We are continuing to take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect our residents as much as possible.
People living in care homes are typically more vulnerable to severe illness, therefore additional measures remain in place to facilitate visiting while keeping care home residents and staff as safe as possible. All our teams continue work in line with government guidelines to manage the risk of Covid-19 transmission to our residents, many of whom are also extremely vulnerable to other winter viruses.
Whilst GreeenSquareAccord policies provide options for regular visiting, it may not always be possible for every home to offer all types of visits, at all times. The availability of visits, visiting spaces and types of visits may change in your home, so please contact your Home Manager about the latest situation.
Our homes use a risk assessments to manage and respond to changing circumstances such as outbreaks (as defined by Public Health England), changing community transmission rates, and each home’s capacity to manage infection control measures associated with visits.
We remain focused on safe visiting practices such as infection prevention control measures, and we will use risk assessments, testing arrangements and the continued use of face masks and robust hand hygiene measures to ensure we can maintain everyone’s safety.
We will continue to isolate residents on return from some high-risk activities out of the home, if you wish to take your family member/ friend out, please ask your home manager for more details.
Key things to know about care home visiting in GreenSquareAccord residential care homes:
- Visitors should continue to make arrangements with care homes in advance of the visit
- Visitors are asked to follow any guidance and procedures put in place by the home to ensure compliance with safe visiting practices, to include Infection Prevention Control measures and use of PPE.
- Visitors should wear a face mask when visiting the care home, particularly when moving through the care home.
Visitors are asked not to visit the care home if they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, even if they have been fully vaccinated.
- Visitors MUST receive a negative lateral flow test on the day of their visit, either by conducting the test at home or when they arrive at the care home. Essential care givers need to follow additional testing arrangements - the Home Manager will share these specifics –please feel free to ask the manager should you require this particular information.
- Visits may take place in a room most practical and comfortable for the resident (for example, residents with dementia may be able to take place in their own room with familiar belongings -this however must be first agreed with the home’s manager - subject to the homes’ dynamic risk assessment)
- In some circumstances during an outbreak, we may be able to also continue to offer visits in well-ventilated spaces with substantial screens, visiting pods or from behind windows. ( please be sure to ask your home’s manager in advance of any visit). Rooms will be left to ventilate with external doors and windows open between uses wherever possible, if a comfortable temperature for residents and visitors can be maintained.
- Physical contact may be supported to help health and wellbeing, as long as infection prevention and control measures are in use, such as visiting in a ventilated space, using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the visit, and hand-washing before and after holding hands. (Gloves are not needed for hand-holding).
- Visits at the end of life will continue to always be supported
- Residents can be supported to undertake visits out of the care home and will only need to isolate following an emergency stay in hospital if they test positive for COVID-19, or following a visit that has been deemed high-risk following an individual risk assessment
- It is strongly recommended that residents and visitors receive 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, plus their booster where applicable. If eligible, visitors should also get their flu jab when it is offered to them
- Care homes support NHS Test and Trace by keeping a temporary record (including address and phone number) of visitors. GreenSquareAccord care homes now use E-Reception to facilitate this process. If you have not yet visited the home since the introduction of this, please contact the home manager and they will be happy to guide you through this simple access/ exit process.
- Visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated. Transmissible viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as COVID-19. If visitors have any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, they should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better. We would please ask that this is observed.
- Essential Care Givers (ECGs). Every care home resident can also choose to nominate an essential care giver who may visit the home to attend to essential care needs. These visitors can come into the home during outbreaks as long as they are fit and well, and test negative for Covid-19. We will support the essential care giver to visit in all circumstances, including if the care home is in outbreak (but not if the essential care giver or resident are COVID-positive). If you are unsure whether your loved one has an ECG, please speak to your home manager or a senior team member.
In the event of an outbreak, other methods of maintaining contact between residents and their loved ones will be supported. This could include:
- telephone calls /video calls
- emails, letters, cards or photographs
We really appreciate how supportive residents, and their families and friends, have been during this difficult time. Please continue to be understanding with our staff while they are facilitating these meetings, as we are trying to ensure residents can see their family and friends safely.
In addition to the above we will continue to offer visits to friends or family members through arrangements such as outdoor visiting, visiting pods, or from behind windows. To book a visit please speak to your care home manager who will discuss the current options available to you.
For more information about visits to care homes please speak to your care home manager or visit the Gov.uk website: outlining visiting arrangements in care homes