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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.

01 June 2020- PPE Latest Flowchart and Request Form- Updated

The current request form for PPE can be found through this link. The latest flow chart created on behalf of the Local Resilience Forum is available to aid decision making/risk assessment for the application of the guidance around PPE for COVID-19. This document is intended to help with local interpretation of government guidelines in community health and social care. National guidance around IPC and PPE for care providers can be found through this link.

The flowchart has been updated to include  loss of or change in sense of smell or taste. Please use the attached new form for LRF applications, document updated to include a decision making page for LRF use only.

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.


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.

26 May 2020- Briefing - Positive people discharged from hospital/ retesting

Please find  through this link a briefing on COVID retesting and people being discharged from hospital that has been authored by Dr Andrew Lee (Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health) alongside clinicians at Public Health England and City of York Council. This covers what the test is, as well as interpreting the results both early into an infection and later into the infection. The document references care homes,  however the information is relevant  to all social care providers.


26 May 2020- NHS Mail Supported and Feedback Sessions for Care Providers

 A fantastic 97 care homes and domiciliary providers from the Vale of York now have NHS Mail registered in their setting to allow secure and efficient communication with health and social care services. For providers who would like support in getting started using their account and in using Microsoft Teams, NHS England and Improvement are hosting bi-weekly webinars taking place every Tuesday and Thursday 2:00-3:00. A leaflet with details to book can be found through this link.

If you have any further queries regarding NHS Mail please contact

18 May 2020- Tiger Eye Protector Product – Removal from the Supply Chain in respect of Covid-19 Use

 The Department for Health and Social Care have released a CAS alert for certain models of protective goggles and frames, which have been tested and do not meet the current requirements for splash protection and shouldn’t be used in a Covid-19 setting. The details of the products concerned are below:

 Tiger Medical Products: Protective Goggles and Frames

Product Codes PG0001 – F and PG0001-L

Barcode for Frames: 6948548400132; Barcode for Lenses: 6948548400224

NPC for Frames (BTP083 and BTP403) and Lenses (BTP097, BTP404 and BTP439)

 The alert in full can be found through this link.

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.

18 May 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.

18 May 2020- Easy Read Out of Hospital Guidance

The original requirements for Hospital Discharge published 19 March now includes 3 easy read leaflets  covering leaving hospital , leaving hospital to go home, leaving hospital to go to a care  home. The leaflets can be found at this link

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- Bereavement Support and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

 The current outbreak is understandably difficult for those working in social care and partner organisations across the region. There are services out there than can provide support to individuals who need somebody to talk to and provide mental health support.

 St Leonards Hospice offer a bereavement service for adults which can provide a listening ear, emotional support and signpost to other services and resources that may help. A printable poster that can be displayed in your service is available through this link.

 Individuals are also able to access IAPT services by self-referral or through referral by a GP. This service offer psychological treatments for stress, anxiety and depression to anyone under the care of a GP in the Vale of York area. Further information on this service can be found through this link.

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- Staff and Resident Swabbing

 Residents in Care Homes

  • To arrange testing kits for residents please phone PHE on 0113 386 0300 this phone number will connect you to the Yorkshire and Humber Health Protection Team (HPT).  When phoning there is quite a long message however please wait for the last option which is to ‘stay on the line to be connected’ this will then enable you to speak to one of the HPT nurses.
  • The HPT nurse will require a few details from you; including the name of the care home, address, number of swabs required etc.  Once this has been completed the nurse will then arrange for swabbing kits to be delivered direct to the care home.
  • When the results are returned, please can homes share the results with the residents own GP , as they  don’t have any other way of accessing this information
  •  A useful poster outlining this process can be found through this link.

Key workers in regulated care provision  

  • CQC are contacting regulated providers directly  about arrangements in place for testing staff.

04 May 2020- Recognising and Responding to Deterioration in Residents and Clients: Workbook Now Available

This training programme offered through the CCG is now available in workbook form. The training is appropriate to both new and experienced staff and is useful to providers who have already had face to face training. The aim of the training is to assist staff in recognising and responding to ANY deterioration (including but not limited to Covid-19). Following this training is designed to equip ALL staff with knowledge and tools to communicate deterioration promptly   to teams, GP, YAS and other health and social care services

 For more information please see this flyer, or contact

04 May 2020- Capacity Tracker Updating Guidance

Thank you to all care homes for keeping their bed vacancies and business continuity/COVID reporting on the tracker up to date. A reminder to update these daily by 9:00 where possible, and to ensure the business continuity section is updated as this is used for national reporting as well as the CCG and local authorities.

NECS have produced a helpful user guide which may be useful if you need guidance on updating business continuity.

If you have any further queries about the tracker, please contact or your local authority system champion (Sarah I’Anson for CYC, Steve Crutchley for NYCC or Dorothy Montgomerie for East Riding Council)

27 April 2020- CHAD 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.

27 April 2020- Community Equipment and Wheelchair Update

Please find through this link, the second edition of the Community Equipment and Wheelchair Newsletter. This edition details the process for same day deliveries, and for keeping Medequip staff safe during the outbreak.

 Also available is out of hours process which will also be relevant for May Bank Holiday.

21 April 2020- Learning Disability and COVID-19 Resources

The LD nurses within York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have put together a set of accessible resources during the current outbreak.

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.

14 April 2020- Partnership Working with District Nurses

 Please find letters through the adjacent links sent to care homes and homecare providers on behalf York Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust

 The letter outlines some suggested temporary measures around current visits to enable District Nurses to provide a service to those who are requiring support with  managing Covid-19  symptoms or End of Life Care.

14 April 2020- Dementia and COVID-19 Resources

Please find a series of resources below with may help your provider managing residents with dementia during the outbreak

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- Managing COVID-19 in Care Homes: Guidance

  •  Please find guidance from the British Geriatric Society through this link which pulls together a range of essential information and advice 
  • Guidance from Public Health England is available through this link from PHE advising how to identify and manage COVID-19 in a care home or residential setting (including IPC guidance)
  • Public Health England have created guidance for residential care, supported living and domiciliary providers on how to manage COVID-19.

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- COVID 19: Additional Guidance

  • CQC have a dedicated section on their website, detailing changes to the way they are working during this outbreak.
  • The Humber Coast and Vale Excellence Centre has a COVID-19 resource centre focusing on training and workforce topics.

27 March 2020- Online Mental Health Support

 This is a very unsettling time and that the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) has left many feeling anxious, low in mood or stressed.  TEWV are offering a series of  information online around to manage concerns in yourself and residents during the current outbreak from their Recovery College. There is also a range of courses available which you may find helpful. TEWV are work hard to produce additional resources and courses.

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

02 March 2020-  Welcoming Clive

Clive has recently joined the Quality and Nursing Team at CCG. He previously worked for The National Institute for Health Research helping to embed dementia research across Yorkshire and Humber. Clive worked for a number of years in various roles in clinical research and has a background in nursing patients with neurological conditions.

 He has personal experience of the care home sector and has a passion for quality  improvement. In his new role,  Clive will join the care home team to support quality improvement within care homes and domiciliary providers across the Vale of York, through programmes such as React to Falls, identification of the deteriorating resident, oral health and the Care Home Capacity Tracker.

To contact Clive please email:

Information on colleagues involved in supporting care providers in the team can be found 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

18 February 2020- New Cerebral Palsy in Adults Quality Standard

NICE have produced a new quality standard for care and support of adults with cerebral palsy. This includes helpful information for domiciliary care workers, as well as social worker, vocational rehabilitation services and adults living with cerebral palsy. This includes quality improvement statements on:

  • Referral to a specialist multidisciplinary team
  • Annual review
  • Independent living referral
  • Support to work referral
  • Communication difficulties

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

03 December 2019- Alert: Risk of death and severe harm from ingesting superabsorbent polymer gel granules

 NHS England and Improvement have released a National Patient Safety Alert applicable to services including care homes, community settings and hospices.

 Superabsorbent polymer gel granules (including sachets, mats and loose powder) are used to reduce spillage onto bedding, clothing and floors when patients use urine bottles or vomit bowls, or when staff move fluid-filled containers (eg washbowls, bedpans). In 2017, NHS Improvement issued a Patient Safety Alert1 warning of the asphyxiation risk associated with the use of these gel granules. A patient died after ingesting a sachet of gel granules that had been left in a urine bottle in their room.

 Since 2017, there have been a further 12 reported incidents of ingestion by patients; two patients died, and two patients required emergency treatment. These involved polymer gel products left in their urine bottles or vomit bowls or left for nearby patients to use. These incident reports, and NHS purchasing patterns, suggest providers have been relying on local awareness raising rather than reviewing their overall approach to the use of these products. As a result of these incidents, and new guidance reinforcing that polymer gels are only required for exceptional infection control purposes this alert requires any organisation still using these products to protect patients by introducing strict restrictions on their use.

 Information on actions required are detailed through this link. The deadline for actions to be complete is 01 June 2020.

 If you have any queries relating to this alert, please contact with the reference NatPSA/2019/002/NHSPS

03 December 2019- Skills for Care Update

Angela Thompson updated the December Partners in Care Forum on the latest workforce and development developments in the Vale of York areas. These included:

• The “Every Day is Different” recruitment campaign 

• The “A Question of Care: A Career For You” tool which can act as a  pre interview test or screening tool.

• Funded leadership development programmes for both current managers and aspiring managers.

• Workshops to improve confidence in mentoring.

Further information can be found in the meeting slides.


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

05 November 2019- Medical Device Alert: T34 Syringe Driver Pumps (3rd edition models only)

Please find an alert sent by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority relating to 3rd edition models of the T34 syringe driver pumps. They are advising all use of these pumps is stopped until updated instructions for use and BodyCommTM V3.0 software are released. This is due to reports of errors and inconsistencies in instructions for use, incompatibility of software with the pumps and changes to battery life.

