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care home support

Care Homes Support

Good infection prevention and control practices are essential to ensure that people accessing health and social care services receive safe and effective care. Infections in care homes may be serious. They may worsen underlying medical conditions and affect recovery. Infections may be caused by organisms resistant to antibiotics which can be more difficult to treat.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 states that all registered providers must provide adequate infection prevention and control arrangements. This will ensure residents are cared for in a safe and clean environment where the risks of healthcare associated infections are minimised. In Sandwell MBC there is a specialist service to help Care Homes manage infection prevention.

Community Infection Prevention Team

We provide specialist infection prevention and control advice (IPC) support to the Care Homes in Sandwell.

Linda Farley

Linda Farley

Infection Prevention Nurse Specialist

Phone

Email


Vanessa Pluck

Vanessa Pluck

Infection Prevention Control Audit Nurse

Phone

Email


We are responsible for the local infection prevention and control programme within care home. This involves identifying

The team will

Training and Education

Significant Events

Our working hours are
Monday to Friday – 9am – 4pm
Please contact us via email health_protection@sandwell.gov.uk

National Guidance

Information resources for care home workers about preventing and controlling infection in care homes. These can help Care Home staff develop good infection prevention practices within the Care Homes.

Here are links to some of the national documents for infection prevention.

Health and Social Care Act 2008: code of practice on the prevention and control of infections
This document sets out the code of practice (the code) on the prevention and control of infections under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (H&SCA 2008). This act sets out the overall framework for the regulation of health and adult social care activities by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Care homes: infection prevention and control

Information resource for care home workers about preventing and controlling infection in care homes.“ A document to assist staff to take all reasonable steps to protect residents and staff from acquiring infections and prevent cross infection.

Infection prevention and control: resource for adult social care
This resource should be used as a guide in the practice of adult social care, to ensure people receive person-centred support that follows effective IPC measures.

The Care Quality Commission is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health and Social Care of the United Kingdom. It was established in 2009 to regulate and inspect health and social care providers in England.
The link below is for the CQC guidance for Care Homes on the infection prevention standards. This will help Care Home Managers prepare for CQC inspections.

Adult social care:information for providers

National infection prevention and control manual (NIPCM) for England

This is an evidence-based practice manual for use by all those involved in care provision in England. It should be adopted as mandatory guidance in NHS settings or settings where NHS services are delivered, and the principles should be applied in all care settings. This manual was developed to ensure standardization of practices across the country. Contents include:

Hand hygiene is the single most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of infection.

How to Handwash
How to Handrub
5 moments Poster
Hand hygiene
Audit Tool
Hand Hygiene Video
How to wash your
hands poster
Influenza (flu) is a viral infection affecting the lungs and airways.
The symptoms can appear very quickly and include:

There are 2 types of influenza affecting people:

Influenza B usually causes a milder illness and is most seen in children.
Further information can be found on the NHS website

Complications include bacterial pneumonia, and can be life threatening especially in:

It occurs most often in winter in the UK and peaks between January and March.

Flu vaccination

Flu vaccination is safe and effective. It’s offered every year through the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu.

Visit the NHS website to find out more about the flu vaccination for adults

Frontline health workers

Frontline health and social care workers will usually get the flu vaccine through their employer.

If you cannot get a flu vaccine through your employer, you can get it at a pharmacy or your GP surgery if you’re employed:

You can have the flu vaccine at the same time as other vaccines such as the COVID-19 vaccine



How to get the flu vaccine

If you’re eligible for an NHS flu vaccine, you can:

What to do if you suspect an outbreak of flu or any other acute respiratory infection
Think Flue and COVID – 19, Do 2 or more residents or staff have the following symptoms within 14 days. fever of 37.8 degree Celsius or above, new onset or acute worsening of one or more of the symptoms like Cough, runny nose or congestion, sore throat, sneezing, loss or change of taste or smell, hoarseness, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest pain, Sudden decline in physical or mental ability. If so, you might have an outbreak of Covid – 19, flu or other acute respiratory infection, Isolate residents with symptoms, send staff with symptoms home and fill out the web-based Care OBRA Tool or copy the link or scan QR code provided below To Report your outbreak straight away, complete the web based Care OBRA Tool via link or use the QR CODE.

