VISITOR POLICY: REVISED and issued on 22nd March 2022
Government guidance on visiting restated the need for visitors to take a rapid lateral flow test on the day of the visit. These tests can be completed at home before visiting, the result must be reported against our Unique organisational code (UOC)-10186112 or they can be taken in our dedicated covid testing facility. 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.
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. It should be noted that it is not a requirement for a person visiting a resident to be vaccinated.
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.
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.
"Remain diligent, keep our residents safe!"
From 22nd March the Government has issued the following guidelines:
This guidance covers:
• 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, so that care providers can manage the number of people attending at any one time to ensure safe visiting practices can be maintained taking into account the size and layout of the care home
• the duration of visits should not be limited if safe visiting practices can be maintained
• 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 should receive a negative lateral flow test result and report it 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 the additional testing arrangements outlined below
• every care home resident should be supported to have an identified 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 isolation and outbreak, providing the essential care giver does not have COVID-19
• during an outbreak, care providers should also continue to offer visits outdoors, in visiting pods or from behind windows – rooms should be left to ventilate with external doors and windows open between uses wherever possible, while aiming to maintain a comfortable temperature for residents and visitors
• subject to a risk assessment by the health protection team (HPT), outbreak restrictions may be lifted if 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms in the most recent case, a round of PCR recovery testing of all residents and staff is undertaken, and there are no PCR positive results
• physical contact should be enabled to help health and wellbeing, as long as IPC measures are in place, such as visiting in a ventilated space, using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the visit, and hand washing before and after visiting – gloves are not needed for handholding and stringent adherence to hand washing is advised
• residents should be supported to undertake visits out of the care home as appropriate, following the reasonable precautions and testing arrangements outlined in this guidance
• all residents should isolate for 10 days (with testing to end isolation sooner) following a high-risk visit out, including an emergency stay in hospital, or if they test positive for COVID-19
• vaccination is one of our best defences to combat 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. The data shows that booster doses are required to provide higher levels of protection against symptomatic infection. 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 and have received their booster. 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 and infections, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, they should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better
• visitors are advised against visiting the care home (for 10 days) 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 lateral flow test result earlier in the day of their visit
During on outbreak, it may be possible to allow visiting under the guidelines for ‘Essential Carers’, so please speak to Dennis, Manish or Vicki for advise on this.
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.