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Coronavirus – Protocol for safe visits to our homes as of 15th November 2021

Updated Guidance – 15th November 2021

A message from Arnon Rubinstein, Managing Director, Future Care Group

Dear Friends and Relatives,

As you are aware we remain in the middle of a Pandemic, the numbers of people becoming infected with COVID-19 in the UK are not significantly dropping so we have had to decide on what steps we need to take to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff.

New Government regulations came into force on the 11th of November 2021 requiring all care home staff and visiting professionals working in care homes to have had two doses of approved COVID-19 vaccinations.

In line with current Government Guidelines, we have taken the decision that all visitors coming into our care homes must be doubly vaccinated against COVID-19 unless there is a medical exemption in place. This will come into effect from Thursday 19th November 2021. We appreciate this might be difficult news for those friends and relatives that have not received the vaccine, but we have made this hard decision to protect the residents and staff in our homes.

On your next visit to the home please provide evidence that you have received two approved COVID-19 vaccinations or your medical exemption certificate.

We will reinstate pod visits / garden visits for visitors who have not yet received two vaccinations, please contact the home to make arrangement for these visits to be facilitated.

We continue to monitor guidance released by Public Health England and the UK Government and will change our strategy in accordance with the information received and will update you as soon as possible when this situation changes.

I have outlined below other steps we have in place to make sure we manage visits to our care homes as safely as possible:

  • Every care home resident can have an unlimited number of nominated visitors as long as they have received two approved COVID-19 vaccinations or are medically exempt.
  • Although there is no national number set on the number of visitors a resident can receive on one day, we would request that 2 visitors at one time can visit in the home and up to 5 visitors at one time could visit in the garden.
  • Each resident can have one Essential Care Giver (ECG) who can support with more direct care, such as personal care, supporting with eating and drinking, one to one engagement. During period of outbreak ECGs can continue to visit if both they and the resident are free from Covid.

What you can do to limit the risks for internal visits for those doubly vaccinated

  • As with all visits, indoor visits must be booked with the home in advance.
  • Visit times limited to 10.00 – 12.00 AM and between 13.00 – 17.00hrs – no visits will be allowed during mealtimes, except for compassionate visits.
  • Take a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test on the day of your visit.
  • Do not visit if you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Always wear a mask during your visit.
  • Carry out hand hygiene when you arrive at the home.
  • Limit close contact, use PPE provided.
  • When supporting with personal care gloves are to be worn.
  • Holding hands can take place, but hugging is not recommended. Face to face contact must be avoided.
  • Compassionate visits will continue at any time for unwell and end-of-life residents as long as these visits take place in the resident’s bedroom. You will be expected to go straight to the bedroom and not visit any other area of the home.  
  • Maximum time per visit is 45 mins as we will need to clean the designated area / bedroom after each visit.
  • Visitors must have no contact with other residents and minimal contact with care home staff. If necessary, conversations with staff can be arranged outdoors or over the phone following an in-person visit.
  • Relatives must not visit other rooms including dining areas and nurse stations.
  • All visitors must complete a declaration form to confirm they have no symptoms of COVID such as no recent onset of a cough, or changes to their taste and smell. Temperatures must be checked on arrival to the home, anyone presenting with a temperature above 37.5c degrees centigrade will not be permitted entry to the home.

What you can do to limit the risks for Pod / Garden visits for those not doubly vaccinated

  • As with all visits, pod and garden visits must be booked with the home in advance.
  • Visit times limited to 10.00 – 12.00 AM and between 13.00 – 17.00hrs – no visits will be allowed during mealtimes, except for compassionate visits.
  • For your own safety we encourage a lateral flow LFD test on the day of the visit if visiting in the Pod, however for a garden visit you will be required to have a negative LFD test.
  • Do not visit if you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Carry out hand hygiene when you arrive at the home.
  • If having a garden or pod visit use PPE provided and refrain from personal contact.
  • Maximum time per visit is 45 mins as we will need to clean the designated area.
  • Visitors must have no contact with other residents and minimal contact with care home staff. If necessary, conversations with staff can be arranged outdoors or over the phone following an in-person visit.
  • All visitors must complete a declaration form to confirm they have no symptoms of COVID such as no recent onset of a cough, or changes to their taste and smell. Temperatures must be checked on arrival to the home, anyone presenting with a temperature above 37.5c degrees centigrade will not be permitted entry to the home.

What youIn the event of an outbreak

  • Care home visits will be suspended until it is confirmed the outbreak is over. This will be at least 14 days from the last positive PCR.
  • Essential Care Givers and compassionate (end-of-life) visits will continue during outbreak if both parties are covid free.
  • Our care home Managers and staff are best placed to decide how best to manage safe visits. Visits must continue to be pre-booked, this will undoubtably lead to some disappointment and restrictions around visits, but all residents have a right to receive visits. Unfortunately, ad-hoc visits may not be facilitated.
  • As in our previous guidance, if your LFD test is positive on arrival to the home or you decline to take a test the visit will not go ahead.
  • If your test is positive you will need to go home and isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, the home will provide this for you, or you can obtain one by calling 119 – NHS Test and Trace.
  • All visitors must complete a declaration form to confirm they have no symptoms of COVID such as no recent onset of a cough, or changes to their taste and smell. Temperatures must be checked on arrival to the home, anyone presenting with a temperature above 37.5c degrees centigrade will not be permitted entry to the home.
  • Visitors must always observe social distancing, wear the PPE provided (aprons, gloves, and masks) and hand hygiene must be carried out before and after the visit. Ad hoc visits will not be enabled.
  • Unfortunately, at present we are still unable to provide refreshments during the visit.
  • If after your visit you are made aware of anyone of your immediate household testing positive, please inform us.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and understanding during these challenging times.

Kind Regards

Arnon Rubinstein

Managing Director

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