UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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Working with people in their own homes/supported living this winterWorking with people in their own homes/supported living this winter

Two new pages on GOV.UK have been published which draw together high level information and links relating to PPE, Testing, Vaccination and Wellbeing for care workers in England.

Working with people in their own homes this winter - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Working with people in supported living this winter - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


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UKHCA News ID: 236465

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Northern Ireland's lockdown extended to 5 March 2021Northern Ireland's lockdown extended to 5 March 2021

Northern Ireland's stay at home restrictions have been extended until 5 March 2021, with a review on 18 February 2021. A sharp increase in COVID-19 cases has put pressure on hospitals.

Health protection coronavirus restrictions regulations

Coronavirus (COVID-19): a guide to the restrictions - January 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations guidance: what the restrictions mean for you


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UKHCA News ID: 236463

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Quality and improvement training opportunities in ScotlandQuality and improvement training opportunities in Scotland

The Scottish Social Services Council are working with NHS Education for Scotland and are inviting applications for:


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UKHCA News ID: 236462

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Adult Social Care Rapid Testing Fund GuidanceAdult Social Care Rapid Testing Fund Guidance

The Department of Health and Social Care have released guidance on how local authorities in England should use the Rapid Testing Fund.

While 80% of the Fund is exclusively for the deployment of lateral flow tests in care homes, there is a degree of discretion for the remaining 20%. This might include suporting extra care and supported living settings who are eligible for lateral flow testing.

Find out more.


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UKHCA News ID: 236460

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Scotland: shielding care workers support schemeScotland: shielding care workers support scheme

The Scottish Government have established a payment scheme for shielding care workers who were not placed onto the Job Retention Scheme (furlough).

This provides a lump sum back payment for workers not able to work between March and October 2020 (following October 2020 eligible workers should have access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).

Applications are open until 24 February 2021.

Further information.


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UKHCA News ID: 236461

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Letter from Adult Social Care Chief NurseLetter from Adult Social Care Chief Nurse

The new Social Care Chief Nurse, Deborah Sturdy, has written to the adult social care workforce. Her role is to support the social care nursing profession, as well as the wider social care workforce. The letter covers a number of key issues which faces adult social care at the moment, including the importance of testing, PPE, and self-isolation (where required to do so).

The letter can be downloaded on this link.


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UKHCA News ID: 236457

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Northern Ireland vaccination programme FAQsNorthern Ireland vaccination programme FAQs

The Public Health Agency have published answers to frequently asked questions relating to Northern Ireland's COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

You can access the FAQs here.


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UKHCA News ID: 236458

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Supported living guidance update on isolation periodSupported living guidance update on isolation period

The Supported Living Guidance in England has been updated to say that those who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 must isolate for 14 days not 10 days if, based on a risk assessment, the setting is considered high risk.

Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


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UKHCA News ID: 236459

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Support Fund for unpaid carers expanded in WalesSupport Fund for unpaid carers expanded in Wales

The Carers Support Fund for those that provide unpaid care and support to family and friends has been increased by £250m. This can be used to provide unpaid carers iwth grants of up to £300 for essentials.

Carers Support Fund increased by a quarter of a million pounds | GOV.WALES


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UKHCA News ID: 236455

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WeCare Wales rapid recruitment pilotWeCare Wales rapid recruitment pilot

WeCare Wales are running a rapid recruitment pilot which includes four days online training for new recruits, which is intended to cover the essentials needed to start working in social care.

Potential recruits can register their interest on the WeCare Wales jobs portal. It may also be possible for care agencies to secure places for new recruits if they are having difficulty providing training due to coronavirus.

See this leaflet for further information.


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UKHCA News ID: 236456

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New app to support people with Long COVIDNew app to support people with Long COVID

NHS Wales have developed an app to support people to recover from Long COVID. The app includes links to advice, videos and the ability to track symptoms. 

Written statement.

Press release.

Google Play

Apple app store


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236452

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Research and resources round up week commencing 20 January 2021Research and resources round up week commencing 20 January 2021

Evaluation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 - this research draws on the feedback from the workforce and organisations to evaluate the Social Services and Well-being Act. Both positive examples of change and challenges were identified. A further study will be undertaken to seek feedback from service users, carers, families and communities.

The Open University have published a report focusing on social care and social work staffing. Key findings include that whilst 76% of leaders and managers thought their service was sufficiently staffed, 44% said they only had the bare minimum skills required to operate and 54% were worried that Brexit would impact recruitment of skilled staff. The report calls for sustainable funding of the sector; promoting social care to a new audience; creating structured career development and targeting skill gaps.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition has published a position statement on nutrition in older adults living in the community.

The NHS Confederation and NHS Providers hosted Community Network representation to the Spring Budget 2021, which includes calls for increased funding for domicilliary care.

WHO introduction to the UN Decade of Health Ageing 2021-2030.

The CPA have updated their briefing on the End of the Transition Period: Keeping data safe

Free stress control classes are being offered in Northern Ireland. Press release. Access the classes.

The Care Provider Alliance has said that there is an urgent need for a social care people plan.

The Scottish Social Services Council have published their Annual Report 2019-2020.

Healthwatch FAQs COVID-19 Vaccination

Social care blog: Lockdowns unlock innovation

UNICEF Vaccine misinformation field guide

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Loneliness Annual Report January 2021


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UKHCA News ID: 236453

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Scotland to stay in lockdown until at least mid-FebruaryScotland to stay in lockdown until at least mid-February

Current lockdown measures will stay in place across mainland Scotland and some island communities until at least the middle of February, the First Minister has confirmed.

Barra and Vatersay will move into lockdown from 00:01 on Wednesday. The rest of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will remain in level 3.

Schools across Scotland will continue to use remote learning until at least the mid-February except vulnerable children and those of key workers who can attend school.

Nobody who lives in an area under lockdown should leave or remain outside their home except for an essential purpose like caring responsibilities, outdoor exercise and work that cannot be done from home.

These measures will be reviewed by the Cabinet on February 2.

Review of restrictions


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236450

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Regular testing of care at home workers in Scotland - guidance and webinarsRegular testing of care at home workers in Scotland - guidance and webinars

New guidance and materials have been issued to support testing of staff working in community based care services in Scotland, which commenced from 18 January. Distribution of kits is currently underway. The guidance states the arrangements for care at home services is as follows:

Test method

LFD or PCR - Because of the diverse nature of care at home services some services will use LFD tests while others will use PCR. LFD - twice weekly test with follow up PCR test if LFD is positive. PCR - once weekly.

Delivery

Lateral flow (LFD) testing kits will be provided via the Health and Social Care Partnership or direct to the individual provider. Arrangements will differ depending on the mechanisms each Health and Social Care Partnership has put in place to roll out testing.

Training and webinars

Information on training and webinars on care at home worker testing is at: Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care at home testing guidance

UKHCA understands PCR testing will be used for adult care at home staff who provide personal care services/close support (supported living) and who are typically highly mobile and travel extensively, who work with multiple clients and have no fixed base/hub, with lateral flow tests used for less mobile, smaller client group services like sheltered housing or supported accommodation.


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UKHCA News ID: 236451

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Additional funding for staffing in social careAdditional funding for staffing in social care

The Department for Health and Social Care has announced that they will be providing an additional £120 million in funding for local authorities in England in order to boost staffing levels in the social care sector.

The press release (available here) makes clear that this funding can be used by local authorities for costs associated with:

  • Providing additional care staff where shortages arise;
  • Supporting administrative tasks so experienced and skilled staff can focus on providing care; and
  • Helping existing staff to take on additional hours if they wish with overtime payments or by covering childcare costs.

We are seeking further clarification about whether and how this funding may be accessible to care providers.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236448

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Travel corridors suspended and pre-departure testing from todayTravel corridors suspended and pre-departure testing from today

From today (Monday 18 January), passengers travelling to the UK will have to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test before departure.

All travel corridors into England have been suspended, meaning that all travellers from outside the Common Travel Area will be required to self isolate for 10 days on arrival.

The number of jobs that qualify for exceptions for the 10 day isolation period have also been reduced.

Travel from a number of countries is also banned.

These changes have been introduced due to concerns about new strains of coronavirus emerging.

Press release

Similar provisions have been introduced in Wales:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing for people travelling to Wales | GOV.WALES

Travel corridors to be suspended as new virus strains emerge | GOV.WALES

In Scotland:

Closure of travel corridors

Pre departure testing

In Northern Ireland:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel advice | nidirect


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236446

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Vaccination invites for over 70s and clinically extremely vulnerableVaccination invites for over 70s and clinically extremely vulnerable

Invites to vaccinations for those over 70 and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will begin today in England. While the over 80s, health and social care staff and care home residents and staff will remain the top priority, vaccination centres with the supply and capacity to offer vaccinations to the next two groups will be able to start issuing invitations.

Press release

You can find leaflets and information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme here. COVID-19 vaccination programme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236447

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"Good news stories and innovation from the #homecare sector" blog"Good news stories and innovation from the #homecare sector" blog

Read our latest "Good news stories and innovation from the #homecare sector" blog featuring the great work by UKHCA members.

Featuring UKHCA members:

Welcombe Care
Right at Home Chichester & Bognor Regis
Helping Hands Homecare Brentwood
Carewatch UK Isle of Wight
Ashridge Home Care Ltd
The Good Care Group Ltd
Bluebird Care Exeter, Exmouth, East and West Devon
Home Instead Senior Care UK Liverpool
Caremark (Kirklees)
Kare Plus Croydon
SureCare UK Central Cheshire

Link here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236442

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Training materials for social care staff on sexuality and intimate relationshipsTraining materials for social care staff on sexuality and intimate relationships

Supported Loving are working with Skills for Care, the CQC and DHSC to review existing learning material for social care staff around supporting sexuality and intimate relationships.

If you have materials you'd like to share you can access a short survey here.

They are also running webinars.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236443

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Update to CQC notification formsUpdate to CQC notification forms

The CQC have updated their "Death of a Person Using the Service" notification form and are planning update to other forms. Please ensure you use the updated forms from the CQC website should you need to make a notification.

Notifications | Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236444

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Vaccination of front-line care workers in EnglandVaccination of front-line care workers in England

The official plan describing the system for arranging coronavirus vaccinations for social care workers in England has now been published. Providers should familiarise themselves with the Standard Operating Procedure. However, local councils and the NHS are working at speed to estabilsh vaccination arrangements in local areas and there may be some regional variation in the timing and details of delivery approaches.

Coronavirus: Vaccinating frontline social care workers (england.nhs.uk)


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UKHCA News ID: 236445

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Coronavirus risk assessments for workplaces under new Welsh legislationCoronavirus risk assessments for workplaces under new Welsh legislation

The First Minister has announced that new legislation will be implemented that will require workplaces and shops to undertake specific coronavirus risk assessments in order to improve safety.

Press release


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236441

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Pharmacies in Wales now piloting vaccine deliveryPharmacies in Wales now piloting vaccine delivery

The Welsh Government is now piloting the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations from community pharmacies.

Find out more


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236439

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Wales confirms pre-departure testing from MondayWales confirms pre-departure testing from Monday

Following an announcement earlier in the week that international arrivals to England would require a pre-departure test, Wales have confirmed that international arrivals to Wales from outside the Common Travel Area will also require a negative pre-departure test from 4am on Monday 18 January.

Press release


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236440

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Vaccine deployment plan issued for ScotlandVaccine deployment plan issued for Scotland

NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government have published their COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan to set out how they will vaccinate everyone over the age of 18 and those aged 16 and 17 who are frontline health and social care workers, young carers or have underlying health conditions in Scotland.

Cate at home workers fall within priority 2, as determined by JCVI. The FAQs attached to the plan say those in JCVI priority groups 1 and 2 you will be contacted by their local NHS Board, employer, or local GP to be advised about their appointment, with a range of settings available for vaccination.

COVID-19+vaccine+deployment+plan+14+January+2021.pdf


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236438

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Pre-departure testing - now from Monday and further guidance and travel restrictionsPre-departure testing - now from Monday and further guidance and travel restrictions

The requirement for travellers to England to have a negative test result 72 hours prior to travelling, which was due to come into force on Friday 15 January will now come into force on Monday 18 January.

The test undertaken could be a PCR or lateral flow antigen test but must meet certain specified standards in terms of sensitivity, specificity and viral load.

The guidance, including a limited list of exemptions (for example, for travellers within the Common Travel Area) is available here:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing for people travelling to England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Press release

The list of countries subject to stricter isolation requirements on return to the UK has now expanded beyond South Africa in order to contain the risk of a new variant spreading in the UK. Find out more.

Travel from South American destinations, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde is also facing new restrictions due to concerns about a new COVID-19 variant. Press release.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236437

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White Paper on reform of the Mental Health ActWhite Paper on reform of the Mental Health Act

The Government have issued a White Paper on Reform of the Mental Health Act 1983. The reforms include a focus on:

  • Giving patients a voice - including the use of advance choice documents
  • Tackling disparities, including the use of the law in relation to BAME communities
  • How mental health treatment links to the Criminal Justice system
  • How people with learning disabilities and autism are treated under the law

Secretary of State's announcement

Find out more via our consultations page.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236436

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Scottish Government tightens restrictions from 16 JanuaryScottish Government tightens restrictions from 16 January

The Scottish Government is to tighten COVID-19 restrictions on takeaways and click and collect services from Saturday, 16 January.

Takeaways will have to operate from a hatch or doorway, rather than allow customers inside, and click and collect will only be allowed from shops selling essential items, and then only outdoors, with staggered appointments so people do not have to queue.

It will also be against the law in all level 4 areas of Scotland to drink alcohol outdoors in public.

Statutory guidance on working from home will make clear that if people were working from home during the first lockdown, they should be working from home now and their employer should be facilitating that.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's statement 13 January 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19): stay at home guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on working from home


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236434

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Scotland to introduce pre-departure coronavirus testingScotland to introduce pre-departure coronavirus testing

From 0400 on Friday 15 January 2021, passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must have a valid negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure. This will be checked by operators, and passengers with a positive test result or an invalid certificate will be refused boarding. 

Passengers arriving from countries not on the quarantine exemption list will still have to self-isolate for ten days, even with a negative test.

Spot checks will be carried out, and fixed penalty notices may be issued to those who don't comply.

Non-essential travel to or from Scotland and will not immediately change.

Pre-departure coronavirus testing update


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236433

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Research and resources week commencing 11 January 2021Research and resources week commencing 11 January 2021

The University of Bristol, working with international experts, have published a guide outlining how to communicate effectively about the COVID-19 vaccine. You can access the guide here or read the press release here.

A study by Public Health England's SIREN has shown that past COVID-19 infection provides some immunity for several months following the first infection. However, those with immunity may still be able to carry or transmit the infection.

ADASS have called for an immediate cash injection and new recruits for social care as absence from work increases due to the pandemic.

DWP have prodeced a video explaining the Tell Us Once service which makes the process of bereaved persons reporting the death of a loved one to government departments more straightforward (this applies in England, Scotland and Wales).

House of Commons Library: COVID-19 vaccine roll-out: frequently asked questions

Skills for Care are running an online eveny on 28 January about practical collaboration during COVID-19: working together to support adults with learning disabilities. Find out more

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee have published a report sugggesting that government action could improve health in old age.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236431

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Vaccination Strategy for WalesVaccination Strategy for Wales

The Welsh Government and Public Health Wales have published a high-level Vaccination Strategy for Wales. This outlines the vaccination priorities, infrastructure and communication strategy in Wales as well as broad timescales (including the aim to vaccinate those in the top four priority groups - which include care workers - by mid-February).

Written statement


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236432

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Applications for free Vitamin D extended to 21 February 2021Applications for free Vitamin D extended to 21 February 2021

The deadline for clinically extremely vulnerable people to sign up for a free supply of vitamin D supplements in England has been extended to 21 February 2021.

Guidance on the initiative: Vitamin D supplements: how to take them safely

Letter to clinically extremely vulnerable people: Clinically_Extremely_Vulnerable_Letter_Jan_National_Lockdown_Final.pdf

Register at nhs.uk/get-vitamin-d


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236430

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International travel update on pre-departure testingInternational travel update on pre-departure testing

There has been an international travel update, following the Government's announcement last week on pre-departure testing.

From 4am on 15 January 2021, pre-departure testing will be required for all inbound passengers to England.

Passengers arriving by ship, plane or train will have to take a test up to 3 days before departure and provide evidence of a negative result before they travel.

This is in addition to self-isolation requirements, and subject to a short list of exemptions.

Guidance will set out the tests that meet the standards, and information passengers will need to have with them when travelling.

