Keeping calm and carrying on through COVID-19
We would like to thank our amazing staff for their dedication, constant care and love towards our residents and their colleagues and their outstanding contribution to infection control measures.
We are now almost a year into the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic and here at Milford Care our staff continue to be dedicated and professional and are amazing in supporting our residents. We are so proud of every one of them. To manage the current pandemic, Kara Gratton and Jim Watt continue to be the COVID-19 leads they are continually following the guidance from Public Health England, Infection Control Teams, CQC and GOV.UK. Milford Care has throughout the pandemic introduced additional measures outside of the government guidance to protect our residents, staff, visiting professionals and relatives in the best way possible.
In December 2020 Milford Care homes were informed by the NHS that all Care Home staff would be first to be offered a COVID-19 vaccination. We are so proud of so many of our staff who took this opportunity, and many attended the very first day the vaccines became available in our areas. The staff have encouraged and supported each other to have the vaccine to protect not only themselves but the Residents, their colleagues, and the wider community.
On 30th December 2021, the vaccine rollout started for care home residents and we are very pleased that most of our residents have now been vaccinated and each home made the day a special one to celebrate. The government have now in addition to the weekly test (known as PCR) made it mandatory for care homes to have additional twice weekly test using the Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test. All Milford Care staff remain committed to now having three tests per week. We are very grateful for their professionalism and dedication to ensuring that they are safe to support our Residents. The government have also announced that all care home residents will be offered a monthly swab to test for Coronavirus.
Milford Care homes (Spencer Grove, Milford House, The Meadows, Hazelgrove, Buddleia House and Ashbourne Lodge) recognise the importance of our residents being able to see their families and vice versa. The Government guidance states that the resident can choose a designated visitor to visit them. All designated visitors have to have a lateral flow test before the visit to keep the resident as safe as possible. Other types of visits include pod and window. We look forward to welcoming our visitors back and are working to ensure this is done in the safest way possible whilst understanding the need for the residents and their families to spend time with each other.
For other members of family and friends, Skype/Zoom/WhatsApp and FaceTime are all available and bookable through the home. The staff are very happy to assist residents and relatives with regular use of the laptops and tablets.
Each home has Facebook and Instagram pages set up. All residents are asked for consent for their picture to be shared on these sites. Relatives and friends are encouraged to like our page or follow, and they will be able to see how residents who live in a Milford Care home spend their day. It is a joy to see our residents and staff enjoying time together doing a wide range of activities.
We are open to new admissions, but these are managed very carefully.
Our residents are being very understanding and doing what they can to support the guidance from the Government and are social distancing as much as possible. They are washing their hands and those that need support are assisted by staff to wash their hands.
Our staff have gone above and beyond to maximise our residents’ safety. We have restructured our lounge areas to form smaller ‘households’, with much smaller and fixed groups of residents and staff spending time together, separated from others. This also applies to mealtimes. Mealtimes are served with smaller groups to minimise risk and are spread out across the room.
Milford Care have invested in a company which enter our homes and spray them with Zoono. Zoono is a microbe static surface sanitiser that can last up to 30 days. The whole home including communal areas, staff offices and bedrooms are deep cleaned and then Zoono is applied. We then continue cleaning day to day as normal and the Zoono sanitiser continues to help eradicate any virus or bacteria that may land on the surface. This is not a requirement by Public Health England – it is an additional measure by Milford Care that we feel is in the interest of our residents and staff. Milford Care have also invested in a HEPA filter system named Rensair, which helps kills airborne viruses and bacteria’s within 3-4 seconds.
We’ve also spent a lot of time and investment installing state of the art air purifiers into all communal areas. These air purifiers strip unwanted bacteria and viruses from the air and will reduce the risk of COVID-19. Each home has a mobile version that can be used in communal areas and bedrooms during cleaning.
As well as our new air purifier systems, we are also following all infection control guidelines. We are following advice and guidance from our Infection Control Teams at the NHS but we have also implemented many additional measures:
• All staff have their temperature checked with a infrared thermometer before they start their shift
• All residents have their temperature checked twice every day.
• All staff are continuously cleaning down “touch” surfaces
• We have increased handwashing and the amount of hand sanitiser around our homes.
• Staff have done activities with residents to encourage them to wash their hands more often and staff are supporting those residents that need support to wash their hands.
• Removed spray bottles so that areas are not sprayed with the cleaner as this can push any Coronavirus up into the air to be breathed in.
Any resident who has a positive test result will be cared for in their room for a minimum of 14 days and staff will wear full PPE whilst supporting the resident.
Any resident who leaves the home even for medical appointments or A&E will be cared for in their room for 14 days even if they have no symptoms. Should the resident develop symptoms, they would need to be cared for in their room for 14 days.
At Milford Care we recognise that our staff are frontline workers and critical to delivering care in the safest way possible to the residents and are protected themselves. Our staff are wearing masks at all times. PPE is readily available and being worn as recommended by Public Health England.
Staff have shoes that they only wear in the home and outdoor shoes are left at the door. Overshoes are worn in rooms where residents are unwell. Staff uniforms are being washed at 60+ degrees at the home to ensure that we are being responsible out in the community. Staff have been given additional training in outbreak management and how to put on and take off their PPE.
For more updates, keep checking back in to www.milfordcare.co.uk and your care home’s Facebook page.
Please remember to stay at home protect the NHS and save lives, Please seriously consider having the COVID-19 vaccination when you are offered it.
But most of all stay safe and well.
Updated 15 March 2021