Guidance for family contact and visiting at Abbeydale
It is important to recognise that for people living in residential care settings there is a need to balance the continued management of COVID-19 risk, with a cautious approach to enabling the opportunity to receive visitors.
Guidance for care homes has changed throughout the pandemic period and notification has been made to the families and friends of residents living within Abbeydale accordingly.
Bookings are required to make a visit so that we can monitor the number of visitors in and around the Home.
Please call after 10am to book a visit or email: email@example.com
Visitors to Abbeydale must follow any guidance, procedures or protocols put in place by Abbeydale to ensure compliance with infection prevention control. Therefore, copies of the guidance, procedures and protocols are available to be read by visitors on arrival.
These will be in individual packs for you to take home to avoid cross contamination and the information will also be available via email to all friends and family members on our email list.
Families and Residents need to be aware we are governed by CQC and the DOH and we need to adhere to their policies and procedures also.
We will be using a dynamic ever-changing risk management process to determine the level of our residents’ need for visits and the local lockdown restrictions using information gathering from track and trace and the local Public Health team to guide our decision-making process.
Visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated. Transmissible viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as COVID-19. If visitors have any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, they should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better.
Visitors who are not legally required to self-isolate are advised against visiting the care home (for 10 days) if they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, unless absolutely necessary, even if they have been fully vaccinated. Where visits do occur, visitors should have received a negative PCR test result prior to their visit, and a negative lateral flow test result earlier in the day of their visit.
All visits must be notified and arranged in the diary to facilitate communication and organisation with the Care Co-ordinator on duty, this is so we can ensure a safe time to visit when contact with other residents on corridors etc are minimised.
• All visitors to come to side door on Heber’s Ghyll Drive side.
• Do Not Enter.
Ring Doorbell, a staff member will allow you access and direct you to use the handwashing station.
‘Named’ visitors can now visit within the house, with a limit on the number of named visitors.
3 named visitors and 1 Essential Care Giver.
At Abbeydale we feel every care home resident should be supported to have an identified essential care giver (in addition to their named visitors) who may visit the home to offer companionship or help with care needs – essential care givers should be able to visit inside Abbeydale even during periods of outbreak affecting the care home
Essential care givers are required to undertake testing as per the staff team
Essential care givers will need to follow the following testing arrangements. Essential care givers must:
take a weekly PCR test and share the result with the home. Abbeydale can use our existing PCR stock to test essential care givers, and these should be registered as ‘staff’ tests using the care home unique organization number (UON) and be returned via courier with other staff tests
take a minimum of 3 lateral flow tests a week: one lateral flow test on the same day as a PCR test, one lateral flow test 2 to 3 days later, and then again after another 2 to 3 days. These rapid lateral flow tests can be done onsite, at an asymptomatic testing site (ATS) or at home. These tests should be reported as ‘visitor’ using the care home UON.
In line with care home staff, Essential Family are required to additional testing should the care home be engaged in rapid response daily testing or outbreak testing. If this includes lateral flow tests, these can be done at home.
VISITS INSIDE THE BUILDING
All named visitors will be required to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test before entry to the house.
This can be completed at the side entrance on Heber’s Ghyll, and you will be required to wait in car for 30 minutes or completed at home following training.
Lateral flow tests completed at home should be registered before the scheduled visiting time. Information on registering your test is found at the end of this update. Lateral flow test packs are available for all visitors, please speak to a member of staff who will issue you with a supply.
Abbeydale residents have expressed their concerns about internal visits with the lateral flow tests due to the low efficiency rate of these tests. We will offer PCR tests weekly to any visitor who wishes to visit inside the main house for their peace of mind. Abbeydale cannot insist on this however, as guidance from the Department of Health states that the rapid LFT tests are sufficient however we feel that anyone visiting regularly, or as mentioned before an Essential Family Carer are required to undertake a PCR test weekly.
On arrival at Abbeydale all visitors must enter via the Heber’s Ghyll Drive entrance to the rear of the building. Please ring the doorbell to let us know you are here.
Upon entry you will be asked to take your temperature, wash your hands and given PPE in the form of a face mask, you will also be asked to complete our visitor questionnaire.
A face mask can be removed if a resident is not able to manage communication. This must be agreed with CCO on duty and not removed without knowledge of staff. In the event of a mask being removed, a visor would need to be worn if you are in a resident’s room, Only Residents who do not regularly leave their room will be able to access room visits at this time.
