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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Residents returning to care homes following admission or visit to hospital

COVID-19 has brought many challenges to supporting vulnerable individuals within ASC settings and it remains vital that providers continue to provide safe and responsive care and treatment to all individuals within their care during this time.

This local guidance helps to provide an overview for managers for when residents are required to attend hospital either for routine appointments or after an hospital admission.

This guidance is supported by the Admissions and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19. Care homes should refer to this guidance for the most up-to-date information.

1.1 Care home residents returning from hospital
When a resident has been in hospital for a lengthy admission prior to the resident being discharged from the hospital, they must have undergone a PCR test within the hospital 48hrs prior to their discharge.
If a resident is returning home, they will no longer need to self-isolate ALONG as they are fully vaccinated, had no contact with a COVID-19 positive individual and subject to enhanced testing.
(Fully vaccinated is defined as having received both doses of an MHRA-approved vaccination, with 14 days having elapsed since the final dose).

1.2 A resident returning from a hospital following an overnight stay for elective care
If a resident has attended hospital for a planned procedure that requires them to stay overnight, they do not need to self-isolate along as they are fully vaccinated, HAD no contact with a COVID-19 positive individual and a negative PCR test.
If the resident is unvaccinated following a stay in hospital they should isolate for 14 days upon returning to the care home.

1.3 A resident returning to a care home following emergency admission to hospital
If a resident has been admitted into hospital under an emergency admission and is now able to be discharged, the hospital will need to undertake a PCR test 48 hrs before discharge.
When the resident returns to the home they will need to self-isolate for 14 days on their return. This self-isolation must be within their bedroom under strict PPE protocols.

1.4 A resident who returns following a hospital outpatients appointment
If a resident attends a hospital outpatients appointment they are not required to self-isolate on their return if they are fully vaccinated.
If the resident is unvaccinated, they will need to isolate for 14 days on their return. They will however be able to receive visits from their designated essential carer during this time.

1.5 What if I am unable to isolate an unvaccinated resident safely?
Visits out to medical and other professional appointments should be supported for vaccinated or unvaccinated residents.

If it is difficult for the person to isolate in their room, a risk-based approach for determining if the resident requires isolation upon admission should be undertaken with health protection views sought. Decisions should be based on whether the resident had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection while outside the home and if there was consistent adherence to IPC practices in healthcare settings and during transportation. Residents who leave the home should be supported to follow recommended IPC practices.

When self-isolation is required, we recommend a 14-day self-isolation period for all care home residents because they are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. During their 14-day self-isolation period, all residents (who both are well enough and wish to) should still be supported to leave their room to go outdoors if the care home has outside space, without restarting their isolation period. Outdoors in this context means within the boundaries of the care home grounds.


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