1.1 This guidance is aimed at local authorities, Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) and registered providers, who support and deliver care and support to people in their own homes. It aims to support measures to prevent and prepare for infection in people receiving care at home or housing support. It should be read in conjunction with infection control guidance developed by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) for Social or Community Care and Residential Settings.
1.2 Approximately 67,000 people in Scotland are currently in receipt of formal care at home services. Such services may include personal care and / or a wide range of practical services which assist individuals to live as independently as possible in the community. Support may include housework, shopping, laundry and/or paying bills with regular visits from a care at home worker and social care, health and housing services and /or telecare. In some cases support will be provided by a Personal Assistant employed by the individual.
1.3 Many of those accessing these services will be at greater risk if they were to contract COVID-19 due to conditions such as frailty, cognitive impairment including dementia, physical disability, neurological and other conditions, and learning difficulties or multiple comorbidities. For many, hospital admission may be inappropriate – this means additional support at home may be necessary for the acutely unwell.
1.4 Provision of care and support in people’s home is a high priority service, in that most care and support cannot be deferred to another day without putting individuals at risk of harm. It is therefore vital that partners work together to prioritise these services. This guidance will support you in doing this.