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COVID-19 (Coronavirus info)

Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

Visitor guidance and staying connected

The Scottish Government have published guidance about visiting in care homes, and the most up to date guidance can be...

Visiting guidance - Scottish Government This guidance pages sets out how care home visiting may be gradually increas...

Visiting guidance - Scottish Government

This guidance pages sets out how care home visiting may be gradually increased while minimising risks to residents, staff and visitors.

There are two main sets of guidance for care homes, focused on resuming:

  • visiting by friends and family
  • visits into the home by volunteers, spiritual/faith representatives and professionals
  • wellbeing activities

The guidance recommends care homes take a staged approach to resuming visiting. In addition, the guidance sets out actions to mitigate risks to residents, visitors and staff. For all care homes, regardless of Covid status, essential visits should be generously supported where possible to do so safely, without a defined time limit.

Infographics, videos and accompanying transcripts have also been produced to help support residents in care homes with COVID-19, as well as visiting as safely as possible. These are all available on the Scottish Government Guidance page

Scottish Government: Open with care

Open with Care - supporting meaningful contact in care homes: guidance 24th Feb 2021 (PDF)

Open with Care: Supporting Meaningful Contact in Care Homes (Supplementary information: Answers to practical questions and concerns ) 18th March 2021 (PDF)

New Videos:

Frontline best practice for supporting residents in care homes with COVID-19 video (with subtitles)

Assessing and managing older care home residents in acute and emergency care settings (with subtitles)

The following arrangements should be in place for care home visiting under Tier 4 enhanced level restrictions:  In...

The following arrangements should be in place for care home visiting under Tier 4 enhanced level restrictions: 

  1. Indoor Visits: essential visits only
  2. Outdoor Visits: visits to the care home to see loved ones via garden or window visits should be arranged with care home in advance. As a result of the additional risk posed by the new covid-19 variant, garden visits should be limited to one visitor and visits by children and young people should be suspended.
  3. Essential Visits: It is important that essential visits continue to be supported. Essential visits include:
    • circumstances where it is clear that the person’s health and wellbeing is changing for the worse,
    • where visiting may help with communication difficulties,
    • to ease significant personal stress, or
    • other pressing circumstances, including approaching end of life.
  4. Testing and Infection Control Measures for Essential Visitors:
    • All essential visitors should be tested in accordance with local protocol
    • In view of the highly contagious strain of the virus, it is recommended essential visitors comply with all safety measures as before, i.e. IPC/PPE/Physical Distancing.
  5. Positive or suspected case of covid-19: If there has been a positive or suspected case of covid-19 in the care home in the previous 14 days, only essential and potentially window visits will be possible. Risk assessments must be undertaken taking into consideration the home layout.  For example window visits may be possible in an outbreak situation where the resident is not required to leave their room to undertake the visit. The window must remain closed during the visit.
  6. Travel Exemption: visiting a loved one in a care home is classed as essential travel and is exempt from travel restrictions.

 

The Care Inspectorate has produced a comprehensive guide Supporting people to keep in touch when Care Homes are not a...

The Care Inspectorate has produced a comprehensive guide Supporting people to keep in touch when Care Homes are not accepting visitors  (pdf).

Many care homes have already put in place ways residents can keep in touch with family and friends. Some good practice examples are listed below: 

  • Use of video calls using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom
  • Postcards from home
  • Letters can be read aloud
  • Sharing some of the activities residents have enjoyed using social media or sharing photos with family (with appropriate consent and permissions)

Ensure your Care Home has an appropriate Communication strategy.  For residents who require additional communication...

Ensure your Care Home has an appropriate Communication strategy. 

For residents who require additional communication support make sure you follow best practice.

  • Do not ignore the resident even though you do not share a language; smile, give good eye contact
  • Be aware of their increased social isolation
  • Facilitate video calls with their family or friends Use accessible language, avoid jargon and long words
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) covers techniques that support or replace spoken communication. These include gestures, signing, symbols, word boards, communication boards, as well as Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCAs)

For residents whose first language is not English:

  • Use professional interpreters at key times to communicate complex information and for clinical conversations – this can also be done via telephone interpreting
  • Facilitate communication with family or friend in their primary language

For British Sign Language users:

  • Use professional BSL interpreters at key times to communicate complex information and for clinical conversations – online remote interpreting can also be used
  • Learn some key signs, use picture cards for social conversation

For residents who are hard of hearing:

The COVID-19 climate means some professional communication support such as lip speakers will not be possible.

  • Consider using Note takers or a speech to text app, particularly at key times to communicate complex information and for clinical conversations
  • Use speech to text app, a pencil and paper or picture cards for social conversation
  • Do not ignore the resident even though you do not share a language; smile, give good eye contact
  • As well as using online communication tools, you can also facilitate contact using a boosted audio phone

For residents with a learning disability:

  • Find out how the person normally communicates - they may have a communication passport · Use different communication tools e.g. a Makaton Board, pictures
  • Follow the resident’s lead in your communication with them
  • Go at the resident’s pace
  • Allow time for questions and processing information
  • Check you have been understood.
Last Updated: 19 March 2021