As of today, the government have eased many Coronavirus restrictions that we have all lived with for over a year. Although this comes as a very positive step forward, the increase in Coronavirus cases in the community is still a concern and the government has advised that we should all remain cautious.
The government has also updated their visiting guidelines for care homes today to allow for an uncapped number of named visitors to come and see loved ones. The government have advised that during visits we must 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.
Where possible these visits should be outside as we know that being in the fresh air reduces the risk of infection. When visits are hosted inside, they will be in the designated visitor room.
Each resident is still able to have one essential care giver who can visit their loved one within their room. The essential care giver must complete a health questionnaire and sign an agreement to ensure that they understand the risks involved. We must see proof that the essential care giver has received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and they are required to complete two lateral flow tests and one PCR test each week at the home (there will be designated times to take the tests).
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.
I am sure you will understand that although we are all keen to return to normal as soon as possible, we must do so in a careful and measured way, ensuring our residents are able to enjoy social activities whilst we remain alert to the continued risk of infection. May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support in helping us to keep everyone at Ideal Carehomes safe and protected.
Please let your Home Manager know directly if you would like to be considered as an essential care giver, book a visit or if you have any questions about the updated guidance.