Coordinating staffing levels, mealtimes, medication and care planning in a care home is always challenging. Add COVID-19 to the mix and it's even harder. Find out how our 'Call to Care' recruitment drive helped the Woodfalls Care Home solve a staffing issue and keep its residents safe and well.
"This last year has been incredibly challenging. The top priorities have been to save lives, protect the most vulnerable people in our society and safeguard the NHS but it has meant our contact with family and friends has been significantly limited - something that many of us, myself included, have found difficult.
"Older care home residents are among those groups identified as at greatest risk, so we have taken a very cautious and clinically led approach to social contact in these settings." Dr Jenny Harries OBE, our Deputy Chief Medical Officer, explains more about the approach.
Across the UK, Lifeways employs almost 11,000 colleagues supporting nearly 5,000 adults with diverse and complex needs, across a variety of community settings, including our supported living services and residential homes. The COVID-19 pandemic means getting things right has never been more important for many thousands of people.
Homecare workers have demonstrated outstanding commitment, compassion and selflessness throughout the pandemic and have enabled around 850,000 older and disabled people to live safely and well at home. Vaccination of the 715,000 strong homecare workforce and the people they support is vital to protect their health and wellbeing. The more vaccines given, the more lives saved, so time is of the essence.
Care home colleagues have been at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus. They have demonstrated resilience, agility and flexibility to protect and look after some of the most vulnerable in our communities. Amidst all the challenges, a spotlight has been shone on the true value of partnership working and the sharing of expertise and knowledge - never more so than in the realm of infection prevention control.
"I run a domiciliary care service supporting children and adults with complex health needs in their own homes. As the Director and Registered Manager of Elite Care Solutions in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, it is part of my role to share information and updates with staff to help them make informed decisions about testing and whether or not to have the COVID-19 vaccination."
"There was something about the way we marched up the path to the care home, cool box in one hand, sharps bin in the other, scrubs on and masks pulled across our faces. We had a determined walk which caught the attention of residents and their staff, faces pushed up against the glass and little dances of joy. Our little army of nurses carried the COVID-19 vaccines inside."
As far back as early December 2020, care home provider Barchester Healthcare did everything possible to protect staff and residents from the infection risks posed by COVID-19. The introduction of lateral flow device (LFD) tests allowed them to further enhance their infection control measures...
Louis Laleye is a physiotherapist at a Royal Star & Garter care home in High Wycombe. He caught COVID-19 in March 2020 and later took part in the antibody trial. He explains why he decided to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
The roll out of new vaccines has offered a ray of hope during this challenging time. Deborah Sturdy, our Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care is delighted so many care home staff and residents have now been offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Deborah emphasises just how vital it it that everyone who can take up the offer of vaccination does so when their turn comes. She received the first dose recently and will be taking up the second in the next few months.