Covid-19 is an illness which affects the lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called Coronavirus.
We are aware that people over the age of 70 or have underlying health conditions have an increased risk of becoming severely unwell if they contract Coronavirus.
From March 19th 2020 non-essential visits to The Beeches have been stopped to protect our residents and staff. There has been no mandatory closed-door policy been issued by the Government, PHE or CQC, but it has been recognised by the management team that a breakout of Covid-19 in the home would be catastrophic. The following measures have been put in place.
*All staff have their temperature taken daily before commencing work and recorded. Any staff member with a temperature above 37.5 Celsius will not be allowed access to the home
*Residents living within the home will be encouraged to stay in their rooms as much as possible, there will be a balance taken on the risk of emotional harm. This will be assessed daily and on an individual basis
*Staff will shield themselves as much as is practicably possible, to prevent the virus entering the home inadvertently.
* Increased signage throughout the home emphasising Handwashing and the use of alcohol based sanitizer
*Any essential visitors to the home will have their temperature checked before entering, asked to wash their hands and wear full PPE for the duration of their visit. All visits to be kept as short as is reasonably possible. GP’s and other health care professionals will continue to be facilitated as the need arises.
*Any family member who sadly has a loved one at the end of life, will be offered a visit to say goodbye. This will be offered by phone, visitors are advised that turning up at the home without an invitation will not be allowed. The relative will be directed to the entrance nearest to their loved ones room. They will be asked about their health and have their temperature checked. They will be asked to wash their hands and wear full PPE. The visit will be for no longer than 20 minutes and only one visitor at any time.
* All surfaces will be cleaned with disposable cloths and a suitable cleaning product
*The Ozone room sanitizer will be used on rotation in the bedrooms and communal areas day and night.
A significant amount of time and investment is dedicated to staff development. The normal arrangements for training are not available at present, due to no ‘face to face’ trainers allowed in the home. All staff have infection control training in house. They are also required to undertake a knowledge paper on Infection control linked to Coronavirus. staff can continue to access Red Cryer training in the home and have access to the homes own Manual handling trainer.
All external entertainers will be cancelled whilst the home is closed.
All deliveries will be received via the rear entrance (there is a storage facility for items to be left if no-one is available to answer the door). The only exception is medication deliveries. No delivery persons are to enter the home.
As a home, The Beeches places great significant emphasis on the emotional connection and time spent with people. The decision to close the home was not taken lightly. Families will have access to video calls which will be organised by the Activities co-ordinator. The Co-ordinator will phone family members to arrange an ‘appointment time’. Group ‘appointments’ can be arranged via Zoom. Calls to the home though understandable, should be restricted at busy times of the day. The phone needs to be accessible to the nursing staff to make and receive calls.
If we identify an emotional risk to anyone living at The Beeches, owing to the restricted visiting, actions will be taken. This will be assessed on an individual basis. The direction is to prevent harm, this includes the risk of emotional harm. However, the physical safety of the people living at The Beeches and the staff providing the care and support will be prioritised.
There is a possibility that non urgent medical appointments will be cancelled by Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust. If appointments are cancelled, the nurse on duty will liaise with the department cancelling the appointment, to rearrange a convenient time and date. The nurse will notify the person affected and their family/NOK.
Admissions to the home will continue to take place, the following measures will be in place.
* If the person is being admitted from hospital a Covid-19 test needs to be undertaken and be negative before discharge.
*Any person with signs or symptoms of Covid-19 who has not been tested will not be admitted.
* If the potential resident has recently been in contact with someone who is known to have Covid-19, they will not be admitted.
*All new residents will have their temperature taken on arrival as a baseline.
*All new admissions will be nursed in isolation for the first 14 days of admission.
It is important now more than ever to have the correct level of retained staff at The Beeches. We are not allowing staff that work anywhere else to work at the home. This means we have lost our bank staff reserve. Staff interviews will continue, but there will be some restrictions.
*Pre interview, the candidate must inform the interviewer if : They have any signs or symptoms of Covid-19, they are awaiting the outcome of a Covid-19 test, if any or their family/friends are currently being tested for Covid-19 and there has been recent contact.
If any of the above questions are answered yes, an interview will not be completed, and the application will be suspended until all answers are no.
Each candidate will be screened on arrival at the home, their temperature will be taken and recorded on the signing in register.
The ‘show around the home’ will not be undertaken, candidates will be given a verbal explanation of the home and how it works.
If the candidate is successful, they will be required to shield for 7 days prior to commencing work at The Beeches, have been away (if appropriate) from their previous employment.
All staff and residents will be tested for Covid-19 in accordance with NHS guidelines. Any member of staff who tests positive but is asymptomatic will be required to isolate for 7 days. Any resident who tests positive and is asymptomatic will be isolated for 14 days.
Guidance and useful links
5 World Health Organisation
6 www.cqc.org.uk (care quality commission)
7 Public Health England