As announced by the Minister of Health, the Department is taking forward a Rapid Learning Initiative into the transmission of Covid-19 into and within Care Homes to identify learning to date in advance of a predicted second surge of the virus.
In his Press Release of 24 June 2020 the Minister said: “In the past number of months we have seen a wide range of measures introduced by care homes to protect their residents and new learning continues to be identified and applied. It’s important that we now work together to identify those measures that had the most positive impact. This will help us understand what our health and social care system needs to do ahead of any future wave.”
The Initiative will be taken forward through a Task and Finish Group established by the Chief Nursing Officer.
Four Subgroups have been established by the Steering Group. Working with key stakeholders the Group will consider the following in Care Homes.
- The experience of residents, their families and staff in Care Homes.
- Symptom monitoring and intervention and care planning.
- Infection Prevention Control.
- Physical distancing of residents.
The Chief Nursing Officer has written to the Care Home Sector and the Care Home Support Teams within each of the five Trusts informing them of the work of the Initiative and seeking their participation.
How to get involved?
- For residents in care homes, their relatives and all staff, aiming to capture lived experiences over the last few months. Please visit the 10,000 More Voices website.
- For care home managers/providers, aiming to capture information around preparing for and managing the period from February to June 2020. Please visit the NI Direct website.
The definition of Care Homes for the purpose of this review is those registered with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority as a nursing home or residential care home, in accordance with the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003.