If your service is not following national IPC guidance this could mean that you are potentially breaking your insurance cover terms.
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Implementing Infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance is essential to ensure that people who use health and social care services receive safe and effective care. Effective prevention and control of infection must be part of everyday practice and be applied consistently by everyone.
Not following national IPC guidance indicates that your service may not be following the Health and Safety Act; The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 (H&SCA 2008) and therefore potentially breaking your insurance cover terms, as well as opening yourself up to other areas of liability as the H&SCA 2008 and regulations are law and must be complied with.
Here are the areas you will need to prove compliance of following the guidance:
|Safeguarding||Not wearing a mask could be raised as a safeguarding concern, as the individuals in your care are being put at higher risk due to the care delivery. There are no exemptions for face masks in care settings and fabric/cloth face coverings, eye protection alone or visors are NOT a replacement. When wearing a face mask ensure it is worn correctly covering both the mouth and nose. As a manger you need to make sure you are observing practice and addressing improper practice promptly.|
|Health and Safety Act||Not following correct PPE and IPC guidance will go against the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) which states the duties employers have towards employees and members of the public as well as those that employees have to themselves and each other. There is no requirement under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) to report incidents of disease or deaths of members of the public, patients, care home residents or service users from COVID-19.The reporting requirements relating to cases of, or deaths from, COVID-19 under RIDDOR apply only to occupational exposure, that is, as a result of a person’s work.
You should only make a report under RIDDOR when one of the following circumstances applies:
|Insurance||The care provider will be opening themselves up to breach of insurance or future liability issues if another staff member or service user contracts COVID-19 following a work exposure and having been in contact with the individual who is not wearing the correct PPE at the right time.|
|Regulation and Monitoring||Many providers will be regulated by CQC and undergo local monitoring by commissioners whereby you are asked to provide evidence of compliance in IPC practices, including staff competencies and auditing. Those providers unable to provide necessary evidence could affect the registration requirements of the service which could potentially impact on performance ratings and lead to improvement notices.|
What can you do? Ensure your service is following all the correct guidance and that your service following all governance and auditing processes to prove correct practice.