Read our December 2020 Newsletter!

Read our customer newsletter for a look back at an interesting Christmas in 2020, find out who is 'Carer Of The Month' for December and some useful information on this year's Christmas.

07/01/2021

Read our customer newsletter for a look back at an interesting Christmas in 2020, find out who is 'Carer Of The Month' for December and some useful information on this year's Christmas.

Christmas 2020...

We are delighted to announce Jemma Ridley as our Carer of the Month for December! Jemma has been with us since June this year and works as a Care Assistant. She is a confident and competent lady as well as a fabulous carer. Jemma is always keen to do a great job and make a difference to each of her customers lives by not making disabilities debilitating or limiting within the local communities and beyond. She has displayed complete professionalism and reliability, faces challenging situations as an opportunity for growth as opposed to something to avoid.
She is complimented by both her colleagues and customers regularly for her caring nature and ability to nurture and support others.
Huge congratulations to you Jemma….keep up the fabulous work!


Our runner up this month goes to one of our new carers, Chantell, who joined the team in October this year.
She is very enthusiastic, keen to do well and make a difference in every visit she goes to. She has great communication with the office and and has become an outstanding carer in such a short time. She has such a caring nature, and has made her customers feel instantly at ease when entering their homes for the first time.
It is safe to say, however, that all our care team do a fabulous job day in and day out, this year has been no exception, keeping you and your families safe and happy.
Congratulations Jemma your recognition is well deserved!


Compliments corner –


Each month we list some of the many compliments received from you about us,
so we can share the word…

  • The daughter of a customer wrote in to say - thank you for the work you do -it does indeed " make a difference".
  • A family member wrote to say - ‘I must complement you on the quality of your staff, outstanding.’
  • The wife of one of our customers recently rated our services as excellent and also stated that she found our directors newsletters very informative and more understandable than the press!
  • Lisa from our Finance department was recently thanked for all her help, and told by the person that they were most impressed.
  • A customer was so happy with the level of care given by Alla, her temporary live-in carer. The house was immaculate as Alla had cleaned everything from top to bottom. She was very sad to say goodbye to Alla and thanked us for sending such an amazing Carer. She commented ‘I am so pleased that I came to Bluebird Care for my care - it has made a world of difference to my rehabilitation.’
  • The daughter-in-law of one of our customers has written to us to say ‘Please can you pass on our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Deborah. It’s such a relief for us.’
  • The daughter of a customer contacted us to say ‘The contact from the CQC prompted us to get in touch with you on a personal level to say again how pleased we are with Mercy's care for our father. With visiting restrictions over the last few months, we've come to rely on her even more to keep him well both physically and mentally and she's doing such a wonderful job. We really appreciate all she's doing.’
  • Another customer expressed her gratitude to Katica for looking after her so well, saying ‘I would like to express my appreciation for the kindness and help give to me by Katica this evening’
  • A customer’s daughter expressed huge thanks to Edyta and wanted to drop us a line to say a very big thank you for all the excellent care she has given her Mum over these months. ‘I have been so impressed with your efficiency, kindness, and genuine care you show Mum. You are so very patient with her, and are so good to her. Thank you Edyta. You are the best carer we have ever had, you do a really excellent job.
  • Keeping ENTERTAINED this winter During isolation

Our Christmas Quiz!

Try our cracking Christmas Quiz…(answers on Last Page )
1. Which country annually sends a Christmas tree to be erected in London’s Trafalgar Square?


2. In the famous 1992 TV advert, featuring a soundtrack of ‘Magic Moments’, a little boy presented a gift of which Box of Chocolates to the lollypop lady at his crossing?


3. What is your star sign if you are born on Christmas Day?


4. In which movie does the song “White Christmas” first appear?


5. Featuring a famous score by Tchaikovsky, which ballet was first performed in the Marinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg at Christmas 1892 and continues to be performed world-wide over Christmas to the present day?


6. Who was crowned King of England on Christmas Day in 1066?


7. Which Christmas carol features these lyrics: “The stars in the bright sky, look down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay”?


8. Which actor plays the character of The Prime Minister in the 2003 film “Love Actually”?


9. The first Royal Christmas Message was delivered via BBC World Service from Sandringham in 1932 by which monarch?


10. Which “East Enders” character served his wife with divorce papers in front of more than 30 million viewers on Christmas Day in 1986

10 December 2020 

Covid Update


We remain delighted to advise that we have no positive cases of COVID19 with or customers. Unfortunately, one of carers who had a home test, the result came back positive. The carer concerned had no symptoms but we immediately took her of all her work (as per government guidelines) to allow her to self isolate for 10 days from the date of the results of the test. She received the results of her test at 10.30pm.


We continue to ensure that we have effective infection control policies and procedures in place as part of our commitment to providing excellent care and these are being reinforced regularly with our staff.


COVID-19 testing available to all homecare workers in England.

As mentioned previously NHS Test and Trace is making weekly COVID-19 testing available to all homecare workers in England.


We received our monthly supply of 520 home testing kits this morning.

 

The home testing kits will be rolled out to all of our front line staff over the course of this week and next week. They will then have to complete the self registration process which identifies the care company they work for and complete and return their consent form back to the office.


Typically the home testing results take longer to come back than going to a Testing Centre; i.e. 3 to 4 days vs. 24 to 48 hours and they can come back at any time via a text message. As evidenced by the member of our staff who did a home test and received the results at 10.30pm.


As mentioned last week, while it is great that we are now able to have all staff tested, the impact on your visit schedules will continue to be disruptive. We have no control of when the member of staff will receive the results and we have to act immediately.


In an attempt to minimise the disruption, we have re-instated a shift system for the office staff who can deliver care, and they will be the first point of contact to cover your visits.


We ask for your patience and understanding during what could be a difficult period.


In order there is no confusion about what happens if a member of staff tests positive, I have detailed below the government guidelines that we follow in all situations.

Scenario 1

 

Staff who test positive for COVID19 and who were asymptomatic (no symptoms) at the time of the test must self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the test. If they remain well, they can return to work on day 11. The staff member will share the results of their test in order we can accurately record the date of their results. If, during the 10 days isolation, they develop symptoms, they must self-isolate for 10 days from the day of symptom onset. They can:

  • 1. return to work no earlier than 10 days from symptom onset, provided clinical improvement has occurred and they have been afebrile (not feverish) without medication for 48 hours and they are medically fit to return
  • 2. if a cough or a loss of or a change in normal sense of smell (anosmia) or taste is the only persistent symptom after 10 days (and they have been afebrile for 48 hours without medication), they can return to work if they are medically fit to return (these symptoms are known to persist for several weeks in some cases)

Scenario 2


Staff member has symptoms, but test results are negative. Staff member can return to work when they are medically fit to do so, following discussion with their line manager and appropriate local risk assessment.
 

Scenario 3

Staff member has symptoms and test results are positive. Staff member can:

• return to work no earlier than 10 days from symptom onset, provided clinical improvement has occurred and they have been afebrile (not feverish) without medication for 48 hours and they are medically fit to return

• if a cough or a loss of or a change in normal sense of smell (anosmia) or taste is the only persistent symptom after 10 days (and they have been afebrile for 48 hours without medication), they can return to work if they are medically fit to return (these symptoms are known to persist for several weeks in some cases).

Scenario 4

Staff member contacted by Test & Trace that they are a contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the community (outside the health or social care setting or their place of work) they should inform their line manager and self-isolate for 14 days, in line with the NHS test and trace guidance.
The full set of guidelines can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings


Our co-ordinators are doing their best to minimise the disruption to your normal carer and time of visit, but unfortunately change is inevitable as we struggle to deal with situations which are sprung upon us with no opportunity to plan.

8th December 2020

I’m sure we will all remember this date as the day the first COVID19 vaccine was administered. We are hopeful that we will receive an update soon regarding when our staff will be able to have the vaccine.

In the meantime the priority remains as stated last week: People aged over 80 in hospital, frontline health staff and care home workers have been the first to get the jab at 70 designated hospitals hubs across the UK. As soon as there is clarity on how smaller batches of the vaccine can be transported safely at ultra-cold temperatures of -70C, care home residents will follow - probably from 14 December.

People will be vaccinated twice - around 21 days apart - and full immunity starts seven days after the second dose. The second phase of vaccination will focus on the rest of the population, mainly the under-50s, who are much less likely to be ill with Covid-19.

Teachers, transport workers and the military could prioritised at that point, but more data on how well the vaccines are working will be needed before that decision is made. It could be well into 2021 before this phase begins, by which time more Covid vaccines could be approved for use.


I ask for your patience during this difficult time as we endeavour to ensure all your visits are covered and we keep both our customers and our staff safe.


Our website is being kept up to date with COVID19 information and links to additional sources of information can be found there.


When there are further significant announcements, we will send out additional updates as before.
Thank you for your continued support.


Anne Inglis, Director


Keeping well this winter


Changes to our bodies as we get older mean that cold weather and winter bugs affect us more than they used to. This winter we will also need to live with coronavirus, which we know can have more of an impact the older we are. What you can do?


As we age, our immune system becomes weaker and less able to fight off viruses. We lose muscle mass which helps to keep us warm and keep us moving about. And the cold makes health conditions harder to manage, or even effect our hearts and circulation.


The good news is there are lots of things we can do to help keep well in winter.

