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This page shows the latest news and developments relating to social care providers within the Vale of York area. For the latest training and development news and events please follow this link, and to view the full back catalogue of the Partners in Care Weekly Bulletin please follow this link.

22 February 2021-Testing Within 90 Days of a Positive PCR Test and Testing During a Confirmed or Suspected Outbreak

Please find through this link a bulletin shared by the Department of Health and Social Care last week.

Following a substantial clinical review of the latest evidence and testing data, they are now changing the advice for retesting within 90 days of a positive. From now on, if someone tests positive with a PCR test, they should not be tested using PCR or LFD for 90 days, unless they develop new symptoms during this time, in which case they should be retested immediately using PCR. This 90 day period is from the initial onset of symptoms or, if asymptomatic when tested, their positive test result.

There are also some changes to the testing process during the event of an outbreak as detailed below:

  1. Rapid response LFD testing for staff is being extended (from 22 February). This should no longer automatically stop after 7 days. Instead care homes should continue with rapid response testing until 5 days have elapsed since the date of the last positive LFD (confirmed with PCR). Staff should only be tested on the days they are due to attend work. b. LFD testing for residents is being introduced (from 22 February). This should be undertaken at the same time as the PCR testing in an outbreak – on day 1 and on an additional day between days 4 and 7. The usual principles of consent and best interest decisions apply to inform your decision whether this is appropriate for each resident. c. With immediate effect, PCR outbreak testing is moving from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2. The policy for when to carry out the outbreak PCR remains the same. All staff and residents should be tested on day one and on an additional day between days 4 and 7.

DHSC hold regular webinars which cover these changes. For more information on these, please follow this link.

22 February 2021- NHS Mail Deadline: 7 Days to go

All accounts that have been inactive for over 180 days on 1 March will be automatically deleted. Any providers within users due to lose access will have now received contact to assist.  To prevent your account being deleted then you just need to log into your account.

We have created a page on the Partners in Care webpage that provides answers to frequently asked questions from providers around accessing and using NHS Mail.

It's important that providers have enough staff registered to allow them to communicate securely with health services whenever needed, for instance during an overnight hospital admission or on a weekend.  Some homes have been setting up senior nurses and carers as well as admin staff, and any staff who regularly send and receive resident specific information with health services would likely benefit from an account to help them do this more efficiently.

 For any NHS Mail queries please contact:

16 February 2021- Infection Prevention Control Workbooks for Care Homes Update

We're pleased to confirm the that the IPC workbooks ordered for City of York and East Riding care homes have been delivered into York today. We are estimating that the majority of these will be delivered directly to homes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The deliveries for East Riding homes will be delivered in person by the Partners in Care Team and may arrive slightly later.

Delivery arrangements will be confirmed in due course for domiciliary and supported living providers. For further information on these resources including how to request additional workbooks, please follow this link.

16 February 2021-Project ECHO- Palliative Care Network

First session: Tuesday 23 February at 2.00

The Project ECHO Team are welcoming all staff working in care services across the Vale of York to attend their new palliative care network. These sessions will be delivered by specialist palliative care staff from across the sector, and will be an opportunity for learning, shared experience and to enhance palliative care skills. For more information, please view the flyer for the network.

08 February 2021- IPC Workbooks for Care Homes and Domiciliary/Supported Living: Update

The latest update we have received on the IPC workbooks and policy folders that have been ordered for all York and East Riding registered care homes is that we are expecting to receive these resources on approximately 16/17 February, and will be able to get these out to homes within a few days of this. Once we have a confirmed timescale and delivery date we will contact homes with this information.

We have also just received approval to provide workbooks to all domiciliary and supported living services registered within the Vale of York area. Therefore we will be contacting providers directly to ascertain how many each service would need and will then submit and order for these.

We are planning to have one of the infection prevention nurses from the  team who produced these resources join us at a future Partners in Care Virtual Forum to give an overview of the content, as well as guidance on how to use the workbooks and get the most benefit out of them. This will be confirmed closer to the time.

08 February 2021- Build the Future: National Apprenticeship Week 2021

Running from 8 to 15 February, the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) will celebrate the diversity of opportunity and value that apprenticeships bring, and how they can help employers and individuals ‘build their future’. The key benefits of apprenticeships include raising staff morale to reducing staff turnover; from supporting your recruitment and increasing the diversity of your workforce to upskilling your existing workforce and supporting succession planning. Follow the campaign on social media #BuildTheFuture and #NAW2021 and join the conversation. Further information from Skills for Care on apprenticeships is available through this link

08 February 2021-Baseline Observation Skills Workbook

Carrying out clinical observations can support clinical decision making and these valuable skills can be learnt in any care home setting.

Training on why and how to take blood pressure, pulse, temperature and oxygen levels (using pulse oximeters) is available virtually and face to face. There is also a supporting workbook which can be found through this link. The workbook accompanies the practical element of the training.  Following training the trainees will need to be observed as competent within the workplace. For more information regarding this training please contact or

08 February 2021-Making Sense of COVID-19 Testing and Shedding- Updated Guidance

Please find attached through this link updated clinical guidance around shedding which is based on the guidance originally created by Dr Andrew Lee and shared last May. This provides answers to frequently asked questions around interpreting test results, as well as contacts for further support.

08 February 2021-Donning and Doffing of PPE

The latest Bulletins from the Community Infection Prevention and Control Team Care focus on ‘Donning and doffing of personal protective equipment’. 

08 February 2021-COVID-19 Vaccination Programme: Updated Consent Forms

Both the consent form and letter for social care staff and adults has been updated. Please find updated versions through the below links

08 February 2021-PPE for Staff Providing Care Outside Hospital: What to Wear

Please find through this link a short video designed by Public Health England which provides an up to date summary of where we are in the fight against COVID-19, as well as a summary of PPE and IPC process from the current guidance.

01 February 2021- Vitamin D Supplements Guidance for Care Providers

As updated at Partners in Care last week, The vitamin D supplements being provided free by the Government should be arriving at all care homes shortly (and some have already received) . The DHSC has published guidance to advise care homes on how to offer the supplements safely including what records must be kept. The full guidance must be read carefully and can be found here. The guidance gives a clear direction for residents who should be offered the supplements and for when advice should be sought from a healthcare professional (see section 2 of the DHSC guidance). Where advice is required this should be done as a routine (not urgent) query. Starting the supplements can be delayed until the advice can be obtained. Record the action you have taken in the person’s care plan.  Further information on how to put the guidance into practice, including contact details for further advice is available in this document.

Information is also available on supporting people to take vitamin D from CQC which is relevant to all adult social care providers including domiciliary and supported living.

Karen Lepper who gave the update at Partners in Care is also happy to take queries and can be contacted at:

01 February 2021- Recognising and Responding To Deteriorating Residents- Workbook Training Now Available Online

Not recognising quickly that someone is becoming unwell can lead to delay in getting help and possible  admission to hospital and longer stays in hospital.  The STOP and WATCH  training  supports staff to understand why and how to recognise deterioration if someone becomes unwell , regardless of setting.  The training also covers how to use easy prompt tools to support that recognition and how to respond and escalate and communicate with colleagues and other health and care professionals . Clinical observations give important information about individuals, they give baseline information and can help in making clinical and care decisions regardless of setting.  The workbook has also been updated with pulse oximetry guidance.

The training is available virtually, face to face and via a workbook which can be now be accessed directly through our website as needed. For more information on this training and to access the workbook please follow this link.

01 February 2021-COVID Vaccination FAQ's, Fraud Alert and Contacts For Queries

North Yorkshire County Council have produced a useful set of answers to frequently asked questions that you and your staff may have around the COVID vaccination.  

These provide answers to a number of questions including:

  • Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • I’m worried that the vaccines aren’t safe
  • What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • If I’ve already had COVID-19, why do I still need to have the vaccine?
  • Why haven’t I been invited for a vaccination yet?

You may be aware from  national news  of fraudulent communications relating to vaccines.  Please can you ensure staff  are aware of the information  in this link on  how to spot the fake texts/ emails etc. so they can be vigilant for themselves and  in their conversations with others.

If you have any questions regarding vaccination then please contact a member of the Partners in Care Team who will be able to offer support:;;

01 February 2021-Standards of Education and Practice for Nurses New to Care Home Nursing

The Queens Nursing Institute have published the first ever standards for nurses working in residential homes.

The standards are augmented by a Practice Portfolio developed with Skills for Care. The QNI was commissioned by NHS England/Improvement to develop the new standards to support the transition of a Registered Nurse who is new to working in the Care Home sector. Currently there are 36,000 registered nurses employed by adult social care (2020) and the care required by residents is becoming more complex and technologically sophisticated. The QNI worked with a representative group of Care Home providers and commissioners to address and identify specific education and practice standards. The resulting standards are comprised of a set of benchmarks that can be used to assess the skills and knowledge that the Registered Nurse will need to demonstrate in the Care Home setting. For information and to view the standards, please follow this link.

01 February 2021- NHS Mail- Deadline for Inactive Users

We have been informed that any NHS Mail accounts which have been inactive for over 180 days will be automatically deleted on 01 March 2021. For any users who currently fall into this group you will receive contact from the CCG to help support you in getting up and running with your account. If you aware you fall into this group then if you log into your account this will mark you as active and will stop it being deleted.

It's important that providers have enough staff registered to allow them to communicate securely with health services whenever needed, for instance during an overnight hospital admission or on a weekend.  So if you would like to set up additional staff then please get in touch and we can show you how. Some homes have been setting up senior nurses and carers as well as admin staff, and any staff who regularly send and receive resident specific information with health services would likely benefit from an account to help them do this more efficiently.

For any NHS Mail queries please contact:

01 February 2021-University of Hull: 'Coping with Behaviours that Challenge in Dementia' e-Learning

This online evidence - based course was developed in 2009 to support practitioners in treating some of the most costly aspects of dementia care. It is aimed at staff / practitioners supporting people with dementia and families. It is not intended for use by people with dementia or families. The term ‘challenging behaviour’ does not imply ‘misbehaviour’ that can undermine dignity in people living with a dementia. It has been used to reflect the health and psychosocial need(s) of people with dementia that ‘hands-on-staff’ and family carers can have significant difficulty in responding to. Module 3 in particular has been found useful by the using it, as it assists staff to make rational decisions on unmet health and psychosocial needs in people with dementia who challenge caregivers. It also helps signpost professionals to what care homes and family carers may need to deliver these ‘biopsychosocial’ support plans.

To access this training you will need to create an account. For more information please follow this link

01 February 2021- Letter from Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care

Please find through this link, a letter from Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE who is the first ever national Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care. In the letter, Professor Sturdy discusses the timescales for the COVID vaccination programme as well as the new COVID variant, PPE and self-isolation.

01 February 2021- Capacity Tracker: Proxy Medicine Ordering Survey

A short survey relating to proxy medication ordering has been added to the Capacity Tracker for care homes. If homes would be able to complete this survey at some point over the month of February that would be greatly appreciated.

To access the survey if you click "Care Home" (or the heart symbol with a line through it) then the survey will be among the options you can select.

For any capacity tracker related queries please contact:

22 January 2021-Pulse Oximetry Update

Please find through this link a poster that has been created to help staff when using pulse oximeters, including how to use them, how to interpret the readings and what you should do based on these readings.  There is also information regarding evidence that pulse oximeters may underestimate blood oxygen levels in individuals with darker skin. A baseline oxygen saturation should be taken when first assessing SpO2 rates and any changes in readings then compared to this baseline

We are working on creating a dedicated pulse oximetry page on the Partners in Care website so this information is easily accessible for staff. This will also link to further information and resources around Identifying and Responding to Deteriorating Residents, including the workbook version of the training which many providers have completed.

