We continue to address the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), in line with Government advice.
Omicron variant update
A new variant of the COVID-19 virus has recently been detected. This variant is known as the Omicron variant and its severity is unknown. Because of this, we have put in additional precautionary measures until more information about the impact of the variant is available.
Additional precautions for visiting from 30 November 2021
Once again, we're asking that families, carers and friends, work with us to help protect the people we support. For this reason, we are requesting that everyone visiting people supported by Brandon does the following:
- Take a rapid Lateral Flow Test before visiting a supported person, on the same day that you are visiting.
- Wear a face covering during the visit (where the supported person can tolerate it).
- Ensure that you follow good hygiene measures, including washing hands on arrival at any houses.
We will review these measures after three weeks. We will publish updates here and share them with visitors via our staff teams. Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.
National guidance on visiting arrangements
We recognise how critical the visits of families and friends are to all involved and will always support these to happen safely. We are required to follow the current Government advice on this matter, which is summarised below.
The Government issued updated guidance for supported living settings on 19 July 2021. It states there are no restrictions on the number of people individuals can meet. People living in supported living settings live in their own homes and visits should be supported and enabled wherever it is safe to do so.
They also advise that visits should take place as safely as possible, and risks should be managed. Their guidance on how to do this includes:
- Supported living managers should seek to support opportunities for visiting wherever it is safe to do so. These opportunities should be based on dynamic risk assessments, that are developed in consultation with the people who live in the setting and take into account their individual needs.
- Supported living managers should work with supported people to identify what further steps they can take to manage risk around visiting.
- It is strongly recommended that visitors complete a rapid lateral flow test on the day of the visit, before visiting commences.
Registered care homes
For those people in registered care homes, visits can take place providing certain strict criteria are met. The guidance is set out on the Government website. In summary:
Every care home resident can have 'named visitors' who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits. There is no limit on the number of 'named visitors' that a single supported person can have.
- Every care home resident can choose to nominate an essential care giver who may visit the home to attend to essential care needs. The essential care giver should be enabled to visit in all circumstances, including if the care home is in outbreak (but not if the essential care giver or resident are COVID-positive)
These visitors should be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit, must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits.
Visitors and people we support may hold hands, but should bear in mind that any physical contact increases the risk of transmission.
Care homes can continue to offer visits to other friends or family members with arrangements such as outdoor visiting, substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows.
Those living in registered care homes can also be supported to leave the home (subject to risk assessment), without having to self-isolate for 14 days on return, for the following:
- To go to work or take part in education or training.
- For medical appointments such as GP appointments, excluding overnight stays in hospital.
- To take part in other activities necessary to maintaining an individual's health and/or wellbeing (e.g. going to a day centre or a place of worship).
Any visits outside of the above continue to be subject to 14-days isolation on return - including all overnight stays.
For details about the visiting policy and arrangements, please contact your Brandon team leader or locality manager.
If you need more details
- If you are someone we support, please speak to your locality manager or team leader.
- If you are someone closely connected to someone we support, please contact your locality manager who will be up to date through our staff briefings.
- If you are a candidate who has applied or going through the recruitment process, please contact the recruitment specialist for your area. Contact details can be found here.
- For all other contacts, please get in touch with the person you usually deal with here at Brandon.
- For general information on COVID-19, including symptoms and testing, please visit the NHS website
- For details on the latest restrictions and guidance, please visit the Government website.
This page was last reviewed on Wednesday 1 December 2021.