During these unprecedented times, the health and welfare of our residents remains to be our highest priority.
We have progressed with our plans to facilitate garden visits for residents and their loved ones in a controlled manner. In Wales, in line with Government advice we are arranging such visits for residents who can comply with social distancing in our homes which have been Covid-free for 28 days. In England, now Public Health England have amended their advice, we have decided to facilitate visits for residents who can comply with social distancing from Friday 3rd July as we appreciate much time has passed, and we believe the well-being of our residents is equally important to their health and must be taken into consideration. Information on visiting residents who cannot social distance will be shared in due course. As failure to social distance could put residents and visitors at risk of infection, this needs to be carefully controlled. Information on how you can book a visit will be circulated to relatives in the weekly update letter sent by your General Manager. Please note all visits must be booked in advance by appointment and we can only facilitate a certain number of visits per day for a limited duration to allow us time to effectively clean the area in-between visits. All visitors must also complete a health declaration form prior to each visit taking place to ensure their safety and others.
For the homes not currently able to facilitate visits due to Government restrictions, our position on routine visiting remains unchanged. We are still closed to visitors including family members and friends. We appreciate this is frustrating and we apologise for any distress this may cause you or your loved one. Our absolute priority is to keep your loved one safe and we hope you can understand this. Please note if there is a situation that requires a non-routine visit in extenuating circumstances such as end of life; your General Manager will work with you to ensure that the appropriate precautionary measures are taken to minimise any potential risks, you can be assured anyone displaying symptoms or any member of their household who is displaying symptoms will not be allowed to enter the home, all visitors temperatures will be taken, infection control measures will also be taken, handwashing and the appropriate PPE will be provided, essential medical visits will continue.
We continue to follow robust infection control measures for all homes which are in line with Government and Public Health England and Public Health Wales advice. Our team and PPE levels remain to be sufficient and we will continue to test the residents and our team on a regular basis to ensure their safety and others. We are also ensuring that any team member who is displaying any symptoms of a Covid-19 infection are appropriately self-isolating at home and only return to work when they are free from any symptoms.
We continue to apply the policy of social distancing in all our care homes; this means that we are encouraging residents to stay in their rooms as much as possible to avoid mixing with others. This has meant our teams have had to introduce more innovative ways to keep residents connected with each other and their family members, to reduce the risk of social isolation. Our team members are becoming extremely adept in their use of IT, and are coordinating 1-2-1 activities as well as safe, socially-distanced group activities to keep residents occupied and entertained. We have been encouraging residents to go outdoors as weather allows whilst maintaining the social distancing rule of 2-meters apart. We are continually monitoring how the policy of social distancing is impacting on resident’s emotional well-being and will provide more support if needed. This can take the form of more 1:1 input or more frequent contact with family and friends via a suitable IT platform.
Our housekeeping team continue to keep the homes spotlessly clean to reduce the risk of any viral contamination on hard surfaces and team members are no longer travelling to work in their uniforms but are changing in the home prior to commencing duty and then changing back into their outdoor clothes before they leave the building.
Team training in Covid-19 and infection control continues and our team are fully supported with a current and up to date “Management of Covid-19” policy and associated pieces of guidance, all of which reflects current UK Government and Public Health guidance.
We thank you for your support as we move through this worldwide pandemic. The clapping for carers, along with the many messages of thanks and gifts of appreciation have meant so much to the care team who are working tirelessly to keep your loved one safe. We continue to follow all current Government and Public Health England and Public Health Wales guidance closely and we will keep you informed of any developments.
If you would like to have more contact with your loved one or if you have any questions about your loved ones care please do not hesitate to contact your General Manager. Alternatively, if you have any queries regarding our management of Covid-19 you can email Coronahelpline@hallmarkcarehomes.co.uk.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.