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Mar 13, 2020 Constantia Blog

Coronavirus – COVID 19 Procedure

I just wanted to update you on what we are doing and planning over the next few weeks in order to protect everyone.
This will be a worrying time for our residents, relatives, friends and staff and ensuring the safety of everyone in our homes is paramount.

Whilst these events are unprecedented, we need to keep things in focus and not cause undue alarm or upset to our residents, their relatives or our colleagues working in the home.

We are strictly following the Department of Health’s and Middlesbrough Council’s guidelines as well as putting in place our own additional policies and procedures.

We are also monitoring guidelines from Public Health England and will respond immediately to any specific advice in regards to care homes as and when it is published.

Visits
For the foreseeable future if you are planning on visiting our home, please consider if the visit is absolutely necessary and if a phone call or a FaceTime call could be used to maintain contact with your loved one.
With effect from Friday 13th March we are closed to non-essential visitors This is to reduce and limit the risk of contagion to staff and residents alike. Non-essential visitors are typically:-

  • Community or activity groups, schools, volunteers, entertainers, hairdressers and external trainers.
    Suppliers (deliveries will be received at the door)
  • Under Government guidelines, we will also not allow entry to our homes to people who have recently returned from an area where the Coronavirus is known to be present. We will also not allow entry to anyone who is showing symptoms of flu or a cold.

Next steps for visitors
If the virus continues, we will close the homes to all visitors. Whilst this may be difficult for everyone concerned we will do everything within our ability to help relatives stay in contact with their loved ones via other means such as telephone, Skype or facetime.

Infection Control
Everyone entering the home must wash their hands at the facility provided at or near the entrance prior to signing in.

Visitors must use the toilet in reception to wash their hands (adhering to the displayed handwashing prompt) as soon as they enter the building. In our homes where there is no visitor toilet in the reception area, we have set up a sanitising station in the foyer for visitors to use as they enter the building. After sanitising, they should then head directly to the visitor toilet or relatives en-suite to wash their hands (adhering to the displayed handwashing prompt) before signing in.

We are ensuring our staff take all precautions necessary as advised by the Department of Health to help prevent the spread of the infection, such as:

  • Washing hands often
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the bin
  • Staff who are unwell will not attend work
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Tissues are available in the communal areas and hand sanitiser whilst stocks are available.

Ongoing plans
We want to reassure you that we have plans and contingencies in place for all aspects of care home life should the virus continue.

Catering
We have set out a contingency plan for catering should our current catering team be affected by the virus. We have adequate resources to ensure that if this was to happen, our residents would continue to be provided with meals and snacks.

Medication
We are working with staff to ensure that there will always be a member of the team available to order and dispense medication to our residents and we are working closely with our Pharmacies on this.

Staffing
Our staff are taking the Government guidelines as well as our policies for the virus extremely seriously. However, should any of our staff fall unwell, we have a reliable bank staffing team who are in place and able to support our homes at short notice and should the need arise.

Activities within the home
As our usual entertainers are unable to join us at this time, we are reviewing our current activity schedule so that there is still plenty to do within the comfort and safety of our homes. We are purchasing extra activities equipment and games to be available for everyone to use in order to continue to maintain our residents’ current lifestyle. We have many amenities on site that we will make full use of during this time such as cinema and activity areas. If there is anything you would like us to look into for you or your relative, please do let us know.

Further Information
We will continue to communicate with you at every stage and keep you fully informed of our plans and procedures. We will be posting updates on Facebook and our website and via email please let us know by emailing us at Julie.wood@constantiahealthcare.co.uk

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