Vaccines are the most important tool to fight against Covid-19 and they have already saved several thousands of lives. For instance, data from Public Health England (PHE) indicates that the coronavirus vaccination program has prevented 14,000 deaths and nearly 42,000 hospitalizations in older people in England, as of May 2021.
Looking at this efficacy and the need to protect those most at risk now and in the long term, the government has proposed new legislation, wherein everyone working in a CQC-registered care home in England must have completed 2 doses of Covid-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exemption.
In this article, we will discuss when the new legislation is coming into effect and what it means for care homes in England from a visitor management perspective.
New Covid Pass Legislation
The new Covid pass legislation means that starting October, subject to approval from the Parliament and a subsequent 16-week grace period, everyone working at a CQC registered care home will have to complete full vaccination and present a Covid pass before entering the care home facility.
The decision has been taken after extensive public consultation with thousands of care home providers, staff, residents, and families. Notably, the original consultation proposed applying the new Covid pass legislation to only those care homes that look after someone aged 65 or over. But the comprehensive and detailed analysis resulted in extending this to all CQC-registered care homes providing personal and nursing care.
If the Covid pass legislation is approved by the Parliament, care homes will be given a 16-week grace period from when the regulations are made to when they come into effect to enable staff members who have not yet completed their full vaccination. It means that the 16-week grace period will serve as the Covid pass deadline for everyone working at the CQC-registered care home to get themselves fully vaccinated. Care homes will then be responsible for ensuring that people are vaccinated.
How will Care Home ensure everyone is vaccinated?
Essentially, care homes will need to check the government's "Covid Pass" which is accessible either on paper, or via the NHS App on someone's phone. Both methods use a QR code (like a barcode, it's a square of lines looking a bit like a maze). Both methods will either have to be checked manually and then records kept, or, they can automate the process with the DigiGreet visitor management system. If you take the manual approach, it means every time someone comes in, you need to check the records to see if that person has already got a valid Covid pass logged, or check their Covid pass and enter the details into your records. This approach is both time consuming and open to error, either because the check is not carried out correctly, or because the check is not carried out at all. It's hard to see a way to ensure this approach is fail safe.
The alternative, automating the approach using the DigiGreet visitor management system, means that people type in their name, DigiGreet automatically checks to see if they have a valid Covid Pass, if they do, it asks any other questions you need to ask before signing them in (and printing a badge if required). If they do not have a valid Covid Pass, they need to scan their phone app or paper Covid Pass QR code and DigiGreet will check it's valid, store the details, such as the expiry date and allow them in.
DigiGreet Visitor Management System
DigiGreet offers businesses, including schools and corporates, a modern-day visitor management system, thereby streamlining the check-in process of visitors as well as staff members. With the new Covid pass legislation expected to come into effect after CQC-registered care homes, DigiGreet is testing the ability to scan covid pass, confirm its validity and in date and allow staff members to continue with their check-in process.
This feature if and when integrated with the DigiGreet visitor management system will help CQC-registered care homes to follow the new regulations in a hassle-free manner. If you want to know more about the efficient and innovative DigiGreet visitor management system, get in touch with us today.