11th October Update
Thank you all for your patience this year. All homes have been allowing visits by arrangement for some time now and all homes are fully open to admissions. Admissions will need to have a negative PCR test result prior to arriving. Visitors will need to take rapid flow tests on arrival and will need to enquire about the individual homes’ policies as to where visits can take place (as it depends on the layout of the building). We are still cautious about Covid-19 and we are pleased that many homes are being offered booster vaccines for the residents now. Please do speak to the manager about any queries or concerns you have about moving in with us or visiting us.
4th May Update
We are very pleased to now be able to allow residents on outside outings with either a carer or one of their 2 nominated visitors, as per the government guidelines. This includes private garden visits and trips to parks, beaches etc. Please contact your Home Manager for more information.
10th April Update
Since we last wrote, many of the homes have had their second vaccine doses and the remaining all have their vaccination dates booked in, which is brilliant news! We are really turning a corner now and the statistics around the vaccine protection are looking very positive. We have heard that visits have been going very well and it has been wonderful to see many of you back in the homes.
In line with the government guidelines, we will be opening the homes to 2 nominated visitors from Monday 12th April. We will also be allowing babies and toddlers who are able to sit on visitors’ laps to join on visits. The 2 nominated people can visit at the same time or separately. The procedure for booking and rapid testing before entry will still be in place as well as PPE. Please let the Administrator of your care home know who will be the second nominated visitor.
We are still very aware of the risks that these visits are posing whilst the residents have not had their second doses. Therefore we would like to keep social distancing and the screens in place until 3 weeks after the residents have had their second vaccine doses and have reached full protection. Please contact your Home Manager to determine the date of this as it varies per home. For residents who are bed-bound, bedside visits in full PPE can continue to take place and hand-holding will be permitted.
We continue to encourage garden visits when the weather permits as the fresh air is very beneficial and window visits will also continue. We will review these regulations again as soon as there is news of another update from the government. We are thankful for your consideration and understanding and please remember that our first priority is protecting our residents.
25th February Update
From 8th March we will be recommencing visits at the homes. There will be a booking system in place and each resident will have one allocated visitor, as per government guidelines. Administrators from each home will be in contact with you to determine the identity of the allocated visitor. There will be a strict booking system in place to ensure there are no overlaps and to allow time to disinfect the area between visits. Rapid tests must be done before entry to the home – either in the car or outside. Each home will have a dedicated area for socially distanced visits with a screen for all residents who are not bed bound. Full PPE must be worn if walking through the home but this can be removed (apart from the mask) once behind the screen. For residents who are bed-bound, bedside visits in full PPE can take place and hand-holding will be permitted.
We understand it will be difficult to choose one visitor per resident and so we will keeping window visits in place for any visitor and hopefully once the weather improves we will be able to do the same with garden visits. We will also allow more than one person to visit a resident on palliative care in full PPE, although we must ask that you attend one by one.
Please note that we will be reviewing these regulations again at the end of March. We will continue to update you as things progress and please do contact us or your home managers if you have any feedback, queries, or concerns.
8th February Update
Since we last wrote, huge steps have been made across the group. We are very pleased to announce that we have now had vaccines offered to all residents and staff. There has been a very good uptake and we have a few more dates booked in for those who may have missed the first round. It appears that the second doses will be given within 12 weeks of the first which means that some homes will have reached peak protection by April.
With numbers of infection dropping, things are feeling more positive and we hope that by spring/early summer restrictions will have decreased significantly. We are awaiting guidance from the councils and government which we will need to consider before making decisions regarding visits. However, we are hopeful that once the weather improves, we will be able to hold outdoor, socially distanced visits. In addition, we are hoping that once peak protection has been reached (3 weeks after the second vaccine dose), we will be able to hold indoor visits with relevant protective measures in place.
Whilst we wait for an update from councils, we will continue with window visits, video calls and indoor visits for those on palliative care. Please do continue to write letters, cards or send parcels to your loved ones as this is very much appreciated and helps them feel connected.
We are pleased to say that new admissions are continuing to be accepted and that new staff are still being recruited. Rest assured we are doing everything possible to keep the virus at bay in the care homes and any new admissions or new members of staff members follow a strict protocol including testing before entering the building. New residents will need to undertake a short isolation period on admission. New staff will train in managing Coronavirus as well as Infection Control in their first few weeks.
24th December Update
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a healthy & safe New Year. With the latest announcements from the government we have had to update our visiting policy. Please see below for more details.
