Risk assessments will be conducted before homes are opened, the Department of Health and Social Care said.Matt Hancock has announced a visit to some nursing homes in England that will resume this week in a major renewal of the coronavirus limits introduced four months ago.
The government has said appropriate safety measures, including face coverage and community segregation, will be required and public health regulators will lead the decision-making process through visits. Risk assessments will also be conducted prior to the opening of homes, including looking at local emergencies and home-based care conditions across the country.
The Department of Health and Public Care added that reducing the risk limit for Covid-19 transmission where progress is made should be “one visitor, per resident, where possible”. The secretary of health said: “I know how important this is. My heart goes out to those who have not seen their loved ones in nursing homes. I hope this initiative helps people get back together. ”
“We are now able to carefully and safely allow care visits to nursing homes, based on local knowledge and the circumstances of each nursing home,” added Mr Hancock.
“It is very important that we do not do all the hard work of care facilities over the past few months while ensuring that family and friends can reunite safely and we have put in place a framework that protects everyone.”
According to figures from the Office of the National Statistics (ONS) earlier this month, one in five households became infected with Covid-19 if the disease persisted, with separate figures showing that between March and June about 20,000 people were killed in social care cases linked to coronavirus.
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It is understandable that the decision as to whether or not to allow visits to home care homes will ultimately be the providers and managers of each home care facility they have to make.
Caregiver care providers will also be asked to provide records of visitors who will provide NHS Test and Trace assistance as a means of protection from any local coronavirus outbreaks.
Professor Jim McManus, Vice President of the Association of Directors of Public Health, said: “We know it is very difficult to be separated from the people we love but limits are important to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“This new guide will support community health directors, working with Adult Social Care and local care directors, to take a risk-based approach to permitting tourism where possible while trying to curb the spread of Covid 19 – and between caregivers, staff and the wider community.”