In their email update to ‘providers and professionals in adult social care’ on 14 April 2022, the CQC has reminded providers of the UK Government’s latest infection control and guidance policies (“Updated Guidance”). The Updated Guidance came into effect on 4 April 2022. This provides information regarding COVID-19 testing, Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”), and what to do with positive COVID-19 cases in an adult care setting.
What does the Infection control and guidance now say compared too previously?
The key summaries for the Updated Guidance for PPE, are that previously it was advised for staff to wear FFP3 respirator masks whenever carrying out an aerosol-generating procedure. Whereas now this threshold has been lowered and it is only required when there is aerosol-generating procedures conducted on a confirmed COVID-19 case. Additionally, staff previously were advised to test prior to commencing every shift using a lateral flow test. Now they are only advised to conduct two lateral flow tests a week. Lastly, staff with symptoms previously would have to take a PCR test and stay away from work until they receive a negative result. Whereas now staff only need to take a lateral flow test 48 hours after developing symptoms, and can return to work if this result is negative.
What it means for CQC Inspections
The CQC has reiterated that upon inspection they will now be looking for compliance with the Updated Guidance. In addition, they are collecting feedback on visiting from people seeing service users, and are following up with providers where concerns have been raised. This is a continuation of the CQC and its risk based strategy it adopted.