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COVID-19 Latest Update & Guidance for Visiting Our Homes/Independent Living Sites
Coronavirus Update 10 August 2020
Our priority is to keep all of our residents, visitors and staff safe during these unprecedented times; we are committed to continue to provide the best care and support for everyone.
We are working closely with the Local Authorities, Public Health England, CCGs and Government advice to ensure that any risks of COVID-19 are well managed and people are protected.
We have robust COVID-19 protocols in place, staff have received training and we have adequate supplies of quality Personal Protective Equipment.
All of our homes are open to new residents and we welcome any enquiries if you are requiring support to care for your loved one. Please contact the home directly for up to date information.
We understand how important it is for both residents and their loved ones to receive visits; however, all of our homes are closed to all visitors until further notice, to protect the most vulnerable and reduce the transmission of infection.
Visiting During a Pandemic
Document Date: 24 July 2020
Document Owner: Operations
Approved By: Chief Executive
Date Approved: 07 August 2020
Review Date: 14 July 2021
The policy aims to ensure safe visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic and the easement on visiting those who are shielding as a result of the sustained transmission of the Corona virus.
The policy thus aims to minimise the risks to residents’, the employees of the Trust and to the visitors themselves, the Government has released guidance and this policy outlines out compliance with the dynamic risk assessment approach.
Amica Care Trust’s Care Homes and services have a duty of care to protect its residents and staff from intruders and anyone who threatens their safety and security.
This policy is to be used in conjunction with the visiting and visitor’s policy.
The policy is also in line with Care Quality Commission guidance, the Department of Health and public Health England.
This policy is intended to assist decision making during the COVID-19 outbreak, which is anticipated to last for a sustained period, compared to the usual period for other infectious outbreaks. As we see other parts of our community experiencing a small degree of easement of the lockdown rules in England, it is important to recognise that for those in our care settings, there is a need to balance the continued management of COVID-19 risk, with a cautious approach to enabling the opportunity to receive visitors.
Closure of the home to visitors
In certain circumstances the management of the home may decide to close to all visitors as they have always done so in the interest of safeguarding residents; this could be due to an infectious outbreak such as:
During these times the home will operate a traffic light system Red, Amber or Green
At this time as a result of the global pandemic all the Trust services have been closed to visitors as residents are classified as vulnerable and have been shielding on the advice of the Government.
In order to ensure the residents safety, it has been necessary to limit visiting to open spaces such garden visits, this has been important for the emotional well being of the residents in our care.
Human rights recognise that all people living in care settings have the right to freedom of movement and association, including the right for residents to see their families.
This policy / protocol seeks to balance the rights of an individual with the rights of the others within the care setting (residents and staff) and the duties and responsibilities of Amica care Trust.
The Trust will work within the guidance set out by the Government which states:
The decision on visiting will be based on the advice from the director of public health, as well as any additional advice or guidance from the local infection-control lead from the CCG, and the local PHE HPT.
In making their judgement the director of public health should consider as a minimum:
In addition, in making their decision about visiting policy, providers and the director of public health should, where possible, consider:
In this guidance, the term ‘provider’ is used to refer to providers and their care home managers. Where a decision is made by a provider to allow visiting, such visits should continue with appropriate infection-control precautions.
Types of visiting
The Trusts services have engaged in a variety of visiting options which have included:
All visits have and will continue to have the to follow the visiting code / guidelines
Each service will risk assess their environment to be able to accommodate visiting in areas of the home, each service will also take the following measures.
Where a visitor appears unwell / has a temperature the home / service will request the visitor leave and re book their visit.
If the “R” rate increases the home / service will cease visiting and remain closed, this could also be a local increase in the “R” rating and may not apply to all the Trust services.
The health and wellbeing risks arising from the needs of our residents will be taken in to consideration. This will include both whether their needs make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and whether their needs make visits particularly important (for example, people living with dementia, may be permitted visitors when restricting visitors could cause some of the residents to be distressed) each resident will have a care plan detailing visiting information / requirements and a risk assessment.
