United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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Government's guidance for social care providersGovernment's guidance for social care providers

The Government has provided a single page listing information for adult social care providers about COVID-19 guidance and support.  See the full list of adult social care guidance produced by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE).

Winter Plan for adult social care

Adult social care: coronavirus (CODIVD-19) winter plan 2020 to 2021, updated 14 December 2020.  The tiered system of restrictions in the Winter Plan has been superseded by a national lockdown in England from 5 January 2021. National lockdown: Stay at home guidance 

Workforce Development funding:

The Department for Health and Social Care have published guidance on the new, ring-fenced £120m Workforce Development Fund, updated 19 January. This is separate from Infection Control Fund 2. You can read the guidance here. See also the local authority circular and associated documents.

Homecare guidance

Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care, updated 2 February 2021. Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home. 

Guidance - COVID-19: adult social care risk reduction framework, (England) updated 1 December 2020.

Guidance - COVID-19: How to work safely in domiciliary care, updated 2 November 2020. This interprets for use in domiciliary care the main PPE guidance: Guidance, COVID-19 Infection prevention and control (IPC), updated 21 January 2021

NB A comprehensive review of evidence by the UK Infection Prevention Control Cell has concluded that the current 'How to Work Safely' guidance remains fit for purpose, in light of new, more infectious COVID-19 variants.

PPE illustrated guide for community and social care settings updated 31st July 2020.

UKHCA Resources and downloads: Self-isolation of live-in homecare workers who test positive for COVID-19 (log in needed).

Guidance, Coronavirus testing for homecare workers, updated 6 January 2021.

FAQs issued following DHSC webinar on testing for homecare workers, December 2020.

For maintaining mental health of the workforce, see:

For information on Infection Control Fund 2 funding, see Advice for councils on funding and market stability

Covid-19 Vaccination for social care workers

Careworkers in England can book their own appointment through this link: The National Booking Service

A list with points of contact within Local Authorities on workforce vaccination. The list is here.

DHSC has produced a Communications toolkit all of the resources available to help employers address any concerns that staff may have about having the vaccine, including media resources they can use in their own publicity.

Standard operating procedure: Frontline social care workers (JCVI priority cohort 2), published 14 January 2021.

Letter dated 14 January 2021 on vaccinating social care staff

Letter dated 1 February 2021

Letter dated 10 February 2021

DHSC Top lines and Q and A on vaccination dated 19 February 2021

Webinar held by NHS England on 25 January on the vaccination of frontline social care workers: the slides.

Adult social care Q and As dated 29 January 2021, updated to include questions asked at the webinar. (Google Drive, under Files.)

DHSC Toolkit of resources on vaccinating the ASC workforce: COVID-19 Vaccine Content Summary - Adult Social Care.docx - Google Docs

UKHCA's CEO, Dr Jane Townson has written blogs on vaccination:

Progress of vaccination of homecare workers against COVID-19 - The UKHCA Blog

Priority groups and authorised vaccines

COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a

Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination: advice from the JCVI 

Prioritising the first COVID-19 vaccine dose: JCVI statement

Regulatory approval of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19

Regulatory approval of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

Regulatory approval of COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna

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

Letter to the [medical] profession from the UK Chief Medical Officers regarding the UK COVID-19 vaccination programmes

Information about vaccination

NHS information about COVID-19 vaccination: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine - NHS (

General information on immunisation: Immunisation - GOV.UK (

Collection of government guidance: COVID-19 vaccination programme

A range of leaflets have been issued by Public Health England about COVID-19 vaccination, including guidance for frontline social care staff in England. Accessible versions and translations are available.

COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for social care staff

COVID-19 vaccination: guide for older adults

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

COVID-19 vaccination: what to expect after vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination: why you are being asked to wait

COVID-19 vaccination: easy-read resources

Guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity, updated 12 January 2021. This has a sub-section in the Additional Guidance document on 'Offering a vaccine to someone who lacks the relevant mental capacity', which includes how an individual 'best interests' decision should be taken.

Guidance, Safety of COVID-19 vaccines when given in pregnancy, updated 5 January 2021.

PPE and infection control - other guidance

Guidance, COVID-19: Infection prevention and control (IPC), updated 21 January 2021.

Guidance, COVID-19: Putting on and removing PPE - a guide for care homes (video), updated 2 November 2020. Referred to 'How to work safely in domiciliary care guidance' above.

Guidance, COVID-19: Personal protective equipment use for aerosol generating procedures, updated 21 August 2020.

