18.1.21 Indemnity Scheme for designated settings

Written Ministerial Statement about designated settings indemnity arrangements

Updated 13.1.21 Designated setting for people discharged to a care home

The guidance for designated settings has been published.

15.12.20 CQC Regulating COVID-19 Testing

We now have it in writing from the CQC that you do not need to apply for diagnostic and screening procedures to carry out testing staff, residents or visitors.

6.8.20 CQC Infection Prevention Control Inspection Toolkit

CQC previously introduced how they were looking at Infection Prevention Control (IPC) in care homes and have now published a new IPC inspection tool on their website.  

The tool will be used as CQC increase targeted and focused inspections of high risk services. The tool will be used to gather information about the strengths of a service and to understand if there are any gaps or concerns around IPC where CQC could signpost to resources which could help.

16.7.20 – Delay of Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) Implementation

The LPS have been delayed until April 2022 by the Minister for Care. These are intended to replace DoLs and were supposed to go live on 1 October 2020. While the full implementation won’t happen until April 2022, some provisions, covering new roles and training, may come into force ahead of that date.

16.7.20- Guidance on best interests decisions and DoLs

SCIE has published some helpful guidance on best interests decisions and the Mental Capacity Act during COVID-19.



16.7.20 – CQC Provider Collaboration Reviews

CQC is starting a series of Provider Collaboration Reviews. The aims are:

  • Support providers across systems by sharing learning around key attributes of partnership efforts, resulting in improved experiences and outcomes for those who have used services during the pandemic.
  • Share the learning of approaches underway to support preparation for re-establishing services
  • Share learning locally and nationally in advance of any subsequent spikes and winter 2020/21, to help drive improvement.


9.7.20 – Purchasing medical devices for social care – MHRA

Presentation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on: which items providers should buy, how and why decisions to expediate CE marking was made, and how providers can find out if a non-CE marked product is suitable. (A CE mark is a logo that is placed on medical devices to show they conform to the requirements in the Medical Devices Directives.)

8.7.20 – CQC plans for rapid reviews of local areas response to COVID-19

CQC is planning Provider Collaboration Reviews (PCRs) focussed on 11 Integrated Care System (ICS) or Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) areas. The reviews will support providers across systems by sharing learning, helping to drive improvements and prepare for future pressures on local health and care systems. CPA welcomed CQC reviews as opportunity “to learn at local systems level”.

Two monthly report on the status of provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020

The Coronavirus Act 2020 requires ministers to report every 2 months on which powers are currently active. They have released the first report today. Look at page 8 onwards for a table describing which powers are active and which ones are not.

Updated 26.5.20 DoLs During COVID-19

CQC has issued an update on how they are monitoring the Mental Capacity Act and people who are subject to DoLs and further guidance on the Mental Capacity Act (26.5.20).

Updated 22.5.20 – CQC Guidance

21.5.20 – CQC and ADASS joint statement on Emergency Support Framework

CQC and ADASS have issued a statement on what the Emergency Support Framework means and how the two organisations will work collaboratively.

Updated 21.5.20 – Updated list of Local Authorities using Care Act Easements

CQC has released the most recent list of Local Authorities using the easements to the Care Act listed in the Coronavirus Act:

Updated 20.5.20 Easements to the Care Act 2014

The most recent update (20.5.20) added additional stakeholders who need to be consulted before using easements.

Guidance has been issued for local authorities (updated 20.5.20) surrounding the easements to the Care Act. Care Management Matters has produced a useful summary of what this means.

We want to stress that these easements should only be used as a last resort by local authorities. In the words of James Bullion from ADASS:

“The Care Act guidance on suspending its operation are published. It must be a last resort, and be carefully considered. People fought long and hard for self direction and control, prevention justice and equality.”

Please keep NCF updated on how your local authorities interpret this guidance.

Updated 19.5.20 – CQC Testing and Death Notifications

CQC has issued a blog describing how they will be supporting delivery of the Social Care Action Plan and Testing.

The notification for the death of a person using your service has been updated to include COVID-19 as a cause of death. The Social Care Action Plan has also outlined the requirement for Social Care Providers to submit this information to CQC.

NCF is in regularly contact with the CQC and is raising your issues and concerns surrounding inspections, DBS checks and notifications. T

18.5.20 – Care Act Easements

The most up-to-date list of Local Authorities using easements to the Care Act can be found on the CQC website.

