To keep care home residents safe during the Coronavirus pandemic, strict visiting restrictions have been put in place. These have had a huge impact on residents and their loved ones, often negatively affecting residents’ physical and mental health.
Two years after the beginning of the pandemic, new government guidance signals the end of such tough restrictions as we ‘learn to live safely with COVID’. Instead, there should be no visiting restrictions unless at times of an outbreak of any sort, at which point, it is the care home’s responsibility to risk-assess the situation and decide their visiting policy.
What is clear, however, is that a named visitor should be able to visit a loved one in a care home at any point, including during outbreaks.
However, there are questions around what this role actually means in practice, as well as concerns around flexibility with visiting.
We’re working with care home providers, commissioners and partners in the community and voluntary sector to understand how care home residents and their loved ones have experienced visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how quality visits can be enabled as we learn to live with COVID.
Why is this important?
Going forward, it is likely that there will be further outbreaks affecting visiting. Where there has been a lack of consistency in the past, this work aims to achieve consistent standards across care homes within Hertfordshire.
Your feedback will inform recommendations we make to local health and social leaders aimed at improving care provision and visiting experiences.