HSE guidance: Using PPE at work during the coronavirus outbreak

WHO 5 moments for Hand Hygiene, published 2006.

NICE Healthcare-associated infections: prevention and control in primary and community care, CG139, updated 15 February 2017.

PPE - Funding, VAT and HMRC

Infection Control Fund extended in England for winter 2020/21

The Government has allocated a further £546m of funding under the Infection Control Fund for winter 2020/21, aimed at care homes but with portion that must be spent on homecare. Government Press release - More than £500 million for social care to reduce coronavirus transmission over winter

Documents and guidance regarding Infection Control Fund 2, updated 19 February 2021 to clarify certain administrative costs arising from testing and vaccination can be covered by the Fund.

Revenue and Customs Brief 4 (2020): temporary VAT zero rating of personal protective equipment (PPE), published 3 July 2020. This allowed PPE to be VAT-free from 1 May to 31 October 2020, subject to conditions. Homecare providers can now obtain free PPE from the PPE Portal, see below.

Guidance - How to treat certain expenses and benefits provided to employees during coronavirus (COVID-19), updated 19 January 2021. Considers testing and PPE costs.

PPE - Supply

PPE questions and answers from the Department of Health and Social Care (England), updated 23 October 2020.

Policy paper, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategy: Stabilise and build resilience, published 29 September 2020.

Providers should use their own commercial supplier/wholesaler if they can.

List of suppliers of PPE, see: (scroll down to end).

UKHCA commercial members who supply equipment.

Clear masks - in the short term Local Resilience Forums will distribute these.

Guidance - PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment, updated frequently. Providers should register with the portal so they can order emergency supplies. There are limits on orders and a limited range of PPE, which includes PPE for AGPs. 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.

Guidance, Personal protective equipment (PPE): local contacts for care providers, for care providers not on the PPE Portal, updated frequently.

National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) telephone 0800 915 9964. Email: Last resort for emergency supplies.

Testing and testing kits

The Government provides weekly testing for asymptomatic homecare workers. The full announcement can be seen on the DHSC website here. Published 20 November 2020.

Guidance, Coronavirus testing for homecare workers, updated 6 January 2021. Includes translations and information on Lateral Flow Antigen Tests.

This has been extended to extra-care and supported living settings: Guidance on the testing process and the opportunity to sign up to informational webinars.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for personal assistants

Policy paper, The future of public health: the National Institute for Health Protection and other public health functions, published 15 September 2020. NIPH will take over testing from PHE.

Government Guidance on getting tested, updated 16 February 2021. This includes how to get a test, and the arrangements for key workers.

Guidance, Testing for coronavirus at home, published 16 February 2020.

The testing guidance is accompanied by a privacy notice.

There is information about asymptomatic community testing in Tier 3 areas in England which local authorities can use to address the situation in their local area. It will be up to local authorities how to focus this testing. Community testing - explainer This involves using the faster, but less accurate lateral flow tests. Recently local authorities have been given increased testing to roll out to people in their communities who cannot work from home.

First wave of targeted Tier 3 community testing initiatives announced 67 local authorities in England have been given approval to begin enhanced testing support programmes to help reduce transmission rates in their areas.

Guidance - Types and uses of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, updated 11 February 2021.

Guidance - How tests and testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19) work, MHRA, updated 15 February 2021.

Guidance - For patients, the public and professional users: a guide to COVID-19 tests and testing kits, updated 15 February 2021.

Video on how to use a home testing kit:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) lateral flow testing of visitors in care homes

Test and Trace

NHS COVID-19 app: People of 16 and over are encouraged to download the NHS COVID-19 app, part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme. This identifies contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus. 

Some businesses are required by law to display the official QR code so people can check in.

Guidance - NHS test and trace: how it works, updated 11 January 2021. What happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Guidance, NHS test and trace: workplace guidance, Guidance on the NHS test and trace service for employers, businesses and workers, updated 2 February 2021.

Guidance, COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings, includes guidance on when health and social care staff can be exempt from being considered a contact for the purposes of Test and Trace. updated 28 January 2021.

Guidance specific to homecare on keeping records for test and trace is found in section 3 of this document.

Guidance for general business - Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace, updated 11 January 2021.

Testing - Antibody testing

Antibody test to check if you've had coronavirus, currently offered to NHS and care staff, as well as some hospital patients and care home residents. Antibody tests are being provided free by the NHS and access to testing services is being organised locally. Local regions and trusts are providing access to this service in different ways, including through community clinics, acute clinics, mobile testing and primary care.

Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): antibody testing, updated 14 January 2021.

Other guidance:

Car Parking

Guidance on scheme for health, care and volunteer workers in England to have free parking in local-authority owned off-street car parks and on-street bays, published 3 April 2020.

Data protection

Information Commissioner's Office: Health, social care organisations and coronavirus - what you need to know on data protection.

Death of a frontline worker or other person from COVID-19

Guidance, Steps to take following the death of a person who worked in adult social care in England, published 7 July 2020. This includes bereavement resources for the social care workforce.

NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme for families of members of the workforce in England who sadly pass away as a result of contracting COVID-19 at work. Main page for the scheme, information for employers and information for claimants.

Disclosure and recruitment

Guidance around free-of-charge DBS applications and new fast-track Barred List check service, in response to COVID-19, Disclosure and Barring Service, updated 22 October 2020.

CQC interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks, for providers recruiting staff and volunteers to health and social care services in response to coronavirus (COVID-19), updated 29 May 2020

Health inequalities

Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19, Public Health England, published 2 June 2020 - review into the disparities in the risk and outcomes from Covid-19 for different cross-sections of society.

COVID-19: understanding the impact on BAME communities, published 16 June 2020.

Hospital discharges

Winter discharges: designated settings, correspondence, published 13 November 2020, on new requirement for designated care settings for people discharged from hospital who have COVID-19 positive status.

Press release - More than half a billion pounds to help people return home from hospital, published 21 August 2020.

Hospital discharge service guidance, published 2 February 2021.

COVID-19 hospital discharge service requirementsNHS, collection of documents, updated 3 September 2020.

Guidance - COVID-19: guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home settings, updated 18 December 2020.

Law and legal briefings

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP COVID-19 briefings and updates - a listing of briefings on various topics.

COVID-19 - guidance on changes to the Care Act 2014, published 1 September 2020.

Anthony Collins Briefing on Coronavirus Act 2020 and its impact on adult social care, published 15 April 2020.

Guidance: Coronavirus Act 2020: status table, published 7 May 2020.

Mental capacity

The Office of the Public Guardian for England and Wales has published guides on decision making for others, covering making an LPA, being a deputy or attorney and how NHS or social care staff can check if a patient/client has an attorney or deputy. More information

Guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity, updated 12 January 2021. This 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.

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


HSE guidance: RIDDOR Reporting of Covid-19 

Other types of care - selected guidance

Guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for children's social care services, updated 2 February 2021.

Guidance - Safe working in education, childcare and children's social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), updated 14 Decembr 2020. This relates mostly to residential settings, but there is some limited guidance useful to providers of social care to children at home.

Guidance - Visiting care homes during coronavirus, updated 12 January 2021.

Guidance - Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19, updated 29 January 2021. Has Annex K: moving from the community to care homes.

Guidance - Mouth care for hospitalised patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, published 6 August 2020.

Guidance - COVID-19: Supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults, updated 14 January 2021.

Guidance - Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19)updated 22 January 2021.

Guidance - Supporting people outside of their home, updated 8 January 2021.

Pregnancy and COVID-19 infection

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and pregnancy (

Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for pregnant employees, updated 11 January 2021.

COVID-19 vaccination - see above.


UKHCA has launched a series of free, short online presentations for members on topics such as care coordinator training, medication, end of life care, training online and infection control: UKHCA Resources

Skills for Care package of support for registered managers, and rapid induction for new staff as highlighted in the adult social care action plan, above.

The Skills Toolkit to enhance digital and basic skills while in lockdown.

Travel Advice

From 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.

Hotel quarantine requirements apply from 15 February 2021 to travellers arriving from red list countries:

Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel when you arrive in England

Managed quarantine: what to expect

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Jobs with testing travel exemptions

Foreign Travel Adviceupdated frequently.

Government Travel Advice

Briefing by Anthony Collins Solicitors for UKHCA members on travelling abroad and quarantine restrictions from 30 July 2020. 

Visas and migration

Health and social care staff can claim immigration health surcharge reimbursement. The scheme to exempt non-EEA nationals applying for a health and care visa to work in a health or social care setting, in an eligible occupation, from paying the immigration health surcharge has been launched. IHS Reimbursement Scheme

Guidance Immigration health surcharge - applying for a refund, published 1 October 2020.

Guidance (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents, updated frequently.

Visa extensions for NHS and frontline health workers during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Announcement posted on:

UKHCA News ID: 235572

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