Restricting access to visitors to extra care schemes in the event of a Covid outbreak
Do you have any advice or guidance, on insight into the legalities, of an extra care scheme going into ‘lockdown’ and refusing visitors access, as per care homes. Obviously tenants have tenancies that give them control over their homes, we clearly cannot lock people in or out, or deprive them of their liberty….meanwhile there are anxious families and staff who would prefer this approach, but other who would not.
Any other RPs experience of this would be helpful.
Being in one of the higher prevalence areas we have had two schemes that have been considered as having outbreaks. In these cases the only extra change that we made in terms of access was to close the front doors and so people coming in have to buzz through to either the tenant or the housing or care management. In that way we have been able to help reduce unnecessary visits. We also had posters declaring the outbreak at the front and letters to tenants to explain the situation and discourage visitors. This is obviously on top of all the other restrictions that have been in place for almost a year. We did not consider that we had the right to restrict access further. I would also be interested in what others think.
It's a challenge but some additional tips that have worked
•Supporting residents to reduce reliance on others by having as much access as possible to online shopping
•Utilising the NHS Good Sam volunteer programme to support residents.
•Colleagues working on site taking packages and shopping to flats from visitors at the door
•Where an outbreak is very serious and traffic flow is considered a significant factor, working with all parties and with your Head of Housing approval, commissioning a security guard for a short period at weekends or evenings has been very beneficial in highlighting the need for essential visits only or to take deliveries to flat doors.