youcare. wecare. akaricare.

Updated visiting arrangements for our care homes - 19 October 2020

Monday, 19 October 2020

Covid-19 –  Updated visiting arrangements for our care homes

The wellbeing and safety of our residents and staff remains our most important priority. We have been monitoring and continue to monitor changes in guidance from Government and Local Authorities in each of the areas that we operate. Our policies and procedures are similarly regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes to this guidance.

We were pleased to be able to restore visits at all of our homes during July and August 2020, and equally as disappointed as residents and families when these visits were suspended based on the instructions of the local Directors of Public Health. We recognise how important it is for residents to be able to receive visitors and fully understand  the disappointment caused where visits have not been able to take place.

We are pleased to advise that we are reinstating window visits from Monday 19 October. These visits must be booked in advance and for a duration of 30 minutes and will be supervised by a member of staff. Please contact the Home Manager to book your appointment. In line with our updated visiting policy, on arrival you will be asked to:

  • complete a risk assessment;
  • have your temperature taken;
  • wash your hands with hand sanitiser; and
  • wear PPE, where appropriate.

The Home Manager may have to cancel visits at short notice should we have an outbreak of Covid-19 in the home or if instructed by the Government or Public Health England but we will try to give you as much notice as possible. You and other household members must be free of Covid-19 symptoms ahead of and at the time of the visit.

We are approaching  Winter and please be reassured that we are also working towards re-establishing indoor visits, however, these must be able to be conducted safely and within the parameters of guidance from the Government and Public Health England. All homes have identified designated visiting areas within which indoor visits can take place using an appointment system. We are currently in the process of replacing flooring and seating in these designated areas so that these areas can be more easily cleaned after each visit. Our Home Managers will inform you as soon as we are in the position to safely facilitate indoor visits. We know how much our residents have missed seeing their loved ones, and you seeing them, and we thank you for your patience, support and understanding.

Within England, our staff have been receiving weekly tests for Covid-19 and our residents are being tested every 28 days in line with Government guidance. Within Wales, our residents are tested on an ad-hoc basis and more routinely if there is a virus outbreak. Our staff in Wales are generally tested every fortnight in line with guidance provided by the Welsh Government. All new staff also receive a test before they commence employment with us.

To ensure that we are keeping our residents and staff safe, our staff are wearing masks at all times and have access to hand washing stations throughout our homes. We have an extensive stock of PPE available in all homes.

We are continuing to accept new admissions into our care homes, so please contact your local Akari Care home, if you are looking for care or need any advice. Our Home Managers will be happy to answer any of your questions. We have a robust admissions policy in place and we request that all residents have received a negative COVID-19 test in advance of their admission into one of our homes, whether they are admitted from hospital or the community.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our residents and our staff for collectively helping us to make our homes as safe as possible. We must continue to maintain strict infection control procedures to reduce the risks associated with Covid-19 and mitigate the risks of transmission and future outbreaks in any of our care homes. In so doing, this will help us maintain the wellbeing of our residents, staff and visitors. We would appreciate your continued support and co-operation.

If you have any questions, please speak to the Home Manager in the first instance or email corona.helpline@akaricare.co.uk

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Karen Harkin 

Chief Operating Officer