FAMILIES with relatives in care homes will soon be able to visit their loved-ones in person for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown started.

Following the latest government guidance, which says care homes can begin to welcome single guests, families and their loved ones will soon be re-united.

Worcestershire county councillor Adrian Hardman, cabinet member with responsibility for adult social care, said he was “delighted” at the news, and that carers across the county had showed “real dedication and commitment” over the last few months.

He said: “Our carers across Worcestershire have shown real dedication and commitment to those in need of care and we have worked hard over the last few months to ensure that residents have been able to keep in touch with loved ones through the use of video calling apps.

“It certainly hasn’t been easy for many residents and families. The effects of lockdown have been incredibly isolating, but we will now study the guidance to ensure that our local plans correlate with the national guidance.”

Detailed risk assessments will be carried out on specific care homes and appropriate safety precautions will be required, which include adhering to social distancing and wearing face coverings.

The council has also been working with care home managers to develop protocols for safe visiting. With this guidance now in place, social care and public health will review the guidance to support care homes across the county to ensure this can be done safely.

Each care home across the county will communicate their individual arrangements for reopening to family and friends who may wish to visit.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, director for Public Health for Worcestershire, said: "Our priority remains keeping our residents safe and our care homes free of Covid-19.

"Public Health teams will be assessing risk and working with our care homes to develop a policy for the safe re-opening for visits.

"We will set out clear guidance for homes and visitors, to ensure we keep our most vulnerable residents safe."

Will you be going to visit your relatives now care homes are reopening? Get in touch with us - we'd love to hear your story. Email emily.collis@newsquest.co.uk.