Arrangements in place for supporting outdoor visits to care homes

Residential care homes across Bridgend county borough have been making arrangements to support outdoor visits for families and friends to see each other face-to-face.

With many homes run by independent care providers, families and friends wishing to visit their loved ones are being asked to contact the individual care home directly for information on specific arrangements in place.

Visits to care homes were restricted by Welsh Government in March as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, helping to protect people living at the homes, staff and visitors.

As part of lockdown restrictions now being lifted, Welsh Government has issued new guidance for safe visits to care homes.

Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Cllr Phil White said: “We want to thank families for their support and understanding during these very difficult times. We know the last few months have been a deeply anxious time for those unable to see their loved ones face-to-face.

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, staff in care homes have worked tirelessly to ensure residents have kept safe and well and they have been supporting people to maintain contact with their loved ones in a variety of ways – via telephone calls, video calls, cards, photos and emails.

“In circumstances where loved ones have been at the end of their life, care home managers have allowed their next of kin to visit wearing the recommended personal protective equipment.

“We welcome the latest Welsh Government guidance around outside visits and are supporting independent care providers and our own residential accommodation services as they make arrangements to facilitate outdoor visits in a safe manner. It is vital people are supported to maintain their relationships with families and friends.

“Each independent care provider is making arrangements in line with the national guidance which is being regularly reviewed by the Welsh Government.

“With each home set up very differently, arrangements are likely to be different across care homes so we encourage families and friends to speak to the homes directly for information on if, and how, visits will be managed.

“In making every effort to facilitate outdoor visits where it is safe to do so, it is important to minimise the risk of infection to protect people, visitors and staff.”

The latest Welsh Government guidance for care home providers includes ensuring visitors and residents are aware of certain requirements around social distancing and personal hygiene.

Outside visits will not take place if anyone living or working at the care home has Covid-19.