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How we’re keeping our residents safe from coronavirus (COVID-19)

As ever, the care and safety of our residents and our people continues to be our highest priority during these unprecedented times. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to look after our residents and their loved ones.

Bupa Buddy

Having someone to chat to can help fend off boredom and loneliness amongst any elderly relatives who’re shielding or self-isolating. That’s why we’ve created our Bupa Buddy service.

The safety of our residents and our people continues to be our priority. We have clear standard operating procedures and are maintaining strict infection control and social distancing measures in line with Public Health guidance to keep residents safe. If a resident displays symptoms or is confirmed as having the virus, they are cared for in their rooms, away from other residents, by our staff using the appropriate personal protective equipment.

Our priority is the care and safety of our residents and staff and minimising any spread of infection.

We are keeping a watchful eye on localised restrictions across England, Scotland and Wales, and will act swiftly to adhere to guidance, particularly as we know our residents are the most vulnerable to the virus.

Outdoor visits and support bubble visits are in place where possible, which are managed in line with the latest government guidance and meet national infection control and social distancing guidelines. Now that the government’s regular testing programme has resumed and we can be assured of the COVID-status in our homes, we are progressing plans for indoor visits in homes and villages that are located outside local lockdown areas.

Safety has to remain our priority at all times and we will pause visits to homes and villages if any test results return positive, though we also know the importance of family connection for our residents’ happiness and mental wellbeing and will endeavour to continue visits where we can.

Please contact your local home or village for information about visiting, and whether their specific site is currently able to welcome visitors. Alternatively, if you’re unable to visit us or would prefer to connect with your loved one by phone or video calls, we can arrange these for you too, just get in touch with the reception team in the home.

Letter writing stations are also in place so that residents can write (or be helped to write) letters for family members. Relatives can also follow your local home on Facebook, where we share pictures and information on activities, entertainment and general home life for our residents.

Now that the government’s regular testing programme has resumed and we can be assured of the COVID-status in our homes, we are progressing plans for indoor visits in homes and villages that are located outside local lockdown areas. These will be managed in line with the latest government guidance and meet national infection control and social distancing guidelines.

Safety has to remain our priority at all times and we will pause visits to homes and villages if any test results return positive, though we also know the importance of family connection for our residents’ happiness and mental wellbeing and will endeavour to continue visits where we can.

Please contact your local home or village for information about visiting, and whether their specific site is currently able to welcome visitors. Alternatively, if you’re unable to visit us or would prefer to connect with your loved one by phone or video calls, we can arrange these for you too, just get in touch with the reception team in the home.

We are committed to keeping residents and colleagues safe. We will act swiftly to adhere to guidance, particularly as we know our residents are the most vulnerable to the virus. We are keeping a watchful eye on lockdown restrictions across England, Scotland and Wales, and where necessary, will close homes and villages to visitors if they are located within lockdown areas.

Similarly, as part of our regular testing programme, should residents or staff test positive for the virus, we will take all the necessary precautionary measures to minimise any spread of infection and close the homes or village to visitors.

Where residents are in the last days of life, our home and Village managers will contact relatives to manage visits. Please be assured that all the necessary measures will be taken to minimise any spread of infection.

Keeping our residents and our people safe is our priority. We have always had the necessary PPE required, allowing us to follow the strict guidance from Public Health. All homes have been supplied with appropriate levels of stock and our in-house procurement team is ready to source further supplies of PPE, such as hand sanitiser, masks and gloves, as needed.

We are committed to closely following government and Public Health guidance at all times. As per the latest guidance, our staff wear personal protective equipment at all times.

Through August, there were supply challenges with the government’s regular testing programme for residents and staff, requiring it to be paused. We strongly believe that testing is essential for managing and limiting the spread of infection in our homes and villages, so we continued testing. With existing stocks of test kits, we carried out one round of testing for all staff in our homes through August, as well as testing for all new residents that we welcome to the home and testing for any residents displaying symptoms of the virus.

We have been pleased to see the government’s regular testing programme resume in September, giving us greater assurance of the COVID-status in our homes.

Where a resident tests positive, the resident will receive expert care within their own bedroom, from a small dedicated team using full PPE.

Should a staff member test positive, they will immediately isolate away from the home.

The government announced a regular testing programme for all care home residents and staff, which commenced in July 2020. Unfortunately the government’s programme experienced supply challenges in August and had to be paused. It has since resumed in September, giving us greater assurance of the COVID-status in our homes.

We strongly believe that testing is essential for managing and limiting the spread of infection in our homes and villages, and will take all the necessary precautions to keep our residents and staff safe.

Our teams will take all the necessary measures in line with Public Health’s guidelines to ensure the continued care and safety of our residents. If a resident displays symptoms or tests positive for the virus, they are cared for in their rooms, away from other residents, by our staff using the appropriate personal protective equipment.

Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard to protect and care for our residents. Very sadly, 266 residents passed away across our care homes and villages having tested positive for COVID-19 alongside other long-term health conditions.

