Covid-19 Business Statement from our CEO, David Rutherford-Jones
30th May 2022
Morden College continues to closely monitor the evolution of the Coronavirus situation. We are and will continue to regularly update residents and staff on the situation and, as appropriate, provide guidance on the necessary precautions to take.
We understand that the pandemic is not fully over and recognise too the endemic nature of the crisis now, in the UK. In response to the risks of the Omicron variant, action has been taken in accordance with Government guidelines to keep the residents and staff at Morden College safe.
As we move forward, we continue to heed the advice we are given by Public Health England, CQC, HM Government and our local authorities in Greenwich and Bromley. The Charity holds enough PPE to protect staff and residents, and the crisis management structure put in place on 17th March 2020 continues to provide frontline leadership and operational support. The Crisis Management Team will continue to meet every working day at 9.30am, until the virus has fully receded.
Risk assessments for all areas of the College have been carried out by managers as new situations arise, in consultation with individual staff and the Health and Safety team.
With all this to mind, Morden College will:
- Continue to test all staff and volunteers.
- Encourage and support the vaccination of all employees except for those with medical exemptions.
- Continue to maintain restrictions in our Care Home, Cullum Welch Court (see additional note below).
There will be no restriction on visitors to our residents in their independent living locations. People should wear a face covering if they would feel safer doing so; but Morden College does not require face coverings to be worn other than in our residential Care Home.
Our hospitality facilities are open fully to residents, families, and friends, including in the Charity’s new central facility, the John Morden Centre.
Events are being run for residents. Residents’ social committees and the new Resident Forum will continue to play their part in deciding the social programme for the Charity. Morden College is no longer social distancing.
Specific Protocols will still apply in our Care Home:
We are pleased to be able to say that, as the Spring Booster Covid vaccination is being provided to residents in our Care Home (and throughout the Charity’s almshouse accommodation), this additional protection and our continued infection prevention and control measures means we can start ‘living with Covid’ in earnest; and regain more normality in day-to-day Care Home life.
The changes we have now made include: allowing family members and friends to visit without pre-booking; no requirement to complete a health screening form; no requirement to take a Lateral Flow Test. Only the ‘small number of our care home visitors who provide personal care’, known as Essential Caregivers, still need to test. They will be able to get free tests but will not need to test more than twice a week (Essential Caregivers should contact Reception at Cullum Welch Court for further details).
It is important to remember that if our Care Home goes into an outbreak situation, or if there is a suspected case of Covid, the team will need to reinstate some or all lockdown infection control measures.
Whilst being vaccinated is no longer mandatory, Morden College strongly believes that all our health and social care colleagues have a professional responsibility to reduce the risk of infection to others; we will continue to encourage our staff teams to have all their vaccinations.
Anyone feeling unwell should not visit someone in our Care Home – even if you have tested negative for coronavirus and you are fully vaccinated.
Our care staff continue to carry out their twice a week LFD tests.
As visitors to rooms will have been vaccinated, visitors need not wear masks in their loved one’s rooms. Masks must be worn in the communal spaces within the Care Home.
Hugging is definitely OK! Visitors are advised to avoid face-to-face contact.
We strongly advise visitors to take their loved ones out into our gardens, and indeed use our other facilities, for example the new Café 19 in the John Morden Centre.
Relatives who are not vaccinated will be able to continue their visits by using our orangery, attached to Cullum Welch Court, as before.
Our intent is to focus on restoring the best quality of life we can to all our residents, while at the same time allowing space for our staff and residents to recover from a tough 26 months. The College will continue to monitor the situation with coronavirus and listen to and act on Government guidance. We will continue to provide our staff, residents, and visitors with a safe and healthy environment at Morden College, on all our sites. We will of course keep visitors to our website updated as the situation evolves.