As you are aware we took the difficult decision to close the home again to all non-essential visitors from Monday 21 September.  This decision was not taken lightly and we are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff team.  The decision was as a result of the R-rate increasing and reports we received from our Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) alongside the Department of Health for Social Care (DHSC) that there had been a number of outbreaks within our county’s care homes, affecting both residents and staff.

On Tuesday 6 October we received instruction from NCC we must close to non-essential visitors due to a sharp rise in Covid-19 across the County.

As I’m sure you are all aware we moved into Covid Tier 3 restrictions from Friday 30 October.  More recently a National lockdown has been announced, so, unfortunately, we continue to be unable to offer non-essential visits.

However, we would like to reassure you that we remain extremely conscious that you all want to see your loved ones and please rest assured that we are making plans to try and ensure this happens at the earliest opportunity.

We have recruited an additional Activities Co-ordinator, Amanda.  We are also creating a Communication Co-ordinator role and have recruited Karen.  It is hoped Amanda and Karen will help to facilitate resident communications; in the first instance, this will involve Amanda and Karen getting to know all of our residents and their families, moving forward it will be to help facilitate virtual meetings, telephone calls, letter writing etc.  Then hopefully in the coming weeks/months Amanda and Karen may be able to facilitate drive-bys, window hellos or socially distanced visits.

We continue to maintain very good links with our primary healthcare team and now have weekly Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Meetings, to discuss all residents with a range of professionals.  This does not replace any urgent care needs which would be referred to a GP/111/999 immediately.

We have a good stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and routine testing is taking place weekly for all staff and every 28 days for all residents.

In addition, the following continues to be in place to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of both our residents and staff:

  • Staff temperatures checked and recorded, and hands washed upon entering the home and regularly throughout a shift.
  • All residents’ temperatures taken and recorded twice daily.
  • ‘touch area’ i.e. tables, chairs, handles, toilet flushes, taps etc cleaning frequency has increased.
  • Handwashing is promoted and encouraged throughout the home regularly, additional hand sanitiser and wall dispensers around the home. Residents supported, if needed, to wash their hands more regularly or to use hand sanitiser.
  • Residents are supported to utilise their own ensuites for toileting to reduce sharing of communal facilities.
  • Increased PPE stocks.
  • Additional thermometers available.
  • Devices are available to facilitate video/telephone calls between residents and friends and family.
  • Specific COVID-19 training completed by all staff and remain up to date with mandatory requirements. Additional donning and doffing and RESTORE2 training facilitated by CCG.
  • Hospital-grade cleaning products used, which kills all superbugs and COVID-19, and continues to be effective for up to 7-days. The supplier also has its own infection control team who are available for advice.
  • Additional admission procedures are in place, inclusive of a negative COVID-19 test requirement.
  • Previous staff have re-joined the team under a casual worker agreement to ensure continuity of service by known faces. We are registered with the national volunteer forum https://indipill.com/.
  • Additional food provisions are stocked, no service disruption has been experienced or anticipated.
  • COVID-19 risk assessments are in place.
  • COVID-19 notices and information signs are displayed around the home inclusive of the new ‘Tier’ requirements and restrictions.
  • On 28 May 2020, the whole home (residents and staff) were tested for COVID-19, all tests performed were negative for COVID-19.
  • Communal area rearranged into a socially distant (2m) manner.
  • Person-Centred Software, electronic care planning, rolled out across the home.
  • Creation of a Responsible Visitor Code as recommended by the Care Provider Alliance.
  • Regular home testing commenced 17 August for staff and residents.
  • Additional ‘out-break’ supplies purchased.
  • Larger staff lockers purchased to store items brought into the home safely.
  • Additional wall mounted sanitisers are around the home.
  • Additional glove and apron dispensers placed around the home.
  • Flooring changed in several areas from carpet to vinyl safety flooring to aid infection control measures.
  • Additional contract furniture and chairs purchased which can easily be decontaminated.
  • Additional uniforms provided to staff to ease laundry burden.
  • Additional profiling beds purchased.
  • NCC PPE assurance assessments completed and appropriate wearing of PPE focussed supervisions rolled out.
  • Continue to report our bed, Covid, supplies, flu and staffing status to NCC, CQC and the Government through the DHSC Capacity Tracker
  • RotaCloud, staff rostering software, rolled out across the home.

We would again like to thank our amazing staff team of who we are immensely proud of; they continue to step up onto the frontline to help us protect the residents within our care against this terrible virus.  We are so thankful that we continue to not have any positive cases amongst our residents or staff team.