Ewart House Extra Care scheme in Harrow has 47 independent flats. Tenants are aged over 55, most are living with pre-existing health conditions, and they are supported by staff onsite from HCHA’s Housing Team and the Hales Group Care Team. We are especially proud of the collaborative partnership between the two organisations that has greatly contributed to the careful management of the health and well-being of this particular group of vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic. In appreciation of keeping the community safe, through excellence in information flow, we are pleased to present the HCHA Community Star Award jointly to both teams for exceptional Extra Care.
We asked Scheme Manager, Luca Lacramioara, to explain why Ewart House Extra Care has been so successful at keeping residents safe from Covid-19. Luca replied, “I believe that we’ve had good outcomes for our tenants during the past 9 months because we have had excellent information sharing and cooperation at all levels with everyone, including tenants, carers, district nurses,GPs, family members and other visitors. In particular, we work very closely with the Care Team of Hales Group. They liaise with the GP surgery, and they also notify us of any tenant who is unwell and their symptoms, so we are kept up do date with any illnesses. We keep everyone informed via phone and email. For example, we have limited visiting at Ewart House and we prioritise the essential services and let families know about the current restrictions. I keep in touch with them and plan when is the best time for essential visits. I ask the reason for their visit and how long they aim to stay, so if it’s to deliver food shopping they drop the food near the entrance, they no longer come into the tenant’s flat. Some visitors meet outside or in the garden, avoiding the main building. In terms of hygiene and social distancing, we have hand sanitiser at reception, we only allow one person to use the lift at a time, and we wipe down the lift buttons. The same rules apply to the laundry, only one person at a time and because most of our tenants have carers, they are able to use the laundry during the night time to avoid peak periods. The communal areas are still closed so there’s no mixing of tenants.”
Rix Sidhu onsite manager of Hales Group said, “We are proud of our excellent working relationship with both the HCHA Housing Team and Harrow Council and we all benefit from clear lines of communication. We are supportive of each other’s responsibilities and work collaboratively to provide the best service to the tenants. Hales Homecare prides itself on the prevention work done in relation to Covid-19. We’ve provided our care staff with detailed support and information, we’ve maintained excellent PPE stocks and we’ve listened to our staff so that they can do their job safely on a daily basis. Unlike sheltered schemes, Ewart House has care staff onsite, day and night – it’s a huge advantage for the tenants who are not isolated. Furthermore, our carers don’t work elsewhere on other sites minimising the risk of cross infection. Hales Group’s Care Team provides peace of mind that tenants have someone checking in on them and supporting them with their daily living needs.”
Chris Roberts, HCHA’s Head of Operations added, “Thankfully so far we have not had an Ewart House tenant ill with Covid-19. We have regular meetings with Harrow Council to update them on our tenants’ well-being, as we are all concerned about this particularly vulnerable group. I congratulate our Housing and Care Teams on doing an excellent job in our Extra Care scheme.”