COVID-19 Information for Social Care Sector

Last updated: 7th December 2020

On this page we have tried to put together all of the guidance available to support the social care sector through the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to add to this page when further guidance is released.

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes

Advice to those working in care homes on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19.

The guidance includes:

  • a flowchart for care workers providing care to residents to identify whether there is a need for personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • PPE recommendations for care home staff
  • frequently asked questions on the use of PPE in care homes
  • examples which help to identify the correct use of PPE when undertaking activities that require physical contact or activities which do not require physical contact but are carried out in close proximity to residents
  • guide to putting on PPE for care homes
  • guide to taking off PPE for care homes

Adult social care: COVID-19 winter plan 2020 to 2021

The Department of Health and Social care published their Adult social care: our COVID-19 winter plan 2020 to 2021 on Friday 18th September.

It sets out the key elements of national support available for the social care sector for winter 2020 to 2021, as well as the main actions to take for local authorities, NHS organisations, and social care providers, including in the voluntary and community sector.

PPE portal: how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)

Eligible health and social care providers can order PPE through the portal to meet the increased need that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PPE portal is for social care and primary care providers to get critical coronavirus (COVID-19) personal protective equipment (PPE) and can only been used once you have received an email invitation to register. Care homes should have received their invitation from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The portal must only be used to meet the extra need for PPE that has arisen as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Order limits for residential care homes is based on how many beds the home has and you can view them here.

COVID-19: putting on and removing PPE – a guide for care homes (video)

The document sets out the Government’s plan for:

-controlling the spread of infection in care settings

-supporting the workforce

-supporting independence, supporting people at the end of their lives, and responding to individual needs

-supporting local authorities and the providers of care

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes during an outbreak

This guidance is for care homes, local health protection teams, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and registered providers of accommodation for people who need personal or nursing care.

It sets out how to:

  • admit and care for residents safely
  • protect care home staff

COVID-19: guidance for supported living settings

Guidance for providers supported living settings.

The guidance sets out:

  • key messages to assist with planning and preparation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic so that local procedures can be put in place to minimise risk and provide the best possible support to people in supported living settings
  • safe systems of working including, social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning
  • how infection prevention and control (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) applies to supported living settings

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity

    This 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 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.

    COVID-19: ethical framework for adult social care

    Guidance on ethical considerations for local authorities and adult social care professionals planning their response to COVID-19.

    Social care provider resilience during COVID-19: guidance to commissioners

    This guidance note is for local authority commissioners. It is designed to summarise pressures on social care providers arising from COVID-19, and to put forward ways in which commissioners can alleviate these pressures.

    This guidance comes from a shared ambition to ensure that providers are supported to maximise availability of care and support and to remain operationally and financially resilient.

    Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

    This guidance is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (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. This includes the extremely clinically vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities, either for the elderly or persons with special needs.

    Essential Advice for LD Providers concerning COVID-19

    Prepared by learning disability care providers, members of Care England, and consultants who work collaboratively with Care England, the document does not provide formal guidance, rather it is aimed at providing helpful information for providers on how best to deal with the implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    The document addresses five key issues pertinent to the LD sector:

    1. Care and support of people supported with COVID-19
    2. Staffing
    3. Interface with health services
    4. Equipment
    5. Legal and regulatory framework.

    COVID-19: supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

    This guidance is for care workers, support workers and personal assistants who support adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults.

    The guidance will help care staff 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
    • protect their own wellbeing

    Guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Advice primarily designed to assist care staff who are required to manage the bodies of deceased persons infected with coronavirus (COVID-19).

    This guidance has been developed to ensure that:

    • the bodies of those people who have died as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the bereaved family of the deceased are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect
    • people who work in these services and mourners are protected from infection

    This guidance remains under review and may be updated in line with the changing situation as required.

    COVID-19: Information Governance and Information Sharing Guidance

    Under the Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015, it is legal to share information to support a person’s care. For COVID-19, carers, local authorities and social care providers, including care homes and domiciliary organisations, should be sharing information with the people they care for and their local GPs, community health services, hospitals, local authorities, voluntary sector, pharmacists, and health services. This guidance shows you how to share this information correctly and securely.

