  • Fines for breaking self-isolation which start at £1,000 but could be up to £10,000 for the most significant offences.
  • Fines for busiensses who allow or encourage staff to work when they should be self-isolating.
  • NHS Test and Trace will be increasing call contact with those self-isolating.
  • Those who work but are on a low income and in receipt of benefits may be eligible for a £500 isolation payment from today. This will be available from Local Authorities.

Read the press release here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236073

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Highlights - Chancellor's statement on jobs and businessHighlights - Chancellor's statement on jobs and business

UKHCA wants to keep providers up to date with Chancellor's statement made in the House of Commons today (Thursday 24 September 2020). More detail will be provided as soon as it is available.

For Businesses:

  • "Pay as you grow" scheme for businesses which took bounce back loans. Loans extended from six to ten years. Businesses can move to interest only payments or suspend payments if they are "in real trouble" for up to six months.
  • Businesses who deferred their VAT will have the option of splitting it into smaller, interest free payments over the course of 11 months.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans will be extended for up to 10 years.
  • A new loan scheme will be introduced in January 2021.

Support for jobs

  • The furlough scheme will end.
  • A new Jobs Support Scheme is being introduced for employees who are working at least a third of their normal hours and being paid for that as normal. The government and employers will jointly increase their wages to cover two-thirds of their lost pay and the employee will keep their job.
  • All small and medium-sized businesses are eligible, but larger businesses must show their turnover has fallen during the crisis. Employers can use it even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme it replaces.
  • The Job Support Scheme will run for six months from November.
  • The existing grant for self-employed people is being extended on similar terms to the Jobs Support Scheme.

More information: Winter Economy Plan

The announcement has also been welcomed by the Secretary of State for Scotland.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236068

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Delivering care at home and housing support services during the COVID-19 pandemicDelivering care at home and housing support services during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Care Inspectorate has today published a report on how care at home and housing support services have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland.

You can access the report here.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236067

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Winter Plan - Sign up for Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)Winter Plan - Sign up for Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)

UKHCA is encouraging all members to register with the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) by 30th September 2020.  If you have already registered on the DSPT, you do not need to do anything. If you are not CQC-registered, you do not have to complete the DSPT but may choose to do so as good practice.

Although not mandatory, CQC expects registered care providers in England to register with DSPT. The government has also asked providers to engage with the DSPT as part of the Winter Plan for adult social care.

You can sign up to the DSPT using this link. NHSX DSPT

If you need advice on signing up to the DSPT, you can contact the NHSX Information Governance team on IGpolicyteam@nhs.net 

More information and guidance is available from Digital Social Care who provide advice and support to the care sector on technology and data protection.

Digital Social Care is a partnership project between members of the Skills for Care and NHS Digital and the Care Provider Alliance of which UKHCA is a member.

Digital Social Care FAQs

Winter plan


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236066

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Further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in EnglandFurther national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England

The Government announced on 22 September 2020 further measures to address the increasing cases of coronavirus.

The latest announcement covers:

  • Face coverings
  • Working from home
  • Hospitality and leisure businesses
  • Meeting people safely.

Read the latest announcement

Read the Prime minister's statement

These are in addition to the announcement made on 21 September 2020 to support and enforce self-isolation.

These measures apply to England - but there may be different rules if you live in an area under local lockdown: and you should check local lockdown rules. If you are in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, different rules apply.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236065

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Care bubbles now exempt from interhousehold mixing restrictionsCare bubbles now exempt from interhousehold mixing restrictions

Informal childcare for those under 14 and caring arrangements for vulnerable adults will be allowed in local areas under current restrictions in England which ban household mixing, and all future areas.

The exemption, which comes into force from 22 September 2020, means that a relative or friend can care for a child or vulnerable adult from a different household, as well as the formal childcare provided by registered childcare professionals.

Government press release


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236062

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Postcode restrictions extended to whole of Northern IrelandPostcode restrictions extended to whole of Northern Ireland

As new cases of coronavirus rise, the Executive has decided that restrictions which apply to certain postcodes in Northern Ireland will be extended across the country from 6 pm on 22 September. The restrictions are:

  • No mixing of households in private dwellings, with exemptions for: bubbling with one other household; caring responsibilities including childcare; essential maintenance; supported living arrangements; visits required for legal or medical purposes; or marriage or civil partnerships where one partner is terminally ill.
  • No more than six people to gather in a private garden from no more than two households. Children aged 12 and under from those two households are discounted from this total.

Press release


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236063

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COVID-19 alert level moves from 3 to 4COVID-19 alert level moves from 3 to 4

As the number of coronavirus cases are increasing in significant parts of the UK, the Joint Biosecurity Centre has recommended the COVID-19 alert level should move from Level 3 (epidemic is in general circulation) to Level 4 (epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially).

The CMOs for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have recommended all four nations of the UK should move to Level 4.

The higher the level, the stricter measures the Government is likely to impose to address the issue.

Government press release


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236064

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Secretary of State announces new measures in response to increase in coronavirus cases.Secretary of State announces new measures in response to increase in coronavirus cases.

Today the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced new measures in England in relation to controlling coronavirus.

This includes:

  • the introduction of a £500 Isolation Support Payment for people on low incomes who can't work because they have tested positive or been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. This will be available to people who are in receipt of benefits. The system for claims will be established by Local Authorities and these are expected to be in place by 12 October, claims can be backdated to 28 September (further information here).
  • the introduction of a legal duty to self-isolate if you have tested positive or been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, backed up by fines ranging from £1,000-£10,000.
  • regular checks on those who are self-isolating.
  • a crack down on businesses who are encouraging staff not to follow self-isolation advice.

The government has also issued a document on the prioritisation of testing available here. It is disappointing that this document makes no reference to the prioritisation of testing for homecare workers. We believe that this is largely based on government's assumption that the prevalence rate of coronavirus transmission amongst our workforce is around the same level as the general population. UKHCA continues to urge government to reconsider its testing strategy.

The Secretary of State's announcement can be found here.

The information on increasing transmission rates presented on 21 September by scientific advisers is also available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236061

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Adult social care: coronavirus (COVID-19) winter plan 2020 to 2021Adult social care: coronavirus (COVID-19) winter plan 2020 to 2021

Government's Winter Plan for adult social care was finally published late on 18 September 2020, along with the report and recommendations of the Adult Social Care Taskforce.

UKHCA has reviewed the documents - over 225 pages in total - and emailed UKHCA members initial observations and links to the relevant documents:

Adult social care: coronavirus (CODIVD-19) winter plan 2020 to 2021

Government Press release

Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: report on first phase of COVID-19 pandemic

Adult social care winter plan: letter from Minister for Care to local authorities


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236060

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Skills for Care - new resources - tailoring the care certificateSkills for Care - new resources - tailoring the care certificate

Skills for Care have produced some new resources about tailoring the Care Certificate to workforces who need specilaist knowledge. These include tailoring for working with people with dementia, mental health conditions and learning disabilities.

The resources are available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236059

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Care Inspectorate Scotland - Occupational Risk Assessments and SurveysCare Inspectorate Scotland - Occupational Risk Assessments and Surveys

Scottish providers are being asked to undertake a workplace risk assessment and then support staff to complete an individual risk assessment with their manager using the COVID-19 occupational risk assessment tool. This will support staff and managers to agree a course of action on working duties.

The Scottish government has issued guidance on the tool, which is available here.

