Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
The welfare, safety and happiness of residents, team members and visitors is our number one priority. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our additional stringent measures are constantly reviewed to ensure we continue to meet Government and Public Health guidance, for everyone’s safety and wellbeing, whilst continuing to offer a comfortable and happy place to live, work and visit.
Our care home teams continue our programme of regular testing for team members and residents, in line with the relevant Government guidance. Visitors to our homes are asked to bring a negative Lateral Flow Device test result with them on the day of their visit. Alternatively, this test can be completed on arrival at the care home, which would require waiting for the result outside of the home.
Our testing programme is carried out alongside all our other measures to minimise infection transmission so that we can continue to offer safe visits for families and welcome into our homes new residents who need care and support.
We are pleased to report the success of the vaccination programme within our homes, with nearly all residents having received their vaccines where possible and a strong programme of booster vaccines has also taken place.
From 11th November new Government legislation requires those working and in and the majority of people visiting care homes in England to have had two doses of an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine or to provide evidence of exemption.
Although this requirement does not apply to the visitors of an existing resident or their essential care givers, we have a strong preference that all visitors are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For those visiting a resident who have not been fully vaccinated, it may be necessary, at a local home level, to make some adaptions to the visit. We will not prevent the visit from taking place and any additional measures that are put in place, such as a change to the location and timing of the visit, will be as part of an individual risk assessment discussed with all parties involved.
We ask that on arrival at our homes, visitors show their vaccination status using the relevant NHS App or paper copy as follows:
- England - NHS App (you can request a copy of your vaccination status by phoning 111 if you don’t have the App).
- Scotland - NHS Scotland Covid Status App (you can request a copy of your vaccination status by phoning the COVID Status Helpline on 0808 196 8565 if you don’t have the App).
- Northern Ireland - COVIDCert NI App (you can request a copy of your vaccination status by phoning the contact centre 03002007814. If you don’t have the App)
Regular contact with loved ones is essential for the mental and physical wellbeing of our residents and so we are pleased to be able to offer a range of visiting options for family members and friends. This varies by home but includes a bedroom visit following a negative test, a dedicated visiting area as well as outdoor and window visits as the weather allows. The comfort of the resident will be paramount when considering the location of the visit.
All visitors are asked to follow our Visitor Protocol, which includes a declaration on arrival, hand washing, the wearing of a mask indoors and observation of current social distancing measures. We also ask visitors to complete a Lateral Flow Device test prior to their visit, either at home, bringing the negative test result with them, or on arrival at the home, which would require waiting outside for the result.
All visits continue to be organised in advance with the home, either via the telephone or via our online booking system.
We are committed to facilitating the role of the Essential Care Giver (England), Essential Visitor (Scotland) and Care Partner Scheme (Northern Ireland) that is available for each resident. This person, chosen by the resident where possible, can provide them with additional health, physical and psychological wellbeing support during visits and are able to continue with indoor bedroom visits, even when there is an outbreak within the home. Additional measures, such as an individual risk assessment, a regular testing programme and use of PPE are required as part of this role. The way in which these visits take place will be individual to each resident, depending on their needs and the support being provided by their family member.
Across our homes, our team members also continue to offer video calls to ensure residents keep in touch with their nearest and dearest when a visit in person is not possible.
Welcoming new residents
Our caring teams are ready to welcome new residents into our homes so that we can be there for those who need care and support.
As part of our warm welcome, a nominated family member can help new residents settle in on their first day. We have clear protocols in place and ensure that new residents moving into our homes, whether from a local hospital or the community, have a negative COVID-19 test result in advance.
Current government guidelines include an initial period of self-isolation to ensure the continued safety of existing residents and team members. During this time, new residents are supported to feel at home in their bedroom and will not feel alone. Every new resident will have proposed activities to participate in during this time, supported by various members of the team to cater for their individual needs and ensure they are comfortable throughout each day.