Choosing a Care Home during COVID-19 | New Residents at Safe Harbor

At Safe Harbor, we understand that choosing a care home (especially during and after COVID-19) can be a difficult and straining process. This is why our care home services can reassure that you or your loved one can settle in one of our homes comfortably, providing personalised care plans for every individual need.

COVID-19 has left a significant impact on a variety of industries around the world, and those that are particularly affected are children, the vulnerable and the elderly. The outstanding factor that makes Safe Harbor a special place for care is our response to COVID-19, adapting our service for care to the uncertain times of COVID-19 has helped our residents immensely.

Our Care Home Staff

Our health care professional staff have shown themselves to be dedicated carers for our residents, allowing those staying at Safe Harbor care homes to be comfortable and happy. They continue to work with external health institutions such as GPs, hospitals, District Nursing teams, other professional bodies, and local authorities to ensure all residents are being admitted and cared for in a safe manner, to their chosen care homes.

Our Care Homes at Safe Harbor

Our care homes have proven themselves to create a welcoming environment through our healthcare professionals, relaxing atmosphere, consistent events and helpful guidance to keep everyone’s spirits high during the pandemic.

Popular Questions on Choosing a Care Home

Here are some of the popular questions we get asked at Safe Harbor. If you have any questions we may have missed, do not hesitate to call us by clicking here.

COVID-19

  • Are the care homes secure for COVID-19?

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    Each of our care homes have an implemented COVID-19 mitigation plan and follow an in depth COVID-19 Risk Assessment to help residents, visitors and employees. This includes regular testing for COVID-19, face masks and other PPE use for employees and visitors. We have plenty of hand sanitizers located throughout each of our buildings, and one-way systems where possible.

    The current testing that we conduct in our homes are as follows:

    • - Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) for all staff prior to coming on shift

    • - Monthly PCR Test for all asymptomatic residents 

    • Though the current guidance for Routine asymptomatic testing of staff is that 'patient-facing healthcare staff should continue to test twice a week for COVID-19 using LFD tests.'

    • We feel strongly that the testing should continue until further notice for all staff prior to attending work each and every day. 

  • What measures do you take to minimise COVID-19 contamination?

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    As mentioned above, we take extreme precautions when it comes to COVID-19 prevention. One of these measures is testing, we currently ask our staff to do a Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) test before every shift rather than 2 times a week as suggested by the Government - as an additional safety precaution. 

    All new care home residents are asked to take a COVID-19 PCR test before moving into their new home, be it for respite or for a longer stay.

    A test will roll again once every month, and depending on the status of the home, more regular testing using LFT may be required.

    We always follow the current government guidelines which can change regularly.

  • Will I need to self-isolate in my bedroom if I stay with you during the pandemic?

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    We are happy to take on new admissions into our care home, to accommodate new residents joining us during the pandemic.

    Self-isolation is never going to be used at Safe Harbor care homes as it suggests that residents will be left alone. This is not the case for our care homes as we ensure that mental health is taken into consideration when caring for our residents. 

    Newly admitted residents to our care home who are transferring from an interim care facility or transferring from another care home will no longer need to self-isolate upon arrival if the below requirements are satisfied:

    - The person admitted is fully vaccinated, wherever possible

    - Local guidance from the director of public health about community transmission of variants of concern is followed

    - The person admitted has no known contact with a COVID-positive person

    - The care home has taken into account the circumstances at the care home or interim care facility from which they are transferring, prior to admission

    - The person is subject to an enhanced testing regime

    Admission of new residents from the community can be admitted to a Safe Harbor care home without needing to complete a 14-day self-isolation period, if they satisfy the below requirements:

    - The person admitted is fully vaccinated, plus 2 weeks, wherever possible

    - Local guidance from the director of public health about community transmission of variants of concern is followed

    - The person admitted has no known contact with a COVID-positive person

    - The care home has taken into account the circumstances at the person’s home, prior to admission

    - The person is subject to an enhanced testing regime

    Safe Harbor will always look to follow the current government guidelines on admissions into care homes which does change regularly.

     

  • When choosing our care home, can we view one of your homes before deciding?

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    Yes! We will never expect anyone to move into our care homes without seeing them first, so we always allow potential residents and their families to view our care homes before deciding to choose them if they so wish.

    Deciding on a care home can be a difficult process, due to its life-changing factors. Safe Harbor staff will do all they can to determine your situation and see whether our care homes are right for you.

    Our staff are happy to provide a tour in person and we can also offer virtual tours of your chosen care home to ensure you get a good feel for the services offered at Safe Harbor care homes. 

    Our online tours (via Zoom, Skype, Teams, Watsapp Video, Facetime or other medium) are to help you become more familiar with the different areas of the home should you wish to see them.

    Because of COVID-19, we will be asking you to sign a visiting protocol, undergo an LFT COVID-19 test prior to entering the building, have your temperature taken and be asked to wear PPE in line with our infection control guidance.

Care Homes

  • Is there anything we need to do to help me adjust and get ready for the move?

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    Before you move in, our healthcare staff will reach out to you or a family member to answer any questions, finding out as much information as possible about you or your loved one coming into one of our care homes.

