Analysis by the CQC has found no clear relationship between the number of COVID deaths in care homes and overall ratings.
While the research shows there was a slight bias towards care homes rated Requires Improvement, the CQC found “no clear correlation” between the number of deaths and overall rating.
The findings were published in a new report assessing infection control practices at care homes during the pandemic.
The CQC said that most of the 440 providers it inspected during August were facing challenges posed by COVID-19 well.
The report looked at infection control assurance in the following eight areas:
Are all types of visitors prevented from catching and spreading infection?
Are shielding and social distancing rules complied with?
Are people admitted into the service safely?
Does the service use PPE effectively to safeguard staff and people using services?
Is there adequate access and take up of testing for staff and people using services?
Do the layout of premises, use of space and hygiene practice promote safety?
Do staff training, practices and deployment show the service can prevent and/or manage outbreaks?
Is the IPC policy up-to-date and implemented effectively to prevent and control infection?
The research found a high level of assurance in all eight questions with 288 out of 440 providers offering assurance in all areas.
Effective use of PPE and having up to date policies were the two lowest scoring areas on a risk-based assessment level with 14% of providers in both areas not assured.
Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care (pictured) said: “We’re committed to ensuring safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care and are working with the Department of Health and Social Care and others to support the care system through winter.
“As this report shows, most care providers that we have inspected have shown they are responding to the challenges of infection prevention control well, under these extraordinary circumstances. We have seen some providers using innovative and exciting practices to keep people safe. They have been supported by staff who have gone the extra mile to keep the people in their care healthy, stimulated, and as independent as possible, while keeping family members and carers informed and engaged. By continuing to monitor and inspect these care locations we have and will continue to take action to protect people, share best practice and support providers to protect against the spread of COVID in care homes.”