COVID-19 Vaccination and Care Homes

This year has been an unprecedented one, with many living in uncertainty. Thankfully, the announcement of the COVID-19 vaccination approval has been a welcome glimmer of hope as we look to close out 2020.

Here at Melrose, we are completely committed to ensuring the safety of all our residents and staff. As one of the best rated care homes in Worthing – rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – it is our duty to uphold the highest standards of health and wellbeing. That’s why we are closely monitoring and following government advice to roll out the vaccine and help save lives.

The UK government is prioritising the vaccination of over 80s and care home workers. Having been available from last week, the government initially rolled out the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in 50 Hospital Hubs across England. However, these locations are set to be expanded on in the upcoming weeks to ensure nationwide availability of the vaccination.

One thing we want to make absolutely clear is that we respect the independence of all our residents. That’s why vaccinations are not mandatory at Melrose Care Home. While we encourage staff and residents to take all the precautions they can – and to be open with staff if they have any questions or concerns – we are dedicated to understanding and upholding the wishes of all residents, regardless of whether or not they feel comfortable going ahead with the vaccination.

What we’re doing to stop the spread of COVID-19

Alongside all the other nursing homes in Worthing and across the UK, Melrose has been taking precautionary steps to limit the spread of the infection. Shockingly, between 28-50% of all COVID-related deaths across the four home nations occurred in care home residents, according to BGS research. As part of our commitment to protect the health of our residents and deliver the best quality of life possible for them, we have adopted a number of new measures and actions in response to this.

This includes the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks, across staff and visitors to help control the infection. Due to the often asymptomatic nature of the virus, we have also been conducting regular testing across residents and staff. In addition, we have also been restricting admissions and family visits to reduce risk.

These have been testing times for all of us and we appreciate the patience of all our residents and their loved ones in helping us to take necessary safety measures. The vaccination represents a welcome light at the end of this uncertain tunnel.

In preparation for the vaccination, we have also been updating record-keeping and reporting for the Capacity Tracker, working on the logistics to maintain staffing levels during the vaccination period, and training staff on obtaining consent, so we can support residents in making their decision and gaining additional information on the vaccine. If any of our residents or their loved ones have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccination, we encourage you to get in touch with our staff. We are here to help and together, we can get through these challenging times.