Ability to suspend visiting
In the event of any suspected or actual outbreak of COVID-19, or a suspected or known case of COVID-19 within the home / service, visitor restrictions may need to be immediately implemented which suspend some of these enabling approaches and will include exclusion of any non–essential visitors. (this includes any contractors visiting the home)
This will be implemented in a transparent manner with open and clear communication to residents and relevant family members; this could mean that a visitor will be turned away if a suspected case has come to light during the time it has taken them to travel to the home.
Rights and responsibilities
This policy includes the rights and responsibilities for both Amica Care Trust and visitors which put the welfare and wellbeing of residents/ people receiving care at the heart of the approach when developing this visiting policy.
Visitors have the right to
Mitigate risk of infection by refusing entry to their home to anyone, or requesting that a person leave the premises, for any justifiable reason consistent with this policy / protocol.
Access care homes in accordance with the entry requirements set out in the visiting policy of the care setting.
Consider increased visitor restrictions when an outbreak (including non-COVID-19) occurs within the home, or declared outbreak / clusters have occurred within the home's local area or if there are other extraordinary circumstances that require it, and usage of such circumstances will be closely monitored.
Be notified by timely and regular updates and information about what is happening in the home, in relation to visiting and local COVID-19 prevalence and transmission risk.
Be provided and supported with additional ways to connect such as video conference or telephone calls in addition to a limited number of in-person visits.
Amica Care Trust has the responsibility to
Visitors have the responsibility to
Provide a clear policy and information on how they will facilitate visitors, using a dynamic risk-based approach, and make this publicly available as needed.
Follow the home's visiting policy and Visitor Code, including booking in advance.
Provide clear information about how the visit will work and the infection and prevention control measures that must be followed.
Not to visit when unwell or displaying any signs of a cold/flu, respiratory or COVID-19 symptoms.
Appropriately support staff in order to facilitate visits including written processes and procedures.
Respond truthfully to COVID-19 screening questions asked by the home's staff and to sign the checklist / visitor.
Treat all visitors with respect and courtesy, and to provide clear instructions about the visiting policy
Treat all staff with respect and courtesy, and to follow their instructions on the visitor policy.
Proactive communication with residents and families where an outbreak occurs, and the impact on the visiting policy.
Follow visiting requirements including, infection and prevention control measures such as washing hands, use of visiting windows, remaining designated areas and social distancing requirements – as directed by the care home staff – and that failure to do so may affect the future ability to visit.
The Trust will have the right to change and adapt this policy in line with Government guidance at any time.
Visitors have the right to express their concerns through the Amica Care Trust complaints and concerns policy.
The Trust will not accept liability for any illnesses the visitor may contract following a visit to its services including COVID-19 as a global pandemic.
Amica Care Trust services will request that visitors complete the questionnaire and risk assessments provided by the services and this is a true and honest reflection. (Appendix 1)
Each of the Trust’s service will keep a visitor log in line with the Track and trace initiative.
Visitors confirmation of being safe to visit
To ensure that it is safe to visit our care home during the coronavirus crisis we would ask that you read and sign the following disclaimer, which amounts to a “Visitor’s Code”.
I can confirm that I am not suffering from related symptoms of Covid-19 such as infectious cough, sneezing, high temperature, chestiness, or a similar “flu” like infection that could be passed on during my visit and which would increase people’s risk of contracting Covid-19 or another infection that would increase their risk of being adversely affected if they did acquire Covid-19. I will also agree to any additional checks required by the home to reduce the risk of my spreading any infection.
When visiting, I will ensure that I comply with the current Government guidance regarding physical distancing and numbers if part of a “social bubble”. I will also follow the care home’s policy on visiting as it applies to the current situation and follow all good hygiene practices that are used in the home to prevent any spread of infection, including the sanitisation of any gifts brought for the person being visited.
I understand that all information contained here will be subject to the home’s data protection policy and kept in line with that, ie for no longer than it is needed.
Name of Resident visiting: