Coronavirus guidance and best practice messages for social care providers

The Council is committed to supporting residents and ensuring their safety wherever possible. This information is intended to help and support you as providers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

As the information is changing on a day by day basis, we will update it regularly and recommend that information is not printed off and given to staff as a hard copy as it is likely to become outdated within 48 hours.

Please see the latest Government guidance for social or community care and residential settings on COVID-19.

Guidance for social care providers

The national guidance for care settings has not changed since February and there remains a moderate risk in the UK. There has been an increase in cases of COVID-19 in the UK and small numbers reported in Nottinghamshire.

Where to find more information

Public Health England and the government are the best place to get the latest information. Here’s a list of helpful resources:

  • nhs.uk/coronavirus – The NHS website contains the latest health information and advice about the virus.
  • 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 – This will give you additional information on how the virus spreads and how to avoid infection and answers to common questions. There is also a service that you can use if you think you have the symptoms or you may have been exposed to the virus whilst travelling.
  • Gov.uk – Information about Coronavirus cases and risk level in the UK, including local information can be found here.
  • Gov.uk sets out the UK Government response to COVID-19
  • Notts Help Yourself link for daily updates of this document for providers 

Message from Adult Social Care and Health Department

  • The current position is that we are in the Business as Usual phase of our Emergency Plan. This means that we are continuing to work as normal and making sure that staff have good information.
  • We are following Public Health England advice in that hand washing with soap for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to kill germs and our advice to providers is to do the same
  • We are keeping in regular contact with our external social care providers
  • We will continue to support providers with their Emergency Business Continuity Plans
  • We are minded about cashflow and how we pay contracted providers and will be putting in measures to ensure that they continue to be paid promptly and that we maintain stability in the local care market
  • We are also making information available to external providers and personal assistants who do not ordinarily work with the Council and will support as necessary
  • We will ensure that we adapt and update our plans as necessary following Public Health England Guidance (PHE)

PPE Equipment

The advice is not to stock pile PPE equipment.

There is still no need for staff or visitors to wear masks as a precaution, these do not provide full protection and the guidance remains that increased hand washing and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces offers the best prevention.

Support with contingency planning and what you can do

In an emergency, if you are unable to ensure the safety and security of service users through your business continuity plans please contact us urgently on 0300 500 80 80 and press option 2 then option 3.

The Quality and Market Management team are already in the process of contacting all externally contracted providers over the coming days to discuss the arrangements you are making locally to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in order to assess the key market risks and direct the support the Council can provide.

Some of the things we are asking you to consider include:

  • Make sure your staff members are supported to understand the situation and provide good guidance
  • Make sure you have up to date information on the needs of people you support, their family or local networks and their individual needs and risks.
  • RAG rate your service users to understand where care delivery is critical and to inform your service continuity plans
  • Have you considered whether services can be delivered in other ways if necessary and to whom (for example wellbeing phone calls rather than actual visits for some community based services)?
  • Do you have a full understanding of how staff availability is likely to impact your service delivery and at what point your staffing levels become critical?
  • Have you got arrangements in place to monitor and escalate risk?
  • Are you having early discussion with your staff to help determine what measures you may need to take in terms of staff planning, for example if local schools close?
  • Have you spoken to people you support about the plans you have?

We will gather the learning from these discussions and use this to inform and support the wider provider market.

The team will also be working to bring providers together to develop local support network

What about visitors to care homes and other building based care settings

Care homes do not need to close to visitors, but it is good practice to stop open access to the home and you should discuss recent travel and risk factors with those entering as a precaution.

Please make sure you support normal service delivery with key partners such as social work, health services. There is no evidence that taking action early will be of any benefit to people.
Where you are given conflicting advice please report this back to your Quality Monitoring Officer or email the Quality and Market Management Team at qmm@nottscc.gov.uk

Key messages for Social care providers in Nottinghamshire

  • The Council is working as part of the Local Resilience Forum but is current operating business as usual
  • We will continue to keep you updated on the situation as it changes, including latest guidance
  • Review and update your contingency plans – early planning will save time later
  • Do not stock pile PPE equipment
  • A Frequently Asked Questions document will also be available via the qmm@nottscc.gov.uk and this will be updated daily