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Workforce and coronavirus

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Information on: guidance for employers and care workers; managing sick leave; recruitment; free services and grants for care staff; and remote working.


Events, Webinars and Training§

New essentials of wound care e-learning programme for the health and care workforce

The health and care workforce will be supported in developing the knowledge and skills they need to provide appropriate wound care to people in any setting, thanks to a new e-learning programme.The e-learning sessions are designed to provide an introduction to wound care and include activities, short films and links to further reading.

 

Mouth Care Matters e-learning resources - HEE

Oral health is an important part of general health and wellbeing. It allows people to eat, speak, smile and socialise without discomfort or embarrassment. Supporting patients with regular mouth care is a fundamental part of care that has frequently been identified as neglected and needing improvement. The aim of Mouth Care Matters is to empower staff, through training and education, to identify patients that need help with mouth care and ensure it is delivered in a safe and compassionate way.

 

Webinar  on Improving Palliative and End of Life Services: Delivering Personalised, Compassionate and Effective Care - Thursday, January 28th 2021, 9:30am and 1:00pm - Public Policy Exchange

 This symposium will provide a timely opportunity for NHS practitioners, health and social care services, local authorities, professional regulators and voluntary organisations to address the impact of the pandemic on the delivery of palliative care, discuss the areas for development within end of life services and explore how hospitals can ensure every dying person receives high-quality, personalised end of life care.

Find out more

Register a place (There is a fee to attend)

 

Recruitment webinars – February 2021 – LGA, ADASS, Skills for Care and CPA

Recruiting to the social care workforce is a challenge at any time, but during the COVID-19 pandemic this challenge has been even greater. Councils and partner organisations have been creative in taking new approaches to attract people from different sectors to consider social care as a long-term career opportunity. Skills for Care, the Care Provider Alliance, ADASS and the LGA will be hosting three webinars to showcase some of the innovative solutions that the sector has developed over the past months.  

 Tuesday 2 Feb, 14:00 - 15:00

Thursday 4 Feb, 14:00 - 15:00

Friday 5 Feb, 14:00 - 15:00

If you would like to register to attend, please email CHIP@local.gov.uk with “local recruitment webinars” in the subject line and state the date of the webinar you’d like to attend.

 

Free legal surgery for care providers – January 2021 - Ridouts Professional Services Plc

Free weekly legal surgeries for providers starting Tues 12 Jan 2021 at 10am.
Ridout lawyers will be on hand to answer any questions providers have regarding regulatory or operational matters affecting your health or social care service. Spaces will be limited so please email name, job title, and the organisation you work for to events@ridout-law.com to secure a spot and receive your meeting invitation that will enable access. www.ridout-law.com

 

Preparing for vaccinations in care homes for older adults – NHS England Webinar

7 January 2021 – 12.30 – 1.30

This session is focused on the Priority 1 Group identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – ‘residents in a care home for older adults and their carers’. 

The session will provide an overview of arrangements for roll out of vaccinations to all care homes for older residents, and speakers will share their experiences of early implementation.  The session will cover topics such as: latest national guidance and available vaccines, practical preparations, consent, vaccination in an outbreak, and the role of local authorities in supporting rollout.

There will be opportunities to ask questions and share views

 

Quality Matters webinar

Hear how social care providers and the NHS are working together locally during COVID-19 to support adults with learning disabilities in this free online webinar.

28 January 2021 

13:30 – 14:30

Register at: https://events.skillsforcare.org.uk/qualitymatterscollaboration1

 

Learning from events – Skills for Care new digital learning module

Skills for Care has launched a short digital learning module to support adult social care managers in carrying out holistic learning reviews


BetterPay4SocialCare campaign – 5 November 2020  

A group of social care organisation have come together in support of social care workers. The #BetterPay4SocialCare campaign is calling for the Government to increase local authority funding to ensure all social care workers receive a minimum of the Real Living Wage of £9.30 ph (£10.75 in London).

The campaign was initiated by ARC member, Kingwood - and  is gaining support across the social care sector. The campaign is not owned by any single organisation

Many other organisations and individuals are keen to support the campaign which will not be owned by any one organisation.


Supporting BAME across social care: webinar recordings – 7 August 2020 – Skills for Care

Skills for Care is currently undertaking some work to find out more about the experiences of adult social care workers from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background during the COVID-19 pandemic. The BAME workforce plays a vital role in the day-to-day care of people in our communities and it is critical we know more. They have also developed four webinars which are available on their website covering: supportive leadership, building alliances to support BAME staff, mental wellbeing and creating collaborations and supportive networks within organisations.


