Click here to view a copy of the CQC Covid-19 Emergency Support Framework for Park View Care Home (pdf)

May 2021

We are delighted and excited with the news with visits out of care homes are not requiring 14 days isolation on return. This is a really positive step for everyone and we hope the easing of restrictions continue. Please note outside visits are for the five designated visitors only to undertake. The overall principle of the guidance is to limit the amount of contacts in the home so we have reviewed how best we can support everyone.  The updated guidance on care home visiting has been published here and the arrangements for visiting out of care homes can be found here.

In summary:

  • All care home visits in the home or out of the home must be booked in advance, these continue to be booked directly with the home. The visits out of the home are not included on weekly visit, but we do need to know so we can plan who is out of the home.
  • Everyone who visits (in or out) must have a rapid test result for that day.  To date we have been doing these on arrival, but you are now able to access 2 tests a week so if you can show us your negative result for the day of your visit you will not need to wait the half hour, so this should help us all. Residents will be tested by staff prior to leaving the home.
  • Everyone still needs to wear the PPE as the government guidance which continues to be mask, gloves and apron (we do have face visors available instead of the mask if this supports communication)
  • We currently have 2 visiting areas.  Each visit can have a maximum of 2 visitors.
  • Both spaces can be used for contact visits with designated visitors, and we also have the large screen for all screened visits.
  • It may be possible when the weather gets warmer to also have garden visits but this is not a designated space yet, but if you wish your booked visit to be in the garden this may be possible if the garden is free, please do ask.
  • There are 3 categories for visitors:
    • Essential care givers are required to complete a weekly PCR test (same as the care team). This is limited to one person only and has to be to support essential care, which we have extended to well being and not just physical care needs.
    • Designated visitors – each resident/family can now nominate up to 5 designated visitors, which is a great relief for larger families!!  We need to know who has been identified for our records.
    • Everyone else – we can accommodate other visitors, but they will need to be screened visits.  This does include children, and we advise they are screened visits to prevent spontaneous hugs (currently) unless older children are part of the 5 designated visitors (they will need to be able to have a rapid test and wear PPE)
  • Designated and screened visits must be in the visiting rooms, the essential care giver can be flexible according to the residents needs as agreed.
  • We continue with end of life visiting for all residents and families as required
  • Residents can now leave the home and please see the government guidance link.  We do request this is planned and we know so we can complete a rapid test prior to the resident leaving.  A separate risk assessment/form is required for this trip to occur.

We appreciate that it continues to be a very challenging year for everyone but please can I remind you all that when visits take place on or off site that the social distancing Government guidance must still be followed. This includes no kissing, no hugging, or removing masks whether your visit is in the home or you are taking your loved one out. Unfortunately we are still not allowed to provide you with drinks or the use of toilet facilities. All visitors must continue to come to the main reception prior to their visit.

Friday 26th February 2021

 

Dear Relatives

Re: An update on our vaccination programme and visiting

As we continue with our vaccination campaign across First Care Homes, I thought that now would be an ideal time to take the opportunity to update you.

Currently, our vaccination statistics evidence that over 95% of residents and over 90% of colleagues have had their first Covid-19 vaccination. We have also made progress with some of our residents and colleagues now having received a second vaccination. We are therefore making good and steady progress with the vaccination campaign.

For those not yet vaccinated, there are a variety of reasons behind this including underlying conditions, needing to wait a period of time following a Covid-19 infection before being deemed safe to have the vaccination, and for some, a hesitancy around vaccination. In relation to the latter group, we continue providing information from trusted sources in print, online and via our own videos. We are actively promoting access to the Covid-19 vaccination amongst all colleagues and residents.

We view vaccination as being key in our efforts to return to some semblance of normality. Although we cannot make vaccination mandatory for existing colleagues, we can ensure that any new employees who wish to commence employment with us are either vaccinated or have confirmed their willingness to be vaccinated prior to their employment. We have taken this stance as we believe that all health and social care employees have a duty to work in a safe manner and this is particularly pertinent given the vulnerability of some of our residents.

Our policies and procedures continue to be based on Government guidance and Public Health advice. Where we believe such advice has not gone far enough in helping to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection, we have added to the official guidance to make our own policies and procedures more robust. Our priority remains as always, the ongoing safety and wellbeing of both colleagues and existing residents. The regular testing regime of colleagues and residents continues, and we have promoted both LFD and PCR testing, devising stringent policies to ensure this is done appropriately.

