Care Home Visitors
April 28, 2021

How are care homes affected by the changing of restrictions?

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The government have allowed care home residents in England two regular visitors indoors starting from the 12th April

 

An article taken from the BBC explained the updates to care homes starting from the 12th April, as the rest of the country also enjoyed the lifting of some restrictions.

 

The full article can be found here.

 

Previously, people in care homes could have just one face-to-face visitor, but as part of the next step of lockdown easing it has now been extended to two.

They will be able to hold hands – but visitors must be tested and wear PPE.

Visitors will also be able to bring babies and young children with them, meaning some residents could meet grandchildren for the first time.

People living in care homes were first allowed one regular, nominated visitor again in early March – leading to many loved ones finally being reunited after lockdown.

The government lifted restrictions from 12 April to allow visitor numbers to be increased, following a drop in community infection rates and the vaccine rollout.

 

What are the current rules on care homes in England?

What can I do now… and what comes next?

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Babies and toddlers will also be able to accompany visitors, and will not be counted as one of the two.

Meanwhile, the essential care giver scheme – whereby relatives or specially trained assistants of residents with particularly complex needs have greater access to a home – will also continue, the Government said.

The scheme was set up to help residents with advanced dementia, some autistic people and residents with a learning disability who needed a particular person to provide certain aspects of their care.

 

More than £340m of government funding has been earmarked to extend rapid testing to care homes and free PPE (personal protective equipment) until March 2022.

 

The Government also said that, in the coming weeks, some visitors will be able to take tests at home rather than having them done at the care home.

“Our aim is to make visiting to care homes as normal as possible by the summer,” said the Government’s care minister, Helen Whately.

She said the Government continued to “follow the science”, but that “things are looking up”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: “I’m particularly pleased to allow residents to have more visitors, including grandchildren, given the isolation and concern felt by so many this past year.”

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In addition, outdoor visits – as well as those inside pods or behind screens – will be able to continue for people who are not nominated as a regular visitor.

The announcement on visits was welcomed by Mike Padgham, the chairman of industry body, the Independent Care Group – but called for residents aged over-65 to be allowed to take trips outside homes.

According to the latest government guidance – which is facing a legal challenge – trips to see family or friends “should only be considered” for under-65s, while national Covid restrictions apply, because they increase the risk of bringing Covid into a home.

 

But campaigners say the ban is unlawful.

Mr Padgham, who runs four homes in North Yorkshire, said: “It is hard to object to a party of over-65s going out in a minibus, for example, to enjoy a change of scenery and some fresh air, provided they were careful.

We would like to see the government give greater guidance on this going forward.”

 

What changes have come into effect for care home residents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

In Scotland, care home residents are allowed to choose two people to visit indoors once a week, while in Wales, indoor care home visits are allowed for one visitor.

In Northern Ireland, government guidance states that where possible, visiting should be facilitated where there are well-ventilated designated rooms or visiting pods – but families are still being denied visits, the nation’s Older People’s Commissioner has claimed.

 

Read more of our care blogs here:

Free PPE for Health and Social Care extended until 2022

Have any questions? please don’t hesitate to contact one of our team

Stuart Belbin – Stuart.belbin@ascendbroking.co.uk  |  Office: 01245 449067