Jewish Care Annual Review 2020 – 2021

Precautions

When the pandemic took hold in March 2020, Jewish Care took a number of steps to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 across all of our resources including: the introduction of a screening process upon entry to any resource; self-isolation measures where appropriate; increased deep cleaning and use of additional sanitisation and specialist cleaning products; only allowing visits to our care homes in visiting pods or from designated visitors, and following all Government guidance on social distancing measures in our Retirement Living facilities. Jewish Care also invested in and procured over two million pieces of PPE following the lock down of our homes a week earlier than the Government’s advice.

During the pandemic, our frontline staff showed incredible commitment and dedication to the safety and protection of our residents. Our staff and homes took and continue to take measures along with following Government guidance to ensure residents are protected and kept safe. Additional pressure was also placed on staff when volunteers who would usually help with activities and beauty treatments were unable to enter the care homes during national lockdowns.

Regular testing

We implemented regular staff and resident testing as soon as this became available. All visitors are now required to take a Lateral Flow Test before entering any of our buildings.

Regular communication

Between April and July 2020, Jewish Care sent weekly communications to all relatives of residents in our homes. These became fortnightly in August 2020 as the situation in our care homes stabilised and are now sent monthly (from March 2021). The letters keep relatives well informed and updated about Covid-19 levels, deaths, measures, and changes in their loved one’s home.

Vaccinations

At the time of writing this, all of our residents have now been offered their second vaccination with nearly all having it except a small minority who have refused for personal or health reasons. We actively encourage our staff to take up the vaccine and launched an internal campaign to dispel any myths they may have encountered. This included an open seminar with medical experts, which was also repeated for relatives of care home residents.

Expanding community service outreach

Following the closure of our community centres and ceasing in-person activity for our members in March 2020, Jewish Care increased the provision of Meals on Wheels, telephone befriending and virtual and online activity for those who were isolated, unable to access services, or lonely during the pandemic.

Between March 2020 and March 2021, we had delivered over 50,000 Meals on Wheels and made over 50,000 befriending calls. Much of this was helped by the 600 new volunteers who signed up to Jewish Care at the beginning of the pandemic to offer their assistance with deliveries and calls. We are incredibly grateful to our new and existing volunteers for the support they have given us in delivering these services.

Volunteers

Volunteers who had previously helped in our care homes and Retirement Living schemes were no longer able to go in to these buildings to carry out their regular activities during the pandemic but continued to do as much as possible for us online, lending their time and assistance via video calls, livestreams and virtual programmes and entertainment.

Volunteers also helped us to ensure that we could provide for our residents and community centre members during Jewish festivals. This included recording seders for Passover for others to stream online in their homes in place of in-person seders and services, delivering honey cake over Rosh Hashanah, cheesecake on Shavuot and other festival themed treats, recording various talks, prayers, and live streaming services and much more. We worked to ensure that festivals were still celebrated as much as possible in the knowledge that these are often times spent with family and community.

Looking ahead

We have prepared to resume in-person activity at our community centres in a safe way in the coming weeks and months, focusing on our strategic objective of focussing activity around our state-of-the-art care campuses or hubs.

Contingency and response plans were and still are in place for all scenarios which may occur as a result of Covid-19 impacting the UK more widely. Jewish Care continues to regularly review the situation along with our measures and plans and share these very openly and transparently on our website as and when things change.