Stand-alone changing rooms in the garden fitted with clothing lockers have given staff a pleasant, and safe place to change, rest and recuperate during their breaks. It has also provided an additional step in infection control, says a Devon care home group.
Beechcroft Care Homes, which has three homes in Torquay, has built and installed the staff changing facilities at all of its sites.
After the government announced a £546 million Infection Control Grant for the care home sector earlier this autumn, owners Julia and David Gow-Smith specified stand-alone garden changing rooms to be built at Choice Care Home and Beechcroft Care Home, whilst also giving the green light for a basement conversion at Southbourne Care Home.
The purpose-built timber-framed garden structures and basement facility all include showers, toilets, washing facilities, infection-resistant lockers, microwaves, kettles and kitchen units to allow staff to prepare snacks and meals. Waste is segregated so that used PPE is disposed of as clinical waste.
Property manager Lee Sanderson co-ordinated all three projects, completing them in just ten weeks.
“One of the biggest risks to our homes is that the staff will bring in coronavirus from contacts in the community,” he explained. “The challenge was to consider and implement ways to minimise those risks. Staff can now arrive on site, change into their uniforms, with the possibility of showering too.”
The Crown Sports Lockers fitted at Beechcroft Care Homes are the first in this sector. These are fabricated in 18mm waterproof board and surfaced with Biomaster technology, proven to kill 99.9 per cent of pathogens such as Legionella, MRSA and E-coli as well as viruses such as Covid-19.
Home owner David Gow-Smith said: “Preventing the spread of Covid-19 has focused our attention on adding dedicated facilities for our staff. As owners we take comfort in knowing we have taken added steps to reduce the risk of Covid-19 entering our care homes.”