Our existing comprehensive admissions policy remains in place. We continue to stringently assess the possible Covid-19 risk of any new admissions to our Care Homes. This means that we do not knowingly admit to our Homes any resident with an ongoing positive Covid-19 status, a stance we have had in place since the beginning of the Pandemic in early 2020.

We continue to monitor national statistics and are very pleased to see that there has been a significant reduction in the number of new cases of Covid-19 in the UK and a sizeable reduction in the R rate. We continue to gain advice from Public Health and maintain close contact with other Government bodies, seeking advice and clarification on policy as we progress.

We are looking forward to opening our Homes to reflect the pending guidance very soon and have policies in place ready for this. We are now simply awaiting formal further Government guidance in this regard, so that we can be confident that what we propose in relation to visits meets standards expected in national guidance. As soon as there is progress on this issue, we will be in contact with you, sharing any new processes and or requirements to promote safe and meaningful visits.

We have already received some information on new visiting proposals from central Government and I think it is pertinent for me to share with you what we understand may be officially proposed in relation to visits and what we have based our own policies on;

  • There will be one nominated visitor for each individual resident
  • The nominated visitor will undergo LFD testing when they visit the Home; we have already ensured we have LFD testing kits in place and have ensured our colleagues have been trained in undertaking the procedure
  • The nominated visitors will be allowed to hold hands with their loved one; we welcome this change. The information we are getting through at the moment is that hugging will not be able to take place but hand holding will be allowed as long as appropriate PPE is worn by the visitor. We have always ensured that there are appropriate amounts of PPE at our Homes
  • The vaccination status of the visitor or the resident will make no difference to the use of PPE; despite the uptake of the vaccination, for now, PPE will continue to need to be used

I thought it pertinent to mention the above to you as I note that some of the information in the media is confusing and contradicts what is being set out by the Government. First Care Homes has developed policies with the points above in mind so that we can hit the ground running and will only need to tweak our guidance when new official guidance is released. Our aim is to open up to visits as soon as we possibly can and to do so safely. We have already developed our policies, swab consent forms, risk assessments, visitor records, guidance on nominated visitor status and reviewed procedures for internal visits in readiness. As time progresses with internal visits and with the above procedures in place, we may soon be in a position where we can allow a further lifting of restrictions and we will work to ensure we have policies in place ready for this.

Finally, as progress appears to be being made with quelling the impact of the virus in the UK things are changing at a pace and so I urge you to contact our Home Managers with any queries you may have and to keep an eye on our website where we will publish regular updates on any significant changes.

I would like to thank you for the continued support, patience and understanding shown towards our exceptional colleagues and very much look forward to welcoming you inside of our Homes once again very soon.

With my very best wishes to you,

Rob Jeffery

Managing Director, First Care Homes


Update 7th December 2020

An Update on Visiting our Homes
Care Home visiting has again been subject to a great deal of focus these past few weeks and with so many changes imminent we are certain you will have lots of questions and we hope that this update will cover many of your queries. This is a long update but with so much to cover it’s important we provide as complete an update as possible.

Following the most recent changes we continue to ensure our own guidance aligns to that of the Governments. As you will know, where we believe national guidance is subjective or not sufficiently robust to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and residents, we will add protocols to national guidance to help quell the impact of Covid-19. At the present time, although the first vaccines have just been approved for use in the UK, which is wonderful news, the rate of Covid-19 community transmission still needs to be carefully managed and we at First Care Homes are ensuring that all the necessary and appropriate precautions are in place, to protect both our residents and our colleagues.

We want to assure you that we remain committed to doing all that we can through the winter months and over the festive period, to facilitate and promote safe visiting, across our 2 Homes, with or without the introduction of the much publicised Lateral Flow Tests. We have worked hard to identify and set up indoor visiting spaces, in addition to the existing options of outdoor visiting, window visiting and video calling.

We are able to offer visiting in Levels 0, 1, 2 and 3, visiting in Level 4 is restricted to possibly window visits or garden visits except for Palliative Care visits.

Unfortunately, visiting may be closed if our local health protection team guidance advises, but we hope that this will be for a very short time. Our risk assessments must formally take into account the advice of the local Director of Public Health who also has legal powers to issue directions to care homes, which can include instructions to stop visits to the Home.

