25/08/20:  Checklist to help people navigate care home choices during COVID-19

The need for care doesn’t stop in a pandemic, but COVID-19 means there are additional considerations when choosing a care home for yourself or a loved one.  We have launched a checklist guide to help those choosing a care setting to navigate decisions during COVID-19.  It sets out the questions to ask and things to consider, to give you peace of mind when choosing a place to call home.

We are inviting our members to share this checklist on websites and social media, as well as for use as part of their response to new enquiries.  You can DOWNLOAD THE NCF CHECKLIST HERE.

6.7.20 Top Tips for Tricky Times

When COVID-19 hit care homes there was very little guidance.

To fill the information vacuum some care home managers set up a WhatsApp group, with support from academics, clinicians and a commissioner. They pooled knowledge, responded to questions about accessing PPE, clinical issues, and offered much needed peer support and encouragement. This care home led group grew rapidly. A group of care home researchers from two NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARC) looked at the questions raised in this group and identified eight topics that might help address some of the questions.

Training Video from Altura Learning

Altura Learning has produced a training video which explains the virus and symptoms of the disease. This course also provides practical demonstrations of hand hygiene, application and removal of PPE and practical strategies to help prepare and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

If you are not currently a member of Altura Learning, they are pleased to offer access to the course for everyone in the social care sector. It is free of charge.

Members of Altura Learning can access this course via their normal access point of either the Altura Learning Portal, or Bridge LMS. There is also a members only Altura Evidence Assessment for the application and removal of PPE, and hand hygiene to support in staff assessment.


COVID-19 Five Care Sector Survival Tips

Marr Procurement have created a a top tops document for social care providers worried they might go under due to the financial strain the current crisis is placing on the. You can read more on their 5 Tips for Survival page.

If you need any free advice during this time email their MD Christoph Marr – [email protected]

The Royal College of Nursing

RCN has created a visual hand washing guide which can be printed and placed by all handbasins to remind staff, residents and visitors how to wash hands effectively.

Details of expert RCN clinical guidance and additional RCN advice and resources can be found on the RCN website infection prevention and control pages.

COVID-19: Arts and creative resources for older people (and anyone else) in isolation

Information about creative initiatives and useful resources to support particularly older people in isolation and in care homes during the COVID-19 crisis. This is a work in progress.

Active Minds are offering support for Care Homes with 10% off

Coronavirus is having a big effect on many, and we’re very aware that Care Homes are finding this period of isolation particularly challenging. The well being of people with dementia is pivotal to us, so we want to support Care Homes in their huge efforts during this time.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.


Helping families keep in touch during COVID-19

Finding ways to keep in touch with relatives and friends in care becomes all the more important.

Dementia UK and the Relatives & Residents Association have brought together ideas for relatives/friends, and for care staff, to help maintain these vital relationships.

Free space projects for kids (and adults) stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak

A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources!

Chatterbox has created engaging resources which include simple, step by step instructions and tips on how to adapt them for individual needs. Here’s how to access them.

Join us for an online Cuppa

Looking after somebody who might be vulnerable to Coronavirus is really tough. Mobilise has created a resource for carers to come together for supportive chats to share practical tips and tricks, and sometimes just to vent. Click here for more information.

Audible have made hundreds of titles completely free to help during coronavirus crisis

Good news for those stuck at home in isolation: Audible is making hundreds of titles available for free during the coronavirus pandemic. These can be accessed here.

Portrait Gallery

Looking for creative ideas to entertain your children while the schools are closed? Download our free Playful Portraits activity book, inspired by the amazing sitters in our Collection.

Help needed to rescue UK’s old rainfall records

At a loss to know what to do with your self-isolation time?

Well, why not get on the computer and help with a giant weather digitisation effort?

The Rainfall Rescue Project is seeking volunteers to transfer all the data into online spreadsheets.

If you want to take part visit

Forum trustee Yo-Yo Ma launches #SongsOfComfort

If you want to listen to a couple of minutes of calming, reflective cello music – here is Forum trustee and Cultural Leader Yo-Yo Ma playing “Goin’ Home

Singer, Crystal Awardee and New Narratives Lab Fellow Angélique Kidjo has also joined in, and has sent us a recording of her song Kulumbu.