You can have the flu vaccine at the same time as other vaccines such as the COVID-19 vaccine

Care Outbreak Risk Assessment (Care OBRA) Tool:

This is an online Care Outbreak Risk Assessment (Care OBRA) Tool for all Adult Social Care providers reporting a single case of Influenza (Flu) or a suspected or confirmed outbreak of acute respiratory infections, defined as:

Two or more cases of Acute Respiratory Infection (COVID-19, Flu or unknown infection) within 14 days and potentially linked to the same care setting i.e. Cases are probably linked to each other and transmission in the care setting is likely.

Use this link to notify outbreaks of Acute Respiratory Infections to UKHSA



There is some guidance to help Care Homes to ensure outbreaks of infection are dealt with appropriately and effectively. Following these measures will ILI – Managing Outbreaks in Care Homes


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. Anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age.

Find out more on the World Health Organization website:



This is an online Care Outbreak Risk Assessment (Care OBRA) Tool for all Adult Social Care providers reporting a single case of Influenza (Flu) or a suspected or confirmed outbreak of acute respiratory infections, defined as:

Two or more cases of Acute Respiratory Infection (COVID-19, Flu or unknown infection) within 14 days and potentially linked to the same care setting i.e. Cases are probably linked to each other and transmission in the care setting is likely.



Use this link to notify outbreaks of Acute Respiratory Infections to UKHSA




Coronavirus guidance can be found in the following link

COVID Vaccination

It is very important that all staff receive their vaccination. This will help prevent outbreaks within our care homes and prevent more serious disease.

Frontline healthcare workers are eligible for a free COVID vaccination.

Please see the following link to book an appointment to receive your vaccination

Should staff work with symptoms of Respiratory Infections

The following link provides advice to Care Home Managers on allowing staff to work 

Guidance for managing healthcare staff with symptoms of a respiratory infection including coronavirus (COVID-19), or a positive test result for COVID-19

Infection Prevention Guidelines

Infection prevention and control in adult social care: COVID-19 supplement

Sets out how to reduce COVID in adult social care settings


 

This guidance outlines COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) measures for staff, service users and visitors in adult social care settings and services in England. This guidance should be read by adult social care providers, managers of social care services, adult social care staff, and by service users and visitors where relevant.


COVID-19 PPE guide for adult social care services and settings

It is essential that all care workers receive training in donning and doffing personal protective clothing. This link will help to ensure staff complete this procedure properly


PPE guide for non-aerosol generating procedures

This guidance outlines the procedure for non-aerosol generating procedures


Posters

DEAR VISITORS , Please do not visit the care home if you have symptoms of flu or feel unwell
Guidance on outbreaks of influenza in care homes .
Your moments for hand hygiene health care in residential home that Before touching a resident, before clean/aseptic procedure, after body fluid exposure risk and after touching a resident.
How to handwash Wash hands when visibly soiled, otherwise use handrub. Duration of the entire procedure is 40-60 seconds. Wet hand with water, Apply enough soap, Rub hands palm to palm, Right palm over left, Palm to palm with fingers interfaced, Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked, rotational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right hand and vice versa , rotational rubbing, rinse hands with water, Dry hand use a towel, your hands are now safe.
How to handrub Rub hands for hand hygiene, wash hands when visibly soiled. Duration of the entire procedure is 20-30 minutes. Apply a palmful of the product in a cupped hand, covering all surfaces, Rub hand palm to palm, right palm over left, palm to palm with fingers interlaced, backs of fingers to opposing palms with interlocked, rotational rubbing of left thumb, rotational rubbing backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of right hand in left palm and vice versa, once dry your hands are safe.

