As the COVID-19 outbreak has continued to escalate and the Government has applied increasingly stringent procedures to contain the virus and slow down its spread, we wanted to inform you of the next phase of our plans to support residents, relatives and team members.
One of the procedures introduced by the Government is that of social distancing, and we believe that we now need to apply this principle in all of our homes to reduce the risk of any infection spreading between residents.
What this means is that we will be asking residents to stay, as much as possible, in their own rooms, and this includes for their meals. However; please be assured that if your loved one is living with dementia and is unable to follow this request, we will be ensuring that their environment remains as safe as possible and team members will be available to help them distance themselves as much as possible from other residents.
Our housekeeping team have changed the cleaning solution they use and will be wiping down hard surfaces at least twice daily with a sodium hypochlorite solution. This action will kill any viruses that are on these surfaces.
We are also supporting residents to wash their hands with soap and water on a more frequent basis and are offering alcohol hand gel frequently throughout the day. This will reduce the risk of residents harbouring the Covid-19 virus on their hands and will reduce the risk of infection.
We will, of course, continue to provide your loved one with social interaction by connecting residents in creative ways respecting social distancing guidance and we will continue to use technology platforms such as FaceTime, Skype, and our RelsApp to ensure you can keep in contact. Our teams will also be spending 1:1 time with residents to reduce the risk of social isolation.
Whilst none of us would wish to be in this position and have to apply such restrictive measures, we hope you agree that keeping residents safe at this time must be our primary aim.
Whilst our homes are still closed to visitors including family members and friends, please note if there is a situation that requires a non-routine visit such as end of life, your General Manager will work with you to ensure that the appropriate precautionary measures are taken to limit any potential risk. We will still ensure that vital medical visits are made, and will be sure that only people who are not, along with their household, displaying symptoms come in, and that they wash their hands and have their temperature taken on entering.
In terms of our team we have taken the same precautions and more. Currently any team members or members of their household displaying symptoms will not be allowed to enter our homes for 14 days. In addition to this, we have implemented mandatory temperature checks for employees as they arrive to work. To improve our care provision and to mitigate risk, all of our employees have had on-going COVID-19 training, and we have ordered an appropriate stock of PPE for all of our homes so that team members can care for any resident safely should they display COVID-19 symptom’s.
As I am sure you can appreciate during this period, we may require some helping hands if team members are unable to come to work due to childcare or other factors. To support residents and ensure they get the quality of care they deserve, we have initiated a new recruitment, redeployment and volunteer programme and will be recruiting and training our team through technology to ensure they are thoroughly inducted and they have the right skills, knowledge and personality to be able to look after your loved one.
We would really appreciate your support with these measures, and please be reassured that all of the actions we have taken, and will take in the future, have reflected the most current guidance and advice published by the UK Government and Public Health (England) and Public Health (Wales). The health and welfare of our residents, visitors and team is our number one priority and we will keep all stakeholders updated with further developments.
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 in advance for your patience and cooperation.