- Posted by Roger Catchpole
- On March 17, 2020
Thank you for the supportive way that you have responded to our communication of last week, as we do everything that we can to keep our residents and staff as safe as possible.
Many of you will have listened to the news last night, and the Prime Minister and his health/scientific advisors talking about the next steps that we will all need to take to reduce the impact of Coronavirus. The government advice now is that ‘non essential contact with others, particularly for those in the over 70 age bracket’ should be stopped. He also said that ‘by this weekend, it will be necessary to go further and to ensure that those with the most serious health conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks’.
On this basis, we wanted to tell you that starting this Friday 20 March, we will regrettably be entering a new phase in our contingency planning (our third of five phases). This will be our Isolation, or Cocooning Phase.
On Friday, and from then onward, only essential medical or maintenance visits and visits to residents who are receiving end of life care will be permitted. You will be contacted in person by the home manager if you are still permitted to come to the home to visit your loved one.
We wanted to reassure you that we have careful plans to manage this virus as very best we can. We are glad that many of you have joined up to our email contact list. If you have not yet, please contact your own home administrator to give them your details. You will also notice that our website www.stowhealthcare.co.uk has all up to date information on it, as do our Facebook and Twitter pages (@stowhealthcare).
In terms of what we want to do to help you and residents feel less isolated, these are some of the things that we are planning:
1. Ensuring that all information and updates are promptly added to our website and social media
2. Giving key information to residents, in a way that they can understand
3. Using technology to maintain visual links where possible. If you have spare tablet computers or smart phones then consider if they can be left with your loved one. Please do name any devices and tell us what you have brought in. You should be able to set up Skype accounts or (with an iPhone use Facetime) – no phone number needs to be associated to make this work, and you can google more details of this online.
4. We will try and provide regular updates from our homes on social media, to tell you about the fun things we are doing with residents.
5. We will be maintaining active activity programmes for residents at this phase. Even if we have to move to a position where residents have to be isolate to their rooms (if we have a diagnosed case in the home), we are already planning activities to take to our residents.
Please do think about the positive impact of letter writing to our residents. Receiving a letter, card or photos brings so much joy and this is a great time to do that for our residents.
We absolutely understand that this is a deeply worrying time for many people in our country. Our focus remains on the well-being and safety of those residents in our care. We know that some people will feel they must be exempted from our restrictions, but we want you to understand that we are putting them in place for a reason, and a semi-implemented plan will just not be effective.
Where essential visitors are coming into our homes, they will be subject to strict controls, to restrict any likelihood of infection.
If you have any questions you can contact the home’s management team, or check our latest advice online.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Ruth French and Roger Catchpole
Directors, Stow Healthcare Group Ltd