UPDATED: 12th June 2020
As a care organisation that takes a strong initiative in promoting the wellbeing of our residents, we are actively monitoring and responding to changes in Government Guidance. Whilst there have been changes in guidance given in relation to the general public, we have yet to receive guidance for Care Home visitations. We hope that the any new guidance will detail how visits can be conducted safely in a Care Home setting.
In readiness for the new guidance and in light of recent steps taken by the Government to loosen the strict lockdown measures, we have reviewed how we might apply a phased approach that safely enables families /friends to visit their loved one. We are aware that many relatives have not seen their loved ones for several months and are likely eager to know when we will be opening our doors to visitors again.
It is important to note in relation to visits that due to the high risk of Covid-19 and the affect it can have, particularly on persons who are elderly or persons who have underlying conditions, any visits will need to happen in a controlled and organised manner. The following 3 key principles need to be kept in mind:
- The safety of residents, their visitors and colleagues
- The Shielding of our most vulnerable residents
- Minimising the risk of infection
As part of our 1st phase, we are putting procedures in place to open up the home if it has been free from infection for at least 14 days. These procedures aim to facilitate social visits whilst ensuring the safety and welfare of not only those who are directly involved in these visits, but also all the residents in the home as well as the entire staff teams.
We have allocated a designated (outdoor) area for visitations. This space will be sheltered and spacious enough to allow for appropriate social distancing.
The following measures MUST BE adhered to are as follows:
- Visits will need to be pre-booked to enable us to manage everyone’ safety by limiting the volume of visitors at any one time, as well as support additional cleaning between visits.
- The allocated visiting slots are 10.30am to 11.00am, 11.30am to 12.00pm, 14.00hrs to 14.30hrs and 15.00hrs to 15.30hrs; Monday to Friday ONLY.
- The access to the gardens will be allowed only through the side gates. Access will not be granted through the inside of the building
- Visits will be limited to 30-minutes duration. We are kindly requesting for visitors to respect and adhere to the allocated time slot as we need the time to implement certain measures to ensure safe and timely visitations for other family members/friends.
- Only TWO family members/friends will be allowed per visit and persons under the age of 18 will not be allowed at this moment in time.
- After each visit, the homes’ designated COVID lead will ensure the environment and furniture are cleaned and disinfected in line with the local IPC protocols.
- The visitor(s) will be asked to complete and sign a health screening questionnaire prior to the visit. If we determine that there are no apparent concerns, the visitation will be authorised to go ahead.
- The visitor(s) will be asked to wash their hands, or use the sanitising gel provided. Body temperature(s) will be taken.
- If the visitor(s) is/are showing any symptoms which could indicate coronavirus, we will have no other choice than to refuse entry. As most would be aware by now, these symptoms include a raised temperature, a new and persistent cough, a loss of taste or smell and generally feeling unwell and/or lethargic.
- The visitor(s) will be required to wear a face mask for the duration of their visit. The masks provided by the home must be worn unless the visitor(s) are wearing an N95/FFP2 equivalent or protection grading that exceeds this.
- Social distancing measures will remain in effect, which means a no touch approach during visits. This extends to hugging, handholding or kissing to name a few.
- We will not be able to give access to any indoor space or facility, however refreshments will be offered by care home colleagues.
- We are not able to accept gifts or items on behalf of our residents during the visit due to the risk of infection control.
Please note that these procedures are subject to ongoing reviews as there is still uncertainty as to how the COVID-19 situation may unfold in the coming weeks.
We thank you for your support and understanding of our stance in these matters.