To all our residents, relatives and friends,
This week, due to the increase of cases in the community of the new Omicron variant, the government have released updated guidance for visiting care homes. We have therefore updated our visitor policy in line with the government recommendations, whilst ensuring that our residents are able to see their loved ones as much as possible and continue with their much-loved activities and lifestyle.
From today, residents will be able to welcome three named visitors to their home. We will maintain all current safety measures including visiting by appointment only, wearing PPE and completing a lateral flow test with a negative result prior to seeing loved ones.
Each resident is still also able to have one essential care giver who can visit their loved one within their room. The essential care giver will complete a health questionnaire and sign an agreement to demonstrate that they understand the risks involved. They are required to complete three lateral flow tests and one PCR test each week at the home.
Many of our residents have enjoyed resuming trips out of the home and we are pleased that this important part of care home life will not have to stop at this time. The government has advised that following a trip out of the home, vaccinated residents are required to take a lateral flow test daily for ten days and unvaccinated residents must isolate for 14 days in order to keep everyone in the home safe.
Our teams and residents have been quick to take up the offer of the booster jab so that they have as much protection as possible from Coronavirus, and this roll-out will continue over the Christmas period until everyone has been offered the booster.
We understand that the new variant is worrying and we must remain alert to the continued risk of infection whilst ensuring our residents are able to enjoy social activities. You will be reassured to know that the policies and procedures that have become second nature to our teams will remain unchanged. This includes wearing PPE including masks at all times, high levels of infection control procedures, social distancing where possible and plenty of natural ventilation throughout the home. In addition to this, each member of our team carries out a lateral flow test prior to starting work each day and will only begin their shift on production of a negative test.
As we head into the Christmas season, we are all enjoying getting into the festive spirit and looking forward to celebrating Christmas and the New Year. Our teams put their all into making the festive season merry, bright and memorable for everyone. It has been great to see the wonderful Christmas decorations, many handmade by the residents, going up in the homes and the fun, festive activities happening as we are used to. Our homes have found ways around the ongoing restrictions to bring Christmas cheer to the residents – many have been able to watch school carol services virtually and welcome the community safely to Christmas fairs in the gardens. Our teams really do go above and beyond every day to ensure that the festive season and beyond is special for our residents, and we are extremely proud of them all.
Please let your Home Manager know directly if you would like to be considered as an essential care giver or a named visitor, book a visit or if you have any questions about the updated guidance.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and also to thank you all for your ongoing support throughout 2021 in helping us to keep everyone at Ideal Carehomes safe and protected.