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Covid-19 – reference for health and social care providers and professionals

This page is up to date as at 25 September 2020.

To assist health and social care providers we set out below links to key documents and guidance which have been published and implemented to assist the sector in dealing with the impact of coronavirus. Whilst the links below reflect the most recent position, we suggest that providers also refer to the website regularly for updates.

Click here to visit our team page for all our contact details.

The Home Office

  • NHS surcharge to be scrapped for migrant healthcare workers

The Prime Minister has requested that the Home Office and the DHSC remove NHS and care workers from the NHS surcharge arrangements. Full details are yet to be announced but the latest on this story can be found on the BBC News website. (21 May)

Department of Health and Social Care

  • Responding to COVID-19: the ethical framework for adult social care

The framework intends to provide support to ongoing response planning and decision-making to ensure that ample consideration is given to a series of ethical values and principles when organising and delivering social care for adults in the context of increasing pressures. Click here for our briefing on the framework.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): hospital discharge service requirements

This document sets out how health and care systems and providers should change their discharging arrangements and the provision of community support during the coronavirus situation.

  • Care Act easements: guidance for local authorities

This guidance sets out how Local Authorities can use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to ensure the best possible care for people in our society during this exceptional period.

  • The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

This guidance is for hospitals, care homes and supervisory bodies and is only valid during the COVID-19 pandemic and applies to those caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment. The principles of the MCA and the safeguards provided by DoLS still apply. A flow chart is provided to assist decision makers and a shortened Urgent Authorisation form is annexed.

  • Detailed Guidance and a Policy Paper – 15 April 2020

Click here for guidance on coronavirus testing for critical workers who are self-isolating.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult social care action plan provides details of how the government will support the adult social care sector in England throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

The policy paper sets out the government’s plan for:

  1. controlling the spread of infection in care settings
  2. supporting the workforce
  3. supporting independence, supporting people at the end of their lives, and responding to individual needs
  4. supporting local authorities and the providers of care

The plan applies to all settings and contexts in which people receive adult social care. This includes people’s own homes, residential care homes and nursing homes, and other community settings. It applies to people with direct payments and personal budgets, and those who fund their own care.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested (updated 19 May 2020)

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): health and well-being of the adult social care workforce (updated 11 May 2020)

This guidance gives advice for those working in adult social care on managing personal mental health and also provides adult social care employers with guidance, tools and advice on how to take care of the well-being of staff at work.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): informing DHSC of the death of a worker in social care (20 May 2020)

This guidance explains how local authorities and social care providers can tell DHSC about the death of an employee or volunteer in social care.

  • Simplifying the recruitment process for care providers during Covid-19

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, an online platform has been built for care providers to help to simplify their recruitment process. Free training and DBS checks are available. Click here for more information.

  • NHS test and trace: how it works

An overview of the NHS test and trace service, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive. (published 27 May 2020)

  • NHS test and trace: workplace guidance

Guidance on the NHS test and trace service for employers, businesses and workers. (published 27 May 2020). See also our briefing on sick pay entitlement.

  • Letter from the Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately MP to Council Leaders emphasising the need for data to coordinate national and local response.

The letter highlights that completion of the Capacity Tracker by care homes is a condition of access to the Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. Highlights that completion of the Capacity Tracker by care homes is a condition of access to the Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care – see this link.

  • Whole Home testing extended and setting up of COVID-19 Support Taskforce

Every care home in England will now be offered a coronavirus test for all residents and staff, even if they have no symptoms. (Press release 8 June 2020)

  • Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund

Guidance setting out the infection control measures that the infection control fund will support, including information on the distribution of funds and reporting requirements. (9 June 2020)

  • Guidance for commissioners, people receiving direct payments and care providers

Guidance updated on 10 June 2020.

  • World first coronavirus treatment approved for NHS use by government

The government has immediately authorised the NHS to use the world’s first coronavirus treatment proven to reduce the risk of death. Click here for the press release (published 16 June)

  • Steps to take following the death of an adult social care worker

Guidance published on 19 June, see also our briefing.

  • Press release – Plans to ease guidance for over 2 million shielding from 6 July 2020

  • New saliva test for coronavirus piloted in Southampton

GP staff, other essential key workers, university employees and members of their households will be among the first groups to participate in the pilot, with test kits delivered either to their home or place of work for them to complete every week.

