RCPA Members bulletin 14th February 2024

Dear Member,

Please find a roundup of the latest news and resources we think may be of interest to you.


News and Resources
Covid-19 Vaccines
The JCVI has advised on the eligible groups for the 2024 spring vaccine – this recommendation has been accepted by DHSC.
JCVI advises that the following groups should be offered a Covid-19 vaccine:
o Adults aged 75 years or older.
o Residents in a care home for older adults.
o Individuals aged 6 months and over who are immunosuppressed (as defined in tables 3 or 4 in the Covid-19 chapter of the green book).

Discharge guidance updates
Two new pieces of guidance have been issued by DHSC and NHSE.

A new piece of statutory guidance, Discharge from mental health inpatient settings, sets out how health and care systems should work together to support discharge from all mental health and learning disability and autism inpatient settings for children, young people and adults. NB: the 8 principles for how NHS bodies and local authorities should work together and Annex B on section 117 aftercare.

The Hospital discharge and community support guidance was also updated to reflect new duties introduced by the Health and Care Act 2022 for NHS bodies and local authorities and to provide additional detail on good practice in care transfer hubs. NB: the discharge to assess pathway, and Annex C which outlines specific responsibilities for different parties, including adult social care providers.

24/25 Fee Negotiations and member consultation
Thank you for your patience in this matter and for feedback following the recent member consultation. The RCPA and board members recently met with Somerset Council to expedite discussions around fees and other issues you have raised. Following this, SC have made this announcement in last week’s ASB Briefing, just in case you missed it:

A Message From Paul Coles: Budget Consultation Summary and Webinar Link 23rd February 2024 –

Dear Providers,

Firstly, please can I take the opportunity to thank you for your continued commitment to supporting our Somerset residents, this would not be possible without our dedicated provider market.

As you will be aware, Somerset Council declared a financial emergency in November 2023. The Council is facing a £100million shortfall in our financial situation for 2024/25. As part of our mitigations, the Council has put in place robust measures to reduce the deficit, including stopping non-essential services, property/estates rationalisation programme and voluntary redundancies.

This follows the closure of the recent Budget Consultation, which attracted almost 6,000 comments. A report on the public consultation can be found here.

Please be assured that adults social care is a statutory function of the Council and therefore service delivery will continue.

As part of the fee settings for 2024/25, I would like to invite you to a live webinar being held on the 23rd of February between 11.00 and 13.00. Please save this link to join.

In this webinar I will share with you the proposals being put forward as part of our fee levels for 2024/25 and explain in more detail the adult’s budgetary situation, the challenges, and opportunities we face in the adult social care sector.

Kind Regards
Paul Coles
Service Director
ASC Commissioning
Somerset Council



RCPA & SWCRC workshop – Keeping your IT infrastructure safe from prying eyes – 22nd Feb 11:00 – 12:00
Join RCPA’s Dan along with Ross and Andrew from The Southwest Cyber Resilience Centre for a workshop around your home routers and IT infrastructure. Ross and Andrew will be covering:
o Why keeping software up to date is important
o Encrypting data on laptops
o Backups and disaster recovery
To register for this workshop, please click here.

Registered Manager’s Network meetings
We are pleased to announce the next general RMN will be Thursday 29th February 13.30-15.30hrs at West Coker Village Hall, 94 High St, West Coker, Yeovil BA22 9AU. Draft programme to include Care Leavers’ Covenant and the new Academy updates.
Please contact admin@rcpa.org.uk to register.

The final LD/Dom RMN of 23/24 will be held at Stoke St Gregory village hall on 13th March, 13.3-15.30hrs, programme to be confirmed soon.

RWK Goodman Seminar: Key HR and employment law changes in 2024 – are you ready?
Tuesday 5th March 2024, 9.45am until 1.00pm
Edgar Hall, Somerton, TA11 6SB
Free onsite parking
£10 per ticket for RCPA members
An in-person employment law seminar with the specialist employment solicitors in RWK Goodman’s Health & Social Care team.

What can you expect?
The seminar will cover upcoming changes in HR and employment law in 2024 including:
• Changes to holiday entitlement and pay calculations for bank and casual workers
• New worker rights to request predictable working hours, flexible working and carer’s leave.
• Changes to family leave rights including statutory paternity and maternity leave
• New duty to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment
• HMRC targets care sector for National Minimum Wage – are you compliant?
• A new workforce strategy for social care

RWK Goodman will be discussing the practical impact of these changes and how your organisation can prepare for them.
There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions, share experiences and network with your peers.
For more information about the seminar, please click here. To register please email admin@rcpa.org.uk with delegate names, organisation name and email address for invoice.
Places are first come first serve, so please reserve your place today to avoid missing out.

• RWK Board Briefing
12th March, 10.00-11.00hrs via ZOOM.
This session is an ‘executive digest’ that will provide insights into a range of topics currently on the agenda of care sector businesses across the country. RWK will highlight the latest developments, trends, issues, and opportunities in the care sector, and provide practical frameworks to deal with current challenges.
Tuesday 12 March


This is a virtual event hosted on Zoom

RCPA & Howden data security workshop – Prevention is the best defence – 28th March 10:30 – 11:30
Joining RCPAs monthly data security workshop, Howden will be discussing cyber security and how being prepared and fostering a strong culture will help defend your business.
To register for this workshop, please click here.