Coronavirus information

Updated : 04/04/2022

We’d like to say a big thank you for the understanding of families and friends of residents over the changing situation regarding visits – your patience and goodwill has been much appreciated.

The government introduced new guidance on 30th March 2022, 'COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19'.  

In care settings Covid restrictions will remain to protect residents, famlies and staff. Therefore we will be maintaining the need for Covid restrictions whilst the omicron and its varients are impacting Surrey.

Please contact the home before visiting to enquire about current visiting arrangements.   

 

Relative visits

 

Maintaining family and social connections is essential to the health and wellbeing of care home residents.  We are committed to ensuring residents in our home are able to enjoy visits from their family and friends wherever possible while complying with government restrictions.

 

The Government has emphasised the importance of balancing the need for family visits with protecting the safety and wellbeing of those living and working in the home.  With this in mind, we will be taking a two-tiered approach to visits within our home.

 

If there is an ‘Outbreak’ status in the home – ie a resident or a member of staff has tested positive or is experiencing symptoms which could indicate coronavirus – we will pause visiting to the home for 14 days. We will also continue to provide visits in the home by 'essential care givers' and where a resident is on end of life care. Where visiting is not possible, we will do our utmost to keep residents in touch with families. This includes using outdoor visits, window visits/ mobiles/ tablet/ computer for Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp video and phone calls.

 

If there is 'No Outbreak’ status in the home, we will provide garden visits and internal visits in the ventilated conservatory or residents rooms. We have invested in infrared heaters to heat the conservatory while remaining ventilated. Infection control teams have confirmed that this method of visiting is covid secure. 

From 4th April 2022 there are no limits to residents visitors and one 'essential care giver'. Residents can receive indoor visits in the ventilated conservatory or their rooms. Masks are to be worn in the home, good hand hygiene followed. Residents can receive further visitors outdoors in the sheltered garden area. Mask are not required outside. Visitors will not need to test when visiting. Except for 'essential care givers' who are engaged in personal care.

 

The tests will be performed either at the care home, or self-testing at home with text/ email result from NHS test and trace. The tests take 20-30 minutes. Visitors should minimise physical contact with residents. Visitors must follow all necessary infection control measures. 

It is not a condition of visiting that the visitor or the resident should have been vaccinated. 

Prospective visitors who have tested positively for Covid-19 in the last seven days whether symptomatic or not should clearly not visit until they are satisfied through further testing that it is safe from them to visit

Physical contact like handholding is acceptable if hand washing protocols are followed. Close personal contact such as hugging presents higher risks but will be safer if it is between people who are double vaccinated, without face-to-face contact, and there is brief contact only.

In all cases, local Health Protection Teams may feel that the level of risk in the local community is particularly high and may ask us to postpone visits or adapt our approach.  In these cases, we will always follow their guidance.

To enable staff to facilitate visits effectively, we will continue to follow the visitor code and infection control measures that have been in place for the last few months. 

 

Resident visits outside the home

From 4th April 2022  there are now no restrictions to care home residents making visits outside of the care home for a set purpose for a short or longer period, which could include the following:

  • to go or to be taken to visit family members or friends

  • to stay with family and friends for one or more nights

  • to go away on holiday

  • to have a period in hospital

  • to go shopping

  • to visit a café or restaurant

  • to attend a sporting event or place of entertainment

  • to attend or take part in a local community event

  • to go to a place of work or education.

The care home does not ask residents to self-isolate on return from an outside visit. It will always carry out a risk assessment to check against potential infectiousness and the implications for the individual and other residents.

Keeping safe at home

 

As the national situation regarding the pandemic develops, our number one priority remains the safety and wellbeing of everyone living and working in our home.  Since the early stages of the pandemic, staff have been working according to the changing UK guidance.  This includes a range of measures aimed at both reducing the likelihood of new Covid-19 infections, and reducing the spread of infections where they occur. These include;

 

  • Staff following guidance around social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene measures, the correct wearing of PPE and ventilation.

  • Maintained a high level of stock for PPE, cleaning and decontamination items.

  • Using Covid-19 testing available to ensuring staff have three tests a week and residents are tested once a month.

  • We have introduced protocols to support family visits that are as safe and enjoyable as possible for all involved whilst complying with Government guidance, and are continuing to invest in new technologies, computer tablets to maintain family connections.

  • New residents or residents that have been admitted to hospital and returning home must have a test within 72 hours of admission and show proof of a negative result before returning to the home. Also a negative LFT on the day. 

  • Staff have undergone infection prevention control training and specific training in relation to Covid-19. Staff have received infection control training updates from the community nurses.

  • We have invested in air purifiers on all floors and in communal TV room and dining room. They uses several filters and UV-C light to reduce bacteria and virus particles in the air in one pass through the purifier. Also sink particles to the floor where they can be cleaned more easily. 

  • Should there be a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 in our home, the home will move into ‘Outbreak’ status and follow an Outbreak Plan which includes elements like closing communal areas within the home, postponing visits and tighter cohorting of staff and residents into smaller social bubbles.

  • We have measures in place to limit the number of non-essential people coming into our homes, including postponing all non-essential visits.

  • There is enhanced cleaning regimes including decontaminating equipment and cleaning high touch areas.

 

 

Other visitors to our home

The exact rules about other visitors to our homes will depend on the local guidance. Please be assured that essential visits from, health professionals like doctors, district nurses podiatrist or people repairing critically important equipment are going ahead but they will only do so under stringent IPC measures. These include health professionals having a rapid test within last 72 hours of visiting home, and vaccination status check. Other visitors will require rapid test on the day and vaccination status check. 

 

New admissions

Please contact the home.

 

Testing

Visitors are no longer required to test before entering the home. Except where the visitor is 'essential care giver' who takes part in personal care. Staff are currently tested twice a weekly With LFT.  Residents with symptoms of Covid-19 should isolate and be tested with lateral flow tests, first on presentation of symptoms and then 48 hours later as described in the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Management for Care Homes Policy.

If the visitor tests positive, they must immediately leave the premises. They must complete a PCR test, which should be provided for them by the care home.

Visitors who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 should not routinely be retested within 90 days unless they develop new symptoms. Some visitors will not need to be tested because they will still fall into this 90-day window. These visitors should use the result of their positive PCR test to show that they are exempt.

 

Vaccines

It is good news that all residents and staff have both vaccinations. All residents and most staff have received their booster vaccinations. GP surgery will arrange for second boosters for residents this spring 2022. 

Latest news

For more comprehensive information on coronavirus, please visit the Public Heath England and government websites. Please don’t hesitate to contact the manager for more information.