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COVID-19 Information for Care Homes

Latest Updates

1st September 2021: FAO All Providers - Self-isolation information and risk assessment documentation

From 16 August, staff members notified that they are a contact of a COVID-19 case are not required to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means it has been at least 14 days since the staff member completed a full course of an MHRA approved NHS administered vaccine. 

Care Providers will no longer be required to notify the Director of Public Health, when staff members who are close contacts of a COVID case, return to work. However, it remains advisable for workplaces to keep their own record of risk assessments, vaccination status and PCR and LFT test results. 

The following apply to all staff returning to work following this exemption:

  • the staff member should not have any COVID-19 symptoms
  • the staff member should immediately arrange for a PCR test, either through their workplace arrangements or via the NHS Test and Trace service, and the result of this PCR test should be negative prior to returning to work
  • following the negative PCR result, the staff member should undertake a daily lateral flow test for 10 days following their last contact with the case (even on days they are not at work)
  • if a staff member has had a SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past 90 days, they should not have a PCR test and should only undertake daily lateral flow tests
  • on days the staff member is working, lateral flow test should be taken before starting their shift, and the result should be negative
  • the staff member should comply with all relevant infection control precautions and PPE should be worn properly throughout the day
  • if the staff member works with patients or residents who are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 (as determined by the organisation), a risk assessment should be undertaken, and consideration given to redeployment during their 10 day self-isolation period 

If unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, then staff must self-isolate. If a staff member is exempt  (because they are under 18, unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons or are taking part or have taken part in a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine) they must still self-isolate or be re-deployed with the mitigating actions outlined above. 

The links below provide guidance and information that may be useful in formulating your risk assessments:

COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Letter to NHS organisations (not care organisation) from Prerana Issar, NHS Chief People Officer, Ruth May,  Chief Nursing Officer and Dr Nikita Kanani, Medical Director for Primary Care.


28th June 2021: Everyone working in care homes to be fully vaccinated under new law to protect residents

Regulations have now been laid before Parliament. The 16-week grace period will begin once these are passed and signed. DHSC are hoping that will all happen before the summer recess. 

Please see attached stakeholder Q&A from DHSC for further information about the regulations.

Everyone working in care homes to be fully vaccinated under new law to protect residents

Page summary:
People working in CQC-registered care homes will need to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated with both doses.

Making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes

Page summary:
We are seeking your views on a proposal to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes.

Change made:
Updated to include details of the outcome of this consultation.


21st June 2021: FAO Care Home Managers - Change in Guidance

There has been recent change to the Government guidance in respect of Care Homes and care home visiting, many of the changes are effective from 21st June 2021 – please ensure that you are familiar with the change to guidance 

  • Guidance on visits out of care homes: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/arrangements-for-visiting-out-of-the-care-home/visits-out-of-care-homes
    • Key message: Even as vaccine coverage increases, there are still risks involved in visits out. It’s important that care homes, residents, family and friends take steps to manage and mitigate these risks
    • Within the guidance there is specific instruction for the completion of the individual risk assessments for visits out
    • Those taking residents out of the care home must also continue to adhere to national guidance generally e.g. the rule of 6 or two households etc
    • Other steps to mitigate the risk around visits out are also included in the guidance 
  • Guidance on care home visiting:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/update-on-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes
    • Key message: Visiting must be supported and enabled wherever and whenever it is possible and safe to do so – and a wide range of professionals have a role in supporting this, including care home managers, DPH and DASSS
    • Key message: Providers should develop a dynamic risk assessment to help them to decide how to provide the visiting opportunities outlined in the guidance, in a way that takes account of the individual needs of their residents, and the physical and other features unique to the care home
    • Key message: When developing visiting policies, providers should undertake individual risk assessment to assess the rights and needs of individual residents, as well as any specific vulnerabilities which are outlined in the resident’s care plan and to consider the role that visiting can play in this
    • Please find additional help and guidance attached “Visitors post reablement” 


New temporary workforce staff bank managed by NHS Professionals!

