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COVID-19 and Restricted Visiting
Posted 23rd November 2020

23rd November 2020 - Visiting Update

Current visiting guidelines for Gainford Care Homes Given the coverage on National news you may be aware guidance has been published by GOV.UK on the 5th November regarding visiting arrangements in Care Homes. In line with the guidance our priority must remain, preventing infections in care homes and this means that visiting policy should still be restricted with alternatives sought wherever possible.

Receiving visitors is an important part of care home life. Maintaining some opportunities for visiting to take place is critical for supporting the health and wellbeing of residents and their relationships with friends and family.

Whilst visiting may be permitted in circumstances whereby site-specific conditions are met, restrictions will remain in place. Restrictions will be in accordance with the Local Authority/Public Health Guidance issued which may vary based on local data in relation to COVID-19 transmission.

The manager or director’s do have the right to withdraw permission at any time without notice, should they feel this to be in the interests of residents, and staff. This will be communicated in a transparent manner to residents and relevant family members.

In considering the new guidance Gainford’s Visiting Policy, Contingency plan, and Risk Assessments have been reviewed and updated to facilitate indoor visiting. This guidance sets out measures that have been put in place to provide COVID-secure opportunities for families to meet using visiting arrangements such as substantial screens, internal visiting pods, and window visits.

You may be aware through the media that there has also been further development in the Lateral Flow Device testing (LFD), and that a pilot is now underway in 20 care homes. Whilst these are not care homes run by us, we are watching carefully on what happens with this. If this pilot is successful this will mean that designated members of family and loved ones will be able to be tested prior to visiting, with test results coming back within 30 minutes.

The pilot is taking place for 4 weeks and dependent on the results of that, will determine the next steps.

As previously communicated any request to visit where there are exceptional circumstances will be considered by the Home Manager.

Unfortunately, this is an ever-changing situation, all government guidance and advice will continue to be monitored and our visiting policy. Once again, many thanks for your continued support to our residents and staff, we will continue to communicate any further changes in a timely manner.




·      Visits to be booked in advance for a specific day, time, and length of visit.

·      Contact the home on the day prior to their visit, to ensure the situation of the service has not changed

·      Visiting indoors will be limited to a single constant visitor wherever possible, with an absolute maximum of 2 constant visitors per resident.

·      Be free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 10 days prior to the arranged visit

·      Not be unwell on the day of their visits and comply with any request for testing should this available 

·      Provide the necessary information required by the home at visits i.e. honest response to screening requirements about COVID-19 risk factors

·      Comply with the infection prevention and control measures, including mandatory hand hygiene, the use of PPE as required, strict adherence to social distancing requirements and remaining in the designated visiting area  

·      Ensure that any gifts brought to give to the individual they are visiting can be sanitised, in line with relevant infection prevention control guidance.

·      The home will discuss with potential visitors the best way to get to and from the home. Wherever possible visitors should try to walk or travel by car and avoid public transport when visiting the home, in line with the latest government guidance.

·      Visitors must be aware that in the event of any suspected or actual outbreak of COVID-19 within a home, visiting will be restricted immediately and will include exclusion of non-essential visitors. This will be communicated in a transparent manner to residents and relevant family members.

·      The home will vary their own responses to enabling visits in persons to the care home as COVID-19 risks change within their local community, using their dynamic risk-based approach. 

·      In person visiting in resident’s room – for essential / end of life visits only Any request to visit where there are exceptional circumstances will be considered. Where essential visits are allowed this only applies to immediate family, recorded next of kin (not extended family, friends or any person under the age of 18) No more than 2 visitors are permitted at any time.

·      Unfortunately, we are unable to provide visitors with refreshments at this time.



This code includes a set of rights and responsibilities for both the care home and visitors which values the welfare and wellbeing of residents receiving care.





10th September 2020 - CHANGES TO VISITING POLICY

Unfortunately, due to the significant increase in confirmed cases in coronavirus in the North East and as a result of our assessment and communication with the Director of Public Health it has been necessary for us to make changes to our visitors policy, and a decision has been made to suspend visiting in care homes throughout the North East by all Local Authorities until further notice. This decision has not been made lightly; we do understand the importance of visiting your loved ones however I am sure you will appreciate the need to keep your relatives as safe as possible. The situation is being reviewed regularly and we will contact you again as soon as our advice changes. This is one of a number of measures being taken to try and stop the virus entering our homes, and we hope that everyone will take the necessary actions to reduce the risk of any future lockdown. Video calling, telephone calls etc will continue to assist you to keep in touch, we are hoping that this will be a very short interim measure. As you are aware this is an ever-changing situation, all government guidance and advice will continue to be monitored, please be assured that our approach continues and remains in accordance with the latest recommendations. Data locally is being monitored and once we are assured that the situation is safe enough visiting will restart as soon as possible. Once again, many thanks for your continued support to our residents and staff and we will ensure to communicate any further changes in a timely manner. -




In order to support all efforts to protect our residents unfortunately we have had to make the very difficult decision to restrict visiting to our Care Homes until further notice.

Robust and comprehensive contingency plans to assist and prepare us to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK are in place. We have formed a steering group who will regularly review the plan as advised by Public Health.

Non-essential visiting has also been restricted and includes external and community entertainment and non-essential maintenance visits for the foreseeable future.

We would appreciate your full support with this matter, we are more than happy to facilitate contact with your family via telephone calls or by other means of technology.

Any request to visit where there are exceptional circumstances will be considered, however these visits will be kept strictly to residents’ bedrooms no access to communal areas will be given.

Please do not attempt to arrange a visit if you feel unwell, have a cough, shortness of breath or if you have been in contact with someone who may have Coronavirus.

Our Home Managers and staff are aware of the steps to take to help prevent the spread of infection and you will be informed of all updates accordingly.

Further advice can be found at If you have any further questions, please contact the Home Manager.

Gainford Care Homes
Gainford Care Homes
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