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Our infection prevention and control inspections

Categories:
  • Public

On this website, you’ll find information about our assessments of infection prevention and control (IPC) in care homes.

When we carry out these assessments, we publish judgements in eight areas:

  • Visitors
  • Shielding
  • Admission
  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Testing
  • Premises
  • Staffing
  • Policies.

For each area, we state whether we are assured, somewhat assured or not assured by the provider of the service. You can find these judgements on the profile page for care homes that have been assessed.

We use the ‘somewhat assured’ judgement where there are minor issues we have identified with the provider. For example, where we have not taken regulatory action but have shared information with the people running the service to help them improve their handling of IPC.

Example of how IPC inspection findings look on a care home profile page

Visitors

In this area, we assess whether all types of visitors are prevented from catching and spreading infection.

When we’re inspecting, we look at:

  • The measures in place to prevent relatives and friends, professionals and others visiting from spreading infection at the entrance and on entering the home
  • The procedures people have to follow during the visit, how they’re explained and how well they’re followed by visitors
  • The alternatives to visiting in person that the home has put in place.

Shielding

In this area, we assess whether shielding and social distancing rules are followed.

When we’re inspecting, we look at:

  • How staff and people using services socially distance and shield
  • The impact on wellbeing of people using the service. How they have been supported and enabled to go out and return safely
  • The measures in place for when it’s not possible to socially distance
  • The measures in place (for example isolation) for when there is infection or an outbreak.

Admission

In this area, we assess whether people are admitted into the service safely.

When we’re inspecting, we look at:

  • The measures in place to prevent people from spreading infection when admitting a person to the service (from another service or the community)
  • Whether the process for the most recent admission follows current guidance.

Use of PPE

In this area, we assess whether the service uses PPE effectively to safeguard staff and people using the service.

When we’re inspecting, we look at:

  • Where and how staff are putting on and taking off PPE
  • How PPE is disposed of after use
  • If the amount of PPE used complies with current guidance
  • What specific PPE training has been provided during the pandemic
  • How people who are fearful or anxious seeing staff wear PPE are reassured (for example people who are deaf, autistic people, people with dementia)

Testing

In this area, we assess whether there is enough access to testing for staff and people using the service.

When we’re inspecting, we look at:

  • How staff and people using the service access regular testing
  • How often they are tested
  • What the service does when someone shows symptoms or returns a positive test
  • What the service does if someone refuses a test.

Premises

In this area, we assess whether the layout of the premises, the use of space and the hygiene practice promotes safety.

When we’re inspecting, we look at:

  • Whether the premises looks clean and hygienic
  • Whether cleaning is scheduled and sustained
  • The cleaning products used
  • How the layout and facilities of the premises have been changed to support IPC and good ventilation
  • How communal indoor and outdoor spaces been optimised to use safely.

Staffing

In this area, we assess whether staff training, practices and deployment show the service can stop the transmission of infection and manage outbreaks.

When we’re inspecting, we look at:

  • How staff movement and transmission in and between care homes is minimised
  • How staff rotas, shift patterns and handovers have changed to improve IPC
  • If agency staff are used, how it’s checked that they follow IPC measures and don’t work between other services
  • What recent IPC training has been given to support staff to provide safer care
  • How staff wellbeing is supported, including becoming unwell, sick leave and returning to work safely

Policies

In this area, we assess whether IPC policy is up to date and implemented effectively to prevent and control infection.

When we’re inspecting, we look at:

  • Whether infection risks to people are thoroughly assessed and managed
  • The action taken to consider and reduce any impact to people or staff who may be disproportionately at risk of COVID-19 (for example, people with learning disabilities or dementia or BAME people)
  • The changes made following the most recent audit
  • The plans in place to address future coronavirus and other infection outbreaks and winter pressures.
Last updated:
09 October 2020