Why are Care Homes still the safest place for the elderly and can be Covid-19 Free
Some Care Homes have gone above and beyond the government guidance. Woodlands and Hill Brow Ltd are an example of this, we have shielded 180 elderly residents and as of today none of those residents have passed away from Covid-19 or are positive from Covid-19. All our staff in our four homes (Woodlands, Hill Brow, Hill House, Farnham Mill) are also negative and plan to stay that way.
The homes are run by a husband and wife team, Gabriel, Alison and Director of Care Jo. We put our resident’s safety and happiness above all else. The homes have never employed agency staff or staff working in other care settings. All staff who cross the threshold of our homes, solely work for Woodlands and Hill Brow Ltd on a permanent basis, helping prevent the transmission of Covid-19.
In addition to this, Gabriel is a very tenacious individual, when Covid-19 broke out in March, he organised and paid for private testing. So, during April every member of our 250 staff and all 4 Homes 180 residents had all been tested. We began daily wellbeing checks on staff from that day onwards and have repeated Covid-19 testing fortnightly to ensure our residents safety. By the second week of March we had acquired 6 months’ supply of PPE and even went to the length of creating an international shipping account to make sure our 250 staff felt safe and our 180 residents were kept safe.
This was complimented by Jo, who is an ex theatre nurse and therefore an infection control specialist. You might well think what better skills to deal with Covid-19, but Jo is also a respiratory nurse specialist, training all the staff in isolation and PPE equipment required to ensure visiting, discharges and admissions were managed safely. Alison, along with her HR manager Laura, made sure that staff were kept off work, isolated, tested and supported with every cough and sneeze, to ensure they did not infect the residents or their colleagues.
Our homes are not alone in the country to have amazing staff, that really care about their residents and want to make sure they are safe. In addition to this we have made sure that the residents keep in touch with their families through Facebook, skype, telephone and other virtual visiting. They are kept busy throughout the day, with numerous activities including virtual tours of museums, reminiscence sessions including wedding day memories, summer fetes, sociable afternoon teas and such like, to ensure the residents happiness is upheld above all else.
We do everything within our limited power, to ensure the residents happiness. The relatives have often found not visiting their loved ones more difficult because of the distance felt between them. The teams have tried to reduce this distance with weekly communication from the activities team, monthly updates from a named nurse and key worker, weekly whole home communication of events and weekly Directors communication, highlighting protocols and procedures to ensure residents safety, to name just a few, one of the relatives said “I sleep well at night because I know whatever happens, you are all there for the people that depend on you, including my Mum”.
The next task for our Directors and the homes to turn to is looking at ideas for safe in person visiting, such as drive thru visiting for family members, garden visits etc. If you would like to find out more about our homes and how we will keep your loved ones safe from Covid-19.
If you would like any more information or I can help please do not hesitate to contact Elizabeth Butt
Telephone: 01252 850 236
Mobile: 07704 426475