Latest update: 8 December
Latest update for family and friends
We are pleased to update with positive action around vaccinations among other aspects of tackling the challenge of the pandemic.
The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) are 100 per cent focussed on the importance of enabling visits, while keeping everybody who lives in, works at, or visits our care homes as safe as possible during the unprecedented challenge of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The vaccination became available to social care employees on 8 December.
OSJCT homes in Lincolnshire lead the way with 36 from Beckside care home in Lincoln being vaccinated at Lincoln County Hospital. Ten more colleagues are booked in for tomorrow.
Colleagues in Oxford, Henley and Chipping Norton and across Gloucestershie are also booking in for their vaccinations and OSJCT is working closely with local authorities and hospitals to ensure that colleagues in Wiltshire, Sussex and Suffolk have the same opportunity as soon as possible.
Details on how the vaccination will the rolled out to care home residents are expected shortly and OSJCT has pledged to mirror the swift and smooth roll out that we are seeing for employees.
You can read more about that here
Lateral Flow Test pilot in OSJCT homes
The Government has announced that all care homes will be supplied with Lateral Flow Testing kits by 18 December. As at today, very few of our services have received the tests and we will be looking at the training and administration that needs to be applied to implement them. In the meantime, we will be able to use our visitor rooms, as soon as they are ready, by appointment.
We welcome the success of the national pilot of the Lateral Flow Testing. However, no one home is the same, and we must define clear and safe processes which will work in a practical way within each home before we start to use them.
We will shortly be starting a pilot in a small number of our care homes to begin to work out how to administer and manage Lateral Flow tests to visitors in a safe and effective way.
As with any test it will not completely remove the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19.
We will update on the progress of this testing as soon as we can. From our pilot we will evaluate the capacity our homes need to be able to undertake the anticipated volume of testing and risk assessments to implement the guidance.
We have been progressing with the installation of safe visitor rooms in all our homes. The majority of these have been inside the main building home, but where this has not been possible, we have installed specific visiting pods within the grounds or have a risk assessment in place. Many are being completed across our regions this week and the majority will have been completed by the end of next week.
There are two elements of the Tiers that are significant: the tier of the region where the home is situated and the tier of the region where the visitor lives or is travelling from. For example, if the visitor is in Tier 3 then the local rules apply which state: ‘You must not meet socially indoors with anybody you don’t live with. This includes private gardens.’
See below to read Visiting in Care Homes - Guidance in the Absence of Visitor Testing, which includes a comprehensive table indicating where visits can take place.
We have assembled a table 'Visiting in Care Homes - Guidance in the Absence of Visitor Testing' to make this advice as straightforward as we can, see below or click here to open in a new window.
“We encourage everyone to go and get jabbed! Together we can beat it!”