5 January

Further to the message below, the actions we put in place yesterday will remain during this lockdown period – so until February 15 (at the moment).

The only other changes as a result of yesterday’s announcement are for visiting.  Please note that the national guidance for visiting in care and supported living settings has not been updated since the announcement, so for the time being we are following the care home visiting guidance for residential and the general stay at home regulations introduced today for supported living.  If this changes, we will let you know.


Residential visits can continue either outside or in screened room.   If outdoors, the visitor should remain 2m apart.  Visitors should be limited to a single, constant visitor with an absolute maximum of 2 constant visitors per resident.   This means the same family member visiting each time to limit the number of individuals coming into contact and help reduce the risk of disease transmission from multiple different routes.

However, with the level of infection rates including asymptomatic people, we would strongly recommend that visits did not take place unless absolutely necessary.


Supported living we will be following the national guidelines so no meeting of different households either in or outside the home.     Whilst the guidance does allow one daily exercise with someone outside of the home we would strongly encourage this not to happen unless it is essential for welfare reasons. The more we can do to minimise transmission of the disease from different routes, the safer we can be.  However, if you feel that this important, please book in an exercise session with the team so that we don’t have multiple family members arriving at the same time.  In addition, as with residential we would ask that this is limited to the same family member throughout the lockdown.  Any exercise must be outdoors and must be socially distanced (i.e. 2m)

In terms of our own staffing, we will be reinforcing the grouping of staff `bubbles` as we did in previous lockdowns to reduce the staff teams mixing and, in supported living, reducing the number of different houses that staff are working in.  We will continue to use the appropriate PPE and infection control procedures and encouraging everyone that we support to do the same.

We know that this will be a difficult period but we will do all that we can to provide good quality support and activities to everyone.  We hope that we can get through this together as we have all of last year.

4 January

New Forest Day Opportunities

We will be moving to two live support sessions online from Wednesday which will be open to anyone who normally attends our day opportunities.    There will be a session in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Details of these sessions and log-in will be sent out tomorrow from the Day Service team.

We will also be providing outreach support to a number of individuals or groups of houses who need additional support at this time.  This will include people living in Minstead Lodge and some of our supported living houses (see below).


Portsmouth Day Opportunities

Our day opportunities remains open for those that already attend, and we are confident that the procedures we have in place will help to keep people safe.   We will also continue with outreach where it is needed and will put in place a live support session shortly.   Details of the sessions will be sent direct in due course.


Residential Care at Minstead Lodge

We will continue to provide day time activities during the week for everyone in residential support at Minstead Lodge, keeping everyone in the same support bubbles so as to minimise risk of transmission.   We will continue to make use of the facilities in Day Service and at Furzey Gardens.

Visits to care homes are still allowed but now must be either through screened areas or outside.   Having just started the lateral flow tests for visitors, face to face indoor meetings are no longer allowed in Tier 4.    We don’t know if the guidance will change again if we go into full lockdown, but we will keep you updated if it does.  In the meantime, visitors should be limited in number and ideally the same people visiting each time.   As before, we will support people to zoom/facetime/whatsapp families and friends.


Supported Living

For those individuals who attend our Day Opportunities, we will be providing outreach support and activities to individuals or single house groups.   With the exception of those people who live on site at Minstead Lodge, this support will take place in their own homes rather than on site. This is to reduce the risk of transmission in transport and with other people who may also be on site as the new strain of the virus does seem to pass on more easily.    For those who live in Elms and Bothy we will continue to make use of the facilities in day service and at Furzey Gardens.

This support will be supplemented by increased welfare checks from the supported living team for those individuals who need it as we may not be able to provide people’s usual full quota of day service support.

As we are in Tier 4, no visits can take place inside the home and only one person can meet with one other outside of the home.  As with visits in residential, please try and keep the visits to a minimum and with the same people visiting each time.   Again, if we go into full lockdown and the rules change, we will let you know.

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