Temporary ‘pods’ are being provided to care homes across Wales to better facilitate visits over Christmas and the winter months, the Health Minister has announced today (Monday).
pilot will cover the procurement, installation and lease of 100 units, with an
initial 30 being installed and ready to use before Christmas.
units will be available for a period of six months, whilst longer-term solutions
are sourced and put in place.
This also includes
£1million for plans to support providers who prefer to make their own
arrangements on a similar basis.
within care homes, says the Government, will help to better support risk-assessed visiting during the
winter months as some care providers have found it difficult to support
socially distanced visits due to a lack of internal visiting space.
Visiting restrictions for care homes were eased as wider lockdown restrictions were lifted in the summer, and again following the fire-break.
Since August, guidance has
supported the reintroduction of indoor visits where possible with a designated
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “We all know how difficult recent months have been for people living in care homes and their loved ones, however ensuring the safety of our most vulnerable has always been paramount.
“We recognise both
the distress and sadness that has been experienced since March, but also the
desire from care homes to facilitate visits before and during Christmas as well
as throughout the winter. Having engaged with key stakeholders, we are
confident these units are a way to enable meaningful visits to take place.
“The pilot scheme
will help us to understand whether visiting pods are an effective and practical
way of supporting meaningful visits. We will use this learning to determine
whether we should consider commissioning a bespoke Wales-based solution in
future if the course of the pandemic means this is required.”