Department of Health and Social Care
Care home residents can stay overnight as visiting restrictions ease
Care home residents will be able to spend more time with family and friends.
- Residents will be able to spend time away from their care home with family and friends
- Every resident can nominate an ‘essential care giver’ to provide additional support during visits
- This is the latest cautious step taken to restore care home visits to as close to normality as possible
Care home residents will be able to spend more time with family and friends, including overnight stays as part of an easing of visiting restrictions announced yesterday.
Currently, residents can only leave the care home for a visit if outdoors or for high-priority reasons, such as a dental or GP appointment, but will now be able to leave the home for more social reasons without having to isolate.
From 21 June, people admitted to a care home from the community will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, so residents will have a less disruptive introduction to their new home.
To ensure this happens safely, residents will undergo an enhanced testing regime – a PCR test before admission, a PCR test on the day of admission and a further PCR test 7 days later.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said:
I have heard first-hand from those living and working in care homes how difficult the restrictions around visiting have been and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone working in the sector who has helped reunite families safely.
Thanks to the continued success of the vaccine rollout, I am pleased we can now take another step towards normality, helping more people enjoy visits out of the care home while protecting them from the continued risk of COVID-19.
The government has also strengthened the role of the ‘essential care giver’, which means every resident should be able to nominate a friend or family member to provide extra care on their visits. Essential care givers can continue to visit during outbreaks.
The essential care giver role is intended to provide additional support from someone with a unique personal relationship with the resident.
They have access to the same personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supply as care home workers and should be allowed to continue to visit during periods of isolation or where there is an outbreak.
Care home residents would still need to isolate for 14 days following a visit out that would be deemed high risk through a risk assessment or after an overnight stay at hospital.
If a person is admitted from a hospital or another care home they must also self-isolate.
The government has worked to do everything it can to make sure staff are kept as safe as possible while they support others, including prioritising them for the COVID-19 vaccine, increased testing and a constant supply of free PPE.
Almost £1.8 billion has been made available for adult social care including infection prevention and control measures to support providers to pay staff who are self-isolating and limit the movement of staff where possible.
Updated guidance will be published in due course.
Care homes will need to conduct individual risk assessments to ensure visits out are not high-risk. This will take into account the number of nights the resident plans to stay out of the home.
When a resident is admitted to a care home from the community they are given an enhanced testing regime consisting of a PCR test before admission, a PCR test on the day of admission and a further PCR test 7 days later.
Decisions about an individual resident’s visits outside of a care home should be taken with the resident’s assessed needs and circumstances considered. The care home should balance the benefits of visits out of the care home against a consideration of the risks to others in the home, where necessary.
Individual risk assessments should take into account:
- the vaccination status of residents, visitors and staff
- levels of infection in the community
- variants of concern in the community
- where the resident is going on a visit and what activities they will take part in while on the visit
- the mode of transport residents intend to use
Latest News from
Department of Health and Social Care
Public urged to continue protecting family and friends22/07/2021 15:15:00
New government campaign launches across England to remind public of importance of continuing healthy behaviours to reduce the spread of COVID-19
Promotions of unhealthy foods restricted from October 202222/07/2021 11:20:00
Following consultation with industry, the government will restrict unhealthy food promotions in stores from October 2022
NHS staff to receive 3% pay rise22/07/2021 09:50:00
Pay rise includes nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists and salaried GPs
Chief Medical Officer Annual Report 202121/07/2021 14:05:00
Chief Medical Officer seeks national strategy to improve health of coastal communities
New landmark strategy to improve the lives of autistic people21/07/2021 12:25:00
The government has launched a new multi-million pound strategy to speed up diagnosis and improve support and care for autistic people
Updated guidance for areas with additional COVID-19 measures in place20/07/2021 15:15:00
Guidance has been set out on how to stay safe, including wearing a face covering in enclosed and crowded spaces and keeping spaces well ventilated
Fully vaccinated critical workers to be able to leave self-isolation in exceptional circumstances20/07/2021 12:27:00
Fully vaccinated critical workers to be able to leave self-isolation in exceptional circumstances under new plans to prevent serious disruption to vital public services.
Statement on offering COVID-19 vaccines to at-risk young people20/07/2021 11:25:00
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid accepts advice from Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to offer vaccines to vulnerable young people
More than 10 million people now using the NHS App20/07/2021 10:10:10
The number of people using the NHS App has now reached 10.4 million, as a new NHS COVID Pass verification app launches.