Care home admissions during the Covid-19 pandemic
We would like to reassure you that you can still come and live in one of our residential or nursing homes during this Covid-19 pandemic. We are working with hospitals, healthcare professionals, local authorities and family members to ensure safe admission into your chosen home albeit with some temporary restrictions in place.
Below you will find some questions and answers which may be useful when you are considering coming to live in one of our homes during this time. If you would like further information please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0800 917 0478 or enquiring online. The Enquiry Team are here to help.
We also have a really informative video about our different self isolation options and the processes we have in place to keep you and our staff as safe as possible.
We are monitoring Government advice around local lockdowns and we will highlight any specific care home changes for each area should they arise. Please speak to the Home Manager for local updates.
Will I have to self-isolate in my care home bedroom if I come to your home during the pandemic?
We have given this a great deal of thought and, having spoken to many families, have made the decision to offer families two options.
New residents can either self-isolate in the comfort of their own home for 11 days, then join us in the care home where they will be tested for Covid-19 and supported to self-isolate for 3 more days until the result of the test is known.
Alternatively, new residents can come to the care home immediately where we will support you to self-isolate in your bedroom for a period of 14 days, during which time you will be tested for Covid-19.
For our families and homes in Scotland who are following Scottish government advice, please contact the home directly.
Why do new residents have to self-isolate before coming to stay in a care home?
It is known that people can carry the Covid-19 virus and never develop symptoms but unwittingly pass the virus to others. By self-isolating all new residents for 14 days (whether in their own home or ours) we are minimising the risk of spreading the virus.
How do I self-isolate at home?
We understand that the thought of self-isolation can be daunting and one of our team will make telephone contact with you throughout your self-isolation period to see how it’s going and answer any questions you may have.
If you live alone, you will need to ensure that while you’re self-isolating at home, you don’t leave the house and don’t have visitors. If somebody needs to come into your home and their visit is essential, you should maintain the two metre social distancing rule and your visitor should wear a face covering. If you have carers coming into your home, they should routinely be wearing a face mask, gloves and apron.
If there are other people in your household:
- You should stay in a well ventilated room on your own with the door closed if this is possible
- You should avoid close contact with other household members and maintain the two metre social distancing rule if contact with them is unavoidable
- Use a separate bathroom if possible
- If the bathroom is shared, you should be the first person to use the bathroom each day and it must be cleaned thoroughly after anybody has used it
- Use your own towels
- You should eat your meals in your room.
More information on how to self-isolate can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
How will I be able to view the home and my new bedroom?
We are following the government’s advice and have made the difficult decision to minimise visits, only allowing emergency medical visits and pre-booked socially distanced family visits outside at the current time. This means our usual ‘show-around’ of the home cannot happen in the usual way. We can however, use our iPads to give you and your loved one a virtual tour of the home and the bedroom. During your virtual tour we can tell you about mealtimes, activities in the home, introduce you to some staff and give you a flavour of day to day life.
How will you do the care assessment during Covid-19?
All new residents have a pre-admission assessment to ensure we have a full understanding of care needs, personality, likes and dislikes. During the Covid-19 pandemic these will be conducted via Facetime, Skype, Zoom or telephone – preferably with the prospective resident and somebody else present.
What will happen on the day of admission into the care home during Covid-19?
On the day of admission you can bring your loved one to the home but unfortunately we can only allow the resident to enter the home. We understand this is an extremely emotional time but we hope you understand that the safety of all in the home is paramount. All new residents joining the care home during the Covid-19 pandemic will need to isolate in their room for the first 14 days of their stay if they have not self-isolated at home first or 3 days if they have. This is to ensure they do not begin to display symptoms of the virus and put others at risk. All new residents will be tested for Covid-19.
During this period we encourage you to stay in touch with your loved one via the phone and social media. We have iPads in the home and will help your loved ones with video calls if preferred. Our residents really value the letters, posters and messages of encouragement from friends and the community and they certainly bring a smile to the staffs’ faces during this time. It’s heartening to see the resilience and steadfastness of our home families at the moment and would like to reassure you that even though these times are certainly strange, your loved one will be cared for and will build relationships and make new friends in the home over time. There are lots of examples of home-life during the pandemic on our news page.
10 steps to fully inform you
Robust deep cleaning and infection control processes
- Your bedroom will have been thoroughly cleaned including bed sheets, mattress, pillow covers and blankets, before you arrive, using recommended cleaning agents that ensure the bedroom is free from the Covid-19 virus
- Your bedroom will be cleaned regularly throughout your stay
- Our housekeeping teams follow robust cleaning schedules throughout our homes to help keep you as safe as possible
- We have strict infection control procedures that all our staff are trained to undertake and we complete an infection control audit every day to make sure that these procedures are being followed.
Good supply of appropriate PPE
- Throughout the pandemic we have maintained sufficient supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all our staff to ensure that they can care for you safely
- All our staff will be wearing face masks for your protection and you may also see them wearing gloves, aprons and sometimes face visors too, dependent on the task they are undertaking
- All our procedures are designed to keep you as safe as possible whilst staying with us.
Whole home testing programme
- For your protection we participate in the Government-led Covid-19 testing programme for all care homes
- This may mean that you will have more than one Covid-19 test during your stay with us.
Emergency Support Framework results are posted on homes’ website pages
- In England the Care Quality Commission (CQC) suspended their inspections in all care homes during the pandemic
- They now interview our Home Managers by telephone to make sure that we are following all the latest Government guidance around Infection Prevention and Control. They also assess how well we are supporting our residents and that we are continuing to deliver a high quality service that keeps our residents safe
- In Scotland the Care Inspectorate have continued to undertake some inspections but have also introduced a system of checking on the quality of care delivered in our Scottish homes by telephone.
Units/floors kept separate and residents mix in small, socially distanced groups
- We don’t encourage residents to socialise with residents from other units or on different floors of our homes during this pandemic
- We provide a dedicated dining room and sitting room on each floor and when you use them we will make sure that social distancing is maintained
- We do this to maintain your wellbeing and safety at all times.
Pre-bookable socially distanced visiting options and iPad calls with loved ones
- We recognise how important it is for you to maintain contact with loved ones and how difficult it can be if this is not possible
- We still cannot permit open visiting within the home but have a range of options to ensure you can still meet with your loved ones whilst maintaining social distancing
- We are able to offer garden visits, drive through visits and visits by an open window. Please check with the individual homes to find out which of these visits they are able to offer as some cannot facilitate all three
- We also have the option for you to keep in touch with your loved ones by video call.
Wellbeing staff help with all sorts of activities including hairdressing and befriending
- We have staff in our homes who can help you enjoy your time with us by providing a range of activities tailored around you and how you choose to spend your time
Front-line staff receive full training and continuous communications
- As well as undertaking a thorough induction, all our staff have received additional training in Infection Control and how to keep all our residents as safe as possible during the current pandemic
- We make sure that we keep all our staff updated on the best and most appropriate way to use PPE to keep you as safe as possible
- Covid-19 Information and updates are shared with our home managers on a daily basis which they then cascade to their teams.