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COVID-19 Latest News for Providers

Latest news for providers in date order.

Please also find the latest joint covid e-bulletins from Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council in the downloads section of this webpage.

If you have any queries please email CV19@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Latest news

25th Oct 2021: Multi-million pound fund to boost adult social care workforce

Multi-million pound fund to boost adult social care workforce

Adult social care will benefit from £162.5 million of new funding to help workforce retention and recruitment.

25th Oct 2021: Adult Social Care Infection Control and Testing Fund: round 3 guidance published

Adult Social Care Infection Control and Testing Fund: round 3

Sets out the measures that round 3 of the Infection Control and Testing Fund supports, including distribution of funds, conditions and reporting requirements.

1st Oct 2021: Guidance published on medical exemptions proving you are unable to get vaccinated

COVID-19 medical exemptions: proving you are unable to get vaccinated

How to apply for official proof that, for medical reasons, you're unable to be vaccinated and/or tested for COVID-19.

1st Oct 2021: Consultation: Extending free PPE after 31st March 22

Extending free PPE to the health and care sector

DHSC is seeking views on whether it should extend the provision of free personal protective equipment (PPE) to the health and care sector after 31 March 2022.

This consultation closes at
11:45pm on 31 October 2021

30th September 2021: Press Release - Additional Funding to Help Adult Social Care this Winter

Additional funding to help adult social care this winter

More than £388 million to prevent infections and provide testing in the care sector

30th September 2021: Policy Paper Published on Free PPE

Free personal protective equipment (PPE) scheme

The provision of free PPE for all health, social care and public sector workers for COVID-19 infection control, between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.

29th September 2021: The National Booking Service now open for social care colleagues to book booster

The National Booking Service now open for frontline health & social care colleagues to book their COVID-19 booster vaccines

Boosters will be available providing it has been six months since individuals received their second dose. Staff can book their booster appointment through the National Booking Service online, by ringing 119, or by visiting their nearest walk-in centre. Eligibility applies to all staff in care homes or those working directly with people clinically vulnerable to COVID-19. Access to booster vaccinations at walk-in sites is subject to ID requirements set out below and after checks to verify vaccination history.
 
As part of the booking process, social care workers will need to self-declare they are a frontline health or social care worker. Proof of employment accepted will be:

  • A workplace photo ID,
  • A recent letter from their employer (last 3 months), or
  • A recent payslip which shows their employer (last 3 months)

28th September 2021: PPE Portal Guidance Updated

PPE portal: how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)

Page summary:
Eligible health and social care providers can order PPE through the portal to meet the increased need that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Change made:
Updated order limits for GPs, domiciliary care providers, residential care homes, pharmacies, dentists, orthodontists, optometrists, children’s care homes and secure homes, residential special schools, and non-residential special schools (which conduct aerosol-generating procedures), community drug and alcohol services and residential drug and alcohol services.Removed ‘nitrile’ from gloves for all providers.

24th September 2021: Testing for Adult Social Care Settings Guidance Updated

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for adult social care settings

Page summary:
Outlines the COVID-19 testing available for testing staff, residents and visitors for all adult social care settings.

Change made:
Updated to reflect changes to policy when there is one case of COVID-19 in a care home, rapid lateral flow testing frequency, changes to policy when there are 2 or more cases of COVID-19 in a care home and changes to ending outbreak restrictions, when they can lifted and ongoing testing after this period.

22nd September 2021: PHE - Ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus

Public Health England – Ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus – September 2021

Please see link for the updated easy read guidance on the importance of ventilation, even though we are moving into autumn and winter.

Ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of COVID-19 (easy read) (publishing.service.gov.uk)

22nd September 2021: Delays to Testing

During routine contact with providers our Infection Prevention Control Teams have become aware of delays to results of testing, which has caused there to be delays to services being declared open following 14 day testing.  This has been discussed with colleagues within testing teams who have advised that the use of out of date swabs has been the cause to some delays with obtaining results. 

Can providers/ managers please ensure that expiration dates of swabs are checked and swabs used are in date.

