Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Guidance

This page provides updated coronavirus guidance for all Brendoncare services, including homes, community clubs and retirement housing services. Here, you’ll also find information how our teams are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As always, our primary concern is for the health and wellbeing of our residents and their relatives, clubs members, volunteers and colleagues. Please be assured that we are taking every precaution to ensure that no one is put at any unnecessary risk.

We ask that everyone remains alert and ensures that they are following the latest government guidance on coronavirus both within our sites and when in the general community at all times. In particular, around hand sanitisation, wearing face coverings and social distancing.

Should a home or retirement housing scheme experience an outbreak of coronavirus it will remain closed to visitors until Public Health England advises that they are able to open again. 

Further advice is available on the coronavirus section of the NHS website.

Coronavirus Guidance for Brendoncare Club Members and Volunteers

All Brendoncare clubs are currently suspended. However, we remain fully committed to opening them as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the interim, as part of our response to COVID-19, we have introduced a community support service for club members. This includes a telephone support service, hosting virtual club meetings and providing digital connection support to ensure members have access to everything they need in order to remain safe and well. 

We are now actively recruiting for new volunteers to help support this service.

Existing club volunteers can continue to contact their locality or hub manager for more information.

If you have any questions or are interested in hearing more about our service please contact clubs admin on 01962 857099 or email clubs@brendoncare.org.uk

Coronavirus Guidance for Retirement Housing

Residents who live in our retirement properties continue to receive home care services from our care teams.

These teams, like all our care home staff, are regularly tested for coronavirus and are able to take on additional tasks to assist any residents who may need a little extra help at this time.

Please contact the local domiciliary care manager or home manager for more information.

Coronavirus Guidance for Brendoncare Homes

Brendoncare is pleased to confirm that safe visiting has resumed in our homes and that further government advice on who can visit has been updated as of May 2021.

Your preferred care home can provide you with more specific details on what your visit will look like and how it will take place. 

Click here for our FAQ on visiting 

We will try to accommodate additional window and garden visits, alongside regular video calls and phone calls, but please bear with us while we co-ordinate your return to safe visiting. Our homes continue to work hard to ensure that the range of activities offered to residents and opportunities to stay in touch with their loved ones are as frequent as possible.

Our homes are open for admissions and welcoming new residents. For further details on current moving arrangements, please see our latest admissions guidance below, email homes@brendoncare.org.uk or call our enquiry team on 0300 303 4866.

Relatives can continue to contact the home manager.

Brendoncare admissions guidance (updated May 2021)

  • How is care provided during the coronavirus pandemic?

    For us, the delivery of care is very similar to before the pandemic. Our staff always practise excellent hygiene and infection control.

    The significant change is the increase in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) across our homes at all times now.

    This is used in accordance with Public Health England guidance at all times and is needed to protect both staff and residents.

  • Can I visit my loved one in the home?

    As part of our latest safe visiting measures, residents can now choose up to five nominated visitors (including their single Essential Care Giver). Up to two nominated visitors can attend the home, either together or separately, on a single day, excluding essential care giver visits.

    There are a number of options that can us support visits with other friends and family members too. These include (and may be home-specific) outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods or from behind windows. 

    As always, we will do all we can to accommodate additional visitors for end of life visits which should be discussed with your care home manager directly.

    Additionally, we continue to facilitate video calls and phone calls, and post of any kind is always well received. Outside of the pandemic, in normal times, visiting our homes is unlimited and always welcome, and we very much look forward to the time when we are able to fully open our doors again.

    A change in local circumstances may mean that we have to place temporary restrictions on visiting.

    Please contact the home directly to arrange all visits.

  • Can I visit the care home to see if I’d like to choose it for my loved one?

    Unfortunately, at this time we are only allowing essential visiting in the home to ensure the safety of those who live with us.

    Our care home managers will be pleased to meet you on a telephone or video call to tell you more about their home. Our website contains extensive information about every home, and we will be very happy to take the time to address any questions you may have.

    We are happy to organise video tours and have lots of photographs on our website as well as videos and information we can send to you. In some homes, we may be able to welcome you to the gardens to see the home from outside and to meet with the home manager.

  • Is testing for coronavirus carried out before admission?

    For admissions from home, a coronavirus test will be provided to the new residents before admission, or soon after move-in.

