Navigation Menu Icon

Lancashire and South Cumbria Regulated Care Sector briefing

19th March 2020

Updated 25 March 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of the Lancashire and South Cumbria Regulated Care Sector briefing, which aims to keep stakeholders informed and up to date about the work of this group and other items relevant to this sector.

Please visit our the Regulated Care Sector section of our website for further information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The latest information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found at:

Useful links for Regulated Care Sector colleagues:

Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has stopped routine inspections from Monday 16 March. Instead, the CQC will be moving towards a new way of providing assurance to the public, government and parliament on the safety of services. It may be necessary to still use some inspection powers in a very small number of cases when there are clear reports of harm, such as allegations of abuse. However, inspections (and provider information requests for health services) will not be conducted in their present form during the period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In adult social care, in the absence of a single national oversight body, the CQC will act as a support for registered managers – the inspection team will be there to provide advice and guidance to the providers throughout this period, and will be implementing the following:

  • Continuing the use of provider information returns (PIRs). However, the CQC will not penalise providers for the late return of PIRs
  • Sharing the information collected with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups in order to reduce reporting burden
  • Using PIRs as a key way to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on providers’ operational business and using this information to raise concerns and prompt action from government.

For further information, read the Care Quality Commission update – 16 March 2020

Guidance for ordering Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment to the care sector is fundamental for the good care of individuals with suspected symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). No wholesaler has been asked to prioritise NHS provision over the care sector, nor should they be doing so.  

Free distribution of fluid repellent facemasks from the pandemic flu stock started on Wednesday 18 March, with every care home and homecare provider receiving at least 300 facemasks, with anticipated distribution completed by Tuesday 24 March. This is aimed at tiding over the initial rise in demand following the change of guidance on facemasks last week. Providers are not required to take action; the stock will be delivered to them.

Work is ongoing with wholesalers to ensure a longer-term supply of all aspects of personal protective equipment, including gloves, aprons, facemasks and hand sanitiser. For future PPE requirements, care providers should order PPE from their usual suppliers. 

If care providers have immediate concerns overs their supply of PPE, there is now a dedicated line for you, the health and social care sector:

The National Supply Disruption line

  • Tel: 0800 915 9964
  • Email:
  • In the future, if a care provider is unable to get PPE from their normal supplier, the supplier will be asked to report this to the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) team (as above), who can advise on alternative suppliers.

Care home providers news

Virtual entertainment

A local care provider has created a group for networking of care homes from across the country that are prepared to engage in virtual entertainment. Here’s the link to a Facebook group set up to provide virtual entertainment in care homes throughout the outbreak

The first session took place this week, partnering up with a home in Devon to take part in their Tai Chi session.

Please contact us as you become aware of other online support being set up to support care home residents and we will add links to our website.

Update regarding emergency DBS checks

E learning package for COVID-19

NHS mail rollout

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, secure communication between health and social care services is more important than ever. As stated in the Government’s mandatory COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements (page 17) it is a requirement for all care providers to access NHS mail.

To support this NHS England /Improvement are now able to fast track roll out of NHS mail to the care sector, without the need to complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit at this time. 

NHS mail offers a recognised secure email system, which will allow patient identifiable data to be shared between health and care services. 

There is also an opportunity for all NHS mail account holders to have access to Microsoft Teams, which offers a video conferencing facility to enable video consultations during periods of social distancing. 

What we need you to do by Friday 27th March

For any provider who does not already have an NHS mail account, the process for obtaining an account during this fast track period is for providers to complete this form. Your ODS code can be found using the link in the form and is a five digit code starting with V (V****).

Once completed please quickly return by email to This process may change as we move forward.

A series of video conferences will be held over the coming weeks to support social care providers to make use of their new email account and video conferencing facilities – further details will follow.

Those social care staff who already have an NHS mail account should ensure they make use of this regularly, to ensure it remains active.

The DSPT team in the North will provide you with help as support, please contact if you have any enquiries.

For further information please use this guide.


Question and queries

This briefing is for use within your own organisation and across your local system, for discussion and information. Please feel free to include it on meeting agendas and circulation lists as you see fit.

If you have any questions or queries about this briefing, please contact Liz Williams and we will endeavour to respond as soon as is practicable.

To find out more about our work supporting the Regulated Care Sector, visit the Regulated Care Sector webpage.