Updated Guidance – 9th April 2021
A message from Arnon Rubinstein, Managing Director, Future Care Group
Dear families and friends,
The UK Government has issued updated guidance on visits to care homes. From 12th April, 2021 two regular visitors will be allowed to visit their loved ones in care homes. In addition to this, babies and toddlers will also be allowed to visit which means that grandparents and great-grandparents will have the opportunity to meet the youngest/newest members of their family.
This is an exciting step forward as we work to a gradual and safe return to normal visiting routines. However, we sill need to follow the Government’s guidance on safe visiting and I have outlined these for you below:
- As with all visits, indoor visits must be booked with the home in advance.
- The bookings will continue to be on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Up to two visitors per resident will be allowed at a time – these visits can be together or individually. Where we have families in a bubble outside, we at the Future Care Group will take a more flexible approach. (For example, a husband and daughter would be able to visit their wife/mother in a care home, but if a son shares the same bubble, we would then extend the visits to this family member. So, husband and son could visit, or son and daughter and so on).
- Babies and toddlers will be allowed to visit – toddlers are aged between 1 and 3 years. Toddlers will not be expected to wear masks as this could be hazardous to their health.
- Children can be counted as one of the two regular visitors
- In order to maintain the safety and wellbeing of the residents and staff, we would ask that children between the age of 3 and 11 do not visit unless a lateral flow test can be carried out. The accompanying adult of the child will be responsible for the rapid testing under the guidance of our staff.
- Only two visitors will be allowed in a unit or floor of a home at any given time.
- Garden visits and pod visits will continue – visiting parties in the gardens and pods will currently be restricted to two visitors per resident.
- Where a resident is nursed in bed, visits to the room will be allowed. All other visits will take place in designated areas of the home.
- Compassionate visits will continue for unwell residents.
- Visit times are limited to 10.00-12.00hrs and 14.00-17.00hrs – no visits will be allowed during meal times with the exception of compassionate visits.
- The maximum time per visit is 45 mins as we will need to clean the designated area / bedroom after your visit.
- Upon arrival, a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test must be carried out and you will wait for the LFD test result outside the Home. The approximate time to wait is 30 minutes.
- If the LFD test is positive the visitor will not be allowed to enter the Home and must go home and isolate immediately. We will offer and encourage the visitor take a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test prior to them leaving the premises.
- If you decline to take the LFD test when you arrive at the home, you will not be permitted entry.
- Before entering the home, we need to make sure that PPE is worn properly and hand hygiene has been completed.
- You must have no contact with other residents and minimal contact with care home staff (less than 15 minutes/2 metres). If necessary, conversations with staff can be arranged over the phone following an in-person visit.
- Relatives must not visit other rooms, including dining areas and nurse stations.
- When leaving, the PPE must be discarded safely.
- The area will be cleaned and touchpoints sanitised between visits.
- 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, and anyone presenting 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 allowed.
As per our previously published protocols as the weather improves we would encourage garden visits as this brings a minimal risk of transmission.
As a reminder, each home has identified a designated room that is accessible from the outside and have created a ‘visiting pod’. These visits can be booked and continued as normal.
Unfortunately, at present we are unable to provide refreshments during the visit and also we will not be able to allow the use of a toilet at the home.
The Department of Health and Social Care has stated that, in the coming weeks visitors will be allowed to test themselves at home prior to visiting. As we receive more guidance about this we will update you accordingly. If after your visit you are made aware of anyone in your immediate household testing positive, please inform us.
In the event of an outbreak, the home should cease visits immediately to protect the staff, residents, and visitors, apart from compassionate visits.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your understanding and patience whilst we gradually work towards a lifting of restrictions.