Separately, providers who have used the Scottish Government's framework contract for PPE with Lyreco are invited to provide feedback via a survey.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236058

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Further local restrictions announced to tackle rising infection ratesFurther local restrictions announced to tackle rising infection rates

Further restrictions are to be introduced in parts of North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire from 22 September to curb rising coronavirus infection rates.

Government press release, which has more detail on the restrictions. These have been agreed with local leaders and will be accompanied by regulations and guidance.

New restrictions have also been applied to the North East of England - further details here.

There were also updates in relation to Leicester and Bolton.

List of areas with local restrictions


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236057

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Infection Control Fund to be extended in EnglandInfection Control Fund to be extended in England

The Government has announced there will be a further tranche of funding under the Infection Control Fund in England. An an extra £546 million will be available to help halt transmission of COVID-19 throughout winter. As before, the bulk will aimed at care homes but we understand this time the funding may include a percentage that must be spent on homecare.

Colin Angel, UKHCA Policy Director, gave the following quote to the press:

“We understand that the grant determination letter, which will set-out the conditions of how the next iteration of the ICF can be used, may not be published until next week. UKHCA has been pressing Government to ensure that homecare services, including those which support people who fund their own care, are covered by the ICF, rather than relying on a postcode lottery of individual council’s decisions. We have also made the case that the ICF should be allowed to help employers ensure that staff are able to pay the wages of workers who are required to self-isolate.”

Homecare Insight article quoting UKHCA

More detail is expected in the Government's Adult Social Care Winter Plan, due out later today, and in next week's grant determination letter. We will email UKHCA members about these when we have the documents.

Government Press release - More than £500 million for social care to reduce
coronavirus transmission over winter


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236056

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Providers should tell people how to escalate complaints to the OmbudsmanProviders should tell people how to escalate complaints to the Ombudsman

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published its Annual Review of Adult Social Care Complaints received about adult social care in England during 2019-20.

The Ombudsman received 3,073 complaints and enquiries, but of those, only 430 were from people who arranged their care privately with independent providers.

The Ombudsman is now calling for the government to use the planned social care reforms to require providers to tell people, if they are unhappy with the services they are receiving, how to complain not only to the providers themselves, but also how to escalate that complaint to the Ombudsman.

Read more information here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236053

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The future of health protection - the National Institute for Health ProtectionThe future of health protection - the National Institute for Health Protection

The Government has published a document providing a high-level overview of plans to better protect and improve the public's health. It includes actions the Government will take immediately to strengthen health protection systems and its response to COVID-19 ahead of the winter.

It follows the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care's announcement of the new National Institute for Health Protection on 18 August 2020.

Read more information here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236054

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Digital innovation in adult social careDigital innovation in adult social care

A report by the Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University, commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA) and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), looks at examples of social care digital innovation in local government.

Areas considered include: What have we done? What have we learned? and What next? The document provides a stock take of recent digital activity across local government which can be used to promote and stimulate continued work in this area with local communities.

Executive summary Report


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236051

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Have your say on insurance premiums in the homecare sectorHave your say on insurance premiums in the homecare sector

A reminder the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) is carrying out a second insurance survey looking at the impact of coronavirus on premiums and underwriting.

There is just time for homecare providers to respond before the closing date of 17 September 2020: CPA survey


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236052

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UKHCA responds to Tribunal ruling on National Minimum Wage and Working Time RegulationsUKHCA responds to Tribunal ruling on National Minimum Wage and Working Time Regulations

A ruling by the Employment Tribunal, in a long-standing case relating to the National Minimum Wage Regulations and the Working Time Regulations has been decided, after it was first launched in 2016.

The case considered the matter of the calculation of how the Regulations applied to the definition of 'working time', particularly in relation to gaps in the workers' rotas.

The Tribunal found in favour of the claimants, careworkers Ms E Harris and eight others, who had delivered services through their employers to Haringey Council in north London. The careworkers' employers have agreed to make payments ranging from £850 to £17,800 each.

UKHCA has issued the following statement to The Guardian newspaper, at their request:

"United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) fully supports the payment of at least the National Minimum Wage for all hours of work, including the applicable travel time careworkers undertake between scheduled homecare visits, as defined in the law. The Association's support to employers includes the production of guidance based on the Regulations and emerging case law.

"Although the judgement in this case is not binding on other cases before the tribunals, it could change the interpretation of the law. The judgement is therefore potentially significant for homecare providers, councils, the NHS and for people who purchase their own care privately, or use a direct payment.

"UKHCA has consistently highlighted the implications of the way that homecare services are purchased by councils and the NHS, usually at extremely low hourly rates, and often calculated solely according to the number of minutes of care delivered. This judgement adds weight to the need to correct the unacceptable purchasing methods used in state-funded homecare.

"We continue to urge central and local government to address the inadequate funding of homecare services to ensure the best possible terms and conditions for the homecare workforce."

Guardian article


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236050

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Coronavirus testing guidance for employersCoronavirus testing guidance for employers

Due to lower coronavirus prevalence rates in homecare, the government has not offered, or recommended, routine, asymptomatic testing for homecare providers.

However, some providers may wish to be aware of the Department for Health and Social Care's new guidance for employers on the regulations and legal obligations of running their own internal coronavirus testing programmes.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236048

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Businesses in England and Wales urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 appBusinesses in England and Wales urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across England and Wales are being urged to download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of app, so customers can check in as they enter.

The NHS COVID-19 app is due to launch on 24 September in England and Wales.

QR codes will be a way for tracing systems to contact multiple people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues and, in England, will help businesses meet the legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.

Businesses should download the QR codes at gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster.

For more information on the NHS COVID-19 app, visit covid19.nhs.uk.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/businesses-urged-to-prepare-for-nhs-covid-19-app


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236047

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Study reveals disparities in pay and conditions across social care workforce in WalesStudy reveals disparities in pay and conditions across social care workforce in Wales

A study by the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care, University of South Wales, for the Welsh Government, has found that the social care workforce in Wales is impacted by high turnover and vacancy rates, with difficulties recruiting and retaining care workers. These difficulties were attributed to factors including:

  • competing roles outside of social care
  • perceived low status of social care as a valued career option
  • working hours
  • shift patterns

The report said social care has a low paid workforce that can result in care workers facing financial difficulties.

There is variation in pay between the three social care sectors (i.e. local authorities, the independent sector and the third sector) and the NHS. Local authorities appear to pay more and offer favourable terms and conditions.

Review of Evidence of Variation in Terms and Conditions for Social Care Employment Contracts in Wales by Sarah Wallace, Tony Garthwaite and Mark Llewellyn Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care, University of South Wales.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236042

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Scotland sets maximum gathering at six people from two households indoors or outdoorsScotland sets maximum gathering at six people from two households indoors or outdoors

The Scottish Government is to set a maximum gathering at six people from two households indoors or outdoors from 14 September.

Children under 12 from within the two households will not be counted in the new limit. The restrictions won't apply where there is other sector specific guidance in force, for example for gyms, for childcare or for organised sports, and there will be some other limited exceptions for larger households, education, and places of worship. It does apply to hospitality.

Scotland remains in Phase 3, with route map changes planned for 14 September postponed until 5 October, and a final decision being taken nearer the time, depending on transmission rates.

https://www.gov.scot/news/maximum-gathering-set-at-six-people-from-two-households/


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236043

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New restrictions to start in Wales from 14 SeptemberNew restrictions to start in Wales from 14 September

Mark Drakeford, First Minister, has announced that facemasks will be obligatory for those over 11 in shops and other indoor public spaces in Wales from 14 September 2020. Health and medical exemptions will apply.