The CCG do have additional advice available should providers need them, please contact for more information. Also a reminder that there have been reports nationally of a small number of defective devices, however if you do discover one in your setting then please let us know and we will swap it for you.

25 January 2021- Data Security Protection Toolkit  (DSPT) Update

The DSPT is the online data security self-assessment tool which enables providers to demonstrate compliance with the information governance part of the Health and Social Care Act. This mandatory for care providers with an NHS standard contract and recommended for other providers.

We have been informed that after 19 February 2021, the "Entry Level" stage of the DSPT will no longer exist and will be replaced by "Approaching Standards". Providers can still publish at Entry Level up until this date and this will count as their submission for 20/21.

There are only 11 questions to answer for Entry Level (those providers who have already started answering some of the Entry Level questions may still have 14 questions), so this may be a preferable option for some providers, rather than having to work towards Standards Met which has 45 questions. Approaching Standards will replace Entry Level and although not yet confirmed, we are expecting there will be approximately 26/27 questions to answer. In addition, providers are required to submit a plan on how they seek to complete the rest of the evidence items to meet Standards Met.

The regional DSPT team from NHS England and Improvement are offering Entry Level support sessions based upon demand and will be able to offer each session to a maximum of 10 providers. If any providers would be interested in this then please contact to express their interest.

18 January 2021-IPC Manuals and Workbooks for Care Homes

To help support our care homes, the CCG will be investing in buying copies of the below for all registered care homes within the City of York as well as the 4 homes that fall under the Vale of York segment of East Riding. Each home will receive one manual, and a number of workbooks proportionate to number of care staff. However if you already have a copy of the manual in your home please get in touch so we can allocate yours to another home.

  • Preventing Infection Workbook: Guidance for Care Homes 11th Edition Workbook
  • Community Infection Prevention and Control Policies for Care Home Settings Folder

Separate arrangements are being made for homes within the North Yorkshire County Council area which will be communicated separately.

18 January 2021- Helping to Prevent Winter Deaths and Illnesses Associated with Cold Homes- Guidance for domiciliary care providers

Any house can be hard to heat if the cost of heating it is more than the person living there can afford. By taking a few simple steps, home care managers can play an important role in supporting people to heat their homes to a comfortable and safe temperature.

 NICE have produced quick guide offers guidance on helping to prevent the harm caused by a lack of heating. It looks at:

  • What is a hard-to-heat home
  • Identifying those most at risk
  • Making every contact count
  • Being part of a successful discharge home

To access this guidance please follow this link

11 January 2020- PPE:Message from Public Health

  •  Following the announcements regarding increased national restrictions, we recognise that a number of people are still required to continue with face to face work and will in some circumstances need to wear PPE or face coverings to undertake this work. This has prompted queries regarding the impact of those tighter restrictions, potential changes to the Covid Virus transmission rate, mutation of the virus presentation and does this mean a requirement to change or enhance PPE use.
  • Whilst there are some scientific changes to the virus presentation and infectiousness and in the York area our positive cases have increased this has not required any change or enhancements to the existing PPE guidance.

By way of a refresher we would like to re- share the latest PPE guidance which can be found through this link: and ask that staff ensure they are using the correct PPE for the task they are undertaking.

The most effective thing we can all do is to remember the basics even when using PPE: Hands Face Space

  • Meeting with Other Safely Easy Read
  • Face Coverings- When to Wear one and How to Make your own?

11 January 2021- Illustrated PPE Guide and Use of Long Sleeved Gowns

Following discussion at Partners in Care last week, please find through this link a useful illustrated guide from PHE showing which PPE to use in which situation.

Also as discussed, long sleeved gowns are not required to be worn unless working with an individual receiving aerosol generating procedure

05 January 2021- Barclays Digital Eagles

Barclays Digital Eagles are supporting Care Providers across the UK to provide free training on using iPads to connect residents with families and Care Workers with Clinicians.

From week commencing the 11 January and over the following 6 months, Barclays Digital Eagles will be running live online training sessions for you to attend. Each training session will be designed to help you get started and how to access some of the systems in place for conversations and consultations for your residents and team.

 Training sessions are held every weekday from the 11 January 2021. Please see the description of the training below:

1)  Getting started - Learn how to connect your iPad/Tablet and discover what it can do

2)    Entertainment - An introduction to apps and games you’ll find in the App Store. Great for residents to become familiar and comfortable with the device.

3)    Digital safety - Find out how to stay safe online by using secure email and avoid scams with our top tips

4)    Connectivity - Learn how to use apps to connect with your loved ones, GP’s and Clinicians. This will include a popular platform run through and then offer signposted training resources for others not covered in the session.

5)   Rapid run through – If you’re an advanced user and just need a quick run through of the above

The online training sessions are designed to be fun and informative! Barclays Digital Eagles can adapt the training to suit those that class themselves as an absolute beginner or a  more advanced user, so you’ll be in good company whatever your current understanding.

 To book your free space on the training via Microsoft Teams, you just need to email the following details to

  •  Full name and role of person(s) who are interested in this training
  • Training session (s) to attend (1 - Getting started, 2-  Entertainment, 3 - Digital Safety, 4 - Connectivity or ALL or 5 – Rapid run through for advanced users)
  • Please state whether you/they consider to be a beginner, intermediate user or advanced level user of an iPad/Tablet
  • Organisation name and site post code
  • Your ODS code if known (if not, find it here by entering your organisation name and post code only - Will begin with the letter V.  - e.g. VLH6Q)

Barclays Digital Eagles will then confirm your training session details by email with a Microsoft Teams invite.

P.S. - Don’t forget to send that request from your NHSmail account. (If you do not have an NHSmail account yet, please email

05 January 2021- Visiting and  Staff Testing in Care Homes

  • Testing guidance has been updated on 23 December for care homes introducing additional 2 x weekly staff testing with LFD alongside the regular weekly PCR tests.
  • The new flow chart  for Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests available for adult social care in England shows LFD testing to be used for
  1. Weekly testing of all staff on the same day at the same time as PCR tests , including bank and agency staff
  2. Additional mid weekly testing between PCR tests
  3. Any staff returning to work after a period of leave which has resulted in them  missing their weekly PCR test should take an LFD test at the beginning of their shift.
  4. Where staff work in multiple locations, (e.g. unavoidable agency use to ensure safe staffing levels)  test staff with LFD immediately before shift if individual has worked somewhere else since the last time they worked in that care home
  • Alongside the updated guidance was the announcement of additional funding for care homes to support with setting  up safe testing areas, provide staff training and contribute towards staff time spent on administering and receiving the tests. This is due in the new year , and will be distributed through Local Authorities . As we find out more about this we will keep you updated .
  • Visiting Guidance has been updated 19 December 2020.  This new guidance introduces Lateral Flow Device tests as another measure that care providers can use to keep people safe. The advice states that no direct contact face-to-face indoor visiting can take place without a Lateral Flow Device test.
  • Visiting Professionals are  defined as anyone visiting the care home in a professional capacity, for example a chiropodist. Some visiting professionals, including NHS staff and CQC inspectors will already be part of a regular testing regime, and therefore they will not need testing on the door of the care home. Professionals not part of a regular testing regime will need to be tested every time they visit a care home
  • Although LFD will reduce the risk of virus transmission,  it  is an enhancement to and not a replacement for already established safe visiting practices in care homes.
  • LFT visitor guidance can be found  here ,  the webinars  here  and training here .  The token for this portal is: 3wkcVi4UTX.   Please note that the token is not your password. Please follow the link, create your own username and password and then you will be prompted to add the token  
  • If your delivery has not arrived, please call 119 as a matter of urgency so  you can get   a replacement order. More lateral flow kits are being sent out to all care homes by central Gov  in January, however if  you have already used a significant amount (over 25%) of your lateral flow devices please call 119 to request more kits are sent to you sooner
  • If a care setting experiences a Covid-19 outbreak, care providers should suspend all but essential visits, for example visits to residents who are, sadly, at the end of their lives. If an outbreak occurs, in-person visits are restricted until the outbreak is under control and the care home is in recovery. Other types of visiting such as external window visits, video and telephone calls should continue.

21 December 2020- Merry Christmas

As this is the last bulletin of 2020, we would like to take the opportunity to thank all care providers and their staff across the Vale of York for their tireless work in delivering care to our most vulnerable in the most difficult of circumstances this year. The way you have all pulled together to adapt to new ways of working and challenges to keep those in your care safe has been amazing. It has been an emotionally difficult year so hopefully you all get some well-deserved rest at some point over the festive period.

We wish all of you and your families and residents a safe and Merry Christmas, and all the best for 2021.

From Sarah, Helen, Kay, Maureen, Sam and the Quality and Nursing Team

21 December 2020- Pulse Oximeters

For those care homes and providers who have been allocated pulse oximeters by the CCG in October, we are just checking if any issues have been experienced following reports of a small number of faulty devices in other areas. We have some spare devices in stock if you have had problems. If you have any feedback whether positive or negative or any queries about them please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

21 December 2020- Capacity Tracker Poster

We have created a poster designed for all homes which can be printed off and used as prompt on which sections need to be updated and when, and all so you have contact details available for any problems or queries. The poster can be accessed through this link.

21 December 2020- End of Life Nutrition Leaflet

The British Dietetic Association have produced an accredited leaflet which can be used to support you in providing nutrition to a resident or service user at the end of life. This includes guidance on the importance of nourishment over nutrition at this time and how to support this with food, drink and snacks.

14 December 2020- Community Equipment Update

You may be aware that as reported in the NYICES December newsletter and at the December prescriber forum the impact of EU Exit and COVID-19 is having a significant and sustained impact on the global supply chain of materials and products. This global supply challenge has caused supply issues with community equipment stocks for both health and social care throughout the UK and has had some impact on the NYICES service.

TDI, the raw chemical ingredient used in the manufacture of foam and also tubular steel are the two main supply issues but the supply chain is now being compounded by EU Exit uncertainty and the equipment being stuck in containers at key ports throughout the world. 

What this means nationally is that there is a shortage of certain items used in community equipment services and locally we have already seen an impact on some key products. Whilst we have managed to obtain similar/alternative products and it hasn’t been such an issue although we need to ensure we can keep supplying equipment to those in need York in North Yorkshire. We need your help, any community equipment items not in use that are labelled as Medequip we are requesting that you help the cause by picking up the phone or emailing Medequip on the contact details below to arrange for the collection of the items no longer in use, these can then be decontaminated and  recycled within the community. 

 (It may be that patients have died and their prescribed equipment is still on the premises, these items should (routinely) be returned.)

  • To return these please Medequip  – 01423 226240
  • Please note if you are based within the City of York, Social Care Equipment should be returned to Be Independent 01904 645000. 

14 December 2020-Humber Coast and Vale Resilience Hub

Health and care workers are experiencing unprecedented strain and research has shown that they are at higher risk of developing mental health conditions if not adequately supported. In recognition of this Humber, Coast and Vale Health Care Partnership are launching a new Resilience Hub that will be open to all health and care staff across the region.

This will support those who are struggling with the impact of COVID-19, will be completely confidential and will offer advice and support that can help people with a range of issues from emotional wellbeing to bereavement, debt, domestic violence and relationship issues. The service will launch in the New Year, however ahead of this they are offering Care Homes the opportunity to access a small psychology and counselling team who can support gaps in your existing health and wellbeing offering, if there is a need. They can provide psychology support and outreach into teams in accordance with and as part of your organisation’s existing health and wellbeing offer.

If you feel your service could benefit from additional support please contact

In addition, individual health and care staff can also speak to their local Talking Therapies service (IAPT). All of these services across the Humber, Coast and Vale area are offering priority access to frontline staff working in the NHS and care homes who are experiencing a common mental health problem related to COVID-19.

The full briefing and contact details for IAPT services are available through this link.

