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 two nominated people to visit them regularly, either together or separately. Children are counted as one of the two named visitors, apart from babies and very young children. 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.
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. And although hand-holding is encouraged, no further close contact is allowed, for example hugging. Hand sanitiser will be provided for use before and after hand-holding.
In addition, 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.
The Department of Health & Social Care has published a document 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.
You can download the 'Visiting Care Homes During Covid-19' document here.