Covid-19 - Our visiting guidelines are changing (Northern Ireland homes)
Covid-19 – Update regarding Northern Ireland care home visiting
The Department of Health in Northern Ireland announced that visiting residents in care homes may commence from Monday, 6 July 2020. This is really uplifting news for us, our residents and their families. It remains our priority to ensure that we continue to best protect one another. Therefore, visiting will be organised and carried out in a very measured way, where deemed safe to do so.
Here’s how we are preparing for visits in line with the latest guidance:
- We are carrying out all necessary risk assessments as part of the new visiting protocol. For safety, visitors will go through a recorded screening process upon arrival, such as temperature checking, a series of questions and mandatory hand sanitising.
- There will be a designated visiting area or areas, outdoors and/or under cover, which will be sanitised between arranged visiting sessions.
- We are able to permit one visitor per resident at any one time, for a 30 minute period, during the afternoon. A prearranged time slot must be agreed with the home. There may be more than one resident visiting session occurring at the same time, safely, if there is sufficient space available to do so. Please note, children under the age of 16 will not be able to visit just yet.
- Visitors must rigorously follow Public Health hygiene advice – washing hands before and after visits, wearing a face covering, using hand sanitiser gel and maintain social distancing, and we and will observe ‘shielding’ measures for residents who are extremely vulnerable.
- All visitors to care homes are required to wear their own face covering for the foreseeable future.
- Staff will be monitoring visits to be on hand for any assistance for the resident.
- Visitors must bring their own refreshments and must not use facilities such as the toilet.
- Other visiting opportunities are; 1. A ‘drive through’ visit; to park in an allocated bay and stay in your car, or 2. To visit at a safe distance through an open door or window with the resident remaining inside.
- Residents and staff are monitored daily for possible Covid-19 symptoms, and we entrust all visitors to do the same. Please do not visit if you or anyone you live with or have been in contact with is feeling unwell or displaying symptoms of the virus.
- End of life visits are granted in consultation with the manager. Appropriate PPE is provided.
These are very new and developing times and we kindly ask for patience and support as we prepare for visiting commencement at a time when it is safe. Visiting opportunities must be discussed and prearranged with management at the home in which your loved one resides.
To swiftly help with any queries or concerns, please contact the home by telephone or email. Thank you for your support and kind understanding throughout the pandemic.
Thank you for reading, take good care and stay safe!
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