UKHSA Infection Prevention and Control and Winter Readiness Toolkit
for Care Homes and other Residential Care Settings


Welcome to the Care Settings Winter Readiness Toolkit, from the UK Health Security Agency South West, hosted by South West Councils.

Our tool kit is designed to help managers and staff in care homes and other residential care settings with planning and preparation for winter infections and outbreaks, and in outbreak recognition and management.

The resources are quick-reference documents, designed to be used as needed for your setting, by staff, residents and visitors.

The toolkit complements the national guidance documents on the the following websites:

In addition, there are a wealth of other resources and web links on the web sites of the various professional health and social care organisations.

Winter Readiness – Prevention – Keeping Infections out

Are you ready for winter?
Find out with our self-assessment checklists for flu/Covid-19 and gastroenteritis:


Are you considering admitting a resident with an infection?
Our risk assessment guide will help you to determine how to manage this.

More details on how to prevent Acute Respiratory Infections are available in UKHSA SW’s Information Card 1:


The “Care Home Pack”: Infection Prevention and Control – An outbreak information pack for care homes

An outbreak information pack for care homes.

Acute Respiratory Infection (COVID-19, Flu or other ARI) - Report an Outbreak

Click on the link to report your outbreak:  Care Outbreak Risk Assessment Tool (Care OBRA)

Acute Respiratory Infections (COVID-19, Flu or other ARI - Resources

UKHSA SW have developed a set of checklists of actions that care settings are advised to undertake when faced with single cases (in residents or staff) of Flu or COVID-19 and for outbreaks of Flu, COVID-19 or any unidentified acute respiratory infection.  This should be a key reference document that is familiar to all senior carers and managers. 

 UKHSA SW have also developed a set of Information Cards to explain the rationale behind the recommendations in the checklists, and includes how to risk assess new admissions and visiting in periods of outbreak.


Prevention of Acute Respiratory Infections Poster
Acute Respiratory Outbreaks Poster – When and How to contact the HPT

Influenza (Flu)

Flu Fact Sheet for Residents and Carers (short version)
Flu Fact Sheet (long version)

Group A Streptococcal Infections
New admissions in the context of infections

If you are considering admitting a resident with an infection or are considering an admission of a new resident whilst in a period of outbreak, the following documents may assist you in the risk assessment

When and how to contact the UKHSA Health Protection Team

Tel: 0300 303 8162 (lines open 24/7)

Email (monitored only during standard working hours): (do not include patient identifiable information)

You may wish to display the following posters in your care setting

General Poster – When and How to Contact the HPT

Acute Respiratory Outbreaks Poster – When and How to contact the HPT


Are you wondering what HPT stands for, or what the ICB do?  If so, have a look in the Glossary.

What do you think of our Toolkit?

Are we hitting the mark? Please let us know how useful this toolkit is by emailing

Need any more information or advice on outbreaks?

If you can’t find what you need online, and think that we might know the answer, Contact the UKHSA HealthProtection Team on:

Email (standard working hours only)
Telephone (for urgent, queries 24/7):  0300 303 8162.

Thank you for uploading the document to the South West Councils website