Care Quality Commission
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Designated settings for COVID-19 patients leaving hospital

CQC are 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 diagnosis to be discharged safely from hospitals.

These settings are only admitting people who are COVID-positive and are therefore able to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in care homes and allow for a focus on the care that people who have contracted COVID-19 need.

In order to do this, we use our Infection Prevention Control (IPC) framework which is being used on all care home inspections.

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 is 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 designate scheme, which is an initiative led by DHSC, are safe for people with a confirmed COVID-19 test result to be discharged into.

“By the end of November we will have completed 500 infection prevention and control inspections, including at all approved designate locations and measured against 'eight ticks' which are published on our website. We will continue to work with DHSC, 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."

DHSC 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 and whether people being cared for are in a designation area or in an existing location.

CQC is committed to completing 500 IPC care home inspections by the end of November using our IPC framework. These include:

  • Inspections of proposed designated facilities
  • Inspections to look at and learn from good IPC practice
  • 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 1,278 risk-based inspections of Adult Social Care providers since April 2020.

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