Policy Statement

This organisation is aware of its responsibilities for the delivery of its commissioned services. This policy sets out the contingency arrangements that can be implemented when an unplanned critical or emergency event or force majeure situation arises.

A detailed business plan is in place.

Covid 19

Because of the ever-changing situation with Covid 19, there is an addendum that has been issued to supplement this policy and should be read in conjunction with it.

The Policy

This policy aims to enable service delivery to take place even in unplanned situations. Working with multi-agency partners, this organisation would seek to ensure the following measures were in place to minimise any disruption to planned services and to co-operate in any way possible to assist in any force majeure situation that may arise.

The following sets out how this organisation would seek to minimise the impact of unplanned situations.

Late Visits

This is different to missed visits, which is a separate policy, and the two should not be confused. A late visit is when the scheduled visit time is not met by the assigned worker. There are usually built-in lateness periods via local authority (LA) service specifications, and these are usually between 15- and 30-minutes duration. For example; a scheduled visit at 7.30 pm would not be considered a late visit until 7.45 pm or 8 pm, using the agreed lateness duration of the LAs we work with. [IF YOU HAVE NO LOCAL AUTHORITY CONTRACT INSERT YOUR ORGANISATION’S AGREED LATENESS DURATION].

Late visits can be caused by many different situations, e.g. a medical emergency, such as a fall or stroke, where medical assistance is needed. The scheduled visits on that round would need to be covered, as it is likely the worker would be delayed until the arrival of the emergency services. Family, friends, or representatives will be kept informed.

Utility Failure

From time to time, a utility failure occurs that impacts the service user’s home. We would be able to access camping gas and water to enable the service user to be cared for in terms of personal care, warmth, and nutritional needs. We would keep in contact with the family (where applicable), the utility agency (to ensure we could respond appropriately) and, where a large section of the community was affected, the relevant statutory agencies (e.g. police, social services) and the emergency civil planning department of the LA where necessary.

Adverse Weather/Winter Planning

Such situations would require rescheduling the visits. Families and social services would be contacted, informed, and an explanation given as to why the changes had been implemented.

To minimise travel, care workers would be scheduled to start as close to home as possible and some could be scheduled to walk, where flooding, snow or ice was present. The employment of locally-based staff would assist in this situation.

The involvement of family and neighbours would be considered for service users whose needs could be met by this assistance. All service users would be contacted and given information and advice pertinent to the service user, e.g. the times of visits and who would be making them.

A statutory notification must be sent to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) if the adverse weather was likely to last more than 24 hours.

Pandemic Management

A pandemic is recognised as one of the highest risks faced by the health and social care sector. Public Health England now has the responsibility to protect public health from such an outbreak and to provide guidance to organisations where the impact of such a pandemic could be catastrophic. They regularly publish preparedness strategies and response plans, etc., in the event of such a situation.

The five phases of detection, assessment, treatment, escalation, and recovery are monitored, appropriate data collection, the route of the pandemic tracked, and advice and guidance issued, as appropriate.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Homecare providers must ensure that the level of support provided to an individual meets their assessed needs. However, home care providers may need to reallocate duties or reduce visits if a person being cared for tests positive for COVID-19. These contingency plans will need to:

Be made subject to agreement with partner agencies and/or commissioners that the reduction in duties or visits balances the risks of reducing care with that of potential transmission of COVID-19.

Consider the care support needs, wishes and feelings of the relevant person and the unpaid carer or carers, in line with a personalised care approach.

Where significant changes are made, be based on a new assessment of the person’s needs – the new level of support provided to the person must meet their assessed needs.

Be made in agreement with the person’s social workers and family with the involvement and consent of the service user.

Providers should maintain business continuity plans to help manage emergency situations. These should be kept up-to-date and key details to record may include:

Who provides care for the service user.

Whether those delivering care are still able to provide care and are not self-isolating, whether paid staff or informal carers.

How and where care and support plans are located.

