We are delighted to be reopening our home to visitors as of Monday 8 March, in line with new government guidelines announced last week.
Undoubtedly, this good news will give a much-needed boost to our residents’ morale (and that of their families), but we must remain vigilant to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection within the home.
Our visiting policy is similar to the one we introduced last summer. Initially, each resident can receive a visit by one nominated relative per week for up to one hour.
Testing before arrival: As per government guidelines, visitors must undertake a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) just beforehand. This simple swab provides a result in just 30 minutes. Depending on the policy at the home, we will supply testing kits for you to perform the LFT at your own home before each visit, or we will support you to do the test on arrival at the home. In this case, you will need to allow more time to do the test and await the result. If you test positive, we will administer the government’s PCR test and ask you to go home and self-isolate, pending the result. For information about the LFT please go to Care home testing guidance for LFD self-testing at home (publishing.service.gov.uk).
Arrival and departure: If you have a negative result, our reception team will talk you through a short symptoms checklist and ask you to wash and sanitise your hands and put on your PPE, which we will provide in a dedicated bag. We will then escort you to your relative. Once your visit is ended, we will take you back to reception. Please place your used PPE in the bag for safe disposal. You may wash and sanitise your hands once more before we sign you out of the home.
Although we believe that the vaccine is a hugely significant milestone (even though it doesn’t prevent infection or transmission), our staff will continue to wear full PPE, practise social distancing as much as possible and follow our strict hygiene and infection control protocols – just as we are asking our visitors to do. We are confident that these protective measures will help to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. However, if there is a significant peak in the local COVID-19 infection rate or if there are cases among residents and staff, we may have to close the home again to visitors and new admissions, unless your loved one is at end of life.
We very much hope that this does not occur and look forward to welcoming you soon. We understand how much visits mean to you and your loved one and are doing everything we can to facilitate these safely. Please call our reception staff to arrange your first visit, or if you have questions relating to your relative’s care or wellbeing.
[5 March 2021]
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