Last reviewed 16 November 2020

Advice for home care workers and personal assistants (PAs) providing care and support to people who have left hospital after having Covid-19 are outlined in a new guide by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).

The guide on safe care and support for common care issues explains what to expect as patients return to their lives at home following discharge from hospital after being treated for Covid-19.

When a patient is discharged from hospital, they will have a detailed assessment to create a personalised care and support plan. The resulting plan will set out agreed outcomes and ongoing care and support for the person, including home care support. It should explain any health or social care tasks that care workers, including PAs, should carry out.

Physical and psychological impacts on the patient are outlined in the guidance, with useful links to the relevant support services available.

Some of the difficulties that people might experience after a discharge from hospital include longer-term damage to the heart and lungs, difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness, fatigue, skin damage, confusion, and wider mental health problems or feelings of reduced wellbeing that affects their ability to resume day-to-day activities.

The guide includes advice on tracheostomy wound care, looking after skin, fatigue and the psychological and social impact of contracting Covid-19 and needing hospital care.

It also says the involvement of families, friends and personal networks need to be central to providing appropriate care and support.

The guide, Providing Care and Support at Home to People Who Have Had COVID-19, is available at: https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/home-care/recovering-at-home?wp-linkindex=7=Coronavirus_Social_Care_Update_131120=dhsc-mail.co.uk=email=Department_of_Health_and_Social_Care.

Further information supporting community health services to meet the immediate and longer-term care needs of patients discharged following an acute episode of Covid-19, After-care Needs of Inpatients Recovering from COVID-19, is available at: https://www.pcrs-uk.org/sites/pcrs-uk.org/files/nhs-aftercarecovid.pdf.

NHS England has also published advice for family and friends of discharged Covid-19 patients at: https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/your-wellbeing/family-friends-and-carers/.