Spring Newsletter - Still Covid 19 Free
Here at Avon Lee Lodge, we realised very early on the risks that Covid 19 posed to our clients and its rapidly escalating threat at the time.
We quickly put into place many strategies and contingencies to keep our residents as safe as possible. For example, prior to the pandemic hitting the UK we quarantined staff on full pay who had arrived back into the country from the 'at risk' areas at the time, well before the government provided assistance with this course of action.
We also locked down initially with a 'soft lockdown' on 10th March well before the government recommended that we should, the lockdown was strengthened a week later.
A key strategy was to keep two of our close care units empty in order to act as quarantine spaces should any resident contract the virus, or for residents returning from hospital. We could have filled the units as the hospitals were discharging everyone in order to free up bed capacity, but decided against this.
We felt that as the units are physically separate from the main building but offer the same 24 hour care and support, they make quarantining much more effective and likely to succeed should there have been an outbreak.
Thankfully we have not had to quarantine any resident so far, but they have been useful to make sure that we do not bring the virus into the home from hospital and for new admissions who can safely quarantine before full admission into the home. Thus keeping everyone as safe as possible.
The pods have provided us with a unique asset in our arsenal at combating the spread of the virus should it have entered the home, and indeed our ongoing strategy to not let it enter our home in the first place.
We have had ample PPE from the outset, and where items are not normally used by us we have in the first instance simply bought them, and more recently in the last month we've been supplied by the council additional stocks.
We have experienced some outrageous additional costs for certain items, £4 per single use mask was a particularly unscrupulous operator but the market is now becoming flooded and normal price points are beginning to emerge.
In line with government guidelines we are using masks when working within 2 metres of a client. We have escalating grades of PPE usage protocols should we need to use it, ie if we had a case.
We have also sought the purchase of private antibody testing (tests to see if you've had Covid 19 in the past), in order to by pass government wait times. We are currently rolling out this testing for all clients and staff. This would give us a benchmark for who has had it or not and we can assess risk accordingly going forward.
The other form of test, antigen test shows if you currently have the virus. It does have its limitations but we are using this to test staff who are unsure of symptoms. Previously we have been quarantining staff with any form of symptom but this test takes some guesswork out of the equation.
We are still testing temperature at the door, our sign in tablet prompts for visitors temperatures and will not let anyone sign in without recording their temperature. We have invested in a hands free wall mounted thermometer to safely take temperatures at the door.
We have primarily used our sister company Ethos Care Services
staff recently and done so very sparingly, we cannot operate understaffed. All staff, nurses, maintenance visitor must test their temperature upon arrival.
End of Life
Should any resident be in an end of life stage we will work with families to find possible solutions for them or close family to visit. This would be on a case by case basis, there are too many variables to put down how this would work in practice here.
Visiting the home
We are currently working on plans for socially distanced visiting to commence, this involves utilisation of the conservatory. We are changing the flooring from carpet to the karndean found in the dining room in order to be more easily 'decontaminated'. Further information will be provided to families in due course and we will contact you once this is in place.