Monday September 21st

Due to the Coronavirus lockdown and stringent precautions, Friends of the Elderly’s Woking Day Care in Surrey closed its doors back in March, in order to protect its services users, their families and its day care centre team.

However, the Friends of the Elderly is pleased to announce that as the UK Government’s lockdown guidelines and protocols continue to be updated, and shielding guidance has been revised, the day care centre team has been working hard to make sure that the Centre is COVID-Ready which has enabled them to reopen this week.

Mark Wilson, Friends of the Elderly’s Engagement Director said: “We are delighted to be able to reopen our Woking Day Care Centre for all our services users to visit, enjoy and participate in the wide range of activities we have on offer. We also hope that the reopening of the Centre will help to provide a release from the constraints of social isolation and support our service users’ mental and physical well-being.”

Woking Day Care Centre has rigorous COVID-Ready procedures in place to ensure the safety of everyone who visits and the day care centre team. Mark added: “Our day care services will now operate in smaller groups, utilising the ‘bubble’ principle. Our service users will be able to use the Centre for a maximum of two to three days a week, depending on their care and support needs. We have put this measure in place to ensure we can accommodate different ‘bubbles’ on different days."

“We have adapted the day care centre’s environment so that all service users will be spaced two metres apart within the building, and all meals will be served on individual tables rather than around larger dining tables.”

Jess Stone, Friends of the Elderly’s Head of Marketing and Communications said: “Our day care centre teams have been tested for COVID-19 before the Centre reopened and will continue to be temperature checked on a daily basis. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be worn at all times, including gloves, aprons and masks. The Centre will undergo a series of deep cleans every day covering each morning, throughout the day and in the evening. Our service users do not have to wear a mask, but if they would like to, we will provide them with a disposable one.”

A socially distanced drop off and collection procedure is also now in place. Upon arrival, a member of the team will meet the service user in the car par where they will be temperature checked. Once this has been done, they will be escorted into the building. If their temperature is higher than 37.5 degrees, then unfortunately they will not be able to attend their session and will be requested to arrange to have a COVID-19 test.

Family member or friends who are collecting their relatives or loved ones at the end of their time at the Centre, will be asked to telephone the team to confirm their arrival. A member of the team will then escort the service user to the car park.

Mark added: “I appreciate that the above information is very detailed and that it changes the way that we run our day care services in many ways. However, these processes are being undertaken to ensure that we keep everyone as safe as possible. Although we can never guarantee that we will not have a case of the virus in our services, we are now confident that our processes are COVID WISE.”

There are currently no guidelines from the UK Government around testing day care centre clients for the virus, but Friends of the Elderly is strictly following the National Institute for Health Protection and the Social Care Institute For Excellence guidance around safe delivery of its day care services.

When the government produce guidelines for COVID-19 testing of day care centre clients, the charity will of course adhere to these measures.

From today, the Woking Day Care Centre will:

  • - Have regular Staff COVID-19 testing
  • - Appropriate signage regarding social distancing
  • - Daily temperature checks for staff and service users attending each session
  • - A regular daily schedule of deep cleaning throughout the building and all equipment
  • - Clear and concise internal layouts of the Centre to ensure it complies with social distancing and health and safety requirements
  • - Risk assessments to keep everyone safe
  • - Additional hand sanitiser units in strategic locations throughout the building
  • - All day care centre team members will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment at all times

Mark concluded: "Everyone at Friends of the Elderly appreciates how tough it has been for many people who haven’t been able to attend their local day centre since the lockdown began. I know I speak for all of the day care centre team when I say how much they have all looking forward to welcoming everybody back to enjoy the vast array of socially distanced activities they have planned including gardening, quizzes and sing-alongs, arts and crafts, baking, gentle exercise classes and reminiscence activities.”


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