Important Guidance on Obligatory Vaccinations for all CQC Registered Services

From 1st April 2022, individuals undertaking CQC regulated activities in England (including secondary and primary care) must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, regardless of their employer.

On 11th November it became obligatory for all people that work in a care home in any capacity, to be double vaccinated against Covid-19. This same obligation is also being placed on any organisation with a CQC registered service or any with a patient/client facing workforce operating as part of a CQC-regulated service. From 1st April 2022, individuals undertaking CQC regulated activities in England must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, regardless of their employer, including secondary and primary care. Find out more below, including who this regulation applies to and next steps you can take.

On 11th November, it became obligatory for all people that work in a care home in any capacity, to be double vaccinated against Covid-19. That meant that care homes had to dismiss (or redeploy out of the service) any of their staff and volunteers who had not been vaccinated by that date. In order to do this, they needed to prepare, both in terms of gathering the appropriate data on their workforce and also thinking about the process they needed to go though with any staff that were not double vaccinated by the deadline.

The New Regulation

This same obligation is now also placed on any organisation with a CQC registered service or any with a patient/client facing workforce operating as part of a CQC-regulated service. From 1st April 2022 individuals undertaking CQC regulated activities in England must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of their employer, including secondary and primary care.

The government regulations are expected to come into effect from 1 April 2022, subject to parliamentary process. This means that unvaccinated individuals will need to have had their first dose by 3 February 2022, in order to have received their second dose by the 1 April 2022 deadline.

We know from the implementation of this new regulation in the care home sector that not every single volunteer and staff member will have been vaccinated by the deadline. Some people may refuse the vaccine for health reasons or other reasons personal to themselves. It is very likely that mandatory vaccinations in care services will put some people off coming into or staying in the care sector for their employment.

The overriding risk therefore is that this new regulation will increase the number of staff vacancies and make it more difficult to recruit to care services.

Who does the regulation apply to?

The new regulation applies to any person who works in a client or patient-facing role in any CQC-regulated service, even if their employer is not the regulated provider. It also applies to volunteers in similar roles. People in office-based roles who do not come into contact with service users would not fall under this regulation.

So, for example: an administrator in an office working in a Home Care team who does not see service users in their homes would not require double vaccinations, but a Foot Care Assistant in a regulated home-visiting foot care service, or a volunteer driver in a Hospital Discharge service would fall under this regulation.

Next Steps

We know that one-to-one conversations have been the most effective way to support colleagues to make an informed choice, often leading to vaccination uptake. Therefore, it is important for line managers to arrange and have supportive one-to-one conversations with unvaccinated staff members to identify reasons for vaccine hesitancy and provide information that will support them to make an informed decision about the vaccine.

You can find Covid-19 vaccine communication materials from the NHS here. Organisations should encourage individuals who have not yet been vaccinated to use the resources available and discuss with their own GP or trusted healthcare professional if they wish to have a further conversation or have any questions around vaccination.

It is important that these conversations with staff are supportive and empathetic, rather than coercive. It is also useful to try to make it as simple as possible for staff and volunteers to get the vaccine, for example by allowing time in work for them to do this if necessary, or giving them the locations of the nearest vaccine centres.

It is important that organisations gather the relevant intelligence on their workforce through these conversations – ask staff and volunteers to share with you their vaccine status and to demonstrate this with their vaccine passports, cards or letters. Record which staff have been vaccinated and which will get vaccinated.

Ensure that the deadlines will be met: for a first vaccination, the deadline is 3rd February 2022. For someone awaiting their second vaccination, this could be any time up to 31st March 2022.

It is vital therefore to record details of those staff and volunteers who intend to decline having a vaccination and the reasons why. Unless they are exempt, or later change their mind (it is worth having more than one conversation with colleagues in this position just in case) you will need to be clear with them what your procedure will be from an employment point of view when the deadline passes. Will you be able to redeploy these staff and volunteers to another, non-regulated service? Or, will you need to dismiss them on 1st April? The conversations you have with staff will need to make the consequences clear. Ensure you have sought HR advice on the dismissal process and what letters and other communication will be required for those staff.

Organisations need to start acting now to gather appropriate data and consider the actions required of them and their staff by 1st April 2022.

Contact

If you have any questions about this guidance, please contact: stuart.prince@ageuk.org.uk

Age UK’s comment on the social care cap vote in the House of Commons

Age UK’s Charity Director Caroline Abrahams comments on the recent vote in the House of Commons on the social care cap.

Following the recent vote on the social care cap in the House of Commons, Age UK’s Charity Director Caroline Abrahams has released a statement which can be read in full below. We have also written a template tweet which you can use to share Caroline’s statement if you wish. This can be found at the end of this article.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:

“The Government’s amendment may have been passed by the House of Commons but no doubt the House of Lords will fulfil its constitutional role and give it the intense scrutiny it needs. We hope Peers will vote to overturn it.

No one disputes that the amendment significantly waters down the Government’s plan for a cap on catastrophic care costs and does so in a way that protects only the better off. This is unfair and means the people who are most in need of protection against the risk of their care bills wiping out all their assets are least likely to receive it. Many of these older people whom the Government is now proposing to let down will have bought their council homes under the ‘right to buy’, an extraordinary situation for this group of Ministers to have created. 

