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Coronavirus guidance for professional care providers

Page updated 30/03

The following information is for:

  • CQC registered providers
  • Social care workers
  • Healthcare workers
  • Those who work in residential care and nursing homes
  • Those who provide supported living and home care, including personal assistants

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to develop rapidly, our priority will always be to provide the best care and support for the individuals we work with. Thank you for all your efforts in supporting and reassuring those you work alongside. Social care providers work hard at the best of times, and we really appreciate the efforts you are putting in. Please ensure your contingency plans are up to date. The situation is rapidly changing, and contingency plans help us ensure our work can continue as effectively as possible however the situation develops.

Advice and information

The key advice is constantly being updated to reflect the latest advice and developing situation. Our website will be regularly updated with the latest news.

Free parking for healthcare workers and community volunteers

Free parking permits are available for health workers and community volunteers who are helping people across Norfolk.

Providers are requesting that patients discharged from hospital are screened negative for COVID-19. This is not current NHS policy.

All three acute hospitals and two community trusts in Norfolk have agreed the following to reassure you that patients are safe to discharge:

A guaranteed set of observations undertaken within 4 hours prior to discharge demonstrating that the patient has a normal temperature and an acceptable NEWS2 score reflective of their own normal/expected parameters in relation to the clinical condition e.g. End of Life.

Demand for residential and nursing beds remains extremely high. If you have bed availability, please keep the eBrokerage tracker updated so we can make referrals. 

Please remember to update the tracker if your bed availability alters due to the isolation status of your service. We are also keen to speak with providers about proposals to block purchase several beds.

We would welcome any proposals, which includes potential capacity that could be put in place if additional support and resource could be provided. Please contact us at the email address below and we will follow up with you.

The CQC have developed a COVID-19 information webpage including guidance on the Trusted Assessor scheme, Registration arrangements if you are considering extending the services you offer to meet current demand and clarification about notifications in relation to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
In response to government advice about social distancing for vulnerable people, we wrote to all day service providers in Norfolk to request that they close on 20 March 2020. 

We recognise that this has an impact on some residential care services and we are asking that they put in place alternative day time arrangements for those that they support.

The Chief Dental Officer today issued advice to dentists that routine dentistry and orthodontic treatment should no longer be provided. Urgent and emergency care will be based on telephone advice and prescription of analgesia or antibiotics as necessary.

It is proposed that local and regional dental hubs will be established where further clinical interventions may be provided where required.

You'll find information on fire safety for healthcare providers during the Covid-19 pandemic on our Covid-19: Business fire safety page.

Where staffing levels are insufficient to maintain all planned care calls, providers should use their RAG ratings to prioritise care delivery to the most vulnerable service users. This must only occur where staff rotas cannot be amended to meet all planned visits. Essential visits must take place. If staffing shortage could leave any essential call unmet, providers must contact the Council.

The government has issued guidance setting out those groups of workers whose children will continue to be offered attendance during the school shutdown.

The Council has been working with schools to ensure that all essential staff in health and social care services (including Personal Assistants) are recognised as keyworkers. 

FAQs for front line health and social care workers with contact details to obtain further assistance

A letter of authority from the Executive Directors of Adults and Children’s services has been sent to Personal Assistants enabling them to demonstrate their status as keyworkers. PAs who have not received this letter by Tuesday 31 March should contact the email address below.

More information can be found on the GOV.UK website 

If your staff experience difficulties in demonstrating their keyworker status to a school in Norfolk please contact us at the email address below.

Please make sure health care professionals who need to see patients can still access your homes as necessary. It is important to note that the healthcare professional attending their will have determined that the visit is clinically necessary.

You’ll need to have effective infection control processes in place to enable safe access. This also applies to staff delivering, installing and collecting equipment. They have all received appropriate training and have PPE to enable them to carry out their role safely.

To assist NHS colleagues to provide a remote service to people using residential and nursing homes, those providers who are not already users of will be invited to use the fast-track sign up system to obtain email accounts. This will allow patient confidential information to be passed between providers and GP surgeries, community pharmacists and nurses, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists.

Providers will receive an email from partners at Norfolk and Waveney CCG with a form to return in order to expedite this process. You should expect to receive this email before Thursday 26 March, it would be appreciated if you would prioritise your response.

Distribution of the PPE stockpile has commenced in Norfolk and several providers have confirmed receipt of 300 Type IIR Facemasks. All providers should have received communication from the NHS Strategic Incident Director - we have attached the letter and FAQs below.

Deliveries will continue to all CQC registered locations until Thursday 26 March. The National Supply Disruption Response team can be contacted if you urgently require stocks of PPE and your usual suppliers are unable to meet demand.

National Supply Disruption Response line:

As pharmacies face extraordinary demand at this time, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has advised community pharmacists that they may dispense medicines in original packs. This may impact on your service or the people you care for and support.

Residential and Nursing Homes – Most services have switched from monitored dosage systems (MDS) to original pack dispensing of medicines from their pharmacy supplier. If you are currently supplied medicine in an MDS format, your pharmacy supplier will contact you in advance if a switch to original packs becomes necessary.

Home Care and Supported Living providers – People in the community or Supported Living schemes who currently have medication dispensed in compliance aids may have it dispensed in original packs. Community pharmacies will risk assess patients to ensure that those who most require assistive packaging will continue to receive it. Community pharmacies will communicate with patients in advance if a change in presentation of medicines is being considered or becomes necessary.

Our Quality Monitoring Officers are calling all Registered Managers to offer support, signposting and to identify any issues we can escalate for resolution.

Even though our Quality Monitoring Officers are amazing, if you have COVID-19 related queries that are not answered by the information or links on this page, these should be emailed to as this helps us to identify key topics to improve the information we provide on this page.

In exceptional circumstances a new worker required urgently may be started with an Adult First check. The Disclosure and Barring Service have also temporarily relaxed the requirement to have a face to face meeting with applicants for a DBS. Documents may be viewed by video link and scanned to support the application process. Revised guidelines are available at the GOV.UK website.  

From 30 March 2020 the government has made free-of-charge DBS checks available on a fast track basis. All staff roles in health and social care CQC regulated services are eligible for this check. Guidance on use of this service is available on the GOV.UK website.

Safeguarding, locality and Quality Assurance teams may also require access to your service to follow up a section 42 safeguarding enquiry. A risk assessed and pragmatic approach is being adopted to avoid attending but it may be necessary. All colleagues will observe appropriate infection control protocols.
We’ve added new items to our Coronavirus toolkit including posters on social distancing, responsible shopping and daily exercise which you may find useful in your services.
Support is available for health and social care businesses. The latest information on the Norfolk local offer and nationally available resources can be found on the Council’s dedicated COVID-19 Business Support webpage. Please note that all enquiries relating to Business Support should be directed to the contact details provided on the Business Support webpage.

The Council is currently working with Norfolk & Suffolk Care Support and the Care Association to support providers to recruit, DBS check and train new staff as swiftly as possible.

Our Assistant Director for Workforce, Markets and Brokerage sets out our initial programme for the coming two weeks

Keeping in touch with us

We will communicate with you via email, issuing updates and information as appropriate in what is a fast moving situation.

If there are any changes to the service you provide or other impact on your business as a result of the current situation, please contact us as soon as possible, using the email

Please read any email alerts we send you to stay up to date with the latest advice. Our Twitter account @QualityNorfolk will also provide regular updates and advice.

If you’ve got any further questions or are unsure how new advice might apply to your work, please email, which will be monitored regularly.  If you have an urgent query outside of normal office hours, follow the usual procedure and call Adult Social Services on 0344 800 8020.

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