This page will be regularly updated with the latest guidance to support the adult social care sector during this challenging period.
The plan applies to all settings and contexts in which people receive adult social care. This includes people’s own homes, residential care homes and nursing homes, and other community settings. It applies to people with direct payments and personal budgets, and those who fund their own care.
COVID-19: residential care, supported living and home care guidance
Guidance on how to work safely in care homes [UPDATED 27 April 2020]
The Government have produced guidance for those working in care homes, providing information on working safely during this period of COVID-19. The guidance includes:
- PPE recommendations for care home staff
- FAQs on the use of PPE in care homes
- care workers flowchart to help identify whether there is a need for PPE
- examples to help identify the correct use of PPE when undertaking different activities.
Read the government guidance
Advanced care planning
Some provider organisations are concerned about pressure being exerted to ensure that all the people in their care have advanced care planning in place and blanket ‘do not resuscitate’ orders.
A joint statement by the Care Provider Alliance, Care Quality Commission, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association makes it clear that advance care planning should be personalised and must not be applied to groups of people.
It’s very important that the wishes of people are respected, taking into account their capacity to make decisions, and unnecessary distress is avoided.
The Resuscitation Council has published some FAQs on ReSPECT (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) and a Quick Guide for Social Care is available from NICE.
Guidance for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults
This guidance help care staff and personal assistants to keep people with learning disabilities and autistic people safe, support them to understand the changes they need to make during the COVID-19 outbreak and protect their own wellbeing. Read the guidance here.
Guidance on looking after people who lack mental capacity
This emergency guidance is 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 COVID-19 outbreak.
Read the guidance.
Guidance on hospital discharge service requirements [UPDATED 13 May 2020]
This guidance sets out how health and care systems and providers should change their discharging arrangements and the provision of community support during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The update on 20 April was a note to say that the guidance is being reviewed following publication of the COVID-19 adult social care action plan.
Read the guidance.
Guidance on how to work safely in domiciliary care
The Government has produced some guidance for those working in domiciliary care providing information on the use of PPE. The guidance is primarily for care workers and providers delivering care in the following settings:
- visiting homecare
- extra care housing
- live-in homecare.
Read the guidance here.
COVID-19 guidance on reuse of medicines in a care home or hospice
This guidance details how to run a safe and effective medicines reuse scheme in a care home or hospice during the COVID-19 outbreak. It gives details about using medicines labelled for one patient who no longer needs them for another patient.
Read the guidance here
COVID-19 Stay at Home guidance
This guidance is for households with a possible COVID-19 infection clearly explains how long you and your household must stay at home, how to reduce the spread of infection in your home and what you can do to get better.
Read the guidance here.
Guidance for unpaid carers
This guidance is for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.
COVID-19 Verifying death in time of emergency
This guidance is designed to clarify existing practice for the verification of death outside of hospitals and to provide a framework for safe verification of death during the COVID-19 emergency period. Read the guidance here
COVID-19 guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable - [UPDATED 5 May]
The Government has issued guidance on shielding for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of an underlying health condition, and for their family, friends and carers.
It is intended for use in situations where the extremely vulnerable person is living in their own home, with or without additional support.
Critical Care COVID-19 Communication Chart
This symbol board was created by Widgit to help medical staff communicate quickly and easily with patients who are critically ill due to COVID-19.
The board includes symbols for immediate care needs as well as messages that patients may want to pass to family members and can be used even if the patient is being ventilated or has a tracheostomy (but is alert).
More information and download the board
RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19
HSE have published information about RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) and the reporting of COVID-19.
This information provides registered managers guidance on completing a RIDDOR report when staff may have contracted COVID-19 at work.
COVID-19: ethical framework for adult social care
The DHSC framework offers guidance on ethical considerations for local authorities and adult social care professionals planning their COVID-19 response.
It’s aimed at planners and strategic policy makers at local, regional and national level to support planning and organisation of adult social care in response to COVID-19.
Download the framework.
CQC launches emergency support framework
It provides a structured framework for the regular conversations that inspectors are having with providers and covers the following four areas:
- Safe care and treatment
- Staffing arrangements
- Protection from abuse
- Assurance processes, monitoring, and risk management
Read more here
Registration with CQC and changes to statements of purpose during COVID-19
The CQC have developed information for those making an application to change their statement of purpose to meet the demands of COVID-19 by increasing capacity or seeking temporary change of use.
Find out more.
CQC interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks
The CQC have published some guidance for providers recruiting staff and volunteers to health and social care services in response to COVID-19.
Delegating medicines administration
CQC - updated guidance on delegating medicines administration for care workers.
Find out more
CQC regulation to notify the death of a person using services
The notification form for the death of a person using your service, has been updated to include COVID-19 as a cause of death.
Find out more and access the form.
Recruitment and Retention
DBS - Factsheets, updated guidelines and news stories related to DBS and COVID-19
As the sector is urgently recruit staff and volunteers the DBS have put in place temporary arrangements to help this process which will enable:
- Updated ID checking guidelines to limit face-to-face contact including documents to be viewed over a video link and scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted.
- See updated guidance around temporary arrangements for free of charge DBS checks and fast track Barred List check service - [updated 15 April]
Find out more
Guidance on key workers
The government has produced Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision which defines who a key worker is.
Information for individual employers and their personal assistants
The DHSC confirm that personal assistants (PAs) are included in the definition of key workers. If your PA is being challenged they should follow the steps below:
- contact their direct payment provider (for example their local authority or care commissioning group) to ask if they have a letter or something that validates the PA is a key worker and can share with their child(ren)'s school
- provide the school with a copy of their contract of employment.
Want more Information on PAs?
Access our information hub for individual employers and PAs, where they can find our Being a PA guide and a useful YouTube video.
