Coronavirus - guidance for care providers

Access the latest advice and guidance for adult social care providers on COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Topics include: guidance for different care settings; discharge from hospital; testing; mental capacity; care planning and treatment; data, reporting and technology.


Testing for care sector – updated 18 May 2020 – CPA

Please see our section on Symptoms, testing and care for up-to-date information on testing for care workers and people who use services.



Adult social care action plan – 15 April 2020 – GOV.UK

This document sets out the government’s plan for: controlling the spread of infection in care settings; supporting the workforce; supporting independence, supporting people at the end of their lives, and responding to individual needs; supporting local authorities and the providers of care. The plan applies to all settings.


Guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home settings – updated 18 April – GOV.UK

Advice on appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) precautions for stepdown in hospital or discharge to home or residential settings.


Care homes and supported living guidance§

CPA letter: Care home support – 21 May 2020 – CPA

A letter from CPA to all care home managers summarising information about the care home support package, including the £600m infection control fund, clinical support to care homes, testing and PPE.

CPA strongly recommends that care home managers take a proactive approach to working with their local authority and NHS colleagues to ensure the needs of residents, staff and services are central to all discussions and plans. 


CPA Briefing: NHS Clinical support to care homes – 20 May 2020 - CPA

The NHS has committed that all care homes will be supported via primary and community support. The support is modelled on the Enhanced Health in Care Homes initiative and is available to all care homes and all residents. The CPA has produced a briefing note which summarises what support should be available, what care homes can do to make the most of the scheme, and who to contact. It also includes links to useful resources from the Enhanced Health in Care Homes initiative.


Protocol for care homes and funeral directors – 21 May 2020 – CPA

This joint protocol has been developed to ensure that funeral directors and providers of care in a residential setting are fully aware of the risks posed when an individual dies in a residential care setting and is either confirmed to have had COVID-19 or is suspected to have had it.  

The protocol has been developed by CPA member, National Care Forum, and the National Association of Funeral Directors. It is endorsed by the Care Provider Alliance and the Deceased Management Advisory Group.


Care homes support package – 15 May 2020 – GOV.UK

A new care homes support package including a £600 million adult social care infection control fund has been introduced to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in care homes.

This forms part of wider support for care home residents and staff, including by limiting staff movement, protecting wages and giving access to NHS PPE training.

Each care home in England to be given a named clinical lead to provide direct care for residents.

A wellbeing package will be also launched on CARE Workforce app to support the workforce with Hospice UK and Samaritans.


International examples of measures to prevent and manage COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care and nursing home settings – 2 May 2020 – International Long-Term Care Policy Network

This report provides examples of the policy and practice measures that have been adopted internationally to prevent COVID-19 infections in care homes and to mitigate their impact. This is a "live" document that will be updated regularly and expanded as more information becomes available. Comments, updates, suggestions and additional information are very welcome.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): reuse of medicines in a care home or hospice – 28 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Standard operating procedure on how to run a safe and effective medicines reuse scheme in a care home or hospice during the coronavirus outbreak.


How to work safely in care homes – 17 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Guidance for those working in care homes providing information on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19.


Admission and care of people in care homes – 2 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Government guidance for care homes, local health protection teams, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and registered providers. It sets out how to: admit and care for residents and protect care home staff.


Managing the COVID 19 pandemic in care homes – 30 March 2020 – British Geriatrics Society

The COVID-19 pandemic raises particular challenges for care home residents, their families and the staff that look after them. This guidance has been developed to help care home staff and NHS staff who work with them to support residents through the pandemic. Includes downloadable poster on managing falls.


Guidance on supported living – Public Health England on GOV.UK

How to maintain delivery of care during an outbreak of COVID-19 in a supported living setting, and what to do if care workers or residents have symptoms.

Home care and community settings§

How to work safely in domiciliary care – 27 April 2020 – GOV.UK

This resource is primarily for care workers and providers delivering care in the following settings:

  • visiting homecare
  • extra care housing
  • live-in homecare

It provides guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK, and explains how PPE guidance applies to the homecare (domiciliary care) setting.


Guidance on home care – Public Health England on GOV.UK

How to maintain delivery of care during an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst user of home care services, and what to do if care workers or service users have symptoms.


Guidance for Shared Lives carers – Shared Lives Plus

Guidance and information for Shared Lives Plus members.