Other visits in house will be undertaken in the small lounge on the ground floor, Family’s will be seated a safe distance with an Air Purifier and a fogging system to clean the air. Masks can be removed in this area once seated.
Visitors are asked to minimise contact with staff and other residents, please leave the building immediately after the visit via the back door.
We are unable to offer food or drink to any families internally in bedrooms as this would require removal of PPE. However we can in the small lounge, Chalets and Pavilions.
VISITS OUTSIDE IN THE CHALETS OR PAVILION
We have two Chalets and one pavilion available for visiting.
An LFD test is not required but preferred by residents and staff at Abbeydale before visit to commence.
Please use the hand sanitizer on the wall before entering and remain seated during your visit.
Whilst you are in the chalet, please do not try to assist the resident in any way, there is a bell situated on the wall, please ring for assistance.
We can offer drinks within the Chalets and pavilion.
A Maximum of 2 family members can visit at one time in Chalet.
A Maximum of 4 family members can visit at one time in Pavilion.
VISITS IN GARDENS OR OUT FOR WALK IN AREA.
As the weather permits, we can offer some garden visits.
These will still be on a booking system as we need to be aware of who and where visitors are to maintain the safety of all residents.
There is no requirement for testing prior to a garden visit, as the risk of passing any infection is very low.
Masks will not be required to be worn outside.
Due to fresh air environment we can offer drinks in the garden.
THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED AT THIS TIME OF YEAR DUE TO THE WEATHER
VISITS OUT TO WIDER COMMUNITY
If a resident goes out of Abbeydale to see family, for shopping or appointments, the guidance is for them to have an LFD test every day for ten days. At Abbeydale the residents decided that instead of doing LFD tests every 2 days they would like to all agree to do LFD tests every day, they also requested that staff undertake daily LFD testing daily.
We do not want to restrict residents going to see their families, especially at this time of year, but we need to look at the bigger picture and continue to keep our residents and staff safe.
If a resident is going to a family gathering, we would like all members of the gathering to do a LFD test and preferably a PCR test also 3 days before the visit. We are happy for anyone to come to Abbeydale to do a PCR test, or we can supply a postal test for them to do at home.
At this time we do not know who has the virus, so for everyone’s peace of mind the best way forward is for everyone to take a test.
END OF LIFE CARE VISITS
At Abbeydale Visits at the end of life will always be supported, without limiting the number of visitors. Families and residents will be supported to plan end of life visiting carefully, with the assumption that visiting will be enabled to happen not just towards the very end of life, and that discussions with the family take place in good time.
VISITS TO HOSPITAL
There are certain types of activity where the risks are inherently higher and the advice is that, in these cases, the resident should self-isolate for 14 days on their return to the care home regardless of their vaccine status. This is to ensure that, in the event they have unknowingly become infected while out of the home, they minimize the chances of passing that infection on to other residents and staff. These activities are:
emergency stays in hospital – as they are higher risk than an elective admission- however this will be dependent on Local Covid numbers and hospital numbers.
visits assessed to be high-risk following an individual risk assessment by the care home
For planned hospital overnight stays (such as elective admissions), residents do not need to isolate upon return provided they meet the following criteria. Residents should:
be fully vaccinated and have had their booster jab when eligible
receive a negative PCR test following their return to the care home (and isolate until the result is received)
complete testing requirements as detailed in the guidance
avoid contact with other highly vulnerable residents in the care home
If there is an outbreak of an infection that originated in hospital in the part of the hospital where the resident stayed Isolation may be required This will be assessed by the manager Francesca Dey
Any items delivered for residents must continue to be dropped into the delivery area at the Hebers Ghyll Drive entrance at the rear of Abbeydale. Please ensure all items are named.
If Abbeydale received 2 confirmed positive case, the home will require immediate closure to visitors for 14 days with a compulsory isolation period for all residents.
We ask that all visitors to Abbeydale maintain their own infection control precautions when in the greater community and anyone who is asked to self-isolate via NHS Track and Trace will not be permitted into the Home.
Covid 19 cases have been increasing in our area due to the increase in different variants, so it is essential that we all approach things cautiously to ensure the safety of our residents, staff, and visitors.
Thankyou everyone for your continued support with our everchanging policies and procedures. We at Abbeydale live in hope for the day we welcome you back to Abbeydale with no masks and lots of cuddles.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or queries, I can assist with.