The Coronavirus pandemic has been a huge challenge to care homes. From the very start, Bristol Care Homes implemented strategies to keep all our residents and staff team as safe as possible.
We set ourselves the twin objectives to:
- ensure that the risk of infection for our residents is minimised;
- ensure that the likelihood of recovery is maximised for anyone who does become infected.
Our main way to achieve these two objectives is:
- rigorous infection control practiced by all our staff team;
- 24/7 on-site presence of professional nurses skilled in infection control;
- barrier nursing of any infected resident in their own room with its private en-suite.
This proved effective. We did experience some initial infections, but with a very high rate of recovery. Prior to vaccination of all residents, we achieved 5 months of zero infections. Now that everyone is vaccinated, we have seen some Omicron infections, but these have mostly been totally asymptomatic or accompanied by only mild symptoms.
We have now been able to restore most freedom of movement in our homes, including admitting visitors, increased activity sessions in the homes, and offsite trips for our residents. We maintain strict infection control procedures, at least in line with government and local guidance, and where appropriate extra measures are in place. Our staff continues to wear masks at all times when in close contact with residents in the homes and are still testing for covid at least twice a week. We will act immediately to tighten these controls at any future point if needed.
We assure all our residents, their families and friends, and all our staff team that we will remain vigilant in acting to protect everyone against Covid.