14 December 2020- DHSC Wellbeing for Social Care staff 

DHSC have updated the wellbeing guidance for those working  in social care. This includes tips, advice and toolkits that employers and managers can use to help build the resilience of their team and address any concerns their staff may have. There is also a section that provides guidance on how all those working in social care can manage their personal mental health in the current circumstances.


07 December 2020- React to Falls Prevention- Training Resources

The resources for the CCG’s React to Falls Prevention training are now available through our website to access at any point.

The programme aims to reduce falls risks by implementation of a person centered, peripatetic approach to prevent and manage falls which is applicable across all care settings including domiciliary care and can be used by health professionals and informal cares alike. React to Falls Prevention’ identifies 3 key areas of risk: Physical,  Behavioral and Environmental; and the subsequent use of a simple framework that prompts carers to consider these risks and … ‘REACT’… to reduce the risk of falls.

Guidance on how to work through the resources is on the website. If you have any feedback, queries or requests for formal training please contact

07 December 2020- Queens Nursing Institute Educational Grants for Nurses Working in Care Homes and Adult Social Care (Up to £1000)

The QNI supports Continuing Professional Development for care home nurses as a way of promoting high quality care. If you want to do a short course or module and need financial support then please apply! They are particularly supporting programmes in wound management including leg ulcer management although all courses would be considered. You can apply online through this link or alternatively download a form If you would like to discuss further, please contact


30 November 2020- Bar Code Scanners for Testing

At the Partners in Care Virtual Forum last week, one of the homes managers updated on how she was using a bar code scanner to help input test kit barcodes into the reporting spreadsheet for her staff. This has massively reduced time previously spent entering them manually. These devices can be bought online cheaply. Another manager updated that she was using the homes tablet device to scan these in.

30 November 2020- Performing CPR on Symptomatic Individuals

Following the guidance from Department of Health and Social Care that has been circulated recently, The Resuscitation Council have produced some guidance which may be more helpful to care homes and community care providers.

30 November 2020-The Care Exchange: Exciting New Podcast for Managers

 Skills for Care have launched a new podcast series, and will be inviting guests to join them as they celebrate the role of managers in social care. They’ll be talking to managers about their experiences, providing a place where managers can listen to other managers and pick-up ideas to support them in their own role. Listen now to the first episode in ‘The Care Exchange’ podcast series.

30 November 2020- NEW – Deputy Manager Networks

Skills for Care have launched a new network specifically for deputy managers, team leaders and assistant managers. The networks will be a great opportunity for deputies to meet the challenges they face in their day-to-day work, provide the opportunity to build supportive connections and a peer support network and facilitate the sharing of best practice and learning. To find out more please follow this link

30 November 2020-Covid-19 - Are YOU staying ok through all of this?

Are you supporting others at work, or at home but not looking after you?  Are you finding furlough tough?  Is working from home getting harder? Is returning to the office daunting?   Has your family/work situation changed? Do you feel separated from family and friends?

Covid-19 has challenged us this year, in ways that were hard to imagine 12 months ago.

We ALL need to look after our own mental health and well-being to navigate this difficult time.   

Ask yourself – how am I?  Then ask again – How am I really?

York Mind, we understand that a lot of us have been thrown off track and our lives have changed significantly.  We may be working hard to help others and forget ourselves. Sometimes we need a bit of support – York Mind are here to help. Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund we are able to offer that help – 1:1 Well-being coaching and 1:1 telephone support are available.  Take that first step to find out more – contact us today.  We are accepting self-referrals.

  • Email: or Telephone: 01904 643364 option 5
  • For further information including the referral form please follow this link

30 November 2020- Capacity Tracker- Domiciliary Providers and Supported Living

From today, all CQC registered domiciliary and supported living providers are being asked to report in through the Capacity Tracker daily to answer COVID-19 questions previously reported to the CQC direct. Providers should have received a communication directly from the CQC regarding these changes.

The information on the tracker it accessed by the CCG and local authority to help support providers, and also goes into national reporting.

If you have any questions regarding the tracker please contact

The tracker also has a helpdesk who can be contacted for any technical issues- the number is: 0191 691 3729

23 November 2020- CCG IPC Training Resources

The Health Education England presentations and resources used as part of the CCG IPC training delivered by care providers are now available on our website to refer to as required. To access the resources please follow this link, then navigate to ‘Essential Learning’ and you will see a folder called: Covid 19 Training for Care Homes - presentations (from the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital) which contains the resources.

If you have a need of further virtual or face to face IPC training or have any queries please contact

20 November 2020- NHS Deep Cleaning Support and Advisory Service

Please find through this link a flyer from the NHS Deep leaning and Advisory Service. These services are available to the wider community and may be suitable in facilitating additional support where deep cleaning is required . In the last 4 months, they have delivered proactive and reactive deep cleaning and bio decontamination services, training in NHS standard cleaning protocols and advisory service to a number of services. They can deliver one-off or a bespoke programme of proactive deep cleaning.  Depending on requirements, they would usually begin by conducting a site visit to assess the work involved in carrying out the clean.  In the event of a Covid positive case (or a virus outbreak of any other nature), they can provide a rapid response deep clean and bio decontamination service to assist in making premises safe to enter again. More information on the service is also available through their website 

16 November 2020- Yorkshire Ambulance Service- Supporting Information for Care Providers

Following the session delivered by Sam Pinder and Natalie Howson and Partners in Care Virtual Forum last week, the slides are now available through this link on the Partners in Care webpages.

These slides are designed as a resourced for care provider staff of all levels, including as training for new starters. They are a useful guide for what to expect when calling 999, 111 and PTS services (including around waiting times, who will take your call, what to mention and what paperwork to have ready) as well when to call each of these.

In order to help get an idea about how much the care homes know about 111/999, YAS are inviting care homes to fill out this survey. If you have any feedback about the session or these resources please contact

16 November 2020- Personal Assistant Support Flyer

As part of its offer of support to care providers and professionals across the Vale of York, the CCG has produced a flyer detailing support opportunities for personal assistants. We will be circulating to personal assistants funded by the CCG, but please share with any personal assistants you may work with.

09 November- Flu Vaccinations for Care Home Staff

We are aware of the challenges you have faced obtaining a flu vaccination for your staff. We fully recognise how important it is to keep your staff well and to protect your residents from flu.

For any members of staff who are registered with one of the York City GP Practices (including Pocklington Group Practice, practices detailed below), we have agreed that staff can book with immediate effect a vaccine through the Drive through at Askham Bar.  

  • Dalton Terrace Surgery
  • Front Street Surgery
  • York Medical Group
  • Priory Medical Group
  • Haxby Group Practice
  • Jorvik Gillygate Practice
  • MyHealth
  • Unity Health
  • Old School Medical Practice
  • Elvington Medical Practice
  • Pocklington Group Practice

Please ask staff individually complete the form and booking on the following the link that has been circulated to homes. They will need to know their own GP, their NHS number and car reg. As always to avoid the risk of covid transmission – Do not car share unless absolutely necessary – then use face masks, and passenger sit at the rear

Nimbuscare federation is providing this service on behalf of the city practices. This means unfortunately it is not available for staff registered outside of these practices.

For staff registered with other GP Practices, please be patient, we have communicated with all GP Practices to ensure you are able to book a vaccine with them. Please contact your practice direct. Community pharmacies are now also able to reorder supplies, so may be able to take bookings shortly.

In all circumstances your vaccine should be free and no provider whether it is a community pharmacy or GP practice should be requesting payment.

09 November 2020- Your NHS Needs You- COVID Vaccine Research Trial

NHS researchers in Leeds, Harrogate and York are working together to help find a vaccine for COVID-19. We are recruiting now for the next stage of clinical trials to help find a vaccine. Together with the National Institute for Health Research, we have put together an animation to explain the process of vaccine research. 

To better understand the effectiveness of vaccine candidates and help find a vaccine that works for as many people as soon as possible, researchers are particularly seeking more volunteers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as well as those with underlying health conditions and the over 65s.

Please share this information with your friends and colleagues. To sign up visit please visit this website- 

09 November 2020- Medical Devices Safety Bulletin- T34 Syringe Drivers

Please find through this link a pilot bulletin that the MHRA have put together with the latest updates regarding T34 Syringe Drivers. This includes an update on previous that had previously be put in place on sales of pumps, as well as an update on battery issues that have been experienced.

09 November 2020- Swabbing and Donning/Doffing Competency Videos

The Department of Health and Social Care have produced two useful instructional videos which demonstrate correct swabbing and donning/doffing technique which may be useful to care providers.

02 November 2020- Why Hypothermia is a Bad Sign in Infections

Often, a systemic infection like sepsis will cause a patient to develop a high fever as part of the body’s immune system response. In some cases, though, a patient will develop hypothermia, or low body temperature instead.

When an individual develops hypothermia during sepsis, there is an increased risk of fatality than when a patient develops a fever. The reason body temperature can change is the body normally “resets” itself at a higher preferred temperature and begins to expend energy keeping the body warmer as a means of fighting infection. When this does not happen or when the body resets at a colder temperature, the body is at a disadvantage because decreased blood flow and circulation already occurs with blood vessel dilation with sepsis, and cold temperature further decreases this blood flow.

Although further research is needed, hypothermia during sepsis can be indicative of larger immune system problems and an ominous course.

Health Education England have produced a resource on Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) (of which sepsis is one such cause) – where hypothermia is one of the recognized features to look out for (in addition to tachycardia, tachypnoea or low blood pressure.

02 November 2020- Congratulations William Wilberforce

A big congratulations to the team at William Wilberforce Care Home in Pocklington who are pictured with their certificate for completing the Recognising and Responding to Deterioration training (Stop and Watch). The training is designed to develop care staff skills and knowledge in recognising deterioration  and how to respond to change. Training also includes communication skills and how to use the SBAR (situation, background, assessment and recommendations) tool to help care staff  relay accurate, relevant and timely information to other health and care services including GPs and District Nurses.

For more information on this training please follow this link or contact

02 November 2020- NHS Mail- Resources and Guidance

Following on from the session delivered by Liz Howarth from NHS England/Improvement to providers last week, please find the below resources available through this link to help embed NHS Mail in your provider. A reminder that inactive individual accounts are being deleted in mid-November, the Partners in Care Team are contacting providers with accounts in this category to assist them in accessing these accounts.

  • NHS Mail and DSPT Presentation
  • Weekly NHS Mail Webinar Flyer
  • NHS Mail User Guide
  • NHS Mail Frequently Asked Questions
  • DSPT Registration Guide
  • DSPT Entry Level Guide

 For any queries relating to NHS Mail or DSPT please contact

30 October 2020- Continence Support and Training for Nursing Homes

Please find through this link a flyer from the provider of continence products for nursing patients in the Vale of York. They are able to support homes with continence education, correct use of products, profiling and product selection with your nursing care home staff . This training and support can be available virtually and there is also Virtual an abundance of support literature.

26 October 2020- Nutritional Wellbeing Virtual Training

In response to the national call to help support Care/Nursing Homes, the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at York Hospital has developed a comprehensive virtual training package designed to support staff in the identification and management of malnutrition to help promote residents’ nutritional wellbeing.

