Renfrewshire Council

Guidelines for making a home visit

Guidelines for your health and safety when making any home visits, including healthcare and non-healthcare visits.

Guidelines for home visits

If you carry out any home visits, either health care or non-healthcare, as part of your role, you must follow these guidelines.

There are also guidelines for what specific personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed for non-healthcare visits, such as emergency repairs or alarm installation, community meal delivery or child protection.

Phone ahead

Phone ahead to see if everyone, including the person you're visiting in the household, is well before you go to their home. Ask them if anyone in the household:

  • is self-isolating
  • has had a dry cough within the last 7 days
  • has a high temperature
  • has shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

If they answer yes to any of the questions above, explain to them:

  • you can't carry out the visit at this stage or
  • the household must respect physical distancing while you carry out your work.

If they won't answer your questions, then treat it as a positive COVID-19 response. However, keep in mind that some people may have difficulty in communicating. If you are not sure, speak to your line manager.

Before you enter the person's home

Before you enter their home, you should:

  • knock on the door and step back two metres, where possible
  • ask if anyone in the household is unwell, self-isolating or has tested positive to COVID-19
  • encourage everyone in the household to follow the FACTS advice from Scottish Government.

If there is a positive COVID-19 case in the home

If anyone in the house has symptoms of or has tested positive for COVID-19, ask them to move to another part of the house or keep a minimum two-meter physical distance from you for the duration 

You should wash hands when you arrive and before you leave with warm water and soap, where possible, or hand sanitiser for a minimum of 20 seconds.

You should also:

  • wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for your role
  • place your equipment on a suitable clean surface or use a disposable bag underneath it
  • not touch any other surfaces in the property where possible
  • clean the areas where you will be working, if you can
  • if you leave the property for tools, plant machinery or goods, put on new disposable gloves each time you come back into the property
  • wipe down any tools and equipment you've used before putting them back in your vehicle
  • make sure all additional disposable PPE you've used is bagged and remove your gloves last
  • wash or clean your hands using soap and water, anti-bacterial wipes, spray or gels
  • wipe down any parts of your vehicle that you've touched and dispose of the wipes or drying aids in the same bag, which you must seal and tie wrap for safe disposal
  • include any materials you've removed from the property in your bag of disposable waste.

Your service or department must make sure appropriate arrangements are in place to contain the waste for 72 hours and it is disposed of safely after that time period.

If there is no known positive case of COVID-19 in the home

Even if there are no potential or positive cases of COVID-19 in the person's home, you should still:

  • ask everyone in the household to observe the social distancing rules while you are carrying out your work
  • keep a two-meter distance between yourself and the individuals where possible or ask them to go into another room
  • wear the personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate [link] to your role and in line with usual practice for your service
  • you do not need any additional PPE but if you are concerned about your safety, speak to your line manager
  • avoid contact with any other hard surfaces where possible, besides the area you are working in
  • if you are wearing disposable gloves, dispose of them safely afterwards
  • wash your hands using soap and water or use anti-bacterial wipes, spray or gels.

Procedure for removing gloves:

  • grasp the outside of the glove with the opposite hand and peel off
  • hold the removed glove in gloved hand
  • slide the fingers of the un-gloved hand under the remaining glove at the wrist
  • peel the glove off and dispose of in the waste bag after you've left the property. 

Be vigilant

If you have additional concerns about the hygiene of the property, then report back to your line manager. Be vigilant of symptoms of COVID-19 for up to 7 days after you've left the property. 

What to do if you or a close contact develop symptoms of COVID-19.