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    Latest visiting guidance

    Author: Angie PetersonDate: 31st January 2022

    This guidance sets out the government’s advice to support safe visiting. Visiting needs to be booked and numbers may vary so please confirm with Home Manager when booking a visit.

    Latest visiting guidance (31.01.22)

    This guidance sets out the government’s advice to support safe visiting. Visiting needs to be booked and numbers may vary so please confirm with Home Manager when booking a visit.

    From Monday 31st January 2022, there will be no limit on the number of visitors allowed into the care home to visit a resident, however at Mulberry House this will be at the Home Managers discretion, so please mention this when booking your visit

    Every care home resident can choose to nominate an essential care giver (in addition to their named visitors) who may visit the home to attend to essential care needs. The essential care giver should be enabled to visit in all circumstances, including if the care home is in outbreak (but not if the essential care giver or resident are COVID-positive)

    Visits

    Visitors should make arrangements with care homes in advance of the visit, so that care providers can manage the number of people attending at any one time to ensure safe visiting practices can be maintained taking into account the size and layout of the care home.

    Visitors should receive a negative lateral flow test result and report it on the day of their visit, either by conducting the test at home (preferable) or when they arrive at the care home – essential care givers need to follow the additional testing arrangements outlined below

    Visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated and have received their booster. Transmissible viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as COVID-19. If visitors have any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses and infections, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, they should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better

    Visitors who are not legally required to self-isolate are advised against visiting the care home (for 10 days) if they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, unless absolutely necessary, even if they have been fully vaccinated. Where visits do occur, visitors should have received a negative PCR test result prior to their visit, and a negative lateral flow test result earlier in the day of their visit

    Physical contact should be enabled to help health and wellbeing, as long as IPC measures are in place, such as visiting in a ventilated space, using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the visit, and hand washing before and after holding hands – gloves are not needed for handholding and stringent adherence to hand washing is advised residents should be supported to undertake visits out of the care home as appropriate

    Visits out of the Care Home

    Care home residents who have had 2 doses of the vaccine, or are exempt from vaccination, should not have to isolate after most visits out of the care home, but should take a lateral flow test every day for 7 days following the visit out.

    Care home residents who have not received at least 2 doses of the vaccine, and are not exempt from vaccination, should not go on visits out of the care home unless they isolate for 7 days after the visit out. This is a necessary precaution following clinical advice in light of a more transmissive variant of COVID-19.

    There are certain types of activity where the risks are inherently higher and the advice is that, in these cases, the resident should self-isolate for 10 days on their return to the care home regardless of their vaccine status. This is to ensure that, in the event they have unknowingly become infected while out of the home, they minimise the chances of passing that infection on to other residents and staff. These activities are:

    Outbreak in the home

    In the event of an outbreak in the home, subject to a risk assessment by the health protection team (HPT), outbreak controls may be lifted if 14 days have passed since the onset of symptoms in the most recent case, a round of PCR recovery testing of all residents and staff is undertaken, and there are no PCR positive results.

    Vaccinations

    Vaccination is one of our best defences to combat infection. The COVID-19 vaccine significantly reduces the transmission of infection, particularly after 2 or more doses. It is strongly recommended that residents and visitors receive 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, plus their booster especially in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant. The data shows that booster doses are required to provide higher levels of protection against symptomatic infection. If eligible, visitors should also get their flu jab when it is offered to them.

    Anyone who is fully vaccinated, and has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, does not need to self-isolate if they receive a negative PCR test result and take daily rapid lateral fow tests until 7 days after their last exposure to the positive case

    We offer visiting across the week, to include weekends as long as visitors are able to provide evidence of a negative LFT test result that they have carried out themselves and logged prior to their arrival. There is no facility for visitor on site testing and visitors will need to have undertaken this themselves. LFT tests are available for visitors to collect and take home for their own use.  Essential care givers continue to need weekly PCR tests that they undertake on site as well as twice weekly LFT tests.  All visitors will also be asked to provide an updated signed declaration as part of our covid secure precautions, which is available from reception.  

    Visitors are requested to pre-book 30-minute visits in advance via reception and are available on a limited basis due to slot availability.  

    Becoming and Essential Care Giver and undertaking LFT and PCR testing

    For some residents a visit with a greater degree of personal care may be central to maintaining their immediate health and wellbeing.

    In such cases, in addition to the single named visitor and with the agreement of the care home, the visitor will be enabled and supported to provide this care and they will be able to visit more often. They will have access to the same PCR and rapid lateral flow testing and PPE arrangements as a member of care home staff.

    Each resident will be different, and the exact arrangements will need to be agreed between the care home, resident and their family (with professional support if helpful). This should follow an individualised assessment of the resident’s needs.”

    Should you feel this is an approach to visiting and spending time with your loved on that you would like to explore will you please contact the home manager to discuss the specific needs of the resident and your desire to be more involved in their person care on a regular basis.

    End of Life Visiting in exceptional circumstances

    We have been facilitating such visits throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so.

    We will communicate with you as early as we can when we believe that your loved one is reaching the final stages of their life and we will give you the opportunity to spend more personal time with your loved one at this stage.

    To enable this to happen safely for the benefit of everyone all the standard rules of visiting above will need to be applied and additionally we require you to undertake a LFT prior to entering the home. At the discretion of the home manager, the visiting will not be pre-booked, there will be no time limit on the visits and there will be no limit to the number of visits you may have during this time.  

    We reserve the right to refuse entry to any visitor if there are any signs of symptoms and/or there is a refusal to co-operate with the arrangements and requests we have put in place to safeguard everyone at this difficult time. Your understanding and cooperation is appreciated. Thank you.

    To accompany this policy the following are also attached.

    Additional Information for 3. Personal Contact visiting with prior LFT.