DHSC weekly coronavirus social care update

care quality commission

The independent regulator of health and social care in England

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Visitor guidance

Guidance for visiting care homes

New guidance has been published to support care home visits to begin again, reuniting residents with friends and family.

The isolating effects of lockdown have been difficult for staff, residents and families, but the rate of community transmission has fallen and care homes can now arrange visits based on new guidance to limit further outbreaks, and protect staff and residents.

Local directors of public health will lead assessments on visiting within their local authority. Care home providers should encourage all visitors to wear face coverings and wash their hands thoroughly before and after putting them on and taking them off.

Visitors should wear appropriate additional PPE if risk factors warrant it during a visit, including gloves and aprons. Providers should also consider whether visits could take place in a communal garden or outdoor area, which can be accessed without anyone going through a shared building.

Read the guidance



NHS Health At Home

The coronavirus outbreak means many people may need to be able to access health and care services from home. It is now possible to get NHS help using a smartphone, computer or tablet, including ordering repeat prescriptions, contacting a GP and maintaining your mental and physical wellbeing.

Visit the NHS Health At Home hub


Mental health and wellbeing support 

Samaritans and Hospice UK, working with NHS England, have extended their helplines to all social care workers, giving staff in need a safe space to offload and get support from trained, specialist advisers.

Find out more on the CARE Workforce app


Updated guidance for care homes on face masks

Updated guidance has been released for use of surgical face masks in care homes and home care. Guidance for care homes now covers all areas of the home, not just when directly caring for residents. Home care guidance also covers the equivalent for domiciliary care staff, for instance when working in an office with other care workers.

This is in line with recent guidance for NHS trusts, requiring staff to wear surgical face masks in all areas of the hospital.

Read the guidance



Protection on the frontline

Care staff, like colleagues in the NHS, are going the extra mile to keep everyone safe during this pandemic. Paul Jenkins, Covid-19 Senior Briefing Officer at DHSC, provides an overview of the health and wellbeing support available to care staff.

Testing times

A new research study is underway to determine how outbreaks occur in residential care settings. Jeremy Richardson, CEO of Four Seasons Health Care, explains why his business is one of more than a hundred care home providers participating.

Visit the blog


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