Keep winter at bay with Warm Homes Partnership funding

A message from Breckland Older Peoples forum.

As winter sets in and freezing winds, frost and snow come to the county, Breckland residents who are struggling to pay their energy bills and keep their homes warm are being encouraged to check whether they may be eligible to receive help through Norfolk’s Warm Homes Fund Partnership.

Breckland Council, alongside councils across Norfolk, are aiming to help more than 1,000 people across the County with funding towards the cost of putting in place better insulation and the installation of mains gas. It comes following the success of £3.1m funding bid to National Grid’s Warm Homes Fund, which was led by Broadland District Council on behalf of Norfolk’s districts. The improvements aim to help both renters and homeowners to efficiently heat their cold homes, which can have a significant impact on people’s lives.

Cllr Gordon Bambridge, Executive Member for Growth at Breckland Council, said: “The aim is to help eligible people to access energy advice and support and to help those who do not have any central heating to put this in place at a reduced cost, which is important to their comfort, health and wellbeing. This is a fantastic initiative and we want to use this funding to help as many local people as possible, so I hope Breckland residents will explore how the Warm Homes Fund may be able to help them.”

The Warm Homes Fund is aimed at people whose homes do not already have central heating installs, as well as those with underlying health issues and carers of vulnerable people. To find out if you or someone you know may be eligible for support under the scheme, contact Breckland Council on 01362 656 870 or visit

Free training session on Energy Advice

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Free training is offered to any front line workers and volunteers working with people that may be struggling to heat their home adequately.

Simple advice such as understanding energy bills and different tariffs, reading the meter, and how to switch supplier – can make a big difference!

Find out more about changes to the energy markets, what financial support is available, an introduction to smart meters, and where to sign post people needing extra help.

You may also discover how to save yourself money on your own energy bills too!

Find out more about grants including first time central heating and support available through the Norfolk Warm Homes fund.

There will also be opportunity to meet other frontline workers. Previous participants have including advice volunteers, social housing officers, health visitors and support workers.

Participants will receive training materials and information leaflets and booklets.

Tea/coffee and cake will be provided!

Spaces are limited, so please book early.

Monday 4 February 2019

2pm– 3:15 pm, at Citizens Advice Thetford, Abbey Community Centre, Exeter Way, Thetford. IP24 1EE.

To book a place or find out more please contact Caroline Mackinson,

01379 658200

Business Continuity – Rating your service users based on those in most need

With any good Business Continuity Plan it is vital to consider what would happen if your business were effected because of issues not within your control? This could include staff not being able to work due to an outbreak of flu or other illness, or unable to get to work due to extreme weather conditions. 

Your Business Continuity Plan should look to mitigate against such eventualities and consider the risk this may pose to those you provide care to and how you manage this is essential to your service delivery.

It is important that you assess what risks may arise for every person you provide care to and what you would do should a major incident occur? When you have assessed who may be most at risk and what the severity of the risk is, you will then, as part of your Business Continuity Plan need to consider what mitigating actions you could take.

For example, you support someone who is dependent on time-based medication, who lives on their own in an extremely rural area, they have no access to public transport and there are no family or neighbours who can help – this person will be assessed as a priority on your RAG risk chart.

It might not be viable for your business to purchase a 4 wheel drive vehicle but to mitigate the risk to this person, you might be able to identify someone locally who can assist in providing access to a vehicle.  Another way to mitigate the risk could be to work with other care agencies who may be working in the local area or you could look  at engaging with local communities in advance and setting in place arrangements that enable you to continue to work effectively and safely whilst continuing to support people.

Have a plan; Test it works; keep it up-to-date



Norfolk County Council – Capacity Incentive Payments for Home Support Providers, 2018/19

Busy periods and Bank holidays create pressure and strain on the health and social care system which can result in people failing to get the care they need. This has a detrimental impact on people’s health and is distressing for families and individuals.

Norfolk County Council (NCC) understands the difficulties of operating as a care provider or working as a carer during busy periods. The Council has identified that paying a premium for picking up new care packages can strengthen the workforce and support resilient services.

How will this work?

The Council will have a designated period this Winter and Spring (see table 1) where incentive payments will be offered for promptly commencing new and restarted packages of care for people discharged or transferred from specific care settings. These include acute and community hospital discharges and transfers of care from short term block beds, bed-based reablement, NFS, NEAT and out of hospital services.

This is a one-off payment that Council social workers are empowered to agree with you to facilitate prompt payment. This payment is to support workforce resilience, increase payments to your carers and the delivery of sustainable services through the Winter period.

