Easing of Covid restrictions in the UK is a welcome change to Care Home residents and care providers
Although the roadmap initially laid out earlier this year has now been extended by a month following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday; there are still some very welcome changes coming today (Monday 21st June) for care home residents. Allowing them to take yet another step back towards normality.
Currently residents can only leave their care home for outdoor visits or high-priority reasons. However, from today, care home residents will be able to spend more time with family and friends; without the need to isolate upon returning to the home.
This is a long-awaited change that so many residents across the UK have been looking forward to. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) described it as the: “latest cautious step taken to restore care home visits to as close to normality as possible”.
Changes in admission processes
In addition, from today, changes are being made to the admission process. New residents no longer have to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival, provided that they undergo an enhanced testing regime which will include a number of PCR tests. This means one before admission, another on the day of admission and a final test seven days later in order to allow the process to run more smoothly.
Following the announcement last Monday, Care Minister Helen Whately stated that, “I am pleased we can now take another step towards normality, helping more people enjoy visits out of the care home while protecting them from the continued risk of Covid-19.”
The Chief Executive of Care England, Professor Martin Green also said that “we will continue to engage with the DHSC on all issues relating to the roadmap in order to empower providers to work within the best interests of those whom they support.”
Socially distanced days out
Residents from Cramond Care Home in Scotland have already received a taste of this new-found freedom. Staff were given the green light to resume activities for residents in small groups. They took part in a socially distanced day out to The Three Bridges in Queensferry. Those who took part felt a huge relief after not having left the home’s grounds for more than fourteen months.
Morna, one of the residents at Cramond Care Home said “It’s so nice to be back in the community and making up for lost time over the past year. Our day trips are always such a laugh, and it was nice to experience something new out of the home again. We’re already looking forward to our next trip out to Cramond beach for World Ocean’s Day.
With the changes to restrictions today, and the success over the last few weeks of care homes, such as Cramond, allowing residents to be back out for day trips, there is a lot to look forward to over the coming months for care home residents.
Whilst it’s been a long time coming and the last fourteen months haven’t been easy for anyone; having that sense of freedom again will really help to lift the spirits. This will help so may residents. Residents who have understandably found it so difficult throughout the pandemic.
By Rohan Fletcher: Specialist Recruitment Consultant in Adult Social Care
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