How the Fountains is Responding to Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Continuing to Care

At The Fountains, the health, wellbeing and safety of our residents is at the heart of everything we do. Although we have made many changes to the way work, our teams continue to ensure that life is enjoyable and fulfilling for those in our care. With well-established infection control procedures and a dedicated clinical governance and quality team to oversee these, we have been able to react quickly and safely manage the pandemic across our care homes.

You can read how we have been using data-driven technology to ensure our care homes remain COVID-19 Safe by clicking here.

Visiting Update December 2020

We understand the emotional strain that separation from loved ones has had on residents and their relatives this year, and we appreciate the important role visiting plays in supporting the health and wellbeing of those in our care.

However, with older people in care homes among the most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 and the devastating effect that it can have on them, we must balance the positive effects of visiting with the increased risk of transmission within our care home. The very fact that the care sector as a whole has been prioritised in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme highlights just how great the risks are to care home residents.

We are particularly concerned by the additional risks presented by the recently discovered variant strain of the coronavirus.

Following the announcements by the government on 19th December, we have reviewed our dynamic risk assessments and have taken the decision to restrict visiting at our care home. This is to protect our residents and staff from the new strain of the virus and the rapidly increasing infection rates.

As of 22nd December, indoor and outdoor visits have ceased at our care home until further notice. Window visits may be possible depending on the following factors:

  • Instructions issued by National and Devolved Governments around instruction to stay at home
  • Dynamic risk assessments for each resident

Window visits must be booked in advance with the care home. This is so we can prepare your loved one to help you get the most from your window visit.

Unfortunately, in areas where stay at home orders are in place, window visits will not be permitted.

For the most up-to-date visiting arrangements, please contact the home manager.

In exceptional cases, such as when a resident is at the very end of life visits will be supported. Please contact the home manager directly to discuss this process.

Preparing for Change

As you know, the situation can change rapidly, especially during the winter months. We must be ready to adapt to changes in national and local guidance, local infection rates, and any confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a care home. These factors may lead to the home being closed to all visitors as a precautionary measure at short notice.

In this case, any planned visits will need to be cancelled. The home manager will be in contact with you to confirm any changes to our visiting policy when they occur.

Helping You Stay in Touch

Restricted visiting does not mean you have to lose touch. We have contingencies in place to ensure that you can still speak to, and in many cases still see relatives in our care during the pandemic.

Through the use of phone and video calls and the care home’s Facebook page, we will ensure that you remain in contact with your loved one, and they remain in contact with the wider community.

We are also regularly writing to our residents’ relatives to keep them informed of any changes or updates to our plans.

Covid-19 Vaccine

Currently, the staff at many of our care homes are being invited to take part in the Covid-19 vaccination programme and we are working with the NHS and local public health teams to get the vaccine to our residents as quickly as possible. While we welcome the news of the national vaccination programme, we recognize that it will take some time to roll out to the wider population. Please bear with us while this is in progress, as we are confident this is going to make significant improvements to our visiting arrangements.

Testing for Visitors

Lateral flow Covid-19 testing is being introduced to allow more meaningful visits for residents of care homes and their loved ones. There has been much excitement at this news, and we too look forward to the day when loved ones can meet so many restrictions.

We have received the guidance from the government and testing kits have started arriving. However, there are many logistical challenges for us to overcome before we can start testing. Members of our team are required to undergo specific training to complete the tests, and testing areas must meet very specific requirements. We ask you to please bear with us while we take some time to form our plans to introduce lateral flow testing for visitors. We must ensure that this is done in a safe way that will not impact the levels of care we deliver for our residents.

Furthermore, there is additional local guidance for the introduction of lateral flow testing being issued by some local authorities. The home manager will write to you when lateral flow testing is available.

What We Will Do Next

All residents in our home are highly vulnerable, as are many of their loved ones. We need to ensure that the actions we take do not significantly increase the rate of infections.

We are acting on the advice and guidelines provided by Public Health England. As the situation changes, we will constantly review and adapt our approach. We will update this page in line with the most current Government information and advice.

We thank you for your co-operation and for considering the health and wellbeing of our residents at this time.

Useful Links

If you would like to know more about Covid-19, please follow the links below.

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