Visiting Policy

Mountside Visiting Policy – August 2021

On 19 July 2021 the government in England relaxed many rules regarding covid prevention measures. However, care home residents are more vulnerable than the rest of the population as a whole.

Mountside has decided that we want to gradually improve the enhancement the quality of life of resident by relaxing the restrictions in place but we will continue to follow the government guidance in relation to visiting.

Vaccination

Vaccination is one of our best defences to combat infection. It significantly reduces the transmission of the virus, particularly following 2 doses. It is strongly recommended that all visitors take the opportunity to be vaccinated before conducting visits.

(As of 11 November 2021, all people who enter a care home in England are legally required to be double vaccinated unless they are in one of the exception groups. Residents and their visitors are in an exception group).

Guidance for visits

  • There is now no limit on the number of named people who can visit a resident. This also means that visits are not restricted to 2 people at a time. We would ask people to make practical consideration of the space that they are entering and if you are considering a large group then please talk to the Home Manager first.
  • Because we want to gradually assess the impact of the relaxed rules, we will only gradually increase our visiting. We will review this each week and let residents and visitors know what is going on.
  • Visitors are asked not to attend if they are feeling unwell or have symptoms of coronavirus.
  • We will continue to offer an appointment system for visiting – 10am, 12noon, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm – to allow us to undertake enhanced cleaning.
  • As of Monday 23 August 2021 visits can take place in the resident’s bedroom.
  • Visitors will still need to undertake a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) when they arrive, in the testing rooms at the back of the home, and if this is positive they will not enter the rest of the home.
  • Visitors will wear a mask throughout their visit and will be asked to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water when they arrive.
  • Most importantly, visitors and residents are advised to limit close contact (excluding essential care givers). Physical contact like handholding is acceptable if hand washing protocols are followed. Close personal contact such as hugging presents higher risks but will be safer if it is between people who are double vaccinated, without face-to-face contact, and there is brief contact only.
  • We will also continue to offer outdoor visits if that is easier for some.

Visits involving children and young people

Any visits involving children should be carefully considered by the family. The arrangements for the visit – in particular the numbers involved and where the visit will take place – must be planned and agreed with the Mountside Home Manager in advance of the visit.

Children who are 11 or older will need to undertake an LFT in the same way as adults. They will also need to wear masks throughout their visits.

Very young children will need to be supported by their family to stay in the bedroom of the resident they are visiting.

Outbreak

In the event of an outbreak in Mountside, we will immediately stop visiting (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life) to protect residents, staff and visitors. Essential care givers can continue to visit, but not if the essential care giver or resident are COVID-positive.

In the event of an outbreak, outdoor and window visits will not necessarily need to be stopped. A risk assessment on window visits during an outbreak will be undertaken to take account of specific circumstances. It will consider the impact of the outbreak and capability to facilitate window or other visits without breaching zoning or cohorting of residents and staff, which is part of infection control management.

Close contacts

Visitors to Mountside are advised against visiting if they are identified as a close contact, unless absolutely necessary. Where visits do occur, visitors must have received a negative PCR result prior to their visit, and a negative LFT result earlier in the day of their visit.

Mountside residents who have been identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to self-isolate as long as they are fully vaccinated and have received a negative PCR test result – they can then continue to receive visitors as normal. They should take LFTs for 10 days after the contact.