Coronavirus Policy and Procedure
Updated on Tuesday 31st August 2021
1.1 – Grennell Lodge recognises that the outbreak of coronavirus, SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) which results in the disease COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants, is a fast-moving situation As care providers, ensuring robust infection control and business continuity plans form part of preparing business at Grennell Lodge for any events that can cause disruption to the normal business.
1.2 – Grennell Lodge will ensure that staff are aware and understand the importance of pandemic preparedness and will carry out preparations to manage the impact of virus. Grennell Lodge understands that business continuity planning involves all aspects of the business, and to be effective, must work with its partners, suppliers and commissioners to ensure that a safe and effective service can be.
1.3 – Grennell Lodge understands that it has a responsibility for ensuring that staff follow good infection control and prevention techniques and that it supports Service Users with this too. Grennell Lodge will ensure that staff have access to reliable information to reduce anxiety and dispel any myths and inaccurate information that may cause worry or distress to staff, Service Users or the wider public.
1.4 – Grennell Lodge will ensure that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the COVID-19 transmission risks is in place.
2.1 – Grennell Lodge recognises that the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020.
It will review the Pandemic Planning Checklist to ensure that the business is prepared for any further waves of the pandemic, ensure that robust business continuity plans are in place and that any lessons learned from earlier in the year are reflected.
2.2 – Grennell Lodge will ensure that staff, when not at work, follow the WHO and government guidance to reduce the risk of contracting the virus and the risk of spreading it. They must also support Ser vice Users to follow the government requirements and remind them that failure to follow this can result in a fine. Government guidance changes rapidly and Grennell Lodge will ensure that it keeps up to date with any changes.
2.3 – Handwashing
Staff must wash their hands:
• Before leaving home
• On arrival at work
• After using the toilet
• Before putting on or removing personal protective equipment (PPE)
• After touching pets
• After breaks and sporting activities
• Before food preparation
• After using public transport
• Before eating any food, including snacks
• Before leaving work
• On arrival at home
2.4 – Shielding At-Risk Groups
Grennell Lodge needs to ensure that Service Users and staff who are considered particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 have a risk assessment in place.
Grennell Lodge will need to ensure that any additional guidance for vulnerable individuals is followed in line with national guidance.
2.5 – Safe Staffing
Grennell Lodge must use tools to report capacity for bed vacancies (Capacity Tracker) to support system resilience, where applicable, as outlined in the guidance COVID-19: guidance on residential care provision and How to Work Safely in Care Homes.
Grennell Lodge must restrict, as far as possible, staff movement between the different premises of Grennell Lodge, to reduce the risk of the virus transmission.
2.6 – Actions if a Service User Meets the Criteria and Displays Symptoms
• If a Service User complains of symptoms, Grennell Lodge must ensure that staff understand the Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care Staff
• The Service User must be isolated Staff must sensitively explain why they need to be moved and support with any anxiety and fears they may have
• They must be isolated in a separate, single room with a separate bathroom, where possible
• Grennell Lodge must seek advice from its local Health Protection Team if it has a
single possible case of COVID-19
• If a further clinical assessment is advised, contact their GP
• If symptoms worsen during isolation or are no better after 10 days, contact their GP for further advice around escalation and to ensure that person-centred decision making is followed
• For a medical emergency dial 999
• Staff must immediately instigate full infection control measures to care for the Service User with symptoms, which will avoid the virus spreading to other Service Users.
• Inform family members, where the Service User gives consent, so that they are kept informed. Where possible, support the Service User to notify their family
• It is important that Service Users are supported to remain in touch with their families while they are in isolation and the agreed way this will be achieved will be documented in the Care Plan.
• Review and update the Care Plan and risk assessment
• Ensure that any advance decisions are recorded and that the correct documentation is available
• Where the Service User lacks capacity, continue to explain and ensure that the least restrictive options are taken to maintain their safety and the safety of everyone at Care Unlimited – Grennell Where required, involve the Service User’s GP
2.7 – Action if a Service User has Contact with Someone Who Has COVID-19 and Needs to Self- Isolate
Where a Service User is informed that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they are not required to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated. The Service User will also need to have a negative PCR test and undertake daily LFD tests during the contact period (10 days) in order not to self-isolate. Contact with highly vulnerable Service Users must be avoided during the contact period. Full guidance can be found here.
