COVID-19: Update 5

2 years ago · · 0 comments

COVID-19: Update 5

WELCOME to the latest edition of our weekly newsletter, in which we report on life in our Springdene homes and how we are facing up to the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Life is tough for everybody in these terrible times, but we are making excellent progress in our homes in preventing the spread of the disease. We pay tribute to the selfless and heroic efforts of our staff in making sure all the residents are safe and well looked after. And we are grateful to the residents themselves for their forbearance and understanding, with many having to stay in their rooms for personal protection.

We are happy to report that we have good supplies of personal protective equipment, which all our staff wear at all times. We are also applying the rules with regard to wearing the kit with a rigour over and above that required by Public Health England. Springdene Group continues to undertake comprehensive cleaning programmes using specialist cleaning products.

A covid-testing regime is underway for the evaluation of residents who may be suspected of having the disease. The first testing kits for residents arrived this week. Staff are being offered tests, too, with the first seven having undergone tests, with more to follow as the government accelerates its testing programme. This requires getting staff members to the test centre in Wembley – a challenge for those without cars: perhaps there are volunteers among you who could help with this crucial task?

You can be assured that we will let families know as soon as possible when any of their loved ones is ill. And extra care is being taken in looking out for residents who have less capacity. Although some of our care staff are self-isolating and away from work, we are pleased to report that all the shifts in the homes are being covered. We are recruiting new carers and volunteers and, where necessary, our managers are filling any gaps. Even our group operations manager is rolling up his sleeves and dispensing medicines!

To reward our hard-working staff for their efforts, we are looking at increasing sick pay if they have to be absent through isolation or illness. We are also providing staff with bowls of fruit and take-away pizzas as thanks for their efforts.

We know how frustrating it is for residents not to be able to physically see their loved ones at the moment, but you can rest assured they are being especially well looked after, with lots of smiles and attention from their carers. We encourage everyone to make use of the tablet devices that are available to video-call relatives. Staff are only too happy to help with any technical difficulties.

Food, delivered to rooms where the dining room is closed, is of its usual excellent standard, and we pay tribute to the often-unsung efforts of the staff at our contractor CaterPlus in making it so delicious in difficult circumstances.

You may have seen in the news this week that Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced new proposals to allow people to be with gravely ill relatives in care homes before they die so they can fulfil a ‘right to say goodbye’. At Springdene, this has always been the case, and you can be assured that we will waive the embargo on visits whenever a family faces such circumstances. On a happier note, there is lots of activity in the homes to keep residents entertained and to bring sparkle into their lives. At Spring Lane, the residents made Beatrix Potter characters to stick on the windows to symbolise the coming of spring. And Caroline, the activities coordinator, has been running bingo from the end of the corridor, with residents playing from their doorways, She has also been reading a daily short story over the tannoy.

At Springview, Eirlys the activities coordinator, wrote a brilliant spoof song, “Is this the way to fight Corona?” to the tune of Tony Christie’s ‘Is this the way to Amarillo? It was performed with gusto by the staff, and the residents had a ‘right laugh’, especially over the verse ‘The supermarket shelves are bare/Can’t find toilet roll anywhere’. It was so good, said someone, it should be entered for the Brit awards.

We’d like to express our appreciation to the group of Highgate ladies who donated 25 goody bags for the staff at Spring Lane. The bags included shower gel, wipes, porridge, lunch snack, energy bar and drinks. These ladies just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to all the carers and staff of Spring Lane for doing an ‘amazing job looking after all the residents’.

One final thing. We thought it would be a nice idea to create a picture book in memory of Vivien Frey, our much loved activities coordinator at Spring Grove, who died suddenly last week. If residents or families have any memories, anecdotes or pictures they would like to share, please send them to Adrienne Rosen at arosen@springdene.co.uk.

Thank you for your continued co-operation.

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