November’s News Briefing for all Care Providers

29/11/2021

COVID-19 vaccination to be a condition of deployment for all frontline health and social care workers.
Health and social care workers, including volunteers who have face-to-face contact with service users, will need to provide evidence they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be deployed. The requirements will come into force on 1 April 2022, subject to Parliamentary approval. There will be a twelve week grace period between the regulations being made and coming into force to allow those who have not yet been vaccinated to have both doses.       READ THE UPDATE
Get your booster vaccine. 
If you have not already had your COVID booster jab, and it’s been six months or more since your 2nd dose, you can book yours now. You can book an appointment online, contact your local pharmacy, go to a walk-in vaccination site without needing an appointment or contact your GP      SEE MORE FROM THE NHS
Apply for your NHS COVID Pass if you are medically exempt from vaccination as soon as possible.
From 11 November 2021, if you are visiting as a professional or volunteer in a care home setting and are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you will need to demonstrate your exemption. The current self-certification ends on 24 December 2021. Please apply for your NHS COVID Pass as soon as possible to prove your COVID status.  You can apply for the NHS Covid Pass by phoning 119 and asking for an NHS COVID Pass medical exemptions application form.   It takes 2-3 weeks to receive the results of an application by post. This means that applications should be made no later than 3 December to ensure you receive your pass by 24 December to have continued exemption.        READ MORE ABOUT HOW TO APPLY FOR THE NHS COVID PASS
Staff, visiting professionals and volunteers entering care homes need to prove their vaccination status.
Since 11 November, registered care home managers need to be assured that staff, visiting professionals and volunteers entering a CQC registered care home are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or are exempt. This is given by using the NHS COVID Pass (until 24 December an approved self-exemption form will also be accepted). An NHS appointment card cannot be used as proof of vaccination. Visitors will only need to provide their vaccination status on their first visit, which will be logged and referred to on subsequent visits. If evidence is not provided, the visitor will not be permitted to enter the home.       MORE INFORMATION FROM GOV.UK
How to get an NHS COVID Pass to prove your vaccination status.
You can demonstrate your vaccination status using the NHS COVID Pass. You can get a digital NHS COVID pass through the NHS App or NHS website, using NHS login. You can also download your NHS COVID pass as a PDF or get it sent to you in an email. Read more about getting a digital NHS COVID pass.  Alternatively you can request an NHS COVID Pass letter to be posted to you by going to the NHS website, or by calling 119 (select the NHS COVID Pass service).   
Boost your immunity this winter – get your flu jab.
The winter flu vaccination programme is now underway and with more people likely to catch flu this winter, it’s important to get your annual jab as soon as possible to protect yourself, your colleagues and those you care for. This is particularly important if you offer direct client care to vulnerable patients in a clinical risk group for flu or who are aged 65 years and over.   Book now with your pharmacist or GP to get protection by the time the virus is in circulation.  Take up your COVID booster when invited. Do not delay receiving either vaccine if you are unable to get them at the same time.   Having a flu jab every year protects you against new strains of the virus. Just like Covid-19, it is possible to catch it without experiencing symptoms and pass it on to family, friends and others unknowingly.        READ MORE FROM THE NHS
Winter checklist.
The government has launched the Winter Planning Guidance that includes requirements around infection control measures.   Based on this information we have created a checklist with actions for providers.    
Don’t forget: Infection Control and Testing Fund round 3.
The terms and conditions for the Infection Control and Testing Fund round 3 (ICTF3) were sent in a letter to providers on 5 November.   The ICTF3 largely focuses on supporting the staffing costs associated with infection control, testing, and COVID and flu vaccination requirements. We hope that, with these funds, Hampshire County Council is able to support the sector with the ongoing costs, and requirements for the future, supporting you to think about what needs to be in place in the coming months and years.   To help ensure funding can be paid from the end of November, please complete this form as soon as possible.  Payments will happen over the next few weeks to those who have agreed to the terms and conditions.    
Reminder: Infection Prevention Control advice line.
The Clinical Commissioning Group operates an Infection Prevention Control advice line. The line is open seven days a week between 8am – 4pm. Contact via 08703 156601.   
Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund.
The purpose of the Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund is to support local authorities to address adult social care workforce capacity pressures in their geographical area through recruitment and retention activity this winter. This is to:   support providers to maintain the provision of safe care and support capacity within providers to deliver more hours of care   support timely and safe discharge from hospital to where ongoing care and support is needed   support providers to prevent admission to hospital   enable timely new care provision in the community   support and boost retention of staff within social care   This allocation of the grant must only be used to deliver measures that address local workforce capacity pressures in adult social care between 21 October 2021 and 31 March 2022 through recruitment and retention activity.  Some examples of how the funding could be spent are:  Thanking, praising and supporting existing staff for their efforts with a view to improve staff retention   Offer staff cash incentives to aid retention   Increase carers hourly rate where needed and pay their travel time to cover the rising cost of commodities and to keep carers working in a good supportive environment   supporting payments to boost the hours provided by the existing workforce – including childcare costs and overtime   Supporting recruitment of new staff, and providing services and resources to aid recruitment, for example a recruitment manager, advertising and carers rates of pay   Increase the care staff capacity, by assisting in accommodation expenses for staff coming to live in the area, along with job advertising and incentive packages to increase uptake   Training and development to upskill staff  In Hampshire we have been allocated £3.2m and we will be making payments to our providers in the order of £115 per staff member – payable in two instalments in November and January      READ MORE ABOUT THE FUND
Training offer from impact.
Over the last 18 months impact has supported providers through the most challenging of times the sector has seen. They have launched a new enhanced offer with a streamlined approach to give you access to a catalogue of e-learning, virtual and face to face training content on a dedicated website.   A 50% subsidised rate is available to all Hampshire providers accessing any of the impact offer during the COVID period for all courses that are directly linked to Market Recovery. The subsidised rate will be available for an initial three month period but will be subject to ongoing review aligned with COVID and Market Recovery.        READ MORE ABOUT THE TRAINING OFFER
Recruitment offer from Connect2Care in Hampshire.
Connect2Care in Hampshire can help you to find candidates for a specific job role. They recruit permanent and fixed term contract staff into independent care homes in Hampshire and are fully equipped to assist with individual assignments, through to project and high volume recruitment.  They can carry out pre-employment screening, run mandatory health and social care training with access to 68+online courses and have a dedicated team of recruitment consultants providing support to Hampshire only.      READ MORE
Southern Care Show 2021 highlights.
If you couldn’t make it to the Southern Care Show this year, or would like a recap of what was covered in the talks, Hampshire Care Association have put together a round-up of the event.      SEE THE HIGHLIGHTS

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