JEWISH CARE UPDATED COMMUNICATION: Covid-19

3 June 2021, 9am

Our top priority is the safety and protection of those in our care.

Jewish Care has taken a number of steps to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 across all of our resources including: the introduction of a screening process upon entry to any resource; self-isolation measures where appropriate; increased deep cleaning and use of additional sanitisation and specialist cleaning products; only allowing visits to our care homes in visiting pods or from designated visitors, and following all Government guidance on social distancing measures in our Retirement Living facilities. We are preparing to resume in-person activity at our community centres in a safe way in the coming weeks and months.

Contingency and response plans are in place for all scenarios which may occur as a result of Covid-19 impacting the UK more widely. Jewish Care is regularly reviewing the situation, and our Covid-19 Response team made up of our Directorate team and senior colleagues from across the organisation are meeting regularly to review the situation, along with our measures and plans.

Care Homes 

We are determined to do all we can to minimise the spread of infection amongst the residents and staff in our homes.

Following the recent Government announcements, each resident in our care homes may now have up to have five designated visitors, who will be able to visit safely, indoors, wearing PPE, and with whom they may hold hands. 

Designated visitors will be required to answer a number of questions before they may enter the home, have their temperature tested, and will be required to have a negative Covid-19 test on the day of the visit. Designated visitors will be made aware of all additional requirements before coming into the home. We have also issued relatives with guidelines where visits include babies and toddlers. We will continue with other visiting methods, such in our pods with Perspex screens, for those who are not a designated visitor.

All visits will need to be booked in advance. Whether visiting via the pod, in the garden or indoors, the numbers will be limited, depending on the capacity of the physical environment, as well as staff.

As of Monday 17th May:

  1. Care home residents will be able to to make visits outside of the home, with no need to self-isolate when they return.
  2. Residents can now be visited by five named visitors (including their essential care giver, if they have one), with a maximum of two visitors, at any one time or on a given day.
  3. Lateral Flow (rapid) Tests and other symptom checks upon arrival to the home, will continue.
  4. Visits must take place in a well-ventilated room.
  5. Face coverings & hand sanitising will still be required, however, the wearing of gloves and aprons by visitors, will be subject to risk assessment which may indicate this is required.
  6. Named visitors may hug their loved ones, provided they retain their face covering for precaution.
  7. Visits outside of the care home, will be planned in consultation with the family and care home managers, subject to testing requirements and risk assessments of the individual residents.
  8. Activities outside of the care home, that will not require the residents’ self-isolation, include outdoor visits to parks, beaches or gardens, medical appointments and visiting day centres.
  9. For the time being, we ask that babies and children only visit in the pods. Very small babies may be able to visit with a Designated Visitor indoors, but only subject to prior arrangement and agreement by the home’s management. This will be reviewed and may change after 21st June.

We will follow the cautious approach suggested by the Government with regards to the lifting of restrictions, namely starting small and moving forward only once it is established that no adverse impact was caused during the previous stage. It is vital that by facilitating individual visits, we do not compromise the safety of residents and staff, and that we continue to do all we can to keep Covid-19 out of our homes

We will continue with the following measures until national guidance allows the further easing of lockdown, and current Covid-19 status of the home allows us to do so:

  • Reduce the footfall by allowing staff and essential / regular volunteers only, especially those helping with FaceTime calls.
  • Minimise the use of agency staff, unless working regularly in the home.
  • Continue the separation between homes and units/ floors and avoid any movement between them.
  • Restrict in-room visits to designated visitors where possible or visits to residents who are nearing the end of their lives and other extreme circumstances as assessed by the home management or GP.
  • Booth/pod visits will reduce in availability and visitors should consider very carefully whether such a visit is necessary. Should the level of infection in a home rise and restrict the ability of residents to safely access the visiting booth area, we will cease the option with immediate effect- all visitors will be notified if this is the case.
  • Continue regular testing of staff and residents as well as all other health monitoring, social distancing, wearing of PPE etc.
  • Maintain 10 days isolation for residents following a positive test, as advised by Public Health England. 

These restrictions may change if the situation in the locality or in the home changes or if further guidelines are issued by the Government, the Local Authority or Public Health England.

In order to minimise the risk of spreading infection we ask all visitors not to visit if:

  • You are experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19.
  • If you are living in the same household as someone experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19 or someone who has tested positive for the virus.
  • If you have been advised to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
  • If you are awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test for any reason.
  • You live in a household with school children, students, or adults who frequent educational establishments where the risk of infection is high. 

Visits to homes preparing for the vaccine are limited and there are no visits the day before the vaccination. In some homes where the numbers of people testing positive, whether staff or residents, is rising, the managers may suspend visits for a time.

