Latest News - Lincolnshire Care Association


27/11/2020   Call out: Hospitality workers asked to consider a career in care

Ever considered using your skills in hospitality to support older or vulnerable people? Care providers throughout Lincolnshire are searching for friendly, flexible individuals with transferable skills to lend a hand during COVID-19.

These roles will focus on supporting individuals in their own home with simple meal preparation and service, allowing care workers to concentrate on those with more complex needs.

On the surface, care work and hospitality may seem like very different career paths, but the two industries share many traits. From using your catering or serving skills to prep and serve meals, to good social skills that can help to fight loneliness, hospitality and care workers have a lot in common.

So, if you’re searching for part-time work and would like to make a difference to the lives of others, visit the CareinLincs website for more information.

20/11/2020   LinCA Care Conference postponement

It is with regret that we have taken the tough decision to postpone the upcoming Care Conference, which was due to take place on 25th November 2020.

In the current climate, many of our colleagues and providers in the care sector are heavily focussed on helping to alleviate the challenges and pressures caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and unfortunately, we feel the timing of this conference isn’t realistic in these exceptional circumstances.

We will, of course, be looking to reschedule the conference to take place in March next year, where we feel more time and effort can be dedicated to celebrating the inspirational work and innovations within the care sector across Lincolnshire.

13/11/2020   Care workers praised in new report on COVID-19's impact on the care sector

Yesterday, Healthwatch Lincolnshire shared the results of its study on the impact of COVID-19 on the social care sector. The report details how service users and residents feel about the sector’s response to the pandemic, with overwhelmingly positive feedback and praise for social care providers and their staff. The study also provides key insights into how the pandemic has affected both staff and service users - including issues such as PPE and visitor restrictions to care homes – that the sector can use to inform the decision-making process moving forward.  

Read the report in full

13/11/2020   Healthwatch asks: "COVID-19 - How are you coping?"

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on residents, family and staff within Care Homes along with those accessing care in their own homes.

As Healthwatch continues to deliver its core function of gathering the current public views and experiences of Lincolnshire residents, it shares in this document the feedback from a short campaign where we asked for experiences of social care during the pandemic.

Healthwatch Lincolnshire wanted to understand and capture the experiences of the public, looking at how supported they felt by their social care services.
The short campaign ran from 27th April to 22nd June 2020 and sought to understand the experiences within social care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following areas were identified as key findings:

· Many of the comments we received praised the level of care received from both domiciliary and care home staff.

· Overall, 23% (16 people) said they believed the quality and safety of care had affected them positively, equally another 23% (16 people) felt it had affected them negatively.

· Many acknowledged how quickly the care homes reacted to the pandemic which in turn provided them with a more reassuring environment and kept them safe.

· 3 out of 4 people we spoke to said they felt every effort was made to encourage communication between them and their loved ones during this time.

· Service users as well as family and friends told us they were craving for face to face visits to improve their overall wellbeing. It is clear this does have emotional effects on both the family and the care home resident, especially for those suffering with dementia or other sensory or learning difficulties.

· Digital technology has been embraced to keep people connected using software such as Zoom, Skype etc. However, it is acknowledged that these digital solutions are not always suitable as some find it difficult to interact with, or do not have the equipment or resources to maximise this option.

· We heard from people that were feeling more isolated and lonelier due to the lockdown and social distancing restrictions than they would do normally.

· Some care staff and family carers felt personal protective equipment (PPE) was difficult to obtain, especially masks and gloves, this affected domiciliary care more than care homes.

You can read the report here.

If you would like any further information or to sign up to receive regular Healthwatch updates, please contact or call 01205 820 892

05/11/2020   New guidance: Visiting arrangements for care homes

The latest government guidance regarding visiting arrangements in care homes has been released. Take a look to make sure your care home is COVID-secure and that you're keeping your residents safe.

Read it here.

02/11/2020   National lockdown must not include locking out care home visitors

We support the National Care Forum’s open letter to the Department of Health and Social Care, Secretary of State Priti Patel and Minster for Care Helen Whately, which explains why a blanket ban on care home visitors is not the right course of action during the second lockdown.

Read the full letter below.


Visiting in Care Homes: A joint call to action – open letter to Secretary of State, Minister for Care and DHSC officials.

1st November 2020.

As the government finalises regulations for national lockdown, we call on it to embed within those regulations the default position that care homes are open for visiting. Care homes must be supported to enable visits by families and loved ones, now and in the future.

We can no longer stand by and watch the erosion of people’s human rights and the impact of isolation through the effective blanket bans on visiting in care homes.

We know that isolation caused by restrictions on visits from loved ones is intrinsically harmful and we have heard over and again the extreme anguish that this is causing.

Locking down care homes in March was an emergency response to the global pandemic caused by a virus about which little was known. Eight months on, we better understand the risks of transmission and can put in place measures that will keep us safer – this is as important for care homes as the rest of our society.

People in care homes and their loved ones in the community have fundamental human rights, both as individuals and as a community, and a ban on visiting denies those rights.

Visitors are more than people who make mere social calls into a care home – often they are spouses, children or long-held friends, who play a fundamental role in the everyday care of residents

In particular, for older people, remember that the average length of stay in a care home is 2 years. After 8 months of visitor restrictions – we cannot continue like this – there is simply not enough time for many of those living in care homes today to watch and wait.

We understand why policymakers worry about the risk of COVID-19 in care homes, given the catastrophic suffering and loss of life earlier in the pandemic. But there is no evidence that a blanket ban on visiting, or near ban, is the right response. It is also the case that homes are much better equipped now to manage any risk. There is much greater knowledge of transmission and infection prevention and control practices than there was in March. Homes should be fully supported to enable visiting.

The government has announced a pilot around testing visitors. However, those living in homes need visits now. The current tiered approach has already placed 50% of care homes and their residents under a default of blanket visiting restrictions. This cannot remain the accepted position.

