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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon


Last Updated 16:06pm, 25 November 2020


If you have any specific issues or questions that you would like to raise with us please do so as follows:

New national restrictions from 5 November

Information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on disabled people in Great Britain

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on disabled people in Great Britain.

Looking after people who lack mental capacity. Guidance.

Information for health and social care staff who are caring for or treating a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity.

Enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus

This guidance aims to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic.

CARE badges and winter messages

When you place your order for CARE badges, you’ll also be sent a hard copy ‘health and wellbeing’ and ‘three important actions for winter’ flyer plus digital download for printing extra copies.

These materials are reminders of the actions needed this winter to keep everyone safe; weekly COVID-19 testing, free flu jabs and wearing PPE.
Download the wellbeing and winter messages posters.
Order your CARE badges.
Guidelines outlining how care providers can use the CARE identity.

Accessible resources to help you communicate about COVID-19

Councils ready to support most clinically vulnerable

Devon County Council and the District Councils in Devon are ready to support residents who are identified as being ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’.

Information about the range of support available to people identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable is published on our website.

Down’s Syndrome added to vulnerable list

Adults with Down’s Syndrome have been added to the ‘at risk’ groups listed as having a high risk of developing complications from coronavirus infection. Here is a reminder of the updated national guidance, which is of particular importance to Supported Living providers at the moment.
An easy-read version of the national letter sent to all clinically extremely vulnerable people is available from the Down’s Syndrome Association.

How to report symptoms and confirmed COVID-19 test results in your social care provision

For symptomatic clients the following protocol needs to be followed:

  1. Alert DCC by emailing the COVID mailbox. All symptomatic cases need to be flagged irrespective of whether they are DCC, CCG, DPT or self-funded.
  2. For regulated: providers must update CQC Home Care Tracker (Personal Care) or Care Homes Tracker (Care Homes).

For symptomatic staff or those who are required to self-isolate the following protocol needs to be followed:

  1. Alert DCC by emailing the COVID mailbox.
  2. For regulated: providers must update CQC Home Care Tracker (Personal Care) or Care Homes Tracker (Care Homes).

For confirmed cases following a positive test result immediately take these actions in addition to the above:

  1. Notify Public Health England by calling 0300 303 8162, Option 1 then Option 1 again.
  2. Alert DCC by emailing the COVID mailbox.
  3. For regulated: providers must update CQC Home Care Tracker (Personal Care) or Care Homes Tracker (Care Homes).
  4. For staff members only: A RIDDOR report is required where the member of staff is known to have contracted coronavirus through contact with a confirmed positive case through the course of their work.
    Reporting should be made in accordance with advice offered by the Health & Safety Executive.

Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

NHS Test and Trace asked people who are on a low income, unable to work from home and who will lose income as a result, to self isolate. Under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme they maybe entitle to support.

DCC Adult Social Care Winter Plan

Devon County Council has now produced its Adult Social Care Winter Plan in response to the requirements laid out by government for how local health and care systems should support the providers and users of adult social care services through winter in response to coronavirus It builds on the partnership approach taken since the outbreak of the pandemic through our Provider Engagement Network.

Car sharing and contact tracing

Please be aware that staff who car share, even if they are wearing appropriate PPE, are classed as close contacts by NHS Test and Trace.

If staff are car sharing when commuting to work or for double-up rounds etc, please ask that they ensure there is as much distance between all occupants (including the driver and all passengers) as possible and that there are no more than four people are in a car. Staff should ensure they wear government recommended masks for the whole journey and try not to face each other but face out of the car towards an open window.

For Test and Trace purposes, close contact means:

  • having face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away (this will include times where you have worn a face covering or a face mask)
  • spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
  • travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey)
  • if you work in or have recently visited, a setting with other people (for example: a GP surgery, a school or a workplace). The use of face masks and other forms of PPE does not exclude somebody from being considered a close contact, unless they are providing direct care with patients or residents in a health and care setting.

Car sharing precautions

Devon Public Health advice if you need to share lifts with people from other households.

