Latest visiting guidance

Posted on July 19, 2021 by Paul Richards

Grandmother and granddauther touch hands on window while on visit. Senior woman staying at home in time of quarantine for coronavirus or Covid-19. Lockdown visit of a senior adult.

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.

Every care home resident can have ‘named visitors’ who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits. There is no limit on the number of ‘named visitors’ that a single resident can have and no nationally set limit on the number who can visit in a single day, however at Hythe Care we are keeping our policy to 2 people per visit.

Every care home resident can choose to nominate an essential care giver 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)

Named visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum (excluding essential care givers). Physical contact like handholding is acceptable if hand washing protocols are followed. Close personal contact such as hugging presents higher risks but will be safer if it is between people who are double vaccinated, without face-to-face contact, and there is brief contact only

Care homes can also continue to offer visits to friends or family members through arrangements such as outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods, or from behind windows

At the current time there are 5 different visiting arrangements that we are putting in place.

  1. Outside visiting with social distancing
  2. Indoor visiting in the visiting room with screens
  3. Personal contact visiting with prior LFT
  4. Becoming an “Essential Care Giver” and undertaking LFD and PCR testing
  5. End of Life Visiting in exceptional circumstances

1. Outside Visiting with Social Distancing

  • For one visitor but at the discretion of the home manager could be two people
  • Visits are obviously subject to good weather and the health of the resident
  • Pre-booking of the visit is required
  • Visits will be Monday to Friday and there may be some discretionary weekend visits
  • Each resident is allowed one visit per week
  • The length of the visit is 30 minutes
  • You complete the visiting questionnaire prior to the visit
  • We require a temperature check prior to the visit
  • We require hand sanitisation prior to the visit
  • We will provide you with a mask to be worn at all times during the visit or you may provide your own mask.
  • You will be required to maintain social distancing of 2 metres at all times

2. Indoor visiting in the visiting room with screens

  • For one visitor but at the discretion of the home manager could be two people
  • At the discretion of the manager there is no age restriction to a 2nd visitor
  • Pre-booking of the visit is required
  • Visits will be Monday to Friday and there may be some discretionary weekend visits
  • Each resident is allowed one visit per week
  • The length of the visit is 30 minutes
  • You complete the visiting questionnaire prior to the visit
  • We require a temperature check prior to the visit
  • We require hand sanitisation prior to the visit
  • We will provide you with a mask, gloves and apron to be worn at all times during the visit.
  • You will be required to maintain social distancing at all times
  • The room will be well ventilated
  • The room will be cleaned and sanitised prior to and after the visit.

3. Personal Contact Visiting with prior LFT

  • For one nominated visitor
  • Pre-booking of the visit is required
  • Visits will be Monday to Friday and there may be some discretionary weekend visits
  • Each resident is allowed one visit per week
  • The length of the visit is 30 minutes
  • Prior to entering the home you complete a LFT
  • You complete the visiting questionnaire prior to the visit
  • We require a temperature check prior to the visit
  • We require hand sanitisation prior to the visit
  • We will provide you with a mask, gloves and apron to be worn at all times during the visit.
  • Visitors are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum. Visitors and residents may wish to hold hands, but should bear in mind that any contact increases the risk of transmission. There should not be close physical contact such as hugging because of the risk of infection.

Please see below for further information on Personal Contact Visiting with prior LFT.

For visiting under 1, 2 and 3 the following also apply.

  • Bookings are on a first come first served basis
  • You are only permitted to make a single booking for each week in advance
  • Visitors to be escorted only to the visitor room
  • We reserve the right to oversee and monitor the visit should we deem it necessary
  • Morning Visiting will have 2 30 minute slots at 11am and 11:45
  • Afternoon visiting will have 5 30 minute slots at 13:30, 14:15, 15:00, 15:45 and 16:30
  • Evening visiting will commence at 6 pm and finish at 7pm (2 slots)
  • We regret that there will be no WC facilities available for visitors in the home during visiting
  • Should you need assistance during the visit you must only use the call bell in the room and remain in the room.
  • No pets will be allowed to accompany visitors
  • To protect your loved-one, if you choose to bring a gift then it must be able to be sanitised with wipes beforehand. If it cannot be sanitised then I’m afraid it cannot be brought in to the home. 

4. 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.

5. 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.

  • The LFT guidance and instructions
  • The pre-entry to visiting questionnaire that should be completed prior to each visit.
  • The visiting slots available through each week.

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

  • Please ensure that you have read the LFT test guidance information provided:
  • At the care home you will be provided with 2 sessions of training on how to undertake the test.
  •  1st session will be supervised support taking you through each stage of the test process and recording of the result.
  • 2nd session will be overview watching you perform the test and record the result independently. On each of these occasions if the test result is negative a visit may proceed. Each training session may take at least 45 minutes and could be up to 1 hour.
  • Due to the lack of available free space within the home, the length of time the tests take and the use of LFTs in other settings (such as schools for pupils over the age of 11) we require the visitor to undertake the regular tests at your home, prior to arriving at the care home for your visit. You will need to bring the result cartridge with you.
  • The result will then be recorded by you on your phone or on a computer or tablet. This is part of the responsibility and you really ought to be able to undertake this function independently if at all possible. If you are absolutely unable to undertake this action the home will record the result within the following 24 hours.
  • You will be provided with an initial supply of 25 LFT kits (less the 2 training kits).
  • A negative result produced from a LFT is NOT A GUARANTEE that you do not have COIVD-19. All other infection control measures have to be carried out alongside the test.
  • If you produce a positive result from the LFT you must not go to the care home but inform them of the result. You must inform NHS Test and Trace and you should arrange to have a PCR test to confirm the LFT result.