Dorset charity reads classic stories online during coronavirus crisis

With the current restrictions in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Prama’s Emma Longden has started reading a chapter at a time of classic novel The Railway Children by E.Nesbit

The initiative was set up to combat loneliness, especially for older people aged 70 and over, who have been instructed by the government to self-isolate at this time.

This page contains a number of resources to promote wellbeing in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

FREE Resources from NAPA

More resources being added all the time…

Royal Academy of Dance at Home

Beginners Ballet for Adults.

Join Royal Academy of Dance teacher and Silver Swans expert practitioner Sarah Platt as she brings her motivational ballet classes directly to you at home.

This is the first in a series of classes aimed at the over 55s, giving you the knowledge to unleash your inner dancer, with new sequences to learn and remember each week.

#KeepBritainSinging With Rock Choir!

Following the latest news surrounding the UK, isolation and Corona Virus (Covid-19), Rock Choir! will begin our LIVE daily 3pm sing-a-long led by a different Rock Choir Leader each day for all Rockies and the entire British public to engage with!

Join them every day for a feel-good, energising fun sing of a favourite well-known song either from the Rock Choir repertoire or as a request from anyone taking part!

Follow us on facebook.com/TheRockChoir to take part and enjoy the interaction as we engage the country and look after your well-being!

Daily structure is healthy so we will be there without fail for everyone until normal life resumes!


Free fire safety advice line

Benfield Fire Safety is offering a free telephone advice service during these unprecedented times.

Should you need support and guidance on any aspect of care safety in your care setting, or the difficulties faced regarding fire safety within this current operating environment, then please do contact Benfield on: 0300 303 3277. Click here to read more.

Staying well when social distancing

We’ve created advice to support people who are undertaking social distancing and for families to support their children while schools are closed.

The government is advising everyone to adopt social distancing measures and most schools across the UK are now closed. The government has stated that if you have an underlying health condition(s) or if you are aged 70 or older, you need to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. The government has stated that if you have an underlying health condition(s) or if you are aged 70 or older, you need to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

It doesn’t matter if you are a parent with children or on your own, we know that during this period it’s really important that you look after your mental and emotional wellbeing as well as your physical health. Children especially will now be spending their days at home away from their usual routine, friends and activities. As parents/carers, you will inevitably be concerned about the effect this may have on your child’s development, physical and mental health, as well as your family’s wellbeing. This guide offers practical suggestions on how to help your children manage the next few weeks.

As occupational therapists, we are in a strong position to advise people on how to stay well while when social distancing. Indeed many people look to us for guidance and now is the time for us to step forward. We strongly urge you to use this guidance and share it with other occupational therapists, the people who access your services, their families, your colleagues and other health and care professionals on what they can do to help them cope with social distancing.

Social distancing advice – pdf.s to download

  • Guidance for parents who are socially distancing with children
  • Guidance for people who are socially distancing
  • Guidance for occupational therapists to continue CPD whilst social distancing

This weeks FREE ReadyMade Activities in ReMe

If you’ve not yet joined the many hundreds of care facilities that last week joined the fast growing ReMe community to use ReadyMade activities and enable remote family connectivity for FREE, then simply click here. All you need is a TV, a tablet and broadband, and be up for a laugh.

If you’re still awaiting your ReMe login details, please bear with us, for we’ve been overwhelmed by the scale of demand, literally from Adelaide to Acton, Delhi to Durham – and our team are working overtime to get through the backlog.

This week, we release more quizzes and themed activities. They can be used by your team or by remote families. As ever, ReMe is intended to engage families and bring them into the fun, so get them enrolled quickly.

COVID19: Human Rights in Practice (Last Update 08.04.20)

A new blog on Human Rights in Practice, from Rachel Griffiths, the QCS expert on Human Rights and Mental Capacity. It discusses a new case on the court that the judge was facing an identical problem that so many care providers are currently struggling with. While upholding fairness and equal treatment, it is important to be kind and empathise with how hard this is for all residents of care setting. To read the article, please go to.

Health at Home – public campaign

COVID-19 means the public need to stay at home as much as possible. If they need an NHS service, they can try to do it online from home first, if they are able to (unless there’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, they are very unwell or have been advised to attend an existing appointment for ongoing treatment).

