Tonbridge Care Home Successfully Keeps Staff and Residents Safe During Pandemic

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16 July 2020

Tonbridge Care Home Successfully Keeps Staff and Residents Safe During Pandemic

Whilst the whole world has been affected by Covid-19 and people’s lives being dramatically different over the last few months, for care homes they have quietly been the unsung heroes throughout this strange time.

Staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that their vulnerable residents at Barnes Lodge have been protected and continue to do so. It is definitely a ‘business as usual’ attitude in the social care industry and Barnes Lodge care home in Tudeley Lane, Tonbridge is shining through during a dark time.

Covid-19 has affected us all, not just in this country, but across the World, with one of the toughest parts being unable to see family and friends. Residents at Barnes Lodge have waited patiently during this difficult time and can now finally see their family members and friends once again. By carefully following government guidelines, Barnes Lodge staff have worked tirelessly to set up an outdoor marquee, which allowed loved ones to reunite, whilst socially distancing.

Rapport Housing and Care made the extremely difficult and heart wrenching decision to close the doors of Barnes Lodge to all non-essential visitors in March to protect everyone’s health and safety as much as they possibly could. Personal Protective Equipment was purchased, and staff were relentless with their infection control procedures and policies. All staff and residents were monitored for symptoms and asked to self-isolate if they were showing even the slightest sign of being unwell.

In addition to this residents who had come from hospital were required to undergo a swab test before entry and any new admissions have to isolate in their rooms for 14 days upon arrival, which of course is difficult but so important for the home’s safety.

Nicky Pett, Home Manager at Barnes Lodge, said: “This is a new way of working for everyone, these safety procedures seem very strict and especially difficult for family members who are unable to see their loved ones. Some staff members and I are now trained in swab testing for Covid-19 and everyone in the home has been tested.
New residents do have to be monitored in self-isolation for 14 days, but their care is delivered in exactly the same way and they benefit from one on one activities with our brilliant Activity Coordinators. People have been very supportive and understanding.”

“Apart from the safety of staff and residents, one of our main focuses has been the activities for residents. It is so important to continue as normally as possible and keep everyone busy and having lots of fun, we do so many different things each day, from pamper sessions to vase painting and baking – it is never dull here!”

Barnes Lodge has only had one case of Covid-19, with the resident being successfully cared back to full health and is now completely free of the virus. There are now no suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 among any of the residents at the home. With the government recently announcing that all care homes across England will now be able to access testing for residents and staff, with some staff members trained in swab testing for the virus. Under these new guidelines our staff are now tested weekly and our residents every 28 days to ensure that we remain safe from Covid-19.
Barnes Lodge puts their success down to their swift actions and the safety procedures that have been put in place, even before lockdown was announced.

Katrina Levett, Operations Director at Rapport Housing and Care commented: “This has been such an apprehensive time for everyone, regardless of who you are. But when we are dealing with our vulnerable older community it is our job to make sure they are feeling happy and safe. It is so important to us to show families that they can feel confident in moving in their loved ones, especially now they can visit in our lovely marquee.

“We couldn’t be prouder of all our staff, they have shown such dedication to not just the care industry but to all our residents across the board. They are delivering the exact same high standard of care, just in a very different way at the moment. It is thanks to them we will continue to provide the top quality of care to those living with us.”

Located in Tudeley Lane, Tonbridge, Barnes Lodge is 101 bed care home offering residential care, dementia care and nursing. Staff are offering limited, route specific, visits to potential residents along with video calls to meet the staff and chat through any question’s families may have.

Home Manager Nicky adds: “Choosing the right care home is such a difficult thing to do and so important, we are doing everything we can to make it as smooth and straightforward as possible, we want people to know we are here for them still. We will answer any questions no matter how small or silly it seems, it can be very overwhelming anyway, let alone during a pandemic.”

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