Care Matters: Monday 27 March 2023

Good Infection Prevention Control, Clinical Health Team services for mental health, New Skills for Care Courses, Brokerage Training and more. Please share.

Published on 27/03/2023 in Adult services | Care Matters Weekly | Covid-19 | News | Workforce

Norovirus Information, Spring booster campaign, Digitalising Social Care Records, Easter HAF programme, Sutton Care Works closure and more. Please share.

Norovirus Information

Norovirus (winter vomiting bug) is highly infectious and is easily spread through contact with someone with the infection or with contaminated surfaces. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of norovirus is by regularly washing hands with soap and warm water especially after using the toilet or an episode of illness and before eating or preparing food. 

Most people will make a full recovery within 2 to 3 days, but it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially for the very young, elderly or those with weakened immune systems who are more at risk.

For more information on Norovirus, read the UKHSA  blog,  or visit the NHS norovirus webpage.

 For Health and social care settings; please see the care hub for further information on Norovirus and managing outbreaks.

Diarrhoea and vomiting? There is no specific cure for stomach bugs such as Norovirus. Visit: for advice. Icon of a water bottle. Stay hydrated. Icon of pills. Take paracetamol when needed. Icon of hands washing. Prvent the spread. Icon of a house with a clock saying 48 hours. Stay at home for two days after symptoms clear.

Spring Booster Campaign

Spring booster eligibility

COVID-19 is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions. The spring booster COVID-19 vaccination will be offered to:

  • people aged 75 years and over,
  • those in care homes,
  • and those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system

Invitations and booking:

  • Those eligible will be offered an appointment between April and June 2023, with those at highest risk being called in first.
  • You will be invited for your booster, your GP may offer you the vaccine or you can book using the National Booking Service. Appointments will be available from the National Booking Service shortly.

Vaccination in care homes and for eligible housebound people:

  • Older people in care homes and housebound patients will be invited to receive their booster by the vaccination team.
  • If there are any queries please refer to the letter received, which provides further information and details of how to get in contact with the vaccination team.

Further information
You can read the COVID-19 guides below for more information:

Digitalising Social Care Records (DSCR) and NHS Grant Funding

Quality Improvement Officers, Linda Mamedy and Elena Golcic attended the Digitising Social Care Engagement Event in London in February organised by the South West London integrated Care System.

The event was in response to the strong appetite amongst Care Providers, to move from paper to digital care records. It was a great place to meet so many digital care system NHS assured providers under one roof and the opportunity to talk about the variety of functions that each system provides. They learnt that a year ago, only 30% of all care homes in SWL were using an NHS assured system, that’s now up to 50% (including those mobilising a DSCR).

South West London NHS can fully fund DSCR costs for the first 12 months (licence, devices, training and mobilisation costs), to a maximum of £10,000 for bed based and homecare services switching from paper based to digital care records, providing the software is selected from the  Assured Supplier List – Digital Social Care. If you are ready to make this change and want to know more as to whether you are eligible for the grant funding, contact Paul Harper ([email protected] or  [email protected] ), he will be happy to visit your service and discuss this further with you.

Please see the South West London Integrated care System Booklet attached below which outlines various digital projects (including DSCR) and the relevant contacts for your service.

Easter Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) open for bookings

Our Easter Holiday Activities and Food programme for families receiving benefits-related free school meals is open for booking.

Suitable for 4 to 16 year olds who receive benefits-related free school meals or have a special educational need and disability, all activities are FREE and can be found at lots of locations around the borough. 

Keep the kids busy with drama and streetdance workshops, arts and crafts, sensory activities, loads of sports, circus skills, trips out, photography, cookery and an Easter Egg Hunt.

Go to for details and how to book.

Reminder: New Skills for Care Course (tomorrow)

Webinar: New CQC inspection: Practical tools and advice about the new CQC inspection focus and Quality Statements

Tuesday 28th March (2pm – 3pm)

Join us to gain insight into the new CQC Single Assessment Framework and how to meet their new Quality Statements.

You can find out more and register HERE

Sutton Care Works closure 31st of March

We regret to inform you that Sutton Care Works will be closing permanently on 31st March 2023. The shop was funded by an external organisation based on a one-off pilot for a year. That has now sadly come to an end.

Since opening last year, many providers have used the space to engage with members of the general public about the careers and opportunities available to them in the Social Care sector, host Manual Handling training sessions for their staff, or attend one-off events.

We would like to express our gratitude for all your support and dedication over the year.

Sutton Care Works will remain open as usual until 31st March 2023. Please, get in contact with Kaydian James ([email protected]) to book future recruitment or Manual Handling training sessions.

Reminder to Register your children in care provider organisation with Sutton

The London Borough of Sutton is looking to expand its care placement offer for 0 to 25 year olds.

