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COVID-19/Coronavirus Statement

17 Mar 2020

We want to offer reassurance that Cornerstone’s absolute priority is the wellbeing of the people we support and our colleagues. We understand that this is a very worrying time for everybody, particularly the impact the Coronavirus can have on people with underlying health conditions. We have put comprehensive plans in place to maintain services and support as much as we can. These plans are being reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure we maintain the utmost levels of safety, in line with Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland guidance.

The latest advice has required us to apply some new measures within our housing support settings where two or more people reside:

1. Introduction of ‘social distancing’ to reduce the risk of infecting residents and their carers and most significantly aims to reduce the impact of the virus on this group.

This means that we must reduce visitors to the home apart from essential visits. Priority will need to be given to appropriate health and care staff as essential, though we may be able to identify one named relative/guardian as essential dependant on circumstances, however the frequency and duration of visiting will need to be reduced. We will try to be as flexible as possible for each circumstance.

2. Social isolation in rooms.

There is a high risk within a long-term care facility that infections are spread between residents through communal areas such as lounges and dining areas. We will isolate the people we support within their rooms as much as is practical and ideally reduce time in communal areas by 75%.  Meals will likely be served in their own rooms where possible and communal sitting areas avoided. If communal areas are being used, we will adhere to scientific advice that the distance between residents should be two metres where possible.

3. Cease all social and educational activities for people we support outside of their home.

In accordance with social distancing and isolation measures we will be stopping all social and educational activities. We appreciate that this may cause anxiety for the people we support and their families. We are actively working on creative ways to keep people we support engaged during what might be a prolonged period; this may include regular telephone and video calls with family, friends, peers as well as the use of hobby and craft materials, games, etc. 

In addition, due to the ongoing transmission concerns, all community-based activity is cancelled and therefore all services will need to take place within the home. 

4. What we will do if someone has COVID-19 symptoms in the service.

If it is appropriate and possible for us to transfer someone to hospital, we will do so. However, given the anticipated increase in the number of cases, it is highly likely that people we support who become infected will not be hospitalised and be cared for by our staff and community health colleagues within their own home.

Should a person we support be infected, we may need to ask any visitors to wear personal protective equipment (supplied at the service). This may feel a little unnerving but please understand it is to benefit visitors, others in the service and wider community.

As with anything in relation to the people we support and their families, we want to work together during this difficult time and welcome suggestions on how we can provide the best support to you and other families, whilst adhering to Government advice. Please be assured that Cornerstone is committed to following all appropriate advice rigorously.

Should you have any questions please email us at enquiries@cornerstone.org.uk or call us on 0300 131 3333.