At Caring Homes we're doing everything we can to keep our residents, their families and our colleagues safe. Following the most recent changes in Government guidance we continue to ensure our own guidance aligns to the same. Where we believe national guidance is subjective or not robust to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our staff and residents, we will add protocols to national guidance to help to quell the impact of COVID-19.
We are ensuring that all the necessary and appropriate precautions are in place, to protect both our residents and our colleagues. Our Infection Control Assured promise reflects this and our standards are set by our care services and quality control teams in line with Government advice and tested in our Homes to give all our customers, residents and colleagues peace of mind at this time, and all the time.
We would like to thank you for the continued support, patience and understanding during this time.
Latest guidance on visiting
Updated guidance – 1st April 2022
New Visiting Guidance for Care Homes in England:
New guidance was issued in relation to swab testing in Care Homes in England on the 1st April 2022 and this has allowed us to lift a number of restrictions in relation to Care Home visiting. This is welcomed by the Company, but we remain cautious given the number of new cases of COVID daily in the UK. The lifting of restrictions means that it is even more important for us all to work together to reduce COVID risk.
In light of the new swab test guidance, you will no longer need to undertake an LFD test or Temperature Check when visiting as long as you are not involved in any direct care procedures at the Home and as long as you are not displaying any possible symptoms of COVID. Although swab testing may no longer be mandatory for you, we do encourage you to do regular LFD swab testing in your home and the kits can be provided to you by the Care Home should you request the same. We can also provide you with any guidance you need for completing the LFD tests and if you do not feel confident doing the same, our staff will be there to assist and guide you.
Visits will continue to need to be booked at least 24 hours in advance. COVID is an ever-changing picture and by ensuring visiting is booked in advance, it means the number of people visiting at any one time can be kept within sensible limits. It also ensures that relevant information relating to the COVID status of the Home can be communicated to you in advance of any proposed visit. If there is an outbreak of COVID at the Care Home, we will need to consult with Health Protection in relation to procedures and swabbing regimes to be undertaken and in any outbreak situation, only one Essential Care Giver will be allowed to visit.
If you are showing any possible signs of COVID infection or feeling unwell in general, please do not visit the Home and make the Home Manager aware of any cancellation of visits. Also please do not visit if you have been knowingly in recent close proximity with someone who has COVID. This is vital to minimise COVID risk and it is particularly important for us to know if you have possibly had COVID whilst on a previous visit to the Home. We know how important visits are for everyone and we wish to avoid outbreak procedures needing to be implemented. If you do need to cancel a visit for whatever reason please advise the Home at your earliest convenience so that someone else may take advantage of the visiting time.
We continue to encourage all of our visitors and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID. If you are not fully vaccinated, please consider full vaccination and please pay extra attention to ensuring you complete regular LFD tests at least until full vaccination status is achieved. Although vaccination is not mandatory, we do believe it is a crucial step in the fight against COVID infection.
Should you wish any clarification on any of the points mentioned, please contact the Home Manager. We have already sent out new visiting guidance for our Homes and are in the process of completing a total review of all existing policies in light of the new official guidance.
We wish to take this opportunity to say many thanks for your support. The safety and wellbeing of our staff and residents will remain our number one priority as we implement new guidance.
Updated guidance – 9th February 2022
New Visiting Guidance for Care Homes in Scotland:
We have updated our internal visiting guidance following changes to official Scottish Government Guidance. Although there is a further lifting of restrictions, some restrictions do remain, and our main priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff whilst at the same time promoting meaningful visits. The salient points in our new visiting guidance are as follows:
- Official Guidance states that “When socialising at home or in indoor public places individuals should limit the number of households represented in your group to a maximum of three households at any time, with everyone encouraged to take a lateral flow test before meeting.” Therefore, when visiting our Care Homes, no more than two Households should meet with an individual resident at any one time within the Care Home setting.
- Each visitor must undertake an LFD test prior to the visit apart from those undertaking End of Life visits. We can allow you to take your LFD test in your own Home and bring the test results with you on your visit if you would prefer and feel able to complete your own test, but we will be more than happy to conduct your tests at the Home when you arrive.
- Although official guidance states that vaccination and boosters should be encouraged, visitors who are not vaccinated will not be prevented from visiting their loved ones. We do continue to encourage everyone to have vaccinations and boosters and those who have not been vaccinated, we ask that you reconsider the same.
- The PPE to be used for internal visits is a surgical mask. If you are medically exempt from the same, you will need to provide objective evidence of this make the Manager aware of the same. Gloves and aprons will not be needed unless you are going to be actively involved in any direct care procedures.
- It is important that visits continue to be booked in advance, and it is encouraged that all visits, apart from End-of-Life Visits, are booked 24 hours in advance. The number of visitors within the Home at any one time needs to be given consideration and must be kept within sensible limits and we do want to ensure that every resident has a chance of having a visit.
COVID-19 is an ever-changing picture, and the amount of updated guidance being issued centrally has increased in recent times. We are reviewing our guidance in line with changes to official guidance and will make you aware of future changes to visiting as time progresses and there are further changes to official guidance.
Latest guidance reviews the need for isolation for non-Hospital admissions
We are now happy to be able to inform you that we may be able to drastically reduce the isolation periods for residents admitted into our Homes from their own Home. With any admission there is always a risk of COVID-19 transmission and so we do need to maintain some precautions to further lessen risk, but persons admitted from the Community will not need to isolate for a full ten days if the person admitted is:
- Fully vaccinated, plus four weeks have passed since their second vaccination.
- The local Director of Public Health has not advised of any local concerns such as COVID-19 variants or a vast increase in cases.
- The person admitted has had no known contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the previous 14 days and is subject to an enhanced testing regime consisting of a PCR test before admission (within 72 hours), a PCR test on the day of admission (day 0) and a further PCR test 7 days following admission (day 7). Additionally, the new admission would need have daily LFD testing until the day 7 PCR result has been received.