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Covid-19 News #14

Covid-19 News #14

Newsletter #14 – Monday, 22nd June 2020

We remain at Implementation Level Two for both Homes and HomeCare with no Symptomatic Residents, Clients or Staff.                                       

Staff Commitment & Covid-19

One persistent ‘Statistic’, although hard to verify, is that One-Third of Care Home Staff have been Self-Isolating, which has not been our experience. Apart from a couple of Newly Employed Staff Members who did not feel the same level of commitment and who have now left, the only Staff that have actually been Furloughed are those where we agreed it was important they did. There were also a number of others who could have done so, but who chose not to. So rather than have to manage an Absentee Rate of 33%, it was initially 4.5% reducing to just an unavoidable 2%.

Whilst we are extremely grateful to those who put their names forward, this has meant we have not had to call on Volunteers to support us in the Homes. In fact it was our Staff who highlighted the increased risk in doing so, through the Greater Footfall this would create, compounded by a lack of familiarity with PPE. We also haven’t used Agency Staff since 2007, and which is apparently a significant source of infection in other homes. This Level of Commitment shown by all our Staff and Managers is the only reason we have not had to call on Volunteers or reconsider using Agency Staff. We believe it is this Commitment that is also the principal reason we have held the Coronavirus at bay so far.

So, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we want to again give a Huge Thank You to all our Staff and Managers for the fantastic job they are doing. An opinion that is frequently mirrored in our correspondence with families, and in the recent KLOE questionnaires.

Test & Trace

Confused? Yes, we are too! The Government is apparently abandoning their own App because they cannot persuade Apple to change their Bluetooth Permissions in a way that would allow the Government’s App to work reliably; although why this was not identified as a critical early step also confuses us. The Government may therefore be moving to using Apple and Google’s combined App, or is it two separate ones? We are also confused as to whether Apple and Google are producing the App, or Apps, or whether they are facilitating Third Parties’ Apps, in which case will they all talk to each other? Further the Self-Isolation Rules that go with any Proximity Warning the selected App gives, if you spend too-much time close to someone who may have Covid-19, will require the user to go into Self Isolation for 14 Days. However, the Care Industry is collectively confused by these Rules as, currently drafted, they could mean that all Staff would have to Self-Isolate under some circumstances. So, whilst we are no closer to working out which App we could or should be using, we realise that trying to work it out has left us in need of something else beginning with A; an Aspirin – but should we go for a generic, or perhaps one made by Bayer (after all, they invented it), although we heard Paracetamol was also very good, or maybe there will be a new pain killer out next week….

We are hoping things become clearer in the next week!

Drive-Through Visits

Drive-Through Visits are proving more popular at Nettlestead than Priors Mead, but remain available at both Homes.

Garden Visits

We continue to plan for Garden Visits and should have a Draft Procedure ready this week which we plan to share in Next-Week’s Newsletter for comment and improvement. We thought it would be helpful to know the What and How before considering the When.


  • We would like to wish Peggy Parsons a Happy Birthday for tomorrow; she will be turning 99. We hope you will Raise a Glass from wherever you are to help celebrate!
  • A handful of Staff have already had their Antibody Tests with no surprises.
  • As the weather is going to hugly improve this week, Katherine has arranged a few Garden Activities to take place with the Residents.
  • We carried out an Engagement and Support call with our CQC Inspector, Raj, as regular inspections are not currently taking place. Raj advised he was very happy with everything we have done so far.
  • We are looking forward to welcoming Leanne back from Maternity Leave on Thursday 25th after nearly a year away.

Priors Mead

  • Our Residents enjoyed making Birthday Cards to help Ina celebrate her 101st Birthday on Friday!
  • We have a New Resident, Sally, moving into room 12 to become a permanent member of our Priors Mead Family.
  • Michelle, our new Assistant Manager for Activities, has a number of Garden Activities planned to make the most of the lovely weather, including Croquet, Boules and Ceramic Pot Decorating to add more colour to our already blooming garden.


  • We are still waiting for the new batch of Home Testing Kits to arrive to replace the 50 test kits that were sent but found to be faulty; we continue to chase.
  • Whilst it is reassuring to see infection rates coming down, Lauren is also pressing for our Staff to be retested.
  • We are delighted that another Client has restarted their Service after being in Self Isolation since the beginning of the Pandemic.
  • All returning Clients are automatically having their Care Plans reviewed to ensure they remain relevant.


  • We are not currently sure whether to place Test and Trace under Resilience or Confusion, but we continue to keep a close eye.
  • We continue to do the weekly Pandemic Audits to make sure we remain on our toes.
  • Our new CEO, Leo, is helping us to take a fresh look at everything we do, which is also helping to drive up safety and quality.


Suggestions continue to be welcome. Please share them with us by emailing

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding.

Nick & Sarah Bruce

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