BCP Council, Dorset Council and health partners are working with care providers across Dorset following the announcement that visiting relatives in residential care homes would be able to resume in time for Christmas.
Following updated guidance issued by the government this week, families are keen to visit their loved ones after what, for some, will be the first time in months. All care homes have been adhering to strict infection control measures throughout the pandemic and as a result of this we have not seen the numbers of COVID-19 cases in care homes that other areas of the country have experienced. This is testament to the hard work that has gone on across the system to keep residents and staff safe.
Any new guidance takes time to implement in a safe and responsible way and unlike pilot areas in neighbouring counties, care homes across the BCP Council and Dorset Council areas are only just starting to receive the Lateral Flow Testing equipment. The roll-out of equipment and training will continue over coming weeks.
Although the news this week that a vaccine will be available soon is welcomed right across the UK, the roll-out will take time and we will work with care homes to keep families updated.
2020 has been a tough year and families are missing their loved ones terribly, but the fewer people going in and out of care homes, the less the risk of transmission of this COVID-19.
Kindness is key to make sure that residents and staff in care homes are kept safe and this remains the top priority. It will be a little while before things can go back to ‘normal’, so please support the care sector while they work through the next stages of making sure that families and loved ones can be reunited in a safe and responsible way.
Every care provider has their own infection control polices, risk assessments and measures in place and anyone wishing to visit a loved one, where this is possible, should contact the home to make necessary arrangements.