Care Matters: Friday 24 June 2023

Have your Say, Understanding the Safe Handling of Medicines Training Course, Food vouchers during school holidays and more. Please share.

Published on 23/06/2023 in Adult services | Care Matters Weekly | Covid-19 | News | Workforce

Heat-Health Alerts issued by UKHSA and the Met Office, NHS Health and Care Volunteer Responders: How to make referrals for people receiving care, Government consults on making visiting a legal requirement in care settings, Understanding the Safe Handling of Medicines Training Course, Food vouchers during school holidays and more. Please share.

Heat-Health Alerts issued by UKHSA and the Met Office

Under the new HHA system introduced by UKHSA and the Met Office, a yellow alert means that any impacts include the increased use of health care services by vulnerable populations and an increase in risk to health for individuals over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said:

This heat-health alert means that in the coming days we are likely to experience another sustained period of hot weather, so it’s important that everyone takes sensible precautions while enjoying the sun.

Forecasted temperatures this week could primarily impact those over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions. If you have friends, family or neighbours who are more vulnerable, it is important to check in on them and ensure they are aware of the forecasts and are following the necessary advice.

Here are the ways in which you can keep yourself and others safe during periods of hot weather:

  • check on family, friends and neighbours who may be at higher risk of becoming unwell, and if you are at higher risk, ask them to do the same for you
  • know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and what to do if you or someone else has them
  • keep out of the direct sun at the hottest time of the day, between 11am and 3pm
  • if you are going to do a physical activity (for example, exercise or walking the dog), plan to do these during times of the day when it is cooler such as the morning or evening
  • keep your home cool by closing windows and curtains in rooms that face the sun
  • if you do go outside, cover up with suitable clothing such as an appropriate hat and sunglasses, seek shade and apply sunscreen regularly
  • drink plenty of fluids and limit your alcohol intake

NHS Health and Care Volunteer Responders: How to make referrals for people receiving care.

The NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme provides adult social care providers with readily available, appropriately checked volunteers to support people drawing on care services in England.

You can refer people for a friendly Check In and Chat phone call. More services will be available soon, such as volunteer support with shopping and prescription delivery. Making a referral is easy via the GoodSAM portal. You can also select the type of support needed and the frequency.

Find out more here.

New regulations will give the Care Quality Commission (CQC) additional powers to allow families to visit loved ones receiving care in residential and other settings.

The Government acknowledges the positive effect visiting has on the emotional wellbeing of all involved. To this end, it has launched a public consultation on how visiting can be mandated effectively and safely within health and care settings, including care homes.

Responses are encouraged from anyone involved in the health or care sector, whether through providing care, drawing on care, or as a friend or family member of someone who receives care. The consultation runs until 16 August 2023.

Contribute to the consultation here.

Have your Say

We want you to have your say. This is an opportunity to ask questions that will be answered by Sutton’s Commissioners or Public Health Team. Please also use the link to the form below if you have any good news stories or activities your residents have taken part in that you would like to be shared on the Carehub.

Understanding the Safe Handling of Medicines – Level 2 NCFE Certificate – Distance Learning

Apply here:

Course description:
This qualification is to introduce learners to different types of medicines and the policies and procedures surrounding their storage, disposal and administration. It also provides learners with an overview of legislation and an awareness of quality control, issues regarding responsibility and accountability and the role of the pharmacist.

The course has a credit value of 15 on the Qualifications Credit Framework.

Free if you meet the eligibility criteria (click here for details) and if you complete the course (click here for the details of the terms and conditions)

Who is the course suitable for?
This programme is designed for learners aged 19 or over and already working in a health and social care context, who wish to study the course as part of their own continuous professional development.

Entry requirements:
You do not need to have any formal qualifications in order to follow this course, but you will need to demonstrate commitment and motivation to work through the specially prepared distance-learning materials.

How is the course delivered?
Candidates work through the course materials for the programme at times convenient to them, so there is no need to attend the college to gain the qualification. The learning materials contain the knowledge needed to meet the assessment requirements of the course and activities to allow candidates to practice their skills and test their learning. Assessments are based on a combination of knowledge and skills learned on the programme and work-based activities and experience. Learners should aim to complete the course within 16 weeks.

Course content:
The course will cover the following areas and consists of two Workbooks:

  • Workbook 1: Understand medication and prescriptions. Supply, storage and disposal of medication.
  • Workbook 2: Understand the requirement for the safe administration of medication. Record keeping and audit processes for medication.

Progression opportunities:
By undertaking this programme, candidates will be able to further their own continuous professional development, which may improve their career prospects or progress on to further qualifications such as courses in health and social care or related subjects.

Course Number: N3NYX

Food Vouchers during the school holidays

If your child is registered for free school meals in Sutton, you can get a food voucher during the school holidays.

This scheme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions. The Council has used this funding to set up a household support fund. This helps families in Sutton who are facing financial hardship.

Check if you’re eligible

You can apply for food vouchers if:

  • your child goes to a school in Sutton and is registered for Free School Meals (FSM)
  • You have a child attending an Early Years setting in Sutton for their free childcare entitlement and,
    • the child is aged 2 and taking up their free entitlement in a Sutton setting OR,
    • the child is aged 3 or 4 and is registered for the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)
  • you are resident in Sutton who would be eligible for free school meals under the current criteria but your child is electively home-educated or in Education somewhere other than at school.

