The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) is a serious concern for everyone working in the care sector.
As a care at home company we have been speaking to and liaising closely with the Local Council and the Care Inspectorate regarding the ongoing outbreak of the virus.
The Care Inspectorate have issued the following guidelines for all Care providers
The advice from the Care Inspectorate, Government guidelines and Health Protection Scotland for Care at home providers and support staff is as follows.
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:
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to inform them that you are staying at home. Testing for the virus is not needed if you are staying at home for the 7 days. 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.
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 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 PPE is stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.
These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely 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, continence 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 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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