4th December 2020
Care homes work to set up safe visiting
Care bosses at Sandwell Council have asked families to be patient while arrangements are made to safely restart care home visits.
The call follows the government announcement that homes can re-introduce visiting, with updated guidance on visits to care homes.
Visitors must test negative for COVID-19 before being allowed into the care home.
The guidance says that welcoming people into care homes also inevitably brings an infection risk that must be balanced.
This means finding the right balance between the wellbeing benefits of visiting for residents and the COVID-19 transmission risk to social care staff and clinically vulnerable residents.
Sandwell’s cabinet member for healthy lives, Councillor Farut Shaeen, said: “Although government has announced that care homes can re-introduce visiting, the health secretary also made it clear the infection risk remains – and that we must balance that risk against the importance of visiting and to care home residents and their families.
“So while we welcome the news, we do need people to be patient as care homes wait for testing and PPE equipment to come from government.
“There is a lot to work through, including staff training and setting up booking and logging systems and this all takes time. The council will support homes and visitors through the process.
“I know how hard this has been for both residents and relatives – but I also know that everyone agrees our residents’ safety is always the top priority.
“We cannot let people come back into these homes, among our most vulnerable people until we have all possible precautions in place.
“We are immensely grateful to our care homes who have worked relentlessly to protect our most vulnerable family and friends through this most challenging time.”
Care homes will contact families when they can re-open to visitors.