Covid-19: Care home families and staff asked for views on visiting

An invitation has gone out to people in care homes and their families to take part in a survey on recent visits.

Staff have also been invited to complete what has been described as a "snapshot survey" following the recent relaxation of Covid-19 rules.

The Visiting with Care survey is a joint initiative by the Public Health Agency and Patient and Client Council.

"We want to hear from you so we can learn what went well and what needs to change," they said.

In February, the Department of Health announced that there would no longer be a restriction on the number of people who may visit but visits remain limited to two households per day.

At this point in the pandemic, when a care home is not in outbreak:

  • Visiting can happen in residents' own rooms with a window open;
  • Care homes will continue to operate a booking system for all visitors including evenings and weekends;
  • Children can visit and the responsibility will rest with the adult for supervision to ensure they adhere to all IPC measures. Any restriction on numbers has been lifted;
  • Close physical contact enabled to include 'brief' hugging;
  • Effective hand hygiene practices and masks to remain.

However, the situation changes when there is an outbreak in a care home when all visits have to be suspended, unless there are exceptional circumstances such as end-of-life care.

The survey opens on Monday 11 April and will close on Friday 27 May 2022.

It can be completed online by following this link.

Alternatively a hard copy of the survey is available by telephoning the Public Health Agency or the Patient Client Council.

by BBC
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