Key elements of infection, prevention and control (IPC) and regular testing should remain in place until March 2022, a report into the adult social care winter plan for England has concluded.
The report, Adult social care in England: COVID-19 A review of the 2020 to 2021 winter plan and subsequent actions – what more should be done? highlights two ongoing recommendations for social care:
Given the uncertainty around future risks in light of vaccine efficacy and variants of concern, all key elements of IPC should remain in place until such time as the clinical advice is that they can be removed. The associated financial support from government should continue until it is safe to reduce the measures and the cost.
A regular testing regime should continue for 2021 to 2022, whilst developing a strategy for being able to step down and step back up testing intensity (as the level of transmission allows), as driven by emerging evidence, infection prevalence and variants of concern. Work should continue to develop a clear strategy to achieve this.
Report author and social care sector COVID-19 support taskforce lead Sir David Pearson said: “In the adult social care (COVID-19) winter plan, it was stated that vital lessons had been learnt about the virus and how best to fight it. There was no doubt that there would be many more lessons to learn. That statement is still true today and will continue to be so in the months ahead, as our knowledge about the virus continues to change and evolve.”