So – what do we need to happen now to reset the dial to enable visiting to become the default position at this difficult time?

  • Government to fully support testing of visitors to help the management of the virus
  • Enable designation of one person, as a minimum, per resident as a ‘key visitor’ who is eligible for regular testing, PPE and training alongside the care home staff, so they can visit frequently and for longer
  •  Enable every care home to manage visiting in the individual way that works best for them, their environment, residents and their workforce and empower providers to work this out by talking with all their residents, their loved ones and staff
  • Support all care homes to create safe COVID-19 visiting spaces to use to facilitate safe visits
  • Work together across the entire health and care sector to support care home visiting, including CQC, local authorities and DPHs, and health and care staff too
  •  Government to provide indemnification or unblock restrictive insurance policies creating barriers to visiting
  • We are living in a COVID-19 world and we must have a paradigm shift in our thinking now. The decisions taken now about visiting are life-changing, and potentially life-limiting for some. We MUST act now together to support people in care homes to live the best possible life with regular and meaningful visiting by their loved ones. By the end of November 2020, all of the above must be in place.

This statement has been signed by a coalition of over 60 organisations, researchers, professionals and allies representing relatives, carers and providers, brought together by the National Care Forum.

29/10/2020   Data Security and Protection Toolkit - Free webinars

Don’t miss out on this upcoming programme of free webinars for adult social care providers!

If you haven’t already registered for the Data Security and Protection Toolkit - or if you have registered, but not yet published - then discover everything you need to know and more in these webinars from IPC.

Topics include:
• How to register for the Data and Protection Toolkit
• Start here – what you need to know about data security
• Start here – the policies and procedures you need for better security
• Start here – the data protection and cybersecurity training your staff need
• Start here – protect your IT systems and devices from cyber threats

Visit the IPC website for more information or to book your spot. 

29/10/2020   Right to remain in the UK for EU nationals

Please encourage and support your staff who are EU Nationals to register for the EU Settlement Scheme before 30th July 2021.

To find out more about how and where to apply, please visit the website.


29/10/2020   CARE badges now available

The CARE badges are now available to order!

The badges are free for anyone working in adult social care, so order a badge for yourself or your workforce here.

23/10/2020   Our thoughts on the £7bn funding call for social care

A cross-party group of MPs is calling for an additional £7bn in funding to support the UK’s struggling social care sector. This injection of funding should address the changing needs of society’s most vulnerable people, but also be used to invest in those who support them – care workers.

We welcome the findings of the report and can’t overstate the importance of recognising, rewarding and developing the social care workforce. We believe a long-term plan, similar to the 10-year plan created for the NHS, is needed to ensure positive and enduring change for the sector.

22/10/2020   The State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England

‘The State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England’ report has been published today! Providing up-to-date information on everything from pay to demographics to recruitment and retention, the report sheds light on the care sector in 2020.

Download the full report here.

For the summary of the state of social care in Lincolnshire, click here.

19/10/2020   CAS Alert - Medical Devices Safety Bulletin

A new, regular bulletin from MHRA to inform health and care professionals in the UK of new or ongoing safety issues with medical devices.

16/10/2020   Workforce Development Fund

The Workforce Development Fund is a funding stream from the Department of Health and Social Care and disbursed by Skills for Care. It supports the provision of high-quality care by allowing providers to claim back money towards the cost of workers completing a broad range of adult social care qualifications.

Providers can claim funding towards the cost of listed qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules completed between 1st January 2020 and the 31st March 2021. This includes money towards the cost of course fees (or employer contributions) and associated costs such as:

  • Employees’ salaries whilst they’re undertaking training
  • Coaching and mentoring costs
  • Venue costs for training
  • Wage replacement costs

All costs must be incurred before the funding is claimed and employers must ensure they have records in place to evidence the costs of any claim they make.

For more information, contact Mark Turton

12/10/2020   Concerned about COVID-19?

Are you a care provider concerned about COVID-19?

Here at LinCA, we’re still available to answer all of your queries about coronavirus. You can reach us by email or call us on the phone, although due to our team now working from home our response time may take slightly longer than usual.

In the meantime, take a look at our list of useful resources below. If you have any ideas or information you would like to share with us please let us know.

We want to reassure our members and all providers that we will be here to support them during this difficult time, so whatever your concern, please get in touch.

Call us on 01522 581073 

Or, email Susanna Lovelock at 


Useful links

Royds Withy King Solicitors - here to support you through difficult times

Shakespeare Martineau- Your Guide to Recovery and Resilience

Forrester Boyd Chartered Accounts - Business Support Update

Six Steps to Success in End of Life Care - Resources for Care Homes

Business Lincolnshire - COVID-19 Business Update

Duncan & Toplis - General support for business

Healthwatch Lincolnshire - Coronavirus updates

CQC has a dedicated section to COVID-19 related changes on their website.

SCIE has created a hub for COVID-19 advice for social care

Public Health England - Useful resources

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) has a page with latest news and guidance for COVID-19.

National Care Forum - links to important guidance

Skills for Care - Guidance from other agencies - Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity

You can get advice on your technology and digital questions and issues from the Digital Social Care Helpline.


09/10/2020    New digital support available for Lincolnshire’s unpaid carers

Lincolnshire County Council is working with Carers UK to launch two new digital platforms, with the goal of making life better for unpaid carers.

Jointly is a new app that aims to make caring for an older, ill or disabled loved one less stressful by better connecting those who share the care. Jointly allows carers to easily store important information about their dependents - making passing information along to fellow carers simple - along with the option to allocate tasks, manage medication and more. It is free to make an account, and users will also have access to a range of online resources to safeguard their own wellbeing and identify sources of support. Unpaid carers interested in signing up just need to visit and make an account using the access code #DGTL1946. Or, you can download the additional resources below for more information.

