Guidance for visiting people at our services | Avenues Group

Guidance for visiting people at our services

Friday 21st of August 2020

Coronavirus restrictions and visiting

Statement from Dan Gower-Smith, Director of Operations

Avenues fully understand that it is crucially important to support individuals to maintain social interaction with their friends and family.

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

The whole organisation is working hard to ensure that we continue to deliver safe and outstanding support now and in the future. The measures put in place to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 are extremely challenging and this update is Avenues response to the most recent government guidance issued relating to [i]visits to Registered Care Homes.

In addition to the Registered Care Homes, this update provides information and action to be taken for all settings where Avenues provides support.


Update 09.04.2021

Visiting from 12th April 2021

From the 12th April two named visitors will be allowed to visit Avenues residential services as per government advice.  Supported Living Settings remains as previous where it is one named visitor. LFD testing is available for all.
We understand the difficulties these restrictions have raised, including care home staff, residents and their families, and are hugely thankful to everyone for their diligence in keeping to these tighter restrictions over this period.

Further information on preparing for a visit is detailed below

Options for visiting (based on current government advice)

Registered Care Homes

The key points of the new guidance from 12 April are:
• All care home residents where LFD testing is available can nominate two named visitors for indoor visiting, supported with LFD tests on every visit and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
• Other visiting arrangements, which have been available throughout lockdown, can continue outdoors, in visiting ‘pods’, or behind substantial screens.
• The continuation of stringent Infection Prevention Controls measures.
• In the event of an outbreak, care homes will immediately suspend visiting (except in exceptional circumstances, such as end of life) to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors, and inform Public Health England.
Vaccination is not mandatory and is not a condition of visiting.

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

To support safe visits the Government will be issuing all Registered Care Homes rapid (lateral flow device/LFD) tests to be used for visitors. In addition the following has been suggested/recommended:-

  • Visitors pod – many of Avenues locations will not be of the size, and nature, to offer a separate visitors pod. However, where this is possible this will be used and fully cleaned after each use.
  • Testing Area – many of Avenues locations will not be of the size, and nature, to offer a separate testing area. However, where this is possible this will be used and fully cleaned after each use.

Before visiting

  • Prior to visiting you will be contacted by the Service Manager to discuss ways to support your visit.
  • Visits should always be booked in advance.

Arrival at a service, testing and precautions required

  • On arrival you will be shown to the testing area. If no testing area is available:
    • The visitors should use their car
    • If public transport has been used, the testing area should be agreed when booking the visit
  • The test, including consent form, will be passed to the visitor/s with the instructions. An Avenues competent trained employee can support the test if necessary. At the time of booking the visit please ask if this will be required
  • Full Care Home LFD testing of visitor’s guidance can be read using the link below:
  • Please note, if a person or their family wish to purchase a private test from an approved supplier, Avenues will accept this as negative result. Avenues will not fund this purchase.
  • The test should be registered using a smart phone/tablet. If the visitor is unable to use their own, Avenues equipment can be used and will be cleaned after each use
  • On receipt of negative test:
    • Temperature check will be taken
    • Visitors declaration to be completed
    • Full PPE will be issued and should be worn at all times as detailed below. PPE should be worn during testing and throughout the visit.
  • In the event a positive test is received, the visit will not be allowed to go ahead. The person with a positive result will be issued with a PCR test (the regular full Covid-19 tests) by the service to administer themselves. The PCR test is to be left with the service who will arrange for a courier to collect that day by calling 119
  • The person with the positive test result should return home and self-isolate, avoiding public transport where possible.
  • Hands should be washed/ sanitised on arrival and departure
  • On arrival at the service you will also be required to complete a Visitor Declaration Form

The visit

  • The visitor should enter the space from outside wherever possible
  • 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
  • Visiting can continue outside, in ‘visiting pods’ with a floor to ceiling screen or;
  • Visits should take place in a well-ventilated room, for example with windows and doors open where it is safe to do so. Providers should consider the use of designated visiting rooms, which are only used by one resident and their visitor at a time and are subject to regular enhanced cleaning and ventilation between visits. Any areas used by visitors should be decontaminated several times throughout the day and providers should avoid clutter to aid cleaning.
  • Visitors should wear appropriate PPE as laid out in the guidance on how to work safely in domiciliary care in England
  • Visitors should keep physical contact to a minimum. Visitors and residents may wish to hold hands, but should bear in mind that any contact increases the risk of transmission. There should not be close physical contact such as hugging.
  • Visitors should also be careful to ensure they observe strict social distancing from other residents, visitors and staff at all times.

Supported living

Additional testing will also be provided to facilitate safer visits for residents in high risk Supported Living and Extra Care settings. It remains the case that many residents in Supported Living and Extra Care settings will be able to receive visits by forming a support bubble.

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

Visits Outside of the Normal Place of Residency

Under current government lockdown restrictions visits outside the normal place of residency follow government advice. 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 comprehensive information on Avenues plans in association with England’s ‘easing lockdown roadmap’ see here.