Table of Contents
- The Health Protection Team (HPT)
- Infection prevention and control
- Outbreak management
- Outbreak - process for notifying HPT
- Notifiable diseases
- Communicable disease
- Care Home testing
- Domiciliary Care testing
- Extra Care and Supported Living testing
- Care home visiting
- Care home visiting – professionals
- Management of those exposed in health and social care settings
- Lessons learned
- Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19
- Emergency planning and response for education, childcare, and children’s social care settings
- Nursing and residential homes
The Health Protection Team aims to protect people living in Lincolnshire against threats and hazards to their health.
Our normal operating hours that apply are Monday to Friday - 8am to 6pm, excluding bank holidays.
Please continue to report cases to us in the usual way, either by calling 01522 552993 or emailing email@example.com.
Out of hours please contact UKHSA on 0344 2254 524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Screening is a way of finding out if people are at higher risk of a health problem, so that early treatment can be offered, or information given to help them make informed decisions.
The Health Protection Team will monitor and seek assurance that the screening programmes are implemented in a way that meets local health needs.
Infection prevention and control is a key health priority and there are requirements that must be met under the Health & Social Care Act (2008) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The Health Protection Team can offer support and guidance to commissioners and providers of health and adult social care in Lincolnshire.
We will help to ensure the appropriate IPC systems and processes are in place to meet the required national standards and that they are able to provide evidence of good quality, clean and safe care.
An outbreak is defined as an incident of two or more cases of an infectious disease that are linked in time, place or association of person.
Locally we are responsible for tracking and monitoring incidents of infectious disease outbreaks across the county, such as influenza (flu), Norovirus and Coronavirus.
All providers of health and social care, schools and other childcare settings have a responsibility to notify us of any outbreaks.
We support services to undertake risk assessments and provide advice and support to help a setting manage the outbreak.
For further information, view our outbreak management information resource pack.
A notifiable disease is something that needs to be reported to UKHSA in order for them to detect possible outbreaks of disease and epidemics as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the registered medical practitioner, such as a GP to notify of any such diseases.
We can offer advice and guidance on some precautionary Infection Control measures to take.
Health Protection is a term used to encompass a set of activities within public health. It is defined as protecting individual, groups and populations from single cases of infectious disease, incidents and outbreaks, and non-infectious environmental hazards such as chemicals and radiation (RCN 2019).
The Health Protection team will be on hand to offer support and guidance on a range of Health Protection issues to the people of Lincolnshire.
Information on Care Home testing can be found on the COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care government webpage.
All domiciliary care providers will be able to sign up for weekly testing of staff. The service involves:
- weekly testing of all homecare workers in adult social care, this includes all carers in domiciliary care organisations
- agency managers should order tests every 28 days for their homecare workers
- four tests are delivered for each homecare worker to the agency, for a 28-day testing cycle
- each homecare worker should be given four test kits every 28 days
- every seven days a care worker should take a test, register it online, and return it by post between Thursday and Sunday
- homecare workers will receive their results in two to four days by email and text message (SMS)
Re-testing within 90 days of a positive PCR
Anyone who has tested positive via PCR should be exempt from routine retesting by PCR or LFDs within a period of 90 days from their initial symptom onset or test date (if asymptomatic). The individual should return to the regular LFD and PCR regime once 90 days has passed.
However, if someone develops new COVID-19 symptoms within this time they should be retested immediately using PCR.
If a person becomes symptomatic or is re-tested by PCR after 90 days from their initial illness and is found to be PCR positive, this should be considered as a possible new infection. They would need to self-isolate again and their contacts traced.
Information on Extra Care and Supported Living testing can be found on the COVID-19 testing in adult social care government webpage.
Information on care home visiting can be found on the COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care government webpage.
Information on professionals visiting care homes can be found on the COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care government webpage.
This is intended for staff and managers in health and social care settings and includes:
- guidance relating to health and social care staff if they develop COVID-19 symptoms, receive a positive test result or are identified as a contact of a COVID-19 case
- guidance on isolation requirements for patients and residents in health and social care settings after contact with COVID-19 cases
- guidance on repeat testing for COVID-19 for staff, patients and residents in health and social care settings
Further information is available on the management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings.
There is separate guidance on investigation and clinical management of possible cases available.
To minimise transmission during an outbreak, access to communal areas could be controlled and limited. Hand hygiene should be performed on entrance and exit and all touch point cleaned between uses such as kettles / doors / drawers / microwave and fridge and light switches. Apply a new Fluid-Repellent (Type IIR) Surgical Mask when breaks are finished.
Sharing of items with colleagues should be avoided to reduce risks of transmission. This includes sharing of food such as biscuits from a shared tin, buffet style food, staff making drinks for each other, sharing lighters, etc.
Research shows that being in a room with fresh air can reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19 particles by over 70%. If tolerated leave windows open continuously, alternatively open windows for short, sharp bursts of 10 to 15 minutes regularly throughout the day. This is to remove any infectious particles lingering in the room.
COVID-19 transmission has also been linked with staff moving between areas. Desks in all office areas could be dedicated to individual use during and outbreak, cleaned between every use and items not shared between colleagues such as stationary and telephones. Where this cannot be avoided, cleaning between uses should be performed.
Keep your environment clutter-free to facilitate effective cleaning and utilise your furniture to promote social distancing during an outbreak.
Don’t forget the less obvious items requiring regular cleaning, examples include: Handheld electrical devices, stationary, photocopiers, keypads, keys and pull cords.
Staff may consider themselves to have a work bubble similar to a household bubble, but there is no such thing. Social distancing measures and the appropriate use of new Fluid-Repellent (Type IIR) Surgical Mask should be maintained at all times during an outbreak within the workplace, with use of additional PPE (aprons, gloves, eye protection) when delivering care.
Remember, a mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Ensure distancing measures are maintained at all times when required as well as wearing a FRSM.
Information on infection prevention and control for COVID-19 can be found on the Chapter 2: infection prevention and control government webpage.
Information on emergency planning and response for education, childcare, and children’s social care settings can be found on the Emergency planning and response for education, childcare, and children’s social care settings government webpage.
For supportive resources and information, as well as outbreak management advice and IPC meeting dates and minutes, please click on Nursing and residential homes.