We're available to help Adult Social Care providers. This page brings together national and local coronavirus guidance for those who provide care and support.
Coronavirus outbreak management for care homes
Report a care home outbreak
If you suspect or have a coronavirus outbreak in a care home (more than 1 resident or staff affected), call Public Health England immediately
- your local Health Protection Team (HPT) will arrange testing for all residents and staff
- they will arrange a follow up test after 4 to 7 days for residents and staff who tested negative on the first round of testing (or who missed the initial test)
- staff and residents should be retested again 28 days after the last resident or staff had a positive test result or showed coronavirus-like symptoms. If no further cases are identified at this point, the outbreak is considered to have ended.
Any further cases after this point is a new outbreak and you must contact the HPT. Staff or residents who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should not be included in testing (as part of regular testing or the whole home test at 28 days after the last identified case) until 90 days after either their initial onset of symptoms or their positive test result (if they were asymptomatic when tested).
If they develop new symptoms, they should be retested immediately.
Vaccinations for staff
You can read the government's guide on vaccinations for staff.
You can download vaccination posters to display in care homes.
Care residents with symptoms
- PHE will send testing kits for symptomatic residents (limited to 10 swabs).
- PHE contact care providers directly with their result
Alternatively call 0300 303 2713 to contact the Governments ‘Pillar 2’ for testing.
Care residents and staff without symptoms
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends:
- staff should be tested twice every week
- residents should be tested every 28 days
Guidance can be found on the government's Getting Tested page.
Testing is arranged through the government's Pillar 2 testing programme.
Sheffield care staff with symptoms
- testing is available for Sheffield care staff who have symptoms, and their household members
- book with Primary Care sheffield or the government's Pillar 2 testing programme.
You can return to work after a positive test:
- if you have completed 10 days in self isolation
- and, are not symptomatic (no fever for 48 hours) they may still have a persistent cough and feel well enough to return to work
- you do not require a negative test to return to work
- government guidance explains more
Repeat testing for home care workers
Repeat weekly testing is available for home care workers through the government's Pillar 2 system.
Repeat testing in extra care and supported living settings
Regular testing is available for residents and staff in extra care and supported living settings.
Testing visitors to care homes
Government guidance for care homes receiving Lateral Flow Devices for testing visitors:
Antibody testing for Sheffield care staff
Antibody tests are used to see if you have previously had the virus. They are different from other tests which pick up whether you currently have the disease or not.
Tests are limited to:
- NHS staff
- care home staff
Read our guidance on using PPE along with the government's advice.
Emergency PPE for your organisation
We can supply up to 1 weeks supply of PPE if you meet the following criteria:
- you have explored your usual routes for PPE
- you are in critical need of PPE (with only 72 hours supply remaining)
- you have made every effort to secure PPE from additional routes and have contacted the Service Disruption Line
- the amount requested is proportionate and will bridge the gap to your next delivery
- your staff must have close, unavoidable contact with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases
- PPE is used in compliance with Public Health England clinical advice
- you have made every effort to redesign services to minimise the number of frontline workers in close contact with symptomatic people
You will be asked weekly for your order. If you do not require anything please complete all fields with 0 quantity. If you need the supply delivering to a different address please mark this in the notes box.
IPS Training Package For Care Homes
You can take another nationally recognised IPC training on Coronavirus written by the Infection Prevention Society
Take the time to watch this 45 minute video with your staff as it provides a lot of vital IPC information specific to care homes
If you require any further advice please contact the IPC Team direct on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Skills for Care
Skills for Care have a dedicated section of Covid-19 related information and resources. Visit the skills for care website.
You can also receive their weekly eNews with Covid-19 updates by signing up.
Skills for Care have opened a new advice telephone line and email inbox to provide you with support and answers to your questions. They’re on hand from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Call them on 0113 241 1260, email at RMAdvice@skillsforcare.org.uk.
Sheffield Development Hub and the Learning and Development Service
Training / Webinars
Care Home Managers’ Forum hosted by St Luke’s every Monday 2pm to 3pm.
COVID-19 ECHO sessions hosted by St Luke’s every Wednesday 1:45pm to 2:45pm for Nursing homes and 3:00pm to 4:00pm for Residential homes & Domiciliary care agencies.
For zoom meeting details email email@example.com.
Care Home Dementia Resource
RDaSH have produced a fantastic guide exploring practical ideas to support people living with dementia during the Covid 19 pandemic.
It explores Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care (PAC) methods to encourage hand washing, swabbing and stress or distress in response to PPE.
If you have any further questions please contact the Dementia Advice Service.
Support for professionals working with people with dementia
Ask a question about how to continue to support someone with dementia, and/or refer them in to be linked with the local community dementia provision in their area (delivered by People Keeping Well partners).
Support and resources for people living with dementia
Use and share the ideas, support and resources on the newly updated Sheffield Directory dementia page.
Guide to helping residents keep in touch
The government advises using alternatives to in-person visiting
As a care provider, you must ensure all reasonable efforts are made to avoid breaching the Human Rights of your residents by:
- providing support for residents to maintain communication with friends and family
- applying for an Authorised for Deprivation of Liberty where required
On a laptop, smart phone or tablet, you can use:
Some residents may need support with this. Schedule in regular times to make calls within your care plans.
