Information for people visiting Norwood homes and facilities

At Norwood, our priority continues to be the safety and protection of those we support and our staff teams.

Frequently Asked Questions for Friends and Family


Updated: 11th April 2022

Do I need to be vaccinated to visit the home?

No, but we would strongly encourage you to take the opportunity to be fully vaccinated.

What can I expect to see when I arrive at the home?

You will be provided with a face mask and hand sanitiser. You will be asked a series of screening questions and asked to take your temperature with a contactless infra-red thermometer. If your temperature is 37.8°C or above, then we will politely request that you go home and follow the relevant guidance because a fever is one known symptom of Covid-19.

Do I need to take a Lateral Flow Test before I visit?

If you are likely to or intend to provide any personal care, (which includes support to eat and drink), then yes. The home will provide you with test kits for your exclusive use to facilitate this type of visit.

If you do not intend to provide any personal care, then you no longer need to take a Lateral Flow Test before visiting.

What if I do not have any test kits?

The home will be able to provide you with a test kit when you arrive. We would request that you wait until the result has been processed (which will be between 15 – 30 minutes, depending on the brand of test kit used) before providing any personal care.

Can I still request a Lateral Flow Test or PCR test from the home if I would like to continue regular testing?

Unfortunately, no. Our supply of LFTs is now tightly controlled now the requirement to test has been removed from the guidance.

If my loved one has tested positive within the last 90 days, will they be exempt from any further testing within this 90-day period?

There is exemption for PCR testing only. LFTs will continue where required regardless of previous infection.

Why has the government stopped testing for visitors?

The Department for Health and Social Care has stated that the revised guidelines are a proportionate response to the pandemic given how it currently presents. Although community transmission remains high, the illness is less severe due to the success of the vaccine roll out. The government’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan looks to consider Covid-19 like any other respiratory illness. If a new variant presents itself or illness from the current dominant variant worsens, then the government will implement addition measures as they deem appropriate.

We will continue to observe all other infection prevention and control measures such as facemask use, screening questions, temperature checks, accessible hand sanitisers, enhanced touchpoint cleaning and good ventilation to help mitigate the risk of transmission.

I am an Essential Care Giver. What do the changes mean for me?

Essential Care Givers are no longer recognised by definition. Therefore, there is no testing available to visitors who will not be providing personal care. The principle of preserving visits during an outbreak remains, but this is limited to one visitor at a time. Unlike the essential care giver, this single visitor does not need to be a single named person and can be a different person each visit during the outbreak, however we would recommend you keep the number of visitors to a minimum to reduce the risk of transmission.

Where can I visit inside the home?

If the home is not in outbreak, then you may visit your loved one anywhere they are comfortable to receive you, including communal areas. However, we would request that you refrain from any physical contact with any other person living in the home.

If the home is in outbreak, then we would ask that visits are restricted to your loved one’s bedroom, in the garden or an allocated communal space that should not be accessed by anyone else. This is to reduce the traffic through the home while we work to contain the outbreak.

What PPE do I need to use?

We would request that you wear a face mask at all times when in communal areas of the home. We will supply you with a suitable face mask when you arrive.

You do not need to wear gloves (unless providing personal care) but encourage regular and thorough handwashing.

You only need to wear an apron when providing personal care.

You only need to wear a face shield/visor if you are within 2 metres of your loved one and if they are suspected of or actually infected with Covid-19.

Can I remove the facemask at any time?

If wearing a face mask causes your loved one distress or significantly impacts on your ability to communicate, then the face mask may be removed. If you think this may be the case, please speak with the manager who will complete a relevant risk assessment before advising you of the next steps. You should continue to observe infection control measures, such as ensuring the room is ventilated and distance is maintained as much as possible when not wearing a face mask.

You do not need to wear a face mask when outside, as there is little evidence of outdoor transmission.

You should clean your hands before and after wearing a face mask.

You should replace your facemask after 4 hours of continuous wearing.

You may remove your mask to dine with your loved one, but you will need to maintain distance from other people living there, as well as additional control measures – please speak with the manager for further advice.

How many visitors can there be at any one time?

There are currently no restrictions on the number of visitors at any one time, however to avoid overcrowding the home, we would appreciate some advance notice of your intention to visit. Please understand if we may need to suggest alternative arrangements due to overcrowding.

Are there any restrictions on the duration of the visit?

No.

Can I bring children to visit?

Yes, but please ensure the children avoid close contact with other people living in the home.

I have recently been overseas. Can I still visit?

Yes, with no additional restrictions.

Can my loved one visit my home?

Yes. There should be no limitations or restrictions on your loved visiting you either for a day or overnight. There will be no requirement for them to test or isolate on their return. We would, however, request that you inform us if anyone that lives in the same household (or an overnight guest during the period of their visit) tests positive, or is suspected of having Covid-19. Whilst we wouldn’t ask your loved one to isolate, we would need to increase our monitoring of the softer signs of infection and also make adjustments to their contact with other vulnerable people for the following few days.

Can staff eat with residents?

When in the care home setting, the guidance makes no provision for staff to remove their face mask when in close proximity to residents. Staff need to take their meal breaks away from the residents.

As of 4 April 2022, the guidance allows for some flexibility in relation to meals out. If it is considered beneficial to the resident’s wellbeing to enjoy a meal out with a staff member, then we would look to facilitate this on a risk-assessed basis.

What is the definition of an outbreak?

Two suspected or actual positive cases of Covid-19 that are linked and become apparent within a 14-day period.

If there is an outbreak in the home, will you tell me who has tested positive?

We will share the health information of your loved one with their consent or in their best interest if they lack capacity to consent for us to share this information. Health information is known as ‘special category data’ and is subject to strict controls under data protection laws so we cannot share any details relating to the health status of anybody else living in the home nor any member of staff without their permission.

Can therapists/physio etc visit during an outbreak?

As detailed above, each person will be able to receive a single visitor during an outbreak, and this includes any visiting professionals. This will, however, be subject to the relevant professional’s own risk assessment and may result in them deciding to reschedule.

What is the current testing routine for staff and residents?

Staff will routinely take an LFT twice a week.

If one positive case is detected or suspected, ‘rapid response testing’ will commence which will be LFTs for 5 days for all staff.

If a second positive case is detected within 14 days of the first, then outbreak testing will commence. This will be LFT + PCR on day 1 and LFT + PCR once between days 4 – 7 for everyone.

When is the outbreak over and who decides this?

Typically, once 10 days without any new cases being recorded has elapsed, everyone living and working in the home will take a PCR test. It will then take a further day or two for the results to come through. If all results are negative, then we need to communicate this to the local Health Protection Team who will be able to declare the outbreak over. However, there may be some other considerations which may alter the timings of the outbreak recovery testing. We will keep you informed as things develop.

When a home is in outbreak but my loved one has not tested positive, how will this impact on them?

Your loved one can continue to receive a single visitor in their home. This visitor can change each visit. Your loved one can continue to leave the home and enjoy external activities however some activities may need to be modified depending on the vulnerability of the people they may come into contact with. Please speak with the home manager.

Who are the local Health Protection Team and what do they do?

The local Health Protection Team (HPT) are a part of the UK Health Security Agency (previously Public Health England). Care homes (and supported living settings similar in nature to a care home) are required to seek advice from their local HPT when an outbreak is suspected or confirmed. They will continue to provide advice and guidance in relation to the outbreak management plan and any additional measures or relaxations as appropriate. We largely take our lead from them during an outbreak because they will be fully aware of any local concerns and advise on the need for any additional control measures at any time.