Keeping Safe Through Coronavirus

Despite falling COVID infection rates across the UK, the health, safety, and wellbeing of residents and staff remain a top priority for Bristol Care Homes. We continue to work closely with public health representatives in taking the best measures to protect our residents and staff from a COVID or any other infection outbreak.

Prevention Is the Best Protection

The Coronavirus pandemic has been a huge challenge to care homes. From the very start, Bristol Care Homes has had a fast, preventive response by implementing strategic procedures to keep all our residents and staff teams 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 strategy 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.

Keeping Safe

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 continue 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.

Coming to Live in Our Care Homes

All our 4 Bristol care homes are now fully open for admissions and happily welcoming new residents. If you are looking for care, please click here to see our homes and give us a call.

We still have a clear procedure to follow making sure any admission is happening in the safest way for both the new and existing residents. New residents’ vaccination is not mandatory, but we do encourage it and enable it through discussions with local healthcare. Regardless of vaccination status and of where the new residents are coming from (home, another care home, hospital), a PCR test needs to be taken up to 72 hours before admission and an LFT test needs to be taken on the day of the admission.

Visiting Our Care Homes

Our care homes are now also fully open for visits from family members, friends, or those who provide care or entertainment services. We are happy to see family and friends being able to meet their loved ones, especially when personal relationships play such a vital part in the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of our residents.

All visitors are still required to wear a face mask while visiting Bristol Care Homes unless they are exempt. We also have lateral flow tests available at the entrance of each care home for anyone who would like to take them. We are still using a book-in system for visits so that we make sure everybody is warmly greeted on arrival and all COVID recommendations are being explained.

The gardens and communal areas are open to all visitors. There is hand sanitiser available at the entrance and throughout the homes, so we kindly ask our visitors to use it as often as they need. We do recommend a restricted number of people in a resident’s room, and we do not recommend visiting other residents’ rooms.

Family and friends are welcome to take their loved ones outside the care homes, and we can support you by providing a wheelchair accessible car at no extra cost.

An Enriched Activities Programme

During the pandemic, we have made sure, as much as we could, that all our Bristol Care Homes residents and staff still enjoyed interesting activities and attractive entertainment. For example, when the rules eased down, we had concerts being delivered in front of the building with the residents enjoying the performance from their balconies. Still, as expected our activities and visits to local attractions have been limited due to the required safety measures.

We are now happy that our calendars are again enriched with various meaningful activities. For example, our visits to local attractions have highly increased. In the past weeks, we have visited The Wave Bristol, we have attended the Mama Mia Show at The Bristol Hippodrome, and last, but not least we have been involved in a wonderful photographic project, Portraits of Care, with The Royal Photographic Society. You can read more about this beautiful project here.

In Case of an Outbreak

If a COVID or any other infection outbreak occurs, we have a quite strict procedure that involves working in line with public health representatives on finding the best course of action. Depending on the source of the outbreak and the spread, we can close only certain sections of a care home making sure the infection will not spread across the entire home. If you would like to read more about the Importance of Good Infection Control in Nursing Homes, please click here.

An Unwavering Support from Our Staff

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Bristol Care Homes staff for their unwavering support during these challenging times. Their dedication to the safety of our residents and their own safety has been and continues to be unshakeable. If you have experienced our staff’s dedication and would like to leave us a review, please click on one of the links below:

Our staff is still wearing masks around the homes and especially when in close contact with a resident. We continue to encourage all existing employees to get fully vaccinated and we require the new staff members to be vaccinated. Our new staff members are also getting COVID training on their induction before joining the care homes.

Special Thanks

We would like to thank all families and friends for their understanding and support given in the last 2 years. We know it has not been an easy time for you not being able to freely see and connect with your loved ones. We would also like to assure you, as well as our residents and staff members that we will remain vigilant in acting to protect everyone against COVID.

If you would like more information about this project, please click here to get in touch and one of our Bristol Care Homes teams can answer any questions you may have.