In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have captured some of your most frequently asked questions for care providers and staff across Wales.
We understand and appreciate the difficulty of the current situation and the impact it is having on many care providers and staff across Wales. We hope the FAQs below answer some of your questions, and we will be updating these regularly as the situation progresses.
Where can providers find the latest guidance and information on COVID-19?
Providers are encouraged to visit the Public Health Wales website for the latest information. We also encourage you to visit the coronavirus (COVID-19) area of our website, as it holds useful links and information.
Social Care Wales and Welsh Government have a lot of resources to guide you. Also, as part of its working programme for supporting care homes to improve the quality of care for older people across Wales, Improvement Cymru have developed the following as a single point of access for information relating to care homes.
What COVID-19 notifications are required by CIW?
You should notify CIW of confirmed cases of COVID-19 of people using the service, and members of staff (and in the case of childminders, other family members living at the premises).
Domiciliary Support Services employing large numbers of staff can notify us about multiple members of staff in a single notification. Such notifications must not be less frequently than weekly. We would expect to be informed immediately of issues regarding the quality of the care provided or risks to people receiving the service.
Please use CIW Online to notify us and report as you would any infectious disease. If your childcare and play service (including childminders) is now closed please inform us, the relevant notification can be found under “Leadership and Management” on CIW Online.
More information can be found on the Public Health Wales website.
Have the requirements to have DBS changed?
The Disclosure and Barring Service have announced temporary arrangements to provide DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists, free-of-charge for health care and social care workers who are recruited in connection with the provision of care and treatment of coronavirus.
These arrangements will provide employers with the option to appoint new recruits into regulated activity with adults and/or children, as long as the individuals are not barred and appropriate measures are put in place to manage the individual until the full DBS check is received.
What do we do if we cannot obtain sufficient staff to safely meet people’s needs?
It is important to have a business continuity plan in place; if having explored your options, you are worried about maintaining safe staffing levels, you should alert the local authority (and health board if they also commission care) as early as possible. Registered nursing support must be provided where people have been assessed as having nursing needs. Decisions should be risk assessed and taken in the best interests of people receiving care and should be clearly recorded, including steps taken.
The safety and well-being of people remains our priority. We review all concerns we receive and will take a proportionate and considered response. If we believe a provider has not taken appropriate measures to mitigate risk, we will consider enforcement action.
If providers have any concerns about their ability to deliver the service safely, they are urged to contact us to discuss these with us.
Specific questions relating to those care services registered under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act (RISCA)
What is CIW's expectation in relation to Responsible Individual's (RI) oversight now Alert levels have reduced?
It is especially important for RIs to maintain oversight of services during the pandemic, monitoring quality and outcomes for people. RIs should ensure they find ways of speaking to people receiving services about their experience.
What is the guidance about people living in a care home or supported living receiving visitors?
Staying connected with friends and family is really important for people’s well-being and must be supported. CIW expects flexible arrangement to be in place to encourage and enable visiting. There is no limit on the number of visitors a person can receive and named essential visitors may continue to visit inside the care home even during a COVID outbreak. Where we have evidence of providers not following Welsh Government guidance and being overly restrictive, we will consider whether regulations are being breached and may take action where they are.
Specific questions relating childcare and play services
If a childminder’s household member tests positive should they close their service?
If a member of a childminder’s household tests positive for coronavirus, childminders are advised they are able to offer their service where measures to reduce the risk of transmission are put in place. Any staff member/childminder who has a positive result should not attend the setting or provide a childminding service.
The Childcare and Playwork COVID-19 Guidance(external link) has been amended to reflect recent changes to testing and self-isolation.