Care Matters Weekly: Friday 11 December 2020

This is the Care Matters Weekly update for Friday 11 December 2020, including information on: COVID-19 vaccine Infection control fund 2 Lateral Flow Device testing Weekly Q&A with Care Homes […]

Published on 11/12/2020 in Care Matters Weekly | News

This is the Care Matters Weekly update for Friday 11 December 2020, including information on:

The latest guidance on Testing, PPE and Training can be found in the relevant sections on the Sutton Care Hub website.

COVID-19 vaccine 

The NHS is preparing to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine as it has now been confirmed as safe and effective.

Care home staff have been given top priority for the vaccine.

All care homes in Sutton were contacted about this news on Friday 4 December. Care staff wanting to register their interest for the vaccine should contact the care home they work at to arrange booking. 

The vaccine is the best way to protect the most vulnerable people from COVID-19 and this is the biggest breakthrough since the pandemic began. It is a huge step forward in our fight against the virus, potentially saving tens of thousands of lives.

The government has also produced some guidance on consenting to the vaccine, including a template letter for adults able to consent. There is also a template for care home residents.

If you need further help or information, please visit the COVID-19 page on the Sutton Care Hub or email LB Sutton: [email protected]

Infection Control Fund 2

This is a reminder of the five main measures of the infection control fund:

  • ensuring that staff who are isolating in line with government guidance receive their normal wages and do not lose income while doing so. 
  • steps to limit the number of different people from a home care agency visiting a particular individual or steps to enable staff to perform the duties of other team members/partner agencies (including, but not limited to, district nurses, physiotherapists or social workers) when visiting to avoid multiple visits to a particular individual.
  • meeting additional costs associated with restricting workforce movement for infection control purposes. This includes staff who work on a part-time basis for multiple employers or in other care settings particularly care homes. This includes agency staff (the principle being that the fewer locations that members of staff work in the better)
  • ensuring that staff who need to attend work for the purposes of being tested (or potentially in the future, vaccinated) for COVID-19 are paid their usual wages to do so
  • steps to limit the use of public transport by members of staff (taking into account current government guidance on the safe use of other types of transport by members of staff)

Please remember to submit returns on time. The deadlines can be found on the Sutton Care Hub’s calendar. 

Lateral Flow Device testing

The rapid COVID-19 test is called a lateral flow device (LFD) test. Care homes will receive these test kits in December, directly from the Department of Health and Social Care. 

A schedule of training has been planned for CQC registered Care Home staff. Anyone who is unable to attend the training can still download the latest session retrospectively by clicking on the link enclosed in the document below. They can also download the slides for the training and see the latest Q&As enclosed with the last session.    

There is important preparation for homes to put in place to be ready for LFD testing, which is covered by this government guidance and the document below. We advise you to read them thoroughly beforehand.

For all Care Homes involved in the second release of LFDs, there will no longer be a need for a managed device to input registrations (i.e. an iPhone). All homes will now be using the online registration form for registering tests. 

Please note the online form is not available until Monday 14 December and therefore LFD testing should not start before this date.

If you have any questions are require any further information, please email [email protected] 

This video on the NHS Learning Hub clearly shows the process of self testing.

Weekly Q&A with Care Homes 

We are holding a weekly Q&A session for all Care Home Providers, every Wednesday 4 – 5pm, via google meet. The session will give you an opportunity to ask questions and discuss situations arising due to COVID-19. The session is optional, and you can drop in and out of the session as you are available.

If you have any questions you would like to share in advance of the session please send to [email protected] and mark FOR Q&A LOG. Questions may be asked during the session which have not been submitted in advance, however please note we may need to come back to you with an answer at a later date.

Weekly testing for Homecare staff 

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

All testing must only be conducted between Thursday and Sunday.

Homecare workers should always check the last collection time at the nearest Priority Post Box and test kits must always be posted before the last collection time, on the same day that the swab is conducted.

All tests must be registered using the organisation testing portal, with your homecare agencies unique organisation number.

More information on testing homecare workers can be found on the Sutton Care Hub website. There is also further guidance provided by the government.

To ensure the weekly tests are completed and results uploaded to the portal, the infection control payment can be used to fund administration costs associated with this task up to two hours a week.

Mental Capacity during COVID-19: Advice for social care

Updated resources, advice and guidance regarding mental capacity during COVID-19 can be found on the Sutton Care Hub.

NHS Test and Trace

The latest guidance on NHS Test and Trace can be found on the Sutton Care Hub.

London ADASS returns

Home Care and Supported Living/Extra Care Providers only.

The London Adass returns now need to be completed three times a week. Please ensure you are completing the ADASS Market Insight tool every Monday, Wednesday and Friday,


If you are in need of emergency PPE because you have less than three days of supply and have already exhausted your normal supply routes (including the government PPE portal if you are a registered care provider) then please complete this Emergency PPE Request form

For any other queries or if you need to speak to someone immediately about PPE, call us on 020 8770 6041. 

End of Transition Period: Keeping data safe 

The government has confirmed that the transition period will end on 31 December 2020 and there will be no extension. On 1 January 2021, the UK will become a “third country” for data protection purposes unless an adequacy decision is reached with the EU.

This joint briefing by Digital Social Care and the Care Provider Alliance is relevant to all adult social care providers in England.

You can also access guidance which sets out what organisations need to do now to prepare for any eventuality at the end of the transition period:

You find out more about this on the Sutton Care Hub’s news section. If you have any questions or need support on the issue raised here, please contact [email protected]

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