Resources, guidance and sources of support in response to COVID-19
Resources, guidance and sources of support in response to COVID-19.
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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.

 Latest news 

Consultation: Making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes
To increase vaccine take up, the government is considering amending the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. This would mean older adult care home providers could only use those staff who have received the COVID-19 vaccination (or those with a legitimate medical exemption) in line with government guidance.
A five-week consultation has been launched to seek your views. The deadline for responding is Friday 21 May 2021.
⇨ Find out more and complete the survey

Choosing and using everyday technology to support people
We've created a new ongoing learning and development webpage to support people using everyday technology. It has some short introductory information videos covering:
  • safety
  • accessibility 
  • hardware, software and practical technology 
  • creating good video 'spaces’ 
  • supporting mental and physical health
⇨ Find out more and view the videos

From May we’ll be running a series of workshop webinars (based on the topics above) to explore how social care staff can support autistic people and people with a learning disability to make choices about using technology to stay connected and contribute to their communities when social distancing restrictions are in place.
⇨ Book onto the workshops

 Guidance from the Government and 
 key stakeholders 

Visits out of care homes
This guidance sets out the approach that care homes should take to planning and supporting visits out of the home where residents wish to make them. It explains the measures that should be taken – by the home, the resident and others taking part in the visit. The guidance also details the requirement that a resident making a visit out of the care home should isolate for 14 days on their return.
⇨ Read the guidance here

Updated guidance relating to use of PPE
Guidance has been updated that details the need to change personal protective equipment (PPE) after each episode of personal care, and new recommendations around the use of eye protection when delivering personal care within 2 metres.
The guidance that has been updated is: There have also been some amends to the guidance on Personal protective equipment (PPE): resource for care workers working in care homes during sustained COVID-19 transmission in England. This guidance is intended for all care workers working in care homes and supported living in England. It can also be applied to visitors or essential care-givers within the care home setting.

Updated: COVID-19 testing for adult day care centre workers
This guidance sets out how open day care centres providing essential care in England can order weekly PCR testing for their staff. The guidance has been updated to reflect current COVID-19 rules.
⇨ Read the updated guidance here

Personal assistant testing and vaccines update
Personal assistants (PAs) now have access to twice weekly rapid Lateral Flow Testing (LFT), with confirmatory PCR testing for a positive test. You can order rapid LFT kits from the testing portal. They are available for home delivery, for collection at participating pharmacies and local sites.
PAs should test twice weekly (every 3-4 days), as close as possible to starting work.
These tests are only for people without symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test online or by calling 119.
⇨ Find out more
You can also join a weekly interactive webinar where you can ask any questions and access previous recordings.

PAs are eligible for their COVID-19 vaccination as a frontline health and social care worker if any person they are caring for is clinically vulnerable to COVID-19.
PAs should now access an appointment for their vaccination by contacting their GP or any GP in the area they work in. If you cannot access an appointment via this route, or do not have an eligibility letter for your vaccination, then please contact your local authority vaccination lead.
Regardless of vaccination status, PAs should continue to follow IPC measures, using appropriate PPE. PAs should contact their local authority for access to free PPE.

 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.  

Here’s a reminder of some of the things we have available to help:
  • Facebook group: open to all registered managers and frontline managers in similar roles. It is used every day by managers to support one-another by sharing advice, guidance and experiences.
    ⇨ Find out more
  • Local networks: support managers to share knowledge, hear from guest speakers and access peer support currently through virtual meetings and WhatsApp groups. ⇨ Find out more
  • Webinars and bite size resources: there are over 20 pre-recorded webinars on our website which cover a range of topics which are supported by bite size resources including tips, checklists and toolkits.
    ⇨ Find out more
  • Membership: as the membership organisation for registered managers in England, we support managers to develop best practice and knowledge, keep up-to-date with sector developments and share ideas with like-minded peers.
    ⇨ Find out more
  • Advice line: our advice line and email inbox can help you access the latest guidance and connect with other services.
    Telephone: 0113 241 1260
    FAQs: RM Advice Line FAQs

Last chance to book: Practical approaches to working with partners webinar
Tuesday 20 April 2021, 11:00-11:30
This webinar will look at how the pandemic has helped adult social care providers establish new partners and successfully build upon existing ones. It will look at mutually beneficial relationships with a range of different partners, including examples from outside of the usual partnerships between health and social care.
The webinar is aimed at frontline managers looking to work together with partners to deliver high standards of care and support in your service, your community and potentially beyond.
⇨ Register for this event
Skills for Care resources and support
New video: Everything you need to know about ASC-WDS
The Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set, or ASC-WDS for short, is an easy-to-use online service that helps you manage your team and makes sure your voice is heard by the Government and other key sector decision makers.We’ve produced a brand new three-minute video which details the benefits of using ASC-WDS and how the data within the system can be used by the Government and other stakeholders to make informed decisions about the care sector.
⇨ Take a look at the video

User led organisation (ULO) funding - opening 19 April 2021
Organisations who are run for, and by, people with a disability or long-term health condition (disabled people’s user-led organisation) are now being invited to apply for a learning and development grant from Skills for Care called ULO funding.
ULO funding grants are used to pay for training which will improve the knowledge and skills of personal assistants (PAs) and their employers (individual employers).
As well as the direct cost of the training, grant applications can also include requests to fund travel to and from the training, and the cost of hiring replacement support (whilst the employer’s usual PA is attending training during their normal working hours).
  • The opening date for applications is 10:00 on Monday 19 April 2021
  • The closing date is 12:00 on Monday 24 May 2021
⇨ Find out more
Supporting individuals with face coverings and other COVID-19 related challenges
Skills for Care, in partnership with East Sussex County Council Adult Social Care Training Team, has finalised a guide which sets out how to support people with learning disabilities and autistic people with some of the current COVID-19 challenges.
Some of these challenges could be wearing face coverings, sanitising hands, maintaining social distancing and supporting people getting used to new ways of doing things.
These practical guidelines, resources and trainer pack aim to help staff, support teams and family members support people to adapt their behaviour without increasing anxiety for themselves or the person they’re caring for.
⇨ Find out more and view the resources
Other resources
Act F.A.S.T stroke campaign resources
As part of Public Health England’s ‘Act F.A.S.T.’ stroke campaign, you can now order wallet cards for your staff that contain the key messaging:
  • Face - has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms - can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech - is their speech slurred?
  • Time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs of a stroke
The campaign has been relaunched following the significant fall in stroke admissions and an increase in excess deaths during the COVID -19 pandemic. The faster a stroke patient receives treatment, the better their chances are of surviving and reducing long-term disability.
⇨ Order the cards for your team.
Reimagining day activities for older people
4, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 13 May 2021
NDTi (National Development Team for Inclusion) are running a series of two-hour workshops for people that run or commission day services, activity support or community provision for older people. The webinars will focus on how we can enable older people to reconnect, re-engage, and contribute once more to the communities around them.
⇨ Find out more
Join Live Music Now, Oomph! Wellness and Music for Dementiahosted by the National Care Forum
Wednesday 5 May, 12:00-13:00
The power of music and exercise is well documented as effective in improving mental health and wellbeing, reducing isolation and loneliness and bringing joy to people living and working in care and support settings.
This webinar will highlight the importance of music and exercise and the science behind the ‘feel good’ feeling – providing comfort and relief, improving mood and thinking, maintaining or regaining mobility and independence.
⇨ Find out more
Webinar: Planning, keeping safe, and being prepared: Now and in the future
Wednesday 28 April 2021, 10:00-11:00
This webinar is aimed at individual employers, and those supporting them, including personal assistants (PAs), and supporting organisations.
This webinar aims to highlight Skills for Care’s tools to support workforce planning, introduce the analyse – plan – do – review model and bring to life how people employing PAs can apply them.
Delegates will hear about the benefits of workforce planning, understanding, assessing and managing risk and the importance of having a solutions-focussed contingency plan.
Making sure you’ve got the right number of people with the right attitudes, skills, values and knowledge to support you at the right time is even more important now than ever before.
⇨ Book now
The Oliver McGowan mandatory training in learning disabilities and autism – stakeholder forum three
Tuesday 6 July 2021, 10:00-12:00
The Oliver McGowan mandatory training in learning disabilities and autism aims to ensure staff working in health and social care receive learning disability and autism training, at the right level for their role.
The purpose of this event is to update anyone working to support people with learning disabilities and autistic people about the progress to date on the work currently taking place with partners to design, develop and trial the training. It will allow stakeholders the opportunity to provide an update, obtain feedback and answer any questions raised.
⇨ Find out more and book now

 Get involved 

New national adult social care jobs board
The Department of Health and Social Care is investigating the possibility of a new national adult social care jobs board. The user researcher they’re working with is looking to speak to anyone who recruits adult social care workers, especially small residential providers with under 50 employees that are struggling with recruitment, to help make sure the new service reflects their needs.
The research session (no more than one hour) would involve a discussion about how you recruit, before taking a look at a prototype of the service. This will enable the team to test out ideas, take on views and improve the service.
If you or anyone you know is interested in taking part, please contact

Tender opportunity to model and quantify different economic scenarios for the adult social care sector
Skills for Care is seeking to commission a consultant to conduct analysis to inform the economic case for investment in the adult social care sector and the workforce by modelling and quantifying different scenarios. The study should be based on our workforce intelligence data (known as the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS)) and publicly available evidence.
The closing date to submit this quotation is noon on Wednesday 28 April 2021.
⇨ Find out more

Tender opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of Skills for Care’s campaign activity
Skills for Care is seeking an associate to evaluate the effectiveness of Skills for Care’s campaign activity including a survey of awareness and attitudes among social care employers in England. The campaign aims to increase take-up of products and services, expand our reach, inform employers about government policy, develop attitudes to workforce development, and ensure that employers are aware of and can benefit from the support that Skills for Care offers. The evaluation should cover the three financial years 2021/22 to 2023/24.
The closing date to submit this quotation is 10am on Tuesday 20 April 2021.
⇨ Find out more


Have you listened to our podcast?
The care exchange aims to be a place where managers can share their experiences, so managers can listen to their peers, feel less isolated and pick up some good ideas.
Our latest episode features Carly Rochester who manages a large home care service. She talks about how she has learnt to delegate more during the pandemic

⇨ Listen now
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