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.
Welsh Government Statements & News
On 7th April, the Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething issued a written Statement on the latest updates to Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
The Welsh Government is leading a consortium of stakeholders within Wales to deliver our national plan for COVID-19 testing. On Tuesday Welsh Government shared details of the new testing approach for April.
Testing approach Link to testing approach
One of the most important tasks will be to ensure we have the capacity to support people who have acute healthcare needs in our hospitals. To do this we need to organise the safe and rapid discharge of those people who no longer need to be in a hospital bed. The new default will be discharge home today.
Teams across the NHS, community and social care settings will need to work together to ensure we create and maintain acute bed capacity through faster rates of appropriate discharge from NHS beds throughout this exceptional pandemic period.
Therefore, Welsh Government has published Hospital Discharge Service Requirements, which set out actions that must be taken immediately to enhance discharge arrangements and the provision of community support:
During these uncertain times, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services has sent a video to care home residents across Wales. She wants them to know, she is thinking of them as they come to terms with not having to see their friends and family during this time.
The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan AM has issued a heartfelt open letter to older people in Wales, recognising the difficult challenges facing older people at this critical time, offering her support and understanding.
The letter also includes information on Age Cymru’s helpline, which continues to be available for advice. It’s open from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday and the number to ring is 08000 223 444. Over-70s who live alone can also register for its recently launched check-in-and chat service.
Welsh Government are working with local authorities & providers to identify the additional costs that are arising to social care services as a result of the CV19 outbreak.
An announcement about funding support will be made shortly.
From Tuesday 7th April new rules to protect workers during the coronavirus outbreak will come into force, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, James Hutt AM has issued a statement announcing a Welsh Government Third Sector Covid-19 Response Fund worth £24 million. This will support three distinct areas of activity:
See statement for more details.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething AM has published a written statement expressing gratitude to NHS and all staff who have retrained and being redeployed to work in critical care settings.
The statements gives details of the work being undertaken by Welsh Government and its partners to increase critical care capacity in Wales.
Guidance on holding and attending funerals during the coronavirus pandemic.
All those identified as being at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (due to a serious underlying health issue) will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales by no later than 5 April. This is known as a ‘shielding letter’.
The Welsh Government has released complementary Information for people who have been identified as being at a very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus – available to download or access from the WG website.
Building on the Welsh Government’s existing pandemic plans, NHS Wales though its Health Boards, have plans in place for increases in capacity and continue to explore other options
Following a rapid review of the PPE guidance in the UK, which was carried out by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Public Health England, in collaboration with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales, new guidance, which applies across the UK, was published on 3rd April . The World Health Organisation (WHO) had endorsed the UK approach to PPE.
Written statement (02/04/20)
Childcare Offer for Wales – Supporting Critical Workers during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Welsh Government Consultation on emergency social care provision, pre-employment checks in adult residential and domiciliary care, and provider annual returns
In the 4 Nations Coronavirus Action Plan published on 3 March, Welsh Government committed that any necessary changes to legislation are taken forward as quickly as possible.
Welsh Government have now written to key partners to consult on draft subordinate legislation which is being urgently progressed in order to support the provision of emergency social care for adults and to simplify the pre-employment checks required for new residential and domiciliary care workers.
Any comments or questions on these proposals to the RISCAct2016@gov.wales mailbox by 12:00am on 17 April 2020
Primary community pathway details
On 20th March, the Welsh Government National Planning and Response Primary and Community Care subgroup approved a Community COVID19 Framework, which includes an agreed national respiratory pathway for managing COVID-19 in the community.
This pathway is designed to work alongside the secondary care respiratory pathway, published on 17th March 2020. The purpose of this pathway is to support primary care, community and paramedic colleagues in decision making regarding the management of patients presenting with suspected or actual Covid-19.
