Keep your family members safe this winter as you visit them in care homes - updated guidance

24 December 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is reminding all residents visiting loved ones in care homes in west Cheshire this winter to stay safe and keep others safe by taking simple precautionary measures.

With Covid cases on the increase throughout the country it’s more important than ever that we all do everything possible to protect our most vulnerable residents.

The Council is encouraging people to remember the key measures that can be taken to help look after each other. These are:
  • Get boosted now. Please do get your vaccine or booster as soon as you are able to. Walk-in clinics are available (see: www.cheshireccg.nhs.uk for more info) or appointments to book directly via: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccine or ringing: 119
  • No vaccine is 100 per cent effective, so it is really important to stick with the other measures. These include:
  • wearing a face covering in public indoor settings
  • opening windows and letting fresh air in if you are socialising indoors
  • working from home if you can
  • keeping a safe distance
  • hand washing regularly
  • doing a no-symptoms Lateral Flow Test (LFT) twice a week and before going to an event or visiting someone who may be more likely to be seriously ill from COVID-19
  • Proof of a negative LFT must be provided before visitors enter a home

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health, Cllr Val Armstrong said: 

“At this time of year people want to be with their family and friends, and visiting loved ones in care homes is no exception. We know how important these visits are to everyone and want to encourage all of our residents to play their part in keeping everyone safe.

“Care homes and their amazing staff are taking every precaution they can, now testing themselves four times a week alongside all other measures already in place.”

The Government’s Department of Health and Social Care has issued guidance stating that each care home resident can now have a maximum of three named visitors and an essential care giver.

Residents who are fully vaccinated and choose to visit family members outside of the care home will also be required to take a lateral flow test on alternate days for two weeks following the visit. Anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated will be required to isolate for 14 days on their return to the care home.

Care homes are also being given further guidance as to PPE and infection prevention and control measures.

This decision has been taken to balance the risk from Covid-19 and the need to keep people safe, in line with medical guidance.

Government guidance also sets out:
  • the visits that should happen in all circumstances*
  • safe visiting practices
  • when different visiting arrangements are needed
  • sources of further information and support

*Visits that should happen in all circumstances refers to a situation where visits can still happen even in the event of an outbreak at the care home or a national lockdown. If a resident at a care home is at the end of life they can still have visits and health care professionals can still visit.

More information can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus
 

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