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Scheme reopening information

As you may be aware lockdown restrictions are continuing to ease across the UK and this will soon allow us to relax the restrictions we currently have in place for visits within our Sheltered and Extra Care sites.

From the 17 May social bubbles will end and the rule of 6 indoors will replace this, meaning you can meet with up to 6 people in your property including yourself/s.

It is important to note that the rule of 6 must be made up of visitors from two households only.

This means you will no longer have to notify your Scheme Manager who is in your social bubble, but we would ask that all visits are booked in with the Scheme Manager allowing us to manage footfall through the building.

For larger groups of visitors, you are welcome to use our outdoor areas.

We are also looking at restarting communal activities and serving meals in the dining areas (extra care only) but again these will be restricted to groups of no more than 6 and with social distancing in place.

Guest rooms will also reopen for families to visit and stay but these must be booked at least 48 hours in advance with the scheme manager, rooms will be thoroughly cleaned between each use.

We are legally required to ensure that the government guidance [external link] is managed, reviewed and adhered to.

Roadmap for the reopening of communal lounges and the easing of restrictions

Planned indoor entertainment and activities up to a maximum of 6 participants.

These are arranged and booked via a scheme manager and are subject to specific scheme capacity.

All Covid safe arrangements are in place and scheme managers will support any tenants that may be apprehensive

Organised physical activities delivered through Move More and booked via a scheme manager.

These sessions are for a maximum of 6 participants.

All Covid safe arrangements are in place and scheme managers will support any tenants that may be apprehensive 

Up to 30 people limit outdoors and visitors welcome to use the outside areas for this but tenants and families are asked to arrange this via the scheme manager.

Reopening of scheme guest rooms for family and friends to visit their relatives living within a scheme, please book with the scheme manager at least 48 hours in advance to allow rooms to be thoroughly cleaned between guests.

Lunchtime meal to restart in the communal dining area.

The scheme manager will be working alongside the tenants, Making Space care and the catering team to arrange 6 person/two household  sittings

Planned outdoor entertainment and events-to include Bingo, performances, gardening groups etc.

These are subject to specific scheme arrangements and weather permitting.

Scheme managers will regularly update tenants with ‘what's on’

All non essential services such as private cleaners and hairdressers are welcome to restart their services to tenants homes.

All government and building guidelines must be adhered to and the scheme manager should be made aware of these visits to enable these to be managed safely

We wanted to refresh every tenant and their visitors with regards to their roles and responsibilities to Covid-19 Safety and we have tried to create a simple checklist for everyone to follow.

 We kindly ask that all visitors follow the visitors code detailed below

  • you have booked your visit in advance with the Scheme manager by ringing
  • you have checked the day before you are due to visit to ensure circumstances haven’t changed.
  • you are free of any Covid symptoms for at least 10 days prior to your visit.
  • you are not feeling unwell on the day of your visit.
  • you are not self-isolating at the request of NHS Track and Trace.
  • on arrival you sign the Track and Trace log and scan the QR Code
  • you comply with the infection prevention and control measures, mandatory hand hygiene, the use of PPE as required and social distancing requirements.

Visits must operate fully in line with the latest infection, prevention and control guidance which are as follows

  • masks must be worn throughout the duration of your visit, particularly when moving around the communal areas of the building.
  • When moving around the building please ensure there is consideration of the 2 metre rule particularly when passing in corridors, doorways etc
  • if you have an underlying health condition that exempts you from wearing a face mask we have lanyards available that will identify this to staff members so that they do not challenge you about PPE during your visit.
  • good hand hygiene (hand sanitiser is provided for you) but should not replace hand washing.

Detailed below is a set of rights and responsibilities for Darlington Borough Council, Making Space (if you are visiting an extra care scheme) and visitors, which put the welfare and well-being of our tenants and staff first and foremost.

Rights

DBC and Making Space have the right to Visitors have the right to

Mitigate the risk of infection by refusing entry to anyone, or requesting that a person leaves the premises, for any justifiable reason such as:

  • failure to comply with infection, prevention and control guidance
  • arriving without first booking an appointment
  • Someone arriving without first booking an appointment.
Access the scheme in accordance with the procedures set out above as well as following the visitors code.
Consider increasing visiting restrictions when an outbreak (including non Covid-19) occurs within the scheme. Or if there is an increase of cases in the locality or should the government/public health’s guidance change.

Be notified by DBC in a timely manner should changes to the visiting policy happen within the scheme, if there is an increase of cases in the locality or should the government/public health’s guidance change.

Be provided with alternative options should visiting be restricted further which could include video calling and garden visits.

 

Responsibilities

DBC and Making Space have a responsibility to Visitors a responsibility to
Follow Government and public health guidance. Follow the visiting guidance, visitors code, including booking in advance.
Provide clear information to visitors and tenants about how visits are to be conducted and the infection control measure that must be followed. Not visiting when unwell or displaying any signs or symptoms of Covid-19, flu or the common cold.
Appropriately support staff to facilitate visits. Respond honestly to staff when Covid-19 screening happens. This will be when you phone to arrange an appointment.
Treat all visitors with respect and courtesy, providing clear instruction on the visiting procedures.  Treat all staff with respect and courtesy and follow all instructions.
Provide clear, proactive communication with tenants and their designated ‘support bubble’ where a change in circumstance leads to a change in the visiting policy. When entering the building you must sign the track and trace book as well as checking in with NHS Covid-19 track and trace QR code provide.
  Failure to follow visiting requirements may affect future ability to visit.


In addition to visitors, we are also permitting the following services moving forwards

  • Carers
  • Health Professionals – including podiatry where there is a medical need
  • Scheme managers
  • Scheme cleaners
  • Other DBC colleagues making essential visits: Housing Officers, contractors and engineers.
  • Private cleaners but they must have their own safe systems of work in place
  • Carers from Making Space and Caterers (at our extra care locations - where a meal provision is provided at the site)
  • Non-essential services such as Hairdressers and Beauticians

We thank you for cooperating with these government restrictions which aim to reduce the risk of Coronavirus in our buildings and for your support which helps us all to live and work safely as we positively move forward.