Freedom Day is upon us. I am unsure exactly how I feel about it, but I think the Government are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The school summer holidays are the right time to provide some more freedom, but at the same time, infection rates are rising across all areas. I think we all just need to be sensible, take precautions and be personally responsible – let’s hope that is enough.

As I mentioned in my email last week we were awaiting the updated guidelines and finally the changes to care home visiting have been published and they are sensible. Please continue as before being especially aware of the following;

You must phone to book a visiting slot – this is to avoid over-crowding and to minimise the crossing of visitors. Please adhere to the times agreed so that we do not affect other visitors and any spaces used can be cleaned.

For numbers of visitors, we will allow a maximum of 2 visitors indoors and 4 outside in the garden. We will allow visits of up to 1 hour, assuming that the visit starts on time. Please do not be upset or offended if the care team need to ask you to finish your visit if it is over-running. They are doing it for everyone’s safety and to share the visiting slots fairly.

For completeness, I have copied some details from the latest Government guidance;

What you can do to help manage the risks

There are lots of ways you can help to reduce the risk of passing on the virus without knowing during a visit:

  • get the vaccine when it is offered to you. Vaccination is one of the best defences to combat infection. It significantly reduces the transmission of infection, particularly after 2 doses. It is strongly recommended that residents and visitors receive 2 doses of vaccine before conducting visits
  • take a rapid lateral flow test on the day of your visit (please bring a photo or the test if done at home)
  • do not visit the care home if you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of coronavirus
  • wear a mask throughout your visit
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you arrive at the care home

Most importantly, remember to limit close contact, use whatever PPE the care home asks you to, and keep it on. Gloves should only be necessary when providing close personal care.

As of today, the number of people tested positive in Wiltshire has increased by 94.4%!

Finally, a polite request. I know we have all had enough of the controls and constraints, but they are there, especially in a care home, to keep everyone safe, especially our vulnerable residents. They are our residents, but more importantly they are your family. Please do keep to time; please do keep your mask on at all times; please do wash or handgel your hands.