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.

Information for the relatives of our residents

  • Can I visit my family member?

    Updated on 27th November, 2020

    We are aware of the rising expectations for visiting relatives in care homes as a consequence of recent government announcements. We are awaiting specific details which will be detailed in the guidance as it continues to be released, and reviewing our procedures in line with the new regulations. We will provide an update as soon as firm guidelines have been established.

    Updated on 6th November, 2020

    Throughout the pandemic we have followed government guidance closely, with the aim of keeping our residents and staff as safe as possible. We have recognised, however, that the visiting restrictions that have been in place are likely to have had a significant impact on residents’ wellbeing and have also been very difficult for their loved ones. We are pleased, therefore, that the government has announced that all care home and supported housing residents in England should be allowed to receive visits from their family and friends in a COVID-secure way.

    Having reviewed our visiting arrangements in light of this new government guidance, we are pleased to be able to offer visiting in our services once again from 6th November where practical, reasonable and safe to do. Visiting arrangements will depend on the individual building layout and facilities and we are exploring options for each property to find a suitable solution.

    Visit options could include one or more of the following:

    • Designated outdoor areas - where there is a suitable outdoor area which can be accessed without anyone going through the property
    • Drive through visits - it may be feasible to facilitate a drive through visit whereby a resident is able to talk to a visitor who remains in their vehicle. The need to maintain social distancing will still apply.
    • Window visits - where a garden visit cannot take place, a ground floor window visit will be considered.
    • Virtual visits - we will continue to ensure residents have the facility for phone/video calls with their loved ones. We have recently invested in an additional range of IT and audio visual equipment to further enhance the experience of virtual visiting in our care homes.
    • Indoor visits in care homes - these may be possible in a designated indoor area or visiting pod with floor to ceiling screens and windows where the visitor and resident enter through different entrances, are separated by screens and visitors do not need to enter or pass through the care home. Please note that these are very difficult arrangements to put in place and not every care home will be able to do so.
    • Indoor visits in housing - these may be possible if a designated visiting room/area is available and can be set aside exclusively for visitors. If so, we will allow time for ventilation and thorough cleaning between visits to minimise risk.
    • In-room visits - will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, for example where a resident is approaching the end of their life

     

    Visits must be pre-arranged and residents may have a visit from one named person for up to 30 minutes. Please contact the Manager at each house or home to discuss options.

    Safety arrangements for visitors

    • All visitors are required to complete a screening form with their contact details required for NHS Test and Trace. In addition, each Abbeyfield property will provide the official NHS QR code poster which will enable visitors to use the NHS COVID-19 app to ‘check-in’ when they visit. 
    • Visitors should wash or sanitise their hands on arrival, during their visit and before they leave, maintain social distancing at all times and wear a fluid resistant surgical mask. We can provide masks on request.
    • We are unable to provide refreshments and visitors will not be able to use toilet/bathroom facilities unless it is an emergency.
    • Please do not bring gifts without permission. All gifts will be quarantined for 72 hours before being given to the resident

    Please be aware that where there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within a home, all non-essential visits will be suspended.

    If you have any questions please contact the home manager. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

  • What about support bubbles?

    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.

  • What measures are you taking to ensure the safety of your residents?

    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.

  • My relative is on end of life care; can I visit them?

    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.  

  • How are you supporting your residents during this difficult time?

    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.    

  • Are you testing staff and residents for COVID-19?

    Testing is available to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms in any setting. As per the government guidelines, residents and employees who reside in a care setting have been tested for COVID-19.We continue to monitor infection rates and government guidance.

  • My relative lives in one of your Member Society houses or homes, does the same guidance apply to them?

    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.

  • I’ve got a question about COVID-19; how do I get in touch?

    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 covid19@abbeyfield.com

Information about new admissions into our services

  • Are you currently accepting new residents?

    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.

  • Virtual viewings

    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.

  • Assessments

    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. 

  • Moving in to Supported Housing

    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:  

    • they, or anyone with whom they have close contact, have experienced any flu-like symptoms including fever, a persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell  
    • they have had a positive COVID-19 test result
    • they have arrived from outside of the UK.

    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.

  • Moving in to a care home

    New residents will be required to self-isolate in their rooms for 14 days.

  • Moving belongings

    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.

  • Short stay admissions

    We are only accepting short stay or respite admissions in exceptional circumstances. Please contact the house or home manager to discuss.

COVID19 Information

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.

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