The CCG, NHS Professionals and Care Home providers have collaborated to launch an exciting temporary workforce staff bank to supply Registered Nurses with a consistent skill mix into the care homes sector in Nottinghamshire. All Registered Nurses recruited to the NHSP staff bank undergo a high level of employment and compliance checks, alongside the completion of Queens Nursing Institute training in order to support the sector with the provision of a high quality temporary workforce to meet staffing demand and reduce external agency reliance. 

There are currently 6 Registered Nurses based within Nottinghamshire who will be available to work very soon pending recruitment checks. If you have a temporary staffing requirement for Registered Nurses or have any general questions on this exciting new project please contact Conor McGee on Conor.McGee1@nhs.net for further information.

Government, PHE and NHS Guidance and Information

How to report cases of COVID-19

  • Guidance for care homes on how to report cases of COVID-19 - Public Health England letter and briefing paper for care homes - please use this briefing paper to know how to report cases of COVID-19 to Public Health England. Please note the email address in the briefing paper is incorrect, the email address for reporting cases of COVID-19 is phe.crc.eastmidlands@nhs.net.

Government guidance for care homes

Testing

  • Please visit the Testing information page for information on government guidance for care homes.
  • Sign up to regular care home testing webinars from the Department of Health and Social Care - The weekly webinars will now last 90 minutes and give detailed information about all aspects of care home testing, including: ordering tests, preparing for testing, test kit delivery, a test kit demonstration, testing certain care groups, registering test kits, booking your collection and results and what they mean for your home. To sign up to attend our new care home testing webinars click here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1369434&tp_key=296e54cdc9 

Infection Prevention Control

NHS Mail

  • NHS mail has been made available for Care Homes, please click here for more infomation.

National Capacity Tracker

  • Calling all Care Homes to sign up to the National Capacity Tracker. National reports show that Nottinghamshire care homes have responded well to the request to sign up to the Government’s Capacity Tracker.  It is clear, however, that there are still providers who have not registered. Please do this TODAY through the portal: https://carehomes.necsu.nhs.uk/register. Once you have registered, the government’s expectation is that the capacity tracker should be updated daily, or as often as possible.  It is important that ALL questions are answered.

Visiting care homes during coronavirus

Nottingham City Council Guidance and Information

  • Nottingham City Council have created an emergency food suply list for care homes struggling to get food deliveries, some of the suppliers are also able to deliver toiletries and cleaning products, please visit the food supplies for care homes page for the list.
  • Guidance on the transfer of individuals between residential /nursing settings during COVID19 period - The guidance document has been produced by Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire Councils, in partnership with NHS colleagues sets out proposed arrangements for individuals who may sometimes need to move between settings when the placement no longer meets their needs.  This could include those who are in a residential home and require a nursing bed, or those whose behaviours are no longer manageable in the current setting. Historically these would be moved to a more suitable setting with family involvement and support from social care and health as necessary.  In the current climate there has been very little movement between care settings due to the COVID19 and there are patients who would normally have moved who are now in an inappropriate placement.

  • Guidance for the Management of Medicines in Social Care Establishments - This document provides procedural guidance on managing medicines, primarily within care homes, but the principles can be applied to any social care settings where medications are ordered, stored and administered e.g. day services. It has been developed to help service providers meet the requirements of current legislation, the Care Quality Commissions (CQC) five key questions and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline on Managing Medicines in Care Homes (SC1). It also includes learning from medication incidents that have occurred and interpretation of common scenarios that staff may face when dealing with medication.

  • To find out how the latest information about PPE please visit www.asklion.co.uk/ppe

Other Guidance and Information

Preventing Infection

RESTORE 2

  • To provide support and guidance through COVID-19 and beyond the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCGs have partnered with East Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative and Nottingham Alliance Training Hub to support care homes that do not currently use a tool for recognising deterioration in residents. This package is for all homes that do not currently use a deterioration tool or would like to know more about RESTORE2. RESTORE 2 can help you and your staff to spot deterioration from COVID-19 related illness or recognise non-COVID-19 related deterioration and act to decrease avoidable hospital admissions. For more information please view this communication to care homes.

