Striving to build the best care services across the UK

Who are Valorum Care Group?

Valorum Care Group is a leading care provider, delivering bespoke care and support services nationwide. Established in 2017 our ethos is to put the people we support at the centre of everything we do.

We have significant expertise in supporting people with particularly complex needs, including autistic spectrum conditions, mental health needs, challenging behaviour, profound and multiple learning disabilities and associated complex health needs.

We provide specialist support to over 1,000 people across England and Wales, spreading across 90 services.

We support people in a variety of settings, within supported living settings, residential care setting, with nursing care and in the community and we work with Housing Associations to continue to provide long term sustainable solutions for the people we support.

Our aim is to create a pathway for people who require specialist care and support at different stages of their lives, promoting independence and choice, and put the people we support at the heart of everything we do.

Following on from the government’s announcement on Sunday 10th May conveying their approach to systematically get the country out of lockdown and get us all back to some form of ‘normality’,

as expected the advice has been adjusted, but in the main the advice remains the same, and whilst there is the addition of staying alert, the advice of stay home, save lives, protect the NHS remains in force, albeit with a roadmap to how the future may look.

Therefore, based on this update our position remains relatively the same and is updated as follows.

It is our intention to continue to operate in the way we have since early March, and therefore we will maintain ongoing restrictions of visitors to services.

Whilst we are keen to relax our guidance, it is just not possible currently and as much as the restrictions on visitors is far from ideal, it is one of the main ways of protecting both the people we support and our staff teams providing the care and support.

We are conscious that the governments guidance allows people to drive further afield to then exercise, and are mindful that this may prompt family members and friends to visit services to allow them to see their loved ones; however, we would not encourage this approach just yet and remind everyone of our ability to support Skype/Face time or telephone contact as a means of keeping in touch with loved ones.

We are pleased to report that at this stage we have not seen any fatalities amongst the people we support due to any COVID related issues, which is the opposite of what we are seeing across the care sector more widely. We believe that this is testament to the planning and hard work that has taken place, but it is vitally important that we continue to be vigilant if we wish this to remain the case.

The following updated graph represents the impact of the Covid-19 virus across our 85 services and reflects a total of 40 (4%) residents for a total of 59 days, that have been required to self-isolate, a total of 6 people have tested positive and I am pleased to say all have made a full recovery.

As a comparison to residents that have been affected by the virus, the following graph represents 398 staff members out of 2000 (40%) that have been required to self-isolate for the same 59-day period. A total of 12 staff, less than 1% of the workforce have tested positive.

We are very proud how this awful situation has been handled by all involved, and want to pass on our thanks to everyone who has played a part in this, especially our residents, their families and friends who have wholly supported our visiting restrictions, which we believe has played a very big part in our attempts to keep this virus at bay; we haven’t quite won the fight yet, but we remain strong and resolute as we enter the next phase.

As we continue to move into the next phase, all we can ask is that you all continue to support our guidance to protect our residents and our staff and minimise the risk of positive Covid-19 tests in our services.

Dear All

Covid-19 Lockdown

We have now been locked down as a country for the past 3 weeks, which resulted in our heightening our restricted visiting policy to assist in our fight to keep the Covid-19 virus at bay and protect our residents, our families and our staff to the best of our ability.

We are mindful that the Government has now decided that the national lockdown continues for a further 3 weeks and therefore it is our intention to maintain our current restricted visiting strategy, and we hope that each and every one of you will continue to work with us to minimise the risk of exposure of the Covid-19 virus within our services, which in turn protects all of us.

We know that Covid-19 stirs many emotions in all of us, not least given that most of us will have been affected in some way by the virus, whether this be having to self-isolate due to having symptoms of the virus, a family member having symptoms and possibly losing someone to this indiscriminative disease.

Despite all the negativity around Covid-19, we would like to share with you how we have responded as a business to the Covid-19 situation, which we hope will provide additional assurance to you that we are resolute in our approach to fight this virus.

For the past several weeks, we have held a daily Clinical Governance Group meeting where we discuss all of the updated guidance that is being provided by Public Health England (PHE) and the Government which in turn enables us to advise the business on all the key actions that we should take to minimise risk of exposure to Covid-19 across our services.

Each day we are provided with a national Covid-19 update, which provides numerous statistics on how the virus is tracking throughout the UK and the number of people lost to Covid-19 cared for by the NHS, with little reference to the impact on social care settings; however, we are now starting to see a shift and there is increased recognition now for the work that organisations like ours do in supporting the national effort to fight Covid-19.

We are mindful that things can change on a daily basis, however, we would like to share with you that since this virus has been prevalent in the UK, we have had a total of 19 residents within the business that have had to self-isolate as a result of displaying symptoms of the Covid-19 virus and to date only 1 person has tested positive, all residents have come through this safely.

