Care home's visitor pod helps residents stay connected with loved ones

A visitor pod has been built at Walcot Hall, Diss, amid the coronavirus pandemic

A visitor pod has been built at Walcot Hall, Diss, amid the coronavirus pandemic - Credit: Healthcare Homes

A care home has unveiled an innovative facility allowing residents and loved ones to meet safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Walcot Hall nursing home, in Diss, has created a purpose-built visitor pod for families to stay connected while Covid-19 still poses a threat.

The wooden cabin, named the 'Garden House', is located in the home's communal garden.

Having decided to cease all but essential or compassionate exceptional visits to the home prior to the first lockdown in March, Healthcare Homes, which runs Walcot Hall, began searching for alternatives.

Its solution was to invest in creating temporary garden structures with two separate entrances, a screen to separate visitors from residents, and an intercom to ease communication.

Rooms are insulated and also equipped with heating and nurse call buttons for added comfort.

The pod at Walcot Hall was formally opened by resident, Robert Moodie, who cut the ribbon at the ceremony and said he felt "privileged" to be able to meet family members in a safe environment. 

Robert Moodie, resident at Walcot Hall in Diss, opens the new coronavirus visitor pod which has been built amid the...

Robert Moodie, resident at Walcot Hall in Diss, opens the new coronavirus visitor pod which has been built amid the coronavirus pandemic - Credit: Healthcare Homes

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And his friends and fellow residents were jubilant at the prospect of being able to enjoy the company of loved ones again.

Freda Howard said the prospect of seeing her son "makes me very happy", while Beryl Harvey commented: "This means everything to me".

Betty Pratt added: "The garden pod is very welcome indeed, to be able to see our loved ones."

Rosalind Godfrey, the home's manager, said: "It’s been so important for us to find a way to keep a sense of connection between our residents and their relatives.

"Contact with their loved ones plays a huge part in residents' overall wellbeing, so having the opportunity to open a Covid-safe visiting room is just fantastic.

"Now that the Garden House is open, we can get back into a regular routine of visits for our relatives, which we know will make such a difference to them and their loved ones."

Walcot Hall, located off Walcot Road in Diss, provides residential and nursing care for up to 42 people. 

Relatives are advised to contact Rosalind Godfrey to make an appointment at the visiting pod.

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