More than six people from an extended household will also be banned from meeting indoors from the same date. This rule will not apply to children aged 11 and under .

Up to 30 people from different homes can still meet outdoors, within the rules.

Stricter rules may apply in areas where there are local restrictions, like Caerphilly.

https://gov.wales/further-constraints-meeting-socially-and-compulsory-face-coverings-help-prevent-new-coronavirus

Meanwhile, businesses in Wales are urged to prepare for the new NHS COVID-app, being launched on 24 September, by displaying a NHS QR code poster on entry, to allow customers with the app to check in. More information:

https://gov.wales/businesses-urged-prepare-nhs-covid-19-app


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236044

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Safeguarding to be overhauled in Northern Ireland, following residential care failingsSafeguarding to be overhauled in Northern Ireland, following residential care failings

Health Minister Robin Swann is to bring forward a new Adult Safeguarding Bill for Northern Ireland, following the first report from an independent review commissioned to examine the health and social care system's response to care failings at Dunmurry Manor Care Home.

Plans include standing down the Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership and moving to establishing an Independent Adult Safeguarding Board at arms-length from the Department of Health.

The Northern Ireland Executive intends to consult on a range of legislative options before Christmas to assist the development of an Adult Safeguarding Bill.

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/news/minister-announces-plans-adult-safeguarding-bill-northern-ireland


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236045

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'Hands. Face. Space' campaign launched by Government'Hands. Face. Space' campaign launched by Government

The Government's 'Hands. Face. Space' public information campaign urges the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak.

The new science based public information campaign will be launched ahead of winter to highlight how everyone can help to stop the spread of the virus by remembering to wash their hands, cover their face and make space.

'Hands. Face. Space' will run across TV, radio, print, out of home, social and digital display advertising, as well as on community media channels and will be supported by a variety of public and private sector partners throughout the coming weeks.

Promotional resources are available from Public Health England here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236041

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Government guidance revised following restrictions on social gatheringsGovernment guidance revised following restrictions on social gatherings

Government guidance has been revised following restrictions placed on social gatherings in England, described in Coronavirus (COVID-19): What has changed 9 September, new measures to suppress the virus.

A list of guidance revised so far is below:

Guidance: Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do, updated 9 September 2020.

Guidance Staying alert and safe (social distancing), updated 9 September 2020.

Guidance, Making a support bubble with another household, updated: 9 September 2020.

Guidance - Stay alert and safe: social distancing guidance for young people, updated 9 September 2020.

Coronavirus - Guidance on access to green spaces, updated 9 September 2020.

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19), updated 9 September 2020. 

The measures are accompanied by a new public media campaign conveying the message 'Hands, Face, Space'.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236039

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New measures to suppress the virus and keep the number of infections downNew measures to suppress the virus and keep the number of infections down

In an announcement made by the Government today (9 September 2020), new measures will be introduced to suppress the virus and keep the number of infections down. From Monday 14 September:

  • You must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes. This change will simplify and clarify the rules on social gatherings, so they are easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce.
  • There will be a limited number of exemptions. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups.
  • This rule will not apply to individual households or support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together.
  • Education and work settings are unaffected, and organised team sports will still be able to proceed, as will weddings and funerals up to 30.

From Monday, this limit will be enforceable in law.

These measures apply to England - but there may be different rules if you live in an area under local lockdown and you should check those rules here. If you are in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, different rules may apply.

Read the full announcement


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236038

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Protect Scotland app now available to downloadProtect Scotland app now available to download

NHS Scotland's contact tracing app, Protect Scotland, is now available to download for free via Apple and Google stores.

The app supplements person-to-person contact tracing, and is based on the app currently used in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

It uses Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and advises them to self-isolate.

The app uses encrypted, anonymised codes exchanged between smartphones to determine all close contacts, protecting people's privacy.

Close contacts are defined as people who have been within two metres of someone who has tested positive for 15 minutes.

https://www.gov.scot/news/protect-scotland-app-launches/


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236046

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Scotland - Pre-employment checks revert to previous positionScotland - Pre-employment checks revert to previous position

In light of registered care services not reporting significant staffing and recruitment problems, the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council have decided to revert to the previous position regarding pre-employment checks.

This means that providers are expected to have received satisfactory checks including Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership and references before an individual starts work. Removing the previous flexibility introduced at the start of the pandemic is aligned with Disclosure Scotland confirming that there are no longer delays in PVG checking.

Read more here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236037

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Social gatherings of more than six people banned from 14 SeptemberSocial gatherings of more than six people banned from 14 September

The government has restored some coronavirus restrictions in England to try and stem transmission.

There will be a ban on social gatherings of more than six people either indoors or outdoors. Exemptions will apply to households and support bubbles bigger than six people, schools, workplaces, COVID-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sport.

The new restrictions will be enforced by a £100 fine, doubling to a maximum of £3200.

Government press release, 9 September 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236034

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Pandemic delays social care reform but discussions have resumedPandemic delays social care reform but discussions have resumed

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock was questioned by MPs about the government’s plans for a long-term solution on social care reform recently.

In the last session of the inquiry on into social care funding and workforce, the Health and Social Care Secretary said, when asked about delays in bringing forward reform, the Government had made clear manifesto commitments on social care, but obviously coronavirus had delayed longer-term reform. Internal discussions on reform have picked up again.

Earlier, local government representatives had called for a social care workforce strategy and a National Care Wage of £10.90 per hour, and warned of the precarious position of about a third of social care providers who were currently making a loss, with government funding to councils running out just as winter is approaching.

More about the inquiry  There is a summary of proceedings on 8 September on the Committee’s Twitter feed @CommonsHealth

 


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UKHCA News ID: 236033

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Travel restrictions update: Greek IslandsTravel restrictions update: Greek Islands

People (including care workers) arriving in England from Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos or Zakynthos from 4am Wednesday 9 September will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks.

In England see guidance here. News item here.

Countries currently exempt from advice against all but essential travel are listed here but subject to change.

Note that the restrictions, including on Greece, vary in different administrations:

In Scotland see guidance here.

Guidance for Wales available here (awaiting update).

Guidance for Northern Ireland available here.

Briefing by Anthony Collins Solicitors for UKHCA members on travelling abroad and quarantine restrictions. See also guidance on employment rights when returning to the UK.


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UKHCA News ID: 236031

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NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) would like to increase awareness of the Government's coronavirus life assurance scheme among bereaved families of social care staff who have died after contracting COVID-19 at work.

UKHCA understands that deaths amongst homecare workers are extremely low, but DHSC want to ensure that family members of anyone who sadly dies as a result of COVID-19 is able to make a claim.

The Government scheme pays a £60,000 lump sum if a staff member dies as a result of coronavirus and had recently been working in a frontline role where personal care is given to individuals who have contracted coronavirus.

The scheme is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) and there are separate schemes for England and Wales.

More information on the scheme and how to make a claim


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UKHCA News ID: 236032

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Fixing Social Care, Better Quality Services and JobsFixing Social Care, Better Quality Services and Jobs

The TUC has issued a report which looks at how the social care system in England can be reformed to provide long-term, sustainable funding of services, which are value for money and meet the needs of individuals and communities.

