Caring for our partners in the community


All referrals for swabs in the community to go to: Care Home Swab Request or 01626 204950 (8am – 5pm, 7 days a week) with a completed referral spreadsheet [Excel].

If you are a care home, please also ensure you notify PHE as well as your local QAIT team on either:

If a staff member is symptomatic please call the Swab Team on: 01803 656590

For antibody tests call: 01803 655783

Current Government COVID-19 guidance:

As part of our commitment to improve quality and safety and to share good practice, we have provided the following resources to support care home providers. The resources have been produced in collaboration with GPs, pharmacists, care homes managers and social care commissioners across Devon.

Enhanced care

The national EHCH framework was initially developed in 2016 and was refreshed in March 2020. This framework aims to improve the health and well- being of people living in care homes through a range of initiatives and changes. No one change will have the desired effect and this has been demonstrated through vanguard sites across England that have demonstrated the range of health and care benefits that can be achieved through working differently together across a system. In January 2020 a launch of the EHCH framework and celebration of the work to date took place in Torquay and was well attended by care home staff and managers from across Torbay and South Devon

We are now reenergising the EHCH work as we come out of the initial wave of Covid-19, and are keen to build upon the learning and collaborative working that has been achieved. There are 3 principal aims to the EHCH model:

  • delivering high quality personalised care within care homes;
  • providing, wherever possible, for individuals who (temporarily or permanently) live in a care home, access to the right care and the right health services in the place of their choosing; and
  • enabling effective use of resources by reducing unnecessary conveyances to hospitals, hospital admissions, and bed days whilst ensuring the best care for people living in care homes

We need to work collaboratively to co-design and co-deliver this model. There are 7 work streams that report progress to an EHCH Delivery Group. If you would like to join a sub group (listed in the Framework for enhanced health in care homes document), the Delivery group, or would be happy to discuss ideas / concerns / recommendations as to how we could work together to identify, achieve and sustain joint improvements and communications, please email Hannah Griffin; email Ann Butts, or phone 07775 027718.

Many thanks, we look forward to increased collaborative sharing of ideas, learning, planning and working.

Day care services


Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust are working collaboratively with South West Academic Health Science Network, and Torbay Council to provide facilitated RESTORE2 and RESTORE2 mini training through interactive training sessions which are being delivered virtually between a qualified trainer to care homes, including domiciliary care.

COVID-19 specific advice

Preparation and protecting residents and staff

Ensure shielding residents are identified and guidance followed including, where possible, en-suite toileting and washing facilities. See shielding guidance. If you are unsure, contact your GP.

Implement social distancing for residents and staff in shared areas such as lounges, dining rooms and staff areas.

Monitor residents daily for symptoms of COVID-19 and be alert to unusual presentations. Residents with COVID-19 may present with a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. Assess each resident twice daily for the development of a fever (≥37.8°C), cough or shortness of breath, lethargy, loss of taste, diarrhoea and vomiting. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Carry out and prepare your COVID-19 Outbreak Business Continuity Plan using this checklist.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Staff should be clear on Infection, Prevention, and Control (IPC) guidance re: correct handwashing technique. Appropriate PPE should be worn for contact with all residents and staff must understand how to don and doff correctly. See guidance re: PPE and working safely in care homes.

Please see guidance for healthcare providers who require additional PPE supplies to top up their supplies.

Display guidance on handwashing and PPE clearly.

Infection control and PPE online training

Click on the heading below for details on the NHS Devon CCG infection control and PPE online training.

NHS Devon CCG is offering free daily training under the National Getting It Right First-Time programme.

Infection control and PPE online training is a 2-hour interactive session delivered by trainers from NHS Devon CCG clinical team. The training is being offered as part of a national programme of support for care homes, personal care providers and supported living providers. The CCG are also offering the option of face to face interactive training session within the provider setting.

The group size for each session will be small to facilitate interaction and demonstration of correct PPE use.

Register onto one of the course dates on Eventbrite.

Once registered you will receive an invitation to join a session via Microsoft teams and it is imperative that you complete the pre session reading attached to your ticket.

It is also essential that you have the correct PPE available for the session as detailed on your ticket. Please speak to your line manager if you do not have this and they will be able to arrange this for you in advance.

When your request for training is received, a member of the team will contact you to arrange a training session.

We look forward to meeting you and thank you in anticipation of your support in participating and taking forward this programme.

Managing suspected of confirmed COVID-19 in your care home

In the first instance notify the PHE and Care Quality Commission (CQC) if the outbreak is affecting the safety of the service and of course the resident’s own GP:

Ensure Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty (DOL) guidance is followed.

