Visiting our care homes in Dorset and across England

Published: Wednesday 7th April 2021

Family visits to our care homes in Dorset and across the country are treasured by our residents and care teams.

We welcome the Government’s announcement to further ease visit restrictions to our care homes from 12 April 2021 as part of its roadmap for emerging from lockdown.

Throughout the pandemic Agincare has already continued to welcome visitors by working with residents, their families and care home managers to find safe solutions wherever possible depending on individual circumstances.

We know that visiting your loved one is important to you and them. It is important to us too, and we are passionate about making visits happen. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have been working hard to make sure that we balance how much we love welcoming people to our care and nursing homes with the need to protect people and limit the risk of infection.

While we pride ourselves on providing high-quality care at our care homes, you cannot put a price on the safety of residents and our teams. That’s why we continue to stick to the latest Government guidance on care home visits. However, we feel more can be done at a national level to support visits. We’re lobbying and supporting campaigns like Visiting Call to Action campaign for a more flexible and enabled approach to care home visiting.

Call your care home to discuss visiting arrangements

As we’re sure you know, the Prime Minister has announced plans for easing lockdown restrictions in England. Part of what he has called his ‘roadmap’ is to set out the visiting arrangements for care homes.

The Prime Minister has stressed the importance of opening care homes cautiously and in a structured way.

We have been excited to welcome one regular visitor for indoor visits from 8 March 2021, and look forward to welcoming two named visitors indoors, albeit with a few restrictions still in place, from 12 April.

The Government has updated its care home visiting guidance  to reflect this exciting latest development – view their factsheet and summary for visitors.

We are incredibly grateful for the way in which you have helped us and our residents to remain safe during this past year by adhering to our visiting guidelines. These have been very changeable due to working within Government guidelines of tier systems, local or national lockdowns, allowing indoor, screened visits and garden visits and such like.

Call the care home in advance to arrange a visit

We will maintain our telephone booking system for visiting appointments. This allows us to manage footfall through the home, limiting the number of visitors at any one time and thereby limiting risks of transmission.

Please call the care home in advance to arrange a visit, at which time you will be advised of any restrictions or controls which may apply according to guidance, e.g. arrangements for babies, toddlers and older children visiting from 12 April.

How care home visits work

We enable indoor visits to go ahead with your cooperation based on the following:

  • One designated visitor per resident (two from 12 April plus accompanying babies and younger children).  We will discuss this with our residents and with family representatives to help you decide the most appropriate family members or friends who can visit. We have a number of tablet devices, or you might bring your own, to enable your visit to be connected to other family members at the time, which although not the same as in person, can help feel like a group/family get together.
  • Visitors must agree to have a Lateral Flow rapid test for Covid-19 before entering the home. We will ask you to undertake the test on each visit. These tests are simple using a nasal swab and take around 10 minutes for the result. A member of staff who has been trained to undertake the test can help you or guide you through the process for testing yourself. If a visitor were to obtain a positive test result they will not be allowed into the home and advised to go home, self-isolate and follow Government guidelines.
  • Visitors will be required to wear a face mask during their visit and use our carefully placed hand hygiene facilities. Visitors will be able to hold hands with their loved ones although close contact is not advised (hugging and kissing).

We understand people will have different levels of anxiety around visiting so can assure you that outdoor and screened visits will continue if this is your preferred way.

Covid and care homes

If you have received a Covid vaccine, please let us know as we can keep a record of this, which we hope will enable us to open up to more visits sooner (subject to the revised Government guidance).

If at any time we experience an outbreak of Covid-19 we will have to suspend indoor visiting once again, but please be assured that we will follow all government and local health protection guidelines if this were the case.

We appreciate your continued support and cooperation, and do hope that you understand that in prioritising the safety of our residents we have to follow national guidance set out in law.

Please contact the care home if you have any questions concerning the above; the manager or any member of staff will be able to help with any queries you may have and provide you with reassurance.

Find care home details and contact information.