The TUC recommend fair pay and decent work for the social care workforce, including a £10 an hour minimum wage, an end to zero-hour contracts, better sick pay and a real valuing of care skills, with a national skills and accreditation framework linked to a transparent pay and grading structure.

The report also calls for sectoral collective bargaining and limits on private sector involvement in social care, reflecting the TUC's general approach to these policies. 


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UKHCA News ID: 236029

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CQC consulting on changes to Market Oversight GuidanceCQC consulting on changes to Market Oversight Guidance

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are proposing to make changes to guidance on the Market Oversight scheme, and have listed these on page 71 of their engagement paper:

Market Oversight of 'difficult to replace' providers of adult social care Guidance for providers August 2020 (draft)

The changes are the result of CQC's experience of carrying out market oversight since it was given statutory responsibility in 2015. CQC has to monitor and assess the financial sustainability of those care organisations in England that local authorities would find difficult to replace should they fail and become unable to carry on delivering a service. There is more about Market Oversight and how it works on CQC's website. CQC say there are around 65 large or specialist providers of residential care services and home-care services in the scheme at present. 

The consultation closes on 19 October 2020. Online form to respond.


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UKHCA News ID: 236030

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Beyond COVID: new thinking on the future of adult social careBeyond COVID: new thinking on the future of adult social care

SCIE has issued a position paper for commissioners and senior managers working in the health and social care sector which sets out the findings of the Beyond COVID: new thinking on the future of adult social care programme.

The paper lists priorities for the reform of social care in England, termed the 'three strategic shifts', along with 21 recommendations to aid the reform process.

More information


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UKHCA News ID: 236028

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New figures show Scottish social services workforce is largest since reports beganNew figures show Scottish social services workforce is largest since reports began

A new report, published by the Scottish Social Services Council, shows the size of the social services workforce has risen to 206,400, an increase of 0.8% since 2018 and comprising approximately 7.8% of all Scottish employment.·

The three largest sub-sectors are housing support/care at home, care homes for adults and day care of children; which together make up almost 78% of the workforce. Housing support/care at home had the largest headcount in 2019, at 71350, with care homes for adults second at 53080.

Scottish Social Service Sector: Report on 2019 Workforce Data


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UKHCA News ID: 236036

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New guidance on the long term effects of coronavirusNew guidance on the long term effects of coronavirus

New guidance has been issued on the long-term health effects of having COVID-19. The guidance notes there is accumulating evidence to suggest that cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) who have experienced both mild and severe symptoms can experience long-term health effects.

The document gives information on the health problems reported in COVID-19 cases following acute disease, and guidance for healthcare professionals on how to advise recovering COVID-19 patients.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-long-term-health-effects, published 7 September 2020.


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UKHCA News ID: 236035

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New advice on supporting people outside of their homeNew advice on supporting people outside of their home

New guidance has been published on supporting people outside of their home in England - for example, when visiting others or going out.

The guidance is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236027

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Home Care Expo moved to March 2021Home Care Expo moved to March 2021

ROAR B2B, the organisers of Home Care Expo, have taken the decision to postpone the event to 9th-10th March 2021.

After consultation with partners, exhibitors and visitors, they have taken the extremely difficult decision to postpone the event until Spring 2021.

Further details and updates can be found via their website.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236026

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Social care workers in Wales to receive £500Social care workers in Wales to receive £500

The Welsh Government has introduced a special payment scheme for social care workers to recognise their hard work and commitment of staff during the most challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Careworkers employed in the qualifying period of 5 March to 31 May 2020 will receive £500 from the scheme which is aimed at staff in registered care homes, homecare services and Personal Assistants (PAs).

HMRC have confirmed that these payments will be liable for tax, national insurance contributions and student loan repayments, where appropriate. They will also be included in benefits calculations

See details of the special payment scheme and how to apply


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UKHCA News ID: 236025

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Review of adult social care in Scotland to consider national care serviceReview of adult social care in Scotland to consider national care service

An independent review is to consider how adult social care can be most effectively reformed in Scotland to deliver a national approach to care and support services.

The review, set up under Scotland's Programme for Government, will be chaired by Derek Feeley, former director general of Health and Social Care in the Scottish Government.

UKHCA's Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

"This review is clearly intended to be wide ranging. Scottish Government have not yet published the terms of the review, so what the announcement refers to as a 'national care service' in Scotland is not defined. Although Scotland has a very strong public sector ethos, a 'national' care service does not necessarily mean a 'nationalised' care service, with services being brought under public control. The cost of bringing so much of the independent and voluntary provider market into public ownership would be immense. A national care service can equally be about ensuring an equitable, consistent care offer is available throughout Scotland."

Reporting by January 2021, the independent review will take into account the experiences of those supported by, and who work, in social care, as well as consider funding, governance, administration and delivery. The review is intended to build on the Scottish Government's existing commitments to improve provision and address issues thrown into sharp relief during the pandemic.

More information, including details of the review's panel of experts


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UKHCA News ID: 236024

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Bolton and Trafford to remain under existing restrictionsBolton and Trafford to remain under existing restrictions

The government has reversed plans to ease local lockdowns in parts of Greater Manchester.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said following a "significant change" in the level of infection rates in the last few days, Bolton and Trafford would remain under existing restrictions, meaning residents cannot meet people outside their bubbles either indoors in homes or in gardens.

Read the statement from Matt Hancock

See report by the BBC

(UKHCA members may like to note this reverses the position for Bolton and Trafford referred to in this morning's email alert.)

Further information avaiable here.


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UKHCA News ID: 236023

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Check if you can apply for a grant through the Kickstart SchemeCheck if you can apply for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme

The Government has introduced a Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements are designed to support young people to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training. The scheme applies to England, Scotland and Wales.

Find out more about the Kickstart Scheme


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UKHCA News ID: 236022

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Employers' contribution for furloughed staff rises from 1 SeptemberEmployers' contribution for furloughed staff rises from 1 September

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

Guidance - Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

A Job Retention Bonus scheme has been 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

 


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UKHCA News ID: 235742

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Local lockdown update: Restrictions lifted in some parts of the North of EnglandLocal lockdown update: Restrictions lifted in some parts of the North of England

In some parts of the North of England (including Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Hyndburn and Burnley) local lockdown restrictions will be lifted, allowing two housholds to meet.

Restrictions are continuing in other areas, but vary significantly by locality.

See here for further information.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236021

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New page provides an overview of COVID-19 adult social care guidance in EnglandNew page provides an overview of COVID-19 adult social care guidance in England

The Department for Health and Social Care have launched a new page on gov.uk that brings together Covid-19 guidance for adult social care providers in England.

Access via this link


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236019

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MSPs hear evidence on care regulator's response to pandemicMSPs hear evidence on care regulator's response to pandemic

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee heard evidence recently from the Care Inspectorate on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although much of the session focused on care homes, MSPs also wanted to hear about care at home services.

The Care Inspectorate said they are in the process of completing an inquiry into care at home services, which should be published in three or four weeks. The regulator has kept in close touch with providers during the pandemic to provide support and monitor their concerns, and those of the public.

Care Inspectorate report on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which formed part of its submission to MSPs.

Minutes of the Health and Sport Committee, 25 August 2020, Care at home is mentioned on pages 48 and 49.


