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D346. Restricting workforce movements between care homes and other care settings

Updated guidance has been published on restricting all routine staff movement between settings, unless absolutely necessary, which remains essential to minimise the risk of Covid-19 outbreaks in care homes.

The guidance sets out how care home providers should reduce movement where possible. It also describes the limited exceptional circumstances where it is necessary to make sure the safest care is provided.

The guidance, Restricting Workforce Movement Between Care Homes and Other Care Settings, was updated on 3 March 2021 to include information on retesting within 90 days of a previous positive test in the “Further Guidance on Testing” section.

There is also further information on how the second round of Infection Control Fund (ICF) can be used to support providers without a local authority contract to reduce the rate of Covid-19 transmission between care settings. And information on the £120 million Workforce Capacity Fund for local authorities is given, and how it can be used to support providers to limit staff movement.

A list is provided of the groups of staff whose movement should be limited, including those who work for one provider across several care homes; who work on a part-time basis for multiple employers in multiple care homes or other regulated care settings; and agency or other temporary staff.

There are exceptions to the rules on limiting staff movement in order to meet the needs of people using {{org_field_name}} and keep them safe, including situations where a care provider has very high levels of staff absence, including arising from a major outbreak.

There is advice about how staffing should be planned to reduce routine movement, while maintaining safe staffing levels. Recommended mitigations are given such as block booking to further minimise staff movement where agency or other temporary staff are essential to maintain safe services. There is also guidance on how to mitigate risk where it is essential to deploy someone between two settings.

The guidance addresses restrictions on staff movement in “designated” settings or care homes that are zoned for this purpose, and it explains how the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be checking IPC measures, including staff movement and whether risk assessments are being regularly undertaken.


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Next review date: this policy is reviewed annually (every 12 months). When needed, this policy is also updated in response to changes in legislation, regulation, best practices, or organisational changes.

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