We are dedicated to the safety of everyone living, visiting and working in our homes
We know the coronavirus pandemic has changed how people think about care homes. We recently surveyed over 1,000 people who told us that safety and cleanliness were now their key considerations in choosing a care home. This was followed closely by strong clinical processes and expertise, as well as regular and effective communication with families.
We take this feedback very seriously and have put a number of new measures in place to provide families looking for care with additional reassurance.
Care UK homes have a robust approach to COVID-19 testing, with many testing residents and colleagues on a weekly basis. All new residents must be tested and have received a negative result before they can move into a Care UK home.
We have ample supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the colleagues caring for you will be wearing the required elements of this during at all times. All visitors are briefed on safety and cleanliness procedures before their visit and are supported to wear masks and sanitise their hands on arrival.
We have always been extremely stringent about cleaning. However, we have increased the deep cleaning protocols across our homes. This includes cleaning and sanitising your room each day, and operating strict laundry protocols. Communal areas and touch points including doorbells, door handles, lift buttons, keypads and handrails which are subject to additional regular cleaning.
We have hand sanitising gel for everyone to use at the entrance to every home, and there are sanitising and hand washing stations throughout each home for residents and colleagues to use
As well as all the stringent cleaning procedures that teams follow in our homes to minimise any risk of infection, we have also invested in three state of the art pieces of technology to further increase the levels of safety:
These fill a large enclosed space like a lounge or dining room with a fine dry fog that is able to disinfect the whole area. All of our homes have these and they are proving particularly useful as an additional line of defence after our regular cleaning and sanitisation processes have been carried out.
We have carefully trained people in our homes to use these machines in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to maximise the benefit they offer and make sure that they don’t inadvertently cause any problems for people’s health.
The reception lobbies of care homes are the area where there is the greatest number of movements of people and deliveries. By the end of November 2020, an air purifier will be installed in the reception area of every single one of our homes.
These purifiers gently blow negative ions out into the surrounding environment. These ions ‘charge’ particles like dust, pollen and viruses that are floating in the air which causes them to be attracted to surfaces like floors and desks. As they fall to these surfaces, there is less chance of people breathing them in and they can be easily killed by the regular and thorough cleaning of those surfaces as set down in Care UK’s rigorous pandemic plan.
The technology has been carefully refined over the past 15 years and they are widely used in Europe in both domestic homes and health and social care settings and we are one of the first providers to order them for all our homes.
Thermal imaging cameras
In the early days of the pandemic, you may have seen the handheld temperature devices that someone points at your forehead and it records your temperature. These are an important line of defence – in particular to check that colleagues arriving at work and visitors do not have a fever before they enter the home.
However, these need someone to be at the door to check every arrival so, to make better use of time for people working in the homes, we are installing the very latest in thermal imaging cameras. These are able to pick out a person’s face, take their temperature and give a visual indication of whether or not they have a fever. They will be situated by the main doorway with full instructions on how to use them.
Over the next few months, we will continue to scan the market to see if there are any other new devices that can help us even further in our pledge to keep people living and working in our homes as safe as possible.