13.5.20 – Update on CQC Emergency Support Framework

You can find slides from CQC’s Emergency Support Framework webinar here.

Also, you can find a list of questions other members have been asked as part of this framework here.

7.5.20 – Coronavirus Act 2020: Status

The government has produced a table which sets out the status of the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020. Specifically, which are in force currently and which have been since been suspended. NCF is pushing for something more thorough which details which Local Authorities are switching on easements and which ones are switching them off again.

6.5.20 – HSE & RIDDOR Reporting

We have had a very helpful conversation with HSE about RIDDOR reporting and inspections of equipment. We made them aware of your concerns over the COVID-19 guidance they have produced and what they mean by ‘reasonable evidence’.

They have pointed us to a number of previous guidance documents which put the COVID-19 aspects in context:

RIDDOR Guidance for Employers – Look at page 4 of this guidance. It lists situations which are not-reportable. The principles behind these apply in a COVID-19 sustained transmission scenario:

“Not reportable

  • A nurse becomes colonised with MRSA and works with patients infected with MRSA.
  • A cleaner catches chicken pox. Patients in areas where she has worked have chicken pox.
  • A care home assistant is off work with influenza for two weeks, the influenza cannot be reliably attributed to their work activity, as it is common in the community.

In all of these cases, either infection has not occurred at work or the disease cannot be reliably attributed to the work activity, as it might easily have occurred at home or in the community.”

Pages 5-6 of the document also outline examples of when there is something reportable relating to residents.

In terms of inspections of equipment – such as LOLER, HSE maintains that this needs to continue due to the risk of equipment failure. Their position is that if PHE guidance is being followed, there shouldn’t be a problem admitting engineers to a care setting. They advise that engineers should be given PPE and asked to follow infection prevention and control procedures. If you look at page 9 of the Guidance note for dutyholders and inspectors states information for social care providers relating to hoists. We realise that the reality on the ground does not reflect the PHE guidance and we have told them this.

Lastly, HSE doesn’t investigate all RIDDORs and uses selection criteria to determine which ones it will.

1.5.20 – CQC Emergency Support Framework Guidance

From Monday 4 May, CQC will be starting its Emergency Support Framework. According to CQC:

“It provides a structured framework for the regular conversations that inspectors are having with providers and covers the following four areas:

  • Safe care and treatment​
  • Staffing arrangements​
  • Protection from abuse​
  • Assurance processes, monitoring, and risk management”

30.4.20 – CQC Statement on Regulatory Approach

CQC’s chief inspectors have issued a joint statement which sets out their approach to regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The approach will involve:

  • Using and sharing information to target support where it’s needed most
  • Having open and honest conversations
  • Taking action to keep people safe and to protect people’s human rights
  • Capturing and sharing what we do and how we do it

24.4.20 – PIRs Paused by CQC

We finally have it in writing from CQC that they have paused PIRs until further notice.

If you have already received a PIR request, you do not have to return this. However, they are reviewing PIRs that they have already received and will continue to review any further PIRs that are submitted. Therefore, if you are in the process of completing a PIR and would like to continue with this and submit it, please do so.

If you have any queries regarding a PIR please contact [email protected].

24.4.20 – Joint Statement: Safety and Speaking Up

CQC have issued a joint statement with the National Guardian for the NHS on safety and speaking up during the COVID-19 emergency.

“They encourage everyone who has a role in providing care, or who receives care in England, to be more vigilant so that we can reduce the risk of avoidable harm to people. Leaders of health and care services can support this by encouraging a supportive culture where people are able to speak up without fear of blame or repercussions. It is also important to listen, act on information and provide feedback.”

9.4.20 New DoLS Guidance

New Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) guidance was published today. The Mental Capacity Act 2015 and DoLS remain in force and have not been altered by the Coronavirus Act 2020. The guidance offers temporary, proportionate measures to support DoLS decision-makers to provide the best possible care to those who need it whilst preventing transmission of the virus. This guidance is temporary and applies until withdrawn by the Department – it should not become the new-norm beyond the pandemic. If you have questions about the guidance, please email [email protected].

Suspension of Gender Pay Gap Reporting

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have taken the decision to suspend the enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines for the reporting year 2019/20.