To provide guidance in helping Pinelodge Nursing Home safely receive visitors during the COVID 19 pandemic, while minimising the risk of its reintroduction to, or spread within, the care setting.
The first priority remains in preventing infections in care homes and this means that visiting policy should be restricted with alternatives sought wherever possible. However, as the rate of community transmission has reduced, Pinelodge is able to restart visiting, following the advice set out in the government guidance. This should be on the basis of a dynamic risk assessment, which takes into account the significant vulnerability of residents in the care home.
In the event of an outbreak in a care home and/ or evidence of community hotspots or outbreaks leading to a local lockdown, Pinelodge Nursing Home will rapidly impose visiting restrictions to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors.
The decision on whether or not to allow visitors, and in what circumstances, is an operational decision and therefore ultimately for the Provider and Manager of Pinelodge Nursing Home to make.
- Even where in-person visits are permitted, alternatives to in-person visits are actively encouraged through telephone, Zoom, Facetime etc.
- All visits should be booked in advance – ad hoc visits cannot be enabled. Visits will be booked based on appropriate staffing level to enable safer visiting practices.
- Each service user can have named visitors who are able to visit inside the building after a negative LFT and use of appropriate PPE. There is no limit on the number of named visitors that a single resident can have and no nationally set-limit on the number who can visit in a single day. However, it is the discretion of the management to limit the number of visitors in order to facilitate safe visiting practices in the Home.
- Each service user can nominate an essential care giver. Their role and testing arrangement can be found in the latest Government Guideline on Visiting. The home shall conduct a dynamic risk assessment for all essential care givers to ensure that they understand their role and adherence to the guidance on PPE and testing. Essential care givers are allowed to visit during outbreaks or periods of isolation (but not if the essential care giver or resident is COVID positive, unless this is for an end of life visit to a resident who is a COVID-positive).
- Visits in exceptional circumstances such as end of life should always be supported and enabled. Families and residents should be supported to plan end of life visiting carefully. The home can take into consideration during exceptional circumstances the number of people visiting and the length of visits during end of life.
- Visits may occur in a number of ways:
- Window visits: This can be done in the Hairdressing Room, through the Bay Window or individual residents rooms located in the Ground Floor
- Garden Visits: Visitors are required to wear a face covering and practice social
- Visitors Centre: This is a secure place to see visitors are there is a screen in between. Other family and friend who are not named visitors can be allowed to use the Visitors
- In-room visits: Lateral Flow Tests will be carried out before visitors can attend the This is for named visitors and end of life visits to ensure that the service user can die with dignity and comfort, taking into account their physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. This is also for residents living with Dementia who are not able to benefit from the Visitors Centre or those who are bed bound and unable to be taken to the Visitors Centre. The Home will provide full PPE to the visitor and social distancing will be followed. The door and windows will be kept open during the visit to allow circulation and also to ensure IPC measures are being followed.
- Pinelodge will support the NHS Test and Trace by keeping a visitor’s log (including address and phone number where possible). All visitors need to sign a Visitors Declaration Form including documenting their temperature.
- Visitors should have no contact with other residents and minimal contact with care home staff (less than 15 minutes/ 2 meters). Where needed, conversations with staff can be arranged over the phone following an in-person
- Visitors should adhere to social distancing of 2 meter distance at all
- Visitors should wash their hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the home, and to catch coughs and sneezes in tissues and cleans their hands after disposal of the
- Visitors should wear Type IIR masks (provided by the home) when visiting and advised to wash hands thoroughly (or use hand sanitizer) before and putting it on and taking it off.
- Visitors should wear PPE appropriate to the need of their visit. If a visitor is making close personal contact with a resident they may need to wear PPE, which goes beyond face
- All visitors should be screened for symptoms of acute respiratory infection before entering: no one who is currently experiencing, or first experienced coronavirus symptoms in the last 7 days should be allowed to enter the premises, nor anyone who is a household contact of a case or who has been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Screening questions for visitors are:
- Have you been feeling unwell recently?
- Have you had a recent onset of a new continuous cough?
- Do you have a high temperature? (If coming inside the building, temperature check will be carried out for all visitors to provide confidence to visitors and to )
- Have you noticed a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell?
- Have you had recent contact (in the last 14 days) with anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or someone with confirmed COVID-19 – if yes, should you be self- isolating as a family member or as a contact advised to do so by NHS Test and Trace?
- Visits will be encouraged in the communal garden or outdoor area, which can be accessed without anyone going through a shared building. If visiting does take place in a resident’s room, visitors should go there directly upon arrival and leave immediately
- Areas used by visitors are decontaminated several times throughout the day and avoid clutter to aid
- After every use of the Visitors Centre, allocated staff cleans the area. When booking visits, RGN should ensure that there is a 15 minute gap between bookings to allow proper
- Visitors are encouraged to keep personal interaction with the resident to a minimum, for example avoid skin-to-skin contact (handshake, hug) and to follow the latest social- distancing advice during the
- Any items that visitors wish to bring with them on their next visit, such as a gift will need to be something that can easily be cleaned to prevent cross
- Tips for visitors to communicate with a face covering:
- Speak loudly and clearly
- Keep eye contact
- Do not wear hats or anything else that might conceal their face further
- Wear clothes or do your hair in a way that a resident would more likely recognise
- All nominated visitors should adhere to the Responsible Visitor Code set out below:
- Book visits in advance for a specific
- No ad hoc visits
- The Home’s visiting time is between 10:30 am – 5 pm but approval will come form the nurse-in-charge depending on the suitability of the staffing level on the day of the visit.
- Comply with infection prevention and control measures:
- Carry out proper hand hygiene before
- Visitors should provide and use appropriate PPE (face covering) during the
- Carry out visits in the allocated visiting area
- Maintain a 2-meter social distancing during the visit.
- No hugging, kissing, touching or passing mobile phones to one
- Visitor should be free of any COVID-19 symptoms on the day of the
- Not currently experiencing or first experienced symptoms in the last 7 days.
- Not a household contact of a COVID-19 case
- Not been advised to self-isolate by the NHS Test and
- Ensure that any gifts brought to the service user they are visiting can be sanitised
- The Management has the discretion to stop the visit due to noncompliance with the Responsible Visitor Code at any given time.
- If holding visits inside, there must be good ventilation for spaces used (for example, including keeping doors and windows open where safe to do so and using ventilation systems at high rates but only where these circulate fresh air)
- Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) may be used to facilitate indoor
In case of an outbreak, ALL VISITING ARE SUSPENDED except for essential care givers and EOL visits following a dynamic risk assessment.
Please be guided by the document from the Local Authority:
Framework for Residential Care Services visiting arangements – accessible (hertfordshire.gov.uk)
From 19 July 2021, new visiting guidelines have been released to the public. Pinelodge Nursing
Home’s visiting policy is guided by the document: Guidance on care home visiting – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Date Updated: July 2021