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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Vaccination in care homes

Care home booster vaccinations FAQs

To help providers prepare for the booster doses of covid-19 vaccinations in Care Homes, please see the compiled care home booster vaccinations FAQs.

Vaccination regulations for trades persons that work in care homes

New regulations came into force earlier this month, making it a requirement that suppliers of trades and services such as: plumbers, electricians, hairdressers, chiropodists, painters and decorators,  need to be double-vaccinated by Thursday 11 November to be allowed entry to care homes.

From Thursday 11 November 2021, all staff entering a care home need to be vaccinated, unless exempt

Following the publication of operational guidance, the Department of Health and Social Care has written to the NHS and published FAQs on how this new regulation will be delivered operationally. All relevant providers of NHS funded services will need to:

  • actively support staff to have their first COVID-19 vaccine by Thursday 16 September 2021 (as eight weeks is required between the two doses)
  • carry out proactive workforce planning to ensure:
  • only staff who are vaccinated, or exempt, are deployed to a care home from Thursday 11 November
  • service provision is not disrupted once this regulation comes into force
  • ensure that relevant staff can demonstrate to care home staff, via the NHS COVID Pass service, that they have either had two doses or are exempt.

The FAQs will be updated on a regular basis, to support systems and providers to implement this new regulation.

Management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings

The government recently announced that from Monday 19 July 2021, double vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances and instead undertake daily testing.The following guidance on COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings has been updated.Whether staff have been pinged by the COVID-19 app or contacted by NHS Test and Trace, self-isolation is the default position given that close contact with a COVID-19 positive person has taken place. When contacted by NHS Test and Trace via phone self-isolation is legally enforceable.Care providers should undertake a risk assessment and be mindful of their health and safety responsibilities when making decisions about staff returning to work from self-isolation. This should only be considered in extremis situations to maintain continuity of care and ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of service users.

Care homes requiring vaccinations should contact GPs

If a care home has residents who require either their first or second vaccine dose then the care home should request the outstanding vaccination by contacting the GP who links to the care home.

Use of PPE by vaccinations teams in care home

As immunisation teams start re-visiting care homes for second doses, a reminder of the PPE that is recommended for delivery of COVID-19 vaccine in all care home settings:

  • Sessional fluid resistant surgical masks
  • Apron changed after delivery of each vial or more frequently if required
  • Gloves changed following every vaccination administered
  • Strict hand hygiene
  • Visor can be used, based on risk assessment e.g. if risk of patient spitting/coughing
  • Full change of PPE and hand hygiene between each vial.

NHS Devon has reminded the vaccination teams about the PPE requirements when going into care homes for second vaccinations. If a home remains concerned, please discuss with the vaccination team in advance of the visit or, indeed, with the lead clinician at the start of the visit on the day.

Consultation launched on staff COVID-19 vaccines in care homes with older adult residents

A consultation has been launched on making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of work for people who work in care homes with older adult residents.

Information for managers regarding recording adverse events in care homes

This information sheet provides advice regarding the reporting process of any significant adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Care home vaccination follow-ups

How to contact us if your eligible care home in England has not yet been visited for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Devon COVID-19 vaccination programme for care homes

A great amount of work is taking place across health and social care to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination to all those who are eligible. Thank you for your continued patience on what is a very complex and fast moving programme.

Care home staff and residents remain a priority group to be vaccinated, as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. However, the number of vaccinations available is limited and the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine is complicated to deliver, so the details of how and when care homes will receive the vaccine for both staff and residents is still being worked through.

Please be assured, every care home will be contacted when the vaccination is ready to be delivered from your site or when an alternative site becomes available where you can access vaccinations.

Vaccination preparation in care homes

The national roll-out of mass vaccination has continued at pace with the following headline messages:

  • Primary Care Networks now have the facility to apply for smaller doses of vaccines to offer to care homes in their areas
  • The first care homes have had their vaccinations and NHS Devon, pharmacy and nursing staff are working closely with GP practices and care homes to learn from the first sites
  • Plymouth and Exeter hospitals are also now offering vaccinations to care home staff in their areas
  • The most important NHS message to care homes remains the same as the message to the public: please wait to be contacted when it is your turn.

While waiting for your turn in the vaccination process, here are simple steps you can take to help prepare:

  • put together staff lists, including basic details (name, gender, date of birth, NHS number, GP details) for each staff member
  • be ready to provide each staff member with a letter confirming their employment in the care sector
  • keep staff records of vaccinations and report via the Capacity Tracker (as you do with flu vaccination)
  • consider the covid-secure logistics of releasing staff to receive their vaccine, while maintaining staffing levels within their home
  • take steps now to ensure that staff understand need for obtaining consent, so that they in turn can help residents and families to
  • complete the necessary forms when a vaccine is ready to be delivered within a care home.

Standard Operating Procedure and programme launch letter

More detailed guidance to support this preparation is part of the national Standard Operating Procedure.

A letter from the Minister for Care explains the national care homes vaccination programme COVID-19 vaccinations and care homes: programme launch.

New regional care homes vaccines advice

The NHS Regional Clinical Advice Response Service has issued this very useful information for care homes based on learning from the first few weeks of the vaccination programme. Please contact them for any COVID-19 vaccination related queries or to report an incident.

Visit NHS England and NHS Improvement South West care home guidance pages.

Care home vaccination mobilisation

National support pack and checklist (8 January 2021), which has been emailed directly to care homes.

Guidance for COVID-19 vaccination in care homes that have cases and outbreaks

Guidance for COVID-19 vaccination in care homes that have cases and outbreaks (31 December 2020), which has been emailed directly to care homes.

Vaccination: FAQs

Standard Operating Procedure and programme launch letter

More detailed guidance to support this preparation is part of the national Standard Operating Procedure.A letter from the Minister for Care explains the national care homes vaccination programme COVID-19 vaccinations and care homes: programme launch.

COVID-19 vaccination: care home and healthcare settings posters

Information and promotional resources to support the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme.

Recordings of care home COVID-19 vaccination roll-out webinars

Recordings of various vaccination webinars


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