Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres /6ft apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

Caring Homes

In addition to the latest Government advice

  • Non-essential visitors (including relatives) must not visit our homes
  • Resident engagement is continuing through updated homes Wellbeing Programmes
  • We remain open for pre-screened and safe admissions in many home locations
  • Our COVID-19 Steering Group meets (remotely) every day
Stay alert, Protect the NHS and Save lives Logo's

Latest Announcements

Key Questions & Answers

We would like to assure you that we are not admitting anyone with positive test result for COVID-19, nor are we admitting anyone showing symptoms. Local Authorities and Hospitals are also working with us as a provider of care to ensure this does not occur.

We have very robust and stringent clinical screening processes in place, to determine whether we will admit a new Resident and we are in full discussions with Public Health, Local Authorities and CCG’s on a case by case basis to identify how we can support people needing care without placing our existing Residents and Colleagues at risk.

Before admitting any new residents there are a number of factors which influence our decision including but not limited to;

• All Government social distancing rules must have been followed by the potential resident if being admitted from home

• The resident is not living in a household where others are symptomatic or confirmed positive for COVID-19.

• If being admitted from hospital the residents must have tested negative for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours, preferably immediately prior to discharge

• All the criteria set within our admissions screening documentation must be met

• Any new resident must also agree to self-isolating within the home for 14 days upon admission and remain symptom free in that period before being permitted to use any additional facilities within the Home.

We want to assure you that the safety and wellbeing of our Residents and Colleagues is always our top priority.

Please be assured that Caring Homes is, treating the coronavirus outbreak extremely seriously and comprehensive contingency plans are in place in the event of an outbreak at a Home.

It is important to bear in mind that every year Caring Homes prepares to respond to infectious diseases, including a severe flu outbreak, and therefore, whilst this illness is new, it is very much business as usual for how we safeguard the health of our Residents and Colleagues.

In response to the growing UK coronavirus outbreak we have created a dedicated steering group. This group comprises of our CEO and senior leaders from across the business who meet regularly to review and further develop our plans, reflecting the evolving situation.

The COVID-19 Steering Group has already acted working to secure the medical and food supplies we may need in the event of an outbreak in a Home.

Policies and protocols needed to make sure Caring Homes can continue to provide high-quality, kind care if or when coronavirus becomes more widespread in the UK, have also been developed.

We continue to pro-actively source significant supplies of all the necessary protective clothing and equipment and have been advised there will be more provided via the Department of Health and Social Care should we require it.

All Home Managers and Colleagues are well informed and familiar with the steps we are taking and how they can help prevent the spread of infection. This includes establishing hand washing stations in the reception areas of all Homes, installing additional prominent signage about handwashing, and completing the infection control training modules through our digital learning platform.

Channels of communication are in place to ensure the latest guidance and support is available 24/7 to each Home. Calls are scheduled with all Home Managers, Operations Teams and the Caring Homes Steering Group and CEO on a regular basis.

The Caring Homes COVID-19 Steering Group will continue to meet regularly with monitoring and reviews taking place daily. The group will digest and respond all the latest guidance issued by the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, the NHS, and public health bodies. Robust contingency plans are in place in the event of a coronavirus outbreak at one of our Homes.

Many of our Residents have en-suite rooms and can therefore elect to self-isolate in their rooms if they wish to and we are able to provide the essential contact if that is what they prefer. Some Homes may need to ask our Residents to all self-isolate, but this is done only if necessary, on a Home by Home basis.

For anyone connected to a Caring Homes Home who has further questions about our response to the coronavirus, please speak with the Home Manager at your local Home.

In the light of Government and Public Health advice we have and continue to take comprehensive action to respond to the growing coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

At this time, we are asking Relatives not to visit our Homes and have introduced a number of ways in which you can keep in contact with your loved one and with life at our Homes.

If you’re loved one is receiving palliative care, please speak with our Home Manager who can discuss our full policy with you.

The Caring Homes COVID-19 Steering Group has taken onboard the latest Public Health and Government advice and these changes have been made to ensure we protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our Residents and Colleagues, which remains our top priority. We understand that this may be very difficult for both our Residents and families.

It is not a decision that we have taken lightly as we understand the challenges this may present everyone concerned.

There are a number of ways in which you can keep in contact with your loved one and in touch with life at our homes – by telephone, Skype, email, Facebook and other social media outlets.

We are supporting our Residents to view any messages you send over. We would love to encourage relatives, friends and members of the local community to stay in contact and we hope you will in the main take to using technology to get your messages through so that we can maintain the highest standards of hygiene and protection.

We have designed our own unique wellbeing response to the virus with several projects and initiatives underway to support our residents’ wellbeing during this period of restricted visiting.