Webinar: Growing your staff to ease your workload

Tuesday 11 August 2020: 11:00 – 11:30
This Skills for Care webinar looks at how staff have stepped up to support managers in response to COVID-19 and how this has helped. It will also look at how to identify and develop emerging talent to support new challenges, as well as what opportunities are there to develop future managers.

Poems in a Pandemic: poetry and art competition – 24 June 2020 – Care Talk

Poems in a Pandemic is a poetry and art competition for frontline social care support staff, leaders and nurses to capture their thoughts, feelings and experiences of caring for people in a pandemic. Closing date for entries is 31 July. Virtual press launch is 7 July 2020.


Clap for our Carers – every Thursday at 8pm

The campaign is ongoing – with a public clap for carers and everyone providing support, every Thursday at 8pm. #clapforourcarers


Learning from events: new digital learning module - 30 October 2020 – Skills for Care

Skills for Care has launched a short digital learning module to support adult social care managers in carrying out holistic learning reviews following any incidents or near misses within the care setting, such as a COVID-19 outbreak.

Employers can claim £100 from the Workforce Development Fund for everyone who completes the module.

Skills for Care are also hosting a series of webinars:

Leading for wellbeing - Wednesday 4 November, 11:00-11:30

Learning and development, opportunities and accessing funding - Thursday 5 November 2020 | 10:00-11:00

Webinar: Wellbeing for individual employers and those supporting them - Monday 16 November 2020 | 14:15 - 15:15

 

Building your care teams’ resilience and wellbeing in COVID-19: webinar – 10 November 2020 – Altura Learning

The National Care Forum and Altura Learning, are hosting a webinar on resilience and wellbeing for the care workforce to support care staff during COVID-19.  Drawing on 20 years experience and research in Nutritional Neuroscience, Delia McCabe PhD, a world renown author and speaker, will share practical strategies to support better lifestyles for those working in care.

The webinar will be held at 11am on 10 November 2020.


Guidance for employers and care workers§

Workforce Capacity Fund for adult social care – 29 January 2021 - DHSC

Information for local authorities and adult social care providers on the £120 million Workforce Capacity Fund during coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance sets out:

  • the purpose of the fund
  • detailed examples of measures that this funding can be used to pay for, with advice for local authorities and providers on how to implement these measures and estimations of the resources required
  • information on reporting requirements

CPA response to Workforce Capacity Fund – 29 January 2021 – CPA

Responding to the announcement about the Workforce Capacity Fund, Kathy Roberts, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance has said: “… this new funding must be distributed at speed to support providers to manage the very real staff shortages and challenges they face… We must not lose sight of the need for a longer-term solution for the sector. The government must develop a sustainable People Plan.”

 

Urgent need for Social Care People Plan: CPA response to new funding to bolster staffing

In response to the government’s announcement of a new £120million fund for Local Authorities to bolster staffing, Kathy Roberts, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance says:

“I’m sure I speak for care providers everywhere when I say that we are delighted with today’s announcement of additional funding to the sector to bolster staffing and that the operational constraint of staff movement has been overturned.

“…Care Provider Alliance is calling for a long-term Social Care People Plan. Our aim being to have parity with the NHS, in terms of recognition as a skilled workforce, and in terms of reward through comparable pay and conditions.”

 

Urgent need for Social Care People Plan – 17 January 2021 - CPA

Care Provider Alliance response to additional £120m to bolster staffing: “The Care Provider Alliance is calling for a long-term Social Care People Plan. Our aim being to have parity with the NHS, in terms of recognition as a skilled workforce, and in terms of reward through comparable pay and conditions.”

 

Join Social Care

The Join Social Care website was launched to support care providers recruitment needs during the Covid-19 crisis. The recruitment platform is free of charge and makes it easier for care providers to reach potential employees in their local area.

Over 20,000 candidates have registered on the platform to date and they are a mix of experienced care workers and those looking to enter the sector for the first time. Hundreds of candidates are registering each week and are eager to be matched with local care providers.

Join Social Care is for CQC registered care providers and is available to both residential and home care providers. You can sign up here to find and contact candidates in your local area.

 

Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Updated 5 January 2020 - HMRC

Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021.

Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021.

