Coronavirus COVID-19 Information
At Athena Healthcare Group, we always put the health and safety of our residents and staff at the top of our list of priorities. As you will know, the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic in recent times has brought substantial challenges. It is a worrying time for everyone. In order to seek to ensure the safety and protection of our residents, their wellbeing, and staff, we have put in place robust and stringent measures in response to the outbreak.
Update: 28th October 2020
As we are sure you are all aware the government has introduced the Tier system to determine levels of restrictions in different communities, we wanted to update you on what this means for us and our Lodges with regards to visiting your loved ones.
The ‘Medium’ COVID alert level, indicates visiting is allowed subject to the current conditions that are in place which enables outdoor visiting for 2 people from the same household, adhering to the 2 metres social distancing, and where we have designated visiting rooms indoors, these are still able to be used and accessed.
The ‘High’ and ‘Very High’ alert level, indicates visiting is no longer allowed unless it is for an essential visit for end of life.
We appreciate that this news is very difficult to hear, particularly when majority of our Lodges are in the ‘Very High’ areas. We hope you appreciate the reasoning behind us needing to follow the guidance, when our main responsibility is to keep our residents and staff as safe as possible, and we ask that you continue to support our teams in adhering to this.
We are preparing our Lodges for when we can allow indoor visits for our residents’ families and friends in a safe way and we look forward to welcoming you back into our Lodges to be with your loved ones.
Early in the spread of the virus, before there was a government requirement, we took steps to limit, and then to stop, non-essential visits into our homes. Regrettably, in line with current government advice, there has been no recent change to the situation and we continue to ask that we have no visitors to our homes. Of course, we are still ensuring that essential visits from medical practitioners are being made, observing strict infection control protocols.
We continue to deliver care to all of our residents in accordance with their care plans and to monitor their general health and wellbeing, with certain additional monitoring in respect of COVID-19 in line with Health England guidelines. As is always the case, should our staff identify when any resident becomes unwell, we will seek medical advice. Should there be any indication that a resident has COVID-19, that resident will be isolated for at least 14 days and treated with strict infection control measures, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”).
Of equal importance, we are closely monitoring the health of all of our staff. Any staff member with a temperature, or other symptoms, will not enter any of our homes and will self-isolate in accordance with public health guidance. Out of an abundance of caution, many of our staff have been through at least one period of self-isolation, either due to symptoms of their own or those of others with whom they have had contact.
Unfortunately, it is not presently possible for residents to go out and about, save for any necessary hospital appointments. Our staff will inform family members if a resident requires to attend hospital. Unfortunately, residents cannot be accompanied to hospital by either our staff or their family/friends.
As we cannot have any visitors, save for medical practitioners, we are not able to have entertainers/activity leaders come into our homes. Our staff are doing all they can to lead activities and keep our residents occupied.
We are aware of reports in the media regarding the care being given to residents in care homes. We would like to assure all of our residents and their families and friends that our staff are fully trained and have access to advice and assistance from staff across our group, should they need it. Our senior management team are working tirelessly to ensure that all staff “on the ground” are suitably supported. Our staff morale is excellent.
We are also pleased to confirm that we have supply of PPE and we follow or exceed best clinical practice, including government guidance, for its use.
We would like to again thank all of our residents and their loved ones for their understanding and support of the measures we have had to implement. We hope that we have reassured you that we are doing all we can to ensure our residents’ continued safety and wellbeing.
We would like to also thank all of our wonderful staff for working so hard, in these trying times, to combat the effects of COVID-19. We are very proud to have such an awesome team looking after our residents and are humbled by their dedication and tireless efforts in the face of serious adversity.