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Coronavirus: Our response and frequently asked questions

The Coronavirus situation continues to change rapidly, and we are adapting the ways in which we work to protect our homeowners and our colleagues.

We appreciate these are worrying times for our homeowners, their families, friends and communities across the country. With this in mind, we have compiled a set of Frequently Asked Questions that outline the key measures we have put in place in the last few weeks.

We would like to thank all our homeowners and their families for their cooperation and resilience. The entire team at Scalesceugh Hall and Villas is dedicated to supporting our communities during this time.

Please note that full and detailed medical advice, plus guidelines on staying at home and social distancing, is available from:

At Scalesceugh Hall & Villas

Dr. Anita Herdeiro is supporting owners with basic needs and any queries they may with regards to the COVID virus. As many of us are having difficulty accessing their doctors, our co-founder has provided support to these owners.

Are homeowners at Scalesceugh Hall & Villas at risk of Coronavirus?

There’s no doubt that everyone in the UK is at risk of Coronavirus.  Our retirement communities are for those 60 and over and our homeowners are more vulnerable to the virus as a consequence. Their health and wellbeing are our utmost priority and we have been monitoring international and local developments around COVID-19 very closely. 

We have taken many steps to reduce the risk of infection across our retirement communities, in many cases going beyond immediate Government guidance to do so. This includes the introduction of new hygiene and social policies, as well as limitations and restrictions on visitors, which started some weeks ago. 

While our homeowners live independently, we are able to provide them with significantly higher levels of help, support and guidance than if they lived alone. We are in close contact with our homeowners and our concierge service ensures everyone has access to the latest Public Health England guidance, the appropriate support, and is helping us create as safe an environment as possible.

Our owners have created a group that is supporting one another.

How are we protecting homeowners from Coronavirus?  

We have put in place new procedures, restrictions and advice to reduce the risk of infection across our communities. We are following the Public Health England guidance, but have also introduced several additional measures across all our developments.

Our procedures are evolving daily. To date, we have:

  • Put in place strict hygiene procedures and made hand washing facilities available.

  • Advised our owners on restricted visitors.

  • Put in place a sign-in sheet at reception with all essential visitors being asked to run through screening questions.

  • All guest suites are closed.

  • Ceased all but emergency or statutorily required maintenance.

  • Asked all homeowners and staff to rigorously respect social distancing advice.

  • Written to all homeowners several times advising them on how to reduce the risk of infection and cope with self-isolation, shielding and staying at home. This has included guidance on getting connected to the internet if they aren't already and how to secure stocks of medication or food. Contact details of delivery services for both have been shared.

  • Our Concierge service offers daily food, newspaper deliveries and a general hello to check our owners are well, while respecting social distancing guidelines.

  • Our Concierge teams continue to be in regular contact with our homeowners, either on site or by phone, and are backed up by a central team.

  • We are looking to put further support in place to help our homeowners stay active socially within their communities - even if this cannot be done face to face. We have asked for volunteers in our wider business to support this and many have come forward.  

What is our policy around self-isolation?

Our homeowners choose Scalesceugh Hall and Villas because they want to live independently and ultimately make their own choices. However, in line with Public Health England guidelines, we are encouraging strict adherence to social distancing for all homeowners and staff.

In addition, we are supporting homeowners to self-isolate or “shield” themselves if this is needed. Ultimately, the government’s advice that everybody should now stay at home will apply to all Scalesceugh Hall and Villas homeowners too.  

How will we make sure homeowners are cared for properly in the months ahead?

Our Concierge staff will look to check in with homeowners regularly, as part of their usual duties. Due to the extensive grounds and woodlands and river walks the estate offers, we are able to offer a multitude of outdoor activities which adhere to government guidelines of social distancing.

We are currently in the process of creating a vegetable garden for the owners to participate in when they are outdoors. With gloves and social distancing being adhered to.  

Will homeowners still have care and support if they self-isolate?

In line with Public Health England guidelines, we have advised our homeowners to self-isolate if they experience any symptoms of Coronavirus or live with someone who does.

We have written to each of our homeowners to explain what self-isolation involves and how it will affect them. We appreciate this may be a daunting prospect for many, so this week we have started delivering information packs to every homeowner’s door, with helpful tips on how to keep healthy, happy and entertained during the self-isolation and stay at home period.

We have also shared details of organisations and charities homeowners can call upon if they need further support, and this will continue weekly.

Our Concierge staff are in regular contact with homeowners, either on site or on the phone. We’ve also set up a system in which every homeowner identifies a trusted friend or family member, or a member of our staff if needed, who can help check in on them and bring medical and food supplies, if needed.

Will I still be allowed to visit Scalesceugh Hall & Villas?

In order to protect our homeowners as much as possible and limit the risk of infection, we are requesting that only essential visitors enter our development. In line with the government’s ‘stay at home’ announcement, only those who are providing care, medicine or essential food supplies to homeowners unable to manage this themselves can visit at the moment.

This means domiciliary care providers should continue to attend our homeowners, but general guests and visitors are not allowed. We would ask that people try video calls, social media, letter writing and phone calls to stay connected to our homeowners.

We are asking that all deliveries are left at the main entrance/reception and collected by homeowners, and that anyone who does enter the development must sign in, wash their hands, use the gloves supplied and follow our wider social distancing policy. 

They must not enter communal areas. Lifts are reserved for residents’ use only. As many of our owners do not have family locally, our staff have offered regular support for them during these challenging times.

Are you testing your staff for COVID-19?

All staff are requested to report to the management at the beginning of their shift to check for any symptoms. Only minimal staff required to offer ongoing concierge service to our owners are present on site. They follow strict guidelines as advised by the government.

Sales and marketing staff are working remotely and continue to offer support to our future owners and handle any enquiries we may have.

We are not testing staff at this point, as Public Health England has advised that only people with severe suspected symptoms are tested.

Dr Anita Herdeiro says: “I want to remind people that GPs are still there for you, to help with any medical problem"

General Coronavirus / Covid-19 advice

What are the main things we need to know?

The government has advised that everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible

  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household

  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household - known as social distancing.

How can I stop the infection spreading?

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • Wash your hands as soon as you get back home

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

You must not leave your home if you have either:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

What should I do if I develop symptoms of coronavirus?

  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

  • To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

  • Use the NHS website or your GP surgery website for information.

  • For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online.

  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.

Who is at high risk from coronavirus?

UPDATE: If you're at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020. Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted.

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill, but there are some people who are at a higher risk.

For example, you may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:

  • Have had an organ transplant

  • Are having certain types of cancer treatment

  • Have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia

  • Have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma

  • Have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections

  • Are taking medicine that weakens your immune system

  • Are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

Dr Anita Herdeiro says: “It’s really important that we are all sensible and respectful to the vulnerable community."

How do I look after my health and wellbeing while at home?

  • Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media

  • Try to keep yourself busy – even cooking, reading, learning online and watching films

  • Do light exercise at home, or outside once a day

Read these articles on our website:

This page will be updated when more information needs to be added.


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