Our Visiting Policy During COVID-19

Visiting Policy During Covid-19 Pandemic

[Click HERE for quick link to PDF]

Our priority has always been your safety and wellbeing. Closing our doors to visitors has been one ofthe most difficult decisions we have had to make and we understand the impact that this has on youand the people you care about. We do not know how long the coronavirus will affect all of our lives butwanted to share with you what we are doing to keep you safe and well.

Reducing the Risk from COVID-19

  • We closed our doors to all visitors at the start of the pandemic, as the situation escalated quickly across the nation. Any visitors, such as visiting health professionals, only enter the care home if it is necessary and if they have followed strict infection control procedures. This includeswearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and of course, making sure that goodhand hygiene is always followed.
  • You will have seen the news about concerns relating to masks,  gloves and aprons. We want toassure you that we are following the correct procedures to make sure we protect you and our staff teams. We are keeping up to date with all the guidance and are making sure that our staff knowhow to use the correct equipment.
  • Any staff with symptoms, or staff who have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19,  arenot coming to work and are following the government’s guidance on self-isolation.
  • We are monitoring all of the people we support for symptoms or behaviour that is considered different to their usual presentation. We understand that not everyone will have the samesymptoms of a persistent/new cough and temperature or loss of smell and taste, and our staffunderstand the need to look for other symptoms and act immediately.

Responsibilities of Apple House Ltd

  • We are responsible for ensuring that we support people within our care to meet with family and friends if they wish and that staff have the ability to facilitate this. This support includeshaving written policies and procedures so that all of our team understand what they need to do.
  • We will identify other ways to connect with friends and family when face-to-face visits arenot possible. We will use technology such as video conference or telephone calls tocompensate for limited visits.
  • We will ensure that we are open and transparent and we will keep family members informed about their own relative’s COVID-19 status (suspected or confirmed) where their relative hasprovided consent or a best interest decision has been made.
  • Where the service user has an appointed power of attorney, relevant person’s representativeor another formal role, they will be informed of any changes in health including COVID-19.
  • We will provide timely and regular updates to the people we support and their nominatedindividuals on the impact of COVID-19 at our homes and on visiting.

Visits can happen and we are working with you to make these possible in a number of ways including:

  • Window visits: This will need safe ground floor window access for both residents and theirvisitors and the relevant social distancing and PPE measures will need to be observed.
  • Garden visits: Relevant PPE measures and social distancing will apply. Independent access to the garden will be needed to avoid visitors moving through the care setting to the garden.
  • Drive-through visits: These are facilitated visits in the car parks of homes. Again, anyrelevant PPE measures and social distancing will apply.
  • Picnics and meetings in local parks/forest, beach or family member’s garden with adherance to social distancing, the use of PPE and the latest government guidance relating to numbers of people in one gathering and households who can mix.
  • Designated areas within a care setting where settings allow for this: depending on the service it may be possible to enable visits to one of the cabins within the grounds reserved forthis purpose. These cabins facilitate good ventilation, social distancing, ease of access by the people we support, and limits visitor journeys through the residential areas.
  • Family home visits: Where a robust risk assessment and best interest decisions have been reached, visits away from the care home to family members can take place taking into account up to date government guidance.
  • We want everyone to be involved in supporting this policy and assisting with ideas of creative visiting and we welcome feedback and input.

The evolving nature of this COVID-19 pandemic means that government guidance can be changed at short notice. For the latest government guidance please refer to the gov.uk website.

— Romaine Lawson, Director of Operations.

About The Author