All information on test requirements will be made available to passengers and transport operators through guidance on www.gov.uk. More details in the update.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236429

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PPE portal updatesPPE portal updates

Providers in England undertaking Aerosol Generating Procedures should now be able to order the correct equipment from the PPE Portal.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236428

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UK vaccines delivery plan publishedUK vaccines delivery plan published

The Government has published its UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan for vaccinating tens of millions of people by spring at over 2,700 vaccination sites across the UK.

The UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan sets out how the government will work with the NHS, devolved administrations, local councils and the armed forces to deliver the largest vaccination programme in British history. The plans sets out priority groups, targets for vaccination and how the roll out will be achieved. They are accompanied by a vaccine surveillance strategy to monitor the effectiveness of the programme in England.

The plan provides that, by the end of January, everyone in England will be within 10 miles of a vaccination site or, for a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccine will be brought to them via mobile teams. 

Government press release

COVID-19 vaccine surveillance strategy


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236426

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Free carbon monoxide awareness Zoom workshopsFree carbon monoxide awareness Zoom workshops

The Gas Safe Charity is offering free, on line carbon monoxide awareness Zoom workshops, aimed at front line staff who visit or work in the homes of vulnerable people. The workshop lasts about an hour and explains the sources, signs and symptoms of high and low level carbon monoxide risks in the home and includes relevant scenarios to explain what steps to take if carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected. To find out more and book a workshop, please click on the link.

Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236427

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MOTs must be booked as normal during lockdownMOTs must be booked as normal during lockdown

The Government's MOT centre and tester guidance makes clear MOT centres can stay open in all areas of Great Britain, including during the national lockdown in England, the temporary lockdown in Scotland, and all of Wales in alert level 4 (lockdown).

Vehicle owners were given a 6-month extension to their MOT if it was due between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020. However, people must book an MOT as normal if their MOT is due from 1 August 2020. There is no new extension in the current lockdown.

Check the guidance for vehicle owners.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236425

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Northern Ireland vaccination programme opens to home care workersNorthern Ireland vaccination programme opens to home care workers

The Department of Health have announced today that domiciliary care workers in Northern Ireland and those employed by independent care agencies will be able to book COVID vaccinations at Trust vaccination centres from today. This will be part of the staff vaccination programme running in parallel with the programme for the general public that is commencing in GP practices.

The statement is available here.

Further information on the Northern Ireland COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

Care worker information leaflet


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236421

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Community testing expanded to test those who cannot work from homeCommunity testing expanded to test those who cannot work from home

Community flow testing is being expanded in local authorities in England to test people without symptoms, targeted on people who cannot work from home during lockdown.

NHS Test and Trace is to work with each local authority on an expanded community testing plan. 131 local authorities have signed up to the scheme, with 107 already having started.

NHS Test and Trace is also working closely with other government departments to scale up workforce testing, with pilots taking place with larger employers.

Community testing employs the faster lateral flow testing, rather than the more accurate swab testing used in the testing of the homecare workforce.

More information: Asymptomatic testing to be rolled out across the country starting this week

Statement from Chief Medical Adviser for NHS Test and Trace, Susan Hopkins on community testing


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236420

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Close contact is now cumulative for NHS Test and Trace purposesClose contact is now cumulative for NHS Test and Trace purposes

The definition of 'close contact', for the purposes of what happens if a person tests positive for coronavirus or has had close contact with someone who has tested positive, has changed to having been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day) ie cumulative contact.

NHS Test and Trace: how it works This relates to the tracing system in England.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236419

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Care Quality Commission launches consultation on draft strategy for 2021Care Quality Commission launches consultation on draft strategy for 2021

The Care Quality Commission has published a formal consultation on its draft strategy 2021, which focuses on four key themes: People and communities, smarter regulation, safety through learning and accelerating improvement. The draft strategy reflects changes to regulation during the pandemic.

CQC strategy consultation

CQC strategy consultation survey

The consultation closes on 4 March 2021. UKHCA members are invited to send us their views on the consultation by 19 February 2021, email policy@ukhca.co.uk

More information: Project: Strategy 2021: CQC launches strategy consultation (citizenlab.co)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236418

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Critical worker guidance amended regarding school attendanceCritical worker guidance amended regarding school attendance

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January 2021, only children of critical workers and vulnerable children and young people in England should attend school or college. All other pupils and students are to receive remote education. Updated guidance provides that parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the guidance. Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required, but parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can.

Critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236417

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Free PPE extended until June 2021Free PPE extended until June 2021

In an email announcement this afternoon the Department of Health and Social Care have indicated that "the Government has extended the provision of free personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 needs to social care providers until the end of June 2021".

CQC registered providers are able to access PPE via the PPE Portal.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236415

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Good news stories and innovation from the homecare sectorGood news stories and innovation from the homecare sector

Read our latest "Good news stories and innovation from the #homecare sector" blog featuring the great work by UKHCA members:

All Seasons Community Support CIC
First City Nursing & Care
Bluebird Care Canterbury & Thanet
Radfield Home Care (UK) Wakefield & Dewsbury
Right at Home UK Ilkley, Keighley & Skipton
Helping Hands Homecare (Chipping Sodbury and Yate, South Gloucestershire)
Home Instead Senior Care UK Hampshire
Caremark Ltd Cheltenham and Tewkesbury
Care By Us Ltd
Consultus Care & Nursing Ltd

Link to the article here


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Moderna vaccine approved for use in the UKModerna vaccine approved for use in the UK

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Extension of alert level 4 measures in Wales confirmedExtension of alert level 4 measures in Wales confirmed

The First Minister has confirmed that the alert level 4 restrictions in Wales will remain in place and will be strengthened (for example, showrooms will no longer be able to open).

The measures are due to be reviewed again in three weeks.

Unless there is a significant reduction in cases before 29 January, school and college students will continue to learn online until February half term.

Press release.


Announcement posted on:

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International arrivals to be required to produce a negative test resultInternational arrivals to be required to produce a negative test result

The Transport Secretary has announced international arrivals will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test result before departure for England.

Under the new rules inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to than 72 hours before departing the country they are in, and present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to carriers, as well as their passenger locator form. The UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrival into England to ensure that passengers are fully compliant.

Permitted travellers will need to take their test up to 72 hours before departure, and this will apply irrespective of whether a country is on the travel corridor list. 

Those arriving from a country not on the travel corridors list will still have to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of test result, although this can be shortened using the test to release scheme.

Government press release. The new rules are expected to come in in England next week, and in Scotland, 'as soon as possible'. Wales and Northern Ireland are looking at similar measures.

Further guidance is expected, including details of exemptions.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236412

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Updates to guidance on GOV.UK week commencing 4 January 2021Updates to guidance on GOV.UK week commencing 4 January 2021

The provision of home care guidance has been updated to reflect the new shielding guidance for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

The summary poster on testing for homecare workers is now available in a number of languages.

The Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund round 2: guidance has been updated to clarify that providers can use the Fund to pay wages for staff to attend work or other locations for vaccinations or COVID-19 tests.

The Guidance on Shielding has been updated in light of the national lockdown and a letter has been published that has been sent to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

HM Treasury have published a summary of existing economic support during the COVID pandemic.

The guidance on Supported Living has been updated

The guidance Getting help with daily activities outside your home during coronavirus has been updated to reflect the lockdown.


Announcement posted on:

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Research and resources round up week commencing 4 January 2021Research and resources round up week commencing 4 January 2021

Research

Statement from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation about increasing the short-term impact of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Public Health Wales have also produced a video explaining the rationale behind the delay in giving the second dose.

The Senedd's Health Committee have heard research presented to suggest that measures are needed to support people to self isolate, and that only about half of people are recognising the three core symptoms and fewer than a third are fully self-isolating. Read more.

The finidngs of the Loneliness (National Survey for Wales) 2019-2020 have been published, showing that younger people are more likely to report feeling lonely.

Building Back Fairer: the COVID-19 Marmott Review looks at socioeconomic and health inequalities in England. The review highlights the risks taken by the social care workforce.

In a New Year's Message the Institute for Fiscal Studies' Deaton Review highlighted some key findings on coronavirus and inequality.

The Institute for Government highlight five things the government needs to get right on the vaccine rollout.

Resources

Skills for Care have drawn together resources to support wellbeing. They also have webinars on a range of topics from evidencing improvement to COVID-19 and BAME communities - you can read their latest newsletter here.

ACAS have produced advice on managing staff vaccinations. 

The Kings Fund have put together resources for health and care leaders on leading through COVID-19.


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Free employee and wellbeing webinar from Citation, 28th JanFree employee and wellbeing webinar from Citation, 28th Jan

UKHCA commercial members Citation will be hosting a free employee engagement and wellbeing webinar on the 28th January at 12.30pm.

UKHCA's CEO Dr Jane Townson will be joining the webinar to help answer any homecare specific questions.

Register here


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England's national lockdown is now lawEngland's national lockdown is now law

The regulations enforcing the current lockdown in England were made on 5 January 2021 and came into effect today, 6 January 2021.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 3) and (All Tiers) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk)

These took effect by amending previous regulations:

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 (legislation.gov.uk)

The provisions will be debated retrospectively in Parliament today, and are expected to be passed.


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UKHCA News ID: 236405

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Letter from Welsh Government officials to social care workers urging uptake of vaccineLetter from Welsh Government officials to social care workers urging uptake of vaccine

The Deputy Director General of Health and Social Care Services in Wales along with the Chief Medical Officer and others has written to social care workers urging uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine when it is offered.

You can read the letter here.


Announcement posted on:

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Second COVID-19 vaccine arrives in WalesSecond COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Wales

Following the authorisation of the AstraZeneca vaccine as safe by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the first vaccinations of this vaccine have taken place in Wales.

Two doses will be needed, with an interval of between four and 12 weeks between doses. This is a change from previous advice of a four week gap between doses, as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that as many people as possible in the top priority groups should sequentially be offered a first vaccine dose as the initial priority.

https://gov.wales/second-covid-19-vaccine-arrives-wales

https://covid19-phwstatement.nhs.wales

The advance in vaccination was accompanied by the news that the four UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed the UK is now at the highest level of risk, level 5.

In the light of that decision the Welsh Government, in consultation with the WLGA and Colegau Cymru, has agreed that all schools, colleges and independent schools should move to online learning until 18 January.

Public Health Wales has issued FAQs on the new variant of COVID-19 which is causing cases to rise:

New Variant of COVID-19: FAQs - Public Health Wales (nhs.wales)




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New Years Honours for UKHCA membersNew Years Honours for UKHCA members

Congratulations to two UKHCA members who have been named in the New Years honours list.

Stephen Trowbridge MD of First City Nursing and Care, and Claudia Sykes CEO of All Seasons Community Support have been recognised for their contributions to the adult social care sector.

Well done to them from all of us at UKHCA.


Announcement posted on:

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Northern Ireland's restrictions to become enforceable in lawNorthern Ireland's restrictions to become enforceable in law

Ministers in Northern Ireland are planning to make their 'stay at home' order effective in law. The country is in the second week of a six-week lockdown, which started on 26 December.

The Executive is due to meet today, and an announcement is also expected on a switch to online learning for schools, which will close for most pupils.

Covid-19: Stay-at-home order set to be given legal force - BBC News

Statement following Executive meeting to discuss Covid-19 | The Executive Office


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Guidance on roll-out of Covid-19 vaccine in Northern IrelandGuidance on roll-out of Covid-19 vaccine in Northern Ireland

The Department of Health has published guidance for health and social care staff in relation to the Covid-19 vaccination programme, which sets out how the roll-out will proceed in Northern Ireland.

This follows updated guidance issued by the Joint Committee on vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the announcement that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been granted approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The guidance reflects the agreement by the four UK Chief Medical Officers with JCVI that prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible will deliver the greatest benefit in the shortest possible time. 

Guidance on rollout of Covid-19 vaccine | Department of Health (health-ni.gov.uk)

Letter from the Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride, 31 December 2020:

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/health/doh-hss-md-94-2020.pdf


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Cold weather alert issuedCold weather alert issued

With more cold weather forecast, Public Health England have issued a cold weather alert that reminds people to heat their homes to 18C, keep moving if possible, have plenty of food and hot drinks and check on frail and older neighbours and relatives.

You can read the alert here

Public Health England's cold weather plan

UKHCA's updated winter planning factsheet

For online winter weather help and advice in other parts of the UK, see:

Wales: https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/environmental-public-health/extreme-cold-weather/

Scotland: https://ready.scot/respond/severe-weather/cold-snow-and-ice

Northern Ireland https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/stay-well-winter

For weather warnings, see Met Office UK Severe Weather Warnings: www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings


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Prime Minister announces return to full national lockdown as coronavirus cases risePrime Minister announces return to full national lockdown as coronavirus cases rise

The Prime Minister has announced a full lockdown will come into effect in England, including school closures. The move came as the UK's coronavirus alert level was raised from 4 to 5, the highest level.

People will have to stay at home as much as possible, and work from home where they can. Limited exceptions will allow shopping for essentials, attending medical appointments and exercising near home.

People can still meet with one person from another household to exercise with outdoors.

Guidance will be issued to the clinically extremely vulnerable, who are asked to shield again.

MPs are expected to vote on the new restrictions on 6 January, which will be enshrined in law with penalties for breaches.

The Prime Minister asked people to observe the lockdown immediately and not wait for it to become law. He said he hoped, if the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the four most vulnerable groups is achieved by mid-February, it may be possible to start lifting restrictions again.

National lockdown: Stay at Home guidance.

Prime Minister's address to the nation: 4 January 2021 speech.

Prime Minister announces national lockdown press release.

COVID-19 alert level: update from the UK Chief Medical Officers


Announcement posted on:

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UKHCA on the Covid-19 vaccine for homecare workersUKHCA on the Covid-19 vaccine for homecare workers

Commenting on the Covid-19 vaccinations for the adult social care sector, including homecare workers, UKHCA's Policy Director Colin Angel said:

“We are really encouraged that employers tell us that they expect a high take-up of the coronavirus vaccine amongst the homecare workforce. It is really important for our front-line workers, and for the safety and confidence of people using essential care and support at home.
 
UKHCA has been working with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England to ensure that the vaccination process will be effective. It needs to satisfy high levels of demand and must cover the wide range of working arrangements amongst our workforce, including those who may work a significant distance from their employers’ base.
 
“The date for wide-scale vaccination of homecare workers and personal assistants has not yet been confirmed. We, like everyone else, hope that it will be announced as soon as it is agreed.”

Ends

Notes for Editors

1. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,150 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

2. As a member-led professional association, UKHCA’s purpose is to enable a strong, sustainable, innovative, and person-led homecare sector to flourish. We represent and support our members so that people can live well and independently at home.

3. For further information please contact:
Matthew Kiernan, Press Officer
United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd
Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH
Telephone: 020 8661 8188
Mobile: 07393 012113
E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk
Twitter: @ukhca
Registered in England, No. 3083104.


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UKHCA featured on LBC NewsUKHCA featured on LBC News

UKHCA's Policy Director Colin Angel was recently interviewed on LBC News by Sandy Warr, discussing the future reform of social care funding. Full interview here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236396

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People in Scotland to go into lockdown from 5 January 2021People in Scotland to go into lockdown from 5 January 2021

The First Minister has announced a lockdown to curb the spread of the new variant of COVID-19.

A legal requirement will come into effect to stay at home from midnight, 4 January 2021.This will apply in Scotland for the whole of January. Those in level 4 cannot leave home except for an essential purpose and people should work at home if they can. People can only travel to work if they cannot work from home.

A maximum of two people from up to two households can meet outdoors, not including children aged 11 and under, who can play outdoors in larger groups. All others, including 12 to 17-year-olds, can only exercise outdoors if they comply with the two households rule.

No-one can travel in or out of Scotland unless it is essential.

Schools will move to online learning and stay closed until 1 February except for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

Scotland in lockdown

Coronavirus (COVID-19): stay at home guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's statement - Monday 4 January 2021


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New vaccine roll out commences in ScotlandNew vaccine roll out commences in Scotland

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has welcomed news of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) approval of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the UK.

The vaccine has been procured on behalf of the four nations by the UK Government, who have ordered 100 million doses, of which Scotland will get 8.2% based on its population.

The vaccine roll out commenced from 4 January in Scotland, starting in settings they have already been delivering in, and moving out into more community settings from the 11 January.

