The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff is always the highest priority at The Dower House

With that in mind, the team has been working hard to prepare for the potential impact of a wider outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the UK.


With that in mind, the team has been working hard to prepare for the potential impact of a wider outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the UK. Updates to this document will be made to the top of the statement, the most recent first.


Update (September 2020)

It is with regret that we have had to take the decision to stop all non-essential visits to our home for the foreseeable future. Local and national guidance points us to ever increasing levels of infection and the risks associated with this. This means we are no longer able to offer outside visits and all our residents have been made aware of this.

We have not taken this decision lightly and understand the frustrations and anxieties this will cause for everyone. However we must maintain the high level of vigilance against the virus which has kept our home infection clear to date.

We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation both locally and nationally, and keep you updated through our weekly newsletter, or more often by email if necessary.

We hope that you will understand the reasons for this decision and join us in supporting residents and staff in our home to make the most of the current situation. We are planning to increase the general level of activity in the home to offer more company and support to our residents over the next few weeks, including the support of our Wellbeing Coordinator Lisa.


COVID19 Update (August 2020)

Throughout this pandemic The Dower House has adapted working practices to accommodate all national and local advice and guidance, in order to ensure the safety and welfare of all who live, work and visit our home.

We are pleased to have remained free of the Covid virus throughout the pandemic and are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure our high hygiene standards continue and allow us to maintain this record.

In line with national guidance, all new residents being welcomed to our home are required to remain in isolation for the initial two weeks of their stay.

Social distancing guidance is being applied in all areas throughout the home, unless it prevents the correct standard of care being provided. In these instances, full personal protective equipment is available for use.

Our communal dining room remains closed for use at this time. This is under review with plans to reopen this, hopefully, by the end of September.

All residents and staff are being swabbed in line with national guidance to monitor any possible source of infection into our home.

Cleaning practices remain a very high priority in our day. All surfaces which are frequently used are cleaned several times per day as required.

Infection Control themed inspection

On Friday 21st August 2020 we welcomed the Care Quality Commission to our home for an Infection Control themed inspection.

The Dower House was one of only 300 homes in England to support this inspection, the purpose of which was to review and observe good practice in the management of infection control in our home and to understand what measures are in place to support a possible second wave of the Covid Virus.

This was a very successful visit and we hope to share the results of the inspection with our residents and their families very soon.

Visiting residents of The Dower House

All residents have the opportunity to receive visitors to an allocated area of our garden or to have a ‘window visit’ at the front of the home.

Social distancing guidance is followed during these visits which have proved hugely popular with our residents and families.

To book a visit please call the administration team between 9:30am and 4.30pm on weekdays.

We continue to support visits into our home in exceptional circumstances such as for end of life care and staff will be available at all times to support these visits.

With whole home swab testing of staff and residents in place, we hope to be able to invite limited numbers of visitors to our home, by appointment, by the end of September 2020.

Keeping in touch with residents

We continue to encourage you to contact friends or relatives who live at The Dower House by phone, Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime and arrangements are in place to facilitate this.

You can call residents on their direct number or use the office number. Please call the office if you need assistance.

If you have any questions about contacting friends or relatives residing at The Dower House, please call the office on 01962 882848 and a member of staff will be happy to help.


UPDATED 25th March 2020

As the situation has developed, we have made further changes to working arrangements at The Dower House to ensure we maintain a high standard of care whilst protecting the wellbeing of residents and staff.

    1. All visits to The Dower House have been suspended until further notice. This includes visits to residents by friends or family and all visiting entertainment.
    2. You are encouraged to contact residents by phone, Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime. Arrangements are in place to facilitate this. You can call residents on their direct number or use the office number. Please call the office if you need assistance.
    3. Social distancing guidance is being applied in all areas throughout the home, unless it prevents the correct standard of care being provided.
    4. Matron is currently staying on-site as are some members of staff.
    5. Staff are subject to temperature checks on arrival at work and anyone displaying symptoms of the virus is following self-isolation guidelines at home.
    6. Lunch is now being served to individual rooms. The dining room is closed at lunchtime.
    7. Hygiene standards are being maintained stringently throughout the home and in individual rooms.

    If you have any questions about contacting friends or relatives residing at The Dower House, please call the office on 01962 882848 and a member of staff will be happy to help.


    INITIAL RESPONSE 11th March 2020

    It has been made very clear by health authorities including the NHS and the UK Chief Medical Officer, that this virus poses an increased risk to older people or those with pre-existing medical conditions. In light of this, we are increasing the precautionary measures to ensure that both residents and staff are as safe as we can make them.

    This page sets out:

      • What we have done to prepare for COVID-19
      • Information regarding visiting The Dower House
      • How you can help reduce the spread of COVID-19
      • Training and public information

      Whilst there have not yet been any instances of COVID-19 linked to The Dower House, it is important that we keep you informed of the additional precautionary measures in order to reassure our residents and their friends and families. This is particularly important considering the increasing challenges facing the authorities with regards to identifying, monitoring and containing the spread of the virus.

        How has The Dower House prepared for COVID-19?

        After the health authorities alerted us to the risk of COVID-19, The Dower House management team took prompt action to ensure that The Dower House is well stocked with essential hygiene products including hand sanitisers, hand wash and appropriate medical supplies. We have worked closely with our suppliers to maintain stock levels.

        This means that The Dower House is currently adequately stocked and when visiting friends or relatives you are encouraged to ensure stringent hand hygiene and utilise the products provided.

        Staff are available to assist if you need any help.

        As has been widely reported, good hand hygiene is THE most important weapon in our fight against the spread of COVID-19.

        Visiting The Dower House

        At the time of writing, we are in the ‘delay’ phase of the outbreak response. In light of this, we have taken the decision to minimise unnecessary visits to The Dower House.

        If you are a friend or family member of a resident, you are politely asked NOT to visit if you are experiencing a high temperature, have a cough or shortness of breath.

        It is also important that you do not visit The Dower House if you have visited any of the category 1 or 2 countries identified by Public Health England as COVID-19 hotspots.

        You can find a full list of those countries and ‘at risk’ groups here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

        Any unnecessary visits to The Dower House are being discouraged.

        The Dower House is proud of its’ place in the local community, and our rich programme of activities involving visiting speakers and activity leaders. Following current guidelines, we are asking all visiting speakers and activity leaders to follow all necessary infection control guidelines before visiting our home. This will ensure our residents can continue to enjoy these activities as safely as possible. We may at a later date decide to temporarily suspend such activity if we feel it poses an unnecessary infection risk to residents.

        It is important that you understand what you can do to limit the exposure of your elderly friends and relatives to this illness.

        How you can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 (source: Public Health England)

        1. If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected area identified by the Chief Medical Officer as high risk and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111.
        2. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
        3. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
        4. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

        Training and public information at The Dower House

        Public information notices have been displayed around The Dower House for a number of weeks regarding the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and the steps we must all take to minimise this.

        We cannot stress enough how vital thorough hand washing is, not just around The Dower House but throughout your day to day activities.

        To further support that, and as part of ongoing infection control measures at The Dower House, all staff will be required to attend additional infection control training sessions which will include handwashing training sessions. This will help us to know that we are doing everything we can to minimise the risk of virus transfer in The Dower House.

        For the latest information on COVID-19 and how to minimise your risk of infection please go to the following websites:

        If you have any other questions regarding our preparedness for COVID-19 please do not hesitate to speak to a member of The Dower House staff who will be happy to answer your questions. Call 01962 882848.

        Enjoy a taste of life at The Dower House

        Join us for lunch and a tour of the house to experience the welcoming, homely atmosphere. Book a visit now, we’d be delighted to welcome you.