    COVID-19: Free-of-charge DBS applications and fast-track Barred List check service

    In response to COVID-19, as of Monday 30 March 2020, the Home Office and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will be putting temporary arrangements in place, to provide DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists free-of-charge. This will apply to healthcare and social care workers being recruited in connection with the provision of care and treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales.

    COVID-19: Changes to DBS ID checking guidelines

    To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out during social distancing, the DBS ID checking guidance has been changed for a temporary period.

    The change will enable:

    • ID documents to be viewed over video link
    • scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted

    Information for adult social care services from the CQC during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published answers to questions that adult social care providers have asked them during the coronavirus outbreak. They have dated their answers so adult social care providers can see how recent the questions and answers are and broken the questions down into areas, such as Regulation, Data collections and Staff. The CQC will continue to update their page as changes occur during the COVID-19 outbreak and further questions are asked.

    There is lots of useful information on this page and definitely worth looking at if you are unsure of the emergency support framework (ESF), DBS fast track process, regulation changes and much more.

    Visiting care homes during coronavirus - Guidance for making arrangements for limited visits for care homes with the support of their director of public health

    This guidance is for directors of public health, care providers and others who’ll be involved in planning to enable visits to care homes.

    It sets out:

    • the principles of a local approach to visiting arrangements and dynamic risk assessment
    • guidance for providers establishing their visiting policy
    • guidance for providers taking decisions on visiting for particular residents or groups of residents
    • infection control precautions
    • communicating with relatives and others about the visiting policy and visiting decisions

    People in registered residential care and those in nursing homes for people with learning disabilities, mental health or other disabilities in England will also be able to welcome visitors under the same guidance.

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): reducing risk in adult social care

    A framework for how adult social care employers should assess and reduce risk to their workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.

    This guidance is for anyone who employs people who work in adult social care. It provides a framework for how you should assess and support members of your workforce who may be at an increased risk from coronavirus. It covers:

    • the risk assessment process
    • having conversations with workers who are identified as being at increased risk
    • measures you could put in place, both across the workforce and for individuals
    • useful guidance and resources

    Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund

    The Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund primary purpose is to support adult social care providers, including those with whom the local authority does not have a contract, to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience.

    The funding was paid in two tranches. The first was paid to local authorities on 22 May and the second in early July 2020. This fund has now been extended until March 2021, with an extra £546 million to help care providers pay staff full wages when they are self-isolating, and enable staff to work in only one care home, reducing the risk of spreading the infection.

    Residential care providers, including homes with self-funding residents and homes run by local authorities, will also be required to have completed the capacity tracker at least once and committed to completing the tracker on a consistent basis to be eligible to receive funding. The local authority will not allocate and funding to a provider who has not completed the capacity tracker at least once and are committed to completing the tracker on a regular basis.

    COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC)

    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. It should be used in conjunction with local policies.

    The guidance is issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health Wales (PHW), Public Health Agency (PHA) Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Public Health England and NHS England as official guidance.

    COVID-19 vaccinations and care homes: programme launch

    A letter from the Minister for Care to local authorities, directors of adult social services and managers of care homes for older adults.The letter outlines the givernment's plans for getting the first vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) to care home staff from the first day that vaccinations are available. It sets out the actions that local authorities and care providers should take in the coming days.

    Novel coronavirus (COVID19) standard operating procedure - COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme Hospital hub: care home staff

    This standard operating procedure (SOP) describes the process hospital hub providers and care home providers should follow in identifying priority staff, providing them with information, scheduling, administering and capturing data in order to safely provide Covid-19 vaccination to them.

    COVID-19 vaccination programme

    Documents relating to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme including guides and consent forms for social care staff and care home residents.

    COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for social care staff




    Cream Health Care's Contingency Plan

    We are currently not following our contingency plan and working from the office as usual. If this changes we will advise you here.


    Cream Health Care's Back To Work Risk Assessment