Care homes across the UK have struggled over the last 10 months to safeguard both residents and staff from the effects of COVID-19. With approximately 400,000 residents living in care homes, the pandemic has led to the loss of life, isolation and disruption to the continuation of care.
Whilst care practitioners are highly skilled and trained in looking after the complex needs of their residents, it’s fair to say they were not prepared for what they had to face. Never had we witnessed a virus that took hold so quickly, deeply affecting those who live and work within our care homes.
Here at Safe For Work, we were interested to understand how care homes are now operating in a COVID safe way. Below we highlight just some of the additional health and safety measures that have been put in place to keep staff and residents safe.
The most obvious measure to safeguard staff, and one that all sectors have deployed, is the introduction of new personal protective equipment (PPE) such as facemasks, protective visors, disposable gloves, aprons and eye protection. Additional PPE has been rolled out across all care homes with clear instruction for use. For example, care staff should only use PPE once, it must be changed between different tasks and removed immediately and disposed of correctly. In addition, all PPE has to be compliant with relevant BS/EN standards and stored correctly.