The Department of Health and Social Care has provided a clear statement about additional resources to support care homes.
On 13th May the Government announced that it would make available a £600 million Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care.
The Department for Health and Social Care have distributed the first tranche of this money to local authorities and 75% of this will be passed onto care homes to help them put in place measures to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and to support wider workforce resilience. Care homes can choose to prioritise some of their allocation to recruiting additional staff to enable staff to work in only one care home or to work only with an assigned group of residents or only in specified areas of a care home. This includes paying for a temporary nurse from the nurse returners programme to help with staff shortages.
The first tranche of £300m was allocated to local authorities on 22 May and the second tranche will be available in July. Care homes must complete the capacity tracker on a consistent basis to receive their full allocation of funding. This funding must be spent within two months of the authority receiving the second instalment.
Local authorities have the discretion to allocate the remaining 25% of funding to care homes or to domiciliary care providers to support wider workforce resilience in relation to COVID-19 infection control.
There are two ways a returning nurse on the NMC COVID-19 temporary register might be employed:
Directly by a social care provider – the provider will need to enter into an appropriate contract of employment and may use their allocation of the Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care as set out above towards those costs.
By a ‘host’ employer organisation such as a local CCG or Community Trust. In this case a nurse would be loaned or seconded to the social care provider, and all matters relating to pay and terms and conditions would be dealt with by the ‘host’ organisation. Providers would need to enter into arrangements with the ‘host’ to pay for the nurse from their Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care allocation. Providers will be responsible for the direction of nursing care and indemnity.
This is a decision for providers employing the returning nurse. For your information, nurses returning to work in the NHS have been paid at the top of Agenda for Change band 5.
The Department of Health and Social Care has issued the following statement:
Returning nurses who are deployed into social care settings will need to be covered by the indemnity arrangements of the receiving social care providers. All social care providers are required to have insurance and suitable indemnity arrangements in place for the services they provide, and these arrangements provide cover for all staff working under the direction of a provider. This includes staff who are working with them on a secondment or loan from another organisation, and volunteers.
Returning nurses who have returned to practice during the covid-19 pandemic may be redeployed into care homes with nursing provision. In these instances, the receiving social care provide will be directing the work of those nurses and must therefore provide the indemnity cover, even where a nurse remains employed by a loaning organisation, such as an NHS employer. The receiving provider will need to confirm with the loaning employer that existing indemnity and insurance arrangements are adequate to cover staff being loaned to them as part of the redeployment process.
A letter setting out this position was sent from the Minister for Social Care to the NHS Confederation.
All returners have been directed to register and complete the four statutory and mandatory training modules deemed critical prior to returning to the workplace. These are:
Health, Safety and Welfare
Infection Prevention and Control – Level 2
Resuscitation – Level 2
In addition, we strongly recommend:
5. Learning resources for returning nurses
A returner who has been deployed to your establishment may have already completed the modules, be in the process of completing the modules or, on occasion they may not have started. If the returner has an active log in to e-learning for health they will be able to log in.
You should be able to check that these have been completed. Please ask the returner to print or save a copy of the completion/pass certificate to show to your employer. Further induction training including specific COVID-19 training can be accessed via e-learning for health – learning resources for returning nurses and/or should be provided locally.
If the returner does not have an active log in to e-learning for health, they can still access the learning modules.
⇨ Access the learning modules.
Choose folder: Statutory and mandatory training
Complete all of the modules
Choose folder: Learning resources for returning Nurses
Complete the modules
At the end of each module ask the returner to scroll to the bottom of the screen which will show if complete and passed. Take a screen shot with date and time as evidence of completion.