Barley View care home welcomes visitors after six months following installation of new summer house

Date published: 09 September 2020

After closing its doors earlier this year at the start of lockdown, staff at Barley View care home in Whitworth have announced they will once again welcome visitors to see their loved ones.

The move comes as local restrictions are lifted in Rossendale and a new, purpose-built summer house is ready to facilitate safe visits.

Staff at the home, which provides both residential and specialist dementia care, took the early decision on 19 March to suspend all non-essential visits to protect residents and staff and limit the risk of infection; a decision which certainly paid off with no confirmed cases among Barley View residents to date.

The new summer house has been custom built to provide a welcoming and, above all, safe environment for relatives to enjoy face to face visits with loved ones. Visitors and residents will be accommodated in separate partitioned sections of the summer house to minimise risk of infection.

Rather than feeling clinical or sterile, it is hoped that the summerhouse will create a holiday home feel while keeping all parties safe.

Although many homes introduced outdoor garden visits, which carry a lower risk or transmission, this was not suitable for all residents at Barley View. Instead, the safest option was to create a visiting space that was separate from the main home where visitors and residents would not share the same space, but could easily see each other face to face.


Barley View summer house
To make visits as safe and comfortable as possible, the team have installed a purpose built outdoor summer house


Jane Williamson, Head of Care at Barley View, said: “We hope to create a dignified, private ‘face-to-face’ visit for each resident in a ‘home from home’ environment. Ideally, the resident and visitor after a time will no longer notice the glass partition dividing them and feel connected after such a long time apart. The new summer house will help protect residents from touch and aerial transmission of the virus and provide a massive boost to their emotional wellbeing and health.”

The news has been met with enthusiasm from all residents, for who the strict lockdown measures have been especially challenging.

Joan, a resident at Barley View, said: “My granddaughter only lives up the road, but she couldn’t come in and my grandson couldn’t come in. I cannot wait to go out and see them. When I came to Barley View at first, they used to come in and keep me company. My grandson thought it was great when he was sat up on my bed, being able to see the television.”

Barley View’s visiting plan will be kept under constant review, with visiting being strictly by appointment only. A health screening of all visitors will be carried out before admission.

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