Jointly A4 info sheet

Jointly A5 flyer

The Council is also working with Lincoln-based charity Every-One and Carers UK’s to encourage organisations to sign up to the Employers for Carers (EfC) forum. Created to assist employers in supporting their staff who are unpaid carers, EfC ensures that employers have the knowledge to retain and manage employees with caring responsibilities. Launched in 2009 as an employers’ membership forum, EfC now has over 215 member organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors. The forum provides hands-on advice and support for employers, with the benefits including:

  • A dedicated website featuring resources for managers and employees
  • Practical guides and advice for managers and carers including case studies, model policies, FAQs and tools and tips

To access the free resources, simply log on to and register using your email address and the access code #EFC1946. The access code is the same for everyone and can be provided to all employees.

25/09/2020   Flu vaccine myths busted

Myth One

The flu kills 650,000 people every year, and older and vulnerable individuals are at high at-risk of suffering complications from the virus. Help us to stop the spread of misinformation and encourage care workers to get their jab this flu season by sharing our myth-busting campaign across your channels.

Download our social media campaign pack here


17/09/2020   Actions for adult social care providers and local authorities to prepare for 1 January 2021

Actions for adult social care providers and local authorities to prepare for 1 January 2021

DHSC have published guidance for adult social care providers and local authorities which provides information on what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021, when the transition period after Brexit comes to an end. It will be updated if anything changes. It sets out the actions you should take to prepare for 1 January 2021, to plan for and help manage any potential service disruption to adult social care


In 2021 Countrywide Healthcare will have been supplying the care sector for 25 years. This year has been has been the most challenging for us and our customers, however, if you were a current Countrywide customer then you will know that even through those tough days we didn’t let our customers down and they had good stocks of PPE. 

As a major supplier to the social care sector we were selected by Public Health England to distribute the government’s pandemic stocks throughout the care sector, a role which we are still carrying out today through the Department of Health.

In preparation for a second wave and with Brexit also looming we have ensured that we have huge stocks of gloves, aprons, masks and other care home essential products to reassure our customers that running out of PPE will not be a problem in the future. 

However we don’t just sell PPE we are a specialist supplier to care homes, we stock everything a busy care home needs. This includes cleaning chemicals, paper, nursing consumables, incontinence products, medical sundries and equipment. We also have a successful projects team that are experts in fitting out new care homes and completing refurbishments with furniture, nursing beds, curtains and bedding and linen.

We are the nation’s fastest growing supplier to the care sector, we already had a great reputation and after our performance during the pandemic this has escalated with many customers now making the choice to switch to Countrywide. We would love to discuss with you how we can support your business in the future. 

Please contact James Whitaker, Key Account Manager on 07484 051859 /

20/08/2020   NCF and NHS Digital launch new Hubble Project

NCF’s Hubble Project, funded by NHS Digital’s Digital Pathfinders Programme, will help care providers to understand the benefits of technology, how to build a business case for investment, and how to successfully introduce, use and evaluate technology. 

The project offers senior decision-makers the chance to virtually visit ‘innovation hubs’ (via webinars). The sessions cover a wide range of technology so that they will be of value to all care providers, regardless of where they are on the digital journey. The hubs are based in three care settings and showcase a range of technologies from the point of view of the care provider including integrated electronic care planning and eMAR, acoustic monitoring, circadian lighting, sensor technology and telecare. 

Virtual visitors will also have access to a toolkit to support building a business case, getting buy-in and implementation. The featured tech suppliers are also offering participants a time-limited reduction on their prices.

Places are limited across the 30 sessions which run from September to early December. Find out more and request a place.

13/08/2020   “More funding urgently needed for social care” – A message from our Chair Melanie Weatherley MBE

Although we are pleased that NHS Trusts across England will receive £300 million in funding to fight a possible second wave of COVID-19, we are disappointed that social care has yet to receive a similar pledge.

The sector’s need for additional funding is becoming very urgent, or we will be unable to sustain our support for society’s older and vulnerable people. The Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund is due to run out at the end of September, and the sector has received no confirmation of assistance after this date.

Since July, I have been calling on Parliament for more support in the event of a second wave, so care providers will not be financially-impacted - or once again forced to rely on scarce resources. 

Again, we are delighted that the NHS is receiving some much-needed funding, but we are asking that social care gets the same consideration, so we can be around to support them in taking care of those who need it most.  

28/07/2020   Important News - Virtual Clinical Skills Workshops - September 2020

LinCA WFD are offering fully funded Clinical Training in September for Nurse, Managers, Deputy Managers and Supervisors. [Please note that this training IS NOT aimed at general Care Workers] 

Here are the dates and topics we will be offering during September: 

Workshop 1

10th September – COPD and

25th September – Vital Signs and Sepsis & NEWS

Workshop 2

11th September – Epilepsy and

29th September – Diabetes

Workshop 3

23rd September – Verification of Death and

30th September – Wound Care & Management

To secure a place please fill in the booking form and ensure that all the required details have been completed as if they haven’t this will delay anyone being accepted on to the workshop add all the details required and send it back to either myself or Danielle Bradford

If learner fail to attend to do the above then providers will be required to pay a surcharge of £75 Per person [This was in place prior to COVID]. The only other stipulation is any one individual can only attend one full day workshop per month.

28/07/2020   Important Funding Opportunities for Small and Medium sized Providers across Social Care

Over the past five years, we have been steadily building a funding partnership which allows providers access to something called the Workforce Development Fund. For those providers who have already joined the partnership, you know all about it already.

For the rest, I want to help you and see if we can together explore the possibility of your receiving funding for qualifications that your staff have done or are doing currently. I am planning to run a virtual Masterclass session[ See below] where I can explain how it works and what providers need to do to have access to this funding stream.

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) is funding given to Skills for Care by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and then Skills for Care disseminated it to local partnerships to support the provision of high-quality care and the continuing professional development (CPD) of staff across the adult social care sector by providing a contribution towards the costs of vocational learning. The fund allows you to claim back money towards the costs of workers completing a broad range of adult social care qualifications and learning programmes. 

