Preparing to Keep Our Residents Safe During a Second Wave

We were recently warned by the Department of Health and Social Care, like all care homes, that there are a rising number of Covid-19 cases across the country. No one wants a repeat of the heart-breaking situation that saw coronavirus sweep through multiple care homes.

At Eastleigh, we have taken Covid-19 immensely seriously from the beginning and have ensured that our residents are kept as safe and protected from the virus as possible. We fully understand the vulnerability our residents face, and as such ensure that we will continue to be ‘Covid-secure’ throughout the winter and the probable second wave.

What’s happening in care homes

Stuart Miller is the director of adult social care delivery for the Department of Health. He has written to all care homes to urge them to prepare for a second wave. The Department of Health has been undertaking satellite testing in care homes and has found that Covid-19 cases are rising in care homes across the nation.

However, it should be noted that, at the moment, these cases are mostly affecting staff and not residents. At Eastleigh we stringently screen staff on a routine and regular basis to minimise the risk that they may inadvertently bring the virus inside our homes. In addition, all staff wear and are trained in the effective use of PPE. We always make sure we have adequate stocks and that our staff are fully knowledgeable on its safe use.

The Department of Health has also warned that the winter flu season is soon to start. This is always a challenging time for those caring for the elderly. Once again, it is vital that we continue to follow our infection control processes which will inhibit the transmission of any virus.

How are we keeping our residents safe and well?

At Eastleigh, our staff have a genuine care and relationship with their residents. It’s hugely important to us that we keep our residents safe and well, but also happy and content, without the fear that the pandemic can expose them to.

You can read more about our approach to Covid-19, and even download a full copy of our risk assessment, on our coronavirus page. Hopefully this will help you feel reassured that our residents are being as protected as possible whilst continuing to enjoy and benefit from safe social interaction and engaging activities.

A taster of what we are doing to keep residents safe includes:

  • Visitors are highly restricted ensuring those with coronavirus in the community cannot pass it to our homes.
  • We have stopped all external outings from our activity programme, and have stopped external activity providers from attending the home.
  • Staff are routinely screened for symptoms and supported to isolate where necessary.
  • Staff are fully trained in the proper use of PPE. All staff have received infection prevention control training.
  • Residents are reminded of, and encouraged to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene.
  • We are holding larger than normal food and necessities supplies to ensure we are not hampered by shortages.
  • We have a full month’s supply of PPE in each home at all times.
  • Our cleaning protocols have been updated and are being stringently followed.

A sample of what we are doing to keep residents happy and engaged includes:

  • We have bought a number of iPads. These are used to arrange video calls between residents and their loved ones, with support from our staff, as needed.
  • We have introduced a greater number of social activities that can take place inside the home, including purchasing Tovertafel interactive projection games for two of our homes.
  • We are encouraging and enabling our residents to make use of the grounds for fresh air and a change of scenery, especially while the weather is favourable.
  • Meals and drinks are continuing to our high standard, making sure residents are enjoying healthy and enjoyable nutrition.
  • We are ensuring that residents feel able to chat to and engage with staff, knowing that many are missing their families. We are supporting communication with their families as much as possible.
  • In the event that residents have to isolate, we ensure they are comfortable and well-cared for.

We understand that it is a worrying time for families as we potentially face a second wave. However, please feel reassured that your loved ones are our top priority and we are not only prepared for a second wave, but we are also prepared for meeting the social, cognitive and wellbeing needs of your loved one. If you have any concerns at all, please call the home manager.

If you are considering moving your family member into a care home in North Devon or Somerset, we have introduced measures to enable a safe and smooth transition from living at home to one of our homes. Please call us on 01769 573166 and we can discuss arrangements with you.