Aveley Lodge during the Coronavirus outbreak & lockdowns

Coronavirus 2

Coronavirus or Covid-19, a word we have all come to know about at the start of a new decade.

Like the whole world, none of us at Aveley Lodge could have predicted the uncertain and unprecedented times that lay ahead of us at the start of 2020. That February, we watched with bated breath how this little-known and little-understood virus went on its ever-relenting campaign around the world. Our first and foremost priority was ensuring our lovely residents and our wonderful staff were kept safe.

“We all have a fear of the unknown. What one does with that fear will make all the difference in the world” L. Russell

On the 21st March we made the very hardest decision and one we never thought we’d ever have to make…we closed our home completely to all but essential medical professionals. Aveley Lodge was in lockdown and two days later, the whole country went into lockdown.

“You never realise how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have” Bob Marley

While the outside world tried to adapt to the new way of existing, coping without toilet rolls and understanding terms such as social distancing, furloughed and carrying out zoom calls, life carried on as normal as possible within Aveley Lodge. We still celebrated birthdays, Easter, St Georges Day, May Day and VE Day albeit in a different way to what was planned. Our staff adapted to changes in shift patterns, the extra PPE and new ways of life both at home and at work. Despite the nationwide food shortages, our fantastic local community here in Fingringhoe and surrounding areas rallied together and helped us with much needed supplies. We will forever be thankful to all the individuals who dropped off items for our staff and residents, especially all the goodies and pick-me-ups that were dropped off just to show our residents and staff they were being thought about. Several generous people also came to our aid by making ear protectors, hair coverings and bags for our staff to keep them safe and comfortable while carrying out their duties. Fruit baskets, flowers, chocolates, afternoon teas and beauty gifts along with many cards were sent to us to thank us for our hard work and keeping the residents safe and extremely well cared for. These all helped to keep our spirits high, feel appreciated and to continue doing the best job we all could looking after our residents.

“Often times, the brightest rainbows follow the darkest rainstorms.”  – Unknown

While the UK clapped for the NHS workers every Thursday night, we encouraged people to clap for our hardworking carers too. Our residents painted rocks for a stone trail around the local village to keep peoples spirits up during their one hours allotted daily exercise. They made a piece of artwork together for the local hospital to say thank you to the NHS for what they had done during the crisis. Here at Aveley Lodge, being part of our family means you are part of something wonderful and means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life no matter what. So, despite the virus finally taking hold within the home, like a raging river, we all went into it together, we got through it together, there were some casualties but we made it out the other side and we are now looking ahead to a brighter future together on the other side.

“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement” H. Schmidt

As the UK began to ease lockdown restrictions in 2020 and again in 2021, we took the opportunity to survey all our residents, staff and relatives for feedback on how we handled the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns and asked for suggestions on any improvements. As a result of the feedback and our own experiences from this unprecedented period, we took the decision to invest in a number of specialist equipment and measures at Aveley Lodge. Some of this equipment is still used at Aveley Lodge Care Home today and we continue to follow any specific health advice from the UK Government, the CQC, the NHS and Public Health England regarding the relaxing and tightening of any previous restrictions and are confident that should another pandemic occur, we would be able to continue to keep our staff and residents safe:

  • A specific Fogging Machine is now regularly used, to thoroughly deep clean, sterilise and decontaminate all rooms.
  • A temperature body scanner was installed at the front door in the reception area. This automatically scans any person wishing to enter Aveley Lodge including our staff, nurses, GP’s etc and declines entry if someone displays a raised temperature. It also reminded people to wear a face mask.
  • A Q.R. code was allocated to Aveley Lodge and was installed in reception for every person to register their details each time they visited Aveley Lodge as part of the Governments nationwide Track and Trace scheme
  • Alexa Speakers are available for the residents to use to listen to music etc around the home and new LED T’Vs have been installed in every single residents’ bedroom.
  • A tablet was purchased to specifically accommodate Skype and Zoom calls between residents and their families and friends.
  • A new nurse call bell system was installed.
  • A new electronic care planning system was installed which has allowed us to go paperless with our record keeping. In due course, it will allow nominated persons such as family members to remotely access care plans, activities records etc.
  • New hoists, new slings and shower equipment was purchased to help with infection control.
  • A new external staff changing area was installed and used by all staff. This meant staff changed into their uniforms prior to entry to the building and no uniform was taken home, it was laundered on site to prevent cross-contamination.
  • A third medical grade air filtration unit was installed which means these three units take air from the communal areas and filter it to remove all known pathogens before being returned on the common living areas.

Since the very first testing kits were made available to us in 2020, we tested all our staff at least once a week. In late 2020, this was increased to twice a week and then by December 2021, we were testing our staff four times a week using both lateral flow and PCR Covid-testing kits in line with the then latest Government guidelines. We also tested our residents, as a minimum, every 28 days. Since the relaxation of the Covid testing in 2022, we still continue to have thorough and robust plans in place should any member of staff or resident test positive or show any symptoms of Covid 19. We were proud to support the Covid vaccine roll out around the UK. All our staff and resident’s received three doses of the Covid Vaccine and any new residents or new members of staff starting employment with us are fast tracked in order to receive their vaccines should they not have received them previously. We also support the vaccine booster scheme. It is our aim to keep all our residents and staff safe and COVID free and hope that all these measures we have implemented and put in place, go a long way in reassuring you all that we continue to do the very best we can to achieve this. Autumna-badge-safelogoresource