VISITOR POLICY: REVISED 19 July 2021
From 19 July 2021 Government guidance on visiting will change and our policy will change in line with this. Every patient can have ‘named visitors’ for regular visits. There is no limit on the number of ‘named visitors’ that a single resident can have and no nationally-set limit on the number who can visit in a single day. Visitors should take a rapid lateral flow test on the day of the visit, if they take this themselves before visiting, the result must be reported against our organisation-ID 10009116. Visitors taking their own rapid lateral flow test in advance of visiting should follow the appropriate NHS Test and Trace guidance for COVID-19 self-testing which can be found at www.gov.uk/covid19-self-test-help. The appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to visitors and must be worn whilst in the Nursing Home, all other infection control measures in the home must be followed. Visitors and patients are advised to limit close contact. Physical contact like handholding is acceptable if hand washing protocols are followed. Close personal contact such as hugging presents higher risks but will be safer if it is between people who are doubly vaccinated, without face-to-face contact and there is brief contact only. We will continue to offer visits in the pod, behind windows or outdoors when the weather permits.
Welcoming anyone into Eastfield from the community inevitably brings risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, these risks can be managed and mitigated, and balanced against the importance of visiting and the benefits it brings to patients and their families.
In the face of new variants of the virus, we still need to be cautious to ensure we protect those most at risk in Eastfield while ensuring indoor visits can go ahead. Although the vaccine is bringing much needed hope and protection, until more is known about its impact on transmission, everyone must continue to adhere to all the infection control measures that are in place now.
It is not a condition of visiting that the visitors should have been vaccinated. However, it is strongly recommended. Please do not visit if you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19. In the event of an outbreak in the Nursing Home, all movements in and out should be minimised as far as possible and limited to exceptional circumstances only, such as to visit a friend or relative at the end of their life. These restrictions will be continued until the outbreak is confirmed as over, which will be at least 14 days after the last laboratory confirmed or clinically suspected cases were identified in a patient or member of staff.
From the 19 July 2021 we will be following these guidelines:
• Outbreak free - only if we have been free from an outbreak (two or more cases) of COVID-19 for more than 14 days will we be able to accept visitors.
• Indoor visits - patients will be encouraged to choose named visitors who, with the added reassurance of testing and wearing PPE, will be able to have close personal contact visits. Provided the visitors have a negative test result, are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as a surgical face mask, gloves, mob cap and a gown – as provided by us - and follows other infection control measures.
• Contact with the home – we ask that the named visitors are the main people who maintain contact with the home – the telephone number to call is 01730 892268.
"Let's stay safe by working together."
• Non-contact visiting will continue including but not restricted to in the pod, behind windows and outside.
• Book in advance - we are asking people to pre-book indoor, outdoor, or virtual visits so that we can support them to take place smoothly. Please phone to make an appointment or use the online booking app for the pod.
• Children and young people, it is possible for someone under the 18 to be one of the named visitors. Any visits involving children should be carefully considered by the family. The arrangements for the visit – the numbers involved must be planned and agreed in advance of the visit.
• COVID-19 symptoms - should a visitor have been isolating with COVID-19 symptoms within the 10 days prior to the visit or show any COVID-19 symptoms, they should not travel to the Nursing Home as the visit will be unable to go ahead. These symptoms include a raised temperature, a new and persistent cough, a loss of taste or smell and a general feeling of being lethargic and unwell. Other symptoms are a headache, runny nose, sneezing and sore throat.
• Virtual visits - will continue to support these through Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams and ZOOM as much as possible. Additionally, staff will continue to help patients to send letters, emails, and cards.
Arrangements during visits
• All visitors must wear a type 11R surgical mask throughout the entire visit. These will be provided by the home.
• On arrival visitors will be asked a few health screening questions and have their temperature taken. Sanitising gel will be provided.
• Indoor visitors will be taken to the testing area (the pod) to complete a lateral flow test and await the result. A visitor who declines testing or who tests positive will be unable to continue with an indoor visit. Indoor visitors will change into PPE in the pod.
• Indoor personal contact visits will normally take place in the visiting area avoiding all other areas of the home, however, on occasions it will be possible to visit in a patients’ bedroom. Visitors are asked to avoid touching surfaces as much as possible. Physical contact between visitors and patients must be limited to hand holding only.
• Visitors are asked not to use facilities such as toilets unless in an emergency, and not to access other areas of the home during their visit. Please note we do have an outside toilet
• Visits should be limited to 30 minutes so we can help as many patients as possible to enjoy contact with their family and friends. Please remember that with the extra time it takes to test visitors and sanitise the pod and visiting area between visits one appointment slot will take up 90 minutes and we do require time to get things ready for the next visitor.
We will obviously be as flexible as possible if it is essential for a resident to have a member of the family in to see them. In the meantime, please ring 01730 892268 if you would like to discuss aspects of care with the nursing staff, or to speak to a loved one. We will of course keep the visiting policy under review and make changes as appropriate.