It's a step in the right direction @MaNaAk but I'm going to wait to see what the 'guidance' actually says first before getting too optimistic. In December the guidance stated that indoor visits could be permitted with lateral flow tests but not all care homes permitted this, stating that the tests were 'unreliable'. During the current lockdown the guidance states that visits can be permitted in pods or via window but it seems that many homes are not permitting this. Plus the guidance is clear that if there is an outbreak of covid in the home all visits must be suspended. If, as expected, the new guidance will continue to leave it up to the care homes to decide whether visiting is safe or not then there's no guarantee that come the 8th March every care home will be allowing visits, despite what the media reports may suggest.
Several care organisations have already voiced concerns about a lack of resources to manage/supervise such visits, a lack of clarity over the guidance even prior to it being published and also insurance issues:
Nadra Ahmed, executive chair of the National Care Association, has said "the biggest issue for care homes would be having enough staff to manage testing and extra cleaning". "Staff resource is our biggest problem," she said. "We have staff who are exhausted, we've got staff who are going down with Covid and also getting long Covid.
"We have no insurance in our services for Covid-related risks - that still hasn't been sorted out by government in any way, so there will be all sorts of things about mitigating risks, but the default is we want to enable this visiting."
Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, warned there must be "a note of caution" because Covid has not gone away, and called for further clarity on the plans. He said: "We need some clarification - for example, the announcement says holding hands will be allowed but warns against 'close contact'. How is that going to be possible? There is going to have to be some very close but compassionate supervision of these visits."
Like so many other things there will be a difference between what the Government announces and what care homes (or parent companies) allow. I am happy for now visiting my wife with a perspex screen between us. If only that was all that was between us rather than a whole world of dementia-fuelled confabulation and misunderstanding. A, the care home manager remains rightly cautious and will not be thinking of relaxation at least until residents have had their second jab. I have faith in her judgement. While it might please me to be able to touch my wife, it probably would mean little to her. Weighed against keeping everyone safe and well I am not campaigning for an early change to the visiting rules.
I used to play the Violin at dad's old care home and last year I found that they went into lockdown a long time before the country did. They also struggled to get hold of PPE and they had to make their own appeals for this.
It’s going to be hard for us to decide on which one will be the named visitor - looks like it is going to be only one person and the same person every time. Logically it should be my youngest sister as she was mums main Carer at home but she works part time now and does not have as much spare time as me. I am retired but have mobility problems so might struggle to walk around the home or do anything physical, but I could go frequently and sit with mum. My brother is probably the one my mother would want but he works full time and so could only go a couple of times a week in the evenings.
I guess it is just speculation until we know what the home will allow, they might restrict the number of visits as it is going to be extra work for them testing the visitors and sorting PPE out. Hopefully garden visits will be allowed soon.
Mums refusal to have her jab might affect things, I’ve had mine and my siblings should have theirs fairly soon as they are over 50 but Mum is still as risk.
I really hope that mum's care homes will allow a named visitor in as it has now been over a year since I have been closer than 2 metres to her. The home had garden visits in the Summer but since October there has only been window visits as they never invested in a pod. I'm lucky in that mum can still communicate by FaceTime/ phone , but it upsets mum to see me standing outside in the snow. Mum has dementia, but still has some understanding and she tells me she is a prisoner as she's not allowed out. I shall continue to support the groups campaigning for legislation for Essential Family Carer as I feel quite strongly that the Government has denied residents their human rights to family life. Mum's care staff are brilliant, but mum wants meaningful contact with her family. Many residents can't afford to wait until they have had the 2nd jab and then a 3 week wait , they need to see their family now before it's too late. I feel that now all residents and staff in her home have had one jab, and if I test negative, wear PPE etc that the risk is minimal, the risk is much greater to her mental health if she has to wait another 2 months. The choice should be for individual residents and their family to make, and those who would rather wait longer before holding their loved ones hands should have their choice too.
It will be interesting to see which one of us three siblings will be the nominated visitor!
If the home also allows pod visits to continue or even garden visits in the summer than I would be happy for my sister to be the one indoor visitor as she did most of the caring for mum when she lived at home.
I wonder where these visits will take place, I guess in residents rooms as the home won’t want visitors mixing with all the residents in communal areas.
If you are her primary carer, you can ask for some advancement in the queue.
As her next of kin, then yes you probably have to wait , especially if she is in someone elses care ( ie a home).
Part of the problem with the vaccination program is that everyone thinks they should be the exception to the rule.
The program would roll out far quicker if people could wait their turn
, and their turn will come round far quicker than if all these sub people get ahead of them.
My neighbour received hers yesterday.
She is 42
She has an 8 year old child
She has ( and has had,, right through this pandemic) 4 care visits a day, double handed. Up close and personal as she can no longer weight bear.
Are all these carers vaccinated? i doubt it, different ones every day.
in my opinion, she was worthy of the protection that the vaccine offered long before now.
I feel really sorry for the 30 somethings, with young families & thumping great mortgages who simply have to get back to work to survive, when they see ll these people being made the exception and vaccinated ahead of them.
And yes I do volunteer in a vaccine centre. we vaccinated 560 people yesterday. ( actually it was 559, because there was one no show)
Hello @jelba as you have posted in the 'Care homes allowing visitors' thread are you worried that you will need to be vaccinated in order to visit your mum in her care home? The initial government press release (as posted above by Nitram) states "Vaccination is not mandatory and will not be a condition of visiting" - the full visiting guidance is due to be published prior to 8th March so should be out soon. I'm aware that at least one care home chain informed relatives that they would need to be vaccinated before being allowed to visit but they have since removed this condition. The fact that you might not be vaccinated prior to 12th April will not make a difference to whether you can visit your mum after 8th March.
I think @Louise7 that the guidance is due out on 1st March so homes can implement this for the 8th . I'm hoping it will be more of a "roadmap" so we have some idea of how things will return to more like "normal". I'm really pleased that guidance from Government says we are to be allowed an indoor visit for one person, and to hold hands. Potentially from step 2 two people will be allowed, so hopefully the new guidance will say when more visitors can go indoors as we move towards the end of June.