We're available to help Adult Social Care providers. This page brings together national and local COVID-19 guidance for individuals and organisations who provide care and support.
Infection Control Fund
COVID-19 outbreak management for care homes
To report confirmed or clinically suspected cases contact Public Health England on 0113 386 0300 and ask for the COVID-19 Incident Reporting Centre.
Your local Health Protection Team (HPT) will carry out a public health risk assessment to determine the next steps. If they suspect an outbreak they will provide advice and guidance on infection control procedures and advise that testing is required.
In these circumstances the HPT will advise that staff and residents should be tested. They may ask for people who have tested negative to re-test after 4 to 7 day to reduce the chance of false negative COVID-19 cases.
Care homes will continue to receive support during an outbreak from local HPT and can be contacted for further guidance. Following an outbreak care homes will be asked to retest all staff and residents 28 days from the date the last person developed symptoms.
Testing for care residents with symptoms
PHE will send testing kits for symptomatic residents (limited to 10 swabs) by courier from its testing lab in Leeds. Information on how to carry out tests and how to arrange for collection of kits is included with the testing kits. PHE will contact care providers directly with their results.
Alternatively call 0300 303 2713 to contact the Governments ‘Pillar 2’ for testing.
Repeat testing for care home residents and staff without symptoms (over 65's and dementia)
Repeat testing is available for care home residents and staff who are not symptomatic through the government's 'Pillar 2' testing programme.
From 6 July 2020 the Department of Health and Social Care recommends that care home staff should be tested every week and care home residents should be tested every 28 days.
This is initially being offered to care homes with adults over 65 and those with dementia. All other care homes can register for repeat testing from 31 August 2020.
Mobile Swabbing Service
We now offer a Mobile Swabbing Service to test residents if:
- someone needs urgent admission to a care home from their own home. They will be isolated in the care home and swabbed by our team. We may need to swab people at home prior to admission
- a resident is to be transferred between care homes. Our team will swab the resident prior to transfer
- there is no-one available at a residential care home to swab symptomatic residents. We will visit and swab residents according to latest guidance
Referring a resident for swabbing
When a resident has been identified as requiring swabbing, contact Primary Care Sheffield (PCS) with:
- patient's name, date of birth and address
- registered GP practice details
- name, address and contact details of the care / residential home where patient will be admitted
- which of the three categories above the person requiring swabbing fits into
- Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm on 0114 3223100
- Weekends and Bank Holidays 10am to 4pm on 07513 914 828
- we are operational between 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and between 10am to 2pm at weekends. We have one team on duty each day. Each team consists of two Registered Nurses or a Registered Nurse and a Health Care Assistant
- care homes who need advice in the management of a symptomatic resident should follow the usual processes and contact the resident's GP
COVID-19 testing for Sheffield care staff with symptoms
Testing is available for Sheffield care staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 and their household members.
You can also request a test from the government's Pillar 2 testing programme.
If staff test positive for COVID-19 they do not require a negative test to return to work.
Staff may return to work following a positive test if they:
- have completed 10 days in self isolation
- are not symptomatic (no fever for 48 hours) they may still have a persistent cough and
- feel well enough to return to work
For more information see: GOV.UK Management of exposed healthcare workers and patients in hospital settings
Antibody testing for Sheffield care staff
On 25 May the NHSE announced the start of a new national antibody testing programme.
Antibody tests are used to detect antibodies to the COVID-19 virus to see if you have previously had the virus. They are different from other tests which detect if you currently have the disease or not.
There is no strong evidence yet to suggest that those who have had the virus develop long-lasting immunity which would prevent them from getting the virus again.
The value of antibody tests is currently limited to answering the question of whether someone has had the virus or not, providing data and a greater understanding on the spread of the virus.
Who is eligible for the test?
At the beginning of the antibody testing programme NHS and care home staff are being prioritised.
We will post further information about how other staff can apply for antibody testing when the programme is expanded further.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance
Our guidance on the consistent use of PPE in Sheffield should be read along with the government's advice on PPE.
Ordering 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 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
- you are in critical need of PPE (with only 72 hours supply remaining)
- 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.
Please note these workers are there to be contacted if it is a social care issue only and not a contracts issue. You can still use the Covid19 inbox firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to speak to the Contracts Department.
In the first instance please call to introduce yourself and your organisation. We are trying jointly to build relationships between Providers and ASC and feel this is an excellent opportunity to start.
Locality 1: Tim Turner Tim.email@example.com (TBC) Area: A1, A2, A3 (North), G1 and G2
Locality 3: Jayne Middleton firstname.lastname@example.org 07764338124 Contract Area: F3 and F4
Locality 5: Tim Turner email@example.com Contract Area: F1 and G3
Locality 6: Jackie Bradshaw Jackie.firstname.lastname@example.org 07805757862 Contract Area: C1, C2 and C3
Locality 7: Keeley Dawson email@example.com 07342063385 Contract Area: D1, D2 and D3
Deprivation of Liberty update
In line with Government guidance the Supervisory Body continues to function and we would ask you to continue to submit your requests for Standard Authorisations as normal. See: GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity .
All referrals will be screened as usual. At present we are prioritising the allocation of High Priority cases to BIAs.
BIAs will endeavour to complete assessments in line with the requirements of lockdown and social distancing.
This will include using a variety of methods such as:
- examination of Local Authority records
- examination of your records if appropriate
- possible telephone discussions with yourselves, appropriate friends and family and professionals
- assessments of residents using telephone, FaceTime, Zoom or other virtual methods as appropriate
Your help with this is much appreciated.
Other useful information
IPS Training Package For Care Homes
Many thanks to those care homes that have attended the virtual IPC, PPE and COVID-19 training that has been delivered recently.
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 and will supplement the training you have recently received
To those care homes who were not able to attend the virtual IPC, PPE and COVID-19 training, please take the time to watch the Infection Prevention Society one.
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
Despite the introduction of the new Coronavirus Act, it is important to note The Mental Capacity Act, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and the Human Rights Act remain applicable and are unchanged by the new legislation and guidance.
The latest government guidance updated on 20 April 2020 advice:
“family and friends should be advised not to visit care homes, except next of kin in exceptional situations such as end of life… alternatives to in-person visiting should be explored, including the use of telephones or video”.
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
Please do explain to residents why visits have been restricted and why they are unable to socialise as before. Books beyond words offers a number of picture guides to help support your staff to explain to residents about issues relating to the coronavirus pandemic:
It is important that current restrictions on contact such as visits should be compensated for by increased access to alternative means of communication. Here are some ideas on different communication methods you could consider for your residents:
There are many applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom that can be used on a smart phone, tablet or laptop to enable a 2-way (or group) video call so people can see and talk to each other. Some residents may need support with this and you could schedule in regular times to make calls within your care plans.
As some people might not like to be shown on a video call, this allows them to keep in touch and hear a familiar voice. As above, regular telephone calls could be scheduled into care plans.
A regular newsletter could be emailed or posted to family and friends including photos, information about activities and other positive events in the care home. Please do 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