Hygiene is at the heart of everything we do to protect our residents

When groups of people are living under the same roof, the chances of an illness or infection spreading increase.

Just think what happens when one member of the family catches a cold or flu!

Most of us are able to shrug off such ailments reasonably easily and quickly and minimise the uncomfortable symptoms with home remedies, such as hot lemon and honey, favourite comfort foods and so on.

However, when, as here at Aveley, residents are likely to be frail, they are also likely to be more vulnerable to any illness or infection.

This means that we have to take extra care of hygiene in every aspect of what we do.

Here, EVERYONE must adhere to strict infection control procedures and we mean everyone from all our care staff to domestics, cooks, management, residents themselves and visitors.

We have strict protocols in place and the most important infection control procedure is washing hands.

We make sure that everyone follows the protocols, which are spelled out in detail.

Washing of clothes, for example, is done in a certain way so that soiled clothes are separated from those that just need freshening up. Each category is stored in separate washing baskets. They are washed separately at different temperatures. We also have colour-coordinated flannels for specific uses such as for the top or bottom halves of the body. All staff wear Personal Protective Clothing such as gloves and aprons particularly when toileting individuals. We also have barrier nursing protocols in place if any resident comes down with an infectious ailment and has to be confined to their room.

We have certain protocols for cleaning rooms and the Home in general, to ensure everything is thoroughly hygienic and there is no chance of cross contamination. Again, we use colour coordinated items such as cloths, mops and buckets, sprays, aprons and gloves which are only used in certain situations or on certain items.

When relatives visit, or volunteers help out, we urge everyone to wash their hands and use alcoholic hand gels where possible on arrival. If a resident is on barrier nursing, then ALL visitors including family, must adhere to our protocol and wear gloves and apron, for example, too as infection knows no bounds.

Due to our high standards, cleaning regimes, training and compliance, we are pleased to say that we very rarely have any problems in this area.