17th September 2021: COVID Booster Jabs for Health and Care Staff

Covid booster jabs available for health and care colleagues from 17 September 

You may be aware that the JCVI has recommended booster jabs for those who have had two doses of the Covid vaccine more than six months ago. The first cohorts will be health and care staff and those over fifty and whilst we expect the national booking service to open for the public soon, we are able to offer booster vaccination for health and care staff from Friday 17 September

Those eligible for a vaccination must have had their second dose more than six months ago and must be able to produce ID showing that they work in health and care. We will be opening more widely as soon as the national booking service is available, but this will allow us to vaccinate as many colleagues as possible in this short window, so allowing us to free up slots later and maximise the number of people we can immunise.

You can book online at SwiftQueue, with appointments at the King’s Mill Hospital vaccination hub offered on a first come, first served basis. If you have booked through SwiftQueue before then your previous account will be active, if not then you will need to register an account.

We are asking people to pre-book to help us to manage social distancing, bearing in mind that the clinically extremely vulnerable are also able to receive their third dose at this time. 

You will be asked to bring your staff ID and your NHS Number to verify your eligibility. If your second dose vaccination was less than six months ago we will not be able to vaccinate you. 

The third dose is Pfizer, as recommended by the JCVI. We know that there are a small number of people who had two doses of the Astra Zeneca (AZ) for medical reasons. If this applies to you then please call us on 0115 883 4690 between 8am-2pm  to book your appointment as your third dose will also be AZ. If you had the AZ jab but didn’t have a specific medical reason then your booster will be Pfizer. 

Please take this opportunity to come forward and to ensure your immunity continues to be supported by the vaccination.

15th September 2021: Continued Use of PPE

FAO: All Provider – Continued use of PPE

Due to the vulnerability of those requiring care in care home settings or in the community, there is no change to PPE advice. You need to wear PPE for personal care of all individuals you care for:

  • whether the person you are giving personal care to has symptoms or is known to have COVID-19 or not
  • regardless of the age of the person you are caring for
  • no matter what your role is

See the following link for more information: PPE guide for community and social care settings (publishing.service.gov.uk)

15th September 2021: VCOD Exemptions Temporary Process

Please find below a letter from Claire Armstrong, Director of Adult Social Care Delivery at DHSC, on the exemptions process for the vaccination as a condition of deployment regulations. It outlines the non-exhaustive list of medical exemptions from the Covid-19 vaccine and the temporary self-certification system to declare them. This temporary system will expire 12 weeks after the NHS COVID Pass System is launched.

Also below are the forms care workers can use to self-certify their exemption or self-certify that they have been vaccinated abroad.

15th September 2021: COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021

COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021

The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Autumn and Winter Plan 2021’ setting out plans for autumn and winter 2021/22 in England.

14th September 2021: PHE has updated the Standard Operating Procedure for care home outbreaks

Public Health England has updated the Standard Operating Procedure for care home outbreaks

PHE has continuously reviewed data on the impact of outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in care homes and has amended advice according to emergent evidence. Following a recent review, PHE have identified that the majority of outbreaks currently are limited in terms of numbers of cases involved and many are linked to cases among staff only. Considering this and reflecting on continuing confidence in our vaccine defences, PHE have advised their Health Protection Teams (HPTs) to amend their response to outbreaks meaning that if whole home testing shows no evidence of transmission of infection beyond first few cases identified, then outbreak control restrictions can be stepped down.

Specifically, the advice HPTs now receive states:

If two or more COVID-19 cases are detected in staff or residents, the suspected outbreak must be reported to the HPT and outbreak control restrictions should be implemented. Whole home PCR testing (staff and residents) should occur on day 0 of the suspected outbreak, and should be repeated at day 4-7 for those who test negative. If the first and second rounds of PCR testing do not detect any further cases in residents or staff, then outbreak control restrictions may be lifted after consideration of:

  • Level of vaccine coverage in residents (ideally above 90%) and staff (ideally above 80%*).
  • Levels of participation in routine staff weekly testing, ideally above 75%.
  • Compliance with IPC measures.

This may mean that outbreak measures may only be in place for around 7 days, depending on PCR turnaround times.

Guidance will be updated to reflect this change over the coming days. 

*Post 11 November all staff deployed in CQC regulated care homes should be double vaccinated

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