Staff joining social care to have fees waived

SSSC registration and PVG checks to be funded.

New staff joining the social care workforce are to have entry costs paid by the Scottish Government until the end of March.

Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) checks and Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registration will now be funded to help encourage more staff into the profession and address winter staffing pressures.

The scheme starts today and will include staff taking up direct care posts in adult social care, along with comparable roles in children’s social care services and the justice sector.

It has been introduced following discussions with COSLA and will cover local authority, private and third sectors.

Social care minister Kevin Stewart said:

“Care workers have been absolutely critical to our pandemic response, giving vulnerable people the care they need and avoiding further pressure falling on the NHS.

“This trial aims to assist easing winter pressures in this sector by removing any financial barriers that may stop people from applying for a rewarding career in care.

“There are  significant pressures in social care due to high vacancy levels and increased demand. I hope this support will encourage those considering joining this vital workforce to go ahead and do so.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners to identify all possible ways we can assist the social care sector to aid recruitment and retention within the workforce at this critical time.”

Care Home IPC Standards Consultation Sessions

Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate are hosting two sessions to engage with staff who work in care homes for adults and older people and to garner their feedback on the draft IPC standards which were published on 12 October 2021.

There will be an opportunity at both sessions to hear from Marie Paterson, Chief Inspector, Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland on the journey to develop new IPC standards that will be mandatory in all care homes across Scotland once finalised. In all other social care services, the agreed IPC standards will be deemed as good practice.

Friday 26 November 10:00 – 11:30

This particular session is open to all staff who work in care homes for older people. Click here to register.

If you are a member of staff that works in a care home for adults (not older people) then please see the scheduled session on Friday 3 December at 10am.

Friday 3 December 10:00 – 11:30

This particular session is open to all staff who work in care home for adults (not older people)Click here to register.

If you are a member of staff that works in a care home for older people then please see the scheduled session on Friday 26 November 2021.

Feedback on the draft standards can also be submitted through Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s IPC standards online survey which can be found here

Feedback from this session and the online survey tool will be used to inform the final IPC standards. It is anticipated that final IPC standards will be published by June 2022.

What happens next?

The sessions will be held using the Microsoft Teams platform. To ensure the event is as accessible as possible, please contact [email protected] to let us know of any requirements you may have when you sign up for your place.

The workshop programme and joining instructions will be emailed out to all registered participants one week before the session from [email protected]

We hope that you will be able to attend.

Further information

The implementation of agreed IPC standards will be key in reducing the risk of infections in health and social care in Scotland. By outlining a national minimum level of service, IPC standards set out a common and current benchmark of quality for organisations and regulated care services to:

  • help prevent and manage the spread of infection, and
  • deliver person-centred, safe and effective health and social care.

Standards enable organisations to quality assure their IPC practice and embed many of the IPC principles set out in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual and the Infection Prevention and Control Manual for older people and adult care homes as the standards have been developed to align with the manual.

Open with Care – Moving to and past Level 0 & testing update: 15 July

Open with Care – Improving care home residents’ contact and connection – moving to and past Level 0

As per the First Ministers announcement on Tuesday 13th July, Scotland will move into Level 0 on 19th July.  The recommended relaxations to restrictions at Level 0 within care homes are detailed in the letter below. For those care homes already in level 0 these recommendations can be implemented immediately and those care homes who are moving into level 0 can take effect from Monday 19th July 2021.

Key points are:

  • Care homes are encouraged to increase opportunities for good quality and meaningful contact with a return towards more normalised visiting
  • Physical distancing reduces to 1m indoors and changes outdoors. This applies to visiting and communal activities
  • Day care services operating in care home settings supported to resume.
Improving care home residents' contact and connection - moving to past Level 0 - 15 July 2021

Care Homes – Testing update for staff and visitors

You will no doubt be aware that a letter on testing was issued to adult care homes on Tuesday 13th July, setting out arrangements for increased care home discretion on the location of lateral flow testing (LFD) for family and friends, visitors and for staff.

Key points are:

  • Family/friend care home visitors – discretion to allow LFD testing at home where tests are collected through the community testing route.
  • Care home staff – discretion to allow staff one LFD test per week at home using LFD test kits approved for self-test at home once available
  • All results for visitors and staff should be recorded at Welcome – COVID Testing Portal (service-now.com)

This letter will be uploaded to the following webpage on Friday 16th July: Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care home lateral flow device testing – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Webinar – Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19 in Care at Home

A series of webinars has been organised for care at home providers and those that provide paid care in client’s homes. The aim of the webinar is to enhance the confidence and knowledge of paid carers and personal assistants to appropriately apply Infection Prevention Control (IPC) measures within home settings. The webinar will include example scenarios applicable to working within a client’s home and will be an opportunity to focus on the practicalities of applying IPC while carrying out tasks within these environments. The webinars will be led by Specialist Advisor-Infection Prevention & Control within ARHAI and supported by the Scottish Government

The ultimate objective is to ensure all current IPC measures are effectively implemented in Care at Home settings.