This number has not changed over recent months, with many of our homes and villages becoming COVID-free. With the government’s regular testing programme now resumed in September, we have a greater ability to swiftly respond to any changes in COVID-status in our homes, to keep our residents and staff safe.

If they are discharged by the hospital with a negative COVID-19 test result and the home is able to take admissions, they will be able to come back to our home/village.

Hospitals are starting to reschedule routine hospital appointments. If required, residents will be taken to medical appointments by a member of staff or can be accompanied by a family member.

No, unless the resident’s specific care needs mean they need to be cared for in bed, they are able to use the facilities around the home. We are taking additional measures to prevent the spread of infection in the home and encourage our residents to adhere to social distancing. If a resident displays symptoms or are confirmed with the virus, they are cared for in their rooms, away from other residents, by our staff using the appropriate personal protective equipment.

Our staff and activity coordinators have programmes of activities that the residents can participate in. We are limiting the group size and offering more one-on-one activities with residents such as walks outside and gardening activities, in line with social distancing measures.

If you do not have any symptoms of the virus, and the home or village is able to meet your needs, we may be able to assist you in finding a Bupa home or village (dependent on availability).

If you’re thinking about care, it can be difficult to know where to start. Our customer care team can guide you every step of the way, whether you have questions about care or need advice on funding. Please call us on 0345 600 4622. ^

For more information on choosing a care home, please visit - https://www.bupa.co.uk/care-services/choosing-a-care-home

^ Lines are open 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 12.30pm Saturday. Closed Sundays and bank holidays. Calls are charged at no more than local rate and count towards any inclusive minutes from mobiles. We may record or monitor our calls.

All our staff practice good hand washing procedures and have the necessary personal protective equipment in line with guidance from Public Health. We are also following strict infection control measures in all our homes and villages, and have put protocols in place to limit colleagues from moving between sites.

The government’s regular testing programme also resumed in September, giving us greater assurance of the COVID-status in our homes. Should a staff member test positive, they will immediately isolate away from the home.

In addition, we ask our staff not to travel to and from our care homes in their work uniform.

Where possible, staff are assigned to specific units/floors to minimise their movement and spread of infection in a home or village. All our staff practice good hand washing procedures and are trained to use the necessary personal protective equipment in line with guidance from Public Health. We are also following strict infection control measures in all our homes.

As part of our resource planning, we have ensured there are enough staff to allow us to take good care of our residents. Over recent months, we have minimised the use of agency staff.

Please be assured that as part of our resource planning, we have ensured there are enough staff to take good care for our residents.

It is really important that everyone at Bupa feels supported. Our Anytime Healthline provides around-the-clock support for physical health concerns, for use by colleagues and their families, while our Healthy Minds helpline provides free and confidential access to trained mental health nurses, 24/7. The team can also offer information and support on financial and legal matters.

We offer Emotional Wellbeing Online – an interactive digital tool to support colleagues with emotional wellbeing and life balance. We also have a range of financial resources in place to help our staff, including an emergency fund.

We are closely following the government guidance on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, and making sure these are in place for all new staff members working in care and clinical roles. We have also introduced Home Assistant roles, which offer the opportunity for people to give support across a number of domestic duties in the home, where needed.

Yes we are welcoming new residents into our homes seeking care.

We have a new ‘meet and greet’ process for a new resident upon arrival, in line with government and Public Health England guidance. The new resident will receive a warm welcome by our staff on arrival to our home, wearing the necessary PPE, who will make them comfortable in their new home. All new residents will receive expert care in their rooms for 14 days following admission by a small dedicated team wearing the necessary PPE. Residents will be supported to remain connected to the rest of the home during this time and have access to technological devices such as phones, laptops and tablets to enable them to speak to loved ones. Residents are also welcome to use their own devices. Books, newspapers, jigsaws, games and similar will be provided to match with residents’ interests and hobbies. New residents joining us directly from hospital will also be tested prior to discharge.

Once out of the 14-day in-room care period, our staff and activity coordinators have varied programmes of activities that residents can enjoy. Our staff will continue to wear PPE when they are in close contact with residents. We are limiting the size of group activities and offering more one-on-one options such as walks outside and gardening, to meet the necessary social distancing measures.

What we’ve been up to

Over the last couple of months our amazing residents and staff have done everything they can to maintain normality and keep spirits high. Here are just some of the latest activities and events that have been happening in our homes.

Watch our latest videos

The situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) is continuously changing. To ensure you have the latest information, advice and guidance explore these external links and resources.

World Health Organization
Read the latest updates from the World Health Organization (WHO)
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

UK Government
Find out more about the UK Government response from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England
https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

NHS England
Read NHS information about how coronavirus is spread and how to avoid catching or spreading germs.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/


NHS Scotland
https://www.scot.nhs.uk/


NHS Wales
https://www.wales.nhs.uk/

^Lines are open 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 12.30pm Saturday. Closed Sundays and bank holidays. Calls are charged at no more than local rate and count towards any inclusive minutes from mobiles. We may record or monitor our calls.

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