Care Home and Residential Care Guidance

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 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:

Are you considering admitting a resident with an infection? Our risk assessment guide will help you to determine how to manage this.


Identifying infections early

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
Tel: 0300 303 8162

Containment; Preventing spread of infection

Covid-19 information sheets

Influenza guidance

For vaccination guidance see NHS England and NHS Improvement South West Influenza information.

For other guidance see Seasonal influenza: guidance, data and analysis

 Viral Gastroenteritis

Other Useful guidance


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 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.