Abi Spence on how social care is leading the way in infection prevention and control.
Keeping it up
‘Hand gel’, I say, as my children walk into the pharmacy right past it. ‘Again?’ my son says. I bend down and point out the people around us. ‘It’s not just for us’, I add, citing the frail and vulnerable (it’s actually a good reminder for me too).
Actions speak louder than words
Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, in the latest DH Adult Social Care update, writes about a difficult challenge within social care. As the country relaxes COVID-19 restrictions, more people are embracing and getting closer to their nearest and dearest, whilst health and care settings need to continue to use stepped up infection control methods.
Every Action Counts Campaign
The update draws attention to the ‘Every Action Counts Campaign’ in response to research from NHS partners who found that throughout the pandemic, social care had made great progress in meeting the highest level of infection prevention and control which reduces outbreaks and risk of serious illness/death.
The research further looked at what kept those standards high, producing a series of key insights to behaviours. From these insights, a series of key messages have been formulated which should be communicated often to staff and will support good IPC.
- Every Action Counts – each action you take has a big impact
- We all have a responsibility to reduce the spread of coronavirus
- People with COVID-19 can have very mild or no symptoms at all. This means they can transmit the virus to others without knowing
- We all need to do things differently to how we would normally, to reduce the risk
- You should always follow the rules, even when with colleagues, family or friends
- When you follow these measures, you are playing your part
- You can still spread the virus to others even if you have been vaccinated
Skills for Care has produced a toolkit to support providers to understand and act on the full list of key insights (listed on page 4 of the document). It says:
‘This implementation toolkit is designed to provide information, resources and ideas, to adult social care providers, to address the barriers to behavioural excellence with IPC measures. This includes resources and tools targeting compliance and awareness, leadership, morale and wellbeing, training, and operational interventions… ‘
Keeping it simple – Where to start
The short video with staff from the sector highlights the continued need for stepped up infection prevention and control whilst bringing the message to care workers, residents and their families that these little actions are there because we care, not because we don’t.
The toolkit offers a range of communication resources from posters to great ideas on how to increase wellbeing amongst staff such as ‘virtual hugs’ and buddying systems.
Keeping up the good work
With a myriad of other pressures on services, this resource is a welcome collation of top tips and practical support to keep a culture of IPC excellence.
We walk into another shop. ‘Hand gel,’ my son says. ‘Thanks,’ I reply smiling.