When the Prime Minister announced his intention to activate Sir Andrew Dilnot’s cap on catastrophic costs three months ago Age UK said that this reform was definitely worth having, but increasingly the jury’s out.  Since then, the Government has failed to give social care the financial settlement it needed at the Spending Review; announced a National Insurance increase to help social care and then admitted almost all the money is going to the NHS; and made vaccination compulsory for care home staff without any plan to replace the thousands of workers its own analysis says will walk away as a result.

The fact that the Government is now intending to effectively gut their proposed cap on catastrophic care costs is therefore just the latest in a series of wholly unsupportive decisions so far as social care is concerned. What are we supposed to think about the Prime Minister’s pledge to ‘fix social care’ now?”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK

Template Tweet

If you’d like to share Caroline’s statement on social media, please feel free to use the wording and link below:

No one disputes that the amendment passed this week significantly waters down the Government’s plan for a cap on catastrophic care costs in a way that protects only the better off. We hope Peers will vote to overturn it.

Read Age UK’s full statement 👉 https://bit.ly/3oXl8Iy

Reminder: Deadline Extended for Dementia Programme Grant Funding!

A reminder that the deadline to apply for the second round of grant funding for the Dementia MCST Programme has been extended to Monday 6th December.

A quick reminder that we have extended the deadline to apply for grant funding for the Dementia MCST Programme, with at least 12 grants still available! We appreciate that this is a very busy time of year, so we hope this extra time will enable more Partners to be part of this exciting programme. The application process remains the same and you can find out full details about the programme, including how to apply, on the Loop here. Applications are open until midday on Monday 6th December.

We would welcome all applications, however if you feel you are best placed to apply in our final cohort later next year then please let us know here.

If you have any queries about this funding opportunity, then please don’t hesitate to email dementiamcst@ageuk.org.uk.


If you have any queries about this funding opportunity, then please email the team on DementiaMCST@ageuk.org.uk. If you’re having any trouble accessing the loop please email theloop@ageuk.org.uk.

We are very much looking forward to continuing our work with the Age UK Network in making this programme a great success.

Fundraising Bulletin #16 – Updates on Public, Corporate, Trusts and Public Sector Funding | November 2021

The latest fundraising bulletin is now available for you to view below. There’s still time to complete our short feedback survey about this bulletin too.

Welcome to the latest funding bulletin! This edition includes an update on a proposed new round of the Tackling Inequalities Fund – now called the Together Fund, a highlight feature on the Age UK Think Digital programme, and new and ongoing grant funding opportunities for local Age UKs. We hope you find it useful. A big thank you to everyone who has responded to our feedback form about this bulletin so far, the survey will remain open until November 30th, so there’s still time to share your thoughts if you’d like to.

You can view or download the Bulletin below:


NHS England & NHS Improvement “Core20PLUS5” Health Inequalities Survey

NHS England & NHS Improvement have produced a survey for organisations to share their views on their “Core20PLUS5” approach to reducing health inequalities.

Age UK’s Health Influencing Team would like to invite you to complete the new NHS England and NHS Improvement Core20PLUS5 Health Inequalities Survey. Core20PLUS5 is a national NHSEI approach to support the reduction of health inequalities at both national and system level. Find out all about the approach and the survey below.

The approach defines a target population cohort (who represent the most deprived 20% of the national population, as well as ICS-chosen population groups experiencing poorer than average health access)– the ‘Core20PLUS’ – and identifies ‘5’ focus clinical areas requiring accelerated improvement.

The online survey is an opportunity for those with a role or interest in reducing health inequalities to share their views on the NHSEI approach to support ICSs to reduce health inequalities. They particularly want to hear from those who have an understanding of the communities at particular risk of health inequalities including older people from ethnic minorities, coastal and rural communities, people living in areas of high deprivation, plus inclusion health groups.

The survey is accessible here until Friday 19 November 2021.

Deadline Extended for Dementia Programme Grant Funding!

The deadline to apply for the second round of grant funding for the Dementia MCST Programme has been extended to Monday 6th December.

We have extended the deadline for Partners to apply for grant funding for the Dementia MCST Programme, with at least 12 grants still available! We appreciate that this is a very busy time of year, so we hope this extra time will enable more Partners to be part of this exciting programme. The application process remains the same and you can find out full details about the programme, including how to apply, on the Loop here. Applications are now open until midday on Monday 6th December.

We would welcome all applications, however if you feel you are best placed to apply in our final cohort later next year then please let us know here.

If you have any queries about this funding opportunity, then please don’t hesitate to email dementiamcst@ageuk.org.uk.

If you have any queries about this funding opportunity, then please email the team on DementiaMCST@ageuk.org.uk. If you’re having any trouble accessing the loop please email theloop@ageuk.org.uk.

We are very much looking forward to continuing our work with the Age UK Network in making this programme a great success.

Fundraising Bulletin #15 – Updates on Public, Corporate, Trusts and Public Sector Funding

The latest fundraising bulletin is now available. This month’s edition also includes a short survey to gather your feedback on these bulletins.

