Supporting Care Homes

We are working hard to support care homes across Surrey Heartlands.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the amount of information and guidance shared across health and care organisations has, at times, been overwhelming. With such a fast moving situation it has been a real challenge for organisations providing care to stay up-to-speed.

With care homes staff under real pressure Surrey Heartlands has worked with the Surrey Care Association to create a quick reference guide to collate key information on everything from testing and PPE to training and mental wellbeing support for staff. The poster that can be displayed in staff areas has been delivered to all 341 care homes in Surrey Heartlands along with details of dedicated clinical leads to support each home and guidance about calling 999/111.

NHSmail – the national, secure email service for health and social care in England and Scotland – has now been extended so that Care Homes and Domiciliary Care agencies can connect and, therefore, are able to communicate securely with the whole health and social care system.  Find out more here.

Furthermore, we know the importance of training for care home staff but keeping up to date with all the options can be difficult. Our Integrated Care Partnerships have collated training opportunities both within their areas and further afield, and details are available here.

In addition, we recently took part in a pilot with NHSX, the digital arm of NHS England to install video calling devices at care homes across Surrey. The initiative is one of a number of measures being introduced by partners across Surrey to support the most vulnerable and socially isolated residents and help them remain connected with friends and family and reduce feelings of isolation.

Surrey was the first area in the country to be selected to take part in the scheme and learnings from the county will be used in other areas. 50 Portal devices have been provided free of charge, with support and training for staff. Infection control measures are also in place to maintain the high hygiene levels currently in place across care home settings when using the shared device.