Mental health services§

Update for mental health, learning disabilities and autism services – NHS England

Information from NHS England on COVID-19 for chief executives of mental health trusts and other mental health service providers, including the independent and third sectors.

All social care providers§

Verification of deaths – 5 May 2020 – GOV.UK

Guidance to clarify existing practice for the verification of death outside of hospitals and to provide a framework for safe verification of death during COVID-19 emergency period. The guidance states that non-medical professionals should not experience any pressure to verify deaths. If they are not comfortable or equipped to verify, they should defer to medical colleagues or refer on to NHS 111, the patient's general practice or another provider of primary medical services. If they are content to verify, they can use remote clinical support.


Supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults – 26 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Guidance for care staff who are supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


End of life care and COVID-19 – Skills for Care

Skills for Care's "Common core principles" have been adapted to support all those working with adults at the end of their life and focuses on the underpinning competences, knowledge and values needed. They have also produced an 'End of life care support' supplement which uses the principles in practice and includes for further information.


Registered managers' webinars – Skills for Care

Skills for Care is hosting a series of webinars for registered managers. The first three in the series cover Essential training, Human Resources in the time of COVID-19 and Attracting workers. More webinars to follow.


Looking after people who lack mental capacity – 9 April 2020 – GOV.UK

Guidance for health and social care staff who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity.


Managing symptoms (inc in end of life care) – 3 April 2020 - NICE

The purpose of this guideline is to provide recommendations for managing COVID 19 symptoms for patients in the community, including at the end of life. It also includes recommendations about managing medicines for these patients, and protecting staff from infection.


Managing suspected or confirmed pneumonia - 3 April 2020 – NICE

The purpose of this guideline is to ensure the best treatment for adults with suspected or confirmed pneumonia in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also enable services to make the best use of NHS resources. 


Guidance and resources for charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers – March 2020 – NCVO

NCVO’s Knowhow section on coronavirus contains information to help charities decide what steps they need to take.

NCVO have published new guidance for people who want to help out during the pandemic. It includes which organisations to approach and tips on staying safe when supporting others.


Coronavirus and older people: advice for professionals – British Geriatric Society

Current advice from experts within the BGS relating to older people and the COVID-19 pandemic.


Q&A with care minister on Covid-19 and social care – 2 April 2020 – SCIE

Minister Helen Watley, Paul Burstow (SCIE) and Matthew Winn (NHS England) answer key questions for providers, councils, people who use services and carers.


Advance care planning – 30 March 2020 – Joint statement from BMA, CPA, CQC and RCGP

Advance care plans, including DNAR, must be made on an individual basis. It is unacceptable that advice care plans be applied to groups of people.


Scaling up testing programmes – 4 April 2020 – GOV.UK

The government is working with partners to expand swab testing to critical NHS and social care staff and their families, so they can stay in work if they test negative and keep themselves and others safe if they test positive.


Coronavirus Bill Explanatory notes – 19 March 2020 – GOV.UK

The Bill contains temporary measures designed to either amend existing legislative provisions or introduce new statutory powers which are designed to mitigate the impact of a coronavirus pandemic. These Explanatory Notes explain what each part of the Bill will mean in practice. The  Explanatory Notes might best be read alongside the Bill.


Use of anti-inflammatories - 18 March 2020 – NHS England

NICE is reviewing the evidence re the use of NSAIDs in treating of COVID-19. In the interim, use paracetamol. Those currently on NSAIDs for other medical reasons (e.g. arthritis) should not stop them.


Court of Protection guidance – 19 March 2020 – Mental Capacity Law and Policy

The Vice-President of the Court of Protection has issued two sets of guidance, the first (on 13 March) primarily directed at judges and legal practitioners visiting P, the second (18 March) of wider compass, reflecting the operational situation of the Court of Protection and offering practical solutions to some of the issues being raised by practitioners.  It includes guidance on how hearings will be conducted.


Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care’s response to COVID 19 –19 March 2020 - GOV.UK

Guidance on ethical considerations for local authorities and adult social care professionals planning their response to COVID-19.


Schools closures guidance – 19 March 2020 - Department for Education

Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. But children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers (inc social care) can still go to school if required.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance – GOV.UK

Find all government guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals and other organisations.


Guidance for health care professionals – GOV.UK

Government information on COVID-19, including guidance on the assessment and management of suspected UK cases.


Coronavirus action plan for health and social care – GOV.UK

What the health and social care system across the UK has done to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and what it plans to do next.

