Coronavirus Update

 

Review Sheet
Last Reviewed 05 Mar ’21 Last Amended                                     Next Planned Review in 12 months, or

05 Mar ’21                                            sooner as required.

Business impactHIGH IMPACTThese changes require action as soon as possible.
Reason for this reviewChange in legislation
Were changes made?Yes
Summary:This policy has been updated to reflect the new standalone guidance on Restricting workforce movement between care homes and other care settings. this information was previously part of more general information related to Care Homes. There is further guidance with details of suggested actions for managers within the QCS resource centre.
Relevant legislation:•   Civil Contingencies Act 2004

•   Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002

•   Equality Act 2010

•   Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Registration and Regulated Activities) (Amendment) Regulations 2015

•   Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

•   Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)

•   Coronavirus Act 2020

 

Underpinning knowledge – What have we used to ensure that the policy is current:•   Author: Public Health England, (2020), COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC). [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel

-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: Public Health England, (2020), COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: Department of Health and Social Care, (2020), COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-care- homes [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: GOV.UK, (2020), NHS Test and Trace in the workplace. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: Public Health England, (2020), Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting- extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting- extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19 [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: GOV.UK, (2020), Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19). [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid- 19 [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: Department of Health and Social Care, (2020), COVID-19: ethical framework for adult social care. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-ethical-framework-for-adult-social

-care [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: UK Government, (2020), Adult social care: our COVID-19 winter plan 2020 to 2021. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-social- care-coronavirus-covid-19-winter-plan-2020-to-2021/adult-social-care-our-covid-19- winter-plan-2020-to-2021 [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: UK Government, (2020), COVID-19 Winter Plan. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-winter-plan [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: Cabinet Office, (2021), National lockdown: Stay at Home. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

•   Author: Department for Health and Social Care, (2021), Restricting workforce movement between care homes and other care settings. [Online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/restricting-workforce-movement-between- care-homes-and-other-care-settings [Accessed: 5/3/2021]

Suggested action:•   Encourage sharing the policy through the use of the QCS App

•   Establish process to confirm the understanding of relevant staff

•   Establish training sessions for staff

•   Arrange specific meetings to discuss the policy changes and implications

•   Ensure that the policy is on the agenda for all team meetings and staff handovers

•   Widely distribute the ‘Key Facts’ of the policy

•   Share content of the policy with all staff

 

Equality Impact Assessment:

QCS have undertaken an equality analysis during the review of this policy. This statement is a written record that demonstrates that we have shown due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations with respect to the characteristics protected by equality law.

 

  • To ensure that the Company remains up to date and is able to respond in the event of a member of staff, Resident or contact contracting the virus, Coronavirus, which results in the disease COVID-19.
  • To support the Company in meeting the following Key Lines of Enquiry:

Key Question                        Key Lines of Enquiry

SAFES2: How are risks to people assessed and their safety monitored and managed so they are supported to stay safe and their freedom is respected?
SAFES3: How does the service make sure that there are sufficient numbers of suitable staff to support people to stay safe and meet their needs?
SAFES5: How well are people protected by the prevention and control of infection?
WELL-LEDW5: How does the service work in partnership with other agencies?

 

  • To meet the legal requirements of the regulated activities that the Company is registered to provide:
    • Civil Contingencies Act 2004
    • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
    • Equality Act 2010
    • Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Registration and Regulated Activities) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
    • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
    • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)
    • Coronavirus Act 2020
  • The following roles may be affected by this policy:
    • All staff
    • Senior Management
  • The following Residents may be affected by this policy:
    • Residents
    • Visitors
  • The following stakeholders may be affected by this policy:
    • Family
    • Commissioners
    • External health professionals
    • Local Authority
    • NHS
  • To ensure that safe, effective procedures are in place with staff and Residents having information in an accessible
  • As the spread of the virus is resulting in operational responses changing very frequently, The Company will ensure that it stays up to date with reliable sources of information and has the flexibility to respond when
  • As care providers, ensuring robust infection control and business continuity plans form part of preparing business for any events that can cause disruption to the normal business.The Company recognises that the outbreak of coronavirus, SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS- CoV-2) which results in the disease COVID-19 and variant VOC202012/01, is a fast-moving situation
  • The Company will ensure that staff are aware and understand the importance of pandemic preparedness and will carry out preparations to manage the impact of virus by following the checklist in the Pandemic Policy and Procedure. The Company understands that business continuity planning involves all aspects of the business, and to be effective, The Company must work with its partners, suppliers and commissioners to ensure that a safe and effective service can be
  • The Company understands that it has a responsibility for ensuring that staff follow good infection control and prevention techniques and that it supports Residents with this too. The Company will ensure that staff have access to reliable information to reduce anxiety and dispel any myths and inaccurate information that may cause worry or distress to staff, Residents or the wider
  • The Company will ensure that this policy is read alongside other policies in the QCS COVID hub and additional guidance material in the Resource

5.1  Pandemic Policy

The Company recognises that the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020. The Company will ensure that it reviews the Pandemic Policy and Procedure. It will review the Pandemic Planning Checklist to ensure that the business is prepared for any second wave of the pandemic, ensure that robust business continuity plans are in place and that any lessons learned from earlier in the year are reflected.

