CORONAVIRUS VISITING POLICY

Introduction

TThis coronavirus visiting policy has been produced in order to keep our residents and staff safe. We also understand the needs of residents, friends and families and staff to enable visiting to Charter House after a long and protracted period of 'lockdown', in line with changes within the wider community. BCHA will also follow local and national guidance in relation to care home visiting.

Objective and Scope

The policy aims to allow safe visits by a limited number of relatives or friends to limit the numbers of people who come into contact with residents of Charter House. Limiting face to face contract reduces the possibility of coming into contact with Coronavirus. This policy aims to provide a set of principles to help people living at Charter House to have the opportunity to safely receive visitors during the Coronavirus pandemic, while minimizing the risk of its introduction to, or spread within, the home.

We will use a dynamic risk assessment approach to help to facilitate residents having visits at Charter House. This may mean that we change our approach from time to time depending upon the assessed risks. We will also seek to mitigate risks of the spread of infection by ensuring hand hygiene and the use of face coverings by any visitors to the home.

Policy Statement

This policy recognizes how difficult it has been for both people using care and those who care for them (loved ones and staff) to restrict visits, and the importance of finding ways to start to enable visits again in a risk-based, balanced way, and help to reduce the inevitable anxiety experienced by the families and friends of those in Charter House as they have been unable to visit them for some time.

The types of visiting we may allow are:

Window visits: where there is safe ground floor window access for both residents and their visitors (ground floor rooms which do not face the enclosed garden). Social distancing should be observed and face masks should be worn by visitors. Maximum 2 consistent visitors. (The same 2 people for each visit).This reduces the number of people residents come into contact with and prevents visitor journeys through the residential areas.

 

Designated indoor safe visiting areas we have identified a location inside the care home which can be accessed externally which is a reserved indoor safe visiting space. Maximum 2 consistent visitors. (The same 2 people for each visit).This reduces the number of people residents come into contact with and prevents visitor journeys through the residential areas.

This space has:

  • Good ventilation

  • A screen between residents and their visitors

  • Enough space for a socially distanced visit to take place by two visitors

  • Accessibility for residents

This space is indicated in yellow on the map.

Garden Visits

We have identified a small section of the care home garden which can be accessed externally which is a reserved outdoor visiting space. Maximum 2 consistent visitors. Maximum 2 consistent visitors. (The same 2 people for each visit).This reduces the number of people residents come into contact with and prevents visitor journeys through the residential areas.

This space has:

  • An outdoor location and so is well ventilated

  • A shelter for residents (from sun and drizzle)

  • Enough space for a socially distanced visit to take place by two visitors

  • Accessibility for residents

This space is indicated with yellow on the map

In-room visits: These visits will continue to be facilitated as appropriate, in line with national and local guidance in relation to essential / end of life visits to ensure the person can die with dignity and comfort, taking into account their physical, emotional, social and spiritual support needs. These visits will be for one consistent visitor (the same person each time). Social distancing should be observed and face masks should be worn by the visitor.

 

Each resident will have a visiting plan as part of their care plan which will summarize how visits may be carried out and who will be visiting them as part of our coronavirus visiting procedure.

Visitors should be limited to the same constant visitors to each resident, in order to limit the overall number of visitors to the care home and the consequent risks of infection. For all residents of Charter House the maximum number of constant visitors in its indoor safe visiting space, for window visits or for garden visits will be two people.  For essential / end of life in room visits the maximum number of constant visitors will be one person.

Visits will need to be booked in advance for a specific day, time and length of visit, to enable visiting to be re-established and to ensure that the visiting provision is fairly allocated amongst residents.  There are only a limited number of locations for visits. Visitors should therefore not over-book visiting slots in order to enable others to visit too.

BCHA has a Responsible Visitor Code' which sets out a range of responsibilities that any visitors must abide by prior to and during any visit. The code states that visitors must:

  • Book visits in advance for a specific day, time and length of visit both garden and in door safe visiting space will need to be booked in advance. It may not be possible to change a visit to the indoor safe visiting space if the weather is inclement.

