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Barchester launches COVID secure care home visiting suites

Melbourn Springs Visiting Room 2

Leading care home operator Barchester Healthcare is launching COVID secure visiting suites across its portfolio.

The suites, which have been devised and built by Barchester, will be launched at the majority of services by the end of this month following a successful pilot.

Barchester CEO, Pete Calveley, said: “The current pandemic has raised many questions in regards to family and friends visiting residents, and how care homes can balance the needs of infection control with the safety of residents, patients and staff. We have been looking closely at this and exploring many routes to help solve this problem.

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“Careful planning, trials and preparation, along with a large investment has enabled us to adapt existing indoor rooms at homes where this is possible, and for those where it isn’t we are putting safe COVID secure indoor visiting suites in the gardens or outdoor space. We are confident these COVID-secure spaces are the most practical and comfortable solution for the winter months.”

The visiting suites are similar to a living room type space, complete with soft furnishings, lampshades, cushions, and internal room heating to create a welcoming and warm environment for residents to spend time with their loved ones. The room has an intercom system fitted so residents can clearly communicate, and engage in conversation, whilst being able to see their friends and family through a Perspex glass divider fitted for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For ease of visiting, Barchester have created an online visitor booking system for relatives to use. This is currently available in 42 Barchester homes and will be in place for all homes in early December. Visitation will remain subject to government guidance and local health board advice and we will continue to keep families informed of the status of their home’s status and protocols on a regular basis.

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The author Lee Peart

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