  • Thousands to be offered repeat testing in care homes10,000 residents and staff across over 100 care homes will be given coronavirus tests as part of a new surveillance study (published 25 June)
  • Press release – Health Secretary calls on country to get tested as access is expanded even further

Six new ‘walk through’ local testing sites are now offering appointments to people in England, with the capacity to test hundreds of people each day (26 June 2020).

  • The Health Service and Social Care Workers (Scrutiny of Coronavirus-related Deaths) Directions 2020 – Statutory guidance

Directions to NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts in England to ensure the scrutiny of deaths of health service and adult social care staff from coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Types and uses of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests – Guidance

Guidance on the different types of coronavirus test available.

  • Government launches Health and Care Visa to ensure UK health and care services have access to the best global talent

The new Health and Care Visa will make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals from around the world to come to the UK.

  • New powers and framework to help contain coronavirus (COVID-19) locally

A new framework setting out how to manage COVID-19 outbreaks through the use of national and local expertise has been published by the government.

  • In-person coronavirus testing continues to deliver results the next day – press release

Sixth week of NHS Test and Trace figures shows anyone getting a test at a regional test site or mobile testing unit can expect their result by the next day.

  • Press release – Millions could be vaccinated against COVID-19 as UK secures strong portfolio of promising vaccines

The UK has secured early access to 90 million doses of promising coronavirus vaccine candidates.

  • Oral statement to Parliament – Next stages in the NHS Test and Trace plan

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock spoke about measures to increase testing and support the NHS this winter, and the latest vaccine developments.

  • Guidance on visiting care homes during COVID-19

This is the delayed guidance from the Government. See also our briefing.

  • Press release – Most comprehensive flu programme in UK history will be rolled out this winter

Providers will work to vaccinate more than 30 million people during this flu season – millions more than received it last year.

  • Press release – Face coverings mandatory in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed transport hubs from Friday 24 July

Face coverings must be worn in additional enclosed public spaces from 24 July in England, as the government takes further steps to help curb the spread of the virus.

  • Press release – Health and care workers to self-isolate on return to UK from high-risk countries

Registered health and care professionals travelling to the UK from high-risk countries will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, the government has confirmed.

  • Press release – NHS Test and Trace launches campaign to encourage everyone with symptoms to get a free test

NHS Test and Trace will launch the new campaign alongside a new business plan to expand testing capacity and prepare the nation for winter.

  • News story – Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on extension of self-isolation period: 30 July 2020

The self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or a positive test result.

  • Press release – Roll-out of 2 new rapid coronavirus tests ahead of winter

Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will be rolled out across NHS hospitals, care homes and labs from next week.

  • Press release – Updates to the shielding programme on national and regional levels

Shielding guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable to be paused from 1 August across England.

  • Press release – NHS Test and Trace service to strengthen regional contact tracing

NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England will extend its partnership with local authorities to reach more people testing positive and their contacts.

  • Press release – Research study into long-term health impacts of COVID-19 launched in the UK

One of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term health impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on hospitalised patients has been launched, the Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock has announced.

  • Press release – Largest testing programme for coronavirus shows virus continued to decline in June

One of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term health impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on hospitalised patients has been launched, the Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock has announced.

New NHS Test and Trace app begins trial phase, as latest statistics show the service is consistently reaching the majority of people testing positive and their contacts.

Findings published by Imperial College London today suggest that 6% of the population in England, around 3.4 million people, have been infected with COVID-19.

  • Press release – £5 million for social prescribing to tackle the impact of COVID-19

The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) has been awarded £5 million in funding to support people to stay connected and maintain their health and wellbeing following the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Correspondence – Secretary of State message to the NHS on the coronavirus response

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock thanks the NHS workforce for the dedication they have shown in the national effort against coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Press release – Government creates new National Institute for Health Protection

A brand new organisation whose primary focus is public health protection and infectious disease capability is being established by the government.

  • Speech – The future of public health

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock spoke at Policy Exchange about the future of public health.

  • Press release – Expansion of national testing study will offer new COVID-19 insights

Infection survey to expand from testing 28,000 people per fortnight to 150,000 by October.

  • Statutory Guidance – The Exercise of Commissioning Functions by the NHS Commissioning Board (Coronavirus) (No 2) Directions 2020
  • Press release – More than half a billion pounds to help people return from hospital

People needing additional follow-on care after being discharged from hospital will be supported by a £588 million fund to cover adult social care or the immediate costs of care in their own home.

