All staff and residents at Encore Care Homes have now received the opportunity to be fully vaccinated against the Covid virus.
The first care home to receive a visit for the second vaccine was Great Oaks in Bournemouth, which welcomed in the team from Talbot Medical Centre to administer the second dose of the vaccines to the residents and team.
Staff from Encore Care Homes who were not on duty queued outside the building before being welcomed into the designated room one at a time to receive the jab three months after receiving the first dose in January.
Residents and staff at Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, Oakdale in Poole, and Hamble Heights in Fareham, have also now received the opportunity to have their second dose of the vaccine, with high uptake, from their respective local NHS GP surgeries. As well as weekly Covid-19 tests for residents and staff, Encore Care Homes uses Lateral Flow testing for the team and visitors, which provides results within 30 minutes, to identify any asymptomatic cases.
Speaking after having the vaccine, Machala Allen, Care Practitioner at Great Oaks, said: “There’s a really positive feeling amongst staff to receive the second dose of the vaccine. It’s a relief to know that our residents have had the second dose too, which means they are protected from Covid, and we know that our home is now safer from infection and the possibility of an outbreak.
“The last year has been really tough mentally and emotionally for all our residents, their families and our team – so it’s great to be able to start to move forwards again with the rollout of the vaccine, and for residents to be able to see loved ones.”
Following the latest government guidance which took effect on Monday, April 12, residents can now each welcome two relatives into the care homes to regularly visit them and hold hands, following a negative lateral flow test and with the provision of PPE in place. Additional relatives can also visit in the care homes’ dedicated Visiting Lounges, which provide a safe and comfortable place for face-to-face interaction through an airtight floor-to-ceiling Perspex screen, intercom system and hearing loop, which is cleaned by staff between visits.
Lindsay Rees, Director of Health and Care at Encore Care Homes, said: “The date to get the second vaccination felt a long time away when we stood in a long line in the rain at Great Oaks in January earlier this year. It is such a welcome relief to know staff and residents at last have their second dose and can now feel more protected against this awful virus that has changed our lives.
“Although it was very cold, the sun was shining at Great Oaks on the day. We are all feeling happier and brighter now that we are able to welcome relatives to safely visit their loved ones inside the care homes once more, and I have no doubt that this is having a positive impact on the wellbeing of our residents.”
Encore Care Homes have four purpose-built care homes supporting residents with residential, nursing and dementia care. The Encore family includes Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, Oakdale in Poole, Great Oaks in Bournemouth and Hamble Heights in Fareham.
The Encore team is now able to welcome family members and their loved ones to have a covid-safe viewing of the facilities available. Full PPE and rapid flow testing are in place for the safety of the care home residents, staff, and visitors.