Social Care Providers are playing a critical role in protecting and caring for the most at-risk citizens in our communities. These are challenging times and the leadership of social care in Wales really appreciates everything you are doing to keep people safe.
The aim of this briefing is to keep providers informed of the latest updates, provide advice and respond to general enquiries.
Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Residential Care Setting in Wales
Public Health Wales has published important guidance intended for local authorities, local health boards and registered providers of care homes or supported living arrangements where people share communal facilities.
The guidance includes information on admission of residents, caring for residents depending on their Covid-19 status, reporting of COVID-19 cases, providing care after death, advice for staff, and supporting existing residents that may require hospital care.
PHW Advice on PPE / IPC Implementation and Supplementary Advice Note for
Social Care settings: Examples to inform implementation of the updated Infection Prevention and Control guidance – COVID 19
Public Health Wales (PHW) has released updated guidance on Infection prevention and control (IPC). The updated guidance aims to clarify use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) according to risk in health and social care settings and provides for “place based” use of PPE and risk assessed sessional use of some PPE, as cases / cohort areas increase. It includes an “additional considerations” table (Table 4), providing guidance on use of PPE when sustained community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring and following an individual / organisational risk assessment it is felt that more protection is required to reassure staff and clients / patients that all appropriate protection is being used.
PHW has also published a supplementary guidance note with examples to inform implementation of the updated Infection Prevention and Control guidance – COVID 19.
Welsh Government Statements and News
1. Extra £40m to support adult social care in Wales
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, has announced an extra £40m to support adult social care services during the coronavirus pandemic.
This funding will be ring-fenced for adult social care and included in the Covid-19 Local Government Hardship Fund established a few weeks ago. It is to help ensure local authorities can address the additional costs resulting from Covid-19 that adult social care providers are experiencing in order to maintain their care provision and be able to respond to any additional demand for care which arises. This allocation will be closely monitored to ensure it remains able to do this.
Whilst this announcement is about adult social care, the situation in children’s care is also be monitored.
2. Minister and Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services: letter to social care staff
Vaughan Gething, the Minister for Health and Social Services, and Julie Morgan, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, have issued a letter thanking social care staff for their work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
3. CMO and Dep Director General for Health and Social Care Letter to Residential Settings
Dr Frank Atherton, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, and Albert Heaney, the Deputy Director General for Health and Social Care have issued a joint letter to residential settings detailing the guidance and support being provided by Public Health Wales and the Welsh Government to these settings.
4. Updated guidance on shielding
Information for shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 has now been updated (15/04/20).
5. Ethical values and principles for healthcare delivery framework
Welsh Government has issued guidance for healthcare services when making decisions during the coronavirus outbreak.
6. COVID-19 Symptom Tracker – https://covid.joinzoe.com/
First Minister Mark Drakeford and NHS Wales are appealing to the Welsh public to download the COVID Symptom Tracker app to help the NHS response to COVID-19 in Wales.
People across Wales are being asked to log how they feel to help build a clearer picture of how the virus is affecting people across the nation. Data from the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker app will be shared daily with the Welsh Government and NHS Wales. It will give early indications of where future hospital admissions are going to be.
Scientists from Kings College London and the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank at Swansea University will work with the Welsh Government to analyse the data to inform modelling and understand and predict the developing situation of the disease in Wales.
7. Rapid expansion of video consultation service into secondary and community care
Following the roll-out of digital appointments for GP surgery’s across Wales, a further £2.8m has been invested to extend the scheme to all of secondary and community care.
The additional funding is being invested to support the existing Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being Programme, which provides devices, training and support to public bodies and third sector organisations working with the most vulnerable people in Wales who are not already online. The additional funding will allow the programme, delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre, to distribute in the region of 1,000 digital devices to care homes and wards.
8. Infographic on shielding
An infographic has gone to people who are at an increased risk of getting COVID-19 and are therefore being shielded, to explain the current practice and the support available for them.