Temporary closure to visitors due to Covid-19

In the event of an outbreak of Covid-19 in one of our Care Homes or certain local lockdown procedures, the Home will quickly move to stop face to face visiting (except in exceptional circumstances such as Palliative Care visits) to protect vulnerable residents, colleagues and visitors, and to follow local policy guidance.

During any Home closure where face to face indoor visiting is not possible, alternative ways of communicating between residents and their families and friends are discussed and offered, with each Home doing all that they can to keep residents in touch with families.

Visiting will not be re-started until it is clear that it is safe to do so. We will share updates on the any changes to visiting with residents and relatives as quickly as we can.

Preparing for Christmas
Our Homes are busily supporting residents and relatives to arrange visits over the Christmas period. We would ask that you book early so that we can assess demand and ensure we have a sufficient number of colleagues available to support visits throughout the festive period. Please do however, be mindful of the guidance around Christmas bubbles, and any family arrangements when planning your visits.

We would not encourage residents to leave the Care Home, and if this is a consideration it should only be in agreement with the Home and subject to individual risk assessments. Any resident leaving the Care Home will need to undertake a fourteen-day isolation period on return. We ask that you discuss this in advance with the Home Manager.

With regards to items being delivered to the Home by family and or friends for residents such as Christmas gifts and or decorations: please note that if the items are not in their original unopened packaging and/or are wrapped in decorative paper not easily cleaned and/or number more than 1-2 gifts, they will need to be left in an agreed drop off area with the Home (non-communal area) where they will remain for a 72 hour period before being cleaned and handed to the resident. Therefore, we would ask please that family, friends, and well-wishers, please try to deliver any Christmas gifts by the 21st December 2020, 72 hours ahead of Christmas Eve.

Lateral Flow Testing
In recent weeks there have also been developments in the Lateral Flow Device testing (LFD), whereby designated members of family and loved ones, not more than 2 per resident, will be able to be rapidly tested before visiting.
The Government aims to roll out the ability to test in this way between now and the 18th December. We are in regular contact with the National Testing Programme to understand the details of this programme and with colleagues are in close discussions with the Department of Health and Social Care as to how and when we will be implementing this as there are a number of factors which need to be assessed and implemented prior to any onsite testing being made available.

At the present time, we are not yet ready to roll out this type of testing. We are assessing guidance on the implementation of the process and preparing as best we can. As soon as we have more detail we will be in touch but it is worth noting that what we do know so far is that any visitor will still need to wear PPE due to the reduced sensitivity of the swabs used when they are compared to the PCR test.

Rest assured that we continue to offer indoor, outdoor and window visits for residents and relatives when and where it is safe to do so, and our aim is to offer each resident at least one visit per week for at least 30 minutes. We will be offering as many options as they can unless they have been advised to close due to an outbreak or formal direction is received from a Public Heath Team or Local Authority that temporary closure must occur or only specific types of visits can be afforded.

Vaccinations
We are delighted to hear the news that a vaccine is imminent, and that the Government has stated that care home residents and those involved in direct care will be the priority for this. It will come as a great relief to many of our residents and colleagues, and to the nation. We will be liaising very closely with the Department of Health and Social Care on this, and will be doing all we can to ensure that our residents and colleagues, are some of the first in the queue when it is confirmed the vaccine is available. We are working now on guidance to support the vaccination programme.

Before visiting
• All visits must be pre-arranged at least 24 hours ahead with the Manager at the Home. This is to ensure there are enough colleagues to keep visitors and residents safe, and that all guidance can be followed
• Visits will be restricted to one single, constant person, where possible
• Visits may be cancelled at short notice if they cannot be safely carried out in accordance with government guidelines, the weather is inclement for outside visits or where the resident is unwell.
• First Care Homes support NHS Test and Trace and is keeping a record of visitors in the event contact tracing is required.
• Visits should happen in the open air wherever possible, but we recognise that for many residents and visitors this will not be appropriate during the winter months. So we may use temporary outdoor structures or have a dedicated room just for visiting.
• Visits will be restricted in time and frequency to ensure safety for residents, colleagues, and visitors.

During a visit
• Visitors must follow any guidance or procedures put in place by the Home, to ensure everyone complies with infection prevention control.

• Visitors are required to complete our health screening questionnaire which includes questions on whether they have any Covid-19 symptoms (a high temperature; a new continuous cough; a loss or change to your sense of smell and taste).

o If you currently have or have had Covid-19 symptoms in the last 10 days, please you and anyone who you have had contact with, will not be allowed to enter.
o You should not attend if you are unwell with symptoms other than Covid-19 to avoid passing on any other illnesses to the residents.
o If you have been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you will not be allowed to enter so please do not attend

• All visits are supervised, and discreetly observed to ensure compliance with infection prevention and control measures.

