Nursing Home Visitor Guidelines for Springlawn House May 2021


Following guidance issued by the Department of Health in May, Springlawn House has reviewed our nursing home visitor guidelines. We aim to support our residents to see their families again in person and within the comfort of their own rooms. However, the most important thing to note at this time is that ALL VISITS MUST BE PRE-BOOKED.

New Nursing Home Visitor Government Guidelines

Due to new Government guidelines issued in May 2021 there is now a phased approach to relaxing visiting restrictions. These phases will remain in place to protect residents and visitors, staff, and the wider public.

Progression of the phases is dependent on the outcome of review and is not guaranteed. In effect, this means there is the potential to accelerate the easing of restrictions. But there’s also the potential to apply a ‘brake’ or to revert to a previous step if required. This will be dependent on monitoring. Likewise, the potential to accelerate the easing of restrictions will also be kept under review.

Summary of the Phased Approach to Nursing Home Visitor Guidelines

The first phase includes:

  • Increased number of visits for clients to two per week
  • Ongoing use of PPE- mask and apron
  • Number of visitors to each visit will be limited to 2 people at one time.
  • Children can visit but they will be counted in the above number of visitors. It is the responsibility of the adult accompanying any child, to ensure infection control measures are adhered to.
  • Handwashing to replace the use of gloves.
  • Visit booking system will remain in place.
  • Visiting in residents on room with windows open
  • Outside visiting continues as an alternative- weather dependent

The second phase includes:

  • Increased number of people able to visit at one time to a maximum of 4 from no more than 2 households at any one visit.
  • Close physical contact enabled to include ‘brief’ hugging. Aprons and masks to remain.
  • Ongoing booking of visits required.
  • Visiting in residents’ rooms with windows opened

The third phase includes:

  • No restriction on number of people who may visit but visits limited to visitors from two households per day.
  • Close physical contact enabled to include ‘brief’ hugging. Aprons and masks to remain.
  • Ongoing booking of visits required.
  • Visiting in residents’ rooms with windows opened

The fourth phase includes:

  • No restrictions on the number of visits or visitors.
  • Standard infection control measures including hand hygiene.
  • No booking required for appointments.
  • Visitors able to move around home.

Throughout all phases of the nursing home visitor guidelines, there will be enabling factors such as:

  • Enhanced cleaning of individual and communal spaces.
  • Maintain and adhere to ICP measures.
  • Screening of all visitors for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Isolation arrangements to respond to individual circumstances and as per policy.

Other Factors to Consider

The following will also be taken into consideration by management to accommodate a safe and effective visit:

  • Risk assessment
  • Staffing levels
  • Availability of cleaning staff which is essential to ensure enhanced clean following each room or designated visiting area.
  • Quantity of appointments that can be accommodated.
  • Times during course of day appointments can be available.

In the event of shortfall of staffing levels and availability of cleaning staff, management will act accordingly to ensure continued minimum risk. If a visit is not possible because of the risk to the individual and other residents and staff, management will communicate the reasons for this decision clearly to the resident and their family.

In the event of an outbreak, all movements in and out of a setting will be minimised as far as possible and limited to exceptional circumstances only.

Visitors’ Responsibilities

These responsibilities depend on which phase we are in. But below we the expectations and responsibilities of the visitors attending the care home during phase 1-3:

  • Avail of the booking system, this will require the visitor to contact the nursing home to schedule a visit. We cannot accommodate any visits which have not been booked with the nursing home staff. 
  • Completion of screening questions and temperature check on arrival. Temperature reading of 37.8 or above will result in visit being rescheduled.
  • Use of hand sanitising station upon entrance to nursing home.
  • Full adherence to personal protective equipment– mask and apron
  • Window to be kept open during full visit to ensure sufficient ventilation.
  • Full oversight of visiting by care home staff.
  • Adherence to social distancing of 2m.
  • Physical contact to be adhered to dependent on phase initiated.

Responsibility of visitor’s phase 4:

  • Standard infection control measures to be adhered to.

The Care Home Manager continues to remain responsible for making decisions regarding permitting visitors into any home on a day-to-day basis. However, such decisions must be based on a risk assessment, to which families and residents can contribute.

In addition, we have reviewed our appointments and have increased the number of appointments available each day to ensure all clients can avail of x2 visits weekly. room appointments will also be staggered to minimise footfall and ensure ongoing thorough cleaning. All visits must be booked in advance – we must all adhere to the home policy of restricted visiting times to allow enhanced cleaning of the area used following each visit.

