Deep cleaning, a good supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and regular testing of staff are the most important measures for Covid-19 protection in care homes, according to new research amongst residents in England.
The research carried out by the National Care Forum (NCF) – the voice of not-for-profit social care providers – reveals that robust deep cleaning and infection control procedures are most important for three quarters (73%) of the population. A good supply of PPE is important for 72% of respondents, while regular Covid-19 testing for staff (71%), residents (66%) and managing family visits safely (66%) are also important. These figures rise amongst the over 50s.
In response, NCF is launching a checklist guide to help those choosing a care home setting to navigate decisions during Covid-19. It sets out the questions to ask and things to consider, so families know the home is doing all it can to keep everyone safe and the health and wellbeing of the person receiving care is the top priority.
The checklist provides information on what to expect when it comes to testing, how to help maintain contact with friends and family, PPE, health and hygiene measures and what the quality of life is like at the home. The initiative is part of National Care Forum’s Here to Care campaign, which focuses on the incredible work being done in care settings and by care staff, in the face of the pandemic.
Vic Rayner, Executive Director at National Care Forum, says:
“Choosing care can feel overwhelming at times, especially in the current climate. Our checklist is designed to give those needing care, their family and loved ones confidence and peace of mind when choosing a place to call home. Care providers and our amazing care staff have worked around the clock in these unprecedented times to put stringent measures in place, to ensure the safety of those receiving care. This checklist gives you all the questions you need to ask to be reassured that a care setting is doing all it can in the face of Covid-19.”
Simone Cotter, Deputy Manager at The Chestnuts Care Home in Aylesbury, part of Ambient Support, says:
“We are continuing to adapt our processes as the current situation evolves. Our stringent infection control measures and risk assessments have been in place from the start and are playing a vital role in the home to ensure the safety of all residents, staff and visits from loved ones, which is of paramount importance.”
Chris Jarmaine’s 89-year-old mother, Ann, is a resident at Jubilee Court Care Home, part of Quantum Care, in Stevenage, and says:
“My mum has been cared for so well by everyone at Jubilee Court, from the housekeeping staff all the way through to the manager. I really feel like I can relax at home knowing that so many extra safety measures have been put in place and that mum’s being loved and cared for by the wonderful team. It’s been lovely to see mum since visiting has safely started again and knowing I don’t have to worry about the home’s safety and the care she’s receiving is so important to me.”
You can download the NCF Covid-19 checklist here: https://www.nationalcareforum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/NCF-Care-Home-Checklist-A4-v5.pdf