Approval for new COVID-19 vaccine

Roll-out of Astrazeneca vaccine gets underway

Resources on vaccination for social care employers and their staff: COVID-19 vaccinations - COVID-19 - Our areas of work - Public Health Scotland

Weekly data on vaccination in Scotland:

COVID-19 Vaccination in Scotland: Weekly Data - News - Public Health Scotland


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UKHCA News ID: 236399

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RQIA seeks new Chief ExecutiveRQIA seeks new Chief Executive

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority is recruiting a new Chief Executive. Further information:

Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority - RQIA

Dr Tony Stevens, former chief executive of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, was appointed interim chief executive last summer. RQIA appoints former trust boss as interim chief executive - BBC News


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236401

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Time approaching to complete annual return in ScotlandTime approaching to complete annual return in Scotland

The Care Inspectorate has given early warning that services will be able to complete their annual return from 18 January 2021 through the online eForms system: https://eforms.careinspectorate.com

The deadline for completion is 28 February 2021.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236390

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Updated shielding guidance issued in ScotlandUpdated shielding guidance issued in Scotland

Following the introduction of restrictions to prevent the spread of the new variant strain of COVID-19, Scotland's Chief Medical Officer has issued updated guidance to people on the shielding list. Letters will also be sent to those on the shielding list with extra advice at Level 4.

http://mygov.scot/shielding

Table of advice according to level for those at the highest risk in Scotland


Announcement posted on:

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Guidance to the health and care sector - UK-EU Trade and Co-operation AgreementGuidance to the health and care sector - UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement

UKHCA emailed members in December about data adequacy, and preparations for the end of the EU transition period. Subsequently, a raft of guidance has been issued.

Health Minister Edward Argar wrote to the health and social care sectors on 30 December 2020 about the new UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement and the government's preparations for 1 January 2021.The letter covers continuity of supply, reciprocal healthcare, health security and science, data and professional qualifications.

Letter to the health and care sector about the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement

Guidance for the health and care sector from 1 January 2021

New guidance has also been issued on using personal data in your business or other organisation. This sets outs what action you need to take regarding data protection and data flows with the EU/EEA, following concerns about data adequacy.

Using personal data in your business or other organisation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The guidance states the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement contains a bridging mechanism that allows the continued free flow of personal data from the EU/EEA to the UK after the transition period until adequacy decisions come into effect, for up to 6 months. EU adequacy decisions for the UK would allow for the ongoing free flow of data from the EEA to the UK. As a sensible precaution, before and during the bridging mechanism, it is recommended that you work with EU/EEA organisations who transfer personal data to you to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to safeguard against any interruption to the free flow of EU to UK personal data.

Separately, new guidance has been issued on reporting to the National Supply Disruption Response, the last resort if there is disruption to supplies.

Reporting to the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR)

There is updated guidance on accessing healthcare for citizens from EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland living in or moving to the UK at:

Healthcare for EU citizens living in or moving to the UK

There is a guidance on how the border with the EU will work here:

The Border Operating Model - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


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Updated guidance for social care staff and pregnant women on vaccinationUpdated guidance for social care staff and pregnant women on vaccination

Updated guidance has been issued to social care staff in England on COVID-19 vaccination, which includes changes on the timing of second vaccinations:

COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for social care staff:

Following the authorisation of Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine's by UK medicines regulator, there was a statement on prioritising first doses of the vaccine:

Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine authorised by UK medicines regulator

Regulatory approval of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on the prioritisation of first doses of COVID-19 vaccines

JCVI issues advice on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI statement on alteration to scheduling of second vaccination: COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a

Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination: advice from the JCVI, 30 December 2020

The social care staff guidance cross refers to further guidance on vaccination for women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding at:

COVID-19 vaccination: women of childbearing age, currently pregnant or breastfeeding


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236388

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Changes to tiers in England and revision of timetable for return to schoolChanges to tiers in England and revision of timetable for return to school

The Government has implemented changes to the tiering system of restrictions to contain COVID-19 in England, including expanding Tier 4 areas from 31 December 2020:

Full list of local restriction tiers by area

Formal tiering review update: 30 December 2020

Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 30 December 2020

Review of local restriction tiers: 30 December 2020

There have also been changes to dates for pupils returning to school:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Education and childcare This has a facility to sign up for updates.

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges

Critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236387

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New guidance on offering a vaccine to someone who lacks mental capacityNew guidance on offering a vaccine to someone who lacks mental capacity

The guidance for health and social care staff in England who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity now has a new sub-section on 'offering a vaccine to someone who lacks the relevant mental capacity', which includes how an individual 'best interests' decision should be taken.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance


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Information to promote 'Hands. Face. Space.'Information to promote 'Hands. Face. Space.'

PHE resources and posters to target key behaviours and to promote the core message 'Hands. Face. Space'. Download these new assets from the PHE Campaign Resource Centre.

Coronavirus Resources - Coronavirus Resource centre (phe.gov.uk)

The resources include those on COVID-19 vaccination and encouraging better health in 2021 to co-incide with a new PHE campaign.


Announcement posted on:

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New guidance on supporting people you care for to have video callsNew guidance on supporting people you care for to have video calls

The Care Inspectorate in Scotland have published a guide on helping people you care for to have video calls which outlines best practice.

You can access the guide here.


Announcement posted on:

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Alert levels in Wales for Social Care ServicesAlert levels in Wales for Social Care Services

The Welsh Government have published further detail on their Coronavirus control plan outlining what the alert levels mean for Social Care services in Wales. This includes, for example, the frequency at which testing is undertaken at different alert levels. All of Wales is now in Alert Level 4.

Alert levels in Wales for Social Care Services


Announcement posted on:

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New Christmas GuidanceNew Christmas Guidance

New guidance has been issued regarding Christmas:

Guidance for the Christmas period - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Guidance has also been issued clarifying Christmas travel rules:

Rules on travel over the Christmas Period - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Additional guidance has also been released on forming Christmas bubbles in Supported Living settings:

Making a Christmas bubble if you live in a supported living setting - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

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New funding announced to support devolved administrations through COVID-19New funding announced to support devolved administrations through COVID-19

The UK Government has announced a further £800m of additional funding to support the devolved administrations through COVID-19 including £400m for Scotland and £200m each for Wales and Northern Ireland.

Read more


Announcement posted on:

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Further evidence on Lateral Flow devicesFurther evidence on Lateral Flow devices

Public Health England has undertaken a rapid evaluation of whether lateral flow devices are effective in detecting the new COVID-19 variant. Their findings support the effectiveness of the tests. Further details.

They have also published an evidence summary on the use of lateral flow tests in care homes. This comes as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced the use of lateral flow tests twice weekly for care home staff. In some parts of the country (for example Wales) lateral flow tests will be used for the homecare workforce.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236378

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Preparing for EU transition in adult social carePreparing for EU transition in adult social care

There is a new letter (dated 21 December) from the Director General of Adult Social Care at the Department of Health and Social Care to adult social care providers on preparations for the end of the transition period. This draws together information and messaging about contingency plans.

You can access the letter here.

See also, the Business Continuity Planning advice from the Care Provider Alliance.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236379

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SolarWinds Orion - cyber security adviceSolarWinds Orion - cyber security advice

Anyone using the SolarWinds Orion IT management package should take immediate action to ensure cyber security. Find out more.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236380

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New strain of virus from South Africa leading to immediate travel restrictions and quarantine.New strain of virus from South Africa leading to immediate travel restrictions and quarantine.

A new strain of the virus found in South Africa has meant that there will be immediate travel restrictions on travel to and from South Africa. Known cases of the new variant in the UK and their close contacts will be quarantied. Anyone who has been to South Africa in the last fortnight and their close contacts must quarantine immediately.

The new strain is being further investigated.

Secretary of State's speech.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variant from South Africa identified in UK - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Travel ban implemented to protect public health following South Africa COVID-19 outbreak - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

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Further areas in England moved to Tier 4 from Boxing DayFurther areas in England moved to Tier 4 from Boxing Day

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced that several areas in the East and South East of England will be moving from Tier 3 to Tier 4 on 26 December in order to address rising case numbers due to the new strain of the virus.

In addition, some other parts of the country will be increasing from Tier 1 to Tier 2 or Tier 2 to Tier 3.

You can find a full list of local restriction levels here.

Secretary of State's speech.

Press release


Announcement posted on:

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New advice for those in Wales who are clinically extremely vulnerableNew advice for those in Wales who are clinically extremely vulnerable

The Welsh Government has issued advice to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable (who were previously shielding) that they should no longer attend work or school outside the home. This is particularly the case for those whose work requires them to be in regular or sustained contact with other people, or where individuals share a poorly ventilated workspace for long periods.

Letters from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales (CMO) will be issued confirming this advice but will take some time to reach individuals due to the festive period. These letters can be used as evidence for the purposes of claiming statutory sick pay.

You can read the letter here.


Announcement posted on:

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Green Paper: Transforming public procurementGreen Paper: Transforming public procurement

The Government is consulting on speeding up and simplifying procurement processes in a Green Paper issued recently, that proposes a range of reforms to public procurement in the UK. We have received confirmation from the Cabinet Office that the proposals will affect Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities commissioning social care. The scope of the reforms is all contracting authorities not undertaking devolved functions and that includes the wider public sector as well as central government. Consultation paper

The consultation deadline is 10 March 2021. UKHCA will be considering the detail of the consultation over the coming weeks.


Announcement posted on:

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Northern Ireland Executive limits Christmas bubbling to one dayNorthern Ireland Executive limits Christmas bubbling to one day

The Northern Ireland Executive has announced Christmas bubbling will be reduced to one day between 23 and 27 December, to ensure flexibility for those working on Christmas Day.

The Executive advises the safest place to spend Christmas is at home. Those who feel they need to meet with their bubble should keep it as small and short as possible, and as close to home as possible.

The Executive is urging people to travel only if absolutely necessary and is keeping issues under review.

Executive statement on Christmas arrangements - 21 December 2020


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Guidance on shielding issued to those in Tier 4 areas of EnglandGuidance on shielding issued to those in Tier 4 areas of England

The Government has issued guidance for those shielding in Tier 4 areas of England, similar to that issued in the November lockdown, strongly advising people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (as defined in the guidance) to work from home because the risk of exposure to the virus in their area may be significantly higher.

People can go outside, but should try to keep all contact with others outside of their household to a minimum, and avoid busy areas. They are advised to stay at home as much as possible. People cannot meet with friends and family they do not live with unless they are part of their support bubble, and should try to stay 2 metres away from other people within their household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate. The guidance has up to date advice on travel, getting medication, shopping, receiving care and support, and financial support for those shielding.

Letters will be sent to those affected later this week, although DHSC say this may take slightly longer than usual due to Christmas. Template below:

Letter to clinically extremely vulnerable people updated 23 December 2020

Anyone in Tier 4 areas who received the shielding letter in November and whose condition hasn't changed should follow that advice immediately. Letters will also be sent by email.

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

Those with more general underlying health conditions or people aged 70 or over are also advised to stay at home as much as possible, to carefully follow the rules and minimise contact. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable but living in Tiers 1 to 3 should follow existing general guidance. There is no specific shielding guidance for them.


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Brief information published on new variant of COVID-19Brief information published on new variant of COVID-19

Public Health England has published brief information about the new variant of COVID-19 that is increasing in Tier 4 areas of England, and could potentially spread to other areas. PHE say the new strain transmits more easily than the previous variant but there is no evidence that it is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality.

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): information about the new virus variant - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

This is a rapidly changing situation, affecting both restrictions applied by UK and devolved governments and travel arrangements with Europe and other countries.


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Alert level four restrictions now apply in WalesAlert level four restrictions now apply in Wales

Alert level four restrictions have been brought forward in Wales, in line with the action taken in London and the South East of England following the rise in a new strain of COVID-19.

The restrictions applied from 00.01 am on 20 December and mean non-essential retail, close contact services, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality are now closed and stay-at-home restrictions have come into effect.

Christmas guidance has been changed, so two households are only allowed to come together to form a Christmas bubble on Christmas Day.

Throughout the alert level four period, a single person household will be able to join with one other household.

First Minister statement - 19 December


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Tough new restrictions for England following rise in COVID-19 variant casesTough new restrictions for England following rise in COVID-19 variant cases

The Prime Minister has announced tough new restrictions in England from 20 December, following the rise in transmission of a variant of COVID-19.

The London and the South East areas recently elevated from Tier 2 to Tier 3, are now in a new Tier 4, with restrictions similar to the November lockdown except communal worship can continue.

Everyone, in all tiers, is asked to stay local. People should carefully consider whether they need to travel abroad and follow rules in their tier.

Those in tier 4 areas are not permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as for work.

At Christmas, in England, those living in tier 4 areas should not mix with anyone outside their own household, though support bubbles remain for those at particular risk of loneliness.

In other areas of England, Christmas rules allowing up to three households to meet are now limited to Christmas Day.

The next formal review of tiers is on 30 December.

Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 19 December 2020

Local restriction tiers: what you need to know 

Guidance - Full list of local restriction tiers by area

Guidance for the Christmas period


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UKHCA News ID: 236367

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First Minister announces variant preventative measures for ScotlandFirst Minister announces variant preventative measures for Scotland

Following confirmation of a new variant of COVID-19 in the UK, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced preventative measures:

People from Scotland must not visit other parts of the UK and vice versa. Cross border travel for all but the most essential purposes is not permitted, with enforcement stengthened.

The law allowing indoor mixing in a bubble now applies on Christmas Day only, from 00.01 am on Christmas Day to 00.01 am on Boxing Day. A maximum of 8 people from 3 households is allowed, with advice to minimise numbers as far as possible.

Travel is only allowed within Scotland on Christmas Day. The Government says if people cannot get there and back in the same day, don't go, and don't go unless there is genuinely no alternative.

Level 4 measures will apply to all of mainland Scotland for three weeks from 00.01 am on Boxing Day, except Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, and the other island communities which will go into level 3 with strict restrictions on who can travel to and from them.

All these levels will be reviewed after two weeks.

School re-opening in the new year will be postponed by a week, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children who can attend school. There will be online learning for other pupils until at least 18 January.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's speech - 19 December


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Delegated healthcare tasksDelegated healthcare tasks

Skills for Care have produced two guides about delivering healthcare tasks that are delegated by a registered healthcare professional such as a nurse or occupational therapist.

The guides are intended to clarify roles and responsibilities and assist with decision making (for example, about whether to take on a task and how to manage tasks). The guides do not explain how to undertake specific tasks.

Find out more.


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UKHCA News ID: 236366

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COVID-19 vaccination - pregnancy, allergies and flu vaccinesCOVID-19 vaccination - pregnancy, allergies and flu vaccines

Some further information has been released on the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Advice confirming that while evidence reviewed so far raises no concerns for the safety of the vaccine in pregnancy, the MHRA wants to see more non-clinical data before finalising the advice for being vaccinated when pregnant.
  • Information on the Pfeizer vaccine has been updated and guidance has been issued on managing allergic reactions to the vaccine: "Any person with a history of immediate-onset anaphylaxis to a vaccine, medicine or food should not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. A second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should not be given to those who have experienced anaphylaxis to the first dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination."
  • The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee have also advised that the possibility of getting a COVID-19 vaccine should not stop people from getting a flu vaccine at the earliest opportunity (if they are not already vaccinated).

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Meeting and supporting winter staffing needsMeeting and supporting winter staffing needs

Skills for Care are sharing best practice examples of how providers and local authorities in England are managing workforce capacity this winter.

If you would like to find out more, or have a best practice example to share, follow this link.


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New Research and Resources round up - 18 DecemberNew Research and Resources round up - 18 December

The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care in Wales has launched two resources to raise awareness of older people's rights. Find out more.

The King's Fund blog: Care worker pay - the national living wage is not enough.

A new NICE, Royal College of General Practitioers and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network guideline has been published on managing the long-term effects of COVID-19. Read more

NICE have also published a rapid guideline on the use of Vitamin D in the context of COVID-19.

Housing Learning and Improvement Network have published a paper on What is the goal of advanced telecare provision for older people?

House of Commons, Women and Equalities Commitee: Unequal impact? Coronavirus and BAME people

The CQCs latest COVID Insight report includes statistics on availability of PPE and prevalence of COVID within homecare.

The Health Foundation, data: Understanding the needs of those most clinically vulnerable to COVID-19

EY and Oxygen Finance: Local Government Third Party Spend 2019/2020 Almanac


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UKHCA News ID: 236361

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EU transition update for members in WalesEU transition update for members in Wales

An update on the EU transition for the health and social care sector in Wales has been published. This covers topics from data preparedness and the EU Settlement Scheme through to supply of critical goods.

You can access the guidance here.

Further information on the end of the EU transition period in Wales.


