COVID-19 resources

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Care home infection control top tips

North West Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

The purpose of this guide is to highlight some of the ways in which residential and nursing homes have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to ensure that residents are safe, needs continue to be met and wellbeing is promoted, in what are very challenging and difficult circumstances. This guide has been compiled from desktop review of policy and best practice guidance, together with interviews with a selection of providers and commissioners from across the North West region. It aims to stimulate ideas on how providers and commissioners can develop and enhance services in the context of Covid-19, whilst simultaneously building future resilience into providers existing infection control plans. Topics covered include: the physical environment; staff; wellbeing; processes; and technology.

Last updated on hub: 17 September 2020

Care home LFD testing of visitors guidance

Department of Health and Social Care

This guidance is for all care homes who are receiving lateral flow device (LFD) test kits and explains how to prepare and manage lateral flow testing for visitors. Testing visitors can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission but it does not completely remove the risk of infection. When used alongside robust infection prevention and control (IPC) measures such as personal protective equipment (PPE) it can support care homes to safely maintain a balance between infection control and the vital benefits of visiting to the health and wellbeing of residents.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

Care Home Professional case studies

Care Home Professional

The case studies landing page on the Care Home Professional website is a helpful source for identifying good practice in care homes during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 09 June 2020

Care home review: a rapid review of factors relevant to the management of Covid-19 in the care home environment in Scotland

Scottish Government

Findings of the rapid review of COVID-19 outbreaks in four care homes, including a list of recommendations based on risk factors that were found to be common in at least two of the homes. The review aimed to collate and evaluate local level experiences and responses to the resurgence of COVID-19 outbreaks within care homes and to support learning and practice across the sector through the sharing of learning identified and approaches to improvement. High community prevalence and slow confirmation of an outbreak after the first case was detected was a common cause of the high attack rate identified. Many of the positive cases were not identified quickly because they were asymptomatic or there was a lack of awareness in those interviewed of the wider spectrum of symptom presentation in older people. This resulted in testing not done in a timely manner. As a result additional control measures were put in place too late to stop the widespread transmission. Key to this is timely testing and reporting of results, in order that control measures can be put in place. The challenges with high community prevalence in the local areas, testing availability and turnaround times, combined with high occupant density, staff shortage indicators and the built environment risks re isolation or cohorting capability, placed care home residents at risk of the swift spread of COVID-19. Once COVID-19 has been introduced into a care home, it has the potential to result in high attack rates among residents, staff members, and visitors, and this occurred in each of the homes within this review. It is therefore critical that all long-term care facilities (care homes, residential settings and community hospitals) implement active measures to prevent introduction of COVID19, and are supported to do so.

Last updated on hub: 11 November 2020

Care homes action plan: summary of progress

Welsh Government

This document summarises the progress that has been made – and is being made – against the high-level actions in the Care Homes Action Plan. The Plan sets out high-level actions under six themes to ensure the care home sector in Wales is well supported ahead of winter pressures, learning lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic. The six themes are: infection prevention and control; personal Protective Equipment (PPE); general and clinical support for care homes; residents’ wellbeing; social care workers’ wellbeing; and financial sustainability.

Last updated on hub: 26 October 2020

Care homes analysis

Department of Health and Social Care

This paper provides an assessment of evidence on care homes, including optimal approaches to testing, and the potential value of other protection approaches. It reveals that some local authorities (i.e. Liverpool, Oxfordshire) have suffered higher numbers of outbreaks than might have been expected given the number of care homes locally. Nursing home have consistently higher rates of reporting outbreaks than care homes. Both residential and nursing homes show an increase as home size increases. Examining the effectiveness of approaches to reducing rates of infection, the paper stresses that testing can only support reduction of infection rates if coupled with actions to reduce contacts with positive cases and infection control more generally. It acknowledges that despite the potential reduction in risk of the non-rotation of care workers, there may be multiple operational challenges to achieving this. Cohorting of residents to receive care from a small number of carers has the potential to reduce transmission through limiting contacts. If this can be implemented easily, without creating other risks, it has the potential to reduce risk of infection. As the picture is developing rapidly and, as new evidence or data emerges, some of the information in this paper may have been superseded.

Last updated on hub: 14 July 2020

Care homes and COVID-19 in Hong Kong: how the lessons from SARS were used to good effect

Age and Ageing

In Hong Kong, about 15% of older people (aged 80 and above) live in care homes, one of the highest proportions in the world. During the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, the crude fatality rate for older people in care homes that were infected was 72%. After taking the advice of a team of international experts, the Hong Kong Government implemented comprehensive preventive measures to cope with the future epidemics. This commentary evaluates the effectiveness of these measures in coping with both influenza outbreaks and COVID-19 and suggests the lessons learnt are relevant to both developed and less developed countries? Lockdown in care homes is very effective under two conditions. Healthcare workers must wear surgical masks in the care home. Hospitals must adopt a strict policy to prevent virus transmission by discharged patients. Care homes situated within high-rise residential towers are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 transmission; their residents can more easily be infected by asymptomatic carriers from the community. Airborne virus can also be transmitted more swiftly in care homes with open-plan layouts. Lockdown had been shown to significantly reduce influenza outbreaks in care homes. On the other hand, lockdown causes loneliness to residents. Care homes allow residents to move freely within the care home though with the risk of spreading the virus by resident who is an asymptomatic carrier. Finally, lockdown may cause family members to have guilty feelings. Family members can only make video call or window visit to residents.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

Care homes and COVID-19: advice and best practice

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Guidance, resources and best practice advice for care homes and care staff during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 15 June 2020

Care homes and supported living: Learning and sharing following the COVID-19 lockdown

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Practice examples and resources to support care home and supported living staff.

Last updated on hub: 11 August 2020

Care homes innovate to reunite residents and families during lockdown

Care Home Professional

From drive-throughs to visitor pods, garden and window visits to cuddle curtains, this article looks at the innovative ways care home providers have been going about bringing care residents and relatives back together during Covid-19 lockdown.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020