Dear Residents, Families and friends.
I am providing this update to clarify the position of the deteriorating visiting situation, caused by the critical risk of the rising Covid 2nd wave and the emerging new, more infectious strain. This has sadly resulted in the suspension of visits at all of our homes either recently or currently.
I hope the following will clarify why Government guidelines are that a home with any 2 people receiving a positive test result is classed as having an outbreak and visits should be suspended for 28 days. The 28 days is reset upon any further positive test within that period from the initial test date. Positive cases mainly arise within our team who pick up the virus in the homes local communities, where rising infection rates make more suspensions likely. Public Health England and the Local Authorities interpret the gov guidelines and instruct us on suspension periods that are sometimes reduced to 14 days.
For the increased safety of our residents, we have stepped up team testing to add two lateral flow tests per week to the longstanding PCR test. Plus, if a home has a positive test all team members will have a lateral flow test before every shift.
On a very positive note, our first home has received the vaccine for all residents today and many team members have also been vaccinated in most other homes. We have no news yet but will of course let you know when other homes receive their vaccines.
For those homes with visiting, we apologise for ending the hugs, but this was necessary due to the increasing controversy around the accuracy of lateral flow tests. This is not what we wanted but feel sure that you share our wish to remain vigilant to reduce the risk to our residents.
NEW VISITING ARRANGEMENTS FROM THURSDAY 31th DECEMBER.
- Visiting appointments are for 20-minute slots booked via our website.
- Number of visits is a max of 2 visits per week for each resident and 1 per household.
- Number of visitors is a max. of 2 people from the same household per visit.
- Arrive at least 5 minutes prior to appointment time for Covid screening.
- Rapid tests are on hold.
- Hug are on hold.
- Face coverings are to be worn to and from the cabin. Inform us prior to visiting, if possible, if you are exempt or wearing one causes distress to your loved one living with dementia. To make communication easier speak loudly and clearly whilst keeping eye contact and avoid concealing your face further with say, a hat.
- No Internal access to any internal areas of the home including toilets
- Coronavirus guidelines as set by the government are to be followed.
- Social distancing keeping of 2 meters apart from all people during the visit
- Care queries about your loved one made by calling the home and not during your visits.
- Items brought for residents should be easily cleanable; boxes are good but not flowers etc.
- Residents leaving homes are against government guidelines, sorry even for Christmas!
- Resident exclusion from receiving visits may have to be made by us in exceptional circumstances if a risk assessment determines this is necessary i.e. particularly clinically vulnerable to Covid.
- Virtual communication is encouraged and resident assistance is available if resources allow.
- Visiting arrangement changes are notified via our text service so please ensure that the home has your mobile phone number.
- Suspended Visits may be introduced if required by a government body because of national lockdown, tiering etc.
- A home outbreak (2 residents/team members test positive) will result in visits being suspended until the home has had no positive tests for 14 or 28 days dependent upon PHE/LA requirement.
- Available at out larger homes as a second visiting pod
- Arrangements as above except for:
- Face covering are to be worn throughout the visit.
- Suspended visits in severe weather conditions
RELUCTANT TO VISIT?
If you haven’t visited your loved one because they have dementia and you have concerns of any type or are worried about how they will respond by maybe not social distancing and trying to touch you etc. Then please ask your home manager to speak to our Dementia Manager, Karen Middleton, who will help you and the home to make visits possible.
This organisation advocates and provides support for families of residents living with dementia who are finding it difficult https://goldstandardsframework.org.uk/john-s-campaign-dementia
You must consent to a test each visit, call the home from the car park, take the rapid test we provide and only after a negative result enter the home. We will provide a surgical mask, visor, aprons and disposable gloves for you to wear. Essential visits can continue during suspended visiting periods.
There are 3 very limited circumstances where essential visitors may enter the home:
- During palliative care it is important that a persons’ end of life experience is a special time with family visiting their loved ones following a doctor’s diagnosis of end of life.
- Assisting with acute behaviours a family member may be asked to help support a wider team to meet the needs of a resident living with dementia during times of acute behaviours where our dementia experts believe this will help. This would only be in very exceptional circumstances as determined by our Dementia Manager or Dementia Specialist Nurse.
- Specific healthcare needs of a resident on an individual basis