Designated setting guidance issued for COVID-19 discharges

Designated care home setting guidance has been published for COVID-19 discharges in England.

The guidance sets out:

  • advice on setting up designated settings, and information for local authorities and providers
  • information on discharge arrangements, and supporting individuals to ensure that their care needs and preferences are accounted for
  • additional advice on data collection, funding, visiting, and infection prevention and control (IPC) requirements.

Local authorities in England are urged to locate and designate sufficient settings as quickly as possible to meet potential demand across England over winter. The intention of the designated setting guidance is that each authority should have at least one designated setting or suitable alternative premises (for example, NHS community hospital beds). 

Each ‘designated setting’ will be expected to have the policies, procedures, equipment, staffing levels, appropriate skill mix, and training in place to maintain infection control and support the care needs of residents. This will include physical separation of COVID-19 positive people, and a designated staff team. According to the designated setting guidance, care home providers must also ensure they have sufficient insurance cover to provide the services and can provide a separate staff team with limited staff movement. Providers should ensure that there are appropriate arrangements in place to support staff, including with managing health and wellbeing. Read the guidance on the health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce.

More information on the proposal for staff movement regulation following consultation will follow shortly, the DHSC has said, including how this relates to designated settings.

The costs of the designated settings will be met through the £588 million discharge funding until the end of March 2021. CCGs have been told not reduce commitments for Discharge to Assess (D2A), which remains the overall policy governing hospital discharge, with the ambition that 95 per cent of people are discharged home, with support where necessary.

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