Manx Care have released the following statement:

‘An outbreak of Covid has been identified at Southlands, and whilst it is recognised that visiting is a vital support mechanism for residents, it is our duty to ensure the safety of residents, staff and visitors by following infection prevention and control procedures and protecting those vulnerable persons in our care.

Due to the identified outbreak, with effect from 5.00pm on Monday 13 September 2021 the four older persons units at Southlands closed for a period of 14 days. That means no visitors unless essential or in exceptional circumstances, e.g. end of life.  Residents will not be supported to leave the home for that period of 14 days. Next of kin have been informed of this action. 

Two units have identified cases, but we are closing all four as a precaution whilst surveillance testing and risk mitigation takes place.

This closure does not affect the dementia units; Gansey and Bradda, or the Day Centre as these have separate self-contained entrances, or any other Manx Care home. 

This closure will be reviewed on a regular basis, and measures will be eased as soon as it is safe to do so.

If you are a permitted visitor; i.e. essential or in exceptional circumstances, you must adhere to the following Covid protocols when entering a Manx Care residential home or unit:

Guidance for risk mitigation, for essential visits by relatives to care home:

  • The care home manager MUST agree, either by written or verbal correspondence, that the visit to the Care Home is essential or exceptional, e.g. due to compassionate reasons (e.g. end of life, best interest).
  • In the care home managers absence this may be delegated to the person in charge.
  • Undertake a risk assessment tailored to each individual visit.
  • Entrance to the care home will not be permitted without approved confirmation from the care home manager. This is to include;
    • Time and day of visit
    • Length of visit
    • Frequency of visit
    • Instructions on how to gain access to the care home – they must be accompanied by a staff member.

Procedure on arrival and during the visit to the care home

  • The relative must be met at the nearest door to the designated area by a member of the care home staff.
  • The relative must adhere to all Covid-19 protocols.
  • The relative will then be escorted to the designated visiting area by the staff member ensuring that the passage way is clear from service users.

All other Manx Care homes will be open with minimal restrictions in place for seven days (until 21 September) when they will be reviewed. This means that from Tuesday 14 September the homes will are operating with the following measures; 

  • Visiting will still need to be booked with the management team of each home, but visiting hours will be extended from 10am to 7pm.
  • Two visitors will now be allowed at a time, with no time limit on visits.  
  • All visitors will be asked to carry out a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) at each home prior to the visit (this will now be optional), but all visitors will be required to have their temperature taken on arrival and to comply with PPE and hand hygiene guidance throughout the visit.

This guidance will in place until 21 September, when it will be reviewed.  This will be applicable at the following homes;

  • Gansey and Bradda units, Day Centre Southlands – Port St Mary
  • Cummal Mooar – Ramsey
  • Reayrt-ny-Baie – Douglas
  • Langness/Gansey – Port St Mary
  • Thie Meanagh/Sweetbriar – Douglas
  • Reayrt Skyal – Ramsey  

Visitors who are sick or showing any symptoms relating to Covid-19 will not be permitted to enter any Manx Care residential home or unit; this is without exception.

Jonathan Carey, Head of Adult Services, commented: ‘We would like to thank everyone for their continued understanding and co-operation at this difficult time. We’ve had to make some very tough decisions and we do not take closing our doors lightly.’

‘We’ve made this decision in line with advice from Infection Prevention and Control, putting measures in place to ensure we’re protecting our vulnerable residents and still able to deliver a safe and effective service.’

‘We all need to remain vigilant and consider the health and wellbeing of everyone living in, working in and visiting Manx Care settings – including those where visiting is permitted, we must ask all visitors to ensure they adhere to the minimal mitigations that are in place. ‘

The revised Residential Care Home visitor policy will be uploaded on www.gov.im by 5.30pm on Wednesday 15 September.’

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