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With the announcement of a national lockdown on 4th January 2021, we will be unable to support internal visits with the use of rapid tests, in line with government guidance. Visits within our designated visitor suites can continue as normal however, and should be booked in the usual way. End of Life and essential visits will be facilitated as per government guidance. With the commencement of vaccination programmes in our Care Homes we will be reviewing this situation in line with advice from Public Health England and will welcome you back in to our homes with rapid tests as soon as it is safe to do so.

Latest news

Lateral Flow Testing in our homes, despite government failures

Six out of our 27 care homes failed to receive their Lateral Flow Test Kits from the government this week. However, fully prepared, and understanding the importance of these tests in helping people see their loved one during this festive period, Somerset Care had purchased an additional supply. This meant we have been able to maintain visits as promised, with enough tests available to ensure each resident can receive at least one visit a week for the next two weeks.

Already, families and friends of residents are reaping the benefits of the introduction of rapid testing; for the first time since March, visitors with a negative test result are able to hug and touch their loved ones. PPE is still an essential part of the visiting process, as is social distancing from everyone else within the home, but this is a major break through in how visits are safely conducted within homes.

Betty, a resident at Wyndham House, was able to welcome her dear friend Valerie into her home, after receiving a negative test result. Valerie, decked out in the necessary PPE, was delighted to be able to hug Betty for the first time since March. She said she felt very safe having had the test and is overwhelmed to be able to sit next to Betty and hold her hand.

Nic Kelly, Head of Quality of Somerset Care, had the following to say on the matter:

“The Lateral Flow Tests are a welcomed addition to care homes in ensuring people can spend quality time with their loved ones. The importance of social contact and time with those we love and care for cannot be overstated, and this has an undeniable impact on mental health and wellbeing. So when the opportunity came for us to safely welcome visitors within the home, we jumped at the chance. We’re delighted to have got this in place ahead of Christmas and hope residents and their loved ones are equally delighted by the improvements to visits."

More information on how Lateral Flow Tests are being conducted is available here. Should you wish to visit a resident in our care home, please call the home directly. All of our care homes and their contact details are available here. Alternatively call 0800 8174 990 and we can put you through.

Thank you for respecting our rules, and thank you for visiting.