Woodleighcare Visiting Guidance (August 2021 Edition 19)
We aim to be a 100% vaccinated home for residents, staff and visitors to keep the whole family safe.
Thank you for your continued support throughout the last few months, no one could have predicted the impact that Coronavirus would have on the country.
Staff at Woodleigh Christian Care Home and Baily House Care Home have been working immensely hard to shower those who we are so blessed to care for with love and affection. We have been devoted to providing the best, most homely care in line with our company ethos and limiting the impact that the lockdown had on those living in the care homes.
We can only imagine how difficult it must be not to be able to physically spend time with your loved ones during this time, despite the uncertainty for everyone. You have continued to support us and send us messages of love, support and encouragement, which have touched our hearts and we are so thankful for your ongoing support.
We are immensely proud of the strength and resilience of those living and working at both homes, sadly some lives were lost during lockdown and every life will be remembered because they touched our hearts and have helped shape our future.
At the ever changing and uncertain time, we continue to follow government guidelines. The government have begun to ease some of the restrictions and limited indoor visiting, “pod” visits and remote visits are now available.
Visiting inside the homes
- From July 2021 the government has announced that there is no longer any limit on the number of visitors, however there should not normally be more than two at any one time inside the home. These visitors will still need to take a rapid lateral flow test and test negative before every visit. They should minimise physical contact with residents. They should observe social distancing, adhere to guidance on PPE use and follow all necessary infection control measures. Residents can have no more than 2 visitors at a time (essential care givers are exempt from this daily limit).
- All other guidance has not changed.
- Must take a rapid lateral flow test, and test negative, before every visit. These will be available at the home, and we recommend arriving at least 30 minutes earlier than the appointment as the tests take about 30 minutes to process.
- Wait outside or in your car while the test is being processed.
- Should minimise physical contact with residents.
- Must observe social distancing and PPE use.
- Follow all necessary infection control measures.
- Preferably have had a COVID vaccination.
- You will be asked to complete a questionnaire to aid resident safety
- If the home is evacuated, you should attend the designated evacuation point.
- To arrange these visits:
- We would ask families to agree the nominated visitor who should then contact the home to arrange a date and time to visit. We must limit how many visitors are inside the home at any one time, this is to ensure the safety of all visitors, staff and residents.
- When visiting, you must go directly to the individuals own room and remain there for the duration of the visit.
- Visiting will be 7 days a week, between 9am and 5pm. There will be no visiting permitted during mealtimes.
- Visits from professionals who cannot undertake important tasks remotely: for example, this may include safeguarding, statutory advocacy in certain circumstances and flu vaccination.
- Exceptional visits from family or significant others – for example to support end of life care, or where a person’s wellbeing is so adversely impacted it presents a significant risk.”
- These visitors will undertake a LFT prior to every visit.
- If the test is positive, indicating that you have COVID the government guidelines require that you obtain a PCR test and isolate until you know the outcome, then follow government guidance. Such a result will mean you are unable to visit the home. It is therefore vital that families who wish to visit at this difficult time minimize or reduce other contacts that might lead to infection.
- For some residents, a visit with a greater degree of personal care may be central to maintaining their immediate health and wellbeing. In such cases, in addition to the named visitors and with the agreement of the care home, the visitors will be enabled and supported to provide this care and they will be able to visit more often. They will have access to the same PCR and rapid lateral flow testing and PPE arrangements as a member of care home staff.
- Each resident will be different, and the exact arrangements will need to be agreed between the care home, resident, and their family (with professional support if helpful). This should follow an individualised assessment of the resident’s needs.
Visiting outside the home
We are now able to offer periods of time out in our “bubbles” or “pods”. These are internal rooms (so are warmer than outside) but have separate external access for visitors. This means that visitors do not need to enter the main part of the home. There is also a physical barrier in the room to prevent the spread of the virus.
However, to ensure the safety of yourself, our residents and staff the following, common-sense, rules will apply:
- Due to the limited amount of space in the “bubble” or “pod” it is vital that you contact the home prior to visiting to book an available time, many people will want to see their loved ones. With visiting inside the home now allowed these are less booked up.
