Measures will allow safe visiting as lockdown restrictions ease, says Shropshire care homes boss

The boss of Shropshire’s largest not-for-profit care provider has welcomed plans to allow care home residents to have a regular visitor from next month.

The Government has announced that care home residents will be able to be visited indoors by a single, named individual from March 8 as part of the Prime Minister’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions.

The scheme will allow a single visitor to hold hands indoors with their relative or contact in a care home, and make repeat visits under carefully designed conditions to keep residents, staff and visitors safe.

Visitors will be required to have a coronavirus test beforehand and wear PPE during the visit.

David Coull, chief executive of Coverage Care Services, which runs a number of care homes across the county, says protocols have been developed to allow visits to happen in a safe way.

He said: “Our staff have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to make sure residents have maintained contact with their loved ones, but it has been challenging.

"There is no substitute to seeing a family member in person and the positive impact this has on wellbeing so without doubt, the reintroduction of care home visiting is good news.

“Like everyone else in the care sector we are waiting for further guidance from the Government, but we do already have in place a number of infection control measures and have developed protocols which will enable us to conduct screened visits for designated family members in a safe way from March 8.

“As always, there will be a requirement for all visitors to make an appointment, wear appropriate PPE, complete a health questionnaire and sign our visitor's agreement.

David Coull, chief executive of Coverage Care Services

"Visits will take place in designated visiting areas with screens and these areas will be cleaned in between appointments in line with infection control procedures.

“If the Government recommends any further safety measures, we’re confident we will have these in place to allow visiting to start next month.

“We know it has been a difficult and emotional time for everyone, but we hope this will be the first step towards reconnecting residents and their loved ones."

He says all arrangements will be kept under close review.

Coverage Care Services operates care homes at Barclay Gardens, Chillcott Gardens, and Lightmoor View in Telford; Barleyfield House, Briarfields and Montgomery House in Shrewsbury; New Fairholme, Oswestry; Greenfields, Whitchurch; Innage Grange, Bridgnorth; Stone House, Bishops Castle; The Cottage Christian Nursing Home, Newport, and Woodcroft in Market Drayton.

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