Last Updated 12:07pm, 30 April 2021
Regulated personal care
National Guidance on working safely in domiciliary care
A resource for those working in domiciliary care providing information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care
Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing for homecare workers
Sets out how homecare agencies in England can order regular tests for their homecare (domiciliary care) staff.
Keeping Yourself Safe and Living Well at Home leaflets
Devon personal care (domiciliary homecare) WhatsApp group
We set up a supportive WhatsApp network for personal care business owners, registered managers and nominated individuals. To join the group please complete the form.
Business continuity planning test template domiciliary care
As part of organisational resilience, it is vital for providers to have a robust and up to date business continuity plan in place, that supports them to manage risk effectively at a point of crisis.
To assist providers to achieve this, the Market Management Team have put together a helpful template to allow providers to assess and test the effectiveness of their current business continuity plans against some core criteria. Please use this information for a ‘desk-top’ review to ensure your business continuity plan effectively supports you to maintain services, so that you can identify and address any potential gaps.
Regulated personal care provider webinar
A webinar was held on 17 December 2020 for personal care regulated providers which covered the following topics: testing, capacity tracker, infection control grant, PPE guidance, contingency planning, including an example of Lived experience from a provider and how they dealt with a community outbreak and what they learnt from it.
Testing for domiciliary care staff / homecare workers
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has made regular weekly asymptomatic Coronavirus testing available to all registered home care workers (domiciliary care workers) from 23 November 2020. The scheme uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test kits with combined throat and nasal swabs.
The guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for homecare workers sets out how regulated providers can order their regular tests.
Once the test kits have arrived, the agency manager should make arrangements to distribute a four-week supply to every home care worker or arrange for staff to collect them.
Due to availability of lab capacity and to ensure faster turnaround of results, testing must only be carried out on Thursday – Sunday inclusive (for Sunday testing staff must be able to access a priority post box with a Sunday collection).
To ensure that all of your homecare workers are accurately registering tests every week, an interactive one page document has been created for agency managers to distribute to homecare workers. The one-page document allows managers to fill in their organisations UON, employer name and can be distributed digitally or physically.
Please continue to encourage and re-emphasise the importance of conducting weekly testing and of registering each test correctly to your homecare workers.
Many managers have set up a system for tracking test kit results in their agency. A system like this will help you to have evidence of each staff member’s PCR registration every week.
Providing care and support at home to people who have had COVID-19
This quick guide will help home care workers and personal assistants (PAs) to provide care and support to people who have left hospital after having COVID-19.
How to work safely in domiciliary care in England - guidance
A resource for those working in domiciliary care providing information on the use of personal protective equipment (update on the use of vinyl gloves).
How home care providers can support Test and Trace
Staff from NHS Test and Trace or other public health professionals may contact home care providers if one of their staff or service users has tested positive for coronavirus in order to alert those who have been in close contact with them. Home care providers can assist NHS Test and Trace by keeping a temporary record of their care staff and recipients of care. Many providers will already have the necessary record systems to store and provide this information on request. In these cases, providers do not need to duplicate records.
If you do not currently have a system to record this information, this should be done in a way that is manageable for your business, but sufficiently detailed to effectively support NHS Test and Trace.
It is recommended that providers ensure that their systems are set up in such a way that this information can be reported rapidly on request and identify the person(s) who can produce this information at short notice.
If a provider is contacted, the following information may be requested at short notice:
- the name and telephone number for a home care worker
- the dates and times that a home care worker is at work
- a log of the care worker’s visits to individuals receiving care for the previous 21 days. This should include, where possible, arrival and departure times of their visit, as well as a record of the name and residence of any individual(s) they provided care to (‘the client’)
- the name and telephone number of the client and/or the client’s representative
- the names and telephone numbers of other home care workers, when working in close proximity (for example, during a ‘double up’ visit).
National guidance for home care contains further information and there is guidance on How NHS Test and Trace works and on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors.
All providers should be prioritising the most vulnerable people, using the prioritisation tool which Devon County Council has circulated.
You will be advised when decisions are made to deprioritise individuals care and support. We also recognise that you may have to deprioritise individuals care and support to respond to staffing pressures in your own organisation.
If you have to implement such measures please advise us as soon as possible by emailing email@example.com
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
The MHRA publishes a range of guidance on issues relevant to social care providers. You can subscribe to their mailouts to receive updates.
Refusal of care delivery to service users with coronavirus
If a service user has coronavirus and a provider will not deliver care then, in the first instance, advice and reassurance should be offered to the care worker around the use of personal protection equipment. If they continue to be unwilling to provide care an alternative care worker should be identified if possible.
If no care worker will attend then the provider should immediately escalate this to the COVID-19 Incident Management Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Team will either try to arrange alternative care for the person in their home or take other action depending on the presenting risk.
