Message from Dr Richard Harling, Director of Health and Care
(Director of Public Health and Director of Adult Social Services)
22 October 2021
1. Staffordshire’s current 7-day case rate (per 100,000) is 584.5. We are seeing an increase in case rates amongst 35 – 54-year-olds, most likely as a result of being household contacts of school age children.
2. Staffordshire continues to trend above the West Midlands (469.2) and the England (472.8) averages.
3. 96.5% of care home staff in Staffordshire are reported to have received their first dose of the Covid 19 vaccine and 90.4% are fully vaccinated.
4. 87.1% of home care staff in Staffordshire are reported to have received their first dose of the Covid 19 vaccine and 74% are fully vaccinated.
5. According to capacity tracker, only 7 staff have completed the self-exemption process (on either medical grounds or being vaccinated abroad). These figures are significantly lower than anticipated.
Please ensure staff complete the applicable self-exemption process (noting the permanent NHS Covid pass system for those exempt on medical grounds is now live) without delay, and you update this section of capacity tracker regularly.
6. Based on current forecasts, 336 care home staff in Staffordshire will not meet the condition of deployment from 11 November 2021. Please do continue to update the Capacity Tracker with your staffing data.
7. We are contacting care homes who report less than 90% of staff vaccinated. Please ensure capacity tracker is up to date so we can target our resources effectively and contact us if you have concerns about your BCP.
8. Don’t forget, the consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector will close on 22 October 2021, so please make sure you have your say!
Covid 19 testing
9. 8,547 PCR tests were completed in care homes between 11 October and 18 October 2021, identifying 12 Covid-19 confirmed resident cases, 38 Covid confirmed staff cases and 1 unknown. Please ensure you register tests correctly.
10. 773 PCR tests were completed in home care settings between 11 October and 18 October 2021. 9 Covid-19 confirmed staff cases were identified.
11. Care homes are reporting multiple inconclusive PCR test results:
12. Care homes staff who are testing on-site or self-testing at home should now use the boxes of 25 Innova brand rapid lateral flow tests, providing they have received appropriate training. To access the training, please register for an account using the following code: 3wkcVi4UTX
These specific LFD tests can also be used on visitors, if supervised on-site. Care homes will shortly be providing care homes with test kits that come in boxes of 7, for visitors to self-test.
13. Please see our updated local webpages providing information about testing for people with and without symptoms
Updates and useful information
14. The Staffordshire Managers Quality Networking Forum (MQNF) is taking place (virtually) on Monday 01 November 2021 from 13:00 – 16:45. The event will include experienced speakers sharing their perspective on real issues/challenges currently facing adult social care including recruiting and retaining staff. Places are limited, so be sure to book!
15. Updated guidance has been published this week regarding Covid-19 booster vaccinations. All frontline care staff are eligible, so please do encourage your staff to book their booster as soon as they can, at least 6 months after their second dose via Book or manage a booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
16. Incidents and concerns regarding the handling of controlled drugs can be reported through the controlled drug (CD) reporting website. This could be a small issue right up to a serious incident, and it may or may not have impacted an individual or resulted in harm.
17. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Consultation: A public consultation on extending free PPE was launched last week and will run until 23:45pm on the 31 October. The Department of Health and Social Care is considering extending the free provision of PPE for the Covid-19 needs of the health and care sector beyond the current end date of 31 March 2022. Responses are welcomed from across the sector to help ensure the Department makes a well-balanced and considered decision.
18. We would also like to collect your views to feed back to the Department at a national level, as well as any individual submissions you may make. Submit your feedback
19. Skills for Care has published the State of the adult social care sector and workforce in England report 2021 – read the report. It shows the significant impact the pandemic has had on both the short and long-term challenges faced by the workforce.
20. The Adult social care infection control and testing fund guidance has been published this week. The purpose of the fund is to support adult social care providers to reduce the rate of Covid-19 transmission within and between care settings through effective infection prevention and control practices, increase Covid-19 and flu vaccine uptake among staff, plus conduct testing of staff and visitors in care settings to identify and isolate positive cases, and in order to enable close contact visiting where possible.
21. Please ensure you update your business continuity and infection control information daily or more often as necessary as this helps us with placements and with Covid-19 related support.
22. We remain contactable 7 days per week. For details of how to contact us, please go to: How to contact us - Staffordshire County Council for further details
There is a range of national guidance documents available via the link below to support you in managing your service and supporting customers: