Winter Readiness Toolkit for Care Homes and Residential Care
Welcome to the Care Settings Winter Readiness Toolkit, from the South West Public Health England Centre (South West UK Health Security Agency from 1 October 2021) hosted by NHS England and NHS Improvement South West.
Our tool kit is designed to help managers and staff in care homes and other residential care settings with planning and preparation for winter infections and outbreaks, and in outbreak investigation and management.
The resources are quick-reference documents, designed to be used as needed for your setting, by staff, residents and visitors.
The toolkit complements the national guidance documents on the www.gov.uk website for:
In addition, there are a wealth of other resources and web links on the web sites of the various professional health and social care organisations.
Winter readiness strategy
Prevention – Keeping infections out
Are you ready for winter?
Find out with our self-assessment checklists for flu/Covid-19 and gastroenteritis:
- Winter Preparedness Checklist for COVID-19 & Influenza
- Winter Prepareness Checklist for Gastroenteritis
Are you considering admitting a resident with an infection? Our risk assessment guide will help you to determine how to manage this.
- Flu posters for visitors to hospitals and care homes – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Flu vaccination: who should have it this winter and why – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Flu and Flu Vaccination 2021/22: A Toolkit for Care Homes (South West)
- COVID-19 Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes: operational guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk)
- COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy resources
Identifying infections early
- Covid-19 Symptoms
- Covid-19 Body Temperature
- Testing for Covid-19
- Covid-19 Antibody Testing
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in adult care homes
- COVID-19 testing available for adult social care in England
Routine COVID-19 testing methods will not pick up other respiratory infections such as Flu. Therefore, once we start to see Influenza (flu) in the community, or if you have reason to believe that flu is suspected, the care setting should contact the local HPT as soon as possible. The HPT can arrange testing for Flu and other respiratory infections, as well as COVID-19.
How and when to Contact PHE Health Protection Team
Containment; Preventing spread of infection
- Information sheet: What is an outbreak?
- Care Staff Action Card for Respiratory outbreaks (shortened version of “Acute Respiratory infections, COVID-19 and Influenza Single Cases and Outbreaks Checklist”)
- Acute Respiratory infections, COVID-19 and Influenza Single Cases and Outbreaks Checklist
- Contact Tracing COVID-19 Residential Care Homes
- Contact Tracing COVID-19 Other Care Settings
Covid-19 information sheets
- Hand Hygiene
- Respiratory Hygiene
- Masks and Face Coverings
- Information for Care Staff/Managers COVID-19 Outbreaks
- Information for Residents/Visitors COVID-19 Outbreaks
For vaccination guidance see NHS England and NHS Improvement South West Influenza information.
For other guidance see Seasonal influenza: guidance, data and analysis
- Action Card for diarrhoea and vomiting outbreaks
- Checklist (ICP) Diarrhoea and Vomiting Outbreaks Care Homes
- Norovirus information sheet
Other Useful guidance
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult social care guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Admission and Care of residents in care homes
- COVID-19: guidance for supported living – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Coronavirus: Current information and advice | British Geriatrics Society (bgs.org.uk)
- COVID-19: Managing the COVID-19 pandemic in care homes | British Geriatrics Society (bgs.org.uk) includes advice on residents who walk with purpose
- And from the Social Care Institute for Excellence Dementia in care homes and COVID-19 – Supporting residents, supporting carers, supporting homes
- The Every Action Counts toolkit has also been adapted to support adult social care providers to use the resources effectively. The social care suite is available now.
- More Hand hygiene and other posters specific to Coronavirus
- Social Care Institute for Excellence SCIE COVID-19 hub for resources, funded by DHSC Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for social care
- DHSC Dedicated app for social care workers launched to provide one stop access to guidance, support and advice staff need to protect themselves from coronavirus and keep themselves well plus learning resources on IPC/PPE etc
- Ethical framework for adult social care
- Guidance for employers and businesses
- Health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Are you wondering what HPT stands for, or what the CCG do? If so, have a look in the Glossary.
What do you think of our Toolkit?
Are we hitting the mark? Please let us know how useful this toolkit is by completing our on-line survey.
Need any more information or advice on outbreaks?
If you can’t find what you need online, and think that we might know the answer, email SWHPT@phe.gov.uk. This is for non-urgent enquiries. If your enquiry is urgent, please call SW Health Protection Team on 0300 303 8162.
Also email us if you would like an invitation to our Friday afternoon webinar for Care Settings.