With everything there are rules. So, before you all go off and start to look at loads of historical qualifications your teams have achieved , we can only claim in a very strict timescale and only a selected of qualification are avaible to be claimed .  

You can claim funding towards the cost of qualifications and learning programmes completed between 1 January 2020 and it go onto the 31 March 2021 and the qualifications the majority of RQF Qualifications. A full list of which will be supplied by Skills for Care very soon 

  1. You must have registered and updated your organisations ASC-WDS [used to be called NMDS-SC]. This is extremely important as without do so you will not be allocated any funds
  2. There will be a number of level 2, 3 and 5 RQF qualifications [NVQ’s] and if any of these where apprenticeships, you can now claim the End Point Certificates  If you want further information and are interested in applying for If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me




22/07/2020   Families and friends to be reunited with loved ones in care homes as visits recommence

We welcome today's announcement that care home visits can recommence – but only if care homes consider it safe to do so. 

The guidance, published today, will help care homes across Lincolnshire to plan and prepare for how to bring loved ones safely back together again.

Following the announcement, our Chair, Melanie Weatherley MBE, said:

“It’s been a difficult few months for our staff and our residents in care homes. Not being able to receive visits from loved ones has been painful for many, but we are pleased our members can now bring family members back together again safely now that guidance has been issued and it is clear on what we all need to do to protect those living and working in care homes.

"I particularly welcome how this guidance maximises the input of local professionals into how the guidance should be implemented. We look forward to working with the Director of Public Health in Lincolnshire on ensuring care homes remain safe places. This is not a message that says: ‘we are now open for all’.  If it is not deemed safe to accept visitors at this time – or at any other time whilst we tackle this pandemic - then a care home can make the decision not to accept visitors and this is absolutely right if we are to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community”.

22/07/2020   Help support safe visits in care homes - Social media toolkit

Since May, we've been working with Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire CCG and NHS Trusts to figure out the safest and most ethical way to allow visitors back into care homes.

As well as new guidance created in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, we've created a social media toolkit that care home providers can share explaining the guidelines for keeping both staff and residents safe during visits.

Download it now to share across your social channels.

21/07/2020   Does the PPE tax cut extension hint at longer term cost savings for care providers?

Duncan and Toplis logo


A word from our commercial member Duncan and Toplis and Director Paul McCooey. 

There have been a number of significant changes in recent weeks, as shops and businesses begin to make the slow return to a “new normal” as lockdown eases.

The care sector has been facing a tremendous challenge throughout this crisis and we know that while the worst may be past us, the challenge is set to continue. It is welcome news therefore, that the temporary scrapping of VAT on PPE has been extended until the 31st October 2020.

The extended tax cut will ease the burden of tax on the purchase of the essential equipment needed to deal with the COVID-19 emergency; it means that items will be exempt from the usual VAT charges.

Import duty was also removed to drive down costs, and these changes have been estimated to save care providers and businesses millions of pounds overall during the crisis. The government has acted to introduce temporary VAT rules given the exceptional circumstances that we are facing, to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The short term decision has opened up a larger conversation about the VAT status of the social care sector as a whole, to enable VAT claims on expenses, such as PPE, utilities, repairs and rent.

Long term changes to the VAT regime could allow the care sector to reclaim VAT on expenditure, having a positive impact on the bottom line and could make the difference between these businesses remaining viable or not.

In the meantime, care providers can continue to buy PPE to keep our most vulnerable protected, with the reassurance that the burden of tax has been eased for the coming months. We hope that this will make a real difference to the sector, which has been doing incredible work.

10/07/2020   Our work towards an ethical reintroduction of visitors in care homes

We know not visiting your loved ones during this difficult time has been painful, and no one is happier about the possibility of allowing visitors again than care homes and their staff. However, homes in Lincolnshire, and across the UK as a whole, are in a challenging position and have been since the outbreak of COVID-19 began.

Since March, care homes have been forced to choose between protecting their residents’ health and their human need to see their family and friends. Lockdown has been tough for not only residents and their families, but also for staff, who just want the best for those in their care. 

Bringing visitors back into homes involves weighing up all the possible risks – a process that is unique to each facility – and is a delicate decision that cannot be rushed. Since May, the Lincolnshire Care Association has been working with experts from Lincolnshire County Council, the Lincolnshire CCG and Lincolnshire NHS Trusts to create the best possible – and most ethical - guidance for reintroducing visitors to care homes, with the goal of reuniting residents with their loved ones while protecting them from COVID-19.

We would welcome any government guidance that supports our work, but believe that the right balance needs to be struck before moving forward. We ask that visitors follow any health and safety guidelines in place when visiting, including wearing masks, washing your hands before entering and staying two metres apart at all times.

For more information on how you can help to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 while visiting a loved one, visit the Lincolnshire County Council website.

09/07/2020   Our Chair's letter to MPs applauding Lincolnshire care providers’ "Amazing" response to COVID-19

Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association, has written to Lincolnshire MPs to outline the tremendous efforts of care providers, Lincolnshire County Council and health partners in supporting vulnerable people through the pandemic.

But with a potential second wave ahead, she had also called for their support in Parliament to raise the potential risks to providers financially and coping with sometimes scarce resources.

"It's only right that our elected representatives are aware of the fantastic efforts of our providers and partners in the most challenging circumstances we have ever faced," said Melanie Weatherley.

"But our MPs must do all they can to support our care sector to be robust enough to cope with a further wave of Covid-19 and be well resourced for future needs.

"Care providers have gone the extra mile, acting as close a substitute as possible for family and friends unable to visit their loved ones. The support of the county council in infection control and funding additional costs experienced by providers has been invaluable. Indeed the partnership working between providers, the county council and CCG and NHS health colleagues has been hugely important."

