Coronavirus (COVID 19) – our guidance to service users and families

Visitors to The Nursing Centre

In line with the latest Government instructions – We have now implemented a very clear and non negotiable policy of NO VISITORS to the Nursing Centre. This difficult decision has already shown significant benefit in reducing the spread of a highly infectious virus. We appreciate however how difficult the situation is for relatives and residents alike. Our Skype system is now available for use in helping you to make contact with our Residents. To book a Skype call please contact our reception team on 0208 222 7800, who will schedule a call for you and explain the process.

Meanwhile thank you so much for the many letters, emails and comments of thanks and gratitude that you have been writing to us with.

It really does mean such a lot to the staff who continue to work tirelessly to care for our Residents and to keep them safe.

Staffing levels at the Nursing Centre

We have no doubt that these are worrying times for you, and we are conscious that the media is reporting a high level of staff sickness in the NHS and Care Homes. We want to reassure you about our position and our plans around this.

We are not currently seeing the initial levels of staff absence that were experienced early on in this crisis, although we have more staff than usual who are either sick or self isolating.

However we are generally staffing to the levels that we always do, with either overtime or other staff who work more flexibly with us, that are generally familiar with the home or hospital. Some staff have been redeployed from ‘back office’ roles into more resident facing jobs in order to ensure safe care.

The Government is currently predicting that the peak of COVID-19 cases will most likely be in 2-3 weeks’ time, and we have a clear plan, which is reviewed daily as to how we will continue to deliver care, which includes using the staff team that we have as well as an ongoing and robust recruitment programme which is being maintained and ramped up.

Safe care for residents and staff

Inevitably, we have seen some Residents who have shown some symptoms of the illness. However it is important to note that many of our Residents will display some of those symptoms for a variety of reasons associated with their general age and healthcare conditions, in any case.

We have strong care plans and processes for caring for our residents who have been isolated as a precaution and on the advice of the GP and our staff of course, are provided with good supplies of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) as appropriate.

COVID-19 continues to disrupt and impact all our lives.  It is uncertain when the UK will return back to normal, especially relating to our delivery of care who are some of the most effected and vulnerable members of our society.  

As we are sure you will understand, the situation is extremely fluid and changing on a daily basis. Where Residents are tested by our GP service and are identified as having a positive test result –  Our care and nursing teams will take all the necessary measures in line with Public Health England’s stringent guidelines to ensure the continued care and safety of all of our residents. If a resident displays symptoms or are confirmed to have the virus, they are cared for in their rooms, away from other residents, by our staff using the appropriate personal protection equipment.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our Residents, Staff, and their loved ones is always our top priority.  We have therefore put in place robust contingency plans to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.  All of the decisions are regularly under review and updated according to Public Health Authorities’ advice/guidance.  These decisions continue to be made with the very best interest of our Residents and Staff in mind. We are following the Guidelines issued by Public Health England – and this means that all new admissions to the nursing centre are automatically supported through a period of isolation regardless of their current Covid status. This is the best way for us to ensure that they and all other Residents and Staff remain safe unless the resident’s specific care needs mean they need to be cared for in bed, they are free to use the home facilities.

We are taking extra measures to prevent the spread of infection in the home and will continue to monitor the health of all our residents. If a resident displays symptoms or are confirmed to have the virus, they are cared for in their rooms, away from other residents, by our staff using the appropriate personal protection equipment. We know that those circumstances can be quite scary for the individual concerned and for their Relatives at home and so our care and nursing team will work to keep all parties advised of a resident’s progress. We can and are frequently using new technology – Skype calls / Facetime calls etc to ensure that families and our Residents can keep in touch with each other. Our staff will assist with this wherever necessary.

The ability to test for COVID-19 is incredibly important, to allow the Centre to apply the appropriate policies on an individual and case-by-case basis.  Fortunately, the Government has recently enabled Resident testing on a full scale basis and this has meant that we were able to better ensure that each Resident was located in the safest area within the home based on their test results.  We are working closely with all Authorities to implement the necessary actions, to ensure a safe, caring and effective environment.

As you might expect – we have indeed had residents and staff members who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. We have worked and will continue to work to ensure that everyone in that situation is safely cared for in the right environment. Please be assured that if the situation for your relative changes, you will be contacted by our team, as soon as possible, to update you.

We are conscious that there has been much in the media regarding PPE and I want to assure you that, on the whole, we are in a good position and have further supplies coming in. As a larger care home we have a robust supply chain, and are in constant contact with our individual suppliers, ensuring that there will be no disruption to deliveries of PPE, food and medical supplies.

Some of you have asked about how we are ensuring that the care that we give is maintained to the standard that we all expect. As you may know our external audit team are not visiting the Nursing Centre, and neither are the care regulators (CQC) at this time, in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection.

We have, however, continued with our robust assurance system involving detailed care audits that we are asking our Suite Managers and Head’s of Dept to undertake, including daily infection control checks, and a range of other key care plan and risk assessment reviews. We have recently undertaken a whole service review of our quality systems and been able to provide the various statutory agencies with our evidence based reassurance that all of our systems remain fully compliant with the required regulations.

We have maintained a clear reporting process, with oversight by our Senior Management Team who have over 50 years’ experience between them of running high quality Care and Nursing Services. In addition, we are in frequent communication with the care regulators (CQC) and the local Health Authority to advise them of the steps we are taking, the difficulties we are facing and the support that we need from them. Alongside this we continue to ensure that the residents are heard, and are able to feedback on how they are feeling, or any changes that they would like to see made, if they are able. Our 24/7 /365 response service remains operational at this time and this has meant that both residents, and their relatives – as well as prospective residents considering admission, have been able to be reassured on any issues of concern.

Good News Feed

We have been humbled by our outstanding Staff, who selflessly and tirelessly continue to maintain the high-quality care expected at the Chiswick.  They are paramount in delivering the services offered at the Chiswick and we take pride in commending them for standing in the frontline of the fight against this pandemic.  We have been featured in two recent BBC news broadcasts which have taken the time to highlight the caring and compassionate approach that our staff have demonstrated during this difficult time for the whole of the UK. You can see those features by clicking the following links:

Hello from the cherry picker

Friendship knows no bounds

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you, for the wonderful words of support, understanding and gratitude that we have received from numerous Relatives.  Please continue to contact us with your queries and concerns, or your gratitude and thanks. 

Steve Winter

Centre Director

Coronavirus (COVID 19) - our guidance to service users and families. Please click here for our latest guidance.