HC-One’s Roseland Court Care Home in Truro, Gittisham Hill House Care Home in Honiton and Bereweeke Court Care Home in Winchester are taking part in the Department of Health and Social Care’s pilot to give Residents’ loved one’s access to regular testing. This will enable more meaningful visits, with Residents and their loved ones being able to hug each other after such a long time.
Roseland Court, Gittisham Hill House and Bereweeke Court are three of around twenty residential care homes across England to be included in the visitor testing trial across three English counties – Hampshire, Cornwall and Devon.
Through the pilot a designated visitor is given regular access to testing. The testing of visitors, alongside other infection control measures in place, including wearing Personal Protective Equipment will enable, where possible and safe to do so, indoor visits without a screen to take place between Residents and their loved ones, as well as physical contact.
There are currently two different types of visitor testing being trialled across the care homes participating in the pilot. These are the Lateral Flow Test (LFT) and the PCR Test.
Roseland Court Care Home and Gittisham Hill House Care Home are trialling the LFT’s, which provides a result within a swift 30-minute timeframe.
Bereweeke Court Care Home is piloting the PCR Tests, which is a test where the visitor takes a swab sample before visiting the care home and receives their test result back within a few days. Once the visitor receives confirmation of a negative result, they can visit their loved one in the care home.
Liz Whyte, Director of Standards and COVID-19 Lead at HC-One, said:
“We are delighted to be involved in the Department of Health and Social Care’s pilot for testing care home visitors. This is an exciting and very welcome step. We have seen first-hand how much of a difference that testing Residents and Colleagues made to our response to COVID-19, and we are very pleased that testing is now being extended to care home visitors through this pilot.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to support safe visits in our care homes and we can’t wait to reunite more Residents with their loved ones.”
The testing of visitors has already seen and allowed for many emotional reunions to take place between Residents and their loved ones, with Residents now being able to reach out and touch their loved ones, to hold hands and hug each other, after a long time apart.