As the UK moves towards the government's irreversible end of lockdown there are plenty of questions left unanswered or unclear. This is the case in particular when looking at the care sector. After a tough 12 months, it's important that those receiving care and their families are clear on how the next few months will pan out.
Vulnerable people have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, with those receiving care at home or a specialist centre at particular risk. The ever-changing response to the situation has left many frustrated at not being able to see loved ones, or only being able to have family contact under restrictions.
However, with the success of the UK's vaccination roll out there is an end in sight with a return to normality appearing on the horizon. But what exactly do the next few months look like for those being cared for and their families? Here, we'll explain what the current situation entails and when we can expect any changes to happen.
Where We Are Currently
At the time of writing, everyone receiving care in England should have had their first vaccine dose. If this is not the case for you or a loved one then please contact the NHS's 101 phone number or book an appointment online as soon as possible. There should also be an appointment scheduled to receive a second dose. However, it is important to remember that even just having the initial dose greatly reduces the chance of getting the virus and drastically reduces the chance of becoming severely ill, should you still contract it.
The government's guidelines for visiting those in care homes changed as of the 8th March. You are now able to nominate a single member of your family or a friend who is able to visit regularly. These visits will be subject to all the necessary PPE and social distancing precautions. Visits from other family members are possible in outdoor spaces and the use of further precautions, such as large protective screens.
For those receiving home care services, they are allowed visits by their caregivers and members of their support bubbles. Correct PPE should be worn and social distancing observed wherever possible. There are useful government resources available to help you better understand these protocols.
What the Coming Months Look Like
March 29th will see the next phase of changes to the current restrictions being implemented. Currently, those who are shielding are still under instructions to do so but this may change. We will not know for certain until the 29th but if nothing is to change then the next round of revisions will take place on the 12th of April.
What this means for home care specifically is still unclear. As part of your loved one's support bubble, you will continue to be able to visit and provide care, alongside any professional care assistants. It is important to remember that you and your loved one can use the NHS website to order any repeat prescriptions.
The government has earmarked the 17th of May as when rules around social contact may be lifted. This means friends and family will be able to visit without restrictions in place.
Care During Coronavirus and Beyond
At Sova Healthcare we have seen the demand for care increase dramatically over the last year or so. As such our team of expert carers have become adept at dealing with the changing restrictions as well as looking after those receiving care and reassuring them during such a turbulent period.
If you think a friend or family member could benefit from professional at home care then please speak to our team today. We are able to support a wide range of needs including domiciliary, palliative and specialist care.