Winter Planning – Managing Client Expectations

Norfolk County Council have received feedback around how we can support home support providers during inclement weather. As a result, NCC have written the attached letter which is designed to be a joint communication to service users from us and your organisation to manage expectations throughout winter.

To use this communication, you must complete the following:

  • Add your company logo in the top right
  • Complete the text highlighted in red with the appropriate details

No other amendments are to be made to this letter which can by downloaded via this link:  Winter Communications letter template 26.11.18.



A reminder about Flu Vaccinations

Following on from the blog post in September …..

Have your employees had their flu vaccinations? If not, please inform them they can get a free flu vaccination by completing this letter and taking it to a pharmacy or GP surgery that provides the vaccination.

The aim of the campaign is to get as many health and social care staff working with vulnerable older people vaccinated. It is targeted at staff employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered home support provider,as well as health and care staff employed by a voluntary managed hospice provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients aged 65 and over.

The campaign is underway and we are keen to see as many care workers vaccinated as possible. Please take the letter (as linked above) to your local pharmacist or GP for the free flu vaccination. They may also require some proof they are employed as a support worker, providing care for older people.

Please could you also consider displaying this Public Health England poster on flu out breaks in areas used regularly by your staff?

Winter Planning – ffffreeeezing

We’ve been blogging about your Continuity Plans for this winter and although not particularly cold at the moment, it will be a good idea to prepare for those little or big emergencies that could effect your business.

One thing that can make a difference to whether or not you can support a person in their own home is the weather.  So thinking about how your business will cope in extreme weather if the roads get snowy or icy, will really help your business, staff and the people you support.

So, as we approach winter we are encouraging you, our Home Support providers, as part of your Continuity Planning to ensure you and your staff are regularly updated about the latest weather reports.  Information on the weather can be obtained from the following links:

Met Office Weather Warnings

Environment Agency – Flood Warnings etc.

It is not possible to grit all the roads across Norfolk during icy weather, so it will be useful to find out which ones are.  For information about local gritting routes when you’ve had an alert about cold weather snaps, please click on the following link:  Local gritting routes across Norfolk

Ensure Business Resilience at winter time by:

  • Having a Continuity Plan
  • Testing it works
  • Keeping it up-to-date
  • Ensuring those who need to know about your plan do, and they know how to use it too.


Winter Planning – Continuity Planning

Further to last week’s blog regarding Continuity planning, we would recommend looking at the Norfolk Resilience Forum.  They have lots of help and advice on developing and testing your Business Continuity Plans.  The website can be found here:  Norfolk prepared

You can seek further advice relating to your business needs via the following useful links too:

Business Advice

Ensure Business Resilience at winter time by:

  • Having a Continuity Plan
  • Testing it works
  • Keeping it up-to-date
  • Ensuring those who need to know do, and they know how to use it too.

Business Continuity – Staff cover

Yesterday, we highlighted the need to ensure you have a robust Continuity Plan in place and that it is fit for purpose; especially during the winter months.

One area we encouraged you to consider is that of staff sickness and the impact this could have on your ability to cover all of your care calls.

Recruitment is vital to the stability of your business, so please remember you can use the Norfolk Care Careers website to advertise all of your vacancies at no extra charge.  For example, you can post vacancies looking specifically for workers for temporary periods of time and/or to cover particular times of the day and/or locations; all of which will help you increase your work force where and when you most need it over the winter period.

If you have not yet registered, please visit the ‘Get in Touch’ page on the website,, or email us at





Planning for Winter: How robust is your Business Continuity Plan?

As we are fast approaching winter, we are encouraging you, our Home Support providers, to look at your Business Continuity Plans and check they are fit for purpose.

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

  • Safeguarding people
  • Safeguarding your assets
  • Safeguarding your processes.

All our home support providers are required contractually to have Business Continuity Plans, and our newer contracts allow us to ask for copies of these.  Having a robust Business Continuity Plan will ensure you can continue to operate your business safely and effectively in the event of an emergency.

What are some of the biggest risks to my business over winter?

You know your business best and will, through your experience, know what sort of increased pressures and risks you can expect to encounter over winter.  Carefully consider your Business Continuity Plans for the following situations:

  • Staff sickness – What would you do if a sickness epidemic had an impact on staff?  How would you manage to cover all of your care calls?
  • Extreme Weather – What are your plans for your business if the roads get snowy or icy? Do you know where gritting routes are?  What if a member of staff gets stuck whilst out on call?
  • Restricted access to premises – How would your business function if you could not access your offices?  What if there was a burst pipe, or ‘phone lines were down?

Have a look at your Business Continuity Plans and make sure they consider these situations, and any others you can think of.  Make sure your plans do not rely on one single person, and that everyone is aware of their role in an emergency.

  • Have a Plan
  • Test it works
  • Keep it up-to-date
  • Ensure those who need to know about the Plan do, and know how to use it too.

We will be posting further information on the Blog to help you think about your Business Resilience and Continuity Planning arrangements over the next couple of weeks. So, check in with us by signing up to follow the Blog in the sidebar so that you get all the articles sent to your email box and, if there are specific issues relating to Business  Continuity Plans let us know, and we will do all we can to help you.

Helping the people you support keep warm this winter – Winter Fuel payments 2018-2019

Although the sun is still shining, the temperature is starting to drop. When the temperature drops to below 8C, some people, such as older people, are at increased risk of:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Flu
  • Pneumonia
  • Falls and injuries
  • Hypothermia.

Cold weather can also affect people with mental health conditions, such as depression and dementia.

You can help the older people you support in their home by advising them and their families to prepare for winter and through this blog we will assist you, by giving you tips and links to sources of information.

Heating a home is expensive, but if the people you are supporting were born on or before 5th November 1953, they could get between £100-£300 towards their bill. However, the deadline for claiming payments for Winter 2018 to 2019 is 31 March 2019. To find out more, please click on this link: