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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Business continuity planning and support


Last Updated

Beat the heat: Be prepared for summer heat waves

With global warming happening even faster than feared, the Met Office has warned:

  • There is a 66% chance that global temperatures will exceed the 1.5C pre-industrial average for at least one of the next five years;
  • There is a 98% chance that one of the next five years will be the warmest on record;
  • This follows heat waves of increasing duration and intensity in recent years with temperatures recorded in England at over 40C last July with widespread ‘tropical nights’.

We know that older people and people with certain health conditions are less able to adapt to hot weather, especially when it is overnight and for extended periods.

That makes it more important than ever that as organisations which support people vulnerable to hot weather, we are informed and prepared.

We will continue to issue heat wave warnings when we receive them as PEN newsflashes.

It is important all of us check our business continuity and other arrangements with the potential of longer and more intense heat waves in mind.

Here is some advice that may be useful:

This information aims to assist professionals in protecting vulnerable people from the health impacts of severe heat in England.

This includes specific advice for social care staff managers and carers and for healthcare professionals.

The Adverse Weather and Health Plan aims to protect individuals and communities from the health effects of adverse weather and to build community resilience.

This guidance provides advice for everyone on how to stay safe during hot weather. Includes a poster and leaflet.

Heat-Health Alert (HHA) action cards summarise suggested actions to be taken by different professional bodies and organisations in the event of extreme heat.

This includes specific advice for commissioners, providers, and the voluntary and community sector.

You will also be aware that Devon reservoirs have been well below capacity for some time, with water use restrictions in place. Devon County Council and our Local Resilience Forum are in regular dialogue with South West Water on this and don’t currently anticipate any disruption to supply for domestic or health and care settings.

Avian influenza (bird flu)

How to spot avian influenza (bird flu), what to do if you suspect it and measures to prevent it. For advice and information please refer to the government website.

Winter Plan 2021-22

The government has now updated its national COVID-19 Winter Plan for adult social care into a document which brings together information and guidance on all relevant topics including Infection Prevention and Control, PPE, COVID-19 and flu vaccination, hospital discharge and more, with discrete sections on action for providers.

Please read The adult social care: COVID-19 winter plan 2021 to 2022.

Domiciliary Care Business Continuity Planning meeting 13 January 2022

A presentation from the meeting with useful links to support tools.

  • The Letter for people using services from (11 January 2022) for you to send to clients using your services when the need arises, for example as part of staff absence related to covid. Please consider the most appropriate point to send the letter to avoid any unnecessary anxiety to your clients.
    The template letter can be revised with your own logo and key messaging, but we ask you retain the bullet points which are key and will ensure consistency of message across the DCC footprint.
  • The Keeping Yourself and Others Safe Leaflet can be sent to you in hard copy to help support messaging.  If you would like these posted to you, please email the mailbox: and provide:
    a) recipients name in your organisation
    b) address for delivery
    c) how many leaflets required.
    (Please be aware we will be unable to send the leaflets out to you if any of this detail is missing, but you can print the leaflet from the link above).
  • Whilst you will have your own Client Prioritisation (RAG rating) tool as part of your Business Continuity Plan; we are sharing a tool developed by DCC to assist you in prioritising support packages for your clients.  This is for your use and DCC do not require this information to be submitted.
  • We would like to receive detail of where you are stepping down care (stepped down individual visits), and have created the following template to support you to complete this Weekly Record.

Please send your updated template through to the relevant CDP team on a weekly basis and mark the email as “COVID – STEP DOWN”. Where possible please submit this by 10am – we will use this as a summary of your position for our records.

Please note – if you are concerned about a client’s safety, please alert us in the normal way and not via this form.

This is a temporary measure during the Omicron peak to support both DCC and private clients, the temporary step down will be effective from Monday 17 January 2022. This position will be reviewed w/c 31 January and DCC will communicate if the process should stop or continue.

The responsibility for client care will remain with the provider, and where care is stepped down, regular welfare calls will need to be made to ensure the contingency in place remains robust. The provider will be expected to step back up care where the contingency arrangement cannot be maintained.

Please approach your local Care Direct Plus Centre if you would like to request a review for a client, we will prioritise this where possible (subject to our staffing capacity).

Please ensure that you communicate any concerns with the relevant CDP as soon as feasible; as whilst DCC and the system remain under severe pressure, the earlier we are informed the better able we will be to support you.

Locality emails: 

CDP East email: 

CDP North email:  

CDP South & West email: 

Business continuity planning templates and guidance

As part of organisational resilience, it is vital for providers to have a robust and up to date business continuity plan (BCP) that support them to manage risk effectively at a point of crisis.

The Care Provider Alliance has developed business continuity planning guidance along with a standard template for social care which can be found here: Business continuity planning guidance and template – Care Provider Alliance.

The guidance also includes additional information on planning for power outages, data breaches and cyber-attacks.

All providers should have updated their own business continuity plans to include all foreseeable risks including those presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. This document provides useful tips to develop your business continuity plan and is grouped by different service types.

If you would like the County Council to review your business continuity plans or to offer any support please email and they can support you. Please be aware that this will be where capacity is available. When sending your BCP please state the reason that you are requesting the review.

Care homes and residential care Winter Readiness Toolkit

The Winter Readiness letter with links to the Pack have been sent directly to care homes but the Pack can be found online.

Care homes business continuity planning for COVID-19 outbreaks

DCC’s Service Recovery Team has issued care homes business continuity planning for COVID-19 outbreaks.

Business support

You can contact the government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice. See GOV.UK – Get help and support for your business to find out more about the helpline as well as other schemes to support you.

Free business support helpline (South West)

Businesses across the south west, who are facing changes to their working environments due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be able to access free advice and support on remote and home working with the launch of a new helpline (call 0330 088 4421).

Cosmic, a Devon-based social enterprise specialising in all things digital – including digital skills training –  has launched its Business Continuity Helpline to share their knowledge and expertise with organisations in the region and to ‘keep the south west working’.

The helpline and an associated toolkit will provide advice and support on home working and managing a business during periods of disruption.

Advice from ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

ACAS: advice for employers and employees worried about coronavirus

How do I get additional supplies of food to feed residents if we run out and can’t get more?

It was not anticipated that there would be food shortages, but your Business Continuity Plan should include consideration of action to address such an eventuality. If you believe that you are at serious risk of being unable to source supplies, please contact us

Adult Care and Health have escalated the shortage of food supplies in local supermarkets to the Devon County Council Pandemic Incident Management Team and we are working to help resolve local issues. We will update on the position as soon as possible.

Has any provider undertaken a risk assessment or set up specific policies they might share?

How have providers set up contingency for staff shortages?

Business Continuity good practice tips for providers and some useful links to refer to.

We would encourage you to share good examples of BCPs with one another on the Care Managers Facebook Page, LinkedIn and Outstanding Managers Facebook Page . If you register on these facebook pages you will be able to access all sorts of examples posted by providers.

If the invoicing team are quarantined do DCC have back up plans to be able to pay providers in the usual timescales?

DCC departments have business continuity plans prepared. Staff who handle payments are organised in a range of teams which are based at a number of different locations around the county. If required, staff skills are transferrable to support Accounts Payable operations.


Please make DCC aware if the service is at risk of experiencing critical staffing levels despite exploring and exhausting all avenues of their BCP.

DCC and CCG business continuity information for providers

All providers should have developed their own coronavirus business continuity plans.  Many providers are already doing so, together with other examples of policies that people can use to guide their development.

This document provides useful tips to develop your business continuity plan and is grouped by different service types.

If you would like the County Council to review your business continuity plans or to offer any support please email and they can support you.

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