Care home FAQs

Published 12 June

We’d like to thank our residents’ families for their ongoing support and understanding over the past few months. This has enabled our care teams to focus on caring for our residents while also keeping our colleagues safe during a time which has been challenging and uncertain for everyone.

Below you’ll find some frequently asked quesitons for your information. If you have any individual queries or concerns please contact the relevant care home manager or deputy directly.

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What measures are you taking to keep care home residents safe?

The health, safety and well-being of our residents and staff is our highest importance. As a precaution, we closed our care homes to non-essential visitors on 13 March to protect our residents and staff, and minimise the spread of the virus.

We continue to closely follow Public health Wales and Welsh Government guidance, as we have done since the start of this pandemic, and implement any updated advice as necessary together with our own increased measures.

Our staff are following the latest advice to help stop the spread of the virus including washing their hands regularly, social distancing where possible, participating in rotuine tetsing and self-isolating if they or a member of their household has any signs of coronavirus. They’re also working tirelessly, over and above our expectations, to care for our residents.

How do I keep in touch with my loved one?

As our care homes continue to be closed to non-essential visitors for the time being please continue to contact us in the way you have been over previous weeks. To help us minimise disruption to our residents’ daily routine, please make non-urgent calls between 10.15am – 12.15pm and 2 – 4pm if possible.

To arrange a video call please contact the care home to arrange a convenient time.

You can also join our the care home’s private Facebook group specifically for relatives and friends of residents and follow our ‘Hafod Care’ Facebook page.  

How do you care for someone with Covid-19?

As a precaution, we will isolate and barrier nurse any resident who shows any coronavirus-like symptoms to safeguard their health and others in the home. This means that the resident remains in their room during this time and staff providing care to them will wear the appropriate PPE and follow strict rules to minimise the risk of passing any infectious agents. Any equipment is also sterilised after use and staff follow high standards of hygiene and handwashing. 

How do you minimise the transmission of Covid-19 with staff going to and from work?

We have issued guidance to our colleagues that they should only wear their uniforms while working at the care home. This means they should wear their own clothes to and from work and get changed into and out of their uniforms on site.  

Does Hafod have enough supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for their colleagues?

The health and well-being of our residents and colleagues is a key priority for us. While demand for PPE is naturally very high at the moment, which has been challenging at times, we currently have sufficient supplies for a number of weeks ahead. We also have a central team who continue to source supplies to complement the efforts of local authorities, which enables us to sustain the distribution of around 115,000 items of PPE across all of our services every week.

What testing is taking place?

We are pleased that there has been progress in regards to testing in Wales for all care homes including residents and staff. All of our care homes are working with the relevant authorities and are participating in routine testing.

Will you tell me if my loved one tests positive for Covid-19?

Please be assured that, as a matter of priority, the home will contact you directly if your loved one is unwell or tests positive for Covid-19.

 

How are you maintaining residents’ social well-being and engagement?

We strive to do all that we can to keep our home environment as pleasant and happy as possible and limit distress this situation brings. Our activities organisers continue to arrange lots of different activities based on the interests and hobbies of our residents which provide cognitive stimulation as well as lots of fun and laughter! With the support of other staff in the home, we continue to try new ideas, introduce new technology and adapt to keep everyone’s spirits up. The video calls, messages and parcels from family also help to maintain their connections and interaction.

Outdoor visits

Published 26 June

We understand how important it is for residents to spend time with their loved ones so we are making preparations to trial socially-distanced, outdoor visits to our care homes for family members.

As always, the health and well-being of our residents and colleagues remains most important to us. Our decision has been carefully considered and is based on guidance from Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, Care Inspectorate Wales and stringent risk assessments. We will, of course, regularly review and adapt our approach as necessary and in line with the latest official guidance to ensure everyone’s safety.

While we are looking forward to seeing you, we hope you will understand that there are a number of changes to how visits must take place for the time being and we kindly ask you to be patient with our homes as they set up these new arrangements. Please do not visit our care homes if you are feeling unwell, have coronavirus symptoms or are shielding for health reasons.

