Care Matters Weekly: Friday 28 January 2022

Plan B visiting restrictions to end on 31 January, VCOD resources for employers, vaccine hesitancy webinars, new Overseas Verification service, reminder to bid for Workforce Development funding (deadline approaching) and more. Please share.

Plan B visiting restrictions to end on 31 January, VCOD resources for employers, vaccine hesitancy webinars, new Overseas Verification service, reminder to bid for Workforce Development funding (deadline approaching) and more. Please share.

Government eases social care restrictions after booster success: end of Plan B

Restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Omicron in adult social care will be eased following the success of the booster roll out and the end of Plan B restrictions.

The main changes to note are:

  • Unlimited visiting for care home residents to return
  • Reduced isolation following a COVID-19 infection for those receiving care
  • Changes will ensure those providing and receiving care are kept safe while increasing freedoms for residents
  • Restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of Omicron in adult social care will now be eased as Plan B measures are removed following the success of the booster programme

From Monday 31 January, there will be no limit on the number of visitors allowed into care homes and self-isolation periods will be cut. Now care homes only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 rather than 28 days.

By Wednesday 16 February, care workers will be asked to use LFD tests before their shifts replacing the current system which included the use of weekly asymptomatic PCR tests.

Read the full guidance now in effect

Make sure you get your COVID-19 booster: Capacity Tracker reminder

It is still vitally important that you get your COVID-19 booster jab to make sure you continue to be protected, and that you help protect your families, your colleagues and those that you care for. 

Please make sure that when you receive your booster you Update the Capacity Tracker

Book your booster online or attend a walk-in

You can book your booster online now – 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.

Taxi service to vaccination appointments

To support access to vaccines, free taxis are available for care home staff to attend a vaccination centre. To book a taxi, email [email protected]

Roving vaccination teams still available to book

The SW London CCG roving teams are still available to book, to provide COVID-19 booster vaccinations and flu vaccinations to all eligible staff and residents. Please note that you will be asked for numbers for staff and/or residents if you want a roving team to visit (question 6 if you tick yes). 

Remember: If you have staff that are not working on the day the team attends your site, you can use your ICF and Vaccine Funding to pay them.

ALL care home managers are encouraged to complete the form 

VCOD resources for employers

The SW London CCG has created a new resource centre for employers, on the subject of Vaccination As A Condition of Employment (VCOD). The newly established page was set up to support employers with the implementation of VCOD. 

Find the latest resources and guidance

Vaccine hesitancy confidence webinars

NHS England and NHS Improvement will be running daily drop-in Vaccine confidence Q&A sessions until 3 February. These sessions are for all staff to attend and will offer an opportunity to ask any specific questions you might have regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

Each of these drops-in sessions will be tailored towards a specific audience and hosted by a relevant clinical professional who will answer any questions and signpost you to any additional information. These sessions will provide a safe and supportive environment for you to ask any questions you may have about the COVID-19 vaccines. Dates and themes are:

  • Saturday 29 January: 7pm – 8pm – Vaccines and Your Faith
  • Sunday 30 January: 7pm – 8pm – Vaccines and Your Faith
  • Monday 31 January: 12pm – 1pm – Vaccines for Nursing and Midwifery Staff
  • Tuesday 1 February: 1pm – 2pm – Vaccines and Fertility
  • Wednesday 2 February: 12pm – 1pm – Vaccines for Healthcare Students
  • Thursday 3 February: 4pm – 5pm – Vaccines and the Science

Register for a session now or find all the sessions in the Events calendar

Launch of Overseas Verification service for staff

Staff who need to have their overseas vaccination verified should book an appointment at the Roehampton site. Please ensure that you take the correct information you will need to provide on the day. The service starts from Monday 31 January.

When you register to book you will be given details of what you need to bring.  

Register here

Updated guidance

Updated guidance: COVID-19 testing service for extra care and supported living

Updated guidance has been published about COVID-19 testing service for extra care and supported living. Change made:

  • Updated to reflect the removal of confirmatory PCR after a positive LFT and updated advice on testing within 90 days of a positive result

Read the full guidance

Updated guidance: PPE portal and order limits

Guidance has been updated about the PPE portal and order limits. Change made:

  • Updated to say that it is a legal requirement on employers that FFP3 masks must be fit tested on all health and care staff who may be required to wear one
  • Updated the order limits for GPs to include FFP3 masks

Read the full guidance

Updated guidance: Self-isolation for supported living workers

Guidance has been updated about the self-isolation period for supported living workers. Change made:

  • Updated isolation guidance for supported living workers – those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to end self-isolation after 6 days, following 2 negative lateral flow tests taken 24 hours apart

Read the full guidance

Workforce Development

Bid for funding now – deadline approaching

We have created a £100,000 pot of funding to help meet the demand we need to grow our adult social care workforce to provide more capacity and help us relieve pressures. 

The funding pot will:

  • Support providers to maintain the provision of safe care and bolster capacity within providers to deliver more hours of care
  • Support timely and safe discharge from hospital to where ongoing care and support is needed
  • Support providers to prevent admission to hospital
  • Enable timely new care provision in the community
  • Support and boost retention of staff within social care

Registered services can apply for this extra funding to support recruitment initiatives. Funds between £500 – £3,000 can be awarded by 28 February 2022. 

Read more about funding examples and next steps to apply.

Don’t miss out! – the deadline for applications is 4 February 2022. 

Information sharing

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. It is also important to focus on both COVID- 19 vaccinations and flu vaccinations for residents and staff particularly as we continue through the winter period.  

If there are any topics you would like to see covered in the webinars, email [email protected] or [email protected]

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 1 February.

Next IPC (10th) Care Home Champion meeting: 7 February

The next IPC (10th) Care Home Champion is due to take place on 7 February, 2pm – 3pm. The topic is the winter readiness plan and shingles with hopefully time for an open discussion.

Download the meeting agenda

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)

+44 20 3880 0300,,749835730#   United Kingdom, London

0800 026 6146,,749835730#   United Kingdom (Toll-free)

Phone Conference ID: 749 835 730#

Find a local number | Reset PIN

Learn More | Meeting options

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.


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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