If you have an outbreak of Covid at the home can I still visit?
Routine internal visiting does not happen during an outbreak, but we have remote facilities to keep people connected, a safe visiting room and enhanced visiting can go ahead where it is necessary to support vulnerable people. We have seen a significant drop in outbreaks both in terms of occurrence and size – they are now very rare in our homes.
If my loved one and I both have had the vaccine, does that impact on visiting – can I visit whenever I like?
We continue to be vigilant and keep measures in place, as there is still a transmission risk, even if people have had the vaccine. However, we do have frequent visiting schedules in place, and can support with testing when needed. We will continue to keep up to date with both local and national guidance to keep everyone safe and enable visiting for our residents. Our current ‘menu’ includes: safe visiting room, garden visits, nominated person visits (at least 2 per resident), transitional support for new residents and enhanced visiting for those most vulnerable.
If my loved one has had the vaccine and tests negative before moving in, do they still need to self-isolate for 6 days?
If a negative test is received prior to move in, the new resident will need to isolate until another test is completed 5 days later, if negative they will no longer need to isolate.
If residents of a home have all already been vaccinated, and my loved one hasn't - how will they get vaccinated after moving in?
The home will support you and this will be arranged either via the primary care networks (GP’s) or via the local vaccination hubs.
What happens if my loved one moves in for Respite, and towards the end of their stay there is an outbreak and the home is closed? Can they still leave?
Yes, they can leave at any point, but we would urge caution, just in case they have been exposed to the outbreak.
How quickly can I move my loved one in with you?
If there is no outbreak, just as quickly as we can arrange an assessment and set a date – there is no need to delay.
How often are you testing residents and team members?
We are currently routinely testing all residents every 28 days and all team members at least twice a week using both the Lateral Flow Device (Rapid test) and lab-based PCR test. If we need to, we can test on a daily basis to identify risk.
Are you testing all visitors before they can enter the home?
If my loved one has had the vaccine, do they still need to self-isolate if there is an outbreak or when they move in?
Yes, there is still risk of infection spreading. Please see above.
What measures have been taken so far to protect the residents and staff?
We continue to use PPE (personal protective equipment) and are following national and local guidance. We are in a position now where all of our residents have been offered the vaccine and we have a large percentage of team members who have received the vaccine. I hope that these measures reassure you, when you are not able to visit as usual, that we are taking every appropriate infection control measure to safeguard your loved one.
Are residents’ and staff being tested for COVID-19?
Yes, please see above. We are able to test people who appear symptomatic very quickly and we adhere to the schedule to provide regular testing as advised by the Government. Our infection management protocols remain the same. The tests being offered tell whether the person has the infection at the time of the test and we have protocols to ensure we support that person in the safest way if they need to self-isolate to minimise the risk of infection spreading. The tests aren’t antibody tests, which tells you whether someone has had the infection previously.
How are residents being kept informed of changes within the home due to COVID-19?
Our residents have been regularly communicated to by our CEO by letter and the management team within the home have been providing daily updates to all residents and weekly correspondence to relatives. Zoom meetings are also taking place with friends and families
What happens if many team members become affected? How will we manage to care for the residents?
Whilst we have had a number of team members absent with symptoms of COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic, or other team members who have been advised to shield or self-isolate, many of them are now back in work and our teams remain at capacity. We also take measures to ensure that we don’t have people crossing between our care homes unnecessarily.
Now that we are able to test our team members and the national test and trace service is operational, we are able to support our team members quickly to isolate. We also have an expectation that our team members will act responsibly to protect themselves from the risk of exposure.
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 would family members and friends be informed?
Whilst we understand this is a very worrying time for you we can assure you that our residents are being looked after to the highest of standards. We would inform you if the home has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
How do we isolate in a care home and prevent the resident from deteriorating emotionally and physically?
We have plans for every resident, detailing the resident’s routine of preferred meaningful activities in order to provide a sense of purpose. Activities are planned to support some physical action with chair-based exercises; window-based activities for maximum access to daylight and sunshine and a range of mentally stimulating 1:1 activities. The care teams are also carefully monitoring our residents to recognise any change to their wellbeing, if needed we would not hesitate to support residents with our enhanced visiting protocol.
Can family members and friends be with residents at end of life?
Yes, we will support end-of-life visiting in whatever format is best for the resident and family members.
Are we still allowing new residents into our homes?
Yes, we have protocols for supporting new residents to move into our home safely.
What happens if someone in the home tests positive for covid-19?
Anyone who tests positive for covid-19 is required to self-isolate. Team members will isolate at home and residents will be supported in their rooms. During this time they will be supported to maintain social contact via iPad and a bespoke plan, which will enable 1:1 activities and contact with carers, friends and family.