The Health at Home campaign, created in collaboration with NHSX, NHS Digital and NHS England and NHS Improvement, signposts people to useful information about how to contact their GP, order repeat prescriptions, and manage their wellbeing and existing conditions – without leaving their home.

Campaign resources including newsletter and website copy, social media posts, GIFs and video links areo hosted on Public Health England’s Campaign Resource Centre and can be downloaded from here

How do we isolate people from each other to keep them well, without making them lonely?

This guide is grounded in the principles of person centred care and is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emotional and physical well being of those with care and support needs and those who care for them must be our absolute priority at this time. The provision of activity is not the sole responsibility of one person however, the whole home can be fully involved in an activity and engagement-based model of care.

Click here to read the full guidance

Free Counselling for our frontline care home heroes!

To all frontline staff (including those self-isolating) involved with the COVID-19 crisis,

Confidential emotional support is available, free of charge, to frontline staff from qualified and trainee psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors from the Southern Association for Psychotherapy and Counselling (http://www.safpacfrontline.co.uk/).

To help you cope with the crisis, please email [email protected]  and a therapist will then contact you normally offering up to 3 sessions of 30 to 50 minutes, at a mutually agreed time, through Skype or phone, etc.

There are 75 spaces available, so act now and get the support you need and deserve!

NAPA & M4D2020 are giving away 100 Amazon Alexas together with a 6-month Amazon Unlimited Music subscription to care homes in the UK!

In these concerning and troubling times, NAPA wanted to bring you some good news. We have been in conversation with Music for Dementia 2020 (M4D2020), a national campaign aiming to deliver music to everyone living with dementia, about how we can support your work at this time.
We are delighted to let you know that M4D2020 are giving away 100 Amazon Alexas together with a 6-month Amazon Unlimited Music subscription to care homes in the UK!

Music can be a wonderful method of connection and communication for everyone, especially people living with dementia. In these isolated times, M4D2020 want to send the gift of music to 100 homes around the UK. If you think your home would benefit from this gift, read the details of the giveaway below.

The details:

1. There is no cost to the care home receiving this gift. M4D2020 will send the Alexa Show device to the care home and issue a grant which is equal to the cost of 6 months of the ‘single device Amazon Unlimited Music subscription’. This breaks down as £3.99 a month for 6 months, a total cost of £23.94. If you would like to look at the subscription terms and conditions please go to the Amazon website.

2. In order to benefit from this giveaway, the care home must be happy to register a business debit or credit card for the music subscription, and a business email, with Amazon for the account. All costs will be reimbursed to the care home from M4D2020.

3. Any payment details will not be seen or held by M4D2020.

4. M4D2020 can only give away 100 devices and subscriptions, so we would politely ask that if your home already possesses a device you do not apply to be part of this giveaway.

5. To make the giveaway as fair as possible, 100 care homes will be selected at random from all the entries.

6. M4D2020 would like to know how you are using the device and how it has benefited your residents. By entering the giveaway, you are confirming that you are happy for the M4D2020 team to follow up and ask for case studies at a later date.

In order to register for the giveaway, please check you are happy with the details as outlined in this email, and then complete this short Google Form to register.
You have until 1 May 2020 to register for this giveaway. Care homes will be chosen at random, after the giveaway closes. M4D2020 will then contact each care home that will be receiving a device to arrange delivery and set up.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please email [email protected].

FREE emergency plumbing or heating repairs during lockdown

Are you an @NHSuk or Social Care Worker? We can help with FREE emergency plumbing or heating repairs during #lockdown. You take care of us, so let us take care of your home.

Need help now? Call 0330 0247 222 or visit https://homeserve.com/uk/key-worker

VAT Solutions…Our Contract Restructuring Service

In these challenging times of ever-increasing cost pressures, the restructuring service offered by VAT Solutions presents a new opportunity for operators (both private and not for profit) to recover VAT on an ongoing basis. By creating the vehicle for taxable supplies (by means of a VAT group registration), we therefore provide a structure which streamlines, centralises and optimises the efficiency of the administration and management of a care operation’s local authority/CCG fee contracting process.

Not only does the new structure create considerable VAT savings for an operator, but also provides significant commercial benefits for the business in the form of improved efficiency and communication regarding local authority fees. Our history of positive and successful dialogue with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups, combined with our extensive and thorough implementation support, post implementation advice and ongoing consultative role provide our clients with the best possible outcome to maximise their VAT position.

