Coronavirus - Covid-19
Abbeyfield is continuing to follow government advice and has complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19.
Ensuring residents’ health and wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do at Abbeyfield and we aim to reflect this both in the way we support the houses and homes that we directly manage and in the guidance we provide to our Member Societies.
We are continually monitoring GOV.UK and Public Health Bodies for the latest advice about COVID-19, which includes following specific guidance for those in social or community care and residential settings and advice from the National Care Forum
Procedural guidance is regularly reviewed and communicated across the Abbeyfield Family with the aim of keeping residents, volunteers and staff as well informed and as safe as possible.
Below you can find information about how we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic across Abbeyfield’s centrally managed services in England.
Updated on 5th January
On 4th January, the government introduced a new national lockdown across England instructing people to stay at home.
Visits to our care homes, however, can continue to take place throughout the lockdown period with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, garden and drive through visits, or behind windows. Visiting options will depend on the individual building as each home is unique in its layout, surrounding environment and facilities.
Please be aware that close-contact indoor visits are not allowed except in exceptional circumstances, such as end of life care.
Where there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the home, all but essential visits will stop until the outbreak is over.
Unfortunately the new lockdown measures mean that we have had to suspend all non-essential visits to our supported housing services. Essential visitors can continue to visit, which includes visits to a resident who is approaching the end of life.
It may be possible in some circumstances for a resident to request to receive a personal visitor who they consider to be essential. Each house manager will assess any such request and make a decision using a risk-based approach.
If you have any queries please contact the individual house or home.
Safety arrangements for visitors
Unfortunately given that our residents are categorised in the most vulnerable group and that the vast majority of our services are group living environments, the idea of creating a support bubble cannot apply to our houses and homes. This is because for one person to explore these new freedoms risks everybody at the house or home. We will of course keep you informed if this guidance changes.
Our priority continues to be preventing the spread of COVID-19 and maintaining the safety of our residents, their visitors and our staff.
In light of the advice that older people must be particularly cautious, we are applying the social distancing principle to our houses and homes as much as is feasible to reduce the risk of infection spreading between residents. We are asking residents to stay, as much as possible, in their own rooms, and this includes for their meals if we cannot maintain social distancing in our dining rooms.
We are taking the same precautions with our staff, and any staff member displaying symptoms will not be allowed to enter our services until they have completed the required self isolation as required by Public Health bodies. We provide regularly updated guidance to all of our employees and have ordered an appropriate stock of PPE so that staff can care for any resident safely should they display COVID-19 symptoms.
Since the beginning of the pandemic we have introduced stringent cleaning measures and continue to do so. To help reduce the risk of infection we are supporting residents to wash their hands with soap and water on a more frequent basis and are offering alcohol hand gel throughout the day.
Visiting arrangements will be suspended where there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within a service.
If a family member is approaching the end of their life, one person will be able to arrange a visit on compassionate grounds. You will be shown how to use the correct PPE and must wash your hands thoroughly when entering and leaving the building. Please contact the service manager in advance, who will make arrangements with you so that you can visit your relative safely.
We are continuing to do everything we can to keep life as normal as possible for our residents during the pandemic. Being isolated and unable to see loved ones for weeks on end can have a detrimental effect on both physical and mental health, so it has been more important than ever to support our residents through this difficult time. We have been finding creative ways to provide entertainment and a sense of connection with others such as a pen-pal scheme, activity packs, games, virtual tours and exercise classes. Our dedicated staff team is on-hand to support residents to stay in touch with their loved ones through regular letters, phone-calls and video chats. They are also spending 1:1 time with residents to lower the risk of social isolation.
We are also grateful for the kindness and generosity of a number of individuals and organisations who have donated over 5,000 books, 500 games, over 60 tablets, DVD players, DVDs, and decks of playing cards. These have helped residents remain mentally stimulated, learn new things, enjoy interacting with each other, and communicate via technology with friends and family.
We will continue to adapt to the changing situation by trying to source additional items for our residents where needed, and keeping our residents’ physical and mental health at the forefront of all we do.
Our Member Societies are independent organisations, subject to the regulations in their UK country. However, we are in regular contact with the staff and volunteers who manage these Societies and share with them the guidance we provide to our centrally managed services.
If you have any questions about your loved ones please do not hesitate to contact the house or home manager where they reside. Alternatively, if you have any queries regarding our management of COVID-19 you can email email@example.com
Following updated government guidance that people are now able to move to a new home, we are pleased to be able to welcome new residents into our properties across England. Some restrictions may apply elsewhere. You can view our properties by going to our website homepage and can then contact the relevant home manager to see if there is availability.
In order to ensure the safety of our residents and staff and reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 we have had to adapt our process for new admissions in both housing and care services. Please see below for more information.
Government advice on home moving during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.
At the current time we are able to offer virtual viewings of our properties using video technology. This could be in the form of a pre-recorded video tour or you can also request a real-time video tour. Please contact the house or home manager to discuss the available options.
We will continue to complete a pre-admission assessment with all new residents but this will be done via post, email or telephone/video calls.
All residents will be required to self-isolate for a period of 72 hours when they first move in. A screening form will be completed with all new residents on admission to ensure extended self-isolation isn’t needed.
New residents are expected to be free of any symptoms of coronavirus and to have completed a 14 day period of self-isolation at home before they move in if:
We will be flexible around moving in arrangements. An admission might need to be delayed, for example if the new resident becomes ill with COVID-19 during the moving process or has to self-isolate, or there is a suspected or confirmed case in the house.
New residents will be required to self-isolate in their rooms for 14 days.
Please refer to Government guidance on moving belongings here. New residents should ensure they have arrangements in place for cleaning, packing, transporting and unpacking their belongings, which minimise the risk of contact transmission of COVID-19 on surfaces. All clothing should be laundered before being brought into the property. Specialist cleaning systems, such as fogging, are being used widely by removal companies and could be utilised after belongings have been moved in. Our infection prevention and control measures for visitors will also apply to anyone assisting with the move.
New residents to our care homes are advised to only bring essential items with them when they move in. Any items of furniture or soft furnishings will only be permitted where specialist cleaning, such as fogging can be utilised after moving in.
We are only accepting short stay or respite admissions in exceptional circumstances. Please contact the house or home manager to discuss.
Abbeyfield has complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 and is COVID-secure. Please click to find out more about our response to the pandemic.