Has the new guidance on visiting care homes actually lifted visiting restrictions at all?

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,002
Thanks for that link. A quick trawl of the internet shows there have been concerns about that companies kits for a while, that they were awarded the contract in a non-competitive process and that they have links to Government. Interesting to put it mildly.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,294
My mother's care home emailed an update about visiting on 23 July, pointing out that the guidance says visits are dependant on there being regular testing of residents and staff, but this testing has not been forthcoming. This was confirmed today in various media outlets.

"Regular testing of residents and staff was meant to have started on 6 July but will be pushed back until 7 September for older people and those with dementia"

 

granny shoe

Registered User
Jul 14, 2020
26
You can still contact you're local mp in there town or city office parliament is on recess if you go on Parliament uk web page youl find youres and home consituancey email I contacted mine threw there got a response
Thanks Marie 67. I have had a response back from my MP so you're right, they are still working. I found some updated guidance on care home visiting on the web. The government issued it on Friday July 31st. It looks more promising.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,578
For info, these are the new updates:

31 July 2020
Updated to say that no one should be allowed to enter a care home if they are currently experiencing or first experienced coronavirus symptoms in the last 10 days. Also updated to say visitors should be encouraged to walk or cycle to the care home if they can.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
775
Just out of curiosity I thought I’d see what guidelines were in place for prison visits! The guidelines were updated on the 14th July and visits to prisons are taking place, one thing that is ironic is that they can’t do outside visits for obvious reasons, one of the criteria for visiting is that “ Carer or significant other of the person you are visiting or an individual on whom the person in prison relies on for emotional support”
This just seems wrong to me that our loved ones are being denied this support when because of their illness they can’t comprehend why they are not being visited by us but in my case the lack of visits has had a physiological effect on my husband as the chess team have reported to both myself and the home. The chess team have been trying to get a visit arranged, outside, which will work because the one the home arranged was a disaster from beginning to end, this is proving very difficult because the home are not replying to the chess team. I do think it’s in the hope that I’ll just shut up and give up. Very frustrating.
 

Louie16

Registered User
Mar 31, 2020
35
Mums care home has had no visits at all except for a 3 day period when they put a gazebo up , it was very cold and windy so mum wanted to go back inside, she didn't recognise me and was getting very upset, so it was a really uncomfortable experience. The gov announced changes, but the home shut down all visits as the local public health and infection control are taking the lead in the area. There's no cases of Covid in the home, but also the tests sent are all faulty so can't be used, the residents and staff have only had one test at end May, that's all. They're now reordered from another supplier. It's one disaster after another really. I can see that come Sept no homes wil be able do garden visits due to weather, there still won't be track and trace which they've said won't be ready for schools going back and homes won't want risk inside visits so it'll be back to no contact again as there will be second wave also. I'm at point of wondering whether to bring her home to look after although this would be full-time job so , I don't know. ?
 

Wishing20

Registered User
Feb 27, 2020
39
Mums care home has had no visits at all except for a 3 day period when they put a gazebo up , it was very cold and windy so mum wanted to go back inside, she didn't recognise me and was getting very upset, so it was a really uncomfortable experience. The gov announced changes, but the home shut down all visits as the local public health and infection control are taking the lead in the area. There's no cases of Covid in the home, but also the tests sent are all faulty so can't be used, the residents and staff have only had one test at end May, that's all. They're now reordered from another supplier. It's one disaster after another really. I can see that come Sept no homes wil be able do garden visits due to weather, there still won't be track and trace which they've said won't be ready for schools going back and homes won't want risk inside visits so it'll be back to no contact again as there will be second wave also. I'm at point of wondering whether to bring her home to look after although this would be full-time job so , I don't know. ?
TAKING MUM OUT OF CARE HOME - is exactly what I’m contemplating right now.
I don’t see the situation at Care Homes changing for months and months, in fact it will only get worse when winter arrives, they’re not going to let relatives in Homes for a very long time. In the meantime our loved ones are suffering from lack of family contact, love and support.
I think this attitude by the Homes is due to all the deaths that occurred at the beginning of Covid and now the extreme opposite is happening, so many measures that no residents will get Covid, they’ll just die of broken hearts!! I’m looking into 24/7 care at home for Mum so that she will be able to have these crucial months, being able to get outside and be with her family. i know its a massive decision and not one to take lightly, but quality of life is important and time is not on our side here and I know if I could ask her this question, she would say ‘get me out, I’ll risk the Covid, just to be with my family’
 