We have increased our use of technology across the homes – all homes now have a smartphone allowing for WhatsApp and Skype connectivity with relatives outside of the home. In addition, all homes now have SMART TV connectivity enabling virtual and digital activities to take place. Some of the activities taking place across our homes include: Armchair travel, virtual Church services, virtual pet shows, create for COVID and virtual concerts such as Andrea Bocelli’s Music for Hope. Why not check out our Facebook page for live updates https://www.facebook.com/caringhomesgroup/

We have also launched our Regional Wellbeing Ambassador scheme, creating a support network between the homes with a dedicated Regional Wellbeing Ambassador appointed per region to help support and embed our Wellbeing strategy throughout this period and beyond.

Furthermore, all homes receive Caring Homes Wellbeing Communication Packs with plenty of access to suggested resources for activities in isolation, following social distancing measures and also offering 1:1 personalised wellbeing support. Included in the packs are also activities beneficial to clients living with dementia and those in self-isolation as well as a link to the Alzheimer’s Society’s Talking Point online forum. If you’d like to get involved with any of our virtual activities – please do get in touch outreach@caringhomes.org

The health of our Residents is our utmost priority and in addition to all normal clinical observations and practices we are well prepared to support a Resident should they become unwell and or display any symptoms associated with coronavirus.

We have access to medical professionals and are working with local health organisations, GPs and Hospitals, all following the same guidelines, to ensure the highest standard of care is provided to Residents.
Should a Resident become extremely unwell we follow all the guidelines and involve medical professionals. In the case of suspected COVID-19 this may mean the Resident being admitted to hospital.

We totally understand your concerns at this time and want to reassure you that we have put robust measures into place to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our Homes.

Although we have followed National Guidance, we have also taken additional measures as we believe the safety of our Residents and our Colleagues is paramount. Our Colleagues are trained in infection control and we have ensured they have appropriate equipment in place to help prevent the spread of the virus, proactively sourcing as an organisation significant amounts of PPE when not supplied by the Governments.

With this in mind, we have a very robust screening policy in place for any new admissions and have been adamant from the start that we shall not admit anyone to our Homes with a known positive or suspected positive COVID-19 status.

We remain committed to working collaboratively with the NHS, but such collaborative working needs to be measured against the possible risk to the existing residents and colleagues. We believe that the ongoing safety and welfare of our existing residents and our colleagues remains paramount when making decisions about future admissions.

Our colleagues are trained in infection control and we have ensured they have appropriate equipment in place to help prevent the spread of the virus. We have also ensured that all training continues remotely and through virtual technology and that all colleagues are able to access training and wellbeing support at home 24/7 as well as in the workplace.

In line with the latest Government and Public Health guidelines we are testing all colleagues and residents at all of our homes whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic. This is critical in enabling us to overcome this pandemic and the impact on our residents, colleagues and their loved ones.

At Caring Homes the comfort and safety of our Residents is always our top priority and we will be retesting Residents after a 14-day period for a number of reasons. Although the test itself should not be painful, it can be uncomfortable. It can also be quite distressing for some Residents, particularly those who may be unable to understand the reasons for the test being undertaken.

Although the test can be carried out at our homes by individuals in the general population, there are potential hazards with completing the test for those living with dementia or confusion and therefore they need to be completed by someone experienced and done so extremely carefully as well as compassionately. In order to ensure this is always the case we will be retesting after a 14-day period. As time progresses and new, less invasive, ways of identifying those with a positive Covid 19 status are available, we may increase the frequency of tests for Residents. If you have any questions about the test itself please speak to your Home Manager.

It should also be noted that a swab test is only a snapshot in time, it gives an indication of an individual’s Covid 19 status at the time the swab was taken. The best methods to lower the risk of Covid 19 in any home is by ensuring there are strict admission criteria, isolation of new residents, appropriate infection control and correct use of PPE. At Caring Homes we have all of these in place.

We understand your anxiety about the Hospital bed situation if a person deteriorates. However, we have advised all of our Home Managers that the decisions which residents and relatives discussed prior to this virus coming to the forefront remain valid. There is no need in our view to change our criteria in relation to Hospital admissions or to review current care plan documentation in relation to decisions regarding the same. Where a resident has stated that they wish to undergo hospital admission if their conditions deteriorates, or if a relative has expressed this wish on their loved one’s behalf, we shall pursue the fact that such an admission should go ahead.

Many thanks to the many relatives and friends who have asked if there is anything you can do to help the home in anyway. All we ask is for your continual support and as soon as we can lift the visiting restrictions, we will do. Please do maintain your contact with the Home and by all means do not hesitate to pick up the phone and speak to the Manager or the staff should you have any worries.

Here are some additional resources where you can find further information and the latest Government and NHS advice.

If you do not have symptoms and are looking for general information on the Novel coronavirus (Covid-19), a free NHS helpline has been set up on
0800 028 2816.

The helpline is open:

Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 10.00pm

Saturday and Sunday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Gov.uk website
www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

NHS website
www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

NHS 24 website (Scotland Only)
www.nhs24.scot/

NHS Helpline Number
0800 028 2816

The helpline is open:

Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 10.00pm

Saturday and Sunday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Handwashing Advice
www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

Advice for Travellerswww.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/advice-for-travellers/