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UKHCA News ID: 236017

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Scottish care at home providers' views sought on pandemicScottish care at home providers' views sought on pandemic

The Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee is seeking views from people who provide, or receive, care and support at home as part of their social care inquiry. They want to hear from:

  • individuals receiving care at home
  • family members and unpaid carers
  • staff, managers or owners of a care at home services, or personal assistants providing care

The Committee has created a short survey to understand the impact of Covid-19 on care at home services, and what issues the pandemic has highlighted, improved or made worse.

This evidence will be added to that already gathered about social care, and the effect of the pandemic on care homes, and used to support the Committee's formal sessions in October and November 2020.

Deadline to submit views: 7 September 2020.

Please use this link to submit your views through Citizen Space.

More information


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UKHCA News ID: 236018

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Travel restrictions update: Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech RepublicTravel restrictions update: Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic

Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic are no longer exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel. (Though in Scotland, Switzerland was aleady no longer exempt). Cuba will be added to the exemption list for all UK administrations.

This will be effective from 4am on Saturday 29 August.

Care workers 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.

In England see guidance here.

In Scotland see guidance here.

Guidance for Wales available here (awaiting update).

Guidance for Northern Ireland available here. News item here.

Countries currently exempt from advice against all but essential travel are listed here but subject to change.

Briefing by Anthony Collins Solicitors for UKHCA members on travelling abroad and quarantine restrictions. See also guidance on employment rights when returning to the UK.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236015

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Northern Ireland COVID app to be extended to under 18sNorthern Ireland COVID app to be extended to under 18s

The StopCOVID NI app, which supports contact tracing in Northern Ireland will be available to under 18s from September.

More informabout available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236014

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Guide explains facts about 5GGuide explains facts about 5G

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have produced a guide outlining the facts about 5G. This is intended to support people interacting with members of the public who may have concerns following conspiracy theories about 5G (including linking 5G to coronavirus).

The guide is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236011

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UKHCA responds to HSIB report on PPE guidanceUKHCA responds to HSIB report on PPE guidance

Inconsistent PPE guidance sadly contributed to a death of person using homecare from #COVID19 investigated by independent watchdog the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.

Jane Townson, chief executive of the United Kingdom Homecare Association, told The Independent that of home care services were in an impossible position at the start of the pandemic.

She said: “HSIB is 100 per cent right. What was going on at the time was unsafe.

“The production of official guidance on personal protective equipment has been a shambles throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Guidance designed for different care settings has been consistently confusing for the organisations who needed to put it into practice.

“In the early stages, an absence of clarity led to inconsistent local interpretations being made by public health, local councils and community health organisations, all with different views about what was required.

“Even once guidance was published, dissemination was woefully inadequate. Guidance was published on the gov.uk website with little notice, frequently late on a Friday night, and provider associations received minimal notice to prepare briefings. There was a very high risk that care providers were not alerted to the changes unless they belonged to a membership association.”

She added: “In terms of the process going forward, what would be good would be to involve those who know about the service in the drafting stage, before the guidance is published when it possibly ends up causing extra work and is dangerous.”

Link to the Independent article

Colin Angel, UKHCA's Policy Director told the Guardian:

“It has been consistently confusing for people who had to put it into practice … It has relied heavily on cross-referencing between different online documents, they were using unfamiliar and ambiguous expressions and the information we needed was dotted across the gov.uk website.

“Because the guidance wasn’t clear, in the early stages, local councils, community health services and providers were having to interpret what they thought were the right answers. We have been worried throughout coronavirus that both people receiving care and the workforce would not be adequately protected by the correct use of PPE.”

Link to Guardian article


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UKHCA News ID: 236012

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UKHCA responds to nationwide study on care costsUKHCA responds to nationwide study on care costs

Two thirds of homeowners over 50 are worried about how they will pay their way in later life.

Speaking to This is Money, Colin Angel, policy director at United Kingdom Homecare Association, said:

'Few people plan for the cost of social care, because the balance of responsibility between the individual and the State is not understood. There are few incentives or financial products to encourage people to do so.

'The Government must make a decision on how to fund care in the future, considering the needs of people who do not have property assets and those who do.

'How to do this fairly is a political question, but tax relief would help people pay for their own care and changing the VAT status of essential welfare services from ‘exempt’ to ‘zero rated’ would enable social care providers to reclaim the VAT they pay on goods and services, with a minimal loss of revenue to the Treasury, enabling savings to be passed on to people who buy their own care.'

Link to This is Money article


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UKHCA News ID: 236013

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Trial payment for people on low income self-isolating in Blackburn, Darwen, Pendle and OldhamTrial payment for people on low income self-isolating in Blackburn, Darwen, Pendle and Oldham

The Government has announced that they intend to trial a payment to support people on low income to self-isolate. The trial will initially take place in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham from 1 September.

Those who test positive will receive £130 for a 10 day self-isolation period.

Other members of their household who have to self-isolate for 14 days will be entitled to a payment of £182. Non-household contacts advised to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace will also be entitled to a payment of up to £182, tailored to the individual length of their isolation period (at a rate of £13 a day).

This is intended to support people who are unable to work from home while self-isolating. It will be available to people currently receiving either Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit.

Further information here.


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UKHCA News ID: 236010

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CQC blog - introduction of Transitional Regulatory Approach from SeptemberCQC blog - introduction of Transitional Regulatory Approach from September

The CQC have published blog updates reminding providers that the CQC will aim to make regulatory contact with all Adult Social Care providers by the end of March 2021. From September, the CQC will be evolving their approach to monitoring during the pandemic and moving towards a transitional regulatory approach, which may include visiting providers.

The CQC is expecting to launch a new strategy in May 2021, and will undertake a public consultation on this in January 2021.

Further information here and here.


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UKHCA News ID: 236008

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Strengthening Social Care AnalyticsStrengthening Social Care Analytics

The Health Foundation are inviting social care providers and commissioners to submit expressions of interest for funding. Their programme aims to support projects that can demonstrate how data analytics can be used to improve social care.

The deadline for applications is midday Friday 2 October 2020.

Further information here.


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UKHCA News ID: 236007

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Local Resilience Forums - updateLocal Resilience Forums - update

The emergency PPE supply channel to Local Resilience Forums will come to an end on 11 September, the Department for Health and Social Care has confirmed.

Local Resilience Forums are considering how best to ensure ongoing resilience. An additional delivery of PPE from the Department for Health and Social Care will be provided to Local Resilience Forums to ensure that there are reserves in case of an emergency increase in demand. A statement of intent has been released about the storage and use of any local reserve or stockpile.

As we reported previously, from 1 September adult social care providers will be able to order emergency PPE via the PPE Portal.


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UKHCA News ID: 236006

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Best to plan for vaccine not being available this winterBest to plan for vaccine not being available this winter

England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has suggested it is better to plan for a vaccine not being available this winter. He said: "So I think if we look forward a year I think the chances are much greater than if we look forward six months and we need to have that sort of timescale in mind."

Mr Whitty also said it is inevitable there will be local outbreaks. Politics Home

Food for thought for those involved in contingency planning for this winter.


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UKHCA News ID: 236004

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UKHCA welcomes news of £588 million fund to help people return home from hospitalUKHCA welcomes news of £588 million fund to help people return home from hospital

People needing additional follow-on care after being discharged from hospital will be supported by a £588 million fund to cover adult social care or the immediate costs of care in their own home, the Government announced late yesterday.

The funding will provide up to 6 weeks of funded care and support for people being discharged from hospital. The additional support will include domiciliary care, community nursing services or care home costs.

