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We have been proudly supporting our residents and care teams throughout the lockdown. As we continue to keep our doors closed for visitors, we recognise that this is extremely difficult for everyone, residents and relatives alike.

Our aim is to keep the rate of infection down and our wellbeing teams are committed to organising calls and video conferencing with loved ones.

As a result, we have invested in additional tablets in all our homes to enable you to maintain face to face contact through video calls.

As part of this work, we’ve teamed up with the NHS and Facebook with the trial of Portal video calling devices at Fairmile Grange in Christchurch and Oakdale in Poole.

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The Portal has proved to be popular with residents, as a platform for staying in touch with loved ones and giving additional emotional support and companionship. The devices have also been a valuable asset for care teams working remotely and improving communication.

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Rachel Dryden, Chief Executive of Encore Care Homes said: “Social distancing is tough on us all and we absolutely know that interaction with loved ones is beneficial for our wellbeing.

We’re delighted to be involved with the NHS partnership with Facebook to make it easier for those in care homes to keep in touch with friends and family, alongside the ongoing hard work by our team to reassure and care for our residents.”

NHSX Digital Transformation Director, Iain O’Neil said: “Technology companies big and small continue to pledge their resources and expertise to support our NHS and social care system in these unprecedented times. We are working hard to find and develop services that meet people’s equally unprecedented needs. Technology has never been so important to providing one of life’s most essential things – the ability to communicate with the people we love regardless of where they are.”

If you have a relative or friend living in an Encore Care Home and would like to speak to them, please get in touch with the wellbeing team of that home to co-ordinate a suitable day and time. Some of our care homes are also posting information on their Facebook page, so please be sure to visit these too.