Letter From the directors
As the Directors of Sutton in the Elms Ltd, we wanted to reach out to you and provide an important update on the home. As you’ll be aware, the date for the end of restrictions is now amidst us and it is at this juncture that we would like to furnish you all with some pertinent information which we know is of a sensitive nature, yet we feel, in line with being open and honest, we must share with you. Sutton in the Elms prides itself on transparency, and it is in this spirit that we write to you today.
Over the past 15 months, both our community and the entire country has faced a truly unprecedented set of challenges. As I’m sure you can appreciate, this has been an exceptionally difficult time for everyone living in, working in and connected to our Home. Throughout this period, we have seen extraordinary acts of kindness and bravery from the residents we care for, our colleagues, and members of our community alike – as well as immense understanding and support from you and your family.
Whilst a shortage of PPE was recognised nationally at the beginning of the pandemic, Langdale Care Homes Group went the extra mile and imported PPE directly, despite the huge costing in freight taxes. We strongly believe that we have an utmost duty to protect both residents and staff teams from possible infection. Furthermore, we have acted swiftly on the Public Health guidance and all team members are now wearing fluid repellent face masks in all our homes across the whole care group, regardless of whether there is any suspected Covid-19 case in that community, or not.
We have provided our staff team with a higher specification masks N-95, face shields, disposable overalls and hair covers that are used when in direct contact with Covid positive residents.
We know that the pandemic has been especially challenging, given you have been unable to spend time with your loved ones. We are extremely grateful for the patience you have shown in adapting to the restrictions we’ve introduced to remain in line with Government guidelines. Whilst these have been integral to protecting your loved one and their fellow residents, we understand and empathise with the huge “heartache these limits on visiting may have caused. We would like to reassure you that, in your absence, we have done all we can throughout this time to make sure your relative has remained comfortable and been shown love and care from all our team.
As you will know, like the vast majority of care homes in the UK, we unfortunately experienced our own coronavirus outbreak in April to June 2020. This occurred at a time when the virus transmission rate within the local community was very high, and before the rollout of the testing and vaccines programmes. There were times during the pandemic when the Government’s guidance was changing on a daily basis, which underlines how much the country has had to learn about the virus. What we know today is the culmination of the experiences that we, and many other care homes, went through at a time when there was far less support available.
Whilst the outbreak was a terrible experience, we’re relieved to say that with the support and dedication of our carers, majority of residents recovered from the virus.
However, it is with a saddened heart that I must share with you that 3 of our beloved residents passed away from COVID-19. We have always taken our responsibility to provide the best care to your loved one extremely seriously and we would like to reassure that we have done everything humanly possible to protect them. The passing of any of our residents is painful for our close and tight knit community and even more so in the current circumstances.
Throughout the pandemic, we have undertaken regular internal infection prevention audits. We have been inspected by both CQC and Local Authority and the authorities reported that they were assured our Home was following safe infection prevention and control procedures to keep people safe.
Despite the tragic events of the last 15 months, I am pleased to say we’ve never been in a better position to move forward while continuing to protect your loved one from Covid-19. We now know much more about the virus than we did at the beginning of the pandemic, and with increased access to testing and the successful rollout of the vaccination programme, we are pleased to be able to safely open the home to more visitors and reconnect you with your loved ones.
Throughout the pandemic, our colleagues have been on the frontline, showing true dedication and resilience. It is a source of great pride that I can say that every member of staff has done their utmost to balance the duty of protecting residents with the need to ensure they remain happy and socially engaged.
Our housekeeping team continue to maintain high standards of cleanliness so as to reduce the risk of any viral contamination on hard surfaces. Team members are no longer travelling to work in their uniforms but are changing in the home prior to commencing duty and then changing back into their outdoor clothes before they leave to go home.
We are continuing to closely monitor the health of our team members and are ensuring that anyone who is displaying any symptoms of a Covid-19 infection are appropriately self-isolating at home and only return to work when they are free from any symptoms. Team training in Covid-19 and infection control continues and our team are fully supported with a current and up to date “Management of Covid-19” action plan and associated pieces of guidance, all of which reflects current UK Government and Public Health guidance.
Our Home implemented from the start of the pandemic daily monitoring of COVID-19 symptoms amongst residents. We assess each resident twice daily for the development of a fever (≥37.8°C), cough or shortness of breath. Any resident presenting with a new continuous cough and/or high temperature is cared in isolation as per guidance and strict Infection prevention and control measures and procedures are followed.
As we hope you agree, now more than ever, it is so important for us to be recognising our great teams and amazing staff as they go above and beyond in caring for our residents. We would welcome your feedback and recognition of key staff members. Appreciating that you can’t come into your local home to pick up a Nomination Form, please do send the name, service and reason for the nomination to the Home Manager.
We thank you for your support as we move through this Worldwide pandemic and please be reassured that all of the actions we have taken, and will continue to take in the future, are reflective of the most current guidance and advice published by the UK Government and Public Health (England). The health and welfare of residents, visitors and our staff team is our number one priority and we continue with our pledge to will keep all stakeholders updated with further developments.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this and for your sincere support and understanding