• 01 April 2021
  • 4 min read

What Changes To Care Home Visitation Rights Will Become Permanent Post-COVID?

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder
    • Richard Gill
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
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What measures in current guidance for care home visits will be kept in place after the pandemic?

The Government has issued guidance for England, in place from 8th March for visits to care homes, provided the visitor has tested negative for COVID-19.

Now that the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown allows for care home visits to resume on a larger scale, what measures that have been implemented during this period will end up being permanent? Comment 💬 Like ❤️ Reply 🙂 below.

The guidance set outs measures to ensure care home visits are as safe as possible.These measures include:

1. All care home residents to be allowed one named visitor who can visit inside the home.

2. The named visitor must take a lateral flow covid test and test negative before each visit.

3. The named visitor must wear PPE for their visit & keep physical contact to a minimum.

4. Families of residents with end-of-life care needs to work with the care home to facilitate visiting.

5. Residents with critical care needs are able to nominate one essential named caregiver.

Which of the measures, if any, would you like to see becoming permanent going forward?

The guidance anticipates that welcoming anyone into care homes from the community inevitably increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

However, these risks can be managed and mitigated, and they should be balanced against the benefits that visiting brings to both care home residents and their families, according to the government.

Are there measures that are not mandated, or considered by the government guidance that you would like to see introduced?

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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As each care home is unique, it will be the Care Home Managers who are best placed to decide how their care home can best enable visiting in line with this guidance.

The guidance goes on to say decisions regarding visits should involve the resident, their family and friends and the care provider, as well as other relevant professionals where required.

Should the government have allowed Care Home Managers and associated professionals to set their own visitation rules throughout the pandemic, rather than dictate a one-size-fits-all policy?

Neither the visitor nor the resident is required to have been vaccinated for a visit to take place. However, the guidance strongly recommends that all visitors and residents take up the opportunity to be vaccinated when they are invited to do so through the national programme.

Once the vaccine rollout has covered care home residents and staff or both their doses, is there any rationale for restricting visits to care homes at all?

If a COVID-19 outbreak is confirmed in a care home, then all visits will be stopped for a minimum of 28 days.

Given that the quarantine period for travellers arriving in the UK is 10 days, with two tests in this period, should care homes have to be closed for visitors for such a prolonged period?

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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Another measure being looked at in the guidance is that care home providers should limit staff movement between settings unless absolutely necessary, in order to help reduce the spread of infection.

Should this be a discussion between care providers and the government, or is it simply the nature of modern care provision that workers need to move between settings over the course of a day?

In Wales, visits can be conducted as long as the provider has put in place the appropriate social distancing and safety measures. During an active incident or outbreak at the care home, both indoor and outdoor visits must be restricted to exceptional circumstances only.

Care homes in Scotland can enable indoor visiting for up to two visits per resident per week. Each resident can receive up to two designated visitors, with only one person visiting at a time. The number of visitors and frequency of visits may increase as and when a care home judges it is safe to do so. All care homes in Scotland should generously support essential visits, including from children, without a defined time limit, regardless of outbreak status.

In Northern Ireland, care homes can enable visiting for residents using well-ventilated designated rooms/visiting pods, outdoor visits as well as window visits, provided the home is not in an outbreak. Virtual visits remain the preferred method of visiting, and in the event of an outbreak, indoor visits will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances.

Will any measures for visits, taken from guidance across the UK governments eventually have to coalesce into one uniform set of rules, or will there continue to be variation between the devolved nations?

Any permanent changes will inevitably require extra funding and although there have so far been no detailed announcements from the Department of Health and Social care addressing the social care funding and organisational issues in England, do you anticipate a consultative approach between government, the NHS and care providers, or a more top-down approach when deciding on the permanence of measures going forward?

Please let us know what you think in the comments below. And please Like the article if you found it interesting.

Thanks.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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