We know the situation is challenging, and while visits are less regular, we will do whatever we can to continue to help facilitate phone calls, video calls or a Skype call with a loved one instead of a physical visit. We are still encouraging relatives to leave items or food for loved ones by labelling this with the resident’s name and room number and leaving outside the home’s entrance and then ringing the buzzer to notify a member of staff to collect and deliver it on their behalf.

We are being led by Public Health England on any additional measures needed following any confirmed case of Covid-19 in a care home. These homes will undergo an additional deep clean and will continue to take steps to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and infection control are in place. We will continue to ensure the homes function as usual, as far as possible, for those residents in our care.

The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our priority, and while these restrictions may be upsetting and frustrating, we must keep this in mind when following the government guidance. 

Retirement Living

As of 17th May, the following rules must now be adhered to during the easing of national lockdown:

  • Tenants can meet anywhere outdoors in groups of up to 30 people
  • Tenants can meet indoors in groups of six, or with one other household.
  • Social distancing with family and friends is now a matter of personal judgement - although caution is advised.

These rules will continue to apply until additional changes in restrictions are announced by Government and changes will be communicated to relatives and tenants when this happens. To ensure everyone continues to remain as safe as possible, it is important that you follow the rules we have advised you about.

Your continued vigilance will help us to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak of Covid-19 in our Retirement Living Services.

You must not visit your loved one in their home if:

  • You are experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19.
  • If you are living in the same household as someone experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19 or someone who has tested positive for the virus.
  • If you have been advised to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
  • If you are awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test for any reason.

For information on additional guidance, please contact the Selig Court Concierge Service on 0208 922 2626 or the Wohl Court Concierge Service on 0203 301 0455 between 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Friday. 

Admissions

We are still open for safe admissions.

Our friendly, dedicated and professional team are looking forward to welcoming you.

Our number one priority is to keep all our residents, relatives and staff safe, so we are following strict Public Health England guidelines and measures across all our homes.

As we admit new residents in this period, admissions may be different to normal but our team will go out of their way to make sure every resident is treated with the care and respect they deserve and is able to settle in safely and make friendships in the home.

We have lots of ways for families to stay in touch and keep connected too.

For more information please call our team on 0208 922 2222 or email lwjc@jcare.org     

Community Centres, Connect@, Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, Dementia Day Centres: 

We are delighted to now be in a position where we can share our plans for resuming in-person activity and reopening centres and anticipate  resuming in-person activity across our centres between the weeks commencing 26th July, and week commencing 1st October. 

In line with our long-term strategic plan to focus on strengthening our care hubs across East London and Essex, the Betty and Asher Loftus Centre in North London, the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus in North West London and our newest Sandringham development in South Hertfordshire, we will be upgrading our offering to members by relocating some centres and activities to make full use of and provide better access to the facilities on our  care campuses.   

Alongside a change in location for some activities and services will also be a change in hours of operation. This will vary between centres and all members, volunteers and staff will be fully informed of any changes to opening times.   

While our priority is to resume face-to-face activity as soon as it is safe to do so, we must prioritise our more vulnerable members’ needs. This means that our Dementia Day Centres will be the first centres to resume in-person activity. We will be working hard to make sure that all other centres will also be able to re-open shortly after.   

Our online and virtual services, programmes and events will continue alongside resuming face-to-face activity. Our priority is to make sure that all our members can take part in our programming in the most accessible way for them, and that no one misses out on activities they want to attend. To that end, we will be offering a way to access in-person events online in addition to physical events recommencing.   

We know how vital our Meals on Wheels, telephone befriending, digital engagement and social work and family carers support services are to so many of our members and their families and are pleased to say that they will all very much continue as they have been over the last year.    

The safety of our members, volunteers and staff remains our priority and we will be taking a number of precautions in line with Government guidance to ensure that any in-person activity is done safely and minimises any potential risk from Covid-19. We continue to constantly review and assess the situation with any new variants emerging. This may mean that the suggested date for resuming activity may be subject to change at short notice, but of course we hope that this won’t be necessary.     

For more information on individual centres, please call the Jewish Care Direct helpline on 020 8922 2222 or email helpline@jcare.org

Testing

Currently, all clients at our care homes and Retirement Living schemes undergo regular testing for Covid-19. Regular testing is critical going forward to help us mitigate against the risk of infection.

Additional Resources

For tips on how to stay active and well, visit jewishcare.org/keepingactive for resources to keep everyone engaged, stimulated and healthy whilst at home. 

You can also visit jewishcare.org/informationduringcovid to access online information, advice and guidance.