Care home FAQs

Latest information

From Monday 17 May Wales is now in alert level 2. You can view the latest Welsh Government guidance here.

We understand the huge benefits that visiting brings and we fully support reconnecting residents with loved ones in line with the latest guidance. To do this safely, we kindly ask for your full support.

While we are making positive steps forward, visits are not without risk and we must all remain vigilant to limit the transmission of the virus, particularly into our care homes.

Visiting options vary at each home due to the facilities available and local circumstances. When you call your care home to make an appointment, they will be able to confirm the type of visits they are offering.

A home with an active incident or outbreak are only able to offer window visits.

Please read our frequently asked questions below for more information.

blank

What visits are allowed?

Visiting options vary at each home due to the facilities available and local circumstances. When you call your care home to make an appointment, they will be able to confirm the type of visits they are offering.

Indoor:

  • Two designated visitors may visit indoors at the same time.
  • If the visitors are not from the same household or extended household, social distancing should be maintained during the visit.
  • Indoor visitors will be subject to testing.
  • Visitors may remove face coverings once seated, if:
    • they are socially distanced from residents,
    • visits are in a well ventilated room and that room is either a designated visiting room only being used by one family at a time or the residents own room

Pod or enclosed safe space:

  • Up to two visitors (not designated) from the same or extended household can attend at the same time
  • Visitors will not be subject to testing if there is an outside entrance for the visitor, a fixed floor to ceiling screen and appropriate safeguards in place i.e. cleaning between visits
  • Visitors will require a test if the pod/safe space does not have an outside entrance for the visitor, and a fixed floor to ceiling screen
  • Visitors may remove face coverings once seated, if there is an outside entrance for the visitor, a fixed floor to ceiling screen and appropriate safeguards in place

    Window:

    Visitors do not need to be designated but they should be from the same household (or extended household) if visiting at the same time, otherwise social distancing must be maintained.

    When you call the care home to make your appointment, they can confirm the number of people we can safely accommodate per visit. 

    A home with an active incident or outbreak are only able to offer window visits.

    Please contact your care home for more information about the type of visit they are offering and to book an appointment. Click here for contact details.

    How will visits be managed safely?

    Our care homes have created safe, socially-distanced areas where you can sit with your loved one and enjoy each other’s company for a pre-arranged time slot of up to 30 minutes.

    We will require visitors to go through our screening protocol, take a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) if required for the type of visit, and also wear a face covering and follow our infection control measures i.e. sanitising your hands.

    After each visit, the chairs and surrounding area will be disinfected in readiness for the next visitors.

    What is a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test?

    Lateral flow tests are designed to deliver targeted and focused, rapid testing for people without typical symptoms of Covid-19 but who may still be carrying the virus, undetected. The test takes just 30 minutes to produce a result. For more information and to understand what to expect, please read this guidance.

    If your type of visit requires a test, you will need to arrive at the home 30 minutes before your visiting appointment to carry out the test. Designated and deputy visitors will need to complete this consent form beforehand.

    Do I have to be tested to visit?

    All visitors will need to be tested for indoor visits. 

    The following applies to pod and enclosed safe space visits:

    • Visitors will not be subject to testing if there is an outside entrance for the visitor, a fixed floor to ceiling screen and appropriate safeguards in place i.e. cleaning between visits
    • Visitors will require a test if the pod/safe space does not have an outside entrance for the visitor, and a fixed floor to ceiling screen

    Testing is really important to help us to identify people who might be carrying coronavirus but are not showing symptoms. Alongside our other infection prevention and control measures, testing helps us to keep our care homes and your loved ones safe.

    What if I test positive?

    Unfortunately, visits will not be able to place if you test positive. You will need to book a free PCR test through the government website (gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test).

    If your result is negative, you can provide the home with your test result as evidence and reschedule your visit.

    When can I visit?

    All visits need to be pre-arranged with the care home so we can ensure we have colleagues available to facilitate your visit safely. Please contact the care home directly to make arrangements. Click here for their contact details. 

    Our care homes will be doing their best to accommodate as many visits as possible. Availability and the hours for visiting will differ per care home due to the needs of each service.

    It is very important that visitors arrive promptly to maximise the time they have with their loved one. Unfortunately, if visitors are running late we will be unable to extend time slots but we will happily rearrange another suitable time.

    Who can visit?

    Also see ‘What visits are allowed?’ section above.

    Designated visitors for indoor visits

    Pods, enclosed safe spaces, window and outdoor visits do not have to be by designated visitors.

    Children

    • We are now able to allow planned visits from children on request. Please speak to your care home when making your visiting appointment.
    • Babies and very young infants who are not mobile do not need to be counted as an additional visitor, where designated visitor restrictions are in place.
    • Children aged 11 and over should wear the same PPE as adult visitors.
    • Children aged 11 and over should be tested, with parental consent, prior to indoor visits and visits in visitor pods or similar structures where a fixed floor to ceiling screen is not in place.

    Our management team at each home will be carrying out assessments for each individual visit which will include consideration for our residents’ health and well-being. If management feel that a visit/s at this stage is high risk for either the resident or the community then we may have to suspend visits at short notice.

    I’m not feeling well, can I still visit?

    Please do not visit our care homes if you are feeling unwell and have:

    • any Covid-19 symptoms
    • tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 10 days
    • anyone in your household or anyone you have been in close contact with has Covid-19 symptoms
    • been advised to self-isolate by a contact tracer from NHS Test Trace Protect
    • have returned from overseas travel in the last 10 days from a non-exempt country and are required to be in quarantine

    If you are no longer able to attend your visit, please let the care home know, if possible. Click here for contact details.

    Will I be able to hug my loved one?

    We appreciate that the urge to hug or hold hands will be very strong. The latest guidance states:

    • Physical interaction should be avoided where possible, as this will breach social distancing requirements, for example avoid hugs and kisses.
    • Hand holding without gloves may be possible for visits to non-COVID positive residents, as long as visitors practice excellent hand hygiene before and after any contact with the resident or their environment and adhere to the instructions given.
    • Any broken skin must be covered with a waterproof dressing or plaster before contact.
    • A face covering or mask must be worn where social distancing cannot be strictly maintained.

    I’m concerned that it is too dangerous for visits.

    We understand your concern and would like to reassure you that we have a number of extra measures in place to ensure the safety of residents, colleagues and visitors.

    Our management team at each home will also be carrying out individual assessments for each visit which will include consideration for our residents’ health and well-being.

    What is your screening protocol?

    Visitors will need to complete a screening form when they arrive at every visit as part of our measures to protect our residents’ and colleagues’ health at this time.

    It includes a number of checks to confirm visitors’ well-being such as where they have travelled in the last 14 days, if they are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, body temperature and hand washing.

    What is the procedure if someone becomes unwell?

    If there is an active incident or outbreak in our service then indoor visits will have to be suspended (apart from exceptional circumstances) for a period of 21 days in line with Public Health Wales guidance.

    We will contact those directly affected as a matter of priority and also inform all other care home residents and family members.

    However, window visits are permitted during an outbreak where this can be supported safely.