The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a serious concern for everyone working in the care sector.
As a care at home company we continue to and liaise closely with the Local Council, Health Protection Scotland and the Care Inspectorate regarding the ongoing situation and how best to prevent a future spread.
The advice from the Care Inspectorate, Government guidelines and Health Protection Scotland for Care at home providers and support staff is as follows
Please note that all support workers are currently carrying out Lateral Flow Testing twice weekly.
If a care support worker is concerned that they may have COVID-19:
If a member of staff is concerned that they have COVID-19 they should follow NHS advice which is:
Self-isolate immediately if:
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Contact test and protect if you require further information.
There is further advice on the NHS website for staying at home.
Use the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service if:
Positive advice from the NHS website:
IF THE INDIVIDUAL, YOU ARE CARING FOR HAS SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19:
If the individual you are caring for has symptoms of COVID-19, then the risk of transmission should me minimised through safe working procedures and strict infection prevention control protocols and the wearing of PPE.
PPE (Personal protective equipment):
Care workers should use PPE for activities that bring them into close personal contact, such as washing and bathing, personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids.
Aprons, gloves, sleeves and fluid repellent surgical masks should be used in these situations. If there is a risk of splashing, then eye protection will minimise risk.
New PPE must be used for each episode of personal care. It is essential that used PPE is stored securely within disposable rubbish bags as per IKL Care's covid-19 guielines.
These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely, date, time and day used as well as date time and day to be disposed of clearly marked on the bag and kept separate from other wate within the room. This should be put be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin.
If care workers undertake cleaning duties, then they should use usual household products, such as detergents and bleach as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly.
Personal waste (for example, used tissues, pads and other items soiled with bodily fluids) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.
These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your own room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin for disposal as normal.
If care workers support the individual with laundry, then they should not shake dirty laundry. This minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
Wash items as appropriate, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. If the individual does not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after the 7-day isolation period has ended; the laundry can then be taken to a public laundromat.
Items heavily soiled with body fluids, for example, vomit or diarrhoea, or items that cannot be washed, should be disposed of, with the owner’s consent.
If neither the individual nor the care worker have symptoms of COVID-19
If neither the care worker nor the individual receiving care and support is symptomatic, then no personal protective equipment is required above and beyond normal good infection prevention hygiene practices.
General interventions may include increased cleaning activity and keeping property properly ventilated by opening windows whenever safe and appropriate.
Care workers should follow advice on hand hygiene.
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