Coronavirus advice

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, the safety of our residents and colleagues remains our number one priority. 

As experts in specialist care for those with complex needs, our service users fall into the higher risk category within the general population, and we are therefore taking every possible step to minimise the risk to them and our colleagues.

We’ve implemented a number of precautionary measures, some of which are shared below, and are closely monitoring the situation and following the Government’s guidelines and advice. 

We’ll update this webpage with any developments. 

Last updated: 02 June 2020 

What are we doing? 

We’ve implemented a number of precautionary measures and are closely following the Government’s guidelines and advice. We understand that this is a worrying and unprecedented time and we will aim to keep you up-to-date and fully informed with all of our plans and procedures. 

Visits

From Monday 01 June 2020, the Government allows small groups of up to 6 people to meet outdoors, where social distancing can be maintained. We’ve reviewed and carefully considered the guidance and have decided to permit some external visits to our homes where it is safe and appropriate to do so. Visits will be dependent on a number of factors including the geography of the home and the capacity and capability of the resident. Please note that visits will only be permitted where we can ensure the safety of our residents, colleagues and visitors. If it is felt that we cannot facilitate a safe visit at this time, we ask for your continued patience and support.

We appreciate that this might be difficult for many of our residents and their family and friends, and we will continue to work with them to ensure that they can keep in regular contact. Wifi is available in all of our homes and we've purchased 60 iPads so that people can keep in touch via video calls. Our Home Managers and support teams will be in regular contact with family and friends directly, to provide updates about their loved ones. We will continue to limit other non-essential visitors into our homes, including hairdressers, entertainers and contractors carrying out non-essential services.

In line with Care Quality Commission guidelines, our homes will permit visits when someone's health has significantly deteriorated and they are now receiving end of life care, which may or may not relate to Coronavirus (COVID-19). These visits will follow strict protocols to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, and must be agreed in advance with the Home Manager. To protect those living in our homes, we can only facilitate one visit per person, each day, for 20 minutes. We will not allow entry to any family members that have Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or are self-isolating due to someone in their household having symptoms. We will endeavour to follow this guidance as much as possible, but have been made aware that, in some areas, local police have overruled these visits.

Keeping active and engaged

Our teams are working hard to support and empower people to stay active and engaged. All of our homes have a dedicated Activities Team that is organising group and individual activities for our residents. We’ve launched our ‘Every Day Letters’ campaign which asks school children to send letters, poems and drawings for our colleagues and residents - we’ve had an incredible response so far and they’re really brightening up people’s day. 

Pre-entry screening 

We continue to implement strict signing in and out procedures across our homes. All essential colleagues who enter an Exemplar Health Care building must complete a screening questionnaire and wash and dry their hands before entry. We will not allow entry to anyone who is displaying the symptoms of the virus, has a temperature of above 37.8 or has recently travelled to a category one country. 

Infection control 

We have put measures in place to ensure that all colleagues have received up-to-date training about infection prevention and control, and specific training about Coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes an awareness of the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of the infection, such as regular hand washing, the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment, and covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue. 

Our homes have also increased their daily cleaning schedules and we’re providing extra supplies of cleaning products and Personal Protective Equipment, to ensure that everyone living and working in our homes stays well. We're confident that we have adequate PPE for the coming months, and are continually sourcing new supplies. 

Staffing 

Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started, we’ve recruited over 200 new support workers, on both temporary and permanent contracts, to help us to cover any staff shortages due to sickness or isolation, with a further 200 awaiting interviews. We also have a large reliable team of bank and agency staff, as well as non-direct care and central team colleagues, who are in place to support our homes if needed.

We continue to advertise for a number of temporary and permanent roles across our 32 homes, including for Associate Carers, which is an ideal role for students and people who work in the leisure and hospitality sectors who might be looking for temporary work over the coming months. 

Admissions

At this time, Exemplar Health Care is still taking referrals, where possible and appropriate, and we hope that this will help to ease the pressure on the NHS and wider health and social care system. 

For more information or to make an enquiry, please contact our friendly Referrals Team on 01709 565777 or email referrals@exemplarhc.com

Questions or concerns? 

We understand that this is a worrying and unprecedented time and we will aim to keep you up-to-date and fully informed with all of our plans and procedures. 

If you have any questions or concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19), please contact your Home Manager in the first instance, or email us at enquiries@exemplarhc.com (Monday to Friday 09.00-17.00).  

For the latest advice, please visit the Government website