St Mary's Court Care Home, Braintree, Essex

Coronavirus Statement from St Mary’s Court

By 18th March, 2020 News Comments Off

The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff team are always our top priorities. We have therefore put in place robust and comprehensive contingency plans to prepare for, and respond to, the coronavirus outbreak in the UK. Our plans will be kept under regular review and updated as advised by the Government, Public Health England and associated advisory bodies.

This page details the latest guidance from Sonnet Care Homes about the steps we are taking in St Mary’s Court and The New Deanery Care Homes. This information is intended for our residents, their family and friends, our staff team, and any other potential visitors to our care homes.

For comprehensive information about the coronavirus itself, please visit

Visiting St Mary’s Court Care Home

As a preventative measure we have asked all visitors, including family members and friends, not to visit our care homes until further notice. We have not taken this decision lightly and appreciate that this may cause concern for some, but we feel that this is a necessary step to take.

Please be assured that we will maintain close telephone contact with regular visitors/nominated representatives, and that all information is being communicated as needed. Equally we have reassured all families and friends that they can telephone at any time, and where possible they will be able to speak directly with residents. We have also set up Facebook messaging and Skype so that residents can have face time with their loved ones if they choose.

In addition, visits from the local community and external entertainment into the homes have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.  Our staff team will do all they can to ensure that life in the homes remains as comfortable and sociable as possible.  We will still ensure that vital medical or nursing visits are made. These essential visitors are told not to enter if they have any symptoms of Covid-19, if they live with anyone who is displaying symptoms, if they have returned from overseas in the previous 14 days. The team will ensure that essential visitors wash their hands thoroughly and use hand sanitiser on entering the home.

Protecting our residents and staff team

Our staff team will continue to take universal infection control precautions to manage the risks in the homes and to safeguard the health and well-being of our residents and staff team. Our training team will support staff to refresh their infection control and hand washing training, and alcohol hand sanitiser is available in each reception area and various locations around the homes.

Additional measures we have taken

We have cancelled all mini-bus outings (with the exception of short rides out which do not require residents to get off the bus), and residents are being asked to stay on site. The only reason for leaving site being to seek urgent medical care. We have cancelled any non-urgent appointments for the next 2 weeks and will keep this under review.

We have identified key personnel to lead our response to the Coronavirus outbreak. This team is meeting as often as is necessary to plan and coordinate our actions using the most up to date advice and information available.

Our contingency plan includes, but is not limited to, details of:

  • how we will maintain adequate staffing levels if team members need to isolate themselves or care for their own dependents
  • how we will isolate residents who contract COVID-19 in order to avoid its spread
  • how we will maintain stocks of essential supplies in the event of disruption to the supply chain


Additional measures we are prepared to take if needed

We all need to be prepared for short to medium term inconveniences and changes to the way we are used to doing things and seeing things done. How this looks and feels may change, but we want to use this communication to prepare you for some measures which may be necessary.

We may need to:

  • redeploy staff from non-essential areas, for example, the activities team may be needed to provide essential services such as care, housekeeping and catering
  • postpone or cancel our programme of summer events
  • work with reduced staffing levels
  • change menus so that if the catering team is reduced in number more basic meals can be easily prepared. For example, breakfast becomes toast, cereal, fruit, rather than cooked items from the main kitchen
  • review housekeeping and laundry schedules to ensure that infection control is prioritised and non-essential tasks are suspended or reduced in frequency

We understand that there is much uncertainty, and that information is changing daily, and we will do all we can to keep everyone up to date.

This is, and will continue to be, a joint effort and we thank you very much for your support and cooperation.

If you have comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Julia Clinton, CEO

Terri Pike, Home Manager, St Mary’s Court