Visiting our care homes
We are continuing to take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect our customers as much as possible.
Our updated guidance applies from 15 December 2021.
Our teams continue to work in line with government guidelines to manage the risk of Covid-19 transmission, and keep our customers, many of whom are also extremely vulnerable to other winter viruses, as safe and well as possible.
To help ensure the safety of our customers and staff we remain focused on safe visiting practices, such as infection prevention control measures, carrying out risk assessments, testing arrangements, and the continued use of face masks and robust hand hygiene measures.
We will continue to isolate customers who return from some high-risk activities out of the home, if you wish to take your family member/ friend out, please ask the home's manager for more details.
Whilst GreenSquareAccord provides 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 the home's Registered Manager about the latest situation.
Key things to know about visiting in GreenSquareAccord residential care homes:
In home visits
- Every care home resident can nominate up to 3 visitors (excluding the essential care giver and preschool children) who will be able to enter the home for regular visits. These 3 nominated people should not change unless exceptional circumstances permit.
- 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. If you are unsure whether your loved one has an ECG, please speak to your home's manager or a senior team member.
- 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.
- 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 – please speak to the Registered Manager to arrange this.
- 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's manager who 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.
- 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 must be agreed with the home’s manager - subject to the home’s risk assessment).
- In some circumstances during an outbreak, we may be able to continue to offer visits using protective screens, visiting pods, or from behind windows (please be sure to ask your home’s manager in advance of any visit). Where possible rooms will be left to ventilate with external doors and windows open, if a comfortable temperature for residents and visitors can be maintained.
- Visits at the end of life will continue to be supported.
- It is strongly recommended that residents and visitors receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, plus their booster where applicable, especially in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant. If eligible, visitors should also get their flu jab when it is offered to them.
- Should any of our homes experience an outbreak of the Omicron variant, restrictions may be in place for up to 28 days following the last positive case, subject to a decision from the home’s local health protection team.
Visiting outside the home
- Residents who have received 2 doses of the vaccine, or are exempt from vaccination, can be supported to undertake visits out of the care home but must take a lateral flow test every day for 10 days following the visit out. An isolation period will apply 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.
- Residents who have not received at least 2 doses of the vaccine, and are not exempt from vaccination, should not go on visits out of the care home unless they isolate for 14 days after the visit out.
- We strongly recommend that any outward visits involve people who undertake regular lateral flow testing and receive a negative test result on the day of the visit. We also strongly recommend avoiding outward visits involving large groups of people or people residents do not usually spend time with.
- Any residents who are fully vaccinated and identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, do not need to self-isolate on their return to the home if they receive a negative PCR test result and take daily rapid lateral flow tests until 10 days after their last exposure to the positive case.
Thank you for your continued understanding and support. Our care teams appreciate how supportive customers, their families and friends are being as we try to ensure customers can see their family and friends safely.
For more information about visits to care homes please visit the Gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus