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Can care homes adopt new measures with enhanced risk assessments?

As restrictions on care home visits ease, mobile hand washing equipment supplier Teal looks at the role of portable facilities to boost the protection of residents, visitors and staff

On 10 May, the government announced care home residents will be allowed five named visitors from the following week.

That followed a reduction in cases of Covid-19 and the ongoing successful vaccine rollout. Indeed, on 10 May, official data showed 95 per cent of older care home residents had received their first jab.

As part of the announcement, the chairman of the government’s Social Care Sector Covid-19 Support Taskforce, Sir David Pearson, said: “This is a significant step on the road to normality for so many.

“We are only able to increase visits in and out of care homes thanks to the hard work of social care staff maintaining good infection prevention and control, and the effect of the vaccines in driving down transmission.”

As the benefits of lockdown easing are enjoyed, it is possibly a time to look at what lessons can be learned from this period about how to increase the protection of residents, visitors and staff.

It is clear that the focus on infection control by the care homes has been an important factor and look, with more visits, keeping this control will be vital to stop further infections from variants or from the usual challenges from influenza and norovirus.

Word of warning

The risks have been considered in an online article in North Wales newspaper The Leader on 25 May after an announcement that care homes in Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham would not be returning to the pre-Covid 'open house' approach after visiting restrictions were eased by the Welsh government.

The article published a warning from Care Forum Wales chief executive Mary Wimbury, who sounded a note of caution saying that all visits would still need to be risk assessed before they were allowed go ahead.

To address this, it might be that care home can follow the path of some NHS hospitals by adding additional portable hand washing facilities in reception areas and common meeting or corridor areas.

Chris Whieldon, sales director of Teal Patents Ltd, said the use of portable sinks has helped the NHS control infection outbreaks and support facilities maintenance.

“From the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, effective hygienic hand washing has been at the core of infection control,” he added.

“We have supplied NHS hospitals throughout the UK as they have recognised that the tactical use of portable sinks is now becoming accepted as a simple, and easy to use solution to ensure hand washing is carried out by staff and by visitors.”

Having portable sinks as part of the care package available in a care home environment offers reassurance to the residents, and to the family visitors, that managers are thinking ahead and able to satisfy the new higher standards required to pass risk assessments.

The Teal portable sinks and basins can help control infection outbreaks providing back-up support for existing washing facilities as well as being used in rest or reception areas by visitors and staff.

They can be placed at point of need, so they are ideal for residents who may have to be isolated or have restricted mobility, allowing them and staff access to warm water in their room.

Having portable sinks as part of the care package available in a care home environment offers reassurance to the residents, and to the family visitors, that managers are thinking ahead and able to satisfy the new higher standards required to pass risk assessments.

Teal Hand Spa

The semi-permanent Teal Hand Spa washbasin meanwhile provides effective hand hygiene, without the need of mains water service or drainage connections. Housed in a stylish wooden casing, the Teal Hand Spa will complement its surroundings.

Easy to locate, the Teal Hand Spa can be plugged in to any convenient 13-amp socket with nothing to reset or adjust.

Hands free operation under warm running water and kept at the optimum temperature of 40°–43°C.

The Teal Hand Spa provides up to 50 ten-second hot washes per filling unit and comes complete with an easy-to-use water container.

Teal Super Stallette

In addition, the highly portable Teal Super Stallette provides effective hand hygiene, without the need of mains water service or drainage connections.

The device can be plugged into any convenient 13-amp socket.

Placing your hands in the bowl triggers the wash cycle and the unique Bluesensor will start to flash indicating that the water is being heated to the required temperature of just over 40°C.

It will then deliver the ten-second hot wash in a low-pressure spray, ideal for hand washing under running water.

Removing your hands from the bowl, the Bluesensor will re-light, indicating it is ready to use.

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Upcoming Events

Future of Care Conference

The King’s Fund, Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London W1G 0AN
22nd June 2021

Care Roadshow- Liverpool

Liverpool, Aintree Racecourse
13th July 2021

Care Roadshow - Glasgow

Glasgow, Hampden Park Stadium
9th September 2021

Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo 2021

Birmingham, NEC
15-16 September

Care Roadshow- London

London, Epsom Downs Racecourse
19th October 2021

Care Roadshow - Cardiff

Cardiff, Cardiff City Stadium
9th November 2021

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