Visiting Guidance: 19th July 2021

26 July, 2021  ·  Less than a minute read

On 19 July 2021 most legal restrictions in England, related to coronavirus, were lifted. 


The vaccine programme has been highly successful in breaking the link between infection and serious illness. We have come a long way since March 2020, but there are still some outbreaks of coronavirus in care homes, with some residents unfortunately becoming very ill. 


We want to make visiting your loved ones as easy and straightforward as possible, while keeping them safe. Nothing can replace the care and love family and friends provide. We know the period of the pandemic has been a particularly difficult and emotional time for care home residents, their loved ones and staff.


Staff will continue to wear PPE and practise strict infection control, just as before 19 July. Residents and staff need you to play your part too. We therefore would appreciate your cooperation with those practices that remain in place, to keep care home residents safe.


It is particularly important that you:

  • Get the vaccine when it is offered to you. Vaccination is one of our best defences to combat infection. It significantly reduces the transmission of infection, particularly after two doses. It is strongly recommended that residents and visitors receive two doses of vaccine before conducting visits.
  • Take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) on the day of your visit. Testing supports care homes to safely maintain a balance between infection control and the vital benefits of visiting to the health and wellbeing of our residents.  
  • Continue to book appointments to visit the care home. Staff still need to clean between visits, which can take some time. Booking an appointment means there is time to keep the care home clean and keep your loved ones safe.
  • Wear a mask throughout your visit. This will help prevent transmission of the virus to others. You do not need to wear aprons, gloves or eye protection, unless you are giving direct care. Your care home will advise you if this is necessary. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, or use the hand sanitiser provided, when you arrive at the care home.
  • Cooperate and communicate with us. Care homes are best placed to undertake risk assessments for their residents, and every decision is made to keep your loved ones and our staff safe. We encourage you to work with your care home to understand how to effectively manage risks for indoor visits, and when taking your loved one outside of the care home.

If you have any other questions about visiting your loved ones, please contact the care home manager. Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. We will continue to do everything we can to keep your loved ones safe and enable you to visit them safely. 

Every care home resident can have ‘named visitors’ who will be able to visit the service in which they live. There is no limit on the number of ‘named visitors’ that a single resident can have although the number of visitors is currently limited to two people visiting at a time.


Every care home resident should be offered the opportunity to nominate an essential care giver. They should be allowed to visit during outbreaks or periods of isolation (but not if the essential care giver or resident is COVID-positive, unless this is for an end of life visit to a resident who is COVID-positive).


It is important that visitors do not come to the care home if they are feeling unwell or have symptoms of coronavirus. Most importantly, visitors must remember to limit close contact, use whatever PPE the care home asks them to, and keep it on.


In the event of an outbreak in the care home

In the event of an outbreak, all movements in and out of the care home should be minimised as far as possible and limited to exceptional circumstances only, such as to visit a friend or a relative at the end of their life. These restrictions should continue until the outbreak is confirmed as over, which will be at least 14 days after the last laboratory confirmed or clinically suspected cases were identified in a resident or member of staff in the home.


Named visitors

Named visitors can come in for a regular indoor visit, sitting in the same room as loved ones, with no screen or other barrier in between.


Named visitors and residents are advised to limit close contact (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. PPE must be worn.


Named visitors should be tested using rapid lateral flow tests on the day of every visit and produce a negative COVID-19 test prior to their visit. We are asking visitors to be supportive of the care home and recognise that the home will need to ‘share out’ visiting appointments so everyone gets the chance to have one.


The care home will ask each resident who they would like their named visitors to be. If the resident lacks the capacity to decide who they want their named visitors to be, the care home will speak with their family and friends so they can decide what to do between them.


Essential care giver

All residents may benefit from a visit from a loved one who provides a greater degree of personal care or support, to maintain their immediate health and wellbeing.


The government is advising that every resident should be offered the opportunity to nominate an essential care giver. These visitors will be able to visit more often in order to provide essential care and companionship. The essential care giver should be enabled to visit in all circumstances, including if the care home is in outbreak. Essential care givers will need to be supported to follow the same testing and infection control arrangements as care home staff which at present is two lateral flow tests per week and one PCR test (carried out at the service on designated days). They should also use the same PPE as members of the care home staff (including gloves only when providing direct personal care) and should follow the appropriate guidance for using it.


If you think you or your loved one would benefit from this type of visit, you are welcome to speak to the care home.

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