• Visitors must wash their hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser gel when entering and leaving.

• Visitors should avoid coming into contact with other residents or colleagues.

• Visitors may be offered a visit that is outside, or inside with screens, to limit the spread of infection, depending on the facilities at the Home and local infection rates

• Visitors will be asked to wear face masks and may require gloves and aprons

• Social distancing (between visitors and residents, colleagues, and visitors from other households) must be maintained at all times – during the visit, and around the Home building and grounds.

• Seats will be provided 2 metres apart in a designated area and these must not be moved.

• Gifts should be left with colleagues and given to resident’s once they have been sanitised.

• No opened food items should be brought back to the Home. Any foodstuffs brought back to the Home must be shop bought only and in the original packaging, unopened. The packaging will then be appropriately cleaned before being given to the resident.

• Visitors will not be able to use facilities such as coffee shops and toilets (unless for emergencies), to limit the spread of infection.

Protecting our residents and colleagues
We are testing colleagues every week and our residents every 28 days along with any new colleagues before starting work with us.

Our colleagues are all trained in infection prevention and control and are extremely vigilant to the symptoms of Covid-19. We have robust protocols in place should a resident and or colleague show any symptoms including isolation wherever necessary in line with government advice.

Should your loved one display symptoms or test positive to Coronavirus, we would call and discuss the situation with you personally.

Personal Protective Equipment
Please be assured that, we maintain a robust supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in our Homes and colleagues, residents and visitors are using this in accordance with the Public Health and Government guidance and we remain confident in our supply chain, ensuring both homes have what they need.

With developments happening continually we are keen to keep in touch with you as regularly and as best we can. Please check this website for the latest news, as we anticipate in the coming weeks the postal service will slow due to the festive period and of course check our Homes Facebook pages too for the latest news in relation to specific Homes. If you have any questions or queries, please do get in touch with the Home Manager.

We thank you and ask for your continued support and patience as we prepare and adjust to the latest changes, as they won’t happen overnight. We know now that there is very real hope for positive progress in getting lives back to some sort of normality and will be working extremely hard towards giving you the visiting experience you have missed these past few months.

With our best wishes, stay safe and well,

Rob Jeffery
Managing Director, First Care Homes

2nd Dec 2020

We are pleased to announce changes are coming and we are reviewing the newly published guidance for visiting in care homes so we can update our policy and procedures. To date we have not received any communication about receiving tests and do not have any supplied. As soon as this changes we will be in touch with all our visitors to implement the new procedure in a safe way. To confirm we will be continuing as our current policy until we are in a position to start testing and looking forward to some sort of normality returning.

Also we have not had any confirmed communications about vaccines and again will provide any updates as and when we get them.

Website update – Visiting our Homes

November 2020

At this time the rate of Covid-19 community transmission still needs to be carefully managed and we at First Care Homes are ensuring that all the necessary and appropriate precautions are in place, to protect both the health & safety of our residents and our colleagues.

We believe that maintaining some opportunities for visiting to take place is critical for supporting the health and wellbeing of residents and their relationships with friends and family.

Decisions about visiting

These current guidelines apply from November 2020 and take into account the latest national guidance published by government on 5th November 2020.

Each Care Home is responsible for assessing and balancing the risk between the benefits of visiting on wellbeing and quality of life and reducing the risk of transmission of Covid-19 to colleagues and vulnerable residents.

Our risk assessments must formally take into account the advice of the local Director of Public Health who also has legal powers to issue directions to care homes, which can include instructions to stop visits to the home (unless there are exceptional circumstances).

We are as a company accessing all available testing, ensuring colleagues have a weekly Covid-19 test and residents are tested once a month in line with government guidance.

Temporary closure to visitors due to Covid-19

In the event of an outbreak of Covid-19 in one of our Care Home or local or national guidance requiring such, the Home will quickly move to stop face to face visiting (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life) to protect vulnerable residents, colleagues and visitors, and to follow local policy arrangements.

During any Home closure where face to face indoor visiting is not possible, alternative ways of communicating between residents and their families and friends are discussed and offered, with each Home doing all that they can to keep residents in touch with families.

