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Homes Visiting Update 18.8.21

Dear Residents, Families and Friends.

There remains very little change to the government’s guidelines on care home visiting. We still agree with this cautious approach to prioritise the safety of your loved ones in our care. However, we sincerely hope that we can open visiting up further in the near future as government guidelines allow.

Over 90% of our team have now received at least one vaccination and all are required to be double vaccinated by 11th November unless they have a medical exemption. This will also be the case for all care home visitors such as: health professionals, entertainers, contractors etc. However, government guidance excludes resident relatives from needing to be double vaccinated.

Our full visiting arrangements are detailed below with any visiting changes in red/bold. 

Yours sincerely

Dave Lock

Managing Director

VISITING ARRANGEMENTS

The following applies to Cabins, Gazebos, and Internal visits (not external/out of home)

  • Visiting appointments are to be booked via our website.
  • Visiting slots are for 20-minutes because of limitations of team resources.
  • Number of visits is a max of 2 visits per week for each resident.
  • Number of visits is a max of 1 visit per week for each household or 2 if you are the only household visiting. Additional visits may be possible subject to availability, please liaise with the home.
  • All Coronavirus guidelines as set by the government are to be followed.
  • Maintain as much distance as possible from all people during the visit unless hand holding has been agreed prior to the visit.
  • Care queries about your loved one should be made by calling the home and not during your visits.
  • Items brought for residents should be easily cleanable; boxes are good but not flowers etc.
  • Virtual communication is encouraged, and resident assistance is available if resources allow.
  • Visiting arrangement changes are notified via our text service so please ensure that the home has your mobile phone number.
  • Resident exclusion from receiving visits may have to be made by us in exceptional circumstances if a risk assessment determines this is necessary i.e., particularly those clinically vulnerable to Covid.
  • Face coverings required unless you are exempt or wearing one distress’s your loved one living with dementia, in which case please inform us prior to visiting, in such case you will need to wear a face visor. To make communication easier speak loudly and clearly whilst keeping eye contact and avoid concealing your face further with say, a hat.
  • Visits are not conditional upon vaccination; however, it double jabs are strongly recommended for the safety of your loved one and all other residents.
  • Visiting may be suspended for a period, or cancelled, with no, or short, notice upon guidance by the homes’ local authority.

VISITING CABINS

  • Up to 4 adults and 2 children maximum per visit. 
  • Arrive at least 5 minutes prior to appointment time for Covid screening including a temperature check.
  • Rapid tests are not required.
  • Hugs and contact are to be avoided.
  • Face coverings are to be worn to and from the cabin.
  • No Internal access to any internal areas of the home including toilets.

VISITING GAZEBOS

  • As cabins except that face coverings are to be worn at all times during the visit.

INTERNAL VISITS

  • Visiting appointments are to be booked via our website for either a cabin or gazebo.
  • Call the home after making this appointment to ask for your visit to be converted to an internal visit.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment time for Rapid Lateral Flow test and screening including a temperature check.
  • PPE (surgical mask, apron and gloves provided) are to be worn at all times during the visit.
  • The visiting area will be a designated safe place.
  • There will be no access to any other internal areas of the home including toilets except for handwashing.
  • Ensure you hand wash and/or use gel.
  • Each resident may have an UNLIMITED number of named visitors.
  • Each resident may have up to FOUR named visitors attending a visit at one time.
  • Up to TWO small children under 4 years old may also attend the visit and are not subject to testing requirements or PPE use.
  • Visitors must keep physical contact with residents to a minimum. Handholding is possible subject to prior hand washing. Hugs are higher risk but possible if brief and between double vaccinated people without face-to-face contact.

EXTERNAL

Residents may leave our care homes to visit named visitors’ homes or outdoor spaces such as parks, or public gardens. Overnight stays with named visitors are possible subject to the home’s prior risk assessment and approval.

  • Named visitors information is the same as for internal visits
  • Each resident can go out with or meet up with up to FIVE named visitors.
  • Residents will not have to self-isolate when they return.
  • If you need the support of a team escort, please discuss with the home.
  • Collection and return times must be prearranged and approved by the home.
  • Named individuals collecting residents should arrive 30 minutes prior to the collection time to take a Rapid Lateral Flow Test and undergo Covid health screening (not essential visitors who follow team testing routine).
  • Named individuals must wear a mask and gloves at all times during the visit.
  • At least one of the named visitors must stay with the resident at all times.
  • The resident must not meet people that are not named visitors or go into any indoor spaces other than a named visitors home or to use toilet facilities.
  • The resident must only travel to and from the visit in the named visitors car or a private taxi and not by public transport.

ESSENTIAL VISITORS

  • ALL residents may have ONE ‘essential visitor’ (care giver) for regular internal visits that must be registered with the home.
  • If you think your loved one would benefit from this type of visit, please speak to your home manager about becoming an essential visitor.
  • We will need to agree how often you visit, when and what support or practical help you will provide.
  • You will be subject to the same testing regime as our team.
  • Essential visitors are considered exceptional circumstances and should continue in the event of an outbreak unless there are specific reasons not to do so.

RELUCTANT TO VISIT?

If you have not visited your loved one because they have dementia, and you have concerns of any type or are worried about how they will respond by maybe not social distancing and trying to touch you etc. Then please ask your home manager to speak to our Dementia Manager, Karen Middleton, who will help you and the home to make visits possible. This organisation advocates and provides support for families of residents living with dementia who are finding it difficult https://goldstandardsframework.org.uk/john-s-campaign-dementia