Frequently asked questions
This page has information on the following:
As required by the Adult Social Care Winter Plan, all providers should review and update their business continuity plans (BCPs) for the autumn and winter.
We ran two workshops in November 2020 to support providers to develop their BCPs. You can find the contents of the workshop presentation slides here, including links to guidance, templates and RAG rating examples from the Care Provider Alliance.
We ask that all providers email us at email@example.com to let us know if you have reviewed your BCP. If you have not already reviewed it, please can you do so and confirm to us. Thank you if you have already reviewed your BCP and let us know.
Preparing for EU transition in adult social care
The Government has issued a letter on 21 December containing guidance for adult social care providers to ensure continuity of critical supplies over the end of the Brexit transition period. This covers medicines and medical products. It recommends you understand the continengency arrangements of your critical suppliers for potential supply disruption issues througout the transition period and contains some guidance on what to do if you have problems and on the National Supply Disruption Response.
There are 5 recommendations to prevent disruption:
- Make sure you understand the contingency arrangements your critical suppliers have in place to manage any potential disruption related to the EU transition.
- There is no need to stockpile any medicines or medical products
- Allow more time for non-clinical goods to arrive and where you rely on ‘just in time’ supply chains, allow an extra 72 hours' lead time in case of any disruption
- If you experience a problem with supply of a product, follow the business as usual processes first. If you still have problems, the National Supply Disruption Response is there to help.
- Make sure you understand any local contingency plans for potential localised disruption.
Please link to our PPE page for guidance on ensuring sufficiency of PPE supplies.
There are 8 recommendations in case of disruption:
- Consider making contact with your supplier to source alternatives or put in place mitigating actions.
- If the issue relates to the supply of medicines, alert your community pharmacist.
- Where relevant, raise your concern with your local care provider association or trade body representative.
- Where relevant and if your service is part of a larger business group, also ensure that operational management and the business owners are made aware of the issue.
- Contact other branches in your organisation where appropriate to try and make alternative arrangements.
- Raise your concern with your relevant local authority representative who is managing supply disruption issues (whether or not you are directly commissioned by the local authority)
- Contact your local adult safeguarding hub If there is a significant risk to the safety or wellbeing of service users
- If you provide services across multiple local authorities, please contact your host local authority who will alert other interested parties.
The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) has developed guidance on business continuity, in partnership with Government and others.
Preparing for EU transition (175 KB)
If or when the impact of the pandemic means that providers cannot maintain normal levels of service for a significant period of time, will the council be able to support them?
Please refer to the following documents and pages for the latest information:
- Financial sustainability letters for the following sectors:
During the current restrictions on movement do my social care workforce require any evidence of their key worker status?
Updated 16 April 2020: we advise that workers should carry their ID and a letter from their employer with them. If any staff are encountering difficulties with the police, please send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens if due to staff shortages we can no longer provide 1:1 or 2:1 care?
For now, you should continue to use your business continuity plan to implement the planned prioritisation of care interventions across your service. Please refer to the following documents and pages which set out more information on how we are supporting the sector:
If you have enacted your business continuity arrangements and cannot cover all your commissioned care tasks, you should email email@example.com or phone 0300 111 8050.
What changes have there been to the DBS process to help me recruit more quickly?
The government has changed its DBS process by introducing free of charge DBS applications and a fast track barred list check service.
Updated 29 May 2020: DHSC have produced guidance for adult social care providers to inform them when an employee or volunteer working in the sector has died from Covid-19.
Coronavirus (Covid-19): informing DHSC of the death of a worker in social care
Should I keep my service or care home open to new packages, admissions and people returning from hospital?
As you will be well aware, the NHS needs us to support more people, as hospital beds need to be freed up for those who need them most - and they may well be needed for your service users and residents in the future.
The latest NHS guidance on care home admissions can be found in the link below:
Coronavirus Covid-19: admission and care of people in care homes
The hospital discharge team should be able to answer any questions you may have about the admission. If you have any specific query that you cannot resolve by speaking to the hospital, then please email us to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will link the query with our NHS colleagues.
Is there any support to access supermarkets for essential food supplies for vulnerable individuals we are supporting?
Updated 1 April 2020: We have been working with local supermarkets to identify an essential food parcel. Should you require support to access supermarket essentials for a vulnerable service user, please email us at email@example.com and we will issue correspondence to support you.
Is fixed equipment maintenance going ahead as usual?
Updated 1 April 2020: All fixed equipment maintenance and service visits have ceased. Emergency call outs for breakdown and repairs will continue. Service users who are in receipt of the service will have access to the emergency call out number.
What is the current process?
Updated 1 April 2020: To comply with national and local guidance on Covid-19, Best Interest Assessors and Mental Health Assessors will no longer visit care homes to undertake face to face DoLS assessments. We would encourage you to continue submitting applications; should a deprivation of liberty be identified they will be triaged in the normal way and where possible completed by desktop assessment. Should a desktop assessment be undertaken, the care home will be contacted by a Best Interest Assessor.
Our aim is to continue to ensure that where possible the person is afforded the safeguards in accordance with the legal framework and current guidance.
Please refer to The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic for additional guidance.
We will only accept referrals completed using the DoLS forms on this website.
Some other specific questions have been sent to us but not answered above or in our FAQs. Where these are unique to a particular provider, we will contact you directly. For other FAQs which we have not answered here, we have forwarded the question to an appropriate partner and will update the FAQ page as soon as possible.