Coronavirus - visiting guidance - Avenues Group

Coronavirus – visiting guidance

Tuesday 21st of December 2021

We want to make visiting your loved ones as easy and safe as possible, because we know how essential these relationships are for everyone’s wellbeing.

Statement from Dan Gower-Smith, Director of Operations

As we all know, Covid-19 continues to place the severest of challenges on the health and social care system and this of course includes Avenues.  We have, and continue, to do everything we can to ensure that the people we support and our staff are safe.

Social contact with friends and family is so important and, some might say, even more so at this time of year. Our role is to ensure that we support safe visiting for everyone even if that means doing things differently.

The way we support visits both at home, and to visit other places, has now been reviewed in line with the most recent government guidance. You can find  a summary below.

This guidance was reviewed on 16/12/21, in light of updated Government guidance relating to the Omicron variant.

You can find more in-depth information on the measures Avenues have put in place for Covid-19 in The Avenues Coronavirus Information Pack.

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

Residential Care

Key points:

  • All visits should be supported with a risk assessments and planned. Visits should always be booked in advance.
  • All visitors must: –
    • Show their NHS COVID pass
    • Undertake a Lateral Flow (LFD) test prior to the visit
    • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) i.e. a mask.
    • All staff, including managers, will continue to wear PPE and practice strict infection control such as regular hand washing or sanitising. 
  • Each person is able to have three named visitors and one care giver
  • The one care giver should be completing 1 x PCR each week and undertake an LFD per visit. The results should be logged with the service.
  • When supporting people to visit family and friends, the people they are visiting should all complete an LFD on the day of the visit
  • To arrange a visit, please call or email the service you wish to visit, or contact us for more information.

Arrival at a service, testing and precautions required

  • On arrival you will be shown to the testing area if you have not completed a test prior to visit. 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:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-testing-of-visitors-in-care-homes/care-home-lfd-testing-of-visitors-guidance
  • 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 or 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

Key points:

  • All visits should be supported with a risk assessments and planned
  • All visitors must: –
    • Undertake an LFD test prior to the visit
    • Wear PPE
  • When supporting people to visit family and friends, the people they are visiting should all complete an LFD on the day of the visit

Additional testing will also be provided to facilitate safer visits for residents in high risk Supported Living and Extra Care settings. There are no restrictions on the number of people individuals can meet.

 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

Visits outside the normal place of residency follow government advice. For example ‘You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces’. People may wish to use LFD  testing to help manage periods of risk, such as close contact in a higher risk environment, or when spending prolonged time with a more vulnerable individual.

Following an outward visit the people we support should have a lateral flow test every day for 10 days following the visit.

For residents who have not had two doses of the vaccine and who are not exempt, they should isolate for 14 days following a visit out in order to mitigate the risk that they endanger their fellow residents by bringing the new variant into the care home.

Overnight stays

We require the person we support and their family in the household to complete an LFD test on the day of the visit. The person supported will also undertake another test on return.

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

In the event of an outbreak, we will contact you directly to agree visiting arrangements following the advice from the local health protection team

 

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