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Staffordshire will move to very high COVID alert level on 2 December

COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control


 

National information, advice and guidance resources on infection prevention and control

The government’s overview of adult social care guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) (last updated 11 September) provides a range of infection prevention and control guidance and resources in respect of the following:

Help with infection prevention and control can be found on the Government's website.

This covers:

  • Key PPE guidance. Please also refer to our PPE webpage for further information and further local guidance which aligns with this.
  • Reducing contact between staff
  • Running a medicines re-use scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Financial support for infection control and prevention measures.

Reporting an outbreak

Reporting an outbreak guidance can be found on the Government's website. 

This covers:

  • Symptoms of COVID-19
  • Description of what an outbreak is
  • What care homes and other social care settings must do during an outbreak

Caring for patients discharged from hospital or another social care facility

Caring for patients discharged from hospital or another social care facility guidance can be found on the Government's website. 

This covers:

  • Safely discharging people from the NHS to social care settings and escalating inadequate discharge summaries (note this considers discharge into care homes, home care and supported living settings). Please note: If you have any specific query that you cannot resolve by speaking to the hospital, then please email us at ascincidentmanagement@staffordshire.gov.uk and we will link the query with our NHS colleagues.
  • Caring for individuals coming from the community
  • Help to quarantine/isolate patients

Visits to care homes and other care settings

Visits to care homes and other care settings guidance can be found on the Government's website. 

This covers:

  • Guidance for a range of social care settings. Please see also our Information for care homes webpage to find up to date information on local visiting guidance for adult social care Staffordshire providers.

Providers of care in supported living and domiciliary settings

Information for providers of care in supported living and domiciliary settings can be found on the Government's website. 

This covers:

  • Infection prevention guidance for providers of care in supported living settings.
  • Guidance for providers of care in domiciliary settings

Managing care workers during COVID-19

Managing care workers during COVID-19 guidance can be found on the Government's website. 

This covers:

  • Managing workers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • Redeploying workers and using volunteers to maintain staffing levels
  • Recruiting and training new workers
  • Restricting workforce movement to minimise transmission

Steps to take following a coronavirus related death of a person who worked in adult social care guidance can be found on the Government's website. 


Staffordshire infection prevention and control support line

All care providers who are having infection control issues and need guidance can contact MPFT's on-call Infection Prevention and Control team on 07977 208 783 between the following times:

  • Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Completion of risk assessments for staff at higher risk from COVID-19

Please refer to the advice note for providers from the Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Service which covers completion of risk assessments for staff at higher risk from COVID-19, actions to take during local outbreak control and risk control measures.

Risk assessment and considerations for higher risk staff in care settings (252 KB) August 2020


Use of agency and bank staff

To help maintain the health and safety of residents, staff, services as a whole and the wider community, please see below for a summary of current guidance and some top tips / things to think about when considering the use of agency / bank staff.

  • The Vivaldi Report published in July 2020 highlighted the use of ‘bank’ staff as an important risk factor for infection in residents and staff.
  • Recruitment agencies are not registered and inspected by any regulatory body.  The service in which the agency staff member(s) is working is legally responsible in all circumstances.
  • Services should explore if permanent staff are willing to work additional hours.  This could include:
    • Asking staff to reconsider planned annual leave
    • Asking staff if they can work additional hours
    • Considering incentives for staff, for example financial renumeration
  • In the medium to long term, accommodation based services may need to consider their staff structure and actively look to recruit staff. Staffordshire’s Care Market Development Team recently shared some useful tips and information about recruitment and retention during the pandemic.
  • Services could consider the establishment of their own ‘bank staff’.  This means services would have assurances about the training and competency of the bank staff, however services would need to consider a number of points detailed below.
  • Where the use of agency staff is unavoidable:
    • Block book agency staff – this can help to minimise the risk of infection.  
    • Seek exclusivity of agency staff – request staff who do not work in any other health and care settings to minimise the risk.
    • Confirm COVID-19 status of agency staff – request the agency confirms the COVID-19 status of staff, including the date of the last test and confirm any required isolation periods have been completed.  Services should include agency staff in their weekly testing regime (where they have access to the necessary swabs).
    • Take daily temperature checks – include agency staff in daily temperature checks, as per the current guidance.
    • Ensure the competency of staff – ensure agency staff are trained and competent, including in Infection Control practices and the donning and doffing of PPE.  Undertaken an Induction with agency staff and include them in any briefings, communications or refresher training sessions.
    • Aerosol generating procedures and PPE – ensure agency staff have been faced fit tested for an appropriate FFP3 Mask (available and accessible for use in services) and can appropriately don and doff the required PPE. 
    • Ensure expectations of the agency are supported by appropriate written enforceable contractual arrangements and are supported by operational policy and risk assessment
    • Challenge and report poor practice – this should be reported to the agency and any other appropriate party i.e. Safeguarding and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

 

Other helpful national and local infection control resources

Infection control resources for care homes and other care settings:

Information on PPE resources available can be found on our PPE webpage.

 

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