Dr Jane Townson, CEO of UKHCA said:

“We welcome news of funding to support people’s recovery at home after discharge from hospital, as well as the emphasis on meeting people’s care needs in the community where possible. We are keen to work with the NHS and local authorities to ensure that the focus is on improving outcomes for people, rather than on time and task. We are also determined to ensure that homecare and support is purchased by commissioners in a way that allows fair recognition and reward of the workforce, as well as quality and sustainability of services.”

The funding announcement was accompanied by new hospital discharge service guidance for England, which replaces guidance issued in March, and information on hospital discharge for patients.

Guidance has also been published on NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments for those needing funded long-term care or support, which will be reintroduced from September.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236003

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List of exemptions to wearing face coverings in England extendedList of exemptions to wearing face coverings in England extended

The Government's guidance on face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own, has been updated to include a longer list of when you do not need to wear a face covering.

Guidance - Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own

This guidance, which relates to England only, is updated frequently.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236005

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New resources and guidance summary, 21 AugustNew resources and guidance summary, 21 August

Skills for Care have published two new webinars on "Verification of Expected Death during COVID-19 with remote clinical support" and "Growing your staff to ease your workload" they are available here.

The Health and Safety Executive have issued guidance on hand sanitiser products and surface disinfectants, workplace risk assessment and HSE's role in test and trace.

Public Health England have published some marketing resources for the seasonal flu vaccination campaign, which are available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236002

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Professional care workers week online events 1-4 SeptemberProfessional care workers week online events 1-4 September

The Care Worker's Charity will be hosting virtual events for Professional Care Workers Week. Topics cover everything from wellbeing to the reform of social care.

Find out more here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236000

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News round-up, England, 21 AugustNews round-up, England, 21 August

The Health for Care Coalition have called on the Prime Minister in an open letter to 'fix social care'. They highlighted the need for widening eligibility, developing a workforce strategy, support for unpaid carers and stronger ties between the health and social care sectors.

The Health Foundation published a report highlighting the specific circumstances of the adult social care workforce in London, commenting, amongst other things, on pay rates. Dr Jane Townson, CEO of the United Kingdom Homecare Association commented that the report "misses the central point that many London councils purchase homecare by the minute. Some pay as little as £13.68 per hour. With commissioning like this, how can providers ever improve careworker terms & conditions?"

There have been calls for clarification on whether the families of health and social care workers who die from coronavirus will be made ineligible to claim other benefits, such as Universal Credit, if they receive a £60,000 sum under the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme.

On 19 August Matt Hancock suggested to the BBC Radio 4 Today's Programme that government Ministers were aiming to achieve mass, population-wide routine testing. However, no deadline was placed on when this might be achieved. Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics national testing study is being expanded, alongside an additional £2 million grant to the ZOE COVID-19 Symptom Study app.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus has written to the Prime Minister urging the adoption of a zero-COVID strategy in England.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235999

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Local lockdowns in England: updateLocal lockdowns in England: update

The local lockdown in Leicester has eased slightly with some additional business venues being allowed to open (see details here). This will next be reviewed on 31st August.

In the North of England, additional measures have been agreed in Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn. These will include guidance, applicable from midnight on Saturday, to avoid public transport and to avoid socialising with anyone from outside your household. The restrictions will not apply in Wigan, Darwen and Rossendale, where restrictions will be lifted from 26 August. The existing restrictions will continue unchanged in other parts of Greater Manchester and East Lancashire.

Birmingham has been designated an area of enhanced support - meaning increased community engagement and additional testing. Birmingham City Council have restricted non-essential visits to care homes (see further information here).

In Northampton, workers associated with a particular factory are being asked to isolate for 2 weeks after a significant outbreak (guidance available here).

Further information here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235998

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New funding available for Traineeships from SeptemberNew funding available for Traineeships from September

From September 2020, employers offering new or expanded traineeship programmes may be eligible for a grant of up to £1,000 for up to 10 learners.

Further information on traineeships available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235997

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Assessing health and social care staff risks - guidance for managers in WalesAssessing health and social care staff risks - guidance for managers in Wales

Key points for managers in Wales have been issued on how they can help protect their staff by using the COVID-19 Workforce Risk Assessment Tool. Key points for managers

The guidance on the COVID-19 workforce risk assessment tool is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235993

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Travel restrictions update: Austria, Croatia and Trinidad and TobagoTravel restrictions update: Austria, Croatia and Trinidad and Tobago

Austria, Croatia and Trinidad and Tobago are no longer exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel. In Scotland, Switzerland will also no longer be exempt. However, due to a decrease in cases, Portugal will be added to the exemption list for all UK administrations.

This will be effective from 4am on Saturday 22 August.

Care workers 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.

In England see news item here and guidance here.

In Scotland see news item here and guidance here.

Guidance for Wales available here (awaiting update).

Guidance for Northern Ireland available here. News item here.

Countries currently exempt from advice against all but essential travel are listed here but subject to change.

Briefing by Anthony Collins Solicitors for UKHCA members on travelling abroad and quarantine restrictions. See also guidance on employment rights when returning to the UK.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235994

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CQC update on equal access to hospital care and treatmentCQC update on equal access to hospital care and treatment

CQC have published an update for all providers reminding them of their duties to ensure equal access to hospital care and treatment for everyone, including disabled and older people living in the community during the pandemic.

See here for further details.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235995

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Advice on choosing digital learning and learning management systemsAdvice on choosing digital learning and learning management systems

The Care Software Providers' Association (CASPA) has issued a Whitepaper on digital learning and learning management systems within care organisations, which provides guidelines drawn from best practice of registered services, including what works best, what risks to consider and how to avoid them, and what to look for in a supplier.

Digital Learning & Learning Management Systems within Care Organisations

England focused, the Whitepaper may be of interest to providers elsewhere in the UK.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235992

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Welsh government publish new coronavirus control planWelsh government publish new coronavirus control plan

The Welsh Government have published a new plan that outlines how coronavirus risk will be managed in Wales. This incorporates preventative measures, as well as guidelines on how responses to local outbreaks will be managed.

You can find the control plan here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235991

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Report highlights impact of COVID-19 on council financesReport highlights impact of COVID-19 on council finances

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that COVID-19 has seriously affected the finances of English councils.

The IFS say councils forecast spending pressures of £4.4 billion and non-tax income pressures of £2.8 billion in 2020-21. Taken together, this equates to a financial hit equal to 13.0% of pre-crisis expenditure. Adult social care accounts for £1.8 billion of the spending pressures.

The research found there is significant variation in forecast pressures across councils, especially for non-tax income.

COVID-19 and English council funding: how are budgets being hit in 2020-21?


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235990

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Virtual visits offered to social care centres of digital innovationVirtual visits offered to social care centres of digital innovation

NCF's Hubble Project, funded by NHS Digital's Digital Pathfinders Programme, is intended to help care providers in England understand the benefits of technology, how to build a business case for investment, and how to successfully introduce, use and evaluate technology.

The project offers senior decision makers the chance to virtually visit 'innovation hubs' (via webinars). The sessions cover a wide range of technology so that they will be of value to all care providers, regardless of where they are on the digital journey. The hubs are based in three care settings and showcase a range of technologies from the point of view of the care provider, including: integrated electronic care planning and eMAR, acoustic monitoring, circadian lighting, sensor technology and telecare.

Virtual visitors will also have access to a toolkit to support building a business case, getting buy in, and implementation. The featured tech suppliers are also offering participants a time-limited reduction on their prices.

