COVID-19 government publication on care homes

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Adult social care: our COVID-19 winter plan 2020 to 2021

Department of Health and Social Care

This policy paper sets out the key elements of national support available for the social care sector for winter 2020 to 2021, as well as the main actions to take for local authorities, NHS organisations, and social care providers, including in the voluntary and community sector. It covers four themes: preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings; collaboration across health and care services; supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers; and supporting the system. Each section sets out the Department of Health and Social Care’s offer of national support and the department’s expectations for adult social care providers alongside published guidance. The plan applies to all settings and contexts in which people receive adult social care. This includes people’s own homes, residential care homes and nursing homes, and other community settings.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Update on policies for visiting arrangements in care homes

Department of Health and Social Care

Guidance for making arrangements for limited visits to care homes, aimed at care providers and directors of public health. Visiting policies and decisions must aim to minimise the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission wherever possible, taking into account the circumstances of the individual care home (for example, its employee availability, resident demographics and outbreak status); and its local circumstances (local epidemiological risk, presence of outbreaks in the community). The guide sets out the principles of a local approach to visiting arrangements and dynamic risk assessment; guidance for providers establishing their visiting policy; guidance for providers taking decisions on visiting for particular residents or groups of residents; infection control precautions; communicating with relatives and others about the visiting policy and visiting decisions. [Published 22 July 2020; Last updated 31 July 2020]

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care homes visiting guidance

Scottish Government

This guidance sets out how care home visiting in Scotland may be re-introduced while minimising the risks to residents, staff and visitors. It takes a staged approach, where stage 1 – essential visits only - has been in operation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide sets out how relaxation of visiting restrictions will take place in three further stages, moving through outdoor visiting, indoor visiting by one designated person and eventually to a controlled programme of outdoor and indoor visiting. It explains what precautions will be taken to safeguard resident, visitor and staff safety.

Last updated on hub: 09 July 2020

Care homes: outbreak testing and regular testing

Department of Health and Social Care

Sets out the next stages in the COVID-19 testing strategy for adult social care to be rolled out from 6 July. This letter to the Directors of Public Health and Directors of Adult Social Services covers outbreak management and rapid testing for care homes with outbreaks; retesting in care homes without outbreaks; extra care and supported living; and domiciliary care.

Last updated on hub: 09 July 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19 in the care sector, England and Wales: deaths occurring up to 1 May 2020 and registered up to 9 May 2020

The Office for National Statistics

Provisional figures on deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the care sector, in England and Wales. The report shows that since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (between the period 2 March and 1 May 2020) there were 45,899 deaths of care home residents (wherever the death occurred). COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in male care home residents and the second leading cause of death in female care home residents, after Dementia and Alzheimer disease. Between 10 April 2020 and 8 May 2020 there were 3,161 deaths of recipients of domiciliary care in England – this was 1,990 deaths higher than the three-year average (1,171 deaths).

Last updated on hub: 25 June 2020

Personal protective equipment (PPE): resource for care workers working in care homes during sustained COVID-19 transmission in England

Public Health England

This guidance provides advice for care workers working in care homes on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the period of sustained transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance is also relevant for those providing residential supported living. This resource, which has been designed to be accessible to both care workers and providers, has four sections containing: recommendations on the use of PPE for a range of relevant contexts; explanation concerning recommendations and frequently asked questions; specialist advice relating to care for people with learning disabilities and/or autism; and case scenarios designed to illustrate appropriate use of PPE in practice. It should be read in conjunction with the full infection prevention and control (IPC) and PPE government guidance. [Published 17 April 2020; Last updated 28 August 2020]

Last updated on hub: 23 June 2020

Guidance: Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund

Department of Health and Social Care

This document sets out the infection control measures that the infection control fund will support and aims to answer questions received from local government and care providers about the Fund. The main purpose of this fund is to support adult social care providers to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes. A smaller percentage of the fund can be used to support domiciliary care providers and wider workforce resilience to deal with COVID-19 infections. Information on the distribution of grant allocations to local authorities and reporting requirements are included as annexes.

Last updated on hub: 10 June 2020

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance

Department of Health and Social Care

Emergency guidance for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. This document provides additional guidance to supplement 'The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic', which was published in April 2020. It includes guidance on: testing someone who lacks the relevant mental capacity; providing life-saving treatment to someone who lacks the capacity to consent; hospitals and care homes; and using emergency public health powers when someone who lacks relevant capacity needs to be isolated because they have symptoms and are not following public health advice. [First published 29 May 2020; last updated 7 September 2020 to include updated information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals]

Last updated on hub: 01 June 2020

COVID-19: management of exposed staff and patients in health and social care settings

Public Health England

Guidance on the management of staff and patients who have been exposed to COVID-19. It covers staff exposures to COVID-19, staff return to work criteria, and patient exposures to COVID-19. It is accompanied by flow charts describing return to work of staff following a SARS-CoV-2 test. The guidance has been written primarily for an English health professional audience. [Published 2/04/2020. Last updated 22/05/2020].

Last updated on hub: 19 May 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): care home support package

Department of Health and Social Care

Outlines the Government plan to prevent and control COVID-19 in all registered care homes. It uses evidence brought together by Public Health England and draws on the insights of care providers. It includes information on infection control, a comprehensive testing programme, additional funding to local authorities and £600 million allocated to support care providers through a new adult social care infection control fund. The guidance includes an annex on what care homes can do to restrict workforce movement and minimising workforce transmission. [Published 15/05/2020. Last updated 9 July 2020].

Last updated on hub: 18 May 2020