Some care operators have been impacted more than others. We have seen the first care home in Kettering close as a result of safety concerns around COVID. Likewise, the Scottish Inspectorate have taken over running one privately-run care home. To control the spread of the virus, many more residents and staff have at one point or another been isolated due to having symptoms or confirmed COVID cases, and most homes banned visitors from mid-March.
The immediate challenge for Kevin and the FM team was deciding what maintenance services were continued in the homes; which services had to stop, and at what point can operations get back to normal, albeit no one is sure what the new normal will be.
As you would expect, urgent services including reactive call outs on heating, hot water, security, patient care equipment, fire alarms etc, were all protected. In addition, statutory inspections and planned maintenance have continued where possible. However, several challenges have made these services more difficult to implement, including:
- Organising safe access into the homes, agreeing dynamic risk assessments, agreeing the appropriate level of PPE and not being able to gain access to quarantine areas
- Contacting and organising access with the homes at times when key home staff are either self-isolating or sick with the virus
- Having the right contractor and the right operative available due to either self-isolating, being ill or suspending operations by furloughing staff