Resources, guidance and sources of support in response to COVID-19
Resources, guidance and sources of support in response to COVID-19.
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
This week we continue to highlight resources, guidance and sources of support in response to feedback that you’ve been sharing with us about what you need. 

In this edition of enews you’ll find:
  • latest news
  • guidance from the Government and key stakeholders
  • support for registered managers
  • Skills for Care resources and support
  • other resources
  • events
  • blogs
  • get involved
  • reminder

 Latest news 

New Year Honours
It was great to see so many people involved in adult social care recognised in this years’ honours. We would like to add our congratulations and thank you for the contribution you are making to social care and to the attention it brings to our sector which is so critical to the lives of so many people and so often unrecognised.

New wellbeing resources
With the added challenges and restrictions of the pandemic, workforce wellbeing has never been so important generally and at work. To make sure that people with care and support needs and their families receive good quality care, supporting the wellbeing of the workforce is a significant factor.
There’s a great deal of information available to support workforce wellbeing and mental health. We’ve created resource lists for managers and staff that include a selection of these resources which can be downloaded, printed and shared.  ⇨ Find out more

New episode of The Care Exchange podcast now available 
The second episode of our podcast series is now live. In ‘Stay connected always’ hosts Pia and Ali talk to Sue Ann Nnamani, the Registered Manager of Priscilla Wakefield House in Haringey, London. Sue Ann shares her approach to managing a large nursing home, including how she made sure that values are embedded into the service, the importance of looking inwards and outwards and why it’s the simple things that matters.
⇨ Listen now
The Care Exchange is the new podcast series for managers in social care hosted by Skills for Care Locality Managers Pia Rathje-Burton and Ali Rusbridge.  

 Guidance from the Government and 
 key stakeholders 

National lockdown - Stay at home guidance 
The Government have issued some stay at home guidance for the current national lockdown which includes information about how visits to care homes can go ahead, but just not inside the home.
⇨ Read the guidance

Updated guidance: COVID-19 management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings 
This guidance has been updated and includes:
  • changes to the contact isolation periods and recommends that the isolation period for resident and patient contacts in care homes and hospitals should remain at 14 days, whereas it is 10 days for everyone else 
  • a section on patients and residents whereby they should be exempt from being retested for COVID-19 within 90 days from their initial illness onset unless they develop new COVID-19 symptoms. 
⇨ Read the updated guidance

Updated guidance: Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19 
This guidance has been significantly revised with nearly every section updated in line with the support package for care homes and latest updated advice on testing and infection prevention and control.
⇨ Read the updated guidance

COVID-19 vaccination: consent form and letter for social care staff 
The frontline social care worker consent form can be used for any social care staff who work in agencies or independently. Download the form here
Lots more information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme can be found here

Updated guidance on testing in care homes and additional rapid testing for staff 
Plans to increase testing in care homes have been accelerated in response to the new strain of COVID-19. £149m has been made available in a new grant for costs associated with staff and visitor testing. The funds can be used for setting up testing areas, staff training and for staff time. Find out more here.  
As part of this, care homes can use lateral flow tests to test staff twice a week, in addition to the weekly PCR test which is detailed in the Care home COVID-19 testing guidance document. 
There have also been some updates to the guidance on getting tested for COVID-19.  

Arrangements for visiting out of the care home 
This guidance sets out how care homes can support residents of working age on visits outside of the care home. Although we are now in a national lockdown, the guidance still applies.
⇨ Read the guidance

ACAS - Advice on staff vaccinations for employees and employers' rights 
ACAS have produced some advice on how to work safely during COVID-19 with information on employees and employers’ rights. 
⇨ Find out more

 Support for registered managers 

Take a look at our web pages which provide dedicated support and information we recommend for all registered managers and frontline managers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Our registered manager webinars cover a range of topics to support managers and their services. They are 30-minutes long and are delivered to a live audience and recorded for further viewing.
Take a look at our new recorded webinar ‘Risk Assessment – key principles to apply to protect your people, staff and service’ which provides a summary of the key things to build confidence in risk assessments and learn how to take positive risks even during challenging times. View the webinar and bitesize resources now

