Coronavirus prevention measures at Encore Care Homes
As a care provider, our first priority is always to keep our residents, staff and community safe. In response to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we have been closely following advice from Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS.
Covid-19, more commonly referred to as ‘coronavirus’, can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
With this in mind, we have introduced new preventative measures at all of our care homes:
- We have asked all relatives to currently refrain from visiting our care homes unless residents are very poorly. Any visitors are asked to complete a health declaration upon entering the home. If any risks of possible transmission are identified, entry to the home will not be permitted.
- We can support you and your loved one to use a phone or video call to keep in touch. We have bought all our care homes tablet devices to facilitate use of Skype and will be creating closed Facebook groups so relatives can get regular updates on activities within each care home.
- We have reviewed and reinforced our infection protection controls including the increase of observations and monitoring. As reiterated by the government and Chief Medical Officer, regular and thorough hand washing is key to minimising the spread of COVID 19.
- We have increased internal reporting and governance to identify early warnings signs of a possible outbreak of coronavirus. This will enable us to respond quickly and proportionally.
- We have daily COVID 19 steering group meetings to support our registered managers and their teams. We are centralising support so home managers can focus on leading their teams through these challenging times.
- We are supporting our team members so they have the latest knowledge and expertise to keep our residents safe. We are training additional team members so we can cover increased sickness absence.
- All our staff are changing into their uniforms at work to minimise the risk of bringing in infections from outside our care homes.
- We are working closely with our suppliers and contractors to ensure that the delivery of goods and services remain uninterrupted.
- To mitigate the risk of community transmission, we have temporarily suspended external providers of activities and entertainment entering our care homes. We are still continuing with a wide range of activities and increasingly are finding ways to continue with various activities via video link, such as exercise classes and even musical concerts.
- NHS Awareness posters are displayed throughout our homes to provide simple advice about coronavirus. These posters explain what symptoms to look for
- We have strong relationships with our external agency partners and have contingency plans to ensure we have access to additional external staff.
- We will share updates with you as the situation progresses.
We hope that these measures will not be necessary for long and will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you updated if there are any changes.
Thank you for your understanding and assistance in these challenging times. We really appreciate your support with these measures.
We have detailed contingency plans in place that closely follow Public Health England advice and support our teams to deliver the very best care.
We will continue to monitor the situation and update as we learn more.
CEO, Encore Care Homes