Please do the following:
- Visits will be scheduled as the visiting areas have to be disinfected between visits, you must vacate when your designated time is up to allow staff to disinfect the area ready for the next visit.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided, please use it before and after the visit
- You should wear a face shield (mask) as we know that the virus is spread by droplets from the lungs. While the internal barrier prevents transmission to residents and staff, masks must be worn to minimize the risk to other visitors.
- You must always remain at a 2-metre distance from anyone. unfortunately, currently, it is not safe to touch your loved one, even wearing gloves and masks or other form of PPE.
- You should bring your own refreshments as, at present, we cannot offer any items that have been in the care home.
- Avoid mealtimes.
- If the home is evacuated, you should attend the designated evacuation point.
- You will be asked to complete a form answering the following questions
- Have you been feeling unwell recently?
- Have you had recent onset of a new continuous cough?
- Do you have a high temperature? A care home may consider providing a temperature check for all visitors to provide confidence to visitors and to staff.
- Have you noticed a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell?
- Have you had recent contact (in the last 14 days) with anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or someone with confirmed COVID-19 – if yes, should you be self-isolating as a family member or as a contact? Or advised to do so by NHS Test and Trace?
Self-test Lateral Flow Test (LFT) kits
The government has announced that, in the coming weeks, packs of seven LFT kits are to be made available for relatives to test at home prior to visiting.
- On site testing will still be available at the homes if you do not wish to use these tests kits.
- Prior to issuing these kits we will need to demonstrate the testing procedure and you will need to demonstrate that you can complete the test correctly. We are required to keep a record of this training.
- You will need to bring the test unit with you and show to reception that the result is negative before entering the building.
- We will continue to randomly conduct our own tests on visitors to ensure the remote testing is working correctly.
- All other arrangements remain unchanged.
If possible, the following will assist us all to stay safe.
- Most of our residents are in the ‘high risk’ category, and we must protect them as much as practicably possible. Keep well and socially distanced. The less pressure our health services have, the more likely we can get help from GPs, community nurses and the hospitals when we need them. Also, the lower the risks when you visit, we would prefer all visitors to have had their COVID vaccination
Please do NOT do the following
- You must not visit the home if you are unwell or have symptoms of coronavirus. The Government state: Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
- Feeling tired, achy or lethargic
- When visiting the home, you must not enter the home, you will be guided to the designated area by a member of staff.
- If you are shielding, please do not visit
- If you have had symptoms or are awaiting COVID test results you must not visit.
- Please avoid bringing young children.
- Both homes reserve the right to instruct anyone not adhering to the measures set out to leave the site.
- WoodleighCare have a Zero Tolerance towards staff abuse - including both verbal and physical abuse. We believe that all residents, staff and visiting persons within our care homes have the right to be protected from verbal abuse (including swearing) and physical abuse or assault, whether directed at or by witnessing it being directed towards another person in or around both homes. You will be asked to leave and will not be allowed to return to the home until the management team are satisfied that you do not pose a risk to the staff, residents or visitors. Cases of verbal and physical abuse towards staff may result in referral to the police, safeguarding and Care Quality Commission (CQC). If you have a concern, complaint or query please ensure you adopt to correct procedure as outlined in the contractual agreement and on the website, this can be made available for you if you require a copy.
- If you, or the care home believe that visiting a resident who may become distressed by the 2-metre distancing and measures set out by the Government and the care home, we will request that you do not visit, we must continue to limit the emotional impact of Coronavirus.
- Both homes will continue make individual decisions on visiting those of our residents who are approaching end of life.
We will continue to review our policies in relation to visits and coronavirus as the advice and guidance changes. This may include reintroducing more limits on visiting.
As well as our home managers Ashley and Sarah, also John Walton and Helen Curzon, our chaplain, are available by phone or skype to talk with any relatives who have concerns or worries. Please contact the home and they will ask Helen to call you.
What can you do?
The advice here is again much the same as in our last letter.
Please keep in touch with your loved one.
Bear with us if you have trouble contacting the home. Staff will be helping residents or taking other calls. There will, in the coming weeks be times when the staff are very stretched – we know you will understand. We promise to get back to you but in these difficult times it may take a little longer.
Accept our apologies if some of the above appears formal, you will appreciate that our key concern is the safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff.
If we do not have your email address, please email it to us so we can send you updates and information.