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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On 31st January government restrictions on care home visiting are lifted and isolation periods are cut. Face coverings and face masks will continue to be required in health and care settings to comply with infection prevention and control (IPC) and adult social care guidance. This includes hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They must also be worn by everyone accessing or visiting care homes.
From the 15th March 2022 the Government also removed the legal requirement for care home staff and visitors to be vaccinated against Covid-19. However, we are dedicated to the health and wellbeing of everyone in our homes and so still encourage anyone visiting a Mariposa care home to receive their full vaccination course. You can book your Covid-19 vaccine here: https://bit.ly/3Ie8uMX
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.
When developing the risk assessment we assess how we can best manage visits safely, involving, when possible, the resident and family in the development of the risk assessment. This includes,
• Residents’ rights to visits and the important role visitors play in residents’ wellbeing.
• What is possible within the layout and facilities within the home to ensure that mixing between visitors is limited as much as possible.
• Where and how visitors might be received on arrival at the home to avoid mixing with other visitors, staff or residents.
• The precautions that will be taken to prevent infection during visits. (including PPE use, ventilation, limiting close contact and hand washing)
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.
• There is a booking system in place to enable visits. It is not possible to facilitate ad hoc 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.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-care-homes/covid-19-putting-on-and-removing-ppe-a-guide-for-care-homes-video
• 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.
Visitors who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to self isolate if they have been identified as having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. However
• We advise against visiting if they have been identified as a close contact unless for certain visits such as End of Life
• Where visits take place the visitor should have received a negative PCR result before their visit and a negative LFD result earlier in the day of the visit
• Residents should avoid receiving visitors who are clinically extremely vulnerable for 10 days after they have been in contact with a COVID-positive case, except in exceptional circumstances
Gifts and other items
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.