‘At a time when our sector needs to maximise its financial position, I would encourage any care provider, no matter what size operation they have, to consider the cost benefits and commercial efficiency which the Vat Solutions ‘contract restructuring’ service has to offer.’
Ian Jarvis (Finance Director) – Kingsley Healthcare

Next Steps…
If you would like to know more about our services to the care sector in general, or further detail about our restructuring service, then please contact:
Clare Newboult tel: 07905 506 909/0114 280 3630 email: [email protected]

Find out more about NCF partner – VAT solutions

Your Unforgettable Friend – Digital Activity Pack


Your Unforgettable Friend, a dementia friendly activity booklet brought to you by Puzzler and The People’s Friend.  


Inside you’ll find a mix of great puzzles, including picture crosswords, colouring in, spot the difference, word searches and bingo.  The People’s Friend magazine, includes three short stories, 80 years of The Wizard of Oz and a celebration of the life of actor Kirk Douglas.   


The booklet is available to download here


Uber Medic.

After positive discussions with Uber alongside the Government, we’re excited to announce the launch of Uber Medic – a new product to provide all Care Providers access to a 25% discount on their staff’s trips for 12 weeks. See here for details and the action needed to gain access.

Uber Medic takes minutes to set up and requires minimal resources to roll out across your organisation. Once set-up, staff can also use the discount on their personal, self-funded, Uber rides.

Launches 29 April 2020.


As an employer you will no doubt have specific concerns regarding both health and safety, and employment law. To offer our clients support, we have been working closely with our long-term partner, Ellis Whittam, who have launched a coronavirus advice hub, which we are pleased to be able to give you free access to.


COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how businesses are working, with many now managing a largely remote workforce for the first time, and with this comes increased cyber risk that you may not be aware of or fully equipped to handle.

So, as part of their effort to support the SME business community during this time, CFC is offering access to their award-winning cyber incident response helpline free of charge until 31 May 2020 to SME Towergate clients.

Giving back to carers & care organisations

earn 1% cashback on purchases*

With the Cashplus Business Account, you can earn 1% cashback on qualifying card spend

Whether you already have a business bank account or are a new carer setting up, start earning money on your purchases & expenses

What’s more, we’re also wavering the usual annual fee of £69 for all NCF members

The Cashplus Business Account is the ideal solution for care organisations of all shapes and sizes

  • Track spend real time, online and via mobile app 24/7
  • Integrated with all leading accountancy packages
  • Simple online application
  • Mastercard Debit Card with purchase protection

Click here for more information and to apply

Email [email protected] for more information

*Terms and conditions apply

Cashplus are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with over 1.9m personal and business cards issued since 2004 and over £10 billion in payments processed to date

Chemical-Free Cleaning Products Using Stabilised Aqueous Ozone

Innovative cleaning product joins the fight against COVID-19

UK care homes are turning to a revolutionary cleaning system which has been scientifically proven to kill the approved surrogate of the COVID-19 virus (MHV-3). An incredibly powerful but much safer cleaning and sanitising solution, Stabilised Aqueous Ozone (SAO™) is also safer for staff and residents, can help care homes to save thousands in their cleaning budgets, requires zero COSHH training and is much eco-friendlier than chemical cleaners.  To find out more view

NAPA Spottea Together

NAPA is busy supporting care homes through the COVID-19 Pandemic –

The NAPA Helpline is a FREE National service, available to care and activity teams supporting older people to be safe but not lonely.

On Sunday May 31st, we ask you all to connect with at least one other person virtually, on a digital platform of your choice, wear something spotty and enjoy tea together!

We would love to see your photos!

For more information click here.

Free Coronavirus (COVID-19) Essentials Course

We’ve just launched a free eLearning course “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Essentials”.

This course provides the essentials you need to know with links to the latest government, Care Quality Commission and NHS updates:  Read more here

Introducing our four-part series on keeping safe online

This month at QCS we will be sharing with you a number of helpful tools and guides, to keep you and your colleagues safe online.

