As you will all be aware the government has decided that the country will move to “Step Four” of the easing of lockdown restrictions as of 19th July 2021. The Health and Social Care Minister Sajid Javid has said that for most areas this will involve the revoking of social distancing guidance everywhere in England apart from medical settings and ports of entry.
There are, however, conflicting views from various sources regarding visitors to care homes:
Care Minister Helen Whately told the BBC?Breakfast?programme that care home life “can’t be completely like normal” and that the government will be listening to scientific evidence when making a decision on visiting rules.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) has expressed concern over relaxing visiting rules and called for masks to continue being mandatory for working in and visiting care settings for the foreseeable future. He said: “Cases are still rising, and those people of all ages being looked after in care and nursing homes, as well as in their own homes, remain the most vulnerable to Covid-19.”
As you can see, at this point there are no clear guidelines on visiting even at this very late stage with July 19th just around the corner. We are also being told that the cases of Covid are rising daily and that we need to be vigilant.? Indeed, case in the North East are much higher than the national average currently.
What is very clear and obvious is that the elderly remain among the most vulnerable and we must continue to take great care not to reintroduce the Covid virus to the residents we care for in Gretton Court and Stichell House.
After a great deal of consideration and discussion it has been decided that until we have much clearer guidance we will not be making any changes to the current visiting policy which is that:
- Each resident will be allowed 5 designated visitors of which only 2 can visit in one day.
- All visitors must continue to make an appointment to visit
- All visitors must wear full PPE i.e mask, apron and gloves
- All visitors must complete a Lateral Flow Test before starting to visit.
- Visiting will take place in designated areas (a pod or in the garden area)
- Our staff will continue to wear masks and PPE in the homes.
We are aware that for many relatives this is not the news you wanted to hear at this stage but please be assured that the wellbeing of your loved ones, our residents. is at the centre of every decision we make.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely, planning to review every Monday morning and when guidance is updated, we will always adhere to government guidelines in all matters related to Covid. We will keep you informed when and if we receive any further updates.