Care Matters Weekly: Friday 30 July 2021

Please share this information with your staff. Updated guidance COVID-19 testing service guidance Frontline care and NHS staff can continue to work in exceptional circumstances rather than self-isolate Community health […]

Published on 30/07/2021 in News

Please share this information with your staff.

Updated Guidance

COVID-19 testing service guidance

COVID-19 testing service guidance for extra care and supported living settings has been revised. The guidance is primarily for managers to set out testing policy to staff and is part of a suite of measures to prevent outbreaks and save lives.

Frontline care and NHS staff can continue to work in exceptional circumstances rather than self-isolate

As of this week, double vaccinated frontline care and NHS staff in England, who have been told to self-isolate, will be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances, with a revised testing regime.

This will include frontline health staff and independent healthcare providers, palliative and end of life care services, and hospices who have been contacted as a close contact of a case of COVID-19 by NHS Test and Trace, or advised to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app. You can read more here.

Community health 2-hour crisis response standard 

By 31 March 2022, integrated care systems (ICSs) in England must make sure all over 18s have access to crisis response care within two hours, in their homes or usual place of residence. The guidance sets out essential operational and clinical requirements for NHS-funded crisis response services. This standard builds on existing technical data guidance. 

Supporting adults with learning disabilities and autism 

Guidance for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

and for people providing unpaid care to these groups, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been updated.

Resources include fun, instructional videos, such as the one pictured above, demonstrating how to maintain effective infection prevention and control, at home and in other settings.

Visiting arrangements in care homes

If you haven’t seen it already, Information relating to visiting arrangements in care homes in England has been updated. This guidance came into effect on 19 July 2021 and applies to residential care homes and care home residents of all ages. Read the guidance on how to manage visits out of care homes too.

Domiciliary Care

New guidance on PPE use has now been published for domiciliary care staff: Personal protective equipment (PPE): resource for care workers delivering domiciliary care during sustained COVID-19 transmission in England – GOV.UK (

COVID-19 vaccine

Sutton’s Community Leaders on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Restrictions have been eased and things will start looking as they were before however we must remember the COVID virus is still circulating and we must protect ourselves from it. The Sutton Community Leader’s have put together a video explaining the importance of having both your vaccination jabs which you can view here.

Walk in Vaccine centre (Health & Social Care Staff ONLY) – St Nicholas Shopping Centre

The coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective and remains our best protection against Covid-19 and the surest route to a return to normal life. Across Sutton, we have now delivered over 100,000 vaccinations.

If you are a front-line health or care worker you are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination, but haven’t got around to booking your appointment, come along to the St Nicholas Shopping Centre, you do not need an appointment.

Please bring proof of employment like your work ID badge and a letter from your employer to confirm your eligibility as a front-line health or care worker. Front-line health and social care staff can use the National Booking System to book a specific appointment at a wide range of vaccine centres aswell. You can do this by visiting this webpage or by calling 119.  The full list of South West London vaccination centres is available here.

St Nicholas Shopping Centre, SM1 1AY is open 8am – 6:30pm.

The site can be accessed at two main doors at either end of the centre with both entrances being suitable for wheelchairs. It can also be reached from the St Nicholas car park which has a walkway across the main road with direct access to the first floor of the centre. Lifts are also available. 

Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, explains why vaccination of care staff provides protection for us all

For many of you, particularly those of you working in care home settings, this final easing of restrictions has brought mixed emotions, I’m sure.

Many of you, your colleagues and residents will have already been vaccinated with one, hopefully two doses, of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you for being part of our collective efforts to unlock the country – it is hugely appreciated.

While nationally, the majority of care home staff have been vaccinated, according to the latest published data, only 65% of older care homes in England are currently meeting this minimum level. While we want to see all care homes pass the SAGE thresholds, the over-riding imperative is to maximise and maintain protection across the board.

The new regulations come into force on 11 November this year (see the next story for a useful timeline). Care providers and their staff need time to prepare, which is why a 16-week grace period has begun, allowing colleagues who haven’t been vaccinated to arrange to have both doses. You can book and manage your vaccinations on the NHSE website.

Information sharing

Heat Warning and PPE guidance from MHRA

On 09 June the MHRA sent out information and actions for providers regarding the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) in warm/hot environments and the increased risk of heat stress. 

Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in warm/hot environments increases the risk of heat stress. This occurs when the body is unable to cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature. Heat stress can cause heat exhaustion and lead to heat stroke if the person is unable to cool down.

Measures to control the temperature of clinical environments and enable staff to make behavioural adaptations to stay cool and well hydrated should be made. Staff may require more frequent breaks and the frequency of PPE changes may increase, with a resulting increase in demand.

Further information and actions are available on the CAS website

Weekly Information Sharing FAQs

Dear Social Care Colleagues,

Thank you for joining the Webinar for Care Homes this week; we hope that these continue to support you during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

We are aware there has been an increase in outbreaks  in Care Homes both in South West London and nationally and it is important to remain diligent in following guidance, using PPE and supporting staff and residents to be vaccinated.  

We continue to focus on maintaining the SAGE safety thresholds of 90% vaccination rates among residents and 80% vaccination rates among all staff directly employed, bank and agency. SAGE is the government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies. Thank you to those homes who have achieved this target and we will continue to work alongside homes which have not.   Vaccine information is included in the pack. 

To support access to vaccines, free taxis are now available for Care Home staff to attend a vaccination centre.  Please see the “What’s New” section for more information and let your staff know of this offer. 

While we are currently enjoying some welcome sunshine, please do consider the impact of high temperatures on your residents.  We have included the NHS produced  “Summer Readiness” pack which contains useful information and resources to support Care Homes during warmer weather and heat waves.  You’ll find this in the “What’s New” section. 

The COVID-19 pandemic remains an extremely challenging situation globally and we recognise that this is the case for staff working in Care Homes of all types. We are continuing the weekly Infection Prevention and Control and Information Sharing webinar Tuesday mornings at 11am. If you have questions in advance or any topics that you would like covered, please email your local CCG Care Home Lead, listed below. 

We would like to thank you all for your hard work and commitment during this incredibly challenging time. 

Webinars and training

Weekly Information Sharing FAQs webinar

The COVID-19 pandemic remains an extremely challenging situation globally and we recognise that this is the case for staff working in Care Homes of all types. We are continuing the weekly Infection Prevention and Control and Information Sharing webinar Tuesday mornings at 11:00am

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting+44 20 3880 0300  

United Kingdom, London (Toll)Conference ID: 855 305 74#

Local numbers | Reset PIN | Learn more about Teams | Meeting options

Weekly Capacity Tracker webinar

Capacity Tracker Webinars for Care Homes are taking place at 2:00pm every Friday.

Click here to join the meeting on your computer or mobile app Or call in (audio only) on +44 20 3794 0272 Phone Conference ID: 311 948 485#

Sutton Care Hub

Sutton Care Hub Job Portal

To support Sutton’s care providers to recruit the best staff for all positions from management, to clinical staff, carers and administrative support, we have created the Sutton Care Hub Job Portal

Take one minute to provide feedback on how you would like to receive candidate applications from the hub.

We have developed posters to advertise the hub, please see below.

Subscribe to the Sutton Care Bulletin! 

The Sutton Care Bulletin features a round up of good news stories and successes from across Sutton’s care sector, as well as useful information, guidance and resources. Please make sure you have subscribed to receive future editions.

An archive of previous editions can be found on the Sutton Care Hub.

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