Guidance for social, community and residential care providers on COVID-19

Guidance for social, community and residential providers on COVID-19. Weekly updates will be published on this page. A link for this page will also be sent to your email address.

Testing of domiciliary care workers

DHSC announced regular testing of domiciliary care workers on 20 November. View information on GOV.UK  

DHSC will be running webinars for providers and anyone else who is interested in this. The first webinar will be on Monday 23 November at 1pm, and then every Tuesday and Thursday. Join a webinar

Personal assistants and care workers caring for people recovering from COVID-19 at home

SCIE has published a quick guide aimed at personal assistants and care workers caring for people recovering from COVID-19 at home. It explains what to expect as these people return to their lives at home under new circumstances, and emphasises that involvement of families, friends and personal networks should be central to providing appropriate care and support.

Care home visiting policy

Following the second national lockdown declared on Thursday 5 November, the Government has issued an updated visiting guidance for care homes, recognising that receiving visitors is an important part of care home life. Maintaining some opportunities for visiting to take place is critical for supporting the health and wellbeing of residents and their relationships with friends and family.

The local visiting policy will be updated and published here shortly in light of the changes.

View updated national guidance

Day services guidance during the second national lockdown

Following the second national lockdown declared on Thursday 5 November, support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes, but is not limited to, support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement, and vulnerable young people, including for them to meet young workers.

Day services are covered by the term ‘support group’. Therefore, should be able to stay open where they need to deliver face to face care – or they may amend their service to online/distance support (as some already have).

View day service guidance (GOV.UK)


PPE guidance

The Government have issued a helpful illustrative guide for health and social care workers. It details which PPE to wear depending on where and how you are working and how to work safely using your PPE and safer working practices to protect staff and residents. Guidance should be used in conjunction with local policies. 

PPE donning and doffing YouTube tutorial

PPE supplies

If you are an organisation who is commissioned by Richmond Council to provide services on our behalf, or you work in partnership with the Council on the COVID-19 response, or you are a care provider in the borough providing services which need PPE to borough residents, we aim to support you in sourcing PPE when you are in emergency need (supplies of 3 days or less).

The Council is not a supplier itself of PPE and we do not hold any relationships with suppliers to secure PPE for you.

Please note: it is expected that you have undertaken step 1 under the 'Accessing PPE supplies' section below before approaching the Council for support.

Accessing PPE supplies

  1. Normal supply chain and other wholesalers

You must try to obtain your PPE from your usual supplier or wholesaler in the first instance. A list of additional suppliers as listed by the Government that you can try is also provided here. Organisations are expected to undertake their own due diligence before using any suppliers not known to them.

  1. PPE portal

Voluntary sector community, residential services, domiciliary social care providers, community drug and alcohol services, and residential drug and alcohol services have added to the services eligible to order PPE from the GOV.UK portal. Services can use this route for all their COVID-19 PPE needs, not just urgent/emergency supplies when normal suppliers can’t meet need.

Eligible providers should already have access to the PPE portal or should have been sent a link via email by the government to register for the portal. The portal can be used by providers to receive emergency PPE if needed. Call the customer service team on 0800 876 6802 if you have any questions about using the PPE portal. 

  1. Contact the local authority

If all the above suppliers are unable to help and you need an emergency supply of equipment, please send an email to us at with the following information:

  • Confirmation that you have approached your normal suppliers and the 7 Government wholesalers
  • Let us know the date you put an order in through your normal channels, for what items and quantities, and estimated delivery date
  • Please ensure you include the following information in your email request for emergency supplies:
  • Provider Name / Service name
  • Delivery Address
  • Contact Name and job role
  • Contact Phone Number
  • Contact Email Address
  • Quantities of the PPE items required to last you for one week only: gloves (indicate size – small, medium, large), Type IIR masks, disposable aprons, hand sanitiser (NB quantity varies each week depending on availability, e.g. 60 ml, 100 ml, 500 ml, 5 l.)

We will then screen your request and may contact you for further information. We endeavour to supply PPE to meet urgent critical need through various routes, with a referral to the local resilience forum (LRF) being one of these. 

The local authority will no longer be providing PPE as an ongoing need, unless there is a national or local shortage of PPE supplies, or a spike in local COVID-19 cases.