The deadline set for actions to be underway is 05 November, and to be completed 19 November. Details of how to raise any queries around this are included in the alert, the reference to quote will be MDA/2019/038

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”

21 October 2019- International Infection Prevention Week: 13-19 October 2019

Please find through this link the latest bulletin from Infection, Prevention, Control produced for International Infection Prevention Week which details 10 steps to protect residents from infection. All IPC bulletins for domiciliary providers and care homes are available through their website. Recent topics include norovirus, hand hygiene, nutrition and hydration and personal protective equipment.

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.

30 September 2019- T34 Ambulatory Syringe Driver Pumps

Please follow this link to view a updated guidance from the MHRA on all models of T34 ambulatory syringe drivers. This focuses on cleaning and disinfection practices, as function may be affected by fluid getting into the pump and building up over time. Contact details for any queries around this field alert are available through the link, with the reference code to quote MDA/2019/030.

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.

25 September 2019- Flu Preparations

Peter Hudson from Public Health England and Phillippa Press from City of York Council gave an update to the group on how to access vaccinations for both residents and staff. They also gave tips on how to ensure you are prepared for flu season, including:

  • Designating a named member of staff as a flu champion
  • Keeping a log of residents who have consented to or declined vaccination
  • Keeping a log of staff who have been vaccinated.
  • Displaying flu information in communal staff areas.

Full information from the update can be found in the meeting slides.

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.

27 August 2019- Statlock Catheter Fixation Devices

The Statlock catheter fixation device was stopped at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust last year following a number of incidents where a small number of patients had developed pressure ulcers associated with the use of the fixation devices. The incident reports identified key themes:

Staff were unaware of how to apply the Statlocks properly  – the catheter should be placed in the statlock device before it is attached to the skin

  • The Statlocks were incorrectly applied which caused drag on the catheter
  • Pressure Ulcers were caused by pulling and pressure from the catheter as there was no flexibility when secured by the device
  • Recommendations to change the device every 5-7 days was not followed due to supply issues

Having reviewed the key issues it has been decided that the Trust will reintroduce the use of the Statlocks but ensure training has been provided first. For any comments or queries around this please contact Clare.O'Brien@YORK.NHS.UK

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.

12 August 2019- Welcoming Ciarán

The CCG are delighted to welcome Ciarán Ferris, who has joined the Quality and Nursing team as a Clinical Leadership Fellow. Ciaran qualified from dental school in 2010 and has worked within a range of sectors including primary care, community and dental hospitals. She has spent the last 7 years working within Maxillofacial surgery both in Scotland and for the last five years at York Hospital. This change in direction and pace will prove exciting for her and she is keen to contribute towards supporting the delivery of high quality provision of care for Vale of York residents. Ciarán can be contacted at

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.

29 July 2019- Keeping Residents Safe in Warm Weather

Following on from the very high temperatures experienced in the Vale of York last week, please find national guidance from Public Health England on how to keep residents in nursing and residential homes safe. This includes a checklist to identify residents at greatest risk, keeping residents cool and how to plan in advance of future extreme temperatures. Also available through this link is general PHE guidance on protecting yourself in warm weather.

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

23 July 2019- IPC Policies for Care Home Settings

Infection Prevention Control have updated and revised their policies for care home settings. These are available to download for free through the website or can be bought as a hard copy set, and can be adopted by providers for use in their care home. Further information can be found through the latest IPC bulletin, which also contains information around the new IPC website and an upcoming IPC leads event.

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

17 June 2019 - Medicines in health and adult social care

CQC have produced a report sharing the learning from risks and good practice in medicines optimisation. a report sharing the learning from risks and good practice in medicines optimisation, which they have found on our inspections. 
Medicines optimisation is the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes for people. It also looks at the value that medicines deliver, making sure that they are both clinically and cost effective, and that people get the right choice of medicines, at the right time, with clinicians engaging them in the process. CQC have categorised the most common areas of risk with medicines across regulated health and adult social care services. You can read these in more detail, along with suggested actions for all health and social care providers in the main report which can be accessed through this link.

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.

21 May 2019 - Do you know exactly what a registered nurse in social care does?

If not, this is your chance to find out. Skills for Care are delighted to announce that for the first time a statement of role, knowledge and skills for the 42,000 registered nurses working in social care has been launched. It’s called ‘Registered nurses: recognising the responsibilities and contribution of registered nurses within social care’. It provides a description of the complex role that nurses undertake and demonstrates the way that they not only use all of their nursing knowledge, but also contribute to important national health and social care agendas. Find out more and download the statement here.

7 May 2019 - Transporting Patients in Slings

Yorkshire Ambulance Service have informed the CCG of a serious incident involving a patient being injured by slipping from a wheelchair whilst travelling in a hoist sling. One of the areas of learning identified was that the sling had contributed to the patient slipping from the wheelchair. The main recommendation from the report was that patients should no longer be transported in hoist slings, and that was to continue with this practice was un safe.

Available through these links is the letter and poster that has been distributed to the care and nursing homes that YAS collect patients from. If there is a specific medical or clinical need that the patient still needs to travel in a hoist sling then a specific risk assessment at the point of booking can be arranged. This can take up to 72 hours to complete.    


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