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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Regulated personal care services

Last Updated 16:07pm, 4 October 2021

Key COVID-19 information sources

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.

Frontline health and social care workers booster vaccinations FAQs

To help providers prepare for the booster doses of COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline health and social care workers, please see the booster vaccinations FAQs.

Personal Care Provider Forums: quarterly meetings

This is an open invitation for providers of personal care at home to attend the Devon County Council Personal Care Provider Forum. These are informal engagement opportunities for personal care providers, Devon County Council teams (Operations and Market Management) and NHS Devon CCG to get together to share and exchange information. These are core forums to update on emerging issues and concerns, to discuss market support offers and hear local system updates. They also serve as a helpful venue to exchange ideas and feedback from yourselves as providers.

The monthly forums will be held on the following Fridays (please click on a date to join that meeting):
15 October from 10.00am to 11.00am
25 January 2022 11.00am – 12.00pm
26 April 2022 11.00am – 12.00pm
26 July 2022 11.00am – 12.00pm
25 October 2022 11.00am – 12.00pm

If you would like to join these meetings, please: stating Personal Care Provider Forum in the subject line. Please note that invitations will be sent to one address within an organisation for that provider to circulate as appropriate.

If you have any issues you would like to include in the agenda please let us know by email: stating Personal Care Provider Forum in the subject line.

Personal Care Locality Provider Forums: fortnightly meetings

These meetings focus on local issues and are open to providers of personal care that have a contract with DCC. The meetings are attended by DCC Adult Social Care operations representatives along with the Market Management Team and seek to unblock current issues and identify improved ways of working.

If you are a current contracted provider of personal care at home and have not received an invitation, please email: stating Personal Care Locality Forum and either N, S/W or E in the subject line depending on the geographical area your service covers.

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.

A copy of the presentation is available.

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.

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.

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