2.8 – Action if a Member of Staff has Contact with Someone Who Has COVID-19 and Needs to Self- Isolate
Where staff are informed that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID- 19, they are not required to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated. Where they are required to work in the 10 days following their last contact with the COVID-19 positive case, they must inform Mr Andre Downer immediately.
In order to return to work the staff member must be:
• Fully vaccinated and it has been more than 14 days since their second dose
• Remain free of COVID-19 symptoms
• Have a negative PCR test before coming out of self-isolation
• Where they have tested positive in the last 90 days, they should not have a PCR test but undertake daily LFD antigen tests
• Undertake daily negative LFD antigen tests
• Comply with all infection control and PPE precautions in place
• If they work with highly vulnerable Service Users they must be redeployed for the 10 day self-isolation period
Where staff do not meet these criteria they must self-isolate in line with stay at home guidance. Those members of staff who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must self-isolate as advised unless exempt. Exemptions can include the staff member being unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons or taking part in clinical trials.
Full details of the guidance can be found here.
2.9 – Supporting Hospital Discharge
Mr Andre Downer will follow the guidance Admission and Care of Residents in a Care Home During COVID- 19, ensuring that communication channels remain open between the hospital and family and that the Service User is involved in all decisions and discussions.
2.10 – Staff with Symptoms
If staff have a fever (37.8 degrees Celsius), a new/persistent cough, or a loss or change in their sense of smell or taste they must follow national guidance for social care staff and advice from Test and Trace teams.
You’ll usually need to self-isolate and follow guidance for social care staff if:
• Someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
• Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
• You’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace Further advice on what staff need to do can be read
2.11 – Isolation Notes Online
Isolation notes will provide employees of Grennell Lodge with evidence for Grennell Lodge that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.
Isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor, to reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.
For the first seven days off work, employees can self-certify so they do not need any evidence for Grennell Lodge. After that, Grennell Lodge may ask for evidence of sickness absence. Where this is related to having symptoms of coronavirus or living with someone who has symptoms, the isolation note can be used to provide evidence of the advice to self-isolate.
For staff who have returned from overseas and are required to self-isolate due to quarantine requirements
2.12 – Waste Disposal
Grennell Lodge must follow the government guidelines on waste disposal and be aware of any changes required due to local guidance.
2.13 – Visitors
Grennell Lodge will follow regional and national guidance on visiting and the types of visiting that can take place. Grennell Lodge will display information posters and advise anyone who is unwell to stay away.
2.14 – Confidentiality
Grennell Lodge will follow confidentiality and UK GDPR policies and procedures to ensure that the details of staff involved in caring for Service Users with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are kept confidential. Employees must also respect each other’s confidentially and take care not to inadvertently share information when using social media.
Where staff are suspected or confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, their personal details must be treated as confidential, as they would be for any other Service User at Grennell Lodge.
2.15 – Mass Testing and Vaccinations
Grennell Lodge will seek to ensure that all care staff, alongside Service Users, will be supported to follow GOV.UK guidance and requirements on any mass testing projects rolled out in response to spikes across the regions, to control further spread.
As a response to the roll out of vaccines, which started in December 2020, Grennell Lodge will encourage all care staff alongside Service Users to participate in the planned vaccination programme and, when called by the NHS, should seek to follow any direct guidance given.
2.16 – Long COVID
Grennell Lodge recognises that, as well as coronavirus, Service Users and staff may also be affected by the long term effects of coronavirus, known as ‘Long COVID’. Symptoms of Long COVID include:
• Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain or tightness
• Problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
• Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
• Heart palpitations
• Pins and needles
• Joint pain
• Depression and anxiety
• Tinnitus, earaches
• Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
• A high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
Where staff or Service Users present with symptoms of long COVID and are worried 4 or more weeks after having coronavirus, they should contact their GP or be supported to, where this is part of the Service User’s Care Plan. In the event of an emergency, 999 or 111, where appropriate, should be contacted.
Support can be provided to manage and monitor symptoms at home or specialist support may be required. Where this affects the care being provided to a Service User, a Care Plan review will be undertaken and staff informed of any care change.