We are welcoming new residents into all of our care homes providing our great care and to ensure that we are there for people that need care and support. In order to do this with the safety of our residents and staff at the centre of our thinking, we have a very clear admission policy and have infection control protocols that must be met.
We have taken appropriate measures in order to assure the safe care of our residents, protect our staff and mitigate the risks of the current pandemic.
On 31st January government restrictions on care home visiting are lifted and isolation periods were cut; however, face coverings and face masks will continue to be required in health and care settings to comply with infection prevention and control (IPC) and adult social care guidance. This includes hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They must also be worn by everyone accessing or visiting care homes.
From the 15th March 2022 the Government also removed the legal requirement for care home staff and visitors to be vaccinated against Covid-19. However, we are dedicated to the health and wellbeing of everyone in our homes and so still encourage anyone visiting a Mariposa care home to receive their full vaccination course. You can book your Covid-19 vaccine here: https://bit.ly/3Ie8uMX
All visitors will be screened for symptoms of acute respiratory infection before entering. No one who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days, is currently experiencing, or first experienced, coronavirus symptoms in the last 10 days, or who is in a relevant quarantine period following return from travel. will be allowed to enter the premises. Visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated and have received their booster. Transmissible viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as COVID-19. If visitors have any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, they should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better.
A comprehensive risk assessment will be undertaken for each resident identifying the specific risks for them and others to develop appropriate strategies to safely manage those risks. These risk assessments will be discussed and agreed upon with the resident. Advice and support will be sought if the measures show signs of causing distress for individual residents.
When developing the risk assessment we assess how we can best manage visits safely, involving, when possible, the resident and family in the development of the risk assessment. This includes,
• Residents’ rights to visits and the important role visitors play in residents’ wellbeing.
• What is possible within the layout and facilities within the home to ensure that mixing between visitors is limited as much as possible.
• Where and how visitors might be received on arrival at the home to avoid mixing with other visitors, staff or residents.
• The precautions that will be taken to prevent infection during visits. (including PPE use, ventilation, limiting close contact and hand washing)
Conducting the visit
• Visitors must follow any guidelines and procedures put in place by the home to ensure compliance with IPC. Copies of our guidance and procedures are made available to visitors before the visit and are also available to be read by visitors on arrival.
• There is a booking system in place to enable visits. It is not possible to facilitate ad hoc or unannounced visits.
• The duration of the visits should not be limited if safe visiting practices can be maintained.
• An area is provided for visitors to sign in, answer any necessary screening questions and comply with testing requirements before the visit takes place.
• Visits should take place in a room most practical and comfortable for the resident (for example, residents with dementia may be more comfortable in their room with familiar belongings).
• Visitors should wear a face mask when visiting the care home, particularly when moving through the care home. COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. Face masks reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, especially when there is close contact between people in enclosed, poorly ventilated and crowded spaces. Face masks must fit securely around the face to safely cover the mouth and the nose.
• We recognise that individual approaches are needed as the wearing of face masks may cause distress to some residents. In these circumstances, face masks may be removed when not in communal areas of the care home. However, other mitigations should be considered, including limiting close contact, clear visors and increased ventilation (while maintaining a comfortable temperature).
• If face masks are to be removed, a comprehensive risk assessment should be undertaken for each resident identifying the specific risks to them, staff and visitors and to develop appropriate strategies to safely manage those risks.
• Visits take place in a well-ventilated room where doors and windows are open where safe to do so.
• There are designated visiting rooms that are only used by one resident and their visitors at a time.
• Enhanced cleaning and ventilation is carried out between visits.
• Any areas used by visitors are decontaminated several times throughout the day.
• Visitors wear appropriate PPE as laid out in the guidance for working safely in a care home.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-care-homes/covid-19-putting-on-and-removing-ppe-a-guide-for-care-homes-video
• Visitors should maintain as much distance as possible, limit contact and follow handwashing protocols. However physical contact should be supported to help health and wellbeing, as long as infection prevention and control measures are in use, such as visiting in a ventilated space, using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the visit, and hand-washing before and after holding hands. Gloves are not needed for hand-holding.
• Communal areas can be used for visits if there is only one visiting group using the area at a time. Individual groups may wish to remove face masks to share a meal together in communal areas, providing no other people are in the area.
• Visitors should limit contact with other residents and staff, and maintain as much distance as possible.
• Regular conversations with staff can be arranged over the phone following in-person visits.
• Visitors who are not legally required to self-isolate are advised against visiting the care home (for 10 days) if they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, unless necessary, even if they have been fully vaccinated. Where visits do occur, visitors should have received a negative PCR test result prior to their visit, and a negative lateral flow test result earlier in the day of their visit.
Visitors who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to self isolate if they have been identified as having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. However
• We advise against visiting if they have been identified as a close contact unless for certain visits such as End of Life
• Where visits take place the visitor should have received a negative PCR result before their visit and a negative LFD result earlier in the day of the visit
• Residents should avoid receiving visitors who are clinically extremely vulnerable for 10 days after they have been in contact with a COVID-positive case, except in exceptional circumstances
Gifts and other items
You will be asked to sign and complete a code of conduct declaration to acknowledge you understand and agree to the code of conduct for visitors. You will also be asked to sign a visitor health screening questionnaire.
We also require the additional details for track and trace purposes. Thank you for your understanding and time.
Please call our care homes if you would like to speak to a loved one.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our care home Managers or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.