On 14 August 2020, the Government published updates to its guidance on admission and care of residents in a care home. The guidance, ‘Admission and care of residents during COVID-19 incident in a care home’ updates the previous ‘Admission and care of residents during COVID-19 incident in a care home’ guidance published on 2 April 2020, in line with the support package for care homes and the latest updated advice on testing, and infection prevention and control.
The main updates to the guidance are summarised in the table below:
|Updated advice on isolation of residents on admission||Includes additional information on testing for residents and staff and managing outbreaks, where to go for further information, and Test and Trace service|
|Caring for residents, depending on their COVID-19 status and particular needs||Updated advice on monitoring residents for COVID-19 symptoms and supporting residents who have been exposed to a COVID-19 case.
Updated advice on supporting symptomatic residents. Includes additional information on isolation procedures, engagement with the health protection team, and supporting residents who require hospital care
Additional information on primary care and community health services for residents, and supporting residents without relevant mental capacity
|Reporting of COVID-19 cases and outbreak management||Additional information on Health Protection Team engagement and advice on admission during an outbreak|
|Care for people at the end-of-life and after death||Additional information on end-of-life care and end-of-life plans|
|Advice for staff||Updated advice for staff. Includes additional information on PPE, workforce restrictions, Test and Trace for staff, staff with symptomatic family members, and what staff should do if they test positive or negative for COVID-19
Updated advice for care home managers. Includes further information on sick leave policies and training
|National support available to implement this guidance||Additional information on the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund and care homes support package|
|Annex A: COVID-19 symptoms and higher risk groups||Additional information on additional COVID-19 symptoms, NHS mutual aid, and presentation of symptoms in different groups of people|
|Annex B: definitions of COVID-19 cases and contacts||Additional information on additional COVID-19 symptoms, definition of ‘contacts’, ‘outbreaks’ and care homes seeking advice from health protection teams|
|Annex C: isolation of residents during periods of sustained transmission||Updated advice on isolation procedures|
|Annex D: infection prevention and control (IPC) measures||Additional information on using single-resident use devices, PHE support and cleaning and waste disposal|
|Annex E: restricting workforce movement and minimising workforce transmission||New section. Updated advice on workforce restrictions to minimise the risk of workforce transmission. Includes additional information and recommendations for staff to reduce the risk of asymptomatic transmission|
|Annex F: provision and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)||Updated advice on PPE distribution and utilisation
Additional information on support available to the care sector, hand hygiene, and respiratory and cough hygiene
|Annex G: decontamination and cleaning processes for care homes with possible or confirmed cases of COVID-19||Additional information on cleaning equipment and disinfectant|
|Annex I: use of the Capacity Tracker||Updated advice on using the Capacity Tracker|
|Annex J: interim COVID-19 Waste Management Measures||New section. Additional information on the management of healthcare waste from care home settings|
|Annex K: moving from the community into a care home||New section. Additional information on testing individuals moving from the community into a care home|
The Department of Health and Social Care (“DHSC”) acknowledges that care home settings differ significantly and encourages providers to undertake a balanced risk assessment when considering the implementation of this guidance. This must consider the needs of all residents and staff in the care home to ensure that they’re taking timely and proportionate measures for each setting.
A copy of the latest guidance can be accessed here.