Winter Business Resilience Planning: Supporting Norwich clients to stay safe and warm

Norwich Age UK are organising a ‘Keep Warm, Keep Safe This Winter’ event in Norwich.

This might be of interest to those of you supporting people in the Norwich area, helping the people you support to stay as well and safe as possible.

The event features:

Free electric blanket testing: a check on each blanket and if it isn’t working correctly a new one will be given free.

Slipper swap: bring along old slippers and swap them for a new pair.

There will also be free advice on saving on bills, keeping fit and active and staying warm and well.

The event will be on 14 February 2018 and attendance is by appointment – bookable by calling 01603 496333.  The location is Norwich city centre – more details available when an appointment is booked.

For an event flyer click here: Norwich Age UK – keep warm, keep safe.

For those of you outside of the Norwich area, we will keep checking for information about similar events for other areas of Norfolk and will post any updates on this blog.

Independent Provider Forum – minutes from 7th December 2017

The notes for the Independent Provider Meeting held on Thursday 7th December 2017 can be found here: IPF minutes 7 Dec 2017

There were a number of presentations at the meeting, information about these can be found below:

Links to demonstration videos about the Provider Portal are available on the blog here: Provider Portal demonstration videos

More information about Don Leggett’s Market Engagement work: Market engagement

The NCC Business Resilience team have a website here: Business Resilience team

Dave Rimmer also flagged the following websites during his presentation:

Met Office weather warnings

Environment Agency

BERG – Emergency resilience

If you have any comments on the content or accuracy of these minutes please don’t hesitate to contact Polly Cobb at who will be able to update or correct them as necessary.

Winter Business Resilience Planning – Helping Clients Stay Well This Winter

We’re in the midst of winter now, but it’s not too late to look at your Business Continuity Plans and check that they are fit for purpose.  We know that January and February can bring the most severe cold weather and challenges for your businesses.

Business Continuity is about protecting three main areas of your business:

  • Safeguarding people
  • Safeguarding your assets
  • Safeguarding your processes

Staying Warm and Well

Ensuring that the people you look after are adequately warm over winter can increase their chances of staying well this winter.  Being cold can make health conditions worsen, particularly respiratory and heart problems.

Following the actions below can help to keep people you look after warm and well:

  • try to keep the house heated to at least 18C, drawing curtains as soon as dusk falls and closing doors to block draughts where necessary
  • find out if your service user can get the flu jab for free on the NHS, and encourage them to get this
  • ensure they are dressed in several layers of clothes rather than one chunky layer – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat.
  • see if they can use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but don’t use both at the same time
  • check they are having at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm; and make sure they have hot drinks regularly
  • ensure they wear shoes with a good grip to help prevent falls
  • check whether they are able to be active – even those with limited mobility may be able to do chair-based exercises like moving arms and legs or wiggling toes to generate heat to keep them warm.
  • Ensure they are keeping their hands clean and keeping surfaces clean (telephones, door handles etc) to stop germs spreading


NHS and CCG advice

The Norfolk County Council, NHS and CCG websites also host a lot of advice about how to stay warm and well this winter.  The links to these sites can be found below:

Norfolk County Council:


Great Yarmouth &Waveney CCG:

North Norfolk CCG:

Norwich CCG:

South Norfolk CCG:

West Norfolk CCG:

Winter Capacity Incentive Payments – eligibility period extended

Norfolk County Council has been working closely with home support providers to try and ensure that Norfolk has the home support provision it needs over the winter period – as a result of this work we have identified that paying home support providers a premium for picking up new care packages over this pressured time would support both the people coming out of hospitals and those carers who are providing care.

We understand the difficulties of operating as a care provider or working as a carer during the winter holiday period and want to recognise that by offering a financial premium.  This premium will now be available up to and including Wednesday 31 January 2018.

To find out more about how this will work and when this premium will be paid, please see our page here:

Winter Business Resilience Planning – Flu immunisation

As we start 2018, it’s worth remembering that we still have a couple of months of winter to endure.  With this in mind, it’s still important to think about winter business continuity provision which includes ensuring staff have had their flu immunisation.  As social care staff don’t necessarily have the luxury of time off over Christmas and New Year to rest and recuperate, they may be vulnerable to picking up viruses as we plough on through winter.
Flu immunisation for social care staff

Public Health England has published guidance specifically for social care providers on flu immunisation of social care staff.

The guidance details the benefits of providing staff with flu vaccinations and how vaccination of staff has been shown to be effective in reducing disease spread and patient mortality in a care setting. It can also help to ensure people continue to receive care at home by reducing staff flu related illness and absences.

The guide can be found here:

Flu Fighter Programme

NHS Employers has been supporting NHS trusts around flu vaccinations and these can now be accessed by social care employers.

They have been co-ordinating the staff focused flu fighter programme in the NHS for 7 years. It has a range of resources and support materials for employers to use. Following discussions with the Department of Health it also now has a social care strand. The overall aim is to provide support and materials which can be used by employers to help raise the profile of the flu vaccination and increase the flu vaccination uptake with staff.

There is no cost to download free printable posters, and be recognised for any work or improvements made in this area. Through the virtual network NHS Employers have created there is also an opportunity for social care employers to connect with each other, raise any issues and look at resolving any common barriers.


Any social care employer/organisation or local council is welcome to join the flu fighter mailing list or ask for support by emailing

WBRP: Pharmacies & NCC contacts over Christmas & New Year

As Home Support providers you won’t be shutting down over Christmas like many other services.  Your staff will have to be out and about supporting your clients, much the same as every other day.  Below are some contacts and information which might be useful:

Norfolk County Council

Norfolk County Council Adult and Children’s Social Services will have services available for urgent matters on 25th and 26th December.  These services can be accessed by calling 0344 800 8020.  For full details you can check the NCC website


If you need to use a pharmacy on 25th or 26th December or on 1st January, you can find a list of Norfolk and Suffolk pharmacies which will be open here: Pharmacies – Norfolk and Suffolk

For those of you in West Norfolk, the list for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough might be more useful:  Pharmacies – Cambridge and Peterborough

You can find lists of pharmacies in other counties in the East and Midlands on the NHS England website here:

WBRP: Don’t forget repeat prescriptions for the Christmas period.

People with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung and heart disease are being reminded not to leave it too late to get their repeat prescriptions.

There are so many things to remember in the run up to the Christmas period.  In addition many GP practices will have limited opening hours between Christmas and New Year, which means some people may struggle if they run out of their medication.

We all want to make sure that people with these illnesses have a good Christmas and New Year.  The last thing we want is for people to run out of their medication, become poorly and have to spend part of their holiday in hospital.

If the people you support haven’t already ordered their repeat prescriptions, it’s something that ought to be done as soon as possible.