Day services and enabling
Day services provider forum
A fortnightly forum has been set up for providers of services which are not regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
The virtual meetings will take place every other Friday from 11am to 12noon on the following dates 2021: 16 April, 14 May, 28 May, 25 June.
To join the forum or find out more about it please email: email@example.com
Testing for day centre workers
Rapid Lateral Flow Testing is now available for all staff and service users in adult day care centres in England
After the completion of a successful pilot study, DHSC are pleased to inform you that NHS Test and Trace is making regular lateral flow testing available to all staff and service users in adult day care centres in England, to be conducted alongside the existing weekly staff PCR testing.
In addition to the current regular PCR testing regime, the new guidance advises all staff to:
Undertake an additional two rapid lateral flow tests per week, ideally before they begin their shift:
- One rapid LFT should be completed on the same day as the PCR test;
- One rapid LFT test should be taken 3-4 days later.
If any member of staff tests positive with a rapid LFT, they must take a confirmatory PCR test and self-isolate at home immediately until they receive their result.
Staff members may self-test or test with the assistance of another adult.
The guidance is clear that service users attending a centre does not depend on them taking a test, however, we advise service users who are able to test to:
• Test twice a week, with 3-4 days in between using rapid LFT. If a service user is only visiting once or twice per week, they only need to test on the day of their visits.
• Service users should ideally test before attending the centre if travelling by shared or public transport.
Testing can be completed either at the day care centre, or at home by themselves or with the support of a parent or carer. This is at the discretion of the day care centre.
DHSC understand that not all service users will be able to test, and testing should not be considered mandatory for entry into the day care centre. Service users can still visit the centre if they have not tested. However, if a service user tests positive, they should self-isolate immediately, take a confirmatory PCR test and not attend the day care centre.
Please use this link to order rapid LFT kits using the same Unique Organisation Number (UON) that you use to order PCR tests.
Tests can be ordered immediately. Please be aware, similar to when you place an order for a PCR test, you will not be able to place another rapid LFT order until 21 days have passed from when your order was processed. The online replenishment portal will highlight the date that you can place your next rapid LFT order
Further day care resources:
- DHSC poster: COVID-19 testing for day centres
- DHSC webinar recording: adult day care centres testing
- SCIE day care and COVID-19: advice for social care
- SCIE coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for social care
Support groups permitted
Support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support but they must take place at a premises other than a private home.
Where a group includes someone covered by an exception (for example, someone who is working or volunteering), they are not generally counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example a tradesperson can go into a household without breaching the limit if they are there for work, and the officiant at a wedding would not count towards the limit.
Please read the section on ‘Where and when you can meet in larger groups’ listed under the subheading ‘Support and Childcare bubbles‘ within the ‘National lockdown: Stay at Home’ guidance.
Delivering safe, face-to-face adult day care - new SCIE guidance
As the restrictions of lockdown are eased, this guide aims to support you, day care managers, social workers, commissioners and providers, to restart or continue activities. It is focused on community-based day services, day centres (with and without personal care), including specialised day centre environments, and those with outdoor spaces.
Please sign up to receive updates from SCIE.
This webinar recording from 24 March, gives an overview of SCIE’s guide to delivering safe, face-to-face adult day care. The speakers give practical examples of how providers have remained open or re-opened, during the pandemic, the key challenges and responses.
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 30 June 2020 the Government published some key principles relevant to multi-use indoor community facilities.
QR codes and social care
Providers are no doubt aware that new guidance has been published outlining the expectation to display a NHS QR code poster at certain venues for use with the new NHS COVID-19 app. Whilst this requirement does not apply explicitly to adult social care settings, such as care homes and day centres, the government encourages you to create a QR poster for the entrance of your venue if it is one that is visited by members of the public and has a space where people congregate together in close proximity for extended periods of time. Given that care settings are routinely collecting information about visitors, the addition of the QR poster is likely to be beneficial. You will still need to offer a manual option for recording visitors’ contact details for people who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app.
Further information about creating a QR poster can be found on the government website.
Day services and group based support financial arrangements from 30 September 2020
The support to providers of day services and holders of supporting independence ‘Lot 1’ contracts for group based care and support has been reviewed and the financial flexibilities will cease from 30 September 2020, as explained in this letter issued on 11 September 2020.
From 30 September 2020 providers should resume the normal practice of only being able to invoice for time and activities that have been fully delivered as per their contracts. Most day services providers have discussed the changes they are making in response to the pandemic with Devon County Council but any who are unclear about the new arrangements should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Day services risk assessment advice
Devon County Council issued this letter and Risk Assessment Checklist on 2 July 2020.
Community transport advice and guidance
National not for profit passenger transport guidance is available on the application for and use of transport permits under the Transport Act and DCC has a guide to community transport on the Travel Devon Website.