On October 12, the Scottish Government announced enhanced care home visits in Scotland, including increased duration of visits and with more family and friends present.

While we wholeheartedly support visits between relatives and care home residents, and recognise the positive impact these have, we strongly feel that there are still barriers to us moving ahead to relax visitation rules. We are mindful of the recent spike in community transmission of COVID-19 across Scotland and the danger this poses to our vulnerable residents. We are also conscious of the very poor state of testing provided for care homes. The results of our weekly staff tests at Balhousie are still subject to long delays and high rates of inaccuracy. There is also no provision to allow families to receive a test prior to visiting the care homes.

We have a duty of care to our residents and a duty of protection to our staff. For that reason, while we are looking to see what measures have to be adopted for this to be undertaken safely, we feel it is necessary to do this to a timescale that is both practical and safe.

We hope to update relatives very soon with news on how we take Scottish Government’s recent recommendations forward safely in our homes. Until then, please be advised that Balhousie Care Group will continue with garden and window visits only, subject to the following rules:

  • Garden visits can take place once a week for a maximum of thirty minutes. The garden visitor can be up to two people and up to two households.
  • The garden visitors can change from week to week.
  • Window visits are subject to the same rules: up to two people and up to two households.