This toolkit provides a step-by-step guide for managing the coronavirus in a care service. It provides links to key information and template policies on Croner-i. The information is being continually reviewed and updated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). This particular episode, which first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, has been named “COVID-19”.
Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some may suffer from a mild illness and recover easily, while in other cases, infection can progress to pneumonia. Reports suggest that the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease are the most susceptible to serious illness and death. Symptoms can appear in as few as two days after infection or as long as 14 days.
Care service employers should remember that they have a duty of care towards their staff, service users and visitors, and should take reasonable steps to protect their health and safety, preventing them from exposure to unnecessary risk.
What should you do as a care service manager?
Communicate to service users’ families and friends that following the latest government advice regarding “lockdown” arrangements there should be no visits to care home residents until further notice. Encourage families to keep in touch using other methods such as phone calls, Skype, video calls, emails and letters. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Care Home (Temporary) Visiting Policy.
Make sure that one person is responsible for keeping abreast of developments from the World Health Organization, the UK Government and the NHS, and that the care service is complying fully with Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult social care guidance, published by the Government.
Carry out a risk assessment to identify service users who are at higher than baseline risk of experiencing the more severe forms of the coronavirus if they contract it.
Ensure your emergency planning and business contingency procedures are up to date particularly in the case of staffing emergencies and draw up a separate pandemic recovery plan policy. See a template here.
Review your admissions policies and procedures in respect of applications for admission during the COVID-19 emergency situation. Admissions Management
Use this form and this checklist to monitor and review that your strategies are addressing all key issues relating to the COVID-19 situation and are in line with the current Government approach and guidance.
Ensure your staff follow the latest guidance on using PPE. Coronavirus PPE guidance for care homes
Arrange coronavirus tests for staff and their families. COVID-19 testing for residents and staff.
Be aware of the updated Care Quality Commission death notification form and how to submit it. Death of a service user — notification requirements.
Q: What is the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Emergency Support Framework (ESF)?
Q: Why is coronavirus testing important and what is the Government’s strategy for care home residents and staff?
Q: As a residential social care provider what should we be doing at this stage to protect our residents from coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Q: As a domiciliary care provider, how do we protect our carers, service users and staff from COVID-19?
Q: What is the current COVID-19 coronavirus PPE guidance and how does it apply in care homes?
Q: What are the amendments to the updated Care Quality Commission death notification form and how do I submit it?
Q: Can care homes and hospices run medicines re-use schemes?
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Last reviewed 26 May 2020