It is important to note that all of our residents remain in the high-risk category from COVID 19 (Coronavirus) due to age, and medical conditions, therefore our visits will be phased, strictly managed, and reviewed daily in accordance with guidance and the wellbeing of residents. Please see video below to explain what to expect when you get here.

Springlawn has carefully considered how we can implement visiting as safely as possible, our policy has been developed following a thorough risk assessment of the nursing home with the aim to minimise the risk of infection, and ensure the safety of our residents, staff, visitors and outer public as much as possible.

The following policy will be effective from 11th May 2021

Principles for Visiting

Where possible, virtual visiting remains the preferred option as this will support us in reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. Outdoor visits (weather dependent) and window visits also remain as an option.

Our face-to-face visits MUST be pre-arranged to reduce the number of people entering the home and to allow for adequate cleaning between visits. Our prearranged visits must be booked via telephone which will allow you to make an appointment for the next available visiting slot. Please note visiting slots cannot be block booked. This is to ensure all residents have an opportunity to receive visitors.

When booking your visiting slot, you will be asked where you wish to avail of visit such as room clients, designated visitors room downstairs or the visiting pod.

Upon your arrival you will then complete screening questions. You will have your temperature checked and be asked to sign a form declaring all information remains unchanged and that you are aware of your responsibilities when visiting.

Visits will now be increase to 2 visits per clients each week with 2 people allowing to attend the appointment. Visits can be accommodated for up to 1 hour.

Visitors must use hand sanitising facilities prior to entry.

Visitors must wear face masks that they must provide themselves and masks must be in place before entering the home then be provided with an apron.

You are asked not to bring anything with you into the home, such as food parcels, presents, etc unless discussed with the nurse manager following a thorough risk assessment. This is to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Protocol on Arrival

The visitor must go to the front door to make staff aware they have arrived. Please do not make your way into the home. Instead, ring the bell and wait for a staff member to come to you. At the front door, visitors must complete a screening questionnaire and a staff member will also check and record your temperature.

Visitors must only enter when their mask is in place, apron worn, hand sanitised and screening questions completed.

You will then be accompanied to the room, where two chairs will be placed 2 metres away from the client to ensure social distancing

If visitors wish to discuss the wellbeing of the resident with the manager or nurse in charge, please do this via telephone. This will ensure visiting time is maximised with your loved one.

Toilet facilities cannot be used by visitors. Again, this is to reduce the spread of infection.

Protocol on Departure

Staff will make you aware when visiting time is over. You will then be accompanied back to the front door where you must dispose of your apron and use the hand sanitizer provided before you leave. Please ensure you keep your mask in place until you have left the building

You will exit from the same door you entered.

Additional Visiting Arrangements

Should a resident wish to have a visit from a Minister of Faith, an agreed and pre-arranged visit can be accommodated. This visit will not be counted as or replace a resident’s scheduled visit with family/friends. Visiting Ministers of Faith must adhere to the detail of the care home’s visiting policy.

End of Life Visiting

Families must seek permission in advance from the nurse in charge to visit end of life residents in their own room.

The nurse in charge will complete a thorough risk assessment to ensure it is complexly safe to allow this visit. The capacity of the family to provide informed consent relating to the risks associated with visiting will be taken into account as will the capacity of the patient to receive visitors.

If visiting is then approved by the nurse in charge, suitable times for visiting will be discussed. Only one visitor will be permitted at a time for an agreed amount of time. The nursing home may limit the frequency of visits, duration of visits, or numbers of visitors in accordance with the risk to other patients, other care staff, or other practical considerations in the care home.

In all cases, visitors must agree to undertake all actions and precautions issued by the nursing home for visiting and end of life visiting. Any decision to deny visiting rights will be made following a risk assessment and which will be communicated clearly with the resident and their family members/friends.

Our nursing home visitor guidelines will remain under constant review and we will continue to update you on any changes.

A Special Note of Thanks

This has been an extremely difficult period for everyone and we at Springlawn Nursing Home greatly appreciate how supportive you have been. We fully comprehend that you want to see your loved one as soon as possible. We ask for your patience on our phased visiting approach, as our number one priority is the safety of our residents.

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you once again for your continued support.

For enquiries, please call +44 28 8224 4550 or email:

In the meantime, you can view this SPRINGLAWN HOUSE VISITORS GUIDE VIDEO so you know what to expect when you get here: