Sources of Support for Local Partners – Latest Information

Age UK’s Quality & Transformation Team have shared an updated sources of support guide for Autumn/Winter 2021-22. Find out full details below.

As we face another challenging winter, the Quality and Transformation team wanted to remind local partners of the help and support that is still available to you. The team have updated the guide below which draws together a range of useful resources which can either be accessed directly (via this site, The Loop or through external organisations) or by contacting your Regional Link. Contact details for Regional Links are listed in the guide but if you have any questions, comments or concerns please email COVID-19EnquiryLine@ageuk.org.uk.

The full guide can be viewed or downloaded below:

Information & Advice Quality Programme – common areas identified for improvement

Age UK’s Quality & Transformation Team have identified some common areas for improvement across the advice sector. Find the most recent trends below.

Age UK’s Quality & Transformation Team regularly review areas of compliance with the I&A Quality benchmarks, so that we can share learning across the network. We have found that the most common areas identified for improvement are similar to those identified across the independent advice sector as a whole and are important elements of quality assurance. Read on to view the most recent trends.

Most common areas of non-compliance for Quality of Advice

  • Lack of sufficient relevant information gathered to give correct advice
  • Insufficient advice recorded or incomplete advice given e.g. no means-tested benefits check when disability benefits awarded
  • Limited use of Factsheets and Information Guides to back up advice given
What can be done to avoid these?

Training in case-recording and/or the key Age UK topic areas of benefits and community care can help ensure your clients are getting the correct advice – further details can be found on the loop here.

Most common areas of non-compliance for Service Management

  1. Data Protection / Client confidentiality e.g. lack of consent or secure storage of client data
  2. Not recording sufficient client details for information enquiries (leading to under- reporting of work, clients needing to repeat their story on returning)
  3. Lack of Technical Supervision of advisors (usually of the Manager), including regular file checking to ensure accurate advice is given
  4. Lack of planning for a sustainable service
What can be done to avoid these?
  1. Ensure you have evidence of the clients’ consent to process their data, including to store it, share it with third parties, and share it with Age UK for quality audit. Ensure you record and date consent on the client record.

Please Note: legitimate interests as a basis for processing the data should not be used for special category data (i.e. personal sensitive data e.g. health, politics, ethnicity, religion). The ICO sets a higher bar for the way this data is handled, as it could create a higher risk of, for instance, unlawful discrimination. Consent is the best way to treat this type of data, as it is most transparent and simple.

The GDPR Toolkit on the loop can be found here.

  1. Ensure all staff providing I&A are aware of your procedures for recording information enquiries. This helps ensure the client does not have to keep repeating their “story”, and ensures you are not under-recording your work and reach. Enquiries should not routinely be recorded as “Anonymous” – only if consent is not given, or for very simple enquiries.
  2. Ensure you have procedures for both regularly checking the accuracy of advice and that your case management procedures are being followed, as well as the more in depth file reviews (IFRs) carried out less frequently. Ensure these include the advice carried out by the Supervisor or Manager). This is even more important when staff are working remotely or from home.
  3. Ensure the current year 12 month plan and budget is regularly reviewed. A short outline plan for the following 2 years is needed – it does not need to be in detail but should include an outline plan for a sustainable service.

“Pathway Away From Loneliness” Workshop

Age UK are hosting a workshop to bring partners together to explore the potential development of a ”Pathway away from Loneliness” post Covid-19.

After a year of lockdowns, social distancing, and restrictions, the impact of Covid-19 has been reported as having a clear negative effect on people’s sense of loneliness. Those who have been lonely during the pandemic have experienced significant mental and physical health impacts, and there is little likelihood that these people will be able to “recover” spontaneously post-pandemic. Age UK are hosting a workshop on 15th September to explore tackling loneliness post Covid-19.  Find out full details below or click here to book your place.

