With the news that residential homes across the country will soon be allowing limited visiting from relatives and loved ones, care home providers are working hard to ensure the continued safety of our most vulnerable people.
Before visiting can resume, a number of steps need to be carried out include dynamic risk assessments which will look at the overall risk of COVID19 infection in the care home and the wider community. In addition to this, visitor policies will need to be reviewed and updated.
All local authorities across the Liverpool City Region are working together to develop a consistent framework for care homes to follow to allow limited visiting and have asked relatives and loved ones to continue to be patient while these measures are implemented.
Care home providers will be asked to develop a visiting policy which can be flexed in response to changes in local risk of COVID19 infection. Policies will include type of visits permitted e.g. indoor or outdoor, advice for those preparing for a visit, having a booking system for visits, as well as limiting the number of visitors – where possible, to a single constant visitor per resident.
A temporary record (including address and phone number) of current and previous residents, staff and visitors will also be kept to support the Test and Trace process.
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care said: “We understand how hard it has been for people and how desperate they will be to see their loved ones, but we need to take the time to ensure that the right safety measures are in place, first and foremost, to protect those loved ones – many of whom remain incredibly vulnerable to this virus. COVID19 is still present in our communities and remains a virus that is easily passed from person to person. The risks associated with welcoming other people – even family members – into our care homes are just too great so we have to ask people to continue to be patient. People can have COVID19 without actually displaying symptoms so could, unknowingly, spread the virus. It’s essential to take precautions to protect your own health and prevent passing on the infection, particularly to vulnerable people.”