 

  • Keep moving - Try not to sit still for more than one hour at a time. You might not think it, but even a little bit of activity can help you to keep strength and mobility.
  • Eat well - Spending more time indoors and doing less of the things we enjoy means it can be difficult to keep up the motivation to prepare meals. Try to keep a bit of a routine and eat what you can. If you've recently lost weight without meaning to or have a smaller appetite than usual, find out why this might be and what you can do to help. The most important thing is to eat, even if the only thing you fancy is a slice of cake, something is always better than nothing.
  • Get your free flu jab – even if you're fighting fit. Everyone aged 65 and over, and anyone who cares for a friend or family member, is entitled to a free flu jab from the doctor or pharmacist. When you get your flu jab check if you're eligible for the pneumo vaccine, which helps protect you from pneumonia, and the Shingles vaccine. To protect the most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic, there are additional groups who can get the jab free this year, including people who live with someone who was asked to shield during Spring lockdown. The vaccines for over 65s has an agent in which helps to boost your immune system’s response to the vaccine. Even if you’re fit and healthy, it’s a great idea to get the jab to help protect yourself and others.
  • Make sure your home is warm enough - Try to heat your home to a steady and comfortable temperature throughout the day. It's also a good idea to keep your bedroom window closed at night when the weather is coldest and close the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in.
  • Wash your hands regularly - This is important now more than ever. It's simple but effective – washing your hands helps stop germs spreading and can help you stay well.
  • Wrap up well and stay stocked up - Layering's the best way to keep warm in winter. If you're heading out, don’t forget the temperature can drop drastically as the sun goes down so take woollies out with you, even if you don’t need them immediately. It could be a good idea to stock up on cold and sore throat remedies. Your pharmacist can give you advice if you're feeling under the weather about what might help.
  • The cold puts more pressure on our hearts and circulatory systems - The cold can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, as well as hyperthermia. If you suspect yourself, or another, is experience any of these, call 999 immediately, or 112 from a mobile. Remember, for a Stroke, think FAST
  • F- is the face drooping on one side?
  • A – can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
  • S – is speech slurred?
  • T – time to call 999 if you spot any one of these signs

Arrangements for your care for Christmas period 2020


Please remember to let us know what your care requirements will be over the festive period by completing the forms recently sent out in the pre-paid envelope provided.
Please be aware that there are additional charges on bank holidays.
Our office opening hours over the Christmas & New Year period are below: Date Office opens at Office closes:

Date Office opens at Office cloeses at
Wed 23rd December 8:30am 5pm
Thur 24th December 8:30am 3pm
Friday 25th December Closed all day Closed all day
Sat 26th December Closed all day Closed all day
Sun 27th December Closed all day Closed all day
Mon 28th December Closed all day Closed all day
Tue 29th December 8:30am 5pm
Wed 30th December 8:30am 5pm
Thur 31th December 8:30am 3pm
Fri 1st January 2021 Closed all day Closed all day
Sat 2nd January 2021 Closed all day Closed all day
Sun 3rd January 2021 Closed all day Closed all day

Then it’s back to normal…

Our out-of-hours emergency service will be available 7am to 10pm as usual when the office is closed. The emergency number is 01628 902 455

Work Anniversaries


As always, we like to recognise the work anniversaries of our staff. We send a personalised email from Ian recognising their work anniversary but based on feedback from our care staff, we also wanted to recognise it in both the Staff and Customer Newsletters.


Monthly Anniversaries:

  • Mariana Rughinis - 5 years
  • Sonia Oprean - 5 years
  • Ruby Hockley - 3 years
  • Marina Augustin - 2 years


Our Annual Christmas Tea Party 2020 is sadly missed..bah humbug!


Every year for the past decade we have held out Christmas Tea Party at the Grovefield Hotel, but we were unable to do so this year due to the continuing Covd-19 restrictions making it impossible for us all to meet in a large group.


Whilst we understand the reasons behind the restrictions and support everyone staying safe, we are very sorry about this as it’s an annual event that so many of you and so many of us look forward to and it often signals the start of the Christmas period.


There is always some great singing and partying (and some bad singing too but that never holds us back!) and general festive merriment, plus the carol singing by the children from Lent Rise School is always a highlight.
All being well, and assuming a semblance of normality will return in 2021, we’ll be back bigger and better for Christmas 2021….!!


In the meantime, from all of us at Bluebird Care, we wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and our best wishes for a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

BEST WISHES AS ALWAYS……Anne, Nicky & Cindy

 

Quiz answers: 1. Norway 2. Quality Street 3. Capricorn 4. Holiday Inn

5. The Nutcracker 6. William I (William the Conqueror) 7. Away in a Manger

8. Hugh Grant 9. George V 10. "Dirty" Den Watts