Following the Government’s confirmation that national lockdown restrictions will be lifted, I am delighted to advise how we will be further opening up for visiting to our services from Monday 19th July 2021. Please do remember there will still be some precautions in place as Prof. Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, does advise we must continue to exercise caution.
We will therefore still require all visitors to our services to continue to wear face masks in all areas. Our staff will be wearing masks and, where required or appropriate, other PPE. We are removing the need for visitors to wear aprons and gloves but ask that you continue to wash your hands and use the hand sanitiser available throughout the service to ensure high levels of infection prevention and control are maintained.
The established testing regime for staff remains as is for now, therefore we ask that visitors undertake an LFT test before visiting any service – this may be completed at home and the test cassette presented on arrival for a visit, or undertaken at our testing facilities, which does mean waiting for the result before the visit can begin.
Guidance on the number of visitors, frequency and duration of visits will be relaxed, however to be able to maintain a safe environment for all, we will still operate a booking system for visits which will be managed by each service locally. It is great to tell you that we will once again we encourage visits in our communal spaces; the lounges and gardens, and will ensure visiting areas within the services will be well ventilated.
Once a visit is booked, it is the responsibility of the visitor to ring on the day of the booking and speak with the lodge or unit to confirm there are no changes to ill health, appointments or outings.
As always, we will follow the guidelines as prescribed by the Government, the NHS and our local authorities, applying best practice at local level to ensure the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff.
As ever, if there is anything unclear or you wish to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact myself or the General Manager of the relevant service.
Dara Ní Ghadhra
Chief Operating Officer