Requirements for any specialist care or long-term conditions/ people formally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.

Modes of communication.

Key contacts coordinating care from other community-based services including, but not limited to:

mental health and dementia support services

learning disability services

third-sector voluntary social and community enterprises (VSCEs)

drug and alcohol or social work teams

family members

It is particularly important to ensure risk management plans are balanced and updated for individuals who may find any change in routine challenging, for example, people living with dementia and certain types of autism. This should include preparation for and likely reactions by the service user to changes in routine or unfamiliar carers, and ways to reduce potential stress. In cases where current circumstances make consistency impossible, providers should prepare people for the fact that it may be necessary for a different carer to support them.

Providers and local authorities should work together to facilitate mutual aid, care and support plans across their areas. This is to inform planning ahead of a possible outbreak.

Routine movement of care staff between any shared living services and other health and social care settings should be avoided to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 and other infections like flu from one setting to another. Following current government guidance.

By following these steps, most people we support should have a continuity of care, support and help that adapts to their situation.

For people, where their well-being is at risk, the managers may need to contact individual social workers to seek further advice and support.

NHS England via the Gov.UK website issue guidance for domiciliary care which is updated regularly and will be followed by this organisation in this current pandemic.

The Gov.UK website issue bulletins on an ongoing basis. Current data on COVID-19 cases in England is available from

Our Local Health Protection Team is a primary source of COVID-19 guidance for health protection teams and healthcare practitioners:


Staffing is the biggest issue for continuity of service to be ongoing and, when necessary, statutory notifications should be completed to assist with the planning required for cover.

All LAs have an Emergency Civil Plan (ECP), Civil Emergency Plan (CEP), or Civil Contingency Plans (CCP) [INSERT DETAILS OF WHERE TO ACCESS YOUR LOCAL ECP, CEP or CCP] that is activated when certain criteria are met. A multi-agency approach is in place via the health authority and Public Health England, and the organisation will follow all available advice and guidance in managing any pandemic or similar situation. Staff will be advised as to their actions via the office.

Force Majeure Situations

Where a force majeure was in place, e.g. major flooding, fuel shortages, road closures, and winter conditions, we would take advice and co-operate in any way possible with the civil emergency team and the statutory agencies involved. This could include:

Emergency centres being utilised.

Evacuation procedures.

Staff secondment to assist.

Assisting other providers with available beds.

We have good local knowledge, and our relationship with our multi-agency partners would enable us to deliver the service, except where advice was given to the contrary. We are aware of winter plans from our LA and the NHS and would seek appropriate advice immediately to manage the situation effectively. [I.E IF YOU WORK IN AN AREA WHICH, FOR EXAMPLE, IS A DESIGNATED FLOOD AREA PLEASE AMEND AS REQUIRED TO REFLECT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES]

A statutory notification must be sent to CQC if any of the above situations were likely to last more than 24 hours.


Guidance for EU nationals wishing to remain in the UK can be found at:

Health and Care Visa temporarily expanded for 12 months:

A lead postholder [INSERT HERE] is responsible for the updating of relevant information which may impact us as a provider.

Related Policies

Co-operating with Other Providers

Continuity of Care for Support Workers

Duty of Candour


Related Guidance

CQC Regulation 17: Good Governance:

Gov.UK Preparing for emergencies: find out about local plans:

Gov.UK Coronavirua (COVID-19):

Gov.UK Brexit:

Training Statement

Managers will be kept up to date with relevant local plans, as appropriate, at least annually, to respond effectively and efficiently.

All staff, during induction, are made aware of the organisation’s policies and procedures, all of which are used for training updates. All policies and procedures are reviewed and amended where necessary, and staff are made aware of any changes. Observations are undertaken to check skills and competencies. Various methods of training are used, including one to one, online, workbook, group meetings, and individual supervisions. External courses are sourced as required.


Date Reviewed: October 2022

Person responsible for updating this policy:

Next Review Date: October 2023

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