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COVID-19 updates for adult social care and health providers

Support for providers and staff

Sussex Care Homes BAME Staff Network

All Sussex NHS organisations and the three local authorities are committed to creating a safe and affirming community for care home staff of all professions and backgrounds, including staff from Black, Asian and all other ethnic minority and mixed backgrounds. This also includes staff who aspire to develop their white allyship in a non-judgmental environment. 

Network purpose

The Sussex Care Homes BAME Staff Network has been set up to provide a place for care home staff to bring new perspectives and fresh ideas that helps drive change and progress. In this space, staff will be able to:

  • Celebrate a range of diversity through social events and activities.
  • Make new friends with other BAME care home workers in Sussex.
  • Reflect on the last few months and how the pandemic has made an impact on our lives and our communities.
  • Access peer support through discussions about lived experiences.
  • Receive guidance and signposting to appropriate services, if desired.
  • Work with employers to ensure that BAME staff have a consistent and positive experience in the home(s) they work in.

How can I join?

All care home staff, including BAME-allies are encouraged to join. Just email: sea.sharp@nhs.net

Spread the word!

Please click here for more information and a colour poster [562.5 KB] [docx] – it would be great if you can display this in your care home to encourage people to join.

We are excited about the potential of this network and look forward to having you and your staff sign up to become members!

Support for ethnically diverse citizens during COVID-19

Diversity Resource International is providing community outreach support for ethically diverse citizens of East Sussex who have been affected by COVID-19.

Their outreach workers and bilingual advocates will contact those in need, and provide over-the-phone or video support whilst signposting them to further organisations, if required.

If you know of anyone from an ethnic minority that might be struggling in isolation, feeling vulnerable or alone, please get in touch with them – see Support for East Sussex ethnically diverse citizens during COVID-19.

New online CQC resource: Supporting culturally appropriate care

Holistic, person-centred care has always been important, but during the COVID-19 pandemic it has become even more critical that we are all aware of culturally appropriate care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have recently published information about this on their website. You can access the resource here.


Call to Care staff recruitment programme

Following the Government’s announcement of a national Call to Care programme, we are starting to receive details of people interested in taking up work in Adult Social Care in East Sussex, passed to us via the national online registration portal.

Recruitment via this route is supported by fast-track Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, as well as a rapid online induction training programme through Skills for Care to help induct and train redeployed staff and those who are new starters to the social care workforce.

Care home and home care managers are encouraged to share your vacancy requirements by emailing: Adult Social Care Training

The more information you can provide about the vacancy, the better.

After undertaking initial screening to confirm basic information and interest, the ASC training team will aim to match individuals so that providers can contact them directly.

Please let us know if you are successful in recruiting by emailing the above address, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Support with recruitment

Join Social Care was set up to fast-track recruitment into the adult social care sector. Candidates can record a video interview and access free training supported by Skills for Care before starting employment. Registered providers can search for candidates in their local area and view their video interviews before starting DBS checks and training processes, and make conditional offers.

Post your vacancies on the Everyday Is Different website which promotes social care jobs to potential applicants.

We have produced some ‘top tips’ for fast-track recruitment to support you with recruiting quickly, safely and effectively during the coronavirus pandemic. These draw some key resources and approaches into one place, and let you know where to find more detailed information.

Read the updated tips here:  Top tips for fast track recruitment [434.5 KB] [docx].

If you have any top tips you’d like to share, please email ASC Personalisation.

There is now a generic email address for Sussex if you need support to recruit staff or volunteers: GetIntoSocialCare.KSS@hee.nhs.uk.

There is also funded online training to support induction of staff and volunteers via endorsed training providers.

Useful support services and resources

Supporting individuals with face coverings and other COVID-19 related challenges

Skills for Care, in partnership with our Adult Social Care Training Team, have developed a consultation guide for staff on how to support people with some COVID-19 challenges, such as wearing face coverings, sanitising their hands and social distancing. These changes in behaviour can be hard to achieve, and many people will need additional support to be able to do this without increasing their anxiety. The consultation guide is supported by a resource list full of useful links.

Download the consultation guide and resource list.

Domestic abuse: advice for employers

SafeLives has practical guidance and resources  for employers whose staff may be experiencing domestic abuse. As always, remind people that if anyone is in immediate danger to call 999 and ask for the police.

Resources for day services

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) have produced a guide to delivering safe, face-to-face adult day care. It is focused on community-based day services, day centres (with and without personal care), including specialised day centre environments, and those with outdoor spaces.

Kings College London have developed a new resource, helping adult day centres to unlock lockdown. Its aims to support managers, staff and voluntary coordinators into the ‘new normal’ after the lockdown.

Volunteer schemes

NHS volunteer responders now offer support to front-line health and social care workers. This includes delivering food shopping, dropping off personal medicine or providing transport. Direct referrals can be made through the volunteer responders referrers’ portal or by calling 0808 196 3382 (8am to 8pm).

National Care Force is a not-for-profit organisation that helps care providers, care homes and local authorities find local, vetted volunteers using an app. The volunteers will carry out mostly non-care related activities, such as driving, maintenance and running errands. This allows paid care staff to focus on providing care and support, reducing pressure on providers. It is completely free to use by all.

Free digital support

Digital Social Care has set up a helpline to support the adult social care sector with using technology. Their team of digital experts can help social care providers access practical advice, troubleshoot a technical problem or give in-depth one-to-one support.

Phone 0208 133 3430 or email: help@digitalsocialcare.co.uk Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.