Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 19 December, most of our homes fall within the newly created Tier 4 area with much tighter restrictions on people leaving their homes. As a result, we have had to close our doors to all visits for the next few weeks, unless a resident is at the very end of their life.
For most of us, being closed to visitors over Christmas is hugely disappointing. But our priority is to protect our residents as much as we can and closing the home to visits is currently the best way to do this. We will, of course, ensure that residents will be surrounded by love, friendship and plenty of festive entertainment this Christmas, and we will support them to stay in touch regularly with loved ones via video calling.
On a more positive note, the Covid-19 vaccination programme is underway across most of our homes. This will be rolling out over the next few weeks as our staff and residents receive two shots of the vaccine. It will take a few weeks after receiving the second dose for someone to be fully protected and there may be a few mild and short-lived side effects. We will report these to the government via the Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
It is also important to remember that even after a full course of the vaccine, there is still a small chance that someone might still contract the virus, although the illness should be less severe. However, we very much hope that once all our residents and staff are vaccinated, the chances of an outbreak in our home will be greatly reduced.
The vaccine is an encouraging step forward in our fight against Covid-19, but it is vital that we support it via our usual hygiene routines, such as social distancing and regular, thorough hand washing. Staff will wear personal protective equipment at all times, and we will continue our rigorous hygiene and infection control measures to keep everyone safe.
If there are any changes to tiers or visiting rules, we will contact families and post updated information here on our website.
Finally, we would like to thank all our families and suppliers for your continued patience and support throughout this very difficult time, and to wish you and your family a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year. Let us hope that that 2021 brings better times for all of us.
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