Rolling Out Visitor Testing Within Our Care Home
We are pleased to announce that following recent Government guidance we are in a position to start rolling out visitor testing within our care home.
This will enable us to offer regular testing of visitors, and when combined with other infection prevention and control measures (such as PPE), we can support more meaningful visits with loved ones.
We are determined to work together with you to find the right balance between the benefits of visiting on wellbeing and quality of life, and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to our staff and people who live at Ash Lodge Nursing Home who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.
We will start testing visitors from 8/3/21. As part of our welcoming visitors back into Ash Lodge Nursing Home and keeping everyone safe, we ask that you book your visits in advance.
This letter sets out more about what the testing process will involve, what it will mean for you, and other precautions we ask that you take to keep your loved ones, our other residents and our staff safe, ensuring we fulfil our responsibility to minimize the community transmission of COVID-19.
In the event of an outbreak in Ash Lodge Nursing Home, we will have to close to visitors with the exception of residents who are end of life and will do so on the advice of the Director of Public Health.
What does testing involve?
You will be asked to take a test using a new technology called a Lateral Flow Test (LFT). You will need to have this test before you visit face-to-face. This test will check within 30 minutes if you have COVID-19. You will be asked by our staff to apply hand sanitizer and blow your nose and then swab each nostril for 10 seconds each nostril.
It is very straightforward, and you will be supported throughout the process by a member of staff from Ash Lodge Nursing Home. Full instructions will be given to you when you arrive for your visit and a visitor’s testing guidance pack is provided in this email/letter.
What you will need to do:
- Book a visit ahead of time. This allows us to space out the visits and maintain a COVID-safe environment
- Agree with your loved one who is the 1 person (max) who will be visiting consistently. We will add this to the care plan. Agree who will communicate with family and friends who the designated visitors will be each Time you Visit Ash Lodge Nursing Home.
- You will be provided with PPE and asked to put it on as advised by a member of staff. This will include gloves, mask and apron. See the attachment with this email/letter for a pictorial guide on how to correctly put on and take off PPE. A staff member will help you with this.
- Your temperature will be taken by a member of staff
- You will be asked to sign a consent form to take the test and share personal information with us so we can record and tell you your result
- You will be checked in for your visit Take your Test
- After you check in, you will be given a swab
- You will then need to take your nose swab, supervised by one of our trained staff members. We will walk you through how to swab yourself, which will only take about 30 seconds to do
- Once you have handed over the swab, you will be asked to wait until your result is ready, which will take approximately 30 minutes
- You will need to stay in the pod and continue to wear the PPE provided and wait until a staff member tells you your result.
- Positive: You will not be able to visit. You must go home immediately and self-isolate. You will have to take a second test which is a confirmatory PCR test which we will provide and register for you. You will receive your result in around 72 hours and you need to self-isolate until you get your result. If you test positive, NHS Test & Trace may contact you to ask you for your contacts
- Inconclusive: We will ask you to do another LFT test. If this is inconclusive too, we will discuss your visit with you
- Negative: Your visit will be able to go ahead, as long as you comply with all other infection prevention and control measures (see below). This does not guarantee that you definitely do not have COVID-19, so we still need to make sure visits take place in a safe way, such as ensuring you wear your PPE at all times. If you have any questions about this, please do ask.
It’s important to recognise that a negative test will provide us with some assurance as to whether you are carrying the COVID-19 virus. However, it is not a guarantee. To keep your loved one and our care home safe, we ask that you please follow the below guidelines:
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell, including if you have a fever, a cough or a change in your taste and smell
- Follow national guidance outside of your visit, including limiting your contact with other people and wearing a mask in public if possible
- Observe social distancing with anyone outside of your household or bubble and wash your hands regularly
- Wear PPE when moving around Ash Lodge Nursing Home and during your visit.
Can you have physical contact with your loved one?
- Provided you are wearing appropriate PPE, and following other infection control measures, then it will be possible for you to be have physical contact with your loved ones, such as providing personal care, holding hands and a hug
Please note the following:
- Do not take off any PPE according to guidance from the member of staff
- Do not enter any part of Ash Lodge Nursing Home that has not been agreed by our staff
- Refreshments will not be offered due to infection control policy, please make sure you are well hydrated before visit.
- Please note that once you leave the building you cannot re-enter the same day.
- Toilets also will not be available during the visit as per policies and procedures.
Please note that visiting restrictions will take place if guidance is not followed as you could appreciate we have a duty of care for all our residents, staff and loved ones.
We appreciate you working with us to ensure that we can enable safe visiting and should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ask.
Michael Verma/ Managing Director
Helen Wilcox/ Registered Manager
David Carpenter/ Deputy Nurse Manager