granny shoe

Registered User
Jul 14, 2020
26
Mums care home has had no visits at all except for a 3 day period when they put a gazebo up , it was very cold and windy so mum wanted to go back inside, she didn't recognise me and was getting very upset, so it was a really uncomfortable experience. The gov announced changes, but the home shut down all visits as the local public health and infection control are taking the lead in the area. There's no cases of Covid in the home, but also the tests sent are all faulty so can't be used, the residents and staff have only had one test at end May, that's all. They're now reordered from another supplier. It's one disaster after another really. I can see that come Sept no homes wil be able do garden visits due to weather, there still won't be track and trace which they've said won't be ready for schools going back and homes won't want risk inside visits so it'll be back to no contact again as there will be second wave also. I'm at point of wondering whether to bring her home to look after although this would be full-time job so , I don't know. ?
Dear Louie 16, I have exactly the same concerns as yourself about the possibility of a second wave of infection in the autumn. Then all the care homes could be locked down again. I am lucky in that my husband has a social worker. I asked her to formally review my husband to see if he could be looked after at home. The review is still underway and is involving social services, the community psychiatric nurse and district nurses and the care home. Things are not looking too good as my husband needs repositioning and personal care by two carers every 4 hours through the day and night. He can also get agitated at night and then he needs a lot of reassurance. Four of the key points if considering a transfer back home are : can the loved ones needs be safely met; will the Covid infection risk to them and you be higher because of carers coming in, have you got enough support and what would happen if you became ill? There is an awful lot to think through but I've found the process of going through things with the social worker very helpful. I hope that you're able to have some happier visits to your Mum soon. We need to keep writing to the MPs, media and anyone who might be able to help!!!
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
590
My garden visit to my Mum was cancelled last Friday because they had two positive cases of Covid 19. By Sunday, the home went into total lockdown as after retesting, they had 10 positive cases in residents - one being my Mum! Also some staff tested positive.

I was shocked at the rapid change and I wonder if they will ever allow visiting again.
 

granny shoe

Registered User
Jul 14, 2020
26
Just out of curiosity I thought I’d see what guidelines were in place for prison visits! The guidelines were updated on the 14th July and visits to prisons are taking place, one thing that is ironic is that they can’t do outside visits for obvious reasons, one of the criteria for visiting is that “ Carer or significant other of the person you are visiting or an individual on whom the person in prison relies on for emotional support”
This just seems wrong to me that our loved ones are being denied this support when because of their illness they can’t comprehend why they are not being visited by us but in my case the lack of visits has had a physiological effect on my husband as the chess team have reported to both myself and the home. The chess team have been trying to get a visit arranged, outside, which will work because the one the home arranged was a disaster from beginning to end, this is proving very difficult because the home are not replying to the chess team. I do think it’s in the hope that I’ll just shut up and give up. Very frustrating.
Thanks for that very interesting information about prison visiting being less restrictive than care home visiting. I do hope the chess team can help you. I'm working with my husband's social worker on the sames issues.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,294
My mother's care home still hasn't started visits. The regular testing kits are not available until the beginning of September and they say they won't begin until they are (as per govt guidelines).

My mother had a quick trip to A&E yesterday after a fall. I was asked if I'd like to meet her there! And yet I cannot visit her in the care home garden. Completely nonsensical.

For info, these are the new updates:

31 July 2020
Updated to say that no one should be allowed to enter a care home if they are currently experiencing or first experienced coronavirus symptoms in the last 10 days. Also updated to say visitors should be encouraged to walk or cycle to the care home if they can.
i assume what they mean is, visitors should not travel by public transport? There is surely no problem them driving there in their own vehicle.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,578
i assume what they mean is, visitors should not travel by public transport? There is surely no problem them driving there in their own vehicle.
This is in relation to infection control, and from memory I think the initial guidance said something about it being preferable for visitors to arrive in their own transport if possible. The update has added the reference to walking & cycling - maybe someone had an afterthought about these methods being better for the environment?? This is what the guidance says now:

