JEWISH CARE UPDATED COMMUNICATION: Covid-19

21 July 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 resuming 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.

Impact of Freedom Day on Jewish Care

The situation in many respects is of course improving in the UK, thanks to high vaccination levels – sadly, however, the pandemic is very much still part of our lives and with cases rising daily with new variants emerging, we must continue to prioritise the safety of our clients, who are the most vulnerable group in society to this disease, along with protecting our staff and volunteers. We all have a duty of care to protect our clients, staff and volunteers and to continue with the safety measures in place until we feel absolutely certain that the levels have stabilised enough to lift them at Jewish Care – as things stand, this is not yet the case, with cases continuing to rise in the country.

Care Homes 

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

Our frontline staff in care roles will continue to wear the PPE issued and for those staff not in care roles, continue to wear masks inside all of our buildings.

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

-         feel unwell with any Covid-19 symptoms

-         have been exposed to someone who tested positive within 48 hours

-         live in a household with someone who has Covid-19 symptoms, or you have tested positive

-         are awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test for any reason

-         have been asked to isolate by NHS test and trace services

-         are from returning from a country that requires isolation

We ask relatives. volunteers and suppliers who visit the care homes to continue to support the guidelines and measures we have in place:

To take a lateral flow test before you come inside any of our buildings and only come in if you receive a negative result.

Continue using the hand sanitisers around the resources and continue with washing your hands.

Admissions

We are open for new 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.

New residents who have been admitted from the community no longer need to isolate upon arrival into the care home, subject to risk assessment from the home’s Registered Manager based on the following:

  •  The resident must have been fully vaccinated
  •  The resident must has undergone an enhanced testing regime prior to admission to return a negative COVID-19 result.
  • Advice on local transmission rates and variants of concern is being taken into account and followed.
  • There has been no known contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • New residents who have been discharged from hospital or another care home will still need to self-isolate, for 14 days.

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 including pods and garden visits, which can be booked

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

As of 19th July 2021

We are looking forward to opening our care homes to visitors and to resuming more welcoming environments and interactions between residents and visitors. 

  • Residents will no longer be limited to the five Designated Visitors
  • The guidelines do not restrict the number of designated visitors that a resident may have in a day, or the number of visitors per visit.
  • The Registered Manager of each home will determine the safe, manageable and fair number of visits and number of people per visiting party.
  • It is recommended that visits take place outdoors whenever possible.
  • The wearing of masks by visitors (as well as staff and volunteers) at all times whilst in the home, remains compulsory.
  • All visitors will need to complete symptoms questionnaires and avoid visiting if having any symptoms of cold or Covid-19, been told to test or isolate, living in the same household as someone experiencing any of the symptoms or been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 or have returned from a high risk country. 
  • A negative Lateral Flow (rapid) Test will be required. This may be self-administered and you will be informed by the Registered Manager of the home you visit, what the procedure is.
  • Visitors are not required to wear gloves. Hand holding between visitors and residents is permitted as is hugging when both parties are vaccinated. It is important to remember that all of these present risks and should be considered with great caution.
  • Visitors will be asked to continue to ‘socialise’ only with the person they are visiting and avoid mixing with other residents or congregating with other visitors (of other residents) in communal areas.
  • Social distancing and ventilation in enclosed spaces (opening a window) will help reduce the risk, as would keeping visits short and keeping physical contact to a minimum.
  • Managers will determine the maximum number of visitors in the home at any one time, based on the ability to maintain safe operations, ventilation and social distancing.

We are also hoping to gradually relax the restriction on residents movement within the home or campus where they live and enable more mixing with residents from other units, floors and in places like The Betty and Asher Loftus Centre, Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus and Sandringham, enjoy the centre space, café or synagogue. Whilst this introduces some risks, residents will have the choice to do so, unless this is suspended due to an outbreak.

Residents will be advised (but not forced) to wear a mask, avoid attending very crowded spaces, and to keep social distances. If you are concerned about this, please discuss it with your loved one or with the team of staff who provide their care.

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: 

  • Minimise the use of agency staff, unless working regularly in the home.
  • 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.

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 

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.
  • You are returning from a high risk country. 

For information on additional guidance, please contact the Selig Court Concierge Service on 0208 922 2626, the Wohl Court Concierge Service on 0203 301 0455 or the Pears Court Concierge Service on 020 8442 7755 between 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Friday. 

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.