Care Quality Commission
Designated settings for COVID-19 patients leaving hospital
CQC is working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), local authorities and individual care providers to provide assurance of safe and high-quality care in designated settings, which are part of a scheme to allow people with a COVID-positive test result to be discharged safely from hospitals.
These settings are admitting people who are discharged from hospital with a COVID-positive test who will be moving or going back into a care home setting. This is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in care homes and will allow for a focus on the care that people who have contracted COVID-19 need. The Government’s aim is for each local authority to have access to at least one designated setting as soon as possible, CQC is working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure social care designated settings are appropriate.
In order to do this, we are using our Infection Prevention Control (IPC) framework which is being used on all care home inspections. For inspections of designated setting services, there are specific elements we are checking for in the environment to ensure infection control can be maintained. This means that we will be checking if services are physically separating this group of residents, whether a dedicated workforce is in place and ensuring there’s an appropriate emphasis on ventilation.
We are inspecting care locations against eight areas and reporting with ‘eight ticks’ on infection prevention control which will give the public an overview including on whether:
- Adequate PPE is available for staff and residents to control infection safely
- Staff are properly trained to deal with outbreaks and the proper procedures are in place
- Shielding and social distancing are being complied with
- Layout of premises, use of space and hygiene practice promote safety.
Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC, yesterday said:
"It is our role to ensure that proposed locations for the designated scheme, which is an initiative led by DHSC, meet the IPC standards expected for people with a confirmed COVID-19 test result to be discharged into.
"Since October, we have completed well over 500 infection prevention and control inspections including approved designated locations and measured against 'eight ticks' which are published on our website. We will continue to work with the Department of Health and Social Care, local authorities and care providers to ensure that all locations participating in the scheme are able to provide the high-quality care that people leaving hospital will need."
The Department of Health and Social Care have asked local authorities to speak to local care providers and find suitable designated locations where people that have tested positive for COVID-19 may be safely discharged to. Once these locations have been identified, they contact CQC and we go out and assess the location with an IPC inspection and a specific focus on a service’s ability to zone COVID-19 positive residents with a dedicated workforce and high levels of ventilation.
The results of that inspection will be published on our website through an inspection report, where the public can see how the care provider has performed against our 'eight ticks'. This means we are able to provide assurances on infection prevention control, whether people being cared for are in a designation area or in an existing location.
CQC’s infection prevention control (IPC) inspections include three different kinds of inspection as outlined below. These include:
- Inspections of proposed designated facilities
- Inspections in response to risk and information of concern
This is in addition to our risk-based inspections which are continuing alongside our IPC and designated settings inspection work. So far, we have conducted 1,884 risk-based inspections of Adult Social Care providers since April 2020, as of 30 November. We also conducted a number of inspections focused around collecting good practice at the beginning of our programme. This helped inform the system of what good looks like, but going forward, our sole focus will be risk.
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