Visiting Protocols as of April 2022

It is essential that all visitors follow any guidance, procedures or protocols that have been put into place by Warrington Community Living, to keep the people we support and our colleagues safe. 

Visitors should be reminded and provided with facilities to wash their hands or use sanitiser on entering and leaving the care home and to catch coughs and sneezes in tissues and clean their hands after disposal of these tissues. 

All visitors are responsible for advising WCL colleagues if you have any symptoms or feel unwell and we will provide you with a lateral flow test prior to your visit.  

If this test is positive or you have any of the following symptoms: 

  • A new continuous cough 
  • An elevated temperature, chills, shivering 
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste 
  • If you have diarrhoea or sickness we would ask that you, please refrain from your visit 

We will kindly ask you to leave the premises and rearrange your visit. 

The Manager of the home has overall discretion when it comes to visiting arrangements and we hope to work closely with you to make everyone safe and well. 

Testing 

You no longer are required to have a lateral flow test prior to your visits unless you are named as a person who can visit during an outbreak and you support your friend/family member with any personal care. 

If you wish to continue completing an LFT prior to your visit this will continue to minimise the risks of transmission within our homes. 

During your visit you will not be asked to wear any PPE unless we have completed a risk assessment around increased risk of transmission, e.g.: if we have any positive cases or if the cases in the community have rapidly increased. In these scenarios you may be asked to wear PPE, including a mask, gloves and apron. You may also be asked to remain in restricted areas, i.e.: your friend/relative's bedroom or a garden pod. 

Please understand that should you be asked to take any of the additional measures, we would appreciate it if you could cooperate with us and follow our instructions. Whilst we recognise that this may be difficult, we have a duty of care to protect all those we support and our colleagues. Our colleagues will support you with information as to what will happen next and we appreciate your understanding in exceedingly difficult circumstances. 

 

Advice on how to communicate whilst using a face covering: 

  • Speak loudly and clearly 
  • Keep eye contact  
  • Don’t wear hats or anything that may conceal your face further 
  • Wear your clothing or hair in a way that the person would be more likely to recognise you 
  • Remember if your loved one has dementia for example, they may not recognise you at first. The care home team will prepare them for your visit by talking to them about your relationship and by looking at photographs of those who are visiting 

Gifts 

Gifts can now be brought into the homes without any prior agreement. 

 

Outbreaks 

If there is a declared outbreak in the care home, then visiting may need to be restricted, only to exceptional circumstances such as End of Life visits. In an outbreak one named person for each Individual, following dynamic risk assessments (constantly reviewed/changing assessments due to the outbreak or change in guidance), will be allocated after discussion to continue to visit at agreed times. WCL will notify the Next of Kin as to any changes or updates. 

In such circumstances we will continue to support you to remain in contact with your loved ones with technology. 

Frequently asked Questions and Answers: 

Q. Can I hold hands with my relative for the full visit?

Yes, there are no restrictions at the current time.

Q. Can I hug my relative?

Yes, there are no restrictions at the current time.

Q. Do I have to have a Vaccine before I can visit?

No, a vaccine is preferable however not required to visit your relative/friend. We will encourage you to take an LFD test before entering the building should you have any symptoms as discussed above.

We no longer need to check any vaccination status when you visit either.

Q. Why can I not visit in an outbreak and others can?

This will now only be in the case of an outbreak within the home. As there is increased risk of transmission for your friends/relatives and our teams, this must be managed with tighter measures to ensure the outbreak ends. Dynamic risk assessments are being completed with all the people we support. These will include factors such as local figures of coronavirus cases, the ability of the team to support a safe visit, the person wishing to have a visit and the environment that the person lives in to facilitate safe visits. If following these factors and the government guidance there are increased risks and safety may be compromised, we may advise the visits cannot go ahead at this time. We will keep you up to date as soon as the outbreak is over.

Q. Do Professionals have to complete tests and have vaccines before they enter the building?

A. We no longer are required to ask for any vaccination status of contractors or health professionals when they visit. However, we are entitled to ask health professionals and CQC inspectors to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test taken within the last 72 hours (about 3 days). Anyone who cannot provide this should be offered a test by the home.

Q. What is an Essential Care Giver?

A. This term has now been dropped from the new guidance. However, it is a named visitor during outbreaks and someone who provides hands on and personal care. This person should be tested like all WCL colleagues and take an LFT twice a week, preferably before a visit.

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