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COVID-19 Guidance

We will aim to keep this page updated with the latest advice.

Information on this page aims provide a hub of information to support social workers with advice and guidance which has been issued by Government, regulators and health professionals.

Dont forget: Find out how to protect yourself or check if you need medical help on the NHS website

Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response

Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.  The Government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis.  Published 11 May 2020.  Last updated 17 July 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s statement on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on 12th March 2020, the latest Government advice is here and includes:

DfE DHSC joint letter to social workers.  Published 27 April 2020

Coronavirus Act

BASW policy brief on The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.  Published 24 April 2020

Local resilience forums: contact details.  Contact details for local resilience forums in the UK, and information about what they do.  Local resilience forums (LRFs) are multi-agency partnerships made up of representatives from local public services, including the emergency services, local authorities, the NHS, the Environment Agency and others. These agencies are known as Category 1 Responders, as defined by the Civil Contingencies Act.

Guidance from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England

Visit the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England for latest updates.  Key updates include:

Workforce App launched.

The Care Workforce App will formally launch in May 2020.  The App is available for free download on the Apple App Store and the web platform - workforce.adultsocialcare.uk/join. It will shortly be available on the Google Play Store.

The app is intended as a digital hub for social care news, updates and guidance. It includes e-learning resources on crucial areas such as how to correctly use PPE and practical advice and support on mental health and wellbeing. It also signposts to offers for care workers, such as free car parking and discounts from major brands. Our wider ambition in the future is for the app to act as a networking platform to bring the social care workforce together in one place to share learnings, best practice and inspiring stories from across the sector throughout the outbreak.

DHSC would like to invite you to download the app or visit the web platform to register online and explore the platform and content. As we improve and review our content offer, we would welcome your feedback on the presentation of information, the registration page and content you think would be useful to include in the future – please send this to Team-SocialCareWorkforce@dhsc.gov.uk with the subject “Re: Workforce app feedback”.

 

DHSC has also published a new data visualisation tool accessible here.

Social Work England

See all the latest updates from Social Work England here.  Updates include:

Department for Education

The Department for Education is already in extensive discussion with sector leaders including BASW England as set out by Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for England (Children and Families)

See all the latest updates from DfE here.  Updates include:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people.  Questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people. (22nd March 2020).  Find out more.
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on isolation for residential educational settings.  Guidance to support management of children and young people in residential educational settings, including boarding schools, residential special schools and specialist colleges and children’s homes (22nd March 2020). Find out more
  • Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers.  Information for parents and carers about the closure of schools and other educational settings following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). (20 Mrach 2020) Find out more.
  • COVID-19: free school meals guidance.  Guidance for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (19 March 2020) Find out more.
  • COVID-19: guidance for education settings Updated 16th March 2020
  • The government has issued new travel guidance for the education sector. This advises against all overseas education trips for children under 18.  This does not apply to domestic trips, or overseas trips which are already underway. You can find the full education travel guidance here.

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.  If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

 

COVID-19 RIDDOR Reporting Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

All providers of adult social care who are employers must make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) for COVID-19 workplace deaths that meet the criteria published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The Office of the Public Guardian 

The Office of the Public Guardian holds a register of everyone who has a lasting or enduring power of attorney (LPA and EPA), or who has a deputy acting for them. Since the coronavirus outbreak, there have been many urgent requests to search the database for people who have lost mental capacity. OPG is working to respond quickly to these requests, with a process specifically for patients incapacitated by COVID-19. Follow this link to find out how to carry out a search of the register quickly: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-staff-searching-our-registers-of-attorneys-and-deputies

HM Treasury

Treasury cut taxes to reduce PPE costs.  From 1 May 2020, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.Published 30 April 2020

Ofstead

Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update.  Ofsted guidance and information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools, early years, children's social care and further education and skills providers.

NHS England 

NHS England treatment decisions.  NHS England has set out in a letter dated 3 April 2020 that treatment decisions should not be made on the basis of the presence of learning disability and / or autism alone

 

Useful resources 

 

Planning 

The government published its coronavirus action plan on 3 March

On 10 February, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, announced strengthened legal powers to protect public health.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 have been put in place to reduce the risk of further human-to-human transmission in this country by keeping individuals in isolation where public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus.

Around the UK

Welsh Government advice can be found here

Public Health Agency (PHA) guidance is available for Northern Ireland here.

Health Protection Scotland has issued COVID-19: Information and Guidance for Non Healthcare Settings

 

Further information