Relatives & Residents Association

We support, inform and speak on behalf of older people in care


Care home visiting: learning lessons

29 October:

The news today that France will be going back into national lockdown but that care home visits will still be permitted is another reminder of the importance for England to End Isolation In Care. Here we bring together some comparisons on how other countries are seeking to achieve a better balance between protecting from the virus and protecting well-being.

  • Franceallows two or more visitors outdoors, a maximum of two visitors inside, children are permitted
  • Scotland: new guidance permits essential and designated visitors, including physical contact for help with personal care, support to prevent deterioration in resident’s health/wellbeing, visits by children and a raft of other measures
  • Northern Ireland: guidance encourages homes to facilitate one face-to-face visit per week and allow ‘care partners’ to help maintain physical and mental health, as well as compassionate visits for end of life
  • Ireland: allows ‘critical and compassionate visits’ including to relieve distress, and for important life events
  • Canada: Ontario’s More Than a Visitor Act aims to safely integrate designated family carers back into care settings
  • Netherlands: a study published in June on the outcomes of 26 nursing homes who re-allowed visitors reported a positive impact on well-being and no new coronavirus infections

This is a snapshot of practice elsewhere. If you have a good example of how another country is managing this, please share it with us:

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