We have now experienced five weeks of UK lockdown, during which the government has enforced a strict regime of social distancing to try to help slow the spread of Covid-19 and protect the NHS.
It has been, and continues to be, a challenging and worrying time for us all, with positive and suspected cases of coronavirus in many of our homes. However, in the face of this pandemic, our hard working, dedicated and caring staff have really risen to the challenge; working to strict infection control standards; wearing the required PPE; managing isolation where needed; making life for our residents happy and comfortable, and all under huge pressure and scrutiny.
Our teams have also been going the extra mile to support the mental health of those that live with us: coming up with activities, games and crafts to keep hands and minds busy; streaming live entertainment and keeping residents active; as well as doing everything they can to keep families connected through calls, video, letters, social media and anything else they can think of!
We continue to provide a caring environment for those residents, who need to isolate, for their own safety and the safety of others. But, as far as we can, we are keeping life as everyday as possible, to maintain a sense of routine and normalcy for those that share our homes. We know however, that our residents are missing their loved ones, and of course, families are missing them too. This is an incredibly tough time, but we are so grateful for the support that families have shown, so thank you.
We’re pleased to say that reported changes to the government’s approach to Covid-19 testing should help us even further over the coming weeks. We’re now told that:
- Staff who wish to be tested can be, for reassurance about their own safety, and crucially, to protect our residents and their colleagues;
- A greater number of residents are now being tested, helping us to improve the safety of all those in our homes (residents and staff);
- Most test results are now coming back within 24 hours, enabling us to make quicker and safer assessments of the best ways to support people;
- Home test kits will soon be trialled for care home staff, which will help particularly for those that cannot travel.
We know that this difficult time will pass. We have genuinely been overwhelmed by the words of kindness, thanks and support we have received from families, as well as the wider community. The effect of these good wishes and actions cannot be underestimated and our staff really appreciate it so much.
We are beginning to see the positive effects of our care, as some previously poorly residents are beginning to recover from Covid-19 in our homes. Residents, family members and staff will continue to face difficult and upsetting times, but this has been very welcome news to us all.
I have no doubt that there are many more difficult days to come in the fight against this virus, but we will continue to work as hard as possible to protect your loved ones, and we’re very grateful indeed for your support and your amazing dedication to your family members.
Dr Mark Ward