Our Care Home Teams have worked diligently since the start of the pandemic to keep everyone free from infection. At the same time we have worked hard to enable visiting whilst adhering to official prescribed restrictions.
The Company has followed, adhered to, and at times added to official government guidance, as well as guidelines from various Health Protection Departments, and we have updated the information on our website accordingly.
Our principle objective has been to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff, residents and our visitors, and to reduce the occurrence of Covid within our Homes. We have recently been able to significantly reduce a number of restrictions in relation to visiting, but we remain vigilant and fully understand that Covid remains a risk, particularly to those with underlying physical conditions.
Visiting our homes
As at today’s date, the following standard position applies in relation to visiting our Care Home;
- There is no need for a visitor to undertake a Lateral Flow (LFD) test when visiting the Home. We do encourage the visitor to take an LFD test before they visit or have a test undertaken at the Home just prior to their visit. We will offer assistance if needed with an LFD test, but an LFD test is not a condition of visiting and you can visit without needing to take one.
- The Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for a general visit will be a surgical mask, which will be supplied by the Home. The only time that we ask for gloves and an apron to be worn is if the visitor is involved in any direct care procedures and this will only apply to Essential Care Givers. A surgical mask won't be required in our Scottish homes, following guidance from the Scottish government, but will be available should you want one.
- There is generally no limit on the number of visitors who can attend or how long the visit goes on for, but we ask that you are understanding in this regard as we do need to keep the numbers and the duration visits within sensible limits.
- There is usually no need to pre-book visits. If a booking system is needed at any point, the home manager will let you know and advise of the reasons why.
At times, there may be changes to our standard position in relation to visits and such changes will most likely be based on one or a combination of the following reasons;
- Changes made to official guidance; if there is a change to official guidance which advocates the return of certain restrictions, the Company will need to update our internal guidance to reflect this.
- Local Community infection rates that are giving concern; this will normally be communicated to us by local Health Protection teams and we will need to update our policies accordingly and areas of the UK may need to have prescribed actions implemented into their visiting policies.
- The Home being classified as at Outbreak status or just coming out of outbreak status; we work alongside external professionals in such situations and will take advice from them on any extra precautions we need to take.
- Following advice being given from a local Health Protection Team; local Health Protection Teams will communicate to our Homes any local infection rates of concern and any possible mutations of the virus which are giving concern and will advise on any strategies we may need to implement.
If there are changes to the default position in relation to visits at a Home, this will be communicated to you as soon as possible by Home Managers.
During the pandemic we have been very cautious of admissions into our Homes, particularly from Hospitals, and we have insisted throughout that admissions will only be accepted following a negative Covid test. This stance was based on the reported high infection rates in Hospitals, and although we have recently removed isolation periods for new admissions, we remain vigilant to keep everyone, particularly our residents, safe. The latest information for admissions into our Homes is as below.
Admissions from Hospital
Individuals who receive a negative test result within 72 hours prior to discharge from Hospital can now be admitted to our Care Homes, and will not need to isolate if they have not had Covid in the previous 14 days, and there has been no known recent contact with a known Covid patient in the part of the hospital where they have been receiving treatment. The person will need to show evidence of a negative LFD swab on admission
Admissions from Another Care Home
Individuals who receive a negative test result within 72 hours prior to discharge can now be transferred to our Care Homes, and will not need to isolate if they have not had Covid in the previous 14 days, and have not had recent contact with a known positive Covid case prior to transfer. We will not admit any resident from a Care Home that has an outbreak status. The person will need to show evidence of a negative LFD swab on admission
Admission of a resident from their own Home
There is no need for isolation as long as the person has not had Covid in the previous 14 days and has not been identified as having recent contact with a known Covid case prior to admission. The person will need to show evidence of a negative LFD swab on admission
New admissions will undergo a testing regime for a period of time following admission as prescribed in official guidance.
The Company will continue to monitor national Covid rates as well as rates in our Homes and will change guidance accordingly as time progresses.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and should you need clarification on any points, please do not hesitate to speak to the Home Manager at the relevant service.