Visiting during COVID

The issue about being able to visit loved ones – or to have visitors and get out and about to see friends and family – is taxing and vexing all of us.

This is even more true now a further lockdown has been announced in England from this Thursday.

Members told us in the recent visiting survey just how complicated this issue is for so many people.

One family member said they were told  “It’s dangerous and the organisation is merely following ‘guidelines’”.

A self advocate who has a learning disability said they were told by their support staff that visits from family were “not essential”.

You can read the findings from the survey here

Public Health England has issued Infection Prevention and Control Guidance that applies to all health and  residential care settings to make things clear and to try to ensure a consistent approach.

You can read this guidance here

Please note, this guidance does not apply to adult supported living social care settings in England.

Adult social care providers in England should refer to existing guidance.

Infection prevention and control experts and concerned others have responded about these restrictions enforced in nursing, care and residential homes  through an Open Letter.

The letter says: “It is almost impossible to underestimate the harm and mental anguish that barring entry to nursing, care and residential homes has caused to thousands of residents, their families and significant others.”

You can read the Open Letter here

It is not only individual and their families who are finding it hard to get it right around seeing family and friends.

New Prospects Association has written a blog about their experiences as a support provider.

Ellen Vick, Chief Executive says “I have no wish to deprive people we support of their human rights. But I do want to keep them safe.”

You can read New Prospect’s blog here 

Right2Home has created some great resources and a dedicated website to help everyone who has questions and issues about visiting.

You can visit the Right2Visit website here

Right2Home is also holding a webinar about visiting loved ones in supported living settings during COVID-19 and how the law and human rights can help.

The webinar is being held from 7pm to 8.30pm on Wednesday 11 November.

You can find out more and book online here

Some local authorities are leading the way in exploring how to make sure in-person indoor visits to people living in care settings can start again.

For example, North Yorkshire Council have started in person-visits again from 1 November.

You can read North Yorkshire Council’s guidance about this here 

As we face another month of lockdown, it has never been more important to keep working together to find solutions about how people can keep in touch within the rules.