The Scottish Government introduced a new visiting guideline called “Open with Care”. The guideline gives us more flexibility in supporting extending meaningful contact. With your support we will introduce these new guidelines in all Erskine Homes from the 12th April 2021. (5th April for Erskine Park Home)
Designated Indoor visitors
Two designated visitors will be supported to visit, once each per week – visits should last no longer than 50 minutes; please note we will extend this in due course, this is simply a cautious approach to allow everyone to regain meaningful contact with their loved ones, while keeping the number of people in our Homes to a safe limit and of course to allow robust cleaning to happen.
The two designated visitors cannot change week by week, however changing the designated visitors each month can occur if felt appropriate and helpful.
1) the visit can take place in your loved one’s own room or
2) you are welcome to go out into the grounds or surrounding area with your loved one for a walk or
3) you are also welcome to go for a short drive of approximately 30 minutes.
Please note that residents should not be taken to any indoor public areas e.g. Morrisons or similar, neither should they be going to any private dwellings. I apologise if this sounds a little direct, however we share the common aim of keeping your loved one safe, by following the government guidelines we are all playing our part in this.
The designated visitor must take a Lateral Flow Device test, irrespective of which of the three options above are chosen; you are asked therefore to attend the home 30-40 minutes ahead of your visiting time.
Visits must be pre-arranged with the home using the usual telephone number.
You will be required to wear a mask at all times, this is especially important when choosing option 3. A car is a very enclosed space, it is unlikely you will be able to maintain a two metre distance and of course the airflow/air change is limited in a car – this is also why you are asked to keep car journeys to around 30 minutes. You are also asked, where possible, to have your loved one in the back of the car at the opposite side from the driver, with a window open (even a little bit) to encourage airflow and air change through the car.
We need your help.
It will be tempting, for some with larger families, to meet up with other family members, either in the grounds or when out in the car. After more than a year for some of you I can fully understand this. However, we have come this far together, we are seeing infection rates the lowest they have been for some considerable time, we are opening up opportunities incrementally, as quickly as we feel is safe – please work with us and follow the guidelines, I promise we will open our homes up as quickly as we can, our aim to is return our homes to the vibrant, welcoming communities they were before the pandemic, as soon as possible. Additionally, I know we all share a common goal in keeping your loved one, and other residents safe.
Outdoor visiting will continue alongside the opportunity for the two designated visitors i.e. a resident will be supported to have three visits per week (x2 indoor and x1 outdoors).
Scottish Government guidelines for the country is that, up to four adults from no more than two households can meet outdoors from 5th April. I have written to Scottish Government colleagues (and personally highlighted this to the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport last week), asking if we will be supported to enjoy this same extension to the regulations in care homes. I will let you know as soon as I hear back regarding extending outdoor visiting.
Outdoor visiting is supported for up to 50 minutes, the visitor (who can change each week), does not need to undertake a Lateral Flow Device test.
From the 12th April, (5th April for Erskine Park Home) for both indoor and outdoor visits, you will only be asked to wear a mask and complete the health questionnaire and thorough hand hygiene when entering a home and throughout your visit e.g. if you touch a door or hand rail as well as when you leave the home. There will be no need to wear a plastic apron.
Your support in following the guidelines will enable us to continue our journey of keeping residents, staff and yourselves safe, while re-opening our homes again. If there is anything you are unsure of or unclear about, please let us know – we really are in this together.
Thank you for your support, it is very much appreciated