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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Workforce

Last Updated 9:00am, 31 August 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:

Please note that this webpage only contains workforce information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, general workforce information can be found on our main workforce page.

Training

Skills for care essential training

Essential training has been extended from skills for care this offers funded training for new starters, refresher for existing and volunteer training during COVID-19. You will need to be an member of Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set to claim this funding.

Recruitment

Working with the NHS to attract and retain people in adult social care

Following representations from care homes, Paul Renshaw, Director of Workforce at Devon Integrated Care System and Sally-Ann Turner, DCC’s HR Strategy Manager, are considering a more collaborative approach to recruitment with the NHS.
Providers Jonathan Lobb, Marcus Lyward and Lucy Ball have volunteered to get involved in further exploratory discussions with Paul and Sally-Ann and more participants are welcome.

To get involved in this work or make your views known on this issue, please email sally-ann.turner@devon.gov.uk.

Read about the potential strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats identified so far.

CQC interim guidance on DBS plus other recruitment checks

CQC interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks for providers recruiting staff and volunteers to health and social care services in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). CQC have issued this interim guidance in response to temporary changes being made by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to DBS applications and processes. It will be in operation for the period the Coronavirus Act 2020 remains in force. CQC will review it on a regular basis.

Support to managers

NICE support for Registered Manager Networks

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has several guidelines and standards for care homes and home care settings. Subscribe to their free monthly social care e-bulletin NICE in Social Care for information and updates. Contact NICE.

Support from Skills for Care

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Skills for Care has developed a support offer for registered managers in adult social care which includes:

  • an advice line
  • webinars on COVID-19 related topics and guidance
  • local WhatsApp groups
  • virtual network meetings for registered managers
  • a Facebook group for registered and front-line managers
  • guidance and funding related to essential training

Details of this support are available on the Skills for Care website and the advice line is open between 9.00 – 17.00 Monday to Friday on 0113 241 1260, you can also email RMAdvice@skillsforcare.org.uk

Support to staff and employers

Government guidance for employers and businesses

Please follow the government guidance which will assist employers, businesses and their staff in staying open safely during coronavirus (COVID-19).

You should also refer to government stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

Key workers

Care Induction Programmes for new recruits, volunteers and refresher training

Free training resources are available on the Skills for Care website and eLearning for Healthcare. We are also trialling some Sector-based Work Academies with Department of Work and Pensions for applicants new to care. Please contact proudtocare@devon.gov.uk for further information.

Free DBS applications

Information on the expedited free-of-charge fast-track COVID-19 DBS application service can be found on the government website.

If you do not have an existing DBS Umbrella Body to submit DBS applications, you are welcome to contact disclose@devon.gov.uk or 01392 383266 (Option 1) and Devon County Council can provide a service for DBS checks required for COVID-19 measures. Alternatively, you can find an Umbrella Body by searching the DBS website.

Information on the work the DBS (Home Office) are doing to support COVID-19 measures is available on their website.

Parking for key workers

Care and health workers working in the community already benefit from our existing parking exemption scheme. Those care workers holding a ‘timeclock’ issued by the authority can continue to park in areas of limited waiting, residents’ parking areas, on-street pay and display without time restriction.

The Care and Health Worker parking permit, which allows professionals visiting people at home to park on double yellow lines in certain circumstances, will be improved and made permanent from spring 2021. The scheme was launched in 2019 in recognition that in some communities parking can be difficult to find, and can add to the stress of an already demanding job. This scheme has been extended during COVID-19 to include key locations such as hospitals and doctors surgeries and care homes.

The changes follow a survey of permit holders in autumn 2020 – users were asked to review the pilot and to suggest ways it could be improved to help them care for people in the community.

In December 2020, DCC’s Cabinet approved allowing permit holders to park on yellow lines for up to three hours from the spring if they cannot find any other parking, instead of the one-hour limit initially trialled.

On single and double yellow line ‘no waiting’ restrictions, DCC has extended the time permit from 1 hour to 2 hours throughout the COVID pandemic – which will continue – and will be increased to a maximum stay of 3 hours from spring 2021.

For more information please visit DCC’s coronavirus advice about travel and public transport.
(Posted updated on 22 April 2021).

Critical worker letter

Further to the Government’s announcement on 23rd March 2020 that individuals should remain at home unless they need to attend the workplace due to the critical nature of their work, the Council is issuing a letter to all appropriate employees of the County Council, to confirm the critical status of their work and their need, as required, to attend the workplace (including people’s homes). This will support them should their situation be questioned by the authorities and they need written evidence. It may also be helpful in addressing queries with educational establishments, where employees are seeking childcare provision.

