Home care providers are advised to:
Home care providers will routinely be procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and aprons. In addition, there will be a free issue of PPE to support adult social care providers (residential care and domiciliary care) to comply with the updated advice on use of PPE to support management of symptomatic patients presenting in these settings. This will be issued from the pandemic influenza stockpile. Arrangements will be put in place for adult social care providers to access further PPE as necessary.
If a member of staff is concerned they have COVID-19 they should follow NHS advice.If they are advised to self-isolate at home they should follow the stay at home guidance.If advised to self-isolate at home, they should not visit and care for individuals until safe to do so.
If the individual receiving care and support has symptoms of COVID-19, then the risk of transmission should be minimised through safe working procedures.
Care workers should use personal protective equipment (PPE) for activities that bring them into close personal contact, such as washing and bathing, personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids.Aprons, gloves and fluid repellent surgical masks should be used in these situations. If there is a risk of splashing, then eye protection will minimise risk.New personal protective equipment must be used for each episode of care. It is essential that personal protective equipment is stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within the room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin.
If care workers undertake cleaning duties, then they should use usual household products, such as detergents and bleach as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly.Personal waste (for example, used tissues, continence pads and other items soiled with bodily fluids) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your own room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin for disposal as normal.
If care workers support the individual with laundry, then they should not shake dirty laundry. This minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.Wash items as appropriate, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. If the individual does not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after the 7-day isolation period has ended; the laundry can then be taken to a public laundromat.Items heavily soiled with body fluids, for example, vomit or diarrhoea, or items that cannot be washed, should be disposed of, with the owner’s consent.
If neither the care worker nor the individual receiving care and support is symptomatic, then no personal protective equipment is required above and beyond normal good hygiene practices.General interventions may include increased cleaning activity and keeping property properly ventilated by opening windows whenever safe and appropriate.Care workers should follow advice on hand hygiene.
Clinical commissioning groups, NHS providers and local community services and primary care, will be working with and supporting local authorities and home care providers in the provision of care.Community service providers are already, or will be taking steps to:
The government will provide extra resources to tackle COVID-19.This includes a COVID-19 response fund to:
The size of the fund will be reviewed as the situation develops, to ensure all necessary resources are made available.As part of the government’s emergency legislation measures, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be paid from day one of sickness to support those affected by COVID-19. This will be a temporary measure to respond to the outbreak and will lapse when it is no longer required.Individuals employed on zero-hour contracts may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if their average earnings are at least £118 per week (calculated over an 8 week period). However, those who are ineligible are able to claim Universal Credit and/or contributory Employment and Support Allowance depending on their personal circumstances.The government will also bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
Local authorities, working with their Local Resilience Forums and drawing on their pre-existing plans for pandemic influenza, should: