As you can appreciate the information and guidance, we receive changes daily. Having had time to reflect on the latest guidance, we want you all to know that any decisions reached are made with the sole intention of protecting our residents and our staff to the best of our abilities.
The latest guidance is that we should facilitate safe practice regarding handheld contact with effect from tomorrow 8th March, and this has been well publicised in the press. However, what they have failed to report in most circumstances is that the government have stated that the ultimate decision remains with each home’s management team.
The government has been under considerable pressure to allow residents and relatives to meet at the earliest opportunity, a sentiment that we fully endorse but believe the safety of residents should never be compromised.
Visits for residents in many homes have not taken place for almost 12 months. However, at Hendra, we have tried at every opportunity to facilitate visits as it’s important for everyone’s mental wellbeing.
To ensure that we remain Covid free we have reviewed the latest guidance, sought advice from local GP’s, reviewed our compliance guidance and have held detailed discussions with both Public Health England and Shropshire Council and have reluctantly decided that we will not be facilitating the handheld which was scheduled to commence tomorrow.
The reasons for taking this decision are due to the following factors:
We are still classed as being in an outbreak until 22nd March due to the most recent positive test of a staff member, and we are still officially in lockdown, so to allow handheld visits is not permissible.
However, we have been informed by Public Health England and having reviewed our infection control procedures and considered the wellbeing of our residents, we have collectively agreed that shielded visits can continue from tomorrow as they work well and ensures the safety of all concerned.
Our outbreak period end on the 22nd and our second vaccine is scheduled to take place on 27th March, so we have decided to continue with shielded visits until the second vaccinations have taken place.
This will be reviewed after the 22nd with the hope that we will be able to review the situation week commencing 29th March.
The decision has been discussed with our residents, who are happy with the decision stating they would prefer to see your smiles rather than hiding your faces behind masks.
Thank you to everyone for your emails of support who have entrusted us to do what we believe to be in the best interests of their loved ones.
Please call the home to book your shielded visits. All keyworkers will be in touch over the next week, but if you need any further support, please do not hesitate to contact myself or Vince.
Stay safe. We are nearer the end than the beginning.
Lindsay, Vince and all of team Hendra xx