Good Evening,

Thank you for your patience. Sorry, it’s late in the day. I was hoping to update you yesterday. However, the care home guidance that I have been waiting for wasn’t released until today.

We have spoken with all Lead Practitioners who have feedback at our weekly SMT meeting that there are a few families that feel there would be a benefit to have handheld contact with their loved ones, and we will ensure that we will facilitate this. 

Families who wish to have hand-to-hand contact will be required to book an hour slot. The initial 30 minutes will be to carry out a Lateral Flow Test where you will be required to wait in your car for the result to reduce transmission from anyone that could potentially be positive. 

Once the result has been obtained, full PPE will be provided, and access to the lobby without a screen will be allowed. We feel that by keeping the visits in the lobby and not inside the home, we are protecting other residents as much as possible. 

We have not been given clear guideline as to how long a visit is deemed to be safe as the last guidance identified that anyone who has been in contact with someone less than 2 meters for more than 20 minutes would be at risk of transmission. Therefore we are going to allow 20 minutes. The lobby door to the entrance will need to remain open at all times, along with the visitor’s toilet, where you will have access to before the visit commences. 

Anything that you have worn will need to be “doffed” (removed) correctly and taken home to reduce risk. There sadly will be no refreshments, and at present, that is the same with the shield visits as we are still deemed as in outbreak until 24th March 2021. 

However, most families are very happy with how the visits are currently happening, behind a screen where expressions can be seen, and there is less risk of transmission.

Current arrangements will be reviewed after the 27th March 2021, this being the date of the next vaccine, which the GP has said today that she feels would be the safest day to commence once the second dose has been given.

A quotation from Dr Morton, “We have all come so far, just 3 more weeks and the risk will be reduced further”. This, I felt, was a significant quote. 

The residents have all been tested twice since the positive result of our staff member, and thankfully all have tested negative.

Sadly, this is not the case for our carers husband, who at present is in a hospital with Covid, and I am sure all of you will join us in wishing him a full and speedy recovery. Whilst our employee did not present with any symptoms, we have agreed that they should isolate away from the home for 14 days from his positive result. 

This is when we see the whole team pull together and supporting each other by covering the shifts ensuring that we do not use agency staff to minimise any potential risk to our residents.

I hope that I have covered everything, and please forward the email to families so they can see how we are moving forward with the visits.

Stay safe 

Lindsay, Vince and all of team Hendra xx