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COVID-19 FAQs for Domiciliary care providers

Latest guidance for home care providers

Q - Where can we access the latest guidance for home care providers?

A – The latest guidance for home care providers can be found on GOV.UK website.

Finance

Q - What is LBI’s position for paying for care as planned (rather than by minute) during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A - LBI is committed to ensuring financial sustainability and to minimising administrative burdens on providers during this challenging time – on this basis, LBI will be paying for care ‘as planned’.

Q - What process should we follow if there needs to be short or long term variation to service user’s visits? This may include short or long term changes in need; extra time required to put on and remove PPE; extra time required to carry out assessments.

A - LBI recognises that everyone is under increased pressure at this current time and that it would be helpful if LBI made systems easy as possible for providers to respond to one off and longer term changes in need.

LBI currently allows providers to make one-off adjustments to call times of up to a maximum of 15 minutes difference to support plan by notifying Access team.

LBI agree, during the CV-19 pandemic, to extend the current process to 30 minutes deviation from plan, on a one-off or ongoing basis, to enable providers to be responsive and efficient in making changes in line with changing needs.

Please notify Access Team of any variations and specify if this is one-off or ongoing. LBI will put in place mechanisms for spot checking variations made.

Q - There may be additional CV-19 related costs. Will LBI cover these increased costs? For e.g. transportation, equipment, PPE, management overtime to cover staff shortages

A - LBI are committed to ensuring financial stability and service continuity and will take all actions open to them to support this in line with government guidance.
LBI are committed to meet reasonable additional costs identified through open book arrangements.

Providers should contact their lead Commissioning Manager to discuss any additional costs.

Once any additional costs are authorised, these should be invoiced separately and marked as Covid-19 related costs.

Q - Will LBI pay for additional costs incurred by use of taxis?

A - Public Transport is still running and emergency parking permits have been made available to enable staff to drive. Therefore, we do not anticipate the need for use of taxis at this time. Taxis should only be used as a last resort.

Any request for exceptional taxi use should be made to the lead Commissioner. Once authorised, any additional CV-19 costs should be invoiced separately.

Service users

Q - What should we do if a service user refuses care?

A - Follow the standard procedure – inform the LBI Access Service immediately via 020 7527 2299 or access.Service@islington.gov.uk

Q - What should we do if someone is displaying symptoms or is a confirmed CV-19 case?

A - As the situation evolves, we expect that some of the people that you are supporting may test positive or be suspected of having COVID-19. If and when this happens, it will be more important than ever, that the person receives the appropriate care and support, from you and your teams, to stay as well as possible.

Government guidance indicates that, with the appropriate PPE and safe working procedures, care workers can continue to support service users who have or may have COVID-19. Where PPE availability is an issue, we will do all we can to assist.

Q - How can we best protect those service users who are in the ‘shielded’ group?

A - PHE guidance recommends that individuals providing direct care (i.e. touching) to any resident/service user, including for those without symptoms of COVID-19 should wear gloves, apron and a fluid resistant surgical mask.

People in the shielded group will have received a letter from NHSE informing them of the need to shield, so the household will be aware of this. If unsure, providers should check with the service user prior to visiting the service user, whether anyone in the household is in the shielded list.

Q - Should carers stay with a service user when an ambulance has been called? It is likely that this will cause considerable delays to all subsequent care calls that day.

A - Yes, for the safety of the resident we would expect a carer to remain with the service user until the ambulance arrives and to follow your organisation’s procedures for notifying management if this risks delays to other visits.

If this incurs additional CV-19 related costs, the provider needs to raise the request with the lead Commissioner. Once authorised, providers should invoice separately for any CV-19 related additional costs incurred.

Q - Who should we contact if service users (council tenants only) have housing related issues?

A - If a council tenant has issues with anti-social behavior or tenancy related issues, please contact HomesandCommunities@islington.gov.uk or 0207 527 5300 where all calls are triaged.

Or if a tenant has issues relating to the following:

  • Suicide/ Psychosis
  • High level Domestic Abuse
  • Hospital Discharge – complex issues at home that delay discharge
  • Harassment/ Stalking

You can make a referral to the Intensive Tenancy Sustainment Team using the following referral form.

Mutual aid

Q - What are other providers doing to help maintain and increase the number of carers available to work?

A - Providers have shared a range of things they are doing to maintain and increase capacity:

  • Undertaking continuous recruitment drives
  • Calling people on holiday offering them ways to cancel holiday to take later in year.
  • Sent out letters to all care workers who have children to say they can provide a letter to enable children to still go to school.
  • RAG rate service users to prioritise most vulnerable
  • Call those with NOK to ask if willing to support – some family members have been willing to step in and provide additional support
  • Explaining to care workers that the length of time CV-19 will continue for is unknown so important to take work to keep bringing in an income during these uncertain times
  • Access to PPE webinars, training and support to reassure carers
  • Regular communications to carers, including sending them thank you messages to boost morale and show recognition.
  • Sending them info on what to do in different circumstances and hints and tips.
  • Calling carers for wellbeing checks

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Q - Who can providers highlight PPE supply issues to?

A - In the first instance, for more PPE please try your normal suppliers. Where you cannot source PPE through your normal route you should contact ncl.covidprocurement@nhs.net.

If you have immediate concerns over the supply of PPE there is a dedicated 24/7 service, the National Supply Disruption Response who can be contacted on 0800 915 9964 or supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk.

Further information can be found in the PPE section on our COVID-19 FAQs for all providers page.

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