How Mariposa is responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)  Find out more

How Mariposa is responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

28/01/2020

We understand that this is a concerning time for anyone with a loved one living or working in a Mariposa care home.

 

We have created this page to answer any questions you may have around the measures being taken to protect and care for them throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It also explores how we have handled the pandemic so far and provides the latest guidance from Mariposa Care about the protocols we have implemented in our care homes. This information is intended for Mariposa Care residents, patients, staff and any visitors to our brilliant care homes.

A message of thanks

We would firstly like to thank all of those who have shown us their support throughout this difficult time. To our incredible staff for their absolutely fantastic support and efforts in caring for our residents and each other- without them we simply would not be able to manage this pandemic effectively. Also, to the friends and families of our residents, who have been patient and understanding of our strict visiting restrictions and along with the wider community, have sent thousands of messages of support, thanks and commendation to our truly magnificent staff- this really means a great deal to all of us and helps us maintain the great services and care we deliver. So truly, thank you.

We would also like to give thanks to the Local Authorities, NHS and CQC for their fantastic support during this crisis, a true team approach that has worked well for Mariposa Care in supporting us and each other.

And finally, we want to say a huge thank you to our brilliant residents for their understanding, resilience and positivity.  You are the centre of everything we do and we truly are privileged to be looking after you while living with us in your home.

Our COVID-19 journey so far

We ‘locked down’ our care homes to external visitors except for healthcare and health and safety critical workers only on 13th March 2020. This decision was taken early and decisively. We quickly ensured our residents and staff were protected by PHE (Public Health England) guidelines inline with our own infection control procedures and we also worked hard to source PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and ensure residents families and friends were well connected with the deployment of technology such as iPads for video-calling.

Fortunately, the quick actions and absolutely first class efforts from all of our care home staff and central support staff prior to official lockdown along with the stringent procedures we introduced and review on a regular basis have comprehensively helped us manage risk and maintain good quality care throughout the pandemic to date. 

Where we are today

Although life seems to be returning to a new state of “normal”, we understand that the elderly residents living in our care homes are still amongst the most vulnerable transmission groups of the COVID-19 Virus.  So as we progress with a safer, socially distanced way of delivering care, we continue to follow the advice and guidelines provided by Public Health England and regularly review and adapt our approach as the situation changes.

We have constantly remained in close communications with local authorities, local public health authorities and of course central Government in order to have information at our fingertips to remain in a strong and robust position to achieve our main goal of keeping everybody safe.

Below, you’ll find the steps we are taking to protect residents in our care and staff in our employment through every stage of the pandemic.

Measures to keep residents, staff and visitors safe

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
We are keeping staff and residents safe by following Public Health England guidelines published on the UK Government website. These include a variety of measures and protocols including providing staff with face masks, visors or goggles, aprons and gloves.
Infection Control Procedures
We have always had UK care home leading infection control procedures in place and we continue to keep staff and residents safe by following additional, care home specific COVID-19 Public Health England guidelines published on the UK Government website.
Infection Control Champion
We have nominated one person at each of our homes to work alongside the Home Manager and rest of the team to be hyperaware and responsible for ensuring the home correctly follows the Mariposa Care infection control policies dictated internally and alongside Public Health England guidelines.
COVID-19 Antigen Testing
Regular testing of staff and residents has been a great tool to allow us to make important decisions along the way and keep staff and residents safe. We are pleased that the Government is now fully supporting frequent testing.
COVID-19 CQC Inspections
We have had COVID-19 specific CQC inspections to ensure our homes are correctly following infection control procedures. We are delighted to report we have passed with flying colours.
Digital Connections
We have provided our homes with iPads to ensure residents can easily communicate with friends and family via video call whilst physical visitation is restricted.
Social Content
We continue to ensure the website, Facebook (public and staff) and the homes’ blog sites are regularly updated with positive news and goings on. This includes a new social images gallery which we have implemented on the website. We feel this is a good way to showcase the positivity which all of our residents generate despite these difficult times.
Newsletter
We ensure the newsletter, which is updated monthly with positive news and goings on is distributed to anyone who wishes to receive it. You will also find the content posted as a blog on our website.
Relative Support Email
We have set-up a new email which is dedicated to all COVID-19 enquiries to answer any questions raised by residents' families and friends. Email us at: coronahelp@mariposacare.com
Temperature Scanning
We have installed thermal cameras at the entrances of all of our homes. Anyone found with a temperature higher than permitted will be denied entry to the home.
Internal Visitors
We have limited visitation to essential healthcare and contractors only. In order to keep staff and residents safe, families and friends are not currently permitted into the homes except in exceptional circumstances which are risk assessed and decided upon by each Home Manager on a per residence basis.

New residents

We continue to safely welcome new residents into our care homes, so please do give your local Mariposa care home a call if you are looking for care or need any further help.

We want to assure you that when we are welcoming new residents into one of our homes we have clear protocols in place to ensure that it is appropriate for them to move in. We are also ensuring that any new residents joining our homes, whether from a local hospital or the community, have been tested in advance and receive negative testing results prior to admission. To view our official statement for how we’re safely welcoming new residents into our care homes please click here.

Keeping our residents physically and mentally active

We are very aware that an important part of living in a care home is being able to socialise and enjoy physical, mental and spiritual activity that is vital for overall wellbeing.  We are delighted that the mix of personalised care and our continually reviewed lifestyle support plans organised within our homes, have great new ways of keeping everyone active, including a number of virtual activities.

All whilst ensuring that the group activities we organise are smaller, adhering to social distancing advice, and enhanced infection control procedures are maintained. Our residents are thoroughly enjoying this and feedback has been great so far.

Please scroll through our gallery of images taken by our care home staff which shows some of the activities our residents have been up to during lockdown. See more of the daily goings-on inside our care homes on our Facebook page here.

Our current visiting guidelines at Mariposa Care

New Government guidance issued to protect residents from the Omicron variant restricts the number of named visitors able to visit a resident to three (this number does not include essential care givers or preschool age children).

All visitors will be screened for symptoms of acute respiratory infection before entering. No one who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days, is currently experiencing, or first experienced, coronavirus symptoms in the last 10 days, or who is in a relevant quarantine period following return from travel. will be allowed to enter the premises. Visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated and have received their booster. Transmissible viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as COVID-19. If visitors have any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, they should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better.

A comprehensive risk assessment will be undertaken for each resident identifying the specific risks for them and others to develop appropriate strategies to safely manage those risks. These risk assessments will be discussed and agreed upon with the resident. Advice and support will be sought if the measures show signs of causing distress for individual residents.

1. Every resident can have 3 named visitors who can visit regularly.

2. Every resident can choose to nominate an essential caregiver who can visit the home and help to attend to essential care needs. They can visit any time including during outbreaks in the home unless they have Covid-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive.

3. We also continue to offer visits to friends or family members through arrangements such as outdoor visits, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods, or from behind windows.

Conducting the visit

Visitors must follow any guidelines and procedures put in place by the home to ensure compliance with IPC. Copies of our guidance and procedures are made available to visitors before the visit and are also available to be read by visitors on arrival.

  • Visitors should wear a face mask when visiting the care home, particularly when moving through the care home. COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. Face masks reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, especially when there is close contact between people in enclosed, poorly ventilated and crowded spaces. Face masks must fit securely around the face to safely cover the mouth and the nose.
  • We recognise that individual approaches are needed as the wearing of face masks may cause distress to some residents. In these circumstances, face masks may be removed when not in communal areas of the care home. However, other
  • There is a booking system in place to enable visits. It is not possible to facilitate adhoc or unannounced visits. The duration of the visits should not be limited if safe visiting practices can be maintained.
  • An area is provided for visitors to sign in, answer any necessary screening questions and comply with testing requirements before the visit takes place.
  • Visits should take place in a room most practical and comfortable for the resident (for example, residents with dementia may be more comfortable in their room with familiar belongings).
  • Visitors should wear a face mask when visiting the care home, particularly when moving through the care home. COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. Face masks reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, especially when there is close contact between people in enclosed, poorly ventilated and crowded spaces. Face masks must fit securely around the face to safely cover the mouth and the nose.
  • We recognise that individual approaches are needed as the wearing of face masks may cause distress to some residents. In these circumstances, face masks may be removed when not in communal areas of the care home. However, other mitigations should be considered, including limiting close contact, clear visors and increased ventilation (while maintaining a comfortable temperature). 
  • If face masks are to be removed, a comprehensive risk assessment should be undertaken for each resident identifying the specific risks to them, staff and visitors and to develop appropriate strategies to safely manage those risks.
  • Visits take place in a well-ventilated room where doors and windows are open where safe to do so.
  • There are designated visiting rooms that are only used by one resident and their visitors at a time.
  • Enhanced cleaning and ventilation is carried out between visits. Any areas used by visitors are decontaminated several times throughout the day.
  • Visitors wear appropriate PPE as laid out in the guidance for working safely in a care home  here.
  • Visitors should maintain as much distance as possible, limit contact and follow handwashing protocols. However physical contact should be supported to help health and wellbeing, as long as infection prevention and control measures are in use, such as visiting in a ventilated space, using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the visit, and hand-washing before and after holding hands.
  • Gloves are not needed for hand-holding.
  • Communal areas can be used for visits if there is only one visiting group using the area at a time. Individual groups may wish to remove face masks to share a meal together in communal areas, providing no other people are in the area.
  • Visitors should limit contact with other residents and staff, and maintain as much distance as possible.
  • Regular conversations with staff can be arranged over the phone following in-person visits.
 
  • Visitors who are not legally required to self-isolate are advised against visiting the care home (for 10 days) if they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, unless necessary, even if they have been fully vaccinated. Where visits do occur, visitors should have received a negative PCR test result prior to their visit, and a negative lateral flow test result earlier in the day of their visit.

Gifts and other items

Housekeeping

Declaration

You will be asked to sign and complete a code of conduct declaration to acknowledge you understand and agree to the code of conduct for visitors. You will also be asked to sign a visitor health screening questionnaire.

We also require the additional details for track and trace purposes. Thank you for your understanding and time.

 

Further information

Thank you for taking the time to read this update.  We will continue to update any changes to this part of our website so please bookmark the page.  If you would like any further guidance or have any questions, please contact the care home Manager at each of our care homes or alternatively email us at coronahelp@mariposacare.com

For comprehensive information about COVID-19 itself, please visit the Public Health England website.

This article was first published on 13 March, 2020 and is regularly updated as Government guidance changes. Last updated: 11th November, 2021.