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Larchwood Care (NI) Limited
First Floor

Unit 16 Crescent Industrial Estate
Ballinderry Road
Lisburn

BT28 2GN

Tel: 028 92 669 360

22 February 2022

In the last number of months we have seen significant changes in the development of the virus with the spread of a new variant “omicron,” the impact of the holiday season over Christmas and New Year, the easing of social restrictions in the community and the changes to testing practices.

We continue to be thankful for the skill, commitment and dedication of all staff teams who have worked tirelessly in caring for the residents during challenging times.  We thank relatives too who have been patient and understanding in supporting the necessary restrictions placed upon visiting especially in Homes which have been impacted by outbreaks.

It was announced last week that further easing of restrictions on visiting have been introduced and this is cautiously welcomed.  I have outlined below the visiting arrangements which will be in place in all “non-outbreak homes” with immediate effect and anticipate that we will review on 7 March, when we expect further guidance from the Department of Health

Virtual, Window, End of Life Visiting and Care Partners

There have not been any changes in the arrangements for the above visiting opportunities.  All continue to be available within the Homes and can be booked, where necessary, through the Home Administrator.

General Visiting

In line with the Regional guidelines referenced above Larchwood Care NI is also facilitating General and Room Visits.  The difference between a General Visit and a Room Visit is the location in which they take place within the Home.  A General Visit will take place within the designated visiting area of the Home and a Room Visit, for those residents unable to come to the visiting area, will take place in the Resident’s room.

All General and Room visits must be pre-booked and you will be asked a series of risk assessment questions as part of this booking process.  Booking can take place Monday – Friday 1000 – 1100 hours or 1400-1500 hours, by phoning the Care Home.  The following guidelines will help you to understand the process and arrangements for both types of visits

  • Book in advance.
  • Undertake risk assessment over the phone.
  • 4 visitors from a maximum of 2 households may visit for maximum 60 minutes.
  • Visitors may include children. Children are included within the maximum 4 persons per visit.
  • Arrive to the Home wearing a face mask 20 minutes prior to your visiting slot.
  • All visitors will be swabbed using a rapid antigen COVID-19 test.
  • You will be asked to wait until the result of your test is confirmed as negative
  • You may touch and hold hands with the resident and brief hugging is now permitted.

 

In facilitating this wide range of visiting activities and care partner arrangements you will understand the burden placed on staff time to undertake the administration and facilitation of these.  Each Home will therefore have a maximum number of general and virtual visits available per week and we would ask that all relatives, family and friends are understanding of this.

In addition to visiting, independently mobile residents may avail of meeting with relatives in the grounds and gardens of the Homes.  Residents may also now enjoy brief trips outside of the Home with loved ones.  These trips will be accommodated where restrictions such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks and the use of hand sanitiser can be facilitated.  Such visits will be risk assessed by the care home and further direction on these can be sought through the Home Manager.

Care Partner arrangements within the Homes continue and visits by Church Ministers and Faith Groups are in addition to the above visiting arrangements.

All visitors, including Care Partners, in their daily lives are reminded of the need to ensure good personal hygiene, use of face coverings as required and to exercise their judgement on the need to use public transport for the benefit of all residents and staff in the Home.