Update as at 26 November 2020
Dear Friend of Greensleeves Care,
We hope you are all staying fit and well and, as always, we wish you and your loved ones the very best in these trying times.
Since our last update the UK has re-entered a National Lockdown, but, we are delighted to say that Government Guidelines have allowed us to facilitate a vital visitation process between our residents and their loved ones.
In most cases all of our homes have maintained this crucial link with the outside throughout and only where local restrictions in a small number of homes have obliged us to temporarily suspend visits have we done so.
We know that many families and friends struggle with some of the restrictions that we have in place to ensure our residents stay safe. Wearing of PPE, social distancing and Perspex screens are not what we all want in a visit. But, we as do our families understand that shielding our lovely residents from Covid-19 is so important.
However, our residents, families and friends realise that we are complying with all government guidance and happy that we are ensuring we follow all Public Health England regulations.
But it has not all been bad news recently! We now have two vaccines that have proved themselves to be both safe and highly effective with a third likely to announce positive trial results in the near future. The Health Secretary has also prioritised Care Homes, their residents and staff as being the very first recipients of the vaccine as soon as it is delivered in quantity to the UK. Exact dates have not yet been released but it is very exciting news for our residents and their families as it will undoubtedly mean Greensleeves Care homes will enjoy a more relaxed situation once that vaccination programme has been completed.
We have continued to work hard towards ensuring our homes are as Covid-19 secure as possible, some of our enhanced processes include:
- Enhanced Cleaning– We continue to operate significantly enhanced cleaning and sanitising protocols and routines procedures, especially around high traffic areas and common touch points
- Improved Training– As we have learned more about the disease we implement this learning in our training for staff at all our care homes
- Plentiful PPE– all Greensleeves Care homes have enjoyed a plentiful and un-interrupted supply of essential PPE throughout the pandemic and have maintained a good stock level covering all potential future needs.
- Regular Testing – All of our homes have had full, uninterrupted access to the testing regimes provided by the Government which means all staff and residents have had regular and accurate testing.
- Temperature checks for staff prior to starting their shifts. If any person was displaying, even the mildest of symptoms, they would be immediately sent home to self-isolate and provided with an immediate additional testing cycle. That staff member would then not be allowed back to work until they had received a negative test result and were symptom free. These processes are extremely robust but also absolutely necessary and we know that our residents and their loved ones derive real comfort knowing they are in place for their protection.
Infection free status of our homes
We continue to carefully and diligently monitor the infectious status of our homes and work in a highly proactive way to keep them virus free. We know that from time to time we will have to close some of our homes following Public Health England guidance due to a local spike in cases and expect this to carry on into next year. Due to the rigorous and routine testing of our colleagues and the residents that they support it is possible that in the future we may identify a staff member who tests positive. This is the same for all other areas of society. The key difference in a Greensleeves Care home is because of our exceptional screening and testing regimes we would identify such a risk much sooner and are able to take early proactive action. Should such a scenario occur, we will take immediate and decisive action following all Government and Public Health guidance and exceeding their standards in many areas.
Families will feel understandably frustrated if we have to put additional precautions in place but should also take great comfort in fact that we are prepared for and ready to deal with such a situation.
Quality of life in Greensleeves Care homes
As you would understandably demand of us the safety and health of our residents will always be our absolute priority, but we also care a great deal about their happiness, wellbeing and quality of life. Initially we, as with the rest of the country, had to take decisive action to protect our residents. As time has moved on and the Covid-19 situation has become a little more stable across the UK, we have started to focus more on our residents’ quality of life. We have reinstated loved ones’ visiting where safe to do so. As you would expect these visits have all of the appropriate safety precautions applied and we continue to do all we can to ensure we maximise the appropriate precautions. The specific visitor guidance that each individual home will follow will vary because the local situation and the layout of each individual home are different. We appreciate your continued support and understanding.
The Greensleeves Care Team
* Where tests are available, currently we are experiencing no shortages and all of our staff and residents are being tested in accordance with our enhanced policies and procedures.
Please visit COVID-19 – Updates for previous Greensleeves Care updates on COVID-19
For more information about COVID-19 please visit COVID-19 – An Introduction For Families of People Living in Care Homes
Please also read the Frequently Asked Questions