    These questions will highlight hobbies, interests, and aspects of daily life you wish to continue when staying with us.

    The aim of this process is to ensure that your move is as convenient and easy as possible for you.

  • What is an essential caregiver, and will someone be able to give me the same service?

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    An essential caregiver plays a central role in delivering care and support alongside professional carers. We believe that every care home resident should be supported to have an identified essential care giver who may visit the home to offer companionship or help with care needs – essential care givers are able to visit inside the care home even during periods of isolation and outbreak, providing the essential care giver does not have COVID-19

    Essential care givers will need to be supported to follow the same testing arrangements as care home staff. When essential care givers are providing direct personal care, they should follow the same PPE and infection control arrangements as care home staff.

     

  • Will I be allowed to have visitors during the first 14 days of admission?

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    Visitors will be allowed at Safe Harbor care homes when a resident is in their initial 14 days of moving into their care home. The Government has reviewed its policy regarding visitation in care homes, meaning that visitors can visit their loved ones who reside in one of our care homes.

    Newly admitted residents might be asked to identify designated visitors, and all visitors will need to follow procedures in order to lessen the risk of contamination regarding COVID-19.

    Visitors are encouraged to wear a face covering not just those providing personal care.

    Visitors are also requested to complete a LFT test prior to entering our building to visit their loved ones. If visitors are providing direct personal care, they need to follow the same PPE and infection control arrangements as our care home staff - we would be happy to show you how.

  • Covid-19 visiting arrangements for care homes

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    The wellbeing and safety of our residents and staff remains our most important priority, as it has been throughout the pandemic. We also want to keep all visitors to our care home as safe as possible.

    We have continued to monitor changes in guidance from Government and Local Authorities in each of the areas that we operate and noted the Government’s announcement on 21st February 2022 of how it plans to live with Covid within England.

    The Government continues to implement and update their guidance around caring for those during COVID which includes various things such as admissions, visiting and testing.

    Some of the most recent guidelines we are working with are

    We would like to take this opportunity to remind family members and friends that we are able to support visiting for everyone. We know how important visiting is to you and our residents.

    As we know, COVID-19 has not gone so we continue to exercise lots of caution. We continue to have set visiting times so staff can safely support visits and ensure all of the relevant checks are completed before and after each visit. You can arrange a visit by phoning your Safe Harbor Care Home direct. Visits will be facilitated around protected mealtimes for residents.

    They are as follows:

    · Residents are no longer required to have nominated or named visitors.

    · All friends and family (including children) can visit. In order that visits can continue to be facilitated safely and comfortably, we suggest that only two visitors attend at any one time. This can vary if one of the adults visiting has a child or baby under the age of 5 who may accompany an adult.

    · All visitors must undertake a Lateral Flow Test on the day of and prior to their visit. The result of this test must be negative and registered on the gov.uk website. This is exempt to children under the age of 5 years.

    · Our preference remains that all visitors complete their lateral Flow Test, and register this if able to, before arrival at the care home. This will allow visitors to show their confirmation email or text message on arrival. If necessary, we can test you at the care home but this will incur a 30 minute wait before your pre-arranged visit time.

    · All visitors must continue to fill in our questionnaire and carry out our risk assessment which includes having their temperature taken upon entry to the home.

    · Visitors must continue to always wear face masks and PPE which includes an apron and gloves. This will be provided by the care home. Prior to donning PPE we would kindly ask that you wash or sanitise your hands with our facilities that are located in the reception area.

    · Visiting can take place in the resident’s bedroom or the designated visiting area. Visits in communal areas such as the lounges and dining room are not being facilitated at this current time as we are being cautions around this risk.

    · Visitors must not visit if they are currently self-isolating, have tested positive or are experiencing symptoms of Covid -19 in the past 14 days.

    · Where a resident is nearing end of life then visiting will be supported daily and at any time in the home for families and friends.

    Residents are now able to leave the care home without the need to isolate on their return if activities and contact outside of the care home are not deemed to be “high risk”. Any high-risk visits will require a risk assessment to be completed. All residents are still required to undertake a monthly PCR test and a PCR test is required for any resident who is showing symptoms of Covid-19.

    There may be situations where the local Public Health Team will advise to close the home to general indoor visits and external visits out of the care home due to an outbreak situation. This may result in visits being cancelled at short notice, but we will do our best to give as much notice as possible. In these circumstances only the nominated Essential Care Giver will be allowed to visit their nominated resident. The Essential Care Giver will be required to undertake Lateral Flow tests and follow the same process as our staff in the care home under these circumstances.

    Our staff are required to take a lateral Flow Test twice a week, however we ask them to test prior to every shift. Staff are no longer required to take a weekly PCR test.

    Whilst we appreciate there are still some protocols to follow in order to reduce the risk of transmission to residents, visitors and our staff, we hope that you will continue to support our staff in adhering to this guidance. We will continue to monitor updated Government guidance for care homes and update accordingly.

    We understand the importance of our residents needing to see their loved ones, and you seeing them, and we would like to thank you again for your continuing patience and understanding.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Care Home Manager direct, email enquiries@safeharbor.co.uk or telephone your home direct or 01782812525 if you have any questions.

     

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