The government has updated its coronavirus guidance for staff and service users in supported living settings in a number of areas. We have summarised this guidance below.
In the interest of maintaining service delivery, the government is advising that the routine movement of care staff between shared living services and other health and social care settings is avoided. Separate guidance on how care providers can manage the movement of their staff, as well as how to work safely in domiciliary care, is available.
Also, those living in supported living settings who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) are no longer required to shield. They should instead seek advice from a health professional on whether additional precautions are necessary and continue to adhere to the standard guidance on staying safe and preventing the spread.
The government is still encouraging all frontline social care workers to book their vaccination if they have not done so already. Those who are unable to get a flu vaccine through their employer can still access one for free this flu season. There is also separate guidance available on flu vaccinations. The general infection prevention and control guidance within this resource has been consolidated but not altered. It still emphasises limiting close contact, ventilation, use of PPE and respiratory and hand hygiene.
For those providers with services comparable to care homes, reference should be made to the guidance around admissions and self-isolation when patients are discharged from hospital into a supported living setting. Alongside this, managers should oversee dynamic risk assessments to ensure measures are proportionate and appropriate. The section on risk assessments in this guidance provides support on this.
The only addition to the guidance around visits in and out of supported living settings is the inclusion of a link to the resource on red-list countries. Travel to and from these countries necessitates self-isolation for service users and prohibits anyone from visiting during this period.