Please refer to the community pathway documents attached. These include:
Reporting of Capacity across Children’s Placement – 4Cs, Welsh Gov, ADSS Cymru, and Local Authority Heads of Service
In response to the current situation 4Cs, Welsh Government, ADSSC, and Local Authority Heads of Service require a snapshot of capacity across Childrens placement provision in Wales.
The most efficient way for us to collate this data and analyse it is from CCSR.
This is a national priority to support contingency planning for children looked after during the Covid-19 pandemic and it is therefore essential that you assist by ensuring that your vacancies are updated on CCSR by 12.00 on Thursday 9th April.
This request applies to all framework and non-framework care settings on CCSR.
Vacancies can be completed by accessing vacancies via your CCSR Provider page and clicking the ‘Edit Vacancies’ button.
Vacancy data compliance for Framework Providers is already monitored by 4C’s and we recommend all Providers maintain their provider profile, including vacancies on a regular basis and within 7 days of any change in a vacancy.
While we do not enforce the vacancy clause in the Framework Agreement regularly, you will appreciate that it is at times such as these that an accurate picture is absolutely crucial to our planning. We therefore ask you all to prioritise assisting us in this exercise while we fully appreciate that you are very busy with operational placement support at this time.
Online Care & Support Capacity Tool
The Welsh Government, in partnership with Data Cymru, launched the Care & Support Capacity Tool on 26 March enabling care home providers to quickly update their vacancy numbers. This tool will provide a valuable single source of information about care home capacity during this difficult time.
Once fully established, this should reduce the need for commissioners to contact your service for this information.
If you have yet to sign up, please do so. You can do this by visiting https://www.dewis.wales and entering your details. You can access support to update your information by calling 07773 486891 between 8am and 8pm daily. You can also access support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any feedback on the tool please email email@example.com
PHW information and Data Dashboard
Public Health Wales is publishing 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. The statement details the most up-to-date advice for citizens, daily statistics on numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19, and the number of related deaths.
Online support available to Welsh businesses affected by COVID-19
Business Wales have launched a brand-new series of webinars providing advice to SMEs across the country affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The ‘Covid-19 and Your Business’ series covers key topics in aid of every business owner and sole trader, who wants to minimise the impact of the pandemic and improve the survivability of their ventures.
Topics include: alternative business models and diversification, cashflow and accessing finance, HR policies and procedures, including employment law, sick pay and zero-hour contracts, managing teams and workload remotely, encouraging productivity and negotiating with suppliers and customers.
During the webinars, all participants will have the opportunity to take part in a live Q&A by sending their questions to the presenters.
For the full list of webinars and
Companies House have confirmed that providers whose accounts may be late because of issues arising from COVID-19, and whose filing deadline has not yet passed, can apply for an automatic and immediate 3-month extension to file their accounts.
Data protection and coronavirus: what you need to know
The Information Commissioner’s Office:
Data protection will not stop you doing that. It’s about being proportionate - if something feels excessive from the public’s point of view, then it probably is.
The ICO is here to help – please see the link for answers to frequently asked questions.
If you need more help, call 0303 123 1113.
CIW Coronavirus (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), CIW have captured most frequently asked questions for care providers and staff across Wales and will be updating these regularly as the situation progresses.
If you have any questions regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) not currently included in the FAQs please use get in touch with CIW.
Social Care Wales – Working in Social Care: WeCare Wales Jobs
Social care employers, we want to help address the staff shortages you might be facing right now. Now more than ever, people are needed to provide care and support to those who are vulnerable in our communities.
To help you find the right people to fill your vacancies and support your business, we’ve created a jobs portal that will list current social care jobs in Wales.
To make this happen, we need you to post your job vacancies on Twitter from your channels, including the following details:
• Job title
• Local authority (if the role covers more than one authority, include each)
• Brief description of role
• Must include hashtag: #WeCareWalesJobs
Animation for children and young people explaining Covid-19
Videos to help explain Covid-19 to children and young people have been developed by the Mental Health Foundation and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board