Staff at a popular care home have been praised for the steps they've taken to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The Knells Country House, in Houghton near Carlisle, has been inspected, but not rated, as part of a review into infection, prevention and control at care homes by the Care Quality Commission.

Inspectors visited the home in a move which formed part of the CQC’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Inspectors found the following examples of good practice at the country house when they visited in August:

  • Systems in place to help prevent people and staff from catching and spreading infections
  • People and staff had been tested and there had been no known cases of Covid-19 at the home
  • There was sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons, gloves and masks. Staff were wearing this appropriately when inspectors carried out the check.
  • The registered manager had made their own video for staff on using PPE and handwashing.

One member of staff told the CQC: “We have been shown very well how to do everything.”

The layout of the home promoted social distancing and there are various rooms including a conservatory where people could sit. A balcony area had been built outside where people could see their visitors safely.

Additional cleaning was being carried out.

Staff supported people’s emotional and social wellbeing and acted as social buddies to help people keep in contact with relatives using a range of technology.

The registered manager spoke positively about the hard work and dedication staff had shown, which had helped to minimise the impact of the pandemic on people’s health and wellbeing.

The inspector said: “As part of CQC’s response to the coronavirus pandemic we are conducting a thematic review of infection control and prevention measures in care homes.

“The service was selected to take part in this thematic review which is seeking to identify examples of good practice in infection prevention and control.”

Inspectors were assured the home was preventing visitors from catching and spreading infections.

They said the provider was: meeting shielding and social distancing rules; admitting people safely to the service; using personal protective equipment effectively and safely; accessing testing for people using the service and staff; assured that the provider was promoting safety through the layout and hygiene practices of the premises and assured that the provider was making sure infection outbreaks can be effectively prevented or managed.

Inspectors said the provider’s infection prevention and control policy was up-to-date.

The care home is privately owned and provides residential care accommodation for up to 24 older people.