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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon


Last Updated 13:00pm, 16 November 2020


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

Employment opportunities for young people with SEND

An online conference will showcase what a range of employers are doing during the current crisis and how they are creating opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to get into paid work.

More information and how to book a place is available from this flyer.

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 as part of the Proud to Care Winter Pressures campaign, which runs until 28 January 2021.

Kickstart scheme to support recruitment

The 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.

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.

Are you concerned about your team’s health and wellbeing in these challenging times?

DCC is keen to work with adult social care providers from care homes and community services, to consider training that would support the health and wellbeing of their workforce. The training is likely to include resilience, peer support and reflective practice. If you have ideas of what the training content should be, please join us at a virtual focus group on Wednesday 25 November, 11am-1pm.
Please contact Terrie Chaplin for more information and/or for invitation to join the focus group.

Exeter University students working in a care setting

The city of Exeter has seen a sharp rise in the number of COVID – 19 cases since the start of the University term.

The  University has asked its students who live in the city not to meet indoors with anyone who is not part of their household, for 14 days from that announcement (on the 28 September).

Public Health Devon and Devon County Council welcomes this decision by the University, and are monitoring the data closely so that they are able to respond quickly and assess whether those current measures are sufficient, or whether further and tighter restrictions will need to be adopted locally and are keeping the situation under very close review.

The Director of Public Health for Devon has sent a letter to care and support providers operating in the Exeter area to advise those currently employing, or have working as a volunteer, a University of Exeter student working in a care setting,  you can view the letter here.

The University has reminded its students who are employed part-time in health or social care settings (including care homes, domiciliary care, or NHS settings) to speak to their employers to make sure any risks are assessed and appropriate measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you are currently employing, or have working as a volunteer, a University of Exeter student working in a care setting, we ask you to:

  • Speak with that member of your staff to make sure that they are aware of and are following your infection control measures, and wearing the required PPE appropriately (if you are a care home)
  • Make sure that the member of staff is included in your regular staff testing for coronavirus
  • Look out for symptoms (we know you are doing this) within your staff teams
  • Know what to do if you identify staff or service users with symptoms of coronavirus.

If you need any support please contact our dedicated

The University is working extremely hard with colleagues at Public Health Devon and Public Health England, as well as with Devon County Council and Exeter City Council to stop the infection spreading.

There is no evidence as yet to suggest that the infection is spreading into the wider local community.  It is, as yet, contained largely in student accommodation settings, on campus and within student households in small areas of the city.

This information should  not alter the employment terms with any member of your staff or volunteer team.  It is simply as a precaution the University has written to its students, to ask that we take all precautions to halt the spread of this virus.

More information about the local outbreak is available.

Parking permit scheme survey

Staff using the Care and Health Worker Parking Permit can have their say on the future of the scheme, including whether it becomes permanent, by completing this short 10 question survey by 30th September.

Nursing Associates in Devon – latest developments

Planning is now underway for the next cohort of Nursing Associates and apprentices under Devon’ pilot programme, ready for studying to recommence in Spring 2021. If any providers missed the recent forum presentation on this role they can complete this Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Expression of Interest form to register a ‘no obligation’ expression of interest.

Further information on the role can be found on the Nursing & Midwifery Council and the Skills for Care (Nursing Associates) webpages and queries can be sent to or

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.

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.

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

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 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:

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

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

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.

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

Recruitment campaign for healthcare assistants – helping providers to fill vacancies

Recruitment campaign for healthcare assistants – helping providers to fill vacancies
Proud to Care Devon has attracted 2,000 initial registrations from job seekers through its recent campaign to support providers with recruiting staff, both on a temporary basis to cover immediate needs and also on a permanent basis. We are now working closely with Department of Work and Pensions to attract applicants across Devon with transferable skills, who are being made redundant from areas such as hospitality, leisure and retail.

Helping you fill your vacancies – what you need to do
To receive applicants, providers should upload their jobs onto the Proud to Care website and permanent job seekers will be directed to the jobs board and matched with vacant positions. The team is happy to help (subject to capacity) by uploading jobs for providers; please send them to

Temporary Healthcare Assistants
Proud to Care has teamed up with Temp Solutions, the in-house temporary staff bank for Devon County Council, to supply temporary staff to providers. If you would like a temporary Healthcare Assistant, please contact or call Temp Solutions on 01392 383000.


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 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 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.

Transport and travel

Temporary parking permits for social care key workers extended until 30 August.

During the pandemic period temporary permits were issued to help key care and health workers who do not have our Care and Health Worker time-clock parking permits, yet have to perform their duties in the community and at key locations such as hospitals, clinics, doctor surgeries and residential care or nursing homes.
That temporary permits scheme has now been extended until 30 August 2020

Travel benefits

A new on-demand subsidised taxi service is being trialled by Devon County Council to help key workers (who would normally travel by bus) to travel to and from work.

The Council is also aware that some care agencies may be experiencing other transport-related issues, for example, having sufficient drivers to support ‘walking rounds’. If you have any such issues and would welcome a discussion about other potential transport solutions please email who will do his best to assist.

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.

On single and double yellow line ‘no waiting’ restrictions Devon County Council has extended the time permit from 1 hour to 2 hours.

This scheme has been now been extended during COVID-19 to include key locations such as hospitals and doctors surgeries and care homes.

If your team members (who are care or health workers) have not yet been issued a ‘timeclock’ then Devon County Council is extending the previous scheme for three months whereby a permit can be printed off for use in limited waiting, residents’ parking areas, on-street pay and display, but not on single or double yellow lines. Download and print your permit here.

Critical workers can apply for an emergency driving test, if required.

For more information please visit Devon County Council’s coronavirus advice about travel and public transport.

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.

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 template letter 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.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. It is intended to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

We are advised by central government that the scheme should be up and running by the end of April 2020.

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.

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.

Overall Workforce Development

Our main non-COVID Workforce Development webpage.

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