Care Matters Weekly: Friday 17 December 2021

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund DEADLINE TODAY, get boosted for Christmas, updated visiting guidelines for care homes, London ADASS and Capacity Tracker reminder and more. Please share.

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund DEADLINE TODAY, get boosted for Christmas, updated visiting guidelines for care homes during the festive season, London ADASS and Capacity Tracker reminder and more. Please share.

The next edition of Care Matters will be on Friday 7 January, however with the Omicron situation moving rapidly at the moment we may post urgent updates over the Christmas/New Year period, should the government make any further changes to the current guidelines and restrictions. Please make sure you are checking the Hub regularly.

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund October 2021 to March 2022: SUBMISSION DEADLINE TODAY

Reminder: The ICF deadline for submission of reporting point 1 is due today. Please use this link to complete your return.

Get boosted this Christmas

With COVID-19 infection rates rising very quickly, it is more important than ever to get your COVID-19 booster jab to make sure you continue to be protected. Getting your flu vaccination, if you are eligible, is also just as important as we enter the most crucial part of the winter season when we know that the NHS will experience very high levels of new patients.

Please take the time over the Christmas period to get vaccinated – maybe take the whole family along! 

Book your booster online or attend a walk-in

If you wish to book your booster, you can visit the NHS website to book online. Alternatively, many sites across Sutton and London are open to walk-in appointments.

Hearing impaired/BSL user contact

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.

PLEASE NOTE: The national COVID vaccine booking service is currently facing extremely high demand and so is currently operating a queueing system. You may also experience queues at walk-in centres – please be patient with staff during this unprecedented drive to get more people vaccinated.

COVID-19 Updated Guidance

Visiting arrangements in and out of care homes during COVID-19 and over the festive season

Guidance has been updated regarding care home visiting. Change made:

  • Updated to add new restrictions on care home visiting due to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19: reducing the number of visitors each care home resident can receive up to 3 (not including essential care givers or preschool age children), requiring testing or self-isolation following visits out of the care home
  • Changing testing arrangements for staff and essential caregivers

Visits to a Care Home

  • Every care home resident can nominate up to 3 visitors who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits (this number does not include essential care givers or preschool age children)
  • Visitors should make arrangements with care homes in advance of the visit, so that care providers can manage the number of people attending at any one time to ensure safe visiting practices can be maintained taking into account the size and layout of the care home

Visits out of a Care Home

  • Care home residents who have had 2 doses of the vaccine, or are exempt from vaccination, should not have to isolate for 14 days after most visits out of the care home, but should take a lateral flow test every day for 10 days following the visit out
  • Care home residents who have not received at least 2 doses of the vaccine, and are not exempt from vaccination, should not go on visits out of the care home unless they isolate for 14 days after the visit out


  • Staff must take a minimum of 3 lateral flow tests a week: one lateral flow test on the same day as a PCR test, one lateral flow test 2 to 3 days later, and then again after another 2 to 3 days
  • Essential care givers must test in line with care home staff and be subject to additional testing should the care home be engaged in rapid response daily testing or outbreak testing

Outbreak Controls

  • Subject to a risk assessment by the health protection team (HPT), outbreak controls may be in place for up to 28 days following the last positive case
  • The HPT will inform the care home of how long outbreak restrictions (including regarding visiting) need to be in place
  • This will be informed by the HPT’s risk assessment and results from the whole home recovery testing

Downloads for visiting guidance in and out of care homes

Following the government guidance updates for care homes changes outlined above, we have updated our guidance sheets to reflect the changes, as well as created a short reminder for visiting over the Christmas period, in and out of care homes.

Download Visiting care homes during COVID-19

Download Visits out of a care home during COVID-19

Download Christmas Safe Visiting Practices in a Care Home

Download Christmas Safe Visiting Practices out of a Care Home

Updated COVID-19 guidance for landlords, including care providers

Guidance has been issued on using communal lounges in sheltered/retirement and extra-care schemes:

  • Landlords and scheme managers will need to carry out their own local risk assessment, which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks identified
  • People who are self-isolating, symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19 should not attend communal areas at the same time as others and these areas should be cleaned after use.

Read the full guidance

COVID-19 vaccination medical exemptions: self-certification deadline extended

Some care staff, who applied for formal medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccinations, have experienced delays in being notified of the outcome of their applications.

A letter has been sent to the sector confirming an extension to the cut-off date for self-certifications registered before 24 December 2021. This means self-certification forms will remain valid until 31 March 2022, but only if they have been received before 24 December 2021.

Extending the cut-off date allows sufficient time for care staff, whose formal medical exemptions were unsuccessful, to be fully vaccinated before 31 March 2022.

COVID-19 guidance for vaccinations received overseas

New guidance has been published for COVID-19 vaccinations received overseas


  • Those who are eligible to receive a booster dose should be given a full dose (0.3ml) of Pfizer, BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or a half dose (0.25ml) of Moderna vaccine
  • The minimum interval of 3 months should be from their final primary dose as defined below
  • For those considered fully vaccinated before arrival, the 3 months is taken from their final dose given overseas

Read the letter to find out more.

Hand washing and PPE guidance

Washing hands thoroughly continues to be a top priority, as well as effective use of PPE – read the latest guidance (August 2021) and download best practice for handwashing guidance.

London Adass reporting and National Capacity Tracker reminder

Thank you to those of you who are completing your data regularly, however, some providers are still not completing their data submissions – completion is a condition for receipt of Infection Control Funding – providers not completing their submissions will not receive the next round of ICF in January. Please remember:

  • Where you are completing, please check your data for accuracy ie. are the staff number you have entered still correct
  • As well as Covid Vaccine 1 & 2 data,  please ensure you also enter your booster and flu data – uptake of these are currently showing as very low for Sutton and possibly not correct

Access the Capacity Tracker now

Access London ADASS now

Need some help?

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#

Information sharing

Social care reform: Alzheimer’s Society on what they hope it can achieve

Alzheimer’s Society welcomed the recent opportunity to participate in two South West of England round-table events, in the run up to publication of the adult social care white paper ‘People at the heart of care’.

These events, arranged by the Department of Health and Social Care, allowed the society and other sector partners to discuss what the reform process should achieve.

As Laura Vicinanza explains in a blog, reform is about raising awareness of the needs of people with dementia, and their carers, and discussing how care and support can become more personalised, high-quality and integrated.

Read Laura’s post on the Social Care blog

Queens Nursing Institute for the new IPC Champions Network updates

Sign up to receive updates from the Queens Nursing Institute for the new IPC Champions Network – you can also sign up via Newsletters.

As well as care homes it has a Homeless and Inclusion Health Network, and Care Home Nurses Network which may be of interest.

Weekly Information Sharing FAQs

Dear Colleagues,

Webinars for Care Homes

Thank you for joining the Webinar for Care Homes this week – 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. 

IPC Information Sharing Webinar: 21 December

The next IPC Information Sharing Webinar takes place on 21 December between 11am and 12pm.

View the agenda

IPC Champions meeting: 10 January

The 9th IPC Champions meeting will take place on Monday 10 January, from 2pm to 3pm. Held by the South West London CCG, it will include latest updates on IPC.

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Learn More | Meeting options


Webinars and training

Join senior IPC nurses to learn more about general infection prevention and control training including: MRSA, Tuberculosis, diarrhoea, rashes, wound care, specimen taking, head lice, scabies, respiratory infections, including COVID-19, staff health and more. 

Sessions run online every Thursday between 2pm to 4.30pm. Register at Eventbrite to attend.

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 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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