    We are conducting monthly coronavirus tests for all residents currently, as well as weekly testing for all staff. For admissions from the hospital, we will ask for the result of the most recent coronavirus test. All admissions are currently subject to a 14 day isolation (or self-shielding) period.

  • What is life like in a Brendoncare home during coronavirus?

    Although social distancing measures are in place, we are still able to enjoy friendship, companionship, joy and laughter.

    Life is much the same as normal (now that we are all used to seeing staff in PPE!). Residents have peace of mind, knowing that there is always someone nearby to enjoy spending time with. We regularly keep in contact with relatives by phone and letter, and you can also follow daily updates on our Facebook pages.

    We are being as creative as possible to maintain the atmosphere we create in our homes. You can read what families and friends think of us at carehome.co.uk

  • What happens when a new resident moves in to a Brendoncare home?

    All new residents moving into one of our care homes will be carefully shielded for 14 days following admission, in line with government guidance.

    This ensures the safety of your loved one, and our existing residents and staff. We will review this as that guidance is updated, and when we feel it is in the best interests of all residents for isolation periods to be reduced.

    During this period and always, our staff place care and kindness at the heart of all we do. Although some things have changed in recent months, a sense of friendship and community is still evident in our homes and we do all we can to extend a warm welcome.

    In some of our homes, where space allows, we are able to welcome one relative to move in with the resident in a separate nearby bedroom, free of charge, to help with settling in for up to two weeks. This will enable the family member to get to know the home and staff team.

    Further details are available here

  • Are you accepting new care home admissions?

    Yes, all of our homes are open and we look forward to welcoming new residents.

    If you have a loved one who could benefit from the professional care and support we provide, please contact your local Brendoncare home or call 0300 303 4866.

  • Can I bring my loved one a gift?

    We understand that you might want to bring your loved one a gift but we politely ask you to refrain from doing so.

    We ask you to not to bring in gifts such as food parcels, flowers, helium balloons etc. to enable us to reduce the opportunity for the virus to be carried into the care home and being passed unknowingly to your loved one.

    If your loved one is living with dementia, it may be possible to bring an object that will remind them of the connection between the two of you.

    We ask that this is something that can be easily sanitised, such as a laminated photograph.

  • What do I need to bring with me?

    Please bring a face mask with you.

    This must be worn at all times whilst you are in the home, including when you first enter the building and as you are leaving. Please also bring a mobile phone with you.

    This may be useful if you need to communicate with a member of staff during or at the end of your visit. This helps us minimise movement around the home.

  • What if I am feeling unwell?

    If you are feeling unwell in any way, please do not visit.

    Please call the home to cancel your visit. You can reschedule when you are feeling well again and free of any symptoms. Visitors must always be free of any Covid-19 symptoms.

    The main symptoms include a temperature above 37.8 degrees; a new or persistent cough, or a loss or change in sense of taste or smell.

  • Visiting FAQs (updated May 2021)

  • When can I visit my loved one?

    Safe indoor visiting has returned to all Brendoncare homes. To arrange your visit, please contact the home to book in the normal way.

  • How do I arrange a visit to my loved one?

    All visits must be pre-booked with the reception of the relevant home.

    This is essential to helping us keep everyone safe and ensure visits run smoothly and safely.

    Visits are booked in 30 minutes slots, though it may be more or less depending on the individual circumstances. Please only attend the home if you have an appointment.

    The direct telephone number for each of our homes can be found in the ‘Get in touch’ section of each home’s page on our website.

  • Where will the visit take place?

    Each home has an internal space where safe visits can take place and some visits are now taking place in residents rooms. Please book in advance in the normal way and staff will be available to advise on testing and infection control measures.

  • What will happen when I arrive at the care home?

    You’ll still receive your usual warm welcome, just with a few extra steps!

    Please report to reception via the main entrance on your arrival – the doors will be closed, so please use the buzzer/intercom and a member of staff will come out to greet you. You will be asked a series of health questions by our visiting co-ordinator and you will also be asked to fill out a form to assist our Public Health colleagues with Track and Trace, should there be a need to contact you.

    You will be offered a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test to protect yourself and everyone in the home from coronavirus.

    Please follow all guidance around wearing PPE, hand hygiene (including the use of hand sanitiser) and observe social distancing of 2m+ around the home, including during your visit with your loved one.

