Firstly, we want to reassure you that we are taking every step possible to protect our residents in this new era of Covid-19. We are in constant dialogue with Public Health England, the NHS, Department of Health and other relevant bodies both here and abroad to ensure best practice and learning is implemented in real time. In addition, we assess our own experiences and data every day and implement steps we believe can further protect our residents even if such steps are above and beyond those that are official recommendations. Our approach is not to act proportionally or in line with industry standards, but rather to apply ourselves to taking every single step we possibly can

Our care home has, and has always had, the correct high-quality PPE to protect our residents and team members. Our company has been in the care sector for over 30 years and we have multiple long-established supply chains for everything we need as well as our own extra supplies in our warehouses. We have not, and will never be caught short.

We have industry leading practices to best prevent the virus entering our care home. We temperature check and thoroughly interview every person entering the building every time they arrive, checking for any signs of any possible illness. Only our own team members are allowed to enter our care home, except in exceptional circumstances such as GPs or paramedics who we require to go through the same process. If there is any doubt whatsoever then we do not allow that person access. Government testing is available to care workers and any team member showing any symptoms is not allowed into the care home until they have fully recovered or been tested as negative. We do not take chances.

Hygiene is our top priority inside the home and is fundamental to everything we do. All areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day with further additional cleaning measures in place for high contact points, lounges, dining rooms and other areas where people meet. All of our team members change in and out of their uniforms at work and additional infection control training has been delivered. Should you wish to know more about our cleaning and hygiene protocols we would be happy to discuss at your convenience as our processes are too extensive to be fully detailed here.

In the event any resident shows any symptoms of Covid-19, our trained and qualified care team will provide the highest standard of care. The resident is immediately isolated and internal contact tracing measures are carried out to ensure any other resident or team member who could have come into contact are identified and robust steps taken. These steps include testing all involved. Throughout, our team provides compassionate, dignified and loving care which is complemented by their clinical expertise and extensive knowledge.

We know how hard lockdown has been on families and communities. Indeed, we all face the same issues of isolation, nervousness and that feeling of being cooped up. Whether it’s walks in our gardens, watching a film in our cinema, playing games, enjoying music, browsing our library or indulging in the delicious culinary creations our chefs provide every day, life is certainly not boring for our residents. We ensure our residents have access to both state-of-the art technology as well as traditional pastimes. We believe that isolation, inactivity and boredom are real threats to the physical and mental wellbeing of elderly people which is why we offer so many choices and opportunities every day. Our team are always there to provide the support, security and confidence to our residents to engage in such activities, where they can try new things or indulge in favourite hobbies. That said, if one of our beloved residents wants to have breakfast in bed and watch their favourite TV shows in their room, we understand and there is no pressure to get involved in anything. After all, we all have to admit we like doing that from time to time.

We are all missing our loved ones and families during lockdown and becoming more used to Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp and Zoom, as well as using social media. We’ve loved regularly making use of video calls – seeing our residents’ faces light up when they realise they can see their loved one on the phone or iPad has been amazing. Also, we’ve found that many of our residents love the simplicity of a traditional letter. If you don’t already follow us on Facebook then we urge you to take a look as we update it regularly with what we’ve been getting up to so it’s a great place to build a picture of what life is like here. We know that personal connection is what makes us human and even in this new era of Covid-19, we will continue to take every step we can to ensure personal connections are maintained and indeed continue to flourish.

We have always worked hard to ensure we remain an active part of our local community and that our residents’ families and friends see us as part of their extended family too. These strong bonds have undoubtedly benefitted us all and we have been so touched with how our community has reached out to us with their random acts of kindness. It has also been truly heart-warming to see the hundreds of messages, videos, photographs, letters and artwork we’ve been receiving from people in our community and further afield which we love going through with our residents every week.