Councillor Mrs Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for Health and Adult Care, added: "From the start of the pandemic we have been in constant contact with care homes to support them. Our infection prevention and control team, together with our partners, have provided quick, effective support when outbreaks are reported so that they are kept under control.

"We've recognised the need to support care homes with increased costs from the beginning and have recently distributed the £10.45m funding from government to help us to reduce and prevent coronavirus outbreaks and protect residents.

"A full programme of training, support with accessing coronavirus test kits and PPE, plus providing Facebook portals and digital technology to help with care support and keeping families in touch, has made a big difference. As Melanie has stated, while we have been sadly seen some deaths in our care homes due to Covid-19, it's heartening to see that all this good work has meant a comparatively low number of deaths across the county compared to other areas."

"We are fully behind the call for further support for our care sector to ensure it is well prepared both for a possible second wave of Covid-19 and for future resilience in being able to provide the very best care for vulnerable people."

07/07/2020   Our response to Boris Johnson and Simon Stevens

We’d like to say a few words in response to Boris Johnson’s unacceptable remarks that “too many care homes didn’t follow procedures” during COVID-19, as well as Simon Stevens’ comments over the weekend regarding the “resilience” of the social care system.

These comments, although not unexpected, suggests the blame lies with care homes, when the sector is filled with hardworking, resourceful individuals who dedicate their lives to caring for others.

The situation has been challenging, but care homes were not just sitting on their hands while the government was deciding its next steps. Like every sector, we have had to learn about this evolving situation as we go along, but providers used their expertise and anticipated what needed to be done long before the government guidelines were released. In fact, care organisations were a crucial influence on the policies that have saved lives, from PPE to choosing to suspend visits.

Lincolnshire care homes in particular were forward-thinking when it came to preventing the spread of COVID-19, choosing to go into lockdown before it became mandatory. Many were told they were overreacting, but the situation could have been much more serious if that decision hadn’t been made.

Most importantly, don’t let these careless words dissuade you, a friend or relative from choosing to make a care home your home. They provide security, companionship and so much more, and for vulnerable people in need of support there is no safer place to be.

A few weeks ago, the government was clapping for the care sector – don’t let them make us the target of their mistakes. The battle against COVID-19 isn’t over yet, but we’re still here fighting the good fight for the vulnerable people that need us.

Melanie Weatherley, MBE

26/06/2020   Deliver a wellbeing package to a veteran near you

Age UK Lincoln and South Lincolnshire are searching for volunteers to help deliver wellbeing packs to veterans in their local community.

These support packs are free of charge to anyone over 50 who has served in the forces and whose lives have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

These packs contain items such as:

  • Tea/coffee
  • Soap
  • Toilet roll
  • Forget me not seeds
  • A notebook, book or puzzle book
  • Tinned goods
  • Foodstuffs such as custard, jam, cornflakes and biscuits
  • A health and wellbeing guide and other supportive literature.

There are 1,800 packs to be delivered between now and November. The charity is looking for volunteers who can offer veterans a friendly chat along with their wellbeing pack, to help prevent isolation and loneliness.

For more information or to volunteer, visit and download an application pack. 

Don’t have time to deliver but would still like to get involved? Donate items to the cause and help Age UK to make their packs as valuable as can be for their veterans – find out more.

Know a veteran who deserves a wellbeing pack? Nominate them here.

15/06/2020   New COVID-19 Emotional and Mental Health Support Helpline is live

The Health and Wellbeing Helpline has been formed in partnership with the Lincolnshire Care Association, Lincolnshire Community Health Services, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, Primary Care, Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust and Lincolnshire CCG.

The helpline can be used by staff and managers who have any queries or concerns relating to COVID-19 regarding their health and wellbeing. For example staff wellbeing, national guidance, or if you require a supported conversation.

Depending on the nature of your call, you may be signposted onto other sources of advice. Please check whether you have access to your organisations own health and wellbeing services prior to contacting the helpline and please liaise with your line manager in the first instance.

The health and wellbeing helpline is available Monday-Friday from 8:00am-8:00pm and Saturday-Sunday from 9.30am-12:00pm, please contact us on 01522 308885.

11/06/2020   Easy guide to joining a Microsoft Teams meeting

We're aiming to restart our Workforce Development course calendar by the end of June. These new courses will be running virtually by Microsoft Teams. To ensure as many people as possible can take part, we've created an easy guide to joining a Microsoft Teams meeting.

Download it here.

Teams is currently free if you have a NHS mail account.

If you need any further help in setting up your NHS mail account, contact Grace Neal at

02/06/2020   Furlough Scheme Changes

Chancellor extends Self-Employment Support Scheme and confirms furlough next steps

20/05/2020   Thank you for caring - a message from Duncan & Toplis


Thank you for caring

A message from Duncan & Toplis

As the people who protect and care for the most vulnerable in our community, we’re always grateful for your work looking after our loved ones.

Now, as you work through one of the most challenging crises we’ve ever faced as a country, we want to send our heartfelt thanks to you and all of your colleagues.

Faced with the pandemic and the growing number of cases in care homes across the country, all care home workers are understandably anxious. This is a stressful time and you are on the frontline.

Right now, you need to be prioritising the safety and wellbeing of residents and team members while also ensuring your business remains stable and sustainable.

To help you focus on providing the best possible care during the coronavirus outbreak, our team at Duncan & Toplis is working closely with managers and owners to make caring for your business as simple as possible.

While we’re unable to visit, we have transformed the way we work to ensure we’re always connected and in closer contact than ever before, delivering the support you need at this time. 

Our healthcare specialists are working with care homes in Lincolnshire and across the East Midlands to ensure their finances are in order, that they’re operating efficiently and that they are able to secure all the financial support they’re entitled to.

We’re working hard to do everything we can to help you protect and care for your residents without the distraction of worrying for your business.