As a provider partner you may also face similar challenges and a critical worker letter template has been sent securely to your mailbox for you to use for your employees, together with guidance on how they should be issued and stored by employees.

NB Please note that we will be issuing further guidance for PAs shortly.

The Council has defined their staff as critical workers where, due to the nature of their work, they are required to support one or more of the following areas of the Council’s business:
1. work essential to safeguard and protect the most vulnerable where face-to-face contact is necessary, and support cannot happen remotely. This includes those staff supporting care workers and care providers where this cannot be done remotely, and staff providing essential support to help maintain school openings
2. where being at the place of work is essential to maintain the Council’s infrastructure, particularly its digital infrastructure; and safety critical work
3. work within a resilience structure where personal presence is essential, and staff involved in enforcing the closure of non-essential businesses.
4. Volunteers are classified as key workers only if they are undertaking a substantive frontline care-giving role.

I hope that this supports you and your team but please let us know if you have any queries via OUR COVID-19 mailbox

As always, thank you for all that you are doing.

Critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings

List of critical workers (key workers) and vulnerable children and young people who can access full-time education provision in the case of future restrictions on education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The children of Adult Social Care frontline care workers can access education in any staggered return arrangements.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers. It is intended to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence due to restrictions implemented to reduce the spread of the virus) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.

However, in light of the financial package being offered by DCC, and maintaining our payment of commissioned level of support, we would want providers to retain staff as active employees, rather than grant them a leave of absence, in order that we can continue to use them as resources in different care settings.

We would ask that providers who are applying to the national scheme speak to us and we will proactively be contacting providers in key sectors where we think this is most likely to happen.

Supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff

There is growing evidence suggesting that people from BAME backgrounds – and particularly Black people – are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and it is important that managers recognise the anxiety this is causing among BAME/ethnic staff and support them at this critical time. Where employees are in vulnerable groups please use the national Risk Reduction Framework to help assess how you can best support those employees to continue working. Where you are considering options for working at home please consider all homeworking options and advice.

Line managers are encouraged to have thorough, sensitive and supportive conversations with their BAME team members during which they should cover the following:

  • A risk assessment should be completed to assess how you can best support those employees to continue working. The risk assessment and conversation should help to clarify if the team member has a known underlying health condition that may increase their risk. If the team member is uncertain if they have an underlying health condition and has a family history of underlying health conditions, then they should be advised to contact their GP.
  • Talk to the team member and make every attempt to understand their anxieties. It is also important to acknowledge that some BAME staff may have families overseas, and this may be causing them additional concern.
  • Ask if the colleague has registered with a GP, and if not, encourage them to do so at their earliest convenience.
  • Make the colleague aware of the range of wellbeing advice and support available for them.

Risk Reduction Framework

This national Risk Reduction Framework is a useful tool for employers to support workers who are more vulnerable to infection or adverse outcomes from COVID-19, such as BAME staff.

Guidance on clinically vulnerable staff

On 21 August 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care wrote to local authorities reminding them that shielding advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people had been paused and that employers have a responsibility to protect all workers from harm by carrying out workplace risk management. Employers and those who work in social care should continue to follow Government advice on safe working and to take the maximum steps to ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace.

The letter contains the following key sources of advice:

Guidance on long-COVID

The faculty of Occupational Medicine has published guidance on long-COVID patients to support them to return to work and for employers to support their employees back to work.

Advice for pregnant employees

Advice for pregnant employees on risk assessments in the workplace and occupational health during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus.

This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.

Changes to NHS parking pass

The NHS COVID parking passes were originally intended for temporary use during the COVID-19 emergency response period by NHS staff members, health or social care workers, or NHS Volunteer Responders. Following the publication of the Government’s roadmap for the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, from Monday 21 June we will no longer accept NHS COVID parking pass in our Devon County Council car parks, and on street parking in resident only spaces, limited waiting spaces and on street pay & display spaces.

Eligible staff can apply for the DCC care and health worker permit on our website.

After Thursday 21 June 2021 we will enforce against cars we find displaying them in spaces they can no longer use.

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.

NHS Volunteer Responders

The NHS has had a fantastic response to its NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, facilitated through the Good Sam app. NHS Volunteer Responders are a new group that are carrying out simple, non-medical tasks, including delivering medicines, shopping and other supplies as well as making calls to check in on those isolating at home. Whilst this service is not designed to replace support that is provided by health, social care and voluntary organisations, the government want to ensure anyone who may benefit from this support at this time of crisis is aware of the support available.

Further information about the programme can be found on this website.

Alongside this, charities can become approved referrers so that they can make referrals on behalf of their clients or members an approved referrer, please contact england.covid-communities@nhs.net

If you would like any further information on the service please contact england.covid-communities@nhs.net


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