Guidance for visiting people at our services

11/08/2020

Coronavirus restrictions and visiting 

Updated 06.11.2020

Statement from Dan Gower-Smith, Director of Operations

I want to start this update by saying a huge thank you to everyone involved in delivering services to the people we support at Avenues. I would also like to extend my thank you to the friends and family members of the people we support. The measures put in place to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 are extremely challenging for social care providers, the people we support, their family and friends and our employees.

As we are all aware, from Thursday 5 November we entered a second lockdown and the situation is constantly changing and it is hard to predict what the future winter months will have in store for us all.

The whole organisation is working hard to ensure that we continue to deliver safe and outstanding support now and in the future.

 It goes without saying, the safety and wellbeing of the people we support and our entire workforce remains our absolute top priority. We have updated our document relating to visiting the people we support in all types of support services. You can view the matrix HERE and this will be regularly updated as and when guidance is issued by the Government. 

 Avenues COVID-19 oversight group, chaired by myself, continues to meet to ensure the organisation is prepared ahead of the second lockdown and beyond as far as possible.

 Finally, I recognise the dedication and professionalism of everyone working at Avenues and the wider health and social care services.

 COVID-19 is the biggest challenge to face the health and care system but I would like to stress, the safety and welfare of the people we support and our workforce is the top priority.

 I’m confident by working together we’ll get through to the other side of this pandemic and take any learning when designing and delivering services in the future.

 

Options for visiting (based on current government advice)

Government guidance for visiting Care Homes was published on the 5th November and we will follow this where practical based on each location, the design of the buildings and the local dynamic risk assessment.

The key suggestions are:

    • Visitor numbers should be limited to a single constant visitor wherever possible, with an absolute maximum of 2 constant visitors per resident.
    • appropriate PPE must be used throughout the visit, and around the care home building and grounds
    • social distancing (between visitors and residents, staff, and visitors from other households) must be maintained at all times – during the visit, and around the care home building and grounds
    • high quality infection prevention and control practice must be maintained throughout the visit
    • visits should be booked in advance and visits should not be ad hoc
    • visiting spaces must be used by only one resident and visiting party at a time, and between visits there must be appropriate cleaning and an appropriate time interval

Ways to visit and precautions required

On arrival at the service you will be required to complete a Visitor Declaration Form

  • All visitors will have need to consent to having their temperature checked.
  • Masks should be worn during visiting.
  • Hands should be washed/ sanitised on arrival and departure.
  • You must not be symptomatic
  • visits should happen in the open air wherever possible, recognising that for many residents and indeed visitors this will not be appropriate in the winter:
    • the visitor and resident must remain at least 2 metres apart at all times
    • the visit can take place at a window
  • temporary outdoor structures – sometimes referred to as ‘visiting pods – which are enclosed to some degree but are still outside the main building of the home. 
  • a dedicated room such as a conservatory (i.e. wherever possible, a room that can be entered directly from outside) can be used   
  • in both of these cases,
    • the visiting space must be used by only one resident and visiting party at a time, and is subject to regular enhanced cleaning between each visit
  • the visitor enters the space from outside wherever possible
  • there is a substantial (e.g floor to ceiling) screen between the resident and visitor – designed to reduce the risk of viral transmission

Supported living will follow the guidance for the rest of the population and a dynamic risk assessment or the related risks of visits to the people we support and our staff teams:

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household - meaning the people you live with or your support bubble.

For more information please see the matrix document

To arrange a visit, please call or email the service you wish to visit, or contact us for more information.

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