Since March 2020, the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has exposed the health and social care sectors but for Baxendale Care Home it was an opportunity to distinguish our service as valued, inclusive, and above all, responsive.
We know that during this difficult period you may have a number of questions about COVID-19 and how our service is operating.
As Baxendale Care Home moves forward, the health, wellbeing and safety of our residents, staff and visitors remains paramount – your questions are answered below:-
1. Can I visit my relative or friend in your care home?
- Yes, absolutely. We understand how important it is to both relatives and residents to have visits.
- We have set up a dedicated ‘visiting area’ that is considered a safe place for residents and relatives to meet in a socially distanced way without compromising the safety of other residents or staff.
- Where possible, there is an outdoor area that has been set apart for these essential visits. If weather or situation does not permit an outdoor visit, there will be an allocated area indoors, away from any communal area. In some cases, this will be in a resident’s bedroom if that is deemed the most appropriate location.
- For residents who are unable to leave their bedrooms ‘essential’ visits will be conducted in their rooms following stringent IPC procedures.
- All visits are conducted according to the government guidance which includes use of PPE and a temperature check, and for close contact visits, the requirement for an LFD test on arrival.
- Government guidance on care home visits can be found here: Visiting arrangements in care homes – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
- We follow guidance of the Local Public Health England team regarding the need to suspend visits due to increases in Covid-19 infections.
2. How are you managing new admissions?
- All admissions to our care homes require a Covid-19 test prior to admission.
All admissions must remain apart from our other residents for a period of 14 days. This controlled approach to admission protects the in-coming residents and our existing residents.
- Admissions of Covid positive hospital patients are only accepted after a minimum of 14 days isolation in a health care facility and once all symptoms have resolved.
- For new enquiries, we are offering ‘virtual tours’ of our facilities in the first instance. We will then offer an escorted tour of the home for the prospective resident plus a family member, in accordance with our IPC requirements.
- This tour will be supported by LFD testing and PPE will need to be worn.
3. How are you isolating your residents with Covid-19?
- We adhere to government advice on isolation for suspected and confirmed cases of Covid-19.
- For residents with dementia, our experience shows us that in many cases and with good care from our staff, residents are happy to remain in their designated area for the required period.
4. How are you looking after residents’ wellbeing?
- We are working hard behind the scenes to make life as normal as possible in our care home for the residents who live here.
- With years of experience in looking after elderly residents, we are aware of the importance of social interaction and wellbeing.
- Isolation clearly creates challenges for a person’s wellbeing. Our staff all work hard to provide meaningful activities and engagement for residents in this position. We utilise technology to allow communication to family and friends, we have garden entertainers residents can watch through the window or on the patio, we use music as relaxation therapy. We are always monitoring people’s well-being and engage with health professionals if we see any concerning changes in health or well-being.
- For residents not having to isolate, we are using our outdoor areas as much as possible for activities and entertainment. Activities are carried out as much as normal, the only difference is that we are not having entertainers coming into our home, we are also using “virtual” technology facilitate entertainment.
5. What enhanced Infection Prevention and Control Procedures (IPC) have you implemented?
- All staff have undertaken in-house IPC training and additional training is being rolled out. The management team is responsible for doing extra checks to ensure IPC policies and Covid-19 procedures are being followed.
- We have increased our cleaning schedules to ensure all areas of the care home is cleaned on a regular basis.
- We have also increased the daily cleaning to allow frequently touched areas (e.g., light switches, door handles, corridor rails) to be cleaned several times a day.
- We confirm we have complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 5 steps to safer working together.
- All staff have their temperatures checked daily when arriving at work and are not allowed to work if their temperature is above 37.8 degrees.
- We have modified our staff facilities to allow for additional space for staff to
get changed and have their rest breaks.
- Agency staff are no longer used at the home.
- We have installed further hand sanitising stations around the care home.
- We have placed signage externally and internally to draw attention to the Social Distancing/IPC/PPE requirements.
- We have undertaken modifications to our communal areas to allow for effective social distancing of staff and residents where possible. We are undertaking detailed and thorough Infection Control checks regular
- Contractors are only entering our home for essential repairs and maintenance. They are following the same PPE, stringent infection control and testing regimes as all other visitors.
- We are disposing of waste in line with government guidance and in
accordance with our waste disposal companies.
- Deliveries to our care home is cleaned and disinfected on entry.
6. What are you doing as an organisation around Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
- Baxendale Care Home procured a large quantity of PPE from our normal suppliers in early March 2020.
- We now source some of our PPE from the national government portal.
- All staff in our care home are required wear a fluid repellent surgical mask
whilst at work.
- Gloves/aprons/goggles/visors are all worn in the home in line with government guidelines.
- All our staff have been trained in ‘donning’ and ‘doffing’ and PPE usage.
7. What are you doing around testing?
- All staff are tested for Covid-19 at least 3 times a week.
- We track all their results and should anyone return a positive test they are contact traced and anyone thought to be exposed is also isolated.
- Government funding has allowed us to pay our staff who are off isolating, which encourages honesty and adherence to our testing regime.
8. What are you doing around vaccination?
- Virtually all our residents have been vaccinated with 2 doses by the home’s GP or affiliated nursing colleagues.
- The vast majority of our staff have also been vaccinated.
- We have been actively promoting the vaccine, conducting Q&A sessions, producing literature, and we are finding that more and more staff who were initially reluctant are gradually taking up the vaccine.
- We are closely watching the government and legal discussions around mandatory vaccination of staff.