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Overview of the guidance on visits outside of the care home.

I am aware that many activity coordinators are not being kept up to date with the latest Government guidance which will have an impact on how they carry out their support for residents.

I have now started to include, what I feel are the 'important bits' in my blogs.

I thought I had included this previously but I have chosen to pick this out to help Activity Coordinators get a better understanding of what this might mean for them and their residents.

The Government guidance applies from 12 April 2021. It accompanies the government roadmap to ease restrictions across England and replaces previous guidance on visits outside of the care home.

The Government recognises that spending time out of the care home has always been an important part of life for many people living in residential care. This might include visits with friends and family to outdoor spaces and leisure venues, or to celebrate special occasions.

They also acknowledge that, for some residents, regular visits may be part of their care plan – accessing care and support in day services, participating in community groups and volunteering.

Obviously, a simple walk outside could result in an unplanned meet-up with family, friends or others living in the area. This would require the care home to ensure that further steps are taken to ensure the safety of other residents even if, the encounter follows the guidance for others not living in a care home.

This guidance sets out the approach that care homes should take to planning and supporting visits out of the home where residents wish to make them. It explains the measures that should be taken – by the home, the resident and others taking part in the visit – to manage the risks.

The most significant of these is the requirement that a resident making a visit out of the care home should isolate for 14 days on their return (the day of return is day zero). This is to ensure that – in the event they have unknowingly become infected while out of the home – they minimise the chances of passing that infection on to other residents and staff.

So, if you live in a care home and have full capacity, you can't go and fetch your paper from the corner shop, unless you are willing to stay in your room for 14 days to read it.

Whilst your friends have been able to do this, even through lockdown.

The Government recognises that in practice, this is likely to mean that many residents will not wish to make a visit out of the home.

Is this unfair discrimination? - and where does it leave the provider?

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