Care Home Day 2020 – thank you to our care homes

To support Care Home Day 2020, Fife’s Health & Social Care Partnership wanted to shine a light on the care homes in Fife.

Care homes are communities within communities and every member of staff, every resident and families and friends all play a valuable role.  It really is an extended family. As an integral part of our communities, care homes provide high quality person-centred care to support the health and wellbeing of residents.

Cllr David Graham, Fife Council Spokesperson for Health said:

From left Cllr David Graham, Nicky Connor, John Cooper, Service Manager, FHSCP, David Heaney, Divisional General Manager, FHSCP and Ostlers House staff Kirsten Wilkie, Helen Oliver, Eddie Hepburn and Elaine Patrick. Kneeling is Elaine Siggers with the star of the show Ozzie the home’s therapet.

“Our care home staff really are amazing, and I would like to thank every care home worker for the commitment and passion they show in supporting residents and their families, not only through this pandemic but every day. Staff have come up with so many different ways of keeping residents entertained and families and friends have been very supportive of the care and attention that their families have received, and they continue to receive.”

Cllr Graham joined Fife’s Health & Social Care Director Nicky Connor and Divisional General Manager David Heaney at Ostlers House Care Home today in Kirkcaldy.

Nicky Connor, Director of Fife HSCP added: “It really was very humbling speaking to staff. They are an inspiring group of people and what they have done to keep families connected throughout this period whilst visiting was cancelled has been really innovative. Having the ability to use iPads to connect with families and friends has made a huge difference and residents adapted well to using Facetime. Visiting has now resumed, although this looks a little different with physical distancing measures and PPE now the norm. I can’t thank care home staff enough for their commitment to keeping their communities safe and well”.

Scottish Care’s Paul Dundas and Fiona Mckay, Head of Strategic Planning, Performance and Commissioning. FHSCP also popped along to Bandrum Care Home in Saline to catch up with staff.

From left Fiona Mckay, Paul Dundas, Rachel Payne (Bandrum), Jacquie Stringer, Service Manager, FHSCP and Katherine Spence (Bandrum)

Fiona added: “We work closely with our independent care providers and relationships have been enhanced throughout the pandemic, supporting each other and working together has been key to everything we have achieved. The generosity also received from local organisations who have helped out during this crisis has been appreciated. This really is partnership working at its’ best”

Paul also added: “Care homes are an essential part of our communities and staff demonstrate their commitment and compassion every day, always putting those they care for at the heart of everything they do. Their dedication and professionalism are inspirational, and I can’t thank them enough.

Care homes in Fife – visiting restrictions easing

From today, families and friends can now visit their loved ones in care homes.

Over the past few months, care home staff in Fife have been supporting residents to keep connected via phone and face time calls while in person visits were suspended.

Cllr Rosemary Liewald, Chair of Fife’s Integration Joint Board said:

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all Fife’s care home staff – they have been amazing throughout this period. It hasn’t been an easy time for residents and their families not being able to visit in person. Care home staff have really stepped up to the challenge to ensure other measures were put in place to keep families connected.”

Visiting care homes will be a bit different. There will be a phased approach and in this phase before any visits resume, the care home needs to be covid-19 free for 28 days. Each phase of the approach will be dependent on guidance from Scottish Government based on scientific advice.

Initially, it will be essential visits and garden visits with a designated visitor that will be permitted. Physical distancing measures will be in place and visitors and residents must wear PPE. Care homes have been contacting families and friends of care home residents with information on how to arrange a visit and what to expect.

David Heaney, Divisional General Manager, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership added:

“We know how important it is for the wellbeing of residents and their families to have these connections, so it’s great to see visits resuming. I can’t thank care home staff enough for all they have been doing and continue to do to support residents and the innovative ways they have been keeping residents safe and entertained.

“Our residents and staff are our priority and visits will be managed by the care home to ensure the safety of residents, their visitors and staff. To arrange a visit please contact the care home first. Residents remain at a higher risk from covid-19 because of their age and/or medical conditions so if you have been feeling unwell in any way please do not visit.”

Picture caption:

Cllr Rosemary Liewald (centre) pictured with care home staff from Lindsay House Care Home in Lumphinans. Paula Jackowiak (Senior Social Care Worker) on the left and Dean Reekie (Care Assistant) on the right.

Making HIV testing more accessible

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is pleased to announce that testing for HIV can now be carried out at home. A new free home testing kit is making testing easier and will lead to more people getting diagnosed earlier 

Self (Home)-testing is fast, safe, accurate and convenient and it provides people with another option that can help them get swift access to treatment if required. The test is quick to use, giving results within 15 minutes and support is available to anyone regardless of results.  

Fife HSCP’s Sexual Health & Blood Borne Virus (SH&BBV) services has worked in partnership with HIV Scotland, Waverley Care and Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland to develop and offer this new testing kit. 

 

Heather Bett, Fife HSCP Executive Lead for SH & BBV said: “Early diagnosis of HIV infection enables better treatment options and reduces the risk of transmitting the infection to others. Fife HSCP is committed to reducing new infections and late diagnosis of HIV. The free home testing kits areparticularly effective tools during the Coronavirus pandemic. They will help people get tested and treated early if they test positive. HIV is a virus that has been with us for a long time, but it is one that is preventable though a range of methods.  I would encourage anyone who thinks they may have been at risk of contracting HIV to seek advice about accessing a test from their GP or ordering a home testing kit online www.hivtest.scot and www.tht.org.uk.” 

 

Dr Naomi BulteelFife HSCP Consultant in Infectious Diseases said: We also want to raise awareness amongst GPs and clinicians about the importance of considering an HIV test as part of routine examinations, particularly where people may show symptoms of undiagnosed HIV. The earlier someone is diagnosed the better. Advances in medicines mean that people with HIV on effective treatment can live healthy lives with zero risk of passing on the virus sexually”. 

 

Nathan Sparling, Chief Executive, HIV Scotland said: 

Diagnosing HIV is the most important part of our mission to reach zero new HIV transmissions, so it’s important that different testing options exist, especially when the advice remains to stay at home due to the Coronavirus 

“For most people, self-testing is fast, safe, accurate and convenient – and it provides people with another option that can help people get swift access to treatment if needed. It’s important for everyone to know their HIV status so they can protect their health and that of their partners too. 

“With HIV Self Test Scotland, we can play our part in the global mission to get to zero by 2030.”  

 

The UK is one of the few countries in the world to have reached and exceeded all UNAIDS 90:90:90 targets. (90% of those infected, diagnosed, 90% of those diagnosed on treatment and 90% of those on treatment have an undetectable viral load)  Of those people living with HIV in the UK in 2018, 93% were diagnosed, 97% of people diagnosed were receiving treatment and 97% of people receiving treatment were virally suppressed (undetectable viral load).