Data, reporting and technology§

Data collection systems: Letter from CPA to providers – 12 May 2020 – CPA

Letter for all care providers, confirming arrangements for data collection via CQC Update and Capacity Tracker, including contact details for queries.


Daily death reporting now includes all positive COVID-19 deaths – 29 April 2020 – GOV.UK

From Wednesday 29 April 2020, the government’s daily figure will include deaths that have occurred in all settings where there has been a positive COVID-19 test, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.


Data collection during the COVID-19 crisis: joint letter from CPA, CQC, DHSC and NHS England – April 2020 – CPA (PDF)

Joint letter clarifying data collection arrangements during coronavirus outbreak. To enable an understanding of the impact of COVID-19 care providers are being asked to provide information to a central system.

  • Residential and nursing homes should complete only the NHS Capacity Tracker as set out in Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes
  • Homecare providers to complete CQC’s ‘Update CQC on the impact of Covid’ online form (from Monday 13 April). This will be rolled out to Shared Lives services, Extra Care and Supporting Living services soon.
  • The small number of providers of both homecare and residential and/or nursing homes to complete both data collections.

RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19 – Health and Safety Executive

The Health and Safety Executive has added new guidance on RIDDOR Reporting of COVID-19 (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013), clarifying when a report under the Regulations should be made. Employers must only make a report under RIDDOR when:

  • an unintended incident at work has led to someone's possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
  • a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
  • a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus

Digital innovations to support vulnerable people during COVID-19 outbreak – 24 April 2020 – GOV.UK

New parents, unpaid carers, the homeless, young people and cancer patients could benefit from digital solutions as part of the TechForce19 challenge.


Helpline launched to provide digital support to social care providers – 6 April 2020  - Digital Social Care

Digital Social Care has set up a new helpline to support care providers to harness technology during the COVID-19 outbreak. Their team of digital experts can provide practical advice to troubleshoot a technical problem or give in-depth one-to-one support.

Tel 020 8133 3430 or email help@digitalsocialcare.co.uk 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.


Capacity tracker and care sector – 30 March 2020 - NHS England & NHS Improvement

All care homes, hospices and all providers of inpatient community rehabilitation and end of life care need to register on Capacity Tracker and input the information specified by the DHSC into Capacity Tracker by 1 April 2020. All providers to input data into Capacity Tracker only to inform one national and local picture Register at Capacity Tracker – includes guides, videos and support call centre. Tel 0191 691 3729, 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week, email necsu.capacitytracker@nhs.net

Further guidance to be available shortly.


Information for councils, including data reports – Local Government Association

Information including reports showing coronavirus cases data over time, the rate per 100,000 people, and the top ten councils for cases (by total number, as a rate, and by the biggest number on a single day) on a daily basis.


Quick Access to NHSmail and MS Teams – 23 March 2020 – Digital Social Care

NHSmail is now available for all adult social care providers in England. Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) providers do not need to complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit to have access to NHSmail. All NHSmail users also get free access to Microsoft Teams.

Government guidance published on 19th March 2020 advised all care providers to register for NHSmail so that they could access MS Teams for videoconferencing.


Digital tools to support care providers – Digital Social Care

Information on how technology can be used to support staff and people who use care services. Includes accessing NHSmail, free MS Teams for video conferencing, use of Capacity Tracker for care homes, lists of free apps and technologies which can assist with recruitment, wellbeing and information sharing. Visit the website and follow on twitter @DigiSocialCare


Free, open access to COVID-19 e-learning programme – Health Education England

Free e-learning programme for the UK health and care workforce. More content will be added. No HEE login needed.

Another HEE resource, SCRIPT e-learning, is now freely available to anyone with a NHS email address.  For more information visit www.safepresciber.org, email info@safeprescriber.org and or follow @safeprescriber on Twitter.


Hospital discharge service requirements – 19 March 2020 – GOV.UK

How all health and care systems and providers will alter their discharging arrangements and provision of community support to enable the discharge of all patients as soon as they are clinically safe to do so. A range of virtual resources and live interactive sessions have been developed to support every sector to work through how to achieve this new way of operating. 

Other UK nations §

Coronavirus: summary of response arrangements in Scotland – Scottish Government


Coronavirus: Information for Scottish Care Members (PDF) – Scottish Care


Welsh Government guidance on coronavirus


See all related information on coronavirus