Where residents have developed symptoms and tested positive for the virus, we have cared for them following government and Public Health England guidelines. We have also informed their close family first and then written personally to relatives of all the residents in the home. We have taken the threat posed by COVID-19 to our residents’ health and wellbeing very seriously, seeking to minimise the risk of infection as much as possible. Our staff are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) wherever necessary (and we have ample supplies within the home) and we are testing residents on a weekly basis and staff twice a week, whether or not they display symptoms.
We are continuing to follow government guidance relating to visits by family and friends. Residents may now receive regular visits by five nominated people. Two can visit together, with a maximum of two people visiting a resident in one day. All visitors must undertake a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) before their visit. Depending on the policy at the home, we will supply testing kits for them to perform the LFT at their own home before each visit (referring to the government’s instructions if necessary), or we will support them to do the test on arrival at the home. In this case, they will need to allow more time to do the test and await the result. If they test positive, we will administer the government’s PCR test and ask them to go home and self-isolate, pending the result. All visitors must also continue to wear PPE.
Under recently published government guidance, residents may spend time outdoors on their own, with care home staff or one or more of their five nominated visitors (or an essential care provider) without having to isolate for 14 days when they return – but only under the following circumstances:
Please do not visit if you are unwell or have tested positive for Covid-19 shortly before your visit.
As per government guidelines, visitors must undertake a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) before their scheduled visit. This simple swab provides a result in just 30 minutes. Depending on the policy at the home, we will supply testing kits for them to perform the LFT at their own home before each visit, or we will support them to do the test on arrival at the home. In this case, they will need to allow more time to do the test and await the result. If they test positive, we will administer the government’s PCR test and ask them to go home and self-isolate, pending the result. For information on performing the LFT please refer to the government’s instructions.
We will be in touch with you if we believe that your relative is nearing the end of his or her life. We will then arrange for you to visit your relative, but this will be by arrangement only as you will not be able to visit the home without an appointment.
We will continue supporting residents to stay in touch with their relatives who are not designated visitors via phone or video calling. If your relative does not have their own mobile phone, we have tablets in the home for their use (following strict hygiene protocols). Because the number of tablets is limited can you please call the home to arrange a convenient day and time to speak to your relative. We also give regular wellbeing updates by phone to the relatives of residents who are unable to make or receive calls.
Residents and staff who can have the vaccine have now had two doses. We hope that the chances of an outbreak of Covid-19 in our home is now greatly reduced. There is a small possibility that someone might still contract the virus, although the illness should be less severe. We will continue to apply our usual hygiene and infection control routines, such as regular, thorough hand washing, wearing PPE and cleaning before and after visiting.
If we suspect that a resident has the virus (whether or not they display symptoms) we will immediately isolate and test them for the virus. If they test positive we will nurse them in isolation for at least 10 days pending a re-test. Our priorities are to care for the resident concerned and protect other residents and their relatives from contracting the illness. In this case, we may have to suspend all visits to the home until the person tests negative.
Our staff will continue to wear PPE in accordance with government guidelines. We have ample supplies and are confident that our protective measures will continue to be effective in helping to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.
We are continuing to test care home staff twice a week and residents once a month using the LFT kits and PCR tests.
We are very much looking forward to resuming trips out and safe visits by outside entertainers and fitness instructors.
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