Care Matters Weekly: Friday 8 October 2021

Updated guidance for visitors to care homes/peoples' homes, Winter flu and COVID care homes funding, insurance advice and World Mental Health Day. Please share.

Published on 8/10/2021 in Adult services | Care Matters Weekly | Covid-19 | News

Updated guidance for visitors to care homes/peoples’ homes, Winter flu and COVID care homes funding, insurance advice and World Mental Health Day. Please share.

Updated Guidance

Visits to care homes

Care homes, local health partners, families and residents can work together to make care home visits as safe as possible for everyone. Minimise risks wherever possible to help family and friends spend time together. Key points are:

  • Physical contact should be kept to a minimum – hand holding is acceptable if hand washing protocols are in place
  • Visits to residents in care homes should be supported wherever they can happen safely.
  • The registered manager of each care home is responsible for setting the visiting policy and for considering the individual needs of each resident.
  • There is no limit on how many named visitors a resident can have. However, the registered manager may have set local limits to reduce risk.

Visits out of care homes

Spending time with others outside the care home will increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the resident and potentially to other residents and staff on their return.

Care homes, local health partners, families and residents can work together to make home visits as safe as possible for everyone, minimise risks wherever possible to help family and friends spend time together. Visits home should be planned and supported wherever possible.

COVID-19 vaccine

Insurance advice for care providers

COVID-19 has posed unprecedented challenges for the adult social care sector. Making sure the right insurance is in place for care providers has been one of them.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurers Brokers’ Association (BIBA) have jointly published guidance setting out practical steps providers can take to access the appropriate insurance cover. If your insurance is due for renewal in the next few months, do take a look. Read the guidance.

Winter flu and COVID in care homes funding

The adult social care workforce and people receiving care will be further protected from COVID-19 and flu over the coming months, after the government announced an additional funding for infection prevention and control in care settings.

An additional £388.3million will help prevent the spread of infection in care settings, including £25million to support care staff to access COVID-19 and flu vaccines over winter. To boost flu vaccine uptake among social care staff, GP practices will be able to vaccinate care home staff not registered with them. Uptake will be monitored by region to allow a targeted approach, and more flu vaccines will be made available earlier. Read the press release.

The council will be in touch with providers following the publication of the guidance relating to these funds and the Sutton allocation.

Extending free PPE to care sector beyond March 2022: consultation launched

A consultation on extending free personal protective equipment (PPE) beyond March 2022 has been launched, running until 31 October 2021.

PPE usage is expected to remain at COVID-19 levels beyond March 2022. While there is sufficient stock available to support providers (guidance for ordering items through the PPE portal has recently been updated), we need to be mindful of the impact to the market of continued government intervention. Take part in the consultation.

London ADASS survey

ADASS are continuing to run weekly COVID-19 surveys for care home staff, to assess and support the impact caused by COVID-19. Your feedback enables them to understand the challenges you face and prioritise strategic responses. ADASS asks if you can complete and update information twice a week, as your care location circumstances change. Submit your information.

Hospital discharge programme extended to 31 March 2022

The Government has announced a £478 million funding package to continue the hospital discharge programme until 31 March 2022, allowing patients to leave hospital as quickly and safely as possible, with the right community or at-home support in place. 

This additional funding will allow health and care systems to respond to increased demand over the winter period. This includes the continued use of designated settings, which have been vital to preventing COVID-19 outbreaks in care settings. Find out more about the funding.

World Mental Health Day

Sunday 10 October is World Mental Health Day. In Sutton there are lots of services for people who might be struggling with their mental wellbeing. That could be a client, or it could be you?

The Sutton Crisis Cafe recently opened at 65 Downs Road in Belmont, offering a friendly face and a safe space for anyone experiencing a mild to moderate mental health crisis. Run by the Sutton Mental Health Foundation, the cafe offers free, non-judgemental advice and support, seven days a week, from 6.30pm to 11pm. Find out more at, call them on 0800 012 9802 or email

Sutton Men In Sheds

Not just for wood-working! Sutton Men In Sheds provides a safe place for men to meet, share experiences and support one another, as well as having some fun at the same time. Contact them on Facebook @SuttonMeninSheds.

Sutton Uplift mental health services

Sutton Uplift is a free service for anyone aged 18+ (with a postcode or GP registered in Sutton) experiencing difficulties and symptoms related to stress, anxiety and depression. They are a partnership between the NHS and local voluntary sector organisations.

If you think they can be of help and are interested in finding out more about the service, please complete the referral form at or call them Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm on 0800 032 1411 (Freephone) or 020 3513 4044 (charged at your network rate) and select Option 1. You do not need to be referred by your GP or any other professional.

Information sharing

Weekly Information Sharing FAQs

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for joining the most recent Webinar for Care Homes – we hope that these continue to support you during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important to remain diligent in following guidance, using PPE and supporting staff and residents to be vaccinated.

Covid-19 Vaccines

The change in regulation in the Health Act to make vaccination a condition of deployment from 11th November 2021, means that the focus is on those staff who are not vaccinated, who have until the 16th of September to have their first dose vaccination, so that they meet the requirements of the condition of deployment regulations by the 11th of November. Thank you to those homes who have already achieved this target and we will continue to work alongside homes which have not. Vaccine information is included in the pack. 

On the 15 September The DHSC issued guidance on temporary exemption process. It states:

On a temporary basis, from today, people working or volunteering in care homes who have a medical reason why they are unable to have a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to self-certify that they meet the medical exemption criteria

This temporary self-certification process has been introduced for a short period prior to the launch of the new NHS COVID Pass system which will go live imminently.

(Please see the attached Care Home Information Sharing FAQs document for more information)


Webinars and training

Q&A for Bed Based Care

You can view the Q&A log from the latest in the Bed Based Care session here

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

12th October 2021 – Training discussion at the Tuesday webinar with a host of clinicians in attendance.  Please bring all your queries on training of staff to the meeting on October 12th.

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 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

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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