The following graph represents the impact of the virus across 85 services and reflects a total of 1.5% of our residents that have been required to self-isolate; we are sure that you will appreciate that this is an excellent outcome to date and truly represents the commitment of everyone involved with Valorum Care Group adhering to the decisions that we have taken to manage this situation.

These statistics are representative of the impact of Covid-19 to date, we know there are many more weeks ahead that we have to maintain our approach in fighting the virus, but what makes the facts impressive, is that throughout the same timeframe, 336 members of our workforce, 17% of the total workforce, have also had to self-isolate or shield from the virus; this would suggest that despite this level of exposure to the virus, everyone involved has worked over and above to protect all those entrusted in to our care and everyone should be extremely proud of this achievement, and we would like to say a very big thank you to everyone for working with us.

The following graph represents the 336 staff that have been required to self-isolate throughout March and April. Apart from staff that have to shield themselves from the virus for a 12-week period all staff previously affected have now returned to work; despite this positive outcome, it is essential that there is zero complacency with this virus and staff will continue to maintain our robust approach and commitment to keeping everyone safe.

We are pleased to report that despite the numbers of staff that have been affected by Covid-19, we have seen a downward turn in the overall number of agency staff that have been required to work across our services throughout this pandemic; again this is a reflection of our teams pulling together in their commitment to ensure that our residents are being supported and cared for by people who they know and trust at such an anxious time in their lives.

PPE is a topic of major discussion throughout the country, specifically from the perspective if there is a definitive shortfall in supply; we continue as a business to be guided by Public Health England in respect of when and where to wear PPE. We can confirm that to date we have maintained our PPE supply chain with our preferred suppliers and this is set to continue for the foreseeable future, so please be assured that our procurement team are committed to maintaining this much needed commodity.

Our Supply chain in general continues to be well managed, so food supply and the supply of care service essentials to date has not been affected and therefore we can report there are no areas that give rise to concern for us at this time.

With the heightened interest on social care on a national level, we are now gaining access to Covid-19 testing sites for our staff if symptoms are experienced, which can only be a real positive for us in our battle to keep the virus out of all of our services. We have now seen a commencement of testing for residents showing any signs or symptoms of the virus, we have no doubt this will offer reassurance to you all that appropriate actions are being taken to assist in helping us manage any situation that may arise as a result of Covid-19 exposure.

We are mindful that the Government has now decided that the national lockdown continues for a further 3 weeks and therefore it is our intention to maintain our current restricted visiting strategy; the reduced footfall in to our services is definitely having a positive impact on the business, this is a real team effort on everyone’s part and we believe that this approach to date is working for us and we appreciate all your support which in turn is protecting all of us.

Kind regards

Tom Parramore

Group COO

Valorum Care Group are wholly committed to ensuring that all of the people we support, and all of our staff are kept as safe as possible. Our services remain operational however we are now asking people to consider whether their visit is absolutely necessary. Anyone visiting our services whether that is a family member, friend, or other professional please be prepared for enhanced infection control procedures including:

  • Handwashing on arrival, regularly during your visit, and before you leave
  • Health screening, possibly leading to refused entry for those showing symptoms of COVID-19

Our Clinical Governance Team is following government guidance in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 through the Public Health England website where there is specific COVID-19 guidance for health professionals.

We recognise that now more than ever recruitment is paramount to our sector, and therefore we have adapted our processes to ensure that we continue to recruit and for the forthcoming period  we will be utilising secure online portals to interview, vet and train any new candidates, whilst also undertaking high levels of competency checks.

We are also working closely with commissioners from the Local Authorities and CCGs to offer our vacant beds to support the community during this critical time. We can offer respite for those that are affected from their carers having to self-isolate and are able to offer step down services for those needing to leave hospital.

Whilst COVID-19 is a challenge for all our communities, Valorum Care Group has the skills and culture to respond to these challenges and we will continue to provide exceptional support to those who need it most.

We update our business on a daily basis, and we will also post any new updates through our twitter feed.

"We can plan. We can put things in place. We can do everything that needs to be done, but we rely on the teams." To hear more from Robin, click play for the 10 minute listen. #socialcare #carehomes #supportedliving #socialcare #carehomes #supportedliving

We're sharing this podcast from the Group's CEO, Robin Sidebottom, talking about how VCG's teams faced the challenges of #covid19. To hear more from Robin, click play for the 10 minute listen. #socialcare #carehomes #supportedliving

“We've had highs and lows. It's been a roller coaster …..throughout lockdown.” Valorum Care Group’s Katie Drakeford talks about mental health and the #wellbeing of staff during the Covid 19 pandemic. Listen to our latest podcast. #mentalhealth #covid19

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