Visitor Protocol during COVID-19 Pandemic

Information updated – 4th April 2022

Stow Healthcare welcomes visitors to our homes and recognises the huge benefits visitors bring to the lives of our residents.

This Visitor Protocol provides information to visitors to our homes and sits alongside our Policy on ‘Visiting During the COVID-19 pandemic’, which is accessible on request.  This protocol is regularly updated to reflect latest government guidance.

We are adjusting to living safely with COVID, and whilst the pandemic is not yet over, the advice below will support us all as we welcome safe visiting in our homes.

General guidance around safe visiting

  • Residents in our homes have the right to see their loved ones, and we will facilitate this as much as we can, and as safely as we can. Physical contact is permitted and encouraged.
  • Each home will have a designated visiting area, but residents may also choose to have visits where they feel most comfortable, which may often be their bedroom. Other areas may be used for visits, trying, where possible, to minimise unnecessary contact between visitors and other residents they are not connected with.
  • Appointments and time restrictions will not usually be necessary.
  • There is no limit on the number of people who may visit. Homes will advise on numbers who can visit safely at any one time, considering where the visit will take place.
  • Visitors not providing personal care are not obliged to test, in accordance with government guidance, but we strongly encourage them to do so, to support the health of their loved one, and others living and working in our homes.
  • PPE must be worn. Masks may not be removed unless subject to stringent risk assessment and agreed with the directors, under very limited circumstances.  Gloves and aprons are required for support with personal care.
  • Visitors are strongly recommended to receive their COVID vaccine and booster injections.
  • Where possible, a dedicated staff member will support the visiting process, but we ask you to be understanding if on some days the home cannot facilitate this.
  • Visitors may use toilet facilities in the home. At the present time, we are not offering refreshments indoors due to the need to remove masks.
  • Children are permitted to visit the home. Children aged 11 and over should wear the same PPE as adult visitors. Children under the age of 3 should not wear masks, for safety reasons.

Circumstances in which visiting in the home may need to be modified:

Unfortunately, homes may, at different times have to modify regular visiting.  The most likely reason for this is when the home is experiencing an outbreak.

In the event of an outbreak:

  • Each resident may have one person continue to visit them, even if the resident tests positive for COVID.
  • Visits may be subject to appointments – if so, relatives will be advised of this.
  • End of Life visits may be supported in all circumstances. Please discuss with the home management team.
  • Local Health Protection Teams will advise the care home when the outbreak can be declared over.

When not to visit the care home:

  • Visitors should not visit if they feel unwell, even if they have tested negative for COVID, and are fully vaccinated. A variety of respiratory illnesses can cause harm to our residents.

Any questions may be referred to the home manager, or to the company directors by emailing enquiries@stowhealthcare.co.uk or calling us on 01359 300470.

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