Our care homes – both residential and nursing – are facing particular challenges in the Covid-19 pandemic. The following resources have been identified to support people working in these settings.
The current guidance from Public Health Wales on the admission and care of residents in residential care during Covid-19 covers:
- admission of residents from hospital and community settings
- testing for residents and staff
- caring for residents, who are symptomatic or tested positive for Covid-19
- reporting of Covid-19 cases
- providing care after death
- support for staff
- supporting existing residents that may require medical care
- infection prevention and control.
For more information see Public Health Wales' Guidance to Prevent COVID-19 Among Care Home Residents and Manage Cases & Outbreaks in Residential Care Settings in Wales.
Welsh Government has set out ‘Hospital Discharge Service Requirements’ for health and social care to support the management of discharge and hospital flow during the Covid-19 emergency period.
Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) also have a list of Frequently Asked Questions for care providers and staff. These will be updated regularly as the situation progresses.
Welsh Government have developed guidance for visitors to care home services. Measures have been set out to support visits in outdoor spaces and work is being undertaken to develop more detailed guidance to help with decision making about visits to the care home. Welsh Government are gathering your ideas about how care homes can safely enable families to visit.
Personal Protective Equipment
Bush Proof is an organisation which specialises in safe water supply, has developed a practical resource with a strategy for care homes to reduce cross infection based on a clear separation of risk zones. The aim is to provide a practical aid to care home managers, so that they are able to implement effective infection control in their particular context, while recognising the wide variations in the types and set-ups of care homes.
Additional funding for social care
Additional funding has been made available for the social care sector. Guidance on what is available and how this can be used to support care homes to respond to the challenges of Covid-19 can be found from your local authority.
Access to healthcare services
Being able to access timely advice and support from healthcare professionals while minimising the number of people visiting homes is important. To help with this, an NHS video consulting service has been developed, this can offer healthcare services in a safe and secure way through video appointments. The service is delivered via a communication platform called ‘Attend Anywhere’.
Digital Communities Wales is supporting care homes to ensure that they have everything they need to access health care services using Attend Anywhere, including equipment and training for workers. This equipment can also be used to support residents and families to have video contact, to help them stay in touch until lockdown restrictions are lifted. For more information visit Digital Communities Wales - Supporting care homes during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Digital Communities Wales provides a wide range of support including digital drop in sessions and links to guides and resources.
There are also useful videos available for using Attend Anywhere. How to use Attend Anywhere for patients (Welsh subtitles) and TEC Cymru - How to use the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service for patients.
When social care workers are contacting healthcare professionals for advice and guidance, it is important that they are able to provide clear and succinct information that supports the person to make an informed judgement about the advice or support that is needed. The situation, background, assessment, recommendation (SBAR) communication tool provides a clear structure for care workers to follow when communicating with health professionals.
End of life medication
A new NHS End of Life COVID-19 medicines service has been launched. This service has been established to ensure rapid access to End of Life medicines 24/7.
Care home managers should also read this novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure on running an End of Life medicines re-use scheme in a care home or hospice setting.
Recruitment and training
Staff recruitment is likely to be more challenging at the moment at the very time that more workers are needed to cope with the additional demands in care homes, our recruiting staff resources pages provide some helpful tips and advice for managing recruitment and carrying out DBS and checks.
For both existing workers and new recruits, traditional face to face learning will be reduced at present, you may find the online training modules and courses for care workers resources helpful.
‘Top Tips for Tricky Times’ – have been developed by the National Institute for Health Research East of England as an aid for workers in care home services. They include topics such as ‘supporting residents who do not understand social distancing’ and ‘supporting families at a distance’.
Additional information for navigating Covid-19
You will also find other topics in this section useful:
Dementia and Covid-19, useful links and resources to support people with dementia.
Supporting end of life care in social care settings during Covid-19, resources offering support and practice advice on aspects of providing end of life care and in offering bereavement support.
The Mental Capacity Act and Covid-19, links to resources and guidance about the impact of Covid-19 on the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
Ethical framework for adult social care during Covid-19, an overview of the ethical framework to support response planning and decision-making.
Supporting people with learning disabilities, links to websites and resources for professionals supporting people with learning disabilities.
Basic Safeguarding Awareness is being rewritten in line with new national safeguarding procedures and will be available shortly.
Other useful information can be found on: