In view of the Covid-19 scenario, the Social Care Standards Authority and Active Ageing and Community Care have been consulting and collaborating with Public Health Authorities as from March 2020 in order to put into force the necessary measures and protocols targeting residential homes for older persons.
Apart from the continuous preventive measures being announced and the protocols which were announced a few days ago, the Social Care Standards Authority still continued doing home inspections. In fact, from January to September 2020, it has conducted a total of 1,012 visits in residential homes for older persons. Such enforcement and monitoring visits will continue to take place in order to ensure compliance and adherence to protocols and standards of care.
The continuation of the ongoing swabbing exercise resulted in over 14,500 swab tests conducted for residents and staff hailing from such residential homes from June to date and will also continue as a preventive measure.
In terms of containment, it is being planned that once a new positive case is identified, the resident is moved out of the residential home and placed at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital or St Thomas Hospital as an interim measure or at Mater Dei Hospital. This will depend on the resident’s condition after a doctor’s examination. Such a measure will enter into force in the eventuality of positive Covid-19 cases found in a different residential home from the ones currently active. The measurements of the transfer of positive Covid-19 residents from care homes will be done through an approved protocol.
With regard to St Joseph Home, the residents who tested positive and those in quarantine will remain within the mentioned residential home, while the residents who have been tested negative will be moved to Casal Nuovo. The latter residential home will have a coverage of several beds through an SCSA Emergency Licence. These residents from this home will be in preventive quarantine and will be undergoing nasopharyngeal swab testing every 3 days. Additional beds will be made available from St James Hospital for the same aforementioned purpose. The policy attached for the relocation of the residents will be followed.