New guidance for home care providers on how to maintain the delivery of care during the coronavirus outbreak has been issued by the government.
The guidance takes account of latest government advice on self-isolation, set out in guidance issued by Public Health England.
It says that anyone receiving home care who is suspected of having COVID-19, with a new continuous cough or high temperature, should self-isolate at home.
In this instance, the risk of transmission should be minimised through safe working procedures.
Home care providers will routinely be procuring personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, aprons and surgical masks, the government said.
There will also be a free issue of PPE to support residential care and domiciliary care providers to comply with the updated advice on use of PPE to support management of symptomatic patients presenting in these settings.
The guidance can be found by clicking here.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I understand how worried people most in need of care will be about coronavirus, and how concerned families around the country will be for their loved ones. And I want everyone to know we are working around the clock to ensure we do everything possible to reduce the risk vulnerable and elderly people face.
“Public safety is my top priority and we are clear people in care should follow the same tried and tested protocols everyone else is following. These include good hand hygiene and self-isolating where necessary, allowing our fantastic care workforce to keep them well.
“We are working closely with partners from across the social care sector to ensure local authorities, care providers and our health and social workforce are prepared to take action to protect our most vulnerable.”
The government said that if a member of staff is concerned they have COVID-19 they should follow NHS advice and if they are advised to self-isolate at home they should follow the stay at home guidance.
If advised to self-isolate at home, they should not visit and care for individuals until safe to do so.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said: “We recognise that we are entering an incredibly challenging time for people living and working in care and we are working closely with industry experts to do everything we can to limit the impact that COVID-19 has on the most vulnerable.
“The social care workforce works tremendously hard to care for people of all ages with complex health needs. I am sincerely grateful for their commitment to the people they care for, now more than ever.”