A ‘visitor pod’ at an Oxfordshire care home has helped to safely reunite residents and families during lockdown.
Barchester Healthcare’s Chacombe Park in Banbury has recently adapted an room indoor that is now accessible both internally and externally as a safe ‘pod’ for families to visit during the winter.
The room has been divided with a Perspex glass divider which avoids the risk of infection by preventing airflow between residents, with visitors and residents able to communicate via an intercom system.
While the innovation has attracted some criticism, with one relative telling the Telegraph that the set-up resembled prison visiting, Barchester said the majority of families have said they would accept unusual arrangements if it meant seeing their loved ones while keeping safe.
One family member said they had been “absolutely delighted” to have been able to see their mum.
The relative told Barchester: “Thank you so much. It means so much to mum and the other residents and relatives that meetings are real. It is so hard that the situation is as it is but you have really done the best you can. All looked so professional too.”
A Barchester spokesperson added: “Evidence has shown us that only external distanced and internal sealed visiting is currently safe and that the inclement weather we shall soon be experiencing precludes external visits for many people. With the wellbeing of our residents and staff at the forefront of everything we do we have taken the route of this expensive alternative as all other solutions that have been suggested involve an elevated level of risk that is not consistent with that core objective and which we are not prepared to take.”