  • Check the visiting status of Charter House on the day prior to their visit, to ensure the situation has not changed, this should be done by visiting BCHA’s website, there will be a notification on the home page.

  • Be free of any Coronavirus symptoms on the day of their visit.

  • Not be unwell on the day of their visit.

  • Not attend if they have been contacted by track and trace and asked to self-isolate

  • Provide the necessary information required by BCHA at the visit (e.g. honest response to screening requirements about Coronavirus risk factors)

  • Comply with the infection prevention and control measures, including mandatory hand hygiene, the use of PPE as required and social distancing requirements, and remaining in the designated visiting area.

  • Comply with social distancing and refrain from physical contact

  • Use wipes to clean and sanitize surfaces they touch indoors.

  • Ensure that any gifts brought to give to the individual they are visiting can be sanitized, in line with relevant infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance. This means that flowers cannot be accepted as they cannot be sanitized.

  • Visitors should walk or travel by car and avoid public transport when visiting the home.

  • Ensure the safety of other residents by avoiding the areas where other residents are and ensuring that any access points are secure when leaving.

 

Suspension of visits

 In the event of any suspected or actual outbreak of Coronavirus, or a suspected or known case of Coronavirus within a home, visitor restrictions may need to be immediately implemented which suspend some of these enabling approaches and will include exclusion of any non–essential visitors. This will be implemented in a transparent manner with open and clear communication to residents and relevant family members.

A traffic light system will be used to identify the visiting status of the home on our web site. All visitors are asked to follow the system and not come to the home or request visits when they have been suspended. (This may exclude essential / end of life visits which we will endeavor to facilitate where a decline in health is noted and we are able to notify family of this).

Responsibilities

This policy sets out the responsibilities Charter House and visitors which put the welfare and wellbeing of our residents at the heart of the approach to giving access to visiting.

Charter House :

To assess the level of risk and determine the status of visiting. The visiting status will be communicated via the web site.

Mitigate risk of infection by refusing entry to their home to anyone, or requesting that a person leave the premises, for any justifiable reason consistent with this policy.

Consider increased visitor restrictions when an outbreak (including non- Coronavirus) occurs within the home, or declared outbreak / clusters have occurred within the home's local area or if there are other extraordinary circumstances that require it, and usage of such circumstances will be closely monitored.

Provide a clear policy and information on how they will facilitate visitors, using a dynamic risk-based approach, and make this publicly available as needed.

Provide clear information about how the visit will work and the infection and prevention control measures that must be followed.

Appropriately support staff in order to facilitate visits including written processes and procedures.

Treat all visitors with respect and courtesy, and to provide clear instructions about the visiting policy

Proactive communication with residents and families where an outbreak occurs, and the impact on the visiting policy.

Visitors:

Access care homes in accordance with the entry requirements set out in this visiting policy. Adhering to the consistency and maximum number of visitors.

Be notified by timely and regular updates and information about what is happening in the home, in relation to visiting and local Coronavirus prevalence and transmission risk.

Be provided and supported with additional ways to connect such as video conference or telephone calls in addition to a socially distanced in person visits using the indoor safe visiting space or garden visiting space.

Follow the home's visiting policy and Visitor Code, including booking in advance and observing social distancing.

Not to visit when unwell or displaying any signs of a cold/flu, respiratory or Coronavirus symptoms. Respond truthfully to Coronavirus screening questions asked by the home's staff and to sign the visitor book.

Not to visit if they have been contacted by track and trace and asked to self-isolate.

Treat all staff with respect and courtesy, and to follow their instructions.

Be aware of the needs of other residents, their need to feel safe and the security of the whole site.

Follow visiting requirements including, infection and prevention control measures such as washing hands, use of visiting windows, remaining designated areas and social distancing requirements – as directed by the care home staff – and that failure to do so may affect the future ability to visit.

Bedford Citizens Housing Association

Bedford Charter House 

1B Kimbolton Road 

Bedford

MK40 2PU

f: 01234352004

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©BCHA 2018 registered as an exempt charity under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (Reg. No. 14845R)

Registered with the Homes England (LH1649)