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Coronavirus COVID-19 Care Provider Information


  Coronavirus COVID-19

Latest update – 26 January 2023

Cold Weather Warning Extension - Alert Level 3

The MET Office has extended their Amber Warning until 12:00 28 January 2023.  In addition to icy conditions, disruptions to travel, cold weather increases the risk to vulnerable persons.  Please see 'how to stay well in winter' for futher information. 

Business continuity planning

Our local BCP webpage is now live and includes a series of FAQ's (260KB) following our recent webinar.

We are asking providers to share an emergency contact number with us, in the event of a serious incident.

Guidance Changes

Changes in guidance applicable to adult social care services came into effect on 22 December 2022.  Details of these changes can be found: 

Our local webpages have been updated to reflect these guidance changes and summary information can be found on our Key COVID-19 updates webpage.

On 23 December 2022, it was further recommended visitors who are aware they are a contact of COVID-19 case should wear a mask, when visiting a care home.

 See our fortnightly update below

Coronavirus COVID-19 and adult social care in Staffordshire

Richard HarlingMessage from Dr Richard Harling, Director of Health and Care
(Director of Public Health and Director of Adult Social Services) 

19 January 2023

1. The MET Office has issued an amber warning for cold temperatures, snow and ice across the County, which may bring disruptions to roads and transport, until 09:00 on 23 January 2023.  This cold weather also increases health risks to vulnerable persons – please ensure people have access to warm food and drinks, alongside ensuring homes are adequately heated.

COVID-19 and Flu

2. Staffordshire (51.2) is currently trending ahead of both the West Midlands (40.2) and England (44.6) COVID-19 7-day case rate (per 100,000).

3. The Government has announced its decision to extend the central, free provision of COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) to the adult social care sector until March 2024, or until stocks are depleted.   

4. Following the changes to universal mask wearing requirements in COVID-19 adult social care guidance, the NHS continue to recommend mask wearing in adult social care settings due to the number of respiratory viruses (including COVID-19 and flu) in circulation across the community at present.

Fee Review

5. As part of the Council’s annual discretionary fee review process, we are inviting providers to complete a short survey by Tuesday 31 January 2023 to share evidence that will support the decision making for contracted adult social care fees for 2023/24:

  • Please complete this survey if you are contracted to deliver care home placements.
  • Please complete this survey for any other commissioned adult social care community-based placements.  This includes home care, extra care, day opportunities, adult placements, and communicator guide services.

Business continuity planning

6. As part of our BCP webinar (December 2022) we have produced a series of FAQ’s.

7. We received a number of enquiries about fire safety management, particularly in the event of a power outage:

  • It is essential your fire detection, warning and fighting systems and equipment are regularly maintained, with evacuation plans, regularly reviewed by a trained and competent person.
  • If your fire alarm system is hardwired, it is essential that backup batteries are charged / working, as in the event of a power outage alarm systems may sound if there is not sufficient backup power.
  • If your fire alarm system is connected to an external system / responder consider communications with them, subject to the nature of the incident.
  • Ensure trained and competent people know how to respond in the event of a business continuity issue impacting systems and equipment, i.e. operating a generator (if you have one on site) and know how to safely ‘restart’ systems after an incident to minimise any associated risks.

8. Further detailed information can be found in the Fire safety in the workplace guidance, noting there is specific guidance for residential care premisesMiDoS contains a range of resources to also support adult social care providers.

9. Thank you to providers who have already shared an emergency mobile phone number with us, as part of our preparedness in the event of any incident impacting land phone lines.  If you have not shared this information, using our Microsoft Office Form, we would appreciate if you could do this by 29 January 2023.

Useful Information

10. Following the regulatory requirements to update the Capacity Tracker once per month, DHSC has published enforcement guidance setting out what will happen if an adult social care provider does not comply with the mandate, as outlined in the guidance on data collection.  The next submission is due by 23:59 on Tuesday 14 February 2023.

11. There’s a whole bank of resources to help Staffordshire residents with the cost of living, including money management, energy bills, food and essentials, childcare and staying warm.  Getting help early can make a big difference and support is often closer than people think.  Don’t forget, Viv-up offers social care staff a range of discounts and benefits for free.

12. Skills for Care have updated their webpage on international recruitment, which includes experiences from providers who’ve successfully recruited from overseas, guidance from DHSC and the Home Office, alongside ensuring ethical recruitment.

13. Skills for Care have an ‘early bird’ discount, ending on 3 February 2023, for their Managers Conference, hosted with the National Care Forum, on 13 and 14 March 2023 in Leicestershire.  Early bird tickets are £250+ VAT – this includes a networking evening with dinner, accommodation with breakfast and conference entry.

Other

14. Please see our how to contact us webpage.


 

COVID-19: Staffordshire County Council Care Market Development Team update

Please see the COVID-19 and adult social care in Staffordshire, Care Market Development Team update pages to find information and links to further information on:

  • planned key engagement events (such as Managers Quality Networking Forum and the Staffordshire Dignity in Care Awards)
  • training and development opportunities
  • information, advice and guidance
  • the opportunities and support available to help you with your recruitment and retention needs 

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