Do you plan to start using testing kits?
All our staff are tested once a week using a laboratory test and in-between this with their at home Lateral Flow instant tests. Residents are tested every 28 days using a laboratory test. We follow the advise of medical professionals and PHE and may test more frequently than this if required.
Will activities continue for healthy residents?
A varied programme of activities is essential for our residents’ health and wellbeing. However, these are extraordinary times and residents must be protected as much as possible from infection by COVID-19. We have suspended visits by outside entertainers and fitness instructors until further notice. Any resumption at a later date will be in accordance with government and advice from Public Health England. Although trips out have also been suspended, we are continuing to offer activities, such as arts and crafts, cake decorating, bingo and puzzles, that are normally organised in-house. We have built a COVID secure pub, the Ashmere Arms which is available for booked appointments to allow residents to still spend quality time with their loved ones in an enjoyable safe environment.
Will you change/intensify cleaning procedures?
We have strict cleaning protocols in place at all times, and these are subject to regulatory and statutory requirements. However, we have issued extra guidance for staff and have already increased the frequency of the cleaning of core communal areas including doors, door handles, handrails, bathrooms, dining tables and chairs and kitchen facilities.
What about waste collection?
We will continue to deal with all waste in the usual manner. Should any resident be suspected of having the virus, we will remove waste in accordance with advice from PHE. We seek at all times to minimise the risk of transmission to other residents and staff.
Will GPs continue their rounds at the home?
We will continue to work closely with our local doctors and NHS professionals, and be guided by their expertise. We will ensure that all residents have contact with a GP as and when required.
Will my relative be able to attend routine hospital appointments?
The NHS has suspended all non-urgent operations as of 15 April. Any routine hospital appointments are still going ahead and we will arrange transport and accompaniment (where necessary) to and from these visits. However, we are in regular contact with health professionals and are monitoring the situation carefully.
My relative is bed restricted and relies on visits from his/her family. What happens now that we are unable to visit?
Your relative will continue to receive a high level of care 24/7 from our dedicated team of carers and nurses. We will keep you fully updated on their health and wellbeing and can support them in speaking with you on their mobile phone, if they have one, or one of the home’s tablets. If that is not possible, we will give regular wellbeing updates by phone to those residents’ relatives. Any residents who are receiving end of life care can still receive two visitors at a time who will provided with full PPE for their visit. There is no time restriction for these visits. We may ask you to use a different door than usual and coats and bags must be left in your vehicle to reduce the risk of cross infection.