Our Care Home Teams have worked diligently throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff, residents, and visitors by reducing the risk of Covid within our Homes. Because the statistics relating to Covid paint a far brighter national picture than what we have seen over the last three years, we have been able to reduce a number of restrictions on visiting and admissions, but we remain wary of the need to remain vigilant.
We have had regular meetings with UKHSA (United Kingdom Health Security Agency) and have kept ourselves up to date in relation to the changing picture of Covid and prescribed official strategies going forward to reduce the risk of Covid. After studying recent government guidance, we have reviewed a number of our key policies.
Visiting our home
There remains no need for visitors to book visits or wear PPE unless the visitor or resident requests PPE to be used on their visit. We do ask for assistance from visitors if a Home goes into an outbreak situation as we will need to follow Health Protection advice as well as ensure certain procedures at the Home are put into place promptly and effectively to help curb infections. This could include only being able to have visits in bedrooms and using a mask if the person who is being visited is possibly infected or is indeed particularly vulnerable to Covid symptoms.
With any outbreak we will continue to gain advice from local Health Protection Teams, and we ask that visitors work with our Home Managers and other colleagues to help us reduce risk and quell outbreaks. Visitors should not visit if they are feeling unwell, particularly if they have possible symptoms of Covid or Influenza.
Our existing residents are our priority, and we are conscious of the possible escalation of Covid in Hospitals, particularly during the winter months. Although official guidance states, “Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can be admitted to the Care Home if the home is satisfied, they can be cared for safely,” we are continuing with the stance that no resident with a confirmed or suspected Covid diagnosis will be admitted to our Care Homes. All potential admissions from Hospital will need to have a negative swab undertaken within 48 hours of proposed admission. We believe this is essential to curb the risk of Covid outbreaks in our Care Homes as we are mindful that a number of our residents are particularly vulnerable if they do become infected.
Our strategy, as it has been from the start of the pandemic, is to try and prevent Covid infections entering our Care Homes and we view admissions and visiting as two key areas of risk which require careful monitoring and consideration.