  • Press release – NHS Test and Trace successfully reaches over 80% of close contacts since launch

More than 272,000 people have now been reached by NHS Test and Trace.

  • Guidance – Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirus (Covid-19)

Information for adult social care providers on COVID-19 guidance and support.

  • Guidance – Hospital discharge service: policy and operating model

Sets out how health and care systems should support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital.

  • Press release – £500m funding for quick result Covid-19 test trials

A new £500 million funding package will be invested in next generation testing technology and increased testing capacity.

  • Guidance – Supporting people outside of their home

For people who need support when outside their home and people who provide this support during coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity.

Guidance for health and social care staff who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity. Updated: ‘The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’. Sections ‘Summary of key points’ and ‘Supervisory bodies’ include updated information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals. Updated attachment: ‘The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance’. Section ‘Best interest decisions’ includes updated information about decisions related to elective surgery and other procedures. Sections ‘Depriving a person of their liberty’ and ‘Supervisory bodies’ include updated information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals.

  • Press release – Government delivers 250,000 clear face masks to support people with hearing loss

250,000 clear face masks are to be delivered to front-line NHS and social care workers to support better care for people who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate.

  • Press release – £500 million funding for quick result COVID-19 test trials

A new £500 million funding package will be invested in next generation testing technology and increased testing capacity.

  • Press release – New campaign to prevent spread of coronavirus indoors this winter

The ‘Hands. Face. Space’ public information campaign urges the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak.

  • Guidance – Making a support bubble with another household

How you can safely expand the group of people you have close contact with during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers

Guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers on the regulations and legal obligations of running testing programmes.

  • Press release – Largest testing programme for coronavirus reinforces need for vigilance

The third report from the country’s largest study on coronavirus rates of infection has been published today showing that cases are increasing steadily across the country.

  • Guidance – Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information for adult social care providers on COVID-19 guidance and support.

  • Correspondence – COVID-19 infection rises: letter to care providers from Director of Adult Social Care Delivery

Stuart Miller has written to care providers to highlight rising infection rates and request action on testing and PPE in all care settings.

  • Press release – New measures to improve patient care ahead of winter

A&Es in 25 hospitals will receive a share of £150 million in funding to upgrade, reduce overcrowding and improve infection control ahead of winter.

  • Press release – More than £500 million for social care to reduce coronavirus transmission over winter

Care providers will be given an extra £546 million to bolster infection control and help protect residents and staff throughout winter.

Oral statement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on coronavirus and the government’s plans to put us in the strongest possible position for this winter.

  • Press release – New Lighthouse Labs to boost NHS Test and Trace capacity

Two new Lighthouse Labs in Newcastle and Bracknell will join the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history to help scale up testing capacity ahead of winter.

  • Press release – New plan to help protect care homes from coronavirus over winter

A new adult social care winter plan will aim to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in care settings throughout the winter months.

  • Guidance – Privacy notice for maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

This privacy notice describes how the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will process personal data from venues and establishments to support contact tracing.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus antibody home test kit: taking a blood sample

Guidance and video to help you do your antibody test correctly, post your sample and get your results.

  • Guidance – Hospital discharge service: policy and operating model

Sets out how health and care systems should support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock spoke about the government response to the recent acceleration of coronavirus, including an isolation support payment and testing allocation.

  • Press release – NHS COVID-19 app launches across England and Wales

NHS COVID-19 app launches to help control coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

Parliament – See

  • Coronavirus Bill: Summary of Impacts

This summary of impacts relates to clauses within the Coronavirus Bill. It is noted that the policies in the Bill are designed for use temporarily in an emergency. They are noted to be strong in nature, and risks have been considered and discussed throughout this assessment, but it is recognised that in a pandemic situation, with potentially very high counterfactual costs, firm actions may be the most desirable to protect individuals.

  • The Coronavirus Act 2020

The Coronavirus Act 2020 is now in force, although some provisions only come into effect by way of regulations.

For a summary of the changes to mental health legislation, read this briefing produced by Tom Ringland and Alexandra Johnstone.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Commencement No. 2) Regulations 2020 – Section 15 (local authority care and support) of, and Part 1 of Schedule 12 (powers and duties of local authorities in England) to the Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force on 31 March 2020.

  • The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020

Schedule 21 para 24(1) Coronavirus Act 2020 revokes The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/129).

