Visiting guidance for residential care
Updated guidance for visiting arrangements in care homes was published on 21 September 2020. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus)
This guidance states that prior to visits being allowed in care homes, the director of public health in every area should disseminate their view on the suitability of visiting in the local authority area, taking into account infection rates and the wider risk environment.
As part of the council’s six-step plan to slow the spread of Covid-19 circulating in the Gloucestershire community, Sarah Scott, supported by the C19 Tactical Response Group, has written to all care providers (20 October) to recommend that visiting is suspended at this time.
Whilst the recommendation has been made, decision on whether or not to allow visitors, and in what circumstances, sits with home managers, dependent on their individual circumstances and assessment of risk.
We know this will be really hard on families, friends, and their loved ones and it’s not a decision we have taken lightly but it is essential, if we are going to minimise the impact of Covid on those most at risk from it.
We will continue to support the homes to explore and provide alternative ways for family and friends and their loved ones, to stay in touch. In cases where, sadly, residents are considered to be end of life, visiting arrangements will continue in a safe and managed way.
For people with very complex needs, for example, in supporting living, and who cannot facilitate virtual visits or calls, we would advise that the provider carries out a risk assessment and consults with residents and their friends and family before making a decision. Essential visits from professionals can also continue, following a risk assessment by the care setting.
If you are a care home or setting, please contact the council’s Brokerage Team for advice and support.