COVID-19 Policy

About this guidance
The guidance is issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health Wales (PHW), Public Health Agency (PHA) Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS)/National Services Scotland, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England as official guidance.
Whilst this guidance seeks to ensure a consistent and resilient UK wide approach, some differences in operational details and organisational responsibilities may apply in Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland.
Please note that this guidance is of a general nature and that an employer should consider the specific conditions of each individual place of work and comply with all applicable legislation, including the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
Previous Guidance: Version 3.2 18 June 2020. ‘COVID-19: Infection Prevention and Control Guidance’ Archived 20 August 2020. This guidance has been superseded by this publication.
New Guidance: Version 1 ‘COVID-19 Guidance for the Remobilisation of services within health and care settings: infection prevention and control (IPC) recommendations’ August 20 2020.
The IPC principles in this document apply to all health and care settings, including acute, diagnostics, independent sector, mental health and learning disabilities, primary care, care homes, maternity and paediatrics (this list is not exhaustive).
NB: This guidance does NOT apply to adult social care settings in England. Adult social care providers in England should refer to existing guidance already in place. DHSC/PHE will continuously review this guidance and update as needed.
This IPC guidance will be updated in line with service need and as the evidence evolves. The administrative measures outlined in the guidance are consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) guidance.
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First published 20 August 2020 (Version 1.0) PHE publications gateway number: GW-1502

COVID-19: infection prevention and control guidance
Key messages
This guidance supersedes the COVID-19 UK IPC guidance (18 June 2020).
Local and national prevalence and incidence data will be used to guide returning services as advised by Country specific/public health organisations.
Patients/Individuals treatment, care and support to be managed in 3 COVID-19 pathways:
• High risk: There is no change in recommendations for IPC or for the use of PPE by staff when managing patients/individuals who have, or are likely to have, COVID-19
• Medium risk: This includes patients/individuals who have no symptoms of COVID-19 but do not have a COVID-19 SARS- CoV-2 PCR test result.
• Low risk: Patients/individuals with no symptoms and a negative COVID-19 SARS- CoV-2 PCR test who have self-isolated prior to admission for example following NICE guidance
Sessional use of single use personal protective equipment (PPE) items has been minimised and only applies to extended use of facemasks for healthcare workers.
The use of face masks (for staff) or face coverings1 (England and Scotland) is recommended in addition to social distancing and hand hygiene for staff, patients/individuals and visitors in both clinical and non-clinical areas to further redcue the risk of transmission.
Physical distancing of 2 metres is considered standard practice in all health and care settings.
Patients/individuals on a low risk pathway require Standard Infection Prevention Control Precautions for surgery or procedures.
The IPC principles in this document apply to all health and care settings including acute, diagnostics, independent sector, mental health and learning disabilities, primary care, care homes, care at home, maternity and paediatrics (this list is not exhaustive).
1 You must wear a face covering by law in some public places unless you are exempt from wearing a face covering due to your age, health or other condition.
Uncontrolled if printed. 3

COVID-19: infection prevention and control guidance
NB. This guidance does NOT apply to Adult Social Care settings in England. Adult social care providers in England should refer to existing guidance already in place.DHSC/PHE will continuously review this guidance and update as needed.
The IPC measures recommended are underpinned by the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) practice guide and associated literature reviews. NHS England is using this an opportunity to introduce and adopt the NICPM as set out in the “UK Five-year Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance National Action Plan (2019-2024).”