Ashfield nursing home boss welcomes new visitor rules as lockdown measures ease

An Ashfield nursing home boss says she is ‘delighted’ more friends and relatives will be able to visit loved ones following the latest relaxation of Covid-19 rules – but has also urged caution.
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Care home residents can now nominate five visitors for regular visits from today (Monday) as the nation moves into the next phase of its lockdown roadmap.

A maximum of two visitors are allowed at any one time or on any given day under the new guidelines.

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Residents are also able to visit GPs, dentists and day centres without the need to self-isolate on their return – while visits will only pause for a minimum of 14 days rather than 28 days if there is an outbreak.

Anita Astle, who runs Wren Hall Nursing Home in Selston.Anita Astle, who runs Wren Hall Nursing Home in Selston.
Anita Astle, who runs Wren Hall Nursing Home in Selston.
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The news has been been welcomed by Anita Astle, who runs Wren Hall Nursing home at Selston.

“We’re delighted that relatives of those living in care homes are able to visit and that the number of visitors able to visit one person is increasing,” she said.

“It’s been the most difficult time for both residents and their relatives. They have had up to 15 months apart and are desperate to see one another."

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However, Anita, whose Nottingham Road home lost nine residents to the virus last year, has warned that Covid still poses a ‘real risk.’

“Most care homes are struggling to provide sufficient visiting opportunities for all eligible relatives due to limited suitable indoor places to host visiting,” she told Chad.

"The need to test relatives and facilitate safe visiting means care homes need additional staff to do this or it means staff are diverted away from their standard caring duties.

“Some care homes had horrific experiences related to Covid-19 outbreaks, no one wants to suffer that again. This means some care homes will be apprehensive to have many visitors entering the care home.

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“Even though we have the Covid vaccines and reducing numbers of people infected, there is still Covid-19 about, it remains a real risk.

“Because of these challenges it may take care homes a while to offer flexible visiting for all visitors, so I ask all relatives to work with their loved one’s care home to enable the maximum number of safe visits."

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Ashley Booker, Mansfield Chad editor.