Covid- 19 and visiting
Update 17th May 2021
To all Relatives/Friends of residents
The government has issued new guidance on visiting.
All care homes, except in the event of an active outbreak, should seek to enable:
• indoor visiting by up to 5 ‘named visitors’ for each resident. These visitors will need to take a rapid lateral flow test and test negative before every visit. They should minimise physical contact with residents. They should observe social distancing, adhere to guidance on PPE use and follow all necessary infection control measures. Residents can have no more than 2 visitors at a time or over the course of one day (essential care givers are exempt from this daily limit).
• residents with higher care needs can choose, as one of their named visitors, to nominate an ‘essential care giver’ who can provide close-contact personal care where it is reasonably necessary for the resident’s immediate health and wellbeing. These ‘essential care givers’ will be supported to follow the same testing arrangements, and the same PPE and infection control arrangements, as care home staff.
• opportunities for every resident to see more people than just their named visitors, by enabling outdoor visiting and ‘screened’ visits.
The situation described for essential care givers is considered an exceptional circumstance and should therefore continue in the event of an outbreak unless there are specific reasons to not do so
In all cases it is essential that visiting happens within a wider care home environment of robust infection prevention and control (IPC) measures, including ensuring that visitors follow (and are supported to follow) good practice with social distancing, hand hygiene and PPE use.
In the event of an outbreak in a care home, the home should immediately stop visiting (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life – and for essential care givers) to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors
"Keep Covid 19 out!"
The visitor lateral flow testing has to be carried out under the guidance of a member of staff and on site (unless agreed by the nursing home manager) and because of the workload commitments within the home this will only be possible between 2pm-4.30pm each day. The testing will take place in the designated shed that is located in the top garden of the grounds. All visitors will still need to call at the front door to have their temperature taken and then can be directed to the testing shed, if this is required. If the resident's bedroom has not got a patio door then a potential visitor, who wishes to enter the home should book a time through the on line booking system (https://www.reservio.com/login/) and they need to arrive at least 1/2 hour before the booked slot, for testing to take place. If the resident does have a patio door in their bedroom then a visitor wanting to enter this room just
needs to notify the home of the time, between 2pm-4.30pm, when they want to visit and have a test prior to entering the bedroom in full PPE. Any visiting in the morning will continue under the existing arrangements of booking via the on-line booking system and the visitor must remain in the pod (unless agreed by the nursing home manager), as visitor testing will not be possible.
All visiting, when possible, should take place outside, in the grounds of the nursing home, a maximum of two people should visit at a time. This remains the safest visiting option and as summer approaches inside visiting should be avoided as much as possible. For safety reasons we would ask that relatives strictly maintain the 2 meter restriction (not 1 +). My staff will supervise visiting to assist in maintaining the 2 meter restriction, particularly as some of our residents need assistance to maintain their safety. It has proven easier for some residents to remain in the seating area outside the conservatory with visitors the other side of the railing to ensure that the social distancing is easier maintained. In all cases, we ask friends and relatives to call first to arrange how the visit will take place and then come to the front door prior to the visit and follow the government guidance on outside meetings.
I do hope we can return to normality very soon and if you get the opportunity to have vaccine, please take it so we can provide further protection to our residents, other visitors and staff.