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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Workforce

Last Updated 14:00pm, 5 March 2021


Introduction

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

Finance

Workforce Capacity Fund

Devon County Council submitted its proposals for approval by central government on 12 February to allocate its share of the national Workforce Capacity Fund. This must be spent by 31 March 2021 and must conform to government requirements. Our proposal has been developed in consultation with the Provider Engagement Network Reference Group.

Subject to approval of our proposals by central government we will allocate the grant as follows:

Circa 90% of the grant will be paid directly to eligible CQC regulated providers (the rules did not allow for money to be passported to unregulated providers) for them to use flexibly on measures that will enhance their staffing. However, the size of grant would have been of little value if distributed between all providers so, to achieve greatest impact, we will target the funding for:

  • Providers in outbreak* who have had more than five staff sick or isolated, paying up to £10,000 each per location (*The condition of this area of the grant is if the provider has had five or more staff test positive within any single outbreak period. The outbreak period for which the staff tested positive must have been still under review on or after 16 January 2021).
  • Small providers (15 beds or less in a care home location or 20 or less service users if a community provider location setting), paying up to £6,000 each per location.

Both these schemes will be by application from an invited list of eligible providers and the sums quoted are a maximum grant. We are making the application process as simple as possible, as timescales for application are very short to meet government requirements.

The balance of the grant allocation will be used as follows:

  • We will fund a Proud to Care local recruitment campaign in March
  • £50,000 will be used to support regulated domiciliary care providers with the costs of onboarding people newly recruited after 1 February 2021 where the additional hours are used to meet DCC and NHS commissioned need. Full details to follow
  • To ensure availability of staff to support providers via our Temp Bank and purchase of Agency Staff
  • We will buy additional occupational therapy and district nursing capacity to support providers and assist with discharge of people from hospital.

For any queries in relations to the fund please contact: covidASCgrants@devon.gov.uk

Workforce Development Fund 2020-21

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) for 2020-2021 has now been launched.

Providers can claim if a learner has completed an eligible qualification or learning programme between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2021, as listed by Skills for Care and if they have an Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set account that meets the WDF requirements.

Further information is available from Skills for Care and from the Cornwall Adult Health & Social Care Learning Partnership

If you need support please contact elaine.dyer@cahsc-cornwall.org.uk

Training

Rapid induction course

For those of you who require a rapid induction course for your new starters or a refresher course for those returning to the sector, Skills for Care are currently running both of these for FREE (up to 31 March). For more information about them, please visit Skills for Care.
For more details or assistance with this process, please contact Nicola Wright.

FREE Restore2 training

There are still free places available on the Restore2 training for care home staff in the Moor-to-Sea, Coastal and Newton Abbot Localities. Restore 2 enables early detection of a resident whose condition may be deteriorating.

The Restore 2 mini one hour course looks at ‘soft signs’ such as increased breathlessness, a change in usual eating or drinking habits, reduced mobility or an increase in agitation or confusion.

The Restore 2 full 3 hour course covers both ‘soft sign’s and the taking and recording of vital signs, such as pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure and temperature.

RESTORE 2 Full Course:
Course times 2.00pm-5.00pm with registration time at 1.45pm. All virtual training via MS teams.
February dates: 4, 11, 18, 25
March dates: 4, 11, 18, 25

RESTORE2 Mini Course:
2 sessions available on each date below. All virtual training via MS teams
2.00pm-3:00pm with registration time at 1.45pm or 3.45pm-4.45pm with registration time at 3.30pm
February dates: 2, 9,16, 23
March dates: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

To book a place, please contact the training team
To enable us to create a Hive account we will need the following information for each attendee: name, individual email address, contact number, job title, work address and manager’s name.

FREE Digital Skills training programme for new and existing care staff

New and existing health and social care staff in Devon and Somerset are now able to register for the next free 12-week training programme, starting in March. Boost your career, enhance your employability, gain new confidence and motivation. This is an opportunity for care staff to invest in their digital skills. The programme has been designed to help you to become fluent with digital tools, enhancing the amazing work that you do. Find our more and register.

Recruitment

Adult social care work recruitment

Public urged to consider work in adult social care
The public are being called upon to apply for short-term and long-term opportunities in the adult social care sector.

Short-term paid work in adult social care
How to register your interest in taking up short-term paid work in adult social care.

ADASS has launched an emergency adult social care temporary recruitment campaign
Please contact Temp Solutions to access any temporary staff as a result of this campaign.

Care Friends App

Skills for Care is promoting the Care Friends App, an innovative employee referral app to boost the number of quality social care candidates by using recommendations from the sector’s own workforce. Email Proud to Care if you are interested in being part of a possible Devon pilot, subject to the level of provider interest.

Care for others, Make a Difference

The National adult social care recruitment campaign, “Care for Others, Make a Difference” is live from 9 Feb – March 2021. Please take full advantage by following these instructions to make sure your vacancies are visible to all applicants. If you think someone you know might thrive in a social care career, then they can apply here. For further campaign updates, sign up to the dedicated newsletter for the latest news. The campaign’s Work in Social Care Facebook page is also worth a visit.

Proud to Care supporting you to fill your job vacancies

It’s quick and easy to upload your jobs onto the free jobs board and we’ll job match applicants to these jobs.
The next campaign will run from March to May 2021 to attract people at risk of redundancy to the social care sector.

Need-staff? Temp Solutions!

If you need temporary staff, Temp Solutions (DCC Temp Bank) may be able to help. To find out if they have suitable temporary staff available in your area, please call 01392 383000 and ask for Temp Solutions or email Temp Solutions.

Kickstart scheme to support recruitment

The government’s Kickstart scheme is a brilliant opportunity to offer a 6-month work placement for 16-24 year olds and to receive up to 25 hours a week at the national minimum wage, plus £1500 per placement.

Read one providers first-hand experience.

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

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.

CARE workforce app

Sign up for and download on Google Play and on the App Store.

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 21 December 2020).

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.

Filipino care staff support line

There is an NHS bereavement and trauma line for Filipino staff, available 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm. No need for a referral. To book a consultation call: 0300 303 1115.

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:

Advice for pregnant employees

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

Care Workers national discounts scheme

Care staff can join the national Discounts for Carers scheme and benefit from price reductions from a range of retailers.

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.

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.

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

Overall Workforce Development

Our main non-COVID Workforce Development webpage.


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