Hamberley Care Homes COVID-19 official information and response

The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff has always been our highest priority at Hamberley Care Homes.

To that end we have been working hard since the start of the year to prepare for the impact that a wider outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) could have here in the UK.

As health authorities have made clear this particular virus does present more of a risk to older people and to those individuals with pre-existing medical conditions and so we are taking extra precautionary measures to ensure that our residents and staff are as protected as possible.

This page details:

  • The steps that we have been taking to prepare for COVID-19
  • Information regarding visiting Hamberley Care Homes
  • Our use of technology to keep residents and families connected
  • How you can help reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • Training and public information
  • Our thanks to our dedicated teams and their response

How we have prepared for COVID-19

Please rest assured that all our homes remain well prepared for a widening outbreak of COVID-19.

As soon as health authorities alerted us to the risk of COVID-19 our procurement team acted to ensure all of Hamberley’s care homes were well stocked in terms of essential hygiene products such as hand sanitiser, bacterial hand wash and other relevant medical materials.

As a result, all of our homes are adequately supplied for the foreseeable future and we would encourage all visitors to use these products and observe good hand hygiene when attending the home.

Please ask a staff member if you need any help.

We are also enacting plans to go beyond the standard advice from Public Health England and will be installing ultraviolet light boxes in reception areas and at nurse stations to ensure that hand hygiene is at the very highest level.

After washing your hands, a second liquid is applied which, under UV light, reveals how thorough hand washing has been.

This is not only an essential training tool, but we would encourage all visitors to use the UV light boxes themselves to ensure their hands are germ-free.

Good hand hygiene is THE most important weapon in our fight against the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, we will be installing non-invasive thermometers in reception areas to monitor the temperature of all staff and visitors coming into the home.

Once installed anyone whose temperature is outside of normal limits will not be allowed to enter the building.

We are sure that you can appreciate that this is in the health interests of all residents.

Visiting a Hamberley Care home

Hamberley Care Homes are putting a temporary halt on ALL non-essential visits to our homes.

Regrettably this includes relatives and friends of residents.

The safety and wellbeing of our residents is always our number one priority and at the current time we believe stopping visits is the best way to maximise our infection control procedures in the face of the still widening spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the UK.

While we pride ourselves on being a valuable member of our local community, with numerous community groups coming into the home to interact with residents, we believe at the current time this presents an unnecessary infection risk so will be placing a temporary halt on visits.

The only day-to-day exception to this will be essential visitors such as medical professionals.

We appreciate that this news may be a little upsetting to hear, particularly as we know our residents look forward greatly to daily visits.

However, at this moment in time we believe this level of interaction with the wider community poses too much of a risk of virus transmission.

It is prudent for older people and their families to know what they should do to limit their exposure to the illness.

We will also continue to communicate on a regular basis and we will review this measure to restrict access frequently so that we can return to normal as soon as it is safe to do so.  

If you do have any questions regarding the new visitor policy please do contact the home manager where your loved one or friend is residing.

Our use of technology to keep residents and families connected

Despite the temporary halt to physical visits to our homes we will do everything we can to ensure our residents stay connected to their friends and family so we will be encouraging people to make use of our tablets and Wi-Fi to hold regular video calls across Skype and FaceTime.

For residents who are not familiar with this technology our team members will be on hand to help run these calls.

In exceptional circumstances one-to-one visits may be possible, but these will need to be prearranged with each Home Manager to ensure they are conducted in a manner that minimises the risk of infection.

How you can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 (source: Public Health England)

1. If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected area identified by the Chief Medical Officer as high risk and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111.

2. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.

3. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.

4. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

Training and public information in homes

Public information notices have been displayed in our homes now for a number of weeks regarding the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and the steps we can all take to minimise this.

Again, thorough hand washing is vital so we would urge you to follow these instructions not only in the home, but also in your day to day life.

To that end, and as part of our ongoing infection control measures, we have been conducting additional infection control training sessions which include handwashing training sessions with all care staff to ensure we are doing everything we can to minimise the risk of virus transfer in the home.

For the latest information on COVID-19 and how to minimise your risk of infection please go to the following websites:

GOV.UK official government response

NHS coronavirus information

If you have any other questions regarding Hamberley Care Homes’ preparedness for COVID-19 please contact your local care home. All contact details can be found here.

Our thanks to our dedicated teams and their response

Our care teams have been doing all they can to maximise infection control measures within the homes and are being monitored themselves before they enter the building.

Any staff member who is experiencing a high temperature, a cough or shortness of breath – or is socialising with anyone with these symptoms – will be asked to stay at home.

Lastly, we would like to say a huge thank you to our care teams for their continued dedication and commitment during this challenging time.

They are helping to keep some of the most vulnerable members of our society safe and in good spirits, and their kindness, compassion and diligence is there for all to see - we are very proud to have such a dedicated team.