Published: Wednesday 11th March 2020
To all our residents, relatives and friends,
Following our communication to you regarding the Coronavirus last week, we wanted to provide an update on the steps we are taking to protect our residents, as well as our plans for the next couple of weeks.
We appreciate that this is a worrying and unprecedented time for our residents, relatives, friends and staff and ensuring the safety of everyone in our homes is paramount. However, our aim is also to not cause further panic or upset to our residents and to work to maintain their current home life with as little disruption to them as possible.
We want to reassure you that we are strictly following the Department of Health’s guidelines as well as putting in place our own additional policies and procedures. We are in close contact with Public Health England and will respond immediately to any specific advice in regards to care homes as and when it is published.
We would ask in the first instance that if you are planning on visiting our home, please consider whether your visit is absolutely necessary, or if a phone call or a FaceTime call could be used to maintain contact with your loved one.
In order to limit the risk to our staff and residents but in order to continue with as much normality as possible, we are taking a staged approach in terms of visitors to our home. We have now taken the very important decision to not allow entry into our homes to any non-essential visitors. This is a temporary measure and is purely a precaution at this time. Non-essential visitors include:
Under Government guidelines, we will also not allow entry to our homes to people who have recently returned from an area where the Coronavirus is known to be present. We will also not allow entry to anyone who is showing symptoms of flu or a cold.
Our next steps, should the virus continue, will be to close our homes to all visitors. We understand that this will be a difficult time for everyone but we will do everything we can to keep you in contact with your relative by other means such as regular phone calls and/or Skype and FaceTime.
We will continue to keep you informed as to when we move to this next step.
As covered in our last communication, in order to maintain our infection control procedures to the highest standards, it is now our policy that everyone entering the building must wash and dry their hands immediately on entry to our home. This needs to be before signing in.
Visitors must use the toilet in reception to wash their hands (adhering to the displayed handwashing prompt) as soon as they enter the building. In our homes where there is no visitor toilet in the reception area, we have set up a sanitising station in the foyer for visitors to use as they enter the building. After sanitising, they should then head directly to the visitor toilet to wash their hands (adhering to the displayed handwashing prompt) before signing in.
We are ensuring our staff take all precautions necessary as advised by the Department of Health to help prevent the spread of the infection, such as:
We are providing each home with extra supplies of tissues, hand sanitisers and paper towels and these items are available in all resident’s rooms, communal lounges and staff areas.
We want to reassure you that we have plans and contingencies in place for all aspects of care home life should the virus continue.
We have set out a contingency plan for catering should our current catering team be affected by the virus. We have plenty of resources to ensure that if this was to happen, our residents would continue to be provided with meals and snacks that will meet their nutrition and dietary needs.
We are working with staff to ensure that there will always be a member of the team available to order and dispense medication to our residents and we are working closely with our Pharmacies on this.
Our staff are taking the Government guidelines as well as our policies for the virus extremely seriously. However, should any of our staff fall unwell, we have a large reliable bank staffing team who are in place and able to support our homes at short notice and should the need arise.
As our usual entertainers are unable to join us at this time, we are reviewing our current activity schedule so that there is still plenty to do within the comfort and safety of our homes. We are purchasing extra activities equipment and games to be available for everyone to use in order to continue to maintain our residents’ current lifestyle. We have many amenities on site that we will make full use of during this time such as cinema and activity areas. If there is anything you would like us to look into for you or your relative, please do let us know.
It is absolutely key for us at this time that we communicate with you at every stage and keep you fully informed of our plans and procedures. We will be posting updates on Facebook, our website and also via email from our newsletter channel, Ideal Insider. If you would like to be updated via email please let us know by emailing email@example.com
May we take this opportunity to thank you for your continued co-operation. If you would like to discuss anything further, please contact your Home Manager.