Welcome to the latest funding bulletin.  This edition has an update on our community fundraising products, a highlight feature on the Age UK Walking Football programme and new grant funding opportunities for local Age UKs. We’d also very much appreciate your feedback on whether the bulletin is working for you by answering five brief survey questions here. Thank you kindly.

You can view or download the Bulletin below and you can take part in our quick survey about the Funding Bulletin by clicking here.


Age UK’s Winter Health Campaign 2021/22 – Local Campaign Packs

Find out all the details of this year’s Winter Health Campaign from Age UK’s Health Influencing Team. Download the Local Campaign Pack below and find the recording of last week’s Winter Webinar.

Age UK’s Health Influencing team is happy to announce the launch of our 2021/22 Winter Health Campaign! The Winter Health Campaign will hopefully play a crucial role in ensuring older people have access to the information, advice, and support that they need to navigate the upcoming winter months. This year, we need your help to engage older people and the wider community on the health issues that are likely to affect them this winter. Find full details below, including a Local Campaign Pack, and the recording of last week’s Winter Webinar.

This campaign will take place between October 2021 and March 2022, with the aim of supporting as many older people as possible through the winter period. Please find below the Age UK Winter Health Campaign local pack, which we hope you will find to be a useful resource to help inform and support your own local winter campaigns this year:


Please get in touch if you have any questions or require any further information. Thank you for supporting the campaign!

Winter Webinar Recording

For those who were unable to attend our Winter Webinar held last week, you can watch the recording of the session below:

Social Care Can’t Wait Campaign – Help get the Chancellor’s attention before the Spending Review!

As the Spending Review on 27th October approaches, find out how we can focus the Chancellor’s attention on providing sufficient funding for councils’ social care budgets.

Last month we wrote to tell you about the latest stage of our campaign for social care reforms. We’re calling on the Chancellor to provide sufficient funding for councils’ social care budgets in the Spending Review on 27th October, so older people can get the care they need now. We would like to say a huge thank you to those who have supported the campaign so far, and we would be so grateful if you could all join us in a final push in the lead up to the spending review in two weeks’ time. You can take part by writing to your local paper and by posting about the petition on social media – some template wording can be found below.

Our campaigners have asked Rishi Sunak to be a social care hero and we’ve heard that the Chancellor and his team have noticed the campaign. But there’s still work to be done to show the Chancellor how urgent this is.

Campaigners calling on the Chancellor to be a social care hero

Here is how your Age UK can get involved:

If you have 5 minutes… Please share our petition on Social Media:

If you have time to spread the word on your social media channels there is some suggested wording below. You can also find an image for the posts and more social media templates in the Care Can’t Wait pack.

Twitter:

Help us get the Chancellor’s attention and share the petition with your followers. You can follow along to see what other people have been saying here.

Millions of older people need @RishiSunak to be a social care hero. Sign our petition and tell the Chancellor to give care the funding it needs: https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/page/90013/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=LAUK

#SocialCareCantWait


‘Without immediate funding, the PM’s #socialcare plan will fail to fix care.

Now it’s up to @RishiSunak to show older people he cares and boost council budgets in the Spending Review.

Join our call on the Chancellor: https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/page/90013/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=LAUK

#SocialCareCantWait #DoesRishiReallyCare


Facebook:

“For people like Mum, it’s too late. She’s given everything she’s got”.

Sharon just wants the best support for her mum. But the current Government proposals do nothing to help her. She can’t wait until 2023.

Tell Rishi Sunak to help people who need care now. Sign our petition here: https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/page/90013/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=LAUK


If you have 30 minutes… Please Send a letter to the editor:

Use our template letter to the editor, to get coverage in your local paper. Many MPs read their local paper and the more we can promote the issue of funding for social care in local discourse the more pressure MPs will put on the Chancellor.


Thank you for your support!

Everything detailed in this pack can be found in the ‘Care Can’t Wait’ folder in The Box.

Still time to apply for Dementia Programme Grant Funding

There’s still time to apply for the second round of grant funding as part of the Dementia Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) Programme.

A reminder that grant funding applications for the Dementia Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) Programme will close on Monday 1st November. Generous funding from the Association of British Insurers’ Covid-19 Support Fund means that 32 grants of up to £20,000 are available to deliver the only non-drug treatment recommended to improve cognition, independence and well-being for people living with mild to moderate dementia. Find out how to apply below.

MCST takes places on a weekly basis in a group setting and provides its members with the opportunity to take part in meaningful and stimulating activities that are proven to help maintain memory and mental functioning. The groups are also a fun, supportive environment where people can build new friendships and peer support.  

Grants of up to £20,000 are available to set up two MCST groups over a 12-month period, which can be delivered face-to-face, virtually, or one of each. 

Applications open until Monday 1st November, with successful partners commencing set up in January 2022. For information regarding the current Programme, please see our website here.

If you have any queries about this new funding opportunity, then please email the team on DementiaMCST@ageuk.org.uk. If you’re having any trouble accessing the loop please email theloop@ageuk.org.uk.

We are very much looking forward to continuing our work with the Age UK Network in making this programme a great success.