Sector Announcements for week ending 20 March
Care Quality Commission routine inspections suspended
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has stopped routine inspections from Monday 16 March. Instead, the CQC will be moving towards a new way of providing assurance to the public, government and parliament on the safety of services. It may be necessary to still use some inspection powers in a very small number of cases when there are clear reports of harm, such as allegations of abuse. However, inspections (and provider information requests for health services) will not be conducted in their present form during the period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In adult social care, in the absence of a single national oversight body, the CQC will act as a support for registered managers – the inspection team will be there to provide advice and guidance to the providers throughout this period, and will be implementing the following:
- Continuing the use of provider information returns (PIRs). However, the CQC will not penalise providers for the late return of PIRs
- Sharing the information collected with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups in order to reduce reporting burden
- Using PIRs as a key way to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on providers’ operational business and using this information to raise concerns and prompt action from government.
For further information, read the Care Quality Commission update – 16 March 2020
Latest DHSC guidance for ordering Personal Protective Equipment
|Personal protective equipment to the care sector is fundamental for the good care of individuals with suspected symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). No wholesaler has been asked to prioritise NHS provision over the care sector, nor should they be doing so.
Free distribution of fluid repellent facemasks from the pandemic flu stock started on Wednesday 18 March, with every care home and homecare provider receiving at least 300 facemasks, with anticipated distribution completed by Tuesday 24 March. This is aimed at tiding over the initial rise in demand following the change of guidance on facemasks last week. Providers are not required to take action; the stock will be delivered to them.
Work is ongoing with wholesalers to ensure a longer-term supply of all aspects of personal protective equipment, including gloves, aprons, facemasks and hand sanitiser. For future PPE requirements, care providers should order PPE from their usual suppliers.
If care providers have immediate concerns overs their supply of PPE, there is now a dedicated line for you, the health and social care sector:
The National Supply Disruption line contact details – Tel: 0800 915 9964
· In the future, if a care provider is unable to get PPE from their normal supplier, the supplier will be asked to report this to the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) team (as above), who can advise on alternative suppliers.
Use of NSAIDs and COVID-19
NHS England has today issued guidance on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) in relation to Covid-19.
“There appears to be no evidence that NSAIDs increase the chance of acquiring Covid-19. In view of the current lack of clarity the Committee of Human Medicines (an advisory body of MHRA) and NICE have been asked to review the evidence. It is therefore suggested that, in the interim, for patients, who have confirmed Covid-19 or believe they have Covid-19, that they use paracetamol in preference to NSAIDs.
Those currently on NSAIDs for other medical reasons (e.g. arthritis) should not stop them.”
Government has issued guidance on hospital discharge. This document sets out how all health and care systems and providers will alter their discharging arrangements and provision of community support to enable the discharge of all patients as soon as they are clinically safe to do so.
A range of virtual resources and live interactive sessions have been developed to support every sector to work through how to achieve this new way of operating. These are detailed in the document.
New Bill designed to amend existing legislative provisions or introduce new statutory powers to mitigate impact of COVID-19 pandemic