Wessex Care Visiting Protocol from November 28th 2022
Last updated 14/12/2022
Testing before Entry
Visitors are no longer required to demonstrate a negative lateral flow test for admission into a Wessex Care home. However, if you are unwell or the staff greeting you feel you appear unwell in any way you will be asked to either leave and return another day or to complete an LFT test before entry. The staff will refuse entry to anybody who has a positive LFT test.
PPE requirements for visitors
All visitors are required to wear a surgical IIR mask during their visit to any Wessex Care Home. No other PPE will be required unless specified by the care team for individual infection control cases.
Checks on Arrival
- All visitors are required to have their temperature checked before admission to a Wessex Care home (if above 37.4c admission will not be granted).
- Oximeter to check oxygen saturation will no longer be used.
Recommended Visiting Times
- The Kimberlies and Holmwood - 10:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00, 18:00-20:00.
- Milford Manor - 10:30-12:00, 14:00-17:00 & 18:30-20:00.
- Little Manor - Monday to Friday 14:00-17:00 & 18:00-20:00, Saturday & Sundays - 10:30-12:00, 14:00-17:00, 18:00-20:00.
Where possible we like to protect meal times in all of our homes and also the main rehab times at Little Manor Rehabilitation Centre. These are only suggested so please speak with the care team if you would like to visit outside of these times.
The day of your visit
Wherever possible, visitors should avoid crowded places and, where possible, refrain from coming into contact with others, visiting shops, etc. prior to visiting so as to minimise the chance of the spread of infection.
Visitors should endeavor to visit in clean clothing.
Each Wessex Care home is equipped with an Infection Control station which is placed at the door for use by all visitors before they enter the building.
- All visitors regardless of age are required to wash and sanitise hands using the handwash station and hand sanitiser provided
- Use thermometer to check temperature and record results (if above 37.4oC, visit cannot proceed). Document on visitor’s log.
- Ensure the visitors log has been fully completed.
- Put surgical IIR mask on (fabric ones are not permitted), a face shield can be used in place of an IIR mask if a visitor has proof of the reason they cannot tolerate a mask. Children aged 14 and above are required to wear an IIR mask when visiting.
- Ring call bell to alert staff once the above steps have been completed (some homes these steps maybe completed with the staff team). Please remember to wipe clean anything you touch (door bell etc)
If there are other visitors waiting to enter, please use common sense and maintain social distancing wherever possible. Please be patient, if staff take time to answer the front door this is because they are caring for the residents inside, which is their priority.
General Visiting Protocols
- Visits are not required to be socially distanced with your loved one but appropriate social distancing should be observed at all times with staff and other residents. If you need to remove your mask at any time to speak with your loved one then you must do so socially distanced where possible.
- If children are visiting our care homes, it is the responsibility of accompanying adults to ensure their children maintain appropriate social distancing at all times throughout the visit.
- All visitors must wear appropriate PPE at all times (currently an IIR mask only). The level of PPE required may vary depending on the type of visit and what infection control procedures are currently in place. These can change without notice.
- Hand hygiene/sanitizing must be observed at all times. There are hand-wash stations for use by visitors located in all Wessex Care homes, these should be used before and after each visit.
- Visitors must sign to confirm that they have not been unwell within the past 7 days prior to the scheduled visit, and have not come into contact with anybody that has been unwell with COVID related symptoms within the last 7 days.
- Visitors to inform Wessex Care HQ immediately if they become unwell/present with symptoms up to seven days after a visit.
- Wessex Care reserves the right to cancel any and all visits without notice if it is deemed necessary to protect resident and staff wellbeing.
- Although we would seek to give as much notice as possible, visits may be cancelled without notice if Wessex Care receives notice from the Director of Public Health that there is an increased risk of infection either in the locality of the care setting being visited or the locality from which a visitor is travelling.
- Visitors are welcome to bring gifts for their loved ones but please ensure these gifts are sanitized before giving them to your loved one. Flowers and plants are welcome also.
- Visits are encouraged to remain in residents’ bedrooms where possible but if you would like to join your loved one during an activity within the communal areas then this is welcomed but you must maintain socially distanced from other residents.
- We would ask where possible that you give the home you are visiting some prior knowledge of your visit so they can notify your loved one and have them ready for your visit.
Wessex Care will be implementing an ongoing auditing process to monitor compliance and effectiveness of these new protocols and we would encourage all visitors and staff to be vigilant and to support each other to ensure everyone is adhering to the new procedures to minimise the risk of infection.
Any visitor found to be deliberately flouting the visiting protocols will not be authorised to visit until senior management are assured that they are able to comply.
Outward Visits - Residents Leaving the home
All ‘outward’ visits should still be booked in advance with the homes directly so that residents can be ready to leave when visitors arrive. We would ask where possible that the resident and anybody coming into contact with the resident wears a mask during outdoor visits, hand hygiene is maintained and social distancing observed. If taking a resident in a private vehicle, the vehicle should be sanitised before the visit. Residents should not use public transport wherever possible. Outward visits should avoid busy locations where possible to reduce the risk of community transmission.
Outward Visits - Overnight Visits
Overnight visits should be organised well in advance and in close consultation with the individual care setting to ensure they can proceed as safely as possible.
An overnight visit should adhere to all of the above guidance in relation to outdoor visits. If a resident is staying overnight then care should be taken to ensure the place they are staying is clean, sanitised, well ventilated with clean bed sheets.
Exceptional Circumstances - Exceptions to some of the protocols laid out in this policy may include:
Special occasions – we may be able to arrange visits outside of agreed visiting times to take special occasions into account – significant birthdays, etc. These would have to be discussed on a case- by-case basis and authorised by Wessex Care HQ
End of life palliative care has always been considered as an exceptional circumstance limited to the period, within a week, just prior to the expected passing as determined by a Doctor, other appropriate clinical specialist or Head of Care / Care Manager. This requires authorisation from Wessex Care HQ.
Where a care plan review / assessment identifies a significant deterioration in the mental health welfare of the residents attributable to a lack of contact with family. This requires authorisation from Wessex Care HQ.
Please do not hesitate to contact our head office if you have any questions on: