Barchester Healthcare and living with COVID

Coronavirus

This page was last updated on 6th April 2022.

To read our latest communications to residents and relatives of our care homes in England please click here.

To read our latest communications to residents and relatives of our care homes in Wales, please click here.

To read our latest communications to residents and relatives of our care homes in Scotland, please click here.

To read our latest communications to patients and relatives of our hospitals, please click here.

The health, safety, and wellbeing of our residents, patients and staff is always our top priority and we continue to do all we can to keep those who are most vulnerable safe whilst the Coronavirus pandemic remains.

Our visiting is in line with Government guidance, which we lay out in detail below.

We are welcoming new residents and patients into our care homes and hospitals, so please give your local Barchester care home or hospital a call if you are looking for care or need any further help. We want to assure you that when we admit new residents and patients we have clear protocols in place to ensure that it is appropriate for them to move in which includes testing in advance. In addition, we ask that all staff members are vaccinated before working in our homes and hospitals.

In order to reassure you, this page details the latest guidance from Barchester Healthcare about the protocols that are in place. This information is intended for Barchester Healthcare residents, patients, staff and any visitors to our homes and hospitals.

For comprehensive information about the coronavirus itself, please visit either the Public Health EnglandPublic Health WalesHealth Protection Scotland, or Public Health Jersey.

Our visiting guidelines for Barchester Healthcare care homes in England from 1st April

We are delighted that the Government has announced its next steps on ‘living with Covid’ and we are writing to clarify what this means for you and our staff as of 1st April:

  • Visitors to our homes and hospitals will no longer need to take an LFD test before visiting but must continue to wear a face mask provided by the service
  • We will no longer ask you to book a visit so you can now visit freely as appropriate
  • Our staff will continue to test twice weekly when prevalence of COVID-19 is high, but not as a matter of course, and this will be the same for any relatives or friends who are providing personal care.
  • The prevalence of COVID-19 will be determined by the Government and is currently determined to be high and therefore our staff, and relatives or friends who are providing personal care, must test twice weekly
  • Residents and patients will be tested if they display symptoms of COVID-19 but will not be regularly tested otherwise
  • In a local outbreak only one visitor will be permitted to visit, and this person can be interchangeable providing they take an LFD test and wear PPE.
  • You can now spend time on your visit in communal areas more freely
  • Residents and patients will have much more freedom to go out and will no longer need to isolate on return from a high risk area or have to test upon return to the care home
  • If a resident or patient does test positive they will need to isolate for 10 days unless they test negative for 2 consecutive days after 5 days of isolation.
  • If an outbreak occurs the service will now be closed to visiting for 10 days rather than 14 days and of course we will inform you of this as appropriate

We are delighted that we are now moving into the next phase, and whilst we are still living with COVID-19 we are able to continue to get back to a more normal way of life.  We will be supporting all of our residents, patients and staff to take up the COVID booster vaccination, as we continue to believe that this remains the best protection for them.

Whilst we appreciate there are still protocols to follow in order to do all we can to keep residents patients and staff safe, we hope you agree that this feels like another positive step forward.

Our visiting guidelines for Barchester Healthcare care homes in Wales from 5th April

  • We are delighted that the Government has announced its next steps on ‘living with Covid’ and we are writing to clarify what this means for you and our staff from 5th April:
  • Visitors to our homes will need to continue to undertake an LFD test and show proof of that negative test prior to a visit.  The home will provide the LFD tests if needed
  • We ask that you still book your visit via our booking system but your visits are not restricted other than ensuring we can manage the flow of visiting and checking of negative LFD tests
  • Visitors should continue to wear face masks when entering the home, and when in communal areas of the home.  If you are eating and drinking your face mask can be removed
  • When visiting in a bedroom you do not need to wear a face mask anymore, and you can interact more freely, but please approach physical contact with caution, and ideally wear a facemask when hugging and kissing
  • When a resident goes out of the care home they no longer have to test
  • A resident may now nominate two ‘Essential Visitors’ to ensure continuity of visits during an outbreak.  These visitors are able to visit separately or together if preferred

We are delighted that we are now moving into the next phase, and whilst we are still living with COVID-19 we are able to continue to get back to a slightly more normal way of life.  We will be supporting all of our residents, patients and staff to take up the COVID booster vaccination, as we continue to believe that this remains the best protection for them.