Cabinet Office

  • Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do (Updated 1 May 2020)

Government guidance in respect of leaving the house and travel including updated advice for people with learning disabilities or autism.

  • Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

This guidance sets out the Government’s road-map for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis (published 11 May 2020).

  • PM announces further easing of lockdown restrictions from 4 July Press release – 23 June 2020.
  • Press release – Review of two metre social distancing guidance and summary of review findings (published 24 June)
  • Press release – Government response to article published in the FT on Wednesday 24 June on ventilators
  • Press release – Disabled people exempt from wearing face coverings under new government guidance

The Government has set out a list of face covering exemptions, as they are mandatory in additional enclosed spaces from today (Friday 24 July).

  • Guidance – ‘Please give me space’ social distancing cards or badges

Optional badges that can be used to show the carrier may have difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing.

  • Guidance – What has changed – 9 September

The government has announced new measures to suppress the virus and keep the number of infections down.

The Prime Minister’s office

  • Speech – Chief Scientific Advisor and Chief Medical Officer briefing on coronavirus (COVID-19): 21 September 2020

Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty gave a data briefing on coronavirus.

  • Speech – PM Commons statement on coronavirus: 22 September 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on coronavirus to the House of Commons.

Disclosure and Barring Service

  • COVID-19: Changes to standard and enhanced ID checking guidelines

To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out, the DBS standard and enhanced ID checking guidance will be changed for a temporary period. The change is in effect from 19 March 2020 and allows for ID documents to be viewed over video link and scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted.

  • Quicker recruitment during COVID-19​

Measures have been put in place to provide DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists, free-of-charge. This will apply to healthcare and social care workers being recruited in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

The new measures will permit employers to appoint new recruits into the sector so long as they are not barred and that appropriate steps are taken to manage these employees until full DBS checks have been received.

  • CQC guidance on DBS checks

The CQC has issued interim guidance in response to temporary changes being made by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to DBS applications and processes.

Public Health England

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance: healthcare professionals (updated 18 May 2020)

A number of targeted guidance documents can be accessed from this link, these relate to primary care, ambulance and community services, infection control and also address what to do when providers have a diagnosed case within their facility. Guidance for the management of staff and patients exposed to the virus was updated on 18 May 2020. The guidance covers staff exposures, staff return to work criteria and patient exposures.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): residential care, supported living and home care guidance

The guidance sets out how to maintain delivery of care in the event of an outbreak or widespread transmission of COVID-19 and what to do if care workers or individuals being cared for have symptoms of COVID-19. Read our briefing for a summary of the guidance for care homes.

  • COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable (updated 18 May 2020)

Public Health England is strongly advising people with serious underlying health conditions (designated extremely vulnerable), to follow shielding measures rigorously in order to keep themselves safe and avoid the very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. The guidance is equally relevant for providers and for friends and family caring for people with the conditions listed. Read our briefing which summarises the guidance.

  • Considerations for acute personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages (17 April 2020 – now updated)

This guidance aims to highlight the sessional use and reuse of PPE when there are severe shortages of supply. The considerations are to ensure that health and care workers are appropriately protected from COVID-19, where items of PPE are unavailable, and should be considered as temporary measures until the global supply chain is adequate to meet the UK’s needs.

  • Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)

Updated guidance was issued on 27 April on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health and social care workers, in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. It supersedes previous PPE guidance. This guidance relates solely to considerations of PPE, represents one section of infection prevention and control guidance for COVID-19 and should be used in conjunction with local policies.

The main changes are:

  • enhanced PPE recommendations for a wide range of health and social care contexts
  • inclusion of individual and organisational risk assessment at local level to inform PPE use
  • recommendation of single sessional (extended) use of some PPE items
  • re-usable PPE can be used. Advice on suitable decontamination arrangements should be obtained from the manufacturer, supplier or local infection control
  • guidance for when case status is unknown and SARS-CoV-2 is circulating at high levels
  • recommendation on patient use of facemasks
  • recommendation on the use of disposable fluid repellent coveralls as an alternative to long sleeved fluid repellent gowns for aerosol generating procedures or when working in higher risk acute areas. Staff need to be trained in the safe removal of coveralls [10 April 2020]
  • COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes (updated 27 April 2020)

This resource provides guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for care workers working in care homes during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK. It explains how PPE guidance applies to the care home setting and is drawn from full infection prevention and control (IPC) and PPE guidance.