Visiting will not be re-started until it is clear that it is safe to do so. We will share updates on the any changes to visiting with residents and relatives as quickly as we can.

Before visiting

  • All visits must be pre-arranged at least 24 hours ahead with the manager at the home. This is to ensure there are enough colleagues to keep visitors and residents safe, and that all policies are followed e.g. cleaning.
  • Visits will be restricted to one single, constant person, where possible. Only in exceptional circumstances, might more visitors be possible, following a discussion with the Home Manager who will consider the situation and advise families accordingly.
  • Visits may be cancelled at short notice if they cannot be safely carried out in accordance with government guidelines, the weather is inclement or where the resident is unwell.
  • First Care Homes support NHS Test and Trace and is keeping a record of visitors in the event contact tracing is required.
  • Visits should happen in the open air wherever possible, but we recognise that for many residents and visitors this will not be appropriate during the winter months.
  • Visits will be restricted in time and frequency to ensure safety for residents, colleagues, and visitors.

During a visit

  • Visitors must follow any guidance or procedures put in place by the Home, to ensure everyone complies with infection prevention control.
  • Visitors are required to complete our health screening questionnaire which includes questions on whether they have any Covid-19 symptoms (a high temperature; a new continuous cough; a loss or change to your sense of smell and taste).
  • If you currently have or have had Covid-19 symptoms in the last 10 days, you and anyone who you have had contact with, will not be allowed to enter.
  • You should not attend if you are unwell with symptoms other than Covid-19 to avoid passing on any other illnesses to the residents.
  • If you have been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you will not be allowed to enter so please do not attend.
  • All visits are supervised, and observed at a distance sensitively, by colleagues to ensure compliance with infection prevention and control measures.
  • Visitors must wash their hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser gel when entering and leaving.
  • Visitors should avoid coming into contact with other residents or colleagues.
  • Visitors may be asked to wear face masks, gloves and or aprons depending on the nature of your visit.
  • Visitors will be given support on how to communicate if face coverings are required, for example, speaking loudly and clearly, keeping eye contact, not wearing hats or anything else that might conceal a face further.
  • Social distancing (between visitors and residents, colleagues, and visitors from other households) must be maintained at all times – during the visit, and around the Home building and grounds. Skin to skin contact such as kisses, handshakes, or hugs, at this time sadly are not permitted.
  • Seats will be provided 2 metres apart in a designated area and these must not be moved.
  • Gifts should be left with colleagues and given to resident’s once they have been sanitised. Gifts must be placed in a plastic bag, any food items must be shop bought and in sealed packets.
  • No opened food items should be brought back to the Home. Any foodstuffs brought back to the Home must be shop bought only and in the original packaging, unopened. The packaging will then be appropriately cleaned before being given to the resident.
  • Visitors will not be able to use facilities such as coffee shops and toilets (unless for emergencies), to limit the spread of infection.

Christmas

  • Items being delivered to the Home by family and or friends for residents such as Christmas gifts and or decorations: please note that if the items are not in their original unopened packaging and/or are wrapped in decorative paper not easily cleaned and/or number more than 1-2 gifts, they will need to be left in an agreed drop off area with the Home (non-communal area) where they will remain for a 72 hour period before being cleaned and handed to the resident. Therefore, we would ask please that family, friends, and well-wishers, please try to deliver any Christmas gifts by the 21st December 2020, 72 hours ahead of Christmas Eve.

Further information

  • If you have any queries, please contact the Home Manager.
  • We will regularly review our guidance to Care Home Visiting, and anticipate there will be updated guidance for the end of lockdown on 2nd December 2020.

5th November 2020

Following on from the recent Government announcement to invoke a second national lockdown from 12.01am Thursday 5th November we continue to wait for greater clarity around DHSC’s revised position on care home visiting. However, we continue to remain open where possible to visitors.

The revised position announced via the Government website on the 4th November states.
• Visits should be tailored to residents and facilities and should prioritise residents and staff’s safety to limit the transmission of Covid-19
• Care homes, especially those who have not allowed visits since March, will be encouraged, and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities as new national restrictions come into effect
• Measures put in place should provide Covid-secure opportunities for families to meet using visiting arrangements such as floor to ceiling screens, visiting pods, and window visits
• All care home residents in England should be allowed to receive visits from their family and friends in a Covid-secure way – with social distancing and PPE – following new guidance to be used while national restrictions are in place from Thursday 5 November.

