Where to find information

Browse this section to find the information, guidance and resources you need to support your response to COVID-19.

Care homes

The Department of Health and Social Care has published new guidance to support care home visits during lockdown (4 November).

The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance for making arrangements for limited visits for care homes with the support of their director of public health (last updated 23 October. 

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced care home staff will be tested for COVID-19 weekly, while residents will be tested every 28 days. This is alongside intensive testing in any care home facing an outbreak, or at increased risk of an outbreak. The government has also published a summary of antigen testing in care homes (3 July).

CQC has published data on deaths in care homes, broken down by ethnicity (17 June). 

NHS England and NHS Improved has written to GP practices and primary care networks, chief executives of community health providers, regional directors of primary care and CCG accountable officers giving guidance on COVID-19 care home support (1 May).

Public Health England has published guidance on how to work safely in care homes which includes a video on putting on removing PPE in care homes (17 April). 

Government advice

Head to www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Hot sites (hot hubs)

GP-led 'hot hubs' are being set up around the country to diagnose and advise coronavirus patients who are not in hospital.

Dr Sian Stanley from Stort Valley and Villages PCN has created a series of videos on how the hot hub setup is working for patients and clinicians. This includes a video on the logistics of creating hot and cold sites. This video (below), sent to patients by text, on the patient journey and how they will be kept safe.

 

And this set of videos, for patients and doctors, on the use and application of home oxygen saturation monitors.

 

Infection prevention and control

Public Health England has updated guidance on wearing masks in hospitals (12 June). 

The government has published guidance that lists travellers exempt from UK borders rules, which includes those responsible for human medicines, clinical trials and pharmacovigilance, quality assurance inspectors for human medicines and essential persons needed for clinical trials or studies. People travelling to attend pre-arranged treatment are also exempt (22 May).

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published its infection prevention and control board assurance framework (4 May). 

Public Health England has updated its guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions and discharging COVID-19 patients (23 April). It includes clarification of testing capacity/strategy and repeat testing at 14 days. This guidance relates to those recovering or recovered from COVID-19 and remaining in hospital, or being discharged to their own homes or residential care. 

Legislation

CQC, GMC and Healthcare Improvement Scotland have published a joint statement about death certification during COVID-19 (6 May). 

NHS England and NHS Improvement published guidance (1 April) for medical practitioners on excess death provisions of the Coronavirus Act

The Coronavirus Bill become law as the Coronavirus Act 2020 on 25 March. Find out what the Act means for health in our member briefing

Long COVID

NICE, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have published guidelines on the management of the long-term effects of COVID-19 (18 December).

NHS England and NHS Improvement has updated commissioning guidance to assist local healthcare systems to establish post-COVID-19 assessment clinics for patients experiencing long-term health effects following COVID-19 infection (17 December).  

Primary care

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published guidance on accessing and referring into the digital COVID-19 rehabilitation programme.

The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England have updated guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people on keeping safe during lockdown (4 November).

The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance on accessing extra stock of flu vaccines this winter (9 October).

The General Medical Council has updated its guidance on decision making and consent, which comes into effect on 9 November (30 September).

NHS England and NHS Improvement has written to GPs, primary care networks and community pharmacists about how to capture beneficial changes and ensure they are sustained, where appropriate (5 June)

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published guidance on the after-care needs of inpatients recovering from COVID-19 (5 June). 

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published guidance on standard operating procedure (SOP) for general practice in the context of COVID-19 (29 May).

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published guidance on the principles of safe video consulting in general practice during COVID-19 (29 May).

NHS England and NHS Improvement, together with Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care, has written on the national flu immunisation programme 2020/21, giving guidance in the context of COVID-19 (14 May).

NHS England and NHS Improvement has written to GP practices and primary care networks, chief executives of community health providers, regional directors of primary care and CCG accountable officers, giving guidance on COVID-19 care home support (1 May). 

NHS England and NHS Improvement has written to NHS trusts and foundation trusts, CCGs, GP practices and primary care networks, community health services providers and NHS 111 providers, on the second phase of NHS response to COVID-19 (29 April). 

Changes are being made to GP Connect and to the Summary Care Record to improve access that doctors, nurses and other authorised health and care professionals have to medical records and information (23 April).

The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance for people receiving direct payments, including local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support (21 April). Included is a Q&A developed in collaboration with a range of organisations. 

NHS England and NHS Improvement has updated guidance (30 April) on the safe deployment of existing staff and those joining the NHS to provide temporary support during COVID-19.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) sent a letter (9 April) to general practice on how CQC is working during COVID-19.  

NHS England and NHS Improvement published advise (3 April) regarding NHS volunteers relating COVID-19.  

