The health, safety and well-being of residents, visitors and team members remains our number one priority and as such, we continue to follow the Government guidance for Adult Social Care in ‘Living with COVID-19’.
What we have implemented
During this pandemic we have implemented robust cleaning processes and adapted our environments to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. We have:
- Installed automated entrance doors, where practicable.
- Ensured all homes have sufficient steam cleaners for carpets, hard floors, and surfaces
- Provided all homes with air purifying ozone machines
- Installed automated sanitising stations at entrances to our homes and in all team areas.
- Created easy access to a designated room to accommodate indoor visits with glass partitions.
- Installed wall mounted contactless thermometers in entrances. These will sound an alarm if the temperature is above 37.8⁰C.
- Set up a contactless signing in system, that uses an iPad and QR codes, to replace the current paper based system.
With the Government plan on ‘Living with COVID-19’ residents can have a higher number of visitors both in and outdoors, and there is no requirement to test prior to each visit. We can now make informed, personal decisions on close contact, such as hugging, taking into consideration that close contact continues to carry a risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, especially amongst asymptomatic cases.
We will continue a health screening for each visitor, and ask that people refrain from visiting if feeling unwell particularly if experiencing symptoms such as: a raised body temperature, a new and continuous cough, vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
In our Homes, residents can have as many visitors as they wish who can visit regularly, and each resident can have up to three visitors in their room at once provided they follow infection control measures which includes the continual use of facemasks, regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Visits can also take place in communal areas of the Home, if the space is pre-booked for a family gathering, please speak with Home Manager.
Whilst general restrictions on social contact have been removed, there continues to be a risk to those who are most vulnerable. This is because it is possible to mitigate and manage infection risks within the controlled environment of a care home, but it is not possible to do so outside in the same way.
Visits indoors away from the Care Home and overnight stays are possible and on return, residents are no longer subject to testing or an isolation period.
Activities and Events
We have also risk-assessed our day-to-day activities and are adhering to social distancing measures. We are isolating residents and team members who develop COVID-19 related symptoms, or who test positive for the virus and protecting those most vulnerable, where appropriate. We have developed interactive and meaningful events across our communities, bringing together a higher number of people in line with Government guidelines.
Despite the challenges faced from Covid-19, our teams are still running a full and engaging programme of activities and have introduced innovative ways to keep residents connected with each other. This includes making use of our facilities such as our hairdressers and cafés and arranging 1-2-1 activities. We are also pleased to have welcomed back entertainers which our residents enjoy, whilst ensuring that infection control measures are followed.
We continue to welcome new residents to our homes. We are following robust screening measures for potential carriers of the virus, this includes testing residents prior to their move-in date.
In line with the plan in ‘Living with COVID-19’, residents moving into a care home no longer need to complete an isolation period, providing they fulfil the following criteria:
- There needs to be assurance about the circumstances at the person’s location, prior to admission.
- The person completes a PCR swab test before admission (within 72 hours) or
- The person submits to a LFT swab test on the day of admission (day 0).
If either of the tests is positive, or if the place where resident is moving-in from has an active outbreak, there will be required to self-isolate for at least, 6 full days. Where an isolation period is necessary, residents will benefit from a personalised settling-in period wellbeing program, allowing the team to explore their likes and dislikes, including the types of food they enjoy and the activities they like to spend their time doing.
We have also considered the risk of isolation, and accommodate visitors, for companionship and meaningful engagement during this time.
Our team members continue to be vigilant for any known signs of the virus, and screen residents daily for variations in body temperature and blood oxygen saturation levels which are early signs of an infection. Were changes are noted, further monitoring and testing takes place to confirm cases of infection. We have established regular access to GP services and other clinicians.
This has been one of the most difficult times for all of us, but we must continue to follow the guidance available to reduce onward transmission of COVID-19, and we thank you for your understanding, support, and co-operation.