Updated Care Home Visiting Guidance - From 8th March

Izzy

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Aug 31, 2003
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Dundee
I realise that this thread relates to England but in case any Scottish members need information this is a link to the guidance for Scotland. Within that there are links to other documents regarding care home visits -

 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
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Good point @Izzy - I have amended message to make it clear the updated guidance from 8th March relates to England. I think the Scottish guidance is already in place?
 

Lone Wolf

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Sep 20, 2020
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After 12 months and only a few short garden visits last summer, following is an abridged version of what my partner's care home is offering on the basis of the latest government guidelines issued today 4 March 2021. When will this nightmare end?



We will be commencing our in-person visiting from the 8th of March 2021.

To carry out the visits safely, we request you follow the following steps and procedures, which incorporate the government guidelines.

1. If you have any symptoms or have recently travelled, we ask that you cancel the booking. The same applies if you have tested positive recently.

2. Agree and nominate one person (as per government guidelines) who will be visiting your loved one.

3. On arrival, a member of staff will check your temperature and oxygen saturation level. You will be asked to put on the relevant PPE (Mask, Gloves & Apron) and do an LFD test.

4. The LFD test results must be entered in the Visitors Questionnaire.

5. Due to the social distancing guidelines and requirements, we can only accommodate a small number of visitors, which would be two in the morning and two in the afternoon.

6. For this reason, we will only be able to accommodate pre-booked appointments.

7. Visiting times will be 30mins per visit so that we can accommodate as many families as we can.
 

anxious annie

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Jan 2, 2019
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Thank you for posting @Louise7 . I agree with you @Lone Wolf , it is a never ending nightmare.
In December we were promised , with LFT, that we could hug our loved ones. Sadly that never happened for my mum as her care home received the tests too late to "get ready" for visitors. Then it was Lockdown.
I have an indoor visit booked with mum, for 30 minutes, in a designated visitors room that I can access from the garden after taking LFT and putting on PPE. I can hold mum's hand, and am overjoyed at the prospect as have not been allowed to touch her, or be in the same room, for over a year. I think visits will be once a week to allow time for testing, cleaning the room etc. It sounds as though the Government feel I have the plague as the room must be "decontaminated" after my visit. I have had the first dose of the vaccine (as have all at mum's care home), I'm retired, seeing only my husband and adult children working from home and only meeting one person for exercise outdoors, I feel I am safer than the care staff with school age children, but not according to those in power, I am a major threat!!
If we're lucky at step 2 mum may be allowed 2 visitors. Will residents ever be allowed visits outside? Will visiting ever be "normal" again? Covid will be with us for years but it sounds as if government think the risk to residents won't go away. I feel guidance is much too cautious, it's going backwards to pre December, and in fact with testing, vaccines etc we are in a much better place. Guidance should reflect this and not be risk averse.
Some homes will not even offer weekly half hour visits as they argue they don't have staff to sort.
I do hope that groups/charities will campaign for better. I know R4R and John's Campaign will, but others don't seem to be working to get this in the media.
 

Lone Wolf

Registered User
Sep 20, 2020
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@anxious annie, a 30 minute indoor visit at best once per week but more likely less due to numbers wanting visits and protocol pressures - but only if the care homes do actually apply the latest guidance. Proper visits only if one can qualify as an "essential caregiver" in very limited circumstances, or end of life applies. Do the general public and MSM realise that the latest guidance in no way reunites partners and close family members with their loved ones in care homes? Twelve months on - will this nightmare ever end???
 

anxious annie

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Jan 2, 2019
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I think very few will qualify as "essntial carer" in the eyes of the care homes, although in reality all residents need this for their mental, if not, physical well being @Lone Wolf .
I think we are being made to feel that homes are doing an enormous favour for families, when really one half hour visit a week is pitiful. I know that window and pod visits should also go ahead in addition to the indoor nominated visitor, but many people on R4R are saying the homes are stating they can't do the cleaning/ testing involved for pod visits.
Government need to set out exactly how residents will be allowed "out" , and visiting return to "normal", or do they expect this over cautious testing/ cleaning regime to be here for years? Everyone else has some hope with the road map, but residents in care homes ignored again.
Of course if there is an "outbreak" ( which there will be, despite vaccinated staff) , then the home will be closed for 28 days. Many on R4R and John's Campaign are saying their visits for 8th March have already been cancelled because of outbreak of 2 staff cases.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
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I have speed-read the new guidelines, they demand an over the top set of precautions that will make care home residents feel upset I fear. They do not consider the circumstances where the visitor has dementia and will have trouble keeping to strict rules.
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
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I think you're right @MartinWL I wonder what will happen if a resident with dementia comes close to give you a hug , and you're not allowed to do this? Will the home then stop family from visiting the resident, or will this be a case for being an "essential carer".
I would like to think so, but as there have been many homes showing no compassion even for EOL visits, I'm not convinced. Hope I'm just being too cynical, and it will be good news for everyone.
 

Exning

Registered User
Aug 26, 2018
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Absolute farce that yet again totally fails to recognise the real risks that exist.
I really do not understand the logic or science that is being used here to continue the unnecessary isolation. There are certain facts that need to be considered, some of them uncomfortable.
Residents in care home are usually at the end of their lives.
They crave contact with friends and families.
They are vaccinated and have been for time for the vaccine to be effective
The risk, even if they caught Covid is now low
They are probably at more risk from the non vaccinated care staff... 30%or more... Than the overwhelmingly vaccinated older visitors.
I ask... What is the risk...
Where is the problem
I would argue that in previous years they would be more at risk from Norovirus or flu.
This imprisonment should end and let a more logical real risk assessment be introduced
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
720
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Absolute farce that yet again totally fails to recognise the real risks that exist.
I really do not understand the logic or science that is being used here to continue the unnecessary isolation. There are certain facts that need to be considered, some of them uncomfortable.
Residents in care home are usually at the end of their lives.
They crave contact with friends and families.
They are vaccinated and have been for time for the vaccine to be effective
The risk, even if they caught Covid is now low
They are probably at more risk from the non vaccinated care staff... 30%or more... Than the overwhelmingly vaccinated older visitors.
I ask... What is the risk...
Where is the problem
I would argue that in previous years they would be more at risk from Norovirus or flu.
This imprisonment should end and let a more logical real risk assessment be introduced
I agree, but objective risk assessment hasn't been a feature of policy in this or any other area, for example the current guidance on meeting people outdoors is not based on any objective evidence at all . The principle is "An abundance of caution". Whether that is wise or foolish is not for this forum!