Hampshire chosen for innovative pilot offering regular testing to family members for safer care home visits

A number of care homes across the Hampshire County Council area will be taking part in an innovative new national scheme to support family visitors to have regular Covid-19 tests in order to visit loved ones more safely. Hampshire is one of only three areas in England chosen to take part in the pilot ahead of a wider roll-out nationally

Nov 19 2020

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Councillor Liz Fairhurst said: “We are delighted to be taking part in this innovative pilot which is going to help residents to receive visits from their loved ones more regularly and with added reassurance, whilst also paving the way for a wider roll out of this approach nationally.

“Here in Hampshire, we have been working hard to enable visits to go ahead at all our care homes where possible, with appropriate safeguards in place and in line with national guidance - to protect residents, visitors and staff. We know that the pandemic has meant limits to contact with residents which has been extremely challenging and I’d like to thank everyone for their continued understanding and support. As more testing options become possible and vaccines are introduced, we look forward to bringing more families and friends together as soon as possible.”

Regular testing will be offered to one family member or friend per resident, which – when combined with other infection-control measures such as PPE – will support more meaningful visits. The aim is to enable, where possible, indoor visits without a screen to take place while reducing the risk to care home residents, staff and visitors.

The pilot aims to further develop the evidence base for how testing with fast, reliable COVID-19 tests can be delivered at scale.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pilot-for-family-members-to-get-regular-testing-for-safer-care-home-visits

Hampshire County Council’s public health guidance is that visits to care home visits can take place through the national restrictions if precautionary measures are in place and depending on local risk assessments.