Our approach to covid-19

Here at Oakwood House Care, the safety, wellbeing and above all else – the health of our residents and staff are our number one priority. With this in mind, we have set out a detailed and comprehensive plan to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

This page details our guidance and the protocols we have in place to keep everyone safe.

We are now welcoming new residents into our care home and our team are on hand to discuss any concerns or specific questions you have, to help you make an informed decision when finding care for yourself or a loved one.

Admissions & Testing

All newly admitted residents who have been discharged from hospital, interim care facility or are transferring from another care home, will need to self-isolate within their own room for 14 days upon arrival, in line with the recommendations of Public Health England.

New residents admitted from their own home in the community, currently do not need to self-isolate if they are admitted at least three weeks after being fully vaccinated. This is subject to having had no contact with a COVID-positive person and to agreeing to an enhanced testing regime both before admission and during their first 7 days at the home.

While this does mean that some new residents will remain in their room for the first 14 days, our team will ensure that they have varied activities to occupy them physically and mentally, alongside constant care and in-room dining services. We will also support those residents who wish to leave their room to go outdoors during this period. These outdoors visit will be within our care home’s beautiful grounds, and at a time that will ensure the continued safety of our existing residents and staff.

Based on Government Guidance at the time, any resident admission or re-admission will be tested before being accepted into our home. We have detailed protocols in place depending on the outcome of a COVID-19 test, to ensure the safety of all our residents and staff.

We are regularly testing all our residents and staff, in line with current Government Guidance.

For comprehensive information about coronavirus itself, you can visit Public Health England.

Government Guidance around Visitors

We will be taking a dynamic risk-based approach to how we facilitate and manage visits within our care home, which will consider the safety of all our residents, staff, and visitors, whilst minimising the risk of any COVID-19 infection. This approach will balance the risk of harm to residents not having visits, with the risk of harm to residents, staff, and visitors, of such visits.

A short individual visiting plan for each resident is developed and tailored to the visiting wishes and preferences, taking into account the individual needs and capabilities. This plan will be put in place and include the following dynamic risk considerations:

  • The level and type of care provided by external professional visitors and the ability of care home staff to replicate this care.
  • A balance of the benefits to the residents, against the risk of visitors introducing infection into the care home or spreading infection from our care home to the community.
  • Limiting the number of visitors to named visitors of each resident, wherever possible. This means the same family members or friends visiting each time to limit the number of different individuals coming into contact with the Home and the consequent risk of infection.
  • The ability of our care home to put in place practical measures to mitigate any risks arising from visits, such as visits in screened visiting areas, communal gardens, window visits and car park visits.
  • The health and wellbeing risks arising from the needs of the cohort of residents in our care home. This will include both whether their needs make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and whether their needs make visits particularly important.
  • Advice from the PHE local HPT (in the event of an outbreak) and the local director of public health and Infection Prevention and Control Lead from the responsible CCG.
  • The likely practical effectiveness of social distancing measures between the visitor and the residents, having regard to the cognitive status of the resident and their communication needs.
  • The extent to which remote contact by telephone and/or video addresses any of the wellbeing issues above and reduces any distress or other harm caused by the absence of visits.

Our COVID-safe spaces

Visits may occur in several ways:

  • Window visits: This will need safe ground floor window access for both residents and their visitors, and the relevant social distancing and PPE measures will need to be observed.
  • Garden visits: Relevant PPE measures and social distancing will apply. Independent access to the garden is needed to avoid visitors moving through the care setting to the garden. We will try to consider how to facilitate garden visits in different weather conditions, how to ensure cleaning of areas and any items used between visits and keep everyone safe, whatever the weather.
  • Drive through visits: These are facilitated visits in the car parks and drives of our care homes. Again, any relevant PPE measures and social distancing will apply.
  • Designated visiting areas within our care setting: Visits to an identified location inside the care home reserved for this purpose, that facilitates good ventilation, social distancing maintained via a clear screen, direct access by residents from within the home, and direct access for visitor without going through the residential areas.
  • In-room visits: These visits may continue to be facilitated as appropriate, in line with national guidance in relation to essential and end of life visits to ensure dignity and comfort, taking into account their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual support needs. If deemed necessary, we may need to temporarily close these spaces to visitors if a local lockdown scenario arises and on guidance from the local authorities and Government.

