COVID UPDATE 20/07/2021

Dear all


Based on the release of government guidelines LATE on Friday 16 July in preparation for Monday 19th July. We have, as promised, reviewed the guidance, and updated the practises to ensure we are working to the letter of the guidance to support the residents, team members and yourselves in getting back to normality at The Close.


Visiting is a central part of life at The Close. It is crucially important for maintaining the health, wellbeing and quality of life of residents. Visiting is also vital for stakeholders  to maintain contact and life-long relationships with their loved ones and contribute to their support and care.


In the face of new variants of the virus, we need to remain alert to ensure we protect those most at risk in care homes while ensuring indoor visits can go ahead. All visitors also have an important role to play – helping to keep their loved ones, other residents and staff safe by carefully following the policies and procedures that we have designed and risk assessed to make everything happen.


Each resident can have named visitors who can book to visit The Close. We have increased the number of slots available throughout the day. Currently because of staff availability we have visiting available Monday to Friday 0900-1700. Visits are no longer time restricted. The number of named visitors a resident can have is not capped! We would suggest that we have a maximum of 3 named visitors, visiting a residents at any one time.


We ask that all visitors please present proof of double vaccination. This is done via the app on your phone, letter, or vaccination card.


As previously, all visitors will need to be tested using rapid lateral flow tests on the day of every visit and produce a negative COVID test prior to their visit.


Testing is one way of reducing the risk of visiting a care home, but it does not mean there is no longer any risk. The visitor should also wear appropriate PPE and follow all other infection prevention and control measures. We will provide all the PPE required.


Visitors are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum. Physical contact like handholding is acceptable if hand washing protocols are followed. Close personal contact such as hugging presents higher risks but will be safer if it is between people who are double vaccinated, without face-to-face contact, and there is brief contact only.


We strongly request and encourage all visits to take place outdoors there are ample grounds and gardens across the home which can be used. We have purchased lots of additional parasols to provide shade, though we wouldn’t want to risk over exposure to the sun so understand indoor visits may be required. We also know British weather… so are being as realistic as possible.


We have a number of suitable locations that meet the requirements for space and air flow etc. within the home where you can meet with residents namely, the bistro, boat house lounge, cinema, both down stairs and mezzanine lobby areas or finally the Den and Clifton Lobby. Meeting in bedrooms for the moment is advised against unless the resident is nursed in bed or the exacting needs of the resident dictate that a visit there would be best for their quality of life and care.


The Bistro remains closed as a service at this time.


We hope you can see that we are moving towards getting back to normal and we are doing everything to support you and the residents in the full spirit of the guidelines.


We are in the process of getting together a set of dates for a stakeholders meeting as its been some time since the last one we will be planning something outdoors in the gardens in the evening very soon, and will share the date with you as soon as its confirmed. Should you have any questions, Richard, Tracey, Tania and myself remain available, so please get in touch.


In the meantime it remains for me to thank you for your patience, support, encouragement and understanding, not forgetting the absolute heroism, dedication and commitment shown by the team at the Close.




Sanjay Dhrona


The Close Care Home, Abingdon Road, Burcot, Oxon, OX14 3DP 01865407343