Prime Life have introduced a new Responsible Care Home Visitor Policy & Code, that will come into effect on Monday 8th March 2021, for homes that are able to open to visitors. Homes that are still within an outbreak, or within an outbreak recovery period will re-open once they have been cleared by Public Health England.
The Responsible Care Home Visitor Policy & Code will be under constant review, in line with the Government guidance. A brief overview of the document is as follows:
National and Local Guidance: PrimeLife will follow the local Directors of Public Health in the event of any outbreaks or exposures of COVID-19, which may alter visiting status depending on local circumstances.
Local Data, Testing, and Outbreaks: Prime Life will be informed by Health Protection Teams guidance on local infection and growth rates and will respond accordingly if advised that visiting should be suspended. Should an outbreak occur, the local Public Health team may close the home to visitors at short notice and a re-opening will be subject to agreement with local authorities and Public Health. An outbreak recovery period is usually 28 days after the last suspected or confirmed case.
Visits: PrimeLife have a dedicated Visitor Centre or Visiting Area for each home, which have been designed to promote safe visiting while following Government guidance. From 8th March a limited number of indoor visits will be made available as per guidance given and will be available to one named visitor under strict safety criteria involving both pre-screening, testing, and the use of PPE.
Pre-screening will include a COVID-19 Self-Declaration form to help prevent the spread of the virus and reduce the risk of exposure to the residents, workforce, and other visitors. It will be a few simple screening questions as a precaution.
Professional, essential, and exceptional circumstance visits including end of life visits may continue throughout following a risk assessment by the Care Home Manager.
To enable visits that are safe as well as effectively managed a care home visitors guidance plan has been designed, to enable all visitors, clients, and staff to be aware of their responsibilities when entering the care setting. Procedure before attending a visit includes visitors meeting the requirements of the Self-Declaration form and meeting the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act.
The identified set of Responsibilities of Visitors as well as set Rules for Visiting that are essential and have been outlined in the Responsible Care Home Visitor Policy & Code. You can read the full document here.
Alongside this, PrimeLife have put together some visitor information to help visitors feel more comfortable with the necessary requirements prior to continuing with their visit. This includes videos on taking a Lateral Flow Device COVID-19 Test, registering results, Putting On & Taking Off PPE (Donning and Doffing of PPE), Effective Hand Washing, and use of Hand Sanitisers. You can visit the document here.
It is important to also keep in mind that visits will be down to each individual homes’ discretion, and only if there are no confirmed cases within the home.