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Updated visiting guidelines for our residential care homes and Housing With Care (HWC) schemes – 18.02.22

Following a detailed review of the Government’s most recent guidance, we have updated our visiting policy for our care homes and Housing With Care (HWC) schemes.

Visiting Guidance (Care Home / HWC)
Here is a brief summary of the latest changes to our visiting guidelines:

  • There is no limit on the number of visitors that can visit and the
  • The duration of visits should not be limited.
  • Visits can take place in a room most practical and comfortable for the resident or tenant – such as their own room or flat.
  • Visitors should continue to get a negative LFD test on the day of the visit.
  • Essential care givers should follow the staff testing regime and arrangements that staff follow – including any changes to the testing regime and outbreak testing.
  • Essential care givers continue to be encouraged and are able to visit even during isolation and outbreaks.
  • Outdoor and pod visits can also continue – it is Important good ventilation is maintained alongside other Infection Prevention Control (IPC) measures.
  • Physical contact is allowed.
  • If a care home resident or housing with care tenant has tested positive for Covid-19, the essential care giver can visit in exceptional circumstances (for example, severe distress or end of life).
  • Visits at end of life are always supported, including Covid-19.
  • During an outbreak, visiting professionals are able to continue to visit, as long as all IPC precautions are followed.
  • The guidance now allows transparent face masks to be worn by visitors that meet technical specifications. These must be purchased directly from the manufacturer and used subject to risk assessment.
  • Booking visits in care homes and housing with care schemes
  • For all types of visiting, booking remains essential. This is to ensure we continue to comply with safe entrance screening and NHS Test and Trace requirements. It also helps us to safely manage numbers of visitors at any one time, maintain safe distances between visitors, staff and other residents, facilitate testing requirements and preserve the privacy and dignity of other residents.

Visitor testing

We hope you will understand the need for us to see proof of a negative Lateral Flow Device status, as this helps us manage the risks of coronavirus while facilitating visits more safely.

The care home or HWC scheme can provide packs of seven Lateral Flow Device tests kits for self-testing at home before a visit, or you can get these from community pharmacies, asymptomatic testing sites and via the Government website. Test results will need to be registered on the Government website and evidence of this will be required before each visit.

Please be aware

In the event of an outbreak in a care home or HWC scheme, and in line with Government and local Public Health Team guidance, we may need to temporarily halt visiting, only allowing essential care givers and essential visitors into the home or HWC scheme.

We will support continued communication between residents and their loved ones through video and telephone calls, and in some circumstances, window visits.

For further details

If you have any further questions or queries about visiting family or friends in or out of one of the care homes or schemes, or you would like to receive an updated copy of the visiting policy, please contact the home manager.

We send our thanks and gratitude to the friends and families of residents for their continued support and co-operation, as we anticipate and work through further changes to Government guidance that will enable us to open homes further for our residents and their loved ones.

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