Moving into a Stow Healthcare Home following the COVID-19 Pandemic

Information updated December 2022

All Stow Healthcare homes welcome new admissions, and we will be happy to help answer any questions you may have when making this decision for yourself or your loved one. You will be pleased to know that we are working very closely with hospitals, healthcare professionals, local authorities, and prospective residents and their families to ensure that everyone stays safe during this time.

We have set out some information below that might help answer some of the questions you might have. You can also call the home of your choice directly, call Stow Healthcare’s head office on 01359 300470, or email us if you have any other points you want us to clarify.

How do you ensure that people moving into your home will not bring COVID with them?

We require all residents moving into our homes from a hospital setting to have a negative COVID test before moving in. On moving into our home, residents are no longer required to isolate unless they test positive for Covid following admission, or if they have been a contact of someone with COVID in hospital.

Can I make a visit to choose my room?

You will normally be welcome to visit and choose your room in the care home. We can also help you by sending you photos of any rooms that are available.

Will you come and assess me in hospital, if I am waiting there to be discharged?

We do not usually visit the hospital to complete our assessments, but work with excellent ‘trusted assessors’ in our local hospitals. For some time, they have helped us to assess many residents remotely, to great success. We are also happy to chat with you remotely if you are in your own home, for example, to discuss your needs with you and/or your family. This assessment helps us prepare for your arrival and know what we can do to support you and help you enjoy every day in our home.  In a small number of cases, we may need to meet you to better assess your needs.

How will I be able to complete paperwork to organise my stay?

We can email or post paperwork to you, or the person who manages your affairs for completion. If neither option is available, for example, if you manage your own issues and are in hospital, we will ask you to complete this as soon as you arrive.

Can my family bring me to the home and help me move in?

We are more than happy for your family to bring you to the home of your choice to view the communal areas and choose your room. If you or your family member is feeling unwell with symptoms of Covid, sickness or diarrhea, they will not be able to enter the home until they feel better. In the event of your family member being unwell, we will help you stay in touch via phone and other technology. We have iPads and other technology you can borrow, and our staff will help you if you haven’t used these before. We also welcome letters, cards, and other things to brighten your day.

How can I feel safe in your care home?

We are working very hard to get every confidence in your safety when you move into our home.

Staff who are trained to care for you safely:

  • Our team are supported to complete specific training per government recommendations around COVID management
  • This training is both knowledge-based and has a practical competency element
  • Our staff are given the most up to date information about developments that might change their way of working, including through regular briefings.

Staff who have the right PPE to do their job

  • Our staff can feel confident that they always have the right PPE to do their job
  • We monitor stock levels in every home so that demand can be planned for and deliveries can be made in good time
  • We hold a significant stock of all essential PPE centrally so all homes can be supported
  • We follow government advice very carefully, so we are using the correct PPE for each task, as based on current government advice

Effective cleaning processes throughout the home

  • You can feel assured that your room and all communal areas are cleaned and maintained to an excellent standard
  • Your room will have been thoroughly cleaned before you arrive
  • Your bedroom will be cleaned every day
  • Our housekeeping staff are trained to use appropriate chemicals safely to ensure that the home is kept infection-free
  • You will be able to enjoy clean and fresh communal areas with good access to hand washing facilities

Safe socialising in our homes

  • We are lucky in our homes to have a variety of communal spaces that you can enjoy
  • We will help you enjoy all your regular activities, take meals in our dining room, and find space to relax and enjoy while feeling safe and secure
  • If a resident in one of our homes did test positive for Covid, we would ask them to isolate in their rooms until they have received 2 consecutive negative Lateral Flow tests from day 5 up until day 10 when isolation ends.

Can I have a visit from my family?

Stow Healthcare homes permit visiting to residents in accordance with government guidance.  Guidance currently permits open visiting as before the pandemic unless the home has two or more positive cases of Covid in the home and they are classed as being in outbreak. In outbreak status, visiting can continue, but limited to one person per visit to a resident at a time.  Please read our Visitor Protocol by clicking here to see measures we have put in place and things that we ask of you when you are visiting our homes.

How can I be sure that the home is meeting relevant quality standards during this time?

  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have returned to their regular schedule of inspections, and we work closely with our inspectors at all times, as well aseach local authority.

How will you keep my family in touch with what is happening in the home and to me during the pandemic?

We have been working extra hard to support families during throughout the pandemic. We have also held Zoom meetings for relatives at each home, which have been exceptionally well received. We will continue to hold meetings remotely to keep you fully informed of current government guidelines and to offer an opportunity to raise any questions or concerns with the home management teams and directors.

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