Information for when visiting your relatives
Along with our regular infection prevention and control measures (including PPE), we are rolling out the use of Lateral Flow Tests which allow us to offer regular testing of visitors coming into the home to visit loved ones. We aim to help our care homes and families to work together to ensure visiting has positive impacts on relatives wellbeing and quality of life, whilst also managing the risk of transmission of Covid-19 to care staff and vulnerable residents.
What does testing involve?
Before visiting the home you we will ask you to be check if you currently have Covid-19. This will be done using new technology called a Lateral Flow Test (LFT).
These tests involve taking a throat and nose swab every time you visit. We will ask you to complete the swabbing yourself, supervised by a trained staff member. The swab is a small piece of soft, absorbent material on a plastic stick that you will use to take a sample from your nose and throat. The results of the LFT are rapid and we will let you know your result after 30 minutes.
Full instructions will be provided to you upon your scheduled visit. The test is straightforward and you will be supported through the process by a member of staff.
What can I expect when I visit? Key steps you should be prepared for during the test include: (delete this if this the new title matches)
Step 1 – When you first enter the care home:
- A staff member will provide you with PPE and you will be asked to put it on. This PPE will include gloves, mask and apron. A staff member will help you if needed.
- You will be asked to complete our questionnaire as you have previously been doing.
- A staff member will take your temperature.
- You will be asked to sign a consent form to both take the test and share personal information with us so we can record the data when confirming your result.
- You will be checked in for your visit.
Step 2 – Registering for your test
- You need to register for the test so that NHS Test & Trace can link you to your test sample. They will also need to collect your contact details in order to send you your result.
- This will be done via an online form on an iPhone that we will provide.
- A staff member will help you if you cannot complete this form yourself.
- In order to complete the registration form, our staff will provide you with:
- 4 copies of your test kit barcode – used to track your individual test
- The test site ID number – used to link your test to the care home
- Test registration card – used to save a copy of your barcode for your personal records
- Please make sure you keep the barcode copies with you.
Step 3 – Taking your LFT test
- After you check in, you will be given a swab kit.
- You will then need to take your own throat and nose swab, supervised by one of our trained staff members. We will tell you how to swab yourself, which will only take about 30 seconds.
- Once you have taken the swab, you will be asked to wait until your result is ready, which will take approximately 30 minutes.
Step 4 – Understanding the test results
We will tell you your result and NHS Test & Trace will also send you your result via SMS and/or the e-mail that you provided on the online registration form.
- Positive – you will not be able to visit. You must go home immediately and self-isolate. You will have to take a second test, which is a confirmatory PCR test which we will provide and register for you. You will receive your result in around 72 hours and you need to self-isolate until you get your result. If you test positive, NHS Test & Trace may contact you to ask you for your contacts.
- Inconclusive – we will ask you to do another LFT test. If this is inconclusive too, we will discuss your visit with you.
- Negative – your visit will be able to go ahead, as long as you comply with all other infection prevention and control measures (see below). A negative result does not guarantee that you definitely do not have Covid-19, so we still need to make sure visits take place safely by ensuring you wear your PPE at all times. If you have any questions about this, please ask.
It’s important to recognise that a negative test will provide us with some assurance as to whether or not you are carrying the Covid-19 virus. However, it is not a guarantee. To keep both your loved one and our care home safe, we ask that you please follow the guidelines below:
- If you feel unwell, including if you have a fever, a cough or a change in your sense of taste and smell, then please stay at home.
- Follow national guidance outside of your visit, including limiting your contact with other people and wearing a mask in public.
- Observe social distancing with anyone outside your household or bubble and wash your hands regularly.
Visiting relatives – do’s and don’ts
Inside the care home, we ask that you continue to wear your face covering and any other PPE that you have been asked to wear. Please continue with our visiting policy throughout the visit.
Behaviours that are permissible during your visit:
- Provided you are wearing appropriate PPE and following other infection control measures then it will be possible for you to have physical contact with your loved one, such as providing personal care, holding hands and a hug.
Behaviours that are not allowed during your visit:
- Taking off any PPE.
- Entering any part of the home that is not designated for your visit.
Thank you in advance for your patience and co-operation. We will continue to work hard to support and improve meaningful visits with our residents.