What are the rules for visiting Norfolk care homes?

Daya Thayan, the CEO of Kingsley Healthcare. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

Daya Thayan, the CEO of Kingsley Healthcare. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare - Credit: Archant

Care homes residents in Norfolk can see one single constant visitor as part of easing measures to reunite them with loved ones.

In July, the government issued guidelines on how visits could be resumed.

The area’s director of public health and council has outlined how visits can take place, with homes asked to limit visiting to a single, constant visitor per resident and keep visiting logs.

In addition, all visits must be pre-booked, infection control maintained, and visitors confirming they have no symptoms.

Special exceptions can be made by homes in relation to residents receiving end of life care.

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A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “We understand there may be a need to agree an exceptional visit at short notice and out of hours. It is down to each individual home to make their own choices based on their own assessments of the risks in these circumstances.

“Of course all of this is subject to change as government advice is updated and the situation develops, but this is the advice we’re currently providing to care homes.”

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Kingsley Healthcare, which is based in Lowestoft, has 30 homes across the country, including two in Norfolk and three in Ipswich, will provide a dedicated lounge in each home for family visits.

After booking an appointment, visitors will be escorted to the visiting lounge and can have refreshments.

Debbie McGovern, operations director, said: “After the three-month lockdown at the height of the pandemic we had been facilitating garden visits so families could see their loved ones.

“However, we are so happy to at last be able to welcome families into our homes again. The safety of residents and staff is paramount and every cautious step we have taken has been strictly in line with government guidelines.”

Chief executive Daya Thayan called the impact of lockdown on care home residents and their families “heartbreaking”.

He said: “We must do more to support families. We are a family business serving the vulnerable and the physical and emotional wellbeing of our residents is of paramount importance to us. We want a happy environment.”

Other guidelines include no visits by those who are contacts of those who have coronavirus.

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