Dear Residents and Relatives
I hope that this message finds you all well and safe during what seems to be (Fingers crossed) a more positive phase in our overall management of the COVID 19 crisis.
We recently were able to actively celebrate the VE day celebrations with our Residents and although this was not the event that we might all have imagined or wanted it to be – I believe that Residents generally had a lovely time reminiscing and listening to war time poems, singing songs and eating food that reminded them of times gone by. We hope you have managed to contact your loved one and see some of the lovely decorations in the home and the fun they were having.
Following the announcement by the Government and the more detail coming through on a daily basis, we are, I am afraid, unfortunately, unable to let you know when you will be able to visit your loved ones again. We appreciate that there have been some slight release on restrictions announced by the Government, but this is for meeting in public places only with one other person, and therefore we are not in a position to change anything in our Visitors Policy at this time.
We will continually ensure we do everything we can to keep our residents and patients safe and well, but rest assured we are planning for the day when you can visit, and we will provide more detail when we know more, and please be reassured that we realise how important this is, and will do all we can to enable it to happen, whilst balancing the safety of our residents and patients.
In the meantime please continue to support us by not visiting, and continue to use the video calling service we have.
Our current situation with regard to our residents has improved significantly as well and although this has been a difficult time for everyone – the use of isolation within bedrooms appears to have proved helpful in reducing transmission risk from resident to resident and resident to staff (and visa versa!)
We have tragically seen a number of our Residents pass away, and we all feel that sadness every day, not least in our sympathies to the families that have lost loved ones, but also to our staff who have done their very best to care for each and every one of them.
Thank you for supporting us through what has been a very difficult time. Your calls, messages, emails and cards etc have all been very much welcomed by my staff and I.
The media attention has continued, and we are doing all we can to support our staff, residents and you, in a forever changing, and difficult situation, and therefore have chosen not to share information that may well be out of date as soon as we give it.
We continue to work in good partnership with our NHS colleagues on all matters COVID related – and have also engaged in a programme of ongoing Quality Assurance checks and tests with Officers from LB Hammersmith and Fulham in order that we can evidence to them that the quality of our care to residents living at the Centre remains as high as ever – especially at a time when the National Regulator (CQC) is unable to attend and undertake their normal programme of inspections etc. That work has proven very positive in helping us to recognise how high our standards have been and continue to be as well as providing opportunities for Officers to make recommendations for changes in a time of unprecedented change in the wider community.
We are pleased that our COVID testing programmes have been able to increase with support from the NHS at last, with regular tests now in place for all staff and all residents on a weekly basis.
This involves testing kits being sent to the Centre, together with instructions, and a member of staff will swab residents and staff. The samples will then be picked up by courier for lab testing and the results from tests are received up to 48 hours after being sent to the laboratory.
We are also encouraged that nearly 50% of our staff, and 98% of our residents have now been tested (in 3 days) and we are hopeful that many more will be tested in the coming days and then weekly.
With 2020 being the international year of the nurse and the midwife, and the 12th May being a celebration of 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale, we have helped all of our qualified nurses to celebrate this day in recognition of that with a token of our appreciation as well as the good wishes from all of you at home.
As always we continue to ask you to contact us with your queries and concerns, or your gratitude and thanks, we appreciate it all, and we continue to do our best to respond.