NEW - webinars for registered managers 
Driving and evidencing improvements in difficult times
Tuesday 26 January 2021, 14:00 – 14:30
This webinar will look at how to maintain focus on quality improvement and robust ways to ensure your service continues to strengthen the quality of care, including how processes have been adapted during the pandemic. The webinar will also look beyond the pandemic to sharing tried and tested approaches to gather evidence, identify areas for improvement and progress towards achieving these. We’ll be sharing insight from adult social care providers and introducing some new resources to help you. 
⇨ Book your place now

Meaningful activities - Leading the way
Wednesday 3 February 2021, 14:00 – 15:00
This webinar, in partnership with the National Activity Providers Associations (NAPA), will look at why meaningful activities are so important especially during a pandemic. It will focus on how managers can continue to motivate and engage whole staff teams to be involved in activity provision. We will share how to source new activities, resources and alternative ways to connect with others. We will also be sharing lots of useful top tips on meaningful engagement from other managers from a variety of services.
⇨ Book your place now

Advice line
Our advice line and email inbox has responded to hundreds of enquiries related to COVID-19 from frontline managers.  Our national and local teams have can help you access the latest guidance and connect with other services, as well as which Skills for Care products and services are most useful at this present time.  Get in touch and find out more and view our latest RM Advice Line FAQs
Telephone: 0113 241 1260

Facebook group
Our Facebook group is open to all registered managers and frontline managers in similar roles. We continue to see it used daily by managers to support one-another in a wide range of ways as they navigate the pandemic. Find out more and join today

Local networks
WhatsApp groups and virtual meetings are helping managers to connect at a local level. At each network, managers share knowledge, hear from guest speakers and access peer support. Find out more

Deputy manager networks 
We’ve launched a new network specifically for deputy managers, team leaders and assistant managers. The networks will be a great opportunity for deputies to meet the challenges they face in their day-to-day work, provide the opportunity to build supportive connections and a peer support network and facilitate the sharing of best practice and learning. Find out more.

Skills for Care resources and support
Essential training during the COVID-19 pandemic 
Skills for Care endorsed providers continue to deliver fully funded essential training to support the sector during the ongoing pandemic and ensure a skilled and competent workforce. 
Adult social care employers can access three packages of learning: 
  • rapid induction programme for new staff 
  • refresher training for existing staff 
  • volunteer programme. 
⇨ Find out more about the essential training and how to access it
Money to support the continuing professional development of your workforce
The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) supports 1,000s of learners in the adult social care sector every year. It’s available for adult social care employers in England to claim money towards the costs of employees completing listed qualifications or learning programmes.
To make a claim from the 2020-21 WDF you need to:  
  • sign up to access the fund by Friday 26 February 2021 
  • update your Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) account(s) in line with the requirements for WDF by Wednesday 31 March 2021 
  • submit your claim by Monday 31 May 2021 
⇨ Find out all you need to know about the WDF and how to apply
Individual employer funding 
If you employ your own care and support through a personal budget from social care or health (personal health budget) or using your own money (this is sometimes called being a 'self-funder'), you can apply for funding to train you and your personal assistants (PAs). 
To find out more about how to apply and what kind of activities the funding can be used for please visit our website which has a short information video, guidance, links to the application form and some FAQs.   
  • Closing date for applications - Sunday 28 February 2021.
  • Training that’s successfully funded must be started by 31 March 2021.
⇨ Visit the website
Meeting and supporting winter staffing needs 2020/21  
To help ensure that high-quality, safe and timely care is provided to everyone who needs it this winter, we’re sharing best practice examples of how providers and local authorities across the country are building and supporting their workforce capacity.
Each case study includes what they did, who they worked with and what was achieved to help you establish your own measures. 
⇨ See the case studies
Other resources
CARE badges 
The Department of Health and Social Care is providing CARE badges free of charge to staff employed across the adult social care sector. This is to recognise their critical work, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak. 
⇨ Find out more 
Webinar: COVID-19 and BAME communities – a deeper dive 
Tuesday 19 January 2021, 10:00 – 11:30 
This webinar will examine the recommendations from the COVID-19 and BAME Communities Advisory Group in more detail. We will look at each of the recommendations and give you the opportunity to ask questions about how you or your organisation can drive these recommendations forward for your staff. 
⇨ Book your place
Practical collaboration during COVID-19: working together to support adults with learning disabilities 
Thursday 28 January 2021, 13:30 – 14:30 
Hear how social care providers and the NHS have collaborated in Oxfordshire to support adults with learning disabilities through the pandemic and gain practical tips to support you in your area. This event is part of the Quality Matters initiative and has been developed by a group of national social care and health organisations led by Skills for Care and NICE. 
Key speakers include: 
  • Simon Jones, Consultant Nurse with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Eddy McDowall, Chief Executive, Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers 
  • Person with lived experience, My Life My Choice Self-Advocacy  
⇨ Find out more and book now
Webinar: learning from local recruitment initiatives during COVID-19
Tuesday 2 February 2021, 14:00 - 15:00  
Thursday 4 February, 14:00 - 15:00 
Friday 5 February, 14:00 - 15:00 

