IPC Annual Statement

Annual Infection Prevention & Control Statement 2020 – 2021


This annual statement will be generated each year in May, as the Runwood Homes and Sanders Senior Living reporting period is from 1st April to 31st March each year, in accordance with the requirements of The Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of

It summarises:

  • An overview of the organisation chart for the management of infection prevention and control in Runwood Homes and Sanders Senior Living
  • Any infection transmission incidents and actions taken (these will have been reported in accordance with our accidents/incidents reporting procedures
  • Details of any infection control audits undertaken, and actions undertaken
  • Details of any risk assessments undertaken for prevention and control of infection
  • Details of staff training
  • Any review and update of policies, procedures, and guidelines


The Director responsible for Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) is Gavin O’Hare-Connolly, who is also the Responsible Individual. All Directors of the Board also strategically lead on Infection Prevention and Control management.  These are supported by the Health & Safety Manager, Governance Manager and Regional Operations Directors.

Within care homes, the Home Manager has operational responsibility for Infection Prevention & Control, supported by a full staff team including a minimum of two IPC Leads.  Infection Prevention and Control is everyone’s business.

Infection transmission incidents and actions taken

At the start of the reporting period, a global pandemic of Covid-19 had commenced.  This was already in England and care homes were already on lockdown because of the virus. This has been a year that has posed significant challenge across all care homes because of the vulnerable client group we care for and so much being unknown about the virus including how to prevent transmission.

Initially, care homes were given mixed messages on how to manage the virus in care homes, which included mixed guidance from government on the PPE to wear and when.

Runwood Homes and Sanders Senior Living took a raft of very proactive measures to support care homes, key actions taken are summarised below:

  • Set up of a Covid-19 steering group, with meetings held and information cascaded according to the threat levels and measures required
  • Steering Group Bulletin produced and disseminated to all staff; frequency dependent on the level of risk and changes that require communication to staff teams. Recently, this has also been sent to staff personal email addresses so it is ensured to reach individual staff members
  • Weekly calls set up with care homes and Regional Operations Directors to support care homes, however there were mechanisms in place for staff to contact any of the Directors whenever they had concerns
  • Initially, ordering its own PPE and ensuring delivery of PPE, and ordering alcohol gel to promote safety in care homes
  • Continuous review of policies and procedures, with new ones introduced to support staff, residents, relatives, contractors and other visitors
  • Development of a vulnerable workers’ risk assessment that assesses risks to each new member of staff before they commence working in the care homes, ensuring risks are managed effectively. These were also developed and rolled out to all staff who identified as being at risk
  • Development of IPC Leads to support the Home Managers with managing Infection Prevention & Control. These leads were given additional training and competencies signed off
  • Cleaning schedules updated to reflect the need for a continuous level of enhanced cleaning
  • Review of residents’ care plans to reflect the IPC measures required to promote safety but to also to give guidance to staff on how to care for residents who were/are Covid-19 positive
  • Implementation of robust Covid-19 testing programme, according to national requirements
  • Implementation of Covid-19 vaccination programme
  • Implementation and continuous review of risk assessments such as a Covid-safe workplace risk assessments and individual visiting risk assessments
  • Implementation of fortnightly IPC forums to share best practice, challenges and update leads on up to date guidance
  • Head office underwent Covid-secure assessment by Castle Point Council and was found to be Covid-secure
  • Review of training (see training section)
  • Robust reporting of cases across all care homes to head office and the company insurers, working closely with local stakeholders such as Clinical Commissioning Groups, local authorities, and national regulators such as the CQC and HSE
  • Implementation of Essential Care Givers to support residents with a higher level of care needs
  • Implementation of danicentres in all care homes and donning and doffing stations
  • Development and installation of visitors pods across all care homes
  • Each home reviewed and updated their IPC information boards (signed off by the Governance Manager
  • Implementation of Covid-19 evidence folders and staff communication folders

(This list is not exhaustive).


Runwood Homes and Sanders Senior Living already had Infection Prevention & Control audits occurring across care homes each month, which are provided to head office as part of the regular monitoring process. Quality audits are also undertaken by an external company to give objective feedback; this is a rolling programme of audits/inspections. Hand hygiene audits were also regularly completed however audits were reviewed and the following ones implemented during the pandemic period:

  • Monthly Covid-19 pandemic self-assessment audit
  • Senior management Covid-19 pandemic assessment – a more rigorous audit, which formed part of the monthly compliance monitoring by Regional Operations Directors and senior management
  • PPE audit – to assess all staff knew how to put on and take off PPE
  • Poster audit – to check that care homes have the correct posters up in the care home

Additional support was given where needed and according to findings from audits.  In some homes, the facilities team supported care homes with deep cleaning and were instrumental in ensuring pods were installed and suitable visitors’ rooms were identified. The facilities team have had a rigorous process of updating and refreshing furniture and décor, again to enhance infection prevention and control measures as well as the experience for residents.

Feedback from the external quality assurance team is fed back to regions via action plans and regional meetings with Regional Operations Directors leading on supporting and developing their care homes, supported by the organisation.

Risk Assessments

The Health & Safety Manager works closely with the facilities team, procurement, care homes and Governance Manager to continuously review risk assessments that have been developed.  The Human Resources Department has also actively supported care homes with staff risk assessments.  Prior to the implementation of the Vulnerable Workers Risk Assessment, managers in head office and across care homes were trained on how to undertake them and identify the relevant control measures required for individual staff.

Care homes have also completed risk assessments for each resident to identify any infection prevention and control measures required to keep residents, their loved ones and staff safe.

Staff Training

Runwood Homes and Sanders Senior Living takes a proactive stance towards training. The uptake of mandatory training is reviewed monthly at the Operations meetings. The Covid-19 pandemic created additional pressures on training to ensure that staff were suitable trained in an ever-changing environment.

All staff were required to complete IPC training, and this was completed twice in the year to ensure staff remained up to date.

Specific Covid-19 was developed during 2020 and all staff were required to attend.  This is part of the training also for new staff and for Essential Care Givers.

Additional training was given in relation to:

  • Donning and doffing PPE
  • Hand hygiene
  • Fogging visitors’ rooms and pods
  • Carpet care and deep cleaning

As part of the face to face training for Covid-19, staff were given refresher training on recognising the deteriorating resident and managing their care and recognising sepsis, along with the message of taking emergency action.

All IPC Leads attended IPC Leads training provided by CBA and then an in-company training on the expectations of the role in Runwood Homes & Sanders Senior Living.  The company puts on this training regularly for new IPC Leads across the company.

Policies and procedures

The IPC Policy has been updated and contains a policy on Covid-19 prevention and management and many areas have been expanded. Specific to Covid-19, a range of policies and procedures have been developed and regularly reviewed to support care homes with safe and effective IPC prevention and management such as:

  • Visiting policies for England and, Northern Ireland
  • Professional Visitors
  • Covid-19 testing
  • Covid-19 vaccination
  • PPE
  • Outbreak management (reviewed)
  • Return to Work procedure updated, to ensure any staff who have been absent for a week or more, become familiar with any changes made within the company and care home
  • Induction procedures updated for a range of staff groups, to include Covid-19 measures
  • Cleaning schedules updated
  • Wide range of posters under constant review
  • Covid-19 situation report and debrief tools developed, to assist care homes and head office to record any lessons learnt from events in care homes


Gavin O’Hare-Connelly – Chief Operating Officer

Rhonda Ware – Governance Manager