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Dear Friends,
We now have the press release on care home visiting during lockdown (which was issued yesterday) and the actual guidance, which came today, and have had a chance to properly read and review them both.
We are pleased that the guidance includes a recognition that the risks of Covid need to be weighed up against the potential harm of stopping visits. It feels as if there is a bit more understanding of what visits feel like for care homes, residents and visitors; for example, we are no longer required to supervise visits.
In almost all respects, the guidance would allow us to continue with our current visiting practice at Home of Comfort, but there is one inclusion which is problematic for us. This is that for indoor visits, in order for the location to be considered ‘Covid Secure', there should be a “substantial” screen between the resident and visitor. This is required in addition to appropriate PPE and social distancing.
The requirement for the local Director of Public Health to produce guidance for care homes in their area remains, and our DPH has undertaken to consider the national guidance carefully over the next few days and issue us with a new statement, including her considered view on the question of screens.
Her advice for the moment is that we can carry on as we have been, based on our current risk assessments, so that is what we intend to do. However, as we wait for advice on this, and watch closely the local infection rate, we feel we need to let you know that there might be changes at short notice.
We are watching closely the pilot of a new scheme which will designate a small number of friends and relatives as ‘essential visitors’ who can be included in a care home’s weekly testing regime, and permitted more easily inside the Home. This has at last started, in several homes in Liverpool, and we hope it can be adopted more widely soon.
You can find a link to the guidance itself at the bottom of this message if you would like to have a look for yourself. If you have any comments or suggestions we would be very glad to hear from you.
Take care,
Deepa, Robin and all at Home of Comfort
Links if you would like to read further:
Care Home Visiting Guidance
National Winter Plan for Adult Social Care
Home of Comfort’s Current Visiting Policy
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