Advinia’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (updated 08/9/2020)
The ongoing presence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK remains a significant risk to older people and to those individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. In order to protect the safety and wellbeing of all Residents we are maintaining our extra precautionary infection control protocols throughout all of our Care Homes.
It is testament to the tireless dedication and hard work of our Colleagues that we are able to announce that the current status across all our Homes remains much improved, with very few or no confirmed cases in the vast majority of Advinia Homes (data as of 08.09.20).
However, as in many care homes across the UK, sadly some of our Residents and work Colleagues have been affected by COVID-19 over the past few months. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those families who have lost someone dear to them.
Advinia Health Care remains steadfast in our commitment to do everything we can to ensure that Residents and work Colleagues are as safe and protected as possible.
We also want to maintain communication regarding our ongoing response and so this page includes details on the following:
- Regular COVID-19 testing for Residents and work Colleagues
- An update on our Visitor policy
- Resident wellbeing
- What we are doing to make sure Residents and work Colleagues continue to remain as safe as possible
- How we are ensuring our Homes always have all the equipment they need
Regular COVID-19 testing for Residents and work Colleagues
Testing for COVID-19 is a vital tool in limiting the spread of such a highly contagious disease. Now that the UK and Scottish Governments have made testing more widely available, we are able to test all Advinia Residents on a monthly basis and we have the ability to request retesting as needed.
This testing data allows us to have significantly more control over the spread of the virus and to isolate any Residents with a positive test result immediately, even if they are asymptomatic.
It is also crucially important that our work Colleagues are tested regularly to ensure we continue to limit the spread of the virus. All work Colleagues in Scotland, and also largely in England, are tested on a weekly basis at the request of Public Health bodies.
Anyone with a positive test must follow Government self-isolating guidance and will not return to work until the stipulated period has passed and they are not displaying any symptoms. More frequent testing also allows us to ensure asymptomatic work Colleagues remain self-isolated at home.
An update on our Social Visit Policy
Some time ago we took the difficult decision to restrict all non-essential visits to our Homes – and whilst this meant families being unable to visit loved ones in person, unless there were exceptional circumstances, it significantly reduced the risk of the infection spreading in our Homes.
We are now permitted to facilitate limited social visits to our Homes, where National Government and local authority guidance allows, and where our risk assessments and mitigations mean visits can be made as safely as possible.
We continually monitor and review the latest Government advice and liaise with local authorities and Public Health bodies and assess the safety of these visits on a regular basis.
We are appropriately prepared to respond to changing guidance in the light of local lockdown enforcements. The health and wellbeing of Residents will always be our number one priority and we will not hesitate to take necessary action to maintain their safety.
We understand that when circumstances change at short notice this can be very disruptive for Residents and their families and Home Managers will endeavour to communicate any changes as quickly as possible.
Where they are permitted to occur, all ‘social’ visits will follow our Policy and guidelines to reduce the level of associated risk, for example in the grounds of the Home, or where allowed, inside in a separate space, following all social distancing requirements and wearing appropriate PPE. We will also follow guidance from the Local Authorities, with which each Home works in partnership, and we will also ensure Public Health authority sign off on our proposed Policy and visit risk mitigation measures.
Our Social Visit Policy will continue to be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure we are always in line with the latest national guidance.
We would like to thank all Residents, their families and friends for their support during this challenging time. We fully appreciate how difficult it is to have limited contact with loved ones and our work Colleagues are doing everything possible to maintain Resident wellbeing and to ensure there is always a sense of community within our Homes.
We have tried to help families maintain contact with loved ones by facilitating Google Hangout video calls and we are using our social media pages more extensively, so that families are able to see what loved ones are doing on a more regular basis.
We are also working hard to ensure that all our Homes continue with a varied activities programme that considers all areas of wellbeing, is tailored to personal preferences and helps maintain a high quality of life for all Residents.
What we are doing to make sure Residents and work Colleagues continue to remain as safe as possible
We rigorously follow both national and local Public Health / Health Protection guidelines and are in regular contact with all the local Public Health teams so that we stay abreast of all fast-moving developments. All Advinia Care Homes have a well thought out and detailed Contingency Plan and they are supported by Advinia right the way to the top of the company. A Senior Response Team (SRT) has been established which meets regularly and supports all Homes, as needed. This team ensures that all the appropriate policies, procedures, resources and equipment are in place to provide the best possible care for Residents.
In addition to frequent testing, we are continuing to check the health of our Colleagues, to safeguard their own health and that of Residents, by checking temperatures and looking for symptoms before they start work and sending home those with potential symptoms.
We also continue to follow enhanced infection control and prevention policies, and our team remain alert to the threat of COVID-19 at all times. The extra measures in place for infection control ensure extra and extensive handwashing and we have conducted many additional training sessions and audits around this. Again, before the government lockdown, we introduced an additional training course for all Colleagues around COVID-19 to ensure they were fully informed about the virus and how it affected the way they provided care to Residents. We have also ensured that all Colleagues have had the opportunity to refresh their detailed Infection Control and Prevention training and also introduced extensive training around donning and doffing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), along with implementing even more extensive and regular cleaning schedules, all to try and minimise the spread of the virus.
We are maintaining social distancing measures for Residents in our Homes and we also monitor all Residents for potential COVID-19 symptoms and make temperature checks twice daily. Where necessary, we care for Residents in isolation, using barrier-nursing techniques and we seek to minimise the number of Colleagues providing care and services to Resident groups.
We continue to review our response to COVID-19 on a regular basis to ensure that we are always following the latest Government and scientific advice. As the Government revises lockdown restrictions we will assess the impact that each of the changes may have on Residents and make sure that we always prioritise their health and safety.
In the weeks ahead, if and when there are regional variations in the lifting / imposition of lockdown restrictions then we recommend contacting individual Home Managers for more specific details.
What we are doing to make sure our Care Homes have adequate stocks and supplies
Advinia’s Procurement team continue to work to ensure that all our Homes have adequate supplies of key essentials – be that hand wash or hand sanitiser, a full range of cleaning and laundry materials, or the appropriate PPE.
Public Health / Health Protection guidelines are subject to revisions as the science develops and Advinia monitors these all the time and ensures that all Homes are updated when guidelines change, for instance around PPE. The Senior Response Team makes clear to all Homes what PPE is required to care for Residents’ specific needs and provides guides, posters and posters to ensure all Colleagues can safely wear the appropriate PPE to protect vulnerable Residents from the risk of infection.
Advinia Care Homes also work together to ensure that each Home maintains adequate supplies of PPE – the Senior Response Team helps to co-ordinate the redistribution of key stock items between Homes, as needed.
Want more information?
If you have any other questions regarding Advinia Care Homes’ preparedness for the Coronavirus, please contact your local Care Home. All contact details can be found on the website.
For the latest information on COVID-19 and how to minimise your risk of infection please go to the following websites: