Throughout the pandemic, B&M Care has continued to provide, where possible, safe and controlled visits for residents to see a loved one. Since December, all visits (other than window visits) have been supported by the use of Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests; and in-line with the Government’s ‘roadmap’ to easing current restrictions [February 2021], from Monday 8th March, visits can include “hand-holding”.
Each resident can now have five nominated people to visit them regularly. A maximum of two nominated visitors can visit their loved one at any one time. Children are counted as one of the five named visitors, apart from babies and very young children, ie pre-school. Each visitor will be required to take a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test - commonly known as a rapid test kit – and to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the duration of the visit.
In addition to the above, all residents are recommended to nominate an Essential Care Giver who can have less restricted visits and spend time in their loved ones room - subject to the same testing and PPE requirements as our care staff.
All visits must be pre-booked.
Individual risk assessments will be carried out before each visit, and from this, a dedicated visiting area will be allocated inside the home, for example a resident's bedroom. Hand-holding is actively encouraged, and brief hugging is permitted without face-to-face contact. Hand sanitiser will be provided for use before and after hand-holding.
B&M Care is asking each nominated visitor to listen to a ‘visitor briefing’ to encourage further understanding around the reasons why the stringent PPE and infection control procedures remain vitally important throughout visits.
B&M Care recognises that the essence of simply ‘being together’ has never been more important, and through our group-wide infection control protocols, continues to use such visits as means of flourishing fundamental contact between loved ones.
Visits Out of Care Homes
In response to government guidelines [June 2021], individuals living in a care home setting can now go on low-risk trips out accompanied by one of their five nominated visitors without having to self-isolate for 14 days when they return.
Recognising the impact of external visits on an individual’s health and wellbeing, B&M Care welcomes family members to now pre-arrange trips out with their loved ones.
Although vaccine coverage is increasing, there are still risks involved when organising visits of this nature. Therefore, to manage and mitigate these risks, B&M Care’s infection control protocols remain paramount before, during and after a trip out of one of our homes.
Individual risk assessments will be carried out before each trip to identify the following:
- The place the individual is going to
- Who they are going with
- Who else they may come in contact with (ie in public spaces)
Similar to in-home visits above, the individual/s that the resident will be seeing on the visit are each required to take a LFD test before the trip out. Hand-holding is again permitted with their nominated visitor/s, as well as brief hugging without face-to-face contact.
For more information, please view GOV.UK's 'Visits Out Of Care Homes' guidance.
The Department of Health & Social Care and Public Health England have published documents to further outline the steps and protocols that should be adhered to throughout a visit. Themes including testing, infection control, and visiting in exceptional circumstances.
- Public Health England: 'PPE Guide for Community and Social Care Settings'