The Priory Newsletter – 1st June 2022

Good afternoon and welcome to Summer. I am sure like us, you are breathing deep sighs of relief. Yes, the world is still in a difficult place – very sadly, but the weather and the relaxations of COVID regulations, coupled of course with the Jubilee, will hopefully lighten our spirits.

Within care homes, there are still a few restrictions – the wearing of masks for indoor visitors (please do remember this!) and the booking of all visits – but in comparison to the last 2 years, this is almost freedom! In recognition of this, we are also planning a few events and re-opening a few parts of The Priory to bring us all back to normal.

Firstly, we are very aware that The Priory has always known for its strong family links – something that has obviously been reduced. As of today, we are re-opening the new lounge to families for visiting lunches. This will allow families to book lunch with residents, on any day of the week, to enjoy by themselves in the new lounge. This could be for visitors from afar or perhaps friends who have been missed over the last 2 years. Please do book in advance and of course let us know the numbers – as before, lunches for non-residents will be put on the incidentals.

Secondly, we are going to run a couple of open family lunches for everyone to come along and to meet up, with an afternoon tea party and live music. We will run one mid-week and one at the weekend – the middle of July and the middle of August. We hope that the weather will be more settled by then………. We are finalising dates at the moment and will let you know as soon as they are firmed up. We hope that every family will be able to make at least one tea, and perhaps some to both – it will be great to see you all.

We are also planning to re-start our outings with our first visit being a pub lunch in Lacock. This will happen later this month  – we are waiting to get transport re-started & booked. Once again, we used to do these outings on a regular basis and it will be lovely to be out in the old charabanc again.

And last, but no means least, the Jubilee celebrations. The Priory residents will be celebrating the Jubilee with a long table lunch on Thursday. Helen, Judith and Lynne have been planning a 5* meal for everyone, including the Queen’s Jubilee pudding. This will be a residents only event, but as we have said, from July we will be opening these events back up to families.

The day to day life within the The Priory is also returning, though luckily we have been able to minimise the impact on our residents. On 17th June, we will hold our first residents’ meeting of the yaer – an opportunity for all the residents to get together so that we can plan events and activities within the home. It is also a chance to have a chat about anything and everything that’s happening – the minutes will be put up on the various noticeboards around the home.

Another restart is family care plan reviews. This is an opportunity for residents and families to sit down with Lynne to talk through the individualised care plans to make sure we are doing everything we can to support residents and families alike. I know these discussions have been happening on the phone on an ad hoc basis, but we can now start these in a more comfortable face to face way. Please do pop into the office next time you are in, or phone, so that we can schedule this in as convenient.

I think I mentioned this in an earlier newsletter, but we have been able to welcome back John Manterfield to look after the gardens  – and they do look splendid. Without mentioning any numbers, John used to be our Handyman for many years until he retired. In one of those strange coincidences, we contacted each other over something completely different and the rest is history – welcome back John.

We will also be painting the woodwork on the outside of the new building in the next couple of months. It shouldn’t disturb anyone, but we will let you know with wet paint signs, just in case.

We will also be sending out our annual quality survey later this month for residents, families and staff to complete. As with the care plan meetings, this is another opportunity for you to tell us what you love about The Priory and those areas where we can do better – please be honest!

And finally, a quick mention about Lynne – I have checked with her that I can include this. You may have noticed that over the last few months, she has not been as readily available or visible as before. Sadly, she has been suffering from a heart complaint which has drained her both physically and emotionally – a hard time for her and the staff. Thankfully, she underwent a very successful operation last week and has come out of it as a new woman – so she tells me! She may not be running on all cylinders for a few weeks, but fingers crossed, all cylinders will be purring very soon.