Restrictions on visitors (and no children) as care homes take emergency coronavirus measures

Skype communications advised as alternative to visits. 'Non-critical gatherings' are cancelled



Care homes throughout the community are taking emergency measures to protect staff and elderly and vulnerable residents from coronavirus.

At Nightingale House in Clapham, only one visitor a time is now allowed for residents, with Skype or Facetime communication being encouraged as an alternative.

Jewish Care is limiting entrance to its homes to “small groups of relatives [a maximum of five], essential staff and volunteers”.

It is asking anyone feeling unwell not to visit and has “cancelled, postponed or relocated any large or non-critical gatherings in our care homes or our campuses with care homes on them”.

In common with Nightingale, Jewish Care is “strongly suggesting that people avoid bringing young children to our care homes and other resources”.

Similar sanctions are in place at Heathlands Village, operated by Manchester welfare charity The Fed, where hand sanitising stations have been set up around the campus and all external catering bookings have been cancelled.

Care homes are also urging people not to visit if they have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have recently returned from countries the Foreign Office has advised against travelling to.

Jewish Care explained that should anyone with the virus enter one of its facilities, Public Health England would be contacted and an “established procedure” activated, including a risk assessment and deep clean of the building.

CEO Daniel Carmel-Brown said: “Our communications will continue to be based on advice from Public Health England and the UK government, with attention given to the nature of our work with older people who may be at higher risk of being affected by an outbreak.

“Our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of those in our care and we will continue to do all we can to help prevent any outbreak or spread of the virus.”

The charity was confident it had sufficient food, medicines and cleaning products to meet its needs in the event of national shortages.

A spokesman at The Fed reported that in line with the latest advice from the Department of Health, “we are beginning to prioritise the contact which we have with certain clients living across the community.

“No one requiring emergency support from us, or critical support including transport to hospital appointments, will be left stranded. But our professional staff have begun deciding on a case-by-case basis which volunteers should continue their routines as normal.”

Regular activities such as its mums and tots and carers’ groups have been cancelled until further notice.

Use of the Heathlands café, a popular local amenity, will be limited to residents, their immediate relatives and staff.

Access to the synagogue – “a vibrant and central part of life at Heathlands” – will be significantly scaled back and there will be no Shabbat kiddush.

Visiting hours have been restricted at the Stapely home on Merseyside.


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