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Care Minister outlines COVID-19 advice for residential care homes

We understand that this is a difficult time for the entire healthcare sector, therefore we want to help guide you during this time of uncertainty – providing both advice and support.

This morning, Care Minister Helen Whatley outlined the government’s advice for residential care homes during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, she indicated that extra funding could be diverted to the sector to help stabilise care facilities.

Another emergency measure outlined is that workers could be moved from one care provider to another in order to cover for carers that may be in self-isolation.

Care home providers are being strongly advised to communicate with local government and council services in order to establish a plan of action for ‘mutual aid’.

The Care Minister told the BBC: “Local authorities are working with care providers to contact them and establish methods of providing mutual support, so that if one provider should find that they have sickness in their workforce another provider may be able to step in and help out.” 

The government website has also recommended a number of more minor operational changes that look to prevent the spread of the virus.

This includes:

  • Using tools such as the Capacity Tracker or Care Pulse to report the number of free beds
  • Although not all healthcare facilities have NHS Mail – using systems such as this to efficiently communicate relevant information
  • An increase in virtual conference calls, using tools such as Skype, to ensure advice from GPs and other health professionals is communicated in the best way possible

CQC Compliance can offer a number of services that may benefit healthcare providers during this trying time.

With even mildly unwell people being encouraged to self-isolate, losing key members of staff could be a significant problem for care homes in the weeks to come.

Our Interim Management Support service could be greatly beneficial to healthcare providers in the event of senior staff being unable to get into work.

Furthermore, at this time it is likely that relatives of residents in care homes will want to be updated about the ongoing situation.

While completely understandable, this could put a further strain on staffing issues in residential facilities.

Therefore, our HR Support service could be helpful in managing these incoming queries and the general administrative requirements of a healthcare provider.

For more on how we could support your service, please see our Coronavirus Advice and Support page.