UPDATE: 2nd APRIL 2020
Here are some good news stories from our community:
- – This week at Moorsidecare home, we have been placing teddy bears and rainbows in the front windows for people to see as they drive by. We are also receiving letters and pictures from children at Winnall Primary school, which is bringing lots of joy!
- – Hand in Hand volunteers have been doing some shopping for their scheme members who are currently self-isolating. Not only this, but some of them are also supporting our Almshouse Welfare Team by shopping for St John’s residents. More volunteers are planning on shopping next week.
- – Hand in Hand volunteers are determined not to let social distancing hinder their routines, and are now providing telephone befriending and support to their scheme members.
- – Brother Andrew, one of our Almshouse residents and baker extraordinaire, has very kindly delivered a fresh batch of cookies to the Welfare Team’s office as a treat. A big thank you to him for keeping spirits high!
- – The Welfare Team are also in the process of setting up a game of ‘morning call bingo’ for the almshouses – no doubt filled with laughter!
There are so many positive things going on in our own community and across the city. Great teamwork across the charity and examples of how extraordinary our people are.
If you are interested in joining our team as a staff or volunteer member, why don’t you take a look at our opportunities here.
UPDATE: 31st MARCH 2020
To ensure we are communicating with our people in the broadest possible ways, we have increased phone calls and have set up private Facebook groups for both staff and residents. Our intention is that these platforms can be used to share updates and news, as well as positive stories and helpful local information.
We have increased conference and video calls among the team members who are able to work from home, which has been working well. There are still members of staff on site in order to offer maximum support to our community of residents. Additionally, we are holding coronavirus meetings via conference calls three times a week with senior management across all areas of the charity to ensure we are all up-to-date, connected and on top of the latest developments.
Our team are working hard to ensure delivery of essentials and collection of medicine are covered and options are explored to ensure the people who choose to make St John’s their home are supported.
UPDATE: 26th MARCH 2020 – LEGIONELLA PRECAUTIONS
In order to protect residents and staff, we are limiting contact as much as possible with maintenance staff. We will continue to carry out all of our external legionella checks. However, our internal checking regime will be suspended for the time being whilst the COVID-19 remains a threat. For the moment in order to protect yourselves, we have advised all of our almshouse resident to run their taps in sinks and basins, as well as bath and shower heads (paying particular care with these).
We have issued the following guidance:
- – Each week, once a week, you need to first run your hot tap for two minutes continuously and then your cold tap, continuously for two minutes.
- – Please also flush your toilet regularly.
We will be doing a walk around of the almshouse sites to remind people of the precautions they need to take. If you have any queries, do get in touch.
UPDATE: 25th MARCH 2020
From now on we will be contacting our residents by phone and not by letter and posting latest guidance on noticeboards. We want to do all we can to limit the spread of the virus.
Last night, the Prime Minister made an announcement to the nation imploring everyone to observe social distancing and to stay at home wherever possible. Shops and non-essential services will be closed, and the government are requesting that people do not meet in groups larger than two. These are possibly the strictest measures on our way of life in recent history and have been made not to limit people’s quality of life but to protect the country and those who are most vulnerable. However, we understand the challenges these restrictions may generate and how it will certainly impact hugely on all our lives.
The NHS have outlined the following information on their website:
Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading
- – Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- – This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions. Many of our staff members who can work from home are now doing so to minimise the risk, after an audit was carried out on who can and can’t work from home.
You can only leave your home:
- – to shop for essentials – only when you really need to.
- – to do one form of exercise a day – such as a walk, alone or with other people you live with
- – for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
The Welfare Team and volunteers are doing what they can to support those who can’t get out with shopping and prescriptions. We have advised almshouse resident to contact the Welfare Team if they need support with this. They will also be continuing their daily calls to residents.
Shielding: The Government will be writing to those regarded as especially vulnerable due to medical conditions. Being 70 or over does not mean you automatically fall into this category. Some of our people may fall into this category and the advice is to remain at home and to do so for 12 weeks. Residents have been advised to contact us if they receive a letter.
Access to the General Office: Please don’t come to the general office but call instead. This protects you, our residents and all of us who remain working in the office.
Repairs and Maintenance: We are operating an emergency service only during working hours. For now, residents have been directed to call the Welfare Team and they will redirect their query to Andy Ross (Facilities Manager) or a to a member of the maintenance team. We will let you know when normal service can resume.
Contractors (such as plumbers and electricians) are continuing to operate so we should be able to organise emergency repairs to be made as soon as possible.
We ask everyone to be extra vigilant in these difficult times. There have been some reports emerging of bogus groups who have been asking for money in exchange for help. Continue to be careful online and if in doubt about any email or website, do not open the email or link. No bank will contact you by phone or email or otherwise to transfer money to a new account, and the same goes for the police.