Car sharing advice poster

Devon County Council has produced a simple poster with car-sharing advice for display in workplaces and elsewhere. It reminds any car-sharers to: wear face coverings, share only with the same small group, keep windows open, wash or sanitise hands before and after journeys and clean the car after journeys, including internal and external handles.

Social distancing guidance

This government guidance is for everyone, including children. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Torbay and South Devon Speech & Language Therapy Referrals

There is a new referral criteria, swallowing assessment criteria, and referral form for care homes to access this service.

Winter Readiness Toolkit

The NHS England and NHS Improvement South West tool kit is designed to help care homes and other residential care settings plan and prepare for winter infections and outbreaks, and this year’s kit contains new COVID-19 resources, as well as redesigned resources on flu / other respiratory infections and viral gastroenteritis.

Hospital discharge assessments and self-funders

New hospital discharge service guidance came into effect from 1 September 2020. Social care needs assessments and NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments of eligibility therefore recommenced on 1 September 2020.

People who were government-funded under previous guidance must be reassessed and transferred to the new funding arrangements by 31 March 2021. This means that individuals who are self-funding are likely to be contacting providers from now on regarding their future payments and invoicing.

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

This information provides advice on the management of staff and patients or residents in health and social care settings according to exposures, symptoms, isolation periods and test results.

Government guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities

From 4 July 2020, managers of community facilities will have discretion over when they consider it safe to open for any activity permitted by legislation and may decide to remain closed if they are not able to safely follow the advice in the relevant guidance, to make the space COVID-19 secure.

To assist managers in making these decisions, on 30th June the Government published some key principles relevant to  multi-use indoor community facilities.

Proactive media support for providers

If any provider has a story to tell in their press and social media and wants support to reach their chosen audience then DCC and NHS Devon will do our best to help. Whether it’s good practice you wish to share, a celebration of success or even a statement to counteract misinformation spread by others, then if you send us your ideas we will see what we can do to support you in telling your story. Please send ideas to Jean Almond, and if your ideas are contained in a newsletter then you can send her the publication, identifying which issue you think is worthy of media attention. Likewise, if you are using social media and think your posts could be shared more widely always remember to tag them with the relevant DCC ‘handle’: Twitter – @DevonCC, Facebook – @OfficialDevonCC, Instagram – @devoncountycouncil, LinkedIn – @devon-county-council. The #WeAreDevon can also be added to posts. Jean’s email address for good new story suggestions is:

Important information - shielding clients

The attached letter (26 May) contains guidance and information on shielding clients during COVID-19. This letter is an addition to an email sent out from DCC’s Procurement Team on 15 May 2020 and addresses providers’ comments and queries.

Letter to unpaid carers

We recognise that this is a stressful and uncertain time for carers, so we have written this letter to them (24 March) to outline the support that is available to help them to continue caring during the current coronavirus situation.

Letter to adult social care service users

On 20 March 2020 Devon County Council has written to people who receive adult social care support commissioned by the Council.
It is intended to let service users know that their usual service is likely to be disrupted. It also contains advice on how they can make visits easier for care assistants. We are sharing it with providers so that you know what we have told the people you visit. You may also want to use the information to help manage service users expectations.

Guidance, advice and support for Care Managers – communication from Public Health England

Please see links to resources, which will help you if you have either a single case or an outbreak of COVID-19; this includes a care pathway and a notification form.

Outbreak Management of Respiratory Illness (Care Homes)

COVID-19 for care homes, supported living and home care. List of weblinks related to presentations/videos

Please let Public Health England know of any outbreaks of respiratory illness affecting two or more linked individuals and fill in the notification form (see resource pack and links).

Notification Form Acute Respiratory Outbreak- Care Homes

Advice on sampling during an outbreak of acute respiratory illness

Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) Outbreaks: Information leaflet for Residents and Carers

Best Practice (posters)

How to hand wash step by step images

How to handrub step by step images

Putting on and removing PPE

Hand hygiene

Visitors notice

Catch it Bin it

Letter templates

OB Care Home Family member

OB Care Home GP letter

OB Care Home Resident letter

OB Care Home Staff letter

Single case Care Home Family letter

Single Case Care Home Resident letter

Single Case Care Home Staff letter

Message from the Devon Safeguarding Adults Partnership

The chair of the Devon Safeguarding Board expressed her appreciation to providers for their hard work during COVID-19.