COVID-19: rapid care technology deployment tool
This practical guide has been developed in collaboration with those leading care technology responses to COVID-19 in councils. It outlines common challenges councils are facing and offers some potential care technology responses. More information
COVID-19: Quick Access to NHSmail
Secure communication between health and social care services is more important than ever due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. A fast track roll out of NHSMail is available to the care sector, without the need to complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit.
Helpline launched to provide digital support to social care providers
Digital Social Care has set up a new helpline to support the adult social care sector with harnessing technology during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Their team of digital experts are available to help providers access practical advice to troubleshoot a technical problem or give in-depth one-to-one support.
The helpline is available:
Monday – Friday 9.00-17.00
Tel: 0208 133 3430
Catalyst is a charitable collective of digital agencies who are focusing on helping companies respond to the challenges of COVID-19 using digital technology. They have lots of useful resources including advice on remote working and video conferencing.
Download the remote working guide
Digital Candle is a crowd-sourced advice platform for charities. They introduce people at charities who need digital assistance, to experts who can help.
A free one hour of digital guidance for charities is available. To receive your free hour you will need to book a call to tell them what your needs and they will assign a digital expert to help you.
Article: Your Work from Home Self Care Guide
A practical article with advice on working from home and video-conferencing from Entrepreneur.com
Read the article
Learning and Development
The Apprenticeship programme response to COVID-19 - [updated 24 April 2020]
The government have published The Apprenticeship Programme response to COVID-19 to support providers, employers and apprentices and outline new policy changes and flexibilities. The Education and Skills Funding Agency are working to ensure that apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, despite any breaks taken as a result of COVID-19.
The guidance provides information on:
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education have also published guidance on the delivery of assessment at guidance on the delivery of assessment which will be updated regularly.
Free access to COVID-19 eLearning programme
Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare have created a free eLearning programme available to all staff across health and social care.
The programme includes key materials to help the health and care workforce respond to COVID-19 including essential guidance from the NHS, Government and WHO, infection prevention and control, personal protection equipment and more.
Access the eLearning
The Skills Toolkit
The Government have launched a new online learning platform called The Skills Toolkit offering free, high quality courses to boost your skills in digital and numeracy.
These are the skills which are highly valued by employers and sought after in a wide range of jobs. With more people expected to be working and studying remotely in the coming months, the platform offers a great opportunity to learn new skills to help to get ahead online and gain the knowledge we’ll all need for the future. The platform also offers employees who have been furloughed an opportunity to keep up their skills development while they are at home
Take a look
Adult Social Care specific guidance on furloughing staff
Financial support available for businesses because of COVID-19
Application process - now opened for employers
Employers can claim 80% of their employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if they have been put on furlough because of COVID-19.
Check if you are eligible to claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and how much you can claim to cover wages for furloughed staff.
The Government have also issued information about financial support available for businesses during COVID-19 including claiming back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to COVID-19.
End of life care
Managing COVID‑19 symptoms for patients in the community, including at the end of life [UPDATED 30 April 2020]
This guidance provides recommendations for managing COVID‑19 symptoms for patients in the community, including at the end of life. It also covers recommendations about managing medicines for these patients, and protecting staff from infection.
Caring for a dying relative at home with COVID-19
Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice and palliative care. They have produced some guidance to support people who are caring for someone who is dying at home from COVID-19. It includes practical tips for home care, what to do when the person is not responding and when they have died. There are also lots of links to other information and useful websites.
Read the guidance
Infection prevention and control
UPDATED: COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plan and guidance
The COVID-19 PPE plan was updated on 15 April 2020 and details the government’s plan around guidance, distribution and future supply. There is also some updated guidance on the use of PPE as of 3 May 2020.
Treasury cut taxes to reduce PPE costs
From 1 May 2020, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against COVID-19 will be free from VAT. This will be for a 3
month period until 31 July 2020. Read more here.
Infection prevention and control - [updated 3 May 2020]
This guidance outlines the infection prevention and control advice for health and social care providers involved in receiving, assessing and caring for patients who are a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Guidance on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) precautions for patients remaining in hospital, or being discharged home or residential care
The government have released guidance which provides advice on appropriate IPC precautions for patients recovering or recovered from COVID-19 and remaining in hospital, or being discharged to their own home or residential care.
Coronavirus: infection prevention and control in care homes
This recording (3 April 2020) from Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement colleagues in the South East covers protecting yourself and others, PPE, how to isolate residents and caring for those at risk of Covid-19.
Covid and care home settings from Skills for Care on Vimeo.
Find out more about infection prevention and control.
Infection Prevention and Control Q&A Session
This Q&A session will give you information and guidance on a range of issues and queries raised by those attending and some submitted in advance. The recording is applicable for all Registered Managers and IPC leads in all services.
Duration 1 hour
Q&A for Care Homes on use of PPE and IPCSkills for Care on Vimeo.
Find out more about infection prevention and control.
Coronavirus: infection prevention and control in domiciliary care
This recording (April 20) from Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement colleagues in the South East specifically looks at responding to COVID-19 issues for the domiciliary care sector and other care at home environments. It covers the key principles of reducing the spread of COVID-19, understanding how and when to use personal protective clothing, and the changes that you and staff need to make to your daily work.
Duration 1 hour
Coronavirus: infection prevention and control in domiciliary care from Skills for Care on Vimeo.
Guidance for safe handling of the deceased - [updated 15 May 2020]
Developed to assist care staff who manage the bodies of deceased persons who have suffered from COVID-19.
Updated to include thenresidual risk of infection from the deceased and the use of body bags, and the use of PPE for those who are responsible for care of the deceased.
See full guidance
Video: Putting on and removing PPE
This video from Public Health England, shows how to safely put on and take off the Personal Protective Equipment when caring for people with symptoms of COVID-19.