Coronavirus Update 30/06/2020
Over the last few months our teams have been working incredibly hard to reduce the impact of the coronavirus in our homes.
To date we have avoided an outbreak in our homes.
Thanks to your support around the stringent restrictions we have had in place and the incredible work of our care home teams.
While it is difficult in this context to start to think ahead, we are also aware that many relatives have not seen their loved ones for several months and are desperate to understand when we will be opening our doors to visitors again. We are closely monitoring Government and Industry guidance. It is essential that we follow this advice and stick to any lockdown measures as they apply to local communities or to care homes specifically.
However, we are also responsible for the safety and wellbeing of some extremely vulnerable residents, so at times we may feel that additional measures may be warranted.
Relative visits to our homes
Our Regulator, The Care Quality Commision, is still advising us that we should not be allowing visitors into our Care homes. The Government guidance also has not changed, that people should not be visiting Care Homes.
To help keep families in touch with their loved ones all of our homes have been set up for Skype and zoom calling, as well as regular phone calls. We have also been ensuring that we have been very proactive in regularly contacting families with updates on their health and well being.
While we appreciate the importance of family visits, our first priority must remain the safety of residents, colleagues and visitors in our homes. We are very mindful of suggestions that there may be a second wave of infection as lockdown restrictions are loosened and want to do all we can to minimise this risk in our homes.
We are exploring options for easing restrictions to enable relatives or close friends to visit with their loved ones in ways that adhere to current Government guidance and protect both visitors, residents and staff teams.
Please keep in mind that until advised by your home manager, current visitor restrictions will remain in place.
In the first instance we will be looking at enabling visitors to undertake Garden visits.
To ensure your safety, we need to put a number of additional measures in place to ensure these outdoor visits take place safely. We recognise that many of these will be difficult for families who have not seen their loved one for some time, but we believe they are vital in protecting your loved ones:
- Visits will need to be pre-booked to enable us to manage the safety of residents and their visitors by limiting the volume of people through the home at any one time, as well as support additional cleaning between visits
- Visits will be limited to 30 minutes duration
- Only one family member will be allowed per visit and children will not be allowed at this point in time
- You will be asked some health screening questions at the start of your visit, will be asked to wash your hands or use the sanitising gel provided and will have your temperature taken. If you are showing any symptoms which could indicate coronavirus, please do not travel to the care home as we will need to refuse entry. As you will be aware, these symptoms include a raised temperature, a new and persistent cough, a loss of taste or smell and a generally feeling of being lethargic and unwell.
- Visitors will be required to wear a face mask for the duration of their visit. Masks can be provided if you are unable to bring your own.
- Social distancing measures will be remain in effect, which means a no touch approach during visits. This extends to hugging, hand-holding or kissing.
- Visitors will not be able to use facilities such as toilets (unless for emergencies
Finally, we would like to say a very public thank you to our colleagues who have worked tirelessly in the last few months to provide exceptional levels of care under challenging circumstances. We are exceptionally grateful for the commitment and dedication of our teams.
We understand how distressing this period has been, and as soon as we have authorization we will look to implement these new measures, thank you for your patience and understanding.