We are looking for care providers in this field to register on the London Tenders Portal (Procontract) – who are either based within Sutton, or close to its borders, who can provide the right home, with the right skills and location for our children.

The registration process is simple and takes 5 minutes.

Registering on the London Tenders Portal is FREE for all suppliers and is a simple and straightforward process. Once registered, new supplier’s will receive email updates on new contract opportunities issued by the public sector that match their capabilities.

Find out more about what we’re looking for 👉 

Good Infection Prevention Control

Good infection prevention and control (IPC) practice remains important throughout the winter period, where there is a greater risk of multiple viruses co-circulating, such as COVID-19, seasonal influenza (flu) and stomach infections (such as norovirus, the “winter vomiting bug”). These are very infectious and can cause outbreaks due to close contact particularly  in residential settings. 

Good infection control practices can help reduce the risk of outbreaks occurring. 

It is important that adult social care providers refer to the guidance on infection prevention and control:

If you require any infection control support or advise please contact the London borough Sutton public health team : 

Further information:

Norovirus (vomiting bug) – NHS

Flu – NHS

Clinical Health Team Services for Mental Health

Meditation sessions online for all abilities on Mondays at 11am and Thursdays at 2:30pm. Please contact [email protected]

See the attached posters for more information.

Brokerage Training

In order to ensure LA and NHS teams have access to specific training around systems and reports, throughout February, training specifically designed to support discharge/brokerage will be taking place. Attendees can be strategic or operational and all are welcome to attend. Sessions are in the pdf below.

The sessions are aimed at health and social care teams involved in hospital discharge and sourcing care home/community rehabilitation placements.  This could include, but is not limited to: 

  • Hospital discharge teams 
  • Brokerage teams 
  • Trusted assessors 
  • Integration leads/teams 
  • Operational/hospital social care teams 
  • Patient flow/discharge leads 
  • Commissioning, quality, or contracts teams. 

Colleagues of all levels will benefit from attending, from front line and administrative staff, through to senior decision-makers.  Please feel free to share this invite with fellow colleagues as you see fit. 

No prior experience of using Capacity Tracker is required.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session, you will know:

  • What Capacity Tracker is and its general functionality
  • Current government policy and guidance in relation to Capacity Tracker.
  • What Capacity Tracker can tell you about vacancies, and how this information can be used to source care home & community rehab placements quickly
  • How Capacity Tracker can benefit the health & social care system in your locality, particularly in relation to timely and efficient hospital discharge
  • How to narrow down & use key reports to generate market intelligence and source care home & community rehab placements quickly
  • How to get set up on Capacity Tracker with appropriate permissions.

Joining Instructions

  • Sessions will be hosted on Microsoft Teams. 
  • No prior booking is required and the number of participants per session is unlimited
  • Please join the session a few minutes beforehand to allow for a prompt start
  • Estimated Duration of each session: 1 hour
  • Please see the attached training schedule for the list of sessions.

Reminder: Free personal protective equipment (PPE) scheme

Free PPE to social care sector extended by up to one year or until stock runs out.

Page summary: The provision of free PPE for all health, social care and public sector workers for coronavirus (COVID-19) infection control, between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2024.

Change made: Updated to reflect the extension of the free PPE scheme to the end of March 2024 or until DHSC’s stocks are depleted (whichever is sooner).

Covid-19 and Flu Vaccinations

It’s never too late to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu

Book appointments via the National Booking Service and visit the NHS website to find your nearest pharmacy offering free flu jabs.

Innovation Support Programme

There is a new funded support programme that is open to organisations in Sutton with between 5 and 250 employees, to support their staff to innovate to solve challenges such as maintaining/improving the service quality. 

A fully funded programme of support to help South London based business grow and develop.

The programme runs from March – June 2023 and people are being recruited for it now.

  • 4 or 5 people from each organisation to attend so they can work in teams
  • In-person, immersive workshops in each sprint
  • Online deep-dive sessions
  • A suite of tools, techniques, materials, and spaces for innovation activity
  • Guided learning, through an online hub of videos, content, and case studies
  • Access to ongoing coaching from innovation experts, mentors & HEI resources
  • Access to a community of businesses, academia, and council members

Updated guidance has been published regarding COVID-19 testing for adult social care services.

Page summary: Outlines the COVID-19 testing available for staff, residents and visitors for all adult social care services.

Change made: Updated ‘COVID-19 testing in adult social care’ to streamline outbreak testing in small care homes in line with the latest evidence and to advise when rapid response testing is relevant for small care homes.

Updated guidance has been published related to COVID-19 PPE

Page summary: This resource outlines personal protective equipment (PPE) advice for health and social care workers working in the community.

Change made: Removed illustrative PDF version and added a note explaining that some parts of this guidance are out of date and in the process of being updated.

