Weekly Communication Week Commencing 02/10/23

Dear Colleagues

Please see your weekly overview update on behalf of the Director of Adult and Community Wellbeing (DASS) and Director of Public Health (DPH)

The Pledge 2023

This is to let you know of the event being held at The Baths Hall on the 18 October, 13:30 to 16:00 to celebrate a year of the Experts Together Pledge 2023. 
Within the event we will discuss what has gone well since the signing of the pledge last October, the barriers that still remain and then a small table workshop to action plan how we can Ask, Listen and Act in the next year.
As always, our experts will be heavily represented and have designed it all with our support, if you can spare the time, it would be lovely to see you there. The link for booking on is https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-pledge-annual-event-tickets-700275020437?aff=oddtdtcreator
If you can’t but would like to discuss how we can collect and implement voice, then get in touch.

Covid Government Guidance Update

Published 31 March 2022: Sets out how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in adult social care settings in England. 

Latest update 27 September 2023: Updated information about autumn booster vaccinations, hospital discharge and reporting positive test results for those eligible for treatments.

Covid Guidance

Sent on behalf of North Lincolnshire Health and Care Partnership
  • Covid-19 is a notifiable infectious disease, a gentle reminder that as well as letting the ICB IPC team know of any cases, you also need to inform PDT and UKHSA Tel: 0113 386 0300 – just the same as when we were in the height of the pandemic.

Here is the link to the current covid guidance for care homes last updated 8 June 2023, COVID 19 – supplement to the infection prevention control resource for adult social care:

COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and …

Please take time to read through to enable you to manage any covid outbreaks in your care home. It is recommended you read it as a live document on the internet and DO NOT print off as there are links to other documents which you may find useful. 

Below are only highlights, again It is stressed how important it is to read the full guidance:

  • Previously if a person had symptoms, we automatically tested them for covid. This is no longer the case we only advise symptomatic testing for those eligible for COVID-19 treatments and during suspected outbreaks in care homes.  Those eligible for COVID-19 treatments will most likely have received a pre-notification letter via their GP informing them of this. There is a link in the document for further reading.
  • In care homes only the first 5 residents with symptoms of a respiratory infection will be asked to take an LFD test to identify if there is an outbreak of COVID-19. This is in addition to ongoing testing for symptomatic individuals eligible for COVID-19 treatments. Any resident with symptoms of covid following the first 5 tested and not meeting the criteria eligibility for COVID-19 treatments, should not be tested but treated as if they have covid.
  • Residents who have tested positive or who are suspected of having covid should isolate for 5 days – day 0 being the first day of symptoms or testing positive – isolation ends on day 6 if they feel well and no longer have a high temperature. Outbreak measures can be lifted 5 days after the last suspected or confirmed case. There is no requirement for end of outbreak testing.
  • Contact with relatives and friends is fundamental to care home residents’ health and wellbeing and visiting should be supported. Those residents who positive/symptomatic are isolation are able to have at least one visitor at a time inside the care home during this time, with appropriate IPC precautions.  Visitors should be advised before seeing a resident that they have had a positive test and are advised to stay away from others; this can be done by the resident or by the care home if they are not able to do this. Refer to the section on Visiting arrangements in care homes.
  • The guidance is explicit that there should not be any restrictions on visits out for individuals who are not symptomatic or who have not tested positive in any circumstance.
  • Care homes should ask visitors to follow the same PPE recommendations as care workers to ensure visits can happen safely. Additional requirements for face masks may be in place during a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19. This should be based on individual assessments, taking into account any distress caused to residents or barriers to communication from the use of PPE.
  • Health, social care and other professionals may need to visit residents within care homes to provide services. Visiting professionals should follow the PPE recommendations as per other visitors.
  • Residents who are isolating should be able to go into outdoor spaces within the care home grounds through a route where they are not in contact with other residents.
  • Care staff who are not eligible for Covid-19 treatments no longer need to test if they develop symptoms of a respiratory infection/covid.

