Key points that affect home care workers
Full guidelines available below;
The main changes are:
- enhanced PPE recommendations for a wide range of health and social care contexts.
- inclusion of individual and organisational risk assessment at local level to inform PPE use.
- recommendation of single sessional (extended) use of some PPE items.
- re-usable PPE can be used. Advice on suitable decontamination arrangements should be obtained from the manufacturer, supplier or local infection control.
- guidance for when case status is un-known, and SARS-CoV-2 is circulating at high levels.
- recommendation on patient use of facemasks.
- fluid repellent surgical mask and eye protection can be used for a session of work rather than a single patient or resident contact.
- hand hygiene should be practiced and extended to exposed forearms, after removing any element of PPE.
A single session refers to a period of time where a health and social care worker is undertaking duties in a specific clinical care setting or exposure environment. For example, a session might comprise a ward round, or taking observations of several patients in a cohort bay or ward. A session ends when the health and social care worker leaves the clinical care setting or exposure environment.
Recommended PPE for primary, outpatient and community care by setting, NHS and independent sector.
Please click on the link below. This will also be sent as a separate document for ease of viewing.
All staff to be trained on donning and doffing of PPE.
Please ensure you watch the video contained in the link below.
This video shows how to safely don (put on) and doff (take off) the personal protective equipment (PPE) for non-aerosol generating procedures (AGPs), specific to COVID-19. This guidance outlines infection control for health and social care settings involving possible cases of Covid19
Home Care Workers
- For delivery of care to any individual meeting criteria for shielding (vulnerable groups)or where anyone in the household meets criteria for shielding, as a minimum, single use disposable plastic aprons, surgical mask and gloves must be worn for the protection of the patient. *the person shielding would have received a letter to communicate they are in this risk group.
- If a service user or a member of their household has a suspected case of Covid-19, our service users are required to inform the office prior to you visiting , so that the nominated assessor can attend to service user’s property and assess the measures to take.
- For provision of direct care to any member of a household where one or more is a possible or confirmed case, plastic aprons, FRSMs, eye protection* and gloves are recommended. *eye protection to be risk assessed as per stated in table 2
Residential workers (care home team) –
- Each home has been asked to communicate any suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 within their premises to Platinum Care Solutions.
- The care home will inform you which residents to wear face masks for in line with the national guidelines on your arrival to your shift.
What do we mean by extremely vulnerable?
People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include:
- Solid organ transplant recipients.
- People with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
Shielding is for your personal protection. It is your choice to decide whether to follow the measures we advise. Individuals who have been given a prognosis of less than 6 months to live, and some others in special circumstances, could decide not to undertake shielding. This will be a deeply personal decision. We advise calling your GP or specialist to discuss this.
The NHS in England is directly contacting people with these conditions to provide further advice.