Relatives Coronavirus Helpline – We’d Love to Hear From You
We’ve set up a Relatives Helpline so that any of our existing Relatives can find out about the measures we’re taking to protect our Residents, Relatives and Colleagues, to find out about our current visiting arrangements based on the current government guidance and local COVID alert levels and how these might affect you; we’ve set up this helpline to help guide you through the best possible way to stay in touch with your loved one during this difficult time.
Please call us on our dedicated Relatives Helpline 0333 321 4654
Time is precious, so we do everything we can to make each moment count.
We are committed to doing everything we can to support safe visits in our care homes and we’ve witnessed many memorable and moving moments when Residents and their loved ones have been reunited through the introduction of safe garden, window and indoor visits over recent months, in line with government and public health guidance.
We look forward to welcoming more Relatives and friends to our homes to visit Residents, where it is safe to do so, with robust safety and infection control measures in place. We are continually reviewing our visiting policies and making changes where possible and safe, so that we can help to reunite more families, whilst prioritising the safety of our Residents, Colleagues and visitors alike.
During the current lockdowns across England, Scotland and Wales, we are able to offer the following types of visits to those homes who have not had an outbreak for 28 days and where we have agreement from the local public health teams.
Safe indoor visits where substantial screens are in place, or in visiting pods.
Outdoor visits including controlled garden and window visits are allowed for a single constant visitor wherever possible.
Essential visits including compassionate visits.
Indoor visits in exceptional circumstances including compassionate visits. Visitor pods and similar enclosed spaces which include a complete physical barrier (from wall to wall and floor to ceiling) between visitor and Resident, where the two areas are separate and self-contained with separate entrances (with the visitor entrance direct from the outside) and which do not allow the exchange of air from one side to another can be used for visits by a designated visitor.
Outdoor visits including risk assessed outdoor visits to care homes for one designated visitor.
This guidance is subject to change based on future government guidance, the situation at individual homes, decisions taken by the local Director of Public Health, and national lockdowns or local restrictions. We will continue to keep our policies under review and provide updates accordingly.
Sadly, some Residents move into our care homes to receive professional care at the end of their lives due to critical health conditions; in these extreme cases we’re able to arrange compassionate “in-room” visits for close family members. Compassionate visits are really important for our Residents and their families so we do everything that we can to help you get the most out of these visits in the safest way possible.
Socially-distanced window visits
Socially-distanced window visits can be accommodated by homes that have reported an outbreak of COVID-19 in the last 28 days and/or are in local or national lockdown, upon agreement with the local public health team and with appropriate risk assessments in place.
Local and national lockdown
We remain incredibly alert to the changing rate of cases and any subsequent action taken by central government or local authorities, including changes in the level of restrictions in the affected areas, or nationally.
We always prioritise the health and wellbeing of Residents, and the Colleagues who care for them, and we are ready to act quickly to respond to rising infection rates and/or any new/revised restrictions imposed by central government or local authorities. This may mean temporarily increasing visiting restrictions as a precautionary measure due to a rise in the number of cases in the local area, or upon the advice of the local Public Health team or national government.
Where possible, with prior agreement from the local Public Health team, and with appropriate risk assessments in place, we will facilitate window and/or garden visits at homes under restrictions.
For the latest information on Coronavirus in your area, please visit:
Virtual visits via video
We’re mindful that some of our Relatives might be shielding themselves or find it difficult to visit their loved one in person for a number of possible reasons; in these cases we can arrange for a virtual visit by Zoom, or telephone calls if video calls are not suitable.
We've developed the following guidance for all Relatives to help them in visiting safely and responsibly and will update this as soon as we can take the next steps:
Visiting Guide for Relatives - England
Visiting Guide for Relatives - Scotland
Visiting Guide for Relatives - Wales
Spread the word - Not the Virus
We have created a brochure ‘Spread the word – not the virus’ containing information about safe visits and tips to help you to stay well throughout the winter months. This brochure can be found and downloaded below:
Spread the word - not the Virus