Infection Control grant

Click on the heading below to see a number of suggestions on how cares homes can use their Infection Control grant 2020.


  • Additional uniforms to enable in house laundering or to allow for more frequent changing
  • Specialist fogging to decontaminate visiting area
  • New kitchen equipment – not for the purpose of upgrading kitchen but if it’s to improve infection control then okay
  • Tablets etc reduce use of paper
  • iPad/tablets for residents to use, will help in communication with family & reduce infection control measures required for visits
  • Purchase of a minibus to help with the transporting our staff to stop them using public transport those that don’t drive
  • Devices to gauge temperature of individuals
  • Dorgards - keep doors open without having to touch them - easy to fit and fire regs compliant
  • Bikes for staff – (recommend providers check the position with tax – benefit in kind) can buy bikes and pool them to staff
  • Electric bikes to be available at each home to encourage cycling
  • Industrial steam cleaner
  • Laptops for social distancing working
  • Electronic care plans to reduce contamination from paper
  • Alexa devices in all rooms
  • WIFI boosters and connections for FaceTime etc residents families – within the care home – not for the families
  • Extra food trollies, skips, bins and microwaves – for separate kit etc but not upgrade
  • Purchase of new care home furniture, eg armchairs to replace damaged / or to obtain more wipeable furniture
  • Shower chairs to avoid movement / sharing of existing chairs
  • CCTV thermostat equipment to help detect this virus from our staff and visitors to the care homes
  • Purchase of fogging machine to help with disinfection of the home and stopping spread of virus within home
  • Hospital beds – Please note you could obtain these from the Equipment Service as an alternative
  • Manual Handling Equipment to avoid transporting equipment around the home
  • Additional washing machine to help keep laundry of those who might or have confirmed COVID can use solely used


  • Additional staffing to support safe visiting (providing the staff aren’t also working in other homes)
  • To pay the difference between SSP and staff pay for staff off sick/self-isolating
  • Rental of minibus for staff travel, moving between homes or home to work
  • Taxi transport for staff
  • Agency usage to support safe staffing whilst people are isolating (providing the agency staff aren’t also working in other homes)
  • Implementation of changes to recruitment process and system to enable swifter hiring of staff to fill vacancies to manage demands of pandemic
  • Staff wages and expense of travel whilst testing out of shift hours
  • Training costs that relate to Infection Control – trainer and staff time back fill
  • Extra cleaning hours
  • Recruit costs for temporary workers – providing they aren’t working in other care homes
  • Paying staff that have had to isolate due to having to follow COVID-19 isolation guidance, contracted COVID-19 or waiting to receive the test results
  • Induction training costs of new starters
  • An additional staff member on each shift to reduce the risk of requiring agency workers
  • Advertising in social media/radio/newspapers for job vacancies so we do not have to use agency
  • Buying or renting caravans / local hotels to support staff who proactively choose to stay separate from their families in order to limit social interaction outside work

Adaptations to the home:

  • Changing taps on staff sinks so that they can be operated with the elbow or foot, not the hand
  • Architect fees if refit required
  • Walk in en-suites – if they allow better control of infection
  • Staff accommodation - Using a bedroom to offer staff accommodation and break away from the normal staff area and home during long shifts. Costed at the average weekly fee of the home
  • Flooring - replacing old carpet with non-slip flooring which is less likely to retain virus
  • Provision of screens and adaptations to allow safe face to face visits from families and/or between staff and visitors
  • New showers / taps, shower for staff room
  • Sluice for laundry room
  • Update laundry room by means of new easy wipe cupboards and sinks
  • Install new soap and paper towel dispensers in all residents own bedrooms
  • Installation of automatic doors openers
  • Electric key fobs rather than touch keypads
  • Add en-suite to bedroom
  • Allocating rooms in care homes for staff to live in

Adaptations to outdoor space at the home:

  • External visitor section
  • Changes to garden seating to allow safe distancing
  • External structure for staff changing room/ staff room
  • Revamp of garden to aid social distancing
  • Bike sheds to encourage staff to cycle
  • Pay to convert a room into a COVID secure visitation area
  • Increased garden facilities - furniture, specialist activities (raised flower beds, engagement for dementia residents)


  • Remedial work from Legionella Risk Assessment
  • Deep cleaning

Additional resources and training

Contact us if you want help or advice please contact:

For further information and guidance visit the ‘Caring for Care Homes’ page on the One Devon website, where you will find:

  • Links to NICE guidance: Managing medicines in care homes
  • Care homes medicines management audit checklist
  • Supporting audits for controlled drugs, MAR chart and storage of medicines
  • Regular newsletters
  • Extensive selection of medicines management guidance sheets

Other useful links