Your school can tell you if you have already registered your child for free school meals or not. They can also help you to apply if you think you might be eligible

How much you could get

Vouchers are available during the school holiday and the value available is listed below.

  • May half term 2023 – £15
  • Summer break 2023 – £90
  • October Half term 2023 – £15
  • Christmas break 2023 – £30
  • February half term 2024 – £15

How to apply for food vouchers

If your child is registered for Free School meals

If your child is already registered for free school meals, you won’t need to apply for food vouchers. Your school will send out vouchers to eligible families directly, before each holiday period.

We have asked schools to distribute vouchers to eligible pupils by the following dates for the holiday period below:

  • May half term by 26 May
  • Summer break by 21 July
  • October Half term by 20 October
  • Christmas break by 22 December
  • February half term by 9 February

You should contact your child’s school if you haven’t received your voucher by the date shown in this table.

Children who are in pre-school or are being educated at home
If your child doesn’t attend school but you are eligible to apply, you will need to apply for a food voucher before the school holiday period.

This might apply to you if your child is:

  • pre-school age
  • home educated

If you’re not sure if you are eligible, you can send us an email for more information

You’ll need to decide which supermarket you want your voucher to be for. Food vouchers are available for:

  • Tesco
  • Asda
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Waitrose
  • Aldi
  • Morrisons
  • Iceland

You’ll receive a link to the voucher by email from either their school or the Council.

Children aged 2 years old
You will be entitled to food vouchers if your child is 2 years old and taking up the free childcare entitlement in a Sutton early years setting such as:

  • a day nursery
  • a pre-school
  • a childminder

Get more information about free childcare for 2-year-olds and check if your child is eligible.

You can apply using the food voucher application form

You need to complete the application form during the dates shown below:

  • Summer break 2023 apply between 3 July and 19 July 2023
  • October Half term 2023 apply between 9 October and 25 October 2023
  • Christmas break 2023 apply between 4 December and 20 December
  • February half term 2024 apply between 22 January and 7 February 2024

Get more information about free childcare for 2-year-olds and check if your child is eligible.

Children aged 3 or 4 years old

If your child is 3 or 4 years old, you can apply for food vouchers if they:

  • attend a Sutton early years setting
  • are registered for Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

You can check whether your child is registered for EYPP with their childcare provider.

Complete the Food Voucher application form.

You need to complete the application form during the dates shown below:

  • Summer break 2023 apply between 3 July and 19 July 2023
  • October Half term 2023 apply between 9 October and 25 October 2023
  • Christmas break 2023 apply between 4 December and 20 December
  • February half term 2024 apply between 22 January and 7 February 2024

If you don’t qualify for food vouchers

  • visit our cost of living campaign
  • contact Sutton Food Bank
  • find out if you are eligible to apply to our hardship fund

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Changes to Covid-19 testing in adult social care.

Covid-19 supplement to IPC resource for adult social care 3rd April 2023

  • As a result of protection by high volume of vaccination, high immunity and
    access to covid-19 treatments we are now in a position to treat covid like
    many other respiratory infections.
  • Guidance has been updated to focus on protecting most at risk from serious
  • Keep a list of vulnerable clients who will continue to be eligible for Covid-19
  • PCR testing will no longer be routinely used and replaced by LFD testing
  • Guidance came in to force on 3rd April 2023.
  • Residents who become symptomatic with a respiratory infection
  • Symptomatic testing only for those eligible for covid treatments or during an outbreak
  • If eligible for covid treatment test with LFD and seek treatment as soon as possible.
  • If positive, isolate for 5 days until apyrexial (No temperature) and the resident is feeling better. No need to retest
  • Residents not eligible for treatment do not need to be tested if they become symptomatic
  • If they feel unwell or have a high temperature support them to isolate until they feel better.
  • Stay away from vulnerable eligible for covid treatment for 10 days
  • Testing no longer required for early release from isolation.

For further information please see the  guidance below 

COVID-19 vaccination spring programme

The 2023 spring coronavirus (COVID-19) booster programme is now underway.

The programme is in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice that a spring booster dose should be offered to:

  • adults aged 75 years and over
  • residents in a care home for older adults
  • individuals aged 5 years and over who are immunosuppressed

Information on how to book and where you can get vaccinated can be found on the SW
London web site here; Find out more about spring booster vaccinations

How to get the vaccine

The spring booster for those eligible will end on the 30th June.

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

Infection prevention control for Adult social care sector

Good infection prevention and control (IPC) practice remains important throughout the year.

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: [email protected]

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 for the adult social care sector will continue until 31 March 2024.

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

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

If you need any help or advice on the changes please contact the London Borough of Sutton Public health team. Send them an email [email protected] 

Webinars and training

IPC training can be found on Eventbrite

Skills for care – Care Certificate
Care Courses Online – Infection Prevention and Control in Healthcare
Social care institute for excellence – Infection control e-learning course

Care home information sharing webinar

Fortnightly on a Tuesday 1:30 – 3pm

The webinar link;
Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer, mobile app or room device
Click here to join the meeting
Meeting ID: 357 180 495 149
Passcode: uHrJiP
Download Teams | Join on the web
Learn More | Meeting options

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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