15th April 2020 News Update Heathside and Heathside Mews Specific

As we have previously informed you we have an outbreak of corona in both our homes. Three people were tested in each home and those tests came back positive. We have been told that at this point that any further residents with symptoms would not be tested but we should support them as if they have COVID-19.

Following best practice guidance we are encouraging all residents in the home to isolate from others, I am sure you will appreciate that we look after some people who find it difficult to stay in their rooms. We have therefore divided the home into areas to enable them to use the communal spaces and enjoy the gardens. Further guidance is strictly followed in the home including use of personal protective equipment, disposal of waste and laundry management.

As detailed in our main news article we can reassure you that we have the correct PPE we need at this moment in time and are constantly securing more supplies, to help us maintain that position.

Additionally, the nurses and GP’s who usually attend the home continue to support via video link and where necessary attend the service and all residents are monitored for presenting symptoms.

Even with these measures due to the virus being highly contagious we cannot guarantee that we can prevent more people being affected, what I can assure you is that we are doing everything we can to prevent this from happening and the team are supporting people with the upmost dignity and respect.

As soon as an individual is presenting with symptoms their next of kin will be notified and kept regularly up to date. We will not be notifying families of any deaths in the home unless requested to by the persons family, losing a loved one is a very difficult and sensitive time and where possible we want to protect families from being a statistic in a newspaper for this horrible disease. Furthermore, we are also currently supporting individuals at end of life who have not been affected by COVID-19.

We understand that this is an incredibly worrying time for families and we will always update you when anything is happening in the home which may impact on your loved ones health or wellbeing, for example you were all informed when we had positive cases in the home as this increased the risk of your loved one contracting the virus. We will not be updating families each time an individual develops symptoms however, if we have a large number of people with symptoms you would be updated as the risk would increase again.

We will continue to support you to have regular contact with your loved ones. We can do this via the phone, video calls and letters, please respect that the team are very busy at this time and may not always be able to get to the phone when it is ringing. Additionally, if you could limit the number of calls for large families that would be very supportive to the team. Please continue to send in letters and pictures this really puts a smile on people’s faces and the team are able to support residents to read letters at quieter times in the day.

On a positive note, we have had residents displaying symptoms who are nearing the end of their 14-day isolation period who appear fit and well. When the last person has finished their isolation period the home will be clear of the outbreak. , we will always be over cautious with isolation period, if an individual is appearing unwell in any way we will extend the isolation period this is to protect the people we support in the best way we can additionally we will also isolate and individual for 14 days following discharge from hospital.

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