Please see your weekly overview update on behalf of the Director of Adult and Community Wellbeing (DASS) and Director of Public Health (DPH)
Heat Wave Health Alert
Please see the weather forecast for the coming few days (email sent 05/09/23). With this in mind please can you ensure that residents/service users are being reminded to drink plenty of fluids, keep cool and take medication as prescribed.
Proud to Care Updates
Do Something Amazing!
On Thursday this week our exciting Proud to Care Films will be released on social media and they are already showing at VUE Cinema Scunthorpe. Now is the best time to advertise your job vacancies on the Proud to Care Website.
Log in or register with the Employers Hub to advertise your jobs today!
Wheels to Work Scheme
Did you know we have a Proud to Care dedicated Wheel to Work Scheme?
The scheme is available to care workers across the sector to support recruitment and retention. The scheme has a fleet of E-Scooters and E-Bicycles available for hire at a reduced rate. Full training for E-Bicycles is available and the cost of your CBT is funded for care workers opting for the E-Scooters.
Find out more about accessing the scheme by visiting the Proud to Care website Support with transport for Care Workers – Proud to Care (proudtocarenorthlincs.co.uk).
Covid -19 Update and current guidance
- Covid-19 is a notifiable infectious disease, as well you also need to inform PDT (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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. I would recommend 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 I stress 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 letters 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
Support remains available to new and existing providers. Details of how to access support ahead of the September reporting window (8th – 14th September (inclusive)) are set out below.
NECS Capacity Tracker Support Centre: email@example.com or by calling the Support Centre (8am-5pm Mon-Fri) 0191 691 3729
NHS Business Services Authority (BSA): firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0300 330 2088 (get the BSA opening hours)
System user guidance is accessible via the Capacity Tracker Resource Centre here.
NECS provider support and awareness sessions in the next 3 weeks are set out below. These sessions are to help guide providers through the information requests, update methods and reports – they are informal events to offer providers the opportunity to raise any questions or queries:
Dates for all future sessions are available in the Resource Centre
A report is also available to all providers, to check your monthly update status, it can be accessed via this link: Update Monthly Status report
Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Communications Planner and Toolkit 2023
Feedback toolkit– We have produced the toolkit attached and outlined above the purpose of the toolkit to raise awareness, reduce stigma around suicide and promote resources to support people having conversations around suicide prevention and mental health.
We hope you find this toolkit useful and would welcome any feedback.
Please see QR code or alternatively you can feedback via using this link: https://forms.office.com/e/S4ghyGsEGr to complete a short survey. I would really appreciate your feedback ; closing date is for completion by the 5pm 11/10/2023.
If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate in getting in touch with myself, Farzana Khanum- Public Health Manager, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Lead: email email@example.com
Sent on behalf of Public Health.