Last month there were over 1,000 instances of Coronavirus-related fraud and cybercrime reported in the UK according to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Cyber criminals unfortunately operate by playing on public fears with a simple goal of gaining clicks on a link. Once the link has been clicked this will allow the hackers to steal sensitive data or even take control of a user’s device.

We understand you already have existing challenges to keep service users healthy, but it is equally important to keep theirs and your organisations data safe online. Raising cyber awareness of your staff and equipping them with cyber security knowledge is crucial for tackling online crime.

QCS, as the leading compliance management system for the healthcare sector, have responded to these alarming statistics by creating a small series of plain English fact sheets on how to protect yourself and your colleagues online. In this series, you will learn about:

  • Top Tips to being cyber aware
  • Cyber security for your smartphones and tablets
  • Cyber security advice when using Video Conferencing
  • Safe web browsing and email for care providers

Find out more here:

Belong Active

We’ve launched a dedicated exercise channel to support our customers and older people in the community to keep active during self-isolation, including chair-based exercise videos to help aid recovery from hip fractures!

Find out more here.

List your PPE needs on FindTheMasks

FindTheMasks is an international, volunteer-led PPE needs mapping tool, which has recently launched in the UK. Care providers who are in need of vital PPE can now be listed on FindTheMasks interactive map to allow donors to quickly and efficiently find local care providers in need.

FindTheMasks now has over 4,000 care facilities across 14 countries listed on its website. The organisation is comprised of numerous volunteers from all over the world who have come together to support the care sector in its vital efforts in maintaining adequate PPE stocks. Find out more here.

NAPA – The National Activity Providers Association

Is a charity and membership organisation that supports the care home sector to prioritise the well being of their residents through activity and engagement.

You can join NAPA for just £90. The fee includes your first-year membership for £65 and a one off registration fee of £25. Should you choose to renew your membership after 15 months then the renewal fee will be just £50.

We are therefore inviting you to become a NAPA member and as a special welcome we are gifting you 3 additional months membership when you register for one year.

15 months membership for the price of 12!  Read more here.

CQC publishes more than 300 examples of how providers are responding to coronavirus

We have today published more than 300 examples from the front line of how providers are responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Health and care providers from all sectors have shared examples with us showing how they have innovated and adapted working practices to respond to the challenges of dealing with coronavirus (COVID-19).

These short examples, from small home care agencies to large acute hospitals, are also a celebration of the dedication and resourcefulness of health and care providers and staff.

Visit our website for the full news story and to read the case studies. We continue to receive examples of innovation and good practice, and will keep the case studies regularly updated. Providers are able to submit their examples by email to [email protected], and we invite everyone to join the conversation on Twitter using #RespondingToCovid or by following @CQCProf. 

Exercise Video – PrAISED

This video was co-produced by researchers and patients who took part in the PrAISED research programme at the University of Nottingham. The Promoting Activity, Independence and Stability in Early Dementia (PrAISED) research programme aims to help people with mild cognitive impairment or early stage dementia to remain healthier and more independent for longer. This video is part of a specially designed activity and exercise programme, consisting of a combination of exercises, activities of daily living and memory strategies to help improve and maintain physical and mental health.”  Watch the video here.

Checklist to help people navigate care home choices during COVID-19 NCF Care Home Checklist A4 v5

The need for care doesn’t stop in a pandemic, but COVID-19 means there are additional considerations when choosing a care home for yourself or a loved one.  We have launched a checklist guide to help those choosing a care setting to navigate decisions during COVID-19.  It sets out the questions to ask and things to consider, to give you peace of mind when choosing a place to call home.

We are inviting our members to share this checklist on websites and social media, as well as for use as part of their response to new enquiries.  You can download the NCF checklist here. (link to pdf attached)

Top 100 Virtual Tours Around The World [2020]

Under the new circumstances of COVID-19 restrictions, it is difficult to imagine ourselves crossing borders to complete our bucket lists. Luckily, you can still experience escapism and virtual tours from the safety of your home, as virtual tourism offers the most innovative way to take your imaginary trips.

Keep in mind that virtual tourism is far more creative and fun than scrolling travel photos from social media or walking around town with your favorite vlogger, it is not only about seeing the sights. Virtual tourism is about experiencing cultures, meeting the people, touring a museum, and get close to the artworks without having a security officer watching you suspiciously.  Find out more here.

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