  • COVID-19: infection prevention and control guidance

The guidance is issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health Wales (PHW), Public Health Agency (PHA) Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Public Health Scotland, Public Health England and NHS England as official guidance.

Updated 27 April 2020 to include the PHE statement regarding NERVTAG review and consensus on cardiopulmonary resuscitation as an aerosol generating procedure.

  • Guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) (updated 15 May)

This guidance is to assist people who are required to manage the bodies of deceased persons during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • A descriptive review of data on disparities in the risk and outcomes from COVID-19. (Published June 2020)

Among people already diagnosed with COVID-19, people who were 80 or older were seventy times more likely to die than those under 40. Risk of dying among those diagnosed with COVID-19 was also higher in males than females; higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those living in the least deprived; and higher in those in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups than in White ethnic groups.

Easing coronavirus health measures at the UK border; exempting passengers from self-isolation requirements in certain circumstances on arrival in the UK. (Published 29 June).

Insights from new evidence on the relationship between excess weight and coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • News story – Public Health England to be replaced

Public Health England is to be replaced by a new agency that will specifically deal with protecting the country from pandemics, according to a report. Further details to be released in August.

  • Press release – 10,000 people now signed up to Covid-19 immunity study

A nationwide effort led by PHE to find out whether people who had COVID-19 can get infected again has now recruited 10,000 health workers from across the NHS.

  • Guidance – Covid-19 potentially infectious people
  • Guidance – COVID-19: long-term health effects

Information and guidance on persistent health problems reported following acute COVID-19 disease.

  • News story – Public Health England launches new Every Mind Matters campaign

Mental health campaign supports the well-being of children, young people and their parents.

  • Press release – Record numbers offered flu vaccine as those with flu and COVID-19 more likely to die

New Public Health England research suggests that people infected with both viruses between January and April were more at risk of severe illness and death.

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs

How to dispose of your personal or business waste, including face coverings and personal protective equipment (PPE), during the coronavirus pandemic.

Care Quality Commission

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

The CQC has changed the way they will operate during the coronavirus outbreak. The changes relate to how they work day to day and affect how people communicate and/or send applications or other information. Providers should subscribe to bulletins and follow the CQC’s Twitter feed to receive the latest updates.

  • Routine inspections suspended in response to coronavirus outbreak

The CQC has written to all registered health and social care providers about how they are adapting their regulatory approach in response to the coronavirus outbreak. This includes the suspension of routine inspections from 16 March 2020.

There are no changes to the requirements to make notifications or the system used to make them. Providers should continue to notify the CQC of deaths and of events that preclude the carrying on of services ‘safely and properly’ (Regulation 18).

  • Supporting adult social care through COVID-19

The regulator has published answers to questions asked by adult social care providers during the coronavirus outbreak (updated 19 May 2020).

Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Kate Terroni, discusses how the Care Quality Commission is working to support those working in adult social care to keep people using services and staff safe in these unprecedented times.

  •  Death notifications

Notifications about deaths must be sent to CQC without delay in accordance with Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009: Regulation 16. Providers must use forms provided by CQC to make notifications under the regulation. The  Death of a person using the service – notification form has been updated to include coronavirus (COVID-19) as a cause of death. The form also asks where the death occurred.

  •  Covid-19 registrations (updated 17 April 2020)

This guidance deals with the interim registration process to help meet urgent capacity needs in social care and community services.

  •  COVID-19: interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks (updated 19 May 2020)

The regulator has produced interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks, for providers recruiting staff and volunteers to health and social care services in response to coronavirus (updated 19 May).

  • Inappropriate use of sedative medicines to enforce social distancing guidelines (28 April 2020)

CQC has produced guidance in relation to managing vulnerable people who may not understand social distancing guidelines.

  • Emergency support framework: what to expect

The regulator has developed an emergency support framework that it intends to follow during the pandemic.

  • Understanding the impact of coronavirus on autistic people and people with a learning disability (updated 14 May)

The regulator is doing further work on the data care homes submit to CQC about the deaths of people in their care so that it can better understand the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on specific groups of people, including autistic people and people with a learning disability.

  • Care Quality Commission and Association of Directors of Adult Social Care Services joint statement on CQC’s Emergency support framework (published 20 May 2020)

Statement from CQC and ADASS on the CQC’S Emergency Support Framework and how they will work collaboratively.

