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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 4

Posted on November 13, 2020 by Glenn Alexander

Milkwood Care Covid-19 Response – 13th November 2020.

As the national situation regarding the pandemic develops, our number one priority remains the safety and wellbeing of everyone living and working in our care homes.

Our Key areas are – 

  1. Our teams are following guidance around social distancing, hand hygiene measures and the correct wearing of PPE.
  2. We have maintained a high level of stock for PPE in all our homes.
  3. We have been taking advantage of all available testing, ensuring our staff have a weekly Covid-19 test and residents are tested every 28 days where possible.
  4. 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 maintain family connections.
  5. Any new residents must have a test within 48 hours of admission and show proof of a negative result before coming into the home.  All new admissions are cared for in their rooms for 14 days to reduce the risk of new cases coming into the home
  6. Should there be a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 in one of our homes, the home will move into ‘Outbreak’ status and follow an Outbreak Management Plan which will result in the closure of that home.

Relative visits to our homes

We firmly believe that maintaining family and social connections is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of care home residents.  We are absolutely committed to ensuring residents in our homes can enjoy visits from their family and friends wherever possible while complying with lockdown restrictions. In the majority of our homes we have installed Covid Pods which will allow visiting to take place safely.

Where visiting is not possible, we will do our utmost to keep residents in touch with families using a wide range of tools.  This includes regular updates on the Facebook page for individual homes, as well as using tablets and Facebook portals for Zoom, Skype and phone calls. Our home teams have a range of different channels to allow everyone to share family news and updates and they are working tirelessly to make this happen.

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 our homes. 

To enable our teams to facilitate visits effectively, we will continue to follow the same health screening and infection control measures that have been in place for the last few months. 

  • All visits must be pre-booked to enable us to manage them safely and ensure the appropriate cleaning and hygiene regimes are in place.
  • Visits will be for a maximum of an hour for up to one visitor. 
  • You will be asked some health screening questions at the start of your visit, will be asked to wash your hands or use the sanitising gel provided and will have your temperature taken. 
  • If you are showing any symptoms which could indicate coronavirus, please do not travel to the care home as we will need to refuse entry. As you will be aware, these symptoms include a raised temperature, a new and persistent cough, a loss of taste or smell and a generally feeling of being lethargic and unwell.  
  • To protect the people we are caring for, residents cannot yet accept gifts, flowers or food under current guidelines

Other visitors to our homes 

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 and district nurses or people repairing critically important equipment are going ahead but they will only do so under stringent IPC measures.

New admissions

Our homes are still accepting new admissions but with a few extra measures to keep everyone as safe as possible.

All new residents are being asked to take a test for the virus prior to admission and will be required to show a negative result before coming into the home.  We will also undertake a full health screening on admission and our new residents are cared for in their rooms for the first two weeks of their stay to avoid the risk of introducing new infections into the home. 

Testing

Testing is one of the most important tools we have to protect those living and working in our homes in the coming months. The weekly tests for our staff and monthly tests for residents are taking place in all of our homes.  

A big thank you

We’d like to say a big thank you for the understanding of families and friends of residents over the constantly changing situation regarding visits – it’s not an easy situation for our staff  to manage and your patience and goodwill has been much appreciated.

We would also like to thank the families and local communities that have supported our homes over the last few months. Many of our homes have received cards, gifts and other messages of support. Your kindness and generosity have been greatly appreciated and we want to say thank you again.

Finally, we would like to say a very public thank you to all our staff who have worked tirelessly in the last few months to provide exceptional levels of care. We are incredibly grateful for the commitment and dedication of our teams – they are the people that make our care homes special.

Grant Douglas

Operations Director

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