Table 1 – Designated Periods for Capacity Incentives

Situation Specific dates
Christmas, New Year, up to and including February Half-Term  

Friday 21st December 2018 – Sunday 24th February 2019

April Bank Holiday Monday 8th April 2019 – Wednesday 24th April 2019
Early May Bank Holiday Wednesday 1st May 2019 – Wednesday 8th May 2019
Late May Bank Holiday Wednesday 22nd May 2019 – Wednesday 29th May 2019
Significant pressures on the health system


This may include but not be limited to:

·         Severe weather conditions

·         Unexpected staff absence

·         Market failure

NCC will notify accredited providers as dates become known, dates will also be listed on:

What sort of care provision will count?

Only care packages for people being discharged from acute and community hospitals and transfers of care from short term block beds, bed-based reablement, NFS, NEAT and out of hospital services are eligible for these incentives. They will apply to any new or restarted home support care packages notified and started as outlined in Table 2 below.

Table 2 – How and How Much?

Sector Capacity Incentive Detail
Home Support –


Single worker packages

Commence care within 12hrs* of request (Care Arranging Service) £130

Commence care within 24hrs* of request (Care Arranging Service) £95

Commence care within 24-48hrs* of request (Care Arranging Service) £60


Home Support – Double worker packages Commence care within 12hrs* of request (Care Arranging Service) £195

Commence care within 24hrs* of request (Care Arranging Service) £142.50

Commence care within 24-48hrs* of request (Care Arranging Service) £90 

*The time frame used to determine the incentive will be measured from a) the time of the request made for care with the provider to b) the care in place and being delivered.

Norfolk County Council will use the contractual clauses and processes already in existence to monitor that care is delivered in a timely and high-quality manner.

Who can receive this incentive?

All home support providers on NCC’s accredited provider list can receive these payments.

When this will apply?

Capacity Incentive payments will apply during the periods indicated in Table 1. Norfolk County Council may extend or add to these designated periods if there are severe weather conditions or heightened system pressures over the Winter period. These will be announced on our website and communicated to providers via the home support provider blog

Please contact us at if you have any questions.

Right to review: Norfolk County Council reserves the right to review and amend this at any time.

Helping those with dementia have a peaceful Christmas

Christmas can be stressful for people with dementia, and for their family members. The extra hubbub and changes in routine can make people feel unsettled. Also, when visiting a person with dementia, family members might notice the changes that have taken place if they haven’t seen them for some time.

There are some simple and practical things you can do to help make Christmas a peaceful and inclusive time for everybody.  DementiaUK have some great advice which you can find by clicking on this link:


Winter Planning – Staffing and Rotas

You are the people that know your business best and this is because of your experience and therefore, you will be aware of what sort of increased pressures and risks you can expect to encounter over winter in relation to staffing in particular.

We have been blogging about the need for you to have a robust Business Continuity Plan in place for this winter period and such a plan should include the mitigation to resolve staffing issues.

We’d encourage you to carefully consider your Business Continuity Plans for the following situations:

  • Staff sickness – what would you do if an epidemic sickness hit your staff?  How would you still manage to cover all of your care calls?
  •  Staff absence – what if a member of staff unexpectedly doesn’t pick up their usual hours over winter? Can you rework the rounds/rotas to cover? Do you have other staff you can call in to cover their shifts? Are you able to build a ‘bank’ of staff prepared to cover additional shifts?
  • Extreme weather – what are your plans should roads get snowy or icy? Do you know where gritting routes are (please see previous posts)? What if a member of staff gets stuck out on a call or can’t come in to work?

Start now by looking at your workload and rounds, can these be made more efficient?  Which calls are time critical and which could be moved if you were short staffed?  Which support workers support people where more travel time needs to be allocated if the roads are icy or wet?

The Norfolk Resilience Forum has a useful flu pandemic scenario you can use to test your business continuity plans to make sure they are up-to-date.  It will help you think about how you could manage your workload and rounds with fewer staff.

            Have a plan; Test it works; keep it up-to-date


Are your staff road ready for winter weather?

As part of recent blog posts we’ve highlighted the need to plan for business continuity over winter.  If any of your staff do break down in their cars, do you know whether they have the right kit to ensure they are safe and they are able to support the people they care for?

The following are considered Year-round essentials:

  • A fully charged mobile phone and in car charger.
  • Hi-viz bib
  • Road map – in case of diversions
  • First aid kit
  • Water & non-perishable food
  • Loose change
  • Umbrella or water proof
  • Breakdown service and insurance company contact details
  • Hazard triangle.

In Winter, it’s worth staff keeping these items in their vehicle too:

  • A coat, hat, scarf, gloves and extra warm clothing
  • A spare pair of shoes or boots
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Torch and batteries
  • Extra snacks (chocolate or cereal bars)
  • Extra screenwash.

When the forecast is for severe weather and your staff still have to be out, then it’s good to consider them packing these items too:

  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • A flask of hot drink

Useful information, which can be shared with your staff can be found via:  Which? How to drive in snow

ROPA – How to drive in snow

Norfolk County Council can also provide assistance to organisations to ensure that you are compliant with H&S legislation and that drivers are operating in the safest possible way. Further details of the support available can be found at: