Coronavirus (Covid-19) FAQs and visiting policy
Your loved one remains our priority.
During this unprecedented time, please be reassured that we are doing everything possible to protect your loved one and minimise the risk of infection from Covid-19, but also to help ensure residents remain active, stimulated and follow their passions. Our staff remain committed to the care and support of every resident.
As ever, we’re continuing to take a cautious approach to keep all care settings safe. We’ll continue to monitor government guidance and our approach will always be risk-based.
You can also find further information on our response to this crisis in our COVID-19 Management Plan.
Yes. Pre-booked visits to your loved ones can take place inside our homes, as well as in our gardens and specially installed visitor pods. You can also take your loved one outside the home.
As you will appreciate, these visits come with a few health & safety conditions in order to protect our residents and staff. Before you make a visit, you will need to directly book by calling the appropriate care home in advance – please indicate where you would prefer the visit to take place when speaking with the home.
You can now spend time with your loved one inside their bedroom. There are a few extra precautions we take with indoor visits (such as the wearing of face masks); please read below for the full list of conditions.
We’re very lucky that all of our homes have stunning gardens for residents (and their families) to facilitate outdoor visits.
In addition, we have installed visitor pods in our gardens in order to provide a secure and warm space for nominated visitors and their loved one to meet at a safe distance. These pods have proven to be popular for many visitors, and therefore please note that at times where the pods are in high demand, we may need to restrict the length of your visit. You are welcome of course to continue your visit by moving into the garden area itself or to your loved one's bedroom.
You can also take your loved one out of the home for outdoor trips, such as for a walk or a visit to a museum, restaurant or pub.
Please read the full list of conditions below that will apply for your visit:
All visits (indoor or outdoor)
- You are no longer required to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival if you are displaying no symptoms. However, we recommend that you test at home before you visit. If you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, we ask you to both test and strongly consider whether you should be visiting your loved one. If you test positive for Covid-19, you cannot visit the home until at least five days have passed and you have recorded two successive days of negative tests.
- If you are an essential care giver, you will be asked to continue taking lateral flow device (LFD) tests twice a week; the home can provide these tests for you.
- There are no longer restrictions on how many nominated visitors a resident can have. Essentially, any visitor can attend provided that the resident wishes to see you.
- Please use the alcohol gel provided to wipe your hands. Safe hand-holding (post-sanitisation) is fine, though we continue to advise you not to hug your loved one.
- Please do not arrive unannounced, you must pre-book your visit to avoid disappointment.
- Refreshments can be provided – please bring your own mug/cup.
Indoor visits (only)
- You must wear a face mask throughout your visit.
- We ask that if you need toilet facilities that you use the resident's en-suite (or contact a staff member if en-suite facilities are unavailable). Please note that you will be be asked to maintain social distance from residents other than the resident or care colleague being visited.
- If you are an essential care giver and therefore likely to help your loved one with washing/dressing, you may need extra PPE equipment; please inform a staff member who will be able to assist.
- If you would like to be an essential care giver, please contact the service management team at the home who will be happy to advise.
Booking your visit
Please contact us and choose from an available slot. We appreciate if you can be flexible with us on days/times as we will have limited slots available each day. You can find contact details here.
In the event of COVID-19 infections
While we remain COVID-19 free we will continue to support visitors providing all of our guidelines are followed. We know how important it is to you and your loved ones. However, as we are sure you will appreciate, we will have to suspend future visits in the event of staff or residents developing symptoms or testing positive in the future.
New residents who are admitted from the community (i.e. their own homes) and who have had no known recent contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 are no longer required to self-isolate after they have been admitted into our homes.
These residents will need to take a PCR Covid-19 test within 72 hours of admission. We will carry out lateral flow (LFD) testing upon their admission.
New residents admitted directly from hospital will receive a PCR Covid-19 test before being discharged. If they test positive for Covid-19, they can still be admitted but will be subject to a period of isolation (until they have had two negative results 24 hours apart, at the earliest from Day 5).
We ensure that residents who have to isolate – and their families – feel warmly welcomed, supported and engaged throughout this isolation period. They are given personalised care, so they are frequently monitored and kept engaged. They can get involved in a wide range of activities even during the short isolation period and enjoy our gardens.
Staying connected is essential to us, so these residents can take video calls with their families at times that suit them. Our spacious rooms are well-equipped and allow personal possessions to support engagement and stimulation.
Residents and staff socialise and do not socially distance themselves (outside of any resident in isolation). Residents can undertake a wide range of arts and crafts while staying active with dedicated fitness classes. We have resumed in-person visits such as occupational, music and art therapists and other outdoor facilitators - all following strict infection control procedures.
Our care homes are regarded as a home from home, so there are strong ties and a positive community feel.
We test residents and staff who display symptoms of Covid-19, but no longer test asymptomatic residents or staff.
We remain in regular contact with our local GPs via phone and Face time, and we will continue to seek their guidance and provide access to your relative/loved one to their GP as required.
We continue to follow the advice and guidance from the Government on PPE. As of the start of April, personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings, has no longer been required, except where colleagues deliver personal care. All of our staff observe hygiene rules, e.g. washing hands. Of course, it is only sometimes possible or desirable to follow social distancing rules for several reasons.
Importantly, we also follow strict hygiene protocols – continually sanitising the homes and equipment.
In the event of your loved one contracting Covid-19, we will follow appropriate procedures in line with guidance from the Government and PHE. Your relative will be cared for by staff in isolation to reduce the risk of infection to other residents. Relevant medical professionals will be notified. Once they have recorded two negative Covid-19 tests from Days 5 and 6 earliest, or 10 days have passed since they tested positive, your loved one can then return to communal areas as before.
In such cases where a resident’s conditions worsens or requires additional medical support as per current guidance, they will be taken to a hospital to receive the care they need.
We know that you are anxious about your loved one’s wellbeing. You can still communicate with them via phone, Skype or Facetime (face to face video calling on your phone), and we encourage you to arrange these with the relevant care home staff.
If your relative does not have their own mobile phone, we have a limited number of tablets (portable mini PCs) in the home they can use to contact you. These are sanitised between usage. Due to the limited number of tablets available, we would be grateful if you could call the home in advance to arrange a suitable time to speak to your relative.
Staff are on site 24/7 to give your relative professional levels of care and support they need. We will update you on their health and wellbeing as necessary.
These visits will continue to follow strict infection control processes.
We have been able to reintroduce activities run by external facilitators/instructors back into the home. We operate a wide-ranging programme of daily activities and events, including specialist well-being activities such as music therapy, G-fitness and aromatherapy.
We run a daily programme of activities, from arts and crafts to fitness so we strive to involve all residents. Our staff take the time to engage with residents, getting to know their interests and hobbies which makes integration into the wider home easier.
At all times, our intention is to provide the best levels of care to your loved one. During this crisis, our staff face many difficulties – from childcare to getting to work and of course, minimising health risks to themselves and to others. Therefore, we have contingency plans in place to ensure that we have appropriate staffing levels. We have had – and may likely have – some staff previously needing either to shield with relevant health conditions or to self-isolate with symptoms. We are continuing to recruit both temporary or permanent staff as the need arises so we are adequately covered. We are also in contact with our local health protection team and continue to follow the Government guidelines.
Yes. As is our standard practice we have sufficient food stocks onsite and also regularly receive food and other essential supplies from our normal suppliers. We also have contingency plans in place to protect our food and other essential supplies, as well as being able to source alternative suppliers if required.
We already have strict cleaning protocols in place at all times, and these are subject to regulatory and statutory requirements. However, we have issued extra guidance for staff and have already increased the frequency of the cleaning of core communal areas including doors, door handles, handrails, bathrooms, dining tables and chairs and kitchen facilities. Staff also observe strict personal hygiene protocols.
Waste disposal will be continued following our standard practice, if any resident contracts Coronavirus we will remove waste in accordance with advice from PHE, to reduce the risk of infection to both residents and staff.