Current visiting protocols
The importance of visits in terms of resident and family member wellbeing is always utmost in our decision making on visiting protocols whilst following government and Public Health guidelines to keep our residents and employees safe. We have clear protocols in place which are developed in line with government guidance and in discussion with the Department of Health and Public Health England and it is essential that we follow these protocols consistently.
Initially Care Homes were restricted to visiting from essential visitors only, but we were pleased that this was then extended to limited family visits over the past few months.
In recent weeks, the Government introduced a new Tier system, we are in a position to update visiting. The overall national picture follows, and regional exceptions can be read on our Regional Update page.
High/Tier 2 and Very high/Tier 3
If a care home is in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 location then it will not be open to visitors and potential visitors who live in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 location will also not be able to visit any care homes. There will be exceptional circumstances to these rules such as when a resident is receiving end of life care and we will conduct a thorough risk assessment to ensure we keep everyone as safe as possible. The link to government guidance is here.
Where homes are in Tier 1, they will still be accepting visits unless in outbreak status. However, potential visitors who live in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 location will also not be able to visit these homes. We will monitor this on a weekly basis.
The local Directors of Public Health have a responsibility to provide us weekly updates on whether it is safe for care homes to have visits. Public Health look at a variety of information to make a decision which includes the level of local cases and geographical mapping; test and trace information; R value; Cases in care homes; care home testing of staff and residents and infection, prevention and control and Personal Protective Equipment use in care homes. In the event they were to issue a local instruction to further restrict visits to our homes we would write to you as soon as we were made aware.
We review our protocols weekly to ensure that our residents are comfortable during visits whilst keeping them protected from the risk of coronavirus. We are currently working hard on our dedicated visitor rooms to ensure the best protection is in place for internal visits.