Safe visiting facilities installed at care homes across Lancashire to bring families together

New facilities to ensure people can visit their friends and family members in Lancashire County Council’s own care homes are now up and running.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 3:45 pm

New visiting lounges have been created at Castleford in Clitheroe, Cravenside in Barnoldswick, Grove House in Adlington, Thornton House in Thornton Cleveleys, Woodside in Padiham and Lady Elsie Finney House in Preston.

Visiting pods, which are separate from main care home buildings, have been installed at Woodhill in Morecambe and Olive House in Bacup.

The pods and visiting lounges ensure up to two people from the same family can visit their friend or relative, without risk of the virus being passed on.

The visiting lounge at Lancashire County Council’s Castleford care home in Clitheroe. Similar lounges have been installed at LCC’s care homes across the county, meaning people can visit their relatives in safety
The visiting lounge at Lancashire County Council’s Castleford care home in Clitheroe. Similar lounges have been installed at LCC’s care homes across the county, meaning people can visit their relatives in safety

These facilities mean people can sit indoors in a warm room and see their relatives through a plastic screen. The floor-to-ceiling screen ensures no airborne viruses can be passed on, whilst giving both the resident and visitor a feeling that they are in the same room.

Intercom systems, which are compatible with hearing aids, are used to ensure people can speak to each other easily through the screen. The areas are decorated to give them a bright and relaxed feel.

County Councillor Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult services, said: “Everyone has done a tremendous job to get these new visiting areas up and running.

“They provide pleasant, comfortable and safe areas for people to meet their friends and relatives, safe in the knowledge there is no risk of passing the virus on.

The visiting pod at Lancashire County Council’s Olive House care home in Bacup. A similar pod has been istalled at LCC’s care home at Woodhill, Morecambe, meaning people can visit their relatives in safety

“These areas keep people completely separate with a full window in between the residents and visitors, but the window gives people the feeling that they are still in the same room. There are separate entrances for visitors and residents, so people can visit even with the current restrictions in place.

“Visits have already begun and friends and families have been very positive about the new facilities.

“Our staff have all worked really hard to organise the alterations, contact friends and families to make them aware of the arrangements, support relatives and residents during visits and clean the facilities afterwards.”

Friends and families of people in county council run care homes have already been contacted about the new visitor facilities.

Anyone wanting more information should contact their local Lancashire County Council care home.

Contact details are available at https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/adult-social-care/older-people-services/residential-care/

The new facilities will remain in place in the future so they can be used in situations where residents need to be protected against flu outbreaks and other illnesses.

The county council has made extra funding available from the government’s Infection Control Grant to cover the cost of similar facilities being put in place in independently run care homes.