You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

 

Income Tax and National Insurance contributions exemption for employer-reimbursed coronavirus antigen tests – 15 December 2020 - HMRC

This Tax Information and Impact Note is about an exemption from Income Tax and NICs for employer-reimbursed coronavirus antigen tests. his measure aims to make sure the use of relevant antigen testing procedures by employers are not subject to an Income Tax and National Insurance contributions charge.

 

New HCSW2020 Accelerated Care Certificate e-Learning programme now available – 14 December 2020 - HEE

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has worked in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Indeed and Skills for Care to develop the  HCSW2020 Accelerated Care Certificate e-learning programme.

To meet the needs of staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HCSW2020 (Health Care Support Worker) recruitment programme has been established. This aims to accelerate HCSW supply and reduce vacancies across mental health, acute care, community, primary care, midwifery, learning disabilities, and children and young people services.

This e-learning will support the induction of HCSWs and uses a mix of existing e-LfH resources and practical competency-based learning. Due to the demands of the pandemic, the Care Certificate will be accelerated to deliver an induction programme and training for colleagues.

The Care Certificate is a set of 15 standards and competencies delivered through theory and practice to support the induction for healthcare support colleagues who are new to health and care and to ensure they have the necessary skills to deliver high quality care. 

 

COVID-19 e-learning programme – 26 November 2020 – Health Education England

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare has worked in partnership with Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop the COVID-19 Vaccination e-learning programme.

The e-learning programme is designed to provide the health and care workforce involved in the national COVID-19 vaccination programme with the knowledge they need to confidently promote high uptake of the vaccine and deliver the vaccine programme effectively.

The programme currently consists of one core knowledge session, which covers subjects including vaccine eligibility and legal aspects, and an accompanying multiple-choice assessment session. 

This e-learning programme provides theoretical training.  Practical training in vaccine administration, and assessment and sign-off competency is also required before administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Delegated healthcare tasks: consultation on draft guide – Closing date 26 November 2020 – Skills for Care

Skills for Care and partners are developing a guide for employers, managers and care workers to support with understanding roles and responsibilities relating to delegated healthcare tasks.  A delegated healthcare task is a health intervention or activity that a registered health care professional delegates to a paid care worker. Skills for Care recognise that some employers, managers and care workers may welcome this guidance, whilst some may not feel comfortable or suitably prepared to carry out delegated healthcare tasks for a variety of reasons.

Their intention is to put out a revised version by the end of November and continue to refresh and share more going forward. 

Access the draft guide, and send feedback via this short survey by 5pm on 26 November.

Skills for Care will use the findings to develop and improve the guidance. 

 

Staying mentally well: winter plan 2020 to 2021 – 24 November 2020 - DHSC

The government’s plans to support people’s wellbeing and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic this winter. This includes a section on social care workforce- key points summarised below:

  • We have worked with the NHS, Skills for Care, and other organisations to develop a package of practical support. This includes bespoke support for Registered Managers, who we recognise are facing particular challenges, such as series of webinars and a dedicated advice line.
  • ‘Our Frontline’, a collaboration between Samaritans, Shout, Hospice UK and Mind, provides information, emotional support and access to a crisis text service for those working on the frontline, including in social care.
  • Care staff can send a message with ‘FRONTLINE’ to 85258 to start a conversation. This service is free on all major mobile networks and is a direct support for those who may be struggling to cope and need help.
  • Hospice UK has also extended its bereavement and trauma line to provide support to social care staff. This service offers a safe space for care workers to talk to a professional if they have experienced be
  • We have introduced a new CARE-branded website and app, CARE Workforce, developed in partnership with the NHS, for the social care workforce, aimed at providing timely information and signposting to support, all in one place.

 

Thousands more health workers to benefit from visa extensions – 20 November 2020

More than 6,000 frontline health workers will have their visas extended for a year for free, including doctors, nurses and paramedics. This includes healthcare staff working in the social care sector.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for homecare workers – 20 November 2020 - DHSC

Government information setting out how homecare agencies in England can order regular tests for their homecare staff. NHS Test and Trace is making weekly COVID-19 testing available to all homecare workers in England.

All registered homecare agencies will be contacted with details of how to apply for test kits for their homecare workers. Homecare agencies will be responsible for ordering and distributing test kits to all homecare workers for them to conduct at home on a weekly basis.

Homecare worker testing should only be conducted on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (if the homecare worker is able to access a priority post box with Sunday collections).

DHSC will be extending this service shortly to all homecare workers in adult social care, including unregistered organisations, live-in carers, and personal assistants.

