Updated Guidance – 1st April 2022
A message from Arnon Rubinstein, Managing Director, Future Care Group
Dear Friends and Relatives,
Following the updated guidance from the UK Government on Friday 1st April we have outlined the relevant changes for visiting our care homes below.
Visits to the home and Testing arrangements
Visitors to our care homes will no longer be required to complete a negative LFD test before their visit unless they are an essential care giver. Essential Care Givers (ECG) will need to take an LFD twice weekly, 3 – 4 days apart, the care home will support our ECGs with this requirement.
To maintain the safety of our residents and staff we will expect our visitors to wear a face mask and maintain a social distance from residents and staff. In circumstances where wearing a face mask causes distress to a resident, face masks may be removed when the visit is not in a communal area of the care home. Please make sure you maintain strict hand hygiene before, during and following your visit.
Where possible we would encourage each resident to have one named visitor who can continue to visit during an outbreak or where the resident is isolating. Please inform the Home Manager who this visitor will be so arrangements can be made accordingly.
Compassionate visits will be supported for those residents who are entering the last stage of life. Compassionate visitors will be able to visit in any number and at any time of the day.
Residents will no longer take part in asymptomatic testing; this means they will no longer have to undergo a PCR test every 28 days.
Residents will only be expected to isolate if they have tested positive to COVID-19 or have recently returned from a hospital stay where there was an active outbreak.
The isolation period for a resident testing positive to COVID-19 will be 10 days, daily LFD testing will commence from day 5, if on days 5 and 6 they produce a negative LFD test their isolation can end, these tests will be administered at 24-hour intervals.
If the resident is unable to produce a negative LFD test, they will need to complete the full 10 days isolation.
When not to visit
Please note, you should not visit the care home if you have any symptoms of a transmissible virus even if you have tested negative. We are still in the flu season and the NORO virus is also prevalent at this time of year causing diarrhoea and vomiting.
Please stay away from the home until you feel better, and your symptoms have ended. Ideally your you should wait until 5 days have elapsed since your last symptom.
If the home is in Outbreak
Depending on Public Health England advice this guidance may be subject to change, Local Authorities may inform us that visit’s to care homes in their area may be limited or cease for a period. This may happen if there is a spike in infections in the area or if there is an increase of infections that show it is caused by a Variant of Concern.
If visiting restrictions are placed on a home the team in the home will contact you directly to inform you of this and to advise when the restrictions will be lifted. During this time Essential Care visits and Compassionate visits will continue.
If there is a change in National Guidance from the UK Government, we will update you accordingly.
We are delighted that we can lift the restrictions that have been placed on our visitors over the last two years, but we need to remain vigilant. Vaccinations and boosters remain an effective way of battling this infection so we would strongly recommend our visitors take up the vaccinations where possible.
The care home residents remain vulnerable to this virus, so we strongly recommend our visitors comply with the infection control procedures we have in place to reduce the risks and keep our care home communities safe.
We would like to thank you for your support and patience during the Pandemic. As always, we continue to monitor the government websites if there is a further change to this guidance, we will update you as soon as possible.