At the end of March, we carried out our routine Covid-19 Swabs tests…
We’d like to give a little insight into these tests. Before we began with the tests many staff had heard horror stories about how awful the tests were to say there were a few nervous faces would be an understatement, however we were pleased that staff were willing to carry out the tests despite the stories and understood why the tests were important.
So off we went… All done over three days, with a courier collecting at the end of each day. The tests themselves really are NOT as bad as some people have portrayed. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t nice to have to a swab at the back of your throat and then up your nose (the same swab, so make sure you do it the right way round …) but it is nothing more than uncomfortable! All swabs completed and sent back ahead of schedule within two days.
The anticipation we felt waiting for test results was probably worse than the test results themselves. It was so nerve wracking, hoping everything was ok as we thought…
We sent the first batch of swabs off on the Wednesday, and by the Friday the results came flooding in. All except two were negative… one set of results we didn’t receive and the second set was inconclusive. These tests were carried out again and both came back negative.
Since we received our test results, we have decided now is a good time for us to move to the next stage, reopening of the home, measures are fully risk assessed and all steps made are small and tentative.
This week we’ve seen the first of our Social distanced visits. Residents have been sat inside the entrance with family members two meters away wearing masks.
This was a big decision to make, as to if we should introduce these social distanced visits, but it has now been 12-13 weeks since we closed our doors, that is a huge amount of time for our residents not to see their families and we had to balance health with wellbeing and what the greater risk is currently with the safety measures in place. We are constantly reviewing this and any increase in case numbers or changes to government guidelines would put a stop to the visits.
The visits have proved to be a success. You can not put into words the amount of joy and happiness you witness seeing families reunited after such a long time, and although we have offered Skype and phone calls, there really is nothing like the real thing and how good it is to be able to have a chinwag and catch up, which I think is something we can all appreciate!
We are so, so happy to be able to have a bit of normality around the home and see families joining, especially when family involvement was such a huge part of daily life at Magnolia House.
With the track and trace system now in place there are a few things we wanted to share that we have put in place to help ensure the residents are cared for.
All staff will always wear masks around each other when within 2 meters of each other, we have had to make new offices for myself and Gemma, and other staff members now have breaks at various points throughout the home and at staggered times. With the latest guidance from Matt Hancock being that care home staff would be required to isolate through the track and trace system if in contact with each other without PPE we now have the measures in place help ensure that we will always have staff available if the worst was to happen.
Honestly you have a dreaded feeling every day and hope that you have done enough to keep people safe and although we know we could face a bigger battle at any given moment we are definitely in a better place than we were 6, 4, or even 2 weeks ago, and as society begins to return to normal we can not wait for the day we can reopen our doors and give you a great big hug at a huge party!
Keep positive, Keep safe!
We will meet again…