The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is working with the Government to ensure that the designated settings for care home residents leaving hospital after Covid-19 are appropriate.

Social care designated settings are part of a scheme to allow people with a Covid-positive test result to be discharged safely from hospitals. It is for patients who will be moving or going back into a care home setting.

This is to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 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. 

The CQC said that inspections of designated settings will ensure infection control can be maintained and that services are physically separating this group of residents. It will also be looking at whether a dedicated workforce is in place and ensuring there’s an appropriate emphasis on ventilation.

Eight ticks needed for infection prevention

It added they will be 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, said: "It is our role to ensure that proposed locations for the designated scheme, which is an initiative led by the Department of Health and Social Care, meet the IPC standards expected for people with a confirmed Covid-19 test result to be discharged into.

"We completed 521 IPC and inspections of designation schemes throughout October and November and between December and 12 January we completed 63 further of these inspections. 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 to find suitable designated locations where people that have tested positive for Covid-19 can be safely discharged to.

Once these locations have been identified, the CQC must be contacted so they can 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 the inspections will be published on its website through an inspection report, where the public can see how the care provider has performed against its 'eight ticks'. This means it will be able to provide assurances on infection prevention control, whether people being cared for are in a designation area or in an existing location.