We have put together the following information and ask you to read it carefully and familiarise yourself with our new visiting guidelines.

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What visits are allowed?

We are looking to start outdoor visits as this minimises the risk of spreading the virus.

Unfortunately we will not be able to facilitate indoor visits until further guidance is available from Welsh Government. However, due to the layout of some of our homes our restrictions may need to continue for a period after that time to ensure everyone’s continued safety.

How will visits be managed safely?

 

Our care homes are currently creating safe, socially-distanced areas where you can sit with your loved one and enjoy each other’s company for a pre-arranged time slot of up to 30 minutes.

 We will also require visitors to go through our screening protocol before sitting with their loved one and a member of staff. The staff member will attempt to be as unobtrusive as possible but is required in case queries arise, so that visitors can stay in one place for everyone’s protection and safety.

 After each visit, the chairs and surrounding area will be disinfected in readiness for the next visitors.

When can I visit?

All visits will need to be pre-arranged with the care home so we can ensure we have colleagues available to facilitate your visit safely. Please contact the care home directly to make arrangements.

Our care homes will be doing their best to accommodate as many visits as possible. Availability and the hours for visiting will differ per care home due to the needs of each service and staffing. 

It is very important that visitors arrive promptly to maximise the time they have with their loved one. Unfortunately, if visitors are running late we will be unable to extend time slots but we will happily rearrange another suitable time.

Who can visit?

Welsh Government and Public Health Wales guidance currently says that two adults from the same household can visit outdoors. Given the likely demand for visits it is unlikely that this will mean weekly visits for families at this stage.

 Unfortunately visits from toddlers and young children are currently discouraged.

Our management team at each home will be carrying out risk assessments for each individual visit which will include consideration for our residents’ health and well-being. If management feel that a visit/s at this stage is high risk for either the resident or the community then we may have to suspend visits at short notice.

 Please do not visit our care homes if you are feeling unwell or have any coronavirus symptoms. Similarly, if you are currently self-isolating or shielding for health reasons please do not visit until it is safe for you to do so. If you are no longer able to attend your visit, please let the care home know if possible.

Will I be able to hug my loved one?

 Social distancing will continue to apply. We appreciate that the urge to hug or hold hands will be very strong but this cannot happen at the moment. If it does happen this would mean that your loved one would have to go into isolation for 14 days, in their rooms, to protect our other residents.

Colleagues will not be able to negotiate on this matter so please don’t ask by stating such things as “I have had Covid-19 so it’s alright for me to hug” or “I have sanitised my hands so it’s alright for me to hold hands”.

I’m concerned that it is too dangerous for visits.

We understand your concern and would like to reassure you that we have a number of extra measures in place to ensure the safety of residents, colleagues and visitors. Our management team at each home will also be carrying out individual risk assessments for each visit which will include consideration for our residents’ health and well-being.

What about residents who are not able to go outside?

We appreciate that there will be some residents who are unable to be transported outside to see visitors and unfortunately we will have to continue with phone and video calls for the time being.

What is your screening protocol?

Visitors will need to complete a screening form before every visit as part of our new measures to protect our residents’ and colleagues’ health at this time. It includes a number of checks to confirm visitors’ well-being such as where they have travelled in the last 14 days, if they are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, body temperature and hand washing.

How will the weather impact outdoor visits?

All of our care homes will have gazeebos available so there is protection from rain or strong sunshine. If the weather is particularly bad, we may have to consider postponing visits and rearranging them at the next earliest opportunity. 

What is the procedure if someone becomes unwell?

 

If there is an outbreak in our service then all visits will have to be suspended for a period of 28 days in line with Public Health Wales guidance. As a precaution, we will isolate and barrier nurse any resident who shows any coronavirus-like symptoms to safeguard their health and others in the home.

We will contact those directly affected as a matter of priority and also inform all other care home residents and family members.