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My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus

By Bella, general manager of Ridgeway Rise care home of Blunsdon St Andrew, Swindon offering residential, nursing and dementia care.

When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business? 

With the first reports of possible cases of COVID-19 in the UK we implemented the special measures to protect our home. The general manager contacted all relatives asking to reduce non essential visits. Our team received information on government’s guidelines and the virus and the same message was shared with residents’ families. We made sure we had four weeks supplies of toiletries, food and other essentials . We postponed our open day and pre planned events involving members of the public. All team members were provided a refresher training on infection control. Following the government’s advice on Friday 13th we decided to cocoon our residents by restricting access for non-essential visitors. It was the most difficult decision, because the new rules had to include friends and families of our residents. We also made alternative arrangements for Mother’s Day tomorrow.

What has been your plan to continue? 

We follow all updates of the Government’s recommendations. Emails with updates are sent to families on a weekly basis, we have updates on the website, social media and displayed at the front door. Our team is informed on developments whenever they arise. We have designated rooms for those, who might require isolation. We have Skype accounts allowing our residents to make video calls and stay in touch with their families. We post regular updates on life from inside the home on our social media.

What advice would you give to others in business? 

Don’t take unnecessary risks, limit travelling and contacts with big groups of people. Support those who are the most vulnerable. Stay positive, we need to be there for each other. Stay focused on your tasks and life, rather than frightening predictions, pessimistic prospects and negativity.

What can we do to help each other?

If there are any services businesses can exchange to support each other, it would be a great way to show solidarity and community spirit. We had volunteers offering to move in for couple of days and help with care tasks, when required or when our team members for any reason will not be able to come to work. All our team members are all 'hands-on deck’, regardless of the job description. We put the safety and wellbeing of residents, colleagues and our families first. 

What do you think can be learned from this in the business world?

This new situation with the outbreak of Covid 19 is teaching us that every person responsible for a business should be in charge of it, protect it against mass panic and possible harm. At the same time they should take any business opportunity brought by the crisis to their advantage. We have also offered extra beds for hospital patients. 

Your parting thought?

All business owners and entrepreneurs, please don’t forget about the wellbeing of your team. Create a safe environment, provide personal protective equipment, make the working time a positive experience. Make sure your team feel valued, appreciated and above all, safe. 

For more information visit www.ridgewayrise.com

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