We have supported care homes for more than thirty years. We’ve seen care homes innovate and make sacrifices to protect their residents time and again and we’ve witnessed the incredible strength of character of people throughout the sector. 

While we’ve never experienced a situation like this before, we have absolute faith in the skill, determination and compassion of care home teams.

Thank you for everything you do.


07/05/2020   Two new e-learning courses available for free

In an effort to support residential care and dual registered homes and their staff during this extremely trying time for the care sector, LinCA Workforce Development has commissioned two further eLearning programmes:

Verification of Expected Death: The course aims to provide the essential knowledge required for verifying an expected death. Using a simulated practical experience in a controlled environment, attendees will develop the skills needed to verify a deceased person, as well as how to spot the signs of a suspicious death.

Every care home has been allocated four free licences. If you have more members of your workforce who need to undertake this training, you can ask individuals to share and undertake the training as a small group, but make sure you track who has done the training and update individual training records.

Wound Care: This course has been specially developed for all staff working within the health and social care sector. It covers wound care and the procedures required to minimise the risk of infection. The course is designed to support the management of simple wound dressing and assist in the assessment process to support the local district nursing team.

Every care home has been allocated five free licences. If you have more members of your workforce who need to undertake this training, you can ask individuals to share and undertake the training as a small group, but please track who has completed the training and update individual training records.

Both programmes are now live and open for you and your staff to access via the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adult Board [LSAB] website: 

We have been working with the LSAB admin team to ensure that your organisation can be found on the list of providers when you have to sign up. If you have already signed up, it is simply a case of login in and identifying who you want to undertake the courses. Any technical or sign in or sign up issues, then please direct your queries to


30/04/2020   Treasury cut taxes to reduce PPE costs

From the 1st of May 2020, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.

Find out more on the website.

28/04/2020   Our response to the sad news of the care home death toll

We’re deeply saddened by the number of coronavirus deaths in care homes across the UK. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those lost to the virus. We’re also sorry to hear that some of you were not able to say a proper goodbye to your loved ones, or say goodbye in the way you would have liked to.

Sadly, coronavirus particularly affects older people and those with underlying health conditions. The majority of people in care homes are frail and suffering from pre-existing health issues, and unfortunately COVID-19 has taken its toll.

We’re determined at LinCA to do everything we can to support care home residents, providers and staff during this distressing time. There are a number of things care homes and their staff can – and are - doing to fight the virus, including:

  • Ensuring all new residents are tested for COVID-19 before moving into the home
  • Using PPE as appropriate if cases of COVID-19 are known or suspected in the home
  • Ensuring that other professionals coming into the home are aware of the precautions in place on entry

There seems to be a lag in tracking coronavirus deaths in care homes, in part due to a lack of testing. Care providers need to keep tracking the number of COVID-19-related deaths, so we can identify trends and protect both staff and residents. We welcome the testing of asymptomatic staff and care home residents, as well as the commitment from Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to share the details of care home deaths on a daily basis.

It is also important to note that staff are continuing to give the same quality, loving care that they always have, especially in end-of-life situations. Loved ones can be assured that if a relative does pass, it will be in a dignified and comfortable setting, surrounded by people who truly care about them.


28/04/2020   Dental update for Lincolnshire care providers

There is no routine dental care currently in Lincolnshire. If residents or patients have an urgent issue they should contact their own dentist by phone for advice (free service). If they are not registered with a dentist, they should contact 111 instead.

Residents and patients are requested not to contact their GP practice for dental issues. 

A resident's or patient's own dentist, or 111, can refer them for non-face-to-face triage. The triage service can provide advice and prescribe antibiotics & analgesia.

There are seven urgent dental care centres running across the county right now. However, they are only accessible via the triage service, and as capacity is limited this service is largely for extraction (NHS charge £22.70).

28/04/2020   Important coronavirus updates from

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes

Featured updates include refreshed PPE guidance and the addition of further FAQs.

COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC)

A statement has been added following the NERVTAG review of cardiopulmonary resuscitation as an aerosol-generating procedure.

Admission and care of people in care homes

How to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak

Stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home settings

Advice on appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) precautions for stepdown in hospital or discharge to home or residential settings.


20/04/2020   Childcare for keyworkers - a message from Lincolnshire County Council

Please see the details below of how key workers can find childcare close to their home or work. If they click on the link, enter their preferred postcode/location and the distance willing to travel, it will give them a list.

We have over 500 providers that remain open however if keyworkers have difficulties finding a provider they can use the contact number in office hours and the family information service will be able to help. If there are still issues email the eycc address below and one of the team will try and broker a place.

As a key worker if you are looking for childcare for younger children or for children of school age where a school is not able to meet your childcare needs you can find details of all childcare providers across Lincolnshire hereIf you require specific support or advice on finding a place for your child you can call the Family Information Service on 0800 195 1635 or email

In addition, if you have not been able to find a childcare place during the COVID-19 outbreak for your child, or have not been able to get the support or find a place to meet your needs, please contact and the Early Years and Childcare Team will contact you directly and work with you to find a place for your child.

You can also find out about which schools remain open – this is on the school closures page of the website.

We can confirm the majority of schools in Lincolnshire remain open for the children of keyworkers and those children or young people classed as vulnerable. If you are requiring emergency care, please contact your child's school in the first instance during regular school hours. If you are unable to make contact, please email or telephone 07899 066576.

17/04/2020   What do care providers need to know about the Coronavirus Act?

The Coronavirus Act - emergency legislation to help the UK deal with COVID-19 as quickly as possible - is now law. But what does this mean for care providers? 

The Act lays the foundations for local authorities, CCGs, HMRC and the NHS to put emergency measures in place, and will affect mainly four areas:

  • The deployment of staff
  • Legislative and regulatory requirements
  • Containment of the virus
  • Managing the deceased.

To find out how these changes could impact your organisation, read this excellent and informative blog by Royds Withy King solicitors. 