Our current visiting guidelines for Barchester Healthcare care homes in Scotland from 5th April

We are delighted that the Government has announced its next steps on ‘living with Covid’ and we are writing to clarify what this means for you and our staff from 5th April:

  • Visitors to our homes will need to continue to undertake an LFD test and show proof of that negative test prior to a visit. Tests are still free and can be accessed via the community or the care home or by calling 119, if you cannot access a test we will permit entry by exception.
  • Visitors should continue to wear face masks when entering the home, and when in communal areas of the home, and must try and adhere to physical distancing of 1 meter.  Transparent face masks can also be used and these can be accessed through PPE hubs.
  • When visiting in a bedroom you do not need to wear a face mask and do not have to physically distance.
  • When a resident goes out of the care home they no longer have to test.
  • In an outbreak – which is determined by the local health protection team  – residents are still able to leave the home if they are not COVID positive or a contact of the person who is.
  • Also in an outbreak, communal areas can continue to be used, and residents can identify 3 named visitors, of whom one can visit per day, with two visiting at the same time as an exception if additional support is needed.

We are delighted that we are now moving into the next phase, and whilst we are still living with COVID-19 we are able to continue to get back to a more normal way of life.  We will be supporting all of our residents, patients and staff to take up the COVID booster vaccination, as we continue to believe that this remains the best protection for them.

Whilst we appreciate there are still protocols to follow in order to do all we can to keep residents patients and staff safe, we hope you agree that this feels like another positive step forward.

Vaccinations

We are so grateful for the vaccination programme that is allowing us all to return to normality, and we will be supporting our residents, patients and staff to have the booster vaccination as soon as possible.

Guidance for visiting a Barchester Healthcare home or hospital

Whilst we are returning to a more normal way of life we would ask that you continue to support visiting as safely as possible and therefore take the following precautions:

  • Please do not visit if you are currently self-isolating, have tested positive or experienced symptoms of Covid-19 in the past 14 days
  • Hand washing - Please wash your hands thoroughly before you visit the care home or hospital, on arrival and regularly while within the home or hospital for a minimum or 20 seconds, using either hot water and soap or 60% alcohol sanitiser gel. The NHS has a video guide to effective handwashing, which you can see here

If you are visiting outdoors or in our visiting suites please follow all guidance issued in advance and displayed during your visit, this includes maintaining social distancing at all times.

Protecting our residents, patients, and staff

Testing will remain a part of our approach and will be taken in line with country specific government guidance. Our staff are all trained in infection control and are vigilant to the symptoms of COVID-19.  We have clear processes to follow ifs a resident, patient or member of staff show such symptoms including isolation wherever necessary in line with government advice. Should your loved one display symptoms or test positive to Coronavirus, we would call and discuss the situation with you personally.

Keeping our residents physically, mentally and socially active

There is lots to look forward to this Spring with celebrations for Easter, the Queens unofficial birthday- combined with National Tea Day, National Gardening Week and Dementia Action Week to name just a few, and we will be creating exciting menus and planning immersive activities for all to enjoy. We also continue to work with our partners for our virtual live events programme, hosting tours and talks from Cliveden National Trust, the Wallace Collection Museum as well as a selection of authors for our Book Club Corner events.

Our staff

Many of you have written to us to thank our amazing staff who are working tirelessly to ensure you and your loved ones are kept safe.  Thank you so much for doing this, it means such a lot to them and we are ensuring that these comments, whether on social media, through our helpline or to management, are fed back. Human kindness has never been so important, and our spirits have been lifted by hearing and seeing the hard work and professionalism that is happening every day.  Thank you so much for all your kind words, it means a lot to all of us, and please be assured this gets shared with our great teams.

We are proud to say that we are surrounded by a professional, skilled, dedicated, and compassionate team who are willing to put the care of our residents and patients first. We have been truly humbled by seeing everyone work together using their expertise, and positive attitude to do the right thing. If you have had a great experience please do leave a review on carehome.co.uk or Google, you can also email us at feedback@barchester.com, we share all of your lovely comments with our team members.

Personal Protective Equipment

Please be assured that, we continue to have a robust supply chain of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in place, and our staff are using this in accordance with the public health authority guidance. All of our staff will continue to wear face masks as a minimum and we remain confident in our supplies of this and all of our services have what they need.

Keeping up-to-date with the latest news

With developments happening continually we are keen to keep in touch with you as best we can.  If you haven’t received information by email or text message from us, and you would like to, please could you visit www.barchester.com/update which is a secure platform, and input your details so we can ensure our database has your latest information. We may send out updates via email and text message going forward.

If you have any questions or queries please do get in touch on feedback@barchester.com.