COVID-19 practice guidance on care homes

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Visits out of care homes

Department of Health and Social Care

This document sets out how care homes can support residents of working age on visits outside of the care home. Outward visits are an important part of life for many in residential care. However, spending time with others outside the care home will increase risk of exposure to COVID for the resident and potentially to other vulnerable residents on their return. These risks are usually significantly greater for older people than for those of working age. As such, visits out of care homes should only be considered for care home residents of working age. Care homes should, however, support visits out for older people in exceptional circumstances, such as to visit a friend or relative at the end of their life. This guidance explains how visits out of a care home can take place; the role of the provider in supporting outward visiting; and the need for individual risk assessments.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

Dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes: a protocol for room moving and cohorting

Article published in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology by Kain, D. et al, October 2020. A letter to the editor that sets out some principals of room movements in long-term care homes during the COVID-19 in the context of Canadian care homes.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

Advice and guidance on discharging COVID-19 positive patients to care homes

Royal College of Physicians

A brief summary of current advice and guidance about discharging patients to care homes. The main points are that: patients should be discharged as soon as they are fit, whether they are COVID-19 positive or not; COVID-19 positive patients being discharged into a care home setting can only be discharged into care homes that have been designated safe by the CQC – if their own care home is not COVID-19 safe, they need to be discharged into alternative accommodation; it is the responsibility of the local authority to find alternative accommodation.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

Guidance on COVID-19 PCR testing in care homes and the management of COVID-19 PCR test positive residents and staff

Health Protection Scotland

The focus of this guide is on the application of PCR testing in care homes, primarily but not exclusively, as part of outbreak investigation and management and on managing the consequences of finding PCR test positive residents and staff. It helps NHS Boards, care home providers and others to interpret and implement this extended testing policy; and to identify what is required to achieve the greatest potential reduction in the risk of transmission of the virus within all forms of residential care home settings for the elderly, in the shortest possible time. The advice is written from a clinical perspective and reflects a consensus on which health protection measures are likely to be the most effective in achieving the maximum reduction in the risk of infection, most quickly.

Last updated on hub: 26 October 2020

COVID-19: information and guidance for care home settings (adults and older people)

Health Protection Scotland

This guidance for care homes provides advice about COVID-19 for those working in care home settings for adults and older people. It covers: measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 and protect people at increased risk of severe illness; providing care for residents during COVID-19 pandemic; measures to protect residents in the shielding category; measures for residents exposed to a case of COVID-19; admission of individuals to the care home; testing in the care home; care home placement for symptomatic residents; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); care equipment; staffing, including staff cohorting and staff testing; visiting care homes; and caring for a resident who has died. Last updated 13 October 2020.

Last updated on hub: 20 October 2020

COVID-19: regional principles for visiting in care settings in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland. Department of Health

During this COVID-19 pandemic, normal hospital, hospice and care home visiting arrangements were suspended with key exceptions. This document follows a review of the restrictions and outlines the principles for visiting which applies to the following; Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust and Independent hospital inpatient and outpatient services, maternity services, hospices, care homes, mental health and learning disability hospital inpatient services, children’s hospital services, for the duration for the COVID-19 pandemic. The principles include: anyone showing or experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 or any other infection should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild and unconfirmed; all people visiting/attending health and social care settings will be required to wear face coverings for the foreseeable future; and children under the age of 13 and others listed in the face covering guidance are exempt from wearing a face covering.

Last updated on hub: 20 October 2020

Recommendations for safe visiting in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic

Dementia UK

This flowchart describes the steps residential care providers need to take to ensure safe visiting during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

The safe use of medication during the COVID-19 pandemic

Scottish Social Services Council

A guide for social care workers supporting people at home or in a care home. It offers support, information and resources for social care workers who have the responsibility to carry out one or more of the following types of support: prompt – remind someone to take their medication using their preferred communication method; assist – help someone who manages their own medication with physical tasks like opening bottles, at their request; administer medication – prepare the right medication, at the right time and support a person to take it in the right way in line with their care or support plan and advice from the prescriber or pharmacist.

Last updated on hub: 18 September 2020

Cohorting, zoning and isolation practice: commissioning for resilient care home provision: a report to the Social Care Sector COVID-19 Task Force

Care England

Guidance on developing good practice in cohorting, zoning and isolation practice in care home settings as a means of ensuring the effective implementation of the Public Health England (PHE) national guidance and high standards of infection prevention and control. Various examples and documents already exist which exemplify notable practice and provide national guidance. This document brings some of this together to address particular questions for the Task Force. As well as providing advice to the Task Force, it might also act as a checklist for commissioners to assess what they have already done / might do. It is split as follows: context; some key principles to guide work in this area; describing good practice in cohorting – within existing provision, or in dedicated facilities; what this means for commissioners and how they work with care providers recognising the critical relationships between them; resource considerations; and practice examples and references.

Last updated on hub: 17 September 2020

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

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