Newsletter #34 – Monday, 9th November 2020
We remain at Implementation Level Two for both Homes and HomeCare with no Symptomatic Residents, Clients or Staff.
Apart from the increased costs that the Pandemic has caused, it has also increased the reluctance of potential residents to move into Care Homes, meaning we now have vacancies in both Homes. We would therefore be delighted to hear from anyone who you feel could benefit from our support.
As the principal contacts of our Residents at Priors Mead will already know, we had a False Alarm; the husband of one of our Carers came into contact with a Covid-Positive person. Her initial test was negative, but a Second Test was Positive, putting the Home on Full Alert. This included testing Staff and Residents over the weekend with all tests so far coming back Negative, stopping Non-Essential Activity and caring for the Residents in their Rooms. Thankfully, the Carer, her husband and son have all tested Negative over the weekend, suggesting the Positive Test was almost certainly false, but it did give us a chance to test our Pandemic Procedure. As a precaution, the Carer is remaining in Self-Isolation for 10 days, and we will be retesting everyone on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the Home has now returned to normal. We are also updating our Pandemic Procedure to make sure the valuable lessons learnt from this experience are captured.
As you might expect by now, all Staff at Priors Mead were superb, including the Management Team who remained calm and collected throughout; thank you and well done.
Pods and Visiting
What appeared to be unmitigated good news is more complicated on closer inspection. The welcome information that the government is to allow Visiting during lockdown was accompanied by guidelines that are going to take a little time to implement. Thankfully, work has now started on installing the new Visiting Pods, which we hope to have completed in a couple of weeks, and which will be compliant with the New Guidelines. In the meantime, given that Garden Visits are no longer feasible due to the weather, Families are welcome to to engage in Window Visits, where the Visitor remains outside whilst the Resident remains inside separated by a closed window or glass door. We recognise these are far from ideal as communication will be difficult if not impossible, but we hope and expect that this situation will be for a relatively short period of time.
Testing is continuing for all Homes Staff as usual, and we are now having far better success with Home Testing Kits for HomeCare Staff, all thankfully Negative. Please see above for the additional testing done at Priors Mead.
- Residents enjoyed some great Fireworks on Thursday evening.
- We would like to welcome Christine who had previously worked for HomeCare for over a year and has now started with us at Nettlestead covering Night Dutie
- We are sad to say Ilse passed away peacefully last week. Our thoughts and condolences are with her family at this time.
- After the year we’ve all had and after discussing what to do about it with our Residents during their Monthly Meetings, we are doing Christmas a little early this year starting with putting our decorations up over the next few weeks!
- On Saturday evening we enjoyed watching a Fireworks Display and lighting sparklers – followed by a mug of Hot Chocolate to warm ourselves up.
- We remembered those fallen on Remembrance Sunday by participating in the two minute silence and watching the Remembrance Service. We wore our poppies with pride, lovingly made by one of our Resident’s daughters, Sandra – thank you once again.
- Today is Kirsty’s Birthday!! We’re all wishing her many happy returns on this milestone (we’re not saying which one)!
- Our Pottery Pieces, which we painted a few weeks ago, have been returned to us and look wonderful.
- New Furniture has arrived for the communal areas which we look forward to putting together and sharing the new look with you all when this all ends!
- Lauren had a meeting with Bromley Council a couple of weeks ago in regards to testing. All Health and Social Care Workers are now entitled to a free Antibody Test if they have not already had one through the NHS. This initiative is due to start in December and Lauren will inform staff of any updates in regard to this.
- We have also heard back from Bromley Council in regards to Testing HomeCare Clients. Currently there are no tests available unless there is a suspected case, in which eventuality they would be available.
- We have two assessments this week for potential New Clients.
Suggestions continue to be welcome. Please share them with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your continued support and understanding.
Nick & Sarah Bruce