Tiers and Visiting: An update message from Sharon Winfield, Avery Healthcare COO
It’s been a difficult Christmas this year and very sad that many of you will not have had the opportunity to visit your loved ones. You may be aware via the media that the Government and the Department of Health have increased many areas across the Country to Tier 4 which will sadly bring further restrictions to visiting loved ones in our care homes.
For ease of reference, I have set out the visiting arrangements for all homes within Avery below.
Closed window visits, exceptional visits such as end of life will be permitted and should be discussed directly with the home. If a home has a Garden Pod installed visits can take place in the Pods; however, if there is a positive case in the home, the Garden Pod visits will cease.
Safe visits can continue via direct contact with the home. However, if there is an outbreak in the home (2 or more people, including staff and residents), all safe visiting will cease. Tiers 1-3 visiting will also be guided by the Local Authority, Public Health England and The Director of Public Health. Any local changes will be communicated directly by the Home.
Testing – we have increased the testing for staff due to the new virus mutation transmission rates. Staff will now have up to 3 tests per week.
Vaccines – the rollout of vaccines is lead by the Primary Care Network (PCN) and has commenced with some homes receiving short notice from their surgeries to attend the home to vaccinate residents. Not all surgeries are vaccinating staff however, many staff have attended the local hubs to receive the vaccine. We are unsure how the vaccine will affect visiting at this time as no guidance from Government or DHSC has been offered to date. We do know that at this stage we will continue to test those who have received the first dose of the vaccine and anticipate that the second dose could be as long as 3 months before it is administered.
We are all hoping and praying that the rollout of the vaccine will bring some normality back to our lives and those we care for, particularly in reuniting families after such a long and frustrating wait.
Please do be assured that we are continuing in our mission to keep everybody safe and of course, providing the best in quality care.
With my very best regards to you all and best wishes for 2021.
Chief Operating Officer