As parts of the country see lockdown measures being eased and, following a review of published guidance, I am pleased to say that we are able to start opening our homes to family visits again. Initially we are taking a cautious approach not least because the virus remains a threat and the safety and welfare of our frail resident population must remain the priority. I appreciate that the last two months or so have been very difficult for families and I would like to thank relatives and friends for their understanding, patience and respect of the restrictions we put in place back in March and the support and kindness they have shown our teams over this last period of time.
Whilst we appreciate that contact with loved ones is extremely important and we look forward to welcoming family members back into our homes, we must also recognise that those living and working in care homes remain vulnerable to COVID-19. With this in mind, controlled, limited visits will begin to take place from Monday 6th July in the grounds of our care homes that have been free from COVID-19 for a period of 21 days in England and Norther Ireland or 28 days for our homes in Scotland as 28 days is the stipulation that has been put in place by Public Health Scotland.
To help ensure the safety and wellbeing of all involved, visits will need to be booked in advance with the home and follow the standards set out in our visitor protocol, which includes robust guidance on infection control measures, the wearing of PPE and social distancing practices. All details will be provided by the home to family members in advance of any visits taking place.
We will continue to offer a number of ways to keep everyone connected and in touch with one another. Our dedicated teams are assisting with telephone and video calls as well as emails and letters and working hard to keep day-to-day life as engaging and normal as possible. You can find out more here.
Although the first peak of the pandemic has passed, I want to assure you that we remain vigilant. We continue to monitor on a daily basis the latest Government advice and guidance from Public Health authorities in each area for any changes in risk to local communities which could impact our homes.
Testing for residents and team members in all homes has been completed and will continue on an ongoing basis with team members being tested each week and residents each month. We have also embarked on a research study with University College London in many of our homes, which will help our understanding of the virus in care homes and whether becoming infected means you are immune and can’t get it again in the future.
We continue to welcome new residents into our homes so that we can be there for those that need care and support. The welfare and safety of residents and colleagues continues to be our priority and so we have extra measures and infection control protocols in place, whilst ensuring the move in process is still comforting and supportive for all new residents. Pre-admission assessments continue to be carried out in advance to ensure that we can meet an individual’s care needs and every new resident will be supported to isolate within the home for a period of at least 14 days on arrival.
If you have any queries or concerns, or just want to pass on your gratitude and thanks, please do not hesitate to contact the Home Manager directly or by emailing email@example.com . Any changes to our policy and procedures will be updated here and we will continue to keep you informed on developments.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
With my best wishes to you and your family,
Chief Executive Officer
Updated 6th August 2020
Date published: 12 March 2020
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