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Covid-19 News #3

Covid-19 News #3

#3 – Monday, 6th April 2020

We remain at Implementation Level Two of our Pandemic Procedure , and thankfully continue to have no known cases of Covid-19 amongst either our Residents or Clients. Morale in all three Services remains high with a determination that, whatever happens, we will deal with it.


Nettlestead is in good shape, save we still don’t have the new lift completed. This is a job that has been planned for months and was started well before we knew how bad Covid-19 would be. We considered stopping work for the duration of the lock-down, but the impact on the home of being without a lift meant this was not viable. However, unfortunately, the installation has been delayed for a number of reasons anyway. As soon as the building works were complete, the installation team had to self-isolate for fourteen days. To add to our difficulties, the haulage company who were to deliver the new lift stopped work for the duration of the lock-down. The installers have thankfully been able to find another haulage company, but now do not have a non-self-isolating team available until 14th April, when work will resume. Fortunately, we installed temporary lifts which are still in place, and so the impact of these delays has been less than it might otherwise have been. However, it has demonstrated what a good-humoured and excellent team we have there.

Fortunately, other good things continue to happen:

  • All Staff continue to be superb;
  • One of our HomeCarers, Lorraine Hartigan, who also works at Asda did some late-night shopping for Nettlestead with the support of her manager;
  • We have a new Resident who is going through her seven-day isolation in good humour, and; ● Our Residents’ Families continue to offer amazing support and encouragement.

Priors Mead

From a management perspective, Joanna and Vanessa continue to hold the fort; thank you! Kirsty was due back today but, for non-Covid-19 related personal reasons, has had to take additional time off, as has Kay. Thankfully, Sarah Green was able to come back today, all of which is such a great testament to our incredible Staff there. Kelly continues to support in the background whilst running the Volunteers Team
from home.

We are also delighted to be supported from people outside of Priors Mead:

  • Zoe’s daughter, Amelia , had some spare paracetamol which she donated, point-blank refusing to be paid for them; thank you;
  • Our yoga lady, Sally, who can’t currently visit due to Covid-19, is planning to do her classes by video conference;
  • For similar reasons, the hairdresser can no longer attend, so we have formed our own Hair Salon, with each Resident having their own slot throughout the week;
  • There is also the ever-popular Oki Koki sessions in the garden every day now that the weather is
    nicer, and;
  • Residents also continue to speak with their Families via Zoom on a daily basis, who also couldn’t be more supportive themselves; thank you.


HomeCare continues to be the pressure point, but things are getting easier. All those Staff who are still able to work continue to go the extra mile to cover any visits they possibly can but, due to its location, Reigate has again been more difficult.Kindly, Tenniece, one of our Priors Mead carers, offered her help with the support of Michal, as she is unable to drive. However, this did not prove necessary with the return of one Staff Member , and another one starting.

Other good things have also been happening in HomeCare:

  • Lauren, with her son Thomas , have been baking cakes for all our Clients ;
  • Becky has been Chief Red-Coat in the office, keeping everyone’s spirits up;
  • Sara Paterson has gone above and beyond to make a new Client feel welcome;
  • Joanne Kelly has been getting fantastic feedback from her new Clients;
  • Julie Sharrock, Julia Salvidge and Tracey Moore have led the charge of Carers picking up extra work, and;
  • Sharon Digby has gone out of her way to help our Croydon Clients.

Thank you.


Thank you again for everyone who has put their names forward, however, we have just learnt our initial response must have seemed a little presumptuous. Potential Volunteers were invited to click for more information when seeing our Facebook message, but which we had understood was an offer to Volunteer;  sorry. Whilst these kind people were given the information they were no doubt expecting, we almost certainly sent them far more than they were expecting, including thanking them for volunteering rather than simply enquiring. Thank you Lucy for drawing our attention to this.

Notwithstanding our faux pas, a number of would-be-volunteers did not take it to heart and have thankfully followed through, including being Guinea Pigs for our new electronic forms which make the sign-up process easier. So far eight have been processed, with two in the pipeline.


We are aware of other homes in the Bromley and Reigate areas where there are cases of Covid-19 and which are proving hard to contain. Whilst we believe we are at lesser risk due to the dedication of our Staff and that we do not use agency workers, we recognise we are not immune. We are therefore taking the following extra precautions:

  • The enhanced PPE for caring for infected individuals is due to arrive this week, and which should help to protect our Staff from infection and, in so doing, minimising the chances of them being a conduit for infection to others;
  • We have ordered sufficient additional Ionising HEPA Air Filters for each Residents’ bedrooms and the offices, and which should arrive next Monday. These generate negative ions which apparently bind with harmful viruses and bacteria to effectively render them inert, lessening the opportunities for airborne transmission;
  • We are in the process of converting as many Forms as possible to electronic versions to minimise paper forms being a possible route of transmission;
  • We have identified that Staff who work for more than one company are more likely to come into contact with Covid-19, and we are therefore asking any to whom this applies to sign a declaration that they will inform us of any contacts so we can carry out a Risk Assessment; without such a declaration, approved by all other employers concerned, confidentiality risked getting in the way of common-sense precautions.


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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