We found the following examples of good practice.
The care home’s measures to prevent and minimise the risk to people, staff and those that visited from catching or spreading COVID-19 were effective and robust.
Staff and managers wore personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriately, During our inspection, up to date infection prevention and control (IPC) and COVID-19 training was provided for staff that was routinely refreshed. There were suitable supplies of PPE that met current demand and any future outbreaks.
Staff followed IPC and PPE policies and procedures, that reflected ongoing changes to COVID-19 related guidance and were regularly updated. This covered contingency plans for managing adverse events, such as COVID-19 outbreaks and staff shortages. The registered manager conducted frequent care home walkabout tours to make sure staff were using PPE properly, and following guidance.
Whilst access to the care home was restricted, due to an outbreak, designated people such as essential care givers and visitors of people at the end of life could visit their relative or friend in line with Government COVID-19 care home guidelines. All visitors to the care home had to follow the home’s IPC guidance.
Alternative communication arrangements were made so people could maintain relationships with relatives and friends. Staff actively supported people to keep in touch with those who could not visit the care home by telephone and using video calls.
Currently the care home was not taking new referrals or people returning home due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Normally new admissions or people returning after a hospital stay were required to have a negative COVID-19 test and self-isolate for a minimum 14 days to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
A ‘whole home’ COVID-19 testing program was followed, that ensured everyone living, working or visiting the care home was regularly tested for COVID-19. The provider knew how to order COVID-19 home testing kits and where from.
The care home was kept clean, hygienic, and detailed records were kept of staff cleaning schedules. This included continuously cleaning high touch surfaces, such as light switches, grab rails and door handles as part of a rolling programme.
The care home kept thorough assessments of infection risks for everyone living and working there and if people were deemed to be disproportionately at risk from COVID-19, appropriate action was taken to reduce the impact. Staff with underlying health care conditions or other restricting factors, did not work on floors where people who had tested positive for COVID-19 had been or were self-isolating.
The provider had minimised the number of agency staff they used to those that had previous experience of the home to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
The provider's IPC policy was up to date and last updated on 21 January 2022.