I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for bearing with us over the past two years, which has seen many changes in guidance towards visitation and COVID testing. I recognise that it has not been easy for many of you, as we attempted to balance the need for families to see their relatives at the home, along with the need to provide a safe and effective a service as possible.
Unfortunately, the ongoing challenge of COVID-19 will result in instances where we may still need to restrict visitation due to outbreaks in our homes, in line with public health guidelines.
We all experienced an unprecedented couple of years and its impact on our residents, their families, and our staff would inevitably be felt. However, our first CQC inspection after the lifting of restrictions nationwide, has demonstrated just how impactful the situation has been.
Although the quality of our service in regard to caring and responsive remains ‘Good’, the report has highlighted areas that require improvement. As a result, I have taken robust and decisive action:
Prior to the inspection, not all our staff had the right skills and knowledge to act promptly and effectively, putting our service at a continued risk of falling below our expected standards. Following the inspection, we have invested heavily in a new training program to ensure that all members of staff are fully trained across the key areas of the organisation. At the time of writing, I can confirm, that all training needs outlined in the report have been addressed, and this commitment will be ongoing.
Furthermore, training and ongoing support have been implemented across all aspects of safeguarding, in particular regarding risk assessment, safety monitoring and management. A new Fire Marshall has also been appointed and full fire safety training has been undertaken across the home.
These are to name but a few of the immediate measures that I have taken to address CQC’s concerns but I assure you, we are not stopping there. Our commitment to providing the best possible living experience, in a safe, caring, effective environment is paramount, and I will keep you posted on developments via our social media. For those of you who aren’t following us, I would encourage you to do so.
Services like ours require strong leadership and managers to support and implement the improvements needed to reinstate our Good rating and even take us to Outstanding. Together, we are responsible for creating the culture and setting the standards of care in our home and are inspirational in others doing a good job. I expect our turnaround period to be a quick one, and we are already anticipating a prompt CQC review inspection.
Thank you for your continued understanding during these challenging times.
On behalf of Oriel Care Home
You know that you'd do anything for your family and that's just how we feel at Oriel House. We're a family run home and understand how worrying it can be to ensure your loved one is well taken care of. As soon as they arrive, your loved one will become part of our family and a member of the friendly group of residents that we care for. We'll give them constant care and attention, support and companionship whilst catering for their every need and personal tastes. And it doesn't matter whether you're funded privately or by social services, you'll be welcome here.
Whether on a long-term basis or respite care, our friendly atmosphere instantly puts everyone at ease. We often hold themed shows that involve singing to old favourites, something we find to be therapeutic and which further fuels our homes cheerful atmosphere. You can come and visit your loved one at any time, you’re always welcome and your input is encouraged to ensure the care we provide exceeds your expectations.
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The health, safety and well-being of residents, visitors and team members remains our number one priority and as such, we have updated our Contingency Plan, in line with the Government Adult Social Care Winter Plan, as explained below. Our aim is to protect our residents, visitors, and team members, from infections including coronavirus and ensure that people remain connected.
What we have implemented
During this pandemic we have implemented robust cleaning processes and adapted our environments to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. We have:
Social visits will continue, in line with Government advice and that from the local Director of Public Health. Different protocols might be in place, at different times, and we will keep you informed of any changes. Homes will encourage remote contact between residents and their loved ones through technology. Garden visits remain in place, should the weather allow it, as well as a designated safe indoor visiting room.
Activities and Events
We have also risk-assessed our day to day activities and are adhering to social distancing measures. We are isolating residents and team members who develop COVID-19 related symptoms and shielding residents where appropriate. Despite the challenges faced from COVID-19, our team is still running a full and engaging programme of activities and have introduced innovative ways to keep residents connected with each other. We are also pleased to have welcomed back some of the entertainers our residents enjoy, whilst ensuring the social distancing rule of 2-metres is maintained.
We continue to welcome new residents to our homes. We are following robust screening measures for potential exposure to the virus. New residents are required to have a negative COVID-19 swab test result prior to moving-in. They benefit from a personalised 14-day settling-in period, allowing the team to explore their likes and dislikes, including the types of food they enjoy and the activities they like to spend their time doing. Our team members continue to be vigilant for any known signs of the virus. We have established regular access to GP services and other clinicians.
As ever, we are very proud of the care and love our teams are providing in extremely challenging times.
"The staff are the flagship of Oriel Care Home. Warm, caring, welcoming, they put Mum at ease and she feels safe! It feels like a family. The home itself is always clean and inviting feeling more like a lovely guest house than a care home. I cannot thank you enough!"
Mrs A, Daughter of resident.