JEWISH CARE UPDATED COMMUNICATION: Covid-19

6 April 2022, 9am

Our top priority is the safety and protection of those in our care.

Jewish Care has taken a number of steps to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 across all of our resources including: the introduction of a screening process upon entry to any resource; self-isolation measures where appropriate; increased deep cleaning and use of additional sanitisation and specialist cleaning products and following all Government guidance on testing and any other regulations.

Contingency and response plans are in place for all scenarios which may occur as a result of Covid-19 impacting the UK more widely. Jewish Care is regularly reviewing the situation, and our Covid-19 Response team made up of our Directorate team and senior colleagues from across the organisation are meeting regularly to review the situation, along with our measures and plans.

Our commitment to the safety of everyone that enters our buildings throughout the pandemic has remained and continues to remain our number one priority at Jewish Care. Jewish Care will therefore continue with the current screening and infection control measures that are currently in place until further notice. 

We thank our staff, volunteers, relatives and clients for their continued support in upholding these measures to help keep everyone safe. 

This includes continuing to wear a mask in all areas of our care homes and Retirement Living schemes. 

We ask that you do not enter any of our buildings if you: 

  • Feel unwell with any Covid-19 symptoms
  • Have tested positive until you have tested negative on two consecutive days on tests taken 24 hours apart from day 5 onwards, and symptoms have subsided. 

Together, we have worked so hard to keep the rates of infection as low as possible. Although most people who do become infected show mild or no symptoms, we work with vulnerable people and by continuing with these measures, we ensure that their protection and safety along with everyone that comes into our buildings, remains a priority.

Care Homes 

We are determined to do all we can to minimise the spread of infection amongst the residents and staff in our homes. Our frontline staff in care roles will continue to wear the PPE issued and for those staff not in care roles, continue to wear masks inside all of our buildings.

Visitors

  • There is no limit on the number of different visitors a resident can have and no requirements to test or isolate after normal visits out (providing these visits are not deemed to be 'high risk' by the home)
  • Residents are encouraged to have one ‘essential care giver’ who will be able to visit them, even if regular visits to the home are restricted (due to outbreak).
  • The number of visitors at any one time, the place of visit (own bedroom, lounge) will be agreed between the home, the resident and visitors and may be different between homes.
  • Homes which have a number of cases of positive Covid-19 tests (residents or staff) may need to restrict visits and aim to do so in the most appropriate, safe and least restrictive way. Essential care givers will be allowed to visit, subject to fulfilling requirements and where possible, pod and garden visits can continue but will not be available to residents who are isolating. The home management will inform residents and relatives when this occurs.

Please continue to book visits as per current arrangements in the home and in order to minimise the risk of spreading infection we ask all visitors not to visit if you:

  • Feel unwell with any Covid-19 symptoms
  • Live in a household with someone who has Covid-19 symptoms, or you have tested positive
  • Are awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test for any reason
  • Have been asked to isolate by NHS test and trace services
  • Are from returning from a country that requires isolation 

Please always wear a mask in all areas of the home.

From 11 November 2021, it was made law that anyone working, volunteering, or coming into a care home as a supplier will need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated, unless exempt. If you are working or volunteering in a care home, please be ready to show your vaccination status at reception. 

Essential Care Givers (ECG)

  • Each resident is encouraged to choose a visitor who will be able to visit them, assist and offer companionship.
  • The ECG, will be able to visit the residents even if the home has restricted visiting due to an outbreak. In exceptional circumstances they may be able to visit a resident who is isolating having tested positive to Covid-19.
  • In order to ensure the ECG’s safety is maintained, they must comply with the same vaccination, testing and Infection Control regimes that are undertaken by staff. They must also be informed of how to keep themselves and others safe.

Testing and Isolation

From Monday 4th April, the following guidance will apply:

Visitors in care homes and Retirement Living schemes

  • Visitors to care homes and Retirement Living schemes will no longer need to test before entering but are asked to take necessary precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, in line with general population guidance at that time. Although no longer mandatory for visitors to test, they may feel that they wish to do so for their own peace of mind. Please bear in mind things can and do change, and the Registered Manager has the right to enforce testing if they feel it is appropriate.
  • A small number of visitors in care homes who are providing personal care will be asked to test before entering up to twice weekly if visiting more than twice. Free LFTs are available for these visitors.
  • Visiting professionals who provide personal care will also be asked to test before entering in the same way as visitors providing personal care with tests provided to the care home for this purpose. All other visiting professionals will not need to test prior to entry.

Residents in care homes and tenants in Retirement Living schemes

  • There is no longer any regular asymptomatic testing for residents in our care homes and for tenants in our Retirement Living schemes.
  • Residents will continue to be tested on admission to care homes from hospitals or other care settings (this does not include testing following hospital appointments).
  • Care home residents and tenants who have symptoms of Covid-19 should isolate and take 2 LFTs 48 hours apart. They can stop isolating if both tests are negative.
  • If positive, they will isolate until they have had two consecutive LFT results taken 24 hours apart at the earliest from days 5 and 6. If they continue to receive positive test results up to day 10, they can stop isolating after day 10.

Members of community and dementia day centres

  • Members no longer need to take an LFT before coming into a community centre or day centre.

Admissions

We are open for new admissions. Our friendly, dedicated and professional team are looking forward to welcoming you.

Our number one priority is to keep all our residents, relatives, staff and volunteers safe, so we are following strict National Institute for Health Protection guidelines and measures across all our homes. In accordance with the latest guidance:

New residents who have been admitted from the community no longer need to isolate upon arrival into our care homes, subject to risk assessment from the home’s Registered Manager based on taking the following in to account:

  • Whether the resident being admitted has received at least 2 doses of the vaccine
  • Local guidance from the director of public health about community transmission of variants of concern is followed
  • The circumstances at the person’s home, prior to admission
  • If a close contact has occurred, admission may be delayed until after the relevant period of isolation. We will never delay an admission if there are safeguarding and welfare concerns.
  • Residents admitted from the community or another care setting should take a PCR test within the 72 hours before they are admitted (or a LFD if they have tested positive in the previous 90 days) and a LFD on the day of admission.
  • These tests should be provided by the home. If the individual tests positive on either of these tests and continues to be admitted, they should be isolated on arrival.
  • They can end this isolation early by having two negative LFD tests 24 hours apart from days 5 and 6 onwards.

The following applies (from 1 April) to new admissions being discharged from a hospital 

  • People who test positive prior to discharge can be admitted to a care home if the home is satisfied that they can be cared for safely. A person will receive a PCR test prior to discharge, or a LFD is they have tested positive in the past 90 days
  • This means designated settings are no longer in force.
  • Care home residents should not be required to self-isolate when discharged back to the care home following an admission into hospital, subject to a negative PCR or LFD.
  • Residents will still need to self-isolate for 10 days if they have been discharged from a part of hospital where there is an active outbreak. They can end this isolation early by having two negative LFD tests 24 hours apart from days 5 and 6 onwards.

Please be assured that our team will go out of their way to make sure every resident is treated with the care and respect they deserve and is able to settle in safely and make friendships in the home.

For more information please call our team on 0208 922 2222 or email lwjc@jcare.org

We are looking forward to opening our care homes to visitors and to resuming more welcoming environments and interactions between residents and visitors. 

Retirement Living 

Your continued vigilance will help us to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak of Covid-19 in our Retirement Living Services.

You must not visit your loved one in their home if:

  • You are experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19.
  • If you are living in the same household as someone experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19 or someone who has tested positive for the virus.
  • If you have been advised to self-isolate.
  • If you are awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test for any reason.
  • You are returning from a high risk country.  

For information on additional guidance, please contact the Selig Court Concierge Service on 0208 922 2626, the Wohl Court Concierge Service on 0203 301 0455 or the Pears Court Concierge Service on 020 8442 7755 between 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Friday. 

Community Centres, Connect@, Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, Dementia Day Centres:  

We are delighted to have resumed in-person activity and have reopened many of our centres. 

For more information about activities and opening times of your or your loved one’s centre, please visit www.jewishcare.org/how-we-can-help-you/community.

Our online and virtual services, programmes and events are continuing alongside face-to-face activity. Our priority is to make sure that all our members can take part in our programming in the most accessible way for them, and that no one misses out on activities they want to attend. To that end, we will be offering a way to access in-person events online in addition to physical events recommencing.   

We know how vital our Meals on Wheels, telephone befriending, digital engagement and social work and family carers support services are to so many of our members and their families and are pleased to say that they will all very much continue as they have been.    

The safety of our members, volunteers and staff remains our priority and we will be taking a number of precautions in line with Government guidance to ensure that any in-person activity is done safely and minimises any potential risk from Covid-19. We continue to constantly review and assess the situation with any new variants emerging.

For more information on individual centres or testing before arrival please call the Jewish Care Direct helpline on 020 8922 2222 or email helpline@jcare.org.    

Additional Resources

For tips on how to stay active and well, visit jewishcare.org/keepingactive for resources to keep everyone engaged, stimulated and healthy whilst at home. 

You can also visit jewishcare.org/informationduringcovid to access online information, advice and guidance.