Age UK are hosting a workshop to explore tackling loneliness post Covid-19. This will bring partners together with the Quality and Transformation Team to explore the potential development of a Pathway Away from Loneliness enhancing current approaches to supporting older people. This workshop is linked to the recent Loneliness Survey undertaken by External Affairs and the Quality and Transformation teams and a brief reporting of the data will be given. 

The workshop will be held on 15th September 2021 from 10:00 – 11:30

If you would like to take part, please register for a place by following this link.  

If you have any questions, please email Sarah Jewell before registering for a place: sarah.jewell@ageuk.org.uk

Sources of support for local partners – refreshed for Spring/Summer 2021

As we slowly emerge from lockdown, the Quality and Transformation team have updated their guide to the help and support available to local partners.

As we all cautiously approach the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, the Quality and Transformation team wanted to remind local partners of the help and support that is still available to them. They have had a spring clean and updated the guide below which draws together a range of useful resources which can either be accessed directly (via this site, The Loop or through external organisations) or by contacting your Regional Link.

Click below to download the guide:


Contact details for Regional Links are listed in the guide but if you have any questions, comments or concerns please email Covid-19EnquiryLine@ageuk.org.uk.

Sources of support for local partners

With another period of lockdown underway in England, the Quality and Transformation team have produced a guide detailing the help and support available to local partners.

As we enter another period of national restrictions in England, the Quality and Transformation team wanted to remind local partners of the help and support that is available to them. They have produced the below guide which draws together a range of useful resources which can either be accessed directly (via this site, The Loop or through external organisations) or by contacting your Regional Link.

Click below to download the guide:


Contact details for Regional Links are listed in the guide but if you have any questions, comments or concerns please email COVID-19EnquiryLine@ageuk.org.uk

Update on New Lockdown Restrictions, Support Groups, and Cashflow Reassessments

An update for Partners following the announcement of a second lockdown across England, covering the new restrictions, support groups, cashflows and more.

With the announcement this weekend of a second lockdown across England, we know local partners will be assessing and preparing for likely disruption to their operations and services. Partners in the Nations are equally impacted by devolved national Covid-19 strategies and restrictions. The new restrictions take effect from the 5th November, pending a vote in Parliament, and will run until Wednesday 2 December.

This will see the closure of pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops. But nurseries, schools, colleges and universities will remain open. Unlike the first national lockdown, these restrictions are currently set to last a month before the UK transitions back into the regional three-tiered system.

Definition of ‘support groups’

Exceptions have been set out in the newest guidance for those caring for vulnerable people. The part most applicable for local partners is:

Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.

This would suggest that local partners’ services can remain open providing they continue to operate in a Covid-secure manner, as you all have been doing for the last few months.

It’s anticipated that further guidance specific to Adult Day Care will be published on Thursday morning by Public Health England.

Reassessing cashflows

Since March of this year, local partners have been providing the Finance Resilience Team with copies of their cashflow forecasts and the majority of those we currently hold run to the end of the current financial year (end March 21). In the light of the new lockdown restrictions, local partners will no doubt be reassessing their cash positions. To enable the team to maintain a current understanding of the financial resilience of the network over the coming weeks and to offer support, we would be very grateful if local partners could send us a copy of their updated forecasts at Covid-19EnquiryLine@ageuk.org.uk as soon as these are agreed.

You can download a copy of the Cashflow Template below:

The team are happy to work with you to review your cashflows and have done this with a number of partners, helping them to: evaluate their pinch points; identify what flexibility they have around using their funds; have a discussion about use of reserves; and highlight options for deferring payments/applying for extension relief.

Regional Links

Colleagues who act as regional links are standing by to support local partners through this challenging time, and you are welcome to speak to these individuals if you have any questions. Their names and email addresses are provided at the end of this message.

Any questions please contact the team at covid-19enquiryline@ageuk.org.uk or you regional link:

Covid-19 related enquiries

Please contact COVID-19EnquiryLine@ageuk.org.uk if you have any questions about this guidance or want to access our support.