COVID-19 response Identifying a clinical lead for all care homes 12 May 2020

Publications approval reference: C0508

CCG accountable officers

Regional directors of primary care
GP practices and primary care networks
CEOs of community health providers

12 May 2020

Dear colleagues

COVID-19 response: Identifying a clinical lead for all care homes

Thank you for all your efforts to implement, at pace, the primary care and community health services support for care homes set out in the 1 May letter from Nikki Kanani, Ed Waller and Matthew Winn. The energy and enthusiasm shown by colleagues to ensure that care home residents receive high quality NHS care to support the management of the COVID-19 pandemic has been evident across the country. In particular, thank you to CCG Directors of Nursing for setting up and offering help at short notice to provide ‘super-trainers’ in infection prevention and control to local authorities via LRFs, and your subsequent delivery of those offers as they are taken up.

As part of this support to care homes, we are writing to remind you that by this Friday 15 May, it is critical that Clinical Commissioning Groups identify a named clinical lead for each CQC-registered care home in their area. This clinician will provide clinical leadership for the primary care and community health services support to the care home, and is responsible for the co-ordination of the service provision set out in the 1 May letter to the care home residents. The clinical lead may be drawn from general practice or the community health service provider and may be a job share arrangement.

CCGs must confirm, via the COVID-19 Primary Care ‘sitrep’, alongside information on the proportion of practices which have put the service in place, that the clinical lead has been identified for each listed care home by the end of the day tomorrow, Wednesday 13 May. In exceptional cases where a care provider has been identified as a CQC-registered care home, but the care provider agrees that it (i) does not perform this function substantively and (ii) should not therefore be allocated a clinical lead, the CCG should contact NHS England and NHS Improvement with this evidence of this agreed position so that we can adjust the return accordingly.

Regional teams will follow up with CCGs that have not identified a clinical lead for each care home to ensure that arrangements are in place by the end of the week.

The CCG must communicate the name of each identified clinical lead to the relevant care home, and the full list of clinical leads for its area to the Local Resilience Forum.

Further queries

Those seeking further information should contact their NHS England and NHS Improvement Regional Team in the first instance.

Thank you again for your responsiveness and renewed commitment to supporting care homes, their staff and their residents, during the COVID incident.

Yours sincerely

Dr Nikki Kanani
Medical Director for Primary Care
NHS England and NHS Improvement

Ed Waller
Director for Primary Care Strategy and NHS Contracts
NHS England and NHS Improvement

Matthew Winn
Director of Community Health
NHS England and NHS Improvement