I am sure many of you are aware of the recent advice given by the Government on the topic of visiting Care Homes. It has been suggested that visits to Care Homes could potentially start in conjunction with a new rapid COVID test that has been launched.
Our reservations with this advice
We have significant reservations with this advice. The Government frequently offers advice, but we are not sure on this occasion if that advice is convincingly backed by science. For a significant percentage of the country, we are informed not to meet inside each other’s homes. It therefore does not make sense that the very same people can enter a Care Home where there is far more vulnerability.
Medway falls within Tier 3, which is the category of highest risk. People may make choices to create a ‘Christmas bubble’ of which may include tier 3 relatives/friends. All this mingling increases risk and can then be potentially be brought into our Home via a nominated visitor. Also, it was only earlier this week that Sheffield City Council warned care home providers not to use the government’s new rapid tests over doubts about accuracy.
Due to the vulnerability of some of our residents, we feel we should regard the whole situation as having only one chance to get this right. We have all worked together so hard to maintain this and it would be a great shame if things were to go wrong now. We completely understand the need of contact especially in the festive season, but we have to look at the overall risk/benefit balance.
It is for this reason we have taken the decision not to open the Care Home to visitors for the current time. We will certainly continuously review the evidence as it becomes available and will update you all accordingly.
We hope you are able to understand the rationale behind our reasoning. With the talk of the imminent vaccine, things are likely to change soon. It is therefore hopefully not too much longer before things change for the better.