Since rolling out the programme on 1 October 2020, training has already been delivered to three Care/Nursing Homes. Training is available to any Care/Nursing Home in the Vale of York CCG. Expressions of interest should be emailed to: Nutrition&

Did you know that Care/Nursing Homes within the Vale of York CCG can refer residents directly to the outpatient dietetic service at York Hospital, without obtaining a referral from their GP? The referral form can be accessed from the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust website. Completed referral forms should be emailed from an email address to:

20 October 2020- Best Practice Guidance Examples and Resources

Please find below a selection of resources shared with us by North Yorkshire County Council which may be useful for your service. The 5 moments for hand hygiene and visiting instructions documents have been updated:

12 October 2020- The Courage of Compassion-  Supporting Nurses and Midwives to Deliver High-Quality Care

The Kings Fund have published a report aim to showing how to transform nurses’ and midwives’ workplaces so that they can thrive and flourish and are better able to provide the compassionate, high-quality care that they and those they serve wish them to deliver. The report examines the workplace stressors, organisational cultures, working contexts and leadership styles that impact on nurse and midwife wellbeing and mental health, both before and during Covid-19. It sets out how these can be changed to provide dramatically improved working environments and contexts for nursing and midwifery practice, thereby benefiting nurses, midwives, patients, women, families and communities.

The report’s scope covers all areas of practice and all care settings where nursing and midwifery staff operate, including primary care, secondary care, mental health, community care and social care. To read the summary version of this report please follow this link, and for the full version please follow this link.

05 October 2020- Flu Vaccination for Health and Social Care Workers

Having the flu vaccination every year is important, but this year it is vital to make sure we do all we can to support and protect the NHS and care services due to the potential impact of flu and COVID-19 circulating at the same time.

Flu can be deadly and is easily spread from person-to-person, even amongst those not showing any symptoms. Unvaccinated and asymptomatic, but nevertheless infected, staff may unknowingly pass the virus on to vulnerable residents, friends, family and colleagues.

Flu outbreaks can have a serious effect on the social care sector. Every year there are flu outbreaks in care homes despite high flu vaccination rates for residents. This is partly because as people age, they do not produce as good an immune response to vaccinations. The vaccination against flu protects the people we care for and protects staff, their family and friends, helping to keep services running safely during winter.

How can I support staff flu vaccinations?

If you are a manager, Public Health England produces resources specifically for those working in the social care sector and you can access these here.

Please help the fight against the flu virus this year by encouraging your team and colleagues to book their flu vaccination.

If you're a frontline health and social care worker, your employer should offer you a flu vaccine. They may give the vaccine at your workplace. Ask your employer how they will be offering staff the flu vaccine this year.

You can also have the flu vaccine if you provide health or social care through direct payments or personal health budgets, or both. The NHS website has more information.

Thank you to all our social care workers for your hard work and commitment during these profoundly challenging times, and we thank you in advance for your support by getting your flu vaccine this year!

05 October 2020- PRINCIPLE Study

Individuals who have been diagnosed with or who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and are aged 65 or over (or 50-64 with certain conditions) are able to self-enrol into the PRINCIPLE study. This is a national trial to find treatments that reduce hospital admissions and improve symptoms. To join the study, please follow this link.

 For further information, the poster and patient information leaflet can be found through these links.

05 October 20: Text Message Wellbeing Support Pilot Launched

Skills for Care launching a text message pilot to support the wellbeing of leaders and managers working in adult social care. The study is based on wellbeing programmes that have supported other frontline professions which we believe can also promote wellbeing in social care. Text messages will be sent weekly for 15 weeks starting on 19 October and will include tips and prompts to help you look after yourself and help with your own wellbeing. Places are limited so take a look at the Skills for Care Website for more information and register now.

28 September 2020- Care Home Frequent Caller Support Project - Yorkshire Ambulance Service

As updated at the last Partners in Care Virtual Forum, Yorkshire Ambulance Service is currently working on a project involving Care Homes. This includes Residential and Nursing Homes, Mental Health and learning disability homes/units. The frequent caller team are using the quantity of calls to 999 as an indication that the home may need further support with alternative local services and are focusing on homes which make either 8 or more calls in a calendar month or three or more calls in a day. 

The project involves contacting the care homes, identifying trends, liaising with agencies within the different areas. They are collaboratively working with local provisions and support networks to assist the care home staff. Due to the pandemic and the additional support Care homes have required, they have adapted our project and our supporting role. We are temporarily increasing the projects scope to incorporate all CCG areas YAS cover. Discussions include; what support is available, EOL care plans, GP involvement, Covid-19 cases within the care home, use and availability of PPE, and falls information.

This work has enabled the team to get a greater understanding of what is currently available for the care homes to access other than 999 and 111. They continue to successfully share information with community care home teams, community matrons and social care, providing them up to date and relevant information for individual’s ongoing care. Their ultimate aim is to improve working relationships between YAS and Care homes across Yorkshire.

For further information please contact

Natalie Howson                 


Tel: 07342093414

Samantha Pinder    


Tel: 07767827673

28 September 2020- Additional Apps for Care Provider Tablets

Following recent requests, the below apps have been rolled out automatically to care provider tablets

  •  Skype
  • Care Workforce App
  • Facebook Messenger

 If you have any requests for additional apps or have any queries regarding these devices please call

21 September 2020- Medicines Reuse Scheme Reminder

Following the discussion at Partners in Care last week, a reminder to all homes that are operating a medicines for reuse scheme that it can only be used when it is not possible to obtain a supply for the person in a timely fashion by the usual routes. Attempts should be made to obtain supplies in the usual fashion as the first step. Further information on the scheme can be obtained through this link

21 September 2020- Admission to Hospital Reminder

As we head into the winter season where infectious diseases traditionally rise, it is important that the hospital can plan for isolation effectively when admitting residents to prevent spread of infection. When a resident is admitted to hospital, please can homes ensure ambulance crews and hospital staff are fully informed of:

  • Any risk of infectious disease for the resident
  • If possible when they were last tested for Covid-19 and the result
  • Please also bear in mind any potential contacts the resident may have had within your home that could increase risk of infection

The Trusted Transfer document or your organisations equivalent will have opportunity for this information to be included, along with the Inter Health and Social Infection Control Transfer Form.  Please ensure it is clearly identified for receiving staff. To access the Trusted Transfer document and inter health and social care infection control transfer form please follow this link.

 If you have any queries please contact

14 September 2020- Direct Referrals for Dietetics, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy (Care Homes Only)

Following a suggestion at the Partners in Care Virtual Forum, the guidance for homes on making a direct referral in the above specialities has been amended to ask that homes also send a copy of the referral to their GP practice for information. This way the information is shared with practice directly after the referral has been made.

This has been added to the webpage where the forms and guidance are available.


14 September 2020- T34 Syringe Driver Alert: Incorrect Batteries

 Please find through this link an internal alert from York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation that has been shared for your information.  This is to note that PROCELL batteries are not suitable because they are significantly smaller and will lose contact, causing issues with infusion. NX batteries are a much tighter fit and are the best batteries to choose.

14 September 2020- Press Release: Vale of York CCG’s Quality and Nursing Team up for another Nursing Times Award

 NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) could win a Nursing Times award later this year thanks to their work with care homes and domiciliary providers, which has helped reduce avoidable harm and improved the deterioration of residents within our community.

A partnership was formed with the CCG and Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Collaborative to achieve this work, after a rise in residents being admitted to hospital in an emergency. The aim of this initiative was to reduce these unplanned admissions, and increase the staff confidence in recognising the signs for deterioration.

To achieve the increase in confidence, sessions were held face to face within the care homes prior to COVID. However since social distancing guidelines, a handbook was developed for care homes to work through themselves.

The team also organised and hosted a conference in Recognising and Responding to Deterioration, which focused on the ‘STOP’ and ‘WATCH’ tool. To read more about this tool, click here.

 To read the press release in full please follow this link

08 September 2020- CHC Assessment Resumption Update

Anita Griffiths updated on the resumption of CHC assessments at last week’s Partners in Care Virtual Forum. For an audio version of this update please get in touch.

NHS England has stated from 1 September all CHC teams nationally should resume their assessment work DST’s: People have being placed on the waiting list for DST’s since 19 March 2020, are now been brought forward for their DST’s. In order to give a robust assessment, the CHC assessor and the SCA will need access to their care plans and daily records, and a member of staff who is familiar with their daily care needs. We are inviting family to join the meeting virtually, and in some cases the social care assessor may also do this.

  • Checklists’: CHC assessors will resume completing Checklists, not nursing home managers’ at this time
  • Change in condition: resume completing and sending these to CHC
  • FNC referrals: submit as usual, CHC will complete a health needs assessment and a checklist if appropriate
  • Reviews:  will continue, with virtual families, but will need to access care homes for these from now
  • CHC Staff will have masks and gloves for direct access visits

08 September 2020- Vale of York Care Home Team Update

We are delighted to welcome Maureen Hole to the team as Project Nurse for LD and Autism. Maureen qualified in 1994 and has held a variety of nursing posts in acute and community settings. Her last post prior to joining the CCG was as a health trainer with City of York Council. Maureen’s main focus within the team is to support care providers for people with a learning disability and/or autism. To contact Maureen, please email

01 September 2020- Direct Referrals to Therapies and Dietetic Advice (Care Homes)

Care homes no longer need to go through a GP to refer a resident for community physiotherapy, occupational therapy or dietetic advice.

This will be supported by the York Community Therapy Team who are part of the named Multidisciplinary Team available to support local care homes as we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If therapy needs arise, care homes can refer directly using a referral form and contact the Community Therapy Team for support if needed.

The below referral forms are available through this link:

  • Community Physiotherapy / Occupational Therapy Referral
  • Dietetic Advice

The teams are also able to offer virtual consultation training through the Attend Anywhere platform, which is available through Google Chrome and be accessed through the tablets allocated to care homes by the CCG.

If you have any queries please contact the respective teams through the contact details on the forms. Please note that exclusion criteria apply to both referrals and they are only open to residents who have a Vale of York GP.

24 August 2020- Temperature Screening Device Alert

Following on from questions at last week’s Partners in Care ECHO Forum, it has been clarified that the recent IPC alert specifically relates to temperature screening devices you walk up to a screen and it takes your temperature. These were designed for building sites and are being missold to care establishments and only measure surface skin temp and highly inaccurate. The hand held infra-red ones that are medical devices like you see in hospital are excellent and are preferable to the in the ear one for IPC purposes.

The government guidance that came out can be found through this link. The specific information relating to these products is below:

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulated Agency (MHRA) states that “There is little scientific evidence to support temperature screening as a reliable method for detection of COVID-19 or other febrile illness, especially if used as the main method of testing”.

Temperature readings from thermal cameras and other ‘temperature screening’ products, e.g. hand held non-contact thermometers, measure skin temperature rather than core body temperature. In either case, temperature variations can occur in healthy people, therefore, these readings are unreliable for detection of COVID-19 or other illness causing fever. Additionally, infected people who do not develop a fever or do not show any symptoms (asymptomatic) would not be detected by a temperature reading and are more likely to spread the virus unknowingly. Only use medical devices for temperature screening which are regulated by MHRA.

24 August 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team (CHAD) York Update

This week we wanted to share links to a couple of music resources. Music for Dementia, a radio station that plays music from different eras from 30s to the 70s to promote reminiscence. It can be accessed via Alexa and has a video about how this can be set up.

We also have Playlist for Life which has a downloadable personal music journal booklet that can be completed to help document a person’s musical preferences to build up a picture of likes and dislikes and music that can be calming or invigorating.

As ever, if you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us on: or reach us by phone on our professionals only line: 01904 461196.


24 August 2020- Emollients: Fire Risk and Precautions Campaign

The MHRA and National Fire Chiefs Council have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of fire risk and precautions that need to be taken by users of skin creams. This contains a short video and a PowerPoint presentation for staff training and information. Also links to other resources such as posters and information for people who use the products. The resources can be found through this link.

17 August 2020- Partners in Care Virtual Forum

The CCG will be relaunching the Partners in Care Forum virtually on Thursday 03 September. This follows the assistance of the Project ECHO team at St Leonards Hospice who have helped support us run the Partners in Care Project ECHO Covid-19 Support Network since the start of the current outbreak.

