COVID-19 (coronavirus) advice for care providers

Guidance for care homes


Staff testing

Access criteria

1. Symptomatic health or care worker and/or symptomatic house-hold member of a self-isolating priority health or care worker

2. Works in Worcestershire

3. Individuals are in the first three days of the onset of  COVID-19 symptoms at the time the swab is taken

With the extension to children the swabbing process is as follows:

  • testing is now available for 12-18 year olds on site (tests will be ‘self administered’ & a parent must accompany the child)
  • testing is now available for 5-12 year olds on site (parents will need to administer the swab to the child, whilst in the car) 
  • under 5’s remain unable to be tested

Book staff swabbing

  • download the form: Staff Covid-19 Test Referral Form (opens in a new window)
  • please note that with regard to family members who are symptomatic, causing the worker to self-isolate, just provide the details of the health care worker in the spreadsheet; when they respond to their text they will be able to add in the details of up to 3 symptomatic household members age 5 and over through the online booking process to which they are then linked
  • please send this form to by 12:30 pm each day; staff will receive a text to their mobiles regarding the arrangements later that day; any requests received after 12.30 will be managed on the following day
    • the individual being tested will receive a text message inviting them to book an appointment; the text message will contain a link to the appointment booking system and a unique 16 digit code
    • the individual will click on the text message link and be directed to the appointment booking system where they will be asked to enter their unique 16 digit code; they will then be able to book a specific appointment for a coronavirus test at a regional testing site
    • the individual will receive a confirmation of their appointment via text message and email; these will contain a QR code, which will need to be shown to security at the regional testing site

The home testing via the Council / CCG is no longer available – this was a pilot for a week and we’ve been advised that it has now ceased.

Guidance on managing the COVID-19 pandemic in care homes

Please visit British Geriatrics Society - COVID-19: Managing the COVID-19 pandemic in care homes (opens in a new window).

Guidance on infection control and personal protection equipment

You can find guidance for infection control and PPE in care homes. Visit GOV.UK - COVID-19: guidance on residential care provision (opens in a new window).

Face masks are not advised currently to be used as a precautionary measure. If your home developed a problem advice would be provided on a case by case basis on the telephones numbers given in the information that was sent. As the main route of spread is droplet, then close care of the symptomatic resident would generally be when the face masks would be used, as droplets tend to not spread too far before settling onto the surrounding environment of the symptomatic person. If you did have an individual of concern then PPE would need to be in an accessible place for the staff prior to going to the patient without becoming contaminated e.g. just outside the room meaning they will be at least 1-2 metres away to put the PPE on before going to care for the resident.

Guidance on reuse of named patient medicines

Pragmatic Reuse of ‘Named Patient Medicines’ as End of Life Medicine Supplies in Care Homes during COVID-19 Pandemic - NHS Worcestershire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (opens in a new window)

Guidance on recruitment and managing staff levels

New recruits and DBC checks

If you recruiting new social care workers, you still need to complete DBS checks. However, there has been a temporary change to support the process of DBS checks and ensure they are not delayed. Visit GOV.UK - COVID-19: Changes to DBS ID checking guidelines (opens in a new window) website for more information.

Managing staffing levels

If you have insufficient staff to cover calls, please contact agency staff in the first instance. Cancel annual leave. Undertake 12 hours shifts with reduced numbers of staff on shift. 

Please consider actions such as the following to manage this situation (these should be in your Business Continuity Plan):

  • assess the risk for each resident and their support needs
  • ensure residents most at risk are more closely supervised
  • close down sections of the home to manage the resident group
  • move bedroom temporarily to give good overnight cover etc

Providing person-centred support for residents living with dementia

Download: Providing person-centred support for residents living with dementia who need to be isolated in care homes during the COVID-19 crisis (Advice from the University of Worcester) (opens in a new window)