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Coronavirus: Infection Prevention and Control


Good infection prevention and control is central to reducing and delaying the spread of coronavirus. Key infection control resources are highlighted here.

Related pages: Routine testing of staff is a key element of infection prevention and control. See our separate section on Testing. See also our section on Accessing PPE supplies.


Funding for infection prevention and control§

Adult Social Care Infection Control and Testing Fund – updated 8th April 2021- DHSC

Sets out the measures that the new £341m Infection Control and Testing Fund will support, including distribution of funds, conditions on funds and reporting requirements.

Due to the success of the Infection Control Fund and the Rapid Testing Fund in supporting care providers to reduce transmission and re-enabling close contact visiting, these funding streams have been consolidated and extended until June 2021.

This is a new grant, with separate conditions to the original Infection Control Fund, the extension to the Infection Control Fund and the original Rapid Testing Fund.

Updated 'Adult Social Care Infection Control and Testing Fund ring-fenced grant 2021: guidance', and annexes C and E of the grant documents, to reflect that, at a national level, the funding is split on a 70/30 basis for infection prevention and control funding and 60/40 for rapid testing funding. However, at a council level, there will be some variation in the split reflecting the nature of care in that area. 


Minister’s letter to care providers on Infection Control and Testing Fund – 1 April 2021 – DHSC

Helen Whatley’s letter to care providers states: “It is also vital that even when many residents and staff have been vaccinated and despite the lower levels of infections in the community, care providers and all their staff must continue to follow the guidance on the use of PPE, the regular testing regime and the wider infection prevention and control measures that we know are so important to reduce the risks of Covid transmission... I would also urge all providers to make sure all those you care for who can be vaccinated have been, and to support all your staff to be vaccinated.”


Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund: LA spending on ICF1 - Updated 25 March 2021 - DHSC

ICF information updated to show May - September 2020 LA spending spreadsheet


Adult social care infection control fund: round 2 – updated 17 March 2021 – DHSC

Sets out the infection control measures that the infection control fund supports, including information on the distribution of funds and reporting requirements.


CPA Briefing - Infection Control Fund 2: reporting to local authorities – Updated 6 October 2020 - CPA

This CPA briefing note provides further information and examples to support care providers’ reports to local authorities on ICF2 funding to end of March 2021. It is being reviewed following the announcement of a third fund to June 2021.

 CPA response to Winter Plan – 18 September 2020

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) welcomes the government’s promise of extra funding as part of the Infection Control Fund and the announcement of the new Adult Social Care Winter Plan.


New plan to help protect care homes from coronavirus over winter – 18 September 2020 – DHSC

A new adult social care winter plan to support care homes through winter including free PPE and £546 million Infection Control Fund.


All settings§

Infection prevention and control guidance and resources - Updated 15 April 2021 - Public Health England

Range of Public Health England guidance and resources for health and care staff on infection prevention and control during coronavirus outbreak. There are also some downloadable posters.


COVID-19: guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home settings – Updated 22 March 2021

Added information on isolation and IPC measures for asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals.


Infection control during COVID-19 – Updated 9 March 2021 – SCIE

Resources include a quick guide, which sets out best practice to remain safe and prevent coronavirus from spreading, and a free e-learning course about infection control for frontline staff.


COVID-19: ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus - 4 March 2021 - DHSC

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


Restricting workforce movement between care homes and other care settings – Updated 3 March - DHSC

Guidance for care home providers on limiting staff movement between settings in all but exceptional circumstances to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Updated guidance on retesting within 90 days of a previous positive test in the ‘further guidance on testing’ section.


Guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus – Updated 4 Feb 2021 – Public Health England

Those handling bodies should be aware that there is likely to be a continuing risk of infection.


Infection Prevention and Control compliance assessment tool – 21 August 2020 – NCF

The National Care Forum (NCF), Quality Compliance Systems (QCS) and Standards Wise International have developed an audit tool that supports organisations to assess their own practices, and prepare evidence for audit which meets CQC requirements and also conforms to international standards.

The tool is structured around eight questions and prompts that CQC inspectors will use to assess infection prevention and control procedures in all care settings in England from September.


