David McGuire, Chief Executive of The Diagrama Foundation, has had months of angst planning and delivering policies to protect his residents and staff and keep the Clacton Care Home Covid free
David McGuire, Chief Executive, The Diagrama Foundation, kept a diary throughout these past challenging months, penning the struggles his team faced with supply shortages and changes to the system that they introduced to protect residents – at times acting in defiance of authority guidance.
His dairy was recently published in The Guardian in response to reports of Boris Johnson saying, “too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures.”
David said, “Care home managers across the country have had months of angst trying to keep their homes Covid free and I do wonder that if we had followed Government advice to the letter whether we would have been able to keep Edensor Care Centre residents and staff safe.”
Throughout the course of the pandemic Dr McGuire has been in close contact with his colleagues in Diagrama in Spain and has followed the lessons they learned. He made the decision to lock down all his homes in the South East, including Edensor, almost two weeks before the Government directive to lockdown on 23 March. He then worked in conjunction with staff and residents’ families to keep everyone safe.
On 13 March, the government’s guidance for care homes was updated to say that “care home providers are advised to review their visiting policy, by asking no-one to visit who has suspected Covid-19 or is generally unwell.” When this advice was circulated, Edensor House had done a lot more than was suggested and had stopped all non-essential visits.
Dr McGuire, continued, “After daily conversations with my colleagues in Spain I took the decision to stop all non-essential visits, including family visits, to Edensor House in Clacton on 12 March. Worryingly on 16 March, the government’s pandemic advice was still just to wash hands, yet I knew that things in Spain had reached an alarming state and it might have been different if they had acted sooner. By March 25 I had implemented strict staff guidelines including, changing staff working patterns, to ensure residents came in contact with fewer staff each day, and ensuring all staff at Edensor changed into scrubs and disinfected their footwear before entering the building.
This has been a horrendous time for all care homes and every day we check and recheck our procedures to see what else we might be able to do to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. I believe our homes remain Covid free because we went over and above government advice and had luck on our side.”
To find out more about Diagrama and Edensor Care Centre visit www.diagramafoundation.org.uk