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Care home residents could be ‘cocooned’ in a potential Coronavirus epidemic

Published On:

11 March 2020

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A Government advisor – Dr. David Halpern – has said that residents in care homes could be ‘cocooned’ in the coming weeks in an attempt to protect residents from Coronavirus.

He said: “There’s going to be a point, assuming the epidemic flows and grows as it will do, where you want to cocoon, to protect those at-risk groups so they don’t catch the disease.”

Dr. Halpern is chief executive of the government-owned Behavioural Insights Team.

He went on to suggest that volunteers could be enlisted to support facilities with staffing shortages and that simple changes – such as a focus on cleaning handrails and surfaces – could prevent the spread of the virus.

With the number of cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) rising in the UK, the Government has released a series of documents aimed to help health professionals deal with potential cases of COVID-19.

The advice for health professionals understandably centres around reducing the likelihood of infection in any medical or care practice.

As with any potential outbreak of a harmful virus, being prepared is absolutely crucial. The official Government advice outlines the following ways to protect your facility.

  • All facilities should review their internal policies and ensure that these are communicated with all staff. The review of procedures for decontaminating areas where a possible case has been identified should be the priority.
  • Clearly defined processes should be in place to recognise any cases of the infection immediately, these should then be followed by efficient case management and infection control policies.  
  • If a case of the virus is suspected, staff should be aware of the isolation procedure including the need for a negative pressure room. All personnel should know who to contact within their organisation to discuss possible cases.
  • Staff should be familiar with an FFP3 respirator conforming to EN149, with fit testing taking place before using the equipment. If an individual cannot use this respirator due to inadequate fit, an alternative should be used – such as a powered hood respirator.
  • Any staff caring for patients with suspected COVID-19 should be trained in the safe donning and removal of Personal Protective Equipment.
  • All care and health facilities should ensure an internal procedure is in place for infection control and arranging testing for possible COVID-19 cases.

Being prepared is the first line of defence against any infection or virus. For more information on COVID-19, please make sure you keep up-to-date with the latest advice from the Government.

If you would like expert assistance in updating any policies and procedures within your organisation, get in touch with Care 4 Quality. and arrange a call back below.

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