This webpage will be updated shortly to reflect the latest visiting guidance in England, Scotland and Wales, following updated Government guidance being released in July.
This page was updated on 21st June 2021 to outline the latest changes in Government guidance, for our homes in England, which came into effect from 21st June 2021. 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 focus on visits out of the care home. We are pleased to safely, where possible, support these types of visits out of the home as we recognise how important this is for Residents’ health and wellbeing, their ability to remain at the heart of family and social networks, and, in some cases, to deliver the objectives of their individual care plan. These are the latest cautious steps being taken to restore care home visits to as close to normality as possible, as part of the ongoing easing of visiting restrictions.
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 five named visitors (including their essential care giver), with a maximum of two named visitors at any one time or on any given day.
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, for one designated person, in addition to the named visitors.
Visits in exceptional circumstances including compassionate visits.
For the latest guidance on visits out of the home for our homes in England - please click here.
Indoor visits (including indoor visiting pods where screens have been removed) from up to two visitors at the same time, who must maintain social distancing if they are not from the same household (or extended household).
Safe indoor visits (including visiting pods with a screen) from up to two visitors at a time, 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.)
Outdoor visits, including controlled garden and window visits, from up to two visitors at a time, with social distancing maintained throughout the visit.
Essential visits including compassionate visits.
For the latest guidance on visits out of the home for our homes in Wales - please click here.
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, for both safe, managed indoor visiting and safe visits out of the home, so we can ensure that all Residents can have more meaningful contact with their families and 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 named (designated) visitors and essential care giver 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 named (designated) visitors 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 named (designated) visitors (and their deputies - if applicable) will be. If the Resident lacks the capacity to decide who they want their named (designated) visitors to be, you can discuss and agree this with the home.
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, wearing a face mask and wearing additional PPE if required.
Please bear with us as it may take our homes a short while to be able 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. Our Home Managers are in the best position to determine where and how these visits are booked and take place so they can be sure they are safely managed.
For any visitors subject to Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing before any visits taking place indoors, or in visiting pods that do not have an outside entrance, we kindly ask that you arrive 30 minutes before your pre-booked visit if your test is to take place at the care home to ensure that we can accommodate this. If you have completed a test at home, you will need to provide evidence of the negative test result and it must be completed on the same day as the visit to ensure that we can accommodate the visit. It is important to be aware that our homes may be asked or required by third parties to refuse entry if a test is not taken.
Vaccination is one of our best defences to combat infection risk, as it significantly reduces the transmission of the virus, particularly following 2 doses. It is not a condition of visiting that the visitors or the Resident should have been vaccinated. However, it is strongly recommended that all visitors and Residents take the opportunity to be fully vaccinated.
Local and national restrictions
Please note, this guidance is subject to change based on the local COVID-19 situation, changes in local and national government guidance or restrictions, and the situation in the care home itself.
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