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Coronavirus - guidance for care providers


Coronavirus - guidance for care providers

Key information and guidance for care providers on managing the coronavirus pandemic. See all our topic specific coronavirus information for care services.

All care providers and settings§

Note: See our separate sections on Finance and Business, Vaccination, Testing, Infection Prevention and Control.

General guidance and information§

New measures for social care – 10 December 2021 - DHSC

Government announcement regarding new measures for social care including: extra support for booster programme for care workers; restrictions on care home visits and increased testing; £300m extension of recruitment and retention funding.

Overview of all adult social care guidance on COVID-19 – DHSC

Information for adult social care providers about COVID-19 guidance and support. This page will be updated to reflect new DHSC, NHS and PHE advice as it becomes available. The guidance relates to England unless stated otherwise.

 Containing and managing local coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks – DHSC 

Guidance for local authorities and local decision-makers on containing and managing COVID-19 outbreaks at a local level.

Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care’s response to COVID 19 –DHSC 

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

COVID-19: ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus - DHSC

Guidance on the ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Hospital admissions and discharges§

Designated settings for people discharged to a care home - DHSC

Guidance on the designated settings scheme for people discharged from hospital to a care home with a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

Designated settings for COVID-19 patients leaving hospital –CQC

Information about CQC’s inspection process for designated settings.

Hospital discharge service: policy and operating model – DHSC

Sets out how health and care systems should support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital. 

Hospital discharge service guidance and leaflets –DHSC 

Guidance on how health and care systems should support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital. Includes links to a series of action cards for workers, and leaflets for patients and family members.

COVID virtual ward – letter and standard operating procedures  – NHS England

Letter and standard operating procedures supporting immediate roll out of a COVID ‘virtual ward’ model as an option for clinicians for earlier safe and supported discharge.

Supporting adults with specific care needs§

Mental health, learning disabilities and autism: Guidance – NHS England

This guidance concerns the impact of COVID-19 on the use of the Mental Health Act and supporting systems to safeguard the legal rights of people receiving mental health, learning disabilities and specialised commissioned mental health services. It will be regularly updated to reflect the rapidly changing context and questions/concerns and feedback from the sector.

Covid-19 Resources – Association of Mental health providers

A collection of links to free resources from a variety of sources about mental wellbeing, business and finance, guidance and other topics. 

 Supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults – DHSC 

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

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.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain - statistical reports -  ONS

Weekly updates based on indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle survey looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.

Data, reporting and technology§

Capacity Tracker changes from 4 April 2022 – 30 March 2022 – Capacity Tracker Team

Detailed letter from the Capacity Tracker team specifying changes to data collection from 4 April 2022. This includes removals, additional and revisions.

Changes to Capacity Tracker – 24 March 2022 – DHSC

Department of Health and Social Care letter outlining initial changes to data reporting via the Capacity Tracker. The Department needs reporting to continue, but the following changes will be made from 4 April 2022:

  • Many questions relating to the ICTF (referred to as IPC funding questions in Capacity Tracker) and flu vaccination will be removed
  • Workforce and COVID-19 vaccination data reporting will change from daily to weekly
  • Care homes to be able to report the number of residents receiving a second booster.

The Department is also working on a further phase to either remove or improve the remaining questions in Capacity Tracker. Care providers who have views on how to improve what they see from the analysis pages can contact DHSC at

Further on in the year there will be a more significant consideration about the future of central provider data collection, and you will be invited to workshops to discuss your data needs.

Data protection and checking vaccination records in care homes – 12 November 2021 – Digital Social Care

Care homes may process information about vaccination or medical exemption status, but this must be done in a way that is consistent with data protection legislation. This includes updating the information asset register, record of processing activity, and privacy notice. Care homes will also be required to complete a data protection impact assessment (DPIA). Digital Social Care has published draft privacy notice and DPIA for care home managers to use.

Adult social care in England monthly statistics - DHSC

Experimental statistics on a range of topics including infection control measures, COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 in adult social care settings.

Adult social care in England statistics, England: methodology – DHSC

How the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) puts together the data in its monthly reports.

COVID-19 Health Inequalities Monitoring for England (CHIME) tool –PHE

The CHIME tool brings together data relating to the direct impacts of COVID-19, such as on mortality rates and hospital admissions.

Wider impacts of COVID-19 on health monitoring tool  – Public Health England 

National monitoring tool that brings together metrics to assess the wider impacts of COVID-19 on health.

Coronavirus data informing local and national decision-making –JBC

The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) provides evidence-based, objective analysis to inform local and national decision-making in response to COVID-19 outbreaks. 

COVID-19: impacts on health: reports and tools – Public Health England

National reports and tool to support the monitoring of the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on the population.

The R value and growth rate in the UK: latest figures – DHSC and SAGE 

The reproduction number (R) is the average number of secondary infections produced by 1 infected person. The growth rate reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day. Details are published daily.

 Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: report on first phase of COVID-19 pandemic – DHSC 

This report sets out the progress and learning from the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in informing advice and recommendations to government and the social care sector.

