Are Care Homes Allowing Visitors?
At Hallmark Care Homes, we wholeheartedly appreciate how difficult this past year has been for families and we thank them for their ongoing support and patience. We are delighted that we are able to safely welcome visitors back into our care homes and are facilitating indoor and outdoor visits for residents as well as community outings. Ensuring our residents can maintain that all-important face-to-face contact and receive ongoing support from their loved ones is vital and these visits are a huge step towards a more positive future.
According to Government guidance, there is no limit on the number of visitors a resident can have and they do not need to be nominated in advance, however only two people can visit at any give time.
Prior to entering a care home, visitors must complete a lateral flow test and get a negative result. They also need to wear the PPE provided to them to ensure the safety of all residents and the care team. Children are welcome to visit and those aged 11 and over should wear the same PPE as an adult visitor and have an LFD test conducted with their consent or the consent of a parent/guardian.
The latest England and Wales care home visiting guidance can be found on the Government website. If you would like to book an appointment to visit your loved one, please contact reception at the care home.
What is an essential care giver?
All residents in England can nominate an essential care giver regardless of their needs.
This person may visit to provide ongoing support and care for those who need it, for example, encouraging a resident to eat or drink. Like any visitor, essential care givers must follow all necessary testing and PPE precautions prior to a care home visit.
Am I allowed to have a community outing with my loved one?
Alongside indoor and outdoor care home visits, residents in England and Wales now have the opportunity to have community outings with their loved ones without needing to self-isolate. This has been a very positive and heart-warming experience for both our residents and their loved ones, helping them to spend much needed quality time together in the local area. We understand the importance of time spent with loved ones for our residents’ emotional wellbeing, and we take all of their visiting preferences into account as part of their tailored care plan
To arrange a community outing with your loved one, please get in touch with the General Manager who will discuss further details of the planned outing and put a detailed risk assessment in place to ensure everyone’s safety.
During my visit am I allowed to hug and kiss my loved one?
As close physical contact can increase the risk of infection transfer; we ask that you refrain from hugging or kissing your loved one during your visit although Government guidance does recognise that a brief touch of a hand carries minimal risk if strict hand hygiene processes are followed.
What happens if there is a Covid outbreak at the home?
Should upon routine testing, the care home find they have a positive Covid-19 case, the individual/s involved will immediately self-isolate, and the General Manager will contact Public Health England or the Public Health Wales who will advise whether visits need to be temporarily suspended. Public Health England or Public Health Wales will make this decision based on the number of positive cases and whether the individual/s involved were working/living in the care home at the time, they contracted the virus. Should visits be suspended for a period of time, entire home testing will take place to avoid a further outbreak and the home will do everything they can to facilitate virtual contact for residents during this interim period.
Our commitment to safety at Hallmark Care Homes
At Hallmark Care Homes, the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents, their loved ones and our team is paramount. As restrictions ease, we will continue to ensure everyone living in, working in or visiting our care homes follow all the necessary precautions in line with the Government, Public Heath England and Public Health Wales advice to create the safest environment possible. Our safety measures include wearing PPE, regular testing and temperature checks, social distancing, robust cleaning and infection control measures and regular COVID-19 training which is provided to all Hallmark team.
For more information about visiting our care homes, get in touch with your nearest Hallmark care home today and a member of our friendly team would be more than happy to assist you.