Care home visiting

We are working with care homes across the borough to ensure government guidance on visiting is being followed and that residents can have safe visits with their loved ones.

From 19 July, in line with national guidance, care home residents can nominate named visitors and an essential care giver who can enter the home regularly. Residents no longer have any limits to the number of visitors they can nominate or the number of visitors that can attend the home over the course of a day. All visitors to care homes are required to:

  • take a lateral flow test before each visit and receive a negative result
  • wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • abide by infection control guidelines
  • keep any physical contact to a minimum (unless they are an essential care giver)
  • not enter the home if they are unwell or are required to self-isolate

Please also be aware that if a coronavirus outbreak is identified within a home, face to face visiting will be limited to exceptional circumstances only. There is an exception to this for essential caregivers who are able to enter the home during an outbreak.

Care home managers are required to complete their own risk assessments for visiting policies, so there may be some variations in policies at individual homes. Please contact the home directly with any queries on visiting guidance.

Care home visiting guidance is regularly changing, so please view the guidance for care home visiting on the government's website for the most up to date information.

 

Adult social care and our providers in Warrington are supporting up to 2,600 vulnerable people in their homes and in care settings every day. The outbreak of coronavirus has led to the disruption of a number of services and there is likely to be some continued disruption for the foreseeable future. 

We are following and reviewing government guidance to ensure we are able to respond to the latest advice. We are working closely with our care providers to ensure they are following infection control guidelines, so they are able to deliver safe care, and that together we can continue to fulfill our duties under the Care Act to provide appropriate services.

The government has introduced new legislation under the Care Act known as “easements”. These can be applied if the workforce is significantly depleted and/or demand on social care has increased to an extent where it is no longer possible to comply with all duties. This has not been necessary in Warrington, and we do not currently plan to apply any easements to our Care Act duties. However, if in the future we do need to take these steps, we will inform you, and keep these changes to the minimum necessary, and for the shortest time required.

Our main priorities are:

  • Supporting our most vulnerable people and their carers to stay safe and well in the community
  • Working with partners to support timely and safe discharge from hospital, arranging care at home or in an appropriate care setting while longer term planning takes place
  • Continuing to support our care providers to deliver quality and safe services and to respond to the risks associated with COVID-19
  • Understanding the wider impact of COVID-19 on the safety and wellbeing of individuals and staff and responding accordingly
Care at home

Due to the continued impact of coronavirus, some provider services may be impacted with staff sickness or self-isolation which may result in staff shortages. It is therefore likely that individual care packages may be affected. This may affect either the frequency or the timing of the visits. We are doing everything we can to minimise disruption to services and to ensure that essential visits are provided. If family or friends wish to provide support in place of a care service then please contact your social worker in the first instance.    

Where individuals have made their own private care arrangements, or employ personal assistants and have concerns about their future care provision, the same advice applies. Any concerns should be reported through Contact Warrington, please call 01925 443322.

Care homes - residential and nursing

There are restrictions in place for visitors, in line with the current government guidance, to help keep residents as safe and well as possible, but we understand the importance of care home residents maintaining contact with loved ones.

We are working with care homes across the borough, to ensure government guidance is being followed regarding people keeping in touch with their loved ones.

We are asking care homes to encourage and promote contact and communications between residents and their families. Where there has been a coronavirus outbreak within a home, face to face visiting can only take place in exceptional circumstances.

We have provided all homes with a risk assessment template, including examples of what may constitute an exceptional circumstance that may assist them in taking those decisions.

All planned respite care is being reviewed and only critical respite will continue. Please contact your social work team directly if you have any queries. We will do our best to continue supporting carers as much as possible through our carers support services.

Day services

Day services have reopened and are offering support to those most vulnerable, and people without access to alternative support.

We continue to review day services capacity and are liaising with providers on a weekly basis. If you have any specific queries, please contact your social work team directly.

Supported accommodation

Supported accommodation providers will be continuing to provide their service, while taking actions necessary to reduce the risk of infection to service users. We will also be discussing with providers the arrangements to support individuals if services are significantly disrupted. All queries should be directed to your social work team directly.

Safe and well service

We have established a ‘safe and well’ service, working with our community partners, to support vulnerable residents who would benefit from wellbeing checks.

We have been supporting residents who have been identified as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' to offer support. Where a person is unable to leave their home and has no family, friends, or appropriate support network, we will also ensure people receive essential items, such as food and prescriptions.

Safeguarding

We would like to reassure you that we are working hard to maintain business continuity and remain committed to safeguarding adults, children and young people in Warrington. 

While we are working closely with our care providers and other agencies to minimise disruption to our services, we are also asking for the support of individuals and their families to try to ensure that together, those who are most vulnerable, can receive the care they need and are effectively safeguarded.

To report a concern, please call 01925 443322.

As more information emerges, recommendations may change, so keep up to date with the national guidance on the gov.uk website, as this is updated regularly.