This forms the basis of what First Care Homes has been facilitating for many weeks now, offering options in line with Government guidance and Local Public Health bodies in England and we continue to do all that we can to ensure safe visits whilst actively protecting our residents, colleagues and visitors.

However we read with interest and welcome the Governments plans to further develop their guidance and support to allow specific family and friends to visit care homes supported by testing, along with a new national programme for weekly testing of professionals who regularly visit care homes, including community nurses and physiotherapists, due to be rolled out in the coming weeks. This would be very welcome progress and bring an extra layer of assurance for all of us who are keen to see residents loved ones back in our Homes and represents a further positive step towards a new normal.

Whilst we wait upon greater clarity that the promised updated guidance will hopefully bring, we want to assure you that robust and high quality, compassionate care and infection control remain at the heart of everything we do to protect our resident’s and colleagues so that we can support families to reunite in the safest way possible.

We continue to take guidance and instruction from Local Health Directors and their teams in line with all current Government directives and as new guidance becomes available, we will review fully, as we have done throughout the pandemic, and contact all residents and relatives with an update of what this will mean in relation to them and visiting one another.

We remain committed to welcoming relatives to our Homes to visit loved ones, wherever possible and will aim to provide an update should there be any significant change to the existing measures in place.

Thank you for your continued support and patience. We will provide you with further updates, should anything alter locally and or nationally.

Update 1st November 2020

We are continuing with all our visits as our current policy.  It is expected that further guidance will be shared before the National lock down on Thursday 5th November when we will be able provide further updates.

Update 11th May 2020

As we move into the eighth week of the UK Covid -19 lockdown, in addition to the home managers updates I wanted to provide you with a further update on the actions we have been taking, and continue to take, to reduce the risk of infection and spread within our care homes.

I am very proud of all our dedicated teams who have worked tirelessly with compassion and care to maintain a normality in the homes and support the residents usual routines. This has been a challenge as we still remain closed to visitors including family members and friends. Which has meant a large chunk of normality is missing. We are, of course, fully aware of the potential for this to have an impact on our residents well being and all the teams are taking extra care to provide more support when required. This has involved more 1:1 time and/or more contact with families via the most suitable method, including phone or video calls. Please note if there is a situation that requires a non-routine visit such as end of life, the Home 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 and oxygen saturations taken before entering the homes.

We have applied the policy of social distancing throughout the care homes; this means that we are encouraging residents to stay in their rooms as much as possible to avoid mixing with others. We have also introduced no working/movement between the floors, and the kitchen and laundry stay in their departments too. This has meant our teams have had to introduce more innovative ways to keep residents connected with each other, and making sure we minimise the risk of social isolation. The recent lovely weather has meant that we have been able to support residents to enjoy the outdoors whilst maintaining the social distancing rule of 2-meters apart.

Our housekeeping teams continue to keep the homes spotlessly clean to reduce the risk of any viral contamination on hard surfaces. The team do not wear their uniforms to work and are changing in the home prior to commencing duty and then changing back into their outdoor clothes before they leave to go home.

We have meticulously planned to make sure we always have an adequate supply of PPE to keep all our team members and residents safe. We follow all the guidance as it is published and all the team members are wearing fluid repellent face masks as well as disposable aprons and gloves on all the communities regardless of whether there is any suspected Covid-19 on that community, or not. We also have visors to wear if there is an additional risk identified.

We continue to closely monitor the health of our team members and are ensuring that anyone who is displaying any symptoms of a Covid-19 infection are appropriately self-isolating at home and only return to work after a negative test/ are free from any symptoms. Team training continues on the correct use of PPE and infection control updates to ensure our team are fully supported with the current, up to date information.

I am pleased to report that, despite some team members self-isolating, we are maintaining normal team levels so that we can provide residents with the care and support they need during this worrying time and we have not had to use our contingency plan of agency staff.

I sincerely thank you for your support as we move through this Worldwide pandemic 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). The health and welfare of residents, visitors and team is our number one priority and we will keep all stakeholders updated with further developments.

If you have any further questions about your loved ones care please do not hesitate to contact your Home Manager.

Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.

Rob Jeffery
Managing Director

Update 2 April 2020

Thank you all for your support at this time, and would like thank you all for all your kind emails, messages, cards and pictures that are being sent in.

Update 23 March 2020

Dear all,

Again, we would like to send our sincerest thank you to everyone for supporting the home through these current unprecedented times. We do not have much to update on this week as our plans are all in place and being implemented throughout the home. Our main priorities remain our residents wellbeing, team well being and availability, and of course supplies of everything.

