- Posted by Roger Catchpole
- On July 2, 2020
All Stow Healthcare homes welcome new admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will be happy to help answer any questions you may have when making this decision for yourself or your loved one. You will be pleased to know that we are working very closely with hospitals, healthcare professionals, local authorities, and prospective residents and their families to ensure that everyone stays safe during this time.
We have set out some information below that might help answer some of the questions you might have. You can also call the home of your choice directly, call Stow Healthcare’s head office on 01359 300470, or email us if you have any other points you want us to clarify.
How do you ensure that people moving into your home will not bring COVID with them?
We require all residents moving into our homes from a hospital setting to have a negative COVID test before moving in. On moving into our home, all new residents are kindly asked to self-isolate in their rooms for 14 days, as per government guidance, so that we can be sure they have no symptoms of COVID. We recognise this isn’t easy, but people moving in have been very understanding, and this measure keeps our homes safe and COVID free.
Can I make a visit to choose my room?
As we are not currently permitted to let non-essential visitors into our home, we cannot allow you into the home to view at this time. However, we can help you by sending you photos of any rooms that are available.
Also, you are more than welcome to choose another available room after the first two weeks in our home, if you find one that you prefer. We can also meet you face to face via technology, for example, using Skype or Zoom to help answer questions and ensure you feel familiar with our senior team before you move in.
Will you come and assess me in hospital, if I am waiting there to be discharged?
We are not permitted to come to the hospital during the pandemic, but we work with excellent ‘trusted assessors’ in our local hospitals. For some time, they have helped us to assess many residents remotely, to great success. We are also happy to chat with you remotely if you are in your own home, for example, to discuss your needs with you and/or your family. This assessment helps us prepare for your arrival and know what we can do to support you and help you enjoy every day in our home.
How will I be able to complete paperwork to organise my stay?
We can email or post paperwork to you, or the person who manages your affairs for completion. If neither option is available, for example, if you manage your own issues and are in hospital, we will ask you to complete this as soon as you arrive.
Can my family bring me to the home and help me move in?
We are more than happy for your family to drive you to our home on the day you move in. They will not be able to enter the home during the pandemic, so our staff will welcome you and help you organise your room the way you want.
While your family can’t enter the home, we will help you stay in touch via phone and other technology. We have iPads and other technology you can borrow, and our staff will help you if you haven’t used these before. We also welcome letters, cards, and other things to brighten your day through the post! As soon as the government permits, we will also be facilitating outdoor visits to our homes.
How can I feel safe in your care home?
We are working very hard to get every confidence in your safety when you move into our home.
Staff who are trained to care for you safely:
- Our team are supported to complete specific training per Public Health England recommendations around COVID management
- This training is both knowledge-based and has a practical competency element
- Our staff is given the most up to date information about developments that might change their way of working, including through daily briefings during the peak of the pandemic.
Staff who have the right PPE to do their job
- Our staff can feel confident that they always have the right PPE to do their job
- We monitor stock levels in every home each day so that demand can be planned for and deliveries can be made in good time
- We hold a significant stock of all essential PPE centrally so all homes can be supported
- We follow government advice very carefully, so we are using the correct PPE for each task, as based on current government advice
- We are planning strategically to ensure we are well equipped in the event of a second wave
Effective cleaning processes throughout the home
- You can feel assured that your room and all communal areas are cleaned and maintained to an excellent standard
- Your room will have been thoroughly cleaned before you arrive, with a minimal interval of 72 hours between residents
- Your bedroom will be cleaned every day
- Our housekeeping staff is trained to use appropriate chemicals safely to ensure that the home is kept infection-free
- You will be able to enjoy clean and fresh communal areas with good access to hand washing facilities
Whole home testing programme
- We have been front runners to ensure that our staff and residents have been able to access testing early on in the pandemic
- All our homes, residents and staff, have been keen participants in the whole home testing programme operated by the government
- We are eager to partake in ongoing regular testing, if this should be rolled out, and hope you would participate in this
- We always ask residents for their consent to be tested
Safe socialising in our homes
- We are lucky in our homes to have a variety of communal spaces that you can enjoy, without feeling you are getting too close to anyone else
- We will help you enjoy all your regular activities, take meals in our dining room, and find space to relax and enjoy while feeling safe and secure
- If a resident in our home did display symptoms, we would ask you to isolate in your room while we secure testing for the poorly resident; this keeps everyone safe and prevents any risk of transmission
- We have dedicated activities staff who will help you enjoy your day and to meet new friends in our home
Can I have a visit from my family?
Although the government is currently advising against all non-essential visitors to care homes, their advice will likely change in the coming weeks. Stow Healthcare is actively planning to support residents and their loved ones through socially distanced garden visits. We will provide you and your family with clear information about how we can do this as soon as restrictions are lifted.
How can I be sure that the home is meeting relevant quality standards during this time?
· The Care Quality Commission (CQC) suspended their inspections in all care homes during the pandemic
· They now interview our Home Managers by telephone to ensure that we are following all the latest Government guidance around Infection Prevention and Control. They also assess how well we are supporting our residents and that we are continuing to deliver a high-quality service that keeps our residents safe
· We publish their reports on our website (there is no statutory duty for us to do so, but we think you might find it reassuring)
How will you keep my family in touch with what is happening in the home and to me during the pandemic?
We have been working extra hard to support families during this difficult time. Your family will be able to call the home, get an update on your well-being from staff, and speak to you. We have also held remote Zoom meetings for relatives at each home, which have been exceptionally well received. We will continue to hold meetings remotely, especially while families aren’t able to come and spend time in our homes.