Frequently Asked Questions
Your relative is our priority
Please be assured that even during these unprecedented times, your loved one is at the heart of all we do. We want to minimise the spread of Coronavirus and are taking as many precautions as possible to ensure this doesn’t occur.
Our staff are trained in our new practices and are supportive of every resident. All six of our care homes follow strict protocol to make sure the well-being of our staff and residents is paramount. We appreciate it’s difficult but we have postponed all non-essential visits at this time. Be assured that you can keep in contact with your loved one via telephone and video calling, both of which can be organised by the care home staff.
COVID-19 is the latest coronavirus to be discovered. It is an infectious disease which was unknown until the outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The pandemic is now affecting many countries globally.
The most common symptoms are fatigue, dry persistent cough and a fever. A patient may also experience a sore throat, aching, nasal congestion or diarrhoea. Some people may experience extremely mild symptoms, however, 1 out of 5 people who contract COVID-19 become seriously ill and will need hospital treatment. Even those with mild symptoms can transmit the virus so it’s very important to stay at home and follow government guidelines.
To manage the situation, we have appointed COVID-19 leads who will be ensuring all updates from the government and Public Health England (PHE) are enforced in all the homes. We are currently following all procedures set by PHE, including using personal protective equipment (PPE), testing in the home, and temperature checking on all staff members. While we ensure that all our homes keep to a rigorous cleaning regime, we are taking even further steps to minimise areas free from bacteria and viruses. All communal areas are being cleaned throughout the day, using anti-bacterial/viral equipment. All staff members are making handwashing a priority and are using anti-bacterial hand gel throughout the day.
Yes. Milford Care has a senior manager dedicated to ensuring that all our homes have adequate PPE supplies. We work with a number of suppliers and have daily contact with the homes to ensure that they have everything that they need. Every staff member is wearing a mask during their shift as per Government guidelines. Gloves and other single use PPE are worn when caring each resident. If supporting a resident who is COVID positive or symptomatic the staff wear additional PPE, such as visors and overshoes. Staff are trained on how to safely put on and take off PPE and discard of it in the appropriate clinical waste.
We have been through a period where everyone, where possible, was supported in their bedroom. Some residents are now socially interacting in smaller groups and with social distancing in mind. We have arranged furniture to create much smaller hubs to reduce the number of people that are in contact with each other, whilst still promoting social distance. Residents are monitored for symptoms, have their temperature taken twice a day, and if this proves to be higher than usual, we are self-isolating and supporting the resident in their room for 14 days.
Your relative’s health is extremely important to us. If your relative becomes COVID-19 positive or develops symptoms, we self-isolate and support them in their room for 14 days until they have been cleared of symptoms by a doctor. They will still receive the same amount of care as they would if they weren’t self-isolating.
New residents and residents who have been in hospital or visited A&E, or outpatients are supported in their rooms for 14 days to protect everyone in the community.
Some residents have had a letter from their GP stating that they are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because of a medical condition. These residents have been supported to be shielded in their bedrooms where possible. Care plans are in place to ensure they have access to the gardens and individual activity. Staff are visiting them regularly and encouraging them to enjoy their food and drink and provide social stimulation. Some residents may choose to, or benefit from remaining in communal areas. For those residents we are supporting them to have individual areas within the communal space to minimise contact with others.
Our homes are closed to visitors for the safety of our residents as per Government guidelines. However, we are encouraging residents and family members to communicate regularly using phone calls, Skype call, Zoom or Google hangout with your relative. We have set up lots of iPads and laptops to ensure that you can chat to your loved one as much as possible. Alternatively, feel free to come to the window of the home and we can organise for your relative to be there. We are currently researching other ways of meeting up safely in the garden areas.
We understand the importance of residents and relatives being able to spend time with each other when a resident is sadly at end of life, is very unwell or distressed due to their dementia. There may be other exceptional circumstances where the manager deems a visit necessary. You will be supported by the staff of the home during your visit and we will provide all the required personal protective equipment (PPE) for you.
The Department of Health and Social Care have requested Public Health England and other trusted organisations to support to help adult social care staff access priority testing for coronavirus. Testing is currently being carried out on all our residents and staff.
If a member of the team tests positive or displays symptoms, then Public Health England guidance is followed. We ask colleagues to remain at home for a minimum of 7 days. If a member of family becomes confirmed positive, staff members will need to stay at home for a total of 14 days. All staff must make contact with the manager before returning to work.
We have a rotation of staff that are dedicated to looking after your loved one. We have organised shifts so there are enough people on hand to care for those who are self-isolating and those who are not. As part of our COVID policy we have contingencies in place with preferred agencies who support our homes with staff if required. Where are possible we are asking these staff to only work in our homes.
We’ve always got plenty going on at Milford Care homes! Aside from bringing in external entertainment, it’s business as usual with activities with social distancing in mind. Residents are continuing to enjoy games, singalongs and book clubs so the residents feel mentally stimulated and do not feel isolated during this time. Please visit each home’s Facebook page for more information.
Yes, we are still accepting some admissions following a full pre-admission assessment. Government guidelines advice that all new residents should be supported in their room for 14 days to reduce the risk of any potential transmission. New residents will be offered individual activity, social stimulation and access to the gardens.