The forum is open to all care homes and domiciliary providers from across the Vale of York, and is designed to provide support with the latest guidance, updates from across health and social care and a chance to ask questions of both health professionals and fellow care sector colleagues. There forum is also open to and attended by partner organisations who support care providers from acute care, mental health, local authority and Skills for Care among others.

The forum will take place every 2 Weeks on a Thursday from 2:00-2:45. The sessions will take virtually place using Zoom and calendar invites will be sent out to all partners very shortly.

As before, Partners in Care is a collaborative forum that is shaped by and intended to support the care sector. So if you have any topics for discussion or updates you would like to request please contact All are welcome so please forward the invites to any colleagues who would like to attend.

17 August 2020- Data Security and Protection Toolkit Registration


As you may be aware the deadline for completing the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT), which enables you to be compliant with national guidance around Information Governance has been extended due to Covid.  The requirement to complete the DSPT in order to access NHS Mail has also temporarily been waived. Following discussion at a national level, the new deadline for DSPT completion is 31 March 2021.

The only action that is required at this stage is for individual care homes/domiciliary providers to register an account for the DSPT by 30 September. By registering for this, you will be able to access a training programme which is currently being designed at a national and regional level to help guide you through completion from October-March.

To register

 Please note that no action is required at this stage if your provider has already completed the DSPT to Standards Met or Entry Level stage. If your provider has already registered for the DSPT previously but not completed then you will also have an account already registered so no action required. For any questions at this stage please contact

17 August 2020- Infection Prevention and Control Team Bulletin and PPE Guidance

The latest bulletin from the Community IPC Team focuses on COVID-19 Advice on 'Fogging' and 'Temperature screening'. To access the bulletin please follow this link

Public Health England have also published a useful 'PPE guide for community health and social care settings: What PPE to wear and when - an illustrative guide' 28/07/20.  This can be accessed from the following link

11 August 2020- Nutrition Training  (Care Homes Only)

Dr Sarah Baker, Professional Lead for Dietetics updated at last week’s Partners in Care ECHO Network around the offer of nutritional training that her team are able to provide Vale of York Care Homes. The training is anticipated to take 30 minutes-1 hour and will help those taking part a greater knowledge of nutrition to help embed in their service. To express an interest in this training please email Nutrition&Dietetics@YORK.NHS.UK

11 August 2020- New Apps for Care Provider Tablets

 Following a request from a care home, the following 5 apps will be made available on all care provider tablets.

  • React to Red- App based upon to React to Red pressure ulcer prevention training programme
  • ISTUMBLE- Health assessment tool that can be used following a fall
  • Yellow Card- MHRA resource for monitoring and collecting information on adverse reactions to medication, as well as safety alerts.
  • IDDSI- Framework for looking up IDDSI food and drink consistencies
  • NHS Safeguarding- Tool to raise awareness of safeguarding requirements

 If there is an app that you think would be beneficial to add to your device, please contact

11 August 2020- Supporting BAME Across Social Care

Skills for Care is currently undertaking some work to find out more about the experiences of adult social care workers from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background during the COVID-19 pandemic. The BAME workforce plays a vital role in the day-to-day care of people in our communities and it is critical we know more. Four webinars have been created which can be viewed through their website, covering supportive leadership, building alliances to support BAME staff, mental wellbeing and creating collaborations and supportive networks within organisations.

04 August 2020-Care Home and Dementia Team (CHAD) York Update

This week we wanted to share some resources about creating psychological safety with your teams and why it is important to do so. Here is a link to the key elements leaders need to utilise to build psychological safety in their teams.

We are also attaching a flyer and checklist about setting up a staff wellbeing group to enable reflection during these extraordinary times.

 As ever, if you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us on: or reach us by phone on our professional’s only line: 01904 461196.

04 August 2020- Updated NHS Mail User Guide

NHS England and Improvement have created a really useful user guide to help those starting out with NHS Mail to navigate the system and provide a guide to completing tasks including:

  • Adding more NHS Mail accounts for colleagues within your service
  • Resetting or changing passwords
  • Gaining access to the shared mailbox for your care home/provider
  • Searching for an NHS employee’s email address through the NHS directory

The guide is designed for those using the NHS Mail website, but the same principles apply for those using Outlook. Having an account will allow your provider to share patient identifiable information securely and directly with a wide variety of NHS services as well as local authority. If you have any queries or needed assistance in accessing your account for the first time then please contact

27 July 2020- Apprenticeships and Traineeship

Claire Ryan from the Humber Coast and Vale Excellence Centre attended last week’s Partners in Care ECHO Network to discuss her new role supporting care providers among other organisations in accessing information and support around Apprenticeships. The work she helps support can be broken down into the following.

  • Support with setting up and using Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) accounts
  • Receiving levy transfers from other organisations or reserving funds from the ESFA
  • Guidance on using apprenticeships in workforce development & planning
  • Support with accessing government incentives

Claire is contactable  via email at if you have any questions relating to Apprenticeships.

21 July 2020- Randox Test Kits for Coronavirus Testing

All providers are being asked to immediately pause use of the Randox testing kits following the notification from the government last week.

Please all of your unused Randox kits in a safe place to ensure that they are not used or mixed with other test kits, and one of our team will be in contact with you next week to confirm next steps.

All impacted care homes will be assisted to get replacement kits as soon as possible. The national track and trace team will be in contact over the to confirm arrangements. The Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested guidance has been updated following on from this notification

The alternative type of test  in use is Kingfisher. This is the updated link to register completed Kingfisher  tests for staff and resident. Instructions on using non Randox kits can be found through this link.

Providers  who have not yet registered on the site for whole site testing  can do so through this link as this is  now the first port of call for routine regular whole site testing of residents and staff.  A series of webinars from DHSC on whole home testing are scheduled and can be booked onto through this link

21 July 2020- Apprenticeship and Traineeship Update

Following the announcement from the Chancellor last week around ‘Plan for Jobs’ and the additional funding for traineeships and apprenticeships, we are happy to announce two major updates to the support available to businesses:

  • Businesses will receive a £1,000 bonus payment from the Government for every trainee they offer a work experience placement to.
  •  Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment that the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

 The Excellence Centre are currently working on a project across the Humber, Coast and Vale to support GP Practices, Nursing  and Care Home and Hospices to become digitally ready to access the apprenticeship funding available and receive transferred funds from other organisations who have had unspent apprenticeship levy funds.

Additionally, a key focus of the project is to support your service with workforce development and the potential to use apprenticeships within their practices; either as new recruits or to up skill substantive employees.

If you would like to discuss using apprenticeships within your workforce or utilising the apprenticeship funding available or would like to request webinars on anything specific relating to apprenticeships or workforce development, please contact Claire Ryan, Project Manager at

21 July 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team (CHAD) York Update

This week we have a booklet put together by Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust that is about meeting the needs of residents in care homes during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Within the booklet you will find links to some seminars from other NHS Trusts and also a link to an excellent animation about meeting residents’ needs:

As ever, if you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us on: or reach us by phone on our professional’s only line: 01904 461196.

20 July 2020- Community Health Services Education, Training and Guidance Resources

Please find through this link a useful document that brings together providers free national training for care providers into one document.

The document also links to a site which holds all the government and PHE information for the adult social care sector on responding to the coronavirus pandemic in one central holding. This includes:

  •  How to work safely in care homes
  • Admission and care of people in care homes
  • Coronavirus (Covid-19) Health & wellbeing of the adult work force
  • Coronavirus (Covid-19) How to work safely in domiciliary care

 Details of further training opportunities, including those hosted by the CCG can be found through this link.  

15 July 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team (CHAD) York Update

This week we have a printable calendar for your staff room with tips on easy ways to maintain our well-being and a leaflet on keeping your residents active with some ideas of activities for different abilities.

As ever, if you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us on: or reach us by phone on our professional’s only line: 01904 461196.

06 July 2020- Use of Tablets and Digital Devices by Independent Care Providers

Independent care providers across the Vale of York  are using digital technology to a greater extent recently (including tablets allocated to a number of services by the CCG)  to enable virtual consultations, additional clinical use and by residents.  This is a reminder to follow best IPC practice when using these devices in care settings. Please ensure regular cleaning and between use. It is good practice to limit use of an individual device to individual units where possible. For those providers who have been allocated multiple tablets by the CCG, the number allocated was partially based on the number of floors to help support limiting risk of cross infection

09 July 2020- Trusted Transfer Documentation for Care Homes

Following recent discussions around discharge related issues (including at a recent Partners in Care/ECHO Network where representative from the discharge team responded to feedback from care home managers), a reminder for care homes to use the Trusted Transfer of Care Document where appropriate to accompany residents on admission to hospital either electronically or through paper copy.

The document can be found through this link, and a brief for care homes through this link. For an example document please follow this link.

Please note the completion of the Trusted Transfer of Care Document is the responsibility of the care home with the exception of any changes during the hospital stay which must be documented on the variance sheet (by hospital staff). Any patients who are a new admission to your care home will not be transferred with the Trusted Transfer of Care Document but we still expect that full information and supporting documents and medications are provided by the discharging hospital unit.

For any issues experienced such as missing documents or medication on discharge please let us know as soon as possible so we can follow this up with YTHFT partners.

To report any feedback, or if you would like to discuss the discharge process in more detail, please contact: Sarah Fiori, Head of Quality Improvement and Research. Email address: and mobile: 07702 657592

06 July 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team (CHAD) York Update

This week we have a short video by Teepa Snow showing how the same activity can be adapted for different stages of dementia , and a link to Ken’s quiz site. Here you will find a free on line quiz resource with many different categories that we hope you find fun if not a little brain teasing for you and your residents.

As ever, if you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us on: or reach us by phone on our professional’s only line: 01904 461196.

06 July 2020- Community Infection Prevention and Control Team Bulletin -  ‘Correct order for putting on and removing personal protective equipment’.

Please find the latest bulletins from the community IPC team for care homes and domiciliary providers through the below links:

29 June 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team (CHAD) York Update

We have a couple of items to share this week. One is a poster for your staff room following on from the Partners in Care/Project ECHO call last week which is a delirium wheel redesigned to include COVID-19.

We are also attaching a booklet full of ideas for managing your mental wellbeing by connecting with nature. It may be a nice resource to share with staff, family or involve some of your residents in them. It is full of simple ideas to make the most of the nature we find all around us.

As ever, if you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us on: or reach us by phone on our professional’s only line: 01904 461196.

29 June 2020- Delirium Webinar Resources

As mentioned during the Partners in Care/Project ECHO session last week, please find resources from the webinar “Delirium and considerations during the Covid-19 pandemic” which was hosted by the Dementia Policy Unit at NHS England and Improvement  on 24th June 2020. As promised, please find enclosed:

22 June 2020- Free Psychological First Aid in Emergencies Training

Public Health England have created a free psychological first aid in emergencies training for frontline staff and volunteers. Training will equip staff to provide support and recognise people at risk of distress

The course follows a globally recommended model for supporting people during emergencies, tailored to the specific challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19). This training takes place over 3 weeks and those who register are asked for a 1 hour per week learning commitment.  To register and for information please follow this link.

22 June 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team (CHAD) York Update

This week we have two information sheets giving ideas on how to support a resident living with dementia who ‘walks with purpose’ and how to maintain wellbeing and reduce distress using reminiscence, simulated presence therapy and virtual entertainment with links to a host of online resources and to Chatter pack which we hope you and your residents will find both informative and enjoyable

One of our team may have already rung you or will be ringing you to see how you and your team are during these extraordinary times and asking if there is anything we can do to help support you. In the meantime, as ever, if you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us on: or reach us by phone on our professional’s only line: 01904 461196.

22 June 2020- Public Health England Active at Home Booklet

For most of us we are able to go out to exercise, but this is not the case for a lot of older people or people who are shielding. Public Health England have adapted a Sheffield initiative on becoming more active at home to suitable for wider audience An electronic version of this is available through this link for you to print off.