Places are limited across the 30 sessions which run from September to early December. Find out more and request a place.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235988

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Face coverings in primary care settings in Northern Ireland: updateFace coverings in primary care settings in Northern Ireland: update

Since 10 August it has been mandatory to wear face coverings in relevant indoor public places in Northern Ireland. This includes shops and other places where goods and services are available to buy or rent.

Guidance on facemasks is available here.

The Health and Social Care Board have issued a reminder that face coverings are also needed in GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacies.

Further information here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235987

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New National Institute for Health Protection to replace Public Health EnglandNew National Institute for Health Protection to replace Public Health England

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced that a new organisation will be formed whose primary focus is public health protection and infectious disease capability.

Whilst the organisation will be formally operational from spring 2021, it will, from today, bring Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and the analytic capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre under a single leadership team. It will report directly to the Health and Care Secretary and support the four UK Chief Medical Officers.

The organisation will be led by Baroness Dido Harding, who has been leading NHS Test and Trace.

More information is available here.

The Secretary of State's speech is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235986

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WeCare Wales wins integrated campaign of the yearWeCare Wales wins integrated campaign of the year

The Social Care Wales 'WeCare Wales' campaign, which aims to raise awareness of social care with the public, has recently won the PRCA Wales DARE Award for 'Integrated Campaign of the Year'. More information

There is a summary of the campaign's achievements in a report by Social Care Wales outlining the first year of the WeCare Wales campaign. Successes include over a million views of case studies of real people from within the sector, and the launch of a care Jobs Portal (www.wecare.wales/jobs) in the pandemic. Report in Welsh

Many congratulations to Social Care Wales and the WeCare Wales campaign organisers. (UKHCA sits on the campaign's Stakeholder Advisory Group, on behalf of homecare providers in Wales.)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235969

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More childless older people may mean greater demand for paid-for careMore childless older people may mean greater demand for paid-for care

Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that, in the future, there will be more older people and a higher proportion of those will be childless in England and Wales.

Women born in the peak of the 1960s baby boom (currently aged in their mid-50s) are twice as likely not to have had children as women born post-WW2 (currently aged in their mid-70s).

Because adult children are the most common providers of informal social care to their parents at older ages, this is likely to increase the demand for paid-for care.

More information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235985

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Revised NHS COVID-19 app offers better features and privacyRevised NHS COVID-19 app offers better features and privacy

Healthwatch have published a blog which describes how the new version of the NHS COVIC-19 app offers better data privacy.

The new version of the COVID-19 app is now being tested by residents in the Isle of Wight and Newham and includes a range of new features.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235983

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£5 million funding boost for social prescribing in England£5 million funding boost for social prescribing in England

The National Academy for Social Prescribing has been awarded £5 million to help people to stay connected and support wellbeing following COVID-19. They will do this by connecting people to intiatives in their local areas that can support their mental health and wellbeing, including supporting access to green spaces, physical activities, singing, art and money advice.

Further information available here.

NHS England also launched a recruitment campaign earlier this month to increase the number of link workers involved in social prescribing in order to combat loneliness and isolation arising as a result of the pandemic.

Further information available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235982

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Admission to care homes from the community: guidance updatedAdmission to care homes from the community: guidance updated

The guidance in England on admission to care homes from the community has been updated. Annex K now provides further details on the testing process and potential isolation on arrival in a care home where the individual had previously been living in the community.

Available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235980

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CQC: now, next and the futureCQC: now, next and the future

Care Quality Commission Chief Executive, Ian Trenholm, discusses the immediate priorities for CQC, and what's coming next in his recent blog.

From September CQC is introducing a Transitional Regulatory Approach. Ian Trenholm says this means evolving the approach used in the Emergency Support Framework to look more at issues that concern people, developing clear areas of focus for monitoring, based on existing Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE), specifically targeting safety, access and leadership, and later, improvement cultures.

CQC will be consulting on their future strategy in January 2021, with participatory opportunities before then.

CQC: now, next and the future


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235981

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CQC publishes update on equal access to careCQC publishes update on equal access to care

The Care Quality Commission has published an update for providers on the importance of older and disabled people living in the community and in care homes being able to access hospital care and treatment for COVID-19 and other conditions when they need it.

CQC say if providers are putting in place local guidelines or decision-making protocols on access to care and treatment, these should always ensure that clinical decisions and pathways are not discriminatory and enable equal access to hospital care.

CQC provide clarity on what they expect at More information.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235979

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Social care recruitment campaign shows promising initial resultsSocial care recruitment campaign shows promising initial results

The Department of Health and Social Care's latest phase of the recruitment campaign has shown promising initial results, with over 920,000 new unique users to the campaign website and over 100,000 unique clicks on the 'Find a job' button between 23 April and 10 July 2020.

The advertising part of the campaign has now come to an end and an evaluation overview will be shared soon.

Going forward, DHSC is asking employers in England to make sure vacancies are posted on DWP's 'Find a Job' while interest is still high. Instructions here.

There are digital resources for urgent recruitment to support your local recruitment activities at the resource centre.

There is a dedicated app for the adult social care workers with access to mental health and wellbeing support and free apps on maintaining sleep and reducing anxiety. To download, search 'Care Workforce' on Google Play or Apple App Store.

Wellbeing support helpline - the Samaritans offer a confidential emotional support line for all social care staff, free to access from 7am-11pm, seven days a week. Call 0300 131 7000.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235976

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Local restrictions in England: updatesLocal restrictions in England: updates

Local restrictions are continuing in parts of the North of England and Leicester. The latest guidance has advised that the lockdown easements announced nationally will not apply in the restricted areas of the North of England or Leicester from 15 August, as they will in the rest of the country. There will be additional powers to issue fines if people disregard the rules relating to meeting people at home or in a garden.

In Luton, temporary local restrictions have lifted and restrictions now correspond to those in the rest of England. However, those in Luton who are clinically extremely vulnerable have been advised to shield until 17 August.

The guidance on shielding was updated earlier this week in relation to travelling to work in a local lockdown area. "If you work inside an area where clinically extremely vulnerable people are still being advised to shield, you are advised to work from home where possible, and not attend a workplace within the area where local restrictions are in place. If you live outside of that area, you may need to request a shielding letter as proof for your employer that you cannot attend your usual workplace."


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235975

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Updates on NHS test and trace in EnglandUpdates on NHS test and trace in England

NHS Test and Trace will be working more closely with local authorities public health teams in order to reach more people who have tested positive. This may include local teams visiting people if it is not possible to get hold of them in other ways.

Meanwhile, a new NHS Test and Trace app is being piloted in the Isle of Wight, Newham and with NHS Volunteer responders across England. The app would work in parallel with the existing Test and Trace system. As well as alerting people who have been in proximity to someone who tests positive, the app features include: alerts based on postcode, QR check-in at venues, a symptom checker and test booking. (Further information on the privacy of the app here).


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235974

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Welsh Government plans changes to allow more families to meetWelsh Government plans changes to allow more families to meet

The Welsh Government intends to further relax the lockdown from 22 August, if conditions allow:

  • Up to four households will be able to join together to form a single extended household.
  • A meal following a wedding, civil partnership or funeral will be allowed for up to 30 people indoors if social distancing can be maintained.

There will be no changes to rules on meeting indoors, so people should only visit pubs, restaurants or other places indoors with people from their household or extended household.

