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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 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 keeping 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 (PPE).

In line with the latest Government advice, our visiting arrangements will not be affected by the return to the three-tier system. Regardless of what tier you or the home is in, there have been developments over recent weeks to enable further visiting options in our homes.

Our priority is the care and safety of our residents and staff, while we work hard to minimise any spread of infection.

We know the importance of family connection and are working hard to introduce more ways for families to see and spend time with your loved one. We are creating dedicated visiting rooms in many of our homes, in line with government guidelines, which require approval from Public Health before opening for visits. These have floor-to-ceiling screens along with an intercom for residents and visitors to speak with ease. These rooms are the most secure option for minimising any risk of infection, and we are making them into warm, cosy spaces for you to comfortably visit your loved one. Your home manager will be in touch when your local visiting room is open and will provide further guidance on visiting safely.

Some of our homes and villages are offering lateral flow tests (LFTs) in conjunction with existing infection control measures such as wearing PPE and asking relatives to temporarily refrain from physical contact. Whilst the test provides a rapid result, they are between 50% and 75% effective, which is why it’s incredibly important visitors follow the additional measures and refrain from contact with their loved one. Our residents are among the most vulnerable to the virus, so we must ensure visits are carried out safely.

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 know the importance of time with loved ones and will do everything we can to ensure our homes and villages stay open to visitors, while keeping residents and colleagues safe.

While we are working hard to offer visiting options, there are restrictions within the guidance that will continue to apply. It states that any homes that have two or more positive cases of COVID-19 within a two-week period are required to be closed temporarily.

Where a home must temporarily close to indoor visits, we will help with window visits and keep you connected with your loved ones with regular phone and video calls.

In exceptional circumstances such as end 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.

Christmas is a very special time of year and we will do all we can to facilitate visits in line with guidance. We hope to have the option of rapid-turnaround testing or a visiting room across our homes in time for the festive season; your home manager will be able to advise the arrangement in your local home. We also have a series of special activities planned over the weeks ahead to celebrate the festive season and make it merry for all our residents!

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, and 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 at all times. 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.

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.

Yes, we are taking part in the government’s whole home testing programme, with all our homes and villages carry out regular testing for residents and colleagues. This gives us a clear understanding of the COVID status in each home or village and allows us to take swift action if anything changes.

If a resident test’s 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 self-isolate away from the home.

The government’s regular testing programme is carried out in our homes/ villages by a member of staff.

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.

As there is currently no evidence of immunity from COVID-19 following an initial recovery, we can only allow visits to be conducted following the procedures that are in place for that home/village.

Some of our homes and villages have begun the rapid testing of visitors to enable them to visit their loved one, with more expected to get underway with this new testing method over the coming weeks. These tests, known as Lateral Flow Tests (LFT), give results in under 30 minutes and offer the opportunity to see your loved one the same day, which we know will make a big difference.

Before rapid testing can start, our staff must be fully trained so that they can deliver the tests safely and effectively to ensure we’re protecting our residents, their visitors and our staff. The local authority also needs to approve the use of LFTs at the home or village.

Your local home manager will be in touch when this testing is ready to commence, along with important guidance for carrying out the visit safely – as it is new to market, it is important that we continue to follow all infection control measures i.e. PPE and social distancing. We are monitoring the results closely and are hopeful that it is proven to be highly effective.

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.

The Government led COVID-19 vaccination programme is currently being rolled out at Hospital Hubs throughout the UK. The programme is being led by local authorities and the NHS and our teams in homes and villages are being informed when and how they can access the vaccine. We’re supporting our staff to access the vaccine. In addition, we’re helping to inform our residents and their families about the vaccine and what it means for them. We are awaiting further details of when we can expect the vaccine to be delivered in homes safely and will update residents and families when we know more. In the meantime, we remain committed to the care and safety of all our residents and staff. We are continuing to strictly follow all government and Public Health guidance and taking all the necessary infection control measures to keep everyone safe over the months ahead.

Yes, where required, residents will be taken to medical appointments by a member of staff or can be accompanied by a family member.

Residents attending hospital will be requested to wear full PPE and may be required to self-isolate on their return. We are also supporting residents to undertake remote appointments wherever possible.

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 symptom’s 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 ensure no movement of colleagues between sites.

The government’s regular testing programme also gives 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, with all homes having dedicated areas for staff changing.

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.

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

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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