Sandwell Faith Sector Network Logo

Sandwell Faith Sector Network –
A Voice for communities

The Sandwell Faith Sector Network (SFSN) vision is to be a critical friend to the civic leadership of our borough. We realise the potential of refreshing the links with the communities of faith who comprise such a high proportion of our borough. By widening the participation in decisions, we can address all kind of issues affecting our diverse communities. Areas of focus include health and wellbeing, police, council services and integrity of public practice. Providing a voice for the community we present as the trusted voice for the community.

The membership of the Sandwell Faith Sector Network consists of two levels of membership:

The board also welcomes representation from unrepresented faith groups including those with no faith.
Core Membership Board is made up of:
Imam Nasser Zameer (Chair)​

Holy Trinity Church (Christianity)

Reverend David Gould (Vice Chair)

Holy Trinity Church (Christianity)

Ragih Muflahi

Yemeni Community Association (Islam)

Kuldeep Singh

Guru Nanak Gurdwara (Sikh)

Ali Al-Osaimi

Sandwell Council Public Health

Deepak Naik

Balaji Temple/Durga Bhawan (Hinduism)

Abdul Subhan

Bangladeshi Islamic Centre (Islam)

To find out more about the work of Sandwell Faith Sector Network (SFSN), please email: Shahin_Akhtar@sandwell.gov.uk

You can also read more about the work of the network in the Sandwell Faith Sector Network Booklet

Safeguarding

Department for Education (DFE) After-school clubs, community activities, and tuition safeguarding provider guidance : This comprehensive document outlines the key principles and best practices for safeguarding children in out of school settings. It covers various aspects such as risk assessments, staff training, reporting procedures, and creating a safe and positive environment for children. You can access the DFE safeguarding guidance by visiting the DFE website

Sandwell Specific Safeguarding Guidance for Out of School Settings: In addition to the DFE guidance. We have developed a localised resource that highlights specific considerations and recommendations tailored to our community in Sandwell. This guidance takes into account local policies, procedures, and support networks, providing you with valuable insights and practical advice to enhance safeguarding in your setting. You can find this guidance on the Sandwell Children’s Safeguarding Partnership website

DFE out of school setting poster: This is a poster which can be put up on notice boards for parents/ carers to see that you have considered and implemented safeguarding practice, procedures within your setting in accordance with the DFE out of school settings guidance. You can find this poster on the DFE website

Maps of faith places 

Modern Slavery

Drug and Alcohol Strategy

Drug and Alcohol Strategy

Drug and alcohol use affect not just those who misuse drugs and alcohol but also their families, loved ones, carers, wider communities, services and businesses. We want Sandwell to be a place where everyone can have the best start in life, live well and age well, safe from the harms caused by drugs and alcohol. Preventing and reducing these harms is central to improving the safety, wellbeing and prosperity of Sandwell.
Sandwell’s Public Health team have spoken to local service providers and partners, people with lived experience, and the wider community to understand what needs to be done. This has led to a strategy and to a list of recommendations of how we are going to prevent and reduce drug and alcohol related harms.



Why do we need a Drugs and Alcohol strategy?

There is no single action that can be taken to prevent and reduce drug and alcohol harms, but there are many ways in which services, communities, individuals and society can work collectively to do so. The Sandwell Drug and Alcohol Partnership (SDAP) brings these people and groups together to develop and deliver better ways of working.



What does this strategy aim to achieve?

The overall aim of the new strategy is to reduce drug and alcohol-related harms and overall use in Sandwell. The strategy has been co-produced working in partnership with key stakeholders, including service providers, those with living and lived experience, and the wider community.

To find out more, access a full copy of our Drugs and Alcohol Strategy.

How was the strategy developed?

A Drug and Alcohol Needs Assessment was carried out in 2022 which reviewed local drug and alcohol needs and the current response to them. Interviews with partner and community organisations, and with individuals with lived experience, provided valuable insights into the perspectives of those directly and indirectly affected by drug and alcohol use. Access a full copy of the Drugs and Alcohol Needs Assessment.

Who will be responsible for delivering the Strategy and Action Plan?

The Sandwell Drug and Alcohol Partnership will be responsible for taking forward the agreed Strategy commitments and keeping these on track. There will be local oversight from both the Safer Sandwell Safer Partnership and the Sandwell Health and Wellbeing Board.

The Sandwell Drug and Alcohol Partnership also links into the West Midlands Combatting Drugs Partnership led by the Office of the Police Crime Commissioner – this allows for more joined up action at a regional level especially in relation to supply and criminal justice elements.


The Sandwell Drug and Alcohol Partnership also links in with various other boards via its members including Domestic Violence, Safeguarding and Reducing Reoffending groups amongst others.

How will we monitor delivery of the Strategy?

Annual delivery reports detailing progress against key identified outcomes such as drug and alcohol related deaths, hospital admissions and treatment completions will be uploaded onto this webpage in due course.

Further Resources and Support:

If you are a professional dealing directly or indirectly with people affected by drugs or alcohol you may find the following resources useful.

Brief Alcohol and
Drugs Screening Tool
Complex Alcohol and
Drugs Screening Tool
SBIT for
Substance Misuse
SBIT for
Alcohol Use

Mental Health &
Wellbeing Training

Sandwell Mental Health and
Wellbeing Training

There are many local and national courses available for anyone interested in learning more about Mental Health and Wellbeing.

The Recovery College

The Recovery College provides an educational learning environment for people who have an interest in, or personal difficulties with, mental health.
Our courses celebrate our successes and build on existing skills and strategies rather than highlighting problems or failures.

Suicide Prevention Training for Professionals

The aim of the training offer is to provide suicide prevention knowledge and skills to the workforce to intervene early and equip them with the skills and knowledge to have supportive conversations. It aims to encourage all staff to work together to support the communities of Sandwell, and each other, to prevent loss of life to suicide.

The training offer provided to staff working in Sandwell is aligned to the competency groups below.

The table below provides competency groups suggestions for staff from the private, public and voluntary sector. These levels are suggestions only and staff will need to consider the amount and degree of interaction they have with individuals and their designated responsibilities to choose the appropriate training for them.

Suggested staff roles per competency group

Core Enhanced Targeted
Caretakers/Cleaners/Facilities Staff Probation Officers Family Support Workers/Adults Support Workers
Back office and administration staff Leisure/Sport Coaches Targeted Youth Worker
Catering Staff i.e. school lunch supervisors,cafes, restaurants, pubs etc. Neighbourhood Officers Health Visitors
Contact Centre Staff Sessional Youth Workers School Health Nurses
Transport drivers incl. school transport service,taxis and public transport Attendance Officers Attendance Officers
Librarians Community Group Workers GPs
Street Wardens, Park attendants,
Environmental Health Officers Dentists/Pharmacists Staff working in Refuges
Receptionists Early Years Workers Early Years Workers
School Governors Childminders Residential Workers
Senior Managers/Boards/Trustees
with little direct contact with members
of the publiceptionists Teachers/Further Educations
Lecturers and staff Pastoral/ Student Support Services
Chaplaincy/Faith Leaders Social Work Assistants Safeguarding Leads/Welfare Officers
Security Workers i.e. at colleges, youth
clubs, supported housing etc. Foster Carers Foster Carers
Connexions, Job Centre Plus and other
Careers/ Employments Advisors Day Centre Assistants Targeted Support Services i.e. substance
abuse, sexual health, mentoring
Volunteers with or without direct contact
with members of the public Police Officers including PCSOs
(without specialised roles) Social Workers
Hairdressers, nail technicians,
beauticians, barbers etc. Prison Workers Staff working with people with disabilities/
additional needs incl. SENCO
Other retail staff Faith Leaders Staff working with refugees/asylum seekers

Staff Competency Framework

Mental health should be everybody’s business. Therefore, this Multi-Agency Social Emotional Mental Health Competency Framework for staff working with Children and Young People in Sandwell is aimed at all staff- from caretakers to teachers, community transport drivers to youth workers, by outlining role appropriate levels of skill, knowledge and training. It aims to encourage all staff to work together to support the children and young people of Sandwell, and one another- knowing their limitations and how to escalate concerns.

This framework has separate competencies for those working with children and young people at different ages: early years, primary school, secondary school and college, with clear enhancements included where necessary for children and young people with additional needs.



The framework itself is comprised of four components:

Implementing the framework follows three overarching steps for members of staff:

Endorsed by the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Thrive Board, we are encouraging professionals to use the framework as part of their continual professional development through appraisals and one-to-ones.

Disclaimer: When downloading the framework we are asking professionals to provide their name, their job role, the organisation they work for and their email address. This is so we can monitor engagement with the framework, distribute updated versions of the framework to those who are already using it and we will be conducting a survey at the end of this year to gather feedback from professionals to understand the impact on work practices.

Please fill in the form to access the Competency Framework

SEMH Competency
Framework contact form

Play Video

Suicide Prevention Strategy

When someone takes their own life, the impact on families, friends and the local community is devastating. As well as the immense pain and grief caused to loved ones, there are often wide-reaching and long-lasting effects on everyone involved We believe that suicide is not inevitable. Sandwell Council along with partner organisations is committed to meeting the ambition that by 2030, no-one will die of suicide in Sandwell.

Sandwell’s public health team have spoken to local service providers and people with lived experiences to understand what needs to be done. This has led to a strategy and to a list of recommendations of how we are going to make sure death by suicide becomes a thing of the past. We can’t do this alone.

Why do we need a Suicide Prevention strategy?

Everyone’s situation is different and there are many reasons why someone may decide to take their own life. There is no single action that can be taken to prevent suicide, but there are many ways in which services, communities, individuals and society can work collectively to do so. The Sandwell Suicide Prevention Partnership brings these people and groups together to develop better ways of working to prevent the loss of life to suicide.

Suicide Prevention Strategy. Our ambition is to achieve “zero suicides” by 2030

What does this strategy aim to achieve?

Our ambition is to achieve “zero suicides” by 2030, which will contribute to achieving the Sandwell 2030 vision of a thriving, optimistic and resilient community. Our key priorities will be to:

01

Work in partnership to fulfil the ‘Zero Suicides’ Ambition.

02

Ensure the highest quality of care and support guaranteed by professionals.

03

Encourage a better awareness of suicide within local organisations and our communities.

04

Reduce the chances of suicide in high-risk populations.

05

Create an open culture where we listen to those with lived experience.

06

Reduce access to the meansn of suicide.

How was the strategy
developed?

A Suicide Prevention Needs Assessment was carried out in 2021 to better understand the local situation in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the ability to provide services and support. This explored what services were already available, how accessible these services were and whether they were functioning effectively or not.

Interviews with partner and community organisations, and with individuals with lived experience, provided valuable insights into the perspectives of survivors and those bereaved by suicide.

What is the Action Plan?

The findings were used to develop 10 recommendations, which form the basis of our Action Plan:

01

Raise awareness of suicide prevention and bereavement support through training for all frontline staff

02

Pilot town-based, community-led forums

03

Support community organisations with funding applications

04

Work with Community Development Workers to identify gaps in accessibility.

05

Encourage referrals from GP’s to targeted services and establish an explicit pathway

06

Expand awareness and access of bereavement support to all First Responder and bereavement-related partners so that an offer of support can be made immediately

07

Identify and prioritise high-risk populations through working groups

08

Improve data collation and intelligence gathering

09

Engage with media organisations to work co-operatively on the reporting of suicides

10

Commission further assessments on a larger scale that considers further populations

Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. It isn’t just about mental health services, but the wider services and networks that support people during their day to day lives.

Who will be responsible for delivering the Strategy and Action Plan?

The Sandwell Suicide Prevention Partnership will be jointly responsible for taking forward the agreed actions and keeping these on track. There will be local oversight from the Sandwell Mental Health Strategy Group and the Sandwell Health and Wellbeing Board.
The Sandwell Suicide Prevention Partnership sits alongside the Black Country Suicide Prevention Partnership, which oversees development within the Black Country and has wider links across the West Midlands region. The group also links in with various other boards via its members including Children’s mental health groups, Drugs and Alcohol Groups and Safeguarding Groups.

Better Mental Health

Better Mental Health
Event 2023

A huge thanks to everyone who attended our event to launch our Better Mental Health consultation. Although the consultation has now finished, you may find it the documentation from the day useful to yourself and others. If you would like to know more about our Better Mental Health strategy, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

MORNING SESSION – Better Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Better Mental Health

1. Sandwell Better Mental Health- local picture & development of the strategy

Sandwell Better
Mental Health

Dr Lina Martino

Consultant in Public Health,
Sandwell Council
lina_martino@sandwell.gov.uk

2. Sandwell Better Mental Health Strategy – Recommendations & Plans for consultation

Sandwell Better Mental
Health Strategy

Nicky Taylor

Mental Health Project Officer
Public Health, Sandwell Council
Nicky_Taylor@sandwell.gov.uk

3. Mentimeter Survey Results and Feedback on Sandwell Better Mental Health recommendations Link to Results & Feedback

4. Better Mental Health Project Showcase Projects in the community

Projects in the community

4. Better Mental Health- Make a pledge

Please make a pledge and help to create better mental health within our communities and workplaces

Suicide Prevention

01

Sandwell Suicide Prevention Strategy

Margaret –

Sharing her Lived experience

Di Millichamp – Vulnerable Adults Project Manager, Public Health, Sandwell Council diane_millichamp@sandwell.gov.uk

A special thank you to Margaret for sharing her experiences and James’ story.

02

Suicide Prevention in Action

Community approach to mental health & suicide prevention
Mohammed Yasin & David Stocks
Community Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Community Inclusion Workers,
Black Country Healthcare NHS Trust

01

Introduction to Health Fabric and collaboration on Healthy Ageing App Unity Project

Ali Al-Osaimi

Lifestyle Improvement Programme Manager, Public Health, Sandwell Council

02

Presentation update on Healthy Ageing App Project

Satnam Bains –

Health Fabric

Bains@healthfabric.co.uk

Schools

Schools

Coming Soon..

Sandwell Trends

Sandwell Trends

Sandwell Trends has been developed to make data about Sandwell available to everyone. The website contains a range of resources, reports and information which help to describe the borough and its population across a variety of topic areas and perspectives. This includes the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, a series of ward & town profiles & a library of useful publications. Please explore our key topics which give insight into Sandwell and its towns.

Pharmacies for BP Checks

Pharmacies for BP Checks

High blood pressure can increase the risk of developing serious problems, such as heart attacks and strokes, if it’s not treated. Having this quick test is the only way to find out what your blood pressure is – and it could save a life. It is sensible to get your blood pressure checked regularly from 18 years old. If you are concerned about someone in your care, you can access this quick link to direct people to the right care.

Dentistry

Dentistry

A check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy. Leaving problems untreated could make them more difficult to treat in the future, so it’s best to deal with problems early, or, if possible, prevent them altogether. If you are concerned about someone in your care, you can access this quick link to direct people to the right care.
 
 

Opticians

Opticians

An optician can examine the internal and external structure of eyes to detect conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. They may also test the ability to focus and coordinate your eyes and see depth and colours accurately. If you are concerned about someone in your care, you can access this quick link to direct people to the right care.