FAQs

View answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19

How can I visit my family member or friend in one of your care homes?

The number of visitors a resident can have is now unlimited, subject to the home's capacity to manage visits safely and fairly. If a home goes into outbreak only one person can visit a resident at a time. 

Visits can take place in a variety of locations in the homes, and visitors must wear PPE as instructed by the home. This includes wearing face masks inside the care home. Visitors can hold hands with their loved ones, without wearing gloves but must wash their hands regularly. 

Selected visitors may give personal care to their loved one, and support them with tasks such as eating, and may be able to spend time in their bedrooms. These visitors will need to have an LFD test up to twice a week. That test will be provided by the care home. They must also comply with the Visitor's Agreement for those giving personal care.

Currently homes are taking bookings for visits to ensure they have capacity to manage visits safely and fairly for all. Anyone over the age of 11 must wear PPE. Children under three must not wear a mask for safety reasons.

All visitors must confirm that they are fit and well before entering a care home. 

Please be aware that any visitor who appears to be unwell, such as displaying respiratory infection symptoms, may be refused entry to an OSJCT care home, even with a negative LFD test. If you are asked to leave, please respect this decision by the care home management who make these decisions in the best interests of our vulnerable residents, and to protect our hard-working employees.

 

Who is deemed to be an essential visitor?

During an outbreak, those who enter the care home may include essential visitors. These are visitors who contributes to the safety of the care home residents and employees, such as health professionals, Local Authority social workers, people working for government bodies that support the work of Public Health and key suppliers. Every visitor is required to follow our strict protocols.

 

What do you do if resident displays symptoms of COVID-19?

If a resident tests positive for Covid-19 we are supporting them with 14 days of in-room care whilst wearing the required PPE. If a resident has been in contact someone who then tests positive for Covid-19, they must isolate for 10 days. We will closely monitor the resident and update their family.

Residents who are fully vaccinated and boosted can test using LFDs on days 4, 5, 6, and if negative on each occasion, can end their isolation early. Residents who are not fully vaccinated can test on days 6, 7, 8 and if negative on each occasion, end their isolation early. If residents are unable to carry out LFDs test, they must isolate for the full 10 days. 

As is usual, we will contact the resident’s GP in such cases, and follow national guidance to inform the NHS and notify Public Health England, when the home has two or more cases.

If an individual’s health deteriorates, we will notify NHS111 or Public Health England in accordance with the guidance, and we will contact the GP and paramedics as required and follow their advice along with the preferences in an individual’s care and life plans.

All homes are supplied with sufficient PPE for all employee and resident interactions whether or not the home has confirmed or symptomatic cases. 

At all of the above stages, we will contact the next of kin/assigned contact of the resident who is either symptomatic or confirmed as having the virus.

We have additional protocols in place to support those individuals who lack capacity and the Trust has its own team of Admiral Nurses who specialise in providing expert emotional support to families of residents living with dementia. If you feel you would benefit from speaking to one of the Admiral Nurses, please contact the Home Manager who can put you in touch with them.

What safeguards do you have in place when a new resident comes into the home?

In order to support the most vulnerable in our care communities, OSJCT protocols require any new resident coming to the home to have a PCR test 72 hours before coming into the home. If they test positive to Covid-19 they will be supported with 14 days of in-room care and prior to joining the care home community. These measures are to ensure that Covid-19 is not inadvertently brought into our homes.  

For new residents, and those returning to us for respite care, will also be asked to take a PCR test 72 hours prior to moving into the care home.

Are all Homes and Schemes practising social distancing?

All employees are required to follow most recent government guidance on social distancing when not at work or on a break, and in the home where possible following our PPE guidance.

Visitors are asked to maintain one-metre social distance from employees and other residents. Homes that are in outbreak ask employees and visitors to keep two-metres social distance, except where they are providing personal care.

How does OSJCT follow national adult social care guidance around Covid19?

We have developed strict protocols for those working in our homes. These cover things such as coming to work, managing their own health and wellbeing, uniform, infection control, equipment and supplies and of course how to keep your loved ones happy and engaged.

Our protocols are reviewed regularly and are updated when Government guidance changes. 

Are you testing for COVID-19 in colleagues and residents?

Our employees who work in care homes have LFD tests twice a week. Residents are only tested if they show symptoms of Covid-19 or the home goes in to outbreak (defined as two or more positive or clinically suspected cases of the virus, whether resident or employee).

The current approach of PHE is also influenced by the prevalence of the virus in the local community. Usually a home is in outbreak for a period of 10 days from the last confirmed or clinically suspected case.

Guidance on testing within adult social care can be found here. The testing includes:

  • All symptomatic care residents
  • All patients discharged from hospitals before going into care homes
  • All social care staff who need a test

How can I work for OSJCT as a paid employee or volunteer?

We are committed to providing the highest quality of care for our residents. This is especially important right now.

We are actively recruiting and are keen to welcome applicants from other industries such as retail, travel and hospitality as well as those who have experience of care. To find out more visit our Careers page

Our volunteers contribute so much to the daily life of our residents. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, then visit our volunteers page to find out more and apply

Read OSJCT’s model risk assessment for offices: managing the office environment safely during Covid-19 and staying Covid-19 secure 2020 certificate.

What does it mean for my loved one, and for visiting, when the home is affected by a virus outbreak, such as Covid-19 or another respiratory disease?

Homes may be given ‘outbreak’ status, in consultation with the local Health Protection Team (HPT) when cases of flu, norovirus, chest infections, Covid-19 or other transmissible infections are confirmed in the home.

During the outbreak, visiting by family and friends will be restricted to just one visitor per resident, to be booked in advance with the care home. Visits may be restricted to a resident’s bedroom, the home’s screened visiting room or garden visiting pods.

Residents are no longer routinely tested for Covid-19, unless they show symptoms of a transmissible illness, or the home goes into outbreak. In these instances, they will be tested with an LFD test to rule out Covid-19.

What is involved in being a visitor who gives personal care?

Residents may have one visitor who can support them with personal care, such as getting dressed, or eating and drinking (where choking has not been identified as a risk). These visitors will need to wear extra PPE, such as a face mask, gloves and apron, as instructed by the care home. Visitors who can support them with personal care are similar to the ’Essential Care Giver Visitors’ identified during the pandemic to ensure that residents had visitors when homes were closed due to outbreak.

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