In response to the encroaching winter weather, Barchester Healthcare has devised and built new visiting suites with the majority of our services due to have one by the end of November, so residents are able to spend time with their loved ones safely this winter. Following brainstorms with local care teams and building teams, Barchester Healthcare has run a successful pilot and is now rolling out these visiting suites as the safest and most practical visitation solution during the upcoming months where outdoor visits will be hampered by the weather.
Barchester CEO, Pete Calveley, said: “The current pandemic has raised many questions in regards to family and friends visiting residents, and how care homes can balance the needs of infection control with the safety of residents, patients and staff. We have been looking closely at this and exploring many routes to help solve this problem. Careful planning, trials and preparation, along with a large investment has enabled us to adapt existing indoor rooms at homes where this is possible, and for those where it isn’t we are putting safe COVID secure indoor visiting suites in the gardens or outdoor space. We are confident these COVID-secure spaces are the most practical and comfortable solution for the winter months.”
The visiting suites are similar to a living room type space, complete with soft furnishings, lampshades, cushions, and internal room heating to create a welcoming and warm environment for residents to spend time with their loved ones. The room has an intercom system fitted so residents can clearly communicate, and engage in conversation, whilst being able to see their friends and family through a Perspex glass divider fitted for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jackie Winter, whose mum is a resident at Lynde House care home, said: “My family and I have been very worried that we wouldn’t be able to see Mum over the colder months so we were absolutely delighted to find mum (and we) were warm and inside. A wonderful surprise! Thank you so much. It means so much to mum and the other residents and relatives that meetings are real. It is so hard that the situation is as it is but you have really done the best you can. All looked so professional too.
“Mum is approaching her 90th birthday so we are hopeful we will be able to have a mini celebration after all.”