More information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235970

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Wales introduces Distance Aware initiativeWales introduces Distance Aware initiative

Under a new social distancing scheme in Wales, badges and lanyards are downloadable to signal to people they need to pay attention and give the wearer space. Wearing a badge of lanyard is voluntary and not necessary in law.

https://gov.wales/optional-badges-and-lanyards-promote-ongoing-social-distancing


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235971

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New rehabilitation framework for ScotlandNew rehabilitation framework for Scotland

The Scottish Government has issued a rehabilitation framework to aid the rehabilitation and recovery of those who have ongoing health problems following coronavirus, and those whose health has been negatively affected by lockdown.

The framework is intended to help health boards, health and social care partnerships and independent and third sector health organisations with planning for recovery and rehabilitation services following the pandemic.

The framework will be supported by a new National Advisory Board for Rehabilitation. The Scottish Government is also appointing a Professional Advisor for Allied Health Professions.

https://www.gov.scot/news/covid-19-rehabilitation-and-recovery/




Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235972

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Travel exemptions removed for France, the Netherlands, Malta, Aruba, Turks and Caicos Islands and MonacoTravel exemptions removed for France, the Netherlands, Malta, Aruba, Turks and Caicos Islands and Monaco

France, The Netherlands, Aruba, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Monaco are no longer exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel.

Care workers 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.

This will be effective from 4am on Saturday 15 August.

In England see news item here and guidance here.

In Scotland see news item here and guidance here.

Guidance for Wales available here.

Guidance for Northern Ireland available here.

Countries currently exempt from advice against all but essential travel are listed here but subject to change.

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


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235967

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Lockdown easements and higher fines for not wearing face masksLockdown easements and higher fines for not wearing face masks

The Prime Minister has announced that the next stage of lockdown easements will go ahead in England on 15 August 2020.

This will mean that higher risk venues such as bowling alleys, indoor soft play centres and tatto salons will be able to reopen. Wedding receptions will be able to take place with up to 30 peopel and indoor performances with socially distanced audiences will recommence.

The Prime Minister also announced that there would be higher fines for those who repeatedly flout face covering rules and new fines would be introduced for people holding unlawful gatherings of over 30 people.

For information on face coverings and where to wear one, including exemptions, see the guidance here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235968

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COVID-19: reducing transmission - what you can do to helpCOVID-19: reducing transmission - what you can do to help

Public Health England has published general advice that will reduce the chance of you catching COVID-19 or passing it on to others. If you live in an area with local restrictions in place because of higher transmission of COVID-19, you should follow the advice for your area.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235966

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New non-executive members appointed to Health And Social Care BoardNew non-executive members appointed to Health And Social Care Board

Health Minister Robin Swann, has announced the appointment of five Non-Executive Members to the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB): Dr Theresa Donaldson, Mrs Catherine McCallum, OBE and Mr Norman McKinley commenced their appointments on 1 August 2020; and Dr Nazia Latif and Dr Thomas Moore will commence their appointments on 1 September 2020. More about the appointments:

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/news/appointment-five-non-executive-members-health-and-social-care-board


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235973

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Funding and workforce - UKHCA's submission to the Health & Social Care Select Committee's inquiryFunding and workforce - UKHCA's submission to the Health & Social Care Select Committee's inquiry

In our submission, UKHCA said that a sustainable and high-quality homecare service will benefit individuals, their families and communities, the NHS and the UK economy. Supporting people at home, as far as possible, is an intelligent and cost-effective strategy for the nation's health and well-being. The real costs of homecare cannot continue to be ignored and provider's willingness or ability to contract with local authorities and the NHS should not be taken for granted.

The main points in the submission are summarised in a UKHCA blog. Members can read the full submission at: https://www.ukhca.co.uk/cons.aspx




Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235965

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NICE - New Quality Standard on decision making and mental capacityNICE - New Quality Standard on decision making and mental capacity

NICE have published a new quality standard covering decision making in people aged 16 and over, using health and social care services who may not have capacity to make their own decisions. It aims to support implementation of the aims and principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and relevant Codes of Practice. It is not a substitute for these.

CQC use NICE guidelines and quality standards as evidence for inspections and will look at how providers use the standards to inform the award of good and outstanding ratings.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235964

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Wales to develop Winter Protection PlanWales to develop Winter Protection Plan

Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services, has announced that a Winter Protection Plan will be launched in September, which addresses health and social care, and the challenges likely to be faced this winter as a result of COVID-19 in Wales.

More information: https://gov.wales/written-statement-winter-protection-plan-2020-21


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235962

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Social care workers eligible for free flu vaccination in ScotlandSocial care workers eligible for free flu vaccination in Scotland

The Scottish Government is extending free seasonal flu vaccination to social care workers, people over 55 and household members of those who are shielding this year. Those aged 50-54 will be included if vaccine supplies allow.

People aged 65 and over, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, children aged between two and five, primary school children, health care workers and young and unpaid carers continue to be eligible.

NHS Scotland will begin a phased approach to the programme from October, prioritising those most at risk.

More information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235960

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Updated COVID-19 advice for employersUpdated COVID-19 advice for employers

ACAS have updated their Coronavirus (COVID-19) - advice for employers and employees, with information about furloughing, changes to shielding in England and Scotland, and changes to self isolation advice. A new section has been added: 'If someone's doctor advises them to continue shielding'.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - advice for employers and employees.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235959

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Recruitment campaign survey now liveRecruitment campaign survey now live

The Department of Health and Social Care's recruitment campaign survey is now live.

This survey will help evaluate the impact of the national adult social care recruitment campaign in England since April 2020.

DHSC are looking for responses from a wide range of people working in the adult social care sector, from care staff and Registered Managers to Directors and HR teams.

The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes and closes on 21 August 2020. To have your say, please complete:

Adult social care recruitment communications survey (April - July 2020)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235958

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Care home visiting rules relaxed in ScotlandCare home visiting rules relaxed in Scotland

Care home residents can have up to three outdoor visitors from no more than two households provided their home meets strict criteria, with infection control measures remaining in place. The new measures in Scotland are subject to the home being COVID-19 free, weekly staff testing being in place, and face coverings being worn by visitors. There are special provisions on developing plans for allowing one indoor visitor, and end of life visits.

More information

People in Scotland have also been reminded of the importance of self-isolation, as part of Test and Protect: More information


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UKHCA News ID: 235961

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Small business grants still available from local councilsSmall business grants still available from local councils

Eligible small businesses, who have not already done so, are urged to apply to their local council for small businesses grants. They have to be based in England, occupy property for business use and have been eligible for either small business rate relief or rural rate relief on 11 March 2020.

Guidance - Check if you're eligible for the coronavirus Small Business Grant Fund, published 1 April 2020.

BBC News article


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235963

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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


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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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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.


Announcement posted on:

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


Announcement posted on:

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.


Announcement posted on:

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/


Announcement posted on:

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/


Announcement posted on:

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


Announcement posted on:

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


Announcement posted on:

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


Announcement posted on:

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


Announcement posted on:

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 


Announcement posted on:

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."


Announcement posted on:

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.


Announcement posted on:

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.


Announcement posted on:

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

 


Announcement posted on:

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.


Announcement posted on:

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


Announcement posted on:

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."


Announcement posted on:

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


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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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


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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.


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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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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


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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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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


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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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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.


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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


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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/


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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


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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




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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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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


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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.


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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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.


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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


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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.


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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


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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


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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.

 


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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.

Provis