This page was updated on 12th April 2021 to outline the latest changes in Government guidance for our homes in England. Please bear with us as it may take our homes a short while to make the changes they need to get everything ready to welcome more visitors safely back into our homes, and our homes will only be able to welcome a certain number of visitors each day.
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.
Following the recent changes in Government guidance, we are delighted to be able to welcome more Relatives and friends to our homes to visit Residents for more meaningful visits, 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.
We really welcome the latest Government guidance, and the enhanced options for visiting, as we recognise the restrictions on visiting during the pandemic have been hugely challenging for you and your loved ones, as well as for our Colleagues.
We have set out below how we are supporting safe visits to our care homes and the different types of visits available for all homes, who are not subject to an outbreak:
Indoor visits (including visiting pods where screens have been removed) for up to two named visitors (who are able to visit together or separately as preferred) without screens.
Safe indoor visits where substantial screens are in place, or in visiting pods (with screens) are allowed for up to two visitors at a time.
Outdoor visits including controlled garden and window visits are allowed for up to two visitors at a time.
Essential care givers to provide close contact personal care for Residents with higher care needs where it is critical for the Residents immediate health and wellbeing, for one designated person, in addition to the two named visitors.
Visits in exceptional circumstances including compassionate visits.
Indoor visits for up to two designated visitors once per week, with a maximum of two visits per week, visiting one at a time.
Outdoor visits, including visitor pods and window visits for up to two designated visitors and other family members once per week (with the group size in-line with wider COVID-19 restrictions) with a maximum of two visits per week, visiting one at a time.
Outdoor walks together or outings using a wheelchair in-line with indoor visiting for up to two designated visitors once per week, with a maximum of two visits per week, visiting one at a time.
Safe trips out of the home for each Resident, with one designated visitor in a car, ensuring that public indoor spaces are avoided and any local restrictions are adhered to.
Essential visits including compassionate visits.
Wales - Alert Level 4
Indoor visits from one designated visitor.
Outdoor visits, including risk assessed outdoor visits, from a maximum of two visitors from up to two households, with social distancing maintained throughout the visit.
Visits inside a visiting pod from a maximum of two visitors, who should be from the same household (or extended households) if attending at the same time. (Visitor pods and similar enclosed spaces should provide 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 do not allow the exchange of air from one side to another.)
Essential visits including compassionate visits.
This guidance applies to homes that are not experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 and we will of course continue to support compassionate visits in all of our homes and do everything we can to support families during this period.
For any homes who are experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19, we will of course continue to support window visits and essential visits in all of our homes, subject to risk assessments. Essential care givers can continue to visit during an outbreak, unless there are specific reasons not to do so.
We are looking forward to working in partnership with Relatives, so we can return to safe, managed indoor visiting, and ensure that all Residents can have more meaningful contact with their families and loved ones.
We are delighted to see that care homes, opening with care, for all Residents is at the heart of this new approach for each country. The focus is on reintroducing indoor visiting, which is the preferred and recommended approach to good quality contact with Residents and their loved ones.
For Residents on the Shielded Patient List (SPL), this does not prevent them from receiving visitors in the same way as other Residents, as long as the visit is conducted in-line with Government guidance, as this will provide an appropriate level of risk mitigation and management for Residents on the SPL list.
The purpose of the designated visitor is to reduce the footfall into the care home and minimise the risk of infection from COVID-19 for Residents, Colleagues and Visitors. The intention is that each Resident should be involved in deciding who their designated visitor(s) are. To enable us to reunite as many of you as possible with your loved ones, we would greatly appreciate if each Resident or their loved one can let the care home know who the designated visitors will be.
For all visits, please continue to book these with your loved one’s home in advance, making sure that you arrive on time for your visit, are well before coming to the home, and follow all infection control measures, including social distancing, regular handwashing, and wear a face mask and additional PPE if required.
Local and national restrictions
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.
View our HC-One Visiting Guidance by clicking below:
See the guidance here
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.
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