Care homes have suffered badly amidst the COVID – 19 outbreaks. There were big worries about how they would do over winter when the virus was predicted to get much worse. The Care Quality Commission and Public Health England, amongst others, have commissioned several reports to try and keep on top of and combat the influence of coronavirus in care homes in the UK. Here are five safety advances that care homes in the UK are making following these reports.
Infection Prevention Control (IPC) for Staff Members
Care home staff have been advised to get flu vaccines and to make sure they put their own health first. They can not help residents if they are unwell or suffering from coronavirus. Many homes have cleared out areas for the staff to stay overnight or, in some cases, to live in with the residents during lockdowns. The staff has been trained as ‘multi-skilled’ staff. These have included detailed contingency plans as to which staff member can take on a new role when staff is off ill or self-isolating.
Care homes have been asked to bring in more technology and training for residents in the use of things like iPods. This means that they can have much more regular interactions with their friends and relatives. Without the risk of catching coronavirus. It also helps keep mental health and welfare high, which is extremely important.
SafeSteps and Restore 2
Health care professionals based in Greater Manchester have been working on the SafeSteps software. It helps health care professionals to track COVID – 19 and coordinate with other practices and homes. It also links patient’s symptoms to their GPs, social carers, and hospitals.
Restore 2 helps staff recognize early soft signs, make observations, and respond accordingly. It uses soft signs, NEWS2 and SBARD to catch any signs of COVID – 19 in residents early.
Health Education England (HEE) has produced a series of short films to show deterioration in patients suffering from COVID – 19. These train health care professionals on what to look out for inpatients.
A Holistic Approach
The best approach is to cover all bases. A care home in Waltham Abbey formed a ten-point secure COVID – 19 plan. It follows a holistic method of IPC. Ranging from meticulous cleaning and access to testing to PPE and regular liaisons with Public Health England.
Care homes in the UK are working extremely hard to keep coronavirus at bay from their patients. They are looking into new and innovative methods of infection prevention and keeping it under control as much as they can. With the new vaccine’s hope, we have got over the worst of the coronavirus situation facing our care homes.
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