Infection Control / Covid-19 (Coronavirus)
We have been carefully monitoring the situation with Covid-19 and receiving advice and guidance from Public Health England (PHE), the NHS and relevant Local Authorities. Given the evolving situation in Europe, we believe now is the time to start taking action to protect the wellbeing of residents, staff and relatives and we are reaching out to ask for your help and cooperation.
Whilst most people seem to recover from the virus, the data relating to elderly people, especially those with pre-existing health conditions, shows a much higher percentage of mortality rates. With this in mind, we want to do everything possible to minimise the risks to the wellbeing of each and every resident.
The first step is to minimise the chances of bringing Covid-19 into the Care Home. We, therefore, ask that if you, or any member of your immediate family (partner, children etc ) living in your house, have been in any contact with anyone who has visited or themselves have visited ANY country which has an outbreak of Covid-19, that you do not visit our home for at least 14 days from the date of contact (the countries with Covid-19 currently includes China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Italy, Iran, Nepal and Afghanistan). Please do consider any holidays taken recently by such individuals, as this could, for example, include people who have been skiing at half-term and come back via Milan or Turin. We would be grateful if you could also communicate this to any other family member or friend who might visit our home.
We are also taking pre-emptive steps to minimise risks with all our staff and are ramping up Infection Prevention & Control training. In addition, we will be asking all our suppliers not to enter the home and we will be restricting staff employed by our contractors, which will include measures addressing the increased risk that we believe agency staff may bring.
When visiting the home, we would be most grateful if you could support us by sticking rigidly to basic infection prevention techniques, including:
- Good handwashing practices – I have attached to this letter an extract from an industry infection control policy on Handwashing practices which fundamentally say use hand soap and lots of hot water and do not rely on gels
- Practising good personal hygiene – as Covid-19 is apparently transferred from airborne droplets, it is possible that clothing can be contaminated. So, when coming to visit the Care Home, coming directly from your home in fresh clean clothes would be absolute best practice; please do try and avoid coming from busy public places (such as a supermarket).
- Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue while sneezing or coughing
- Do not use cloth handkerchiefs or reuse tissues. This practice carries a risk of contaminating pockets or handbags, which may then re-contaminate hands every time they go into those pockets or handbags
- Disposing of used tissues promptly and carefully (bag and bin them). Tissues can be disposed of in domestic waste; they do not require any special treatment.
- Not touching any item or surface including cups, cutlery, door hand handles, stair or corridor rails etc. until hands have been washed
- Washing your hands immediately after disposing of a tissue
We recognize that the above may seem a bit draconian but we believe that, with your active help and support, we will be able to offer our residents the best possible protection from this infection.