Infection prevention and control guidance and checklist – Updated April 2020 – CPA

CPA guidance on infection prevention and control to protect the health and well-being of service users in care settings, and to reduce the effect of an infection outbreak on service provision. Effective infection prevention and control depends on early recognition and timely intervention. This in turn depends on surveillance of infection.  This document should be used in conjunction with national guidance and local policies.

CPA has also published a helpful checklist that you could use to help you prevent and control the spread of infection in your care setting. This document should be used in conjunction with national guidance and local policies. It should also be used to complement the guidance on Infection prevention and control.


Care homes§

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes – Updated 16 April 2021 – PHE

Guidance for those working in care homes providing information on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19. Change made: 6 April: Introduced recommendations to change PPE after each episode of personal care, and new recommendations around use of eye protection when delivering personal care within 2 metres. Update of 16 April reinstated 6 April updates following user feedback. 


Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes – updated 1 April 2021 – DHSC, CQC, Public Health England, NHS England

Guidance on how to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak.


Staff movement: a risk management framework for care homes – Updated 16 February 2021 – CPA

This Care Provider Alliance briefing outlines a risk management approach care homes can use to manage restrictions on staff movements. The briefing relates to CQC registered care homes with or without nursing in England.


COVID-19 waste management standard operating procedures – Updated 20 January 2021 – NHS England and NHS Improvement

This document sets out the waste management approach for all healthcare facilities including primary care facilities and testing facilities in England and Wales during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Infections and outbreaks in care homes: Vivaldi Study 1 – 22 October 2020 – Vivaldi Research Team

The VIVALDI-1 survey was set up before Capacity Tracker was widely used. It collected information on the number of staff and residents in each care home and the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections. The study found that infections and outbreaks were less likely in care homes that:

  • Paid statutory or more than statutory sickness pay to staff (compared to homes that did not provide sickness pay at all)
  • Made sure staff only worked with either infected or uninfected residents, not both
  • Did not employ bank or agency nurses or carers
  • Had higher numbers of staff per resident.


Home care§

COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care in England – Updated 6 April 2021 - PHE

A resource for those working in domiciliary care providing information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Introduced recommendations to change PPE after each episode of personal care, and new recommendations around use of eye protection when delivering personal care within 2 metres.

Using PPE§

See also our section on PPE supplies.

COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) - Updated 15 April 2021- PHE

Guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19. Sustained community transmission is occurring across the UK.


COVID-19: personal protective equipment use for aerosol generating procedure- Updated 21 August 2020 - PHE

Guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for aerosol generating procedures (AGPs).


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) illustrated guide for community and social care settings – Updated 31 July 2020 - PHE

This resource outlines personal protective equipment (PPE) advice for health and social care workers working in the community.


Inspection and IPC§

Infection prevention and control in care homes – Updated 10 March 2021 - CQC 

Includes a list of questions and prompts that inspectors use to look at how well staff and people living in care homes are protected by infection prevention and control (IPC) - key line of enquiry S5.

The questions help them to gather information about the service's strengths. They also help them to understand if there are any gaps or concerns about infection prevention and control. Where there are, they aim to signpost the service to resources that could help.


CQC inspection of designated settings - 26 February 2021 - CQC

For inspections of designated settings, there are specific elements CQC are checking for in the environment to ensure infection control can be maintained. They will be checking this using their Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) framework. They will check if services are physically separating this group of residents, whether a dedicated workforce is in place and ensuring there’s an appropriate emphasis on ventilation.


CPA welcomes focus on good infection prevention and control practice in CQC report - 19 November 2020 – CPA

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) welcomes the Care Quality Commission’s latest report on infection prevention and control during the coronavirus pandemic.  Speaking about the report, Kathy Roberts, CPA chair said: “CQC’s very timely report provides further evidence and examples to support continuous improvement in this area and we look forward to working with CQC on this crucial issue for care providers, their staff and the people they support.”


Infection Prevention and Control inspections report – 18 November 2020 - CQC

In response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic CQC have introduced Infection Prevention and Control inspections in order to share good practice, uphold high quality care and keep people in care safe.

As this report shows most care providers that CQC have inspected have shown they are responding to the challenges of infection prevention control well, under these extraordinary circumstances.