28 July 2021
The 19th of July 2021. More than just any date.
We all have certain dates that are important to us, like birthdays and anniversary dates. However, this year we have been governed by dates set by the government trying to get back to a normal life post-COVID.
We seemed to be going in the right direction but then the Delta variant presented itself. The infection rates started to go up again and continue to rise but with far less hospital admissions. Opinion seems to be divided on whether we need to remain cautious and wait or return to normal life whatever it may bring. The British Medical Association is calling for caution and is asking for ongoing use of face masks and new ventilation standards.
The 19th of July 2021 will mark the fourth and final stage of lifting lockdown in England. It makes me reflect on the period since March 23 2020 when the first lockdown started.
A birthday present my son didn’t want. Being an essential worker continuing to drive to Hollanden Park Hospital on an empty M25 and A21, seeing a banner thanking those who continued to work which I appreciated so much. Taking staff temperatures which was thought to be needed for just three months but lasted so much longer.
The absolute low of the period? Losing a much loved colleague and being unable to pay the traditional respects. But never losing sight of the most important aspect of our work; keeping our patients at Renovo Care safe.
Will life get back to normal? But what is normal? Hasn’t COVID shown us all that life can change dramatically in a short period of time?
That is something that is all too familiar to our patients who come to Renovo Care for their neurological rehabilitation following stroke, traumatic brain injury, Guillain Barre Syndrome to name a few of the diagnosis we treat.
We know how important family support is to our patients and how difficult it has been for them to be at our hospital without seeing their loved ones regularly in person. The use of Zoom and Microsoft Teams has given us a way to be in touch and being able to share therapy sessions, but it has been a poor substitute.
Recently we have been able to allow family members, who take on a carer role, in again nearer the discharge date to work together to prepare for a smooth transfer from Renovo Care to home. This has made such a difference to them to know what can be expected when their loved one comes home following a major event that changed their life.
Normality. What will it look like? No more face masks or social distancing? Are we ready for it?
I think that staff and patients alike will welcome staff not having to wear masks. When one of our patients left, he actually asked one of the therapists if she could remove her mask for a moment so he could see what she looked like.
Not wearing face masks will allow us all to see facial expressions again which is so important for communicating with each other. Hats off to our speech and language therapists who had to adapt their way of working around the COVID restrictions.
Will our visiting return to the way it used to be? Successful neurorehabilitation requires 24-hour support of all the parties involved which includes family. Being able to get hugs, to be held and to be seen face-to-face by your loved ones when you are working hard to regain your independence is so important to keep the focus on the goals they are trying to achieve.
It will require a transition from staff as we’ve had a dedicated visitors’ areas away from our patient rooms and rehab facilities for such a long time now, that it will be a novelty to have visitors back in these areas again.
The 19th of July 2021; the final stage of England’s COVID lockdown roadmap. The final review will happen on the 12th of July following analysis of the latest data. The Delta variant is on the rise but so are the vaccination numbers. Renovo Care has had a successful vaccination programme for staff and patients.
It looks like it is really happening and here at Renovo Care we will be ready for whatever comes and will make sure that our patient best interests are at the heart of what we do.