22 June 2020- Care Staff Support Resources and Contacts

Below are a number of the resources that are available to managers and staff should they need support or wish to talk to somebody during the current challenging times. The Quality & Nursing Team recognize the immense challenge our colleagues are facing and would like to offer our support and again reiterate thanks for the personal sacrifices you are all making at home and work to ensure residents and teams are able to continue being safe.  Please do contact if you have any queries or requests for support.

  • National NHS line operated by Samaritans. Call: 0300 131 7000 (7am – 11pm, seven days a week) Text: FRONTLINE to 85258
  • St Leonards Hospice Bereavement Support Line.  01904 777772 Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm  (until 7pm on Thursdays). A suite of resources designed by the Hospice to help support staff within your setting that were presented at the Project ECHO/Partners in Care Forum can be found through this link.
  • Bereavement and Trauma Support Line by Hospice UK. Call: 0300 303 4434 (8am-8pm, seven days a week).
  • Skills for Care has a dedicated support and information line available to all registered and front line managers during the Covid 19 pandemic.  For details on how to access the service, please follow this link. They also have a Facebook group open to all managers, and are setting up WhatsApp and support groups at local level. Regular support webinars are also regularly scheduled. Previous webinars can be found through this link.
  • A number of apps are currently available to health and social care staff including SilverCloud, Sleepio, Daylight and Stay Alive. For more information please follow this link.

15 June 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team Update

This week, we have a link to a podcast from Martin Bromiley OBE discussing simple ways to prepare for a confident working environment. It includes tips on mentally practising new techniques like taking off PPE and starting the day with effective team meetings:

Also a great poster you can print and share on your staff room wall which gives  practical steps based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that will help your staff deal with the COVID crisis.

If you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us on: or reach us by phone on our professional’s only line: 01904 461196.

15 June 2020- Covid-19 Testing: Mental Capacity Guidance

 Please find below information for local care homes and domiciliary care providers that has been approved by the Mental Capacity Act group for the Yorkshire and Humber region.

 Whilst recognising that many care providers have significant plans in place, this information; designed by North Yorkshire County Council and agreed by the local MCA group, has been developed to be a supportive tool to care providers supporting those without capacity.

 To complement the MCA tool documents the group is also developing other supportive information that will be circulated soon. The topics include:

  • Capacity and isolation periods;
  • The role of Public Health England and the powers it can exercise;
  • The impact of the recently launched track and trace programme.

08 June 2020- Bereavement Support and Resources

Dr Jonathan Bauer, Bereavement Support Manager at St Leonards Hospice led a powerful session at Thursday’s Partners in Care/Project ECHO network around bereavement and support in care settings focusing on the specific challenges faced by colleagues working in the independent care sector . The session focused on the emotional impact of the current outbreak of residents, relatives/ friends and staff. A number of resources were shared which are available through this link. This includes the presentation that was delivered, some prompts around difficult conversations, resources for those who would value bereavement support as well as case studies to help thinking about approaches. Providers are encouraged to use and adapt these resources for their own use as required.

The Quality & Nursing Team recognise the immense challenge our colleagues are facing and would like to offer our support and again reiterate thanks for the personal sacrifices you are all making at home and work to ensure residents and teams are able to continue being safe.  Please do contact if you have any queries or requests for support.

08 June 2020- Join Social Care Online

 Angela Thompson, Locality Manager, Skills for Care updated at the Partners in Care/ECHO Network, that “Join Social Care” has been developed to accelerate the recruitment process for Adult Social Care, making it easier for care providers to reach people in their local areas looking to work in the sector. Skills for Care is co-ordinating training for people coming into the social care sector through this platform using endorsed providers offering the rapid induction training programme. More information on how to utilise the platform for your setting can be found through this link.

08 June 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team Update

This week wanted to focus on ideas for supporting your teams.  This information sheet has lots of tips for calming a racing mind as well as links to other online resources.

We heard this week on the Partners in Care/Project ECHO call that some care home teams feel much closer having created a safe place to talk about how they are feeling. This resource provides tips on how to set that up in your home and an easy guide for running them, the ‘Care home team wellbeing group guide’.

And finally, some distraction for your residents and staff, with some free resources from the Wildlife Trust for June.

 If you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us on: or reach us by phone on our professional’s only line: 01904 461196.

08 June 2020- Cleaning a Commode Pan Manually: Resources

Infection, Prevention, Control have created a set of resources detailing appropriate cleaning processes and protocols for cleaning a commode. These can be found through the links below:

01 June 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team Update

This week we are resending an activity you might like to use with your residents and a tips sheet for helping reduce their anxiety about PPE. We are also resharing a great animation from Newcastle Dementia Service about meeting needs during lockdown:

 If you would like any support for your care home and staff during these difficult times, please get in contact with the Care Home and Dementia Team and we will do our best to help. You can email us at: or reach us by phone on our professional’s only line: 01904 461196.

01 June 2020- Heatwave Plans

Bright, hot summer days are what many of us look forward to for the rest of the year – especially in cold, wet England! However, while we’re enjoying the balmy days of summer, we should not forget that the temperature can get high, become uncomfortably hot, and for some, it can become dangerously hot.

The heatwave alert levels will be triggered by temperature thresholds. The Met Office website will be the first place where the alert level is available. NHS Choices can provide additional advice on heatstroke and other heat-related conditions. We also recommended that patients and the public can phone NHS 111 or their GP if they are concerned about their health or others.

 Advice for Care home managers and staff has been produced. Staff will need to make themselves familiar with and look out for signs of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. There is also a useful poster for care homes. Please ensure that staff are aware of your heatwave plans. There are lots of resources and information available on the Heatwave Page.

 Other information includes:

01 June 2020- Wearing a Mask: Do’s and Don’ts

The Community Infection, Prevention and Control Team have produced a poster detailing do’s and don’ts for using a face mask within care homes and domiciliary providers. These can be printed off and displayed in your setting


26 May 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team Update

This week, we wanted to share a leaflet that Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust have created for coping with the death of someone that you know. The leaflet covers common symptoms that you might experience and some tips of how to deal with them.

 We also wanted to share again the leaflet from Namaste Care that gives advice on how to help residents have a sensory-rich end of life with ideas about soothing touch, sound, smell, taste and vision.

18 May 2020 -Care Home and Dementia Team Update- Psychological Safety and Music for Wellbeing

Feeling safe as a team is really important at the moment: Psychological Safety is about creating a working environment in which everyone feels comfortable sharing their thought and concerns. This week we have a poster for your staff room and a flyer about a free support pack that will help you promote psychological safety within your team.

A free new online resource, which combines science and technology to provide a catalogue of soothing and calming music and videos, has been developed to support people who may feel anxious during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Recovery College Online and Trauma Informed Care teams have joined forces with music technology company X-System; Northumbria University and the Calm Foundation to provide a series of specially designed playlists that can help people to physically relax, manage their mood, be enlivened or helped to breathe and move. The playlists are being made freely available.  For more information follow this link

18 May 2020- IPC Coronavirus Page and Deep Cleaning Guidance

The community Infection, Prevention, Control team have a produced a webpage with guidance for managing Covid-19 within your setting. This includes useful posters that can be displayed, access to an online learning package and in depth deep cleaning guidance for care homes. The page can be found through this link.

 Caroline Gent from the team pulled together a couple of slides following a discussion at a recent Project ECHO sessions, which gives detail around which cleaning solutions are suitable and unsuitable, as well as guidance on using wipes.

12 May 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team Update

This week we are sharing a document that is a synthesis of current research, clinical opinion and experiences of care home managers that aims to provide guidance for managers supporting care home staff.

 We also wanted to share an animation that has been produced by the Newcastle Dementia Service which highlights some of the innovative ways care homes have been managing to continue to meet the needs of their residents during the Coronavirus pandemic.

If you need to get in touch with us about support for you and your staff, please email


12 May 2020- CARE Workforce App

 A national app has been launched for the adult social care workforce. It will act as a one stop shop for learning resources, guidance, mental health support, discounts and additional support.

The app is available to download from on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, as well as being accessible online through this link. For more information please follow this link

04 May 2020- Reuse of Medication in Care Homes- New Guidance

New national guidance has been published to allow the safe re use of medicines between residents living in the same care home or staying at the same hospice in exceptional circumstances. This includes where a supply cannot be obtained for a person who needs it in a timely manner and the medication is no longer needed by the person it was prescribed for.  

 The guidance, including the process, to be followed is available here (The guidance may change so always check the website for the latest version.)

 Please read this guidance fully to be able to recognise when medication can be used in this way, the records you need to keep, and the consents that should be obtained wherever possible (See Table 3 in the guidance).  Information on the guidance is also being sent to GPs and pharmacists.

 Medication that may be suitable for reuse can be retained. Keep this separate from the in use medication but ensure it is stored safely according to the usual medication storage requirements for that medication, including the temperature and controlled drug requirements. Ensure that the medication is identified as being kept for possible reuse.    

 The Medicines Management Team will be providing further support on implementing this guidance. Any questions or comments at this stage are welcome and should be sent to

04 May 2020- Partners in Care Lessons Learnt: Partners in Care COVID-19 ECHO Response Network

A summary bulletin has been produced by care providers represented at the ECHO Response Network who have experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 within their care setting. This is designed to provide shared learning and guidance to fellow care providers around

  • How cases presented and what symptoms were shown
  • How infections manifested themselves and how providers managed them
  • How staff wellbeing was promoted

Please share and use this resource within your organisation as appropriate. More details on the network and how to join can be found below.

04 May 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team Update and Change of Number

 In response to a new Mental Health and Crisis Response Line the York Care Home and Dementia Team now have a dedicated number for professionals to contact the team directly.  This number is a dedicated referral / contact number for professionals, partner agencies and stakeholders, please do not share with service users or carers. The York Care Home and Dementia Team professional only number is 01904 461 196. To confirm the Number that can be given out to Service Users is 01904 556 748.

 This week we have a printable poster with tips on how to manage prolonged periods of stress both at work and at home, the ‘Self-Care Tree’. During  the ECHO session on Thursday, there was an excellent presentation about advance care planning and end of life care. ‘Namaste care’ is a gentle approach to end of life that complements the medical needs and life-long beliefs of the individual, please see this document for more information.

As PPE becomes more necessary, some of the people we work with may struggle to understand why the people that care for them look so different. This activity has been developed to help residents understand that beneath all the gear, their friendly carers are still there. You are welcome to print the poster as it is, amend it to suit your needs or use it as an activity with individual residents to build up your own collage.

If you have any innovative and creative ways that you are using to help meet the needs of your residents, please let us know. We have heard of homes using technology to keep up resident and family connections, screening old movies and avoiding the news about COVID-19. If you have any you’d like to share with us, please email

27 April 2020- Care Home and Dementia Team Update

This week we have an image based downloadable prompt sheet designed by our OT, Karen Melody, which you can use to talk to your residents about covid-19. You are free to adapt this if you wish to suit individual residents. There is also a booklet of ideas from the Health Innovation Network to keep your residents active and occupied during these times. The following link will take you to free resources that explain what happens in our brains and bodies in the face of anxiety and a toolkit of ideas to help us cope: If you need resources around a particular idea, please email us at: and we will do our best to help.

