Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler has welcomed the publication of new nursing home visiting guidance.

The guidance by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) COVID-19: Normalising Access in Long Term Residential Care Facilities (LTRCFs) was announced on 31 January and comes into force tomorrow.

It specifies that:

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  • the minimum level of visiting should normally be daily visits by up to 2 people at one time;
  • the introduction of a ‘nominated support person’ for each resident who should normally have regular and unrestricted visiting access; and
  • there will no longer be a need for visitors to show immunity through vaccination or previous infection.

Minister Butler (pictured) said: “I am very pleased to be able to announce this new guidance. It clearly reflects the essential role visiting plays in supporting the rights of people living in nursing homes to maintain meaningful relationships with those who are important to them. I also acknowledge the introduction of a nominated support person, which recognises and further supports the mental health and wellbeing needs of residents and promotes social connection.”

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