We will be working with providers to achieve this, it will include a range of considerations from identifying the most vulnerable people to ensure they continue to be supported, to identifying people who can be supported by their family and community networks during this time. This will allow us to ensure we make best use of the resources available.
Any re-prioritisation will be clearly and carefully communicated with individuals, carers and families. We will be prioritising those residents with the highest levels of need to ensure that our most vulnerable residents who receive support from adult social care can continue to receive the same level of care.
We will also assess if contact needs to be face to face or if it can be done using technology, including over the telephone. If face-to-face visits are required then carers will call before attending to check if the client, or anyone in the house has symptoms. If they do, where possible, the client will be seen by the carer in a separate room.
The Council and NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are currently organising telephone meetings with providers to discuss contingency plans and support that may be needed. During these meetings, if agencies wish, we will also help in matching agencies to develop staff sharing protocols. We will also share further the city’s contingency plans and how we are working with other local areas and central government to help ensure the right support is in place to enable care to continue to be delivered even in the most challenging circumstances.
We are working closely with our partners in the NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS and external providers to ensure that we can prevent the spread of the virus and are following the latest Government guidance. We have established an adult social care and health co-ordination hub which will be open seven days a week. The hub’s role is to manage activity across adult social care and health services jointly with key partners.
Online recruitment portal for care home providers
A new online platform will facilitate recruitment for registered care providers by helping them reach candidates looking to work in social care.
Registered providers can search for candidates in their local area, view video interviews, start the DBS check and training process, create shortlists and make conditional offers, all before on-boarding candidates directly into their organisation.
Candidates can access a range of endorsed training providers through the platform facilitated by Skills for Care, and complete full online training prior to commencing employment. Care providers can register here.
For concerns regarding service users self-isolating etc., please email (please note that this is email is for providers only)
We are making regular calls to providers to check in on the state of business activity, staffing levels, PPE levels etc. If your level of staff absence is going to threaten service delivery, please contact us via email.
The council and CCG are not informed by PHE of positive COVID-19 cases or those who may be self-isolating, we ask that you contact the hub to let us know by email should one of your clients have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
While not specific to all the services the council commissions, this guidance does cover steps to be taken by providers now to ensure readiness for a larger potential outbreak of the virus affecting many more individuals. To help prepare for this the guidance, and the response of both Southampton City Council and the NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are expecting all providers to take actions now. These include:
- Reviewing contingency plans for severe staff shortages, including planning for both 20% staff unable to work and planning for up to 50% staff unable to work. We will need to know what will help with these scenarios so that we can plan for this
- Reviewing your current clients and their needs. This needs to focus on risk planning including prioritising support needs on a daily and weekly basis, support and informal networks that may be able to help. This will provide confidence that you will be able to manage risks while ensuring appropriate care can still be provided
- Reviewing your safe working practices including ensuring your staff are washing their hands using soap, hand gels and personal protective equipment as necessary
- Ensuring your staff understand the need for reporting if they are feeling unwell, the key signs to be aware of, and the steps to be taken, including self-isolation measures
- Ensuring safe practices are followed if providing cleaning and laundry support
- The Council and NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are currently organising telephone meetings with providers to discuss contingency plans and support that will be provided to ensure these are able to be carried out.
- The Council and CCG are working on further contingency plans which include support from other providers, including community health services.
If you are struggling with capacity and not able to provide all the care that is commissioned, please refer to Adult Social Care Connect on 023 8083 3003 to discuss this. Care can of course be prioritised; however, this decision does need to be in conjunction with Adult Social Care. Please do not make a decision in isolation.
We have set up a new telephone line for any urgent provider issue which cannot wait for your normal commissioner to respond by email, this is manned by one of our Senior Commissioners 8am to 5pm each day, 7 days a week.
The telephone number is: 0870 3156855 (this number is for commissioned providers only)
Please note: This telephone line is not in place of your normal contact about clients, instead it should be used for urgent issues relating to service delivery and sustainability during the COVID-19 response.