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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Regulated personal care, day opportunities and enabling

Last Updated 9:07am, 24 February 2021


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

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

Local leaflets on Keeping Yourself Safe and Living Well at Home are now available for domiciliary care providers to print and hand out to staff and clients.

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.

The recorded webinar and a copy of the presentation are available.

Testing for personal care staff

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 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 4-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.

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.

Prioritising care

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

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

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 opportunities and enabling

Devon Unregulated 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:
5 February – CANCELLED
19 February
5 March
19 March
2 April
16 April

To join the forum or find out more about it please email:

Updated adult day care testing guidance

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced the roll-out of weekly routine testing on 1 February for high risk adult day care centres that are deemed critical to remain open throughout lockdown. We have updated our guide, Delivering safe, face-to-face adult day care, in line with this. It includes practical information and practice examples, plus advice for conducting risk assessments and re-opening.
The latest updates to the guidance include:

  • Information on weekly routine staff testing for day care centres that are run by paid care staff and that are deemed to be critical to be open during lockdown by local authorities. Further information on eligibility is included in the guidance.
  • Further information on how to access testing, including instructions on how to conduct PCR testing
  • What to do in the case of an outbreak
  • Updates to the PPE guidance including more information on procurement of free PPE for COVID-19 needs via the local resilience forums of local authorities until the end of June 2021.

DHSC advises that day care centres begin testing as soon as possible. In the interim, it may be possible for staff to use local asymptomatic testing sites. Alternatively, day centres and Local Authorities may wish to minimise activity to include only tested staff or pause activity until they have a regular testing regime in place.

Further day care resources:

Testing for some day care providers

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is rolling out weekly asymptomatic testing for adult day care centres that remain open throughout lockdown or who are already actively in the process of re-opening.

This includes settings such as:

• purpose-built day centres
• day centres attached to or part of a care home or supported living
• other buildings in communities specifically used for regular adult day care

In light of the current rates of high prevalence and the new variant, day care centres are being prioritised for testing in order to support services to remain open throughout the lockdown. DHSC recognises the importance of day care centres as an essential service for both the individuals who use them, and as a form of respite for their carers. Testing should be undertaken by all staff and volunteers working regularly in the above centres, as well as private transport staff who support service users to attend.

For further information regarding testing in day care centres please email:

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.

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 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 Opportunities and Group Based Support financial arrangements from 30 September

The support to Providers of Day Opportunities 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.

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 Opportunities 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

Day Opportunities 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.

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