During the COVID-19 pandemic 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. Together with the Care Provider Alliance, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Local Government Association (LGA), we’re hosting three webinars to showcase some of the innovative solutions that the sector has developed over the past months. 
To register for one of the webinars, please email and let us know which date you’d like to attend. 
The Oliver McGowan mandatory training in learning disability and autism – second stakeholder forum 
Friday 12 February 2021, 10:00 – 12:00
This is the second in a series of stakeholder forums to update anyone working to support people with learning disabilities and autism about the progress on the work taking place to design, develop, trial and develop the training. It will give stakeholders the opportunity to highlight issues arising from the trial. 
⇨ Book now 
Visit the website for further information about the Oliver McGowan mandatory training in learning disabilities and autism. 


Coaching works 
Our CEO Oonagh Smyth reflects on the benefits of coaching. 
⇨ Read her blog

 Get involved 

Good and outstanding care – shaping our future resources 
We’re looking to reshape our online resources next year to support providers meet CQC expectations. If you’ve previously used our good and outstanding care resources, we want your views on how these resources should be refreshed. We’ve produced a short online survey to gather your initial views and this also includes the option to attend a virtual event to scope your ideas out further. 
⇨ Take the survey 

Symptom management guide – consultation version and feedback survey 
Skills for Care and partners have developed a short consultation guide to support adult social care managers and workers where they’re providing care and support to someone with COVID-19 symptoms in:
  • residential care 
  • supported living services 
  • a person’s own home.  
The guide may also be useful for individual employers, personal assistants and unpaid carers.
It includes practical tips for managing symptoms of COVID-19 based on clinical guidance and it can be used to guide workers, whilst considering each person’s individual wishes and specific needs.  The consultation version is on our website to be reviewed along with a short survey to collate your feedback. The closing date is 15 January 2021. 

Supporting individuals with face coverings and other COVID-19 related challenges 
Skills for Care, in partnership with East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Adult Social Care Training Team, has developed a consultation guide which sets out some practical guidelines for staff on how to support people with some of the current COVID-19 challenges. This could be wearing face coverings, sanitising their hands and maintaining social distancing. These changes in behaviour can be hard to achieve, and many people will need additional support to be able to do this without increasing their anxiety. 
The consultation guide is supported by a resource list which has links to government guidance, information, advice, easy read documents and You Tube videos about how to manage these challenges. 
Download the  consultation guide and resource list. We would like you to use these and send any feedback to by Friday 5 February 2021


Digital learning to support your response to COVID-19 
This free, easy to use digital learning module supports 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. 
Find out more.  
If you’ve been forwarded this email by a friend or colleague and would like to receive it directly to your inbox you can register to receive updates by creating an account on the Skills for Care website, and selecting the enews subscription preference.
Skills for Care Ltd, West Gate, Grace Street, Leeds LS1 2RP
Registered company no.3866683. Registered in England
Registered charity no. 1079836. Group VAT no. 135 5383 15