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COVID-19 Visiting Arrangements for Care Homes

Visiting Arrangements for care homes

Please find below some information for care homes around visiting arrangements, including a position statement from the Directors of Public Health and information about the government guidance.

Please see below

1st Dec 2020: Update to Visiting Arrangements in Care Homes Guidance

Visiting arrangements in care homesSets out how care homes can support families and visitors to visit residents.

 

9th Oct 2020: Update to Visiting Care Homes and Accommodation Based Settings

Dear Providers, 

In Nottingham we have seen a sharp rise in positive Covid cases across the City. Whilst the increase is greater in some areas than others, the increased risk this is presenting to those most vulnerable to adverse consequences of Covid is significant so we will implement increased restrictions to social care providers, particularly visiting of care homes and accommodation based settings. 

If you feel you can offer covid secure visiting arrangements, please contact us to discuss . Visiting will be restricted to: 

  • Visits from Professionals who cannot undertake important tasks remotely For example, this may include Safeguarding, Statutory Advocacy in certain circumstances, Flu vaccination.
  • Exceptional visits from family or significant others – for example to support end of life care, or where a Person’s wellbeing is so adversely impacted it presents a significant risk. 

This will be in place from today and will be reviewed in two weeks time. 

It is really important that we work to the key infection control measures we have in place:

  • Effective use of PPE
  • Workforce movement restrictions
  • Payment of staff to self-isolate as required
  • Use of the Infection Control fund to support measures

Given the increased prevalence of Covid in Nottingham it is critical we all work together to reduce the risk to our citizens. Clearly measures such as paying staff, full pay during a period of self isolation is just one important action, in order for these actions to be effective your staff need to be informed regularly through staff meetings and briefings of all actions you and they will be taking to reduce the risk of transmission. The Contracting Team will be working with you to ensure you are aware of and implementing the most effective measures that can reduce transmission. 

Up to date information is published regularly on the provider pages of ASKLiON

For Covid secure visiting discussions please contact: 

CoronaVirusQueries@nottinghamcity.gov.uk 

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Directors of Public Health Position Statement on Visiting Arrangements to Care Homes (September 2020)

Update September 2020:

The government guidance for visits to care homes during coronavirus is available at:

The above guidance requires local Directors of Public Health (DPH) to give a regular professional assessment of whether visiting is likely to be appropriate within the local authority area, taking into account the wider risk environment. As such, in Nottingham, we published and shared with care providers a position statement which is available below. 

This advises that the position of the DPHs is that care homes in the area can allow visitors, subject to completion of their own risk assessment. We believe care home managers and Infection Prevention Control (IPC) colleagues are best placed to risk assess the care home due to the unique challenges around the limitations of their estate and the need to protect vulnerable citizens.  

The Directors of Public Health for Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County review their position on care home visiting each Thursday at the meeting of the Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Outbreak cell. As of 24th September, the DPHs along with Infection Prevention Control teams decided not to change their original position. However, this position will continue to be reviewed on a weekly basis.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Directors of Public Health Position Statement on Visiting Arrangements to Care Homes

Having reviewed local data, the Directors of Public Health for Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County are advising that care homes can allow visitors, once they have completed a risk assessment. This does not apply to care homes with active outbreaks, which should remain closed to visitors until the outbreak is declared ‘over’ by your local IPC team. 

The Directors of Public Health will keep this position statement under review, as part of local outbreak control planning. This may result in the need to rapidly re-impose visiting restrictions in all, or individual care homes in case of a care home outbreak; a large, local workplace outbreak; or a rise in cases in the neighbouring community.

Government guidance on visiting arrangements to care homes, published on 22nd July, has already been circulated. This sets out the considerations and actions that should be taken by care homes. We recognise that when care homes make decisions about visitors they will have to consider many issues. The local Care Homes and Home Care Toolkit has been updated in response to this guidance.

In making this statement, the Directors of Public Health for Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County have considered the disproportionate impact that the coronavirus outbreak has had on older citizens, particularly those in care homes.  Alongside this, we acknowledge the emotional burden borne by care home residents and their loved ones through lack of face to face contact.

Queries for public health advice can be addressed to (monitored Monday to Friday):

 

Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health, Nottinghamshire County Council

Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health, Nottingham City Council

End

When was the guidance published and who is it for?

Updated government guidance on visiting arrangements to care homes was published for care home providers and Directors of Public Health on 22nd July 2020 and updated on the 21st September 2020. Below is a summary but please read the guidance in full here.

Who makes the decision on opening to visitors?

The decision on whether or not to allow visitors, and in what circumstances, is an operational decision and should be made by providers and managers of each individual setting.

However, Care Homes should base their decision on allowing visits on the advice from the Directors of Public Health, as well as guidance from the local infection-control lead from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and the local Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection Team (HPT).

What are the Directors of Public Health saying?

On 24th July 2020, released a statement outlining their position:

Having reviewed local data, the Directors of Public Health for Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County are advising that care homes can allow visitors, once they have completed a risk assessment.

This does not apply to care homes with active outbreaks, which should remain closed to visitors until the outbreak is declared ‘over’ by your local IPC team.

For more information see the postion statement above.

Could this advice change?

Yes. The situation is constantly changing and the Directors of Public Health will keep their position statement under regular review, as part of local outbreak control planning. This may result in the need to rapidly re-impose visiting restrictions in all, or individual care homes in case of a care home outbreak; a large, local workplace outbreak; or a rise in cases in the neighbouring community.

DPH’s will contact care homes if their advice changes for all or individual care homes and update this toolkit page as appropriate.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

If you have queries related to infection prevention control procedures for visitors then please contact your local IPC team. 

Queries related to the advice of the Directors of Public Health can be addressed to:

Arrangements for visiting out of the care home

Arrangements for visiting out of the care home

Government guidance that sets out how care homes can support residents of working age on visits outside of the care home.

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