Advanced Care Policies:
Advanced Care – Pandemic / Covid-19 Policy:
AIM: To cover the operational procedures necessary for Advanced Care to protect our service users and workforce from the risks presented by the coronavirus (Covid-19) infection and to take appropriate action to maintain full service.
What is Coronavirus?
The World Health Organisation defines coronaviruses as a family of viruses that cause infectious illness ranging from very mild to very severe. Covid-19 is a new strain that originated in China at the end of 2019. It has since spread worldwide, initiating a global pandemic public health emergency.
How is Coronavirus Spread?
People can catch Covid-19 from others who have the virus. It is understood that the virus is highly infectious and moves from person to person in droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with Covid-19 coughs or exhales. In addition, the virus can survive for up to 72 hours out of the body on surfaces. People can catch Covid-19 if they breathe in the droplets or touch infected surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. It is known that infected individuals who show no symptoms may still be able to pass on the virus, especially in the early stages of infection. This is described as asymptomatic spread.
Advanced Care will respond to guidance from the Government, Public Health England, the Department of Social Care and the Care Quality Commission and amend work practices and policies as required.
Infection Control and Prevention Procedures
Advanced Care believes that general adherence to high standards of infection prevention and control is the best way to prevent the person-to-person spread of Covid-19 and maximise the safety of staff, service users and their families. To achieve this Advanced Cares’ infection control policies and procedures will be implemented in full, especially those related to effective hand hygiene, and the appropriate use of PPE and hand sanitiser. All front-line support staff will be reminded of their responsibility to provide a safe service.
It is important that support workers adhere to high standards of infection control practice while in services users’ homes and that they ask service users to do so too. PPE must be worn and regular cleaning of frequently touched hard surfaces and objects with a suitable disinfectant, bleach or antibacterial wipes, (provided by Advanced Care) should be carried out. Support workers will be asked to phone ahead to make an appointment to visit the office. Being a front-line worker in Social Care support workers will be required to be vaccinated against contracting or passing on Covid-19.
Care Planning and Referrals
During the pandemic crisis, Advanced Care will keep service user care plans under constant review and will work closely with service users, their relatives/carers, social services, health care providers, charities and community support groups to ensure that their needs are being met. We will also continue to carry out full risk assessments in relation to any new referrals to ensure that the prospective service users and support workers are kept safe from cross-infection
Staff Health and self-isolation
Staff who are unwell with suspected Covid-19 or who have come into contact with an infected individual or who share a household with someone who is unwell should not come to work but must comply with the latest Government advice about self-isolating themselves in their home.
Public Health England guidance states that those who have symptoms of infection and live alone should self-isolate by staying at home and not leaving their place of residence for 10 full days from when the symptoms started.
Advance Care staff who develop symptoms of Covid-19 must:
- not attend work if they develop symptoms while at home (off-duty) — in such cases they should notify the manager immediately and follow the stay-at-home guidance
- put on a surgical face mask immediately if they develop symptoms while at work, inform their line manager and return home
- comply with all requests for testing.
Advanced Care will take all reasonable measures to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus via its care staff, including:
- ensuring that all staff are aware of the requirement not to come to work when there is a risk that they may spread infection
- ensuring that care staff are supported to self-isolate in line with Government guidance if they need to
- ensuring, where possible that carers work with regular, familiar service users, this includes staff who usually work on a part-time basis.
Advanced Care is aware that the Government has provided an Infection Control Fund to support adult social care providers in ensuring that self-isolating staff are fully paid while doing so. The organisation will liaise with the local authority in accessing the fund where it is available.
Advanced Care will continue to apply all measures to keep people safe in line with its current policies and local authority safeguarding authority procedures. It will continue to alert the local authority to any safeguarding issue and notify CQC in line with its current notification requirements and procedures. Advanced Care will continue to exercise its Duty of Candour where it has made mistakes that have caused serious harm to its service users.
Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty
Advanced Care is aware of the implications that Covid-19 pandemic may have on its service users who might lack mental capacity to understand the decisions that are being taken or to act in line with those decisions. Advanced Care will continue to apply “best interests” principles in communicating with people without capacity and in taking the decisions that are required in line with the safe provision of home support and current public health requirements
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Support workers will use all personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by Advanced Care.
During sustained transmission periods:
- support workers should wear disposable gloves, a disposable plastic apron and a face mask whenever providing personal care which requires them to be in direct contact with a client (e.g. touching) or where they are within two metres of anyone in a household
- eye protection may also be needed where there is a risk of droplets or secretions from the client’s mouth, nose, lungs or from body fluids reaching the eyes (e.g. caring for someone who is repeatedly coughing or who may be vomiting)
Masks and face protection may be worn on a “continuous” or “sessional” basis between breaks. Masks need not be changed between clients unless they are soiled or damaged. They should be changed at breaks for the next duty period.
Advanced Care will provide all staff with Covid-19 test kits in line with the respective UK policies. All frontline social care staff are classified as “essential workers” and are eligible for weekly tests. Those who are self-isolating will be informed they can book a test directly, selecting a regional test site drive-through appointment or a home test kit. All staff can book tests through an employer referral test booking route.
Advanced Care understands that all people admitted to hospital will be tested for Covid-19 when ready for discharge and hospitals should share care needs and Covid-19 status with the agency and relevant community partners. Where a test has been performed in hospital, but the result is still awaited, the guidance states that the patient will be discharged as planned and, while the result is pending, home care providers should assume that the person may be Covid-19 positive for a 10-day period and follow guidance on the correct use of PPE.
Advanced Care will support all staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in line with our Vaccination Policy.
Business Continuity Procedures and Pandemic Recovery Planning
In addition to Advanced Care’s general business continuity and recovery planning policies, we recognise the need to have a separate pandemic recovery plan and procedure. This is because a general continuity recovery plan focuses on a short-term recovery programme. In contrast, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic could last many months.
The following contingency measures will be implemented.
- All forms of communications will be maintained during the Covid-19 pandemic. All admin staff can work from home, if required, and complete the day-to-day task needed to sustain a full service. All calls made to our office are automatically transferred to the clerical team’s mobile phones enabling full contact to be maintained.
- Every effort will be made to provide information to service users in a format that they can understand. Advanced Care recognises that the current crisis will be upsetting and worrying for service users and relatives.
- Information will be provided to staff via e-mail and our text memos. Unnecessary face-to-face meetings will be cancelled — where meetings are held social distancing will be observed.
- Recruitment, Induction and Training will be conducted conforming to social distancing rules.
- Advanced Care’s leave and absence policies will be continuously reviewed as the status of the Covid-19 pandemic changes, for instance, it may become necessary to cancel leave in case of serious short-staffing.
- Staff will be informed of any additional measures to limit the spread of disease in a pandemic situation – this may include
- Avoiding unnecessary travel
- Cancellation of face-to-face meetings
- Plans to reduce the impact of absentees
- Working from home where possible for managers and office staff
- Systems to lessen the impact of supply chain disruption.
- Essential services will be prioritised.
- Advice will be provided for vulnerable service users on steps to take to protect themselves.
- Care plans will be reviewed to identify service users most at risk in case of service disruption.
- As a contingency measure, staff will be cross-trained in various functions to ensure that adequate cover is provided in different roles should sickness rates rise.
The procedure aims to ensure that Advanced Care will be able to continue to provide care to its service users during any disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Monitoring and Review
This policy will be continuously monitored and updated to take account of any changes to the official advice provided about the Covid-19 pandemic.
Advanced Care – Personal Protective Equipment Policy
AIM: To demonstrate the importance of PPE in reducing the transmission of healthcare-associated infections, protecting the Service User from cross-contamination and the Community Support Worker from occupationally acquired infection.
Advanced Care will provide all Community Support Workers with PPE. The PPE is stored at the office and is to be collected by the Support Worker as required. Personal Protective Equipment – known as ‘PPE’ – is used to protect Support Workers and Service User from cross-contamination and infection. While performing specific tasks that might involve you meeting blood or body fluids that may contain some infectious agents (germs). Some PPE items will be for single-use only – that is, you MUST use them once and then discard them – while others such as your tunics are retained, cleaned and reused.
Disposable gloves – single use only
Disposable gloves should be worn if you are performing or assisting in a procedure that involves a risk of contact with the service users’ skin whilst completing personal care, body fluids whilst changing incontinence pads and emptying commodes.
Gloves need to be used in specific circumstances only. This includes procedures that involve a risk of contact with body fluids (blood, saliva, sputum, vomit, urine or faeces, for instance) or contact with the Service User’s eyes, nose, ears, lips, mouth or genital area.
Note that disposable gloves are NOT necessary for many parts of routine day-to-day care, such as meal preparation, laundry and bed making.
The gloves should:
- fit you comfortably (not be too tight or too loose)
- be changed between certain different tasks with the same Service User
- never be washed or reused.
When you have finished the procedure, you should take the gloves off, avoiding touching the outer surfaces (which are likely to be contaminated with germs), and dispose of them in the Service User’s wheelie bin. You must then perform hand hygiene.
Disposable aprons – single use only
These are not needed to carry out many normal aspects of day-to-day care with Service Users, such as preparing drinks and meals, but you will need one when you are assisting the Service Users with personal hygiene tasks. You must always perform hand hygiene before putting a disposable apron on and after taking it off and placing it in the Service Users’ bin.
Advanced Care will dispense additional PPE following an assessment to ensure its effectiveness.
Uniforms – multiple use
All Advanced Care Community Support Workers must wear a healthcare Tunic in line with our Uniform and Dress Code Policy. The Tunics are made of a versatile material which can be boil washed to eliminate the bacteria and the risk of cross-contamination.
Hand sanitiser – multiple use
All Advanced Care Community Support Workers are issued with hand sanitiser and can refill their 50mil bottles from a supply kept at the office.
Pandemic packs – single use only
Pandemic packs will be issued to Support Workers in line with advice from Public Health England and when there is a high risk of cross-contamination or infection from serious illnesses such as Ebola or one of the Coronaviruses etc.
- The packs contain:
- Disposable gloves
- Disposable aprons
- Disposable foot covers
- Disposable arm covers
- Disposable face masks
- Disposable visors
- Anti-bacterial wipes
Advanced Care takes your privacy seriously. This policy explains how we use any personal data we collect about you.
What information do we collect about you?
We collect your information when you contact us to make an enquiry either via our website or over the phone. On initial enquiry, we will take your name, email address and a phone number. On quote acceptance, we may also store your postal address and contacts within your company.
Additional information may be collected via surveys and feedback forms.
Website usage information is collected using cookies but does not collect anything personal to you. We may occasionally have ongoing analytics recordings of user mouse movements and visits.
How do we use the information about you?
The information we collect is used to handle your enquiry and manage your account with us. If you agree, we will also add your email address to our mailing list.
Website analytical data is used to assess the effectiveness of our website, and this includes visit recordings.
Advanced Care will never share your information with a third-party for marketing purposes or otherwise.
How we store our information
We store your information in different ways dependant on its usage;
- Website enquiries received via our contact forms are stored for up to 30 days.
- Client information is encrypted and stored in a separate online database facilitated by our CRM.
- Website visitor recordings are stripped of identifiable information before stored by service Hotjar. You can read more about Hotjar’s GDPR commitment here: https://www.hotjar.com/legal/compliance/gdpr-commitment
Accessing and removal of your data
You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you at any time. If you would like a copy of this information or would like us to correct or remove anything we store about you, please contact us using the details below.
You can also unsubscribe from our marketing mailing list at any time using the link in the footer of any email sent from us.
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How to contact us
Please use the below information to contact us about our policies and your information:
Phone: 024 7623 4567
Address: Advanced Care, 11-13 Queen Victoria Road, Coventry, CV1 3JS