These workshops will include a section where participants can raise questions and all questions and answers will be complied and published after the sessions.

We encourage all those working within care at home environments to attend the workshops.

Three sessions will be held on the following dates

27 April 2021 – 14:00-15:30

28 April 2021 – 14:30-16:00

5 May 2021 – 14:30-16:00

We recommend joining the session 5 minutes before the starting time due to there being limited spaces.

Please note, the sessions on 27th and 28th April are being hosted by Scottish Government via Microsoft Teams and therefore spaces are limited and are on a first come, first served basis. You can join by clicking the link. Registration for these sessions is not required.

27th April 14:00-15:30

Join on your computer or mobile app Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only) +44 131 376 2847,,67101228#   United Kingdom, Edinburgh

Phone Conference ID: 671 012 28#

28th April 14:30 – 16:00

Join on your computer or mobile app Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)

+44 131 376 2847,,58698890#   United Kingdom, Edinburgh

Phone Conference ID: 586 988 90#

The session on 5th May is being hosted by Scottish Care. This webinar will be hosted on Zoom and is open to Scottish Care members and non-members. Registration is required and spaces are limited therefore please register early to avoid missing out.

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_cW2Sq_5dQOym7Ero3kRAWA

Once you have registered, you will receive an email invite from Zoom with the details to join this session.

If you come across any issues registering or do not receive an email invite after registering, please contact [email protected].

The session hosted via Zoom will be recorded and it is intended that it will be available for use after the sessions have taken place.

For further guidance on IPC within community care settings can be found: National Infection Prevention and Control Manual: Scottish COVID-19 Community Health and Care Settings Infection Prevention and Control Addendum

Covid-19 National Testing Programme

This week’s Connected Bulletin from NHS is on the Covid-19 National Testing Programme, which might be of interest to members.

This issue includes information on Scotland’s approach to universal testing,
a new helpline to support those implementing testing.

 

Covid-19 Vaccination Videos

Please see below for video links for ‘What you need to know about COVID vaccination’ in English, Arabic, Bengali, Romanian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Urdu, Polish, Swahili, and BSL. These videos has been produced by NHS Lothian.

These video clips aim to provide information about COVID vaccination and clarify some myths and misconceptions about COVID Vaccines.

English – https://vimeo.com/530751443

Arabic – https://vimeo.com/530755530

Mandarin – https://vimeo.com/530767346

Cantonese – https://vimeo.com/530767549

Romanian – https://vimeo.com/530768290

English – https://vimeo.com/530747880

BSL – https://vimeo.com/530744945

Polish – https://vimeo.com/530744121

Bengali – https://vimeo.com/533458662

Urdu – https://vimeo.com/534515281

Swahili – https://vimeo.com/531693262

The NHS Lothian team has also produced Self-Isolation & Support and Flu Vaccination videos in different languages. These are available here : https://scottishcare.org/self-isolation-support-and-flu-vaccination-videos/

Financial support around Covid-19 testing

The medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency (MHRA) have advised that testing for social care staff should be undertaken in the workplace. MHRA have, however, made an exception for those staff who are dispersed, travel extensively, and do not have a work base or hub. For those staff, testing can be carried out at home. In these cases, employers should confirm the most appropriate location for staff to carry out testing. The Scottish Government meets on a regular basis with the MHRA and any change in advice will be communicated nationally. The Scottish Government adult care at home testing guidance and adult care home visitor testing guidance both contain an overview of testing arrangements for care at home and care home settings.

Scottish Government is keen where possible that staff undertake the test during their working time, including mobile staff who are testing at home. Additional costs incurred by providers as a result of supporting staff to do this (e.g. for mobile staff, backfill for a staff member’s support work or to create time during the core working day) are reasonable additional costs and within scope of the additional funding for the sector for costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff travel to a priority post box or agreed drop-off point to drop off a sample or to collect a testing kit is also recognised as a reasonable additional cost and is within the scope of the additional funding.

Where providers incur other additional administrative costs due to staff testing (e.g. ordering, stocktaking, preparation of kits, distribution, recording data, etc.) these are also recognised as reasonable additional costs and are within the scope of the additional funding for the sector.

Student travel/car sharing arrangements

The Rapid Action Placement Oversight Group (RAPOG) have had a number of queries relating to students and travel/car sharing arrangements while on practice placement experiences.

A set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been developed which cover various aspects relating to supporting, supervising and assessing students in practice, with specific questions addressing travel/car sharing (see questions 14, 15 & 16).

Question 16 specifically answers the common query about healthcare staff who are commuting with students as part their learning experience.

The FAQs can be accessed at:  https://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/our-work/rapid-action-placement-oversight-group-rapog/.