Date: 28/08/2020, 11am
Dear Families and Friends,
I wanted to update you on the current situation with regards to COVID-19 in our homes and to tell you how we’re addressing the consistent feedback we’re receiving from families and residents about the adverse impacts of the pandemic on everyone’s quality of life.
Infection status of our homes
All of our homes are currently COVID-19 free. A small number of homes are closed to visiting on the instruction of local public health services due to the number of infections in the wider population around our homes. We expect this scenario to continue over the autumn and winter as local outbreaks come and go. I do appreciate that it’s very frustrating to be informed at short notice that visiting is being suspended and I must apologise for that. Our apparent haste reflects the notice we receive from the public health services.
As you know we try to test all of our team members every third week along with our residents too, with appropriate consent. There have been significant shortages of test kits across the country for a number of weeks but this has now been resolved, and we should be able to test 100% of people on an ongoing basis. Where we find asymptomatic positive test results our team members self-isolate and we also must isolate individual residents too. If there are more than two such results within a home, we isolate the unit concerned to prevent any spread of infection and we also restrict visiting. This fortunately seems to be happening rarely, but I know it’s difficult when it does happen and planned contact is cancelled.
Quality of life and happiness
Our priority is to assure the safety and wellbeing of our residents and we have had, and continue to have a huge focus on infection prevention within all our homes. This must continue whilst COVID-19 circulates in the population.
However, it’s now almost six months since the pandemic forced us to close our homes to visitors and the toll on families and residents from this enforced separation and limited contact is extremely high. This is the case for all residents, perhaps most obvious where residents have memory impairment, but we also see loneliness and homesickness amongst many of the residents we care for.
We’re therefore working with each of our homes and our General Managers to increase visiting opportunities from the current one visit per week and to enable residents to leave the home to visit family. We’d like to go further where visitors agree to undergo routine testing on a regular basis. We’ll be contacting you separately about this in respect of the home where your loved one lives and we’ll be doing this in ways which don’t undermine our focus on infection prevention.
I hope you’ll welcome this but I’m sure some of you will be nervous or concerned so please do get in touch with the care home so we can answer your questions.
Dr. Natalie-Jane Macdonald, CEO
Keeping our residents safe
Over 90% of our Sunrise care homes have been rated Good or Outstanding by the CQC
We want to reassure you that our dedicated teams are working tirelessly to keep our residents safe and to look after not only their physical but their mental wellbeing. The health and safety of our residents continues to be of the utmost importance to us at Sunrise. Here is what you can expect when you join us:
“The staff at Sunrise have always been the most caring and lovely group of people, none more so than now. Nothing is too much trouble for them and their love and devotion, has been beyond inspirational.” Daughter of resident at Sunrise care home
The majority of our Sunrise homes are now open for new residents to move-in with us. To find out more please contact us here.
Take a look at some of the fantastic activities and events our homes have been doing over the last few months:
A number of our homes are now open to visitors, please contact our home directly if you wish to arrange a visit.
We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis, following public health advice. We've a detailed set of criteria to inform when an individual home can be reopened safely to limited visiting either by families of existing residents or by potential new residents who may want to view one of our homes. The majority of our homes are open for admissions.
As part of our approach to reopening for visitors, we'll be operating in a very different way. To minimise the risk of infection we've produced a safety guide.
We'll continue to follow public health advice to determine when visits will return to normal and will continue to do our best to support residents to keep in touch with loved ones.