The resident and relative communications appear to be settling in well and thank you for your patience as we work out how to make it as effective as possible. Myo (secure messaging) has been a success and just a reminder if this is something you would like please contact us as indicated on the website. Along with government advice we continue with no visiting.

We have been getting good support from our GP colleagues and the community services, so no concerns have been raised there and visits have occurred if required.

We were pleased to see the team qualified as key workers with regard to the school closures as we were concerned that this would impact on our team levels along with isolation. Therefore, to date we have been managing to keep the team numbers healthy and providing a full service, importantly well being and activities. Also, we were really pleased we can access the supermarket earlier opening times, as all helps us to keep focused on priorities.

We continue to have full stock levels but are aware of some things now going on back orders, so we are monitoring this closely. We have had advice from the NHS and Local Authorities where we can access additional supplies, in particular concerning PPE from their reserves. Our additional freezer space is now on site and full.

Protecting Residents and Colleagues
Please be assured that First Care Homes is treating this matter with the utmost seriousness and comprehensive contingency plans are in place in the event of a coronavirus outbreak at a home.

It is important to bear in mind that every year First Care Homes prepares to respond to infectious diseases, including a severe flu outbreak, and therefore, whilst this illness is new, it is very much business as usual for how we safeguard the health of our Residents and Colleagues.

In response to the growing UK coronavirus outbreak we are having regular conference calls between the home managers and the Managing Director to see how we can support each other and check all actions are going according to plans, and any concerns.

All our residents have en-suite rooms and can therefore elect to self-isolate in their rooms if they wish to and we are able to provide the essential contact if that is what they prefer.

We have understandably experienced a very high call volume to our homes over the last few days and there is a large number of people viewing this page looking for information. So, we would like to answer some of those key questions below.

Are you accepting new residents?
Firstly, we would like to assure you that we are not admitting anyone with positive test result for COVID-19, nor are we admitting anyone showing symptoms. Local Authorities and Hospitals are also working with providers of care to ensure this does not occur. There is clear discharge advise from the hospitals and Local Authorities to keep admitting to support the NHS as their beds are critical to support their response to the virus.

We have very robust and stringent clinical screening processes in place, to determine whether we will admit a new resident and have access to Public Health, Local Authorities and CCG’s on a case by case basis to identify how we can support people needing care without placing our existing residents and colleagues at risk as required.

We want to assure you that the safety and wellbeing of our residents and colleagues is always our top priority.

Do you have visiting restrictions for family members?
Yes, please see our latest updates for current information

Are there still activities going on?
Yes. Our residents are enjoying activities laid on by our in-house activities’ teams, baking, gardening, arts and crafts, singing, exercising and enjoying the fresh air in many of our landscaped gardens

What happens if a resident gets Coronavirus?
The health of our residents is our utmost priority and in addition to all normal clinical observations and practices we are well prepared to support a resident should they become unwell and or display any symptoms associated with Coronavirus.

We have access to medical professionals and are working with local health organisations, GPs and Hospitals, all following the same guidelines, to ensure the highest standard of care is provided to residents.

Should a resident become extremely unwell we follow all the guidelines and involve medical professionals. In the case of suspected COVID-19 this will mean the resident being admitted to hospital.

Following their departure, we have a number of protocols and processes in place that ensure all other residents and colleagues health and wellbeing.

For comprehensive information about the coronavirus itself, please visit either the Gov.uk or NHS websites.

Websites below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/


Updated 15 March 2020

Due to a change in circumstance, we are requesting no visitors to the home. The main door codes have been changed to support us to implement this action.

In response to the current outbreak of Coronavirus and advice received First Care Homes have also implemented the following:

• All visits from external entertainers, hairdressers and our manicurist have been postponed.
• Professional visitors will still be working in the home, we will have a dedicated room to reduce the need for professionals to be walking around the home.

These actions are being reviewed daily and also as new advice is provided.

CORONAVIRUS RELATIVE/VISITOR UPDATE – Sunday 15th March

 

As you may be aware we had to implement our no visiting protocol yesterday.  This was due to a resident feeling unwell, so we followed 111 advice.  I am pleased to say the resident is ok today.  However, it highlighted to me how vulnerable we are at the home and reinforced that our decisions were right currently regarding stopping visits.  Again, I would like to thank you all for your support with this.

