Posted by Declan Davey
After months of waiting, this update is welcome news for families and friends of care home residents.
Released on 22 July, the guidance states in clearer terms when care homes will allow visitors.
You can visit the gov.uk website to view the full document.
But for those who want a shorter read, we'll summarise the key updates in this article.
The absence of guidelines for when care homes will reopen to visitors has been felt across the country.
Outdoor, socially-distanced visits were allowed by some homes in June.
But the lack of consistency led to public confusion. Care providers followed different protocols for permitting visits.
Updated guidance from the government will let more care home visits take place in the coming weeks.
The UK’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announced that care homes can allow visitors again. The plan is for this to be done "carefully and safely."
Hancock went on to say that decision to reopen will be based on "local knowledge and circumstances for each care home."
Here are 5 key takeaways from the Department of Health and Social Care guide:
Professor Martin Green — the Chief Executive of Care England — is not pleased with the speed of governmental response.
"This guidance should have been with care providers last month. We are at a loss to understand why the Department of Health and Social Care cannot act quickly in a crisis."
Care England worries that a list of key issues remain unclear for when care homes reopen to visitors.
The issues they mention are:
What’s clear is that the Covid-19 pandemic is testing care providers’ trust in the government.
With strong opinions on both sides, you may well be thinking “is it going to be safe for me to visit my loved one?”
For more information, read the section below.
This is a common concern at the moment for family and friends of care home residents.
An extra £600 million of funding for UK care homes was announced in May 2020.
But relatives who are wondering when care home restrictions will be lifted want to know whether visits are likely to be safe.
S.A.F.E. aims to identify care homes that follow the correct guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The idea behind S.A.F.E. is that we use validated information from third parties to gather data, which we share with you on our website.
Families are keen to know what protocols are in place to minimise risk as care homes allow visitors again.
The good news is that you can create a customised search for S.A.F.E. approved care homes.
Enter your location using the search bar on the Autumna homepage.
The results will appear.
Click the orange “Additional Filters” button.
From there, you can scroll down to select “Infection Control (S.A.F.E.).”
The search results will refresh and show you the care homes that have shared their CQC Covid-19 summary reports with us.
The same holds true for Virtual Visits. Care homes that offer virtual visits are demonstrating to prospective residents that they take the safety of their existing residents very seriously.
If you want to stay up to date on the latest news about when care homes will reopen,you can contact us.
Clearer information means that families can make better choices.
Our mission at Autumna is to help people live well in later life and find the best options for care.
Here are our details if you wish to get in touch:
Our thanks to Declan Davey for his help researching and writing this blog.
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