Springcare Covid-19 update – November 2020

I am sure that you will be very aware of the continuing challenges that the Covid-19 virus is presenting to us all in different ways, although with the news that a programme of vaccinations is to be commenced imminently and with residents and staff in Care Homes regarded as priority, we all hope for more positive times on the horizon.

Since our last communication, there have been many changes that have been influenced by infection rates and Government directives.

From earlier in the year, everybody within Springcare have remained strongly committed to keeping our residents and staff safe; this commitment continues to be of paramount importance.

We are equally conscious of the significant consequences when residents have not been able to see their loved ones due to the restrictions to visiting, and we are committed to supporting visits whilst upholding safety by enabling visits in a risk assessed, balanced way, whilst doing all that we can to allay anxieties of families and friends who have been unable to visit for considerable time.

On 2 December, the most recent lockdown restrictions were lifted in England and the revised Tier system implemented, which inevitably influences the way in which people move and travel throughout the country.

We have needed to refer to this when agreeing protocols for facilitating visits to our Care Homes and we respectfully request that you comply to these conditions when visiting the Care Home. For example, the travel from a Tier 3 region to a care home in another tier should be minimised for only essential purpose only and would be considered after assessing the risk.

I am pleased to confirm the visiting arrangements that will be available to you, depending on each resident’s needs, with a visiting plan agreed based on individual risk assessment involving the resident’s choice wherever possible.

The options that will be available are:

  • Visiting pods: as detailed in my previous communication, each home will have a visiting pod erected in the car park of the home. These pods have been manufactured to Spring Cares specifications and will provide an opportunity for our residents to meet with their relative. There will be a clear fixed screen dividing two areas within the pod to provide protection to any virus transmission. Further details of the protocol will follow in due course, but I am pleased to confirm that the pods will be in place within the coming weeks. You will be notified when the pod is ready to be used, together with the arrangements and conditions.
  • Window visits: will continue where it is considered the most appropriate option for the resident and will require a safe ground floor window for both residents and visitors with the relevant social distancing and PPE observed.
  • Room visits: these will be facilitated when it is assessed as the most appropriate method and in line with national guidance and will be for those residents that are unable to access the pod for a variety of reasons, including those at the end stage of life.
  • There will be a continuation of the innovative ways that have been adopted in maintaining contact using electronic devices.

Mindful of the most recent Government announcement where Care Homes are to be provided lateral flow testing kits for testing visitors to facilitate visits within the home, at this time, these testing kits have not yet been received. Of course, we will be carefully reviewing the visiting protocol when the situation changes and write to you again.

I hope this provides you with assurance and clarity of the current arrangements but welcome you to contact the Home Manager if you require any additional information at this time.

Naturally, we will continue to review the localised position and where required to do so will respect professional colleagues advice.

I should like to commend and thank our wonderful staff for their valiant work in creating the safe havens within our homes and keeping everybody safe and to thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through these difficult circumstances.

Yours sincerely

Clare Delaney
Operations Director