New virtual training to tackle coronavirus in care homes

Virtual infection control training for key workers to help prevent covid transmission in carehomes.

Virtual infection control training for key workers to help prevent covid transmission in carehomes. - Credit: Archant

A North Somerset business has developed pioneering virtual training technology in a bid to help critical care workers prevent Covid in care homes.

Staff in healthcare environments can receive remote training while virtually practicing essential emergency infection control and prevention skills; via app-based software, developed by Axbridge-based Solutions 42.

Learners face realistic scenarios, where they have to decide how to manage the surrounding environment and hygienic care of residents.

The project has been funded and technically facilitated by vocational education specialist Ufi VocTech Trust (Ufi).

As temperatures fall and we head in to the flu season, infections are anticipated to increase by 10 to 20 per cent, for every degree dropped below five degrees celsius.

A company spokesperson said: “Accessing vital infection prevention training remotely could be key to tackling the increase in Covid-19 cases being seen amongst the over-65s, allowing key workers to develop critical knowledge and skills before entering high-risk environments.

“The government has not yet committed to a winter plan for care homes, so technology which can help support the hygiene practices needed to cut spread of infection could prove vital, not just for Covid-19 control, but for other infections and seasonal viruses too.”

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The scenario-based e-platform connects community staff to the principles of infection prevention and control (IPC) in health care environments in the hope of saving lives.

Founder of Solutions 42, Becky Hill, said: “Thanks to funding from the Ufi VocTech Trust, we’ve been able to implement a platform that has the potential to save lives.

“Digital, scenario-based teaching will revolutionise the way that staff are being trained in infection control. It empowers those on the front lines of care home hygiene to gain the skills and confidence needed to manage high-risk scenarios, before actually entering those environments.

“In a scenario like the coronavirus crisis, where symptoms can take several days to emerge, it’s not usually possible to assess the effectiveness of infection control until some days after a positive test.

“Using technology to practice different scenario responses and outcomes by trial and error has the potential to dramatically increase accuracy when it happens in real life.”