Visits from friends and family to care home residents are more important now than ever, the Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan announced whilst speaking to care home residents at Cardiff care home Ty Enfys.
As Wales moves to alert level one, Welsh Government have updated the guidance on care home visitation, with the latest easing of restrictions coming into effect on Monday [19th July]. Whilst some measures such as visitor testing for indoor visits and risk assessments for visits remain in place, other restrictions have been eased further.
Residents no longer need to isolate on return from an overnight stay and entertainers will be permitted in indoor areas of the home to enable residents to resume the activities they enjoy. Whilst the guidance advises caution on close physical contact such as hugging, it now gives further advice on how these risks can be managed.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
I do not underestimate how difficult the pandemic has been for people living in care homes, their loved ones and indeed for staff. The impact of coronavirus on the sector has been unprecedented and people who need care and support, unpaid carers and the social care workforce have all been affected.
As we move towards recovery it is vital we ensure care home residents have the same opportunities as the rest of the population to see their loved ones again in a meaningful way both inside and outside their home. The updated guidance will further ease restrictions and support care home providers to transition to a more normal level of visiting.
Whilst visiting Ty Enfys, Julie Morgan launched the Social Care Recovery Framework. The Framework sets out the priorities for social care recovery in Wales with a clear focus on the immediate recovery priorities that need to be addressed with urgency.
- Focusing on rebuilding wellbeing, reducing inequalities, widening participation and creating an inclusive society
- Supporting people with Long-COVID including increased demand for social care provision
- Continuing to ensure the risk of COVID-19 entering care homes is minimised and visiting is maintained safely
- Addressing the adverse impact COVID 19 has on unpaid carers
- Improving terms and conditions for the social care workforce and ensure there is a continued focus on supporting wellbeing and mental health
Ms Morgan said:
It is essential we support the social care sector to move forward. The social care recovery framework sets out our immediate and short term priorities for recovery. Recovery in social care provides an opportunity for significant and sustained improvement across the sector. It is critically important that we use this recovery period to lay the right foundations for the future of social care in Wales, in line with our longer-term ambitions in the Programme for Government, and ensure the risk of COVID-19 entering care homes is minimised and visiting is maintained safely.