Skip to main content

Professional Resources

Operational changes

Due to COVID-19 there may be considerations that you’ll have to make to adjust business operations and continue delivering your service.

Business continuity

Continue providing care

  • Refer to your business continuity plan. Assess each person you support to identify the essential care that they require and what the risk is of them not receiving this care.  Useful  templates to assist with this are under resources on Coronavirus guidance for care providers
  • Consider the skills that your staff have. Could you upskill domestic or kitchen staff to undertake basic care tasks? Does your plan include the minimum amount of staff you require for care delivery?
  • Make sure staff are using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they would normally, and also additional PPE as required based on risk assessment
  • Ensure you communicate with both the people you support and your staff and, if necessary, the appropriate local authority commissioning team.
  • Talk to the people you support about their care. The person may request that they’re supported by family rather than by carers at this time. If there is a change being requested in a commissioned care package people discuss this with the Local Authority. If the person is self-funding their care, you should have a discussion with them about how their needs will be met. If you have concerns someone may be at risk, you should contact the Local Authority. 
  • Ensure all staff are given adequate supplies of PPE to take out on their calls. In the event that (despite all of planning) you don’t have sufficient staff to provide support safely contact the council on 0116 305 7263 or email enquirylinequality&contracts@leics.gov.uk between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Home support calls 

Issue 3 of the Provider Bulletin an update was included asking domiciliary care agencies to risk assess the effect of a reduction in their service using the RAG (Red / Amber / Green) assessment tool, in use across LLR.  This request was made of providers prior to Care Act Easements Guidance issued under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and was based on anticipated provider capacity shortages within a crisis situation. 

There has now been further opportunity for review and the level of demand for home care is being well managed at the current time. Therefore, whilst it is still appropriate to plan for potential reduced provider capacity there is no reason to consider removing scheduled care at this time. Capacity levels will continue to be monitored closely. We are in the process of undertaking reviews for all people where there have been changes in care to ensure that they have all the support they need. 

We are continuing to work closely with domiciliary care agencies to identify where there may be potential to reduce scheduled calls and other temporary supports for service users. However this will not be enacted unless the level of crisis requires it and would be subject to human rights based assessment by the Local Authority as directed in the Easements Guidance. Therefore, no further changes in existing packages of care should be made without assessment by the Local Authority. 

We also now have some reserves of domiciliary care availability should the level of demand increase quickly as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which should help to avoid scheduled care being affected going forward. We would like to thank you for your continued work in partnership with us, and we will keep you updated about our position as a Local Authority.

Accepting residents from acute trusts

As you can imagine need to continue to support the NHS to ensure they have capacity for new patients. The decision to admit new patients is between the hospital and the home. You can take new residents without a negative test if you follow these precautions:

  • Carry out a risk assessment to consider patient safety and risk of infection.
  • If admissions are coming from affected wards you may want to consider isolating them in their own rooms for the14 day incubation period.
  • Patients with symptoms should be isolated for 7 days from onset of symptoms.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) guidance

Please continue to:

  • follow the advice of the government in terms of COVID-19. Isolation may include additional restrictions such as the resident being cared for in their room, limited contact with others and restricted visitors.
  • apply the mental capacity act principles and if the person lacks capacity around their care and any additional restrictions, use best interests as you normally would.

Whilst DoLS assessments and authorisations consider the range of care plans and restrictions, the restrictions suggested by Public Health and the Government are ones that we cannot override.

What we would ask is that providers are as creative as possible for instance, iPads or skype to keep in contact with family, rotas for the garden area.

We need to minimise the impact of individuals Human Rights 5 and 8, which are “Right to Liberty and Security” and “Respect for your private and family life” by being as creative as possible, but within the guidelines.

Please inform the DoLS team and DoLS Representative with any additional restrictions or changes to the individual’s care plans. Our BIAs are still completing assessments if you have someone who does not have a DoLS authorisation, who lacks capacity to consent to their residence for care and treatment and who you would like us to prioritise please do contact us.

Under staffed

If you don’t have enough staff to remain open, then you will need to raise this on an urgent basis and as soon as you think this is a risk with your local authority, local CCG and CQC.  This is not a PHE decision.

Visitors

Statement from Director of Public Health Leicestershire, regarding care home visitor arrangements  Opens new window

As a provider you will need to make the decision as to whether you should allow essential visitors such as medical / nursing / ambulance staff into your care setting.

If you do choose to close the doors to visitors, we would ask you to consider the mental wellbeing of the people you support and ask you to look at ways of maintaining contact with family and friends.  Care settings should take advantage of video conferencing software on smartphones, tablets and computers as much as possible to maintain human contact for residents.

If you chose not to close doors at this time, you need to ensure that risk assessments are undertaken and good hand hygiene practices are followed by any visitors and ask questions about any contact they may have had with any potential carriers of the virus. You need to be creative in supporting service users to maintain contact with their relatives e.g. video calls, visits in the garden area.  It is important to adhere to government guidance and promote the health and safety of your service users and staff.

Care settings and healthcare professionals must recognise and respond to the strain that social isolation puts on residents and their families, particularly for those receiving end of life care.

Detailed guidance on the government's website: Update on policies for visiting arrangements in care homes.

Staff member with underlying medical condition

Certain individuals may be at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and information on who this includes is detailed in the guidance on shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable persons from COVID-19

Any staff member who fall into the ‘clinically vulnerable group’ as defined by Public Health England guidance, are advised to minimise contact with anyone outside of their household. Read the full guidance on staying at home and away from others.

There are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (or the ‘extremely clinically vulnerable group’) and if a staff member is in this category then the NHS in England will have contacted that person directly with advice about the more stringent measures they should take in order to keep themselves and others safe.

Communication

We have introduced a dedicated provider communication line and email address for providers to answer queries for all organisations that are supporting people with care and support needs, and well as regular provider bulletins and Provider Forum conference calls.

Top of page