 

Immigration Health Surcharge reimbursement – 18 November 2020 – GOV.UK

People who work in social care roles and have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge may be able to claim their money back from HM Government.

Applicants must be working for at least 16 hours per week during that period, but this can be in more than one eligible job. Reimbursement payments are processed in six-month instalments in arrears. 

Eligible applicants can now apply online and find out more about the scheme. Telephone help is available if you have difficulty in applying.

 

Enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19) – 13 November 2020 - DCMS

This guidance aims to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic.

 

Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Updated 1 November 2020 – HMRC

Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until December 2020.

 

Calculate how much you can claim through the Job Support Scheme – 30 October 2020 - HMRC

Calculate how much you have to pay employees on temporary working agreements for hours they’ve not worked and how much to claim from the scheme.

 

Check if you can claim the Job Support Scheme Open if your business is still operating – 30 October 2020 - HMRC

Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover the cost of hours your employees have not worked because your business has been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Help employers apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant (Kickstart gateway) – Updated 27 October 2020 – DWP

Information for organisations who want to be a Kickstart gateway and help employers apply for the Kickstart Scheme.  Added link to new ‘find a Kickstart gateway’ online service.


Skills for Care: State of social care workforce 2020 – 21 October 2020 – Skills for Care

The Skills for Care report provides a comprehensive analysis of the adult social care workforce in England and the characteristics of the 1.52 million people working in it. Topics covered include: employment information, recruitment and retention, demographics, pay, qualification rates and future workforce forecasts.

The report for 2019/20 shows that the adult social care sector in England still needs to fill around 112,000 job vacancies on any given.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Adult social care is a growing sector that, in 2019/20, comprised of around 18,200 organisations across 38,000 care-providing locations and a workforce of around 1.52 million compared to around 1.4 million NHS workers.
  • The adult social care sector was estimated to contribute £41.2 billion per annum to the economy in England, which is worth more than the oil industry and the culture sector.
  • Around 84% of the adult social care workforce were British, 7% (113,000 jobs) had an EU nationality and 9% (134,000 jobs) had a non-EU nationality.
  • Skills for Care estimates that 7.3% of roles in adult social care were vacant in 2019/20, equivalent to 112,000 vacancies at any one time.
  • Skills for Care estimates that the staff turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector was 30.4% in 2019/20.

Read the Skills for Care press release

Read the report

Download the infographic


Skills for Care reveals need for long-term support and recognition: CPA response – 21 October 2020 – CPA

Skills for Care today released the findings of its annual ‘State of the adult social care sector and workforce’ report, which highlights the social and economic value of social care workers, and the need to recruit, support and retain new staff into the sector.

Kathy Roberts, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) welcomed the report saying: “COVID-19 has rapidly raised the profile of the adult social care sector, and of the complex and skilled role that care workers play in supporting some of our most vulnerable people in our country. The Skills for Care report reminds us that, despite this improved awareness, much needs to be done to ensure we have sufficient numbers of well-supported care workers right now, and in the future.”


Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020 – Updated 9 September 2020 – NHS BSA

The Government has a life assurance scheme for frontline health and social care staff who contract coronavirus during the course of their work.The scheme pays a £60,000 lump sum where staff die as a result of coronavirus and had been recently working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who have contracted coronavirus. The scheme is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA). Further information on how to make a claim can be found on the NHS BSA website

Contact the NHS BSA helpline on 0300 330 3331.


CEV employees and returning to work: letter from Stuart Miller, DHSC – 21 August 2020 – DHSC

DHSC letter states “Current guidance is that clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) employees can return to workplaces if those workplaces are COVID-secure, but should be supported, where possible, to work from home. As new evidence emerges, this guidance will be updated. Clearly, for most people who work in adult social care and, in particular, those providing personal care, working from home is not possible. In addition, the high level of close personal working means it is more challenging to decide whether an individual can return to work safely. I have set out, below, some guiding principles for employers and employees to consider when deciding whether it is safe for an employee to work. Where possible, we want to enable people to work. Ensuring safe working practices and carefully considering how individuals can carry out their responsibilities is crucial to these guiding principles for employers and employees to consider when deciding whether it is safe for an employee to work.”


Professional Care Workers Week 1-4 September 2020 – 21 August 2020 – The Care Workers Charity

During the first week of September, The Care Workers Charity wants the social care sector to come together (virtually of course) to celebrate Professional Care Workers Week. Professional Care Workers Week has been designed to bring the sector together and to appreciate the outstanding efforts of care and support workers.


Modern slavery risks for care-workers in England during COVID-19 pandemic – August 2020 – University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham Rights Lab Modern Slavery Evidence Unit has released a Policy Briefing related to recent research into the modern slavery risks for care-workers in England during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This 2-page briefing describes the key findings of the research and proposes a series of recommendations for local authority commissioners and the UK Government. The full report is also available.


COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings – 19 August 2020 – GOV.UK

Guidance on the management of staff, patients and residents who have been exposed to COVID-19. Updates made to section 4 to include guidance on when health and social care staff can be exempt from being considered a contact for the purposes of Test and Trace.


COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings – Updated 31 July 2020 – GOV.UK

Guidance on the management of staff, patients and residents who have been exposed to COVID-19. Updated to reflect the extension of the self-isolation period from 7 days to 10 days for staff who have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result from the community; 14 days isolation period for staff and patients who are admitted to hospital (section 2); inclusion of re-testing guidance in staff (section 3).


Health and care workers to self-isolate on return to UK from high-risk countries - 30 July 2020 - GOV.UK

Registered health and care professionals travelling to the UK from high-risk countries will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, the government has confirmed.


Survey for BAME care workers – 1 July 2020 - Skills for Care

Skills for Care is launching a survey, and a series of webinars and peer coaching sessions, to find out more about the experiences of adult social care workers from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background during COVID-19. Closing date 7 July 2020.


Verification of expected death with clinical remote support by care workers: consultation – 1 July 2020 – Skills for Care

Skills for Care is working together with NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop supportive guidance and resources for the social care sector in line with the recently published government guidance ‘COVID-19: verifying death in times of emergency’.

They have developed two consultation resources for the social care sector to support with decision-making: 

The survey closes at 17:00 on Tuesday 7 July. Take the survey


The Health Service and Social Care Workers (Scrutiny of Coronavirus-related Deaths) Directions 2020 – 2 July 2020 – GOV.UK

Directions to NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts in England to ensure the scrutiny of deaths of health service and adult social care staff from coronavirus (COVID-19).


Coronavirus and occupational health – Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM)

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) is the UK organisation for all healthcare professionals working in or with an interest in occupational health. SOM has produced a range of resources on occupational health and coronavirus, including returning to work.


Reporting deaths of social care workers – 29 June 2020

All employers have a legal duty to report Covid-19 cases of disease or death, which may have arisen from employment, to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). Failure to report a dangerous occurrence or disease (especially death), in accordance with the requirement of RIDDOR, is a criminal offence, and may result in prosecution. 

Although the obligation to report to the HSE under RIDDOR lies with the employer, the doctor (with the workers’ consent) should advise the employer in writing of “cases where a registered medical practitioner has highlighted the significance of work-related factors when communicating a diagnosis of COVID-19 these cases would also be reportable”. See RIDDOR reporting – Further guidance.

As of June 2020 the government has asked social care employers to report the deaths of workers from confirmed or suspected Covid-19 to the Department of Health and Social Care. This is not mandatory but expected and should not be seen as an alternative to reporting the death to HSE. See Government request.


Air conditioning and ventilation during the coronavirus outbreak – Health and Safety Executive

HSE says you can continue using most types of air conditioning system as normal. But, if you use a centralised ventilations system that removes and circulates air to different rooms it is recommended that you turn off recirculation and use a fresh air supply.

See all HSE information and advice on coronavirus.


NHS Volunteers: information sheet for social care providers – 16 June 2020 – NHS England and Royal Voluntary Service

Information on who is eligible, what volunteers can do and what help and support care staff can receive.


Join Social Care: new recruitment tool – 26 May 2020 – GOV.UK

A new online platform to fast-track recruitment into the adult social care sector has been launched the government. Join Social Care will accelerate the recruitment process for adult social care. People looking to work in care can upload an online profile to be viewed by CQC registered care providers in their local area. Online training and DBS checks available free of charge. The online platform, developed and licensed from Cera Care, allows candidates to record a video interview and access free training supported by Skills for Care before starting employment.

Registered providers are then able to search for candidates in their local area, view their video interviews before starting DBS checks and training processes and make conditional offers.


Recruitment solutions: share examples – 20 May 2020 – Skills for Care

Skills for Care is working together with the Local Government Association, the Care Provider Alliance and ADASS and they want to hear how care providers have recruited people in the following areas: 

  • people returning to work in social care 
  • people being redeployed within the sector
  • students in their final year of study who are starting their career in social care early 
  • volunteers 
  • people coming from other sectors. 

