How Opal Care is Responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As lockdown restrictions are gradually eased across the United Kingdom, safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our residents and teams remains our highest priority. With older people in care homes among the most vulnerable to contracting the COVID-19 virus, we have been taking preventative measures to protect those in our care and employment throughout the pandemic. This has included closing our care homes to all visitors.

Visiting restrictions are reviewed daily by our COVID-19 action team, and decisions are informed by national guidance, the UK Government COVID-19 alert levels, and an individual risk assessment of each home.

Following the release of the government’s guidance on visiting care homes during coronavirus, we wanted to let you know that the current visiting arrangements at each of our care homes have not changed.

Where possible, Safe Outside Visits can take place in a designated area of the garden dependent on the weather.

For the safety of everyone, outside visiting will only be possible in homes that have not had any cases of confirmed people with symptoms, or a positive test for the Coronavirus among either residents or staff within the last 28-day period.

The home manager will be in contact with you to confirm when their home qualifies for pre-booked outside visits under this arrangement.

Please download our guide to visiting our care home here.

Further criteria for these pre-booked visits include:

  • Your visit must be on an appointment-only basis and may last for a maximum of 1 hour. Please contact your loved one’s care home directly to book an appointment.
  • Not more than 1 named person may visit during the allocated appointment, and they must be over 18 years of age.
  • No more than 2 visits may take place at any one time to allow for a member of staff to supervise and assist where necessary.
  • Visits cannot be arranged for those who are in the High Risk – Extremely Clinically Vulnerable group at this time.
  • These arrangements are subject to cancellation at short notice if the situation changes and are at the absolute discretion of the Senior Management team.

In exceptional cases, such as when a resident is at the very end of life, an application may be made for special permission to enter the care home. Please contact the home manager directly to discuss this process and the conditions that must be observed for this to happen.

We are complying with the government’s advice in respect of the isolation requirements for both residents and staff. At the same time, our head office and management teams are also taking all the necessary precautions to delay the spread of this virus. This includes the provision of home-working where this is possible.

We will continue to review these steps daily and will update this webpage with our latest position.