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Domiciliary Care services Guidance – COVID-19

Domiciliary Care services are being asked to ensure the safety of their staff and customers during these unprecedented times. This guidance puts together information from the government, skills for care and CQC to help you protect staff and customers.

It is important to ensure you have adequate levels of PPE for staff, if you are unable to get PPE from your usual supplier you can contact West Sussex County Council for support:

Emergency PPE requests

It is just as important your staff are aware how to correctly wear PPE and ensure they know when PPE is needed. We have attached a poster which you can distribute to your staff reminding them how to wear PPE correctly.

Putting on personal protective equipment (PPE) poster

There are also videos available on how to don and doff PPE on the government website:

COVID-19: Donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment in Health and Social Care Settings

Staff should be aware what PPE they need to wear in different scenarios. This should be part of your regular communications with your team.

To help reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19 you can divide your customers into care groups and allocate groups of staff to work with them.

Recommendations are to divide customers into those shielding, those at risk and everyone else. Having a specific team of staff for each of these groups can help reduce the spread of Covid-19 and promote safety of your staff and customers.

It is also worth reviewing if visits can be limited if regular staff are unavailable. While this may not be possible where personal tasks are needed at regular times, reducing non-essential visits can help reduce the risk of exposure.

Any reallocating of tasks or reduction in visits MUST be done with agreement of partnership agencies/commissioners, due consideration needs to be given to those receiving care and any unpaid care workers to ensure there is still a personalised approach to their care.

Small to medium size organisations may not have the workforce to be able to categorise customers and staff, therefore it may be possible to see shielding and at-risk customers before people from other categories, again this can reduce risk of exposure.

If any customers develop Covid-19 symptoms they should be supported to call 111. Home care workers should also report any suspected cases to their manager who will work with community partners, commissioners and the customer to review their care plan.

Another way to limit exposure and risk of spreading Covid-19 is supporting staff remotely.

Meetings should be conducted by phone or online meeting services such as Skype, Zoom or Microsoft teams.

Staff coming into offices to collect PPE or hand in time sheets should be staggered so there are not a high number of people in the office at once.

It is important to promote and maintain the wellbeing of your staff.  The government have put together an information pack you can share with your staff:

Health & Wellbeing Information for Care Staff

You can also look for further information on promoting wellbeing here:

West Sussex Wellbeing

Keeping your staff motivated can be a challenge, Skills for Care have put together a webinar on how to keep staff motivated in these challenging times:

COVID-19 webinars

Any staff who have symptoms of Covid-19 should immediately isolate and are eligible for testing through self-referral online:

Ask for a test to check if you have coronavirus

It is important to regularly check in with staff and see if they have developed any symptoms.