Notes from recent Relatives meeting held on 2nd March 2022
Ross Reeder, Anna Appleby, Sue Kightly, Trevor Norris, Liz Irwin, Mr & Mrs Scott, Maureen, Judith, Elissa Macdonald, Roger George, Alex Lucas, Anna Palmer, William Godfrey, Deborah Law, Michelle Barker, Kerrie Whytock, Jo Monaghan, Luke Cook, Adrian Johnston, Mariya Petkiva, Keren Loxley, Aliyyah Nasser
Introduction & feedback
Welcome and thanks all for attending. Lovely to see some new faces, and also many familiar ones.
Askham team introduced themselves.
Questions or feedback sought before we get onto the formal agenda:
- Query about whether dogs were allowed in the grounds of Askham. Response: yes in the grounds but not in the homes as yet – they used to be but this stopped when covid hit and we haven’t reopened on this point yet.
Living with Covid
This is the key agenda item for today. Thank you to all who responded to the survey – we have a good response from relatives and we also sought input from staff and residents. We have been pleasantly surprised by how balanced and supportive the feedback has been and we are thankful that for the most part respondents are comfortable to maintain a level of infection control when visiting Askham. No one replied asking for completely open access, thankfully. We would like to continue to open up in a slow and risk measured way.
[Graph showing survey results was shared]
Majority of people are happy with the following:
- Continue to require a negative LFT result prior to a visit
- Continue to pre-book visits (these no longer need to be pre-booked weeks or days in advance however we reserve the right to say that the home on a certain day / at a certain time may already be too full to safely accommodate more visitors)
- Continue to wear PPE during visits
- Continue to limit refreshments (residents in particular expressed a wish for refreshments to be allowed however as this would require removal of masks we are going to continue with having no refreshments for the time being)
- Limits on group size to be lifted – discretion to be applied on a case by case basis and ultimate decision by the Lead Nurse or Manager; large groups continue to be discouraged
- Infection Control Training recommended but not mandatory for all visits; if visiting in a group one of the group should be trained
Queries raised on this include:
- Can visits now be in residents rooms? Response: yes they can. We will continue to limit access to communal areas such as lounges for visits but individual rooms can be used
- If LFTs stop being freely available, will this still be required? Response: yes we do require proof of a negative LFT result. Ideally the test would be done prior to coming to Askham as this is safer for all, however if you can not access tests there will be some available at Askham if required
We have had visits from the LA and the CCG of late to all homes, with Grove due tomorrow. It is a pleasure to welcome these folks back into Askham and give the staff the opportunity to show their best work after so long! It is helpful to have an external fresh pair of eyes visit the home as it does help identify things that we may have not noticed. Overall the feedback has been positive. We await the reports, but the verbal feedback presented so far has raised no alarm bells. We are very proud of the staff for upholding compliance standards throughout the last two years. We also had Headway visit to re-accredit Askham Court and again, the staff did us all very proud.
There is a fair bit of ‘smartening up’ going on at present now that the Facilities team are spending more time in each home and are able to be more proactive, rather than simply reactive as has been the case during the period of each home being locked down. There has been some significant major works ongoing in Askham Place and this will continue over the year. We are also preparing to roll our digital care planning across Askham with a company called Nourish – there is a fair amount of prep work to do on this and we will keep everyone updated. Roll out will likely be in the 2nd half of the year.
We have been hit hard, as have all families and businesses. The future is not certain but we are doing our best to manage through this and re-work our plans to ensure standards are not affected and we continue to sustainable. The solar field has helped massively with the increase in utilities bills.
Staff, recruitment, training
We have been recruiting heavily and have been fortunate to have recruited over 500 hours of carer time from overseas. This has been and continues to be a huge help to all teams across Askham – giving our long standing staff a bit of respite and bolstering our employee teams with much needed new energy. We have benefitted enormously from the recent changes to the immigration rules which allows care staff to be recruited from abroad. Training is also progressing well and staff are now participating in a hybrid – some training on zoom and some in person.
There has been so much going on since our last meeting – as always! Various quizzes, crafts, the Christmas photo shoot, lots of celebrations including Elvis Presley’s birthday, St Andrews Day, Halloween, St Davids day. Residents have been participating in cooking club, themed around pizza day, chocolate day, and most recently pancake day. Next week we have St Patricks day and International Womens day to celebrate as well as Wear a Hat day in support of Headway. The cultural day is coming up where we celebrate the different cultures present at Askham, and we also are so pleased to have welcomed back to Askham the Fenland Church after almost exactly 2 years. So wonderful to have them back on site.