27 April 2020- COVID-19 Training and Resources

Please find through this link an updated list from Health Education England of training currently available, updated versions of this will be circulated to providers. Skills for Care also have a comprehensive section on fully-funded training on their website relating to Rapid Induction, Care Certificate and other skills-based training specific for our sector – again this is being updated and refreshed on a daily basis and can be accessed here

There are also details of further training and resources for care providers through the Six Steps to Success in End of Life Care Programme

27 April 2020- Single Point of Coordination for End of Life Care

An updated leaflet has been produced regarding how to access the single point of coordination for end of life care guidance. The service has been developed by the CCG and St Leonards Hospice, and is accessible from 8:00am to 12:00pm Monday-Sunday. This is available to all Vale of York care homes and domiciliary providers among other organizations. The contact number for the point of access is: 01904 777770

Also available through this link, are  a set of clinical guidance relating to symptom control for COVID-19 patients, which was presented by Dr Anne Garry (Palliative Care Consultant) at the ECHO Network.

21 April 2020- Aerosol Generating Procedures

 As promised at the Project ECHO call on Thursday, please find through this link a list from Public Health England to clarify which procedures and are not classified as aerosol generating.

03 April 2020- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Related Deaths in the Community: Guidance for Medics, Care Homes and Hospices

 Please find through this link a document which amalgamates guidance from the Coroner’s Office, City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council (Among other organisations) with regard to COVID-19 related deaths. This includes guidance around handling for care settings, and an update on changes to the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). We will look to advise further on this guidance at upcoming Project ECHO Networks.

27 March 2020- COVID-19 eLearning Programme- Free

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare have created a free eLearning programme available to all staff across health and social care. The programme includes key materials to help the health and care workforce respond to Coronavirus including essential guidance from the NHS, Government and WHO, infection prevention and control, personal protection equipment and more

27 March 2020- Fire Safety Guidance for Care Providers

The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are  reassuring providers that they are still here to help. Please find some guidance which you may find useful, In addition there is further information through their website. If you have any specific queries or concerns, there is also the facility to ask a question via the website.

09 March 2020- Happy Birthday Join Dementia Research!

Join Dementia Research has recently celebrated its fifth birthday. Although still young, the service has already had a lot of success - making it easier for people to take part in research. Over 25,000 participants have taken part in studies and made a key contribution to the understanding.

To help you spread the word about their work and to get more people involved their work, they have created a digital greetings card that you can send to someone you know who might be interested in research. The more people who register with Join Dementia Research, the faster we can make a difference to the lives of everyone affected by dementia.

02 March 2020- Congratulations Mickle Hill

Congratulations to Mickle Hill in Pickering, who have been rated as outstanding by CQC. Their supported living service was praised for its focus on inclusion and treating people as partners in their care and support, and for a clear focus on patient, relative and staff engagement.

02 March 2020- CQC Report: Promoting sexual safety through empowerment

CQC have published a report looking at how adult social care services keep people safe from sexual incidents. It also looks at how services can support them to express their sexuality. This is part of an aim to build culture of openness in which people can talk about sexual safety and sexuality within adult social care settings, as a first step towards protecting and supporting them. The report can be accessed through this link

18 February 2020- Congratulations Somerset House

A big congratulations to all the team at Somerset House for their hard work during the last year, which has resulted in them being rated Good by CQC this week

10 February 2020- Guidance on employing workers aged 16 and 17

Skills for Care have updated their guidance on employing 16 and 17 year olds, which can be accessed through this link. This guidance has been endorsed by CCG, and recognises the valuable contribution individuals in that age group can make to adult social care. Recommendations made in the guidance include around working hours, pay, training, and coaching and buddying.

04 February 2020- IPC Bulletins: Respiratory and Cough Hygiene

Please follow this link to the latest bulletin produced for care homes by Infection Prevention Control. This bulletin focuses on respiratory and cough hygiene, which has been identified by NHS England and NHS Improvement as one of 10 items within their ‘Standard infection control precautions’ (SICPs).

Previous bulletins produced by IPC include around transfer documents, norovirus, gastroenteritis and nutrition.

04 February 2020-York Advocacy Hub

Jan Tuson attended Partners in Care to update on the services available through the York Advocacy Hub, and how those in receipt of care can benefit from receiving advocacy. The service is a free, independent and quality assured and currently employs 11 advocates across 7 streams of advocacy. More information on these streams can be found within the meeting slides.

If you are unsure if an individual would benefit from an advocate, please don’t hesitate to call 01904 414357

04 February 2020- January Partners in Care Forum: Thank You

A big thank you to all those who attended a packed meeting of Partners in Care on Wednesday 28 January. An audience of 50 representatives from care homes and domiciliary providers, CCG, acute services, research, ambulance service, mental health and primary care took part in an engaging and collaborative afternoon. Updates included around the importance of completing the Data Security Protection Toolkit, closer working between acute services and providers around discharges processes, and how individuals in receipt of care may benefit from an advocate.

6 January- Congratulations Connaught Court

A big congratulations to Connaught Court, who have been recognised as outstanding by CQC. The inspectors remarked that the environment at the home was exceptional, and that best practice in relation for people with dementia was followed and embedded within the service. This creates a calm and homely environment for people to receive care.

It was allow remarked that the home has passionate and forward-thinking managers, who lead the service and provide an inclusive service that engages proactively with people, their relatives and the staff team.

24 December- New UCP Service Poster

Following on from the update Tim O’Dowd delivered to Partners in Care in November, please find attached an updated poster through this link reflecting the new operating hours of the UCP service. Please replace all existing posters with this version.

The service can be accessed by care homes to arrange a visit for minor injuries as an alternative to 999 and 111 for non-emergencies. Services the team can assist with include witness or unwitnessed calls without signs of fracture, muscular back pain, wound care and head injuries.

24 December 2019- The Inter-Health and Social Care Infection Control Transfer Form

The Inter-health and Social Care Infection Control Transfer from has been developed, to help healthcare organisations share information in the transfer of patients/residents to and from health and social care facilities.

 This supports The Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of Practice on the prevention and control of Infection and related guidance (Department of Health 2015), which states  that “suitable accurate information on infections be provided to any person concerned with providing further support or nursing/medical care in a timely fashion”.

 The Inter-health and Social Care form, should accompany the patient/ resident and, where possible, a copy filed in their notes. The information provided is vital in facilitating the receiving health and social care facility to implement the necessary infection control measures, and help to reduce the risk of spreading infectious organisms. To access the form, please follow this link

16 December 2019- Discharge Collaboration with Partners in Care

Two of our care home managers from York attended the York Complex Discharge Sub Group to share their perspectives on discharge and to help identify areas for collaboration and relationship building. The group listened to stories of when discharge works and when it doesn’t always go to plan.  The CCG will be supporting further work in collaboration with the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and key stakeholders, and hope all of our Partners in Care will contribute to this.  This is a real opportunity for Partners in care to influence and shape discharge standards alongside colleagues.

16 December 2019- Wolfson Bursaries for Care Homes

Hospice UK have a range of bursaries available for palliative care training which available to nurses, healthcare assistants and allied health professionals within care homes. Individuals can apply for up to 75% of a module or course cost (subject to funding being available), or up to £1500 over a year or £3000 over 3 years. Further information around criteria and examples of eligible courses and conferences can be found through the attached leaflet.

To access the online application form please follow this link. For any queries please contact

16 December 2019- Fax Machine Usage in GP Practices

As you may or may not be aware following on from Securing Excellence in Primary Care (GP) Digital Services: The Primary Care (GP) Digital Services Operating Model 2019-2021, by April 2020 practices will no longer use fax machines for either NHS or patient communications. From speaking with Practices, it has become apparent that care homes and domiciliary providers often send communications to them via fax. Therefore, this will affect the way you communicate with practices if this has been your chosen method of communication. Practices will most likely start to use a regularly monitored and secure NHS Mail e-mail address; these e-mail addresses are currently being collated/created and can be provided in due course.

9 December 2019- Returning of Community Equipment

Pam Bolderson from the CCG and Darren Clark from Medequip attended November Partners in Care to reiterate the importance of returning equipment which is no longer being used, or being used by an individual it wasn’t prescribed for. Due to the loans based model the community equipment contract is based on, all equipment is still being paid for by the NHS and social care until it is returned (upon which 90% of the equipment cost is returned to the NHS). Anybody can call Medequip to request a collection through the details below. More information on community equipment can be found through the meeting slides.

Call: 01423 226240 or Email:

9 December- Bisphosphonates

Following a number of reports of incidents of finding that bisphosphonates such as alendronic acid have been administered at the wrong times or in the wrong way, Karen Lepper and colleagues have produced this poster to highlight the issues.

This poster covers:

  • What bisphosphonates are
  • How they should be taken
  • What happens if instructions are not followed

For any further queries please contact

9 December 2019- Recognising and Responding to Deterioration Conference: Slides

Thank you all those who attend the conference around recognising and responding to deterioration on 26 November in York. The day focused on the trial of the STOP and WATCH tool to help identify deterioration in residents through softer signs, and included input from care homes, domiciliary providers, GP’s, the care home and dementia team at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. There was also discussion around topics including falls prevention, sepsis, dementia and oral health.

 The slides can be accessed in 3 parts below:

 Slides Part 1

Slides Part 2

Slides Part 3

25 November 2019- Guidance on Using Social Media

With Christmas approaching, partners from across the Vale of York are understandably keen to share what is happening  in their organisation.  The Nursing and Midwifery Council have produced a set of guidance that may be of assistance in deciding what is and isn’t appropriate to share through social media, and how to balance the benefits from and responsibilities of its use. The main principles of the guidance are:

  • Be informed
  • Think before you post
  • Protect your professionalism and your reputation

The guidance applies to registered nursing staff, but also the same principles apply to other colleagues and management staff.

To read the guidance please follow this link

25 November 2019- Social Care Digital Self-Assessment

Skills for Care working in partnership with Digital Social Care to create a digital self-assessment tool for social care employers.

The free online tool will help to measure:

  • How capable staff are in harnessing the benefits of digital tools and skills
  • Whether they have the right infrastructure in place to use more digital tools.

It will also help employers to understand where they may have gaps that could be preventing them from working in a more digital way. Once completed, an email report will be sent based on the responses and include ‘top tips’ and resources to help employers progress on their digital journey.

To Access the tool, please follow this link.

18 November 2019- Reduce length of stay: New e-learning resource

A new e-learning tool called ActNow has been developed for health and care staff to help them prevent delayed transfers of care. The tool can be used by nurses, allied health professionals and care staff to ensure patients have the best outcomes possible following care received in hospital. It includes resources to help staff take prompt practical actions and use every opportunity to ensure patients are cared for in the best place.

Please pass them on to relevant colleagues and teams within your organisations. If you would like any further information about Act Now Home First support, please contact

28 October 2019- Stop and Watch Success at Apple Tree Care Home

Congratulations to Apple Tree Care Home who have completed Stop and Watch training, and are now are successfully using the tool effectively to recognise and respond to deterioration in residents. Deputy Manager Sharon Clemitt received a certificate on Thursday to recognise the work their staff have undertaken to embed Stop and Watch tool in the home.

21 October 2019- Well Done Alison!

Congratulations to Alison Redhead, Manager of Minster Grange who was a finalist in Thursday’s York Press Community Pride Awards. Alison was nominated in the Health Service Hero category for being an exemplary example of a caring, committed and passionate nursing home manager who is dedicated to ensuring that the service provided is of the highest standard.

21 October 2019- Tips From a Manager: How to Manage Flu Season in Your Provider

Linda Donnellan-Beevers from Amarna House Care Home has kindly provided the below summary of how she manages her home during flu season, to give ideas you could implement in your setting.

“We are doing the flu clinic again this year and I put up flyers. All staff are welcome to have one, and my residents have all completed consent forms we are have wine and cheese after for the brave. This will be our second successful year and everyone looks forward to it because we make it fun but with a serious note on the importance. I liaised with the GP and District nurses and we agreed to hold flu clinics on site. I encouraged staff to let the GP practice know they worked here and they were added to the list. I achieved 98% staff vaccinated last year . Boots also gave me cards to give out for free flu jabs for health workers and 5 staff used this service. We were also awarded the Gold award for vaccinating staff from NHS England and Improvement”

14 October 2019- NICE Quality Improvement Resource

The National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE) have developed a resource to help providers and commissioners of adult social care to map NICE guidelines against CQC key lines of enquiry. The tool can be used to

• Find quality statements (from our quality standards)

• Look at recommendations (from our managing medicines guidelines)

• Start conversations with provider colleagues to agree ways to improve quality of care in your area

• Agree ways to measure quality improvements.

