Enhance Healthcare Ltd | Covid Guidlines For Visitors

As restrictions ease across the UK, Enhance Healthcare Ltd continue to do all they can to protect the safety of their residents, staff and visitors.

Scotland’s latest guidance to care home visits was updated on 31st January 2023. This update continues to focus on easing measures being taken whilst ensuring safety remains a top priority.

Open with Care has also been introduced in Scotland, setting out the key principles and expectations for care home providers, care home staff and visitors and focusing on supporting meaningful contact in adult care homes.

To help enforce the updated guidance, the Care Inspectorate will receive an extra £186,000 in funding in 2022 to help them support visiting rights, including helping care homes attain the resources they need. A further £90,000 in additional funding will also be provided in 2023.

Enhance Healthcare Ltd continue to follow safe practices, and may restrict visits in the case of an outbreak to protect the safety of residents, visitors and staff.

Residents will continue to be allowed to be visited indoors by a ‘named visitor’, even during a COVID-19 outbreak or if the resident has tested COVID-19 positive and must isolate, as long as the visitor has been fully vaccinated.

Yes. Anybody visiting a care home should take a lateral flow test (LFT) and produce a negative result. This should be taken before you visit, and most care homes will ask for this to be on the same day of the visit.

Some care homes may ask for proof of your negative result. You can take the test at home or some care homes will help you to do this on arrival. This testing guidance applies to anybody over the age of 12.

This depends on the specific home. Since the June update, most care homes should only ask you to book a visit if they are managing an outbreak.

If you are planning to visit a loved one in a care home, you should check with the home beforehand. Some care homes may require you book in advance so that they can better manage the number of people visiting the home at one time.

This is especially important for smaller homes who have less capacity for a safe number of visitors.

Individual care homes will decide if there is a limit to how many visitors a resident can have at one time.

This will depend on things like the size of the room where the visit will take place, ventilation and the capacity of the home.

Visits will be arranged in a place that is comfortable for the resident. Visitors will be told by care home staff where the visit will take place and this will be their ‘designated visiting area’.

Visitors are encouraged to avoid moving around the home where possible. This will help to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus and other respiratory infections, such as the flu.

Visits can also take place outdoors where the care home allows. Groups of external visitors are not allowed inside care homes, so any visits or events must take place outdoors.

As long as visits are able to be managed safely, there are no restrictions on how long they last, unless there is an outbreak of coronavirus in the care home or the resident is self-isolating.

From Wednesday 14th September 2022, visitors are no longer required to wear a face mask when visiting a care home in Scotland.

You may wish to continue wearing a face mask if it makes you feel more comfortable, and there may be occasions when a care home requests visitors to wear a mask, such as during an outbreak in the home. Care home staff will assess the risks to apply best practice in individual cases.

The safety and wellbeing of residents will always be their top priority.

Vaccination isn’t essential to visit care homes in Scotland, although vaccination for anyone who is eligible is recommended to ensure protection from the Covid-19 virus. If you haven’t yet received your first Covid vaccine, click here to register.

No, you shouldn’t visit a care home if you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, even if you and the person you are visiting are up to date with your vaccinations.

This is to protect the safety of residents, staff and other visitors. It is recommended that you don’t visit a care home until 10 days after contact with the infected person.

Ideally, no.

If you are feeling unwell, you should wait until you are feeling better to visit a care home, even if you produce a negative test result.

This is because other respiratory viruses such as the flu can be extremely harmful to vulnerable people, including residents.

So if you are feeling unwell, it is better to wait until your symptoms have passed before you visit, 5 days is usually considered a safe period of time.

You can visit a care home resident who has just been discharged from hospital or another care home setting, as long as they don’t need to isolate. If they do, you may be able to be their named visitor and visit them in their room.

In Scotland, residents don’t need to have a 14 day isolation period so long as:

  • They are from the non-respiratory pathway, meaning:
    • They do not have any respiratory symptoms when they leave their previous healthcare setting (they will be asked respiratory screening questions to check this)
    • They are not known to have been exposed to a positive Covid-19, or who is suspected to be positive but is awaiting a test result, for at least 10 days
  • They are clinically fit for discharge
  • They had a negative PCR test within 48 hours of discharge, or a risk assessment if they can’t do a PCR test
  • They have answered ‘no’ to all the questions in the respiratory screening straight before discharge.

In the case of a Covid outbreak, residents can receive a visit from their named visitor.

Named visitors were introduced during the pandemic to minimise the number of people entering care homes.

A named visitor can visit the resident in most circumstances, including a Covid outbreak.

This is to help minimise the negative impact of self-isolation on the resident and is part of an initiative to support the resumption of meaningful contact between care home residents and their loved ones.

Named visitors can visit once a day in a private room (usually the resident’s bedroom).

If for some reason this named visitor cannot visit, care homes should encourage residents to identify a different named visitor to ensure they continue to receive interaction with their loved ones.

Two new Health and Social Care Standards are being introduced in care homes in Scotland thanks to campaigning by Natasha Hamilton. Her mother, Anne Duke, was cut off from her family for long periods during lockdown.

Anne’s Law requires that:

  • Adults living in care homes can nominate particular friends or relatives (or substitutes) who can continue to visit them in the event of the home having to bring in restrictions to prevent the spread of infection.
  • The particular friends or relatives (or substitutes) must be supported by the care home to take an active role in the resident’s day-to-day support, if the resident would like them to. They are to have the same rights as staff while following the same infection control procedures.

These standards are similar to ‘named visitor’ allowance, but gives the visitor/visitors more rights.

Anne’s Law is due to be introduced by the end of this Parliamentary year, for the full story and further information, click here.

An essential visit is when a visit from a loved one is very important for the resident.

For example, this could be due to extreme distress or for end of life care.

Essential visits can take place at any time, including during an outbreak of Covid and when a resident is in self-isolation.

For essential visits, visitors do not need to take an LFT beforehand, but they should still follow all other safeguards wherever possible.

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“The care that my dad received was outstanding, we appreciate the dedication shown by all”
Relative C.M

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