Many of you will have seen the Scottish Government announcement that from (Monday, August 10th) visiting rules at care homes are to be relaxed across the country to enable more people to see their loved ones.
The facilitation of the people we support meeting-up with family and friends has been a complex, but increasingly frequent, consideration for our services in recent weeks and so this announcement is one that should be welcomed, but which will require careful consideration and operational planning.
The new guidance means that from August 10th, providing all the appropriate infection control measures, including PPE being available and physical distancing being in place, and a number of Scottish Government conditions being met, including participation in weekly staff testing, and nobody in the service - supported people or staff members having had any symptoms in the past 28 days - up to three outdoor visitors from two different households would be permitted to visit. The guidance also states that the visit should be for no more than 30 minutes and would be allowed to happen once a week.
It is vital to note that the arrangement of such a meeting at a service would require a considerable amount of advance planning, an updated risk assessment, and further, external sign-off from Public Health Grampian. As such, any requests from family members for a visit at this time should be discussed with a Regional Manager in the first instance.
Please also note that Inspire's position, as outlined last week, is that whilst Aberdeen remains under a localised lockdown, no visits to any of our services within the City are permitted. This will be reviewed following the First Minister's update on Wednesday (August 12th) regarding this situation.
You may also have read that care home providers - like Inspire - have been asked to develop plans for how they can allow one designated visitor for residents indoors with August 24th highlighted as an indicative date of when these visits could begin. As an organisation Inspire will develop this plan in-line with our existing internal route-map out of lockdown and will communicate further regarding potential timescales for this in due course.
Linda Gray, CEO