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Information for care homes

National guidance 

Care homes should ensure they are adhering to the relevant national guidance in respect of Covid 19, including but not limited to:

National guidance is subject to regular change; care homes should ensure they are working in accordance with the relevant national guidance at all times.  Any summary information contained on local webpages will be superseded by any national guidance changes.


Admissions

Admission from the community or another care home

A person admitted from the community, or another care home, should receive a PCR test within the 72 hours before their admission.

On the day of their arrival to the care home, the person should take an LFD test.

If a person tests positive on either occasion, they should isolate and follow the steps detailed below and as detailed in national guidance.

Urgent admissions from the community

Care homes should find out whether the person has had a test taken in the 72 hours prior to admission and share this result with the relevant person to make an informed decision. 

If the person has not had a test in this timeframe, the care home should preform an LFD test.

If the person tests positive on either occasion, they should isolate and follow the steps detailed below and in national guidance.

Admission from hospital

Hospitals should share with the care home information on a persons Covid 19 status prior to discharge, as per the below.

A person being discharged to a care home who has not tested positive for Covid 19 in the last 90 days should receive a PCR test in the 48 hours prior to their discharge.

A person being discharged to a care home has tested positive for Covid 19 in the last 90 days should receive an LFD test in the 48 hours prior to their discharge.

If a person tests positive on either of these occasions, they can be discharged into a care home, providing the care home feels able to safely meet their needs. 

A person should be isolated for 10 days on their arrival to a care home, and follow the steps detailed below and in national guidance. 

If a person has been a patient in a location in the hospital (regardless of whether this was a planned or emergency stay) with an outbreak, they should be isolated for 10 days on their arrival to the care home, and follow the steps detailed below and in national guidance. 


Care home residents – symptomatic or confirmed

If a care home resident experiences the main symptoms of Covid 19 they should immediately take an LFD test.

A care home resident should then take a second LFD test 48 hours after their first LFD test, if they receive a negative result.  During this time they should avoid contact with others during this time. 

If a care home resident receives a positive result, from either test or during outbreak management testing, they should isolate. 

A care home resident can continue to receive 1 visitor at a time inside the care home and have access to outdoor spaces (for the purpose of rehabilitation and minimise the risk of deconditioning) whilst self-isolating.  The care home should consider how they will minimise the risk of transmission to others, including other residents and their visitor when facilitating this.

The care home should inform the GP if they test positive for Covid 19 and consider if the resident is eligible for any Covid 19 treatments.

The care home should consider cohorting staff to support care home residents who are symptomatic and/or who test positive for Covid 19.

The care home will be able to access Pulse oximeters (via their named clinical lead) and should review the relevant guidance.


Care home resident isolation

Care home residents are required to isolate if they have tested positive for Covid 19 or if they have being discharged from a location in a hospital with a known outbreak. 

As noted above, a care home resident can continue to receive 1 visitor at a time inside the care home and have access to outdoor spaces whilst self-isolating. 

If a care home resident tests positive for Covid 19, the day the test was taken (unless a person has symptoms) is referred to as day 0.

In order to end self-isolation early, a care home resident can:

  • Take an LFD test on day 5
  • Take a further LFD test on day 6 (24 hours later)
  • If both test results are negative, they can end self-isolation
  • In addition, care home residents should be fever free (without the aid of medication) for 48 hours.
  • If a care home resident continues to test positive or cannot test, they should isolate for 10 days.

Capacity tracker

The capacity tracker website is being used as a national system for care homes to communicate to the NHS and local authorities during the Covid-19 outbreak:

  • Their Covid 19 status
  • Their current vacancies
  • Business continuity data on a consistent basis
  • Covid 19 vaccination status

All care homes are strongly encouraged to register on the Capacity Tracker and update the system consistently for the foreseeable future, at least on a weekly basis.

The data shared provides a national picture of care homes during the pandemic and can help to identify where the pressure points are and where support needs to be targeted.

Providers struggling to complete the required information can find ‘how to’ guides and videos under the section ‘care home support’ within the ‘Help’ icon. Help videos and access details for the support centre via email and telephone are also available through the main capacity tracker login page. 

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