Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Open with Care: advice on practicalities

Published: 15 Jul 2021

Supplementary information including answers to practical questions and concerns resulting from Open with Care: supporting meaningful contact and activities in and away from care homes.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Open with Care: advice on practicalities
Location and length of visiting at the care home

Location and length of visiting at the care home

Visting in residents' bedrooms

Residents should be supported to be with loved ones in their own room, if they wish. This is the preferred location but other person-centred alternatives, for example a designated room for visiting, can be considered in the short term.

The visit should take place in an area of the room that is clutter free, and anything that has been touched by the visitor should be cleaned.

Outdoor visits within the care home grounds

Outdoor visits (including window visits) can continue and do not need to involve the same visitors as for indoor visits. As outlined in Section 5.1 of the Open with Care guidance, group size should be in line with national COVID-19 restrictions for the general public on outdoor socialising. For level zero this means that up to 15 people from up to 15 households can meet outdoors.

Care homes will want do a risk assessment based on the circumstances of the care home and individual resident needs to determine the appropriate number of visitors outdoors per resident.

Length of visits

Time limits for residents’ contact are not defined in the guidance and should be generous and flexible to meet individual needs(where possible and used at all).  

The ambition of Open with Care is to maximise meaningful contact so care homes are asked to be person-centred and maximise the length of visits, as far as residents’ wish and is practically possible.

Use of screens and pods

Open with Care focusses on the reintroduction indoor visiting. Visits outdoors at windows, in garden pods or marquees, or indoor, in fully screened off adapted rooms should not be considered as replacements to, or substitutes for, indoor visiting.