  • Insight report into healthcare sector pressures

This Insight document intended to highlight COVID-19 related pressures on the sectors that CQC regulates.  ​

  • CQC publishes data on deaths of people with a learning disability (published 2 June)

Supported by ONS, CQC has completed a targeted piece of analysis to better understand the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on people with a learning disability, some of whom may also be autistic, and how the number of deaths during this period compares to the number of deaths last year.

  • Questions for inspectors on infection prevention and control for NHS acute and mental health trusts (updated 22 June)

Guidance for NHS can be accessed here.

CQC has released new guidance on closed cultures for their inspection teams, to support them to continue to improve how CQC identify and respond to services that might be at risk of developing closed cultures. They are also looking for appropriately experienced  people to join an Expert Advisory Group with places to be allocated via an Expression of Interest process (23 June 2020). Click here for our briefing on closed cultures.

Considerations for providers when arranging vaccination services

CQC confirm a managed return to routine inspection of lower risk services in the autumn with Inspectors scheduling inspections of higher risk services to take place over the summer.

Nursing and Midwifery Council

  • Joint statement on expanding the nursing workforce in the Covid-19 outbreak

The NMC describes the actions that are being put into place to deal with this emergency situation. The NMC will continue to explore other options to expand the nursing workforce as this rapidly changing situation evolves.

  • Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions

The NMC has put together this guide to address some common questions about their role as a regulator when it comes to coronavirus (Covid-19). The guidance will be updated as the situation progresses. Broadly it relates to the temporary register and students on placements.

Regulators of Health and Care Professions

  • Regulators’ joint statement to healthcare professionals

The regulators of health and care professionals in the UK have taken the unusual step of issuing a joint statement in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The regulators’ statement is intended to reassure those providing healthcare that the context of their actions will be taken into account should concerns be raised about their care as they tackle the crisis. For further details, see our briefing by Gareth Gibson and Simon Gomersall.

NHS Employers

  • Guidance regarding staff welfare

Click here for guidance on staff wellbeing and support and employers’ duty of care. The guidance also addresses the steps to be communicated to staff to ensure infection control procedures are followed and guidance on use of personal protective equipment and specific considerations for staff with underlying health conditions. Should you have any questions in relation to this guidance please contact our specialist employment team.

Click here for other employment briefings from our team.

NHS England

  • Legal guidance for mental health, learning disability and autism, and specialised commissioning services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic (updated  19 May 2020)

This guidance concerns the impact of COVID-19 on the use of the Mental Health Act and supporting systems to safeguard the legal rights of people receiving mental health, learning disabilities and specialised commissioned mental health services.

  • Supporting patients of all ages who are unwell with coronavirus (COVID-19) in mental health, learning disability, autism, dementia and specialist inpatient facilities (updated to reflect changes in the case definition for Covid-19 from 18 May 2020)

This guidance has been assessed to identify potential equality impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with mental health problems or a learning disability and/or autism.

  • Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism COVID-19 cell bulletin

This bulletin provides those working in organisations across health, care and support systems with a round-up of the new guidance, communication activities and information coming out of the NHS England and Improvement Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism COVID-19 cell. It is recommended for staff members in social care, the voluntary and independent sectors and the NHS.

  • Addressing impact of COVID-19 on BAME staff in the NHS

This guidance facilitates an understanding of which groups are most at risk, so  concerted action can be taken to protect them. Key areas of focus for NHS England and NHS Improvement are set out.

The creation of a new centre to investigate the impact of race and ethnicity on people’s health.

The NHS Business Services Authority

  • New life assurance scheme

A new life assurance scheme has been introduced for eligible frontline health and social care workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Resuscitation Council

  • Guidance for the resuscitation of COVID-19 patients in hospital

Guidance regarding CPR. Providers are advised to identify as early as possible any patients with a COVID-19 like illness, who are at risk of acute deterioration or cardiac arrest and to take appropriate steps to prevent cardiac arrest and avoid unprotected CPR.

Health and Safety Executive

  • RIDDOR reporting of Covid-10.

This guidance deals with reporting requirements under RIDDOR.

Made by employers to HSE and Local Authorities since 10 April 2020

British Geriatric Society

  • COVID-19: Managing the COVID-19 pandemic in care homes

This guidance has been developed to help care home staff and NHS staff who work with residents of care homes and their families to support them through the pandemic. It covers practical matters such as isolating residents suspected of having the virus and how to approach end of life care planning.

