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Welcoming Visitors Again…

Along with the rest of Wales, Pobl’s Care Services eagerly awaited the Welsh Government announcement on 13th March, to find out whether it would mean we could start allowing access to visitors again...

Since before Christmas, our services have been locked down to keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, this has meant that the individuals we support haven’t been able to have face-to-face visits with their loved ones for many months.

Whilst we had all heard whispers and rumours that the announcement might come with new rules for Care settings, none of us really knew what this would mean and how it would all work. So we waited… and waited!

Then on 13th March, Mark Drakeford announced that individuals in Care Homes would be allowed to have one designated visitor. Meanwhile, everyone else (including individuals in Supported Living settings) would be allowed to meet up outdoors with one other household.

Our teams sprung into action, revisiting Risk Assessments and making sure that all of our services are set up and ready to welcome loved ones safely once more. A huge amount of work has been involved in the logistics of this…

  • Understanding and implementing new guidance
  • Identifying and assigning “designated visitor” status
  • Assessing risk
  • Assuring infection control
  • Ensuring there is enough PPE for colleagues AND visitors to use
  • Arranging delivery of LFD tests for designated visitors
  • Identifying safe spaces for LFD tests to be carried out and for donning and doffing of PPE to take place
  • Arranging appointments and ensuring there’s no overlap of visitors
  • Communicating with loved ones so they know what to expect
  • Communicating with individuals to make sure they’re happy to receive visitors once again

In the space of under a week, our teams have pulled out all of the stops to ensure that where there is a desire for visits to re-start, they can. And we’re delighted to share these photos of the first visits that have taken place…

Whilst the situation in our Care settings is still far from “normal”, the return of loved ones at our services has certainly raised everyone’s spirits and is symbolic of a little bit of light at the end of this very long tunnel.

Visiting will look different in each service and involves a detailed Risk Assessment in each instance – some will take place indoors, some will be outdoors and some will be in visiting pods. This all depends on the specific guidance for the type of service and the vulnerabilities of the individual. Our colleagues even have to take into account the job roles of the visitors.

They have shown such dedication and resilience to get through this, after what has been an incredibly tough year.