Send success stories to randr@skillsforcare.org.uk using the subject line ‘Sharing local recruitment solutions’.


Bereavement scheme extended – 20 May 2020 – GOV.UK

The Home Office is extending the offer of indefinite leave to remain, free of charge, to the families and dependants of all NHS support staff and social care workers who die as result of contracting coronavirus. The offer of indefinite leave to remain will be effective immediately and retrospectively.


Death of care workers: informing DHSC – 20 May 2020 – GOV.UK

Government guidance on how local authorities and social care providers can tell DHSC about the death of an employee or volunteer in social care.


Care Workforce COVID–19 App – 5 May 2020 – GOV.UK

A new app from Department of Health and Social care to enable care workers to get information and advice in one digital hub, swap learning and ideas with colleagues across the country and access practical resources on looking after their own health and well-being.

Available via Apple App Store, Google Play, and web platforms.


Guidance for care providers – GOV.UK

The government guidance on residential care, supported living, and home care includes information on supporting your workforce.


Guidance for employers and business – GOV.UK

General guidance for all employers including encouraging working from home, protecting vulnerable employees and supporting infection prevention and control at work.


Home Secretary announces visa extensions for frontline health and care workers – 29 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Free visa extensions will be automatically granted to more crucial overseas health and care workers. The extension comes into effect immediately and is for all visas expiring between 31 March and 1 October 2020. Those benefitting from this extension will be identified by health and care employers across the UK.


Coronavirus testing for essential workers: Information pack for employers – 27 April 2020 – DHSC and PHE

There are two routes through which your staff can be tested. Employers should either:

  • use the online employer portal to upload details of those they know are self-isolating. In order to obtain a login, employers of essential workers should email portalservicedesk@dhsc.gov.uk with two email addresses that will primarily be used to load frontline worker contact details.
    OR
  • increase awareness of the employee portal amongst staff so that they can book a test directly for themselves or members of their household if they become symptomatic and are self-isolating. They can book a test through the self-referral service.

Mobile coronavirus testing units to target frontline workers – 26 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Mobile testing units, operated by the Armed Forces, will travel around the UK to increase access to coronavirus testing for frontline workers including care workers. Units will respond to areas of highest demand, travelling to test frontline workers and the most vulnerable at sites including care homes.


Involving volunteers – Updated 23 April 2020 – NCVO

Advice on involving and managing volunteers during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Registered managers' webinars – Skills for Care

Skills for Care is hosting a series of webinars for registered managers. The first three in the series cover Essential training, Human Resources in the time of COVID-19 and Attracting workers. More webinars to follow.


Webinars for voluntary sector organisations – NCVO

A series of webinars from NCVO including:

  • Governing during a pandemic: What are key things trustees need to be focused on? - 30 April, 15.00
  • Involving volunteers during the pandemic: What you need to know - 5 May, 10.00
  • How to involve and safeguard your volunteers during coronavirus - 14 May, 14.00
  • Making decisions in tough times - 11 June, 14.00


Safeguarding adults and coronavirus virtual training 6 May – 10 June 2020 – SCIE

A series of six training webinars on safeguarding during the coronavirus outbreak. To be held every Wednesday 1-2pm, from 6 May to 10 June.


New guarantee on death in service benefits for frontline health and care staff during pandemic – 28 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Government has announced that the families of health and care workers on the frontline in England will benefit from a new life assurance scheme during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Essential training during COVID-19 – Updated 6 April 2020 – Skills for Care

Skills for Care has identified priority training, and fully funded virtual training, delivered by endorsed providers for adult social care employers.


Ethical framework for adult social care – 19 March 2020 – GOV.UK

This framework intends to provide support to ongoing response planning and decision-making to ensure that ample consideration is given to a series of ethical values and principles when organising and delivering social care for adults.


Digital Social Care – use of technology

Digital Social Care is e-sharing information on how technology can be used to support care staff and the people who use services.


Royal College of Nursing members on COVID-19 – Royal College of Nursing

Information and resources to support their understanding of and management of COVID-19.


Updates on social work practice and coronavirus – British Association of Social Workers

Coronavirus social work advice, BASW updates and information.


Providing unpaid care – 8 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Information for people who are caring, unpaid, for friends or family during the coronavirus outbreak.


