Visiting care homes during covid-19

On July 22nd 2020 the government published guidance on visits to care homes. The full guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/update-on-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes

However we have tried to summarise the guidance here:

Policy for visiting arrangements as published by the Government 22nd July 2020:

The circumstances of individual care home and its local circumstances must be taken into account. When visits take place it should be limited to a single constant visitor per resident and the director of public health will assess the suitability of a specified level of visiting guidance for that area.

Care homes can develop policies for limited visits based on the guidance by taking into account the vulnerability of the residents in most care homes. This has to be based on the individual resident’s needs and the external Covid environment and the rate of infection outside care homes. The decision on whether or not  to allow visitors is to be made by providers and managers. In their judgment they must consider, local testing data and national oversight taking place due to transmission risks. Were possible they should consider, any testing that takes place outside care homes, results from testing of staff and residents, local intelligence on risk factors and readiness of care home to respond quickly.

A balancing exercise has to be undertaken between benefits to residents and risk of infection. It is important to mitigate risks by using practical measures when possible. Also, the needs of the residents must be taken into account for example a person with dementia may be permitted visitors when restrictions can cause them to be distressed. If a different approach is taken between individuals or groups this must be explained in the policy. The providers must consider the rights of residents who may lack the relevant mental capacity needed to make particular decisions and where appropriate their advocates should be consulted. Infection control precautions such as social distancing and wearing face coverings must be taken into consideration. Relevant advice should be communicated to families about their visits.

If you have any concerns and/or queries about this information please contact our helpline: 0203 405 5940.

Take care everyone.

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