Worcestershire families can soon be reunited with their loved ones in care homes.
Worcestershire County Council has welcomed the decision from central government, which will see families reunited, after many months apart.
Following the publication of new guidance today, care homes can now begin to allow visits, where it is assessed to be safe to do so.
The latest advice from the government states that ‘visitors should be limited to a single constant visitor, per resident, wherever possible.’ This is to limit the overall number of visitors to the care home and to reduce the risk of infection to residents and staff.
Councillor Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care, said: “I’m delighted to hear such great news that family and friends can now meet with their loved ones who reside at care homes.”
“Our carers across Worcestershire have shown real dedication and commitment to those in need of care and we have worked hard over the last few months to ensure that residents have been able to keep in touch with loved ones through the use of video calling apps.
“It certainly hasn’t been easy for many residents and families. The effects of lockdown have been incredibly isolating, but we will now study the guidance to ensure that our local plans correlate with the national guidance.”
Detailed risk assessments will be carried out on specific care homes and appropriate safety precautions will be required; which include adhering to social distancing and wearing face coverings.
The Council has also been working with care home managers to develop protocols for safe visiting. With this guidance now in place, social care and public health will review the guidance to support care homes across the county to ensure this can be done safely.
Each care home across the county will communicate their individual arrangements for reopening to family and friends who may wish to visit.
Dr. Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health for Worcestershire said: “We realise lockdown has separated many families and we welcome the opportunity to allow visits to loved ones in care homes, where safe to do so.
Our priority remains keeping our residents safe and our care homes free of Covid-19. Public Health teams will be assessing risk and working with our care homes to develop a policy for the safe re-opening for visits. We will set out clear guidance for homes and visitors, to ensure we keep our most vulnerable residents safe.”
To read the latest guidance, please visit the Council’s dedicated Coronavirus page.