New guidance for care homes on visiting professionals 

The Scottish Government has updated its guidance on care home visiting during the pandemic, in light of the latest developments with the Omicron variant.

As long as a care home doesn’t have an outbreak of covid, the guidance says that activities within care homes, including in communal areas, should continue.  They are seen as an essential part of care home life.

The guidance includes:

  • Anyone who visits an adult care home – including visiting professionals – should have a Lateral Flow Device Test (LFD) before every visit;
  • Vaccinations and boosters are encouraged, and no-one with symptoms or identified as a close contact of someone with the virus should attend;
  • Visits by large groups of visitors – e.g. choirs – aren’t recommended;
  • All professional visitors should wear fluid resistant surgical masks and maintain 1m+ physical distancing from residents, staff and each other;
  • Ventilation should be increased.

You can read more in a letter sent to care homes on 15th December 2021 here

Public Health Scotland’s website brings together all the key Covid 19 health guidance, and is regularly updated.  You can find all the information here.

There is also a more detailed description of what’s recommended in relation to visiting professionals in care homes, in section 8.1 (page 30) of this Public Health Scotland guidance issued on 24th December 2021.

COVID guidance is under constant revision and additional restrictions may be put in place either nationally or locally if there are further COVID outbreaks. Please make sure that you check the most up-to-date legislation and Scottish Government guidance.