In line with Government guidelines, from the 8 March we are delighted to be welcoming visitors back into our care homes.
The Government is asking that each resident is allocated a ‘single named visitor’, one person who can come for regular indoor visits. As far as possible, this should remain the same person.
The named person will need to follow some important steps to reduce the risk of infection to the person they are visiting and to others in the home.
How to arrange to be a single named visitor
The care home will ask each resident who they would like their single named visitor to be.
You might like to talk with other family members and friends who might like to visit, and with your loved one who lives in the care home, about who would be the best person.
If the resident lacks the capacity to decide who they want their named visitor to be, the care home will speak with their family and friends so they can decide what to do between them.
Procedures for Visiting in the home
- You must stay at home if you are feeling unwell, including if you have a fever, a cough, a change in your sense of taste and smell, a sore throat, headache, diarrhoea or if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 within the previous 14 days.
- When you arrive, come to the front door and ring the bell. Your temperature will be taken, and you will then be directed to the testing room. Please note; because of the testing process, it will take around 40 to 50 minutes from arriving before you can enter the home and meet your loved one.
- The testing room is divided into two by a table and glass screen. Visitors will be in one half of the room and a trained member of staff, who will guide you through the testing process, will be in the other half of the room.
- When you enter the testing room you will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and shown how to put it on correctly. This will include gloves, a mask and an apron.
- You will be asked to sign a consent form to show that you agree to taking the Lateral Flow Test and to registering and sharing your result.
- A member of staff will show you how to take your own throat and nose swab. Once you have handed over the swab, through the gap in the screen, you will be asked to wait until your result is ready. This will take approximately 30 minutes.
- Once your result is determined, your test kit needs to be registered online. You can complete this form using your own mobile phone or a mobile device provided by the home. If you cannot complete this form yourself, a member of staff can complete it for you.
Understanding your test result
- If your result is “positive”, you will not be able to visit your loved one inside the home. We would at that point advise you to take a confirmatory PCR test, which we would provide for you. After taking the PCR test, we would then advise you to go home immediately and self-isolate until you receive the result. NHS Test and Trace will text, email, or call you with your result in around 72 hours.
- If your result is “invalid”, we will ask you to take another Lateral Flow Test.
- If your test is “negative”, your visit will be able to go ahead. Please bear in mind that these tests only detect approximately 50% of all cases of Covid-19, so even if you have tested negative, it is possible that you may be infected with the virus and you may be contagious. Because of this, it is vital that you wear PPE at all times inside the home.
During your visit
- Once you have tested negative, you can enter the home. Your visit will be in your loved one’s room, where you will be able to spend quality time with them in private.
- Inside the care home, including inside your loved one’s room, you must wear your face covering and any other PPE that you were asked to wear by a member of staff at all times.
- Visitors should follow all other infection prevention and control measures, such as maintaining social distancing when walking through the home.
- We strongly advise against physical contact in order to keep everyone safe. You may wish to hold hands – but please remember that any contact increases the chance you could pass on the virus. Close contact like hugging should not happen.
Bringing food for your loved one is also allowed.
- When your visit has ended, you should use the call bell and a member of staff will guide you out of the building, showing you where you can dispose of your PPE and sanitise your hands.
We are asking visitors to be supportive of the care home and recognise that the home will need to ‘share out’ visiting appointments so everyone gets the chance to have one.
Even though you and your loved one may have had the vaccine it is still very important to follow all of this advice and be careful with PPE and social distancing to reduce the risk of infection.
We very much look forward to welcoming you back and hope that you understand why it is so vital that you adhere to these safety procedures. With your help, we very much hope that our residents will once again be able to enjoy the safe, happy visits from their friends and families that mean so very much to you all.
Please note, if there is an outbreak in a care home the home will have to stop most visiting in order to keep everyone safe.