Further to yesterday’s Government Update in respect of Visiting Arrangements in Care Homes, I wish to write to you to communicate the Swallowcourt Policy in respect of visiting arrangements within our homes.
Our first priority continues to be to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission within our homes and prevent any future outbreak so as to ensure the health safety and well-being of our residents and staff.
However, we also recognise that lockdown has been difficult for many of our residents and their families and that visits and social contact are hugely important for all those within our homes.
In considering and continuing to review our policy with regards to Visiting Arrangements, please appreciate that we are required to take a dynamic response to risk, in so much as we will continually evaluate the circumstances within each of our individual homes and those that may be applicable to individual residents and groups. We may be required to change our policy without notice based upon a change in risk.
For any home that has a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 we will be required to reimpose lockdown to all but non-essential visits until the home has been confirmed as symptom free for a period of 28-days.
Where we are able to safely facilitate visits, the following considerations and precautions will be taken into account;
- Alternatives to in-person visiting will be actively encouraged (use of telephones or video)
- Visitors will be limited to a single constant visitor per resident
- Wherever possible visits will be facilitated within areas external to the home, such as the garden or grounds with the required PPE and social distancing in place. Where this is not possible we will seek to provide a designated area within the home to facilitate visits, again with the requirement of PPE and the observance of social distancing
- In-room visits will only be facilitated in relation to essential and compassionate (end of life) visits
- Visitors will be required to book their visit in advance, ad-hoc visits will not be allowed
- In line with track and trace guidance, the Care Home will maintain a record of all visitors to the premises, all visitors will be required to complete a screening questionnaire prior to visiting and should not attempt to visit if they are experiencing or have experienced Covid-19 related symptoms in the last 7 days or had contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- All visitors will agree to have no contact with any resident other than the resident they are visiting and will have minimal contact with care home staff. (Where conversation or discussion is required with staff this can be arranged over the phone following or prior to an in-person visit)
- Visitors will be reminded and provided with facilities to wash their hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser on entering or leaving the home
- Visitors will be provided with PPE (Mask, apron and gloves) and be required to wear these for the duration of the visit
- Visitors are asked to refrain from bringing with them gifts or items of food or drink
In relation to all of the above we also ask for your patience, understanding and cooperation. These necessary restrictions place additional pressures upon our staff teams, who continue to work tirelessly to provide the very highest standards of care and support to your loved one.
Once again, we wish to thank you for your continued understanding and support. We send our best wishes to you and your families and hope that you will remain safe and well.