How care homes managed infection prevention and control during the coronavirus pandemic 2020

Published: 17 November 2020 Page last updated: 18 November 2020

Effective infection prevention and control (IPC) is essential to protect people from COVID-19. This report sets out what we found when we looked at IPC across 440 care home inspections in August and at the beginning of September 2020.

Our September edition of COVID-19 Insight included an analysis of IPC in 59 high-risk inspections in care homes. This report explores this area in more detail. It's based on a wider sample and it includes more good practice.

What we looked at

We based this report on:

  • a programme of IPC inspections in 301 care homes in August - we chose these as potential examples of where IPC was being done well
  • a review of IPC in 139 risk-based inspections between 1 August and 4 September

We looked at how well IPC measures protected staff and people living in the care homes.

We looked at assurance overall and across 8 questions:

  1. Are all types of visitors prevented from catching and spreading infection?
  2. Are shielding and social distancing rules complied with?
  3. Are people admitted into the service safely?
  4. Does the service use PPE effectively to safeguard staff and people using services?
  5. Is there adequate access and take up of testing for staff and people using services?
  6. Do the layout of premises, use of space and hygiene practice promote safety?
  7. Do staff training, practices and deployment show the service can prevent and/or manage outbreaks?
  8. Is the IPC policy up-to-date and implemented effectively to prevent and control infection?

Our findings

Across the 440 inspections, we found:

  • a high level of assurance in the 8 questions
  • assurance in all 8 questions at 288 of the 440
  • the 2 areas with the most gaps in assurance were effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and having up-to-date policies