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Updated visiting guidelines for housing with care schemes – March 2021

On 4 March the Department of Health and Social Care released new visiting guidance for care homes, as part of the Prime Minister’s ‘road map’ to ease lockdown restrictions. The document also indicates that the guidance can be applied to Housing with Care homes also, and this is something that we are looking to do.

NorseCare has been fighting hard from the beginning of the pandemic for government to recognise that housing with care schemes deserve the same access for regular testing of staff and tenants that our care homes benefit from. We are pleased to confirm that this is now the case, and all housing with care schemes are in the process of getting access to Lateral Flow tests (LFT) that will be used in addition to those Polymerase Chain Reaction tests (PCR) that were provided earlier in the year.

Once the new LFT tests have been delivered to schemes, we are pleased to confirm that that we will be in a position to offer additional ‘Controlled Enhanced Internal Visits’ to schemes. These visits will offer opportunities for a ‘Single Named Visitor’ who may, subject to risk assessments, be able to hold hands with a tenant during indoor visits.

We will still be offering opportunities for additional visitors via our established internal visiting process ‘with screens’ and also, our external visits.

As soon as we are in a position where the LFT testing regimes have been established, we will write to you to update you on our new visiting policy and on the dates that we will be able to offer these from.

In the meantime, if you have any further questions or queries about visiting relatives at their scheme, please contact the scheme manager who will be able to assist.

Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. We understand that It has been an extremely difficult time for our tenants and their families. We very much hope that the positive position with the vaccine roll-out and reducing cases will allow us to further increase freedoms over the coming months.

We continue to work hard to support and improve meaningful visits with our tenants.

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