Home / News / Visiting our care homes (updated April 2023)
We know that visiting is an integral part of care home life. It is vitally important for maintaining the health and wellbeing of our residents. It means that family and friends can maintain contact and life-long relationships with their loved ones; and contribute to their support and care.
We facilitate visits wherever possible, and to do so in a flexible, risk-managed way with reference to latest government guidance.
As always, we fully support flexible visiting in end of life care. Residents are also supported to undertake visits out of the care home, please speak to the home manager to arrange this. Please don’t hesitate to contact the care home manager about making visits work for you
Essential Care Givers
We value and encourage Essential Carers Givers. Their ongoing frequent visits of support remain such an important part of life in our care homes.
Every care home resident is supported to have an identified Essential Care Giver who may visit to offer companionship and/ or help with care needs.
Please contact your care home manager about arrangements for Essential Care Givers; or if you would like to find out more about becoming an Essential Care Giver. View a Factsheet and poster about becoming an Essential Care Giver.
Agincare remains aware of the critical importance of visiting for resident well-being, and we fully support the spirit of John’s Campaign, a team we closely work with, and for whom our Chief Executive Raina Summerson is an ambassador.
We are following the latest Government guidance (30 March 2023) regarding recent relaxation on the mandatory use of face masks, alongside other PPE and infection, prevention and control measures.
Under these guidelines, each service location will have autonomy to risk assess use/non use of face masks according to their own particular circumstances. However there remain a number of circumstances where it is recommended that care workers and visitors to care settings wear masks to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Your home manager and their team will be able to support your visit, and are committed to making it fulfilling, whilst also being responsible and safe in the interests of all. Key points can be found below.
Staying safe during visits
Visitors providing personal care to residents are no longer required to test before visiting our care homes. However, we may ask all visitors to wear face masks (dependent on individual risk assessment) in addition to other PPE if they are providing personal care, to ensure visits can happen safely. This will be based on individual assessments, taking into account any distress caused to residents by use of PPE or detrimental impact on communication.
Visitors are not required to be fully vaccinated. However, we urge all visitors, where able, to be vaccinated as evidence clearly shows that this is effective, and has had a positive impact of reducing cases and outbreaks in our care homes.
Visitors are not routinely required to wear masks at all times during their visit. However there remain a number of circumstances when it is recommended that visitors wear masks to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 (depending on individual risk assessment). Visitors can wear their own suitable face covering, or a medical grade mask can be provided. If you prefer, or the resident you are visiting is in the extremely vulnerable group, we will provide you with a medical grade face mask, disposable gloves and apron.
You will be directed to use hand hygiene facilities; we will have hand washing and hand sanitising facilities available for you.
Physical contact continues with infection control measures in place, such as visiting in a ventilated space, using appropriate personal protective equipment (depending on individual risk assessment), and hand washing before and after holding hands
When caution should be applied to visiting
Visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19, are fully vaccinated and have received their booster. Visitors with any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses and infections, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better.
Visitors who have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, but are not legally required to self-isolate, are advised not visit the care home (for 10 days) unless absolutely necessary, even if they have been fully vaccinated.
Manging Covid infection and visits
Should a Covid outbreak occur, we will continue to accommodate visits wherever possible on a risk assessed basis, depending on circumstances at the individual care home and current guidance. Please contact the care home manager in the first instance to discuss current visiting arrangements in the event of a Covid outbreak.
As per government guidance, in a suspected or confirmed outbreak, there is no longer a need to test the whole home to identify COVID-19 cases. Instead, only the first 5 linked symptomatic residents should take a lateral flow test to assess if there is an outbreak if 2 or more residents display respiratory symptoms within 14 days. This is in addition to tests taken by any symptomatic individuals eligible for COVID-19 treatments.
We really do appreciate your cooperation with the above, and hope that you understand why we need to continue with some enhanced safety measures at this time.