As above, regular telephone calls could be scheduled into care plans, where residents dont like using video calls.
A regular newsletter could be emailed or posted to family and friends including:
- information about activities
- other positive events in the care home.
Consider both GDPR and consent permissions if you are planning to share any information which identifies individuals.
Personal letters or emails
You can encourage residents’ family and friends to write letters and cards as nearly everyone likes to receive a surprise in the post! If possible, you could encourage people to include some recent photographs as these provide a good visual prompt to instigate conversations. Younger members of families could also be encouraged to draw pictures and send them in to residents. These could be used to make a colourful display in bedrooms, lounge areas, etc. Similarly, care home staff can offer support to residents (with their permission) to help write letters or emails for sending to their family/friends. Residents might like to write a letter or make a card, draw a picture etc for sending to family and friends.
Create a Facebook group
It would be a good idea to make the group private so you can restrict access to residents and their families and friends. You could then post photos and include updates on any planned activities or other positive events within the care home. With permission, you could also view the Facebook accounts of residents’ families/friends and share their news with residents. Please do consider both GDPR and consent permissions if you are planning to share information using social media.
Like Facebook, it would be sensible to set the account as private. You could then share photos and updates from the care home although you would need to obtain permission to include photos of individual residents. You could also ‘follow’ the family or friends of residents and share their news with the resident. Please do consider both GDPR and consent permissions if you are planning to share information using social media.
Suggestions for more isolated residents
You may have some residents with few family or friends to keep in contact with but there are a number of volunteers operating in the city who are very happy to telephone a lonely resident. Please contact the NHS Good Samaritan Volunteer Scheme on tel. 0808 196 3382 and they will allocate a suitable person to contact the resident for a friendly chat. You could also consider contacting local primary schools once they reopen and invite them to send cheerful pictures made by the children to be shared with residents.
It’s not expected that you would need to use all the above suggestions but you must put in place appropriate methods for maintaining contact between residents and their families and friends.
Consideration needs to be taken regarding the most appropriate methods of communication for each resident and any support needed to facilitate properly (eg. video calls). Different forms of communication will also be dependent upon the family/friends agreeing to it.
Finally, care home managers will need to consider their own resources and ensure that all relevant GDPR and consent requirements are being addressed.
Community Catalysts launch The Buzz
On Monday 4 May 2020, Community Catalysts is launching an exciting new online platform called The Buzz
The Buzz has been designed to be inclusive and accessible to a wide audience including people with a learning disability. It will become a collection of free videos with activities that people can do at home, such as art, dance, exercise, cooking and more. New videos will be added to our dedicated Facebook group every weekday, and weekly on our Small Good Stuff website.
Each video is produced by one of the many fantastic community enterprises who have been supported by Community Catalysts. All the enterprise leaders are experienced in running inclusive, accessible and fun sessions designed to keep everyone motivated, energised and entertained during lockdown.
The Buzz can be accessed in two ways:
1. On the Facebook group – search on Facebook for ‘The Buzz by Community Catalysts’ or click this link: www.facebook.com/groups/hellothebuzz
2. On our Small Good Stuff website - www.smallgoodstuff.co.uk/the-buzz/
Facebook group members can use the group to share their ideas, send in pictures of the things they have created and let us know how they are getting on with the activities.
To become a member of the Facebook group, people will need a Facebook profile. They must also read the group rules and agree to them when they join. We will monitor everything that is shared in the Facebook group including all videos and members’ posts and comments. We will check everything before it is approved to make sure the group is safe and fun for everyone.
We have created an easy read information sheet about The Buzz.
This in an easy read information guide to using social media and Facebook safely, which you may find helpful.
We can’t wait to start sharing some great activities and we look forward to seeing people get active, creative and having fun!
Re-use of medicines in care homes and hospices
NHS England, NHS Improvement, Department of Health and Social Care have published a Standard Operating Procedure around the re-use of medicines in care homes and hospices.
Guidance has been devised by the Medicines Optimisation Team at Sheffield CCG to clarify what this message means for your care home. We recommend that the scheme is currently limited to EOL medication, however, if we (the CCG) become aware of national shortages of other medicines we may recommend the scheme is extended to include these. To support the implementation of this where appropriate, we have produced two documents:
- Guidance to aid implementation in primary care. This is a summary of requirements and includes a checklist for assessing if a medicine is suitable for re-use and a sample log of how to record usage.
- A paper aimed at care home staff that includes: Q and As; a sample resident consent form; a checklist for assessing if a medicine is suitable for re-use; a sample log of how to record usage and a sample of how to keep records for a controlled drug.
As a reminder, re-use of medicines should only occur in a crisis situation, they have been assessed that the medicine or an alternative is not available in an acceptable timeframe, there is an immediate need and you have been instructed to do so.
This information has also been circulated to GP practices, community pharmacies, the Local Authority and the local CQC.
If you have any queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org