  • Managing delirium in confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19

Consensus advice outlining recommendations for management of delirium; good general care including prevention, early detection, and non-pharmacological management should be provided as systems allow. Because of the ease of transmission of COVID-19, the risk of harm to others may exceed risk of harm to the individual and this may necessitate earlier use of pharmacological treatment.


  • Joint Statement on advance care planning

The joint statement emphasises the importance of having an advanced care plan in place, especially for older people, those who are frail or have other serious conditions. This is clear that it is unacceptable for advance care plans, with or without DNAR form completion to be applied to groups of people of any description.

Please contact any member of our team for questions or advice.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for care homes

This guidance sets out the support package to keep care homes safe during the coronavirus pandemic.(updated 19 May).

The Association of Directors of Public Health (UK)

  • Warning from the body representing public health directors about the pace of easing restrictions  (published May 31)

The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman

The PHSO has indicated that it will not accept new health service complaints nor progress existing ones where this requires contact with the NHS. We will keep the situation under close and regular review.


The BDA has reported clarification from NHS England about the way in which mixed practices will be able to obtain financial support. NHS England has confirmed that practices can seek Government supported related to the private aspect of practice income without disqualifying themselves from the NHSE support in respect of NHS income.

The BDA also report that a petition seeking support for directors of small limited companies, such as many dental practice owners, has been signed by more than 200,000 people.

The College of Podiatry

The College of Podiatry is publishing guidance for its members on practice during the Coronavirus crisis.

Royal College of Physicians in London

The Royal College of Physicians has published ethical guidance for frontline staff.

The Faculty of General Dental Practitioners

  • Guidance for the safe management of general dental practice (published 1 June)
  • Our briefing on the return to work for dental practices during Covid-19 (9 June)

Department for Transport

  • Guidance on face coverings on public transport

From 15 June, face coverings will be required while using public transport in England


  • Guidance for employers on workplace testing

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

  • Letter to all local authorities in England to update them on funding to support interventions for those placed in emergency accommodation, and support for EEA rough sleepers (30 June 2020)
  • Press release – Jenrick extends ban on evictions and notice periods

The ban on evictions extended for another 4 weeks and new 6 month notice periods to be in place until at least 31 March 2021.

  • Press release – 274 councils set to receive housing support for vulnerable people

The funding will provide interim accommodation and support as part of the government’s commitment to end rough sleeping.

  • Guidance – Public health funerals: good practice guidance

Non-statutory guidance for local authorities in England and Wales on public health funerals.

  • Guidance – Local Covid-19 outbreaks: lessons learnt and good practice

The report of Dame Mary Ney’s rapid stocktake of lessons learnt from the Leicester City/Leicestershire experience of responding to a local surge in COVID-19 cases.

Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy

  • Press release – Over £100 million cash boost to manufacture millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine

New state-of-the-art centre to scale up COVID-19 vaccine and gene therapy manufacturing gets £100 million investment.

  • Press release – UK government secures new Covid-19 vaccines and backs global clinical trial

UK citizens will receive early access to 90 million doses of 2 COVID-19 vaccine candidates should they prove safe and effective.

  • Press release – Public encouraged to register for COVID-19 vaccine trials as 100,000 already sign-up

Over 100,000 people have volunteered to take part in COVID-19 vaccine trials, helping to speed up efforts to discover a safe and effective vaccine.

Ministry of Justice

  • Press release – Video-witnessed wills to be made legal during coronavirus pandemic

The Government is to legalise the remote witnessing of wills – making it easier for people to record their final wishes during the coronavirus pandemic. See also our briefing on this topic.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

  • NICE publishes new COVID-19 rapid guideline on arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services

NICE has published a guideline on the arrangements the NHS should put in place for patients needing elective surgery and other planned treatments and procedures (including diagnostics and imaging) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government Equalities Office, Race Disparity Unit

  • Correspondence – COVID-19 health disparity review: letter to stakeholders

Minister for Equalities Kemi Badenoch’s letter to stakeholder engagement participants to the Public Health England Review, to thank them for their work and invite them to further engage with government.

Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport

  • Press release – Prime Minister announces stronger enforcement measures as easements resume

The Government has announced a series of tough new enforcement measures targeting the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions.

Government Digital Service

  • Guidance – Get coronavirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person: privacy notice

Privacy notice for the service providing coronavirus support to clinically extremely vulnerable people.