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Covid-19 News #19

Covid-19 News #19

Newsletter #19 – Monday, 27th July 2020

We remain at Implementation Level Two for both Homes and HomeCare with no Symptomatic Residents, Clients or Staff.

Garden Visits and Post-Summer Visiting

We are sure you will have picked up that the Government are suggesting the Care Homes can start to open up again, subject to advice from local authorities and Risk Assessments by the homes themselves. We have been trying, but have not yet been successful in getting in touch with the relevant parts of the local-authority machine, but our view is not to rush the relaxing the rules around Visits further. The feedback we are getting from Resident’s Families is that the Garden Visits are proving very successful and, given that Visits Inside the Homes disproportionately Increase any Risk, we are planning to stay at this level for now.

Part of why we are suggesting remaining so Risk Averse is that there are signs that the Virus may be starting its Second Wave, such as in Spain where 1% of the UK Population is currently holidaying. Whilst all of our Staff have agreed not to Holiday Abroad at this time, we are concerned that this may mean the Virus may also increase here. We will, of course, continue to consider requests for Exceptions where Exceptional Circumstances exist.

We appreciate that we always ask people to share their thoughts, and consult on any changes where there is a possible Change to the Risk Profile, but we would particularly welcome your thoughts on whether you feel we are getting the balance right between protecting your loved ones and allowing meaningful time together.

Kim’s Expanding Role

Kim, who until recently was the Registered Manager of Nettlestead (now passed to Holly) and oversaw both Homes, is now taking on additional responsibilities.  In addition to overseeing both Homes, she is now also going to support Lauren in building HomeCare, specifically by supporting the Area Supervisors in their important roles of raising quality, ensuring our service remains tailored to our Clients’ changing needs, and assessing and welcoming New Clients. Both she and Lauren are also reviewing our various Forms which will be converted to electronic versions where appropriate, so reducing the amount of time our Supervisors have to spend in the office.

Nick & Sarah’s Reducing Role

Prior to Covid-19, our quieter existence as Non-Executive Directors had started to get busier, firstly to support Jo to get to grips with her new role and, when this proved unsuccessful, to then find her replacement. Covid-19 then made us more than full time again, which we were very happy to do, but we are also delighted that Leo is making such a success of his role that this is no longer necessary. However, one of our favourite sayings is a person with one watch knows the time, whilst a person with two is never sure. Whilst we will always be available to call on, the shorter the time that Leo is working in parallel with us the better; within reason. We are therefore again looking to step back, albeit we want to underline that, as both Directors and Shareholders, we remain available 24/7 for anyone who wishes to contact us.

That said, we are looking forward to getting on with other projects we have lined up, and for watching from a distance to see how Leo and the Management Team put into effect the exciting plans they have been putting together. Everything evolutionary, and nothing revolutionary, and with a firm eye on continuing to improve the quality of service to our existing customers, whilst also making our service available to new customers who value the unique service we offer. Given that our transition to Employee Ownership is getting ever nearer, this is something we are particularly excited about so that our colleagues who helped us build Nightingales can soon enjoy the rewards, and responsibilities, of being Owners too.

Testing, and Test & Trace

The Weekly Testing Kits for Staff, and 28 Day Testing Kits for Residents, are getting closer. We are expecting them at Priors Mead tomorrow, although we do not yet have a firm date for Nettlestead.

We are not expecting any imminent news on the Test & Trace app.


  • Garden Visits are still a great success! We have all enjoyed seeing you and know the Residents have also enjoyed this too. Please ensure that you phone us when you are ready to book.
  • Katherine and Chris have been getting all Residents involved with growing their own watercress. We are looking forward to showing you all photos when they have grown.
  • Thank you to those who have already sent in birthday cards for George Cowie. We still have one more week before the big day, so any more are welcome!
  • This week Katherine and our Residents are attempting to make raspberry jam again! We will make sure some is left for you all on visits.
  • Debbie Buxton has been bringing some lovely kittens into the home for us all to enjoy! Plenty of photos have been taken, we look forward to showing them to you all too.
  • We have been having a lovely week in the garden playing games and enjoying the sun! We hope you’ve been enjoying the weather too.
  • This week we are going to recreate a Cinema feel in the lounge to watch a special showing of My Fair Lady. We hope for plenty of singing and dancing to take place too.

Priors Mead

  • We had a great time this week Baking and Decorating Cakes.
  • The lovely sunshine meant we could enjoy some Croquet and Bowls in the garden.
  • The week ended with a high on Friday night with our live link to Matthew Wakefield who entertained us with his singing, with the Residents joining in whilst enjoying some nibbles.
  • This week we’re continuing to fill our Lockdown Memory Books and can’t wait to show you them.
  • Lots more games and activities are planned for the week including our Friday Night Bingo.


  • We have a new Client starting tomorrow, with a couple in the pipeline.
  • Two further existing Clients have come out of Self-Isolation;
  • As mentioned above, a number of the HomeCare Forms are being converted to Electronic Forms, which makes them far easier to complete.


  • We continue to look for solutions to visiting during the colder months, and will report back in future newsletters once we have a solution we are happy with.


Suggestions continue to be welcome. Please share them with us by emailing

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding.

Nick & Sarah Bruce

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