Further to the new Department of Health (DoH) Guidelines regarding visiting we wish to provide you with an overview of the new arrangements which are to be implemented from Friday 7th May 2021.
The new Guidelines are based on a significant review of visiting by the DoH, and outline a pathway to returning to normalising of visiting in care home settings.
Whilst our aim is as always, is to maintain the safety of all residents and to prevent the transmission of Coronavirus into the home, we recognise that as general restrictions are easing, this must also be reflected in our visiting arrangements.
Current COVID-19 screening arrangements will continue
Care Partner arrangements remain unchanged and are in addition to visiting arrangements. Care Partners are still expected to be tested on a weekly basis and a negative result must be demonstrated prior to care partners entering the home for their visits.
Our amended visiting policy reflect the new DoH Guidelines entitled ‘Visiting with Care – A Pathway’ a synopsis of the main points are as follows: –
- Our new policy indicates a pathway to normalisation of visiting within our Homes and are subject to review by Public Health Officials
The pathway covers 4 stages: –
- Cautious First Steps
- Gradual Easing
- Further Easing
- Preparing for the Future
Each stage is to be reviewed by Public Health Officials over a 4 week period.
Our policy covers the following visiting scenarios and a brief indication of changes are highlighted under each. The changes will become effective on 7th May 2021 –
Visiting in the Home: –
- Individual residents Risk Assessments to be carried out in collaboration with the resident/responsible person and their chosen visitor
- Visits MUST be booked in advance
- Visits will increase to 2 per week (to be reviewed 2 weeks post implementation with a view to increasing to 3 visits per week)
- Two people can visit at any one time and visits can last for up to 1 hour
- Visits can be accessible over a 7 day period and can take place after 5pm up until 7.30pmIn agreement with the Nurse Manager, children may visit but remain the responsibility of the adult visiting to ensure all IPC measures are adhered to. Children are included in the total number of visitors for the arranged visit.
- Depending on individual risk assessment, visiting can take place in residents own bedroom with a window open.
- Handwashing regime to replace the use of gloves. Aprons and masks to remain in use by visitors.
- Remote visiting, window visiting and outdoor visiting arrangements remain and can be facilitated if preferred
- Visiting can take place on the grounds / gardens of the Home
- End of life visiting can continue to be facilitated and, depending on the outbreak status of the home and risk assessment, PPE measures may be relaxed. If end of life is imminent ie: within 72 hours, facilities for 24hr visiting will be considered and agreed with the Nurse Manager / Nurse in Charge
Trips out of the Home
- Can resume providing there is written assurance that all involved follow the general restriction in place.
- Providing the Nurse Manager has this written assurance, residents will not be required to isolate on return to the Home
- Where possible the designated visitor facilitating the trip should not enter the Home when collecting the resident.
Services into the Home
- Ministers of faith may book a visit however this is in addition to the 2 visits permitted per week
- Hairdressing facilities can be re-introduced in line with current restriction
- Other professionals ie: Chiropody etc may resume if not already resumed
As always, our visiting arrangements will be regularly reviewed in accordance with the latest DOH and PHA guidelines and we will keep you informed of developments.
Please feel free to make any suggestions that may improve the visiting experience and we will of course consider them.