SLC's letter to relatives regarding new guidance to support COVID safe visits at care homes (England)

SUBJECT: New guidance to support COVID safe visits to our care homes

The government has announced new guidance to support safe care home visits in England during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. I am writing to summarise how we intend to apply this guidance over the coming months so that you can visit your loved ones which we realise is hugely important to all.

Key Steps to Facilitate Visits

  1. While we are extremely supportive of visits, before we can welcome visitors to each home, the circumstances of the individual Care Home must be risk assessed and agreed by Public Health England (PHE). Our Home Managers are currently working through these risk assessments and will be submitting for approval to PHE this week.

Our staff will be in touch once these risk assessments have been approved by PHE;

  1. Subject to this approval, we intend to make use of COVID secure ‘pods’, window visits and outdoor visits. We are also in the process of reviewing all garden areas within our grounds in the hope that, where possible, we can facilitate safe and warm outdoor visiting.

As part of future communication, we will specify for each home how to go about arranging visits. We will also update our website ( with the latest information;

  1. In the meantime, if you would like to schedule a “virtual visit” with your relative, you can do so by visiting our website at where you can arrange video and voice calls by clicking the ‘contact us’ button.

    4. To further protect residents and their families, we are rolling out electronic temperature checking equipment and sign-in facilities in each home. We would appreciate if you sign in and out of these on arrival and departure to ensure that we track and control visitors to the home and keep all residents and their families as safe as possible.


Thank you for your patience

While we will do everything we can to support visits, the guidance outlines visits to Care Homes should be limited to a single ‘constant visitor’ per resident. Furthermore, for areas with a high local COVID alert level (high risk or very high risk), visiting should be limited to exceptional circumstances only such as end of life.

Therefore, it is likely that over the coming weeks, visiting opportunities at some of our homes will vary to others. We appreciate this may be difficult and thank you in advance for your understanding. For our part, we will do all we can to facilitate safe visiting.

We further understand plans are being developed by the government to allow specific family and friends to visit care homes supported by testing and we look forward to receiving more information on this.

We appreciate this is a difficult time for many but we would ask you to allow our homes time to adapt to the new guidance and encourage contacting the home before planning a visit.

Once again, we thank you for your continued understanding and patience during these uncertain times.

Yours sincerely,

May Prentice

Head of Operations