Our Response to Covid-19

Our Covid Response

‘In the warmth and comfort of Drakelands House one finds the freedom to retain personal identity and yet enjoy the companionship of their community through active living’.

Anne Fleck-Byrne, Managing Director

Our Covid Response

Drakelands House Nursing Home has been monitoring the spread of Covid from China to Europe and into Ireland since December 2019.

In preparation, a Covid monitoring and response team was established to gather and assimilate essential information to ensure the protection of the residents and staff of Drakelands House and to plan and prepare how an outbreak would be managed.

The following sources were of vital importance in the provision of information and guidance and continue to be today; HSPC, NEPHT, HSE, NHI, Dept of Health, Gerontology WhatsApp group, Nursing Committee NHI.

Governance and Management

Drakelands House Nursing Home has a clear Governance and Management structure. The Directors are working onsite with the Management and there are senior staff available 24 hours. Each department has a senior team member and there is an onsite trainer employed who oversees best practise with the Assistant Director of Nursing, Clinical Nurse Manager, Staff Nurses and Night Liaison Staff Nurses.

Ethical/End of Life Committee

An Ethical/End of Life Committee was established in March 2020 to ensure the values driven culture of care at Drakelands House continued during the Pandemic. Specialist Palliative care services are available through the Kilkenny Homecare Team.

Infection Prevention and Control

Drakelands House Nursing Home has an Infection Prevention and Control strategy implemented to include Policies, Procedures, working practises, training of staff onsite and online.

Temporary Infrastructural Adaptations

Some minor temporary adaptations have been made at Drakelands House to provide greater segregation of staff and residents to reduce contact numbers and reduce risk.

Staff Serial Testing and Social Distancing

Currently all staff have a Covid Test every fortnight and there is a 100% uptake rate to date. Staff have staggered breaks and spread out to as many areas as possible for breaks. There are a number of staff showering facilities and staff changing rooms. All staff wear masks appropriately to include during the provision of resident care and where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Personal Protective Equipment

There is adequate PPE at Drakelands House Nursing Home and it is readily available to staff. Staff are trained in the correct use of PPE and supervised by the Nursing Management, Nursing Staff, and onsite trainer.

Onsite Training

Drakelands House Nursing Home has an onsite Trainer who specialises in Infection Prevention and Control training, Manual and Patient Handling training, Induction training, Fire Safety training and Hand Hygiene auditing. Regular updating of correct Infection Control Procedures and correct use of PPE is provided to all staff. The onsite trainer is the Operations Supervisor who works with the Management to supervise working practise compliance.

Social Distancing and Isolation

A resident who requires a Covid screening test is nursed in their own room for a 14-day period, tested and monitored for signs and symptoms. Staff wear full PPE whilst caring for the resident. All residents admitted to Drakelands House are Covid tested prior to admission and nursed in their own room for a 14-day period. Again, staff wear full PPE whilst providing care. We discuss the “why” of this with the resident on an ongoing basis and provide regular communication and reassurance during this time. Social distancing is maintained to the best of our ability with small groups of residents having meals in the dining rooms and small groups socially distanced in the lounges. Walking and exercising is encouraged and assisted both internally and externally. Face masks are worn when providing care and when a 2 meter distance cannot be maintained.

Visiting and Visitor Restrictions

The HSPC guidelines are followed and reviewed according to COVID activity in the community around us and the surrounding counties. Visiting has taken place in the 2 front porches of Drakelands House. These are large well ventilated and comfortable rooms at the entrances to both wings. The use of these porch rooms reduces traffic internally and therefore reduces risk. During lockdown window visiting has been successful.

A resident’s need for visitors is monitored and reviewed and compassionate visiting arranged as required. When a resident is ill staff liaise with the family to ensure safe visiting.

Visitor Screening

All visitors have their temperature checked and complete a Covid Screening questionnaire prior to visiting with a resident. If counties have high numbers of COVID cases or are on lockdown we restrict visitors from these areas.

Communications and Activities

Drakelands House Nursing Home maintain communications on an ongoing basis with the residents their next of kin and healthcare providers (GP and other healthcare Professionals) through discussions, phone calls, texts, WhatsApp, and emails. Many communication tools have been newly implemented to assist residents and relatives to communicate most particularly during restricted visiting periods. Activities for residents have continued with one to one and small groups. Mealtimes have been made special and staff allocated to each area have provided companionship and fun though the
Pandemic.

Contingency Plan for Covid Outbreak Management

A contingency plan for Outbreak Management is in place, documented and understood by all staff. An isolation area to manage an outbreak is available and readily equipped to care for residents requiring isolation due to an outbreak.

Independent Advocacy

Residents have access to Independent Advocacy and at a resident’s request management can make a referral to this service.

Staff Supports

A Staff Support Manager is available at Drakelands House and Occupational Health and Psychological Support are available to staff also.