DHSC coronavirus social care update - 8 January

care quality commission

The independent regulator of health and social care in England

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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine authorised by regulator

Older lady getting coronavirus vaccination

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has accepted the recommendation of the Commission on Human Medicines and authorised the Moderna vaccine following months of rigorous clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people and an extensive analysis of the vaccine’s safety, quality and effectiveness.

The vaccine is 94% effective in preventing disease, including in the elderly. The Government has agreed to purchase an additional 10 million doses of the Moderna vaccine on top of its previous order of 7 million, taking the total to 17 million.

The vaccine will be available for free and the Government is working with the devolved administrations to make sure it is deployed fairly across the UK.

Click here for more details on the approval decision

Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine roll out continues



The NHS is the first health service in the world to deploy the life-saving Oxford AstraZeneca jab, which has been authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after meeting strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. 

The Government has secured access to 100 million doses of the vaccine on behalf of the whole of the UK, crown dependencies and overseas territories.

Read the full story on GOV.UK

Free COVID-19 PPE for care sector extended to June 2021

Healthcare professional in PPE

As the largest vaccination programme in the UK’s history continues, the Government has extended the provision of free personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 needs to social care providers until the end of June 2021.

In order to protect the health and wellbeing of care workers, as well as their patients and clients, the continued provision will make sure frontline workers can access rigorously tested and high-quality PPE.

The scheme has been extended to better support this critical stage for vaccination and mass testing programmes.

CQC registered providers can continue to access free PPE through the PPE portal. Non CQC-registered providers can access free PPE through their Local Resilience Forum (LRF) or local authority where LRFs are no longer distributing.

Access the PPE portal here

COVID-19 guidance for supported living updated

Core messages include advice on assisting with planning and preparation to minimise infection risk and provide the best possible support to people in supported living settings.

The guidance also sets out safe systems of working, including social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning, and how infection prevention and control (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) applies to supported living settings.

Read the updated guidance in full here

Blog watch: Vaccination without vexation

Ruth Yates - vaccine photo

On the first day the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was rolled out, HC-One's Daneside Court care staff were fortunate enough to be among the first to be offered vaccinations.

As Managing Director of HC-One’s family of care homes. Ruth Yates wanted to lead by example so, along with 12 other willing colleagues, she attended the Countess of Chester Hospital to be vaccinated.

Read Ruth's reflections here

Care home visits during lockdown

Care home clip art

Following the recent announcement of another lockdown in England, visits to care homes can continue to take place. so long as arrangements including outdoor visiting, substantial screens, visiting pods, or visits behind windows are in place.

Close-contact indoor visits are not currently allowed and there should be no visits in the event of an outbreak, except in exceptional circumstances, such as end of life care, which should always be supported.

Read the updated guidance in full

New infection prevention and control webinars announced

Hand washing

The Department of Health and Social Care and the Better Care Fund team are hosting a series of webinars on Infection Prevention and Control in Care Homes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, infection prevention and control has been a priority for care homes and local systems across England.

While great progress is being made in testing and delivering a vaccination programme, the risks remain and the new variant of COVID potentially increases the risk as infection is spread more easily. The series will be made up of four webinars: a national webinar – to be held on 15 January 2021 – followed by three regional webinars, covering the North of England, the South of England and the Midlands region.

Book your webinar place now

In case you missed them...


The festive period was busier and more pressured than ever before (for obvious reasons!), so it's just possible you might have missed our previous two newsletters issued just before Christmas. Click here for our 17 December and Christmas Eve editions. Happy New Year to all our care sector colleagues.

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This communication has been sent by the Care Quality Commission on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care.