In the second of a four-part article, QCS Content Operations Manager, Leah Cooke (pictured left) seeks the views of Liz Jones (pictured right), policy director of the National Care Forum, on the post-pandemic impact of COVID-19.
Here, she tells Cooke that infection, prevention control measures must be re-evaluated.
Despite the huge pressures experienced during the pandemic, the social care sector has consistently worked hard to deliver the best possible Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures. While the care sector has always been very experienced in implementing IPC, they have had to be very agile and innovative to strengthen their IPC in the face of a new global pandemic, with an evolving virus. And, as we look further into the future, we know that new IPC challenges will emerge, which will require the same nimble and responsive spirit displayed in the pandemic.
One of the biggest longer-term changes that I can see is likely to revolve around the future design of care settings. COVID-19 will make us re-evaluate the importance of outdoor space and the need for state-of-the-art ventilation systems. But, most of all, it may lead to the sector reconsidering traditional residential care home models. It could be in future that more UK care homes follow the model of the Netherlands, where smaller households live in bigger settings.
Such set-ups seem to have been helpful in managing IPC and reducing the transmission of this virus and possible future pandemics. One of the key ambitions we have for social care reform is a system, which gives our sector the investment to help develop new models, types of care and support. Such a system would utilise evidence-informed innovation, focused around the choices, needs and quality of life of those we support.
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