17 March 2020
Dear Friend of Greensleeves Care,
As you are aware the Covid-19 situation is evolving extremely quickly, as is the guidance provided by the Government. On 16 March, the Prime Minister made significant changes to how he wants the UK to respond and in line with this news, our own response has been updated.
From today, 17 March 2020, we have taken the difficult but necessary decision to close our care homes to all but essential visitors. This measure applies to the family and friends of our residents.
We will be reviewing this policy on a regular basis and whenever any updated government guidance is made available to us.
This is not a decision we have taken lightly but it is one that takes account of the most up-to-date guidance and places our residents’ safety at its heart. We hope you will both understand why we have taken this decision but also be reassured by it.
As always, our residents’ health and well-being remain our top priorities.
13 March 2020
As you are no doubt aware Covid-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, has now been classified as a pandemic and is considered to be a major health emergency in the UK. Yesterday the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the Cobra Committee and moved the United Kingdom’s response from contain to delay phase.
Greensleeves Care would like to take this opportunity to bring you up-to-date with the latest precautions we are taking to keep our residents, staff and visitors safe and minimise their exposure to risk of infection; whilst at the same time balancing the impact to their quality of life for what could be a protracted period of time.
Up until this point, in-line with all Government and National Health Service guidance, we have continued “business as usual” whilst following the appropriate additional precautions which include but were not limited to:
- Encouraging increased frequency and improved hand-washing techniques
- Self-isolation of people displaying symptoms of Covid-19
- Advising those that have travelled to designated countries not to visit the homes.
Now the situation has changed with the nation entering of the delay phase, we have introduced a number of additional measures.
Greensleeves Care’s homes have now restricted all non-essential visitors to the home so until further notice there will be no resident/family meetings, networking events, school children visits or community events. We are also requesting that residents do not attend large gatherings such as community centres or day centres outside of the home.
We are not stopping resident’s family and friends visiting the home at this stage. We did not take this decision lightly but did so based upon the very latest official guidance and advice. We are also trying to balance the improvement in our resident’ safety with the impact on their wellbeing and quality of life.
However, we do ask those visitors to take a number of sensible precautions:
- If you have a new continuous cough or a temperature equal of above 37.8 degrees centigrade, you should not visit the care home and instead self-isolate at home and contact Online NHS 111 and follow their advice.
Government advice no longer refers to any travel history and the countries an individual has recently visited are no-longer relevant to their perceived risk. The only considerations are a person’s temperature or any persistent cough experienced.
Upon entry to the home you must wash your hands in accordance with the NHS handwashing guidance that will be presented to you.
Visitors should be mindful that avoiding close or intimate contact with their loved ones will lower the risk of infection. So we should consider whether it is appropriate to be shaking hands, hugging or kissing. Whilst these would all be considered completely normal greetings under different circumstances, avoiding such contact is part of the process of preventing infection.
All essential community healthcare and medical professionals’ visits to our residents will continue as required with the appropriate safeguards in place that you would expect. As always our overriding focus is always to keep our residents safe and provide them the very best possible care.
We believe that the precautions we have taken represent a proportionate approach to keep our residents, staff and visitors safe whilst maintaining a sense of normality in our homes and allow them to serve our residents without unnecessary restrictions. The balance is all about managing a potential risk that could go on for weeks or months.
As the situations changes we will update our response to the Covid-19 pandemic; it is possible that these changes will be frequent and with limited notice. So we request your patience and understanding during this time.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Home Manager of a relevant care home.
Thank you in advance for your understanding and co-operation.