5.2  Reducing the Risk of Contracting or Spreading the Virus

The Company will ensure that staff, when not at work, follow the WHO and government guidance to reduce the risk of contracting the virus and the risk of spreading it. They must also support Residents to follow the government requirements and remind them that failure to follow this can result in a fine. Government guidance changes rapidly and the Company will ensure it keeps up to date with any changes

Fines

The police have the power to enforce the legal requirements stipulated by the government, including the ability to issue fines (fixed penalty notice) the details can be read here if people are found to be breaking the rules.

5.3  Handwashing

Staff must wash their hands:

  • Before leaving home
  • On arrival at work
  • After using the toilet
  • Before putting on or removing personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • After touching pets
  • After breaks and sporting activities
  • Before food preparation
  • After using public transport
  • Before eating any food, including snacks
  • Before leaving work
  • On arrival at home

5.4  Shielding At-Risk Groups

The Company needs to ensure that Residents and staff who are considered particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 have a risk assessment in place. The Company must ensure that the Public Health England ‘Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19′ is followed.

The Company will need to ensure that any additional guidance for vulnerable individuals is followed in line with the national guidance

5.5  Safe Staffing

The Company must use tools to report capacity for bed vacancies (Capacity Tracker) to support system resilience, where applicable, as outlined in the guidance COVID-19: guidance on residential care provision and How to Work Safely in Care Homes.

The Company must restrict, as far as possible, staff movement between the different premises to reduce the risk of the virus transmission. This is in line with national guidance on Restricting workforce movement between care homes and other care settings. Further information is available in the QCS resource centre.

5.6  Actions if a Resident Meets the Criteria and Displays Symptoms

  • If a Resident complains of symptoms, the Company must ensure that staff understand the Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care Staff
  • The Resident must be isolated immediately. Staff must sensitively explain why they need to be moved and support with any anxiety and fears they may have
  • They must be isolated in a separate, single room with a separate bathroom, where possible
  • The Company must seek advice from its local Health Protection Team if it has a single possible case of COVID-19
  • If a further clinical assessment is advised, contact their GP
  • If symptoms worsen during isolation or are no better after 10 days, contact their GP for further advice around escalation and to ensure that person-centred decision making is followed
  • For a medical emergency dial 999
  • Staff must immediately instigate full infection control measures to care for the Resident with symptoms, which will avoid the virus spreading to other Residents at the home and stop staff members becoming infected. The Company will follow the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Policy and Procedure and the Infection Control Policy and Procedure and current Public Health England guidance on PPE
  • Inform family members, where the Resident gives consent, so that they are kept informed. Where possible, support the Resident to notify their family
  • It is important that Residents are supported to remain in touch with their families while they are in isolation and the agreed way this will be achieved will be documented in the Care
  • Review and update the Care Plan and risk assessment
  • Ensure that any advance decisions are recorded and that the correct documentation is available
  • Where the Resident lacks capacity, continue to explain and ensure that the least restrictive options are taken to maintain their safety and the safety of everyone. Where required, involve the Resident’s GP
  • Follow the COVID-19 Testing Policy and Procedure and the Government’s advice on their website

5.7  Supporting Hospital Discharge

The Registered Manager will follow the guidance Admission and Care of Residents in a Care Home During COVID-19, ensuring that communication channels remain open between the hospital and family and that th e Resident is involved in all decisions and discussions.

5.8  Staff with Symptoms

If staff have a fever (37.8 degrees, a new/persistent cough, or a loss or change in their sense of smell or taste) they must follow national guidance for social care staff and advice from Test and Trace teams.

You’ll usually need to self-isolate and follow guidance for social are staff if:

  • Someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
  • You’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace Further advice on what staff need to do can be read

5.9  Isolation Notes Online

Isolation notes will provide employees of the Company with evidence that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.

Isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor, to reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.

For the first seven days off work, employees can self-certify so they do not need any evidence for the Company. After that, the Company may ask for evidence of sickness absence.

Where this is related to having symptoms of coronavirus or living with someone who has symptoms, the isolation note can be used to provide evidence of the advice to self-isolate.

For staff who have returned from overseas and are required to self-isolate due to quarantine requirements and who have no symptoms, the Company must refer to the Sickness Absence Policy and Procedure.

