Covid-19 Update

“The collective knowledge and forward planning by managers was impressive.” CQC inspection of Harwood House 21 September 2020

At Harwood House Care Home the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff team is of the utmost importance. We are currently rated as Good by the CQC and aim to be outstanding. The most recent CQC inspection concluded “The collective knowledge and forward planning by managers was impressive.” We have had excellent infection prevention and control processes in place for a long time. These existing and new measures have helped to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection within our home, and to protect the physical and emotional wellbeing of our residents and our staff team.

Supporting new residents

Our home is now accepting new residents, whether for day care, respite care or on more permanent residential, nursing or dementia care. While this is ultimately positive providing a safe, compassionate and caring environment for residents we appreciate it can be an anxious time too. We want to make the transition into Harwood House as smooth and risk-free as possible.

What are we actively doing?

Reducing infection risk Infection prevention and control is vital to keeping everyone inside our home safe and healthy. And with this in mind we have put in place a number of enhanced measures approved by CQC and the Local Authority to help reduce our risk:

Enhanced cleaning We have always been complemented on the cleanliness of Harwood House but we have increased the regularity of all our cleaning and sanitising procedures and provided extra training where required.

Plentiful PPE We have a good stock of PPE and reliable suppliers to meet our increased need and usage.

Testing All team members and consenting residents are subject to regular temperature checks and COVID tests. Staff COVID testing is carried out weekly and resident testing is carried out every 28 days to ensure cases are picked up early.

High team member to resident ratio We’ve actively recruited to ensure we have enough staff on the ground to maintain the safety and security of our homes, even in the case of illness absence.

Safe admissions and visiting We ensure there is social distancing in communal areas, ensure safe admissions with COVID testing and ensure safe visiting arrangements are in place with special considerations for end of life care. We have built an isolation pod to help manage infection.

CQC’s summary of what we are actively doing to manage COVID-19

CQC’s Inspection Report of 21 September 2020 summarised our COVID-19 measures as follows:

  • “We found the following examples of good practice.
  • Robust infection prevention and control measures were in place.
  • Visitors to the home were restricted.
  • People’s families and friends could visit by arranging an appointment for a garden visit. There was plenty of outdoor space for this to take place in.
  • People receiving end of life care were moved to vacant rooms on the ground floor. These had doors leading to the garden and enabled relatives to come into the building safely, to spend time with their family members.
  • Any healthcare professionals who came to the home wore full personal protective equipment (PPE) to treat people, and changed it for each person they saw.
  • There were supplies of PPE by the front door and plenty of posters and signage to alert people to the restrictions and measures in place.
  • The premises were kept in a clean and hygienic condition throughout.
  • Areas of potential high risk of cross infection, such as handrails and light switches, were regularly disinfected.
  • The service had a disinfection fogging machine to enable deep cleaning to take place.
  • Supplies of PPE were available to staff throughout the premises.
  • There were 22 automatic hand sanitiser dispensers for staff and other people to use around the building and a foot-operated pump dispenser by the front door.
  • Staff wore PPE and had been supplied with surgical scrub uniforms which they changed in and out of on the premises. These were laundered on site.
  • There were showering facilities for staff to use.
  • Staff had received training on infection prevention and control. This included use of PPE and how to put it on and take it off.
  • The risks of potential exposure to the virus had been assessed for all staff, taking into account health conditions and high risks associated with people from black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds.
  • Staff and people who used the service were tested for Covid-19.
  • The service had a good supply of testing kits and most recent swabs showed everyone tested negative.
  • People were tested prior to admission to the home.
  • The home effectively managed an outbreak of Covid-19 and prevented further spread; everyone affected recovered without the need for hospital care. A root cause analysis was carried out following this, to help prevent further occurrence.
  • The collective knowledge and forward planning by managers was impressive. For example, disposable crockery and cutlery was used for anyone who tested positive for the virus. Managers told us there were plans to build a two-bedded isolation ‘pod’ on site. This would house anyone who required isolation and could include staff, if they needed to stay on site.
  • The home had liaised with appropriate external bodies for advice and guidance, such as Public Health England and the local authority’s infection prevention trainer.
  • A business contingency plan was in place, to reduce the effects of potential disruption to people’s care. This included supplies of people’s medicines, food and oxygen, as examples, and assessment of which tasks were critical in the event of a reduced workforce.
  • Assessment had been carried out to ascertain the home’s level of preparedness for disruption.
  • There were policies and procedures to provide guidance for staff on safe working practices during the pandemic.
  • Auditing and observation of care practice took place to ensure these were adhered to.”