Across the UK population we are currently experiencing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases. Over the past few days, Public Health England (PHE) has reported an increase in notifications of COVID-19 cases in care homes. Fortunately we have not yet had any cases within either Westfield House, our Care Home or May Mills House, our Supported House. We are working hard to prevent any spread of the disease within our properties, and with care and vigilance we hope this will stand us in good stead throughout the autumn and winter months. This winter will place unique pressures on both the health and care system. COVID-19 will be cocirculating with seasonal flu and other viruses, and unfortunately transmission may increase over the winter period. We are committed to making sure we are prepared for any additional pressures. We would like to express our thanks to all our staff for their ongoing hard work, commitment, compassion and dedication to our Residents. It is hugely appreciated. We would also like to thank the families and friends of our Residents in both Westfield House and May Mills House for their on-going co-operation and understanding during these very difficult times.
To all Residents, Relatives, Staff, Volunteers, Visitors
We would just like to update you all on the steps we are taking to protect everyone during this difficult time.
We appreciate how worrying this is for everyone and want to assure you all that ensuring the safety of everyone in our homes is paramount. We want to maintain the current home environment for our Residents, whilst also following the Department of Health’s guidelines along with our own policies and procedures. We are following the advice given by Public Health England and will continue to respond to any further information as it is given.
We would like to ask that you consider whether visiting the home is absolutely necessary or if you could maintain contact via the telephone.
In order to limit the risk to our Residents and staff we have taken the decision to follow a staged approach for visitors to the home, whereby we will no longer allow entry to the homes to any non-essential visitors to include:-
- Activities groups
- Volunteers/Work experience
- Community Groups
- External trainers
- Suppliers – (deliveries to be received at the door)
- Visitors from other Care Homes
Under Government guidelines we will also not allow entry to our homes to anyone who has recently returned from an area where the Coronavirus is known to be present. We will also not allow entry to anyone showing symptoms of the virus:-
- High temperature
- Shortness of breath
Should the virus continue we will constantly review our practices in line with our risk assessment policy and may have to close our homes to all visitors. Should this happen we will endeavour to keep Residents in contact with their relatives and friends as far as possible.
INFECTION CONTROL MEASURES
As I am sure you can all appreciate we have had to initiate infection control procedures whereby it is essential that everyone entering the building must follow the instructions below before signing in
- Sanitise their hands on entering the building at the reception foyer
- After sanitising go directly to the visitor toilet to wash their hands, following the displayed handwashing prompt
We are also asking staff to take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the infection:-
- Wash their hands frequently
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in a bin
- Any staff who demonstrate the listed symptoms should not attend work
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Regularly clean and disinfect any touched surfaces and objects
We will continue to update Relatives, Staff, Volunteers and Visitors but please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any concerns or questions.
Thank you for your co-operation at this difficult time
Julie King,General Manager
When it came to choosing a Dementia Care Home for our elderly mother Abbeyfield’s Westfield House won hands down (– and we’d visited a dozen or so). We put her name down and, at just about the ‘right time’, a lovely room was offered to us.
All Mum’s friends were 100 miles away so we had a phone line installed so that she could keep in touch. She would – many times – describe her nice, new home to them: how lovely the staff were, and the accommodation, and the meals. We were glad of all that, and we knew she was now safe, too.
When family visited we could choose to spend time with Mum in her room or in the large, bright, quietly busy communal lounge or in the quiet room. On warmer days we would sit out in the garden, or go just down the road to the children’s playground.
I found the Relatives’ Support Group very helpful, both from the point of view of little details about daily life and from support with my nagging guilt about uprooting Mum from her own home and friends. Dementia presents in different ways, and sharing experiences with other relatives was invaluable.
It’s 4 years since Mum passed away and I now go to Westfield House as a volunteer, adding a little to the great work that the Activities staff do. They can transform that spacious lounge into opportunities for baking preparation, board games, balloon tennis, singalongs, birthday celebrations, music for exercise, knitting, engaging with the nursery school visitors, and much more. The residents who don’t wish to join in, or can’t, enjoy watching from the sidelines. There’s always something to watch or listen to there – and, as they go about their work, every section of Westfield’s staff interact as friends with the residents.
We’re glad we found Westfield House.