  • Cleaning the Office and Workplace where there are Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

The Company will follow Public Health England guidance on cleaning. An additional cleaning schedule must be in place that includes but is not limited to:

  • All surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
  • All potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones
  • Clothing and linen used by the person should be set aside pending assessment of the person by a healthcare professional

5.11  Waste Disposal

The Company must follow the government guidelines on waste disposal and be aware of any changes required due to local guidance.

5.12  Working from Home

Where staff are able to work from home, and the Company has agreed to the arrangement, the Company will ensure that the Home Working Policy and Procedure is followed.

The Company will investigate mechanisms to communicate effectively with staff who work from home. The free software made available by Microsoft, Teams, to support video conferencing and calls over Wi-Fi is an option that can be considered.

5.13  Visitors

The Company will follow regional and national guidance on visiting and the types of visiting that can take place. The Company will display information posters and advise anyone who is unwell to stay away. The Company will communicate clearly (see the Visitors Policy and Procedure ) and ensure that there is a visitor Care Plan in place for each Resident. The Company will implement a track and trace system for visitors which can be carried out using the QCS Visitor software within the management system.

5.14  Confidentiality

The Company will follow confidentiality and GDPR policies and procedures to ensure that the details of staff involved in caring for Residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are kept confidential. Employees must also respect each other’s confidentially and take care not to inadvertently share information when using social media.

Where staff are suspected or confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, their personal details must be treated as confidential, as they would be for any other Resident.

6.1  Pandemic

  • A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new COVID-19 was characterised as a Pandemic on 11th March 2020

6.2  World Health Organisation

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with world public health

6.3  COVID-19

  • Novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China. The virus was named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease it causes is called COVID-19

A new variant of the disease VOC-202012/01 was discovered in October 2020 and is known to spread more quickly than SARS-CoV-2.

6.4  Outbreak

  • A disease outbreak is the occurrence of disease cases in excess of normal expectancy. The number of cases varies according to the disease-causing agent and the size and type of previous and existing exposure to the agent

6.5  The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020

  • The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 were put in place with immediate effect on 25th February to impose restrictions on any individual considered by health professionals to be at risk of spreading the virus
  • The regulations apply to any individuals seeking to leave supported isolation before the current quarantine period of 10 days is complete. It will also apply to future cases during the current coronavirus incident where an individual who may be infected or contaminated could present a risk to public health

6.6  Social Distancing

  • Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)

6.7  Health and Social Care Key Workers

  • This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment

6.8  Public Health England(PHE)

  • On 18 August 2020, it was announced that Public Health England was to be replaced by the National Institute for Health Protection, a new agency created to deal with the threat of infectious diseases by combining PHE with the NHS Test and Trace operation. PHE is currently responsible for:
    • Making the public healthier and reducing differences between the health of different groups by promoting healthier lifestyles, advising government and supporting action by local government, the NHS and the public
    • Protecting the nation from public health hazards
    • Preparing for and responding to public health emergencies
    • Improving the health of the whole population by sharing our information and expertise, and identifying and preparing for future public health challenges
    • Supporting local authorities and the NHS to plan and provide health and social care services such as immunisation and screening programmes, and to develop the public health system and its specialist workforce
    • Researching, collecting and analysing data to improve our understanding of public health challenges, and come up with answers to public health problems

Professionals providing this service should be aware of the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if handwashing facilities are not available – this is particularly important after taking public transport
  • The Company must make sure that it has the facts about the coronavirus or the disease COVID-19 from a reliable source. Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care are two examples
  • The Company must have an up-to-date business continuity plan in place. Pandemic Policy and Procedure has a checklist to help plan for an outbreak of a disease like COVID-
  1. It is important that this is updated to help prepare for a second wave of coronavirus
  • It is important that Residents are made aware of how they can help limit the spread of COVID-19 and that they understand the signs and symptoms of the disease
  • The Company will need to work closely with Local Authority health providers, suppliers and other agencies to ensure that there is continuity and consistency of care

Although vaccines are being rolled out, you must still wash your hands regularly with soap and water will help prevent the spread of the disease. Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  People affected by this service should be aware of the following:

  • It is ok to feel worried or The Company has plans in place to make sure you will get the care that you need
  • A coronavirus is a type of virus. Coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever, a cough and a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste, that may progress to severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. This virus is called Coronavirus. The disease it causes is called COVID-19


WHO – Hand Hygiene: Why, How & When?
https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Hand_Hygiene_Why_How_and_When_Brochure.pdf Public Health England Posters:As well as the information in the ‘underpinning knowledge’ section of the review sheet we recommend that you add to your understanding in this policy area by considering the following materials:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=COVID-19