Voluntary Sector Funding

Are you running an event or activity supporting people to stay healthy this winter? Funding is available to support you

The NHS are offering funding to local organisations and groups to run an activity or event, which supports their community to stay healthy and well. Read more here:


Cold Weather Plan

Please click here for the Cold weather plan for England guidance. This plan helps to prevent the major avoidable effects of cold weather on health.

In the below link, you will find action cards summarising advice on how different organisations need to respond to cold weather alert levels 0 through 4.


Symptoms of COVID-19, flu and common respiratory infections include:

  • continuous cough
  • high temperature, fever or chills
  • loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
  • shortness of breath
  • unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
  • muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
  • not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
  • sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
  • diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick

Staff members with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19

Anyone who has symptoms of a respiratory infection and has a high temperature or does not feel well enough to go to work, is advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

They should follow the guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19.

Patient-facing healthcare staff who have symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to attend work, should take an LFD test as soon as they feel unwell.

If the result of this LFD test is positive, staff should follow the advice in the section for staff members who receive a positive LFD test result for COVID-19.

If the LFD test result is negative, they can attend work if they are clinically well enough to do so and they do not have a high temperature.

If the staff member works with patients whose immune system means that they are at higher risk of serious illness despite vaccination, they should discuss this with their line manager who should undertake a risk assessment.

If they are still displaying respiratory symptoms when they return to work, they should also speak to their line manager who should undertake a risk assessment.

On returning to work, the staff member must continue to comply rigorously with all relevant infection control precautions and personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn properly throughout the day.

Staff members who receive a positive LFD test result for COVID-19

All healthcare staff who have received a positive COVID-19 test result, regardless of whether they have symptoms, are advised not to attend work for 5 days. They should follow guidance for people with a positive COVID-19 test result.

Patient-facing healthcare staff can return to work when they have had 2 consecutive negative LFD test results (taken at least 24 hours apart).

The first LFD test should only be taken 5 days after the day their symptoms started (or the day their first positive test was taken if they did not have symptoms); this is described as day 0.


If you have 2 or more residents or staff who have tested positive, please report to the LCRC and capacity tracker. Please refer the contact details at the bottom of this page.

Care homes should also report on the LBS google form. 

Outbreak testing has not changed.

Key contact details

DHSC Adult Social Care submission

The information below will help care homes and homecare providers by explaining the timeline for the mandatory submission in more detail.

Submission period for mandatory DHSC Adult Social Care data

Care homes and homecare providers will be required to update their data by 11pm on the 14th day of each month – or the next working day when the 14th is on a weekend or public holiday. Data must be no more than a week out of date i.e. it must be correct to no further back than the 8th of each month.

When the 14th is on a weekend or public holiday, the submission period will be determined by the next working day.

A Carers Guide to Home Fire Safety

Learn how to keep people that receive care safe from fire.

A formal video is now available for carers on the LFB website. Those who wish to view this video will have to input some basic information in order to gain access to it.

What you will learn:

  • How to recognise people who are at risk of having a fire
  • Identify key high risk factors
  • Show what actions can reduce these risks
  • Describe what to do in the event of a fire

Please assist and share this link with your teams to complete.

Please click here


Please see the new changes at the top of this page.

Please take a look at the new updates that have been made to the following on the GOV.UK website

Information and advice for health and care professionals:

Click here

PPE use for aerosol generating procedures:

Click here

Latest Guidance

The latest guidance has been published about COVID-19 testing for ASC services. Please click the link below to go to the GOV.UK webpage.

Click here

For all the latest guidance on the Carehub regarding COVID-19, please click here to view the updated pages regarding;

  • Visiting
  • Testing
  • Outbreak Management
  • Admissions
  • Infection Prevention and Control

Training and Development

Free training for care staff – Autism awareness / Women’s wellbeing and the menopause 

Successful Mums Career Academy has won funding to offer free training to care staff:

  • The funding will pay for 7 hours of accredited training (2 half-day workshops) in Autism awareness OR Women’s wellbeing and the menopause
  • The training can be delivered either face-to-face or online
  • There will be an option to complete a full qualification at a later date (for those that would benefit from more detailed learning)
  • The funding will also pay for employees’ time to attend the workshops
  • Workshops will start in August / September

To be eligible, employees must be a parent and have a child aged under 12. They must also be earning less than £11.05 per hour and live in Croydon, Sutton, Merton, Richmond or Kingston. However, if there’s a member of your staff who’s interested but doesn’t fit the criteria please still get in touch with Successful Mums as they may still be able to attend.  

For further information and/or to express an interest please contact Jane Knight – [email protected]

Guidance changes? Help from London Borough of Sutton Public Health team

There have been a number of changes in guidance over the recent weeks. If you need any help or advice on the changes please contact the London Borough of Sutton Public health team. Drop them an email [email protected] 

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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