Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates for providers

On this page, you will find information related to Coronavirus (Covid-19) for adult social care professionals. 


For wider information on Coronavirus, please visit our main information page for residents and business.


Please see our new Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page for residents on adult social care support here.

Latest update for service providers – December 2020

Extra care and supported living testing arrangements

Regular testing for both residents and staff is now being rolled out, where residents will be tested ever 28 days and staff every week.  This applies to only those services that meet the eligibility criteria: the service is CQC registered to deliver personal care; and the service is shared by multiple people within a closed community with substantial facilities.

Full guidance is available here 

Orders for testing kits should be placed every 28 days from here 

This was initially set up as a one-off programme of testing but has been extended and rolled out into a regular programme.  The Local Authority has provided details to DHSC about eligible settings and these settings will have previously received emails about this. 

DHSC has now created a self-referral portal for individual organisations to use here.  

One hour webinars have been set up to provide detailed information about all aspects of this testing programme.

A youtube video demonstrates how to administer nasal and throat swabs for residents that cannot do this for themselves Coronavirus test tutorial for care homes with Dr Sarah Jarvis - YouTube

Another video demonstrating this is available here 

If providers have further questions they are asked to call 119 to get through to the specialist team.

Covid-19 vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now being rolled out, in a priority order.  Group 1 includes residents in a care home for older adults and their carers; group 2 includes frontline health and social care workers and we are asking organisations to prepare for this.

Care home managers should:

  • Put together staff lists including basic details (name, gender, date of birth, NHS number, GP details) for each staff member
  • Be ready to provide each staff member with a letter confirming their employment in the care sector
  • Keep staff records of vaccinations and report this through the Capacity Tracker (as is already happening with flu vaccinations)
  • Consider logistics to maintain staffing levels while releasing staff to receive their vaccine
  • Take steps now to ensure staff understand the need for obtaining consent, so that they can help residents and families complete the necessary forms when a vaccine is ready to be delivered within a care home

A number of online resources have been published providing more information about the covid-19 vaccine and the programme to roll it out.  This includes:

Care home visitor testing

National guidance (last updated on 2nd December) describes how the rapid testing programme can support covid-secure visiting and sets out the requirement that visitors wear PPE here.

Care homes should have received an e-mail before Friday 18th December to confirm your home will be receiving an order of the testing kits (COVID-19 LFT kits), which can be used for visitors testing and increased resident and staff testing.  Guidance details what care homes need to do in preparation for and managing the rapid testing programme.

Capacity tracker

Capacity Tracker now includes CQC registered homecare providers.  Updates have been made to Capacity Tracker (updated Thursday December 10, 2020 midnight) for which you should have previously received an email update.  Please note the website has changed and is now at

NHSMail and the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)

The DSPT Toolkit has now been revised and guidance for this is available here.

For anyone that would like to discuss NHSMail and the DSPT please e-mail

Infection control grant – round 2 – for CQC registered services

The second round of the infection control grant (IFC) is for both CQC registered care home settings and community providers (including homecare, extra care, supported living); and covers the period 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021.  Further information can be found here.

North Tyneside Council is making payments to those providers that are registered in North Tyneside and the value is allocated based on Government guidance.  The first payment has already been paid to cover October to December.  The second payment is due to be paid shortly to cover January to March.  Both payments are for the same value.

Service providers in receipt of a payment must

If a provider does not complete these actions the Authority reserves the right not to pay the second half of funding and may also require repayment of the first half.

Some providers may have problems with SOPHOS e-mail encryption and viewing attachments.  If this is the case please e-mail and supply another e-mail address that these documents can be sent to.

Test and Trace

The Government’s new Test and Trace business plan aims to prevent covid-19 transmission and enable people to return towards a normal way of life.  You can visit the website to find out more 

Local arrangements for community testing and contact tracing

North Tyneside Council is one of the local authorities in England selected to undertake rapid testing (lateral flow testing) in response to the covid-19 pandemic.  A Community Rapid Testing Covid-19 programme will launch in North Tyneside in January 2021 for an initial period of six weeks.  This is community asymptomatic testing to help identify and isolate residents who have covid-19 but do not have any symptoms and may inadvertently spread the virus.

Related documents

Useful information for Service Providers relating to Covid-19

Here you will find useful information and links related to Coronavirus (Covid-19) 

Here you can find the latest Government guidance 

Government guidance on how to work safely in homecare and extra care  (last updated on 2 November 2020)

Government guidance on how to work safely in care homes  (last updated on 2 November 2020)

Government guidance on the management of staff and residents/patients/customers exposed to covid-19 in health and social care settings can be found here  (last updated 14 December 2020)

Testing arrangements for homecare workers

The link here supplies information about testing arrangements for homecare workers employed by CQC registered domiciliary care organisations (last updated 1 December 2020). 

The site includes a lot of information and includes a link for you to join a number of webinars and meetings that have been organised.

Informal unpaid carers visiting and caring for someone

The hugely important and valuable role of informal unpaid carers is recognised and it is understood that some carers may be challenged when they are visiting someone they care for.  Health, social care, Carers Centres and other appropriate third sector organisations can provide a letter to carers should they need it - the purpose of the letter is to provide an explanation of why someone may need to be out more frequently or visit different homes should more stringent lockdown restrictions be introduced.  A template for this letter is available and if your organisation would like to provide such a letter to an informal unpaid carer please contact in order to obtain a copy of the template and guidance.

Flu vaccinations

The DHSC is urging social care workers to get their annual flu jab to protect themselves and others this winter.  Personal assistants and other social care workers employed through direct payments are also eligible for free vaccinations for the first time this year. 

Workers do not need an ID or voucher to be vaccinated.  Workers can visit a pharmacy, book an appointment with their GP and self-declare as a social care worker.  Click here for further information

All GP practices and community pharmacies in North Tyneside should have enough vaccine available. 

PPE supplies

For CQC registered providers

The national PPE portal is now fully operational and will be available until 31st March 2021.  The link here provides further information and describes how you can register (last updated 16 December 2020)

 If you have any queries regarding the PPE Portal, please direct them towards the dedicated Customer Service team at 0800 876 6802.

For non CQC registered providers

Non-CQC registered providers are not able to access the portal.  You can access free PPE until 31st  March 2021 by completing the form below setting out your monthly requirements and returning it to .  The Local Authority will arrange for monthly deliveries to be made to you.

If you have any questions please contact for further information.

Broadband deals for care homes

NHSX broadband deals for care homes

NHSX has been working with broadband suppliers to support care homes Wi-Fi connectivity. There are a range of internet deals specifically for care homes that have been made available. More information can be found here.

NHS covid app

The NHS Covid App is now live.  See the document below for further information.

Adult Social Care winter plan

The Government published its Adult Social Care Winter Plan in September 2020.  It covers four themes:

  • Preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings
  • Collaboration across health and care services
  • Supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers
  • Supporting the system

You can find out more information about this here.  (last updated on 14 December 2020)

Related documents

Documents for Service Providers relating to Covid-19

You can find our previously published updates here 



Related documents