COVID-19 resources on home care

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A testing service for homecare workers in England

Department of Health and Social Care

Sets out how homecare agencies in England can order regular tests for their homecare (domiciliary care) staff. NHS Test and Trace is making weekly Covid-19 testing available to all homecare workers in Care Quality Commission (CQC)-registered domiciliary care organisations. The guidance prescribes that agency managers should order tests every 28 days for their homecare workers; four tests are delivered for each homecare worker to the agency, for a 28 day testing cycle; each homecare worker should be given four test kits every 28 days; every 7 days a care worker should take a test, register it online, and return it by post between Thursday and Sunday. Homecare workers will receive their results in 2 to 4 days by email and text message (SMS). This approach aims to: identify homecare workers who currently have Covid-19 so they are able to self-isolate if their result is positive; protects those receiving care from infection passed to them by homecare workers who are confirmed positive; and prevents and controls the spread of the virus by identifying asymptomatic cases.

Last updated on hub: 25 November 2020

Adult social care and COVID-19: assessing the impact on social care users and staff in England so far

The Health Foundation

An overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social care in England, describing how the pandemic unfolded in the social care sector from March until June 2020, and examining the factors that contributed to the scale and severity of outbreaks in care homes. The briefing also attempts to quantify the disruption to health and social care access from February until the end of April 2020. The findings demonstrate that the pandemic has had a profound impact on people receiving and providing social care in England – since March, there have been more than 30,500 deaths among care home residents than it would be normally expected, and a further 4,500 excess deaths among people receiving care in their own homes (domiciliary care); and while deaths in care homes have now returned to average levels for this time of year, the latest data (up until 19 June) shows that there have continued to be excess deaths reported among domiciliary care users. Social care workers are among the occupational groups at highest risk of COVID-19 mortality, with care home workers and home carers accounting for the highest proportion (76%) of COVID-19 deaths within this group. The analysis also shows that there was a substantial reduction in hospital admissions among care home residents which may have helped reduce the risk of transmission but potentially increased unmet health needs. The briefing argues that long-standing structural issues have exacerbated the crisis in social care and hindered the response to the pandemic. It suggests that action is needed now to prevent further harm including by filling the gaps in data, particularly for those receiving domiciliary care, and by developing a new data strategy for social care.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund ring-fenced grant 2020: local authority circular

Department of Health and Social Care

Government circular outlining the Adult social care infection control fund, which aims to support adult social care providers to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience. A small percentage of the fund can be used to support domiciliary care providers and support wider workforce resilience to deal with COVID-19 infections. The document is accompanied by five annexes which set out the conditions upon which the grant is paid and the local authorities to whom it will be paid. [First published 9 June 2020. Last updated: 21 September 2020].

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

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.[Published 18 September 2020. Last updated 20 November 2020]

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

An inquiry into the lived experience of Covid-19 in the home care sector in Ireland: the experiences of home care provider organisations

Home and Community Care Ireland

This exploratory research into the health, social and economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the eighteen home care provider organisations who responded to a survey sheds light on how those on the forefront of home care coped during one of the largest viral outbreaks in modern history. A questionnaire consisting of ten open-ended questions was developed following a rapid literature review and internal consultations. These questions were categorised under five subheadings: management, service provision, relationships, health and wellbeing, and the future. Key findings include: The most significant problem was workforce shortage – specifically, two thirds of organisations indicated low staffing levels due to a lack of childcare brought about by the closure of schools and creches; almost every third organisation noted a decrease in home care services, ranging from 20-30 per cent, mostly due to clients cocooning and self-isolating; another issue that featured strongly across all responses was related to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic – stress, fear, worry and even panic; almost every other organisation identified Protective Personal Equipment (PPS) to be a significant cause for concern – supply and distribution was a considerably more prevalent issue than the actual cost of PPE; to ensure the smooth running of business at a very chaotic time, all the providers implemented a range of novel policies and procedures – this rapid development of new ways of delivering service safely took place on several interrelated levels; the crisis exposed any structural shortcomings within the home care sector, but equally it brought about a sense of togetherness, cooperation and mutual support within the sector – and beyond it.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

Care Provider Alliance Coronavirus (COVID-19) directory

Care Provider Alliance

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) are collating and signposting to the latest guidance and advice from reliable sources on their website. The resource includes news, guidance and information. The site is updated frequently.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Caring safely at home

Social Care Institute for Excellence

SCIE's video-based resource designed for unpaid/informal carers. You may be caring for family members, friends or neighbours at home.

Last updated on hub: 11 June 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection control for care providers

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Read this SCIE quick guide that sets out best practice for care providers to remain safe and prevent coronavirus from spreading.

Last updated on hub: 17 April 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): provision of home care

Department of Health and Social Care

This document brings together all guidance related to coronavirus and home care in one place. It is intended for social care staff, registered providers, local authorities and commissioners who support and deliver care to people in their own homes in England. The guidance covers: personal protective equipment; shielding and care groups; hospital discharge and testing; government support for social care; and information collection and governance. It includes links to additional information and guidance. [Published 22 May 2020. Last updated 4 November 2020]

Last updated on hub: 26 May 2020

COVID 19: guidance for domiciliary care providers in Northern Ireland

This guidance sets out key messages to support planning and preparation as Northern Ireland moves into the delay phase of responding to the risk of widespread transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Key messages highlight the need for co-ordination between care providers, the voluntary sector and PHA; making best use of the workforce; and access to PPE. It is aimed at HSC trusts and registered providers of care and support delivered to people in their own homes, including supported living arrangements. It also contains information about informal carers and about carers employed through Direct Payments.

Last updated on hub: 24 March 2020

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