GOV.UK has published guidance on visiting care homes during the pandemic.
For all care homes in England, this guidance sets out:
- the principles of a local approach and dynamic risk assessment
- advice for providers when establishing their visiting policy
- advice for providers when taking visiting decisions for particular residents or groups of residents
- infection-control precautions
- communicating with family and others about the visiting policy and visiting decisions
Directors of public health will be responsible for overseeing visiting policies at a local level; based on a dynamic risk assessment and the need to minimise risk wherever possible.
Brighton & Hove is working with colleagues in East and West Sussex to determine a Sussex-wide approach wherever possible.
We currently have low Covid-19 transmission in the community and therefore homes locally are able to support visiting as per the guidance.
The home will need to develop a visiting guidance protocol, having undertaken individual risk assessments and whole home assessment. We have included the guidance with the CPA visitor protocol for ease:
Visiting arrangements in care homes Surrey and Sussex framework
The government published guidance on visiting care homes on 22 July 2020. We have joined up with Surrey and Sussex to agree a local framework for guiding care home visitor policies across the regions.
The visiting framework for care homes is now AMBER in the current alert level. Visiting care homes is allowed. However, this may change if Public Health England advise on any further restrictions for visitors as part of outbreak management.
National guidance states that the first priority continues to be to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in care homes and prevent future outbreaks as well as to ensure the health and safety of both care workers and residents.
Each care home or provider is responsible for following the guidance by establishing their own visitor policy based on the use of dynamic risk assessment which takes into account the health and wellbeing needs of individuals.
As part of the Covid-19 Local Outbreak Control Plans the framework sets out when communication from the Director of Public Health will be made to care homes about allowing visitors, based on the national escalation categories described in the Contain Framework.
The communication will provide clear guidance to care homes on applying visiting restrictions within the care home setting, in the relevant areas affected by an escalation category. Full details can be found in the framework . This will be reviewed after 6 to 8 weeks.