The government has updated its guidance on providing home care in England during the coronavirus pandemic.
The guidance covers PPE and emergency supplies, hospital discharge and assessment, testing for care workers and clients, government and local authority support, data collection, mental health support and safeguarding.
The revised document also covers shielding and the use of ‘care groups’ to reduce the risk of people classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ being exposed to COVID-19.
It advises home care providers to divide the people they are caring for into care groups and allocate subgroups of their staff team to provide care to for each group.
The government acknowledged the workforce and logistical challenges of doing this and suggested dividing the workforce into two groups – one to support the shielded and the other to support the ‘at risk’ groups and everyone else – if providers are unable to divide their teams into subgroups.
“This is being proposed as a practical suggestion that may be viable for some providers, rather than a direction all providers are expected to follow,” the guidance states.
“We acknowledge that different providers are experiencing different pressures. If providers are unable to work in this way, local authorities may be able to provide support through their plan to provide mutual aid. Should local authorities be unable to provide assistance, providers should contact their local resilience forum.”
Detail on the different types of care groups can be found here.