Keeping all safe

It is vitally important to ensure that we keep you and your loved ones safe, medical visits will be authorised, with strict controls in place which will include all wash their hands-on arrival, asking if any symptoms are present and taking their temperature on entry.

Video Communication & Technology

Our home is set up for video calling through WhatsApp for you to keep in touch regularly with loved ones. More details are available by contacting us at the home.

Guidance for those visiting our home

Subject to Government Guidance, all permitted visitors must adhere to our ‘Responsible Visitor Code’ which sets out a range of responsibilities to maintain our residents, staff, and visitor’s safety:

  • Booking visits in advance for a specific day, time, and length of visit.
  • Check in with the Home on the day prior to their visit, to ensure the situation in the service has not changed.
  • Be free of any COVID-19 symptoms on the day of their visit.
  • Not be unwell on the day of their visit.
  • Provide the necessary information required by us at the visits.
  • Comply with the infection prevention and control measures, including a Lateral Flow Device Test, a temperature test, mandatory hand hygiene, the use of PPE and social distancing requirements and remaining in the designated visiting area.
  • Ensure that any gifts brought to give to the resident they are visiting can be sanitised, in line with relevant infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance.
  • Wherever possible, visitors should a try to walk or travel by car and avoid public transport when visiting the home, in line with the latest government advice on travel during COVID-19.

External visits

We understand how important visitations are for residents’ health and wellbeing and their ability to remain at the heart of family and social networks. However, spending time with others outside the care home will increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the resident and potentially to other vulnerable residents on their return.

When external visits are allowed, residents will be enabled to leave our care home setting to spend time outdoors, without the need to isolate upon their return. This can take place under the following circumstances:

  • If residents may be accompanied by:
    • A member of care home staff
    • A nominated visitor
    • Their essential care provider (where applicable)
  • Arrangements should be agreed in advance.
  • Visits should take place solely outdoors.
  • Visits should not involve the use of public transport.

Protecting our residents and staff

All our staff are trained in infection control and the signs to spot when identifying COVID-19. We have a clear process should a resident or member of staff show any symptoms.

If a resident is showing symptoms, we will follow medical advice and ensure the resident quarantines within their own room. Only after meeting the current Government Guidance, will we welcome them back to the main home. The resident will be cared for using stringent infection control practices and with the correct and appropriate level of PPE until we are confident that they are not contagious.

Our staff have been fantastic throughout the outbreak and to better protect and support them we have in place sick pay if they need to self-isolate at any point, in line with Government guidance.

Confirmation of Cases

Should the main area of our home be impacted by COVID-19, you will receive a letter to inform you that the home has been affected. The communication will outline our process to ensure safety. If we need to contact you about your friend or relative, we will call and discuss this with you on a confidential, one-to-one bases.

Residents Wellbeing

The wellbeing of our residents is of vital importance to us, and we offer a programme of social, physical, mental, and spiritual activity. Often, we would use external suppliers to provide these services to our residents and when we feel the risk is too high; we will halt this specific type of external visitation. These will be replaced with new meaningful activities delivered by our activity’s teams, such as games, reminiscence, gentle exercise, craft sessions and film afternoons where physical distancing can be maintained. For a full list of our new wellbeing measures, please contact us.

Standards of Care

The high standard of care that we provide is our priority.

We are regularly reviewing our processes and are actively engaging inspections from regulators. Frequent monitoring and the communication of the outcomes from inspections to our residents and their loved ones is done through regular meetings with all parties, sometimes socially distanced, sometimes through virtual meetings.

Up-to-date news

With developments changing rapidly, we are trying to communicate regularly based on new information as and when we receive it. If you need clarification on any of the measures and protocols we have in place, please do not hesitate to contact us.

All information is known to be correct as of 27th July 2021.