Coronavirus arrangements for meal provision in ECH

Nina Brunton 17/03/20 General Housing Topics

Can ECH providers share info regarding meal provision arrangements in schemes please? Are these continuing? If so, how are they being facilitated – are others closing lounges and arranging deliveries to flats?

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Lois Beech 17/03/20

Hi Nina,

Thank you for posting this important question at this challenging time.

The Housing LIN has uploaded the latest government guidance on residential care, supported living and home care setting and is monitoring the impact on the Extra Care Housing (ECH) sector (see link below).

With regard to catering arrangements in ECH, can operators kindly share any relevant policies, procedures, practices or plans you have adopted?

For example, regarding meal provision arrangements in schemes? Are these continuing? If so, how are they being facilitated? And are you closing lounges or making alternative arrangements such as making deliveries to flats

We look forward to hearing from you so we can share how you are addressing the impact of coronavirus.

Email us at: [log in to view email address]. Thank you!

Marisa Freeman 17/03/20

Hi. Optivo have taken the decision to close restaurants in ECH. Our chefs will still be coming in to prepare the meals and the restaurant staff, Care team and Optivo will work as one team to deliver to residents flats. We believe this is a sensible precaution to minimise social gatherings in line with government recommendations. Marisa Freeman

Nicky Ellison 17/03/20

In our EC we have a range of catering services -many are a national contract, some in house and some 3rd party providers. We are treating this as an essential service and putting in contingency to support. As well as staffing contingency, we have some batch cooking done but we are also bulk purchasing from a ready meal supplier -these will be used to infill the catering service in an emergency or be sold/ provided to residents who need them. The supplies can be topped up regularly if required. Our restaurants are staying open with the scheme being regarded as the isolation point for any residents who are not showing symptoms -so they can access communal areas. Entry is restricted and is likely to become essential personnel only in next few days. We have extended our dining times to ensure that we can clean thoroughly between sittings and that dining rooms and contact between people is less than usual with only 50% occupancy on each sitting. We have arrangements to deliver to flats for those who are self isolating, unwell or not wishing to be in communal space. We are also utilising unused space as a temporary scheme shop where one don't exist. Hope that helps in challenging times

Nina Brunton 17/03/20

Much thanks to you Lois, Marisa and Nicky - your time and advice is greatly appreciated.

Liz Morgan 21/12/20

Does anyone know what the rules are relating to keeping EC restaurants open at the current time? I thought I had seen something to say we were exempt but I cannot find it now. We just want to open our restaurant on Christmas day to tenants - socially distanced and following all PPE and cleaning regimes, but not sure we can, even though we know it will make a massive difference for their mental health. We are based in Wales - if anyone can help I would be very grateful?

Nikki Carter 21/12/20

Public health have advised us that it is not permissible or advisable to hold a Christmas lunch in a group setting in Extra Care. Extra Care falls in the grey area and they have advised tenants to form a bubble with other residents in the scheme (up to 3) for Xmas Day as this would remain within the government guidelines.