Capacity Tracker: data collection system for care providers

The Capacity Tracker was originally developed by NHS England to better manage hospital discharges by identifying available capacity in care homes.

Using the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as source data, care providers register on the system and the provision of real time information enables discharge teams to avoid making multiple calls to identify locations with vacancies. Care homes and other providers have been required by government to use the capacity tracker during the pandemic.

Capacity Tracker Q&A – CPA

This Care Provider Alliance (CPA) briefing note covers questions and issues raised by care providers about Capacity Tracker including how data is accessed and used, and how changes to the system are agreed and communicated.

Office for National Statistics publish ‘Coronavirus and the Social Impacts on Disabled People in Great Britain: October 2020’ - 11 November 2020 - ONS

This report contains indicators from the 'Opinions and Lifestyle' survey on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on disabled people in Great Britain.

Helpline provides digital technology support to social care providers - Digital Social Care

Digital Social Care has set up a 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 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.

Inequalities and COVID-19§

Coronavirus Act 2020: equality impact assessment – DHSC 

Sets out the equality analysis undertaken for the Coronavirus Bill to enable ministers to fulfil the requirements placed on them by the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): reducing risk in adult social care – DHSC 

A framework for how adult social care employers should assess and reduce risk to their workforce during the coronavirus pandemic. It covers: the risk assessment process; having conversations with workers who are identified as being at increased risk; measures employers could put in place, both across the workforce and for individuals; and useful guidance and resources.

DNARs and COVID-19§

Protect, respect, connect – decisions about living and dying well during COVID-19 – CQC

CQC’s review of use of DNARCPR during COVID-19. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were concerns that ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ (DNACPR) decisions were being made without involving people, or their families and/or carers if so wished, and were being applied to groups of people, rather than taking into account each person’s individual circumstances.

DNACPR and people with a learning disability letter from the NHS – 4 March 2021 – NHSE&I

Letter sent by NHSE&I to NHS commissioners and healthcare providers.

The key principle is that each person is an individual whose needs and preferences must be taken account of individually. Blanket policies are inappropriate whether due to medical condition, disability, or age. This is particularly important in regard to DNACPR orders, which should only ever be made on an individual basis and in consultation with the individual or their family. The NHS is clear that people should not have a DNACPR on their record just because they have a learning disability, autism or both. This is unacceptable. The terms “learning disability” and “Down’s syndrome” should never be a reason for issuing a DNACPR order or be used to describe the underlying, or only, cause of death. Learning disabilities are not fatal conditions.

Joint statement on advance care planning – March 2020 – CPA and partners

This is a joint statement from the British Medical Association, Care Provider Alliance, Care Quality Commission, and Royal College of General Practice.

The importance of having a personalised care plan in place, especially for older people, people who are frail or have other serious conditions has never been more important than it is now during the Covid 19 Pandemic. 

Where a person has capacity, as defined by the Mental Capacity Act, this advance care plan should always be discussed with them directly.

End of life care, deaths and bereavement§

Managing symptoms (inc. in end-of-life care) - 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.

End of life care and COVID-19 support – 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.

Steps to take following the death of a person who worked in adult social care in England – DHSC 

Actions for local authorities and social care providers following a coronavirus (COVID-19) related death of an employee or volunteer in adult social care. The guidance includes advice on communicating with family members and colleagues, and reporting to the Health and Safety Executive, Department of Health and Social Care and the Care Quality Commission.

Bereavement resources for social care workers, leaders and managers – DHSC 

Information and resources to help social care staff deal with bereavement, including the loss of family, colleagues and people who use services. 

Verification of deaths – DHSC 

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.

Guidance for managing a funeral – DHSC and Public Health England    

This advice is designed to assist people who are involved in managing or organising a funeral related to a death from any cause during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Protocol for care homes and funeral directors – 22 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§

LFD outbreak testing in care homes – 23 March 2024 - UKHSA

From1 April 2024, UKHSA will no longer supply COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests to carehomes in Englandfor use in the event of a suspected outbreak of COVID-19.

The currentorder portal for outbreak testingclosed on8 March.

Due to the high vaccination coverage within the care home population,infection prevention and control measuresand access toCOVID-19 treatments, suspected COVID-19 outbreaks will now be managed like other acute respiratory infections in England.

From 1 April 2024, outbreak management for COVID-19 will move in line with otheracute respiratory infections (ARIs). Care homes are asked to use this guidance to manage COVID-19 outbreaks in their settings. Where appropriate, care homes should contactHealth Protection Teams(HPTs) or other local partners who may, as part of outbreak management, undertake a risk-based assessment to advise whether testing using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests is required. 

UKHSA is due to share more information on outbreak policy and revised testing approaches in due course.


COVID-19 treatments in care homes – 13 March 2024 - UKHSA

Care homes will be able to access free LFD tests for their residents who are eligible for COVID-19 treatments. These LFD tests will be provided by National Health Service England (NHSE) andareavailable fromyour local pharmacy

For further details on access to COVID-19 treatments; please seeAcute Respiratory Infection (ARI) GuidanceorNHS-Treatments for COVID-19.

If care homes have any queries, please contact 119 for assistance. 