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Northern Ireland lockdown to commence after ChristmasNorthern Ireland lockdown to commence after Christmas

New restrictions are expected to begin in Northern Ireland from Boxing Day and the first phase of these will last until 2nd January. These will return the country to a stricter lockdown similar to that seen in March with non-essential shops closing and people being urged to leave their homes only for essential reasons. No indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind will be permitted. No household mixing will be permitted indoors or in private gardens (except for emergencies/health and care services). Stronger advice is anticipated for those previously shielding.

Further details.


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UKHCA News ID: 236360

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Guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme for applicants who have been affected by COVID-19 restrictionsGuidance on the EU Settlement Scheme for applicants who have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions

The Home Office have issued guidance for EU Settlement Scheme applicants who have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions. This may be of relevance to individuals who were furloughed or whose continuous qualifying period was disrupted due to coronavirus restrictions, for example.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): EU Settlement Scheme - guidance for applicants - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 - guidance for applicants - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 


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CPA briefing on Infection Control Fund reportingCPA briefing on Infection Control Fund reporting

The Care Provider Alliance have issued a briefing on care provider reporting to local authorities in relation to the Infection Control Fund round 2. While aspects of this briefing are more relevant to care homes, members may find this of interest.

Adult Social Care Infection Fund: CPA Briefing note for care providers on reporting to local authorities - Care Provider Alliance


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UKHCA News ID: 236358

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Extension of Furlough Scheme to April 2021Extension of Furlough Scheme to April 2021

Rishi Sunak has announced a further extension of the furlough scheme by one month, until the end of April 2021. COVID-19 business loan schemes will also be extended until the end of March 2021.

He has also announced that the budget will be delivered on 3 March 2021.

Press release


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UKHCA News ID: 236354

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NHS Test and Trace business planNHS Test and Trace business plan

Users who are instructed to isolate via the NHS Test and Trace app will now be eligible to claim the £500 Support Payment, if they meet the criteria.

The next phase of development of the service will focus on increasing the spped and reach of the service, better use of real time data, partnering with local leaders and responsiveness to feedback and collaboration with the public.

Press release


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UKHCA News ID: 236355

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Health and Wellbeing of the Adult Social Care WorkforceHealth and Wellbeing of the Adult Social Care Workforce

The Department of Health & Social Care have collected resources to support the health and wellbeing of the care workforce:

"This guidance includes tips, advice and toolkits that employers and managers can use to help build the resilience of their team and address any concerns their staff may have. There is also a section that provides guidance on how all those working in social care can manage their personal mental health in the current circumstances."

Find out more


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UKHCA News ID: 236356

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Provisional local government finance settlement announced for England 2021/22Provisional local government finance settlement announced for England 2021/22

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government have published the full details of the funding settlement for councils in England in 2021/22.

There will be a £2.2bn increase in funding for core spending including an extra £1 billion for social care. The social care funding comes from a £300 million social care grant and a 3% Adult Social Care Council Tax precept.

See UKHCA's response to the Spending Review

See the document collection

Press release

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have also responded to the Redmond review of local authority financial reporting and external audit. 


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UKHCA News ID: 236353

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Scam emails - including about COVID-19 vaccinesScam emails - including about COVID-19 vaccines

Digital Social Care have had reports from care providers that they are receiving an increase in phishing emails, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine.

This article outlines how you can spot scams, how to avoid them and what to do if you think you're a victim.


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UKHCA News ID: 236352

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New research and data round up 17 December 2020New research and data round up 17 December 2020

The University of Birmingham have completed a study looking into the experiences of older people who self-fund their care. Further information.

The Government has responded to the Joint Committee on Human Rights report on COVID-19, including recommendation related to the Care Act easements, support for local authorities and care providers, PPE and the use of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resucitation decisions.

The House of Lords Economics Affairs Committee have published a report on Employment and COVID-19. The report calls on the Government to "significantly expand the number of social care workers by increasing funding in the sector with stipulations that funding should be used to raise wages and improve training and conditions."

PSSRU have published their Unit Costs for Health and Social Care 2020.

National Audit Office reports which may be of interest include:

The Equality and Human Rights Commission's Human Rights Tracker is showing regression in the realisation of rights in relation to social care and independent living.

The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman has published its annual report.

A number of new statistics have been published by NHS Digital including:

The ONS have published data on estimating the prevalence of long COVID symptons and COVID-19 complications and report that 1 in 5 people still have symptoms after 5 weeks.

The ONS have produced an interactive tool to explore the latest Coronavirus insights.

The ONS have also collected data on what we know so far about ethnicity and COVID-19.

The Welsh Government and the Wales Cooperative Centre have published a report on Supporting Care Commissioners and Procurers to promote "social value" models of delivery.

Kent and Medway CCG have announced the mobilisation of an integrated health and social care record system.

ARCO and the LLA have published a report outlining survey findings exploring older people's housing and care needs suggesting demand for a wider range of options.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236350

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A Minimum Price for Homecare – Version 8.0 - April 2021 to March 2022A Minimum Price for Homecare – Version 8.0 - April 2021 to March 2022

UKHCA has published its new Minimum Price for Homecare - Version 8.0 - April 2021 to March 2022.

United Kingdom Homecare Association's Minimum Price for Homecare services of £21.43 per hour from April 2021 allows full compliance with the National Living Wage and the delivery of sustainable quality homecare services to local authorities and the NHS.

UKHCA is committed to using the best available data to support our calculations. Pricing assumptions in this latest version have been updated for the National Living Wage, and increased costs of certain items of personal protective equipment (PPE) and insurance premiums as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Equivalent calculations for the voluntary UK Living Wage, the Scottish Living Wage and the London Living Wage between November 2020 and October 2021 are also included.

UKHCA Policy Director, Colin Angel, said: "Councils and the NHS must recognise the true costs of homecare. Paying providers fees which in some cases barely cover the costs of the wage-bill continues to destabilise an already fragile state-funded market. Persistently underestimating providers’ business costs is taking a risk with the quality of services, the experience of the workforce, and providers’ ability to comply with the legal requirements placed on them."

Link to full resource


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Update on Christmas guidanceUpdate on Christmas guidance

The Prime Minister has urged caution for Christmas gatherings and encouraged people to have smaller, shorter, meetings with family. He has encouraged people to avoid travelling from high prevalence to low prevalence areas, to avoid seeing people in the days leading up to Christmas and to to avoid staying away from home overnight if possible. He has suggested that older people consider delaying seeing family indoors until after they have been vaccinated.

A joint statement with the Devolved Administrations re-emphasises considering meeting outdoors and advises to 'only form a [Christmas] bubble if you absolutely need to."

Meanwhile, the Welsh Government has advised that only two households should meet and stricter restrictions will come into force after Christmas.

In Scotland, the First Minister has strongly advised celebrating Christmas within your own household. If meeting others it was recommended to do so on only one day if possible. Considering meeting outside was recommended.

We are awaiting details on Northern Ireland. 

Prime Minister's Statement

Joint statement UK administrations

Updated Christmas bubble guidance (England)

Updated guidance for the Christmas period (England)

Welsh Government announcement

Scottish Government Press Release


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UKHCA News ID: 236349

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Discharge arrangements in Wales updatedDischarge arrangements in Wales updated

The Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales has announced that the arrangements for discharge have been updated. This means that if a person tests positive but has a Cycle Threshold number of 35 or above they are no longer deemed to be infectious and (if they meet other criteria such as having been free from fever for three days, other symptoms showing improvement and 14 days having elabsed since the last positive test/onset of symptoms) they can return home without being considered to pose a risk to others

Further information


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UKHCA News ID: 236345

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New guidance on testing before going to hospitalNew guidance on testing before going to hospital

New guidance has been published on testing for coronavirus before a planned hospital admission. This may be of relevance to some people being supported by homecare services.

The guidance is available here.


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UKHCA News ID: 236343

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London, South Essex, and South Hertfordshire to move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 restrictionsLondon, South Essex, and South Hertfordshire to move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 restrictions

Tier 3 Restrictions will apply in all 32 London boroughs and the City of London, parts of Essex and parts of Hertfordshire from 00.01 am on 16 December, because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in these areas.

London, South Essex, and South Hertfordshire to move to Tier 3 restrictions

Local tier restrictions - what you need to know

Full list of restrictions by tier

The change of tier came as the Health and Social Care Secretary announced a variant of COVID-19 may be associated with rising rates in the South and East of England:

Health and Social Care Secretary's statement on coronavirus: 14 December 2020

PHE investigating a novel strain of COVID-19


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236342

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Questions raised about insurance in the adult social care sectorQuestions raised about insurance in the adult social care sector

A question was asked in the House of Lords recently by Baroness Hayman of Ullock, Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), on what progress the government have made in ensuring care homes are granted insurance indemnity under the same terms as provided for the NHS under the Coronavirus Act 2020. In reply, Lord Bethell, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, said:

'We recognise that the adult social care insurance market is changing in response to the pandemic. We are working closely across Government, with care providers and insurance representatives to understand the breadth and severity of the issues, and whether there is any action the Government should take to support the sector.'

The Care Provider Alliance recently released an updated briefing on insurance, plus insurance survey findings from September: COVID-19: Insurance, risks and possible liabilities - Care Provider Alliance


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236339

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Social care brand identity in WalesSocial care brand identity in Wales

Building on the social care worker card, Social Care Wales are asking for views on whether there should be a brand identity for the social care workforce in Wales.

There is a short survey to gather views - available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236340

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Important consultation on enshrining integrated care systems in legislationImportant consultation on enshrining integrated care systems in legislation

NHS England has published an important consultation outlining the rationale and proposed next steps for legislation aimed at building strong and effective integrated care systems across England. The document Integrating care - Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems sets out two options for enshrining ICSs in legislation.

The so-called 'NHS Bill' could lead to substantial changes to ways of working across the health and care system in future, so homecare providers need to be aware of this. UKHCA has emailed members to ask for their views, so we can include them in our consultation response. To comment, please take the survey included in our email alert of 7 December by 16 December 2020.

To respond direct to the consultation, see the NHS online survey at: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/building-a-strong-integrated-care-system/ which closes on 8 January 2021.


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UKHCA News ID: 236336

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Survey on PPE for AGPs reopenedSurvey on PPE for AGPs reopened

The survey that DHSC carried out to identify which CQC-regulated providers in England need access to PPE for AGPs has been re-opened so it can collect more feedback from providers.

The link to the survey was sent out to the contact in your organisation who is registered to order from the PPE Portal, so if you wish to comment on this subject, please do complete the survey.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236341

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Secondary school pupils in Wales to learn from home from MondaySecondary school pupils in Wales to learn from home from Monday

Secondary school pupils in Wales will be moving to learning online from Monday 14 December in the latest restrictions.

Find out more


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UKHCA News ID: 236333

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Resources for Wales - Induction Framework, Health and Wellbeing and COVID-19 vaccinesResources for Wales - Induction Framework, Health and Wellbeing and COVID-19 vaccines

The following resources may be of interest to members in Wales:


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236334

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New COVID-19 control plan for WalesNew COVID-19 control plan for Wales

The First Minister has outlined a new COVID-19 control plan for Wales. The plan includes four 'alert levels'. The lowest level (one) represents relatively low risk and the closest to normality we are likely to see before widespread vaccination. The highest is level four - very high risk - and this represents a full lockdown. Wales is currently at level three - high risk.

The First Minister has emphasised that the situation in Wales is very serious and that there is the possibility of moving to alert level four following Christmas should things not improve.

Announcement

Explanation of the alert levels

Written Statement


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236335

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Self isolation period to reduce to 10 days for contacts of positive cases and travellersSelf isolation period to reduce to 10 days for contacts of positive cases and travellers

The self-isolation period will be reduced to 10 days for contacts of positive cases, travellers and others who were previously expected to self isolate for 14 days.

This change will apply from Monday 14 December in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland - it already applies in Wales.

It should be noted that the timings on the NHS test and trace app will not be updated until 17 December.

Read the Chief Medical Officer's statement.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236331

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Regulating managers of registered servicesRegulating managers of registered services

The Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) have issued a joint statement to set out their policy on the regulation of managers in Scotland and to clarify the position regarding applications for managers who do not hold relevant qualifications.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236338

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Good news stories and innovation from the homecare sector – Early-Mid December 2020Good news stories and innovation from the homecare sector – Early-Mid December 2020

Read our latest "Good news stories and innovation from the #homecare sector" blog featuring the great work by UKHCA members.

Link to Blog here

Featuring:
Agincare Group
Bellcare Domiciliary Care Services
Pineshield Health & Social Care Services
Right at Home UK Borehamwood
Kare Plus Croydon
Helping Hands Homecare York
Bluebird Care Fareham
Home Instead Senior Care Cleveland
Caremark (Dartford & Gravesham)
Greenwood Homecare
Westmorland Homecare
Care & Carers Ltd


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UKHCA News ID: 236332

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Coronavirus and ethnicity: a summary of what we knowCoronavirus and ethnicity: a summary of what we know

An article by ONS has brought together previously released data for England and Wales about how people in society are affected by Coronavirus by ethnicity. The article says coronavirus pandemic has hit some parts of society harder than others. When looking at social, economic and environmental factors there are differences, particularly for Black and South Asian ethnic groups.


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UKHCA News ID: 236337

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Data Security and Protection Toolkit: updated for social care providersData Security and Protection Toolkit: updated for social care providers

Adult social care providers now have access to an updated tool to check if they are practising good data security and handling personal information correctly.

The Data Security Protection Toolkit and accompanying guidance have been reviewed to make them more relevant, practical and easier for care providers to use.

The online self-assessment tool enables organisations to measure and enhance their data and cyber security performance, and publish a statement demonstrating the standard of security that they have reached on an annual basis.

You can read more here


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UKHCA News ID: 236330

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Low Pay Commission Report for 2020 LaunchedLow Pay Commission Report for 2020 Launched

On 9 December the Low Pay Commission lauched its report for 2020.

From 1 April 2021, the National Living Wage will increase by 2.2 per cent from £8.72 to £8.91, and will be extended to 23 and 24 year olds for the first time. For workers aged under 23, Commissioners recommended smaller increases in recognition of the risks to youth employment which the current economic situation poses.

You can access the report using this link.

 

 You can access the report using this link.

 You can access the report using this link.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236328

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PPE Portal updates - video and Christmas limitsPPE Portal updates - video and Christmas limits

Christmas limits for the PPE Portal will be temporarily increased.

A video explaining how to use the Portal has also been published. You can view it here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236329

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Homecare Day 2020Homecare Day 2020

Homecare Day 2020 featured the theme of Care Community, and provided a fantastic chance to share good news stories, and innovations that demonstrate the difference that homecare services are making in the lives of people, and their communities, every day – particularly during this most challenging of years.

Here are some UKHCA members who used social media to share their stories at the hashtag: #homecareday

View the blog here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236326

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TLAP's request for BAME care case studiesTLAP's request for BAME care case studies

TLAP are looking for examples that demonstrate good personalised community-based care and support for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

They want to showcase promising practice, whether developed in response to Covid-19 or not, in order to improve people's experience of support.

Project information here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236327

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NI businesses should prepare for end of transition periodNI businesses should prepare for end of transition period

Businesses in Northern Ireland have been warned to get ready for the end of the EU transition period, despite the lack of an outcome of talks between the UK Government and the EU.

The advice is for firms who do not consider themselves importers or exporters to thoroughly consider their supply chains.

Businesses should speak to their suppliers to understand their preparedness, and the impact of market access changes on them.

Economy Minister urges businesses to prepare for end of transition period


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236320

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Still time for eligible people to have free flu vaccinationStill time for eligible people to have free flu vaccination

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging people in Northern Ireland who fall into an eligible group to get the free flu vaccine and come forward before flu starts circulating in the community.

After some supply issues, there are now adequate stocks.

Health and social care workers, including care workers in the independent sector can get the flu vaccine free this year either through their Trust's flu clinics or at their local community pharmacy.

The list of participating community pharmacies who are offering the free flu vaccination for health and social care staff is at: www.pha.site/CPFV


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236323

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New MyLearning app for staff in ScotlandNew MyLearning app for staff in Scotland

The Scottish Social Services Council have launched a new 'MyLearning' app to help staff to record their continuous professional learning. The app allows staff to manage learning by setting targets and enabling them to organise, record and share their learning.

Further information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236324

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Icy conditions - information and adviceIcy conditions - information and advice

Guidance has been issued on coping with icy condtions in Northern Ireland, when surfaces may be slippery and driving conditions difficult. The advice is to plan your journey, and check the latest weather and travel advice.

Weather warning in Northern Ireland

UKHCA's Winter Planning Factsheet


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236325

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Covid-19 vaccination programme commences in Northern IrelandCovid-19 vaccination programme commences in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is to closely follow the clinical prioritisation advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), as it rolls out COVID-19 vaccination.