    We know this is difficult, and we really appreciate your co-operation on this as it is vital to keeping your loved ones, other residents and our staff safe.

    You will be shown to the visiting room using the external access point which you will use for entrance and exit.

  • What is an LFD test?

    An LFD test is a self-administered swab test in the nasal passage and at the back of your throat.

    LFD stands for Lateral Flow Test and they are particularly useful in spotting COVID-19 in people who are asymptomatic. 

    LFD tests are provided by Brendoncare free of charge and the results are usually known in around 30 minutes.

    Whether or not you have taken an LFD test before, our trained and friendly staff will be on-hand to help you complete your test.

  • Can children come to visit?

    Yes. Any child of school age visiting with an accompanying adult will be included the maximum number of people allowed for a visit. Up to two attending adults can visit with babies and preschool-aged children because they don’t count towards the maximum number of visitors.

    During all visits, we politely ask that everyone follows the national restrictions surrounding indoor gathering at all times.

  • Are children exempt from wearing PPE in the home?

    For the safety and comfort of everyone in our home, we ask that where it is reasonable and practicable, children who are visiting should wear the same PPE as adult visitors. Currently, face coverings don’t need to worn by children under the age of three.

  • Do I need to take a Covid test when I arrive at the home?

    We appreciate that home testing kits are available and we thank you for doing all you can to continually screen for coronavirus. So that we might do our very best to keep our homes free from this infection, we are continuing with our on-site testing policy in designated areas, meaning all visitors are required to pass an LFD test before a period of visiting can begin.

    If a test result is positive, unfortunately we won’t be able to facilitate a visit at that time. In everyone’s interests, the visitor and everyone in their party would be required to leave and self-isolate at home. It’s best that a confirmatory PCR test is taken as soon as possible.

  • What measures do Essential Care Givers need to take?

    If this status applies to you, you’ll be expected to follow the same weekly PPE, IPC and testing arrangements as our care home staff – A minimum of two LFD tests a week and a PCR test.

  • I’m visiting a loved one at Brendoncare. Can I hug them?

    Welcoming more visitors back into our homes safely has been a long time coming and we understand how eager you are to see your loved ones again. With lockdown restrictions and social distancing rules still in place, and to be extra safe, for the time being we ask that you do your best not to embrace residents.

  • Do I need a Covid-19 vaccination before I visit?

    We recognise that at whilst the vaccination programme in our communities is still ongoing, not everyone will have received some form of immunity from coronavirus. Whilst having the vaccination isn’t mandatory before visiting, for the safety of everyone we strongly recommended it to visitors.

  • Will my loved one be able to leave for an outward visit?

    Following recently updated government guidance, any visits outside of the home, including all overnight stays, are subject to a 14-day isolation/shielding period on their return. Because safety and care are important, a visit outside of the home would be subject to a carefully considered risk assessment, reviewed by the home beforehand. If an arranged outside visit does take place, we ask that residents are supported to leave the home.

    There are some exclusions where a shielding period may not apply on return:

    • Activities where the risks are lower
    • Outdoor exercise that doesn’t involve close contact with others
    • To go to work or take part in education or training
    • For medical appointments such as GP appointments (overnight stays in hospital are excluded)
    • To take part in important activities to maintain an individual’s health and/or wellbeing (e.g. going to a day centre or place of worship)

    Where a setting (e.g. a day centre) has regular Covid-19 testing, we ask that the individual kindly participated where possible.

  • What other new measures support safe outward visits?

    Residents may be accompanied by a member of care home staff, nominated visitors or their essential care giver, although this isn’t compulsory. Where this is the case, relevant testing should be followed. 

    While you’re out and about, we ask that you and your party respect the rules around social distancing and keep two metres apart from anyone who is not a nominated visitor, essential care giver or staff member. 

    In the interests of health and safety, crowded places should also be avoided, as should the use of public transport.

    Visits to indoor spaces should normally be avoided too unless they are for an important reason such as work, education, medical appointments or where an personalised assessment has determined the activity is necessary to maintain an individual’s health and wellbeing.

    Finally, to help make outward visits as safe and smooth as possible, visiting arrangements should be discussed in advance with residents, nominated visitors and essential care givers.