07/04/2020   Updates to infection and prevention control guidance for COVID-19

Public Health England (PHE) has been collaborating with the NHS, NHS Improvement and Devolved Administrations to update the UK's infection and prevention control guidelines for COVID-19.

PHE has also been discussing the subject with the Royal College of Nursing, other Royal Colleges and professional societies.

Based on the available evidence and feedback from these discussions, they have re-evaluated their recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe.

To ensure you're up to date with the latest guidance, visit the website

05/04/2020   Get the latest guidance on COVID-19 for the social care sector

Whether you need guidance on PPE or temporary changes to DBS checks, Skills4Care has the latest COVID-19 updates from all of the relevant agencies (Department of Health and Social Care, Local Government Association, GOV.UK and more) all in one place.

Visit their website now for the latest COVID-19 advice for the social care sector.  

03/04/2020   NICE updates COVID-19 guidelines on critical care

NICE has listened to concerns from patients groups about their guidelines regarding critical care during COVID-19. As a result, they have updated their advice in line with NHS guidance to ensure the best patient care possible during this time of intense pressure. 

Read the updated guidance here.

02/04/2020   Care Home Continence Assessments during COVID-19

Continence clinics in the community have been cancelled during the COVID-19 outbreak. Care homes should complete any continence assessment paperwork and forward it to the Lincolnshire Community Health Services Trust (LCHS). The LCHS will then do a telephone assessment and order products if required. Review assessments will also be done over the phone.

If a resident has signs of UTI and retaining of urine, a bladder scan will be done at the resident’s home or care home. Catheter patients will also be seen at their home or care home.

If you require any further information, please contact:

Allison Temple,

Continence Specialist Nurse, LCHS

Telephone: 01775 652278

Mobile: 07748932142


02/04/2020   Running low on PPE?

Are you concerned that your stock of PPE is running low? Here are four providers who should have PPE items in stock:


Blueleaf: 03300 552 288

Delivernet: 01756 706 050

Countrywide Healthcare: 01226 719 090


Other contacts for food supplies/PPE, kindly shared by providers, include:

Gompels: (limiting orders)

Able Clean & Hygiene Supplies:

South Lincs Food Services: Operate a minimum drop of £30.00 and have an extensive range of goods and essentials. Telephone Paul Hunt at any time on 07584 392647

31/03/2020   Lincolnshire care workers become first to access exclusive COVID-19 training courses

Social care providers across Lincolnshire are once again at the cutting edge of the battle against Covid-19.

Last Friday, LinCA Workforce Development announced a joint working initiative between Medex Group Limited and itself. Supported by Lincolnshire County Council, the initiative gives every adult care worker across Lincolnshire access to two new pieces of learning.

The programmes, accessed through the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adult Board training website, aims to give the workforce a greater understanding of coronavirus/COVID-19. This includes information on managing the signs and symptoms in Health and Social Care settings, as well as Coronavirus Awareness and Infection Prevention and Control for Health and Social Care Workers.

In the three days that the course has been online, already 312 care workers have requested access to the signs and symptoms course, with 250 having completed. A similar number have been interested in the prevention course, where 234 have requested to take part and 199 have completed the training.

If you're a care provider based in Lincolnshire and would like to know more about these fully-funded eLearning courses, then please email Mark Turton, LinCA Workforce Development Manager:

30/03/2020   New "Hybrid" Care Certificates for quicker inductions

To assist those care providers who normally use the Care Certificate to support your inductions, LinCA WFD has reviewed the standards and have written a simple protocol that would support a shorter "Hybrid" version.

If you have not received the updated version from Mark Turton, please email

20/03/2020    Volunteers wanted to support Lincolnshire care providers in the fight against coronavirus

CareinLincs is on the hunt for volunteers to support Lincolnshire care providers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Volunteers with a range of skills are needed to assist organisations in their local community and beyond, to help ensure the health and wellbeing of Lincolnshire’s most vulnerable people. 

CareinLincs, which we launched in February 2020, was created to encourage people to consider a career in social care. Now, we're using its online presence to support care providers across the county, who are struggling with unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There are a range of roles available, meaning it’s not only those with direct care experience who can offer assistance. Organisations need everything from chefs to cleaners, activity co-ordinators, delivery people and more to sign up, as well as those with no previous experience who just want to lend a hand during this challenging time.

Our Chair, Melanie Weatherley MBE, says: “We all need to pull together right now to support the Lincolnshire care sector and make sure that the vulnerable people in our county get the support they need.

“No contribution is too small, so if you’re looking to do more in the fight against coronavirus, we’d love to hear from you.” 

Areas in need of support include:

  • Activity co-ordination
  • Administration
  • Childcare for the children of care staff
  • Cleaning
  • Cooking and hospitality
  • Delivering essentials
  • Frontline care work

To get involved, just register your details on the CareinLincs website. There is no need for a CV or cover letter, just upload your name, email address and phone number and the team will get back you.

19/03/2020   Dear government - Don’t forget about the social care sector in the fight against coronavirus

We're calling for more government support for the social care sector amid the coronavirus outbreak, in response to the increasing government funding pledged to help businesses and the NHS to weather the storm. In comparison, little has been promised to assist care organisations, who are on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 and are crucial in protecting vulnerable people during this challenging time.

Our Chair, Melanie Weatherley MBE, says: “Although we’re pleased that support is being provided for the NHS and for businesses, we urge the government not to forget about the social care sector.

“There are 1.4 million staff working in care homes and for home care organisations who are vital in caring for the most vulnerable people in society, who need their carers now more than ever.”

Care organisations in Lincolnshire and the UK as a whole are feeling the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic. Home care providers across the country are struggling to reach service users for a multitude of reasons, such as staff having to self-isolate, needing to care for dependents, or becoming ill themselves. Organisations are having to think about restricting the range and number of calls they conduct, with cases needing to be prioritised in order of urgency – a call no home care provider wants to make - while care homes have been forced to ban visitors to stop the virus from spreading.