UPDATE: 24th MARCH 2020 – STAY AT HOME WHEREVER POSSIBLE
Further to the Government’s announcement at 8.30pm last night, the charity will be issuing new communications to all staff and residents.
Please check back later for further information on this Coronavirus blog post.
UPDATE: 23rd MARCH 2020
Welfare Team: the welfare team will continue to work as usual, supporting residents with any pre-existing health issues. Telephone calls from the welfare team have increased. We are looking at ways of keeping people in contact, respecting the constraints of ‘social distancing’ and minimising risk.
Residents Social Clubs: Last week we made the difficult decision to suspend resident-led clubs or activities held in the community room. This decision has not been taken lightly and we would like to explain the reasoning behind it.
We had previously suspended clubs that are managed and/or arranged by St John’s (such as Lunch Club and Louise’s classes, among others). However, we have now entered a phase where the self-isolation of those aged 70+ and with underlying health issues is advised strongly by the government. Soon it may be mandated. We have agreed that under these extraordinary circumstances the Community Room and No. 1 North cannot be used as social spaces, even if social isolation could be practiced.
This decision was made after having reflected on government and public health guidance. We feel that ultimately it would be irresponsible of us to facilitate public congregation and gathering in the community room. Social distancing is being strongly encouraged (meaning keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from each other).
The government also advises that going for a walk, light exercise or going to the shops are all acceptable but are advising against public events and social gatherings for all age groups. You should not go out unless you absolutely must at this juncture and then you should make sure you can follow ‘social distancing’ guidelines, wherever practicable.
Shielding: The Government will be writing to those which it regards as especially vulnerable due to health/medical conditions, such as those with severe asthma for example. Being 70 or over does not mean you automatically fall into this category. Some in our almshouse community may fall into this category and the advice is to remain at home and to do so for 12 weeks. We have advised our residents that if they receive such a letter to let the welfare team know.
Access to the General Office: It is still open with some staff home-working some of the time but to protect everyone, it is best phone us at present on 01962 854226. If you do need to come into the office, we are observing social distancing for your protection and ours. All visitors, including residents and staff, must also sanitise their hands when entering and leaving the office. We have dispensers in the interior of the office door for your use and ease of access.
Please do follow the precautions advised by the NHS, which can significantly reduce anyone’s prospects of contracting the virus or spreading it. Copies of notices/guidance will be put on the notice boards.
Current Government advice is that if you begin to present with any symptoms (such as a continuous cough, fever/high temperature and/or shortness of breath) you should self-isolate immediately.
Please remember we encourage both staff and residents to ring the NHS 111 service if:
- – you feel you can’t cope with your symptoms at home
- – your condition gets worse
- – your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
The charity will keep all these things under constant review. We have also contacted some almshouse residents’ next of kin to ensure they are also aware of what steps we are taking.
The best protection is to wash your hands frequently.
23rd MARCH 2020: Mother’s Day at Moorside
Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the mums out there!
Yesterday, the Moorside team continued to work hard to ensure that families could still connect on Mother’s Day despite COVID-19 social distancing. Communication and contact is vital for every family, and we wanted to ensure that loved ones could come together safely on this special day.
Visits were arranged by some of the families, who spent time in the sunshine in Moorside’s beautiful garden. They were able enjoy the day chatting to their mothers through the window to the cosy Winchester Lounge.
Here are some photos of our residents with some of their Mother’s Day gifts, talking to their loved ones safely through the window. Visit our photo gallery here to see some of the Mother’s Day photos.
UPDATE: 20th MARCH 2020
At St John’s, we are communicating regularly with our people to let them know what measures the charity are putting into place to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.
Here are some updates:
– Extra telephones calls are being arranged and offered to our almshouse residents by our dedicated welfare team. This is to improve and support people’s wellbeing, as we understand that self-isolation and social distancing can be a lonely and worrying time.
– We have a team of staff at Moorside Nursing Home who are providing emotional support and helping residents and loved ones to remain in as much contact as possible. This may include the use of tablets in the near future to facilitate video calls between families, as well as regular phone calls with residents’ next of kin to check in on them. We’re also sending photos and email updates.
– Our Hand in Hand volunteers are continuing to support the older people in the community who they befriend through telephone calls and shopping.
– The almshouse staff and charity office are pulling together to help with shopping and getting supplies, and the entire charity staff are looking into ways of sharing childcare arrangements and getting to and from work in a way that is sustainable, sensible and of course safe.
We are a vibrant community, supporting each other during this extraordinary time. Please contact us if you would like to discuss anything with us further, or if you have any queries or questions.
UPDATE: 19th MARCH 2020
During these difficult and unprecedented times, we must all pull together to support one another, the local community at large, and those of us who are most vulnerable.
St John’s are calling for local industries and individuals to get in touch to see what help and support can be shared.
If you are a local shop, restaurant or member of the hospitality industry and are struggling for business in this current climate, and are offering takeaway/food delivery services, please get in touch! We would like to share this information with our almshouse residents who may want extra support with getting food and supplies.
Many of our almshouse residents live independently in our community and we fully respect their right to privacy and independence. However, a lengthy period of self-isolation and/or social distancing can be challenging for anyone. Additionally, some of our residents require a little extra help to remain independent in their homes.
If you are able to donate some time, resources, supplies, or local business’ information, please contact us.
UPDATE: 17th MARCH 2020
Following the press conference made after yesterday’s emergency government Cobra meeting, we would like to reiterate that we will be suspending visitors to Moorside with immediate effect.
However, we do appreciate and understand that this is a delicate situation and could cause upset and disruption for loved ones. Our residents’ health and wellbeing is of paramount importance to us, and we have not taken this decision lightly. By limiting visits to the home, this protects not only our residents living with dementia (who are most vulnerable to coronavirus), but also their families and our entire team.
We would like to reassure you that we will continue to admit visitors to the home on compassionate grounds and other extenuating circumstances. Please do get in touch with our team to discuss your individual circumstances or if you have any queries, questions or concerns.
UPDATE: 16th MARCH 2020
We have made the difficult decision to suspend all visits from friends, family and loves ones to Moorside. However, rest assured that this is under constant review. Under exceptional circumstances, visits can still be made in situations such as, but not limited to, compassionate grounds. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Matron and her team to discuss your individual circumstances.
We understand that this is a worrying time for all and we want to reassure you that our residents are well looked after. If there is any significant change in their health or condition, we will keep the residents’ families and next of kin informed and will be in immediate contact with them.
13th March 2020
This post is to make you aware of the steps the charity are preparing to put into place in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in Winchester, Hampshire.
There have been several confirmed cases of the virus in Hampshire. The individuals in question are not members of the charity nor do they live within our community. However, we appreciate that there are steps we must all collectively take to minimise the risk of outbreak and to ensure our residents, staff, volunteers, residents’ families, and friends of the charity are kept safe.
Senior staff are meeting weekly on a formal basis and are monitoring the situation daily in order to review the risk of infection. If the situation escalates in Winchester, we will issue further communication to all of our beneficiaries and their families with additional updates and guidance.
At this current time the charity has made the decision to scale back our contact by the welfare team at the Almshouses. This safeguards not only our residents and but also our entire St John’s family. It minimises the risk of spreading the virus.
We have come to the decision to limit the number of home visits made by the welfare and maintenance teams at the Almshouses. Home visits will be made in the event of an emergency or for essential works and repairs. However, rest assured that we will continue to review the situation on a case by case basis. We will continue to deliver the same level of support that we offer now by using the installed Tunstall emergency pull chord system, and the welfare and maintenance teams will remain on site and in contact via telephone. Welfare calls can also be increased if requested. Those in the almshouses who require registered care will be supported as usual and it is our aim to ensure minimal disruption to all.
At Moorside, we will continue with our extensive hand washing, adult safeguarding, and infection control policies in place, among others. Be assured that robust policies and procedures such as those named in this post are already in place across the charity and had been in operation before the novel Coronavirus’ existence. Please contact our Head of Care Quality and Service Development (Sarah Weekes) if you wish to discuss our policies further.
Visits to Moorside will also be limited wherever possible. Signs reminding visitors to wash hands on entrance and exit to the home and offices have also been displayed, and cleaning supplies have been distributed for easy access across the sites.
Our Almshouse lunch club, Yoga classes, massage, and minibus trips will be suspended until further notice. This is due to the fact that members of staff who run these activities often work across the charity sites, including at Moorside, where many of our residents living with dementia are classed as high risk in the event of an outbreak. Residents will be supported with food shops if required, and the entire team are here to support our residents and each other.
As these are extraordinary times, we feel that we may need to act and prepare for extraordinary measures while still providing the same high level of support to those who call the charity their home.
Staff and volunteers have been briefed, and the office has issued posters, letters and flyers to all across the sites advising the following steps:
- – To wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- – To avoid touching the face, nose or eyes with unwashed hands
- – To catch a cough or sneeze in a clean tissue and to dispose of it promptly, and washing hands immediately afterwards
St John’s Winchester continues to follow advice from Public Health England, the NHS, CQC, and the local authority Health Protection Team. We will post regular updates to residents, volunteers, residents’ families and staff and will be updating our notice boards and staffing areas regularly with information, support and advice.
Although the spread of Coronavirus is inevitably going to cause disruption, we must not lose sight of the fact that, despite the worry and the extra planning and hard work, our people continue to offer exemplary support and do the most extraordinary things in their daily jobs.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, queries or concerns.