Since March all Signature care homes have been in lockdown to help control the spread of the virus. I know that not being able to see your loved ones in person has been desperately hard for you and your relatives. However I am now happy to confirm that we are planning to trial easing some of our lockdown restrictions.
The decision to ease any restrictions will not be taken lightly, and will be made on a home by home basis in accordance with our risk assessment framework. To decide which restrictions can be safely lifted, we will take into account all relevant Public Health England (PHE) and Care England guidance, local transmission rates (known as the R rate) and the current Covid-19 risk at each individual home. Should a home meet certain criteria we will then review which restrictions we are safely able to lift, this will include evaluating a number of key areas such as visiting residents, food and beverage services, social activities and other wellbeing services. Each home’s General Manager in conjunction with the Group Care Quality Director and Regional Operations Director will conduct risk assessments and formulate a bespoke home plan, which they will then share with you.
I’m sure this will be welcome news for many of you. However I must stress that our fight against the virus goes on, and we do not anticipate any immediate return to ‘normal life’. The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff must remain our first priority. Every decision we take with regard to easing the lockdown will remain under constant review and we will reinstate appropriate restrictions should an individual home’s risk profile deteriorate. We must therefore proceed with caution to continue to protect those in our care.
Our risk framework to begin trailing the easing of lockdown restrictions includes the following:
- Strict infection control visitor protocols: To be communicated in due course.
- Regular PCR testing for staff & residents: Our testing capability currently enables us to conduct whole home testing easily and regularly, allowing us to react swiftly to any potential future risk of the virus.
- Staff antibody testing: All Signature staff are currently undergoing antibody tests, which will allow us to intelligently manage the allocation of staff throughout our homes.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): We have ample stocks of PPE that can be used to protect visitors, as well as staff and residents.
- Apartment sizes: The large size of our resident apartments enables us to safely accommodate visitors.
- Large communal areas: The size of the communal areas in our homes means that we’re able to safely accommodate socially distanced activities.
- Large garden areas: Our homes typically have large garden areas that can support safe outdoor activities and visits.
We thank you in advance for your co-operation and we look forward to you visiting.
Aidan Roche, CEO
Signature Care Homes