visitors should be encouraged to walk or cycle if they can. Where this is not possible, they should use public transport or drive. It might be that some assistance is required to enable visitors who are especially vulnerable to get to the care home. Care homes may consider giving visitors telephone numbers or website information of organisations which can offer advice on safe travel arrangements if required
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
21,242
North Manchester
There is surely no problem them driving there in their own vehicle.
I don't think there is provided the vehicle is solely used by the visitor, they are avoiding specifying how to sanitise a vehicle that has carried others, leaving it for 72 hours may be sufficient.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,294
This is in relation to infection control, and from memory I think the initial guidance said something about it being preferable for visitors to arrive in their own transport if possible. The update has added the reference to walking & cycling - maybe someone had an afterthought about these methods being better for the environment?? This is what the guidance says now:

visitors should be encouraged to walk or cycle if they can. Where this is not possible, they should use public transport or drive. It might be that some assistance is required to enable visitors who are especially vulnerable to get to the care home. Care homes may consider giving visitors telephone numbers or website information of organisations which can offer advice on safe travel arrangements if required
I suspect the cycling/walking advice is part of the govt's plan for the population to lose weight and get fit - they seem particularly keen on cycling. Using your own vehicle will be safer in terms of infection control than using public transport, but the restrictions on using public transport were lifted a few weeks ago.

(I'd have a hard time getting to my mother's care home on foot - it's several miles away and at the top of an extremely steep hill! Not that they are accepting visitors anyway.)

@nitram I guess it's unlikely anyone would travel to a care home in a car with with someone from a different household unless a non driver needed a lift. A resident can only have one visitor.
 

Mandy76

Registered User
Jul 25, 2019
43
My mother's care home are allowing outside visits by appointment but only one designated visitor per resident. My dad is the designated visitor, so I have not seen my mother since the start of the lockdown. He asked if I could stand outside and see her through a window but was told no! It is her birthday in a few weeks and still I won't be allowed to see her, nor are we allowed to give her a present - it must be handed to the staff who will give it to her later.

I understand that they can't take any risks but it feels so cruel and is an extra heartache in an already horrendous situation. I speak to her on the phone and thankfully she isn't aware of how long it has been since I have seen her. She doesn't realise that she is in a care home or that she is getting no visitors, except my dad in a mask once a week.
 

helenk_99

Registered User
Aug 14, 2017
1
My Mum's homwvare still not allowing any visiting, not even in the garden. They don't have any cases. They said that they couldn't open because they hadn't had any guidance from our local public health department. That guidance was sent a week ago and still nothing.

I have only been given 3 phone calls since lockdown began. Mum doesn't know who I am anymore.

It's a private home so my concern is that just don't want to spend money on facilitating visits. They know I can't move her because it would be too distressing.

Who can I complain to?
 

Bezzy1946

Registered User
Jul 18, 2017
43
74
Watford
Had a nice visit to my husbands home this afternoon with my daughter (albeit only 45 minutes). Haven’t seen him for three weeks as home was on lockdown again. He was really pleased to see us and said as soon as he saw me “here is my sweetheart” made me cry. The staff have said he has been very aggressive and sleeping a lot and I think this ruling that homes have got of no visitors or just one visit a week is detrimental to the residents health they need to see familiar faces regularly goodness knows what will happen in the winter when you can’t sit in the garden and you can’t go into the home. Very worrying time for us all xx
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,578
Hello @helenk_99 It's a difficult situation as the government guidance states that prior to allowing visits the director of public health should provide a view, taking into account local infection rates and the wider risks, but ultimately the decision on whether to allow visitors is down to individual care providers/managers. It seems from the many posts here that there is a lot of variation with regards to visiting, with some being able to visit and others not. My mum's in a private home too but they are allowing visits at the moment, for an hour a week. Hopefully the public health department will respond soon but If your mum's home has a head office you could maybe try contacting them to raise your concerns?

It is her birthday in a few weeks and still I won't be allowed to see her, nor are we allowed to give her a present - it must be handed to the staff who will give it to her later.
I know how you feel. It's mum's birthday this week and it's the first time in years that I haven't been able to see her on her birthday. I saw her a few days ago and read out her cards and held up some presents, although I'm not sure she knew what they were from 2 metres away although she did smile when I said 'chocolate'. On the plus side I made a video call to my sister and we sang happy birthday together, but for some reason mum always pulls a face when I start singing!

goodness knows what will happen in the winter when you can’t sit in the garden and you can’t go into the home. Very worrying time for us all xx
Yes, it's a worry about what will happen during the winter. Let's hope that infection rates don't carry on rising and we get more local lockdowns.