Care home visits to resume in England

The Government has published new guidance on visiting arrangements for care homes.  The guidance recommends a local approach to decision making on visits, to take into account local spikes, risks, PPE and testing availability etc.  It has been advised that a visiting policy should be developed in collaboration with local partners, including directors of public health, directors of adult social services, and infection control leads (CCG).

For the visiting policy, the guidance recommends that providers:

  • Consider whether the wellbeing benefits of visits outweigh the risks to the home in terms of infection control
  • Assess the availability of staff and any training they may require to enable safe visits, and provide support for staff wellbeing
  • Continue to explore the use of virtual visits
  • Screen visitors for coronavirus symptoms prior to allowing them inside homes
  • Limit the overall number of visitors to a care home by only allowing a single constant visitor per resident
  • Enable visits to be booked in advanced
  • Maintain contact details of visitors in line with test and trace guidance
  • Prevent or minimise contact between visitors and residents/staff
  • Encourage visitors to wear face coverings
  • Provide PPE to visitors where appropriate
  • Allow visits in outdoor spaces or designated visiting rooms (which are cleaned regularly)

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