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

Update 06.01.2021

On the 4th January 2021 the Government announced a new National Lockdown for England. It is expected that the new lockdown will last until the middle of February.

The new lockdown is similar to the first lockdown in March 2020 and brings back into law the need to ‘Stay Home’.
For all of us the following applies:
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
    • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
    • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
    • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
    • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
    • attend education or childcare – for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. This includes Avenues frontline staff.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

Meeting others

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

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. This update details the steps we are taking to facilitate safe visits for everyone.

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.

[i]  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus

Options for visiting (based on current government advice)

Registered Care Homes

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 advanced

The key recommendations 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
    • 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

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 visitor 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

  • 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 (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.

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.

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

 

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