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Horsfall House Update 15th March, 2021

Is Spring coming?

At Horsfall House we are sensing a return to some order. All our residents have had at least their first Covid-19 jab with the majority having safely received the second one too. Our staff and remaining residents are scheduled to get their second dose before the end of the month. The residents have been vaccinated on site at Horsfall House as did all staff when they received their first jab. The Stroud Cotswold Network of GP Surgeries has been tireless in getting the community vaccinated and we should not underestimate their effort in making us all safe. We understand that they will be achieving 4,800 vaccinations next week and am delighted as part of that Horsfall House will be a secondary site carrying out perhaps 1,000 jabs on Wednesday and Thursday. These are for patients registered at the Minchinhampton and Frithwood Surgeries with all appointments being arranged by them – so please do not contact us direct. For those of you who do not know where we are located, we are at the top of Windmill Road on the left as you exit Minchinhampton, post code GL6 9EY. Our fantastic team of Drivers who in normal times would be providing transport to those attending our Day Centre will be on car park duties aided by some of our Trustees. Please follow their guidance.

It is wonderful to see Horsfall House getting back to some normality, our recruitment drive is going well though we still have vacancies for Carers and we now have over 85% of our beds occupied. If you are considering a nursing home placement can I urge you register your interest now for as confidence returns beds will again become limited. Working closely with the Stroud Hospital League of Friends, as well as taking private bookings our respite beds are also increasingly booked. The public health guidance, which we follow, on visiting is gradually relaxing and with better weather and the acquisition of a visiting pod we hope this will become much easier. Please contact Margaret or Nicky at Horsfall House if you are a family member and want to arrange a visit, they will do their very best to facilitate.

It also good to see an increasing number of enquiries for our Home Care service. It is well documented as to how difficult this period has been for those with care needs in their own home. Our excellent Home Care staff are available to help in a range of ways for anybody who requires attention in their own house, they are fully trained and available 365 days a year – we do not go on holiday. I am also hopeful that we will before too long be able to announce our plans for the reopening of the Dr Booth Day Centre. Emma and her team are raring to go and with the rapid rollout of vaccinations the time will surely be shortly upon us.

My thanks yet again go to our parent charity and the fund-raising team who work so hard for the benefit of us all. There is no doubt that despite the excellent support received from Public Health England and others, Covid-19 has put stress on all Care Homes, and we are no exception. We have built up reserves over the last 25 + years and continue to support residents unable to pay the full nursing fee. We do though continually need to generate new funds and all your contributions are really appreciated.  Horsfall House would not be what is today without these.

Duncan Wood our Fund Raising Chairman reminds me that the Wi-Fi challenge is ongoing, and we have just launched araffle for the ‘Rule of 6 Hamper’. We are anticipating that the much improved internet and wireless wi-fi facilities will be fully commissioned this month and thank you to everybody who has contributed. Do visit if you would like to join in or to see what events are coming up.

Over the last year I have, in addition to being Chair of the Management Board (or FGP as we refer to it internally) been acting as Treasurer due to a vacancy to both the Charity and Horsfall House through this Covid period. This is a role I first did when I became a Trustee, so it was natural for me to fill this gap when it arose. This is not though good governance,and we are seeking a new Treasurer. As for all Trustee and Board positions it is a voluntary role. Please do contact me if you are interested when I can provide an outline of what the role entails. We are seeking a qualified accountant and somebody who preferably has current or recent experience of charity accounts.

Lastly as ever I would like to thank all our staff who whether working within our Nursing Home or in peoples’ own homes continue to work so hard. All I can say is that lockdown is easing, Spring is coming and hopefully if we remain vigilantand get our vaccines done life will return to some normality.

Christopher Fisher

Chair of the Management Board

Minchinhampton Centre For the Elderly

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