Care England haswritten to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to express immense frustration with the publication of the staff movement guidance.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
“The adult social care sector received no forewarning as to when this major piece of guidance would be issued or what it would look like. The sector is juggling a great many pressures and this unexpected guidance may well have unintended consequences”.
On 1 March 2021, the DHSC issued guidance for care home providers on limiting staff movement between settings in all but exceptional circumstances to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 infection. The guidance can be found at GOV.UK.
Care England holds that the decision to stop staff movement between care settings will struggle to work in practice and has outlined a number of outstanding issues including:
- Unworkable requirement for providers to ensure that there is a 10-day interval between a member of staff attending two care settings.
- Lack of clarity around date of implementation.
- No discussion as to how this policy will be funded post-March.
- Growing gap between what the Infection Control Fund is intended to cover versus what it can actually cover.
- No clarity about what constitutes an ‘exceptional circumstance’.
- No guidance as to what the role of the CQC is with regards to enforcing the guidance.
- No reference to the COVID-19 vaccinations and what this means in the longer term.
Martin Green continues:
“This represents another bureaucratic hoop for providers to jump through. We are at a loss to understand why if these measures are to be introduced across adult social care settings, the movement of NHS staff between NHS settings is not being subjected to the same policy.”