FAQ’s – COVID-19

At Encore Care Homes, we would like to reassure you that we are doing everything possible to keep all our residents and the team safe. We are monitoring public health advice and regularly reviewing policies and making changes within our homes where necessary. This does create even more work for our teams so I would like to thank you for your understanding of any issues this may cause.

To help answer a few of your questions, we have compiled a list of FAQs’ below. We appreciate that these may not answer every question you have, but we are hoping that they will go a long way in assuring you that we have implemented every measure we can to ensure your loved one is continuing to receive the best possible care.

What coronavirus precautions are you taking?

We are following the guidance from Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS. This includes ensuring that we always have the correct PPE available. We have also introduced an extensive training programme for both existing staff, new starters and volunteers to ensure that everyone is following strict hygiene protocols.

Are the team being tested?

Our teams have access to testing centres locally to our care homes and we can easily access delivery of home testing kits for our residents.

Will you let us know if you get coronavirus in the home?

Yes, relatives will be alerted. We will also follow Government guidelines which state we must immediately lockdown all residents’ rooms in the local area (floor) around the room of a positively tested resident.

Will residents be moved for isolation for any reason?

We are following the guidance from Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS and so where we believe a resident may have COVID-19 symptoms we will ask them to self-isolate for a period of 7 or 14 days or longer, based on clinical assessment.

Do you have enough PPE for your team?

Yes, we are very fortunate that we have a strong network of suppliers. We have plenty of PPE and it is available to all our care homes. We have introduced a centralised team who are sourcing and ordering the equipment to ensure we continue to have enough.

I can’t get through to the home’s phone to get an update on my loved one. What can I do?

We acknowledge that this is a very difficult time for families and our residents. We appreciate the importance of maintaining contact and are constantly looking for different ways to keep communicate flowing.

To date, this has included using platforms such as Facebook, Facetime and Skype. If we are unable to take your call please bear with us, our teams are working as efficiently as they can and may need to return your call later. We do encourage anyone wanting to speak to a loved one in our care homes directly to contact their homes Wellbeing team to arrange a mutually convenient time.

Are you taking new admissions?

Yes, we are continuing to take new admissions but have stringent procedures in place to minimise the spread of COVID-19 to our residents. As a precaution we have been asking new admissions to self-isolate upon admission.

What if a resident is diagnosed with COVID-19?

We routinely take individuals temperatures twice per day so we can quickly intervene if there is a spike in temperature or the resident shows any other symptoms related to COVID-19. We will then follow the guidance from Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS to ensure the resident receives the best care possible.

What if team sickness and self-isolation gets worse?

We have been working hard with agencies, volunteers and our own staff to ensure we have emergency plans should team numbers reduce due to sickness or self-isolation.

What are the arrangements for visiting relatives who are at the end of life?

We understand how important it is for family contact, especially during this difficult time. We can arrange for family members to visit their relative at this time, under strict guidelines. The Government have announced they are supporting this approach.

How can you guarantee that the home will continue to receive essential supplies of food and cleaning / care equipment?

We have a full range of suppliers and to date we have not had any concerns with access to essential supplies. Some of our suppliers have set up deals to provide essential supplies like food for our care teams.

Have you changed/intensified cleaning procedures in the care homes?

Yes, from the very start of the outbreak we increased cleaning hours and implemented a strict hourly cleaning regime of door handles, work tops, equipment and any other surfaces which are potential high-risk traffic areas. This additional cleaning has continued throughout our care homes.

Are GP’s and external health care workers continuing with their rounds at the home?

Due to social distancing guidance, these services have had to be greatly reduced, however, we are using technology with the GP’s where we can. If Paramedics or GP’s are required to attend the homes, they will be allowed to enter the homes.

Will my relative be able to attend routine hospital appointments?

We are being led by the NHS with regards to hospital appointments. Some appointments are continuing with other non-essential appointments being postponed.

Updated: 1.05.2020