COVID-19 update – visiting our residential homes – weekly update 26.06.20

Today we reviewed the restrictions on visits to our homes and on supporting planned stays away from our homes for individuals.  Here is the latest update:

Restrictions on visits to our homes
There is no immediate change to our restrictions about visitors; but are finalising plans for being able to offer visits at each of our residential homes.  Visits will either be socially distanced outdoor visits or where residents are in the living areas and can see/talk to relatives who are outdoors.  We will contact all families on Monday 29 June 2020 with more information about how we plan to do this in your service and when we can start to reintroduce face to face visits.

Requests for overnight stays to the family home

The changes announced by the government that households can have socially distanced overnight stays with households from 4 July has not yet resulted in any change to the guidance for care homes, which means there is no change to our restrictions on planned overnight stays away from the home.

The current guidance for care homes asks us to treat the whole home or household as a ‘bubble’ and keep it separate from other households in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To protect the safety of the residential bubble from COVID-19, we have to minimise the risk of the potential spread of infection by minimising how often residents leave the ‘bubble’ and then return, to protect all the members of the ‘household’ or ‘bubble’.  At this time, in order to maintain the safety of all residents, we cannot facilitate planned stays for individuals overnight with family.

The potential risk of contracting the virus when staying out of the home means residents have to self-isolate on return, in line with government guidance which is currently 14 days.  We don’t have enough space or staffing to be able to manage this isolation on a planned, regular basis for multiple residents as this could leave all residents at risk if we then don’t have isolation space to accommodate a symptomatic resident.

We know this is really difficult for everyone and would like to thank you for your patience in enabling us to prevent the spread of infection across our homes.

We will continue review this on a weekly basis, and in line with government guidance, and will also explore other options to support you to spend more time with your loved ones.