Client News: Protecting Residents from COVID-19

5 Aug, 2020

Linden Care Homes closed their doors on 13th March to protect their residents from coronavirus.  With just one confirmed case and overall infection rates down, they are now looking to welcome family members back.

Sadly, during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a lot of negative press surrounding care homes; high death rates, a lack of PPE and inadequate testing and reports of dementia patients deteriorating without family visits.  However, our clients, Linden Care Homes Limited have found some positives during this difficult time.

Providing the highest standards of care

Linden Care Homes opened their Warton care home 30 years ago and have since acquired two others in Dordon and Hartshill which house three dementia and one nursing care unit.  Over the years they have received many awards to include The Gold Standards Framework: For End of Life Care, which was upgraded to Platinum in 2018 and the Heartbeat Award for Health Food Choices.  Providing the highest standards of care and ensuring each and every resident is happy, safe and secure has always been of prime importance to Linden Care Homes and the recent coronavirus pandemic hasn’t changed this.

Prior to the pandemic, Linden Care Homes offered their residents a variety of activities both within the Home and outside and unlike other care providers, had no set visiting hours meaning family could visit at a time to suit them.  Their entertainment programme included visits from a local ukulele band, wartime singers and children from local schools and nurseries.  However, this all changed on 13th March when the decision was made to put the care home in to lockdown in order to protect their residents.

Reducing the footfall to save lives

During this time, they have reduced the footfall significantly in each of their Homes by limited visitors and making changes to staffing procedures.  Entertainment is now provided by carers or remotely, along with ‘visits’ from family.  Manager, Linda Lowrie, who has been a part of the team since their opening in 1990, has also been writing daily blog posts to help keep families a part of everyday life.

As for the team, each carer has now been allocated to just one care home and where required, have worked double shifts to help cover any staff shortages.  Other team members such as the catering staff are required to stay within a designated area and have introduced dining room assistants to bridge between the catering and care staff.  All of these processes have helped reduce the risk of spreading infection around the Home.

Owner, David Charles, comments: “infection control has always been vital to tackle infections like MRSA, norovirus and the flu so not much has changed to our actual processes.  However, staff are now required to wear full PPE and to change in and out of their uniforms on site”.

Reduced infection rates

As a result of these changes, they have had just one confirmed case of coronavirus and the patient in question displayed no symptoms and didn’t appear ‘unwell’.  In line with government guidance, the residents were put in to self-isolation for 14 days to reduce the risk of it spreading.

Owner, Debbie Leyland adds: “we’re really pleased that no further cases have been found.  Overall, all of our infection rates have fallen across our Homes.  Going forward, we will look to keep some of our new processes in place to help maintain this level such as staff changing in to their uniforms on the premises.

We are now looking forward to welcoming our families back in August.  We have set up a marquee in the grounds for socially distanced visits which was first used for a 90th birthday celebration”.

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