Despite these issues, Lincolnshire care providers and their staff have been doing everything they can to ensure the health and wellbeing of their service users.

Melanie added: “The NHS is full of amazing people doing amazing work, but so is social care. 

“Integration between social care and the NHS is the best way to ensure the health and well-being of our most vulnerable - not just during times like these, but all-year-round. 

“We’d like to see a more coherent approach to the issue of COVID-19, with a similar commitment made to social care that has been made to the NHS.

“Local government and care providers need the same immediate financial support to maintain their services, which in-turn will reduce pressure on the NHS."

Share if you agree the government needs to do more to support the social care sector during this time!

28/02/2020   Winners of Lincolnshire Care Awards 2019 announced

 Lincolnshire Care Awards Logo

The winners of this year’s Lincolnshire Care Awards have been announced! 

Last night we popped the champagne and donned our glad rags to honour the county’s best in care at our gala awards evening at Lincoln's Assembly Rooms. With over 100 nominations across 12 categories (a record number!), choosing this year’s winners was tougher than ever!

But we did it – congratulations to the winners of the Lincolnshire Care Awards 2019! Check out the list below.


Residential Care Award (sponsored by Duncan and Toplis)

Winner: Laura Armstrong, Fotherby House

Highly commended: Julie Muckleston, Syne Hills Care Home


Community Care Award (sponsored by Quality Compliance Systems)

Winner: Elizabeth Felton, Walnut Care

Highly commended: Sharon Patterson, SAGE Care


Nursing & Nurse Associate in Social Care Award (sponsored by Medex Group)

Winner: Angela Cowley, Drovers Call, and Lynn Brown, Westfield Nursing Home


Healthy Nutrition Award (sponsored by Apetito)

Winner: Lisa Herbert & Katie Greenslade, Red House Nursing Home


Residential Care Leadership Award (sponsored by StaffAid)

Winner: Wendy Britton, Nene Lodge Retirement Home

Highly commended: Gale Bull, Red House Nursing Home


Community Care Leadership Award (sponsored by Country Court Care)

Winner: Damian Taylor, EarlyBird Lifestyle & Support Ltd

Highly commended: Amy Elding, Flo's Friends Ltd


Care Trainer Award (sponsored by the Lincolnshire Care Association)

Winner: Sam Stockwell, Boultham Park House

Highly commended: Janice Powell, Drovers Call


Care Activity Organiser Award (sponsored by Lincolnshire County Council)

Winner: Charli Siddons, The Old Hall

Highly commended: Heather Palmer, Mandy Crisp and Natalie Sharp, Royal Mencap Society


Behind the Scenes Award (sponsored by LLIP)

Winner: Andrew Saunders, Gregory House

Highly commended: Liza Nickerson, Kimberley Care Home


Caring Together Award (sponsored by Every-One)

Winner: Gainsborough Not Alone, Macmillan Volunteers


Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by the Lincolnshire Care Awards)

Winner: Helen Reilly, Oakdene Care Home


Rising Star Awards (sponsored by the Lincoln Care College)

Winner: Julia Pagett, Ashdene Care Home, and Richard Skipper, Libertas


Check out the full list of nominees here.

07/02/2020   The CareinLincs website has now launched!

Our revolutionary new CareinLincs website, designed to increase employment and support Lincolnshire’s social care sector, has launched! Free for our members, the website advertises care and nursing vacancies across the county and was created with Lincolnshire job-hunters in mind.

Every image featured on the website is of a real Lincolnshire care worker or organisation and includes everyone from support workers to registered nurses. The website showcases the many pathways available for those interested in a career in care, whether you want to progress your career or land your first role.  

The new website is not only a first for our county, but also the UK. CareinLincs is the first website to fight the sector’s recruitment crisis at the local level, with the goal of creating an emotional connection between would-be carers and the sector.

Along with assisting care homes, nursing homes and homecare providers in recruiting and retaining quality team members, CareinLincs can also be used to find volunteers, hire apprentices and organise work experience with schools and colleges.

As well as making it easier for students and would-be carers to find roles, CareinLincs makes finding new staff easier for care providers by handling the recruitment process from start to finish. Members of LinCA can sign up for free to this unique system, which allows providers to find and organise their favourite candidates, helping them to hire those with the right values for a career in care. 

Our Chair Melanie Weatherley MBE says: “Recruiting and retaining staff with the right values for a career in care is a challenge across the sector, but the CareinLincs website aims to change that.

“We want to help care providers in Lincolnshire to find kind, committed team members to take care of the vulnerable people in our county, but we also want to help those caring individuals to build a career they can be proud of.

“Whether searching for their first job in care or moving up through their next great role, we want to show that working in care is a rewarding and fulfilling career.”

Check out the CareinLincs website now:

19/12/2019   Placements wanted for promising young care students

Can you provide quality work experience for a young care worker? Then we want to hear from you!
Lincoln Care College’s first students started their care journey in September, and now this promising group of trainees are in need of placements to help hone their skills.
If you'd like to support the future of care in Lincolnshire, contact Grace Neal at to offer a placement!
For more information about the Lincoln Care College and the unique training experience it offers, click here.

05/11/2019   The Care College

The Care College

LinCA has worked closely with Lincoln College to aid in the development of the Care College. The Care College has been developed with the aim of ensuring students are going to be prepared and suited to begin their career in care from the day they leave college. Throughout the two years the students will complete the Care Certificate and Level 2 Adult Social Care Award alongside good quality work experience throughout the sector.

The Care College’s aim is to showcase care as a career and enlighten students to feel passionate about working in the sector. Over 30 students began in the first cohort which started in September 2019.  All of these students will soon begin their first placements in a variety of settings in care.

LinCA is passionate about supporting the sector’s recruitment needs and aiding in the development of the future workforce.

For further information or if you would like to get involved in enlightening these students please contact Grace Neal on: