Are nursing homes safe?

Whether you’re moving a loved one into a nursing home, or moving into one yourself, safety is paramount. And the fear of an unsafe nursing home environment has only grown stronger during the COVID pandemic.

In this post, we want to set your mind at ease. Generally speaking, nursing homes are very safe, and here we explain why.

What makes a nursing home safe?

Safety in a nursing home starts with the staff.  

Good nursing homes make sure their facilities and equipment are maintained by a skilled and passionate team of carers, cleaners, and trusted tradespeople — all overseen by the home’s senior management.  

At any given time, there will be enough highly trained staff members on duty to keep residents safe, while processes are in place to stop them from being bullied, harassed, or harmed in any way. This includes keeping them safe from neglect and financial abuse. 

What should nursing home staff do to help you feel secure?

There are several ways that nursing home staff can help residents feel safe, settled, and secure in their new home.

A good nursing home should:

  • Make sure dietary requirements are met with every meal. 
  • Welcome constructive feedback, regularly asking for views on food choice, activities, and the quality of care provided. 
  • Ensure medicine is stored correctly and only administered by trained nursing staff.
  • Work with health and social care professionals to keep residents healthy and happy. 
  • Deal with incidents quickly and investigate and correct mistakes within a reasonable timeframe. 

Furthermore, throughout a resident’s time in the nursing home (whether it’s respite care or they’ve moved in permanently), they should be consulted about their care, treatment, and support needs. Nothing should happen to alter a resident’s care without their – or their nominated carer’s – say so.

Read more: 5 ways to make the move from home to nursing home a smooth transition

Who is responsible for overall resident safety in a nursing home?

In England, residential care homes and nursing homes are independently inspected and rated by the Care Quality Commission. However, with regards to day-to-day safety, the buck stops with the nursing home manager. 

Residents and their loved ones should know who the manager is, along with any senior care and nursing staff, should they encounter any problems. 

COVID19: How does Fulford keep its residents, staff, and visitors safe? 

Our staff work tirelessly to keep our residents safe. We know that infection comes in from the community, and not out via the care home, so to prevent this we:

  • Test all visitors before entry with an an LFD (lateral flow device)
  • Routinely take temperatures.
  • Use (and regularly change) PPE, including gloves, face masks, and aprons.
  • Ask for vaccination information and track & trace details in case of infection.
  • Ask all essential visitors to be part of Fulford’s staff testing, which takes place three times per week (two LFD and one PCR).
  • Complete a travel screening form.
  • Clean the home regularly to prevent infection from spreading.
  • Ask people not to visit if they’re displaying any COVID symptoms

In addition to the above, we’re paying close attention to the COVID case data for our area, and we’re working with the local authority, Public Health England, and our various health partners to stay on top of the latest developments. 

Healthy and happy staff means happy residents

Although these measures have been put in place to protect our residents, they’re also vital for the wellbeing of our hardworking staff. Keeping them fit and healthy is key, as happy staff means happy residents. 

As a result, things can take a little longer than they would have previously. We may not answer the door as quickly, but that’s only because we have to do certain things between visits, including washing our hands, changing PPE, and sticking to social distancing in a building not designed for a one-way system. 

If you’re visiting Fulford to see a loved one, all we ask is for some patience and kindness towards our staff at this time.

Read more: Guidance for visitors

Your safety is our priority at Fulford 

If you’d like to learn more about our approach to safety here at Fulford, please contact us on 01904 654 269. We’re ready to listen and happy to help.

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