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.
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 for 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 base system.
The Government has now released new visiting guidance for Care Homes, on the back of the new variant of concern. This new advice limits the number of people that can come together with residents both in and outdoors. Residents can now nominate three designated visitors and one essential care giver who can visit regularly.
This number does not include children under four and a half years, and we run a separate protocol for residents nearing the end of their live, please speak with a member of the team to book your visit.
We will also support visits out of the care home, where this is your intention, speak with our Home Managers to determine the nature of the outing and discuss ways to mitigate potential risks. 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 control the environment outside in the same way. Visits indoors and overnight stays away for residents can be planned in consultation with the care home manager but are subject to testing requirements and risk assessments to protect the resident.
Activities and Events
We also have 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 and shielding residents where appropriate. Our individual communities within the home have been kept separate and we only bring together a reduced number of residents for safe social events and activities in accordance with current 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 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 most recent government’s announcement, residents moving into a care home from the community no longer need to complete an isolation period, providing they fulfil the following criteria:
• The person is fully vaccinated, and there has been 3 weeks since second dose of the vaccine (where possible).
• There are no local concerns nor restrictions, arising from the rate of infection as consequence of a variant of concern. This is determined by the Director of Public Health.
• The person admitted has no known contact with a COVID-19 positive person.
• There needs to be assurance about the circumstances at the person’s home, prior to admission (this would relate to infection prevention control measures and adherence to Government advice: Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air).
• The person accepts the necessary enhanced testing regime
- PCR swab test before admission (within 72 hours).
- PCR swab test on the day of admission (day 0).
- PCR swab test 7 days following admission (day 7).
- Daily rapid lateral flow test, between Day 0 and result of PCR swab test completed on Day 7.
Where an isolation period is necessary, residents will benefit from a personalised 14-day 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 essential care giver visits daily, to support meaningful engagement during this time.
Our team members continue to be vigilant for any known signs of the virus, and screen residents twice daily for variations in body temperature and blood oxygen saturation levels which are early signs of an 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 the transmission of COVID-19, and we thank you for your understanding, support, and co-operation.