Visiting our care homes in Dorset and across England

Published: Thursday 30th July 2020

On 22 July the Government updated its guidance on visits to our care homes in Dorset and across the country, including the need to restrict visitors to one single constant person for each resident.

One of these criteria is a requirement for local Directors of Public Health to assess risks based on their local knowledge of the spread of the virus and its impact in the area.

Registered managers will need to wait for this guidance before allowing visits into their care home. However, we can continue to welcome the joyous socially-distanced garden or window visits that many of our residents have been enjoying for a while.

Care home garden visit

We have written to the relatives of our care home residents to update them on the situation and invite them to call to arrange a visiting appointment.

Then the care home team will be able to let them know the outcome of the local Director of Public Health’s risk assessment and whether they can go ahead and arrange a visit.

Changes to the guidance

The latest guidance means that:

  • We will need to restrict visitors to one single constant visitor for each resident. This means that it should be the same family member visiting each time. This is designed to limit the number of different people coming in and out of our care homes, and therefore the risk of infection
  • We cannot welcome family groups and children under 13 years at the moment.

When visiting, we will ask you to:

  • Complete a short form with your contact details, plus a health screening questionnaire. The Government guidance says we must support the NHS Test and Trace system and should confirm the health of anyone visiting the home. The health screening questionnaire will ask if you are well, if you have been in contact with anyone with or suspected of having coronavirus, whether you have a temperature or a cough or whether you have noticed any recent changes in your sense of smell or taste
  • Wear your own face covering (face mask). If the person you are visiting is in the extremely vulnerable group, we can provide you with a medical grade face mask, disposable gloves and apron
  • Use our hand hygiene facilities when you arrive at the care home and before you leave
  • Limit your visit to one hour. It’s really important that you arrive on time for your visit so our appointment system can work smoothly, and you have the maximum amount of time possible with your loved-one
  • Keep 2 metres from your loved-one. We know people will want to hug and kiss, but this is for everyone’s protection
  • Leave flowers at home. Any presents you bring in will need to be something we can easily quarantine and clean

Depending on the weather we may ask you to have your visit in the garden. If we do hold your visit inside, we’ll be restricting visitors to set areas, such as a dedicated communal space or the resident’s bedroom. We will ask you not to spend longer than 15 minutes in communal areas where other residents and staff are present.

We hope you will understand that if a resident or member of the care team tests positive for coronavirus we will need to suspend family visits rapidly until the home has been COVID-free for 14 days. This is to protect our vulnerable residents, our staff and you, family and friends.

How garden visits have been bringing a smile to our residents’ faces

Visits from family and friends are such a fundamental part of life in a care home. That’s why we were over the moon when we could start allowing pre-arranged garden visits.

Our comfortable and affordable care homes in Dorset and beyond were keen to welcome visitors back and our residents were delighted to see some familiar faces again.

Crecy - social distancing care home garden visit

Virtual visits

If you are unable to visit in person, we are still offering Skype and FaceTime calls. We’ve really made the most of technology during lockdown and our residents have embraced new ways of keeping in touch with friends and family.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new arrangements for family visits to our care homes, please get in touch with your care home manager.

For more information on any of our care homes, please call 0808 256 6038.