The deployment plan will focus in the coming weeks on:

  • Care home residents and staff (including supported living centres where the clinical risk is considered to be similar to a care home);
  • Health and social care staff working with patient groups at higher risk (including embedded support staff); staff working in higher risk settings;
  • Staff who are themselves at increased personal risk due to being in extremely vulnerable high risk categories or having other defined clinical risk factors.

Vaccination will be dependent on sufficient quantities of vaccine being available, which is expected to be within the first quarter of 2021 for health and social care workers.

Letter from Department of Health to Health and Social Care Trusts


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236319

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Survey on working through the COVID-19 pandemicSurvey on working through the COVID-19 pandemic

Ulster University are undertaking a survey of health and social care workers across the UK about their experience of working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are interested in taking part you can find out more information here. The deadline for responses is the end of January 2021.

This is the second in a series of three surveys. The findings of the first survey are available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236321

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New guidance on recognising the signs of ill-treatment or wilful neglect in ScotlandNew guidance on recognising the signs of ill-treatment or wilful neglect in Scotland

The Scottish Social Services Council have published new guidance on wilful neglect, illtreatment and corporate homicide.

Both front line workers and care providers have responsibilities towards the people they support and must report situations where an offence may have occurred. The new guidance outlines how to spot wilful neglect, illtreatment and corporate homicide and how to report it.

Find out more.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236322

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Self isolation period in Wales reduced to 10 daysSelf isolation period in Wales reduced to 10 days

The self isolation period for contacts of coronavirus cases, travellers and others will be reduced to 10 days rather than 14 days in Wales. This will come into effect on 10 December. The changes will not effect the £500 self-isolation funding.

Statement

Press release


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236316

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New COVID-19 measures announced for Northern IrelandNew COVID-19 measures announced for Northern Ireland

New measures come into effect in Northern Ireland, following the end of the two week circuit breaker.

From 11 December, shops, hairdressers, restaurants, places of worship, hotels and other places can re-open. Pubs selling drink only (wet pubs) will remain closed, with additional financial arrangements being put in place.

Under Christmas household ‘bubbling' arrangements from December 23-27, three households will be able to come together in domestic settings, outdoor public spaces and places of worship. One of the households will be able to include their existing household bubble.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations guidance: restrictions for Christmas

Ministers outline new Covid-19 measures


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236317

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Routine testing in Supported Living and Extra-Care Housing in EnglandRoutine testing in Supported Living and Extra-Care Housing in England

The Department for Health and Social Care will be extending the one-off round of testing for extra-care and supported living to provide routine (asymptomatic) testing for staff and residents in eligible settings.

Coordinators will shortly be able to order test kits every 28 days for their settings. Staff members should conduct testing weekly and residents monthly.

Guidance on the testing process and the opportunity to sign up to informational webinars is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236314

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Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care appointed in EnglandChief Nurse for Adult Social Care appointed in England

The Department for Health and Social Care have appointed Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE as Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care in England as an interim appointment for 6 months. It is intended that a permanent appointment will be made in 2021.

The new role (which formed part of the Adult Social Care Winter Plan), is intended to ensure that there is a leader of, and champion for, social care nursing. It is anticipated that the Chief Nurse will engage with frontline social care nurses and represent their views, provide clinical leadership and work to ensure high quality, personalised and joined up care is delivered.

Press release

Blog by Professor Deborah Sturdy: 'This year has demonstrated that social care nursing has much to offer' | Nursing Times


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236315

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Letter to Welsh businesses on the end of the EU transition periodLetter to Welsh businesses on the end of the EU transition period

The Secretary of State for Wales and the Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Transport, and North Wales have written a joint letter to businesses in Wales encouraging them to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. They will also be holding a webinar on 10 December 11.30-12.30 to discuss support available to businesses to prepare for the transition.

You can read the letter here

Webinar registration.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236313

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Homecare Day - 9th December 2020Homecare Day - 9th December 2020

The contribution of homecare support is to be celebrated across the UK
 
Wednesday 9 December will see an online campaign raising awareness of the crucial role of care at home and housing support services in supporting older and vulnerable citizens across the UK.
 
Homecare Day aims to celebrate what homecare services do, the people that work in them and the achievements of those supported at home. The day also seeks to facilitate wider discussions on the future of homecare and what services should look like.

The day is supported by two leading care bodies, United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) and Scottish Care, who are calling for organisations and individuals across the UK to join them on social media in raising the profile and value of homecare support using the hashtag #homecareday.

Jane Townson, CEO of UKHCA, said:

“Homecare workers have demonstrated outstanding care, kindness and dedication throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to their hard work, homecare has proved itself a relatively safe option. Many people have been supported to live well at home which has given families peace of mind when they were restricted from visiting themselves. Investing in homecare improves lives and saves money for the health and care system. We will continue to press governments in all of the UK administrations to recognise the value of homecare to society, including its direct and indirect contributions to the economy, and fund it adequately.”

Dr Donald Macaskill, CEO of Scottish Care, said:
 
“Throughout the pandemic thousands of women and men have left their homes every day to go out and care for and support others. They are the heart of our homecare sector and we all owe them a debt of gratitude. This day is an opportunity to recognise their dedication and professionalism every day of the week, regardless of weather, risk or fear. Homecare services allow people to remain independent for as long as possible in their own home. This years’ theme highlights the way that through such professional work homecare helps to foster and create real community. The homecare sector shows us caring and compassion at its best. It is the responsibility of all of us from government down to individual to recognise this contribution and to adequately resource and reward this dedication.”

ENDS

Press Information
 
Homecare Day:
 
To be able to stay in the place you have call home and to remain around family, friends and community is a desire many of us have, maybe most especially when we are ill or requiring support and care. It is this independent living which thousands of home care staff enable people to achieve every day across the UK.
 
Wednesday 9th December is Homecare Day and is an opportunity for us to celebrate the amazing work of the thousands of workers who get up every morning and stay out late into the evening to provide care and support for thousands of citizens. Their work often goes unrecognised and unheralded – but Wednesday is a chance for us to say thank you and to share stories of their work, dedication and professionalism.
 
Homecare Day is also an opportunity for us as a wider society to reflect on the valuable role which homecare plays in the social care and health system. The success of health and social care integration is largely dependent upon the sustainability and success of the care at home and housing support sector. It is this sector which enables people to return home from hospital and to receive adequate care and support and which stops unnecessary admission. Homecare is the backbone of care.

Everyone is invited to use this fantastic opportunity to share any good news stories about this sector. We encourage people and organisations to get involved by sharing content through social media with the hashtag #homecareday.

The theme of the day is Care Community, to highlight how homecare services are essential parts of the health and social care community, as well as local communities in every part of the UK. Homecare services and staff provide high quality, person-centred care to support the health, wellbeing and independence of people in their own homes, with staff demonstrating skill commitment and compassion every day.

About UKHCA:
 
United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,150 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. UKHCA is the professional association for homecare providers. Together we make sure that all of us can live well at home and flourish within our communities.

- Homecare helps almost a million older and disabled people each year to remain independent at home. Nine out of ten people aged 50+ would choose care in their own home
- Over 750,000 people are employed in the UK homecare sector
- 362,235 days a year are spent in hospital from delayed discharges due to lack of homecare (in England alone).
 
About Scottish Care:
 
Scottish Care is a membership organisation and the representative body for independent sector social care services in Scotland, covering private, charitable and not for profit social care organisations delivering residential care, nursing care, day care, care at home and housing support services. Our membership includes organisations of varying types and sizes, amongst them single providers, small and medium sized groups, national providers and family run services. Our members deliver a wide range of registered services for older people as well as those with long term conditions, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, dementia or mental health problems.
 
In Scotland, the independent adult social care sector contributes to:
The employment of over 104,000 people
The provision of 90% of care home places for adults
The delivery of over 55% of homecare hours for older people

The homecare sector in Scotland provides:
Employment to over 71,000 people
Over 2,000 services in communities across the country
Support to nearly 92,000 individuals

www.scottishcare.org

Contact:
 
Feel free to get in touch by emailing:
Scottish Care: comms@scottishcare.org or call on 01292 270240
UKHCA: media@ukhca.co.uk or call on 020 8661 8165


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236311

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Research and resources round-up 7 DecemberResearch and resources round-up 7 December

The CQC have published an interim report on the use of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report finds that there is evidence that DNACPR decisions may have been made inappropriately at the start of the pandemic and there is a risk that some inappropriate DNACPRs may remain in place. Care providers are encouraged to assure themselves that any DNACPRs have been made in discussion with the person involved, and in line with legal requirements and best practice.

The Coronavirus APPG has published an interim report, following its review of the actions the UK Government can take to manage the pandemic. Amongst other things, the APPG has called for "equality of pay, training, career development and workforce planning between the social care sector and the NHS".

The King's Fund have published "What does the autumn 2020 Spending Review mean for health and care?"  

The Good Things Foundation have published a report on Digital Inclusion in Health and Care, amongst other things this highlights the lower levels of access to digital health resources for older adults and the potential benefits of their inclusion.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236309

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New public information leaflets on COVID-19 vaccinationNew public information leaflets on COVID-19 vaccination

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New Care Concierge ServiceNew Care Concierge Service

Legal and General have launched a new Care Concierge Service which is designed to be an online end-to-end journey for those looking to navigate the often complex care world.

The website aims to marry the best in online content, tools and calculators with expert telephone-based support.

https://www.legalandgeneral.com/retirement/care/

The website has been developed in partnership with Care Sourcer and the Society of Later Life Advisers, and refers to UKHCA's calculation of a minimum price for care.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236263

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Green Book now includes provisional details of Astra Zeneca vaccineGreen Book now includes provisional details of Astra Zeneca vaccine

The Green Book, which sets out vaccination information for public health professionals, has been amended to include provisional details of the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccination, as well as the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The guidance is provisional subject to MHRA approval of vaccine supply.

Guidance COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a - Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination information for public health professionals.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236306

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Guidance warns women of childbearing age, pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding not to have Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine until further reviewGuidance warns women of childbearing age, pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding not to have Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine until further review

The Government has issued information for all women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding on coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination.

The guidance advises that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a new type of vaccine that has been shown to be effective and to have a good safety profle. But it has not yet been assessed in pregnancy, so it has been advised that until more information is available, those who are pregnant should not have this vaccine.

Guidance - COVID-19 vaccination: women of childbearing age, currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding This includes a guide that can be printed and circulated.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236307

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Local authorities in England given greater enforcement powersLocal authorities in England given greater enforcement powers

Local authorities in England have been given additional powers from 2 December to maintain COVID-secure environments in their area, so they can issue improvement and restriction noticea to businesses that do not comply with COVID-secure rules.

See the list of the relevant obligations businesses need to meet. The new powers are based in part on the existing health and safety regime.

Additional COVID-19 local authority enforcement powers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236305

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New restrictions to come into force in Wales from 4 DecemberNew restrictions to come into force in Wales from 4 December

New restrictions will come into force in Wales from 6pm on 4 December. This will particularly affect hospitality and entertainment venues and is intended to help control the virus ahead of the festive period.

Further information is available at:

Coronavirus regulations from 4 December: frequently asked questions | GOV.WALES


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236302

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Visa applications have opened for the new points based immigration systemVisa applications have opened for the new points based immigration system

This week, visa applications have opened for those who want to come to work in the UK under the new points-based immigration system that will be in place from January 2021.

While most care workers will not be eligible for the skilled worker route, some senior care workers or registered manager roles may qualify.

See UKHCA comment on the new immigration system.

You can find out more here:

Employer Information for UK Points-Based Immigration System - Helping employers understand the new points-based immigration system (campaign.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236303

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Update to Better Care Fund and funding to support people with disabilities to live independentlyUpdate to Better Care Fund and funding to support people with disabilities to live independently

The government have announced £68 million will be available in grants to support disabled people to adapt their homes so that they can live independently.

Details of the £4 billion Better Care Fund for 2020 to 2021 were also confirmed. The Fund is intended to support the integration of health and social care.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236304

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Good news stories featuring UKHCA members: Early DecemberGood news stories featuring UKHCA members: Early December

Read our latest "Good news stories and innovation from the #homecare sector" blog featuring the great work by UKHCA members, including:

Agincare Group
Right At Home East Lancashire
Helping Hands Homecare Leeds
Home Instead Senior Care UK South Manchester
Caremark (Redditch & Bromsgrove)
Bluebird Care Lincoln
Alina Homecare
Gardiner's Nursing & Homecare
Westwood Homecare

Blog link here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236301

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Wales to roll out routine testing for social care workersWales to roll out routine testing for social care workers

The Welsh Government have announced that routine testing of health and social care staff will be launched in Wales using twice weekly lateral flow tests that produce rapid results.

While the programme will begin to be rolled out from 14 December, staff in 'lower risk' settings (which may include homecare, this is not yet clear) may not have access to testing until January.

We will provide further information when this is available.

Regular rapid COVID testing of frontline health and social care staff in Wales introduced | GOV.WALES

Written Statement: Covid-19 testing of healthcare workers and hospice staff (4 December 2020) | GOV.WALES


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236298

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COVID-19 vaccine roll-out confirmed across WalesCOVID-19 vaccine roll-out confirmed across Wales

The Chief Medical Officer has confirmed that the Welsh Government will soon start rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations across Wales.

The prioritisation of distribution of the vaccination will be according to the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation who publish guidance for the whole of the UK.

COVID-19 vaccine roll-out to start across Wales | GOV.WALES

Written Statement: COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment in Wales (2 December 2020) | GOV.WALES

Public Health Wales have also created a site detailing information on the vaccine: COVID-19 vaccination information - Public Health Wales (nhs.wales)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236299

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Wales travel restriction updateWales travel restriction update

From 6pm on 4 December the travel regulations will be updated to prohibit travel between Wales and tier 3 areas in England, level 3 and 4 areas in Scotland and the whole of Northern Ireland.

Travel to areas of England and Scotland with lower levels of coronavirus restrictions will be advised against (rather than prohibited).

All travel restrictions will be temporarily lifted for Christmas from 23-27 December.

First Minister announces latest coronavirus travel restrictions | GOV.WALES


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236300

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End of Transition Period - keeping data safeEnd of Transition Period - keeping data safe

The government has confirmed that the transition period will end on 31 December 2020 and there will be no extension. On 1 January 2021, the UK will become a "third country" for data protection purposes unless an adequacy decision is reached with the EU. If the European Commission grants an adequacy decision, then no action will need to be taken by social care providers. The briefing (link below) will help you with contingency planning and with what to do if an adequacy decision is not reached by 31 December 2020.

There are three key actions that all adult social care providers should take to prepare for the end of the transition period. Further details are available in the briefing.

  1. Ensure you are compliant with UK GDPR
  2. Check if you transfer personal data in the EU.
  3. Check if any of the software companies you use store personal data in the EU/EEA.

Read the briefing

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236297

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Adult social care workers in Scotland to receive £500Adult social care workers in Scotland to receive £500

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £500 payment for health and social care staff as a one-off payment to thank them for their "extraordinary service" in 2020.

It will be paid to all full-time NHS and adult social care staff, with a proportional share for part-time staff.

Announcement


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236295

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Providing care and support at home to people who have had COVID-19Providing care and support at home to people who have had COVID-19

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has published a quick guide to help homecare workers provide care and support to people who have left hospital after having COVID-19. It explains what to expect as these people return to their lives at home under new circumstances.

SCIE advise that some of the difficulties that people might experience after a discharge from hospital include longer-term damage to the heart and lungs, difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness, fatigue, skin damage, confusion, and wider mental health problems or feelings of reduced wellbeing that affects their ability to resume day-to-day activities.

Members throughout the UK may find this advice helpful.

Read more information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236296

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Local authorities receiving lateral flow testsLocal authorities receiving lateral flow tests

The tests will be issued to directors of public health in the local authorities. (Stoke on Trent, Liverpool and Lancashire have already been provided with lateral flow tests.)

Access the list here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236294

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Winter Planning Factsheet 2020Winter Planning Factsheet 2020

Our winter planning factsheet has been updated for 2020, to help homecare providers address the challenges that can arise when providing care during cold weather, ice and snow.

The factsheet was updated in December 2020, and is available from: https://www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?ID=590#bk1


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236293

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DBS - getting useful referencesDBS - getting useful references

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is holding a consultation about safer recruitment practices, references and conduct information within the social care and health sector.

The online consultation together with workshops will then inform the development of a number of resources - all of which aim to assist social care and health employers where references and evidence of conduct are involved.

Survey: as part of this consultation, DBS is asking organisations within the social care and health sector to take part in a short survey, which focuses on how they currently obtain and provide references, their understanding of references and the part they play within recruitment, and what they would like to gain from this consultation. This survey can be found here.

Further information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236291

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The Care Workers Charity - pressures affecting careworkersThe Care Workers Charity - pressures affecting careworkers

The Care Workers' Charity has published the outcome of research into the most pressing issues affecting care workers today. It concludes with recommendations based on existing successful interventions and suggested solutions to the key issues: mental wellbeing; personal finances; caring responsibilities at home; and management and supervisor support.

Read the report


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236292

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COVID-19 testing available to all homecare workers in England.COVID-19 testing available to all homecare workers in England.

NHS Test and Trace is making weekly COVID-19 testing available to all homecare workers in England

All registered homecare agencies will be contacted with details of how to apply for test kits for their homecare workers. Homecare agencies will be responsible for ordering and distributing test kits to all homecare workers for them to conduct at home on a weekly basis.

The service will be extended shortly to all homecare workers in adult social care, including unregistered organisations, live-in carers, and personal assistants.

Read more information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236290

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Priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination - JCVI advicePriority groups for COVID-19 vaccination - JCVI advice

Advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is that health and social care staff should be the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme. Next will be those at increased risk of hospitalisation and increased risk of exposure.

The Committee reviewed safety and efficacy data for the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine which they say appears to be safe and well-tolerated, with no clinically concerning safety observations.

The data reviewed by JCVI show high efficacy in all age groups (16 years and over), including encouraging results in older adults.

Read more information

Government guidance

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236289

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Updated - Writing an adult safeguarding policy for homecare services in EnglandUpdated - Writing an adult safeguarding policy for homecare services in England

This updated guidance has been designed to help your organisation write or review your own safeguarding policy so that if an incident occurs, everyone understands what steps should be taken.

As with other policies and procedures, carrying out a regular audit of your safeguarding policy is essential. This document includes a suggested safeguarding audit, posing questions which should help you keep your policies up to date.

This guidance compliments UKHCA's Safeguarding training.

More information/Go to UKHCA download ID: 609


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236287

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Covid Pfizer vaccine approved for use next week in UKCovid Pfizer vaccine approved for use next week in UK

The Government has accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer/BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine for use.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will shortly publish its latest advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.

Statement by Matt Hancock to the House of Commons

Government press release

Read more information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236288

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Overview of Liberty Protection SafeguardsOverview of Liberty Protection Safeguards

The Department of Health and Social Care has published an overview of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) process. The LPS will provide protection for people aged 16 and above who are or who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to enable their care or treatment and lack the mental capacity to consent to their arrangements.

People who might have an LPS authorisation include those with dementia, autism and learning disabilities who lack the relevant capacity.

The LPS apply in homecare settings as well as residential and hospital care. They are planned to come into force in April 2022.

Read more information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236284

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Homecare Day: 9th December 2020Homecare Day: 9th December 2020

An online showcase to celebrate and raise awareness of homecare.

We're delighted to announce that UKHCA will be working together with Scottish Care again this year to extend Homecare Day 2020 to every corner of the UK.
 
Homecare Day 2020 will feature the theme of Care Community, and provides a fantastic chance to share good news stories, and innovations that demonstrate the difference that homecare services are making in the lives of people, and their communities, every day - particularly during this most challenging of years.

We're inviting all UKHCA members to use social media to share your stories at the hashtag: #homecareday.

Homecare Day 2020 is a great opportunity to highlight how your homecare services and your teams provide high quality, person-centred care to support the health, wellbeing and independence of people in their own homes, with staff demonstrating skill, commitment and compassion every day

Twitter chat 12pm - 1pm - 9th December

On the day you can also join in a live Twitter chat hosted by Jane Townson, CEO, UKHCA and Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care.

Please join in!


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236285

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Letter to clinically extremely vulnerable people available for referenceLetter to clinically extremely vulnerable people available for reference

The Department of Health and Social Care has made available the template of the letter it is sending to clinically extremely vulnerable people in England about tiered restrictions from 2 December, revised restrictions over the Christmas period and the availability of free Vitamin D supplements. This letter is reference only.

Template letter


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236283

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Information for care providers on preparing for end of Brexit transition periodInformation for care providers on preparing for end of Brexit transition period

UKHCA attended a DHSC Adult Social Care roundtable recently on Brexit Transition, which involved stakeholders from the sector and senior officials from the EU Exit and Adult Social Care DHSC teams. The following information, which followed the roundtable, may be useful to providers:

The issue of data as it affects adult social care providers is still being discussed.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236282

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At-risk groups to be offered free vitamin D supplements from JanuaryAt-risk groups to be offered free vitamin D supplements from January

The Department of Health and Social Care is to offer a free 4-month supply of vitamin D supplements from January 2021 to support general health, and in particular bone and muscle health, to anyone in England who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

All care homes will automatically receive supplements for their residents, while individuals on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list will receive a letter inviting them to 'opt in' for a supply to be delivered free, directly to their homes.

New guidance explains who should opt in and how the supplements should be consumed and stored. People are advised to read the guidance in full before deciding whether to opt in, as vitamin D supplements are not suitable for everyone. Those who are already in receipt of Vitamin D supplements from their GP should not participate in the scheme, and should follow dosage instructions from their GP.

Those who decide to opt into the new initiative, need to register their details between 30 November 2020 and 4 January 2021 at nhs.uk/get-vitamin-d

Press release: At-risk groups to receive free winter supply of vitamin D

Guidance: Vitamin D supplements: how to take them safely

Jayne Easterbrook UKHCA's medication trainer, suggests where people who use homecare services lack capacity to decide whether to opt in, the provider may wish to check if there is someone with power of attorney for health and wellbeing. If not, then advice should be sought from the GP so a 'best interests' decision can be taken.

The DHSC initiative is accompanied by a statement from PHE and NICE on vitamin D supplementation during winter which advises 'everyone, particularly the elderly, those who don't get outside and those with dark skin, takes a vitamin D supplement containing 10 micrograms (400IU) every day'.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236281

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Summary of COVID-19 restrictions in DecemberSummary of COVID-19 restrictions in December

The Cabinet Office has issued a one page summary of what people can and cannot do over the Christmas period, which covers the period from 2 December to 23 December, when tiered restrictions apply, and from 23 December to 27 December, when households can choose to form a Christmas bubble with up to two other households.

This guidance mostly refers to England but there are some UK-wide provisions.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236280

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Strengthened restrictions in Wales anticipated from Friday 4 DecemberStrengthened restrictions in Wales anticipated from Friday 4 December

Today Mark Drakeford announced that there would be further specific and targeted action to strengthen existing measures. Details on the restrictions and the financial support accompanying them will be agreed over the weekend and are due to be announced on Monday. It is expected to mean that indoor entertainment venues (such as cinemas and bowling alleys) would be closed and there would be further restrictions on hospitality venues from 4 December. Personal services like hair dressing and gyms would remain open as currently

New restrictions leading up to Christmas period announced | Cyhoeddi cyfyngiadau newydd cyn Nadolig - YouTube


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236279

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Research and resource round up 27 NovemberResearch and resource round up 27 November

Skills for Care blog posts and webinar on racial equality in social care - Black Lives Matter in Care tooSupporting the non-white workforce in social care; Exploring the recommendations of the COVID Task Force & BAME Communities Advisory Group (webinar)

The Care Exchange - a new Skills for Care podcast, the first episode explores bringing your whole self to work.

Risk Assessment - a new Skills for Care webinar on risk assessment. This will take place at 2pm on 8 December.

Health Foundation: Spending Review 2020 - published before the Spending Review announcement the report summarises some of the upcoming costs facing health and social care.

Carers UK - new report suggests value of unpaid care to the UK is £530m a day in the pandemic.

LGA and NHS E&I - Wellbeing information pack for care staff - a post implementation review report

Alzheimer's Society information: Consent to COVID-19 vaccination for people with dementia

A strategic approach to social care data in Wales - Social Care Wales have published a report that explores what is needed from a social care data strategy and how one could be developed.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236278

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Christmas guidance for those in Wales previously shieldingChristmas guidance for those in Wales previously shielding

The Welsh Government have issued guidance on forming Christmas bubbles for those who were previously sheilding.

Christmas advice for people who were shielding | GOV.WALES


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236276

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Face covering guidance updatedFace covering guidance updated

The face covering guidance for the general public has been updated and now includes:

  • a clarification that visors are not a substitute for a face covering
  • further clarity about reasonable excuses not to wear a face covering
  • now refers to the changes coming into force on 2nd December

Please note this is distinct from the PPE guidance for homecare staff when at work which is available here: COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care in England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236273

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Asymptomatic community testing in Tier 3 areas in EnglandAsymptomatic community testing in Tier 3 areas in England

Following the pilot in Liverpool, Local Directors of Public Health in Tier 3 areas in England will be able to use asymptomatic community testing to address the situation in their local area. It will be up to local authorities how to focus this testing.

Community testing - explainer - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236274

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Expansion of routine testing in ScotlandExpansion of routine testing in Scotland

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport provided an update to the Scottish parliament on the expansion of testing earlier this week.

This will be rolled out to hospital patients and staff in December. There will also be some pilots of testing care home visitors in December with an intention to roll this out more widely in January and February.

Homecare workers are expected to be included in routine asymptomatic testing from mid January.

There will also be mobile testing units supporting using asymptomatic community testing in some areas where the COVID-19 prevalence is high.

Read the announcemnet here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236275

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MHRA provisional guidance on COVID-19 VaccinesMHRA provisional guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines

While still provisional, the guidance from MHRA on COVID-19 vaccines may be of interest to some. In line with the previous JCVI recommendation social care workers are relatively high in the priority list, after care home residents and staff.

COVID-19 Greenbook chapter 14a (Provisional guidance subject to MHRA approval of vaccine supply) (publishing.service.gov.uk)

A page has also been established to collect information about the vaccines:

COVID-19 vaccination programme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236272

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Updated shielding guidance for the end of national lockdown in EnglandUpdated shielding guidance for the end of national lockdown in England

New shielding guidance has been published for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable. This will be relevant from next Wednesday (2 December), when the national restrictions end.

2 December guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236271

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UKHCA Commercial members Citation hosting free webinar on 2nd Dec 2020UKHCA Commercial members Citation hosting free webinar on 2nd Dec 2020

UKHCA commercial members Citation are hosting a free webinar aimed at the care sector entitled: Employee engagement and wellbeing.

You can sign-up for free here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236269

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Tier restrictions for England announcedTier restrictions for England announced

The tiers for English regions, which will be in force from 2nd December, as announced in the Winter Plan earlier this week have been announced.

Statement - Matt Hancock

Full list of local restriction tiers by area - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Prime Minister's speech


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236270

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UKHCA's response to the Spending ReviewUKHCA's response to the Spending Review

Responding to the Chancellor’s spending review today, 25 November 2020, United Kingdom Homecare Association UKHCA said:

"Government’s announcement on the one-year Spending Review is exceptionally disappointing. It fails to address, amongst other things, the significant contribution that social care makes to enabling us all to live well at home, and which our valued workforce makes to the economy.

"£1bn across adults’ and children’s services, combined with the discretionary use of the Social Care Precept by local councils, does not bring social care further forward. Nor does it begin to address an underfunded system which was already fragile before the start of the pandemic.

"Government has also announced today increases in the statutory National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage. UKHCA will publish an updated version of our Minimum Price for Homecare shortly. This price indicates the minimum fee rates which providers should receive from councils and the NHS to cover their legal obligations of running regulated homecare services. This information is vital to inform the budgets which councils and the NHS will begin planning for next year.

"The often-promised and much-needed reform of adult social funding must not be delayed further. As citizens, we all need to know what the State will provide and what we must prepare for ourselves."

Ends

Notes for Editors

1. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,150 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

2. As a member-led professional association, UKHCA’s purpose is to enable a strong, sustainable, innovative, and person-led homecare sector to flourish. We represent and support our members so that people can live well and independently at home.

3. For further information please contact:
Matthew Kiernan, Press Officer
United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd
Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH
Telephone: 020 8661 8188
Mobile: 07393 012113
E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk
Twitter: @ukhca
Registered in England, No. 3083104.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236268

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Revised minimum wage rates from April 2021Revised minimum wage rates from April 2021

The Chancellor has announced National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage rates from April 2021, in his Spending Review.

For individuals aged 23 and over the NLW rises by 2.2% from £8.72 to £8.91. (This follows a previous recommendation by the Low Pay Commission that the NLW should apply to those aged 23 and over.)

For 21 to 22-year-olds the rate increases by 2.0% from £8.20 to £8.36 per hour.

For 18 to 20-year-olds the rate increases by 1.7% from £6.45 to £6.56 per hour.

For 16 to 17-year-olds the rate increases by 1.5% from £4.55 to £4.62 per hour.

For apprentices the rate increases by 3.6% from £4.15 to £4.30 per hour.

The daily accommodation offset rate increases by 2.0% from £8.20 to £8.36.

Spending Review 2020 November 2020, para 1.33.

Low Pay Commission Summary and Findings

Press release

Further press release


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236267

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Report on PPE supply during COVID-19 pandemicReport on PPE supply during COVID-19 pandemic

The National Audit Office (NAO) has investigated the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 pandemic. Key findings include:

  • 14% - The number of PPE items distributed to social care providers as a percentage of all PPE items nationally distributed, between 20 March and 31 July 2020.
  • 10% - the number of PPE items distributed to social care providers through national schemes as a percentage of their estimated PPE requirement, between 20 March and 31 July 2020. By comparison, trusts received 80% of their estimated requirement.

The NAO concludes the social care sector was hit hard by shortages of PPE, and government needs to understand why national bodies provided more support to hospitals than to social care and how to prevent that happening again.

Read the NAO report


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236265

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National Minimum Wage ToolkitNational Minimum Wage Toolkit

UKHCA's National Minimum Wage Toolkit, mentioned at today's Virtual Care Festival, helps homecare providers ensure they are meeting the National Minimum Wage requirements within their workforce.

Prepared by Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, the free toolkit sets out the law with practical examples, and gives providers a step-by-step compliance assessment tool. The toolkit also has a practical section for homecare providers written by UKHCA Policy Director Colin Angel on possible actions to achieve compliance with the National Minimum Wage.

Download: National Minimum Wage Toolkit (Revised February 2020)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236266

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DBS filtering rules are changing from 28 November 2020DBS filtering rules are changing from 28 November 2020

Due to a change in legislation the filtering rules for Disclosure and Barring Service checks are changing. The new rules will affect Standard and Enhanced DBS certificates issued on or after 28 November 2020.

DBS will no longer disclose youth reprimands, youth warnings, or youth cautions. They will also no longer automatically disclose all convictions where an individual has more than one conviction. Instead, each individual conviction will be assessed against the appropriate rules.

New filtering rules - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236264

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Meeting friends and family over the Christmas periodMeeting friends and family over the Christmas period

The government has announced that social contact restrictions will relax from 23 and 27 December to allow families and friends to meet over Christmas, subject to forming a 'Christmas bubble' of up to three households and taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The detailed rules are in new guidance which applies across the UK: Making a Christmas bubble with friends and family - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The guidance warns that forming a bubble if you are vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable carries additional risks. Guidance is to be published for the clinically extremely vulnerable on how to manage the revised tiered system in England from 2 December and over Christmas.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236262

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"Busting Bureaucracy" report"Busting Bureaucracy" report

The Department for Health and Social Care have published their 'Busting Bureaucracy' report following a consultation that launched in the summer.

The report includes a reference to work underway by NHSX on a "Data Strategy for Health and Social Care", and also refers to CQC's strategy, which is being developed.

 Busting bureaucracy: empowering frontline staff by reducing excess bureaucracy in the health and care system in England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


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UKHCA News ID: 236260

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New Health and Care Intelligence apprenticeship StandardNew Health and Care Intelligence apprenticeship Standard

Public Health England has developed a new level 7 apprenticeship standard for those interested in data analysis roles in the health and care sectors.

Further information here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236261

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New testing strategy for international arrivalsNew testing strategy for international arrivals

From 15 December the Government will be allowing international travellers (who would otherwise be required to isolate) who arrive into England to reduce their isolation period if they test negative for coronavirus after 5 days of isolation. However, testing will be at the traveller's expense.

Read the press release here. 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236258

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Staying mentally well this winterStaying mentally well this winter

The Department for Health and Social Care have published a policy paper on how they will support people's mental health this winter.

The plan includes a section on support for the social care workforce, referencing Our Frontline and Hospice UK's counselling and trauma helpline. They also mention the bespoke practical support that they have put together working with the NHS and Skills for Care, including support for Registered Managers and the Care Workforce app.