9. Managing data and requests for data
The Welsh Government is aware that in these challenging times most of you are being asked to provide data and information to local authorities, Welsh Government, Care Inspectorate Wales and others, often on a daily basis. We understand that providing this data to many different individuals can be extremely frustrating so we are exploring a solution that will allow you to provide most of this data once so it can be used many different times. It will also allow you to provide basic information that is vital in our combined efforts in responding to the current situation and allow us to plan for the weeks and months ahead.
We will work with all organisations to ensure we only collect information that is useful and share only what is appropriate to share. Further information about how we will ask you to work with us will be published shortly.
UK Gov DHSC Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity
The UK Gov Department for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity during the coronavirus outbreak.
The guidance ensures that decision makers are clear about the steps they need to take during this period. It focuses on new scenarios and potential ‘deprivations of liberty’ created by the outbreak.
During the outbreak, the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the safeguards provided by the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) still apply.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides protections for people who lack or may lack the relevant mental capacity to make decisions about different aspects of their life.
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are an important part of this act and provide further safeguards for those who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to receive care or treatment in a care home or hospital, but do not have the capacity to consent to those arrangements.
Social care workers in Wales to receive card to prove they’re key workers
All social care workers in Wales are to be sent a card that will potentially help them access the benefits available to key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The social care worker card is being sent out from Wednesday, 15 April, to those on the Register of Social Care Workers, managed by Social Care Wales. It will also be made available to those who are currently not registered but work in registered services, via their registered managers. To help social care workers potentially benefit from the card as soon as possible, it is being given to them in two formats – digital and hard copy.
Social Care Wales COVID-19 information, guidance and resources
Social Care Wales has added a series of pages to its website to support those in the social care sector who may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales. The pages include information, signposting and resources about registration, fitness to practise, recruiting staff, health and well-being, guidance for volunteering in social care settings, mental capacity and the new ethical framework.
Temporary registration of social workers
Social Care Wales has made arrangements for the temporary registration of social workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social workers in Wales who have left the Register of Social Care Workers in the last three years can now request to be temporarily registered if they wish to return to work as a social worker during the current emergency.
Public Health Wales
Public Health Wales has produced a range of easy-read resources in Welsh and English with essential information about coronavirus.
Public Health Wales is continuing to publish a daily interactive dashboard of data about coronavirus cases across Wales, broken down by health board and local authority area.
PHW is also continuing to release a statement each day at 2pm detailing the most up-to-date advice for citizens, daily statistics on numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19, and the number of related deaths.
Managing Better service
Care and Repair and its partners provide the Managing Better service, a service available to anyone over 50 with dementia and further conditions, in particular sensory loss. The service includes advice and support on a range of things to help them manage at home, including adaptations, emergency repairs, advice and support for falls prevention, home safety and warm homes.
Coronavirus Toolkit: Infection Prevention, Control and
Treatment of COVID-19
Pendine Park Care Organisation has released a toolkit aimed at Nurses, Clinical and Care Practitioners, and Housekeepers and Maintenance detailing procedures and processes on the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. This toolkit may change subject to latest Government advice.
Acas Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees
Acas, the free advisory service for employers and employees has published advice for employers and employees on issues relating to employment and the workplace and coronavirus.
Acas’ practical information on coronavirus is reviewed daily to give access to the most recent updates and common-sense advice. It contains detailed info on social distancing and vulnerable workers, updates on working from home, school closures, lay-offs and short-time working, as well as advice for employers who have to close workplaces temporarily.
In addition to the daily updates, Acas also has additional live support designed to help employers and employees at this difficult time. These include:
Finally, 12 things you need to know about working during the coronavirus pandemic is a popular content article Acas Wales has placed on Wales Online offering similar advice to employers and employees alike.
CIW Coronavirus (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) are continually updating their FAQs page for care providers and staff across Wales.
If you have any questions regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) not currently included on the FAQ's page please use the form on the contact page to get in touch with CIW.