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19 June 2020 09:19

An update on Coronavirus from General Manager, Eileen Gray.

Looking at the news and reading everything that is being said online about the COVID-19 crisis, it is no surprise that many people remain uncertain, worried and fearful about the virus. This is particularly the case for those who have a loved one in a care home. Because of this, I thought I would update everyone on the situation at Cramond Residence and on how we intend to move forward.

First, I would just like to say a huge thank you to all my wonderful team. I cannot tell you how hard everyone has worked and the sacrifices they have made to continue to provide the highest level of care and comfort to our residents; it has been so pleasing to see our investment in staff training and development flourish during these unusual times. I would also like to thank the family and friends of the residents we are looking after. Everyone has been exceedingly understanding and kind-hearted – your support has made everything that much more bearable.

Over the duration of the crisis we have done everything possible to keep our residents safe and well at Cramond. All staff have followed the strictest possible infection control, PPE and distancing protocols and we have ensured that all residents have followed the same guidance. All staff have been working in dedicated teams and have been isolating as necessary. All uniforms and protective equipment have been washed daily and disinfected in line with government guidelines. Staff uniforms and shoes have never left the care home building – a practice we have proudly maintained from the day that we admitted our first residents.

We have also implemented all government advice on testing and keeping residents apart from each other. And, as friends and relatives will know, we have kept outside visits to an absolute minimum, allowing people to come to the home only for the most urgent reasons and implementing strict social distancing and PPE protocols when they do.

We have, at the same time, been able to keep people in touch digitally using Skype and other video links, and some relatives have come down to the Residence and waved to their loved ones through our windows. Not ideal – but it has gone a long way to keep spirits up during these unprecedented times.

Thanks to our industry-leading staff to resident ratio of 1:4, throughout the pandemic we have always had sufficient healthcare resource available to keep our residents appropriately distanced, well, and entertained at the Residence. Keeping our residents safe has also been facilitated during lockdown by the small group living concept that we champion at Cramond. The organisation of the care home into nine distinct houses with their respective private social spaces and the sheer amount of floorspace available has enabled us to achieve excellent levels of separation between residents without generating a feeling of stern insolation, even when use of the communal social spaces has been restricted.

Our negative pressure ventilation system in each and every room has also ensured that air isn’t recycled anywhere in the care home. In short, we have seen the significant investment we made to build-in infection control measures into the layout of the building, and establish dedicated health and safety management teams from the beginning really pay dividends in the last few months.

We also formed a resilience group involving senior management which; at the height of the pandemic, met daily via Teams video link to discuss and plan our strategy to keep up to date with the rapidly changing government guidance. This group continues to meet three times per week via video link in order to ensure that we have kept fully up-to-date with government guidelines, and that we continually update our response and adapt to meet each new development. Where necessary, we have reacted fast to isolate, test and treat any residents that showed any signs of having the virus. We have emailed all relatives regularly to update them on developments and offer reassurance at this anxious time for them.

I am pleased to say that although we are living in unusual times, both resident and staff morale remains high and that everyone is committed to getting through the crisis and out the other side. We are still accepting the admission of new and returning residents, and as of Monday 15th June we will be offering socially distanced tours of the Residence to those who wish to experience our environment in person, strictly upon an appointment basis.

We are, of course, here to answer any questions you might have, so just pick up the phone or drop us an e-mail and we will respond as soon as possible.