Latest update: 6 April
Visiting update ahead of potential changes on 12 April.
UPDATE: Detailed guidance was published on the evening of 6 April and our team is now working to implement changes.
We welcome plans for new guidance announced by the Government this weekend.
Headlines from the press release, which will come into place from Monday 12 April, were:
- Care home residents to be allowed a second regular visitor indoors to reunite families and friends
- Babies and toddlers will also be able to accompany visitors, allowing grandparents to meet grandchildren
- Visitors can hold hands, with tests required before entry and PPE
Our intention is to reunite families as soon as we are able to safely do so. However, there are challenges that accompany this, and we thought it useful to highlight what those challenges are.
Firstly, the announcement was made shortly after midnight on a Saturday morning during the Easter weekend which reduced the time available to be able to respond.
Secondly, the announcement does not contain the guidance itself and we, and all social care providers, need that detail to be able to put safe and detailed protocols in place.
Questions that we do not currently know the answer to include:
- When will the guidance will be published in full?
- What age limit will there be for children visiting?
- Will the two named visitors visit together or separately?
- What additional provisions will be put in for testing of potential visitors?
We are urgently trying to get answers to those questions.
In the meantime, as we are keen to reunite our residents with their families, we are taking bookings for visits for a second named visitor who will be able to have a ‘contact visit’ with one of our residents. This will be on a one-to-one basis and babies aged 12 months and under will also be able to attend the visit.
Home managers will accept bookings to ensure that each resident has an equal and fair access to visits from family and friends.
We hope that the full guidance will be published soon and will update again by 12 April.
The study looked at data from more than 10,000 care home residents in England with an average age of 86 between December and mid-March.