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.
This document should be read in conjunction with the most recent advice from Public Health Wales (PHW) and Welsh Government websites using the following links.
Public Health Wales www.phw.nhs.wales
Welsh Government – Coronavirus Specific www.gov.wales/coronavirus-covid19
Welsh Government – General https://gov.wales/
The aim of this briefing is to keep providers informed of the latest updates, provide advice and respond to general enquiries that you have raised.
CIW Telephone Check-Ins
Over the next few weeks, CIW will be calling all Care Providers to identify key pressures and how best you can be supported. Your feedback will help to develop guidance and advice through their FAQ’s. They will also liaise with their partners in Local Authorities and Health Boards.
The Health Minister Vaughan Gething has confirmed that hundreds of health and social care professionals will soon return to their previous careers to help tackle COVID-19.
Last week, those who‘d left health and social care jobs within the last 3 years were asked to join a temporary register to fulfil a range of clinical and non-clinical roles across the sectors.
Jointly with the Minister for Health and Social Services and the Chief Nursing Officer, the Director of Social Services and Integration, Albert Heaney, has thanked those who have expressed an interest in returning to social care during this time of national need. I also link to an accompanying announcement.
Access to PPE
Welsh Government have confirmed PPE stock for care homes delivering direct care to people suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19 will be distributed through local authorities. Supplies are increasing and will be distributed to care providers as necessary. We have asked local authorities to contact care homes to advise them of the local arrangements.
If PPE is not available and is urgently required for a person who has been tested positive the Local Health Board can be approached for mutual assistance on an individual and risk basis.
Use of PPE
On Thursday 2 April 2020, the UK Government and NHS leaders from a range of medical and nursing royal colleges published new guidance about personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS teams who are likely to come into contact with patients with coronavirus.
The guidance has been agreed by the four Chief Medical Officers, Chief Nursing Officers and Chief Dental Officers in the UK and is applicable in all parts of the UK.
A useful poster which clearly sets out the recommended PPE for primary, outpatient and community care by setting, NHS and independent sector is available to download.
Public Health Wales Daily Statements
Public Health Wales is currently releasing a statement each day at 2pm. The statement details the most up-to-date advice for citizens, along with daily statistics on numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19, and the number of related deaths.
As reported by Dr Andrew Goodall, Director General for Health and Social Services, WCVA are acting as coordinating point for issues raised by the third sector.
Dr Sally Rees (email@example.com) is the point of contact.
Delivery Driver Guidance
Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) Pharmacy has published guidance on Delivering Medicines Safely Covid-19. This guidance includes information on managing delivery at a person’s door or care home.
An online E-learning module will shortly be available for training staff in administering medicines. Details will be shared in future editions
From Friday 20 March, those who have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate are able to obtain an “isolation note” by visiting NHS 111 online and completing an online form, rather than visiting a doctor. For COVID-19 cases this replaces the usual need to provide a “fit note” after seven days of sickness absence.
Business and employers
Coronavirus (COVID-19): employers and businesses guidance (version 2 – 24th March):
Guidance to assist employers, businesses and their staff in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19) with issues including
This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation
Care Home national capacity Tool
A national care home capacity tool has now been launched in a letter to all Care Homes from WG Director of Social Services and Integration, Albert Heaney issued on 27th March.
Thank you to everyone who has signed up to use the tool. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity, please would you consider doing so as soon as possible? It will provide vital information over the coming months.
4C’s (Children’s Commissioning Consortium Cymru
For supplemental info and updates please follow our twitter @4CsChildrensCo1
As well as sharing useful information for stakeholders, there are lots of ideas and fun activities to keep everyone entertained and some fantastic artwork from our Young Commissioners.
You can continue to contact a member of the team on 01443 570098. Alternatively you can email the 4C’s inbox firstname.lastname@example.org. If you contact individual staff via their email addresses please ensure you copy in the 4C’s inbox as well email@example.com.
Social Care Wales
Social Care Wales has invited all social workers who have left the profession to consider re-joining in the current emergency.
A new temporary registration has been made available to those social workers who have left in the past three years, with a fast-track application and no fee to pay. More information on temporary re-registration is available via the website.
Beware of COVID-19 scams
National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19
COVID-19 scams identified include: Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door.
These products can often be dangerous and unsafe.
There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014
Virus testing kits are only available via NHS
There are currently no vaccines or cure.
Information on Shielding Letters
All those identified as being at a very 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 the end of this week (3 April).It will be important for social care providers to cross-reference the list with health care colleagues to ensure its accuracy.
The letter advises people to stay at home for 12 weeks and contains a range of further information and advice, including how those who have no-one else who can support them can get medication and other essential items such as food.
In addition, the Welsh Government has published information on its website on support for extremely vulnerable people. Within this information are further links to guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable.
To ensure all high-risk patients are contacted, GPs are being provided with a list of those who’ve been sent letters to check against their known patients. They will contact any additional high-risk patients not identified to provide the advice outlined by the Chief Medical Officer.
Those who are waiting for letters should not contact their GP surgery before the end of this week.
There is a broader group of vulnerable people who have not been written to but have been previously been advised through published guidance to rigorously follow the social distancing advice in order to help reduce the risk of catching coronavirus. People in Wales are not being asked to register as vulnerable but if you are aware of vulnerable adults who require support, then in the first instance, that support should be sought from family, friends and neighbours, as well as the use of other online services.
If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help. If a person is receiving support from health and social care organisations, then that care will be continue to be provided through the local authority or health care system.