Secretary of State letter to care workers – 28 March 2020 – GOV.UK

The letter thanks the social care workforce for their help on coronavirus (COVID-19) so far.


Sick leave and pay§

Sick pay and workforce availability: guidance for commissioners – ADASS, LGA and CPA

Guidance for local authority commissioner on alleviating pressures on care providers, including in relation to sick pay, backfill payments, workforce availability, DBS checks and deployment across different care setting.


Sick pay for employees – GOV.UK

Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.


Sick pay support for business – GOV.UK

Small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay.


Recruitment, DBS checks and volunteers§

NHS Volunteer Responders – 14 July 2020 – CPA

NHS Volunteer Responders offer help to people in need of support or who are avoiding public places during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is run by the NHS in England, supported by Royal Voluntary Service and operates across England. This Care Provider Alliance briefing summarises the programme and how staff, care provider organisations and people who use care services can access NHS Volunteer Responders.


NHS Volunteers: information sheet for social care providers – 16 June 2020 – NHS England and Royal Voluntary Service

Information on who is eligible, what volunteers can do and what help and support care staff can receive.


Recruitment campaign for adult social care: Care for Others. Make a Difference - 23 April 2020 – GOV.UK

The government has launched a new national adult social care recruitment campaign to boost the adult social care workforce in England as part of a wider plan to attract more staff into the sector. The campaign aims to encourage the right people with the right values and attributes to consider a paid career in adult social care work. 


Deployment of registered nurses in social care – Skills for Care

Skills for Care is the primary point of contact for employers who need to access deployed registered nurses in social care. They are not responsible for deploying nurses - those decisions are being made by seven regional hubs. Skills for Care’s role is to ensure that social care is included in this decision-making process. 


DBS checks and backfilling roles – Explanatory Memorandum – GOV.UK

DBS has confirmed that recruitment for backfilling roles is included within special arrangements for DBS checks during COVID-19 outbreak, as per the amended regulations. See Para 7.1 in the Explanatory memorandum. DBS are stressing this to their registered bodies and will be updating their guidance FAQs.


Employing your own care and support – April 2020 – Skills for Care

Guidance on coronavirus for people who employ their own personal assistants and carers directly.


Free support, grants and benefits§

New award to recognise exceptional practice in adult social care workforce – 19 May 2021 - DHSC

The exceptional efforts of the social care workforce will be recognised through a new award launched by the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care. Gold and silver awards will recognise outstanding contribution to adult social care. The awards will be on an application basis and awarded throughout the year. The awards will not be limited to registered nurses and will be extended to include all carers across all care settings, not only care homes.

Applications are available as a form which should be supported by 2 signatories:

 

Government extends Furlough to March and increases self-employed support – 5 November 2020 - Treasury

The furlough scheme will now be extended until the end of March, The next self-employed income support grant will also increase from 55% to 80% of average profits - up to £7,500.

 

Uber Eats and CPA offer to care workers – 29 October 2020 – CPA

The Care Provider Alliance has partnered with Uber Eats to provide discounts on food deliveries for social care staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Care providers are encouraged to share information with their staff workers, inviting them to join the CPA 10% DISCOUNT Uber Eats account

The Uber Eats app connects users with a broad range of local restaurants and food, so they can order from the full menus of their local favourites whenever they want and get them delivered to their door.


Blue Light Card – 31 July 2020 – Blue Light Card

Blue Light Card provides those in the NHS, Emergency Services, social care sector and Armed Forces with discounts both online and in store. The Blue Light Card also allows small and large companies to get involved with offering a discount and encourage companies in local areas to offer discounts.  The Blue Light Card offers a range of official discounts from large national retailers to local businesses across categories such as holidays, cars, days out, fashion, gifts, insurance, phones and many other items.


Discount for carers – 31 July 2020 – Discount for Carers

A range of discounts Carers and Care workers, money-saving deals and vouchers, including travel and holiday deals, restaurant deals, money off fashion brands, through to deals on mobile phones, utilities and gym membership.

Internet connection offers for care homes – NHS X and NHS Digital

NHSX and NHS Digital have negotiated a range of internet connection offers with telecom companies. This is accompanied by two guides:


NHS volunteer responders support to care workers – 6 June 2020 – GOV.UK

From 8 June, NHS volunteer responders will be carrying out socially-distanced tasks including helping with delivering food shopping and dropping off personal medication to frontline staff at their homes. The aim is to help care workers to protect those they care for by making fewer journeys and coming into contact with fewer people.


