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Visiting in care homes during COVID-19

Visiting arrangements in care homes

​Visits to care homes are at the discretion of the Registered Provider/ Person in Charge in management of each care home and it is their responsibility to ensure that visiting arrangements do not compromise overall resident care or adherence to infection control procedures.

Guidance for visiting care homes

Indoor visiting for residents in care homes where there is no COVID-19 confirmed / suspected cases is allowed in circumstances where the following criteria are followed: 

  • during this initial period, consideration should be given to each resident nominating the names of relatives and friends who would wish to visit them. Each resident has a maximum of two named visitors only. Only one of those visitors can be present at any one time and visits should be arranged in advance with the facility
  • visits should be scheduled to avoid heavy footfall in the care home at any time by giving dedicated times and staggering visits
  • you should be asked if you have had COVID- 19 or had close contact with a person with COVID-19 / suspected COVID-19 symptoms within the last 14 days
  • you should not visit the home if you have been unwell in the past 7 days
  • you should be made aware of the visiting processes which are:  pre-visit screening call, symptom checking, and determination of previous known exposure to COVID 19, area of the home you will be visiting, areas of the home that are not accessible at this time and use of correct hand-hygiene techniques
  • you should be made aware that any visitors with fever or respiratory symptoms will not be admitted
  • you should declare that you have no symptoms and undergo a temperature check (if available) before entering the care home
  • you are required to sign in on entry to the facility.  You should either use your own pen or be signed in. This log may be shared with the contact tracing team if there is a suspected / confirmed case of COVID 19
  • unplanned visits are not allowed. The Person in Charge / Designee will be notified of any difficulties encountered in implementation of this measure
  • you should be guided in performing hand hygiene when they arrive
  • you are required to wear a surgical mask, apron and gloves if you are not able to maintain social distancing during the visit. This will be provided by the care home and its disposal will be monitored
  • visits should only take place at times when the main cohort of staff are on duty and away from mealtimes with pre-arranged timings
  • use of the resident’s / visitors’ bathroom facilities is discouraged
  • the resident’s right to decline a visitor shall be respected
  • this guidance should enable care home managers to establish suitable visiting arrangements for their care home. Any such arrangements should be kept under review

Taking residents out of the care home 

You may wish to take a resident out for the day, if you do:
  • we encourage residents to practice social distancing at all times when outside the care home. Ensuring Infection control and Public health advice is adhered to
  • we discourage the use of public transport ensuring Infection Control precautions and Public health advice are adhered to
  • utilise outdoor spaces whilst out on leave, ensuring physical distancing is maintained in line with Public Health advice
  • wear a face covering or mask whilst out on leave
  • if accidental exposure to others occurs with a perceived risk of infection, the home should be immediately informed prior to your return

Visiting care homes if there is a confirmed / suspected case of COVID-19

If there is a suspected / confirmed case of COVID-19 within a care home, family and friends should be advised that visiting is suspended in the interest of protecting residents, visitors and staff at this time.  However, there may be circumstances in which it may still be appropriate for family or other relevant persons to visit which will be assessed on case by case basis

Guidance for professionals visiting care homes to provide a service

The visiting processes for proffessionals are: 
  • pre-visit screening call, symptom checking, determination of previous known exposure to COVID -19, and use of correct hand-hygiene techniques
  • depending on the activity, visitors must adhere to the PPE guidance, Infection Control and public health advice
  • if you're unable to maintain physical distance recommendations during group activities, these activities must not take place 
  • if there is a confirmed / suspected COVID 19 case, professional discipline visits may be suspended depending on the nature of the visit
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