Family Carer COVID-19 Information

In these times of uncertainty for all of us, we at Elysium Healthcare understand that the social distancing measures we all have to adhere to are difficult. Not being able to visit your loved ones, being separated and not having the personal contact causes us all heartache.

We want you to know that the safety and wellbeing of your family and friends is our priority and we are ensuring that all our residents, patients, service users and staff are safe and supported through this unprecedented time.

Guidance on visiting has now been reviewed and updated by NHSE. Elysium Healthcare services are updating their current visiting arrangements locally to enable you to visit with your loved ones. For for further information please contact the Registered Manager to discuss individualised visiting/contact arrangements.

 

Communication during this period may not be to the expected standard, and Elysium Healthcare apologises for any difficulties you may be experiencing. To help reduce the anxiety for all  concerned, Elysium Healthcare will update this web page weekly to keep you informed, not only with current action being taken in our services, but to share the positive experiences of patients, service users, residents and staff. We would also love to hear about the things you are doing too so that we can share these positive experiences with those in our care.

 

Elysium Visitor and Visit Guidance

 

During the current pandemic emergency there have been multiple impacts and restrictions on all members of society. These impacts have disrupted all families and the loss of contact has been difficult for everyone. This is probably no better illustrated in the impact of those within hospitals and care homes.

Maintaining access to family, friends and carers is an important part of everyone’s care, and well planned visits are part of peoples care plans and activities of daily life.  For some groups the need to maintain contact is an active part of their care and the distress that the restrictions have created are a major issue. This is especially true for young people, people with learning disabilities and those with autism.

Everyone should follow national guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, staying at home wherever possible, to help limit the spread of COVID-19, protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and our services.

 

Guidance

 

As of the 5th June 2020 the guidance on visiting has been reviewed by NHSE. In line with these changes each service is prioritising how visits and contact can be commenced and maintained whilst safeguarding service user choice and the safety of all service users and staff. Please ask the Service Manager for further information regarding their bespoke visiting guidance.

 

Exception

 

NHSE has set some exceptions. The guidance that NHSE has issued was written on the assumption of local hospital visiting.  Distance does not alter the guidance but does complicate access to visiting alongside other restrictions in place for COVID management

The services have suspended visiting, planned access to sites is only allowed as an exception, and if clinically approved.

The following conditions are subject to reasonable adjustment to facilitate visits where it is safe to do so

  • The patient you wish to visit is receiving end-of-life care.
  • You are the birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour.
  • You are a parent or appropriate adult visiting your child.
  • You are supporting someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.

 

Practice Considerations

 

In all cases, access to sites for visiting must be planned with the service and all family, friends and carers must contact the service in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements (including IPC and PPE).  The health, safety and wellbeing, of all remains our absolute priority.

At all times the most reasonable adjustment is for family, friends and carers to find other ways of keeping in touch with loved ones, like phone and video calls.  These must be supported by the service where clinically appropriate.  We will always attempt reasonable adjustment where we have responsibility within applicable guidance.

 

Service User Visiting home – leave escorted or unescorted

 

Visiting on leave is part of the care pathway for most patients in the progress of their pathway, however the impact of social distance/isolation, prevention of transmission and following HM Government advice has impacted on home visiting.  It must always be in the explicit interest of the service user to travel and or meet visitors

Those patients where detention or continued admission is appropriate, and extended leave is not appropriate then attempts to maintain clinically important relationships will be planned.

  • Reasonable adjustment to access IT should be provided.
  • Visiting the service within the guidance above should be encouraged
  • Meeting outside – within the above visiting guidance, reasonable adjustment can be made to allow social distance compliant visiting arrangements to work if travel distances are manageable. Travel to facilitate meetings maybe appropriate. E.g. meeting halfway at a park, if travel and staffing permit (Travel includes all factors including staffing and PPE)
  • Travel cannot be of such duration to make the journey arduous or require an overnight stay.
  • It must always be in the explicit interest of the service user to travel and or meet visitors.

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

 

With the recent media coverage relating to PPE, families are understandably concerned that services have enough equipment to protect their loved ones. Elysium Healthcare want to assure you that we are following government guidelines in relation to PPE, hygiene and infection control to protect those who live and work in our services.

We have had recent concerns raised regarding the requirement for some staff to wear PPE whilst at work. We understand that this can be very frightening and would like to reassure those in our care, their families and friends that these measures are in line with the Government guidelines. The requirement to wear the PPE, does not indicate that there are patients, service users or residents with confirmed Covid-19. These are government precautionary guidelines to protect those in our care and staff.

 

Social Distancing

 

There may be incidences, due to an individual having symptoms that may be similar to those of COVID-19 where the Government guidelines require us to implement social distancing or isolation of an individual in our care. As you know some of these symptoms for example a high temperature or a cough does not automatically mean that the individual has got COVID-19, however we will be monitoring them carefully and following guidelines to ensure we keep them and others safe.  If we do need to isolate them this usually means we ask them to stay in their en-suite room away from other patients, residents or service users and staff will go in and out of their room wearing PPE.  They will be in contact with staff regularly but just be kept away from the other patients, residents or service users.   The reasons, requirements and actions will be fully explained to your loved one and a care plan implemented to ensure the safety and wellbeing of that individual. We will make sure that the physical health and wellbeing of each patient, resident or service user is central to the delivery of their care.

 

We look forward to seeing you all again very soon.

In the meantime, if you have any queries or concerns you can speak directly with the Registered Manager of the service or e-mail them at FamilyandCarerenquiries@elysiumhealthcare.co.uk

The Government have published information on COVID-19 in Easy Read, large print and many different languages.  You can download these here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-leaflet

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