Care Worker Charity Update on Covid Grants – 29 May 2020 – Care Worker Charity

The Care Workers' Charity has opened up their Covid-19 Emergency Fund to include more support roles in care settings. Due to more funding they can now support: cooks/kitchen roles, housekeepers, maintenance staff, admin staff etc. Grants will be offered on a case by case basis and are available while funds last.

For applicants who have had their income reduced due to self-isolating for 2 weeks or shielding for 12 weeks, they may be entitled to a grant between £500 and £1000.

CWC is also offering grants of £2000 for funeral costs. This grant is available if a person working as a care worker or in a supporting role in a care setting passes away OR to help a care worker cover the funeral costs if a next of kin passes away.


Subsidised Uber rides for care providers and workers – updated 31 July 2020 – Uber and CPA - Offer Closed

CPA and Uber have been working together to enable care providers and individual care workers to get 25% off Uber trips. Uber Medics allows care providers and workers to benefit from:

  • 25% off every ride – only the driver receives payment for these trips. Uber will not make any money on these rides.
  • A safe, reliable and efficient way to get to and from work. Drivers consent to wear masks, gloves and sanitise their care after every trip.

This offer is now closed


Vodaphone offers 6 months free unlimited data to care workers – Updated 31 July 2020 – Vodafone - Offer Closed

Mobile phone company Vodafone is offering six months free unlimited data to health and care workers. Complete the online for to register.


Sleepio: digital sleep improvement programme – free to care workers – 7 May 2020 – CPA and Big Health

Sleepio is a highly personalised, digital sleep improvement programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), that gets to the root of stubborn poor sleep. Sleepio users interact with The Prof, their own virtual sleep expert, who teaches them evidence-based skills via 6 weekly video sessions. There are also tools to help manage any worries and thoughts that make it difficult to sleep and ways to improve your environment and habits for better sleep. Sleepio is backed by clinical evidence, including 12 published RCTs and 37 published papers.

Access Sleepio from a computer or laptop here.

For technical issues, contact hello@sleepio.com 


Daylight: app to help manage anxiety – Free to care workers – 7 May 2020 – CPA and Big Health

Daylight is an app that will teach you ways to manage worry and anxiety in your life. Through techniques based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Daylight offers audio-led guidance tailored to your own problematic thoughts, behaviours, and responses to worry and anxiety. The programme gives you a range of techniques and guides you through daily practice sessions. Access Daylight here.

For technical issues contact hello@trydaylight.com


Increase to Working Tax Credits – what this means – 6 April 2020 – GOV.UK

The government has announced that Working Tax Credits payments will be increased from 6 April 2020.


Grants for self-employed people – 26 March 2020 – GOV.UK

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Use this scheme if you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus.


COVID-19 health, care and volunteer workers parking pass and concessions – 3 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Guidance and terms of use for the parking pass and concessions for COVID-19 health, care and volunteer workers.


Car MOTs extended – 25 March 2020 – GOV.UK

From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

 

Free emergency plumbing or heating repairs – Update 31 July 2020 – Home Serve UK - Offer Closed

Home Serve UK is offering free repairs to NHS and social care workers during lockdown.

Tel 0330 0247 222


Schools closures guidance – 19 March 2020 - Department for Education

Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. But children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers (inc social care) can still go to school if required.


Remote working§

For some staff at care services, it may be possible to continue working at home while in self-isolation.  There are free software packages that can help maintain open communications with staff. These include:

  • Slack is essentially a chat room for your whole company, designed to replace email as your primary method of communication and sharing.
  • Zoom Basic allows your company to host a conference with up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes on group meetings. One-on-one meetings, on the other hand, are free with Zoom Basic, and you can host an unlimited number of total meetings without paying a thing.
  • Chrome Remote Desktop can be quickly installed as an extension for the Chrome web browser. Users can create a PIN to allow other PCs to log in, though you will need a Google account. It's very easy to use, and best of all it's free, so you can give it a try to see if it's right for you.
  • Zoho Assists diverse selection of software plans and features make it an excellent option for small businesses to remotely access and support their devices.
  • Office 365 Part of Office 365, Teams' free version supports up to 300 participants and offers guest access, one-on-one, and group video and audio calls, as well as file and screen sharing, and online document collaboration. And for businesses requiring more services, Microsoft too has responded to the current epidemic by offering a free six-month trial of the paid version, including full meetings, collaboration and workflow capabilities.

See Digital Social Care for more information on using technology.

See all related information on coronavirus.