The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and colleagues are always our top priorities. We have therefore taken comprehensive action to prepare for, and respond to, the growing coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

This page will continuously update with the latest advice from Berkley Care Group about the steps we are taking at our homes. This information is intended for Berkley Care Group residents, colleagues and any visitors to our homes only.

For comprehensive information about coronavirus itself, please visit either the gov.uk or NHS websites, or if you are concerned you or someone you are in contact with has coronavirus, call 111.

Visiting Ryefield Court

For Ryefield Court, the health and safety of our residents and colleagues is our top priority. As such, we have made the decision to stop all non-essential visitors to our home until further notice.

We have not taken this decision lightly, but we know our visitors, including relatives and loved ones, would want us to do everything possible to keep the residents in our care safe and well.

Non-essential visits include routine visits from relatives and loved ones, visits from individuals such as hairdressers and entertainers, and from professionals and contractors carrying out non-essential services.

If you can delay your visit or achieve its purpose via another method (i.e. through a phone call or video call), please do so. We are in the process of setting up a Skype video calling facility for our residents and we will update you as soon as this is in place with details of how to contact your loved ones.

Requests for essential visits where exceptional circumstances arise will be considered. Please contact the General Manager directly on 01895 707106 to discuss and arrange this.

If an essential visit is granted, we ask that a number of steps are taken to limit any potential risk - these are outlined in the next section.

Please do not attempt to arrange a visit to Ryefield Court for any reason if you currently feel unwell, particularly if you have a cough, a fever or high temperature, or have shortness of breath, or if you have been in contact with someone who may have coronavirus.

How to safely visit Ryefield Court

If an essential visit to Ryefield Court has been agreed, it is important that you do so safely and in a way that minimises the risk of infection to our residents and colleagues. Therefore, before visiting and whilst on site, please consider the following:

- Handwashing. It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before you visit Ryefield Court, and regularly whilst you are at the home. Please make sure you wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, using either hot water and soap or 60% alcohol sanitiser gel that we have provided throughout the home. The NHS has a video guide to effective handwashing here.

- Coughs and sneezes. We understand there are many reasons why someone may cough or sneeze, however, if on an essential visit, please make sure you have a tissue on you at all times so that you can catch a cough or sneeze. Please then immediately dispose of the tissue in the bin and wash your hands.

Protecting our residents and colleagues

Please be assured that Berkley Care Group is treating this matter with the utmost seriousness and comprehensive contingency plans are in place in the event of a coronavirus outbreak at a home. We will, of course, update you should this be the case and outline what additional measures we will be taking.

In response to the growing UK coronavirus outbreak, we have created a dedicated steering group. Led by Jenny Fuller, our Operations Director, this group comprises our senior leaders from across the business who are now meeting regularly via conference call to review and further develop our plans, reflecting the evolving situation. The group is monitoring and reacting to the latest guidance issued by the UK Government, the NHS and public health bodies.

The steering group has already taken action, including working to secure the medical supplies we may need in the event of an outbreak in a home, and developing and implementing the policies and protocols needed to make sure Berkley Care Group can continue to provide high-quality care during this time.

All home General Managers and colleagues have been informed of the steps we are taking and how they can help prevent the spread of infection. This includes establishing handwashing stations in the reception areas of all homes, installing additional prominent signage about handwashing, and completing the infection control training modules through our digital learning platform.

The homepage on our website www.ryefieldcourt.com will have a link that will be updated regularly to reflect the latest information and advice regarding any additional steps we are taking to safeguard the health of our residents and colleagues. Please continue to refer to this for all further communication on the COVID-19 outbreak.

For anyone connected to Ryefield Court who has further questions about our response to the coronavirus, please call the General Manager on 01895 707106.