With the deterioration of the COVID-19 situation across the country and the new variant spreading rapidly, we urgently need to change our visiting policy. The end of this terrible period is within reach with the government promising that all care home residents will have been offered the vaccine by the end of January. With the end in sight, we have made the decision to suspend visits from the 27th December until residents have been offered the vaccine and lockdown has ended. Window visits will continue to be allowed and there will be an exception for visitors of residents on palliative care. The manager will keep you updated and let you know once dates have been booked in for each dose of the vaccine.
We hope you understand that we need to be proactive regarding this virus and make decisions quickly depending on the changing situation. We ask that you respect the rules that are being put into place as the staff are working so hard to keep the residents safe and well. We will keep you updated with any further developments and please do ask the manager if you have any questions. We hope to have more positive news soon.
New Admissions or New Staff Members:
We are pleased to say that new admissions are being accepted around the group and that new staff are still being recruited. Rest assured we are doing everything we can to keep the virus at bay in the care homes and any new admissions or new members of staff members are tested before entering the building. New residents will be subject to a short isolation period on admission. New staff are training in handling Coronavirus as well as Infection Control in their first few weeks.
10th December Update
We are pleased to say that visits have resumed in the homes now that lockdown 2.0 is over. The festive period is a time to see family and loved ones and we do not want anyone to miss out on this. The type of visit will vary in the different care homes due to the difference in facilities and the virus levels per region. We are using the government’s tier system to guide us around the type of visits we allow. Please see below:
Tier 1 – if the home is in a Tier 1 region we are offering indoor, socially distant visits in our COVID-secure visitor area with the use of our new protective screens.
Tier 2 – if the home is in a Tier 2 region we would like to offer doorway visits with the protective screen in place, window visits and socially distant garden visits (weather permitting). As so many areas are currently in Tier 2, indoor visits in our COVID-secure area with the protective screen are at the discretion of the manager of the home.
Tier 3 – if the home is in a Tier 3 region we will be closing the home to visitors. However closed window visits will be permitted. We also encourage video and phone calls to keep in contact with your loved ones.
Please note that if you are in a higher tier than the home then you must abide by the rules of your own tier. If there is a positive test or an outbreak within the home (staff or resident), we will need to return to lockdown or follow guidance from Public Health England. Indoor visits will continue for residents who are on palliative care, with visitors taking the necessary precautions. All visits must be booked in advance with the manager so we can arrange for your loved one to be ready for you. We will need to be able to adapt this guidance depending on how the virus progresses so please note that the above is subject to change.
Your visits are so important to our residents and their mental health and we would really like them to restart as soon as it is safe to do so. We appreciate your cooperation with this and hope you understand our reasons behind the restriction of visits and our duty of care to both residents and staff. Thank you for the part you are playing in keeping them safe.
We are encouraged about the positive news regarding the vaccines that will be rolled out soon, giving priority to care homes. These will enable us to relax restrictions considerably and so we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that they continue to make progress on this.
New Admissions or New Staff Members:
We are pleased to say that new admissions are being accepted around the group and that new staff are still being recruited. Rest assured we are doing everything we can to keep the virus at bay in the care homes and any new admissions or new members of staff members are tested before entering the building. New residents may be subject to a short isolation period on admission. New staff are training in handling Coronavirus as well as Infection Control in their first few weeks.
10th November update:
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Buckland Care Homes have restricted visitors to enable us to effectively shield our residents and keep them safe. We know how extremely difficult it has been for residents and relatives to not see their loved ones over the past few months and we thank you all for your understanding on this matter. We really do think it has played a huge part in keeping people safe. We wanted to update you on a few key issues.
Testing & PPE:
We are now being provided with large scale testing kits to enable us to test and re-test staff and residents regularly allowing us to react quickly and minimising the risk of an outbreak. We have ample PPE from a private source available for staff, residents and visitors to use if required.
New Admissions or New Staff Members:
Rest assured we are doing everything we can to keep the virus at bay in the care homes and any new admissions or new members of staff members are tested before entering the building. New staff are training in handling Coronavirus as well as Infection Control in their first few weeks.
Between lockdowns, we were able to allow socially distanced visits depending on the facilities at each home. During this November lockdown and with the advice of several councils we have stopped visits with the exception of window visits in order to protect our residents in the second wave of the pandemic. Indoor visits will be encouraged for residents who are ‘end of life’, with visitors taking the necessary precautions. We would appreciate your cooperation with this and hope you understand that the reasons behind the restriction of visits is to ensure the safety of both residents and staff. Window visits must be booked in advance with the manager so we can arrange for your loved one to be ready for you. Socially distanced visits will be able to resume when the lockdown ends, unless the local councils advise otherwise. We very much look forward to welcoming you into our care homes again.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Buckland Care Team