All our residents can have ‘named visitors’ who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits. There is no limit on the number of ‘named visitors’ that a single resident can have and no nationally set limit on the number who can visit in a single day. However, we must ensure that we are safely managing the number of people in our homes, therefore each case will be risk assessed.
We can facilitate visits 7 days a week, but all visits will be by appointment only – arranged through our reception teams – and can be of any reasonable duration. Any professionals, contractors or site visitors who are not visiting friends and family of our residents will also need to bring proof of their double vaccination status which our reception team will need to see before admitting you. This is for the safety of everyone in our homes and we are grateful for your cooperation.
Named visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum… Physical contact like handholding is acceptable if hand-washing protocols are followed. Close personal contact such as hugging presents higher risks but will be safer if it is between people who are fully vaccinated, without face-to-face contact and when contact is brief.
We can also continue to offer visits to friends or family members through arrangements such as outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, or from behind windows – if this is something you require.
Essential Family Carer
In line with the government guidelines, every resident can choose to nominate an essential family carer (EFC) and although we have used the word ‘family’ we recognise that you may be a resident’s friend and not a family member. Also, we acknowledge that you may not see yourself as a ‘carer’ but as a partner or a supporter of your relative.
The EFC should be someone who the resident feels is “key” to their wellbeing (physical or emotional), and who helps them feel happier and well. Remember you do not have to provide physical care, companionship, emotional support is equally important in maintaining wellbeing. If your loved one does not have the mental capacity to select their EFC, we will work with you to complete a ‘best interest’ decision and appropriate risk assessment and together develop a tailored visiting plan for them.
If you wish to become an EFC you will be able to visit your loved one more often, flexibly, and for longer periods, and continue visiting even when there is an outbreak, or the resident is in isolation (eg. following a discharge from hospital). Your visits will continue to be booked at reception. Because more frequent and flexible visits carry more risk, the EFC will need to agree to have the same testing as care home staff (one PCR test and two lateral flow tests a week) and follow the same infection control procedures as them.
The Home management team will be happy to discuss this with you.
All visitors also have an important role to play – helping to keep their loved ones, other residents, and staff safe by carefully following the policies described in this guidance.