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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Visit our coronavirus pages for the latest updates.

Advice for social care providers during coronavirus

Care home advice from the government

Please read the guidance on how to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak on GOV.UK.

Financial support

The aim of the financial support introduced during this pandemic is to support social care providers with:

  • extra money to meet any reasonable costs incurred such as additional management, staffing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), extended operating hours and transport
  • cashflow for the period of the pandemic
  • the supply of PPE where the providers normal supply route fails

All providers have been sent the details of our financial support. You can read the details in the documents below.

If you need support, please contact us at contracts.team@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

Please note that from 1 May, PPE purchased by adult and social care providers to protect against coronavirus will be VAT free until 31 July.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The government has committed to provide free PPE to all adult social care services for all their COVID-19 PPE needs. You can read the government's COVID-19 winter plan on GOV.UK.

What you can order

All adult social care homes and domiciliary care providers can order:

  • aprons
  • gloves
  • type IIR masks
  • hand hygiene
  • visors

View an illustrated guide to PPE for community and social care settings from GOV.UK.

How much you can order

Full details including order limits are outlined on GOV.UK.

PPE for COVID-19 needs

Please remember that free PPE is for COVID-19 needs, not business as usual PPE which you should get using your normal supply routes.

PPE emergency

In an emergency, CQC providers should use the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) channel.

If you are a non CQC registered provider located within Bracknell Forest and have 72 hours (or less) supply of PPE please contact us with details of your stock levels by email: ppe.emergency@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

We will do our best to help you but be aware we have limited stocks. Please also be aware that our team work during normal office hours and are not available in the evenings or at weekends.

Testing

There are several ways to get testing. 

Self-referral

You can check your eligibility for testing and apply on GOV.UK

Employer referral

Your employer may be able to refer you via the government. You will need to speak to them directly about this.

Care homes

If a care home has a suspected coronavirus outbreak for the first time, they must contact their local health protection team immediately.

You can find your local health protection team on GOV.UK

In any other circumstances, you can apply for coronavirus tests for a care home, also on GOV.UK

If you need more help, email us at testing.covid@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

Test and Trace scheme - scams

For information about scams visit Ofcom - coronavirus scam calls and texts.

Safeguarding

Safeguarding remains our top priority.  

You can find out more on our Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board website.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Visit the CQC website to see what changes they are making to the way they work during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 

The DBS service has temporarily relaxed some of their requirements. Follow the latest updates on GOV.UK about changes to DBS ID checking guidelines

They have also made free of charge, fast-track DBS checks available. All roles in health and social care that are CQC regulated are eligible.

For details, visit the fast-track Barred List check service on GOV.UK.

Mental capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

You may find this information helpful:

Data protection

Confidential information should be processed under the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.

Under this notice, data should be processed for a COVID-19 purpose, which can include:

  • understanding COVID-19 and risks to public health
  • identifying people with the disease
  • monitoring and managing the response to the disease by health and social care bodies

The notice will expire on or before 30 September 2020 unless extended.

You can find more guidance about information governance and information sharing guidance on the Digital Social Care website.

Business continuity 

You should have a business continuity plan. You can use this to help you cope with the challenges of providing your service during this outbreak.

Continue to emphasise routine messages around health and hygiene and focus on the procedures that would normally be deployed for seasonal flu or norovirus outbreaks.

Make sure that the information you hold about your service users is up to date and accurate.

Staffing

Staff ratios are in place to make sure people are safe. You should continue to use your usual risk assessment processes.

Where service users need to be moved because of staff shortages, please consider whether they can be moved to another placement within the same organisation.

Please follow government guidance for business and employers which includes information about staff attendance and sick pay.

You can apply for volunteers from GoodSAM, the NHS volunteer scheme