Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates for providers

On this page, you will find information related to Coronavirus (Covid-19) for adult social care professionals. 


For wider information on Coronavirus, please visit our main information page for residents and business.


Please see our new Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page for residents on adult social care support here.

Latest update for Commissioned Service Providers

October 2020

PPE supplies

Arrangements for the supply of PPE have now changed.

In the Adult Social Care Winter Plan the DHSC is committing to provide free PPE to all adult social care services for all their covid-19 PPE needs. 

For CQC registered providers

The national PPE portal is now fully operational and will be available until 31st March 2021.  You should have already received an invitation from DHSC to register.  For further information and descriptions on how you can register please click here

 If you have any queries regarding the PPE Portal, please direct them towards the dedicated Customer Service team at 0800 876 6802.

As you are aware North Tyneside Council has made deliveries of essential PPE throughout the Covid Crisis but this emergency supply service is no longer available.

For non CQC registered providers

Non-CQC registered providers are not able to access the portal.  You can access free PPE until 31st  March 2021 by completing the form below setting out your monthly requirements and returning it to

The Local Authority will arrange for monthly deliveries to be made to you.

If you have any questions please contact for further information.

NHSMAIL and the data security and protection toolkit (DSPT) for CQC Registered Providers  


NHS Digital will soon be cleansing NHSmail email accounts that have not been used in the last 180 days.  If you have not used your account and want to keep it then please use the email otherwise you will lose the account.

NHS Digital has had feedback from some providers who say they prefer to use Outlook for their NHSmail account rather than the web application.  See the demonstration that describes how to add an NHSmail account to Outlook  

If you have not done so already could you please inform the Commissioning Team of your NHSmail contacts in order to update our distribution lists at

Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)

The deadline for completing the DSPThas been extended due to the Coronavirus outbreak . DSPT gives care providers the opportunity to evidence meeting GDPR requirements outlined in the Data Protection Act 2018. This enables sharing of systems and information which better connects organisations who care for residents and service users.

Providers have been asked to register by September 2020.  You will need your ODS code and can register here

 A revised version of the toolkit is due to be made available mid October 2020.

Providers are being asked to complete the revised version of the toolkit by end March 2021 (to the entry level standard).

FREE IPads for care homes

An offer is being made by NHSX to make free iPads available to care homes in November/December.  Each iPad will come with a 12-month support package and for those without access to WiFi, a 12 month data-enabled SIM. 

This offer is to support care homes as part of the Covid-19 response and to help reduce winter pressures; to improve access to remote consultations and healthcare services for residents, to help with virtual visits from relatives and assist with virtual reviews/consultations.  For further information and eligibility requirmments please click here.

You will need your CQC Location ID and to 'check' that you’ve read and understood the terms of use.The order form for an ipad is available here.

 Prioritisation of the devices will be to care homes that:

  • Receive all or some of their funding for residential care from the NHS or from a local authority.
  • Apply for a device using our order form.
  • Have less than one tablet device per 40 residents.
  • Care homes without any tablet devices

Care homes with fewer than 40 residents will qualify for one tablet device.

Care homes with 40 or more residents will qualify for two tablet devices.

Any remaining devices will be distributed to care homes according to assessed local need

Please note the closing date for this is 23rd October so you must register ASAP.

Broadband deals for care homes

NHSX has been working with broadband suppliers to support care homes with Wi-Fi connectivity. There are a range of internet deals specifically for care homes that have been made available. More information can be found here.

NHS COVID Application

The NHS Covid App is now live.  Please encourage everyone to download the App.  Please see the attached document for further information.

Adult Social Care Winter Plan

The Government has published its Adult Social Care Winter Plan which covers four themes:

  • Preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings
  • Collaboration across health and care services
  • Supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers
  • Supporting the system

You can find out more information about this here

 Flu vaccinations 

The DHSC is urging social care workers to get their annual flu jab to protect themselves and others this winter.  Personal assistants and other social care workers employed through direct payments are also eligible for free vaccinations for the first time this year. 

Workers do not need an ID or a voucher to be vaccinated.  Workers can visit a pharmacy, book an appointment with their GP and 'self-declare' as a social care worker.  For further information click here.

Antibody Testing

Please find below some information about how to register for a home antibody test. Once successfully registered you will receive an e-mail or text inviting you to apply for a test. The test itself involves receiving a kit and doing a simple 'finger prick' blood test that you then send back and you will receive your results by e-mail or text once the testing has been completed in the lab.

There is no obligation to have the test, it is entirely personal choice. The information leaflet  previously circulated  byNorthumbria Healthcare Trust when the trust was offering the testing, is attached to remind you of the purpose and importance of the test to help inform your choice.


Related documents

Previous updates for Commissioned Service Providers

Previous updates for Commissioned Service Providers

All updates above will be periodically removed and archived

The document will be published here.

Useful information for Commissioned Service Providers relating to Covid-19

Here you will find useful information and links related to Coronavirus (Covid-19) 

Here you can find the latest Government guidance 

Government guidance on how to work safely in homecare and extra care  (last updated on 7 October 2020)

Government guidance on how to work safely in care homes  (last updated on 7 October 2020)

Government guidance on the management of staff and residents/patients/customers exposed to covid-19 in health and social care settings can be found here  (last updated on 28 September 2020)

Here you can find

Information for adult social care services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Testing for all care workers working in residential and independent living establishments that provide care for with people with a learning disability, autism or mental health conditions.  

The national booking portal is available for anyone to book a test here