A leading campaign group has called on care providers to consider relaxing visiting embargoes on care homes.
Care Campaign for the Vulnerable (CCFTV) said it was imperative that providers gave some thought to easing the shielding of residents to enable them to have some interaction with their families.
CCFTV founder and director Jayne Connery (pictured) said: “We of course are acutely aware that providers are wanting to protect all vulnerable people in their care, however, with recent testing for both staff and residents, it is not impossible to think that residents with a negative test could participate in socially distanced visiting arrangements.”
Jayne noted moves by some providers to set up visiting areas in gardens and welcomed the use of temperature recording screening equipment at some entrances with those having an unacceptable reading asked to wear PPE before visiting a resident area.
In another innovation, West Yorkshire care home provider Yorkare has begun the introduction of safe visiting rooms where residents and families are separated by a Perspex screen.
Jayne also welcomed the introduction of family drive-bys and the use of video technologies to keep families in touch with residents, however, she urged providers to begin thinking of ways of enabling greater face to face engagement with residents.
“Families that have been contacting us are desperate to re-engage with loved ones knowing that their time may be limited,” Jayne said.
“For those residents unable to leave bedrooms because of frailty or illness, we urge providers to consider restricted family visits, with perhaps only the immediate next of kin and of course those individuals suitably screened and wearing PPE. It is important that families have the opportunity to say farewell to a very unwell loved one.”