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).

DHSC have also released a page designed to answer frequently asked questions relating to homecare.

For more general FAQS on what you can and can't do in an outbreak, social distancing and shielding guidance are at: Government's guidance for the general public

Winter Plan

Guidance - COVID-19 Winter Plan. The government's plan for managing COVID-19 through the end of 2020 and into the start of 2021, published 23 November 2020.

Tier posters: Medium, High and Very High

Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19), published 23 November 2020.

Government's Winter Plan for adult social care has been published, along with the report and recommendations of the Adult Social Care Taskforce. UKHCA has emailed members initial observations and links to the documents:

Adult social care: coronavirus (CODIVD-19) winter plan 2020 to 2021, updated 20 November 2020.

Government Press release, published 18 September 2020.

Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: report on first phase of COVID-19 pandemic, updated 12 October 2020.

Adult social care winter plan: letter from Minister for Care to local authorities, published 21 September 2020.

The previous plan for adult social care was the Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) adult social care action plan, updated 16 April 2020.

Homecare guidance

Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care, updated 4 November 2020. Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home. Updated with section on how providers can support the NHS Test and Trace service and updated links to hospital discharge service guidance. Update expected relating to 5 November national lockdown.

Guidance - COVID-19: adult social care risk reduction framework, (England) updated 18 November 2020.

Guidance - COVID-19: How to work safely in domiciliary care, updated 2 November 2020. This is amended guidance that makes clear vinyl gloves may still be used for most personal care and describes when alternative gloves should be considered.

The above resource interprets for use in domiciliary care the main PPE guidance: Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE), updated 20 October 2020

An illustrated guide has been published: PPE illustrated guide for community and social care settings updated 31st July 2020.

For maintaining mental health of the workforce, see:

Pilot point prevalence survey of COVID-19 among domiciliary care staff in England, PHE, 9 July 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests available for adult social care in England  Mentions position on asymptomatic testing for homecare workers.

PPE and infection control

Guidance, COVID-19: Infection prevention and control (IPC), updated 20 October 2020.

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

HSE guidance: Risk at work - Personal protective equipment (PPE)

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 announced there will be 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. More below Government Press release - More than £500 million for social care to reduce
coronavirus transmission over winter

Documents and guidance regarding Infection Control Fund 2, issued 9 November 2020.

The documents relating to previous Infection Control Fund funding are: Guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for care homes, updated 21 September 2020. Accompanying press release and Guidance, Adult social care infection fund, published 9 June 2020.

Revenue and Customs Brief 4 (2020): temporary VAT zero rating of personal protective equipment (PPE), published 3 July 2020. This allows PPE to be VAT-free from 1 May to 31 October 2020, subject to conditions.

Policy paper, VAT zero rating for personal protective equipment, published 3 July 2020. The temporary zero rate ended on 31 October 2020.

Guidance - How to treat certain expenses and benefits provided to employees during coronavirus (COVID-19), updated 9 July 2020. 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.

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

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 19 November 2020. This includes how to get a test, and the arrangements for key workers.

Guidance, Testing for coronavirus at home, published 12 November 2020.

Guidance - Getting tested for coronavirus if you live or work in Liverpool, updated 6 November 2020.

The testing guidance is accompanied by a privacy notice, updated 28 October 2020.

Guidance - Types and uses of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, updated 3 August 2020.

Guidance - How tests and testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19) work, MHRA, updated 20 November 2020.

Roll-out of 2 new rapid coronavirus tests ahead of winter, Government press release, published 3 August 2020.

Guidance - For patients, the public and professional users: a guide to COVID-19 tests and testing kits, updated 20 November 2020.

Video on how to use a home testing kit:

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 8 October 2020. 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 5 November 2020.

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 September 2020.

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, published 19 November 2020.

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 1 October 2020.

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.

Guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19), updated 31 July 2020

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 21 August 2020.

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 30 July 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 11 November 2020.


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 16 November 2020.

Guidance - Safe working in education, childcare and children's social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), updated 13 November 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, published 5 November 2020. Reflects the tiered system of alert level.

Guidance - Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19, updated 4 November 2020. 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 5 November 2020.

Guidance - Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19)updated 5 November 2020.

Guidance - Supporting people outside of their home, published 6 November 2020.


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 to 'High Risk' areas

The government's list of countries with whom it has a travel corridor is changing frequently, as it removes countries referred to as 'high risk' and restores others. For an up to date list, see:

Guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridorsupdated frequently.

Guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): countries and territories exempt from advice against 'all but essential' international travelupdated frequently.

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

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

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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