NB: The LRF is focused on fulfilment of emergency and immediate requests, where PPE is required in under 72 hours. Please note the LRF do not have access to the full lines of stock held at other large wholesalers or distributors. Through this we aim to provide you with a weeks worth of PPE, but please note that delivery will be with whatever items can be fulfilled, as this is dependent upon stocks made available to the London region. Raising a request does not guarantee that it can be resolved immediately.

PPE can be collected from Council collection points by appointment made in advance:

  • Richmond Civic Centre (Twickenham)

The Council may be able to deliver to some services in exceptional circumstances.

Do continue to complete the Capacity Tracker with your PPE stock levels during this time.

  1. South West London Mutual Aid

The SWL Mutual Aid will not long be available from 6 November 2020 unless for exceptional circumstances, providers are encouraged register with the PPE Portal for PPE need if eligible or contact the Local Authority if not eligible for the PPE portal and have an emergency need.

  1. National Supply Disruption Response

Providers who have an urgent requirement for PPE, which they are unable to secure through any of the steps above should contact the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) via the helpline: 0800 915 9964.*

*This number is serviced 24 hours a day 7 days a week and is a freephone number in the UK.

Care Homes Resource Pack

This pack has been developed to provide clear guidance for London Care Homes aligned with NHS 111 Star lines and London COVID-19 Resource Pack for Primary Care, ensuring that national guidance and good practice can be embedded locally by care providers.

Download the Care homes resource pack

Influenza Outbreak Response- SOP for Care Providers

Healthy London Partnership and NHS England and Improvement have published a SOP to support care provider managers and staff when managing residents with symptom(s) of Influenza or acute respiratory illness.

You can also find top tips on discharge from hospital to care home and examples of positive practice and other practical tools

Download the Standard Operating Procedure document

Update from the Infection Prevention Control Team (IPC) - SW London

The IPC Team - SW London invite you to support their 11am Tuesday webinars each week, held via Microsoft teams. This is an information sharing webinar for care homes that imparts the very latest IPC advice from their top specialists.

You do not need to contribute unless you want to. You can just listen in. Questions are encouraged at the end and feedback has been that care homes find the sessions invaluable. All sessions are followed up by FAQs sent out at the end of the week giving you the very latest advice.

  • Join Microsoft Teams Meeting at 11am each Tuesday (this link works every week provided you have downloaded Teams on your computer)
  • Conference ID: 855 305 74# 

The email address can be used at any time to ask any question, no matter how small or insignificant. There is no blame culture and the IPC try to respond in a timely fashion.

Finally, please identify an Infection Prevention Control Champion in your home who should make themselves known to Helen can organise IPC update training for staff and share our Best Practice Tool to ensure the very best clean and safe care for your residents.

You Said We Did joint response to care home survey

In July 2020 Healthwatch Wandsworth worked with SWL CCG (Wandsworth) to develop an independent and anonymous survey for care home staff to understand how well staff in care homes felt supported to care for their residents and to look after themselves during the pandemic.

London Borough of Wandsworth and London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (including Public Health) and SWL CCG (Wandsworth and Richmond) have worked together to develop a response plan to the concerns raised by the care homes staff via this survey.

London resource pack for day centres

London ADASS have created a resource pack to support the reopening of building based day opportunities for vulnerable people during COVID-19. Please note, this guide is designed to complement and not replace local guidance and professional judgement. Due to rapid changes to guidance during COVID-19, please check when using links to national and other guidance that it is the most up to date revision.

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic guidance

The government has published recent updates to guidance for MCA and DoLS during the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers need to be aware of these documents which pertain to caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Antibody testing

The antibody testing offer has now ended, however a new at-home antibody testing service is now available to all staff in the adult social care sector in England. This service has been designed to support surveillance studies that will help us understand COVID-19 and how it has spread.

Antibody testing is already being provided through the NHS for staff in adult social care. The new at-home antibody test provides an additional route to access an antibody test, giving greater flexibility and choice. Staff should only take one version of the test.

To sign up for an at-home antibody test, staff will need to register on the GOV.UK portal

Supporting people with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic

In an effort to support our providers to deliver the best for people with dementia living in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have developed a new guide.

The guide is mainly for care home staff (although friends and family can also benefit), it highlights local concerns raised by care homes and provides advice on how homes can overcome challenges around visiting and activities, residents with dementia’s mental and physical wellbeing, PPE, decisions about care treatment and end of life care.

Read more about supporting people with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for Care Home Staff and Residents

South West CCG are offering various Mental Health and Wellbeing Support available to staff and residents in the care homes.

View the mental health and wellbeing support on offer.

Procedure for reporting positive COVID-19 cases in the care home

Care homes can find the procedure for reporting positive COVID-19 cases below:

  1. Care home reporting to PHE when suspected or confirmed cases arises
  2. Care home to then update the NHS Capacity Tracker
  3. If a care home does not make contact with their local CCG or LA then a care home coordinator will contact the care home to find out more details on the reported case/s. Care homes need to regularly update suspected and confirmed cases via Capacity Tracker, Local Authority and RIDDOR

View the Residential and Nursing Care Residents - Suspected Coronavirus Pathway

Registered Manager's Network

London Care and Support Forum is a network for registered managers working across all sectors of adults social care. There are many useful updates and events for registered managers. Zoom events for the rest of the year will take place on Oct 28, Nov 18, and Dec 9.

More information can be found on the London Care and Support Forum.

Winter Readiness Webinars

Care homes that were unable to attend the Winter Readiness Webinars in September hosted by the Healthy London Partnership can view the video of the winter readiness webinar and the accompanying slide pack.

Weekend testing in Care Homes

The Director of Public Health, Shannon Kitayo has written a letter to care homes to consider spreading care home testing more evenly throughout the week by testing on weekends where possible in an effort to increase overall testing capacity.

Read Shannon Kitayo's letter to care home managers.

Hospital discharge policy

The Hospital discharge policy has recently been published and replaces 'coronavirus (COVID-19) hospital discharge service requirements' published on 19 March 2020.

This document sets out how health and care systems can ensure that people:

  • Are discharged safely from hospital to the most appropriate place
  • Continue to receive the care and support they need after they leave hospital

Advice for social, community and residential care providers

Current guidance for adult social care has been published.

All providers in Richmond are asked to familiarise themselves with this guidance and check regularly for updates. We expect all providers to ensure they are compliant with the recommended infection control measures.

Common questions about COVID-19

We understand that you may have questions relating to COVID-19 so we have put together the most frequently asked questions and their answers.


Full up-to-date information on the testing arrangements, how they can be accessed and how essential workers can self-refer can be found on GOV.UK. Older people care homes can request testing for residents and staff through this government portal. All types of care homes are now able to register for retesting.

There is also a testing matrix detailing testing available for care homes in England.

If you need assistance with how to administer nasal and throat swabs for residents, please refer to this video tutorial:

Community Testing guidance has been updated regarding testing residents before admission to a care home.

Infection prevention and control guidelines

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

SCIE has a COVID-19 directory of resources and best practice from across the social care sector.

Supported living


You can find a list of resources below on how to support residents with Dementia and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council is in the process of developing local guidance around this and will be shared once completed.

Key contacts

Local Health Protection Team

If your care home is experiencing an outbreak or you require support from PHE below are the details of your local health protection team at Public Health England.

PHE South London Health Protection Team

Floor 3C Skipton House, 80 London Road, London, SE1 6LH
Phone: 0344 326 2052
Fax: 0344 326 7255
Out of hours for health professionals only: 0344 326 2052

London Coronavirus Response Centre (LCRC)

Phone: 0300 303 0450

Public Health enquiries


Care Homes Support Package

We know that many care providers are facing challenges; however, care homes have been particularly susceptible to outbreaks of COVID-19. Therefore, the government has issued new guidance setting out the steps that must be taken to keep people in care homes safe.

Support will be brought together across national and local government to help care providers put this into practice.

Please find the councils response to the Government’s request to support care homes:


Information on financial support for providers and how to apply.

Other useful documents

Further information

However, if you require clarification or if you have any further specific questions, please send these to and we will respond to them as soon as possible.

Please only use this email address if you are a provider of Social Care (Care Home, Voluntary Sector, Home Care).

If you are concerned about a member of your family receiving Social Care, please contact:

If you are a member of the public please follow the advice on the NHS website.

Also, view advice on COVID-19 from Richmond Council.

Financial support for adult social care providers.

Updated: 23 November 2020