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


Welcome to the Care Settings Infection Protection and Control and Winter Readiness Toolkit, from the UK Health Security Agency South West (UKHSA SW), 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 infections and outbreaks (that are often particularly frequent during the winter season), and in outbreak recognition and management.

We provide links to important national guidance plus some quick-reference locally developed resources, designed to be used as needed for your setting, by staff, residents, relatives and visitors.

Winter Readiness – Prevention – Keeping Infections out

National Guidance

  • Adult social care: guidance – GOV.UK ( includes:
    • Guidance on Infection Prevention and Control in Adults Social Care settings
    • The Acute Respiratory Infection supplement to the IPC guidance
    • Guidance on PPE
    • Health and Wellbeing of the workforce

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.


The “Care Home Pack”: Infection Prevention and Control – 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)

This is for reporting single cases of flu and NEW outbreaks of acute respiratory infection only

Please do not use this link for updating UKHSA on an existing ARI outbreak or for reporting any other type of outbreak – see below for contact details for the SW HPT for reporting other infections and outbreaks.

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. 


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

Influenza (Flu)

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

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