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Care homes support package

Infection control

Aim

Norfolk will encourage and upskill care home providers to observe national guidance on preventing and controlling infections; including use of PPE, isolation practices, decontamination and cleaning processes.

Priorities

Check care home plans are robust and delivering outcomes.

To ensure measurement/recording/data collection processes are adequate for escalation and enhancing best practice.

Compliance with existing contracts around the care act and infection control.

To ensure care providers are confident in infection control practice pertinent to COVID-19.

All patients being discharged to care homes will be tested prior to discharge.

All people entering care homes from their own homes will be tested.

To ensure that there is sufficient alternative accommodation as required to quarantine and isolate residents.

Key activities completed or on-going support programme

  • Norfolk County Council have coronavirus guidance for professional adult social care providers which is dedicated to the dissemination of all PHE guidance. It gives the latest advice and guidance including: financial, workforce, safety, COVID-19 guidance, access to services and contact details.
  • Discharge pathway agreed across the system (local authority/CCG/acute hospitals) confirming all patients are tested prior to discharge. This also applies to patients leaving the new step-down capacity and community hospitals.
  • With the new unit opening May 2020, isolation capacity in place to ensure COVID-19 positive patients do not have to return to care homes in an unplanned way. Ongoing weekly reporting of usage v capacity, the new unit has the potential for approx. 40 beds.
  • For staff who proactively choose to stay separate from their families, a number of countywide hotels and other accommodation outlets have been identified offering rooms and longer-term accommodation arrangements
  • Outbreak management team daily reviews consider findings from contacts made and received. Where appropriate, deploys additional support, up to and including virtual multi-disciplinary team review with chief nurse.
  • Engagement communication scripts have been agreed for use by QMOs when corresponding with individual cares homes based on the most current guidance from PHE/NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • Whole market review undertaken by quality assurance service and commissioning team. Quality assurance undertake virtual quality monitoring visits in respect of services and providers previously of concern.
  • Introduction of fortnightly (minimum) catch-up calls with all registered managers to discuss care act requirements and to share best practice and provide peer support. On notification of a COVID-19 outbreaks/prevalence these calls become more frequent based on outbreak management team risk assessment.
  • Integrated team approach in responding to concerns raised by essential visitors (999 services, community nursing etc)
  • CCG infection prevention and control nurses are available and provide:

    • Training to priority homes identified by the outbreak management team

    • Train the trainers programme. Ongoing programme to train all care home managers and infection prevention and control (IPC) leads by the 29 May 2020.

    • Key topics covered in a joint CCG/Norfolk County Council weekly letter to all providers and shared on the Norfolk County Council provider website

Key activities new/pending

  • CCG infection prevention and control nurses are available to support more face-to-face training of care home staff as requested and appropriate in addition to train the trainer programme rollout
  • Identify additional isolation capacity opportunities if required/predicted through increase in demand

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