This page is for anyone who requires information and updates about how we are dealing with the current Covid-19 pandemic across MHA care homes, retirement living, and community group services.

We are constantly reviewing the guidance coming out from Government about what this means for our residents and their relatives, members, and volunteers. Please be assured we are taking the necessary measures to ensure colleagues, residents, members, and volunteers are not put at any unnecessary risk. 

Where a home or scheme has an active outbreak, it will remain closed to visitors until Public Health advise that they are able to open again.

Care homes: information for relatives and friends of residents 

From Wednesday 15 December 2021, new guidance comes into force for visiting in care homes in England. The full guidance can be read here. The rules for Scotland and Wales remain unchanged currently and links can be found at the bottom of this page. 

The changes limit visit residents to three named visitors, plus their designated caregiver (ECG).  The guidance also states:

  • The nominated visitors should remain the same, barring an exceptional change in circumstances, including when a loved one is receiving end of life care
  • When residents go for visits outside of the care home, we ask that they avoid visiting people they do not usually spend time with regularly. Where possible, they should avoid visits that involve mixing with large numbers of people indoors. 
  • Before going out on visits, residents will first have to have had their Covid booster (if eligible and unless exempt). Those who they are visiting are expected to be fully vaccinated (to include the booster if eligible) and to receive a negative LFD on the day of the visit
  • If there is a visit out of the care home that is determined to be high-risk, residents will be asked to self-isolate on return, dependent on an individual risk assessment
  • There is an increase in terms of the level of testing on return from trips out for those who have not yet had their Covid booster and those who have not had the vaccination will be expected to isolate for 14 days on their return to the care home.

We will continue to use a visiting risk framework to help our home managers to take a cautious approach when managing visiting as the level of Covid-19 cases in the community remains high. 

In order to provide wider access for visitors, we are asking visitors to do a test at home on the day of the visit and show proof of a negative result before the visit starts. 

Please be aware that a booking system for visits, especially indoors, will continue to be in place. This is because the home will still need to clean down areas in-between visits and also limit the number of people in the building to make sure it is safe for everyone and keep contact between visitors to different residents to a minimum. Because of the colder weather, we are more easily able to facilitate indoor visits. 

Home managers will use the risk framework alongside MHA’s guidance and that from the Government. 

Essential caregivers (ECG) in England have a greater level of indoor access, including when a home is in outbreak unless advised otherwise by public health. For the ECG, there is no imposed time limit on the length of a visit as long as this remains within the resident's choice. Under the guidance, each resident can choose one nominated ECG. Please speak with your home manager about becoming an ECG. 

Care home visits in Scotland and Wales follow slightly different guidelines although much of what is described above is the same. Read the guidance for Wales and the guidance for Scotland

If the home your relative is living in has an active outbreak of Covid-19, either among staff or residents, unfortunately, you will not be able to visit unless you have ECG status. When the home is in outbreak, advice is taken from public health about when it can reopen During the outbreak period, there will be restrictions on non-ECG visiting unless classed as essential, such as visiting a loved one who is receiving end of life care. 

If you are not able to visit, there are several ways we can keep you in touch with your loved one. Find out more >

Read more about our commitment to safety in our care homes >

Care homes: new admissions 

The majority of our care homes have immediate availability to take new admissions.

At the moment, we are only able to facilitate virtual tours of our care homes for new care admissions. Please contact your preferred home directly to book a virtual tour. 

Government regulations currently say that new residents should be admitted to a care home from the community without the need to complete a 14-day self-isolation period if they satisfy the below requirements:

  • the person admitted is fully vaccinated, plus 2 weeks, wherever possible
  • local guidance from the director of public health about community transmission of variants of concern is followed
  • the person admitted has no known contact with a COVID-positive person
  • the care home has taken into account the circumstances at the person’s home, prior to admission
  • the person is subject to an enhanced testing regime consisting of a PCR test before admission (within 72 hours), a PCR test on the day of admission (day 0) and a further PCR test 7 days following admission (day 7). Additionally, we recommend daily rapid lateral flow testing until the day 7 PCR result has been received. If a resident cannot undergo testing, they should be assumed to be potentially infectious. Their COVID-19 status is unknown, and they should self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution

The Government guidance also includes details on people transferring from hospital or another care facility and can be read in full here

For Professional Referral: in the first instance, please contact the care home manager directly. The home manager will be able to discuss your requirements and identify any particular admission support and discuss fees/funding information.

Full contact details for your nearest MHA care home can be found on our service finder >

Retirement living: information for relatives and friends of residents 

Our retirement living schemes are open for visitors to individual apartments. The opening of communal areas will vary for schemes, so please contact the Scheme Manager directly. Full contact details for all our retirement living schemes can be accessed using our online service finder >

Please note - any scheme with an active outbreak of coronavirus will continue to be closed for visitors. Any scheme that has previously had confirmed Coronavirus cases will need to have had 28 days with no new cases or symptoms after the first day of the most recent case and dependent on advice from Public Health before opening to visitors. 

Our fantastic colleagues and volunteers are working around the clock to ensure our residents are receiving excellent support as always, so please rest assured your loved ones are in compassionate and caring hands.

Unfortunately, some of our colleagues are off work due to self-isolation, or they, sadly, have become symptomatic. We’re working really hard to support our homes and schemes across the country and have launched a national recruitment drive to ensure the staffing levels are maintained. They are then trained, ready, and waiting to step in and continue giving your loved one the fantastic care and support they deserve.

Retirement living: new sales and lettings 

Our retirement living schemes are now open to viewings, these are on a pre-arranged appointment-only basis. This ensures that you, our staff, and our residents are completely safe throughout the viewing process.

We can also offer virtual viewings and can walk you through each part of the apartments.

If you would like to speak to a member of our Sales Team, please call 0800 479 2224 or email us at sales@mha.org.uk

MHA Communities: information for members 

From Monday 19 July, we are starting to re-launch more of our indoor and outdoor services and we would love to welcome you back safely. Please get in touch with your local scheme to find out what activities are available in your area. Visit the MHA Communities page to find the contact details. 

MHA Digital Communities online activities are all still available if you'd rather join in from the comfort of your own home. 

Careers and volunteering: information for new applicants 

We are recruiting across a variety of career and volunteer roles at MHA right now.

As the UK's largest charity care provider, we’re searching for empathetic and dedicated people with broad-ranging skills and experience to support our mission of enabling older people to live later life well.

Being part of MHA means being part of a caring and unwavering organisation where you will have the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of older people both across the UK and within your local communities. 

If you’re looking for a career opportunity, please visit our current vacancies page >

If you’d like to support MHA by volunteering, please visit our volunteering page >

Media enquiries: information for journalists and reporters 

For details on how to contact our PR Manager, please visit our media centre > 

For general MHA enquiries, please use our online contact form >

As you will appreciate, our Communications Team is working hard to service all the media enquiries we receive and will come back to you as soon as possible. Many thanks for your understanding.

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