Littleborough care home welcomes visitors after eight months with introduction of new visitor pod
Date published: 16 November 2020
Stansfield Hall have transformed the care home conservatory into a Covid-secure visitors pod
Stansfield Hall Care Home in Littleborough has welcomed its first visitors in over eight months, following the installation of a new Covid-secure pod.
The pod, which sees a giant window divider added into the centre of the already existing conservatory, can host a resident on one side and visitors on the other.
Stansfield Hall closed its doors ahead of the first national lockdown in March when they suspended all non-essential visits to protect residents and staff and limit the risk of infection.
Although many homes introduced window visits, this was not feasible at the Littleborough care home, meaning residents had not seen their loved ones face to face in over eight months.
Jamie Lee Aughey, home manager, said: “We were one of the first homes within the borough that closed our doors ahead of government guidance. By doing this, we have been Covid-19 free throughout the pandemic.
“We have ensured that residents have used virtual communication methods to keep in touch with their loved ones, but we feel residents needed that face to face contact. Thankfully, new guidance came out to enable us to provide Covid-secure visits and the only way we could do this was by building a visiting pod.”
Stansfield Hall staff decided to build a visiting pod after the announcement of a second lockdown until 2 December.
As a result, care home manager Jamie got in touch with freelance set builder Simon Bamber of Set2IT, who provided all the materials and his time for free, building the pod divider at home before installing it at the care home.
Jamie continued: “It has been overwhelming to see the amazing smiles on our residents faces and the joy that our families have whilst visiting the pod.
“This would not be possible without Simon Bamber and his generosity. Thank you for donating your own time building our amazing window divider and donating materials to help us aid visits during a horrendous pandemic. You have done an amazing job and given us a fabulous gesture.
“I also couldn’t have done this without the help of staff Karen Burns, Jody Moore and Jayne Leonard – you have all worked so hard.
“I am extremely proud of our home, residents, staff and families for all they have dealt with throughout the pandemic.”
The government issued new guidance to care homes in England at the start of November, which stated that all residents should be allowed Covid-secure visits, using visitor pods like the one at Stansfield Hall Care Home, window visits or outdoor visits with one person.
Care homes can use external visitor pods where the visitor and resident enter through different entrances and visitors do not need to enter the care home. Residents can also have window visits, or the visitor can remain in the car socially distanced from the resident.
Under the guidance, residents can also have an outdoor visit with one visitor in areas which can be accessed without anyone going through a shared building.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “I know how heart-breaking and incredibly frustrating it has been for families and friends who haven’t been able to see their loved ones during the pandemic.
“Care homes should feel empowered by this new guidance to look at safe options to allow visits to care homes that suit their residents and facilities. We’ve seen some really innovative solutions used to help families see each other safely, face-to-face, which has been life-changing for some.”
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