Staying mentally well: winter plan 2020 to 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Previous UKHCA posts on wellbeing support available in England:

CWC mental health grants

Maintaining mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236257

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Government Spending Review – New evidence from UKHCAGovernment Spending Review – New evidence from UKHCA

A recent survey conducted by YouGov, commissioned by UKHCA, shows that more than 9 out of 10 (92%) people aged 65 years and above agreed that:

“People would prefer to be supported at home, rather than in a care home”.

A view which 9 out of 10 MPs (87%) across all parties, also agreed with.

Read the full media release here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236255

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Prime Minister announces Winter PlanPrime Minister announces Winter Plan

The Prime Minister has announced a Winter Plan. The plan covers the approach to tiered restrictions after the national lockdown restrictions are lifted. It also outlines a 'route back to normality' including increased testing, vaccination and improved treatment for those with the virus.

In England from 2 December, regardless of tier:

  • The stay at home requirement will end, with travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier.
  • Shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector will reopen.
  • Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume.
  • People will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces - the rule of 6 will now apply outdoors as it did in the previous set of tiers.

Details of restrictions within each tier are outlined in the Plan.

Read the Winter Plan or Winter Plan Summary here.

Local restriction tiers: what you need to know - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Posters outlining the tier restrictions are available here.

Press release

Press conference statement

We anticipate further information later this week, including which regions will fall in which Tier.

The Prime Minister also advised that there were discussions underway with the devolved administrations to seek to agree a common "time-limited Christmas dispensation" over the Christmas period. However, he cautioned that this would not be a 'normal' Christmas. Details yet to be announced.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236256

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Free visa scheme extended for key frontline health professionalsFree visa scheme extended for key frontline health professionals

The Government has extended the scheme offering free visa extensions for health professionals whose visas were due to expire between 31 March 2020 and 1 October 2020 to those with visas expiring on or before 31 March 2021.

The scheme applies to doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwives, occupational therapists, psychologists as well as a range of allied health professionals listed in the guidance. It covers healthcare professionals working in the NHS and the independent health and care sector. Their visas will be extended for a year, free of all fees and charges, including the Immigration Health Surcharge.

This may benefit homecare providers who employ registered nurses and other regulated professionals.

Thousands more health workers to benefit from visa extensions - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236254

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Directors of adult social services call for an increase in homecare fundingDirectors of adult social services call for an increase in homecare funding

A report by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) highlights the important role of homecare in keeping people safe and well at home in the pandemic and calls for more financial support for the sector.

The report summarises the results of a survey of directors of adult social services in England, and the pressures faced by councils in coping with COVID-19, with increased demand from people who need care because of disruption to their support from other types of service, family carers or PAs, or hospital discharge.

ADASS call for an additional £468 million for projected overspend and to safeguard essential care and support services, and an extra £480 million for local care markets to provide increased care at home, and other community support, as well as a sustainable, long-term solution to funding adult social care.

ADASS_Autumn_Survey_Report_2020_EMBARGOED_UNTIL_6AM_23_11_20.pdf (mcusercontent.com)

The report is based on a survey of local authorities (101 of 151) in England and has been issued in advance of the Government's Spending Review.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236252

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UKHCA's CEO Dr Jane Townson speaking at the Virtual Care Festival this WednesdayUKHCA's CEO Dr Jane Townson speaking at the Virtual Care Festival this Wednesday

This Wednesday the #VirtualCareFestival gets underway, from the team behind the Care Show. UKHCA's CEO Jane Townson will be one of the keynote speakers. Find out more, including details on how to book your free pass here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236251

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More information issued on winter grants for vulnerable householdsMore information issued on winter grants for vulnerable households

The government has issued details of funding to support vulnerable households this winter with the cost of food, energy, water bills and other associated costs.

The £170 million COVID Winter Grant Scheme, which will be made available in early December 2020 and covers the period until the end of March 2021, will be distributed by to county councils and unitary authorities in England (including metropolitan councils and London boroughs).

COVID Winter Grant Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236249

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Blog: Good News Stories from UKHCA members, mid-late Nov '20Blog: Good News Stories from UKHCA members, mid-late Nov '20

Read our latest "Good news stories and innovation from the #homecare sector" blog featuring the great work by UKHCA members.

Featuring:
Helping Hands Home Care
Right at Home Stevenage, Letchworth and Hitchin
Caremark Solihull
Bluebird Care West Berkshire
Home Instead Senior Care Stevenage and North Herts
Radfield Home Care Bexhill, Hastings & Battle
Kare Plus Newcastle
Everycare Dorchester
Carebridge Staffing
Cera

Link to the full blog here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236250

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Northern Ireland Executive agree further lockdown measuresNorthern Ireland Executive agree further lockdown measures

The Executive has agreed new measures from 27 November, which are expected to last two weeks. These will include:

  • Closure of all retail except essential retail, close contact services, driving instruction, eat in hospitality, leisure, places of worship, entertainment and (non-elite) sporting events.
  • Households cannot meet other than in bubbles or where there are other specified exceptions.
  • Schools will remain open. Universities and Further Education will be by distance learning where possible.

Statement available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236247

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Government announces weekly testing for homecare workforce - UKHCA's responseGovernment announces weekly testing for homecare workforce - UKHCA's response

The Government has announced new weekly testing for asymptomatic homecare workers. The full announcement can be seen on the DHSC website here.

Commenting on the news, UKHCA’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

"Until now, routine testing of asymptomatic homecare workers has not been available. This was largely supported by evidence from a prevalence survey, showing that transmission rates of the virus amongst homecare workers was similar to the general population. This is unlike the much higher prevalence rates amongst staff working in care homes. Even so, there has been a sense that people who used homecare services had received a lower priority from Government than those using residential care.

"It seems clear that a proportion of people infected with coronavirus do not develop symptoms themselves, but are able to pass it on to others, including the people they support. The availability of routine testing will be welcomed by many, particularly members of the public who have been concerned about the risk of transmission from careworkers visiting their home.

This winter brings a combination of seasonal pressures which occur every year, compounded with staff absences, including self-isolation. An unintended consequence of asymptomatic testing, is the possibility of staff being required to self-isolate as a result of a false positive test result, stretching workforce capacity even further.

Ends
Notes for Editors

1. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,100 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

2. As a member-led professional association, UKHCA’s purpose is to enable a strong, sustainable, innovative and person-led homecare sector to flourish. We represent and support our members so that people can live well and independently at home. UKHCA’s members agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Practice, which can be found here.
3. Fourteen of UKHCA’s non-executive directors are elected by the membership of the association and serve for a period of three years. The Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Honorary Secretary are elected by the non-executive directors from within their number. The Association’s Chief Executive and Corporate Services Director are also non-executive directors.
4. For further information please contact:

Matthew Kiernan, Press Officer
United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd
Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH

Telephone: 020 8661 8165
Mobile: 07393 012 113
E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk
Twitter: @ukhca

Registered in England, No. 3083104.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236246

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Northern Ireland 'Phone First' trialNorthern Ireland 'Phone First' trial

A new 'Phone First' service is being trialled in some parts of Northern Ireland where people need urgent care but their condition is not life-threatening. It allows telephone advice to be sought prior to attending a hospital Emergency Department.

Further details


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236245

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Research and resources round up 20 NovemberResearch and resources round up 20 November

CQC's latest insight report includes their latest data on homecare PPE access, staff absences and coronavirus case levels. You can find it here.

Home Office officials do an informational interview about what the points based immigration system means for business on "Business and the future of immigration in 2021" on the Intelligence Squared podcast.

The latest CQC podcast covers their State of Care report (search for 'CQC Connect' on your preferred podcast provider).

The Centre for Better Ageing has published a State of Ageing 2020 report. The report highlights the risks of increasing health inequality.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236243

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The sleep-in crisis - what's next?The sleep-in crisis - what's next?

Anthony Collins Solicitors have written a blog 'The sleep-in crisis - what's next?' as we wait for the Supreme Court to hand down its decision in Tomlinson-Blake v the Royal Mencap Society and the joined case of Shannon v Rampersad.

The sleep-in crisis - what's next?, Anna Dabek (anthonycollins.com)

Partner Anna Dabek discusses how social care employers in the UK can prepare for the judgment, whichever way it goes.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236259

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Restraint training must be certified by April 2021Restraint training must be certified by April 2021

The CQC has written to providers to advise that all restraint training must be certified as complying with the Restraint Reduction Network training standards by April 2021.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236244

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Updates for Wales: CIW Annual Report, Vaccine statement and self isolation paymentsUpdates for Wales: CIW Annual Report, Vaccine statement and self isolation payments

Care Inspectorate Wales have published their Chief Inspector's Annual Report, which is available here.

The self isolation payment scheme of £500 that was announced on 30 October is now open for applications from Local Authorities.

Vaughn Gething has issued a statement that provides a general update about the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Wales.

Informational statement on PPE procurements in Wales.

The Older People's Commissioner for Wales have issued a joint statement calling for a relentless focus on protecting older people's rights in the next phase of the pandemic.

The Welsh Government has confirmed its not easing the restrictions at this stage. Statement.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236242

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Reminder to apply to the EU Settlement SchemeReminder to apply 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: 236241

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Whole area testing in Methyr Tydfil to be first in WalesWhole area testing in Methyr Tydfil to be first in Wales

Having learnt from the mass testing pilot in Liverpool, from this Saturday all residents in Methyr Tydfil will be eligible for COVID testing even if they don't have symptoms. This will be the first whole-area testing in Wales.

Press release

Statement

Guidance

Gov.uk press release


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236240

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Supporting older people to live to their fullest potential in Northern IrelandSupporting older people to live to their fullest potential in Northern Ireland

Communities Minister Caral Ni­ Chuili­n has announced an extension to the term of the Executive's Active Ageing Strategy to May 2022.

The existing Active Ageing Strategy was due to end in January 2021. The Executive has worked to update the actions in the Strategy, including those to mitigate the medium to long-term impacts of the current pandemic.

More information here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236238

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Statistics on Community Care published in Northern IrelandStatistics on Community Care published in Northern Ireland

The Department of Health has published statistics on provision of community care in Northern Ireland. For homecare, the statistics show that on average, 23,425 clients, received homecare during the survey week Survey Week, 8th - 14th September 2019. This has remained relatively constant over the last 5 years.

Trend analysis in the 2019 NI Domiciliary Care Annual Survey publication presents an increasing pattern of '0-15', and '16-30' min visits, and decreasing trend in '30+' min visits.

An 8% increase was observed in the number of regional homecare hours delivered in 2019 compared to 2015.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236239

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Health Minister wants mass testing in Northern IrelandHealth Minister wants mass testing in Northern Ireland

According to a BBC report, Robin Swann, the health minister has written to the UK Government asking for four million fast-turnaround Covid-19 tests. The Department of Health has confirmed Mr Swann's request for the fast tests, which would allow Northern Ireland's entire population to be tested.

These tests would suitable for mass testing and they do not have to be processed in a lab.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236237

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Update on the Contact Tracing Service in Northern IrelandUpdate on the Contact Tracing Service in Northern Ireland

Last month the Contact Tracing Service (CTS) moved to a 'digital first' model which provides an online self-service contact tracing for the majority of people who test positive.

People with a positive test result will receive a text message with a personal code which they can use at a dedicated website to input details of people with whom they were in recent close proximity. These contacts will then be quickly alerted to self-isolate.

There is an easy which guide explains how to use the digital contact tracing service 'digital self-trace' if you have tested positive for COVID-19.

Click here to download the PDF.




Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236235

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PHA provides reassurance on flu vaccination in Northern IrelandPHA provides reassurance on flu vaccination in Northern Ireland

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has provided reassurance that plans to offer the flu vaccine to those who are eligible, and in particular people aged over 65, are proceeding as expected, and there is no shortage.

Dr Gerry Waldron, Head of Health Protection at the PHA, said: "We are concerned that recent comments around the delivery of the flu vaccine may cause undue alarm to those who are still due to receive it, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. As we outlined in October, uptake has been exceptional, with people getting the vaccine in higher numbers than ever before, so a temporary pause was placed on some aspects of the seasonal flu programme until further stock became available.

"As was planned from the outset, vaccines have been and will continue to be distributed in phased deliveries, in line with manufacturer production arrangements, and well in advance of when flu is circulating in the community. As of now, in excess of 1 million flu vaccines are in Northern Ireland for use in eligible groups of people - this is on target."

Read more here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236236

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Next phase of Northern Ireland Executive's Covid-19 public information campaign launchedNext phase of Northern Ireland Executive's Covid-19 public information campaign launched

It's the latest phase of the multi-channel campaign, and shows how the virus can spread through close personal contact in unregulated settings.

View the Covid-19 information videos


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236234

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Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann announces £5 million for Domiciliary CareNorthern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann announces £5 million for Domiciliary Care

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced a £5m funding package for Domiciliary Care as well as confirming the completion of a Rapid Learning Review which will help shape plans moving forward.

The new funding can be used to address costs such as the purchase of PPE, enhanced sick pay and additional staffing costs, such as further recruitment and training.

Read more information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236232

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Non-repayable Discretionary Support Self Isolation Grant in Northern IrelandNon-repayable Discretionary Support Self Isolation Grant in Northern Ireland

The Communities Minister has enhanced the existing Covid-19 self-isolation grant, increasing the daily allowance payable and extending the number of days for which an award can be made.

The non-repayable Discretionary Support Self-Isolation Grant assists with short-term living expenses where a person on a low income, or any member of their immediate family, is diagnosed with Covid-19 or is advised to self-isolate in accordance with guidance published by the Public Health Agency.

More information about the grants


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236233

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Scottish Government moves to reform social security systemScottish Government moves to reform social security system

The Scottish Government has announced plans to for Child Disability Payment to replace the DWP's Disability Living Allowance for Children from 2021 and Adult Disability Payment to replace Personal Independence Payment from 2022, with pilot schemes operating before full roll out.

The move is part of the Government's plans to set up a new social security system for Scotland.

More information: https://www.gov.scot/news/child-disability-payment-to-be-introduced-next-summer/


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236231

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Daily update on Covid-19 cases in the UKDaily update on Covid-19 cases in the UK

The Government publishes a daily update of the progress of the coronavirus pandemic as an up to date and authoritative summary of key information. This includes levels of infections, the impact on health in the UK and on measures taken to respond.

Providers can use the data to check the number of people tested positive in their area by entering a postcode.

Link to daily update on Covid-19 cases


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236227

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New film shows importance of ventilation to reduce spread of COVID-19New film shows importance of ventilation to reduce spread of COVID-19

A new short film has been released by the government which shows how coronavirus lingers in enclosed spaces. The film highlights how letting fresh air into indoor spaces can reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus by over 70%.

More information here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236228

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Changes to lockdown levels and permitted travel in ScotlandChanges to lockdown levels and permitted travel in Scotland

Tough Level 4 restrictions will apply to 11 council areas in Scotland from 6 pm on Friday, 20 November until 11 December. This means non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and gyms will have to close but schools can remain open.

The changes will see the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian move to Level 4, but the City of Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Dundee, Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus will stay at Level 3.

New travel restrictions will ban people who live in a Level 3 or Level 4 area from travelling outside their local authority except for an essential purpose, like work or caring responsibilities. The regulations will also restrict non-essential travel into a Level 3 or 4 local authority area, except for the same reasons.

Restrictions for those in Level 1 are relaxed to allow eight people from three households to meet outdoors, rather than six people from two households.

New update, 17 November 2020: https://www.gov.scot/news/updates-to-covid-19-protection-levels/

List of level allocations: https://www.gov.scot/news/updates-to-covid-19-protection-levels/

Postcode checker for levels: https://www.gov.scot/check-local-covid-level/

Visits to care homes exempt from national travel restrictions: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-adult-care-homes-visiting-guidance/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236230

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CQC conducting review of DNAR practice during the pandemicCQC conducting review of DNAR practice during the pandemic

The Care Quality Commission is carrying out a review of 'do not attempt resuscitation' (DNAR) orders which were used earlier in the pandemic, following concerns they were sometimes imposed by blanket decision, without proper consultation or consent.

The review is at request of the Department of Health and Social Care and will focus on seven clinical commissioning group areas, listed in the CQC's announcement.

The review will be initially based on an analysis of conversations with people affected by this issue and other stakeholders, and report on an interim basis in November, with a final report in early 2021.

CQC is inviting people to let them know about their experience, or that of a loved one, by using CQC's Give Feedback on Care service, or by contacting National Customer Service Centre.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236226

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Translations of updated guidance on social distancing now availableTranslations of updated guidance on social distancing now available

Updated guidance on social distancing in England is now available in Welsh, Urdu, Turkish, Somali, Romanian, Punjabi, Polish, Gujarati, Chinese, Bengali and Arabic, as well as large format and easy read versions.

Guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): Social distancing

The guidance on New National Restrictions from 5 November is also available in translation.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236224

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The Government gives.... then takes away!The Government gives.... then takes away!

Anthony Collins Solicitors have published a further briefing on the extended furlough scheme, which highlights the topic of serving notice and how it is treated under the scheme: The Government gives.... then takes away!, published 16 November 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236225

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Research round up - 13 NovemberResearch round up - 13 November

COVID-19 death rates amongst those with learning disabilities are significantly higher than the general population - according to the findings of research by the Department for Health and Social Care, Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer. Further information. Press release.

Coronavirus has increased mental health issues - a new study from Cardiff and Swansea University found that half of respondents had clinically significant psychological distress, with 20% severely affected - higher than pre-COVID levels. Young adults, women and those who are economically disadvantaged are more likely to be affected. Further information.

How has Covid-19 impacted on care and support at home in Scotland? This report takes an in-depth look into the experience of users of care services and care workers during the first part of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland. Amongst other things, the report notes that some people experienced a reduction in care services. Read the report here.

House of Lords Public Services Committee - Lessons from COVID-19 - the report includes a chapter on social care and calls for adequate funding for social care, equal visibility and priority with health care and effective data sharing between health and social care. Further information.

Commission on future of technology in social care - a new commission set up by ADASS and TEC Services Association will be investigating how digital systems can support adult social care going forwards. See news item.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236221

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New guidance on swab testing at homeNew guidance on swab testing at home

New guidance has been issued to inform people how to use their coronavirus (COVID-19) home test kit. The step-by-step guide, which relates to both adults and children, says:

  • Follow the right steps in the correct order.
  • Find your nearest Royal Mail priority postbox (5 to 10 mins). The guidance explains how to do this and says complete this task before you take the swab test.
  • Register test kit online (10 to 15 minutes). You must register to get your test results
  • Take swab sample (5 to 10 minutes)
  • Post your completed test kit. You must do this within 2 days of receiving your test kit, if possible. Completed tests must be posted no later than 1 hour before last collection. The guidance says what to do if you cannot get to a priority postbox.
  • Get test results by text and email (2 days).

Guidance on testing for coronavirus at home This is UK-wide.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236220

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Additional funding for small businessesAdditional funding for small businesses

Grants amounting to £2.2bn will be distributed to local authorities in England to further support businesses that have been forced to close during the lockdown.

Local authorities will also be able to give some discretionary grants.

Further information here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236219

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PHE publishes template letters that notify employers of shielded employeesPHE publishes template letters that notify employers of shielded employees

Public Health England has published online reference-only versions of letters from the government to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, including accessible formats.

The letters are formal notification for employers that people cannot work outside their home until 2 December 2020.

Guidance, COVID-19: letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people, published 13 November 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236218

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Northern Ireland Executive agrees further action to curb COVID-19 infection ratesNorthern Ireland Executive agrees further action to curb COVID-19 infection rates

Following restrictions imposed on 16 October, the Northern Ireland Executive has agreed further action to curb COVID-19 infection rates:

  • Close contact services including driving instructors will reopen by appointment on 20 November;
  • Hospitality will reopen on a graduated basis, with unlicensed premises such as cafes and coffee shops opening on 20 November, with restricted opening hours to 8.00pm. This will not include the purchase or consumption of alcohol on such premises;
  • Support will be provided for mitigations to reduce risk within the hospitality sector, including improved ventilation and requirements for the recording of customer information for contact tracing purposes;
  • Pubs and bars will be permitted to sell sealed off sales on 20 November;
  • The remaining restrictions will be extended and end at midnight on 26 November, meaning all elements of hospitality including hotels can open on 27 November;

Statement on Executive decisions -12 November 2020 A new emotional public information campaign will launch to co-incide with the measures.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236216

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Blog: Good News Stories from UKHCA members, mid-Nov '20Blog: Good News Stories from UKHCA members, mid-Nov '20

Read our latest "Good news stories and innovation from the #homecare sector" blog featuring the great work by UKHCA members.


Featuring:

Care By Us
Bluebird Care Rother & Hastings
Right at Home Portsmouth
Caremark Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Malling
Helping Hands Home Care Redditch
Home Instead - Basingstoke
Caring Connections
Carewatchhc
Ashridge Home Care

Read the full blog here


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236217

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County councils in England warn of budget shortfalls and cuts aheadCounty councils in England warn of budget shortfalls and cuts ahead

A survey by the County Councils Network (CCN) predicts a £1.7bn funding shortfall in 2021/22 for their 36 councils in England. Only one in five (22%) was 'confident' they could deliver a balanced budget without 'dramatic' reductions to services.

Over half (56%) were planning to reduce access to care packages and/or introduce new charges for services 'moderately or severely', with 42% implementing the same severity of reductions to personal budgets and mental health services.

Autumn Budget survey


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236212

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HMRC webinars on importing from EU countries after transition endsHMRC webinars on importing from EU countries after transition ends

HMRC is running webinars for businesses that trade with other countries from Europe to help them get ready for the end of the UK transition period on 31 December 2020 and new rules from 1 January 2021.

The webinar covers import declarations, simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, preparing to make them, making import declarations without authorisation, and delayed import declarations. To register

The Health and Safety Executive has also issued guidance on getting ready for the end of transition. This includes the new UKCA marking which will begin to replace CE marking for goods being placed on the UK market.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236213

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Views sought on restricting movement of care home staffViews sought on restricting movement of care home staff

The Department of Health and Social Care is seeking views on plans to minimise the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections by making residential and nursing care home providers in England restrict the movement of care staff between care homes and between care homes and other health and care settings.

There would be a limited exception to the requirement so care home providers can continue to ensure enough staff are available to care for service users safely

This consultation closes at midday on 23 November 2020.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236222

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Lords report on 'critical juncture' for reform of UK's public servicesLords report on 'critical juncture' for reform of UK's public services

The House of Lords Public Service Committee has issued a report on the experience of the pandemic, calling for radical improvement in the way Government communicates and cooperates with local-level service providers on the delivery of effective public services. 

The report says there should be an analysis of whether services whould be best delivered centrally or locally, with local services and frontline workers given the resources and autonomy to innovate and improve the delivery of public services where they are the better option.

1st Report - A critical juncture for public services: lessons from COVID-19




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UKHCA News ID: 236223

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Skills for Care webinars to support managersSkills for Care webinars to support managers

Skills for Care have launched two webinars - one on Wellbeing for managers and the other on Leading for Wellbeing, to help senior staff look themselves and support others.

More information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236214

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Study finds people with learning disabilities had higher death rate from COVID-19Study finds people with learning disabilities had higher death rate from COVID-19

A Public Health England study has found in England the death rate of people with learning disabilities was up to 6 times higher from coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic than the general population.

More information


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236215

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New Supported Living Guidance for WalesNew Supported Living Guidance for Wales

The Welsh Government have issued new guidance for people in supported living.

The guidance sets out visiting guidelines and information about how people living in supported living arrangements can form bubbles with other households. It also covers the need to assess risks for people working in supported living settings and provides guidance on testing and isolation in supported living settings.

The guidance is available here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236211

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GDPR - Right of access to informationGDPR - Right of access to information

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has published new guidance on subject access requests ("SARs"). Although the new guidance does not change the underlying law, it does provide some useful direction designed to simplify and clarify how to respond to SARs. Key points include:

Stopping the clock: The new guidance provides that the clock can be stopped whilst organisations are waiting for the requester to clarify their request. The deadline for responding extends for the same amount of time as the requester takes to provide the clarification.

Manifestly excessive: There is a broader definition of what constitutes a "manifestly excessive" request for information

Charging fees: The guidance has been updated in relation to what organisations can take into account when charging an admin fee for a manifestly unfounded or excessive request.

UKHCA Members are advised to make sure they are using the most up to date guidance when responding to requests for information.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236209

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Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019: Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS)Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019: Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS)

The Government has launched an LPS 'document collection page' on gov.uk. This brings together key documents on LPS, as they work towards implementation. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

The page includes note of the last LPS steering group (Oct 13th), linked from the new collection page. This includes important information on the Government's plans for draft regulations, which will form part of the public consultation, planned for 2021.

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236207

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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) guidance now availableCoronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) guidance now available

Updated guidance has been published on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which has been extended to 31 March 2021 across the UK. There is a collection of guidance on eligibility and how the claim process operates.

Employers can start submitting claims from 11 November, for periods from 1 November, with all claims for November submitted by 14 December. The scheme, which will be reviewed in January, pays 80% of employees' usual wages for hours not worked, up to £2,500 per month. The employer and employee do not have to have used the scheme before to claim.

The guidance on which employees are eligible confirms that 'Employers can furlough employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable, at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus or off on long-term sick leave. It is up to employers to decide whether to furlough these employees' and describes how the CJRS scheme interacts with the SSP rebate scheme.

The updated shielding guidance is here.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236208

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Have your say: Human Rights in Northern IrelandHave your say: Human Rights in Northern Ireland

A consultation on the creation of a Bill of Rights is being held by the Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. The Committee wants to listen to what you think and taking on board how you feel about the creation of a Bill of Rights in Northern Ireland. The results of the consultation will provide valuable information to the Committee and help inform its forward work programme. The survey is completely anonymous and confidential.

Read more about the consultation and how to respond


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236206

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HMRC webinars on Furlough and Statutory Sick PayHMRC webinars on Furlough and Statutory Sick Pay

HMRC are providing webinars for employers on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and Statutory Sick Pay.

You can hear the latest information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which includes:

  • who can claim 
  • who you can claim for 
  • how to calculate what you can claim
  • how to make a claim, and 
  • a reminder of how to claim for periods up to 31 October.

HMRC will continue to update their webinars to reflect the latest information as it becomes available.

Register here

HMRC are also running monthly webinars on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. Get the latest information on:

  • who can claim 
  • who you can claim for 
  • how to make a claim 
  • what you may be entitled to, and more.

Register here

 


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236205

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People with Down's Syndrome added to clinically extremely vulnerable adult listPeople with Down's Syndrome added to clinically extremely vulnerable adult list

The Government has added all adults who have Down's syndrome to the group of people who are considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable. This is the group who were previously advised to shield.

The Department of Health and Social Care has written to care providers to inform them of the addition of people with Down's Syndrome to the Shielding Patient List (SPL), to enable them to support individuals to follow the updated advice for this group.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

Adding Down's syndrome to the clinically extremely vulnerable conditions list FAQs

Adding Down's syndrome to the clinically extremely vulnerable conditions list - Easy read FAQs


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236204

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Faster lateral flow tests to be distributed to over 50 councils in EnglandFaster lateral flow tests to be distributed to over 50 councils in England

An initial 600,000 batch of the faster lateral flow tests for COVID-19 is to be sent to over 50 directors of public health across England so they can prioritise allocation, based on the specific needs of their communities. Each will receive a batch of 10,000 antigen lateral flow devices as part of a new pilot to enable them to start testing priority groups.

The initial allocation will be followed by a weekly allocation of lateral flow antigen tests to upper tier councils equivalent to 10% of their local population.

The new testing technology is being used as part of asymptomatic, whole-city testing in Liverpool. The Government is also to offer these tests to devolved nations.

Government press release which includes the list of councils in England.


Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 236203

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Research round-up - 9 NovemberResearch round-up - 9 November

The University of Birmingham have published a report on how care markets can support personalised outcomes. The report argues that local authorities using market shaping approaches that were more rule driven and demonstrated higher levels of control would be less likely to meet the personalisation aims of the Care Act 2014.

Healthwatch and the British Red Cross have published a report on people's experience of leaving hospital during COVID-19.

Research commissioned by the CQC suggests that people over the age of 55 are less likely to think that care has improved during the pandemic and are less likely to think a lower standard of care due to the impact of coronavirus is acceptable.

PSSRU undertook a survey of care workers to examine the impact of COVID-19 on care workers workload, wellbeing and ability to provide care safely.

A study from the University of York has not found a connection between social care spend and emergency hospital admission for falls for older adults with dementia.

The Kings Fund have updated their analysis of key issues facing social care. So have the House of Commons Library.

The Kings Fund have produced a diagram illustrating how to respond to stress for hospital staff during the pandemic. Obviously, this wasn't designed for a social care context but it may be of interest.

ADASS have called for an additional £480m to provide care at home and £1.2m to support unpaid carers this winter.

Equalities

Baroness Doreen Lawrence published a review of the impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission are launching an inquiry to scrutinise racial inequality of workers in health and social care.

Wales

The Older People's Commissioner for Wales is undertaking research to identify the gaps in services that prevent older people who experience abuse from getting the help that they need to keep them safe.

Carers Wales have released a report "Track the Act 5: Monitoring the 4th year of implementation of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014". The report highlights the difficulties informal carers face getting access to advice and support and calls on the Welsh Government to recognise carers as the "third pillar of our health and social care system". Read the report here.


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UKHCA News ID: 236164

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Report shows widespread disruption to older people's care in the pandemicReport shows widespread disruption to older people's care in the pandemic

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has published a briefing on COVID-19 and disruptions to the health and social care of older people in England which reports disruptions to hospital care were widespread during the early stages of the pandemic.

A sixth of the over-50 population in England - that is 3.6 million individuals - had hospital treatment or an operation cancelled, with disruption greatest for those in poor health and living in deprived areas.


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UKHCA News ID: 236199

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Age UK calls for urgent recognition of care workers' valuable contributionAge UK calls for urgent recognition of care workers' valuable contribution

A report by Age UK says care workers in England are entitled to feel under prepared, under-supported, under-protected and under-rewarded in the pandemic, compared with their counterparts in health. The care sector is under-staffed and has variable access to PPE. Staff are poorly paid and have been omitted from recent Government announcements about pay rises for public sector staff. Despite the trauma of the pandemic, care staff have inadequate access to mental health support and need similar access to their counterparts in the NHS.

The report concludes with a list of recommendations and call for urgent action to ensure the contributions, skills and commitment of care workers are recognised, including pay parity with health.

Age UK report: Time to bring our care workers in from the cold


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UKHCA News ID: 236200

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Updated guidance for prevention and management of pressure ulcers in ScotlandUpdated guidance for prevention and management of pressure ulcers in Scotland

Health Improvement Scotland have updated guidance on the prevention and management of pressure ulcers. The updated gudiance applies in a number of settings including care at home services.

The guidance is available here.


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UKHCA News ID: 236197

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New guidance on childcare bubblesNew guidance on childcare bubbles

New guidance has been issued on households wishing to form a childcare bubble. This allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare.

The guidance is available here.

This is alongside the updated guidance on support bubbles, which allow single adult housholds to form a bubble with another household.


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UKHCA News ID: 236198

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Blog: Good News Stories from UKHCA members, early Nov '20Blog: Good News Stories from UKHCA members, early Nov '20

Read our latest "Good news stories and innovation from the #homecare sector" blog featuring the great work by UKHCA members.

Featuring:
Home Instead Solihull
Helping Hands Home Care
Right at Home Stevenage, Letchworth and Hitchin
Bluebird Care East Devon
Caremark Worthing & Adur
Radfield Home Care Bexhill, Hastings & Battle
Unique Senior Care
SureCare Wolverhampton

Read the full blog


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UKHCA News ID: 236194

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Guest blog: How technology can help answer the CQC’s 5 key lines of enquiryGuest blog: How technology can help answer the CQC’s 5 key lines of enquiry

Guest blog by Unique IQ

The Care Quality Commission is a keen supporter of technology as a driver for improving standards of care. One of its strategic priorities is to encourage innovation; to not let regulation stand in the way of digital developments, providing they do not come at the expense of high quality, person-centred care.

So how can home care organisations harness technology to address the CQC’s five key lines of enquiry (KLOEs)? And use it to focus on delivering outstanding care?

Read the Guest Blog in full


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UKHCA News ID: 236195

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Government extends furlough scheme until end of March 2021Government extends furlough scheme until end of March 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is to run until the end of March 2021 across the UK, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. Previously the scheme was extended until 2 December. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked, not workers' pay. The CJRS extension will be reviewed in January 2021. 

Further guidance is expected on these measures on 10 November. Government press release

In the meantime, Matt Wort of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP has written a blog entitled Extended furlough; an upgrade or a refurb? on what we know so far about the extension of the furlough scheme.

The Chancellor has also announced an increase in the upfront guarantee of funding for the devolved administrations from £14 billion to £16 billion and an increase in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500, as well as other business support measures.

 

 


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UKHCA News ID: 236196

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Fast-track Barred List checksFast-track B