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Care providers Coronavirus help


The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation is rapidly changing so Wiltshire Council has collated all the important guidance for Wiltshire care providers. We will continually update this page with new guidance and resources.

If you are concerned about the health of someone, please visit the NHS COVID-19 web page or call the NHS on 111, or 999 in an emergency.

Provider Coronavirus Commissioning Contact

We have set up a team to assist providers with any queries that they may have. We will update providers regularly through emails, as well through this web page. If you are one of our providers and are not receiving these updates, please email CandF.Commissioning@wiltshire.gov.uk or call 01225 718777

Wiltshire Care providers can also use this email address for any information, guidance or support on the situation.

Providers will be able to seek support from us between 8am - 6pm either by phone or email.

Provider webinars/Conference Calls

We will be holding a Provider webinar to discuss your Coronavirus queries and any information that we have to share.

We have another opportunity for both Care Home and Home Care providers to have their queries answered by Helen, with a skype call booked for Thursday 9 April at 11am.

Providers can join us by phone by calling 01225 711199

And entering the Conference ID: 56269906

Please send any queries to CandF.Commissioning@wiltshire.gov.uk. Please make it clear that this query is intended for the skype call for Helen by indicating in the subject title Webinar query. There will be a Q & A panel within the webinar for you to submit any further queries. Please see link to guidance to help with the use of the Q and A panel.

Information for providers 

Together for short lives have produced a webinar for parents, individuals with health needs and professionals.

Altura Learning have produced a training video to help with infection control and other issues during the COVID-19 outbreak and with their kind permission we have placed a link to it below.

Please see the latest guidelines from Government regarding DBS ID checks.

The following advice is from Wiltshire Council HR and particularly helpful if you have staff who need to isolate long term:

This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers'. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.

You will need to:

  1. Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,' and notify your employees of this change changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.
  2. Once the new online portal is live, submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).

Media enquiries guidance for care homes

Guidance for care homes for dealings with media enquiries relating to coronavirus

Guidance PDF (145kb)

Joint statement from Wiltshire Car Partnership, Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group which was issued on Friday 27 March 2020. 

Letters to our Children and Adults Care providers from our CEO for people, Terence Herbert

Thank you PDF (191kb)

Advice from BSW CCG

  • As of the 18 March 2020 National guidance has been released for Care Homes, this does not prevent visitors from seeing family. To minimise the risk of transmission, care home providers are advised to review their visiting policy, by asking no one to visit who has suspected COVID-19 or is generally unwell, and by emphasising good hand hygiene for visitors. Contractors on site should be kept to a minimum. The review should also consider the well being of residents, and the positive impact of seeing friends and family.
  • Community Provider up-date:

a) We are restricting Visitors and will only allow 1 person to visit per patient on our community wards (we are not allowing any visitors under the age of 18 years old)

b) Where our staff have nursing or therapy appointments with residents in Care Homes, assurance can be given that our normal infection control procedures will be adhered to.

c) If patients were to test positive, we would use normal barrier nursing precautions following clear guidance, this can be provided if helpful.

d) Patients are being screened before transfer to community wards, care homes or intermediate beds, this position will continue to be reviewed as we receive national guidance. We will provide a further BSW position statement on Friday if we have not received national community response guidance by that date.

  • Many providers asking us whether customers being discharged from the acutes are being tested. At the point of discharge, the acutes/hospitals will state that the individual being discharged:
  1. Has been reviewed by a senior clinician who has approved their discharge
  2. Does not have a temperature >37.8
  3. Does not have a persistent dry cough

Current position on staff testing for COVID-19:

The  COVID-19 testing policy is determined by the Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England (PHE). This includes any testing requirements for frontline staff. On the 29 March 2020, all NHS organisations were informed by NHSE/I that staff testing was to be increased, starting with those staff working in identified high risk areas, such as intensive care units.

Over time, the Government aims to increase staff testing to other frontline health and care workers, including those staff in the social care setting. Nationally, appropriate testing kits are being sourced to achieve this, together with a planned increase in dedicated laboratory hubs. 

There is currently no national guidance available that advocates use of COVID 19 testing kits from any other sources, as results cannot be validated.

There are also no validated anti-body tests, although there are a number of companies known to be marketing these tests. These also, should not be used.

Further information from a recent Government communication can be found on the Gov.uk website.

PPE Advice for Providers 

Release from Pandemic flu stock

  • Free distribution of fluid repellent facemasks from the pandemic flu stock started on 18 March and will aim to be complete by Tuesday 25 March.
  • Every care home and home care provider will receive at least 300 facemasks. 
  • Providers don't need to do anything. Stock will be delivered using addresses from the CQC register.