Essential Care Giver role and visiting in care homes – 17 September 2021 – CPA

Recording and presentation from CPA webinar on how to support visiting and the role of the Essential Care Giver in care homes.

View a recording of the webinar

Read the webinar presentation

Vaccination as condition of deployment: Q&A – 26 August 2021 – CPA

This document is based on a Care Provider Alliance (CPA) webinar on the implications and implementation of COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of deployment in care homes in England. The webinar, which included contributions from the Care Quality Commission and NHS England, was held on 26 August 2021. The answers provided here are based on CQC and NHSE responses. It will be updated as we receive additional information. Please keep checking this web page for updated versions.

Vaccination as condition of deployment: webinar presentation – 26 August 2021 – CPA

Presentation from CPA webinar, including contributions from CQC and NHS England.

What does a fair pay settlement for social care look like?

Panel discussion from #BetterPay4SocialCare including Liz Kendal MP, SeeAbility, Real Living Wage Foundation and others

Book webinar 2-3pm, 8 Sept 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes – DHSC, CQC, Public Health England and NHS England

This guidance is for care homes, local health protection teams, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and registered providers of accommodation for people who need personal or nursing care. It sets out how to admit and care for residents safely and protect care home staff.

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes – Public Health England 

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

Care homes and COVID-19: advice and best practice – SCIE

Guidance, resources and best practice advice for care homes and care staff during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings – Public Health England

Guidance on the management of staff, patients and residents who have been exposed to COVID-19.  

Enhanced Health in Care Homes: guide for care homes – CPA

A guide, developed by CPA with NHSEI, on the EHCH programme.  This document explains what the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) programme is, how to make it work in the best way possible for people living in care homes and the people who care for them, and what everyone involved can expect from it. It aims to reassure care home manager that being actively involved in the EHCH programme should not require a significant change to the way you work, instead, you should see increased support into the home from health and care services.

Health and Safety Executive spots checks - HSE

The Health and Safety Executive is continuing to carry out spot checks and inspections by calling, visiting and inspecting care homes in all areas to ensure they are working to minimise the spread of coronavirus and to protect workers while they are caring for residents.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): reuse of medicines in a care home or hospice – DHSC, NHSE & I

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

Arrangements for visiting out of the care home  - DHSC

Sets out how care homes can support residents on visits outside of the care home.

Visiting arrangements in care homes –DHSC

Sets out how care homes can support families and visitors to visit residents.

See also CPA’s Visitors’ Protocol.

Resources on visiting: Partners in Care – National Care Forum

NCF and partners have launched a suite of resources to support the new visiting guidance. This new resource suite is entitled ‘Partners in Care’ and provides a pledge, charter and useful resources to facilitate visiting.

Right 2 Visit website – Right2Home Campaign

The #Right2Home campaign has created the website to guide families and close friends having problems during COVID-19 visiting loved ones who are autistic and/or have learning disabilities. The guidance covers inpatient mental health settings, care homes and supported living. It includes example letters to write to providers and explains how to take legal action.

Feedback and ideas can be sent to Liliane Broschart at

COVID-19 Oximetry @Home Services for care home residents – CPA

This document brings together existing guidance about oximetry into a single document with some extra detail in terms of what this means for people who live and work in care homes. The main target audiences are care home managers and staff.

Multilingual versions of video for people using pulse oximeters  - NHSE

An NHS video showing people how to use a pulse oximeter at home including those living in care homes, is now available in multiple languages as part of the Health and Care video library. This includes 11 of the most commonly spoken languages in England after English. The video is for people with suspected or confirmed coronavirus, who have been asked to monitor their oxygen levels at home using a pulse oximeter and are being supported by COVID Oximetry @home or COVID virtual ward services.

LTC responses to Covid-19 – International Long-Term Care Policy Network

Resources to support community and institutional long-term care responses to Covid-19. 

Extra care and supported living§

Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19) - DHSC

Guidance for providers of supported living settings.

Home care and community settings§

Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care - DHSC

Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the coronavirus outbreak. Updated to add guidance on vaccinations and the NHS capacity tracker; and to amend the definition of 'home care'.

COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care in England – Public Health England

A resource for those working in domiciliary care providing information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Day services and COVID-19: briefing – LGA and CPA

This joint CPA and Local Government Association briefing directs social care commissioners and providers towards useful resources to consider when looking to provide or support the safe functioning and re-opening of day services in their local area, and to protect the future viability of those services.

Providing care and support at home to people who have had COVID-19 – SCIE

This quick guide will help home care workers and personal assistants (PAs) to provide care and support to people who have left hospital after having COVID-19. It explains what to expect as these people return to their lives at home under new circumstances. Involvement of families, friends and personal networks should be central to providing appropriate care and support.

Delivering safe, face-to-face adult day care – SCIE

This guide aims to support day care managers, social workers, commissioners and providers, to restart or continue activities. It is focused on community-based day services, day centres (with and without personal care), including specialised day centre environments, and those with outdoor spaces.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for adult day care centre workers and service users

Sets out how eligible adult day care centres in England can order, test and register regular PCR and lateral flow tests for all staff and service users.