Pastoral Support for Care Homes

  • Pastoral Support for Care HomesMany Care Homes and Sheltered Housing have well established links with local churches and other faith communities. At this time of increased demands and stresses there may be some who do not have such relationships. If you would appreciate some pastoral support from a local church, but do not have a contact please get in touch with us and we will try our best to link you up. Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.  Catriona@southwell.anglican.org, Transforming Notts Together. Hannah.buck@transformingnottstogether

Dementia

Best Practice

Visiting Arrangements

Events and Webinars

  • Care Homes Safe Restart Programme - has been designed to directly respond in an agile way to the current challenges in the care home sector. The programme is delivered via a monthly rolling series of topical, time critical learning and sharing events, that are designed to offer support, guidance and learning in a condensed and practical way. For more information please see the Training, Events and Courses section on the Provider Corner.
  • Sign up to regular care home testing webinars from the Department of Health and Social Care - The weekly webinars will now last 90 minutes and give detailed information about all aspects of care home testing, including: ordering tests, preparing for testing, test kit delivery, a test kit demonstration, testing certain care groups, registering test kits, booking your collection and results and what they mean for your home. To sign up to attend our new care home testing webinars click here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1369434&tp_key=296e54cdc9 

Testing for Care Homes

Please visit the Testing information page for information on government guidance for care homes.

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme for Care Homes

Please visit the Vaccination Programme and Guidance page for information 

Visiting Arrangements for Care Homes

Online Toolkit for Care Homes and Homecare

The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System have created a live online toolkit for care homes and home care providers.

The Toolkit provides an overview of 11 key areas care home and homecare staff should be familiar with;

1) Admission and discharge criteria;
2) Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT) including palliation and end of life plans;
3) Medications and symptom management;
4) Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures;
5) Timely access to and correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
6) Testing and swabbing;
7) Death verification;
8) Access to emergency grief and bereavement support.
9) System Pathway alternatives
10) NHS Mail
11) Communication Channels

Capacity Tracker

23rd August 2021: Revised COVID and Flu Questions

We would like to update you on the forthcoming changes to the COVID and Flu Vaccination information captured within Capacity Tracker. These changes are anticipated to take place evening of 31st August 2021. 

For Care Home and Hospice providers, we will no longer require you to split out workforce vaccination levels by role type (nurses, care-giving staff, non-care giving staff) and instead only require you to update the total numbers of residents/patients, directly employed staff and agency/bank staff vaccinated for the following revised items:

  • Number currently known to have received the first dose
  • Number currently known to have received the second dose
  • Number currently known to have received a COVID vaccination booster
  • Number currently known to have received this season's flu vaccination 

For Home Care providers we require you to update total numbers of staff who have face-to-face contact with people you support for the following revised vaccination items:

  • Number currently known to have received the first dose
  • Number currently known to have received the second dose
  • Number currently known to have received a COVID vaccination booster
  • Number currently known to have received this season's flu vaccination 

Care Homes, Hospices and Home Care Providers

  • COVID vaccination statuses “known NOT to have received” & “not yet known / undisclosed”

Care Home (ONLY)

  • COVID Vaccination Team Visit Information

 

Help & Guidance

Further guidance will be made available after these system changes are applied (scheduled for evening 31/08/21) in the What's New section of the Resource Centre  https://capacitytracker.com/resource-center/category/61/whats-new


April 2021: Capacity Tracker – reporting of second dose vaccination data required from Thursday 15 April

From Thursday 15 April, additional questions will be added to Capacity Tracker to record the numbers of staff and (for care homes) residents who are known to have received their second dose of the COVID vaccinations. Additional questions will be added for care homes and hospices, homecare providers, and also the data submission from local authorities (COVID-19 Vaccination of Social Care Workers - LA Cohort 2 Additional Collection) which has been in place since February. As a reminder, councils are requested to update this submission on a weekly basis by 5pm on a Monday to feed into the national overview of progress. Data is published weekly and currently indicates very low cohort vaccination levels in some local authorities.

Further details on the second dose questions are attached. Please contact Capacitytracker-guidance@dhsc.gov.uk if you need further guidance.


Providers are reminded to complete the tracker on a daily and weekly basis. Support Q & A sessions are taking place on a weekly basis with the National Support team, every Tuesday from 1.00 to 2.00pm. Providers are strongly encouraged to prioritise these sessions as they will be able to submit any questions and request support from the team. If you need the links for this session please contact Contracting@nottinghamcity.gov.uk