Staff who have symptoms of a respiratory infection and who have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. These staff members do not need to take an LFD test if they are symptomatic. They should follow the guidance for people with guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19. Stay away from work for 5 days – day 0 being the first day of symptoms or testing positive – can return to work on day 6. However, if they have decided to go against the guidance for some reason and tested positive, they should stay away from work for a minimum of 5 days after the day they took the test. Although many people will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days, some people may be infectious to other people for up to 10 days from the start of their infection. Staff should be supported to avoid contact with people at higher risk from becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19 for up to 10 days after the day they took their test – advice would be for these individuals to complete a risk assessment – there is no need to retest.

 

  • After 5 days, staff can return to work on day 6 once they feel well, and do not have a high temperature. If they are still displaying respiratory symptoms when they return to work, they should speak to their line manager who should undertake a risk assessment.
  • If you have 1 person either positive test or symptoms re introduce mask wearing for staff and wear full PPE including single use visors when providing personal care or supporting with eating meals. For PPE to be effective, it is important to use it properly and follow instructions for putting it on (donning) and taking it off (doffing).
  • Regarding when an outbreak is an outbreak, risk assessment and management of an outbreak see guidance. Outbreak measures can be lifted 5 days after the last suspected or confirmed case with no testing required. This is from the day of the last positive test, or the day the last resident became unwell, whichever is latest.
  • Ventilation is an important IPC measure. Letting fresh air from outdoors into indoor spaces can help remove air that contains virus particles and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Rooms should be ventilated whenever possible with fresh air from outdoors after any visit from someone outside the setting, or if anyone in the care setting has suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Please read the full guidance as this is only highlights. I have also included a link for the National infection prevention and control manual (NIPCM). This is an evidence-based practice manual for use by all those involved in care provision in England. It should be adopted as mandatory guidance.

National infection prevention and control

For further advice and guidance please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Coult or Hazel Moore

NHS Capacity Tracker – Mandatory Window Opens 08 October 2023

The October 2023 ASC Provider Data Collection window opens in Capacity Tracker on Sunday 8th October and closes on Monday 16th October 23.59

October Window

Remember:

  • Provider Training Sessions are available here
  • Ensure you have more than one user to update the system
  • Support Centre team are available to provide help by calling 0191 691 3729 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm (excl bank holidays) or by email necsu.capacitytracker@nhs.net
DHSC

A Special Note to Homecare Providers

Dear Providers,

Firstly, thank you to the 85% of home care settings for prioritising uploading your data to the Capacity Tracker last month. 

Please be reminded that to be compliant you must review and submit your data during the collection window that opens on the 8thof each month and closes on the 14thof each month, unless this falls on a weekend or bank holiday when the final day for submission moves to the next working day.

Failure to share your data could result in you being issued with a financial penalty.

Updating Capacity Tracker

You will receive a system generated email that is sent to all providers registered on Capacity Tracker to notify you when the monthly collection window is open. The email contains links that:

  1. Directs you to the Capacity Tracker to review, update, and save your information
  2. Enables you to provide a ‘nil’ return or to save the previously updated information without needing to log into Capacity Tracker

Another system generated email reminder is sent 48 hours prior to the collection window closing, to those who have not completed any update.

If you need any assistance or advice regarding updating the Capacity Tracker, contact the Support Centre on 0191 691 3729 or via email at necsu.capacitytracker@nhs.net

If you have been approached by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) or North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) regards providing data via Capacity Tracker you must do so, even if a ‘nil’ return – i.e. updating all fields to zero.

If you believe your type of service does not have a duty to provide data via the Capacity Tracker please provide a ‘nil’ return every month and send details of your service to capacitytracker-guidance@dhsc.gov.ukto discuss any next steps.

Kind regards,DHSC

Many Thanks

Performance Support Officer
Provider Development Team