We will be updating our website as and when changes occur.  Please refer to this first before you call the home as it should answer any general queries.

https://www.parkviewcarehome.co.uk/

We have assessed and continue to assess the risks to our residents and to date this has fallen into 3 main areas – delay, supplies and staffing.

DELAY – to manage this risk of our residents being exposed to the virus we have stopped routine visiting. Also, all non-essential external visits have been cancelled and we will only have essential medical support.  A room has been designated in the reception area for this to reduce the need of mobility around the home, or the visit will take place in the residents room.

We fully appreciate the anxiety this can cause to the residents and yourselves, not being able to see each other.  To support this, we have purchased 3 more mobile phones (one for each floor) for verbal calls, 3 smart phones for Skype/Facetime and 2 I pads to support communications.  These will be the responsibility of designated team members, as we do not want calls going un answered.  We are also planning to liaise with families re setting times when best to call, so ideally all the communications are planned.  Of course for anything urgent, the main home line can be used.  We also anticipate by introducing this it will take the additional pressure off our reception team and care team answering calls.

A key part of our plan is supporting our residents well being and we have increased the well being teams capacity, so they can support relative communications and also provide additional support to our residents in the light of no visiting.  We are still able to provide hairdressing and manicures as we have qualified team members who can complete this in the absence of external visitors.

We have also set up a process where any items can be left safely at reception, we will record what, who for and from whom, so we can safely pass on to your relative with any messages.

SUPPLIES – This is in 3 main areas, housekeeping/laundry, medical and food.  We have secured additional supplies so we will always have a 2 to 4 week buffer, so if our supply route is unable to deliver we have time to procure from another source, of course this is a forever changing update and we are working with local authorities and the NHS for any guidance and support.  Medical supplies have also been ordered as usual, we are unable to order prescriptions or continence supplies any earlier, but we have made sure our monthly orders have been submitted in good time.  We have a good relationship with our pharmacy and are working together to get us both through this unknown period.  Regarding food, we will be getting additional freezer space next week and receiving additional food supplies, so again we have a 4 week buffer.  Darren, our amazing head chef, has also produced a 4 week menu, as if the worse was to happen and we do not have a chef available, it could be prepared by other allocated team members (apparently even I could do it!).  I appreciate we will not be able to produce the food to the same choices as currently, but it will have full nutritional value and be suitable for all our residents with specific dietary needs.  Of course, the unknown is for how long.  But this is our plan which can be implemented to reflect what stage we are regarding our team numbers. We are also training all our heads of department and senior team on working all the appliances, so there is always someone on duty who can work the machines.

TEAM – This is a significant concern as we could have sickness, self isolation and child care issues.  We have risk assessed our team with regards to dependents and medical conditions so we have a good understanding of what could happen.  And therefore, planning our rotas, for example not having everyone on the same shift who have school age children.  We have asked our team to start planning for if the schools were to shut and asked if there is anything we can support them with as an employer. We are very proud that we have never had to use agency staff in the home, however, we have to be sensible and be prepared.  So we are in the process of sorting agreements with local agencies if the worse was to happen and a significant number of our team are off.  We are currently in the process of mapping and producing an agency induction.  So they will be fully aware of the home’s processes and ways of working. I anticipate if we were to require agency they will always be working alongside our permanent team.

We will also start to work differently from tomorrow, and will have a core team on each floor to meet all the communities needs.  The team will be nurses, care team, housekeeping, hospitality and well being.  They will be supported by chef and kitchen team and one person in the laundry.  This will support us managing sickness and capacity as the teams can work between them and support each other and the residents.

I have also had an update from Hawthorn Drive GP surgery, as they are our main practice.  They have stopped all routine weekly visits and will focus on emergencies only.  It is very likely we will use Skype for consultations if required firstly and actual visits will be limited, however I have been assured we will receive an emergency service. Social care has also requested we risk assess all the residents, however, pretty much everyone is in the higher risk category, hence why they are with us.

As always it is paramount we work together through this unprecedented period, and I am available if you have any queries or concerns. Please contact me via the main number or my e mail.  Also if you have an ideas, thoughts or feedback of how we can improve on our plans please let me know.

Kindest regards

Carol

Home Manager

You can download a copy of this Relative’s Advice Document 15-03-2020 by clicking here.


If you would like to get in contact with a Resident, please click here to find out how to get in contact with them.


Please visit the Government website for more information: Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice