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Covid-19 News #32

Covid-19 News #32

Newsletter #32 – Monday, 26th October 2020

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

Thank You

This is our 32nd Covid-19 Newsletter, which marks more than Seven Months of everyone Standing up to Covid, our Residents and Clients having more limited access to their loved ones, and their Families trusting us to do the best we can. However, most of all it has been more than Seven Months for our Staff going Way Above and Beyond whatever can be expected. Each of them making Personal Sacrifices to protect our Residents and Clients, and making sure the worry of the Coronavirus Pandemic does not impact on how they go about their invaluable work. Time has a terrible habit of allowing us to take such outstanding contributions for granted, and so we wanted to start this Newsletter by again saying Thank You to Everyone.

Employee Ownership

We started a journey towards Partial Employee Ownership in 2014 which is currently due to complete in 2023 to 2024. By working harder and smarter, all employees who are still with us when the process completes will then Own Half the Company through an Employee Ownership Trust. However, we recognised that for those who had to retire during this period this was not fair, and so part of the Employee Ownership Rules allows for such staff to receive a payout as if the process had completed. The first person to benefit from this was Viv, our ex-cook at Priors Mead, who retired over three years ago, and has therefore just Received her Third and Final Payment as part of this process. Congratulations Viv on your retirement, and for being the First Beneficiary of Employee Ownership.

Vitamin D

At the start of the Pandemic we were aware that Vitamin D may help to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19, and therefore asked our GP’s to prescribe it to all Residents who would benefit from it, and recommended our Clients did the same. Now that we are heading into the shorter months, and there is more widespread recognition of the benefits Vitamin D brings, we are making it available free of charge to all our Staff as well so they can better protect themselves also.

Care Badges and Discounts

The Department of Health and Social Care have introduced a nationally recognised Care Badge which will be issued to all our Members of Staff, enabling them to identify themselves as Care Professionals. Apart from some Well-Earned Recognition, these also bring the benefit of Discounts in a number of stores, and we are currently compiling a list of who offers what. We are also looking into other Discount Clubs that our Staff may appreciate.

Pay Review

Every December we review what we pay people which over recent years has rightly been driven up by increases to the National Living Wage. We know first hand the tremendous value each Member of Staff adds to our Residents’ and Clients’ Quality of Life, and we are therefore always looking for ways to recognise this, such as the Employee Ownership and Discount Schemes, mentioned above. However, the Coronavirus Pandemic has really brought home quite how extraordinary our Staff Group are and, rather than continue on autopilot with inflationary or statutory increases, we are conducting a Detailed Review of both What and How we Pay Everyone. Watch this space.

Visiting Pods

The risks of Temporary Visiting Pods in high winds was highlighted at Priors Mead where the gazebo blew over and was damaged at the weekend. This is hopefully being repaired today, and we were therefore glad to learn that the new Permanent Visiting Pods are due for delivery about the 11th November. There will be some building work necessary to install them, so they will not be available immediately, but hopefully this will not take too long. As Priors Mead’s temporary solution is more vulnerable, this will be prioritised.


Testing continues without problems at the moment, and with No Positive Test Results.


  • Although different this year, we still plan to have a Fireworks Display for our Residents accompanied by hot chocolate with all the trimmings!
  • We welcomed back Lauren Coulston who has been on Maternity Leave for nearly 9 months.
  • Congratulations to Avita O’Donnell who has passed her Care Certificate with full marks on every course!

Priors Mead

  • Lots of Spooky Arts and Crafts are going on this week to decorate the home, so keep a lookout in our windows for some Halloween Pictures to spot.
  • Monday evening we will be Pumpkin Carving with a glass of wine and some nibbles.
  • Wednesday we are all looking forward to a Halloween Afternoon Tea Party with lots of dressing up, fun, games and music.


  • HomeCare has two New Clients starting this week with more enquiries in the pipeline.
  • Welcome to Millie who has started her first placement today as a Live-in Carer.
  • We continue to recruit and have the capacity to take on more Clients.
  • Becky is on annual leave this week so if there are any queries about the rota, please contact the office and another member of the HomeCare Team will be happy to help.


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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