Covid 19 Policy

Visiting and testing in Langdale care Homes

Updated 31st of March 2022

The guidance on visiting in care homes has been superseded by Infection Prevention and Control in Adult Social Care: Covid19 supplement guidance published on 31st of March 2022.  This has now been reviewed by us and we can now share with all of you what life will be like for our care homes with regards to testing and visiting going forward.  Our homes use a Dynamic Risk Assessment (DRA) to manage and respond to changing circumstances such as outbreaks (as defined by Public Health England), fluctuating community transmission rates and each home’s capacity to manage infection control measures associated with each visit.

Below is the outlined guidance for England, which applies to all our care homes.

  • The biggest change in the guidance is that visitors will no longer be required to test before coming in the homes and that tests are not being provided free of charge anymore. We are aware this may put an additional financial burden on visitors at a time when living costs are on the rise but would ask you to consider purchasing the tests, to minimise the risk to your loved one, other residents and our staff. Following this guidance could result in increased prevalence of COVID cases in homes, therefore homes will be declared by HPT in outbreaks, with consequences of lockdown, prevention of indoor visiting, staffing issues and the perpetuation of the same issues we have all had to deal with in the last two years. Our policy is that we still require visitors to test, and we are using the following stats to justify reasoning:

ONS data to 26 March states “cases rising steeply, 4.9m affected in previous week (1 in 13 people), hospital admissions up, testing for public stopping and transmission due new highly transmittable Omicron BA.2 sub-variant. 

There is at least a week lag on the ONS data but looking at ZOE Covid data the prediction of cases as at today is roughly 20% higher than 26 March.  This means that currently in the UK there are around 6m (or 1 in 11) people with Covid.

  • The exception will be visitors who provide personal care and support, and they will be added to the Home`s testing schedule and be provided with free tests by our homes. If these visitors attend once or twice a week, they should only test on that day (testing can be completed at home or on site). If they visit more than twice a week, they should test a maximum of twice weekly, 3 to 4 days apart. Under the new guidance, the term “essential care giver” is no longer used. Instead, it states every resident can have one visitor who can visit in all circumstance, including during period of isolation and outbreak. End of life visits will be facilitated in all circumstances. 
  • Testing for the residents will now be conducted only if they are displaying symptoms of Covid19, using LFD tests, at opposed to previous guidance which stated residents should be tested every 28 days using PCR tests. Testing for staff has now been reduced to twice a week using LFT test, replacing the previous guidance of staff testing prior to each shift. As before, symptomatic staff will need to stay off work until they have had two consecutive negative tests (starting day 5) or until ten days have passed with a single negative test or 14 days if their test continues to say they are positive.
  • Residents who display Covid19 symptoms will need to isolate and take two LFT tests 48 hrs apart. If both return negative, they can stop isolating. If positive, they should isolate until they have two consecutive LFT 24 hrs apart at the earliest from days 5 and 6.
  • If a resident needs to go into the hospital, they will not need to self-isolate when discharged back to the home, subject to a negative PCR/ LFT, unless discharged from a part of the hospital where there is an active outbreak. They can end their isolation early by having two negative LFT tests 24 hr apart from Day 5 and 6.
  • All visitors and staff are still required to wear a face mask whilst on the premises.
  • The pre-booking system for visits will continue to be used, we ask relatives to contact the care homes directly during office hours – Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 and book their preferred day and time with the Office Manager.  We are asking relatives to be amenable to any local guidance from care home managers, who aim to share visiting opportunities equally across all residents. Please also bear in mind that these visiting arrangements will be quite time consuming for our teams to manage and there will inevitably be unexpected teething problems. So, we ask that you please be patient and feedback any issues you experience to our care home to enable us to resolve them
  • Visits out of the Homes for residents who are fit and well can also be facilitated. Residents are also able to stay overnight with a family member. Relatives should put in a request to the home manager to plan a visit so that the visit can be risk assessed where appropriate. If a resident is frail or poorly, a request to take them out of the care home for a visit may not be possible, and if this is the case, the home manager will explain their reasons in full. Isolation on return is not required, subject to a negative LFT for the resident.

Langdale Care Homes would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone for bearing with us over the many changes in guidance for visiting and testing since the start of the pandemic. It has been extremely difficult trying to balance the wellbeing but also the safety of our residents.