Updated 18 March 2020
Advice to families of our care home residents
To help prevent COVID-19 affecting our village communities, we are taking additional precautionary measures to protect our vulnerable residents.
Effective today (18 March), we will be temporarily closing our care homes to all visitors, with the exception of close family members who meet our screening requirements for admission.
On a practical level, this means that our front entrance doors will now be locked at all times (other secondary entrances were closed last week) and the doorbells are to be used. We will be speaking personally to each individual family member on their arrival, to enquire whether they have recently returned from any overseas destination or if they are displaying any cold or flu symptoms.
Should people’s health declaration or recent travel history potentially represent a risk to residents, we will unfortunately be unable to admit them to the premises for the time being. In this event, we will assist in facilitating alternative methods of contact for families.
In addition to close family members, only essential contractors (such as visiting healthcare practitioners and physiotherapists) and chaplains will be permitted entry to the care homes, having been screened on arrival as above to assess their health status, etc. We have also introduced similar precautions in relation to our permanent and casual staff, in addition to temperature checks.
Grandchildren will still be welcome to visit, providing they are fully supervised at all times and parents ensure that good hand hygiene is observed.
Regrettably, friends of our care home residents, non-essential contractors and volunteers will not be permitted access, regardless of whether they are feeling well, have not travelled overseas or have not been in contact with anyone who has recently returned from abroad.
If family members have recently returned from any overseas destination, or if they have been in close contact with others who have returned from an international trip, we are requesting that they do not visit their loved ones living at Selwyn for 14 days post the arrival date, to make sure no symptoms emerge. Equally, if they are suffering with cold or flu-like symptoms, they should not visit until they are clear of the symptoms. We encourage people to stay home, avoid public gatherings and events, and cover their mouth and nose when sneezing with disposable tissues and then wash their hands.
Should further prevention measures be necessary in due course, we may decide to reduce visiting hours to the care home, but we will endeavour to give families as much advance notice of this as possible.
Whilst we recognise that families may wish to have their loved ones with them at this time, we would recommend that residents continue living at our Selwyn care homes, as our staff are highly trained in infection control procedures and will continue to provide the highest level of care within the context of our outbreak/pandemic management plans.
We will be offering additional engagement in life programmes and other activities to support our residents’ sense of wellbeing over this period and to counter any potential feelings of social isolation or loneliness.
The health and wellbeing of our residents are our primary concern, and we will do our utmost to protect all those who are vulnerable in our care.
We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and will review our procedures and advice to families according to the latest Ministry of Health guidance.
If the partial closure of our care homes represents particular difficulties for families, they will be welcome to discuss their specific situation with their relevant Care Manager.