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Our response to living with Coronavirus

The safety of residents, colleagues and visitors continues to be our priority


Our approach to living with Coronavirus

Last updated:  25th March 2024

To find out more about our revised approach please look at the links below:

We always follow the latest guidance issued by the Government and local Health Protection Teams relating to Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) which includes Covid.

There is no need to book in advance to visit your loved one – although if you are travelling a significant distance, it would be sensible to call in advance to make sure the home hasn’t gone into outbreak. There are no requirements for you to show a negative Lateral Flow Test, complete a health screening form or to wear a face mask unless specifically requested by the home.

However, we ask everyone to continue to take sensible precautions such as rescheduling your visit should you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for Covid, are fully vaccinated, and have received boosters. 

Viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus and diarrhoea and vomiting (e.g. norovirus) can be just as dangerous to care home residents as Covid. If you have any symptoms that suggest an infection such as a cough, high temperature, diarrhoea, or vomiting, please stay away from your loved one until at least five days after you feel better. Infection control measures continue to be followed, to keep everyone safe.

If a home goes into outbreak our top priority is always the safety and wellbeing of residents and team members. 

Should two or more people have Covid symptoms within five days, the home will go into outbreak. The leadership team will then implement the tried and tested measures in our outbreak management plan, designed to reduce the risk of infection spreading.  

Decisions about outbreaks are made in conjunction with local Health Protection Teams. We will implement measures that are balanced and proportionate.

If in outbreak one person can continue to visit at any one time, with one further visitor subject to risk assessment by the home. 

Essential visitors such as ambulance crews or contractors required to do emergency repairs will still be permitted to visit. However non-essential visitors such as hairdressers and entertainers may be temporarily paused during an outbreak.

Residents can engage in activities outside of the home, participate in trips and outings and interact within their local community if they wish to, without Covid related restrictions. 

In-person show rounds are available for anyone considering a move to one of our homes – the home's team will advise if any extra infection control measures are required.

Admissions may still be possible even if a home is in outbreak. Each is treated on a case-by-case basis and the home team will discuss the arrangements, timings and requirements with families in advance.

New residents being admitted directly from hospital will not be tested for Covid unless they are symptomatic. 

We will not admit anyone who has symptoms of an ARI (acute respiratory infection including COVID-19 or flu), or any infectious illness. Anyone with recent symptoms, or who has had close contact with someone showing symptoms, may be required to isolate for five days after admission.

Our approach to living with Covid

We are very pleased that we have regained more normality in day-to-day care home life. 

Family members and friends can visit without pre-booking, but it is important to remember that if a home goes into outbreak or there is a suspected case of Covid, the team will need to reinstate infection control measures. The home leadership team will advise you should this occur.

Whilst being vaccinated is no longer mandatory, Care UK strongly believes that all health and social care colleagues have a professional responsibility to reduce the risk of infection to others and we will continue to encourage our teams to have all their vaccinations.

We also strongly recommend that all residents and their visitors are fully vaccinated, including future boosters, unless medically exempt.

We look forward to being able to welcome you to our homes and we thank you for your patience, understanding and support over the past few years.

Care UK’s approach to the on-going management of Covid

  • Our teams follow guidance around social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene measures and the correct wearing of PPE. The vast majority are fully vaccinated.
  • We do not accept Covid-positive admissions or those with symptoms of ARI or diarrhoea and vomiting and we prefer all new residents to have been fully vaccinated prior to admission. New admissions are no longer required to shield, unless they, or someone they have been in close contact with, has recently had symptoms.
  • We appointed senior nurses as Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Leads to provide additional scrutiny and support at a national level and there is an IPC Champion for each home to support colleagues in their understanding of, and compliance with, our approaches to IPC, cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Should there be a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 in one of our homes, the home will follow an Outbreak Management Plan which includes additional safety and IPC protocols.
  • Our housekeeping teams are continuing to deliver enhanced cleaning regimes using high quality decontamination equipment and hygiene products.

Frequently asked questions

If the home is experiencing high cases of Covid, one person can continue to visit at any time, with one further visitor subject to risk assessment by the home. 

Yes, children can visit Care UK care homes. We would suggest calling the care home ahead of time to see if you could time your visit with an activity the child would like to join in with, such as an animal visit or craft project, and to ask the team how your loved one is feeling that day. Read more about making the most of your visit with children.

You are no longer required to wear a face mask unless requested by the home, but we ask visitors to take sensible precautions like opening a window or limiting close contact. We also expect the use of hand gel and handwashing to continue. Please note that if a home is experiencing high cases of Covid the team will reinstate further infection control measures to keep residents and people visiting safe.