VISITOR POLICY: REVISED 3rd December 2021
From 3rd December 2021 Government guidance on visiting will 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 Unique organisational code (UOC)-10186112. 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.
In advance of a formal notification from the Government we are reducing the number of visitors that can come and visit each resident to 3 and we would ask for your co-operation and support for the introduction of this measure. We would also ask all potential visitors to have had the ‘booster’ jab and would ask anyone that want to visit that has not yet had the jab to contact the nursing home manager (Dennis) prior to visiting the nursing home.
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.
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.
"Please help us to keep Covid out of Eastfield!"
From 3rd December 2021 we will be following these guidelines:
• visits that should happen in all circumstances
• safe visiting practices
• when different visiting arrangements are needed
• sources of information and support
The key things to know about care home visiting are:
• visitors should make arrangements with care homes in advance of the visit
• the duration of visits should not be limited
• visits should take place in a room most practical and comfortable for the resident (for example, residents with dementia may be more comfortable in their own room with familiar belongings)
• visitors, including health care professionals, should receive a negative lateral flow test on the day of their visit, either by conducting the test at home or when they arrive at the care home. Essential care givers need to follow additional testing arrangements outlined below
• every care home resident should be supported to have an essential care giver who may visit the home to offer companionship or help with care needs. Essential care givers should be able to visit inside the care home even during periods of self-isolation and outbreak
• during an outbreak, care providers should also continue to offer visits in well-ventilated spaces with substantial screens, visiting pods or from behind windows. Rooms should be left to ventilate with external doors and windows open between uses wherever possible, if a comfortable temperature for residents and visitors can be maintained
• subject to a risk assessment by the health protection team (HPT), in some circumstances some outbreaks may be considered over when there have been 2 rounds of whole home polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, taken 4 to 7 days apart, which are both negative. This means that effectively some outbreaks could be declared over after 7 to 8 days (rather than 14 days), subject to other considerations. An outbreak of a variant of concern could still see more prolonged and significant restrictions
• physical contact should be supported to help health and wellbeing, as long as infection prevention and control measures are in use, such as visiting in a ventilated space, using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the visit, and hand-washing before and after holding hands. Gloves are not needed for hand-holding
• residents should be supported to undertake visits out of the care home and will only need to isolate following an emergency stay in hospital, if they test positive for COVID-19, or following a visit that has been deemed high-risk following an individual risk assessment
• vaccination is one of our best defences to combat infection. The COVID-19 vaccine significantly reduces the transmission of infection, particularly after 2 or more doses. It is strongly recommended that residents and visitors receive 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, plus their booster where applicable. If eligible, visitors should also get their flu jab when it is offered to them
• visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated. Transmissible viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as COVID-19. If visitors have any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, they should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better
• visitors who are not legally required to self-isolate are advised against visiting the care home if they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, unless absolutely necessary, even if they have been fully vaccinated. Where visits do occur, visitors should have received a negative PCR test result prior to their visit, and a negative lateral flow test result earlier in the day of their visit
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.