We are delighted to be able to share with you that, following rapid response test trials among staff in our two largest care homes, Balhousie St. Ronans and Balhousie Wheatlands, we are committed to expanding this testing to relatives so that visits can happen from this month.
We’re encouraged by the announcement from the Cabinet Secretary on 2 December 2020 advising that the Scottish Government are now able to significantly accelerate the rapid response testing plan for designated visitors which will see the roll out of testing kits to all care homes across Scotland commencing on the 14th December.
As a result of this initiative, together with our own in house rapid response testing trials, we will be able to re-commence in home visits for a designated visitor commencing 14 December 2020.
The rapid response test will take the form of nasal swabs and will be administered on-site at our homes, with results available within 30 minutes. If negative, the designated visitor will be allowed to visit in the home, wearing all necessary PPE and in a meeting area specifically set aside for visits for up to one hour.
We will organise the indoor visits as we do with the outdoor ones – through our online booking system ((https://balhousiecare.co.uk/book-visit/ password b4lh0u51320). You will be able to book an indoor visit from Friday 11 December. As always, If you have any questions please do contact your Home Manager.
One thing to remember is that COVID testing is just one part of good infection prevention and control. We will continue with our strict protocols, and encourage you and other family members to continue to practice good hygiene through regular handwashing and safe social distancing.
Please be assured outdoor and window visits will continue as usual, with up to six people from up to two households for up to 45 minutes. These do not have to be designated visitors. Our maintenance staff have been busy constructing some impressive gazebos for our gardens, we have space heaters for the colder weather, and several of our homes have installed intercoms so that you can speak to your relative through a closed window without having to wear a mask.
Please know that, even though we as a care provider are committed to making in-home visits happen, visiting schedules will be different from home to home. In addition, we are anticipating a busy few weeks because this is the festive season. For those reasons, we would ask for your patience as we deal with the logistics of this.