Latest visitor guidance for Scotland
29th July 2021
• Regarding new Visitor Guidance
We have been monitoring community infection rates closely and given the recent reduced numbers being reported in relation to community transmission, we have recently reviewed our visiting policy. All of our Managers have now been issued with new Visiting Guidance and I thought it appropriate I let you know the salient changes included in the new guidance.
• We will be increasing nominated visitor numbers; We now believe we are at a stage where more named visitors can visit our residents under the following circumstances;
a. There has not been a Covid outbreak at the Home within the last four weeks
b. All proposed visitors understand and agree to abide by visiting guidelines
c. The visitors agree that only two visitors at a time can visit the resident for internal visits. We can increase the number of visitors at any one time for garden visits
d. Consultation is made with Health Protection, and they report that local infection rates are not giving significant cause for concern
e. The proposed visitors are not travelling from an area where local infection rates are giving significant cause for concern
• If a resident is significantly deteriorating and it is thought increased visits may prevent the deterioration, we will try to facilitate increased visiting following consultation with external professionals and proposed visitors
• We are hoping the majority of our Homes in Scotland will no longer need to complete LFD testing for visitors. Each Home will discuss this with Health Protection and ask if LFD testing can be stopped for visitors who are fully vaccinated against Covid 19. We have already provided guidance to our Managers on visitors completing their own tests at Home where Health Protection believe LFD testing should continue. We are still asking that temperature and oximeter checks are undertaken for all visitors and will be reviewing the need for this in the coming weeks
• We are reducing PPE usage; If no concerns are noted on the assessment you complete when you visit and no concerns are noted from temperature and oxygen saturation checks, you will only need to wear a mask when visiting if you are fully vaccinated against Covid 19. For visits in the grounds, such masks will be optional
Official guidance basically places the responsibility for the assessment of risk on us as the Provider. Assessing the risk depends on a number of factors including local infection rates and the recent Covid history of the Home as well as information we gain from Health Protection. Over the last couple of months, we had noted a significant increase in local infection rates and believed it would be inappropriate and reckless to lift any precautions we had in place whilst there were major concerns in relation to community transmission. This was particularly relevant given that the protocols we had in place appeared to be having the desired effect of reducing the risk of Covid in our Homes in Scotland. Given the recent reductions in local infection rates, we believed we could review our guidance in response.
What we have aimed to do throughout the Pandemic is to make incremental changes based on risk. This is in order to protect our residents, staff and indeed our visitors and we are now at a point where we believe we can lift some restrictions as overall risk appears to have lessened.
We will closely monitor how the new protocols work and will aim to lift further restrictions soon if they are successful.
Thank you for your continued support,