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Adult Social Care Winter Plan

In response to the Adult Social Care - COVID-19 Winter Plan guidance published 18th September 2020, Plymouth City Council has been working closely with colleagues across health and social care to develop the Plymouth Winter Action Plan.

The plan was developed using the Department of Health and Social Care's self-assessment tool and incorporates key issues arising from the Service Continuity and Care Market Review (SCCMR) self-assessment questionnaire. As part of a whole health and care system approach to preparing for winter, the plan has also been incorporated in the CCG Winter Plan. 

We are continuing to work closely with our provider market to help manage the demands they are facing and are ensuring that suitable business continuity arrangements are in place. This means we can continue to provide care and support for the most vulnerable people in our city.


Theme 1: Preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings


  • Support care homes, working with local partners to carry out learning reviews after each outbreak to identify and share any lessons learned at local, regional and national levels
  • Implement Plymouth's Care Home Support Plan in partnership with health, care and voluntary organisations in the city
  • Distribute the Infection Control Fund, highlighting the importance of the Stop the Spread pledge, and monitor returns on how the funding has been used in line with the grant conditions
  • Support providers to continue to provide care and help minimise the risk of infection through staff movements
  • Provide clear communication to social care providers regarding the importance of implementing workforce measures to limit COVID-19 infection, signpost relevant guidance, and encourage providers to make use of additional funding where appropriate
  • Actively monitor capacity across the market and act swiftly on any escalating concerns
  • Promote National portal and distribute PPE to non-regulated providers via PPE Cell
  • Support providers to access regular testing and together with UHP, Livewell South West and GP Practices, provide local support for testing in the city, if needed
  • Monitor testing data to identify and act on emerging concerns, including following up with care homes that are not undertaking regular testing, as per the guidance
  • We will ensure that all Care Homes are technology-enabled and support NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group to roll out medical equipment to reduce the risk of transmission from visiting professionals
  • Support, promote and implement the local Flu Plan

Theme 2: Collaboration across health and care services


  • The Local Authority has taken a lead commissioning role for discharge to assess pathways, which has included the growth of our Homefirst offer and the commissioning of additional discharge beds within the care home market. This provision is funded through our integrated budget with NHS Devon CCG     
  • Following the guidance on re-introducing NHS Continuing Healthcare, processes have been reviewed and updated and are now operational. The joint team is now delivering a targeted response to clear the backlog and manage incoming assessment requests. Additional capacity has been recruited to support the achievement of our agreed trajectory, for completion by March 2021.
  • Actively interviewing staff to help support the delivery of our plan to complete deferred reviews before the end of this financial year.
  • Work with our health colleagues to support Derriford Hospital with managing the competing COVID and Non-COVID demands to ensure that they deliver the phase three planning requirements. This includes daily joint patient flow management meetings where the local authority aligns additional resources to support transfers of care.
  • Work with partners, local and national voluntary sector organisations to coordinate support for people around discharge from hospital, subsequent recovery and non-personal care support
  • Work with NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group to continue the roll-out of the Enhanced Health in Care Homes programme

Theme 3: Supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers


  • Complete a weekly review of Visiting Status for Care Homes
  • Work with the Carers Support Service to meet the needs of unpaid carers. The Local Authority continues to work closely with the care market to ensure critical respite services are maintained during this period, including both day and short breaks provision
  • We are actively working with our NHS colleagues to ensure that their programme for Enhanced Health in Care Homes includes advanced care planning for palliative and end of life care in care homes and in people's homes, recognising that during the pandemic people have been less likely to be admitted into hospital. This also facilitates early support in symptom management through multi disciplinary approaches via our community health and social care service. 
  • Continue to monitor the need for Care Act easements
  • Continue to promote wellbeing and support schemes for the ASC workforce
  • Launch the Plymouth Proud to Care Recruitment Campaign, recruiting, training and deploying more carers to support vulnerable people
  • Implement Local Shielding Plan as appropriate, in line with COVID measures
  • Health & Wellbeing Board will focus on understanding and addressing the health inequalities of COVID-19 across the City and develop action plans with partners

Theme 4: Supporting the system


  • Continue to support their provider market as needed, to secure continuity of care, including promoting the financial support available
  • Continue to engage with local care providers through forums and regular messaging including sending out a weekly communication to all local care providers   
  • Monitor the city's care services to ensure they can be delivered safely and that the threat of transmission is managed
  • We will continue to adopt a multi-agency city-wide approach to the management and mitigation of all Brexit implications on the local health and social care system
  • Guide Plymouth's Health and Care system through the implementation of measures to contain COVID 19, identifying and sharing best practice whilst interpreting emerging guidance for the local footprint

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