Social Care Winter Plan: SCIE response

18 September 2020

SCIE welcomes the Winter Plan for social care for 2020-2021 whilst still encouraging reform in the sector. The plan aims to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections in care settings throughout the winter months. SCIE’s Chief Executive, Kathryn Smith says:

We’ve been proud to work with the Department of Health and Social Care – and many others - since lockdown started, to deliver several of the commitments in the Covid-19 Adult Social Care Action Plan. This latest plan for all social care settings is so important because in winter people spend more time indoors and it’s a time when the NHS has, in recent years, been under strain. Let’s hope that, unlike the event of March, the country is more prepared for what is likely to be a challenging time.

Kathryn Smith continues

Whilst it’s important to plan for the winter, it’s also vital that we continue to push forward with plans for the long-term reform of the sector, reflecting the three shifts we set out in our report, Beyond COVID: New thinking on the future of adult social care. We call on the Government to for a fair and long-term funding settlement for social care; we also want to see a shift in investment and focus away from remedial and acute services towards prevention; and we want to see a workforce with higher pay, better conditions, progression and development. Social care needs a winter plan; but it also needs a long-term plan so that people can live the lives they want to.

Notes to editors

SCIE’s Covid-19 response hub, launched on the 18th March, has received over 400,000 visitors, this coupled with our database of 300,000 social care professionals, 100,000 who receive our regular e-newsletter, 20,000 who have studied our Covid-19-related training courses, and 50,000 people who follow us across social media, gives us huge, quick and impactful reach and engagement directly into the sector. SCIE’s Covid-19 response hub hosts its infection control guidance for care providers, which is based on SCIE infection control guidance, plus also hosts a Covid-19 specific video-based e-learning module on infection control, which has been promoted by Skills for Care.

SCIE has specific guidance and resources for all parts of the sector, including care homes, home care, day care, rehab centres, plus leading subject specific advice on infection control, safeguarding, mental capacity, dementia, and much more. SCIE’s Covid-19 hub doesn’t just highlight its own resources, and it is a hub for the sector, quality assuring and signposting to 650+ resources to help the sector with its Covid-19 response. In undertaking this work, SCIE has engaged with over 2,000 stakeholders through a mixture of surveys and online forums, including a care home managers forum and social workers forum. Each guide was also coproduced with people with lived experience.

SCIE is well-placed to support in the delivery of the Winter Plan, and would like to highlight the following ways we can help:

1. Sector led and co-produced guidance

In SCIE’s work in leading the Advisory Group on Guidance for the Covid-19 National Social Care Support Taskforce, it heard the strong desire for local organisations and workers to be involved in developing guidance so that it was accessible, relevant and useful to front line workers. The Covid-19 guidance and resources we have produced, has been co-produced with people who use services and carers, giving a real voice to the human side, whilst SCIE has also translated guidance from Public Health England, into guidance which works within social care settings, critical translation for the 80% of the care market which are SMEs.

Safeguarding support

SCIE believes the sector needs:

  • Continued support at responding to safeguarding enquiries
  • Support to undertake rapid safeguarding reviews
  • Training, building on the well-attended training we have run over the last 5 months.

Infection control

SCIE welcomes that there is a continued focus on infection control, and national support in place to help local care organisations. As part of its work to support the COVID-19 Action Plan, SCIE developed and disseminated e-learning for care workers on infection control, which is now available on CARE App and through a range of other channels.


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