Covid-19 vaccinations begin

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Care home staff are among the first priority groups to receive the vaccine.
Several of our homes are in the first wave of vaccinations and Corrinne Lee is pictured receiving her first dose last week. Corrinne is from Hanbury Court Care Home in Dagenham and was asked to be the “poster girl” for that area by the NHS.
Corrinne said “As a home manager, registered nurse and carer, I feel I have a duty of care for staff and residents to have the vaccination. Like everyone else, I hope the vaccine saves many lives. Because of this, I am hoping my colleagues will also have the jab when offered.”
We would like to strongly encourage everyone to take the vaccine, as this represents the best chance that we have of beating COVID-19.

Visiting during lockdown

Care home visiting is being reviewed in light of the latest national lockdown restrictions, and each home will be contacting relatives with their own local arrangements. We support The National Care Forum’s ‘joint call for action’ initiative as we feel visiting is extremely important for our residents and their loved ones, and should be able to be safely continued as far as possible.

Despite Covid 19, CQC agrees we are admitting people safely to our homes

When 1% is great news.

As the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions started to be lifted, regulators began to consider ways of supporting homes in the event of a second wave. We heard through local inspectors that CQC were doing a thematic review of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices across 300 specially selected homes that may help inform them in moving forward with a Covid specific IPC audit for all homes.

Imagine our delight then, when 3 of our 8 homes were chosen to be part of this pilot, making us 1% of the total chosen.

Hanbury Court, Birchy Hill, and Mabbs Hall went through the inspections with flying colours.

CQC recognised that all of the homes were:

  • “promoting safety through the layout and hygiene practices of the premises
  •  using PPE effectively and safely
  •  admitting people safely to the service”

CQC inspectors noted “good practice” was found in the homes. They had particular praise for our specially devised risk assessment for high risk workers which included monitoring the viral load such workers were exposed to.  They also commended our preparations for continuing visits during the winter when the weather may adversely affect garden visits.

Each inspection showed that Angel Care and MNS Care have robust procedures and have been proactive in dealing with all of the challenges a worldwide pandemic has thrown at us. This happening during a time when, most people recognise, the care industry was left unsupported. Of course, we lost vulnerable residents to the dreaded virus, and we grieve with and for families whose loved ones were taken from them weeks or months before their due time. But we also celebrate our residents, some centenarians, who contracted the virus and recovered. We thank our loyal and dedicated team of staff who soldiered on, stepping up to become the unrecognised heroes of the season. We have a professional on-the-ball Operations Director who guided us so admirably through the chaos of guidance that was changing frequently, more than daily at the peak of the outbreak. These things were instrumental to us coming through this horrid event with our spirits intact.

It is a great feeling to know our investment in putting in such robust processes has been recognised by our regulators. It is a pity these inspections are not rated, I’m sure our homes would be outstanding! They certainly deserve to be.

Birchy Hill Choices

Whether they are having a walk in the garden, or a siesta in front of the Post Office, rocking a baby, chasing the rebel chicken, singing, watching Royal Ascot or a favourite car show, enjoying a lovely slice of cake and a glass of sparkling wine, there are many more options for our residents, it is only about personal choice and having a quality time.