Safeguarding Adults – Provider Forum Response

During the COVID-19 crisis, it is particularly important to safeguard adults with care and support needs. It is suggested that adults with care and support needs may be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect by others during this time from those seeking to exploit disadvantages due to age, disability, mental or physical impairment or illness. This is a time when we must all be extra vigilant and try to pick up any early signs that something isn’t right.

The Coronavirus Act
The Coronavirus Act (2020) and associated Care Act easements: guidance for local authorities (see Annex D) do not alter or affect the safeguarding protections within the Care Act (2014).

Safeguarding Adult Concerns
You must continue to raise safeguarding adults concerns in the usual way, by either contacting Care Direct 0345 155 1007 or by completing a safeguarding adult referral accessed via the Devon Safeguarding Adult Partnership website.

Immediate Protection Planning
During Covid-19 it is especially important that you are clear about the risks, actions taken to manage immediate risks. That these actions are clearly recorded, evidencing the action you have taken to support immediate protection planning.

Undertaking Safeguarding Enquiries
Safeguarding adult enquiries and whole service safeguarding enquiries will continue to take place as per due process. Most meetings, due to COVID 19 social distancing measures, are likely to be held via teleconference. In high risk cases, it is likely to be necessary to undertake essential / non deferrable face to face visits to the client/provider.  In exploring the need to undertake essential / non deferrable visit, the safeguarding adult enquiry lead will refer to DCC guidance about essential and non-deferrable home visits.

Message from DCC Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Service

The current Coronavirus pandemic presents care home providers with considerable challenges, not least the expectation that the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), remain fully in force.
The Devon DoLS service is continuing to consider the issues and challenges and would wish to offer support and guidance to providers wherever we can, including the ongoing provision of our duty service which can be accessed via phone 01392 381676 and email

The emergency Coronavirus Act does not change our responsibilities in relation to the application of both the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards therefore, both still apply. The Government has published guidance for hospitals, care homes and supervisory bodies. Please see: Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity

You must always follow all Department of Health / public health guidance and contact Devon DoLS Service to advise of any additional significant restrictions’ individuals may be experiencing so that we can offer appropriate advice and support and consider if a review of a current Standard Authorisation is required.
Devon DoLS Service will follow government guidance and assessors will not visit care or nursing homes to undertake face to face assessments unless it is essential.  We will continue to undertake assessments remotely wherever possible and utilise appropriate technology to facilitate this.
Care home providers must, as far as possible, continue to follow the current process with regard to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

If you are of the view that an individual:- lacks mental capacity to make decisions about where they live or about their care and support, is under continuous supervision and control, and not free to leave, you should make an application for an Urgent and Standard Authorisation.

  • All new requests will be screened for priority in the usual way
  • The Managing Authority must notify the Supervisory Body of any increased restrictions placed on a person where a request for DoLS has been made and is waiting for assessment.
  • The Managing Authority must notify the Supervisory Body (Devon DoLS Service) of any increased restrictions to a person already subject to a Standard Authorisation so a review can be considered

We request that all applications and correspondence are sent to the service electronically at this time.
Remember any questions can be directed to or 01392 381676.

Staying safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published a range of useful materials that aim to help us all to protect ourselves from cyber threats including a Top Tips for staff on staying safe online infographic, a free eLearning module, access to the Cyber Protect team and the Action Fraud 24/7 reporting service.

Find out more at the NCSC website and report incidents to the Action Fraud national cyber crime reporting centre

Free access to Microsoft Teams using NHSmail

In order to access online support from the NHS, providers must have an NHSmail account. The usual requirements for such accounts have been relaxed by NHS Digital and providers can have a recognised secure email system which will allow patient identifiable data to be shared with healthcare services, plus access to Microsoft Teams for video-conferencing and related activities.

The NHSmail account request process, including support with applications, is detailed on the Digital Social Care website.

Young carers and young adult carers guidance

National guidance and information for people under the age of 25 who are providing care for someone during the coronavirus outbreak.

Communication Archive

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