NHS Digital has produced guidance on the shielded patients list (SLP) (last edited 30 April). 

NHS England and NHS Improvement has updated guidance (for general practice (6 April) in the context of COVID-19. 

Our PCN Network and NHS Clinical Commissioners have developed guidance on how CCGs can support primary care networks and their practices in light of COVID-19 (20 March). They have also distilled the key points of note for primary care on revised guidance on the supply and use of PPE, issued on 2 April. 

British Medical Association has produced a toolkit for GPs and GP practices to manage employment and contractual issues and service provision during COVID-19. 

The Royal College of General Practitioners has published guidance on workload prioritisation (10 April), to be used alongside the BMA's guidance on workload prioritisation

NHS England and NHS Improvement has a dedicated web section with guidance on primary care, including letters issued to leaders.  

For information on hot hubs, see 'Hot sites' above. 

Recovery strategy

NEW: The NHS Confederation published its member briefing on the fourth phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 (26 March).

The NHS Confederation published its member briefing on the third phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 (8 August). 

The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance on managing local outbreaks (27 July).

The UK government published its COVID-19 recovery strategy, providing guidance on the reopening of workplaces following the Prime Minister’s statement on how lockdown will begin to be eased. Our member briefing summaries the key points from the plan with a direct impact on health and care (11 May).

The NHS Confederation published its member briefing on the second phase of the NHS response to COVID-19

Reset

The NHS Confederation has launched a new campaign to contribute the public debate on what the health and care system should look like post-COVID-19.Known as NHS Reset, it aims to recognise the sacrifices and achievements of the COVID period, rebuild local systems and reset the way we plan, commission and deliver health and care.

Find out more about it and how you can get involved

Vaccination

For an overview of the latest guidance and information on the vaccination programme, head to our dedicated section.

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published Patient Group Direction for COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) (11 December).

The MHRA has published guidance on managing allergic reactions in vaccination centres after two patients suffered anaphylaxis after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech jab (9 December).

Public Health England has published a collection of papers on the new COVID-19 vaccination programme (7 December). 

Public Health England has published guidance for the COVID-19 vaccination programme for healthcare practitioners (4 December). 

Winter challenges

The government has published guidance on the COVID-19 winter plan (2 December). 

The Academy of Medical Sciences has published a report on preparing for a challenging winter

Workforce

NHS England has published the NHS People Plan (30 July).

The Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration have published guidance on what you need to know about the new immigration system (13 July).  

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published case studies on carrying out risk assessments to ensure safe working for all NHS staff through COVID-19.  

NHS Employers has signposted new guidance on how doctors in training who wish to train in another specialty can receive recognition towards the Certificate of Completion of Training (17 June). 

NHS Employers has updated its workforce guidance on risk assessments for staff. Updates include additional context on COVID-19 and the staff groups more vulnerable to serious illness (and death), and how employers can support colleagues to speak up so they have a better understanding of areas of concern in the organisation (28 May).

NHS Employers has published an update from the NHS Staff Council on overtime guidance (29 May).

NHS Employers has updated its workforce guidance to include detail on the life assurance scheme and eligibility criteria (20 May). 

NHS Employers has updated its pages on risk assessments, supporting staff to work from home, financial wellbeing, the medical and dental workforce, and pharmacists (20 May).

NHS England and NHS Improvement has appointed 30 accredited occupational health and Employee Assistance Programme service provider organisations to a new national framework for supplementary OH services to enable employers to buy in additional services on an ad-hoc basis to supplement inhouse teams. 

The NHS Staff Council has issued advice to clarify the job descriptions and banding of students coming into workforce on paid placements during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NHS England and NHS Improvement has produced guidance on deploying NHS staff into settings and roles which are unfamiliar to them. It includes training resources from Health Education England.  

NHS Employers has produced comprehensive guidance for NHS workforce leaders, covering issues including increasing workforce supply, bringing staff back, communicating with staff, partnership working, and health, safety and wellbeing.

NHS Wales Employers has produced guidance and FAQs for the NHS Wales workforce.

NHS Employers has a web section dedicated to COVID-19 guidance for NHS workforce leaders

Workforce wellbeing

NHS England and NHS Improvement has produced short ten- to 20-minute guides for staff to help develop new skills and discover new ways to improve experience at work. There are also quick reference notes and instruction on how to install on your smartphone. Visit the Supporting Our People web page.  

NHS Employers has compiled a regularly updated guide to discounts and priority shopping times available to NHS staff. 

NHS England and NHS Improvement has set up a support helpline and text service for NHS staff. 

Visit NHS Practitioner Health

NHS staff have been given free access to a number of apps to support their mental health and wellbeing. 

 

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