Care home visitors

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Information, guidance and resources on care home visitors

Visiting guidelines

London Borough of Sutton guidance

Latest guidance from LBS on visiting arrangements in care homes

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National guidance

Latest update on policies for visiting arrangements in care homes from the Department of Health and Social Care

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Key updates in the guidance:

  • Updated the section ‘In the event of an outbreak in the care home’ to add the Delta variant as a variant of concern.
  • Care home residents will be able to spend more time with family and friends, including overnight stays as part of an easing of visiting restrictions.
  • Currently, residents can only leave the care home for a visit if outdoors or for high-priority reasons, such as a dental or GP appointment, but will now be able to leave the home for more social reasons without having to isolate.
  • From 21 June, people admitted to a care home from the community will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, so residents will have a less disruptive introduction to their new home.
  • To ensure this happens safely, residents will undergo an enhanced testing regime – a PCR test before admission, a PCR test on the day of admission and a further PCR test 7 days later.

For more information please see: Care home residents can stay overnight as visiting restrictions ease

  • Care home residents will be allowed 5 named visitors from Monday 17 May, up from 2 currently
  • Self-isolation no longer required following visits to GPs, dentists and day centres
  • Visits will only pause for a minimum of 14 days rather than 28 days following an outbreak

For more information please see: More restrictions eased for care homes

For full guidance on visiting from DHSC please see: Guidance on care home visiting

For full guidance on arrangements for visit out of the care home: Arrangements for visiting out of the care home

Key points within the guidance:

  • Every care home resident will be allowed 5 named visitors who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits.
  • These visitors should be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit, must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits. Visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum. Visitors and residents may wish to hold hands, but should bear in mind that any contact increases the risk of transmission. There should not be close physical contact such as hugging
  • Residents with the highest care needs will also be able to nominate an essential care giver
  • Care homes can continue to offer visits to other friends or family members with arrangements such as outdoor visiting, substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows
  • It is not a condition of visiting that the visitor or the resident should have been vaccinated. 
  • In the event of an Outbreak in a care home, the home should immediately stop visiting (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life – and for essential care givers)
  • To support visiting, additional rapid lateral flow testing will also be provided for visitors in Supported Living and Extra Care settings

Lateral Flow Testing for visitors

Please see new guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) lateral flow testing of visitors in care homes

Useful resources for care homes to consider 

Care home visits during coronavirus: What does the Government guidance mean for people affected by dementia

Visitor restrictions in care homes have been distressing for many people across the country, but especially people affected by dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society explain the government’s visitor guidance in more detail and what it means for families with loved ones living with dementia in care homes.

Visiting arrangements in Care Homes – Alzheimer’s Society Briefing

The visiting arrangements in care homes briefing sets out the key considerations they would like Directors of Public Health to take into account in supporting care homes to reopen for people living with dementia

Visiting a relative with dementia living in a care home

This document is based on questions raised by family members of residents living with dementia in MHA care homes.

Visitors’ protocol – briefing for care providers

This protocol was first published by the Care Provider Alliance in June 2020 following understandable calls from residents, friends and families, providers and staff to enable visiting to residential homes after a long and protracted period of ‘lockdown’, in line with changes within the wider community. The protocol has been updated in April 2021.


Arrangements for visiting out of the care home

  • Care home residents will be able to spend more time with family and friends, including overnight stays as part of an easing of visiting restrictions.
  • Currently, residents can only leave the care home for a visit if outdoors or for high-priority reasons, such as a dental or GP appointment, but will now be able to leave the home for more social reasons without having to isolate.
  • From 21 June, people admitted to a care home from the community will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, so residents will have a less disruptive introduction to their new home.
  • To ensure this happens safely, residents will undergo an enhanced testing regime – a PCR test before admission, a PCR test on the day of admission and a further PCR test 7 days later.

For more information please see: Care home residents can stay overnight as visiting restrictions ease

Page last updated on June 22nd, 2021 at 2:52pm

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