To access the tool please follow this link

14 October 2019- Social Care Institute for Excellence Bulletin

The Social Care Institute for Excellence produce a bulletin that may be of interest to partners. The October edition includes guidance on strengths based leadership, dementia awareness e-learning, and a webinar on giving medicines covertly. To register for the bulletin please follow this link.

06 October 2019- Fire Door Safety Week

September 23 - 29 marked #FireDoorSafetyWeek, an awareness week  launched in 2013 in response to a legacy of fire door neglect. The campaign aims raise awareness of the role that fire doors play in protecting life and property. 

Often fire doors are neglected and not maintained properly, which can have devastating effects. Issues around the installation of fire doors are often seen by the fire service, and building owners are encouraged to check the operation and condition of their fire doors and report those that aren't satisfactory.

Resources and more information on how to ensure you are doing everything possible to maintain fire doors and more can be found on the Fire Door Safety Week website.

06 October 2019- Adrenaline and Flu Update from Partners in Care

Following discussions at the last Partners in Care around adrenaline and flu PGD’s, Karen Lepper has asked that the following guidance be shared.

A PGD is not needed for adrenaline 1:1000 up to 1mg for intramuscular use in anaphylaxis as it is listed in Schedule 19 of the Human Medicines Regulation 2012 which allows administration without a prescription for the purpose of saving life in an emergency.

If organisations are considering offering to immunise their own staff the flu vaccine, this resource should be used.

06 October 2019- Skills for Care Nursing News Bulletin

Skills for Care have launched a new Nursing News subscription facility on their website aimed exclusively at adult social care managers delivering services with nursing.  This gives update on their work to support the 41,000 nurses in adult social care. The first bulletin includes information from the NMC and newly released videos around the role of Nursing Associate. To subscribe to these bulletins and for more information please follow this link.

25 September 2019- September Partners in Care Forum

A big thank you to all our partners who took the time from their day to attend last week’s forum. There was a fantastic attendance of 30 individuals from across the care sector, primary care, local authority, mental health and medicines management. The group took part in detailed discussion around experiences of discharge, CHC funding processes, and how the supply of continence product service could be improved. Partners also heard about the benefits of completing the Data Security Protection Toolkit, how to prepare for flu season and issues around medication.

16 September 2019- Risks associated with 'fixed' furniture

A recent Regulation 28 Coroner’s Report to CQC has highlighted risks associated with the use of ‘fixed’ furniture in care home rooms. ‘Fixed’ furniture means cupboards, tables, chairs and so on that are fixed to the floor so that they cannot move. Sadly, the resident of a care home died recently when they fell from their bed at night, trapping their head between their bed and some fixed furniture next to it. Becoming trapped was a significant contributor to their death. Regulation 12 of the Regulated Activities Regulations requires that services are run in a safe way. A key requirement in doing so are assessments of risks to people’s safety, including in relation to premises and equipment. Providers will be familiar with this requirement and most are diligent in meeting it. Following this recent sad event, we would like to remind providers to include specific potential hazards relating to the use of fixed furniture in your continuous assessments of environmental risks, in both care homes and care at home services. Most fixed furniture is perfectly safe but may be positioned in such a way as to present avoidable hazards for some people in some circumstances. More information on risk assessment in care settings can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.

25 September 2019- StatLock  Usage

Hayley Clayton from the continence team at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust attended the September Partners in Care Meeting, and updated that use of StatLocks in the hospital have resumed. These need to be changed weekly, and can be prescribed in packs of 5. It is planned for training in their use to be delivered for all care homes and domiciliary providers, but in the meantime please find a guide to their use through this link.

09 September 2019- React To Resources

In addition to the React to Red and React to Falls training offered by the CCG, NHS England and Improvement have introduced a series of further free training resources specifically aimed at supporting the care sector. This includes the newly launched React to Infection which covers how to identify, manage and prevent flu and norovirus. The pack for this programme contains information on managing outbreaks, standard precautions and includes a short video to use in your training sessions. Other training resources available include React to Moisture, React to Feet and React to Malnutrition and Dehydration For more information on the resources please follow this link.

09 September 2019- Infection Prevention Control Bulletins: Norovirus

With flu season approaching, IPC have created a bulletin for care homes and for domiciliary providers. These contain a series of guidance around how to stop the spread of infection, as well as steps to take if you or your staff show symptoms of norovirus.

04 September 2019- React to Red Nominated for Health Service Journal Patient Safety Award 2019

The CCG are delighted to announce that the React to Red programme has been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal Patient Safety Award. The programme delivers face to face training on pressure ulcer prevention, which thanks to the unwavering determination of care home staff to keep their residents safe from harm has seen a 75% reduction in pressure ulcers reported by participating Vale of York care homes. The Quality and Nursing team will present to a panel of judges in September before winners are announced at a ceremony in November. This follows another shortlisting for the scheme in the Nursing Times Awards in the “Care for Older People” category, judging for which will also take place in September with winners announced in October. Thank you to all the hard working care staff in our area for their contribution to these nominations.

20 August 2019- Stop and Watch Tool: Congratulations Hilltop Manor

Following training on how to use the Stop and Watch tool which helps recognition and responding to deterioration in residents , Hilltop Manor have been using the tool with good effect since December. The tool has supported their care decisions and helped communication with other health professionals including residents GPs, and they have put in place processes to improve handover and communication across the team. Congratulations to Alison and the team at Hilltop.

06 August 2019- End of Life Care Strategy 2019-2024

In conjunction with our partners involved in end of life care across the Vale of York, the CCG has developed and published a strategy with the aim of ensuring all those at the end of life receive tailored and co-ordinated care. The aims of the strategy have been guided by feedback from local communities and stakeholders, including a session at Partners in Care in September 2018. These aims are:

  • Each person is seen as an individual
  • Each person gets fair access to care
  • Maximising comfort and wellbeing
  • Care is coordinated
  • All staff are prepared to care
  • Each community is prepared to help

A citizens charter has been created, setting out for members of the public what they can expect from end of life care in Vale of York in a brief, easy to read document.  To access both the strategy, charter and for further information please follow this link.

23 July 2019- Audiology in Care Homes

Emily Wilson from the audiology team at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust attended Partners in Care to give an update on how care homes can assist residents to get the maximum benefit from their hearing aids. Tips included:

• Using the coloured spots to distinguish between right (red) and left (blue)

• Battery life of hearing aids generally varies between 5 and 7 days.

• Hearing aids can be cleaned with non-corrosive wipes, and open fit hearing aids can be cleaned with a pipecleaner if unscrewed.

• A service for a hearing aid is recommended every 6 months.

Further details of the discussion can be found in the minutes from the meeting. Emily also brought a draft care plan to the meeting that can be completed by an audiologist for a resident and used upon admission to a hospital ward or discharge to a care home. If you have any feedback around this form or any queries on audiology please contact

17 July 2019- July Partners in Care Forum

A big thank you to all those partners who joined us in Easingwold for the July meeting of Partners in Care. The group welcomed Emily Wilson from the Audiology Team at York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who gave an interactive presentation on how to ensure residents are getting the maximum benefit from their hearing aids. The presentation which included guidance on battery life, cleaning and servicing can be found in the slide pack from the meeting.

There were also updates about how to open your home to nurse mentor placements, how to get involved in the React to Falls Prevention Programme, use of creams and fentanyl patches and the introduction of contracts between providers and continuing healthcare.

The minutes and slides from the meeting are available through this link, along with resources from previous meetings and dates of upcoming meetings.

17 July 2019- Trans-Dermal Patches Tracker

Following the discussion around patches at last week’s Partners in Care, St Leonards Hospice have shared a tracker which they use to monitor the use of patches. The tracker can be accessed through this link and is used to record the below information:

• That the patch is in the location where it was applied

• Signature of staff to say they have checked that it is the kind of patch, correct dose and in correct position. ( At the Hospice this is carried out twice a day, usually at some time during the early shift and then repeated on the late shift. A Registered Nurse is usually the person who signs the chart as they usually carry out the checks as part of the medication round) 

08 July 2019- Dispensing Creams Update

It has been brought to the attention of the CCG there have been some instances where topical preparations such as creams and ointments supplied via the District Nurse team do not have labels or directions meaning care staff do not have the information needed to apply them.

 The District Nursing (DN) teams obtain dressings and some topical preparations through a supplier called ONPOS to give to people directly instead of needing a prescription. This means supply of these items is quicker and more direct to support care for the person. However, this also means there is no dispensing label and the directions on how much to apply, where to apply the preparation and how often it should be applied need to be given in another way for care providers.

 Following on from this issue being raised, we have had conversations with the DN team leaders who have advised that care plans should be provided by the DNs and these should state how and where the preparation should be applied. The DN team leaders have been asked to remind all DNs to ensure they are leaving copies of care plans and if there are creams/ointments left to ensure the directions are clear.

 The details provided can be used by the care provider to prepare entries on the MAR chart and/or supplementary information for creams/ointments such as a TMAR. A blank supplementary information form is attached to this email which can be used if wished to record the information. A copy of the DNs care plan should be kept with the person’s MAR chart or in their care records at the home.

 Staff can write the person’s name on the packaging in order to identify it as belonging it to that person if necessary. The date of opening should be recorded on the packaging for creams or ointments with a short shelf life once opened.

 Going forward, if there are instances where DNs are not leaving care plans with directions, could these please be reported to with as many specific details as possible, such as the person’s details, the date of the visit, name of DN and name of care home. With these details we can feedback to the DN team leaders to improve the system as a whole

11 June 2019 - Getting Informed, Getting Prepared

The Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York have developed Getting Informed, Getting Prepared. This is a website features videos and guidance for those looking fund their own their or the care of others, including animations on who to talk around meeting the cost of care and looking for care.

To access the website please follow this link

11 June 2019 - Innov-age Magazine

Innov-age is a free magazine developed to raise awareness and share best practice surrounding the care of older people. The most recent issue was devoted to medicines optimisation, and previous issues have been based around frailty, digital health, wound care and respiratory health. Further information and to view the June issue please follow this link.

03 June 2019- Thank you to Our Partners in Care

Thank you to those that attended the Partners in Care meeting on Thursday 23 May, it was fantastic to see so many representatives from partners across the Vale of York engaging in such positive and collaborative discussion. In total a fantastic 30 colleagues from 20 different organisations and 10 care providers joined us in Riccall. The meeting heard:

  • Updates on the upcoming large scale transformation of the District Nursing Team
  • Planned introduction of contracts between care providers and Continuing Healthcare.
  • Wide ranging discussion around hospital discharge
  • Draft work on the hospital passport

The minutes of the meeting and slide packs presented at the meeting are available through this link, as are dates of future meetings.

03 June 2019-  Dementia Awareness Week 2019

The Social Care Institute for Excellence has designed an e-learning course to raise awareness of dementia among care staff. The course counts towards Tier 1 of the National Dementia Training Standards.

This video from the Alzheimer’s Society may also be useful.

03 June 2019 - Norovirus, hand hygiene and the ageing bowel

Caroline Gent from the Infection Prevention and Control Team gave May's Partners in Care an update on the number of norovirus outbreaks in 2018-19 and how these had affected care homes in our area.  Read more about this in the slide packs from the meeting. Take a look at this useful video and read about system guidance for viral respiratory conditions and viral gastroenteritis.


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