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 15th 2020 non-essential visits to Grange-Lea 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
*Staff will be wearing fluid resistant surgical masks at all times within a 2 meter distance from residents or other staff and wear full PPE while providing direct care and have socially distant break times to reduce the risk of the virus entering the home
* 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 able to visit to say goodbye. 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.
* All surfaces will be cleaned with disposable cloths and a suitable cleaning product
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 the Training Shop’s training in the home and have access to the homes own Manual handling trainer.
Most external entertainers will be cancelled whilst the home is closed, however we have started to accommodate some garden entertainers, weather permitting, which has been well received.
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, Grange-Lea 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 and telephone calls which will be accommodated by staff. These calls will be not available in the morning (except on a Sunday between 10am and 40m) as the phone needs to be accessible for doctors and other health care professionals.
We have identified an emotional risk at Grange-Lea for residents not seeing their family and friends. Whilst the physical safety of the people living at Grange-Lea and the staff delivering the care and support will always be prioritised we recognise that whilst trying to prevent physical harm we have a risk of emotional harm. We therefore now accommodating the following: We will now pre-arrange socially distant garden visits. Each visitor must complete our risk assesment surrounding recent health and that of family members and people in their household and give consent to have their temperature taken and recorded within our assessment. The visits will be no longer than 30 minutes. And we ask for patience as we have to deep-clean after every visit.
There is a possibility that non urgent medical appointments will be cancelled by Torbay 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 senior on duty 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 and this will continue to be done twice daily during the pandemic.
*All new admissions will be in isolation for the first 14 days of admission, however we will ensure their physical and emotional needs are well met.
It is important now more than ever to have the correct level of retained staff at Grange-Lea. 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