14 September 2020

It has been reported across the media this weekend that cases of COVID-19 have risen again in care homes across the UK.

We have also experienced a rise in cases across our care homes, predominantly in staff who are asymptomatic. These cases are being identified through the routine weekly testing regime now in place which we have campaigned for since the beginning of the pandemic. This has allowed us to take these staff out of care homes immediately which has resulted in very few cases among our residents.

We are acutely aware of the need to enable family and loved ones to visit and have been enabling indoor visits for a small number of residents where safe to do so, as well as continuing with outdoor visits and other approaches such as window visits and drive through visits, dependent on the location. We have also maintained contact using different types of video conferencing applications.

As cases of COVID-19 rise daily we are advised by Public Health teams across many areas to close our homes to visits to keep our residents safe. Where safe to do so, our intention remains to enable as many physical visits as possible. However, we know that this would be more viable if we were given additional tests as part of our weekly staff allocation to use for our resident’s family and loved ones and we are lobbying the Government to increase our capacity for this purpose.

Across many of our homes we have identified residents who require Essential Family Contact (EFC) and have endeavoured to get testing for their named family members or loved ones so that the designated person can maintain regular welfare visits.

Our priority is both the safety of our residents and staff. Visits can be stopped shortly after they have opened up due to rises in local infection rates and our first priority must remain the safety of all residents and staff, whilst balancing this with the equally important factor of quality of life for each individual resident.

To learn more about how we're responding to the pandemic, please visit our coronavirus webpage >

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