PPE Types

  • The most recent guidance on PPE has been jointly published by Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health Wales (PHW), Public Health Agency (PHA) Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and Public Health England as official guidance. 
  • Based on this, the PPE types for care homes and homecare at this time are: 

o Disposable gloves

o Disposable plastic aprons

o Fluid repellent face masks

  • The COVID-19 team has had some requests for gowns and FFP3 masks. We won't be making these available at this time. This will allow stock to be available where it is most needed. 
  • However, if you do have a service within Wiltshire that carries out aerosol generating procedures (AGP) please contact our COVID-19 team.

Council Stock 

  • The release from pandemic flu stock is to help manage the initial rise in demand following the recent change in guidance. 
  • The Council is also buying PPE for social care providers from regular NHS supply chains to support the sector longer term. 
  • At 19th March we have orders placed for fluid repellent masks. We are trying to source aprons, gloves as well as antibacterial products (e.g. hand sanitizer). 
  • We are working on distribution arrangements for PPE to providers. Allocation of PPE will be based on priority need. Our COVID-19 team may ask you for details of your situation as part of this process. 
  • The Council is continuously working with national partners to ensure a long-term supply of all PPE and care equipment. We will update providers as soon as we are able via the webinars, webpage and mailing list. 
Order RouteDisruptions or shortages escalate to 

Organisations who order via NHS Supply Chain

All orders should be processed as normal via NHS Supply Chain NHSEI confirm normal business is now back in place 

For any disruptions or difficulties with NHS Supply Chain please email to:


Non NHS Supply Chain orders (Primary care, LA, social care etc) 

Please contact Supply Disruption Service 

0800 915 9964/ 0191 283 6543

Email: supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk 

Further guidance 

Providers should: 

  • Continue to order PPE and other care equipment from their usual suppliers. 
  • Use their own available stock and the free pandemic flu stock release, before drawing on Council-held stock.
  • Where you can buy stock but at a higher than normal price, please do so and keep clear records of the purchase. Please try to keep costs reasonable though. We aim to support providers with any additional COVID-19 related costs providers may face. Please contact the COVID-19 team if you have any questions about this.
  • Contact the National Supply Disruption line if you have immediate concerns about PPE supply. This service will advise on alternative suppliers.
    National Supply Disruption Line
    Tel: 0800 915 9964
    Email: supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Providers should be aware that all supply chains for PPE - NHS as well as private sector - are under pressure with longer times for delivery than usual. Every part of the health and care system, including hospitals, is experiencing difficulties in getting PPE. No wholesaler has been asked to prioritise NHS provision over the care sector.  

Circumstances and guidance will continue to evolve. The COVID-19 team will keep you updated of any changes. The Council will do all it can to support providers during this time. Please work with us so that we can support the whole sector. Make sure you have signed up for regular updates and join the webinars. 

Please access the current government PPE guidance.

Please find the latest guidance for step down which includes extra precautionary measures being afforded to these more vulnerable patients

The guidance provides extra precautionary infection prevention and control measures for Covid-19 patients recovering or recovered and remain in hospital or those being discharged home or to residential care.  The focus is particularly on those who have received critical care and/or those who are immunocompromised and ensuring they complete self-isolation until 14 days from their first +ve test compared with 7 days for Covid+ve patients who don't fall into these categories. 

The guidance goes on to provide specific instructions for those in these groups who have ongoing medical needs where there's been on virological evidence of clearance prior to discharge:

  • For those who received critical care - appropriate IPC measures should be used for all medical attendances required for 14 days since first +ve test result
  • For those severely immunocompromised IPC measures to continue unless there has been virological evidence of clearance prior to discharge or complete resolution of all symptoms due to their complex health needs and uncertainties about the duration of infectiousness for these patients.

Bed Capacity 

In order to make sure that all care homes, hospices, providers of inpatient community rehabilitation, end-of-life care providers and brokerage services can access an up-to-date, single resource of provider availability during the Covid-19 situation, it has been agreed that we will use one, single capacity tracker across all of Wiltshire. Consequently, we will be using the national, capacity tracker.

The tool will be used to easily track bed capacity and vacancies to support system-wide bed and discharge planning. 

Registration is straight-forward and only takes a couple of minutes.

Once providers' accounts have been approved, they will be asked to provide some additional details and then asked to regularly update the tracker ‘as close to real time as practicable', e.g. as and when any occupancy changes or at least daily, if there has been no change. 

Some providers and WHC already use ‘MiDoS' for capacity and demand but, during the COVID-19 situation, we need to have one, single system that is straightforward to access and update.  Therefore, we should now switch to using the national tracker for the duration.

We are not recommending this provider but they approached us at they have been contacted by a number of care homes in the country. We thought you might like their contact details 

C19-Care PDF (1mb)

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Last updated: 1 June 2020 | Last reviewed: 1 June 2020